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
- 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), Amberscript.com are finally able to reveal the highest rated film from each country!
Amberscript.com 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?
Number of highest rated films in this genre
Drama: When looking at Amberscript.com’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?
Ambersecript.com 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 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?
Which films are the highest rated per genre? Amberscript has the answers:
- The Dark Knight (2008), United Kingdom – 9 stars
- The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King (2003), New Zealand – 8.9 stars
- Seven Samurai (1956), Japan – 8.6 star
The most popular adventure films:
- Interstellar (2014), Canada – 8.6 stars
- Mudras Calling (2018), Myanmar – 8.5 stars
- Fitzcarraldo (1982), Peru – 8.1 stars
The most popular animation films:
- The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (1975), Norway – 8.5 stars
- Finding Nemo (2003), Australia – 8.1 stars
- Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015), United Arab Emirates – 7.9 stars
The most popular biography films:
- The Pianist (2002), Poland – 8.5 stars
- Lion of the Desert (1980), Libya – 8.4 stars
- Downfall (2004, Austria), Green Book (2018, China), The Message (1976, Egypt) – 8.2 stars
The most popular comedy films:
- Parasite (2019), South Korea – 8.6 stars
- 3 Idiots (2009, India), When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Kangaroo (2004, Serbia) – 8.4 stars
- Underground (1995, Czech Republic, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Hungrary), Black Cat, White Cat (1998, Greece) – 8.1 stars
The most popular crime films:
- Mirror Game (2016), Bangladesh – 9.1 stars
- City of God (2002), Brazil – 8.6 stars
- The Bandit (1996), Bulgaria – 8.2 stars
The most popular documentary films:
- Samsara (2011), Ghana – 8.5 stars
- Inside Job (2010), Iceland – 8.2 stars
- Waltz with Bashir (2008), Israel – 8 stars
The most popular drama films:
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994), America – 9.2 stars
- Zana (2019), Kosovo – 9.1 stars
- Aloko Udapadi (2017), Sri Lanka – 9 stars
The most popular war films:
- 1917 (2019, Spain), Come and See (1985, Russia) – 8.3 stars
- 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|
|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|
|Italy||The Good The Bad The Ugly||8.8||Western||1966|
|Brazil||City of God||8.6||Crime||2002|
|France||Léon: The Professional||8.5||Action||1994|
|Norway||The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix||8.5||Animation||1975|
|Libya||Lion of the Desert||8.4||Biography||1980|
|Serbia||When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Kangaroo||8.4||Comedy||2004|
|Honduras||A Place in the Caribbean||8.4||Drama||2017|
|Turkey||My Father and My Son||8.3||Drama||2005|
|Russia||Come and See||8.3||War||1985|
|Uganda||Who Killed Captain Alex||8.2||Action||2010|
|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|
|South Africa||Hotel Rwanda||8.1||Biography||2004|
|Greece||Black Cat, White Cat||8.1||Comedy||1998|
|Federal Republic of Yugoslavia||Underground||8.1||Comedy||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|
|Israel||Waltz with Bashir||8||Documentary||2008|
|Macedonia||Before the Rain||8||War||1994|
|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|
|Finland||The Man Without A Past||7.7||Comedy||2002|
|Uruguay||A Twelve-Year Night||7.6||Biography||2018|
|Mongolia||The Cave of the Yellow Dog||7.6||Drama||2005|
|Tunisia||Bab’Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul||7.6||Drama||2005|
|Belarus||Fortress of War||7.5||Action||2010|
|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|
|Fiji||Kya Dilli Kya Lahore||7.4||Drama||2014|
|Vietnam||The Scent of Green Papaya||7.4||Drama||1993|
|Morocco||Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets||7.3||Drama||2000|
|Thailand||Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior||7.2||Action||2003|
|Cambodia||First They Killed My Father||7.2||Biography||2017|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams||7.2||Drama||2006|
|Liechtenstein||Paris Je T’aime||7.2||Romance||2006|
|Malaysia||BoBoiBoy: The Movie||7.1||Animation||2016|
|Ukraine||Battle for Sevastopol||7.1||Biography||2015|
|Papa New Guinea||Mr Pip||7.1||Drama||2012|
|Iraq||My Sweet Pepper Land||7||Drama||2013|
|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|
|Liberia||Johnny Mad Dog||6.8||Drama||2008|
|Chad||A Screaming Man||6.7||Drama||2010|
|Democratic Repbulic of Congo||Viva Riva!||6.2||Crime||2010|
|Nigeria||Half of A Yellow Sun||6.1||Drama||2013|
The full study can be found here