Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Where you can watch the best movies of 2019 right now

1/
BBC Films

Where you can watch the best movies of 2019 right now

The cinema of 2020 has found itself at an eerie, uncertain standstill. While the majority of the world has seen its theaters shut down and dance on the tightrope of bankruptcy until further notice, upcoming film releases are left in limbo. Some have been optimistically pushed back until summer or later in the fall, others have been pushed back until next year, and others have been left entirely up in the air as to when they’ll ever see a screen, be it at home or in the theater.

Films like “The Invisible Man,” which had a brief wide release in cinemas before the coronavirus lockdown, was sent to pricey video on demand for all to enjoy in the quarantined comfort of their living rooms; and “Trolls World Tour” had a successful release entirely via at-home purchase.

The fate of film exhibition is anyone’s guess right now, and whether or not a film can survive a solely streamable release can depend on whether it’s a blockbuster or an indie movie. In spite of these uncertainties for the future, there is still a wealth of worthwhile flicks from the previous year that are easily accessible for at-home viewing, either streamed or rented.

So, while Christopher Nolan is apparently working tirelessly to find a way to get theaters to open sooner rather than later, in the meantime, audiences can easily access a whole host of riveting, entertaining films that they may have missed in the past year. And with not much else to do right now, many will have plenty of time to get through every single one. Stacker compiled the top 100 movies of 2019, according to Metacritic. Initial ties were broken by IMDb user rating, and further ties were left as is. Counting down from 100, here’s where you can watch the best movies of 2019.

You may also like: 100 best albums of the 21st century, according to critics

2/
Sundance Institute

#100. Clemency

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Chinonye Chukwu
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Run time: 112 minutes

In this drama starring Alfre Woodard, a prison warden psychologically and emotionally afflicted by her job must confront her past of committing prisoners to death row as she faces the next inmate she is licensed to execute. Premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, the film won the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury award, and was nominated for 19 other awards as well.

3/
Greenwich Entertainment

#99. Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Run time: 95 minutes

Chronicling the rise of singer Linda Ronstadt in the 1960s, this documentary follows Ronstadt’s life from her childhood in the Midwest to her stardom as a folk rock star, to her eventual retirement in 2011 after being diagnosed with what was thought to have been Parkinson’s disease. Jamie Ludwig of the Chicago Reader wrote that “the film successfully paints Ronstadt as a whip-smart, boundary-breaking artist.”

4/
Sundance Institute

#98. Holiday

- Streaming: Tubi, Kanopy
- Director: Isabella Eklöf
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 5.7
- Run time: 93 minutes

In this Danish-language film, the trophy girlfriend of a powerful drug lord becomes acquainted with his friends in the town of Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera, and everything goes well until she meets a Dutch tourist there by chance. It was described by The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw as “an icily accomplished drama about sexual violence, toxic masculinity and toxic femininity.”

5/
Extension 765

#97. High Flying Bird

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Steven Soderbergh
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Run time: 90 minutes

Shot entirely on an iPhone 8, Steven Soderbergh’s drama is about a sports agent who must pitch a controversial business opportunity to a rookie client during an NBA lockout, with only 72 hours to do so. The film is Soderbergh’s second to be shot on an iPhone, and IndieWire’s David Ehlrich described the film as “phenomenal.”

6/
Schiwago Film

#95. Styx (tie)

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Wolfgang Fischer
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Run time: 94 minutes

In this German-Austrian film, a beleaguered doctor’s holiday plans to sail from Gibraltar to Ascension are interrupted when a storm brings her trip in contact with a boat of refugees. The film screened at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, and was called a “taut, moral thriller” by The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis.

You may also like: Ranking the best years in movie history

7/
CG Cinéma

#95. Non-Fiction (tie)

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Olivier Assayas
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Run time: 108 minutes

Alain, a successful French publisher, refuses to publish the manuscript of one of his friends and longtime authors Leonard, which ends up making things difficult for both men and their spouses. The film, shot on 16mm and tackling themes of adapting to a rapidly changing world, held its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.

8/
Stela Cine

#93. Monos (tie)

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Alejandro Landes
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 102 minutes

In the Colombian mountains, a group of teenage guerilla soldiers hold an American woman captive and watch over a milk cow, as the kids engage in bizarre rituals and the woman tries to escape her imprisonment. Inspired by the literary works “Lord of the Flies” and “Heart of Darkness,” the Spanish-language film’s cast and crew endured a daunting shoot in the jungles of Colombia.

9/
Anand Pandit Motion Pictures

#93. 3 Faces (tie)

- Streaming: The Criterion Channel, Kanopy
- Director: Jafar Panahi
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 100 minutes

This Iranian drama follows the lead actress Behnaz Jafari and director Jafar Panahi playing versions of themselves. They go on a trip to find a young girl who sends Jafari a video begging for help to leave her strict family to study theater. The film premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where it was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or.

10/
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#92. A Hidden Life

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Terrence Malick
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Run time: 174 minutes

From acclaimed director Terrence Malick, this World War II drama surrounds the true story of a devoutly religious Austrian farmer named Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis and faced the possibility of execution. The film was in post-production for more than two years and features a more structured, linear narrative than is typical of Malick’s past works.

11/
Film4

#91. Diego Maradona

- Streaming: HBO, Kanopy, DIRECTV
- Director: Asif Kapadia
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Run time: 130 minutes

This British documentary chronicles famed soccer player Diego Maradona in the 1980s when he transferred from FC Barcelona to the poorly perceived S.S.C. Napoli, using hundreds of hours of never-before-seen footage. The film was described by Robert Abele of The Los Angeles Times as “a bracing, well-controlled run across a rocky pitch.”

You may also like: The richest country music stars

12/
Sundance Institute

#90. Love, Antosha

- Streaming: Vudu
- Director: Garret Price
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Run time: 92 minutes

Painting a portrait of a young actor gone too soon, this documentary follows the prolific career and life of Anton Yelchin. It was conducted through interviews with friends, family, and collaborators, as well as Yelchin’s own writings, photography, and artistic pursuits. Adam Chitwood for Collider called the film “a loving, heartbreaking, but ultimately inspiring documentary about a young man who was not going to let life put him in a box.”

13/
DreamWorks

#89. 1917

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Sam Mendes
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Run time: 119 minutes

Based on a recollection told to him by his own grandfather, director Sam Mendes’ World War I film surrounds two young British soldiers who must risk their lives crossing enemy lines to deliver a message calling off a doomed plan of attack. It is the fourth collaboration between Mendes and acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins, who won the film an award for best cinematography at the 92nd Academy Awards.

