Blinded By the Light

(Photo by Nick Wall / © New Line Cinema / courtesy Everett Collection)

85 Hidden Gem Movies On HBO Max

When HBO Max entered the streaming wars in 2020, it came armed with a formidable catalogue of films and TV – including, crucially, the films of Studio Ghibli and many of the Criterion Collection’s titles. And you can find many of the very best rated of those films and TV shows in our guides to the best movies on HBO Max and the best TV series on the service.

But what happens when you burn through those top-tier Tomatometer recs, and are still hungry for more? That’s where this guide will come in handy. We’ve scoured the service for some hidden gems – movies that were ahead of their time, have gone too-long under-appreciated, and those old-school favorites we were surprised to find buried under the rubble of HBO Max’s exhaustive collection. Check them out below, grouped by genre.

Found a hidden gem on HBO Max that’s not on our list? Let your fellow fans know in the comments. 


Action and Adventure

#100

The 47 Ronin (1941)

#100
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Japanese Lord Asano's (Yoshizaburo Arashi) 47 loyal samurai seek revenge for his forced ritual suicide.... [More]
Directed By: Kenji Mizoguchi

#99

Dick Tracy (1990)
64%

#99
Adjusted Score: 66548%
Critics Consensus: Dick Tracy is stylish, unique, and an undeniable technical triumph, but it ultimately struggles to rise above its two-dimensional artificiality.
Synopsis: Hard-boiled detective Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) is searching for evidence that proves Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice is the city's most... [More]
Directed By: Warren Beatty

#98
#98
Adjusted Score: 75171%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining, topical thriller that finds director Tony Scott on solid form and Will Smith confirming his action headliner status.
Synopsis: Corrupt National Security Agency official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) has a congressman assassinated to assure the passage of expansive new... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 56000%
Critics Consensus: A formulaic actioner that's sure to please action fans. Those looking for plot, believability, or character development will have difficulty finding them.
Synopsis: Jet Li plays Liu Jiuan, China's top government agent, who arrives in Paris from Shanghai to carry out a sensitive,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Nahon

#95

Lady Snowblood (1973)
100%

#95
Adjusted Score: 47794%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A girl is born, raised and trained to be an instrument of revenge.... [More]
Directed By: Fujita Toshiya

#94

Miss Bala (2011)
87%

#94
Adjusted Score: 88374%
Critics Consensus: Miss Bala's subject is loaded enough, but the frantic and muscular filmmaking puts this movie in a whole new league.
Synopsis: A young woman dreams of becoming a beauty contest queen in Mexico.... [More]
Directed By: Gerardo Naranjo

#93

Police Story (1985)
93%

#93
Adjusted Score: 92134%
Critics Consensus: Blending brilliant physical comedy with thrillingly choreographed set pieces, Police Story makes a persuasive case for Jackie Chan as one of the all-time genre greats.
Synopsis: A kung-fu policeman (Jackie Chan) must protect a female witness (Brigitte Lin) from a Hong Kong drug lord for whom... [More]
Directed By: Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen

#92

Speed Racer (2008)
41%

#92
Adjusted Score: 50222%
Critics Consensus: Overloaded with headache-inducing special effects, Speed Racer finds the Wachowskis focused on visual thrills at the expense of a coherent storyline.
Synopsis: Born into a family business of race cars, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is one of the track's hot stars. Sitting... [More]

#91
#91
Adjusted Score: 73113%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, stylish, and painlessly diverting, The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of uncommon charm.
Synopsis: Bored billionaire Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) decides to entertain himself by stealing a Monet from a reputed museum. When Catherine... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#90

U-571 (2000)
68%

#90
Adjusted Score: 71017%
Critics Consensus: Excellent cinematography and an interesting plot accompanied by a talented cast and crew make U-571 a tense thriller.
Synopsis: When a German U-571 submarine with a sophisticated encryption machine onboard is sunk during a World War II battle at... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Mostow


COMEDY 

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 69801%
Critics Consensus: Sweet and spry, Adventures in Babysitting gets by on its amiable tone.
Synopsis: When plans with her boyfriend fall through, high school senior Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) ends up babysitting the Anderson kids,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 99814%
Critics Consensus: Exhilarating both stylistically and for its entertaining, moving portrayal of an everyman, American Splendor is a portrait of a true underground original.
Synopsis: Underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar, portrayed by Paul Giamatti but also appearing as himself, is the subject of this... [More]

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 104203%
Critics Consensus: Like a life-affirming rock anthem, Blinded by the Light hits familiar chords with confidence and flair, building to a conclusion that leaves audiences cheering for an encore.
Synopsis: Javed is a Pakistani teenager who experiences racial and economic turmoil while living in Luton, England, in 1987. He writes... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 57256%
Critics Consensus: Hawn and Streep are as fabulous as Death Becomes Her's innovative special effects; Zemeckis' satire, on the other hand, is as hollow as the world it mocks.
Synopsis: When a novelist loses her man to a movie star and former friend, she winds up in a psychiatric hospital.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#84

EDtv (1999)
64%

#84
Adjusted Score: 64356%
Critics Consensus: If it's not as ambitious as The Truman Show in satirizing the voyeuristic nature of television, EdTV is an amiable, witty comedy with fine performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
Synopsis: In a desperate attempt to boost ratings, a cable channel decides to document the life of someone on a daily... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 88756%
Critics Consensus: Darkly funny, solidly cast, and surprisingly thoughtful, Flirting with Disaster proved David O. Russell's Spanking the Monkey was no fluke.
Synopsis: Adopted as a child, new father Mel Colpin (Ben Stiller) decides he cannot name his son until he knows his... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#81

Last Holiday (2006)
55%

#81
Adjusted Score: 60015%
Critics Consensus: Although Queen Latifah's bountiful life-affirming spirit permeates the film, director Wayne Wang is unable to revive this remake with any real flair.
Synopsis: The discovery that she has a terminal illness prompts introverted saleswoman Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) to reflect on what she... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Wang

#80

Life (1999)
50%

#80
Adjusted Score: 51807%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not over-the-top humor from a solid comic duo provides plenty of laughs.
Synopsis: During Prohibition, loudmouth Harlem grifter Ray (Eddie Murphy) and the no-nonsense Claude (Martin Lawrence) team up on a bootlegging mission... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#79
#79
Adjusted Score: 87771%
Critics Consensus: Living in Oblivion dives into the folly of filmmaking with a sharp satire that sends up indie cinema while working as an entertaining independent picture in its own right.
Synopsis: Independent film director Nick Reve (Steve Buscemi) is making his first feature. Everything that can go wrong does: the rebellious... [More]
Directed By: Tom DiCillo

#78
Adjusted Score: 83162%
Critics Consensus: Miss Pettigrew is a breezy period comedy carried by the strong performances of Amy Adams and Frances McDormand.
Synopsis: It's 1939 and governess Guinevere Pettigrew finds herself out of work and on the bread line. Middle-aged and running out... [More]
Directed By: Bharat Nalluri

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 93159%
Critics Consensus: Lighthearted to a fault, Much Ado About Nothing's giddy energy and intimate charm make for an entertaining romantic comedy -- and a Shakespearean adaptation that's hard to resist.
Synopsis: After a successful campaign against his rebellious brother, Don John (Sean Maher), Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) visits the governor of... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#76

Muriel's Wedding (1994)
80%

#76
Adjusted Score: 82375%
Critics Consensus: Heartfelt and quirky, though at times broad, Muriel's Wedding mixes awkward comedy, oddball Australian characters, and a nostalgia-heavy soundtrack.
Synopsis: Socially awkward Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette) wants nothing more than to get married. Unfortunately, due to her oppressive politician father... [More]
Directed By: P.J. Hogan

#75

Papi chulo (2018)
75%

#75
Adjusted Score: 76375%
Critics Consensus: Papi Chulo is a cross-cultural comedy that mostly avoids the pitfalls of its premise, largely thanks to the chemistry between its well-matched leads.
Synopsis: After a newly-single TV weatherman is put on leave following an on-air meltdown, he directs his energy into home improvement... [More]
Directed By: John Butler

#73

Tampopo (1985)
100%

#73
Adjusted Score: 105096%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to director Juzo Itami's offbeat humor and sharp satirical edge, Tampopo is a funny, sexy, affectionate celebration of food and its broad influence on Japanese culture.
Synopsis: Two Japanese milk-truck drivers (Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken Watanabe) help a restaurant owner (Nobuko Miyamoto) learn how to cook great noodles.... [More]
Directed By: Juzo Itami

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 96252%
Critics Consensus: A light, sweet, and thoroughly entertaining debut for director Tom Hanks, That Thing You Do! makes up in charm what it lacks in complexity.
Synopsis: Wily band manager Mr. White helps a small town band achieve big time success when they release a Beatles-style pop... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hanks

#71

Tumbledown (2015)
70%

#71
Adjusted Score: 71526%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professor (Jason Sudeikis) collaborates with a grieving widow (Rebecca Hall) to write a biography about her husband, a folk... [More]
Directed By: Sean Mewshaw

#70

Withnail and I (1987)
92%

#70
Adjusted Score: 91697%
Critics Consensus: Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann prove irresistibly hilarious as two misanthropic slackers in Withnail and I, a biting examination of artists living on the fringes of prosperity and good taste.
Synopsis: Two out-of-work actors -- the anxious, luckless Marwood (Paul McGann) and his acerbic, alcoholic friend, Withnail (Richard E. Grant) --... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Robinson


DOCUMENTARIES

#69

4 Little Girls (1997)
100%

#69
Adjusted Score: 100905%
Critics Consensus: 4 Little Girls finds Spike Lee moving into documentary filmmaking with his signature style intact -- and all the palpable fury the subject requires.
Synopsis: On Sunday, September 15, 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed by four members of a... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#68

Andre the Giant (2018)
96%

#68
Adjusted Score: 95495%
Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and entertaining, Andre the Giant is a compelling celebration of a wrestling legend.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Jason Hehir

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 92406%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This documentary by lauded German filmmaker Wim Wenders follows renowned guitarist Ry Cooder and his son, Joachim, as they travel... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 102473%
Critics Consensus: A haunting depiction of a disintegrating family, and a powerful argument on the elusiveness of truth.
Synopsis: While preparing a documentary about children's birthday party entertainers, filmmaker Andrew Jarecki learned that one of his subjects, professional clown... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Jarecki

#65

Dont Look Back (1967)
91%

#65
Adjusted Score: 94654%
Critics Consensus: Don't Look Back leaves the mysteries of Dylan largely intact while offering a gripping verite-style account of a pivotal moment in his incredible career.
Synopsis: In 1965, the iconic troubadour Bob Dylan toured the United Kingdom at the age of 23, and director D.A. Pennebaker... [More]
Directed By: D.A. Pennebaker

#64

Everything Is Copy (2015)
100%

#64
Adjusted Score: 100092%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Utilizing home movies and interviews with family, friends and colleagues, Jacob Bernstein examines the life and legacy of his mother,... [More]
Directed By: Jacob Bernstein

#63

Grey Gardens (1975)
94%

#63
Adjusted Score: 95359%
Critics Consensus: Edith and Edie Beale are eccentric subjects who offer a generous amount of themselves in Grey Gardens, an inquisitive and nonjudgmental exploration of the isolated socialites' lifestyle.
Synopsis: This film explores the daily lives of two aging, eccentric relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Edie Bouvier Beale and her... [More]
Starring:

#62

Hoop Dreams (1994)
98%

#62
Adjusted Score: 101576%
Critics Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.
Synopsis: Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St.... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#61

I Am Evidence (2017)
100%

#61
Adjusted Score: 90968%
Critics Consensus: Eye-opening and deeply disturbing, I Am Evidence sifts through an egregious amount of evidence to craft a powerful documentary about survivors and a very broken system.
Synopsis: It is estimated that every year, hundreds of thousands of rape kits are left untested in police storage facilities. This... [More]

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 98209%
Critics Consensus: Raw and rich in decade-spanning detail, Jane Fonda in Five Acts paints a living portrait of one popular culture's most compelling figures.
Synopsis: A look at the life, work, activism and controversies of actress and fitness tycoon Jane Fonda.... [More]
Directed By: Susan Lacy

#59
Adjusted Score: 99305%
Critics Consensus: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck makes a persuasive case for its subject without resorting to hagiography -- and includes plenty of rare and unreleased footage for fans.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Brett Morgen uses material from the Cobains' personal archives in an in-depth examination of the Nirvana frontman's childhood, music... [More]
Directed By: Brett Morgen

#58
Adjusted Score: 96379%
Critics Consensus: Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind offers a poignant -- albeit tantalizingly incomplete -- peek behind the curtain of a brilliant performer's tragically curtailed life and career.
Synopsis: This intimate portrait examines one of the world's most inventive comedians. Told largely through Robin's own voice and using a... [More]
Directed By: Marina Zenovich


