All 94 Best Picture Winners, Ranked

Every year, after the fracas of awards season and studio campaigning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out the ultimate prize in cinema, the explicit recommendation that if you’re only going to watch one movie, make it the one we picked. We’re talking the Oscar for Best Picture. Less than 100 of these have been handed out through the centuries. But ever wonder how the movies of this exclusive golden club would fare against each other?

Welcome to our countdown of every Best Picture winner ever, from the Certified Fresh (Casablanca, Schindler’s List, Argo, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King…most of them, fortunately), the kinda Fresh (Out of Africa, Forrest Gump), to the ‘HUH? HOW?’ Rottens (The Broadway Melody, Cimarron). We took ’em all and then ranked by Adjusted Tomatometer, which takes into account factors like year of release and number of reviews.

And now we’ve added Nomadland as the 94th Best Picture Oscar winner. See where all the films place in our guide to Best Picture Winners, Ranked by Tomatometer!

#94
#94
Adjusted Score: 35994%
Critics Consensus: The Broadway Melody is interesting as an example of an early Hollywood musical, but otherwise, it's essentially bereft of appeal for modern audiences.
Synopsis: Vaudeville sisters "Hank" (Bessie Love) and Queenie Mahoney (Anita Page) take their act to the Broadway stage in New York... [More]
Directed By: Harry Beaumont

#93
Adjusted Score: 53644%
Critics Consensus: The Greatest Show on Earth is melodramatic, short on plot, excessively lengthy and bogged down with clichés, but not without a certain innocent charm.
Synopsis: "The Greatest Show on Earth" is a dazzling spectacle of life behind the scenes with Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus,... [More]
Directed By: Cecil B. DeMille

#92

Cimarron (1931)
52%

#92
Adjusted Score: 54292%
Critics Consensus: Cimarron is supported by a strong performance from Irene Dunne, but uneven in basically every other regard, and riddled with potentially offensive stereotypes.
Synopsis: In 1889, adventurous lawyer and newspaper editor Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix) convinces his genteel wife, Sabra (Irene Dunne), to join... [More]
Directed By: Wesley Ruggles

#91

Out of Africa (1985)
62%

#91
Adjusted Score: 69517%
Critics Consensus: Though lensed with stunning cinematography and featuring a pair of winning performances from Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, Out of Africa suffers from excessive length and glacial pacing.
Synopsis: Initially set on being a dairy farmer, the aristocratic Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) travels to Africa to join her husband,... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#90

Cavalcade (1933)
64%

#90
Adjusted Score: 67579%
Critics Consensus: Though solidly acted and pleasant to look at, Cavalcade lacks cohesion, and sacrifices true emotion for mawkishness.
Synopsis: Upper-crust Londoners Robert and Jane Marryot (Clive Brook, Diana Wynyard) and their working-class counterparts, Alfred and Ellen Bridges, experience life's... [More]
Directed By: Frank Lloyd

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 68663%
Critics Consensus: This biopic is undeniably stylish, but loses points for excessive length, an overreliance on clichés, and historical inaccuracies.
Synopsis: This lively biopic depicts the rise of Florenz Ziegfeld (William Powell), a theater producer who became renowned during the 1920s... [More]
Directed By: Robert Z. Leonard

#88
Adjusted Score: 72841%
Critics Consensus: It's undeniably shallow, but its cheerful lack of pretense -- as well as its grand scale and star-stuffed cast -- help make Around the World in 80 Days charmingly light-hearted entertainment.
Synopsis: Victorian-era Englishman Phileas Fogg (David Niven) proclaims before his fellow members of a London gentleman's club that he can circumnavigate... [More]
Directed By: Michael Anderson

#87

Forrest Gump (1994)
71%

#87
Adjusted Score: 78388%
Critics Consensus: Forrest Gump may be an overly sentimental film with a somewhat problematic message, but its sweetness and charm are usually enough to approximate true depth and grace.
Synopsis: Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field),... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#86

Crash (2004)
74%

#86
Adjusted Score: 82794%
Critics Consensus: A raw and unsettling morality piece on modern angst and urban disconnect, Crash examines the dangers of bigotry and xenophobia in the lives of interconnected Angelenos.
Synopsis: Writer-director Paul Haggis interweaves several connected stories about race, class, family and gender in Los Angeles in the aftermath of... [More]
Directed By: Paul Haggis

