Special Report

100 Best Movies of All Time

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Whether we watch them at drive-in theatres (yes, they do still exist) or multiplexes, or on our TV sets, laptops, or smartphones, movies are a part of our life. They divert and entertain us, make us laugh or cry (or both), get us thinking, inspire us, and sometimes are so powerful that they leave us simply drained.

What makes a good movie? It’s largely a matter of personal taste, of course. The history of cinema is full of examples of critically acclaimed films that do little at the box office (“Brazil,” “The King of Comedy”) and, conversely, smash hits that the critics mostly disliked (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “The Da Vinci Code”).

Movies that score well with both audiences and reviewers — and there are many — tend to have a few basic characteristics in common: a strong, coherent storyline; richly drawn — and well-acted — characters; well-done cinematography and (if applicable) special effects; and a satisfying ending.

Click here to see the 100 best movies of all time.

The movies on this list share those virtues to a greater or lesser extent. They cover a wide range, spanning cinema history from 1921 to 2018. They include silent films and technologically dazzling blockbusters. Many feature famous performers of the past and present, as well as some of the film world’s most acclaimed directors — Charlie Chaplin, Frank Capra, George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, Sam Peckinpah, and Francis Ford Coppola.

Some of these movies will be familiar to almost anyone — “Citizen Kane,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Star Wars” (now retitled “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”). Others are more obscure, but well worth discovering.

Taken as a whole, this list provides a vivid illustration of why movies are so important to us.

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.

100. The Wild Bunch (1969)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Western
> Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
> Starring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan

1969’s “The Wild Bunch” is perhaps director Sam Peckinpah’s most well-known film. The epic Western – notable in part for its portrayal of extreme violence – was nominated for two Academy Awards.

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99. The Searchers (1956)
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western
> Directed by: John Ford
> Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles

A 1979 cover story in New York magazine proposed that all cinema of the era was influenced by John Ford’s “The Searchers.” Admiration for the Western flick has remained strong throughout the years, illustrated by its perfect critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes.

98. Notorious (1946)
> Genre: Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains

Cary Grant is a government agent hunting Nazis in South America after World War II. One of the Nazis he hunts is played by Claude Rains. The movie is famous for its tracking shot of Ingrid Bergman, who plays the wife of Rains, as she holds a key to a wine cellar containing Rains’ secret.

97. Black Narcissus (1947)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
> Starring: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson

This intensely atmospheric tale of religion and desire in the Himalayas, written and directed by the acclaimed team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (whose other classics include “A Matter of Life and Death,” No. 59 on this list, and “The Red Shoes,” No. 37), scored a perfect 100% from Rotten Tomatoes.

96. Unforgiven (1992)
> Genre: Drama, Western
> Directed by: Clint Eastwood
> Starring: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman

“Unforgiven,” stars Clint Eastwood, who also directed the film. It is frequently referred to as one of the greatest Westerns of all time. The movie took home four Academy Awards in 1993, including the coveted Best Picture.

95. Strangers on a Train (1951)
> Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman

Hitchcock’s contribution to the flourishing film-noir era of the 1940s and 1950s features Farley Granger and Robert Walker as strangers who meet on a train and forge a deadly pact. It is one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces and has a 98% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

94. Badlands (1973)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Terrence Malick
> Starring: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates

Few directors have had as strong a debut as arthouse legend Terrence Malick has with his poetic crime spree movie “Badlands.” In 1993, the film was added to the National Film Registry, having been deemed “culturally, historically, or esthetically important.”

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93. In a Lonely Place (1950)
> Genre: Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery
> Directed by: Nicholas Ray
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy

Film-noir master directs the legendary Humphrey Bogart in what some consider his finest performance as a short-tempered screenwriter accused of murder. The Chicago Reader called the movie “breathtaking,” and Time Out opined that “Never were despair and solitude so romantically alluring.”

92. Laura (1944)
> Genre: Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery
> Directed by: Otto Preminger
> Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb

With its haunting theme song and its romantic twist, this psychologically complex murder mystery, hailed by critics as “elegance incarnate” and “one of the smartest of all noirs,” scored 100% from Rotten Tomatoes.

91. The Apartment (1960)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
> Directed by: Billy Wilder
> Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

No one does cynicism like director Billy Wilder, and “The Apartment” has plenty of it. But the film is also imbued with charm and good humor. Jack Lemmon plays an ambitious officer worker who loans his apartment to his philandering boss (Fred MacMurray) and other superiors, but things go awry when the arrangement involves Lemmon’s girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine).

90. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
> Directed by: Peter Jackson
> Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen

Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” is the second film in the hugely successful franchise. The Academy Award-winning movie’s balance of groundbreaking visuals and epic storytelling won over critics and audiences alike.

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89. WALL·E (2008)
> Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
> Directed by: Andrew Stanton
> Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin

Winning Academy and Golden Globe awards for Best Animated Feature in 2009, and grossing about $533 million worldwide, this charming Pixar-produced tale of robot love is sentimental, inspiring, and sometimes hilarious.

88. Coco (2017)
> Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
> Directed by: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
> Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt

This delightful animation film from Disney/Pixar is brimming with a cavalcade of colors that provides insight into Mexican culture. The story centers on a young man’s quest to be a great singer and leads him into greater understanding of his family history. “Coco” received a 97% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, who lauded its “thoughtful narrative” and how it effectively addresses questions about death and family.

87. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
> Genre: Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey

“Shadow of a Doubt,” directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Thornton Wilder, was one of Hitchcock’s favorites, and critics loved it — the film got a 100% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Joseph Cotten plays the beloved uncle of Teresa Wright, but she’s forced to confront the truth when she finds out a secret about his past.

86. Inception (2010)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page

“Smart, innovating, and thrilling,” is the critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes as it goes on praising this complex sci-fi mystery about a thief who can enter the dreams of others and steal their ideas — and ultimately maybe implant new ones. Critics applied words like “spectacular,” “endlessly fascinating,” and “awesomely original.”

85. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
> Genre: Comedy, Romance
> Directed by: George Cukor
> Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart

James Stewart won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in this classic romantic comedy based on a popular stage play set in upper-class Philadelphia. The interplay between Stewart, Cary Grant, and Katharine Hepburn has been particularly singled out by critics.

84. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg
> Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin

One of the most compelling prison movies of all time featured an Oscar-winning performance by George Kennedy. The film also has one of cinema’s great lines, delivered by sadistic prison boss Strother Martin: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” “Cool Hand Luke” received a 100% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% of audiences liked the motion picture.

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83. Rebecca (1940)
> Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders

“Rebecca” was Alfred Hitchcock’s first American film and only Best Picture Oscar winner. Rebecca is the deceased wife of the melancholic Laurence Olivier. He marries Joan Fontaine, whose character is never named in the movie. The sense of doom pervades this Gothic masterpiece, which is superbly supported by one of cinema’s greatest cads (George Sanders) and creepiest housekeepers (Judith Anderson).

82. L.A. Confidential (1997)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
> Directed by: Curtis Hanson
> Starring: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce

This taut, superbly crafted film-noir earned a 99% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and garnered Kim Basinger an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The Orlando Sentinel called it “spicy and boiling hot,” and the only thing another critic didn’t like about it was that it was over too soon.

81. The Kid (1921)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
> Directed by: Charles Chaplin
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan

Despite being nearly a century old and silent, “The Kid” is still considered one of the greatest films of all time. The movie was cinematic legend Charlie Chaplin’s first full length film and highlighted his many talents as a writer, director, and actor.

80. His Girl Friday (1940)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
> Directed by: Howard Hawks
> Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

This fast-paced screwball comedy, adapted from the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play “The Front Page,” was a pioneer in the use of dialogue in which characters talked over each other. Rosalind Russell is a wise-cracking ace reporter who plans to marry Ralph Bellamy, while Cary Grant, her ex-husband, wants her to keep breaking stories for him. “His Girl Friday” received 98% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 90% of audiences liked the movie.

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79. All the President’s Men (1976)
> Genre: Biography, Drama, History
> Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
> Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden

One of the best newspaper movies ever, and a strong commentary on the power of a free press, it follows the investigation into the Watergate scandal by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that leads to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. “All the President’s Men” was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four. It enjoys a 93% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 92% of audiences liked the movie.

78. Aliens (1986)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
> Directed by: James Cameron
> Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn

James Cameron’s powerful follow-up to director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror film “Alien” (No. 57) was hailed as “the best monster movie of the year,” “state-of-the-art science fiction,” and “the rarest of sequels” — one that’s at least equal to the original.

77. Holiday (1938)
> Genre: Comedy, Romance
> Directed by: George Cukor
> Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan

Earning a 100% score from Rotten Tomatoes, this romantic comedy is based, like “The Philadelphia Story” (No. 85), on a play by Philip Barry and also stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. It is considered as one of esteemed director George Cukor’s finest films.

76. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
> Genre: Drama, War
> Directed by: Lewis Milestone
> Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray

Many people consider “All Quiet on the Western Front” the greatest anti-war movie ever made. The film shows how idealistic German youth are changed forever by the horrors of World War I. The movie was so effective that the Nazis released mice in theaters in Germany to chase out filmgoers. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the classic a 100% Freshness rating.

75. Playtime (1967)
> Genre: Comedy
> Directed by: Jacques Tati
> Starring: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden

This is one of four films directed by Jacques Tati, a Russian-born French comedy star and filmmaker, to earn a 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. A slapstick comedy set in an increasingly Americanized Paris, critic Dave Kehr called “Playtime” “a remarkable…comedy about man and his modern world.”

74. Touch of Evil (1958)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
> Directed by: Orson Welles
> Starring: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh

Orson Welles, who broke new ground on radio and the cinema, starred in this gripping film about a hulking, sinister lawman with his own ideas about justice as he and Charlton Heston, who plays a Mexican policeman, investigate an explosion. The rest of the superb cast includes Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, and Dennis Weaver. Critics gave it a 96% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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73. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
> Genre: Drama, History
> Directed by: John Ford
> Starring: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine

The Great Depression spawned many movies depicting the plight of those who lost jobs or farms, and the film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel is among the best. Henry Fonda starred in the drama about an Oklahoma family trying to stay together in the face of prejudice as they head to California in search of a better life. Critics gave the movie a 100% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

72. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
> Genre: Drama, Film-Noir
> Directed by: Alexander Mackendrick
> Starring: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison

Burt Lancaster plays a powerful newspaper columnist, loosely based on Walter Winchell, who hires an ambitious public relations man (Tony Curtis) to interfere with his sister’s romance with a jazz musician. Critics loved the crackling dialogue crafted by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, the atmospheric photography, and the jazzy score, awarding it a 98% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

71. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
> Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
> Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature “Reservoir Dogs” is considered by many the definitive work of American independent cinema of the early 1990s. The movie fused arthouse and genre filmmaking and catapulted its director to superstardom.

70. Spotlight (2015)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, History
> Directed by: Tom McCarthy
> Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams

One of several newspaper-themed movies on the list, this unsparing film follows the Pulitzer Prize winning investigation by reporters and editors at the Boston Globe into decades-long child abuse by clerics in the Roman Catholic Church. Critics gave “Spotlight” a 97% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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69. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
> Directed by: Billy Wilder
> Starring: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton plays an ailing lawyer who returns to the courtroom because of an unusual murder case. “Witness for the Prosecution” was directed by Billy Wilder and was based on a play by mystery writer Agatha Christie. The film earned a 100% Freshness rating from Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% of audiences liked the movie.

68. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Sergio Leone
> Starring: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern

This final film by Sergio Leone was a change of pace for the quintessential “spaghetti Western” director (see “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” No. 21). The epic saga follows the career of a Manhattan-born Jewish gangster (De Niro) over a 40-year span. Time Out called it “languid, lovely and lengthy.”

67. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
> Directed by: George Lucas
> Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Confusingly, this is the movie originally released simply as “Star Wars” (it was retitled following the release of “The Empire Strikes Back”). Today a cultural icon, it has been praised as “pure unadulterated entertainment” by critic Vern Perry and lauded by critic Joseph Gelmis for its “technical wizardry, high-velocity storytelling and spirited good humor.”

66. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
> Directed by: Jonathan Demme
> Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney

Jonathan Demme’s psychological thriller “The Silence of the Lambs” made a huge cultural impact upon its release in 1991, thanks in large part to its lead actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. The two won Academy Awards for their work on the film, which also won best picture.

65. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
> Genre: Comedy, War
> Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
> Starring: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack

A black comedy about a Polish theatre company confronting the invading Nazis during World War II, “To Be or Not To Be” was described by the Chicago Reader as “One of the most profound, emotionally complex comedies ever made,” and by Time Magazine as “a very funny comedy, salted to taste with melodrama and satire.”

64. Out of the Past (1947)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
> Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
> Starring: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas

Many film aficionados, including critic Roger Ebert, consider “Out of the Past” one of the greatest film-noirs. Robert Mitchum plays a private detective tasked to find the woman and the money stolen from a gangster played by Kirk Douglas. Of course, since it is a film-noir, Mitchum falls for the woman he’s pursuing, and then things get complicated. Critics gave “Out of the Past” a 94% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 92% of audiences liked the film.

