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The 50 Best Movies of the 21st Century So Far, Ranked

And Harold Ramis (directing and co-writing with Danny Rubin) managing to find gold in the story of a man trapped in a time loop. It might not have been the first to tap this particular trope, but it’s head and shoulders above the rest. Murray’s snarktastic delivery makes the early going easy to laugh at, but as the movie finds deeper things to say about existence and morals, it never feels like a polemic. In creating a list of the 100 best movies of all time, Empire asked readers to share their picks – a selection of movies that comfort, challenge, and pioneer.

– You’ll notice that this list does not contain a Harry Potter or Star Wars movie, and that’s because trying to pick one from either franchise would get me canceled on the internet. Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks. Instead, he inadvertently becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod (Michael Shannon) has returned and there are no superheroes to stop him from annihilating the planet. Now, Barry must coax a different Batman (Michael Keaton) out of retirement and crack a Kryptonian (Sasha Calle) out of prison to stop Zod and reset his own reality. While it wasn’t exactly celebrated, The Flash is a big-budget superhero movie, which pretty much automatically helps it make this list.

After a heartbreaking divorce, a family tries to recover and understand the complexities of love. This wasn’t the result of any kind of “out with the old, in with the new” intention. In some cases — Scorsese, Spike, Godard — we felt their best work was pre-21st century.

The genius of James Cameron’s self-penned Alien follow-up was to not try to top the original as one of the greatest ever horror movies. Instead, he transplanted the Alien (and, significantly, Ripley) to a different genre, and created one of the greatest ever action movies. Putting together the director of Arrival with a sci-fi franchise that – for box office performance reasons — hasn’t been overexploited the way some others have, seemed like a no-brainer. It’s actually a big brainer, with Denis Villeneuve dipping into Philip K. Dick’s universe and constructing a sequel that not only doesn’t embarrass Ridley Scott’s original, but builds out that world, adding layers and texture while still feeling of a piece. Audiences still didn’t exactly bite, but between Harrison Ford revisiting his iconic replicant hunter and Ryan Gosling grappling with his own identity, 2049 is a triumph of quiet character moments and glorious, sense-enveloping spectacle. Adapted from Tarell Alvin’s play In Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue, Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning drama is the kind of film that seeps under your skin and stays there.

It’s an absolutely flawless, funny, frightening piece of work, rammed with soon-to-be iconography from start to finish. Denis Villeneuve’s empathic, perception-bending alien visitation drama is a delicately crafted modern rework of The Day The Earth Stood Still, except the extra-terrestrials are truly otherworldly and there’s the sky-high obstacle that is the language barrier. With its message that open-minded communication enables us to realise the things we have in common with those who appear free movie sites vastly different, it feels like genuinely compulsive viewing for these troubled times. Years before battling Shang-Chi in the MCU, Hong Kong acting legend Tony Leung was director Wong Kar-wai’s greatest muse in gorgeous, simmering masterpieces like Chungking Express, Happy Together — and this remarkable romance, perhaps their greatest collaboration. Leung plays a journalist renting an apartment in 1960s Hong Kong; his neighbour, played by Maggie Cheung, appears as lonely and lost as he is.

Honestly, he’s becoming the next big sci-fi director, and this proves it. It’s the classic underdog story that made Sylvester Stallone a household name. The movie follows boxer Rocky Balboa on the road to fight heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in a match deemed “a somebody vs. nobody.” The film, written by Stallone, would go on to win Best Picture at the Oscars in 1977. This underrated musical set at an all-Black army camp follows Carmen (Dorothy Dandridge), who, despite being sought after by every man at the base, has her sights set on the super married Joe (Harry Belafonte). Dandridge’s performance as Carmen Jones got her nominated for an Oscar, making history as the first African American actress in a leading role to be nominated. No movie has ever spoofed high school culture as brilliantly as Mean Girls, whose hilarious script by Tina Fey has become iconic, bringing the phrases “so fetch,” “I know, right?” and “cool mom” into our modern language.

We could go on and on about the shortcomings of our work here — not enough animation! Without further ado, here are what we consider the 50 best films of the 21st century so far. The original Enola Holmes (2020) proved a surprisingly enjoyable twist on the world’s most famous detective, focusing instead on his overlooked sister, Enola.

Firstly, it’s visually stunning in a way that a lot of MCU movies just aren’t (sorry). Secondly, you can watch it without having seen all of the movies that came before — it’s not technically an origin story, but it might as well be. Thirdly, it has a believable, understandable villain in Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and connects to real-world issues. “Romantic drama” is a pretty saturated genre, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stands out because of its unique premise. After a fight with his girlfriend Clementine, Joel learns that she has had all memories of their relationship erased through ~science~.

Sort these by Reelgood score, IMDB score, popularity, release date, or alphabetical order to find what you want to watch. SWThe “first run” Star Wars grosses do not include revenue from the 1997 special-edition releases; however, the figure does include revenue from the re-releases prior to the special editions. InfInflation adjustment is carried out using the Consumer price index for advanced economies published by the International Monetary Fund.[36] The index is uniformly applied to the grosses in the chart published by Guinness World Records in 2014, beginning with the 2014 index. The figures in the above chart take into account inflation that occurred in 2014, and in every available year since then, through 2022. Not only did they make arguably the funniest movie of the ’90s — which has since spawned a genuine film cult — they also managed to construct a kidnap mystery in which the detective isn’t a detective and nobody was actually kidnapped. From its Sergio Leone-riffing opening to its insanely OTT, history-rewriting finale, Tarantino’s World War II caper never once fails to surprise and entertain.

More than a decade later, it’s as fresh and exciting as ever—catch it before the remake. After bringing Indonesian martial arts to the wider world with his The Raid duology, director Gareth Evans switches genre to horror with this disturbing period piece set on a remote Welsh island in the early 1900s. Dan Stevens plays Thomas Richardson, a faithless missionary who infiltrates a cult on the island to rescue his kidnapped sister. Entwined in the lives and strange practices of the cultists and their firebrand leader, Malcolm Howe (Michael Sheen), Thomas soon realizes the god being worshipped isn’t the one from his own lost scripture.

Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon play a pair of ride or die besties who are sick and tired of being mistreated and essentially say “fuck it” to their mounting problems. P.S. Please don’t yell at me; I know he’s made plenty of movies about other things. When you need a little space, a movie is a great way to keep the kids entertained, but you want to know they’re watching quality entertainment.

Besides the Star Wars and Superman franchises, James Bond and Godzilla films are still being released periodically; all four are among the highest-grossing franchises. Some of the older films that held the record of highest-grossing film still have respectable grosses by today’s standards, but no longer compete numerically against today’s top-earners in an era of much higher individual ticket prices. When those prices are adjusted for inflation, however, then Gone with the Wind—which was the highest-grossing film outright for twenty-five years—is still the highest-grossing film of all time. All grosses on the list are expressed in U.S. dollars at their nominal value, except where stated otherwise. But what’s so beautiful about Johnson’s film–in addition to all the dynamic performances and moments of hilarity–is that in spending the final act on the company’s fall, the director shows how ephemeral these sorts of products are.

If a film increased its gross through re-releases while holding the record, the year in which it recorded its highest gross is also noted in italics. FBox Office Mojo stopped updating its main total for Frozen in August 2014, while it was still in release. The total listed here incorporates subsequent earnings in Japan, Nigeria, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany up to the end of 2015 but omits earnings in Turkey, Iceland, Brazil, and Australia (2016), which amount to a few hundred thousand dollars. The total is rounded to $1 million to compensate for the numerical inaccuracy.

Orson Welles’ game-changing fictional biopic, that managed to both launch his film career and ruin it at the same time (turns out it’s not a good idea to piss off powerful newspaper magnates by viciously satirising them to a mass audience). Not only did he use impressive new film-making techniques that make it feel like a movie far younger than its 76 years, but its power-corrupts story still resonates loudly. But there’s no flaws to be found in his harrowing, (mostly) monochromatic depiction of Nazi persecution of the Jewish community in Krakow.

After an almost decade-long journey to the screen, this dazzlingly animated movie has become an instant classic. Rama (Iko Uwais) is a rookie officer in Indonesia’s Brimob—think SWAT—and he’s about to have a very bad day. With its groundbreaking (not to mention bone-breaking) fight choreography, stunning stunt work, and phenomenal cinematography, director Gareth Evans’ ferocious action epic set a new standard for the genre back in 2011.

When she comes to the villa of retired naval officer Captain Georg von Trapp to be governess to his seven children, she begins to realize how much the family means to her. The latter part of the movie has an unexpected twist and displays the unfathomable truth of what it was like living in Nazi Germany. A hilarious comedy with a super-sweet love story, Coming to America is an essential watch for anyone who loves to smile. This film also cemented Eddie Murphy’s place as comedy royalty, with him and Arsenio Hall cracking us up through multiple different characters. This sumptuous story follows the life of a Mexican girl who’s subjected to a family custom that demands she stays unmarried and take care of her mother through old age.

Harrison Ford is still playing Indiana Jones (but he could not wait for Han Solo to die), so it’s worth investigating why he likes this character so much. In his first outing as the character, he shows off all the charisma that turned him into a movie star. An insurance salesman (Jim Carrey) slowly discovers that his entire life has been a reality TV show controlled by a television network.

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