101 best films you need to see reviews

101 Best Films You Need to See: a Review of the 101 Best movies of the Past 100 Years That I watched

Last updated on April 11th, 2024 at 01:47 pm

“101 best films you need to see” are certainly the films that would change you and your worldview forever.

The world of film has seen many changes over the past 100 years, from the earliest days of silent cinema to the modern era of CGI (computer-generated imagery) and streaming. With so many great films to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down a list of the top films of the past century. However, based on a combination of critical acclaim and cultural impact and educationally imperative, I have compiled a list of the top 101 films of the past 100 years.

This list includes a wide range of films from different genres, eras, and countries, showcasing the diversity and richness of the film medium.

From the silent comedies of Charlie Chaplin to the epic dramas of Martin Scorsese, this list has something for everyone.

Whether you’re a film buff or a casual moviegoer, these films are sure to entertain and inspire. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at these top films and explore their significance in the world of films. From the groundbreaking special effects of “Within Our Gate 1920” to the revolutionary storytelling of “Nomadland 2020,” these films have left an indelible mark on the medium and continue to be celebrated and revered today.

So, let’s dive into the world of cinema and explore the top 101 films of the past 100 years. But most of the suggestions came from the British Board of Film Certification, the American Film Institute, Wikipedia and IMDB.

It’s important to note that this list is not intended to be a definitive ranking of the best films ever made, but rather a collection of some of the most influential and impactful films of the past century I have found.

These films have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant, meaningful and educative for us today as well.

The list includes films from a variety of different countries and cultures, representing the global reach and impact of cinema. From the French New Wave to Indian Bollywood, these films showcase the diversity and richness of the film medium. I hope this list will inspire you to explore some of these films, whether you’re a film buff or a casual moviegoer.

These films have the power to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience them.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as we take a look at the top 101 films of the past 100 years.

101 Best Films You Need to See

1. Within Our Gates (1920)

Within Our Gates 1920 is one of the best and an American silent films and one of Hollywood’s earliest African-American films. Directed by an African American, Oscar Micheaux, Within Our Gates is the earliest known surviving feature film preserved by the Library of Congress’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division in 1993. Read more.

Give me Jesus. Leave it to me, gen’men, I always preach that vices and sins of the white folks will end them up in hell when Judgement Day comes, more Negroes will rise up to heaven.

2. All Quiet on The Western Fron (1930)

All Quiet on The Western Front or Im Westen nichts Neues is a 1930 anti-war film based on the 1929 novel of German-American novelist Erich Maria Remarque that depicts the German-French war during WWI. The story is an account of casualties by one of the high school graduates, Paul Bäumer who outlived the other nineteen soldiers and eventually died minutes before the ceasefire. Read more.

The soldier is on friendlier terms than other men with his stomach and intestines. Three-quarters of his vocabulary is derived from these regions.

Scene from all quiet on the western front 2019
Scene from All Quiet on the Western Front 2019

3. M (1931)

M is a 1931 German crime thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre as a child murderer named Hans Beckert. The film, which was Lang’s first sound film, tells the story of Beckert’s pursuit by the police and the criminal underworld. Read more.

Sure you can catch the pickpockets, why don’t you catch the murderer instead?

4. It Happened One Night (1934)

It Happened One Night is a 1934 American romantic comedy film that tells the story of a spoiled heiress and a hard-bitten newspaper reporter who falls in love while on a cross-country bus trip. The film is considered one of the greatest romantic comedies of all times, and is known for its ingenious dialogue, its memorable performances. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Read more.

You’ve got to give people something to dream on.

5. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz-1939 is a pure example of an important role in making people think of the necessity of cognitive standing. Along with entertainment, it educates the viewers. Read more.

Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage!

The Cowardly Lion

6. The Rules of the Game (1939)

The Rules of the Game is considered a masterpiece of French cinema and one of the greatest films ever made. The film is set in a French estate and focuses on the relationships between a group of wealthy upper-class characters, examining themes of class, love, and morality. Read more.

Everyone is alone. It’s the law of life.


7. Gone With the Wind (1939)

Based on American novelist Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name and set the in American Civil War, Gone With the Wind 1939 is a historical romance film that portrays the romantic affair between an impulsive Georgian girl, Scarlett O’Hara and her childhood sweetheart Ashley Wilkes who customarily married his cousin Melanie. Scarlett’s unrequited love for Ashley and love for her homeland dominated the theme of the film. Read more.

Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.

Rhett Butler

8. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 American drama film directed by John Ford. The film is based on the classic novel of the same name by John Steinbeck, and tells the story of a poor Oklahoma family forced to migrate to California during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours. That’s what makes it ours – being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.

