Empire's 500 Greatest Movies Of All TimeEmpire's 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Empire's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time

The Wages Of Fear (1953)
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Four losers drive trucks loaded with unstable nitro across treacherous jungle roads. It takes a full hour to introduce its characters, before turning the screws unbearingly, twisting round hairpin bends, over rocky ground, and into oil slicks. Read Review

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Withnail And I (1987)
Director: Bruce Robinson
Truly funny, truly cult: fans can mouth the words of Richard E. Grant’s speeches along with him, relishing every viperish turn of phrase and perfectly pronounced curse. A beloved British oddity never repeated. Read Review

Miller's Crossing (1990)
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
The Coens in Dashiell Hammett gangster territory, recounting the near-tragedy of an honourable crook undone by a single gesture of mercy. Finney sees off hitmen with a Thompson while smoking a cigar and listening to Danny Boy in a bravura sequence of Coen magic. Read Review

Rio Bravo (1959)
Director: Howard Hawks
Hawks’ Western is at once roundabout — with time-outs for songs and Angie Dickinson in tights — and a model of suspense, as John Wayne, Dean Martin and Walter Brennan hole up in a town jail besieged by the bad hats. Read Review

Blazing Saddles (1974)
Director: Mel Brooks
Brooks invented scattershot movie parody with this cowboy outrage (we get less grateful everytime a Meet The Spartans or Disaster Movie opens). Highlights: a classic theme song and the Ben-Hur chariot race of flatulence scenes. Read Review

The Conversation (1974)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
A Watergate-era analysis of paranoid high-tech eavesdroppers, it’s also a great thriller with a clever plot twist and a riveting, underplayed central performance from Gene Hackman. Read Review

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Director: Adam McKay
Will Ferrell’s breakout vehicle homages the fashion, music and sexual politics of the ’70s, with a smarmily self-confident TV newsreader threatened by a female rival. Major plus — it’s not about a stupid sport. Read Review

I Am Cuba (1964)
Director: Alexander Payne
Russian helmer Kalatozov unsurprisingly reveals the source of Cuba’s ache for revolution via a quartet of stories set in Batista’s Cuba. Yes, it’s Communist propaganda, but also a technical marvel. Read Review

Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Director: Werner Herzog
A crazed Klaus Kinski brings opera to the jungle — by pulling a steamer over a mountain, obviously. As ambitious, visually stunning and plain old insane as cinema gets, this is Herzog’s masterwork. Read Review

Before Sunset (2004)
Director: Richard Linklater
Before Sunrise, ten years on. Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meet again, briefly, getting another chance to talk about love. How many sequels are made for artistic reasons and add meaning, rather than strip it away? Read Review

About The Poll
This poll was conducted in November 2008. The list was compiled using votes from Empire readers, Hollywood actors, actress and key film critics.

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In conjunction with the poll results, we produced 100 individual covers celebrating some of the key films in the list. View 100 Covers

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