100 best romance movies of all time

When we think of the greatest love stories of all time, a handful of couples always seem to come to mind—from Romeo and Juliet and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to Heathcliff and Cathy and Lancelot and Guinevere.

At a second glance, it seems these iconic romances share recurring themes that distinguish them from ordinary love stories. These films involve sacrifice, serendipity, passion, conflict, and relatability, but on the big screen, what separates a great love story from just any old love story is its watchability. The best romances don’t just tug at our heartstrings, they’re the ones we want to watch over and over again.

Stacker rounded up the 100 greatest on-screen love stories of all time by assembling a list of the best romantic movies over the years, using data to determine a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores as of Jan. 31, 2022. To qualify, films had to be listed as romance on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascores and IMDb user ratings. Every film on the list has been considered according to the cinematic history and development of the romance genre.

From the romantic thriller “Vertigo” and period picture “Atonement” to modern darlings like “Moonrise Kingdom” and the classic, “Casablanca,” these are some of the best romances to have left audiences with that jubilant feeling of having witnessed true, everlasting love.

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#100. The Crying Game (1992)

– Director: Neil Jordan
– Stacker score: 88.1
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Set against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the crux of “The Crying Game” story is this: A British soldier gets captured by the IRA and, certain he won’t make it out alive, asks one of his captors to check up on his girlfriend in London when the fighting is all over. The captor keeps his promise before the movie takes a couple more twists, and nothing ends as you thought it would. The Neil Jordan-directed film, which Roger Ebert deemed “one of the best movies of 1992,” is a love story that will keep you guessing from beginning to end.

#99. Farewell My Concubine (1993)

– Director: Chen Kaige
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 83
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 171 minutes

Fifty years of Chinese history—from the birth of the republic through the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution—provides the backdrop for this queer love story. As young boys, Douzi and Shitou become members of a brutal, all-boys Peking opera troupe and, over the course of their lives, become not only stars but companions. When a love triangle threatens to rip them apart, they begin to question whether or not it is time to say farewell.

#98. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

– Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 84
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 120 minutes

When “Slumdog Millionaire” released in 2008, it was all anyone could talk about. The 2009 Best Picture Academy Award winner tells the story of an orphan who wins the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” by reflecting on all the brutal lessons life has taught him in his short 20 years. The romantic part of the movie will most likely tug at your heartstrings, but if love stories aren’t your thing, this movie still has a lot to offer.

#97. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

– Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 85
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 94 minutes

The first installment in a trilogy, “Three Colors: Blue” is about a recently widowed Parisian woman who first attempts to avoid mourning the loss of her husband and daughter by running away from her life, before having a change of heart and facing her grief head-on. Along the way, she discovers that her heart can learn to love again. The “Three Colors” trilogy is considered to be among director Krzysztof Kieślowski’s best work, and all three films are worth a watch.

#96. The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

– Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Can you be in love with someone you’ve never even met? Can fate join you to someone you’ll never know? These are the questions at the heart of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “The Double Life of Véronique,” which follows two women—one French, the other Polish—who have never met but are emotionally bound to each other.

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#95. The Remains of the Day (1993)

– Director: James Ivory
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 134 minutes

Adapted from a Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, “The Remains of the Day” was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1993. The period piece takes a reflective look at the relationship between British butler James Stevens (Anthony Hopkins), who’s devoted to serving his employer, and former colleague, the housekeeper, Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson), who herself seeks more than a simple life of service. Never willing to face his feelings for Miss Kenton, Stevens misses out on what, in retrospect, could have been the most significant relationship of his life. Their story makes for a truly heartbreaking movie.

#94. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

– Director: Jacques Demy
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 91 minutes

All the dialogue in “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” is sung much like in an opera but with a 1960s twist. The musical drama stars Catherine Deneuve as the daughter of an umbrella shop owner who experiences the blushes of first love with a local mechanic. After she discovers he’s set to be shipped out to a faraway battlefield, the young lovers are forced to make tough decisions about their futures, both as a couple and individuals.

#93. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

– Director: Ang Lee
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 134 minutes

“Brokeback Mountain” is the story of two cowboys who fall in love but must keep their relationship a secret from everyone else in their lives. When it released, the movie was praised by many for being an important stepping stone for LGBTQ+ films. Starring the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, it seems everyone involved in this classic love story knew how important the film was at the time. In fact, Gyllenhaal told Out magazine that Ledger “was extraordinarily serious about the political issues surrounding the movie when it came out. A lot of times, people would want to have fun and joke about it, and he was vehement about being serious, to the point where he didn’t really want to hear about anything that was being made fun of.”

#92. Shine (1996)

– Director: Scott Hicks
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 105 minutes

Based on the life story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, “Shine” is a movie about outstanding talent, mental illness, and finding love amid real, messy life. Three different actors play Helfgott at different points in his life in the film, but it was Geoffrey Rush’s performance that won him the Academy Award for his portrayal of Helfgott as an adult. His performance is so overwhelming that The Guardian classified “Shine” as a movie you don’t only watch but remember for years to come.

#91. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

– Director: Frank Lloyd
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 132 minutes

An offering from the golden age of Hollywood, the 1935 version of “Mutiny on the Bounty” is one of MGM’s best pictures. Starring heartthrobs Clark Gable and Franchot Tone, the film was the highest-grossing movie in 1935 and took home the Academy Award for Best Picture. Equal parts action-adventure and love story, and set on the open seas and the idyllic island of Tahiti, this classic film has earned its spot on many best romance movies of all time lists over the years.

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#90. The Awful Truth (1937)

– Director: Leo McCarey
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 90 minutes

Nominated for six Academy Awards, the romantic screwball comedy “The Awful Truth” is often regarded as the film that established Cary Grant as the debonair leading man he’s remembered as today. The lighthearted movie tells the story of a couple (Grant and Irene Dunne) who, having filed for divorce, can’t seem to stay out of one another’s new relationships. Much of the film’s dialogue and scenes were reportedly improvised by director Leo McCarey and his stars.

#89. A Star Is Born (2018)

– Director: Bradley Cooper
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 136 minutes

The 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born,” starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, was a smash hit, bringing in $42 million its opening weekend and garnering eight Academy Award nominations. The story in this most recent adaptation of the film is essentially the same as that of previous iterations: An aging star, whose career is thwarted by his addictions, marries a younger woman whose career is just beginning to take off, only to realize he can’t handle her burgeoning success.

#88. The Little Mermaid (1989)

– Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 83 minutes

One of the few offerings on this list suitable for audiences of all ages, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was an instant classic when it released in 1989. The film, which is based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name, began a renaissance in animation at the studio, with its success greenlighting other family-friendly favorites like “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Aladdin.” Throughout its box office run, “The Little Mermaid” brought in over $235 million worldwide.

#87. Three Colors: White (1994)

– Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 92 minutes

The second installment in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colors” trilogy, “White,” is decidedly less mushy gushy in tone, while still retaining some tender moments. The film is about the end of a relationship—beginning in a divorce court and ending with one party in jail—and explores the question of whether one can get revenge on a partner while still being in love.

#86. House of Flying Daggers (2004)

– Director: Yimou Zhang
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 119 minutes

“House of Flying Daggers” is a romantic wuxia film about a police officer who falls in love with the leader of a political, Robin Hood-esque rebel group called the House of Flying Daggers. There are plenty of martial arts scenes mixed in with the more tender moments. While the film grossed over $11 million domestically, its popularity increased dramatically when it was released on home video.

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#85. Paterson (2016)

– Director: Jim Jarmusch
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Runtime: 118 minutes

The 2016 movie “Paterson” is a philosophical tale that, superficially, follows Paterson, a poetry-writing bus driver, over the course of a single week, highlighting the banality of his everyday routine and his loving relationship with his exuberant wife. Beneath the surface, however, the film leans into questions about the nature of art and how our views on beauty can affect our interpersonal relationships.

#84. Love Affair (1939)

– Director: Leo McCarey
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Runtime: 88 minutes

Equal parts comedy and bittersweet romance, “Love Affair” follows a womanizing French artist and an American nightclub singer as they try to determine whether or not getting involved in a relationship would work. Directed by Leo McCarey, the 1939 film was called a “glowing and memorable picture” in The New York Times.

#83. Little Women (1933)

– Director: George Cukor
– Stacker score: 88.6
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 7.2
– Runtime: 115 minutes

There are a handful of big-screen retellings of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale of the bond between four sisters during the Civil War. Among the many versions, this 1933 “Little Women” remake, starring Katharine Hepburn as Jo, stands out as it was the first one to be a talkie (both the 1917 and 1918 “Little Women” films had been silent pictures).

#82. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

– Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 80
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 155 minutes

Cinema Paradiso” is an Italian-language, Oscar-winning film about two types of love: the love we have for our passions and the feelings we go through the first time we fall in love. The drama follows a young boy named Salvatore as he grows up in Sicily, forming a friendship with the local movie theater owner, Alfredo, and crushing on Elena, a girl who is way out of his league. Those who are looking for a good cry should check out the director’s cut, which contains an additional 50 minutes of heart-breaking material.

#81. The Handmaiden (2016)

– Director: Park Chan-wook
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 84
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 145 minutes

Believe it or not, there’s a tender love story at the core of this Korean erotic thriller. Loosely based on the novel “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters, the film includes components like a wealthy conman, sadistic pornography, and a servant girl who might be more than she appears. More a puzzle to be solved than a relaxing film to be enjoyed, “The Handmaiden” is sure to keep audiences engaged from start to finish.

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#80. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003)

– Director: Kim Ki-duk
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 85
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 103 minutes

There are many examples of symbolism in this South Korean film about a Buddhist monk who spends his life in a monastery that’s floating in the middle of the lake. Split into five parts, each “season” sees the monk in a different era of his life, growing from a junior apprentice into an old master. The entire movie is moving and thought-provoking, but the central love story takes place in the second “season” of the monk’s life, in the summer.

#79. Talk to Her (2002)

– Director: Pedro Almodóvar
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Watching “Talk to Her” is comparable to an extremely well-done soap opera. The movie centers on two men who spend a great deal of time in the hospital tending to the women they love who are both in comas. There’s plenty of humor, serious moments dealing with the nature of science and faith, and even a film-within-a-film component—plenty to keep even the biggest romance fanatic engaged.

#78. A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

– Directors: Jack Conway, Robert Z. Leonard
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 128 minutes

An adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel, “A Tale of Two Cities” is set during the height of the French Revolution. This black-and-white film relays the story of two men, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, who fall in love with the same woman, Lucie Manette. The film is told so well that it is generally considered one of the best film adaptations of a Dickens story ever made. According to Turner Classic Movies, it was one of the highest-grossing movies of 1935.

#77. The Piano (1993)

– Director: Jane Campion
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 121 minutes

At the start of “The Piano,” a mute woman named Ada, her daughter, and her beloved piano land on the shores of New Zealand as part of an arranged marriage. It quickly becomes evident that the match will not be a good one, and as Ada begins to give piano lessons to another man, she unexpectedly falls in love with him. Written and directed by Jane Campion, this slow-burn romance flourishes under her touch.

#76. A Star Is Born (1954)

– Director: George Cukor
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 154 minutes

This 1954 musical drama, which sees Judy Garland and James Mason in the starring roles, is a remake of the 1937 original film. The second of four “A Star Is Born” adaptations—before Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson’s 1976 version and the most recent reboot, the 2018 interpretation starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper—Garland’s depiction as the aspiring singer Esther Blodgett earned her a Best Actress Nomination at the Oscars. In 2000, the Library of Congress chose to preserve the picture in the U.S. National Film Registry.

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#75. Phantom Thread (2017)

– Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 130 minutes

Daniel Day-Lewis’ final role before stepping away from Hollywood was portraying fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock in “Phantom Thread.” After the film’s release, the method actor revealed it had been a “nightmare” to make, citing the overcrowded Georgian townhouse where most of the action takes place as the worst part of the experience. Still, the historical drama, which tells the story of the twisted relationship between the designer and his wife, was a huge success with fans, earning Day-Lewis a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards.

#74. 45 Years (2015)

– Director: Andrew Haigh
– Stacker score: 89.2
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Runtime: 91 minutes

In “45 Years,” Kate and Geoff Mercer find their plans for a 45th-anniversary celebration thrown off when a letter arrives, revealing that the body of Geoff’s former lover has been found. As the party draws nearer, more and more secrets about the five-decade-old relationship are revealed, and questions about the strength and authenticity of Kate and Geoff’s own marriage emerge. Based on a short story called “In Another Country” by David Constantine, this movie is a deeply nuanced and dark love story.

#73. In the Mood for Love (2000)

– Director: Wong Kar-wai
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 85
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Early in the movie, the two protagonists of “In the Mood for Love,” Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen, realize their spouses have been having an affair. As they begin to spend more time together and cope with their own feelings of betrayal and shame of having been left by their partners, they begin to harbor feelings for each other. A story of missed connections and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the film lacks a particularly optimistic ending, but it does paint a noble idea of what love can be.

#72. Aladdin (1992)

– Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 90 minutes

Another Disney classic, “Aladdin,” was released just three years after “The Little Mermaid” and a year after “Beauty and the Beast.” That was an impressive feat for the studio, considering it took a team of 40 animators a year and a half to finish the film. The family-friendly flick, inspired by the book “One Thousand and One Nights,” was a smash hit. The film beat out both of those immediate predecessors at the box office and on home video, grossing $504 million worldwide and selling more than 25 million copies.

#71. Once (2007)

– Director: John Carney
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 86 minutes

Made in just three weeks for $150,000, “Once” was a sleeper hit that struck a chord with audiences. The indie film takes place over just a few days, when an Irish busker and a Czech musician fatefully meet, collaborate on a demo tape, and fall in love. “Once” won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007.

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#70. Captain Blood (1935)

– Director: Michael Curtiz
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 119 minutes

It’s hard to imagine it now, but when Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland were cast in “Captain Blood,” they were both relatively unknown actors. The ultra-successful pirate love story catapulted both of their careers to new heights and marked the first of nine films they’d make together.

#69. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

– Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 180 minutes

When it first released in 2013, “Blue Is the Warmest Colour”—which follows the relationship between two young French women—was best known for its long and torrid sex scenes. However, it didn’t take long for the buzz surrounding the movie’s content to be overtaken by claims that the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, had been a terror to work with. Both of the film’s lead actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, claimed that Kechiche had made shooting unbearable and vowed to never work with him again. The French crew’s union supported the actresses’ claims, saying that conditions on set had been “deplorable.”

#68. Cold War (2018)

– Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 89 minutes

Inspired by the exceptional love story of his parents, Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” follows a man and woman whose relationship is greatly affected by the political events of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s in Poland and France. Separated by the Iron Curtain, the two are never able to fully enjoy the deep, romantic bond that could, in other circumstances, have been theirs. The film gives viewers an interesting look at how politics can shape so many of our interpersonal relationships.

#67. Only Yesterday (1991)

– Director: Isao Takahata
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 118 minutes

This film stands apart from all other Studio Ghibli offerings in that it’s firmly grounded in reality—there’s not a single mention of castles, magic, or ghosts (a la “Howl’s Moving Castle”). Instead, “Only Yesterday” follows Taeko Okajima as she leaves her native Tokyo for the Japanese countryside to visit family. Throughout her journey, she reflects on the events of her life, leans into her true self, and falls in love.

#66. Swing Time (1936)

– Director: George Stevens
– Stacker score: 89.7
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 103 minutes

Helmed by the iconic duo, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, “Swing Time” is a classic old Hollywood musical. The story follows gambler John “Lucky” Garnett (Astaire) as he sets out to make $25,000 so that he can marry his girlfriend. Along the way, he meets a dance teacher (Rogers), who soon has him reevaluating his relationship.

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#65. Rebecca (1940)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– Stacker score: 90.3
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 130 minutes

Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s first American film, “Rebecca,” was based on the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name. The psychological thriller-romance film follows the second Mrs. de Winter as she seeks to uncover the mysterious circumstances of her predecessor’s death, win the affections of her new husband, and cope with the haughtiness displayed by the strange housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. The film not only made Joan Fontaine a star but also laid much of the groundwork for the rest of Hitchcock’s creepy oeuvre.

#64. The Birds (1963)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– Stacker score: 90.3
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 119 minutes

“The Birds” was the third Daphne du Maurier story Alfred Hitchcock adapted, this one about terrifying bird attacks that happen in the early days of a romantic relationship. The film starred Tippi Hedren in her on-screen debut and, considering the horrible experience she had making the flick, it’s a wonder she ever acted in another movie.

