The Internet Movie Database, or IMDb for you cool acronym-using kids, has been an invaluable resource for cinephiles in the internet age. It’s where those obsessed with films and filmmaking could go to dive deep into a certain director’s filmography, count how many times Roger Deakins worked with the Coen Brothers, or find out that actor’s name that’s on the tip of your tongue. So as the site celebrates 25 years of existence, we celebrate 25 years of having a wealth of film knowledge at our fingertips.
However, as IMDb grew, it became not only a resource, but a community. Users began interacting with one another in forums and, of course, rating every movie from A to Z. The resulting “IMDb Top 250” became a place for film fans to see which beloved films they had missed and, in recent years, a gathering ground for Christopher Nolan acolytes to juke the stats of any and every Nolan film no matter its relative quality.
In celebration of the site’s anniversary, IMDb provided Vanity Fair with a rundown of the top-rated film for each year of its existence, from 1990 onward. The results are actually a little surprising in places, with Sean Penn’s stark drama Into the Wild topping 2007 over There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men, and the French sensation Intouchables ruiling 2011.
There are also some unsurprising choices too, with five Christopher Nolan films appearing on the list, and Leonardo DiCaprio films factoring heavily into the voting. And the movie with the highest rating of the bunch? The Shawshank Redemption, of course. So take a look at the best films of the last 25 years as determined by IMDb voters below, and get to arguing in the comments section.
IMDB Top User-Rated Movies By Year
2013: The Wolf of Wall Street
2012: Django Unchained
2009: Inglourious Basterds
2008: The Dark Knight
2007: Into the Wild
2006: The Departed
2005: Batman Begins
2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
1999: Fight Club
1998: Saving Private Ryan
1997: Life Is Beautiful
1994: The Shawshank Redemption
1993: Schindler’s List
1992: Reservoir Dogs
1991: The Silence of the Lambs