100 Essential Columbia Pictures Films

Columbia Pictures, a part of the Sony studios family, turns 100, and like the lady in their famous logo, we’re raising the torch and shining a light on Columbia’s 100 essential movies.

Columbia Pictures is the house Frank Capra helped build. Partnership between studio and director yielded multiple classics in the 1930s, including Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can’t Take It With You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. 1934’s ultimate rom-com It Happened One Night was the first movie ever to sweep the five major Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Columbia produced film noirs (Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai, All the King’s Men, The Big Heat) and military epics (The Bridge on the River Kwai, From Here to Eternity). And Marlon Brando revolutionized acting with his iconic method performances in On the Waterfront and The Wild One.

In a decade of social revolution, Columbia started the 1960s with sweeping historical epics (Lawrence of Arabia, Major Dundee, A Man for All Seasons) and closed them out with the anti-war Dr. Strangelove, groundbreaking race dramedy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and counter-culture anthem Easy Rider.

With the gritty and urbane New Hollywood taking over in the 1970s, Columbia bet and won with upstart directors Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver) and Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), while winning Best Picture for more classical fare like The Last Picture Show and Kramer vs. Kramer.

For the next generation of the 1980s, the Columbia logo was certainly seen by young folks the world over in front of Ghostbusters and The Karate Kid, and with the expanding demographics for School Daze and La Bamba.

In the 1990s, the first full decade under Sony ownership, let’s hone in on Columbia’s elevated genre productions in action (Bad Boys, Desperado) and science fiction (Gattaca, The Fifth Element, Men in Black).

The 2000s set Columbia and Sony on the major trajectory we know up to today: comic books and comedies. Spider-Man proved superhero movies could succeed as pop culture blockbusters, and the character has carried into animation (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and across collaboration with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Spider-Man: No Way Home).

And you can’t think 21st-century comedy without movies like Step Brothers, Superbad, 21 Jump Street, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and even Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

Come celebrate a century of of cinema with Columbia Pictures’ 100 essential movies (sorted by release year)!

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 115354%
Critics Consensus: A bigger, bolder Spider-Man sequel, No Way Home expands the franchise's scope and stakes without losing sight of its humor and heart.
Synopsis: For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#2

Little Women (2019)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 118658%
Critics Consensus: With a stellar cast and a smart, sensitive retelling of its classic source material, Greta Gerwig's Little Women proves some stories truly are timeless.
Synopsis: In the years after the Civil War, Jo March lives in New York and makes her living as a writer,... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

#3
Adjusted Score: 117337%
Critics Consensus: Thrillingly unrestrained yet solidly crafted, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tempers Tarantino's provocative impulses with the clarity of a mature filmmaker's vision.
Synopsis: Actor Rick Dalton gained fame and fortune by starring in a 1950s television Western, but is now struggling to find... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#4
Adjusted Score: 119438%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#5
Adjusted Score: 88823%
Critics Consensus: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.
Synopsis: Movie... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

#6

21 Jump Street (2012)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 95807%
Critics Consensus: A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite.
Synopsis: When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 110134%
Critics Consensus: Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, The Social Network is a riveting, ambitious example of modern filmmaking at its finest.
Synopsis: In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new concept that eventually turns... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#8
Adjusted Score: 90372%
Critics Consensus: Quirky humor, plucky characters and solid slapstick make this family comedy a frenetically tasty time at the movies.
Synopsis: When hard times hit Swallow Falls, its townspeople can only afford to eat sardines. Flint Lockwood, a failed inventor, thinks... [More]

#9

Zombieland (2009)
89%

#9
Adjusted Score: 99496%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.
Synopsis: After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world's surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the... [More]
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

#10

Hancock (2008)
42%

#10
Adjusted Score: 51220%
Critics Consensus: Though it begins with promise, Hancock suffers from a flimsy narrative and poor execution.
Synopsis: A scruffy superhero named Hancock (Will Smith) protects the citizens of Los Angeles but leaves horrendous collateral damage in the... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#11

Step Brothers (2008)
55%

#11
Adjusted Score: 63229%
Critics Consensus: Step Brothers indulges in a cheerfully relentless immaturity that will quickly turn off viewers unamused by Ferrell and Reilly -- and delight those who find their antics hilarious.
Synopsis: Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) have one thing in common: they are both lazy, unemployed... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#12