#85

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
74%

#85
Adjusted Score: 82551%
Critics Consensus: The well-acted A Beautiful Mind is both a moving love story and a revealing look at mental illness.
Synopsis: A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 81735%
Critics Consensus: A classic tearjerker, Terms of Endearment isn't shy about reaching for the heartstrings -- but is so well-acted and smartly scripted that it's almost impossible to resist.
Synopsis: Widow Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), have a strong bond, but Emma marries teacher Flap... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#83

Braveheart (1995)
79%

#83
Adjusted Score: 83504%
Critics Consensus: Distractingly violent and historically dodgy, Mel Gibson's Braveheart justifies its epic length by delivering enough sweeping action, drama, and romance to match its ambition.
Synopsis: Tells the story of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero named William Wallace (Mel Gibson). Wallace rallies the Scottish against... [More]
Directed By: Mel Gibson

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 81763%
Critics Consensus: It occasionally fails to live up to its subject matter -- and is perhaps an 'important' film more than a 'great' one -- but the performances from Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire are superb.
Synopsis: When journalist Phil Green (Gregory Peck) moves to New York City, he takes on a high-profile magazine assignment about anti-Semitism.... [More]
Directed By: Elia Kazan

#81

Gladiator (2000)
77%

#81
Adjusted Score: 84937%
Critics Consensus: Ridley Scott and an excellent cast successfully convey the intensity of Roman gladitorial combat as well as the political intrigue brewing beneath.
Synopsis: Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) takes power and strips rank from Maximus (Russell Crowe), one of the favored generals of his predecessor... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#80

Oliver! (1968)
82%

#80
Adjusted Score: 85502%
Critics Consensus: It has aged somewhat awkwardly, but the performances are inspired, the songs are memorable, and the film is undeniably influential.
Synopsis: In this award-winning adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the Charles Dickens novel, 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist (Mark Lester)... [More]
Directed By: Carol Reed

#79

Going My Way (1944)
81%

#79
Adjusted Score: 83865%
Critics Consensus: Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald are eminently likable, and film is pleasantly sentimental, but Going My Way suffers from a surplus of sweetness.
Synopsis: Father Charles O'Malley (Bing Crosby) is an easy-going, golf-playing young priest whose entry into a tough neighborhood parish in midtown... [More]
Directed By: Leo McCarey

#78

Gigi (1958)
81%

#78
Adjusted Score: 85042%
Critics Consensus: It may not be one of Vincente Minnelli's best, but the charming and flawlessly acted Gigi still offers enough visual and musical treats to satisfy.
Synopsis: Gaston (Louis Jourdan) is a restless Parisian playboy who moves from one mistress to another, while also spending time with... [More]
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli

#77

Tom Jones (1963)
82%

#77
Adjusted Score: 85593%
Critics Consensus: A frantic, irreverent adaptation of the novel, bolstered by Albert Finney's courageous performance and arresting visuals.
Synopsis: Tom Jones (Albert Finney), a bastard foundling raised by the kindly Squire Allworthy (George Devine), loves the beautiful Sophie Western... [More]
Directed By: Tony Richardson

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 86309%
Critics Consensus: While it's fueled in part by outdated stereotypes, Driving Miss Daisy takes audiences on a heartwarming journey with a pair of outstanding actors.
Synopsis: Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), an elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta, is determined to maintain her independence. However, when she... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

#75

Chariots of Fire (1981)
82%

#75
Adjusted Score: 88135%
Critics Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.
Synopsis: In the class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 87922%
Critics Consensus: Solid cinematography and enjoyable performances from Paul Scofield and Robert Shaw add a spark to this deliberately paced adaptation of the Robert Bolt play.
Synopsis: When the highly respected British statesman Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) refuses to pressure the Pope into annulling the marriage... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 87604%
Critics Consensus: Dances with Wolves suffers from a simplistic view of the culture it attempts to honor, but the end result remains a stirring western whose noble intentions are often matched by its epic grandeur.
Synopsis: A Civil War soldier develops a relationship with a band of Lakota Indians. Attracted by the simplicity of their lifestyle,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Costner

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 88786%
Critics Consensus: Well-written, well-meaning and solidly acted, The Life of Emile Zola film may ultimately be more earnest than dramatically engaging.
Synopsis: After struggling to establish himself, author Emile Zola (Paul Muni) wins success writing about the unsavory side of Paris and... [More]
Directed By: William Dieterle

#71
#71
Adjusted Score: 90373%
Critics Consensus: Though it suffers from excessive length and ambition, director Minghella's adaptation of the Michael Ondaatje novel is complex, powerful, and moving.
Synopsis: The sweeping expanses of the Sahara are the setting for a passionate love affair in this adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#70

Gandhi (1982)
85%

#70
Adjusted Score: 90274%
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.
Synopsis: This acclaimed biographical drama presents major events in the life of Mohandas Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), the beloved Indian leader who... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#69

Ben-Hur (1959)
86%

#69
Adjusted Score: 90718%
Critics Consensus: Uneven, but in terms of epic scope and grand spectacle, Ben-Hur still ranks among Hollywood's finest examples of pure entertainment.
Synopsis: Charlton Heston plays a Palestinian Jew who is battling the Roman empire at the time of Christ. His actions send... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 92306%
Critics Consensus: The divorce subject isn't as shocking, but the film is still a thoughtful, well-acted drama that resists the urge to take sides or give easy answers.
Synopsis: On the same day Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest account of his career, he learns... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 93271%
Critics Consensus: Unapologetically sweet and maybe even a little corny, The Sound of Music will win over all but the most cynical filmgoers with its classic songs and irresistible warmth.
Synopsis: A tuneful, heartwarming story, it is based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#66

Platoon (1986)
87%

#66
Adjusted Score: 92468%
Critics Consensus: Informed by director Oliver Stone's personal experiences in Vietnam, Platoon forgoes easy sermonizing in favor of a harrowing, ground-level view of war, bolstered by no-holds-barred performances from Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe.
Synopsis: Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) leaves his university studies to enlist in combat duty in Vietnam in 1967. Once he's on... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#65

Grand Hotel (1932)
86%

#65
Adjusted Score: 91044%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less a true film than a series of star-studded vignettes, Grand Hotel still remains an entertaining look back at a bygone Hollywood era.
Synopsis: At a luxurious Berlin hotel between the wars, the once-wealthy Baron Felix von Gaigern (John Barrymore) supports himself as a... [More]
Directed By: Edmund Goulding

#64

Green Book (2018)
77%

#64
Adjusted Score: 99081%
Critics Consensus: Green Book takes audiences on an excessively smooth ride through bumpy subject matter, although Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen's performances add necessary depth.
Synopsis: Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who's about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South... [More]
Directed By: Peter Farrelly

#63

Chicago (2002)
86%

#63
Adjusted Score: 93813%
Critics Consensus: A rousing and energetic adaptation of the Broadway musical, Chicago succeeds on the level of pure spectacle, but provides a surprising level of depth and humor as well.
Synopsis: Nightclub sensation Velma (Catherine Zeta-Jones) murders her philandering husband, and Chicago's slickest lawyer, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), is set to... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#62

Ordinary People (1980)
89%

#62
Adjusted Score: 93876%
Critics Consensus: Though shot through with bitterness and sorrow, Robert Redford's directorial debut is absorbing and well-acted.
Synopsis: Tormented by guilt following the death of his older brother, Buck, in a sailing accident, alienated teenager Conrad Jarrett (Timothy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#61

The Last Emperor (1987)
89%

#61
Adjusted Score: 93939%
Critics Consensus: While decidedly imperfect, Bernardo Bertolucci's epic is still a feast for the eyes.
Synopsis: This sweeping account of the life of Pu Yi (John Lone), the last emperor of China, follows the leader's tumultuous... [More]
Directed By: Bernardo Bertolucci

#60

Rain Man (1988)
89%

#60
Adjusted Score: 94188%
Critics Consensus: This road-trip movie about an autistic savant and his callow brother is far from seamless, but Barry Levinson's direction is impressive, and strong performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman add to its appeal.
Synopsis: When car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#59

American Beauty (1999)
87%

#59
Adjusted Score: 94757%
Critics Consensus: Flawlessly cast and brimming with dark, acid wit, American Beauty is a smart, provocative high point of late '90s mainstream Hollywood film.
Synopsis: Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a gainfully employed suburban husband and father. Fed up with his boring, stagnant existence, he... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 94869%
Critics Consensus: Though it perhaps strays into overly maudlin territory, this working-class drama is saved by a solid cast and director John Ford's unmistakeable style.
Synopsis: Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowall), the academically inclined youngest son in a proud family of Welsh coal miners, witnesses the tumultuous... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#57

