The A.V. Club has picked the highlights from a whole history of cinematic illusion, from the Méliès “trick films” of the early 20th century to the superhero phenomena of today.
Note that this is not a list of the most advanced effects work, because as anyone who’s sat through an X-Men movie can attest, even the most state-of-the-art spectacles can look shockingly lousy. Furthermore, not all once-remarkable effects achievements have retained their luster, which is why some of the biggest box office hits of all time are absent from our rundown.
This list was originally published to The A.V. Club on July 26, 2018