Ultimate Film List

by 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.

-Wes

P.S. I don't like how IMDB alphabetizes their lists, so you can find one that is probably more to your liking here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Anq7Uo3TyWwVdGxOOGlKbnpGUDZCal9YeVlXQWtJT2c

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords











IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »





































































































































1. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 35,806

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.

Director: Holger-Madsen | Stars: Gunnar Tolnæs, Zanny Petersen, Nicolai Neiiendam, Alf Blütecher

Votes: 452

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 »

Director: Yakov Protazanov | Stars: Yuliya Solntseva, Igor Ilyinsky, Nikolai Tsereteli, Nikolay Batalov

Votes: 1,973

4. At 3:25 (1924)

Unrated | 35 min | Short, Sci-Fi

A scientist's invisible ray freezes Paris into immobility.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Henri Rollan, Charles Martinelli, Louis Pré Fils, Albert Préjean

Votes: 1,313

5. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

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.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 134,156 | Gross: $0.03M

6. The Invisible Man (1933)

Not Rated | 71 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers

Votes: 24,342

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.

Director: William Cameron Menzies | Stars: Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson, Margaretta Scott

Votes: 5,858

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.

Directors: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks | Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness, Robert Cornthwaite

Votes: 21,558

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.

Director: Rudolph Maté | Stars: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, John Hoyt

Votes: 5,948

10. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

G | 92 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe

Votes: 69,793

11. Invaders from Mars (1953)

Approved | 78 min | Sci-Fi

A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.

Director: William Cameron Menzies | Stars: Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Jimmy Hunt, Leif Erickson

Votes: 6,020

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.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, Joe Sawyer

Votes: 7,000

13. The War of the Worlds (1953)

G | 85 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A small town in California is attacked by Martians, beginning a worldwide invasion.

Director: Byron Haskin | Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Robert Cornthwaite

Votes: 28,136 | Gross: $4.36M

14. Them! (1954)

Not Rated | 94 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness

Votes: 16,903

15. Gojira (1954)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi

Votes: 22,491 | Gross: $2.42M

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.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre

Votes: 24,812 | Gross: $28.20M

17. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan

Votes: 38,662

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.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens

Votes: 39,055 | 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.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton

Votes: 13,474

20. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

G | 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.

Director: Henry Levin | Stars: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl, Diane Baker

Votes: 13,179 | Gross: $10.00M

21. The Time Machine (1960)

G | 103 min | Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi