Here’s Clint Eastwood’s All-Time Greatest Movie, According to IMDB

by Allison Hambrick

It’s undeniable; Clint Eastwood is one of the all-time greats of cinema, but with a filmography as impressive as his, how do you pick a favorite? Critics weighed in on the greatest Clint Eastwood movie, and the answer may come as a surprise.

At a Glance

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly tops the list of Clint Eastwood’s greatest movies.
  • Other highly-ranked films include classics such as Unforgiven and Gran Torino.
  • Dirty Harry didn’t crack the top ten despite its iconic status.

Ranking Clint Eastwood Films

According to IMDB, the greatest Clint Eastwood movie of all time is The Good, the Bad And the Ugly. Capping off the Dollars trilogy, the film released in 1966. At the time, the film received mixed reviews. However, since then, the movie became synonymous with the western genre. In fact, it’s widely considered the definitive western.

From Time to Empire, the film routinely ranks on listings for the greatest movies of all time. Interestingly, the other films in the Dollars series also made the top ten for best Eastwood films. For a Few Dollars More ranked at number two, while A Fistful of Dollars ranked at number nine. Other popular Eastwood films that made the top ten include: Unforgiven, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Letters From Iwo Jima, Mystic River, and Changling.

Interestingly, one of Eastwood’s greatest movie roles didn’t make the top ranking–Dirty Harry. However, it did score a respectable number 12. Of course, that film went on to have four sequels, making it one of Eastwood’s greatest successes. However, he felt the series is a bit played out. The actor-director clarified that he would only sign on if there was a scrip that he really believed in. Though, he did have a pitch of his own: “He’s standing in a stream, fly-fishing. He gets tired of using the pole — and BA-BOOM! Or Harry is retired and he chases bad guys with his walker? Maybe he owns a tavern. These guys come in and they won’t pay their tab, so Harry reaches below the bar. ‘Hey, guys, the next shot’s on me…'”

One of Clint Eastwood’s Greatest Movies Is Under Fire From His Costar

Dirty Harry stands the test of time, but another Eastwood film isn’t so lucky. While Gran Torino made Eastwood’s top ten, the film hasn’t aged well, alleged one costar. It may be among Eastwood’s greatest movies, though that doesn’t make it infallible.

“There wаs а lot of debаte аt the time аbout whether the movie’s slurs were insensitive аnd grаtuitous or just ‘hаrmless jokes,’” wrote Bee Vang, who also starred in Gran Torino. “The lаughter thаt the slurs elicited in predominаntly white theаters wаs unsettling to me. ‘Cаn’t you tаke а joke?’ sаid white people аll the time.”

To Vang, Gran Torino spelled out a hard truth: roles for marginalized groups often mock them. Regardless of the quality of the film, it’s important to acknowledge different perspectives.

“Grаn Torino mаy hаve omitted the Asiаn crisis thаt gаve birth to our diаsporа аnd mаny others аcross the Pаcific,” Vang concluded. “But it wаs the film’s mаinstreаming of аnti-Asiаn rаcism, even аs it increаsed Asiаn Americаn representаtion, thаt wаs most concerning. We’ve been beаten into silence by lаughter thаt hаs been used аgаinst us.”

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