(Photo by New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection)

80 Best ’80s Horror Movies

Welcome to Camp Rotten! We’ve got lakes for skinny dipping, Necronomicons for candle-lit reading, and your esteemed camp counselors: A finer breed of spurned psychos, unstable writers, and sarcastic undead you’ll never meet. That’s right, wastoid, they’re all here and more in our list of the 84 Best 1980s Horror Movies!

After the 1970s blew the doors open on horror for mass appeal, and New Hollywood directors became, well, Hollywood, the industry started cranking the movies out by the bloody bucketload. During this hallowed decade of spandex and Spandau Ballet, slashers hit critical bloat (Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp), as guffaws mixed in with the guts (Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2). Horror directors who made their name in the ’70s, like John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, put up valiant fights with The Thing and Poltergeist. And when in doubt, Hollywood just twirled the rolodex to that subtle off-white card with Stephen King’s number on it (The Shining, The Dead Zone). The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating, before we sorted by a ranking formula that factors a movie’s number of reviews and release year.

Alright you sportos, motorheads, geeks, zeeks, bloods, dweebies, and head bangers: See who’s really bad with the best scary 1980s movies that did blast ever so bodaciously from the theaters and out your VCR!

90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies
80 Best 2000s Horror Movies | 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time | Best Horror Movies of 2021

#90

Lifeforce (1985)
57%

#90
Adjusted Score: 58661%
Critics Consensus: Brazenly strange and uneven in its execution, Lifeforce is an otherworldly sci-fi excursion punctuated with off-kilter horror flourishes.
Synopsis: When a space mission involving American and British astronauts encounters an alien craft, the humanoids within are brought aboard the... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 60233%
Critics Consensus: The Twilight Zone: The Movie suffers from the typical anthology-film highs and lows; thankfully, the former outnumber the latter.
Synopsis: This tribute to the beloved supernatural TV show has four episodes. In the first, racist Bill Connor (Vic Morrow) is... [More]

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 58414%
Critics Consensus: Prince of Darkness has a handful of chillingly clever ideas, but they aren't enough to put John Carpenter's return to horror at the same level as his classic earlier outings.
Synopsis: Poking around in a church cellar, a priest (Donald Pleasence) finds an otherworldly vial filled with slime. Frightened, he brings... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#87

Demons (1985)
64%

#87
Adjusted Score: 63072%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Patrons (Natasha Hovey, Urbano Barberini) of a sneak preview see others zombie-fied to heavy-metal music in a Berlin theater.... [More]
Directed By: Lamberto Bava

#86

The Gate (1987)
60%

#86
Adjusted Score: 57595%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Al (Christa Denton) and Glenn's (Stephen Dorff) parents (Deborah Grover, Scot Denton) leave town for the weekend, Al uses... [More]
Directed By: Tibor Takács

#85

Dolls (1987)
60%

#85
Adjusted Score: 60440%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A group of motorists, including young Judy Bower (Carrie Lorraine), her horrible father (Ian Patrick Williams), her evil queen of... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Gordon

#84

Society (1989)
62%

#84
Adjusted Score: 61261%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Beverly Hills teen (Billy Warlock) discovers his parents are part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite.... [More]
Directed By: Brian Yuzna

#83

Vampire's Kiss (1989)
61%

#83
Adjusted Score: 61211%
Critics Consensus: He's a vampire! He's a vampire! He's a vampire!
Synopsis: The life of white-collar New Yorker Peter (Nicolas Cage) seems to revolve solely around making as much money and sleeping... [More]
Directed By: Robert Bierman

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 61400%
Critics Consensus: A fun '80s adventure with a slightly scary twist, The Monster Squad offers tween-friendly horror with just enough of a kick.
Synopsis: Members (Andre Gower, Robby Kiger) of a monster fan club meet Count Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Mummy and Gill Man.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Dekker

#81

The Blob (1988)
62%

#81
Adjusted Score: 62327%
Critics Consensus: The Blob can't replicate the B-movie charms of the original, though its fast pace and gory thrills pack enough of a punch to make it a worthwhile update.
Synopsis: In a tiny California town, high school students Brian (Kevin Dillon), Meg (Shawnee Smith) and Paul (Donovan Leitch) discover a... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#80

The Church (1989)
64%

#80
Adjusted Score: 33233%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tourists are trapped in a cathedral cursed since the Crusades by the mayhem of German knights.... [More]
Directed By: Michele Soavi

#79

Psycho II (1983)
60%

#79
Adjusted Score: 62704%
Critics Consensus: Although it can't hold a cleaver to the classic original, Psycho II succeeds well enough on its own merits to satisfy horror fans.
Synopsis: Two decades after the original murders at the Bates Motel, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) completes his treatment at a mental... [More]
Directed By: Richard Franklin

#78
Adjusted Score: 61282%
Critics Consensus: True terror and typical Disney wholesomeness clash uncomfortably in Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Synopsis: Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce) brings his traveling carnival to a small Midwestern town and grants wishes, for a price.... [More]
Directed By: Jack Clayton

#77

Brain Damage (1988)
64%

#77
Adjusted Score: 64253%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A boy (Rick Herbst) grows addicted to psychedelic jolts from an eel-like brain-eating monster called Elmer.... [More]
Directed By: Frank Henenlotter

#76

Pulse (1988)
64%

#76
Adjusted Score: 64253%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A boy (Joey Lawrence) tries to warn his father (Cliff De Young) and stepmother (Roxanne Hart) about their unsafe household... [More]
Directed By: Paul Golding

#75

Cat People (1982)
61%

#75
Adjusted Score: 63664%
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

#74

Inferno (1980)
64%

#74
Adjusted Score: 64499%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young man (Leigh McCloskey) returns from Rome to his sister's (Irene Miracle) satanic New York apartment house.... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 64821%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professor (Francesca Ciardi) finds the remains of a film crew in the Amazon and brings the camera footage back... [More]
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato

#72

Cujo (1983)
62%

#72
Adjusted Score: 64445%
Critics Consensus: Cujo is artless work punctuated with moments of high canine gore and one wild Dee Wallace performance.
Synopsis: In this tale of a killer canine, man's best friend turns into his worst enemy. When sweet St. Bernard Cujo... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#71

The Hitcher (1986)
62%

#71
Adjusted Score: 62654%
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

#70

Pumpkinhead (1988)
65%

#70
Adjusted Score: 66058%
Critics Consensus: With effects work and solid direction from Stan Winston -- and Lance Henriksen adding welcome gravitas -- Pumpkinhead is a creature feature that stands a cut above.
Synopsis: After his son dies in a hit-and-run accident, Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) seeks revenge against the teenagers responsible. With the... [More]
Directed By: Stan Winston

#69

Street Trash (1987)
67%

#69
Adjusted Score: 66152%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A case of contaminated alcohol has a debilitating effect on the vagabonds haunting the streets and junkyards of Brooklyn.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Muro

#68
Adjusted Score: 66454%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A dying millionaire (Herbert Lom) throws a castle costume party that's a killer.... [More]
Directed By: Alan Birkinshaw

#67
Adjusted Score: 66042%
Critics Consensus: Although it's occasionally overwhelmed by excessive special effects, The Serpent and the Rainbow draws on a chilling atmosphere to deliver a intelligent, politically informed story.
Synopsis: In a time of social and political unrest in Haiti, anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) travels to the torn country... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#66

Swamp Thing (1982)
62%

#66
Adjusted Score: 63954%
Critics Consensus: Unabashedly campy -- often to its detriment -- Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.
Synopsis: On the verge of a breakthrough in his quest to wipe out world hunger, altruistic botanist Dr. Alec Holland (Ray... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#65

The Funhouse (1981)
67%

#65
Adjusted Score: 66721%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rebellious teen Amy (Elizabeth Berridge) defies her parents by going to a trashy carnival that has pulled into town. In... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#64

The Beyond (1981)
67%

#64
Adjusted Score: 67008%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gruesome deaths occur when a woman (Katherine MacColl) inherits a hotel that is one of seven gateways to hell.... [More]
Directed By: Lucio Fulci

#63

Cat's Eye (1985)
67%

#63
Adjusted Score: 66024%
Critics Consensus: An effective if knowingly silly Stephen King anthology that combines comedy and terror.
Synopsis: Stephen King tales follow a cat into a smokers clinic, onto a penthouse ledge and into a girl's (Drew Barrymore)... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#62

Friday the 13th (1980)
63%

#62
Adjusted Score: 66988%
Critics Consensus: Rather quaint by today's standards, Friday the 13th still has its share of bloody surprises and a '70s-holdover aesthetic to slightly compel.
Synopsis: Crystal Lake's history of murder doesn't deter counselors from setting up a summer camp in the woodsy area. Superstitious locals... [More]
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham

#61

Lady in White (1988)
69%

#61
Adjusted Score: 68431%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Locked in the cloakroom after school as a Halloween prank, Frankie (Lukas Haas) meets the ghost of a young neighborhood... [More]
Directed By: Frank LaLoggia

#60
Adjusted Score: 68505%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On a farm owned by Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg) and her sister Mary (Sammi Davis), young archaeologist Angus Flint (Peter... [More]
Directed By: Ken Russell

#59

Motel Hell (1980)
68%

#59
Adjusted Score: 69679%
Critics Consensus: Eerie and satirical, Motel Hell has no vacancy when it comes to low-brow horror gags.
Synopsis: Vincent Smith (Rory Calhoun) and his sister Ida (Nancy Parsons) run a rural hotel, but they earn most of their... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Connor

#58

Christine (1983)
69%

#58
Adjusted Score: 68199%
Critics Consensus: The cracks are starting to show in John Carpenter's directorial instincts, but Christine is nonetheless silly, zippy fun.
Synopsis: Unpopular nerd Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which he names Christine. Arnie develops an unhealthy obsession... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 70949%
Critics Consensus: A silly and ribald superhero spoof, Toxic Avenger uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.
Synopsis: A 98-pound nerd (Mark Torgl) from New Jersey lands in a vat of toxic waste and becomes a benevolent monster... [More]
Directed By: Michael Herz, Samuel Weil

#56

The Stuff (1985)
71%

#56
Adjusted Score: 71365%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A private detective investigates a new consumer taste treat that's absolutely delicious and just possibly lethal.... [More]
Directed By: Larry Cohen

#55

Bad Taste (1987)
71%

#55
Adjusted Score: 72016%
Critics Consensus: Peter Jackson's early low-budget shocker boasts a disgusting premise - aliens harvesting humans for fast food - that gives the budding auteur plenty of room for gross-out visuals and absurd cleverness.
Synopsis: Gun-toting assassins try to wipe out a group of aliens that wants to use humans in New Zealand for food.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#54

Scanners (1981)
70%

#54
Adjusted Score: 72537%
Critics Consensus: Scanners is a dark sci-fi story with special effects that'll make your head explode.
Synopsis: Scanners are men and women born with incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers. There are many who exercise the benefits of... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#53

Q (1982)
71%

#53
Adjusted Score: 72839%
Critics Consensus: Q's campy charms may be lost on audiences who want their monsters frightening, but a game cast and lovingly retrograde visual effects give this kaiju romp some majesty.
Synopsis: A fleeing gangland flunky (Michael Moriarty) finds the New York nest of Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, the man-eating flying serpent.... [More]
Directed By: Larry Cohen

#52

Child's Play (1988)
71%

#52
Adjusted Score: 73294%
Critics Consensus: Child's Play occasionally stumbles across its tonal tightrope of comedy and horror, but its genuinely creepy monster and some deft direction by Tom Holland makes this chiller stand out on the shelf.
Synopsis: Gunned down by Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), dying murderer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) uses black magic to put... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 74060%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fraternity pledges (Jason Lively, Steve Marshall) pull a prank with a frozen body and let sluglike creatures loose on campus.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Dekker

#50

The Howling (1981)
73%

#50
Adjusted Score: 75920%
Critics Consensus: The Howling packs enough laughs into its lycanthropic carnage to distinguish it from other werewolf entries, with impressive visual effects adding some bite.
Synopsis: In Los Angeles, television journalist Karen White (Dee Wallace) is traumatized in the course of aiding the police in their... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#49
Adjusted Score: 74456%
Critics Consensus: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors offers an imaginative and surprisingly satisfying rebound for a franchise already starting to succumb to sequelitis.
Synopsis: During a hallucinatory incident, young Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) has her wrists slashed by dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#48

The Hidden (1987)
73%

#48
Adjusted Score: 74880%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An FBI agent (Kyle MacLachlan) and a homicide detective (Michael Nouri) hunt the current human host of an orally exchanged... [More]
Directed By: Jack Sholder

#47

Hellraiser (1987)
72%

#47
Adjusted Score: 75799%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by writer-director Clive Barker's fiendishly unique vision, Hellraiser offers a disquieting - and sadistically smart - alternative to mindless gore.
Synopsis: Sexual deviant Frank (Sean Chapman) inadvertently opens a portal to hell when he tinkers with a box he bought while... [More]
Directed By: Clive Barker

#46

Dead of Winter (1986)
77%

#46
Adjusted Score: 76410%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Struggling actress Katie McGovern (Mary Steenburgen) is approached by the mysterious Mr. Murray (Roddy McDowall) and invited to an upstate... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#45

Wolfen (1981)
75%

#45
Adjusted Score: 76295%
Critics Consensus: Police procedural meets werewolf flick in Wolfen, a creepy creature feature with a surprisingly profound side.
Synopsis: New York City police investigator Dewey Wilson (Albert Finney) is trying to solve a series of grisly deaths in which... [More]
Directed By: Michael Wadleigh

#44

Creepshow (1982)
74%

#44
Adjusted Score: 75856%
Critics Consensus: It's uneven, as anthologies often are, but Creepshow is colorful, frequently funny, and treats its inspirations with infectious reverence.
Synopsis: A compendium of five short but terrifying tales contained within a single full-length feature, this film conjures scares from traditional... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#43

Dead and Buried (1981)
76%

#43
Adjusted Score: 76626%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A sheriff (James Farentino) and his wife (Melody Anderson) realize the town coroner (Jack Albertson) has been creating an army... [More]
Directed By: Gary A. Sherman

#42

Phenomena (1985)
76%

#42
Adjusted Score: 71558%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An American (Jennifer Connelly) at a Swiss finishing school calls on insects to help a paralyzed scientist (Donald Pleasence) fight... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#41
Adjusted Score: 77237%
Critics Consensus: Killer Klowns from Outer Space's title promises darkly goofy fun -- and more often than not, the movie delivers.
Synopsis: When teenagers Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) see a comet crash outside their sleepy small town, they investigate... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chiodo

#40

Basket Case (1982)
76%

#40
Adjusted Score: 77535%
Critics Consensus: While Basket Case definitely delivers all the gonzo gore promised by its cracked premise, it's really set apart by its rich vein of genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) checks into a sleazy hotel with a wicker basket containing his telepathic Siamese twin.... [More]
Directed By: Frank Henenlotter

#39

From Beyond (1986)
78%

#39
Adjusted Score: 77952%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Obsessive scientist Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) successfully discovers a way to access a parallel universe of pleasure by tapping into... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Gordon

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 56364%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A "metal fetishist" (Shin'ya Tsukamoto), driven mad by the maggots wriggling in the wound he's made to embed metal into... [More]
Directed By: Shin'ya Tsukamoto

#37

Unsane (1982)
77%

#37
Adjusted Score: 77463%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Visiting Rome on a promotional tour for his new novel, writer Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is pulled into a murder... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#36

Sleepaway Camp (1983)
78%

#36
Adjusted Score: 79434%
Critics Consensus: Sleepaway Camp is a standard teen slasher elevated by occasional moments of John Waters-esque weirdness and a twisted ending.
Synopsis: Bunks and the showers are a mad stabber's beat at a summer camp strictly for teens.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Hiltzik

#35

The Burning (1981)
80%

#35
Adjusted Score: 76480%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: At summer camp, some teenagers pull a prank on the camp's caretaker, Cropsy (Lou David). But the joke goes terribly... [More]
Directed By: Tony Maylam

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 80135%
Critics Consensus: Valley Girl culture satire Night of the Comet gets lots of mileage out of its slapstick sci-fi zombie approach.
Synopsis: After a rare comet sighting, teen sisters Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Samantha (Kelli Maroney) find that they're among the... [More]
Directed By: Thom Eberhardt

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 57163%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Wolves and werewolves lurk throughout the dreams of young Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson), who imagines that she must journey through a... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#32

The Fog (1980)
75%

#32
Adjusted Score: 81273%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted return to horror for genre giant John Carpenter, The Fog rolls in and wraps viewers in suitably slow-building chills.
Synopsis: Strange things begin to occurs as a tiny California coastal town prepares to commemorate its centenary. Inanimate objects spring eerily... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#31

Alligator (1980)
80%

#31
Adjusted Score: 81143%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A herpetologist (Robin Riker) helps a detective (Robert Forster) track her flushed-away pet, now a king-size mutant called Ramone.... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#30

The Lost Boys (1987)
77%

#30
Adjusted Score: 81622%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#29

Videodrome (1983)
78%

#29
Adjusted Score: 82397%
Critics Consensus: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.
Synopsis: As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn (James Woods) is desperate for new programming to attract viewers.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#28

The Changeling (1980)
83%

#28
Adjusted Score: 83461%
Critics Consensus: George C. Scott's somber performance gives this haunted house horror a moving soul to go along with its harrowing scares.
Synopsis: Composer John Russell (George C. Scott) is vacationing with his family when a car accident kills his wife and daughter.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Medak

#27

Predator (1987)
82%

#27
Adjusted Score: 84703%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a soldier of fortune, is hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#26

Day of the Dead (1985)
83%

#26
Adjusted Score: 84996%
Critics Consensus: Day of the Dead may arguably be the least haunting entry in George A. Romero's undead trilogy, but it will give audiences' plenty to chew on with its shocking gore and scathing view of society.
Synopsis: The living dead regroup above while humans (Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato) sweat it out below in a Florida... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#25

Dead Ringers (1988)
83%

#25
Adjusted Score: 85758%
Critics Consensus: Dead Ringers serves up a double dose of Jeremy Irons in service of a devilishly unsettling concept and commandingly creepy work from director David Cronenberg.
Synopsis: Elliot (Jeremy Irons), a successful gynecologist, works at the same practice as his identical twin, Beverly (also Irons). Elliot is... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#24

Near Dark (1987)
81%

#24
Adjusted Score: 85526%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: Cowboy Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) meets gorgeous Mae (Jenny Wright) at a bar, and the two have an immediate attraction.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#23

Possession (1981)
88%

#23
Adjusted Score: 89492%
Critics Consensus: Blending genres as effectively as it subverts expectations, Possession uses powerful acting and disquieting imagery to grapple with complex themes.
Synopsis: After Anna (Isabelle Adjani) reveals to her husband, Mark (Sam Neill), that she is having an affair, she leaves him... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Zulawski

#22

Altered States (1980)
85%

#22
Adjusted Score: 89027%
Critics Consensus: Extraordinarily daring for a Hollywood film, Altered States attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.
Synopsis: Respected scientist and psychology professor Edward Jessup (William Hurt) decides to combine his experiments in sensory deprivation tanks with powerful... [More]
Directed By: Ken Russell

#21

Beetlejuice (1988)
85%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89469%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#20

The Stepfather (1987)
88%

#20
Adjusted Score: 89168%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn) is a family man, but he happens to have a series of families, with each one... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Ruben

#19

Holy Blood (1989)
86%

#19
Adjusted Score: 88739%
Critics Consensus: Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center.
Synopsis: In Mexico, the traumatized son (Axel Jodorowsky) of a knife-thrower (Guy Stockwell) and a trapeze artist bonds grotesquely with his... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#18

They Live (1988)
85%

#18
Adjusted Score: 88826%
Critics Consensus: A politically subversive blend of horror and sci fi, They Live is an underrated genre film from John Carpenter.
Synopsis: Nada (Roddy Piper), a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#17

Gremlins (1984)
85%

#17
Adjusted Score: 91126%
Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.
Synopsis: A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 90053%
Critics Consensus: The Opera house location gives plenty to work with for director Dario Argento, who hits his decadently bloody high notes here.
Synopsis: A hooded figure forces a young diva (Cristina Marsillach) to watch as he murders performers in a production of Verdi's... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#15

Poltergeist (1982)
87%

#15
Adjusted Score: 91793%
Critics Consensus: Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and -- most importantly -- consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.
Synopsis: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#14
Adjusted Score: 92640%
Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.
Synopsis: David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), two American college students, are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#13

The Thing (1982)
82%

#13
Adjusted Score: 88509%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#12
Adjusted Score: 88959%
Critics Consensus: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is an effective, chilling profile of a killer that is sure to shock and disturb.
Synopsis: Henry (Michael Rooker) is released from prison following his mother's murder. He supplements his job as an exterminator with a... [More]
Directed By: John McNaughton

#11
Adjusted Score: 94386%
Critics Consensus: A punk take on the zombie genre, The Return of the Living Dead injects a healthy dose of '80s silliness to the flesh-consuming.
Synopsis: When foreman Frank (James Karen) shows new employee Freddy (Thom Mathews) a secret military experiment in a supply warehouse, the... [More]
Directed By: Dan O'Bannon

#10

The Dead Zone (1983)
90%

#10
Adjusted Score: 93080%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Zone combines taut direction from David Cronenberg and and a rich performance from Christopher Walken to create one of the strongest Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma caused by a car accident, he finds that years have passed,... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#9

Fright Night (1985)
92%

#9
Adjusted Score: 94704%
Critics Consensus: Fright Night deftly combines thrills and humor in this ghostly tale about a man living next to a vampire.
Synopsis: Teenage Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a horror-film junkie, so it's no surprise that, when a reclusive new neighbor named... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 94422%
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

#7

The Shining (1980)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 93374%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#6

Re-Animator (1985)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 98043%
Critics Consensus: Perfectly mixing humor and horror, the only thing more effective than Re-Animator's gory scares are its dry, deadpan jokes.
Synopsis: A medical student (Jeffrey Combs) brings his headless professor back from the dead with a special serum.... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Gordon

#5
Adjusted Score: 98225%
Critics Consensus: Wes Craven's intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.
Synopsis: In Wes Craven's classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#4

The Fly (1986)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98482%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.
Synopsis: When scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#3

Evil Dead 2 (1987)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100047%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
Synopsis: The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell)... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#2

The Evil Dead (1981)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 100023%
Critics Consensus: This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.
Synopsis: Ashley "Ash" Williams (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend and three pals hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#1

Aliens (1986)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104458%
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.
Synopsis: After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team.... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

Joel Schmacher

(Photo by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection.)

All Joel Schumacher Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

Your typical journeyman director deep in the studio system will make movies across plenty of genres, on-time and under-budget, foster some lasting professional relationships, and never make a name for themselves beyond to the most ardent, specific film buffs. Yes, Joel Schumacher worked across multiple genres without a thematic throughline, with studios and actors quick to praise his behind-the-scenes professionalism, but the director also brought enough verve and dynamic color to his films that Schumacher’s name, at his creative peak, did become a kind of brand. A calling card of big Hollywood entertainment with style to separate from the rest. This began in earnest in 1987 with the Brat Pack-adjacent The Lost Boys, the stylish horror/comedy that pulled vampires out of cliff-nested castles and into teen parties and suburbia, a popular concept still seen in the likes of True Blood and Twilight. Having made Kiefer Sutherland a star, Schumacher worked with him again on his next film, Flatliners.

Schumacher entered his most commercially viable period in the ’90s, starting with 1993’s Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas on a particularly bad Los Angeles day, in a film that has been latched onto as a manifesto of urban rage still discussed and referenced now. Schumacher took the reins for 1995’s Batman Forever after Tim Burton and Michael Keaton left the blockbuster franchise. Some inspired casting (Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne, Jim Carrey as The Riddler, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face), plenty of wild art direction, a brash soundtrack, and just a touch of camp turned the movie into pop-culture phenomenon. A year later, Schumacher released A Time To Kill at a time when anything Grisham, Crichton, and Clancy was being adapted and making a mint at the box office. (Schumacher had previously turned Grisham’s The Client into a movie.)

Then came the disastrous Batman & Robin, which killed the franchise for nearly a decade. Schumacher took full ownership for the movie’s failure, claiming that he had steered too far towards what marketing and merchandising wanted out of a Batman joint. A public bomb of this proportion could’ve been a career-ender, but his workmanship and a steady line of stars willing to collaborate time and again meant the next Schumacher film was never far off. He worked twice with Colin Farrell, first in 2000’s Tigerland, which introduced the actor to American audiences, and then in 2003’s Phone Booth, which made Farrell a star. Sutherland, back in the saddle, played the villain. Schumacher can be credited with helping launch Gerard Butler’s career in full, when he cast him as lead in 2005’s The Phantom of the Opera. In 2007, Schumacher worked again with Carrey for psychological thriller The Number 23. His final film was 2011’s Trespass, reuniting him with 8MM‘s Nicolas Cage and Batman Forever‘s Nicole Kidman.

We celebrate his life and career with our guide to every Joel Schumacher film, by Tomatometer.

#1

The Client (1994)
78%

#1
Adjusted Score: 79929%
Critics Consensus: The Client may not reinvent the tenets of the legal drama, but Joel Schumacher's sturdy directorial hand and a high-caliber cast bring John Grisham's page-turner to life with engrossing suspense.
Synopsis: Fast-paced thriller, based on the John Grisham bestseller, about a boy whose life is endangered after he stumbles across vital... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#2

Tigerland (2000)
77%

#2
Adjusted Score: 77083%
Critics Consensus: A great cast and the gritty feel of the film help elevate Tigerland above the familiarity of the subject matter.
Synopsis: 1971. A nation stands divided over the escalating war in Vietnam. Thousands of young Americans lie dead on foreign soil.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#3

The Lost Boys (1987)
77%

#3
Adjusted Score: 81622%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#4

Falling Down (1993)
73%

#4
Adjusted Score: 77428%
Critics Consensus: Falling Down's popcorn-friendly take on its complex themes proves disquieting -- and ultimately fitting for a bleakly entertaining picture of one man's angry break with reality.
Synopsis: A middle-aged man dealing with both unemployment and divorce, William Foster (Michael Douglas) is having a bad day. When his... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#5

Phone Booth (2002)
72%

#5
Adjusted Score: 77128%
Critics Consensus: Quick pacing and Farrell's performance help make Phone Booth a tense nail-biter.
Synopsis: A phone call can change your life, but for one man it can also end it. Set entirely within and... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#6

A Time to Kill (1996)
68%

#6
Adjusted Score: 69992%
Critics Consensus: Overlong and superficial, A Time to Kill nonetheless succeeds on the strength of its skillful craftsmanship and top-notch performances.
Synopsis: Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) is a heartbroken black father who avenges his daughter's brutal rape by shooting the... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#7

Veronica Guerin (2003)
53%

#7
Adjusted Score: 56576%
Critics Consensus: Cate Blanchett gives another great performance in a movie that doesn't shed much light on its title character.
Synopsis: In this true story, Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) is an investigative reporter for an Irish newspaper. As the drug trade... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#8

Cousins (1989)
50%

#8
Adjusted Score: 38807%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this American remake of the popular French romantic comedy "Cousin Cousine," Larry (Ted Danson) and Maria (Isabella Rossellini) meet... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#9

Flatliners (1990)
48%

#9
Adjusted Score: 49999%
Critics Consensus: While it boasts an impressive cast, striking visuals, and an effective mood, Flatliners never quite jolts its story to life.
Synopsis: Seeking answers about the afterlife, Chicago medical student Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland) persuades his fellow pupils to help him end his... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#10

St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
43%

#10
Adjusted Score: 46288%
Critics Consensus: St. Elmo's Fire is almost peak Brat Pack: it's got the cast, the fashion, and the music, but the characters are too frequently unlikable.
Synopsis: A group of recent college graduates embark on a series of misadventures in the real world. There's Kirby (Emilio Estevez),... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#11

Flawless (1999)
41%

#11
Adjusted Score: 42879%
Critics Consensus: Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman's Flawless performances live up to this dramedy's title; unfortunately, they're outweighed by the misguided picture surrounding them.
Synopsis: A former security guard, Walt Koontz (Robert De Niro), experiences a severe stroke, and must begin physical therapy after leaving... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#12

Town Creek (2009)
43%

#12
Adjusted Score: 12480%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two brothers become entangled in a sinister Nazi's occult experiment at an American farmhouse.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#13

Batman Forever (1995)
38%

#13
Adjusted Score: 42282%
Critics Consensus: Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.
Synopsis: Batman (Val Kilmer) faces off against two foes: the schizophrenic, horribly scarred former District Attorney Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 38069%
Critics Consensus: The music of the night has hit something of a sour note: Critics are calling the screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular musical histrionic, boring, and lacking in both romance and danger. Still, some have praised the film for its sheer spectacle.
Synopsis: From his hideout beneath a 19th century Paris opera house, the brooding Phantom (Gerard Butler) schemes to get closer to... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#15

Dying Young (1991)
23%

#15
Adjusted Score: 25492%
Critics Consensus: Dying's easy; it's making audiences care about the romance at the heart of this inert drama that proves difficult.
Synopsis: Answering an ad for an "attractive female" to care for a sick young man, Hilary (Julia Roberts) becomes the caretaker... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#16
Adjusted Score: 19120%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Pat Kramer (Lily Tomlin) leads the typical "American Dream" lifestyle, with husband Vance (Charles Grodin) making the money while she... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#17

