Conversation is an art that’s dying very fast. In this age of digital revolution, people hardly have time to engage in a meaningful conversation. That’s why the movies in this list need to be cherished because who knows if great conversations would start vanishing from movies as well. Movies of two filmmakers — Woody Allen and Richard Linklater — figure prominently on this list and the reason is very simple: both of them are great writers who are masters at writing engaging dialogues and observations about life and therefore they make great films about conversations. Here is the list of top movies about conversations (i.e. conversational movies) ever. You can some of these best controversial movies on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube or Amazon Prime.
10. Coffee and Cigarettes (2004)
A comic series of short vignettes build on one another to create a cumulative effect, as the characters discuss things as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Paris in the ’20s, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide–all the while sitting around sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. As director Jim Jarmusch delves into the normal pace of our world from an extraordinary angle, he shows just how absorbing the obsessions, joys and addictions of life can be, if truly observed.
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9. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
Theater director Andre Gregory meets his old friend actor/playwright Wallace Shawn at an upscale New York restaurant to catch up on each other’s lives. Gregory has travelled the world in search of alternate methods of creative and spiritual expression. Shawn plays straight man (and devil’s advocate) in this unusual conversation and reminds Gregory of the more down-to-earth pleasures of New York life. Two differing opinions, but one engaging conversation. This film is a little gem waiting to be discovered.
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8. Midnight in Paris (2011)
One of Woody Allen’s finest films, ‘Midnight in Paris’ is about a young man’s great love for a city, Paris, and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better. Never before history, fantasy, time-travel, and romance have come together in the way they do in this film. But the best aspect of the film are its conversations: effortless and charming.
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7. The Breakfast Club (1985)
Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, five strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each bound to his/her place in the high school caste system. Yet the students bond together when faced with the villainous principal, and they realize that they have more in common than they may think, including a contempt for adult society. The film is surprisingly revealing in the way it depicts teenage minds. No surprises then that over years, it has developed an almost cult-like status.
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6. The Man From Earth (2007)
This film is about a scientist who summons a group of associates to a cabin one freezing night, and strikes them with a fantastic revelation: he is not a traditional human, but a 14,000 year-old immortal, who has survived centuries of evolution. In the hours to follow, scientist’s earth-shaking assertion about himself challenges the men on spiritual, scientific and historical levels. The conversations between the guests and the scientist are fascinating and eye-opening to say the least.
5. Before Sunrise (1995)
The idea of romance usually presented in movies is not just unreal but also very cliched. What Richard Linklater did with ‘Before Sunrise’ is path-breaking: he presented romance in its most realistically believable beauty. Not only that Linklater assumes intelligence on both the part of his characters and his audience (important!), content in his belief that idle conversation between a man and a woman is more of a turn-on than sex.
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4. Certified Copy (2010)
‘Certified Copy’ is easily one of the most original and interesting films I have ever seen. The idea that it is based upon is endlessly fascinating. In life, we are slaves to our desires and circumstances, in effect, mostly trying to be someone else. We create a perception of reality around us that may or may not exist. But does that mean we cease to be original? Or are we just certified copy of the person we want to be. This whole idea of us not being our true selves is beautifully captured through conversations in the film.
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3. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Enough has already been written about the brilliance of ’12 Angry Men’ and I’ll only be treading old ground. Simply put, ’12 Angry Men’ is a hallmark of what a great screenplay should look like. The film’s greatest achievement is how it portrays conflict among the twelve jury members: their opinions, their beliefs, their insecurities. Yes, the conversations they engage in is to decide someone’s fate, but still a conversation is a conservation.
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2. Annie Hall (1977)
‘Annie Hall’ narrates the story of a New York comedian’s love life and his unique takes on various critical issues including sexuality, feminism, modernism, psychoanalysis and Jewish American Identity. In a way, the comedian shown in the film could be aptly described as Allen’s alter ego. The film is ways more than is also a testament of Woody Allen‘s unique gift that very few screenwriters posses: turn life’s tragedy into comedy.
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1. Before Sunset (2004)
If you are trying to find out one film that is a masterpiece just because of its conversations look no further than ‘Before Sunset’. Its conversations are not only engaging and moving but also deep and enlightening. ‘Before Sunset’ is such a masterful work that it, ultimately, becomes a mirror, by looking into which, you can judge your own relationships: Where you went wrong? Who was actually “the one” for you? What opportunities you missed? What could have been? It’s one of the rarest of rare films where your own experience in life will enrich and nourish your experience with the film.
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