The 79 Greatest ‘American’ Movies of All Time

The 79 Greatest ‘American’ Movies of All Time

American movies are a globally beloved art form. In fact, everyone loves American movies. With that in mind, join us on a celebration of the greatest American movies ever made. 

Oh, and an American movie is a movie that begins with the word American, obviously. Some of these were made in Canada.

American Anthem (1986)

A gymnastics-based drama starring real gymnast Mitchell Gaylord.

American Assassin (2017)

A by-the-numbers CIA thriller starring Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien as a black-ops agent.

American Beach House (2015)

The O.C.’s Mischa Barton stars in a film that consists almost entirely of lingering close-ups of women in bikinis.

American Beauty (1999)

Kevin Spacey won an Oscar for this before everyone knew what a shithead he was.

American Bellydancer (2005)

A documentary about bellydancing in America, obviously.

American Brawler (2013)

Set in the world of illegal pit fighting and also released under the title Barrio Brawler.

American Buffalo (1996)

Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz star in an adaptation of David Mamet’s play about a robbery gone wrong.

American Bully (2009)

A dark drama about a high school boy who turns to murder. Natasha Henstridge from Species is in it.

American Burger (2014)

A horror comedy involving cannibalism and cheerleaders, featuring lead characters Demented Chef and Fat Nerd. 

American Cowslip (2009)

Cloris Leachman, Peter Falk and Rip Torn in an indie comedy about a heroin addict.

American Crude (2008)

An ensemble black comedy featuring Rob Schneider and Dr. Cox from Scrubs. Described by one IMDb reviewer as “a colossal waste of time and effort on everyone's part, especially those who burnt the two hours of their lives to watch it.”

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993)

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone is sterile, this follows a cyborg as he tries to protect a woman who has given birth to an actual human baby. Great times.

American Dragons (2008)

Michael Biehn and Park Joong-hoon star in a crime thriller set in the underworld of the Yakuza and secret leagues of ninja assassins and stuff.

American Dreamz (2006)

Hugh Grant plays a Simon Cowell-like figure in a satire both of TV talent shows and American politics. 

American Fetish (2011)

The son of an alleged killer finds the secrets surrounding a 50-year-old murder in an inherited porno.

American Flyers (1985)

A cycling drama with Kevin Costner. There’s a big dramatic moment when he gets a nosebleed. It’s absolutely fine.

American Friends (1991)

A rather gentle Victorian-set romantic comedy starring and written by Michael Palin from Monty Python.

American Gangster (2007)

Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington star in a Ridley Scott crime movie inspired by real events. 

American Gigolo (1980)

A star-making performance from Richard Gere is at the center of this full-on sleazy neo-noir written and directed by Paul Schrader.

American Girl (2002)

A dark comedy involving abuse, miscarriage and sex with step-parents. Bleak!

American Gothic (1988)

A Canadian slasher movie inspired by the famous Grant Wood painting, starring Rod Steiger and Yvonne De Carlo as a murderous rural couple.

American Graffiti (1973)

A nostalgic look at the 1950s from a pre-Star Wars George Lucas, starring Ron Howard ad Richard Dreyfuss. 

American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock (2015)

A low-budget horror movie about a psychotic torturous doctor. 

American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014)

A low-budget horror movie set in the world of snuff films.

American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)

A low-budget horror about a troubled man conversing with a goddess.

American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon

A low-budget horror about priests battling to exorcise a demon.

American Gun (2002)

James Coburn’s final performance, as a man tracing the journey of the weapon that killed his daughter.

American Gun (2005)

A drama about the consequences of gun use starring Linda Cardellini and Donald Sutherland.

American Heart (1992)

Jeff Bridges is an ex-con determined not to return to crime, Edward Furlong is his son who finds crime pretty appealing. 

American History X (1998)

Edward Norton, Edward Furlong and some other people not named Edward in a shocking movie about white supremacists. Captain Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the dad from Boy Meets World are in it.

American Hustle (2013)

Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence star in a betrayal-filled 1970s crime caper. Everyone looks absolutely great.

American Idiots (2007)

A road-trip comedy with extremely poor reviews and nobody famous in it.

American Justice (2015)

A rare starring role for Tom “Tiny” Lister Jr (Deebo from Friday). He stars as an American man named Justice. Of course he does.

American Kickboxer (1991)

A South African martial arts movie. There’s a bit where a guy really beats the shit out of someone using a chair.

American Kickboxer 2 (1993)

Completely unrelated to American Kickboxer, and featuring Tackleberry from Police Academy in a supporting role.

American Loser (2007)

Seann William Scott in a non-Stifler role as an alcoholic with Tourette’s syndrome. Also released under the title Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot

American Made (2017)

Tom Cruise stars as pilot-turned-drug-smuggler-turned-informant Barry Seal.

American Mary (2012)

A truly disgusting horror movie written and directed by the Soska sisters featuring incredibly gory genital surgery.

