The 50 best movies of all time, according to critics on Metacritic

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Many of the notable lists that rank the greatest movies of all time - like the American Film Insitute's "100 Years... 100 Movies" from 1998 - have enlisted thousands of movie-industry names to come up with a consensus of the best films.

When film critics are the only factor taken into account for such a list, however, it's a given that the results may not reflect what's most popular.

We turned to review aggregator Metacritic for its list of the all-time greatest movies, which ranks films by their composite critical reception. The list excludes re-releases and films with less than seven total reviews on the site, so a number of classics like "The Godfather" and "Citizen Kane" are absent for lack of data, and the data skew toward contemporary movies. But it's an odd, fascinating assortment all the same.

Check out the 50 best movies of all time, according to the critics on Metacritic:

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50. "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)

50. "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from IMDB): Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

49. "35 Shots of Rum" (2009)

49. "35 Shots of Rum" (2009)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 6.1/10

Plot summary: The relationship between a father and daughter is complicated by the arrival of a handsome young man.

48. "Raging Bull" (1980)

48. "Raging Bull" (1980)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 6.4/10

Plot summary: An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

47. "The Class" (2008)

47. "The Class" (2008)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 7.3/10

Plot summary: Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

46. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007)

46. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 8.3/10

Plot summary: The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

45. "Yi Yi" (2000)

45. "Yi Yi" (2000)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary: Each member of a middle class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives.

44. "One More Time With Feeling" (2016)

44. "One More Time With Feeling" (2016)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary: Explores the creative process of Nick Cave and his band as the singer struggles an unspoken personal tragedy.

43. "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013)

43. "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 7.7/10

Plot summary: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

42. "Crumb" (1995)

42. "Crumb" (1995)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.3/10

Plot summary: An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

41. "Days of Heaven" (1978)

41. "Days of Heaven" (1978)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary: A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.

40. "Sita Sings the Blues" (2009)

40. "Sita Sings the Blues" (2009)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary: An animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw.

39. "Sherpa" (2015)

39. "Sherpa" (2015)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary: A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 6400 m (21,000 ft) as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas.

38. "Jackie" (2016)

38. "Jackie" (2016)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: TBD

Plot summary: Following the assassination of her husband, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

37. "Schindler's List" (1993)

37. "Schindler's List" (1993)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary: In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

36. "Spotlight" (2015)

36. "Spotlight" (2015)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

35. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000)

35. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 7.9/10

Plot summary: Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

34. "Reversal of Fortune" (1990)

34. "Reversal of Fortune" (1990)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 7.8/10

Plot summary: Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he's innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.

33. "The Servant" (1964)

33. "The Servant" (1964)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.1/10

Plot summary: Takes a sharp look at British class relations via a dramatic turning of the tables between a dainty Oxbridge twit bachelor and his contemptuous manservant.

32. "Amour" (2012)

32. "Amour" (2012)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.0/10

Plot summary: Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

31. "Maborosi" (1994)

31. "Maborosi" (1994)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: TBD

Plot summary: A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant.

30. "Carlos" (2010)

30. "Carlos" (2010)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 7.8/10

Plot summary: The story of Venezuelan revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, who founded a worldwide terrorist organization and raided the 1975 OPEC meeting.

29. "Inside Out" (2015)

29. "Inside Out" (2015)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary: After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

28. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003)

28. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary: Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

27. "We Were Here" (2011)

27. "We Were Here" (2011)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 7.1/10

Plot summary: A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

26. "Sideways" (2004)

26. "Sideways" (2004)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.7/10

Plot summary: Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

25. "WALL-E" (2008)

25. "WALL-E" (2008)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary: In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

24. "Toni Erdman" (2016)

24. "Toni Erdman" (2016)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: TBD

Plot summary: A father tries to reconnect with his adult daughter.

23. "The Hurt Locker" (2009)

23. "The Hurt Locker" (2009)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 7.3/10

Plot summary: During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

22. "Mr. Turner" (2014)

22. "Mr. Turner" (2014)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.9/10

Plot summary: An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.

21. "Killer of Sheep" (1978)

21. "Killer of Sheep" (1978)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.9/10

Plot summary: Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against influences which would dishonor and endanger him and his family.

20. "Pulp Fiction" (1994)

20. "Pulp Fiction" (1994)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary: The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

19. "Spirited Away" (2001)

19. "Spirited Away" (2001)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary: During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

18. "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962)

18. "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary: A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

17. "45 Years" (2015)

17. "45 Years" (2015)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary: A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receives shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.

16. "Before Midnight" (2013)

16. "Before Midnight" (2013)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.3/10

Plot summary: We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

15. "A Separation" (2011)

15. "A Separation" (2011)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary: A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.

14. "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012)

14. "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 6.8/10

Plot summary: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.

13. "The Social Network" (2010)

13. "The Social Network" (2010)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.2/10

Plot summary: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

12. "Carol" (2015)

12. "Carol" (2015)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.9/10

Plot summary: An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

11. "Gravity" (2013)

11. "Gravity" (2013)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 7.8/10

Plot summary: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

10. "Ratatouille" (2007)

10. "Ratatouille" (2007)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary: A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant.

9. "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964)

9. "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.3/10

Plot summary: An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

8. "Ran" (1985)

8. "Ran" (1985)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.3/10

Plot summary: In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

7. "12 Years a Slave" (2013)

7. "12 Years a Slave" (2013)

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.0/10

Plot summary: In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

6. "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" (2008)

6. "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" (2008)

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.9/10

Plot summary: A woman assists her friend in arranging an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania.

5. "Hoop Dreams" (1994)

5. "Hoop Dreams" (1994)

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 8.2/10

Plot summary: A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

4. "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006)

4. "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006)

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

3. "Moonlight" (2016)

3. "Moonlight" (2016)

Critic score: 99/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary: A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, "Moonlight" chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

2. "Three Colors: Red" (1994)

2. "Three Colors: Red" (1994)

Critic score: 100/100

User score: 7.9/10

Plot summary: Final entry in a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society concerns a model who discovers her neighbour is keen on invading people's privacy.

1. "Boyhood" (2014)

1. "Boyhood" (2014)

Critic score: 100/100

User score: 7.7/10

Plot summary: The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.

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