Wings (1927)
93%

#57
Adjusted Score: 98377%
Critics Consensus: Subsequent war epics may have borrowed heavily from the original Best Picture winner, but they've all lacked Clara Bow's luminous screen presence and William Wellman's deft direction.
Synopsis: With World War I afoot, David Armstrong (Richard Arlen) and Jack Powell (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) join the military with an... [More]
Directed By: William A. Wellman

#56

Midnight Cowboy (1969)
87%

#56
Adjusted Score: 97488%
Critics Consensus: John Schlesinger's gritty, unrelentingly bleak look at the seedy underbelly of urban American life is undeniably disturbing, but Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight's performances make it difficult to turn away.
Synopsis: Convinced of his irresistible appeal to women, Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) quits his job and heads for New... [More]
Directed By: John Schlesinger

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 100193%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at arm's length, except his... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#54

Rocky (1976)
93%

#54
Adjusted Score: 98513%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#53

Patton (1970)
94%

#53
Adjusted Score: 97904%
Critics Consensus: George C. Scott's sympathetic, unflinching portrayal of the titular general in this sprawling epic is as definitive as any performance in the history of American biopics.
Synopsis: Biography of controversial World War II hero General George S. Patton. The film covers his wartime activities and accomplishments, beginning... [More]
Directed By: Franklin J. Schaffner

#52

The Departed (2006)
90%

#52
Adjusted Score: 102472%
Critics Consensus: Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality we come to expect from Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 100119%
Critics Consensus: Endlessly witty, visually rapturous, and sweetly romantic, Shakespeare in Love is a delightful romantic comedy that succeeds on nearly every level.
Synopsis: "Shakespeare in Love" is a romantic comedy for the 1990s set in the 1590s. It imaginatively unfolds the witty, sexy... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#50

The Sting (1973)
94%

#50
Adjusted Score: 99037%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film.
Synopsis: Following the murder of a mutual friend, aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams up with old pro Henry... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#49

The Deer Hunter (1978)
91%

#49
Adjusted Score: 99174%
Critics Consensus: Its greatness is blunted by its length and one-sided point of view, but the film's weaknesses are overpowered by Michael Cimino's sympathetic direction and a series of heartbreaking performances from Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken.
Synopsis: In 1968, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 96691%
Critics Consensus: It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift.
Synopsis: At an Army barracks in Hawaii in the days preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, lone-wolf soldier and boxing champion... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#47

My Fair Lady (1964)
95%

#47
Adjusted Score: 100592%
Critics Consensus: George Cukor's elegant, colorful adaptation of the beloved stage play is elevated to new heights thanks to winning performances by Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.
Synopsis: In this beloved musical, pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is so sure of his abilities that he takes... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#46

West Side Story (1961)
91%

#46
Adjusted Score: 99443%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by Robert Wise's dazzling direction, Leonard Bernstein's score, and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, West Side Story remains perhaps the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screen.
Synopsis: A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh... [More]

#45

Hamlet (1948)
95%

#45
Adjusted Score: 99932%
Critics Consensus: A well-executed labor of love from star and director Laurence Olivier, Hamlet not only proved that Shakespeare could be successfully adapted to the big screen, it paved the way for further cinematic interpretations.
Synopsis: Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier's "Hamlet" continues to be the most... [More]
Directed By: Laurence Olivier

#44

Mrs. Miniver (1942)
95%

#44
Adjusted Score: 99784%
Critics Consensus: An excessively sentimental piece of propaganda, Mrs. Miniver nonetheless succeeds, due largely to Greer Garson's powerful performance.
Synopsis: A moving drama about a middle-class English family learning to cope with war, told in a series of dramatic vignettes.... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 99065%
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.
Synopsis: African-American Philadelphia police detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is arrested on suspicion of murder by Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), the... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 105511%
Critics Consensus: Broderick Crawford is spellbinding as politician Willie Stark in director Robert Rossen's adaptation of the Robert Penn Warren novel about the corrosive effects of power on the human soul.
Synopsis: Drama about the rise and fall of a corrupt southern governor who promises his way to power. Broderick Crawford portrays... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#41

