The people have spoken.
While internet popularity can be a fickle and fleeting thing, in the case of IMDb, there are a few films that tower above their rivals and stand the test of time. Moviegoers can rate the films they see on the website, and some are cemented as being at the top of their class.
Seen by many as the go-to resource for film ratings and opinions, the ten most-voted films are usually, if not some of the best movies of all time. At the very least, they are comfortably the internet's favorite movies and are likely recognizable to most viewers.
IMDb continues to be a popular resource for those looking for must-see movies. Its ratings and number of voters constantly change as more viewers flock to the site to share their opinions about their favorite films. For the most-voted movies on the platform, they remain above these shifts, except for some subtle differences in their ranking and number of votes.
The closer to Peter Jackson's trilogy of films adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's seminal fantasy novels is blockbuster filmmaking done right. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King provides a satisfying conclusion to the nearly nine hours of story, this film sees Aragorn claim his birthright as the King of Gondor, possibly the most outstanding cavalry charge ever put to film, and the eventual destruction of the ring and defeat of the big bad, Sauron.
This film holds a three-way tie for the most-awarded film in Oscars history, with Ben-Hur and Titanic all sharing the illustrious honor of taking home 11 awards. Perhaps as much an acknowledgment by the academy of the monumental achievement the trilogy as a whole was, it also marked one of the rare times in history where the big winner was an epic, crowd-pleasing fantasy film.
Rarely does a film so completely transcend the medium's limits to become a staple of popular culture, but The Godfather is an odd confluence of factors. A niche Hollywood had thought dead, a young, maverick filmmaker with the vision to revitalize the gangster movie genre, and one of the best casts of all time combine to bring this all-time classic to life.
It's tough to find fault with this film — everything from the script to the production design, the cinematography, pacing, action, and acting are all top-notch. It gave viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of a mafia, which revolutionized an entire genre of filmmaking.
The task of adapting The Lord of the Rings trilogy that Tolkien spent most of his lifetime developing — and had a massive influence on the genre as a whole — was perhaps rightly seen as one that was, for all intents and purposes, impossible. However, Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema decided to take on the challenge — and it paid off.
Is the beginning of a tale better than the end? The internet certainly seems to think so, as The Fellowship of the Ring places above the conclusion to the trilogy. Why this is so is anyone's guess — but it's certainly an excellent, well-made film that does a great job of introducing the characters, their motivations, and the stakes of the story.
"What is the Matrix?" is a seemingly simple question, but one that perplexed and intrigued audiences as part of one of the most effective marketing campaigns in history. An odd combination of the height of stunt work, exciting new technologies, and philosophical contemplation of humanity's relationship with machines combined to make The Matrix a massive hit and a cultural phenomenon.
This film holds a special place in many people's hearts, and it's easy to see why. It changed the way blockbusters were made, introducing the world to bullet-time and revolutionary special effects. It's worth noting that it's still considered the best one in the Matrix franchise, and is still worth watching again today.
Pulp Fiction is the film that cemented Quentin Tarantino as a creative force in Hollywood. It's hard to put a finger on precisely what makes this film so good — an all-star cast trading barbs with each other from Tarantino's whip-smart script and playing with editing conventions to tell a non-linear story are two of the top reasons.
But perhaps most of all, Pulp Fiction is just cool. There's no other word for it. From the stylish hitmen played with panache by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta to the soundtrack of absolute bangers from start to finish, this film epitomized the mid-90s. It's one of the most influential American films of the decade.
Known for his crowd-pleasing films, director Robert Zemeckis is at his most crowd-pleasing when he introduces the world to the journey of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) as he goes from being an impoverished child in Alabama to have an unlikely impact on events that shaped the world in the 20th century.
While undeniably a heartwarming affair and being incredibly acted across the board, particularly in Hanks' case as the titular character, the film isn't known for its subtlety. It's undoubtedly very charming, and still holds an important place in pop culture.
David Fincher's grungy, punk-infused adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name is one of the defining cult classics of the 1990s. Combining psychological thriller, comedy, and fight movie into one tantalizing package, Fight Club is dirty, unapologetic, depressing, and exhilarating all in the same breath — not to mention pulling off one of the best twists in cinema history.
Presenting a nihilistic worldview that many disaffected young people resonate with, Fight Club reflects the youth culture of the 1990s as disillusionment and a sense of hopelessness are the defining traits of the story. Tyler Durden's story left a lasting impression on an entire generation.
Having proven his ability to make money at the box office, Christopher Nolan was given a large budget and relative creative freedom for his next big hit. Inception was a concept that had been in Nolan's head since the days of Memento — and a perfect combination of timing, funding, and ideas came together for him to make it in the style that he had always envisioned.
The wild sci-fi film follows the mysterious Cobb and his team as they go on their most ambitious heist yet. The professional thief is used to stealing information from the subconscious, but it's his first attempt at implanting an idea.
Proving just as adept at adapting existing material as he is at crafting his own unique stories, Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy has stood the test of time. While the other two films form practical bookends for the trilogy, The Dark Knight genuinely stands out.
Considered by many to not be so much a superhero film but instead, a crime epic where the protagonist and antagonist happen to dress in costume, The Dark Knight — elevated by the late great Heath Ledger's barnstorming and legendary take on the Joker — is quite simply one of the best blockbusters ever made, and an undeniably brilliant, engaging piece of cinema.
After being put in prison for a crime he says he didn't commit, Andy Dufrense is sent to Shawshank — one of the worst prisons in the state. Not the kind of man who is cut out for prison life, Dufrense befriends Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding, and the two men bond during their time inside together, maintaining their hope in a place where it appears there's none to be had.
The Shawshank Redemption is, without a doubt, a triumph. One of the best films ever made about hope and the human spirit, Frank Darabont directs the best of his Steven King adaptations — showing another side to the horror master. Anchored by Freeman and Robbins' fantastic chemistry, it is a great film that has stood the test of time.
NEXT: 10 Films That Prove 1994 Was The Best Ever Year For Movies
Tom Hutchinson is a passionate media producer, podcaster and writer. After spending two years hosting a show on community radio that reviewed film and television, he went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Screen Media. His writing has been featured in The Haze Mag and Fashion Industry Broadcast. In his spare time he likes collectibles, bushwalking and playing music.
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10 Highest Rated Movies on IMDb, Ranked by Votes – Collider
The people have spoken.