19. The 400 Blows (1959)
Francois Truffaut’s directorial debut is one of the defining movies of the French New Wave, and an incredible calling card for a filmmaker destined to become one of the greats. A misunderstood youth can’t help but get himself into all sorts of trouble in the semi-autobiographical piece that epitomized the glory days of European cinema.
An unfiltered look at adolescence, The 400 Blows is an honest look at growing up that benefits massively from a total absence of nostalgia or sentimentality.