Best Movies The Best Movies About Movies  

Ranker Film
Originally by
3.7k votes 344 voters 15k views 127 items

List Rules Films about filmmaking or that have a show-within-a-show

The best movies about movies are those which capture the magic of film making in an actual film. That's no easy task, but some of the films listed here are indeed a movie within a movie, taking viewers on a wild and sometimes confusing ride. Some of the movies that earned a spot on the list are critically acclaimed films, considered among the best movies of all time, and with good reason. Vote for the movies about movies that you loved the most, vote down any that you didn't like, and rerank this list in any order you want.

Some of the most iconic films in cinema history were actually movies about movies. The classic musical 'Singin' in the Rain' and the brilliant Sunset Boulevard, arguably one of the greatest film noir movies ever made, are great examples. In recent years, two films: 'The Artist' and 'Argo' won Academy Awards for best picture. What do they have in common? They were both movies essentially about movies (though the subject matter was vastly different).

Once you start thinking about it, a lot of major Hollywood films are about making movies. Is it any wonder? Filmmakers know their craft, so why not make a personal movie about the process? Some of the best living directors like Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Christopher Guest have made films about films.

Some of these films are comedies, others are suspenseful, tension-filled nail-biters, but all of the films on this list are, in some way, about the magic of making movies. What is the greatest movie about a movie ever made? That's subjective, though this list offers more than a few excellent choices. It is, however, not complete, so feel free to add your suggestions as well.
list ordered by

1
128 33
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Rita Moreno Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, and choreographed by Kelly and Donen. It ...more

2
86 34
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the ...more

3
78 27
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Johnny Depp, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray Ed Wood is a 1994 American period comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp as cult filmmaker Ed Wood. The film concerns the period in Wood's life when he ...more

4
66 26
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was from an ...more

5
72 47
Argo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston Argo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah ...more

6
70 38
The Artist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, James Cromwell The Artist is a 2011 French romantic comedy-drama in the style of a black-and-white silent film. It was written, directed, and co-edited by Michel Hazanavicius, produced by Thomas Langmann and ...more

7
95 51
Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Tom Cruise, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Robert Downey Jr. Tropic Thunder is a 2008 American action satire comedy film written, produced and directed by Ben Stiller.

8
50 33
8½ is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni, Barbara Steele 8½ is a 1963 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Co-scripted by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, and Brunello Rondi, it stars Marcello Mastroianni as Guido ...more

9
66 41
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more

10
45 36
Cinema Paradiso is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Brigitte Bardot, John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, internationally released as Cinema Paradiso, is a 1988 Italian drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. The film stars Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, ...more

11
46 24
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
but chickens double d added Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf's ...more

12
46 34
Hugo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of ...more

13
36 31
Adaptation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Maggie Gyllenhaal Adaptation. is a 2002 American comedy-drama metafilm directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman. The film is based on Susan Orlean's non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, with numerous ...more

14
34 23
The Player is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Whoopi Goldberg The Player is a 1992 American satirical film directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by Michael Tolkin based on his own 1988 novel of the same name. It is the story of Hollywood studio ...more

15
43 32
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more

16
24 18
Day for Night is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Jacqueline Bissett, Graham Greene, François Truffaut La Nuit américaine is a 1973 French film directed by François Truffaut. It stars Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud. In French, nuit américaine is a technical ...more

17
30 20
Sullivan's Travels is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Veronica Lake, Preston Sturges, Elsa Lanchester Sullivan's Travels is a 1942 American comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges. It is a satire about a movie director, played by Joel McCrea, who longs to make a socially relevant ...more

18
26 24
The Aviator is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwen Stefani The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan and produced by Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, and Charles Evans, Jr.. It ...more

19
23 10
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
EHarrell added Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Zero Mostel The Producers is a 1968 American satirical dark comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks. The film is set in the late 1960s and it tells the story of a theatrical producer and an ...more

20
25 24
The Bad and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 MGM melodramatic film that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. It stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, ...more

21
31 18
Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Milla Jovovich, Diane Lane Chaplin is a 1992 British-American biographical comedy-drama film about the life of British comedian Charlie Chaplin. It was produced and directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Robert ...more

22
29 18
Silent Movie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Mel Brooks Silent Movie is a 1976 satirical comedy film co-written, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks, and released by 20th Century Fox on June 17, 1976. The ensemble cast includes Dom DeLuise, Marty ...more

23
24 13
Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
looksharp added Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Emma Thompson Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 period drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Centered on the development of the 1964 Walt Disney Studios ...more

24
23 14
This Is Spinal Tap is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
but chickens double d added Billy Crystal, Fran Drescher, Anjelica Huston This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock music mockumentary written, scored by, and starring Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. The film portrays the fictional ...more

25
24 22
Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Helen Mirren Hitchcock is a 2012 American biographical drama film directed by Sacha Gervasi and based on Stephen Rebello's non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. The film was released in ...more

26
32 24
Get Shorty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
but chickens double d added John Travolta, John Wayne, Danny DeVito Get Shorty is a 1995 crime-comedy-thriller film based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Danny ...more

27
23 22
¡Three Amigos! is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Phil Hartman ¡Three Amigos! is a 1986 American comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Randy Newman. The plot is loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film ...more

28
39 35
Bowfinger is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham Bowfinger is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It depicts a down-and-out filmmaker in Hollywood attempting to make a film on a small budget with a star who does not know that he ...more

29
21 23
Birdman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Tom Islava added Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton Birdman or, commonly referred to as Birdman, is a 2014 American black comedy-drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It stars Michael ...more

30
19 14
The Purple Rose of Cairo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
but chickens double d added Viggo Mortensen, Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels The Purple Rose of Cairo is a 1985 American romantic fantasy comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. Inspired by Sherlock, Jr., Hellzapoppin', and Pirandello's Six Characters in Search ...more

31
17 18
My Week with Marilyn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Emma Watson, Michelle Williams, Judi Dench My Week with Marilyn is a 2011 British drama film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges. It stars Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Julia ...more

32
15 16
Super 8 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler Super 8 is a 2011 American science fiction horror film written, co-produced, and directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle ...more

33
12 7
Harlow is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Angela Lansbury, Ginger Rogers, Leslie Nielsen Harlow is a 1965 American biographical film directed by Gordon Douglas about the life of film star Jean Harlow. It stars Carroll Baker in the title role, and Raf Vallone, Red Buttons, Angela ...more

34
12 8
America's Sweethearts is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Emma Roberts America's Sweethearts is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Joe Roth and written by Billy Crystal and Peter Tolan. It stars Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, John Cusack and Catherine ...more

35
24 23
Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik ...more

36
16 12
The Bodyguard is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner, Debbie Reynolds The Bodyguard is a 1992 American romantic thriller film directed by Mick Jackson, written by Lawrence Kasdan, and starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Costner stars as a former Secret ...more

37
16 15
The Muppet Movie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Tom Islava added Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor The Muppet Movie is a 1979 American-British musical road comedy film and the first of a series of live-action feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets. Directed by James Frawley, the film's ...more

38
10 8
Blow Out is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added John Travolta, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz Blow Out is a 1981 thriller film, written and directed by Brian De Palma. The film stars John Travolta as Jack Terry, a movie sound effects technician from Philadelphia who, while recording ...more

39
11 11
Man with a Movie Camera is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Man with a Movie Camera is an experimental 1929 silent documentary film, with no story and no actors, by Soviet director Dziga Vertov, edited by his wife Elizaveta Svilova. Vertov's feature ...more

40
14 13
The First Wives Club is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Sarah Jessica Parker, Goldie Hawn, Heather Locklear The First Wives Club is a 1996 comedy film, based on the best-selling 1992 novel of the same name by Olivia Goldsmith. Narrated by Diane Keaton, it stars Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler as ...more

41
37 42
The Blair Witch Project is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American found footage horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. The film was produced by the Haxan Films production ...more

42
11 10
In & Out is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close, Tom Selleck In & Out is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by Frank Oz and starring Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds, and Wilford Brimley. It is an original ...more

43
15 15
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
but chickens double d added Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody King Kong is a 2005 epic monster film and remake of the 1933 film of the same name. Directed, co-written, and produced by Peter Jackson, it stars Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, Jack Black as Carl ...more

44
8 8
The Party is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, Gavin MacLeod The Party is a 1968 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards, starring Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet. The film has a very loose structure, and essentially serves as a series of set pieces for ...more

45
14 16
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

46
13 14
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
but chickens double d added Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir crime film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a ...more

47
18 20
The Stunt Man is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Peter O'Toole, Barbara Hershey, Alex Rocco The Stunt Man is a 1980 American film directed by Richard Rush, starring Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, and Barbara Hershey. The movie was adapted by Lawrence B. Marcus and Rush from the novel ...more

48
9 16
Wag the Dog is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman Wag the Dog is a 1997 black comedy film produced and directed by Barry Levinson. The screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet was loosely adapted from Larry Beinhart's novel American Hero. ...more

49
12 13
8mm is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
CraigAlarm added Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini 8mm is a 1999 American-German crime mystery thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Andrew Kevin Walker. The film stars Nicolas Cage as a private investigator who delves into ...more

50
13 6
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
jaivster added John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright ...more