50 Best Movies of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

As people continue to do their part in the fight against COVID-19 and spend more time at home, many find themselves inevitably searching for new material to watch. While playing “streaming roulette” — in which one takes a chance on some unknown movie or show on a streaming service — may sometimes pay off, it’s often better to seek out a film with a proven track record.

Movies that score well with both audiences and reviewers online should satisfy the majority of viewers. These flicks tend to have a few basic characteristics in common: a strong, coherent storyline; richly drawn — and well acted — characters; good cinematography and (if applicable) special effects; and a satisfying ending.

24/7 Tempo has identified the 50 best movies of all time based on user and critic ratings from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and Rotten Tomatoes.

The movies on this list share those virtues to a greater or lesser extent. They span cinema history from 1924 to 2019. They include silent films and technologically dazzling blockbusters. Many feature famous performers of the past and present, as well as some of the film world’s most acclaimed directors — Charlie Chaplin, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, and Francis Ford Coppola. Here’s who won the Oscar for Best Director every year.

Some of these movies will be familiar to almost anyone — “Citizen Kane,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Star Wars” (now retitled “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”). Others are more obscure but well worth discovering — especially for those with some extra time on their hands. For those seeking even lesser-known movies, here are the 50 best movies you’ve never seen.

To determine the best movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating, and Internet Movie Database average user rating. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 5,000 Rotten Tomatoes user ratings, 10 approved Tomatometer critic reviews, and 10,000 IMDb user ratings. English also had to be listed as a primary language on IMDb.

We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating.