How will 'Gravity' measure up against these classics?
Next gallery »10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Is J.J. Abrams shooting 'Star Wars' in IMAX?
« Previous gallery2014 Best Picture Contenders
1. '2001: A Space Odyssey'
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Why: No one has ever treated space with the reverence and awe that Kubrick did in this film, and even today, the movie remains a fascinating, beautiful exploration that people continue to argue about, enjoy, and lose themselves in, no small feat indeed for a 43 year old movie made at the height of the space race. Working with Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick managed to make a movie about how our evolution may have been influenced by beings beyond our understanding, taking us from the dawn of man to the near future in one iconic shot. The movie grapples with notions about the soul, and it does so over three distinctly different segments. Arguably one of the most influential films ever made, "2001" dares us to dream bigger, to look to the stars as a challenge to be answered, and to embrace what we will become without forgetting what we have been.