Film is probably one of the most incredible art forms we can experience. But it's usually filled with a) snobs, and b) gatekeepers. 'Best of' movie lists are often breeding grounds for this kind of behaviour, filled with films like Citizen Kane that you might pop on your 'to watch' list, but realistically will never get round to. Even more, cinephiles are often The Worst™ kind of people, filled with white guys raving about Pulp Fiction (because you probably haven't heard of it). Trust me, after sitting through three years of a Film Studies major at uni, I've sat in class with many of them.
I've created this list as an introductory guide for the person who wants to get into film, but doesn't know where to start. Whether you want a drama, horror, thriller, or rom-com (arguably the best genre), you'll find a few gems on this list to inspire your next binge.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the 101 best films of all time (that you'll actually watch).
1. Children of Men (2006)
When anyone asks what film I wish I could go back and watch again for the first time, this is at the top of my list. A gloomy and apocalyptic investigation into the impact of infertility on human extinction, Children of Men is a great example of why dystopian cinema is so impactful and thought-provoking. Alfonso Cuarón solidifies himself as a visionary in this spectacular cinematic experience.
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This isn't just another romance; it's a raw and existential investigation into the complex nature of love. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind explores the ramifications of a couple erasing their memories of each other. What follows is 108 minutes of a striking fever dream as the two desperately try to cling onto each other.
3. Se7en (1995)
This is not one for the faint of heart. David Fincher's Se7en is a gruesome murder mystery where David Mills (Brad Pitt) and police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackle a case about a serial killer who targets people based on one of the seven deadly sins. It has a haunting finish that will stay with you for a long time.
4. Interstellar (2014)
Whatever hype people want to apply to Interstellar will never be enough, in my opinion. Don't be turned off by the high praise and equally high criticism — Interstellar is a film that proves why Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest directors of our time. It follows a team of NASA scientists who are searching for an inhabitable planet to save the Earth's population. But, in true Nolan fashion, that's not without some time-bending. It's one film that I truly can't comprehend any negative reactions to.
5. The Lobster (2015)
One of Yorgos Lanthimos' best, The Lobster is set in a dystopian world where people must find a mate in 45 days, or risk being turned into the animal of their choice. It's the type of film that keeps you on your toes, is impossible to predict, and, to be honest, is just plain weird. It'll stay with you far beyond your first watch.
6. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
This is the best Lord of the Rings film. There, I said it. While a lot of the attention goes to its other two counterparts, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers truly embodies what makes people love these films so much — it's full of heart, tugs at your heartstrings, and gives you that pit in your stomach where you're trying not to cry, but end up crying a lot. The presence of Rohan single-handedly catapults this movie to the top position, not to mention that phenomenal Battle of Helm's Deep.
7. 500 Days Of Summer (2009)
Despite being wildly misinterpreted for years, 500 Days of Summer acts as a visually stunning social commentary on how women are used as one-dimensional romantic objects, despite their wishes. It's a brutal and sad exploration into the misalignment of our expectations versus reality, with a clever plot, phenomenal editing and a self-awareness that's hard to come by. A must-watch that ages even better with time.
8. Moon (2009)
Moon is an example of why science fiction films are just good. Essentially a one-man film with Sam Rockwell at the helm (brb, still thinking of THAT dance scene), an astronaut is about to finish up at his three-year shift at a lunar mine. But shit hits the fan — his health begins to deteriorate rapidly, and he also happens to meet a younger version of himself — possibly a clone. It's one of those films that has a really strong 'wtf' moment that sears itself into your head.
9. La Jetée (1962)
No list would be complete without a little French New Wave Cinema. While that might sound pretentious at first, La Jetée explores time travel in a post-nuclear war world. It's a bite-sized film at only 28 minutes long (and you can watch it on YouTube!) but it's incredibly unique in that it's made entirely from still photographs. It's a vision — both for its production and its narrative. In fact, it's so good that it's inspired multiple full-length feature films, including Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys.
10. The Favourite (2018)
Another cracker from our favourite Greek director, Yorgos Lanthimos. If that doesn't pique your interest, then the cast certainly will. Starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and our queen, Olivia Colman, The Favourite is a period piece that's deeply rooted in black comedy. The visuals and the dialogue create a beautiful, absurdist contrast, made even better by phenomenal women-led performances.
11. Akira (1988)
An anime for those who aren't even into anime. Akira is dark, violent and bloody, and continues to be one of the best animated films made, almost 30 years later.
12. The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy completely revolutionised the concept of superhero films. With a new Marvel film now coming out every year (at least!), it's hard to forget that it was this trilogy that changed the game completely. Gritty, raw, and intelligent, The Dark Knight is proof of what magic can happen when you take comics seriously. Heath Ledger's performance in this is enough to warrant a rewatch (or three).
13. Fargo (1996)
Fargo isn't just memorable for bringing the Minnesota accent into the mainstream. Featuring a stellar cast of Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi and William H. Macy, among others, Fargo is what happens when you merge serious a crime drama with black comedy.
14. Get Out (2017)
From Jordan Peele comes Get Out, a film with a huge amount of hype that it somehow lives up to (and exceeds). It's a complete game-changer — a horror, satire and political film all at once. With chair-grabbing tension (literally) and absurd humour, Peele confronts racism head on.
15. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
It's a rare gift for a film to have one of the best scenes of all time. Inglorious Basterds has two. It only takes five minutes to be instantly gripped by this Tarantino classic, pedalled forward by an immaculate use of suspense and tension that delivers countless 'he knows' moments. It has that quintessential Tarantino gore to it, but it never feels tacky or overdone. Worth watching for that particular bar scene alone (IYKYK).
16. Inception (2010)
Easily one of the most ambitious and astonishing films made in recent times, so much so, that almost everyone remembers their first viewing (and the infamous cliffhanger). Despite being powered by a star-studded cast, Inception stands the test of time through its creativity, intelligent action sequences and a deep storyline that warrants a rewatch every year.
17. The Lighthouse (2019)
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. Need I say more? The Lighthouse is a wild, unsettling acid trip that will slowly and steadily drive you mad (but in the best possible way).
18. Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back
There's a reason why Star Wars is a cult classic, and Episode V might have something to do with that. It's a hot example of what happens when a film is dedicated to solid world-building, leading to a film that's deeper, more satisfying, and more emotional than its predecessor. Don't write off sequels, friends.
19. Parasite (2019)
A film that instantly became a cultural phenomenon and made everyone pay attention to an already thriving South Korean movie scene. Bong Joon Ho's work understands the key ingredients to great storytelling, yet still manages to reinvent the wheel. Parasite is a playful and dark commentary on classism and poverty that you can't turn away from. One of the best films of the century.
20. Boyhood (2014)
A coming-of-age film like no other. Directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood follows the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows up. It sounds pretty standard in writing, but the phenomenal thing about this movie is that it was shot over twelve years. Yes, twelve years. Worthy of praise based on this alone, it manages to be a cinematic feat without compromising on rich, gripping, soulful storytelling.
21. In The Mood For Love (2001)
If you've ever been cheated on, proceed with caution. Wong Kar-wai's In The Mood For Love is the poster child of cinematography, treating the audience to lush visuals, immaculate composition and voyeuristic framing. It captures the simultaneous beauty and pain of love.
22. Magnolia (1999)
A fantastic example of why Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best filmmakers today. Magnolia perfects the art of convoluted storytelling to deliver a film that makes you think and feel, even twenty years later. With a perfect performance by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman backed by Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore, Magnolia is a must-see for anyone who's craving an emotionally destroying film. Yes, some of us thrive on sadness.
23. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
It's hard to ignore the impact of Wes Anderson on modern cinema. With a distinct look and feel to his films, it can be easy to wonder if he's overhyped. But The Royal Tenenbaums is proof of his brilliance. It explores how dysfunctional families really can be (and uh, this one certainly is). A perfect blend of dark themes with bright, punchy sets.
24. Breathless (À bout de souffle) (1959)
What would a top films list be without a bit of Jean-Luc Godard? Pretentiousness aside, Godard's classic is famous for its jump cuts, an experimental film technique that changed the rules of cinema. It's hip, rule-breaking, and gives a nice historical lens into French feminism.
25. In Bruges (2008)
There's a small selection of the cinephile community who consistently list In Bruges as one of the greatest films of all time. And they're not quiet about it. It's easy to understand why. Any Colin Farrell performance is guaranteed to reel me in, but the perfect blend of dark comedy with a thriller is what seals it. It'll put Bruges on your to-visit list.
26. The Godfather (1972)
Once described by Stanley Kubrick as the best film every made, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather marks a change in the cinematic landscape and an appreciation of the grandiose. In an exploration into the Mafia and its secrets, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino excel in their roles, effectively making you sympathise with criminals.
27. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the most perfect example of fan service in cinema that I've ever seen. It's a phenomenal payoff for any fan of the Spider-Man films, littered with enough Easter eggs and sneak cameos to warrant a thousand headlines. Yes, it's an almost-perfect standalone film that proves why this genre is just so fun. But beyond that, it's a love letter to fandoms.
28. Little Women (2019)
Little Women is proof that Greta Gerwig just gets us. She takes a classic and adds her own spin to it that feels current, yet in line with the characters that we all know and love. Bolstered by an exceptional performance from Saoirse Ronan, Little Women captures that anguish and sinking feeling that comes with love, whilst acting as a heart-warming ode to sisterhood and independent women.
29. Hamilton (2020)
Is this a film? It's debatable. But my list, my rules. If you mentioned the words 'hip-hop Broadway musical' prior to 2015, you would have thought there would have been an error. But there's a reason why Hamilton has been one of the most talked-about musicals of all time — it's addictive, makes you actually care about American history, and directly addresses that lack of diversity in modern musicals. A cultural necessity.
30. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Grave of the Fireflies comes from Studio Ghibli and is possibly one of the most devastating war films to ever be made. It's haunting, beautiful and will stay with you long after you watch it. You've been warned.
31. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Giuseppe Tornatore’s timeless classic is a love letter to movies and the power they have. Based on the director's own experience of his childhood in Sicily, Cinema Paradiso is a touching and elegant film about innocence. There's nothing fancy about it; it's just pure emotion.
32. Mary Poppins (1964)
Whilst I'm absolutely biased as my childhood was filled with the sounds and magic of Mary Poppins, this film is proof of how childhood films can be a wonderful salve as you grow into an adult.
33. Jurassic Park (1993)
An instant classic that is seared into the brains of so many people through a simple soundtrack. Jurassic Park's spectacular CGI is enough to warrant a viewing, but Spielberg's blend of wonder and horror that keep us coming back for more. Plus, two words: Laura Dern.
34. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
I don't know when it was established that rom-coms are apparently anti-cinema, but Crazy Rich Asians is here to say, "Suck it! Rom-coms fucking rule!" (okay, they didn't say that — I did). It's refreshing to see a rom-com hit the nail on the head so effortlessly. Crazy Rich Asians is funny, likeable and will have you grinning like an idiot from credit to credit. Plus, anything with Michelle Yeoh automatically warrants a watch (here's looking at you, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once).
35. The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Sofia Coppola's debut acts as the antithesis of a coming of age film in The Virgin Suicides. Adapted from Jeffrey Eugenides' book, Coppola takes this story and adds a dreamlike element to it. There's a soft, dream-like pop when Kirsten Dunst is on screen, juxtaposed with a dark, disturbing ending that comments on the twisted nature of adolescence.
36. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
While my favourite movie genre is apocalyptic, so I'm inherently skewed towards loving this film, Mad Max: Fury Road is one of Australia's best. George Miller creates a universe that's punchy, full of action and exhilarating. Supported by an (almost) all-female cast (featuring Charlize Theron, say no more), this is an ambitious masterpiece that begs for a sequel.
37. It Follows (2014)
If you're going to watch any horror movie, please let it be It Follows. After having sex with her new boyfriend, Jay (Maika Monroe) learns that she's now the victim of a curse that passes through sexual intercourse. It's a fantastic concept that explores the concept of content and sexuality intelligently, yet there's enough meat in this movie to qualify as one of the best horrors of all time.
38. 12 Years A Slave (2013)
An extremely difficult watch, but a necessary one. 12 Years A Slave follows the story of a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. It's masterful filmmaking that will stay with you forever, even after a single viewing.
39. Blade Runner (1982)
The cornerstone of any millennial's high school English education, Blade Runner is probably one of the most notable sci-fi movies of all time. Doused in a heavy dose of rain, noir, and neon signage, it's a stark look into the not-so-distant future, where bioengineered humanoids dominate the Earth.
40. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
If you've read any of the Grimm's fairy tales, you'll realise how fucked up they actually are. Pan's Labyrinth adopts this darkness, resulting in a story that's equal parts exciting and horrifying. Guillermo del Toro swiftly destroys the Disney fairytale in 1 hour, 59 minutes.
41. Good Will Hunting (1998)
Robin Williams and Elliott Smith. Is there any better combo? Good Will Hunting is a simple, yet powerful story about a troubled genius (Matt Damon) and his professor (Robin Williams), who helps guide him. On paper, it's not groundbreaking stuff, but in practice, it's a heart-wrenching and emotional film that sticks with you.
42. Spirited Away (2002)
Spirited Away is most people's entry point into the Studio Ghibli universe, and for good reason. Hiyao Miyazaki creates a universe that has you in awe in every shot. It's a visually stunning and powerful film that proves how good storytelling can be, especially in animated worlds.
43. No Country For Old Men (2007)
The second Coen brother's film to grace this list, and with good reason. Featuring an absolutely perfect performance from Javier Bardem who plays possibly the most haunting villain... ever, No Country For Old Men is a western with a twist. A masterpiece with a perfect command of tension that will leave you in silence long after the credits finish rolling.
44. Oldboy (2003)
Oldboy is not for the faint of heart. It's often coined as a masterpiece from South Korean cinema, and arguably a core film that impacted the horror and gore genres overall. It's not just brutal — it has a phenomenal plot, stunning cinematography and flawless performances. Consider it as further proof of just how good horror can be.
45. Babe (1995)
An unequivocal masterpiece, Babe is a simple story of a pig who avoids becoming Christmas dinner by learning how to herd sheep. A timeless classic that stays with you long after your childhood.
46. Alien (1979)
Chances are you've heard of Alien. But if you haven't taken the time to dive into these films, consider this your sign. The epitome of science fiction with a dash of horror (okay, more than a dash), Ridley Scott creates a world that still feels current, even 40 years later.
47. Predestination (2014)
If you love sci-fi and time travel, Predestination is a must. It follows a time-travelling agent (Ethan Hawke) who is on an assignment to prevent an attack that kills thousands of people. It's also a strong contender for one of the best endings of all time — prepare yourself!
48. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Say what you want about Marvel, but it knows how to build a universe. Avengers: Endgame is the result of eleven years of universe building — and it pays off. It's an absolute spectacle that warrants a rewatch yearly (or monthly, in my case). There might never be a movie that generates as much excitement and audience reaction videos quite as much as this one does.
49. Ex Machina (2015)
From the mind of Alex Garland comes Ex Machina, one of the best science-fiction films in recent times. It's a study of artificial intelligence and the ethics that surround it as the characters (played by Oscar Isaac and Domnhall Gleeson) conduct a Turing test on a robot to see how sentient it is.
50. Your Name (2016)
One of the most stunning animated films you'll ever watch. Your Name follows a teenage boy and girl who magically swap bodies. It's a beautiful film about love that will have your body covered in goosebumps the whole time.
51. There Will Be Blood (2008)
Featuring a flawless performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood is a cinematic masterpiece that's often touted as the best film of the 21st century. No biggie.
52. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Ah, IMDB's top-rated movie of all time. If you haven't had the chance to check out this gem yet, make it your first priority (or 52nd — you decide). After a man is convicted of two murders he didn't commit, he experiences the brutality of prison life and forms some beautiful friendships. Yes, it might be up there as one of the most hyped films, but with good reason.
53. About Time (2013)
I won't hear any rom-com slander, I won't! About Time just can't help but charm you. It's a giddy romance featuring Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, and Bill Nighy with elements of time travel speckled through it, making it a beautiful and unpredictable film. I don't think I've cried as hard as I did at the ending of this film, but in the best way.
54. Battle Royale (2000)
Before The Hunger Games, there was Battle Royale. You know the concept: a bunch of 9th graders are sent to a deserted island where they need to kill each other and be the last one standing. Yikes. It's a high-concept, bloody spectacle that's inherently political. Plus, it just looks bloody good (no pun intended).
55. Trainspotting (1996)
A brutal, reckless and funny tale of a heroin addict with shitty friends on his way to getting clean. It's a pretty dark film, but is a hauntingly accurate portrayal of drug culture among teens. With a soundtrack featuring Blur, Pulp, and Underworld, as well as a wildly fitting ending, Trainspotting is a cultural icon that captured the dark side of Britain.
56. Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther didn't just change the Marvel or superhero game — it's a cultural phenomenon. Bolstered by the late Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong'o, Black Panther is both deeply political and a celebration of Black representation. It acts as proof of just how wrong the film industry has been over the years, especially in anticipating the audience's thirst for diverse storytelling.
57. Moonlight (2016)
Whilst Moonlight is often known for that Oscars moment, it should be remembered as a deeply empathetic and human coming-of-age story. Perhaps one of the best films of the 2010s, Moonlight is an exercise of restraint and simplicity, focusing on well-written stories and perfectly executed cinematography. It's proof of what magic can happen when you pass the microphone to underrepresented communities.
58. Memento (2000)
Non-linear storytelling can often be a cheap gimmick to jazz up an otherwise unremarkable film. In Memento, however, we see backwards storytelling as a crucial device for the chaos, mystery, and confusion of the characters. A psychological film noir, Memento follows Leonard (Guy Pearce) who has an untreatable form of memory loss, desperately trying to track down the man who killed his wife. It's an absolute must, and one of the first films that made me fall in love with cinema.
59. Roma (2018)
Another masterpiece from Alfonso Cuarón who peers into his own childhood growing up in Mexico. Dedicated to his own real-life nanny who helped raise him, Roma follows the life of Cleo, a domestic worker in Mexico City. It's proof that lingering, raw, picturesque shots can sometimes tell a story more effectively than dialogue can.
60. Promising Young Woman (2020)
If a film enrages an entire generation of frat boys, you know it's a good one. Promising Young Woman is a watch that should be mandatory for everyone, exposing the darkness of sexual assault. It's an incredibly triggering film, but a stunning performance from Carey Mulligan effectively gives the power back to all those people watching who are survivors of sexual violence, finally seeing their story on screen. Top it off with a flawless soundtrack (shout out to Paris Hilton) and you've got absolute perfection.
61. Jaws (1975)
Jaws isn't just a classic blockbuster Spielberg film — it's also one of the most influential horrors out there. After all, what's not scary about a huge killer shark that really loves eating humans? It's a case study in perfect filmmaking — flawless scores, fantastic performances and a mastery of thrill and suspense.
62. Amélie (2001)
Wish you were in France? Amélie will take you there. There's a reason it's renowned as an international success whose charm and whimsical nature break through language barriers. It's pure art and absolute magic.
63. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)
Move over Twilight, this is one of the best films about vampires made in modern times. Set in an Iranian city, a skateboarding (yes, skateboarding) vampire (Sheila Vand) preys on men who disrespect women. It's an effortlessly cool film with stunning visuals, a killer soundtrack, and strong feminist themes. Bella Swan would watch this.
64. Nomadland (2021)
Chloe Zhao's Nomadland is a tender, realistic story of a woman who journeys through America after losing everything during the recession. It's carried by Frances McDormand who single-handedly carries the film with ease. A stunning piece of social realism that captures the desolate American landscape and the failure of the great American Dream.
65. Before Sunset (2004)
A love story for grownups. In this sequel to Before Sunrise, Before Sunset follows two people in their 30s (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) after they meet for the first time after an encounter in their 20s. Realising how much their lives have changed in nine years, they begin to question their life choices. It's a film that's prime viewing for any breakup and will make you question every relationship decision you've ever made.
66. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
We all know the story of Spider-Man. We've probably all seen the movies. But there's one that constantly flies under the radar, and that's Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. This animation follows Miles Morales who becomes Spider-Man, and meets a bunch of other Spider-Men from other universes in the process. It's a love letter to comic books, topped with immaculate use of CGI and a gripping story.
67. Arrival (2006)
Yes, Arrival is a sci-fi movie about aliens. But it's also not a sci-fi movie about aliens. It's a deeply human movie that's achingly emotional and surprisingly hopeful.
68. Paddington 2 (2018)
There's a reason why Paddington 2 is one of the highest-rated films on Rotten Tomatoes. It's a lovely little story about a bear who loves marmalade. It's the epitome of a feel-good film — gentle, sweet and charming.
69. The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
Take what you know about horror movies and throw it out the window. After five college students arrive at a secluded cabin, it's easy to imagine what comes next. There are zombies, blood and guts, but there is far more going on behind the scenes (literally). The Cabin In The Woods is an excellent subversion of horror films. Its self-awareness makes for a film that truly has it all. I guarantee you haven't seen anything like it.
70. The Truman Show (1998)
Everyone knows The Truman Show. If you don't, it's time you get to know it. Truman (Jim Carrey) lives in a huge TV set, but he doesn't know it. It's one of the most intelligent, original and groundbreaking films to have ever been made.
71. Men In Black (1997)
In twenty years, I guarantee you that Men In Black is going to be considered a classic (if it hasn't reached that status already!). It's playful, instantly quotable and boasts special effects that stand the test of time. Plus, it's just so damn fun.
72. 1917 (2019)
There have been many films to attempt the lofty one shot, but 1917 possibly executes it best of all. It's a true spectacle — tied together to look like one consistent, moving shot that alone warrants a viewing. The choreography is out of this world, producing a film that demonstrates a mastery of tension. But director Sam Mendes manages to achieve all of this without compromising on a gripping story. An absolute joy to watch.
73. Lost In Translation (2003)
Get your pink wigs out. As is the standard of Sofia Coppola, Lost In Translation is a treat for the eyes. It's an unconventional story about relationships, alienation and the unknown. If you're in the middle of an existential crisis (who isn't?), this should be prime viewing.
74. 28 Days Later (2003)
Alex Garland's 28 Days Later took the zombie renaissance to the modern millennium. In the first minute, you're gifted with one of the best opening sequences of all time — Cillian Murphy walking the streets of an abandoned and completely deserted post-apocalyptic London.
75. Her (2014)
Led by Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson, Her is a film that explores love, computers and love with computers. It's visually stunning —- in a way that was practically made to be your desktop wallpaper, with a stunning soundtrack to accompany it. You'll fall in love with it, and never be able to look at your phone the same way again.
76. Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)
The enigmatic Taika Waititi brings us Hunt For The Wilderpeople, a story that follows a rebellious kid, Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) and his foster father (Sam Neill) as they become the subjects of a manhunt after being stranded in the New Zealand bush. It's the perfect blend of supremely funny (with the help of Rhys Darby) and deeply warming, often leaving you on the brink of tears.
77. The Big Lebowski (1998)
A film that's steadily secured its spot as a cult classic, fans of The Big Lebowski aren't shy about its magnificence. Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is a burnout who gets mistaken for someone with the same name — who also happens to owe a lot of dangerous people a lot of money. Featuring John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi, The Big Lebowski is arguably one of the silliest, funniest movies out there. The Dude abides.
78. Mean Girls (2004)
You'll struggle to find a millennial woman who can't quote this movie off by heart. But Mean Girls isn't just instantly quotable or packed with humour; it's proof that teenage girls' stories matter — and listening to them seriously can lead to some of the best movies of all time.
79. Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)
The newest film to make this list, and with good reason. Everything Everywhere All At Once will have you leaving the cinema with tears rolling down your face, yet clutching your stomach from laughing too hard. According to our reviewer, it's "absurdist, big-hearted, humourous and action-packed". By the time the credits roll, you'll want to have your mum close by to give her infinite hugs.
80. Selma (2014)
Set in 1965 Alabama, this true story follows Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (played by the phenomenal David Oyelowo) and the march from Selma to Montgomery in the fight for equal voting rights. In true Ava DuVernay fashion, it's one of the most powerful, well-crafted historical biopics out there. It's essential viewing and a painful reminder of how far we still have to go.
81. Mulholland Drive (2001)
Mulholland Drive is probably the most Lynchian of David Lynch films. I'm not gonna lie — it's a hard watch. Part hallucination, part mystery-thriller, it follows an amnesiac (Laura Harring) as she tries to piece together her identity. Expect less of a solid, three-part story structure, and more of an open-ended cinematic experience, and you'll leave satisfied by the time the credits roll.
82. Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Directed by Shaka King and starring Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Dominique Fishback and Jesse Plemons, Judas and the Black Messiah is a biographical crime drama about the betrayal and assassination of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), the chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party. It's an electrifying dive into the American civil rights movement that carries deep emotional weight, and chilling similarity to some modern-day stories.
83. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
A movie that sparked the 'found footage' trend in cinema, The Blair Witch Project is a must-see for any horror fanatics. What's spectacular about Blair Witch isn't just its revolutionary use of first-person storytelling, but in its ability to make us imagine the horrors occurring off the screen, rather than explicitly showing them. Be warned though — you'll struggle to leave your house at night for a while without being paranoid that you're being watched.
84. Fight Club (1999)
Often touted as the best movie of all time, Fight Club still endures as one of the greats over twenty years later. Despite its insufferable fanbase (cough, cough, cishet white men), it's a great introduction into cinema for its perfect storytelling and even better twist. Dedicated deeply to providing a satirical commentary on modern society, Fight Club teaches us about toxic masculinity (despite being a breeding ground for it) and capitalism. (You just have to be willing to ignore for its duration that it only has one female character).
85. Fences (2016)
Denzel Washington's Fences is as good as it gets. It's a story about a Black man who dreams of being a professional baseball player but is crushed when he fails, struggling to make ends meet and provide for his family. But it's Viola Davis that really catapults this film into legendary status, so much so that she earned an Oscar for best supporting actress. Davis single-handedly delivers the most heartbreaking, devastating monologue seen on the big screen in recent times — just see it for yourself.
86. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
One of Kubrick's best and a cornerstone of cinematic history, 2001: A Space Odyssey follows a group of human scientists after a Monolith is discovered on the moon. But there's one character everyone should know already — the red-eyed supercomputer, HAL 9000, who starts acting a little… odd.
87. Dunkirk (2017)
The third (yes, third) Christopher Nolan film to grace this list, and one of the most perfect examples of why he should be considered one of the best directors of all time. As with any Nolan film, Dunkirk explores the concept of time through a non-linear structure. It tells a beautiful story without demonising either side, and exposing war's true atrocities. Oh, and Harry Styles is in it.
88. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
When you've got the creator of Star Wars and the director of Jaws sitting in the same room, magic is bound to happen. Or, in this case, a wild adventure featuring Harrison Ford as he hunts for golden statues and tries to evade a very, very large rolling boulder. In one word: iconic.
89. Red Dog (1975)
Red Dog is, in my opinion, the best Australian movie ever made. It tells the true story of a very, very good dog who unites a fractured community and searches for his owner. It's a simple, heartfelt watch that will have you in tears by the end of it. God, dogs are good.
90. Minari (2020)
With captivating performances from Steven Yeun and Yeri Hand, Minari is a heart-wrenching story of immigration, assimilation and the American Dream. Get the tissues ready.
91. Schindler's List (1993)
Arguably Steven Spielberg's greatest masterpiece, Schindler's List is a powerful film that really showcases the worst of humanity. Set during World War II, it follows Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who joins the Nazi party. But after the SS begins exterminating Jews, he organises to protect the workers who are keeping his factory operating — thereby saving their lives.
92. The Matrix (1999)
Even if you've never watched The Matrix, you still know The Matrix. The film is truly a cultural relic! In Keanu Reeves' most popular role, he meets Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) who help Neo battle against secret agents in an attempt to break free of an alternative artificial world.
93. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The first horror to ever win a Best Picture Oscar, The Silence of the Lambs is an exercise in balancing psychological analyses with a compelling thriller. Jodie Foster stars as Clarice, an FBI member who wants to interview Dr. Hannibal Lectar (Anthony Hopkins), an intelligent psychiatrist as well as a bloody psychopath who loves a bit of cannibalism.
94. 12 Angry Men (1957)
A courtroom thriller from the 50s that has still managed to stand the test of time. During a murder trial, 12 members of the jury must deliberate the fate of an accused teenager. The film doesn't leave this deliberation room for the whole time, instead shining a light purely on these men, who must decide whether or not the boy should face the death penalty.
95. Goodfellas (1990)
From Martin Scorsese comes GoodFellas, a gangster drama classic filled to the brim with excellent performances and a fantastic script. Starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta, it follows the story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob.
96. Back To The Future (1985)
In this classic starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, we follow Marty McFly after he's accidentally sent 30 years into the past thanks to his friend, Doc Brown. It's here that he must make his teenage parents fall in love with each other — otherwise, he risks being erased forever.
97. WALL-E (2008)
If you want to heat up your cold, dead heart, consider a visit from the tiniist, cutest, squeakiest little robot we've ever seen in our lives, WALL-E. In the distant future, mankind as abandoned a trash-riddled Earth and WALL-E, a garbage-collecting robot, is here to clean up the mess. What follows is an incredibly cute tale where WALL-E falls in love with EVE, a sleek new robot. Ah, sweet robot love.
98. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic is a lofty and visionary feat. It features one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history, where a fleet of helicopters bombs a Vietnam village — all to the tune of 'Flight of the Valkyries'.
99. The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter's The Thing is often praised as one of the best horror movies out there. The cult flick sees a group of scientists in Antarctica who are attacked by a sled dog. They soon discover that the best can assume the shape of its victims, making for a masterclass in suspense.
100. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Guido Orefice's (Roberto Benigni) peaceful and charming life is suddenly destroyed after he and his son are taken to a concentration camp during the Holocaust. In an attempt to shelter his son from the atrocities around them, he convinces him that their time in camp is all simply a game. A soul-destroying fairy tale.
101. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1966)
Can we get some love for spaghetti Westerns?! Set in the Southwest US during the Civil War, Joe (Clint Eastwood) and a Mexican outlaw (Eli Wallach) form an unlikely partnership. The score is fantastic, the tension is fantastic, the plot is fantastic, and the showdowns are fantastic. Just fantastic.