Screenshot: Run Lola Run / Sony Pictures Classics
Just when it was thought that blockbuster films couldn’t get any longer, the fine folks at Universal Pictures announced the run time for the next long-delayed entry in the James Bond franchise. When it opens in the US in October, No Time to Die will keep moviegoers in their seats for 2 hours and 43 minutes. Pretty epic for a spy pirate.
No Bond film was short, mind you: Quantum of Solace, the shortest in the series’ history, lasts 106 minutes; 2015’s Specter is the second longest at 158 minutes. And Bond isn’t even an outlier among modern franchises: Avengers Endgame lasted 182 minutes and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker took 155 minutes. It seems that everyone these days thinks they are David Lean and that every action film is Lawrence of Arabia.
Long movies are sometimes great, but length isn’t always (or often) a quality determiner. Hell, some of the greatest movies in history – spanning decades and a wide variety of genres – tell their stories very effectively in 90 minutes or less. What follows are 26 of our favorites. Wait. It’s about to get pithy up here.