Trying to decide which movies are the best movies ever made is difficult. Because, let’s face it, film is one of the most glorious entertainment and art mediums ever happen to the human race. And, there’s just so much awesome to choose from. In the realm of movies, no one is excluded. Whether it’s a child who’s imagination is limitless, the hopeless romantic, epic tales from history, or documentaries about the real world around us, there’s something for literally everyone.
Films have a way of uniting us, of giving us an outlet for emotions we didn’t even know we needed to express, and giving us a simple and enjoyable escape for a few hours. They broaden our horizons, deepen our imaginations, relieve stress, and at their best, give us a glimpse into our true selves, as we see them reflected in some part on screen.
The movies on this list may not be your favorite, but they all have had an impact on culture and filmmaking—from the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the first film to give an Oscar to an African American, become a “must see” classic, or moving the industry forward in terms of special effects and storytelling. With input from critics, history, and a love of the medium, here are our 25 Best Movies Ever Made.
“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” Possibly the best movie ever made where the guy (spoiler alert) doesn’t get the girl. Its release was rushed to coincide with the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier, filmmakers didn’t expect “Casablanca” to do well in the box office, much less become the classic it has. It went on to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing.
Fun Fact! Humphrey Bogart was only 5’ 8” tall, where Ingrid Bergman was almost 5’10” tall. Director Michael Curtiz had Bogart stand on a box to fix the height issue, which is still what they do with short actors like Tom Cruise.
Not only did Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic bring to life the dreams of millions of “Dinosaur Kids,” it changed the way movies were marketed and fundamentally changed special effects for the film industry. A combination of never before used CGI from George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, combined with models from the legendary Sam Winston, brought a level of realism to the film that had not been seen before.
The costumes! The dancing! The music! The sound of Rosemary Clooney’s voice whenever she speaks! Not only is White Christmas one of the very best Christmas movies ever made (with strong independent female leads in charge of their own career – in 1954) , it’s a perfect example of the Musical genre and idealized post-WWII Americana.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Goodfellas” is often considered to be one of the greatest mob movies ever and was the inspiration behind David Chase’s popular HBO series “The Sopranos.”
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Despite the glaring exclusion of Tom Bombadil, “Fellowship of the Ring” is considered by many to have stayed the closest to the book. The film makers didn’t hesitate to go “all in” at a time when epic high fantasy on this scale wasn’t a sure box office hit. For this reason, it accomplished a rare feat, receiving praise from old fans as well as new.