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The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The Tree Of Life (2011)

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father ('Brad Pitt' (qv)). Jack (played as an adult by 'Sean Penn (I)' (qv)) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic coming of age independent film 
Themes:
regret afterlife inheritance childhood cruelty hope photography education bullying grief guilt dysfunctional family theft memory fear pregnancy jealousy religion marriage death  (See All)
Mood:
moving avant garde rain 
Locations:
running into water swimming pool storm texas china ocean outer space baseball courtroom police car sea urban setting woods elevator bicycle desert bathtub airplane small town cemetery forest church school restaurant beach  (See All)
Characters:
crying baby death of boy little boy death wish pregnant wife younger version of character engineer grandmother grandson relationship chinese catholic christianity waitress bully reference to god christian thief priest baby musician policeman boy brother brother relationship children african american husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police  (See All)
Period:
1950s 
Story:
tree swing reading a newspaper childhood memory playing catch water hose kicking a can card playing wind chime birth of son planet earth giving birth waco texas jumping from a tree planting a tree reading aloud death by drowning climbing a tree glass coffin bubble bath abandoned house lighting a candle survival of the fittest swimming underwater guitar player glass elevator piano player baseball bat newborn baby looking at oneself in a mirror school bell bare chested boy walking on a beach death notification death in family reference to arturo toscanini learning to walk parents arguing hit with a board reference to johannes brahms begins with a quotation floating in the air electrical shock hanging out washing ice tray resentment toward father praying hands origins of life reference to job artificial respiration rolling down a hill eye mask tolling bell air rifle begins with a quote dirge pantheism holding head underwater hand clapping game ddt pinecone fertilization destroying property limping man hairbrush wanting to die time capsule vein watering can crossing oneself strict father wading in water daily life pipe organ streetlight blowing bubbles child as main character bb gun bad news learning to read big bang patent tarkovskyesque plain laundry drying on clothes line somersault three brothers electric fan blessing lawn sprinkler ancestry stained glass window sunflower embryo loss of innocence power plant car repair looking in a window jumping on a bed playing jigsaw puzzle cosmos schoolyard sparkler hand kissing trashcan heartbeat steam washing dishes organist expectant father ice cube hose snooping domineering father 19 year old overhead shot kneeling saying grace expectant mother dare plant in title courthouse wave fetus silhouette toy gun prehistoric times car radio distrust grass treehouse stars telegram breaking a window meteor failure train tracks electric shock universe stroke envy lava very little dialogue seagull looking out a window whispering naivety skyscraper lizard escalator stairway homecoming baptism 12 year old notebook gardening being followed handshake fast motion scene spitting sermon shame loss of brother marital problem growing up existentialism barbecue swing choir shadow attic sibling rivalry volcano cigarette lighter bible quote butterfly sun child protagonist insect loss of son kicking mourning thunder suffering wind promise following someone end of the world dinosaur ambition birth ladder shark swimsuit planet stealing guitarist vandalism listening to music recording breaking and entering fainting destiny eyeglasses machismo record player black american hate redhead killing trust death of son sleeping class death of brother flower waterfall garden childbirth court flowers reading storytelling fired from the job liar suburb clown tree flash forward gunshot pain drowning graveyard underwater scene journey search bath coffin man with glasses apology child abuse nonlinear timeline fish snake house eating bridge candle flashlight newspaper survival halloween swimming river guitar prayer classroom piano cafe dead body lingerie running tears lie book painting arrest cat slow motion scene face slap mirror food cell phone crying voice over narration fire telephone call explosion dancing bare chested male flashback dog fight kiss  (See All)

Biutiful (2010)
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Biutiful (2010)

Uxbal, single father of two children, finds his life in chaos as he is forced to deal with his life in order to escape the heat of crime in underground Barcelona, to break with the love for the divorced, manic depressive, abusive mother of his children and to regain spiritual insight in his life as he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. (Read More)

Themes:
afterlife photography grief guilt memory fear religion marriage death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car woods cemetery forest church school restaurant beach 
Characters:
crying baby little boy chinese baby policeman boy brother brother relationship children husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
looking at oneself in a mirror bad news sparkler heartbeat distrust breaking a window mourning suffering breaking and entering trust death of son flowers pain coffin apology child abuse fish eating candle cafe dead body running tears arrest face slap mirror food cell phone crying telephone call dancing bare chested male fight kiss  (See All)

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Adam (2009)
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Adam (2009)

Soon after moving in, Beth, a brainy, beautiful writer damaged from a past relationship encounters Adam, the handsome, but odd, fellow in the downstairs apartment whose awkwardness is perplexing. Beth and Adam's ultimate connection leads to a tricky relationship that exemplifies something universal: truly reaching another person means bravely stretching into uncomfortable territory and the resulting shake-up can be liberating. (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
guilt fear jealousy 
Mood:
moving 
Locations:
outer space courtroom police car cemetery school restaurant 
Characters:
little boy engineer chinese baby policeman children african american husband wife relationship police 
Story:
kicking a can reading aloud looking at oneself in a mirror big bang schoolyard courthouse universe promise black american class flower court flowers reading fired from the job flash forward graveyard apology eating classroom cafe tears lie book mirror food cell phone crying voice over narration telephone call kiss fight  (See All)

