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100 Best movies of all time

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By: Jacob Osborn
Dreamworks

100 best movies of all time

In 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumire used a cinematograph machine to project moving images onto a screen, and audiences have been more or less enraptured by cinema ever since. Naturally, movies have come a long way since the early days of 50-second reels. From every respective cinematic era, there have emerged at least a handful of masterpieces, many of which continue to draw acclaim and analysis to this day. Now, Stacker is putting all those masterpieces in one place.

Before diving into the list of the best of movies, one might wonder: Why do most movies age poorly while a choice few seem to get better with time? The foremost answer, it would seem, boils down to auteurism. In other words, the greater the creative stamp a filmmaker can put on their work, the better the chances are the work will appreciate over time. Another noticeable trend among the best movies of all time is that many of them don't take place within their respective time periods. Depicting the past or the futureor a completely separate worldis often a safer bet than depicting the present reality. Last but not least, a great film usually delivers the goods on multiple fronts. That means everything from the writing to the music to the acting is memorable, if not downright iconic. Ultimately, there is no one solitary answer, just like there is no one type of great film.

Whatever the reasons, the best movies of all time arguably represent the pinnacle of artistic achievement in the modern era which is why they're worth celebrating. Here to do just that is Stacker, which has weighted IMDb ratings and Metascores equally to create a unique score. Only English-language movies released in the U.S. were considered for the list, and each movie needed at least 20,000 votes on IMDb. If the movie didn't have a Metascore, it was not included. Counting down from #100, here are the best movies of all time.

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Bridgit Folman Film Gang

#100. Waltz with Bashir

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 91
- Year released: 2008
- Director: Ari Folman

In this autobiographical film, Israeli writer and director (and former soldier) Ari Folman attempts to reconstruct his own memories of a brutal war massacre by interviewing other soldiers who were there. Bringing the story to life is harrowing narration and an expertly rendered animation style. While the film is not English-language per se, it was widely screened in America to rapturous acclaim. It also won both a Directors Guild of America Award and a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Directing and Best Screenplay, respectively, in the documentary category.

Warner Bros

#99. The Circus

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 1928
- Director: Charles Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin bridged slapstick comedy with tender melancholy in The Circus. Chaplin's role was as the Little Tramp, a drifter who gets hired as a clown when he accidentally runs into the middle of a circus performance while trying to evade police officers. As a clown, Little Tramp is only funny when he's not trying to be and suffers from an ill-fated infatuation with a bareback rider. The movie won an Academy Award at the first presentation ceremony of the awards in 1929 for Versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing, and producing. In spite of this achievement, the process of filming was the worst in Chaplin's career. He was in the process of divorcing Lita Grey as her lawyers dragged Chaplin's name through the mud and sought to acquire his studio assets, forcing an eight-month pause in production.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#98. Ben-Hur

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 1959
- Director: William Wyler

Featuring epic chariot battles and a cameo from Jesus Christ himself, this 1959 adventure film stars Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who must fight for his freedom after being sold into slavery. It won an astounding 11 Academy Awards in 1960, including Best Picture. Far less memorable was a 2016 remake, which opened to little fanfare and swiftly tanked at the box office.

Paramount Pictures

#97. The Truman Show

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 1998
- Director: Peter Weir

A film that only gets more prescient with time, 1998's The Truman Show takes place in a completely fabricated town, where cameras lurk behind every corner and every citizen is an actor or actress. Every citizen, that is, except Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), the unwitting subject of a 24-hour reality show. As Truman catches on to the truth behind his existence, his cozy reality begins to collapse around him. Meanwhile, a megalomaniac named Christof (Ed Harris) pulls all the strings from above. Proving just how poignant the movie was and remains, a psychological condition known as the Truman Show Delusion has arisen in its wake.

Pixar Animation Studios

#96. Finding Nemo

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 2003
- Director: Andrew Stanton

Given Pixar's masterful grip on storytelling and computer animation alike, it's no surprise that the studio dominates when it comes to the best films of the 21st century. One of their most celebrated efforts is this 2003 adventure, in which a clownfish named Marlin navigates a perilous undersea terrain to find his missing son, Nemo. Until The Incredibles 2 came along in 2018, this was Pixar's highest worldwide grossing film to date.

Warner Independent Pictures

#95. Before Sunset

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 2004
- Director: Richard Linklater

The second installment in Richard Linklater's acclaimed Before Trilogy finds American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Frenchwoman Celine (Julie Delpy) reconnecting nine years after they first crossed paths in 1995's Before Sunrise. Jesse is now a published writer, and Celine an environmental activist. Like its predecessor, and likewise its successor, 2013's Before Midnight, the film is about nothing and everything all at once, following Jesse and Celine as they see sights, talk life, and flirt with romance against a rich Parisian backdrop.

2.4.7 Films

#94. Persepolis

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 2007
- Director: Vincent Paronnaud

Based on a graphic novel, this adult animated film starts out during the Islamic Revolution in Iran and centers on a young girl named Marjane 'Marji' Satrapi. What at first feels like a victory for Marji's family becomes the opposite, as a tyrannical regime overtakes the country. In response, Marji moves to Vienna to study, where she encounters a different type of torment, prompting her to wonder where she truly belongs. Lending their respective voices to the North American version of Persepolis were notable stars like Iggy Pop, Sean Penn, and Gena Rowlands.

Warner Bros.

#93. Mad Max: Fury Road

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 2015
- Director: George Miller

Aussie director George Miller resurrected his classic Mad Max franchise in 2015, with Tom Hardy taking on the lead role, formerly played by Mel Gibson. However, most fans would argue it's Charlize Theron's Furiosa who steals the show in this dazzling adventure movie, which sees her and Mad Max escaping the clutches of an evil warlord. As one might expect, the explosive action goes down in a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by all sorts of depraved humans. While rumors of a follow-up persist, a recent lawsuit made the prospect seem doubtful.

