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Oscar Best Picture winners from worst to first

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Paramount Pictures

Oscar Best Picture winners from worst to first

Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes on the best and most influential films of the year. The Academy Awards or Oscars are a reflection of excellence within all filmmaking crafts and departments of that year, with an Academy Award for Best Picture being the crowning achievement that every film aspires to win.

In recent decades, with the media and public opinion being a part of the broader discussion over the Academy Awards, the nominees and eventual winners undergo a significantly more significant amount of scrutiny. As audiences are recognizing the Oscars as an indicator of current pop culture trends, those watching the ceremony are sometimes quick to be critical over the winners.

The Best Picture trophy, in particular, receives the most attention and controversy. As the Oscars shifted from including films of all genres to focusing on prestige arthouse dramas in the major categories, a backlash from audiences stemmed from a perceived snubbing of “The Dark Knight” in 2008 led to an expansion of the Best Picture category from five nominees to 10 nominees, at most. Since then, animated films and genre pictures have been recognized in this prestigious category.

Whatever the case may be, the Best Picture winner of each ceremony can be seen as a reflection of where the national conversation is at a given time. These are motion pictures that tackle issues of race and class and include movies ranging from epic period pieces to modern-day crime dramas. Some of these films, particularly the older ones, may not resonate with modern audiences as a result.

With that in mind, Stacker utilized IMDb to rank all 91 Oscar Best Picture-winning movies from worst to best. The movies are ranked according to their IMDb user rating, with ties broken by the number of votes each movie received. Ratings and vote counts are up to date as of December 2019. Please note that the years listed for each movie refer to the years they were released, which occasionally differ from the years in which they received Oscars.

Click through Stacker's slideshow to see each of these Best Picture winners, and learn more about how they have lasted through the test of time.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#91. The Broadway Melody (1929)

- Director: Harry Beaumont
- IMDb user rating: 5.7
- Votes: 5,968
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 100 min

Musical film “The Broadway Melody” was monumental in many respects: It was the first sound film, the first film with a Technicolor sequence, and the first musical film to win the Best Picture award. The film, which focused on a pair of vaudeville sisters trying to make it big on Broadway, was the top-grossing film in 1929 and is considered to be the first “complete” Hollywood musical. However, many contemporary critics and movie-watchers consider “The Broadway Melody” to be highly derivative and cliched.

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Fox Film Corporation

#90. Cavalcade (1933)

- Director: Frank Lloyd
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 4,129
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 112 min

Considered in its time to be a compelling and well-acted story, “Cavalcade” follows two English families of two different socioeconomic classes and all of their respective tragedies and triumphs. The film spans from 1899 to 1933, with several historical events affecting the families differently. However, “Cavalcade” isn’t well remembered today, and the story is considered to be incohesive and sentimental by modern standards.

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RKO Radio Pictures

#89. Cimarron (1931)

- Director: Wesley Ruggles
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 4,944
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 123 min

Produced by long-defunct studio RKO, “Cimarron” was the first Western to receive the coveted Best Picture trophy. The film is epic in scale, starting with the Oklahoma land rush of 1899 and going to 1929. However, the storytelling is described as “scattershot” by contemporary critics, and its racial overtones and stereotypes are considered unacceptable by modern standards.

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Woodfall Film Productions

#88. Tom Jones (1963)

- Director: Tony Richardson
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Votes: 10,736
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 129 min

Based on a novel by Henry Fielding, “Tom Jones” was one of the most acclaimed comedies of its time. Starring Albert Finney as the eponymous character, the film takes place in 18th-century England and the exploits of a lively and womanizing man. Even beating out the epic film “Cleopatra,” “Tom Jones” was an unusual film for its time, featuring a silent film-like opening and constant fourth-wall-breaking.

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Paramount Pictures

#87. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

- Director: Cecil B. DeMille
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Votes: 11,943
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 152 min

Cecil B. DeMille’s 2.5-hour long film centers around the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, featuring Charlton Heston as the circus manager and James Stewart as a clown who never removes his makeup. The film also featured the real-life circus troupe, with this epic film showcasing over a thousand people and hundreds of animals, making this film a logistical triumph. However, the film was thought in later decades to be overstuffed, bloated, and dull.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#86. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

- Director: Robert Z. Leonard
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 6,620
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 176 min

This musical and drama film was a fictionalized account and tribute to Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., a Broadway producer and impresario. William Powell takes the lead in “The Great Ziegfeld,” which features several elaborate sets and dance numbers. While the film set a standard for musical filmmaking and biographical pictures, “The Great Ziegfeld” is now looked back upon as excessive and too lengthy, with the running time coming at nearly three hours.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#85. Gigi (1958)

- Director: Vincente Minnelli
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 18,326
- Metascore: 82
- Runtime: 115 min

Based on Collette’s novella of the same name, “Gigi” is about a carefree woman and a rich playboy in Paris as their relationship blooms. The film is a romantic musical, featuring many original songs from writer Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, who previously collaborated to make “My Fair Lady.” The film set a then-record for winning nine Academy Award wins.

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Michael Todd Company

#84. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

- Director: Michael Anderson
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Votes: 22,774
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 175 min

The Jules Verne novel “Around the World in Eighty Days” received its most successful adaptation in 1956, with an epic adventure/comedy film that ultimately won five Academy Awards. The film tells the classic tale of Phineas Hogg (David Niven) and his valet Passepartout (Mexican comedian Cantinflas), who has made a wager that a person can circumvent the entire globe in just 80 days. The film was praised as funny, although it is also thought to be long-winding.

