30 Greatest Movies With Numbers In The Title
In the last two weeks, I rewatched a couple of older movies and noticed one interesting thing a couple of them had in common. Seven, Twelve Monkeys, District 9, they were all excellent movies and had the number in the title. So I started wondering how many movies are there with numbers in the title? And what are the greatest movies with numbers in the title?
There are more than 100 movies that have numbers in the title and a lot of them are actually pretty good or even great like David Fincher’s 1995 dark thriller Seven, Terry Gilliam’s time travel SF Twelve Monkeys, Sidney Lumet’s classic 12 Angry men, Neill Blomkamp’s SF allegory District 9, Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Stanley Kubrick’s influential SF classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai. But there is much more as you’ll see in the rest of the article.
30 Greatest Movies With Numbers In The Title
Before starting with this list let’s make one thing clear – sequels don’t count. Also, as it was hard to compare and rank all these really different movies, this is the list of best movies with numbers in the title in alphabetical order.
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Angry Men, Sidney Lumet’s (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network) big-screen directorial debut is a 1957 American courtroom drama about a jury of 12 men who must decide if a young man is guilty of murdering his own father. Although a box office disappointment at the time of the release, the movie received critical acclaim and it is considered as a modern classic, both by critics and audience. It was nominated for three Oscars but lost in all categories to The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).
12 Years a Slave (2013)
This brutal look at slavery is an adaptation of the memoirs Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, who was a free African-American man born in New York State and kidnapped and sold into slavery. Northup worked on plantations in Louisiana for 12 years before he was set free. Directed by Steve McQueen (Widows, Shame), 12 Years a Slave earned overwhelmingly positive reviews and nine Academy Award nominations, winning three in the end – for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress.
127 Hours (2010)
One more movie on this list directed by Danny Boyle, 127 Hours is a biographical drama that tells a true story about mountain climber Aron Ralston (James Franco) who becomes trapped under a boulder and must resort to desperate measures to survive. 127 Hours received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards – Best Motion Picture, Best Actor (James Franco), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Original Song.
This British war movie set during World War I was directed and co-written by talented Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall) and tells a story of two British soldiers who must deliver a message and stop their comrades from walking into a deadly trap. Shot by great Roger Deakins (cinematographer on Blade Runner 2049, The Shawshank Redemption, Skyfall, Sicario and No Country for Old Men), 1917 was a box office success and received overwhelmingly positive reviews and ten Academy Awards nominations winning for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Mixing. 1917 is a tense, immersive, and technically impressive war movie with stunning cinematography.
21 Grams (2003)
21 Grams is a drama directed by talented Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Birdman, The Revenant, Babel) and written by Guillermo Arriaga. 21 Grams, part of Inarritu’s “Death Trilogy”, tells a story about a couple of strangers whose lives will interweave after a terrible automobile accident. Told in a non-linear fashion, 21 Grams stars Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, and Charlotte Gainsbourg and was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Actress (Naomi Watts) and Best Supporting Actor (Benicio Del Toro). It may not be Inarritu’s best movie but it is still stylish, thought-provoking, well-written and acted drama.
21 Jump Street (2012)
An adaptation of the TV series of the same name, 21 Jump Street is an American action-comedy directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (Lego Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 22 Jump Street), starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. It tells a story about two young cops who are sent undercover back to a high school to catch drug dealers. It is a smart and very entertaining comedy with real chemistry between Hill and Tatum that delivers plenty of laughs. The movie received positive reviews and was a big box office hit.
25th Hour (2002)
This American drama directed by Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, BlacKkKlansman), tells a story about convicted drug dealer Montgomery Brogan (Edward Norton) who spends his last 24 hours of freedom re-examining his life before going to prison for seven years. Co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin, and Brian Cox, 25th Hour is a well-written and acted drama adapted by David Benioff from his own novel. It received mostly positive reviews and ended on a couple of “best movies of the decade” lists.
28 Days Later (2002)
28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, The Beach, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) is a British post-apocalyptic horror movie about a world devastated by a highly contagious virus which turns people into zombie-like humans. Tense, well-acted, shot and directed, 28 Days Later received positive reviews from critics and was a solid box office hit and reinvigorated the zombie genre. It received a sequel five years later, which while solid, wasn’t on the same level as this one.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s story The Sentinel, 2001: A Space Odyssey from director Stanley Kubrick (Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Dr. Strangelove) is one of the most praised and influential SF movies of all time. Dealing with themes of human evolution, technology, and existentialism 2001: A Space Odyssey was nominated for four Oscars, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Effects, but won only for the latter. It is one of the most important movies of all time.
Based on the comic book series of the same name by Frank Miller (Sin City, The Dark knight Returns), 300 is a fictional retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae about King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) who led his army of 300 Spartans against the Persians led by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, Man Of Steel, BvS: Dawn of Justice), 300 is a stylish, violent, entertaining, and visually stunning action movie with some exceptional action sequences. Praised for its unique visuals, the film received mixed reviews from critics but was a huge box office success.
48 Hrs (1982)
48 Hrs, starring young Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte and directed by Walter Hill (The Warriors, Southern Comfort, Red Heat), is a first buddy-buddy action movie. In this entertaining action comedy Nick Nolte is playing cop Jack Cates who must team-up with fast-talking criminal Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) to catch a pair of cop-killers who broke out of the prison. Eddie Murphy, who will become a huge Hollywood star in the 1980s and 1990s, made his film debut in 48 Hrs. Thanks to solid script and writing, and real chemistry between its two leads, 48 Hrs is one of the best action comedies of all time.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris and directed by Ron Howard (Rush, Ransom, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Cocoon) Apollo 13 is a 1995 drama based on the true story about failed attempt to land on the moon in 1970 and NASA’s attempts to save their astronauts and bring them home safely. Apollo 13 received critical acclaim and was a huge box office hit. It was also nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two, for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
This cult action thriller from director John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween, Escape from New York, They Live) tells a story about a couple of people trapped inside Los Angeles police station while trying to defend themselves from a bloodthirsty street gang. Upon the release, Assault on Precinct 13 received mixed reviews and didn’t perform well at the box-office. But over the years the movie was recognized as one of the best action movies of its era, received positive reviews from critics and garnered a cult following.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
As we said in our review Blade Runner 2049 is one unusual movie – a sequel to one of the most appreciated and most influential movies of the last 40 years that is actually a worthy successor and very expensive R rated movie that is more an art movie masked as Hollywood SF. The story is set 30 years after the first movie in 2049. in a world that is even more depressing place then in the first Blade Runner. Ryan Gosling plays K, a blade runner who discovers long kept secret that could push what’s left of society into chaos. Visually gorgeous, Blade Runner 2049 is dark, atmospheric, and engaging SF with interesting themes and ideas. It is one of those rare sequels that are as good or better than the original. Best movie of 2017 and one of the best science fiction movies of the last 20 years.
