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Ranking the best years in movie history

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Paramount Pictures

Ranking the best years in movie history

What goes into a great year for movies? Is it the costume design, set design, dialogue, or emotional impact of the movies released that year? Is it that movies break ground that year, or launch new careers of actors and actresses who will go on to be stars? Is it that simply a greater number of excellent movies get made that year than do during other years?

While all of these may be valid metrics to look at when considering what makes a great year for movies, there is another, simpler metric one might look at, too. Simply, what did audiences think? Whatever the reason people like certain movies, it is undeniable that some strike more of a chord than others with audiences over time.

And it’s not always the films that are the biggest hits at the box office or at the Academy Awards. Fan favorites do sometimes overlap—as was the case with "Indiana Jones" the year it debuted—but more often than not, audiences see and love things in the years since a film is released that are not always consistent with the story box office numbers and cultural film history would tell.

Stacker collected data on nearly 12,000 movies over the past 90 years that have been released in the United States—according to IMDb, and as of Feb. 7, 2020—then determined multiple tiers of voting thresholds to level the playing field between the years. Voting thresholds are as follows: 1931–1939, 250 votes; 1940–1979, 500 votes; 1980–1983, 1,000 votes; 1984–1993, 2,500 votes; 1994–1999, 5,000 votes; 2000–2019, 10,000 votes. Years were then ranked by the number of films in the top 5,000, with films in the top 1,000 breaking ties, films in the top 250 breaking further ties, and average IMDb rating breaking final ties. Years prior to 1931 were not considered because the data available was not sufficient.

Click through for a look at the best years in movie history.

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Highland Film

#89. 1966

- Films in the top 5,000: 27
- Films in the top 1,000: 4
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #262
- Average IMDb user rating: 5.98

Although the film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is thought to be the most significant of the year in retrospect, the Academy, that year, did not agree. The British drama “A Man for All Seasons” took home six Oscar statues that year, including for Best Picture.

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Zanuck/Brown Productions

#88. 1975

- Films in the top 5,000: 30
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #17
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.23

“The Man Who Would Be King” is the top-ranking film from 1975, but it has some close, and rather famous, competition. Steven Spielberg’s thriller “Jaws” came out that year, and has changed the way people look at a day at the beach ever since.

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Marianne Productions

#87. 1976

- Films in the top 5,000: 31
- Films in the top 1,000: 7
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #75
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.01

“The Tenant” takes the slot for the best movie of 1976, which may have been a disappointment for one director releasing his final film. The famous director Alfred Hitckcock released his last movie, “Family Plot,” that year.

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Campanile Productions

#86. 1969

- Films in the top 5,000: 33
- Films in the top 1,000: 5
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #227
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.18

“The Big Dig” was the top movie of 1969, but it had some pretty stiff competition. The famous “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” would go on to excel at the box office, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

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Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

#85. 1977

- Films in the top 5,000: 34
- Films in the top 1,000: 7
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #21
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.03

“Sorcerer” takes the top prize for 1977, but two cult classics are hot on its heels. “Annie Hall” was released in 1977, along with a very different kind of fan-favorite: “Close Encounters of a Third Kind.”

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Robert Wise Productions

#84. 1965

- Films in the top 5,000: 35
- Films in the top 1,000: 4
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #229
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.23

“The Collector” was the best movie of 1965, but audiences might be forgiven for forgetting that due to another major film event from that year. “The Sound of Music” premiered that year, and for more than half a year was #1 at the box office.

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Moned Associated

#83. 1967

- Films in the top 5,000: 37
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #162
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.22

“The Incident” is the top-ranking film from 1967, but that doesn’t take into account a new wave of movies upending old mores. Among these were “The Graduate,” “Bonnie and Cylde,” and “Cool Hand Luke.”

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Paramount Pictures

#82. 1978

- Films in the top 5,000: 38
- Films in the top 1,000: 5
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #154
- Average IMDb user rating: 5.98

“Midnight Express” takes top honors for 1978, but that wasn’t the word on everyone’s lips that year. That word would have been “Grease,” which would be the highest-grossing film musical for decades before “Mamma Mia” came along.

