Press Mute: 20 Movies So Visually Beautiful You Won't Even Need the Sound On

"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in," says Ricky Fitts in American Beauty. It's one of those lines that pierces right through you and makes you want to hit pause because you, too, can't take it anymore. But, like sucking on a cavity to double-check if the sweet thing still hurts, you keep going anyway because it's oddly satisfying. The best part of that quote is that the film's earnest budding videographer is talking about the kind of unbearable beauty that's moving precisely because it exists inside the ugliness of day-to-day life. You'd think he was talking about an otherworldly landscape, but he's actually talking about a trash bag dancing in the wind.

I thought of this scene a few years ago when my cinema professor reminded the class that good art doesn't ask you to sit with it; you just do. It's definitely true about certain movies, the ones that use cinematography as a storytelling tool to draw us in and dazzle our senses. As a writer, it's hard to admit this, but sometimes films with such great cinematography and set design are even good enough to watch it in silence, no dialogue necessary.

Since the whole point here is that beautiful movies can touch and move us in profound ways, we'll let the films below prove it themselves. Read on for 10 striking films whose cinematography will change the way you see the world.