Best Motion Picture Of Each Year

by MeesTW | created - 10 Oct 2015 | updated - 22 Jul 2020 | Public

Going from 1950 to now, since I've not seen that many movies from the 40s and before.

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1. Rashomon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

98 Metascore

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 159,888 | Gross: $0.10M

2. Strangers on a Train (1951)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

88 Metascore

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 129,192 | Gross: $7.63M

3. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

A bureaucrat tries to find meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 73,589 | Gross: $0.06M

4. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 57,489

5. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 328,684 | Gross: $0.27M

6. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

89 Metascore

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus

Votes: 86,825

7. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

94 Metascore

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 85,192

8. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 728,840 | Gross: $4.36M

9. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 381,827 | Gross: $3.20M

10. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 228,426 | Gross: $74.70M

11. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 629,978 | Gross: $32.00M

12. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

93 Metascore

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 117,087

13. Hara-Kiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

85 Metascore

When a ronin requesting seppuku at a feudal lord's palace is told of the brutal suicide of another ronin who previously visited, he reveals how their pasts are intertwined - and in doing so challenges the clan's integrity.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 48,960

14. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

91 Metascore

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 113,401 | Gross: $0.05M

15. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama, Western

65 Metascore

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volontè, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy

Votes: 206,508 | Gross: $14.50M

16. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

R | 132 min | Western

74 Metascore

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Mara Krupp

Votes: 243,106 | Gross: $15.00M

17. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

R | 178 min | Western

90 Metascore

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 717,284 | Gross: $6.10M

18. Le Samouraï (1967)

GP | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

After professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, Cathy Rosier

Votes: 48,355 | Gross: $0.04M

19. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13 | 165 min | Western

80 Metascore

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 314,168 | Gross: $5.32M

20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heels. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 208,822 | Gross: $102.31M

21. Kelly's Heroes (1970)

GP | 144 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

50 Metascore

A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor

Votes: 47,247 | Gross: $1.38M

22. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 785,275 | Gross: $6.21M

23. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

An organized crime dynasty's aging patriarch transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,702,671 | Gross: $134.97M

24. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 69,659

25. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,182,651 | Gross: $57.30M

26. Mirror (1975)

Not Rated | 107 min | Biography, Drama

80 Metascore

A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev, Oleg Yankovskiy

Votes: 43,259 | Gross: $0.18M

27. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 760,948 | Gross: $28.26M

28. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,276,077 | Gross: $322.74M

29. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 324,355 | Gross: $48.98M

30. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 629,373 | Gross: $83.47M

31. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued across the galaxy by Darth Vader and bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,204,272 | Gross: $290.48M

32. Mad Max 2 (1981)

R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline-rich community escape a horde of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 172,371 | Gross: $12.47M

33. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 721,144 | Gross: $32.87M

34. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 777,714 | Gross: $45.60M

35. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 328,242 | Gross: $5.32M

36. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 1,111,987 | Gross: $210.61M

37. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Fifty-seven years after surviving an apocalyptic attack aboard her space vessel by merciless space creatures, Officer Ripley awakens from hyper-sleep and tries to warn anyone who will listen about the predators.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 677,986 | Gross: $85.16M

38. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone and, because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 294,329 | Gross: $76.27M

39. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 820,198 | Gross: $83.01M

40. The Killer (1989)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kong Chu

Votes: 47,083

41. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 1,069,056 | Gross: $46.84M

42. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 1,032,979 | Gross: $204.84M

43. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner Ned Logan and a young man, The "Schofield Kid."

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 391,478 | Gross: $101.16M

44. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

A pragmatic paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 908,324 | Gross: $402.45M

45. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,461,816 | Gross: $28.34M

46. Heat (1995)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller