Welcome to Rotten Tomatoes’ 100 best-reviewed classic movies of all time ranked by Adjusted Tomatometer! We define ‘classic’ as everything released up until the late-1960s, a tumultuous era that signaled a passing of the guard with national cultural revolutions, destruction of the Motion Picture Production Code, and the impending arrival of New Hollywood filmmakers.

Adjusted Score: 106987%
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.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the Pierre Bouelle novel about POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort... [More]
Directed By: David Lean


Paths of Glory (1957)

Adjusted Score: 103433%
Critics Consensus: Paths of Glory is a transcendentally humane war movie from Stanley Kubrick, with impressive, protracted battle sequences and a knock-out ending.
Synopsis: During World War I, commanding officer General Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his subordinate, General Mireau (George Macready), to attack a... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

Adjusted Score: 97779%
Critics Consensus: Rebel Without a Cause is a searing melodrama featuring keen insight into '50s juvenile attitude and James Dean's cool, iconic performance.
Synopsis: After moving to a new town, troublemaking teen Jim Stark (James Dean) is supposed to have a clean slate, although... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

Adjusted Score: 102349%
Critics Consensus: With Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo as his template, Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars helped define a new era for the Western and usher in its most iconic star, Clint Eastwood.
Synopsis: The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) enters the Mexican village of San Miguel in the midst of a power... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone


The Birds (1963)

Adjusted Score: 99472%
Critics Consensus: Proving once again that build-up is the key to suspense, Alfred Hitchcock successfully turned birds into some of the most terrifying villains in horror history.
Synopsis: Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock


Sunrise (1927)

Adjusted Score: 103659%
Critics Consensus: Boasting masterful cinematography to match its well-acted, wonderfully romantic storyline, Sunrise is perhaps the final -- and arguably definitive -- statement of the silent era.
Synopsis: Bored with his wife (Janet Gaynor), their baby and the dull routine of farm life, a farmer (George O'Brien) falls... [More]
Directed By: F.W. Murnau


The Hustler (1961)

Adjusted Score: 99574%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason give iconic performances in this dark, morally complex tale of redemption.
Synopsis: Story Fast Eddie Felsen (Paul Newman) and his adventures in the world of professional pool. Fast Eddie is a young... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen


Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Adjusted Score: 103306%
Critics Consensus: With Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant at their effervescent best, Bringing Up Baby is a seamlessly assembled comedy with enduring appeal.
Synopsis: Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks


Some Like It Hot (1959)

Adjusted Score: 100362%
Critics Consensus: Some Like It Hot: A spry, quick-witted farce that never drags.
Synopsis: After witnessing a Mafia murder, slick saxophone player Joe (Tony Curtis) and his long-suffering buddy, Jerry (Jack Lemmon), improvise a... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder


Fantasia (1940)

Adjusted Score: 99359%
Critics Consensus: A landmark in animation (and a huge influence on the medium of music video), Disney's Fantasia is a relentlessly inventive blend of the classics with phantasmagorical images.
Synopsis: Released in 1940, represented Disney's boldest experiment to date. Bringing to life his vision of blending animated imagery with classical... [More]

Adjusted Score: 102516%
Critics Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
Synopsis: When a UFO lands in Washington, D.C., bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise


Duck Soup (1933)

Adjusted Score: 98083%
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.
Synopsis: When the tiny nation of Freedonia goes bankrupt, its wealthy benefactor, Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), insists that the wacky Rufus... [More]
Directed By: Leo McCarey

Adjusted Score: 99449%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pooches and a memorable villain (Cruella De Vil), this is one of Disney's most enduring, entertaining animated films.
Synopsis: In a Disney animation classic, Dalmatian Pongo is tired of his bachelor-dog life. He spies lovely Perdita and maneuvers his... [More]

Adjusted Score: 107682%
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.
Synopsis: Fred, Al and Homer are three World War II veterans facing difficulties as they re-enter civilian life. Fred (Dana Andrews)... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler


Forbidden Planet (1956)

Adjusted Score: 99418%
Critics Consensus: Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.
Synopsis: In this sci-fi classic, a spacecraft travels to the distant planet Altair IV to discover the fate of a group... [More]
Directed By: Fred McLeod Wilcox


Spartacus (1960)

Adjusted Score: 99591%
Critics Consensus: Featuring terrific performances and epic action, Kubrick's restored swords-and-sandals epic is a true classic.
Synopsis: The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

Adjusted Score: 104027%
Critics Consensus: Jacques Demy elevates the basic drama of everyday life into a soaring opera full of bittersweet passion and playful charm, featuring a timeless performance from Catherine Deneuve.
Synopsis: Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Demy

Adjusted Score: 103009%
Critics Consensus: A horrific tale of guilt and obsession, Eyes Without a Face is just as chilling and poetic today as it was when it was first released.
Synopsis: Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) is riddled with guilt after an accident that he caused disfigures the face of his daughter,... [More]
Directed By: Georges Franju


8 1/2 (1963)

Adjusted Score: 103245%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, thought-provoking, and funny, 8 1/2 represents the arguable peak of Federico Fellini's many towering feats of cinema.
Synopsis: Troubled Italian filmmaker Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) struggles with creative stasis as he attempts to get a new movie off... [More]
Directed By: Federico Fellini


Pather Panchali (1955)

Adjusted Score: 99481%
Critics Consensus: A film that requires and rewards patience in equal measure, Pather Panchali finds director Satyajit Ray delivering a classic with his debut.
Synopsis: Impoverished priest Harihar Ray (Kanu Bannerjee), dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal... [More]
Directed By: Satyajit Ray

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