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Paramount Pictures

#81. 1984

- Films in the top 5,000: 38
- Films in the top 1,000: 10
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #56
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.29

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is the top-ranked film from 1984, which would come as no surprise to its legions of fans. It edged out “Return of the Jedi” that year as one of the top-grossing films of all time.

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Universal Pictures

#80. 1931

- Films in the top 5,000: 39
- Films in the top 1,000: 5
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #42
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.51

“Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde” takes top honors for 1931, and it seems that genre of horror was popular with audiences then. “Frankenstein” was another hit that year, appearing on many “best of” lists and doing well at the box office.

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Lucasfilm

#79. 1983

- Films in the top 5,000: 39
- Films in the top 1,000: 6
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #65
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.08

“Trading Places” was the top-ranked film coming out of 1983, but audiences at the box office voted differently with their dollars. That year, “Return of the Jedi” smashed box office records, just like the other Star Wars movies before it.

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Paramount Pictures

#78. 1981

- Films in the top 5,000: 40
- Films in the top 1,000: 4
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #48
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.16

“The Evil Dead” is the top film from 1981, but another major event happened that year. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was released, spawning the Indiana Jones franchise.

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Paramount Pictures

#77. 1972

- Films in the top 5,000: 40
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #2
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.15

“1776” is the top-ranked film of 1972, which might surprise Francis Ford Coppola fans. That year, the director released “The Godfather,” which would go on to spark a famous and beloved trilogy.

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Walt Disney Pictures

#76. 1994

- Films in the top 5,000: 40
- Films in the top 1,000: 10
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #1
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.18

“Fresh” was the top film in 1994, but other movies dominated the headlines. Among these were "Forrest Gump," which did particularly well at the box office and won Best Picture, and “The Lion King.”

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Shamley Productions

#75. 1960

- Films in the top 5,000: 41
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #37
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.36

"Wild River" takes the top slot for the movie of 1960s, but another film was making major waves that year. Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” screened to audiences that year, and ignited a fierce debate over its level of sexuality and violence.

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Touchstone Pictures

#74. 1990

- Films in the top 5,000: 41
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #16
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.43

“Total Recall” was the winner for 1990, but a pretty brunette walked off the big screen into American hearts that year, too. “Pretty Woman” won audiences over with its tale of a businessman falling in love with a sex worker.

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Paramount Pictures

#73. 1974

- Films in the top 5,000: 42
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #4
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.24

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was the top movie of 1974. But Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” was also released that year, and cemented Jack Nicholson’s reputation as an icon.

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Universal Pictures

#72. 1982

- Films in the top 5,000: 42
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #135
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.25

“The Last Unicorn” takes the top slot for 1982, but audiences were phoning home about something else that year too. “E.T.” was released in 1982, capturing hearts and minds everywhere and racking up major dollars at the box office.

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Paramount Pictures

#71. 1986

- Films in the top 5,000: 43
- Films in the top 1,000: 7
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #77
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.31

“The Fly” was the top movie of 1986, but another iconic movie made its debut that year as well. The Tom Cruise classic “Top Gun” premiered that year, inspiring aviator and flight suit costumes for decades to come.

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Les Productions Artistes Associés

#70. 1979

- Films in the top 5,000: 43
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #50
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.05

“A Little Romance” is the top film from 1979, but audiences were transfixed by an older plotline. The 11th James Bond movie, “Moonraker,” came out that year, and topped box offices worldwide.

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Paramount Pictures

#69. 1970

- Films in the top 5,000: 44
- Films in the top 1,000: 5
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #345
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.28

“The Boys in the Band” ranks highest for 1970, but try telling that to audiences in 1970, who went crazy for another film. That year, “Love Story” would win critical acclaim and major box office cash at the same time.

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Strong Heart/Demme Production

#68. 1991

- Films in the top 5,000: 44
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #20
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.36

“Thelma and Louise” took the top prize for 1991, but it had some box office competition from films with a slightly darker cast. Among these are “Silence of the Lambs,” which did well with audiences despite its disquieting subject matter.

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Warner Bros.

#67. 1980

- Films in the top 5,000: 44
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #15
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.24

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” is the top-ranking film from 1980, but another movie has arguably made more of an impression in popular culture from that year. “The Shining,” a creepy tale set in a creepy hotel, has shown up in countless references ever since.

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Warner Bros.

#66. 1989

- Films in the top 5,000: 44
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #95
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.23

“Batman” takes the #1 slot from 1989, competing primarily at the box office with another adventure film. That would be “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”—fans still debate which was the better superhero movie to come from the year.

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Columbia Pictures

#65. 1968

- Films in the top 5,000: 44
- Films in the top 1,000: 13
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #39
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.36

“The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” is the top film from 1968, but a star was born in another film. Barbra Streisand starred in “Funny Girl” that year, and has been a mega-celebrity ever since.

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Horizon Pictures (II)

#64. 1962

- Films in the top 5,000: 44
- Films in the top 1,000: 16
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #83
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.52

“The Intruder” takes the top slot for 1962, but another movie took box office honors and thanked Academy that year. “Lawrence of Arabia” not only did well at the box office, it also took home the trophy for best film of the year.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#63. 1963

- Films in the top 5,000: 45
- Films in the top 1,000: 6
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #108
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.37

“It’s a Mad Mad World” is ranked as the top movie of 1963, but try telling that to Elizabeth Taylor. The diva would play Cleopatra that year, and go on to marry co-star Richard Burton—several times.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#62. 1944

- Films in the top 5,000: 46
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #87
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.68

“Since You Went Away” is the top film from 1944. But an entire psychological condition was named that year, when the film “Gaslight” came out—the term now means to erode someone’s confidence and sense of self by denying their grip on reality.

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Walt Disney Productions

#61. 1964

- Films in the top 5,000: 46
- Films in the top 1,000: 13
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #52
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.46

“The Visit” takes top honors from 1964, but audiences flocked to see another memorable film from that year. “Mary Poppins” tells the story of a magical nanny who rouses the spirits of a staid British family, and has had a significant impact on pop culture.

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The Mirisch Corporation

#60. 1961

- Films in the top 5,000: 47
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #113
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.40

“Underworld USA” has the top slot for 1961. But that was also the year that “West Side Story” won the Academy Award for best picture, spawning several adaptations, including a new one coming out in 2020.

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Circle Films

#59. 1987

- Films in the top 5,000: 47
- Films in the top 1,000: 10
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #76
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.17

“Raising Arizona” takes top billing for 1987. That was also the year that Paramount Pictures celebrated its 75th anniversary, making it one of the oldest film studios around.

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Amblin Entertainment

#58. 1985

- Films in the top 5,000: 48
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #30
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.40

“Clue” takes top billing for 1985, but several beloved books were also turned into films that year. Among them are Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Karen Blixen’s “Out of Africa.”

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Warner Bros.

#57. 1973

- Films in the top 5,000: 49
- Films in the top 1,000: 10
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #84
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.32

“Mean Streets” is the #1 movie from 1973. However, a certain set of stairs would never be the same again after this year, which was when “The Exorcist” came out, redefining the horror genre.

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United Artists

#56. 1988

- Films in the top 5,000: 49
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #94
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.14

“Big” was the best film of 1988, but another film took two other honors. “Rain Man” was one of the few films that both topped the box office charts and won Best Picture at the Oscars.

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Bo Widerberg Film

#55. 1971

- Films in the top 5,000: 49
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #73
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.24

“Joe Hill" is the best movie of 1971, the year when a big film event also occurred. 1971 was the year of the first IMAX theatre, which would give audiences a new definition of up close and personal in the years to come.

