300 Essential Movies To Watch Now
Welcome to our updated guide to the 300 Essential Movies To Watch Now, which features incredible must-watch movies from the 1920s to today! In our annual refresh, we’re sticking with the list’s original vision as a definitive source of movie guidance and education for all ages and stages, whether you’re a seasoned film buff or just starting out, while reflecting new trends and significant movies uncovered over the past year. We’re also just making sure we give you some really good movies to watch.
You may remember from years past that this guide was capped at 200 movies. By adding space for 100 more, we’re skipping the annual internal staff debate about what to add and what to take out while upholding the guide’s mission of a balanced, entertaining document. We’ve now expanded the silent era selections (like Pandora’s Box and Dracula), inserted plenty of sparkling Golden Age Hollywood classics (The Lady Eve, The Philadelphia Story, To Be Or Not To Be), and got in more animation (from Pinocchio to Princess Mononoke). We continued to survey the contemporary scene and their wide breadth of subjects, selecting the ones that will endure, from Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Call Me By Your Name, to Creed and The Hate U Give.
The list is sorted by alphabetically. Feel free to start tackling the list with whatever is the most interesting to you first…or just start at the top and work your way down. We think you’ll have fun either way. And best of all, every movie on the list is Certified Fresh!
Ready to take on the watching challenge? Click here and head to FandangoNOW where you can sort the list and buy or rent any of the movies! For now, enjoy this list of 300 Essential Movies to Watch Now.
Adjusted Score: 108164%
Critics Consensus: Sidney Lumet's feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.
One (Henry Fonda) of 12 jurors holds out in the case of a boy from the slums who is accused... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107652%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential of all sci-fi films -- and one of the most controversial -- Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity -- and folly -- of mankind.
Supercomputer HAL 9000 guides astronauts (Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester) on a trip to find the origins of humans.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105922%
Critics Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.
Neglected by his parents (Claire Maurier, Albert Remy), Parisian schoolboy Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre LÃ©aud) runs away from home and turns... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98033%
Critics Consensus: While its premise is ripe for comedy -- and it certainly delivers its fair share of laughs -- Priscilla is also a surprisingly tender and thoughtful road movie with some outstanding performances.
Three drag queens (Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce) head for a gig at a central Australia casino in a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110368%
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.
The Sherwood Forest outlaw (Errol Flynn) and his men save King Richard and Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) from Prince... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103136%
Critics Consensus: A haunting journey of natural wonder and tangible danger, Aguirre transcends epic genre trappings and becomes mythological by its own right.
Power-mad Aguirre (Klaus Kinski) leads an ill-fated raft party from Pizarro's 16th-century Amazon expedition.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104878%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.
A pilot (Robert Hays) afraid to fly follows his stewardess ex-girlfriend (Julie Hagerty) and must take over for the poisoned... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94409%
Critics Consensus: Akira is strikingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.
A Japanese teenager learns that his newfound powers of telepathy are more powerful than he suspected.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111092%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Crewmembers (Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver) aboard an interstellar freighter encounter a merciless monster that crawls around their ship's dark corridors... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105604%
Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
On planet LV-426, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and a dwindling number of Marines battle an almost-unstoppable army of monstrous predators which... [More]
Adjusted Score: 116329%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, All About Eve is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age.
A Broadway star (Bette Davis) takes a young and seemingly naive aspiring actress (Anne Baxter) under her wing.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101234%
Critics Consensus: Almodovar weaves together a magnificent tapestry of femininity with an affectionate wink to classics of theater and cinema in this poignant story of love, loss and compassion.
New friends help a woman (Cecilia Roth) struggling to get her life in order after her son's (Eloy AzorÃn) death.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101391%
Critics Consensus: A taut, solidly acted paean to the benefits of a free press and the dangers of unchecked power, made all the more effective by its origins in real-life events.
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) tie the Watergate break-in to the White House.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96602%
Critics Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.
An aspiring teenage rock journalist gets his big break when he follows an up-and-coming band on its tour.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103125%
Critics Consensus: A lavish, entertaining, powerful film about the life and influence, both positive and negative, of one of Western culture's great artists.
Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), court composer in Vienna, confesses in old age to his sins against the young genius... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95366%
Critics Consensus: The feel-good Amelie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine.
An accidental find convinces a young woman (Audrey Tautou) to try to enrich the lives of a tobacco dealer, a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102222%
Critics Consensus: With towering performances and an unflinching script from Michael Haneke, Amour represents an honest, heartwrenching depiction of deep love and responsibility.
