42. The Apostle (1997)
> Composite index score: 2.43
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (13,538 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 79% (8,131 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (49 reviews)
> Directed by: Robert Duvall
> Starring: Robert Duvall, Todd Allen, Paul Bagget
This gripping drama follows a Pentecostal preacher as he flees from a horrific act and sets up a new life in small-town Louisiana. Duvall wrote, directed, and starred, with help from a top-notch cast of supporting talent. He financed the film out of his own pocket after struggling for years to get it made.
41. The Great Debaters (2007)
> Composite index score: 2.44
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (57,445 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (116,821 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 80% (132 reviews)
> Directed by: Denzel Washington
> Starring: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise
This acclaimed biopic explores the founding of Wiley College’s first debate team in the mid-1930s. Overcoming various odds, four African-American debaters make it all the way to the national championship. Director Denzel Washington plays team coach Melvin B. Tolson.
40. Bob Roberts (1992)
> Composite index score: 2.44
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (14,904 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 78% (7,623 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (43 reviews)
> Directed by: Tim Robbins
> Starring: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman
Tim Robbins’ directorial feature debut finds him playing fictional folk singer turned politician Bob Roberts. It takes the form of a mockumentary and follows Roberts on the campaign trail as he vies for U.S. Senate. “This nose-thumbing mock documentary is so prescient, so astonishingly up-to-the-minute, it creates the eerie effect of having been ripped from tomorrow’s headlines,” wrote Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman.
39. Lost in America (1985)
> Composite index score: 2.45
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (8,493 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 77% (4,339 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (36 reviews)
> Directed by: Albert Brooks
> Starring: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Sylvia Farrel
One in a string of Albert Brooks classics, this road trip comedy centers on two married Los Angeles yuppies (Brooks and Julie Hagerty). Upon selling everything they own, the couple purchases a winnebago and embarks on a cross-country adventure. But as they soon discover, American freedom isn’t as liberating as it sounds.
38. Reds (1981)
> Composite index score: 2.46
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (21,959 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (9,006 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (45 reviews)
> Directed by: Warren Beatty
> Starring: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann
Warren Beatty directed, produced, co-wrote, and stars as radical journalist John Reed in this sprawling historical drama. Clocking in at over three hours, it depicts Reed’s attempts to bring Russian-style communism onto American soil. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Director.
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