The narrator is often an unheralded character in movies, with their importance overshadowed by those who appear on screen. Nevertheless, great narration often can subtly help bring the story to life.

In film noir and neo-noir films like Sunset Blvd. and Alphaville, it helps the audience get into the heads of otherwise stoic characters as they think through mysteries. Through voice-over, dramas like Wings of Desire and Brief Encounter become not just visually poetic but linguistically as well. However, narrators do not always play their role in a film in the traditional sense. Some narrators are there to confuse and detract, like in Detour and Last Year at Marienbad, reminding viewers never to trust a narrator unequivocally.

Stacker researched films that use recurring narration or voice-over and have at least a 7.0 IMDb user rating or 70 Metascore. Additionally, the films had to have at least 2,500 votes. Organized chronologically, this collection of 30 films represents some of the best movies featuring narration found throughout cinematic history.

Read on to see which films—ranging from as early as the 1940s to as recent as 2022—made the list.

LOOK: The 30 Best Movies With Narration

Using data from IMDb and Metacritic, Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated films featuring narration and voice-over.  

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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