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The Best American Movies

Updated July 1, 2019 3.3k votes 578 voters 3.8k views39 items

List RulesOnly American movies. No movies about other things.

What is more American than American Pie? I don't know, how about a little something called An American Tail? Or even An American Tail: Fievel Goes West? Just kidding, the term is "apple pie," but this list isn't about apples. It's about American movies. What makes a movie so American that it belongs on this list? Just one thing: It has the word "American" in the title. That is literally the only prerequisite.

Wow, look at all these great American movies. Which ones are the best? On this list, you will find such Oscar winners as American Beauty and also cult favorites like Wet Hot American Summer and American Psycho. Also on this list is American Sniper, which some people liked. And also An American Werewolf in London, which is really good if you haven't seen it. All of the American Pie movies that came out in theaters are on this list, too! But not the direct-to-DVD ones, because they were terrible and who has time for that.

Are you planning to celebrate America by watching some good American movies? Some good times to watch films with American in the title include Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, July 4th (AKA "Independence Day"), any U.S. President's birthday, your own birthday, or any other day. What a fun theme for a movie marathon! Please vote up your favorite American movies.
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  • 1
    American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Beauty

    Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening

    Released1999

    Directed bySam Mendes

    American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes. An advertising executive... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    American Gangster is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Gangster

    Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe

    Released2007

    Directed byRidley Scott

    American Gangster is a 2007 American biographical crime film directed by Ridley Scott, based... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    American Graffiti is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Graffiti

    Harrison Ford, Ron Howard

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Psycho

    Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

    Released2000

    Directed byMary Harron

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    #24 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#98 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 5
    An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Movies
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    An American Tail

    Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn

    Released1986

    Directed byDon Bluth

    An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and... more on Wikipedia

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    #19 of 88 Animated Movies That Make You Cry The Most#134 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 6
    American History X is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American History X

    Edward Norton, Edward Furlong

    Released1998

    Directed byTony Kaye

    American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    An American Werewolf in London is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Movies
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    An American Werewolf in London

    Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz

    Released1981

    Directed byJohn Landis

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • 8
    American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Sniper

    Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

    Released2015

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    American Gigolo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Gigolo

    Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton

    Released1980

    Directed byPaul Schrader

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  • 10
    American Wedding is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Wedding

    Alyson Hannigan, January Jones

    Released2003

    Directed byJesse Dylan

    American Wedding is a 2003 American romantic comedy film and a sequel to American Pie and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    American Splendor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Splendor

    Paul Giamatti, Josh Hutchersonm

    Released2003

    Directed byRobert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman

    American Splendor is a 2003 American biographical comedy-drama film about Harvey Pekar, the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The American President is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Movies
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    The American President

    Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox

    Released1995

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The American President is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    American Hustle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Hustle

    Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams

    Released2013

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    American Hustle is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. It was... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    American Reunion is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Movies
    40
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    American Reunion

    Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris

    Released2012

    Directed byHayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz

    American Reunion is a 2012 ensemble comedy film written and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    An American Tail: Fievel Goes  is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Movies
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    An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

    James Stewart, John Cleese

    Released1991

    Directed bySimon Wells, Phil Nibbelink

    An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is a 1991 American animated western film produced by Steven... more on Wikipedia

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    #269 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever#392 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

  • 16
    Wet Hot American Summer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Movies
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    Wet Hot American Summer

    Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Wain

    Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 satirical comedy film directed by David Wain from a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    The Ugly American is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Movies
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    The Ugly American

    Marlon Brando, Pat Hingle

    Released1963

    Directed byGeorge Englund

    The Ugly American is a 1963 drama film directed by George Englund.
  • 18
    An American Werewolf in Paris is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Movies
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    An American Werewolf in Paris

    Julie Bowen, Julie Delpy

    Released1997

    Directed byAnthony Waller

    An American Werewolf in Paris is a 1997 comedy-horror film directed by Anthony Waller and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    American Animals is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Animals

    Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan

    Released2018

    Directed byBart Layton

    American Animals is a 2018 British-American crime drama film directed by Bart Layton.... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Jim Thorpe – All-American is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Movies
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    Jim Thorpe – All-American

    Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford

    Released1951

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Jim Thorpe – All-American is a 1951 biographical film produced by Warner Bros. and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Everybody's All-American is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Movies
    6
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    Everybody's All-American

    Jessica Lange, John Goodman

    Released1988

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    Everybody's All-American is a 1988 motion picture directed by Taylor Hackford and based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    American Pie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Movies
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    American Pie

    Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid

    Released1999

    Directed byChris Weitz, Paul Weitz

    American Pie is a 1999 teen comedy film written by Adam Herz and directed by brothers Paul and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    The Last American Hero is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Movies
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    The Last American Hero

    Jeff Bridges, Gary Busey

    Released1973

    Directed byLamont Johnson

    The Last American Hero is a 1973 sports drama film based on the true story of American NASCAR... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    An American in Paris is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Movies
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    An American in Paris

    Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron

    Released1951

    Directed byVincente Minnelli

    An American in Paris is a 1951 American musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    American Buffalo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Movies
    2
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    American Buffalo

    Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz

    Released1996

    Directed byMichael Corrente

    American Buffalo is a 1996 British/American drama film directed by Michael Corrente and... more on Wikipedia
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