During the last 20 years, many great movies have been released. But only time will tell which of those films have what it takes to become truly iconic. Despite that, many people still try to predict which ones have that staying power.
With help from various Reddit threads, we here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of movies that people think will become modern classics. To narrow down our definition of a "modern classic" we have only included films made within the last 20 years. While you probably won't agree with every single choice on this list, there are others who believe in their potential to become some of the greats. Scroll below to upvote your favorites and tell us your predictions in the comments!
#1 Spirited Away (2001)
"Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. Spirited away is the only traditionally animated film to win a non technical Oscar, the only non Western animated film to win an Oscar. It was the highest grossing film in Japan of all time for a long while, and is consistently ranked on the top 10 greatest movies of the 21st century, and top 100 of all time. With the exception of maybe a handful it won every award it was nominated for. And I can't stress enough that it's traditionally animated in a world where 99% of animated films are CGI, and the line between CGI and live action is more and more Blurred, a film like spirited away becomes more important as it is not only an opus of its medium, but also because the medium is dying or dead to most audiences. Spirited Away is also approachable by and easily enjoyed by anyone. It reflects positive themes of empowerment, respect, and Justice. Spirited also manages to repersent love between a male and a female that's not romantic, but platonic and built on respect and admiration for one another. Princess Mononoke is a better movie, in my opinion, but is probably less important to and for mainstream attention and study because it didn't have the impact or approachability."
#2 Wall-E (2008)
"Wall-E definitely. Not only is it a gorgeous film, with the first half being a stellar 'silent' film but it carries messages of environmentalism and anti-consumerism which we are now starting to see fully the repercussions of in our own environment."
#3 Lord Of The Rings (2001)
"All 3 movies are masterpieces and they seem to age exceptionally well."
#4 The Truman Show (1998)
"Way ahead of its time"
#5 The Matrix (1999)
#7 The Iron Giant (1999)
"By and far one of animations greatest tragedies but even after its tepid box office turnout this films significance & accomplishments are not wholly lost. The acting is on point, the animation superb and its message isn't hackneyed or cookie cutter while also managing to explore the hysteria and anxiety of Cold War America in a manner palatable for children but cognizant enough that older viewers don't feel talked down to."
#8 Fight Club (1999)
#9 The Sixth Sense (1999)
"Well made with intent and design. Before M. Night Shyamalan was known for "the big twist" that overshadowed the rest of the storytelling."
#10 Ratatouille (2007)
"Maybe not 'iconic' in the sense you're thinking. But Hear me out. We'll ignore the virtually-last-words monologue of Peter O'Toole. We'll even ignore the brilliant outlandishness of the plot. What Ratatouille did for CG realism in the movie industry is comparable to what Toy Story did for CG animation. The amount of research that went into creating all that food to look somewhat appealing ended up having huge impacts throughout the industry. Super interesting stuff if you want a rabbit hole to dive down someday."
#11 Shrek (2001)
"Not counting just the memes behind it, it was one of the first CGI movies, had a strong message about being accepted, and had humor for all ages (while having a few less-than-kid-friendly jokes scattered about)."
#12 V For Vendetta (2005)
"I think V for Vendetta is a good contender. Especially due to its ever growing political relevance"
#13 The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
#14 The Big Lebowski (1998)
#15 Saving Private Ryan (1998)
#16 District 9 (2009)
"Greatest sci-fi film of that decade imo."
#17 Office Space (1999)
"Office space is still remarkably relevant"
#19 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
#20 The Prestige (2006)
"It was overlooked I feel. And if Criterion is still a thing in 20 years, I think it'll be one of their titles."
#22 Arrival (2016)
"Its one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. It addresses love, time, human behavior and has gorgeous cinematography as well as terrific performances."
#23 Memento (2000)
"You may find it boring but eventually in the end I think you'll somehow conclude there's something good in it."
#24 Her (2013)
"The movie "Her" also captures a really specific sense of alienation from the modern world (and finding comfort in the company of a machine) that no other movie has gotten quite right."
#28 Idiocracy (2006)
"I feel like people forget this movie made some of the best points about our lives, ever"
#30 The Dark Knight (2008)
#31 Mean Girls (2004)
"The fact that people still quote a comedy from 14 years ago says a lot. Hell, we even celebrate October 3rd as Mean Girls day on social media."
#34 Avatar (2009)
"Derivative as it is, feels like a gimme. The story is (apparently, because it's the same one we've been telling since the 60s) timeless, and Cameron reinvented 3D to make the vision happen. In the not-too-distant future, they're gonna port that s**t onto whatever VR headset movie-watching whatsit, and it's gonna feel the way it felt on the big screen, and we'll remember why we lost our absolute s**t for this movie. ....The only thing that could prevent this is sequels, so I guess stay tuned, but I think it's a shoe-in."
#35 Whiplash (2014)
#37 John Wick (2014)
#38 Zodiac (2007)
"The film is flawless and captivating."
#39 The Departed (2006)
#40 Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
"Visual storytelling and practical stunt work. One of the few films that you could mute the sound of and still understand everything that's happening and be blown away by it at the same time."
#42 Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)
"By your criteria I'd say Edge of Tomorrow becomes a solid action/sci-fi classic. Brilliant editing, great acting, great action, dark humour, and a great pace. It may not be as cerebral as something like 2001 but it's a great representation of the action/sci-fi genre."
#43 Birdman (2014)
#44 Elf (2003)
"Elf seems to have made its way on to all of my friends' Christmas classics lists"
#45 Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
"It's one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time."
#46 The Master (2012)
"I believe The Master (2012) to be a masterpiece. Every shot is gorgeous, the music is phenomenal, the acting is stellar, the writing is sublime. Sure it may not be the easiest film to grok on first viewing or even fifth, but my god it is a fantastic piece of cinema."