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: 107.244%
Critics Consensus: Sidney Lumet's feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.
A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.356%
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.
A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.29%
Critics Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.
"The 400 Blows" marks the birth of legendary nouvelle vague character Antoine Doinel; his is the story of a 13-year-old... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.364%
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.
The usually menacing British actor Terence Stamp does a complete turnaround as Bernadette, an aging transsexual who tours the backwaters... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.183%
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.
In order to avoid the material copyrighted by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for his 1922 Robin Hood, the scripters of this... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.092%
Critics Consensus: A haunting journey of natural wonder and tangible danger, Aguirre transcends epic genre trappings and becomes mythological by its own right.
The most famed and well-regarded collaboration between New German Cinema director Werner Herzog and his frequent leading man, Klaus Kinski,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.977%
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.
This spoof of the Airport series of disaster movies relies on ridiculous sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and deadpan acting --... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.333%
Critics Consensus: Akira is strikingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.
One of the best-known examples of contemporary Japanese animation, this cyberpunk adventure takes place in the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.833%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
"In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.092%
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.
Big-budget special effects, swiftly paced action, and a distinct feminist subtext from writer/director James Cameron turned what should have been... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.848%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, All About Eve is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age.
Based on the story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.629%
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.
Pedro Almodóvar directed this story of a woman and her circle of friends who find themselves suffering a variety of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.517%
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.
A reconstruction of the discovery of the White House link with the Watergate affair by two young reporters from the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.946%
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.
Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journalist -- he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.078%
Critics Consensus: A lavish, entertaining, powerful film about the life and influence, both positive and negative, of one of Western culture's great artists.
For this film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's Broadway hit, director Milos Forman returned to the city of Prague that he'd... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.001%
Critics Consensus: The feel-good Amelie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine.
One woman decides to change the world by changing the lives of the people she knows in this charming and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.132%
Critics Consensus: With towering performances and an unflinching script from Michael Haneke, Amour represents an honest, heartwrenching depiction of deep love and responsibility.
Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.867%
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.
Gene Kelly does his patented Pal Joey bit as Jerry Mulligan, an opportunistic American painter living in Paris' "starving artists"... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.073%
Critics Consensus: Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic.
"Annie Hall" is a comical look at the up and down relationship between a New York City TV writer and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.916%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.522%
Critics Consensus: Francis Ford Coppola's haunting, hallucinatory Vietnam War epic is cinema at its most audacious and visionary.
One of a cluster of late-1970s films about the Vietnam War, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now adapts the Joseph Conrad... [More]
Adjusted Score: 117.978%
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 grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.301%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Contemporary high schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) doesn't have the most pleasant of lives. Browbeaten by his principal at... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.443%
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.
"He wanted to die with me and I dreamed of being lost forever in his arms." A young couple goes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.146%
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.
Walt Disney Animation Studios' magical classic Beauty and the Beast returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D(TM), introducing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.892%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and highly original, Being John Malkovich supports its wild premise with skillful direction and a stellar ensemble cast.
Would you pay money to journey into the mind of the star of Con Air, The Killing Fields, and In... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.692%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and refreshingly subtle, Being There soars behind sensitive direction from Hal Ashby and a stellar Peter Sellers performance.
Hailed as a genius for his simplistic approach to life, an aging gardener with a childlike naïveté rises, by accident,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.388%
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 memorable film about the aftermath of World War II in the United States., this film opens with the homecoming... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.522%
Critics Consensus: A promising work by Lin, the energetic Better Luck Tomorrow is disturbing and thought-provoking.
A group of unlikely high school students take up crime as an extracurricular activity in this independent drama. Ben (Parry... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.026%
Critics Consensus: An Italian neorealism exemplar, Bicycle Thieves thrives on its non-flashy performances and searing emotion.
This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.713%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
The plot of this Raymond Chandler-esque comedy crime caper from the Coen Brothers (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) pivots around... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.571%
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.
Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.19%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.617%
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.
A quickly forgotten chapter in United States military history is relived in this harrowing war drama from director Ridley Scott,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.572%
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.
Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) is literally what its title suggests: a retelling of the "Orpheus and Eurydice" legend enacted by... [More]
Adjusted Score: 118.522%
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" follows T'Challa who, after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.436%
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 blend of science fiction and noir detective fiction, Blade Runner (1982) was a box office and critical bust upon... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.443%
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.
Vulgar, crude, and occasionally scandalous in its racial humor, this hilarious bad-taste spoof of Westerns, co-written by Richard Pryor, features... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.163%
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.
Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, idealistic porn producer Jack... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.012%
Critics Consensus: Hilary Swank's acclaimed performance pays fitting tribute to the tragic life of Brandon Teena.
Based on a true story, Boys Don't Cry was adapted from the life of Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon, a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.035%
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.
Director John Singleton's debut chronicles the trials and tribulations of three young African-American males growing up in South Central Los... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.698%
Critics Consensus: The Breakfast Club is a warm, insightful, and very funny look into the inner lives of teenagers.
John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.203%
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.
Enjoy brunch in the Torpedo Room before screening BREATHLESS hosted by John DeSando and Johnny DiLoretto. There was before BREATHLESS,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.031%
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.
This spring, Universal Pictures and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) invite you to experience Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.196%
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.
The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.193%
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.
Based on Helen Fielding's hugely popular novel, this romantic comedy follows Bridget (Renee Zellweger), a post-feminist, thirty-something British woman who... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.826%
Critics Consensus: Blockbuster dramatist James L. Brooks delivers with Broadcast News, fully entertaining with deft, deep characterization.
Writer/director/producer James L. Brooks scores on all counts with this clear-eyed look at the television news business and the dysfunctional... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.444%
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.
Set against the sweeping landscapes of Wyoming and Texas, this epic love story tells of two young men -- a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.24%
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.
Opening with a silent "movie" of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang, George Roy Hill's comically elegiac Western chronicles... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.058%
Critics Consensus: Great performances and evocative musical numbers help Cabaret secure its status as a stylish, socially conscious classic.
Adapted from the Broadway show, this hard-hitting musical drama is set in decadent 1930s Berlin during Hitler's rise to power.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114.593%
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.
In one of the most influential films of the silent era, Werner Krauss plays the title character, a sinister hypnotist... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.535%
Critics Consensus: Call Me by Your Name offers a melancholy, powerfully affecting portrait of first love, empathetically acted by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.845%
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.
In this adaptation of the novel "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith, Therese (Rooney Mara), a young department-store clerk... [More]
Adjusted Score: 113.921%
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.
One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue from director Michael Curtiz defies... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.004%
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.
James Bond's first 007 mission takes him to Madagascar, where he is to spy on a terrorist Mollaka. Not everything... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.771%
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.
A futuristic society faces extinction when the human race loses the ability to reproduce. England has descended into chaos, until... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.368%
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 private detective, Jake Gittes, hired to investigate an adultery case, stumbles on the plot of a murder involving incest... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.365%
Critics Consensus: A shocking and disturbing, but always compelling look at life in the slums of Rio de Janiero.
Fernando Meirelles' City of God is a sweeping tale of how crime affects the poor population of Rio de Janeiro.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.72%
Critics Consensus: Cinema Paradiso is a life-affirming ode to the power of youth, nostalgia, and the the movies themselves.
Cinema Paradiso offers a nostalgic look at films and the effect they have on a young boy who grows up... [More]
Adjusted Score: 115.882%
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.
This is the labyrinthine study of the life of a newspaper tycoon.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.655%
Critics Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.
A homeless tramp befriends a lovely blind flower seller and convinces her he is a millionaire while he secretly labors... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.975%
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?
When Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is reluctantly put in charge of the Quick Stop market on his day off, he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.734%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and thought-provoking, A Clockwork Orange is a cold, dystopian nightmare with a very dark sense of humor.
Stanley Kubrick dissects the nature of violence in this darkly ironic, near-future satire, adapted from Anthony Burgess's novel, complete with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.294%
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.
Jane Austen might never have imagined that her 1816 novel Emma could be turned into a fresh and satirical look... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.536%
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.
Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.349%
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.
"Crazy Rich Asians" follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.845%
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.
Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, attempts to follow in his father's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.001%
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.
Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee took a break from making Western period dramas to fashion this wild and woolly martial arts... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.246%
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.
Christopher Nolan steps back into the director's chair for this sequel to Batman Begins, which finds the titular superhero coming... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.45%
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.
Viewers who haven't seen George Romero's low-budget horror masterpiece Night of the Living Dead, might be at a loss during... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.741%
Critics Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
All of Washington, D.C., is thrown into a panic when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Out steps... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.604%
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.
Like George Lucas' American Graffiti, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is an affectionate look at the youth culture of a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.169%
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.
Robin Williams toned down his usually manic comic approach in this successful period drama. In 1959, the Welton Academy is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.72%
Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.