#63. A Summer’s Tale (1996)

– Director: Éric Rohmer
– Stacker score: 90.3
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 113 minutes

The third installment in director Éric Rohmer’s “Tales of the Four Seasons” series, “A Summer’s Tale” is about a young man named Gaspard and the three women he finds himself in love with as he spends several weeks at a beach resort in Brittany, France. Each of the women has something unique to offer, and Gaspard is torn between them, becoming increasingly anxious as he knows he’ll soon have to make a choice, for better or worse. The film made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996.

#62. Carol (2015)

– Director: Todd Haynes
– Stacker score: 90.3
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Runtime: 118 minutes

Based on a 1952 novel titled “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith, “Carol” is a movie set in 1950s New York City chronicling a forbidden love affair between a young shopgirl and a much older woman. The screenplay for the film has existed since 1997, but it was stuck in pre-production limbo until the stars aligned and production began in 2014. Once it began, the film came together quickly (principal photography took just over 30 days), and the finished product was nominated for a wide variety of awards, proving that “Carol” was a story truly worth waiting for.

#61. To Be or Not to Be (1942)

– Director: Ernst Lubitsch
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 86
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 99 minutes

Months before the United States joined WWII, United Artists went to work on “To Be or Not to Be,” a black comedy film about a troupe of actors in Nazi-occupied Poland who use their professional skills to dupe and destroy the fascist group. The romance piece of this film is more of a subplot, but charming nonetheless. The movie also marks Carole Lombard’s final on-screen appearance—she died in a plane crash one month before it was released.

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#60. It Happened One Night (1934)

– Director: Frank Capra
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 105 minutes

“It Happened One Night” stands out in cinematic history as being the first film to sweep the five major Oscar categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The Depression-era movie tells the story of a spoiled, runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) who falls in with a regular joe reporter (Clark Gable). In the film, the heiress tries to reunite with her new husband, who her mogul father doesn’t approve of, but as the reporter assists her with the reunion, he comes to wonder if she may have married the wrong man after all.

#59. Mildred Pierce (1945)

– Director: Michael Curtiz
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 111 minutes

If you want your romance to come with a side of complicated mother-daughter relationships, check out “Mildred Pierce,” a 1945 film adaptation of James M. Cain’s famous hard-boiled novel. The movie, which stars Joan Crawford, follows a recently divorced woman during the Great Depression as she seeks work outside the home for the first time in her life in order to financially support her spoiled daughter. There’s murder, blackmail, an illicit affair, and much, much more in this cinematic classic.

#58. The Artist (2011)

– Director: Michel Hazanavicius
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 100 minutes

Although it was made in 2011, “The Artist” is both a black-and-white and (almost) silent film. Set in the golden age of Hollywood, the French film follows a 1920s movie star who falls in love with his much younger, up-and-coming co-star. As he struggles with whether to begin the affair in earnest, he finds that the increasing popularity of talkies is all but washing up his career, rendering him adrift from everything he’s held dear.

#57. Great Expectations (1946)

– Director: David Lean
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 118 minutes

Another Charles Dickens adaptation, “Great Expectations” is a trimmed-down version of the classic story of a young orphan boy whose life is changed by a mysterious benefactor and an encounter with a gorgeous, wealthy young woman. Of the picture, legendary film critic Roger Ebert wrote on his website that this 1946 movie is “the greatest of all the Dickens films.”

#56. To Have and Have Not (1944)

– Director: Howard Hawks
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 100 minutes

William Faulkner wrote the screenplay for this WWII romance, which is loosely based on the Earnest Hemmingway novel of the same name. The black-and-white film tells the story of a French fisherman and an American drifter who fall in love while helping a French Resistance leader flee to safety. The on-screen romance inspired an off-screen love story—it’s reported that the set of “To Have and Have Not” is where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall fell in love.

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#55. Masculin Féminin (1966)

– Director: Jean-Luc Godard
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 103 minutes

“Masculin Féminin” is a truly unique film told in a series of 15 vignettes. Set in Paris in the 1960s, it’s a story about a young intellectual who takes up with a pop star and her two roommates. Through this four-way relationship, he’s introduced to a wide variety of people and philosophies, leading him to question all he knows and to feel uncertainty about his future.

#54. Days of Being Wild (1990)

– Director: Wong Kar-wai
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 94 minutes

“Days of Being Wild” is an entry into an ongoing cycle of semi-connected films by Wong Kar-wai. Set in Hong Kong in the 1960s, the movie focuses on the complexities of the relationship between a playboy, the woman in love with him, and a policeman who’s in love with her. The film is packed with passion, missed connections, and an underlying desire for a genuine human connection.

#53. The Band Wagon (1953)

– Director: Vincente Minnelli
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Another classic musical starring Fred Astaire, “The Band Wagon” is about an aging star and the Broadway show he’s sure will revive his career. When a pretentious director and a stuffy ballerina get involved, Tony Hunter (Astaire) is sure the whole thing is going to be a mess until he begins to fall in love and finds that the future is certainly bright. This romantic comedy is often recognized as one of MGM’s best musical offerings.

#52. The Worst Person in the World (2021)

– Director: Joachim Trier
– Stacker score: 91.4
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 127 minutes

In this Norwegian film, a young woman named Julie sets out to figure out who she is and who she belongs with. As she deliberates between two men and the possible lives those relationships would lead to, she—as the title alludes—makes some morally gray decisions. Critics love the dramedy, which garnered buzz at the Academy Awards in 2021.

#51. Licorice Pizza (2021)

– Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
– Stacker score: 91.4
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 133 minutes

In “Licorice Pizza,” the plot is a bit beside the point as the movie prefers to focus on the feelings and nostalgia of a first love rather than tell a nuanced story. A 15-year-old child actor (Cooper Hoffman) and a 25-year-old lost girl (Alana Haim) navigate their way through complicated emotions and attempts to find themselves in this movie, which Roger Ebert called “cozy” and “wistful.”

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#50. Little Women (2019)

– Director: Greta Gerwig
– Stacker score: 91.4
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 135 minutes

With an ensemble cast featuring Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen, Emma Watson, and Florence Pugh, Greta Gerwig’s vision for this 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved coming-of-age novel earned Gerwig numerous accolades during awards season. This latest “Little Women” interpretation, which centers on themes of feminism, fate, and unrequited love, earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Pugh), and Best Actress (Ronan), and took home the Oscar for Best Costume Design.

#49. The African Queen (1951)

– Director: John Huston
– Stacker score: 91.4
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 105 minutes

Shot on location in the Congo, “The African Queen” stars Katharine Hepburn as a Christian missionary and Humphrey Bogart as an alcoholic riverboat captain. As East Africa becomes involved in WWI, Hepburn employs Bogart to help her flee the country. He grumpily agrees, and the two spend much of the movie slowly sailing downriver before finally admitting their love for each other in the film’s final moments.

#48. Sideways (2004)

– Director: Alexander Payne
– Stacker score: 91.4
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 127 minutes

In “Sideways,” two former college roommates, Miles and Jack, take a trip to wine country leading up to Jack’s wedding. While drinking their way through California, the two meet Maya and Stephanie and begin relationships that will threaten to tear their friendship apart. The flick took home the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and has been credited with reviving and reshaping the wine industry.

#47. Forrest Gump (1994)

– Director: Robert Zemeckis
– Stacker score: 91.9
– Metascore: 82
– IMDb user rating: 8.8
– Runtime: 142 minutes

Tom Hanks gives audiences an Oscar-worthy performance in “Forrest Gump” as the titular character who refuses to be held back by his limitations. Forrest accomplishes everything he sets his mind to, often seeing the world much clearer than others, but saving his childhood love, Jenny, might just be more than he can handle. The film took home six trophies at the 1995 Academy Awards and cemented itself as a modern classic shortly thereafter.

#46. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

– Director: John Cassavetes
– Stacker score: 91.9
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 155 minutes

Independent filmmaker John Cassavetes chose his wife, Gena Rowlands, and best friend, Peter Falk, to star in his 1974 film about a Los Angeles couple whose marriage seems poised on the brink of collapse. Rowlands’ character is desperately lonely, almost certainly an alcoholic, and mentally unstable. After being committed to a psych ward for six months, all the while leaving viewers to question whether or not the couple will make it out of this dark period, she returns home, only to have it revealed that her husband’s madness is equal to her own, which leaves them better suited to each other than anyone previously realized.

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#45. Wild Strawberries (1957)

– Director: Ingmar Bergman
– Stacker score: 91.9
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 91 minutes

“Wild Strawberries” is a Swedish-language film about an elderly professor reflecting on his life as he considers his regrets, lost loves, and a possible path to redemption. Victor Sjöström, a legendary silent film director in his own right, plays the professor, under the direction of the famed filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. After the movie’s release, Bergman admitted that Sjöström’s character had simply been a stand-in for his own life, helping him reconcile his losses and explain himself to his parents.

#44. Top Hat (1935)

– Director: Mark Sandrich
– Stacker score: 91.9
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 101 minutes

A case of mistaken identity is at the heart of this 1930s musical comedy. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star as the will-they-or-won’t-they couple whose attraction to each other is muddled by the fact that one believes the other to be previously spoken for. A truly delightful romp, “Top Hat” is a must-watch if for no other reason than the iconic “Cheek to Cheek” dance scene, which is, itself, a masterclass in musical movie production.

#43. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

– Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise
– Stacker score: 91.9
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 88 minutes

“The Magnificent Ambersons” is considered the greatest “lost film” in all of cinematic history. Don’t be mistaken: You can still find the movie, which follows two generations of the Amberson family, on DVD and streaming services, but it’s not the movie that director Orson Welles ever intended for you to see. Instead, while Wells was working on another project out of the country, RKO Pictures cut and trimmed the footage without his knowledge or permission, tacking on an entirely new ending, and releasing the butchered 88-minute movie in place of the two-hour-plus film Wells had crafted.

#42. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

– Director: Vincente Minnelli
– Stacker score: 91.9
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 113 minutes

An instant classic, “Meet Me in St. Louis” follows the Smith family as they prepare for the World’s Fair and look forward to the changes a new century will bring. Judy Garland leads the all-star cast, playing Esther “Tootie” Smith, a flirtatious teenager who falls in love with the boy next door. Behind the scenes, Garland was falling in love with Vincente Minnelli, her future husband and the father of her daughter, Eliza.

#41. The Circus (1928)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 72 minutes

“The Circus” earned the film’s director and star, Charlie Chaplin, his first Academy Award at the 1929 ceremony. This feat is especially impressive considering the movie—about a man who’s wrongly accused of a crime, stumbles into a circus, and becomes an unwitting performer—almost didn’t get made. The control of assets in Chaplin’s divorce, a destroyed set, weeks of film that were rendered useless, and fire that destroyed nearly all the props and costumes were among the slew of challenges Chaplin had to overcome to finish his project.

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#40. Before Sunset (2004)

– Director: Richard Linklater
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 80 minutes

“Before Sunset” is a follow-up to the 1995 hit, “Before Sunrise.” In the film, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is traipsing around Europe, giving readings of his new novel about the night he spent with Celine (Julie Delpy) years ago in Vienna. The star-crossed lovers meet up after one of these readings to spend an afternoon together, and while outside factors prevent them from immediately jumping back into each other’s arms, they quickly find themselves admitting they can’t live without the other.

