The Greatest Movies of All Time

The 20 Greatest Movies of All Time

Top 20 best movies of all time: Rocky, Reservoir Dogs, The Last Picture Show, The Rules of the Game, Moonlight, 8 1/2, The Searchers, Persona, Breathless, The Third Man, Boyhood, The Passion of Joan of Arc and more,,,,,

The 20 Greatest Movies of All Time
Image: Imdb

Rocky (1976)

  • Director: John G. Avildsen
  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Director (1977), Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture—Drama (1977)

Synopsis: Rocky Balboa is a small-time boxer in Philadelphia. When heavyweight boxing world champion Apollo Creed needs a new opponent, he challenges the “Italian Stallion.”

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
  • Awards: Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival (1992)

Synopsis: After a heist goes wrong, a group of criminals try to figure out who betrayed them.

The Last Picture Show (1971)

  • Director: Peter Bogdanovich
  • Starring: Cybill Shepherd, Jeff Bridges, Cloris Leachman
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (1972), Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor—Motion Picture (1972)

Synopsis: Two teenagers, Sonny and Duane, spend their adolescence together in 1950s Texas. When Sonny joins the army, they go to the movies one last time before Sonny leaves for Korea.

The Rules of the Game (1939)

  • Original Title: La règle du jeu
  • Director: Jean Renoir
  • Starring: Mila Parély, Marcel Dalio, Roland Toutain, Julien Carette

Synopsis: A series of love stories unfold during a masquerade ball at a country estate.

Moonlight (2016)

  • Director: Barry Jenkins
  • Starring: Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (2017)

Synopsis: Chiron is the son of a drug-addicted single mother in Miami. He joins a gang to avoid persecution for being gay.

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8 1/2 (1963)

  • Original Title: Otto e mezzo
  • Director: Federico Fellini
  • Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk

Synopsis: While on bed rest, a director works on his next film. Short on ideas, he retreats into his memories.

The Searchers (1956)

  • Director: John Ford
  • Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond
  • Awards: Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer—Male (1958)

Synopsis: An uncle pursues the men who abducted his nieces.

Persona (1966)

  • Director: Ingmar Bergman
  • Starring: Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand, Jörgen Lindström

Synopsis: An actress who stops speaking after a traumatic experience goes to a seaside town with a nurse. A strange relationship develops between the two women.

Breathless (1960)

  • Original Title: À bout de souffle
  • Director: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Starring: Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Roger Hanin
  • Awards: Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival (1960)

Synopsis: On his way to Paris in a stolen car, a man kills a police officer. He meets an American student in Paris and tries to convince her to escape with him to Italy.

The Third Man (1949)

  • Director: Carol Reed
  • Starring: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard
  • Awards: Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival (1949), BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film (1950), Academy Award for Best Cinematography (1951)

Synopsis: A journalist travels to war-ravaged Vienna to meet a friend who promised him a job. Upon his arrival, he finds out his friend has been killed and tries to find the murderers.

Boyhood (2014)

  • Director: Richard Linklater
  • Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (2015), César Award for Best Foreign Film (2015)
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Synopsis: Director Richard Linklater brought the same group of actors together once a year for 12 years to make a film about family and growing up.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

  • Original Title: La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc
  • Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Starring: Renée Jeanne Falconetti, Eugène Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz

Synopsis: Joan of Arc appears before a clerical court. The judges use dishonest questions and torture to condemn her.

In the Mood for Love (2000)

  • Original Title: Fa Yeung Nin Wa
  • Director: Wong Kar-wai
  • Starring: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Rebecca Pan
  • Awards: Best Actor Award for Tony Leung Chiu-wai at the Cannes Film Festival (2000), César Award for Best Foreign Film (2001)

Synopsis: Two neighbours who discover that their respective spouses are having an affair slowly develop feelings for each other.

Battleship Potemkin (1925)

  • Original Title: Bronenosets Potyomkin
  • Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
  • Starring: Aleksandr Antonov, Grigori Alexandrov, Vladimir Barsky, Ivan Bobrov

Synopsis: In 1905, mutiny breaks out on board a battleship in Odessa. The uprising soon spreads to the entire city and the government struggles to suppress it.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Visual Effects

Synopsis: In the second instalment of Tolkien’s saga, the Fellowship of the Ring breaks into three groups.

The Mirror (1975)

  • Original Title: Zerkalo
  • Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Starring: Margarita Terekhova, Larisa Tarkovskaya, Ignat Daniltsev, Alla Demidova, Anatoli Solonitsyn

Synopsis: A filmmaker recalls his childhood in the countryside over the course of a discussion with his mother.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

  • Director: George Miller
  • Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Production Design, Academy Award for Best Film Editing, Academy Award for Best Sound Editing (2016)
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Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, six women and one man try to escape from a cult leader.

Chinatown (1974)

  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez
  • Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (1975)

Synopsis: In the 1930s, a woman hires Gittes, a private detective, to follow an engineer who is using the city’s water reservoir for personal purposes. When the engineer is murdered, Gittes tries to find the killer.

The Graduate (1967)

  • Director: Mike Nichols
  • Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
  • Awards: Golden Globe for Best Director (1968), Academy Award for Best Director (1968)

Synopsis: After graduating from college, Benjamin Braddock doesn’t know what to do with his life. He is seduced by Mrs. Robinson, his father’s boss’s wife.

La Dolce Vita (1960)

  • Director: Federico Fellini
  • Starring: Anita Ekberg, Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée
  • Awards: Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1960), Academy Award for Best Costume Design (1962)

Synopsis: In 1959 in Rome, a young journalist working for a tabloid is followed through a series of vignettes.

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The best films of all time

We compared the following “best of” lists based on how many times each movie was mentioned, and their ranking, to compile our own list of the 20 best movies of all time.

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