14/
Marvel Studios

#88. Avengers: Endgame

- Streaming: Disney+
- Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Run time: 181 minutes

The sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War,” and the final installment for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, follows the titular Avengers as they attempt to reverse the genocidal havoc caused by murderous alien Thanos in the previous film. The film is estimated to be one of the most expensive films ever made, it’s budget projected to have been close to $400 million.

15/
Annapurna Pictures

#86. Hustlers (tie)

- Streaming: Prime Video, Showtime, GuideDoc
- Director: Lorene Scafaria
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Run time: 110 minutes

Based on real-life accounts documented in a 2015 New York magazine article titled “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler, this black comedy crime film follows a group of strippers who begin drugging the wealthy men who frequent their club and stealing their money. Though Martin Scorsese had been in mind to direct, he and others passed on the project before the helm fell to screenwriter Lorene Scafaria.

16/
Fabula

#86. Gloria Bell (tie)

- Streaming: Prime Video, Kanopy
- Director: Sebastián Lelio
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Run time: 102 minutes

An English-language remake of director Sebastián Lelio’s own 2013 Spanish-language film “Gloria,” “Gloria Bell” surrounds the titular woman as she navigates her life as a single divorcee looking for love and, above all, a good time. Lelio made the unusual decision to remake his own film because of his love and respect for lead actress Julianne Moore.

You may also like: 10 times 'Black Mirror' mirrored real life

17/
Thick Media Co.

#84. Mickey and the Bear (tie)

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Annabelle Attanasio
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Run time: 88 minutes

A teenage girl navigates the ups and downs of her close but tumtulous relationship with her single father as she struggles to come into her own while financially surviving. This poignant coming-of-age drama was described by Matt Zoller Seitz for RogerEbert.com as “an almost perfectly realized drama that feels as if it was time-warped in from 40 or 50 years ago.”

18/
Hold Up Films

#84. Celebration (tie)

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Olivier Meyrou
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Run time: 74 minutes

This documentary follows the final fashion show of legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1999. Though the film was shot and shown in 2007, it was withdrawn due to legal pressures brought on by the designer’s business partner Pierre Bergé. It is rumored to have been the influence for Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2018 film “Phantom Thread.”

19/
Flies Collective

#83. Chained for Life

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Aaron Schimberg
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Run time: 91 minutes

In an exploration of physical beauty, a young, attractive actress must forge a connection with her horror film co-star—a severely disfigured man, whom the cast and crew treat like an oddity as opposed to a real person. Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times described the film as “an inventive hall of mirrors.”

20/
Alfa Pictures

#80. Funan (tie)

- Streaming: Hoopla
- Director: Denis Do
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Run time: 84 minutes

This animated, French-language period film takes place in Cambodia in 1975 as the Khmer Rouge revolution finds its footing, and a mother goes on the hunt for her missing child, separated from her forcibly by Khmer Rouge guards. The film is based on the life of the director’s own mother.

21/
Jeonwonsa Film

#80. Hotel by the River (tie)

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Hong Sang-soo
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Run time: 96 minutes

Following two parallel stories taking place at the same hotel, an elderly father and poet who believes himself to be on the verge of death reunites with his estranged sons; meanwhile, a woman fresh out of a bad breakup seeks the companionship of a close friend. It was described by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of the AV Club as “a melancholy gem.”

You may also like: Best Bob Dylan albums of all time

22/
Lama Films

#80. Working Woman (tie)

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Michal Aviad
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Run time: 93 minutes

A mother of three finds herself working for a powerful real estate agent who forges an unhealthy obsession with her, while her husband struggles to keep his restaurant afloat in this Israeli drama. Considered to be one of the first films out of the MeToo movement, Dennis Harvey of Variety called it “an accessible illustration of a hot-button issue.”

23/
Old Chilly Pictures

#79. Midnight Traveler

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Hassan Fazili
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Run time: 88 minutes

Filmed entirely on Samsung cellphones, this Afghan documentary chronicles director Hassan Fazili and his family’s own plight as refugees targeted by the Taliban in 2015. Though very much a DIY film, family members kept in contact with a documentarian in California to whom they sent their footage and who sorted through it, the film going through “extensive postproduction.”

24/
Sundance Institute

#78. Light From Light

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Paul Harrill
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Run time: 82 minutes

Paranormal investigator and single mom Sheila is contacted in regard to a recent widower who believes his farmhouse to be haunted by his deceased wife. Bringing along her teenage son and his friend, Sheila embarks to the farmhouse to investigate. Elizabeth Weitzman of The Wrap writes that the film “boasts a rare, quiet honesty, and a lead performance from Marin Ireland that’ll haunt you for days.”

25/
Prowler Film

#77. Firecracker

- Streaming: Hoopla, Kanopy
- Director: Jasmin Mozaffari
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Run time: 93 minutes

Two friends with big dreams that exist beyond the confines of their small hometown are stunted in their endeavors when one of their ex-boyfriends assaults one of them. The pair decides to exact revenge, but it begins to further unravel their plans for escape. Writing for Now Toronto, critic Samantha Edwards says that the film “artfully encapsulates the devastating realities of rural Canadian life.”

26/
Field of Vision

#76. The Proposal

- Streaming: Hoopla, Kanopy
- Director: Jill Magid
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.1
- Run time: 86 minutes

This documentary chronicles director Jill Magid’s attempts at recovering the archives of the late Luis Barragán, one of Mexico’s most famous architects, from a Swedish furniture company. Nick Allen for RogerEbert.com writes that “as much as ‘The Proposal’ can be gripping with its heady adventure, its compassion has the most complicated and fascinating presence throughout.”

You may also like: Movie trivia for the top 100 films of all time

27/
TRIMAFILM

#75. All Is Well

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Eva Trobisch
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Run time: 90 minutes

A woman is sexually assaulted by her boss’s brother-in-law and attempts to move on by pushing it from her mind, but the weight of the experience lingers heavily both physically and mentally as she seeks a new job. The film won the best director award at the 2018 Stockholm Film Festival.

28/
Twentieth Century Fox

#73. Ad Astra (tie)

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: James Gray
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Run time: 123 minutes

In this science-fiction drama, the son of an astronaut who disappeared on a space mission 30 years earlier sets out in search of the missing ship and its crew, while at the same time a menacing power surge threatens life on earth and beyond. Director James Gray wanted the film to be “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie,” and it has been likened to Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris.”

29/
Cinestación

#73. Too Late to Die Young (tie)

- Streaming: The Criterion Channel, Kanopy
- Director: Dominga Sotomayor Castillo
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Run time: 110 minutes

Three kids in rural Chile in the ʼ90s navigate adolescence and love during a particularly hot summer, in this Chilean coming-of-age film. Eric Kohn of IndieWire described the film as “a stunning assemblage of small moments.”

30/
Ma.Ja.De Filmproduktion

#72. Aquarela

- Streaming: Starz
- Director: Viktor Kosakovskiy
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Run time: 90 minutes

This documentary explores water’s various forms and functions amid the climate crisis, as documentarian Viktor Kosakovskiy travels the world observing cracking glaciers and rising sea levels. In an interview for Vox, Kosakovskiy described having “planned for safety” every morning due to the dangerous conditions for him and his crew.

31/
Artemis Rising Productions

#71. Knock Down the House

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Rachel Lears
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Run time: 87 minutes

An account of the 2018 midterm elections and the boundary-breaking newcomers advocating for change, this documentary follows four progressive female politicians—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearengin, and Amy Vilela. Megan Garber for The Atlantic wrote of the film that it “offers a broad and bracing vision: Imagine a world shaped by leaders who care so much, it hurts.”

You may also like: 100 best films of the 21st century, according to critics

32/
Max Lewkowicz

#70. Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Max Lewkowicz
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7
- Run time: 97 minutes

A look at the origins and significance of the classic, beloved Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” emerging from New York City in the 1960s during a time when views on keeping with “tradition” had begun to fade in favor of progressivism. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers called the film “an emotional powerhouse.”

33/
Lucio Castro

#69. End of the Century

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Lucio Castro
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 84 minutes

In “End of the Century,” first-time director Lucio Castro’s love story about two men, played by Juan Barberini and Ramon Pujol, follows the pair during different periods as their attraction unfolds with erotic and poetic emotion in the city of Barcelona. Reviewer David Lewis at the San Francisco Chronicle calls the romantic tale an “elegant, transcendent work, both modern and nostalgic.”

34/
BFI Fund

#67. Wild Rose (tie)

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Tom Harper
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Run time: 101 minutes

This British drama follows a young single mom from Glasgow, Scotland, recently released from prison, whose big dreams of becoming a country singer and moving to Nashville, Tennessee, are at odds with her own responsibilities. The movie’s climactic song was co-written by actress Mary Steenburgen, who claims that after a surgery years ago, all of her thoughts were only musical.

35/
Sundance Institute

#67. David Crosby: Remember My Name (tie)

- Streaming: Starz
- Director: A.J. Eaton
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Run time: 95 minutes

Examining the life and legacy of musician David Crosby, this documentary takes a look at the legendary folk rock star, as the man himself reflects on his own tumultuous journey. The film won the best music film award at the 62nd Grammys. Owen Gleiberman for Variety called the film a “moving and elegiac rock-nostalgia documentary.”

36/
Big Beach Films

#66. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Marielle Heller
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Run time: 109 minutes

Tom Hanks stars as the beloved Mr. Rogers in this bio-drama surrounding an acclaimed but troubled journalist, whose life is changed when he agrees to interview the children’s television star. The film is based on a 1998 article for Esquire titled “Can You Say… Hero?” by Tom Junod.

You may also like: Biggest box office bombs of all time

37/
Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet Corp.

#65. Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

- Streaming: Hoopla
- Director: Midge Costin
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Run time: 94 minutes

Sound designers and directors are interviewed in this exploration of the history and impact of sound in cinema, while also examining more recent breakthroughs in sound design technology and what it means for modern cinema. The film was described as “inspiring and educational” by William Bibbiani for The Wrap.

38/
Xilam

#62. I Lost My Body (tie)

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Jérémy Clapin
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Run time: 81 minutes

In this animated French fantasy film, a severed hand escapes the dissection lab where it’s being kept as the lab searches for its body, which belongs to a young man whose life is told through a series of flashbacks. Director Jérémy Clapin worked on his feature debut over the course of eight years, and found it difficult making a disembodied hand into a character.

39/
M3 Music Mix Mobile

#62. Western Stars (tie)

- Streaming: HBO
- Directors: Bruce Springsteen, Thom Zimny
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Run time: 83 minutes

Co-directed by Bruce Springsteen, this concert film showcases a very personal live performance of the rock legend’s latest album, and also provides an intimate look at the man himself and his philosophies. Phil De Semlyen for Time Out writes that “even non-Bruce fans won’t feel Boss-tracised by this intimate showcase of the man and his music.”

40/
BRON Studios

#62. Waves (tie)

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Trey Edward Shults
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Run time: 135 minutes

Director Trey Edward Shults may only be 30, but his third film “Waves” garners high reviews for its stirring tale set within a family drama and its stirring performances from a cast that includes Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Taylor Russell. In her review for The Wrap, Sasha Stone offers that “‘Waves’ is a story about how people can get tangled in and around their own complicated emotions but are able to ultimately find their way back to each other after growing apart.”

41/
Rook Films

#61. In Fabric

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Peter Strickland
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Run time: 118 minutes

This thriller about a killer dress stars Marianne Jean-Baptiste as a woman whose retail therapy after a separation skids into horror that’s visually arresting and tinged with comic style. Joshua Rothkopf, writing for Time Out, explains that the true terror being depicted here by British writer-author Peter Strickland is “our addiction to buying things.” Critics hail director Strickland’s weirdly alluring exploitation film style and dark humor.

You may also like: 25 of the most expensive TV series of all time

42/
Asian Shadows

#60. Chinese Portrait

- Streaming: Not available to stream, rent, or buy
- Director: Wang Xiaoshuai
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Run time: 79 minutes

Through a series of images and scenes filmed over the course of 10 years, Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai dissects his country and where it’s headed in a documentary that examines the everyday people who live and work in it. The film is Xiaoshuai’s first full-length documentary in a career spanning three decades.

43/
Jacqui Davies

#59. Ray & Liz

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Richard Billingham
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Run time: 108 minutes

An account of director Richard Billingham’s own childhood during the Thatcher era, the film focuses on Billingham’s parents—how their relationship affected his and his brother’s troubled upbringing in a Black Country council flat on the outskirts of Birmingham, England. The film was born out of Billingham’s art exhibits and snapshot collection of his family, featured in the book “Ray’s a Laugh.”

