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The 100 Best Movies on Disney+ (January 2022)

Disney+ covers over 100 years of its flagship studio’s history, from early animated shorts to groundbreaking full-length animated features to family live-action classics to the blockbuster triumvirate of superheroes, space operas, and 3D computer animation of today. It’s a big spread of time filled with classics, some middling stuff, and even a few disasters. Rotten Tomatoes is here to discover and present only the movies with the highest Tomatometer scores on Disney+!

Looking for classic Disney animated movies? Disney+ has them, and we’ve chosen the Freshest, like Cinderella, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. For more recent Disney animated movies, the best among that crop includes Zootopia, Moana, and Frozen. Of course, you can’t talk Disney animation these days without including Pixar, who are represented in Certified Fresh full with Toy Story, Inside Out, The Incredibles, and more.

But Walt Disney Studios also has a long, honored tradition of family-friendly live-action films, too, and the streaming service does not skimp out. Here, you’ll find those delightful animation/live-action hybrids (Mary Poppins, Pete’s Dragon), sports classics (The Rookie, Miracle, Remember the Titans), and some sweet sci-fi (TRON).

If you’re looking to get lost in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney+ is launching a few films short of a full Avengers line-up: Expect to see Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man and a several more, and expect us to update the list as more are added in the future. And, of course, Star Wars is here in full force: From A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, to the modern era featuring The Force Awakens and spin-offs like Rogue One. Our only stipulation for inclusion in our guide is that each film featured here is Certified Fresh, which means it maintained a high Tomatometer score after meeting a minimum number of critics reviews.

As streaming continues to shake up the entertainment landscape, threatening to bury audiences under a deluge of viewing choices, we present a fast track into what you want to see with the 100 Best Movies on Disney+ to Watch Right Now!

MORE ON DISNEY+: The Best Disney+ Shows and Original MoviesAll Disney Animated Movies Ranked | All Star Wars Movies Ranked | All MCU Movies RankedAll Pixar Movies Ranked

#100
#100
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

#99
Adjusted Score: 89804%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#98
Adjusted Score: 91492%
Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant -- if still a bit uneven -- conclusion.
Synopsis: It has been three years since the Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#97

Fantasia 2000 (1999)
81%

#97
Adjusted Score: 84371%
Critics Consensus: It provides an entertaining experience for adults and children alike.
Synopsis: "Fantasia/2000" continues and builds upon Walt Disney's original idea with the creation of a new musical program interpreted by a... [More]

#96

Miracle (2004)
81%

#96
Adjusted Score: 85821%
Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.
Synopsis: When college coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) is hired to helm the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, he brings... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#95

Black Widow (2021)
79%

#95
Adjusted Score: 103923%
Critics Consensus: Black Widow's deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that's rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.
Synopsis: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her... [More]
Directed By: Cate Shortland

#94
Adjusted Score: 91179%
Critics Consensus: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.
Synopsis: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel... [More]
Directed By: Richard Marquand

#93

Avatar (2009)
81%

#93
Adjusted Score: 94650%
Critics Consensus: It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.
Synopsis: On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#92

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#92
Adjusted Score: 96058%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#91
#91
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

#90

The Book of Life (2014)
83%

#90
Adjusted Score: 86922%
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

#89

Hercules (1997)
84%

#89
Adjusted Score: 86114%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and packed with dozens of pop culture references, Hercules might not measure up with the true classics of the Disney pantheon, but it's still plenty of fun.
Synopsis: Disney tackles Greek mythology in this animated feature. Hercules (Tate Donovan), a son of gods, was snatched as a baby... [More]
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 84770%
Critics Consensus: An amazing array of images from beneath the sea.
Synopsis: Director James Cameron travels with the crew of a Russian research vessel as they plunge into the depths of the... [More]

#87

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#87
Adjusted Score: 87870%
Critics Consensus: A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.
Synopsis: A true story about a coach who discovers that it's never too late for dreams to come true. Jim Morris... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#86
Adjusted Score: 113393%
Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground -- and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.
Synopsis: Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

#85

Born in China (2016)
85%

#85
Adjusted Score: 87690%
Critics Consensus: Disneynature Born In China delivers more of the breathtaking footage the series is known for -- and more than enough cuddly anthropomorphic action to keep the kids entertained.
Synopsis: From frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest, filmmaker Lu Chuan follows the adventures of three animal families... [More]
Directed By: Lu Chuan

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 89849%
Critics Consensus: The Emperor's New Groove isn't the most ambitious animated film, but its brisk pace, fresh characters, and big laughs make for a great time for the whole family.
Synopsis: Arrogant young Emperor Kuzco is transformed into a llama by his power-hungry advisor -- the devious diva Yzma. Stranded in... [More]
Directed By: Mark Dindal

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 93145%
Critics Consensus: The warmth of traditional Disney animation makes this occasionally lightweight fairy-tale update a lively and captivating confection for the holidays.
Synopsis: Hardworking and ambitious, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant in New Orleans. Her dream... [More]
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

#82

X2 (2003)
85%

#82
Adjusted Score: 92700%
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
Synopsis: Stryker (Brian Cox), a villianous former Army commander, holds the key to Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) past and the future of... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#81
Adjusted Score: 116210%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#80

Anastasia (1997)
86%

#80
Adjusted Score: 88187%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful animation, an affable take on Russian history, and strong voice performances make Anastasia a winning first film from Fox animation studios.
Synopsis: The evil wizard Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) puts a hex on the royal Romanovs and young Anastasia (Meg Ryan) disappears when... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

#79

Mulan (1998)
86%

#79
Adjusted Score: 90110%
Critics Consensus: Exploring themes of family duty and honor, Mulan breaks new ground as a Disney film, while still bringing vibrant animation and sprightly characters to the screen.
Synopsis: Fearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) takes his spot -- though,... [More]
Directed By: Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft

#78

Lilo & Stitch (2002)
86%

#78
Adjusted Score: 90574%
Critics Consensus: Edgier than traditional Disney fare, Lilo and Stitch explores issues of family while providing a fun and charming story.
Synopsis: A tale of a young girl's close encounter with the galaxy's most wanted extraterrestrial. Lilo is a lonely Hawaiian girl... [More]

#77

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
87%

#77
Adjusted Score: 93892%
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

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 94829%
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

#75

The Jungle Book (1967)
88%

#75
Adjusted Score: 90398%
Critics Consensus: With expressive animation, fun characters, and catchy songs, The Jungle Book endures as a crowd-pleasing Disney classic.
Synopsis: In this classic Walt Disney animation based on Rudyard Kipling's book, Mowgli, an abandoned child raised by wolves, has his... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Reitherman

#74

The Muppet Movie (1979)
88%

#74
Adjusted Score: 92295%
Critics Consensus: The Muppet Movie, the big-screen debut of Jim Henson's plush creations, is smart, lighthearted, and fun for all ages.
Synopsis: After Kermit the Frog decides to pursue a movie career, he starts his cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along... [More]
Directed By: James Frawley

#73

Freaky Friday (2003)
88%

#73
Adjusted Score: 92087%
Critics Consensus: Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan charm in Mark Waters' nicely pitched -- and Disney's second -- remake of the 1976 hit.
Synopsis: Single mother Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) couldn't be more different, and it... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#72

Millions (2004)
88%

#72
Adjusted Score: 93238%
Critics Consensus: A charming children fable even adults can enjoy.
Synopsis: When 9-year-old Damian (Alex Etel) finds a bag of money in his back yard, he and his brother Anthony (Lewis... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#71

Pete's Dragon (2016)
88%

#71
Adjusted Score: 102285%
Critics Consensus: Pete's Dragon continues Disney's current live-action winning streak with an update that gives the original a visual overhaul without overwhelming its sweet, soulful charm.
Synopsis: Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford), a woodcarver, delights local children with stories of a mysterious dragon that lives deep in the... [More]
Directed By: David Lowery

#70

Onward (2020)
88%

#70
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

#69

Sleeping Beauty (1959)
89%

#69
Adjusted Score: 93166%
Critics Consensus: This Disney dreamscape contains moments of grandeur, with its lush colors, magical air, one of the most menacing villains in the Disney canon.
Synopsis: Filled with jealousy, the evil witch Maleficent (Eleanor Audley) curses Princess Aurora (Mary Costa) to die on her 16th birthday.... [More]
Directed By: Clyde Geronimi

#68

Tarzan (1999)
89%

#68
Adjusted Score: 92399%
Critics Consensus: Disney's Tarzan takes the well-known story to a new level with spirited animation, a brisk pace, and some thrilling action set-pieces..
Synopsis: In this Disney animated tale, the orphaned Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) grows up in the remote African wilderness, raised by the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima

#67

Bolt (2008)
89%

#67
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]

#66

Big Hero 6 (2014)
90%

#66
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

#65

Tangled (2010)
89%

#65
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

#64

Doctor Strange (2016)
89%

#64
Adjusted Score: 112590%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain.
Synopsis: Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#63

