Deciding on what movies to be placed on the list of top 10 best movies of all time is a difficult task. This is mainly because over the decades, several remarkable and top-notch movies have been produced and besides, what appeals to a certain audience may not appeal to another. Movies do not only provide entertainment, but they also inform, educate, help and communicate various vital messages to millions of keen audiences world over (depending on its reach). Despite the difficulty of this task, we have been able to select 10 outstanding movies of all time based on certain characteristics of the movies such as its commercial success or awards it received.
Top 10 Best Movies Of All Time
1. The Godfather (1972)
This 1972 movie is regarded as the greatest movie of all time. It was adopted from the 1969 best-selling novel by Mario Puzo. Its great cinematography, scores and amazing cast sold it to the world. It was nominated in a couple of categories for the Academy Awards and ended up winning two: for picture and writing. It also earned the lead actor, Marlon Brando an Academy Award. Furthermore, it was in the second group of films to be selected for the National Film Registry (1990). Scenes and quotes from this movie have been replicated and repeated in several other movies.
The plot follows a sequence of events centered around a fictional mafia family known as the Corleones. It was set in 1940 and the family’s head was called Don Vito. The movies begin at Vito’s daughter’s wedding ceremony which had in attendance his son Michael. Michael refused to get involved with the family business until an attack on his father leads to a revenge plot which left two people dead. He flees his home town but later returns to New York to take over the family business with the intent to systematically wipe out all those who had ever attacked the Corleones.
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
With a high score, good reviews, commercial success, and an outstanding plot and cinematography, The Shawshank Redemption takes the number two spot on our list of the best movies of all time. This American drama, like many others, was based on a book. It draws its plot from a 1982 novella titled Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. This 1994 movie was written and directed by Frank Darabont and produced by Stephen King. It has been nominated for a plethora of awards and has won a large chunk of them – to its credit.
The movie is based on the story of a man named Andy Dufresne played by Tim Robbins who was accused of murdering his wife and her lover and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Shawshank State Penitentiary. There he meets a certain Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), a contraband smuggler. Together, they get involved in a money-laundering operation headed by one of the prison wardens.
3. Pulp Fiction (1994)
On the number three spot on the best movies of all time list is the American crime movie Pulp Fiction. This movie was produced and released in the year 1994. It had Quentin Tarantino as its scriptwriter and director and starred a lot of big shots in the industry at that time including the legendary Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. The movie was said to have elevated the careers of the actors and actresses that starred in it and earned some award nominations – including 7 Oscar nominations – and a couple of other award credits.
Pulp fiction was plotted to revolve around criminal activities in Los Angeles. It got its name from the crime and violence magazines and fiction popular in the mid-20s known as pulp magazines and hardboiled crime novels.
4. Star Wars (1977)
It comes as no surprise that the first film in the Star Wars trilogy made this list. Star Wars is a movie that had transcended generations. It is one epic space opera film that has left its mark on the sands of time. This film is a mixture of space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles and chivalric romance, among other things. The movie’s full title is Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
It will impress you to know that Star Wars beat Jaws to become the highest-grossing film ever when it was released. It made $775 million at the box office and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including for best picture and it won seven of them. This movie was regarded as historically, aesthetically and culturally significant. It chronicles the revolt of Princess Leia against the Galactic Empire’s space station, the Death Star.
5. The Dark Knight (2008)
The movie The Dark Knight was co-produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. The movie is a sequel to Batman Begins, making it the second installment of the Dark Knight trilogy based on the fictional character Batman. This brilliant superhero movie became the highest-grossing film of 2008 as it made over 1 billion in revenue worldwide. It received an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing out of 8 nominations.
The movie is centered on the Batman character who fights criminals who would want to turn Gotham City into anarchy. His foremost opposition is the criminally minded element caller The Joker.
6. Goodfellas (1990)
Often regarded as one of the greatest films in the gangster genre, Goodfellas stands as our number six best movies of all time. The movie which is centered on the rise and fall of a mob associate and his family and friends was adapted from the 1985 novel titled Wise Guy. It was co-written by the author of Wise Guy, Nicholas Pileggi alongside Martin Scorsese – who was also the director.
Together, the crew in conjunction with talented actors and actresses produced the 5-time British Academy of Film and Television Arts award-winning movie. It was nominated 6 times for the Academy Awards but unfortunately didn’t win any.
7. The Godfather Part II
Just like its preceding installment, the Godfather Part II was a huge success. This time, however, it was partially based on the novel The Godfather. Partially because the director and screenwriters wanted something unique, they decided to make it both a sequel and a prequel to the original narrative. It had almost all the crew and cast of the 1972 prequel.
The 1974 sequel was not as commercially successful as the first but was impressive nonetheless. It won six Oscars and was nominated eleven times for the Academy Awards of which it won Best Picture, making it the first sequel in history to have won an Academy Award in this category. It also gained the actors a couple of awards. It was based on the background story of the rise of Don Vito and the leadership and fall of his son Michael (played by Al Pacino).
8. The Matrix
For most movie lovers, whenever this movie is mentioned, their minds picture the colossal actor Keanu Reeves. This science-fiction movie was arguably that which skyrocketed Keanu Reeves’ career. It was produced in 1990, directed and written by the Wachowskis. The movie included a lot of fight choreography and wire fu techniques.
The movie grossed over $460 million in sales upon its first release. It also received four Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Saturn Awards. It was listed as one of the greatest science fiction films.
9. Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List makes the number nine spot on this list of best movies of all time. The movie was set in the time of the Holocaust and it follows the story of a businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees. It grossed over $322.1 million in sales worldwide and received several awards including seven Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs and three Golden Globes.
It was written by Steven Zaillian and was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. Steven was inspired by the novel Schindler’s Ark written by the Australian novelist Thomas Keneally.
10. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode V is the second installment of the Star Wars Trilogy, released in 1980. It was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan and was directed by Irvin Kershner. The movie grossed $538.4 million in sales worldwide and featured celebrities like Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Bake and so on. This outstanding movie had received a lot of nominations and has also won several awards including the BAFTA awards, Saturn awards, Oscars, among others.