Chartoff-Winkler Productions

#92. Raging Bull

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 89
- Year released: 1980
- Director: Jake LaMotta

Middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta is the subject of this gripping 1980 biopic from Martin Scorsese. Playing the rugged boxer to superb effect is actor Robert De Niro, who won an Academy Award for his performance. It was actually De Niro who convinced Scorsese to make the film, after reading Lamotta's memoir while shooting The Godfather II. Proving just how committed he was to the role, De Niro gained 60 pounds to play LaMotta in the movie's later scenes.

Westwood Studios Inc.

#91. Blade Runner

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 89
- Year released: 1982
- Director: Ridley Scott

Infusing the sci-fi genre with neo-noir overtones, this Ridley Scott flick has gained a healthy cult following since its somewhat lackluster 1982 release. In the film, a Blade Runner named Deckard (Harrison Ford) hunts down and assassinate four rogue replicants, all of whom are trying to increase their preordained lifespans. Reportedly unhappy with the original theatrical version, Scott oversaw the release of a director's cut in 1992, and then a final cut in 2007. For those seeking the best version, skip straight to the final cut. A sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in 2017.

Universal International Pictures (UI)

#90. To Kill a Mockingbird

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 88
- Year released: 1962
- Director: Robert Mulligan

The film version of Harper Lee's classic 1960 novel stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. To Kill a Mockingbird received eight Academy Awards nominations and took home awards for Best Actor, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black and White. It stands today as much of a cinematic masterpiece as it did almost 60 years ago, despite its diversions from the novel; namely, its deeper focus on Atticus (the result Peck complaining after seeing the first cut of the film that too much focus was on the children and not enough on his character).

AMLF

#89. Amadeus

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 88
- Year released: 1984
- Director: Milos Forman

Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, this 1984 biopic chronicles the life of Amadeus Mozart, namely through the eyes of his bitter contemporary, Antonio Salieri. Striving for authenticity, director Milos Forman shot the film using only natural light, arguably taking some cues from Stanley Kubrick, who did the same when making Barry Lyndon. To prepare for his role as the famous composer, actor Tom Hulce practiced piano for four-to-five hours a day before filming began.

Strong Heart/Demme Production

#88. The Silence of the Lambs

- Stacker score: 89.1
- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Metascore: 85
- Year released: 1991
- Director: Jonathan Demme

This 1991 crime drama wasn't the first to put Hannibal Lecter up on the big screen, but it was certainly the most impactful. Playing the iconic sadist to lizard-like perfection was actor Anthony Hopkins, who engages in a battle of wits with FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), as he helps her track down a serial killer named Buffalo Bill. Winner of five Academy Awards, the film was followed by a sequel, a prequel, a TV show, and even an 8-bit video game-style short film.

Philip D'Antoni Productions

#87. The French Connection

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1971
- Director: William Friedkin

Short-tempered New York City cop Jimmy Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) is on the trail of drug smugglers in this 1971 crime drama from William Friedkin. Based on real life events, as depicted in a book by Robin Moore, the movie culminates with a now-famous car chase sequence, much of which was filmed without proper permits.

Paramount Pictures

#86. Duck Soup

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1933
- Director: Leo McCarey

As the wealthy benefactor of a bankrupt nation called Freedonia, Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) installs Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) as president. Hilarity and hijinks ensue in this classic film that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini famously banned in Italy because he thought it was about him.

Walter Wanger Productions

#85. Stagecoach

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1939
- Director: John Ford

Stagecoach goes down in history as the film featuring John Wayne in his breakthrough role as the Ringo Kid. The storyline follows a ragtag group of characters aboard the Overboard stagecoach en route from Arizona Territory to New Mexico while the threat of outlawsor an Apache attackwaits around every bend.

Mercury Productions

#84. The Magnificent Ambersons

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1942
- Director: Orson Welles

This celebrated period drama from Orson Welles is based on the 1918 novel by the same name that won author Booth Tarkington the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Welles' original screenplayabout a spoiled heir and the dissolving estates of three generations of his familyin 2002 was adapted into a made-for-TV movie on A&E.

Warner Bros.

#83. Badlands

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1973
- Director: Terrence Malick

Terrence Malick's first feature-length film is also one of his most straightforward. Like a bucolic answer to Bonnie & Clyde, Badlands centers on a teenage girl named Holly (Sissy Spacek) and her older boyfriend Kit (Martin Sheen), who embark on a killing spree through South Dakota. Included in the movie is dreamy theme music by Carl Orff. Decades later, composer Hans Zimmer paid homage to Orff's theme when scoring the film True Romance, which features a similar story premise.

Paramount Pictures

#82. Days of Heaven

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1978
- Director: Terrence Malick

Set during the turn of the 20th century, Days of Heaven follows a romantic couple named Bill and Abby as they take up employment on a Texas farm where they pretend to be siblings. When it's discovered that the landowner has feelings for Abby, the couple try to exploit those feelings for personal gain. Featuring lush cinematography and sparse dialogue, the movie cemented director Terrence Malick's status as a visual maestro, albeit one of an elusive nature. True to his mysterious persona, Malick went on a 20-year hiatus after this film was released.

Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

#81. Annie Hall

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 1977
- Director: Woody Allen

Woody Allen is still cranking out new movies, which may or may not see the light of day, at the age of 82. Meanwhile, 1977's Annie Hall remains one of his most groundbreaking achievements, namely for its unconventional style. Specifically, Allen breaks the fourth wall, incorporates animation, reads minds, time jumps, and employs a variety of comedic devices, all while telling a relatively simple love story. Not only was the movie influential as a work of art, but the title character (played by Diane Keaton) became something of a fashion icon.

Spinal Tap Productions

#80. This Is Spinal Tap

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 1984
- Director: Rob Reiner

The mockumentary to which all other mockumentaries aspire, This Is Spinal Tap follows England's loudest fictional band as it embarks on a tour of disastrous proportion. In addition to being a hilarious work of art, the movie remains a cornerstone of pop culture, with the band itself once appearing in an episode of The Simpsons. While the film and its subsequent merchandising might sound like a blatant success story for all those involved, many of its participants filed a lawsuit, claiming that they'd been bilked out of millions in profits.

Jalem Productions

#79. Cool Hand Luke

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 91
- Year released: 1967
- Director: Stuart Rosenberg

In this 1967 drama, Paul Newman plays a laid-back inmate in a rural prison, who routinely clashes with his overseers. Ex-convict Donn Pearce authored the book upon which the film was based and co-wrote the screenplay. Despite his involvement, Pearce would later express disappointment in the finished product.

Paramount Vantage

#78. No Country for Old Men

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 91
- Year released: 2007
- Director: Ethan Coen

Filmmaking duo the Coen brothers didn't let the dense prose of Cormac McCarthy inhibit them from faithfully adapting No Country for Old Men. In the 2007 film, a man (Josh Brolin) comes upon $2 million in missing drug money and soon finds himself being hunted by a ruthless killer (Javier Bardem). For the most part, the movie stays true to the source material, while terrific performances bring every character even further to life.

Focus Features

#77. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 89
- Year released: 2004
- Director: Michel Gondry

All the broken hearts out there can certainly relate to this surrealist film from director Michel Gondry and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. It takes place in a society that seems quite similar to modern day America, with perhaps a single exception: there's a medical procedure that will erase ex-lovers from one's memory. After Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) suffer a bad breakup, they decide to undergo the procedure, only to discover that love still finds a way.

Universal Pictures

#76. Back to the Future

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 87
- Year released: 1985
- Director: Robert Zemeckis

Few adventure films have held up with the same panache as 1985's Back to the Future, which delivers one iconic scene after another. Featuring a downright twisted premise, the movie follows young Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) as he journeys into the past, only to end up as the object of his future mother's affection. Suddenly, Marty finds himself playing matchmaker between his two teenage parents, with his own existence hanging in the balance. Two sequels and an animated TV series would follow.

Marvel Entertainment

#75. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

- Stacker score: 89.6
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 87
- Year released: 2018
- Director: Bob Persichetti

The latest, animated adaptation of the Spider-Man saga is also the first animated Spider-Man feature in the franchise. The storyline takes place in an interdimensional multiverse (Spider-Verse) as Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) faces down a threat to all realities.

Universal Pictures

#74. Shadow of a Doubt

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1943
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock

This psychological thriller film noir from the master of suspense follows Charlie Newton (Teresa Wright) as she discovers her Uncle Charles (Joseph Cotten) is wanted for murder. Alfred Hitchcock, known for making cameos in his films, appears during minute 16 aboard a train to Santa Rosa, playing a game of bridge.

Faliro House Productions

#73. Before Midnight

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 2013
- Director: Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy goes out on a high noteor does it?with this 2013 film, which picks things up nine years after the events of "Before Sunset." Now, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are living together as a married couple with two twin daughters, though cracks are starting to show in their relationship. Like its predecessors, the film retains a loose narrative and covers a spectrum of both philosophical and humanistic themes.

Ealing Studios

#72. Dunkirk

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 2017
- Director: Christopher Nolan

Depicting the evacuation of Allied forces from the French seaport of Dunkirk, this 2017 war film throws viewers into the action during its opening scene and never lets up throughout the entire 106-minute runtime. Like most films based on true stories, this one came under fire for omitting key details of the actual event. However, one might argue Nolan was striving for an authentic sense of atmosphere over historical accuracy. To that end: mission accomplished.

Summit Entertainment

#71. La La Land

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 2016
- Director: Damien Chazelle

Modernizing the traditional musical, La La Land takes place in the city of dreams, and tells the story of two aspiring artists, one a musician (Ryan Gosling) and the other an actress (Emma Stone). Kicking the film off on a high note is a six-minute song-and-dance number that goes down in the middle of freeway traffic. Filming the scene took two days and involved stitching three consecutive shots together to create what appeared to be a single take.

The Samuel Goldwyn Company

#70. The Best Years of Our Lives

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 1946
- Director: William Wyler

In this harrowing 1946 drama, three soldiers return home after serving in World War II, and then struggle to reintegrate into society. It was directed by William Wyler, a former Air Force major whose previous war film, Mrs. Miniver, is held in similarly high regard. Despite the grim and depressing tone, The Best Years of Our Lives was the biggest box office success since 1939's Gone With the Wind.

Hemdale

#69. Platoon

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 1986
- Director: Oliver Stone

Loosely inspired by his own experiences, Oliver Stone wrote and directed this award-winning Vietnam War film, in which a young soldier named Chris (Charlie Sheen) encounters brutal conflict on every conceivable front. In addition to fighting a largely unseen enemy, Chris must also grapple with the ongoing showdown between two of his commanding officers. That's not to mention the psychological battle Chris fights from within.

Horizon Pictures

#68. On the Waterfront

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 91
- Year released: 1954
- Director: Elia Kazan

On the Waterfront is a black and white crime drama starring Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, a dockworker whose brother (Rod Steiger) works closely with their corrupted dockers' union boss (Lee J. Cobb). Throughout the movie, pressure builds as Malloy seeks to find his own footing and voiceand stand up to the crooked overlord. The film won eight Oscars and four Golden Globes.

Regency Enterprises

#67. L.A. Confidential

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 1997
- Director: Curtis Hanson

Adapted from James Ellroy's brilliant pulp novel, this 1997 crime drama takes place in 1950s Los Angeles and follows three police officers as they investigate a horrific murder. As the probe deepens, the officers come up against a tide of corruption, the source of which hits closer to home than they ever could have imagined. Included in the star-studded cast are Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, and James Cromwell.

Bold Films

#66. Whiplash

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 88
- Year released: 2014
- Director: Damien Chazelle

True to its name, the debut film from Damien Chazelle came at audiences hard and fast in 2014, earning heaps of acclaim and no shortage of awards. It tells the story of a jazz student named Andrew (Miles Teller) who endures physical and psychological torture under the tutelage of an abusive instructor (J. K. Simmons). To secure funding for the project, Chazelle first shot Whiplash as a short film, which won the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance. Needless to say, funding was quickly secured soon after.

Castle Rock Entertainment

#65. The Shawshank Redemption

- Stacker score: 90.1
- IMDb rating: 9.3
- Metascore: 80
- Year released: 1994
- Director: Frank Darabont

Even decades after its release, The Shawshank Redemption still holds the #1 spot on IMDb's list of Highest Rated Titles. Here on Stacker's list, it doesn't necessarily fare as well, but that's not to say the film is anything short of spectacular. Based on a novella by Stephen King, it tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker convicted of his wife's murder who grapples with decades of prison life starting in the mid-1940s. Helping him cope is a fellow inmate named Red (Morgan Freeman).

Walt Disney Productions

#64. Fantasia

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1940
- Director: James Algar

Walt Disney's bold, psychedelic fantasy adventure Fantasia goes down in history as the wildest Disney film to date. The movie's eight animated parts of the film are set to a classical musical score conducted by Leopold Stokowski; the film utilized the work of over 1,000 artists and techs to create more than 500 characters.

ABC Entertainment

#63. Nashville

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1975
- Director: Robert Altman

Nashville brings together a group of people deeply embedded in Nashville's gospel and country music scene through a series of unpredictable events in the lead-up to a political convention. The film received an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

Amazon Studios

#62. Manchester by the Sea

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 2016
- Director: Kenneth Lonergan

Dramas don't get much more somber than this one from acclaimed writer/director Kenneth Lonergan. In the film, a brooding handyman (Casey Affleck) is given guardianship over his 16-year-old nephew and thereby forced to confront some traumatic demons from his own past. Michelle Williams co-stars and turns in one of her finest performances.

Esperanto Filmoj

#61. Roma

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 2018
- Director: Alfonso Cuarn

Alfonso Cuarn drew on his own experiences growing up to paint a stunning, emotional portrait of a family's live-in housekeeper. Roma took home three Oscars and captured 10 of the 15 Ariel Awards (Mexico's Academy Awards) it was nominated for.

Warner Bros.

#60. My Fair Lady

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 1964
- Director: George Cukor

My Fair Lady is a classic take on Bernard Shaw's 1918 play Pygmalian, but certainly not the last. Other classic films about project women who men try to shape into more acceptable members of society include Pretty Woman, Educating Rita, and, of course, She's All That. While My Fair Lady features an unforgettable performance by Audrey Hepburn, the actress' singing was dubbed over by soprano Marni Nixon.

C.V. Whitney Pictures

#59. The Searchers

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1956
- Director: John Ford

The influence of The Searchers on all cinema that came after it is felt throughout the Western genre and virtually every other genre as well, from sci-fi's Close Encounters of the Third Kind to psychological thriller Taxi Driver. Set during the Texas-Indian Wars, the plot follows a Civil War veteran (John Wayne) as he spends years trying to find his kidnapped niece (Natalie Wood). In the years since The Searchers debuted, the problematic, racist views of its characters have been widely discussed by critics and fellow filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino famously said of John Ford I hate him); Roger Ebert asked rhetorically, Is the film intended to endorse their attitudes, or to dramatize and regret them?

M.C. Productions

#58. The Manchurian Candidate

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1962
- Director: John Frankenheimer

Fearing its political premiseabout a former prisoner-of-war soldier who's brainwashed into becoming an assassinwas far too controversial, the upper echelon over at United Artists were initially reluctant to finance this harrowing thriller. In fact, it took a personal plea from President John F. Kennedy himself, on behalf of star Frank Sinatra, to get The Manchurian Candidate approved. Alas, the project went forward and resulted in one of the best films of all time.

Columbia Pictures Corporation

#57. The Last Picture Show

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1971
- Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Set in a withering West Texas town circa 1951, this brilliant drama from Peter Bogdanovich chronicles a group of high school students as they fool around, grapple with various emotions, and try to figure out what the future has in store. Winner of two Academy Awards, the film offers a bleak but utterly empathetic portrait of teenage life, and one that still resonates decades later. In 1990, Bogdanovich directed a follow-up, Texasville, to relatively little fanfare.

Participant Media

#56. Spotlight

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 2015
- Director: Tom McCarthy

Given recent events, Hollywood might have to make a sequel to this award-winning drama, in which Boston Globe reporters uncover a child abuse scandal involving the local Catholic Archdiocese. Not only is the film based on a true story, but a number of real-life Boston Globe journalists were on hand as consultants. Reportedly, Walter Robinson even said of his on-screen counterpart, If Michael Keaton robbed a bank, the police would quickly have me in handcuffs.

Paramount Pictures

#55. Chinatown

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 1974
- Director: Roman Polanski

This noir-ish thriller takes place in 1937 and centers on a private investigator J.J. Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), who gets embroiled in a vicious scheme involving L.A.'s water supply. Frequently pointed to as an absolute masterclass in filmmaking, the movie delivers taut writing, exceptional acting, and an ending that goes straight to the bone. Faye Dunaway and John Huston co-star.

Twentieth Century-Fox Productions

#54. Alien

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 89
- Year released: 1979
- Director: Ridley Scott

The sparring between warrant officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and the Alien spawned a franchise that's included three sequels, two crossover films, and three prequels (Alien: Awakening was reportedly being scripted as of May 2019). The otherworldly genesis taleand all its associated hijinkshas all the ingredients for a riveting, sci-fi action saga.

New Line Cinema

#53. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Metascore: 87
- Year released: 2002
- Director: Peter Jackson

Next to the Star Wars saga, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy (and the subsequent Hobbit prequels) endures as one of the most celebrated franchises of all time. In this 2002 installment, Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor, in hopes of destroying an all-powerful ring. Joining them for the trip is a shifty creature named Gollum, who has plans of his own.

Warner Bros.

#52. The Dark Knight

- Stacker score: 90.6
- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Metascore: 84
- Year released: 2008
- Director: Christopher Nolan

More than just the gold standard of comic book adaptations, "The Dark Knight" holds the #3 spot on the list of IMDb's Highest Rated Titles. As the second film in Christopher Nolan's heralded "Dark Knight" trilogy, it sees Christian Bale returning as the caped crusader, and squaring off against Heath Ledger's Joker. According to legend, Ledger drew inspiration from bands like The Sex Pistols and movies like "A Clockwork Orange" when preparing for the role.

