Best Indie Movies Of All Time You Should Definitely Watch
Over the last decade, there is a shift in the pattern of the audience’s content consumption. Instead of mainstream movies, the audience now prefers and appreciates stories that resonate with ordinary people. These stories connect people from different parts of the world and compel the audience to think about otherwise ignored issues. This shift in content consumption gave rise to Independent movies.
The directors and producers of Independent movies focus on the content and express their thoughts freely. The spotlight is given to creativity since the movies are often low budget with less risk involved and more space for experimenting and creative freedom. The aim of creating such movies is not to earn booming revenue at the box office; it is to convey and narrate a story that is impactful, insightful and moving.
Below-mentioned are some of the must-watch Indie movies we recommend you should add to your watch list
Parasite - 2019
Director: Bong Joon-ho
One of the top Indie movies, Parasite, created an uproar upon its release in 2019. A black comedy about a poor family deceitfully entering the service of a wealthy family made for an interesting plot and an eye-opening watch. Director Bong Joon-ho, in his movie Parasite, artistically portrayed the wealth imbalance in Korean society. It became the first foreign-language movie to win the “best picture” Oscar. Without a doubt, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is one of the must-watch Indie movies.
Moonlight - 2016
Director: Barry Jenkins
Moonlight by Barry Jenkins is one of the top Indie movies and a piece of art that won 3 Oscars, including best picture. It is not just a movie but an experience that guides the viewers as it navigates through the grim and dark life of a young man who is unnoticed. Moonlight is one of the must-watch Indie movies that talks about truly discovering yourself and finding your inner desires through the story of a young man struggling with his identity and sexuality amidst the everyday struggles of adolescence in Miami.
Tangerine - 2015
Director: Sean Baker
Shot completely on iPhones in the neighbourhood of West Hollywood, Tangerine is one of the best Indie movies of all time. The story about a transgender sex worker going around town in search of her cheating boyfriend/pimp is strong yet emotional at the same time. Tangerine casted first-time actors and former trans sex workers to bring genuinity to the movie. It is one of the top Indie movies that will completely amaze you with its story and characters.
Whiplash - 2014
Director: Damien Chazelle
From start to end, each frame made with perfection. Whiplash is one of the best Indie movies of all time that was shot in just 19 days. The movie gives the audience a cinematic rush as it follows a relationship between an aspiring jazz drummer and his abusive, psychopathic instructor. Whiplash is undoubtedly one of the top Indie movies that is intense, disturbing and emotional, all at the same time.
Short Term 12 - 2013
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Short Term 12, one of the must-watch Indie movies, is truly a gem! It will leave you with a mixed feeling of happiness and sadness at the end of it. Beautifully written, it encompasses all the aspects of life - the good, the bad, the messy and the cheerful. Short Term 12 was praised for the reality it showcased with the help of a group home occupied by troubled teenagers and workers with issues. It is one of the top Indie movies, as authentic as it can get and gives the audience a documentary-like experience.
Blue Ruin - 2013
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Raw, intense and emotional. Blue Ruin by Jeremy Saulnier is low-budget, one of the top Indie movies that is well-plotted and keeps the audience at the edge of their seats. A revenge story, it follows a drifter who visits his hometown in order to exact revenge on his parents’ killer and seek closure. Blue Ruin showcases the true consequences of violence and is one of the best Indie movies of all time.
Frances Ha - 2012
Director: Noah Baumbach
Life is not perfect and the crux of this movie tries to subtly express just that. One of the top indie movies, Frances Ha is simple yet effective that talks about broken families, warring siblings and marriages falling apart. It is a black and white portrait presenting spirited glimpses into the never-predictable life of a struggling 27-year-old dancer. The movie passes on the message to live in the moment rather than craving for perfection. Frances Ha is definitely one of the best Indie movies of all time if you’re in the mood to watch something witty and enjoyable.
Safety Not Guaranteed - 2012
Director: Colin Trevorrow
The correct word to describe Safety Not Guaranteed would be bizarre. A genre-twisting sci-fi comedy, it is one of the top Indie movies to enjoy on a weekend. Inspired by a joke classified ad that ran in Backwoods Home Magazine in 1997, Safety Not Guaranteed follows a disaffected magazine intern who befriends and accompanies an unusual guy on a trip back through time. It is a heartfelt movie that portrays characters with depth making it one of the must-watch Indie movies.
