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

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This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Director: Rob Reiner
This - if you will - rockumentary founded a new mode of American screen comedy, and added more quotable soundbites to the culture than 20 seasons of The Simpsons. Read Review

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E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg turns his parents' divorce into a magical slice of sci-fi as autobiography. Subtle kid performances (especially Henry Thomas) make a great animatronic creation even more affecting. Read Review

On The Waterfront (1954)
Director: Elia Kazan
Brando's Terry Malloy maybe a landmark in screen acting, but Elia Kazan's still stunning hymn to individualism set new levels of realism, finding enough gritty atmosphere and street poetry to power 1,000 episodes of The Wire. Read Review

Psycho (1960)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
"We all go a little mad sometimes." Hitchcock claimed this was a comedy - it does make cruel fun of everything Americans were supposed to take seriously in 1960: psychology, cleanliness, money and mothers. Read Review

Schindler's List (1993)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg's Oscar breakthrough strives hard for its masterpiece status, with masterful work from Liam Neeson and extraordinarily complex villainy from Ralph Fiennes. If it had subtitles, you'd swear it were a Polanski or Andrzej Wajda film. Read Review

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The Big Lebowski (1998)
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
The Coens' colourful take on Raymond Chandler's LA noir is the shaggiest of shaggy dog stories, and evidently Joel and Ethan's most enduring by a long shot. Jeff Bridges' White Russian-downing 'Dude' is an iconic hero.Read Review

Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949)
Director: Robert Hamer
Ealing at its most entertainingly contradictory — a film of style, charm and Victorian literary elegance about (frankly) a social-climbing serial killer. An exemplar of British good taste built on corpses, snobbery and sex. Read Review

The 400 Blows (1959)
Director: François Truffaut
Jean-Pierre Leaud is Truffaut stand-in Antoine Doinel, here an unhappy child taking refuge in the freedom of the cinema and the bleakness of petty crime. Thematically grim, but joyous moviemaking. Read Review

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Vertigo (1958)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
A mystery which takes such a sidetrack that the unmasking of the villain is an irrelevance. Beautiful Kim Novak is mysteriously haunted, while neurotic 'tec James Stewart turns worryingly obsessive. Read Review

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The Matrix (1999)
Director: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Mind-wipe the sequels from your brain, and recall the most significant science-fiction blockbuster of the turn of the millennium - even Keanu Reeves was cool, and the Wachowski brothers pioneered bullet-time. 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.

View All 100 Covers
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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