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Paramount Pictures

#83. Going My Way (1944)

- Director: Leo McCarey
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 9,577
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 126 min

Bing Crosby established himself in Hollywood as a massive box-office draw with “Going My Way,” a light-hearted musical starring Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, and Risë Stevens. Crosby plays Father Chuck O’Malley, a priest who is transferred to a church in New York City. The church is failing financially, but O’Malley’s unconventional style leads to success and inspires his older superior. The film is best known for introducing the song “Swinging on a Star,” which also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

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Universal Pictures

#82. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

- Director: John Madden
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 204,686
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 123 min

This film imagined an affair between playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and a woman (Gwyneth Paltrow), with “Shakespeare in Love” featuring several moments and characters that are meant to allude to Shakespeare’s most famous plays, with the film culminating in Shakespeare’s work in “Twelfth Night.” Now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein was one of the producers behind the film, with his Oscars campaign being infamously aggressive. The film controversially beat out Steven Spielberg’s World War II film “Saving Private Ryan” for the coveted Best Picture award.

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Miramax

#81. Chicago (2002)

- Director: Rob Marshall
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 205,022
- Metascore: 82
- Runtime: 113 min

“Chicago” is based on the musical of the same name, which originally debuted on Broadway in 1975. The film retells the story of a couple of murderesses who find themselves imprisoned and preparing for trial in 1920s Chicago. The film switches between “real-life” scenes and imaginative vaudeville musical numbers in the characters’ heads. Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and John C. Reilly star in the film that beat out “The Hours,” “The Pianist,” and “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” for Best Picture.

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Warner Bros.

#80. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

- Director: William Dieterle
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 6,513
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 116 min

Nineteenth-century French author Emile Zola is the subject of this biographical film, the second biographical film to win the Best Picture Academy Award. The film explores Zola’s role in the political scandal known as the Dreyfus affair, but the film is believed to have failed in exploring anti-Semitic injustice in 19th-century France, being produced during the Great Depression, the Nazi rise to power in Germany, and a period of censorship and timidity in Hollywood.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#79. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

- Director: Elia Kazan
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 13,737
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 118 min

Gregory Peck stars in “Gentleman’s Agreement” as a journalist who poses as a Jew to research anti-Semitic behavior in affluent neighborhoods and areas in New York City and Connecticut. The film was praised in its time for its depiction of prejudice, although some still considered the protagonist to be naive. Still, the film was declared as historically significant and selected by preservation by the Library of Congress in 2017.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#78. An American in Paris (1951)

- Director: Vincente Minnelli
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 28,143
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 114 min

The musical-comedy “An American in Paris” is based on the 1928 orchestral composition of the same name, featuring the music of George Gershwin and starring Gene Kelly, who also provided the choreography for the film. The film is considered to be one of the best movie-musicals of all time, ending with a 17-minute dance number featuring Kelly and Leslie Caron. Modern critics believe, however, that the film pales in comparison to the many musicals of the era.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#77. Chariots of Fire (1981)

- Director: Hugh Hudson
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 50,546
- Metascore: 78
- Runtime: 125 min

Depicting two athletes who competed in the 1924 Olympics, “Chariots of Fire” stars Ben Cross and Ian Charleson as athletes Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, respectively. Liddell is a devout Christian running for the “glory of God,” while Abrahams is a Jewish man trying to overcome anti-Semitism and prejudice. Perhaps the most famous aspect of the film is the soundtrack, with the theme and the famous beach-running scene continually referenced in pop culture.

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Mirage Enterprises

#76. Out of Africa (1985)

- Director: Sydney Pollack
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 66,617
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 161 min

“Out of Africa” contained plenty of prestige, being directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Loosely based on the autobiography of the same name by Karen Blixen under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen, the film takes place in colonial Kenya, with Streep playing Blixen, a Danish baroness, and Redford as a game hunter with whom Blixen has a passionate love affair. The film received lukewarm reviews on release for its length and slow pace, with its Best Picture coming at a surprise.

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Double Dare You (DDY)

#75. The Shape of Water (2017)

- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 329,155
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 123 min

Guillermo del Toro once again made a dark fantasy film with “The Shape of Water,” which is set in 1962 and follows a mute cleaner (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a humanoid amphibian creature (Doug Jones). Like many of del Toro’s films, “The Shape of Water” has themes of conformity, otherness, and silence while also touching on Cold War paranoia. The movie was praised for its visuals, cinematography, musical score, and performances.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#74. Grand Hotel (1932)

- Director: Edmund Goulding
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 16,107
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 112 min

“Grand Hotel” still has the distinction of being the only film to win Best Picture at the Oscars without being nominated in any other category. The 1932 drama film takes place in a luxurious hotel in Berlin, with several different occupants dealing with their respective dramas as they intersect through the story. The complexly structured film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in 2007. Still, it is better known as a 1989 Broadway musical featuring performers like Jane Krakowski and Michael Jeter.

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Romulus Films

#73. Oliver! (1968)

- Director: Carol Reed
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 32,144
- Metascore: 74
- Runtime: 153 min

“Oliver!” is based on the stage musical of the same name, which in turn was an adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist.” Like the novel, the film centers on a young orphan named Oliver Twist, who, after being punished for asking for more food, resorts to a life of pickpocketing. Some critics considered the film to be better than the stage version, saying that the film appealed to people of all ages.

