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8 Visually-Stunning Must-Watch Movies for Architects

This one is coming for cinematography lovers!

If you think that movies should appeal to the eyes first, you are in the right place. In this article, we have listed 8 visually incredible movies that will please your aesthetic eye while immersing you in interesting worlds and unique stories.

1. Isle of Dogs (2018)

Director: Wes Anderson
Themes: Animation (Stop-motion), Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Isle of Dogs Movie Set with Puppets

Isle of Dogs is another amazing work of visual-genius Wes Anderson that somehow its popularity is overshadowed by the success of its predecessor The Grand Budapest Hotel (which is also a visual masterpiece but not included in this list since surely everyone watched it.) It definitely deserves more attention. In this stop-motion movie characters and sets are practical puppets and hand-made elements shot in camera, often against sliding green screen, and composited together with visual effects. The story is captivating, quirky and overall a great adventure. Definitely a must-watch!

A scene from the movie set
A shot from the movie production

2. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Director: Travis Knight
Themes: Animation (Stop-motion), Adventure, Fantasy, Action

Amazing scenery of Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings is yet another underrated movie that deserves all the attention with its out of the world scenery. You can take a screenshot from any scene of this movie and you’ll have a new wallpaper. This epic fantasy uses the stop-motion technique shot in many different sets built similar to dollhouses. Each character is designed and crafted into figures, 22-foot giant skeleton is the biggest figure ever built for a stop-motion production. The movie is action filled, mystical, heart warming and simply stunning.

A shot from the stop-motion production
A scene from the movie

If you are interested in stop-motion production of this movie here is a link to a short video of it. The amount of work and patience that goes into a stop-motion is really incredible.

3. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Themes: Sci-fi, Fantasy,

A scene from the A.I movie

I might be biased since it’s one of my favorite movies, but A.I doesn’t really get the attention it deserves. A Pinocchio retelling in a sci-fi setting, I mean come on, it cannot get better than that. (Actually, it gets better, it has Jude Law in it.) It draws you into a completely different world with its ahead of the time visual effects and set designs. Especially the use of colors and futuristic themes are reminiscent of Bladerunner.

A scene from the A.I movie
A scene from the A.I movie

4. Paprika (2006)

Director: Satoshi Kon
Themes: Animation, Sci-fi, Fantasy,
Psychologic Drama

A scene from the Paprika movie

In this vivid animated movie where the perception of dreams and reality are intertwined, Satoshi Kon pushes the limits of visual storytelling. Paprika offers a bright imagery with psychedelic undertones that keeps your eye on the screen. It is full of original ideas that inspired several top-rated movies such as Inception. Movies like this are the reason why cinema is considered as the seventh art, highly recommend.

A scene from the Paprika movie
A scene from the Paprika movie

5. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Themes: Fantasy, Drama, War, Horror

Pan’s Labyrinth Set Design – detailed drawings

Oscar-winner of both best cinematography and art direction, Pan’s Labyrinth is considered as one of the visual storytelling masterpieces. In this fantastic drama that takes place between the real and imaginary worlds, every little thing that you see in the movie set was drawn to the smallest detail. It’s eerie, sorrowful and brilliant.

Pan’s Labyrinth Set Design – detailed drawings
Pan’s Labyrinth Set Design – technical drawings

6. The Fall (2006)

Director: Tarsem Singh
Themes: Fantasy,
Adventure, Drama

Fascinating scenery of The Fall

According to this list the year 2006 was an amazing year for cinema. The Fall is another movie that the line between fiction and reality blurs and you found yourself in a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. It is a story about stories – it reminds me of the movie Big Fish in a way. There are references to Salvador Dali drawings, can we say that for another movie, I don’t think so. The locations where the movie was filmed are simply magical – in fact, it was shot in 28 different countries. It is theatrical, surreal and one of a kind.

A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie

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

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Themes: Animation,
Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A scene from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse movie

This was a game-changer for superhero movies! Into the Spiderverse movie is so visually stunning that you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen for even a moment. It is a movie that anyone who is into visual arts will enjoy immensely. Its unique art style brings the old school comic-book style and vibrant visual effects together in so fun and creative ways.

You can check out the credits sequence of the movie from this link, a graphic animation masterpiece for sure!

A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie

8. Nightmare Alley (2021)

Directors: Guillermo del Toro
Themes: Thriller,
Crime, Drama

A scene from Nightmare Alley movie

The last one in the list is another Guillermo del Toro movie that architects would surely appreciate! Besides being the newest and most topical movie on the list, the movie sets in 1940s and the story revolves around a carnival magnate and psychologist but most importantly it features luxurious Art Deco furnitures in almost every interior -besides the carnival scenes, of course. Nightmare Alley is worth for watching even just for its eye-candy of a set decoration.

Set decoration
A scene from the movie

These are all the amazing movies we have chosen for you, hope you add some of them to your must-watch list. Which movie intrigued you the most? What other visually stunning movies would you recommend to us? Would you like to see a Part 2? Please let me know in the comments. Until next time!

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