American Me (1992)

Edward James Olmos directs and stars in an L.A. crime epic that led to multiple real-life murders.

American Milkshake (2013)

A dark comedy about the great-grandson of Al Jolson.

American Movie (1999)

Hilarious documentary following two penniless, constantly drunk filmmakers in Wisconsin.

American Muscle (2014)

A prison-revenge movie featuring an actor with the surname Coffie playing a man that coughs a lot. Wonderful stuff.

American Ninja (1985)

Michael Dudikoff stars an an amnesiac super-soldier. A helicopter explodes at the end, and there’s a bit where a guy gets a throwing star stuck in his head.

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

Michael Didikoff returns to battle a villain hellbent on creating an army of brainwashed super-ninjas. Lots of people get smashed through tables.

American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989)

David Bradley replaces Dudikoff for this instalment which sees him battling an army of cloned ninjas. 

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)

Michael Dudikoff comes back and another helicopter blows up. 

American Ninja V (1993)

David Bradley stars again, but as a different character for some reason. This one features a ninja that can disappear in a puff of smoke.

American Nudist (2011)

A non-linear drama set in the world of nudism. Almost all the reviews on IMDb mention turning it off after about 15 minutes.

American Outlaws (2001)

A Western starring Colin Farrell as Jesse James, who, fun fact, married his cousin.

American Perfekt (1997)

Thriller starring Fairuza Balk and Robert Forster. There’s a bit where someone’s tongue is cut out. Forster’s the baddie.  

American Pie 2 (2001)

The first American Pie sequel. The one where he glues his hand to his dick and falls off a roof.

American Pie Presents: Band Camp (2005)

The first in a series of straight-to-DVD spinoffs that somehow made financial sense. This one has the Shermanator in it.

American Pie Presents: Beta House (2007)

Another direct-to-video sequel. This one features a character with a sheep fetish.

American Pie Presents: Girls Rules (2020)

A gender-swapped installment that, in a first for the series, doesn’t feature Eugene Levy waggling his eyebrows.

American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (2009)

The final screen appearance of the late Sherman Hemsley. One of the Stifler cousins gets fucked by a moose.

American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile (2006)

Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore appears in this one as a Stifler relative. There’s also a bit where someone shits in a dryer.

American Pimp (1999)

A documentary made by the Hughes Brothers and featuring dozens of real-life pimps.

American Pop (1981)

An animated musical directed by Ralph Bakshi that inspired Kanye West’s video for “Heartless.”

American Psycho (2000)

Christian Bale gives an iconic performance as 1980s madman Patrick Bateman. It might all be a dream.

American Psycho 2 (2002)

Mila Kunis plays a sociopath. She kills William Shatner. It’s not great.

American Reunion (2012)

The final American Pie film to date. Ends with Eugene Levy being blown in a theater.

American Rickshaw (1989)

Another outing for gymnast-turned-actor Mitchell Gaylord. This time he fights a witch — with gymnastics!

American Samurai (1992)

Mark Dacascos wields a katana and fights a bunch of dudes.

American Shaolin (1992)

Martial-arts movie in which a key plot point involves one guy pulling another guy’s pants down.

American Sharia (2017)

A culture-clash action comedy with Eric Roberts.

American Sniper (2014)

Bradley Cooper plays real-life soldier Chris Kyle in a Clint Eastwood movie featuring a really unconvincing fake baby. 

American Son (2008)

Nick Cannon stars as a Marine about to be deployed to Iraq. Nick Cannon has 12 children. Twelve!

American Splendor (2003)

An adaptation of Hervey Pekar’s comics, starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar and featuring documentary and animation elements. It was nominated for the Best Screenplay Oscar.

American Translation (2011)

A sexy French serial killer movie where nobody at any given point has any clothes on.

American Ultra (2015)

An action comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. It’s pretty violent and reasonably fun.

American Underdog (2021)

A biopic about NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, starring Zachary Levi and Anna Paquin.

American Violet (2008)

Earnest drama starring Nicole Beharie and based on a real-life incident in which a woman was wrongfully imprisoned on bogus racist drug charges.

American Virgin (2000)

Originally titled Live Virgin but renamed due to star Mena Suvari’s run of American Pie and American Beauty. Entertainment Weekly deemed it “damn near unwatchable.”

American Virgin (2009)

A raunchy comedy featuring Rob Schneider as a Girls Gone Wild type filmmaker and a brief appearance from a pre-fame Bo Burnham

American Wedding (2003)

The third American Pie movie. This is the one where Stifler eats a dog shit. 

American Yakuza (1993)

Viggo Mortensen has described his reason for making this movie as “I was broke and needed a job.”

American Zeitgeist (2006)

A documentary about the War on Terror.

American Zombie (2007)

A low-budget mockumentary examining the undead population of L.A. 

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