Blockbuster Hits That Are Actually Critically Acclaimed

Studio filmmaking is a massive undertaking that involves hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people and moving parts, making it all the more impressive when Hollywood gets it right. One might even say the true magic of cinema reveals itself with the release of an acclaimed blockbuster. Enrapturing crowds and critics alike, these efforts deliver the best of style and substance to remind us all of why we go to the movies in the first place. (These are the top stars whose movies have performed best at the box office.)

To determine the highest grossing movies with the best ratings, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on worldwide box office data from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services, and audience and critic ratings from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, and Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator.

The 350 movies with the highest global box office, adjusted for inflation using historical ticket prices from the National Association for Theatre Owners, were ranked based on a composite index consisting of IMDb user rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. All index measures were rated equally. Data is current as of September 2022.

A list of the highest-grossing movies with the best ratings tell us more than first meets the eye. Successful in its own right perhaps, each title also reveals broader trends about the era during which it was released. Take “Iron Man” or “The Dark Knight,” for example, two classics from 2008 that pulled double-duty by further popularizing the superhero subgenre and simultaneously redefining our expectations of mainstream action fare.

Click here to see blockbuster hits that are actually critically acclaimed

Or consider David Fincher’s 1995 thriller “Se7en,” a film so grim and relentless that its box office success feels like an anomaly. However, it came out in the wake of similarly uncompromising releases like “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “Schindler’s List.” Major studios were suddenly willing to take bold creative risks on tentpole releases, as they had been in the 1970s – a decade that yielded some of the most iconic and acclaimed blockbusters of all time. (These were the 30 biggest box office hits of the ‘70s.)