8MM (1999)
23%

#17
Adjusted Score: 25322%
Critics Consensus: Its sadistic violence is unappealing and is lacking in suspense and mystery.
Synopsis: Private detective Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) lives a normal life with his wife (Catherine Keener) and young daughter, until he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#18

D.C. Cab (1983)
22%

#18
Adjusted Score: 20954%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aspiring taxi driver Albert Hockenberry (Adam Baldwin) arrives in Washington, D.C., to work for a service run by family friend... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#19

Batman & Robin (1997)
12%

#19
Adjusted Score: 17028%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
Synopsis: This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#20

Bad Company (2002)
10%

#20
Adjusted Score: 14118%
Critics Consensus: Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins fail to generate the sparks necessary to save the movie from a generic and utterly predictable script.
Synopsis: CIA operative Kevin Pope (Chris Rock) is suave, brilliant and right on the verge of completing a top secret mission... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#21

Trespass (2011)
11%

#21
Adjusted Score: 12270%
Critics Consensus: Another claustrophobic thriller that Joel Schumacher can churn out in his sleep, Trespass is nasty and aggressive, more unpleasant than entertaining.
Synopsis: Fast-talking diamond dealer Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage) and his wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman), live the good life in a beautiful... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#22

The Number 23 (2007)
8%

#22
Adjusted Score: 15091%
Critics Consensus: Jim Carrey has been sharp in a number of non-comedic roles, but this lurid, overheated, and self-serious potboiler is not one of them. The Number 23 is clumsy, unengaging, and mostly confusing.
Synopsis: A man's (Jim Carrey) discovery of an obscure book about the number 23 leads him on a descent into darkness.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#23

Twelve (2010)
3%

#23
Adjusted Score: 3273%
Critics Consensus: As pretentious as it is hopelessly clichéd, this Twelve is closer to zero.
Synopsis: A high-school dropout (Chace Crawford) sells drugs to his wealthy former classmates.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection)

The 100 Sexiest Movies Of All Time

What makes a movie truly sexy, enough to to grant it entrance to our guide of the sexiest movies ever? Variety is the spice: For some movies, it’s about the animal chemistry between its stars (Body Heat, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) or the building passion of its characters (Brokeback Mountain, Titanic). With others, the turn-on is the illicit thrill of being bad (Unfaithful, Secretary) or the purity of self-awakening and discovery (Gloria, Moonlight). Sometimes it’s about the mood a movie evokes, intoxicating and overwhelming, like with In the Mood For Love or Y Tu Mama Tambien. And, yeah, sometimes it’s all about the sex scenes: Mulholland Drive, Lust, Caution, In the Realm of the Senses have got your number.

Whatever your definition (and if you need even more, see the 200 best and worst erotic movies), it all awaits in the 100 sexiest movies ever, ranked by Tomatometer.

#100

Original Sin (2001)
12%

#100
Adjusted Score: 15082%
Critics Consensus: Laughably melodramatic, Original Sin features bad acting, bad dialogue, and bad plotting.
Synopsis: Luis (Antonio Banderas) and Julia (Angelina Jolie) are bound together first by matrimony, and then, by fierce love and desire.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cristofer

#99

After (2019)
18%

#99
Adjusted Score: 19495%
Critics Consensus: Tepid and tired, After's fun flourishes are let down by its generic story.
Synopsis: Tessa Young is a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart. Entering her first semester... [More]
Directed By: Jenny Gage

#98

Elles (2011)
23%

#98
Adjusted Score: 23919%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A journalist (Juliette Binoche) tries to balance the duties of marriage and motherhood while researching a piece on college women... [More]
Directed By: Malgoska Szumowska

#97

9 Songs (2004)
24%

#97
Adjusted Score: 26335%
Critics Consensus: The unerotic sex scenes quickly become tedious to watch, and the lovers lack the personality necessary to make viewers care about them.
Synopsis: A man (Kieran O'Brien) reminisces about his steamy affair with an American woman (Margo Stilley) he met at a rock... [More]
Directed By: Michael Winterbottom

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 35596%
Critics Consensus: While creatively better endowed than its print counterpart, Fifty Shades of Grey is a less than satisfying experience on the screen.
Synopsis: When college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) steps in for her sick roommate to interview prominent businessman Christian Grey (Jamie... [More]
Directed By: Sam Taylor-Johnson

#95

The Lover (1992)
32%

#95
Adjusted Score: 32132%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Set in 1920s colonial Indochina, a pretty, virginal French teenager (Jane March) meets a handsome Chinese playboy (Tony Leung Ka... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Jacques Annaud

#94

In the Cut (2003)
34%

#94
Adjusted Score: 38914%
Critics Consensus: Director/co-writer Jane Campion takes a stab at subverting the psycho-sexual thriller genre with In the Cut, but gets tangled in her own abstraction.
Synopsis: An English teacher (Meg Ryan) has an affair with a detective (Mark Ruffalo), though she suspects him of murdering a... [More]
Directed By: Jane Campion

#93

Adore (2013)
33%

#93
Adjusted Score: 35354%
Critics Consensus: Naomi Watts and Robin Wright give it their all, but they can't quite make Adore's trashy, absurd plot believable.
Synopsis: Two lifelong best friends (Robin Wright, Naomi Watts) each begin a steamy affair with the other's son, but trouble begins... [More]
Directed By: Anne Fontaine

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 43232%
Critics Consensus: As romantic comedies go, 40 Days and 40 Nights is smutty, sexist, and puerile.
Synopsis: Matt Sullivan's (Josh Hartnett) last big relationship ended in disaster and ever since his heart's been aching and his commitment's... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#91

Emmanuelle (1974)
40%

#91
Adjusted Score: 40748%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The wife of a French diplomat becomes involved in a series of sexual liaisons after joining her husband in Thailand.... [More]
Directed By: Just Jaeckin

#90

Kama Sutra (1996)
40%

#90
Adjusted Score: 40426%
Critics Consensus: Kama Sutra refreshingly approaches sensuality from a female perspective, but audiences will be turned off by this romance's silly plotting.
Synopsis: In 16th-century India, Princess Tara (Sarita Choudhury) is raised alongside her maid Maya (Indira Varma). The two best friends turn... [More]
Directed By: Mira Nair

#89

Love (2015)
40%

#89
Adjusted Score: 43214%
Critics Consensus: Love sees writer-director Gaspar Noé delivering some of his warmest and most personal work; unfortunately, it's also among his most undeveloped and least compelling.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Gaspar Noé

#88

Elisa & Marcela (2019)
40%

#88
Adjusted Score: 39387%
Critics Consensus: While it may be visually attractive, Elisa & Marcela is an underwhelming melodrama that lacks passion and energy.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Isabel Coixet

#87

28 Hotel Rooms (2012)
47%

#87
Adjusted Score: 30894%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A night of casual sex between a New York novelist (Chris Messina) and an accountant (Marin Ireland) from Seattle unexpectedly... [More]
Directed By: Matt Ross

#86

Summer Storm (2004)
48%

#86
Adjusted Score: 48364%
Critics Consensus: Strong performances and an inclusive approach to sexual awakening aren't enough to make Summer Storm a truly memorable coming-of-age story.
Synopsis: A teenager comes to terms with his sexuality and his feelings for his best friend over the course of a... [More]
Directed By: Marco Kreuzpaintner

#85

Cashback (2006)
48%

#85
Adjusted Score: 49584%
Critics Consensus: An unlikable protagonist, messy editing, and gratuitous nudity might make audiences ask for their cash back.
Synopsis: Would-be artist Ben (Sean Biggerstaff) realizes he has an extraordinary way of dealing with the tedium of his dead-end job... [More]
Directed By: Sean Ellis

#84

Sleeping Beauty (2010)
48%

#84
Adjusted Score: 51564%
Critics Consensus: Sleeping Beauty's provocative premise and luminous art design is hampered by a clinical, remote presentation, delivering boredom and shock in equal measure.
Synopsis: A college student (Emily Browning) becomes a niche sex worker for a high-end brothel where customers pay to fondle her... [More]
Directed By: Julia Leigh

#83
Adjusted Score: 52233%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Unlucky-in-love stockbroker Stella (Angela Bassett) jets to Jamaica with her gal pal Delilah (Whoopi Goldberg) for some fun in the... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

#82

Unfaithful (2002)
50%

#82
Adjusted Score: 55294%
Critics Consensus: Diane Lane shines in the role, but the movie adds nothing new to the genre and the resolution is unsatisfying.
Synopsis: Described by director Adrian Lyne ("Fatal Attraction") as "an erotic thriller about the body language of guilt." When Edward (Richard... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#81

Romance (1999)
50%

#81
Adjusted Score: 50748%
Critics Consensus: Romance is a slim look into a woman's sexual psyche, with sex scenes that slightly excite while exploring human emotions.
Synopsis: A woman (Caroline Ducey) has several affairs, trying to spark the interest of her lover (Sagamore Stévenin), a self-absorbed, male... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Breillat

#80

Chloe (2009)
51%

#80
Adjusted Score: 55919%
Critics Consensus: Despite its promising pedigree and a titillating premise, Chloe ultimately fails to deliver the heat -- or the thrills -- expected of a sexual thriller.
Synopsis: Catherine and David Stewart (Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson) are a well-to-do couple living in a posh area of Toronto, but... [More]
Directed By: Atom Egoyan

#79

Basic Instinct (1992)
55%

#79
Adjusted Score: 60683%
Critics Consensus: Unevenly echoing the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Basic Instinct contains a star-making performance from Sharon Stone but is ultimately undone by its problematic, overly lurid plot.
Synopsis: The mysterious Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a beautiful crime novelist, becomes a suspect when she is linked to the brutal... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#78

Malena (2000)
54%

#78
Adjusted Score: 55456%
Critics Consensus: Malena ends up objectifying the character of the movie's title. Also, the young boy's emotional investment with Malena is never convincing, as she doesn't feel like a three-dimensional person.
Synopsis: In 1941, Renato was 13 years old and although the world was at war, nothing ever happened in this sleepy... [More]
Directed By: Giuseppe Tornatore

#77

Cruel Intentions (1999)
55%

#77
Adjusted Score: 58913%
Critics Consensus: This darkly comic drama and its attractive young cast are easy on the eyes, but uneven performances and an uninspired script conspire to foil Cruel Intentions.
Synopsis: Annette (Reese Witherspoon) unwittingly becomes a pawn in Sebastian's (Ryan Phillippe) and Kathryn's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) deliciously diabolical wager of... [More]
Directed By: Roger Kumble

#76

Troy (2004)
54%

#76
Adjusted Score: 61467%
Critics Consensus: A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance.
Synopsis: Based on Homer's "Iliad," this epic portrays the battle between the ancient kingdoms of Troy and Sparta. While visiting Spartan... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#75

The Hunger (1983)
55%

#75
Adjusted Score: 56492%
Critics Consensus: Stylish yet hollow, The Hunger is a well-cast vampire thriller that mistakes erotic moments for a satisfying story.
Synopsis: John (David Bowie) is the lover of the gorgeous immortal vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve), and he's been led to believe... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#74

The Dreamers (2003)
60%

#74
Adjusted Score: 65178%
Critics Consensus: Though lushly atmospheric, The Dreamers doesn't engage or provoke as much as it should.
Synopsis: In May 1968, the student riots in Paris only exacerbate the isolation felt by three youths: an American exchange student... [More]
Directed By: Bernardo Bertolucci

#73

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
60%

#73
Adjusted Score: 67609%
Critics Consensus: Although this action-romance suffers from weak writing and one too many explosions, the chemistry generated by onscreen couple Pitt and Jolie is palpable enough to make this a thoroughly enjoyable summer action flick.
Synopsis: John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie), a couple in a stagnating marriage, live a deceptively mundane existence. However,... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#72

Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986)
61%

#72
Adjusted Score: 61494%
Critics Consensus: 9 1/2 Weeks' famously steamy sex scenes titillate though the drama unfolding between the beddings is relatively standard for the genre.
Synopsis: Two strangers, Wall Street trader John (Mickey Rourke) and art gallery assistant Elizabeth (Kim Basinger), become involved in a new... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#71

Jason's Lyric (1994)
61%

#71
Adjusted Score: 60821%
Critics Consensus: Jason's Lyric is a sexually charged film whose violent streak weakens or, depending on your perspective, supports the melodrama.
Synopsis: In a violent, drug-infested neighborhood in Houston, Jason (Allen Payne) dreams of something better. He works as a TV salesman... [More]
Directed By: Doug McHenry

#70

Something New (2006)
61%

#70
Adjusted Score: 64194%
Critics Consensus: Something New tackles serious questions about race and interracial relationships with genuine appeal and an alluring romance that develops as naturally as the plot.
Synopsis: Career-minded Kenya McQueen is set up on a blind date with architect Brian Kelly, but backs out when she realizes... [More]
Directed By: Sanaa Hamri

#69

Querelle (1982)
62%

#69
Adjusted Score: 61318%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In a French bordello, a young sailor meets a murderer who also is his supposed brother. Based on Jean Genet's... [More]

#68

Henry & June (1990)
64%

#68
Adjusted Score: 63913%
Critics Consensus: Henry & June celebrates sensuality and passion, though the portentous filmmaking drags it down by a large degree.
Synopsis: A literary love triangle is explored in this film, which was the first to earn an NC-17 rating. While traveling... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#67

Wild Things (1998)
63%

#67
Adjusted Score: 65009%
Critics Consensus: Wild Things is a delightfully salacious, flesh-exposed romp that also requires a high degree of love for trash cinema.
Synopsis: When teen debutante Kelly (Denise Richards) fails to attract the attention of her hunky guidance counselor, Sam (Matt Dillon), she... [More]
Directed By: John McNaughton

#66

Crash (1996)
63%

#66
Adjusted Score: 66277%
Critics Consensus: Despite the surprisingly distant, clinical direction, Crash's explicit premise and sex is classic Cronenberg territory.
Synopsis: "Crash" is about the strange lure of the auto collision, provoking as it does the human fascination with death and... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#65

The Reader (2008)
63%

#65
Adjusted Score: 71146%
Critics Consensus: Despite Kate Winslet's superb portrayal, The Reader suggests an emotionally distant, Oscar-baiting historical drama.
Synopsis: Michael Berg (David Kross), a teen in postwar Germany, begins a passionate but clandestine affair with Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet),... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Daldry

#64

Bitter Moon (1992)
65%

#64
Adjusted Score: 66296%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An alcoholic writer (Peter Coyote) in a wheelchair recalls his sexy wife (Emmanuelle Seigner) for an English aristocrat (Hugh Grant)... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#63

