Directors make so many filmmaking decisions that go unnoticed by casual viewers because we’re not paying close attention—but the use of color isn’t one of them. Color immediately stands out. Films can be hyper colorful and smack you with the entire color wheel, or they can be totally muted and monochromatic. You’re able to recognize the aesthetic and intention because you have eyeballs (and are presumably not colorblind) and can see what the director wants to show you, because it’s literally right in front of you.

I enjoyed CineFix’s dive into color in films because of their excellent analysis and breakdown, and endless examples of the different styles and uses of colors. Here are what CineFix considers the best 10 uses of color in film history:

  1. In the Mood for Love (jewel tone)
  2. The Living Trilogy (muted)
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel (soft colors)
  4. Only God Forgives (neon)
  5. Contempt (triadic)
  6. Vertigo (complimentary colors)
  7. Cries and Whispers (monochrome)
  8. Sin City (selective saturation)
  9. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (limited colors)
  10. The Fall (hyper colorful)