50 Best Movies of All Time to Watch in New Zealand

Last updated: December 8, 2021 Shares: 0

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Movies like Forrest Gump and The Godfather are once-in-a-lifetime kinds of movies even for the Best Directors and Writers of the world. All of these movies are guaranteed to keep you hooked onto the screen, so get a lot of popcorns and drinks ready because you are in for a long time here.

From Top Animated movies to Best Sci-Fi Thrillers, From High rated Crime Drama to Romance all Genres have been kept in mind to present you with a list of movies that you will cherish. We have tried to cater to the Top 50 best movies of all time. 

Best Movies of All Time

The following movies are not only the best in terms of stories but high-class cinematography, best screenplay, amazing acting, all combine to make an experience that viewers will cherish. Here is a brief description of the best movies of all time from Hollywood that you would ever come across.

1. The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather (1972)

Director: Francis Ford Copolla

Writer: Mario Puzo

Cast: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

IMDB Rating: 9.2/10

Image Credit: Movie Valhalla

Description: Vito Corleone is the head of a renowned family in the City of New York. He is a respected and powerful man who is kind to those who respect him and ruthless to those against him. Moreover, he is adamant to keep the family business clean when other mafias come to his door-knocking for help to sell drugs.

He along with his family is up against all mafias in the bloody struggle of power and hands down the reins of his family business to his reluctant son who is least interested in the family’s business but has to take the reins in circumstances.

2. Scarface (1983)

Scarface (1983)

Director: Brian De Palma

Writer: Howard Hawks, Oliver Stone, Ben Hecht

Cast: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Image Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Description: Al Pacino “Tony Montana” comes from Cuba to Florida Camp during the exodus in 1980. He soon finds a way out of a refugee camp and gets a green card by getting a killing contract. He starts working for some drug dealer and quickly makes a name in the mafia.

Although protective of his younger sister, his mother disowns him for his wrongdoings. When at the top his temper brings everything he had made, crumbling down. Overall, it is one of the best movies of all time. 

3. Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard (1988)

Director: John McTiernan

Writer: Roderick Thorp

Cast: Alan Rickman, Bruce Willis, Alexander Godunov

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: John Mclain who is a cop in the NYPD goes on a vacation to meet his wife “Holly” in LA. She works for Nakatomi Corporation. While they are there at the headquarters for the Christmas party, a group of robbers attack. What robbers believed would be an easy heist is turned into their nightmare when John takes matters into his own hands.

4. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix (1999)

Director: The Wachowskis

Writer: The Wachowskis

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann Moss, Laurence Fishburn

IMDB Rating: 8.7/10

Image Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Description: A common computer programmer in his day job, Thomas Anderson is a hacker who goes by the name “Neo” in the night. Neo always seemed to have questions about his reality.

When contacted by “Morpheus” who is a legend in computer hacking but wanted as a terrorist by authorities, Neo gets in trouble. Neo must deal with agents (highly powerful computer programs). If you are a fan of the best movies of all time, go for it. 

5. Rocky (1976)

Rocky - 1976

Director: John Guilbert Avildsen

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Talia Shire

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: Talk Film Society

Description: A struggling boxer by the name of Rocky Balboa is working as a debt collector for some pittance. A heavyweight boxer going by the name Creed comes to Philadelphia and announces a fight against nobody by advertising that he is giving a chance to anyone who wants to test their mettle. Rocky grabs the opportunity and stuns the heavyweight.

6. Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas (1990)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Nicholas Pileggi

Cast: Robert Di Nero, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

IMDB Rating: 8.7/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: A low-lying gangster Henry Hill undertakes a robbery job with Tommy Vito and Jimmy Conway. Tommy and Jimmy have their sights upon the higher hierarchy position in the mob and they are ready to do whatever it takes.

Henry is definitely affected by the ascendance of his friends but he doesn’t want to stoop to the lows his partners have gone. In sum, it is for fans of the best movies of all time. 

7. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Director: Frank Darabont

Writer: Stephen King

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, Bob Gunton

IMDB Rating: 9.3/10

Image Credit: Mxdwn Movies

Description: “Andy Dufresne” played by Tim Robbins is a successful businessman who has been convicted of a crime he did not commit. He is sent to prison in a gloomy jail in Shawshank. It beautifully portrays how Andy gets going in prison life, making friends along the way, especially “Red” who has been in the prison most of his life.

