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!

#1

Howl’s Moving Castle

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.

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#2

2001: A Space Odyssey

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.

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#3

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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.

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Dash Blue
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I Love this movie. That is all. Thanks for listening.

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#5

Dune

Dune

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LeeAnne B
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This movie had absolutely amazing visuals. The scenery was not simply background but gave depth to the storyline.

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#6

The Fall

The Fall

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.

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Hawkmoon
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just look at the black and white intro scene (avalaible on YT). A masterpiece in itself. The rest of the movie is visualy stunning and if you're curious about the way an elephant swim, well...

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#7

The Lord Of The Rings

The Lord Of The Rings

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Ranger Kanootsen
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ahh, this is one of my favourite series of all time! The scenery is stunning and the story is so awesome

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#8

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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.

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Dash Blue
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am only at movie #6, and I have all ready forgotten the theme of this thread. What is wrong with me?

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#9

Blade Runner 2049

 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.

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#10

What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I remember watching this a few years ago and my goodness was it worth it. A very unique story and the wonderful Robin Williams.

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#11

Annihilation

Annihilation

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.

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The movie was awesome but please also check out the book (part of The Southern Reach Trilogy). I can't recommend it enough, the books are amazing.

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#12

Hero

Hero

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.

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Jasna Svast
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I also liked the movie "House of flying daggers".

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#13

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

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!

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Birgit M
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I absolutely love this film. Great soundtrack, too!

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#14

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

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James Tartaglione
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

came here just to see if this movie made the cut

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#15

Lawrence Of Arabia

Lawrence Of Arabia

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Ranger Kanootsen
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I so hoped to see this film on here, and I'm glad that I have! One of my all time faves in terms of scenery, and the soundtrack is awesome too!

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#16

Interstellar

Interstellar

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Dash Blue
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Please, somebody tell me that I should watch Interstellar. I have thought about watching the movie many times, over many years, but I have been hesitant.

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#17

The Green Knight

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.

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Wintermute
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Great movie if you're a hard core anglophile or history major. So much of it was in subtext that if you're not familiar with the source material (and there's a lot) then you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a dud. Fortunately for me, I AM an anglophile, so personally I think it's a masterpiece.

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#19

The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element

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Torsten
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The costume designer was haute couture icon Jean-Paul Gaultier.

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#21

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro

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K- THULU
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Might as well just put "Ghibli", cause they are all absolute works of art!

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#22

Kubo And The Two Strings

Kubo And The Two Strings

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#23

Babe

Babe

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Hill Branda
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A very sweet film---great for kids. Has a fairytale-like aesthetic. It's very charming.

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#24

Avatar

Avatar

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LeeAnne B
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This, for me, was the first step into immersive CGI. I had never experienced a concept of an alien planet so similar and yet so different, with its own particular magic. Stunning visuals if a bit heavyhanded on the message.

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#25

The Prince Of Egypt

The Prince Of Egypt

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#27

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Excellent movie, more graphic than I expected but it was all worth the progression of the story.

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#29

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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#30

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

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LeeAnne B
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That movie should have been called The Fast and The Furiosa.

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#31

Inception

Inception

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Ranger Kanootsen
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Unforgettable and trippy CGI effects!!!

#32

TRON: Legacy

TRON: Legacy

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Enrique
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Heavily underrated movie, with one of the best soundtracks in history (Daft Punk!)

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#33

Life Of Pi

Life Of Pi

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LeeAnne B
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This stands out as one of the most memorable films I've ever seen. There are scenes that still stay with me, like photographs I recall back to. It was a magnificent piece of storytelling. The scene where Pi in his lifeboat floats on a perfectly still ocean, slick as a mirror is incomparable.

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#34

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

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Cubbypotato
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

YOU’RE A WIZARD HARRY!!! I’m a what?

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#36

Your Name

Your Name

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K- THULU
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A truly beautiful movie on all levels......

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#38

Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them

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#39

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

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Stephanie Did It
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's either W***y Wonka (1st film version) or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2nd film version, pictured here).

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#40

Black Swan

Black Swan

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Onion Cutting Ninja
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fun fact: for this scene, the cameraman is not showed in the mirror because he is not a character in the movie.

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#42

The Secret Of Kells

The Secret Of Kells

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Enrique
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's refreshing when filmmakers dare to use innovative visual styles :D

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#43

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Onion Cutting Ninja
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe my favorite movie :) so perfect in every way.

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#45

The Martian

The Martian

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What I enjoyed most about this movie is that at no point did any of what happened seemed unfeasible. You believed it happened. One of the only movies I've been able to watch twice at theatres.

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#46

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you've only seen Jim Carrey in wacky comedies, please please watch this.

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#49

Everything Is Illuminated

 Everything Is Illuminated

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spirit wolf
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Finally!! Finally this movie is being acknowledged. I think about this movie all the time for years some odd reason.

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#50

Submarine

 Submarine

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Richard Ayoade's directorial debut (I think)...and it's a wonderful start.

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