DRAMAS

#57

Babette's Feast (1987)
97%

#57
Adjusted Score: 97939%
Critics Consensus: Charming and melancholy, Babette's Feast is a timeless Scandinavian treat that explores the complex relationships between people, beliefs, and what it means to be an artist.
Synopsis: Beautiful but pious sisters Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodil Kjer) grow to spinsterhood under the wrathful eye of their... [More]
Directed By: Gabriel Axel

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 87182%
Critics Consensus: Breaking the Waves offers a remarkable testament to writer-director Lars von Trier's insight and filmmaking skill -- and announces Emily Watson as a startling talent.
Synopsis: In a small and religious coastal town, a simple, devoutly religious Scottish woman, Bess McNeill (Emily Watson), finds a partner... [More]
Directed By: Lars von Trier

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 93376%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, seductive, and clever, Stephen Frears' adaptation is a wickedly entertaining exploration of sexual politics.
Synopsis: The Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) display the petty jealousies and jaded insouciance... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#54

Desert Hearts (1985)
92%

#54
Adjusted Score: 92225%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A New York professor (Helen Shaver) divorces her husband and has an affair with another woman (Patricia Charbonneau) in 1959... [More]
Directed By: Donna Deitch

#53

The Good Liar (2019)
63%

#53
Adjusted Score: 72983%
Critics Consensus: The Good Liar is less than the sum of its prestigious parts, but Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren keep the proceedings consistently watchable.
Synopsis: Career con artist Roy Courtnay can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish online. As Betty... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#52

The Heiresses (2018)
98%

#52
Adjusted Score: 101359%
Critics Consensus: Led by a standout performance from Ana Brun, The Heiresses takes a thoroughly compelling look at lives little explored by mainstream cinema.
Synopsis: A woman who lost her fortune befriends a younger woman.... [More]
Directed By: Marcelo Martinessi

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 95090%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
Synopsis: In 1962, journalist Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and his wife move into a Hong Kong apartment, but Chow's... [More]
Directed By: Kar Wai Wong

#50

Jane Eyre (2011)
85%

#50
Adjusted Score: 90645%
Critics Consensus: Cary Fukunaga directs a fiery and elegant adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel, and Mia Wasikowska delivers possibly the best portrayal of the title character ever.
Synopsis: As an orphaned child, Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is first cruelly abused by her aunt, then cast out and sent... [More]
Directed By: Cary Fukunaga

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 78143%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Amidst a nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island. With no adult... [More]
Directed By: Peter Brook

#48

Loving (2016)
88%

#48
Adjusted Score: 107211%
Critics Consensus: Loving takes an understated approach to telling a painful -- and still relevant -- real-life tale, with sensitive performances breathing additional life into a superlative historical drama.
Synopsis: Interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point,... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Nichols

#47

My Life as a Dog (1985)
100%

#47
Adjusted Score: 102033%
Critics Consensus: A coming-of-age story with uncommon depth and sensitivity, My Life as a Dog is sweet, sincere, and utterly charming.
Synopsis: A boy (Anton Glanzelius), obsessed with comparing himself with those less fortunate, experiences a different life at the home of... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#45

A Room With a View (1986)
100%

#45
Adjusted Score: 102804%
Critics Consensus: The hard edges of E.M. Foster novel maybe sanded off, but what we get with A Room with a View is an eminently entertaining comedy with an intellectual approach to love.
Synopsis: In this British drama based on the novel by E.M. Forster, Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham-Carter), a young Englishwoman, is touring... [More]
Directed By: James Ivory


FAMILY AND ANIMATION

#43

Anastasia (1997)
86%

#43
Adjusted Score: 88022%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful animation, an affable take on Russian history, and strong voice performances make Anastasia a winning first film from Fox animation studios.
Synopsis: The evil wizard Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) puts a hex on the royal Romanovs and young Anastasia (Meg Ryan) disappears when... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 66955%
Critics Consensus: Not quite as good as the original and has some dark subject material that might not be appropriate for children.
Synopsis: When Babe accidentally puts farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) in traction, the debtors come looking for their payments. In order to... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 92058%
Critics Consensus: Bridge to Terabithia is a faithful adaptation of a beloved children's novel and a powerful portrayal of love, loss, and imagination through children's eyes.
Synopsis: The life of Jesse (Josh Hutcherson), an adolescent, changes when he befriends Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb), the class outsider. The children... [More]
Directed By: Gabor Csupo

