Best Romance Movies 2021

This year’s batch of romantic films is an eclectic list of passionate and painful love affairs from every walk of life. Young love (To All the Boys: Always and Forever), first crushes (Licorice Pizza), and heartbreak (Undine) are all represented. The Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci starrer Supernova gave a moving glimpse into how to continue to love while saying goodbye. However, a different LGBTQ tale beat all the competition: Two of Us, the story of two elderly women living in adjoining apartments who have shared a passionate, long-term hidden love affair for decades. Their happy existence is threatened when they can no longer use their secret hallway, and the drama it inflicts will leave you swooning through tears.

The order reflects Tomatometer scores (as of December 31, 2021) after adjustment from our ranking formula, which compensates for variation in the number of reviews when comparing movies or TV shows.


Two of Us (2019)

Adjusted Score: 101778%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable feature debut for director/co-writer Filippo Meneghetti, Two of Us tells a deceptively complex love story while presenting a rich acting showcase for its three leads.
Synopsis: Two retired women, Nina and Madeleine, have been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they are... [More]
Directed By: Filippo Meneghetti


I'm Your Man (2021)

Adjusted Score: 102108%
Critics Consensus: With a thought-provoking concept brought to humorous life by a pair of well-matched leads, I'm Your Man is an AI rom-com whose intelligence is anything but artificial.
Synopsis: In order to obtain funds for her research, Alma (Maren Eggert) is persuaded to participate in an extraordinary study. For... [More]
Directed By: Maria Schrader

Adjusted Score: 100372%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable feature debut for director Heidi Ewing, I Carry You with Me finds universally resonant themes in a specific, richly detailed time and place.
Synopsis: Based on true love, this decades spanning romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) and a teacher... [More]
Directed By: Heidi Ewing


Licorice Pizza (2021)

Adjusted Score: 106387%
Critics Consensus: Licorice Pizza finds Paul Thomas Anderson shifting into a surprisingly comfortable gear -- and getting potentially star-making performances out of his fresh-faced leads.
Synopsis: Alana Kane and Gary Valentine grow up, run around and fall in love in California's San Fernando Valley in the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson


Supernova (2020)

Adjusted Score: 99604%
Critics Consensus: Led by moving performances from Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, Supernova is a heartbreaking look at the emotional toll that comes with accepting mortality.
Synopsis: Sam (Academy Award winner Colin Firth) and Tusker (Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci), partners of twenty years, are traveling across... [More]
Directed By: Harry Macqueen


Undine (2020)

Adjusted Score: 94822%
Critics Consensus: Undine draws on folklore for a dark fantasy whose murky storytelling is often offset by the enchanting romance at its core.
Synopsis: Christian Petzold (PHOENIX, TRANSIT) boldly reimagines the ancient myth of Undine in this suspenseful tale of romance and betrayal in... [More]
Directed By: Christian Petzold


Spring Blossom (2020)

Adjusted Score: 94510%
Critics Consensus: An enchanting debut for writer-director-star Suzanne Lindon, Spring Blossom captures first love with fittingly delicate beauty.
Synopsis: Suzanne (Suzanne Lindon) is sixteen. She is bored with people her own age. From the outside, everything appears lovely in... [More]
Directed By: Suzanne Lindon


Little Fish (2020)

Adjusted Score: 93493%
Critics Consensus: Tough but stirring, Little Fish uses one couple's pandemic love story to illustrate the strength of human connection in trying times.
Synopsis: Little Fish, the fourth feature film from director Chad Hartigan, is a romance set in a near-future Seattle teetering on... [More]
Directed By: Chad Hartigan


Summer of 85 (2020)

Adjusted Score: 84721%
Critics Consensus: While not François Ozon's best work, Summer of 85 serves as a beguiling, bittersweet ode to teen love and its lingering after-effects.
Synopsis: When Alexis capsizes off the coast of France, David comes to the rescue and opens his eyes to a new... [More]
Directed By: François Ozon

Adjusted Score: 81081%
Critics Consensus: Diminishing returns have set in for this trilogy, but To All the Boys: Always and Forever has just enough of the original's effervescent charm to serve as a worthy conclusion.
Synopsis: Senior year of high school takes center stage as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and considers... [More]
Directed By: Michael Fimognari

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