(Photo by Pixar / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Pixar Movies Ranked By Tomatometer

When Disney distributed Pixar’s Toy Story as an autumn alternative to traditional 2D animated features in 1995, could the studio have predicted that it would instead set the gold standard and template for theatrical cartoons for decades to come? After all, the slide from peak Disney Renaissance had only just begun (their releases that year were Pocahontas and A Goofy Movie) and Pixar was up to that point a studio that only made commercials and shorts; a feature-length 3D animated movie was a miracle in of itself, and they were not equipped to churn out quality yearly releases like Walt Disney Animation.

Pixar’s follow-up took three years to hit theaters, and though A Bug’s Life is looked back on in the canon as a minor Pixar effort, everyone in 1998 rushed out to see it, and it again ended up grossing more than Disney’s then recent works like Hercules and Mulan. 1999’s Toy Story 2 was a cultural event, and established Pixar as the one to take animation to the highest heights in the new century. What followed was a then-unprecedented run of Certified Fresh hits and box office smashes, from Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo to The IncrediblesWALL-E, and Up.

2011’s Cars 2 broke the streak with Pixar’s first Rotten film, and the studio has since spent the past decade oscillating between returning to the sequel well (Monsters University, Finding Dory) and pulling up original property (Coco, Inside Out), closing out with Toy Story 4. For 2020, Onward was pulled from theaters after two due to the pandemic, while Soul went straight to Disney+ in hopes of salvaging a year of chaos. Now, let’s take a long look at the past 25 years, ranking all Pixar movies by Tomatometer!

MORE DISNEY: All Disney+ Shows and Original Movies RankedThe 100 Best Movies on Disney+ | All Disney Animated Movies Ranked | All Star Wars Movies Ranked | All MCU Movies Ranked 

#24

Cars 2 (2011)
40%

#24
Adjusted Score: 47435%
Critics Consensus: Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood.
Synopsis: Racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his tow-truck buddy, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), have had their share of adventures... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#23

Cars 3 (2017)
69%

#23
Adjusted Score: 85154%
Critics Consensus: Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left.
Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that... [More]
Directed By: Brian Fee

#22

Cars (2006)
74%

#22
Adjusted Score: 82670%
Critics Consensus: Cars offers visual treats that more than compensate for its somewhat thinly written story, adding up to a satisfying diversion for younger viewers.
Synopsis: While traveling to California to race against The King (Richard Petty) and Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) for the Piston Cup... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 83815%
Critics Consensus: The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.
Synopsis: Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sohn

#20

Brave (2012)
78%

#20
Adjusted Score: 87899%
Critics Consensus: Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth.
Synopsis: Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the impetuous but courageous daughter of Scottish King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is... [More]

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 87090%
Critics Consensus: Offering Monsters, Inc. fans a return visit with beloved characters, Monsters University delivers funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age.
Synopsis: Ever since he was a kid monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has dreamed of becoming a Scarer. To make his... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#18

Onward (2020)
88%

#18
Adjusted Score: 112034%
Critics Consensus: It may suffer in comparison to Pixar's classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio's formula -- and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure.
Synopsis: Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#17

Luca (2021)
91%

#17
Adjusted Score: 105828%
Critics Consensus: Slight but suffused with infectious joy, the beguiling Luca proves Pixar can play it safe while still charming audiences of all ages.
Synopsis: Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar's original feature film "Luca" is a coming-of-age... [More]
Directed By: Enrico Casarosa

#16

A Bug's Life (1998)
92%

#16
Adjusted Score: 96755%
Critics Consensus: A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters - and another smashing early success for Pixar.
Synopsis: Flik (Dave Foley) is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony. His latest mishap was destroying... [More]

#15

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#15
Adjusted Score: 116866%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#14

Finding Dory (2016)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 115466%
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#13

Soul (2020)
95%

#13
Adjusted Score: 119529%
Critics Consensus: A film as beautiful to contemplate as it is to behold, Soul proves Pixar's power to deliver outstanding all-ages entertainment remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn't quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#12

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#12
Adjusted Score: 105657%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#11

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
96%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102927%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Synopsis: Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#10

Ratatouille (2007)
96%

#10
Adjusted Score: 106016%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and stunningly animated, Ratatouille adds another delightfully entertaining entry -- and a rather unlikely hero -- to the Pixar canon.
Synopsis: Remy (Patton Oswalt), a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#9

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#9
Adjusted Score: 106293%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#8

Coco (2017)
97%

#8
Adjusted Score: 123816%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#7

Toy Story 4 (2019)
97%

#7
Adjusted Score: 124739%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending -- and perhaps concluding -- a practically perfect animated saga.
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy... [More]
Directed By: Josh Cooley

#6

Up (2009)
98%

#6
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

#5

Toy Story 3 (2010)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 110116%
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

#4

Inside Out (2015)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 113968%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Synopsis: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#3

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 108562%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#2

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106145%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#1

Toy Story 2 (1999)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107741%
Critics Consensus: The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen from his home by toy dealer Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), leaving Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen)... [More]

90 Best Computer-Animated Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Ever since the 1995 release of Toy Story, when feature animation bounded from paper reams and into the domain of the digital, it’s been to infinity and beyond in creative storytelling. We’ve traveled the sky by house and balloon (Up), crossed dimensions with Spider-Man (Into the Spider-Verse), swam the deepest oceans (Finding Nemo) while learning the value of family along with super glue (The Lego Movie).

In these feats of imagination, Cars rule the world, superheroes and villains can turn their lives around (The Incredibles, Despicable Me), and a squirrel chasing an acorn becomes a Sisyphean myth. It’s where we can believe in fairy tales again (Frozen, Brave)…while having a good laugh at their expense (Shrek). We’ve also witnessed processed meats do some things in Sausage Party we’d rather not speak of again.

A whole industry of is supported by this medium, including the previously mentioned Pixar, Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age), Illumination (The Secret Life of Pets), and Sony Pictures Animation (Hotel Transylvania). And let’s not forget DreamWorks Animation (How to Train Your Dragon), whose latest film Trolls World Tour, which broke streaming records when it went straight to on-demand, skipping theatrical.

Wherever the story takes us from , we’ve ranked the most critically approved films  of the genre in our list of the best-reviewed computer-animated movies. Each entry had to reach at least 20 reviews before we put them up for consideration, where we then ranked them by Tomatometer. So, enjoy our guide to the 90 best computer-animated movies ever made.

#90
Adjusted Score: 68646%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation delivers exactly what fans will expect - which means another 97 agreeably lightweight minutes of fast-paced gags and colorful animation.
Synopsis: Your favorite monster family boards a luxury cruise ship so Dracula can take a summer vacation from the hotel. It's... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

#89

Dinosaur (2000)
64%

#89
Adjusted Score: 68450%
Critics Consensus: While Dinosaur's plot is generic and dull, its stunning computer animation and detailed backgrounds are enough to make it worth a look.
Synopsis: This is the story of Aladar (D.B. Sweeney), an iguanodon dinosaur raised by a family of lemurs. Their world is... [More]

#88
Adjusted Score: 69039%
Critics Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor.
Synopsis: Alex (Ben Stiller), Morty (Chris Rock) and other zoo animals find a way to escape from Madagascar when the penguins... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

#87

Robots (2005)
64%

#87
Adjusted Score: 70179%
Critics Consensus: Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line.
Synopsis: In a world of sentient robots, striving young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) wants to work for the avuncular Bigweld... [More]

#86

Epic (2013)
65%

#86
Adjusted Score: 68687%
Critics Consensus: Though its narrative themes are all too familiar, Epic is beautifully animated and crafted with just enough flair to make for solid family entertainment.
Synopsis: Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or M.K., is a headstrong, spirited teenager who has a strained relationship with her father (Jason... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge

#85

Storks (2016)
65%

#85
Adjusted Score: 73244%
Critics Consensus: Colorful animation and a charming cast help Storks achieve a limited liftoff, but scattershot gags and a confused, hyperactively unspooled plot keep it from truly soaring.
Synopsis: Storks deliver babies -- or at least they used to. Now, they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant.... [More]

#84

Turbo (2013)
67%

#84
Adjusted Score: 70146%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 72846%
Critics Consensus: Meet the Robinsons is a visually impressive children's animated film marked by a story of considerable depth.
Synopsis: Boy genius Lewis gives up hope of retrieving his latest invention, which was stolen by Bowler Hat Guy, then a... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Anderson

#82

Cars 3 (2017)
69%

#82
Adjusted Score: 85154%
Critics Consensus: Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left.
Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that... [More]
Directed By: Brian Fee

#81
Adjusted Score: 74552%
Critics Consensus: While not as clever or inventive as its predecessor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 compensates with enough dazzling visuals to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: His genius finally recognized by his idol Chester V, inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) gets to join Chester's company, where... [More]
Directed By: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 81879%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn

#79

The Croods (2013)
72%

#79
Adjusted Score: 76444%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Synopsis: Prehistoric family the Croods live in a particularly dangerous moment in time. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage), his mate, Ugga (Catherine... [More]

#78

Rio (2011)
72%

#78
Adjusted Score: 77462%
Critics Consensus: This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.
Synopsis: Captured by smugglers when he was just a hatchling, a macaw named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) never learned to fly and... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha

#77

Sing (2016)
71%

#77
Adjusted Score: 82503%
Critics Consensus: Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted -- albeit familiar -- storyline that lives up to its title.
Synopsis: Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. An eternal optimist, and a... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 86698%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Synopsis: Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 78223%
Critics Consensus: Like its non-aerodynamic title characters, The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes improbable yet delightfully entertaining flight, landing humorous hits along the way.
Synopsis: Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of their feathered friends are surprised when a green pig suggests that they put... [More]
Directed By: Thurop Van Orman

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 77451%
Critics Consensus: Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Plucky penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) -- the most elite spies... [More]

#73

Flushed Away (2006)
73%

#73
Adjusted Score: 78574%
Critics Consensus: Clever and appealing for both children and adults, Flushed Away marks a successful entry into digital animated features for Aardman Animations.
Synopsis: After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent (Hugh Jackman) enlists the help of a sewer scavenger (Kate Winslet)... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 81922%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#71

Megamind (2010)
72%

#71
Adjusted Score: 78778%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#70

Cars (2006)
74%

#70
Adjusted Score: 82670%
Critics Consensus: Cars offers visual treats that more than compensate for its somewhat thinly written story, adding up to a satisfying diversion for younger viewers.
Synopsis: While traveling to California to race against The King (Richard Petty) and Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) for the Piston Cup... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#69
#69
Adjusted Score: 82081%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Synopsis: While shopping at an outdoor market, young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his faithful dog, Snowy, buys a model... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#68

Monster House (2006)
75%

#68
Adjusted Score: 81812%
Critics Consensus: Monster House welcoms kids and adults alike into a household full of smart, monstrous fun.
Synopsis: No adults believe three youths' (Mitchel Musso, Spencer Locke, Sam Lerner) assertion that a neighboring residence is a living creature... [More]
Directed By: Gil Kenan

#67

Over the Hedge (2006)
75%

#67
Adjusted Score: 82241%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages.
Synopsis: When Verne (Garry Shandling) and fellow woodland friends awake from winter's hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans,... [More]

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 80581%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey

#65

Trolls (2016)
75%

#65
Adjusted Score: 84907%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

#64

Despicable Me 2 (2013)
75%

#64
Adjusted Score: 82328%
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 2 offers plenty of eye-popping visual inventiveness and a number of big laughs.
Synopsis: Now that Gru (Steve Carell) has forsaken a life of crime to raise Margo, Agnes and Edith, he's trying to... [More]

