Hundreds of movies come out every single year. Most are terrible. Some are good and quickly forgotten anyway. And then there are a few films that never leave us; that take on an outsized part in our collective memories. They inspire fashion trends, new diets, the adoption of new filmmaking technologies — and, of course, many other movies, in the form of direct sequels or indirect copycats.

Those are the films this list is about. It ranks the most influential movies of the 21st century, as chosen by the staff of ScreenCrush. “Influence” is a somewhat subjective concept; it goes beyond mathematical measurements such as ticket sales. In this case, we tried to pick those works that had the largest impact on the world of cinema and pop culture as a whole. Which films changed the way motion pictures were made? Which shifted how films were watched? Which were the most shamelessly ripped off in the years since 2001?

That gave us the 25 pictures that followed, starting with...

The Most Influential Movies of the 21st Century

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