Across 130 countries, 7 decades: Drama movies dominate IMDB’s highest rated (‘3 Idiots’ in India): Amberscript


If there is anything the last few years have shown us, it is that cinematic excellence has no borders. From The Shawshank Redemption to Fight Club, some of the world’s most iconic films have been adored globally. To uncover which films fare best across the world Amberscript conducted a study to analyse some of the best films spanning 130 countries and seven decades

Key Observations:

  • Drama is the favourite universal genre of film lovers with 48 of the highest rated films worldwide being drama, followed by comedy (19) and biography (15)
  • Despite coming out in the 50s, films such as Skanderberg, Seven Samurai and The Seventh Seal are still the highest rated films to come from Albania, Japan and Sweden respectively
  • Romance, western and fantasy are the nations least favourite genre with only one film of each genres being rated highest
  • The USA, Bangladesh and Kosovo have produced some of the highest rated films with their films rated 9.2, 9.1 and 9.1 respectively

What are the highest rated movies produced by each country?

When it comes to our favourite films, many would be surprised to find out that the countries producing these films are different from what we anticipated. Amberscript found that there are a whopping 18,200 monthly searches for film production companies and their location. So utilising The Internet Movie Database (IMDB), are finally able to reveal the highest rated film from each country!

image-The-Dark-Knight-mediabrief.jpg discovered that The Dark Knight is the highest rated film produced in the UK, with a rating of 9 stars. Interestingly, China’s highest rated movie is Green Book which was produced in 2018 and is a biography film!

Taking Mexico’s highest rated film with 8.2 stars is Pan’s Labyrinth! This is a modern-day fairy-tale that was set in rural Spain and produced in 2006.

Surprising findings can also be seen in Germany where the highest rated film is Fight Club (8.8 stars). Despite the film being set in Delaware in America, Germany is listed as the film’s country of origin.

Highest Rated Movies Worldwide:

Taking the lead as the highest rated movie on the list is the 1994 classic, The Shawshank Redemption. Hailing from the United States of America, this blockbuster holds a whopping 9.2 stars!

Following in second and third place is the Bangladeshi hit Mirror Game (9.1 stars) and Kosovan drama Zana (9.1 stars). These international hits beat other popular titles favoured in the West such as: The Dark Knight (9 stars), The Lord of The Rings: Return of The Ring (8.9) and The Good The Bad The Ugly (8.8).


Despite only coming out last year, Parasite managed to climb its way to the top of South Korea’s list of films securing a well-deserved 8.6 stars.

Japan’s highest rated film Seven Samurai (8.6) just goes to show that some films only get better with age as this classic was released an impressive 64 years ago (1956)!

Lowest Rated Movies Worldwide:

Despite many of the films listed winning major awards, the lower rated films among the list were found to mainly be from Africa; showing that there is still an area of film that many are yet to discover and enjoy. Amongst the countries with the lowest rated films include:

Angola’s lowest rated movie is Wrongs Cops (6 stars)
Nigeria’s lowest rated movie is Half of A Yellow Sun (6.1)
Democratic Republic of Congo’s lowest rated movie is Viva Riva! (6.2)

Being nominated for an award at the Cannes Film Festival and winning the Russian National Movie Awards wasn’t enough to stop Liechtenstein produced film Paris Je T’aime being among the lowest rated film on the list with just 7.2 stars.

The same can be found for Luxembourg’s short film Mr Hublot (7.2) which won the Academy Awards, 3D Creative Arts Awards and American Short Film Awards in 2014.

What is the world’s favourite film genre?

Film Genre
Number of highest rated films in this genre
Drama 48
Comedy 19
Biography 15
Action 14
Adventure 10


Drama: When looking at’s findings, it’s clear to see that the world’s favourite film genre is drama with 48 of the highest rated films falling into this category. Some of our favourites from this genre were: Capernaum (8.4), The Secret in Their Eyes (8.2) and The Seventh Seal (8.2).

Comedy: Following behind as the world’s second favourite genres is comedy (19) with some of our favourites being 3 Idiots (8.4), When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Kangaroo (8.4) and Black Cat, White Cat (8.1).

Biography: Our third favourite film genre is biography, with 15 of the highest rated films being of this genre. The Pianist tops the list as our favourite biography film with 8.5 stars, followed by Lion of the Desert (8.4) and Downfall (8.2).

Universally, Western, fantasy and romance seem to be our least favourite film genres, with only one film from each of these genres ranking as the highest rated across the 130 countries analysed.

Which year were the best films produced in? discovered that we are slowly steering away from the classics as 97 out of 130 of the highest rated movies have been produced within the last two decades.

With platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu giving us newly released films at the touch of a button, it’s no surprise that classic films are being forgotten about.

56 of the highest rated movies were released in the last decade, 41 were released between 2000 and 2010 and just 33 were produced between the 50s and the 90s.

The highest rated films

The film with the highest rating is The Shawshank Redemption (America) – a film based on the novella by Stephen King – with an IMDb rating of 9.2 stars. It beat other well-known movie titles, like The Dark Knight (9 stars) and The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King (8.9 stars), to the top spot.

Other highly rated films on the list include:

  • Mirror Game (2016), Bangladesh – 9.1 stars
  • Zana (2019), Kosovo – 9.1 stars
  • Aloko Udapadi (2017), Sri Lanka – 9 stars
The lowest rated films

The lowest rated film on the list is Wrong Cops (Angola) – a 2013 French-American independent comedy film – which came in with just 6 stars out of a possible 10.

Other less popular films on the list include:

  • Half of A Yellow Sun (2013), Nigeria – 6 stars
  • Viva Riva! (2010), Democratic Republic of Congo – 6.2 stars
  • Africa United (2010), Rwanda – 6.2 stars

The most popular film genres

Amberscript also sought to find out which genres seem to be the most highly rated by users on IMDb. Drama films make up the majority of the top-rated movies around the world — 49 to be exact, which works out to be almost 4 in 10 movies! Drama is followed closely by comedy (19) and biographies (15). Interestingly, no horror movies featured on the list.

The full breakdown:

  • 49 drama films (average rating: 7.7 stars)
  • 19 comedies (average rating: 7.5 stars)
  • 15 biographies (average rating: 7.6 stars)
  • 13 action films (average rating: 8 stars)
  • 10 adventure films (average rating: 7.7 stars)
  • 7 crime films (average rating: 7.8 stars)
  • 5 animations (average rating: 7.8 stars)
  • 4 documentaries (average rating: 8.2 stars)
  • 3 war films (average rating: 8.2 stars)

The following only had one film representing each genre:

  • Fantasy – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Mexico, 8.2 stars
  • History – The Soviet Story (2008), Latvia, 8.1 stars
  • Romance – Paris Je T’aime (2006), Liechtenstein, 7.2 stars
  • Thriller – A Seperation (2011), Iran, 8.3 stars
  • Western – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo) (1966), Italy, 8.8 stars

Which films are the highest rated per genre?

The full breakdown:

Which films are the highest rated per genre? Amberscript has the answers:

The most popular action films:
  1. The Dark Knight (2008), United Kingdom – 9 stars
  2. The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King (2003), New Zealand – 8.9 stars
  3. Seven Samurai (1956), Japan – 8.6 star

The most popular adventure films:

  1. Interstellar (2014), Canada – 8.6 stars
  2. Mudras Calling (2018), Myanmar – 8.5 stars
  3. Fitzcarraldo (1982), Peru – 8.1 stars

The most popular animation films:

  1. The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (1975), Norway – 8.5 stars
  2. Finding Nemo (2003), Australia – 8.1 stars
  3. Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015), United Arab Emirates – 7.9 stars

The most popular biography films:

  1. The Pianist (2002), Poland – 8.5 stars
  2. Lion of the Desert (1980), Libya – 8.4 stars
  3. Downfall (2004, Austria), Green Book (2018, China), The Message (1976, Egypt) – 8.2 stars

The most popular comedy films:

  1. Parasite (2019), South Korea – 8.6 stars
  2. 3 Idiots (2009, India), When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Kangaroo (2004, Serbia) – 8.4 stars
  3. Underground (1995, Czech Republic, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Hungrary), Black Cat, White Cat (1998, Greece) – 8.1 stars

The most popular crime films:

  1. Mirror Game (2016), Bangladesh – 9.1 stars
  2. City of God (2002), Brazil – 8.6 stars
  3. The Bandit (1996), Bulgaria – 8.2 stars

The most popular documentary films:

  1. Samsara (2011), Ghana – 8.5 stars
  2. Inside Job (2010), Iceland – 8.2 stars
  3. Waltz with Bashir (2008), Israel – 8 stars

The most popular drama films:

  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994), America – 9.2 stars
  2. Zana (2019), Kosovo – 9.1 stars
  3. Aloko Udapadi (2017), Sri Lanka – 9 stars

The most popular war films:

  1. 1917 (2019, Spain), Come and See (1985, Russia) – 8.3 stars
  2. Before the Rain (1994), Macedonia – 8 stars

An oldie but a goodie?

Interested to find out whether the world prefers contemporary films or the classics, we found out which decade has the highest rated films, and which film is the “best”, per decade.

The oldest film on the list is Albania’s Skanderbeg, released in 1953, followed by Seven Sumarai (1956) from Japan, and The Seventh Seal (1957) from Sweden. The newest highest rated films from 2019 include Kosovo’s Zana, South Korea’s Parasite, and Spain’s 1917.

Film breakdown by decade:

  • 1950s: 3 films

Highest rated film of the decade: Seven Sumarai (1956), Japan

  • 1960s: 4 films

Highest rated film of the decade: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Italy

  • 1970s: 4 films

Highest rated film of the decade: The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (1975), Norway

  • 1980s: 5 films

Highest rated film of the decade: Lion of the Desert (1980), Libya

  • 1990s: 17 films

Highest rated film of the decade: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), America

  • 2000s: 34 films

Highest rated film of the decade: The Dark Knight (2008), United Kingdom

  • 2010s: 63 films

Highest rated film of the decade: Mirror Game (2016, Bangladesh) and Zana (2019, Kosovo)


Using data from the IMDb website, Amberscript sought to find out the most popular film to come out of each country. The site’s search option enables you to filter film titles by country to see a list of all films produced, filmed or credited in that location. Only films with a minimum of 1,000 votes were considered, bringing the total number of locations considered to 130. The films were then sorted by the number of votes descending and the film with the highest rating was taken as each country’s highest rated movie.

Amberscript then sorted the movies by the number of public votes on IMDb. The film with the highest rating for each country was taken as their highest-rated movie. All data was collected between September 29th and October 1st, 2020.






United States of America The Shawshank Redemption 9.2 Drama 1994
Bangladesh Mirror Game 9.1 Crime 2016
Kosovo Zana 9.1 Drama 2019
United Kingdom The Dark Knight 9 Action 2008
Sri Lanka Aloko Udapadi 9 Drama 2017
New Zealand The Lord of The Rings: The Retur of The King 8.9 Action 2003
Germany Fight Club 8.8 Drama 1999
Italy The Good The Bad The Ugly 8.8 Western 1966
Japan Seven Sumarai 8.6 Action 1956
Canada Interstellar 8.6 Adventure 2014
South Korea Parasite 8.6 Comedy 2019
Brazil City of God 8.6 Crime 2002
Malta Gladiator 8.5 Action 2000
France Léon: The Professional 8.5 Action 1994
Myanmar Mudras Calling 8.5 Adventure 2018
Norway The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix 8.5 Animation 1975
Poland The Pianst 8.5 Biography 2002
Ghana Samsara 8.5 Documentary 2011
Libya Lion of the Desert 8.4 Biography 1980
India 3 Idiots 8.4 Comedy 2009
Serbia When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Kangaroo 8.4 Comedy 2004
Cyprus Capernaum 8.4 Drama 2018
Lebanon Capernaum 8.4 Drama 2018
Honduras A Place in the Caribbean 8.4 Drama 2017
Denmark The Hunt 8.3 Drama 2012
Turkey My Father and My Son 8.3 Drama 2005
Iran A Seperation 8.3 Thriller 2011
Spain 1917 8.3 War 2019
Russia Come and See 8.3 War 1985
Uganda Who Killed Captain Alex 8.2 Action 2010
China Green Book 8.2 Biography 2018
Austria Downfall 8.2 Biography 2004
Egypt The Message 8.2 Biography 1976
Bulgaria The Bandit 8.2 Crime 1996
Iceland Inside Job 8.2 Documentary 2010
Estonia Tangerines 8.2 Drama 2013
Georgia Tangerines 8.2 Drama 2013
Pakistan Bol 8.2 Drama 2011
Argentina The Secret in Their Eyes 8.2 Drama 2009
Slovakia The Shop on Main Street 8.2 Drama 1965
Cuba I Am Cuba 8.2 Drama 1964
Sweden The Seventh Seal 8.2 Drama 1957
Mexico Pan’s Labyrinth 8.2 Fantasy 2006
Peru Fitzcarraldo 8.1 Adventure 1982
Australia Finding Nemo 8.1 Animation 2003
South Africa Hotel Rwanda 8.1 Biography 2004
Greece Black Cat, White Cat 8.1 Comedy 1998
Czech Republic Underground 8.1 Comedy 1995
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Underground 8.1 Comedy 1995
Hungrary Underground 8.1 Comedy 1995
Ireland Room 8.1 Drama 2015
Switzerland Before Sunrise 8.1 Drama 1995
Taiwan Raise the Red Lantern 8.1 Drama 1991
Algeria The Battle of Algiers 8.1 Drama 1966
Latvia The Soviet Story 8.1 History 2008
Indonesia The Raid 2 8 Action 2014
Bahamas Casino Royale 8 Action 2006
Jordan The Martian 8 Adventure 2015
Israel Waltz with Bashir 8 Documentary 2008
Macedonia Before the Rain 8 War 1994
Albania Skanderbeg 7.9 Action 1953
Colombia Embrace of the Serpent 7.9 Adventure 2015
Venezuela Embrace of the Serpent 7.9 Adventure 2015
United Arab Emirates Bilal: A New Breed of Hero 7.9 Animation 2015
Slovenia Houston, We Have A Problem 7.9 Documentary 2016
Romania 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 7.9 Drama 2007
Philippines Felix Manalo 7.8 Biography 2015
Panama Beyond Brotherhood 7.8 Drama 2017
Belgium Mr Nobody 7.8 Drama 2009
Finland The Man Without A Past 7.7 Comedy 2002
Croatia Metastases 7.7 Crime 2009
Netherlands Black Book 7.7 Drama 2006
Uruguay A Twelve-Year Night 7.6 Biography 2018
Lithuania Zero 2 7.6 Comedy 2010
Jamica Rockers 7.6 Comedy 1978
Mongolia The Cave of the Yellow Dog 7.6 Drama 2005
Tunisia Bab’Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul 7.6 Drama 2005
Senegal Moolaadé 7.6 Drama 2004
Belarus Fortress of War 7.5 Action 2010
Saudi Arabia Wadjda 7.5 Comedy 2012
Nepal Himalaya 7.5 Drama 1999
Kyrgyzstan Queen of the Mountains 7.4 Action 2014
Kenya The Good Lie 7.4 Biography 2014
State of Palestine Paradise Now 7.4 Crime 2005
Ecuador Mary Full of Grace 7.4 Crime 2004
Monaco Toni Erdmann 7.4 Drama 2016
Fiji Kya Dilli Kya Lahore 7.4 Drama 2014
Chile No 7.4 Drama 2012
Portugal Tabu 7.4 Drama 2012
Vietnam The Scent of Green Papaya 7.4 Drama 1993
Tajikistan Luna Papa 7.3 Comedy 1999
Uzbekistan Luna Papa 7.3 Comedy 1999
Laos The Rocket 7.3 Drama 2013
Singapore Ilo Ilo 7.3 Drama 2013
Afghanistan Osama 7.3 Drama 2003
Morocco Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets 7.3 Drama 2000
Thailand Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior 7.2 Action 2003
Luxembourg Mr Hublot 7.2 Animation 2013
Cambodia First They Killed My Father 7.2 Biography 2017
Haiti Lumumba 7.2 Biography 2000
Bosnia and Herzegovina Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams 7.2 Drama 2006
Liechtenstein Paris Je T’aime 7.2 Romance 2006
Namibia Maryan 7.1 Adventure 2013
Paraguay 7 Boxes 7.1 Adventure 2012
Malaysia BoBoiBoy: The Movie 7.1 Animation 2016
Ukraine Battle for Sevastopol 7.1 Biography 2015
Gutemala Ixcanul 7.1 Drama 2015
Mauritiana Timbuktu 7.1 Drama 2014
Qatar Timbuktu 7.1 Drama 2014
Papa New Guinea Mr Pip 7.1 Drama 2012
Kazakhstan Tulpan 7 Comedy 2008
Bhutan The Cup 7 Comedy 1999
Iraq My Sweet Pepper Land 7 Drama 2013
Mali Brightness 7 Drama 1987
Vanuatu Tanna 6.9 Adventure 2015
Costa Rica Maikol Yordan Traveling Lost 6.9 Comedy 2014
Côte d’Ivoire Black and White in Color 6.9 Comedy 1976
Azerbaijan Ali and Nino 6.9 Drama 2016
Zimbabwe A World Apart 6.9 Drama 1988
Somalia The Pirates of Somalia 6.8 Biography 2017
Sudan The Pirates of Somalia 6.8 Biography 2017
Ethiopia Difret 6.8 Biography 2014
Armenia Calendar 6.8 Comedy 1993
Liberia Johnny Mad Dog 6.8 Drama 2008
Chad A Screaming Man 6.7 Drama 2010
Bolivia Blackthorn 6.5 Action 2011
Rwanda Africa United 6.5 Adventure 2010
Democratic Repbulic of Congo Viva Riva! 6.2 Crime 2010
Nigeria Half of A Yellow Sun 6.1 Drama 2013
Angola Wrong Cops 6 Comedy 2013

The full study can be found here

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