#39

Flicka (2006)
53%

#39
Adjusted Score: 55864%
Critics Consensus: The rebellious protagonist will rally girls and children, but adults may find Flicka saddled with thin characters, over-the-top dialogue, and a plot that wanders into the countryside and never comes back.
Synopsis: In modern-day Wyoming, teenager Katy McLaughlin (Alison Lohman) dreams of working on and, one day, taking over her father's ranch.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mayer

#38

Flushed Away (2006)
73%

#38
Adjusted Score: 78748%
Critics Consensus: Clever and appealing for both children and adults, Flushed Away marks a successful entry into digital animated features for Aardman Animations.
Synopsis: After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent (Hugh Jackman) enlists the help of a sewer scavenger (Kate Winslet)... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 89266%
Critics Consensus: Gentle and nostalgic, From Up on Poppy Hill is one of Studio Ghibli's sweeter efforts -- and if it doesn't push the boundaries of the genre, it remains as engagingly lovely as Ghibli fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: Yokohama teens try to save their school's clubhouse from being demolished.... [More]
Directed By: Goro Miyazaki

#35
Adjusted Score: 66586%
Critics Consensus: Modern visuals and an old fasioned storyline make this family adventure/comedy a fast-paced, kitschy ride.
Synopsis: During an expedition to Iceland, professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) and their guide, Hannah (Anita... [More]
Directed By: Eric Brevig

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 100707%
Critics Consensus: The Kid Who Would Be King recalls classic all-ages adventures -- and repurposes a timeless legend -- for a thoroughly enjoyable new addition to the family movie canon.
Synopsis: Old-school magic meets the modern world when young Alex stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur. He soon unites his friends... [More]
Directed By: Joe Cornish

#33
Adjusted Score: 73720%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by a well-cast Sophia Lillis, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase leads audiences into a genially entertaining new take on the venerable character.
Synopsis: Modern, smart, and independent, Nancy Drew reluctantly befriends Helen, the local mean girl, and together they investigate the haunting of... [More]
Directed By: Katt Shea

#32

Only Yesterday (1991)
100%

#32
Adjusted Score: 102960%
Critics Consensus: Only Yesterday's long-delayed U.S. debut fills a frustrating gap for American Ghibli fans while offering further proof of the studio's incredibly consistent commitment to quality.
Synopsis: A put-upon 27-year-old Japanese office worker travels to the countryside and reminisces about her childhood in Tokyo and what life... [More]
Directed By: Isao Takahata

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 80873%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey

#28

Sky High (2005)
73%

#28
Adjusted Score: 78370%
Critics Consensus: This highly derivative superhero coming-of-age flick is moderately entertaining, family-friendly fluff.
Synopsis: At a school in the sky where teens learn how to be superheroes, Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) lands in a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#27

Time Bandits (1981)
90%

#27
Adjusted Score: 92489%
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: Young history buff Kevin (Craig Warnock) can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam


Horror, Thrillers, and Sci-Fi

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 86586%
Critics Consensus: Carnival of Souls offers delightfully chilling proof that when it comes to telling an effective horror story, less can often be much, much more.
Synopsis: Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) ends up the sole survivor of a fatal car accident through mysterious circumstances. Trying to put... [More]
Directed By: Herk Harvey

#25

Cat People (1982)
62%

#25
Adjusted Score: 65775%
Critics Consensus: Paul Schrader's kinky reimagining of Cat People may prove too grisly and lurid for some audiences, but its provocative style and Natassja Kinski's hypnotic performance should please viewers who like a little gasoline with their fire.
Synopsis: In this sensual and violent horror tale, Irena Gallier (Nastassia Kinski) has a dark family secret, one that resurfaces dramatically... [More]
Directed By: Paul Schrader

#24

Cronos (1993)
89%

#24
Adjusted Score: 93323%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro's unique feature debut is not only gory and stylish, but also charming and intelligent.
Synopsis: Antique dealer Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) stumbles across Cronos, a 400-year-old scarab that, when it latches onto him, grants him... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#23

Deep Blue Sea (1999)
59%

#23
Adjusted Score: 63664%
Critics Consensus: Deep Blue Sea is no Jaws, but action fans seeking some toothy action can certainly do -- and almost certainly have done -- far worse for B-movie thrills.
Synopsis: On an island research facility, Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is harvesting the brain tissue of DNA-altered sharks as a... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#22

The Frighteners (1996)
67%

#22
Adjusted Score: 67977%
Critics Consensus: Boasting top-notch special effects and exuberant direction from Peter Jackson, The Frighteners is visually striking but tonally uneven.
Synopsis: Once an architect, Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) now passes himself off as an exorcist of evil spirits. To bolster... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#21

The Hitcher (1986)
62%

#21
Adjusted Score: 62786%
Critics Consensus: Its journey is never quite as revelatory as it could be, but The Hitcher stands as a white-knuckle vision of horror, bolstered by Rutger Hauer's menacing performance.
Synopsis: While transporting a car from Chicago to San Diego, Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) picks up a hitchhiker named John... [More]
Directed By: Robert Harmon

#20

Insomnia (2002)
92%

#20
Adjusted Score: 98895%
Critics Consensus: Driven by Al Pacino and Robin Williams' performances, Insomnia is a smart and riveting psychological drama.
Synopsis: From acclaimed director Chris Nolan ("Memento") comes the story of a veteran police detective (Al Pacino) who is sent to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#16

The Others (2001)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 89569%
Critics Consensus: The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy.
Synopsis: Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#15

Ricochet (1991)
74%

#15
Adjusted Score: 66936%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After tracking down and arresting Earl Talbot Blake (John Lithgow), a psychotic hit man, rookie Los Angeles police officer Nick... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 88767%
Critics Consensus: With Matt Damon's unsettling performance offering a darkly twisted counterpoint to Anthony Minghella's glossy direction, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a suspense thriller that lingers.
Synopsis: To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun-drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that's... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#13

Teeth (2007)
80%

#13
Adjusted Score: 82323%
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and horrifically funny, Teeth puts a fresh feminist spin on horror movie tropes.
Synopsis: Dawn (Jess Weixler) is an active member of her high-school chastity club but, when she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), nature... [More]
Directed By: Mitchell Lichtenstein


Musicals and Music Films

#11

Bessie (2015)
90%

#11
Adjusted Score: 90420%
Critics Consensus: Strong performances, led by Queen Latifah, overpower a middling script in the entertaining and informative Bessie.
Synopsis: Blues singer Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah) rises to fame in the 1920s to become a musical legend.... [More]
Directed By: Dee Rees

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 45663%
Critics Consensus: The music is the only saving grace in this predictable and eager-to-please comedy.
Synopsis: Advertising executive Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding Jr.) loses his job and his girlfriend after his many lies about his background... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 108641%
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.
Synopsis: The Beatles in their feature film debut, one of the greatest rock-and-roll comedy adventures ever. The film has a fully... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#6
Adjusted Score: 96321%
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.
Synopsis: A German emigrant living in a trailer in Kansas is the victim of a botched sex-change operation. Adapted from the... [More]
Directed By: John Cameron Mitchell

#5

Her Smell (2018)
84%

#5
Adjusted Score: 92131%
Critics Consensus: Held together by a gripping lead performance from Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell is challenging and admittedly uneven, but ultimately worth the effort.
Synopsis: Becky Something is a talented but self-destructive musician who seems determined to alienate everyone around her -- even at the... [More]
Directed By: Alex Ross Perry

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 94542%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: Meek flower shop assistant Seymour (Rick Moranis) pines for co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). During a total eclipse, he discovers an... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#3

Ray (2004)
79%

#3
Adjusted Score: 87428%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing and energetic portrait of a great musician's achievements and foibles, Ray is anchored by Jamie Foxx's stunning performance as Ray Charles.
Synopsis: Legendary soul musician Ray Charles is portrayed by Jamie Foxx in this Oscar-winning biopic. Young Ray watches his 7-year-old brother... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#2
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

#1

Xanadu (1980)
29%

#1
Adjusted Score: 31262%
Critics Consensus: Not even spandex and over-the-top musical numbers can save Xanadu from questionable acting, unimpressive effects, and a story unencumbered by logic.
Synopsis: Struggling artist Sonny Malone (Michael Beck) is trapped in a dull job painting album covers. He is instantly attracted to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Greenwald


Thumbnail image: Nick Wall / © New Line Cinema, Everett Collection, Laurie Sparham / ©Focus Features

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