Tenant Farmer

9. Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca is a 1940 American psychological thriller film that follows a young woman who becomes the second wife of a wealthy widower, only to find that the memory of his late wife, Rebecca, still haunts their life together. The film is known for its moody atmosphere, gothic sensibility, and its psychological tension, as well as its memorable performances by Olivier and Fontaine.

Happiness is something I know nothing about.

Maxim de Winter

10. Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film directed and produced by Orson Welles, who also co-wrote, starred in, and edited the film. The film follows the life of Charles Foster Kane, a powerful and wealthy newspaper tycoon who rises to fame and fortune, but ultimately falls from grace as he becomes more and more isolated and unhappy. Read more.

It’s no trick to make a lot of money, if all you want is to make a lot of money.

Jedediah Leland

11. Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film that takes place in the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca during World War II and tells the story of a love triangle between an American expatriate who runs a nightclub, his former beloved and a resistance leader. Winning 3 Academy Awards, the film is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in American cinema and is known for its memorable dialogue, characters, and songs. Read more.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Rick Blaine

12. Bicycle Thieves (1942)

Bicycle Thieves (also known as The Bicycle Thief) is considered a masterpiece of the neorealist movement, which depicted post-World War II Italy through a realistic and unembellished lens. The film follows a poor man in Rome who needs his bicycle to work, and the struggle to survive in post-war Italy. Read more.

You live and suffer. That’s life.

Antonio Ricci

13. Going My Way (1944)

American musical comedy-drama film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby. The film Based on the story of the adventures of a young and energetic Catholic priest, Going My Way 1944 shows how Father Chuck O’Malley, tries to bring new life to a struggling parish. With critical reviews and success, the film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

You can’t be a priest without disturbing people.

Father Chuck O’Malley

14. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 American drama film that follows the lives of three World War II veterans as they return home and struggle to adjust to civilian life. The film stars Fredric March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell, and is noted for its realistic depiction of the difficulties faced by veterans upon their return from the war. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Home isn’t a place. It’s something you carry inside you.

Fred Derry

16. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama based on the short story The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern. The focuses on the story of George Bailey, a man who is shown what life would have been like if he had never been born. The film has become a holiday classic and is widely regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time.

No man is a failure who has friends.

Clarence Oddbody

17. All the King’s Men (1949)

Released in 1949, All the King’s Men is an American political drama film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Robert Penn Warren, that tells the story of the rise and fall of a southern political boss, Willie Stark, who becomes governor of Louisiana. The film explores themes of corruption, ambition, and the influence of political power. Read more.

Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.

Willie Stark

18. All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film that tells the story of an aging Broadway star Margo Channing and her relationship with an ambitious young fan, Eve Harrington, who becomes her personal assistant. Known for its witty dialogue, sharp observations about the theatre world, the film explores the of themes of ambition, jealousy, and the cost of success. It won 6 Academy Awards. Read more.

I detest cheap sentiment.

Addison DeWitt

19. An American in Paris (1951)

Based on an American expatriate Jerry Mulligan as he falls in love with a young French ballerina, Lise Bouvier, while pursuing his dream of becoming a successful painter, An American in Paris is a 1951 American musical film. Including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, it won six Academy Awards, the film is widely considered a classic of musical cinema and a defining film of the genre.

She’s like a firefly on a summer night. Lovely, luminous, and lighting up the darkness.

Adam Cook

20. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin’ in the Rain is a 1952 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. The film is set in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to “talkies” in the late 1920s. Read more.

All I know is when you smile at me, I get a great big pain right here where my heart ought to be!

Cosmo Brown

21. Tokyo Story (1953)

Tokyo Story is a 1953 Japanese film which is also one of the greatest films ever made and is considered a masterpiece of Japanese cinema. Set after WWII, the film follows an aging couple who travel to Tokyo to visit their grown children, but find that their children are too busy to spend much time with them. Read more.

Isn’t life more about accepting sadness than chasing happiness? Isn’t life just a series of farewells?

Noriko Hirayama

22. From Here to Eternity (1953)

From Here to Eternity is a 1953 American war drama film follows a group of soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film explores themes of love, loyalty, and the human cost of war, and is known for its iconic beach kissing scene between Kerr and Lancaster. From Here to Eternity won winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

There are worse things than being dead. Like being forgotten. Nobody’s got a right to be happy while other men ain’t.

Pvt. Angelo Maggio

23. Seven Samurai (1954)

Seven Samurai or 7 Samurai is a 1954 Japanese epic film. Directed by Akira Kurosawa, the film takes place in the 16th century and tells the story of a small village that is regularly attacked by bandits. In an effort to protect themselves, the villagers hire a group of seven unemployed samurai to help defend their village. Read more.

This is the nature of war: By protecting others, you save yourselves.

Kambei Shimada

24. On the Waterfront (1954)

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film that displays the story of a former boxer who becomes entangled in the corruption of the New York City docks. Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, On the Waterfront stars Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy who won Academy Award for Best Actor and is considered to be powerful classic of American cinema. Read more.

You take it from me, it’s a no-good life when you’re no good at what you’re doing.

Charley Malloy

25. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The Night of the Hunter 1955 is a thriller film that conveys the story of a dangerous and manipulative preacher who seeks to obtain a fortune hidden by a widow and her two children. It is a masterpiece of suspense, with a unique visual style and powerful performances that make it one of the greatest films of all time and considered a masterpiece of American cinema. Read more.

Hate’s empty, just like all the other emotions.

Preacher Harry Powell

26. Pather Panchali (1955)

Pather Panchali tells the story of Apu’s family, including his mother Sarbajaya, his father Harihar, and his sister Durga, as they try to make ends meet in their small village. The film is filled with poignant moments and heart-wrenching scenes, as the family deals with the loss of their home, the death of their father, and their eventual migration to the city in search of a better life. Read more.

We poor people have to rely on God. Only He can help us.

27. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

American drama film Rebel Without a Cause explores themes of teenage rebellion, youth culture, and middle-class family life in America. James Dean’s iconic portrayal of the restless, troubled teenager Jim Stark has made the film a cultural benchmark while the film was a critical and commercial success and remains popular and highly regarded today. Read more.

You’re a chicken. You’re afraid to live without me.


28. The Searchers (1956)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Westerns ever made, The Searchers is a 1956 American Western film that follows Edwards as he embarks on a five-year journey to find his niece, who was abducted by Comanche Indians. Along the way, he encounters various challenges and conflicts as he becomes more obsessed with his search. Read more.

I figure a man’s only good for one oath at a time. I took mine to the Confederate States of America.

Ethan Edwards

29. The Seventh Seal (1957)

The Seventh Seal takes place during the Black Death and follows a knight who returns from the Crusades and encounters Death personified. By exploring the themes of death, faith, and the search for meaning, the film shows how, through a series of existential discussions, the knight tries to delay his inevitable death. Read more.

Is it so terribly inconceivable to comprehend God with one’s senses? Why does He hide in a cloud of half-promises and unseen miracles? How can we believe in the faithful when we lack faith? What will happen to us who want to believe, but cannot? What about those who neither want to nor can believe? Why can’t I kill God within me? Why does He live on in this painful and humiliating way even though I curse Him and want to tear Him out of my heart? Why, in spite of everything, is He a baffling reality that I can’t shake off? Do we ever understand Him? Do not inquire after my name and descent. It’s unimportant.


30. Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American war film based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle and tells the story of British prisoners of war during World War II who were forced to build a railway bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. Read more.

One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clipton, even in captivity.

Colonel Nicholson
Bridge on the river kwai
Bridge in The Bridge on the River Kwai

31. 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. The film is set in a jury room and follows the deliberation of a jury of twelve men as they try to reach a verdict in a capital murder case. The film is a tense and powerful examination of the American legal system and the biases and prejudices that can shape a verdict. Read more.

32. Vertigo (1958)

Widely regarded as a classic of the thriller genre and one of the greatest films ever made, Vertigo is starred by James Stewart and Kim Novak and follows a retired police detective who becomes obsessed with a woman he is hired to track her movement. Vertigo is Hitchcock’s greatest work and a classic of world cinema. Read more.

The man I loved is dead… and I’m free.

Madeleine Elster

33. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Starring Marilyn Monroe, Some Like It Hot is considered to be one of the greatest comedies ever made that follows the story of two musicians who witness a mob violence and go on the run dressed as women to escape the gangsters. They join an all-female band and the film becomes a comedy of mistaken identities, sexual intrigue, and slapstick humour. Read more.

Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.


34. Imitation of Life (1959)

The film is a remake of the 1934 based on the novel of the same name and is based on Fannie Hurst’s novel. Portraying the story of two single mothers, one white and one black, who struggle to raise their daughters while pursuing their dreams, the 1959 American drama film Imitation of Life addresses themes of race, class, and gender, and was noted for its use of melodrama and its frank depiction of racial tension and social issues.

“Oh, Miss Lora, you’ll never know how lucky you are being white. It’s like you’re born with a road already laid out in front of you.”, “There’s only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes.”

Annie Johnson, Imitation of Life quote.

35. Ben-Hur (1959)

Based on the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace Ben-Hur 1959 depicts the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince from Jerusalem, who is enslaved by the Romans and later becomes a chariot racer and kills his childhood friend and Roman official. The won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Heston and is regarded as one of the greatest epic films of all time. Read more.

We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.

Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That’s good. Hate keeps a man alive.

Quintus Arrius

You have the spirit to fight back, but the good sense to control it.

I’ve taken nothing that I cannot repay with interest.

Judah Ben Hur

Love your enemies. It makes them so damned mad.~Sheik Ilderim

36. The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment is a romantic comedy-drama film released in 1960, and is based on the story of a low-level insurance clerk who allows his superiors to use his apartment for their extramarital affairs. When falls in love with one of his boss’s mistresses, he is forced to navigate the conflicting demands of his job, his love life, and his conscience. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

When you’re in love with a married man, you shouldn’t wear mascara.

Fran Kubelik

37. Psycho (1960)

Psycho is widely regarded as a classic of the horror genre and one of the greatest films ever made that follows the story of Marion Crane, who steals money from her employer and goes on the run, only to check into the Bates Motel, run by the mysterious Norman Bates, her killer. The film’s shower scene, which was trailblazing in its use of editing and sound, is widely considered one of the most famous and influential scenes in the history of cinema. Read more.

We’re always quickest to doubt people who have a reputation for being honest.

Marion Crane

38. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird is a powerful commentary on racial injustice and the importance of standing up for what is right. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck. The film remains a classic of American cinema and is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Read more.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

Atticus Finch

39. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate is a political thriller film released in 1962, it tells the story of a former prisoner of war, who returns home as a pawn in a communist conspiracy to manipulate American politics. Notable for its sharp commentary on Cold War politics, as well as its suspenseful storytelling and strong performances, was widely accepted by critics and audiences alike, and it has since become a classic of political thriller cinema, inspiring numerous remakes and adaptations.

It’s not what you know that counts, it’s what you think of in time.

Mrs. Iselin

40. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Lawrence of Arabia is a historical epic film released in 1962, directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel. It stars Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, a British army officer who played a key role in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The film explores Lawrence’s experiences in the desert, his relationships with Arab leaders, and his personal struggles as he navigates the complex political and cultural landscape of the Arab world. It won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Read more.

Lawrence of arabia
Scene from Lawrence of Arabia

Truly, for some men nothing is written unless they write it.

T.E. Lawrence

41. Cleopatra (1963)

Cleopatra is a 1963 American epic historical drama film that portrays the life of the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, and her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. The film was one of the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release. Instead of its difficulties, the film is considered to be an epic filmmaking history with its long-lasting influence. Read more.

“Fool! Don’t you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you.”,”All men are children if you know how to play them.”


42. My Fair Lady (1964)

My Fair Lady is a musical film released in 1964, directed by George Cukor and produced by Jack L. Warner. The film stars Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower seller who is transformed into a lady through the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins, played by Rex Harrison. Including Best Actor for Harrison and Best Picture, the film won 8 Academy Awards. Read more.

I’ve grown accustomed to her face.

Professor Henry Higgins

43. The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical film based on the Broadway musical of Richard and Oscar Hammerstein II that presents a love story of a young nun, Maria, and an Austrian widowed naval officer, Von Trapp, and his eldest daughter, Liesl and a member of Nazi SS Germany during German annexation of Austria in 1938. Read more.

When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

Mother Abbess

44. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Based on the play of the same name by Robert Bolt the British historical drama film A Man for All Seasons tells the story of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century English Chancellor who refuses to sign the Act of Supremacy recognizing King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. The film won six Academy Awards, and is widely recognised as a classic of British cinema and is renowned for its writing, performances, and historical accuracy. Read more.

It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world.

Sir Thomas More

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

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone that stars Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The film follows three gunslingers who compete to find a hidden treasure during the American Civil War. For its commercial success, the film has been considered one of the greatest Westerns ever made. Read more.

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

The Storyteller

46. The Graduate (1967)

Based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film talks about a recent college graduate who is seduced by an older woman and then falls in love with her daughter Elaine. The film has been regarded as a classic of American cinema.

Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?

Benjamin Braddock

47. Oliver (1968)

Oliver! is a musical film released in 1968, directed by Carol Reed and produced by John Woolf. It is an adaptation of the stage musical of the same name, which is based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist. The film stars Mark Lester as Oliver, Ron Moody as Fagin, and Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger. The musical numbers and performances, as well as the cinematography, have been widely praised, and the film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning five.

You worry about the future too much, Charles. Don’t forget to live your life while you still can.

Mr. Brownlow

48. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film that stars Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman and is based on the novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. The film follows the story of a native Texan who travels to New York City to become a male prostitute and forms an unlikely friendship with a failing con artist.

You don’t know the first thing about love. You couldn’t express it if you tried.

Ratso Rizzo

49. Patton (1970)

Based on the life of General George S. Patton, one of the most successful American commanders during World War II, Patton is a 1970 biographical war film that focuses on his military career, including his controversial personality and his key role in the Allied victory in North Africa, the Sicilian campaign, and the Normandy landings. Patton won an Academy Award and is considered a well-regarded depiction of a military figure in American film history.

Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.

General George S. Patton

50. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is based on the novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl is known for its imaginative sets, memorable songs, and memorable characters, including the Oompa-Loompas. The film’s continuing popularity and cultural significance have led to numerous adaptations and remakes, cementing its status as an eternal classic. Read more.

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

Willy Wonka

51. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess. The film is set in a dystopian future England and stars Malcolm McDowell as Alex, the leader of a gang of violent thugs who engage in a life of crime, ultraviolence and joyriding. After being caught by the authorities, Alex is subjected to an experimental behavioural modification program aimed at rehabilitating him and reducing his violent tendencies.

The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.

F. Alexander

52. The Godfather (1972)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the American crime film The Godfather (1972) is based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made that follows the story of the Corleone family, a powerful Mafia clan in New York City, as they navigate the challenges of running a criminal empire and balancing their personal and business lives. Read more.

It’s dangerous to be an honest man.

Michael Corleone

53. Chinatown (1974)

Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film that stars Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, a private investigator who becomes embroiled in a complex web of corruption and deceit while investigating a water rights case in 1930s Los Angeles. Because of its intricate plot, performances, and its iconic cinematography Chinatown continues to be widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. Read more.

You see, Mr. Gittes, most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place, they’re capable of anything.

Noah Cross

54. All the President’s Men (1976)

As a 1976 political thriller film, All the President’s Men portrays the investigation of the Watergate scandal by two Washington Post reporters, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. With 4 Academy Awards, All the President’s Men is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of its genre and is considered one of the best films about journalism. Read more.

55. Annie Hall (1977)

Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film. The film stars Allen and Diane Keaton and follows the ups and downs of their relationship as a comedian and an aspiring singer, respectively. Considered one of the best films of the 1970s, the film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and is widely regarded as one of Allen’s best works.

A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.

Alvy Singer

56. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now is known for its vivid and intense imagery, its powerful performances, and its daring and innovative filmmaking techniques. Its impact on the war genre and its influence on contemporary filmmaking have been immense. Read more.

We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

57. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 explores the story of a couple who go through a bitter custody battle for their young son after the wife leaves the husband to pursue her career. It explores themes of parenthood, relationships, and gender roles. including Best Picture, it won five Academy Awards.

I can’t afford to hate anybody. I don’t have that kind of time.

Ted Kramer

58. Ordinary People (1980)

Based on the novel of the same name by Judith Guest Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film, that tells the story of a wealthy suburban family dealing with the aftermath of a tragic accident that claims the life of one of their sons. It focuses on the family’s struggles to come to terms with their grief, as well as their attempts to rebuild their relationships and find meaning in their lives, which bagged four Academy Awards.

The only way to get rid of the pain is to feel the pain. And when you feel the pain and go beyond it, you’ll see there’s a very intense love that’s wanting to awaken itself.

Dr. Berge

59. The Verdict (1982)

The Verdict 1982 is a legal drama film that explores the character study and the themes of justice and law and the toll that the legal system can take on those who work within it. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and remains a classic of the legal drama genre. Read more.

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.

Judge Hoyle

60. Gandhi (1982)

Directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley and written by John Briley, Gandhi 1982is biographical drama film based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian independence leader who played a key role in India’s struggle for freedom from British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent resistance. The film. It won eight Academy Awards and remains an important and influential portrayal of Gandhi and his impact on India and the world. Read more.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatam Gandhi

61. Amadeus (1984)

Amadeus is a 1984 American period drama film directed by Milos Forman based on a fictional retelling of the life of Mozart, one of the most famous composers of classical music. Amadeus won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and one of the most celebrated films about classical music and the life of a musical genius.

Ah, the voice of God. If God has a voice, it is like that.

Emperor Joseph II, after hearing Mozart’s music

62. Platoon (1986)

As a story of a young U.S. infantryman, Chris Taylor, serving in the Vietnam War, and Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger as two of his superiors whose differing ideologies come into conflict, Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone. Including Best Picture, Platoon won four Academy Awards and is known for its realistic and brutal depiction of the Vietnam War, morality, and the effects of war on soldiers.

We did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves, and the enemy was in us.

Private Chris Taylor

63. The Last Emperor (1987)

Based on the life of the last emperor of China, Puyi, who ruled the Chinese empire from 1908 to 1912 The Last Emperor is a 1987 British-Italian epic historical drama that showcases how Puyi as a toddler ruled the Chinese empire and later as a puppet emperor under Japanese occupation. Along with Puyi’s life from childhood, the film covers his exile and eventual imprisonment after the fall of the Qing dynasty, and his release and life under Communist rule. Read more.

All I know is that I was born a man and I’m told I was born an emperor. It wasn’t my idea. You know the saying, ‘One man’s roof is another man’s floor’? ~Puyi

A puppet has lost his strings. He is free. But freedom’s a burden.

Reginald Fleming Johnston

64. Rain Man (1988)

The 1988 American road comedy-drama film Rain Man is story of a self-centred young man who discovers he has an autistic older brother, whom he takes on a road trip to Los Angeles. Rain Man that talks about portrayal of autism, its themes of family, self-discovery, and the power of human connection won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

65. Dead Poets Society (1989)

Based on the life of English poet John Keats, Dead Poets Society 1989 stars Robin Williams as John Keating, a passionate and unorthodox English teacher at a conservative preparatory school in the late 1950s. The film is a powerful and moving acknowledgement to the power of creativity and the importance of individuality and self-expression. Read more.

Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

John Keating

66. Dances With Wolves (1990)

Based on John Dunbar, a Civil War-era Union Army lieutenant who befriends the Sioux tribe and gradually adopts their way of life, Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic Western film that won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and is considered a classic of the Western genre and is known for its portrayal of Native American culture. Read more.

The strangeness of this life cannot be measured: in trying to produce my own death, I was elevated to the status of a living hero.

John Dunbar

67. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

American psychological horror-thriller The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 film that film stars Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who was to track down a serial killer known as “Buffalo Bill”, while receiving guidance from a notorious cannibalistic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture is widely considered a classic of the horror and thriller genres.

When the Fox hears the rabbit scream he comes a-runnin’, but not to help.

Hannibal Lecter

68. Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List is an American historical drama film based on Australian novelist Thomas Keneally’s book Schindler’s Ark that depicts how a Czechoslovakian German Catholic SS member, Oskar Schindler, saved 1,100 Polish Jews during the Nazi Holocaust during WWII. Read more.

Schindlers list

I know you have received orders from our commandant, which he has received from his superiors, to dispose of the population of this camp. Now would be the time to do it. Here they are; they’re all here. This is your opportunity. Or, you could leave, and return to your families as men, instead of murderers.

Oskar Schindler RSS men who went to kill Jews

69. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption 1994 follows the story of a banker who wrongly is convicted of murder and sent to Shawshank Prison. Over the course of 20 years, he forms an unlikely friendship with fellow inmate Red and adapts to life in prison, all the while working to clear his name and regain his freedom. The Shawshank Redemption is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of the 1990s and portrays the concept of institutionalization. Read more.

Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

Andy Dufresne

70. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Considered the greatest film of the 1990s, Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and best known for its intricate, nonlinear storytelling, dialogue, soundtrack, and ensemble cast. The film remains one of the most influential films in modern cinema and is often cited as one of the defining works of the independent film movement.

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

Jules Winnfield

71. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama that tells the story of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted but athletically talented man from Alabama, who experiences some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century. The film was a commercial success and won six Academy Awards positioning it as a Best Picture. It has been widely regarded as a classic of American cinema and is known for its blend of humor, and historical events, as well as its memorable quotes and iconic scenes.

My mama always said, ‘You’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

Forrest Gump

72. The Before Trilogy (1995-2013)

The “Before” trilogy is a series of three films directed by Richard Linklater: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013). It follows the relationship between Jesse as they meet, fall in love, and navigate the ups and downs of their relationship over a period of 20 years. The films are widely regarded among the greatest romantic films of all time. Read more.

Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?

Jesse, Before Sunrise (1995)

73. Braveheart (1995)

Braveheart is a 1995 American epic war film directed and co-produced by Mel Gibson, based on the life of William Wallace, a late 13th-century Scottish warrior who leads the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. I would always regard it as the best film of all from the list of 101 and best known for its rousing speeches, battle scenes, and depiction of Wallace as a legendary hero. Read more.

I shall tell you of William Wallace. Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes.

Stephen, the Irishman

74. Se7n-Seven (1995)

Seven is a 1995 American neo-noir psychological crime thriller film that stars Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey and tells the story of two detectives who track down a serial killer who selects his victims based on the seven deadly sins. The film was well-received by critics and audiences and is considered a classic of the thriller genre.

The problem with a free society is that it’s not free. Freedom demands responsibility. But most people are happy to take their freedoms for granted, and that will ultimately be their downfall.

Detective Somerset

75. Fargo (1996)

Fargo is a 1996 crime film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen stars Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson, a pregnant police chief in Brainerd, Minnesota, who investigates a series of homicides that includes a kidnapping for ransom gone wrong. The film is known for its dark humour, idiosyncratic characters, and its depiction of the Midwestern United States. It won two Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay for the Coen brothers.

76. The English Patient (1996)

The English Patient is a 1996 romantic war drama based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje that shows how Almásy, a Hungarian-British geographer and cartographer who is badly burned in a plane crash and was cared for by a nurse in an Italian monastery near the end of World War II. It received 12 Academy Award nominations and won nine, including Best Picture. Read more.

In love, we are all fools.


77. Children of Heaven (1997)

Children Of Heaven (1997) is an Iranian film based on the story of a nine-year-old boy, Ali, and his sister, Zahra, who had to share the same pair of shoes to go to school. Read more.

Chldren of heaven

You can borrow my shoes on Monday. I only go to school in the mornings.


78. Titanic (1997)

Titanic is a 1997 epic romantic disaster film directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Jack and Rose, two passengers on the ill-fated RMS Titanic, who fall in love on its maiden voyage. The film blends elements of romance, drama, and disaster and is known for its epic scale, technical achievements, and musical score by James Horner. It was a massive commercial success film grossing over $2 billion worldwide. Read more.

A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.

Old Rose

79. Shakespeare In Love (1998)

Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 romantic period comedy-drama film directed by John Madden and written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard. It shows Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare, who falls in love with Viola de Lesseps, a wealthy merchant’s daughter who disguises herself as a man to audition for one of Shakespeare’s plays. The film explores the themes of love, creativity, and the art of theatre and features an ensemble cast, witty dialogue, and a lush production design.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

Queen Elizabeth

80. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American war film starring Tom Hanks as Captain John Miller, who leads a group of soldiers during World War II on a mission to find and save Private James Francis Ryan, a paratrooper whose three brothers have been killed in action. The film is known for its intense and graphic depiction of the Normandy landing and the subsequent combat in Europe, as well as its exploration of the human cost of war.

I just know that every man I kill, the farther away from home I feel.

Private James Ryan

81. American Beauty (1999)

Starring Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham, a disillusioned suburban father who begins to rediscover his own desires and youth after developing an infatuation with his daughter’s best friend. The film explores themes of midlife crisis, societal pressures, and suburban malaise and features a critically acclaimed performance by Spacey, as well as cinematography and a distinctive score. Read more.

It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.

Lester Burnham

82. In the Mood for Love (2000)

In the Mood for Love is a 2000 Hong Kong romantic drama film that stars Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung as neighbours in the 1960s in Hong Kong who form a close friendship as their respective spouses are frequently absent. As they grow closer, they must navigate the social and cultural mores of the time while resisting their growing attraction to each other. Read more.

Love is all a matter of timing. It’s no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.

Chow Mo-wan

83. Gladiator (2000)

Released in 2000, Gladiator is an epic historical action film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe as the lead character, Maximus Decimus Meridius. The film tells the story of a Roman general who is betrayed and enslaved and ultimately seeks revenge against the emperor who killed his wife and son and burnt his house and betrayed him. Read more.

What we do in life echoes in eternity.


84. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Based on the epic fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings is a story of hobbit Frodo Baggins and his companions as they embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring, a powerful article created by the dark lord Sauron, and save Middle-earth from his tyranny. The trilogy, including Best Picture, won 17 out of 30 Academy Awards.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.


85. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman. It is based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The film stars Russell Crowe as Nash, along with Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, and Paul Bettany in supporting roles.

Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart.

John Nash

86. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

The 2002 biographical crime film Catch Me If You Can is directed by Steven Spielberg and is based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr., a con artist who posed as a doctor, lawyer, and pilot, among other professions, to defraud people in the 1960s. The film received positive reviews for its witty script, sharp direction, and strong performances by DiCaprio and Hanks, and was a commercial success, grossing over $350 million worldwide.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the more successful a man is, the more likely he is to get a cold.

Frank Abagnale Jr.

87. The Room (2003)

The Room 2003 follows the story of Johnny, a successful banker who seems to have it all until his fiancé Lisa cheats on him with his best friend Mark. The film has become a cult classic, attracting a dedicated fanbase who regularly attend screenings and quote its most memorable lines. The film’s legacy has grown over the years, with many considering it one of the best and worst movies ever made.

88. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

The American sports drama film Million Dollar Baby 2004 is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman, and tells the story of an ageing boxing trainer who takes on a young female boxer as his apprentice, only to face a moral dilemma when she is critically injured in the ring.

You gotta risk losing to win big.

Maggie Fitzgerald

89. The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook is based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film follows the love story of Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton, two young people from different worlds who fall in love one summer and are separated by circumstances beyond their control.

You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.


90. The Departed (2006)

The Departed is a 2006 crime-thriller film that follows the story of a young cop who goes undercover to infiltrate the inner circle of a powerful crime boss. At the same time, another cop, who is a mole works his way up the police force. As the two officers get closer to their targets, their paths cross in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that leads to a thrilling conclusion. It won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Scorsese.

I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.

Frank Costello

91. The King’s Speech (2010)

The 2010 British historical drama film The King’s Speech focuses on King George VI’s struggles with a stammer and his relationship with his speech therapist Lionel Logue. Set in the 1930s, the film covers the period leading up to King George VI’s ascension to the throne and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment with Logue’s help. The film has earned four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

You can’t change who you are, but you can change what you have in your head, you can refresh what you’re thinking about, you can put some fresh air in your brain.

Lionel Logue

92. The Tree of Life (2011)

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental epic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain that explores the meaning of life, spirituality, and nature through the lens of a family in the 1950s and features breathtaking visuals, impressionistic imagery, and a fragmented narrative.

The nuns taught us there are two ways through life: the way of Nature and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

Mrs. O’Brien

93. Life of Pi (2012)

The 2012 film Life of Pi is based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel that tells the story of the journey of Pi, a young Indian boy, as he survives a shipwreck and becomes stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The film explores themes of survival, adventure, religion, and fantasy, and delves into the concept of storytelling and the role of religion in understanding the world.

94. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Based on the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup, the 2013 historical period drama film 12 Years a Slave is a story of Chiwetel Ejiofor, a free-born black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South where he struggles and experiences as a slave for 12 years before being rescued. The film won three Academy Awards in 2014, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o’s portrayal of slave Patsey. Read more.

I don’t want to survive. I want to live.

Solomon Northup

95. Birdman (2014)

Birdman is a 2014 American black comedy-drama film that follows the story of a washed-up actor, Riggan Thomson, who once played the superhero Birdman, as he tries to mount a comeback on Broadway. The film was shot in a stylized manner, appearing as one continuous take and blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Birdman was a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards.

Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.

Riggan Thomson

96. Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood 2014 was shot over a period of 12 years and follows the life of Mason Evans Jr. from age 6 to 18. The film is a unique and powerful examination of the passage of time, the meaning of family, and the experiences that shape who we are. Read more.

You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.

Mason Jr.

97. Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight (2015) unveils the gripping true story of The Boston Globe’s investigative team, exposing systemic abuse within the Catholic Church. A poignant portrayal of journalistic integrity and societal reckoning.

98. Moonlight (2016)

The 2016 American coming-of-age film Moonlight is a story of a young African American man named Chiron and his journey from childhood to adulthood as he grapples with his sexuality and drug-addicted mother. The film is divided into three parts, each focusing on a different stage in Chiron’s life, and was praised for its lyrical and emotive storytelling, strong performances, and its honest and nuanced representation of the black LGBTQ+ experience.

At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.


99. Green Book (2018)

Green Book is a 2018 American biographical comedy-drama film that follows the story of an Italian-American bouncer, Tony Lip Vallelonga, who is hired to drive and provide security for Dr. Don Shirley, an African-American classical pianist, on a concert tour in the Deep South. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Ali. Read more.

You know, the world’s full of lonely people afraid to make the first move.

Tony Lip

100. Parasite (2019)

The South Korean black comedy thriller film Parasite is a 2019 that follows the story of the Kim family, who are struggling to make ends meet and become employed by the wealthy Park family. As they begin to infiltrate the household, tensions and secrets rise to the surface, leading to a series of twists and turns. The film received widespread critical acclaim is the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Money is an iron. It smooths out all the wrinkles.

Park Yeon-kyo

101. Nomadland (2020)

Nomadland tells the story of a woman who embarks on a van-dwelling lifestyle after the economic collapse of her small town. The film is based on the non-fiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder. Nomadland has received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Golden Lion at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.

I see the powerlines and the houses and those roofs, the big skies. I try to find the beauty in all of it, but sometimes I just can’t.


As we come to the end of our journey through the top 101 best films of the past 100 years, it’s clear that the medium of film has had a profound impact on the world.

From the earliest days of silent cinema to the modern era of CGI and streaming, these films have entertained, educated, and inspired audiences for decades. It’s important to note that this list is not intended to be a definitive ranking of the best films ever made, but rather a collection of some of the most influential and impactful films of the past century. These films have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant and meaningful today.

We hope that this list has inspired you to explore some of these films, whether you’re a film buff or a casual moviegoer.

These films have the power to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience them.

As you watch these films, we encourage you to share your thoughts on which ones you think should be included in a top film list. We would love to hear your thoughts on what films you think are the best of the best and why.

So, grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the cinematic journey that the top 101 best films have to offer.

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