Most Visually Stunning Movies With the Best Cinematography

32 Visually Stunning Movies with the Best Cinematography

In Blog by Nick LeLeave a Comment

There are so many elements that make a film great, but as photographers, visuals are always top of mind. Lately, we’ve been on the hunt for the most visually stunning movies.

So what makes a beautiful movie? We focussed on three main components: composition, color, and lighting – just like photography. Besides being a treat to the eyes, all three components in harmony make cinematography a key storytelling device: setting the tone for every scene.

After countless hours of movie-watching and scouring the web, we’ve handpicked our top 32 visually stunning movies, along with the most beautiful frames from each.

1. La La Land (2016)

Genre: Musical/Romance
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cinematographer: Linus Sandgren

La La Land Cinematic Frames
Images courtesy of Lionsgate

2. The Joker (2019)

Genre: Drama/Crime
Director: Todd Phillips
Cinematographer: Lawrence Sher

The Joker Visually Stunning Movie FramesImages courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

3. Drive (2011)

Genre: Action/Crime
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cinematographer: Newton Thomas Sigel

Drive Movie Appealing VisualsImages courtesy of FilmDistrict

4. Bladerunner (1982)

Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller
Director: Ridley Scott
Cinematographer: Jordan Cronenweth

Bladerunner 1982 visuals
Images courtesy of Warner Bros.

5. Bladerunner 2049 (2017)

Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

Bladerunner 2049 cinematic visuals
Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures & Sony Pictures Releasing

6. Interstellar (2014)

Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cinematographer: Hoyte van Hoytema

Interstellar Beautiful Movie Stills
Images courtesy of Paramount Pictures & Warner Bros. Pictures

7. Gravity (2013)

Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

Gravity Cinematic Portrait Stills
Images of courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

8. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Genre: Action/Adventure
Director: George Miller
Cinematographer: John Seale

Mad Max Fury Road Film Stills
Images courtesy of Roadshow Films & Warner Bros. Pictures

9. Life of Pi (2012)

Genre: Adventure/Drama
Director: Ang Lee
Cinematographer: Claudio Miranda

Beautiful Life of Pi Visuals
Images courtesy of 20th Century Fox

10. The Fall (2006)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Director: Tarsem Singh
Cinematographer: Colin Watkinson

The Fall Cinematography
Images courtesy of Roadside Attractions

11. The Revenant (2015)

Genre: Western/Adventure
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

The Revenant Visually Pleasing Movie Frames
Images courtesy of 20th Century Fox

12. TRON: Legacy (2010)

Genre: Sci-fi/Action
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cinematographer: Claudio Miranda

TRON: Legacy Beautiful Film Frames
Images courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

13. Her (2013)

Genre: Romance/Sci-fi
Director: Spike Jonze
Cinematographer: Hoyte van Hoytema

Her (2013) Cinematic Photos
Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Stage 6 Films

14. Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Director: Wes Anderson
Cinematographer: Robert Yeoman

Grand Budapest Hotel Beautiful Visuals
Images courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

15. 1917 (2019)

Genre: War/Drama
Director: Sam Mendes
Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

1917 Best Cinematography
Images courtesy of Entertainment One, Universal Pictures

16. Only God Forgives (2013)

Genre: Crime/Thriller
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cinematographer: Larry Smith

Only God Forgives Cinematic shots
Images courtesy of RADiUS-TWC

17. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

Genre: Animation/Action
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Cinematographer: N/A

Spiderverse Animated Film Stills
Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

18. Mulholland Drive (2001)

Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Director: David Lynch
Cinematographer: Peter Deming

Mulholland Drive Photos from Movie
Images courtesy of Universal Pictures, BAC Films

19. The Tree of Life (2011)

Genre: Drama/Fantasy
Director: Terrence Malick
Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

The Tree of Life Beautiful Movie Scenes
Images courtesy by Fox Searchlight Pictures

20. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Genre: War/Drama
Director: Francis Coppola
Cinematographer: Vittorio Storaro

Apocalypse Now Movie Pictures
Images courtesy by United Artists

21. Dark Knight (2008)

Genre: Action/Adventure
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cinematographer: Wally Pfister

Dark Knight 2008 Cinematic Movie Stills
Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

22. Oblivion (2013)

Genre: Sci-fi/Action
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cinematographer: Claudio Miranda

Oblivion movie images
Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

23. A Space Odyssey (2001)

Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cinematographer: Geoffrey Unsworth

Space Odyssey Film Cinematics
Images courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

24. American Graffiti (1973)

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Director: George Lucas
Cinematographer: Ron Eveslage, Jan D’Alquen

American graffiti movie visuals
Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

25. Roma (2018)

Genre: Drama
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cinematographer: Alfonso Cuarón

Roma Black and white movie stills
Images courtesy of Espectáculos Fílmicos El Coyúl, Netflix

26. Enemy (2013)

Genre: Thriller/Psychological Thriller
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cinematographer: Nicolas Bolduc

Enemy Film Cinematography
Images courtesy of Entertainment One, Alfa Pictures

27. Arrival (2016)

Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cinematographer: Bradford Young

Arrival Appealing Movie Shots
Images courtesy of Paramount Pictures

28. Saint Laurent (2014)

Genre: Drama/Romance
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Cinematographer: Josée Deshaies

Saint Laurent Beautiful Stills from Film
Images courtesy of EuropaCorp Distribution

29. Spirited Away (2001)

Genre: Animation/Fantasy
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Cinematographer: Atsushi Okui

Great Animation from Spirited Away
Images courtesy of Toho

30. Skyfall (2012)

Genre: Action/Thriller
Director: Sam Mendes
Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

Skyfall Cinematic Photos from Film
Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

31. Prisoners (2013)

Genre: Thriller/Crime
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

Prisoners Film Images
Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures, Summit Entertainment

32. Fargo (1996)

Genre: Thriller/Crime
Director: Joel Coen
Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

Fargo Cinema Stunning Visuals
Images courtesy of Gramercy Pictures

Have a suggestion for other visually stunning movies? Leave a comment below and let us know which films with great cinematography deserve to be added!