It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.524%
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.
This powerful visual feast combines humor and drama with memorable characters while tracing the course of a single day on... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.05%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the best of David Lean's epics, but Dr. Zhivago is still brilliantly photographed and sweepingly romantic.
Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago covers the years prior to, during, and after the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.428%
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.
Based on a true 1972 story, Sidney Lumet's 1975 drama chronicles a unique bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.315%
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.
A married couple is haunted by a series of mysterious occurrences after the death of their young daughter in this... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.974%
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.
Directed by Billy Wilder and adapted from a James M. Cain novel by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity represents... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.125%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.976%
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.
"I am....Drac-u-la. I bid you velcome." Thus does Bela Lugosi declare his presence in the 1931 screen version of Bram... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.26%
Critics Consensus: With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.81%
Critics Consensus: Jackie Chan sends up some amazing and entertaining fight sequences in The Legend of Drunken Master.
Jackie Chan returns in one of his greatest roles in this action-comedy sequel to his 1978 Hong Kong blockbuster Drunken... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.74%
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.
Arguably the Marx Brothers' funniest film, this comedy masterpiece contains several famous scenes, including the hilarious mirror sequence. A wealthy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.712%
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.
Both a classic movie for kids and a remarkable portrait of childhood, E.T. is a sci-fi adventure that captures that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.385%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
After scoring cocaine in Mexico, then re-selling it in California, two bikers set off on a cross-country trek to New... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.95%
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.
Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands opens as an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price) lovingly assembles a synthetic youth named Edward (Johnny Depp).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.761%
Critics Consensus: Election successfully combines dark humor and intelligent writing in this very witty and enjoyable film.
In this satiric comedy, Jim McAllister is a popular and well-respected instructor at George Washington Carver High School in Omaha,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.285%
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.
John Hurt stars as John Merrick, the hideously deformed 19th century Londoner known as "The Elephant Man". Treated as a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.973%
Critics Consensus: Badass to the max, Enter the Dragon is the ultimate kung-fu movie and fitting (if untimely) Bruce Lee swan song.
One of the most popular kung fu films ever, and perhaps the peak of the famed Bruce Lee's career, Enter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.075%
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.
The second feature from director Michel Gondry (Human Nature) finds the filmmaker reteaming with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for this off-the-wall... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.582%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
This sequel is better, funnier, scarier and superior to the first indie gore-fest. Never before has there been such an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.369%
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.
Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.683%
Critics Consensus: The Farewell deftly captures complicated family dynamics with a poignant, well-acted drama that marries cultural specificity with universally relatable themes.
The film follows a Chinese family who, when they discover their beloved Grandmother has only a short while left to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.36%
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
A pregnant police chief is investigating a series of homicides across the frozen tundra. Against a sprawling Minnesota landscape, a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.015%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
Former cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) on the opposite side of the law.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.315%
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.
Based on 22-year-old Cameron Crowe's undercover exposé on life in a Southern California public high school, this groundbreaking effort presents... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.898%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
In this darkly comic drama, Edward Norton stars as a depressed young man (named in the credits only as "Narrator")... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.011%
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.
Fifteen-year-old Mia's world is turned upside down when her mother brings home a new boyfriend.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.888%
Critics Consensus: Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.
In the 23rd century, Cmdr. J. J. Adams guides a rescue mission to faraway planet Altair-4. Twenty years earlier, Earth... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.122%
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.
Charles and Carrie would make the perfect couple...if he weren't afraid to commit and she weren't already engaged! Fun-filled, clever... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.146%
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.
"Frankenstein" is a film about a mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein", who creates a monster, by taking body parts... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.484%
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.
This gritty, fast-paced, and innovative police drama earned five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (written by Ernest... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.25%
Critics Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.
After being attached to a number of actors, directors, and producers, this long-gestating biography of one of Mexico's most prominent,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.234%
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.
The first of two consecutive films to see director Peter Weir team with Mel Gibson (the other being The Year... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.378%
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.
It was Richard Attenborough's lifelong dream to bring the life story of Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.374%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
In a futuristic society where commerce has overridden more humanistic concerns, the rich and successful, eager to obtain physical and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.447%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.
Buster Keaton plays Johnny Gray, a Southern railroad engineer who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114.456%
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.
Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.654%
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.
In the year 2029, the world has become interconnected by a vast electronic network that permeates every aspect of life.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.739%
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.
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson star as a quartet of Manhattan-based "paranormal investigators". When their government... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.677%
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.