#63

Smallfoot (2018)
76%

#63
Adjusted Score: 82224%
Critics Consensus: Smallfoot offers a colorful distraction that should keep younger viewers entertained - and a story whose message might even resonate with older audiences.
Synopsis: Migo is a friendly Yeti whose world gets turned upside down when he discovers something that he didn't know existed... [More]
Directed By: Karey Kirkpatrick

#62

Happy Feet (2006)
76%

#62
Adjusted Score: 82050%
Critics Consensus: Visually dazzling, with a thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers, Happy Feet marks a successful animated debut from the makers of Babe.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood), a young emperor penguin, lives in Antarctica. Like others of his kind, he needs to be able... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 83815%
Critics Consensus: The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.
Synopsis: Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sohn

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 86137%
Critics Consensus: Another agreeable outing for the titular prehistoric clan, The Croods: A New Age may be the missing link for parents between more elevated family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Searching for a safer habitat, the prehistoric Crood family discovers an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of its needs.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Crawford

#59

Ice Age (2002)
77%

#59
Adjusted Score: 82369%
Critics Consensus: Even though Ice Age is treading over the same grounds as Monsters, Inc. and Shrek, it has enough wit and laughs to stand on its own.
Synopsis: Twenty-thousand years ago, Earth is a wondrous, prehistoric world filled with great danger, not the least of which is the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge

#58
Adjusted Score: 83308%
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Synopsis: Animal pals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trying to... [More]

#57

Brave (2012)
78%

#57
Adjusted Score: 87899%
Critics Consensus: Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth.
Synopsis: Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the impetuous but courageous daughter of Scottish King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is... [More]

#56

Surf's Up (2007)
79%

#56
Adjusted Score: 84037%
Critics Consensus: Surf's Up is a laid back, visually stunning animated movie that brings a fresh twist to some familiar conventions. Its witty mockumentary format is fun and inventive, and the CGI is breathtakingly realistic.
Synopsis: Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Followed by a documentary film crew, he leaves his home... [More]
Directed By: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

#55
Adjusted Score: 84142%
Critics Consensus: Horton Hears A Who! is both whimsical and heartwarming, and is the rare Dr. Seuss adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the source material.
Synopsis: Animated elephant Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a speck of dust floating in the Jungle of Nool. Upon investigation of the... [More]

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 87090%
Critics Consensus: Offering Monsters, Inc. fans a return visit with beloved characters, Monsters University delivers funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age.
Synopsis: Ever since he was a kid monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has dreamed of becoming a Scarer. To make his... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 86532%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman offers a surprisingly entertaining burst of colorful all-ages fun, despite its dated source material and rather convoluted plot.
Synopsis: Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#52

Abominable (2019)
82%

#52
Adjusted Score: 91088%
Critics Consensus: Working with admittedly familiar ingredients, Abominable offers audiences a beautifully animated and overall engaging adventure that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an... [More]
Directed By: Jill Culton

#51

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
81%

#51
Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

#50

Despicable Me (2010)
81%

#50
Adjusted Score: 87575%
Critics Consensus: Borrowing heavily (and intelligently) from Pixar and Looney Tunes, Despicable Me is a surprisingly thoughtful, family-friendly treat with a few surprises of its own.
Synopsis: A man who delights in all things wicked, supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) hatches a plan to steal the moon. Surrounded... [More]

#49

Sausage Party (2016)
82%

#49
Adjusted Score: 95761%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the... [More]

#48

The Book of Life (2014)
83%

#48
Adjusted Score: 86918%
Critics Consensus: The Book of Life's gorgeous animation is a treat, but it's a pity that its story lacks the same level of craft and detail that its thrilling visuals provide.
Synopsis: In the Mexican town of San Angel, Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoë Saldana) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) have been friends... [More]
Directed By: Jorge R. Gutierrez

#47
Adjusted Score: 102697%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't quite as much fun as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part fits neatly into an animated all-ages franchise with heart and humor to spare.
Synopsis: The citizens of Bricksburg face a dangerous new threat when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space start to wreck everything... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#46
Adjusted Score: 91543%
Critics Consensus: Quirky humor, plucky characters and solid slapstick make this family comedy a frenetically tasty time at the movies.
Synopsis: When hard times hit Swallow Falls, its townspeople can only afford to eat sardines. Flint Lockwood, a failed inventor, thinks... [More]

#45

Puss in Boots (2011)
86%

#45
Adjusted Score: 90677%
Critics Consensus: It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.
Synopsis: Long before meeting Shrek, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) -- just named a hero for saving a woman from a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 86084%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Raoul and Emile accidentally release a monster from an eccentric scientist's greenhouse and vow to track it down. They soon... [More]
Directed By: Bibo Bergeron

#43
Adjusted Score: 95756%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#42

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
87%

#42
Adjusted Score: 96905%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]

#41

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
87%

#41
Adjusted Score: 93900%
Critics Consensus: Equally entertaining for both kids and parents old enough to catch the references, Wreck-It Ralph is a clever, colorful adventure built on familiar themes and joyful nostalgia.
Synopsis: Arcade-game character Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of always being the "bad guy" and losing to his "good... [More]
Directed By: Rich Moore

#40

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
87%

#40
Adjusted Score: 94519%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 94831%
Critics Consensus: The Peanuts Movie offers a colorful gateway into the world of its classic characters and a sweetly nostalgic -- if relatively unambitious -- treat for the adults who grew up with them.
Synopsis: Life always seems complicated for good ol' Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp), the boy who always tries his best against seemingly... [More]
Directed By: Steve Martino

#38

Shrek (2001)
88%

#38
Adjusted Score: 96421%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude... [More]

#37

Rango (2011)
88%

#37
Adjusted Score: 95564%
Critics Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
Synopsis: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 103603%
Critics Consensus: Ralph Breaks the Internet levels up on its predecessor with a funny, heartwarming sequel that expands its colorful universe while focusing on core characters and relationships.
Synopsis: Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World... [More]
Directed By: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

#35

Onward (2020)
88%

#35
Adjusted Score: 112034%
Critics Consensus: It may suffer in comparison to Pixar's classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio's formula -- and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure.
Synopsis: Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#34

Bolt (2008)
89%

#34
Adjusted Score: 96474%
Critics Consensus: Bolt is a pleasant animated comedy that overcomes the story's familiarity with strong visuals and likable characters.
Synopsis: The days of canine superstar Bolt (John Travolta) are filled with danger and intrigue ... until the cameras stop rolling.... [More]

#33

Tangled (2010)
89%

#33
Adjusted Score: 97636%
Critics Consensus: While far from Disney's greatest film, Tangled is a visually stunning, thoroughly entertaining addition to the studio's classic animated canon.
Synopsis: When the kingdom's most-wanted bandit, Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), hides in a convenient tower, he immediately becomes a captive of... [More]
Directed By: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

#32

Shrek 2 (2004)
89%

#32
Adjusted Score: 96797%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After returning from their honeymoon and showing home movies to their friends, Shrek and Fiona learn that her parents have... [More]

#31

Big Hero 6 (2014)
90%

#31
Adjusted Score: 98667%
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Synopsis: Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest... [More]
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams

#30

Frozen (2013)
90%

#30
Adjusted Score: 100194%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna (Kristen Bell) joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

#29
Adjusted Score: 105856%
Critics Consensus: The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion.
Synopsis: When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 112573%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#27
Adjusted Score: 98834%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
Synopsis: Five years have passed since Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk. Now, they spend their time... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois, Tom Owens

#26

A Bug's Life (1998)
92%

#26
Adjusted Score: 96755%
Critics Consensus: A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters - and another smashing early success for Pixar.
Synopsis: Flik (Dave Foley) is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony. His latest mishap was destroying... [More]

#25

Antz (1998)
92%

#25
Adjusted Score: 97014%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Z the worker ant (Woody Allen) strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony.... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

#24

Arthur Christmas (2011)
92%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98280%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 97517%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of its classic source material, The Little Prince is a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.
Synopsis: The Aviator introduces a girl to a world where she rediscovers her childhood and learns that it's human connections that... [More]
Directed By: Mark Osborne

#22

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#22
Adjusted Score: 116866%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 108727%
Critics Consensus: Another gorgeously animated, skillfully voiced entry in the Disney canon, Raya and the Last Dragon continues the studio's increased representation while reaffirming that its classic formula is just as reliable as ever.
Synopsis: Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known... [More]

#20

Finding Dory (2016)
94%

#20
Adjusted Score: 115466%
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#19

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#19
Adjusted Score: 105657%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#18

Moana (2016)
95%

#18
Adjusted Score: 112810%
Critics Consensus: With a title character as three-dimensional as its lush animation and a story that adds fresh depth to Disney's time-tested formula, Moana is truly a family-friendly adventure for the ages.
Synopsis: An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty... [More]
Directed By: John Musker, Ron Clements

#17

Soul (2020)
95%

#17
Adjusted Score: 119529%
Critics Consensus: A film as beautiful to contemplate as it is to behold, Soul proves Pixar's power to deliver outstanding all-ages entertainment remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn't quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#16

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
96%

#16
Adjusted Score: 102927%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Synopsis: Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#15

The LEGO Movie (2014)
96%

#15
Adjusted Score: 105885%
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Synopsis: Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special -- an... [More]

#14

Ratatouille (2007)
96%

#14
Adjusted Score: 106016%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and stunningly animated, Ratatouille adds another delightfully entertaining entry -- and a rather unlikely hero -- to the Pixar canon.
Synopsis: Remy (Patton Oswalt), a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#13
Adjusted Score: 107366%
Critics Consensus: Eye-catching and energetic, The Mitchells vs. the Machines delivers a funny, feel-good story that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: Young Katie Mitchell embarks on a road trip with her proud parents, younger brother and beloved dog to start her... [More]
Directed By: Mike Rianda

#12

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#12
Adjusted Score: 106293%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#11

Coco (2017)
97%

#11
Adjusted Score: 123816%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#10
Adjusted Score: 121248%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#9

Toy Story 4 (2019)
97%

#9
Adjusted Score: 124739%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending -- and perhaps concluding -- a practically perfect animated saga.
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy... [More]
Directed By: Josh Cooley

#8

Zootopia (2016)
98%

#8
Adjusted Score: 115816%
Critics Consensus: The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that's as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation -- all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live... [More]
Directed By: Byron Howard, Rich Moore

#7

Up (2009)
98%

#7
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

#6

Toy Story 3 (2010)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 110116%
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

Inside Out (2015)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 113968%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Synopsis: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 105999%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

#3

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 108562%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#2

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106145%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#1

Toy Story 2 (1999)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107741%
Critics Consensus: The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen from his home by toy dealer Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), leaving Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen)... [More]

(Photo by Lionsgate/ courtesy Everett Collection)

35 Fresh Christopher Plummer Movies

Christopher Plummer, who rose to international fame as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, began his screen career with an “and introducing” credit on Sidney Lumet’s 1958 Stage Struck. By 1965 he would be known everywhere as papa Trapp, but Sound of Music was lighter fare for Plummer, a movie that punctuated a career building around military epics and classic-style adventures like The Fall of the Roman Empire, Battle of Britain, Waterloo, and The Man Who Would Be King.

The Silent Partner, Murder by Decree, Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country, and 12 Monkeys were among his movie highlights until a career resurgence with 1999’s The Insider, the Michael Mann big-tobacco expose with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe. This opened to a string of critical and commerical hits, including Best Picture-winner A Beautiful Mind, Inside Man, and Up.

At 80, he recieved his first Oscar nomination for The Last Station. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Beginners, as a man finding a new lease on life in his later years, at age 82, becoming the oldest to ever win an acting Oscar. He also became the oldest to be nominated for an acting Oscar at age 88 for his last-minute casting to Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World.

