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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 111092%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
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.
Adjusted Score: 116329%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, All About Eve is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 96600%
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 95366%
Critics Consensus: The feel-good Amelie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine.
Adjusted Score: 102219%
Critics Consensus: With towering performances and an unflinching script from Michael Haneke, Amour represents an honest, heartwrenching depiction of deep love and responsibility.
Adjusted Score: 111847%
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 102975%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder’s customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Adjusted Score: 107538%
Critics Consensus: Francis Ford Coppola’s haunting, hallucinatory Vietnam War epic is cinema at its most audacious and visionary.
Adjusted Score: 123366%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel’s epic Infinity Saga.
Adjusted Score: 104149%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 109786%
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.
Adjusted Score: 84237%
Critics Consensus: A promising work by Lin, the energetic Better Luck Tomorrow is disturbing and thought-provoking.
Adjusted Score: 108956%
Critics Consensus: An Italian neorealism exemplar, Bicycle Thieves thrives on its non-flashy performances and searing emotion.
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.
Adjusted Score: 112932%
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.
Adjusted Score: 108868%
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.
Adjusted Score: 82816%
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 124600%
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.
Adjusted Score: 104060%
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 100992%
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.
Adjusted Score: 95172%
Critics Consensus: The Breakfast Club is a warm, insightful, and very funny look into the inner lives of teenagers.
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.
Adjusted Score: 100502%
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 102718%
Critics Consensus: Blockbuster dramatist James L. Brooks delivers with Broadcast News, fully entertaining with deft, deep characterization.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 99245%
Critics Consensus: Great performances and evocative musical numbers help Cabaret secure its status as a stylish, socially conscious classic.
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.
Adjusted Score: 112086%
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.
Adjusted Score: 107916%
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 104539%
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 97407%
Critics Consensus: Cinema Paradiso is a life-affirming ode to the power of youth, nostalgia, and the the movies themselves.
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.
Adjusted Score: 105627%
Critics Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.
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?
Adjusted Score: 97042%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and thought-provoking, A Clockwork Orange is a cold, dystopian nightmare with a very dark sense of humor.
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.
Adjusted Score: 114518%
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.
Adjusted Score: 109750%
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.
Adjusted Score: 108764%
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 104633%
Critics Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
Adjusted Score: 96911%
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 106864%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
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.
Adjusted Score: 102478%
Critics Consensus: With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.
Adjusted Score: 89159%
Critics Consensus: Jackie Chan sends up some amazing and entertaining fight sequences in The Legend of Drunken Master.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 90682%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
Adjusted Score: 94887%
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.
Adjusted Score: 97655%
Critics Consensus: Election successfully combines dark humor and intelligent writing in this very witty and enjoyable film.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 115513%
Critics Consensus: The Farewell deftly captures complicated family dynamics with a poignant, well-acted drama that marries cultural specificity with universally relatable themes.
Adjusted Score: 101176%
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 87295%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 100175%
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 80256%
Critics Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 98418%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.
Adjusted Score: 117874%
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 99312%
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 102817%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 105107%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and stylish, GoodFellas is a gangster classic — and arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese’s career.
Adjusted Score: 106430%
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 104477%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray’s dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Adjusted Score: 107649%
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.
Adjusted Score: 100393%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is perhaps John Waters’ most accessible film, and as such, it’s a gently subversive slice of retro hilarity.
Adjusted Score: 103880%
Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 107712%
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.
Adjusted Score: 93306%
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.
Adjusted Score: 96858%
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 100747%
Critics Consensus: With death-defying action sequences and epic historic sweep, Hero offers everything a martial arts fan could ask for.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 97907%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by Mads Mikkelsen’s sympathetic performance, The Hunt asks difficult questions with the courage to pursue answers head on.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 95207%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
Adjusted Score: 100460%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Adjusted Score: 100571%
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
Adjusted Score: 116066%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 106180%
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 96607%
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.