When four lifelong friends-Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish-travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.332%
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.
Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather is a touchstone... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.266%
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.
Francis Ford Coppola's legendary continuation and sequel to his landmark 1972 film, The Godfather, parallels the young Vito Corleone's rise... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.677%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
One of the longest-running series in film history began with Ishiro Honda's grim, black-and-white allegory for the devastation wrought on... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.537%
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.
To many, the quintessential Bond film and a brilliant third entry in the series. Here Bond gets his Aston Martin,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.332%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.
In the last and the best installment of his so-called "Dollars" trilogy of Sergio Leone-directed "spaghetti westerns," Clint Eastwood reprised... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.055%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and stylish, GoodFellas is a gangster classic -- and arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese's career.
Martin Scorsese explores the life of organized crime with his gritty, kinetic adaptation of Nicolas Pileggi's best-selling Wiseguy, the true-life... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.107%
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.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.376%
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.
For its 75th Anniversary, Rialto Pictures presents a stunning 4K restoration of GRAND ILLUSION, Jean Renoir's powerful and eloquent anti-war... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.323%
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.
Adapted from John Steinbeck's novel, this classic drama shows how the Great Depression affects one American family. Evicted from their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.685%
Critics Consensus: Grease is a pleasing, energetic musical with infectiously catchy songs and an ode to young love that never gets old.
"Grease," said the poster and the Barry Gibb song, "is the word." Transferring its setting from Chicago to sunny California,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.336%
Critics Consensus: With its impeccably slow-building story and a cast for the ages, The Great Escape is an all-time action classic.
Based on the book by Paul Brickhill, The Great Escape is the true story of Allied prisoners plotting to break... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.349%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Bill Murray plays Phil, a TV weatherman working for a local station in Pennsylvania but convinced that national news stardom... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.192%
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.
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.714%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is perhaps John Waters' most accessible film, and as such, it's a gently subversive slice of retro hilarity.
Forever interested in the kitsch built into past eras, director John Waters chooses the TV dance show craze of the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.441%
Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.
A young boy kills his sister on Halloween of 1963, and is sent to a mental hospital. 15 years later... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.15%
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.
The year is 1964 and four young lads from Liverpool are about to change the world - if only the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.613%
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.
Harold, the 20-year-old son of a wealthy, neglectful woman, tries to gain attention for himself with various hilariously staged "suicides."... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.469%
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.
After directing the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus opted to serve as producer for Harry... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.201%
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 constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.291%
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 successful career criminal considers getting out of the business after one last score, while an obsessive cop desperately tries... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.04%
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.
A deliciously nasty black comedy, Heathers is set at a cliquish high school in Ohio. The most exclusive of those... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.347%
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.
Hedwig was born a boy named Hansel in Communist East Berlin who dreamed of finding his other half and becoming... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.828%
Critics Consensus: With death-defying action sequences and epic historic sweep, Hero offers everything a martial arts fan could ask for.
Hero is two-time Academy Award nominee Zhang Yimou's directorial attempt at exploring the concept of a Chinese hero. During the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.02%
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.
In this classic western, a marshal prepares to retire from law enforcement because of his marriage to a Quaker. But... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.711%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by stellar performances from Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday is possibly the definitive screwball romantic comedy.
The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.712%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by Mads Mikkelsen's sympathetic performance, The Hunt asks difficult questions with the courage to pursue answers head on.
Mads Mikkelsen (NBC's Hannibal, A ROYAL AFFAIR, CASINO ROYALE) won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.429%
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.
Akira Kurosawa's drama stars Takashi Shimura as Kanji Watanabe, a government clerk who learns he has only months to live.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.891%
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.
While traveling in the Deep South, Virgil Tibbs, a black Philadelphia homicide detective, becomes unwittingly embroiled in the murder investigation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.886%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
For his first film since the 1997 Hong Kong handover, auteur filmmaker Wong Kar-wai directs this moody period drama about... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.068%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) writes and directs this psychological sci-fi action film about a thief who... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.875%
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
"Inglourious Basterds" begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.489%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.304%
Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
"Iron Giant" is based upon the 1968 story,'Iron Man,' by the British poet laureate Ted Hughes. The film is about... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.717%
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.
Billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence... [More]
Adjusted Score: 112.085%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
Frank Capra's seminal screwball comedy, which won all five major Academy Awards for 1934, is still as breezy and beguiling... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.788%
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.
This is director Frank Capra's classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.732%
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.
Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.331%
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.
An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City... [More]