Hesher (2010)
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FantasyHorrorMysteryMusicalRomanceSci-fiThrillerWarWestern

Hesher (2010)

T.J., a high school freshman, lost his mother two months before in a car accident: his father pops pills and sits on the couch; his grandmother holds things together, chatting and cooking. T.J. wants the car back from the salvage yard where the owner's son is a bully. By happenstance, Hesher, a foul-mouthed squatter, moves in with T.J's family. T.J. also meets Nicole, a grocery clerk near poverty who helps him once. Hesher involves T.J. in crime, the bully is omnipresent, mom's car is slipping away, dad has checked out, T.J. watches Nicole at work, and his grandma invites him to join her morning walk: the odds are long that T.J. can assemble a family to help him thrive. (Read More)

Themes:
bullying grief memory jealousy death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
swimming pool bicycle bathtub school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship bully policeman husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
abandoned house stained glass window looking in a window breaking a window looking out a window being followed cigarette lighter suffering following someone guitarist vandalism listening to music breaking and entering eyeglasses sleeping class flowers storytelling liar suburb pain bath coffin apology snake eating swimming guitar classroom running tears lie arrest slow motion scene food crying fire telephone call explosion bare chested male fight flashback  (See All)

The Water Diviner (2014) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
ActionAdventureAnimationComedyCrimeDocumentaryDramaFamily
FantasyHorrorMysteryMusicalRomanceSci-fiThrillerWarWestern

The Water Diviner (2014)

After the Battle of Gallipoli, in 1915, an Australian farmer, Connor (Russell Crowe), travels to Turkey to find his 3 missing sons. While staying at a hotel in Istanbul, he meets Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), the hotel manager. And tries to find a way to Gallipoli.

Themes:
hope grief marriage death 
Locations:
church beach 
Characters:
thief priest musician boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
reading aloud piano player looking at oneself in a mirror three brothers overhead shot telegram stairway being followed handshake loss of brother cigarette lighter loss of son kicking mourning thunder promise following someone eyeglasses death of son death of brother liar flash forward gunshot graveyard coffin apology candle prayer piano dead body running tears lie book slow motion scene face slap mirror food crying explosion dancing bare chested male flashback dog fight  (See All)

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Australia (2008)
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Australia (2008)

In northern Australia at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic coming of age 
Themes:
grief theft marriage death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
storm desert bathtub airplane cemetery school 
Characters:
chinese thief priest policeman boy children husband wife relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
death by drowning climbing a tree whispering stairway spitting mourning thunder stealing listening to music recording record player waterfall storytelling drowning graveyard underwater scene bath child abuse fish candle newspaper swimming river guitar dead body lingerie running arrest slow motion scene voice over narration fire telephone call explosion dancing bare chested male fight dog flashback kiss  (See All)

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)
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Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)

Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
childhood cruelty bullying fear death 
Locations:
swimming pool police car woods bathtub forest school 
Characters:
bully policeman boy children father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
reading aloud looking at oneself in a mirror looking in a window looking out a window 12 year old sun child protagonist swimsuit listening to music recording record player class reading liar suburb tree drowning underwater scene eating bridge flashlight newspaper swimming classroom dead body lie book arrest cat mirror food fire telephone call bare chested male dog kiss  (See All)

Cloud Atlas (2012)
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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Everything is connected: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his lover; a thriller about a conspiracy at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living on post-apocalyptic Hawaii far in the future. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic independent film 
Themes:
guilt memory death 
Locations:
swimming pool storm ocean outer space woods elevator bicycle bathtub airplane forest restaurant beach 
Characters:
waitress reference to god policeman boy brother brother relationship children husband wife relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
power plant heartbeat overhead shot distrust naivety recording eyeglasses record player trust flash forward gunshot underwater scene apology nonlinear timeline eating bridge candle flashlight newspaper survival prayer piano cafe dead body running tears book arrest cat face slap food cell phone crying telephone call explosion bare chested male fight dog flashback kiss  (See All)

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A Man Called Ove (2015) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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A Man Called Ove (2015)

59 year old Ove is the block's grumpy man who several years earlier was deposed as president of the condominium association, but he could not give a damn about being deposed and therefore keeps looking over the neighborhood with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family moves into the terraced house opposite and accidentally backs into Ove's mailbox it turns out to be an unexpected friendship. A drama comedy about unexpected friendship, love and the importance of surrounding yourself with the proper tools. (Read More)

Themes:
grief theft memory pregnancy death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
swimming pool bicycle cemetery church restaurant 
Characters:
engineer reference to god baby policeman boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship 
Story:
water hose looking at oneself in a mirror washing dishes car radio train tracks looking out a window promise ladder listening to music eyeglasses sleeping flowers clown flash forward gunshot coffin apology nonlinear timeline house candle newspaper cafe running lie book cat slow motion scene mirror food crying voice over narration fire telephone call dancing bare chested male dog flashback kiss  (See All)

The Judge (2014)
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The Judge (2014)

