Empire's The 50 Greatest American Independent Movies

Empire's The 50 Greatest American Independent Movies's icon

Created by BaalMan.

Favorited 22 times, disliked 1 time, added to 16 watchlists.

"As much as blockbusters can thrill us, beyond the well-tended flowerbeds and spacious corner offices of Hollywood there's a world bubbling with creativity, free spirits and up-and-coming talent. Some of the heroes of American indie cinema have gone on to try their hand at multiplex fodder; some have stayed resolutely outside the mainstream. This roll of honour celebrates both, as well as some of the names that didn't achieve the acclaim they deserve. But how you define 'indie'? Do big studios' independent arms count? Should Miramax's output qualify? Our criteria is aesthetic rather than financial: if it feels like an indie, it's in; if it's The Phantom Menace, it's not. Ultimately though, whether they're made for millions or 50p and bits of pocket fluff, it's about great movies that are worth celebrating again..."

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  1. 1 -

    Mean Streets

    1973, in 22 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Reservoir Dogs

    1992, in 26 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    Donnie Darko

    2001, in 21 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    The Terminator

    1984, in 24 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    Evil Dead II

    1987, in 9 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    Shadows

    1958, in 12 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    She's Gotta Have It

    1986, in 6 top lists Check
  8. 8 -

    Night of the Living Dead

    1968, in 20 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    Blood Simple

    1984, in 10 top lists Check
  10. 10 -

    Lost in Translation

    2003, in 19 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    Bad Lieutenant

    1992, in 6 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape

    1989, in 11 top lists Check
  13. 13 -

    Eraserhead

    1977, in 20 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    Memento

    2000, in 27 top lists Check
  15. 15 -

    The Evil Dead

    1981, in 8 top lists Check
  16. 16 -

    Stranger Than Paradise

    1984, in 14 top lists Check
  17. 17 -

    Slacker

    1990, in 7 top lists Check
  18. 18 -

    Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

    1971, in 12 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    Clerks

    1994, in 9 top lists Check
  20. 20 -

    Drugstore Cowboy

    1989, in 7 top lists Check
  21. 21 -

    Matewan

    1987, in 4 top lists Check
  22. 22 -

    Pi

    1998, in 6 top lists Check
  23. 23 -

    Lone Star

    1996, in 6 top lists Check
  24. 24 -

    THX 1138

    1971, in 5 top lists Check
  25. 25 -

    Blue Velvet

    1986, in 27 top lists Check
  26. 26 -

    Easy Rider

    1969, in 17 top lists Check
  27. 27 -

    Short Cuts

    1993, in 9 top lists Check
  28. 28 -

    The Usual Suspects

    1995, in 24 top lists Check
  29. 29 -

    Killer of Sheep

    1978, in 14 top lists Check
  30. 30 -

    Runaway Train

    1985, in 2 top lists Check
  31. 31 -

    Being John Malkovich

    1999, in 14 top lists Check
  32. 32 -

    Grosse Pointe Blank

    1997, in 4 top lists Check
  33. 33 -

    Happiness

    1998, in 9 top lists Check
  34. 34 -

    Two-Lane Blacktop

    1971, in 13 top lists Check
  35. 35 -

    Dazed and Confused

    1993, in 7 top lists Check
  36. 36 -

    Dark Star

    1974, in 7 top lists Check
  37. 37 -

    Poison

    1991, in 4 top lists Check
  38. 38 -

    Little Miss Sunshine

    2006, in 7 top lists Check
  39. 39 -

    The Blair Witch Project

    1999, in 14 top lists Check
  40. 40 -

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    1974, in 15 top lists Check
  41. 41 -

    Pitch Black

    2000, in 1 top list Check
  42. 42 -

    Black Swan

    2010, in 12 top lists Check
  43. 43 -

    Winter's Bone

    2010, in 6 top lists Check
  44. 44 -

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    1999, in 7 top lists Check
  45. 45 -

    In the Company of Men

    1997, in 5 top lists Check
  46. 46 -

    Juno

    2007, in 12 top lists Check
  47. 47 -

    Cube

    1997, in 5 top lists Check
  48. 48 -

    In Search of a Midnight Kiss

    2007, in 1 top list Check
  49. 49 -

    Swingers

    1996, in 1 top list Check
  50. 50 -

    The Wrestler

    2008, in 3 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jan 6, 2012; source