Afi's Top 100 Movies Of All Time

Updated
Afi's Top 100 Movies Of All Time

Have you heard all of these Afi's Top 100 Movies Of All Time? We guarantee you'll find some new movies. Here are 25 of the top ones.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption
★★★★
★★★★
3.7 out of 4 stars

From Frank Darabont, starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler
Rated R

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The film stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over the following decades, he befriends a fellow prisoner, Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money-laundering operation. The film follows Andy's inspiring story of hope, friendship and resilience as he attempts to overcome a harsh prison system. Despite the harshness of his confinement, Andy manages to find purpose and dignity in his life by forming friendships with his fellow inmates and helping the warden in his illegal activities. He eventually orchestrates a daring escape and reunites with Red on the outside, proving that justice and freedom can still be achieved despite the most desperate circumstances.

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather
★★★★
★★★★
3.7 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton
Rated R

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the head of the Corleone crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the Corleone family's struggle to maintain their power and influence in the crime world of New York City. The story focuses on patriarch Vito Corleone's power struggle with rival families and his decision to pass his empire on to his son, Michael. The film's other main characters include Michael's wife Kay, his adopted brother Tom Hagen, and his trusted henchmen Clemenza, Tessio, and Luca Brasi. The film received near-unanimous critical acclaim and is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in film history.

Schindler's List (1993)

Schindler's List
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall
Rated R

Schindler's List is a haunting, powerful and deeply moving film about the Holocaust directed by Steven Spielberg. The film follows the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film follows Schindler's transformation from a profiteer who sees Jewish workers as a source of cheap labor to a humanitarian who takes on the enormous burden of saving as many lives as possible. Along the way, he faces numerous obstacles, including the risk of being arrested as a war criminal. The film is an emotional journey and a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of incredible adversity.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Rated R

The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, continuing the story of the Corleone crime family while also exploring the early life of Vito Corleone. The film stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and John Cazale. The film follows the life of Vito Corleone as he struggles to expand his family's criminal empire in New York City while his son, Michael, begins to take control of the family and its affairs. Michael's actions lead to a growing rift between father and son, while the Corleone family finds itself caught in the middle of a battle between two rival crime families. The film also follows the rise of a young Vito Corleone in Sicily and his eventual emergence as the powerful Godfather of a New York crime family. The Godfather Part II won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Coppola, and Best Supporting Actor for De Niro. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made and is one of two films to win all five major Academy Awards.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Quentin Tarantino, starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis
Rated R

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, and Bruce Willis. The movie tells several interweaving stories of criminal Los Angeles and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. The story follows a series of events and characters including two hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner robbers. The lives of these characters intertwine in unexpected ways and the story unfolds in an often humorous and violent fashion. The film was an international success and won numerous awards, including the Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field
Rated PG-13

Forrest Gump is a comedy-drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis, released in 1994. Based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, it stars Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, a slow-witted yet kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and inadvertently influences several significant historical events in the 20th century in the United States. Along the way, he meets several people and falls in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jenny Curran. The story touches on themes of fate, destiny, chance, love, and war, as well as criticizing the social hierarchy of the American South. Forrest Gump won multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Director for Zemeckis, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Eric Roth. The film was a huge financial success, grossing over $677 million worldwide.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Peter Jackson, starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean
Rated PG-13

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson. It is based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien and serves as the first installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The film follows a fellowship of nine companions on their quest to destroy the One Ring. Led by the wizard Gandalf and the hobbit Frodo Baggins, the fellowship must traverse Middle-earth and battle the evil forces of Sauron in order to save the world from his tyranny. Along the way, they make unlikely allies and face dangers both physical and spiritual, as they strive to fulfill their quest.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Milos Forman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco
Rated R

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama-comedy directed by Milos Forman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey. The story follows Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a rebellious convict who feigns insanity to get out of a prison work farm and into a mental institution. There, he meets a group of patients, led by the tyrannical Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), who is determined to keep them in line. McMurphy gradually wins over the patients, inspiring them to stand up for themselves and challenge the oppressive Nurse Ratched. In the end, the struggle between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched comes to a head, leading to a tragic and heartbreaking conclusion. The movie is widely acclaimed for its powerful performances and its exploration of mental health and the human condition.