Hank Palmer is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. When His brother calls with the news that their mother has died, Hank returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral. Despite the brittle bond between Hank and the Judge, Hank must come to his father's aid and defend him in court. Here, Hank discovers the truth behind the case, which binds together the dysfunctional family and reveals the struggles and secrecy of the family. (Read More)

Themes:
childhood bullying guilt dysfunctional family memory pregnancy marriage death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom police car bicycle airplane small town cemetery church restaurant 
Characters:
waitress bully reference to god brother brother relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
childhood memory reading aloud looking at oneself in a mirror overhead shot courthouse breaking a window looking out a window homecoming thunder trust death of son waterfall court liar flash forward pain coffin snake eating newspaper cafe dead body lie arrest face slap mirror food bare chested male kiss flashback  (See All)

C.r.a.z.y. (2005)
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C.r.a.z.y. (2005)

Born Christmas Day 1960, Zac Beaulieu is the fourth of five sons of Gervais and Laurianne Beaulieu. Zac feels somewhat disconnected to his brothers, all of whom are different from each other. They include the bookworm Christian who is the eldest, the dumb jock Antoine who is third, and the youngest Yvan. But Zac has the most contempt for his second eldest brother, the shiftless druggie Raymond. To his devout Catholic mother, Zac is her miracle son, both for being born the same day as Jesus Christ (a fact which Zac has always hated), and because a Tupperware-selling mystic once told her that he has the power to heal. Laurianne has always coddled Zac, the two who have a special if unspoken bond. But Zac wants more to please his father, who wants more than anything in his sons that they grow up to be man's men and not sissies. As Zac goes through his mid-teens to early twenties, Zac isn't sure if he can live up to the ideals of either his mother or especially his father. A young man with stress-induced asthma, Zac just wants to be what he considers normal, which includes getting rid of his asthma. But more importantly, he wants to get rid of the underlying thoughts that he has and which most going through puberty have, but that for him are becoming more prevalent as he grows older. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
childhood dysfunctional family pregnancy marriage death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
bicycle desert bathtub airplane church school beach 
Characters:
little boy pregnant wife grandmother grandson relationship catholic christian priest baby boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
giving birth laundry drying on clothes line fetus car radio fast motion scene loss of brother choir sibling rivalry loss of son birth swimsuit recording record player death of son death of brother childbirth reading storytelling liar graveyard underwater scene coffin apology eating prayer tears lie book slow motion scene face slap mirror food crying voice over narration telephone call dancing flashback fight kiss  (See All)

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Mother (2009)
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Mother (2009)

A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it's his mother's call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned.

Themes:
bullying guilt memory fear pregnancy death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
woods small town cemetery forest restaurant 
Characters:
policeman boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
abandoned house wading in water overhead shot being followed attic cigarette lighter kicking suffering wind following someone breaking and entering killing sleeping flash forward pain graveyard search eating candle flashlight cafe dead body running tears book arrest face slap mirror food cell phone crying fire dancing bare chested male flashback dog fight  (See All)

Philomena (2013) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
ActionAdventureAnimationComedyCrimeDocumentaryDramaFamily
FantasyHorrorMysteryMusicalRomanceSci-fiThrillerWarWestern

Philomena (2013)

When former journalist Martin Sixsmith is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena, who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son's fate. Furthermore, both find their basic beliefs challenged. (Read More)

Themes:
guilt memory fear religion death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
swimming pool elevator airplane cemetery church 
Characters:
little boy catholic waitress reference to god christian priest baby husband wife relationship mother son relationship 
Period:
1950s 
Story:
lighting a candle piano player crossing oneself kneeling looking out a window stairway swing choir loss of son death of son childbirth fired from the job liar flash forward graveyard search apology candle swimming prayer piano running tears lie food crying telephone call flashback kiss  (See All)

Into The Wild (2007)
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Into The Wild (2007)

Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University, Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire savings account to charity, and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
grief guilt memory marriage death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
storm sea woods desert small town forest church restaurant beach 
Characters:
little boy waitress policeman husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
guitar player piano player fast motion scene growing up barbecue thunder listening to music eyeglasses death of son flower waterfall reading gunshot pain journey search nonlinear timeline fish snake bridge flashlight swimming river guitar prayer piano cafe running tears book arrest slow motion scene face slap crying voice over narration fire telephone call dancing bare chested male dog fight flashback  (See All)

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Upstream Color (2013)
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Upstream Color (2013)

Kris is attacked one night, and hypnotized, using a grub with hypnotic properties, administered by a thief. She follows the thief's instructions to give him everything, even taking out loans. After the worms are extracted, she wakes up to find her life ruined. She's lost her job, her finances are destroyed. Years later, she meets Jeff whom she may have a lot in common with. (Read More)

Themes:
pregnancy marriage death 
Mood:
avant garde rain 
Locations:
swimming pool elevator bicycle bathtub restaurant 
Characters:
thief boy african american husband wife relationship 
Story:
reading aloud swimming underwater train tracks very little dialogue looking out a window escalator gardening swimsuit eyeglasses black american sleeping flower reading fired from the job underwater scene bath apology eating flashlight swimming cafe running book painting food cell phone telephone call kiss fight  (See All)

Nowhere Boy (2009)
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Nowhere Boy (2009)

The story of John Lennon's childhood and teenage years from 1944 to 1960, his relationship with his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia -the two dominant women in the first part of his life-, his first meeting with Paul McCartney and George Harrison, their friendship, their love for music and the birth of The Beatles. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
childhood theft death 
Locations:
bicycle cemetery school restaurant 
Characters:
little boy reference to god thief baby musician boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Period:
1950s 
Story:
guitar player piano player wave looking out a window fast motion scene birth guitarist listening to music recording record player sleeping reading flash forward graveyard house eating guitar piano cafe running tears lie book mirror food crying telephone call dancing flashback kiss  (See All)

Chocolat (2000) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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Chocolat (2000)

When a single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop - with Sunday hours - across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed. (Read More)

Themes:
theft religion marriage death 
Locations:
bicycle small town cemetery church school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship catholic christian thief priest musician boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship 
Period:
1950s 
Story:
card playing guitar player sermon wind stealing breaking and entering destiny class flowers storytelling graveyard apology eating guitar prayer classroom cafe tears lie food crying voice over narration fire dancing flashback dog kiss fight  (See All)

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In A Better World (2010)
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In A Better World (2010)

Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. (Read More)

Themes:
cruelty bullying grief dysfunctional family fear pregnancy jealousy marriage death 
Locations:
police car elevator bicycle desert small town church school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship bully christian baby policeman boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
wanting to die 12 year old handshake marital problem swing mourning suffering wind promise vandalism hate class flowers liar pain coffin apology swimming classroom running tears lie slow motion scene cell phone crying telephone call explosion bare chested male fight kiss  (See All)

Tokyo Story (1953)
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Tokyo Story (1953)

An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness. When the parents are packed off to a resort by their busy, impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality.

Themes:
memory fear marriage death 
Mood:
moving 
Locations:
baseball urban setting bicycle cemetery school beach 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship waitress baby musician policeman children husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Period:
1950s 
Story:
telegram shame swing insect mourning ambition death of son sleeping class garden reading fired from the job liar suburb graveyard journey bath apology fish prayer classroom lie food crying telephone call  (See All)

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
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Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)

In 1944, upper class boy Julien Quentin and his brother Francois travel to Catholic boarding school in the countryside after vacations. Julien is a leader and good student and when the new student Jean Bonnet arrives in the school, they have friction in their relationship. However, Julien learns to respect Jean and discovers that he is Jewish and the priests are hiding him from the Nazis. They become best friends and Julien keeps the secret. When the priest Jean discovers that the servant Joseph is stealing supplies from the school to sell in the black market, he fires the youth. Sooner the Gestapo arrives at school to investigate the students and the priests that run and work in the boarding school. (Read More)

Themes:
theft fear jealousy religion death 
Locations:
bicycle bathtub church school restaurant 
Characters:
catholic bully reference to god christian thief priest boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship 
Story:
piano player playing sermon attic stealing listening to music fainting hate sleeping class reading fired from the job liar search bath candle flashlight prayer classroom piano running tears lie book arrest mirror food crying telephone call fight  (See All)

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The Road (2009) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The Road (2009)

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to steal what they have managed to scavenge for their own survival, but may kill them as food. Although life with his father in this world is all the boy has known, he may come to his own thoughts as to what it means holistically to be one of the good or one of the bad. Meanwhile, the man occasionally has thoughts to happier times with his wife/the boy's mother before the apocalypse, as well as not as happy times with her after the apocalypse and the reason she is no longer with them. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic 
Themes:
hope theft memory fear pregnancy death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
ocean bathtub forest church beach 
Characters:
pregnant wife reference to god thief boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
giving birth abandoned house looking at oneself in a mirror expectant father expectant mother 12 year old cigarette lighter suffering wind birth stealing trust sleeping flower waterfall childbirth flowers reading pain journey nonlinear timeline eating bridge candle survival swimming piano dead body tears book mirror food crying voice over narration fire explosion bare chested male flashback dog kiss  (See All)

Big Fish (2003)
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Big Fish (2003)

United Press International journalist Will Bloom and his French freelance photojournalist wife Josephine Bloom, who is pregnant with their first child, leave their Paris base to return to Will's hometown of Ashton, Alabama on the news that his father, Edward Bloom, stricken with cancer, will soon die, he being taken off chemotherapy treatment. Although connected indirectly through Will's mother/Edward's wife, Sandra Bloom, Will has been estranged from his father for three years since his and Josephine's wedding. Will's issue with his father is the fanciful tales Edward has told of his life all his life, not only to Will but the whole world. As a child when Edward was largely absent as a traveling salesman, Will believed those stories, but now realizes that he does not know his father, who, as he continues to tell these stories, he will never get to know unless Edward comes clean with the truth before he dies. On the brink of his own family life beginning, Will does not want to be the kind of father Edward has been to him. One of those stories from Edward's childhood - that he saw his own death in the glass eye of a witch - led to him embracing life since he would not have to fear death knowing when and how it would eventually come. The question is whether Will will be able to reconcile Edward's stories against his real life, either directly from Edward before he dies and/or from other sources, and thus allow Will to come to a new understanding of himself and his life, past, p… (Read More)

Themes:
childhood theft fear pregnancy religion death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
swimming pool storm texas baseball woods bathtub airplane small town cemetery forest church 
Characters:
pregnant wife thief baby boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Period:
1950s 
Story:
swimming underwater piano player power plant telegram stroke growing up shadow ambition class flower childbirth storytelling liar clown tree flash forward pain graveyard underwater scene journey coffin fish snake house swimming river classroom piano tears lie cat slow motion scene crying voice over narration dancing dog kiss flashback  (See All)

High-rise (2015)
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High-rise (2015)

Class struggle becomes all too real as a young doctor moves into a modern apartment block in suburban 1975 London. Drugs, drink & debauchery dissolve into murder, mayhem and misogyny in this pseudo-post-apocalyptic breakdown of societal norms.

Themes:
pregnancy 
Locations:
police car elevator 
Characters:
crying baby reference to god baby policeman boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
swimming underwater looking at oneself in a mirror overhead shot distrust seagull stairway cigarette lighter kicking listening to music recording eyeglasses record player sleeping class garden childbirth flash forward drowning underwater scene apology nonlinear timeline eating candle flashlight swimming dead body lie painting slow motion scene face slap mirror food voice over narration dancing bare chested male flashback kiss dog  (See All)

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Enter The Void (2009)
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Enter The Void (2009)

Tokyo's nasty underside, seen primarily through the eyes of Oscar, a heavy drug user, whose sister Linda is a stripper. Oscar also has flashbacks to his childhood when trauma upends the siblings. Oscar's drug-fed hallucinations alter Tokyo's already-disconcerting nights, and after the police shoot him, he can float above and look down: on his sister's sorrow, on the rooms of a love hotel, and on life at even a molecular level. The spectrum's colors can be beautiful; it's people's colorless lives that can be ugly. And what of afterlife, is there more than a void? (Read More)

Themes:
afterlife childhood fear pregnancy jealousy death 
Locations:
police car elevator bathtub airplane beach 
Characters:
crying baby grandmother grandson relationship catholic baby policeman boy father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
fertilization heartbeat fetus swing cigarette lighter promise hate sleeping death of brother flower childbirth fired from the job flash forward bath apology nonlinear timeline eating flashlight swimming dead body running tears book painting face slap mirror food crying fire telephone call dancing bare chested male kiss flashback  (See All)

The Lovely Bones (2009) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The Lovely Bones (2009)

A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970's Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body.

Themes:
afterlife hope memory death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car bicycle bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
little boy policeman husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
baseball bat being followed following someone ladder breaking and entering eyeglasses record player hate flowers reading suburb tree flash forward underwater scene search eating candle flashlight dead body running tears book painting food crying voice over narration fire telephone call dancing flashback kiss dog  (See All)

The Impossible (2012)
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The Impossible (2012)

A regular family - Maria ('Naomi Watts' (qv)), Henry ('Ewan McGregor' (qv)) and their three kids - travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them? (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
hope grief memory fear death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
swimming pool ocean sea airplane restaurant beach 
Characters:
little boy reference to god boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
climbing a tree swimming underwater wading in water three brothers overhead shot wave insect suffering wind promise swimsuit sleeping flower tree pain underwater scene search apology fish eating survival swimming dead body running tears slow motion scene food cell phone crying telephone call bare chested male kiss flashback  (See All)

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Adore (2013)
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Adore (2013)

Lil ('Naomi Watts' (qv)) and Roz ('Robin Wright (V)' (qv)) are two lifelong friends, having grown up together as neighbors in an idyllic beach town. As adults, their sons have developed a friendship as strong as that which binds their mothers. One summer, all four are confronted by simmering emotions that have been mounting between them, and each find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention. (Read More)

Themes:
guilt memory fear pregnancy jealousy marriage death 
Locations:
ocean cemetery beach 
Characters:
younger version of character reference to god baby boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
card playing reading aloud swimming underwater looking at oneself in a mirror overhead shot swimsuit listening to music flowers flash forward graveyard underwater scene apology eating swimming running tears lie book face slap mirror food cell phone crying telephone call dancing bare chested male fight kiss flashback  (See All)

Birth (2004)
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Birth (2004)

Anna is a young widow who is finally getting on with her life after the death of her husband, Sean. Now engaged to be married, Anna meets a ten-year-old boy who tells her he is Sean reincarnated. Though his story is both unsettling and absurd, Anna can't get the boy out of her mind. And much to the concern of her fiance, her increased contact with him leads her to question the choices she has made in her life. (Read More)

Themes:
grief memory pregnancy jealousy marriage death 
Locations:
bathtub cemetery restaurant beach 
Characters:
baby policeman boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
climbing a tree mourning birth trust class childbirth flash forward graveyard bath coffin apology child abuse classroom piano cafe running tears lie cell phone crying telephone call fight flashback kiss  (See All)

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles -- some of them of his own making.