44/
Universal Pictures

#58. Us

- Streaming: HBO, DIRECTV
- Director: Jordan Peele
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Run time: 116 minutes

Jordan Peele’s chilling follow-up to “Get Out” is set at a beach house where a family of four—Lupita Nyong’o plays the family matriarch—gets imperiled when menacing figures in orange jumpsuits that look identical to the family members show up outside. Kambole Campbell writing for Little White Lies explains that “with the doppelgangers, who refer to themselves as ‘The Tethered,’ Peele takes aim at how society interacts with underclasses and Others; the Tethered appear as creepy, funhouse-mirror versions of ourselves.”

45/
Perfect Village Entertainment

#57. Shadow

- Streaming: Netflix, Hoopla
- Director: Zhang Yimou
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Run time: 116 minutes

Zhang Yimou is known for his striking use of color, style, and epic scale in previous films such as “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers.” In “Shadow,” his stunning visual style is on full display in another wuxia saga centered on martial arts legends. In his film review on The Wrap, Carlos Aguilar describes this film’s use of the yin and yang symbol as a way to explore its theme of duality: “In every frame, the viewer is aware that this story is dealing with the inseparable forces of light and darkness.”

46/
Amplitud

#55. The Chambermaid (tie)

- Streaming: Starz, DIRECTV
- Director: Lila Avilés
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 102 minutes

Following a young chambermaid at an upscale hotel in Mexico City, this Mexican drama paints a portrait of Eve as she seeks to free herself from the monotony of her life and change it for the better. Writing for The Observer, critic Oliver Jones says that “like the metropolis that sprawls out far below the rooms she cleans, the film quietly pulses with life.”

You may also like: Best 'Family Guy' episodes

47/
Sundance Institute

#55. The Edge of Democracy (tie)

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Petra Costa
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 121 minutes

In this intimate look at the fraught politics of Brazil, director Petra Costa crafts an examination of the rise and fall of presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, as well as Brazil’s sociopolitical crisis of 2014, and how this all led to a presidential win for Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. In her review for NPR, critic Ela Bittencourt writes that “Costa's personal angle yields remarkable moments.”

48/
Endorfilm

#54. I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians

- Streaming: Not available to stream, rent, or buy
- Director: Radu Jude
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Run time: 140 minutes

This black comedy follows a theater director who is putting together a reenactment of the Odessa massacre by Romanians in 1941. The film is meant to skewer the widespread denial that this atrocity happened, its title being words actually spoken by Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu. Writing for Variety, Jessica Kiang described the film as “a provocative, sarcastic, and momentous act of interrogation between the past and the present that escalates to an impasse, with the hands of each locked around the neck of the other.”

49/
Slot Machine

#52. Woman at War (tie)

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Run time: 101 minutes

An eco-activist with a pending adoption finds herself at a crossroads, when her highly publicized protest against an aluminum plant in the Icelandic highlands comes to pass at the same time her adoption application is approved. An English-language adaptation of the film is planned, with Jodie Foster starring and directing.

50/
Hedgehog Films

#52. Midnight Family (tie)

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Director: Luke Lorentzen
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Run time: 81 minutes

This Mexican documentary surrounds the reality of for-profit, underground ambulances in Mexico City, due to the insufficient amount of ambulances available for the population. The film follows, in particular, the Ochoa family and its struggle to make a living in this unorthodox way. Wendy Ide writing for The Guardian declared the film “superb.”

51/
Canal Brasil

#51. Invisible Life

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Director: Karim Aïnouz
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Run time: 139 minutes

Based on the book “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” by Martha Batalha, the story centers on two sisters in Rio de Janeiro in 1950 living with their conservative family, fighting against the prejudices of the time period while still supporting one another. Tomris Laffly described the film as “knowingly old-fashioned, relentlessly emotional and deeply moving” in her review for RogerEbert.com.

You may also like: 40 Black artists music wouldn't be the same without

52/
Twentieth Century Fox

#50. Ford v Ferrari

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: James Mangold
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Run time: 152 minutes

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in this car racing film that dramatizes the real-life 1966 competition that matched up race cars from Ford and Ferrari. David Sims at The Atlantic writes that “the heart of the film is in the oily garages below the executive suites, where Ford’s mechanics and drivers strive to create a machine worthy of challenging Ferrari’s perfection.” Damon plays an engineer up against corporate interference as he tries to get his design on the track and Bale, his racer of choice, in the driver’s seat.

53/
Sob Noisse Movies

#49. Relaxer

- Streaming: Kanopy, Popcornflix
- Director: Joel Potrykus
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Run time: 91 minutes

“Relaxer” aims to elevate gross-out derangement to absurdist glory as it presents the story of Abbie, played by Joshua Burge, a man trapped in his seedy apartment as Y2K approaches. Critics recognize the film’s sour tone as uniquely attuned to themes surrounding its slacker antihero. As Eric Kohn puts it on Indiewire, director Joel Potrykus takes “a cartoonish lowbrow approach to acerbic social critique” with this film.

54/
Daylight Factory

#48. Angels Are Made of Light

- Streaming: Not available to stream, rent, or buy
- Director: James Longley
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Run time: 117 minutes

A profound, moving depiction of students and teachers in Afghanistan still living through countrywide turbulence, the documentary attempts to portray these people more intimately and humanely than Western audiences tend to perceive them. Nick Schager for Variety writes that the film is “stirring and gorgeous.”

55/
Give Me Liberty

#47. Give Me Liberty

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Kirill Mikhanovsky
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Run time: 110 minutes

This comedy centers on a young Russian American medical transport driver named Vic living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the array of colorful characters and unlikely situations he gets himself into while driving people around the city. Based on Russian émigré director Kirill Mikhanovsky’s own experiences as a medical transport driver in the same city, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter writes “this distinctive movie is like an underclass daytime version of Martin Scorsese's “After Hours,” reaffirming the resilience of the American Dream even amidst spiraling disorder.”

56/
Schramm Film

#46. Transit

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Director: Christian Petzold
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Run time: 101 minutes

This tense thriller follows the journey of Georg, played by Franz Rogowski, a German prison camp refugee, as he attempts to escape Nazi-occupied France. To flee undetected, Georg takes on a false identity: that of a dead author. As he attempts to leave the country, a series of harrowing, bureaucratic snafus set him back, and he finds himself stuck in Marseilles where, rather than finding his way out of France, he finds himself falling in love. Though the film touches on a few different themes, Andrea Gronvall’s review at The Chicago Reader notes that the film is at its core “a profound meditation on the dehumanizing condition of statelessness.”

You may also like: Top 100 country songs of all time

57/
Sundance Institute

#44. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (tie)

- Streaming: Hulu, Hoopla
- Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 120 minutes

Famed American novelist Toni Morrison reflects on her own life and career through this intimate, meditative documentary. Featuring appearances by Morrison’s famous friends, including Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama, The Guardian’s Wendy Ide writes that “this artful documentary is a full-hearted, unequivocal celebration of the life and work of Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison.”

