200 Essential Movies To Watch Now

#20

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
98%

#20
Adjusted Score: 108.015%
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.
Synopsis: Aging silent-film star Norma Desmond ensnares a young screenwriter in this poison-pen valentine to Hollywood.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#21
Adjusted Score: 107.849%
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.
Synopsis: In order to avoid the material copyrighted by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for his 1922 Robin Hood, the scripters of this... [More]

#22

Psycho (1960)
97%

#22
Adjusted Score: 108.858%
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.
Synopsis: In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#23

Selma (2015)
99%

#23
Adjusted Score: 107.897%
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.
Synopsis: SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#24

Rear Window (1954)
100%

#24
Adjusted Score: 107.765%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.
Synopsis: Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#25

Taxi Driver (1976)
99%

#25
Adjusted Score: 107.63%
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: "All the animals come out at night" -- and one of them is a cabby about to snap. In Martin... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#26

Alien (1979)
97%

#26
Adjusted Score: 106.977%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: "In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#27
Adjusted Score: 106.922%
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.
Synopsis: Akira Kurosawa's epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. The... [More]
Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

#28
Adjusted Score: 106.88%
Critics Consensus: Remade but never duplicated, this darkly humorous morality tale represents John Huston at his finest.
Synopsis: John Huston's 1948 treasure-hunt classic begins as drifter Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart), down and out in Tampico, Mexico, impulsively... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#29
Adjusted Score: 106.944%
Critics Consensus: An Italian neorealism exemplar, Bicycle Thieves thrives on its non-flashy performances and searing emotion.
Synopsis: This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy... [More]
Directed By: Vittorio De Sica

#30
Adjusted Score: 106.775%
Critics Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.
Synopsis: "The 400 Blows" marks the birth of legendary nouvelle vague character Antoine Doinel; his is the story of a 13-year-old... [More]
Directed By: François Truffaut

#31
Adjusted Score: 106.784%
Critics Consensus: Sidney Lumet's feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.
Synopsis: A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#31
Adjusted Score: 106.222%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
Synopsis: In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#32

Vertigo (1958)
97%

#32
Adjusted Score: 106.256%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable scary thriller that doubles as a mournful meditation on love, loss, and human comfort.
Synopsis: Dismissed when first released, later heralded as one of director Alfred Hitchcock's finest films (and, according to Hitchcock, his most... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#33

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
99%

#33
Adjusted Score: 106.12%
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.
Synopsis: In Roman Polanski's first American film, adapted from Ira Levin's horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#34

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#34
Adjusted Score: 106.226%
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.
Synopsis: Christopher Nolan steps back into the director's chair for this sequel to Batman Begins, which finds the titular superhero coming... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 106.045%
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.
Synopsis: Gone With the Wind boils down to a story about a spoiled Southern girl's hopeless love for a married man.... [More]

#36
Adjusted Score: 105.932%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.
Synopsis: In the last and the best installment of his so-called "Dollars" trilogy of Sergio Leone-directed "spaghetti westerns," Clint Eastwood reprised... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#37
Adjusted Score: 105.771%
Critics Consensus: Tokyo Story is a Yasujiro Ozu masterpiece whose rewarding complexity has lost none of its power more than half a century on.
Synopsis: Originally Tokyo Monogatari, Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story centers on a provincial Japanese family. The elderly parents and youngest daughter journey... [More]
Directed By: Yasujiro Ozu

#38

High Noon (1952)
96%

#38
Adjusted Score: 105.492%
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.
Synopsis: In this classic western, a marshal prepares to retire from law enforcement because of his marriage to a Quaker. But... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 105.391%
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.
Synopsis: Adapted from John Steinbeck's novel, this classic drama shows how the Great Depression affects one American family. Evicted from their... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

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