Top 100 Movies

Tess Jones
Forrest Gump movie poster

This list of the greatest films ever made contains movies from every genre, style, and time period. From Star Wars to Citizen Kane, these movies have moved people deeply and generated massive popularity. The films on this list will live on for years to come because of their merit with critics and audiences alike.

Top 100 Movies of All Time

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King movie poster

Creating a list of the top 100 movies of all time is no simple task. Box-office numbers rise with inflation favoring newer movies and don't take into account smaller films with critical acclaim or Oscar wins. On the other hand, lists made exclusively by critics tend to ignore the public voice.

Both theater ticket sales and critical acclaim were included in creating this list. Box-office numbers were included from IMdB and Box Office Mojo's yearly box office list and inflation-adjusted list. Points were assigned to these box-office numbers based on their rank. Points were also assigned to the top 100 entries based on the user-rating list from IMdB, the AFI top-100 list, and Oscar best-picture winning films. The result is a true measure of the top movies as judged by both theater-goers and critics.

Top 100 Movies List

Rank Title Year Description

1

Forrest Gump

1994

A well-rounded favorite, Forrest Gump won six Oscars, ranked high on both charts at Box Office Mojo, and made the AFI Top-100 list.

2

The Godfather

1972

This original film from 1972 began a three-part series and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It had a star-studded cast with Marlon Brando and Al Pacino portraying life in the mafia. The film won three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor.

3 Titanic 1997 Directed by James Cameron, Titanic was one of the top-grossing films of all-time and won 11 Oscars.
4 The Lord or the Rings: Return of the King 2003 The third and final installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Return of the King grossed $377,019,252. It won the best-picture Oscar and is loved around the world for it's interpretation of a literary classic.
5 Star Wars 1977 This classic launched a generation-spanning franchise created by George Lucas that has won countless awards and inspired spin-offs in every type of media imaginable.
6 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 The top-grossing film of 1982, E.T. is one of Steven Spielberg's best all-time films. Look for a very young Drew Barrymore as main character Elliot's little sister.
7 The Dark Knight 2008 The second film in Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight ranks number seven with IMdB user ratings. Heath Ledger received an Oscar for best actor in a supporting role post-humously for his performance as The Joker.
8 Gone with the Wind 1939 This classic film from 1939 has stood the test of time. It is number one on the inflation-adjusted box-office gross list and number six on the list of AFI's top 100 movies of all time. Set during the civil war, Scarlett O'Hara entertains audiences for a the two-part, 238-minute epic.
9 Schindler's List 1993 While Schindler's List didn't have high box-office returns, it had high enough critic rankings to make it to the top ten, not to mention seven Oscars.
10 The Sound of Music 1965 Number three on the inflation-adjusted box-office gross list at Box Office Mojo, The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews as a Governess in Austria. The film garnered five Oscars including Best Picture.
11 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 Starring a young Jack Nicholson, the film was directed by a brilliant Milos Foreman who also helmed Amadeus (number 72 on the list).
12 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Peter O'Toole stars in this epic 1962 film that took home seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography.
13 The Godfather: Part II 1974 The second in the Godfather trilogy, this film is ranked number three with IMdB users. It won six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.
14 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 1980 The second movie released in the Star Wars universe, The Empire Strikes Back continues the story of Luke Skywalker as played by Mark Hamill.
15 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 The top-grossing film of 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark introduced the world to Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in a thrilling action film that holds up over time.
16 Casablanca 1943 In this 1943 gem Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman unexpectedly meet overseas at the start of World War II. The film originated the famous quote, "Here's looking at you, kid."
17 Avatar 2009 The number one, top-grossing movie on IMdB, Avatar was directed by James Cameron. The film is a testament to the beauty possible in a new, modern age of cinematography and special effects.
18 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 1999 Two decades after the Star Wars trilogy was released, George Lucas directed this prequel with modern special effects. The film grossed $474,544,677 and was the top-grossing movie for 1999.
19 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001 The first film in the trilogy, Peter Jackson brought the famous books to life in this epic adventure film.
20 Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi 1983 The third of the early 1980's Star Wars movies, in the overall story of Star Wars this film is actually the last and sixth film that concludes the story.
21 The Sting 1973 This 1973 film won seven Oscars including Best Picture and stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
22 The Avengers 2012 The Avengers blew the box-office away with a gross of $623,279,547.
23

