I collected the best films of the last 30 years, according to IMDb ratings, which represent the impact that movies have and how the mass audience has received them.

Source: Financial Times

With the votes cast by the viewers, I list the films that have the best rating per year from 1990 to 2021.

1990: Goodfellas

Film Martin Scorsese tells the story of three criminals over three decades. For this film, Joe Pesci won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The Oscar winner that year was Danza con Lobos.

IMDb rating:  8.6

1991: The Silence of the Lambs

 Jonathan Demme directed film won five of its seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Direction, Best for Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Hannibal Lecter,  Best Actress for Jodie Foster, and Best adapted script.

IMDb rating:  8.6

1992: Reservoir Dogs

The first film directed by Quentin Tarantino was a revelation in the early 1990s and continues to be very well received.

The Oscar winner that year was The Unforgivable.

IMDb rating:  8.3 

1993: Schindler’s List

This film, directed by  Steven Spielberg, won 7 statuettes of the 12 nominations it obtained, Best Direction, Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.

IMDb rating:  8.9

1994: The Shawshank Redemption

This film, directed by  Frank Darabont, obtained seven nominations. However, it did not take any awards. Despite this, the users on IMDb have rated it very well.

The Oscar winner that year was Forrest Gump.

IMDb rating:  9.2

1995: Seven

Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Gwyneth Paltrow tells the story of the search for the murderer who kills his victims based on the seven deadly sins.

The Oscar-winning film that year was Corazón Valiente.

IMDb rating:  8.6

1996: Fargo

Fargo by the Coen brothers led to the creation of an American series bearing the same name. The movie won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress for the performance of Frances McDormand.

The Oscar winner that year was The English Patient.

IMDb rating:  8.1

1997: La vita è Bella (Life is beautiful)

Directed by  Roberto Benigni, it received more than 50 awards and nominations; won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Soundtrack, and Best Actor.

The Oscar-winning movie was Titanic.

IMDb rating:  8.6

1998: Saving Private Ryan

Directed by  Steven Spielberg and starring  Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, and Matt Damon, it was nominated for 11 Oscars. It won 5, including Best Directing.

The Oscar winner was Shakespeare in love.

IMDb rating:  8.5

1999: Fight Club

Directed by David Fincher and performed by Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. It has been one of the most talked-about films of the nineties, its cultural impact continues to appear to this day.

The Oscar winner that year was American Beauty.

IMDb rating:  8.8

2000: Gladiator

Ridley Scott directed film starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Sound.

IMDb rating:  8.5

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

One of the most celebrated and applauded sagas, brought to the screen by New Zealand director Peter Jackson, garnered 13 Academy Award nominations. It won 4 but not for Best Picture.

The Oscar winner that year was A Brilliant Mind.

IMDb rating:  8.8

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The second part of the trilogy also appears among the favorites of the public and the platform. It received six Oscar nominations, of which it won two.

The Oscar winner was Chicago.  

IMDb rating:  8.7

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

With this closing of the trilogy, the film took the 11 statuettes for which it was nominated, including Best Film and Best Director, with that record-equaling the total awards received by the Ben-Hur and Titanic films.

IMDb rating:  8.9

2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This film directed by  Michel Gondry, starring  Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, has become a cult film. It garnered two Academy Award nominations and took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

The winning movie of the year was Blows of Destiny.

IMDb rating:  8.3

2005: Batman Begins

The film is the beginning of the trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. It received only one Academy Award nomination.

The Oscar winner was Crash: High Impact.

IMDb rating:  8.2

2006: The Departed

The Martin Scorsese-  directed film stars  Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jack Nicholson received four of the five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Directing.

IMDb rating:  8.5

2007: Into the Wild

The Sean Penn- directed film starred Emile Hirsch and received two Oscar nominations. The film shares a rating on the platform with the award-winning No Place for the Weak, which received the Best Film Oscar.

IMDb rating:  8.1

2008: Batman: The Dark Knight

The second part of Nolan’s trilogy was especially applauded and remembered for the Joker’s wonderful performance, played by Heath Ledger. He won Oscar for The best Supporting Actor. However, he could not receive it due to his unfortunate death. The film earned eight more Academy Award nominations.

The Oscar-winning film was I would like to be a millionaire.

IMDb rating:  9.0

2009: Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino’s sixth Nazi Germany film starred Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, and Christoph Waltz. He received eight Oscar nominations, of which he only took one.

The Oscar-winning film that year was Zone of Fear.

IMDb rating:  8.3

2010: Inception

We come across another Christopher Nolan tape on this list. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, and Marion Cotillard, it received eight Academy Award nominations, of which it garnered four.

The Oscar winner was The King’s Speech.

IMDb rating:  8.7

2011: Intouchables

The French film is directed by Olivier Nakache that portrays the friendship between a paraplegic man and his caregiver. It received the Goya award for Best European Film.

The winning film that year was The Artist.

IMDb rating:  8.5

2012: Django Unchained

This is One of the Quentin Tarantino movies that starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, and Christoph Waltz. He had five Oscar nominations, two of which were for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay.

The winner that year was Argo.

IMDb rating:  8.5

2013: The Wolf of Wall Street

It is directed by  Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie was nominated for five Academy Awards. It did not win any, not even DiCaprio, for its celebrated performance.

The winning film that year was 12 Years of Slavery.

IMDb rating:  8.1

2014: Interstellar

Another one by Nolan starred Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain. He received five Academy Awards.

The Oscar winner was Birdman.

IMDb rating:  8.5

2015: Inside Out

The first animated film on the list directed by Pete Docter shows us how emotions can also feel and generate plots, climaxes, and dramatic events. It was awarded as Best Animated Film.

The best movie of the year was Spotlight.

IMDb rating:  8.1

2016: Your Name

It is a Japanese animated film directed by  Makoto Shinkai. It received multiple awards and nominations and has been very well received by the public.

The winner that year was Moonlight.

IMDb rating:  8.3

2017: Coco

Animated Disney and Pixar film directed by Lee Unkrich beautifully portrays the tradition of the Day of the Dead in Mexico and has been one of the highest-grossing films in history. It received the Oscar for Best Animated Film and Best Original Song.

The Oscar winner that year was The Shape of Water.

IMDb rating:  8.3

2018: Avengers: Infinity War

It is one of the most applauded superhero sagas. The film was directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. It featured Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson,  among many others.

The Oscar winner was Green Book. 

IMDb rating:  8.4

2019: Joker

Although the year is not over yet, everything seems to indicate that Joker will be the highest rated movie on IMDb. The Todd Phillips-  directed film was widely applauded for the extraordinary performance of Joaquin Phoenix, who is rumored to be leading the Oscar race for Best Actor.

IMDb rating:  8.7

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