Among Plummer’s final roles were as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Man Who Invented Christmas, and as Harlan Thrombey in Rian Johnson’s whodunit Knives Out. And now we look back on Plummer’s career with 35 Fresh Christopher Plummer movies.

#35
Adjusted Score: 100187%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Toward the end of his reign, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Alec Guinness) intends to hand over his throne to the... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Mann

#34

Up (2009)
98%

#34
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

#33

Knives Out (2019)
97%

#33
Adjusted Score: 125727%
Critics Consensus: Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.
Synopsis: The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there's one thing that renowned Detective Benoit... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 98357%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, this adventure film follows the exploits of Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) and... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#31

The Insider (1999)
96%

#31
Adjusted Score: 102096%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent, compelling, and packed with strong performances, The Insider is a potent corporate thriller.
Synopsis: After seeking the expertise of former "Big Tobacco" executive Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), seasoned TV producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino)... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#30

My Dog Tulip (2009)
90%

#30
Adjusted Score: 91585%
Critics Consensus: A beautifully animated diversion, My Dog Tulip is as comforting and delightful as cuddling with your own canine companion.
Synopsis: Despite a lack of affinity for dogs, a confirmed bachelor (Christopher Plummer) adopts an Alsatian and forms a close bond... [More]

#29

12 Monkeys (1995)
89%

#29
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

#28
Adjusted Score: 95952%
Critics Consensus: Brutal yet captivating, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the result of David Fincher working at his lurid best with total role commitment from star Rooney Mara.
Synopsis: Disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) finds a chance to redeem his honor after being hired by wealthy Swedish... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#27

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#27
Adjusted Score: 94908%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense hostage crisis is... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#26

Beginners (2010)
85%

#26
Adjusted Score: 90979%
Critics Consensus: Wearing its twee heart on its sleeve, Beginners explores the depths of modern, multi-generational romance with wit and depth.
Synopsis: After his mother dies, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is stunned when his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), recently diagnosed with terminal cancer,... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mills

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 85154%
Critics Consensus: Post-Misery Kathy Bates proves to be another wonderful conduit for Stephen King's novels in this patient, gradually terrifying thriller.
Synopsis: In a small New England town, Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) works as a housekeeper for the rich but heartless Vera... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#24
Adjusted Score: 85058%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After he lets a robbery transpire right under his nose, the ever-bumbling Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is suspended by Chief... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 93267%
Critics Consensus: Unapologetically sweet and maybe even a little corny, The Sound of Music will win over all but the most cynical filmgoers with its classic songs and irresistible warmth.
Synopsis: A tuneful, heartwarming story, it is based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#22

Winchell (1998)
83%

#22
Adjusted Score: 32208%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This docudrama chronicles the life of gossip columnist Walter Winchell (Stanley Tucci). Rising to fame in the mid-1930s, Winchell helps... [More]
Directed By: Paul Mazursky

#21
Adjusted Score: 86014%
Critics Consensus: The Undiscovered Country is a strong cinematic send-off for the original Trek crew, featuring some remarkable visuals and an intriguing, character-driven mystery plot.
Synopsis: Capt. James Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the USS Enterprise are carrying Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) to... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Meyer

#20
Adjusted Score: 98334%
Critics Consensus: All the Money in the World offers an absorbing portrayal of a true story, brought compellingly to life by a powerful performance from Christopher Plummer.
Synopsis: In 1973, kidnappers demand $17 million from billionaire J. Paul Getty in exchange for his grandson's release. Getty refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#19

Murder by Decree (1979)
85%

#19
Adjusted Score: 48945%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After learning of mass murderer Jack the Ripper's gruesome reign of terror, private detective Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) decides to... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#18
Adjusted Score: 90662%
Critics Consensus: The Man Who Invented Christmas adds holiday magic to the writing of A Christmas Carol, putting a sweetly revisionist spin on the story behind a classic yuletide tale.
Synopsis: In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate... [More]
Directed By: Bharat Nalluri

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 81888%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a strong cast of experienced actors and director Douglas McGrath's steady hand, Nicholas Nickleby is a worthy and respectful adaptation of the Dickens novel.
Synopsis: After the death of the family patriarch, young Nicholas Nickleby (Charlie Hunnam) and his family are left with no means... [More]
Directed By: Douglas McGrath

#16

Danny Collins (2015)
78%

#16
Adjusted Score: 82007%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to Al Pacino's stirring central performance - and excellent work from an esteemed supporting cast -- Danny Collins manages to overcome its more predictable and heavy-handed moments to deliver a heartfelt tale of redemption.
Synopsis: An aging rocker (Al Pacino) decides to change the course of his life after receiving a long-undelivered letter from the... [More]
Directed By: Dan Fogelman

#15

Dreamscape (1984)
78%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80043%
Critics Consensus: Dreamscape mixes several genres -- horror, sci-fi, action -- and always maintains a sense of adventure and humor.
Synopsis: Selfish teen Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) is coerced into joining a government project in which psychics like him are trained... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Ruben

#14

Eyewitness (1981)
75%

#14
Adjusted Score: 75147%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: New York City custodian Daryll Deever (William Hurt) is a big fan of local news reporter Tony Sokolow (Sigourney Weaver),... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#13

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
74%

#13
Adjusted Score: 82555%
Critics Consensus: The well-acted A Beautiful Mind is both a moving love story and a revealing look at mental illness.
Synopsis: A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#12

The Exception (2016)
74%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77868%
Critics Consensus: The Exception (The Kaiser's Last Kiss) elegantly blends well-dressed period romance and war drama into a solidly crafted story further elevated by Christopher Plummer's excellent work and the efforts of a talented supporting cast.
Synopsis: German soldier Stefan Brandt goes on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Kaiser lives in... [More]
Directed By: David Leveaux

#11

An American Tail (1986)
72%

#11
Adjusted Score: 72199%
Critics Consensus: Exquisitely animated, An American Tail is a sweet, melancholy, immigrants story.
Synopsis: A young mouse named Fievel Mousekewitz (Phillip Glasser) and his family emigrate from Russia to the United States by boat... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth

#10

The Last Station (2009)
71%

#10
Adjusted Score: 76325%
Critics Consensus: Michael Hoffman's script doesn't quite live up to its famous subject, but this Tolstoy biopic benefits from a spellbinding tour de force performance by Helen Mirren.
Synopsis: In 1910, famed novelist Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his wife Sofya (Helen Mirren) vehemently disagree over the rights to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#9

Barrymore (2011)
70%

#9
Adjusted Score: 69030%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John Barrymore, mere months away from death, rehearses for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III in... [More]
Directed By: Érik Canuel

#8

Remember (2015)
70%

#8
Adjusted Score: 74584%
Critics Consensus: Remember risks wandering into exploitative territory, but it's bolstered by some of Egoyan's best latter-day directing and a typically stellar performance from Christopher Plummer.
Synopsis: With help from a fellow Holocaust survivor (Martin Landau), a widower (Christopher Plummer) who struggles with memory loss embarks on... [More]
Directed By: Atom Egoyan

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 28773%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A bank teller (Elliott Gould) skims $50,000 for himself during a robbery, and a Santa Claus crook (Christopher Plummer) wants... [More]
Directed By: Daryl Duke

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 66306%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: At a seminal moment in World War II, British Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding (Laurence Olivier) must rally his... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#5

Blizzard (2003)
67%

#5
Adjusted Score: 15551%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A youngster learns about true friendship with the help of a magically gifted reindeer from the North Pole.... [More]
Directed By: LeVar Burton

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 17698%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On a British army base in India, two newcomers react in very different ways to their new setting. Lt. Millington... [More]
Directed By: Michael Anderson

#3
Adjusted Score: 70362%
Critics Consensus: Terry Gilliam remains as indulgent as ever, but The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus represents a return to the intoxicatingly imaginative, darkly beautiful power of his earlier work, with fine performances to match all the visual spectacle.
Synopsis: Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer), the leader of a traveling show, has a dark secret. Thousands of years ago he traded... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#2

The New World (2005)
63%

#2
Adjusted Score: 69491%
Critics Consensus: Despite arresting visuals and strong lead performances, The New World suffers from an unfocused narrative that will challenge viewers' attention spans over its 2 1/2 hours.
Synopsis: Arriving with a British expedition in Virginia in 1607, Capt. John Smith (Colin Farrell) is captured by Native Americans. His... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 57817%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1972, playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) becomes fascinated by a photo of Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), a turn-of-the-century stage... [More]
Directed By: Jeannot Szwarc

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: 123930%
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: 101335%
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: 100385%
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: 103532%
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: 99252%
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: 95045%
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: 83383%
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: 104482%
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: 94537%
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: 83670%
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: 85785%
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: 104471%
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: 42764%
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: 71202%
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: 49820%
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: 82021%
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: 81719%
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: 110116%
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: 89620%
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)
53%

#4
Adjusted Score: 52522%
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: 68589%
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: 110804%
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: 98578%
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: 101875%
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: 67367%
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: 28940%
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: 103334%
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: 95344%
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: 103679%
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: 83794%
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: 86807%
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: 85312%
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: 89087%
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: 79772%
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: 43340%
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: 99432%
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: 98724%
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: 61295%
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: 88273%
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: 55632%
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: 63169%
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: 75831%
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: 103491%
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: 99575%
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: 99758%
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: 102799%
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: 112581%
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: 74758%
Critics Consensus: Magic Mike XXL has enough narrative thrust and beefy charm to deliver another helping of well-oiled entertainment, even if this sequel isn't quite as pleasurable as its predecessor.
Synopsis: It's been three years since Mike Lane's (Channing Tatum) retirement from stripping, but the former dancer misses the excitement and... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Jacobs

#12

Basic Instinct (1992)
55%

#12
Adjusted Score: 60684%
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: 65178%
Critics Consensus: Though lushly atmospheric, The Dreamers doesn't engage or provoke as much as it should.
Synopsis: In May 1968, the student riots in Paris only exacerbate the isolation felt by three youths: an American exchange student... [More]
Directed By: Bernardo Bertolucci

#9

Lust, Caution (2007)
72%

#9
Adjusted Score: 78086%
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: 75455%
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)
77%

#7
Adjusted Score: 81991%
Critics Consensus: Maggie Gyllenhaal impresses in this romantic comedy with a kinky twist.
Synopsis: Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a young woman with a history of severe emotional problems, is released into the care of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Shainberg

#6

Boogie Nights (1997)
93%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97458%
Critics Consensus: Grounded in strong characters, bold themes, and subtle storytelling, Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film both for director P.T. Anderson and star Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

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

#3

Bound (1996)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 91436%
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: 88047%
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: 82232%
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: 97994%
Critics Consensus: It may be a chamber piece but Weekend's revelations on modern sexuality expand far beyond the modest setting.
Synopsis: A gay man's (Tom Cullen) weekend-long encounter with an artist (Chris New) changes his life in unexpected ways.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Haigh

#1

Body Heat (1981)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100303%
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: 87680%
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: 24971%
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: 46648%
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: 93861%
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: 118865%
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: 44222%
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: 95376%
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: 108927%
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: 22878%
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: 88330%
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: 103094%
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: 93374%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#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: 41731%
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: 106179%
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: 94006%
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

This August, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21 and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating the 21 Most Memorable Moments from the movies over the last 21 years. For this special video series, which we’ve been publishing over the last four months, we spoke to the actors and filmmakers who made those moments happen, revealing behind-the-scenes details about how the moments came to be and diving deep into why they’ve stuck with us for so long. You’ll find big ’90s twists – yep, he sees dead people – as well as super-recent cliffhangers, like Thanos’s universe-halving Snap. There are laughs (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Elf, Bridesmaids) and romance (The Notebook, Spider-Man) and more than a few scares (The Blair Witch Project, 28 Days Later…). But which moment is the single most memorable of the last 21 years? Well, that’s where you come in. We’re asking you to watch the below videos and then vote on your favorite movie moment of the last two decades (and a bit).

Voting is open now and runs until midnight Friday August 16 and we will announce the winner on August 19. Fans get a single vote – so choose wisely – and moments are listed in the order they were published over the past few months, most often to tie in with anniversaries and relevant occasions.

Take me to the voting!


“Remember Me!?” from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

Director George Miller: “It’s a moment by the way, I think, is available only to her. I don’t think any other character could have done it. I remember the line. I remember Charlize on that day said that she wanted to say the line. It wasn’t a written line. She said, ‘Look, I feel like I really want to say it. OK by you?’ I said, ‘Great.’ It just hit a sweet spot in amongst that action, and it was a little pause before the brutality of the moment and the continuation of the action that was to come.”

Read director George Miller’s full interview about the “Remember me!?” moment.


The Snap from Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

Co-director Joe Russo: “Anth and I, through our entire experience at Marvel, always tried to make very disruptive choices with each film. The end of Winter Solider, good guys and the bad guys, we flip everything on its head. In Civil War we divorce the Avengers. With Infinity War we knew we wanted to make a strong narrative choice. There’s an adage where you write yourself into a corner, and you try to figure out how to get out. That usually creates really dramatic moments for the audience. There’s no bigger way to write ourselves into a corner than killing half the characters.”

Read directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s full interview about the moment Thanos devastates the universe.


Satine’s Entrance from Moulin Rouge (2001) 76%

Director Baz Luhrmann: “I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we put her in a circus trapeze and we did a trapeze number, but we’ll have to have a stunt person. But Nicole being Nicole was like, ‘No way.’ So she trained with a circus person for a good, I would say, two weeks to do that number and when you see her swing around that’s her. It’s her all the way through that footage. She’s on the trapeze, she’s being swung around, she comes down, she falls into all those guys. So she was 100% stunt-free on that moment.

Read director Baz Luhrmann and production and costume designer Catherine Martin’s full interview about Satine’s big moment.


The Joker from The Dark Knight (2008) 94%

Makeup artist John Caglione Jr.: “Heath [Ledger] was great in the chair. Special actors like Heath – and my experience with Al Pacino over the years – these actors help you relax so that you can bring your game… I always got the feeling that [Heath] had already worked it out in his head, from what I remember. He knew where he was going. Early on, in first meeting Heath and playing around with the makeup, he already kind of had it all figured out. It was my job to just basically gild the lily and try to catch up with him, really. That’s what I felt.”

Read makeup artist John Caglione Jr. and marketing company 42 Entertainment CEO Susan Bonds’ full interview about this iconic take on the Joker.


Heather’s Confessional from The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

Co-writer and co-director Eduardo Sánchez: “The direction was: You’re not going to make it out of here. This is like an internal monologue. We were directing these actors to almost be like their conscience speaking to them. For Heather, it’s like, ‘You’re responsible for this. You’re the one who brought them out here. You didn’t heed the warnings. You knew this is dangerous and you brought these guys out here. Say your goodbyes. If you want to apologize to people, apologize to people, just basically say goodbye.’ We called it a confessional, your last confessional before you’re going. You’re not going to get out, and hopefully, somebody will find these tapes and will be able to tell your story, but tell your mom goodbye, and tell your family goodbye.”

Read writer-directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s full interview about Heather’s confessional.


The Upside-Down Kiss from Spider-Man (2002) 90%

Director Sam Raimi: “In the rain while he was doing the scene, I remember, he was slightly drowning because he couldn’t wipe his nose and the water was falling down into his upside-down nose, into his nostrils. So he was kinda drowning, and the only way he could breathe was through his mouth. It doesn’t look un-pleasurable, but I think it must’ve been.”

Read Sam Raimi and stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad’s full interview about the upside-down kiss.


London is Deserted from 28 Days Later (2002) 87%

Director Danny Boyle: “One of the technical advantages of using these smaller cameras is that you could shoot a location, not multiple times, but you could shoot it from multiple viewpoints simultaneously. Cillian was in no rush, he could just walk across. But you don’t get much time at these locations free of people even at four o’clock in the morning when we shot. So what happened was we hired a lot of students, because they’re cheap, to be our traffic marshals.”

Read Danny Boyle’s full interview about creating an eerily deserted London for the opening moments.


A Kiss in the Rain from The Notebook (2004) 53%

Director Nick Cassavetes: “There was something built up between these two kids, and it has nothing to do with directing. Because when we turned the cameras on, the scene was like: He’s mad at her, she’s mad at him, and then he says that he wrote her every day, and that’s the key that unlocks the door. And when that door got unlocked, I didn’t need to direct nothing. They wound up together for many years after the movie, which is…I don’t know if I’m proud of it, but I think it’s fantastic that they found each other like that. And I think that was the moment, because they weren’t together before that kiss. But they were together after that kiss, so maybe that was one of the deciding moments.”

Read Nick Cassavetes’ full interview about the kiss in the rain moment.


Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma (2014) 99%

Representative John Lewis: “I truly believe that Oprah, Ava, and the staff working on the film sought my involvement because they knew my history. Selma represented an attempt to redeem the soul of America, to help us move closer to the participation of all people in the political process. This film can educate and inform the mind of hundreds and thousands of young people around America and around the world.”

Read Representative John Lewis and actor Stephan James’s full interview about the final bridge-crossing moment.


“Cars don’t fly!” from Furious 7 (2015) 82%

Actor Vin Diesel: “And it was that moment where we realized that Fast and Furious didn’t need to be restricted in any way. That we were so thorough about story and character, and it’s so much a tale of brotherhood and family, right, that we were allowed these kind of outrageous and fantasy-filled moments, and flying through the air was playing to that. Flying from building to building was playing to that. It was one of those solutions to the riddle, or answers to the riddle, ‘How do we one-up the spectacle of each film?’”

Read Vin Diesel’s full interview about the skyscraper-jump moment.


Juan teaches Chiron to Swim in Moonlight (2016) 98%

Cinematographer James Laxton: “When Barry alerted us to the storm approaching, we gathered our equipment together as quickly as possible, ran out into the water, and in some respects… I don’t want to say improvised, because what is in the script is on camera, if not in the exact way it was depicted. But we had a lot more shots in our shot list, and [were going to be] much more organized about capturing it. We had to really get out there and… let Mahershala as Juan guide this young man, and [have] me out in the water, as well, trying to capture this swimming lesson as it came. It [was shot] almost like a documentary, less so like a film in some respects. Sometimes your reaction to moments is as good as a well detailed plan might be. Sometimes it’s even better.”

Read James Laxton’s full interview about the swimming lesson moment.


Carl and Ellie in the Opening of Up (2009) 98%

Director Pete Docter: “There’s one moment in that montage where Ellie has to go to the doctor and it’s implied that they can’t have children for whatever reason. That raised some eyebrows even here at work as we were developing the film. So, we did experiment with taking it out. And we thought, ‘Well, maybe [the sequence] could still work [without it] because there’s some really charming stuff.’ But the strange thing was, not only did we not feel the emotion as strongly in that one little sequence, but as we watched the rest of the film the whole film lost a little bit. I can’t really fully explain that other than to say it was a real dark, low moment for them that I think made that relationship feel more real. The sort of pain and loss of that situation bonded those characters together and made you empathize more with them.”

Read Pete Docter’s full interview about Up‘s opening sequence.


Gollum Talks to Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 95%

Actor Andy Serkis: “I’d never considered myself a voice actor, just a regular actor, and I had to kind of think my way into it. I started to work on this notion that he’s called Gollum because of the way he sounds – and what would make his voice sound like that? I started to think about constriction of the throat, and as I was doing that, I was actually fortunate enough to witness my cat throwing up a fur ball. It suddenly gave me this idea that the whole physicality of the role would be determined by this force within, which is kind of built out of guilt and torment – this involuntary physical action is what caused this sound coming out of his mouth. The cat throwing up a fur ball is actually what generated the idea for this involuntary spewing out of words.”

Read Andy Serkis’s full interview about the Gollum-Smeagol moment.


The Bridesmaids get Food Poisoning from Bridesmaids (2011) 90%

Co-Writer Annie Mumolo: “We [originally] had a fantasy sequence where they go into the dress shop, and Kristen’s character tries on this dress and she has this fantasy that when she wears this dress, she’s all of a sudden in a castle. And all the men at the wedding are fawning over her. There’s so many of them wanting her so badly [that] just to escape from the castle she goes running out into this field and runs into the forest. And she naturally sees Christian Bale there, who’s chopping wood without a shirt on. And they end up on a bearskin rug, and he was combing her hair, and it was this expansive sequence of her little love affair with Christian Bale. In the meantime, [back in the real world] Helen gets the women to get the dress she wants because Annie is caught up in her fantasy. So that was the original [scene]. And then I think Judd said at one point we’ll never get Christian Bale to do this. And then we tried to put in Matt Damon and then we’re like, ‘As if we’re going to get Matt Damon to do this.’ He was concerned we weren’t going to get anybody to do it. And also he felt it needed harder comedy there, rather than what we had. So, we sadly let that go. We did not want to let that go. We loved that sequence.”

Read Annie Mumolo and director Paul Feig’s full interview about the food-poisoning moment.


Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort Duel from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) 96%

Director David Yates: “Harry sort of carries the spirit of Voldemort, in part, and they have this unity, and I had this idea that Harry and Voldemort are at the top of a school tower, and as they confronted each other… Dan would grab Ralph, and actually pull him off this tower, and they would apparate around the school together, and as they apparated around the school together, we’d explore this weird visual synthesis that exists between the two of them, and they’d eventually tumble down into the courtyard.”

Read David Yates’ full interview about the confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.


Avengers Assemble in New York from Marvel's the Avengers (2012) 91%

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige: “The moment I realized that this could be an iconic moment, not just for the MCU, but for these kind of films, was on the mix stage. When the effects were final and when Alan Silvestri’s amazing score was coming in, and the timing, and the experience of watching the whole movie up to that point… That[‘s when] I got chills and I realized Joss had pulled it off.”

Read Kevin Feige’s full interview about the Avengers Assemble moment.


The government lobby scene from The Matrix (1999) 88%

Stunt double Chad Stahelski: “So Keanu and I both had to back up to our number one marks and pretty much try to do all the choreography and the one-handed cartwheel and all the shooting with your eyes closed. Because once the squibs started going off, you couldn’t see anything. You had to count your steps and kinda go into it. And I remember looking at him and going ‘Uh, OK, this could be a little tricky.’ And he’s like ‘Eh, OK.’ And he nailed it first take. So that was pretty cool.”

Read Chad Stahelski’s full interview about the government lobby moment.


“I See Dead People” from The Sixth Sense (1999) 86%

Actor Haley Joel Osment: “There was an even-more morbid element to that scene that actually ended up getting cut out: When I tell Bruce my secret, [at] the last shot of the scene they pull back from my bed and you look out the window where you can see another entire wing of the hospital and in every window there is a person with some horrible injury or someone who’s gone pale because, you know, being in a hospital is a pretty heavy place for a ghost to linger around in this world. So, you pull back and you see all these people lined up on the other side of the frame.”

Read Haley Joel Osment’s full interview about the “I see dead people” moment.


The Chest-Waxing Scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) 85%

Writer-director Judd Apatow: “I basically set up four cameras and we had some basic beats we wanted to hit. We knew that we had to get Steve’s real reactions, so we shot it like a documentary. We wrote out tons of curses, because we did plan the main joke to be that he would just curse right into her face. And we also made lists of words that weren’t real curses that sounded like curses. That’s how we got to Steve screaming ‘Kelly Clarkson!’ Off to the side, Seth Rogen had made this enormous list of curses, and I would just yell them out to Steve, and each time they ripped the hair off of something he would scream out one of the curses.”

