40. 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.
39. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
> Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
> Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
> Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
The British comedy classic continues to win over legions of fans 45 years after its initial release. The film is sophomoric, but that hasn’t prevented critics from giving it a 97% Freshness rating. Rotten Tomatoes audiences mostly agree, giving it an approval rating of 95%.
38. 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.
37. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
> Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
> Directed by: James Cameron
> Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
James Cameron’s “Terminator 2” excels in many of the aspects that action movie fans appreciate most, such as visual effects and tense action sequences. It stands apart from the average action flick thanks to its refined characters and philosophically intelligent storyline. The movie – which received a 93% rating from critics and a 94% rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes — is a haunting tale of post-apocalyptic possibilities and a perfect popcorn action movie rolled in one.
36. Tokyo Story (1953)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Yasujirô Ozu
> Starring: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
This 1953 familial drama from famed Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu has a perfect 100% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 93% approval rating from users. It’s considered a cinematic masterpiece that has maintained its ability to emotionally devastate modern audiences.
35. 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.
34. 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.
33. 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.
32. Apocalypse Now (1979)
> Genre: Drama, Mystery, 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 98% Freshness rating and 94% of audiences liked it.
31. 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” was hailed as “the best monster movie of the year,” “state-of-the-art science fiction,” and “the rarest of sequels” â one that’s at least equal to the original.
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