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

    Singin' in the Rain

    Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly


    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

    Sunset Boulevard

    William Holden, Buster Keaton


    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

    Ed Wood

    Johnny Depp, Sarah Jessica Parker


    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

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd


    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

    The Artist

    John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell


    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

    Boogie Nights

    Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg


    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

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

    Tropic Thunder

    Ben Stiller, Jack Black


    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

    Inglourious Basterds

    Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender


    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

    King Kong

    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper


    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

    Cinema Paradiso

    Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret


    Directed byGiuseppe Tornatore

    Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, internationally released as Cinema Paradiso, is a 1988 Italian drama... more on Wikipedia

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

    The Aviator

    Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio


    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


    Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz


    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

    Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni


    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

    Saving Mr. Banks

    Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell


    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

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


    Ben Affleck, John Goodman


    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

    The Player

    Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis


    Directed byRobert Altman

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

    L.A. Confidential

    Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe


    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


    Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep


    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


    Emma Stone, Naomi Watts


    Directed byAlejandro González Iñárritu

    Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), commonly referred to as Birdman, is a 2014... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    ¡Three Amigos! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Movies

    ¡Three Amigos!

    Chevy Chase, Steve Martin


    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

    My Week with Marilyn

    Emma Watson, Michelle Williams


    Directed bySimon Curtis

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

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus


    Directed byDavid Lynch

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

    Day for Night

    Jacqueline Bissett, Graham Greene


    Directed byFrançois Truffaut

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


    Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel


    Directed bySacha Gervasi

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

    Super 8

    Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka


    Directed byJ.J. Abrams

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