Before diving into the list of best of movies, one might wonder: why do most movies age poorly while a choice few seem to get better with time? The foremost answer, it would seem, boils down to auteurism. In other words, the greater the creative stamp a filmmaker can put on their work, the better the chances are the work will appreciate over time.
Another noticeable trend among the best movies of all time is that many of them don’t take place within their respective time periods. It seems depicting the past or the future—or a completely separate world—is often a safer bet than depicting the present reality.
Last but not least, a great film usually delivers the goods on multiple fronts. That means everything from the writing to the music to the acting is memorable, if not downright iconic. Ultimately, there is no one solitary answer, just like there is no one type of great film.