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The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

Updated October 8, 2020 310.1k votes 20.1k voters 742.4k 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
    5,600
    2,281

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    Saving Private Ryan
    4,872
    2,279

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 3
    The Green Mile
    3,448
    1,639

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • 4
    Apollo 13
    1,647
    631

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 5
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    1,748
    933

    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
    1,489
    807

    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
    6,720
    3,904

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • 8
    Back to the Future
    2,051
    1,247

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 9
    The Matrix
    2,396
    1,417

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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  • 10
    Jurassic Park
    426
    205

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 11
    Alien
    1,083
    554

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 12
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    1,354
    841

    Released2003

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • 13
    The Lion King
    1,026
    639

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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  • 14
    The Silence of the Lambs
    896
    490

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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  • 15
    Schindler's List
    2,728
    1,665

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 16
    The Godfather Part II
    1,782
    1,148

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • 17
    Inception
    1,405
    839

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 18
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    719
    331

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg

    Released1984

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 19
    Aliens
    793
    425

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 20
    The Terminator
    1,432
    885

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 21
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
    2,243
    1,547

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 22
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    866
    534

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 23
    Lawrence of Arabia
    2,286
    1,450

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 24
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    753
    491

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 25
    The Godfather
    3,493
    2,284

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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