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Paramount Pictures

#72. Terms of Endearment (1983)

- Director: James L. Brooks
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 50,853
- Metascore: 79
- Runtime: 132 min

James L. Brooks won three Academy Awards for his roles in writing, producing, and directing “Terms of Endearment,” a family comedy-drama. The film focuses on a mother-daughter duo, played by Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger, and their relationship as both of their individual lives change through the course of 30 years. The film, which also starred Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels, and John Lithgow, is still regarded as a classic “tearjerker” with memorable acting performances.

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The Zanuck Company

#71. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

- Director: Bruce Beresford
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 91,559
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 99 min

Based on Alfred Uhry’s play of the same name, “Driving Miss Daisy” explores racial relations with Miss Daisy, a 72-year-old Jewish woman portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Tandy, having an African American chauffeur named Hoke (Morgan Freeman). Later, the two bond as they both experience different kinds of prejudices. The film received the Best Picture trophy over contenders such as “My Left Foot” and “Dead Poets Society,” yet unusually didn’t garner a Best Director nomination.

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Miramax

#70. The English Patient (1996)

- Director: Anthony Minghella
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 169,109
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 162 min

Taking place during World War II, “The English Patient” tells the story of four individuals who each move into an abandoned Italian villa in the final days of the war. The titular English patient has suffered burns and is unrecognizable. He tells his story to the nurse who treats him and reveals his life story and identity from before the war began. While the film is lengthy and complex, the emotional power fronted by actors Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas led the film to awards success.

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A24

#69. Moonlight (2016)

- Director: Barry Jenkins
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 240,329
- Metascore: 99
- Runtime: 111 min

“Moonlight” made history by being the first film with an all-black cast and with LGBTQ+ themes to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. This low-budget coming-of-age drama was based on an unpublished play, following the character of Chiron Harris in three different stages of his life, with three different actors portraying him at different ages. The film explores masculinity, father figures (through Mahershala Ali’s Oscar-winning supporting role), and sexual identity. It famously won the award after a misunderstanding that led everyone watching the ceremony first to believe that its main competitor, “La La Land,” won the award.

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Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation

#68. Wings (1927)

- Director: William A. Wellman
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 10,462
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 144 min

The first-ever winner of the Best Picture award is “Wings,” a silent romantic war film that takes place during the first World War. The film had an elaborate production, with several realistic aviation sequences and hundreds of actors and pilots involved with the shoot. The film, which has since been preserved, set a standard in American film production for its realism and use of avant-garde filming techniques.

26/
Columbia Pictures

#67. All the King's Men (1949)

- Director: Robert Rossen
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 12,274
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 110 min

Film noir “All the King’s Men” is based on a novel by Robert Penn Warren, and was directed, produced, and written by Robert Rossen. Broderick Crawford stars as politician Willie Stark, a role that earned Crawford the Academy Award for Best Actor; the film depicts Stark’s rise and eventual fall in various governmental positions. “All the King’s Men” touches on power, corruption, and passion, all with a distinct noirish touch.

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The Mirisch Corporation

#66. West Side Story (1961)

- Director: Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 90,182
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 153 min

The 1957 Broadway musical “West Side Story” received new life as a 1961 film, co-directed by choreographer Jerome Robbins and film director Robert Wise. A reimagining of “Romeo and Juliet,” the film depicts a gang war between the Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks and the forbidden love affair between a former Jet and the sister of the Sharks’ leader. The film won 10 out of 11 of the Academy Awards it was nominated for and still contains several memorable numbers like “Cool,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty,” and many more.

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Two Cities Films

#65. Hamlet (1948)

- Director: Laurence Olivier
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 14,229
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 154 min

Sir Laurence Olivier, who directed multiple Shakespearean adaptations, found awards success with his film adaptation of “Hamlet,” with Olivier taking the eponymous role. As in the original play, “Hamlet” centers on a young prince whose father was usurped by his brother, Hamlet’s uncle Claudius. The film cut some political elements from the original play for the sake of time. Nevertheless, the film was well received enough to win Best Picture and Best Actor.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#64. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 14,652
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 134 min

“Mrs. Miniver” had a unique place in history, being shot and also taking place and focusing on World War II. The titular Mrs. Miniver is a British housewife who finds herself affected by the war. As the film was in pre-production before the United States entry into the war, the script and many of the scenes underwent many changes to reflect on the country’s pro-war stance, with speeches and scenes essentially acting as propaganda. The melodrama is still considered an influential and significant film.

30/
Columbia Pictures

#63. From Here to Eternity (1953)

- Director: Fred Zinnemann
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 40,333
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 118 min

Three U.S. Army soldiers are the focus of “From Here to Eternity,” a novel-based film that takes place in Hawaii in the months leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese. The three soldiers are portrayed by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra, all undergoing different tribulations. The film received instant acclaim from critics and audiences for its performances, although the Army did not take too kindly to how the military was depicted.

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Voltage Pictures

#62. The Hurt Locker (2008)

- Director: Kathryn Bigelow
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 400,379
- Metascore: 95
- Runtime: 131 min

Iraq War thriller “The Hurt Locker” is a product of journalist and screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow. The film does not have an antagonist and is told through an episodic structure to depict the psyches of Iraq War soldiers. Jeremy Renner is the lead of this film, portraying the new leader of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq after the previous one is killed. While the independent film was highly praised, Army veterans criticized inaccuracies throughout the film and the attitude of Renner’s character.

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Arcola Pictures

#61. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

- Director: Frank Lloyd
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 19,428
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 132 min

The mutiny on the HMS Bounty has been depicted in a number of different films and documentaries. However, the Best Picture-winning “Mutiny on the Bounty” is considered to be the greatest of these films. The tyrannical ship captain attempts to act revenge on his mutineers in a film that is considered to be historically inaccurate but is still said to be thrilling and gripping.

