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.


Transit (2019)

Adjusted Score: 101.304%
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: As fascism spreads, German refugee Georg (Franz Rogowski) flees to Marseille and assumes the identity of the dead writer whose... [More]
Directed By: Christian Petzold


Atlantics (2019)

Adjusted Score: 102.125%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable supernatural drama rooted in real-world social commentary, Atlantique suggests a thrillingly bright future for debuting filmmaker Mati Diop.
Synopsis: In Dakar, a group of construction workers abandon their work on a sky-scraper in response to months of withheld wages.... [More]
Directed By: Mati Diop, Mati Diop


Gloria Bell (2019)

Adjusted Score: 99.342%
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: Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Lelio


Rafiki (2019)

Adjusted Score: 95.35%
Critics Consensus: Rafiki tells a familiar story with bracing originality, marking director/co-writer Wanuri Kahiu as a talent to watch.
Synopsis: "Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives," but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between... [More]
Directed By: Wanuri Kahiu


Long Shot (2019)

Adjusted Score: 93.825%
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 (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

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