Best movies with an ensemble cast, arranged


While it may seem like a challenging experience to follow multiple characters throughout a film, if executed correctly, we are given a spectrum of talent and intersecting stories that make for a great story. Filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino regularly uses ensemble castings filled with talented actors. In Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, we are given an almost three hour long epic story with almost a dozen characters’ lives intersecting. Depending on the story, using an ensemble cast can give a filmmaker several avenues to tell their story and express their themes.

While some audiences may prefer a story that focuses on an individual, many others appreciate the skills it takes to create a film with an ensemble cast. From a writer’s perspective, it can be quite difficult to follow numerous characters through the story. As a director, equal attention should be given to each actor to make sure they are doing the right thing with the story. Ensemble casting works excellently for all genres of films. The Coen brothers has made some amazing comedy films with ensemble cast including The Great Lebowski and Burn after reading. Whether it’s drama or comedy, ensemble cast gives us a wide range of talent and effectively tells amazing stories. Let’s look at the best movies with ensemble cast, arranged.

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10 Start


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Warner Bros. Pictures

Christopher Nolan’s mental masterpiece Start is a great example of the use of an ensemble cast in a science fiction film. The cast includes a variety of talent, including Leonardo Dicaprio, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, and many more. As we watch the characters embark on a search through layers of dreams, each of their personalities is perfectly showcased through the writing. At the same time, each of their personas correlates with their specific task for the mission.

9 Babel


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Paramount Pictures

Alejandro González Iñárritu Babel shows us how the lives of different characters can be intertwined, even if they are on different continents (and, more meaningfully, never meet). Babel jumps back and forth between time and focuses on the disconnection between people of different ethnic backgrounds. The ensemble cast is off the top shelves, with Brad Pitt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rinko Kinkuchi, Cate Blanchett, and many more.


8 Boogie Evenings


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New Line Cinema

Paul Thomas Anderson is known for telling stories with various characters. In his film depicting 1970s pornography, he shows many fun and eccentric characters and their involvement in adult filmmaking. The characters are like one big dysfunctional family and we get a lot of scenes that are engaging, and some scenes that are upsetting. Each character develops as Boogie Evenings progress, and gives us several amazing character arcs in this lively and intense movie.

7 Do not look up


Do not look up
Netflix

Do not look up was one of the best films of 2021 and it had an ensemble cast of Hollywood elites. Leonardo Dicaprio leads the group as Dr. Randall Mindy with fellow astronomer Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence). The two try to warn the world against an impending comet, but come across several sinister characters, including President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and chief technology officer Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance). The cast goes on and on and features several amazing comic performances by Timothee Chalamet, Jonah Hill and Ariana Grande.

Related: Cate Blanchett says Do Not Look Up started to feel like a documentary during filming

6 The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy


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New Line Cinema

Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy showcased JRR Tolkien’s novels to pure perfection. The special effects, screenplay and ensemble cast merged to create some of the best fantasy films of all time. The cast includes several talented artists, including Sir Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortenson and Elijah Wood. It’s not an easy task to portray characters in the world of Middle Earth, but Peter Jackson chose the right actors for the job. Although there are too many characters to count, The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy that should be seen by everyone.

5 The Royal Tenenbaums


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Good Vista images

Wes Anderson is a master of story and art direction. His 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums tells the story of a dysfunctional family and shows several great performances. Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson play the Tenenbaum children, all with clear characteristics. The cast was filled with several family friends and acquaintances played by Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Owen Wilson, and more. The film comes together brilliantly and gives us one of Anderson’s best films to date.


4 The thin red line


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20th Century Fox

There has never been such a war movie The thin red line. The film is poetic, heartbreaking and contains several memorable roles. Terrance Mallick is known for portraying various actors in his films and sometimes cutting entire performances. His WWII drama features the point of view of soldiers, including Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel, John Cusack, and many more. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture.

3 Little Miss Sunshine


Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine was a brilliant screenplay that told the story of a dysfunctional family on a road trip to get the youngest daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) at a beauty pageant. Each member of the family has their own personal struggles and peculiarities that ensure good drama and comedy. The film is entertaining from start to finish and shows you how important it is for families to stand together through difficult times.

Related: Best Road Trip Movies, Ranked

2 Magnolia


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New Line Cinema

Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic film tells the intertwined stories of several individuals over the course of one day. Magnolia tackles many topics, including drugs, abuse and death. The main message of the film, portrayed by the intense climax where it is actually raining frogs, tells us that anything is possible and that we are all connected. The film includes several outstanding performances by William H. Macy, Melinda Dillon, John C. Reilly, and many more. Tom Cruise would go on to be nominated for an Oscar for his supporting performance.

1 Pulp Fiction


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Miramax films

Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece tells the intersecting stories of gangsters, thieves and a boxer. The film jumps back and forth in time and contains some of the most iconic dialogue in film history. Pulp Fiction is a story about salvation and depicts its theme through various violent scenes. The brilliant cast includes John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, and many more. The entire cast shines from start to finish and the film was nominated for seven Oscars, which won Best Original Screenplay.



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