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Lynch/Frost Productions

#54. 1992

- Films in the top 5,000: 49
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #66
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.44

“Twin Peaks” was the top movie of 1992, and it’s no surprise. It is the same franchise as the beloved television series, also directed by David Lynch.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#53. 1934

- Films in the top 5,000: 51
- Films in the top 1,000: 3
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #170
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.42

“Tarzan and His Mate” was the top pick from 1934. That was also the year Shirley Temple made history for being the first child actress to win an Oscar for “Bright Eyes.”

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Security Pictures

#52. 1959

- Films in the top 5,000: 51
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #82
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.27

“Day of the Outlaw” tops the charts for 1959, but another film may have been more top of people’s minds that year. The epic "Ben-Hur" won a record 11 Academy Awards that year.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#51. 1943

- Films in the top 5,000: 53
- Films in the top 1,000: 5
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #358
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.63

“Stormy Weather” takes top billing for 1943. World War II was raging that year, and the government first agreed to a decree by the War Office to censor films that year.

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Warner Bros.

#50. 1945

- Films in the top 5,000: 54
- Films in the top 1,000: 6
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #283
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.82

“Pride of the Marines” is the best film from 1945, and it’s no surprise it was made. World War II had been going on for years while the film was being made, and military servicemen and women were at the top of everyone’s mind.

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Selznick International Pictures

#49. 1938

- Films in the top 5,000: 54
- Films in the top 1,000: 6
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #359
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.48

“The Young in Heart” takes the award for 1938, which was also a notable year in cinema for another film getting underway. 1938 was the year Judy Garland was cast in “The Wizard of Oz,” which would be one of the most iconic roles of all time.

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Transcona Enterprises

#48. 1954

- Films in the top 5,000: 54
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #53
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.51

“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” was the best film from 1954, but audiences also lauded another significant film that year. “A Star is Born” marked Judy Garland’s comeback after her termination from her MGM contract, and has been adapted many times.

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Warner Bros.

#47. 2001

- Films in the top 5,000: 54
- Films in the top 1,000: 19
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #12
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.35

“Spy Game” wins top honors from 2001. That was also the year, numerous famous series launched, including “Harry Potter” and the “Lord of the Rings.”

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#46. 1936

- Films in the top 5,000: 55
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #40
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.55

"San Francisco" takes the top slot from 1936. That year, the child actress Shirley Temple made more money than her much-older male peer, the iconic actor Clark Gable.

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Horizon Pictures (II)

#45. 1957

- Films in the top 5,000: 55
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 6
- Highest rank: #8
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.33

“Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” wins top billing from 1957, but another film dominated box offices and awards that year. "Bridge at the River Kwai" topped the box office in the United States, France, and Germany, and won the Best Picture award at the Oscars.

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47/
Halas & Batchelor

#44. 1955

- Films in the top 5,000: 56
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #256
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.55

“Summertime” takes the top slot from 1955, but another significant film came out that year, too. It was the year George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was turned into a film, at the height of the Cold War, which “Animal Farm's” focus on totalitarianism has much to do with.

48/
RKO Radio Pictures

#43. 1933

- Films in the top 5,000: 56
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #348
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.57

“Love in the Afternoon” is the top-ranked film from 1933. That was also the year Katharine Hepburn took a star turn in “Little Women,” which was just adapted again in 2019.

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DreamWorks

#42. 2000

- Films in the top 5,000: 56
- Films in the top 1,000: 14
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #26
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.30

“Pitch Black” wins the award for 2000. However, the Academy disagreed that year, giving the top award to “Gladiator,” for which Russell Crowe also won Best Picture.

50/
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

#41. 1996

- Films in the top 5,000: 57
- Films in the top 1,000: 6
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #140
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.18

“Twelfth Night” is the best film from 1996. However, many other significant films were also released that year, including “Trainspotting,” “Fargo,” and the “English Patient.”

51/
Paramount Pictures

#40. 1953

- Films in the top 5,000: 57
- Films in the top 1,000: 6
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #240
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.46

“The War of the Worlds” was the best film of 1953. That was also the year Audrey Hepburn had her breakout role in “Roman Holiday,” catapulting her to fame.

