Help Us Celebrate 40 Years Of Sundance With Top Ten!

The Sundance Film Festival has been around for 40 years this January. As a result of all the years of the festival, so many amazing films have had the chance to reach the public and allowed to be purchased and distributed to the larger world!

In part with the anniversary of it’s creation we wanted to showcase some of our favorite films over the years. So check out our top 10 Sundance films!

#10 – The Ten (2007)

    Directed by: David Wain Written by: David Wain and Ken Marino
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2007

If you love comedy, and skit based movies, then this film is a great option. Told through 10 stories with an amazing cast, stories break down the concepts of the ten commandments. Each with a funny lesson to be less self absorbed, and be a better person. All told, while the host, played by Paul Rudd, deals with the fall out from his obsession with telling the stories of the ten commandments.

#9 – Donnie Darko (2001)

    Directed by: Richard Kelly Written by: Richard Kelly
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2001

Heralded as many as one of the best cult films that requires more then one watch to truly appreciate and understand. While Donnie does go through multiple walks of his life through the eventful days that live up to the end of his life, it doesn’t really require multiple watches to enjoy. The film tackles the concept of fate, time warping effects, and piercing the veil between destiny and free will.

#8 – The Machinist (2004)

    Directed by: Brad Anderson Written by: Scott Alan Kosar
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2004

Insomnia and lack of eating pushes the main character, played by Christian Bale, to the edge of his existance. He slowly whittles away as he deals with the mistakes of his life, and the effect it holds over him. The main storypoint being guilt and the horrors of what happens when you don’t resolve your actions.

#7 – Palm Springs (2020)

    Directed by: Max Barbakow Written by: Andy Siara
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2020

A fun journey which showcases a woman who gets sucked into a man’s nightmare of reliving a wedding in which his girlfriend constantly ends with her informing that she is cheating on him. The two, both with their own issues, find solace in each others company but the tedium of reliving the same day over and over again for eternity pushes one of them to strive for what they want to achieve, while the other finds themselves okay with the monotony.

#6 – Moon (2009)

    Directed by: Duncan Jones Written by: Nathan Parker
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2009

Set during the last days of a harvest worker on the moon, before he is to be sent home. However, when an accident occurs that injures him, he wakes up with no memory, and no injuries. However, when he finds out that a harvester is lost on the moon, he ventures out to discover something that questions his contract with his employers and what really will happen when his term of work is up.

#5 – 28 Days Later (2003)

    Directed by: Danny Boyle Written by: Alex Garland
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2003

After the craze of zombies and the genre had died down, 28 Days Later came and reinvigorates the horror trope. Taking an interesting change on the cause, and dealing with the horrors of humanity, 28 Days Later does exactly what the old school zombie films does, uses the medium to showcase the horrors of humanity, while putting them in high stress and removing the confines of society.

#4 – Primer (2004)

    Directed by: Shane Carruth Written by: Shane Carruth
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2004

A thinkers time travel film, which uses an interesting concept to produce a time travel story with a twist. Dealing with the effects of being able to do what ever you want and pushing a group of scientists to the borders of what they would do for success.

#3 – Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

    Directed by: Stephen Chow Written by: Stephen Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong, Lola Huo, and Chan Man Keung
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2005

Viewed as a mix of Looney Tunes and a kung fu movie, this film not only showcases over the top action, set pieces and characters, but also tells an honest story which includes heart and growth. If you are looking for something fun, but a journey, then this film hits all the marks!

#2 – Adam (2009)

    Directed by: Max Mayer Written by: Max Mayer
    Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2009

After the death of his father, Adam, an autistic man finds his life getting harder and harder. A potential love interest helps get himself outside of his comfort zone, but when things push him to his breaking point, Adam has to find a way to live his life in a world that unfortunately does not support him. While it’s not a perfect representation of autism, Hugh Dancy does an amazing job and I applaud the lack of a movie style happy ending, for a more realistic option.

Here are some honorable mentions before we showcase our personal favorite Sundance film:

  • Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls by Andrew Bowser
  • Hamlet 2 by Andy Fleming and Pam Brady
  • The Matador by Richard Shepard
  • Memento by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan
  • Junebug by Phil Morrison and Angus MacLachlan
  • The Squid and the Whale by Noah Baumbach
  • #1 – Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

      Directed by: Paul McGuigan Written by: Jason Smilovic
      Showcased at: Sundance Film Festival 2006

    This is a movie starring an all star cast. Included is Josh Hartnett, being loveable as always, Bruce Willis blowing it out of the water. Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman play opposite of each other as villains. Another star in the film, challenging Hartnett for most likable character is Lucy Liu. The film takes the group through a day where Slevin is pushed back and forth against these figures all due to a bad choice that has rippling consequences.

    What are your favorite Sundance films?

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