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.
Seven Samurai chronicles the story of a village that hires seven rogue samurai to protect them from bandits (it would later be reborn in Western Culture as “The Magnificent Seven”). It is the highest grossing Japanese movie ever and one of only a few Japanese films to ever make it into western cinema to any significant extent. Despite being in Japanese, the movie is filmed and acted in such a way that you could understand what’s going on even without the subtitles, and despite being three and a half hours long, doesn’t suffer from pacing problems that many modern, shorter movies do. Also, yes, the sword fights are amazing.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Arguably the best from Disney’s renaissance period, the tale as old as time was not only groundbreaking because of the CGI in the ballroom sequence (The chandelier. You know what I’m talking about), but because it was the first full length animated feature to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Yes, it’s that good. And yes, it holds up. The characters are well developed, the humor is timeless, and the music…well, it won the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. Just ignore the live action remake, it loses all the charm and magic of the animated version.
As one of the most controversial and talked about films of the 1990’s, “Fight Club” had an incredible impact on popular culture, and almost overnight Tyler Durden’s line, “The first rule of Fight Club is – you do not talk about Fight Club,” became one of the most popular quotes of the decade.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
While “I am your Father” is a pretty common pop culture reference, it’s hard to remember that, before Empire was released in 1980, fans had no idea that Luke and Leia were twins, much less that Darth Vader was their father. This is Star Wars at it’s very best, paternity, heartbreak, cocky declarations of love, and limb loss.
One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
Only the second film to win all five major Academy Awards, it wasn’t until almost twenty years later that “Silence of the Lambs” followed suit. “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” was actually regarded as being so good that in some Swedish movie theaters it was shown for a mind blowing 11 years straight. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the top movies of all time!