10 Best Movies About Death

Monday, February 28 by D. Michaels

People are fascinated by death and by watching it happen on the silver screen, so it’s no surprise that most moviegoers have a list of the 10 best movies about death. It’s only natural. As natural as death and taxes, that is.

  1. "Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street". Tim Burton’s take on the classic 1973 movie musical about death tells the story of a man set out for revenge after losing his family due to an unjus conviction. A total of twelve people meet their grisly end due to Todd’s very sharp razor.
  2. "The Bucket List". This movie takes on a different take regarding death as it focuses on the bond between two cancer-striken men who have decided that they are not going to take their fate lying down. They decide to take a to-do list of things they wanted to accomplish before dying and do them all at once.
  3. "Schindler’s List". Considered by film critics to be one of the best films of the twentieth century, it tells the true story of Oskar Schindler and his efforts to save his predominately Jewish workforce as he discovers what the Nazis have planned for them. This film about death won director Steven Spielberg the only Oscar of his career.
  4. "Death at a Funeral". The original British dark comedy movie about death tells the story of a family man who is preparing his father funeral in spite of his guests, all of whom seem to have their own agendas for being there.
  5. "Jacob’s Ladder". One of the strangest movies about death on the list, it tells the story of a young postal worker who is having increasingly difficulties adjusting to life after a tour of duty in Vietnam where he was unwittingly used as the subject of a drug experiment. Once he returns, the death of his young son starts to drive him mad.
  6. "Seven Pounds". This movie about death, starring Will Smith in one of his rarer dramatic roles,  tells the story of an IRS agent on a mysterious journey to help seven random people in a measure of atonement over an accident he feels he is sole responsible for.
  7. "Dead Man Walking". This Oscar-winning movie (Best Actress for Susan Sarandon) tells the story of a real-life nun named Helen Prejean and how she attempts to help the family of a murdered girl as well as the man who is on death row for the crime.
  8. "The Life of David Gale". One of the lesser-known works of the very talented actor Kevin Spacey, this story, like “Dead Man Walking” is about the death penalty and one’s man obsession with seeing it banned as a cruel and unusual form of punishment. His obsession leads him to unconventional means that may risk his own life.  
  9. "28 Days Later". Modern zombie movies owe the creative team behind “28 Days Later” a debt of gratitude. By taking a movie about death and jazzing up the action and terror, they virtually re-created the genre from its George Romero roots.
  10. "What Dreams May Come". Based on a 1978 fantasy novel by Richard Matheson, this film about death is more of a tale about what happens after death. Robin Williams character plays a doctor who is killed and finds himself in paradise, only to discover the wife he has left behind has suffered a darker fate.
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