33/
Twentieth Century Fox

#60. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

- Director: John Ford
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 19,677
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 118 min

Director John Ford, usually known for making Western films, directed a film that focused on a working-class Welsh mining family. The stern father and gentle mother work tirelessly to ensure that their children will have a better life, with Ford’s style and the cast lifting the film up. However, the film is probably most infamous for beating out classics “Citizen Kane” and “The Maltese Falcon” in the Best Picture category.

34/
Hecht-Lancaster Productions

#59. Marty (1955)

- Director: Delbert Mann
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 19,799
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 90 min

Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky expanded on his teleplay “Marty” with the Ernest Borgnine-starring 1955 film adaptation. Marty is an unmarried butcher who has given up on love but ends up connecting with a school teacher (Betsy Blair) he meets at a dance and falls for her. The film features strong performances and robust dialogue, with purposely “ordinary” and relatable characters.

35/
Highland Films

#58. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

- Director: Fred Zinnemann
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 28,900
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 120 min

“From Here to Eternity” director Fred Zinnemann directed yet another Best Picture winner in “A Man for All Seasons,” which was based on a play by Robert Bolt. The film depicts the final years of Sir Thomas More, who refused to sign King Henry VIII’s letter requesting an annulment of his marriage. The film was praised for its cinematography and its performance from Paul Scofield, who portrayed More.

36/
Paramount Pictures

#57. Ordinary People (1980)

- Director: Robert Redford
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 43,431
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 124 min

Actor Robert Redford made his directorial debut with “Ordinary People,” which starred Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore as a married couple whose son dies accidentally and other son attempts suicide, straining the relationships between all of the family members. The film put Moore against type, along with invigorating the careers of actors Judd Hirsch and Elizabeth McGovern. To the ire of some movie enthusiasts, the film beat out “Raging Bull” and “The Elephant Man” for Best Picture.

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37/
Recorded Picture Company (RPC)

#56. The Last Emperor (1987)

- Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 87,135
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 163 min

Puyi, the last Emperor of China, is the subject of “The Last Emperor,” an epic historical film based on the Emperor’s autobiography. The nearly three-hour film stars John Lone as the adult Puyi and covers his entire life. The film is vast and dense, requiring 19,000 extras. “The Last Emperor” beat out “Fatal Attraction,” “Broadcast News,” and “Moonstruck” for the top prize at the Oscars.

38/
Philip D'Antoni Productions

#55. The French Connection (1971)

- Director: William Friedkin
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 102,079
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 104 min

Gene Hackman stars in the action crime thriller “The French Connection,” which came from famed director William Friedkin. Hackman portrays police detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, who stumbles onto a heroin smuggling job with a French connection. With suspense, an iconic car chase scene, and breakneck pace, “The French Connection” is undoubtedly a classic that also won Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Editing.

39/
New Regency Pictures

#54. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

- Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 536,639
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 119 min

A meta-tale starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up Hollywood actor, “Birdman” was shot and edited to give the illusion of one long continuous take. Keaton portrays fictional actor Riggan Thomson, former star of the “Birdman” superhero films (a clear analogy to Keaton’s time as Batman), who attempts to adapt a Raymond Carver short story for Broadway. Thomson imagines his former franchise character as his unraveling psyche. The film pulled an upset win against “Boyhood,” with other nominated films, including “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Selma.”

40/
Warner Bros.

#53. Argo (2012)

- Director: Ben Affleck
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 545,101
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 120 min

The Canadian Caper, as it is often called, is depicted in Ben Affleck’s film “Argo, which he directed, produced, and starred in. After six diplomats are trapped in Iran, CIA agent Tony Mendez (portrayed by Affleck) comes up with a scheme to retrieve them with a fake Hollywood production. The film received awards buzz, but namely for Affleck’s lack of Best Director nomination—regardless, “Argo” won the Best Picture award.

41/
Warner Bros.

#52. My Fair Lady (1964)

- Director: George Cukor
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 81,473
- Metascore: 95
- Runtime: 170 min

The stage musical “My Fair Lady” turned into a popular and successful feature film, with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison in the lead roles. The film, as does the original musical and play, has Professor Henry Higgins (Harrison) make a bet regarding a flower girl’s (Hepburn) ability to become presentable to higher society. The film has been re-released multiple times and is still considered to be a lively and intelligent musical film.

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42/
Jerome Hellman Productions

#51. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

- Director: John Schlesinger
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 93,675
- Metascore: 79
- Runtime: 113 min

“Midnight Cowboy” is a buddy film with several iconic scenes and lines, depicting the unlikely friendship between a male prostitute (Jon Voight) and a street hustler (Dustin Hoffman). Originally released with an X rating, the film instantly won praise for its pair of actors, also producing quotable phrases like “I’m walkin’ here!” The film beat out others, including “Hello, Dolly!” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” for Best Picture.

43/
Columbia Pictures

#50. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

- Director: Robert Benton
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 122,076
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 105 min

Divorce is at the center of “Kramer vs. Kramer,” which depicts a married couple (Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep) undergoing a tumultuous custody battle over their son. As the proceedings continue, both parents deepen the wounds started by the separation, while also learning more about themselves as parents. The film was acclaimed as thoughtful and well acted, with both Hoffman and Streep winning Oscars for their performances. The film even beat out the Francis Ford Coppola classic “Apocalypse Now” for Best Picture.