Superbad (2007)
88%

#12
Adjusted Score: 96252%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: High school seniors Seth and Evan have high hopes for a graduation party. The co-dependent teens plan to score booze... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 34578%
Critics Consensus: What makes Dan Brown's novel a best seller is evidently not present in this dull and bloated movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code.
Synopsis: A murder in Paris' Louvre Museum and cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings lead to... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#14
Adjusted Score: 78563%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle.
Synopsis: NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is at the top of his game; adored by fans, a trophy wife by... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#15

Big Fish (2003)
75%

#15
Adjusted Score: 82759%
Critics Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes, Big Fish is an impressive catch.
Synopsis: When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) becomes ill, his son, William (Billy Crudup), travels to be with him. William has a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#16

Adaptation (2002)
90%

#16
Adjusted Score: 97174%
Critics Consensus: Dizzyingly original, the loopy, multi-layered Adaptation is both funny and thought-provoking.
Synopsis: Nicolas Cage is Charlie Kaufman, a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration, self-loathing, and by the... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#17

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
79%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85746%
Critics Consensus: Odd, touching, and unique, Punch-Drunk Love is also delightfully funny, utilizing Adam Sandler's comic persona to explore the life of a lonely guy who finds love.
Synopsis: Although susceptible to violent outbursts, bathroom supply business owner Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) is a timid and shy man by... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#18

Spider-Man (2002)
90%

#18
Adjusted Score: 98692%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
Synopsis: "Spider-Man" centers on student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#19

Ali (2001)
68%

#19
Adjusted Score: 73397%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps no film could fully do justice to the fascinating life and personality of Muhammad Ali, Mann's direction and Smith's performance combine to pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: With wit and athletic genius, with defiant rage and inner grace, Muhammad Ali forever changed the American landscape. Fighting all... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#20

Black Hawk Down (2001)
77%

#20
Adjusted Score: 83269%
Critics Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.
Synopsis: The film takes place in 1993 when the U.S. sent special forces into Somalia to destabilize the government and bring... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#21

Big Daddy (1999)
39%

#21
Adjusted Score: 43383%
Critics Consensus: Adam Sandler acquits himself admirably, but his charm isn't enough to make up for Big Daddy's jarring shifts between crude humor and mawkish sentimentality.
Synopsis: Thirty-two-year-old Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler) has spent his whole life avoiding responsibility. But when his girlfriend dumps him for an... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 75380%
Critics Consensus: Visually inventive and gleefully over the top, Luc Besson's The Fifth Element is a fantastic piece of pop sci-fi that never takes itself too seriously.
Synopsis: The Earth is about to be destroyed by a huge ball of fire racing toward the planet. Cornelius, an old... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#23

Gattaca (1997)
82%

#23
Adjusted Score: 86224%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
Synopsis: Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#24

Men in Black (1997)
91%

#24
Adjusted Score: 97251%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script, spectacular set pieces, and charismatic performances from its leads, Men in Black is an entirely satisfying summer blockbuster hit.
Synopsis: They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, Kay (Tommy Lee... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#25

Bottle Rocket (1996)
86%

#25
Adjusted Score: 90848%
Critics Consensus: Bottle Rocket is Reservoir Dogs meets Breathless with a West Texas sensibility.
Synopsis: In Wes Anderson's first feature film, Anthony (Luke Wilson) has just been released from a mental hospital, only to find... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#26
Adjusted Score: 91647%
Critics Consensus: The People Vs. Larry Flynt pays entertaining tribute to an irascible iconoclast with a well-constructed biopic that openly acknowledges his troublesome flaws.
Synopsis: Pursued by opponents who say his "Hustler" magazine breaks decency laws, pornographer Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) hires lawyer Alan Isaacman... [More]
Directed By: Milos Forman

#27

Bad Boys (1995)
43%

#27
Adjusted Score: 47845%
Critics Consensus: Bad Boys stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have enjoyable chemistry; unfortunately, director Michael Bay too often drowns it out with set pieces and explosions in place of an actual story.
Synopsis: Miami-Dade detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) blow a fuse when $100 million worth of heroin... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#28

Desperado (1995)
70%

#28
Adjusted Score: 73490%
Critics Consensus: Desperado contains almost too much action and too little story to sustain interest, but Antonio Banderas proves a charismatic lead in Robert Rodriguez's inventive extravaganza.
Synopsis: Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) plunges headfirst into the dark border underworld when he follows a trail of blood to the last... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 101760%
Critics Consensus: Sense and Sensibility is an uncommonly deft, very funny Jane Austen adaptation, marked by Emma Thompson's finely tuned performance.
Synopsis: When Elinor Dashwood's (Emma Thompson) father dies, her family's finances are crippled. After the Dashwoods move to a cottage in... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 94042%
Critics Consensus: Equal measures romantic and wistful, Martin Scorsese's elegant adaptation of The Age of Innocence is a triumphant exercise in both stylistic and thematic restraint.
Synopsis: Wealthy lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to sweet socialite May Welland (Winona Ryder) in 1870s New York. On... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#31

Groundhog Day (1993)
94%

#31
Adjusted Score: 108709%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Synopsis: Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 100200%
Critics Consensus: Smart, elegant, and blessed with impeccable performances from Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, The Remains of the Day is a Merchant-Ivory classic.
Synopsis: During the 1930s, James Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) serves as a proper English butler to the doltish Lord Darlington (James Fox).... [More]
Directed By: James Ivory

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 80056%
Critics Consensus: Overblown in the best sense of the word, Francis Ford Coppola's vision of Bram Stoker's Dracula rescues the character from decades of campy interpretations -- and features some terrific performances to boot.
Synopsis: Adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. Gary Oldman plays Dracula whose lonely soul is determined to reunite with his... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#34

A Few Good Men (1992)
84%

#34
Adjusted Score: 89862%
Critics Consensus: An old-fashioned courtroom drama with a contemporary edge, A Few Good Men succeeds on the strength of its stars, with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and especially Jack Nicholson delivering powerful performances that more than compensate for the predictable plot.
Synopsis: Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is a military lawyer defending two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 88064%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#36

Boyz N the Hood (1991)
96%

#36
Adjusted Score: 102072%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and thematically rich, Boyz N the Hood observes Black America with far more depth and compassion than many of the like-minded films its success inspired.
Synopsis: Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Larry Fishburne), in tough South Central Los... [More]
Directed By: John Singleton

#37

My Girl (1991)
55%

#37
Adjusted Score: 56191%
Critics Consensus: My Girl has a mostly sweet story and a pair of appealing young leads, but it's largely undone by its aggressively tearjerking ending.
Synopsis: Tomboy Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) has good reason to be morbid: her mother died giving birth to her, and her... [More]
Directed By: Howard Zieff

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 71485%
Critics Consensus: Although the central romance arguably suffocates the heart of the drama, a moving performance by Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand's deft direction give The Prince of Tides a soulful edge.
Synopsis: A New York psychiatrist treating an emotionally scarred woman finds it helpful to discuss her South Carolina family's troubled history... [More]
Directed By: Barbra Streisand

#39

Awakenings (1990)
82%

#39
Adjusted Score: 84568%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by some of Robin Williams' finest non-comedic work and a strong performance from Robert De Niro, Awakenings skirts the edges of melodrama, then soars above it.
Synopsis: The story of a doctor's extraordinary work in the Sixties with a group of catatonic patients he finds languishing in... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 90170%
Critics Consensus: Uniting a pair of powerhouse talents with a smart, sharply written script, Postcards from the Edge makes compelling drama out of reality-inspired trauma.
Synopsis: Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale is on a slippery slope as a recovering addict. On exit from rehab, it is recommended... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#41
Adjusted Score: 95095%
Critics Consensus: Bursting with Terry Gilliam's typically imaginative flourishes, this story of a possibly deranged Baron recounting his storied life is a flamboyant and witty visual treat.
Synopsis: During the "Age of Reason" of the late 18th century, the Turkish army lays siege to a European city where... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#42

School Daze (1988)
58%

#42
Adjusted Score: 60135%
Critics Consensus: School Daze is undeniably messy, but thought-provoking themes, strong performances, and Spike Lee's ingratiating energy help tie it all together.
Synopsis: At historically black Mission College, the activist-minded Dap (Larry Fishburne) immerses himself in a world of political rhetoric and social... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#43

La Bamba (1987)
83%

#43
Adjusted Score: 90343%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by a perceptive performance by a perfectly cast Lou Diamond Phillips, La Bamba distills its subject's creative energy -- and reflects his music's enduring appeal.
Synopsis: Los Angeles teenager Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) becomes an overnight rock 'n' roll success in 1958, thanks to a... [More]
Directed By: Luis Valdez

#44

Fright Night (1985)
83%

#44
Adjusted Score: 88782%
Critics Consensus: Fright Night deftly combines thrills and humor in this ghostly tale about a man living next to a vampire.
Synopsis: Teenage Charley Brewster is a horror-film junkie, so it's no surprise that when a reclusive new neighbor moves next-door, Brewster... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#45

Silverado (1985)
78%

#45
Adjusted Score: 80815%
Critics Consensus: Boasting rich detail and well-told story, Silverado is a rare example of an '80s Hollywood Western done right.
Synopsis: Rambling man Emmett (Scott Glenn) assembles a group of misfit cowboys (Kevin Costner), (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover). After helping a... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#46

St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
42%

#46
Adjusted Score: 45769%
Critics Consensus: St. Elmo's Fire is almost peak Brat Pack: it's got the cast, the fashion, and the music, but the characters are too frequently unlikable.
Synopsis: A group of recent college graduates embark on a series of misadventures in the real world. There's Kirby (Emilio Estevez),... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#47

Body Double (1984)
78%

#47
Adjusted Score: 80811%
Critics Consensus: Exemplifying Brian De Palma's filmmaking bravura and polarizing taste, Body Double is a salacious love letter to moviemaking.
Synopsis: After losing an acting role and his girlfriend, Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) finally catches a break: he gets offered a... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#48

Ghostbusters (1984)
95%

#48
Adjusted Score: 102342%
Critics Consensus: An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.
Synopsis: After the members of a team of scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#49

The Karate Kid (1984)
90%

#49
Adjusted Score: 93943%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 77987%
Critics Consensus: A Passage to India is a visually striking exploration of colonialism and prejudice, although it doesn't achieve the thematic breadth of director David Lean's finest work.
Synopsis: Based on the renowned E.M. Forster novel, this expansive period drama centers on the changing dynamic between British colonials and... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#51

Starman (1984)
86%

#51
Adjusted Score: 88708%
Critics Consensus: What initially begins as sci-fi transforms into a surprisingly sweet, offbeat drama, courtesy of John Carpenter's careful direction.
Synopsis: Answering a NASA message intended for aliens, a space being tries to contact mankind, but an American missile grounds his... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#52

The Big Chill (1983)
69%

#52
Adjusted Score: 72898%
Critics Consensus: The Big Chill captures a generation's growing ennui with a terrific cast, a handful of perceptive insights, and one of the decade's best film soundtracks.
Synopsis: This compassionate "comedy of values" probes the growing pains of seven college housemates from the 1960s who have drifted apart... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#53

Christine (1983)
72%

#53
Adjusted Score: 75548%
Critics Consensus: The cracks are starting to show in John Carpenter's directorial instincts, but Christine is nonetheless silly, zippy fun.
Synopsis: Unpopular nerd Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which he names Christine. Arnie develops an unhealthy obsession... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#54

Gandhi (1982)
89%

#54
Adjusted Score: 100581%
Critics Consensus: Director Richard Attenborough is typically sympathetic and sure-handed, but it's Ben Kingsley's magnetic performance that acts as the linchpin for this sprawling, lengthy biopic.
Synopsis: This acclaimed biographical drama presents major events in the life of Mohandas Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), the beloved Indian leader who... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#55

Tootsie (1982)
91%

#55
Adjusted Score: 96120%
Critics Consensus: Tootsie doesn't squander its high-concept comedy premise with fine dialogue and sympathetic treatment of the characters.
Synopsis: New York actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a talented perfectionist who is so hard on himself and others that... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#56

Stripes (1981)
88%

#56
Adjusted Score: 91502%
Critics Consensus: A raucous military comedy that features Bill Murray and his merry cohorts approaching the peak of their talents.
Synopsis: Hard-luck cabbie John Winger (Bill Murray) -- directionless after being fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend --... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#57

Stir Crazy (1980)
69%

#57
Adjusted Score: 69881%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With a jailbreak offering them their only way out, a despondent duo rack their brains to figure out a foolproof... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Poitier

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 91513%
Critics Consensus: With gripping themes and a stellar cast, The China Syndrome is the rare thriller that's as thought-provoking as it is tense.
Synopsis: A news reporter (Jane Fonda) and her cameraman (Michael Douglas) are unintentional witnesses to a SCRAM incident, an emergency core... [More]
Directed By: James Bridges

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 99509%
Critics Consensus: The divorce subject isn't as shocking, but the film is still a thoughtful, well-acted drama that resists the urge to take sides or give easy answers.
Synopsis: On the same day Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest account of his career, he learns... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton

#60

Midnight Express (1978)
90%

#60
Adjusted Score: 92594%
Critics Consensus: Raw and unrelenting, Midnight Express is riveting in its realistic depiction of incarceration -- mining pathos from the simple act of enduring hardship.
Synopsis: Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is a young American caught by Turkish police while attempting to smuggle hash out of Istanbul.... [More]
Directed By: Alan Parker

#61
Adjusted Score: 102561%
Critics Consensus: Close Encounters of the Third Kind is deeply humane sci-fi exploring male obsession, cosmic mysticism, and music.
Synopsis: Science fiction adventure about a group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) witnesses an... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#62

Taxi Driver (1976)
89%

#62
Adjusted Score: 110563%
Critics Consensus: A must-see film for movie lovers, this Martin Scorsese masterpiece is as hard-hitting as it is compelling, with Robert De Niro at his best.
Synopsis: Suffering from insomnia, disturbed loner Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job as a New York City cabbie, haunting... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#63

The Last Detail (1973)
87%

#63
Adjusted Score: 90447%
Critics Consensus: Very profane, very funny, very '70s: Director Hal Ashby lets Jack Nicholson and the cast run loose, creating a unique dramedy that's far out to sea.
Synopsis: When sailor Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid) is sentenced to eight years in a New Hampshire prison, Navy lifers Billy Buddusky... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#64

The Way We Were (1973)
64%

#64
Adjusted Score: 67215%
Critics Consensus: The Way We Were is not politically confrontational enough for its story of ideological opposites falling in love to feel authentic, but Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford's beaming star power gives this melodrama romantic lift.
Synopsis: Opposites attract when, during their college days, Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand), a politically active Jew, meets Hubbell Gardiner (Robert Redford),... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 112196%
Critics Consensus: Making excellent use of its period and setting, Peter Bogdanovich's small town coming-of-age story is a sad but moving classic filled with impressive performances.
Synopsis: High school seniors and best friends, Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges), live in a dying Texas town. The... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

#66

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
89%

#66
Adjusted Score: 96312%
Critics Consensus: An important touchstone of the New Hollywood era, Five Easy Pieces is a haunting portrait of alienation that features one of Jack Nicholson's greatest performances.
Synopsis: Rejecting his cultured upper-class background as a classical pianist, Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson) opts for a blue-collar existence, working in... [More]
Directed By: Bob Rafelson

#67

Easy Rider (1969)
84%

#67
Adjusted Score: 91774%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
Synopsis: Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), two Harley-riding hippies, complete a drug deal in Southern California and decide to... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Hopper

#68

Funny Girl (1968)
94%

#68
Adjusted Score: 100205%
Critics Consensus: Barbara Streisand elevates this otherwise rote melodramatic musical with her ultra-memorable star turn as Fanny Brice.
Synopsis: In this bittersweet, classic musical drama, the vibrant and beautiful young Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand) starts out as a bit... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler

#69

Oliver! (1968)
90%

#69
Adjusted Score: 100019%
Critics Consensus: Oliver! transforms Charles Dickens' muckraking novel into a jaunty musical Victorian fairytale, buoyed by Ron Moody's charming star turn and Onna White's rapturous choreography.
Synopsis: In this award-winning adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the Charles Dickens novel, 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist (Mark Lester)... [More]
Directed By: Carol Reed

#70

In Cold Blood (1967)
76%

#70
Adjusted Score: 81043%
Critics Consensus: In Cold Blood is a classic docudrama with a fictional thriller's grip -- and a pair of terrific lead performances from Robert Blake and Scott Wilson.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of Truman Capote's seminal true-crime novel, ex-convicts Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Richard "Dick" Hickock (Scott Wilson)... [More]
Directed By: Richard Brooks

#71
Adjusted Score: 74992%
Critics Consensus: More well-intentioned than insightful in its approach to interracial marriage, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner succeeds thanks to the fizzy chemistry of its star-studded ensemble.
Synopsis: When Joanna Drayton (Katharine Houghton), a free-thinking white woman, and black doctor John Prentice (Sidney Poitier) become engaged, they travel... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kramer

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 99568%
Critics Consensus: Solid cinematography and enjoyable performances from Paul Scofield and Robert Shaw add a spark to this deliberately paced adaptation of the Robert Bolt play.
Synopsis: When the highly respected British statesman Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) refuses to pressure the Pope into annulling the marriage... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 91821%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Four soldiers of fortune are hired by a wealthy rancher to rescue his beautiful young wife who has been kidnapped... [More]
Directed By: Richard Brooks

#74

Cat Ballou (1965)
90%

#74
Adjusted Score: 93586%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When hired gun Tim Strawn (Lee Marvin) kills her rancher father, Cat Ballou (Jane Fonda) becomes an outlaw set on... [More]
Directed By: Elliot Silverstein

#75

Major Dundee (1965)
97%

#75
Adjusted Score: 101473%
Critics Consensus: Major Dundee is a Western-type with big war scenes, shot with bombast typical of Sam Peckinpah.
Synopsis: During the end of the Civil War, Major Dundee guards Confederate prisoners, Union deserters and ordinary hard-bitten criminals in a... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#76
Adjusted Score: 108960%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
Synopsis: A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#77

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
86%

#77
Adjusted Score: 89021%
Critics Consensus: A poppy satire on pop music, Bye Bye Birdie is silly, light, and very, very pink.
Synopsis: When the draft selects rock star Conrad Birdie, his fans are devastated, but none more than struggling songwriter Albert Peterson... [More]
Directed By: George Sidney

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 94379%
Critics Consensus: Don Chaffey's Jason and the Argonauts is an outlandish, transportive piece of nostalgia whose real star is the masterful stop-motion animation work of Ray Harryhausen.
Synopsis: After saving the life of his royal father's usurper, Pelias (Douglas Wilmer), whom he fails to recognize, Jason (Todd Armstrong)... [More]
Directed By: Don Chaffey

#79
#79
Adjusted Score: 109795%
Critics Consensus: The epic of all epics, Lawrence of Arabia cements director David Lean's status in the filmmaking pantheon with nearly four hours of grand scope, brilliant performances, and beautiful cinematography.
Synopsis: Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) is sent to Arabia to... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 94464%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by a cast of memorable stars and an impressive sense of scale, The Guns of the Navarone fires with vivid characterization and entertaining spectacle.
Synopsis: In 1943, a small commando team is sent to destroy huge German guns on the Greek Island of Navarone in... [More]
Directed By: J. Lee Thompson

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 95805%
Critics Consensus: Led by a masterful performance from Sidney Poitier, A Raisin in the Sun expertly blends social commentary with pure entertainment.
Synopsis: This lauded drama follows the Youngers, an African-American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Petrie

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 105888%
Critics Consensus: One of cinema's greatest courtroom dramas, Anatomy of a Murder is tense, thought-provoking, and brilliantly acted, with great performances from James Stewart and George C. Scott.
Synopsis: Semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart) takes the case of Army Lt. Manion (Ben Gazzara), who murdered a local... [More]
Directed By: Otto Preminger

#83

Gidget (1959)
55%

#83
Adjusted Score: 55403%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Diminutive teenager Francie Lawrence (Sandra Dee) has a bunch of boy-crazy friends, but she could care less about boys. That... [More]
Directed By: Paul Wendkos

#84

Ride Lonesome (1959)
90%

#84
Adjusted Score: 90276%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Bounty hunter Ben Brigade (Randolph Scott) is on his way to California with his prisoner, Billy John (James Best), who... [More]
Directed By: Budd Boetticher

#85
Adjusted Score: 111713%
Critics Consensus: This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the Pierre Bouelle novel about POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#86

Picnic (1955)
50%

#86
Adjusted Score: 50611%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Charming Hal Carter (William Holden) turned to wandering after a failed acting career left him loose in the wind. Interested... [More]
Directed By: Joshua Logan

#87

The Caine Mutiny (1954)
95%

#87
Adjusted Score: 99476%
Critics Consensus: Humphrey Bogart is superb as a domineering captain with brittle composure in The Caine Mutiny, an inquisitive courtroom drama teeming with memorable performances.
Synopsis: During World War II, a dilapidated vessel, the Caine, gets a new ensign, Willis Keith (Robert Francis), and a new... [More]
Directed By: Edward Dmytryk

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 113626%
Critics Consensus: With his electrifying performance in Elia Kazan's thought-provoking, expertly constructed melodrama, Marlon Brando redefined the possibilities of acting for film and helped permanently alter the cinematic landscape.
Synopsis: Dockworker Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) had been an up-and-coming boxer until powerful local mob boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb)... [More]
Directed By: Elia Kazan

#89

The Wild One (1953)
75%

#89
Adjusted Score: 77205%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Johnny (Marlon Brando) and his motorcycle gang roll into Carbonville for a biker competition and raise enough hell to get... [More]
Directed By: Laslo Benedek

#90

The Big Heat (1953)
94%

#90
Adjusted Score: 103221%
Critics Consensus: Presented with stark power by director Fritz Lang, The Big Heat is a delightfully grim noir that peers into the heart of darkness without blinking.
Synopsis: A police officer seems to have committed suicide, but Detective Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) thinks there's more to the story.... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#91
#91
Adjusted Score: 101396%
Critics Consensus: It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift.
Synopsis: At an Army barracks in Hawaii in the days preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, lone-wolf soldier and boxing champion... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#92

Born Yesterday (1950)
97%

#92
Adjusted Score: 101823%
Critics Consensus: Marrying screwball romance with political satire, Born Yesterday is a substantive romp with a ferociously smart performance by Judy Holliday as an uncouth bombshell.
Synopsis: Brassy blonde moll Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) hits Washington, D.C., with her unscrupulous millionaire sugar daddy, Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford),... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 109433%
Critics Consensus: Broderick Crawford is spellbinding as politician Willie Stark in director Robert Rossen's adaptation of the Robert Penn Warren novel about the corrosive effects of power on the human soul.
Synopsis: Drama about the rise and fall of a corrupt southern governor who promises his way to power. Broderick Crawford portrays... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#94
#94
Adjusted Score: 93022%
Critics Consensus: Energetic and inventive, The Lady from Shanghai overcomes its script deficiencies with some of Orson Welles' brilliantly conceived set pieces.
Synopsis: A seaman becomes involved in a complex murder plot when he is hired to work on a yacht. He soon... [More]
Directed By: Orson Welles

#95

Gilda (1946)
90%

#95
Adjusted Score: 100706%
Critics Consensus: Rita Hayworth carries Gilda on the sheer strength of her screen presence, rendering the film's somewhat middling story almost irrelevant.
Synopsis: Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a small-time American gambler, newly arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When he is caught cheating... [More]
Directed By: Charles Vidor

#96
Adjusted Score: 110900%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington -- and returns with an uplifting ode to idealism that distills the strengths of its director and leading man.
Synopsis: When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#97
Adjusted Score: 110622%
Critics Consensus: It's predictably uplifting fare from Frank Capra, perhaps the most consciously uplifting of all great American directors -- but thanks to immensely appealing performances and a nimble script, You Can't Take It With You is hard not to love.
Synopsis: Sweet-natured Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) falls for banker's son Tony Kirby (James Stewart). But when she invites her snooty prospective... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#98

Lost Horizon (1937)
93%

#98
Adjusted Score: 94956%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on a novel by James Hilton, this fantastical drama follows a group of plane-crash survivors who have landed in... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#99
#99
Adjusted Score: 94500%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper), a resident of small-town Vermont, leads a simple life until he inherits a vast fortune from... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#100
#100
Adjusted Score: 123680%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
Synopsis: In Frank Capra's acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra