Year Released: 1924
And we’re looking back on the 1920s during Hollywood’s silent film era, to revisit this silent comedy directed by, and starring, Buster Keaton. Keaton plays a projectionist who wants to be a detective and finds himself framed for a crime he didn’t commit, instead.
Sherlock Jr. holds a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is constantly named one of the best films of all time. It’s considered such a classic that it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in 1991.
Year Released: 1972
There was no way we could have our list without this crime drama classic from the early 1970s. The film is directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and James Caan, as members of an infamous Italian American crime family.
The Godfather constantly makes all kinds of “best films of all times” lists, and currently holds a nearly perfect (98%) score on Rotten Tomatoes. It also won a number of prestigious awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Golden Globe for Best Director.
The Godfather: Part II
Year Released: 1974
Two years after the ultra-successful first installment of The Godfather film franchise, the second part was released – and it did not disappoint. Starring the same celebrities and again directed by Coppola, the film brought in $88 million at the box office against a budget of just around $13 million.
Most films on our list were at most around an 8.2 or 8.5/10 on IMDb, but The Godfather: Part II sits at a 9/10, which isn’t an easy feat when it comes to over one million votes. Critics, publications, and audience members across the world continue to dissect it and praise it to this day. In 1975, the film was nominated for 11, and received five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. It also received several other accolades, which include two National Society of Film Critics Awards.
12 Angry Men
Year Released: 1957
More than 50 critics have pulled together to give this film a perfect 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. They aren’t the only ones who love this 1957 courtroom drama, either. Roger Ebert gives it a 4/4, and 94% of Google users have rated it positively, as well.
The film was written by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet. Shot in a single location, it’s known for its minimalistic filmmaking. The year after its release, it won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written Drama, and several decades later in 1997, it was added to the PGA Hall of Fame.
Year Released: 1993
Schindler’s List is a historical drama directed by Steven Spielberg and released in the early 90’s. It’s hard to find many “best films” lists that don’t include this movie, which stars Liam Neeson as Schindler himself. It earned a $300 million profit, scoring $322 million at the box office against a $22 million budget.
The film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, the most nominations of any film on our list, and won seven, including Best Director and Best Picture. In 2004, the Library of Congress preserved it in the National Film Registry. And, a few years later in 2007, the AFI ranked it number eight on their list of the 100 best American films.