- Reddit users have compiled a list of the 15 best movies of all time, featuring timeless classics and modern masterpieces.
- Streaming services’ lack of films from before the 1960s is a common trend in best-of lists today.
- The Godfather takes the top spot on Reddit’s ranking of the best movies of all time.
When it comes to movies, Reddit users certainly have some opinions. The platform is home to countless discussions and debates over the best movies of all time. By observing these talks, you start to notice which films show up most often on users’ personal lists. Accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of Reddit’s 15 best movies of all time. From timeless classics to groundbreaking modern masterpieces, the Reddit community has chosen these films as the cream of the crop. Let’s run through the rankings below.
Reddit’s Best Movies of All Time
Before we dive in, we have a quick disclaimer. You’ll notice that most of the films in Reddit’s rankings are from the mid-’60s or later. Sadly, this is a far too common trend in best-of lists today. The blame rests on the shoulders of streaming services, which have very few films from before the 1960s in their libraries. Still, a couple of great films from before the ’60s managed to squeeze their way into Reddit’s best movies of all time. As you read, just remember: there are countless incredible films from before the year 1960 that Reddit has not listed here.
15: Fargo (1996)
This ’90s dark comedy is one of two movies from the Coen Brothers to make it on Reddit’s list of the best movies of all time. (We’ll get to Joel and Ethan Coen’s other movie later on down the line.) While you may have seen the FX anthology loosely based on the film, not even this adaptation can compare to the excellence of the source material.
Set in snowy Minnesota, Fargo follows a pregnant cop investigating a triple homicide after a pitiful man’s lazy con job goes wrong. Starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Stormare in four career-best performances, Fargo is what it looks like when top comedic talent converges both on-screen and off.
14: Jurassic Park (1993)
- Rated PG-13
- Runtime: 127 minutes
- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson
You could argue any one of Steven Spielberg’s films deserves a spot on this list. From his stylish early work in the 1970s and ’80s to his more serious dramas in the 1990s and 2000s to his exciting late-era works as of late, no other film combines the best of Spielberg’s techniques like 1993’s Jurassic Park.
Though the consensus is less clear on his second and third films in the series (not to mention Colin Trevorrow’s unequivocally terrible Jurassic World trilogy), Jurassic Park is undoubtedly a monster movie for the ages. Plus, just listen to that soundtrack. It’s not the only John Williams score to make Reddit’s list.
13: Star Wars (1977)
- Complete collection of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga
- 27 discs with 26 hours of bonus features
- Amazon exclusive edition
“Empire Strikes Back is best!” “Revenge of the Sith is best!” “The Last Jedi is best!” “Rogue One is best!” These are the conflicting cries of the Star Wars fandom. No one ever seems to be in agreement over which film in the franchise is the greatest of the bunch. Not r/movies, however. Users in this subreddit named the first movie as their favorite.
It makes sense. It’s the one that started it all, first and foremost. Beyond that, George Lucas’s first film has a certain special charm to it that no other film in the franchise has. There’s an undeniable freshness to the whole thing. Almost a humility to its filmmaking, in a way. The film has no idea what’s to come for the Star Wars universe — it’s simply proud to be its own thing.
12: The Graduate (1967)
- Rated PG
- Runtime: 106 minutes
- Director: Mike Nichols
- Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Mike Nichols directed all sorts of excellent films in his 80+ years on Earth. It’s his 1967 film The Graduate that makes Reddit’s list, though. The Graduate stars Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock: a recent college graduate disillusioned with the real world who soon finds himself falling for an older woman and her younger daughter.
As the rules and regulations of Old Hollywood became more relaxed as the 1960s inched closer to the ’70s, American movies were able to touch on increasingly mature themes. Nichols and The Graduate were part of this New Hollywood movement. It’s a profound coming-of-age story for both Benjamin Braddock and the film industry alike.
