If you’re looking for the best 70s movies, we’ve got you covered:
8. A Clockwork Orange, 1971 (Netflix and HBO Max)
Any Stanley Kubrick movie is a classic, so it’s no surprise his dystopian, futuristic world is featured on this list. The main plot follows a criminal named Alex and his gang of delinquents. He’s eventually captured after committing heinous acts. Alex then endures drastic attempts to recondition his mind.
A Clockwork Orange is among the most twisted takes you’ll ever see on nature vs. nurture. It’s probably among the darkest movies of all time, yet Kubrick’s artistry makes it worth sitting through.
7. All the President’s Men, 1976 (HBO Max)
Movies about journalism can be a drag, but not in this instance. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman costar as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein respectively.
The Washington Post reporters blew the top off of the Watergate scandal that forced U.S. President Richard Nixon’s resignation. It’s excellently acted and earned eight Oscar nominations.
6. Barry Lyndon, 1975 (HBO Max)
Another Kubrick movie, but notice how different this one is from Clockwork. That’s what made the filmmaker so exciting: his filmography is so diverse.
Although it’s glacially paced at over three hours, Barry Lyndon is a beautifully realized period piece set around the Seven Years’ War.
5. Blazing Saddles, 1974 (Hulu)
Blazing Saddles is currently streaming on Hulu, and it laughs in the face of political correctness. No one would finance it today. You’d be forgiven for turning this one off about 10 minutes in due to the racially-charged language and content.
But that’s precisely what makes Mel Brooks’ satire brilliant. It’s worth sticking through, and if nothing else, you’ll love the madcap, absurd ending.
4. Dirty Harry, 1971 (HBO Max)
Clint Eastwood’s iconic turn as “Dirty Harry” Callahan spawned a franchise, but this original is among the best thrillers ever. It’s based loosely on the Zodiac Killer, and is a stunning depiction of San Francisco.
The killer Scorpio, played by Andy Robinson, isn’t on screen for terribly long. However, he’s transcendent as one of cinema’s most underrated, creepy villains.
If not for Eastwood’s legendary, “Do I feel lucky?” lines, Robinson might have outright stolen the show. Their cat-and-mouse game is one for the ages.
3. Dog Day Afternoon, 1975 (Tubi)
We can’t get through the ’70s without an Al Pacino headliner, which netted him his third of four Oscar nominations in the decade.
Sharing the screen with close friend John Cazale, Pacino chews the scenery as a charismatic bank robber. His motivations aren’t clear at first, but oh, there’s a twist!
Without a doubt, Dog Day Afternoon is one of the best 70s movies of all time, and if you haven’t seen it, get Tubi for free and watch is now.
2. The Exorcist, 1973 (HBO Max)
The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever. That was the buzz upon initial release, and that reputation holds up today. Even slightly dated special effects don’t detract from the disturbing content.
Many movies about demonic possession have followed, yet none have had the impact or enduring legacy of this horror epic. It’s expertly crafted and shot and merited 10 Academy Award nominations.
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1. Mean Streets, 1973 (Fubo TV)
Another directing giant, Martin Scorsese, in his first collaboration with Robert De Niro. Scorsese based the movie on his own experiences, and set it in Little Italy, New York City. Without a doubt, Mean Streets is the best 70s movie on this list of big hitters and is the start of an age of cinema that delivered countless cult classics.