Magic Mike XXL (2015)
65%

#63
Adjusted Score: 74758%
Critics Consensus: Magic Mike XXL has enough narrative thrust and beefy charm to deliver another helping of well-oiled entertainment, even if this sequel isn't quite as pleasurable as its predecessor.
Synopsis: It's been three years since Mike Lane's (Channing Tatum) retirement from stripping, but the former dancer misses the excitement and... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Jacobs

#62

Intimacy (2001)
66%

#62
Adjusted Score: 66894%
Critics Consensus: Acted out with both physical and psychological nakedness by its two leads, Intimacy is an unflinchingly honest look at alienation.
Synopsis: A man (Mark Rylance) wants to know more about the nameless woman (Kerry Fox) with whom he has weekly trysts.... [More]
Directed By: Patrice Chéreau

#61
Adjusted Score: 67394%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two young girls turn their after-school hangouts into group hook-ups and start a swinging party craze in their school.... [More]
Directed By: Eva Husson

#60

The Pillow Book (1996)
67%

#60
Adjusted Score: 68849%
Critics Consensus: The Pillow Book is undeniably sensual and visually ravishing, but the film's narrative lacks the hypnotic pull of its imagery.
Synopsis: A Japanese model (Vivian Wu) who likes lovers to adorn her body with calligraphy falls for an erotic Englishman (Ewan... [More]
Directed By: Peter Greenaway

#59

Dirty Dancing (1987)
69%

#59
Adjusted Score: 74815%
Critics Consensus: Like its winsome characters, Dirty Dancing uses impressive choreography and the power of song to surmount a series of formidable obstacles.
Synopsis: Baby (Jennifer Grey) is one listless summer away from the Peace Corps. Hoping to enjoy her youth while it lasts,... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#58

Shortbus (2006)
68%

#58
Adjusted Score: 72077%
Critics Consensus: The sex may be explicit, but Mitchell integrates it into the characters' lives and serves the whole story up with a generous dose of sweetness and wit.
Synopsis: John Cameron Mitchell's SHORTBUS explores the lives of several emotionally challenged characters as they navigate the comic and tragic intersections... [More]
Directed By: John Cameron Mitchell

#57

Closer (2004)
68%

#57
Adjusted Score: 74764%
Critics Consensus: Closer's talented cast and Mike Nichols' typically assured direction help smooth a bumpy journey from stage to screen.
Synopsis: Alice (Natalie Portman), an American stripper who has moved to London, meets Dan (Jude Law) on the street. While looking... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After learning that her boyfriend, Lorenzo (Tristán Ulloa), a talented but troubled writer, may have committed suicide, the beautiful Lucía... [More]
Directed By: Julio Medem

#55

Lust, Caution (2007)
72%

#55
Adjusted Score: 78081%
Critics Consensus: Ang Lee's Lust, Caution is a tense, sensual and beautifully-shot espionage film.
Synopsis: During World War II a secret agent (Tang Wei) must seduce, then assassinate an official (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) who... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 75947%
Critics Consensus: Ozon may not explore his themes as fully as he should, but Young & Beautiful poses enough intriguing questions -- and features a strong enough performance from Marine Vacth -- to compensate for its frustrations.
Synopsis: Isabelle (Marine Vacth), a 17-year-old student, loses her virginity during a quick holiday romance. When she returns home, she begins... [More]
Directed By: François Ozon

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 75374%
Critics Consensus: Though it makes for rather unpleasant viewing, The Piano Teacher is a riveting and powerful psychosexual drama.
Synopsis: Erika Kohut teaches piano at the Conservatory in Vienna. In her early forties, she lives at home, cooped up with... [More]
Directed By: Michael Haneke

#52

High Art (1998)
76%

#52
Adjusted Score: 77169%
Critics Consensus: A surprisingly sultry performance from Ally Sheedy elevates High Art from pretentious melodrama to compelling -- if still a little pretentious -- romance.
Synopsis: Syd (Radha Mitchell), a low-level editor at a photography magazine eager to establish herself, discovers her neighbor is the once-celebrated... [More]
Directed By: Lisa Cholodenko

#51

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
76%

#51
Adjusted Score: 82227%
Critics Consensus: Kubrick's intense study of the human psyche yields an impressive cinematic work.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met,... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#50

The Lost Boys (1987)
77%

#50
Adjusted Score: 81622%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#49

Secretary (2002)
77%

#49
Adjusted Score: 81991%
Critics Consensus: Maggie Gyllenhaal impresses in this romantic comedy with a kinky twist.
Synopsis: Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a young woman with a history of severe emotional problems, is released into the care of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Shainberg

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 84535%
Critics Consensus: Darkly funny, fearlessly bold, and thoroughly indulgent, Nymphomaniac finds Lars von Trier provoking viewers with customary abandon.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Lars von Trier

#47

Betty Blue (1986)
78%

#47
Adjusted Score: 77229%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A would-be writer (Jean-Hugues Anglade) falls for an unpredictable woman (Béatrice Dalle), then he slowly realizes that she is going... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Jacques Beineix

#46

Take This Waltz (2011)
79%

#46
Adjusted Score: 83634%
Critics Consensus: Featuring excellent work from an outstanding cast, the bittersweet drama Waltz proves that in the right hands, a familiar tale can still ring true.
Synopsis: A young woman (Michelle Williams) is torn between the husband (Seth Rogen) that she loves and a new man (Luke... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Polley

#45

Magic Mike (2012)
79%

#45
Adjusted Score: 87124%
Critics Consensus: Magic Mike's sensitive direction, smart screenplay, and strong performances allow audiences to have their beefcake and eat it too.
Synopsis: By day, Mike (Channing Tatum) makes ends meet any way he can -- handyman jobs, detailing cars or designing furniture.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#44

Shame (2011)
79%

#44
Adjusted Score: 87692%
Critics Consensus: Boasting stellar performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, Shame is a powerful plunge into the mania of addiction affliction.
Synopsis: Successful and handsome New Yorker Brandon (Michael Fassbender) seems to live an ordinary life, but he hides a terrible secret... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#43
Adjusted Score: 17934%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In six vignettes from Los Angeles, the subject of sexuality and relationships within the black community shatters stereotypes about black... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dortch

#42

Live Flesh (1997)
81%

#42
Adjusted Score: 82140%
Critics Consensus: Live Flesh surveys the fallout from an act of violence with a mature melodrama that sees Pedro Almodóvar working in surprisingly restrained form.
Synopsis: Victor (Liberto Rabal) goes to meet Elena (Francesca Neri) for a date. Elena, uninterested, tells Victor to leave the apartment... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#41

I Am Love (2009)
81%

#41
Adjusted Score: 84728%
Critics Consensus: It stumbles into melodrama, but I Am Love backs up its flamboyance with tremendous visual style and a marvelous central performance from Tilda Swinton.
Synopsis: At a dinner -- during which her husband, Tancredi (Pippo Delbono), learns that he and his son Edoardo Recchi Jr.... [More]
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 88505%
Critics Consensus: A beguiling tragicomedy, Vicky Cristina Barcelona charms with beautiful views of the Spanish city and a marvelously well-matched cast.
Synopsis: Americans Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) arrive in Spain for a summer vacation at a friend's (Patricia Clarkson)... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 82364%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young woman begins a new life at the Apollonide bordello, a high-class brothel in Paris.... [More]
Directed By: Bertrand Bonello

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 86387%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy,... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince

#37

Swimming Pool (2003)
83%

#37
Adjusted Score: 88049%
Critics Consensus: A sensual thriller with two engaging performers demanding our undivided attention.
Synopsis: When uptight British writer Sarah Morton (Charlotte Rampling) has difficulty with her new detective novel, her publisher, John Bosload (Charles... [More]
Directed By: François Ozon

#36

Mulholland Dr. (2001)
84%

#36
Adjusted Score: 90299%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch

#35

Atonement (2007)
83%

#35
Adjusted Score: 91819%
Critics Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: This sweeping English drama, based on the book by Ian McEwan, follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 88838%
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

#33

Disobedience (2017)
84%

#33
Adjusted Score: 96365%
Critics Consensus: Disobedience explores a variety of thought-provoking themes, bolstered by gripping work from leads Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola.
Synopsis: New York photographer Ronit Krushka flies to London after learning about the death of her estranged father. Ronit is returning... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Lelio

#32
Adjusted Score: 88173%
Critics Consensus: This romantic crime drama may not be to everyone's taste, but The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover is an audacious, powerful film.
Synopsis: When churlish mobster Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) acquires an upscale French restaurant in London, he dines there nightly, effectively scaring... [More]
Directed By: Peter Greenaway

#31

Black Swan (2010)
85%

#31
Adjusted Score: 96494%
Critics Consensus: Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction -- and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman.
Synopsis: Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company's... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#30
Adjusted Score: 89032%
Critics Consensus: Sexual taboos are broken and boundaries crossed In the Realm of the Senses, a fearlessly provocative psychosexual tale.
Synopsis: A former prostitute (Eiko Matsuda), now working as a servant, begins a torrid affair with her married employer (Tatsuya Fuji).... [More]
Directed By: Nagisa Ôshima

#29

Blue Valentine (2010)
86%

#29
Adjusted Score: 94133%
Critics Consensus: This emotionally gripping examination of a marriage on the rocks isn't always easy to watch, but Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling give performances of unusual depth and power.
Synopsis: Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) live a quiet life in a modest neighborhood. To the casual observer, everything... [More]
Directed By: Derek Cianfrance

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 97039%
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.
Synopsis: In 1963, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) are hired by rancher... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#27

Bound (1996)
90%

#27
Adjusted Score: 91422%
Critics Consensus: Bound's more titillating elements attracted attention, but it's the stylish direction, solid performances, and entertaining neo-noir caper plot that make it worth a watch.
Synopsis: Sparks fly when Violet (Jennifer Tilly) sets eyes on Corky (Gina Gershon) in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of... [More]

#26

My Golden Days (2015)
90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 93121%
Critics Consensus: My Golden Years is a complex, well-acted coming-of-age drama.
Synopsis: A middle-aged anthropologist (Mathieu Amalric) reminisces about family, school adventures, a student trip to the USSR and the love (Lou... [More]
Directed By: Arnaud Desplechin

#25

Titanic (1997)
89%

#25
Adjusted Score: 101429%
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

#24

A Royal Affair (2012)
90%

#24
Adjusted Score: 93922%
Critics Consensus: A Royal Affair is a lavish and sumptuous costume drama with a juicy story to back it up.
Synopsis: A young queen falls in love with her physician, and they start a revolution that changes their nation forever.... [More]
Directed By: Nikolaj Arcel

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 95115%
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

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 92578%
Critics Consensus: With She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee delivered his bracing first shot across Hollywood's bow -- and set the template for the groundbreaking act to follow.
Synopsis: Beautiful Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) can't decide what kind of man she wants to date, so she decides to... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 96761%
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

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 96270%
Critics Consensus: A road movie that's not only sexy, but intelligent as well.
Synopsis: The lives of Julio and Tenoch, like those of 17-year old boys everywhere, are ruled by raging hormones, intense friendships,... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#19

Ex Machina (2014)
92%

#19
Adjusted Score: 103686%
Critics Consensus: Ex Machina leans heavier on ideas than effects, but it's still a visually polished piece of work -- and an uncommonly engaging sci-fi feature.
Synopsis: Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) a programmer at a huge Internet company, wins a contest that enables him to spend a... [More]
Directed By: Alex Garland

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 94684%
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

#17

Boogie Nights (1997)
93%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97458%
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.
Synopsis: In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#16

Out of Sight (1998)
93%

#16
Adjusted Score: 97885%
Critics Consensus: Steven Soderbergh's intelligently crafted adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel is witty, sexy, suprisingly entertaining, and a star-making turn for George Clooney.
Synopsis: Meet Jack Foley (George Clooney), the most successful bank robber in the country. On the day he busts out of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 97037%
Critics Consensus: Like Body Heat, The Last Seduction updates film noir techniques for a modern era, imbuing this erotic film with '90s snark.
Synopsis: Looking to escape her unhappy marriage, villainous femme fatale Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) convinces her husband, Clay (Bill Pullman), to... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 96601%
Critics Consensus: Sexy, smart, and darkly humorous, Stranger by the Lake offers rewarding viewing for adult filmgoers in search of thought-provoking drama.
Synopsis: Franck falls in love with Michel, an attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man.... [More]
Directed By: Alain Guiraudie

#13

Carol (2015)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 106076%
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.
Synopsis: Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department... [More]
Directed By: Todd Haynes

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 121498%
Critics Consensus: Call Me by Your Name offers a melancholy, powerfully affecting portrait of first love, empathetically acted by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
Synopsis: It's the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century... [More]
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino

#11

Fallen Angels (1995)
95%

#11
Adjusted Score: 95709%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An assassin (Leon Lai Ming), his boss, an entrepreneur (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and two women cross paths in Hong Kong after... [More]
Directed By: Kar Wai Wong

#10

Desert Hearts (1985)
96%

#10
Adjusted Score: 96602%
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

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 99268%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beautiful young housewife Séverine Serizy (Catherine Deneuve) cannot reconcile her masochistic fantasies with her everyday life alongside dutiful husband Pierre... [More]
Directed By: Luis Buñuel

#8

Weekend (2011)
95%

#8
Adjusted Score: 97994%
Critics Consensus: It may be a chamber piece but Weekend's revelations on modern sexuality expand far beyond the modest setting.
Synopsis: A gay man's (Tom Cullen) weekend-long encounter with an artist (Chris New) changes his life in unexpected ways.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Haigh

#7

The Handmaiden (2016)
95%

#7
Adjusted Score: 108697%
Critics Consensus: The Handmaiden uses a Victorian crime novel as the loose inspiration for another visually sumptuous and absorbingly idiosyncratic outing from director Park Chan-wook.
Synopsis: With help from an orphaned pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri), a Korean con man (Ha Jung-woo) devises an elaborate plot to seduce... [More]
Directed By: Park Chan-wook

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 99948%
Critics Consensus: In his feature directorial debut, Steven Soderbergh demonstrates a mastery of his craft well beyond his years, pulling together an outstanding cast and an intelligent script for a nuanced, mature film about neurosis and human sexuality.
Synopsis: Ann (Andie MacDowell) is trapped in a sexually and emotionally unfulfilled relationship with her husband, John (Peter Gallagher), a successful... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 100555%
Critics Consensus: My Beautiful Laundrette is fast and all over the place because it has so much to say, and show, including a highly watchable fresh-faced Daniel Day-Lewis.
Synopsis: In a seedy corner of London, Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young Pakistani, is given a run-down laundromat by his uncle... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#4

Body Heat (1981)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100302%
Critics Consensus: Made from classic noir ingredients and flavored with a heaping helping of steamy modern spice, Body Heat more than lives up to its evocative title.
Synopsis: Shyster lawyer Ned Racine (William Hurt) begins a passionate affair with Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner), wife of a wealthy Florida... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#3
Adjusted Score: 120039%
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

Moonlight (2016)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 123130%
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

#1

Gloria (2013)
99%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104059%
Critics Consensus: Marvelously directed by Sebastian Lelio and beautifully led by a powerful performance from Paulina Garcia, Gloria takes an honest, sweetly poignant look at a type of character that's all too often neglected in Hollywood.
Synopsis: An aging divorcee (Paulina García) embarks on an intense affair with a man (Sergio Hernández) she picked up at a... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Lelio

(Photo by Magnolia Pictures, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Classics, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

The 30 Essential Vampire Movies To Watch Right Now

Werewolves, mummies, and cobbled-together lab freaks have been around since the earliest decades of film, but no monster was perhaps more camera-ready than the vampire. Those counts and lords who love to mug and menace for the camera, mesmerize with their fancy capes, and whose pale skin glows in the luminous flicker of old film cameras. So no surprise that some of the best vampire movies back then are some of the best vampires now, like Dracula, Nosferatu, and Vampyr, even as they approach their centennial anniversaries. That’s the bar that’s been set for our guide to the essential and best vampire movies, and still we found plenty worthy to follow in their fang-steps.

Across legend, we know vampires for their allure and seductive properties. (Or at least, just their property — who wouldn’t be charmed by a 600-bedroom castle?) The sex appeal of the vampires has especially been played up in movies since the ’80s: As the sexy suburban neighbor (Fright Night), the upper-strata socialites (The Hunger), and a smoulderer’s row of hot guys (Interview with the Vampire) and leather jacket rebels (The Lost Boys).

Or if you just want some action, see From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Daybreakers, Underworld, and 30 Days of Night.

So, looking for something to watch on your next open-coffin-and-chill night? Then go to bat with our 30 Essential Vampire Movies!

#30

Blacula (1972)
48%

#30
Adjusted Score: 50110%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During a visit to Transylvania, an African prince (William Marshall) gets turned into a vampire by Count Dracula (Charles McCauley).... [More]
Directed By: William Crain

#29

Daybreakers (2009)
69%

#29
Adjusted Score: 73537%
Critics Consensus: Though it arrives during an unfortunate glut of vampire movies, Daybreakers offers enough dark sci-fi thrills -- and enough of a unique twist on the genre -- to satisfy filmgoers.
Synopsis: Ten years after a plague turns most of the world's population into vampires, a critical blood shortage causes panic and... [More]

#28

30 Days of Night (2007)
51%

#28
Adjusted Score: 56608%
Critics Consensus: While 30 Days of Night offers a few thrills, it ultimately succumbs to erratic execution.
Synopsis: In the far Northern Hemisphere, the small town of Barrow, Alaska, experiences a solid month of darkness every year. Though... [More]
Directed By: David Slade

#27

The Hunger (1983)
55%

#27
Adjusted Score: 56492%
Critics Consensus: Stylish yet hollow, The Hunger is a well-cast vampire thriller that mistakes erotic moments for a satisfying story.
Synopsis: John (David Bowie) is the lover of the gorgeous immortal vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve), and he's been led to believe... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#26

Twilight (2008)
49%

#26
Adjusted Score: 57043%
Critics Consensus: Having lost much of its bite transitioning to the big screen, Twilight will please its devoted fans, but do little for the uninitiated.
Synopsis: High-school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), always a bit of a misfit, doesn't expect life to change much when she... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 86070%
Critics Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.
Synopsis: F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) is struggling to create his silent classic "Nosferatu" on location in Eastern Europe. The director... [More]
Directed By: E. Elias Merhige

#24
Adjusted Score: 70519%
Critics Consensus: This uneven but amiable 1967 vampire picture is part horror spoof, part central European epic, and 100 percent Roman Polanski, whose signature sensibility colors every frame.
Synopsis: Vampire hunter Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) and his faithful assistant, Alfred (Roman Polanski), are traveling across Transylvania when they stop... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#23

Near Dark (1987)
81%

#23
Adjusted Score: 85526%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: Cowboy Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) meets gorgeous Mae (Jenny Wright) at a bar, and the two have an immediate attraction.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#22

Martin (1978)
90%

#22
Adjusted Score: 92457%
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's contribution to vampire lore contains the expected gore and social satire -- but it's also surprisingly thoughtful, and boasts a whopper of a final act.
Synopsis: Young Martin (John Amplas) is entirely convinced that he is an 84-year-old blood-sucking vampire. Without fangs or mystical powers, Martin... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#21

Blood Couple (1973)
90%

#21
Adjusted Score: 90108%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Germs from the stab of an ancient dagger turn two lovers (Duane Jones, Marlene Clark) into immortal vampires.... [More]
Directed By: Bill Gunn

#20

Black Sunday (1960)
86%

#20
Adjusted Score: 86591%
Critics Consensus: Mario Bava's official narrative debut is a witchy nightmare steeped in gothic splendor, shot in chiaroscuro black and white and punctuated with startling gore.
Synopsis: Burned at the stake, a vampire witch princess (Barbara Steele) wakes up centuries later with her undead henchman.... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#19

Cronos (1993)
89%

#19
Adjusted Score: 93330%
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

#18

Vampire Hunter D (2000)
72%

#18
Adjusted Score: 71436%
Critics Consensus: Vampire Hunter D's gothic charms may be lost on those unfamiliar with the anime series that spawned it, but the crisp action and nightmarish style will satiate horror aficionados' bloodlust.
Synopsis: In a dark and distant future, when the undead have arisen from apocalyptic ashes, an original story unfolds. Ten thousand... [More]
Directed By: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

#17

Fright Night (1985)
92%

#17
Adjusted Score: 94704%
Critics Consensus: Fright Night deftly combines thrills and humor in this ghostly tale about a man living next to a vampire.
Synopsis: Teenage Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a horror-film junkie, so it's no surprise that, when a reclusive new neighbor named... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#16

Blade (1998)
57%

#16
Adjusted Score: 62984%
Critics Consensus: Though some may find the plot a bit lacking, Blade's action is fierce, plentiful, and appropriately stylish for a comic book adaptation.
Synopsis: A half-mortal, half-immortal is out to avenge his mother's death and rid the world of vampires. The modern-day technologically advanced... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Norrington

#15

Underworld (2003)
31%

#15
Adjusted Score: 35361%
Critics Consensus: Though stylish to look at, Underworld is tedious and derivative.
Synopsis: Under cover of night, vampires engage in an age-old battle with their sworn enemies, the Lycans, a clan of violent... [More]
Directed By: Len Wiseman

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 64564%
Critics Consensus: A pulpy crime drama/vampire film hybrid, From Dusk Till Dawn is an uneven but often deliriously enjoyable B-movie.
Synopsis: On the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#13
Adjusted Score: 101052%
Critics Consensus: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night blends conventional elements into something brilliantly original -- and serves as a striking calling card for writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour.
Synopsis: Residents of a worn-down Iranian city encounter a skateboarding vampire (Sheila Vand) who preys on men who disrespect women.... [More]
Directed By: Ana Lily Amirpour

#12

Thirst (2009)
80%

#12
Adjusted Score: 84279%
Critics Consensus: The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.
Synopsis: Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a respected priest, volunteers for an experimental procedure that may lead to a cure for a deadly... [More]
Directed By: Park Chan-wook

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 94770%
Critics Consensus: Worth watching for Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton's performances alone, Only Lovers Left Alive finds writer-director Jim Jarmusch adding a typically offbeat entry to the vampire genre.
Synopsis: Artistic, sophisticated and centuries old, two vampire lovers (Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston) ponder their ultimate place in modern society.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 79908%
Critics Consensus: Overblown in the best sense of the word, Francis Ford Coppola's vision of Bram Stoker's Dracula rescues the character from decades of campy interpretations -- and features some terrific performances to boot.
Synopsis: Adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. Gary Oldman plays Dracula whose lonely soul is determined to reunite with his... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 94604%
Critics Consensus: Trading gore for grandeur, Horror of Dracula marks an impressive turn for inveterate Christopher Lee as the titular vampire, and a typical Hammer mood that makes aristocracy quite sexy.
Synopsis: On a search for his missing friend Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen), vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is... [More]
Directed By: Terence Fisher

#8

Dracula (1931)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 99077%
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.
Synopsis: The dashing, mysterious Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), after hypnotizing a British soldier, Renfield (Dwight Frye), into his mindless slave, travels... [More]
Directed By: Tod Browning

#7

Nosferatu (1979)
95%

#7
Adjusted Score: 100107%
Critics Consensus: Stunning visuals from Werner Herzog and an intense portrayal of the famed bloodsucker from Klaus Kinski make this remake of Nosferatu a horror classic in its own right.
Synopsis: Jonathan Harker is sent away to Count Dracula's castle to sell him a house in Virna, where he lives. But... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#6

Vampyr (1932)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97800%
Critics Consensus: Full of disorienting visual effects, Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr is as theoretically unsettling as it is conceptually disturbing.
Synopsis: After Allan Gray (Julian West) rents a room near Courtempierre in France, strange events unfold: An elderly man leaves a... [More]
Directed By: Carl Theodor Dreyer

#5

The Lost Boys (1987)
77%

#5
Adjusted Score: 81622%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#4
Adjusted Score: 67434%
Critics Consensus: Despite lacking some of the book's subtler shadings, and suffering from some clumsy casting, Interview with a Vampire benefits from Neil Jordan's atmospheric direction and a surfeit of gothic thrills.
Synopsis: Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer. Suicidal after... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#3
Adjusted Score: 103474%
Critics Consensus: Smarter, fresher, and funnier than a modern vampire movie has any right to be, What We Do in the Shadows is bloody good fun.
Synopsis: Vampire housemates (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh) try to cope with the complexities of modern life and show a... [More]

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 104738%
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
Synopsis: When Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old boy living with his mother in suburban Sweden, meets his new neighbor,... [More]
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson

#1

Nosferatu (1922)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 109964%
Critics Consensus: One of the silent era's most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu's eerie, gothic feel -- and a chilling performance from Max Schreck as the vampire -- set the template for the horror films that followed.
Synopsis: In this highly influential silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok (Max Schreck) summons Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to... [More]
Directed By: F.W. Murnau

April is shaping up to be a pretty good month for movies, leading into the proper summer movie season. But if you’re afraid of big crowds, or you just feel like lounging at home all month in your unicorn snuggie (and who doesn’t?), then Netflix has a pretty good lineup waiting for you. As usual, the month is heavily frontloaded, with most of the interesting titles coming out on April 1, but see below for the full list.


L.A. Confidential (1997) 99%


Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, and Kim Basinger star in Curtis Hanson’s period noir about the criminal underworld of 1950s Los Angeles and the police of dubious morals who are called upon to investigate a multiple homicide with possible mob connections.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


The Iron Giant (1999) 96%

Vin Diesel, Jennifer Aniston, and Harry Connick Jr. lend their voices to Brad Bird’s animated feature debut, about a large sentient robot who finds himself lost in a small Maine town in 1958 and befriends a young boy.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


6 Balloons (2018) 86%

Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson star in Marja-Lewis Ryan’s drama following a woman over the course of a night as she drives her heroin-addicted brother through LA, looking for a detox center.

Available 4/6 on: Netflix


Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2016) 93%

This documentary centers on the Chinese immigrant family who owned and operated the Abacus Federal Savings bank in New York, the only bank to face criminal charges in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Heat (1995) 87%

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro headline Michael Mann’s celebrated heist movie that centers on the cat-and-mouse game between a career criminal on his last job and the detective determined to catch him.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Scarface (1983) 82%

Al Pacino offers an unforgettable performance in Brian DePalma’s iconic drama about drug kingpin Tony Montana’s rise to power and eventual downfall.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Friday Night Lights (2004) 82%

Billy Bob Thornton stars in Peter Berg’s drama based on true events about a Texas high school football team’s struggles to win the state championship.

Available 3/1 on: Netflix


Seven (1995) 82%

Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star in David Fincher’s thriller about a retiring detective who takes on a green partner in order to solve a series of grisly murders based on the Seven Deadly Sins.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Life Is Beautiful (1997) 80%

Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi star in Benigni’s dramatic comedy about a Jewish father who concocts elaborate stories to prevent his young son from learning the truth when his family is imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale: Season 1 (2018) 83%

Joel McHale hosts this weekly series from Netflix that looks at news and pop culture from around the world, much in the same way that McHale previously did on Talk Soup.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Kodachrome (2017) 71%

Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen star in this drama about a man who agrees to drive his dying father across the country in order to develop four rolls of Kodachrome film.

Available 4/20 on: Netflix


Sin City (2005) 77%

Robert Rodriguez’s Certified Fresh adaptation of the Frank Miller comic is a dark, grisly collection of interconnected pulp fiction starring Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, and Mickey Rourke, and shot with a unique visual flair.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Una (2016) 76%

Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn star in this drama about a young woman who seeks out an older man with whom she shared a relationship 15 years before that got him arrested and put in jail.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


The Lost Boys (1987) 77%

Coreys Haim and Feldman, Jason Patric, and Keifer Sutherland star in this Joel Schumacher cult classic about a pair of brothers who become entangled in the world of local vampires after they move to a new town.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Sunshine Cleaning (2008) 74%

Amy Adams and Emily Blunt star in this comedy about a down-on-her-luck single mother who starts up a crime scene cleaning business with her sister.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Boys on the Side (1995) 74%

Drew Barrymore, Whoopi Goldberg, and Mary-Louise Parker star in this drama about three women who set out on a road trip from New York to California together.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Cold Mountain (2003) 70%

Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renée Zellweger star in Anthony Minghella’s period drama that follows an American Civil War soldier as he travels home through Confederate territory to his beloved, a preacher’s daughter struggling to keep her family farm alive.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Fracture (2007) 71%

Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins star in this psychological thriller about a hot-shot attorney who engages in a war of wits with the wealthy engineer he’s been tasked with defending in court for the murder of the engineer’s wife.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) 69%

The third chapter of the Terminator saga, set 10 years after T2, follows John Connor (Nick Stahl) as he attempts to evade another assassin sent from the future, this time in the form of a woman (Kristanna Loken), again with the help of a T-101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Cabin Fever (2002) 62%

Eli Roth’s cult favorite horror film centers on a group of college friends vacationing in the wilderness who begin to turn on each other when one of them becomes infected with a terrible, fast-acting sickness.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Kill the Irishman (2011) 62%

Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, and Vincent D’Onofrio star in this period crime drama based on the true story of Cleveland mobster Danny Greene, who battled the Italian mafia for control of the city during the 1970s.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix


Cube (1997) 64%

Vincenzo Natali’s high-concept sci-fi horror film follows six strangers who wake up to find themselves trapped in a system of cubes rigged with deadly mechanisms and must work together to find an escape. A prequel, Cube Zero, is also available to stream.

