15 Longest Movies Ever Made

Length of a film certainly matters a lot. There are films that are glacially paced and run for over 3 hours but their narratives often demand such languid pacing. Some of the longest films ever made are also among the greatest of all time. Most of the films made by Andrei Tarkovsky, Bela Tarr, Sergio Leone have an average run time of about 150 minutes. Films with long run times can be generally great experiences as they often help in more profound, deeper character explorations and chronicling epic stories covering a wide range of time periods. With all that said now, let’s take a look at the list of 15 longest movies of all time. We made sure that the list consist of only good long movies.


15. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Francis Ford Coppola’s Shakespearean tragedy of an idealistic war hero who gets caught up in the family business and turns into a cold blooded mafia don is probably the most devastating character transformation ever depicted in cinema. Headed by an electrifying Al Pacino, the film’s smooth, fluid pace gradually sinks in as the film’s twin narrative format explores both sides of the story; the rise of Vito Corleone as a gangster and the fall of Michael as a human being. While some people prefer the much shorter original, it’s only in the more sophisticated sequel where the characters are thoroughly explored on a more profound level.


14. Andrei Rublev (1966)

Among the many masterpieces Andrei Tarkovsky made in his career, ‘Andrei Rublev’ probably stands out as his most personal and emotional work. The film chronicles the life of a 15th century Russian icon painter who struggles with his own faith and identity in his home country, devastated by its complex political and cultural conflicts. With a run time of over 205 minutes, the film takes its time to build the story but like most Tarkovsky films, the pay off is incredible and the overall experience is way too profound to put into words. It’s the most painfully honest depiction of a time and society caught up in all its frailties and inner turmoils.


13. Das Boot (1981)

Set in World War II, ‘Das Boot’ tells the story of a U-boat crew and depicts their struggles, inner conflicts, boredom and how they carry themselves forward as the absurd brutality of war begins to take a toll on them. The film is intensely raw and unflinchingly bold in its depiction of war and brings out the devastatingly human aspect of it. The soldiers aren’t portrayed as heroes. They are just normal men trying to defend and protect their country with what they best but the painful realities of a long futile battle gradually begin to consume them. There are several versions of the film but the original uncut version extends to run time of about 209 minutes.


12. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

A 3 hour 45 minute film about a woman making meatloaf, peeling potatoes, going shopping, bathing and cleaning. Well, if you’re wondering what this is all about, I’ve just described the plot for Chantal Akerman’s revolutionary feminist masterpiece, ‘Jeanne Dielman’. Akerman doesn’t try to manipulate or gain sympathy for her character but instead forces you to observe the sheer mundanity of her existence and how, painfully and gradually, it wrecks her soul. Widely considered to be a landmark film of avant-garde cinema, ‘Jeanne Dielman’ is today widely regarded as one of the greatest feminist movies of all time.


11. Seven Samurai (1954)

Arguably the greatest action film ever made, Akira Kurosawa’s game changing masterpiece runs for over 227 minutes but manages to keep you fully gripped throughout and not a single minute goes wasted. The film follows a veteran samurai and a group of farmers in a village who prepare for an epic battle with a pack of bandits who would come to steal their crops. Noted for its technical and storytelling innovations, ‘Seven Samurai’ features high octane action sequences and despite its age, comes off as more engrossing and entertaining than most action flicks that are being churned out these days. A generation of cinephiles may find it hard to see greatness in it as most of what’s groundbreaking in the film is now common in cinema. But it’s a film that deserves to be watched for its pathbreaking innovations and endless entertainment value.

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