44/
Bob Yari Productions

#49. Crash (2004)

- Director: Paul Haggis
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 405,530
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 112 min

The ensemble film “Crash” explores racial and social tension in the city of Los Angeles, following several people whose lives intertwine and collide literally and metaphorically. The ensemble includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, and more. The film had an upset win at the Oscars, beating “Capote,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Munich,” and the frontrunner “Brokeback Mountain.”

45/
Twentieth Century Fox

#48. Titanic (1997)

- Director: James Cameron
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 983,554
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 194 min

At one point, the top-grossing film of all-time, James Cameron’s “Titanic,” featured a fictional romance against the real tragic sinking of the passenger ship Titanic. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet portray passengers from different social classes who fall for each other before the ship’s fateful collision with an iceberg. The film also spawned the phrase, “I’m king of the world,” and the Celine Dion song “My Heart Will Go On.”

46/
Columbia Pictures

#47. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

- Director: Frank Capra
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 21,718
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 126 min

The highly influential director Frank Capra found success yet again with “You Can’t Take It with You,” a romantic comedy based on a stage play with the same name. In this movie, a man who comes from money becomes engaged to a woman with an eccentric family. While thought to be dated today as part of the screwball comedy genre, the film was vastly appealing upon release.

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47/
Paramount Pictures

#46. The Lost Weekend (1945)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 31,339
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 101 min

Billy Wilder directed and co-wrote “The Lost Weekend,” which was based on a 1944 novel of the same name and explored alcoholism. Actor Ray Milland portrayed the protagonist, who “loses” a weekend during a four-day drinking binge. The film mixed film noir style with a sense of gritty realism in depicting the main character’s state of mind.

48/
Twentieth Century Fox

#45. Patton (1970)

- Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 89,647
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 172 min

George C. Scott’s most iconic film role would have to be that of George S. Patton for the biographical war film “Patton.” The general fought in World War II, with the film depicting his struggles and his time in the North African and European theaters of the war. Scott won the Academy Award for Best Actor but famously declined it, stating his distaste for the voting process of such awards.

49/
Studio 37

#44. The Artist (2011)

- Director: Michel Hazanavicius
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 220,210
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 100 min

French director Michel Hazanavicius created a throwback to the silent film era with “The Artist,” a film that depicted the transition to sound films, or “talkies.” Jean Dujardin portrays a famous silent movie actor who struggles during the transition, with a woman he helps to become famous overcoming him in success. The film was praised as delightful and the visuals as creative, beating out other 2011 films such as “The Descendants,” “Midnight in Paris,” and “Moneyball.”

50/
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

#43. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 54,391
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 170 min

Three United States servicemen attempt to readjust to normal civilian life after World War II in the movie “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Their return to small-town America turns out to be difficult, as they find that their families are quite different from how they left them. The film’s ensemble was enthusiastically endorsed by critics, and audiences made the film a large box office hit.

 

51/
Universal Pictures

#42. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

- Director: Lewis Milestone
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 54,457
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 136 min

The classic novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” also became a highly acclaimed and iconic film, focusing on soldiers facing the hardships of World War I. Harrowing and gritty, the film easily won the Best Picture trophy at the Academy Awards. However, the film wasn’t taken well in Germany, especially during the rise of the Nazi Party.

 

52/
The Mirisch Corporation

#41. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

- Director: Norman Jewison
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 62,233
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 110 min

Sidney Poitier first played the iconic police detective Virgil Tibbs in “In the Heat of the Night,” a mystery drama based on a novel by John Ball. Tibbs, known for his famous line “They call me Mister Tibbs!” is investigating a murder in a racially intolerant Southern town. The film was intense and is still thought to have relevance today for its depiction of racism and racial tensions.

53/
Robert Wise Productions,

#40. The Sound of Music (1965)

- Director: Robert Wise
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 187,734
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 172 min

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music” went on to become a hit film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Directed by “West Side Story” co-director Robert Wise, “The Sound of Music” told the tale of a woman (Andrews) who leaves a convent and becomes a governess to the children of a naval officer and widower. This story of the von Trapps not only won Best Picture but became one of the most financially successful films of its time.

54/
International Film Investors

#39. Gandhi (1982)

- Director: Richard Attenborough
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 210,256
- Metascore: 79
- Runtime: 191 min

Ben Kingsley portrays the historical figure Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, an ethicist who led a national non-violent movement against the British rule of India. The film covers his life from his ejection from a train with an all-white compartment to his assassination in 1948. This film was over three hours long, but critics felt the running time was worth it for Kingsley’s Oscar-winning performance.

55/
Tig Productions

#38. Dances with Wolves (1990)

- Director: Kevin Costner
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 225,905
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 181 min

Actor Kevin Costner directed and starred in “Dances with Wolves,” which author Michael Blake adapted from his own novel of the same name. Costner portrays a Union Army lieutenant who goes to a remote western outpost and ends up befriending wolves and the indigenous native people. The film’s epic filmmaking and cinematography were highly lauded, although the film was criticized for having a “white savior” narrative. The film beat out “The Godfather Part III” and “Goodfellas” for Best Picture.

56/
Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

#37. Annie Hall (1977)

- Director: Woody Allen
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 240,633
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 93 min

The most famous film from Woody Allen’s lengthy career in filmmaking is “Annie Hall,” a romantic comedy that stars Allen as a comedian recalling his failed relationship with the titular character (Diane Keaton). The film is an exploration of love and sexuality, as well as another showcase of New York City and Allen’s own infamously neurotic behavior. Woody Allen generally declines to attend the Academy Awards ceremonies, though his film even managed to beat out the original “Star Wars” for Best Picture.