Bambi (1942)
91%

#63
Adjusted Score: 96249%
Critics Consensus: Elegantly animated and deeply touching, Bambi is an enduring, endearing, and moving Disney classic.
Synopsis: In a classic Disney animation, a fawn named Bambi joins his new friends, a young rabbit named Thumper and a... [More]
Directed By: David Hand

#62

Bears (2014)
90%

#62
Adjusted Score: 91820%
Critics Consensus: Sweet, beautifully filmed, and admirably short on sugarcoating, Bears continues Disneynature's winning streak.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey chronicle a year in the lives of an Alaskan brown bear named Sky and... [More]
Starring: John C. Reilly

#61

Frozen (2013)
90%

#61
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

#60
Adjusted Score: 102429%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#59
Adjusted Score: 104507%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: Convinced that mutants pose a threat to humanity, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) develops the Sentinels, enormous robotic weapons that... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#58

Isle of Dogs (2018)
90%

#58
Adjusted Score: 111580%
Critics Consensus: The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.
Synopsis: When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island,... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#57
Adjusted Score: 117398%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 126923%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists -- and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.
Synopsis: Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#55

Splash (1984)
91%

#55
Adjusted Score: 93089%
Critics Consensus: A perfectly light, warmly funny romantic comedy that's kept afloat by Ron Howard's unobtrusive direction and charming performances from Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.
Synopsis: A young boy saved from drowning by a beautiful mermaid, falls in love with her 20 years later when she... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#54
Adjusted Score: 93201%
Critics Consensus: Ever After is a sweet, frothy twist on the ancient fable, led by a solid turn from star Barrymore.
Synopsis: This updated adaptation of the classic fairytale tells the story of Danielle (Drew Barrymore), a vibrant young woman who is... [More]
Directed By: Andy Tennant

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 94370%
Critics Consensus: The arresting and dynamic visuals, offbeat details and light-as-air storytelling make James and the Giant Peach solid family entertainment.
Synopsis: Featuring stop-motion animation and live action, this inventive adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's tale follows the adventures of James... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#52

Winnie the Pooh (2011)
90%

#52
Adjusted Score: 94644%
Critics Consensus: Short, nostalgic, and gently whimsical, Winnie the Pooh offers young audiences -- and their parents -- a sweetly traditional family treat.
Synopsis: Three stories inspired by A.A. Milne add up to a very busy day for Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings) and... [More]

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 106031%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#50

A Bug's Life (1998)
92%

#50
Adjusted Score: 96756%
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]

#49
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

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 105695%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 97157%
Critics Consensus: A nostalgic charmer, Lady and the Tramp's token sweetness is mighty but the songs and richly colored animation are technically superb and make for a memorable experience.
Synopsis: This Disney animated classic follows a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady (Barbara Luddy) whose comfortable life slips away once her... [More]

#46

Monkey Kingdom (2015)
93%

#46
Adjusted Score: 94641%
Critics Consensus: Monkey Kingdom's breathtaking footage of primates in the wild is likely to please animal lovers of all ages.
Synopsis: In South Asia, Maya the monkey and her son Kip struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the... [More]
Starring: Tina Fey

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 97888%
Critics Consensus: The Little Mermaid ushered in a new golden era for Disney animation with warm and charming hand-drawn characters and catchy musical sequences.
Synopsis: In Disney's beguiling animated romp, rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel (Jodi Benson) is fascinated with life on land. On one of... [More]
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

#44

The Lion King (1994)
93%

#44
Adjusted Score: 101779%
Critics Consensus: Emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated, The Lion King is a pride within Disney's pantheon of classic family films.
Synopsis: This Disney animated feature follows the adventures of the young lion Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the heir of his father,... [More]
Directed By: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 102147%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#42

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
93%

#42
Adjusted Score: 126309%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#41
Adjusted Score: 110988%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.
Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#40
Adjusted Score: 104236%
Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.
Synopsis: The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 103577%
Critics Consensus: Enchanting, sweepingly romantic, and featuring plenty of wonderful musical numbers, Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most elegant animated offerings.
Synopsis: An arrogant young prince (Robby Benson) and his castle's servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns... [More]
Directed By: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

#38

Queen of Katwe (2016)
94%

#38
Adjusted Score: 104629%
Critics Consensus: Queen of Katwe is a feel-good movie of uncommon smarts and passion, and outstanding performances by Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo help to elevate the film past its cliches.
Synopsis: Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her... [More]
Directed By: Mira Nair

#37

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#37
Adjusted Score: 104599%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 108699%
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]

#35

Finding Dory (2016)
94%

#35
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

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 127918%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#33

Fantasia (1940)
95%

#33
Adjusted Score: 100176%
Critics Consensus: A landmark in animation (and a huge influence on the medium of music video), Disney's Fantasia is a relentlessly inventive blend of the classics with phantasmagorical images.
Synopsis: Released in 1940, represented Disney's boldest experiment to date. Bringing to life his vision of blending animated imagery with classical... [More]

#32

Black Is King (2020)
94%

#32
Adjusted Score: 96823%
Critics Consensus: Beyoncé is King.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Beyoncé
Directed By: Beyoncé

#31

Aladdin (1992)
95%

#31
Adjusted Score: 100274%
Critics Consensus: A highly entertaining entry in Disney's renaissance era," Aladdin is beautifully drawn, with near-classic songs and a cast of scene-stealing characters.
Synopsis: When street rat Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that... [More]
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

#30
Adjusted Score: 103700%
Critics Consensus: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.
Synopsis: The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 99399%
Critics Consensus: With strong performances and director David Lynch at the helm, The Straight Story steers past sentimental byways on its ambling journey across the American heartland.
Synopsis: A retired farmer and widower in his 70s, Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) learns one day that his distant brother Lyle... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch

#28

The Muppets (2011)
95%

#28
Adjusted Score: 102952%
Critics Consensus: Clever, charming, and heartfelt, The Muppets is a welcome big screen return for Jim Henson's lovable creations that will both win new fans and delight longtime devotees.
Synopsis: Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, is on vacation in Los Angeles with his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary's... [More]
Directed By: James Bobin

#27

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#27
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

#26

Moana (2016)
95%

#26
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

#25

Soul (2020)
95%

#25
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

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 101833%
Critics Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.
Synopsis: In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an... [More]
Directed By: George Seaton

#23

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
96%

#23
Adjusted Score: 102923%
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

#22

Ratatouille (2007)
96%

#22
Adjusted Score: 106011%
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

#21

Black Panther (2018)
96%

#21
Adjusted Score: 128732%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 101997%
Critics Consensus: Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an innovative and entertaining film that features a groundbreaking mix of live action and animation, with a touching and original story to boot.
Synopsis: Down-on-his-luck private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) gets hired by cartoon producer R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) to investigate an adultery... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#19

Big (1988)
97%

#19
Adjusted Score: 102803%
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

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 103682%
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

#17

Free Solo (2018)
97%

#17
Adjusted Score: 106087%
Critics Consensus: Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason - and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal.
Synopsis: Alex Honnold completes the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan's 3,000-foot vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.... [More]

#16

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#16
Adjusted Score: 106294%
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

#15

Coco (2017)
97%

#15
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

#14

Toy Story 4 (2019)
97%

#14
Adjusted Score: 124742%
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

#13

Dumbo (1941)
98%

#13
Adjusted Score: 102273%
Critics Consensus: Dumbo packs plenty of story into its brief runtime, along with all the warm animation and wonderful music you'd expect from a Disney classic.
Synopsis: A young circus elephant is born with comically large ears and given the cruel nickname Dumbo. One day at a... [More]
Directed By: Ben Sharpsteen

#12
Adjusted Score: 102966%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pooches and a memorable villain (Cruella De Vil), this is one of Disney's most enduring, entertaining animated films.
Synopsis: In a Disney animation classic, Dalmatian Pongo is tired of his bachelor-dog life. He spies lovely Perdita and maneuvers his... [More]

#11

Mary Poppins (1964)
96%

#11
Adjusted Score: 100939%
Critics Consensus: A lavish modern fairy tale celebrated for its amazing special effects, catchy songs, and Julie Andrews's legendary performance in the title role.
Synopsis: When Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber), the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, are faced with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#10
Adjusted Score: 99232%
Critics Consensus: With its involving story and characters, vibrant art, and memorable songs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set the animation standard for decades to come.
Synopsis: The Grimm fairy tale gets a Technicolor treatment in Disney's first animated feature. Jealous of Snow White's beauty, the wicked... [More]
Directed By: David Hand

#9

Jane (2017)
98%

#9
Adjusted Score: 103874%
Critics Consensus: Jane honors its subject's legacy with an absorbing, beautifully filmed, and overall enlightening look at her decades of invaluable work.
Synopsis: Jane Goodall, a young and untrained woman, challenges the male dominated scientific consensus of her time with her chimpanzee research... [More]
Starring: Jane Goodall
Directed By: Brett Morgen

