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The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

Updated October 8, 2020 306.9k votes 19.8k voters 738.0k views553 items

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Need some movie ideas? Check out this list of the best epic films of all time, which encompasses some of the best movies of all time that Hollywood has to offer. These are movies with incredible stories and characters, and whose mere existence have enriched the world of cinema in some way. From historical war films to the best superhero flicks, these are hands down some seriously epic flicks. Take James Cameron's Avatar whose imagined planet and humanity are now the stuff of Oscar legend and whose cast was catapulted to fame. Or Batman Begins which simultaneously reinvented the superhero movie and the Batman franchise. These are some of the biggest, most important movies ever. But which one deserves the top spot?

What are the best epic movies of all time? What makes a great modern day epic movie? By definition, epic movies have a larger than life storyline, take place over a span of time, and has a plot that carries out some kind of heroic deed or epic adventure. Every epic movie listed can be sorted by actor, director, and title and every epic film on this list is more epic than the last. What's the best epic movie? That's for you to decide! Enjoy this list of the greatest epic movies and use it as a starting point for your own epic movie list. Whichever you choose as your favorite, these epics are definitely worth adding to your must-watch list.

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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    5,360
    2,221

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    4,825
    2,210

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 3
    The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    3,444
    1,589

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • 4
    Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,623
    601

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 5
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,713
    904

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

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  • 6
    Indiana Jones and the Last Cru is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,449
    782

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 7
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The  is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,319
    817

    Released2003

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • 8
    Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    2,019
    1,228

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 9
    The Lord of the Rings: The Ret is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    6,649
    3,881

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • 10
    The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,003
    613

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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  • 11
    The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    2,351
    1,388

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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  • 12
    The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    877
    471

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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  • 13
    Alien is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,056
    541

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 14
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    385
    194

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 15
    Indiana Jones and the Temple o is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    696
    317

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg

    Released1984

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 16
    Inception is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,376
    828

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 17
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    2,712
    1,648

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 18
    The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,764
    1,138

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • 19
    The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    1,405
    877

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 20
    Aliens is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    775
    417

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 21
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders  is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    2,212
    1,543

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 22
    Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    2,263
    1,444

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 23
    The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    853
    528

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 24
    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    2,578
    1,743

    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1983

    Directed byRichard Marquand

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  • 25
    The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made
    3,466
    2,284

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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