Best Movies of All Time   

Movies have the power to capture a range of emotions, feel and thoughts, and create memorable experiences that can barely be rivaled. Over the years, filmmakers have created masterpieces that have stayed relevant over time, inspiring and mesmerizing audiences, although the tastes and opinions of moviegoers have changed because of differences in cultures and generations. To celebrate the best of all time, here is a list of some of the greatest ever made.

Top Picks of the Best Movies of All Time  

  1. The Godfather (1972): Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece is one of the most iconic mafia films, exploring the cycles of violence passed down along generations. It has earned near universal acclaim from critics, and many appear on the ‘American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films of All-Time’ list.

  2. Citizen Kane (1941): This masterpiece is arguably the greatest of all time. It is the first feature-length American film directed, produced and written by Orson Welles, and won the 1942 Academy Award for Best Picture. It tells the story of a newspaper magnate, Charles Foster Kane, and investigates his death decades later.

  3. Goodfellas (1990): Another mafia movie, this time by Martin Scorsese. The film follows a gangster’s rise and fall, alongside his mobster associates and it is considered one of the best gangster movies ever made.

  4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994): This film, based on a story by Stephen King, tells the story of a man sentenced to prison who, throughout the movie, manages to find friendship and hope, while attempting to escape. It won seven Academy Award nominations and is amongst the greatest films ever made.

  5. The Godfather Part II (1974): The sequel to Coppola’s original masterpiece, this film follows both Michael Corleone and his father Vito, in different timelines, as Michael consolidates his power as the leader of the Corleone family.

  6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003): This conclusion to the beloved trilogy received 11 Academy Awards in 2004, and was the first of the three movies to be based on the classic fantasy series by J.R.R Tolkien.

  7. Manhattan (1979): This iconic film is written, and directed by Woody Allen, and stars himself and Diane Keaton, with their struggles to sustain a relationship while living in the heart of New York.

  8. The Shining (1980): This horror movie follows a family who moves into a hotel which is rather sinister. The Shining has been praised by critics and audiences, and is known to be one of the best horror films of all time.

  9. Vertigo (1958): An Alfred Hitchcock classic, this one follows an infamous detective who suffers from a fear of heights. It uses some of the director’s trademark techniques and has since been included in the esteemed 100 best films.

  10. The Best Movie of All Time: Unsurprisingly, opinion on what the greatest movie of all time is, varies greatly amongst movie fans. People have different preferences according to their age, background and experiences, and no single movie will be deemed by everyone as the best of all.

What Makes a Classic All-Time Best Movie  

So what exactly makes a movie classic and considered one of the greatest of all time? Generally, ‘classic’ films offer powerful stories that can easily resonate with a universal audience, with themes such as justice, hope, power dynamics and of course, love. They make viewers laugh, cry and think about life experiences, and of course have iconic movie moments.

Most of all, the best movies of all time have excellent screenplays and stories, great acting and mesmerizing soundtrack and visuals. They will have enjoyed significant success upon release, reaping awards and praise, often developing a cult following over time.

Most Popular Genres of Best Movies  

The best movies of all time will mainly come from certain genres, such as drama, horror, gangster films, comedies, romantic films and action. However, great films will also come from other genres including science fiction, fantasy, westerns and musicals, whose narrative and structure differ significantly, yet manage to captivate and inspire viewers.

Top 5 Movies By Decade   

Below is a list of the top five movies from each decade, across the 100 years of filmmaking:


  1. Nosferatu (1922)
  2. The Jazz Singer (1927)
  3. The General (1926)
  4. Wings (1927)
  5. Metropolis (1927)


  1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  2. King Kong (1933)
  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  4. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  5. City Lights (1931)


  1. Citizen Kane (1941)
  2. Casablanca (1942)
  3. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
  4. The Third Man (1949)
  5. The Maltese Falcon (1941)


  1. Seven Samurai (1954)
  2. Singin’ In the Rain (1953)
  3. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  4. Rear Window (1954)
  5. Some Like it Hot (1959)


  1. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)
  2. Psycho (1960)
  3. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  4. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


  1. The Godfather (1972)
  2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  3. Jaws (1975)
  4. Star Wars (1977)
  5. Taxi Driver (1975)


  1. The Shining (1980)
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  3. Blade Runner (1982)
  4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  5. Amadeus (1984)


  1. Goodfellas (1990)
  2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  3. Forrest Gump (1994)
  4. Fargo (1996)
  5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


  1. The Dark Knight (2008)
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  3. There Will Be Blood (2007)
  4. The Departed (2006)
  5. No Country for Old Men (2007)


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  2. Inception (2010)
  3. Get Out (2017)
  4. The Social Network (2010)
  5. Moonlight (2016)

This article has explored some of the greatest and best movies of all time, from the 1920s to the 2010s, offering opinions on the best within each decade, along with general characteristics that make up a classic film. Ultimately, there is no definitive answer to which is the greatest ever made, as taste varies widely and opinions change over time. However, we can certainly agree that all of the movies listed in this article have, and will continue to provide endless entertainment.

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