Shrek 2

2004 The sequel to Shrek was the number one grossing movie of 2004 and is one of the top 10 all-time highest grossing movies per Box Office Mojo.
24 Jurassic Park 1993 Steven Spielberg had another hit with this 1993 top-grossing movie about a real live dinosaur park gone awry.
25 All About Eve 1950 "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night," a line delivered by Bette Davis with drink in hand, will live in the hearts and minds of movie-goers forever. All About Eve is a timeless film about a young actress named Eve (played by Anne Baxter) who tries to wedge her way into the lives and spotlight of an established star.
26 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2006 This film from the swashbuckling series featuring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest outgrossed all the other Pirates movies earning a coveted spot on the top-100 list.
27 The Lion King 1994 Animated Disney film The Lion King about a young lion named Simba was an instant classic. The film earned a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical.
28 Spider-Man 2002 Director Sam Raimi hit the nail on the head with a pitch-perfect performance from Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. The film grossed $403,706,375 per IMdB and went on to have several sequels.
29 The Silence of the Lambs 1991 Jodie Foster plays FBI agent Clarice Starling investigating a disturbing case that forces her to communicate with a killer played by Anthony Hopkins. The film won numerous Oscars including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Actress in a Leading Role.
30 The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 This classic film tells the story of story of British prisoners of war tasked with building a bridge is on most critics' top-100 lists. It's inflation-adjusted gross puts the film at $437,920,000.
31 The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 This film about veterans returning to their lives after WWII won seven Oscars and was directed by William Wyler.
32 Ben-Hur 1959 Also directed by William Wyler, Ben-Hur stars Charlton Heston in a dramatic film featuring a famous chariot race among other memorable cinematic moments.
33 Toy Story 3 2010 Toy Story 3 has a surprising critic review rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed $414,984,497 and also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.
34 Rocky 1976 Rocky starring Sylvester Stallone won three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It had a respectable box-office gross.
35 On the Waterfront 1954 Marlon Brando plays a longshoreman in this classic directed by Elia Kazan. The film won eight Oscars.
36 West Side Story 1961 One of the most popular film musicals, West Side Story tells the love story of Maria and Tony, who are linked with opposing gangs in New York City. The film won eight Oscars and has an inflation-adjusted all-time gross of $450,560,80.
37 The Dark Knight Rises 2012 Christian Bale is back again as Batman in this Christopher Nolan-directed film that grossed $448,130,642.
38 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002 The second film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers continues the story of Frodo and the ring. The film grossed $340,124,059.
39 Independence Day 1996 This blockbuster starring Will Smith was the Box Office Mojo top-grossing film of 1996. The film was directed by Roland Emmerich.
40 Jaws 1975 Directed by Steven Spielberg, the famous music from Jaws won composer John Williams an Oscar for Best Music-Original Dramatic Score.
41 Unforgiven 1992 Unforgiven stars and was directed by Clint Eastwood in a story about a retired gunslinger returning for one last job. The film won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
42 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 2005 The top-grossing film of 2005, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith marks the final Star Wars film produced thus far and is the third in the overall storyline.
43 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937 This timeless, animated Disney film has been re-released countless times, building its box-office gross significantly over the years.
44 The Graduate 1967 Simon and Garfunkel crooned "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson" for this film featuring a young Dustin Hoffman having an affair with an older woman. The movie won Mike Nicholas an Oscar for Best Director.
45 Annie Hall 1977 Diane Keaton plays Annie in one of Woody Allen's all-time best films. The film won four Oscars.
46 Home Alone 1990 A very young Macaulay Culkin won over audience's hearts in this Christmastime blockbuster that had a gross of $285,761,243.
47 Rain Man 1988 With genius casting of Dustin Hoffman opposite Tom Cruise, Rain Man won four Oscars and was also the top-grossing film of 1988.
48 Midnight Cowboy 1969 This film won the Best Picture Oscar and stars Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman.
49 It Happened One Night 1934 Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, this film directed by Frank Capra tells the story of a well-to-do woman who must accept help from a reporter angling for a news story. The film won five Oscars including Best Picture.
50 The Apartment 1960 Jack Lemmon plays Baxter, a man who lends his apartment key to executives in his company for trysts. Shirley MacLaine complicates matters. The Apartment won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
51 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 2001 The film that introduced the world to Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter grossed $317,557,891 and launched a film franchise worthy of the book series by J.K. Rowling. The movie was directed by Chris Columbus.
52 Gladiator 2000 Russell Crowe won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in this Roman-set action film. The movie also won the Oscar for Best Picture and grossed $187,670,866.
53 The Departed 2006 Ranked highly by IMdB users, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon play men undercover in both the Irish mafia and the police force in Boston. The movie won four Oscars and was directed by Martin Scorsese.
54 American Beauty 1999 American Beauty took home five Academy Awards including Best Picture. It stars Kevin Spacey as a father in suburbia having a mid-life crisis and falling into depression.
55 The Deer Hunter 1978 This 1978 Best Picture Oscar winner has a star-studded cast including Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep.
56 Back to the Future 1985 The top-grossing movie of 1985, Back to the Future remains ranked in the top-100 with IMdB users.
57 Citizen Kane 1941 Often at the top of critic's lists, Citizen Kane was directed by and stars Orson Welles. The film follows a reporter trying to uncover the meaning of a famous man's last spoken word, "rosebud."
58 Psycho 1960 Famous for its shower scene, Alfred Hitchcock changed the landscape of thriller movies with this film revered by critics.
59 It's a Wonderful Life 1946 A Christmastime staple starring James Stewart, It's a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey who learns what the world would be like without him. The film was directed by Frank Capra.
60 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011 The highest-grossing Harry Potter movie and the top movie of 2011, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was the final movie in the 8-film series.
61 Finding Nemo 2003 This animated story of a small fish trying to make his way home grossed $380,383,870 at the box office. It won the Oscar for best Animated Picture and was nominated for best original screenplay.
62 Spider-Man 2 2004 Directed by Sam Raimi, in Spider-Man 2 Peter Parker battles Doctor Octavius. The film grossed $373,377,893.
63 Spider-Man 3 2007 The third and final Spider-Man movie starring Tobey Maquire, Spider-Man 3 grossed $336,530,303.
64 Batman 1989 Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker gave the world this top-grossing film of 1989.
65 Saving Private Ryan 1998 Saving Private Ryan won five Oscars including Best Director for Steven Spielberg. The film stars Tom Hanks and made $216,119,491 at the box office.
66 Platoon 1986 Directed and written by Oliver Stone, Platoon stars Charlie Sheen as a disenchanted soldier in Vietnam. The movie won four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
67 Vertigo 1958 Among the top Hitchcock movies on any film aficionados' list, Vertigo stars James Stewart as a detective afraid of heights.
68 City Lights 1931 The story of a tramp trying to woo a blind flower girl, City Lights influenced films for years to come. The film was directed by, written by, and starred Charlie Chaplin.
69 Sunset Blvd. 1950 Directed by Billy Wilder, this film about a disillusioned silent-screen star clinging to her former glory won three Oscars including best screenplay.
70 In the Heat of the Night 1967 Breaking racial barriers, Sidney Poitier plays a talented detective waylaid in a small, southern town in this 1967 film. The movie won five Oscars including Best Picture.
71 Braveheart 1995 Directed by and starring Mel Gibson, Braveheart won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography.
72 Amadeus 1984 This 1984 film about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as told in flashback by his bitter rival won eight Oscars and was directed by Milos Foreman.
73 The Passion of the Christ 2004 Although criticized for it's extreme violence and lack of spirituality, The Passion of the Christ grossed $370,270,943. Mel Gibson directed this film about the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus.
74 Inception 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio starred in this mind-bending film by director Christopher Nolan. The movie grossed $292,569,851, an amazing feat for an original property.
75 Beverly Hills Cop 1984 In the top-grossing movie of 1984, Eddie Murphy plays a Detroit cop in a fish-out-of water story landing him in Beverly Hills. The movie sold $234,760,500 in tickets.
76 Raging Bull 1980 Robert De Niro won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as a boxer. The film was directed by Martin Scorsese.
77 Singin' in the Rain 1952 Singin' in the Rain is a timeless musical about a cast moving from silent films to talkies. Gene Kelly starred in and co-directed the film.
78 Apocalypse Now 1979 Based on Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness, the movie Apocalypse Now is the story of a dark mission in Vietnam. The film stars Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
79 Rear Window 1954 Starring James Stewart and Gene Kelly, this Hitchcock-helmed film about a man with a broken leg who peers at his neighbors through his window has an inflation-adjusted gross of $405,355,700.
80 The Shawshank Redemption 1994 Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman play two men in prison in this movie directed and written by Frank Darabont. It is based on a short story by Stephen King. It is the number one user-rated film on IMDB with a rating of 9.2.
81 The Sixth Sense 1999 This story about a boy who talks to spirits was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The movie stars Bruce Willis and grossed $293,501,675.
82 Dances with Wolves 1990 Dances with Wolves stars and was directed by Kevin Costner. The movie won seven Oscars including Best Picture and made $184,208,848 at the box office.
83 Chicago 2002 Broadway musical turned movie, Chicago grossed $170,684,505 and won six Oscars including Best Picture. The movie stars Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones and was directed by Rob Marshall.
84 Slumdog Millionaire 2008 Winner of the 2008 Best Picture Oscar, Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant remembering in flashback each event in his troubled history that provides him the answers to the game. The movie won eight Oscars in total and took home $141,319,195 at the box office.
85 Argo 2012 Ben Affleck directed and stars in this 2012 Oscar Best Picture winner. Argo earned $134,282,925 in ticket sales.
86 Terms of Endearment 1983 Starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and Jack Nicholson the comedy/drama Terms of Endearment won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
87 Driving Miss Daisy 1989 Driving Miss Daisy won four Oscars including Best Picture. The movie grossed $106,593,296 and featured Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.
88 Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 Dustin Hoffman plays a father abandoned by his wife who must care for his young son, eventually battling his wife in court for custody. The film won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for Hoffman, and Best Actress for Streep.
89 Million Dollar Baby 2004 Million Dollar Baby won four Oscars including Best Picture. Hillary Swank plays boxer Maggie Fitzgerald. The film was directed by Clint Eastwood and earned $100,422,786 in box office sales.
90 Shakespeare in Love 1998 With a box-office gross of $100,241,322, Shakespeare in Love tells the story of a writer inspired to write what would later become a famous play. The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes and won seven Oscars including Best Picture.
91 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 A favorite with critics and audiences alike, this story of evolution told mostly in pictures was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
92 To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 Based on the book of the same name, in To Kill a Mockingbird lawyer Atticus Finch defends a young black man accused of rape. The movie won three Oscars including Best Actor for Gregory Peck.
93 Double Indemnity 1944 This classic film noir stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. The movie was directed by Billy Wilder.
94 Dr. Strangelove 1964 In a comedy about a potential nuclear disaster, Stanley Kubrick directs Peter Sellers in a 1964 comedic tour de force.
95 The French Connection 1971 Gene Hackman stars in this movie about cops in New York City breaking up a drug smuggling operation. The film won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay.
96 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 2009 This follow up to 2007's Transformers starring Shia LaBeouf grossed $402,076,689. The movie was directed by Michael Bay.
97 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 The top-grossing film of 1991, Terminator 2: Judgment Day tripled its gross from its predecessor. The sequel earned a 98% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and was directed by James Cameron.
98 The Exorcist 1973 Number nine on the inflation-adjusted all-time box-office gross list, horror film The Exorcist was directed by William Friedkin.
99 Doctor Zhivago 1965 This story of a love affair between a Russian doctor and a young woman set during a time of revolution has a startling inflation-adjusted gross of $999,290,400 per Box Office Mojo. The film stars Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.
100 Pulp Fiction 1994 Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction stars John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film won the Best Screenplay Oscar and had a gross of $107,930,000.

The Greatest Movies of All Time

Even though this list contains titles as different and varied as Shakespeare in Love and The Godfather, the films on this list all have one thing in common: their theater ticket sales and critical reception has secured them a place in film history. People will study, watch, and enjoy these movies for generations to come.

Top 100 Movies