The 25 best Cannes Film Festival movies you actually want to watch

16. The Skin I Live In (2011)

The movie: Another bananas Pedro Almodovar outing. The Spanish director trades the sharp, dialogue-driven family dramas of his earlier work for something else entirely. Antonio Banderas stars as a morally-bankrupt surgeon whose research into synthetic skin leads him to make some shocking steps outside of the norm.  

Why you want to see it: Reading up on the plot should be avoided at all costs - and adding it to your watchlist should be done immediately. There's no other movie of recent years that's such a torrid blend of drama, comedy and thriller. At its core though, this is as a deliciously twisted body horror. Cronenberg would be proud. 

15. The Usual Suspects (1995)

The movie: Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro, Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Pollak star as the group of five criminals who club together to take down the mysterious kingpin known as Keyser Soze. The whole thing is told in flashbacks from the POV of Spacey's character Verbal Kint as he recants his tale to the cops. Christopher McQuarrie (Mission Impossible) made his screenwriting debut on the film, and Bryan Singer (X-Men) directs.   

Why you want to see it: This is the movie which kickstarted a whole sub-genre of crime flicks that ended on twists. If for some reason you've never seen it - and never had it spoiled - then get it watched, pronto.  

14. No Country For Old Men (2007)

The movie: The Coen brothers jaunt into western territory created this thrilling cat-n-mouse gem that borrows elements of the 'bumbling fool stumbles upon fortune' tale from previous Coen outings. None of those had Javier Bardem, or his badass haircut. Or that insane bolt gun for that matter. 

Why you want to see it: Seriously, just to see Bardem's psychopath Anton Chigurh. And, if you're a comic book movie fan, it'll give you a chance to see Josh 'Thanos' Brolin in a role that's the polar opposite of his Marvel villain. He does the nice guy schtick pretty well. 

13. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

The movie: Almost a decade before Boyhood hit cinemas, Richard Linklater busied himself with other projects including this gorgeous thriller based on Philip K. Dick's novel. It tells of a dystopian future where the war on drugs has been lost - everyone's hooked on Substance D causing the population to constantly experience hallucinations. Keanu Reeves stars as an undercover cop tasked with finding suppliers.   

Why you want to see it: It's a beautiful-looking film that uses a technique known as interpolated rotoscoping - artists go over each frame of a movie by hand to make it look animated.  

12. Kung Fury (2015)

The movie: Writer-director-actor David Sanberg grew up loving '80s action films and police movies. And, it seems he had a fondness for sci-fi too. Whatever it was he liked, you can bet it's all in his Kickstarter-funded film Kung Fury. It's hard to categorise a movie that defies labels so I'll just say that this is the best spoof you'll ever see.    

Why you want to see it: Dude, there's a dinosaur cop, time travel, and a plot to kill Hitler. Oh and a drunk arcade machine that wants a punch-up.  

11. It Follows (2015)

The movie: From the opening sequence to the final shot, It Follows will really have you wondering what the hell is going on. It's atmospheric in its own unique way because this is a horror with no clearly defined villain. Maika Monroe's teenager sleeps with a guy who then tells her that he's passed something to her. That thing is death, which slowly stalks the 'infected', resembling anybody it likes.   

Why you want to see it: It's kinda like Adam Wingard's The Guest as it channels '80s John Carpenter without ripping him off. From the gorgeous synthy score to the weird blending of eras, writer-director David Robert Mitchell really nails the eerie mood.  

10. The BFG (2016)

The movie: Steven Spielberg just might be ready to drop his best family flick since E.T. this summer. The next movie on his slate is the long-awaited adaptation of The BFG, starring newcomer Ruby Barnhill as a young orphan girl visited by a big friendly, giant (hey, that's BFG!). He whisks her away to a world unlike ours, where giants roam free, and err, quite enjoying eating kids.  

Why you want to see it: It's Roald Dahl's best book ever! And it's being directed by Steven Spielberg!  

9. The Fifth Element (1997)

The movie: Back when Bruce Willis was a bankable star he managed to get some more unusual films on his resume. Luc Besson's sci-fi extravaganza is one of them. Willis stars as cabbie Korben Dallas who crosses paths with Milla Jovovich's Leeloo, an orange-haired girl who's actually the fifth element. Yes, that's a big deal. It gets over-the-top crackers from there and doesn't really let up.    

Why you want to see it: It's worth checking out for Chris Tucker's amazing outfit alone. In fact, most of the costumes are cracking thanks to the absurdist eye of Jean Paul Gaultier who worked as the designer. If you like your sci-fi with a side of zany, zany ZAAANY action, then look no further.  

8. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

The movie: Only Tarantino can create a movie that's essentially four or five scenes stretched out over 150 minutes, and you won't think anything of it. Inglourious Basterds begins with possibly his longest-ever opening sequence, setting the stage for that same sense of the slow-burn throughout. The main story follows a group of Nazi hunters, led by Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine, who are out to slay the Fuhrer's henchmen.    

Why you want to see it: The basement bar scene.... it's just stunning. From the minute it begins you won't have any idea how it'll end up.  

7. Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)

The movie: Terry Gilliam's opus is an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's autobiographical book. Like that novel it's utterly barmy. Forget your sophisticated plots, this stoner movie follows Johnny Depp (as Thompson) and Benicio Del Toro (as his best pal Gonzo) as they drive from L.A. to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race for work. Oh, and there's the small matter of their sizeable drugs stash.  

Why you want to see it: If you thought Leo's drug-added meltdown in Wolf of Wall Street was good, you're gonna love what Depp and Del Toro are like off their faces. Yeah, it all gets rather reptilian.  

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!