140 Aesthetic Movies That Are A Blessing For Your Eyes
When it comes to cinema, we all have our preferences. Some of us are more into horror films and others like comedies. But there's a certain type of movie that unites us all: the aesthetically pleasing movies. If you're not familiar with the term "aesthetically pleasing," let us explain. It's basically a film that has beautiful cinematography and aesthetics. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's a pretty good movie (even if tons of them are) — it just looks good. Super good, to the point your eyes could pop out to say, "thank you for deciding to watch this."
There's something about the way some good films look, feel and sound that can make them a truly special experience. The graceful transitions from one scene to another, the lighting, the special effects. These kinds of movies make you stop rummaging through your popcorn and stare, even if it's just for a minute or two during the opening scene or a change of pace.
It's undoubtedly one of the best parts about being a film lover, wanting to see what filmmakers are doing with their skills and creativity. You want to see how they're using their craft. That's why we've created this list of the most aesthetic movies (according to cinephiles) — so you can give them a watch, know exactly what we're talking about, and appreciate their beauty even more!
Howl’s Moving Castle
2004 | 1h 59m | Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli has quite a reputation for making visually stunning movies, but Howl's Moving Castle is arguably one of Studio Ghibli's greatest and most beautiful films. The story follows Sophie, a teenage girl who ends up cursed by a witch to look like an old woman. The film contains strong anti-war messages and depicts aging as something positive that grants the main character freedom.
2001: A Space Odyssey
1968 | 2h 29m | Directed by Stanley Kubrick
A masterpiece of film-making, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is a visual feast that has inspired many generations of filmmakers. It is an influential epic science fiction film that explores the themes of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life. Upon its release, the movie received critical acclaim and won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
2014 | 1h 39m | Directed by Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson's 2014 film is a quirky comedy-drama that draws you in with its colorful sets and an offbeat ensemble cast of characters. The Grand Budapest Hotel is his most visually stunning movie yet, with an aesthetic so unique it's hard to believe he built it from scratch. It's the kind of film you want to pause every few minutes and marvel at what you're looking at.
2006 | 1h 57m | Directed by Tarsem Singh
The Fall's cinematography is absolutely stunning. The director, Tarsem Singh, is a visual master who makes the movie look like the world has been painted on film. It's not just about the visuals, though: the plot of this criminally overlooked movie is phenomenal, and it's so interesting how Roy Walker and Alexandria, the two main characters, see the events differently and based on their own life experiences.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
1966 | 2h 58m | Directed by Sergio Leone
Let's jump back in time to the spaghetti western era of the 1960s. Spaghetti westerns are so-called because they were typically filmed in Europe, often with Italian directors and crews, even though most of them are set in the American Southwest. Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone was the king of this genre and, despite creating many beautiful movies, this film is arguably his masterpiece and shows off incredible cinematography.
Blade Runner 2049
2017 | 2h 44m | Directed by Denis Villeneuve
We're sure everyone knows about this movie by now, but if not, it's the sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic starring Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. Blade Runner 2049's runtime has been criticized, but those (almost) 3 hours are mostly worth it. The cinematography is top-notch, with some really beautiful shots throughout the film. The story is great too, but it's safe to say that this movie hits more for the visuals than the plot's pacing and lacks the dramatic depth of the first movie.
What Dreams May Come
2018 | 1h 55m | Directed by Alex Garland
Annihilation follows a group of military scientists who enter "The Shimmer", a mysterious quarantined zone full of mutating landscapes and creatures. It's beautifully shot, has an incredible soundtrack, and features amazing performances by the entire cast. Aside from being a gorgeous movie, it also has a fascinating story that stands out from other sci-fi movies that use similar tropes.
2002 | 2h | Directed by Yimou Zhang
Hero is an excellent introduction to Chinese cinema with its remarkable story of loyalty, honor, and brotherhood. The action sequences are truly marvelous, but it isn't just all flash – the characters and story are what make it shine. It became the first Chinese-language movie to place first at the American box office and was also nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film at the Academy Awards. Its outstanding cinematography has been awarded at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
2006 | 2h 3m | Directed by Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola's film about the life of Marie Antoinette before she became Queen of France stars Kirsten Dunst as the title character, who is portrayed as a charming but naive teenager forced to marry Prince Louis XVI. From the stunning costume design that uses beautiful and vibrant colors to the art direction and sets, the whole movie is like watching a fairy tale come to life on screen!
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Lawrence Of Arabia
The Green Knight
2021 | 2h 10m | Directed by David Lowery
David Lowery's epic medieval fantasy follows the journey of King Arthur's reckless nephew, who embarks on a quest to battle against the legendary Green Knight. It's an overall beautiful movie, made even more so by its inventive use of color and composition. The cinematography is spectacular, with wide shots and close-ups that are both gorgeous to look at and great for storytelling purposes.