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57/
United Artists

#36. Rain Man (1988)

- Director: Barry Levinson
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 449,859
- Metascore: 65
- Runtime: 133 min

Dustin Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for playing an autistic savant in “Rain Man,” which also stars Tom Cruise. Cruise portrays a selfish car dealer who learns that not only has his father passed away, but his multimillion-dollar estate has been bequeathed to his brother (Hoffman), whose existence he was unaware of. The road film was carried by the two lead actors, which much praise doled out for how they portrayed the growing relationship between the brothers.

58/
See-Saw Films

#35. The King's Speech (2010)

- Director: Tom Hooper
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 606,308
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 118 min

King George VI suffered from a stammer, and “The King’s Speech” depicts his speech therapy as he finds himself as an important voice after Britain declares war on Germany at the onset of World War II. Colin Firth won his first Oscar in the role of King George VI, supported by Helena Bonham Carter as his wife Queen Elizabeth and Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist. The film overtook “Black Swan,” “Inception,” and “The Social Network” for Best Picture.

59/
Celador Films

#34. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

- Director: Danny Boyle
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Votes: 761,218
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 120 min

A young man (Dev Patel) who had his upbringing in the slums of India finds himself in a position to win big, being a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The energetic Danny Boyle-directed film flashes back to his life with his love interest Latika (Frieda Pinto) and his older brother being important figures in his life. The film was a phenomenon upon its release, as was its original song “Jai Ho.”

60/
Columbia Pictures

#33. It Happened One Night (1934)

- Director: Frank Capra
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 87,008
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 105 min

Frank Capra directed several iconic and famous films, but “It Happened One Night” took home the most Oscar gold of all of them. Starring Clark Gable as a reporter and Claudette Colbert as a socialite who falls in love with him, this film won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Even without a sophisticated plot, the film was well liked for its lightheartedness.

61/
Selznick International Pictures

#32. Rebecca (1940)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 113,781
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 130 min

Despite his extensive and industrious career, Alfred Hitchcock only made one film that won the Best Picture Oscar with “Rebecca.” A romantic psychological thriller, “Rebecca” stars Laurence Olivier as an aristocratic widower, whose new marriage is deeply affected by his memories of his first marriage. The film was described as haunting and suspenseful.

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62/
Horizon Pictures

#31. On the Waterfront (1954)

- Director: Elia Kazan
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 132,152
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 108 min

One of Marlon Brando’s highly regarded roles was in “On the Waterfront,” which depicts corruption and union violence on the waterfronts of New Jersey. Brando portrays an ex-boxer who must stand up to his corrupt union bosses. “On the Waterfront” is continuously cited as a landmark movie for Brando’s performance.

63/
Horizon Pictures (II)

#30. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

- Director: David Lean
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 190,578
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 161 min

“The Bridge on the River Kwai” depicted the Japanese theater of World War II, with the titular bridge being built by Allied prisoners of war by their Japanese captors. The film stars William Holden and Alec Guinness, with Guinness winning an Academy Award for his performance. The film presents challenging moral scenarios, and thus was highly praised for its thought-provoking nature.

64/
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#29. Ben-Hur (1959)

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 206,191
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 212 min

The second film adaptation of the “Ben-Hur” novel proved to be the definitive version, featuring an unforgettable chariot race sequence. The 212-minute film starred Charlton Heston and featured a massive budget and considerable sets to tell the story of a prince sent into slavery and seeking his revenge. The biblical tale is highly regarded for its epic scale.

65/
Selznick International Pictures

#28. Gone with the Wind (1939)

- Director: Victor Fleming
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 270,464
- Metascore: 97
- Runtime: 238 min

Arguably one of the most famous films ever made, “Gone with the Wind,” also holds the distinction of the highest-grossing film of all time when adjusting for inflation. The film follows Scarlett O’Hara, played by Vivien Leigh, the daughter of a plantation owner against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. The film has a number of iconic lines—such as “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”—still quoted to this day.

66/
EMI Films

#27. The Deer Hunter (1978)

- Director: Michael Cimino
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 291,556
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 183 min

“The Deer Hunter” features a masterclass cast, with Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage portraying three steelworkers whose lives are changed after participating in the Vietnam War. John Cazale (in his last film role before his death) and Meryl Streep star in supporting roles. The film features a stressful and controversial scene in which the main characters, prisoners of war to the Vietcong, are forced to play a game of Russian roulette. The film was praised as the best American drama since “The Godfather.”

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67/
Hemdale

#26. Platoon (1986)

- Director: Oliver Stone
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 359,772
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 120 min

Oliver Stone is known for making politically charged films, and “Platoon” was no exception. Based on his own experiences in the Vietnam War, the film centers on an Army soldier (Charlie Sheen) and his squabbling superiors (Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe). The film’s cinematography and realistic battle sequences are often cited as the high points of this Best Picture winner.

68/
Participant

#25. Spotlight (2015)

- Director: Tom McCarthy
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 380,033
- Metascore: 93
- Runtime: 129 min

“Spotlight” told a timely tale with a hot topic, calling attention to the abuse of children by Catholic priests. The film is named after and follows the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, known for its investigative journalism and exposes, with the subject of this investigation involving widespread and systemic child abuse and the resulting cover-up. In a highly competitive year, “Spotlight” overtook “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Revenant” for Best Picture.

