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The 10 movies with the most ratings on imdb, ranked by their score.
Between an influential sci-fi movie and a satirical cult classic, these have more votes than the likes of The Godfather Part II and 12 Angry Men.
The International Movie Database is one of the few websites that cinephiles visit to seek out great movies, but She-Hulk's review bombing has called the site's rating system into question . Internet trolls rated the new Disney+ show one star before the first episode had even aired, and people who don't keep up with movie and TV news would look at the score and believe the series is no good.
However, the IMDb scores are still a staple of the website, and users generally look to the top 250 list for new films. But the top 10 movies wouldn't necessarily be the same if it was based on how many users had voted. Between an influential sci-fi action movie and a satirical and bleak cult classic, these have more votes than the likes of The Godfather Part II , 12 Angry Men , and Schindler's List .
The Matrix (1999) - 8.7
Stream on hbo max.
Surprisingly, The Matrix is one of the 10 movies with the most ratings that aren't actually in IMDb's top 10 list. The Matrix was lightning in a bottle , as it arrived right at the start of the internet boom, and it's the rare cyberpunk movie that's still considered cool all these years later. 1.8 million users have rated the movie, but not everyone was into all the leather and wearing shades indoors.
The Matrix is arguably the most innovative action movie today and not even the 1999 film's sequels can rival it. It's also surprising that The Matrix Reloaded doesn't have as many votes, as it made almost double the original movie at the box office. But, then again. Reloaded certainly doesn't get as many repeat viewings.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) - 8.8
Stream on hbo max & amazon prime.
Nobody would have believed over 20 years ago that one of the most exciting movies of the 21st century would be about four friends walking and having a runtime of almost three hours. But that's exactly what The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is.
The 2001 movie is easily one of the biggest accomplishments ever when it comes to fantasy cinema. Even those who aren't fans of the genre still gravitate back to the classic, as 1.8 million IMDb users rated it. While some book scenes were impossible to adapt, such as the original council of Elrond and Aragon's original personality, outside of that, it's a completely faithful adaptation.
Forrest Gump (1994) - 8.8
Rent on apple tv.
Though Quentin Tarantino has become known for revising history, as Inglourious Basterds sees Adolf Hitler getting massacred and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood sees Sharon Tate surviving, Forrest Gump was the first to do it in such creative ways. The titular character inadvertently influenced the course of history, whether it was teaching Elvis his signature dance movie or being part of the Infantry Regiment in the Vietnam War.
While the film isn't in IMDb's top 10 movies, it only narrowly misses out, as it was voted on by two million users, who mostly love the seamless blend of fiction and historical events and the perfect mix of comedy and drama. And as there's a sequel to the novel, fans want to see Forrest Gump 2 .
Fight Club (1999) - 8.8
Stream on vudu.
Just like with Forrest Gump , Fight Club only just misses out on being in IMDb's top 10 movies, as it has an average rating of 8.8 based on over two million votes. Interestingly, the movie wasn't all that loved when it was first released 23 years ago, as critics didn't take kindly to its cynicism and it underperformed at the box office .
However, Fight Club was clearly way ahead of its time, and some obviously mistook its satire for sincerity. Everybody has their own theory about what the deep movie is about, but at the core of it, no other film has managed to examine the angst of Generation X better than the 1999 release. And, at the very least, it's the darkest and bleakest romantic comedy ever.
Inception (2010) - 8.8
Not a bad thing can be said about Christopher Nolan on IMDb, as even his worst movies have incredibly high average scores on the database. And even though Inception isn't on IMDb's top 10 movies list, it comes extremely close. The 2010 movie has an 8.8 based on over 2.3 million users, which is an incredible feat, but it's just another day in the office for Nolan.
What's even more impressive is that the director seemingly threw this out between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises , making his unrivaled filmmaking look absolutely effortless. An envelope-pushing all-time great sci-fi action movie comes around once every decade or so, as Inception followed The Matrix by 11 years, but cinephiles have now been waiting 12 years for the next one.
Pulp Fiction (1994) - 8.9
As more years pass and Pulp Fiction is looked upon more and more as an all-time classic, the film will likely eventually reach that coveted 9.0 score, but for now, it has an 8.9 based on over two million votes. The non-linear narrative was so influential at the time, and though foreign filmmakers had been experimenting with the style for years, Tarantino was the one to popularize it in Hollywood.
Pulp Fiction is one of the few American films to have ever won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival too. But accolades and influences aside, Pulp Fiction is simply such an entertaining and wild ride. However, there will always be a few users who rate it low, as Tarantino's extreme violence isn't for everyone, and some think that if the scenes were in chronological order, the magic would be lost entirely.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King (2003) - 9.0
2003's The Return of the King was the epic conclusion to the greatest fantasy movie series ever. And though the Hobbit trilogy followed a decade later to mixed results, not even those can tarnish the threequel's legacy. Even though they're completely different movies, The Return of the King was a huge influence on Avengers: Endgame .
The movie was clearly something of a blueprint for the Marvel film and a guide on how to perfectly conclude multiple different storylines. As the Middle-Earth universe is returning with the Amazon Prime Video series, The Rings of Power , it'll be interesting to see how that ultimately affects the perception of the 2003 movie. However, early responses to the TV show are overwhelmingly positive.
The Dark Knight (2008) - 9.0
There have been countless iterations and reboots of The Caped Crusader, and while fans can debate forever over which actor is the best Batman and which movie has the best depiction of Gotham, there's no denying that The Dark Knight is the ultimate Batman movie. The movie makes some strange choices that are absolutely not Batman-like, such as Bruce Wayne operating in a brightly lit garage instead of a cave, and half of the movie is set during the day. Some fans might even argue that it's more of a Christopher Nolan movie than a Batman movie.
Nevertheless, the film features the greatest face-off between Batman and the Joker. And even though it makes some surprising choices for a Batman movie, the bleakness and tragedy of it all are what makes it an incredible Batman film, and that's why it has an average of 9.0 based on over 2.6 million votes.
The Godfather (1974) - 9.2
Stream on paramount+.
While one movie on the database is rated higher than the gangster movie, The Godfather is often named the greatest movie of all time. Before the 1972 release, mobster movies were hammy and over the top, but director Francis Ford Coppola flipped the genre on its head and delivered the most daring, dramatic, and bold film of its time.
However, there are still some cinephiles sitting on it, as, despite its incredible reputation, 1.8 million votes isn't all that much, especially when most of the other movies have way over two million ratings. And, interestingly, The Godfather Part II is only the 30th most rated movie on the database. So while the first movie is one of the highest rated, there must be quite a few armchair critics of the classic, as there was a significant drop off with the sequel.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - 9.3
1994's The Shawshank Redemption is one of those movies that are rated so high because seemingly nobody vehemently dislikes it. The film is a compelling prison drama with a mystery and such an uplifting ending, and that kind of movie pleases everyone and there's no way anybody can hate it.
However, it'd be interesting to see what score the 1994 release would have if it stuck to the original ending. The final scene where Red and Andy meet on the beach was only added after bad test screenings. It originally ended with Red not knowing if he'd ever find Andy as the bus drives into the distance. It's almost like if Toy Story 3 ended before the toys are saved from the incinerator.
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20 best hollywood movies of all time (imdb rating): the dark knight, forrest gump, inception and more.
- By: Jagdish S In: Lists , OTT Lists
- Published On: October 3, 2023
- Last Updated: October 3, 2023
Hollywood has gifted us with countless unforgettable movies that have left a profound impact on audiences worldwide. In this article, we’ll present 20 timeless Hollywood films that have earned their place among the very best. Our selection spans diverse genres, from romance to action, crime to thrillers, drama to science fiction, and more. For each film, we’ll offer a detailed overview, including plot summaries, cast details, runtime, release dates, director, producer, genre, availability for viewing, and more.
If you’re looking to enrich your movie-watching experience with some truly exceptional films, read on and discover the cinematic treasures that deserve a spot on your must-watch list.
Table of Contents
List of Best Hollywood Movies to watch in October 2023
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is one of the classic drama and crime-thriller ever produced in the Hollywood film industry. The movie features an intense theme, where a man named Andy Dufresne gets arrested for the alleged murder of his wife and his lover. Andy, a successful banker’s life goes upside down when he is sentenced to life imprisonment at Shawshank Prison, but no-one had the idea that he would become the most unconventional prisoner of all time.
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, and James Whitmore.
Release Date: September 23, 1994
Duration: 142 minutes
Genre: Action and Crime
Director: Frank Darabont
Producer: Niki Marvin
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Godfather, the 1972 released Action-crime American movie stars one of the most famous Hollywood actors of all time, Al Pacino in the lead role of Michael. The story’s prime focus is put on the Corleone family, when Don Vito, who happens to be the head In Charge of the mafia business decides to handover his precious empire to his youngest son Michael things start to take a drastic turn. Little did Don Vito know that his decision would put the lives of his loved ones in extreme danger that even he himself would not be able to face. Having received an IMDB Rating of 9.2, Godfather is considered one of the classics in the American Cinema and has always been praised by the audience for its incredible storyline and the performance of the actors.
Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, and Diane Keaton.
Release Date: 24 March 1972
Duration: 175 minutes
Genre: Crime and Action
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Producer: Albert S. Ruddy
Where to watch: Netflix
The Dark Knight
The 2008 released Action-Adventure film coming from DC’s Extended Universe. The Dark Knight is a continuation of the Batman Franchise, and the movie features Christian Bale playing the character of Bruce Wayne Ak Batman. After Gotham city crimes experience an assault from the hands of Gordon, Dent, and Batman. The bad people hire Joker to take revenge on Batman, the psychotic mastermind makes it his goal to bring Gotham city to its knees by eliminating their Saviour Batman. The movie was a blockbuster hit and is considered one of the most successful DC banner films.
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman.
Release Date: 18 July 2008
Duration: 152 minutes
Genre: Action and Adventure
Director: Christopher Nolan
Producer: Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, and Christopher Nolan.
Where to watch: JioCinema
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a fantasy and adventure film released in the year 2003. The movie is a sequel to The Lord of the Rings franchise and was critically acclaimed by the audience for its brilliant plot and the visual effects shown in the film. The movie revolves around the upcoming battle which was prepared by the former Fellowship members. Meanwhile, the franchise’s other main characters including Frodo and Sam were heading towards Mount Doom to end the One Ring. The duo followed Gollum, having no understanding of the path that he would lead them to. It is a good movie and is simply perfect for all the fantasy lovers out there.