Themes:
pregnancy 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car elevator restaurant 
Characters:
little boy waitress reference to god musician policeman husband wife relationship father son relationship 
Story:
reading aloud guitar player looking out a window stairway kicking guitarist listening to music recording record player sleeping reading storytelling liar search apology eating flashlight guitar cafe lie arrest cat food crying telephone call flashback  (See All)

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Ida (2013)
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Ida (2013)

Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family's tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong. They question what they used to believe in. (Read More)

Themes:
memory fear religion death 
Locations:
urban setting woods bathtub cemetery forest church 
Characters:
catholic waitress reference to god christian priest baby musician boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
looking at oneself in a mirror crossing oneself stained glass window stairway handshake suffering listening to music recording record player redhead trust pain journey search bath apology eating candle mirror food dancing bare chested male kiss  (See All)

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)

Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
bullying guilt memory fear jealousy 
Locations:
church restaurant 
Characters:
little boy catholic bully reference to god priest policeman boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
childhood memory looking at oneself in a mirror heartbeat saying grace car radio looking out a window homecoming 12 year old suffering promise listening to music eyeglasses trust class reading flash forward pain apology child abuse eating candle prayer classroom cafe running tears book slow motion scene face slap mirror food crying voice over narration telephone call dancing kiss fight flashback  (See All)

Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014)
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Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014)

Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic 
Themes:
cruelty hope grief fear religion death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
storm desert beach 
Characters:
little boy christianity reference to god thief boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
wading in water overhead shot seagull sibling rivalry loss of son thunder suffering promise destiny trust death of son liar flash forward pain drowning underwater scene journey search apology fish snake eating candle survival running lie arrest food crying fire explosion bare chested male fight kiss dog  (See All)

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Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

Despondent over his breakup with Desiree, Zia slashes his wrists and goes to an afterlife peopled by suicides, a high-desert landscape dotted by old tires, burned-out cars, and abandoned sofas. He gets a job in a pizza joint. By chance, Zia learns that Desiree offed herself a few months after he did, and she's looking for him. He sets off with Eugene (an electrocuted Russian rocker) to find her, and they pick up a hitchhiker, Mikal, who's looking for the People in Charge, believing she's there by mistake. They're soon at the camp of Kneller, where casual miracles proliferate. They hear rumors of a miraculous king. Can Zia find Desiree? Then what? Where there's death there's hope. (Read More)

Themes:
afterlife hope theft memory death 
Locations:
ocean police car desert beach 
Characters:
waitress musician policeman brother brother relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
train tracks notebook vandalism listening to music recording record player waterfall flowers reading storytelling flash forward search apology fish eating flashlight swimming dead body tears book arrest slow motion scene face slap food cell phone crying voice over narration telephone call dancing bare chested male flashback kiss dog  (See All)

Boy A (2007)
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Boy A (2007)

A young man is released from prison after many years and given a new identity in a new town. Aided by a supervisor who becomes like a father to him he finds a job and friends and hesitantly starts a relationship with a compassionate girl. But the secret of the heinous crime he committed as a boy weighs down on him, and he learns that it is not so easy to escape your past. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
regret childhood bullying guilt dysfunctional family fear jealousy death 
Locations:
courtroom bathtub cemetery school restaurant beach 
Characters:
waitress bully policeman boy brother brother relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
train tracks kicking promise vandalism hate sleeping class court fired from the job liar graveyard apology child abuse fish newspaper river classroom cafe tears lie face slap mirror cell phone crying telephone call dancing bare chested male flashback fight kiss  (See All)

Conviction (2010)
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Conviction (2010)

Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction.

Themes:
guilt fear jealousy marriage death 
Locations:
courtroom police car church school 
Characters:
waitress baby policeman boy brother brother relationship children husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
courthouse homecoming shame marital problem promise breaking and entering class court liar flash forward apology eating prayer classroom dead body running tears lie arrest face slap mirror food cell phone crying telephone call dancing bare chested male dog fight flashback  (See All)

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Woman In Gold (2015)
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Woman In Gold (2015)

Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.

Themes:
guilt theft memory pregnancy death 
Locations:
courtroom elevator bicycle airplane cemetery 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship baby brother brother relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
reading aloud newborn baby looking at oneself in a mirror telegram stairway gardening handshake listening to music recording eyeglasses record player trust sleeping liar flash forward apology nonlinear timeline newspaper running tears lie book painting arrest mirror crying telephone call dancing fight flashback  (See All)

The Mirror (1975) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The Mirror (1975)

Tarkovsky mixes flash-backs, historical footage and original poetry to illustrate the reminiscences of a dying man about his childhood during World War II, adolescence, and a painful divorce in his family. The story interweaves reflections about Russian history and society.

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
childhood grief memory pregnancy death 
Mood:
avant garde rain 
Locations:
woods airplane forest 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship chinese christian baby husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
floating in the air daily life wind sleeping reading nonlinear timeline newspaper swimming river dead body running tears book cat slow motion scene mirror food crying fire telephone call dancing dog flashback  (See All)

Like Stars On Earth (2007)
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Like Stars On Earth (2007)

Ishaan Awasthi is an eight-year-old child whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate; colours, fish, dogs and kites are just not important in the world of adults, who are much more interested in things like homework, marks and neatness. And Ishaan just cannot seem to get anything right in class. When he gets into far more trouble than his parents can handle, he is packed off to a boarding school to 'be disciplined'. Things are no different at his new school, and Ishaan has to contend with the added trauma of separation from his family. One day a new art teacher bursts onto the scene, Ram Shankar Nikumbh, who infects the students with joy and optimism. He breaks all the rules of 'how things are done' by asking them to think, dream and imagine, and all the children respond with enthusiasm, all except Ishaan. Nikumbh soon realizes that Ishaan is very unhappy, and he sets out to discover why. With time, patience and care, he ultimately helps Ishaan find himself. (Read More)

Themes:
childhood hope bullying fear jealousy 
Locations:
bicycle school 
Characters:
little boy bully baby musician brother brother relationship children husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
reading a newspaper reading aloud looking at oneself in a mirror school bell praying hands jigsaw puzzle domineering father overhead shot kneeling stars failure stairway gardening being followed shame child protagonist suffering following someone eyeglasses class liar apology child abuse fish eating newspaper classroom running tears lie painting face slap mirror food crying telephone call dancing dog fight kiss  (See All)

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The Brand New Testament (2015)
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The Brand New Testament (2015)

God lives in human form as a cynical writer with his young opinionated daughter in present-day Brussels, Belgium. She concludes that her dad is doing a terrible job and decides to rewrite the world, descending to earth in search of her own 6 messengers to write a brand new testament and change the status quo. (Read More)

Themes:
theft memory religion death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
sea elevator bicycle bathtub airplane church beach 
Characters:
christianity reference to god priest baby boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
reading aloud looking at oneself in a mirror bare chested boy eye mask destroying property overhead shot butterfly insect kicking ladder swimsuit eyeglasses record player reading search bath coffin child abuse fish candle classroom running painting mirror cell phone crying voice over narration telephone call dancing bare chested male fight  (See All)

East Of Eden (1955)
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East Of Eden (1955)

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at every turn, from his reaction to the war, to how to get ahead in business and in life, to how to relate to estranged mother. (Read More)

Themes:
guilt theft memory fear jealousy religion 
Locations:
bicycle small town 
Characters:
thief brother brother relationship african american father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
reading aloud piano player looking at oneself in a mirror destroying property distrust telegram stroke looking out a window being followed shame swing sibling rivalry following someone black american hate trust flower reading liar apology prayer piano tears lie mirror crying kiss fight dog  (See All)

The Flowers Of War (2011) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The Flowers Of War (2011)

In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John ('Christian Bale' (qv)) arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor. (Read More)

Themes:
memory fear death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
china bicycle church 
Characters:
chinese catholic priest father son relationship 
Story:
looking at oneself in a mirror pipe organ stained glass window hand kissing organist overhead shot looking out a window choir cigarette lighter suffering promise eyeglasses trust flowers pain underwater scene candle survival prayer dead body lingerie running tears lie cat slow motion scene face slap mirror food crying voice over narration explosion kiss flashback  (See All)

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My Own Private Idaho (1991)
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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Mike Waters lives on the street and befriends the somewhat older and streetwise Scott Favor who shows him what is necessary to survive. Waters suffers from narcolepsy and can fall asleep at any moment and in almost any circumstance. Favor comes from a rich family and is rebelling against his own background. They travel together extensively - Waters is driven by the need to find his biological mother - and spend time in Italy. Later in life however, Favor has joined mainstream society and has little time for his old friend. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
regret inheritance cruelty grief guilt dysfunctional family theft memory death 
Locations:
urban setting bathtub airplane small town cemetery church restaurant 
Characters:
reference to god thief priest policeman boy brother brother relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
loss of innocence heartbeat handshake suffering stealing fainting sleeping flowers storytelling liar drowning graveyard journey search bath coffin nonlinear timeline fish house cafe tears lie painting crying dancing bare chested male kiss flashback dog fight  (See All)

Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)
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Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)

The story of Seita and Satsuko, two young Japanese siblings, living in the declining days of World War II. When an American firebombing separates the two children from their parents, the two siblings must rely completely on one another while they struggle to fight for their survival.

Themes:
theft memory fear death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
storm bicycle bathtub airplane cemetery school beach 
Characters:
thief boy children mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
playing washing dishes seagull swing insect stealing recording record player sleeping flower reading tree graveyard bath apology eating survival swimming dead body running tears cat food crying voice over narration fire explosion flashback fight  (See All)

Dogtooth (2009)
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Dogtooth (2009)

Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the uber-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina disturbs the domestic balance. (Read More)

Themes:
cruelty dysfunctional family fear death 
Locations:
swimming pool bathtub airplane 
Characters:
husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
piano player looking at oneself in a mirror artificial respiration sibling rivalry shark swimsuit planet listening to music recording eyeglasses record player sleeping garden flowers reading liar underwater scene search bath child abuse fish house eating guitar piano running tears lie book painting cat slow motion scene face slap mirror food crying telephone call dancing bare chested male kiss dog fight  (See All)

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The White Ribbon (2009) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The White Ribbon (2009)

