The Internet Selects the 10 Greatest Movies of All Time

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10 Greatest Movies of All Time The Internet Selects the 10 Greatest Movies of All Time

Screen Rant owner Vic Holtreman originally founded this site with the intention of providing readers with a middle-ground/average person perspective on movie news and reviews – hence our old mantra “movie and TV news without the sugar coating.” While the site has certainly evolved – we now cover a wider range of genres and provide readers with a variety of diverse “voices” – our willingness to champion both entertaining and/or artistic movies (at least on a case by case basis) hasn’t changed.

Which is why we (Vic and myself) jumped at the chance to participate in Film School Reject‘s recent article the “10 Greatest Movies of All Time (According to the Internet).” Now the results are in.

The original idea (read the full FSR list), drummed-up by the host of their popular podcast (Reject Radio), Cole Abaius, was a response to Sight & Sound‘s acclaimed “Greatest Films Poll” – which is revisited every ten years (the 2012 list should be revealed soon). That said, while previous Sight and Sound lists are certainly full of celebrated films – FSR was more interested in discovering which entries would make the cut if the “greatest movies” list was decided by a younger generation of Internet-based personalities (plus, as mentioned, a few bonus filmmakers).

Check out the 2002 Sight and Sound “Critics Top 10 Poll” list below, followed by FSR‘s compiled list of the “10 Greatest Movies of All Time (According to the Internet)”:

2002 Sight and Sound “Critics Top 10 Poll”

  1. Citizen Kane (46 mentions)
  2. Vertigo (41 mentions)
  3. La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) (30 mentions)
  4. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (23 mentions)
  5. Tokyo Story (22 mentions)
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (21 mentions)
  7. The Battleship Potemkin (19 mentions)
  8. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (19 mentions)
  9. (18 mentions)
  10. Singin’ in the Rain (17 mentions)
10 Greatest Movies of All Time (According to the Internet) [2012]
  1. Citizen Kane (73 points)
  2. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (61)
  3. The Godfather (57)
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (53)
  5. Casablanca (48)
  6. (44)
  7. Back to the Future (44)
  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (43)
  9. Bicycle Thieves (41)
  10. Vertigo (40)

FSR was intentionally vague about how respondents should interpret the word “greatest” – which certainly allows for more ambiguity than a similar word such as “Best.” As a result, not only were contributor lists presented individually, everyone was also allowed a brief explanation detailing why they selected the films on their list – which, no doubt, offered interesting insight into how online writers approached deciding which films are the “greatest.”

You can check out the full list of contributors over on the original Film School Rejects article – but I have included the lists (and explanations) put forth by Vic and myself below. Without question, our choices should (if nothing else) stir some interesting debate in the comments.

Aliens Queen The Internet Selects the 10 Greatest Movies of All Time

Vic Holtreman (Owner/Editor-In-Chief, Screen Rant)

  1. Aliens
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life
  3. Casablanca
  4. The Godfather Part 2
  5. Goodfellas
  6. The Princess Bride
  7. Die Hard
  8. The Matrix
  9. The Incredibles
  10. Rocky

On His List: Call me a populist, I don’t care – for me, movies that make my overall top 10 list are those that I can watch over and over again and never tire of them – mostly movies that entertain me, not movies with some deep, meaningful message (if I want that, I’d rather read a novel). Really, I could add another 10-15 films to the list above and just jumble them in no particular order as favorites, but as of the moment when I assembled the list, this is where I stand.


Ben Kendrick (Screen Rant Editor and Host of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast)

  1. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Pulp Fiction
  4. Up
  5. The Godfather
  6. Inception
  7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  8. The Sixth Sense
  9. Se7en
  10. The Avengers

On His List: While other contributors will no-doubt have a list of superiorly-crafted dramas chock-full of Academy Award winners (and for good reason), I tend to think about the “Top 10 Movies of All Time” in terms of the lasting effect they had on moviegoers and the industry alike. Plenty of my selections could be picked apart for cheesy dialogue and awkward directing choices, among other technical shortcomings. However, these films either set the standard for future entries in their respective genres, offered some genuinely interesting core story ideas, and/or provided flat-out fun moviegoing experiences worthy of repeat viewings – all while remaining grounded in memorable and intriguing character moments.

I’m sure I’ll take a lot of guff for including The Avengers as one of the “greatest” movies of all time (the answer was, admittedly, intended to be a fun underdog choice at #10) but that’s why the FSR list is, ultimately, an enjoyable opportunity for moviegoers – because we all have a few guilty pleasures.

