The Godfather is a 1972 American crime drama directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel of the same name. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story spans from 1945 to 1955 and chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss.
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over the course of his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, contraband smuggler Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), and finds himself protected by the guards after gaining a reputation as a tough man to cross.
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American crime epic that Francis Ford Coppola produced, directed, and co-wrote with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Partially based on Puzo’s 1969 novel The Godfather, the film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, presenting parallel dramas: one picks up the 1958 story of Michael Corleone (Pacino), the new Don of the Corleone crime family, protecting his power in New York; the prequel covers his father’s rise to become Don Vito Corleone (De Niro).
Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Thomas Keneally. It is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.
The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second installment of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale and supported by Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman. In the film, Bruce Wayne / Batman (Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger), who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and create chaos.
12 Angry Men is a 1957 American courtroom drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. The film follows the deliberations of a jury made up of 12 men as they consider the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt, forcing them to question their morals and values. The film is notable for its almost exclusive use of one set: the jury room, where all but one of the film’s scenes take place.
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American vigilante film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, and starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, and Leonard Harris. Set in New York City following the Vietnam War, the film tells the story of a troubled taxi driver who descends into insanity as he stalks a teenage prostitute (Foster) and plans to assassinate a presidential candidate (Harris).
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott Glenn. Adapted by Ted Tally from Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel of the same name, it follows Clarice Starling (Foster), a young FBI trainee who seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) to catch another serial killer, known as “Buffalo Bill” (Glenn). The novel was originally adapted into the Academy Award-winning film in 1968 by director John Frankenheimer and screenwriter Robert Bolt.