The movie features amazing dialogue and is a masterclass in cinema without a doubt. The movie is one of the highest-rated movies of all time.

8. Schindler’s List (1993)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Thomas Keneally

Cast: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

IMDB Rating: 8.9/10

Image Credit: Los Angeles Times

Description: This is one of the best movies of all time movie is based on the real-life of a greedy German businessman who became unlikely humanitarian saving hundreds of Jews from getting killed at the Nazi concentration camps.

The movie is the epitome of human psychology that deep down there is good in everyone. Real-life “Oskar Schindler” managed to save the lives of about 1100 Jews. Although it is an old movie, it is among the best movies of all time. 

9. 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men (1957)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Reginald Rose

Cast: Henry Fonda, Ed Begley, Lee Cobb

IMDB Rating: 9.0/10

Image Credit: Amazon

Description: An absolute classic, the defense has rested its case, so has the prosecution. The jury is filling in the room to ascertain if the man has murdered his father or not.

What seems to be a clear-cut case of murder soon starts to take an interesting course and new clued and points of view come up. The preconception of jurors starts to change. All the action happens in the same jury room.

10. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan, David Goyer

Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine

IMDB Rating: 9.0/10

Image Credit: The Directors Series

Description: Bruce Wayne playing Batman along with Harvey Dent and Inspector Gordon are finally going after the trouble makers in Gotham and peace starts to return when Oscar-winning Joker starts to shake things up. The performance of Heath Ledger gets personal with Batman.

The love triangle also begins between Wayne, Dent, and Rachel Dawes. The peace of Gotham City is at stake and the City is in need of its hero.

11. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994) - All times Best Movies NZ

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Samuel Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman

IMDB Rating: 8.9/10

Image Credit: Cinematic Paintings

Description: A mob boss sends two of his men to retrieve a suitcase stolen from him. The mob boss asks one of his men to kill his wife. Bruce Willis who is playing the character of a boxer is asked by Wallace “The mob boss” to lose his fight.

The movie shows how the lives of these very different people are intertwined with each other in bizarre, funny, and sometimes, unfortunate instances.

12. Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club (1999) - Best Movies of all Time NZ

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Chuck Palahniuk

Cast: Brad Pitt, Helena Carter, Edward Norton

IMDB Rating: 8.8/10

Image Credit: The Film Spectrum

Description: In order to relieve his insomnia and deal with his polar emotional state a young man goes to different support group meetings. In those support groups, he finds “Marla”, another fake attendee of the support groups. He finds a little solace in her.

Although the true association happens when he meets “Tyler” along with whom he starts a fight club where people come to take out their frustrations of daily life.

13. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) - all Time Best Movies NZ

Director: Sergio Leone

Writer: Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Ellie Wallach

IMDB Rating: 8.8/10

Image Credit: Ievenn

Description: The Good “Blondie” is a bounty hunter and a gunslinger who will hunt down a wanted criminal to get money, The Bad is the hitman who will take on any task and get it done for money, the Ugly “Tuco” is a criminal who is out there to get money at any cost. The three go after a hidden stash of gold worth $200,000 in a cemetery in a very interesting turn of events.

14. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump (1994) - Best Movies of All Time NZ

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Winston Groom

Cast: Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright

IMDB Rating: 8.8/10

Image Credit: Indie Wire

Description: A top-class movie that tells the story of a young kid with an IQ so low that he is not even deemed fit to study in a normal school. His mama gets him into school, teaches him the ways to live life, and along with his friend “Jenny” he manages to get through school.

Despite his clear lack of intelligence, the turn of events happens in a way that he meets the President several times, becomes insanely rich, starts profitable businesses, fights a war in Vietnam, inspires people, and whatnot. The movie is sure to keep you interested.

15. Inception

Inception

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon, Ken Watanabe

IMDB Rating: 8.8/10

Image Credit: Netflix Life

Description: An expert thief Dom Cobb, is the best in the art of extraction of secrets from deep within the subconscious while in the state of dream, the time when the mind is highly susceptible. This ability has made him an international wanted convict.

He has lost everything he ever loved. Cobb has now got a chance to redeem himself. Now he has been given one last job to do and get everything back. Can he make it happen?

16. Dune (2021)

Dune (2021) - Best Movies of All time

Director: Dennis Villeneuve

Writer: Frank Herbert

Cast: Timothy Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Image Credit: Bloody Disgusting

Description: The journey of a mythical hero, the movie is about Paul Atredes, a brilliant youthful man destined for something more than he ever imagined. To protect his family and people, he has to travel to a far-off plant.

There is conflict over the precious resources of the planet among the great powers of the Universe. The resources have the capability of enhancing the potential of humanity. Overall, it is one of the best movies of all time. 

17. Se7en (1995)

Se7en (1995) - Best Movies of all Time New Zealand

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker

Cast: Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Image Credit: Talk Film Society

Description: The story is about a sociopathic killer played by “Kevin Spacey” according to whom the killing is justified to absolve humanity of seven grave sins. Two detectives played by “Brad Pitt” and Morgan Freeman are after him to stop this madness.

The researchers try everything to understand the mind of the killer to find out about his next move while the detective also tries to get into the mind of the killer. If you like to watch the best movies of all time, Don’t miss this movie. 

18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) - All Time Best Movies

Director: Milos Forman

Writer: Ken Kesey

Cast: Jack Nicholson, William Redfield, Louise Fletcher

IMDB Rating: 8.7/10

Image Credit: Kafkadesk

Description: A criminal named “McMurphy has been convicted and is sentenced to prison. In order to get away from prison’s labor, he makes the court understand that he is mentally unstable and is sent to a mentally unstable ward. In there, he finds the abuse the mentally handicapped are facing at the hands of a Nurse. He along with those special inmates makes a rebellion against the staff.

19. Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar (2014) - Best movies of All Time NZ

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan

Cast: Matt McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: The Earth as we know it today is no more a green place. Crops are not yielding; the sand just keeps coming and there seems to be no place to go. The only possibility seems in interstellar travel to find humanity a new home.

A movie about a time-space conundrum is surely going to give you a hard time understanding the plot, but isn’t it the same thing we love about Christopher Nolan’s movies? In sum, it is one of the best movies of all time. 

20. The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Usual Suspects (1995) - Best Movies of all Time NZ

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: Letterboxd

Description: In New York, Five criminals are arrested on the pretext of hijacking a truck. Since all of them are innocent and wrongly convicted they all plan to take revenge from the authorities.

However, things become complicated when it becomes clear that all five of them at some point in their life have wronged a criminal mastermind “Keyser Soze”, but the question arises “Who is Keyser Soze?”

21. The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King (1994) - Best Movies of all Time NZ

Director: Rogers Allers, Rob Minkoff

Writer: Jonathan Roberts, Irene Mechi, Linda Wolverton

Cast: Jeremy Irons, Mathew Broderick, James Earl Jones (All Voice Only)

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: Vanity Fair

Description: The king of the jungle has a newborn prince. The whole jungle is out there to celebrate but behind all the festivities there is a jealous uncle of the prince who wants to rule the jungle.

The uncle succeeds in killing the king and starts ruling with iron paw while Simba “The prince” is living beyond the Savannah with a simple philosophy of “Hakuna Matata” (Live Life Worry-Free). Will the young prince get what is rightfully his? One of the highest-rated animated movies of all time.

22. Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960) - NZ

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Robert Bloch

Cast: John Gavin, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: Pinterest

Description: “Marian Crane” who has bitter experiences in her life is full of it. During lunch breaks, she gets to meet her boyfriend Sam. They want to marry each other but can’t due to financial reasons.

One day, her employer gives her $40,000 to submit to the bank but she flees away with the money to go start a new life with Sam only to be met with storms along the way where she has to stay in a motel and another story develops.

23. City Lights (1931)

City Lights (1931) - NZ

Director: Charlie Chaplin

Writer: Charlie Chaplin

Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Florence Lee, Virginia Cheryl

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: Mubi

Description: A tramp roaming through the city finds a beautiful flower girl who is not able to see and falls in love with her. Upon finding that there is a cure for her blindness, he gets money from his millionaire friend and gives it to the girl. His efforts to help the girl and get her sight back make for a beautiful story. One of the Hollywood Classics.

24. Gladiator (2000)

Gladiator (2000)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: David Franzoni

Cast: Russel Crowe, Connie Nielson, Joaquin Phoenix

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: Eye For Film

Description: A powerful general of the Roman Empire named “Maximus” is adored by his people. The old Emperor chooses him to be the heir to the throne over his son. The son of the emperor goes after Maximus and his family. He kills the family of Maximus and condemns him to fight as a Gladiator till he dies. The only thing that keeps Maximus going is to come back to higher ranks and take his revenge.

25. Heat (1995)

Heat (1995)

Director: Michael Mann

Writer: Michael Mann

Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Tom Sizemore

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Image Credit: Esquire

Description: An amazing movie in which a crew of criminals looking to score banks etc is followed by Vincent Hanna (Homicide Division of Police). The crew’s leader “Neil” wants to hit one big score before leaving everything.

Neil makes one mistake of breaking the rule of not getting attached to anything he can’t leave behind within 30 seconds when there is heat. Neil falls in love. This scenario makes for a very suspenseful ending.

26. Titanic (1997)

Titanic (1997)

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: A hundred-year-old lady tells a story to her granddaughter about her voyage on a massive ship Titanic as an elite traveler. Her story gets intertwined with a third-class traveler named Jack on the ill-fated ship that sank on its very first and last travel. The movie is considered the epitome of romance where Kate finds freedom in the easy-going life of third-tier life on the ship.

27. There Will Be Blood (2007)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Director: Paul Thomson Anderson

Writer: Upton Sinclair

Cast: Daniel Lewis, Kevin O’Connor, Paul Dano

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Image Credit: Netflix

Description: The movie is about a passionate Miner who later turned to an oil extraction giant who along with his partner, he calls his son, goes on to finalize his business deals. His life gets mixed with a self-proclaimed religious preacher ‘Eli’ when he wants to build a pipeline all the way to the coast.

Eli wants to build a church and makes the oil extractor finance it for his family’s land. Both these men come across each other on many occasions to get what they want. 

28. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Sylvia Nasar

Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Image Credit: Letterboxd

Description: A genius Mathematician ‘John Nash’ makes an amazing discovery in the early days of his career. He is on the brink of being recognized internationally. But soon he finds himself in a conundrum of self-understanding. A long journey ensues and after many years he finally wins over his misfortune and ultimately wins the Nobel Prize.

29. The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist (2002) - NZ

Director: Roman Polanski

Writer: Wladyslaw Szpilman

Cast: Frank Finlay, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: Into Film

Description: The story of a Jew’s survival in Warsaw during the 2nd World War. The man was a pianist at a radio station who saw the world changing around him during the years 1939 to 1945. When his family gets separated from him in an operation, he finds himself in various locations to keep himself safe from the Nazis.

30. Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story (1995)

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: Pete Docter, Joh Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles (All voice only)

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: Andy is a little boy who loves to play with his toys, but when he is not around the toys come to life. Woody thinks he is a good toy and is serving his purpose well. When Andy’s mother gets him a new Toy ‘Buzz’.

‘Buzz’ becomes the new faultier of Andy’s and Woody starts to get Jealous. Both the Toys get lost and they must find a way back to Andy. Overall, it is among the best movies of all time. 

31. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984) - Best Movies of all Time

Director: Sergio Leone

Writer: Harry Grey

Cast: Elizabeth McGovern, Robert De Niro, James Woods

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Image Credit: The New York Times

Description: ‘Noodles’, a former gangster returns to New York. Penniless and in the sorry condition he thinks of his three long-gone friends. Having no idea what to do he meets one of his very old friends after 35 years. He has to deal with this new life which is inextricably intertwined. But what else can he do? He doesn’t have many options.

32. Avengers (2012)

Avengers (2012) - Best Movies of All Time

Director: Jos Whedon

Writer: Jos Whedon, Zak Penn

Cast: Scarlett Johannsson, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Junior

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

Image Credit: YouTube

Description: A war has been inflicted upon the earth by Thor’s brother ‘Loki’. Loki wants to become the king of the Earth and for help, he teams up with the Chitauri Army to use a Tesseract for the invasion of Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, an agency calls upon different superheroes to come together to save the Earth.

33. Joker (2019)

Joker (2019)

Director: Todd Phillips

Writer: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

Image Credit: Daily express

Description: ‘Arthur’ is a struggling standup comedian. The times are extremely tough and due to his circumstances, he gets more brunt of it than many others do. He has an issue with uncontrolled laughter that can trigger at some unwanted times. Over the course of time, things happening around him make him do actions that seem to relieve him, and ultimately, he becomes “Joker”.

