movies

The five best movies of all time have been officially decided and not everyone will be pleased.

I will always stand by the idea that the quickest way to get a true glimpse into someone’s soul is to make them name their favourite movie.

The genre they pick, the memories they dredge up and even the lines they quote can all instantly give you an insight into their personality and childhood. Even the people who cavalierly declare they don’t really watch movies and so could never possibly name a favourite one are inadvertently trying to tell you something.

Namely that you’d never want to be stuck in quarantine with them…

But since movie appreciation is such a personal choice, it’s always been nearly impossible to summarise what the definitive best movies of all time are, for any one person to decide which titles deserve to be celebrated above all others.

At least, until now, because that’s exactly what the good folks over in Hollywood have been up to this month.

For the first time ever, The Hollywood Reporter has released an industry-approved list naming Hollywood’s 100 Favourite Films, a list which is being called the first definitive entertainment-industry ranking of cinema.

In order to get the results, the publication surveyed people from every studio, agency, publicity firm and production house in Hollywood, with thousands of professionals giving their expert opinion on the best movies ever made.

100 movies were included in the final list, but it’s the titles that made it into the coveted top five spots that are in need of our own critical attention.

Listen to the hosts of The Spill dissect the top five movies of all time. 

Here’s what the experts chose as the five greatest movies of all time.

5. Pulp Fiction

The 1994 neo-noir crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino intertwines several different stories of criminal life within Los Angeles and stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman.

Pulp Fiction was both a major critical and commercial success, winning the coveted Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, and being nominated for a slew of  Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and winning Best Original Screenplay.

All these years later, the film is considered Tarantino’s masterpiece and is still referenced and parodied throughout pop-culture to this day.

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4.  The Shawshank Redemption

Interestingly, even though Stephen King is the most-adapted living writer, only two of his works made The Hollywood Reporter list, with The Shinning coming in at number 39.

Even though The Shawshank Redemption had a fairly unexceptional theatrical release when it hit movie screens in 1994, it was a win with the critics and was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1995.

The jailbreak movie starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman has gone on to become a favoured cult classic.

3. Citizen Kane

I have to say, I was surprised to see that Citizen Kane did not end up taking out the top spot on this list, since it has always been regarded widely by film critics as the greatest American movie ever made.

The 1941 film, about the investigation into a publishing tycoon’s dying words, is often cited as having one of the most poignant and important movie endings in history, which I won’t spoil for you here but it’s worth a watch.

The Shawshank Redemption has gone on to become a favored cult classic. Image: Getty.

2. The Wizard of Oz

Was your childhood even complete if it didn't include infinite rewatches of The Wizard of Oz? 

Of course, nowadays we know that the behind-the-scenes stories from this classic film were anything but rosy, but it appears that will never stop generation after generation from enjoying Dorothy Gale's adventure in the wonderful world of Oz.

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In fact, the 1939 release is still regarded as the most-watched film of all time, according to the Library of Congress, thanks to regular showings on broadcast television since the mid-1950s and on cable and streaming services since the '90s.

1.The Godfather

Since its premiere in 1972, The Godfather has always sat comfortably atop 'best of' lists and so it's no surprise that the film industry has crowned it as the best movie of all time.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton, the mafia family drama has proven to be endlessly quotable ("I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse", anyone?) and is still regarded as an unmatched feat of filmmaking and storytelling.

Of course, when looking at this list, not everyone is going to be pleased. So it's worth looking into why the results, even with a wide-reaching poll, are pretty intensely skewed in one particular direction.

The top five films, with the potential exception of The Wizard of Oz, all touch in different ways on the exact same subject matter.

That is white, middleaged-ish men going through a stage of reckoning or change in their lives and dealing with the consequences. Even The Wizard of Oz, to a much lesser degree, is about a man dealing with the fallout of tricking a magical world into making him their leader.

Due to the fact that the film industry is still predominantly filled with older white men, who would have been the ones to vote most in this poll, it's no surprise that no films from the last decade made the top five. Or were even featured in the highest ranks of the list.  And why the list is almost completely devoid of titles created by female filmmakers.

As was widely discussed during the last Oscars race, it's a proven fact that male critics and industry insiders don't interact with female-led and focussed films, which is why they never appear on 'best-of' lists.

But with the Academy continually ushering in a new wave of diverse creatives, critics and filmmakers, in the next decade I'd wager that this list will start looking very different.

Which movie do you think should have made the top five?


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