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10 most popular movies of all time on Letterboxd, ranked

A man drives a woman in a car in Parasite.

There are great movies that become cultural touchstones or even go on to define an entire generation, which is more common for modern blockbusters thanks to the power of social media. Films can quickly dominate discussions, debates, and memes, with the most popular ones cementing their place in cinematic history by the sheer scale of their influence.

Beyond box office numbers, online platforms for cinephiles like Letterboxd make it possible to see which movies are getting the most attention from its thousands of users. From ’90s classics like Fight Club to recent sensations like Barbie, the most popular movies on Letterboxd can give viewers some idea of films everyone should see at least once. These reflect what types of movies audiences are gravitating towards these days and what will almost certainly be the defining films of this era.

10. La La Land (2016)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in the cinema in La La Land

Set in the City of Stars, La La Land is centered on the romance that blossoms between aspiring actress Mia Dolan (Poor Things star Emma Stone) and struggling jazz musician Sebastian “Seb” Wilder (Ryan Gosling). Director Damien Chazelle’s musical follows their journey as they build a life together, which soon threatens to fall apart as they realize they must take different paths to achieve their dreams.

With a record-tying 14 nominations and six wins at the 89th Academy Awards, La La Land gained critical acclaim and a reputation as one of the best musicals ever made. It pays homage to the genre’s classics while modernizing the musical for contemporary audiences, not to mention offering up a heart-wrenching breakup movie. Its emotional narrative, coupled with a beautiful soundtrack, had viewers sniffling in cinemas everywhere, with Mia and Seb’s tear-jerking love story undoubtedly among the greatest ever told.

9. The Batman (2022)

Robert Pattinson as Batman in a dimly lit crime scene.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Robert Pattinson dons the cape as Bruce Wayne in 2022’s The Batman. Directed by Matt Reeves, the superhero film tells a detective story set in the gritty streets of Gotham, where a mysterious serial killer known as the Riddler (Paul Dano) is targeting the elite. As Batman investigates the case, a web of lies and corruption comes undone and threatens to consume the city.

The Batman became an instant hit among audiences and critics alike, as Reeves’s iteration of the DC Comics character was created for the new era. Instead of focusing on heroics, the movie takes a grounded, dark approach that has paid off. Pattinson was also an inspired choice for the Caped Crusader, with the actor impeccably cast as the brooding and mysterious anti-hero. Fans are all eagerly waiting for the Batman shared universe the movie is expected to launch, with the first sequel, The Batman – Part II, set to premiere on October 3, 2025.

8. Knives Out (2019)

Lakeith Stanfield, Noah Segan, and Daniel Craig in Rian Johnson's whodunit Knives Out.

Knives Out is a wildly entertaining mystery film directed by Rian Johnson, who revitalized the whodunit genre with the award-winning 2019 movie. It’s centered on the wealthy but dysfunctional Thrombey family, whose head, crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), dies by suicide. However, the arrival of renowned detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) eventually proves that this is not the case and that foul play is involved.

Bursting into the scene and becoming a pleasant surprise even for those with little to no interest in the genre, Knives Out showed that mystery films still have a place in modern cinema. It doesn’t waste a single second of its 130-minute runtime, which is full of unexpected twists, sharp dialogue, and incredible chemistry from its ensemble cast, including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and many other talented actors.

7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Miles Morales swinging in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Releasing

Animated superhero movies would never be the same after the premiere of 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, the inventive film introduces Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who gains powers after a bizarre underground encounter. He soon discovers that he’s not the only Spider-Man, and his reality is just one of many. As alternate dimensions converge, Miles and the Spider-People must work together to take down a villain who could rip apart the very fabric of reality.

Vibrant, visually stunning, and a ton of fun, Into the Spider-Verse immediately captivated so many audiences around the world. The film was a love letter to the comics, with many iconic panels seemingly coming to life on the big screen in what is clearly a heartfelt celebration of the iconic web-slinger. Its 2023 sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, continues Miles’s saga and achieved even greater commercial success. Only time will tell if the final installment in the trilogy, Beyond the Spider-Verse, will live up to the high standards set by its groundbreaking predecessors.

6. Joker (2019)

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Director Todd Phillips’s Joker provides an origin story for the famous DC Comics villain, who starts out as failed comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) on the streets of Gotham. Aside from his unsuccessful career, Arthur struggles with societal neglect, with the government’s social service programs never adequately meeting his needs. The protagonist eventually adopts nihilism and starts a countercultural movement in the process.

Joaquin Phoenix gives a tour-de-force performance as the Joker, with the actor flawlessly embodying the twisted and troubled villain. The dark character study attracted fans from around the globe but also drew criticism for the vague and even problematic way it tackled topics like mental health, inequality, and other systemic issues. Despite the initially divisive reception, Joker ultimately stands as a popular origin story that became the first-ever R-rated film to gross over $1 billion. Fans are also eagerly waiting for its sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux, to premiere on October 4.

