best movies of all times

Best Movies Of All Times: 25 Cinema Masterpieces

We have compiled a list of the 25 best movies of all times - from comedies to war films, historical and action, we have them all!


The best movies of all times include all genres and range from Charlie Chaplin's silent movies to Billy Wilder's classics in the Golden Age, to film noir, Quentin Tarantino's masterpieces and all the way down to historical movies that force us to relieve the bloody events of the two World Wars, in particular the Holocaust. 


Best movies of all times: 25 cinema masterpieces

We have based our ranking on the feedback given by millions of users on RottenTomatoes and have compiled this list of  the 25 best movies of all times. Film enthusiasts will enjoy a variety of genres from romcoms, to thrillers, dramas, action and mafia movies, historical, and war films. 

As you will observe throughout the list, the supremacy is held by classical Hollywood cinema, with only three entries that were produced after the 1970's - Pulp FictionSchindler's List, and City of God. 

25. The Hole (Le Trou, France, 1960)


"The Hole" is the only French crime film features in our top. This adaptation of José Giovanni's 1957 book "The Break" is based on true events concerning five inmates and their escape from prison. The movie highlights the purity of human cooperation that comes about instinctually. This cult movie was directed by the legendary director Jacques Becker, also known for films such as París, bajos fondos (Paris, underground) and Los amantes de Montparnasse (The Lovers of Montparnasse).


24.  City of God (Cidade de Deus, Brazil 2002)

"City of God" is the newest addition to our best movies of all times list and rightly so. This Brazilian masterpiece tells the story of the young Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) who is a budding photographer that documents the increasing drug-related violence of his neighborhood and that of José "Zé" Pequeno (Leandro Firmino da Hora) who is an ambitious drug dealer. The movie illustrates the brutal divide in a society forgotten by the state. 

23. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (USA,1927)

"Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" is a cult silent movie that deals with the melodrama of love.  Sunrise is one of the best examples of German Expressionism, together with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Faust, Metropolis, and M – A City Searches for a Murderer

The director  Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau is best known for his old horror film Nosferatu, one of the first vampire classics in the history of cinema. 

22. The Kid (USA, 1921)

"The Kid", directed by Charlie Chaplin is unanimously considered one of the best silent movie comedies of all times.  This dramatic comedy (it's brilliantly amusing and sad at the same time) starring an orphan boy and a vagabond, portrayed by Chaplin (a role he played before in "The Tramp").

"The Kid" is not the only Chaplin film featured in our best movies of all times list. We will also have a look at "Modern times", "The Great Dictator", and "City Lights", three classic silent films. This establishes  Charlie Chaplin as the director with the most number of films in the top 25 best films of all times. 

21. The Apartment (USA, 1960)

Billy Wilder's "The Apartment"  is one of the best romantic comedies in the history of cinema. It stars Jack Lemon, a man that works for an insurance company and lends his apartment to his bosses, in an attempt to gain their favors. The plot thickens, however, when Lemon falls in love with one of the colleagues his boss is involved with. 

"The Apartment" stands out as one of the best movies in history due to the  mastery with which it wovens humors into sadness.  Jack Lemon and Shirley MacLaine offer stellar performances and manage to portray the bitter-sweet tone of the story, which to this day, remains one of the best written of all times. 

20. High and Low (Tengoku to Jigoku, 1963)

"High and Low" is the 20th entry in our top best movies of all times.  This Japanese film noir is a masterpiece of the genre, starring Toshiro Mifune, one of the most famous Japanese actors, due greatly to his collaborations with the cinema legend Akira Kurosawa.

The Japanese director, similarly to Charlie Chaplin, has more than one film in our list. Specifically, the next entry - Seven Samurai, which is considered his greatest work. 

19. Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai, 1954)

 "Seven Samurai" is without a doubt one of the most important cult movies of the 50s, outside of the American cinema. 

The film is a Japanese epic samurai drama film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa.  The story takes place in 1586 during the Sengoku Period of Japanese history. It follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven rōnin (masterless samurai) to combat bandits who return after the harvest to steal their crops.

