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Mad Max: Fury Road beats Star Wars

Mad Max

The Force Awakens to Empire’s ‘greatest film of the century’ title as sci-fi series comes in at 48 out of 100

Mad Max: Fury Road has been crowned as the ‘greatest film of the century’ beating the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring to the post.

In a list published by this month’s Empire magazine called ‘100 Greatest Movies of the Century’, who have also published six split covers in celebration, the Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron blockbuster came in top after being voted by critics and readers.

The fourth instalment of the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, became a worldwide box office hit five years ago, earning more than $500 million (£384 million) globally.

Meanwhile Star Wars: The Force Awakens came in at 48 out of the list of 100, with The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring finishing in second place despite coming out top on the readers’ choice.

In fact, all three of the The Lord Of The Rings trilogy films made the list with The Return Of The King finishing at 43 and The Two Towers coming in at 53.

Also making the top five list of films were The Dark Knight at number three and Inception at number four, both directed by Christopher Nolan, while Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight came in at number five.

Mad Max: Fury Road is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Max Rockatansky (Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Theron) join together to overthrow Colonel Joe Moore (Hugh Keays-Byrne) controlling water supply to the Islanders.

It became one of the year’s biggest movies in 2015, racking up $21.7 million (£16.7 million) at the local box office and over $500 million (£384 million) globally, picking up six Oscars and ten AACTAs in the process.

The project was filmed over 120 days and was almost 20 years in the making, Hardy stars as Max Rockatansky while Theron plays Imperator Furiosa.

On Mad Max: Fury Road’s win, director George Miller, 74, said: ‘It’s a lovely pat on the back… how do you measure the worth of a film? The best I can come up with is to ask, “How long does it follow you out of the cinema?”

‘Some films you’ve forgotten by the time you get to the car park. Others seem to follow you around for the rest of your life.’

Miller continued on his refusal to give up on it after almost 20 years in the making: ‘Whenever it fell down, it didn’t stop me thinking about it. You couldn’t kill it with a stick.’

The Oscar-winning director also sweetly added about Theron’s performance as Imperator Furiosa: ‘There were times when I remember sitting at the back of The War Rig, and Charlize would be driving back to set.

‘I’d think “Wow, if this was the apocalypse, I’m glad she’s driving The War Rig.” She was Furiosa.’

Meanwhile, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring is based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, it follows hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he attempts to destroy the Dark Lord Sauron’s One Ring at Mount Doom.

The 2001 film, which earned $872.5 million (£669.3 million) globally, has a star-studded cast with Sir Ian McKellen playing Gandalf, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Liv Tyler as Arwen and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. It won four Oscars.

The Dark Knight follows the Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger) as he attempts to destroy and install fear into Gotham with Batman (Christian Bale) trying to stop him, the 2019 film Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix only made it to 39.

The 2008 film earned $1 billion (£767.4 million) globally and earned two Oscars in 2009, with late actor Heath Ledger, who played the titular role of the Joker, winning the Best Supporting Actor after his tragic death just months earlier in 2008.

Inception weaves a dizzying succession of dreams within dreams, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as its lead character Cobb, with Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy and Marion Cotillard also starring.

The 2010 film earned $825,532,764 million globally (£633,736,736 million) and earned four Oscars.

Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man, Chiron (Ashton Sanders)  from childhood to adulthood, as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami.

The 2016 film earned $65.3 million (£50.1 million) globally after a budget of $4 million (£3 million), and won three Oscars.

Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan as titular character Christine McPherson, came in at 36.

The director of Oscar-nominated film Little Women, 36, spoke about the legacy of the movie with the magazine: ‘The thing that’s been most moving is really the girls. I live in New York, by NYU and by New School, and there’s a lot of young girls who want to be filmmakers around who come and talk to me.

‘Honestly, it’s the sweetest thing. They’re very sincere and they’re never pushy; they just want to tell me about their mums and their dreams for their life. I’m very honoured that they’ve chosen me as their leader for this time being.’

While Editor-In-Chief of Empire, Terri White, said of the results: ‘It’s been a phenomenal 20 years in cinema and drawing up this list was no easy task for either our critics or readers!

‘The resulting 100, though, is a testament to the verve, vitality and pure power of film in the 20th century.’

The 100 Greatest Movies of the Century (so far) are revealed in this month’s issue of Empire, on sale on Thursday January 23rd, and online now at


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