Best-Reviewed Romance Movies 2020

If you are looking at this list and feeling romantic, that’s to be expected; if you are looking at this list and wondering why a film from 2019 is the winner, then you are an independent film obsessive who didn’t know Portrait of A Lady On Fire was put into limited release in the US in 2020. Critics said Céline Sciamma’s intimate period romance is gorgeously shot and confirms that the most steamy romances are often predicated on all the moments and stolen glances that happen before the two lovers finally embrace. Rounding out our top three are Palm Springs, which gives a new twist on the Groundhog Day time-loop formula, and The Half of It, an LGBTQ coming-of-age story that had critics swooning on Netflix.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of February 28, 2021. Scores might change over time.

#1
Adjusted Score: 120798%
Critics Consensus: A singularly rich period piece, Portrait of a Lady on Fire finds stirring, thought-provoking drama within a powerfully acted romance.
Synopsis: In 1770 the young daughter of a French countess develops a mutual attraction to the female artist commissioned to paint... [More]
Directed By: Céline Sciamma

#2

Palm Springs (2020)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 111729%
Critics Consensus: Strong performances, assured direction, and a refreshingly original concept make Palm Springs a romcom that's easy to fall in love with.
Synopsis: Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over... [More]
Directed By: Max Barbakow

#3

The Half of It (2020)
97%

#3
Adjusted Score: 103736%
Critics Consensus: For viewers in search of an uncommonly smart, tender, and funny coming-of-age story, The Half of It has everything.
Synopsis: A shy, introverted student helps the school jock woo a girl whom, secretly, they both want.... [More]
Directed By: Alice Wu

#4

Spontaneous (2020)
97%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100005%
Critics Consensus: A dark teen comedy with an explosive twist, Spontaneous reaffirms Katherine Langford as a rising star -- and marks debuting director Brian Duffield as a filmmaker to watch.
Synopsis: When students in their high school inexplicably start to explode, seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world... [More]
Directed By: Brian Duffield

#5

Ordinary Love (2019)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 100722%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson, Ordinary Love wrings heartrending drama out of one couple's medical travails.
Synopsis: Joan and Tom have been married for many years. An everyday couple with a remarkable love, there is an ease... [More]

#6

Dating Amber (2020)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96943%
Critics Consensus: Dating Amber colors outside the rom-com lines to tell a sweetly poignant story about friendship and self-acceptance.
Synopsis: A closeted gay teen and his lesbian counterpart pretend to be a couple to avoid suspicion.... [More]
Directed By: David Freyne

#7

Sylvie's Love (2020)
93%

#7
Adjusted Score: 100403%
Critics Consensus: A romance for the ages, Sylvie's Love wraps audiences in the sweet embrace of its old-fashioned romance and celebration of Black love.
Synopsis: In Sylvie’s Love, the jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the hot New York summer of 1957. Robert... [More]
Directed By: Eugene Ashe

#8

Premature (2019)
93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 95323%
Critics Consensus: Premature transcends its familiar trappings with sharp dialogue and a strong sense of setting that further establish Rashaad Ernesto Green as a gifted filmmaker.
Synopsis: On a summer night in Harlem during her last months at home before starting college, 17-year-old poet Ayanna begins a... [More]
Directed By: Rashaad Ernesto Green

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 93825%
Critics Consensus: Sensitive, well-acted, and solidly directed, Words on Bathroom Walls is an admirable addition to a genre that too rarely does justice to its worthy themes.
Synopsis: Diagnosed with a mental illness during his senior year of high school, a witty, introspective teen struggles to keep it... [More]
Directed By: Thor Freudenthal

#10

Luxor (2020)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 95461%
Critics Consensus: Led by Andrea Riseborough's layered performance, Luxor empathetically surveys the crossroads between trauma and recovery.
Synopsis: When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she meets former lover Sultan. As she wanders,... [More]
Directed By: Zeina Durra

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