Films that are singular and unironic, having a certain purity and inducing a certain awe

I want to avoid a certain taste: films that are transgressive and dark, but also heavily produced and economic. They appeal to the irony-poisoned edgelord cinebro crowd of which I am a part. Deconstructive, cynical, sarcastic films can be great, they advance cinema in their own way by cutting down genre barriers and exposing our expectations. More and more, though, I want something constructive, something that leaves behind irony and sarcasm, something pure. Films that try hard to be true and good and beautiful — and succeed.

  • A Hidden Life
  • Leave No Trace
  • Spirited Away
  • Arrival
  • Light from Light
  • Transit
  • Come and See
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Little Women
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Paths of Glory
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Ordet
  • Where Is My Friend's House?
  • Good Night, and Good Luck.
  • On the Seventh Day
  • 1917
  • Christopher and Me
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Iron Giant
  • Lean on Pete
  • The Tree of Life