#39. Her (2013)

– Director: Spike Jonze
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 126 minutes

The Atlantic declared Spike Jonze’s 2013 film, “Her,” the best movie of the year. The film, which follows a closed-off man who finds himself falling in love with a piece of artificial intelligence, is set in a nearby future and acts as a commentary about how technology may come to shape our world. The movie was nominated five times at the 86th Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, and took home Best Original Screenplay.

#38. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

– Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 93 minutes

Shot without the help of CGI, or an elaborate special effects department, the 1946 adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” depended on trick shots and elaborate set designs to bring its magical realism to life. It’s done so masterfully that the movie—which tells the same story as the 1991 animated Disney classic, but in a much darker tone—is considered a landmark film in the fantasy genre.

#37. Days of Heaven (1978)

– Director: Terrence Malick
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 94 minutes

Days of Heaven” is as much a poem about the American West as it is a romance movie. It’s a story about an accidental murder, life on the lam, and true love, starring Richard Gere, Linda Manz, Sam Shepard, and Brooke Adams—all shot at sunset in some of the most beautiful cinematography to ever win an Oscar.

#36. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

– Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 83 minutes

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is the first fully-animated feature-length film in cinematic history. More than 750 artists worked on the fairy tale, completing 2 million sketches during the three years of production. A complete gamble, Walt Disney had to mortgage his home to fund the film, and critics were convinced it was going to fail, dubbing it “Disney’s Folly.” The movie became the highest-grossing film at the time, and the profits fully funded the construction of the studio’s Burbank, California, lot.

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#35. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

– Director: Michel Gondry
– Stacker score: 93.0
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 108 minutes

After a tumultuous breakup, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergo a procedure that will erase all the memories they have of each other. Upon realizing that he’s made a tremendous mistake mid-procedure, Joel sets out to reconnect with Clementine and learns to come to terms with the pain of a broken heart. Equal parts funny and tragic, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is one of the most whimsical and imaginative takes on a break-up film out there.

#34. Brief Encounter (1945)

– Director: David Lean
– Stacker score: 93.0
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 86 minutes

“Brief Encounter” tells the story of a short but passionate affair between two people (Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard) who are bored by their respective stable yet emotionless marriages. Evocative and wonderfully acted, the film was based on Noël Coward’s play “Still Life.”

#33. Annie Hall (1977)

– Director: Woody Allen
– Stacker score: 93.0
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 93 minutes

Woody Allen’s sixth project, “Annie Hall,” is often considered by audiences and critics to be the director’s best movie. However, the filmmaker doesn’t agree, saying the rom-com, about a neurotic comedian and his relationship with a struggling singer, “isn’t anything special.” Still, the movie lands on almost every must-watch list out there.

#32. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

– Director: Luca Guadagnino
– Stacker score: 93.0
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 132 minutes

“Call Me by Your Name” is adapted from a novel of the same name by André Aciman. It’s the story of two young men who meet one summer in Italy and develop a connection that will alter both of their lives forever. The movie was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. “Call Me by Your Name” also went home with the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2018.

#31. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

– Director: Ang Lee
– Stacker score: 93.0
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 120 minutes

When “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” released in 2000, it was unlike anything American audiences had ever seen—and they loved it. The picture remains the second-highest-grossing foreign-language picture of all time (behind “The Passion of the Christ”). Part action movie, part love story, this Ang Lee-directed movie was based on a series of wuxia novels from the 1930s.

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#30. The Last Picture Show (1971)

– Director: Peter Bogdanovich
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 118 minutes

Anarene, Texas, is a speck-on-the-map small town and the setting for Peter Bogdanovich’s breakout hit “The Last Picture Show.” The film, based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Larry McMurtry, is a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys, their loves (one of which is played by Cybill Shepherd), and the uncertain futures they’re to embark on. The film earned eight Oscar nominations, acted as a launchpad for a scandalous love affair, and has been cemented by the National Film Registry as one of the most influential pictures in the history of film.

#29. Before Midnight (2013)

– Director: Richard Linklater
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 109 minutes

The third installment in Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy, “Before Midnight” takes place in another gorgeous European locale, the beaches of Greece. In this chapter of their story, Jesse and Celine are finally in a long-term relationship and share twin daughters. On the last night of their vacation, they reminisce about how they met, wonder about how life could have gone differently, and fight about the future they see with each other.

#28. Marriage Story (2019)

– Director: Noah Baumbach
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 137 minutes

“Marriage Story” paints a deeply emotional picture of just how difficult the end of a once-beautiful relationship can be. Starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, the Netflix original was included on several best movies of the year lists in 2019. It was also nominated for dozens of awards, with Laura Dern taking home both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her supporting role.

#27. My Fair Lady (1964)

– Director: George Cukor
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 170 minutes

Starring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, a street urchin turned aristocrat, “My Fair Lady” is a classic rags-to-riches love story. After making a bet with a fellow phonetics professor, Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) sets out to transform Doolittle, unexpectedly falling in love with her along the way. Based on the George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion,” “My Fair Lady” has also been adapted for Broadway.

#26. Journey to Italy (1954)

– Director: Roberto Rossellini
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Runtime: 97 minutes

Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders star as a couple trapped in a loveless marriage in “Journey to Italy.” After traveling to Naples to deal with a villa they’ve inherited, the couple seems poised on the edge of divorce, before a series of experiences lead them to a change of heart. There was very little script set for the film, and much of it was shot in an improvisational manner, a method that inspired the French New Wave film tradition.

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#25. The Best of Youth (2003)

– Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
– Stacker score: 94.1
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 366 minutes

Split into two parts, “The Best of Youth” tells the story of two Italian brothers, Nicola and Matteo, whose lives and romantic relationships are heavily influenced by the social and political upheavals in their country during the 1960s and ’70s. Despite its long runtime, “The Best of Youth” avoids the expected cliches and doesn’t contain a single wasted scene.

#24. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

– Director: Edward Yang
– Stacker score: 94.1
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Runtime: 237 minutes

“A Brighter Summer Day” is four hours long, but the movie, which works as a novel in its approach toward its characters, is a modern masterpiece, receiving an immense amount of praise from critics. It follows a teenager in 1960s Taiwan who goes from a rule-abiding student to a member of a street gang who falls in love and experiences a sexual awakening.

#23. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

– Director: William Wyler
– Stacker score: 94.1
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 170 minutes

War changes a man. At least that’s the premise at the heart of “The Best Years of Our Lives,” a movie that follows three veterans as they return from WWII and are forced to assimilate back into civilian life. In different ways, each of the three men experiences how love overcomes even the biggest obstacles.

#22. La La Land (2016)

– Director: Damien Chazelle
– Stacker score: 94.1
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 128 minutes

Though it earned a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, “La La Land” was an extremely polarizing film, with audiences either loving or hating the musical. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, the movie is about two performers who find their relationship fraying as they become increasingly successful in their careers. Inspired by classics like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “La La Land” was primarily criticized by its detractors for not featuring enough diversity, and a general lack of inclusion that they argue could have brought the movie to the next level.

#21. The Lady Eve (1941)

– Director: Preston Sturges
– Stacker score: 94.1
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 94 minutes

In “The Lady Eve,” Barbara Stanwyck plays a con artist named Jean, who has set her eye on a wealthy bachelor named Charles (Henry Fonda). As she sets out to con him out of his millions, she genuinely falls in love with him, only to get called out, double down on her disguise, and seduce him once again. The screwball comedy is a fun ride that was praised by critics upon its release in 1941.

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#20. Yi Yi (2000)

– Director: Edward Yang
– Stacker score: 94.6
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 173 minutes

“A Brighter Summer Day” isn’t director Edward Yang’s only contribution to the list. His 2000 film “Yi Yi” is a stunning portrait of a family in Taiwan for whom things might have turned out completely differently had the father married his first love instead of his current wife. Unlike many Western romance stories, the romantic yearnings felt by members of this family aren’t feelings that mobilize them into changing or uprooting their peaceful lives, but rather things that must be considered, weighed, and packed away for another day.

#19. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

– Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
– Stacker score: 94.6
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 84 minutes

Following the success of “The Little Mermaid,” Disney found another blockbuster hit with the release of Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s 1991 animated rendition of “Beauty and the Beast,” which grossed $331 million at the box office globally. The romantic fantasy film, which follows an unlikely prince condemned to live his life as a monster as he attempts to earn the affection of a beautiful young woman, became the first animated film to ever win the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture for a Musical or Comedy. In 2017, the movie was reincarnated as a live-action musical film starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the leading roles.

#18. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

– Director: George Cukor
– Stacker score: 94.6
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 112 minutes

“A Philadelphia Story” was written as a comeback vehicle for Katharine Hepburn, who had spent years as box office poison after a string of flops in the 1930s. Originally written and produced as a Broadway play, the rom-com follows a socialite who has split from her husband and then proceeds to find herself torn between reuniting with him or getting involved with two other men. Cary Grant, John Howard, and James Stewart starred alongside Hepburn, and the cast’s outstanding performances quickly drew massive lines to Radio City Music Hall, where the movie first debuted, which was the largest theater in the country at the time.

#17. Jules and Jim (1962)

– Director: François Truffaut
– Stacker score: 94.6
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 105 minutes

A twisted love triangle between two longtime friends and an erratic-yet-charming woman is the focus of the French New Wave film “Jules and Jim.” A massive hit at the time of its release, the movie remains “one of the finest films ever made” to this day.

#16. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

– Director: Céline Sciamma
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 122 minutes

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is about a young painter, Marianne, who arrives in Brittany, France, in the 18th century to paint a portrait of Héloïse for a potential suitor. As the two spend time together, they find that they share a powerful connection, and begin an intense, albeit short, affair. The movie won the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

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#15. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

– Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 102 minutes

When “The Adventures of Robin Hood” released in 1938, Errol Flynn was at the top of his game as one of the biggest action and adventure stars in the country. His star power, combined with the creative vision of Michael Curtiz and Hal B. Wallis (the team behind “Casablanca”), the outstanding soundtrack composed by Erich Wolfgang, and the chemistry between Flynn and his on-screen love, Olivia de Havilland, made the movie a mega-hit. It earned more than $4 million at the box office and collected three Academy Awards.

#14. Pépé le Moko (1937)

– Director: Julien Duvivier
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 98
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 94 minutes

In this 1937 classic, Pépé le Moko is a career criminal hiding out from the police in Casbah. While out and about one day, he meets a beautiful French woman named Gaby, who he quickly falls for. Knowing that if he leaves Casbah he’ll most certainly be captured, Pépé imagines a life in Paris with Gaby anyway before Inspector Slimane interferes and dashes any chance at happiness for the new couple.

#13. The Apartment (1960)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– Stacker score: 95.7
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 125 minutes

The Apartment” has been described as both a cynical and a hopeful story. The 1960s movie is about a mid-level insurance man, C.C. “Bud” Baxter, who allows his bosses to use his apartment to conduct their extramarital affairs in hopes that it will advance his own career prospects. However, when Bud realizes one of them is carrying on with the girl he loves, he’s forced to choose between love and money.

#12. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

– Director: Ernst Lubitsch
– Stacker score: 95.7
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 99 minutes

The inspiration for another classic rom-com (“You’ve Got Mail”), “The Shop Around the Corner” follows the relationship between Alfred, an experienced clerk at the Matuschek and Company shop in Budapest, and Klara, the shop’s newest hire. The two constantly butt heads at work, while simultaneously, and unbeknownst to both of them, falling in love through their correspondence as pen pals. This classic enemies-to-lovers trope made Time magazine’s 100 Best Movies of All Time list.

#11. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

– Director: John Huston
– Stacker score: 95.7
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 100 minutes

The first film noir movie ever made, “The Maltese Falcon” is about a detective who’s hired by a mysterious woman to find the black bird, a precious object that’s desired by many who are willing to kill for it. Like a handful of other movies on this list, this one is famous less for its plot than it is for its overall feel. Violent, moody, measured, and sensual, the film is a classic in cinematic history.

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#10. Gone with the Wind (1939)

– Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood
– Stacker score: 96.2
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 238 minutes

Gone with the Wind” is an epic Civil War romance, adapted from the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. For the classic film, the road to completion was not an easy one. Three different directors were involved before the project was completed; the script proved an overwhelming project, with 16 writers trying their hand at it before it reached a filmable length; and there were several fights with the censors (including one about Clark Gable’s famous “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” line). It was a smashing success, winning 10 Academy Awards, including the first for an African American actor (Hattie McDaniel), and becoming the highest-earning film at the time.

#9. Children of Paradise (1945)

– Director: Marcel Carné
– Stacker score: 97.3
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Runtime: 189 minutes

Several of the crew members of “Children of Paradise,” shot in Paris and Nice during the Nazi occupation, were Jews who were being pursued by Nazis and were forced to work in hiding. Surprisingly, none of these production challenges and the dozens of others faced by Marcel Carné’s film made their way on the big screen. In fact, the world of the movie, which is about an actress and the four men vying for her affections, is so all-consuming that it was the perfect antidote to the trauma and destruction many Frenchmen were experiencing in their real lives at the time.

#8. Some Like It Hot (1959)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– Stacker score: 97.3
– Metascore: 98
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 121 minutes

Marilyn Monroe is the star of “Some Like It Hot,” a comedy about two buddies (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who witness a mafia murder and go into hiding, posing as women and joining an all-female jazz band to save their own skins. There’s a steamy romance between Monroe and Curtis that was so risque the state of Kansas banned the film after United Artists refused to edit out the love scene. It wasn’t only the state of Kansas that had objections to the film—the National Legion of Decency (a Catholic organization) also condemned the picture, claiming it promoted “homosexuality, lesbians, and transvestism” and was, therefore, “morally objectionable.”

#7. Notorious (1946)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– Stacker score: 97.3
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 102 minutes

In Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious,” former party girl Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is employed by government man T.R. Devlin to seduce a former Nazi named Alexander Sebastian. As she slips deeper undercover, Huberman fears she’s losing the affections of Devlin and throws herself wholeheartedly into her relationship with Sebastian, resulting in a movie that’s both suspenseful and torturous, in true Hitchcock form.

#6. Modern Times (1936)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 97.8
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 87 minutes

“Modern Times” was the last time Charlie Chaplin’s most famous character, the Little Tramp, appeared on the screen. In this comedy, the Little Tramp, a down-on-his-luck factory worker, meets Ellen, who’s equally struggling, and the two make valiant efforts to hold down stable employment, stay out of trouble, and create new lives for themselves. The film is a funny commentary on how industrialization had ruined the prospects of skilled workers, an issue that Chaplin felt very passionately about in real life.

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#5. Three Colors: Red (1994)

– Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
– Stacker score: 97.8
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 99 minutes

The third and final installment in Kieślowski’s “Three Colors” trilogy, “Red” was also the director’s last work—shortly after its release, he announced his retirement, and two years later, he passed away. His final movie is about a runway model who forms a relationship with a much older judge living down the street. The two share many of the same experiences, and as the closed-off judge opens up about his life, they develop a deep bond, one that’s impeded only by their substantial gap in age.

#4. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

– Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
– Stacker score: 98.4
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 103 minutes

A movie about movies, “Singin’ in the Rain” is a musical about the struggles actors faced in the 1920s when films switched from being silent features to talkies. The central story of the film—starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds—is fresh, but almost everything else, from songs to sets to props, is recycled from earlier productions. Years later, the film itself would be recycled into a stage show that appeared in London’s West End and on Broadway.

#3. Vertigo (1958)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– Stacker score: 98.9
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 128 minutes

While initially a commercial failure, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” has since become one of his more acclaimed films. The romantic thriller is about an ex-cop who is hired by an old friend to trail his wife, who he fears is going to try to harm himself. The twists and turns of the classic movie will keep you on the edge of your seat.

#2. City Lights (1931)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 99.5
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 87 minutes

“City Lights” took Charlie Chaplin more than 190 days to shoot, making it one of the biggest undertakings of his entire career. In the film, the Little Tramp falls in love with a penniless, blind flower girl and proceeds to do everything in his power to scrape together enough money to provide both her and her elderly grandmother with a home. A critical triumph, the movie made headlines around the world, especially when Chaplin showed up to the premieres with Albert Einstein and Bernard Shaw.

#1. Casablanca (1942)

– Director: Michael Curtiz
– Stacker score: 100
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 102 minutes

Regarded as the best movie of all time, “Casablanca” is a classic film starring Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner, and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, an old flame of Blane’s who shows up in Casablanca with her husband, a known rebel. Desperate for a way out of the country before the Germans catch up with them, Ilsa turns to Rick, falling in love with him again along the way, before leaving town with her husband in the most heartbreaking final scene of a movie ever.

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100 best romance movies of all time

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