Amadeus (1984)
93%

#41
Adjusted Score: 101534%
Critics Consensus: A lavish, entertaining, powerful film about the life and influence, both positive and negative, of one of Western culture's great artists.
Synopsis: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) is a remarkably talented young Viennese composer who unwittingly finds a fierce rival in the... [More]
Directed By: Milos Forman

#40
Adjusted Score: 102800%
Critics Consensus: Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.
Synopsis: The culmination of nearly 10 years' work and conclusion to Peter Jackson's epic trilogy based on the timeless J.R.R. Tolkien... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 98979%
Critics Consensus: The historical inaccuracies in this high-seas adventure are more than offset by its timeless themes, larger-than-life performances from Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and Frank Lloyd's superb direction.
Synopsis: As the cruel captain of the HMS Bounty, a ship bound for Tahiti, William Bligh (Charles Laughton) wins few friends.... [More]
Directed By: Frank Lloyd

#38

Titanic (1997)
89%

#38
Adjusted Score: 101423%
Critics Consensus: A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama.
Synopsis: James Cameron's "Titanic" is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#37

The Apartment (1960)
93%

#37
Adjusted Score: 100891%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 102925%
Critics Consensus: Visually dazzling and emotionally resonant, Slumdog Millionaire is a film that's both entertaining and powerful.
Synopsis: As 18-year-old Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) answers questions on the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," flashbacks... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#35
Adjusted Score: 101615%
Critics Consensus: It's predictably uplifting fare from Frank Capra, perhaps the most consciously uplifting of all great American directors -- but thanks to immensely appealing performances and a nimble script, You Can't Take It With You is hard not to love.
Synopsis: Sweet-natured Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) falls for banker's son Tony Kirby (James Stewart). But when she invites her snooty prospective... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#34

Sunrise (1927)
98%

#34
Adjusted Score: 103593%
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

#33
Adjusted Score: 101026%
Critics Consensus: The onscreen battle between Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher serves as a personal microcosm of the culture wars of the 1970s -- and testament to the director's vision that the film retains its power more than three decades later.
Synopsis: When Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes... [More]
Directed By: Milos Forman

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 105765%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by powerful lead performances from Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men finds the Coen brothers spinning cinematic gold out of Cormac McCarthy's grim, darkly funny novel.
Synopsis: While out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the grisly aftermath of a drug deal. Though he knows better, he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#31

Marty (1955)
99%

#31
Adjusted Score: 105413%
Critics Consensus: Scriptwriter Paddy Chayefsky's solid dialogue is bolstered by strong performances from Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair in this appealingly low-key character study.
Synopsis: This acclaimed romantic drama follows the life of Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine), a stout bachelor butcher who lives with his... [More]
Directed By: Delbert Mann

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 105866%
Critics Consensus: Colin Firth gives a masterful performance in The King's Speech, a predictable but stylishly produced and rousing period drama.
Synopsis: England's Prince Albert (Colin Firth) must ascend the throne as King George VI, but he has a speech impediment. Knowing... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hooper

#29
Adjusted Score: 107482%
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

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 104242%
Critics Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
Synopsis: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#27

Unforgiven (1992)
96%

#27
Adjusted Score: 105236%
Critics Consensus: As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence.
Synopsis: When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#26

The Lost Weekend (1945)
98%

#26
Adjusted Score: 101948%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's unflinchingly honest look at the effects of alcoholism may have had some of its impact blunted by time, but it remains a powerful and remarkably prescient film.
Synopsis: Writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) is on the wagon. Sober for only a few days, Don is supposed to be... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#25

Annie Hall (1977)
96%

#25
Adjusted Score: 104369%
Critics Consensus: Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic.
Synopsis: Comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) examines the rise and fall of his relationship with struggling nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 100615%
Critics Consensus: Gone with the Wind's epic grandeur and romantic allure encapsulate an era of Hollywood filmmaking -- but that can't excuse a blinkered perspective that stands on the wrong side of history.
Synopsis: Presented as originally released in 1939. Includes themes and character depictions which may be offensive and problematic to contemporary audiences.... [More]
Directed By: Victor Fleming

#23

The Artist (2011)
95%

#23
Adjusted Score: 109086%
Critics Consensus: A crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema, The Artist is a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare.
Synopsis: In the 1920s, actor George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a bona fide matinee idol with many adoring fans. While working... [More]
Directed By: Michel Hazanavicius