58/
Sphinx Productions

#44. Carmine Street Guitars (tie)

- Streaming: Not available to stream, rent, or buy
- Director: Ron Mann
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 80 minutes

This documentary takes a look at the history of long-existing Greenwich Village guitar store Carmine Street Guitars and its owner Rick Kelly, who has lovingly built instruments for music legends like Bob Dylan and Lou Reed for years. Interrogating past and present—craftsmanship versus mass production—David Fear for Rolling Stone called the film a “loving tribute to this West Village institution.”

59/
Exhibit A

#43. Wrestle

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Directors: Suzannah Herbert, Lauren Belfer
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Run time: 96 minutes

Suzannah Herbert’s poignant documentary follows four high school wrestlers in Huntsville, Alabama, as they compete for wrestling scholarships that could change their lives. As John DeFore posits in his post for The Hollywood Reporter, this high school sports documentary, in the vein of “Hoop Dreams,” features “personal narratives and class/race-conscious themes that have a stronger pull than usual.”

60/
New Black Films

#42. Maiden

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Alex Holmes
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Run time: 97 minutes

This documentary tells the story of Tracy Edwards, who at the age of 24 embarked on a yacht race in the 1980s despite sailing’s resistance to women competitors. Allison Shoemaker, writing for AV Club, describes the film as “an undeniably inspirational story … clear of cheap manipulation. Those moved by the film will be moved by the women telling it.” The director of “Maiden” interviews Edwards and others while crafting the story through archival footage that shows the problematic attitude that was often targeted at women during the time of Edwards’ triumphant sail. The effect elevates this material past standard sports story inspiration.

61/
Lionsgate

#41. Knives Out

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Rian Johnson
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Run time: 131 minutes

Rian Johnson’s Agatha Christie-style whodunit pairs wit and style with an all-star cast in this likable comedy that boasts a twisty ending. Christopher Plummer plays the patriarch of a family—including Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Jamie Lee Curtis—who all become suspects in a murder. Daniel Craig and Lakeith Stanfield play the detectives investigating the case. Stephanie Zacharek at Time puts it plainly: “‘Knives Out’ is filled with deceit, greed, blackmail, overall unpleasantness—and it’s funny.”

You may also like: 30 musicians with legendarily long careers

62/
Arsam International

#40. Cunningham

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Alla Kovgan
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Run time: 93 minutes

A look at the legacy of iconic dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, this documentary examines the late artist’s struggles in his early life, throughout his emergence at the forefront of modern dance in America, a place he held for more than 50 years. The film was shot in 3D, which critic Tomris Laffly noted in her review for Variety “makes the technical mode feel indispensable.”

63/
Element Pictures

#39. Rosie

- Streaming: Hoopla
- Director: Paddy Breathnach
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7
- Run time: 86 minutes

After the landlord sells its property, a family of six finds itself suddenly on the streets, as mom Rosie attempts to hide the reality from her four children while she and her husband search for a new place to live. A grim look at the real-life housing crisis in Ireland, Leslie Felperin’s review for The Hollywood Reporter notes that the film is “a quietly, gradually heartbreaking portrait of regular people coping with a desperate situation.”

64/
Multitude Films

#38. Roll Red Roll

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Nancy Schwartzman
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Run time: 80 minutes

Nancy Schwartzman directed this searing documentary about the events in 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio, when a teenage girl was raped by members of the high school football team. Schwartzman’s film examines rape culture and complicity through its examination of the larger social tangle that fosters such crimes. Musanna Ahmed, writing for Film Inquiry, notes the story “is truly exemplary of a disgusting culture in which the rape victim is disparaged and the rapists are safeguarded.”

65/
A24

#37. The Last Black Man in San Francisco

- Streaming: Prime Video, Kanopy
- Director: Joe Talbot
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Run time: 121 minutes

Director Joe Talbot’s debut film features stunning performances from Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors as two friends on a quest to reclaim a lost childhood home in a city known for expensive real estate. In her review for Cinema Axis, Courtney Small describes the film as “a vibrant work of art that celebrates the colorful residents of the city by the bay, while simultaneously lamenting the gentrification that is systematically erasing those who provide San Francisco with its culture and heart.” The film’s gorgeous color palette and visual style create vivid and original cinematic poetry that makes the film as aesthetically pleasing as its narrative is powerful.

66/
Danish Documentary Production

#36. The Cave

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Feras Fayyad
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Run time: 107 minutes

This sorrowful and affecting documentary looks at a hidden, underground hospital in Syria where a pediatrician treats children while war rages on the ground above. The Hollywood Reporter critic Caryn James notes that director “Fayyad and his cinematographers and editors wield the cameras and shape the scenes in the documentary so beautifully that ‘The Cave’ is both intensely real and a carefully wrought work of cinema.”

You may also like: Songs that dominated Billboard charts the longest

67/
A24

#35. The Lighthouse

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Director: Robert Eggers
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Run time: 109 minutes

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson star in this tense horror film shot in black and white and set at a remote lighthouse in the late 1800s, where two lighthouse keepers struggle to keep it together on the eerie island. Director Robert Eggers gives the proceedings a dark, hallucinatory vibe, which is further enhanced by thrilling performances from the two male leads. Manohla Dargis, film critic of The New York Times, describes the film style: “With control and precision, expressionist lighting and an old-fashioned square film frame that adds to the claustrophobia, Eggers seamlessly blurs the lines between physical space and head space.”

68/
Sony Pictures Entertainment

#34. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

- Streaming: Starz
- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Run time: 161 minutes

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film stars Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt as movie industry insiders in 1969 Hollywood. The film style indulges in period nostalgia as it tells the story of the real-life Manson murders and provides its own fictional twist. While the film offers an entertaining story that seems to give viewers a new look into the mind of Tarantino, Dana Stevens at Slate observes that “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” falls short with progressive gender roles. Stevens writes that, as is often the case, this film is one in which “the male protagonists get the chance to be real characters—prickly, self-deluded, ridiculous, surprising, funny—while the female lead functions principally as beautiful, innocent, impeccably go-go-booted bait.”

69/
Pandora Filmproduktion

#33. In My Room

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Ulrich Köhler
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Run time: 119 minutes

Director Ulrich Köhler’s atmospheric drama stars Hans Löw as a middle-aged man already in crisis who awakens to find all other humans gone in an apparent apocalypse that has left him as the lone survivor. Guy Lodge at Variety writes of the film’s title that “the catch is that the room in question turns out to be the entire world, uncannily depopulated and sprawling with possibility, yet often made to feel as small as the loneliest studio apartment.”

70/
SBS Films

#32. Synonyms

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Nadav Lapid
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Run time: 123 minutes

Writer-director Nadav Lapid based this film on experiences he shared with his father Haim Lapid, who co-wrote the screenplay. Like the main character Yoav, played by Tom Mercier, Nadav was an Israeli who lived in Paris in his youth. The story follows Yoav as he immigrates from Israel to Paris and tries to assimilate. Hau Chu calls the film “uniquely thrilling” in his review for The Washington Post, where he also describes it as holding a “sense of resignation” where “we’re bound to ourselves—not just our physical bodies, but our heritage—as long as we roam this Earth.”

71/
Annapurna Pictures

#31. Booksmart

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Olivia Wilde
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Run time: 102 minutes

Olivia Wilde, in her directorial debut, helms this fresh coming-of-age story about an overachiever Molly, played by Beanie Feldstein, and her bestie Amy, played by Kaitlyn Dever, as they embark on a night of partying before high school graduation. Monica Castillo at RogerEbert.com notes that “Wilde’s acting background helped lead the cast to give both wonderfully deranged and emotionally moving performances. We ride the highs and lows of Molly and Amy’s odyssey through Los Angeles at breakneck speeds but nothing feels lost.”

You may also like: 50 of the best films according to women critics

72/
Pixar Animation Studios

#30. Toy Story 4

- Streaming: Disney+
- Director: Josh Cooley
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Run time: 100 minutes

The familiar franchise’s fourth entry surprised critics with its fresh, entertaining story and smashing animation, making it one of the most well reviewed of the year. In this series addition, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen return as the voices of Woody and Buzz, respectively, and are joined by Bo Peep, voiced by Annie Potts, and the reluctant toy Forky, voiced by Tony Hale. As a follow-up to such beloved films before it, it’s no surprise that “Toy Story 4” had some big shoes to fill, and some critics couldn’t help but feel like it fell a bit short in that regard. Adam Graham, the film critic for Detroit News, found that “‘Toy Story 4’ does contemplate the nature of existence in frank ways, but it spends a lot of time spinning its wheels with a narrative that leans heavily on new characters and forsakes the camaraderie of the original ‘Toy Story’ gang.”

73/
Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion GmbH

#29. The Ground Beneath My Feet

- Streaming: realeyz
- Director: Marie Kreutzer
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Run time: 108 minutes

Marie Kreutzer’s genre-defying thriller follows a high-achieving workaholic Lola, played by Valerie Pachner, whose experience intertwines in suspenseful, mysterious ways with that of her schizophrenic older sister. In her review for Variety, critic Jessica Kiang writes that Kreutzer “approaches her potentially sensationalist storyline with levelheaded realism, and her interest in exploring schizophrenia itself rather than using it as a driver for some disposable final plot twist is refreshing.”

74/
Ad Vitam Production

#28. Atlantics

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Mati Diop
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Run time: 106 minutes

“Atlantics” follows the story of an unfairly treated construction worker, Souleiman, played by Ibrahima Traoré, who is in love with Ada, played by Mame Bineta Sane, a woman bound for an arranged marriage with a wealthy businessman. Frustrated, Souleiman takes to the sea, and soon after a series of dramatic occurrences unfold. Richard Brody at The New Yorker notes that director Mati Diop’s debut film, set in her father’s hometown of Dakar, Senegal, is one that “unites a wide array of ideas and genres with her intensely sensory artistry.”

75/
Arte France Cinéma

#27. Ash Is Purest White

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Director: Jia Zhangke
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7
- Run time: 136 minutes

Director Jia Zhangke works closely with his wife Tao Zhao in this film where Zhao plays the lead role. “Ash is Purest White” is a gangster romance hybrid set within a Datong crime ring. The narrative covers 16 years as it follows a woman and her gangster boyfriend through prison sentences and life beyond as their lives merge and part. Zhangke’s film captures a sense of modern dislocation through tropes of melodrama. At Vulture, Emily Yoshida writes that “at two hours and 21 minutes, Zhangke’s film is a journey.”

76/
Chicago Media Project

#25. One Child Nation (tie)

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Run time: 88 minutes

This documentary examines China’s “one child” law in which citizens were only allowed a single child with dire consequences if the stringent rule wasn’t followed. The film goes over the forced sterilizations, abortions, and child abandonments that accompanied the policy. Writing for Reason, Kurt Loder notes that “the picture seems artless—an assemblage of period file footage and talking heads, basically—but its cumulative impact is powerful. By the end I felt that my heart was ready to burst from my chest and leap to its death down on the floor.”

You may also like: 100 best Western films of all time, according to critics

77/
Ciudad Lunar Producciones

#25. Birds of Passage (tie)

- Streaming: HBO, DIRECTV
- Directors: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Run time: 125 minutes

Inspired by true events that occurred during the 1960s through 1980s amid Northern Colombia’s Wayúu people, this innovative look at the drug trade eschews the conventions of the drug film genre. At the New York Post, Sara Stewart writes that “‘Birds of Passage’ is a standout in the sprawling drug-empire genre, showing the effects of the trade on locals and refusing to romanticize the family at its center.” Co-directors Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego aim for an unsentimental look at the drug trade in the region by highlighting its tragic, human toll.

78/
Ciné Tamaris

#24. Varda by Agnès

- Streaming: Not available to stream, rent, or buy
- Director: Agnès Varda
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Run time: 115 minutes

The late feminist filmmaker Agnès Varda directed more than 50 films during her lifetime that were evocative, charming, and tinged with her singular vision as an artist. Her work engaged with the artistic and theoretical possibilities of cinema, using a visual template to explore rarely seen subjects with humor and depth. Aimee Knight at Little White Lies describes Varda’s self-directed—and self-focused, as she is the subject of the work—documentary as a film that defies classification, noting that it’s all at once a documentary, as well as “a lecture, a scrapbook, a clip show, a political missive, a billet-doux, an afternoon with an old friend and a self-penned eulogy.”

79/
AgX

#23. Diane

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Kent Jones
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Run time: 95 minutes

This understated drama with a deep soul follows a mother, played by Mary Kay Place, as she cares for her drug-addicted son and seeks unlikely redemption. This narrative film debut from Kent Jones makes an otherwise small story epic while keeping it grounded in realism. Applauding Place’s performance in the film, Ella Taylor at NPR writes that “the actress projects a bewildered resignation that slowly escalates into impotent rage.”

