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The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

Updated October 8, 2020 309.4k votes 20.0k voters 741.1k 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
    5,517
    2,254

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    Saving Private Ryan
    4,862
    2,263

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 3
    The Green Mile
    3,444
    1,626

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • 4
    Apollo 13
    1,641
    617

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 5
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    1,741
    925

    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 Crusade
    1,476
    804

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 7
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    6,694
    3,901

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • 8
    Back to the Future
    2,041
    1,242

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 9
    The Silence of the Lambs
    893
    481

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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  • 10
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    1,348
    833

    Released2003

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • 11
    The Lion King
    1,022
    633

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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  • 12
    Alien
    1,073
    548

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 13
    The Matrix
    2,381
    1,415

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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  • 14
    Jurassic Park
    416
    198

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 15
    The Godfather Part II
    1,781
    1,144

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • 16
    Inception
    1,398
    835

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 17
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    712
    329

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg

    Released1984

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 18
    Schindler's List
    2,722
    1,658

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 19
    Aliens
    788
    422

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 20
    The Terminator
    1,424
    884

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 21
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
    2,232
    1,546

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 22
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    863
    531

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 23
    Lawrence of Arabia
    2,282
    1,449

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 24
    The Godfather
    3,489
    2,284

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • 25
    The Hobbit trilogy
    1,820
    1,148

    The Hobbit trilogy

    Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace

    Released2012

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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