A movie’s visual storytelling can be enhanced by the sophisticated computer effects of sweeping natural landscapes. With this list of films, you will be forgiven for constantly hitting pause so that you can appreciate the striking frame and colour palette.
10 of the Most Visually Stunning Films
What makes a beautiful film? We focussed on three main components: composition, color, and lighting. Besides being a treat to the eyes, all three components harmonize to make a visually stunning film. We’ve handpicked 10 of the most visually stunning movies in this article.
Interstellar is set in the (not so) distant future when the Earth is becoming increasingly uninhabitable. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), an ex-NASA pilot, is contacted by a space research organisation to pilot a mission to search for planets where life can survive. It’s easy to believe that you’re actually in outer space with the characters, even though the movie was shot in real-life locations worldwide. Despite the stunning visuals, the story remains emotionally compelling.
Where to Watch Interstellar: Amazon Prime Video
2. Spiderman: Into the Spider Verse
Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse‘s genius lies in two fundamental choices: first, it acknowledges that there have been numerous Spider-Man stories before it but embraces it. Second, they created a unique comic book visual style. This film combines these elements perfectly to produce a movie with some of the most inventive visuals.
Where to Watch Spiderman: Into the Spider Verse: Netflix
3. Life of Pi
Based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name, Life of Pi follows the story of a young Indian boy who manages to survive a shipwreck by taking refuge in a small lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger for company. It’s easily one of the most beautiful movies, with each scene painstakingly crafted to complement the story. The film required copious amounts of CGI and visual effects to create the illusion of Pi’s despair and the scale of his loneliness. Unsurprisingly, it swept the awards for cinematography and visual effects that season.
Where to Watch Life of Pi: Hotstar
Avatar became one of the most successful movies due to its breathtaking visuals. James Cameron helped to create a new era of CGI and effects, as well as special motion capture technology. He successfully created a complex and innovative fictional world and changed the course of filmmaking and visual effects. The movie won several awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction.
Where to Watch Avatar: Hotstar
Moonlight has won acclaim for being the first film with an all-black cast and LGBTQ+ themes to win an Oscar. The movie uses heightened contrast and vibrant scenes to amplify the characters’ emotional states instead of relying on realism. Every shot is striking and filled with layers that can be peeled back to appreciate with each viewing.
Moonlight is Available to Rent On: Amazon Prime Video
Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity took many years to come to fruition. With an incredible amount of computer FX shots and faithfully recreating the look of zero-G space, the whole production of the film lasted roughly four and half years, with three years on visual effects. Gravity’s setting (the black void of space) is interesting to look at and overpoweringly empty and is perhaps the most successful attempt at transporting a mass audience to outer space.
Gravity is Available to Rent On: Amazon Prime Video
Dune‘s color palette is muted, unlike Avatar’s bright and colorful palette. A good example is its depiction of the fictional planet Arrakis. The planet’s ominous and inhospitable characteristics are created by its visuals and special effects, which transport you entirely into its futuristic world.
Dune is Available to Rent On: Amazon Prime Video
8. 2001: Space Odyssey
In 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick accomplished the impressive illusion of space travel in the sci-fi movie using groundbreaking cinematic techniques. Unlike many other classic sci-fi movies, the film’s effects are often so convincing that it’s easy to forget that this movie came out in 1968. Kubrick infused his film with numerous impressive visual elements, using various production and post-production techniques.
2001: Space Odyssey is Available to Rent On: Amazon Prime Video
Skyfall is the only Bond film nominated for an Academy Award for cinematography. Roger Deakins is a brilliant director of photography and elevates the craft and visuals of the movie like no other Bond film. The opening scene, where Bond walks down a hall, out of focus, then moves into focus, and the light at the last second, revealing his alert eyes, is marvelous. Rarely is an action movie (especially one from a formulaic series) granted such beauty and grace through the camera’s lens. One can watch Skyfall without sound and be just as enthralled as if there were sound.
Skyfall is Available to Rent On: Amazon Prime Video
10. The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel was nominated for Best Picture in 2014, and it’s easy to see why. Exceptional visuals accompany the comical, zany, and light-hearted adventure. The best part – the visuals are integral to telling the story.
Where to Watch The Grand Budapest Hotel: Hotstar
Also Read: 10 Movies with the Best Surround Sound
The movies listed above not only have stunning visuals, but are also backed up by brilliant scripts, making these a delight for any cinephile. You can use our post-production services on Postudio to create your film. And maybe, someday, you’ll find your movie listed on our page.