From July, 1913 to the outbreak of World War I, a series of incidents take place in a German village. A horse trips on a wire and throws the rider; a woman falls to her death through rotted planks; the local baron's son is hung upside down in a mill; parents slap and bully their children; a man is cruel to his long-suffering lover; another sexually abuses his daughter. People disappear. A callow teacher, who courts a nanny in the baron's household, narrates the story and tries to investigate the connections among these accidents and crimes. What is foreshadowed? Are the children holy innocents? God may be in His heaven, but all is not right with the world; the center cannot hold. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic 
Themes:
cruelty fear jealousy religion death 
Locations:
bicycle small town church school 
Characters:
crying baby little boy bully christian priest baby musician policeman boy brother brother relationship children husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police  (See All)
Story:
newborn baby pipe organ hand kissing organist distrust envy kicking suffering promise fainting trust fired from the job pain search coffin man with glasses child abuse fish eating bridge prayer classroom piano tears face slap food crying voice over narration fire dancing kiss  (See All)

Gone With The Wind (1939)
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Gone With The Wind (1939)

Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic 
Themes:
grief theft fear pregnancy jealousy marriage death 
Characters:
reference to god christian thief baby brother brother relationship african american husband wife relationship family relationships 
Story:
card playing giving birth reading aloud newborn baby stained glass window expectant father kneeling expectant mother silhouette stairway homecoming shame barbecue loss of son mourning wind birth fainting black american death of son childbirth reading liar pain apology prayer dead body tears lie book arrest face slap mirror food crying fire explosion dancing dog kiss fight  (See All)

The Great Beauty (2013)
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The Great Beauty (2013)

Journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafes to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. (Read More)

Themes:
grief memory religion death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
swimming pool sea urban setting elevator church beach 
Characters:
little boy catholic priest boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
hand kissing overhead shot choir mourning swimsuit guitarist eyeglasses trust death of son garden liar underwater scene coffin apology nonlinear timeline eating candle swimming river guitar lie book painting arrest slow motion scene food cell phone crying voice over narration telephone call dancing bare chested male dog flashback kiss  (See All)

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Empire Of The Sun (1987)
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Empire Of The Sun (1987)

Based on J. G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, tells the story of a boy, James Graham, whose privileged life is upturned by the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, December 8, 1941. Separated from his parents, he is eventually captured, and taken to Soo Chow confinement camp, next to a captured Chinese airfield. Amidst the sickness and food shortages in the camp, Jim attempts to reconstruct his former life, all the while bringing spirit and dignity to those around him. (Read More)

Subgenre:
epic coming of age 
Themes:
theft death 
Locations:
swimming pool china baseball bicycle airplane church 
Characters:
chinese reference to god thief boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
abandoned house piano player choir sun child protagonist stealing recording fainting record player hate sleeping garden flowers graveyard bath coffin bridge candle survival piano dead body tears face slap food crying explosion fight kiss  (See All)

Rachel Getting Married (2008) is one of the best movies like The Tree Of Life (2011)
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Rachel Getting Married (2008)

Kym Buchman has been in drug rehab for nine months, during which time she has been clean. She is released temporarily from the facility to attend her sister Rachel Buchman's wedding. During her release, Kym is staying at the family home, where the wedding is taking place. As such, it is like Grand Central Station for the duration of Kym's stay, which may not be the most conducive situation for her in constantly being exposed to the watching eyes of those who know and don't yet know her, but know of her situation. The reunion with her family members starts off well enough, but issues around Kym's release from rehab quickly surface. Kym and Rachel's father, Paul Buchman, wants to make sure that Kym is all right at all times, which to Kym feels instead like he doesn't trust her. Rachel slowly begins to resent Kym's situation taking over what is supposed to be the happiest day of her life, some of which is directed by Kym, some of which isn't. One person present but largely not included in the last minute wedding planning work is Kym and Rachel's mother, Abby, from who Paul is divorced. The two have since married other people. Outwardly, Abby has been nurturing of Kym throughout her life. However, what is one of the key moments in Kym's drug induced life, and in their collective family's lives, may profoundly affect the wedding. Beyond how Kym's presence affects the wedding, the goings-on of the family during Kym's short stay may either bring them closer together or tear them apa… (Read More)

Themes:
grief guilt dysfunctional family theft memory pregnancy marriage death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
bicycle bathtub 
Characters:
crying baby grandmother grandson relationship reference to god thief musician policeman boy african american husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
washing dishes loss of brother barbecue sibling rivalry cigarette lighter loss of son eyeglasses black american hate trust death of son death of brother storytelling drowning underwater scene search bath apology eating bridge candle guitar running tears lie face slap food cell phone crying fire telephone call dancing dog fight kiss  (See All)

Bicycle Thieves (1948)
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Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Ricci, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, gets at last a good job - for which he needs a bike - hanging up posters. But soon his bicycle is stolen. He and his son walk the streets of Rome, looking for the bicycle. Ricci finally manages to locate the thief but with no proof, he has to abandon his cause. But he and his son know perfectly well that without a bike, Ricci won't be able to keep his job. (Read More)

Themes:
theft fear 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
bicycle church restaurant 
Characters:
little boy catholic reference to god thief priest baby policeman boy children husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
being followed following someone ladder swimsuit stealing liar drowning search eating bridge swimming river guitar prayer cafe running tears lie arrest face slap food crying dancing dog  (See All)

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