From ‘Traffic’ To ‘The Hateful Eight’ Here Are 13 Of The Best Ensemble Casts in Film

It takes a great deal of skill to bring major movie stars together in one film, showcasing all of their unique talents without any of them getting lost in the story or in the shadow of other amazing actors. With his films like Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and now with his latest feature, The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino has certainly mastered the art of the ensemble film. Here are 13 of the best ensemble casts in film!

1
Crash
Thandie Newton, Matt Dillion, Crash, Lionsgate, 121815
Lionsgate
In one of the most pivotal films on race, class and gender in the United States, Crash is a dynamic film that pools together various people in Los Angeles, California. The cast consists of Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton and Sandra Bullock, among others. Not only is the acting superb in Crash, but it addresses topics that continue to divide and hurt us in this country. It's no wonder that Paul Haggis' ensemble feature won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006.
2
12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men, United Artists, 121815
United Artists
Sidney Lumet's debut film 12 Angry Men is a Hollywood classic that follows a jury of 12 men as they deliberate over the fate of one man's life. The film's dialogue should seem clunky and confusing, however using the film noir genre as a reference, Lumet was able to get unforgettable performances from every single actor. 12 Angry Men paints a portrait of twelve individual characters with their own prejudices and agendas. Starring Hollywood royalty like Henry Fonda and E.G. Marshall this film remains a timeless classic.
3
The Hateful Eight
Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Martine McCutcheon, Love Actually, Universal, 122115
The Weinstein Company
The master of dialogue and magnificent ensemble casts has struck gold again with his Western murder-mystery The Hateful Eight. Set against the blizzardy winter of the Wyoming mountains, The Hateful Eight brings together some Quentin Tarantino's favorites like Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson and Tim Roth, while garnering amazing performances from Jennifer Jason Leigh and Channing Tatum. With such an extraordinary group of actors, we doubt you'll be able to solve this "Who done it?" on your own. What a behind the scenes featurette with the cast here.
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4
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums, Buena Vista, 121815
Buena Vista Pictures
Basically all of Wes Anderson's films are ensembles, but The Royal Tenenbaums is very distinct in itself. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, and Danny Glover and is narrated by Alec Baldwin. The Royal Tenenbaums follows siblings whose lives fall apart after their father leaves. Anderson's humor is ironic, absurd and perfectly timed making it an amazing ensemble feature.
5
Pulp Fiction
Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Pulp Fiction, Miramax, 121815
Miramax
If anyone was still questioning Quentin Tarantino's genius after his debut film Reservoir Dogs, they certainly weren't after Pulp Fiction. Not only is the film brilliantly written, it made Uma Thurman a star, revived John Travolta's career and gave Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis some of the most memorable roles of their careers.  It's a near perfect film, if you can follow the non-linear structure.
6
Traffic
Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta Jones, Traffic, Universal, 122115
Universal
Before David Simon's The Wire, Steven Soderbergh's Traffic gave us an inside look at the War on Drugs. Shot in eight different cities in over 100 locations, the film has what seems like too many stories to keep up with, however Soderbergh brilliantly gave them each distinctive looks. Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman and Michael Douglas all give stellar performances that really encompass how deeply the drug problem is ingrained in our society.
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7
Anchorman
Anchorman, Paramount, Everett, 121815
Paramount/Everett
Anytime you have Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in the same film, you have a gem on your hands. This hilarious Judd Apatow production is set in the '70s and follows Ron Burgundy (Ferrell), a famous anchorman for a local San Diego television as he clashes with his new female co-anchor (Christina Applegate). Try to get through this without crying with laughter, we bet you can't.
8
Ocean's Eleven
Oceans Eleven, Warner Bros, Everett,121815
Warner Bros./Everett
Sometimes remakes of classic films can prove disastrous. However, when a remake has a cast that includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Julia Roberts you're bound to strike gold. Following his ensemble classic Traffic, Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven follows Clooney's character Danny Ocean as he and his team orchestrate the biggest heist in casino history. With so many major A-listers in one film, no wonder it spawned two sequels.
9
Boogie Nights
Boogie Nights, New Line Cinema, Everett, 121815
New Line Cinema
If there was ever a film with an iconic cast it would be Boogie Nights. The film stars Julianne Moore,  the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilley, Heather Graham, Alfred Molina, William H. Macy, Mark Whalberg, Burt Reyonds and Don Cheadle. The film follows a dishwasher who becomes an icon in the porn industry during the '70s. Not only is the script amazing, each and everyone of the actors that are equally unforgettable. The clothes are also unbelievably fantastic.


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10
Do The Right Thing
Do The Right Thing, Universal, 122115
Universal
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing is one of the most pivotal films of all time. Not only is it a poignant piece on race relations in the United States (which is more and more relevant every day), the ensemble cast is helmed by Lee himself, the late legends Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as well as, Rosie Perez and  Samuel L. Jackson among others Lee paints a stunning portrait of 1980's Brooklyn, New York. Lee wrote the script in just two weeks time, and the cast just brings this stunning tale to life.
11
The Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line, 20th Century Fox, 122115
20th Century Fox
Terrence Malick shot over one million feet of film for his war drama The Thin Red Line, and the original cut was over 6 hours long. By the time the film was cut to a manageable length Gary Oldman, Martin Sheen, Mickey Rourke, Bill Pullman and Viggo Mortensen weren't even in the film anymore. However, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Jared Leto, John Travolta, and George Clooney still got their time to shine. More than anything, this is a film that shows Sean Penn's best performance. It' s a film about the nature of war colliding with the nature of mankind. This film could have been a chaotic jumbled mess, but the performances along with Malick's mastery make it work.


12
A Time To Kill
Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L Jackson, A Time To Kill, Warner Bros, 122115
Warner Bros.
John Grisham's 1989 novel A Time to Kill came to the big screen in the mid '90s and slayed the game. Set in Canto, Mississippi the film follows a  black father (Samuel L. Jackson) who avenges his daughter's brutal rape by murdering the men who are responsible prior to their trial. Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Ashley Judd, Kiefer and Donald Sutherland star in this gut wrenching and jarring film that is an eye-opening look at race and violence in this country.
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13
Love Actually
Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Martine McCutcheon, Love Actually, Universal, 122115
Universal
So Love Actually should be ridiculously corny, and it is..kind of. But, it's still magical and that's because of the amazing cast and the comedic timing in the film. With Harry Potter alums Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman as a married couple as well as Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, this film even makes the most cynical people smile. It's a film to watch any time of year, but especially during the holidays when the world has become just a bit too harsh. Who can resist Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister?! Seriously the only cameo missing here is J.K. Rowling. Sill apprehensive about Richard Curtis' epic film? Check it out on Netflix for yourself.

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