Otto Preminger Films

#51. Anatomy of a Murder

- Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 1959
- Director: Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger's epic courtroom drama follows lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart) as he tries to clear Army Lt. Manion (Ben Gazzara) for the murder of an innkeeper Manion's wife (Lee Remick) said raped her. The film is based on the 1958 book by the same name, written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker (pen name: Robert Traver), which helps explain the accuracy of the story's details about the case.

Warner Brothers/Seven Arts

#50. The Wild Bunch

- Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 1969
- Director: Sam Peckinpah

All-stars Ernest Borgnine, William Holden, and Robert Ryan deliver stunning performances as outlaws past their prime in this timeless Western that was nominated for two Oscars. The film about men trying to contend with the ever-evolving world around them caused a stir for its raw depictions of survival and what was then considered gratuitous violence.

DisCina

#49. Beauty and the Beast

- Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 1991
- Director: Gary Trousdale

The recent live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast might have raked in a large sum of dollars at the box office, but it's the 1991 animated version that holds up as a bona fide work of art. Released by Disney amid a major comeback, the film tells a tale as old as time. It's about a young prince who's doomed to exist as a beast unless he can earn the love of his captive and thereby reverse the spell. It's a charming movie, provided one doesn't think too hard about the somewhat disturbing implications.

Paramount Pictures

#48. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

 Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1962
- Director: John Ford

Director John Ford and actor John Wayne collaborated on several celebrated movies, including this one from 1962. In the film, a senator (James Stewart) returns to the town where he once famously shot a man named Liberty Valance. Or did he? As he recounts the tale, it's revealed that a gunslinger named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) might be the story's true hero.

Paramount Vantage

#47. There Will Be Blood

- Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 2007
- Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Loosely inspired by an Upton Sinclair novel, this Paul Thomas Anderson drama follows oilman Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he rises to power at the turn of the century. One of the few things getting in Plainview's way is a local pastor named Eli, played brilliantly by Paul Dano. As the two figures butt heads repeatedly, the film itself becomes a gripping study of ambition and exploitation.

Walt Disney Pictures

#46. Toy Story 3

- Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 2010
- Director: Lee Unkrich

Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and the gang are back for the third installment in the Toy Story franchise. This time around, Andy is college bound, and hence a little too old to play with toys. Following his negligence, the toys end up at a local daycare center, where the children are ruthless, and an evil bear named Lotso runs the show at night.

Liberty Films

#45. It's a Wonderful Life

- Stacker score: 91.1
- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Metascore: 89
- Year released: 1946
- Director: Frank Capra

This 1946 classic might make for ideal holiday viewing, but the truth is there's never a wrong time to watch it. Directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart, It's a Wonderful Life shows a businessman (Stewart) what life would have been like had he never existed. To think, the movie itself wouldn't exist had a frustrated writer named Philip Van Doren Stern not sent his rejected short story out as a Christmas card to all his friends and loved ones.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#44. The Philadelphia Story

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1940
- Director: George Cukor

Starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart, this 1940 classic takes place days before socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn) is set to remarry a stuffed-shirt millionaire. Things seem to be running smoothly enough until Lord's ex-husband (Grant) and a reporter (Stewart) enter the picture and respectively express feelings for her. What ensues is an Old Hollywood romantic comedy of the highest order.

Charles K. Feldman Group

#43. A Streetcar Named Desire

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1951
- Director: Elia Kazan

A renowned play by Tennessee Williams leaped onto the big screen in 1951, with Elia Kazan helming, and Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh tackling the respective lead roles. In the film, a troubled woman named Blanche DuBois (Leigh) moves in with her sister Stella (Kim Hunter), only to find herself at odds with Stella's brutish husband, Stanley (Brando). This is one of only two films in history to win three Academy Awards for acting.

William Castle Productions

#42. Rosemary's Baby

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1968
- Director: Roman Polanski

A true exercise in terror, this 1968 film stars Mia Farrow as Rosemary, a woman who goes to sleep one night and wakes up pregnant the next day. As many sinister events unfold around her, Rosemary realizes her feverish nightmare on the night in question wasn't a nightmare after all and that she might be carrying the spawn of Satan himself. Making the creepy premise that much creepier is some haunting theme music from Krzysztof Komeda.

Pixar Animation Studios

#41. Ratatouille

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 2007
- Director: Brad Bird

In this animated flick from Pixar, an epicurean rat named Remy ends up inside the kitchen of a once-famous French restaurant, where he puts his culinary skills to work. Rather than risk exposure, Remy hides inside the hat of a bumbling kitchen employee named Alfredo Linguini and controls Linguini's movements by pulling on his hair. Thanks to their teamwork, the French restaurant re-attains its status as a veritable dining destination. But will Remy and Linguini's cuisine impress the harshest critic in France? Watch to find out.

Kettledrum Films

#40. Inside Out

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 2015
- Director: Pete Docter

Representing yet another home run from Pixar, this 2015 animated feature primarily takes place within the mind of a young girl named Riley. After Riley's family moves to a new city, she suffers a range of emotions, each personified by a specific character. As Riley seeks mental balance in her new surroundings, her emotions embark on a harrowing journey of epic proportion. Featured in the film are the voices of comedic talents like Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Lewis Black.

Lucasfilm

#39. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 1977
- Director: George Lucas

The biggest franchise in cinematic history started with this groundbreaking space epic, which introduced audiences to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader. Inspired by everything from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey to the works of philosopher Joseph Campbell, George Lucas unleashed a fully realized world and one that's still unfolding by way of new installments. Ultimately, this is a franchise so impactful that there might one day be an actual Millennium Falcon flying through space, if only because some genius Star Wars fan made it happen.

Warner Bros.

#38. Goodfellas

- Stacker score: 91.7
- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Metascore: 89
- Year released: 1990
- Director: Martin Scorsese

Few movies are more quotable or compulsively watchable than 1990's Goodfellas, which chronicles the rise and fall of Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta), a criminal with close ties to the Italian-American mafia. Between the deft camerawork, the brilliant acting, the gripping violence, and the iconic soundtrack, the movie is quite simply a gift that keeps on giving, revealing new details with every viewing. A number of actors in the film would later appear in HBO's hit show The Sopranos, and that's no coincidence. After all, The Sopranos creator David Chase did once refer to Goodfellas as his Koran.

Warner Bros.

#37. The Adventures of Robin Hood

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 97
- Year released: 1938
- Director: Michael Curtiz

The story of Robin Hood has been adapted for the big screen multiple times since the dawn of cinema, but it's this 1938 version that ranks as the best one, according to fans and critics alike. Famously starring Errol Flynn in the title role, the movie sees Robin Hood leading the resistance against an oppressive king. Not only was the film a massive success upon its initial release, but it raked in even more cash after being re-released in technicolor 10 years later.

Twentieth Century Fox

#36. The Grapes of Wrath

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1940
- Director: John Ford

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by John Steinbeck, this 1940 drama takes place in California's Dust Bowl at the height of the Great Depression and chronicles the struggles of an impoverished family. In spite of its bleak themes, the movie was both a financial and critical success, winning two Academy Awards. Inspired by the film, famous folk singer Woody Guthrie penned his iconic song The Ballad of Tom Joad.

Warner Bros.

#35. The Maltese Falcon

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1941
- Director: John Huston

From the acclaimed novel by Dashiell Hammett came this classic film noir, in which hard-boiled private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) outmaneuvers cunning criminals and duplicitous dames while hunting for a priceless statuette. Warner Bros. released two previous versions in the years leading up to this celebrated film, one of them being a comedic misfire. Proving just how legendary this third version remains, a 45-pound prop statuette used in the film sold at auction in 2013 for a whopping $4 million.

Regency Enterprises

#34. 12 Years a Slave

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 2013
- Director: Steve McQueen

Based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, this 2013 drama tells the true story of a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from the north who's abducted and sold into slavery down south. Over the following 12 years, Northup and his peers suffer unspeakable torment and abuse at the hands of a sadistic slave-owner (Michael Fassbender). The gripping film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The Mirisch Corporation

#33. The Apartment

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1960
- Director: Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder's classic rom-com follows the odd world of insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), who lets executives at his firm use his apartment for extramarital affairs as a means to move up in the company. All doesn't go as planned when Baxter's manager Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) brings home the elevator girl from work (Shirley MacLaine) for whom Baxter has feelings of his own. During filming, Wilder only gave MacLaine 40 pages of the script so she wouldn't find out how the story ended.

Columbia Pictures Corporation

#32. Taxi Driver

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1976
- Director: Martin Scorsese

One of Martin Scorsese's earliest masterpieces, this 1976 film follows a mentally unbalanced taxi driver named Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), whose pent up disgust with New York City slowly devolves into violence. Co-starring as a 12-year-old prostitute is Jodie Foster, in one of her most challenging roles. According to legend, screenwriter Paul Schrader made numerous revisions to Foster's character after meeting an underage prostitute in real life.

DreamWorks

#31. Saving Private Ryan

- Stacker score: 92.2
- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Metascore: 91
- Year released: 1998
- Director: Steven Spielberg

Featuring one of the most memorable battle scenes in movie history, Saving Private Ryan follows Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad as they track down a paratrooper named Private Ryan (Matt Damon), before Ryan's mother loses her last son to World War II. Director Steven Spielberg decided to helm the film as a tribute to his own father, who served in both the U.S. Army and Signal Corps during WWII. The movie would go on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Director.

Paramount Pictures

#30. Double Indemnity

- Stacker score: 92.7
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 1944
- Director: Billy Wilder

In this 1944 film noir from Billy Wilder, an insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) is lured into a murderous plot by a gorgeous femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck). While accomplished mystery author Raymond Chandler helped write the screenplay and even has a secret cameo in the film, the movie itself is based on a book by James M. Cain. Another one of Cain's novels, The Postman Always Rings Twice, featured a similar premise and was adapted twice for the big screen.

Pixar Animation Studios

#29. Toy Story

- Stacker score: 92.7
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 1995
- Director: John Lasseter

If the current era of computer animation kicked off with a single film, that film is 1995's Toy Story, about a bunch of toys who spring to life when their owners aren't looking. Firing on every cylinder, the movie immediately made Woody and Buzz Lightyear two household names. The film also made Pixar a veritable force to be reckoned with. Look for a fourth installment to premiere in 2019.

IFC Productions

#28. Boyhood

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 2014
- Director: Richard Linklater

A film quite unlike any other, 2014's Boyhood chronicles the life of its protagonist, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), over the course of 12 years. What truly distinguishes the work, however, is the fact that director Richard Linklater actually took 12 years to make it, meaning Mason's development authentically unfolds before the viewer's eyes. Like so many Linklater films, this one relies on the humanistic strength of its characters to get its point across, as opposed to adhering to a strict narrative. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke co-star.

Paul Gregory Productions

#27. The Night of the Hunter

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 99
- Year released: 1955
- Director: Charles Laughton

Renowned film critic Pauline Kael called this 1955 thriller one of the most frightening movies ever made. While modern audiences might not necessarily agree, they can still find plenty to relish when watching Night of the Hunter, a truly off-kilter work that stars Robert Mitchum as crazed religious fanatic Harry Powell. Following the clues left behind by his former prison cellmate, Powell finagles his way into the life of a widow and her two children, taking every conceivable measure to find out where they're hiding $10,000 in cash.

Universal International Pictures

#26. Touch of Evil

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 99
- Year released: 1958
- Director: Orson Welles

The name Orson Welles might be most synonymous with 1941's Citizen Kane, but this 1958 effort is similarly phenomenal. After opening with one of the most famous tracking shots in history, the film dives into the story of scandal, corruption, and murder in a small Mexican border town. Starring as Police Capt. Hank Quinlan is Welles himself, who later claimed this was the most fun he'd ever had making a picture.

