#1: The Wages of Fear
"When a South American oil well owned by an American company catches fire, the company hires four European men, down on their luck, to drive two trucks over mountain dirt roads, carrying the nitroglycerine needed to extinguish the fire."
With a description like that, you just know this is going to be an awesome movie. Today, many new movies claim to be suspenseful, but this one takes the cake. This movie is pure suspense. There's a bit of a slow start, but I really felt it was worth the wait.
Note, this is not an American movie.
#2: The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American World War II film directed by David Lean based on the 1952 French novel The Bridge over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–43 for its historical setting.
If you've already read the book, you might enjoy the movie. If you haven't read the book, you might love this movie. It's quite interesting and raises some questions.
#3: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
The Mutiny on the Bounty was a mutiny aboard the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty on 28 April 1789. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against commanding officer Lieutenant William Bligh. According to most accounts, the sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific island of Tahiti and were further motivated by harsh treatment from their captain.
That's not a description of the movie. That's a description of what actually happened. The movie supposedly has technical inaccuracies but from what I could tell it was pretty accurate. I liked it quite a bit.
#4: The Caine Mutiny
When a US Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny.
In some respects this is a much more modern version of Mutiny on the Bounty. I found the final scenes the most interesting, but of course I don't want to spoil it.
#5: 12 Angry men
... the film tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt.
I really enjoyed this, but I couldn't tell you why. It's very famous, but if you haven't seen it, give it a go. It's not even that long :p. Listen for the voice of Piglet.
If you have questions, please post them here also. These movies are easy to look up, but I excluded links to their information pages to try to help people not get spoiled prior to seeing them. I can't really help you with how to see them. Please do not discuss any illegal movie-getting methods in this thread (or on TL).