200 Essential Movies To Watch Now
Welcome to our updated guide to the 200 Essential Movies To Watch Now! In our annual refresh, we’re sticking with the list’s original vision as a definitive source of movie guidance and education for all ages and stages, whether you’re a seasoned film buff or just starting out, while reflecting new trends and significant movies uncovered over the past year.
The five films new to this edition of the 200 Essentials: Spirited Away, for being a truly all-ages spectacle and perhaps the greatest animated movie ever; Lady Bird, for its incisive and sardonic yet warm portrait of young female adulthood in transition; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, for its dazzling visual wit and capturing everything good, hopeful, and funny about why we love superheroes; Crazy Rich Asians, for its sumptuous uplifting romance, and as an inflection point for on-screen representation decades in the making; and John Wick, for setting the new standard in action filmmaking and kickstarting the Keanuissance — may Reeves be blessed with all the stationery he needs on his travels.
The list is sorted by Tomatometer, highest to lowest. Feel free to start tackling the list with whatever is the most interesting to you first…or just start at #1 and start working your way down. We think you’ll have fun either way. And best of all, every movie on the list is Certified Fresh!
Ready to take on the watching challenge? Click here and head to FandangoNOW where you can sort the list and buy or rent any of the movies!
Adjusted Score: 114.78%
Critics Consensus: Orson Welles's epic tale of a publishing tycoon's rise and fall is entertaining, poignant, and inventive in its storytelling, earning its reputation as a landmark achievement in film.
This is the labyrinthine study of the life of a newspaper tycoon.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.979%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, All About Eve is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age.
Based on the story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.027%
Critics Consensus: Clever, incisive, and funny, Singin' in the Rain is a masterpiece of the classical Hollywood musical.
Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor star in Singin' in the Rain, one of the greatest and most successful... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.332%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful, labyrinthine, and brilliantly cast, The Maltese Falcon is one of the most influential noirs -- as well as a showcase for Humphrey Bogart at his finest.
After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic The Maltese Falcon, Warner Bros. finally got it right in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.029%
Critics Consensus: Errol Flynn thrills as the legendary title character, and the film embodies the type of imaginative family adventure tailor-made for the silver screen.
In order to avoid the material copyrighted by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for his 1922 Robin Hood, the scripters of this... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.872%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.
Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.546%
Critics Consensus: Arguably Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, The Seven Samurai is an epic adventure classic with an engrossing story, memorable characters, and stunning action sequences that make it one of the most influential films ever made.
Akira Kurosawa's epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.829%
Critics Consensus: Remade but never duplicated, this darkly humorous morality tale represents John Huston at his finest.
John Huston's 1948 treasure-hunt classic begins as drifter Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart), down and out in Tampico, Mexico, impulsively... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.329%
Critics Consensus: Sidney Lumet's feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.
A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.236%
Critics Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.
"The 400 Blows" marks the birth of legendary nouvelle vague character Antoine Doinel; his is the story of a 13-year-old... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.157%
Critics Consensus: Tokyo Story is a Yasujiro Ozu masterpiece whose rewarding complexity has lost none of its power more than half a century on.
Originally Tokyo Monogatari, Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story centers on a provincial Japanese family. The elderly parents and youngest daughter journey... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.298%
Critics Consensus: A potent drama that is as socially important today as when it was made, The Grapes of Wrath is affecting, moving, and deservedly considered an American classic.
Adapted from John Steinbeck's novel, this classic drama shows how the Great Depression affects one American family. Evicted from their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.885%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Woody, a traditional pull-string talking cowboy, has long enjoyed a place of honor as the favorite among six-year-old Andy's menagerie... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.858%
Critics Consensus: With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it's clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.
A Cyborg has been sent from the future on a deadly mission, it has been programmed to kill a young... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.692%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable achievement, Playtime's packs every scene with sight gags and characters that both celebrates and satirizes the urbanization of modern life.
Hilarious, dazzlingly inventive comedy in which Mr. Hulot tries to function in an unrecognizable Paris of modernistic glass-and-steel skyscrapers.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.305%
Critics Consensus: This atmospheric thriller is one of the undisputed masterpieces of cinema, and boasts iconic performances from Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.
American writer, Holly Martins, arrives in post-war Vienna to visit his old friend Harry Lime. On arrival, he learns that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.573%
Critics Consensus: A visually awe-inspiring science fiction classic from the silent era.
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.432%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and visually iconic, this late-period Hitchcock classic laid the groundwork for countless action thrillers to follow.
While having lunch at the Plaza Hotel in New York, advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) has the bad... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.137%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- but doesn't ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.
SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.678%
Critics Consensus: A frightening tale of Satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon.
In Roman Polanski's first American film, adapted from Ira Levin's horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.198%
Critics Consensus: As bruised and cynical as the decade that produced it, this noir classic benefits from Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay, director Roman Polanski's steady hand, and wonderful performances from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.
A private detective, Jake Gittes, hired to investigate an adultery case, stumbles on the plot of a murder involving incest... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.07%
Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Big-budget special effects, swiftly paced action, and a distinct feminist subtext from writer/director James Cameron turned what should have been... [More]
Adjusted Score: 115.514%
Critics Consensus: Lady Bird delivers fresh insights about the turmoil of adolescence -- and reveals writer-director Greta Gerwig as a fully formed filmmaking talent.
In Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both... [More]
Adjusted Score: 115.088%
Critics Consensus: An absolute masterpiece whose groundbreaking visuals and deft storytelling are still every bit as resonant, The Wizard of Oz is a must-see film for young and old.
L. Frank Baum's classic tale comes to magisterial Technicolor life! The Wizard of Oz stars legendary Judy Garland as Dorothy,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114.01%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.219%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.96%
Critics Consensus: Moonlight uses one man's story to offer a remarkable and brilliantly crafted look at lives too rarely seen in cinema.
The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man's struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.062%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Both a classic movie for kids and a remarkable portrait of childhood, E.T. is a sci-fi adventure that captures that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.382%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
Frank Capra's seminal screwball comedy, which won all five major Academy Awards for 1934, is still as breezy and beguiling... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.014%
Critics Consensus: One of Hollywood's greatest critical and commercial successes, The Godfather gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema.
Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather is a touchstone... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.117%
Critics Consensus: A Hard Day's Night, despite its age, is still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic.
The year is 1964 and four young lads from Liverpool are about to change the world - if only the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.72%
Critics Consensus: King Kong explores the soul of a monster -- making audiences scream and cry throughout the film -- in large part due to Kong's breakthrough special effects.
"How would you like to star opposite the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood?" Enticed by these words, brunette leading... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.203%
Critics Consensus: With its involving story and characters, vibrant art, and memorable songs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set the animation standard for decades to come.
It was called "Disney's Folly." Who on earth would want to sit still for 90 minutes to watch an animated... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.05%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest movie about Hollywood, Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard is a tremendously entertaining combination of noir, black comedy, and character study.
Aging silent-film star Norma Desmond ensnares a young screenwriter in this poison-pen valentine to Hollywood.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.086%
Critics Consensus: An Italian neorealism exemplar, Bicycle Thieves thrives on its non-flashy performances and searing emotion.
This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.92%
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.
"All the animals come out at night" -- and one of them is a cabby about to snap. In Martin... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.965%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.312%
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.
This sweeping, highly literate historical epic covers the Allies' mideastern campaign during World War I as seen through the eyes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.872%
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.
This classic story of Mob informers was based on a number of true stories and filmed on location in and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.154%
Critics Consensus: With Audrey Hepburn luminous in her American debut, Roman Holiday is as funny as it is beautiful, and sets the standard for the modern romantic comedy.
Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Paramount Pictures are delighted to bring the 1953 American romantic-comedy classic, Roman Holiday, back... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.774%
Critics Consensus: The Searchers is an epic John Wayne Western that introduces dark ambivalence to the genre that remains fashionable today.
If John Ford is the greatest Western director, The Searchers is arguably his greatest film, at once a grand outdoor... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.981%
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
A 12-year-old boy befriends a mysterious young girl whose appearance in town suspiciously coincides with a horrifying series of murders... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.033%
Critics Consensus: Realistic, fast-paced and uncommonly smart, The French Connection is bolstered by stellar performances by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, not to mention William Friedkin's thrilling production.
This gritty, fast-paced, and innovative police drama earned five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (written by Ernest... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.273%
Critics Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.
A homeless tramp befriends a lovely blind flower seller and convinces her he is a millionaire while he secretly labors... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.64%
Critics Consensus: Its genius escaped many viewers at the time, but in retrospect, The Rules of the Game stands as one of Jean Renoir's -- and cinema's -- finest works.
Now often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.359%
Critics Consensus: Terrence Malick's debut is a masterful slice of American cinema, rife with the visual poetry and measured performances that would characterize his work.
"He wanted to die with me and I dreamed of being lost forever in his arms." A young couple goes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.915%
Critics Consensus: A classic blend of satire and political thriller that was uncomfortably prescient in its own time, The Manchurian Candidate remains distressingly relevant today.
A U.S. Army hero returns to New York from Korea, but has been mysteriously programmed by Communists to assassinate a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.706%
Critics Consensus: A film that requires and rewards patience in equal measure, Pather Panchali finds director Satyajit Ray delivering a classic with his debut.
Pather Panchali (Father Panchali), Indian director Satyajit Ray's first feature film, relates the story of an impoverished Bengalese family. When... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.774%
Critics Consensus: Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.
In the 23rd century, Cmdr. J. J. Adams guides a rescue mission to faraway planet Altair-4. Twenty years earlier, Earth... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.559%
Critics Consensus: Bitingly cynical without succumbing to bitterness, The Player is one of the all-time great Hollywood satires -- and an ensemble-driven highlight of the Altman oeuvre.
Robert Altman's provocative satire of the movie industry stars Tim Robbins as Griffin Mill, an unscrupulous Hollywood studio executive who... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.68%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
This sequel is better, funnier, scarier and superior to the first indie gore-fest. Never before has there been such an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.252%
Critics Consensus: Repo Man is many things: an alien-invasion film, a punk-rock musical, a send-up of consumerism. One thing it isn't is boring.
A down and out young punk gets a job working with a seasoned repo man, but what awaits him in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.081%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
A high-school valedictorian begins dating an irresponsible army brat, much to the dismay of her father. After breaking off the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.146%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster... [More]
Adjusted Score: 119.23%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
"Black Panther" follows T'Challa who, after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced... [More]
Adjusted Score: 113.321%
Critics Consensus: With exhilarating action and a surprising amount of narrative heft, Mad Max: Fury Road brings George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise roaring vigorously back to life.
Filmmaker George Miller gears up for another post-apocalyptic action adventure with Fury Road, the fourth outing in the Mad Max... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.724%
Critics Consensus: An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood's quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue from director Michael Curtiz defies... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.661%
Critics Consensus: Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn't just create modern horror, he validated it.
In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.511%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
"In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.774%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.
In the last and the best installment of his so-called "Dollars" trilogy of Sergio Leone-directed "spaghetti westerns," Clint Eastwood reprised... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.381%
Critics Consensus: Drawing on strong performances by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola's continuation of Mario Puzo's Mafia saga set new standards for sequels that have yet to be matched or broken.
Francis Ford Coppola's legendary continuation and sequel to his landmark 1972 film, The Godfather, parallels the young Vito Corleone's rise... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.27%
Critics Consensus: A cult classic as gut-bustingly hilarious as it is blithely ridiculous, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has lost none of its exceedingly silly charm.
From its opening multi-language titles (that sure looks like Swedish) to the closing arrest of the entire Dark Ages cast... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.491%
Critics Consensus: An epic, breathtakingly stylish cinematic landmark, La Dolce Vita remains riveting in spite of -- or perhaps because of -- its sprawling length.
In this Federico Fellini film, Marcello Mastrioanni stars as Fellini's alter ego, here depicted as a gossip columnist. Having left... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.569%
Critics Consensus: A dark, tautly constructed adaptation of James M. Cain's novel -- penned by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler -- Double Indemnity continues to set the standard for the best in Hollywood film noir.
Directed by Billy Wilder and adapted from a James M. Cain novel by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity represents... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.973%
Critics Consensus: Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.
Based on a true story, Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List stars Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman in Poland... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.006%
Critics Consensus: Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic.
"Annie Hall" is a comical look at the up and down relationship between a New York City TV writer and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.357%
Critics Consensus: Francis Ford Coppola's haunting, hallucinatory Vietnam War epic is cinema at its most audacious and visionary.
One of a cluster of late-1970s films about the Vietnam War, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now adapts the Joseph Conrad... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.094%
Critics Consensus: Breathless rewrote the rules of cinema -- and more than 50 years after its arrival, Jean-Luc Godard's paradigm-shifting classic remains every bit as vital.
Enjoy brunch in the Torpedo Room before screening BREATHLESS hosted by John DeSando and Johnny DiLoretto. There was before BREATHLESS,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.745%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.
This spoof of the Airport series of disaster movies relies on ridiculous sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and deadpan acting --... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.123%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Robin Wright and Cary Elwes star in this fairytale adventure about a beautiful princess and the gallant hero who rescues... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.803%
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.
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson star as a quartet of Manhattan-based "paranormal investigators". When their government... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.247%
Critics Consensus: Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus - it features one of 007's most famous lines ("A martini. Shaken, not stirred") and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series' trademark.
To many, the quintessential Bond film and a brilliant third entry in the series. Here Bond gets his Aston Martin,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.099%
Critics Consensus: Some Like It Hot: A spry, quick-witted farce that never drags.
Two Struggling musicians witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and are now on the run from the Mob. Jerry and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.916%
Critics Consensus: The movie that catapulted Ang Lee into the ranks of upper echelon Hollywood filmmakers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon features a deft mix of amazing martial arts battles, beautiful scenery, and tasteful drama.
Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee took a break from making Western period dramas to fashion this wild and woolly martial arts... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.952%
Critics Consensus: A charming, captivating tale of love and music, Once sets the standard for the modern musical. And with Dublin as its backdrop, Once is fun and fresh.
"Once" is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band The Frames,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.181%
Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.
Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like... [More]
Adjusted Score: 113.634%
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.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.419%
Critics Consensus: Don't Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score -- causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's grief deep within.
A married couple is haunted by a series of mysterious occurrences after the death of their young daughter in this... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.744%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable scary thriller that doubles as a mournful meditation on love, loss, and human comfort.
Dismissed when first released, later heralded as one of director Alfred Hitchcock's finest films (and, according to Hitchcock, his most... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.211%
Critics Consensus: A classic of the Western genre that broke with many of the traditions at the time, High Noon endures -- in no small part thanks to Gary Cooper's defiant, Oscar-winning performance.
In this classic western, a marshal prepares to retire from law enforcement because of his marriage to a Quaker. But... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.701%
Critics Consensus: The Red Shoes is one of the best-looking movies ever, and blends multiple moods and styles with balletic grace.
The tale of a famous ballerina who must choose between art and love.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.333%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing look at the triumphs and travails of war veterans, The Best Years of Our Lives is concerned specifically with the aftermath of World War II, but its messages speak to the overall American experience.
A memorable film about the aftermath of World War II in the United States., this film opens with the homecoming... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.077%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and stylish, GoodFellas is a gangster classic -- and arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese's career.
Martin Scorsese explores the life of organized crime with his gritty, kinetic adaptation of Nicolas Pileggi's best-selling Wiseguy, the true-life... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.022%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Contemporary high schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) doesn't have the most pleasant of lives. Browbeaten by his principal at... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.406%
Critics Consensus: Solaris is a haunting, meditative film that uses sci-fi to raise complex questions about humanity and existence.
Based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem, Solaris centers on widowed psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donata Banionis), who is sent to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.308%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Bill Murray plays Phil, a TV weatherman working for a local station in Pennsylvania but convinced that national news stardom... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.42%
Critics Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
In this multiple Oscar-winning thriller, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy whose... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.115%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and thematically rich, Boyz N the Hood observes urban America with far more depth and compassion than many of the like-minded films its success inspired.
Director John Singleton's debut chronicles the trials and tribulations of three young African-American males growing up in South Central Los... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.589%
Critics Consensus: A stunning feat of modern animation, Ghost in the Shell offers a thoughtful, complex treat for anime fans, as well as a perfect introduction for viewers new to the medium.
In the year 2029, the world has become interconnected by a vast electronic network that permeates every aspect of life.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.92%
Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.
The second entry in George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy finds Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the green-as-grass hero from the first... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.008%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as Cronos and The Devil's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.29%
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.
The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.387%
Critics Consensus: Arguably Martin Scorsese's and Robert De Niro's finest film, Raging Bull is often painful to watch, but it's a searing, powerful work about an unsympathetic hero.
The story of Jake LaMotta, a former middleweight boxing champion, whose reputation for tenacity and success in the ring was... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.709%
Critics Consensus: Effectively balancing humor and subtle pathos, Sofia Coppola crafts a moving, melancholy story that serves as a showcase for both Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.
After making a striking directorial debut with her screen adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola offers a story of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.133%
Critics Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is no ordinary archeologist. When we first see him, he is somewhere in the Peruvian jungle... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.471%
Critics Consensus: L'Avventura marks a bewitchingly ambiguous milestone in Antonioni's career -- and European cinema in general.
This exceptional Italian mystery offers potent comments upon life in the bourgeoisie class and upon the isolation sometimes suffered by... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.141%
Critics Consensus: Smartly directed, brilliantly acted, and packed with endlessly quotable moments, This Is Spinal Tap is an all-time comedy classic.
A spoof about a filmmaker making a documentary about a once-famous, now almost forgotten British heavy metal band returning to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.021%
Critics Consensus: An insightful, energetic blend of Hollywood and Bollywood styles, Monsoon Wedding is a colorful, exuberant celebration of modern-day India, family, love, and life.
Following up on her controversial erotic drama Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Mira Nair directs this charming family drama... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.391%
Critics Consensus: While its premise is ripe for comedy -- and it certainly delivers its fair share of laughs -- Priscilla is also a surprisingly tender and thoughtful road movie with some outstanding performances.
The usually menacing British actor Terence Stamp does a complete turnaround as Bernadette, an aging transsexual who tours the backwaters... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.198%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Christopher Nolan steps back into the director's chair for this sequel to Batman Begins, which finds the titular superhero coming... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.78%
Critics Consensus: Shaped by Todd Haynes' deft direction and powered by a strong cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Carol lives up to its groundbreaking source material.
In this adaptation of the novel "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith, Therese (Rooney Mara), a young department-store clerk... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.898%
Critics Consensus: Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.
James Bond's first 007 mission takes him to Madagascar, where he is to spy on a terrorist Mollaka. Not everything... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.778%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.395%
Critics Consensus: The onscreen battle between Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher serves as a personal microcosm of the culture wars of the 1970s -- and testament to the director's vision that the film retains its power more than three decades later.
With an insane asylum standing in for everyday society, Milos Forman's 1975 film adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel is a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.965%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by Robert Wise's dazzling direction, Leonard Bernstein's score, and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, West Side Story remains perhaps the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screen.
This romantic musical update of 'Romeo and Juliet' won ten Oscars. The tale of a turf war between rival teenage... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.015%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
A deliciously nasty black comedy, Heathers is set at a cliquish high school in Ohio. The most exclusive of those... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.895%
Critics Consensus: Boldly unconventional and refreshingly honest, Diary of a Teenage Girl is a frank coming-of-age story that addresses its themes -- and its protagonist -- without judgment.
Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.403%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
An Amazon princess (Gal Gadot) finds her idyllic life on an island occupied only by female warriors interrupted when a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.25%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Nineteen years after the formation of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.167%
Critics Consensus: The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It's a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.
This is director Frank Capra's classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.678%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.956%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential of all sci-fi films -- and one of the most controversial -- Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity -- and folly -- of mankind.
A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.813%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
One of the longest-running series in film history began with Ishiro Honda's grim, black-and-white allegory for the devastation wrought on... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.864%
Critics Consensus: Emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated, The Lion King is a pride within Disney's pantheon of classic family films.
One of the most popular Disney animated musicals, The Lion King presents the story of a lion cub's journey to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.07%
Critics Consensus: A lavish, entertaining, powerful film about the life and influence, both positive and negative, of one of Western culture's great artists.
For this film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's Broadway hit, director Milos Forman returned to the city of Prague that he'd... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.997%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII's D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.692%
Critics Consensus: Badass to the max, Enter the Dragon is the ultimate kung-fu movie and fitting (if untimely) Bruce Lee swan song.
One of the most popular kung fu films ever, and perhaps the peak of the famed Bruce Lee's career, Enter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.903%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
The second feature from director Michel Gondry (Human Nature) finds the filmmaker reteaming with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for this off-the-wall... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.908%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
A slightly dimwitted amateur boxer from Philadelphia's tough neighborhood gets a surprise shot at fighting for the heavyweight championship, while... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.531%
Critics Consensus: A taut, solidly acted paean to the benefits of a free press and the dangers of unchecked power, made all the more effective by its origins in real-life events.
A reconstruction of the discovery of the White House link with the Watergate affair by two young reporters from the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.806%
Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.
It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.231%
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
A pregnant police chief is investigating a series of homicides across the frozen tundra. Against a sprawling Minnesota landscape, a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.179%
Critics Consensus: T2 features thrilling action sequences and eye-popping visual effects, but what takes this sci-fi/ action landmark to the next level is the depth of the human (and cyborg) characters.
A sequel to the sci-fi action thriller that made him and star Arnold Schwarzenegger A-list Hollywood names, writer/director James Cameron... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.201%
Critics Consensus: Grounded in strong characters, bold themes, and subtle storytelling, Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film both for director P.T. Anderson and star Mark Wahlberg.
Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, idealistic porn producer Jack... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.969%
Critics Consensus: Filmed and presented on a scale not seen in modern productions, Gone with the Wind is, if not the definitive Hollywood film, then certainly near the top of the list.
Gone With the Wind boils down to a story about a spoiled Southern girl's hopeless love for a married man.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.065%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by inspired silliness and blessed with some of the Marx brothers' most brilliant work, Duck Soup is one of its -- or any -- era's finest comedies.
Arguably the Marx Brothers' funniest film, this comedy masterpiece contains several famous scenes, including the hilarious mirror sequence. A wealthy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.067%
Critics Consensus: With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.627%
Critics Consensus: Children of Men works on every level: as a violent chase thriller, a fantastical cautionary tale, and a sophisticated human drama about societies struggling to live.
A futuristic society faces extinction when the human race loses the ability to reproduce. England has descended into chaos, until... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.783%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential films of the 1990s, Pulp Fiction is a delirious post-modern mix of neo-noir thrills, pitch-black humor, and pop-culture touchstones.
Outrageously violent, time-twisting, and in love with language, Pulp Fiction was widely considered the most influential American movie of the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.792%
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.
It's often said that the true character of a man is only revealed in times of dire crisis, and for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.272%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.
Buster Keaton plays Johnny Gray, a Southern railroad engineer who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.527%
Critics Consensus: Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts -- and one of the most important films of the 1980s.
This powerful visual feast combines humor and drama with memorable characters while tracing the course of a single day on... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.263%
Critics Consensus: A road movie that's not only sexy, but intelligent as well.
Alfonso Cuarón directed and co-wrote this sexy art-house hit from Mexico. The funny and moving coming-of-age story centers on two... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.55%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Holly Hunter's main performance, The Piano is a truth-seeking romance played in the key of erotic passion.
Writer/director Jane Campion's third feature unearthed emotional undercurrents and churning intensity in the story of a mute woman's rebellion in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.563%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
Steven Spielberg's phenomenally successful sci-fi adventure thriller is graced by state-of-the-art special effects from the team of Stan Winston, Phil... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.464%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliantly crafted, Zero Dark Thirty dramatizes the hunt for Osama bin Laden with intelligence and an eye for detail.
For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.014%
Critics Consensus: Visually dazzling and emotionally resonant, Slumdog Millionaire is a film that's both entertaining and powerful.
Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is about to experience the biggest day of his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.835%
Critics Consensus: Full of eye-popping special effects, and featuring a pitch-perfect cast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to vivid life.
Assisted by a Fellowship of heroes, Frodo Baggins plunges into a perilous trek to take the mystical One Ring to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.365%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Like George Lucas' American Graffiti, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is an affectionate look at the youth culture of a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.158%
Critics Consensus: To Kill a Mockingbird is a textbook example of a message movie done right -- sober-minded and earnest, but never letting its social conscience get in the way of gripping drama.
Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel was translated to film in 1962 by Horton Foote and the producer/director team of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.077%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Director John Landis put himself on the map with this low-budget, fabulously successful comedy, which made a then-astounding 62 million... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.227%
Critics Consensus: Daring, provocative, and laugh-out-loud funny, Blazing Saddles is a gleefully vulgar spoof of Westerns that marks a high point in Mel Brooks' storied career.
Vulgar, crude, and occasionally scandalous in its racial humor, this hilarious bad-taste spoof of Westerns, co-written by Richard Pryor, features... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.363%
Critics Consensus: A shocking and disturbing, but always compelling look at life in the slums of Rio de Janiero.
Fernando Meirelles' City of God is a sweeping tale of how crime affects the poor population of Rio de Janeiro.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.548%
Critics Consensus: The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.
In 1946, a banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of a double murder, even though he stubbornly proclaims... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.97%
Critics Consensus: Cannes Jury Prize-winner Fish Tank is gritty British realism at its very best, with flawless performances from newcomer Kate Jarvis, and Michael Fassbender.
Fifteen-year-old Mia's world is turned upside down when her mother brings home a new boyfriend.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.083%
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
"Crazy Rich Asians" follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.536%
Critics Consensus: Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.
A blend of science fiction and noir detective fiction, Blade Runner (1982) was a box office and critical bust upon... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.939%
Critics Consensus: A marriage of genuine characters, gross out gags, and pathos, Bridesmaids is a female-driven comedy that refuses to be boxed in as Kristen Wiig emerges as a real star.
This spring, Universal Pictures and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) invite you to experience Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.425%
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
After directing the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus opted to serve as producer for Harry... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.627%
Critics Consensus: Cinema Paradiso is a life-affirming ode to the power of youth, nostalgia, and the the movies themselves.
Cinema Paradiso offers a nostalgic look at films and the effect they have on a young boy who grows up... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.787%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and thought-provoking, A Clockwork Orange is a cold, dystopian nightmare with a very dark sense of humor.
Stanley Kubrick dissects the nature of violence in this darkly ironic, near-future satire, adapted from Anthony Burgess's novel, complete with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.299%
Critics Consensus: With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.
Opening with a silent "movie" of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang, George Roy Hill's comically elegiac Western chronicles... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.689%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.
Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young man with few prospects and fewer ambitions, lives in economically depressed Edinburgh. Like most... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.88%
Critics Consensus: The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center.
Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands opens as an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price) lovingly assembles a synthetic youth named Edward (Johnny Depp).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.879%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
For his first film since the 1997 Hong Kong handover, auteur filmmaker Wong Kar-wai directs this moody period drama about... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.797%
Critics Consensus: A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama.
This spectacular epic re-creates the ill-fated maiden voyage of the White Star Line's $7.5 million R.M.S Titanic and the tragic... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.986%
Critics Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.
Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journalist -- he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.953%
Critics Consensus: The feel-good Amelie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine.
One woman decides to change the world by changing the lives of the people she knows in this charming and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.257%
Critics Consensus: While over-the-top and gory, Robocop is also a surprisingly smart sci-fi flick that uses ultraviolence to disguise its satire of American culture.
In near-future Detroit, a murdered police officer is resurrected as an experimental crime-fighting cyborg named Robocop. Tormented by memories of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.647%
Critics Consensus: Expertly shot and edited, The Usual Suspects gives the audience a simple plot and then piles on layers of deceit, twists, and violence before pulling out the rug from underneath.
Near the end of The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey, in his Oscar-winning performance as crippled con man Roger "Verbal" Kint,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.672%
Critics Consensus: The Breakfast Club is a warm, insightful, and very funny look into the inner lives of teenagers.
John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.875%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ornery ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.719%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the Wachowskis' imaginative vision, The Matrix is a smartly crafted combination of spectacular action and groundbreaking special effects.
What if virtual reality wasn't just for fun, but was being used to imprison you? That's the dilemma that faces... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.962%
Critics Consensus: Hilary Swank's acclaimed performance pays fitting tribute to the tragic life of Brandon Teena.
Based on a true story, Boys Don't Cry was adapted from the life of Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon, a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.007%
Critics Consensus: With its quirky characters and clever, quotable dialogue, Clerks is the ultimate clarion call for slackers everywhere to unite and, uh, do something we guess?
When Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is reluctantly put in charge of the Quick Stop market on his day off, he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.299%
Critics Consensus: Akira is strikingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.
One of the best-known examples of contemporary Japanese animation, this cyberpunk adventure takes place in the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.901%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) writes and directs this psychological sci-fi action film about a thief who... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.272%
Critics Consensus: A beautiful, epic Western, Brokeback Mountain's love story is imbued with heartbreaking universality thanks to moving performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Set against the sweeping landscapes of Wyoming and Texas, this epic love story tells of two young men -- a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.153%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
After scoring cocaine in Mexico, then re-selling it in California, two bikers set off on a cross-country trek to New... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.886%
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.
Operating under the assumption that by procuring alcohol for an upcoming party they will finally be able to break their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.742%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick's eerie... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.926%
Critics Consensus: The Naked Gun is chock full of gags that are goofy, unapologetically crass, and ultimately hilarious.
Seeking vengeance when his partner (Simpson) is shot full of holes by drug dealers, Lt. Frank Drebin searches for the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.976%
Critics Consensus: M Night Shayamalan's The Sixth Sense is a twisty ghost story with all the style of a classical Hollywood picture, but all the chills of a modern horror flick.
In this chilling psychological thriller, eight-year-old Cole Sear is haunted by a dark secret: He is visited by ghosts. A... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.188%
Critics Consensus: Though Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share but a handful of screen minutes together, Heat is an engrossing crime drama that draws compelling performances from its stars -- and confirms Michael Mann's mastery of the genre.
A successful career criminal considers getting out of the business after one last score, while an obsessive cop desperately tries... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.205%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, thrilling, and giddily kinetic, John Wick serves as a satisfying return to action for Keanu Reeves -- and what looks like it could be the first of a franchise.
An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.316%
Critics Consensus: Unapologetically sweet and maybe even a little corny, The Sound of Music will win over all but the most cynical filmgoers with its classic songs and irresistible warmth.
One of the most popular movie musicals of all time, The Sound of Music is based on the true story... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.131%
Critics Consensus: The Exorcist rides its supernatural theme to magical effect, with remarkable special effects and an eerie atmosphere, resulting in one of the scariest films of all time.
Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.687%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Williams gives a heartbreaking performance in Wendy and Lucy, a timely portrait of loneliness and struggle.
Old Joy director Kelly Reichardt crafts this intimate tale of Wendy, an alienated Indiana woman who packs up her car... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.652%
Critics Consensus: Hal Ashby's comedy is too dark and twisted for some, and occasionally oversteps its bounds, but there's no denying the film's warm humor and big heart.
Harold, the 20-year-old son of a wealthy, neglectful woman, tries to gain attention for himself with various hilariously staged "suicides."... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.343%
Critics Consensus: An oddball comedy that revels in its silliness and memorable catch phrases, Wayne's World is also fondly regarded because of its endearing characters.
Originally a skit on "Saturday Night Live" during the late '80s and early '90s, "Wayne's World" is about two teenage... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.938%
Critics Consensus: Simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and peppered with action, Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise is a potent, well-acted road movie that transcends the feminist message at its core.
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon play Thelma and Louise, two working-class friends who together have planned a weekend getaway from... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.868%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
John Carpenter's The Thing is both a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 film of the same name and a re-adaptation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.107%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by a brilliant screenplay and outstanding ensemble cast, Mean Girls finds fresh, female-fronted humor in the high school experience.
Tina Fey from Saturday Night Live wrote and appears in this comedy about the alternately funny and terrifying pecking order... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.876%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Along Mulholland Drive nothing is what it seems. In the unreal universe of Los Angeles, the city bares its schizophrenic... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.294%
Critics Consensus: The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s.
L.A. cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), whose wife has recently died, is a loose cannon with a seeming death wish.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.538%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
The plot of this Raymond Chandler-esque comedy crime caper from the Coen Brothers (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) pivots around... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.262%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
In a futuristic society where commerce has overridden more humanistic concerns, the rich and successful, eager to obtain physical and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.829%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
A young African-American couple navigates the tricky paths of romance and athletics in this drama. Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.277%
Critics Consensus: Director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino take it to the limit in this stylized, ultra-violent and eminently quotable gangster epic that walks a thin white line between moral drama and celebratory excess.
Al Pacino stars as Tony Montana, an exiled Cuban criminal who goes to work for Miami drug lord Robert Loggia.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.724%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.
Director David Fincher's dark, stylish thriller ranks as one of the decade's most influential box-office successes. Set in a hellish... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.609%
Critics Consensus: Violent and definitely not for the squeamish, Park Chan-Wook's visceral Oldboy is a strange, powerful tale of revenge.
South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook directed this violent and offbeat story of punishment and vengeance. Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.523%
Critics Consensus: A promising work by Lin, the energetic Better Luck Tomorrow is disturbing and thought-provoking.
A group of unlikely high school students take up crime as an extracurricular activity in this independent drama. Ben (Parry... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.946%
Critics Consensus: The Royal Tenenbaums is a delightful adult comedy with many quirks and a sense of poignancy. Many critics especially praised Hackman's performance.
Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children--Chas, Richie, and Margot--they were a family of geniuses and then they... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.255%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining Jackie Chan stunt-fest in which the impressive action sequences overcome the low production value and by-the-numbers plot.
After years as a major star in most of the rest of the world, Jackie Chan finally broke through to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.748%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
In this darkly comic drama, Edward Norton stars as a depressed young man (named in the credits only as "Narrator")... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.951%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Jane Austen might never have imagined that her 1816 novel Emma could be turned into a fresh and satirical look... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.723%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie may be too intense for some to stomach, the wonderful performances and the bleak imagery are hard to forget.
Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., this gritty drama concerns four people trapped by their addictions. Harry (Jared... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.451%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Based on 22-year-old Cameron Crowe's undercover exposé on life in a Southern California public high school, this groundbreaking effort presents... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.569%
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.
A quickly forgotten chapter in United States military history is relived in this harrowing war drama from director Ridley Scott,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.251%
Critics Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.
After being attached to a number of actors, directors, and producers, this long-gestating biography of one of Mexico's most prominent,... [More]