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco
Rated R

Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 1990, tells the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a Brooklyn-born mobster who grows up idolizing the “wise guys” in his neighborhood. He begins working for them as a teenager, quickly climbing the criminal ladder and becoming a full-fledged member of the local mob. Along the way, Henry befriends fellow gangsters Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), as well as his eventual wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco). As Henry continues a life of crime and increasing prosperity, his eventual downfall is set in motion when the FBI comes after him and his associates. His loyalty to the mob is tested, and the consequences of his choices send him into a downward spiral. With a combination of intense action, dark humor, and gut-wrenching drama, Goodfellas is an unforgettable exploration of the criminal underworld and its consequences.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Jonathan Demme, starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons
Rated R

The Silence of the Lambs is an Academy Award-winning psychological horror-thriller film based on Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel of the same name. It stars Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, an FBI cadet who enlists the help of infamous cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in order to catch another serial killer, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). The film received widespread critical acclaim and became the first horror film to win all five major Academy Awards—Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also the third movie to win all five awards, after It Happened One Night in 1934 and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975. The Silence of the Lambs follows Clarice as she visits Lecter in prison and slowly earns his trust in order to gain insight into Buffalo Bill’s twisted psyche. As she gets closer to uncovering the truth, she must face her own demons and the horrors of her past.

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

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From George Lucas, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
Rated PG

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope is a 1977 American epic space-opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy and the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. The plot follows Luke Skywalker's quest to rescue Princess Leia from the Galactic Empire, which is led by the evil Darth Vader. Along the way, Luke joins forces with the smuggler Han Solo and two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, to help him in his mission. Along the way, they are aided by the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, an elderly Jedi Master. Eventually, Luke and the rest of the Rebel Alliance are able to overthrow the Empire and restore peace and freedom to the galaxy.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
Rated PG

It's a Wonderful Life is a beloved classic Christmas movie directed by Frank Capra in 1946. The film tells the story of George Bailey, a small-town businessman whose life has been filled with self-sacrifice and frustration. When he decides to commit suicide on Christmas Eve, his guardian angel, Clarence, intervenes and shows him what life would be like if he had never been born. Through this experience, George comes to understand and appreciate the importance of his life and the impact he has had on the lives of those around him. In the end, George's faith and determination enable him to win back his fortune and find true happiness.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns
Rated R

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and a squad as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen. As the squad attempts to bring Ryan home, they face a number of dangerous enemies and discover the devastation of war. The film is noted for its graphic and realistic portrayal of the violence of war, and was extremely successful, winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Rated PG

Casablanca is a classic romantic drama set during World War II in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. The story follows the experiences of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary American expatriate who runs a nightclub in the city. His life of cynicism and solitude is disrupted when he meets Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), a former lover, who is now accompanied by her husband, Resistance fighter Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). As the war intensifies, the city becomes an important hub of espionage and refugees trying to flee the Nazis. When Rick discovers their true identities, he must choose between his love for Ilsa and doing the right thing by helping Laszlo escape to America. With an iconic climactic scene and some of the most famous lines in movie history, Casablanca remains a timeless classic.

Psycho (1960)

Psycho
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin
Rated R

"Psycho" is a 1960 psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers around Marion Crane, a young woman who is on the run after stealing money from her employer. After arriving at the Bates Motel, Marion is killed in the shower by Norman Bates, a seemingly kind and gentle man who is actually a disturbed loner and a murderer. The film follows Marion's sister and her boyfriend as they investigate Marion's disappearance, eventually leading them to uncover Norman's dark secret: Norman's mother is actually a corpse, and he continues to behave as if she were still alive. Although Norman is eventually arrested, the film ends on a disturbing note, revealing that his mental illness will never truly be cured.

Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
Rated PG

Rear Window is a classic mystery-thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. Stewart plays a wheelchair-bound photographer who spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. With the help of his girlfriend (Kelly), the photographer sets out to find the killer before he or she can strike again. Along the way, the couple must evade the killer in a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse. With its memorable visuals, captivating performances, and ingenious suspense, Rear Window remains one of Hitchcock's greatest masterpieces.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest
Rated R

Apocalypse Now is a Vietnam War epic directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Laurence Fishburne. The story follows Captain Benjamin Willard on an unsanctioned mission to Cambodia to assassinate the renegade and presumed insane Special Forces Colonel Walter Kurtz. Along the way, Willard is exposed to the horrors of war and his own inner turmoil as he struggles to come to terms with his own morality and unravel the mysteries surrounding Kurtz. With spectacular visuals and iconic performances, Apocalypse Now is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.

City Lights (1931)

City Lights
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers
Rated G

City Lights is a classic 1931 silent film starring, written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. It tells the story of a poor, unnamed tramp who falls in love with a blind girl who mistakes him for a wealthy person. The tramp attempts to earn money to restore the girl's sight but his efforts are fruitless. When the girl learns that he is not the wealthy person she believes him to be, the tramp's world is turned upside down. Ultimately, a wealthy man comes to the tramp's rescue in a touching ending. Through a combination of physical comedy and Chaplin's trademark pathos, City Lights turns a simple story of romantic love into a timeless work of art.

Modern Times (1936)

Modern Times
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford
Rated G

Modern Times is a classic 1936 comedy directed by, written by, produced by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. Set in the 1930s, Chaplin plays a tramp struggling to survive in an industrialized world. He attempts to find work in a factory, but his efforts continually fail when his clumsiness leads him to accidentally sabotage the machines. After a series of misadventures, he eventually ends up in jail, where he meets a young woman, played by Paulette Goddard, who helps him try to find a job. Along the way, Chaplin uses his trademark physical comedy to satirize the struggle of the working class and the dehumanizing effects of technology. Ultimately, Chaplin's tramp finds solace in the arms of the girl, as they escape the industrialized city in search of a better life.

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Sunset Blvd.
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
Rated Passed

Sunset Blvd. is a 1950 Hollywood classic noir directed by Billy Wilder and starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden. The film is a dark tale of Hollywood’s power and corruption, following a struggling screenwriter, Joe Gillis (Holden), who is taken in by forgotten silent-movie star, Norma Desmond (Swanson), and her strange entourage. Norma lives in a fantasy world, believing that one day she will make a triumphant return to the silver screen. Joe reluctantly agrees to stay with her in hopes of finding a way to complete his screenplay and make a living. As the two become increasingly intertwined, Joe discovers the dark secrets of Norma’s past, and ultimately must make a difficult decision about his future. Sunset Blvd. is an unforgettable tale of ambition, greed, and broken dreams.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies
Rated PG

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on a story by George Lucas. In the film, the intrepid archaeologist and relic-hunter Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is tasked with recovering the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it. Along the way, he faces off against his rival, French archaeologist Rene Belloq, and a host of nefarious henchmen. With the help of his trusted companion, Marion Ravenwood, Indy manages to survive traps and cliff-hangers as he races around the world to find the Ark before the Nazis. Eventually, he succeeds in retrieving the Ark and delivering it to the US government, but not before defeating Belloq in a thrilling climax.

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
Rated G

Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical romantic comedy film directed and choreographed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. It stars Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. Set in Hollywood during the transition from silent movies to "talkies", the story follows the romantic entanglements of Don Lockwood (Kelly) and Kathy Selden (Reynolds), as well as their humorous interactions with a struggling actress, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). The film features the eponymous song by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, as well as "Make 'Em Laugh" and "Good Morning". The film was a critical and commercial success, and is widely regarded as one of the best musicals ever made. It was added to the National Film Registry in 1989, and was ranked as the fifth-greatest American motion picture of all time in a 2007 survey by the American Film Institute.

Double Indemnity (1944)

Double Indemnity
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr
Rated Passed

Double Indemnity is a classic film noir directed by Billy Wilder starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson. The movie follows the story of an insurance salesman, Walter Neff (MacMurray), who is seduced into a deadly scheme by the calculating and manipulating femme fatale, Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck). Together, they hatch a plan to murder her husband and collect on the double indemnity policy that he has taken out. As the plan is set in motion, Neff realizes that he has been double-crossed and that things are not as they seem. With the help of his friend and colleague, Barton Keyes (Robinson), Neff must unravel the clues to uncover the truth and save himself from a lifetime in jail.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Orson Welles, starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead
Rated PG

Citizen Kane follows the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, a business tycoon, media mogul and political figure. It starts with the death of Kane, and a reporter trying to uncover the meaning behind Kane's dying word: "Rosebud". Through a series of flashbacks and interviews, the reporter discovers the many different sides to Kane's life: his successful career, his tumultuous private life, and his deep-seated feelings of loss and regret. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Kane's wealth and influence could not protect him from a sense of emptiness, and his attempts to fill the void ultimately left him alone. In the end, the reporter discovers the true meaning of Rosebud, and the audience is left to ponder the tragedy of Kane's life.

The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston
Rated Approved

The Apartment is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. The film follows C.C. Baxter (Lemmon), an ambitious young insurance clerk who allows his mid-level executive bosses to use his apartment for romantic trysts, in exchange for career advancement. However, things become complicated when Baxter falls in love with Fran Kubelik (MacLaine), an elevator operator who has been having an affair with Baxter’s boss, Jeff Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). The film received widespread critical acclaim, winning five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It was also a box office hit and is now often considered one of the greatest films ever made.

 



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