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The Best Ensemble Movies

Updated July 23, 2020 17.4k votes 1.1k voters 40.7k views261 items

List RulesMovies 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.
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  • The Godfather1
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    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • The Breakfast Club2
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    The Breakfast Club

    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

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  • Ocean's Eleven3
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    Ocean's Eleven

    Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts

    Released2001

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

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  • Pulp Fiction4
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    Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis

    Released1994

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • The Shawshank Redemption5
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    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King6
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    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • Saving Private Ryan7
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    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Departed8
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    The Departed

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • The Usual Suspects9
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    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

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  • 12 Angry Men10
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    12 Angry Men

    Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney Lumet

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  • Goodfellas11
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    Goodfellas

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1990

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • Reservoir Dogs12
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    Reservoir Dogs

    Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi

    Released1992

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • Star Wars13
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    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

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  • The Outsiders14
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    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • The Princess Bride15
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    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • The Avengers16
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    The Avengers

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans

    Released2012

    Directed byJoss Whedon

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  • The Dark Knight17
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    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • The Magnificent Seven18
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    The Magnificent Seven

    Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson

    Released1960

    Directed byJohn Sturges

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  • Stand by Me19
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    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • Airplane!20
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    Airplane!

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen

    Released1980

    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

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  • Raising Arizona21
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    Nicolas Cage, John Goodman

    Released1987

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

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  • The Godfather Part II22
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    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • Steel Magnolias23
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    Sally Field, Dolly Parton

    Released1989

    Directed byHerbert Ross

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  • Jackie Brown24
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    Jackie Brown

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1997

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • Little Miss Sunshine25
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    Little Miss Sunshine

    Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston

    Released2006

    Directed byValerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

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