200 Essential Movies To Watch Now

#160
#160
Adjusted Score: 93.506%
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.
Synopsis: One of the most popular movie musicals of all time, The Sound of Music is based on the true story... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#161

The Exorcist (1973)
86%

#161
Adjusted Score: 93.476%
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.
Synopsis: Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#162
#162
Adjusted Score: 93.388%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
Synopsis: For his first film since the 1997 Hong Kong handover, auteur filmmaker Wong Kar-wai directs this moody period drama about... [More]
Directed By: Kar-Wai Wong

#163

The Matrix (1999)
87%

#163
Adjusted Score: 93.294%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the Wachowskis' imaginative vision, The Matrix is a smartly crafted combination of spectacular action and groundbreaking special effects.
Synopsis: What if virtual reality wasn't just for fun, but was being used to imprison you? That's the dilemma that faces... [More]

#164
#164
Adjusted Score: 93.209%
Critics Consensus: The Breakfast Club is a warm, insightful, and very funny look into the inner lives of teenagers.
Synopsis: John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#165

The Piano (1993)
90%

#165
Adjusted Score: 93.002%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Holly Hunter's main performance, The Piano is a truth-seeking romance played in the key of erotic passion.
Synopsis: Writer/director Jane Campion's third feature unearthed emotional undercurrents and churning intensity in the story of a mute woman's rebellion in... [More]
Directed By: Jane Campion

#166
#166
Adjusted Score: 92.717%
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.
Synopsis: Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands opens as an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price) lovingly assembles a synthetic youth named Edward (Johnny Depp).... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#167
#167
Adjusted Score: 92.512%
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.
Synopsis: Near the end of The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey, in his Oscar-winning performance as crippled con man Roger "Verbal" Kint,... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#168

RoboCop (1987)
88%

#168
Adjusted Score: 92.687%
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.
Synopsis: In near-future Detroit, a murdered police officer is resurrected as an experimental crime-fighting cyborg named Robocop. Tormented by memories of... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#169

The Sixth Sense (1999)
85%

#169
Adjusted Score: 91.705%
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.
Synopsis: In this chilling psychological thriller, eight-year-old Cole Sear is haunted by a dark secret: He is visited by ghosts. A... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#170

Heat (1995)
86%

#170
Adjusted Score: 91.231%
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.
Synopsis: A successful career criminal considers getting out of the business after one last score, while an obsessive cop desperately tries... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#171

Wendy and Lucy (2008)
85%

#171
Adjusted Score: 91.284%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Williams gives a heartbreaking performance in Wendy and Lucy, a timely portrait of loneliness and struggle.
Synopsis: Old Joy director Kelly Reichardt crafts this intimate tale of Wendy, an alienated Indiana woman who packs up her car... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Reichardt

#172

Boys Don't Cry (1999)
88%

#172
Adjusted Score: 90.904%
Critics Consensus: Hilary Swank's acclaimed performance pays fitting tribute to the tragic life of Brandon Teena.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, this drama was adapted from the life of Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon, a woman... [More]
Directed By: Kimberly Peirce

#173
Adjusted Score: 90.857%
Critics Consensus: The Naked Gun is chock full of gags that are goofy, unapologetically crass, and ultimately hilarious.
Synopsis: Seeking vengeance when his partner (Simpson) is shot full of holes by drug dealers, Lt. Frank Drebin searches for the... [More]
Directed By: David Zucker

#174

Clerks (1994)
88%

#174
Adjusted Score: 90.841%
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?
Synopsis: When Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is reluctantly put in charge of the Quick Stop market on his day off, he... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#175

The Namesake (2006)
87%

#175
Adjusted Score: 90.786%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious exploration of the immigrant experience with a talented cast that serves the material well.
Synopsis: "The Namesake" is the story of the Ganguli family whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing... [More]
Directed By: Mira Nair

#176

Harold and Maude (1971)
86%

#176
Adjusted Score: 90.424%
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.
Synopsis: Harold, the 20-year-old son of a wealthy, neglectful woman, tries to gain attention for himself with various hilariously staged "suicides."... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#177

Akira (1988)
87%

#177
Adjusted Score: 90.39%
Critics Consensus: Akira is distractingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.
Synopsis: One of the best-known examples of contemporary Japanese animation, this cyberpunk adventure takes place in the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo.... [More]
Directed By: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

#178
#178
Adjusted Score: 90.328%
Critics Consensus: Sure, it's another adaptation of cinema's fave Jane Austen novel, but key performances and a modern filmmaking sensibility make this familiar period piece fresh and enjoyable.
Synopsis: Jane Austen's perennially popular story of the game of love among the British upper classes returns to the screen in... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#179

Wayne's World (1992)
86%

#179
Adjusted Score: 88.845%
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.
Synopsis: Originally a skit on "Saturday Night Live" during the late '80s and early '90s, "Wayne's World" is about two teenage... [More]
Directed By: Penelope Spheeris

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