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, John Noble, Andy Serkis, Ian Holm, and Sean Bean.
Release Date: 17 December 2003
Duration: 201 minutes
Genre: Fantasy, adventure, and action
Director: Peter Jackson
Producer: Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh, and Peter Jackson.
Where to watch: JioCinema
The 1993 released War and drama film titled Schindler’s List is considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time due to its incredible storyline, the performance of the actors, and the overall written screenplay. A German Industrialist named Oskar Schindler, who also happens to be a member of the Nazi party tries to protect his Jewish employees. He became aware of the ongoing propaganda going against the Jewish and how they were persecuted by the Nazis in Poland.
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle, and Embeth Davidtz.
Release Date: December 15, 1993
Duration: 195 minutes
Genre: War and Drama
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, and Branko Lustig.
Pulp Fiction is one of the classic Crime-drama films of all time. The movie was released in the year 1994 and received so many complimentary reviews from the audience for the integrated storyline and the performance of the actors. The movie features a bunch of criminal incidents in the underlying world of crime in Los Angeles. The movie features the intertwined lives of the gangsters of the city, a mobster’s wife, and two petty criminals. The overall direction of the film was well-praised, and it managed to make a box office profit of 213.9 million dollars.
Cast: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Maria de Medeiros, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken, and Bruce Willis.
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Duration: 154 minutes
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Forrest Gump is a romance and drama film that was lived by the audience for its brilliant storyline and theme. The movie features the titular character, Forrest who happened to be a man with a low IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of 75 who had joined the US Army and now in the present day was recollecting his memories. Forrest found himself in the middle of a key historical event when taking a deep insight into his life and his memories. Now aiming to be reunited with his lover Jenny.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field.
Release Date: July 6, 1994
Genre: Romance and Drama
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, and Steve Starkey.
Goodfellas is a crime drama film released in the year 1990. The movie’s main cast revolves around the central character Henry Hill and his goal to attain the highest glory in the world of crime. Being one of the petty criminals in the mean streets of New York, a young Henry Hill along with his friends Jimmy and Tommy starts his quest to become one of the feared gangsters.
Cast: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and Paul Sorvino.
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Duration: 146 minutes
Genre: Crime and Drama
Director: Martin Scorsese
Producer: Irwin Winkler
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Google Play
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan stars the famous actor Tom Hanks in the lead role of Captain Miller. During the Normandy invasion of World War 2, a group of US soldiers was assigned the task of searching for Private James Ryan. The soldiers’ attempts were so desperate that they even went beyond the enemy lines to catch the paratrooper, whose brothers were also killed in action. Saving Private Ryan is an incredible war and drama film that was immensely liked by the audience.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore.
Release Date: July 24, 1998
Duration: 170 minutes
Genre: war and drama
Producer: Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon, and Gary Levinsohn.
The Silence of the Lambs
The silence of the lambs is considered one of the horror-thriller classic films released in 1991. The movie features the crimes of a psychotic serial killer who had been hunting female victims but, in the attempts, to catch this madman, Clarice Starling who happened to be an FBI agent asked for help from a Hannibal Lecter who also happened to be a psychopathic serial killer and former psychiatrist. This movie is a perfect blend of mystery, crime, and thrill.
Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and Ted Levine.
Release Date: February 14, 1991
Duration: 118 minutes
Genre: Horror, crime, and thriller
Director: Jonathan Demme
Producer: Kenneth Utt, Edward Saxon, and Ron Bozman.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is a 1978 released science-fiction film coming from the Star Wars franchise. The movie was a massive hit and managed to make an overall profit of 775.8 million dollars. In this movie, Princess Leia is kidnapped by Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker in the attempts to save Princess Leia forms a team with Jedi Knight, a pilot and two droids to fight off the violent and deadly Galactic Empire.
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness.
Release Date: May 25, 1977
Duration: 121 minutes
Genre: Science-fiction, action, and adventure.
Director: George Lucas
Producer: Gary Kurtz
Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar
The Departed is a 2006 released crime-drama American film featuring a bunch of famous Hollywood faces including Leonardo Dicaprio, Vera Farmiga, and Jack Nicholson in the lead roles. This movie revolves around an undercover agent and a mole in the police department trying to identify each other, the two were constantly counter attacking each other to save themselves from the dangers of the authorities. Not only this while trying to protect and recognize each other the duo also infiltrates an Irish gang.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Alec Baldwin.
Release Date: October 6, 2006
Duration: 151 minutes
Genre: action, crime, and drama
Producer: Brad Pitt, Brad Grey, Gianni Nunnari, and Graham King.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 released action and adventure film. This time, the famous archeology professor ventures out to lay his hands on the biblical artifact known as the Ark of the Covenant. In his attempts to capture the artifact, Indiana Jones comes under the raider of Renee and the troops of the Nazis. This, trying to fight against all the possible odds, Indiana makes it his sole purpose to get ahold of what he seeks.
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, and Denholm Elliott.
Release Date : June 12, 1981
Duration: 115 minutes
Genre: Action and adventure
Producer: Frank Marshall
Braveheart is a 1995 released war and drama film. William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) tries to take revenge for the death of his bride. King Edward I of England killed William’s wife a day after their marriage, this burnt a raging fire within William, and he set out to take revenge on the King along with his clan. The movies elaborate on the revengeful plan of a Scottish Rebel and his sole purpose to kill King Edward I.
Cast: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, and Catherine McCormack.
Release Date: May 24, 1995
Duration: 178 minutes
Director: Mel Gibson
Producer: Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd Jr., and Bruce Davey.
Where to watch: Google Play Store
Citizen Kane is a 1941 released Mystery and drama film. The death of a publishing business tycoon named Charles Foster Kane caused a series of chaos among the reporters and the investigators. Trying to find the hidden meaning behind his last words, which happened to be ‘Rosebud’, leads to some other deeper and conflicting revelations about his scandalous life.
Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, Ruth Warrick, Erskine Sanford, and William Alland.
Release Date: September 5, 1941
Duration: 119 minutes
Genre: Drama and Mystery
Director: Orson Welles
Producer: Orson Welles
Casablanca is a 1942-released romance, drama, and war film featuring an intense love story. The movie is set during the period of World War 2 when a nightclub owner named Ricky Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca helps his former love interest named Ilsa and her current husband, but things take a scandalous turn when Ilsa’s past romantic feelings for Rick starts coming back and their dead love starts blooming again.
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre.
Release Date: January 23, 1943
Duration: 102 minutes
Director: Michael Curtiz
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Apple Tv .
Gone with the Wind
Gone with the wind is one of the classic romantic films of all time with the perfect hints of drama and war. The movie was released in the year 1940 and has still managed to stay on the top charts of one of the best Hollywood movies of all time. The star cast of the film includes one of the few famous Hollywood actors including Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. The movie is set during the times Civil War and Reconstruction when a clever and manipulative woman named Scarlett O’Hara starts a scandalous affair with a roguish man in South America. Their affair caused turbulence in society and was not accepted by the people, fighting against all odds the lovers kept their love alive.
Cast: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland.
Release Date: December 15, 1939
Duration: 221 minutes
Genre: Romance and war
Director: Victor Fleming
Producer: David O. Selznick
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The film The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is based on the novel of the same name given by L. Frank Baum. This musical fantasy managed to win the hearts of the audience with its innocence and even after so many years still manages to top the charts of the best Hollywood films. The story features a young girl named Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) who has been whisked away to the magical land of Oz along with her dog, Toto. Going along the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard in the Emerald City, Dorothy meets several new friends on her way. She meets a scarecrow that needed a brain, a Tin Man looking for a heart, and a cowardly lion looking for courage. Thus, embarking on the journey to meet the wizard who can help her get back home, Dorothy helps his newly met friends.
Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, and The Munchkins.
Release Date: August 25, 1939
Duration: 101 minutes
Genre: Musical Fantasy
Producer: Mervyn LeRoy
Where to watch: Google Play
Titanic is one of the classic romance films of all time, featuring a heart-breaking story of Rose and Jack. Rose, belonging to an aristocratic and rich family falls in love with Jack, who happens to be a poor artist, the duo found love while away on the grand ship named Titanic. Fate brought the two lovers together, but it was quick enough to separate them. A giant iceberg caused the shipwreck which resulted in the death of thousands of passengers boarded on the ship. Jack gave up his life to save Rose from the frosting cold. This epic love story has managed to melt the hearts of millions and is considered as one of the most romantic films of all time.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, and Bill Paxton.
Release Date: December 19, 1997
Director: James Cameron
Producer: James Cameron and Jon Landau.
John Wick: Chapter 4
In the highly anticipated fourth instalment of the series, John Wick embarks on a quest for revenge against the enigmatic High Table and those who once betrayed him, pushing him to the brink of death. As the stakes continue to rise, John Wick continues to wage an unrelenting war against the High Table.
His journey takes him from the bustling streets of New York to Paris, Japan, and finally Berlin, spanning some of the world’s most iconic cities. Armed with his unparalleled skills and unwavering determination, he tracks down and confronts the most influential and dangerous players in the global criminal network to put an end to their feud once and for all.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins and Ian McShane
Release Date: March 24, 2023
Duration: 169 minutes
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Director: Chad Stahelski
Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee and Chad Stahelski
Where to watch: Lionsgate Play
We hope that this list made it easier for you to pick a movie you want to watch in your free time, and we hope you have a wonderful time watching it as much as we had suggested them to you.
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Here are 6 movies to see this spring.
Civil War imagines a second civil war has broken out in the United States. Kirsten Dunst stars as a journalist in the film, which comes out April 12. Murray Close/A24 hide caption
Civil War imagines a second civil war has broken out in the United States. Kirsten Dunst stars as a journalist in the film, which comes out April 12.
Most years in early spring, Hollywood is figuring out how to keep its box-office momentum going. This year, January was so lackluster that film studios will have to jump-start moviegoing from scratch.
Happily, they have lots of strategies. Here are six that look promising:
Dune: Part Two, March 1
Hollywood's guiding principle is that what'll work is what has worked — meaning sequels — and this continuation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi saga is easily the classiest entry in a season that will include a fifth Mad Max , a 10th Planet of the Apes , and a monster mashup that qualifies as both King Kong 13, and Godzilla 38. Timothée Chalamet finally gets to ride a giant sandworm as we rejoin his Paul Atreides and Zendaya's Chani in mid-rebellion on the desert planet Arrakis. They're joined by newcomers Austin Butler, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux and Florence Pugh.
