10 movies I love for the visuals

Ever since I saw Atonement, I’ve been thinking about how the way a movie is visually stimulating is nearly more important than the story for me (sometimes). I read something awesome somewhere that when they filmed Atonement, at certain points they stretched a stocking over the camera to create those hazy, soft focus shots.

So I reached into my mind this week to think of 10 movies that I absolutely love the visuals in…I’m not talking special effects, but movies you could pause at moments and frame they’re so great. Most of these are my very favorite movies, but a few aren’t even in my top favorites, I just love the way they look. Some of these were really hard to find a shot from the movie that I remember being my favorite, but they’ll just have to do.

Let’s start with Atonement:

Punch-Drunk Love:


(Paul Thomas Anderson’s most underrated movie is incredible. Please see it if you haven’t. Jon Brion’s score is amazing as well.)

The Virgin Suicides:

The Darjeeling Limited:


(My least favorite story from Wed Anderson, but my favorite visuals of his.)

A Very Long Engagement: (Un long dimanche de fiançailles)


(Most of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s movies kind of tie here)

A Woman Is a Woman: (Une femme est une femme)


(I don’t even like this movie, but watching it was a trip, and for that it gets to be in this post.)

Everything Is Illuminated:

Children Of Men:


(The top photo is my favorite scene in a movie, ever)

The Science of Sleep:


(It was hard to choose between this and Eternal Sunsine)

The Fountain:

I’m sure I’m missing a ton of movies, but I had to stop at 10 for many reasons. But I’m curious, what are your favorite movies for the visuals? I’d love to do a post of your ideas as I wonder which ones I hadn’t even thought of that I’ll kick myself for forgetting about.