Entertainment

The Best Ensemble Movies  

Ranker Film
Originally by
16.5k votes 975 voters 35.4k views 264 items

List Rules Movies with ensemble casts

The best ensemble movies feature an incredibly talented cast of actors and actresses, so much so that the cast overshadows everything else about the film. When you ask someone to name their favorite, greatest ensemble films ever made, they'll almost always start talking about the cast members of the movie - not the actual storyline. Many of the films listed here are among the best movies of all time, not surprisingly, so be sure to vote for your favorites, add any ensemble films that are missing and re-rank this list in any order you want.

A truly wonderful ensemble film is a team effort. Yes, you have major celebrities sharing the spotlight, with each giving a phenomenal individual performance. Put them together, however, and you've got the very essence of a brilliant ensemble movie. Examples of this include 'Pulp Fiction,' 'The Usual Suspects,' 'Reservoir Dogs' and the outstanding legal drama '12 Angry Men.' And this list includes many of director Robert Altman's best ensemble films: 'MASH,' 'Gosford Park' and 'Short Cuts,' to name a few.

Given that the greatest ensemble films often star some of the greatest actors and actresses ever, is it any wonder that so many listed here are also among the very best Oscar-winning movies, too? From 'The Deer Hunter' to 'The Departed,' the ensemble casts of these listed films captivated us with their brilliance.

Comedy films aren't excluded from any list of excellent ensemble cast movies, either. Consider the amazing casts of the comedies 'The Royal Tenenbaums,' 'Best in Show' and 'The Breakfast Club,' for example. So you see, the best ensemble movies are a diverse mix from all different kinds of movie genres, but they all have one thing in common: wonderful acting and multiple characters that drive the storyline in the best way possible.
list ordered by
1
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman
Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
2
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall
The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John ...more
3
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth
Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more
4
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Bootsdad added Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more
5
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more
6
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne
The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del ...more
7
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin
The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack ...more
8
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more
9
Ocean's Eleven is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney
Ocean's Eleven is a 2001 American comedy heist film and the remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film of the same name. The 2001 film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and features an ensemble cast ...more
10
12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb
12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Written and co-produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells ...more
11
The Lord of the Rings: The Ret... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more
12
The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn
The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's ...more
13
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more
14
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman
Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more
15
Dazed and Confused is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
carlybobarly added Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey
Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming of age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including ...more
16
The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a ...more
17
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more
18
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
CraigAlarm added Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack
Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more
19
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Bootsdad added Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe
Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more
20
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Dave_7672 added Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane
The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more
21
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant
The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The ...more
22
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Artie_Moon added Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. ...more
23
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone ...more
24
Heat is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro
Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more
25
Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. ...more