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The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

Updated October 8, 2020 313.9k votes 20.4k voters 747.9k 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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  • Forrest Gump1
    5,708
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    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • Saving Private Ryan2
    4,898
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    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Green Mile3
    3,478
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    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • Apollo 134
    1,670
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    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly5
    1,777
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    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King6
    6,789
    3,915

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade7
    1,513
    833

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Jurassic Park8
    459
    221

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Back to the Future9
    2,077
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    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • The Matrix10
    2,424
    1,428

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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  • Alien11
    1,106
    571

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • The Silence of the Lambs12
    922
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    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl13
    1,382
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    Released2003

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • The Lion King14
    1,050
    664

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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  • The Godfather Part II15
    1,802
    1,161

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom16
    733
    351

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg

    Released1984

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Schindler's List17
    2,755
    1,677

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Terminator18
    1,454
    895

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • Aliens19
    811
    439

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • Inception20
    1,429
    858

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark21
    2,274
    1,554

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Bridge on the River Kwai22
    890
    536

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • The Godfather23
    3,529
    2,289

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • The Shawshank Redemption24
    3,415
    2,211

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial25
    776
    502

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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