34. Parasite (2019)

Parasite (2019) - Best Movies of All Time NZ

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Jin Won Han

Cast: Kang ho Song, Yeo Jeong Cho, Sun Kyun Lee

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Image Credit: Style Caster

Description: A poor family ‘Kims’ living in poor conditions in South Korea find a way to get into the wealthy/elite household. One by one each family member gets into the work for the household without letting them know they are a family.

Until one day when they find out that the previous maid has kept a secret in the basement. The movie shows how hard life can be for some people. In sum, it is one of the best movies of all time. 

35. The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile (1999) - Best Movies of All Time

Director: Frank Darabont

Writer: Stephen King

Cast: Tm Hanks, Bonnie Hunt, David Morse

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: In 1930, a convicted murderer on death row comes in to be elocuted on his turn. The man is a huge figure who looks extremely dangerous but is far from it. The staff at the penitentiary face a dilemma when they find out about the man’s innocence and special powers.

36. Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained (2012) - Best Movies of all Time

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: A bounty hunter buys a slave named ‘Django’ to help him identify a group of men whom he is after. ‘Django’ wants to look for his wife who was sold by the previous owner for trying to escape.

They learn that she was sold off to some guy who runs a plantation in Mississippi. It will not be a straightforward purchase as the owner of the girl is not an easy man to deal with, so they have to come up with a plan.

37. A Separation (2011)

A Separation (2011) - Best Movies of All Times

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Writer: Asghar Farhadi

Cast: Laila Hatami, Shahab Hussaini, Peyman Moaadi

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Image Credit: MoMA

Description: ‘Nadir” wants to live in Iran to take care of his father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. While ‘Simeen’ wants to go abroad for a better life for her daughter ‘Termey’.

Both argue over it as Simeen wants to get a divorce so that she may leave the country along with her daughter. The movie grips its viewers by showing all the hardships normal people have to encounter sometimes in their lives.

38. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - Best Movies of All Time

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Jordan Belfort

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Description: A very passionate man ‘Jordan Belfort’ wants to make money and joins a brokerage firm where he finds out that the path to success is hard. Then he finds out about penny stocks which he sells to greedy investors to win handsome profits.

He makes a firm ‘Stratton Oakmont’ that funnels millions of dollars from people by overselling the company’s potential. All this leads to a life of luxury for the extremely competent salesman. The movie is based on a real-life story.

39. No Country for Old Men (2007)

No Country for Old Men (2007) - All Time Best Movies

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Cast: Javier Barden, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: Coral Gables Art Cinema

Description: In Texas, a welder named ‘Lewelyn Moss’ discovers the dead bodies of some drug runners. The drug runners may have had a deadly exchange after a meeting went wrong.

Rather than reporting to the authorities, the man decides to run away with two million dollars present there. Although, a serial killer is now after him to get the loot, killing everyone coming his way. Overall, it is one of the best movies of all time. 

40. Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park (1993) - Best Movies of all Time - NZ

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Michael Crichton

Cast: Sam Neil, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Description: Scientific advancements have enabled the re-growth of dinosaurs and a park has been created on an island where the dinosaurs are living. ‘John Hammond’ has called some visitors to take a look around the Park. Can anything go wrong? Will everything work out as planned?

Things start going south when an employee tries to steal dinosaur eggs and the security system fails. Can the small humans deal with the giants? How can they get the situation under control?

41. Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out (2015) - Best Movies of All Time NZ

Director: Pete Docter

Writer: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen

Cast: Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Amy Poehler (All Voice Only)

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: The Japan Times

Description: ‘Riley’ has to move to San Francisco because of her father’s job and her emotions Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Joy who are living in the headquarter of her head, find a way to let her deal with the new house and city.

While Joy wants to keep her happy in every situation, turmoil ensues in the emotions’ headquarters whenever a situation comes up. It is a fantastic idea that has been given the shape of a movie for the ages for not only small children but everyone.

42. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can (2002) - Best Movies of All Times

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Frank Abagnale Junior, Stan Redding

Cast: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Walken

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: Netflix

Description: This movie is based on the true story of a Conman teenager ‘Frank Abagnale Junior’ who successfully siphoned off millions of dollars while claiming himself to be a Pan Am pilot, a legal prosecutor, and sometimes a doctor.

An agent in the FBI tries everything to get him behind bars but the sharp conman seems to always evade him. Will the conman ever be caught? Or is he just too smart?

43. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave (2013) - All Time Best Movies NZ

Director: Steve McQueen

Writer: Soloman Northup

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: Film Burner

Description: This is a movie about a black man who was captured and sold as a slave in the United States before the Civil War. He used to be a free man in New York before being captured. The man struggles not only to keep his dignity but to keep himself alive. Through his 12 years of journey as a slave man, the movie shows incredible ways a human can survive any situation.

44. Hachi – A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Hachi – A Dog’s Tale (2009) Best Movies of all Times

Director: Lasse Hallstorm

Writer: Kaneto Shindo

Cast: Joan Allen, Richard Gere, Erick Avari

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Image Credit: Into film

Description: A remarkable story of a love connection between a human being and an animal. An Akita puppy who is left behind accidentally is struggling to get adopted when an employee at the station takes him home.

The dog develops a strong connection with the owner and when the owner suddenly dies, the dog keeps waiting for him every day at the station. Overall, it is one of the best movies of all time. 

45. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - All Time Best Movies

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Thomas Harris

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Image Credit: The Script Lab

Description: Clarice Starling being played by Judie Foster is an FBI agent who is working hard to succeed in her career. She keeps her past hidden so that people at the job she does not want people to write her off because of her roots. She gets to interrogate a serial killer who preys on specific kinds of women. The murderer is a psychiatrist who is not easy to interrogate.

46. Life is Beautiful (1997)

Life is Beautiful (1997) - Best Movies of All Time

Director: Roberto Benigni

Writer: Roberto Benigni, Vincenzo Cerami

Cast: Roberto Beningni, Elda Ferri

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Image Credit: Time Out

Description: It is Italy in the 1930s, a Jewish waiter ‘Guido’ is living a very happy life. He finds a woman he loves and marries her; they have a son and start to live a life without care.

Everything is threatened when Italy is attacked by Nazi Germany and troops start hunting for Jewish people. In order to protect his son from the horrors of Concentration Camp, he turns the whole situation into a game.

47. Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash (2014) - All Time Best Movies New Zealand

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle

Cast: J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Paul Reiser

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: The Atlantic

Description: A young teen ‘Andrew Niemann’ is keen to become the best jazz drummer. In his pursuit, he joins the top University in the United States for music. Despite his not-so-favorable means, he gets to study under ‘Terence Fletcher’ who is considered the best.

Fletcher gets Andrew in his band and proves to be extremely demanding. Does Andrew keep enduring the harshness of conditions working under Fletcher to become the best?

48. The Departed (2006)

The Departed (2006) - Best Movies of All Time

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Alan Mark, Felix Chong

Cast: Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: Boston Police is looking to wage war against organized Crime for which they make one of the officers go undercover and join the ranks of criminals to take out information.

Meanwhile, a hardened criminal has also infiltrated the police department to find out information from within the Department. When both sides sense a mole among themselves, the hunt is started to find out who it is?

49. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now (1979) - NZ

Director: Francis Coppola

Writer: John Milius, Francis Coppola

Cast: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

Image Credit: Doctor Macro

Description: Vietnam War is at its fiercest, a Captain of US Army ‘Willard’ is sent by his Colonel on a non-existent mission. He has to find Colonel ‘Walter Kurtz’ whose Unit has crossed into Cambodia and is conducting operations against NVA and Viet Cong. The US Army wants Walter eliminated.

Some amazing encounters occur where some people die and the story develops its course when Willard finds out that the rogue officer he has been sent to take out is a decorated officer of the US Army.

50. American Beauty (1999)

American Beauty (1999)

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: Alan Ball

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Thora Birch, Anette Bening

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Image Credit: Get Reel Movies

Description: A story of a family that is hating each other to bits. The husband ‘Lester Burnham’ is struggling in keeping himself motivated in life, his wife, whom he once loved and now despises, is a property agent who is struggling to keep her career going.

Their only daughter hates both her parents and cannot wait to move out of their home. The husband gets a new sense of life when he develops a sexual attraction to a very beautiful girl who is a friend of his daughter.

Final Verdict

Compiling a list of the best movies of all time is not an easy task. There would be some movies that seem to attract the best reviews of professional reviewers while not getting the same ranks among the general population. While some movies would not get five stars from critics but people love them.

But when we are compiling a list of only 50 movies out of hundreds of thousands that Hollywood has put out there in the world in the last decades, is not that much of a problem. We are guaranteed to tell you that the above-compiled list is the best of the best movies you are ever going to watch. So, sit back and enjoy! 

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