A few years after the production of the original movie,  an equally successful American western adaptation was released - "The Magnificent Seven," which starred famous cinema personalities such as Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, and Charles Bronson.

18. Paths of Glory (USA, 1957)

In this  mythical cult film set in the Second World War and starring Kirk Douglas, a group of soldiers is sentenced to death for retreating after a failed attack. It is a simple yet striking movie that provides one of the best arguments against the idea of warfare in the history of military movies.

"Paths of Glory" is the only Stanley Kubrick film in this ranking, although the director is considered one of the best in the history of cinema. Other famous movies by Kubrick are "Lolita," "2001: A Space Odyssey", "The Mechanical Orange," "The Shining," and "Full Metal Jacket."

17. Double Indemnity (USA, 1944)

The second of four films by Billy Wilder classified in our top best movies of all times is "Double Indemnity," one of the best thrillers of intrigue in history according to this Top 25.

This black classic film tells the story of an insurance agent who, together with a client he falls in love with, plans the murder of her husband to collect the insurance money.

16. All About Eve (USA, 1950)

"All about Eve," written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, is a classic black and white film about the world of theater starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, and George Sanders.

This theatrical work reflects on fame and, in particular, on the dark side of it and stands out above all creations of its kind due to the unforgettable performance of Davis as the washed out actress Margo Channing.

15. Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella, Italy, 1997)

"Life is Beautiful"  was written, directed and starred in by the Italian comedian Roberto Benigni and it tells the story of a romantic comedy interrupted by the Second World War.

The protagonists are a couple of Jewish citizens and their son who are captured by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp. We are remembered, above all, of the beautiful relationships between Guido, the character played by Benigni, his son, and his wife.

14.  Sunset Boulevard (USA, 1950)

"Sunset Boulevard" is a masterpiece of classic cinema  starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden who appear in the role of a retired silent film star and that of a writer in debt. It is one of four Billy Wilder films included in this ranking.

13. Seppuku (Harakiri) (Japan, 1962)

Harakiri (Seppuku) is a Japanese cult film placed in a historical setting; like the "Seven Samurai", the plot takes us to feudal Japan, in this case the seventeenth century, and focuses on the famous seppuku ritual, whereby a samurai would stick a short sword into his stomach and be decapitated by someone immediately afterward.

Although the word "harakiri" is better known than "seppuku" in the West, the second term is considered more appropriate, seeing how "harakiri" has a derogatory or colloquial nuance, while  "seppuku" emphasizes the honor component of this samurai practice.

12. To be or not to be (USA, 1942)

This cult movie is an intriguing comedy set in World War II. The protagonists are a couple of theater interpreters and members of the Polish Resistance who pretend to be Nazis.

"To be or not to be" is considered one of the best comedies in history, surpassed in our ranking only by some comedies directed by Chaplin.

11. The Sting (USA, 1973)

"The Sting" is without a doubt the most famous heist movie of all time (also called a caper film). The legendary Robert Redford and Paul Newman star in the role of two scammers who try to dupe a mobster in order to avenge the death of a common friend.

10. Modern Times (USA, 1936)

"Modern Times", a comedy that mocks the lives of ordinary people in the modern capitalist system, is one of the most viewed movies in history even today, despite the fact that more than 80 years have passed since its release.

The fact that it's so famous is because it's considered one of the best examples of silent films and classic and old movies in general. It is probably also the most significant film by Chaplin along with "The Great Dictator", which we will review shortly.

9. Pulp Fiction (USA, 1994)

Pulp Fiction, the second film by Quentin Tarantino featured in this top, is  a black action comedy composed of four interwoven plots and one of the most iconic cult films in the history of cinema.

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction uses the world of gangsters as its playground to unfold its events. The movie is marked by scarce narrative dialogues but is filled to the brim with artistic value in each line uttered by the iconic characters. 