Love Lies Bleeding, March 8
A tale of love, sex, blackmail and murder from Saint Maud director Rose Glass, this torrid thriller finds an introverted gym manager (Kristen Stewart) falling head-over-heels for an ambitious bodybuilder ( The Mandalorian 's Katy O'Brian). They're about to run off to Vegas together, but the gym manager's crime boss dad (Ed Harris in a truly terrifying haircut) has other plans. Sundance late-night audiences went nuts, as did critics.
Monkey Man, April 5
Dev Patel is an action hero? That's how he sees himself, as he's not just the star but also the co-writer and director of this John-Wick-like revenge thriller. He plays Kid, an anonymous employee of an underground fight club who trains feverishly to avenge his mother's death. Patel's backed up in his directing debut by pros behind the camera — Jordan Peele as producer and fight choreographer Brahim Chab (who's worked with Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude Van Damme).
Civil War, April 12
The brainchild of Alex Garland, who wrote the dystopian thrillers 28 Days Later and Ex Machina (he also directed the latter), this politically-charged drama follows journalist Kirsten Dunst into an all-too-plausibly alarming near future. A U.S. President is refusing to step down, 19 states have seceded from the Union, and a "Western Forces" army is descending on Washington, D.C., for a Fourth of July showdown.
Sasquatch Sunset, April 12
Possibly the oddest of the spring's comedies (which is saying something in a season that includes Problemista , IF and The American Society of Magical Negroes ) is this year-in-the-life chronicle of what may be North America's last family of Sasquatches. It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, and several other famous folks you won't recognize because their faces are covered in fur and they speak only in grunts. The film, directed by the Zellner brothers David and Nathan, is absurdist, epic, experimental, and by all accounts both hilarious and poignant.
The Fall Guy, May 3
Ryan Gosling plays a semi-retired stunt coordinator in an action comedy directed by stunt coordinator-turned-director David Leitch ( Deadpool 2 , Bullet Train ). Gosling's character, Colt, has been dragged in to work on a film starring the world's biggest action star, Tom Ryder (a riff on Tom Cruise?), for whom he used to double. When Ryder goes missing, Colt's pressed to use his stunt skills to bring him back, even as he stands in for him while being directed by Colt's ex-girlfriend (Emily Blunt). Action (and comedy) ensues, and it looks decently over-the-top from the trailer.
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‘Dune: Part Two’ First Reactions Praise Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Spectacular’ Sequel: ‘Jaw-Dropping’ and Among the ‘Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Ever’
By Zack Sharf
Digital News Director
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- ‘Dune: Part Two’ First Reactions Praise Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Spectacular’ Sequel: ‘Jaw-Dropping’ and Among the ‘Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Ever’ 4 days ago
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Denis Villeneuve ‘s “ Dune : Part Two” has finally been unveiled and film journalists are showering the highly-anticipated sequel with praise for its incredible ensemble cast, breathtaking visual effects and more. The film, which follow’s 2021’s “Dune,” is being called “masterful,” “damn impressive” and full of battle scenes that rival Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.”
Dune: Part Two is damn impressive. Villeneuve crafts some truly VISIONARY moments. Austin Butler gives a truly transformative performance (and not talking makeup either). Very moving ending. A wee bit long? Yes. Did I forget I saw it the next day? Yes. Still, gonna be massive. pic.twitter.com/ARooLrTK8z — Gregory Ellwood – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) February 15, 2024
Inverse editor Hoai-Tran Bui called the film “a triumph,” adding: “Even more immense than the first, but much more intimate — Denis Villeneuve manages to streamline the more alienating second half of the book into a riveting, action-packed epic. TWO TOWERS-level mastery of battle sequences. Zendaya is the star.”
DUNE: PART TWO is a triumph. Even more immense than the first, but much more intimate — Denis Villeneuve manages to streamline the more alienating second half of the book into a riveting, action-packed epic. TWO TOWERS-level mastery of battle sequences. Zendaya is the star. pic.twitter.com/gUYD6g3onN — Hoai-Tran Bui (@htranbui) February 15, 2024
“Incredible filmmaking,” wrote Collider’s Steven Weintraub. “Brilliant score. Entire cast was excellent. My only complaint was I wish it was longer. Not joking around. The movie is 2hr and 40 min(?) and I would have been happy to watch another hour.”
In a shock to no one, I absolutely loved #Dune2 . Incredible filmmaking. Brilliant score. Entire cast was excellent. My only complaint was I wish it was longer. Not joking around. The movie is 2hr and 40 min(?) and I would have been happy to watch another hour. pic.twitter.com/6PZmfQTEAH — Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) February 15, 2024
Uproxx’s Mike Ryan wrote that he was mixed on the first movie, but he added that “Part Two” is “phenomenal” and “up there with the greatest sci-fi movies I’ve ever seen.”
I was kind of mixed on the first Dune. DUNE: PART TWO is phenomenal. Up there with the greatest sci-fi movies I’ve ever seen. I want to ride a sandworm. #DunePartTwo — Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) February 15, 2024
“Dune: Part Two” resumes the story of Paul Atreides (Chalamet) as he joins forces with the Fremen to save the galaxy from the Harkonnen empire, which is responsible for the death of Paul’s father. Chalamet is joined in “Part Two” by returning franchise cast members Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem. Newcomers to “Dune” are Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and Léa Seydoux.
“For me, this film is much better than Part One,” Villeneuve said at a press conference last year . “There’s something more alive in it. There’s a relationship to the characters. I was trying to reach for an intensity and a quality of emotions that I didn’t reach with Part One and that I did reach with Part Two. I’m not saying the film is perfect, but I’m much more happy with Part Two than I was with Part One. I can not wait to share it with the fans and the moviegoers.”
“Dune: Part Two” opens in theaters nationwide March 1 from Warner Bros. Check out more first reactions below.
#DunePartTwo is a giant epic, a masterclass of crafts from Greig Fraser’s exceptional photography to Patrice Vermette’s magnificent world building. Denis Villeneuve has delivered his magnus opus directing one of the best sci-fi films for generations to come. pic.twitter.com/Vvfs8YeFIi — Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) February 15, 2024
This is what I texted the foremost DUNE-head in my life—my dad— yesterday after watching DUNE PART TWO. I’m in a full froth for this thing, it’s even better than the first and I loved that one! pic.twitter.com/kMfZBhLjUw — Katie Walsh (@katiewalshstx) February 15, 2024
#DunePartTwo / #Dune2 is jaw-dropping, breathtaking & wildly exhilarating. It’s an adrenaline rush to the head & heart, soaring in its spectacle-driven action sequences as much as it sings in its refined, evocative stillness.Timothée Chalamet & Zendaya turn in singular work. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/I2TWLL39fg — Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) February 15, 2024
Dune: Part Two is a masterpiece. Denis Villeneuve drops an awe-inspiring, action-packed achievement in a hearty, complex story. It’s an astonishing, moving film which demands to be seen on the biggest, most immersive screen possible. I loved it. Innovative and thrilling. pic.twitter.com/r8s6IFCdWW — BD (@BrandonDavisBD) February 15, 2024
Some of the visuals in Dune: Part Two had me so astonished, I feel like I understand how everyone felt seeing Star Wars for the first time back in 1977. It’s just unbelievable at times. — BD (@BrandonDavisBD) February 15, 2024
Dune Part II: well at least Javier Bardem was having fun. — david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) February 15, 2024
#DunePartTwo is MASTERFUL filmmaking on an epic scale. Denis Villeneuve marries gripping character development to vast, sweeping cinematic visuals. And the cast evolves in their roles. I slightly prefer the simpler DUNE to this complex chapter, but still, a towering achievement. pic.twitter.com/qIFaeshZyW — Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) February 15, 2024
Dune: Part Two — Denis Villeneuve lands every spectacular, brutalist tableau he threw in the air three years ago. Sci-fi mythmaking at its finest and most tragic: the gravity of manufactured destiny, the untamable tendrils or belief. Loved this. pic.twitter.com/bWO9cUirhc — Jeff Zhang 张佶润 (@strangeharbors) February 15, 2024
Dune: Part Two is truly an awe-inspiring cinematic achievement; one that continues to advance and build upon the world that Denis Villeneuve and company have exquisitely created, crafted and shaped. If you loved part one, you are going to go absolutely wild for part two. While… pic.twitter.com/BkOU1Fv7w0 — Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) February 15, 2024
#Dune2 is an epic masterful cinematic experience. It's visceral, palpable & must be seen on the biggest screen possible. Watched it a few days ago and I'm still riding the high of that experience. The rich mythology, acting & story are all elevated by the visuals & sound design. pic.twitter.com/QZvCaKIBOX — Rosa Parra (@rosasreviews) February 15, 2024
DUNE: PART TWO is unlike anything we’ve seen before, yet familiar all the same. With a consistently impressive use of score and sound, it features transformative performances from Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler. An adrenaline rush of cinematic proportions. #DuneMovie pic.twitter.com/wa7AfIGgcX — film posers™️ Josie Marie 🍉 (@TheJosieMarie) February 15, 2024
Dune: Part Two is Denis Villeneuve's Empire Strikes Back & Lawrence of Arabia. A sci-fi opera that is not just grand in scale, but in its hypnotizing and emotionally devastating story. Austin Butler will be a talking point for many, but its Timothée Chalamet who left my jaw on… pic.twitter.com/IOyfauU5xQ — David Gonzalez (@CinematicReel) February 15, 2024
Dune: Part Two is impressively large in scope and rarely lets up in intensity. This is Denis Villeneuve’s (guerilla) war film, just done on an epic science fiction level. Anyone fond of the first movie will be deeply satisfied here. @dunemovie #DuneMovie #Dune #DunePartTwo pic.twitter.com/RksjG2pmsv — Joey Magidson (@JoeyMagidson) February 15, 2024
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Fans Pick the Best Movies of the Last 25 Years
In celebration of Rotten Tomatoes’ 25th anniversary, we asked our fans to submit their top films and released in the past 25 years, and the results we got were surprising! The top of the list is absolutely dominated by genre fare — superhero flicks like The Dark Knight and Avengers: Endgame , sci-fi films like Interstellar and The Matrix , and fantasy like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Meanwhile, award-winners like Gladiator , Mad Max: Fury Road , There Will Be Blood , and La La Land show up further down the list, while the rest of the selections are made up of a pretty eclectic mix of critical darlings and crowd pleasers.
Be sure to check out the list of the Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Last 25 Years , too – you might be surprised by some of their choices. And check out what fans picked for the Best TV Series of the Last 25 Years .
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From 'The Godfather' to 'Pulp Fiction': IMDb's Top 15 Movies Ranked According to Rotten Tomatoes
Critics and fans can agree: these are good movies.
Both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes ratings are always changing, encouraging movie fans both novice and veteran to discover and re-evaluate films that for years have served as a great gateway into cinema as an art form.
When audiences want to gauge critics' opinions on a film, Rotten Tomatoes is the go-to. When wanting to discover what audiences think, it's hard to go wrong with IMDb's average user score.
Although they don't always do, these two scores sometimes overlap. As is to be expected, all the movies on IMDb 's highest-rated movies list, from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to The Shawshank Redemption , have outstanding Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer scores, solidifying them as some of the greatest films ever made.
Updated on May 14, 2023, by Diego Pineda Pacheco:
15 'forrest gump' (1994).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
Winner of 6 Academy Awards, the beloved but divisive Robert Zemeckis classic Forrest Gump is the moving yet amusing story of the title character, a man with a low I.Q. but good intentions and a shockingly eventful life.
The film is sometimes too sentimental and contrived for its own good, and some find its pro-status quo message somewhat problematic; but despite this, Forrest Gump has found its place among the highest-rated movies of all time thanks to a sweet story, a charming tone, and a career-defining performance by Tom Hanks .
Watch on Prime Video
14 'Fight Club' (1999)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Despite his versatility and the diversity of his filmography, David Fincher is definitely best known for his riveting thrillers. Fight Club , one of his earliest works, is still remembered as one of the best. Based on a slightly-less-famous book, it's about an insomniac and a soap salesman whose primal aggression turns into a strange new form of therapy.
With this cult classic, Fincher offers a captivating narrative, elaborate visuals, and one of the best performances of Edward Norton and Brad Pitt 's respective careers. Though some critics were displeased by its unsettling brutality and grim subject matter, the film's fame has endured.
Watch on Paramount+
13 'Inception' (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%
Christopher Nolan needs no introduction, considering that he's typically regarded as one of the greatest blockbuster directors working today. According to many (including audiences on IMDb), the filmmaker's best work is the sci-fi heist thriller Inception , where a team of thieves sets off to use a complex gadget to implant an idea into someone's subconscious.
Tense, exciting, and delightfully mind-bending in all the best ways, Nolan's magnum opus is unarguably one of the most impressive and innovative blockbusters released in the 21st century.
Watch on Netflix
12 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' (2001)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%
Peter Jackson 's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is rightfully hailed as one of the greatest fantasy movie franchises ever. The Fellowship of the Ring , the first installment, where a team sets out to destroy a powerful ring to defeat an evil tyrant, earns its place inside IMDb's top 10 movies of all time with its epic scope and engaging writing.
On Rotten Tomatoes, critics praise the film's impressive visual effects, perfect cast, and incredible dramatic tension. It was the perfect start to an amazing trilogy, beautifully introducing the engrossing cinematic version of Tolkien 's Middle-earth.
11 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994)
This fantastic Stephen King adaptation is the worthy bearer of the title of the highest-rated movie of all time on IMDb, and though it may not hold the same acclaim when it comes to Rotten Tomatoes (or the box office, for that matter), it's pretty damn close.
The Shawshank Redemption explores themes like hope and male friendship in a beautiful way, and critics were sure to note that. On both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, it's a film that's loved for its uplifting nature and compassionately written characters, who are played brilliantly by talented actors like Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins .
10 'Pulp Fiction' (1994)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Quentin Tarantino 's multi-story crime drama about violence and redemption was and still is considered a masterpiece, a staggering display of brilliance where not a minute of runtime is unengaging.
Pulp Fiction is one of the most influential movies of modern times, its multiple-perspective narrative spawning a wave of similar films like Amores Perros . Its story juggles genres and tones and styles in ways that only a filmmaker as talented as Tarantino could possibly achieve.
9 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' (2003)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
The Return of the King is the conclusion to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and what a conclusion it is. Grand, epic, emotional, and satisfying, it's the textbook definition of a trilogy finale done right.
At the time of writing, Return of the King remains the largest sweep in the history of the Oscars, winning all 11 awards for which it was nominated. Truth be told, it deserved each and every one of them, as IMDb reviewers and Rotten Tomatoes critics would surely agree. Its visuals are the most jaw-dropping of the whole franchise, and its story is easily the most moving.
Watch on HBO Max
8 'The Dark Knight' (2008)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Like Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is considered one of the best of all time . The movie, where Batman holds a mental duel with his most intimidating foe yet, is a riveting crime thriller that revolutionized the superhero genre.
Even those who aren't fans of Nolan usually admit that The Dark Knight is great, and one if his best. Full of suspenseful set pieces and sporting one of the best supporting performances in American cinema history by the late Heath Ledger , it proves itself worthy of its fame.
7 'Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)
Originally titled only The Empire Strikes Back , the fifth installment in the Skywalker Saga is universally agreed to be one of the best movies in the franchise of Star Wars , if not the very best. In it, Luke sets off to learn the ways of the Jedi while the evil Empire increases its efforts to thwart the Rebellion.
Empire Strikes Back was a real breath of fresh air at the time of its release, a sequel that had the guts to go for a much larger and darker tone than its predecessor and somehow made it work. This boldness can still be felt when watching the movie today, which is why it has aged so well even with non-fans of the franchise.
Watch on Disney+
6 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' (2002)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Although The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers , the second installment in Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, is the lowest-rated of all three films on IMDb, it makes up for that by being the highest-rated on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Two Towers has perhaps the best balance of engrossing action and emotional storytelling in the trilogy. On top of that, it works beautifully as a bridge between the beginning and ending of the story while working equally well as a story that can definitely stand on its own two feet.
5 'The Godfather, Part II' (1974)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
The Godfather, Part II isn't only one of the greatest crime dramas ever made, but also one of the best movie sequels of all time . It follows Michael Corleone, now the leader of his rapidly expanding crime family, while simultaneously showing the rise of a young Vito Corleone.
There is nothing to not admire about this masterful sequel. It accompanies the first film's themes and story beautifully, and there is a poignant poetic beauty in watching Michael's soul fall to its lowest depths while Vito ascends into power with his leadership and unwavering sense of loyalty.
Watch on DirecTV
4 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' (1967)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Sergio Leone made multiple paragons of the Western genre, but perhaps none as popular and widely beloved as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly , about three unlikely allies coming together to look for a hidden treasure.
Simply put, the film is absolutely breathtaking, with a long runtime filled with memorable set pieces that make it all worthwhile, as well as an edge-of-your-seat story and great performances. Although it's at the bottom of IMDb's top 10, it earned more favor from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
3 'The Godfather' (1972)
The question of which is the best movie ever made is, of course, a highly debated one. But if there is one film that always comes up in this conversation, it has to be Francis Ford Coppola 's The Godfather , which is unsurprisingly one of IMDb's top movies.
Its sequel is arguably just as good, but it's hard to beat the original. It's worthy of all the praise that it gets and more, since it's as much of an emotionally powerful family drama as it is a devastating crime tragedy, where every element works in perfect coordination to tell a captivating story.
2 'Schindler's List' (1993)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
Steven Spielberg 's Oscar-winning historical drama Schindler's List is one of the most gut-wrenching war films ever made , retelling the real story of how a German businessman used his position to save over a thousand Jewish lives from the Nazis during the Holocaust.
In many ways, this is the movie that Spielberg was born to make. It flawlessly balances his touching humanistic style with the inherent horror of WWII, creating a deeply personal piece of heartbreaking power that's just as relevant today as it was decades ago.
Watch on Peacock
1 '12 Angry Men' (1957)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
12 Angry Men , a drama about a juror trying to change his eleven peers' minds on a murder trial, is one of the highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes, and deservedly so.
Sidney Lumet 's masterpiece takes place mostly in just one room, making it an airtight nail-biter where all the tension and suspense come from the brilliantly written characters and their interactions. It's one of those films which are pretty much devoid of any flaws, as proved by its phenomenal fame on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
Watch on Tubi
NEXT: The Highest-Rated Movies on IMDb, Ranked by Votes
The 10 Best Ridley Scott Movies, Ranked
Gladiators, gangsters, xenomorphs, and replicants.
Director Ridley Scott is one of the more prolific filmmakers in Hollywood, having been steadily cranking out films since he "burst" onto the Hollywood scene in a big way with 1979's Alien. And despite dabbling in everything from historical drama to science fiction to comedy, Scott's films have a few common elements. They all have a strong focus on visual design and tend to feature very memorable performances from some of Hollywood's best actors.
On the heels of Scott's historical epic Napoleon, we're looking at his 10 best films - which literally span six decades, from the '70s to now! Here's how Ridley Scott's Top 10 movies break down...
Ridley Scott's 10 Best Movies
10. American Gangster (2007)
Where to Watch: Max
This crime drama is (loosely) based on the story of real-life drug kingpin Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), who smuggled heroin from Southeast Asia into the US by hiding it in the coffins of Vietnam War casualties. Russell Crowe, frequent Scott collaborator, co-stars, playing Newark police detective Richie Roberts.
American Gangster features an engrossing story, and as usual, Washington delivers a charismatic, intense performance, while Crowe portrays the more morally conflicted of the headliners. It's a unique saga that spotlights the socio-political and economic factors motivating Frank and that which fuels his empire more than underworld intrigue and excessive gunplay.
Read our review of American Gangster .
9. Prometheus (2012)
Where to Watch: Netflix
Prometheus still probably qualifies as a divisive Scott film as some viewers praised the movie for its gorgeous visuals, its impressive performances, and its thematic depth, while others criticize it for what they see as a messy story full of plot holes and lacking in resolution. Either way, none can fault the movie for its lack of ambition.
Prometheus also happens to be a prequel to Alien, though the final result may not have been what fans were expecting when they learned Scott was returning to the franchise he helped to create.
Read our review of Prometheus .
8. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Kingdom of Heaven was met with a very lukewarm response when it hit theaters in 2005. There was plenty of Crusades-era action and intrigue, but the characters and storyline weren't enough to distinguish Scott's latest historical drama from the rest.
What we'd like to call out here, specifically, is the far better film that exists in the Director's Cut. What a difference an extra 45 minutes of footage can make. It turns out the movie Scott assembled was not the one that actually arrived in theaters. The eventual Director's Cut DVD release restored the lost footage and, in the process, morphed a decent historical drama into a great one. New scenes greatly fleshed out the conflict and character motivations. These scenes even revealed an important character (Baldwin V) who had been completely eliminated from the theatrical cut.
See more of the best Liam Neeson movies .
7. The Martian (2015)
The Martian, based on Andy Weir's novel , is a triumph. From sound design to visuals to watching the problem-solving unfold, it is an astounding cosmic puzzle. It's both emotional and logical at the same time and Matt Damon's performance, as a botanist and mechanical engineer stranded on Mars, is able to bring laughter, tears, and anguish, making this a must-see film. While Damon plays out his own solo struggles against the backdrop of a harsh wasteland, the superb supporting cast -- Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kristen Wiig, and more -- run through their own drama back home about whether to leave a man, a Martian, behind.
Read our review of The Martian .
6. Thelma & Louise (1991)
Where to Watch: Paramount+
Glancing at the poster for Thelma & Louise , one might be forgiven for assuming the movie is a feel-good comedy about two women traveling and growing together. The film, while comedic in parts, is actually a darker tale of two women seeking liberation and a road trip that goes horribly wrong.
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon play the leads, respectively. The film follows their progressively chaotic journey across the American Southwest as they run afoul of the law, attract the attention of a suave con artist (Brad Pitt), and try to find a safe route into Mexico. There are some laughs and chase scenes along the way, but ultimately the movie is a look at two desperate women attempting to shake the bonds of their old, oppressive lives.
Again, Scott delivers a visually mesmerizing film filled with great performances. The tragic finale sequence still ranks as one of the most iconic in Hollywood history.
5. Black Hawn Down (2001)
Where to Watch: Paramount+, AMC+
After Gladiator, Scott turned his attention to this adaptation of Mark Bowden's book, which chronicled the disastrous Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The film immediately took on a new sort of relevancy, as it hit theaters mere months after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Scott's film follows a group of soldiers (Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana, Tom Hardy and others) as they fight their way through the hostile streets of Mogadishu and struggle to salvage their failed mission. Few films so expertly capture the horror and tension of the battlefield. Certain scenes are shocking in their violence and brutality. Once again, the emphasis on visual design and camera techniques paid off.
Black Hawk Down managed to strike the right chord at the right time. Though it focused on the hopelessness and sense of despair of a failed mission, it was ultimately a rousing celebration of heroism.
4. The Last Duel (2021)
Where to Watch: Hulu
Scott even managed to eke out an awesome film this decade, with 2021's The Last Duel, wherein a brutal, bloody clash sets the stage for an unexpected discussion of women’s rights. Though the film is certainly not for the faint-hearted, powerful performances from Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, and Adam Driver make this well worth the watch. And the social commentary is as relevant today as it was in 14th century France. A masterclass in slow-burn storytelling, The Last Duel, which is based on true events, deftly unfolds in three character-driven chapters as a knight and his former friend prepare to battle to the death over the knight's wife's rape accusations. It's complex, daring, and bleak.
Read our review of The Last Duel .
3. Gladiator (2000)
Best Picture-winner Gladiator was the film that kicked Russell Crowe's career into overdrive and began the trend of Crowe re-teaming with Scott. It won Scott a Best Director Oscar while also reviving the long-dormant "sword & sandals" genre.
Crowe, too, nabbed an Oscar for playing Maximus Decimus Meridius, a respected general in service of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. After being betrayed by Aurelius' son, Commodus, Maximus finds himself a slave doomed to die in the gladiatorial arena.
Crowe won over viewers and critics alike thanks to his intense portrayal of Maximus, while Joaquin Phoenix had an Oscar-nominated turn as the sleazy Commodus. Though the film was only very loosely based on historical events, Scott sought to create a more accurate depiction of Rome as a city and society than Hollywood had offered before. Rumors have persisted for years that a Gladiator sequel and/or prequel will eventually take shape and now, more than two decades later, Gladiator 2 is close at hand.
2. Alien (1979)
Alien is a movie every Ridley Scott fan can get behind. It remains a classic of both the science fiction and horror genres and gave us the iconic tagline “In space, no one can hear you scream.”
Scott probably had no idea he was providing the spark for a massive, multimedia franchise when he took on this assignment. Instead, he and his collaborators were more concerned with the logistical challenges of creating a convincing spaceship environment and alien creature. The Xenomorph came to life through clever costume design and various practical effects, while H.R. Giger's surreal set designs made viewers feels as though they were trapped in a cold, hostile, claustrophobic environment right alongside the crew of the Nostromo.
In the end, it was no wonder the Alien movie franchise grew so large. Scott provided an isolated glimpse of a captivating new sci-fi universe.
1. Blade Runner (1982)
Three years after Alien wowed audiences, Scott returned to the sci-fi realm with this adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Headlining the film was Han Solo and Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford. Ford plays a detective named Deckard who specialized in tracking down deadly androids called Replicants, while Rutger Hauer is at his most electric at the Replicant leader, Roy Batty.
Blade Runner easily ranks as Scott's most visually mesmerizing film. The special effects hold up surprisingly well 40 years later, while Scott's vision of a seedy, rainy, neon-lit future world is unlike any other. At the time, Blade Runner was accused of favoring style over substance, but in the decades since fans have come to appreciate the film's thematic and emotional depth.
It helps that there are so many versions of the film to dig through. Like Kingdom of Heaven, the theatrical release of Blade Runner was trimmed down and diminished by the studio (complete with new narration and an unnecessary happy ending). The Director's Cut version was released in 1992, and various official and unofficial revisions surfaced. But it wasn't until the Final Cut hit in 2007 that fans finally had access to Blade Runner in its purest form. The wait was long, but well worth it.
See more of the best Harrison Ford movies .
What is your favorite Ridley Scott film? Let's discuss in the comments!
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Highest Rated Movies of All Time
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- Release Year
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
R | 142 min | Drama
Over the course of several years, two convicts form a friendship, seeking consolation and, eventually, redemption through basic compassion.
Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins , Morgan Freeman , Bob Gunton , William Sadler
Votes: 2,859,438 | Gross: $28.34M
2. The Godfather (1972)
R | 175 min | Crime, Drama
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando , Al Pacino , James Caan , Diane Keaton
Votes: 1,992,012 | Gross: $134.97M
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale , Heath Ledger , Aaron Eckhart , Michael Caine
Votes: 2,840,629 | Gross: $534.86M
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
PG-13 | 201 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.
Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood , Viggo Mortensen , Ian McKellen , Orlando Bloom
Votes: 1,958,575 | Gross: $377.85M
5. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson , Ralph Fiennes , Ben Kingsley , Caroline Goodall
Votes: 1,436,366 | Gross: $96.90M
6. The Godfather Part II (1974)
R | 202 min | Crime, Drama
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino , Robert De Niro , Robert Duvall , Diane Keaton
Votes: 1,351,700 | Gross: $57.30M
7. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama
The jury in a New York City murder trial is frustrated by a single member whose skeptical caution forces them to more carefully consider the evidence before jumping to a hasty verdict.
Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda , Lee J. Cobb , Martin Balsam , John Fiedler
Votes: 854,377 | Gross: $4.36M
8. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta , Uma Thurman , Samuel L. Jackson , Bruce Willis
Votes: 2,195,776 | Gross: $107.93M
9. Inception (2010)
PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O., but his tragic past may doom the project and his team to disaster.
Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio , Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Elliot Page , Ken Watanabe
Votes: 2,522,249 | Gross: $292.58M
10. Fight Club (1999)
R | 139 min | Drama
An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soap maker form an underground fight club that evolves into much more.
Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt , Edward Norton , Meat Loaf , Zach Grenier
Votes: 2,294,689 | Gross: $37.03M
11. Forrest Gump (1994)
PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance
The history of the United States from the 1950s to the '70s unfolds from the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, who yearns to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.
Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks , Robin Wright , Gary Sinise , Sally Field
Votes: 2,231,895 | Gross: $330.25M
12. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
PG-13 | 178 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.
Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood , Ian McKellen , Orlando Bloom , Sean Bean
Votes: 1,986,314 | Gross: $315.54M
13. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
PG-13 | 179 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.
Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood , Ian McKellen , Viggo Mortensen , Orlando Bloom
Votes: 1,765,728 | Gross: $342.55M
14. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Approved | 178 min | Adventure, Western
A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.
Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood , Eli Wallach , Lee Van Cleef , Aldo Giuffrè
Votes: 804,134 | Gross: $6.10M
15. The Matrix (1999)
R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi
When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.
Directors: Lana Wachowski , Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Laurence Fishburne , Carrie-Anne Moss , Hugo Weaving
Votes: 2,031,715 | Gross: $171.48M
16. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
After the Rebels are overpowered by the Empire, Luke Skywalker begins his Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued across the galaxy by Darth Vader and bounty hunter Boba Fett.
Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill , Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher , Billy Dee Williams
Votes: 1,367,444 | Gross: $290.48M
17. Interstellar (2014)
PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
When Earth becomes uninhabitable in the future, a farmer and ex-NASA pilot, Joseph Cooper, is tasked to pilot a spacecraft, along with a team of researchers, to find a new planet for humans.
Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey , Anne Hathaway , Jessica Chastain , Mackenzie Foy
Votes: 2,060,181 | Gross: $188.02M
18. Se7en (1995)
R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.
Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman , Brad Pitt , Kevin Spacey , Andrew Kevin Walker
Votes: 1,778,237 | Gross: $100.13M
19. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster , Anthony Hopkins , Scott Glenn , Ted Levine
Votes: 1,532,399 | Gross: $130.74M
20. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
R | 169 min | Drama, War
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks , Matt Damon , Tom Sizemore , Edward Burns
Votes: 1,482,545 | Gross: $216.54M
21. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.
Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill , Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher , Alec Guinness
Votes: 1,437,973 | Gross: $322.74M
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All 10 Oscar best picture nominees this year, ranked
- 10 movies were nominated for best picture at the 96th Academy Awards.
- "Oppenheimer" is the frontrunner with 13 nominations, but "Poor Things" is right behind it with 11.
- Here we rank the best picture nominees by their chances of winning.
Ten movies are vying for the best picture prize at the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 10.
Here, we rank the titles from the biggest long shot of winning to the title with the best chance.
The Oscars take place this year on Sunday, March 10.
10. "Anatomy of a Fall"
9. "The Zone of Interest"
7. "The Holdovers"
6. "Past Lives"
5. "American Fiction"
4. "Killers of the Flower Moon"
2. "Poor Things"
- Main content
1946 … 1999 …1971 … 2024? What was the best ever year for film?
The current Oscars crop might be the best list in ages – but which was the best ever year for the movies? Guardian writers present their case
I n three weeks’ time, the credits will roll on the best cinema season in recent memory. Ten films are up for the best picture Oscar on 10 March and not a dud among them. That is unusual. Usually you will find an Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in there somewhere. Or maybe more than one (Babel, The Blind Side), or even a trio (Crash, Les Miserables, Bohemian Rhapsody). Often, it’s hard to get jazzed by the awards race; sometimes it’s tricky to feel strongly about any of the big contenders.
This year is different. Not only is the quality elevated; audience engagement has been sky-high. Much of that is down to the Barbenheimer juggernaut , giving brainy blockbusters their post-Covid event movie moment. But the watercooler would have been noisy nonetheless: The Zone of Interest , Anatomy of a Fall and Poor Things are all strikingly ambitious and singular works of art that have fuelled robust debate.
What else is on the list? American Fiction : a lovely, limber debut. The Holdovers : immaculate winter light. Past Lives : a Brief Encounter for the Skype generation. Maestro : a passion project with heart and fabulous prosthetic jowls. Plus, a massive masterpiece from Scorsese .
And these are just the movies the Academy has favoured. Their snubs include Passages , Monica , Showing Up and maybe the best movie of the titles in the mix: All of Us Strangers .
So: 2023 has a strong claim to be the best year in film since 2013 (The Act of Killing, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, The Great Beauty, Frances Ha, A Touch of Sin, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, Under the Skin). But can it claim the overall crown? Our writers take to the soapbox to champion their favourite years in cinema history. Catherine Shoard
1971: an explosion of brilliant movies
The greatness of 1971 cinema is complicated by the nihilism, the pessimism, the violence, bleary despair and world-nausea that keeps on characterising the great pictures made that year. These were not films whose key moments could be cut together into a feelgood montage reel, with That’s Entertainment playing over them. They were routinely about being crazy, paranoid, disenchanted and tired of life. Even Norman Jewison’s crackingly good Fiddler on the Roof is about pogroms. When Dirk Bogarde’s humiliated, infatuated composer Gustav von Aschenbach is carried off the beach in Death in Venice, hair-dye running down his face, it’s a valedictory image of utter defeat: the defiantly morbid passion, artistry and decadence that preceded it were very 1971. So was the transgressive genius of Ken Russell’s continuingly suppressed The Devils. (Although Dušan Makavejev’s WR The Mysteries of the Organism had a 60s kind of eroticism, without the thanatotic darkness of 1971.) Peter Bogdanovich’s superb The Last Picture Show seemed (wrongly) to intuit the death of cinema itself, though the staggering naked-swim scene is as thrillingly alive as anything in that or any other year.
Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was a nightmarish vision of state surveillance and control, and loathing of the young. Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs was a horrifying evocation of violence in bucolic Britain and William Friedkin’s The French Connection was a viscerally powerful thriller about New York spiralling downwards into chaos, and Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry gave us a despotic lawman who gets every dirty job that comes along. Richard Fleischer’s 10 Rillington Place had Richard Attenborough as a sleazy, nasty, depressed serial killer for a sleazy, nasty depressed Britain and Mike Hodges’ superb noir Get Carter was a brilliant satirical assault on the British class-system, shame-system and spite-system. How was it that so many brilliant movies suddenly exploded out of the pipeline in 1971? In Britain, it happened to be the year of John Trevelyan’s retirement as a liberal chief of the British Board of Film Censors (as it was then known). He had helped to create the conditions for powerful and boundary-pushing films. Then there was the fact that 60s grooviness was souring into an angrier and more confrontational mood. Above all, film-makers were pushing for freedom to say what they wanted, a kind of violence in itself. It made 1971 a uniquely exciting vintage. Peter Bradshaw
1928: three Alfred Hitchcock films released
Out of chaos comes creativity, and contradiction. In its infancy, sound cinema charged like a bull into Hollywood’s china shop and the year 1928 saw studios thrown into confusion as they scrambled to incorporate synch-sound technology. Yet, some of US cinema’s greatest and most melancholic silent masterpieces emerged in this miraculous year. Take Victor Sjöström’s elemental The Wind, with Lillian Gish facing down a storm of male violence, King Vidor’s American epic of failed dreams The Crowd, Josef von Sternberg’s Hollywood exposé The Last Command, or Charlie Chaplin’s final silent film, The Circus, by turns heart-crushingly poignant and stomach-rattlingly hilarious. A sweet confection such as Paul Fejos’s Lonesome managed to rise even with a spoonful of dialogue folded in. On the Mississippi river, one era of American comedy concluded, and another began with two steamboats skippered respectively by a voiceless Buster Keaton and a vocal Mickey Mouse.
Elsewhere, Soviet cinema produced such monuments as Storm over Asia (Vsevolod Pudovkin) and October (Sergei Eisenstein) while Alexsandr Dovshenko conjured the eccentric visions of Zvenigora. Fritz Lang thrilled German audiences with his high-octane spy thriller Spione, René Clair finessed the art of French silent comedy with The Italian Straw Hat and Les Deux Timides, and in Britain Alfred Hitchcock released not one but three films in the space of 12 months. Revolution rumbled across Europe, in fact, as the rules of cinema were dismantled and reassembled by the surrealist imaginations of artists such as Germaine Dulac (The Seashell and the Clergyman) and Man Ray (The Star Fish) – while Luis Buñuel and Jean Epstein made the strangely delirious Gothic horror The Fall of the House of Usher.
Greater even than all these, a Danish director and an Italian star collaborated in France on the painful perfection of The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), in which Carl Theodor Dreyer uncovered a universe of human emotion in intimate close-ups of Falconetti’s tear-stained face. Disruptive technique aligned with a timeless story, revealing the limitless power of the art form. This still unsurpassed film reveals, as Virginia Woolf had imagined in a recent essay, “what cinema might do if left to its own devices”. Pamela Hutchinson
1991: the past speaks to the present
It famously emerged from the checkerboard floor like a treacly slow-burning nightmare: the T-1000, a liquid metal killing machine that outskilled even Arnold Schwarzenegger’s seemingly invulnerable first iteration. Terminator had been a surprise hit. Terminator 2: Judgment Day upped the stakes, with a villain now capable of shapeshifting into anything it touched.
To choose 1991 might seem surprising, particularly given the more high-profile 90s years in film: the triumphant run of movies in 1994 (Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption) or that year with another seminal James Cameron, 1997’s Titanic. But 1991’s films have a way of speaking to the present. Terminator 2 heralded the rise of CGI, leading David Foster Wallace to coin, in an essay that went against the grain (he hated it), the “inverse cost and quality law”: ie, “the larger a movie’s budget is, the shittier that movie is going to be”. Cue the debate about superhero movies decades later.
The throughlines continue. Amid recent global reckonings on racism and sexism, much joy has been found in rediscovering Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash’s beautiful story about three generations of Gullah women living on South Carolina’s sea islands. John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood depicted young Black men living against the backdrop of police intimidation and gentrification. Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise was a joyous, fun ode to female friendship out of the shadows of male violence. The big winner of the 1991 Oscars , Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, is the first and only horror film to win the award for best picture, a distinction that brings to mind the debate about “prestige horror” in recent years. And on the very contemporary topic of very long films: last year I had the pleasure of watching Edward Yang’s four-hour epic A Brighter Summer Day at the cinema. The story of student life in 1960s Taiwan is beautifully told and never dragged across the four hours; by the end, I was in tears. Rebecca Liu
1999: Y2K anxiety infects film industry with fear
The 90s might have shown a concerning, and ultimately, premonitory rise of franchise reliance but the decade was also capped off with a reminder of just what could be achieved outside more clearly set boundaries. Nineteen ninety-nine was, after all, the final act for a decade that saw the birth of a new independent film movement. The films it’s now best known for show an energy and sense of risk that have never felt quite as exciting in the years since.
We saw one-of-a-kind debuts from Sofia Coppola with her never-bettered heartbreaker The Virgin Suicides, her then partner Spike Jonze with Being John Malkovich, and Lynne Ramsay with the haunting coming-of-age drama Ratcatcher. The new wave of auteurs who had gained a foot earlier in the 90s flourished further with Paul Thomas Anderson’s audacious Magnolia, David Fincher’s incendiary Fight Club, Mike Judge’s soon-to-be-rediscovered Office Space, Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run, Doug Liman’s Go and Alexander Payne’s brutally funny Election.
Even the more star-driven studio movies were better and smarter than usual: Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr Ripley, David O Russell’s Three Kings, Frank Oz’s Bowfinger and John McTiernan’s The Thomas Crown Affair. Horror was also on the upswing with The Sixth Sense, Audition and the subgenre-creating The Blair Witch Project while fears over our increasingly connected world also led to David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ and The Matrix, the rare franchise-starter that felt genuinely original (remember those?).
I’m far from alone in this theory. In 2019, a book was published making this exact case at the same time as a live London panel discussed the same topic while this past month has seen Alamo Drafthouse cinemas in the US show some of that year’s very best, screenings of which have been mostly sold out. Maybe it was some sort of Y2K anxiety forcing fear into the industry before everyone decided to play it safe instead. Benjamin Lee
1968: one giant leap for film-making
It took a few years for the full effect of the counter-culture to emerge on to the big screen, but 1968 saw other (and perhaps more impressive) revolutionary acts. Most notable was that one giant leap in film-making, 2001: A Space Odyssey – a lodestar for technique and design that has never really been topped. That it dovetailed with psychedelia was a coincidence MGM rolled with for marketing purposes, branding the unorthodox experience “the ultimate trip”.
Another New Yorker (Kubrick was an expat who settled in Britain) made an indelible mark on pop culture the same year: Barbra Streisand in the bold, brilliant and unabashedly Jewish musical-comedy Funny Girl. While “daffy dames” were nothing new to cinema, few could carry a tune like Streisand and stay sexy enough to entice Omar Sharif.
The Polish director Roman Polanski made his first American picture with the NYC-real estate satire Rosemary’s Baby in 1968, still one of the best films about paranoia and gaslighting since, well, Gaslight. Its co-star, director John Cassavetes, released his documentary-style 16mm picture Faces the same year, a mightily influential low-budget character drama. In Hollywood, Steve McQueen’s Bullitt rewired action sequences with the hilly San Francisco-set car chase that left audiences gasping. And elsewhere in outer space, in an action picture with some sly social commentary, Charlton Heston landed on the doomed Planet of the Apes … a planet that looked eerily familiar at the end. Jordan Hoffman
1955: a howl of young angst galvanises a generation
The mid-50s are often brushed off as an awkward transitional phase between Hollywood’s Golden Age and Italian neorealism on one end and the explosion of New Wave movements and counterculture cinema on the other. But with television as a looming threat to cinema, the movies responded with the alluring, eye-catching vibrancy of VistaVision, Technicolor and CinemaScope. Even the black-and-white popped.
In 1955, film noir darkened and expanded into the dreamy southern gothic of Charles Laughton’s one-and-done masterpiece The Night of the Hunter, with Robert Mitchum at his most seductive as a Biblical con man stalking the countryside. At the same time, the two-fisted grit of Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly led the post-war genre into the cold war, with a glowing briefcase that intimated the apocalypse. Meanwhile, across the ocean, the French were raising the bar in other genres, too, with the twisted psychology of Diabolique and the standard-setting diamond heist of Rififi.
The colours in 1955 may have been hyper-real, but they were matched by emotional intensity. There’s Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, a romance between a widow and her gardener that blooms in an oppressive hothouse of gossip and class codes. There are the sensual wonders of Max Ophüls’ Lola Montes, which puts the tragic life of a 19th-century European dancer and courtesan in the middle of a literal three-ring circus. Even the year’s diversions swooned, from the Moulin Rouge of Jean Renoir’s French Cancan to Frank Tashlin’s premium Martin-and-Lewis vehicle Artists and Models to Katharine Hepburn tumbling into a Venice canal in David Lean’s Summertime.
All these trends coalesced in the beautiful, tragic year of James Dean, which started in the spring with Elia Kazan’s East of Eden and ended posthumously in the fall with Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause. Two CinemaScope pictures – one in black-and-white, the other in colour, both howling with a young angst that would galvanise a generation. Scott Tobias
1982: reactionary forces and subversiveness in the air
This was an annus mirabilis for cinema, though it didn’t seem it at the time. Thatcher and Reagan, Falklands War jingoism, Mary Whitehouse condemning newly minted Channel 4, and Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire screenwriter Colin Welland trumpeting “The British are coming!” suggested reactionary forces were on the rise. But subversiveness was also in the air: 1982 was a banner year for science fiction, horror and fantasy, genres still despised by many mainstream critics, but embraced by younger audiences. Though ET: The Extra-Terrestrial topped the box office, poor reviews or lacklustre takings meant other classics – The Thing, Blade Runner and Cat People among them – took longer to find their fandoms.
Tron and Koyaanisqatsi broke new ground, Poltergeist and Creepshow nudged horror into the mainstream, and Conan the Barbarian and The Beastmaster boosted heroic fantasy. First-rate sequels such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan heralded the ascent of blockbuster franchises. At the opposite end of the budgetary scale, Q: The Winged Serpent, Tenebrae, Liquid Sky, Android, Basket Case and other gems all benefited from the rep circuit and the proliferation of VHS.
More “respectable” releases were not too shabby either: 1982 gave us First Blood, Moonlighting, 48 Hrs, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Draughtsman’s Contract, The Year of Living Dangerously and Tootsie, to name just a few, while Diner and Fast Times at Ridgemont High ushered in a new wave of acting talent.
New German Cinema’s big three each released new films: Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, Wim Wenders’ The State of Things – and there was Veronika Voss and Querelle from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who fatally overdosed in June 1982. Samuel Fuller proved he still had the right stuff with his provocative White Dog, Ingmar Bergman delivered his late masterpiece Fanny and Alexander, and British critics lambasted Lindsay Anderson’s satirical chef d’oeuvre, Britannia Hospital. Of course they did: it savaged everything the establishment held dear. Anne Billson
1960: aesthetic warning shots popping off
The watershed year between Old and New Hollywood earmarked by writer Mark Harris in his book Scenes from a Revolution is 1967. But seditious stirrings were already afoot in many countries at the start of the decade; 1960 saw so many unmistakeable aesthetic warning shots popping off that it has to be in the running for greatest film year. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was the big one, ear cupped to dark whisperings of the psyche that made further mockery of Hays Code niceties; and hand cocked to slash staid film grammar to pieces in the immortal shower scene.
It wasn’t a vintage Hollywood year, with only Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven and Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus hitting equal heights. That only served to highlight the richness and radical nature of what was on offer internationally. Hitchcock’s fellow film grammarian Jean-Luc Godard released Breathless, the French nouvelle vague’s flagship film, and François Truffaut and Louis Malle kept the momentum up with Shoot the Piano Player and Zazie dans le Métro. In the UK, Karel Reisz inaugurated the less self-conscious but equally modern British New Wave with his kitchen-sink class Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; meanwhile, cosy old Michael Powell trashed his own career, and the very motivations of cinema itself, in his serial-killer shocker Peeping Tom.
The likes of Village of the Damned, Eyes without a Face, L’Avventura, Purple Noon and The Housemaid all showcased a restlessness and dislocation that also said change was in the air. Ozu’s Late Autumn and Visconti’s Rocco and his Brothers were more classicist achievements, but still very much part of the flood of captivating global cinema that profited from Hollywood’s exhaustion and laid the grounds for its transformation by the next generation of young guns. If broader significance is just as important as quantitative excellence, then 1960 opened many doors. Phil Hoad
1939: Hollywood’s Golden Age at its shiniest
The Oscar pack was led by Gone with the Wind, Mr Smith Goes to Washington and The Wizard of Oz. On top of his accomplished minor effort Drums Along the Mohawk, John Ford gave the world two unassailable masterpieces Stagecoach and Young Mr Lincoln, which is sort of like inventing the cure for polio the same year you set the world record for fastest mile. Whether ensconced in drama, comedy, or action, romance had never seen a more fruitful annus mirabilis, an embarrassment of riches spread among Ninotchka, The Women, Goodbye Mr Chips, Wuthering Heights, and Only Angels Have Wings. Basil Rathbone made his debut as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Even the forgotten B-pictures, marquee-fillers such as the cash-grabby three-quel Son of Frankenstein, display a level of artistry and conviction of performance alien to today’s franchise-industrial complex.
But if the distinction of the artform’s best year hinges on a deeper sense of significance, 1939 can still measure up, a prefab milestone pedestaled by an industry celebrating 50 years of motion picture technology and 25 since the biz went west. Each studio showcased its talent on either side of the camera with bigger budgets and ballooned ambitions, upping the ante on the inspired artifice the dream factory sold to an eager America. At the same time, 1939 embodied the currents of history in less choreographed, sometimes less flattering ways; Anatole Litvak’s Confessions of a Nazi Spy threw the United States’ isolationist policy prior to the second world war into unforgiving relief, while the India-set Gunga Din paired its gallivanting adventure with ethnocentric fantasies of the “Thuggee murder cult”. Glitzy and garish, politically forward-looking and blinkered, virtuosic and commercial, here was Hollywood during the shiniest glint of the Golden Age. Charles Bramesco
2013: the winds of change
We now have a very different film industry than we did a decade ago: Covid, streaming, MeToo and Black Lives Matter have seen to that. But if you were reading the runes, the winds of change were blowing earlier, none more evident in 2013. Leading the way has to be Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave: a forthright drama taken from Solomon Northup’s memoir that won the best picture Oscar and – although McQueen is British – sensationally changed the game for Black American film-makers. After all those decades of exclusion it felt like female directors were finally arriving in significant numbers – Sofia Coppola (Bling Ring), Clio Barnard (Selfish Giant), Joanna Hogg (Exhibition) – as well as an impressive sighting of still-more-an-actor Greta Gerwig in the Noah Baumbach-directed Frances Ha.
Established American heavyweights were still turning out great stuff though: Martin Scorsese scored an unexpected hit with The Wolf of Wall Street, the Coens made the brilliant Inside Llewyn Davis, and Jim Jarmusch made the hilarious vampire-rocker film Only Lovers Left Alive. Meanwhile non-US auteurs were making tremendous inroads: Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty knocked everyone’s socks off, Pawel Pawlikowski’s fabulous faith drama Ida won the best foreign language film Oscar, and Lars von Trier outflanked everyone with his bizarre four-hour erotic dreamscape Nymphomaniac.
It’s an astonishing list, which doesn’t even include two personal favourites, which pointed the way forward themselves. Gravity, with its complex light box trickery and considered attempt at space realism pushed the boundaries of what an effects movie could accomplish, while the astonishing Under the Skin, from Zone of Interest’s Jonathan Glazer, exuded a don’t-care idiosyncrasy from its opening frames, completely reformulating what could be acceptable in a big star vehicle. 2013 really was a year to savour. Andrew Pulver
1975: simply the best. Case closed
For quality, innovation and sheer shock and awe, it’s hard to look past 1975, the year that most accurately predicted Hollywood’s future direction of travel. This was the year where the ascendant cinema of the New Hollywood collided with the then-nascent blockbuster. There would only be one winner in that clash: a three-tonne great white shark with a hankering for sunbathers.
Jaws might have ultimately been the first crack in the dam that led to our current flood of thudding, uninspired mega-movies, but it remains a bravura piece of mass entertainment, a technological and storytelling marvel that more than merited its place among that year’s Oscar best picture nominees. By the way, has there ever been a better best picture shortlist? Even 1974 had a dud in there – the now horribly dated Towering Inferno – but 1975’s is all killer, no filler: joining Jaws were Kubrick’s picaresque masterpiece Barry Lyndon, Altman’s brilliant, sprawling, country music epic Nashville, Dog Day Afternoon, with Pacino in imperious form and John Cazale adding another entry to the greatest filmography of all time , and that year’s ultimate winner, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Those five alone would make for an exemplary movie year, but below the fold there was plenty more going on. It was a great time for ambitious, often transgressive film-making: Ken Russell and The Who’s wild rock opera Tommy; Warren Beatty’s ripe political satire Shampoo; Pasolini’s arthouse shocker Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom; the giddy joys of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky Horror’s gleeful rejection of sexual and gender norms made it a queer cinema landmark, but it wasn’t alone in moving the dial in 1975: Dog Day Afternoon featured a sympathetic portrayal of a trans character – Chris Sarandon’s gender-reassignment surgery-seeking Leon – decades before The Crying Game, Boys Don’t Cry or Tangerine. Black cinema too enjoyed landmark releases in 1975: the coming-of-age drama Cooley High, which helped nudge portrayals of black communities away from the cheap thrills of Blaxploitation and towards something more rounded and real; and, on this side of the Atlantic, Horace Ové’s pioneering account of Black British life, Pressure.
