Ok, let’s get this straight! There are no set criteria based on which cult movies could be classified. In simpler terms, we don’t have a fixed definition of a cult film. Roughly though, a cult movie could be described as one that has developed a fanatical fan base over a period of time and introduced some sort of a novel cinematic tradition or theme or technique. Generally speaking, cult movies are non-mainstream and didn’t become popular overnight. However, with subsequent viewings and strong words of mouth, cinema-goers have learnt to appreciate the seemingly unique nature of such movies. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to dub cult films as integral constituents of popular cultures across the globe. In fact, there are societies and clubs that are named after renowned cult films and the fans of such movies organize conventions and repeated screenings to amplify and spread the ingrained spirits of the concerned films.
We at The Cinemaholic decided to contribute our two cents to the discourse on cult films and pay our tribute to some of the finest cult movies ever made by auteurs from across the planet. In that pursuit of ours, we have ranked the top cult movies of all time. Before getting down to the list and the rankings, it is essential to understand that we haven’t made the list based on our personal whims and random criteria. The inclusions and exclusions have been made after taking due cognizance of cinematic history, meticulous analysis of reviews by renowned critics and accepted audience perceptions. While we contend that movies like ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ (1966), ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (1994), ‘Casablanca’ (1942), ‘Vertigo’ (1958) and ‘Citizen Kane’ (1941) would have made any other prior list and are cult classics in their own rights; it is equally important to note that cinematic tastes have significantly changed with generational shifts. Consequently, our list tries to take care of such subtleties. Now that the grounds have been cleared, let us look at the list of top cult classic movies in all right earnestness. You can watch several of these best cult movies on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
15. American History X (1998)
Considered to be one of the finest representations of the American society, Tony Kaye’s critically acclaimed crime drama film ‘American History X’ is a soul-searching tale of two brothers, the elder one trying to prevent the younger one from going down the same racist path that he did. A film that propelled Edward Norton to international stardom, the movie is a moving commentary on how racial clashes and neo-Nazism had been eating into the roots of the American collective consciousness. The performance by Norton earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1998. The film has since then acquired an iconic status and has been ranked as one of the best cult movies in history.
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14. Dazed and Confused (1993)