Director: Kevin Smith
Actors: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghiglotti, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith
Made for only $230,000, Kevin Smith's lo-fi debut Clerks revolutionized independent comedy with its black-and-white home-video quality and nonstop dialogue. Showing the lives of two best friends from New Jersey (one a convenience store clerk and the other a video-store worker), Smith's Generation X classic operates on an incessant amount of profanity, geeky pop-culture references, and an overall slacker's mentality.
Clerks has earned its legendary stripes by showing that anyone with a camera and even a shred of imagination can make a cherished movie—as long as you're funny. A dry Clerks, full of slackers talking endlessly without Smith's vibrant writing, sounds like a cure for insomnia.