Read Judd Apatow’s full interview about the chest-waxing moment.


“No Man’s Land” from Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

Director Patty Jenkins: “I think that the biggest reason I was obsessed with [the scene] was really from a character place. From Diana’s point of view, it is: What is the birth of a superhero? Just like Superman pulling his shirt open the first time and revealing the ‘S,’ these are definitive, incredible moments, and so I knew that Wonder Woman needed an incredible moment and because we were doing her origin story, it really needed to be the moment that she made the decision to go from being a younger person who was hopeful and idealistic to one who decides to be a hero despite knowing more. And so in this story, that was what I cared about.”

Read Patty Jenkins’ full interview about the No Man’s Land moment


“Santa, here? I know him!” from Elf (2003) 85%

Actor Will Ferrell: “That kind of exclamation of ‘Santa!’ and screaming it, that was just my articulation of Buddy literally taking that piece of news [that Santa is coming] at face value and [thinking] what would be his literal reaction. A man without a country in this strange land finally getting to see someone he knows really well – it would just be the most jubilant reaction ever. I know that the first couple takes really took people by surprise, that I would go that big with it. And all of that, ‘Santa, I know him,’ all of that playing around we did, that was all improvised there.”

Read Will Ferrell and director Jon Favreau’s full interviews about the “Santa, here?” moment. 


Watch: Director Pete Docter on the making of Up above.

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating the 21 Most Memorable Moments from the movies over the last 21 years. In this special video series, we speak to the actors and filmmakers who made those moments happen, revealing behind-the-scenes details of how they came to be and diving deep into why they’ve stuck with us for so long. Once we’ve announced all 21, it will be up to you, the fans, to vote for which is the most memorable moment of all. In this episode of our ‘21 Most Memorable Moments’ series, Up director Pete Docter tells us how the “Carl and Ellie” sequence evolved from a jokey, slapstick tale into something that broke both hearts and ground. 

VOTE FOR THIS MOMENT IN OUR 21 MOST MEMORABLE MOVIE MOMENTS POLL


THE MOVIE: Up (2009) 98%

Pixar was on arguably the hottest streak in the history of movies leading into 2009. The 2000s saw the fabled animation studio release instant classics like Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and increasingly mature fare like WALL-E and Ratatouille. And yet when audiences learned about Up, there was some concern the streak could be at an end: Why was the team that had given us talking toys and elastic superheroes and heartwarming Clownfish now giving us… a grumpy old man? Any concerns were quickly put aside when audiences and critics finally saw the film about a man named Carl, a boy named Russell, and a house that floats away on a mega-cloud of balloons. Up, directed by Monsters, Inc. helmer Pete Docter and released on May 29, 2009, would become another Pixar classic – it is Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer at 98%, with an Audience Score of 90% – and earn almost $300 million at the U.S. box office, the second-biggest haul for a Pixar film at that time. It was a wildly inventive tale, full of aerial battles and exotic locales and Dug, the kinda-talking dog, but a decade later it is the movie’s grounded opening moments that linger in the memory, and still draw those tears. Here, Docter talks about the moment of lift off for Up.

Up

Carl, Russsell, and Dug in what would become Up‘s iconic image. (Photo by ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett Collection)

“Man it would be fun to do something with a grouchy old man.”

“The idea for the film came from Bob Peterson, who is great collaborator that I worked with all the way through Up. He and I thought, ‘Man it would be fun to do something with a grouchy old man.’ And that’s really where the film started. That and… through Monsters, Inc., which was the first film I directed, at the end of the day I would crawl under my desk and just huddle up into a ball. And I had a lot of daydreams of just floating away, and so this idea of a house floating into the sky with balloons, coupled with the appeal and fun that Bob and I both thought we could have with a grouchy old man, that’s where the film started. And then we asked ourselves, ‘Well, why is he floating away? Where is he going? And why couldn’t he just take the train or something?’”

“There are high points and low points, difficulties and successes; we really wanted to portray the full breadth of that relationship.”

“The relationship [between Ellie and Carl] was drawn largely from both Bob Peterson’s relationship with his wife and my own relationship. There’s high points and low points, difficulties and successes, and so we really wanted to portray the full wide breadth of that relationship. [There were] two relationships in particular that we focused on. Marc Davis was one of Disney’s nine old men. He and Alice have a sort of fabled marriage and getting to know them was amazing. We got to visit their studio and talk about a little bit of their life together. And, actually, the two of them traveled to Papua, New Guinea. They went on these fantastic adventures as well as both being artists. So they were a great inspiration. [The other relationship was that of] Joe Grant, who was a guy that was head of story basically on Dumbo. He developed Fantasia, all these amazing films, was second in position down with Walt Disney in the ’30s and ’40s. And I got to know him late in his life as well and he had a wonderful relationship with his wife. So just looking around us at all these great role models and people, you realize, ‘OK, nobody’s perfect. Everybody has their bumps.’ I think that’s what makes the sequence feel a little bit more real for people.”

Up

Pete Docter says he knew Carl had to have a reason to go on his adventure. (Photo by ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett Collection)


THE MOMENT: Carl and Ellie

Over the last three decades, the animator-tormenters at Pixar have been jerking the tears from our eyes with precision. Think of Jessie’s “When Somebody Loved Me” sequence from Toy Story 2, or the moment Bing Bong fades away in Inside Out. Or the final moments of Toy Story 3. Or any of the other dozens of times the studio has turned on our waterworks. Chief among these moving moments is the opening sequence of Up, which sees Carl and Ellie “meet cute” as roughhousing kids, then court, marry, and persevere through some very dark times, ultimately living out a happy life until eventually Ellie dies, leaving Carl alone. It’s beautiful and wrenching stuff, and goes to places few expect a family movie to go (at one point, we see the couple visit a doctor and learn that they cannot have children). Docter says the sequence underwent a number of changes before taking its final form. An original slapstick-style approach was ditched, as was most of the dialogue, and the filmmakers debated just how far they could push their audience when it came to the darker side of life.

Up

Ellie and Carl meet as kids at the beginning of the sequence. (Photo by ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett Collection)

“[Originally] Carl was, in the very first bit, trying to catch a bird and Ellie came to the bird’s defense and punched him. Now Carl was out for revenge.”

“The first draft of this was showing how their relationship [started]. So we introduced the characters to each other. We saw them as kids when they first saw each other. And it became kind of a battle. In fact, Carl was, in the very first bit, trying to catch a bird and Ellie came to the bird’s defense and punched him. So now Carl was out for revenge. It became a back-and-forth of punching contests in the most unlikely places; in the middle of a Christmas pageant or taking the trash out. These very innocent scenes – the characters would surprise each other and punch each other. We thought it was hilarious, but [then] we showed it to the audience – we do a screening here at Pixar as we’re making the films, we screen them about every three months – and it just kind of went over like a lead balloon. Nobody really laughed. So we thought, ‘Well, this has to be shorter anyway because it’s taking too long to get to the main action of our film.’ As it turned out that sequence really reduced down to about four-and-a-half minutes. It’s really not too long but it also becomes the emotional bedrock on which the rest of the film relies to move forward.”

“Ronnie del Carmen, who was our head of story, came to me and said, ‘I think this would work better with no dialogue.’”

“That sequence started fully scripted. We wrote multiple short little scenes where they were finishing each other’s sentences and discussing stuff. Then as we started to storyboard it, Ronnie del Carmen, who was our head of story, came to me and said, ‘I think this would work better with no dialogue.’ And I said, ‘No, I think you’re wrong. I think we should continue with the direction we set.’ But he eventually talked me into it and boy, the further we went… We initially had sound effects and we took those out. We basically stripped it down just to music. My theory is, and it’s a somewhat crackpot theory probably, but I grew up watching Super 8 films that my parents had taken of all of us, and there’s something about stripping away some element that makes it more emotional. Similarly, I have some audio cassettes that my parents recorded of us when we were kids and you can’t see but you can hear. Something about having something lacking makes the audience have to fill in. They have to be an active participant and get involved in a way.”

Up

Ellie and Carl as their relationship progresses in the opening sequence. (Photo by ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett Collection)

“The pain and loss of that situation bonded those characters together and made you empathize more with them.”

“There’s one moment in that montage where Ellie has to go to the doctor and it’s sort of implied that they can’t have children for whatever reason. We didn’t spell it out because we didn’t feel like that was necessary. That raised some eyebrows even here at work as we were developing the film. Someone – it was an anonymous person – it must have hit too close to home and [they] got very upset. So, we did experiment with taking it out. And we thought, ‘Well, maybe [the sequence] could still work [without it] because there’s some really charming stuff.’ But the strange thing was, not only did we not feel the emotion as strongly in that one little sequence, but as we watched the rest of the film the whole film lost a little bit. I can’t really fully explain that other than to say it was a real dark, low moment for them that I think made that relationship feel more real. The sort of pain and loss of that situation bonded those characters together and made you empathize more with them.”


THE IMPACT: Life’s Complexities, Distilled

The accolades came quickly for Up. The movie became at the time only the second animated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards (it would take home Best Animated Feature, as well as Best Original Score for Michael Giacchino, whose composition, “Married Life,” is so key to the success of the opening sequence). Just as quickly, it entered the canon of Pixar greats, right alongside Finding NemoToy StoryWall-E, and the rest. But for Docter, the real lasting legacy of Up is felt in the form of letters and fan interactions, not shiny awards, when he sees first-hand how the moving moment that he helped create has affected and helped others.


“She said it was very cathartic and that she felt as though she got to spend some time with her husband in a weird way.”

“When we start out making these films, we’re just trying to make something funny and entertaining and hopefully with a bit of heart and emotion to it. But they sometimes really tap into people’s own lives in ways that are completely unexpected. There was a woman who wrote to me who said her husband had just died and so she went to the film just needing a break from life to get away from the sorrow. As I’m reading the letter I’m thinking, ‘Oh no’ – the wife dies and so it’s mirroring her own life experience. But in the long run she said it was very cathartic and that she kind of felt as though she got to spend some time with her husband in a weird way. Even though this is a bunch of pixels on the screen and none of it actually exists. Part of what I really love [about] making animated films is that none of it exists. It’s all a big trick. And yet when done well we can really make the audience care about these characters, believe in them as though they’re real people.”

Up Premiere

Pete Docter at the Los Angeles premiere of Up in 2009. (Photo by Michael Germana/Everett Collection)

“These films are dress rehearsals for life for a lot of people.”

“These films in a way are dress rehearsals for life for a lot of people. I know when kids play house or cars or whatever, they’re kind of acting out what they’re looking [at] around them. They’re kind of trying this suit on, and I think films are a little bit the same way. It’s a way of understanding the world. We’ve had a lot of people respond, both on Up and especially on Inside Out, talking about how their autistic children really use these films in very significant ways to understand emotion, to understand interaction, relationships. I think because you can watch it over and over. This is something animation does; we try to distill down all the complexity and nuance and messiness into something clean and easy to see. It’s like a caricature. In three lines, Al Hirschfeld would do these amazing caricatures of people that looked more like them than their own face did. That’s what we’re striving to do with animation: to take all the messiness of life and make it more pure and easy to understand.”


