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The Best Ensemble Movies

Updated July 23, 2020 17.0k votes 1.1k voters 39.5k 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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  • 1
    The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    260
    82

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    284
    129

    The Breakfast Club

    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    The Lord of the Rings: The Ret is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    205
    81

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Ocean's Eleven is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    217
    90

    Ocean's Eleven

    Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts

    Released2001

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Ocean's Eleven is a 2001 American comedy heist film and the remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    255
    136

    Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis

    Released1994

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    163
    63

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    187
    89

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Departed is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    175
    71

    The Departed

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    131
    36

    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    164
    88

    Reservoir Dogs

    Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi

    Released1992

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    149
    78

    12 Angry Men

    Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney Lumet

    12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    96
    23

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    169
    95

    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

    The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    116
    46

    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    94
    36

    Goodfellas

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1990

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    111
    19

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    180
    104

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    234
    107

    The Avengers

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans

    Released2012

    Directed byJoss Whedon

    Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    117
    62

    The Magnificent Seven

    Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson

    Released1960

    Directed byJohn Sturges

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  • 20
    Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    113
    72

    Airplane!

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen

    Released1980

    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

    Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    101
    49

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Steel Magnolias is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    71
    29

    Steel Magnolias

    Sally Field, Dolly Parton

    Released1989

    Directed byHerbert Ross

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  • 23
    Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    99
    46

    Seven Samurai

    Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura

    Released1954

    Directed byAkira Kurosawa

    Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    86
    64

    The Dirty Dozen

    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland

    Released1967

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

    The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 film directed by Robert Aldrich, released by MGM, and starring Lee... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ensemble Movies
    88
    67

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn

    Released1982

    Directed byAmy Heckerling

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by... more on Wikipedia
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