Several organizations put out lists of the top movies in history. The best known is probably the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies: The 100 Greatest American Films Ever Made. Of course, that leaves out a large number of foreign movies that might make a broader list. Another well-known list is from the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. Its ranking is titled Best Movies of All Time.
While many films appear on both of these lists, along with overlap with other “greatest movies” lists, certain films usually appear near the top. For example, “Citizen Kane” ranks first on the AFI list and fifth on the Rotten Tomatoes ranking.
To identify the greatest movie of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 22,407 movies in our database for which ratings were available from both IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator. We created an index using average IMDb ratings and Rotten Tomatoes audience scores and Tomatometer scores. The number of IMDb votes was used to break ties. Documentaries were removed from consideration.
What’s most notable among the candidates is their sheer diversity. Many countries are represented, from the United States to Italy and France to India and Japan, proving that many nations have contributed to film history. And many kinds of movies made the list, among them gritty film noirs like “Double Indemnity” and “Chinatown”; Charlie Chaplin’s poignant “City Lights”; the gloriously silly “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; austere (and non-commercial) cinematic masterpieces like Robert Bresson’s “A Man Escaped” and several films by Japan’s Yasujirō Ozu; and enduring favorites like “Casablanca” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
In our opinion, the greatest movie ever made was “The Godfather” (1972). Here are the details:
- IMDb average rating: 9.2/10 (1,706,043 votes)
- Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 98% (734,439 votes)
- Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton