PrettyFamous Presents: The Best Movie Released The Year You Were Born

Entertainment / Movies
best movie
Posted on March 14, 2016 by Natalie Morin

Just as major events help mark the passing of time, movies have also defined different eras in American history. From the silent movies of the early 20th century, to movie musicals of the 1950s, to the not-strictly-for-kids animated features of recent decades, films have grown and changed alongside the country.

Using data from a number of sources, PrettyFamous identified the best movie of every year since 1916. They selected the movie with the highest Smart Rating each year, which is a weighted average out of 100 of the following:

  • Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer
  • Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score
  • IMDb Rating
  • Metacritic’s Metascore
  • Gracenote’s Proprietary Rating
  • Inflation-adjusted cumulative domestic box office gross

PrettyFamous set a limit of IMDb votes that a movie needs to have to be considered popular enough to be eligible. To account for older movies which have fewer reviews than their modern counterparts, PrettyFamous only included movies from 1916-1929 with more than 3,000 IMDb votes, 25,000 IMDb votes for movies from 1930-1949 and 50,000 IMDb votes for movies from 1950-2015.

1916: Intolerance

Smart Rating: 93

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 9,880

1917: Easy Street

Smart Rating: 86

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 3,214

1918: A Dog’s Life

Smart Rating: 86

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 4,515

1919: Broken Blossoms

Smart Rating: 88

Genre: Drama
IMDB votes: 6,906

1920: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Horror
IMDb votes: 36,994

1921: The Kid

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Comedy, Drama
IMDb votes: 62,089

1922: Nosferatu

Smart Rating: 94

Genre: Horror
IMDb votes: 65,670

1923: Safety Last

Smart Rating: 92

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 12,430

1924: The Navigator

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Comedy
IMD vbotes: 6,368

1925: The Gold Rush

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 64,065

1926: The General

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 50,688

1927: Metropolis

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Science Fiction
IMDb votes: 106,109

1928: The Wind

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 4,497

1929: Pandora’s Box

Smart Rating: 93

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 7,188

1930: All Quiet on the Western Front

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: War
IMDb votes: 45,764

1931: City Lights

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Comedy, Drama
IMDb votes: 101,299

1932: Freaks

Smart Rating: 94

Genre: Horror
IMDb votes: 30,958

1933: King Kong

Smart Rating: 94

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
IMDb votes: 62,669

1934: It Happened One Night

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Romantic, Comedy
IMDb votes: 61,363

1935: Bride of Frankenstein

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Horror
IMDb votes: 30,766

1936: Modern Times

Smart Rating: 98

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 133,539

1937: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Smart Rating: 93

Genre: Children, Fantasy, Animated
IMDb votes: 126,388

1938: The Adventures of Robin Hood

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Adventure
IMDb votes: 37,795

1939: Gone With the Wind

Smart Rating: 100

Genre: Romance, Historical Drama
IMDb votes: 205,019

1940: Rebecca

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Thriller
IMDb votes: 82,923

1941: Citizen Kane

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 284,728

1942: Casablanca

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 370,838

1943: Shadow of a Doubt

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Crime Drama, Mystery
IMDb votes: 43,786

1944: Double Indemnity

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 93,034

1945: Spellbound

Smart Rating: 91

Genre: Mystery
IMDb votes: 31,666

1946: It’s a Wonderful Life

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Holiday, Drama
IMDb votes: 262,665

1947: Miracle on 34th Street

Smart Rating: 94

Genre: Holiday, Fantasy
IMDb votes: 29,623

1948: The Bicycle Thief

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 83,409

1949: The Third Man

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb votes: 108,694

1950: Sunset Blvd.