Still not convinced of 1975’s merits? I could point to nerve-shredding Robert Redford thriller Three Days of the Condor, or Fellini’s autobiographical classic Amarcord, or Gene Hackman repeating the trick of The Conversation in the great forgotten paranoid thriller Night Moves. But how about we leave it at this: the current reigning champ in Sight and Sound’s critics poll of the greatest films of all time hails from 1975: Chantal Akerman’s slow cinema gamechanger, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Case closed, your honour. Gwilym Mumford
1946: studio system in full fettle
The numbers do not lie: the biggest all-time movie year for attendance was 1946, with more than 90m weekly admissions —60% of the population of North America.
The studio system was in full fettle and John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks all at the height of their powers, with the dark currents of noir reaching the high-water mark of Hawk’s The Big Sleep, while Ford made one of his battle-weariest westerns, My Darling Clementine. It was Joan Crawford’s finest hour in Mildred Pierce, Rita Hayworth’s in Gilda, while Cary Grant gave a performance etched in charcoal in Hitchcock’s Notorious.
In Europe, Italian neorealism was in full swing, with Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine, and Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà shot in the rubble of bombed Europe, while in France Jean Cocteau made his best film, La Belle et la Bête. America and Europe had never been closer, and for once, Hollywood was not the straightforward dream factory.
Flush with the victory against fascism, weary with the cost of the effort, Hollywood was more like a dreamer tossing and turning with vivid, turbulent dreams. William Wyler made one of the most disquieting Oscar winners ever made, about the experience of returning veterans, The Best Years of Our Lives. Even Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life plays much darker than you remember it, as befits a film made by two returning vets, confronting the heartlessness of slumlord capitalism before ushering George Bailey to his happy ending.
The boom did not last. Attendance dropped in 1947 as couples stayed home, turned on their TV sets and moviegoing went into the freefall from which it has never quite recovered. Tom Shone
2027: the best year is yet to come …
A tumultuous year I thought I’d not live to see. We begin with the dissolution of the Academy as its centenary event. At last, diminished audiences and the profusion of sub-categories and voting groups meet their destiny. “Give us a break!” says Spike Lee, final president, as he gets his directing prize for No One Asked Me.
Quentin Tarantino delivers his third final film, GloriUS. The SURveillance channel buys out Netflix and breaks viewing records with Chez the Kelces, a two-week coverage of you know who.
Daniel Day-Lewis returns to play in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Last Dream of a Dressmaker; 81% of filmgoers ask, “Who is Daniel Day-Lewis?”
Reports that the TRUMP media park has special effects problems. Trump announces: “It’s a done deal – Brad Pitt will be me.” Pitt leaves the country. Trump: “Who knew? He turned out so nasty.”
Stephen Frears wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes with a ruminative essay film, What I Decided Not to Make. Jane Campion opens Tender Will Be the Night, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Dick Diver and Margot Robbie as Nicole.
Martin Scorsese releases a four-hour cut of Big Horn, about the 1876 battle as a model of America’s wickedness. Leonardo Di Caprio is Custer, De Niro as Sitting Bull.
The old Academy Museum in Los Angeles is sold to Elon Musk. There are 211 operating movie theatres in the US. Peter Morgan agrees to continue The Crown, despite ongoing legal action between Princes Harry and William.
Seven cans of the lost The Magnificent Ambersons wash up on the shores of Puerto Vallarta. Frederick Wiseman, now 97, makes a four-hour film, Quiet, about the world as a panorama of silence. Walter Murch is the sound designer. Wiseman announces: “That’s all, folks!” David Thomson
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10 Best Jason Statham Movies, Ranked
J ason Statham emerged in the 2000s as a leading action hero in Hollywood, as well as a recurring face in Guy Ritchie's movies . Known for his cockney accent, perpetual stubble, and martial arts skills, Statham quickly became a fan-favorite action hero of the 21st century. Through his best movies, he earned a spot alongside the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Willis as a safe bet for good action.
Jason Statham continues to be a reliable source of fun action stories as he's joined the Fast and Furious franchise, while also being a mainstay in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables movies. Ranging from comedy to gritty action, the actor has shown an impressive amount of range for his signature genre and has starred in some of cinema's most bizarre and unique projects. For fans who want to enjoy some fun entertainment, Statham's movies are a good place to go.
Revolver Is A Stylish Drama/Thriller
By no means is Revolver the best Guy Ritchie movie , but it does have one of the director's more unique styles, as it merges elements of neo-noir with drama. The film follows Statham in the leading role as Jake Green, a man recently released from prison who makes an enemy out of a former associate.
Revolver follows Green as he plays off all sides of an intricate web of characters against one another, from loan sharks and assassins to a casino boss. The movie is best appreciated after a second viewing and focuses on the idea of Green becoming the ultimate con man.
The Mechanic Movies Honor A Classic Charles Bronson Story
Review: the meg snatches giant-size fun from the jaws of absurdity.
Based on the classic Charles Bronson movie of the same name, The Mechanic follows an elite assassin, Arthur Bishop, who trains the son of a friend — whom he killed — to become like him. After taking him under his wing, Bishop realizes that his new protégé, Steve, is too unstable to ever be like him, while also realizing he was tricked into killing his old friend.
The Mechanic follows Bishop as he trains Steve, taking him along on some of his missions, fighting to keep him under control. The movie's 2016 sequel was a brilliant follow-up to the story, with Bishop being forced by an old associate to carry out a new series of high-risk missions to save a woman from his wrath.
The Bank Job Peels Back The Curtain Of British High Society
Based on a true story, The Bank Job casts Statham in the role of a bank robber, Terry, hired by an old acquaintance, Martine, to steal the contents of a safe deposit box in a bank. The box in question contains compromising pictures of a member of the royal family. After assembling a group of thieves to break into the bank by tunneling beneath the vault, Terry and his crew become the target of gangsters and intelligence services alike.
The Bank Job combines elements of political scandal with gangster thriller as each of the members of Terry's crew gets captured or killed by enforcers and henchmen of London's most powerful. The movie is a good look at the shady side of London's elite and the lengths they'd go to to protect their secrets.
The Italian Job Rebooted An Iconic Heist Movie
The original Italian Job is known for many things, ranging from an interesting cast of characters to a fun chase sequence, but its cliffhanger ending left fans wanting for decades. In 2003, the movie was given a soft reboot and a sequel rolled into one, with Statham cast as one of the main characters, Handsome Rob.
The Italian Job follows its small band of master thieves after they're betrayed by one of their members, leading them to hatch a plan to get back at him and steal his gold. The movie is a great homage to the original, with great use of car chases and fast-paced action leading up to its heist.
Ghosts of Mars Is Zombie Horror On The Red Planet
Ghosts of Mars is one of John Carpenter's most under-appreciated movies due to it never gaining cult status like his '80s hits. Set on a terraformed Mars in the future, the movie follows a small band of elite Marshals tasked with transporting an outlaw from a small mining town back to the city. However, when they reach the town, the Marshals realize the population has been taken over by horrifying spirit-like beings, who have changed them into bloodthirsty killers.
In Ghosts of Mars , Statham is cast as one of the film's secondary protagonists, the Marshal Jericho. The movie is a brilliant combination of science fiction and isolated horror in the vein of projects like The Hills Have Eyes . With the heroes cobbling together a band of survivors, they fight their way out of the town.
The Expendables 2 Is The Team's Best Mission To Date
The Expendables franchise was created by Sylvester Stallone with a very simple and brilliant hook: It assembled almost every major action star from cinema under one banner. With a line-up that includes Stallone, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, and Terry Crews, Statham was cast as Lee Christmas, Barney Ross' second-in-command.
The Expendables franchise is great viewing for fans of classic action cinema as the films follow Barney Ross' band of mercenaries in a variety of missions. The best entry of the series, the second movie, follows the team as they take on a hardened arms dealer after he murders one of the group.
Hobbs And Shaw Added A Buddy Cop Dynamic To Fast And The Furious
Review: hobbs & shaw is a delightfully over-the-top blast.
Spinning out of the Fast and Furious movies , Hobbs and Shaw follows Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw as they're forced to team up to prevent a virus from falling into the hands of terrorists. With Shaw's sister, a tough MI6 agent, infected with the virus to prevent its use, the trio take on the organization Eteon and its cybernetically-enhanced soldiers.
Hobbs and Shaw took the action franchise to a new, sci-fi-themed level as the two titular heroes form a mismatched, buddy cop-style partnership. With Statham returning to his role as Deckard Shaw, the movie remains one of the actor's highest-grossing projects.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Is A Fun Cockney Gangster Movie
The plot of Guy Ritchie's breakout movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels begins when a young London man, Eddy, loses a high-stakes poker game to a local gangster. With his three friends all with their own money in the hole, Eddy sets in motion a plan to steal the £500,000 he owes the gangster.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels follow Eddy and his friends, including Statham in the role of Bacon, as everything goes wrong in their harebrained scheme to steal the cash. With a local enforcer on their back, as well as a rival gang of local thugs looking for them, the group stumbles through London and falls into good luck when their troubles are unexpectedly cleared.
Snatch Is Guy Ritchie's Best Story
Widely considered to be Guy Ritchie's greatest movie, as well as a gangster classic, Snatch follows a series of characters as they become intertwined in a plot of a stolen diamond and a rigged boxing match. Primarily following Jason Statham in his role as Turkish, a boxing manager in debt to a London gangster named Brick Top, things take a turn when an Irish boxer refuses to throw his fight — landing Turkish in hot water.
Snatch is as much a brilliant comedy movie as it is a gangster thriller, with Ritchie's signature style of alternating between a group of seemingly unrelated sub-plots holding everything together. With an eccentric cast of characters of varying levels of incompetence, the movie is a must-watch for Statham fans as one of the breakout roles in his career.
The Transporter Gave Statham His Most Iconic Role
Of all Statham's movies, none are as definitive in his career as his role as Frank Martin in The Transporter series. Focusing on an elite driver tasked with anything from getaway driver to specialized courier, the first movie follows Frank as he's roped into a criminal plot when he rescues one of his "packages," a young woman named Lai.
The Transporter follows Frank and Lai as they fight to survive the repeated attacks from the criminal gang, who are intent on recovering Lai. When it's revealed that Lai's father is head of a people smuggling business and he takes his daughter hostage, Frank springs into action to save her.