The 100 Best Movies of All Time: Critics’ Picks

Robbed of a full cinematic release by Covid-19, it now shines as one of Netflix’s best films. Zombie movies often take themselves too seriously—but “serious” isn’t something the Zombieland franchise can be accused of. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s wry and self-aware script plays gleefully with the constraints of the zombie apocalypse, wringing laughs from Columbus’ narrated survival rules and Tallahassee’s obsession with Twinkies. But it’s an incredible cameo by Bill Murray as himself that elevates the whole film. Clever, funny, and just the right level of gory, Zombieland is a blast. But who’s using the town as a petri dish, and why is there a cloning lab buried underground?

Juries most often amount to little more than set dressing in courtroom dramas. But Sidney Lumet’s film finds all its drama outside the courtroom itself and inside a jury deliberation room packed with fantastic character actors, who are forced to re-examine a seemingly straightforward case by lone-voice juror Henry Fonda. It’s all about the value of looking at things differently, and a reminder that nothing is more important than great dialogue. Spike Lee had already caused a stir with his first two films – She’s Gotta Have It and School Daze – but this was the one that changed everything, with Lee at full pelt, fully formed, in full command and full of fury. Over the longest, hottest summer’s day in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy, already boiling tensions between the African-Americans on the block and the Italian-Americans running a pizzeria eventually peak, erupting into violence.

Amid their courtship, the movie tackles themes of consumerism, environmentalism, and nostalgia in a way that’s understandable for kids and engaging for adults. Clueless is just one of many teen movie adaptations of classic literature — in this case, Jane Austen’s Emma. Cher (Alicia Silverstone, who was perfectly cast) is our ’90s-era Emma Woodhouse who has to re-examine her selfish ways as her relationships become increasingly complicated. It’s sweet and satirical at the same time, and full of quotable lines and memorable outfits. The relationship between Cher and her former step-brother Josh (the ageless Paul Rudd) is totally not creepy when you remember that it’s based on Emma and George Knightley. The Princess Bride is one of those movies that you watch as a kid and keep coming back to again and again because of how warm and fuzzy it makes you feel.

One of India’s biggest films of all time, RRR (or Rise, Roar, Revolt) redefines the notion of cinematic spectacle. Set in 1920, the historical epic follows real-life Indian revolutionaries Alluri Sitrama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.) but fictionalizes their lives and actions. Although they come from free movie sites very different walks of life, their similarities draw them together as they face down sadistic governor Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson) and his cruel wife, Catherine (Alison Doody). No mere period fluff, RRR is a bold, exciting, and often explosive piece of filmmaking that elevates its heroes to near-mythological status.

If you don’t know why Miss Marilyn Monroe was and is such a big deal, take a look at this one. The film shows off her vocal chops as the lead singer of an all-girl band who dreams of wooing a millionaire. As her band travels to sunny Florida, she makes friends with two new musicians in the group, who she doesn’t realize are men in disguise and on the run.

Every kid in high school dreamed of having a day off like Ferris Bueller’s and, frankly, I still aspire to have one like his as an adult. Come for each character’s hilarious antics, stay for the inevitable comparisons between Alan Ruck’s character, Cameron Frye, and his current character on Succession, Connor Roy. Number 90 of this list was amended on 16 September 2019 to correct the year the film Eden was released to 2014, from 2012 as an earlier version said. Number 91 was amended to correct a misspelling of the last name of Nicolas Philibert as Philbert.

Films that blow your mind, help you see things from a new perspective, and that continue to shape cinema as we know it today. Combining reader votes with critics’ choices from Team Empire, here we have it – read it in full below. You might think that the beginning of this movie, which sees the protagonist contemplate suicide, is a bit dark for a Christmas movie. But George Bailey’s (Jimmy Stewart) journey to appreciate his own life is straight out of A Christmas Carol, so it’s worth a shot if you’re in the mood for some inspirational holiday viewing. One of the posters for Bridesmaids said “Chick flicks don’t have to suck! ” and “These are smart, funny women” in big bold letters, as if those two statements are hard to believe.

A photographer (Nia Long) and a poet (Larenz Tate) fall in love in one of the best romance movies of all time. In 2005, the sequel Before Sunset continues the story, and then in 2015 the trilogy is wrapped up with Before Midnight. That said, things in theatrical distribution are a little strange right now, so apart from some big recent blockbusters, there’s a mix of Oscar-winners, lingering releases, indies and classics booked—depending, of course, on the theater.

Not just because the baddies win (temporarily), or because it Force-slammed us with that twist (“No, I am your father”). Empire super-stardestroys thanks to the way it deepens the core relationships — none more effectively than Han and Leia’s. When dinosaurs first ruled the movie-Earth, they did so in a herky-jerky stop-motion manner that while charmingly effective, required a fair dose of disbelief-suspension.

Potentially sexist marketing aside, Bridesmaids is, in fact, a female ensemble comedy that very much does not suck. Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life isn’t going great — personally or professionally — but she has to put on a brave face when her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and asks her to be the maid of honor. Annie does her best to plan Lillian’s wedding events but is overshadowed at every turn by Helen (Rose Byrne), whose wealth and outward perfection make her seem like the better MOH.

Falling in with a group of Animal Liberation Front activists, Mija travels to Mirando’s headquarters in New York in a desperate effort to rescue her unlikely animal friend. Darkly satirical in places, Okja manages to explore themes of animal exploitation and environmental conservation without feeling preachy. On this chart, films are ranked by the revenues from theatrical exhibition at their nominal value, along with the highest positions they attained.

This movie is trippy and a bit hard to follow, but it’s absolutely required viewing. Stanley Kubrick takes us from the dawn of the human species to the dawn of a totally new species in just a few hours, and his view of space and space travel set the standard for a thousand sci-fi films to come. This very dark comedy juxtaposes one woman’s insatiable quest to avenge her best friend’s tragic assault in front of a backdrop of all things frilly, pink, and sweet. That stark contrast only makes the movie’s incredibly intense climax that much more shocking. Promising Young Woman was nominated for five Oscars in 2021, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Carey Mulligan, and a history-making Best Director nod for Emerald Fennell. Julie Andrews plays an Austrian nun during World War II in the Academy Award-winning film.

Set at a New England private school in 1959, this movie follows an English teacher, played by Robin Williams, and his relationship with his students as he teaches them to live a little more through poetry. The movie gave Williams his second Oscar nominee, and Ethan Hawke said that working on this movie inspired him to continue to be an actor. One of the best crime thrillers of all time has to be David Fincher’s Seven.

Winona Ryder’s always in her element in off-beat dark comedies, and this one sets her in the middle of a high school where her character Veronica gets invited to a join a popular clique of “Heathers” (literally three girls whose names are Heather) until they betray her. Dean (Christian Slater) set out to right all the wrongs made against her, in cruel and unusual ways. A technical marvel at its time and one of the most influential films ever, this 1937 film is definitely worth a watch for movie buffs, even if you’ve seen countless iterations of L. One of the highest-grossing Nigerian movies of all time, anyone interested in Nollywood should check out The Wedding Party. The film shows every aspect of the wedding day between Dozie (Banky Wellington) and Dunni (Adeusa Etomi), down to the families’ concerns and the planner’s antics.

Rightfully dubbed “one of the best horror films ever made” by many, The Exorcist goes above and beyond to make you terrified. The story about a girl possessed by a demon in need of an exorcism is unsettling, to say the least. Between the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack and the easy-on-the-eyes love triangle—Dustin Hoffman as a wandering college graduate, his married neighbor Mrs. Robinson, and her daughter—this film is hard to not immediately fall in love with.

Where the French justice system tries to explain—and ultimately condemn—Coly for her actions, Diop works in the mode of observation. Leaning on long, expertly composed takes, she emphasizes the richness and inscrutability of human faces. Maybe we can’t ever truly understand each other, but there are ways to try.

While there, Billi struggles to find a deeper connection to the country and tries to understand her family’s decision to keep her grandmother’s sickness a secret from her. This inspiring drama stars Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, a single mom who uncovers an environmental crime and goes after the huge corporation involved. Peele’s third film is his most ambitious and visually stunning, following a pair of horse-training siblings who discover a mysterious being has settled down near their ranch.

Although Troll could have easily descended into parody, Uthaug steers clear of smug self-awareness and instead delivers one of the most original takes on the genre in years. MDMom and Dad does not generally feature in ‘high-gross’ lists such as those published by Variety due to its independent distribution. Essentially belonging to the exploitation genre, it was marketed as an educational sex hygiene film in an effort to circumvent censorship laws.