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The Best Movies About Movies

Updated October 21, 2019 6.3k votes 510 voters 18.8k views135 items

List RulesFilms 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.
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  • 1
    Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
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    39

    Singin' in the Rain

    Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly

    Released1952

    Directed byStanley Donen, Gene Kelly

    Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    119
    51

    Sunset Boulevard

    William Holden, Buster Keaton

    Released1950

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    106
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    Ed Wood

    Johnny Depp, Sarah Jessica Parker

    Released1994

    Directed byTim Burton

    Ed Wood is a 1994 American period comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
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    37

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Artist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    84
    53

    The Artist

    John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell

    Released2011

    Directed byMichel Hazanavicius

    The Artist is a 2011 French romantic comedy-drama in the style of a black-and-white silent... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
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    Boogie Nights

    Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg

    Released1997

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

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  • 7
    Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
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    Tropic Thunder

    Ben Stiller, Jack Black

    Released2008

    Directed byBen Stiller

    Tropic Thunder is a 2008 American action satire comedy film directed by Ben Stiller. Through a... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    77
    42

    Inglourious Basterds

    Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender

    Released2009

    Directed byEli Roth, Quentin Tarantino

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  • 9
    King Kong is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    94
    33

    King Kong

    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper

    Released1933

    Directed byMerian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

    King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Cinema Paradiso is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    63
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    Cinema Paradiso

    Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret

    Released1988

    Directed byGiuseppe Tornatore

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  • 11
    The Aviator is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    58
    35

    The Aviator

    Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2004

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Hugo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    70
    42

    Hugo

    Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz

    Released2011

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    8½ is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    64
    39

    Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni

    Released1963

    Directed byFederico Fellini

    8½ is a 1963 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Co-scripted by Fellini,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    53
    29

    Saving Mr. Banks

    Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell

    Released2013

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

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  • 15
    Argo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    73
    64

    Argo

    Ben Affleck, John Goodman

    Released2012

    Directed byBen Affleck

    Argo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Player is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    44
    29

    The Player

    Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis

    Released1992

    Directed byRobert Altman

    The Player is a 1992 American satirical film directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    39
    16

    L.A. Confidential

    Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe

    Released1997

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Adaptation is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    49
    40

    Adaptation

    Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep

    Released2002

    Directed bySpike Jonze

    Adaptation is a 2002 American comedy-drama metafilm directed by Spike Jonze and written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Birdman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    42
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    Birdman

    Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

    Released2014

    Directed byAlejandro González Iñárritu

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  • 20
    ¡Three Amigos! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    37
    27

    ¡Three Amigos!

    Chevy Chase, Steve Martin

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Landis

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  • 21
    My Week with Marilyn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    35
    26

    My Week with Marilyn

    Emma Watson, Michelle Williams

    Released2011

    Directed bySimon Curtis

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  • 22
    Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    25
    17

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Lynch

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  • 23
    Day for Night is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    27
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    Day for Night

    Jacqueline Bissett, Graham Greene

    Released1973

    Directed byFrançois Truffaut

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  • 24
    Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    37
    34

    Hitchcock

    Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel

    Released2012

    Directed bySacha Gervasi

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  • 25
    Super 8 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Movies
    24
    22

    Super 8

    Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka

    Released2011

    Directed byJ.J. Abrams

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