Hollywood movies typically run about 1.5 to 2 hours. The patented three act structure unfolds onscreen and the credits roll before backs begin to ache and minds begin to wonder. But sometimes two hours is not enough and this list has them all. These are the best movies that are super long.
All the films on this list run at least 2 hours and 20 minutes. Most of them are even longer than that and some of them are twice as long as the average movie. Why would a filmmaker keep someone glued to the screen for over three hours with a really long movie? Not every great movie is packaged with a simple beginning, middle, and an end. Epic stories need to percolate and their characters need more room to develop.
Imagine The Godfather without the legendary opening wedding scene. That sequence alone lasts over thirty minutes, and it has very little to do with moving the story forward. Instead, it’s basically thirty minutes of director Francis Ford Coppola introducing the audience to the Corleone family.
Several films on this list run over three hours. Think that’s too long? Check out their Rotten Tomatoes scores - every single one of them received an outstanding rating. When a person sees Schindler’s List or Lawrence of Arabia for the first time, they do not walk away from the experience worried that they’ve spent too long looking at a movie screen. Sure, some movies with long running times could afford a clip or two in the editing room. But you won’t find any of those movies on this list.These good films warrant and demand your full attention, no matter how long they are. Be sure to upvote for your favorite long movies to watch, those with an epic runtime.
Running Time: 3 hr. 42 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 22 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 6 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 55 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99% The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 41 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92% Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 20 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 36 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99% Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 16 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 54min.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 42 min.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%Ben Hur is a 2003 animated film based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Lew Wallace. It is the fourth film adaptation of the novel. Charlton Heston's production company, Agamemnon ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 14 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88% Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 41 min.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 WWII epic film directed by David Lean, based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 39 min.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 33 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99% Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 9 min.Rotton Tomatoes Score: 80% The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 53 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93% The Great Escape is a 1963 American WWII epic film based on an escape by British and Commonwealth POW from a German POW camp during WWII, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 26 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96% Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 21 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95% The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 2 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78% Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 48 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98% The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more
Running Time: 3 hr. 13 min.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%Doctor Zhivago is a British-American 1965 epic dramaromance film directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. It is set in Russia between the years prior to WWI, and is ...more
Running Time: 3 hr.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96% The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. It is the second ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 34 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93% Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 22 min.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91% The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more
Running Time: 2 hr. 23 min.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a ...more