Tarantino is still one of the most celebrated film directors at the moment. Quentin Tarantino's films include "Kill Bill", "Inglorious Basterds", "Reservoir Dogs", "The Hateful Eight", "Jackie Brown", "Django Unchained", and "Death Proof". In 2019 he will premiere "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", starring an amazing duo: Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.

8. The Great Dictator (USA, 1940)

"The Great Dictator" is one of the most viewed comedies in the history of cinema.  This Charles Chaplin classic is a critique of the Nazis released during World War II.

In it, the genius of classical humor plays a double role - that of the dictator Adenoid Hynkel and that of a Jewish barber who has lost his memory and looks surprisingly like the so-called "pseudo-Hitler".

7. The Shawshank Redemption (USA,1994)

The first prison drama (although not a judicial account) that is classified in our top best movies of all times is "The Shawshank Redemption", a cult film based on the horror classic book "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King and directed by Frank Darabont.

Nevertheless, "The Shawshank Redemption", does not speak of the darkest sides of humanity, like the majority of King's work, but tells the story of the friendship between the characters, masterfully played by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.

6. City Lights (USA, 1931)

In "City lights", Charles Chaplin retakes his classic character of the Tramp, a protagonist in "The Kid" and other silent movies produced by  the comedian. This black and white comedy is the first Chaplin movie to make our list of best movies of all times.

"City Lights" is considered one of the best romantic comedies in the history of cinema, and it tells the love story between a vagabond and a blind young lady. Like most of Chaplin's films, he aims to vindicate the virtues of the human being and denounce economic inequality, among other social problems.

5. Witness for the Prosecution (USA, 1957)

The fifth film listed in the ranking of best movies of all times is "Witness for the Prosecution", a film directed by the legendary Billy Wilder. It is probably one of the least viewed movies on this list, despite being a true cult classic.

In this case, and as proof of the director's versatility, "Witness for the Prosecution" is not a comedy but  a film of judicial intrigue based on the homonymous work of Agatha Christie. Of course, the trigger of the plot is the murder of a rich old woman, the suspect being a young man with whom she was friends.

4. Schindler’s List (USA, 1993)

"Schindler's List" is ranked as one of the best in terms of Nazi and World War II movies. It stars Liam Neeson as the businessman Oskar Schindler, who uses Jewish workers as a cheap labor force in his factory until the Holocaust begins.

Schindler's list was directed by one of the best-rated filmmakers in film history: Steven Spielberg, also known for films such as "Shark", "ET", "Jurassic Park", "Saving Private Ryan", "The Empire of the Sun", "The Adventures of Tintin" or the "Indiana Jones" saga.

3. 12 Angry Men (USA, 1957)

This classic judicial film directed by Sidney Lumet narrates the story of twelve members of a jury and how one of them (Henry Fonda) tries to convince the other eleven of the possible innocence of the young man accused, although, in the beginning, all 12 believed the youth was guilty.

It is a brilliant, simple and theatrical movie, set in a unique setting - the room in which the "twelve angry men" debate matters such as prejudice, intolerance, reason, and compassion.

2. The Godfather: Part II (USA, 1974)

The second installment of the saga "The Godfather" is only surpassed in our top of best movies of all times by its predecessor, considered the best movie in history in most similar listings.

Many critics believe that "The Godfather: Part II" is superior to the original and one reason that attests to that is that the second part perfects the aesthetics developed in "The Godfather" and enjoys a higher intensity and an elevated narrative complexity.

Michael Corleone's story (Al Pacino) is intertwined with the arrival of his father Vito in the United States. The father of "The Godfather" is played by a mature Marlon Brando while Robert De Niro takes on the role of the young father.

1. The Godfather (USA, 1972)

The best movie of all times is "The Godfather", Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece (other works include "Apocalypse Now", "The Law of the Street", "Cotton Club") who adapted the homonymous novel by Mario Puzo.

Should there still be people out there that have yet to watch "The Godfather", we strongly recommend that you watch the opening scene of the movie, included above, and, if possible, continue watching the rest of the film as well. 

Check out the original article: Las 25 mejores películas de la historia del cine at