5. Interstellar (2014)

Matthew McConaughey as Cooper in his astronaut suit looking to the distance in Interstellar.
Paramount Pictures

Interstellar is an epic sci-fi film set in the not-too-distant future where the earth is becoming an uninhabitable place. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the movie follows a former NASA pilot turned farmer, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), who stumbles upon a top-secret project that could save humanity. He’s soon tasked with leading a team of researchers on an interstellar trip to find a potential new home out in the stars.

Along with its gorgeous visuals, for which it won an Oscar, Interstellar is known for being among director Christopher Nolan’s most mind-bending works. It embraces scientific accuracy while pushing it to the extreme, depicting theoretical astrophysics on a grand scale. Its otherworldly locations and the astronauts’ monumental mission are seamlessly presented alongside a surprisingly intimate father-daughter story that’s just as important as Cooper’s journey across the cosmos.

4. Fight Club (1999)

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton standing in front of a door in Fight Club.
20th Century Fox

A David Fincher movie that needs no introduction, Fight Club focuses on the unlikely bond that forms between the unnamed Narrator (Edward Norton), a white-collar worker grappling with existential ennui, and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman with a nihilistic worldview. The duo forms the titular club, meant to go against societal norms and made for those with similar rage about the status quo. The Narrator eventually realizes that Tyler isn’t exactly who he says he is.

Though it was polarizing when it first premiered, Fight Club has slowly but surely become a cult classic and a favorite among audiences who grew up in the ’90s. It’s massively popular now and, despite its infamous twist that everyone already knows, is endlessly rewatchable. Fight Club’s biting commentary about late-stage capitalism and overconsumption is still relevant today, and the film’s cynical yet cool atmosphere hasn’t lost any of its appeal.

3. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Michelle Yeoh performs kung fu in a scene from Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Everything Everywhere All at Once was an unexpected hit from directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who created one of the most bizarre yet strangely mesmerizing stories ever. Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Wang, a middle-aged Chinese immigrant who struggles to balance her failing business, broken marriage, and complicated relationship with her daughter. When an alternate version of her husband tells her she’s the only one who can save the multiverse, things get weird.

The interdimensional rupture gives way to dizzying possibilities from alternate worlds, and the film follows Evelyn’s attempt at being the hero everyone insists she could be. In the process, she learns about what truly matters in life. It’s that journey, alongside the wacky visuals and mind-blowing worlds, that have made fans from everywhere fall in love with the A24 film. Its fun yet thought-provoking take on existential themes like absurdity and optimistic nihilism leaves viewers with something to think about, highlighting the impact that “small and stupid” rocks can have in cinemas all over.

2. Parasite (2019)

Mrs. Park covering her mouth with her hand in Parasite.
CJ Entertainment

An innovative thriller with a twist, Parasite took the world by storm when it first premiered in 2019, elevating director Bong Joon-ho’s status to a household name. The film has a deceptively simple premise, as it’s centered on The Kims, who, tired of living in poverty, cunningly infiltrate the lives of the wealthy Park family. This sets off a shocking and darkly comedic chain of events that nobody could have predicted.

Parasite made history by becoming the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as being one of only three movies to win both the Palme d’Or and the Oscar for Best Picture. The movie deserves the numerous accolades and enduring interest it still receives, as everything about it, from its precise visuals, clever script, and infamous twist, all contribute to its overarching message about class and social inequality. It’s one of the most exceptional films of this era, and the intense reaction it received underscores how much its message resonates with countless viewers.

1. Barbie (2023)

Margot Robbie as Barbie looking back while behind thwe wheel of a pink corvette in Barbie.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Director Greta Gerwig created a Barbie flick unlike any other, with the 2023 film already becoming the highest-grossing movie of the year with its worldwide earnings of $1.44 billion. In Barbie, Margot Robbie is the titular character who lives in Barbieland with other Barbies and Kens. When she begins having unusual thoughts about death, she ventures out to the real world alongside Ken (Ryan Gosling) to solve the problem once and for all.

Barbie became a cultural phenomenon, with the incredibly pink movie taking over social media overnight. Its simultaneous release with Nolan’s Oppenheimer created the “Barbenheimer” craze, which inspired audiences to watch the unlikely pair of films in one day, leading to an increase in box office sales. It’s Barbie that ended up being the more popular pick for most, with its lighter tone and surprisingly profound message about what it means to be alive, leaving fans inspired and encouraging their friends to see the film, too.

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Saab Hannah
Saab whips up SEO-optimized articles as a writer for Digital Trends and updates top-performing articles on Collider.
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