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52/
Wald/Krasna Productions

#39. 1952

- Films in the top 5,000: 57
- Films in the top 1,000: 7
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #85
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.64

“Clash by Night” takes top billing from 1952. That was also the year “The Greatest Show on Earth”—a circus epic—premiered at the Radio City Music Hall, winning top box office numbers.

53/
Walt Disney Productions

#38. 1946

- Films in the top 5,000: 57
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #25
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.83

“Song of the South” is the best film from 1946, but that may surprise some Christmas fans. 1946 was also the year “It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered, several days before Christmas in New York City.

54/
Walt Disney Productions

#37. 1937

- Films in the top 5,000: 57
- Films in the top 1,000: 10
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #120
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.73

"Wee Willy Winky” takes top honors from 1937. That was the year that Walt Disney premiered the first full-length animated feature ever—"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

55/
Paramount Pictures

#36. 2010

- Films in the top 5,000: 57
- Films in the top 1,000: 18
- Films in the top 250: 7
- Highest rank: #9
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.32

“Iron Man 2” takes the top slot for 2010, when a bigger trend was on the horizon. The year would prove to be a banner year for 3D films, including “Toy Story 3” and “Avatar.”

56/
Warner Bros.

#35. 1956

- Films in the top 5,000: 58
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #259
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.53

"Miracle in the Rain" took top honors for 1956, the same year the world lost a major movie star. Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco that year, acting in her last feature film.

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57/
Pixar Animation Studios

#34. 2003

- Films in the top 5,000: 59
- Films in the top 1,000: 13
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #6
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.22

“The Italian Job” is the favorite from 2003, however it was edged out at the box office by a children’s movie. “Finding Nemo” debuted that year and has been beloved by audiences ever since.

58/
Warner Bros.

#33. 1942

- Films in the top 5,000: 60
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #38
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.78

"Pardon My Sarong" is 1942’s top film, but that might come as a surprise to legions of fans of another movie released that year. “Casablanca” was released in 1942 and is widely considered one of the best movies ever made.

59/
Rodgers & Hammerstein Productions

#32. 1958

- Films in the top 5,000: 62
- Films in the top 1,000: 8
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #81
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.25

“Gunman’s Walk” takes the #1 slot for 1958, a year that also saw numerous popular musicals. Among these were the hits “South Pacific” and “Gigi.”

60/
Claudie Ossard Productions

#31. 2002

- Films in the top 5,000: 62
- Films in the top 1,000: 13
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #14
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.26

“Igby Goes Down” is the favorite from 2002, a year that also saw a crossover hit from France make it to the United States. “Amelie” became the highest-grossing French film in the United States that year.

61/
First National Pictures

#30. 1932

- Films in the top 5,000: 63
- Films in the top 1,000: 7
- Films in the top 250: 1
- Highest rank: #119
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.61

“20,000 Years in Sing Sing” takes top honors from 1932. One of the most famous actresses of the era plays a leading role in the film—none other than Bette Davis.

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62/
Juno Pix

#29. 1998

- Films in the top 5,000: 63
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #22
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.36

“The Wedding Singer” is the top-ranked film from 1998, a year that saw many other notable films. Among these was “Shakespeare in Love,” which would go on to win Best Picture, and give Gwyneth Paltrow an Oscar, which she accepted in a famous hot-pink dress.

63/
The Rank Organisation

#28. 1935

- Films in the top 5,000: 64
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #371
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.60

“Bonnie Scotland" takes the top prize from 1935. That was also the year Alfred Hitchcock shot to fame with his thriller “The 39 Steps.”

64/
Barunson E&A

#27. 2019

- Films in the top 5,000: 64
- Films in the top 1,000: 19
- Films in the top 250: 9
- Highest rank: #24
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.52

“Zombieland: The Double Tap” wins the prize for 2019. The Academy disagreed, awarding “Parasite” the Oscar, a first for a non-English language film.

65/
Walt Disney Pictures

#26. 1993

- Films in the top 5,000: 64
- Films in the top 1,000: 22
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #7
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.46

“Hocus Pocus” is the favorite from 1993, a year that also saw a massive commercial hit and fan-favorite. “Jurassic Park” captivated audiences that year, with the franchise eventually going on to create everything from video games to theme parks.

66/
Twentieth Century Fox

#25. 1997

- Films in the top 5,000: 65
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #69
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.30

“U Turn” takes the top slot from 1997, but that wasn’t what audiences were saying then. That year, “Titanic” shattered box office records and won multiple Oscars, including for Best Picture.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#24. 2004

- Films in the top 5,000: 65
- Films in the top 1,000: 21
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #67
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.32

“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” is the top pick for 2004, a year that also saw a number of fan-favorite sequels. These included installments in the "Shrek," "Harry Potter," and "Spider-Man" series.

68/
Charles K. Feldman Group

#23. 1951

- Films in the top 5,000: 66
- Films in the top 1,000: 9
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #114
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.61

“When Worlds Collide” is the top choice from 1951. But that year also shot Marlon Brando to stardom with “A Streetcar Named Desire,” an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ famous play.

69/
Paramount Pictures

#22. 1995

- Films in the top 5,000: 66
- Films in the top 1,000: 17
- Films in the top 250: 9
- Highest rank: #19
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.41

“Fluke” wins top honors from 1995, a year that also saw the release of a cult-classic film. “Clueless,” a coming-of-age film set in Beverly Hills, is widely considered one of the most beloved films of the decade.

70/
Castle Rock Entertainment

#21. 1948

- Films in the top 5,000: 68
- Films in the top 1,000: 13
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #112
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.79

“The Boy With Green Hair” is the favorite from 1948, but that wasn’t what the Academy said. That year, the British film adaptation of "Hamlet" became the first British film to win an Oscar.

71/
Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC)

#20. 1947

- Films in the top 5,000: 69
- Films in the top 1,000: 11
- Films in the top 250: 0
- Highest rank: #276
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.82

“Railroaded!” beat the competition in 1947, but you wouldn’t know that for the legions of fans of another film released that year. “Miracle on 34th Street” debuted in 1947, and has been watched at Christmases around the world ever since.

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Walt Disney Animation Studios

#19. 1940

- Films in the top 5,000: 69
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #41
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.83

“Dance, Girl, Dance” takes top billing from 1940. But two other seminal films made their debut that year, too—the Disney classics “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia.”

73/
Columbia Pictures

#18. 1949

- Films in the top 5,000: 71
- Films in the top 1,000: 7
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #115
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.84

“That Forsyte Woman” is the favorite film from 1949. But that year, another major film debuted—"All the King’s Men,” an adaptation of the wildly popular novel of the same name by Robert Penn Warren.

74/
Universal Pictures

#17. 2015

- Films in the top 5,000: 71
- Films in the top 1,000: 17
- Films in the top 250: 6
- Highest rank: #96
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.62

“Focus” takes the top slot for 2015. That year, the seventh installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise grossed a billion dollars faster than any other movie in history.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#16. 2009

- Films in the top 5,000: 71
- Films in the top 1,000: 19
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #62
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.49

“The Man With a Cloak” is the favorite from 2009. That year, for the first time, the Academy Awards said it would nominate 10 films for Best Picture instead of five.

76/
Walt Disney Productions

#15. 1950

- Films in the top 5,000: 74
- Films in the top 1,000: 12
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #57
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.79

“Dial 1119” wins the top prize for 1950. It was also a big year for Walt Disney, who debuted “Cinderella” and “Treasure Island”—the company’s first live-action films—that year.

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77/
RKO Radio Pictures

#14. 1941

- Films in the top 5,000: 74
- Films in the top 1,000: 13
- Films in the top 250: 2
- Highest rank: #79
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.86

“That Night in Rio” takes top billing for 1941. But that year, the film many consider the best of all time was also released—none other than “Citizen Kane.”

78/
Warner Bros.

#13. 2008

- Films in the top 5,000: 74
- Films in the top 1,000: 17
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #3
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.55

“Quantum of Solace” wins the top spot for 2008. The year was also when “The Dark Knight” came out—the last film in which Heath Ledger delivered a complete performance. 

79/
Lionsgate

#12. 2012

- Films in the top 5,000: 75
- Films in the top 1,000: 14
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #44
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.52

“The Expendables 2“ is the favorite from 2011. That year, both Universal and Paramount celebrated their centennial anniversaries, a first for two major film studios.

80/
Columbia Pictures

#11. 2005

- Films in the top 5,000: 76
- Films in the top 1,000: 16
- Films in the top 250: 4
- Highest rank: #89
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.45

“Hitch” takes the top spot in 2005. That year also saw the release of “Brokeback Mountain”—a groundbreaking love story between two gay men.

81/
New Line Cinema

#10. 1999

- Films in the top 5,000: 77
- Films in the top 1,000: 16
- Films in the top 250: 7
- Highest rank: #10
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.41

“Austin Powers” is the favorite film from 1999. The story of “the spy who shagged me” proved a hit with audiences far beyond opening weekend, and has inspired sequels in the years since.

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Warner Bros.

#9. 2011

- Films in the top 5,000: 79
- Films in the top 1,000: 17
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #101
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.45

“Contagion” takes top honors from 2011. That year, more sequels were made than in any other year, including a new installment in the "Harry Potter" franchise.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#8. 2013

- Films in the top 5,000: 79
- Films in the top 1,000: 20
- Films in the top 250: 6
- Highest rank: #90
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.58

“The Heat” is 2013’s favorite film. But audiences loved seeing older favorites like “Jurassic Park” and “The Wizard of Oz” in a new way—that year, those movies were released on IMAX.

84/
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#7. 1939

- Films in the top 5,000: 81
- Films in the top 1,000: 18
- Films in the top 250: 3
- Highest rank: #155
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.73

“Tarzan Finds a Son!” takes the top slot for 1939. But other long-time favorites debuted that year, as well—among them “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With the Wind.”

85/
Walt Disney Pictures

#6. 2006

- Films in the top 5,000: 83
- Films in the top 1,000: 16
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #27
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.56

“Silent Hill” is the favorite for 2006. That year also saw the release of a major favorite—”Pirates of the Caribbean”—which became Disney’s biggest earner ever overseas.

86/
Warner Bros.

#5. 2016

- Films in the top 5,000: 83
- Films in the top 1,000: 18
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #146
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.66

“Batman vs. Superman” is the fan favorite from 2016. That year marked the first time two animated films—”Zootopia” and “Finding Dory”—made more than a billion dollars in a single year.

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87/
Universal Pictures

#4. 2017

- Films in the top 5,000: 83
- Films in the top 1,000: 21
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #54
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.71

“Murder on the Orient Express” is the best film coming out of 2017. That year, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” wowed audiences as a nuanced psychological thriller about race in America, and Peele became the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

88/
Marvel Studios

#3. 2018

- Films in the top 5,000: 90
- Films in the top 1,000: 18
- Films in the top 250: 5
- Highest rank: #34
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.72

“Tag” is #1 from 2018. But that year, “Black Panther” helped the Marvel franchise become the first to gross over $14 billion at the box office.

89/
Twentieth Century Fox

#2. 2014

- Films in the top 5,000: 91
- Films in the top 1,000: 22
- Films in the top 250: 8
- Highest rank: #18
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.71

“Need for Speed” is the #1 film from 2014. That year also saw a number of thrillers, including “Gone Girl”—a film adaptation from Gillian Flynn’s smash-hit novel that transfixed audiences.

90/
Paramount Vantage

#1. 2007

- Films in the top 5,000: 98
- Films in the top 1,000: 24
- Films in the top 250: 7
- Highest rank: #99
- Average IMDb user rating: 6.69

“Music and Lyrics” is the favorite film from 2007. The year has been considered a great one for film in part due to how many of its movies managed to hit timeless notes while paying exacting attention to period detail, as with “No Country for Old Men,” a Cormac McCarthy adaptation.

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