Best of Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater is best known for indie movies and varied filmography. He is a self-taught American writer and director. From comedies like ‘Dazed and Confused’ to evergreen romance like Before Trilogy, his work still transposes us to state of dreamy nostalgia.

Below is a ranking of his 10 best movies picked by us. Scroll down to find out which movie tops our list of Linklater’s best movies.

10. Bernie (2011)

Bernie, Richard Linkater movie

It is a dark comedy based on a true crime story of a Texas criminal case. Bernie, a small-town mortician, befriends a wealthy widow, Marjorie. After frequent outings, Bernie gets fed up with Marjorie’s possessiveness and murders her. Jack Black gave one of his finest performances in this warm hearted, twisted and funny flick.

9. Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

everybody wants some

Set in 1980s Texas, college athlete Jake Bradford moves into the communal house of his baseball team. The roommates soon begin to navigate the ups and downs of growing up unsupervised. This movie is also considered as the spiritual cousin of ‘Dazed and Confused’ (4th on our list).

8. School of Rock (2003)

school of rock

This movie is considered to be the biggest commercial success for Richard Linklater. Dewey Finn (played by Jack Black), an amateur rock enthusiast, slyly takes up his friend’s job by posing as a substitute teacher. Bearing no qualifications for it, he instead starts training the students to form a band. The success of the film inspired a television series and a Broadway musical.

7. Waking Life (2001)

WAKING LIFE, 2001, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

This was a groundbreaking film that used distinctive rotoscope animation over live action sequences. The film was initially shot on DV with real actors and then rotoscoped. The film revolved around a man moves from one dream to another, meeting various interesting people and having surreal experiences. He tries to find the answers to life’s important questions.

6. Slacker (1991)

Slacker is a movie made with a non traditional approach. It follows a day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs.

5. Before Midnight (2013)

The journey which started with Before Sunrise come to an end in Before midnight. It has been 18 years since Jesse and Celine met on a train. They visit Greece with their twin daughters on their friend’s invitation. While on vacation, Jesse gets restless and starts questioning his life and relationship with Celine. The movie addresses the ups and downs of being in long term relationship and addresses hard questions like infidelity and aging. It was also the reason for behind Richard Linklater’s second Oscars nomination.

4. Dazed and Confused (1993)

This movie captured the adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976. This movie brilliantly showcases the essence of being on the cusp of entering the world as a young individual.

3. Before Sunrise (1995)

It was not easy of for us to keep this movie here, so you can imagine our dilemma in choosing the next two. This is the beginning of Jesse and Celine, strolling in Vienna and falling in love with each other. Their conversations never go dull, and each scene looks more beautiful than the other. Richard Linklater made sure that everything about this movie feels romantic and enchanting.

2. Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood follows life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college. This is Richard Linklater’s most acclaimed work by far making him earn 6 Oscar nominations and winning 2 Golden Globes. We see our lead actor Ellar Coltrane (Mason) growing up for a period of twelve years. This movie truly depicts growing up in an unparalleled way.

1. Before Sunset (1995)

before sunset

From its quotable dialogues to honesty of love and relationships, this movie tops our list. Here, our central characters leave behind their naive selves and evolve into a more mature and heartbroken version of themselves. It beautifully captures the essence of love, adulthood and figuring life out against the beautiful landscape of Paris. Did we fall in love with Jesse and Celine? Yes!

Image Sources: IMDB, Filmgrab

Pankaj Madaan

A filmmaker and a screenwriter known for his comprehensive knowledge of world cinema and insightful commentary on the Hindi film industry.

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