It takes time and effort to make a movie. Good movies have good plots. But great movies have a good story as well as being a visual spectacle. This list of visually stunning movies helped define Hollywood, and will probably keep defining it for the years to come. Here are the best visually stunning movies of all time.
Todd Phillips was not kidding when he said he will turn the movie into a festival of colors. Some movie theorists claim The Joker uses color and visuals to mimic Arthur Fleck’s persona. When he’s angry, the scene takes a different tinge of color. When he’s sad or upset, the cinematography changes to suit the occasion. The Joker’s usage of colors in scenes is what makes it such a treat. And the way the frames change as Arthur embraces his inner demon more and more just make it an absolute blast on screen.
Hate it if you must but you have to agree that as far as war thrillers go, Dunkirk remains a must-have for the fans of the genre. Christopher Nolan and ace cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema joined forces to show us a movie that mixes sound and lighting in ways we never thought were possible. From war torn beaches to the cockpit of a British Spitfire and a sinking ship, we saw everything in first person. The scenes were sometimes too mind boggling for our tastes. There’s no Michael Bay-esque explosions. But when Quentin Tarentino himself claims the movie has the “greatest shot in war movie history”, you have to take notice.
Sure the new Bladerunner movie had the magic of modern age CGI to help it out. But it is the original Ridley Scott classic that will forever remain etched onto our retinas. When Scott asked Jorden Cronenweth to get on board, the cinematographer came with a vision of his own. Each scene in Bladerunner radiates class and mastery of practical effects. Back then when CGI was not even in its infancy yet, to come up with such visually stunning movies takes talent and lots and lots of practice. Thankfully, Ridley Scott and Jordan Cronenweth had both.
Mad Max: Fury Road
If we are making a list of visually stunning movies, it will never be complete without Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller‘s 2015 movie was a beautiful marriage of chaos, blood, fire, and steel. In the Oscars that year, the movie swept the floor winning multiple awards from best production design to sound editing, film editing, and sound mixing. For a moment, we almost forgot that the movie is basically a car chase that stretches on for hours. Shot in the Namibian desert, each and every scene in Mad Max: Fury Road is as breathtaking as the unforgiving desert.
Life Of Pi
Ang Lee‘s 2012 movie Lie of Pi remains a timeless classic which has since achieved cult-classic status. A barrage of emotions hit you when you watch Life of Pi. The absurd survival tale of a boy ship-wrecked on a lifeboat with a tiger drew a lot of attention. And for good reason. Just take a look at the visuals above. Life of Pi was the whole package because it did not just have a good ensemble star cats but also cinematography so epic we still talk about it a decade later.
Shot so cleverly it looks like the entire movie was made on a single roll without any cuts, 1917 is a the movie to end all movies when it was released back in 2019. The journey of two young soldiers through No Man’s Land, rife with danger at every corner, is visceral and intense. Of all the visually stunning movies on this list, 1917 perhaps take the cake for using the entire color spectrum to its maximum. The Night Window Flares and the Blazing Church scene (bottom right) was enough to give us a truly immersive, visual feast of an experience.