EMPIRE Reveals Greatest 100 Movies Of The Century

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Mad Max: Fury Road has been voted the greatest movie of the century by Empire magazine critics and readers in their poll of the 100 Greatest Movies of the Century.

The wild, outrageously inventive action film, starring Tom Hardy and made in the Namibian desert, took the number one spot on Empire’s definitive rundown of the greatest 100 movies made over the past 20 years.

Best-selling movie magazine Empire polled both their critics and readers – who cast their votes by the thousands via empireonline.com – for their favourite films of the century so far.  The list of films has been compiled by combining the choices submitted by critics and readers, to arrive at a definitive rundown of the 100 greatest movies from the year 2000 to present. 



The results reflect the exciting and vibrant state of the movie industry over the first two decades of the 21st century.  From blockbusters to indie surprises, the past 20 years have taken cinema to new heights.  

On taking the top accolade, Mad Max: Fury Road Director George Miller said: “It’s a lovely pat on the back… How do you measure the worth of a film?  The best I can come up with is to ask, ‘How long does it follow you out of the cinema?’  Some films you’ve forgotten by the time you get to the car park.  Others seem to follow you around for the rest of your life.

On his refusal to give the project up, even though it took almost 20 years to get made, Miller said: “Whenever it fell down, it didn’t stop me thinking about it.  You couldn’t kill it with a stick.”

On Charlize Theron’s performance as the iconic Furiosa, Miller commented:  “There were times when I remember sitting at the back of The War Rig, and Charlies would be driving back to set and I’d think ‘Wow, if this was the apocalypse, I’m glad she’s driving The War Rig.’  She was Furiosa.”

The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films all make it onto the list, with The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring taking second place, while The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King landed at 43 and The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers at 53.  Christopher Nolan’s 2008 hit The Dark Knight, featuring Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as The Joker, appears at number three and the more recent controversial Joker appears at number 39.

Much diversity features on the list of films, including Moonlight, a film about a queer black man, which ranked very highly at 5, while God’s Own Country (30), Carol (60) and Brokeback Mountain (54), all also LGBTQ films, made the list.   The highest-scoring film directed by a woman is Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation, at number 10 and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, which makes it onto the list at 36.

Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig told Empire what the legacy of Lady Bird had been for her:  “The thing that’s been most moving is really the girls. I live in New York, by NYU and by New School, and there’s a lot of young girls who want to be filmmakers around who come and talk to me. Honestly, it’s the sweetest thing. They’re very sincere and they’re never pushy; they just want to tell me about their moms and their dreams for their life. I’m very honoured that they’ve chosen me as their leader for this time being.”

Mad Max Fury Road was the unanimous favourite film in the critics Top 10, but, in comparison, Empire readers voted The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring their top film and Mad Max Fury Road their second favourite. 

Commenting on the results, Terri White, Editor-In-Chief of Empire, said: “It’s been a phenomenal 20 years in cinema and drawing up this list was no easy task for either our critics or readers! The resulting 100, though, is a testament to the verve, vitality and pure power of film in the 20th century.”

Empire’s 100 Greatest Movies of the Century:

1. Mad Max Fury Road

2. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

3. The Dark Knight

4. Inception

5. Moonlight 

6. The Social Network

7. Avengers: Infinity War

8. Get Out

9. Pan’s Labyrinth

10. Lost In Translation

11. There Will Be Blood

12. No Country For Old Men

13. Whiplash

14. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

15. Spirited Away

16. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

17. Mulholland Drive

18. Inside Out

19. The Wolf Of Wall Street

20. Interstellar

21. Children Of Men

22. Gladiator

23. City Of God

24. La La Land

25. Call Me By Your Name

26. Memento

27. Kill Bill Volume Volume 1

28. The Irishman

29. Boyhood

30. God’s Own Country

31. Amelie

32. Avengers Assemble

33. Wonder Woman

34. Zodiac

35. Arrival

36. Lady Bird

37. Donnie Darko

38. The Grand Budapest Hotel

39. Joker

40. Up

41. Avengers: Endgame

42. Casino Royale

43. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

44. Roma 

45. Blade Runner 2049

46. Inside Llewyn Davis

47. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

48. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

49. In Bruges

50. The Hunt For The Wilderpeople

51. Paddington 2

52. Inglourious Basterds

53. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

54. Brokeback Mountain

55. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

56. Before Sunset

57. Drive

58. Wall-E

59. Django Unchained

60. Carol

61. Shaun Of The Dead

62. Sideways

63. Under The Skin

64. Almost Famous

65. Toy Story 3

66. The Prestige

67. Hot Fuzz

68. Apocalypto

69. The Royal Tenenbaums

70. Avatar 

71. The Raid

72. Birdman

73. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood 

74. Oldboy 

75. Training Day

76. Logan

77. Dunkirk 

78. Michael Clayton 

79. Little Miss Sunshine 

80. Before Midnight 

81. District 9

82. Skyfall 

83. Frances Ha 

84. Coco 

85. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford 

86. Iron Man 

87. Bridesmaids

88. Sweeney Todd 

89. Her

90. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 

91. In The Mood For Love 

92. Baby Driver

93. Phantom Thread 

94. Batman Begins 

95. A Prophet 

96. Guardians Of The Galaxy 

97. Ex Machina 

98. Captain America: Civil War 

99. Let The Right One In 

100. Dead Man’s Shoes

Top Ten Critics Choice:

1. Mad Max Fury Road

2. The Dark Knight

3. The Social Network

4. Moonlight

5. Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

6. There Will Be Blood

7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

8. Get Out

9. Inception

10. Lost In Translation

Top Ten Readers Choice:

1. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

3. Inception

4. Avengers: Infinity War

5. The Dark Knight

6. Moonlight

7. Pan’s Labyrinth

8. Get Out

9. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

10. Lost In Translation

Empire interviewed many of the directors of the films on the list for their reactions to the results, including: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Paul King (Paddington 2), James Mangold (Logan), and Francis Lee (God’s Own Country). 

The 100 Greatest Movies of the Century (so far) are revealed in this month’s issue, on sale on Thursday 23rd January and revealed online at empireonline.com


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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