11: Taxi Driver (1976)
- Rated R
- Runtime: 114 minutes
- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Starring: Robert De Niro, Peter Boyle, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd
Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader are two of the best American filmmakers still working today. Naturally, their 1976 collaboration Taxi Driver would warrant a spot on Reddit’s list of the best movies of all time. It’s daring, it’s grisly, it’s raw, and it contains one of the most iconic performances from any actor: Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle.
Like The Graduate, Taxi Driver is an amazing film for reasons beyond what’s between the opening and closing credits. It delved into deep, dark subject matters few American films had ever dared to explore at the time. Plus, its gritty style blew the minds of people who had grown up on clean, manicured Hollywood productions.
10: No Country for Old Men (2007)
- Rated R
- Runtime: 122 minutes
- Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen
- Starring: Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Javier Bardem
The second Coen Brothers movie on the list, No Country for Old Men is wildly different in comparison to Fargo. This adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s eponymous novel is darker, more beautiful, and more thrilling than the movie they made eleven years prior. While both are spectacular, r/movies places No Country slightly ahead of Fargo.
The film stars Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh, a ruthless hitman with a strange habit of trusting fate over all other instincts. He attempts to recover a large sum of money from the desert, but a hired bounty hunter, an aging sheriff, and an unassuming Vietnam veteran all threaten to stand in his way. It’s not just one of the best films of the 21st century — it’s one of Reddit’s best films ever.
9: Easy Rider (1969)
- Rated R
- Runtime: 95 minutes
- Director: Dennis Hopper
- Starring: Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson
Remember when we mentioned the New Hollywood movement when discussing The Graduate and Taxi Driver? Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider might be the epitome of this hugely influential movement. Upon its release in 1969, Easy Rider shattered all expectations of what a feature film could be. It effectively encapsulated the thoughts and feelings of an entire rebellious generation.
Hopper was a notorious madman in the film industry. This madness plagued the production of Easy Rider. Somehow, by some movie miracle, it all came together in the end. The nation’s youth couldn’t believe Hopper had captured their anger, dreams, and frustrations on screen. It was because young Hopper was one of them — not an old man like other film directors of the past.
8: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
The first of two Stanley Kubrick films in Reddit’s best movies of all time, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a hilarious satire of Cold War anxieties. In a genius move, Kubrick put comedic actor Peter Sellers in three different roles. The film’s cast also includes George C. Scott in one of his greatest performances.
Reddit’s not alone in holding Dr. Strangelove in such high esteem. It consistently appears in critics’ lists of the best films ever, not to mention the best comedies and the best American movies in history. Amazingly, Kubrick’s film still manages to feel as relevant and as hilarious today as it did in the mid-60s.
7: Days of Heaven (1978)
- Rated PG
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Director: Terrence Malick
- Starring: Sam Shepard, Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Robert Wilke, Linda Manz
Terrence Malick’s transcendent drama Days of Heaven is so great, that its filmmaker took a twenty-year break after its release. Set in the Midwest during World War I, the film traces a love triangle between two field workers and the rich farmer who employs them. However, it’s more than this plot that makes the film so worthy of note.
Malick’s style is something to behold. From his earliest works to his most recent ones, his sweeping camera movements and poetic narration turn his films into religious experiences for avid fans. According to Reddit’s ranking, Days of Heaven is the best example of Malick’s style — and one of the best movies of all time to boot.
6: City Lights (1931)
- Not Rated
- Runtime: 86 minutes
- Director: Charles Chaplin
- Starring: Charles Chaplin
The oldest film on this list, both young and old moviegoers alike can enjoy Charlie Chaplin’s masterwork City Lights. Chaplin’s silent comedy has managed to stand the test of time for more than 90 years because of how watchable it is. Please don’t let the 1931 release date fool you. City Lights manages to feel fresher than new movies released in 2023.
Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, co-edited, co-scored, and starred in City Lights. A man of many talents, quite evidently. Similarly, some of filmmaking’s greatest talents greatly appreciate the film. Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson, Federico Fellini, and numerous other groundbreaking directors all include the film among their favorites.
