What’s the greatest movie of all time? This is likely one debate that will rage on forever. This is due in part to evolving tastes, technology, and trends in cinema. While some cinephiles consider classics such as “City Lights” (1931) or “Casablanca” (1942) as the height of the medium, many fans are more appreciative of newer Hollywood productions.
Attempting to answer this question and find the 50 best films of all time, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed movie ratings as decided by critics and general audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and Internet Movie Database. Because moviegoers have diverse tastes, the best movies of all time are just as diverse. There is at least one title in the top 25 to represent each decade since the 1920s. Nearly every existing genre is included. The list also includes relatively small indie pictures, such as “Whiplash” (2014), as well as major studio films, like 2002’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.”
In letting the general online public decide the best movies, films heavily promoted in the United States have a better chance in the ranking and some great films will undoubtedly be passed over for works with wider appeal. For instance, the list does not include a single international production. Yet it includes two films from the wildly popular Star Wars franchise.
To determine the best movies of all time, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating, and Internet Movie Database average user rating. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 5,000 Rotten Tomatoes user ratings, 10 approved tomatometer critic reviews, and 10,000 IMDb user ratings.
We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. Movies released in 2017 were excluded.
Items included on this list were selected based exclusively on this methodology. This article includes affiliate links, and 24/7 Wall St. may get a share of the revenue from sales.