Ultimate Film Listby Wesley Rutledge | created - 11 Jan 2013 | updated - 07 Jun 2013 | Public
My goal in this project is to create a list of films that best reflects what cinema has to offer. Sources used in the creation of this list were the Academy Awards, the American Film Institute, the National Film Registry, They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?, pop culture, and the work of Steven Jay Schneider. Each film must meet one of the following criteria to make this list:
-Critical acclaim -Historical significance -How referential it is in pop culture -It's ability to stand on it's own as a film if based off another medium -It's a great film -It's so bad that it's good
If you think a film belongs on here that is missing or curious as to why a certain film did/didn't make it, then please leave a comment. This truly was a labor of love and I hope to give back to this great art form one day as either a film historian, filmmaker, or both. Thank you.
P.S. I don't like how IMDB alphabetizes their lists, so you can find one that is probably more to your liking here:
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
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- Release Year
2. A Trip to Mars (1918)
97 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A group of the researchers from the Earth in a spaceship traveling to Mars, where, to big surprise, finds a peaceful vegetarian and pacifist civilization.
3. Aelita (1924)
Not Rated | 111 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
A mysterious radio message is beamed around the world, and among the engineers who receive it are Los, the hero, and his colleague Spiridonov. Los is an individualist dreamer. Aelita is the... See full summary »
5. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 127,129 | Gross: $0.03M
7. Things to Come (1936)
Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, War
The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.
8. The Thing from Another World (1951)
Not Rated | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.
9. When Worlds Collide (1951)
Approved | 83 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.
12. It Came from Outer Space (1953)
Approved | 81 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strangely.
16. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
G | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.
Votes: 24,221 | Gross: $28.20M
18. Forbidden Planet (1956)
G | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.
Votes: 38,086 | Gross: $3.00M
19. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Not Rated | 81 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.
20. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
Approved | 132 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.
Votes: 12,835 | Gross: $10.00M
22. Chelovek-Amfibiya (1962)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
People living in a seaside town are frightened by reports about an unknown creature in the ocean. Nobody knows what it is, but it's really the son of Doctor Salvator. The doctor performed ... See full summary »
24. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
Not Rated | 110 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Stranded on Mars with only a monkey as a companion, an astronaut must figure out how to find oxygen, water, and food on the lifeless planet.
25. Alphaville (1965)
Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.
Votes: 18,655 | Gross: $0.05M
26. The 10th Victim (1965)
Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Some people like violence so much, that they decide to create a club in which human hunts are organized - members being alternately hunters, and prey, until they end up dead.
28. Seconds (1966)
R | 106 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity - one that comes with its own price.
29. Fantastic Voyage (1966)
PG | 100 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi
A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
30. Who Wants to Kill Jessie? (1966)
80 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
"What if someone had an absurd dream and the visions ran out in the street?" a scientist asks Rose, a researcher who discovers a way to engender beneficial dreams (to produce contented, ... See full summary »
31. Five Million Years to Earth (1967)
Approved | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.
32. Planet of the Apes (1968)
G | 112 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.
Votes: 148,382 | Gross: $33.40M
33. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.
Votes: 485,313 | Gross: $56.95M
34. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.
35. THX 1138 (1971)
R | 86 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
In the twenty-fifth century, a time when people have designations instead of names, a man, THX 1138, and a woman, LUH 3417, rebel against their rigidly controlled society.
Votes: 42,335 | Gross: $2.44M
36. Silent Running (1972)
GP | 89 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.
38. Solaris (1972)
PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.
41. Soylent Green (1973)
PG | 97 min | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi
In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.
46. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
After an accidental encounter with otherworldly vessels, an ordinary man follows a series of psychic clues to the first scheduled meeting between representatives of Earth and visitors from the cosmos.
Votes: 155,275 | Gross: $132.09M
47. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
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 evil Darth Vader.
Votes: 1,028,296 | Gross: $322.74M
49. Time After Time (1979)
PG | 112 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.
50. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 647,814 | Gross: $78.90M
PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
After the rebels are overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda. His friends accept shelter from a questionable ally as Darth Vader hunts them in a plan to capture Luke.
Votes: 955,878 | Gross: $290.48M
52. Flash Gordon (1980)
PG | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.
54. Escape from New York (1981)
R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi
In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.
Votes: 102,497 | Gross: $25.24M
55. The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
Votes: 145,837 | Gross: $12.47M
57. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
PG | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon.
Votes: 98,966 | Gross: $78.91M
58. Blade Runner (1982)
R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
Votes: 558,893 | Gross: $27.00M
59. The Thing (1982)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.
Votes: 295,965 | Gross: $13.78M
60. TRON (1982)
PG | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.
Votes: 100,671 | Gross: $33.00M
61. Videodrome (1983)
R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.
Votes: 68,222 | Gross: $2.12M
63. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.
Votes: 785,131 | Gross: $309.13M
65. The Brother from Another Planet (1984)
R | 108 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
A mute alien with the appearance of a black human is chased by outer-space bounty hunters through the streets of Harlem.
Votes: 4,889 | Gross: $3.70M
67. The Terminator (1984)
R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
Votes: 669,784 | Gross: $38.40M
68. Dune (1984)
PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A Duke's son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father's evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor's rule.
Votes: 104,864 | Gross: $30.93M
69. Starman (1984)
PG | 115 min | Romance, Sci-Fi
An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.
Votes: 36,289 | Gross: $28.70M
71. Back to the Future (1985)
PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
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 maverick scientist Doc Brown.
Votes: 836,350 | Gross: $210.61M
72. The Quiet Earth (1985)
R | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A man named Zac Hobson awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.
Votes: 21,781 | Gross: $2.12M
73. Aliens (1986)
R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
57 years later, Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. The moon from the original movie has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?
Votes: 550,921 | Gross: $85.16M
74. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
PG | 119 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral James T. Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to San Francisco in 1986 to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it: humpback whales.
Votes: 67,629 | Gross: $109.71M
75. Predator (1987)
R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.
Votes: 318,071 | Gross: $59.74M
76. RoboCop (1987)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.
Votes: 199,650 | Gross: $53.42M
77. Akira (1988)
R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Votes: 121,814 | Gross: $0.55M
78. The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)
PG | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Men seeking relief from the Black Death, guided by a boy's vision, dig a tunnel from 14th century England to 20th century New Zealand.
Votes: 2,702 | Gross: $1.33M
79. Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)
Not Rated | 67 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.
80. The Abyss (1989)
PG-13 | 145 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.
Votes: 142,626 | Gross: $54.46M
81. Total Recall (1990)
R | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?
Votes: 261,255 | Gross: $119.39M
82. Terminator 2 (1991)
R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
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 cyborg.
Votes: 829,446 | Gross: $204.84M
83. Jurassic Park (1993)
PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.
Votes: 701,323 | Gross: $402.45M
85. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.
Votes: 508,759 | Gross: $57.14M
86. Independence Day (1996)
PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.
Votes: 467,184 | Gross: $306.17M
87. The Fifth Element (1997)
PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.
Votes: 376,892 | Gross: $63.54M
88. Men in Black (1997)
PG-13 | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth.
Votes: 444,946 | Gross: $250.69M
91. Open Your Eyes (1997)
R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured.
Votes: 56,685 | Gross: $0.37M
93. The Matrix (1999)
R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Votes: 1,367,472 | Gross: $171.48M
94. Galaxy Quest (1999)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.
Votes: 131,614 | Gross: $71.58M
95. Signs (2002)
PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come.
Votes: 295,920 | Gross: $227.97M
97. Primer (2004)
PG-13 | 77 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.
Votes: 83,144 | Gross: $0.42M
98. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.
Votes: 751,293 | Gross: $34.40M
99. I, Robot (2004)
PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama
In 2035, a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.
Votes: 431,386 | Gross: $144.80M
100. The Host (2006)
R | 120 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.
Votes: 78,139 | Gross: $2.20M