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63. Duck Soup (1933)
> Genre: Comedy, Musical, War
> Directed by: Leo McCarey
> Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

While “Duck Soup” was a critical and commercial disappointment upon its release, its reputation has improved dramatically over the years. Today, the film is considered a comedic masterpiece and the Marx Brothers’ finest work.

62. Boyhood (2014)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Richard Linklater
> Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Filmed over the span of 12 years, “Boyhood” tells the story of a boy named Mason Evans Jr. as he faces the trials and tribulations of growing up. British film magazine Sight & Sound named “Boyhood” the best movie of 2014 based on the opinions of over 100 international film critics.

61. Stagecoach (1939)
> Genre: Adventure, Western
> Directed by: John Ford
> Starring: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine

“Stagecoach” is the archetypical Western, and it features one of the most famous movie entrances ever, by John Wayne. The movie focuses on the passengers on a stagecoach traveling through hostile territory occupied by Native Americans. The way John Ford photographed the great expanse of the American West influenced a generation of future directors. Small wonder the film has a 100% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

60. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
> Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama
> Directed by: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
> Starring: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence

The deadpan comic actor and director Buster Keaton was considered one of the giants of silent-film comedy (along with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd). Playing the hapless son of a tough-guy steamboat captain, Keaton packs the stunts in his final film with energy and inventiveness. (There are two other Keaton films on this list — “The General,” No. 36, and “Sherlock Jr.,” No. 3.)

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59. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
> Directed by: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
> Starring: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote

Also released under the title “Stairway to Heaven,” this “ravishing, creative, and exciting fantasy,” to quote critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, is by the creative team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The duo other films include “Black Narcissus,” No. 97, and “The Red Shoes,” No. 37. “A Matter of Life and Death” stars the ever-suave David Niven as a British wartime pilot who has to argue for his life before a heavenly tribunal. Roger Ebert praised the film for “the sheer energy of its invention.”

58. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
> Genre: Biography, Drama, History
> Directed by: Steve McQueen
> Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender

“12 Years a Slave” was named best picture at the 2014 Academy Awards (the Academy also honored Lupita Nyong’o as best actress in a supporting role and John Ridley for best adapted screenplay). This powerful story of a New York state black man who is kidnapped and sent south as a slave in the 1800s was hailed as “beautifully tragic” by critic Jennifer Heaton and “absorbing and comprehensively thought-provoking,” by critic Frank Ochieng.

57. Alien (1979)
> Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
> Directed by: Ridley Scott
> Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

The tagline for sci-fi horror film “Alien” states: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” Plenty of people could be heard screaming in theaters when the movie was released in 1979, however. Movie-watchers continue to enjoy the tense creeper, with 94% of users giving it a positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.

56. Vertigo (1958)
> Genre: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” takes viewers on a wild psychological ride. James Stewart plays a cop who’s recently retired from police work because he suffers from vertigo. He agrees to follow the wife of a college friend and becomes obsessed with her. “Vertigo” was not considered one of Hitchcock’s greatest films when it was released, but it has grown in stature and is now in the pantheon of the director’s works. Critics gave “Vertigo” a Freshness rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 93% of filmgoers liked it.

55. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
> Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
> Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
> Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester

More than 50 years after its release, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still one of the most thought-provoking science fiction films of all time. The film is Stanley Kubrick’s look at the arc of mankind’s existence, from the earliest humans to space travelers, with the implied question of what does it all mean? As perplexing as the movie remains, critics gave it a Freshness rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 89% of filmgoers liked it, if not understood it.

54. The Wages of Fear (1953)
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
> Directed by: Henri-Georges Clouzot
> Starring: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck

A nail-biting tale of four men transporting highly volatile explosives across rocky terrain in Central America, this French-made thriller was given 100% Freshness rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Together with his later film “Diabolique,” this movie earned director Clouzot a reputation as the “French Hitchcock.”

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53. Raging Bull (1980)
> Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci

“Raging Bull” was one of the best movies of the 1980s, a brilliant and disturbing look at the life of self-destructive middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta. Martin Scorsese shot the film in black and white, which adds to the grimness of LaMotta’s life. Critics gave “Raging Bull” a Freshness rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 93% of audiences liked it.

52. It Happened One Night (1934)
> Genre: Comedy, Romance
> Directed by: Frank Capra
> Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly

One of the greatest screwball comedies of the 1930s, “It Happened One Night” is one of only three movies ever to have won all five of the major Academy Awards (best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, and best screenplay). Clark Gable plays a reporter who falls in love with spoiled heiress Claudette Colbert. Critics gave the Capra classic a 98% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 93% of audiences liked the movie.

51. The Gold Rush (1925)
> Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
> Directed by: Charles Chaplin
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray

One of five Chaplin films on this list, “The Gold Rush” blends slapstick and sentimentality into a hilarious whole accented with moments of social commentary. Some critics consider it to be quintessential Chaplin.

50. Whiplash (2014)
> Genre: Drama, Music
> Directed by: Damien Chazelle
> Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist

This “intense, inspiring, and well-acted” music-fueled drama (according to critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes) tells the story of an ambitious young would-be jazz drummer and his taskmaster teacher. The Detroit News called it “electric from beginning to end.”

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49. Some Like It Hot (1959)
> Genre: Comedy, Romance
> Directed by: Billy Wilder
> Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

Some movie buffs consider this to be the funniest movie of all time. Maybe it’s because stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon spend much of the movie in drag, as members of an all-female band trying to elude mobsters. Or maybe it’s because of Curtis’s imitation of Cary Grant as a lonely millionaire seeking love. Critics appreciated the genius of Billy Wilder by giving the film a 96% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 94% of audiences liking the movie.

48. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
> Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
> Directed by: Werner Herzog
> Starring: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo

“Aguirre, the Wrath of God” was the first of five films that German director Werner Herzog and actor Klaus Kinski collaborated on. While the epic historical drama is often referred to as a “cult movie,” it has garnered near universal praise from critics and audiences alike, with respectively 98% and 91% positive reviews, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

47. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
> Directed by: Charles Laughton
> Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

This dark masterpiece, about a sinister preacher turned serial killer, was the only movie directed by noted English actor Charles Laughton (“The Private Lives of Henry VIII”). Robert Mitchum gives a chilling performance as the villain, who has “LOVE” tattooed on one hand and “HATE” on the other. Roger Ebert dubbed it “one of the greatest of all American films.”

46. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
> Genre: Film-Noir, Mystery
> Directed by: John Huston
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George

The ultimate film-noir, with Humphrey Bogart playing Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled San Francisco private detective Sam Spade, critics gave this classic 100% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic James Berardinelli called it “among the most important and influential movies to emerge from the Hollywood system,” and proposed that it was as significant in some ways as “Citizen Kane” (No. 6).

45. The Last Picture Show (1971)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
> Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd

With a 100% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes, director Bogdanovich’s coming-of-age story, set in a small Texas town, won Academy Awards for Ben Johnson (best actor in a supporting role) and Cloris Leachman (best actress in a supporting role). Time Magazine singled out the film’s “languorous dissolves, the strong chiaroscuro, the dialogue that starts with bickering and ends at confessional.”

44. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
> Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy
> Directed by: Frank Capra
> Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

Frank Capra’s 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is watched every holiday season by many. The heart-warming story of George Bailey – played by James Stewart – was ranked as the most inspiring film of all time by the American Film Institute.

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43. Inside Out (2015)
> Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
> Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
> Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black

This Pixar animated comedy has been called “inventive” and “powerfully moving” in Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus. A “bold, gorgeous, sweet, funny, sometimes heartbreakingly sad, candy-colored adventure,” according to critic Richard Roeper, it won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

42. Sunrise (1927)
> Genre: Drama, Romance
> Directed by: F.W. Murnau
> Starring: George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston

“Sunrise,” also referred to as “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans,” is the first American production directed by German director F. W. Murnau, who also directed the original “Nosferatu.” Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus states that the film is “perhaps the final – and arguably definitive – statement of the silent era.”

41. Apocalypse Now (1979)
> Genre: Drama, War
> Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
> Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

The sprawling, visionary Vietnam War drama directed by Francis Ford Coppola is based on Joseph Conrad’s book “Heart of Darkness” and shows how men descend into madness as the result of war. Though not fully embraced by audiences and critics when it was released in 1979, “Apocalypse Now” has gained more recognition, as critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 96% Freshness rating and 94% of audiences liked it.

40. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
> Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
> Directed by: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
> Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds

With a 100% Freshness rating and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this “clever, incisive, and funny” movie, as the critics consensus on the site calls it, “is a masterpiece of the classical Hollywood musical.” It has been called the best movie musical of all time.

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39. Toy Story 3 (2010)
> Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
> Directed by: Lee Unkrich
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack

The critically praised third entry in the hugely popular Toy Story franchise proved that computer animated movies could be great. Audiences flocked to the film, driving its worldwide box office gross to over $1 billion.

38. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
> Directed by: Irvin Kershner
> Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

“The Empire Strikes Back” – the second movie in the original Star Wars trilogy – is the best film in the blockbuster series. In 2010, after permanently altering the world’s cultural landscape, the movie was added to the United States’ National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

37. The Red Shoes (1948)
> Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
> Directed by: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
> Starring: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer

“The Red Shoes,” a ballet-themed drama co-directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is considered to be one of the best-looking films of all time. The film is also a favorite of filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese.

36. The General (1926)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
> Directed by: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
> Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender

Released near the end of the silent film era, the poor reviews Buster Keaton’s “The General” originally received highlighted the fact that audiences were ready for the next stage of cinema. Decades later, the film would grow to be hailed as one of the greatest movies ever, thanks to its inventive sight gags and impeccably performed stunt work.

35. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
> Genre: Comedy, Crime
> Directed by: Robert Hamer
> Starring: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson

Alec Guinness plays eight roles in this black comedy about a disinherited nobleman who kills all those ahead of him in the line of succession. It has a 100% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, as Time Out called it “at once a witty comedy of manners, a grotesque serial-killer caper and an acerbic satire on the class system.”

34. The Great Dictator (1940)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
> Directed by: Charles Chaplin
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie

Charlie Chaplin’s first sound film, “The Great Dictator,” signaled that the actor and director could make the transition to talking films from silent movies. Chaplin, who had worked with dialogue during his music-hall days in England, was a filmmaker with something to say. Originally Chaplin was resistant to working with sound, but he found the idea of satirizing Adolf Hitler too irresistible.

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33. North by Northwest (1959)
> Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason

“North by Northwest” contains some of the most memorable scenes in cinema — a biplane chasing Cary Grant through a cornfield and the climactic scene on Mount Rushmore when mysterious agents working against the United States are thwarted. “North by Northwest” never loses its grip on the audience, 94% of whom on liked the Hitchcock classic on Rotten Tomatoes.

32. Double Indemnity (1944)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
> Directed by: Billy Wilder
> Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson

Billy Wilder’s film-noir is about an insurance man (Fred MacMurray) who is lured into a plot to murder a client by his scheming wife (Barbara Stanwyck) to collect the insurance money. “Double Indemnity” was written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler and adapted from a novel by James M. Cain. The movie received a 96% Freshness rating from Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% of audiences like the film.

31. Taxi Driver (1976)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd

Martin Scorsese’s disturbing classic of urban alienation introduced audiences to one of cinema’s most memorable anti-heros, Travis Bickle. Although the movie didn’t win any of the four Academy Awards it was nominated for in 1977, it did earn the coveted Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

30. Paths of Glory (1957)
> Genre: Drama, War
> Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
> Starring: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou

“Paths of Glory” is Stanley Kubrick’s searing indictment of the incompetent military leadership of the First World War. The film is noted for its realistic battle scenes as well as its unconventional ending of a captured German girl forced to sing for French troops who are moved by performance. “Paths of Glory” received a 95% rating from critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.

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29. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western
> Directed by: John Huston
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt

John Huston’s “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” is a treasure-hunt tale of greed and betrayal. The unconventional Western is beloved by critics, who have bestowed upon it a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

28. Rear Window (1954)
> Genre: Mystery, Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey

In “Rear Window,” James Stewart plays a photojournalist who is homebound because of an injury. He passes the time observing his neighbors, assigning them nicknames like “Miss Lonelyhearts.” He creates a story that one neighbor killed his wife, but then comes to realize he might be right. This Hitchcock gem that also starred the luminous Grace Kelly received a 100% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% of audiences liked the movie.

27. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
> Genre: Action, Adventure
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg
> Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is Steven Spielberg’s homage to action/adventure movies from Hollywood’s golden age. Harrison Ford plays the swashbuckling archeologist Indiana Jones, who has to prevent Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant whose powers could make them invincible. The prototypical summer movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” received 95% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 96% of audiences liked the movie.

26. Psycho (1960)
> Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

The murder scene in the shower in “Psycho” almost instantly became a cultural landmark and is among the most famous in movie history. Adding to the tension of this taut thriller that starred Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh was the music by Bernard Herrmann that projected impending doom. “Psycho” is Hitchcock at his suspenseful best. The motion picture received a 97% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 94% of audiences liked the movie.

25. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
> Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
> Directed by: David Lean
> Starring: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

David Lean’s sprawling epic is about the charismatic British officer who helped rally the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Lean, who had already distinguished himself with films like “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” captivated audiences with his mesmerizing desert scenes. “Lawrence of Arabia” featured some of the greatest actors of the day, including Alec Guinness, Jose Ferrer, and Anthony Quinn. The film received a 98% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 93% of audiences liked the movie.

24. On the Waterfront (1954)
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
> Directed by: Elia Kazan
> Starring: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

Eight Academy Awards honored this gritty waterfront gangster drama, including best picture, best director, and, for Marlon Brando, best actor. He plays a washed-up boxer (his “I coulda been a contendah” speech is famous) who eventually agrees to go up against the crooked union boss. The Hollywood Reporter called it a “brutal, violently realistic drama…[that] packs a terrific wallop that results in topflight entertainment.”

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23. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, War
> Directed by: David Lean
> Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins

A British colonel in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943 is ordered to build a bridge to carry munitions. He refuses at first, but eventually agrees, and the project becomes an obsession. Time Magazine called it “a whale of a story,” and Variety described it as “a gripping drama, expertly put together and handled with skill in all departments.” The movie won seven Academy Awards, including best picture, best director, and best actor (Guinness).

22. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Frank Darabont
> Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

“The Shawshank Redemption” tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne who is given two life sentences for murder in the oppressive Shawshank State Penitentiary. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, in 1995, but failed to win any. It is an audience favorite, however, and currently has an outstanding 9.3 out of 10 rating on IMDb, with over 2 million user votes.

21. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
> Genre: Western
> Directed by: Sergio Leone
> Starring: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

Sergio Leone’s 161 minute epic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is perhaps the most iconic Western of all time. Rife with memorable long shots and close-ups, the film’s story is told more with imagery than words – a decision made in part due to the ease of shooting a movie with little sound.

20. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
> Genre: Comedy
> Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
> Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

A dark, satirical comedy about nuclear war, this Stanley Kubrick classic features Peter Sellers playing three roles, including that of the sinister Strangelove. The shot of actor Slim Pickens riding an H-bomb as it falls is one of the most memorable cinematic images of the era.

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19. The Dark Knight (2008)
> Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart

“Dark, complex and unforgettable,” according to critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, this sequel to “Batman Begins” pits Batman against his arch-enemy, The Joker, played here by the late Heath Ledger, whose performance won him an Academy Award for best actor in a supporting role. “[P]robably the smartest and most stylish action movie since ‘The Matrix,’” said the Orange County Register.

18. Chinatown (1974)
> Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
> Directed by: Roman Polanski
> Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Arguably Roman Polanski’s greatest film, this stylish film-noir stars Jack Nicholson as a private detective who, while investigating a case of adultery, stumbles onto a murder plot that includes incest and government corruption. The cynical tone of ”Chinatown” reflects the mood of post-Vietnam America. Critics awarded the movie a 98% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 93% of audiences liked the film.

17. Modern Times (1936)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
> Directed by: Charles Chaplin
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman

“Modern Times” was written, directed, scored, and produced by Charlie Chaplin. Set during the Great Depression, the film spoke to the masses by touching on topics such as poverty, hunger, and unemployment.

16. All About Eve (1950)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
> Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders

Backstage Hollywood venom tinged with biting wit infuses this much-acclaimed Bette Davis black comedy about an aspiring actress who cold-bloodedly manipulates her way toward stardom. Critics called it “impeccably written,” “gunshot sharp,” and “downright funny.”

15. Kes (1969)
> Genre: Drama, Family
> Directed by: Ken Loach
> Starring: David Bradley, Brian Glover, Freddie Fletcher

An abused, downtrodden English boy discovers, trains, and bonds with a kestrel — a kind of falcon — in this classic example of British social realism. Critics gave the movie a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

14. The Third Man (1949)
> Genre: Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
> Directed by: Carol Reed
> Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli

“The Third Man” stars Orson Welles as Harry Lime, a black marketer taking advantage of the wreckage and chaos of post-war Vienna. Carol Reed’s masterpiece features Anton Karas’ oddly upbeat zither music and atmospheric cinematography. Critics awarded the movie a 99% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 93% of audiences liked it.

