Best Movies of All Time

Want to be a movie buff but don’t know where to start? Or are you just looking for a few more great films to round out your knowledge? I’ve put together this list of classic, essential, or otherwise great movies—the best films of all time—with links to reviews as I write them. All reviews are free from major spoilers unless marked.

If you’re more interested in the best films of a specific genre or a special interest, check out my page of lists.

TitleLengthDirectorYearCategoryRating
12 Angry Men1:36Sidney Lumet1957dramaPG
2001: A Space Odyssey2:41Stanley Kubrick1968sci-fiG
500 Days of Summer1:35Marc Webb2009comedy, indie, romancePG-13
A Christmas Story1:34Bob Clark1983ChristmasPG
A Fish Called Wanda1:49Charles Crichton, John Cleese1988comedy, crimeR
A Fistful of Dollars1:39Sergio Leone1964westernR
A Star is Born2:16Bradley Cooper2018drama, music, romanceR
A Streetcar Named Desire2:02Elia Kazan1951dramaPG
A Trip to the Moon0:13Georges Méliès1902comedyNR
Airplane!1:28Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker1980comedy, parodyPG
Akira2:04Katsuhiro Ôtomo1988action, animated, sci-fiR
Alien1:57Ridley Scott1979horror, sci-fi, thrillerR
Aliens2:17James Cameron1986action, sci-fi, thrillerR
Almost Famous2:42Cameron Crowe2000adventure, comedy, musicR
Amelie2:09Jean-Pierre Jeunet2001adventure, romanceR
American Beauty2:02Sam Mendes1999dramaR
Annie Hall1:33Woody Allen1977comedy, romancePG
Apocalypse Now2:33Francis Ford Coppola1979drama, warR
Arrival1:56Denis Villeneuve2016drama, mystery, sci-fiPG-13
Back to the Future2:00Robert Zemeckis1985adventure, comedy, sci-fiPG
Battle Royale1:54Kinji Fukasaku2000action, adventure, dramaR
Ben-Hur3:44William Wyler1959adventure, epic, historicalG
Black Swan1:48Darren Aronofsky2010drama, indie, thrillerR
BlacKkKlansman2:15Spike Lee2018biopic, comedy, crime, indieR
Blade Runner1:57Ridley Scott1982film noir, sci-fiR
Bonnie and Clyde1:52Arthur Penn1967crimeR
Bottle Rocket1:31Wes Anderson1996comedy, crime, indieR
Breakfast at Tiffany’s2:10Blake Edwards1961comedy, romanceNR
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid1:50George Roy Hill1969biopic, westernPG
Carrie1:38Brian De Palma1976horror, teen, thrillerR
Casablanca1:42Martin Curtiz1942romancePG
Charade1:53Stanley Donen1963comedy, mystery, romanceG
Chinatown2:11Roman Polanski1974film noir, mysteryR
Citizen Kane1:59Orson Welles1941dramaPG
City of God2:10Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund2002crime, dramaR
Close Encounters of the Third Kind2:15Steven Spielberg1977drama, sci-fiPG
Clueless1:37Amy Heckerling1995comedy, teenPG-13
Colossal1:49Nacho Vigalondo2016comedy, drama, indieR
Dances with Wolves3:56Kevin Costner1990adventure, drama, epic, historical, westernPG-13
Dead Poets Society2:08Peter Weir1989comedy, dramaPG
Die Hard2:12John McTiernan1988action, ChristmasR
Django Unchained2:45Quentin Tarantino2012drama, historical, westernR
Dog Day Afternoon2:05Sidney Lumet1975crime, drama, lgbtR
Donnie Darko2:13Richard Kelly2001indie, sci-fi, teenR
E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial2:01Steven Spielberg1982sci-fiPG
Elf1:37Jon Favreau2003Christmas, comedyPG
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind1:48Michel Gondry2004drama, indie, romanceR
Ex Machina1:48Alex Garland2014mystery, sci-fi, thrillerR
Fantastic Mr. Fox1:27Wes Anderson2009animated, comedyPG
Fargo1:38Coen Brothers1996comedy, crime, drama, indieR
Fight Club2:31David Fincher1999actionR
Finding Nemo1:40Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich2003adventure, animatedG
Following1:10Christopher Nolan1999crime, indie, mysteryR
For a Few Dollars More2:12Sergio Leone1965westernR
Forbidden Planet1:38Fred M. Wilcox1956sci-fiG
Frances Ha1:26Noah Baumbach2012comedy, drama, indieR
Full Metal Jacket1:58Stanley Kubrick1987drama, warR
Gangs of New York2:47Martin Scorsese2002crime, drama, historicalR
Ghost World1:52Terry Zwigoff2001comedy, indie, teenR
Gladiator2:35Ridley Scott2000action, drama, epic, historicalR
Goldfinger1:50Guy Hamilton1964action, thrillerPG
Gone with the Wind3:58Victor Fleming1939drama, epic, historical, romanceG
Good Will Hunting2:06Gus Van Sant1997dramaR
Goodfellas2:28Martin Scorsese1990biopic, crimeR
Grave of the Fireflies1:29Isao Takahata1988animated, drama,historical, warNR
Guardians of the Galaxy2:02James Gunn2014comedy, sci-fi, superheroPG-13
Harold and Maude1:31Hal Ashby1971romancePG
Heat2:50Michael Mann1995crime, thrillerR
High Noon1:25Frank Zinnemann1952drama, westernPG
Hot Fuzz2:01Edgar Wright2007action, comedy, mystery, parodyR
How the Grinch Stole Christmas0:26Chuck Jones, Ben Washam1966ChristmasNR
I, Tonya2:00Craig Gillespie2017biopic, comedy, drama, indieR
In Bruges1:47Martin McDonagh2008comedy, crime, drama, indieR
Inglourious Basterds2:33Quentin Tarantino2009adventure, historical, warR
Interstellar2:49Christopher Nolan2014sci-fiPG-13
Invasion of the Body Snatchers1:55Philip Kaufman1978horror, sci-fi, thrillerPG
Iron Man2:06Jon Favreau2008action, superheroPG-13
It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World3:06Stanley Kramer1963adventure, comedy, epicG
Jaws2:10Steven Spielberg1975adventure, thrillerPG
Juno1:36Jason Reitman2007comedy, indie, teenPG-13
Jurassic Park2:05Steven Spielberg1993sci-fi, thrillerPG-13
Lady Bird1:34Greta Gerwig2017comedy, drama, indie, teenR
Laura1:28Otto Preminger1944film noir, mysteryNR
Lawrence of Arabia3:48David Lean1962biopic, epic, historicalPG
Little Miss Sunshine1:41Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris2006comedy, drama, indie, lgbtR
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels2:00Guy Ritchie1998comedy, crime, indieR
Logan2:21James Mangold2017drama, superheroR
Lost in Translation1:44Sofia Coppola2003drama, indieR
Metropolis2:33Fritz Lang1927sci-fiNR
Midnight Cowboy1:53John Schlesinger1969dramaR
Monty Python and the Holy Grail1:32Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam1975comedy, parodyPG
Moonrise Kingdom1:34Wes Anderson2012adventure, comedy, drama, romancePG-13
Mulholland Drive2:27David Lynch2001drama, lgbt, mystery, thrillerR
Murder on the Orient Express2:11Sidney Lumet1974mysteryPG
Network2:01Sidney Lumet1976dramaR
North by Northwest2:16Alfred Hitchcock1959action, mysteryNR
O Brother, Where Art Thou?1:48Coen Brothers2000adventure, historicalPG-13
Office Space1:29Mike Judge1999comedyR
Once Upon a Time in America3:49Sergio Leone1984crime, drama, epic
Once Upon a Time in the West2:45Sergio Leone1968epic, westernR
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest2:13Milos Forman1975dramaR
Pan’s Labyrinth1:58Guillermo del Toro2006fantasy, historical, thrillerR
PK2:33Rajkumar Hirani2014comedy, romanceNR
Platoon2:00Oliver Stone1986warR
Primer1:19Shane Caruth2004indie, sci-fiPG-13
Psycho1:49Alfred Hitchcock1960horror, mystery, thrillerR
Pulp Fiction2:58Quentin Tarantino1994crime, indieR
Rain Man2:13Barry Levinson1988dramaR
Rear Window1:52Alfred Hitchcock1954mysteryNR
Rocky2:02John G. Avildsen1976dramaPG
Roman Holiday1:58William Wyler1953comedy, romanceNR
Rosemary’s Baby2:17Roman Polanski1968horror, thrillerR
Saving Private Ryan2:50Steven Spielberg1998epic, historical, warR
Say Anything1:40Cameron Crowe1989comedy, drama, romance, teenPG-13
Scarface2:50Brian de Palma1983crimeR
Schindler’s List3:15Steven Spielberg1993biopic, drama, epic, historicalR
Secretary1:51Steven Shainberg2002comedy, drama, indie, romanceR
Seven Samurai3:28Akira Kurosawa1954epic, historicalNR
Shaun of the Dead1:40Edgar Wright2004comedy, horror, indie, parodyR
Sideways2:07Alexander Payne2004comedy, drama, indieR
Silver Linings Playbook2:02David O. Russell2012comedy, romanceR
Snatch1:44Guy Ritchie2000comedy, crimeR
