10 Best Indie Movies Of All Time

Saturday, November 20 by Jason Cuthbert

When considering which films make up the 10 best Indie movies of all time, we aren't talking about the Indiana Jones series here. Indie movies are Independent films produced mostly outside of the major film studio system, often allowing them to contain more of the filmmakers individual vision. Even though many of these movies have celebrated actors, they meet all of the criteria to be among the 10 best Indie movies of all time and are well worth watching.

  1. "Donnie Darko" This refreshingly bizarre science-fiction coming of age story features everything from time travel to a manipulative giant bunny. This Indie movie's casting included Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore who also served as an executive producer, the late Patrick Swayze, and Seth Rogen in his feature film debut.
  2. "The Terminator" James Cameron, creator of "Avatar", the most successful movie ever made, may be the furthest thing from an Indie movie maker these day, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? Cameron also designed "The Terminator" franchise from scratch, and before Arnold Schwarzenegger took on this iconic role as a time-traveling cyborg, the part was also offered to Sylvester Stallone, Randy Quaid, Michael Douglass, Mel Gibson, and O.J. Simpson among others.
  3. "Mean Streets" Director and co-writer Martin Scorsese took his filmmaking prowess back to the mean streets of his own Little Italy neighborhood in New York City for this Indie movie. For about half a million dollars, Scorsese directed Robert De Niro's break-out performance as hard-headed hoodlum "Johnny Boy", and began a director/actor working relationship that has spanned over a total of eight films. 
  4. "She's Gotta Have It" Spike Lee's impressive feature film debut is a romantic comedy that introduced the hilarious Mars Blackmon character that was later seen in several Nike Air Jordan sneaker commercials, featuring Michael Jordan himself. This black and white Indie movie had such a tight budget that there were said to be no retakes of any scenes in the movie.
  5. "Lost In Translation" This Indie movie was directed by Sofia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, director of "The Godfather" series. She became the youngest woman to ever be nominated for Best Director at age 32, and she won for Best Original Screenplay for this film.
  6. "Reservoir Dogs" If you love movies such as "Pulp Fiction" and "Inglorious Basterds" then be thankful that Quentin Tarantino was able to get the ball rolling with this Indie movie debut "Reservoir Dogs". This clever heist film had an impressive cast that starred Harvey Keitel, who also helped Tarantino raise the $1.5 budget.
  7. "City of God" This Brazilian crime drama explores the paths of two boys in a rough neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, as one becomes a drug dealer, and the other a photographer. The area of Cidade de Deus, where the story takes place, was considered way too dangerous to shoot the movie in, so the production took place in a nearby section instead.
  8. "Clerks" Comedic actor, writer, and director Kevin Smith launched his career with this Indie movie that took place at a convenience store that he actually worked at. Smith funded "Clerks" with a $27,000 budget that was culminated from selling his comic book collection, borrowing $3,000 from his parents, and maxing out several credit cards.
  9.  "Being John Malkovich" Spike Jonze orchestrated this wildly creative Indie movie about a puppeteer who finds a portal into the head of actor John Malkovich. This script's author Charlie Kaufman sent this screenplay to famed director Francis Ford Coppola who loved it, and past it along to his son-in-law at the time, Spike Jonze who decided to do it.   
  10. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" If you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to erase a previous relationship from your memory then you can live vicariously through this Indie movie. Even with the special effects and a starring role for Jim Carrey, this production was still only $20 million, a fee Carrey has gotten on previous films.
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