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13. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Milos Forman
> Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson

The Milos Forman-directed drama about a criminal who encourages rebellion against an oppressive nurse in a mental hospital did exceptionally well at the 1976 Academy Awards, winning the Oscars for best picture, best director, best screenplay, best actor, and best actress. Seventeen years later, the movie was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress and added to the National Film Registry.

12. Goodfellas (1990)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are paired once again in this mob story narrated by gangster and FBI informant Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, and adapted from Nicholas Pileggi’s book “Wiseguy.” “Goodfellas” is not for the faint of heart because of the mob violence, but it does provide great insight into the culture of organized crime. Critics gave the film a 96% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 97% of audiences liked the film.

11. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
> Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
> Directed by: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
> Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld

Despite being released just last year, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” has had a huge impact in a cinematic marketplace that is saturated with superhero movies. The animated movie makes Spider-Man “amazing” once again.

10. City Lights (1931)
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
> Directed by: Charles Chaplin
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee

“City Lights” is not only frequently considered Charlie Chaplin’s best film, but also one of the greatest films of all time. The silent film – in which Chaplin’s tramp character tries to financially assist a blind girl – was released after talking pictures had been developed and is perhaps the greatest representation of Chaplin’s genius.

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9. Pulp Fiction (1994)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
> Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson

“Pulp Fiction,” Quentin Tarantino’s follow-up to “Reservoir Dogs,” is among the 1990s’ most definitive films. A wildly inventive mix of crime, film-noir, and comedy, the movie scored the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. Its reputation has held up well over the past 25 years, with 96% of audiences giving the film a positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

8. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
> Genre: Drama, Film-Noir
> Directed by: Billy Wilder
> Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

Though much lampooned since its release, the sardonic “Sunset Boulevard” remains one of the best movies about fame and Hollywood. As the aging silent film star Norma Desmond, Gloria Swanson, utters one of filmdom’s greatest lines, “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.” Critics gave the film a 98% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% liked “Sunset Boulevard.”

7. Casablanca (1942)
> Genre: Drama, Romance, War
> Directed by: Michael Curtiz
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” is one of Hollywood’s most famous lines. Its source – wartime melodrama “Casablanca” – is just as iconic. The movie set a standard for romance and atmosphere that everything released after strived to match.

6. Citizen Kane (1941)
> Genre: Drama, Mystery
> Directed by: Orson Welles
> Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore

Sometimes called the greatest film of all time, Orson Welles’ precocious masterpiece (he was 25 when he co-wrote, directed, and starred in it), is the story of Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper tycoon modeled after William Randolph Hearst. Welles played the title role in a performance that has been called “nothing less than astonishing,” and critics found the movie itself “exciting,” “arresting,” and “a visual marvel” that “helped define the language of film.”

5. Schindler’s List (1993)
> Genre: Biography, Drama, History
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg
> Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

One of the greatest retellings of one of the worst chapters in human history. Liam Neeson plays Oskar Schindler, a Catholic businessman who uses his position to save hundreds of Jews from extermination. Steven Spielberg does not spare the viewer from the horrors of the Holocaust, yet the film provides viewers messages of hope and redemption. “Schindler’s List” was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven. Ninety-seven percent of critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes liked the film.

4. 12 Angry Men (1957)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Sidney Lumet
> Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam

This quintessential courtroom drama scored a 100% Freshness rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 97% of the audience liked it. Though it is now considered a masterpiece, it opened poorly, barely making enough to recoup its production and advertising costs. Its reputation began to grow several years later when it began appearing on TV.

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3. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
> Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
> Directed by: Buster Keaton
> Starring: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton

While not fully appreciated upon its release – a Variety review declared that movie to be “about as unfunny as a hospital operating room” – “Sherlock Jr.” is now recognized as one of the greatest films ever made. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1991, 67 years after its initial release.

2. The Godfather (1972)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
> Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic “The Godfather” breathed new life into the American film industry upon its release in 1972. The film won best picture at the Academy Awards and continues to entertain movie fans to this day. The film currently has 98% positive ratings from both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.

1. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
> Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall

Critics awarded “The Godfather: Part II” a 97% Freshness rating (matched by a 97% audience score) on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics consensus on the site hailed this all-star saga for setting “new standards for sequels that have yet to be matched or broken.” Critics generally found it deeper and more powerful than the first “Godfather,” and the Chicago Tribune called it “a landmark work from one of Hollywood’s top cinema eras.” Not surprisingly, it won six Academy Awards, including best picture, best director, and best actor in a supporting role (Robert De Niro).

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