Selznick International Pictures

#25. Gone with the Wind

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 97
- Year released: 1939
- Director: Victor Fleming

Sagas don't get much more sweeping than this four-hour epic from 1939. Based on Margaret Mitchell's equally voluminous novel, Gone with the Wind depicts the ongoing struggles of an eccentric woman named Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh), as she encounters hardship and romance during the Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction era. Meanwhile, getting the film made in the first place was its own sweeping saga. Specifically, the studio went through numerous directors, writers, and actors before arriving at the final product.

Ashton Productions

#24. Some Like It Hot

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 97
- Year released: 1959
- Director: Billy Wilder

In this 1959 comedy, two male musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) dress up as women and join an all-female band, as they simultaneously evade murderous mobsters. Still adjusting to their new personas, the men befriend singer and ukulele-player Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, played by Marilyn Monroe. While Monroe's performance is nowadays the stuff of legend, she was reportedly difficult to work with during the shoot, frequently showing up late and forgetting her lines.

FortyFour Studios

#23. WALLE

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 8.4
- Metascore: 95
- Year released: 2008
- Director: Andrew Stanton

Set in the distant (or not too distant) future, WALLE represents one of Pixar's most ambitious projects, and features virtually no dialogue for the first 20 minutes. It follows the adventures of its title character, a lovable robot who's tasked with wading through garbage on an uninhabitable Earth. After boarding a spaceship, WALLE discovers what humans have been up to since they destroyed the planet. And what is that, one might ask? Eating and watching TV, mostly.

Zoetrope Studios

#22. Apocalypse Now

- Stacker score: 93.2
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1979
- Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Putting a surrealist spin on a classic Joseph Conrad novel, this 1979 film takes place during the Vietnam War and sends Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) into the deepest regions of the Cambodian jungle. His mission? To find and assassinate a crazed colonel named Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who's become the overlord to a jungle tribe. To get the film made, director Francis Ford Coppola put up several million dollars of his own money and underwent all sorts of medical trauma during the shoot. The effort paid off, as the movie endures as a genuine masterpiece. Decades after its initial release, Coppola rolled out an expanded version, also known as Apocalypse Now Redux.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#21. The Wizard of Oz

- Stacker score: 93.8
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1939
- Director: Victor Fleming

Essential viewing among children of all ages, this 1939 film tells the story of Dorothy (Judy Garland), a farm girl who gets knocked out during a tornado and wakes up in the magical world of Oz. With the help of a lion, a scarecrow, and a tin man, Dorothy and her dog Toto search for the wonderful wizard, in hopes he can send her home. Along the way, she famously incurs the wrath of a wicked witch.

RKO Radio Pictures

#20. Notorious

- Stacker score: 93.8
- IMDb rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1946
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Indelible stars Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant shine bright in Notorious, a lauded Alfred Hitchcock film that centers on a government agent (Grant) who sends the daughter of a German war criminal (Bergman) to go undercover and spy on a group of Nazis in South Americaone of whom had (and may still have) feelings for her. She agrees because of her feelings for the agent, setting off a visually stunning, high-stakes love story as only Hitchcock can do.

Warner Bros.

#19. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

- Stacker score: 93.8
- IMDb rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 98
- Year released: 1948
- Director: John Huston

The ultimate exercise in greed-based paranoia, this 1948 film stars Humphrey Bogart as Fred Dobbs, a down-on-his-luck thief who uncovers a fortune in gold with the help of two men. Soon enough, Dobbs suspects the others are conspiring against him, with his subsequent actions eventually leading to his demise. The movie won three Academy Awards, including two for writer/director John Huston, and later provided the framework for a classic episode of The Simpsons.

New Line Cinema

#18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

- Stacker score: 93.8
- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Metascore: 92
- Year released: 2001
- Director: Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy kicked off in 2001 with this celebrated installment. After coming into possession of a powerful ring, a hobbit named Frodo (Elijah Wood) and his companions set out to destroy the relic before it ends up in the wrong hands. Hot on their tail is a range of murderous creatures, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the all-powerful ring.

Paramount Pictures

#17. The Godfather: Part II

- Stacker score: 93.8
- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Metascore: 90
- Year released: 1974
- Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Continuing The Godfather saga to rapturous acclaim (and six Academy Awards), this 1974 sequel finds Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) squaring off against a sea of troubles while trying to both expand and legitimize his empire. Also, depicted is a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), who journeys to America from Italy in the early 1900s, and ascends to power after murdering the local don. After De Niro won an Academy Award for his performance, he and Marlon Brando became the only two actors in history to win an Oscar for their portrayal of the same character.

Norma Productions

#16. Sweet Smell of Success

- Stacker score: 94.3
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1957
- Director: Alexander Mackendrick

Some of the best films take a little time to catch on with audiences, eventually obtaining masterpiece status. Such was the case with 1957's Sweet Smell of Success, which underperformed upon its initial release, but has since earned itself a very loyal following. Converging multiple genres such as drama and noir, the movie centers on an unscrupulous Broadway columnist named J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), who goes to great lengths to destroy his sister's relationship with a jazz musician.

Twentieth Century Fox

#15. All About Eve

- Stacker score: 94.3
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 98
- Year released: 1950
- Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

In this 1950 drama, an obsessive actress (Anne Baxter) climbs her way to the top of a theater company by ruthlessly manipulating her supposed idol (Bette Davis). Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve cynicallyalbeit accuratelyportrays show business as a cruel and unforgiving industry, especially to actresses of a certain age. The film was nominated for 14 Academy Awards (winning six of them), which ties it with Titanic and La La Land for the most Oscar nominations in Hollywood history.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#14. North by Northwest

- Stacker score: 94.3
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 98
- Year released: 1959
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock

No list of great films is complete without Alfred Hitchcock, and this 1959 thriller finds the famous director at the top of his game. The movie stars Cary Grant as a New York ad executive, who gets caught up in the world of international espionage after being mistaken for a notorious spy. What follows is an epic struggle for survival, which culminates with a deadly showdown on Mount Rushmore.