69/
Chartoff-Winkler Productions

#24. Rocky (1976)

- Director: John G. Avildsen
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 485,957
- Metascore: 70
- Runtime: 120 min

“Rocky” was written by its star Sylvester Stallone. Rocky Balboa is an underdog boxer, a working-class debt collector based in Philadelphia, who gets the opportunity to fight heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and falls in love with pet store owner Adrian (Talia Shire). The film elevated Stallone to stardom, produced iconic scenes like the library steps run, and spawned several sequels and spin-off films with “Creed.”

70/
Regency Enterprises

#23. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

- Director: Steve McQueen
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 593,942
- Metascore: 96
- Runtime: 134 min

Solomon Northup’s slave memoir “Twelve Years a Slave” was brought to the big screen by English director Steve McQueen, with Chiwetel Ejiofor portraying Northup. A free and educated man, Northup is kidnapped and sold into slavery, going through a harrowing time where he also meets a slave named Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o). The film edged out “Gravity,” which had won many technical Academy Awards the same night.

71/
Warner Bros.

#22. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 599,440
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 132 min

Clint Eastwood portrayed an elderly and gruff boxing trainer who takes in a determined and aspiring professional boxer portrayed by Hilary Swank; Morgan Freeman also co-starred as Eastwood’s character’s gym assistant. Eastwood made a film that critics thought was heartfelt and avoided narrative cliches, despite having a dire and tragic ending. The film beat out other ambitious movies like “The Aviator” and “Finding Neverland” for the Best Picture award.

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72/
Paramount Vantage

#21. No Country for Old Men (2007)

- Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 789,029
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 122 min

The Coen brothers sidestepped from comedy and quirkiness in making “No Country for Old Men,” which was adapted from the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. The film portrays a cat-and-mouse game, with Javier Bardem as hitman Anton Chigurh seeking out Llewyn Moss (Josh Brolin), while Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is similarly on the trail for Chigurh.

73/
Twentieth Century Fox

#20. All About Eve (1950)

- Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 112,527
- Metascore: 98
- Runtime: 138 min

Margo Channing (Bette Davis) is a fading Broadway star who suddenly finds her career threatened by an ambitious fan named Eve (Anne Baxter). “All About Eve,” which was praised for its cast and music, was nominated for a record number of 14 Academy Award nominations and is still thought to be a smart and sophisticated classic.

74/
Participant

#19. Green Book (2018)

- Director: Peter Farrelly
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 265,960
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 130 min

Often compared to “Driving Miss Daisy,” the most recent Best Picture winner stars Viggo Mortensen as Italian American bouncer Frank Vallelonga who becomes the driver and bodyguard for classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali in an Oscar-winning performance). The film explores racism as the pair travels through the South. The film was produced by Vallelonga’s son, although Shirley’s family disputes the accuracy of the film. Regardless, the film beat out “Roma,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Black Panther.”

75/
Warner Bros.

#18. Unforgiven (1992)

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 350,593
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 130 min

Clint Eastwood reenergized the Western genre in the early 1990s with “Unforgiven,” which stars Eastwood himself against Gene Hackman. Eastwood portrays an aging outlaw, while Hackman plays the violent local sheriff. The film was a mature take on the Western, featuring themes of age, violence, and heroism.

76/
Universal Pictures

#17. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

- Director: Ron Howard
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 792,356
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 135 min

A beautiful mind is the story of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and delusions, which affect his relationships with friends and loved ones. The film was criticized for not being accurate with some parts of Nash’s life, but Russell Crowe’s performance of Nash still garnered significant critical praise. The film beat out “Moulin Rouge!” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” in the same year for Best Picture.

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77/
The Mirisch Corporation

#16. The Apartment (1960)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 149,571
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 125 min

A premise controversial for its time was the center of “The Apartment,” which starred Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Lemmon portrayed an insurance clerk, who, in his attempts to move up in the company, begins to allow his superiors to have affairs in his apartment. The film was comedic and light-hearted, winning critics and audiences alike.

78/
Zanuck/Brown Productions

#15. The Sting (1973)

- Director: George Roy Hill
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 226,370
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 129 min

Robert Redford and Paul Newman co-star in “The Sting.” The movie is a caper film that follows two grifters (Newman and Redford) that work to con a mob boss. The film was and is still considered to be a stylish masterpiece and ended up being a box office smash. It beat out close contenders such as “American Graffiti” and “The Exorcist.”

79/
Horizon Pictures (II)

#14. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

- Director: David Lean
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 249,766
- Metascore: 100
- Runtime: 228 min

One of the most influential films of all time stars Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, the British army officer and writer. The epic film was shot on location and featured several stunning shots, with the story involving Lawrence uniting the different Arab tribes to fight against the Turks. The visual style has since been emulated by many contemporary filmmakers, including Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese.

80/
AMLF

#13. Amadeus (1984)

- Director: Milos Forman
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 346,350
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 160 min

The biographical drama film “Amadeus” revolved around composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) but was truly the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). The epic focused on Salieri’s fictional rivalry with the younger Mozart, with Salieri confessing to murdering Mozart. The film was thought to be an achievement in period filmmaking, even with its alterations to history.

81/
Icon Entertainment International

#12. Braveheart (1995)

- Director: Mel Gibson
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 911,139
- Metascore: 68
- Runtime: 178 min

Mel Gibson crafted and starred in “Braveheart,” an epic war film that has Gibson in the role of Scottish warrior William Wallace. The film depicts Wallace’s leadership of the Scots against England in the 13th century, featuring large-scale battles and plenty of inspirational speeches. The film beat out “Babe,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Apollo 13” in the top Oscar award.

