Here it is: A by-no-means-exhaustive list of 50 movies everyone should watch at least once. Before you dive in, I should offer a disclaimer. Whittling this list was nearly impossible. (Admittedly, it should probably be 200 entries long.) These great films range in genre and critical acclaim, but all are notable in distinct ways and all hold some significance to the history of film. So, while this list can never be long enough (and there are some great films, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and actors absent from this compilation), think of it as a beginning, a primer in film history stretching from 1922 to 2008.
Add these films to your lineup and plan a movie marathon or two—you’ll soon be launched into the luminous, silver-screen world of classic movies. I’ve bookended the list and have halted the most recently released films with those premiering in 2008. Why? Because I think a decade is long enough for these films to begin building their status as future classics. A decade has allowed some of these newer releases to begin to prove their lasting power—I'm looking at you, There Will Be Blood. (Also, for more recs, check out this list of fantastic films from the past ten years.)