Available 4/1 on: Cube, Cube Zero


The Duchess (2008) 62%

Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes star in this biographical look at the Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Spencer, who captured the public’s heart and helped enact sweeping changes as a political leader.

Available 4/1 on: Netflix

Vera Miles in Psycho (1960)

What is the greatest year ever for horror? The debate has raged endlessly and will continue long into the future. However, to offer a point of discussion, we dug through RT data to discover which years had the best Tomatometer, Audience, and overall average scores. The rules we employed were as follows:

  1. Each film must be listed as “horror” on Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. Each film must have at least 20 reviews counted.
  3. Each year is represented by the five films that hold the highest average of Tomatometer and Audience scores.

Before we get into figuring out which year is the greatest for horror, we did a couple of quick breakdowns just for fun, and we noticed an interesting tidbit as we crunched the numbers. There are almost 900 films in our data set, from 1920 all the way up to the present day, and the overall average Audience score is 53.2%. The overall average Tomatometer score, however, is 54.4%. Conventional wisdom would seem to indicate that audiences tend to rate horror films higher than critics, but the data doesn’t bear that out. Instead, our numbers show that not only do critics and fans have pretty similar taste, but critics generally like horror movies more. Who would’ve thought?

Then, we also decided to take a look at the data by decade. For each decade, we gathered the films with the 10 highest Tomatometer scores and the 10 highest Audience scores, took the average of each of them, and then averaged those two scores to arrive at a single percentage (in other words, rule #3 above). It’s not an exact science, of course, and only a small sample was taken, but the results were very close:

1930s — 89.75%
1940s — 85%
1950s — 84.4%
1960s — 91.75%
1970s — 90.9%
1980s — 90.6%
1990s — 88.5%
2000s — 90.9%
2010s — 90.1%

According to these numbers, the 1960s — which included PsychoEyes Without a FaceRosemary’s Baby, and Night of the Living Dead, just to name a few — were the scariest decade in cinema, but the 1970s, 1980s, 2000s, and 2010s (which, by the way, aren’t over yet) could all stake a reasonable claim at the top.

But what about individual years? That took a bit more work, and the results were surprising. Read on to see what years reigned supreme with critics, audiences, and both.


Highest Audience Score Average

Winner: 1987
Average Audience Score: 81.6%

At first glance, 1987 might not immediately strike you as an obvious fan favorite year for horror. However, one look at the directors and films should clear things up a bit. The top five horror films of 1987 according to Audience score have some impressive directors behind them, namely Sam Raimi, Kathryn Bigelow, Clive Barker, Joel Schumacher, and John McTiernan. Their films rise above genre and incorporate horror elements beautifully.

The biggest reason why 1987 was victorious is Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn’s 89% Audience score. In fact, the Evil Dead franchise has the highest average Tomatometer (81.75%) and Audience score (80.75%) of any horror franchise with at least four theatrical releases. The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, Army of Darkness, and the Evil Dead remake are the only foursome in which the box office nearly doubled with each successive film — a rare feat for any genre, let alone horror. Not bad for a tiny franchise featuring a blowhard named Ash being beaten silly.

TOP MOVIES:
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Audience Score – 89%
Tomatometer Score –  98%

Predator
Audience Score – 87%
Tomatometer Score – 78%

The Lost Boys
Audience Score – 85%
Tomatometer Score – 73%

Near Dark
Audience Score – 74%
Tomatometer Score –  88%

Hellraiser
Audience Score – 73%
Tomatometer Score – 66%

1987’s Audience score top five also includes a handful of fun pairings:

  • Evil Dead 2 and Predator feature people losing appendages in the woods.
  • The Lost Boys and Near Dark tell modern vampire tales.
  • Hellraiser and Evil Dead 2 feature books and puzzle boxes that should never be opened.
  • This is a bit of a stretch, but Bill Paxton was in Near Dark and he later met a very angry alien in Predator 2 (1990). Incidentally, Paxton also eventually worked with Sam Raimi in A Simple Plan (1998).

Highest Tomatometer Average

(Photo by Kit Fraser/Vertical Entertainment)

Winner: 2016
Average Tomatometer Score: 97%

We realize Nina Forever and The Love Witch aren’t traditional horror films, but even if we removed them from the list and replaced them with The Witch (91%) and Green Room (90%), 2016 would still be the winner here. 2016 figures heavily in our Top 100 Horror Movies list (The Witch, The Love Witch, Green Room, Under the Shadow, Train to Busan, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Don’t Breathe), and with other recent hits like Get OutIT, and a number of acclaimed smaller films, it’s safe to say we’re currently experiencing something of a horror renaissance, at least according to critics.

That said, it’s interesting to note that The Love Witch and The Witch had a combined average Tomatometer score of 93.5% but an average Audience score of just 58%. Both are unique, meticulously directed, auteur-driven visions that push the boundaries of the genre, and they’re straight-up bonkers, so it’s likely audiences didn’t know what to expect.

TOP MOVIES:
Under the Shadow
Tomatometer Score – 99%
Audience Score – 74%

The Wailing
Tomatometer Score – 99%
Audience Score – 81%

Nina Forever
Tomatometer Score – 96%
Audience Score – 56%

The Love Witch
Tomatometer Score – 96%
Audience Score – 60%

Train to Busan
Tomatometer Score – 95%
Audience Score – 88%


Highest Average of Tomatometer and Audience Scores

(Photo by Well Go USA Entertainment)

Winner: 2016

Tomatometer Score Average: 97% (Under the Shadow, The Wailing, Nina Forever, The Love Witch, Train to Busan) 
Audience Score Average: 81.8% (Train to Busan, The Wailing, The Conjuring 2, Don’t Breathe, 10 Cloverfield Lane)
Combined Average: 89.4%

It took some teamwork for 2016 to be victorious in this category. The Tomatometer was exceptionally high, but Nina Forever, Under the Shadow, and The Love Witch weren’t universally loved by audiences. Luckily, Don’t Breathe, The Conjuring 2, and 10 Cloverfield Lane stepped up to the plate and helped carry 2016 over the top with their Audience scores.

TOP MOVIES:
Train to Busan
Tomatometer Score – 95%
Audience Score – 89%

The Wailing
Tomatometer Score – 99%
Audience Score – 81%

The Conjuring 2
Tomatometer Score – 79%
Audience Score – 81%

Don’t Breathe
Tomatometer Score – 87%
Audience Score – 79%

10 Cloverfield Lane
Tomatometer Score – 90%
Audience Score – 79%


Miscellaneous Stats

(Photo by Gordon Timpen/Screen Gems)

With 2016 sitting comfortably atop two of the three metrics we examined, we took a deeper dive into some fun odds and ends. Here are the results.

Victims of Animal Attacks – 89.4% (Green Roon, Don’t Breathe, The Wailing, The Witch, The Shallows)

Victims Attacked Mostly in a Single Location – 84.6% (10 Cloverfield Lane, The Invitation, Don’t Breathe, Green Room, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Shallows, 31, Under the Shadow)

Victims of Witches 75% (The Witch, Blair Witch, The Love Witch)

Victims of Zombies66.8% (Train to Busan, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, JeruZalem, Cell, The Wailing, Nina Forever)

Victims of Another Sequel or Prequel – 61.7% (The Conjuring 2, Oiuja: Origin of Evil, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Blair Witch, The Purge: Election, Boo! A Madea Halloween, Phantasm: Remastered)

Victims Murdered in a Forest – 52.6% (The Witch, Green Room, Hush, the Wailing, The Monster, The Eyes of My Mother, The Mind’s Eye, Cell, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, The Forest, Morgan, Blair Witch, Cabin Fever)

Victims of Unnecessary Remakes – 3% (Martyrs, Cabin Fever)


So now that you’ve seen what critics and audiences at large think, what’s your favorite year for horror?

Kiefer Sutherland starred in 1987 film 'The Lost Boys' (Warner Bros.); inset: TCA 2017 - Rob Thomas (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Writer-producer Rob Thomas was on a Television Critics Association panel on Sunday for his show iZombie and stayed to talk to reporters afterward about his upcoming CW series based on 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys.

The movie starred Corey Haim and Jason Patric as brothers who move to Santa Carla, a beach town where Patric’s character is taken in by a local group of vampires led by Kiefer Sutherland.

In the executive session earlier in the day, CW President Mark Pedowitz said he hadn’t yet seen the script, and so timing of the series is still up in the air. Still, here are 11 things Thomas has already decided about The Lost Boys.



1. Every Season Is a New Decade Beginning the ’60s

Since vampires stay young forever, Thomas’s idea is an anthology series where each season explores the Lost Boys in a different decade. The beginning would be “1967 Summer of Love Haight-Ashbury to be specific,” Thomas said.

Thomas expects production to be centered in Canada like iZombie shoots in Vancouver, but could build a replica of San Fran there. “We love shooting in Canada,” Thomas said. “Granted, it doesn’t have San Francisco architecture so we’d have to build a lot of it on sets. I would hope that if we shot the pilot, we would shoot 10 days in Vancouver and a couple days down in San Francisco to get some exteriors.”


2. They Will Be Different Lost Boys Than in the Movie

Thomas is inventing a different group of vampire teens than Sutherland and co. played in the movie. Primarily because Thomas sees the show going past the ’80s, and it shouldn’t be a spoiler to say that many of the vampire characters did not survive the 1987 movie.

“They’re similar young vampires all sort of living this sort of Peter Pan–like existence of never having to grow up, getting turned into vampires when they’re in their early 20s,” Thomas said. “They can stay young and beautiful and cool forever.”


3. The Humans Can Return, But Older

The anthology format allows the human cast to revolve season by season, though Thomas has not ruled out having human characters recur. They would just have to age up 10 years in each subsequent season.

“The humans around them change to a degree from year to year,” Thomas said. “They can exist in multiple versions of the show but the humans would get 10 years older. The vampires are going to stay the same age.”


4. The Movie Characters Could Cameo

Sutherland, Alex Winter, and the other stars of the movie probably couldn’t reprise their roles as teenage vampires now 30 years later; however, Thomas has an idea to meet those characters as guest stars.

“Vampires stay the same age, so those vampires that we meet in the ’80s in the original Lost Boys movies could exist in the 1960s version,” Thomas said. “We could run into them there as well. We might not even have to wait until the ’80s to see that other Lost Boys crew.”

It stands to reason, however, that humans like Patric’s Michael Emerson, Corey Feldman’s Edgar Frog, Dianne Wiest’s Lucy, and Jami Gertz’s Star could appear in later seasons as themselves later in life.


5. Season 2 Would Be New York in the ’70s

Thomas has brainstormed at least four of the possible seven-plus seasons of a Lost Boys series, thinking about settings with historical significance.

“One of the things that I wanted to do was to center the show in places where youth culture was in flux,” Thomas said. “I would love to do 1978 New York, death of disco, birth of punk rock. Just places where it’s all happening would be great.”


6. Season 3 Will Be the ’80s, but Not the movie

Season 3 would catch The Lost Boys up to the ’80s, when the movie was made and set. Thomas is thinking of moving the ’80s season to Austin, Texas, where he spent his childhood.

“One of the ideas would be to do the ’80s in Austin,” Thomas said. “It’s where I grew up in the ’80s. I would love to do the ’80s in Austin not because it’s the perfect location, but because I know the ’80s in Austin.”


7. But They Might Visit Santa Clara in the ’80s

Thomas didn’t rule out visiting the beach town from The Lost Boys movie. It wouldn’t represent the thesis of the show, but Thomas expects he would want to include such Easter eggs in The Lost Boys somehow.

“What the movie was — the ’80s in a small beach town — that didn’t feel like this is where the nation’s youth are in flux and crisis,” Thomas said. “So I don’t know that that would be a setting [for a whole season], but you could play an episode. Managing to do a tie-in in the ’80s I would suspect we would try to make it happen somehow.”


8. The ’90s Would Be Vampire Grunge

Thomas suggested the fourth season of Lost Boys, would be set in the ’90s and involve the grunge scene. Since iZombie is also set in Seattle, Washington, Thomas knows he could capture the birth of grunge.

“That’d be very easy because we’ve proven we can fake Seattle in Vancouver,” Thomas said.


9. Season 7 Would Be Modern Day 2024

Though Thomas was unspecific about how seasons 5 and 6 might portray vampires handling the youth of the aughts and teens, he revealed that, with the series’ success, a seventh season would catch up to what will then be the new decade.

“In seven seasons we would catch up with present day,” Thomas said. “Technically we could be playing the 2024 election in seven years.”

Thomas joked that vampires may be a better alternative to whomever runs for president in 2024. “Any member of our cast certainly I would vote for,” he said.


10. They Have Not Contacted the Movie’s Stars

Many reboots involve their original stars. Dallas had Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray reprise their roles. Supergirl gave former Supergirl Helen Slater the new role of Kara and Alex’s mother and one-time Superman Dean Cain as their father.

Sutherland and Corey Feldman might be game, as Feldman made straight-to-video Lost Boys sequels, and Sutherland appears in this year’s remake of his 1990 film Flatliners. Sadly, Haim died in 2010 and Edward Herrmann died in 2014. Patric’s return seems unlikely.

Thomas has not reached out to any of the actors, however. “No, uh-uh,” Thomas responded when asked.


11. Vampire Diaries Ending Paved the Way for Lost Boys

The CW has been a welcoming home to vampire shows. The Vampire Diaries ends this season and its spin-off The Originals is still going. Thomas hopes Lost Boys fits in the space left by TVD, and said he wouldn’t have even considered pitching it if both shows were still on the air.

“I don’t think I would’ve developed it if I didn’t know that Vampire Diaries wasn’t coming back,” Thomas said. “I would’ve doubted they would have put three vampire shows on the air, but I knew they’d put two.”

[socialpoll id=”2412042″]


Kate Beckinsale continues her fight against Lycans and her own faction in Underworld: Blood Wars, prompting this week’s gallery of the hottest vampires from movies and television. And because we couldn’t possibly fit all that undead sexiness in just 24 pictures the same way Beckinsale slips into a leather onesie, let us know in the comments which vampires we missed that get your blood flowing!

Joel Schumacher in 2010

(Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Veteran director Joel Schumacher has had an eclectic, sometimes distinguished, and never less than colorful career across four decades in Hollywood. Though for some his name is synonymous with the camp excesses of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, the self-described “street kid from New York” boasts a much deeper and more varied filmography that includes cult gems, blockbuster thrillers, and tense, micro genre pieces.

As a young production designer, he worked on vintage Woody Allen movies like Sleeper and Interiors before penning a series of urban pictures — Car Wash, Sparkle, and The Wiz — that bottled something of a minor cult zeitgeist. Schumacher made his debut behind the lens directing Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman, and as the ’80s wore on, he was responsible for the seminal “brat pack” films St. Elmo’s Fire and Flatliners, while in between he would helm 1987’s stone-cold classic The Lost Boys — back when teen vampires were original, funny, and menacing. After unleashing an unforgettably mad-as-hell Michael Douglas on Los Angeles in Falling Down, Schumacher spent the ’90s alternating between high-profile adaptations like A Time To Kill and the candy-colored second-phase of Warner Bros.’ Batman franchise, where he was called upon, as he recounts, to render the dark knight more accessible (and, by his own admission, to became a salesman for a toy line).

Schumacher’s last decade has mostly seen him scaling back his projects, with the likes of Phone Booth, Tigerland, and Veronica Guerin realigning the filmmaker with his preferred mode of lower budget, darker movies on the fringes. With his latest, the heightened home invasion thriller Trespass, starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, in theatrical release this week, we spoke candidly with Schumacher about his career. Read on to hear his thoughts on Batman — including how he wanted to direct The Dark Knight and almost cast Nicolas Cage as the Scarecrow — his admiration for Christopher Nolan’s films, and his preference for smaller, darker movies. But first, after much agonizing, he laid down his all-time Five Favorite Films.


War and Peace (1966) 100%

I’d have to say number one is the Russian War and Peace, which is eight hours long [laughs] and is, I think, the greatest film ever made. Just in scope, and size, and the genius of Sergei Bondarchuk, and the majesty of it. It took 10 years to make, and everyone in it ages the 10 years [they do] in the book. So there are no other actors playing the other people; the children all grow 10 years, and so do the older people. That’s pretty amazing in itself. And there was no CGI, so when you see the Battle of 1812 of Borodino, it seems like there are just 50,000 soldiers on horseback. It was made by the Russian government, which is why they had access to everything and so much money. I would have to say that was my number one.

Double Indemnity (1944) 97%

Number two… I would usually say Lawrence of Arabia but I’m sure everyone says Lawrence of Arabia — and it is one of the greatest movies ever made — but I was trying to think of others, and I would have to say a Billy Wilder one. I would say Double Indemnity, only because it’s never been matched. That plot has been copied, you know, a million times, but that was the first. And his dialogue is great. Billy Wilder’s one of my favorite directors. I would like to pick five of his movies, but I’ll say Double Indemnity because no one’s ever matched it. Well, no one’s ever matched Sunset Boulevard, either.

You worked as a production designer on a late film with Gloria Swanson. Did you ever meet her?

Yes. She was… she was odd. I’d read about how in the ’20s she had started a macrobiotic diet and was a great believer in Zen and seemed to be very ahead of her time, so I assumed I would be working with a highly enlightened human being. [Laughs] And I’m not saying she was unpleasant, but she was far from enlightened, and very critical of everything and everybody. But that’s okay — she was Gloria Swanson. [Laughs] Legends can act like legends.

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) 85%

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover is truly one of my favorite movies of all time. I think that it is, you know, Peter Greenaway’s genius, and it has my favorite actress in the world, Helen Mirren. It also has Michael Gambon and Tim Roth — I mean, we could go on. The visuals are magnificent. I think it is the consummate piece about the greed of the ’80s. It’s pure theater and it’s just a visual masterpiece.

Blade Runner (1982) 89%

Speaking of that, we must go to Blade Runner — true visual genius, and also in a class never matched. I saw it the first show, the first day, with a bunch of my friends. I can remember that because it was at the Cinerama dome in Hollywood, and it was on that huge screen with that incredible sound system. I still remember that great Vangelis music. But that opening — it’s embedded in my mind, that opening, with that scape of the city and its almost Mayan-like temple formation and those fires out of nowhere shooting up. Plus, Sean Young — that interview [with Harrison Ford’s Deckard] is unbelievable. I got a lovely letter from her last year. I worked with her on Cousins. Amazingly, amazingly beautiful. And of course it has the great Harrison Ford, and Edward James Olmos, and we could just go on and on with that movie. Daryl Hannah is great in it. And the doll guy, William Sanderson, who I got to work with on The Client — he played one of Tommy Lee Jones’ posse. One of the great things about my job is that I’ve been able to cast, sometimes, my favorite people.

Apocalypse Now (1979) 98%

Apocalypse Now. I would ordinarily say The Conversation, because it was so ahead of its time, but Apocalypse Now — another masterpiece. Also, a lot of these movies would never be made today. But — I’m leaving out Scorsese, I’m leaving out David Fincher; you know, I’m leaving out some of the great Europeans. I’m leaving out 100, or a thousand movies that we could talk about. I’ve been a fan of Chris Nolan’s since I saw his black-and-white film Following. I saw that movie in Paris years and years ago and I thought, “We’re gonna hear from this guy; this is an amazing talent.” I’m glad people really recognized it early enough to support him. There are so many other movies we could talk about. There are at least five David Leans. There are at least five Fellinis. Five Viscontis. John Ford. John Huston. Minelli. And Kubrick! I didn’t say Kubrick! I should be thrown out of film for that. It’s really hard. I don’t know how you do it.


Luke Goodsell for Rotten Tomatoes: You mentioned Christopher Nolan. What did you think of his Batman films — were you impressed?

Joel Schumacher: Yes. You know, I was the person who was hired to revamp the franchise because of Batman Returns — [Warner Bros.] had a lot of problems with it being too dark, and kids being too scared; they saw it as a disappointment. So we did a younger, sexier, maybe more user-friendly Batman [Forever] which obviously connected, because it was such a hit — and then, I know I disappointed a lot of people with Batman and Robin. But I did my job — I sold a lot of toys. I’d always begged to do The Dark Knight [at the time]. If you look at most of my movies you can understand why I’d wanna do The Dark Knight — my other movies always have the tendency to go toward the dark. But there were a lot of issues going on. We had to get a lot of people into theaters, which we accomplished, and we did it the best we could. And George Clooney always takes blame, which I hate — it’s all me, all the time; it’s my fault. [Laughs] It sold a lot of toys. That was my job. No excuses. Anyway, I love what Christopher Nolan’s done, especially — unfortunately — with Heath’s [Ledger’s] last performance [in The Dark Knight]; although I guess he was doing Terry’s [Gilliam’s] movie when he died. That performance alone in that movie is amazing. I can’t wait to see the next one. I think that Tim’s [Burton’s] movies and my movies and Christopher’s movies are so different that I can appreciate them all, as a Batman fan — which I have been since I was a kid.

RT: Is it true that you wanted Nicolas Cage to play the Scarecrow if you had another shot at Batman?

Schumacher: Yeah. We were preparing. In between the Batmans I did the two [John] Grishams, The Client and A Time To Kill, and I promised Warners that I would do [Grisham’s] Runaway Jury and a fifth Batman. And I was gonna do the Scarecrow. I had lunch with Nic Cage on the set of Face/Off and asked him to play that part, but — on the press tour for Batman and Robin — I was opening toy stores. And that was fun — it was nice to be the one who was hitting balls out of the park and making blockbusters, because I never was that guy — and then it wasn’t fun, because I’d started with very small movies and had done very small movies, and still do. So I actually left Warner Bros., which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because they’d been wonderful to me; but I just didn’t feel Runaway Jury. I just couldn’t do it, because there was no passion for it. And then I did 8MM, which is exactly my kind of material, and also, it’s as far from a summer feel-good movie as anything. That was a big turning point. Deciding not to worry about whether “We’re No. 1” and whether or not I’m making more money every year and all that stuff. I’m a street kid from New York — it was time to get back on the subway.

RT: Do you ever have a desire to return to big films?

Schumacher: Well Phantom [of the Opera] was huge. I think after Phone Booth and Tigerland and Veronica Guerin, you know — they were getting smaller and smaller. [Laughs]. I’m proud of all those movies, but when we got down to Phone Booth, I thought, “What’s next? Are you going to make a movie called Sink, and have everyone standing around the sink?” [Laughs]

RT: I think Mike Leigh made that one.

Schumacher: Right. [Laughs] And Andrew Lloyd Webber had been trying to get me to do Phantom since he saw The Lost Boys in Europe, which was in ’88. So that was a spectacle. I’d always felt that Tigerland and Phone Booth and 8MM were like “dirt under the fingernail” movies, you know what I mean, and that Phantom was gonna be as far from that as you could possibly get. But it also had a very dark hero. Once again, we plunge into the darkness. It was fun to do. I’d never done a musical before. And then it was back to basics again. In the world today, as everyone knows, in the movie business you’re either making expensive franchises or you’re doing tiny movies that may not even see the light of day. For instance, [Schumacher’s last film] Twelve sold right away at Sundance but the people who bought it had no money to market it. DVD got it a following. And that was true of Tigerland, because Rupert Murdoch didn’t want it released because he felt that it was anti-war and anti-American, which it was certainly not.

RT: Trespass is such a small film relative to the fame of its stars. How was it reconnecting with Nicolas and Nicole? Had they changed as performers — and what was it like working in such a confined space?

Schumacher: Well, we all had grown, and certainly the world has seen Nicole and Nic start as very, very young actors. Nic was the crazy young guy, and Nicole was the beautiful girl who was married to Tom Cruise, and I think they’ve both proven to the world what their talents really are — and worked very hard at it, too. We’ve stayed friends for years. There are things that they always were that they still are. They are never late. [Laughs] And when I say they are never late, I don’t mean ever. And they are the most professional actors. Nicole takes 25 minutes in hair and make-up. The guys don’t take 25 minutes — they take an hour. They help the other actors, and when you’re dealing with filming in such a small space, everybody is dependent on each other. Sometimes there are seven people talking at once in a room, and four cameras moving around them constantly. It’s a dance. And it gets a little rough.

RT: Did Nicolas originally want to play the villain in the film?

Schumacher: I wanted him to be the hero. He decided he wanted to play the bad guy, so we investigated that. I said to him, “Everybody knows you can play this bad guy, that you can tear up the screen and you’ll do something unique and original — but I want you to play the hero.” In 8MM, what we worked on together is that he’s a relatively average man who then changes and tragically becomes someone he never thought he would be, and I wanted Nic to play a husband and a father and then also become someone he never thought he would be. Nic got so torn he quit. But he came back after two days and decided he had always wanted to play the father. [Laughs]

RT: Nicolas recently described his acting style as “nouveau shamanic.” What do you think he meant?

Schumacher: Well, Nic is totally captivated by magic — by voodoo, by all of the magical arts, if you will, and superstitions. He loves all of that. I’m sure you can imagine — Nic doesn’t think like anyone else; he thinks like Nic Cage. There’s not necessarily a connected, plotting logic to it — there’s magic to it. He’s an artist. They’re very different styles. Nicole is perfection beyond belief and has worked so hard of every single nuance and second of her performance, while Nic lets it fly — he lets it really fly and sees where it goes. I think they worked off each other really well. Not that Nicole isn’t spontaneous — in a movie like Trespass, everyone’s spontaneous all the time.


Trespass is in limited release this week.

#1

Trespass (2011)
11%

#1
Adjusted Score: 12270%
Critics Consensus: Another claustrophobic thriller that Joel Schumacher can churn out in his sleep, Trespass is nasty and aggressive, more unpleasant than entertaining.
Synopsis: Fast-talking diamond dealer Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage) and his wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman), live the good life in a beautiful... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

Thumbnail image: George Pimentel/Getty Images, ©Janus Films courtesy Everett Collection, Paramount Pictures, Trimark, (c)Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection, United Artists

Corey Feldman

Think of some of the most beloved movies of the 1980s and chances are Corey Feldman made an appearance in them. From Gremlins and Stand By Me to The Goonies and The Lost Boys, the young actor notched up a succession of classics before those heady days of teen idolatry — the so-called “Two Coreys,” named for his movies with fellow pin-up Corey Haim — would go on to enshrine him on the adolescent bedroom walls of an era. Though his well-publicized period since has been erratic — and marred by tragedy, with Haim’s unfortunate death earlier this year — Feldman has proved that he’s a survivor, returning to the role of vampire hunter Edgar Frog that he made famous in The Lost Boys. With this week’s latest installment, Lost Boys: The Thirst, reuniting him with fellow ’87 Frog brother Jamison Newlander, Feldman has come full circle — complete with signature head band and copy of Batman No. 14. We spoke to the actor recently and asked him to name his Five Favorite Films. He politely declined to include Gremlins, despite RT’s insistence.

The Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983;
97%, 94%, 78% Tomatometer)



Star Wars

Star Wars, the first trilogy. Obviously Star Wars is one of the landmark films of all time, being ahead of its time with special effects — the overall scope and perspective of that film being what it was at that time; not to mention the ingenuity of the story line and the character development of all of those films. I really like the fact that not only are we dealing with great characters, great storylines, great special effects, and all of those things, there’s the extra added element of spirituality, which a lot of people seem to either not recognize or ignore. But the fact is you’re talking about the dark side of the Force and the light side and what’s good and evil, and the Emperor, and the politics; there’s a lot of politics involved. I think it’s a great reflection on life as a whole.

The Godfather trilogy (1972-1990;
100%, 98%, 66% Tomatometer)



Godfather

Obviously the Godfather films are what they are — some of the best written and directed films in history, you know; the best performances I’ve ever seen by the greatest ensemble cast probably ever in the history of cinema. Some of the best art direction, best lighting, best cinematography, I mean — all of it.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971,
90% Tomatometer)



Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I’m a big kid, I’m a kid at heart, so I still love the classic family films, such as the great Warner Bros film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factorynot the remake, but the original. It’s still one of the best movies, hands down, ever made, and of course that goes back to the ingenuity of the characters and the storyline. [Producer] David Wolper did such an amazing job bringing it to life, and Gene Wilder gave such an amazing performance. The songs, the music, the colors, the scope — it was just brilliant and really lead you to a fantasy world that didn’t exist, but that we could all imagine was real.

The Wizard of Oz (1939,
100% Tomatometer)



The Wizard of Oz

Same thing, The Wizard of Oz — that will always be one of my all-time favorites. The transition from black-and-white into color, you know, that idea of merging the two worlds using cinematic magic, to meld those worlds for the first time ever. I mean, you look back at the movie and obviously you can see now that there were backdrops and cheap sets and all of that kind of stuff, where today we would probably laugh at it and brush it off as a B-movie. But in those days it was magic. And it’s still magic.

The Color Purple (1985,
88% Tomatometer)



The Color Purple

I would say five would probably have to go The Color Purple, Steven Spielberg’s film, which obviously deals with racism but also deals with a lot of human emotions. Everything from abuse, controlling husbands, abusive parents to family life. Just so much emotion. The music is incredible — Quincy Jones did an incredible job on the soundtrack. The vocalists on the soundtrack were staggering. And the performances by Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover, I mean just some of the best performances ever put on screen. Eloquently and beautifully directed by Steven Spielberg — I think, actually, his best work.


Lost Boys: The Thirst is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.

Vampire Chic

You have to be really twisted (keyword: furry) to fancy a werewolf, and no one really thinks the Frankenstein Monster would make a suitable boyfriend — even the Bride of Frankenstein took one look at his flat head, scars and neck-electrodes and screamed the house down.

But vampires are sexy.

As monsters go, vampires tick all the desirable boxes: own castle with apparently unlimited funds (ever heard of a poor vampire?), wardrobe full of natty threads (black cloaks lined with red silk never go out of fashion), slimline near-anorexic look that comes from an all-liquid diet, eternally youthful appearance to belie that all-night-long party animal lifestyle (watch out for sunrise, though), superior conversational skills (compared with, say, the Mummy or a zombie), glamorously romantic brooding over long-lost love (and you could be the reincarnation), and the ever-popular sado-erotic necking fetish…

With the teenage nice guy vampire of Twilight catching the hearts of 12-16-year-old girls all over the world, it’s time to cast a backward glance at style-leading vampire characters over the decades…

Vampire Chic - 1910s

There was a craze for the ‘vampire’ look in the early 20th Century, thanks to glamorous star Theda Bara, who starred in A Fool There Was — based on Rudyard Kipling‘s poem ‘The Vampire’. These vampires weren’t strictly supernatural, but dark-eyed, dark-haired seductresses in clingy, revealing dresses who set out to ruin upstanding young heroes and rich old men, sucking their bank accounts dry and leaving victims exhausted. This was supposed to be a bad thing and the women tended to get punished in the end, but filmgoers at the time felt it’d be more fun to be ‘vamped’ by Theda than, say, simpered at by Mary Pickford.

Vampire Chic - 1920s

The first screen vampires were the least sexy, but among the most striking — ninety years on, and make-up men still copy the rat-faced, long-fingered look of Max Schreck as Graf von Orlock in Nosferatu (check out Mackenzie Crook in the upcoming Demons — Crook looks like Nosferatu even without the fake fangs). Also influential was Lon Chaney as ‘the Man in the Beaver Hat’, the impressively-toothy, headgear-sporting fake vampire of the now-lost London After Midnight.

Vampire Chic - 1930s

Bela Lugosi first played Dracula on stage in the 1920s — he spoke little English and had to learn his lines phonetically (‘I … am … Drah … coo … la’) — and recreated the role in the 1931 film which started off the horror movie as a genre. Few actors have set such a lasting stamp on the part: Lugosi, for instance, was the first vampire to wear a cloak, and his evening clothes became the default Dracula costume forever (in Love at First Bite, George Hamilton complains ‘how would you like to spend five hundred years dressed like a headwaiter?’). His reading of the role was a Latin lover who drank blood, sort of a vampire Valentino, and all his fan mail came from women.

Vampire Chic - 1940s

Vampires were staid in the ’40s, with Lon Chaney Jr. and John Carradine dressing up in Lugosi’s old gear when they played Dracula. However, Chaney starred in Son of Dracula with a new type of vamp/vampire, a death-obsessed goth girl played by Louise Albritton in a shroudlike white dress — much like the silent brides of Dracula seen in the 1931 film — who sets out to ensnare the Count and invites his kiss so that she can live forever. For the first time, a female vampire sought equal time — and her example would be followed.

Vampire Chic - 1950s

In 1958, Hammer Films remade Dracula, and cast Christopher Lee as a taller, leaner, more dynamic Count, dribbling a little red blood from his mouth, swishing a mean cape and with enough velvet nap on his collar and bouffant in his ‘do to qualify as a teddy boy. Lee’s Dracula is to Lugosi’s what Sean Connery‘s Bond is to the gentleman spies of pre-war movies — a sexual predator with a sideline in determined sadism. Throughout several sequels, Lee barged into bedrooms and treated nightie-clad starlets roughly — and Hammer made a point of hinting that the women liked being treated this way, especially when they transformed into deep-cleavage bloodsucking acolytes.

Vampire Chic - 1960s

Vampires got sexier in the ’60s, and into the ’70s, as more and more women got into the act — yielding such memorable fanged sex kittens as Barbara Steele in The Mask of Satan (Black Sunday), Barbara Shelley in Dracula — Prince of Darkness, Ingrid Pitt in The Vampire Lovers and Delphine Seyrig in Daughters of Darkness. All these ladies made great play of big eyes and bigger teeth. Various Eurotrash types started turning out vampire skinflicks, like La Vampire Nue or Vampyros Lesbos, in which blood trickling into cleavage is a recurrent image.

Vampire Chic - 1970s

Dracula was back in the ’70s, and became smoother over the decade. In 1974, Jack Palance played the Count as a lovelorn swain searching for the reincarnation of his lost love (in a version that prefigured Francis Coppola‘s even to the extent of calling itself Bram Stoker’s Dracula); in 1977, Louis Jourdan added a lizardy continental charm to the old roue in the BBC’s classy Count Dracula; and, in 1979, current Oscar hot tip Frank Langella sported a disco bouffant and a flared cloak as a disco-look Dracula. Even Klaus Kinski, in Werner Herzog‘s Nosferatu remake, set off his ratty skull with a shimmery kaftan which would have got him into Studio 54.

Vampire Chic - 1980s

The heavy party decade threw up several vampire styles — the grungy, crusty, western-influenced, biker/traveller gang of Near Dark (as played by the supporting cast of Aliens) and the skunk-haired, glad-ragged, white-eyed, step-off-a-bridge cool of The Lost Boys. Like a lot of ’80s things, you had to be there at the time to groove fully. If you were potentially going to live forever, would you stick with a hairdo like Kiefer Sutherland‘s in The Lost Boys? And, frankly, if you could kill whoever you want and get away with it, why would you leave Corey Haim and Corey Feldman alive?

Vampire Chic - 1990s

The watchword for ’90s vampires was ‘tormented’, but they also made a fuss about courtly romance — Gary Oldman‘s Dracula mooned around after Winona Ryder, while Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise bickered and swooned like the world’s most jaded gay couple in Interview With the Vampire. Stuart Townsend took over as Anne Rice‘s soppy Lestat in Queen of the Damned, and the whining continued via Angel (David Boreanaz) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his own spin-off. Meanwhile, the decade’s coolest night creature was little Kirsten Dunst as the homicidal gothic lolita adopted in Interview.

Vampire Chic - 2000s

So, we come to the vampires of Twilight — a happy, anemic family of glam, superior types who enjoy baseball during thunderstorms but wouldn’t consider getting to first base with a real live girl. A bizarre product of the craze for teenage abstinence, Stephanie Meyer’s Cullen clan — and Edward, as played by Brit pin-up Robert Pattinson — are the boy band of the undead, the vampires you wouldn’t mind dating your teenage daughter. Just as audiences in the ’10s secretly preferred the vamps over the good girls, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the equally good-looking, but totally amoral bad vampires of Twilight figure more heavily in the fans’ troubling dreams.

Alexandre Aja - Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com

Alexandre Aja is the French horror prodigy, inducted into Alan Jones’ splat pack, whose first film High Tension (Switchblade Romance in the UK) led to the high profile Hollywood remake of The Hills Have Eyes and now to Mirrors, a new take on a Korean original.

Kiefer Sutherland stars as a beleaguered ex-Cop who takes a nightwatchman job in an abandoned department store with a murky past. The silver-backed glass of the title is concealing a dark secret.

We caught up with Aja for his only UK interview to learn more about the movie as well as his latest project, a 3D remake of Joe Dante‘s classic Piranha.

I saw the movie recently at Frightfest.

Which cut of the movie did you see? Did you know there’s a cut for the UK which is different from the cut that’s being used in the rest of the world. The movie was rated 18 and they butchered the movie to get it rated under 15. They might have shown you the good one because they only did the cuts very recently. The first cut has been released in the States and the rest of the world. Fox decided to cut it here. I really don’t know why they took that decision.

It’s strange because usually in the UK it’s good. High Tension was released uncut, and The Hills Have Eyes was as well.

Mirrors

This has been around for a while.

Yeah, it was right after The Hills Have Eyes that I received the script from Fox not knowing it was based on the Korean movie. I didn’t really connect with the story or the characters. But in the movie itself something really strong stuck with me after reading the script and that was the idea of using the mirrors not only as an object but as a killing device. I thought it was something that hadn’t been done before but it tapped into this universal fear we all have inside of us. It had been waiting to be tapped.

The idea of an alternate reality behind the mirrors is something we all thought about as kids.

Of course, there is something about looking on this side of the mirror to see if we can look through to the other side.

Did you see the Korean film in the end?

Of course, after we read the script I went to see the movie and the movie itself confirmed everything I thought about the script and the idea that you could control the reflection and to make you do stuff you’re not supposed to do.

Who wrote that English script then?

I don’t remember, but it was basically word-for-word the Korean movie. Scene by scene. We completely rewrote it, and that was the deal with Fox. Let us, Greg Levasseur and I, take the script and write a completely new one with it. I wanted to keep the idea that we have mirrors everywhere around us and I wanted to not only have them in the department store but to have them all around. I wanted to find a way to get out of the department store and bring the threat into the world. And, of course, I realised I could take it beyond just the mirrors and into every reflecting surface like the water.

Mirrors

What was it about Keifer that made him the right choice?

When I was writing the script I realised the fact that making this movie would be more expensive than The Hills Have Eyes and I knew I would need a strong leading actor – a big star. I started thinking about all the classic movie-star men and Keifer was one of the first men that came to my mind because I was thinking about who could play that ex-cop character who’d lost everything, turned to alcohol and was really trying to put his life back together by taking a job as a night watchman. I was thinking of Keifer in Flatliners. I was twelve or fourteen when I saw Flatliners and it was such an amzing movie. It was really scary and his character was so cool and romantic, and dark at the same time. It was exactly the character we were thinking so for me Keifer was an obvious choice. People know him as Jack Bauer, who’s quite a different character.

Yeah, my goal was to bring the other Keifer back. To bring the Keifer we used to see in The Vanishing, Flatliners, The Lost Boys. Not the Keifer who became Jack Bauer. But at the same time it was interesting because Keifer is not an actor who makes it a composition. He’s an actor with a personality of his own and every character he plays is a side of himself. When you spend time with him, as I did, you realise that he is the guy from Flatliners, he is Jack Bauer, he’s all of them.

Were you surprised by what he brought to the material?

We met and felt a connection immediately and we made a deal almost on the spot which was that he was in charge of making that character believable and deep and making something scary and suspenseful. Together we’d make the best movie we possibly could.

You spoke about not wanting to get pigeonholed as a horror director, but you’ve stayed in the genre ever since High Tension. Why?

I love the genre. As an audience member I love to be scared. The only thing as a filmmaker I don’t want to do is to repeat myself and so far I have the feeling that High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes and P2 are all completely different movies. Maybe I will reach a point where I’ve felt that I’ve explored all the subgenres within horror and from that point I will maybe look for something else, or some other kind of movie.

Mirrors

Right now I’m really attracted by stories and a lot of the stories that I’m interested in right now are dealing with a genre element.

Does it ever affect you, surrounding yourself with horrific images all the time?

For the first time on this film I started to scare myself with what I was writing. I’m not superstitious and I don’t believe in the supernatural, really, in movies. While writing we did so much research in the history and legends and it started to make an affect.

What’s the status on Piranha 3D?

We’re preparing to shoot in Spring. The thing is it’s such a difficult movie, not only because of the technicality of it and the CGI fish, but also because it all happens in a lake. We were supposed to start shooting now, but the longer to leave it the colder the water gets. The movie takes place during Spring Break and, of course, the studio wanted it ready for the summer, but if you’ve got 1000 people who need to get murdered in the water, you have to wait for the right temperature for the water, for the weather, for everything.

Mirrors

Most of the film takes place outside on location in the lake. It’s all there, it’s so simple. An earthquake releases prehistoric piranhas during Spring Break. All these drunk American kids being torn to shreds by crazy fish. You can’t make something more different than Mirrors than this movie and I’m really excited about it because it’s such a thrill ride. It’s super-gore, super-action, it’s going to be really amazing. I’m so excited about that project.

Do you embrace these challenges? Desert, then mirrors, now underwater with CGI fish in 3D…

I have a feeling that may be true because when I did High Tension we had only $2m, shot everything by night and it was a nightmare. I had a feeling it would be the most difficult movie I ever made. And then we made The Hills Have Eyes in the middle of the summer in the desert and after that I thought no-one could do anything more difficult. Then we spent 6 weeks in an underground parking garage for P2 and Mirrors was just something no-one can imagine because of all the technicalities. This is way more difficult and way more challenging than all the other movies put together. Maybe I’m looking forward to that – at the very least it’ll keep me from falling asleep!

Tag Cloud

Red Carpet discovery cops lord of the rings canceled TV shows art house mcc Rocketman Star Wars TIFF dramedy DC Universe Image Comics MTV royal family anthology Thanksgiving high school Valentine's Day Travel Channel sopranos target 21st Century Fox Cartoon Network documentary Nominations comic book movies Captain marvel series PaleyFest RT21 VICE political drama Super Bowl black italian jurassic park Writers Guild of America Cannes Amazon Prime Video VH1 rotten movies we love festival Pacific Islander Polls and Games Winners toronto rom-coms indie FOX superhero biography Shudder Year in Review Syfy GIFs james bond Amazon Prime IFC Films reboot japan FXX crime drama IMDb TV laika comiccon Arrowverse Tokyo Olympics Pirates obituary First Look comic books festivals social media spanish language Broadway Academy Awards suspense news breaking bad IFC Lifetime Prime Video Spike OneApp sports TruTV joker adaptation boxoffice TCA Awards scary movies Summer 2018 cinemax APB streaming RT History DirecTV facebook dreamworks nbcuniversal parents golden globe awards indiana jones Apple TV Plus WarnerMedia quibi The Arrangement travel superman sitcom critics Black Mirror Marathons CMT YouTube Premium Amazon true crime godzilla streaming movies Brie Larson The Purge BET DGA Endgame asian-american Music Family Ghostbusters 4/20 Box Office Heroines SDCC Anna Paquin reviews mob Elton John Universal Pictures live action game show halloween romantic comedy cancelled television dceu Song of Ice and Fire Schedule animated war Disney Plus Quiz PBS sequels 007 Cosplay Lionsgate green book Comic-Con@Home 2021 Walt Disney Pictures movies dogs zombie spider-man Pixar Disney streaming service spanish Awards Instagram Live Emmy Nominations ABC Family Shondaland A24 Paramount Plus Black History Month HBO Go Pet Sematary Chernobyl blockbusters Christmas Superheroe ViacomCBS supernatural ABC Signature feel good Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt spy thriller aapi Hear Us Out Hulu cancelled finale robots TCM period drama Ellie Kemper Tomatazos Tags: Comedy