Some Like It Hot2:02Billy Wilder1959comedyG
Sorry to Bother You1:51Boots Riley2018comedy, indieR
Spanglish2:11James L. Brooks2004comedy, drama, indiePG-13
Spirited Away2:05Hayao Miyazaki2001animated, adventure, fantasyPG
Stand By Me1:29Rob Reiner1986adventure, teenR
Star Wars: A New Hope2:05George Lucas1977fantasy, sci-fiPG
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back2:07George Lucas1979fantasy, sci-fiPG
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi2:16George Lucas1981fantasy, sci-fiPG
Sunset Boulevard1:55Billy Wilder1950film noirG
Superbad1:59Greg Mottola2007adventure, comedy, teenR
Taxi Driver1:54Martin Scorsese1976crime, dramaR
Terminator 2: Judgment Day2:34James Cameron1991action, sci-fiR
The African Queen1:46John Huston1951adventure, romancePG
The Apartment2:05Billy Wilder1960comedy, drama, romanceNR
The Big Lebowski1:59Coen Brothers1998comedyR
The Blues Brothers2:28John Landis1980adventure, comedy, music, musicalR
The Breakfast Club1:37John Hughes1985comedy, drama, teenR
The Darjeeling Limited1:44Wes Anderson2007dramaR
The Dark Knight2:32Christopher Nolan2008action, crime, superheroPG-13
The Deer Hunter3:02Michael Cimino1978drama, warR
The Departed2:31Martin Scorsese2006crimeR
The French Connection1:44William Friedkin1971crime, thrillerR
The Godfather2:57Francis Ford Coppola1972crime, drama, epicR
The Godfather: Part II3:20Francis Ford Coppola1974crime, drama, epicR
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly2:59Sergio Leone1966epic, westernR
The Graduate1:46Mike Nichols1967comedy, dramaPG
The Grand Budapest Hotel1:40Wes Anderson2014adventure, comedyR
The Grapes of Wrath2:09John Ford1940dramaG
The Great Dictator2:06Charlie Chaplin1940comedy, parody, warG
The Green Mile3:09Frank Darabont1999crime, dramaR
The Jerk1:44Carl Reiner1979comedyR
The Karate Kid2:06John G. Avildsen1984action, teenPG
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou1:59Wes Anderson2004comedyR
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring3:48Peter Jackson2001epic, fantasyPG-13
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King3:21Peter Jackson2003epic, fantasyPG-13
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers3:55Peter Jackson2002epic, fantasyPG-13
The Magnificent Seven2:08John Sturges1960action, westernNR
The Maltese Falcon1:41John Huston1941film noir, mysteryPG
The Nightmare Before Christmas1:16Henry Selick1993animated, ChristmasPG
The Outlaw Josey Wales2:15Clint Eastwood1976war, westernPG
The Perks of Being a Wallflower1:42Stephen Chbosky2012drama, lgbt, romance, teenPG-13
The Princess Bride1:38Rob Reiner1987adventure, comedy, fantasy, parody, romancePG
The Producers1:28Mel Brooks1967comedyPG
The Rocky Horror Picture Show1:40Jim Sharman1975comedy, horror, indie, lgbt, musicalR
The Room1:39Tommy Wiseau2003drama, parodyR
The Royal Tenenbaums1:50Wes Anderson2001comedyR
The Shawshank Redemption2:22Frank Darabont1994dramaR
The Shining2:26Stanley Kubrick1980horror, thrillerR
The Silence of the Lambs2:18Jonathan Demme1991horror, mystery, thrillerR
The Squid and the Whale1:28Noah Baumbach2005drama, indieR
The Sting2:09George Roy Hill1973comedy, crime, dramaPG
The Third Man1:48Carol Reed1949film noir, mysteryNR
The Usual Suspects1:48Bryan Singer1995crime, indie, mysteryR
The Wizard of Oz1:52Victor Fleming1939adventure, fantasy, musicalPG
This is Spinal Tap1:25Rob Reiner1984comedy, music, parodyR
Unforgiven2:10Clint Eastwood1992westernR
V for Vendetta2:12James McTeigue2005action, drama, thrillerR
Walk the Line2:16James Mangold2005biopic, drama, musicPG-13
West Side Story2:33Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise1961musical, romancePG
Who Framed Roger Rabbit1:44Robert Zemeckis1988animated, comedy, film noir, mysteryPG
Your Name1:46Makoto Shinkai2016animated, drama, romance, teenPG

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