Complex's 50 Indie Movies You Need To See Before You Die

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Today, June 21 2013, is the official start of summer, a technical bit of information Hollywood's studio execs have never given a damn about. For them and their expensive beach-season tentpole movies, summer officially begins once May calendars are introduced—meaning, since Iron Man 3, moviegoers have been steadily bombarded with gargantuan flicks the likes of Man of Steel and Fast & Furious 6, and, with World War Z opening, that's not about to stop anytime soon.

What's a cinema buff to do? As always, seek out the nearest independent theater and/or art-house venue and drop cash on the latest no-budget films worthy of such concerted efforts. Without that kind of open-mindedness, DIY moviemaking would cease to exist, robbing cinephiles of flicks that could potentially rival the hallowed likes of Reservoir Dogs, The Terminator, and Night of the Living Dead. All of which, yes, were initially inconspicuous, independently made passion projects.

Need some palate cleansers to help you fall back from seeing Man of Steel for the third time? Please consult our list of the 50 indie movies you need to see before you die, because, you know, a terrible, tragic accident could happen while you're en route to watch Channing Tatum save the world next week in White House Down. Use this to avoid any afterlife regrets. (complex.com)

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  1. 1 new

    Mean Streets

    1973, in 19 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

    1971, in 8 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Reservoir Dogs

    1992, in 24 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape

    1989, in 10 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Eraserhead

    1977, in 17 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Donnie Darko

    2001, in 20 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Short Cuts

    1993, in 9 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Night of the Living Dead

    1968, in 19 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Bad Lieutenant

    1992, in 5 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    The Terminator

    1984, in 21 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    The Evil Dead

    1981, in 6 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Shadows

    1959, in 12 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    She's Gotta Have It

    1986, in 4 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Blood Simple

    1984, in 8 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Lost in Translation

    2003, in 15 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Memento

    2000, in 24 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Primer

    2004, in 6 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Clerks

    1994, in 6 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Pi

    1998, in 6 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    THX 1138

    1971, in 5 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Blue Velvet

    1986, in 24 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Easy Rider

    1969, in 18 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    The Usual Suspects

    1995, in 21 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Killer of Sheep

    1978, in 12 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Being John Malkovich

    1999, in 12 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Happiness

    1998, in 9 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Two-Lane Blacktop

    1971, in 12 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Dazed and Confused

    1993, in 7 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    The Blair Witch Project

    1999, in 12 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    1974, in 13 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    The Last House on the Left

    1972, in 4 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    1999, in 4 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    In the Company of Men

    1997, in 5 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Swingers

    1996, in 1 top list Check
  35. 35 new

    Requiem for a Dream

    2000, in 19 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Kids

    1995, in 4 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Gummo

    1997, in 5 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Friday the 13th

    1980, in 2 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    2004, in 25 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    My Own Private Idaho

    1991, in 11 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Annie Hall

    1977, in 31 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Metropolitan

    1990, in 5 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Before Sunrise

    1995, in 12 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Safe

    1995, in 8 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    The Crying Game

    1992, in 8 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Shivers

    1975, in 3 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Drugstore Cowboy

    1989, in 6 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Bottle Rocket

    1996, in 3 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    2012, in 4 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    This Is Spinal Tap

    1984, in 22 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jul 29, 2015; source