A retired music teacher (Jean-Louis Trintignant) demonstrates unflagging devotion to his wife (Emmanuelle Riva), even after she has a debilitating... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112220%
Critics Consensus: The plot may be problematic, but such concerns are rendered superfluous by Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron's star power, the Gershwins' classic songs, and Vincente Minnelli's colorful, sympathetic direction.
An American soldier (Gene Kelly) stays in Paris after World War II to paint and falls in love with a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105942%
Critics Consensus: Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic.
A New York comedian (Woody Allen) recalls his lost love, a kooky singer (Diane Keaton) with a style all her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102975%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
A corporate climber (Jack Lemmon), whose boss (Fred MacMurray) and others use his apartment for hanky-panky, aids a young woman... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107538%
Critics Consensus: Francis Ford Coppola's haunting, hallucinatory Vietnam War epic is cinema at its most audacious and visionary.
An Army agent (Martin Sheen) goes upriver into the heart of Cambodia to kill a renegade colonel called Kurtz (Marlon... [More]
Adjusted Score: 123598%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
The remaining Avengers -- Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner -- must figure out a way to bring... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104149%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
A teen (Michael J. Fox) takes a crackpot's (Christopher Lloyd) DeLorean time machine to 1955 and sees his parents in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103350%
Critics Consensus: Terrence Malick's debut is a masterful slice of American cinema, rife with the visual poetry and measured performances that would characterize his work.
A thrill-seeking teenage girl (Sissy Spacek) joins a garbageman (Martin Sheen) on a South Dakota killing spree.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105021%
Critics Consensus: Enchanting, sweepingly romantic, and featuring plenty of wonderful musical numbers, Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most elegant animated offerings.
A French maiden takes the place of her captured father in the enchanted castle of an accursed prince, and her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100764%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and highly original, Being John Malkovich supports its wild premise with skillful direction and a stellar ensemble cast.
A puppeteer (John Cusack) and his co-worker (Catherine Keener) discover a tunnel that allows others to enter the actor's mind... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99827%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and refreshingly subtle, Being There soars behind sensitive direction from Hal Ashby and a stellar Peter Sellers performance.
The president (Jack Warden) and a power broker heed the utterings of a simple gardener (Peter Sellers) who likes to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109805%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing look at the triumphs and travails of war veterans, The Best Years of Our Lives is concerned specifically with the aftermath of World War II, but its messages speak to the overall American experience.
A disabled serviceman and two other veterans (Fredric March, Dana Andrews) have difficulty adjusting to civilian life after World War... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84237%
Critics Consensus: A promising work by Lin, the energetic Better Luck Tomorrow is disturbing and thought-provoking.
A 16-year-old Asian student (Parry Shen) commits crimes with his goofy friend (Jason Tobin) and a gang in Southern California.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108956%
Critics Consensus: An Italian neorealism exemplar, Bicycle Thieves thrives on its non-flashy performances and searing emotion.
A poor man (Lamberto Maggiorani) and his son (Enzo Staiola) search postwar Rome for the stolen bicycle he needs to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90125%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
Bowling buddies (Jeff Bridges, John Goodman) become involved with a multimillionaire and his family wanted by mobsters in 1990s Los... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112933%
Critics Consensus: Funny, heartfelt, and intelligent, The Big Sick uses its appealing leads and cross-cultural themes to prove the standard romcom formula still has some fresh angles left to explore.
Pakistani comic Kumail becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of his American girlfriend Emily. When Emily... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108867%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
A washed-up actor (Michael Keaton), whose previous claim to fame was his portrayal of a popular superhero, attempts to recapture... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82826%
Critics Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.
U.S. soldiers (Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore) take heavy fire while trying to capture a warlord's associates in Mogadishu,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95662%
Critics Consensus: Colorful, atmospheric, and infections, Black Orpheus takes an ancient tale and makes it fresh anew, thanks in part to its bewitching bossa nova soundtrack.
Death follows a streetcar conductor (Breno Mello) and country girl (Marpessa Dawn) during carnival in Rio de Janeiro.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 124632%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Black Panther's mettle as king gets tested when an old enemy draws him into a conflict that puts his nation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104440%
Critics Consensus: Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.
