Geeks logo

Top 10 Movies of All Time

These are the films that made Hollywood great, from every decade. Let the debate begin.

By WatchMojoPublished 4 years ago 4 min read

These movies are selected based on their iconic status, critical acclaim, box office success and watchability; and not what your film studies professor or most artsy movie critics would pick.

With cinema legends like Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, and Marlon Brando in the lead roles, Apocalypse Now crackles with scene-after-scene of horrifically and masterfully-executed death and destruction. Mirroring Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, Francis Ford Coppola’s gritty, Oscar-nominated Vietnam War epic follows a group of soldiers tasked with assassinating a rogue colonel; but the result is less a journey about the horrors faced in the trenches and more about the shadows of the soul.

With L. Frank Baum’s universally appealing story as its backbone, this Technicolor masterpiece transcends age and race to tell the coming-of-age story of a young Kansas girl who dreams of a land “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Though it is now considered one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, Wizard was not commercially successful upon its release. However, its mix of timeless music, comedy, and a relatable moral has made this a film all parents recommend to their children—and enjoy watching with them.

Painting a romanticized picture of the war-torn South before, during and following the Civil War, David O. Selznick’s Gone with the Wind presents viewers with a strong female heroine in search of control. Winning a record number of Oscars, including an historic one for African-American actress Hattie McDaniel, the film is beautifully shot, technically brilliant and ambitious in scope. Ultimately, with all its romance and heartbreak, Gone with the Wind is a cinematic landmark that won’t soon be forgotten.

Based on Stephen King’s novella, The Shawshank Redemption follows a man as he’s carted off to jail for his wife’s murder—but rather than being a tale of despair and hopelessness, it’s a story of fortitude, friendship, fidelity and—of course—redemption. With Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman working together to bring the story to life, this Frank Darabont film was not a runaway box-office hit; but its positive reviews, eventual popularity, and seven Academy Award nominations ensured its spot in cinema history.

Dark, twisted, and with a depth not usually present in most comic book movies, this second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise redefined the genre and appealed to both comic book fans and the general public. Tracking the Caped Crusader as he battles the infamous Joker, The Dark Knight blurs the lines between superhero and supervillain, painting each as a complex and embattled character. With a standout Heath Ledger performance that won the actor a posthumous Oscar, Batman’s story was given a decisively gritty sequel—and one that surpassed the original.

While the first film in George Lucas’ Star Wars saga was a fun space adventure, the second is much darker and more emotional. Considered by many as the strongest of the three original films, Empire is not only a feast for the eyes, with its expensive and extravagant visuals; it’s also a timeless story to which we can all relate—aside from the distant planets, lightsabers and alien creatures, that is. Innovative and creative, this chapter in the life of Luke Skywalker and friends is epic filmmaking at its finest.

There are few scenes as memorable and influential as Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower one, with its many cuts, angles, and subtle hints of violence and nudity. But to downplay the rest of Psycho would be fatal: this thriller is Hitchcock’s masterwork. Critics were initially divided in their opinions on the film, but Psycho eventually earned four Oscar nominations. Shifting the norms of acceptable onscreen violence and sexuality, this movie surprised everyone who saw it. But even if you know the secrets of Psycho, it’s as terrifying as ever.

Is this film driven by its standout performances? Yes. Is it driven by its extreme violence? Of course. But more than that, Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction is driven by brilliant, articulate, pop-culture-heavy dialogue. The nonlinear plot follows an interwoven group of colorful characters in intricate detail, with such dark humor you’ll laugh in spite of yourself. With a soundtrack that punctuates the mood and soundbites you’ll be quoting for years, Pulp Fiction has everything necessary to make you watch it over and over.

It’s a wonder that a first-time director was able to cobble together what is now considered one of the greatest films ever made, but with Citizen Kane, Orson Welles did exactly that. Welles co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in this film, which tells the life story of a wealthy media mogul mostly through flashbacks. To create his Oscar-winning masterpiece, Welles employed innovative and groundbreaking cinematic and storytelling techniques, creating a layered film that appeals to both cinephiles and the general public alike.

Shedding light on the mafia world like few films before or since, the Best Picture-winning Godfather follows the Corleone family as the reigns of the business are passed from Don Vito to his son, Michael. In this film and its popular 1974 sequel, Francis Ford Coppola crafts a world that allows us to care for and even identify with men who are fundamentally bad guys, and virtuoso performances by greats like Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert Duvall elevate the subtle writing and graphic violence to make The Godfather a truly great film.Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie of all time? For more thrilling Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to


About the Creator


Bringing you new top 10s every day. Subscribe today on Youtube.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.