What are the most popular movies? There are different ways to measure that. One way, for instance, is to go by box office receipts. That just tells about ticket sales, though, not enduring popularity.
Another, then, is to go by viewer ratings, which is what we’ve done here. Based on IMDb users’ ratings, which range from 1 to 10 (10 being the best), these are the 25 most popular movies ever.
The Shawshank Redemption– 9.3
This epic about an unjustly imprisoned man seeking freedom and justice didn’t perform spectacularly in theaters, but its popularity exploded after it came out on home video. Andy’s escape is one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, and the ending is among the most satisfying ever.
The Godfather– 9.2
With an outstanding cast, compelling story, and impeccable direction and script, this movie about a Sicilian crime family became an instant classic. It also spawned what many say is the best sequel ever and is even better than the original.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse– 8.7
Across the multiverse, Miles Morales meets a group of Spider-People whose job it is to protect it. Trouble arises when they differ on how to respond to a new threat.
In a future setting, Earth becomes uninhabitable. A farmer who’s an ex-NASA pilot leads a team to find a new home for humanity.
This film chronicles the life of the brilliant scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was one of the leading participants in the Manhattan Project, the effort to develop the first atomic bomb.
Poor Things– 8.5
Bella Baxter is a young woman brought back to life by a brilliant, unorthodox scientist. The film covers her incredible evolution.
The Holdovers– 8.4
A troubled prep-school student has nowhere to go over the holidays. To make sure he stays safe, a grouchy history has to stay on campus with him in this comedy.
The Wolf of Wall Street– 8.2
Based on a true story, this film depicts the rise and fall of wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort. It’s another screen triumph by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Inside Out– 8.1
A young girl experiences conflicting emotions after having to move from the Midwest to San Francisco and adapt to a new home and school. This is currently the top-rated animated film on IMDb.
Gone Girl– 8.1
When a famous woman disappears, sympathy for her husband turns to suspicion. As his life unravels, plot twists keep dropping shocking surprises.
Killers of the Flower Moon– 8.0
In 1920s Oklahoma, the Osage people are being murdered after oil has been discovered beneath their sovereign land. It’s up to the FBI to figure out what’s going on and stop it.
Past Lives– 8.0
When Nora’s family moves from South Korea, she’s separated from Hae Sung, a friend with whom she’s had a deep connection since childhood. Twenty years later, they meet each other again.
War over control of the galaxy’s most valuable commodity, and it pulls a noble family into the thick of it. This rating refers to the 2021 version of this sci-fi classic.
Anatomy of a Fall– 7.9
A woman falls under suspicion for her husband’s murder. Their blind son is the main witness and faces a moral challenge.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3– 7.9
The Guardians have to protect the universe and defend one of their own in this final installment of the series. If they fail, the Guardians may cease to exist.
Tiger 3– 7.8
In this Indian action-thriller, Tiger is an agent called up for a special mission. He and his partner Zoya have to save both the country and their families this time, so it’s personal.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One– 7.8
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team are tracking down a powerful weapon so that it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Released in 2023, this is the 7th in the series, with an 8th on the way in 2025.
The Batman– 7.8
Batman is out to stop a serial killer targeting political figures in Gotham. As he does so, he becomes aware of the city’s deep corruption and his family’s possible ties to it.
The Breakfast Club– 7.8
During the 1980s, films starring various members of the “Brat Pack”– young, popular screen stars– had wide appeal to teens and young adults. The Breakfast Club, about a group of mismatched high-schoolers serving a Saturday detention together, is arguably the most iconic of these films that also included Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, and others.
A mild-mannered man owns a Kashmir cafe. Things take a turn when he fends off thugs from a cartel claiming he was once a part of it.
Sound of Freedom– 7.7
Based on the biography of a former federal agent, this film shows how he became a vigilante who went on a mission to save hundreds of children from human trafficking. Although questions about its veracity and the personal behavior of the agent-vigilante have since come out, this film was a big hit with millions of people in the spring and summer of 2023.
Godzilla Minus One– 7.7
Post-WWII Japan is in terrible shape, and the last thing the people need is a new crisis. That’s what they get, though, when a gigantic dinosaur-like beast makes its way from U.S. Pacific territories to the island nation.
John Wick: Chapter 4– 7.7
This time, John Wick learns of a way to defeat the High Table, the ultimate authority of the underworld. First, though, he has to face a powerful new enemy as well as old friends that become foes.
Home Alone– 7.7
From IMDb ratings, this is the most popular Christmas movie ever. A young boy accidentally gets left behind when his family goes on a trip overseas. In the meantime, two burglars assume his house will be easy pickings. From there, hilarity and mishaps ensue.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone– 7.6
This is the film that first brought the magical world of Harry Potter to the screen. From there, we got to watch the child stars grow into young adults as all 8 installments were released.
Note– on IMDb, Love Actually and Saltburn also have 7.6 ratings.
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