(Photo by Marvel Studios / Disney, 20th Century Fox, Miramax, TriStar)

For their bravery, wit, general badassery, and unbroken spirit in the face of enormous challenges (be they gender discrimination or acid-hissing aliens), we pay tribute to 87 Fearless Movie Women Who Inspire Us.

How did we arrive at our top 87? With the help of a fearless panel of women critics made up of some of the best writers in the industry, including a few on the Rotten Tomatoes staff. Starting with a long list of candidates, they whittled down the list to an initial set of 72 amazingly heroic characters and ordered them, crowning the most fearless woman movie hero in the process. Want to know more about the ladies who voted? We included their bios at the end! Then, in addition to their contributions, which make up the bulk of the list, we also added a handful of more recent entries chosen by the RT staff.

The final list (you can watch every movie in a special FandangoNOW collection) gives compelling insight into which heroes have resonated through the years, women whose big-screen impact remains even as the times change. We have the usual suspects along with plenty of surprises (Working Girl, your day has come!), and the only way to discover them all is reading on for the 87 fearless women movie heroes — and groups of heroes — who inspire us!


ALIEN, Sigourney Weaver, 1979, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Alien (1979) 98%

#1One of the appeals of science-fiction is the luxury to comment on modern issues and social mores, or even eschew them completely. Take a look at the diverse space crews in Star Trek, Sunshine, or Alien, where people are hired based on nothing but competence, and none have proven their competence under extreme pressure as well as Ellen Ripley. She’s tough, pragmatic, and cunning in Alien. Journey with Ripley into Aliens and we get to see her in a new light: mothering and nurturing with hints of deep empathy (Sigourney Weaver was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this performance), which only makes the Xenomorph-stomping side of her even more badass.


WORKING GIRL, Melanie Griffith, 1988 (20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Working Girl (1988) 84%

#2And on the other side of the Sigourney spectrum, Weaver here plays Katharine, a particular kind of woman who’s nasty to the competition: other women. The object of her scorn is her secretary, Tess McGill (played by Melanie Griffith), who has her great ideas stolen by Katharine. The plucky Tess in turn pretends to be her boss’s colleague, and proceeds to shake things up in this corporate Cinderella story. Who doesn’t dream of one day suddenly arriving in a higher echelon of society? Of course, it’s what you do once you get there that’s important, and the glowing and tenacious Tess makes the most of it.


Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 93%

#3Hard-drinking, ass-kicking Valkyrie makes no apologies for her choices and draws solid boundaries. Sure, she’s flawed, but that’s what makes her successes so sweet. That she’s played by Tessa Thompson doubles the fun.


Letitia Wright as Shuri (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

 

Black Panther (2018) 96%

#4Letitia Wright proved that a sister doesn’t have to sit in the shadow of her sibling simply because he’s king. Her Shuri has the smarts and the sass to cut her own path, making her technical genius essential not only to the Kingdom of Wakanda, but also the Avengers’ recent efforts to take down the tyrant Thanos.


Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures (Fox 2000 Pictures)

(Photo by Fox 2000 Pictures)

 

Hidden Figures (2016) 93%

#5Don’t ask us to choose a favorite among Hidden Figures’ Space Race heroines: Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. The Oscar-nominated drama tells the story of a real-life team of female African-American mathematicians crucial to NASA’s early space program.


Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

(Photo by )

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

#6As Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron blazed a trail for enslaved post-apocalyptic cult wives in skimpy clothing – literally. With an assist from Max (Tom Hardy), soldier Furiosa set the road on fire to rescue her charges from madman Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), leader of the Citadel.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley as Rey (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 91%

#7Daisy Ridley gave girls everywhere – and full-grown women, in truth – a fresh new hero to adore when she debuted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of humble origins, scrappy Rey overcomes her circumstances living as an orphan in a harsh environment to become an essential component in the Resistance. It helps, of course, that The Force is with her.


 

WONDER WOMAN, Gal Gadot (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

#8Despite her superpowers and privileged background, Gal Gadot as Diana – princess of Themyscira and the Amazons, daughter of Queen Hippolyta and King of the Gods Zeus – retains her humility and a genuine care for humanity. She’s also the most rock solid member of DC’s boys club of Justice League superheroes.


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher as Leia (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi (1983) 82%

#9Come on…she’s Princess Leia. She leads the Rebel Alliance. She saves the galaxy again and again (with a little help from Luke, and Han, and Chewy). She eventually becomes a revered general, but from the very start – when she first confronts Darth Vader at the beginning of Episode IV – A New Hope – she shows a defiant, fiery nature that never dims. In her defining film role, Carrie Fisher brings impeccable comic timing to this cosmic princess.


Jennifer Lawrence as Ree, Winters Bone (Roadside Attractions)

(Photo by Roadside Attractions)

 

Winter's Bone (2010) 94%

#10Before she was Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence was Ree, the role that made her a star and earned her the first of four Oscar nominations. A no-nonsense teenager, Ree dares to brave the dangers lurking within the Ozark Mountains to track down her drug-dealing father and protect her siblings and their home. With each quietly treacherous encounter, she shows depth and instincts beyond her years, and a willingness to fight for what matters.


 

Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster as Clarice (Orion Pictures Corporation)

(Photo by )

 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 96%

#11You can’t have any fear when you’re going up against Hannibal Lecter – or at least you can’t show it. He’ll sniff it out from a mile away. But what’s exciting about Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the young FBI cadet is the way she works through her fear, harnessing that nervous energy alongside her powerful intellect and dogged determination. Clarice Starling is a hero for every little girl who thought she wasn’t good enough.


Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (Universal Pictures)

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

 

Erin Brockovich (2000) 85%

#12Julia Roberts won a best-actress Oscar for her charismatic portrayal of this larger-than-life, real-life figure. Erin Brockovich is repeatedly underestimated because of the flashy way she dresses and the brash way she carries herself. But as a single mom who becomes an unlikely environmental advocate, she’s a steely fighter. What she lacks in book smarts, she more than makes up for with heart. Steven Soderbergh’s film is an inspiring underdog story.


BROADCAST NEWS, Holly Hunter (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Broadcast News (1987) 98%

#13Jane Craig is the toughest, sharpest, most prepared woman in the newsroom at all times, but she isn’t afraid to cry to let it all out when the pressure gets too great. Writer-director James L. Brooks created this feminist heroine, this workplace goddess, but Holly Hunter brilliantly brings her to life. She’s just so vibrant. Even when she’s sitting still (which isn’t often), you can feel her thinking. And while two men compete for her attention, no man could ever define her.


FARGO, Frances McDormand (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Fargo (1996) 94%

#14It would be easy to underestimate Marge Gunderson. Sure, she’s in a position of power as the Brainerd, Minnesota, police chief. But with her folksy manner – and the fact that she’s so pregnant, she’s about to burst – she’s not exactly the most intimidating figure. But in the hands of the brilliant Frances McDormand, she’s consistently the smartest and most fearless person in the room, and she remains one of the Coen brothers’ most enduring characters. You betcha.


AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, Danai Gurira as Okoye (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

#15Danai Gurira plays Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje who specializes in spear fighting and strategic wig flipping. Of late, Okoye has been seen keeping company with Avengers.


Bridget Jones's Diary, Renée Zellweger (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

#16Things Bridget Jones is prone to: accidents, fantasizing about sexy coworkers, worrying about her weight, and running mad into the snow wearing tiger-print underwear. All totally relatable things, so it’s no surprise she’s the highest-ranked romcom heroine on this list. It also doesn’t hurt that, at their best, Bridget’s movies are what romantic comedies aspire to: They’re fun, cute, and just when it feels like everything’s about to fall apart, there’s the exhilarating little twist at the end that leaves watchers feel like they’re floating on air.


CLUELESS, Alicia Silverstone as Cher (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

 

Clueless (1995) 81%

#17It’s true that Cher is a little oblivious to the world at large, but she’s just so earnest and she tries so hard. She discovers a passion for doing good after successfully matchmaking a pair of teachers, and after a series of difficult lessons learned, she makes an honest effort to escape her privileged bubble and become a better person. Like we all should.


THELMA & LOUISE, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Thelma & Louise (1991) 85%

#18Thelma and Louise, best friends who stick by each other no matter what. And when their girls’ getaway weekend quickly turns from frivolous to frightening, they find even deeper levels of loyalty to each other. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon have an effortless chemistry with each other, and Ridley Scott’s intimate and thrilling film never judges these women for the decisions they make — or for the lengths to which they’ll go in the name of freedom.


THE COLOR PURPLE, Whoopi Goldberg (Warner Brothers)

(Photo by Warner Brothers)

 

The Color Purple (1985) 81%

#19Enduring racism, misogyny, and emotional, physical, and sexual violence, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg in her film debut) transcends her traumatic life in the rural South, finding friends, strength, and her own voice.


A FANTASTIC WOMAN, (UNA MUJER FANTASTICA), Daniela Vega (Sony Pictures Classics)

(Photo by Sony Pictures Classics)

 

A Fantastic Woman (2017) 94%

#20As a transgender waitress, Marina constantly endures cruelty and confusion from the ignorant people around her. When the one man who loves her for who she truly is dies unexpectedly, she finds herself in the midst of an even more emotional, personal fight. Transgender actress Daniela Vega initially was hired as a consultant on Sebastian Lelio’s film; instead, she became its star, and A Fantastic Woman deservedly won this year’s foreign-language Oscar.


Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor (TriStar Pictures)

(Photo by TriStar Pictures)

 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 93%

#21Sarah Connor makes many want to be a better mother – or at least get to the gym and work on our triceps. The once-timid waitress crafts herself into a force of nature, a fearsome and visceral manifestation of pure maternal instinct. Played most memorably by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator movies, Sarah may seem unhinged, but she’s got laser-like focus when it comes to protecting her son, John, from the many threats coming his way.


Jackie Brown, Pam Grier (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Jackie Brown (1997) 87%

#22The return of blaxploitation queen, Pam Grier! What’s not to love? Especially in Quentin Tarantino’s killer love letter to South Bay Los Angeles. As Jackie Brown, Grier exudes classic cool with a tough exterior.


Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain (Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

(Photo by Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 91%

#23Jessica Chastain has made a career of playing quick-witted characters with nerves of steel. Nowhere is this truer than in her starring role in Kathryn Bigelow’s thrilling depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Maya is obsessively focused in her pursuit of the al Qaeda leader. She’s a confident woman who has to be extra prepared to survive in a man’s world. But when the mission is over and she finally allows some emotion to shine through, it’s cathartic for us all.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 90%

#24She’s the smartest kid in the class, regardless of the subject. The hardest worker, too. And she’s proud of those qualities, making her an excellent role model for girls out there with an interest in math and science. But Hermione isn’t all about the books. Over the eight Harry Potter films, in Emma Watson’s increasingly confident hands, Hermione reveals her resourcefulness, loyalty, and grace. She’s a great student but an even better friend.


Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

 

His Girl Friday (1940) 99%

#25Howard Hawks’ celebrated screwball comedy benefited from a not-so-small change to the stage play it was based on: In the original The Front Page, Hildy Johnson was a male. But thanks to Rosalind Russell’s lively performance, as well as a few script changes she personally insisted upon, the character blossomed into an early icon of the independent working woman who’s not only just as effective at her job as her male counterparts, but also equally adept with a witty comeback.


The Incredibles (Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

 

The Incredibles (2004) 97%

#26Elastigirl takes on all the trials of motherhood: She’s got hyper kids, a bored husband, and has to witness certain parts of her body unperkify. Elastigirl also just happens to be a superhero, with the fate of the world resting on her shoulders.


Gina Torres in Serenity (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Serenity (2005) 82%

#27Fans of the short-lived but beloved Fox sci-fi series Firefly were already familiar with Gina Torres‘ badassery as Zoe Washburne in Serenity. A veteran of the Unification War and second in command of the ship, Zoe is a strong and loyal ally who rarely pulls punches, whether she’s stating a controversial opinion or engaged in a literal fistfight. With her free spirit and deadly skills, it’s no wonder she became a fan favorite.


Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

9 to 5 (1980) 83%

#28Dolly Parton is a national treasure, and 9 to 5 allows her to light up the screen with her sparkling, charismatic personality. But while Doralee may seem like a sweet Southern gal, she’s got a stiff backbone and a sharp tongue, and she isn’t afraid to use them when she’s crossed. When she finally stands up to her sexist bully of a boss alongside co-workers Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, it’s nothing short of a revolution – one that remains sadly relevant today.


Geena Davis in A Legaue of Their Own (Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A League of Their Own (1992) 80%

#29The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is one that deserves to be told, and it’s Geena Davis Dottie Hinson who grounds this fictional account. She’s a talented local player who becomes the star of the Rockford Peaches, and it’s her quick thinking that brings publicity to the sport. When her decision to play in the World Series leads to a spectacular finish, she also demonstrates a very human vulnerability, making her a strong but relatable heroine.


Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice (Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Pride & Prejudice (2005) 86%

#30Jane Austen’s classic heroine Elizabeth Bennet jumps off the page in the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley, who gives audiences an intelligent, down-to-Earth, sometimes literally dirty, but uncompromisingly steadfast leading lady.


Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Everett Collection)

 

Legally Blonde (2001) 70%

#31Never underestimate a sorority girl. They are organized and they know how to get what the want. In the case of Elle Woods, she goes after her law school goals with a smile on her face, a spring in her step, and an impeccably coordinated wardrobe. Reese Witherspoon is impossibly adorable in the role, with a potent combination of smarts and heart to shut down the naysayers who are foolish enough to judge her simply by her looks.


Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow (©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 91%

#32Talk brashly and carry a big sword. As Tom Cruise’s character unravels a complex time travel sci-fi story, a constant in his fluctuating world is Rita Vrataski aka the killer Angel of Verdun. But Emily Blunt gives life to Rita beyond burgeoning love interest. She takes the lead and makes the movie just as much her’s.


Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

 

Captain Marvel (2019) 79%

#33When Nick Fury sent that mysterious intergalactic text message right before disappearing into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, eager fans knew what was in store. As played by Brie Larson, Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU — if not THE most powerful — and she’s in such high demand that she spends most of her time battling evil on other planets. She shows up when it counts, though, and she can rock a mowhawk like nobody’s business.


Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place (Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

#34Though hit hard by tragedy and seemingly insurmountable odds of surviving an alien invasion, mother and daughter duo Evelin and Regan Abbott prove their mettle in A Quiet Place.


Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 44%

#35Played first in film by the groundbreaking star of the Star Trek TV series, Nichelle Nichols, the role was passed on to Zoe Saldana in the 2009 reboot film. Uhura, the USS Enterprise chief communications officer, was a critical crew member throughout the franchise in both TV and film.


Dafne Keen in Logan (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Logan (2017) 94%

#36Who can stand up to Hugh Jackman’s fierce Wolverine without flinching? His cloned daughter X-23. Dafne Keen imbued the preteen mutant, a.k.a. “Laura,” with a volatile mix of anger, despondency, obstinance, and hope – that we would very much like to see more of.


Kristy Swanson in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) 36%

#37She’s Buffy. She slays vampires while juggling cheerleading and the SATs. But while Kristy Swanson gives the character a satricial bent, it’s the legendary TV adaptation that gives this character a lasting legacy. But the movie ain’t a bad place to start.

Jenny Han and Lana Condor

(Photo by Sarah Shatz/Netflix)

Author Jenny Han is an expert on crushes, romances and meet-cutes. In addition to other titles in her catalog, her To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before book trilogy is an international best-seller that has inspired three Netflix movies – the last of which, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, was released February 12 on the streaming channel. Peppered with references, both vague and blatant, to its rom-com ancestors, the films follow Lana Condor’s high schooler Lara Jean Covey and her commitment to baked goods, her sisters, and, eventually, her near-perfect boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo).

So it isn’t really a surprise that Han is frequently asked about her favorite romantic comedies.

“I’ve gone back and forth over it, but for me, my favorite that I can turn on and it puts me in a good mood and it’s just comforting is Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Han says of the Renée Zellweger film. “I think it’s a gold standard. And I mean, there’s a reason she (Zellweger) was nominated for an Academy Award for that.”

And, as anyone who has read Han’s books or seen the To All the Boys movies knows, she says she “love(s) love triangles.” Han says that the one in Bridget Jones particularly works because the two potential suitors, Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy and Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver, both “feel like legitimate options, even though Daniel is a cad.”

This isn’t to say that Han has seen every romantic comedy ever. She tried watching Broadcast News on a plane and failed and says that “I don’t think I fully appreciated” Heartburn because she saw it as a kid when a friend’s older sister had rented it. Han remembers that she “drifted away from the television” thinking that the relationship dynamic between Meryl Streep’s Rachel Samstat and Jack Nicholson’s Mark Forman “seems messed up.” (She was not wrong.)

It’s even debatable whether or not those two movies are even romantic comedies – something that also happens a lot to movies about teens.

“For instance, I would say that Breakfast Club gets shelved in romantic comedy,” Han says. However, “I don’t really think it’s that romantic. I think, with a teen love story, oftentimes it’s a lot more about their whole life and family and stuff. And I think, oftentimes, with adult romantic comedies, it’s really more about the romance. And so I think coming-of-age can be shelved also in romantic comedy.”

Read on for a list of some movies (and one TV show!) that are some of Han’s favorite romantic comedies – even if her definition of the term may be up for debate.


Chemistry is great. It’s really romantic. I am obviously a Mark Darcy kind of person. I love Mr. Darcy. But I will admit, though, that Bridget and Daniel’s first kiss? It’s better than her first kiss with Mr. Darcy, I think, just for chemistry reasons.


Tom Hanks is just so, I don’t know. He’s so charming in it. And then she’s [Meg Ryan] at the top of her game, too. And it’s crazy because they’re only, I think, on screen together for three or four minutes. So you’re left wanting more. You’re like, “What next, what next?” when they go down the elevator [at the end of the movie]. But it’s just really smart. I love [director and co-writer] Nora Ephron.


[Nora Ephron] a New York lady, a New York writer, and I appreciate that about her. For You’ve Got Mail, which is another one of my favorite rom-coms, I know that she used to go to Books of Wonder, which is a kid’s bookstore on 18th Street [that serves as the model for The Shop Around The Corner, the store that Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly, runs]. She used to go in there quite a bit for, I think, her kid or her nephew or something. And I remember I had gotten a job there when I was right out of college because I wanted to have that Kathleen Kelly/The Shop Around The Corner experience. I think they said Meg had done a shift there once, and so did [co-star] Steve Zahn, just to get the vibe of working in that kind of store.


It’s one of the first black-and-white movies I’d ever seen, and I felt like, “Wow, okay. So black-and-white movies aren’t boring.” Because it was so electric, and I love the zingers back and forth and the dialogue.


Philadelphia Story I love. And again, I think, I just like really complicated stories. That one’s like a love square, which is fun.


Amélie (2001)

It’s funny how a lot of films aren’t exactly romantic comedies, but they get shelved there because there’s no other space for them. But I would put Amelie as a favorite romantic movie. I don’t know if it’s a romantic comedy. It has the twisty, fun, game-playing.


Heartbreaker (2010)

[Romain Duris’s Alex Lippi] gets hired to break up [Vanessa Paradis’s Juliette Van Der Becq’s] engagement. It was fun, with these mechanisms and stratagems.


Notting Hill (1999)

I remember watching Notting Hill and being really wowed by it, which actually stands up pretty well. Notting Hill has a pretty big gesture at the end when he [Hugh Grant’s William Thacker] goes to the press conference [for Julia Roberts’ actress, Anna Scott]. But it’s funny because when he goes to make the grand gesture, it’s all hopping in a car, and everyone’s running there, and you got the music, and then he gets there and he gets very small. He’s like, “Oh, excuse me.” He gets small in the acting of it, where it’s not the big, big gesture. It feels like a small moment, but maybe that’s why it feels really real.


Groundhog Day (1993)

I think it is [a romantic comedy]. I mean, it is about him trying to get her to love him every day.


Oftentimes British humor and romance is less sentimental. It’s wry and it’s a little more, I don’t know, self-deprecating and not as prone to the big grand gestures. Maybe a little bit smaller and more real. Fleabag is a perfect example of how I think Brits do [romantic comedy] so well, which is almost toning it down [and] bringing it to this really human level and still making your heart soar.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Moonrise Kingdom

(Photo by © Focus Features)

105 Great Movies to Watch Alone

For some, staying home right now can mean curling up with a loved one on the couch for a date-night flick or gathering the whole family together for movie night. For many others, it can mean flying solo – long days and nights of streaming by yourself. We’re here to help with some movie suggestions we think are tailor-made for that latter experience.

Just like going to the movie theater alone can be a singularly joyous “treat yo self” excursion, solo home-viewing can be a great experience too – if you choose the right film. There are movies out there that actually benefit from being watched alone: It might be that they require a level of concentration and focus that distracting friends and loved ones just won’t allow you, or that the maximum scare factor is best felt when you are completely isolated – just like the babysitter being stalked on screen. It might just be that the movie has the kind of awkward/titillating sexy bits that make watching it with a first date – or, let’s say, mom – not exactly ideal. Watch it alone – no judgment, no nervous giggles.

To help those solo-fliers get through the next little while, the RT team pulled together a list of movies perfect for watching alone for all of those reasons – and a bunch that are just guaranteed to put you in an awesome mood the moment they start. Which might be the best reason of all.

What’s your favorite movie to watch by yourself? Let us know in the comments.
Click on each movie’s title to find out more, including where to stream, rent, or buy.  


BECAUSE THE MOVIE REQUIRES YOUR ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION…

#13

Memento (2000)
93%

#13
Adjusted Score: 100064%
Critics Consensus: Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.
Synopsis: Leonard (Guy Pearce) is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The difficulty, however, of locating his... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 75875%
Critics Consensus: Charlie Kaufman's ambitious directorial debut occasionally strains to connect, but ultimately provides fascinating insight into a writer's mind.
Synopsis: Life is looking pretty bleak for theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman). His wife and daughter have left him,... [More]
Directed By: Charlie Kaufman

#11

The Irishman (2019)
95%

#11
Adjusted Score: 123934%
Critics Consensus: An epic gangster drama that earns its extended runtime, The Irishman finds Martin Scorsese revisiting familiar themes to poignant, funny, and profound effect.
Synopsis: In the 1950s, truck driver Frank Sheeran gets involved with Russell Bufalino and his Pennsylvania crime family. As Sheeran climbs... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#10
Adjusted Score: 102303%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey)... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#9

Annihilation (2018)
88%

#9
Adjusted Score: 108010%
Critics Consensus: Annihilation backs up its sci-fi visual wonders and visceral genre thrills with an impressively ambitious -- and surprisingly strange -- exploration of challenging themes that should leave audiences pondering long after the end credits roll.
Synopsis: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X --... [More]
Directed By: Alex Garland

#8

Magnolia (1999)
83%

#8
Adjusted Score: 89661%
Critics Consensus: Magnolia is an ambitious, lengthy work that ultimately succeeds due to interesting stories and excellent ensemble performances.
Synopsis: On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#7

12 Monkeys (1995)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 93669%
Critics Consensus: The plot's a bit of a jumble, but excellent performances and mind-blowing plot twists make 12 Monkeys a kooky, effective experience.
Synopsis: Traveling back in time isn't simple, as James Cole (Bruce Willis) learns the hard way. Imprisoned in the 2030s, James... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#6

Zodiac (2007)
89%

#6
Adjusted Score: 100390%
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the '70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#5

Silence (2016)
83%

#5
Adjusted Score: 103529%
Critics Consensus: Silence ends Martin Scorsese's decades-long creative quest with a thoughtful, emotionally resonant look at spirituality and human nature that stands among the director's finest works.
Synopsis: Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#4

The Deer Hunter (1978)
91%

#4
Adjusted Score: 99849%
Critics Consensus: Its greatness is blunted by its length and one-sided point of view, but the film's weaknesses are overpowered by Michael Cimino's sympathetic direction and a series of heartbreaking performances from Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken.
Synopsis: In 1968, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#3

Parasite (2019)
98%

#3
Adjusted Score: 127460%
Critics Consensus: An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
Synopsis: Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#2

The Master (2012)
84%

#2
Adjusted Score: 95453%
Critics Consensus: Smart and solidly engrossing, The Master extends Paul Thomas Anderson's winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences.
Synopsis: Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, boozy drifter struggling with the trauma of World War II and whatever inner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#8

The Game (1997)
76%

#8
Adjusted Score: 79710%
Critics Consensus: The ending could use a little work but this is otherwise another sterling example of David Fincher's iron grip on atmosphere and storytelling.
Synopsis: Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a successful banker who keeps mostly to himself. When his estranged brother Conrad (Sean... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#1

Inherent Vice (2014)
73%

#1
Adjusted Score: 83386%
Critics Consensus: Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#1

Burning (2018)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105592%
Critics Consensus: Burning patiently lures audiences into a slow-burning character study that ultimately rewards the viewer's patience -- and subverts many of their expectations.
Synopsis: Jong-soo runs into Hae-mi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood, and she asks him to watch her cat... [More]
Directed By: Lee Chang-dong

#1

Vertigo (1958)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105853%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable scary thriller that doubles as a mournful meditation on love, loss, and human comfort.
Synopsis: Hitchcock's romantic story of obsession, manipulation and fear. A detective is forced to retire after his fear of heights causes... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#1

The Tree of Life (2011)
84%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98301%
Critics Consensus: Terrence Malick's singularly deliberate style may prove unrewarding for some, but for patient viewers, Tree of Life is an emotional as well as visual treat.
Synopsis: In this highly philosophical film by acclaimed director Terrence Malick, young Jack (Hunter McCracken) is one of three brothers growing... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#1

The Prestige (2006)
76%

#1
Adjusted Score: 83673%
Critics Consensus: Full of twists and turns, The Prestige is a dazzling period piece that never stops challenging the audience.
Synopsis: An illusion gone horribly wrong pits two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), against each... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#1

Under the Skin (2013)
84%

#1
Adjusted Score: 95071%
Critics Consensus: Its message may prove elusive for some, but with absorbing imagery and a mesmerizing performance from Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin is a haunting viewing experience.
Synopsis: Disguising herself as a human female, an extraterrestrial (Scarlett Johansson) drives around Scotland and tries to lure unsuspecting men into... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer

#1

Gattaca (1997)
83%

#1
Adjusted Score: 86115%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
Synopsis: Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol


BECAUSE THE MOVIE IS GONNA MAKE YOU UGLY CRY…

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 84626%
Critics Consensus: Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.
Synopsis: A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#12

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#12
Adjusted Score: 105720%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#11

Beaches (1988)
40%

#11
Adjusted Score: 43072%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hillary (Barbara Hershey) and CC (Bette Midler) meet as children vacationing in Atlantic City, N.J., and remain friends throughout the... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#10

Steel Magnolias (1989)
70%

#10
Adjusted Score: 71172%
Critics Consensus: Steel Magnolias has jokes and characters to spare, which makes it more dangerous (and effective) when it goes for the full melodrama by the end.
Synopsis: M'Lynn (Sally Field) is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts), and as friend Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) fixes... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#9

Stepmom (1998)
46%

#9
Adjusted Score: 50206%
Critics Consensus: Solid work from Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon isn't enough to save Stepmom from a story whose manipulations dilute the effectiveness of a potentially affecting drama.
Synopsis: Three years after divorcing Jackie (Susan Sarandon), the mother of his children, Luke Harrison (Ed Harris) decides to take the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#8

The Color Purple (1985)
81%

#8
Adjusted Score: 82400%
Critics Consensus: It might have been better served by a filmmaker with a deeper connection to the source material, but The Color Purple remains a worthy, well-acted adaptation of Alice Walker's classic novel.
Synopsis: An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 82228%
Critics Consensus: A classic tearjerker, Terms of Endearment isn't shy about reaching for the heartstrings -- but is so well-acted and smartly scripted that it's almost impossible to resist.
Synopsis: Widow Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), have a strong bond, but Emma marries teacher Flap... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#6

Toy Story 3 (2010)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 112785%
Critics Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Synopsis: With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 89615%
Critics Consensus: Wise, funny, and heartbreaking without resorting to exploitation, The Fault In Our Stars does right by its bestselling source material.
Synopsis: Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a 16-year-old cancer patient, meets and falls in love with Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a... [More]
Directed By: Josh Boone

#1

Wendy and Lucy (2008)
85%

#1
Adjusted Score: 92420%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Williams gives a heartbreaking performance in Wendy and Lucy, a timely portrait of loneliness and struggle.
Synopsis: Wendy (Michelle Williams), a near-penniless drifter, is traveling to Alaska in search of work, and her only companion is her... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Reichardt

#4

My Girl (1991)
50%

#4
Adjusted Score: 50560%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tomboy Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) has good reason to be morbid: her mother died giving birth to her, and her... [More]
Directed By: Howard Zieff

#3

Selena (1997)
67%

#3
Adjusted Score: 68834%
Critics Consensus: Selena occasionally struggles to tell its subject's story with depth or perspective, but those flaws are rendered largely irrelevant by Jennifer Lopez in the title role.
Synopsis: In this biographical drama, Selena Quintanilla (Jennifer Lopez) is born into a musical Mexican-American family in Texas. Her father, Abraham... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Nava

#2

Up (2009)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 109563%
Critics Consensus: An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure, Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar treat.
Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

#1
Adjusted Score: 110789%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#1
Adjusted Score: 89503%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully scripted and perfectly cast, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl is a coming-of-age movie with uncommon charm and insight.
Synopsis: An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#1

Stories We Tell (2012)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98582%
Critics Consensus: In Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley plays with the documentary format to explore the nature of memory and storytelling, crafting a thoughtful, compelling narrative that unfolds like a mystery.
Synopsis: Through a series of revealing interviews, filmmaker Sarah Polley investigates the truth about her family history.... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Polley

#1

Old Yeller (1957)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101989%
Critics Consensus: Old Yeller is an exemplary coming of age tale, packing an emotional wallop through smart pacing and a keen understanding of the elemental bonding between humanity and their furry best friends.
Synopsis: While Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie (Dorothy McGuire), and sons, Travis (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#1

Marley & Me (2008)
63%

#1
Adjusted Score: 68332%
Critics Consensus: Pet owners should love it, but Marley and Me is only sporadically successful in wringing drama and laughs from its scenario.
Synopsis: Newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston) leave behind snowy Michigan and move to Florida, where they buy... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 28943%
Critics Consensus: Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy.
Synopsis: Set in North Carolina, "A Walk To Remember" follows the rite of passage of a jaded, aimless high school senior... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman


BECAUSE THE MOVIE WILL INSTANTLY PUT YOU IN A BETTER MOOD…

#13

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
93%

#13
Adjusted Score: 104518%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Synopsis: The year is 1965, and the residents of New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England, inhabit a... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#12

Groundhog Day (1993)
97%

#12
Adjusted Score: 104067%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Synopsis: Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#11

The Goonies (1985)
77%

#11
Adjusted Score: 80849%
Critics Consensus: The Goonies is an energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.
Synopsis: When two brothers find out they might lose their house they are desperate to find a way to keep their... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 109747%
Critics Consensus: Clever, incisive, and funny, Singin' in the Rain is a masterpiece of the classical Hollywood musical.
Synopsis: A spoof of the turmoil that afflicted the movie industry in the late 1920s when movies went from silent to... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly

#9

Amélie (2001)
89%

#9
Adjusted Score: 95567%
Critics Consensus: The feel-good Amelie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine.
Synopsis: "Amélie" is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discretely orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 104033%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#7

The Birdcage (1996)
81%

#7
Adjusted Score: 84022%
Critics Consensus: Mike Nichols wrangles agreeably amusing performances from Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in this fun, if not quite essential, remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles.
Synopsis: In this remake of the classic French farce "La Cage aux Folles," engaged couple Val Goldman (Dan Futterman) and Barbara... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 88021%
Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.
Synopsis: Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) has an uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 86333%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
Synopsis: At the start of the New Year, 32-year-old Bridget (Renée Zellweger) decides it's time to take control of her life... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#4

Clueless (1995)
81%

#4
Adjusted Score: 89305%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#3

The Intouchables (2011)
75%

#3
Adjusted Score: 79896%
Critics Consensus: It handles its potentially prickly subject matter with kid gloves, but Intouchables gets by thanks to its strong cast and some remarkably sensitive direction.
Synopsis: An unlikely friendship develops between a wealthy quadriplegic (François Cluzet) and his caretaker (Omar Sy), just released from prison.... [More]

#2

Tommy Boy (1995)
42%

#2
Adjusted Score: 43339%
Critics Consensus: Though it benefits from the comic charms of its two leads, Tommy Boy too often feels like a familiar sketch stretched thin.
Synopsis: After his beloved father (Brian Dennehy) dies, dimwitted Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) inherits a near-bankrupt automobile parts factory in Sandusky,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 99436%
Critics Consensus: Little Miss Sunshine succeeds thanks to a strong ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin, as well as a delightfully funny script.
Synopsis: The Hoover family -- a man (Greg Kinnear), his wife (Toni Collette), an uncle (Steve Carell), a brother (Paul Dano)... [More]

#1

The Full Monty (1997)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98885%
Critics Consensus: Cheeky and infectiously good-natured, The Full Monty bares its big beating heart with a sly dose of ribald comedy.
Synopsis: After losing his job at a steel factory, Gaz (Robert Carlyle) learns that his wife wants to sue him for... [More]
Directed By: Peter Cattaneo

#1

Mamma Mia! (2008)
55%

#1
Adjusted Score: 61865%
Critics Consensus: This jukebox musical is full of fluffy fun but rough singing voices and a campy tone might not make you feel like "You Can Dance" the whole 90 minutes.
Synopsis: Donna (Meryl Streep), an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter's wedding with the help of... [More]
Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd

#1

Billy Elliot (2000)
85%

#1
Adjusted Score: 88855%
Critics Consensus: Billy Elliot is a charming movie that can evoke both laughter and tears.
Synopsis: The life of 11-year-old Billy Elliot, a coal miner's son in Northern England, is forever changed one day when he... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Daldry

#3
Adjusted Score: 55627%
Critics Consensus: Provides lots of laughs with Myers at the healm; as funny or funnier than the original.
Synopsis: In his second screen adventure, British super spy Austin Powers must return to 1969, as arch-nemesis Dr. Evil has ventured... [More]
Directed By: Jay Roach

#1

Step Brothers (2008)
55%

#1
Adjusted Score: 63191%
Critics Consensus: Step Brothers indulges in a cheerfully relentless immaturity that will quickly turn off viewers unamused by Ferrell and Reilly -- and delight those who find their antics hilarious.
Synopsis: Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) have one thing in common: they are both lazy, unemployed... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 75954%
Critics Consensus: Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America's John Landis' coasting direction.
Synopsis: Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the prince of a wealthy African country and wants for nothing, except a wife who... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#1

Airplane! (1980)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103487%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.
Synopsis: This spoof comedy takes shots at the slew of disaster movies that were released in the 70s. When the passengers... [More]

#1

Game Night (2018)
85%

#1
Adjusted Score: 99576%
Critics Consensus: With a talented cast turned loose on a loaded premise -- and a sharp script loaded with dark comedy and unexpected twists -- Game Night might be more fun than the real thing.
Synopsis: Max and Annie's weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party... [More]

#1

Pride (2014)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98186%
Critics Consensus: Earnest without being didactic and uplifting without stooping to sentimentality, Pride is a joyous crowd-pleaser that genuinely works.
Synopsis: Realizing that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gays and lesbians lend... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Warchus

#1

Pitch Perfect (2012)
81%

#1
Adjusted Score: 86241%
Critics Consensus: Pitch Perfect's plot is formulaic, but the performances are excellent and the musical numbers are toe-tapping as well.
Synopsis: College student Beca (Anna Kendrick) knows she does not want to be part of a clique, but that's exactly where... [More]
Directed By: Jason Moore

#1

Hot Fuzz (2007)
91%

#1
Adjusted Score: 99761%
Critics Consensus: The brilliant minds behind Shaun of the Dead successfully take a shot at the buddy cop genre with Hot Fuzz. The result is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.
Synopsis: As a former London constable, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) finds if difficult to adapt to his new assignment in the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#1
Adjusted Score: 43264%
Critics Consensus: Undisciplined, scatological, profoundly silly, and often utterly groan-worthy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights still has an amiable, anything-goes goofiness that has made it a cult favorite.
Synopsis: Crusading nobleman Robin of Loxley (Cary Elwes) escapes from prison in Jerusalem and returns home to find that the evil... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#1

Sing Street (2016)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107232%
Critics Consensus: Sing Street is a feel-good musical with huge heart and irresistible optimism, and its charmimg cast and hummable tunes help to elevate its familiar plotting.
Synopsis: In 1985, a Dublin teenager (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) forms a rock 'n' roll band to win the heart of an aspiring... [More]
Directed By: John Carney

#1

Big (1988)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103369%
Critics Consensus: Refreshingly sweet and undeniably funny, Big is a showcase for Tom Hanks, who dives into his role and infuses it with charm and surprising poignancy.
Synopsis: After a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), he heads to New York... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 112580%
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Synopsis: Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised... [More]
Directed By: Jon M. Chu


BECAUSE THE MOVIE’S VERY SEXY BITS WILL BE LESS AWKWARD SOLO…

#13

Magic Mike XXL (2015)
65%

#13
Adjusted Score: 74755%
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

#12

Basic Instinct (1992)
55%

#12
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

#11
#11
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

#10

The Dreamers (2003)
60%

#10
Adjusted Score: 66108%
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

#9

Lust, Caution (2007)
72%

#9
Adjusted Score: 78843%
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

#8

Sirens (1994)
74%

#8
Adjusted Score: 75531%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1930s Australia, Anglican clergyman Anthony Campion (Hugh Grant) and his prim wife, Estella (Tara Fitzgerald), are asked to visit... [More]
Directed By: John Duigan

#7

Secretary (2002)
78%

#7
Adjusted Score: 82606%
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

#6

Boogie Nights (1997)
93%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97831%
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

#5

Wild Things (1998)
63%

#5
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

#4

Unfaithful (2002)
50%

#4
Adjusted Score: 55941%
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

#3

Bound (1996)
90%

#3
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]

#2

Swimming Pool (2003)
83%

#2
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

#1

Mulholland Dr. (2001)
84%

#1
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

#1

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
76%

#1
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

#1

Weekend (2011)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98017%
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

#1

Body Heat (1981)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100552%
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

#1

Shame (2011)
79%

#1
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

#1

Showgirls (1995)
22%

#1
Adjusted Score: 24970%
Critics Consensus: Vile, contemptible, garish, and misogynistic -- and that might just be exactly Showgirls' point.
Synopsis: Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley) arrives in Las Vegas with only a suitcase and a dream of becoming a top showgirl. She... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#1
#1
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

#1

Fear (1996)
46%

#1
Adjusted Score: 46808%
Critics Consensus: Fear has an appealing young cast, but their efforts aren't enough to consistently distract from an increasingly overblown - and illogical - teen stalker story.
Synopsis: When 16-year-old Nicole Walker (Reese Witherspoon) meets 23-year-old David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) at a Seattle nightclub, she falls in love.... [More]
Directed By: James Foley


BECAUSE THE MOVIE’S EVEN SCARIER IN PERFECT SILENCE…

#13

The Descent (2005)
86%

#13
Adjusted Score: 93863%
Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.
Synopsis: A year after a severe emotional trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) goes to North Carolina to spend some time exploring caves... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#12

A Quiet Place (2018)
96%

#12
Adjusted Score: 118868%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 44665%
Critics Consensus: There is indeed a good amount of tension in this French slasher, but the dubbing is bad and the end twist unbelievable.
Synopsis: A beautiful young Frenchwoman, Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco), travels out to the country to visit her family and brings along... [More]
Directed By: Alexandre Aja

#10

The Strangers (2008)
48%

#10
Adjusted Score: 54443%
Critics Consensus: The Strangers has a handful of genuinely scary moments, but they're not enough to elevate the end results above standard slasher fare.
Synopsis: Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) are expecting a relaxing weekend at a family vacation home, but their stay... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Bertino

#9

Hush (2016)
93%

#9
Adjusted Score: 95382%
Critics Consensus: Hush navigates the bloody waters of home invasion thrillers and incisive slashers for a contemporary horror puree.
Synopsis: A deaf woman is stalked by a killer in her home.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#8

28 Days Later (2002)
87%

#8
Adjusted Score: 94188%
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
Synopsis: A group of misguided animal rights activists free a caged chimp infected with the "Rage" virus from a medical research... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#7

Alien (1979)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 108924%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#6

Dead Silence (2007)
21%

#6
Adjusted Score: 23344%
Critics Consensus: More tasteful than recent slasher flicks, but Dead Silence is undone by boring characters, bland dialogue, and an unnecessary and obvious twist ending.
Synopsis: After his wife meets a grisly end, Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) returns to their creepy hometown of Ravens Fair to... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 88602%
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.
Synopsis: Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes... [More]
Directed By: Ti West

#1

The Others (2001)
83%

#1
Adjusted Score: 89447%
Critics Consensus: The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy.
Synopsis: Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#4

Don't Breathe (2016)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103105%
Critics Consensus: Don't Breathe smartly twists its sturdy premise to offer a satisfyingly tense, chilling addition to the home invasion genre that's all the more effective for its simplicity.
Synopsis: Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex and Money are three Detroit thieves who get their kicks by breaking into the houses of... [More]
Directed By: Fede Alvarez

#3

The Shining (1980)
85%

#3
Adjusted Score: 93702%
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

#2

Wait Until Dark (1967)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 96529%
Critics Consensus: Nail-bitingly tense and brilliantly acted, Wait Until Dark is a compact thriller that makes the most of its fiendishly clever premise.
Synopsis: After a flight back home, Sam Hendrix (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) returns with a doll he innocently acquired along the way.... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#1

The Conjuring (2013)
86%

#1
Adjusted Score: 93985%
Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.
Synopsis: In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are summoned to the home of... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 41730%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A retired police detective (Charles Durning) hunts a deranged British seaman out to re-create a baby sitter's (Carol Kane) horror.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Walton

#1

Silent House (2011)
43%

#1
Adjusted Score: 46809%
Critics Consensus: Silent House is more technically proficient and ambitious than most fright-fests, but it also suffers from a disappointing payoff.
Synopsis: Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) is working with her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) to renovate an old family... [More]
Directed By: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106177%
Critics Consensus: It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what's left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen.
Synopsis: After a mysterious apocalypse leaves the world with few survivors, two families are forced to share a home in an... [More]
Directed By: Trey Edward Shults

#1

The Orphanage (2007)
87%

#1
Adjusted Score: 95246%
Critics Consensus: Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.
Synopsis: Laura (Belén Rueda) has happy memories of her childhood in an orphanage. She convinces her husband to buy the place... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona


Thumbnail image: Everett Collection, Paramount Pictures, Focus Features

©Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

The Queen of Soul is gone, but not forgotten. Aretha Franklin leaves behind a tremendous legacy, which stretches beyond her storied albums and live performances to a slew of unforgettable movie soundtrack moments. Franklin’s songs can be heard in so many movies – and always to their benefit. Below are 11 memorable movie scenes that simply wouldn’t be the same without that voice.


11. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

The Scene: Bridget gives Daniel exactly what he deserves.

The Song: “Respect”

It’s hard to believe that the hook “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” wasn’t written specifically so that rom-com heroines could deliver a stinger to some bad-boy who’s been playing them, turn around, and have a killer tune to exit on. That’s exactly how the song is used in this scene towards the end of Bridget Jones’ Diary, in which Bridget (Renee Zellweger) finally gives Daniel (Hugh Grant) what’s coming to him. The office workers applaud, and so do we. [Note: The song kicks in right at the end of the clip above – you can see an unauthorized version here.]


10. High Fidelity (2000) 91%

The Scene: Barry attempts to sell a number of essential records to a customer.

The Song: “Rock Steady”

Top five most memorable songs in High Fidelity – go. “Rock Steady” isn’t one of them? That makes sense, as it’s heard for just a few moments in the record store as Barry (Jack Black) does his magic, selling albums to an easy mark. What it is, what it is, what it is is just a great old classic tune mixed in ahead of something modern like The Beta Band. But every song choice in the movie is memorable; you really can’t ignore High Fidelity when compiling a list of top 10 songs of anything, really.


9. Forrest Gump (1994) 70%

The Scene: Forrest and Bubba arrive in Vietnam and meet Lt. Dan.

The Song: “Respect”

Making up for its absence in Platoon – despite being on that film’s soundtrack! – “Respect” could have just been one part of a medley of token Vietnam War movie tunes in Forrest Gump. But it’s used effectively, and pointedly: it’s respect that Lt. Dan expects from his goofy new grunts, and respect that he will receive. [Check out an unauthorized clip of the scene here.]


8. Sneakers (1992) 79%

The Scene: The team dances in celebration following their first “black box” heist.

The Song: “Chain of Fools”

Another dance sequence, and again it’s set to “Chain of Fools” – because the main team of security specialists here is a bunch of fools, you see? Well, David Strathairn’s Whistler and River Phoenix’s Carl sure move like fools as they and Dan Aykroyd’s Mother and Sidney Poitier’s Crease all get their chance to cut a rug with Liz (Mary McDonnell). Also, they’re happy fools at the time, unaware of just how serious the MacGuffin is that’s now in their possession. [You can find an unauthorized clip of the scene here.]


7. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) 84%

The Scene: Roberta follows Susan into a vintage clothing shop and buys her secondhand jacket left behind.

Song: “Respect”

Any number of golden oldies could have been used in this scene set inside a vintage clothing store. Why go with a track as familiar as Franklin’s “Respect”? Maybe it’s a random selection, or maybe it’s there to deliberately emphasize the vintage, dated atmosphere of the place. Or maybe it represents the respect the characters give each other in the scene. Whatever it was, we can’t get the scene – or the song – out of our heads.


6. The Big Chill (1983) 69%

The Scene: Harold’s wife, Sarah, arranges for him to sleep with Meg, in order to impregnate her, while other couples also make love on their last night at the country house. It’s… complicated.

Song: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

While most of the tunes on the The Big Chill soundtrack seem like random nostalgia-fueled oldies, Franklin’s soaring coming-alive song is used very literally, and effectively, here: it highlights Meg’s being made to “feel like a natural woman” in finally trying to conceive a baby. It would be a much weirder scene, given the approved adultery involved, were it not for the soul of Franklin’s vocals. (Seriously, watch it on mute.)


5. Goodfellas (1990) 96%

The Scene: Henry narrates his relationship with his mistress Janice as she shows her girlfriends around her new apartment and he beats up her boss.

The Song: “Baby, I Love You”

Martin Scorsese is very deliberate with his soundtrack choices, and “Baby, I Love You” is so, so apt for a montage devoted to a part-time lover. Franklin sings desperate lyrics to a potentially temporary or unrequited beau, one that she says she loves without a doubt.


4. Michael (1996) 34%

The Scene: The archangel Michael dances around a bar, luring all the women in the place with his cookie scent.

The Song: “Chain of Fools”

Who doesn’t love a John Travolta dance number, just for the heck of it? And this might be his wildest ever, paired beautifully with a song about fools. Of course an archangel would choose a song that basically parodies a gospel tune and is sung by a goddess such as Franklin – he does seem to pray or bow to her at the song’s start – to magically play on the jukebox.


3. Cape Fear (1991) 74%

The Scene: Creepy ex-con Max Cady calls up the teenaged Danielle pretending to be her drama teacher.

The Song: “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”

Trust in Max Cady, because he’s the “do right man.” No, no, no, he’s most certainly the do-wrong man. In Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake, Robert De Niro’s ultimate harasser turns a feminist tune by Franklin, with lyrics about how men need to respect women, into a sleazy tool for the seduction of a little girl. [Check out an unauthorized clip of the scene here.]


2. Moonlight (2016) 98%

The Scene: Grown-up Chiron (a.k.a. “Black”) enters the diner where Kevin works.

The Song: “One Step Ahead”

This tune about the anticipation of potential heartbreak actually plays twice in Barry Jenkins’ Best Picture winner. We first hear “One Step Ahead” when Chiron is younger and enters his home to the heartbreaking realization that his mother is a junkie. When we hear the song again, as the grown Chiron enters a place that might also bring heartbreak, the hues are more hopeful, but the sense of uncertainty remains.


1. The Blues Brothers (1980) 73%

The Scene: The diner-waitress wife of Matt “Guitar” Murphy does not approve of hubs going off with the Blues Brothers.

The Song: “Think”

You better think (think!) about what a perfect scene this is. As Mrs. Murphy, Franklin made her movie debut performing her own hit song, which she had co-written with her then real-life husband. A feminist anthem, “Think” is used for a musical number in which a woman tells her man to consider what will happen if he hits the road. “You better think about the consequences of your actions,” she says to her onscreen guitarist hubby, kicking off the iconic diner sequence. Franklin would later return as Mrs. Murphy in the sequel Blues Brothers 2000 to perform “Respect” for a similar number, this time set in a car dealership.

You’ve had your Valentine’s Day dinner, shared some chocolate-dipped delights, and exchanged presents. Now you’re home with your significant other, and you’re looking for something to watch while you cuddle, whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears, and gradually slip into the mood for more intimate activities (like Scrabble). Look no further, you beautiful, darling lovebirds, for we have compiled a list of 50 Certified Fresh and Fresh movies and TV series perfect for the occasion, whether you’re in need of something silly, steamy, sad, or sweet. See below for some excellent Valentine’s Day choices on Netflix.


1. 45 Years (2015) 97%

(Photo by Sundance Selects)

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay star in Andrew Haigh’s drama about a married couple dealing with long-simmering tensions on the cusp of their 45th wedding anniversary.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

2. The African Queen (1951) 96%

Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn star in John Huston’s classic, Oscar-winning romantic adventure film about a WWI steam ship captain operating in Eas Africa who falls in love with the missionary’s daughter he’s agreed to transport back to civilization.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon

 


3. Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013) 77%

(Photo by Steve Dietl/IFC Films)

Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in this Certified Fresh drama about an imprisoned bank robber and the woman and child he left behind.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


4. Atonement (2007) 83%

(Photo by Focus Features)

James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan star in Joe Wright’s Oscar-winning adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel about a young girl who sabotages the relationship between her older sister and the man she loves.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


5. Beauty and the Beast (2017) 71%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in Bill Condon’s live-action Disney adaptation of the studio’s own take on the classic tale of a young woman held captive by an angry beast who was once a prince.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


6. Before Midnight (2013) 98%

(Photo by Despina Spyrou/Sony Classics)

In the third installment of Richard Linklater’s enduring love story, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are married and hoping to recapture the spark that first brought them together.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


7. Begin Again (2013) 83%

(Photo by Andrew Schwartz/Weinstein Company)

John Carney’s second musical romance stars Keira Knightley as a newly single songwriter who begins an unlikely friendship with the record exec (Mark Ruffalo) who volunteers to help record her album independently.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


8. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) 89%

(Photo by Sundance Selects)

Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos star in this Certified Fresh, Palme d’Or winning coming-of-age drama about a teenager who falls in love with an older art student.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


9. Blue Jay (2016) 91%

(Photo by The Orchard)

Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson star in this romantic drama about a long-separated couple who reconnect after a chance encounter.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


10. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) 89%

Arguably the most celebrated — surely the most widely recognized — Audrey Hepburn film. We just prefer to pretend all the Mickey Rooney stuff doesn’t exist.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


11. Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) 78%

(Photo by Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures)

Renée Zellweger reprises her role as the titular singleton, who must figure out who the father of her child is after a pair of trysts results in a pregnancy.

Stream Now | Also on iTunes

 


12. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant star in this comedy about a brash thirtysomething woman who decides to shape up and meets a couple of eligible bachelors.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


13. Bright Star (2009) 83%

(Photo by Apparition)

Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish star in Jane Campion’s biopic focusing on the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne during the last years of Keats’ life.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


14. Carol (2015) 94%

(Photo by Wilson Webb/Weinstein Company)

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in Todd Haynes’ period drama about an illicit affair between a lonely housewife and a younger woman.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


15. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 98%

(Photo by Tyler Golden/The CW)

Rachel Bloom stars in this Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning CW musical comedy series about a career woman who leaves her job and Manhattan lifestyle to find love in California. Watch seasons 1 and 2.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


16. Definitely, Maybe (2008) 70%

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

In this romantic comedy that essentially inspired How I Met Your Mother, Ryan Reynolds stars as a man who recounts his past conquests (played by Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz) to his daughter when his impending divorce makes her insufferably inquisitive.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


17. Drinking Buddies (2013) 84%

(Photo by Magnolia Pictures)

Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jason Sudeikis, Jake Johnson, and Ron Livingston star in this comedy about two co-workers at a brewery who share an attraction despite being in relationships with other people.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


18. Emma (1996) 85%

Gwyneth Paltrow stars in this adaptation of the Jane Austen novel about a well-meaning woman who takes it upon herself to play matchmaker to those in her life, unaware that she has an admirer of her own.

Stream Now | Also on AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes


19. Holding the Man (2015) 81%

(Photo by Strand Releasing)

Based on Timothy Conigrave’s memoir of the same name, this independent drama from Australia centers on two men whose romance becomes the foundation of their gay rights activist work.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon

 


20. The Incredible Jessica James (2017) 89%

(Photo by Netflix)

Jessica Williams and Chris O’Dowd star in this Netflix original comedy about an aspiring playwright who bonds with a man as they both attempt to deal with painful breakups.

Stream Now

 


21. Jane The Virgin 100%

(Photo by )

Twenty-something virgin Jane has her life turned upside-down when she is accidentally inseminated with her boss’s sperm in this Certified Fresh dramedy with telenovela twists and a strong ensemble cast. Seasons 1 to 3 are available.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


22. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) 95%

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan leads a village cricket squad in a match against their ruthless British occupiers in this beloved 2001 Oscar-nominated epic.

Stream Now

 


 23. Leap Year (2010) 93%

(Photo by Strand Releasing)

This drama from Mexico centers on a promiscuous but lonely journalist who engages in a steamy, complicated affair with a sadist.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


24. Like Water for Chocolate (1992) 87%

(Photo by Miramax)

Based on the novel of the same name by Laura Esquival, Alfonso Arau’s magical romantic tale centers on the forbidden love between a man and a young woman who can make others feel what she feels through the food that she cooks.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


25. Margarita, With a Straw (2014) 83%

(Photo by Wolfe Releasing)

Kalki Koechlin stars in this Indian drama about a woman struggling with both cerebral palsy and matters of the heart.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


26. Master of None 93%

(Photo by Netflix)

In this Certified Fresh Netflix original comedy, Aziz Ansari (who also writes and directs) stars as a 30-year-old actor navigating life and love in New York City.

Stream Now

 


27. Meet the Patels (2014) 87%

(Photo by Independent Television Service)

Ravi Patel’s Certified Fresh documentary chronicles his family’s persistent attempts to find him a spouse.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW

 


28. Middle of Nowhere (2012) 88%

(Photo by AFFRM)

David Oyelowo stars in this drama about a med student whose life is upended when her husband is incarcerated, from Selma director Ava DuVernay.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


29. Midnight in Paris (2011) 93%

(Photo by Roger Arpajou/Sony Pictures Classics)

Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and a slew of stars breathe life into Woody Allen’s dreamy romantic comedy about an aspiring novelist who, on a trip to Paris with his fiancée, is transported back to an idealized version of the city in the 1920s.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


30. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) 93%

(Photo by Niko Tavernise/Focus Features)

Wes Anderson’s coming-of-age film stars Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as a couple of pre-teens who fall in love and run away from home together.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


31. My Golden Days (2015) 90%

(Photo by Magnolia Pictures)

This coming-of-age drama follows a French teenager’s troubled family life and misadventures in the Soviet Union.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


32. No Tomorrow 88%

(Photo by Bettina Strauss/The CW)

Tori Anderson and Joshua Sasse star in this CW series about a Seattle woman who gets involved with a man who believes the end of the world is near, and decides to join him in completing their bucket lists together.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


33. Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) 76%

(Photo by Magnolia Pictures)

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgård star in Lars von Trier’s provocative tale of a woman who recounts her violently sexual past to a man nursing her back to health after saving her from a brutal attack in an alley.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


34. Omar (2013) 90%

(Photo by Adopt Films)

This drama from Palestine follows a baker and moonlighting freedom fighter who’s coerced into informing on a friend when he’s wrongly arrested for the murder of an Israeli soldier.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


35. On Body and Soul (2017) 90%

(Photo by Netflix)

Netflix picked up this Certified Fresh drama from Hungary about two people who discover they share the same dream every night and attempt to recreate the emotions of that dream in reality.

Stream Now

 


36. Our Souls at Night (2017) 89%

(Photo by Netflix)

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star in this romantic drama about a widow and a widower living next door to each other who fin a connection as they enter their twilight years.

Stream Now

 


37. Palm Trees in the Snow (2015) 86%

This Spanish period drama follows a woman who discovers a letter that reveals details about her father’s journey from his island home to Spanish Guinea.

Stream Now

 


38. The Reader (2008) 63%

(Photo by Weinstein Company)

Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes star in Stephen Daldry’s drama about a young man who falls for an older woman who turns out to be a former Nazi prison guard.

Stream Now | Also on AmazoniTunes


39. A Royal Night Out (2015) 74%

(Photo by Nick Wall/Atlas Distribution)

Sarah Gadon and Emily Watson star in this period dramedy about Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret’s adventures out on the town during V Day festivities in 1945.

Stream Now | Also on AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes


40. Rust and Bone (2012) 82%

(Photo by Sony Pictures Classics)

Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts star in Jacques Audiard’s drama about a single father who falls in love with a whale trainer after she suffers a tragic accident.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


41. Sense8 86%

(Photo by Netflix)

This Emmy-nominated Netflix original series follows eight strangers from around the world who discover they can psychically travel between each other’s bodies, allowing them to experience each other’s lives. Watch seasons 1 and 2.

Stream Now

 


42. She's Gotta Have It 78%

(Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

Based on Spike Lee’s acclaimed 1986 debut feature film of the same name (which is also available to stream), this Netflix original series centers on a single woman navigating a trio of tricky romances and attempting to balance it with the rest of her personal and professional life.

Stream Now

 


43.Sing Street (2016) 95%

(Photo by Weinstein Company)

John Carney’s Golden Globe-nominated Certified Fresh musical drama centers on a Dublin teen in 1985 who starts a band to impress the girl he has a crush on.

Stream Now | Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


44. Southside With You (2016) 92%

(Photo by Roadside Attractions)

Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter star as the young Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson in a romantic drama that follows the couple around Chicago on their first date.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

 


45. Suite Française (2014) 76%

(Photo by Bruno Calvo/Weinstein Company)

Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts star in this period romance about a French woman who falls in love with a German soldier when his regiment takes over her town during WWII.

Stream Now

 


46. Two Lovers and a Bear (2016) 84%

(Photo by Philippe Bosse/Netflix)

Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan star in this unique drama about a couple living in the icy wilderness of Canada who embark on a perilous journey south when a stalker threatens their lives.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


47. The Way He Looks (2014) 93%

(Photo by Strand Releasing)

This Brazilian coming-of-age drama revolves around a blind teenager struggling for independence who slowly falls in love with a new classmate.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 


48. Wedding Crashers (2005) 76%

(Photo by New Line Cinema)

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star in this romantic comedy about a pair of cynical divorce attorneys who spend their time crashing weddings until they both meet their match in two very different women.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


49. While You Were Sleeping (1995) 81%

Sandra Bullock stars in this romantic comedy about a lonely tollbooth operator who falls in love with one of her customers and is mistaken for his fiancée when she intervenes in a tragic accident that leaves him comatose.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, FandangoNOWiTunes

 


50. And Your Mother Too (2001) 92%

Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Maribel Verdu star in this coming-of-age road trip drama about a pair of friends who take off on an adventure with a cousin’s estranged wife after their girlfriends leave town.

Stream Now | Also on Amazon, iTunes

 

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Memento was a mindbending mystery flick that rested almost entirely on Guy Pearce‘s electrifying breakout performance in the lead role. Consider his work in other films like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, L.A., Confidential, The King’s Speech, The Time Machine, ABC’s When We Rise, and soon, Alien: Covenant, and it’s easy to see why his remarkable versatility has become a hot commodity.

This week, Pearce stars in Brimstone as an intimidating reverend out for revenge, and we were almost a’scared to ask the guy anything, but we were pleased to find that he loves movies just as much as the rest of us. Ever charming and earnest, he gave us his list of Five Favorite Films, which you can read below.

The Elephant Man (1980) 93%

It came out in 1980 and I have a sister with an intellectual disability. I think in 1980 — when I was 12 and I saw The Elephant Man for the first time — the film just struck a chord in me that nothing ever had before, and it does to this day when I watch it. Obviously the performances by Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt and John Gielgud, etc. are just so sensitive and touching that it’s heartbreaking for me. It really touches me in a way that I think has — not to suggest that my sister has the same condition that Joseph Merrick had — but the way in which that character feels ostracized and the way in which people are judgmental of him are all things that really hit home for me as a young boy trying to protect my sister out there in the world. Very much connected to my upbringing, but obviously quite a different story.

But I just think Anthony Hopkins in that film, the way that David Lynch captured him, and obviously the way he performed that role of Freddy Treves just… There’s nothing better. Anthony Hopkins is someone who I think does sensitivity on screen better than anybody anyway, so his heartbreak and his compassion for that character was just unforgettable really.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 97%

Something actually I watched recently — my girlfriend hadn’t seen it yet — A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m a huge Marlon Brando fan, as a lot of actors are. I know it’s a cliché, but obviously there are many performances of Brando’s that are just exquisite, but there’s something about that performance as Stanley in Streetcar that I think is just so raw and electric, as everybody says. I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t said before, so excuse my banter, but you just cannot take your eyes off him. I think as a young male actor at the time, when I first started seeing that film, you just wanted to deliver everything that he could deliver, and of course, none of us can. I certainly can’t, but the envy that I would feel for him, as well as the thrill of watching what he could do, was so mixed up in my head and my body that I just go back to that film every couple of years and watch it again.

Obviously, Tennessee Williams is such a wonderful writer, and we all understand, I think, those powerful emotions that exist within families, and those things that seem very subtle at one point that can then be the breakdown of a family. I just think the combination of his writing and Brando’s performance is just exquisite. It’s really exquisite.

The Godfather (1972) 97%

Okay. I do come back to The Godfather, and to be honest, if I had more time to think about it, I would probably leave The Godfather out only because I know that it’s a film that is often touted. But primarily, I think it’s about Pacino for me.

I think all of the things that make The Godfather what people call the perfect film, where you’re taken into a world where, for most us, is really just — we’re never going to go there ourselves, into the world of the mafia and organized crime, but to see how it’s connected to family and how that is the basis of this story being the bond within a family, is so foreign to, I think, most of us. Foreign as far as where killing is part of family life. It’s just so unusual, but at the same time, it’s done in such a way that they make it feel perfectly normal.

Of course, again, there’s Brando, there’s Pacino, and then in the second one we see De Niro.

I think I’m often drawn to films primarily because of the performances, and speaking of performances, I would then probably move to Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino for very different reasons. We see Pacino in Godfather in an extremely restrained performance. And then, of course, in Dog Day Afternoon, we see just this loose mess of a human being spilling out out all over the place, and he’s just absolutely electric and just as compelling and just as unpredictable as the character Michael Corleone in Godfather, but completely at opposite ends of the spectrum.

I just think Pacino is someone for me who, like Brando, I just find him completely watchable and can’t get enough of him. Anything he does, really, I would find compelling. Although there have been performances lately that haven’t been as interesting as the earlier stuff.

[Godfather and Dog Day Afternoon] are so different. They’re really, really different. I think Godfather is a better film, but I think Dog Day — that performance — John Cazale‘s performance in Dog Day, as well — and as you know, I have really eclectic taste anyway in the kinds of things that I like, and the kinds of jobs that I choose, too. I get just as much out of both of those films. The potential energy that exists in Godfather versus Dog Day is that they’re just extreme, explosive kind of sweaty performances of Pacino [and they are] are two completely different things, but they both affect me a great deal.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

I’m also a big fan of comedy as well, so even things to this day like Bridget Jones’s Diary, there was just something about Bridget Jones that I thought … And I guess it’s [Renée Zellweger‘s] performance. I remember there was a lot of talk about the fact that they cast an American in that role, but I think she captured the sensibility of a repressed English girl who was desperate to fall in love so beautifully And as an actor myself, often you caught slack if you’re playing a gay person and you’re not really gay, or you’re playing an American and you’re not really American, or you’re playing whatever it happens to be. I just think if you can find the essence in a character and pull it off, then it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your nationality is, etc. There’s something to me about that film that’s like the perfect romantic comedy. I just think it’s a bit hard to put my finger on what it is, to be honest. It’s just beautifully executed. Everything’s so well balanced. Often whenever I read a romantic comedy now, I’m comparing it to Bridget Jones and if it’s planned well.

Gallipoli (1981) 91%

One of my favorite directors is Peter Weir, and a film that I watched recently of his is Gallipoli — Mel Gibson and Mark Lee, as well as a bunch of other great Australian actors. I think that film for me is this incredible combination of the brutality of war and yet the sensitivity of the human spirit, and I think Mel Gibson is absolutely electric and fantastic in that film, but I think Mark Lee is utterly heartbreaking. His almost non-sexual personality and spirit is so engaging and sensitive that the film, and the combination with his performance, the energy of the film, and then the music in that film really — I think music is a really important aspect in film, and, as you know, you can play Yakety Sax over a scene, or you can play something from Morricone over a scene, and the scene will then have a completely different meaning and feel. That’s an extreme example, but if music is done well in a movie, it can turn anything, even a three dimensional performance — it can make it turn more three dimensional because it enhances what is meant to be there. I think that the music used in Gallipoli is just utterly heartbreaking. Really, really heartbreaking and beautiful.

 


Brimstone opens on Friday, Mar. 10, 2017 in limited release.

It’s the very first streaming column of 2017, which means it’s also the first streaming column of the month, which means the subscription services are releasing a ton of new titles, and we’re culling them down to the very best. Read on for all the Certified Fresh choices available on Netflix and Amazon Prime this week.


New on Netflix

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 99%

Steven Spielberg’s family classic — the tale of a young boy named Elliott who discovers an orphaned alien in his backyard — boasts one of the most beloved movie characters in history.

Available now on: Netflix


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 95%

Robert Wise’s Certified Fresh sci-fi classic tells the story of an alien being who arrives on Earth with a warning for mankind: make peace or face annihilation.

Available now on: Netflix


Hugo (2011) 93%

Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Brian Selznick novel stars Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz in the story of a young boy who befriends a reclusive toymaker in order to unlock the secret behind an automaton left to him by his late father.

Available now on: Netflix


Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

– Franchise

All four of the classic Superman films starring Christopher Reeve — and Bryan Singer’s 2006 update — are available on Netflix this week.

Available now on Netflix: Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV, Superman Returns


Boogie Nights (1997) 93%

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble opus about life in the porn industry made a movie star out of Mark Wahlberg and benefited immeasurably from great performances by Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, Luis Guzman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and William H. Macy.

Available now on: Netflix


Gimme the Loot (2012) 91%

This independent drama follows a pair of graffiti artists over two days as they attempt to raise funds for a bold act of tagging.

Available now on: Netflix


After Innocence (2005) 92%

This documentary catches up with several men exonerated by DNA evidence and freed from prison as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

Available now on: Netflix


Cheap Thrills (2013) 88%

This dark comedy centers on two friends and a wealthy married couple who meet at a bar and engage in a series of progressively more twisted dares.

Available now on: Netflix


The Shining (1980) 85%

Stanley Kubrick’s iconic adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars a creepy Jack Nicholson as a struggling writer who relocates his family to an empty hotel during a harsh winter season and slowly goes mad.

Available now on: Netflix


Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant star in this comedy about a brash thirtysomething London woman who decides to shape up and meets a couple of eligible bachelors.

Available now on: Netflix


Beautiful Girls (1996) 79%

Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, a young Natalie Portman, and a bunch of other noted indie thespians star in this mid-1990s comedy about a high school reunion in snowy New England.

Available now on: Netflix


Braveheart (1995) 79%

Mel Gibson directs and stars in this multiple Oscar-winner as William Wallace, a Scottish folk hero from the 13th century who led his people against the English in the First War of Scottish Independence.

Available now on: Netflix


Caddyshack (1980) 73%

Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray star in Harold Ramis’s directorial debut, a beloved comedy about the unruly, unusual new members of an exclusive country club.

Available now on: Netflix


V for Vendetta (2006) 73%

Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving star in this dystopian thriller about a lone freedom fighter plotting a series of revolutionary bombings against a tyrannical government who recruits a young woman to join his cause.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%

– Franchise

Harrison Ford stars as the iconic archaeologist/adventurer whose thrilling exploits take him all over the globe. Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to stream all of the Indiana Jones movies this week.

Available now on Amazon Prime: Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Iron Man (2008) 94%

This action blockbuster, which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in spectacular style, stars Robert Downey Jr. in a role he was born to play: an arrogant billionaire supergenius who creates a weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Cropsey (2009) 91%

This Certified Fresh documentary tells the chilling tale of a Long Island child killer that many assumed was an urban legend.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Trading Places (1983) 88%

Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd star in John Landis’s classic comedy about a well-to-do businessman and a common street hustler whose lives become intertwined when the businessman’s bosses concoct an elaborate bet involving them.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


American History X (1998) 83%

Edwards Norton and Furlong star in this drama about an ex-white supremacist who returns from prison a changed man and attempts to prevent his younger brother from following the same path.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Beetlejuice (1988) 85%

Tim Burton’s offbeat comedy stars Michael Keaton as the titular ghoul, a chaotic wildcard whose services are called upon by a newly deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to help rid their home of its new occupants.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Jesus' Son (1999) 80%

Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton star in this drama about an aimless junkie who meets an interesting collection of characters as he attempts to straighten out his life.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Untouchables (1987) 83%

Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Robert De Niro star in Brian DePalma’s dramatization of the Prohibition Era war between Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Stardust (2007) 77%

Based upon Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel and featuring an all-star cast, this fantasy follows a young man who embarks on a journey through a forbidden kingdom to prove his love to the girl of his dreams by presenting her with a fallen star.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Gangs of New York (2002) 73%

Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis headline an all-star cast in Martin Scorsese’s stylized portrayal of the rise of criminal power in New York’s Five Points neighborhood during the mid-1800s.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Happy Feet (2006) 76%

Elijah Wood and Robin Williams lend their voices to this animated feature about an emperor penguin who overcomes his inability to sing by becoming a fantastic dancer instead.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Available to Purchase

 

Insecure: Season 1 (2016) 100%

Issa Rae stars in this HBO comedy series, partly based on her web series Awkward Black Girl, that centers on two black women learning to navigate their personal and professional lives in Los Angeles.

Available now on: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes


Pinocchio (1940) 100%

Disney’s classic take on the story of a wooden boy who wishes to become human is being made available to stream this week.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Queen of Katwe (2016) 94%

Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo star in Mira Nair’s inspirational tale based on a true story about a chess prodigy who is discovered in a Ugandan slum and nurtured to become a champion.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Christine (2016) 88%

Rebecca Hall stars in this fact-based drama as Christine Chubbuck, the Florida news reporter who committed suicide on live TV in 1974.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes


Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 82%

This surprisingly effective prequel to the forgettable 2014 original follows a scam psychic and her two daughters as they deal with an unwelcome spirit who enters their lives via the titular game board.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes

This week at the movies, we have a pair of very belated, very different sequels (Bridget Jones’s Baby, starring Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth; and Blair Witch, starring James Allen McCune and Callie Hernandez), a ripped-from-the-headlines Oliver Stone drama (Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley), and a concert movie (Hillsong – Let Hope Rise). What are the critics saying? Let’s take a look.


Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) 78%

Bridget Jones’s Diary made rom-com magic out of Helen Fielding‘s bestselling novel in 2001, but the sequel, 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, failed to produce similar results. It might have seemed safe to assume we’d seen the last of Ms. Jones on the big screen, but lo and behold, all these years later, she’s back with Bridget Jones’s Baby. Reviews describe a third installment that delivers pretty much what fans would expect; although Hugh Grant has departed the cast, Renee Zellweger remains as charming as ever as Bridget, and Colin Firth is back for another appearance as her longtime squeeze (and potential baby daddy) Mark Darcy. Critics say this is the rare threequel that, while somewhat safe and fairly predictable, remains a surprising return to form over its predecessor — and may even be the best Bridget of the bunch.


Blair Witch (2016) 38%

Speaking of sequels to long-ago movies, here’s Blair Witch, a follow-up to the 1999 found-footage horror hit that eschews the side road taken by 2000’s ill-received Book of Shadows in favor of taking audiences back where they started. Which, in a nutshell, is the problem: Instead of taking the Blair Witch mythology in any substantially new or extra-terrifying directions, director Adam Wingard (working from a script by his frequent collaborator Simon Barrett) seems mostly content to settle for a loose rehash of the original story. Although the end results are still good for some jolts, and Blair Witch does manage to add a few wrinkles to the familiar narrative, critics say you can safely wait to watch this one in the dark from the comfort of your own home.


Snowden (2016) 61%

Oliver Stone is certainly no stranger to political filmmaking; in fact, his filmography contains some of Hollywood’s more provocative — and widely acclaimed — cinematic statements on American history and current events. But looking to the headlines isn’t always enough to guarantee an Oscar contender from Stone; in recent years, fact-based efforts such as World Trade Center and W. have fallen short of the lofty standard set by achievements like Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, critics say this weekend’s Snowden follows that downward slope, giving the fascinating story of the titular whistleblower (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a curiously muted dramatization that critics say is well-acted and topical, but occasionally too slackly paced. If it’s a great Snowden film you’re in the mood for, try checking out the Citizenfour documentary this weekend — but if you’re holding out for the next great Oliver Stone production, you might be a little disappointed.


Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (2016) 60%

They may not be household names yet, but the members of Australian contemporary worship band Hillsong UNITED have cracked the Billboard Top 10 with each of their last two albums — and now they’re getting their documentary due with Hillsong — Let Hope Rise, which purports to capture their “on-stage energy and off-stage hearts” while bringing new meaning to the phrase “theatrical worship experience.” Unfortunately, we can’t really speak to their success in that mission, because critics don’t seem to be rushing out to see it. As of this writing, Let Hope Rise has a pair of reviews, and they’re evenly split. Go on and Guess the Tomatometer!


What’s Hot on TV

High Maintenance: Season 1 (2016) 95%

Dreamlike, poignant, and often funny, High Maintenance successfully transitions from the web to the small screen thanks to sharp writing and an excellent cast.


American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016) 74%

Season six of American Horror Story takes a surprising turn away from prior AHS formats, revisiting the deliberate pace of earlier seasons on a spookier, smaller scale, even if the true-crime format feels overdone.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • The Beatles: Eight Days a Week -- The Touring Years (2016) , a Ron Howard documentary offering a new look at the titular period in the Fab Four’s history, is at 97 percent.
  • Miss Stevens (2016) , about a teacher whose inner turmoil dovetails with her chaperoning duties on a weekend school trip, is at 92 percent.
  • Command and Control (2016) , a documentary that raises questions about the stewardship of America’s nuclear weapons program, is at 92 percent.
  • Operation Avalanche (2016) , a Cold War thriller about a pair of CIA agents trying to root out a mole in NASA’s space program, is at 74 percent.
  • Tanna (2015) , the reality-inspired story of young South Pacific lovers caught in the middle of a tribal war, is at 73 percent.
  • Mr. Church (2016) , starring Eddie Murphy in a rare dramatic role as a chef who proves a fateful addition to a household in their time of need, is at 14 percent.

Christmas is just around the corner and you know what that means: holiday mirth, exchanging gifts, eating foods you wouldn’t touch at any other time in the year, and, yes, ugly sweaters!  The holiday tradition inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery, which looks at some of the most compelling knitted monstrosities from film and TV history.

The biggest titles new to streaming services this week include the final chapter in Peter Jackson’s journey through Middle-earth, an Oscar-nominated thriller, and a little-seen but highly acclaimed comedy starring Chris Rock. After that, we’ve got some excellent choices on Netflix, including the latest season of its original drama House of Cards and old favorites like Donnie Brasco and Ground hog Day. Read on for the full list:


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
59%

After going up against the fire-breathing dragon Smaug, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and makeshift battalions of men, elves, and dwarfs must join forces to fight off an onslaught of orcs and restore order to Middle-earth.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


Foxcatcher
87%

Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo star in this Certified Fresh drama about an Olympic wrestling hopeful who falls under the influence of a questionable patron.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


Top Five
86%

Chris Rock (who also directed) plays Andre Allen, a popular comic actor who’s about to be married to a famous reality TV star. He agrees to be profiled by a New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson), and as they stroll about the city, Allen begins to question the decisions he’s made in his life and career.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


House of Cards: Season Three

In the third season of Netflix’s acclaimed political drama, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) attempt to maintain the powerful positions to which they’ve risen, even in the face of troubling global events and adversaries much closer to home.

Available now on: Netflix


A Summer’s Tale
98%

Eric Rohmer’s naturalistic, low-key dramedy follows the lives and loves of young people over the course of a summer.

Available now on: Netflix


Groundhog Day
97%

Bill Murray stars in Harold Ramis’s classic comedy about a jaded reporter whose bitter outlook on life changes when he’s caught in a time loop that forces him to relive the same day over and over again.

Available now on: Netflix


Donnie Brasco
88%

Johnny Depp goes undercover to bring down mob boss Al Pacino — and finds himself taking something of a shine to the old man — in this Certified Fresh gangster drama.

Available now on: Netflix


Finding Neverland
83%

Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Dustin Hoffman star in Marc Forster’s warm, heartfelt biopic of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie.

Available now on: Netflix


Bridget Jones’s Diary
79%

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant star in this comedy about a brash thirtysomething woman who decides to shape up and meets a couple of eligible bachelors.

Available now on: Netflix


Hawaii Five-0: Season Four

The fourth season of CBS’s cop show reboot starring Alex O’Laughlin and Scott Caan focuses on McGarrett and Co. facing new adversaries and playing both sides of the law.

Available now on: Netflix

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis has a plan. “What I’ve decided is to choose recent films,” he explains to RT. “I do think that often people get stuck in always picking the five greatest films of all time, films they saw between the ages of 17 and 22, because that’s when you’re forming your opinions. I think I’ll talk about modern films, which aren’t necessarily the greatest films ever made, but are five great films.”

Modern films are certainly Curtis’ bread-and-butter. Best known for defining a genre with Four Weddings and a Funeral, the writer of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary turned to feature directing in 2003 with Love, Actually — an entire career on the big-screen set in the here and now. The Boat that Rocked, out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK this week and soon to hit US cinemas retitled Pirate Radio, is his first ‘period’ film and he doesn’t go much further back in time than the swinging 60s.

On the small-screen, he’s Britain’s ruling king of comedy, giving us the ultimate history lesson through the various series of Blackadder, and defining comedy for the 80s and 90s through BBC favourites Mr. Bean, The Vicar of Dibley and Spitting Image. In 1985 he founded Comic Relief, which has raised £80m for good causes this year alone.

Read on to learn about the five films he can’t do without.


Let the Right One In (2008) 98%

“Very apt for now, because I think it’s just come out on DVD. I’m scared of horror films, and hardly ever see them, but I was just so haunted by the scene at the end at the swimming pool, about which I will say no more because my brain is still trying to work out what happened there. It just shows how, if you’ve got a really low budget, and a really serious intent, you can make people feel uncomfortable. It’s a weird, spooky, melancholy Swedish love story about vampires, which is a big subject at the moment, but it’s hard to imagine a better vampire film. So that would be my number one choice — delightful, strange and disjointing.

“That will be the only horror movie on any list of mine. The first time I saw The Exorcist, I had to sleep with the lights on for about four years, so horror is not for me.”

Lost in Translation (2003) 95%

“It seems to me that Sofia Coppola is incapable of producing an ugly frame; it’s just completely beautiful, from astonishing first shot to the final whisper. I think that Scarlett Johansson can be just fabulous, and in that she’s just fabulous, plainly beautiful all the way through. She was great in Match Point too, so very good. She gives that dreadful feeling of somebody that will weigh you down forever. And on top of that it’s a genuinely funny film, its got those fantastic bits, particularly the bit where [Bill Murray] is recording the ads, and it really is a comedy. And yet Bill Murray is so melancholy; so sad. After spending all my life in comedy, where you’re aware of all the grief and melancholy that accompanies being thought of as a charming and amusing person, I think it’s an almost perfect film, I think I’d put that in my top ten favourite films of all time. I love that film.”

Knocked Up (2007) 89%

“I don’t know why because I’m almost never in Los Angeles, but I went to the premiere of Knocked Up. Some cousin of Judd Apatow‘s was going to propose to his girlfriend, but was shy, so what Judd did was brought up the cousin and his girlfriend onto stage and Jack Black hid behind, knelt on the floor behind the cousin, and very noisily proposed to her. So the first time I saw the film I was in a very good mood having had such a brilliant start. But Knocked Up, like The Hangover which is also wonderful, is full of really really funny things; particularly the friends. When that group of friends is together, everyone has a sort of weird idiosyncratic joke which is perfectly expressed every time they appear, from the guy with the beard downwards.

There are so many other funny things — when Kristen Wiig is rude to Katherine Heigl when she gets her job, and she’s going on about how lucky she is to get the job, it’s completely hilarious. Both Seth Rogen and Katherine are so charming and funny, and it’s so modern, on the edge and hard; a real romantic film. I think that if romantic comedies are meant to be romantic and funny, then that’s a perfect example. It’s very relaxed and at ease with itself, and doesn’t try too hard, or doesn’t seem to be trying very hard, and I think that’s very much to do with how Judd makes his movies. I’m sure he knows exactly what he wants, but it does have a slightly improvisational edge to it, because he does work with people that he knows very well, so there’s a naturalness to it, and I think it’s a great modern film. I haven’t seen Funny People yet, but I have very high hopes for it, I’m looking forward to it a great deal. “

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 92%

“This is one of my favourite films, and I’m going to almost insist that you say in this article that people must go and watch a song called Carol Brown, from the new series of Flight of the Conchords. It’s been directed by Michel Gondry, and it’s just so amazing; for the rest of the episode you can’t really see that it’s him, but up comes this dazzling thing. I just think for a movie with such a massive concept, that idea, that sort of fantasy, should be done by being completely realistic. In a way it’s like Let the Right One In – the office where they alter your mind feels like a ghastly dental surgery. So you’re in this weird mixture between something that feels terribly realistic, with Kirsten Dunst jumping up and down on a bed, absolutely normal, and yet it’s completely freakish and odd and had these spectacular special effects in it. I love the sort of downbeat-ness of the love story — the fact that, really, they’re sort of right for each other, but only because they’re not right for anyone else. I think it’s a genuinely great fantasy movie, a great love story, and Kate Winslet‘s hair is, after all, blue, so that’s obviously a good reason for seeing it. You’ve been on this massive ride, and it gets back to these people in a corridor, which I suppose is like — if you land on the moon, there’s just you on the moon, and I think there’s something profound about the whole thing.”

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) 90%

I’m going to break my rules for this one, and just put in one old movie. I still think that Animal House is misunderstood, although I do increasingly read about a generation of comedians saying it is the great film. Because I think it’s a brilliant comedy, with brilliant acting, with everybody at their best – Karen Allen at her cutest, Tim Matheson at his handsomest, John Belushi at his most mono-syllabic. So these extraordinary comic performances with just a series of amazing scenarios with amazing set-ups with the horse and the chainsaw, the dead girlfriend, them going to the toga party, and just everything about it. It’s boiled down to the funniest joke scenarios that there could possibly be. That fantastic Elmer Bernstein score, which could be from Patton.

“It seems to me like a really great, classic, funny character movie hiding in wolves clothing, pretending to be a big stupid old generic college movie, but it actually invented the genre, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a funnier version of those movies. Certainly when I was doing The Boat That Rocked, it was M*A*S*H on the one hand – very casual, conversational, just guys doing a weird job – and Animal House on the other – with big characterisations and set-pieces.. So we’ve got four moderns and one slightly older. Can I have one more? Am I allowed? Just for sorrow?”


I think we can let you have another film.

Richard Curtis: OK – The Son’s Room by Nanni Moretti. He was this kind of comedian when younger, and was always called Italy’s Woody Allen, and in a way he’s fulfilled that promise, because Woody Allen also made some very profound films. The Son’s Room is an amazingly gentle, completely sorrowful movie, which I don’t even know whether or not to recommend. It’s full of sadness but everyone who is thinking of having a family should see the film so that they know the risk, and everyone who has got a family should see the film so that they understand how in the middle of the most normal conversational world, sorrow can hit you. But it’s got the best music of any film I’ve seen and it’s got this Brian Eno track at the end. The movie can’t be resolved because it’s about grief that never ends, but somehow the music acts as some way back to normality. So I think The Son’s Room is the film I’ve been most struck by in a way, over the last ten years, the most truthful film I’ve seen.

Music in a film is obviously very important to you…

RC: Yeah, I don’t know. Strangely I watched The Godfather the other day, and the Godfather Soundtrack is extraordinary, it never stops. It’s either jazz music or orchestral music or exciting music, he never lets it go, and that’s the way he keeps the pace up. So I always wanted The Boat That Rocked to be an ecstatic movie. I remember at the end of Bridget Jones, the second one, where we were trying to choose which of the three songs to put at the end where she’s running after Colin Firth – in the end I just said, “Put them all in. Put all three. Let’s have Beyonce, let’s have The Shirelles, and let’s have Barry White.” So I like the idea of going for it, wall-to-wall. And in a way I’ve always thought of my films as being like a Madness album or like an ABBA album, full of delightful little scenarios and very high spirited bursts of things.

But as a writer, just as sort of autobiographically, I listen to music all the time while I’m writing. It always cheers me up and always lifts my spirits, and it always has. On The Boat That Rocked I just wanted to make a film about that feeling of what it’s like to be exhilirated day and night by pop music.

Does the music that you’re listening to end up in the movie when you’re writing?

RC: Yes, but the weird thing is when the music doesn’t. I wrote the whole of Love, Actually listening to one song, which is The Loving by XTC, which is a huge orchestral song about everyone in the world being full of love, but I didn’t put it in the film. Notting Hill was based around two songs, one of which was Wasting Time by Ron Sexsmith, and the other – very oddly I used to listen to it all the time because it exactly represented the pitch of the emotion I wanted in the film – was a version of Downtown Train by Everything But the Girl. That was what I wanted the film to feel like. I used that as the pattern and then threw it away, because there wasn’t actually a place for it in the film. But I often get the mood of what I’m writing from pop music.

Did you have any problems with rights for any of the songs you wanted to use in The Boat That Rocked?

RC: No. With The Boat That Rocked, we had a bit more money, so we got most of what we wanted. Some songs you just couldn’t get because they wanted something like a million pounds – those were the acts who just didn’t want their songs in movies. When Hugh Grant dances in Love, Actually, we wanted a Michael Jackson song we couldn’t get, because it was about a million pounds to use.

But on the whole, these days, I get what I want. My bad memories of The Tall Guy, the very first film I made, are thankfully in the past. It was meant to be structured around three songs by Madness. It was meant to start with Yesterday’s Men, go to The Sun and the Rain, then end with It Must Be Love, and that was the shape of the movie. But they could only afford one song, so we only had It Must Be Love, which was a great disappointment.

There’s a very funny bit in that movie where Jeff Goldblum sits down and listens to a radio and he’s heartbroken. He switches it and on comes a really sad song like Let the Heartaches Begin, so he switches it again and on comes another one called So Sad or Cry in the Rain or something, but if you listen carefully, they’re all sung by my friend Philip, because we couldn’t afford any of the songs. We had to spend an hour in a studio to do one impression of Long John Baldry and one of the Everly Brothers. So in the old days we couldn’t get what we wanted, but now it’s easier.

The Boat that Rocked might be the first film I’ve seen with a double-CD soundtrack.

RC: And I don’t think that’s all of them either – we’ve had to leave out one or two songs from the middle of the movie that haven’t made it onto the soundtrack. But yeah, it was very passionate. What you realise when you’re making a film like that is that people do love their pop music, and as people are finding out now at festivals, living with pop is a great way of leading your life. When we made the movie, everyday when we went out on the boat, all 140 of us, and they blared pop music for an hour. The moment it was lunch we would put it on over the huge speakers, and on the way home we put in on the speakers, and it was an idyllic life.

And you were working with Bill Nighy, who we know is a huge music fan – that would have been fun…

RC: Yeah, Bill loves his pop music. He’s obsessed, at the moment, with a guy called Maxwell, who he says is a great genius, and has just had a huge hit in America. What was nice was that there was one or two songs that I picked that nobody had heard of, like Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells and All Over the World by Francoise Hardy. Everybody had one or two things they were absolutely delighted to meet in the film. And that was my aim, to have a mixture of very high-profile songs and songs that people didn’t know as well.
What’s next for you as a director?

RC: I’m doing a huge range of things, but I think my next movie is probably going to be a film about time travel, but it’ll be quite complicated so it’ll take a while to work out.

Lots of paradoxes to figure out?

RC: I’m not going to worry about things like that, but there are always going to be issues!

This Week’s Ketchup includes the requisite toy movie, but thankfully there are no remakes (although there is one movie based on an old TV show and two different movies based on young adult book series). Included in the original concepts are two comedies about today’s economic hard times, a biopic about a classic children’s book author, a historical epic about King Henry V and a time travel sci-fi action movie called Arena.

#1 PARAMOUNT IS TOYING AROUND WITH MAX STEEL

With Paramount just a couple of weeks away from releasing G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the studio has found another action figure franchise in the form of Mattel’s Max Steel. Max Steel started as an action figure in 1999 and starred in an animated TV series from 2000-2002. It’s apparently proven to be much more successful in Latin America, where Max Steel is the #1 action figure property. For those not familiar with the character, Max Steel is a 19-year-old extreme sports enthusiast who is injured in an accident that infects his body with nanobots that make him superhuman. This leads to him being recruited by a secret agency, where he is of course teamed up with lots of other action figure-friendly characters. Mattel hopes that a major motion picture will help relaunch the toy line in the United States and other regions outside of Latin America. There is currently no writer or director attached to Max Steel, or word on when Paramount plans on releasing this latest toy property, which now joins the toy-to-movie ranks at Paramount, alongside Hasbro’s Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises.

#2 BRIDGET JONES TO OBSESS ABOUT HER WEIGHT AND LOVE LIFE ONE MORE TIME?

Variety is reporting that it is “rumored” that Working Title is developing a third movie in the Bridget Jones series. This would follow the two movies based upon books by Helen Fielding, despite there not being a third novel to adapt for a third movie. Instead, it is expected that this third movie will be based upon columns that Fielding wrote in 2005 for the British newspaper The Independent, in which Bridget, now in her 40s, attempts to have a baby before it’s too late. Renee Zellweger did just turn 40 this past April, so the timing is quite on the mark. Another bit of news for Working Title this week is that the British production company has hired Cate Blanchett to star in Indian Summer, a drama set in 1947 in the final days of British rule of India. That film has been written by William Nicholson (Shadowlands, First Knight) and will be directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, The Soloist).

#3 BARELY REMEMBERED 1960S WESTERN THE BIG VALLEY HEADED TO THE BIG SCREEN

In quite unexpected news, the 1965-1969 ABC family western TV series The Big Valley is being developed as a movie scheduled to start filming in April, 2010 in Michigan and New Mexico. The Big Valley was the story of a widowed matriarch (Barbara Stanwyck) of the prosperous Barkley ranch in central California, and her three sons (including an illegitimate half-brother played by Lee Majors) and a daughter (Linda Evans). The show was very similar to the long-running Bonanza, if you switch Lorne Greene out for Barbara Stanwyck, and use a less dusty setting. The concept for this Big Valley movie was developed by the show’s creators, and is being produced by Kate Edelman Johnson, the daughter of original show runner Louis F. Edelman. The Big Valley was written and will be written by Daniel Adams, who also directed this year’s independent drama The Golden Boys, starring David Carradine, Bruce Dern and Rip Torn. There’s no word yet about who will be cast in the movie’s five major roles.

#4 THIS WEEK IN CASTING: JOHN CARTER OF MARS, THOR, I HOP, STRAW DOGS

Rather than take up four slots on the list that could go to new projects, this entry will cover this week’s major bits of casting news. First up is the announcement that Willem Dafoe has joined the cast of John Carter of Mars as Tars Tarkas, the four-armed giant green warrior that befriends Carter when he arrives on Mars. It’s not known how exactly Dafoe will portray Tarkas, but my best guess would be some sort of motion capture CGI animation. Then there is is the confirmation that Natalie Portman will be costarring in Thor as Jane Foster, but this news actually first appeared online a few months ago. What’s new is that the movie’s version of Jane Foster will not be a nurse (as portrayed in the comics), but rather a sort of doctor/scientist. This change is most likely due to Thor’s Dr. Donald Blake alter ego from the early comics not being an element in the movie adaptation. Next up is British comedian Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) who will be starring in I Hop, one of the competing Easter-themed movies that is being raced through development. I Hop is the story of a slacker who runs over the real Easter Bunny, breaking his leg so that he can’t hop, and so the guy has to take on the Bunny’s duties. Finally, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard (HBO’s True Blood) will costar with James Marsden in the remake of Straw Dogs, which moves the story of rape and revenge from England to Mississippi. Bosworth is playing Marsden’s wife, and Skarsgard is playing her high school boyfriend, a former football hero. The changes to the story’s setting and some character elements make this Straw Dogs a hard project to predict, but like most remakes, the real question is… why bother remaking a movie that was already great?

#5 DISNEY GIVES MILEY CYRUS WINGS

Walt Disney Pictures has acquired Aprilynne Pike’s bestselling young adult novel Wings as a starring vehicle for their Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus. The first installment of a planned four book series, Wings is the story of a 15 year old girl who discovers that she is actually a faerie. Sent to live among humans as a guardian of the gateway to the magical land of Avalon, she learns about her heritage when a bump on her back blossoms into a giant flower and eventually becomes wings. The faerie falls in love with another faerie as she learns that she is destined to be caught between a war between faeries and trolls over control of the gateway to Avalon. Published in May, Wings has been a success but has also garnered expected comparisons to the popular Twilight franchise, and it just so happens that the producers of Wings also coproduced the first Twilight movie. So, are you looking forward to seeing Miley Cyrus running around with giant flower-like wings bouncing around her shoulders?

#6 ED HELMS RECOVERS FROM HIS HANGOVER IN CEDAR RAPIDS

While two of the leads in this summer’s surprise comedy hit The Hangover, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis, have been lining up their next movies over the last few weeks, that left Ed Helms, who played the dentist, with a big question mark as to how he would follow up such a major success. Helms, who was a longtime correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is now on NBC’s The Office has chosen to go the indie comedy route, rather than sign on for another big studio movie just yet. In Cedar Rapids, Helms will play “a sad-sack insurance agent who goes to an industry convention to try to save the jobs of his colleagues.” Cedar Rapids was developed by Helms, written by newcomer writer Phil Johnston, will be directed Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck) and is being produced by director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways). Filming of Cedar Rapids will start in October, 2009 while Ed Helms is on hiatus from The Office. Several distributors are currently looking at Cedar Rapids, with Fox Searchlight considered to be the frontrunner after having handled many of Payne’s movies. Ed Helms is also writing, and will costar in, an untitled Civil War time travel comedy for Warner Bros, the studio behind The Hangover.

#7 PREPARE FOR THE EPIC 15TH CENTURY BATTLE OF AGINCOURT

London’s Independent Film Company has hired writer and producer Michael Hurst, creator of Showtime’s The Tudors and writer of 1998’s Elizabeth, to adapt the 2008 bestselling novel, Agincourt (also known as Azincourt), by Bernard Cornwell. Agincourt, as you might guess from the title, tells the story of the landmark Battle of Agincourt, which was also the central battle of William Shakespeare’s Henry V. In Cornwell’s novel, the central character is an archer named Nicholas Hook, who earns recognition from King Henry V of England and fights alongside him against the French army in a 1415 battle that proved the superiority of the English longbowmen, in what is considered one of the bloodiest battles in European history. Agincourt will be a $35 million production, with filming expected to start in the spring of 2011.

#8 MR. FANTASTIC IS BANKING ON MR. TOAD

Ioan Gruffudd, who is best known for playing Reed Richards in the two Fantastic Four movies has signed on to star in the British biopic Banking on Mr. Toad, with Samantha Morton (Minority Report, In America) in talks to play his character’s wife, Elspeth. In Banking on Mr. Toad, Gruffudd will play 19th century author Kenneth Grahame, who made the transition from a career as a secretary for the Bank of England to the author of The Wind in the Willows, the classic children’s book about anthromorphic animals, including Mr. Toad, Mr. Badger, Ratty and Mole. Banking on Mr. Toad will be helmed by acclaimed director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies, Breaker Morant) from a script by producer Timothy Haas and Wendy Oberman, both of whom are first-time screenwriters. Production is scheduled to start in Ireland later this year.

#9 WARNER BROS HIRES DIRECTOR FOR POST-HARRY POTTER BOY WIZARD PROJECT SEPTIMUS HEAP

As filming continues on the two Deathly Hallows movies to wrap up the Harry Potter movie franchise, Warner Bros is apparently looking at how they can continue on in the lucrative boy wizard business. David Frankel (Marley & Me, The Devil Wears Prada) has been hired to direct Septimus Heap: Magyk, an animated adaptation of the first book of a seven part series by Angie Sage, with newcomer Rob Lieber working on the script. Magyk was the first book in the series, published in 2005, and it was followed by Flyte, Physik, and Queste. The fifth book, Syren, comes out this September, with two more books to follow. Septimus Heap is a young wizard who was the seventh son of a seventh son and who must spend seven years studying magic under a powerful wizard before he can eventually take her place. Specifically, Magyk is the book in which 10 year olds Septimus and his adopted sister discover their destinies, which include his sister eventually becoming a princess. Septimus Heap: Magyk is described as an “animated fantasy project,” but it’s currently unknown what company will be handling the animation.

#10 NEVER BACK DOWN DIRECTOR READY TO ENTER THE ARENA

Summit Entertainment is looking to stay in business with Jeff Wadlow, the director of 2008’s Never Back Down (and also 2005’s Cry_Wolf). Wadlow had been attached to direct a prison escape movie called The Tomb, but when that project stalled, the fledgling studio (Twlight, Knowing, Push) has instead switched Wadlow over to a sci-fi action movie called Arena. First time writers Toby Wagstaff and Darren Howell wrote Arena, which is about a group of modern soldiers who find themselves transported to a strange shifting landscape where they are pitted into gladiator-style combat with warriors from throughout history. Although Summit’s output so far hasn’t been spectacular, it’s nice to at least see that this new studio is mostly focusing on original concepts, rather than all of the remakes and other tired concepts that the major studios are currently obsessed with. Arena might turn out to be awful, but the concept is at least sort of awesome.

ROTTEN IDEA OF THE WEEK: HUGH JACKMAN IS AVON MAN

Economic hardship is so funny, right up there with Nazis (Life is Beautiful, The Producers) and race relations (Soul Man, White Chicks). And so, there are a lot of movies in the works about people down on their luck (including #6’s Cedar Rapids), and following the intense action of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has lined one up as well. In the comedy Avon Man, Jackman will play a recently laid off car salesman who takes a job as an Avon cosmetics salesperson, which is “initially emasculating”, until the story eventually takes on a “Full Monty vibe when the car salesman sets out to save his financially strapped family and town by conscripting his buddies into the makeup business to win a regional contest.” 20th Century Fox acquired the Avon Man pitch in a high six figure deal from Hitch writer Kevin Bisch. Here’s guessing that the Avon Man trailer will feature a scene where Jackman’s girlfriend/wife walks in on him fully made up in the sort of dated makeup women haven’t worn since Maude was a hit.

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS through his MySpace page or via a RT forum message.

Tag Cloud

slashers based on movie critic resources Marvel Studios Quiz National Geographic LGBTQ king arthur laika NYCC Amazon Studios IFC Films E3 hidden camera Martial Arts comiccon Tags: Comedy tv talk all-time Marathons Elton John book BBC America Summer Amazon Prime cars DC Comics psycho police drama Ellie Kemper 2018 Reality series Western Interview Red Carpet prank GoT Fargo Watching Series Travel Channel Paramount Network Creative Arts Emmys royal family 4/20 versus 93rd Oscars jurassic park ABC Signature Video Games aapi hispanic The Witch Instagram Live Captain marvel Cosplay Ghostbusters video on demand New York Comic Con Disney RT History 73rd Emmy Awards Mary Tyler Moore latino doctor who Crackle documentaries true crime movie ABC Spectrum Originals Stephen King Awards 99% Television Academy Mary Poppins Returns space best worst movies Netflix 71st Emmy Awards social media Exclusive Video PBS name the review Discovery Channel a nightmare on elm street AMC Plus Fox Searchlight YouTube BAFTA legend Neflix godzilla scene in color The Purge reviews Esquire Emmy Nominations hispanic heritage month Animation unscripted Drama Prime Video sopranos cancelled television TBS Walt Disney Pictures cinemax romance toy story Mudbound MSNBC comic books cartoon satire blaxploitation genre dexter Disney Plus football Trophy Talk die hard elevated horror spy thriller gangster Rocky TCA 2017 mcc slasher fresh Freeform PaleyFest Country joker BET Awards YouTube Premium FOX BBC One justice league singing competition Disney+ Disney Plus remakes DirecTV IMDb TV 2021 black CMT Universal Pictures know your critic cancelled biography kaiju binge Cannes christmas movies Musical Lifetime Christmas movies Brie Larson blockbusters The Arrangement HBO Max 2017 directors streaming Family The CW worst Hallmark Christmas movies emmy awards WarnerMedia Fall TV TV movies TV Land Film First Look CNN Hollywood Foreign Press Association finale Alien james bond 24 frames zombie Nominations kids Trailer Ovation films Year in Review mob Black History Month teaser 2020 Film Festival comic book movies RT21 superhero Chernobyl ABC Family Emmys See It Skip It Pixar Marvel rom-coms Tumblr Star Trek suspense anthology 21st Century Fox canceled Certified Fresh Rock rotten YouTube Red scorecard TCM Academy Awards Apple TV+ nfl toronto TV One HBO boxing richard e. Grant VOD Sundance Comedy Central Superheroe independent 45 sequels indiana jones harry potter YA stoner Biopics golden globes Sony Pictures cancelled TV shows canceled TV shows revenge rt labs critics edition talk show Music Tarantino Legendary Pirates japanese Winter TV psychological thriller Warner Bros. Comic-Con@Home 2021 Lifetime renewed TV shows BBC Kids & Family french TCA Awards Arrowverse discovery spider-man mission: impossible art house supernatural game of thrones crime drama Turner 79th Golden Globes Awards Food Network news cooking Apple Extras free movies facebook Teen San Diego Comic-Con vampires new star wars movies X-Men sag awards Polls and Games strong female leads video Binge Guide Mystery Mindy Kaling asian-american Cartoon Network Shondaland Podcast Toys Marvel Television Dark Horse Comics science fiction Awards Tour posters Thanksgiving 2015 Classic Film ViacomCBS SXSW Winners universal monsters franchise cults twilight children's TV anime monster movies Hallmark dragons Pop live event Holiday Epix mockumentary sequel Paramount Plus action-comedy USA Network 2016 BET Disney Channel ID blockbuster obituary Rocketman scary NBA spinoff E! foreign Fantasy Sneak Peek olympics 1990s 007 Box Office 2019 VICE SundanceTV parents Image Comics chucky live action Oscars Trivia Masterpiece OWN Tomatazos The Walt Disney Company 90s Black Mirror Heroines sitcom Broadway Acorn TV zero dark thirty romantic comedy trailers VH1 historical drama Sundance Now streaming movies serial killer mutant spanish language Valentine's Day political drama LGBT halloween Calendar MTV El Rey debate Song of Ice and Fire adenture HBO Go rt archives A&E CW Seed USA TCA popular Baby Yoda indie Avengers venice Endgame travel CBS Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt italian politics miniseries Writers Guild of America classics Star Wars Starz nbcuniversal japan Wes Anderson Mary poppins spider-verse CBS All Access Tubi Chilling Adventures of Sabrina crossover Super Bowl Funimation rt labs superman TV renewals First Reviews fast and furious TIFF festivals Infographic comedies game show dramedy Musicals batman Best and Worst Reality Competition Premiere Dates dceu IFC diversity Turner Classic Movies Tokyo Olympics ratings war stand-up comedy 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards trophy ghosts heist movie razzies Countdown telelvision Pet Sematary Anna Paquin Photos period drama golden globe awards Syfy ITV animated Bravo OneApp leaderboard Shudder kong docuseries movies Grammys 20th Century Fox FX on Hulu jamie lee curtis biopic PlayStation wonder woman dark green book Comics on TV ESPN Britbox crime thriller SDCC high school APB sports hist Action Nickelodeon Schedule pirates of the caribbean Adult Swim screen actors guild spain TCA Winter 2020 child's play Comic Book GLAAD nature theme song TLC robots A24 Opinion Universal Women's History Month Apple TV Plus DC Universe halloween tv australia Peacock AMC Vudu technology DGA dc Pop TV TV comic book movie Sundance TV natural history Amazon Prime Video international NBC saw adventure vs. Amazon werewolf award winner Election History aliens book adaptation Christmas scary movies king kong American Society of Cinematographers feel good stop motion Showtime 72 Emmy Awards TNT young adult black comedy disaster Rom-Com what to watch Comedy FXX Pacific Islander cancelled TV series crime south america archives The Academy Spike women FX casting marvel cinematic universe President Netflix Christmas movies WGN MCU Pride Month critics Television Critics Association screenings adaptation comic cats Paramount Lucasfilm new york Nat Geo criterion Hear Us Out Disney streaming service Columbia Pictures Spring TV witnail Character Guide concert basketball GIFs deadpool thriller lord of the rings comics dreamworks Lionsgate cops target HFPA television Crunchyroll rotten movies we love Horror Superheroes Sci-Fi transformers medical drama breaking bad new zealand DC streaming service spanish reboot marvel comics docudrama zombies festival Set visit composers Holidays TruTV quibi The Walking Dead Logo Fox News Hulu documentary boxoffice hollywood dogs