District 9 (2009)
After a failed attempt to bring Halo to the big screen director Neill Blomkamp (Elysium, Chappie) with producer Peter Jackson made this original SF movie about an extraterrestrial race whose ship broke down 28 years ago and are now stuck in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they live in slum-like conditions. This will all change when a government agent Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is exposed to their biotechnology which will cause his DNA to mutate. No one expected much from this movie as it was directed by newcomer Neill Blomkamp and it didn’t have any famous actors. In the end, District 9 was a breath of fresh air, received rave reviews from critics and become a big box office hit. One of the best science fiction movies of the last 20 years.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
British director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, The Gentlemen, Sherlock Holmes, Aladdin) made his directorial debut with this crime comedy about a botched card game in London that triggers a series of unexpected events. Inspired by Tarantino’s movies, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is an entertaining, stylish, violent, and energetic crime comedy that introduced director Ritchie to the world. A year later Ritchie perfected this formula with Snatch, his best movie to date. If your hungry for this type of movies and don’t want to rewatch his older ones you can check his latest movie The Gentlemen which is, after a couple of misfires, Guy Ritchie’s return to form.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
A remake of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin movie from 1960, Ocean’s Eleven is that rare example where a remake is better than original. It tells a story about Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his eleven-member crew who wants to score the biggest heist in history – to rob three Las Vegas casinos at the same time. Directed by talented Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, Traffic, Out Of Sight, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Erin Brockovich), Ocean’s Eleven is a cool, smart, stylish, and highly entertaining crime comedy with a great soundtrack by David Holmes and cast which includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Casey Affleck and Julia Roberts among others. Director Steven Soderbergh is one of the most interesting directors working in Hollywood in the last 30 years. One of the few directors with multiple best director academy award nominations in the same year and director of the best pandemic movie of all time.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Based on the novel of the same name, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a 1975 drama directed by Miloš Forman (Amadeus, Hair, Man On The Moon). Jack Nicholson plays Randle McMurphy, a criminal who pleads insanity to avoid prison and ends in a mental institution for evaluation. Considered by many as one of the best American movies of all time, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest received rave reviews and won numerous awards, from Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards to 5 Oscars. It won Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Louise Fletcher), Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material.
After making his debut with Alien 3, director David Fincher made this atmospheric, dark, and stylish thriller which ranks as one of the best thrillers of all time. Se7en follows detectives William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) trying to catch a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who is using the seven deadly sins as his motives. Set in a city where it’s always raining, Se7en is a smart, tense and unsettling movie filled with great visuals and very good performances. With this movie and Fight Club, The Social Network, The Game and Zodiac, director David Fincher will become one of the greatest directors working in Hollywood in the last 30 years.
Seven Samurai (1954)
This epic adventure about a village that recruits seven samurais to help them defend themselves from bandits is one of the most influential films ever made. Directed by Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo), Seven Samurai is often credited as the first modern action movie and was hailed for its cinematography, story, and stunning action sequences. Many commonly used cinematographic and plot elements today comes from this movie.
Super 8 (2011)
Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible 3), Super 8 is set during the summer of 1979 and tells a story about a group of kids who witness a train crash while making a super 8 movie. Suspecting it was not an accident they start investigating while unexplained events and disappearances begin to take place in their small town. Obviously inspired by the early works of Steven Spielberg, Super 8 maybe plays little too much on the nostalgic card and it has its share of problems but it is a well-made kids movie that reminded me of some of the best kids movies from the 1980s. It is an interesting and entertaining movie, emotional while not too cheesy with an outstanding young cast.
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
This surprise hit comedy from 2005 was a directorial debut for Judd Apatow who will become a big star in consequent years, directing and producing movies like Knocked Up, Superbad, Talladega Nights, Trainwreck, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Bridesmaids, and Step Brothers. It was the first leading role for Steve Carrel who would go on and become one of the biggest comedy stars of the last 15 years. And it was also the best movie, both for Carrel and Apatow. The 40 Year Old Virgin tells a story about 40-year-old virgin Andy (Steve Carell), whose colleagues at an electronics store, decide to help him lose his virginity. The movie received positive reviews from critics and was a big box office hit. It is not hard to see why as it is a well-written and funny R-rated comedy with real characters not relying on cheap jokes. Steve Carell is excellent in the main role as insecure and nerdy Andy. Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, and Jane Lynch co-star.
The Fifth Element (1997)
At the time the most expensive European movie, The Fifth Element is a trashy but highly entertaining and visually rich SF action movie from director Luc Besson (Léon: The Professional, The Big Blue). Bruce Willis plays Korben Dallas, a taxi driver and former elite commando in the twenty-third century, who must stop evil extraterrestrial entity and his accomplice Zorg (Gary Oldman) from destroying the world. The Fifth Element may be plagued by the dumb story, one-dimensional characters, and mediocre writing, but it is also original, weird, silly, and visually creative big-budget SF epic. Willis is pretty good as the main hero Korben Dallas, while Oldman’s cartoonish villain Zorg is fun to watch. It also features appearances of trip-hop legend Tricky, Chris Tucker (Rush Hour), Ian Holm (Alien, Brazil, LOTR), and Brion James (Blade Runner, Tango & Cash).
