Out of the countless films made by filmmakers across the globe, here are…
15 Best Films with a Number in the Title
Read to find out what purpose did these numbers have in the following critically as well as commercially successful films?
Se7en: One of the best Hollywood detective-psychological thrillers, Se7en happens to be David Fincher’s best work to date. The number seven in the story represents seven deadly sins associated with a series of murders over a span of seven days which are being investigated by Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) and Detective Lieutenant William Somerset (Morgan Freeman).
12 Angry Men: It’s probably one of the best films on group dynamics, Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men, a trial film, focuses on a jury of 12 men as they who are bestowed with the task of proving an 18-year old boy is guilty of stabbing his father to death or not. The number 12 represents the total number of members in the jury.
12 Years a Slave: Based on a true story of Solomon Northup, the film is adapted from his slave diary of the same name. This Oscar-winning feature uses themes such as depression, hatred, loneliness and struggles to present an unflinching look at human brutality and racial discrimination. The number 12 here represents the number of years Solomon spent as a slave before finding freedom.
United 93: From filmmaker Paul Greengrass, comes the screen adaptation of a true story about the hijacking of United Airlines 93 during the 9/11 terrorist attack of 2001. This film recounts events that unfolded on the flight on that unfortunate day. 93 in this film is the number of the flight.
127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours is the true story of Canyoneer Aron Ralston, who slipped and got trapped by a boulder in an isolated canyon slot. A truly inspiring story of survival and hope, the number in the title represents the total number of hours Aron spent trapped. James Franco’s heart-wrenching performance and A.R Rahman’s life-affirming score breathe life into the film.
300: Based on Frank Miller’s comic series 300, the film directed by Zack Snyder, is probably the best frame-to-frame, a visually engrossing adaptation of a graphic novel since Sin City. Using super-imposition chroma key technique, the film recounts the Battle of Thermopylae featuring 300 Spartans versus the Persians.
50/50: Director Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt is loosely based on the film’s screenwriter Will Reiser’s experience with cancer. A young radio journalist has to fight for survival when he comes to learn that he is suffering from a rare form of cancer. The number 50/50 in the title suggests the percentage of chances of survival of the film’s protagonist. A highly inspiring film that deserves to be watched for Levitt’s heartwarming performance.
District 9: Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 is unarguably one of the best sci-fi action films to have come in recent times. When a population of sick and malnourished aliens is found in an abandoned spacecraft near Johannesburg, the extraterrestrials are confined to a government camp called District 9, a name loosely inspired by District Six in South Africa, Cape Town. Featuring an almost unfamiliar cast, the film turned out to be a sleeper hit and silenced critics who underestimated its significance.
21 Grams: Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez, 21 Grams is the story of three characters that cross paths, around the consequences of a tragic mobile accident. It’s a sad but endearing film that tests the strength of faith in humanity. According to the makers of the film, the title 21 Grams refers to the weight of an immortal soul when it departs from the human body as proved by physician Duncan MacDougall.
7 Boxes: A low-budget Paraguayan thriller that revolves around the life of a young courier boy, who gets embroiled in a life-and-death situation when he’s handed over the responsibility of transporting seven boxes whose contents he is unaware of. An edge-of-the-seat thriller that takes us through the small alleys of Paraguayan market, the number in the title refers to the number of boxes in the film.
3:10 Yuma: A remake of 1957 Western film of the same name, James Mangold’s 3:10 Yuma narrates the story of two men, a deputy sheriff, and a ruthless outlaw, who has to be transported to prison via the train which departs at 3:10. The number in the title refers to the departure time of the train to Yuma Territorial Prison. It features an ensemble cast of Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Ben Foster among others.
13 Assassins: This Japanese period-drama is about 13 assassins who are handed over the authority of bringing down the empire of a sadistic leader in Akashi, Japan, 1840. The 13 assassins have to go head on with over 200 Samurais before they could even close in on the leader. For fans of legendary filmmaker Takashi Miike, here’s an action film you shouldn’t miss.
3 Idiots: Based on the book ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat, 3 idiots is the most successful Hindi comedy of Indian cinema. 3 idiots, played by Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi, is a highly entertaining film that knocks the doors of social commentary and our education system. It’s one of those rare Hindi films that will automatically bring a smile on your face every time you think of it. You can watch this movie in many places likes MoviesFlix, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc…
28 Days Later: A film that reinvented the Zombie genre in Hollywood, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later focuses on four survivors after the accidental release of a virus that changes the infected into flesh-eating zombies in seconds. The number in the title refers to the number of days since the breakout of the virus the film’s protagonist Cillian Murphy awakens from a coma.
The 39 Steps: One of Alfred Hitchcock’s best works, The 39 Steps is based on the 1915 novel of the same name. A story about a man who helps a secret agent to stop a spy organization called 39 Steps from stealing top-secret government information. With this film, Hitchcock created a new genre called man-on-the-run, which he also used in films such as Saboteur and North by Northwest.
This is a personal list and therefore might not feature all the films with a number in the title. Feel free to mention those films in the comments section.