Entertainment The Best Movies About Movies  

Ranker Film
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4.5k votes 420 voters 16.6k 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
157 40
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
106 43
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
92 36
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
81 49
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
79 32
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
82 61
Argo is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
64 32
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
110 61
Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 8 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.
9
80 48
The Artist is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
59 41
Cinema Paradiso is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, Leopoldo Trieste
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
58 41
8½ is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
62 39
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
43 38
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
57 39
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
38 28
The Aviator is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
39 30
The Player is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
31 14
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
28 23
Day for Night is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
41 24
Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
33 26
Sullivan's Travels is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
31 26
¡Three Amigos! is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
30 18
This Is Spinal Tap is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
28 30
The Bad and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
32 22
Silent Movie is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
31 28
Birdman is listed (or ranked) 25 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