"127 Hours" is about, well, the 127 hours James Franco's character spends trapped beneath a boulder while hiking in a remote canyon in Utah. Pretty self-explanatory.
Using numerals in titles can either be exact or add an air of mystery. "300," for example, could be about a perfect bowling score. But "9 1/2 Weeks" is about an affair that lasts ... 9 1/2 weeks. And involves a lot of dessert toppings.
Here are five of the best movies with numerals in their titles — and it was very hard to narrow it down to just five, so you'll surely think of plenty others. Feel free to share them. We're not talking about spelled-out numbers, either, so "Three Days of the Condor" is out. Similarly, you can't just choose a sequel, tempting as it is to place "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo" on the list:
'8 1/2' (1963)
Considered by many to be Federico Fellini's masterpiece ("Nights of Cabiria" is my personal favorite of his), it won Academy Awards for best foreign-language film and for its costume design. It's hugely personal: a film about filmmaking, with the director at its center, Guido (Marcello Mastroianni), functioning as a stand-in for Fellini. Full of fantastical imagery but also rooted in a specific reality, as Guido has a movie he must finish and a wife and various mistresses he must placate. In gorgeous black and white, Fellini weaves between the two so skillfully, you may sometimes wonder which is which; it's dreamlike and mesmerizing in a way that can only be described as Felliniesque. See it instead of "Nine."
'2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968)
Speaking of dreamlike, Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi meditation on the nature of evolution lulls you in with its haunting minimalism, only to shake you up with some startling image or idea. Life aboard the spaceship seems mundane, redundant ... until the HAL 9000 computer speaks, suggesting something is awry and building tension. He could open the pod bay doors, but why should he? He doesn't have to. The interiors and visuals look low-tech in retrospect, which provides an intriguing contradiction with the strong musical choices, from the sweeping "Blue Danube" to the formidable "Thus Spoke Zarathustra." A film you have to see more than once, just to let it seep into your brain a little more.
'12 Angry Men' (1957)
Precise and riveting in its depiction of the heart of man, the difficulty of compromise and the possibility of forgiveness. Sidney Lumet's film — his first feature — is based on a Reginald Rose teleplay, and with the action mainly occurring inside a jury deliberation room, it does give you the intense, even claustrophobic feeling of having front-row seats for a powerful play. It's all about the dialogue, all about the performances, with a stellar cast led by Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden and Jack Klugman. We never know whether the defendant in this murder trial is truly guilty; what matters are the prejudices and life experiences the jurors bring to the debate.
'28 Days Later' (2003)
Danny Boyle turns his eye for vivid imagery and his feel for heart-pounding pacing toward a classic genre: the zombie flick. His depiction of a post-apocalyptic London after a virus outbreak is jaw-dropping in its severe simplicity: Cillian Murphy awakens from a 28-day coma to find nothing and no one in this typically bustling city. But the stillness is soon broken by attacks from the twitching, hissing, flailing infected. Purists may balk, since these aren't your typical lumbering, mumbling zombies, but they're just as harrowing in their own way. "28 Days Later" is so well-written, though, it makes you care just as much about the living as the (un)dead.
'Plan 9 From Outer Space' (1958)
This is probably where I should have chosen "The 400 Blows." But Ed Wood's low-budget sci-fi schlockfest is universally considered the worst film ever made — and that makes it kind of awesome in its own way. A classic within the director's ignominious canon, "Plan 9" is a marvel of shoddy effects, continuity errors, bad writing and worse acting — and Bela Lugosi's in it, even though he didn't exactly intend to be. But it's delightfully awful, giddily so, especially as depicted in Tim Burton's sorta-true biopic "Ed Wood," starring Johnny Depp as the oddball director. The plot? Something to do with angry aliens mobilizing the dead to take over the planet. Just sit back and enjoy the UFOs dangling from visible wires.