A specialized detective (Harrison Ford) in 2019 Los Angeles receives an order to terminate obsolete android slaves (Rutger Hauer, Sean... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95047%
Critics Consensus: Daring, provocative, and laugh-out-loud funny, Blazing Saddles is a gleefully vulgar spoof of Westerns that marks a high point in Mel Brooks' storied career.
A black railroad worker is appointed sheriff of a town marked for destruction by a scheming politician.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97982%
Critics Consensus: Grounded in strong characters, bold themes, and subtle storytelling, Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film both for director P.T. Anderson and star Mark Wahlberg.
A producer (Burt Reynolds) guides a young man (Mark Wahlberg) to success in the 1970s porn industry, but greed and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91548%
Critics Consensus: Harrowing yet stirring, Boys Don't Cry powerfully commemorates the life -- and brutally unjust death -- of transgender teen Brandon Teena.
A young transgender man explores his gender identity and searches for love in rural Nebraska, before falling victim to a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101129%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and thematically rich, Boyz N the Hood observes Black America with far more depth and compassion than many of the like-minded films its success inspired.
Three boys become men, one (Cuba Gooding Jr.) guided by his father (Larry Fishburne), in their racially divided Los Angeles... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95172%
Critics Consensus: The Breakfast Club is a warm, insightful, and very funny look into the inner lives of teenagers.
A wrestler (Emilio Estevez), a rebel (Judd Nelson), a brain, a beauty (Molly Ringwald) and a shy girl share Saturday... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105205%
Critics Consensus: Breathless rewrote the rules of cinema -- and more than 50 years after its arrival, Jean-Luc Godard's paradigm-shifting classic remains every bit as vital.
A French hood (Jean-Paul Belmondo) kills a policeman and heads for Italy with his American girlfriend (Jean Seberg).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100505%
Critics Consensus: A marriage of genuine characters, gross out gags, and pathos, Bridesmaids is a female-driven comedy that refuses to be boxed in as Kristen Wiig emerges as a real star.
Though broke and lovelorn, a woman (Kristen Wiig) takes on the strange and expensive rituals associated with being her best... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104050%
Critics Consensus: This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean.
A British POW colonel (Alec Guinness) orders his men to build their Japanese captor (Sessue Hayakawa) a railway bridge in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85275%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
An outrageous British woman (RenÃ©e Zellweger) decides to take control of her life, but instead falls for two very different... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102745%
Critics Consensus: Blockbuster dramatist James L. Brooks delivers with Broadcast News, fully entertaining with deft, deep characterization.
A reporter (Albert Brooks), a producer (Holly Hunter) and an anchorman (William Hurt) form a triangle in a TV-network news... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96412%
Critics Consensus: A beautiful, epic Western, Brokeback Mountain's love story is imbued with heartbreaking universality thanks to moving performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
In 1960s Wyoming two cowboys (Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal) begin a secret romance that endures through many years and each... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95551%
Critics Consensus: With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.
When a persistent posse threatens two outlaws' (Paul Newman, Robert Redford) romp through Wyoming, they decide to take their act... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99245%
Critics Consensus: Great performances and evocative musical numbers help Cabaret secure its status as a stylish, socially conscious classic.
Multiple Oscars went to this tale about an American chanteuse in Berlin caught in the rising tide of Nazism.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114273%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre -- and remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.
A hypnotist (Werner Krauss) in black exhibits a cabinet, which contains a pale man (Conrad Veidt) in black in a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112088%
Critics Consensus: Call Me by Your Name offers a melancholy, powerfully affecting portrait of first love, empathetically acted by TimothÃ©e Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
In 1983 Italy, a precocious 17-year-old and a young doctoral student discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107881%
Critics Consensus: Shaped by Todd Haynes' deft direction and powered by a strong cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Carol lives up to its groundbreaking source material.
Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department... [More]
Adjusted Score: 119623%
Critics Consensus: An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood's quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
A cynical nightclub owner (Humphrey Bogart) protects an old flame (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband (Paul Henreid) from Nazis in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104495%
Critics Consensus: Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.
After receiving a license to kill, British agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) enters a high-stakes poker game with Le Chiffre... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101203%
Critics Consensus: Children of Men works on every level: as a violent chase thriller, a fantastical cautionary tale, and a sophisticated human drama about societies struggling to live.
When infertility threatens mankind with extinction, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) becomes the unlikely champion in the fight for the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107776%
Critics Consensus: As bruised and cynical as the decade that produced it, this noir classic benefits from Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay, director Roman Polanski's steady hand, and wonderful performances from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.
A 1930s gumshoe named Jake (Jack Nicholson) sticks his nose into a sordid mess over Los Angeles land and water.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95275%
Critics Consensus: City of God offers a shocking and disturbing -- but always compelling -- look at life in the slums of Rio de Janiero.
After forming a gang in Rio de Janeiro, a young man and his best friend descend from robbery to drug... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97407%
Critics Consensus: Cinema Paradiso is a life-affirming ode to the power of youth, nostalgia, and the the movies themselves.
A Sicilian boy (Salvatore Cascio) discovers the movies with his local theater's projectionist (Philippe Noiret).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 119231%
Critics Consensus: Orson Welles's epic tale of a publishing tycoon's rise and fall is entertaining, poignant, and inventive in its storytelling, earning its reputation as a landmark achievement in film.
Enigmatic newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) rises, falls and leaves behind a riddle with his dying breath.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105627%
Critics Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.
A little tramp (Charlie Chaplin) gets money from a drunken millionaire (Harry Myers) for an operation to restore a flower... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93109%
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?
A 22-year-old clerk (Brian O'Halloran) takes in a day's worth of customers at a convenience store in New Jersey.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97042%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and thought-provoking, A Clockwork Orange is a cold, dystopian nightmare with a very dark sense of humor.
Young Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his droogs commit barbaric acts in a near-future, dehumanizing society.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90108%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
A Beverly Hills teen (Alicia Silverstone) plays matchmaker for teachers, transforms a bad dresser (Brittany Murphy) and examines her own... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114509%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Accompanied by a charming trickster, a young musician embarks on an extraordinary journey through the colorful Land of the Dead... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109714%
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108780%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Long-retired boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) agrees to train Apollo Creed's son (Michael B. Jordan) to become a fighter, even... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103107%
Critics Consensus: The movie that catapulted Ang Lee into the ranks of upper echelon Hollywood filmmakers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon features a deft mix of amazing martial arts battles, beautiful scenery, and tasteful drama.
A 19th-century martial arts master (Chow Yun-Fat) gives a sword called Green Destiny to his beloved (Michelle Yeoh), then the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108485%
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.
Batman (Christian Bale) has to keep a balance between heroism and vigilantism to fight a vile criminal known as the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97630%
Critics Consensus: One of the most compelling and entertaining zombie films ever, Dawn of the Dead perfectly blends pure horror and gore with social commentary on material society.
Cannibal zombies pursue a couple (David Emge, Gaylen Ross) and two former National Guardsmen in Philadelphia.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104633%
Critics Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
Klaatu (Michael Rennie) and his guardian robot, Gort, come from afar to warn Earth about nuclear war.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96913%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Assorted teens waste another day of school before getting down to wasting summer in 1976 Austin, Texas.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89340%
Critics Consensus: Affecting performances from the young cast and a genuinely inspirational turn from Robin Williams grant Peter Weir's prep school drama top honors.
A teacher at a New England prep school uses unconventional methods to instill spirit into the lives of his students.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100303%
Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.
A New York policeman (Bruce Willis) outwits foreign thugs holding his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and others in a Los Angeles... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101566%
Critics Consensus: Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts -- and one of the most important films of the 1980s.
Spike Lee's account of erupting racial tensions on a summer afternoon in a predominantly black Brooklyn neighborhood.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90912%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the best of David Lean's epics, but Dr. Zhivago is still brilliantly photographed and sweepingly romantic.
The Russian Revolution forms the backdrop for this tale of a sensitive Russian physician (Omar Sharif) who is torn between... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100784%
Critics Consensus: Framed by great work from director Sidney Lumet and fueled by a gripping performance from Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon offers a finely detailed snapshot of people in crisis with tension-soaked drama shaded in black humor.
A loser (Al Pacino) robs a Brooklyn bank with his stupid buddy (John Cazale) to pay for his lover's sex... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102954%
Critics Consensus: Don't Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score -- causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's grief deep within.
British parents (Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland) of a drowned child go to Venice and meet a blind psychic and her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111026%
Critics Consensus: A dark, tautly constructed adaptation of James M. Cain's novel -- penned by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler -- Double Indemnity continues to set the standard for the best in Hollywood film noir.
An insurance man (Fred MacMurray) helps a platinum blonde (Barbara Stanwyck) kill her husband, but all does not go as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106864%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
President Muffley (Peter Sellers) and his advisers (George C. Scott, Keenan Wynn) man the Pentagon war room, as planes with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99508%
Critics Consensus: Bela Lugosi's timeless portrayal of Dracula in this creepy and atmospheric 1931 film has set the standard for major vampiric roles since.
A real-estate man (Dwight Frye) visits the Transylvania castle of a 500-year-old vampire (Bela Lugosi).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102481%
Critics Consensus: With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.
A Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for thieves finds that a price has been put on his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89174%
Critics Consensus: Jackie Chan sends up some amazing and entertaining fight sequences in The Legend of Drunken Master.
Wong Fei-Hong must use his unique kung fu fighting technique to battle vicious smugglers bent on stealing ancient Chinese artifacts.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99659%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by inspired silliness and blessed with some of the Marx brothers' most brilliant work, Duck Soup is one of its -- or any -- era's finest comedies.
Spies (Harpo Marx, Chico Marx) intervene when Freedonia's prime minister (Groucho Marx) declares war on nearby Sylvania.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 113972%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
A boy's close encounter with an alien stranded on Earth leads to a unique friendship in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning film.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90682%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
Two free spirits (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper) on chopped motorcycles clash with the Establishment and meet a boozy lawyer (Jack... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94888%
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.
A deceased inventor's unfinished creation (Johnny Depp) becomes an instant celebrity when a cheery suburbanite (Dianne Wiest) brings him home.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97655%
Critics Consensus: Election successfully combines dark humor and intelligent writing in this very witty and enjoyable film.
When a school's goody-two-shoes (Reese Witherspoon) runs for class president, a teacher/adviser (Matthew Broderick) schemes to keep her from winning.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97846%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's relatively straight second feature finds an admirable synthesis of compassion and restraint in treating its subject, and features outstanding performances by John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins.
Victorian Dr. Treves (Anthony Hopkins) rescues deformed Joseph (John) Merrick (John Hurt) from a London sideshow and shows him humanity.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100354%
Critics Consensus: Badass to the max, Enter the Dragon is the ultimate kung-fu movie and fitting (if untimely) Bruce Lee swan song.
A secret agent (Bruce Lee) comes to an opium lord's island fortress with other fighters for a martial-arts tournament.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100181%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
A doctor's invention allows a couple (Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet) to erase the memories of their tumultuous relationship.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100734%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
Cabin visitors (Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry) fight protean spirits of the dead with a chainsaw, a shotgun and Egyptian incantations.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92822%
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.
An actress (Ellen Burstyn) calls upon Jesuit priests to try to end the demonic possession of her 12-year-old daughter (Linda... [More]
Adjusted Score: 115359%
Critics Consensus: The Farewell deftly captures complicated family dynamics with a poignant, well-acted drama that marries cultural specificity with universally relatable themes.
Billi's family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101111%
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
A pregnant police chief (Frances McDormand) probes the murderous events that evolved from a desperate car salesman's (William H. Macy)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84707%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
In Rio de Janeiro, ex-con Dom Torretto (Vin Diesel) and ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) join forces against a corrupt... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82578%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
The teen scene includes a party-animal surfer (Sean Penn), a pregnant girl (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a fast-food worker (Judge... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87295%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
Two young professionals (Brad Pitt, Edward Norton) create an underground club where men can compete in hand-to-hand combat.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94994%
Critics Consensus: Cannes Jury Prize-winner Fish Tank is gritty British realism at its very best, with flawless performances from newcomer Kate Jarvis, and Michael Fassbender.
When sparks fly between Mia and Connor, her mother's new boyfriend, the boundaries of their relationship become blurred as mother... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100578%
Critics Consensus: Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.
An astronaut (Leslie Nielsen) and crew land on Altair-4 in 2200 and find a mad doctor (Walter Pidgeon), his daughter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100187%
Critics Consensus: While frothy to a fault, Four Weddings and a Funeral features irresistibly breezy humor, and winsome performances from Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell.
An English charmer (Hugh Grant) and a lusty American (Andie MacDowell) make love over a course of surprising events.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106828%
Critics Consensus: Still unnerving to this day, Frankenstein adroitly explores the fine line between genius and madness, and features Boris Karloff's legendary, frightening performance as the monster.
Baron Frankenstein (Colin Clive) creates a monster (Boris Karloff) from cadavers and a killer's brain.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108103%
Critics Consensus: Realistic, fast-paced and uncommonly smart, The French Connection is bolstered by stellar performances by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, not to mention William Friedkin's thrilling production.
New York Detective "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner (Roy Scheider) chase a French heroin smuggler.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80256%
Critics Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) marries fellow artist Diego Rivera who shares her radical political views.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95213%
Critics Consensus: Peter Weir's devastating anti-war film features a low-key but emotionally wrenching performance from Mel Gibson as a young soldier fighting in one of World War I's most deadly and horrifying battles.
Two Outback runners (Mark Lee, Mel Gibson) join Australian and New Zealand troops fighting in World War I.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91912%
Critics Consensus: Director Richard Attenborough is typically sympathetic and sure-handed, but it's Ben Kingsley's magnetic performance that acts as the linchpin for this sprawling, lengthy biopic.
Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning portrait of the man whose policy of nonviolence won India's independence.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86244%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
An outcast (Ethan Hawke) takes part in a complicated and perilous scheme to assume the identity of a genetically engineered... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98418%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.
Union spies pursue an engineer (Buster Keaton) who chased them to recover his stolen train.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 117876%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
A young photographer uncovers a dark secret when he meets his girlfriend's seemingly friendly parents for the first time at... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99517%
Critics Consensus: A stunning feat of modern animation, Ghost in the Shell offers a thoughtful, complex treat for anime fans, as well as a perfect introduction for viewers new to the medium.
A cybernetic agent must stop a potent form of artificial intelligence before it can attain human form.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104121%
Critics Consensus: An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.
Armed with proton packs, four paranormal investigators (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis) battle mischievous ghouls in New York.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99307%
Critics Consensus: Girls Trip is the rare R-rated comedy that pushes boundaries to truly comedic effect -- and anchors its laughs in compelling characters brought to life by a brilliantly assembled cast.
Four best friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Along the way, they rekindle their sisterhood and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 116620%
Critics Consensus: One of Hollywood's greatest critical and commercial successes, The Godfather gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema.
Crime boss Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his sons (Al Pacino, James Caan) rule their New York empire with Mafia... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109730%
Critics Consensus: Drawing on strong performances by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola's continuation of Mario Puzo's Mafia saga set new standards for sequels that have yet to be matched or broken.
Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) rules his father's criminal empire, while flashbacks recall young Vito's (Robert De Niro) climb to power.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102817%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
A fire-breathing behemoth terrorizes Japan after an atomic bomb awakens it from its centuries-old sleep.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105055%
Critics Consensus: Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus - it features one of 007's most famous lines ("A martini. Shaken, not stirred.") and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series' trademark.
Agent 007 (Sean Connery) drives an Aston Martin, runs into Oddjob and fights Goldfinger's (Gert Frobe) scheme to rob Fort... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107955%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.
A drifter (Clint Eastwood), a bandit (Eli Wallach) and a bounty hunter (Lee Van Cleef) reach a standoff over buried... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105107%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and stylish, GoodFellas is a gangster classic -- and arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese's career.
In the 1950s an Irish-Italian hoodlum (Ray Liotta) joins the New York Mafia, but his mob career is not what... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106432%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
A concierge (Ralph Fiennes) at a posh European hotel is framed for murdering an elderly dowager with whom he had... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111897%
Critics Consensus: Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion is a masterful anti-war statement, bringing humane insight and an undercurrent of ironic humor to an unusual relationship between captor and captive.
World War I French fliers (Pierre Fresnay, Jean Gabin) become captives of a German aristocrat (Erich von Stroheim) who considers... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106387%
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.
Poor sharecroppers the Joads (Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell) leave dust bowl Oklahoma in hope of better luck in California.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84029%
Critics Consensus: Grease is a pleasing, energetic musical with infectiously catchy songs and an ode to young love that never gets old.
Nice Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and greaser Danny (John Travolta) try to be like each other in their 1950s high school.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99297%
Critics Consensus: With its impeccably slow-building story and a cast for the ages, The Great Escape is an all-time action classic.
Allied soldiers (Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough) dig a tunnel out of a Nazi prison camp, pocketfuls of dirt... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104477%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
February 2nd keeps repeating for a cynical TV weatherman (Bill Murray) sent to watch the groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pa.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107651%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
A space adventurer (Chris Pratt) becomes the quarry of bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by a treacherous... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100400%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is perhaps John Waters' most accessible film, and as such, it's a gently subversive slice of retro hilarity.
The Turnblads' (Divine, Jerry Stiller) plus-size daughter (Ricki Lake) rocks a segregated TV dance show in 1960s Baltimore.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103880%
Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.
John Carpenter's chiller about an escaped maniac who returns to his Illinois hometown to continue his bloody rampage.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110066%
Critics Consensus: A Hard Day's Night, despite its age, is still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic.
John, Paul, George and Ringo (The Beatles) spend 36 wild hours in London, besieged by exuberant fans.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89682%
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.
A 20-year-old heir (Bud Cort) with a death wish meets a 79-year-old free spirit (Ruth Gordon) who knows how to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98496%
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
The young wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends (Rupert Grint, Emma Watson) confront Sirius Black, a fugitive with ties to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107699%
Critics Consensus: Led by a breakout turn from Amandla Stenberg, the hard-hitting The Hate U Give emphatically proves the YA genre has room for much more than magic and romance.
Starr Carter is a prep school student who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93317%
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.
A wily bank robber (Robert De Niro) planning retirement leaves scant clues for a Los Angeles detective (Al Pacino) with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96879%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Cool Veronica (Winona Ryder) and her quirky new boyfriend (Christian Slater) topple a high-school trio of too-cool Heathers.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96261%
Critics Consensus: Hedwig and the Angry Inch may very well be the next Rocky Horror midnight movie. It not only knows how to rock, but Hedwig's story has an emotional poignancy.
A transsexual rock singer (John Cameron Mitchell) sues her successful protege (Michael Pitt) for plagiarism.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100747%
Critics Consensus: With death-defying action sequences and epic historic sweep, Hero offers everything a martial arts fan could ask for.
Flashbacks reveal how a warrior (Jet Li) stopped the elusive assassins (Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk) who tried... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105197%
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.
On the verge of retirement, a marshal (Gary Cooper) stands alone to face a vengeful gunman and his gang.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107298%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by stellar performances from Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday is possibly the definitive screwball romantic comedy.
An ace reporter's editor tries to stop her from remarrying in this remake of director Lewis Milestone's "The Front Page."... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97910%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by Mads Mikkelsen's sympathetic performance, The Hunt asks difficult questions with the courage to pursue answers head on.
A kindergarten teacher's (Mads Mikkelsen) world collapses around him after one of his students (Annika Wedderkopp), who has a crush... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102833%
Critics Consensus: Ikiru is a well-acted and deeply moving humanist tale about a man facing his own mortality, one of legendary director Akira Kurosawa's most intimate films.
A rigid clerk (Takashi Shimura) resolves to do something of lasting importance after learning that he is dying of cancer.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100978%
Critics Consensus: Tense, funny, and thought-provoking all at once, and lifted by strong performances from Sydney Poitier and Rod Steiger, director Norman Jewison's look at murder and racism in small-town America continues to resonate today.
A black Philadelphia detective (Sidney Poitier) helps a white Mississippi sheriff (Rod Steiger) solve a murder.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95207%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
A man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and a woman (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk) living in a Singapore building wonder about the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100460%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
A thief (Leonardo DiCaprio) who enters people's dreams and steals their secrets gets a shot at redemption when he is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100571%
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
An Allied officer (Brad Pitt) and his team of Jewish soldiers join forces with a German actress and undercover agent... [More]
Adjusted Score: 116072%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
An 11-year-old girl's (Kaitlyn Dias) five emotions try to guide her through a difficult transition after she moves from the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102170%
Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
A malevolent government agent threatens to destroy the friendship between a boy and a huge alien robot.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105428%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
A wealthy industrialist (Robert Downey Jr.) builds an armored suit and uses it to defeat criminals and terrorists.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 119469%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
A newsman (Clark Gable) rides a bus and shares a cabin with a tycoon's (Walter Connolly) runaway daughter (Claudette Colbert).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106166%
Critics Consensus: The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It's a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.
Ruined by a miser (Lionel Barrymore) on Christmas Eve, a suicidal family man (James Stewart) sees life anew thanks to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109124%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
A New England police chief (Roy Scheider), a shark hunter (Robert Shaw) and a scientist (Richard Dreyfuss) have a showdown... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96608%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, thrilling, and giddily kinetic, John Wick serves as a satisfying return to action for Keanu Reeves -- and what looks like it could be the first of a franchise.
New York City becomes the bullet-riddled playground of a former assassin (Keanu Reeves) as he hunts down the Russian mobsters... [More]