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Fans Pick the Best Movies of the Last 25 Years

In celebration of Rotten Tomatoes’ 25th anniversary, we asked our fans to submit their top films and released in the past 25 years, and the results we got were surprising! The top of the list is absolutely dominated by genre fare — superhero flicks like The Dark Knight and Avengers: Endgame, sci-fi films like Interstellar and The Matrix, and fantasy like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Meanwhile, award-winners like GladiatorMad Max: Fury Road, There Will Be Blood, and La La Land show up further down the list, while the rest of the selections are made up of a pretty eclectic mix of critical darlings and crowd pleasers.

Be sure to check out the list of the Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Last 25 Years, too – you might be surprised by some of their choices. And check out what fans picked for the Best TV Series of the Last 25 Years.

#1

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108512%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#2

Interstellar (2014)
73%

#2
Adjusted Score: 91376%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#3

Inception (2010)
87%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102456%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Synopsis: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#4
Adjusted Score: 103960%
Critics Consensus: Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.
Synopsis: The culmination of nearly 10 years' work and conclusion to Peter Jackson's epic trilogy based on the timeless J.R.R. Tolkien... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 123905%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#6

The Matrix (1999)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 93693%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the Wachowskis' imaginative vision, The Matrix is a smartly crafted combination of spectacular action and groundbreaking special effects.
Synopsis: Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can... [More]

#7
Adjusted Score: 99702%
Critics Consensus: Full of eye-popping special effects, and featuring a pitch-perfect cast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to vivid life.
Synopsis: The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#8

Parasite (2019)
99%

#8
Adjusted Score: 124860%
Critics Consensus: An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
Synopsis: Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon Ho

#9
Adjusted Score: 116036%
Critics Consensus: Led by an outstanding Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once lives up to its title with an expertly calibrated assault on the senses.
Synopsis: Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action... [More]
Directed By: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

#10
Adjusted Score: 103943%
Critics Consensus: The Two Towers balances spectacular action with emotional storytelling, leaving audiences both wholly satisfied and eager for the final chapter.
Synopsis: The sequel to the Golden Globe-nominated and AFI Award-winning "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "The... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 103212%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Synopsis: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#12

Fight Club (1999)
79%

#12
Adjusted Score: 88394%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
Synopsis: A depressed man (Edward Norton) suffering from insomnia meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and soon... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 122323%
Critics Consensus: Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.
Synopsis: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

#14
Adjusted Score: 118389%
Critics Consensus: Just as visually dazzling and action-packed as its predecessor, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse thrills from start to cliffhanger conclusion.
Synopsis: Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning Spider-Verse saga, an epic adventure that will transport Brooklyn's full-time,... [More]

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 112682%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#16
Adjusted Score: 119435%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 102752%
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
Synopsis: It is the first year of Germany's occupation of France. Allied officer Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) assembles a team... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 104783%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by powerful lead performances from Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men finds the Coen brothers spinning cinematic gold out of Cormac McCarthy's grim, darkly funny novel.
Synopsis: While out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the grisly aftermath of a drug deal. Though he knows better, he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 118810%
Critics Consensus: With exhilarating action and a surprising amount of narrative heft, Mad Max: Fury Road brings George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise roaring vigorously back to life.
Synopsis: Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortan Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress the Citadel. When... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#20

Gladiator (2000)
80%

#20
Adjusted Score: 90607%
Critics Consensus: While not everyone will be entertained by Gladiator's glum revenge story, Russell Crowe thunderously wins the crowd with a star-making turn that provides Ridley Scott's opulent resurrection of Rome its bruised heart.
Synopsis: Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) takes power and strips rank from Maximus (Russell Crowe), one of the favored generals of his predecessor... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#21

The Departed (2006)
91%

#21
Adjusted Score: 103013%
Critics Consensus: Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality we come to expect from Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 100926%
Critics Consensus: Widely touted as a masterpiece, this sparse and sprawling epic about the underhanded "heroes" of capitalism boasts incredible performances by leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano, and is director Paul Thomas Anderson's best work to date.
Synopsis: Silver miner Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) leads a hardscrabble life with his son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier). When he hears about... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#23

La La Land (2016)
91%

#23
Adjusted Score: 113988%
Critics Consensus: La La Land breathes new life into a bygone genre with thrillingly assured direction, powerful performances, and an irresistible excess of heart.
Synopsis: Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But... [More]
Directed By: Damien Chazelle

#24
Adjusted Score: 100580%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey)... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#25

Whiplash (2014)
94%

#25
Adjusted Score: 108747%
Critics Consensus: Intense, inspiring, and well-acted, Whiplash is a brilliant sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle and a riveting vehicle for stars J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller.
Synopsis: Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, in pursuit of rising to the top of his elite... [More]
Directed By: Damien Chazelle