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Although not one of the best Quentin Tarantino’s movies, The Hateful Eight is still a pretty good western movie about a group of strangers who all found themselves stuck in a remote cabin seeking shelter during the blizzard. Scored by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone The Hateful Eight was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and it stars Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern. The movie received mostly positive review but it was a somewhat of box office disappointment. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, Best Original Score, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, but only Ennio Morricone won for Best Original Score.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense, the directorial debut of M. Night Shyamalan (Unbreakable, Signs, Split, Glass), came out of nowhere at the end of the summer season of 1999 and surprised everyone becoming a box-office sensation and the second biggest hit of 1999. Bruce Willis plays child psychologist Malcolm Crowe who must help his new patient, a boy named Cole (Haley Joel Osment) who can see and communicate with dead people. This moderately budgeted supernatural psychological thriller was well-received by critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Haley Joel Osment), Best Supporting Actress (Toni Collette), and Best Original Screenplay. The Sixth Sense is a quiet, slow, smart, and atmospheric drama with great performances from newcomer Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis. It also has one of the best twists of all time.
The Third Man (1949)
The Third Man, a British film noir directed by Carol Reed (The Fallen Idol, Oliver!), is set in postwar Vienna and follows American writer Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), who comes to the city to visit his old friend Harry Lime only to learn that he has died. Suspicious about his death, Martins starts investigating the mysterious death of an old friend. Praised for cinematography, acting, and score this atmospheric thriller received positive reviews and is considered as one of the best movies of all time.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a dark comedy/drama, similar to the works of Coen brothers. Months have passed after her daughter was found raped and murdered, so Mildred Hayes (McDormand), a divorced mother who lives with her son, unsatisfied by local authorities, decides to take matters into her own hands. Well-shot, acted, directed, and written, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an interesting and sometimes funny dark comedy with excellent performances from Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. It received rave reviews from critics and won 2 Oscars, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Sam Rockwell)
Three Kings (1999)
1999 was a great year for movies. One of the better movies of 1999 was this anti-war action comedy written and directed by David O. Russell (The Fighter, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook). Three Kings tells a story about four American soldiers (played by George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze) who go on a gold heist after the end of the Gulf War and during the 1991 uprisings against Saddam Hussein. Three Kings received critical acclaim and was a modest box office success. It is an original, intelligent, well-written, engaging, and entertaining action comedy that is well worth your time.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Terry Gilliam’s 1995. masterpiece Twelve Monkeys is a time travel SF thriller about a future world that is devastated by a deadly disease where people are forced to live in underground bunkers. The year is 2035 and a group of scientists sends a convict (Willis) back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of humanity in 1996. Twelve Monkeys envisions a pretty bleak vision of a dystopian future caused by deadly disease where people are forced to live underground. Smart, entertaining, bleak, and weird with excellent story and performances from Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, Twelve Monkeys was a critical and box office success and it’s one of the best SF movies of all time.
United 93 (2006)
Written and directed by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Captain Phillips), United 93 is a drama-thriller that follows events aboard flight United 93 which was hijacked on September 11, 2001, during the terrorist attacks on New York. This tense and well-crafted drama received critical acclaim and ended on many critic’s top 10 lists. It was also nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Director, and Best Achievement in Film Editing.
As you see, there are really many praise-worthy movies with numbers in the title. But those are not all so here we bring you some more good movies worth your time:
- 3:10 to Yuma
- 8 Mile
- 10 Cloverfield Lane
- (500) Days of Summer
- Fast Five
- Four Rooms
- Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
- Magnificient 7
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Session 9
- Six Degrees of Separation
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- Three Days of the Condor
- THX 1138
- Zero Dark Thirty