We’d love to hear your lists for the “10 Greatest Movies of All Time” in the comments below – and be sure to check out the full list over at Film School Rejects.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Film School Rejects

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  1. I had a heck of a time narrowing down the list, and I just know I’m forgetting many great films.

    1. Raiders
    2. Dr. Strangelove
    3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    4. High Noon
    5. Modern Times
    6. Airplane!
    7. Run Lola Run
    8. Death Wish
    9. Hoosiers
    10. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

  2. what a tough choice, theres many great film unfortunately only 10 was selected; indiana jones raiders of the lost ark the dark knight childern of man speed la confidential black hawk down alien(ridley scott version) the hurt locker spiderman 2 apollo 13

  3. I like Vic’s idea about repeat viewings. However, using that theory I’d have a lot of films with Jenna Jameson in it (and I’m not talking about Zombie Strippers or Howard Stern’s Private Parts).

    • I keep seeing e-mails of people’s lists so I thought I’d provide mine.

      1. Ghostbusters
      2. Batman (1989)
      3. The Naked Gun
      4. Dazed and Confused
      5. Empire Strikes Back
      6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
      7. Empire Records
      8. Clerks
      9. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
      10. Pineapple Express

  4. It always amazes me how people are all over the place with these lists.

    I urge anyone that’s got some free time to check out Flickchart. It’s a good way to compile a definitive list of yoir favorite movies. My top ten are as follows,

    Fight Club
    The Empire Strikes Back
    The Dark Knight
    Batman Begins
    Gangs Of New York

  5. Oh well, I might as well join in the fun, and I agree with Vic’s take on them being movies I can watch over and over at any time….

    I no particular order:

    Iron Man
    Raiders of the Lost Ark (I refuse to add “Indiana Jones and the” before it.)
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Batman Begins
    The Avengers
    X-Men 2
    Spider-Man 2
    Jurassic Park
    Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home

    and one more for good measure: Superman.

    • Awesome list dude.
      I’ve never seen ‘Spaceballs’ though… what type of movie is it? (From the name, I’m guessing it’s a sci-fi comedy?)

      • It’s a Mel Brooks comedy from 1987 spoofing sci-fi staples like Star Wars, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and Aliens. It’s one of Mel’s best. You should check it out.

    • How come there are no classics in there outside of Raiders. Batman Begins is a good movie but everything but Raiders shouldn’t even touch this category.

      • “This category” is MY top 10 favorite movies of all-time. I don’t really care if someone else doesn’t consider them classics. They’re classics to ME. What other people consider classic movies, I find to be boring and pretentious (Godfather films, Quentin Tarentino films, etc). Hey, I like what I like, although I could replace Spider-Man 2 with Die Hard and not sweat it. :-)

  6. These are my Favorites I’ve watched them over and over

    1.12 Angry men
    2. The Godfather
    4.The Shawshank Redemption
    5.Saving Private Ryan
    7.Star Trek Pt2 The Wrath Of Khan
    8.Batman Begins
    10.The Thing

    AND 11.The Avengers
    I don’t own it yet but I know I will watch it over and over again the only movie I have seen more than the ones above is First Blood and thats because it was my first VHS I watched it over 100 times LOL

    • I can understand 1, 2, and 5. Maybe 3, 4, 8, and 9 but this is the upper class category.

  7. The Avenger

    Dude, you have to see space balls,it’s a movie i never get tired of…basically it’s a comical spoof of star wars and star trek with a bunch of old school comics and actors including eddie murphy,rick moranis,bill pullman and john candy….freakin classic

    • Eddie Murphy is NOT in Spaceballs. Maybe you’re thinking Michael Winslow? The guy from Police Academy who does all the sound effects with his mouth?

    • @Andy S & @Zeta: thanks guys, I’ll definitely check it out.

    • You like Spaceballs? How about Blazing Saddles. That’s a movie I never get tired of. It’s hilarious.

  8. 1)The Dark Knight
    2)The Dark Knight Rises
    4)Rocky Balboa
    5)V for Vendetta
    9)Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    10)Donnie Darko

    I put Rises as #2 because even though I haven’t seen it, I’m pretty sure I will love it almost as much as Dark Knight. High expectations much?
    My list is very personal to me and depends on my enjoyment. It is always changing and I think that is a good thing.

    • My first thought on your list was “that guy likes his comic book movies.”

  9. 1) Robocop
    2) Terminator 1
    3) Aliens
    4) The Abyss
    5) Total recall
    6) First blood
    7) The matrix
    8) Dirty Harry
    9) The Rocketeer

  10. 1. The Dark Knight
    2. Tombstone
    3. The Return of the King
    4. Goodfellas
    5. Fight Club
    6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
    7. The Shawshank Redemption
    8. The Departed
    9. Se7en
    10. Momento

    Other than #1, the order is random. Batman reigns supreme!

  11. My top ten (in order):
    Casablanca-By far and away; movies are supposed to emotionally hit you and this one does; best script ever
    Gone with the Wind-Don’t like it but this is true
    The Godfather
    Citizen Kane
    The Wizard of Oz
    Sunset Blvd.
    Singin’ in the Rain
    On the Waterfront
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    The Searchers

    • That is one of the most boring list of movies I have ever seen. Outside The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wondeful Life, I hope to never have to suffer through watching them again.

      • I never said I liked Gone with the Wind or Singin’ in the Rain. Part of making a great movies list is accepting that there are more opinions than your own.

        • Every single one of those movies on the list above is a Big Deal, not to mention entertaining as hell and not boring at all.

          Anyways, my god: The Searchers. What a classic…

          Lawrence Of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago deserve a mention here too, as well as The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon, The Birds, Hatari, and The African Queen…!

          • Thanks for the back up, man. You’re right each of these movies are a big deal and deserve their place here. How could you call any of those films boring?
            I believe the top 25 of all time (in order of release) are:
            City Lights
            Gone with the Wind
            The Wizard of Oz
            Mr. Smith goes to Washington
            The Maltese Falcon
            Citizen Kane
            Casablanca (which, of course, is the greatest)
            It’s a Wonderful Life
            The Third Man
            Sunset Blvd.
            Singin’ in the Rain
            On the Waterfront
            The Searchers
            North by Northwest
            Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
            The Godfather
            The Godfather Part II
            Taxi Driver
            Star Wars
            Apocalypse Now
            Raging Bull
            Raiders of the Lost Ark
            Schindler’s List
            The problem with about 85-90% of the lists on this site is that they are all created by contemporary movie fans who only watch movies to go see something like Avatar or Titanic or Transformers or The Expendables or the like. Some expensive dopey movie that they believe is the ‘biggest thing out there’ and one of the greats but they have no knowledge of the past. That’s why all those 25 films listed above are rightfully the greatest and that’s why they are essential. Without them, society, not only cinema, would be completely different. The silent era was the early 1900s-1920s. The studio era was 1930s-1950s. The reforming era was 1960s-1970s. Since then, we are in a huge drought of great movies and we need to pull ourselves out of that. Sure, there have been great movies. I’ll name them all and show you how few they are compared to those aforementioned. The best movies since 1980 are as follows: Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Empire Strikes Back, GoodFellas, Silence of the Lambs, Beauty and the Beast, Unforgiven, Schindler’s List, The Lion King, Saving Private Ryan, Return of the King, The Departed. Those were the classics since 1980. Here are the other great (but not classic) movies in that time frame: Back to the Future, Platoon, Field of Dreams, Glory, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart, Toy Story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Good Will Hunting, LA Confidential, Gladiator, Ocean’s 11, Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, Batman Begins, 3:10 to Yuma, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Dark Knight, Star Trek, The Hurt Locker, Inception, Harry Potter and the Deathl Avengers. That’s to give you an idea of what kind of drought we’re in.

            • I wouldn’t totally say we’re in a drought exactly, I think for instance that there’s never been better television ever, and there’s never been worse tv at the same time. But as far as movies go there’s some really great ones being made, it’s just that we’re entering an age where blockbusters happen to be really good movies too. Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy was great, Cronenburg is making some of his best ever, and don’t forget No Country For Old Men. I never in all my life thought I’d see a summer with an awesome Iron Man movie, a terrible TERRIBLE Watchmen movie and a Batman movie that rivals some of Coppola’s best work. But folks don’t seem to dig too deep to see the influences on the films being made today, for instance it’s kind of a sin to say you love the original Star Wars, yet have never seen Lawrence Of Arabia, any of Kurosawa’s films, or read The New Gods by Jack Kirby.

              When people say things like Stan Lee is the father of Marvel Comics and Bruce Lee wouldn’t stand a chance in a fight against Jason Statham, I just smack my forehead in disbelief.

              And I know I sound like a broken record, but I think Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Casino Royale (as well as the upcoming Skyfall) should all be mentioned, as well as most of if not all Wes Anderson movies. And Layercake too, but maybe I’m biased… :)

        • “Part of making a great movies list is accepting that there are more opinions than your own.”

          Well said.

  12. Hmm, lemme see..
    1. The Dark Knight
    2. Die Hard
    3. Armour of God..I loved it when I was a kid… :’(
    4. The Matrix
    5. Inception
    6. District 9
    7. The Losers
    8. Scarface
    9. Die another day
    10.Superman returns (I’m a huge Superman fan so this just has to make the list :))

    • Replace Die another day with Watchmen and we are good to go :)

  13. 1.Bicycle Thieves
    2.Withnail And I
    3.The Matrix
    4.The Lion King
    6.First Blood
    7.Batman Begins
    8.Dances With Wolves
    9.Team America:World Police

    • What? No Highlander?!?

  14. 1. Jurassic Park
    2. Psycho (The Original, not the aweful remake.)
    3. JFK
    4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    5. Ghostbusters
    6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Say what you will, but I love it)
    7. Batman Returns (My favorite Batman movie.)
    8. The Birdcage (Second favorite comedy behind Ghostbusters, it always makes me laugh.)
    9. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Ford and Connery’s chemistry was great.)
    10. The Man Who Knew Too Much (With James Stewart and Doris Day.)

    I know JFK seems to stand out like a sore thumb on this list, but I just find this a very interesting movie. I was glued in my seat during the whole film, which was pretty hard considering I had a Large Cherry Coke and didn’t know it ran for 3 hours. Roger Rabbit was the first film I ever went “Crazy” over, but Jurassic Park took the whole enchilada when it came out. I could have put The Avengers on this list as well, but it is still too new. (Though I can’t get that scene out of my head between Hulk and Loki towards the end. Always brings a smile to my face when I think of it.) I could alternate some of these with about another 10 to 20 films but these would be a good standing point in my book as films I don’t get sick of no matter how many times I see them.

  15. I’m gonna take a stand right here and now and say that ‘A Christmas Story’ is in my opinion, THE #1 most perfectly made film of all time.

    ’24 hours of Terminator 2′ or ‘Avatar’? Not in a million years.

  16. No particular Order

    Godfather 1&2
    Fight Club
    My Cousin Vinny
    Glen Garry Glen Ross
    Pulp Fiction

  17. 1.Citizen Kane
    2.The Shining
    4.The Big Lebowski
    6.Grave of the Fireflies
    7.The Tree of Life
    8.Blade Runner

    • That’s supposed to be “Taxi Driver,” my bad. haha

  18. Very difficult to pick, but,
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    The Lord Of The Rings
    A Few Good Men
    The American President
    Batman Begins
    The Avengers
    Pale Rider
    Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

  19. 1. Blade Runner
    2. V for Vendetta
    3. Watchman
    4. Some Kind of Wonderful
    5. Random Harvest
    6. Carousel
    7. Airplane
    8. Back to the Future
    9. Halloween
    10.Annie Hall

  20. Whew! Okay, here goes…and I’ll have to agree with a number of other commenters in that there are way too many movies I could list here to put any in any particular order.

    1.) The Lion King
    2.) The Matrix
    3.) LOTR: Return of the King (they were all really good though)
    4.) Saving Private Ryan
    5.) Braveheart
    6.) Apocalypto
    7.) Terminator 2
    8.) The Passion of the Christ (can you tell I’m a Mel Gibson fan? :-))
    9.) The Princess Bride
    10.) Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (last, but CERTAINLY not least…)

    Honorable Mentions:

    Meet Joe Black (a really underrated movie, and one of Anthony Hopkins’ and Brad Pitt’s best performances)
    The Cell
    Interview With the Vampire
    The Godfather (1, 2, and 3…really that should be up there in the top ten)
    The Shining
    The Patriot
    Die Hard (1, 2, and 3…that fourth one…eehh…)
    The Dark Knight
    Harlem Nights
    Coming to America
    The Iron Giant
    Silence of the Lambs
    Pay It Forward
    The Neverending Story

    I could probably go on forever (this is almost as bad as someone asking me to name my top ten favorite songs), but I think I’ll stop here, lol!

    • Oh yeah! Can’t forget “A Few Good Men” and the Indiana Jones trilogy (yes, I said “trilogy”…screw the fourth one…

  21. Yikes, this is tough. In no order whatsoever… and no, I just couldn’t stick to 10. ;)

    RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (absolute classic)
    STAR WARS – 1977 (This movie ruled my childhood)
    BACK TO THE FUTURE I & II (Although Part 1 is the “better” movie, I might watch part 2 twice as often. Totally underrated. Biff/Griff absolutely cracks me up in that film!)
    STAR TREK II, IV, VI and VIII (The rule of even #’s was correct, until Nemesis. lol)
    SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (Easily top 5 for me…)
    THE TRUMAN SHOW (Extremely good movie. Thought provoking. Jim Carrey’s best performance hands down.)
    GOODFELLAS (Love it, love it, love it)
    ED WOOD (Depp has been in a fair amount of good films, but this is my favorite for sure. And Martin Landau is dynamite as Bela Lugosi!)
    PAYBACK (Not the Director’s Cut, but the theatrical version. GREAT flick. Can watch it over and over…)
    SEVEN (So Dark and Sinister. Love it.)
    FARGO (Masterful!)
    THE USUAL SUSPECTS (Sooo good)
    DIE HARD (One of the great action movies ever made)
    THE GAME (Great underrated film)
    SNATCH (I am laughing out loud right now just thinking about “Boris the Bullet Dodger”. LOL)
    All the RAMBO films (Although First Blood is the best)
    ROCKY 1-6, minus 5, lol (They should release a box set with parts 1-4, and 6. Haha)

    Honorable Mentions:
    FORREST GUMP (Perhaps not one I throw in the player very often, but damn, great movie)
    PREDATOR (Great cheesy fun)
    TOTAL RECALL (See above)
    TERMINATOR 2 (1990′s classic film. Even if I did occasionally want to strangle Edward Furlong.)
    WAR OF THE ROSES (This movie makes me laugh every single time. Classic dark comedy)
    THE BURBS (Another one of those dark comedies I absolutely love)
    DIRTY HARRY in THE DEAD POOL (How can a movie with Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson and Jim Carrey not be good? This movie is hilariously awesome.)
    THE PRESTIGE (Great, underrated flick. Glad to see it on a few other lists here.)
    TOMBSTONE (I had a hard time putting this in the honorable mention section. lol)
    MAGNOLIA (What an interesting movie!)
    PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE (So utterly ridiculous, and so fun.)
    OCTOBER SKY (Great acting all around)

    • Glad to see I’m not the only one who mentioned Magnolia (even if it’s only in your Honorable Mentions)!

      • Here goes, from the Caribbean:

        1. Raiders of the Lost Ark

        2. Dark Knight

        3. Jurassic Park

        4. First Blood

        5. Shawshank Redemption

        6. Pay it forward

        7. Usual Suspects

        8. Avengers

        9. War of the Roses

        10. Back to the Future

        11. Forrest Gump

        12. Silence of the Lambs

        13. Die Hard

        14. Naked Gun

        15. Dirty Harry

        16. Jaws

  22. am surprised no 1 mentioned titanic!! even x-men. wow

  23. 1. Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
    2. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
    3. The Goonies
    4. Labyrinth
    5. Big Trouble In Little China
    6. Predator
    7. Back To The Future
    8. The Godfather part II
    9. Love, Honour and obey
    10.Apocalypse now

  24. 1. Taxi Driver
    2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
    3. The English Patient
    4. Magnolia
    5. Pulp Fiction
    6. Boogie Nights
    7. Rear Window
    8. Star Wars
    9. Vertigo
    10. The Fellowship Of The Ring
    and close behind is Blade Runner

  25. No 1 – The Deer Hunter
    No 2 – One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
    No 3 – The Lhining
    No 4 – Salems lot
    No 5 – Platoon
    No 6 – Saving Private Ryan
    No 7 – Weekend At Bernie’s
    No 8 – Shawshank Redemption
    No 9 – Sobibore (The Holocost) NO 10 – Sweet Home Alabama!!!!!

  26. in no particular order:

  27. 1. Dark knight Rises
    2. Godfather
    3. Shawshank Redemption
    4. One flew over the Cockoo’s nest
    5. Taxi Driver
    6. Godfather part 2
    7. Fight Club
    8. Citzen Kane
    9. Goodfellas
    10. Inception

  28. Can’t believe that none of you guys mention the seven samurai, or any of Kurosawa’s works, most of them are fantastic films, but they’re all (mostly) made in the U.S,Give a bit of credit to fantastic foreign directors. just my opinion though.

    • (i mean most of the films you have chosen when i say most of them are fantastic films, not referring to kurosawa’s.)

  29. The problem with most best of all time lists is that they either skew too old or too new. I have a problem with a list that doesn’t include any films made after The Godfather or a list that doesn’t include any films made before Raiders of the Lost Ark.