20 Greatest Movies of All Time

By Matt Baker email   Updated 8 Jan 2013

The following chart counts down the twenty greatest movies of all time based on a combination of four factors:

  1. Popularity (as measured by votes on IMDB)
  2. Expert opinion (measured by AFI rankings)
  3. Box office success (adjusted for inflation)
  4. Academy Award nominations and wins

Notes: animated films and sequels were left out; the studio listed is the distributor, not necessarily the producer.

 

Rank

Movie

Year

Genre

Director/Studio

Major Stars

Awards/Notes

Pulp Fiction 20

Pulp Fiction

1994 Crime Quentin Tarantino

Miramax Films
John Travolta

Samuel L. Jackson

Uma Thurman
- ranked #5 on IMDB

- nominated for 7 Oscars
Silence of the Lambs 19

The Silence of the Lambs

1991 Thriller Jonathan Demme

Orion Pictures
Jodie Foster

Anthony Hopkins
- based on a novel by Thomas Harris

- nominated for 7 Oscars, won 5 (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, & Best Writing)
The Graduate 18

The Graduate

1967 Comedy/
Drama
Mike Nichols

Embassy Pictures
Dustin Hoffman

Anne Bancroft
- based on a novel by Charles Webb

- nominated for 7 Oscars, won 1 (Best Director)
Sunset Boulevard 17

Sunset Boulevard

1950 Film Noir Billy Wilder

Paramount Pictures
William Holden

Gloria Swanson

Erich von Stroheim
- nominated for 11 Oscars, won 3 (including Best Writing)
Citizen Cane 16

Citizen Kane

1941 Drama Orson Welles

RKO Pictures
Orson Welles

Joseph Cotten

Dorothy Comingore
- ranked #1 on AFI's 100 years ... 100 movies (2007 ed.)

- nominated for 9 Oscars, won 1 (Best Picture)
Jaws 15

Jaws

1975 Horror/
Thriller
Steven Spielberg

Universal Pictures
Roy Scheider

Richard Dreyfuss

Robert Shaw
- nominated for 4 Oscars, won 3

- was followed by Jaws 2, Jaws 3D & Jaws: The Revenge
E.T. 14

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

1982 Science
Fiction
Steven Spielberg

Universal Pictures
Henry Thomas

Drew Barrymore

Robert MacNaughton
- nominated for 9 Oscars, won 4
Casablanca 13

Casablanca

1942 Romance Michael Curtiz

Warner Bros.
Humphrey Bogart

Ingrid Bergman

Paul Henreid
- ranked #3 on AFI's 100 years ... 100 movies (2007 ed.)

- nominated for 8 Oscars, won 3 (Best Picture, Best Director & Best Writing)
Lord of the Rings 12

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

2001 Fantasy/
Drama
Peter Jackson

New Line Cinema
Elijah Wood

Ian McKellen

Viggo Mortensen
- based on a novel by J.R. Tolkien

- nominated for 13 Oscars, won 4

- the film was followed by two sequels: The Two Towers & The Return of the King (which won 11 Oscars - including Best Picture)
Ben-Hur 11

Ben-Hur

1959 Epic William Wyler

MGM
Charlton Heston

Jack Hawkins
- nominated for 12 Oscars, won 11 (including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actor)

The Sound of Music 10

The Sound of Music

1965 Musical Robert Wise

20th Century Fox
Julie Andrews

Christopher Plummer
-based on a Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on a highly fictionalized account of the Trapp Family Singers

- third highest grossing film of all-time (adjusted dollars)

- nominated for 10 Oscars, won 5 (including Best Picture & Best Director)
Forrest Gump 9

Forrest Gump

1994 Comedy/
Drama
Robert Zemeckis

Paramount Pictures
Tom Hanks

Robin Wright
- based on a novel by Winston Groom

- nominated for 13 Oscars, won 6 (including Best Picture & Best Actor)
Raiders of the Lost Ark 8

Raiders of the Lost Ark

1981 Action/
Adventure
Steven Spielberg

Paramount Pictures
Harrison Ford

Karen Allen
- nominated for 9 Oscars, won 5

- there have since been three more Indiana Jones movies: the Temple of Doom, the Last Crusade & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 7

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1975 Drama Milos Forman

United Artists
Jack Nicholson

Louise Fletcher
- based on a novel by Ken Kesey

- nominated for 9 Oscars, won 5 (including Best Picture, Best Actor & Best Actress)
Lawrence of Arabia 6

Lawrence of Arabia

1962 Drama David Lean

Columbia Pictures
Peter O'Toole

Alec Guinness

Anthony Quinn
- based on the true story of T.E. Lawrence

- nominated for 10 Oscars, won 7 (including Best Picture & Best Actor)
Titanic 5

Titanic

1997 Epic/
Romance/
Disaster
James Cameron

Paramount Pictures
Leonardo DiCaprio

Kate Winslet
- a highly fictionalized account of the sinking of the Titanic

- nominated for 14 Oscars, won 11 (including Best Picture & Best Director)
Schindler's List 4

Schindler's List

1993 Biography Steven Spielberg

Universal Pictures
Liam Neeson

Ben Kingsley

Ralph Fiennes
- based on the true story of Oskar Schindler as described in a novel by Thomas Keneally

- nominated for 12 Oscars, won 7 (including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Writing)
Star Wars 3

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

1977 Epic
Space
Opera
George Lucas

20th Century Fox
Mark Hamill

Harrison Ford

Carrie Fisher
- second highest grossing film of all-time (adjusted dollars)

- nominated for 10 Oscars, won 6
The Godfather 2

The Godfather

1972 Crime Francis Ford Coppola

Paramount Pictures
Marlon Brando

Al Pacino

James Caan
- based on a novel by Mario Puzo

- ranked #2 on IMDB and on AFI's 100 years ... 100 movies (2007 ed.)

- nominated for 11 Oscars, won 3 (including Best Picture, Best Actor & Best Writing)
Gone With The Wind 1

Gone With The Wind

1939 Epic Victor Fleming

MGM
Clark Gable

Vivien Leigh

Leslie Howard
- based on a novel by Margaret Mitchell

- highest grossing film of all-time (adjusted dollars)

- nominated for 13 Oscars, won 8 (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress & Best Writing)