People who are really hardcore into movies have their opinion on which is the absolute best. Many say you’ve never seen a movie until you’ve seen Citizen Kane but you know what? That didn’t even make the list when it came time for IMDB to rank the best movies ever. Nope, that so-called classic wasn’t anywhere in the top ten or even the top 20.
What did though? Well here’s a hint…hobbits, the mob, and a guy named Forrest make for amazing cinema. Now let’s see what ranks the best when it comes to IMDB’s best movies ever made.
20. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The middle child of The Lord of the Rings series, Two Towers anchors the IMDB best movies list. Was it because of Gollum? We’ve got to admit Gollum was the best part. While it’s got the bottom spot of the top 20, it did make the list and we’re just happy for that.
19. City Of God (2002)
This is one of those movies that only real movie buffs have heard of and seen. Originally released in 2002, City of God was loosely based on real events surrounding organized crime in Rio de Janeiro. While many didn’t see it in theaters, it received a healthy amount of critical acclaim around the world.
18. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’S Nest (1975)
Almost 20 years after its release, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest landed in the National Film Registry. That could be because soon after its release it was regarded as a significant moment in film history. The story of a man trying to stay out of prison by pretending he’s mentally unstable, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest became the second movie to ever win all five major categories at the Oscars. Another film would not do the same until 1991 — The Silence of the Lambs.
17. Star Wars: Episode Iv – A New Hope (1977)
If you can imagine the world without the impact of Star Wars, you’re crazy. This movie came out in 1977 and has influenced, inspired and been a part of all of our lives in one way or another ever since. George Lucas was told that it’d never work. It goes to show that you have to trust your gut and just go for it. Now it’s one of the best movies not only on this list but on many others. The franchise has been going strong for 40 years now.
16. The Matrix (1999)
Where would we be today if it wasn’t for The Wachowskis‘ The Matrix? For one thing, we would not have all those slow-motion fight scenes with insane backbends. How many of those have you seen since The Matrix came out in 1999? Too many to count, that’s how many.
15. Goodfellas (1990)
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta were pure perfection in this crime drama. The story revolving around their illegal behavior was directed by the one and only Martin Scorsese, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Director and Best Picture. Pesci was the only one to win an Oscar that night for Best Supporting Actor out of the film’s six nominations.
14. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
To date, there seems to be like 456 Star Wars movies out. Right? Okay so it’s not that much, but still. Anyways, while there are a lot of sequels, it’s the OG second movie that ranks the highest. Probably because (SPOILER) this is the one where Darth Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s father. Honestly, that hardly feels like a spoiler because how have you lived in the world without figuring that one out yet?
13. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
There may be one ring that rules them all, but there is one movie that will forever have started it all. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring blew us away in 2001 and started us on an epic cinematic journey for years to come. Frodo Baggins inspired us all showing that even the smallest person can make the biggest impact.
12. Forrest Gump (1994)
We know Forrest Gump was never real, but the experiences he had set in our reality made for an amazing movie. There isn’t a person alive who can deny that. 61 nominations came with its release, and the film wound up taking home 29 awards including Best Picture and Best Actor at the Oscars. A well-deserved prize for Tom Hanks‘ excellent portrayal of a simple man with one of the biggest hearts ever seen on screen.
11. Fight Club (1999)
1999’s Fight Club was truly mind-bending. Man, oh man. We cannot really even talk about this movie because well, one, you don’t talk about Fight Club. We also cannot play a part in spoiling this film for those of you who haven’t seen it. It’d be a shame. Just know it’s one of the best in the game.
10. Inception (2010)
The highest ranking sci-fi movie on the list, this one got into our minds like no other. It was like we didn’t know what was real and fake anymore. Leonardo DiCaprio killed it in this movie but, of course, didn’t win an Oscar for the role because the Academy seems to hate him for some reason. In fact, he wasn’t even nominated. The movie did win four impressive technical awards that year at the ceremony, however.
9. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)
One thing is for sure, they don’t really make Westerns like they used to. Starring Clint Eastwood years before he started talking to empty chairs, this Western is set during The Civil War and features some of the best gunslinging ever caught on film. For real, check this one out if you haven’t yet.
8. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Most like to think the most interesting thing to ever happen in a courtroom was the OJ trial. While that was a moment that defined a decade, 12 Angry Men had movie lovers first. The 1957 drama set in a courtroom centers around 12 men (easy to remember, right?) who have to debate on whether or not a young man killed his own father. A scenario that’s been played out time and time again in movies and TV since. It set the bar.
7. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings series as a whole is one of the most stunning things one will ever see on a screen, big or small. That’s the truth. It was this sequel though that ranks higher than its fellow films. In fact, this was only one of two sequels ever to take home Best Picture. You’ll find out the other one who earned it soon because it, too, made the list.
6. Schindler’S List (1993)
Long before Liam Neeson was a man with a particular set of skills in the Taken series, he was Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List. Raking in over $320 million at the box office, fans adored it and so did the critics. The winner of seven Academy Awards, it’s hard to argue placing this on any list when talking about the best movies.
5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Around the same time that the #1 movie on this list was out, there was another little movie out making a name for itself. You may have heard of it? Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction? Yeah, this graphically violent film has since become a cult classic with lines that have implemented themselves into our everyday lives and pop culture. “They call it a Royale with cheese.”
4. The Godfather: Part Ii (1974)
In case it was eating at you about the other sequel to win a Best Picture Oscar, here it is. While critics definitely had mixed feelings about this sequel, fans still loved it and it went on to receive 11 Oscar nominations and six wins.
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman was nothing new in pop culture when The Dark Knight hit theaters, but it went above and beyond what was expected. There was a buzz around that movie months before its release all thanks to the late Heath Ledger‘s truly amazing performance. Which is likely why this movie continues to impress fans and critics alike ever since its release. Ledger took a character most people had an idea of and cranked the volume to the max.
2. The Godfather (1972)
A movie isn’t just a movie anymore when it heads into the U.S. National Film Registry. At that point, it’s a legend and The Godfather earned that honor 18 years after its initial release. The Godfather set the standard for just about every gangster mob movie that came after it, and that’s why it’ll always be one of the greats.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Based on a Stephen King novel, The Shawshank Redemption didn’t fare too well at the box office but went on to receive many accolades from critics. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as two men incarcerated, the pair forms a friendship during their 20 years behind bars. We’d tell you how it all panned out but we don’t want to spoil the ending for those who’ve been sleeping on what’s ranked the best movie ever made.