80/
Cinereach

#22. Black Mother

- Streaming: The Criterion Channel, Kanopy
- Director: Khalik Allah
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Run time: 77 minutes

Director Khalik Allah’s evocative use of visual splendor in “Black Mother” makes this documentary a haunting register of life on the island of Jamaica, with all of its cultural juxtapositions. Carlos Aguilar at the Los Angeles Times compares the film to the rhapsodic style of director Terrence Malick. Aguilar also writes that “each kinetic frame, shot also by the one-man crew that is the filmmaker, functions as sensorial poetry.”

81/
Higher Ground Productions

#21. American Factory

- Streaming: Netflix
- Directors: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Run time: 110 minutes

When a Chinese billionaire sets up a new factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio, a culture clash ensues between blue-collar, working-class Americans and the high-tech modernity of China. In his review for Vulture, David Edelstein described the film as “a great, expansive, deeply humanist work, angry but empathetic to its core.” It was the first film produced by Higher Ground Productions, the Obamas’ production company.

You may also like: Greatest villains of 20th century cinema

82/
ENBU Seminar

#19. One Cut of the Dead (tie)

- Streaming: Shudder
- Director: Shin'ichirô Ueda
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Run time: 96 minutes

Shin'ichirô Ueda’s horror redux begins as a low-budget film with a 37-minute-long take—a single shot—of a zombie movie set in a warehouse. Soon after, a real zombie apocalypse happens, and the film continues by documenting the behind-the-camera mayhem. Katie Rife at AV Club writes that this “horror-comedy does something many, including this writer, didn’t think was possible at this late point in the subgenre’s history: It reinvents the zombie movie.”

83/
Grey Water Park Productions

#19. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (tie)

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Run time: 142 minutes

Martin Scorsese’s concert documentary about Bob Dylan’s 1975 tour uses real footage from the tour and intercuts it with both genuine documentary footage and fictionalized, dramatic interludes. At Slate, Sam Adams writes that “these fabrications are harmless … but they also don’t serve much of a point beyond churning up a cloud of dust around the entire notion of truth.” Still, critics found the effects both riveting and playful as the film examines the Dylan myth and his larger persona as epitomizing an American era.

84/
Dongchun Films

#18. An Elephant Sitting Still

- Streaming: The Criterion Channel, Kanopy
- Director: Hu Bo
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Run time: 230 minutes

“An Elephant Sitting Still” follows the lives of several characters through the course of a single day as they face dramas and tensions that ultimately act as a commentary on the self-absorption in modern society. According to A.O. Scott, writing for The New York Times, the film is a “rigorously bleak, powerfully absorbing feature—nearly four hours long, shot in subdued colors and slow takes—[that] posits a world from which nearly all fellow-feeling has been drained.” Hu Bo’s nihilistic yet visually stunning film was his last as the young director and famous novelist took his own life shortly after finishing this lyrical, innovative film.

85/
Apolo Media

#17. Honeyland

- Streaming: Hulu
- Directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Run time: 89 minutes

This film started in an effort to document Hatidze Muratova, the Macedonian beekeeper who lives in a remote village as a modest honey farmer. However, it takes a turn toward epic drama once a family moves in next door and changes the stakes and Hatidze’s life. Writing for The Guardian, Cath Clarke explains the tension: “Serendipitously for directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, though not for Hatidze, the family from hell moves in next door mid-shoot, and this small-scale film takes on epic proportions, transforming into a parable about exploiting natural resources, or perhaps a microcosm of humans’ suicidal destruction of the environment.”

86/
Detailfilm

#16. The Wild Pear Tree

- Streaming: Kanopy
- Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Run time: 188 minutes

This Turkish drama follows a young writer named Sinan as he returns to his family’s home in a rural part of Turkey after finishing college in the city. With big dreams to become a successful writer, Sinan finds his time home with his gambling-addicted father more disillusioning than inspiring. Writing for Slant Magazine, critic Pat Brown described “The Wild Pear Tree” as “a rich, textured film.”

You may also like: The most famous actress born the same year as you

87/
Experimental Forest Films

#15. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

- Streaming: Netflix
- Directors: Kathleen Hepburn, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Run time: 105 minutes

Two very different indigenous Canadian women find their paths crossing by chance in the street. Áila is leaving a doctor’s office after having an IUD inserted; the other, Rosie, is pregnant and escaping her violent boyfriend. When Áila invites Rosie to take shelter in her apartment, the two figure out how to deal with the aftermath of the situation. The film is based on a real-life encounter co-director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers experienced.

88/
Productions l'Unite Centrale

#14. Genesis

- Streaming: Prime Video, Hoopla, Pluto
- Director: Philippe Lesage
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Run time: 129 minutes

This Canadian drama film follows two adolescent half-siblings undergoing major shifts in their romantic lives, when one must cope with a radical proposal laid out by her partner, the other coming to terms with his attraction to another boy at his all-male boarding school. Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, critic Boyd van Hoeij says that director Philippe Lesage ends up “delivering a film that feels intensely alive and in the moment.”

89/
El Deseo

#13. Pain and Glory

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Director: Pedro Almodóvar
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Run time: 113 minutes

Pedro Almodóvar’s film about an aging director takes its inspiration from his own experiences. Ella Taylor at NPR reports that the director used his own clothing and furniture as props as he “recreates his own history from his childhood in rural Spain in the ʼ60s through his first real love affair amid the sexual freedom of post-Franco Spain.” Antonio Banderas has the lead role as an auteur caught up in memories, as well as emotional confrontations with his mother—a frequent subject for Almodóvar.

90/
CG Cinéma

#12. Long Day's Journey Into Night

- Streaming: The Criterion Channel, Kanopy
- Director: Bi Gan
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Run time: 138 minutes

Bi Gan’s visually evocative film—set in Guizhou in southwest China and telling a tale of returning home and searching for lost love—stuns audiences with what film critic Justin Chang calls “some alchemy of dazzling trickery and genuine feeling, in recapturing the pleasures of what was once commonly known as ‘movie magic.’” The rapturous, dreamlike movie was screened in 3D, and uses noir-like, impressionistic visuals to follow characters who Chang describes as “lonely wanderers on the margins of society.”

91/
CNN Films

#11. Apollo 11

- Streaming: Prime Video, Hulu
- Director: Todd Douglas Miller
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Run time: 93 minutes

Composed using new footage and audio recordings, this documentary chronicles the 1969 moon landing in stunning detail. Reviewer Chris Nashawaty at Entertainment Weekly writes that “‘Apollo 11’ allows you to experience the first moon landing on July 20, 1969, in an entirely new and intimate light.” The recently discovered footage looks amazing and gives a close-up view of the spectacular event.

You may also like: Best miniseries available to stream

92/
Big Beach Films

#10. The Farewell

- Streaming: Prime Video, Kanopy
- Director: Lulu Wang
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Run time: 100 minutes

Rising star Awkwafina, who had a supporting role in the smash hit “Crazy Rich Asians,” plays Billi whose family keeps a devastating diagnosis from the family matriarch in this relatable drama. Richard Roeper, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, calls the drama “most charming and special in the Chinese-specific moments large and small,” as the movie sets in Changchun, China, and immerses its audience in the nuances of a culture that may contravene one’s own yet somehow feels familiar through the authentic portrayal of universal emotions. The film’s plot draws inspiration from writer-director Lulu Wang’s own experience with her grandmother and her conflicted cultural identity.

93/
Albert+ Sustainable production

#9. 63 Up

- Streaming: not available online
- Director: Michael Apted
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Run time: 145 minutes

The ninth documentary installment in a British series spanning six decades, which has been following 14 children of varying social and economic backgrounds since 1964, catches up on the group as they now enter their autumn years. Writer Sarah Larson ruminates for The New Yorker that “the ‘Up’ series is a remarkable feat—and now, nearing retirement age itself, it prompts questions about how much time is left for its subjects, for its director, for all of us, and reminds us that we cannot know.”

94/
Channel 4 News

#8. For Sama

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Directors: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Run time: 100 minutes

The video diary “For Sama” is a riveting documentary co-directed by Edward Watts and Waad Al-Kateab, a young college student in Aleppo, Syria. At The Washington Post, Ann Hornaday describes the film as “a compelling, harrowing and occasionally lyrically beautiful narrative,” that began as a protest inspired by the Arab Spring, and continues as it documents Al-Khateab’s life and decisions, especially after the birth of her daughter, Sama, the film’s namesake.

95/
Elara Pictures

#7. Uncut Gems

- Streaming: Only available to rent
- Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Run time: 135 minutes

This frenzied, suspenseful crime thriller takes place in New York City’s Diamond District and stars Adam Sandler in an acclaimed performance as an in-over-his-head scheming jewelry dealer. Tomris Laffly at RogerEbert.com describes the audience’s experience during “Uncut Gems” as one that is “gloriously suffocated in dark alleys, grimy bachelor pads, and the fluorescent-lit backrooms of jewelry stores, which Darius Khondji’s restless camera captures on film, with apt grit and grain.”

96/
BBC Films

#6. The Souvenir

- Streaming: Prime Video
- Director: Joanna Hogg
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Run time: 120 minutes

This autobiographical story follows young film student Julie, played by Honor Swinton Byrne, whose privileged perspective gets pushed to crisis by her relationship with the charming, but manipulative and destructive Anthony, played by Tom Burke. Also starring is Swinton Byrne’s real-life mother, Tilda Swinton, as her on-screen mom. “The Souvenir” is a powerful depiction of the toll that a fraught relationship takes on almost every aspect of one’s being and behavior. Hannah Woodhead at Little White Lies explains that director Joanna Hogg’s “decision to withhold plot details from her cast, and not provide a shooting script at all, creates a sense of expert fragmentation” in the film.

You may also like: 25 most popular Emmy-nominated shows of 2019

97/
Columbia Pictures

#5. Little Women

- Streaming: DIRECTV
- Director: Greta Gerwig
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Run time: 135 minutes

Adapted from the acclaimed 1868 Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name, Greta Gerwig’s loving take on the beloved tale weaves past and present, examining the lives of four sisters in post-Civil War America and the women they become—weathering love, loss, heartache and sorrow and, above all, sisterhood. The film was nominated for best picture at the 92nd Academy Awards, and combines the original novel, aspects of author Alcott’s real life, and bits and pieces from her other literary works.

98/
Tribeca Productions

#4. The Irishman

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Run time: 209 minutes

Director Martin Scorsese returns to the crime genre with acting stalwarts Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino once again playing gangsters. Despite the familiar premise “The Irishman” offers Scorsese’s signature cinematic style that enraptures audiences despite the film’s nearly three-and-a-half-hour run time. Critic Moira Macdonald explains that despite its length, “The Irishman” is “never less than compelling—Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, all in their mid-to-late-70s, are each carrying a lifetime of work, with practiced ease.”

99/
Heyday Films

#3. Marriage Story

- Streaming: Netflix
- Director: Noah Baumbach
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Run time: 137 minutes

Director Noah Baumbach’s career as an indie auteur features such quiet masterpieces as “The Squid and the Whale” and “Frances Ha.” In “Marriage Story,” Baumbach achieves another critical home run. Reviewers hail stunning performances by leads Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple with a dying marriage. At the Chicago Reader, reviewer Marissa De La Cerda describes the pair as “each their own separate persons, with quirks and feelings that have evolved and changed” in this drama that shines a fresh light on the complexity of divorce.

100/
Lilies Films

#2. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Céline Sciamma
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Run time: 122 minutes

This acclaimed period film, set in 1760 France, concerns artist Marianne, played by Noémie Merlant, who must paint the portrait of a young woman, played by Adèle Haenel, who refuses to pose. The portrait has been commissioned by the young woman’s mother, who intends to send it to her fiancé so that he may see his future bride. In his review for The New Yorker, Anthony Lane calls the ultimate premise of the film—a painter’s mission to paint an authentic portrait of a subject without that subject known—“a great premise for a film.” The film, by the director, Céline Sciamma, offers an intense and nuanced representation of the dynamics of looking and loving between women.

101/
Barunson E&A

#1. Parasite

- Streaming: Hulu
- Director: Bong Joon Ho
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Run time: 132 minutes

Bong Joon Ho’s filmography—“The Host,” “Snowpiercer,” and “Okja”—shows the auteur’s aptitude for reframing arthouse and genre styles into films that are visually arresting and highly watchable while delivering scathing critiques of modern cultures, and “Parasite” is no different. Film critic James Berardinelli explains the powerful class conflict at the heart of the film: “although there are times when the social commentary—visceral as it is—becomes heavy-handed, the movie never loses its momentum, with each act ratcheting up the stakes as it moves inexorably toward a violent, grotesque climax.” This Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival takes place in a mansion where a poor family ingratiates themselves with the wealthy family living there, but with harrowing outcomes.

You may also like: 100 best movies of all time

2018 All rights reserved.