#22
Adjusted Score: 105911%
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.
Synopsis: Former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is mounting an ambitious Broadway production that he hopes will breathe new life... [More]

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 105496%
Critics Consensus: The epic of all epics, Lawrence of Arabia cements director David Lean's status in the filmmaking pantheon with nearly four hours of grand scope, brilliant performances, and beautiful cinematography.
Synopsis: Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) is sent to Arabia to... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#20

The Hurt Locker (2008)
97%

#20
Adjusted Score: 108127%
Critics Consensus: A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.
Synopsis: Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are members of... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 105972%
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.
Synopsis: New York Detective "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner (Roy Scheider) chase a French heroin smuggler.... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#18

Schindler's List (1993)
98%

#18
Adjusted Score: 108374%
Critics Consensus: Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.
Synopsis: Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 107233%
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.
Synopsis: The compelling sequel to "The Godfather," contrasting the life of Corleone father and son. Traces the problems of Michael Corleone... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#16

Argo (2012)
96%

#16
Adjusted Score: 110914%
Critics Consensus: Tense, exciting, and often darkly comic, Argo recreates a historical event with vivid attention to detail and finely wrought characters.
Synopsis: On Nov. 4, 1979, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking 66 American hostages. Amid the chaos, six... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck

#15

12 Years a Slave (2013)
95%

#15
Adjusted Score: 110543%
Critics Consensus: It's far from comfortable viewing, but 12 Years a Slave's unflinchingly brutal look at American slavery is also brilliant -- and quite possibly essential -- cinema.
Synopsis: In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#14
Adjusted Score: 107786%
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

#13

Nomadland (2020)
93%

#13
Adjusted Score: 117665%
Critics Consensus: A poetic character study on the forgotten and downtrodden, Nomadland beautifully captures the restlessness left in the wake of the Great Recession.
Synopsis: A woman embarks on a journey through the American West after losing everything during the recession.... [More]
Directed By: Chloé Zhao

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 110588%
Critics Consensus: With his electrifying performance in Elia Kazan's thought-provoking, expertly constructed melodrama, Marlon Brando redefined the possibilities of acting for film and helped permanently alter the cinematic landscape.
Synopsis: Dockworker Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) had been an up-and-coming boxer until powerful local mob boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb)... [More]
Directed By: Elia Kazan

#11
Adjusted Score: 109101%
Critics Consensus: Director Lewis Milestone's brilliant anti-war polemic, headlined by an unforgettable performance from Lew Ayres, lays bare the tragic foolishness at the heart of war.
Synopsis: The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War I by their... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Milestone

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 108910%
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.
Synopsis: Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an American ex-GI who stays in post-war Paris to become a painter, and falls for... [More]
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli

#9

Spotlight (2015)
97%

#9
Adjusted Score: 111806%
Critics Consensus: Spotlight gracefully handles the lurid details of its fact-based story while resisting the temptation to lionize its heroes, resulting in a drama that honors the audience as well as its real-life subjects.
Synopsis: In 2001, editor Marty Baron of The Boston Globe assigns a team of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan,... [More]
Directed By: Tom McCarthy

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 126943%
Critics Consensus: The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best -- and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.
Synopsis: Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#7

Rebecca (1940)
100%

#7
Adjusted Score: 111101%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock's first American film (and his only Best Picture winner), Rebecca is a masterpiece of haunting atmosphere, Gothic thrills, and gripping suspense.
Synopsis: Story of a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#6

Moonlight (2016)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 123093%
Critics Consensus: Moonlight uses one man's story to offer a remarkable and brilliantly crafted look at lives too rarely seen in cinema.
Synopsis: A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His... [More]
Directed By: Barry Jenkins

#5

All About Eve (1950)
99%

#5
Adjusted Score: 109955%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, All About Eve is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age.
Synopsis: Backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington. Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway... [More]
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

#4

The Godfather (1972)
97%

#4
Adjusted Score: 111502%
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.
Synopsis: Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo's novel of... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#3

Casablanca (1942)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 115077%
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.
Synopsis: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#2

Parasite (2019)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 127341%
Critics Consensus: An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
Synopsis: Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 116297%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
Synopsis: In Frank Capra's acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

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