Columbia Pictures Corporation

#13. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

- Stacker score: 94.3
- IMDb rating: 8.4
- Metascore: 97
- Year released: 1964
- Director: Stanley Kubrick

Acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick enters the list with 1964's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, a movie that puts the dark in dark comedy. In the film, a series of miscommunications lead to a nuclear showdown between the world's most powerful nations. As intentionally ridiculous the movie is, an early version of the script was even more so, with aliens watching the whole fiasco from space.

Charles Chaplin Productions

#12. Modern Times

- Stacker score: 94.3
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1936
- Director: Charles Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin reprised his role as The Tramp for this 1936 masterpiece, which stuck to silent-era traditions despite being made in the age of talkies. In the film, The Tramp struggles to make ends meet in a highly industrialized world, famously slithering his way through the gears of a machine during one of the era's most epochal scenes. Chaplin was reportedly inspired to make the film after talking about machinery and technology with Mahatma Gandhi.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#11. Singin' in the Rain

- Stacker score: 94.8
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 99
- Year released: 1952
- Director: Stanley Donen

Arguably the most celebrated musical of all time, Singin' in the Rain takes place during the rise of talkies and finds the members of a production company struggling to adapt. Not only did Gene Kelly star, co-direct, and choreograph the film, but he performed a song-and-dance number with a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Debbie Reynolds co-stars in her breakthrough role as Kathy Selden.

Shamley Productions

#10. Psycho

- Stacker score: 94.8
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 97
- Year released: 1960
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Far more than a heralded thriller, 1960's Psycho paved the way for the modern slasher genre, and furthermore upended various mainstream conventions. In telling the story of a murderous hotel owner, Alfred Hitchcock relied on everything from quick cuts to gripping music to a shape-shifting narrative, thereby delivering a completely new cinematic experience. To this day, the famous shower scene is among the most important sequences in movie history.

Universal Pictures

#9. Schindler's List

- Stacker score: 94.8
- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Metascore: 93
- Year released: 1993
- Director: Steven Spielberg

While Steven Spielberg was no stranger to serious fare by the early 1990s, he nevertheless caught audiences by surprise when he released this award-winning drama. It tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who ultimately saved 1,100 Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Spielberg forewent a salary when making the film, and donated the profits to a charitable foundation.

RKO Radio Pictures

#8. Citizen Kane

- Stacker score: 95.3
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1941
- Director: Orson Welles

Here's a movie so great that when something else is likewise terrific, that thing is often referred to as the Citizen Kane of its respective arena. Accordingly, this 1941 filmwhich depicts the ambitious rise of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles)has only gotten better with age. It might no longer retain the #1 spot on lists of the greatest films, including this one, but ask the right cinephile, and they will likely assert Citizen Kane is still the best movie of them all.

Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

#7. Vertigo

- Stacker score: 95.3
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1958
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Nothing is as it seems in Vertigo, an Alfred Hitchcock classic based on Boileau-Narcejac's 1954 novel D'entre les morts (From Among the Dead). In the film, a former police detective (James Stewart) is hired to trail a friend's wife (Kim Novak) who's been acting strangely and may be a suicide risk. The otherwise mundane gig goes haywire as the P.I. becomes obsessed with the woman and Hitchcock shares his most revelatory, personal production of his career.

Miramax

#6. Pulp Fiction

- Stacker score: 95.3
- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 1994
- Director: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino's second directorial effort arguably remains his most quintessential work. Interweaving three violent storieswhile simultaneously paying homage to a host of influencesPulp Fiction is quite simply the stuff that great cinema is made of. Speaking of influences, the hit film was happy to pay it forward, inspiring a wave of upcoming auteurs.

New Line Cinema

#5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

- Stacker score: 95.3
- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Metascore: 94
- Year released: 2003
- Director: Peter Jackson

In the final installment of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, the forces of good and evil do battle over the fate of Middle Earth, while Frodo reaches the last leg of his journey. Not only did the film earn over a billion dollars at the box office, but it won 11 Academy Awards out of 11 nominations, giving it the highest perfect score in Oscar history.

Warner Bros.

#4. Casablanca

- Stacker score: 96.4
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1942
- Director: Michael Curtiz

This 1942 masterwork takes place in the Moroccan town of Casablanca, where jaded nightclub owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) helps refugees flee to America to evade Nazi capture. After Blaine's former flame (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband show up seeking his help, he finds himself entering a world of trouble. Most cinephiles would argue Casablanca is the result of a perfect screenplay, yet when that very same screenplay was passed around under a different name in the 1980s, professional readers chastised it for having too much dialog and not enough sex. Nevertheless, the original scriptand subsequent filmwas about as close to perfect as a movie could get for its time.

Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

#3. Rear Window

- Stacker score: 96.4
- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1954
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock

In addition to striking the perfect balance of intrigue and suspense, this 1954 Hitchcock film endures through its perennial relatability. After all, who hasn't wondered what his or her neighbor might be up to behind closed doors? In Rear Window, the answer is potentially murder. Or is a wheelchair-bound James Stewart simply letting his paranoia get the best of him? To say anything more is to spoil the fun of watching this classic for the first time.

Orion-Nova Productions

#2. 12 Angry Men

- Stacker score: 96.4
- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Metascore: 96
- Year released: 1957
- Director: Sidney Lumet

Snagging the #2 slot is this taut 1957 drama from Sidney Lumet, in which 12 (angry) jurors determine the fate of a suspected murderer. What starts as an open-and-shut case becomes something far more complex, as a lone holdout convinces the others that the defendant might not be guilty after all. As the debate unfolds, each juror's own respective prejudices bubble to surface, with all the action taking place inside the jury room.

Paramount Pictures

#1. The Godfather

- Stacker score: 100.0
- IMDb rating: 9.2
- Metascore: 100
- Year released: 1972
- Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Stanley Kubrick himself used to reluctantly theorize that The Godfather was the greatest movie ever made, and most audiences and critics agree. Chronicling the exploits of the Corleone crime family, this 1972 masterpiece delivers everything one could ask for in a film, fusing elements of drama, violence, and suspense to absolute perfection. Indeed, theres virtually no aspect of The Godfather that doesnt remain iconic to this day, hence its status as the best movie of all time.

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