films The Best Ensemble Movies  

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List Rules Movies with ensemble casts

The best ensemble movies feature an incredibly talented cast of actors and actresses, so much so that the cast overshadows everything else about the film. When you ask someone to name their favorite, greatest ensemble films ever made, they'll almost always start talking about the cast members of the movie - not the actual storyline. Many of the films listed here are among the best movies of all time, not surprisingly, so be sure to vote for your favorites, add any ensemble films that are missing and re-rank this list in any order you want.

A truly wonderful ensemble film is a team effort. Yes, you have major celebrities sharing the spotlight, with each giving a phenomenal individual performance. Put them together, however, and you've got the very essence of a brilliant ensemble movie. Examples of this include 'Pulp Fiction,' 'The Usual Suspects,' 'Reservoir Dogs' and the outstanding legal drama '12 Angry Men.' And this list includes many of director Robert Altman's best ensemble films: 'MASH,' 'Gosford Park' and 'Short Cuts,' to name a few.

Given that the greatest ensemble films often star some of the greatest actors and actresses ever, is it any wonder that so many listed here are also among the very best Oscar-winning movies, too? From 'The Deer Hunter' to 'The Departed,' the ensemble casts of these listed films captivated us with their brilliance.

Comedy films aren't excluded from any list of excellent ensemble cast movies, either. Consider the amazing casts of the comedies 'The Royal Tenenbaums,' 'Best in Show' and 'The Breakfast Club,' for example. So you see, the best ensemble movies are a diverse mix from all different kinds of movie genres, but they all have one thing in common: wonderful acting and multiple characters that drive the storyline in the best way possible.
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209 66
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Breakfast Club Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. The ...more

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191 72
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Pulp Fiction John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, ...more

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159 41
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Bootsdad added The Godfather Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family, ...more

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157 49
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for its graphic and realistic portrayal of war, and ...more

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131 60
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete ...more

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135 57
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve ...more

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134 63
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins. Christian ...more

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The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Avengers Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr. Marvel's The Avengers, or simply The Avengers, is a 2012 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sixth ...more

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138 69
Ocean's Eleven is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Ocean's Eleven Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney Ocean's Eleven is a 2001 American comedy heist film and the remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film of the same name. The 2001 film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and features an ensemble cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don ...more

10
118 53
The Lord of the Rings: The Ret... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the third and final installment in The Lord of ...more

11
99 68
12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
12 Angry Men Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb 12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Written and co-produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they ...more

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The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Shawshank Redemption Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the film tells the story of ...more

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94 53
The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Magnificent Seven Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's Japanese-language film Seven Samurai. The supporting ...more

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75 44
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Bootsdad added Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by Stone. Stone wrote the story based upon his ...more

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Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Airplane! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty and features Leslie Nielsen, Robert ...more

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The Departed is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Departed Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan. It is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark ...more

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Heat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Heat Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on December 15, 1995. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a ...more

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Fast Times at Ridgemont High is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Fast Times at Ridgemont High Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone magazine, Crowe went undercover at Clairemont High ...more

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The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Dirty Dozen Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 war film directed by Robert Aldrich, released by MGM, and starring Lee Marvin. The picture was filmed in England and features an ensemble supporting cast including Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John ...more

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Dazed and Confused is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
carlybobarly added Dazed and Confused Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming of age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including Matthew McConaughey, Jason London, Ben Affleck, Milla ...more

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The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Godfather Part II Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Partially based on Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather, the ...more

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Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. The film follows the central character, U.S. Army ...more

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Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness. The plot focuses on the ...more

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The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner The Great Escape is a 1963 American World War II epic film based on an escape by British and Commonwealth prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. The film is ...more

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The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Dave_7672 added The Outsiders Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen Misakian, a librarian at Lone Star Elementary School in ...more

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Sin City is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
carlybobarly added Sin City Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke Sin City is a 2005 American neo-noir crime thriller anthology film written, produced, and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It is based on Miller's eponymous graphic novel Sin City. Much of the film is based on the first, third and ...more

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Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added Goodfellas Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film narrates the rise and fall of Lucchese ...more

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Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Boogie Nights Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, who becomes a popular star of pornographic films, ...more

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Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Stand by Me Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella The Body, written by Stephen King, the title is ...more

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American Graffiti is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Obrien News Service added American Graffiti Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Suzanne Somers American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie ...more

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69 58
Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Little Miss Sunshine Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by first-time writer Michael Arndt. The movie stars Greg ...more

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The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added The Princess Bride Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The story is presented in the film as a book being read ...more

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The Big Chill is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Dismalhead added The Big Chill Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum The Big Chill is a 1983 American comedy-drama film directed by Lawrence Kasdan, starring Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams. It is about a group of baby boomer ...more

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The Blues Brothers is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
darthbob23 added The Blues Brothers Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Steven Spielberg The Blues Brothers is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from "The Blues Brothers" musical sketch on ...more

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33 18
Mean Girls is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Mean Girls Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film. Mark Waters directed, and Tina Fey wrote the screenplay, which is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which describes female high school social cliques ...more

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Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Bootsdad added Tombstone Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, and Dana Delany in supporting roles, as well ...more

37
18 9
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Blazing Saddles Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman's ...more

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44 47
St. Elmo's Fire is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Dave_7672 added St. Elmo's Fire Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson St. Elmo's Fire is a 1985 American coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film, starring Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Mare Winningham, centers on a group of friends that have ...more

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41 29
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
LanaYoshii added Best in Show Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey Best in Show is a 2000 American improvisational comedy film written and directed by Christopher Guest. The film follows five entrants in a prestigious dog show and focuses on the slightly surreal interactions among the various owners and ...more

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18 10
Inception is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken ...more

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52 48
The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 World War II epic film directed by David Lean, based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in ...more

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19 9
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning in ...more

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21 12
Traffic is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Traffic Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas Traffic is a 2000 American crime drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Stephen Gaghan. It explores the illegal drug trade from a number of perspectives: a user, an enforcer, a politician and a trafficker. Their stories are ...more

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14 5
Young Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Young Frankenstein Gene Hackman, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The supporting cast includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty ...more

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Steel Magnolias is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Steel Magnolias Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Sally Field Steel Magnolias is a 1989 theater production of the play by Robert Harling.

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18 10
Heathers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Heathers Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann.

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9 to 5 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added 9 to 5 Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin 9 to 5 is a 1980 American comedy film written by Patricia Resnick and Colin Higgins, directed by Higgins, and starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman. The film concerns three working women living out their fantasies ...more

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16 8
The Big Lebowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added The Big Lebowski Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Tara Reid The Big Lebowski is a 1998 stoner crime comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler. After he becomes the ...more

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
WilliamHibbs added The Rocky Horror Picture Show Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Meat Loaf The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 British-American musical comedy horror film directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and Richard O'Brien based on the 1973 musical stage production, The Rocky Horror Show, music, ...more

50
14 4
The Help is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Obrien News Service added The Help Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about a young white woman, Eugenia "Skeeter" ...more