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32 Great Movies to Savor on Filmstruck While You Still Have the Chance

The streaming service might be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still appreciate their extraordinary library while it’s still available.
By  · Published on November 9th, 2018

I Shot Jesse James (1949)

I Shot Jesse James

I Shot Jesse James is the directorial debut of a legend: Samuel Fuller. Maybe he’s not a name that your mom and dad would recognize around the dinner table, but talk to Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, or Jim Jarmusch and you’ll get buffeted by a barrage of enthusiasm. Fuller did it his damn self, his own way, and if you’re at all curious about the filmmaker then you might as well start at the beginning. I Shot Jesse James peels back the romanticism surrounding the shootist. What does it mean to pick up a gun and kill a man? John Ireland’s Bob Ford thinks he has the stomach for assassination and its reward, but Fuller digs into Ford’s soul and exposes the horrendous enormity of such actions. The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford would take these ideas to their artistic limit, but Andrew Dominik’s film does not necessarily improve upon what Fuller captures here. – Brad Gullickson

Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Eyes Without A Face

After his daughter’s face is disfigured in a car accident, a brilliant doctor sets out to restore her beauty. In order to this, he starts kidnapping beautiful young women with the intention of stealing their faces. That premise might sound gruesome — and, sure, it is — but Eyes Without a Face is also quite profound, poetic, and beautiful in places. It’s an examination of sorrow and grief, steeped in fantastique sensibilities and stunning imagery. It’s a haunting piece with a strong female character whose transition from victim to hero is incredible. Once seen you’ll never forget it. – Kieran Fisher

Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

Jean Dielman

Chantal Akerman‘s epic feminist masterpiece is a film that must be watched, in full, to be understood. Over the course of 200 minutes, Akerman follows her eponymous protagonist as her life and routine as a housewife begins to unravel little by little. The film is a testament to the power of cinema as Akerman transforms minute details of a humdrum existence into images that are loaded with meaning. Jeanne Dielman is no doubt challenging as it initially appears to be a film where nothing happens, but stick with it and it reveals itself as a film where everything happens. – Anna Swanson

North by Northwest (1959)

North By Northwest

There’s a good selection of Hitchcock movies on Filmstruck, ranging from early efforts like The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, to more renowned fare such as Dial M for Murder. The best of the bunch in this writer’s humble opinion, however, is none other than North By Northwest. The story follows an advertizing executive (Cary Grant) as he tries to evade henchmen who believes he’s someone else. This showcased Hitchcock at his most fun and purely entertaining, but the suspense is masterful and the action is thrilling. – Kieran Fisher

Y Tu Mams Tambien (2001)

Y Yu Mama Tambien

Alfonso Cuaron’s road movie is a love letter to the spirit of Mexico and the frenzied feelings of youth, to easily bruised boys parading around like men, and to everything important that goes unspoken. Rarely if ever has a movie been so sexy and poetic and embarrassing all at once, but that’s how growing up feels. Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna have given us dozens of great performances since then, but none have been seared into our collective memories quite like Y Tu Mama. The film’s final scenes are a knock-out, aching in their sudden absence of playfulness and in the omniscient narrator’s decisive endnote. Another film recently quoted the Heptameron in asking “Is it better to speak or die?” For Tenoch, Julio, and Luisa, to speak the truth to one another is nearly impossible, and living is all they know how to do. – Valerie Ettenhofer

The Seduction of Mimi (1972)

The Seduction Of Mimi

Directed by the wonderful Lina Wertmüller, the story follows the eponymous character as he leaves his wife behind and moves to a new city after losing his job. Upon arrival in his new abode, he enters an affair with a Communist organizer, which poses a dilemma since he has two relationships to juggle. Throw in a plot to get revenge against the criminal who cost him his job, and Mimi has a lot on his plate. – Kieran Fisher

The Omega Man (1971)

The Omega Man

They’re never going to get Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend right. Vincent Price gave it a decent shot on the cheap with The Last Man on Earth and Will Smith came close to perfection in 2007 before utterly fumbling at the finish line. As a result, the best take on the vampiric consumption of humanity comes in the form of Charlton Heston’s apocalyptic, hippie apologist thriller The Omega Man…and the word “vampire” is not whispered once.

Some movies are timeless; others are firmly trapped in their era. You either reject that dressing or you dive in and get groovy. Heston’s army colonel doctor is responsible for unleashing a devastating global plague, and he appears to be the last man standing in Los Angeles. Every night he must defend his palatial apartment from cloaked killers looking to manifest destiny into his space. The world may have gone to hell, but rent is still a beast. The Omega Man ramps towards a devastating confrontation between man and monster, but offers a final glimmer of hope through sacrifice. Matheson, on the other hand, shrugged his shoulders at humanity’s feeble, desperate cling on the ledge of oblivion. Can such despair ever translate into studio dollars? – Brad Gullickson

The Devils (1971)

The Devils

Oh boy. Where do we start with The Devils? Ken Russell’s masterpiece is a scathing critique of the marriage between church and state, chock-full of sex, violence, and religious hysteria. The film is bold and blasphemous, telling the story of a 17th century priest who is accused of possessing a convent full of nuns. Maybe we’ll never get to see the full uncensored version of this sinful treat, but this is must-see viewing nonetheless. Not for the faint hearted or easily offended. – Kieran Fisher

Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)

Cleo From To

Agnès Varda’s most well known film is a simple and yet stunning chronicle of 90 minutes in the life of Cléo (Corinne Marchand), a Parisian pop star who makes her way around the city as she awaits the results of a medical test that will inform her if she has cancer. As Cléo journeys through Paris, having encounters with various acquaintances, friends, and lovers, she begins to question her position in the world and whether her experiences are meaningful. Though grappling with some heavy themes, Varda’s playful nature constantly shines through both in her protagonist and her camerawork, making the film both entertaining and emotionally resonant in ways that few directors have ever achieved. – Anna Swanson

Seven Samurai (1954)

Seven Samurai

The majority of Akira Kurosawa’s outstanding filmography is available on Filmstruck’s Criterion Channel. Most of his movies deserve a spot on this list, and I’d encourage everyone to watch them while they still can. But for now we’ll focus on Seven Samurai, which is, quite simply, one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever created. The story follows a group of samurai warriors as they defend a village from bandits, resulting in a three-hour epic that pops with exhilarating action, emotional depth, and an abundance of perfect shots. The story has been retold in other forms since, most notably with The Magnificent Seven, but the O.G. is untouchable. A masterpiece in every sense of the word. – Kieran Fisher

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin' In The Rain

Singin’ in the Rain’ is the most extra movie in the history of cinema. Featuring non-diagetic dance scenes for days, the film’s ridiculously high production value and fantastic performances from Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor nevertheless make it one for the history books. – Hans Qu

King Kong (1933)

King Kong

Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the trendsetting monster opus — about a film crew who forcibly remove a gargantuan gorilla from an uncharted island and bring it home to New York City — is still the best giant creature movie out there. It has action, adventure, terror, and spectacle. However, King Kong is so much more than a story about a wild beast causing mayhem; the heart of the tale is a tragic love story more than anything. Kong’s relationship with Anne (Fay Wray) has its problems, but their affection for each other is heart-warming. Furthermore, the stop-motion effects by Willis O’Brien are incredible and remain impressive 85 years later. All hail the Eighth Wonder of the World. – Kieran Fisher

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.