#8

Hamilton (2020)
97%

#8
Adjusted Score: 110761%
Critics Consensus: Look around, look around at how beautifully Hamilton shines beyond Broadway - and at how marvelously Thomas Kail captures the stage show's infectious energy.
Synopsis: The original Broadway production of the award-winning musical that tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the treasury,... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Kail

#7

Zootopia (2016)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 115819%
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

#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

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#4
Adjusted Score: 108563%
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

#3

Pinocchio (1940)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 106176%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious, adventurous, and sometimes frightening, Pinocchio arguably represents the pinnacle of Disney's collected works -- it's beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant.
Synopsis: When the woodworker Geppetto (Christian Rub) sees a falling star, he wishes that the puppet he just finished, Pinocchio (Dickie... [More]

#2

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106146%
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]

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(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: 83804%
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: 105871%
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: 96756%
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: 116865%
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: 102923%
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: 106011%
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: 106294%
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: 124742%
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: 109558%
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: 108563%
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: 106146%
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: 70176%
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: 70149%
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: 81869%
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: 76448%
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: 82496%
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: 81906%
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: 80577%
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: 83804%
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: 86128%
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: 82370%
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: 83304%
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: 84038%
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: 91096%
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: 87586%
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: 95753%
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: 86922%
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: 86082%
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: 95767%
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: 93892%
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: 94829%
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: 96405%
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: 103607%
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: 96790%
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: 105859%
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: 112598%
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: 96756%
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: 97015%
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: 98281%
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: 97518%
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: 116865%
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: 108699%
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: 102923%
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: 105889%
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: 106011%
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: 106294%
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: 121255%
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: 124742%
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: 115819%
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: 109558%
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: 106011%
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: 108563%
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: 106146%
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]

Hollywood doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to creating female characters, routinely giving them smaller parts and less screen time according to research collected by resource center Women and Hollywood. But what they do with that screen time? That is increasingly becoming more interesting. From Danai Gurira’s fierce Okoye tossing her wig so that she can better fight the enemy in Black Panther to Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince not thinking twice about entering No Man’s Land in Wonder Woman (or just some sassy lip service from old Hollywood greats like Mae West and Katharine Hepburn), there are quite a few moments of women in film that make us say “f–k yeah.” So we rounded up a few of our favorites for this list.


A+ innuendo in I'm No Angel (1933) 93%

With her sultry purrs, swaying hips, and mastery of the double entendre, Mae West could easily take up 90-percent of the spots on this list. But the sheer moxie of her role in 1933’s I’m No Angel is an inspiration to us all. “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better,” she flaunts to Cary Grant’s wealthy Jack Clayton in director Wesley Ruggles’ salty romp. Here’s hoping HBO is still working on that biopic about West because the world needs her right now.


Catching a lift in It Happened One Night (1934) 99%

Never underestimate the cunning of a determined heiress. In this famous hitchhiking scene from director Frank Capra’s screwball comedy, Claudette Colbert’s headstrong Ellie Andrews shows Clark Gable’s washed-up reporter Peter Warne a much more effective way to stop traffic than the old waving thumb routine. The film – the first of three movies to win all of the five major Academy Awards – is adored by cinephiles and continues to be celebrated in current popular culture (perhaps you might remember it referenced in the modern-day cinematic classic, Sex and the City 2?).


Putting your ex in his place in The Philadelphia Story (1940) 100%

Many old Hollywood films suffer from the virgin vs. temptress depiction of women, but Katharine Hepburn was not typically one for such simplicities. This film was her first big hit and the one that cemented the public’s knowledge of her unmistakable mid-Atlantic accent. “Dexter, would you mind doing something for me? Get the heck out of here,” she demands as shuts down her ex-husband, played by Cary Grant, who is intruding upon the celebration for her upcoming second marriage. (Because this is a 1940 romantic comedy, he will also become her new husband by the time the credits roll.)


Tell us how you really feel in Kiss Me Kate (1953) 92%

This film adaptation of the Cole Porter play (itself an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew) was a celebration of female independence disguised as a cheery musical comedy. Take, for example, the bluntly titled solo “I Hate Men,” which is meant to represent one character’s complete and total side-eye to the concept of courtship. Lines like, “of all the types I’ve ever met within our democracy / I hate the most the athlete with his manner bold and brassy!” make it seem like not much has changed since the show hit Broadway in 1948 and then, eventually, theaters in 1953.


Don’t judge a book by its cover in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) 98%

Never judge a movie by its title and never underestimate the craftiness of a buxom bombshell. There are so many great moments in director Howard Hawks’ musical comedy, but we love the way that Marilyn Monroe’s showgirl, Lorelei Lee, doesn’t raise her voice an octave above her trademark whisper when she tells off her intended’s disrespectful father, who dismisses her as another gold-digger. “Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty?,” she says. “You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?” Well, we do all lose our charms in the end …


Never bow down to tyrants in The King and I (1956) 93%

It takes a lot of gumption to stand up to the King of Siam. After all, all you risk losing is a little self respect (and balance) if you agree to squat lower than his height whilst wearing a hoop skirt. But Anna (Deborah Kerr) did it, and she got through to the hard-headed monarch played by Yul Brynner. It eventually led to some pretty remarkable dancing and romance (with a clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen, of course).


Empathy doesn’t mean “kiss me” in Funny Face (1957) 87%

A #MeToo moment long before the hashtag went mainstream, Audrey Hepburn’s bookshop owner and budding philosopher Jo Stockton is quite clear that teaching Fred Astaire’s older fashion photographer, Dick Avery, about empathy doesn’t mean that she wants to be kissed – “by you or anyone else.” They do lock lips at the end of the Stanley Donen-directed film, but by then it’s a mutually agreed-upon action.


A dance for independence in West Side Story (1961) 93%

With a flash of fuchsia ruffles and some fancy footwork, Rita Moreno’s Anita and her gal pals offer a piece of hope during the dance number for Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s song “America” in directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1957 film adaptation of the popular musical. This moment isn’t just for immigrants to this country with dreams of success (or just having your own washing machine); it symbolizes the ability to stand up to the bothersome men who might be holding you back.


Reveling in being a bad girl in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) 88%

So much of the legacy of outlaw Bonnie Parker is tied up in Faye Dunaway’s Oscar-nominated depiction of her in director Arthur Penn’s 1967 film: A bored young girl from a nowhere town who jumps at a chance to break from the rulebook that fate set out for her — even if it means going whole hog into a life of crime. The way she taunts this power and revels in the danger of it by telling Michael J. Pollard’s C.W. Moss that “we rob banks” is so brazenly anti-heroine that it makes even the most stringent pearl-clutchers pause and consider adding some excitement to their lives.


Enacting vigilante justice in Coffy (1973) 79%

Maybe the world needs more vigilantes like Pam Grier’s eponymous crime fighter in writer-director Jack Hill’s 1973 blaxploitation film. A nurse who is sick of seeing her neighborhood (and, specifically, her own sister) destroyed by drug use, Coffy goes rogue to take down any and all responsible parties – especially the ones who double-cross her. Car-jacking, faking a drug-induced stupor, and the killing of corrupt cops ensue.


Not quivering in the face of death in Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope (1977) 92%

Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa may be a princess, but she for sure isn’t a damsel waiting to be rescued. In the first few minutes alone of the 1977 Star Wars movie, A New Hope, she acts quickly to hide the blue prints for the Death Star space station, is so over the threat of an uber-villain like Darth Vader, and mouths off to Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing), even though she seems headed for certain death. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo could never.


Standing up for what’s right in Norma Rae (1979) 90%

Sometimes all it takes is one woman who is willing to risk it all. Sally Field’s Oscar-winning turn in the role inspired by union activist Crystal Lee Sutton brought increased public attention to the need for safe and healthy working conditions. In the film’s stressful climax, we see her strongly and silently stand on her work table and hold up a sign with a single, solitary message: UNION. It works, even if she is hauled off to jail.


Putting your pervy boss on blast in 9 to 5 (1980) 83%

With all the workplace revenge fantasies about lecherous bosses that have been made, we really could just name director Colin Higgins’ seminal film and be done with it. But let’s concentrate on Dolly Parton’s fed-up Doralee Rhodes. Sick of being sexually harassed and gossiped about by her boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. (Dabney Coleman), she takes advantage of his current moment of immobility (he’s been kidnapped and tied up) to make him think she’s willing to change him from a “rooster to a hen in one shot” of her gun.


Creating quite a headache in The Terminator (1984) 100%

Apparently messing with fate is just asking to get your head squashed. By the end of director James Cameron’s first Terminator movie, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) has embraced her inner badass and is ready to finish the job that resistance fighter Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) was sent from the future to do: Take down the killer robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and save humankind. How does she do this when pipe bombs aren’t enough? Flattening its head in a hydraulic press and uttering one obvious-but-mighty catchphrase (“you’re terminated, f—er!”).


Calling out women who don’t help other women in The Color Purple (1985) 81%

There is so much pain and suffering in director Steven Spielberg’s 1985 period drama (and Alice Walker’s novel, which serves as its basis), but the idea of a woman encouraging a man to abuse another woman? That is squashed in one wrenching scene. “All my life I had to fight … but I ain’t never thought I’d have to fight in my own house!,” the hardened Sofia (Oprah Winfrey) challenges her step mother-in-law Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), who had herself become weak and submissive after a lifetime of abuse.


Telling a boyfriend that you’re smart enough to do it on your own in The Last Dragon (1985) 59%

There comes a time when a woman can no longer handle the put-downs and harassments; a moment when she (hopefully) dares to prove her naysayers wrong and that she can (and will) amount to something without them. For Angela Viracco (Faith Prince), that moment came when she accepted that her lousy, kidnapping crook of a boyfriend Eddie (Chris Murney) was more interested in his own ego than her feelings. She calls him a “misguided … asshole” before walking out for “elocution class.”


Fighting a queen in Aliens (1986) 97%

“Get away from her, you bitch!” The phrase that will be forever associated with Alien franchise star Sigourney Weaver also works for so many of us who have never had the pleasure of battling an alien queen while wearing an exo-suit (try it the next time you’re at a club, a grocery store, or a dog park when someone gets inappropriately close to your friend). To her credit, Weaver has said that she thinks she got the line in one take. You better just start dealing with it, Hudson.


Defending your grouchiness in Steel Magnolias (1989) 70%

Burned out by life and distrustful of everyone and everything? Shirley MacLaine’s Ouiser understands. At this point in director Herbert Ross’ 1989 film adaptation of Robert Harling’s play, Ouiser has zero qualms about telling Julia Roberts’ Shelby that, in no uncertain terms, she does not want to be fixed up with some seemingly kind-hearted widower. Don’t take it personally, though. As Ouiser says, “I’m not crazy. I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.”


Having no time for street slang in Boyz N the Hood (1991) 96%

Even though Murray (Donald Faison) would eventually school Dionne (Stacey Dash) about the cultural significance of street slang in Clueless, Regina King has zero time for the vernacular in her breakout role as Shalika in director John Singleton’s 1991 coming-of-age dramedy Boyz n the Hood. As she blatantly puts it during a party, she “ain’t no ho.” All the respect for my future Oscar winner.


Being the purr-fect villainess in Batman Returns (1992) 80%

Meow. The battle of wits between Batman (Michael Keaton) and the Penguin (Danny DeVito) was getting kind of droll before Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman Simone Bileses her way into it in all her red-lipsticked glory. They would also soon learn that she’d turned the department store behind them into a powder keg (after lassoing guns out of the hands of two underpaid night security guards). Because that’s how you make an entrance.


Fighting back in What's Love Got to Do With It (1993) 97%

Domestic abuse is so often a hidden crime, and it’s not something we should celebrate. But Tina Turner’s brave admittance of her own suffering (and Angela Bassett’s Oscar-nominated depiction of it in director Brian Gibson’s 1993 biopic) did wonders for mainstreaming a previously taboo topic. The scene where she fights in a limo, after so many people ignored her pain because of Ike Turner’s power, resonated with an unfortunate number of audience members.


Taking a stab at the Final Girl trope in Scream (1996) 79%

The ’90s ultimate Final Girl, played by Neve Campbell, finally puts an end to Billy (Skeet Ulrich) and Stu’s (Matthew Lillard) murder spree when she shoots the former square between the eyes. Warned that the killer always comes back, our heroine – who would go on to survive three more movies and a total of seven killers overall – pulls the trigger and declares, “Not in my movie.” Sidney Prescott: Breaking horror-movie rules since 1996.


Declaring that no one owns you in The First Wives Club (1996) 49%

Female empowerment sing-alongs are a trope in and of themselves. But a group of middle-aged women played by Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn who have been wronged by love and life rocking out in three-part harmony to a Lesley Gore staple in matching white suits? Yes, we would very much like to be invited to that party. We promise not to tell them what to do, what to say, and we will certainly not put them on display.


Saving humankind in The Fifth Element (1997) 71%

In the future, combat is still clearly required to survive. Milla Jovovich’s Leeloo, a humanoid reconstructed by scientists in 2263 from remaining cells in a sarcophagus, isn’t always sure if she likes people and the harm that they’ve done to the planet, but she is quite good at protecting us – especially when the bad guys come at her. She also made a collection of ‘90s mall rats (well, me) want red hair and white midriff tops.


Defying gender stereotypes in Mulan (1998) 86%

Disney heroine Mulan (who is voiced by Ming-Na Wen) accomplishes quite a feat in directors Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft’s 1998 animated hit. Not only is she brave enough to masquerade as a man and enlist in the Chinese army in the name of sparing her father, a great warrior who is now in weakened health, but she and her trusty sidekicks are able to save the emperor from a bloody attack by the Huns – and get the entire city to put sexism aside and bow down to her.


Defying the laws of physics in The Matrix (1999) 88%

Before Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman entered No Man’s Land or Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen braced for the Hunger Games arenas, Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity was bending the rules of time and space without breaking a sweat in her Latex for the Wachowskis’ cyber-punk dystopian thriller. She came with quite an introduction, after all. In the beginning few moments of the first Matrix, we see her sail onto rooftops, take down a fleet of police officers and stare death in the face as she gets out just in time. A role model to us all.


Daring an adult to cross you in Election (1999) 92%

It’s easy to hate Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) in writer-director Alexander Payne’s 1999 adaptation of novelist Tom Perrotta’s political farce. She is a Type-A grating perfectionist and, chances are, she reminds you of some obnoxious overachiever who went to your high school. But she deserves her success and, in a spectacular art of verbal emasculation during one scene, you can see why: Matthew Broderick’s otherwise beloved high school teacher, Jim McAllister, thinks he’s cornered her into admitting she destroyed a rival candidate’s election campaign posters while implying that his true frustration with her is that she had an affair with his married, adult friend. Tracy goes on the attack and you instantly end up rooting for her.


Putting it all out on the table in Erin Brockovich (2000) 85%

Much of the beginning of director Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 biopic sets up why polite society should hate Julia Roberts’ Oscar-winning portrayal of the eponymous heroine. She’s got kids from different dads, has street smarts instead of framed diplomas, and used to be a beauty queen (“Oh, the horror!” to all of the above). But Erin’s able to get answers that others can’t by playing up her other, ahem, assets. “They’re called boobs, Ed,” she smirks when her boss (Albert Finney) asks how she acquired such necessary and privileged information.


Testing your skills in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) 97%

Even if martial arts isn’t your thing, it’s hard not to ignore the beauty in director Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning film. The 2000 movie is also a feminist mantra, as it concentrates on fighting techniques traditionally employed by women. No matter if you’re rooting for Michelle Yeoh’s skilled warrior or Zhang Ziyi’s governor’s daughter who secretly trained in the art of Wudang fighting, it is empowering to see them duel each other in one of the most thrilling sequences of the film, as it demonstrates exactly how deadly each of these ladies is.


Dragging racers in The Fast and the Furious (2001) 54%

Does Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty really look like someone who isn’t prepared to burn rubber in a drag race? Nope. And the opposing driver should have heeded her advice to “hit Hollywood Boulevard” if he was looking for a hook-up. All she was willing to offer him was an “adrenaline rush” and a chance to lose a chunk of change. She made good on both of those.


Making a permanent mark on the legal profession in Legally Blonde (2001) 70%

Reese Witherspoon’s pink-partial Elle Woods showed that one could care about the law and time-consuming hair and beauty regimens in director Robert Luketic’s brightly-colored comedy. All she had to do to get her client (Ali Larter) off the hook for murdering her husband is prove that the prosecution’s star witness’s alibi that she wasn’t around to see the gun go off was a bit frizzy at the ends (perms take a couple days without shampooing to set, don’t ya know?).


Taking on an army of assassins in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) 85%

It’s complicated to watch the Kill Bill movies now, in the wake of star Uma Thurman’s allegations that Quentin Tarantino mistreated her on set. But, the writer-director’s 2003 ode to martial arts films still has a message about a woman’s revenge plot to take down her former colleagues and mentor/boss. The climax in the first movie happens after she murders a nemesis’ young protégé (after begging the girl to leave her be) and involves the epic, bloody slaying of a menagerie of swordfighters and knife throwers in suits. Hell hath no fury …


Protecting those who can’t protect themselves in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 90%

While condoning violence should not be encouraged, it’s easy to understand why Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) felt the need to punch the “foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach” Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) in the nose. The sniveling little rich brat had it coming; he’d just got an innocent hippogriff sentenced to death because he’d lied to his powerful father about why the animal attacked him.


Cooking with fire in Hellboy (2004) 81%

It’s not difficult to be badass when you possess the ability to control blue fire, and Selma Blair’s Liz Sherman from the Hellboy films proved more than once that she was a force to be reckoned with. Sure, she came close to burning down a hospital (not her fault, really), but who comes to Hellboy’s aid when he’s being overwhelmed by demon pups? Liz flames on and incinerates the beasties — and fries a few demon eggs in the process — proving that behind every good man (or Hellboy), there’s an equally good woman.


Beating the system in The Hunger Games (2012) 84%

The only true way to survive The Hunger Games’ eponymous cruel, futuristic gladiator arenas isn’t to kill a bunch of other teenagers – it’s to outsmart the people who forced you into them and then changed the rules at will so that the odds were never going to be in your favor. When killing her ally (and budding crush) Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) seems to be the only option for survival, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) bets big and pivots to suggest a double suicide pact on national television. It works, and they’re safe – for a while.


Defending yourself in Brave (2012) 78%

Who says a princess has to have a suitor? Tearing her constricting dress, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) shows she’s a better shot than all of the “eligible” bachelors fighting for her hand in an archery contest. Much like her bouncy red curls that flow in all their glory, this medieval Scottish princess from directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman’s 2012 animated Disney film cannot be contained.


Unleashing your primal roar in Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) 86%

Sometimes the pressure is too much and you have to roar with all your might. This is especially true if you’re a little girl in the Louisiana bayou and you desperately want to please your father. Quvenzhané Wallis received an Oscar nomination for playing Hushpuppy, the six-year-old who is mighty enough to find her own means of survival as her world crumbles around her in director Benh Zeitlin’s 2012 drama.


Taking a  car chase up a notch in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

It’s one thing to kill your deranged, megalomaniac captor. It’s quite another to do it during a dusty, gritty car chase in a post-apocalyptic action film, like director George Miller’s 2015 OScar-winner. Here, Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa finally destroys Hugh Keays-Byrne’s Immortan Joe after his years of abuse and horrendous crimes on her community, particularly the five women he’s kept for “breeding.”


Being unafraid to talk about delicate matters in Hidden Figures (2016) 93%

Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) was one of the smartest mathematicians at NASA. She knew she had to choose her words carefully when her boss, Kevin Costner’s Al Harrison, asked her why she kept disappearing during her shift in front of co-workers who didn’t really trust her that much already. The answer to her problem was a simple enough one; she just needed someone else to solve it – in the still-segregated building, she needed a lavatory she was allowed to use to be near her office. And she got it.


Telling your boss to f-off in The Shape of Water (2017) 92%

Timid-seeming Elisa (Sally Hawkins) gets “moments” aplenty in Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning The Shape Of Water: a gorgeous dance sequence, a wonderfully matter-of-fact masturbation scene, a dreamy underwater awakening. But the one that had audiences cheering – and still does – is the scene in which she tells Michael Shannon’s cartoonishly awful Colonel Strickland “F–k you” in sign language.


Rethinking your workwear in Atomic Blonde (2017) 79%

As Charlize Theron’s MI6 field agent Lorraine Broughton deadpans to her interrogators in a debriefing, if she knew she’d be walking into a police ambush when she searched their dead colleague’s apartment, she would have “worn a different outfit.” Instead, she takes on a group of thugs like a real-life game of Whac-A-Mole – if, of course, that arcade game was traditionally played in over-the-knee black boots, a miniskirt, and a white trench coat.


Deciding who you can trust in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 91%

It isn’t so much that Daisy Ridley’s Rey is able to hold her own in a fight with armed guards after Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren chooses her over his master, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Everyone knew that was coming. It’s when she realizes that Kylo still hasn’t come back to the light side of the Force and they battle for Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber so hard that it splits in two that things really get interesting.


Taking sibling rivalry to the next level in Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 93%

Sometimes you want to emphasize with the villain – especially when she’s played with such vindictiveness as Cate Blanchett plays Thor’s big sister, Hela. And like so many other older siblings, she took away her brother’s favorite toy (his hammer!) when he refused to obey her. Sorry, Thor (Chris Hemsworth). You can’t win them all. But at least you still have chiseled arms and pretty blonde hair.


Taking bullets for the team in Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

Well, they did call it No Man’s Land. Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince doesn’t care that soldiers haven’t been able to get the Germans to retreat from this bloody war zone. She only cares that people are suffering and they need her help. The scene, which some called the best superhero moment of the year when director Patty Jenkins’ film came out in 2017, showed a fearless, determined heroine courageously throw herself into battle in the name of protecting the innocent.


Having no time for Western beauty standards in Black Panther (2018) 96%

Danai Gurira’s Okoye can fight in an evening gown, but in a major act of toppling the patriarchy she feels more comfortable going into battle without her wig. This no-nonsense moment is both practical (why hold onto anything that’s a liability when things are about to get real?) and also an educational tool to teach mass audiences a lesson about Black womens’ hair.


Banding together in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

Because one female superhero is great but three is even better, there’s this moment of comradery in Anthony and Joe Russo’s 2018 comic-book film: Danai Gurira’s Okoye had just gotten used to fighting with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow when Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch descended from the skies to help them finish the fight. Okoye does ask an important question, though: “Why was she up there all this time?”


Not throwing away your shot in The Favourite (2018) 93%

Want to prove your loyalty? Then don’t allude to the things better left unsaid. Emma Stone’s Abigail learned this lesson well when she attempted to bond with her cousin, Sarah (Rachel Weisz) over some casual bird shooting in the lawn belonging to their mistress, Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne. Given Sarah’s not-so-veiled threats, perhaps Abigail should have waited to have this conversation at a place where firearms weren’t involved.


Mastering the rules of the game in Crazy Rich Asians (2018) 90%

The clacking of the mahjong tiles. The two random ladies who don’t appear to speak English. The unflinching courage of Constance Wu’s economics professor Rachel Chu in the face of her most fearsome adversary: Michelle Yeoh’s Eleanor Young, the stoic mother of her love, Nick (Henry Golding). This battle of wits at the end of director John M. Chu’s smash 2018 rom-com, Crazy Rich Asians, displays so much deep-seated aggression. But if you think this is about which side Henry will choose, you’re only seeing half the picture.


Readying to make some noise in A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

Lock and load. By the end of director John Krasinski’s 2018 horror film, Emily Blunt’s Evelyn Abbott has lost her husband, given birth in a tub as monsters stalked her, and just watched her deaf daughter’s hearing aid make another monster explode while also sending out the signal for more of them to come. No wonder she’s ready to take charge and survive.


Having no mercy in Alita: Battle Angel (2019) 61%

In this futuristic dystopia, there’s no room for love or mercy when you’re a Hunter-Warrior (or bounty hunter). So why should cyborg Alita (Rosa Salazar) show mercy to Jackie Earle Haley’s nefarious Grewishka when she finally gets the upper hand after he sliced up her body? As she tells him in director Robert Rodriguez’s 2019 action thriller, “F–k your mercy.”


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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Alicia Vikander dons the tanktop and cargo pants to play Lara Croft in this week’s Tomb Raider, but it isn’t doing particularly well with critics, and it might be a little too intense for younger viewers. With that in mind, Christy Lemire gives us the rundown on the movie and recommends three more that you may serve as worthy substitutes if you decide to stay home this weekend.


THE MOVIE

Tomb Raider (2018) 52%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of violence and action, and some language.

Alicia Vikander takes over the role of the adventurous, aristocratic video-game heroine Lara Croft, 17 years after Angelina Jolie first brought her to the screen. Norwegian director Roar Uthaug’s version is a bit of an origin story, introducing us to Lara as she lives a boho-chic life in London and learns what her long-missing father (Dominic West) really has been up to all these years. She travels to a mysterious and secluded island, teaming up with an inebriated boat captain (Daniel Wu) whose father also disappeared. Along the way, Lara gets the stuffing beaten out of her repeatedly, and usually by men, which is thoroughly unpleasant to watch. She also gets shot at, sucked down some roaring rapids and buried under the rubble of an explosion. Eventually she outwits, outplays, and outlasts them all, but the road there is brutal. There’s a lot of other potentially scary stuff for younger viewers, including dark and foreboding tombs, deadly booby traps and – ultimately – a cursed corpse. Through it all, Lara is brave and resourceful but also feels like a real human being with the fear she understandably conveys in a variety of situations. Vikander is such a good actress, she brings this larger-than-life character to life, and Tomb Raider is actually a more interesting and a better movie before Lara heads off on her adventure. I’d say this is suitable for viewers around 12 or 13 and older.


THE RECOMMENDATIONS

Tomb Raider might be too grown up for your kids. If so, here are some other movies featuring female action heroes that you’ll enjoy sharing with your family:

Brave (2012) 78%

Rating: PG, for some scary action and rude humor.