Up was released on May 29, 2009. Buy or rent it at FandangNOW.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

#1

Up (2009)
98%

#1
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

Once upon a time, animation could be neatly divided into two eras: BD and AD, or before and after Disney. That all changed, however, with the release of 1995’s Toy Story, a movie that — although it bore the Disney logo — marked the feature-length debut of an upstart studio named Pixar. There have been 19 Pixar movies since then — 17 of which are Certified Fresh — and we thought it would be interesting to take a fond look back at the studio’s extraordinary full-length filmography. From Toy Story to Finding Dory, to infinity and beyond, here’s this week’s Total Recall! [Updated on 6/18/18]


1. Toy Story 2 (1999) 100%

Considering how successful the first installment was — not to mention Disney’s original plan to make the sequel a direct-to-video affair — not many people would have been surprised if Toy Story 2 had fallen flat when it landed in theaters in 1999. But with Tom Hanks back as Woody, Tim Allen back as Buzz, and an adventure that took Andy’s toys on a journey every bit as exciting as their first, the second Story proved that some movie characters really do have more than one story worth telling — and that even when it came to movies with numbers after the title, Pixar meant business. Speaking of business, Toy Story 2‘s was extraordinarily healthy, to the tune of a $485 million worldwide gross — and the public’s obvious enthusiasm for the movie was backed up by the critics, who duplicated the original’s 100 percent Tomatometer on the strength of reviews like the one from Jay Carr of the Boston Globe, who wrote that it was “everything you could want in a sequel,” or Jeff Millar of the Houston Chronicle, who observed, “the Pixar people just get better and better.”

Watch Trailer


2.  Toy Story (1995) 100%

(Photo by Buena Vista Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

In 1937, Walt Disney Pictures turned conventional wisdom on its head by proving that animation — heretofore the realm of short films starring talking critters — could be successfully utilized to tell a full-length story starring realistic human characters. That film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, charted the path the studio — and animation pretty much in general — followed for almost six decades, until Pixar came long and changed everything with Toy Story. Like Snow White before it, Toy Story was an eye-popping technical marvel with a heart to match its stunning visuals — and like Snow White, it kick-started the growth of a studio whose unprecedented success would redefine an art form. Of course, no one could have known all that in 1995; we only knew that it was, in the words of Roger Ebert, “a visionary roller-coaster ride of a movie.” Subsequent Pixar releases have deepened and refined the technology and storytelling approach seen here, but unlike pretty much anything else considered cutting-edge in 1995, it still seems almost as fresh as it did on the day it was released. As Michael Booth of the Denver Post wrote, “It’s a landmark movie, and doesn’t get old with frequent repetition.”

Watch Trailer


3. Toy Story 3 (2010) 98%

(Photo by Buena Vista Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

By the time they reach their third installments, most franchises have either been corrupted by time (The Godfather Part III), stretched beyond sensible narrative limits (Die Hard with a Vengeance), or simply stopped trying (Superman III). Leave it to Pixar to create an exception to the rule with Toy Story 3, which used the decade-plus between sequels as a framing device for a poignant story about the exciting (and emotionally wrenching) transition between childhood and adulthood. Of course, it wasn’t all dramatic overtones; Toy Story 3 also made room for action-adventure, in the form of a daring, Great Escape-inspired plot to bust the toys out of their new home at the local daycare. It all added up to over $1 billion at the box office, five Academy Award nominations (including wins for Best Song and Best Animated Feature), and almost universal praise from critics like Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, who called it “A bona fide summer delight loaded with action, humor, nostalgia, a veritable blizzard of pop-culture references and general good vibes.”

Watch Trailer


4.  Finding Nemo (2003) 99%

(Photo by Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection)

After going somewhat high-concept with Monsters, Inc., the studio took things back to basics for 2003’s Finding Nemo, following the adventures of a single father (Albert Brooks) and his brain-damaged acquaintance (Ellen DeGeneres) as they desperately search for his kidnapped son. It reads like a tense, Missing-style thriller, but this is Pixar: the characters are all animated talking fish, and in lieu of pulse-pounding drama, it serves up the adorable antics of ocean critters like a porcupinefish named Bloat (Brad Garrett) and a laid back sea turtle named Crush (voiced by writer/director Andrew Stanton). Which is not to say that Nemo lacks action or adventure — there are numerous edge-of-your-seat set pieces — nor does it come without a valuable message, underscoring the difficulty (and the importance) of letting children develop their own identities. Audiences expected nothing less from Pixar at this point, and rewarded the studio with a worldwide gross just shy of $865 million; meanwhile, critics set aside their usual cynicism for a couple of hours to pronounce Nemo, in the words of Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers, “a thing of beauty, hugely entertaining and way cool.”

Watch Trailer


5. Inside Out (2015) 98%

inside-out4

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Pixar made itself the gold standard for animation by combining visual thrills with honest emotions — and that’s more or less the mission statement for Inside Out, which uses a young girl’s cross-country move as the catalyst for an epic adventure that takes place largely in her own mind. Although most of us have never been 11-year-old girls forced to leave our happy Minnesota home for San Francisco, we can all identify the emotions in Riley (Kaitlyn Dias): Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). They’re all thrown out of whack by Riley’s big change, and the turmoil sends Joy and Sadness on a quest to make things right again — leaving Anger, Fear and Disgust running the show, a situation sure to trigger a rueful chuckle out of anyone in the audience old enough to remember adolescence. Director/co-writer Pete Docter’s brilliant concept and poignant underlying message (not to mention that ever-resplendent Pixar animation) made Inside Out one of the studio’s best-reviewed efforts — and one of the most critically beloved movies of the year. “It’s hard to believe that anyone will make a film more ambitious and more fully realized this year than Inside Out,” decreed Tom Long of the Detroit News. “Let the talk of a best picture Oscar win begin now.”

Watch Trailer


6. Up (2009) 98%

(Photo by Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection)

After heading into space for WALL-E, Pixar returned to Earth for their next feature, 2009’s Up — but they continued to push the boundaries of mainstream American animation, using a story with a certain amount of surface silliness (grumpy old man uses balloons to send his house airborne and turn his back on society, only to discover a young stowaway) to explore such decidedly serious themes as death, regret, aging, and friendship. Like WALL-E, Up takes its time getting to the speaking parts, opening with an extended musical sequence depicting the decades-long love story between Carl Fredericksen (played by Ed Asner) and his wife Ellie (Elizabeth Docter). Without a single word of dialogue, Up reduced many filmgoers to tears — and it was just getting started. By the time it was all over, Up had taken audiences on a journey from crowded city streets to the tepui mountains of Venezuela, helped mend Carl’s broken heart, shared a message or two, and scored only the second Best Picture Academy Award nomination for an animated feature in history. At 98 percent on the Tomatometer, Up was one of the best-reviewed movies of the year, and a favorite of critics such as the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan, who wrote, “Rarely has any film, let alone an animated one powered by the logic of dream and fantasy, been able to move so successfully — and so effortlessly — through so many different kinds of cinematic territory.”

Watch Trailer


7. Coco (2017) 97%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

The concept of death isn’t exactly taboo in animation — as any film lover can tell you, countless classic cartoon characters are orphans, and the loss of a loved one has offered the motivation for many an ultimately heartwarming tale. But it’s rare to see a family-friendly movie whose plot is centered around mortality, let alone one that takes pains to honor the traditions of a culture many viewers consider foreign. Leave it to Pixar to take both leaps with Coco, in which a young Mexican boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is caught between his dreams of being a musician and his obligations to his family. With a story (and overall aesthetic) influenced by the Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos, Coco marked a thematic and visual departure for the studio — which is a big part of why critics responded so warmly, applauding a movie that took the tight storytelling craft and attention to detail that’s become synonymous with the Pixar name and took it someplace fresh enough to avoid feeling like formula. “Not only is it a wholly original story, but it also honors a culture that’s so often overlooked by the movie industry,” wrote Stephanie Merry for the Washington Post. “That alone might have made it a hit, but Coco has so much more to offer.”

Watch Trailer


8. The Incredibles (2004) 97%

incredibles-3

(Photo by Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection)

Pixar has been known to build a winsome feature around what looks like a questionable storyline, but they’ve also developed some wonderfully original stuff — like 2004’s The Incredibles, which looks at what can happen when a superhero trades in costumed adventure for domestic tranquility too soon. Exiled to a suburban family life after a series of mishaps leads to the government putting the kibosh on super-powered crimefighters, the former Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) deals with the monotony of his new job at an insurance company by sneaking out after hours and upholding truth and justice on the QT with his best friend, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). His secret doesn’t stay secret for long, of course — not from his superhuman wife (Holly Hunter) and kids, and not from the supervillain whose nefarious plot draws them all together. As with roughly 70 percent of all kids’ movies, The Incredibles teaches a lesson about the value of being yourself, but even if the moral of the story isn’t exactly unique, the characters and situations offered a nifty twist on the superhero craze — and writer/director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) proved an excellent addition to the Pixar stable. It is, in the words of ReelViews’ James Berardinelli, an “exemplary mixture of top-notch storytelling, visual razzle-dazzle, accessible humor, and involving action.”

Watch Trailer


9. WALL-E (2008) 95%

(Photo by Walt Disney Motion Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

How do you deal with the incredible expectations created by eight films, and almost 15 years, of solid excellence? Conventional wisdom would say to play it safe and fall back on everything that’s worked for you before — but Pixar has never been conventional, and they proved it again with 2008’s WALL-E, a movie that took the studio’s knack for adorable characters and hyper-realistic CG animation and flung it into the uncharted (and even a little avant garde) regions of outer kidvid space. It’s hard to imagine any other studio having success with a family film this idiosyncratic — a movie about a lonely trash-compacting robot with a mostly dialogue-free first act doesn’t exactly scream summer blockbuster — but audiences trusted the Pixar brand enough to show up in droves, and they were rewarded with not only one of the best-reviewed animated releases of 2008, but what was, in the words of the Boston Globe’s Jay Carr, “the best American film of the year to date.” WALL-E came with a surprising bit of controversy, drawing fire from conservative pundits who were annoyed with what they interpreted as a left-wing, anti-business message, but its 96 percent Tomatometer and massive $534 million gross drowned out the chatter. As with just about everything Pixar has done, it works whether you’re looking to be edified or simply entertained; as the New York Times’ A.O. Scott noted, “it is, undoubtedly, an earnest (though far from simplistic) ecological parable, but it is also a disarmingly sweet and simple love story, Chaplinesque in its emotional purity.”

Watch Trailer


10. Ratatouille (2007) 96%

(Photo by Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection)

For anyone who’d been counting down the days until Pixar’s inevitable downfall, the period between the lukewarm critical reception afforded Cars and the debut of 2007’s Ratatouille seemed like it might be the beginning of the end: not only was the studio working on a movie with a rather unappetizing protagonist — a rat who wanted to be a gourmet chef — but the movie itself had something of a troubled journey to the screen, including a Pixar-mandated director swap that ousted the film’s creator, Jan Pinkava, and replaced him with Brad Bird. All’s well that ends well, though, and by the time Ratatouille reached theaters in June of ’07, it was abundantly clear that all the creative turmoil had paid off — not only did it provide Pixar with another box office bonanza, gathering up more than $621 million in worldwide receipts, but it quickly established itself as yet another critical winner for the studio, ending up with a 96 percent Tomatometer rating and a bunch of glowing reviews from critics like Newsweek’s David Ansen, who called it “a film as rich as a sauce béarnaise, as refreshing as a raspberry sorbet, and a lot less predictable than the damn food metaphors and adjectives all us critics will churn out to describe it. OK, one more and then I’ll be done: it’s yummy.”

Watch Trailer


11. Monsters, Inc. (2001) 96%

(Photo by Disney•Pixar)

It starred Billy Crystal as a fast-talking schemer who was physically dwarfed by his sidekick, but despite that surface similarity to the misbegotten My Giant, Pixar hit another home run with its fourth feature, 2001’s Monsters, Inc. The tale of Mike (Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman), two employees of the titular kiddie-scaring company, Monsters imagines a world in which children’s screams are the energy source that powers the secret city of Monstropolis — and one in which the monsters themselves are just 9-to-5 clock punchers with problems of their own, such as mistakenly letting a child follow them back to the office. Mike and Sulley are worried about more than just getting written up — the monsters believe the children are toxic — but they soon discover that not only is inter-species harmony possible, but it may hold the key to their civilization’s looming energy crisis. It’s admittedly rather heady stuff for a family-friendly CGI comedy, but Pixar has always been good at slipping subtext into a candy-colored shell, and Monsters, Inc. is no different. “The analogy to our dependence on, say, oil is soon abandoned, the better to blur the distinction between abstract and concrete,” wrote Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader, pointing out “something older viewers of this 2001 animated adventure may appreciate more than younger ones.”

Watch Trailer


12. Finding Dory (2016) 94%

(Photo by Disney•Pixar)

It’s rare to find a sequel that actually feels like an organic addition to its predecessor’s story — and even rarer to see one that manages to deepen that story in an unexpected way. Leave it to Pixar to pull off both feats with Finding Dory. In Finding Nemo, the titular blue tang (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) offered kind companionship to a panicked clownfish (Albert Brooks) searching for his son — and her near-total short-term memory loss gave audiences lots of laughs along the way. This time out, Dory’s condition isn’t really a laughing matter; as we learn early on, it’s been a lifelong burden, and after experiencing an unexpected flashback, she embarks on a quest to heal a deep emotional rift suffered when she was just a little (and impossibly adorable) fish. Every Pixar outing faces a steeper uphill battle than most, and that goes at least double for the studio’s franchise follow-ups, but the vast majority of critics were powerless to deny Finding Dory‘s charms; as Owen Gleiberman wrote for Variety, the result is “a beautiful, rambunctious, and fully felt sequel — a movie totally worth its salt water.”

Watch Trailer


13. Incredibles 2 (2018) 93%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Nearly 15 years after expertly sending up superhero adventures with The Incredibles, Pixar finally delivered a long-discussed sequel — smack dab in the middle of a cinematic landscape that had come to be largely dominated by costumed crimefighters during the decade leading up to Incredibles 2. But if the number of superheroes at the cineplex had multiplied in their absence, Pixar’s Parr family still managed to stand with the best of them, picking up right where they left off in the original and taking audiences on another death-defying adventure that also managed to leave room for funny and occasionally poignant observations on marriage, parenthood, and personal responsibility. If it wasn’t quite as powerful as its predecessor, it still managed to defy the odds and come pretty close; as Tomris Laffly wrote for Time Out, “At a time when movie screens are clogged with indistinguishable superheroes, Incredibles 2 rises above the noise with its defiantly humane soul.”

Watch Trailer


14. A Bug's Life (1998) 92%

(Photo by Buena Vista Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Inspired by Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper — memorably animated in the Silly Symphonies short titled, suitably, The Grasshopper and the Ants — Pixar’s John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton spearheaded the development of Pixar’s second feature, A Bug’s Life, the story of a nonconformist ant named Flik (voiced by Dave Foley) who ventures beyond his colony’s island shores to recruit an army of bugs that can defend them from a gang of mean-spirited grasshoppers (led by Kevin Spacey). When the naïve Flik mistakes a group of circus performers (including Denis Leary as a sass-mouthed ladybug) for fighters, the stage is set for another round of CGI-fueled family fun. Though A Bug’s Life was overshadowed somewhat by DreamWorks Animation’s superficially similar Antz, and critics weren’t quite as unanimous in their praise as they’d been for Toy Story, neither a $363 million worldwide gross nor a 91 percent Tomatometer are anything to sneer at — and in the end, as CNN’s Paul Tatara observed, “if this movie doesn’t make you smile you may not know how.”

Watch Trailer


15. Monsters University (2013) 80%

(Photo by Disney•Pixar)

Nine times out of 10, a prequel that films a dozen years after its predecessor will have to replace pretty much its entire cast. But that rule doesn’t apply in animation, as Monsters University reminded us in 2013, when it reunited Monsters, Inc. stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman for a look at how Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan met back in their college days. Without the nifty storytelling twist that inspired Inc., University was little more than a chance for Crystal and Goodman to riff off each other in a fairly standard campus coming-of-age story, but given the prodigious talents of the chemistry-rich duo – ably aided and abetted by a stellar supporting cast that included Helen Mirren, Steve Buscemi, Alfred Molina, and Charlie Day – that proved to be more than enough for most critics. “Execution matters,” noted Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri. “Verve, and energy, and inventiveness matter. And Monsters University is funny, fast, and likable, with occasional moments of real visual surprise and laugh-out-loud offhand gags.”

Watch Trailer


16. Brave (2012) 78%

(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Princesses have made Disney some pretty big bucks over the years, but by 2012, Pixar’s creative team could feel the cultural tide turning against damsels in distress. Enter Brave, in which a classic medieval story about an impetuous king’s daughter gets a postmodern twist – and forsakes the tired old princely rescue narrative in favor of a story about the timeless, occasionally troubled bonds between girls and their mothers. And while critics weren’t shy about arguing that Brave‘s depiction of the fraught dynamic between feisty princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) and her steadfastly traditional mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), could have gone even further in upending decades of conservative Disney storytelling, most agreed that the movie’s positives outweighed its drawbacks – including the raucously funny work turned in by Billy Connolly as the beleaguered King Fergus. As TIME’s Richard Corliss sniffled, “By the climax, at which all right-thinking viewers will have dissolved in a puddle of warm appreciation, the new Pixar film has earned two cheers and a big bear hug.”

Watch Trailer


17. The Good Dinosaur (2015) 76%

Pixar’s legacy is certainly impressive, but there are definite downsides to setting the bar so high — not the least of which is the way people tend to see your efforts as subpar if they aren’t quite up to your loftiest standards. Such is the case with 2015’s The Good Dinosaur: by most accounts a heartwarming and beautifully animated effort, it nevertheless found itself on the losing end of (arguably unfair) comparisons to Pixar’s earlier work — not to mention Inside Out, which bowed on DVD/Blu-ray mere weeks before Dinosaur arrived in theaters. Still, casting a tall critical shadow is a nice problem to have, and although its Tomatometer isn’t quite as robust as other entries in the Pixar filmography, it’s still impressive in any other context. As Alison Willmore observed for BuzzFeed, “If The Good Dinosaur falls low in the rankings of the company’s now 16 titles, it is still leagues finer than the flurry of frenetic colors and screwball pacing of the standard children’s animated movie.”

Watch Trailer


18. Cars (2006) 74%

(Photo by Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection)

Even the most successful family can have a black sheep, and at a relatively paltry 74 percent on the Tomatometer, 2006’s Cars was Pixar’s for a long time — at least, until its sequel came along. While not poor enough to break the studio’s chain of Fresh certifications, the reviews that greeted this John Lasseter-directed tale of a young racecar (Owen Wilson) and his quest to wrest the Piston Cup from a pair of challengers (Michael Keaton and Richard Petty) weren’t up to the usual Pixar standard; whether dismissing it as unoriginal (Christy Lemire of the Associated Press accused it of “[ripping] off Doc Hollywood, almost note for note) or overlong (the Chicago Reader’s J.R. Jones called it “not a test of speed but endurance”), the critics concluded that Cars ran a little too rough to stand alongside earlier classics. Audiences didn’t mind, though — it grossed over $460 million — and even if it didn’t measure up to Pixar’s previous efforts, it was still good enough to earn praise from scribes like Chris Vognar of the Dallas Morning News, who wrote, “no other outfit can match Pixar’s knack for plucking heartstrings without tearing them off the frets.”

Watch Trailer


19. Cars 3 (2017) 69%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

We’ve been trained to expect a lot from Pixar over the years, and when one of their movies isn’t poignant, thought-provoking, hilarious, and visually dazzling, it can feel like a pretty big letdown. Enter the studio’s Cars franchise: while plenty of fun in the context of just about any other company’s output, it’s the black sheep of the Pixar catalog, and critical reaction for the first two films in the series (and their cousins in the Planes franchise) ranged from mild disappointment to outright disdain. It’s rare for the third film in a trilogy to improve upon its predecessors, so there was little reason to expect Cars 3 would enjoy a critical rebound, but it proved to be something of a happy surprise; although not on par with Pixar’s finest — and a notch below the original Cars — it impressed critics with a storyline that manages to inject some intelligence and honest emotion into the anthropomorphic automotive saga. “If you can roll with it,” wrote Glenn Kenny for the New York Times, “the movie is both breezy fun and a pain-free life lesson delivery vehicle.”

Watch Trailer


20. Cars 2 (2011) 40%

(Photo by Buena Vista Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Cars did well at the box office – and well enough with critics – but it was far from the first Pixar film most fans thought of when entertaining thoughts of possible sequels to the studio’s hits. The movie had one important fan, however, in director John Lasseter, who also happened to be the chief creative officer at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios; once he became convinced there needed to be a Cars 2, a follow-up was pretty much a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, when the movie arrived in theaters in 2011, it found few critics who agreed with Lasseter; in fact, Cars 2 went down as Pixar’s biggest critical dud to date, scoring an uninspired 39 percent on the Tomatometer while being roundly derided as a merchandising-driven misstep from a studio that had trained audiences to expect the best. Still, as a pleasantly undemanding diversion for younger viewers, Cars 2 had its defenders, with a handful of critics pointing out that the movie – which reunites most of the original voice cast for a story that sends Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) out to compete in the World Grand Prix while Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) bungles through a bit of international espionage – wouldn’t be held up to such scrutiny if any other company had produced it. “Minor Pixar, but it would be a major film were it made by just about anyone else,” wrote Deadspin’s Will Leitch. “I, for one, will not get greedy.”

Watch Trailer

(Photo by WB Games/Disney/Marvel Entertainment)

With 2017 soon coming to a close, many TV series are going on hiatus, while the big holiday blockbusters are giving way to winter’s slimmer cinematic pickings. Thankfully, a number of new and upcoming video games are inviting fans to continue living — and playing — in their favorite fictional worlds.

Whether you dig small-screen serials like Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and X-Files or prefer silver-screen spectacles such as Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and any film starring a spandex-clad superhero, there’s an interactive experience just begging to beam you back into your favorite universe.


STRANGER THINGS: THE GAME

Developer: BonusXP
Publisher: Netflix
Systems: App Store
Release Date: October 4, 2017

Stranger Things has been renewed for a third season, but we’d rather spend a night in the Upside Down than wait a full year for fresh episodes to drop. Thankfully, we can visit our favorite fictional Midwestern town any time in this charming adventure game based on the Netflix hit. Sporting an appealing retro presentation, which nicely complements the series’ mid-’80s vibe, Stranger Things: The Game features fan-favorite characters, familiar Hawkins locations, and enough nods to the show to stretch a smile across Hopper’s miserable mug.


GAME OF THRONES: CONQUEST

Developer: Turbine
Publisher: WB Games

Systems: App Store, Google Play

Release Date: October 19, 2017

With just a single season left, HBO’s Game of Thrones is about to see winter come…and go. Fans needn’t be left in the cold though, as this strategy-focused mobile game encourages them to continue living out their Seven Kingdoms–conquering fantasies on their tablets and smartphones. With a few taps, swipes, and plenty of smarts, players can claim a house, build an army, and, with a little luck, ultimately place their butts on that coveted Iron Throne.


RUSH: A DISNEY-PIXAR ADVENTURE

Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Systems: Xbox One

Release Date: October 31, 2017

Fans of Coco can’t yet play a game based on Pixar‘s popular new film, but Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure may be the next best thing. Originally released for the Xbox 360’s ill-fated, hands-free Kinect peripheral, Rush — featuring challenges based on Toy Story, Cars, Up, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille — failed to find an audience its first time out. Re-released with improved controls, enhanced visuals, and brand-new Finding Dory content, however, this family-friendly offering deserves a second shot.


HEIDI PRICE & THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Developer: Kalypso Media
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Systems: App Store, Google Play
Release Date: November 2, 2017

Much like the fall movie Murder on the Orient Express — minus Kenneth Branagh’s epic facial hair — this story-driven, interactive adventure presents players with a central murder mystery and a quirky cast of possible suspects. Rather than simply watching the case-cracking events unfold, however, armchair detectives can decipher codes, solve puzzles, gather clues, and interrogate potential perpetrators. As investigative reporter Heidi Price, players also collect and piece together these various strands of evidence while exploring 17 unique locations spread throughout the titular locomotive.


STAR WARS: JEDI CHALLENGES

Developer: Lenovo/Disney
Publisher: Disney
Systems: Lenovo Mirage AR Headset
Release Date: November 3, 2017

While Star Wars Battlefront II is generating all kinds of buzz, it’s not the only recent game attempting to immerse players in the popular sci-fi saga. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges uses the power of the Force — er, augmented reality — to put fans behind a lightsaber replica before unleashing them on Sith foes. While not your traditional controller-clutching experience, Jedi Challenges — with its included AR headset, tracking beacon, and elegant Jedi weapon — puts fans in a galaxy far, far away like no game before it.


PLANET OF THE APES: LAST FRONTIER

Developer: Creative England
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Systems: PlayStation 4
Release Date: November 21, 2017

Unfolding between the events of Dawn of Planet of the Apes and War for Planet of the Apes, this narrative adventure game puts fans behind both the surviving humans and their primate adversaries. As a new cast of characters on both sides of the conflict, players can decide the fate of the two camps through story-driven, choice-and-consequence gameplay. With the recent Apes trilogy coming to a close, Last Frontier looks to extend fans’ stay in this compelling fictional universe.


FERDINAND: UNSTOPPABULL

Developer: Koukoi Games
Publisher: FoxNext Games
Systems: App Store, Google Play
Release Date: November 30, 2017

The familiar match-three mobile puzzle game formula gets a fresh spin courtesy of Ferdinand, the titular dancing bull from the John Cena–starring animated film. Sporting a pop-off-the-screen presentation and a focus on music and dance, Ferdinand: Unstoppabull packs hundreds of levels featuring the film’s quirky cast of anthropomorphs, including a trio of scene-stealing hedgehogs. If you can get past the title’s terrible pun, this one might provide your next puzzle-game addiction.


THE WALKING DEAD: THE TELLTALE SERIES COLLECTION

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: December 5, 2017

If you’ve already survived this interactive, narrative-focused take on Robert Kirkman’s flesh-eating franchise, you’re aware its writing often rivals — and frequently surpasses — that of the TV show. If you’re yet to experience this goosebumps-raising romp, however, you can now consume all 19 episodes of its character-driven, choice-and-consequence gameplay in one content-packed collection. On top of all three seasons, plus the 400 Days– and Michonne-focused spin-offs, this comprehensive offering features a fresh coat of visual polish.


X-FILES: DEEP STATE

Developer: Creative Mobile/FoxNext Games

Publisher: FoxNext Games

Systems: App Store, Google Play, Facebook

Release Date: Early 2018

Even moreso than the ever-elusive truth, 2016’s X-Files revival proved rabid fans of the paranormal series are still out there. With that in mind, 20th Century Fox’s interactive entertainment arm is extending the universe with Deep State, a title taking place between the show’s 9th and 10th seasons. As a new FBI agent, players will collect clues, crack puzzles, and interact with unsavory characters. In addition to ongoing, updated content — of both the mythology and monster-of-the-week variety — Deep State will feature appearances from fan-favorite characters.


MARVEL STRIKE FORCE

Developer: FoxNext Games
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Systems: App Store, Google Play
Release Date: TBA 2018

If repeatedly watching the Avengers: Infinity War trailer isn’t curbing your Marvel craving, you may want to supplement your superhero fix with Strike Force. Due to hit like a pavement-buckling Hulk Smash in 2018, the new mobile game mixes up Marvel’s iconic cast of spandex-clad day-savers and evildoers in unprecedented alliances. Combining strategic combat with character-progressing role-playing game elements, Strike Force promises to offer something for superhero fans of all stripes.

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Fans of Andre Holland on American Horror Story: Roanoake and The Knick can now see him on the big screen in Moonlight, which has earned rave reviews across the board. His Five Favorite Films, listed here, reflect the diversity and quality that he demonstrates as an actor. Movies from several decades and genres populate his list, and he shows his passion for the art as he discusses them. See the list here:

The Bourne Identity (2002) 83%

The one that, if I’m sitting on the couch and it comes on, I can’t turn away — The Bourne movies. I will watch them a million times, and any time they’re on, which is often [laughs], I gotta watch them. I just loved that character. I thought it was so fascinating and, honestly, that’s the kind of part that I would love to play one day. So, I love watching it and watching the way Matt Damon played it. It’s just so exciting, to me. I don’t know why, but I can’t get enough of it. I think there is a little bit of…  just the escapism of it all – running through the streets of Germany or all the different cities that he went to and trying to figure out who you are is really cool. It’s just a cool conceit.

Nothing But a Man (1964) 96%

The movie that I always watch before doing just about any project — and certainly before doing this one — is called Nothing But A Man. It’s a classic film. Ivan Dixon played the lead character and it’s just about this black man trying to make his way through the world. But it’s a beautiful, beautiful film, and it breaks my heart every time I watch it. It’s just one of the most extraordinary movies I’ve ever seen. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine; I was doing a play — probably eight or nine years ago — and my friend, Aunjanue Ellis, who is an actress, put me on to it and I had not seen it before. Now I watch it all the time.  It’s great – I think it was in the 1960s. Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln -– it just was super. An incredible film.

Paris Blues (1961) 67%

And then kind of parallel to [Nothing but a Man] — number three would probably be my most favorite romance, Paris Blues. Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward. I love it. The dialogue in that film is some of the best I’ve ever seen. And Sidney Poitier, I think, gives one of his best performances. And it’s so, so sexy, that movie.

RT: Yeah, that’s right, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it. And Paul Newman – I remember several of the films he was in that way, actually, as well. I was like, “Man, I feel too young to watch this.”

[Laughing] Yeah. He’s got these scenes where he’s in the bedroom with his shirt off, and you can just see it. I mean, he was such a heartthrob, you know. You can just see the filmmaker thinking, “We have to get a shot of Paul Newman with his shirt off [laughing].” And they got a few of them.

RT: We’re not made of stone. The filmmaker was right.

True, true.

Up (2009) 98%

For some reason, there’s another movie that I really love, that always breaks my heart and makes me cry, every time I watch it, and that’s the animated movie Up.

RT: Oh, my God, yes. We could have a whole therapy session about that movie.

Yes, absolutely. Just the opening sequence is, like… I can’t even get through that without breaking down. It’s so beautiful.

RT: That movie made me really happy for 3D glasses because it covered my tears.

Yeah. That’s hilarious. I know what you mean with those 3D glasses. One of the first times I saw it, I was on a date and, I mean, you talk about trying to hide some tears? I was trying to maintain my cool, but I could not do it. It was such a beautiful movie.

RT: Do you think that made the date go better, because it made you so emotionally vulnerable?

I think it did, actually, because, as I recall, she was crying a lot, too, and I think it definitely put us both into a good, nice, open, vulnerable place. And it’s funny — where I live in New York, there’s a coffee shop around the corner from me that I go to all the time, basically, and in going to it, there’s a guy who I would always see there, and we would always talk and chat. Someone said, “Oh, yeah, you know he’s a writer and he used to be an actor,” and blah, blah, blah. I didn’t know his work, I’m ashamed to say, but, at the end of Up when the name Tom McCarthy flashed across, I thought, “Wait a minute! That’s the dude from the coffee shop.”  I guess I was living under a rock that I didn’t know who he was. But anyway, I just was even more of a fan of his. He’s such a talented man.

Oliver! (1968) 83%

Number five — this is a tough one. I think the one I would like to say, though, is one — when I was a kid, this is the one that I watched all the time. I had it on VHS tape and probably wore the tape out – I know just about every line from the movie. I don’t know why I loved it so much, but the movie Oliver. The musical version. The Lionel Bart one. Ron Moody was  the guy that played Fagin. Growing up, we never went to the movies. I grew up in a pretty rural town in Alabama, and we just never went, and so our big excitement for the weekend would be to go to the video store and… We also didn’t have a VCR, but you could, back in the day, rent a VCR. So, we would rent a VCR, and for some reason, we owned the movie. We owned two movies; we owned Oliver and we owned The Wiz. Whenever we would rent the VCR, we would watch the movies that we rented, but then, because we had the VCR, we’d always end up playing Oliver and The Wiz again. I think that’s probably why I fell in love with it. And then, ironically, it wound up being the first play that I ever did in community theatre. Although I’m [also] obsessed with The Wiz. It terrified me, as a kid. That was gonna be the other one I was gonna say. It was either Oliver or The Wiz, but The Wiz is just amazing.


Moonlight is now open in limited release.

When it comes to big summer movies, the opinions of critics and audiences are always out of sync. Right? Not so fast. Using our weighted formula, we at Rotten Tomatoes decided to spotlight the best-reviewed wide releases from each summer since 1975 — the year Jaws kicked off the blockbuster era — and it turns out that many of the big winners with the pundits have become perennial favorites with regular moviegoers as well.


1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

#1975

Jaws (1975)
98%

#1975
Adjusted Score: 106288%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Synopsis: When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#1976
#1976
Adjusted Score: 93706%
Critics Consensus: Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.
Synopsis: Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered, by Union men led by Capt. Terrill... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#1977
Adjusted Score: 105728%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Synopsis: The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#1978
Adjusted Score: 95016%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Synopsis: When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#1979

Alien (1979)
98%

#1979
Adjusted Score: 108927%
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

dory 3 edt

This weekend, Disney and Pixar ruled the box office with ease as the animated smash Finding Dory was once again the most popular film in the land taking in an estimated $73.2M in its second weekend of release. That represented a 46% decline which is good considering the record opening it is coming off of which included massive Thursday pre-shows from last week, and the fact that it is a sequel. Last year’s Pixar entry Inside Out was an original film that dropped 42% and the 2013 sequel Monsters University fell by 45%. All three Pixar movies opened in the second half of June right as schools were letting out for summer vacation.

Through the second weekend, Dory stands tall at $286.6M surpassing the final domestic total of University. On Monday, it will pass Up to become Pixar’s fourth biggest blockbuster ever and on Tuesday it should crack the $300M mark. Eventually the fish tale will beat out Finding Nemo, Inside Out, and Toy Story 3 to become the animation leader’s highest-grossing film of all-time on its way to a finish in the $500M range. Seven of the top ten films this weekend are sequels and all are performing worse than their predecessors – with the notable exception of Dory.

The overseas take climbed to $110.3M led by China where the second weekend tumbled by two-thirds for a cume of $30.2M. That put the global sum at $396.9M with several top markets yet to open.

Opening in second place to rocky results was the big-budget sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence with an estimated $41.6M from 4,068 locations for a $10,226 average. The PG-13 film continued this summer’s string of sequels that audiences never asked for and performed below the levels of its predecessor. 20 years ago, Independence Day was a pop culture phenomenon opening mid-week ahead of the Fourth of July holiday with $50.2M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $96.1M over the six-day debut period which began on Tuesday evening with shows starting at 6pm. Yes, pre-shows existed many years ago too. ID4 ended up as the top-grossing film of that year.

Even with a Friday launch, higher ticket prices, 3D, IMAX, and 1,186 more theaters, Resurgence still saw a much lower opening week