Just as major events help mark the passing of time, movies have also defined different eras in American history. From the silent movies of the early 20th century, to movie musicals of the 1950s, to the not-strictly-for-kids animated features of recent decades, films have grown and changed alongside the country.
Using data from a number of sources, PrettyFamous identified the best movie of every year since 1916. They selected the movie with the highest Smart Rating each year, which is a weighted average out of 100 of the following:
• Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer
• Rotten Tomatoes' Audience Score
Never miss a local story.
• IMDb Rating
• Metacritic's Metascore
• Gracenote's Proprietary Rating
• Inflation-adjusted cumulative domestic box office gross
PrettyFamous set a limit of IMDb votes that a movie needs to have to be considered popular enough to be eligible. To account for older movies which have fewer reviews than their modern counterparts, PrettyFamous only included movies from 1916-1929 with more than 3,000 IMDb votes, 25,000 IMDb votes for movies from 1930-1949 and 50,000 IMDb votes for movies from 1950-2015.