Best-Reviewed Romance Movies 2019

Foreign-language films dominated the top end of the Romance category this year, with Gloria Bell and Long Shot the only two English-language titles piercing the top five-reviewed films in the genre. Kenyan LGBTQ romance Rafiki came out in some territories in 2018, but landed stateside in April, dazzling with its colorful depiction of a Romeo-and-Juliet–style relationship, while haunting sci-fi romance Atlantics impressed at Cannes and landed actor-turned-director Mati Diop a Directors Guild of America nomination for First-Time Feature. Transit, a sweeping love story enmeshed in the messiness of WWII Europe, was the best-reviewed romance of the year. (Note, Portrait of a Lady On Fire, which opens in the U.S. in 2020, was not eligible.)

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2019. Scores might change over time.

#1

Transit (2018)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104672%
Critics Consensus: Transit lives up to its title with a challenging drama that captures characters - and puts the audience - in a state of flux and exerts an unsettling pull.
Synopsis: The new masterwork from the director of Phoenix and Barbara. A film by Christian Petzold.... [More]
Directed By: Christian Petzold

#2

Atlantics (2019)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103777%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable supernatural drama rooted in real-world social commentary, Atlantique suggests a thrillingly bright future for debuting filmmaker Mati Diop.
Synopsis: Arranged to marry a rich man, young Ada is crushed when her true love goes missing at sea during a... [More]
Directed By: Mati Diop

#3

Gloria Bell (2018)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 101254%
Critics Consensus: Free of visual or narrative embellishments, Gloria Bell rests almost completely on Julianne Moore's performance in the title role -- and she's gloriously up to the task.
Synopsis: A free-spirited divorcee spends her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles. She soon... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Lelio

#4

Rafiki (2018)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97691%
Critics Consensus: Rafiki tells a familiar story with bracing originality, marking director/co-writer Wanuri Kahiu as a talent to watch.
Synopsis: Kena and Ziki live very different lives in Nairobi. Kena works in her father's shop and awaits the start of... [More]
Directed By: Wanuri Kahiu

#5

Long Shot (2019)
82%

#5
Adjusted Score: 97888%
Critics Consensus: A sharp and deceptively layered comedy that's further fueled by the odd couple chemistry of its leads, this Long Shot largely hits its marks.
Synopsis: Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free-spirited journalist who has a knack for getting into trouble. Charlotte Field is one... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine