Empire Magazine releases a new list of the 100 Greatest Movies that puts Avengers: Infinity War at #8 – and The Fellowship of the Ring at #1.
Empire has published their new list of the 100 Greatest Movies, and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War takes the #8 slot. The 2018 film was the third in the Avengers series and the 19th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, constituting the first half of a massive two-part conclusion to the long-running Infinity Saga. Avengers: Infinity War received positive notices from critics upon release and went on to become the fourth highest-grossing film in history with over $2 billion worldwide.
As with any all-time ranking, the debates over which movie is the greatest ever made have lasted decades and yielded some very disparate answers. Among critical and scholarly circles, Orson Welles’ 1941 film Citizen Kane has long held the reputation as the consensus pick, though Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo overtook it in the most recent edition of the Sight & Sound magazine poll. Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia epic The Godfather has also been frequently mentioned, while Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption has famously topped the user-voted IMDB Top 250 for many years.
According to Empire‘s latest list, however, the greatest movie ever made is Peter Jackson’s 2001 trilogy-starter, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The much-beloved second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, takes the #2 slot, while the aforementioned The Godfather sits just behind it. Avengers: Infinity War is the highest Marvel movie on the list, with its direct sequel Avengers: Endgame not too far behind at #22, but Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed The Dark Knight has it beat for the highest-rated superhero project at #4.
All-time rankings always come down to criteria, and it’s important to note that Empire‘s list was formed as a collaboration between their critical staff and their readership. Their description of what constitutes a “best [film] ever made” straddles the line between historical importance, artistic impact on the medium, and the memorability of its audience experience, which certainly accounts for the relative recency of its choices. It also makes for some interesting juxtapositions – Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Scott Pilgrim vs the World at #92 and #93, for example, or The Thing and Casablanca at #32 and #33.
This new list is sure to be controversial, and not just for critics, scholars, and cinephiles who will criticize the absence of some world-cinema classics. Choosing Avengers: Infinity War as the best MCU movie might earn some raised eyebrows from fans of the franchise, and while Lord of the Rings fans will surely celebrate Fellowship topping the list, that it sits so far above Oscar record-holder The Return of the King at #27 will spark cries that Empire has reasoned for madness. But if this list proves anything, it’s that well-told adventure stories have a special power to linger in the hearts and minds of viewers, particularly when their theatrical releases feel like major events.
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
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