5: Spirited Away (2001)
Like documentaries, animation often gets dismissed as nothing more than a genre. However, filmmakers will be the first to tell you that these so-called genres are so much more than that. They’re filmmaking styles that transcend all genres. Case in point? Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away: one of Reddit’s best movies of all time (that just so happens to be an animated film).
Hailing from the legendary Japanese studio Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away was the highest-grossing movie in the history of Japanese film for nearly twenty years after its 2001 release. It was also the first (and, so far, only) non-English hand-drawn film to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. Its success speaks volumes to its quality.
4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
If you don’t immediately recognize Sergio Leone’s iconic spaghetti Western by its name alone, you’re sure to know its memorable theme by Ennio Morricone. Leone’s 1966 film also features up-and-comer Clint Eastwood in the most important role of his career at the time. Simply put, everything about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is cemented in film history.
The final part of a loose trilogy that also includes A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is just as historic for its ultra-widescreen cinematography. Who knew the most significant Western of all time came from Italy, not the United States?
3: Seven Samurai (1954)
- Not Rated
- Runtime: 207 minutes
- Director: Akira Kurosawa
- Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Yoshio Inaba, Seiji Miyaguchi
Akira Kurosawa may be the most notable Japanese director of all time. Not to mention, he consistently ranks among one of the best in the world to ever work in the movie biz. His 1954 film Seven Samurai is proof enough of how worthy Kurosawa is of such high praise. It’s three and a half hours of utter perfection.
Beyond the greatness of the film itself, Seven Samurai has also been a hugely influential work in films that followed. From John Sturges’s Western The Magnificent Seven (1960) to countless Star Wars projects such as Rogue One (2016) or The Mandalorian‘s “Chapter 4: Sanctuary,” plot elements of Seven Samurai continue to show up in movies and television decades later.
2: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Rated G
- Runtime: 149 minutes
- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Starring: Douglas Rain, Frank Miller, Keir Dullea, William Sylvester, Gary Lockwood
Stanley Kubrick’s name frequently ranks alongside the best directors to ever live. That’s why it’s no shock to see his best film, 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, rank so highly among Reddit’s best movies of all time. Any one of Kubrick’s most famous films would be right at home here, to be honest. Still, we’re glad 2001 gets the honor.
Whether watching for the first time or the millionth time, 2001 deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. It’s not an exaggeration to say every science fiction movie you’ve ever loved since 1968 owes its life to 2001. Every director who has worked in the genre since will tell you the same. Kubrick singlehandedly created the modern sci-fi look with this film.
1: The Godfather (1972)
- 50th-anniversary special edition
- Complete the Godfather trilogy on 4K UHD with the new edition of The Godfather Part III
- Academy award winner
- All-new special features
The best movie to end all best movie lists, Reddit positions Francis Ford Coppola’s exceptional 1972 film The Godfather at the top of its ranking. There’s no doubt about it: After being mentioned on so many best-of lists, the epic story of the Corleone mafia family has definitely earned the number-one spot.
You’ve probably seen Coppola’s first Godfather film compared to its 1974 follow-up, The Godfather: Part II. Which one’s superior? When both movies are so great, it doesn’t really matter who comes out on top. (Especially when Coppola himself considers them two halves of the same film.) If you haven’t seen it yet, you absolutely must.
|#1||The Godfather (1972)|
|#2||2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)|
|#3||Seven Samurai (1954)|
|#4||The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)|
|#5||Spirited Away (2001)|
|#6||City Lights (1931)|
|#7||Days of Heaven (1978)|
|#8||Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)|
|#9||Easy Rider (1969)|
|#10||No Country for Old Men (2007)|
|#11||Taxi Driver (1976)|
|#12||The Graduate (1967)|
|#13||Star Wars (1977)|
|#14||Jurassic Park (1993)|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Primakov/Shutterstock.com.