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 132,884

1951: Strangers on a Train

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Thriller
IMDb votes: 91,342

1952: Singin’ in the Rain

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Musical, Comedy
IMDb votes: 142,316

1953: Roman Holiday

Smart Rating: 94

Genre: Romantic, Comedy
IMDb votes: 95,073

1954: Seven Samurai

Smart Rating: 98

Genre: Action
IMDb votes: 218,812

1955: The Night of the Hunter

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Thriller
IMDb votes: 62,478

1956: The Killing

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 60,229

1957: 12 Angry Men

Smart Rating: 98

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 421,352

1958: Vertigo

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Thriller
IMDb votes: 235,402

1959: North by Northwest

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Thriller
IMDb votes: 210,767

1960: Psycho

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Horror, Thriller
IMDb votes: 399,574

1961: Yojimbo

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Adventure, Dark Comedy
IMDb votes: 69,706

1962: Lawrence of Arabia

Smart Rating: 98

Genre: Adventure, Drama
IMDb votes: 182,675

1963: The Birds

Smart Rating: 93

Genre: Thriller
IMDb votes: 123,373

1964: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 327,306

1965: For a Few Dollars More

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Western
IMDb votes: 147,540

1966: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 53,467

1967: Cool Hand Luke

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 114,803

1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Science Fiction
IMDb votes: 403,030

1969: The Wild Bunch

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Western
IMDb votes: 61,119

1970: Patton

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Biography, Drama, War
IMDb votes: 73,640

1971: The French Connection

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Crime Drama, Thriller
IMDb votes: 78,466

1972: The Godfather

Smart Rating: 100

Genre: Drama, Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 1,098,061

1973: The Sting

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Comedy, Drama
IMDb votes: 166,890

1974: Chinatown

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 206,098

1975: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Comedy
IMDb votes: 365,119

1976: Taxi Driver

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 478,725

1977: Star Wars

Smart Rating: 99

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Action, Fantasy
IMDb votes: 865,651

1978: Dawn of the Dead

Smart Rating: 94

Genre: Horror
IMDb votes: 86,537

1979: Apocalypse Now

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: War Drama
IMDb votes: 431,242

1980: Raging Bull

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Biography, Drama
IMDB votes: 225,082

1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Adventure, Action
IMDb votes: 626,013

1982: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
IMDb votes: 269,839

1983: A Christmas Story

Smart Rating: 93

Genre: Holiday, Comedy
IMDb votes: 103,747

1984: Amadeus

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Biography, Historical Drama
IMDb votes: 257,715

1985: Back to the Future

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy
IMDb votes: 690,270

1986: Aliens

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, Action
IMDb votes: 465,003

1987: Full Metal Jacket

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: War Drama
IMDb votes: 457,736

1988: Grave of the Fireflies

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama, Anime
IMDb votes: 128,142

1989: Do the Right Thing

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 56,854

1990: Goodfellas

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 690,841

1991: The Silence of the Lambs

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Thriller, Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 835,276

1992: Unforgiven

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Western
IMDb votes: 264,875

1993: Schindler’s List

Smart Rating: 98

Genre: Historical Drama
IMDb votes: 818,540

1994: Pulp Fiction

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 1,253,831

1995: Toy Story

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Children, Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy, Animated
IMDb votes: 583,642

1996: Fargo

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Dark Comedy, Crime Drama, Thriller
IMDb votes: 429,601

1997: L.A. Confidential

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Crime Drama
IMDb votes: 397,274

1998: Saving Private Ryan

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: War, Historical Drama
IMDb votes: 827,986

1999: Toy Story 2

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Children, Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy, Animated
IMDb votes: 365,948

2000: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Adventure, Action, Martial Arts
IMDb votes: 210,471

2001: Spirited Away

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Animated
IMDb votes: 390,230

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
IMDb votes: 1,037,590

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
IMDb votes: 1,147,689

2004: Million Dollar Baby

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 457,817

2005: Brokeback Mountain

Smart Rating: 93

Genre: Romance, Drama
IMDb votes: 251,392

2006: Pan’s Labyrinth

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, War
IMDb votes: 444,647

2007: Ratatouille

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Children, Comedy, Animated
IMDb votes: 448,080

2008: The Dark Knight

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Fantasy
IMDb votes: 1,584,042

2009: Up

 

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Children, Comedy, Adventure, Animated
IMDb votes: 620,679

2010: Toy Story 3

 

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Children, Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy, Animated
IMDb votes: 508,680

2011: A Separation

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 144,013

2012: Argo

Smart Rating: 95

Genre: Historical Drama, Thriller
IMDb votes: 430,637

2013: 12 Years a Slave

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Historical Drama, Biography
IMDb votes: 401,573

2014: Whiplash

Smart Rating: 96

Genre: Drama
IMDb votes: 346,655

2015: Inside Out

Smart Rating: 97

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Animated
IMDb votes: 267,253

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