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82/
DreamWorks

#11. American Beauty (1999)

- Director: Sam Mendes
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 1.0 million
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 122 min

Kevin Spacey portrays Lester Burnham, a white-collar advertising executive dissatisfied with his place in life and society. Lester becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter’s best friend, while his insecure daughter bonds with their strange neighbor. “American Beauty” was overwhelmingly thought to be the best film of 1999, though more contemporary reviews of the film are less kind.

83/
Warner Bros.

#10. Casablanca (1942)

- Director: Michael Curtiz
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 489,141
- Metascore: 100
- Runtime: 102 min

“Here’s looking at you, kid” is only one of many iconic moments and lines in “Casablanca,” a film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Taking place during World War II, the film has Bogart as an American expatriate who reaches a crossroads between his love for a former flame or whether or not to help her and her husband escape French Morocco. “Casablanca” is still highly influential and is often included in any list or conversation about the best film of all time.

84/
Warner Bros.

#9. The Departed (2006)

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 1.1 million
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 151 min

Martin Scorsese finally won big at the Academy Awards with “The Departed,” an American version of the Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs.” This adaptation has a Boston touch, depicting a mob mole within the Boston police, all the while the police have an undercover cop infiltrating the same criminal organization. The film, which features Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, is full of shocking surprises and twists.

85/
DreamWorks

#8. Gladiator (2000)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 1.3 million
- Metascore: 67
- Runtime: 155 min

The beginning of the millennium also brought an epic historical drama film with Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator,” which starred Russell Crowe. Crowe portrays a former Roman general who is betrayed and reduced to slavery, forced to rise in the ranks to enact revenge for the murders of his family and emperor. The film brought back the film genre of Greek and Roman epics, also earning several awards for its craftsmanship and Crowe’s acting.

86/
Strong Heart/Demme Production

#7. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

- Director: Jonathan Demme
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Votes: 1.2 million
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 118 min

The Hannibal Lecter film that most think of first is likely to be “The Silence of the Lambs,” based on the Thomas Harris novel of the same name. Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for his role as Lecter, a psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer who provides advice for FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, who also won an Oscar for her performance), who is seeking another killer. Those who consider the film to be a horror film also think it to be the first horror to win the coveted Best Picture award.

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87/
Fantasy Films

#6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

- Director: Milos Forman
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Votes: 855,506
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 133 min

Ken Kesey’s classic novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” came to the big screen in 1975, with Jack Nicholson playing the lead role of troublemaker Randle McMurphy. McMurphy is the newcomer in a mental institution, causing discord and rebellion in the hospital run by the tyrannical Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). Balancing comedy and tragedy, the film received substantial critical acclaim, particularly for Nicholson and Fletcher, both winning Oscars for their acting.

88/
Paramount Pictures

#5. Forrest Gump (1994)

- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Votes: 1.7 million
- Metascore: 82
- Runtime: 142 min

Tom Hanks has played many culturally relevant characters throughout his career, but perhaps none as prolific as Forrest Gump. The film, based on the novel of the same name, features a slow-witted but extraordinarily kind man stumbling his way through American history, participating in the Vietnam War and falling in love with his childhood friend (Robin Wright) who becomes a political and countercultural activist. Along with being funny and having several quotable moments, the film, which beat out “Pulp Fiction” at the Oscars, was a technical achievement in inserting Hanks in many historical moments and pieces of footage.

89/
Universal Pictures

#4. Schindler's List (1993)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- IMDb user rating: 8.9
- Votes: 1.1 million
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 195 min

Director Steven Spielberg crafted perhaps his most emotionally harrowing film with “Schindler’s List,” a period drama presented in black and white about German businessman Oskar Schindler. The real-life figure is credited with saving over a thousand Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them. The film is intensely sad, with Schindler’s heroic actions representing a small source of hope during this depressing era.

90/
New Line Cinema

#3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

- Director: Peter Jackson
- IMDb user rating: 8.9
- Votes: 1.5 million
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 201 min

The final installment of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, ended up sweeping the Academy Awards. The epic fantasy has Frodo and Sam finally reaching Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring while coming into conflict with Gollum, all while Gandalf, Aragorn, and others prepare to battle Sauron and his forces. The film beat out “Mystic River” and “Lost in Translation,” making up for the previous losses in the Best Picture category of “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers.”

91/
Paramount Pictures

#2. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

- Director: Francis Ford Coppola
- IMDb user rating: 9
- Votes: 1.0 million
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 202 min

A rare sequel thought to be not only as good but possibly better than the original film is “The Godfather: Part II.” Coppola’s epic crime film tells two stories: one focusing on Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) attempting to keep order as the new Don of the family, and another flashing back to his father Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) from his Sicilian childhood to his arrival in America. The film is thought to be the finest work from Coppola, Pacino, and De Niro, with De Niro and Coppola winning Oscars for their roles. It is the first sequel to win the Best Picture award.

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92/
Paramount Pictures

#1. The Godfather (1972)

- Director: Francis Ford Coppola
- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Votes: 1.5 million
- Metascore: 100
- Runtime: 175 min

Director Francis Ford Coppola turned Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather” into what is considered one of the greatest films of all time. Starring Marlon Brando as mafia boss Vito Corleone, the film depicts the transformation of his son Michael (Al Pacino) into a ruthless enforcer and leader within the family. The film was thought to be absorbing, and it ended up vitalizing the careers of Brando, Coppola, and Pacino.

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