Pixar’s first film with a strong, young woman at its center is beautiful, thrilling, and long overdue. And while it may not be as novel from a narrative perspective as such an unprecedented story deserves, Brave has connected with a lot of little girls who look up its heroine for her fearlessness and pluck. Kelly Macdonald provides the voice of Merida, a feisty and free-spirited Scottish princess who makes a huge mistake and must use her bravery and archery skills to undo a curse and restore peace to her kingdom. Like many teenagers, Merida thinks for herself always, defying her mother’s wishes to be ladylike and prepare for marriage and beating the boys at an archery contest. Its positive messages are all more than worthwhile for young girls – and boys – but I wish the story as a whole didn’t rely so heavily on hackneyed fairy-tale tropes. There’s some vaguely unsettling stuff here for the littlest viewers involving animal transformations and some sorta-scary growling. But for the most part, this is a fine choice for viewers around 6 and older.


Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of violence and action and some suggestive content.

You probably saw it last year – Wonder Woman has made nearly $822 million worldwide since its release last summer – but any opportunity to revisit Patty Jenkins’ beautifully crafted superhero origin story will do. Gal Gadot radiates charisma, bravery, and feminine power as the title character: an Amazon princess who comes into her own and learns how to use her formidable physical abilities for the good of humanity. Wonder Woman features a crucial, fundamental message about the importance of balancing empathy and strength. But it’s also rather intense — a big, violent superhero movie with long, graphic action sequences. Several characters die (albeit with little blood) and countless others are in peril during World War I battles. I’d say this is fine for viewers around 8 or 9. But the film’s driving themes of idealism and intelligence make it valuable for viewers of all ages.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) 97%

Rating: PG-13, for martial arts violence and some sexuality.

Ang Lee’s martial-arts masterpiece was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and it won four, including ones for best foreign language film and for Peter Pau’s exquisite cinematography. Lee reinvented the genre here, turning punishing hits and kicks into a dreamy, gravity-defying ballet. Crouching Tiger features not one but two powerful women at the center of its ancient yet thrillingly modern tale: the gorgeous and commanding Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi as women of different generations united by their shared desire for freedom. Both figure prominently in many of the film’s dazzling fight scenes, staged by the great Hong Kong action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. So yes, there is a ton of action here, and a couple of characters die, but there’s very little blood. Crouching Tiger is also swooningly romantic and it’s suggested that a couple of characters have sex, although we never see any nudity. If your kids are into action movies and want to see something truly groundbreaking – and they don’t mind reading subtitles for two hours – this is an excellent choice for tweens and older.

Now that Finding Dory has hit theaters, the Finding Nemo cinematic universe joins the growing list of franchises Pixar has kickstarted over their history. Only seven feature films in the studio’s stable have yet to become a franchise: Which one of them do you want to see get a sequel?


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Oscar
We at Rotten Tomatoes freely admit we’re not the world’s greatest Oscar prognosticators. Still, we did a bit better than usual this year; while there were some surprises (Sound Editing was a tie?!) and a few winners that aren’t all that surprising in retrospect, most of our predictions came true at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Read on to see how our forecast squared with the final results!




96%

Best Picture: Argo

Momentum has been building for Argo in the past few weeks; it took home best picture honors at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and the Critics’ Choice Awards (and not to toot our own horns, but it won the Golden Tomato Award for Best Wide Release as well). Argo hits several sweet spots that the Academy voters find irresistible: it’s inspirational, but loaded with historical gravitas; it was both a mainstream hit and a critical favorite; and, perhaps most importantly for voters, it’s a celebration of the power of movies and the people who make them. Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook have enjoyed some dark horse cache, but we think Argo will be the first film since Driving Miss Daisy to win Best Picture without garnering a Best Director nod.

CORRECT




Lincoln
89%

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

This category has been in the bag since the ink was dry on Daniel Day-Lewis’ contract.

CORRECT


Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook

This was the toughest category for RT editors to whittle down. At opposite ends of the age bracket, Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhané Wallis each gave remarkable performances, and Riva in particular could muster some votes. Even more likely is Naomi Watts, whose physically grueling work in The Impossible has also generated buzz. Early on, it looked like Jessica Chastain had this category all sewn up, as critics societies around the country were heaping praise on her. However, in the last couple months, all the Oscar mojo has seemingly shifted toward Jennifer Lawrence; with a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice, and a SAG award under her belt, we think Lawrence will walk away with the Oscar as well.

CORRECT




Lincoln
89%

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln

Each of the nominees has an Oscar to his credit, so there aren’t any unjustly ignored sentimental favorites to choose from. Christoph Waltz won the BAFTA and the Golden Globe, but it seems unlikely he’ll win just a few short years after his breakout role in Inglourious Basterds. Robert DeNiro has a strong chance, especially since his work in Silver Linings Playbook helped to erase memories of the great actor’s string of mediocre films. However, we think Tommy Lee Jones – who was already honored by the Screen Actors Guild –will ultimately claim the Oscar.

INCORRECT – Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained. We shouldn’t have discounted Waltz’s previous award season victories.


Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables

Anne Hathaway has enjoyed almost universal Oscar buzz since before Les Misérables even hit theaters, and her wins at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs confirm her status as the front-runner here. It’s possible, though unlikely, that either Helen Hunt or Jacki Weaver will steal this category; if Weaver wins, it could be an early sign that Silver Linings Playbook will have a huge night.

CORRECT




Lincoln
89%

Best Director: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

Since Ben Affleck was inexplicably snubbed in this category, we think Steven Spielberg will take home the hardware as a consolation prize.

INCORRECT – Ang Lee, Life of Pi. It just wasn’t Lincoln‘s night, and the Academy was obviously more enamored with Life of Pi overall. It’s still a mystery why Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated in this category.




86%

Original Screenplay: Django Unchained

The Usual Suspects, Fargo, Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Juno… The screenplay awards are the place where the Academy honors innovative stuff that’s a little too wild and wooly for Best Picture. Quentin Tarantino’s consolation prize for Pulp Fiction losing to Forrest Gump was a Best Original Screenplay trophy, and he’ll pick up another one for Django Unchained this year.

CORRECT




96%

Adapted Screenplay: Argo

Following up on the last entry, we must make note of the fact that because there are two screenplay awards, it makes sense that one goes to something a little left of center, and the other goes to whatever won Best Picture. So chalk up Argo for the Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

CORRECT




93%

Best Foreign Language Film: Amour

Given that Amour was also nominated for Best Picture (not to mention noms for Michael Haneke in the direction and screenwriting categories), this one seems like a lock.

CORRECT




95%

Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man

This was another contentious award for RT editors. In a year of particularly strong choices, we think it’s down to a three-way race between Searching for Sugar Man, The Invisible War, and The Gatekeepers, with the feel-good vibes of Sugar Man carrying the day over its more somber, issue-oriented peers.

CORRECT




78%

Animated Feature: Brave

Another tough call. We think the competition is ultimately between Brave and Wreck-It Ralph. However, because graying Academy voters can’t tell Call of Duty from The Call of the Wild, we’re gonna go with the little redhead. (It must be noted that RT editor-in-chief Matt Atchity insists Frankenweenie will win, loudly telling the rest of the staff, “You’re all wrong.” Sure thing, chief.)

CORRECT




86%

Best Cinematography: Life of Pi

Life of Pi‘s visual splendor is so mind-blowing that it seems improbable that anyone could steal this category from its cinematographer, Claudio Miranda.

CORRECT




96%

Best Film Editing: Argo

Argo already took home the BAFTA in this category, and we think three-time nominee William Goldenberg will add to the film’s Oscar haul.

CORRECT




89%

Best Music – Original Score: Lincoln

John Williams is one of the most nominated figures in Academy history, and hasn’t won in a long time. We think he’ll win Oscar number six, but Mychael Danna’s eclectic score for Life of Pi could surprise some people.

INCORRECTLife of Pi. We had a feeling Mychael Danna could steal this one, especially since John Williams has so many Oscars to his name already.




92%

Best Music – Original Song: Skyfall

These days, award shows exist for one reason, and one reason alone: to bestow trophies upon Adele.

CORRECT




63%

Best Production Design: Anna Karenina

This looks like a tossup between Anna Karenina and Les Misérables. We decided to go with the period piece based on a classic novel. And when we realized we were being forced to choose between two period pieces based on classic novels, we picked Anna Karenina, because Leo Tolstoy had cooler facial hair than Victor Hugo.

INCORRECTLincoln. We got this one completely wrong. Probably should have considered the painstakingly recreated period detail of Civil War-era Washington.




63%

Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina

Take this one to the bank, comrades.

CORRECT




91%

Best Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty

The controversy over Zero Dark Thirty‘s politics have hurt its Oscar chances in a number of categories. Still, few questioned the film’s technical brilliance, and we think it’s here that Zero Dark Thirty will take home the hardware.

HALF CORRECT – Ties are rare in Oscar history, but not unprecedented. Zero Dark Thirty split the honor with Skyfall.




70%

Best Sound Mixing: Les Misérables

A big deal was made about the fact that the cast of Les Misérables sang their songs live on camera. That’s pretty tough to record, especially with canons going off everywhere.

CORRECT




86%

Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Dude, remember the tiger in that movie? It was all CGI. Pretty cool, huh?

CORRECT




64%

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Those ears didn’t get pointy all by themselves.

INCORRECT Les Misérables. We were so focused on the pointy ears we neglected to take note of the grit and grime that accumulated on the faces of the actors portraying 19th Century Gauls.



Best Short Film – Live Action: Curfew

An idiosyncratic dramedy about a depressed writer tasked with babysitting his precocious niece, Curfew has racked up a bunch of festival awards, and we think it will add an Oscar to its haul.

CORRECT



Best Short Film – Animated: Paperman

Paperman is the wistful tale of an office drone who goes to great lengths to reconnect with a beautiful woman he glimpsed on the subway. It’s sweet, it’s beautifully animated, and it had the benefit of being the opening act for Wreck-It Ralph in theaters.

CORRECT



Best Documentary Short: Open Heart

This is a particularly solemn year for documentary shorts. We think Open Heart, the tale of eight Rwandan children traveling to Sudan for heart surgery, will earn both tears and votes from Academy members.

INCORRECTInocente, the story of a homeless girl who dreams of becoming an artist, took home the Oscar.


FINAL TALLY

CORRECT: 18

INCORRECT: 6


For our full Oscar coverage on the day, go to RT’s Awards Tour page


Written by Tim Ryan

The 85th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 24th in Los Angeles, and if you’re looking for the winners, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be updating this article with each of the Oscar winners as they are announced, so if you don’t have easy access to the telecast, be sure to check back here!

    Best Production Design

  • Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration) for Anna

    Karenina

  • Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration) for Les

    Misérables

  • David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for Life of Pi
  • Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration) for Lincoln
  • Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration) for The

    Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    Best Sound Mixing

  • John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia for Argo
  • Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins for Lincoln
  • Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for Les Misérables
  • Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin for Life of Pi
  • Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson for Skyfall

    Best Short Film – Live Action

  • Asad
  • Buzkashi Boys
  • Curfew
  • Death of a Shadow
  • Henry

    Best Short Film – Animated

  • Adam and Dog
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • Head Over Heels
  • Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
  • Paperman

    Best Documentary Short

  • Inocente
  • Kings Point
  • Mondays at Racine
  • Open Heart
  • Redemption

 

This week is relatively slim pickings for family-friendly moviegoing. In theaters, we’ve got The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the conclusion to the teen-centric vampire franchise; and on DVD we’ve got Brave, Pixar’s animated ode to girl power. In addition, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which we profiled last week, opens in wide release. However, other noteworthy releases, including Anna Karenina (in limited release) and The Watch (on DVD) are rated R, so proceed with caution. Without further ado, check out the best bets for family viewing this week!

In Theaters This Week:



The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

49%

What’s it about? It’s the concluding chapter of a wildly popular franchise in which vampires and werewolves do battle for the affections of a stubborn teenage girl.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity.” Several media reports indicate it came close to getting an R, so you might think twice about letting middle schoolers see it, but it’s probably fine for young teens.

Is it any good? The Twilight movies have never been critical darlings, though that matters not a whit to Twi-hards. For what it’s worth, Breaking Dawn Part 2 is getting the best reviews in franchise history, so it looks like they saved the best for last.

New On DVD:



Brave

78%

What’s it about? It’s the story of a Scottish princess who eschews stereotypically girly pursuits to ride horses and shoot arrows in the forest – and who must rescue her mother from a magic spell.

Who’s it for? Brave is rated PG “for some scary action and rude humor.” Take that seriously, especially if you’ve got Kindergartners — there are a couple dark moments that are likely to give the wee ones nightmares.

Is it any good? Brave is Certified Fresh, and though some critics found it to be a step down from previous Pixar triumphs, they largely appreciated its visuals and its strong female characters — a rarity in the studio’s output.

This week on home video, we’ve got a pretty big variety to choose from. The best we have to offer ranges between a solid Pixar effort, an engrossing documentary, and a few classics. Then we have a few films that left critics largely undecided, and lastly there’s at least one misfire that’s at least an interesting misfire. See below for the full list!



Brave

78%

The pressure we place on Pixar to continue churning out winners is almost unfair, even if they have proven themselves quite capable of doing so. While their latest outing, Brave, didn’t score among their top efforts, it still proves they know how to put together a solid movie. Kelly Macdonald voices Merida, an impetuous Scottish princess whose defiance of age-old traditions causes unrest in her land. In an effort to right her wrongs, Merida bargains with an old witch (Julie Walters), enacting a curse that tests her… bravery. Beautiful animation (people loved that hair of hers) and a strong voice cast help Brave overcome a relatively standard fairy tale en route to a Certified Fresh 78% on the Tomatometer. It probably won’t go down as a Pixar “classic,” but it’s certainly worthy of the canon.



Savages

50%

Oliver Stone is best known for his controversial and often politically charged films (see: JFK, Comandante, W.), but every once in a while he’ll helm a project just for fun, or so it would seem. Savages is one of those projects, a lurid thriller about drugs and gangs with big name stars chewing the scenery. Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) run a profitable weed business in Southern California; when they refuse to bow to the wishes of a Mexican drug cartel looking to move north, the cartel kidnaps their lady friend (Blake Lively), and so begins a small scale war. This is all grimy stuff, and the cast is padded out with names like Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Demian Bichir, but critics had trouble connecting with the characters through all the mayhem; as such, it split opinions right down the middle at 51%.



The Watch

16%

We want to be sensitive here, so we’ll start by saying the Trayvon Martin shooting back in February was tragic and heartbreaking. Part of the natural response to the event was to scrutinize neighborhood watch groups across the country, and so it goes without saying that The Watch — then known as Neighborhood Watch — had to call a very public audible in its marketing campaign, which had gotten underway literally just days after the shooting. Instead of focusing on the comedic foursome who comprised “the watch” (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade), the campaign shifted to focus on its story, that of a suburban alien invasion and the regular dudes who rise up against it. Unfortunately, according to critics, it wasn’t the marketing that doomed the film; most found it uncommonly crude and vulgar, lazily written, and scarcely as funny as it should have been, considering its cast. You may take your chances if you wish, but at a measly 17% on the Tomatometer, you’re going to have to love watching Vaughn and Hill ad-lib the script.



The Queen of Versailles

95%

Regardless who won last week’s presidential race, it was probably a smart move to release this film on home video just a week later. Touching on economic themes that reverberated throughout both major campaigns in different ways, The Queen of Versailles is not only a portrait of “The American Dream,” but also an examination of what it looks like when it’s a little out of control. The subjects of this documentary are timeshare mogul David Siegel and his wife Jackie as they begin construction on what would be the largest domestic home in the US. Suddenly, as economic crisis hits the country, the Siegels are faced with new challenges that will change their perspectives and their lifestyles. Critics overwhelmingly found The Queen of Versailles an engrossing family portrait that manages to treat its subjects with compassion, even as it marvels at their extravagance. Certified Fresh at 95%, it’s a rags-to-riches-to-rags story that might just surprise you.



Vamps

56%

If you thought to yourself, “Wait, didn’t this movie just open in theaters a little more than a week ago?” you’d only be partially correct: Vamps opened in A theater on November 2. Also, unless you’re an avid reader of Critics Consensus with a photographic memory, or a huge Amy Heckerling fan, why would you know that? Yes, it’s a sign of the times when the director of Fast Times at Ridgemont High reteams with her Clueless star Alicia Silverstone to do a rom-com about modern-day vampires, and it’s released on home video a week after it opens in a theater. For what it’s worth, critics didn’t think it was all bad; while most agreed that Vamps doesn’t take many chances with its material, some felt the humor landed more often than not, and others claimed it felt too much like a sitcom. At 50%, it might work for you if you’re a fan of Heckerling’s style.



Trilogy of Life – Criterion Collection

98%

Italian polymath Pier Paolo Pasolini is probably best known on these shores for the surprisingly devout The Gospel According to St. Matthew and the notoriously depraved Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. In between those successes, however, the director adapted a trio of folkloric works to the big screen; know as the Trilogy of Life, Pasolini’s The Decameron (1970), The Canterbury Tales (1971), and Arabian Nights (1974) are subversive, bawdy, and darkly humorous takes on a trio of literary classics that satirize modern mores with visual flair. Criterion packs all three into a sparkling new Blu-ray set, one that includes tons of archival material, including documentaries about Pasolini and the films, interviews with cast and crew members, and deleted scenes.



Weekend – Criterion Collection

93%

One of French iconoclast Jean-Luc Godard’s career high-water marks, this alternately surreal and blackly funny movie brings any sense of ’60s optimism to a (car) crashing halt, charting the ill-fated adventure of a blithely bourgeois couple as they journey deep into the backwoods of a society teetering on the brink of apocalypse. The good times begin with a legendary, seemingly endless pile up of wrecked cars on a motorway (a tracking shot every bit as great as its reputation) and descend into society’s metaphorical (and literal) cannibalism, with Godard bruisingly acerbic and playful in equal measure. (“End of Cinema / End of World,” he proclaims, never one for understatement.) Criterion’s new Blu-ray edition features a digital restoration, a new video essay and archival interviews, plus vintage interviews with Godard and an essay booklet. Essential stuff.



Lawrence of Arabia 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

94%

The Best Picture winner of 1962, Lawrence of Arabia is David Lean’s masterpiece, and a film that practically defines the term “epic.” That said, it’s also a movie you absolutely, positively shouldn’t watch on your cell phone. If you can’t catch it on a big screen, your next best bet is probably the Lawrence of Arabia (50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition), an exhaustive three- Blu-ray-disc set that includes a new transfer of the film and oodles of goodies for cinephilpes. Featuring interviews with star Peter O’Toole, fans Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, plus making-of featurettes, documentaries, and never-before-seen deleted scenes, the Collector’s Edition also includes a coffee table book and a CD of the film’s score.

Also available this week:

Written by Ryan Fujitani, Tim Ryan, and Luke Goodsell




This weekend, princess power ruled the North American box office as Disney and Pixar’s Brave opened at number one setting a new record for the biggest debut ever for an animated film centered around a female character. The weekend’s other new releases were not met with as much enthusiasm as the stylish action thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter premiered in third place with moderate numbers while Steve Carell’s Seeking A Friend for the End of the World was dead on arrival in tenth place. The overall marketplace was down again from a year ago when Pixar also reigned supreme.

Moms, daughters, and others lined up for Brave which shot straight to the top with an estimated $66.7M to easily command first place more than tripling the gross of its nearest competitor. The PG-rated 3D toon averaged a muscular $16,028 from 4,164 theaters in what was the widest debut ever for Pixar which continued its perfect streak of number one openings for all thirteen of its films dating back to 1995’s ground-breaking hit Toy Story. Brave‘s performance was virtually identical to the debut of the company’s Cars 2 this weekend last year which bowed to $66.1M from slightly fewer locations for a similar average. However, the Scottish princess pic was not a sequel and did not have as huge of a merchandising empire behind it.

Brave managed to beat the $60.3M debut of Madagascar 3 from rival DreamWorks Animation from earlier this month, but did not match the $70.2M of March’s The Lorax from Universal. All were 3D toons. Reviews for Pixar’s latest were good, but not as glowing as those for recent offerings like Toy Story 3, Up, and WALL-E. Still despite that, and the fact that the story skewed more towards girls, Brave broke the $60M mark on opening weekend like eight of the last nine Pixar films have done. And it beat the $48.8M of Disney’s Tangled to post the best debut ever for a female-centric toon. The take also rose higher than the $43.7M of 2010’s How To Train Your Dragon which was also set in medieval Scotland.

Brave kicked off its weekend with a $24.5M opening day on Friday and then slipped 4% on Saturday to $23.5M with Sunday estimated to drop 21% to $18.7M. Last year this weekend with the same calendar, Cars 2 dipped 9% on Saturday and then 27% on Sunday. But Brave has been liked more as its grade from CinemaScore was a glowing A compared to the A- that the Lightning McQueen sequel earned. Females made up 57% of the audience for Brave which was on par with the 56% for this month’s Madagascar.

But one trouble spot was with 3D, and those willing to pay extra for the experience. A very low 34% of Brave‘s gross came from those screens. By comparison, 3D shares for other toons include 40% for Cars 2, 45% for Kung Fu Panda 2, 45% for Madagascar 3, and 51% for Puss in Boots. Even the Pixar brand is not strong enough to prompt a large number of parents to shell out extra for what has now become an ordinary experience. Still, the long-term outlook seems bright. With most kids out of school now, Brave will attract solid mid-week business and with little competition next weekend and promising audience buzz a solid sophomore session could result followed by the Independence Day holiday after that which will keep numbers strong going into the third weekend.

Most markets overseas will open Brave in July and August however the year’s second teen girl archery star debuted in ten territories this weekend with $13.5M for a global weekend of $80.2M.

Despite facing the worst possible new competitor, two-time box office champ Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted held up miraculously well dropping only 41% to second place with an estimated $20.2M. Paramount has now collected a stellar $157.6M over 17 days for the DreamWorks Animation sequel and looks on course to break the $200M mark – a level the studio’s 2011 toons never reached. It will become the top-grossing installment in the series, although higher 3D prices will contribute to the feat. The fact that the talking zoo animals enjoyed such a low decline against the arrival of Pixar’s latest treat speaks to how well-liked it is with families and how strong the kidpic marketplace is right now with most children starting their summer vacations. Plus, Madagascar‘s appeal is not skewed towards one gender making it a boy-friendly alternative to Brave. Overseas saw an impressive $30.1M frame lifting the international total to $208.4M for $365.9M worldwide.

The period action-horror thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter debuted in third place with an estimated $16.5M. The R-rated mashup pic offering an alternate take on presidential history averaged a decent $5,309 from 3,108 locations with 3D contributing extra surcharges. As expected, adult men made up the core audience with the breakdown being 56% male and 53% 25 and older. But critics and moviegoers were equally unimpressed with the stylish monster movie as reviews were mostly bad and the CinemaScore grade was a lackluster C+. Saturday sales dipped 10% indicating a rough road ahead. With major EuroCup matches going on overseas distracting bloodthirsty males, Lincoln opened in just a few international markets grossing $8.1M from 17 markets led by $3.9M from director Timur Bekmambetov’s Russia and $1.6M from the United Kingdom where it ranked number one.

Sci-fi epic Prometheus fell 52% to an estimated $10M in its third mission to boost Fox’s total to $108.5M. The Ridley Scott film also captured $12.7M overseas this weekend to raise its international sum to $152.9M putting the global tally at $261.4M. A pair of period pics tied for fifth place with an estimated $8M a piece. Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman dropped 40% and has amassed $137.1M to date while the Warner Bros. musical Rock of Ages declined by a reasonable 45% in its second round for a modest $28.8M in ten days. Look for a $45-50M final.

Fellow sophomore That’s My Boy starring Adam Sandler held up well sliding only 41% to an estimated $7.9M putting it a hair behind the other two. Sony has banked $28.2M and is headed to a $45-50M finish making for the comedian’s worst gross for a broad comedy since 2000’s Little Nicky. Since jumping to the A-list in 1998, Sandler has never had back-to-back broad comedies fail to top $100M. He will now have that with Boy following last November’s Jack and Jill which grossed $74.2M. On the other hand, he could be setting himself up to sweep the Razzies over two consecutive years.

Iron Man and pals came within striking distance of the $600M domestic mark this weekend thanks to a sensational hold for The Avengers in its eighth round. The all-star super hero mega-pak slipped only 21% to an estimated $7M boosting the cume to $598.3M and is on track to surpass its next milestone as early as Tuesday. The Disney smash will become the first non-James Cameron film to ever smash the $600M barrier. Avengers raised its overseas take to a towering 837.9$M and its global treasure to $1.44 billion with Japan still to open in August.

Sony’s summer tentpole Men in Black 3 fell 44% to an estimated $5.6M for $163.3M to date. A final of $175-180M seems likely. International audiences pushed the overseas total up to $414M for a worldwide haul of $577.3M making it the year’s third largest global grosser after Avengers and The Hunger Games.

Audiences rejected Steve Carell’s latest film Seeking A Friend for the End of the World which barely made the top ten with its estimated $3.8M debut. Playing in 1,625 locations, the Focus release averaged a pitiful $2,361 and generated zero excitement with its target audience of upscale adults. Plus with arthouse hits from Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, and Shakespeare in Love‘s John Madden already satisfying this exact same audience, there was no room for another option. The audience was 56% female and 56% over 35 with the CinemaScore being a disappointing C+. In addition, reviews for Seeking were only mixed and not impressive enough to win over crowds. The darkly comic doomsday story failed to pull in Carell’s mainstream comedy fans.

Woody Allen scored another summer comedy hit aimed at sophisticated adults with his latest effort To Rome With Love which debuted in only five theaters but grossed an estimated $379,000 for a spectacular $75,874 average. The Sony Classics release did not reach the $99,834 opening weekend average of the director’s Midnight in Paris from a year ago but it was still a sizzling start for what could be a long-lasting hit. Reviews for Rome were mixed and not as stellar as those for last summer’s Oscar-winning Paris but fans in New York and Los Angeles still came out for the Woody Allen brand. How it plays in the rest of the country will be seen in the weeks ahead. Starring Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz and others, Rome expands on Friday into a handful of additional major markets before going nationwide on July 6.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $153.8M which was down 7% from last year when Cars 2 opened at number one with $66.1M; but even with 2010 when Toy Story 3 remained on top with $59.3M in its second weekend.

Follow Gitesh on Twitter.

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