10 Longest Movies of all time

Out 1 (Noli me tangere) 2

What’s the longest movie you’ve sat through at a theater? We all know some films that seem to drag on for years, if you’re not enjoying it, while others are over before we know it despite their lengthy runtime. 

While there’s no set rule for a film’s duration, a movie’s runtime can make headlines before its release. A long movie isn’t necessarily a reflection on an out-of-control director or lack of editing (although we’ve all seen some films that seem that way). This list shows a definite place for epic films that use every frame to tell their specific story. They may not be popular with movie theater schedulers, but ultra-long movies have an important place in cinematic history. 

This list pulls together the longest movies ever released to cinemas, but more committed viewers may want to branch out even further. An excellent way to test your movie endurance is to see the literal lengths some experimental filmmakers have gone to. Overall, the clear winner for the longest movie is the 2021 experimental Swedish film Logistics. You’ll need to book over a month off, though: It runs for an eye-watering 35 days and 17 hours.

The following films are ones you can just about pack into one day. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with movies or you’ve run out of series to box-set, here are the longest films ever released. 

Settle in for some long runtimes.

The 10 longest cinematic movies ever released

The English language barely features in this diverse list of long films. The most frequent languages are French and Tagalog, with the Republic of the Philippines emerging as the top contributor to long-form cinema. That’s down to filmmaker Lav Diaz, a specialist in extended movies that combine documentary and fiction. 

Many of the movies on this list are documentaries, with several achieving considerable critical regard for their total dedication to their subjects. 

Heremias: (Book One: Legend of the Lizard Princess), 2006 — 8 hr, 39 min

Heremias Book One

The first of a Lav Diaz hat trick, this black and white crime drama tells the story of the titular Filipino farmer, a traveling salesman who loses everything as he falls victim to police corruption. 

There are long scenes done without cutting, showing the dedication of all involved. It’s a fairly therapeutic viewing experience for an epic exploration of suffering. Book Two arrived a decade later with a disappointing runtime of under two hours. 

Death in the Land of Encantos, 2007 — 8 hr, 58 min

Death in the Land of Encantos

Another Lav Diaz film, but this time it’s a docu-drama. The land of the title refers to the Philippine cities surrounding the volcano Mayon that were devastated by typhoon Reming shortly after an eruption in 2006. This is the first of what is known as Diaz’s “trauma trilogy”.

Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks, 2003 — 9 hr, 11 min

Tie Xi Qu West of the Tracks

Wang Bing’s Chinese documentary is broken into three parts, Rust, Remnants, and Rails, each recording the decline of the industrial Tiexi district in Shenyang. As a record of the fall of the socialist economy and the rise of free-market diversification, it is regarded as one of the most significant films of the early 20th century. 

Shoah, 1985 — 9 hr, 26 min


Shoah, from the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, is a French documentary that mixes interviews with visits to historic sites across Poland. Director Claude Lanzmann included survivors and perpetrators in an epic work hailed as a masterpiece on release. 

The film, in its entirety, actually aired on PBS in 1987.

Evolution of a Filipino Family, 2004 — 9 hr, 53 min

Evolution of a Filipino Family

Just ducking under the half-day duration, Lav Diaz’s third film on this list has a brilliantly literal title. Sitting through a watch of this film, one must suspend their concepts of what a film is supposed to look like. It vacillates between sharp and dull shots, as a means to open one’s mind and affect his mood. It takes an experimental approach to the fortunes of a Filipino farming family between 1971 and 1987, creating a compelling metaphor for the rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

How Yukong Moved the Mountains, 1976 — 12 hr 43 min

How Yukong Moved the Mountains

This French-language documentary comprises 12 films, taking their lead from the fable of the title and the concept of willpower. It was split into five intriguingly-titled feature-length chapters for its English-language release. 

The series can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube.

Out 1 (Noli me tangere), 1971 — 12 hr 55 min

Out 1 (Noli me tangere)

Jacques Rivette and Suzanne Schiffman’s French epic took its cue from Balzac’s interconnected multi-volume novels La Comédie Humaine. Its parallel narrative structure proved to be immensely influential in European cinema, including the work of legendary Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski.

You will notice the director did not cut when mistakes happened, or edit them out later, which adds to the feel of the picture.

La Flor, 2018 — 13 hr 23 min

La Flor

This Argentine movie’s 808 minutes are broken into six chapters, connected by writer and director Mariano Llinás’ explanation of the structure. Each chapter has a distinct style (and features the same four actresses), ranging from supernatural B-movie to experimental metanarrative, via genres as diverse as romance, fantasy, period, and spy thriller.

Resan (The Journey), 1987 — 14 hr 33 min

Resan (The Journey)

Peter Watkins’ documentary took two years to film. Its 873 minutes are built around people’s opinions on war, military budgets, nuclear weapons, and poverty. 

Amra Ekta Cinema Banabo (The Innocence), 2019 — 21 hr

Amra Ekta Cinema Banabo

This 2019 black and white Bengali-language feature uses its duration to explore life after the Bangladesh Liberation War. Capturing this epic tale was a lengthy task too. Although there were only 176 days of shooting, they took place over nine years. The result is a film that will take you on an incredible journey in just under a day.