Winter’s Bone - 2010
Director: Debra Granik
Mystery drama Winter’s Bone is one of the most gripping and top Indie movies adapted from the novel of the same name written by Daniel Woodrell. The movie is a take on themes like close and distant family ties, the power and speed of gossip, self-sufficiency, poverty and patriarchy. Set amidst a depressing background, Winter’s Bone boosts of genuine humanity as it navigates the journey of a 17-year-old girl trying to hold her impoverished family together. The grim story of the movie is brought to life with unhurried filmmaking, making it one of the must-watch Indie movies.
Little Miss Sunshine - 2006
Directors: Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton
Movies about dysfunctional families are an all-time favourite. They make us laugh hard, cry hard with an assurance that it will be all fine at the end of the day. With laugh-out-loud highs and heart-wrenching lows, Little Miss Sunshine is one of the top Indie movies that follows a young girl who dreams of winning a beauty pageant with the support of her family. The movie talks about the highs and lows of life and how the support of our family can help overcome any situation. Little Miss Sunshine is definitely one of the must-watch Indie movies that you can enjoy with family.
The Squid And The Whale - 2005
Director: Noah Baumbach
The Squid And The Whale is one of the top Indie movies that is tender, bittersweet and ruthlessly cutting. Painful and beautiful, the movie navigates the troubles of two siblings as their parents decide to divorce each other. The movie was shot using a hand-held camera, making it more realistic. Funny yet painful, The Squid And The Whale is one of the best Indie movies of all time.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - 2004
Director: Michel Gondry
Magic was created when Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman wrote down the script for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Sci-fi, with hints of romance and drama, this movie is one of the best Indie movies of all time. The plot of the movie involves a procedure that allowed people to erase each other from their respective minds and struck a chord with the viewers. Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey played the lead characters of the movie brilliantly. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind talks about what’s meant to happen will happen no matter what and is one of the top Indie movies you should watch.
Lost In Translation - 2003
Director: Sofia Coppola
The world is a big place, and even with people around you, it can get lonely at times. One of the best Indie movies of all time, Lost In Translation, talks about finding happiness in the unknown. The movie explores the themes of alienation and disconnection in a culturally diverse place as a fading movie star and a recent college graduate form an unlikely friendship. It sets itself apart for its disregard in choosing a mainstream theme and daring to display atypical romance. Lost In Translation is a bittersweet movie that sheds light on how at every turn in life, adventures and friendships can warm your heart, leaving the sadness behind, even though it’s temporary. The movie is unquestionably one of the top Indie movies to add to your watch list.
Memento - 2000
Director: Christopher Nolan
Hands down, one of the best thriller and must-watch Indie movies of all time. Before the brilliant director Christopher Nolan dabbled in big-budget movies, he made Indie movies like Memento and did them complete justice. Not only is this movie one of the top Indie movies, but it is also a tricky thriller that will make you think beyond your imagination. Like Nolan’s other movies, Memento sheds light on his fascination with time, creating labyrinthine time loops that are mind-bending and sees our protagonist's mind wiped blank each time in the race against the clock to track down the man who killed his wife.
The Blair Witch Project - 1999
Director: Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick
One of the top Indie movies, The Blair Witch Project, is heavily credited with reviving the found-footage technique which was later used by similarly successful horror movies. Its documentary-style shooting, with the characters running while taking a camera in hand, terrified the audience. The technique projected as if they might be watching something real that amped the scary experience. The Blair Witch Project is one of the best Indie movies of all time that makes for a really frightening watch on a horror movie night.
Reservoir Dogs - 1992
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino’s debut movie Reservoir Dogs didn’t attract much attention at the time of its release but garnered great success and became one of the top Indie movies after the release of his next movie Pulp Fiction in 1994. It is an intense movie that follows a gang of diamond thieves in a jewellery heist gone terribly wrong. Reservoir Dogs integrates many characteristics that became Tarantino’s hallmarks - violent crime, pop culture references, profanity and nonlinear storytelling. It is intelligent, engaging and definitely one of the must-watch Indie movies.
Let us know in the comments below which of the above-mentioned top Indie movies are you excited to watch.