50 of the best films according to women critics

Written by:
February 19, 2020
Warner Bros.

50 of the best films according to women critics

For an industry that for so long was dominated by men, women are finally taking back the stage (and places behind the scenes) in Hollywood. Today the percentage of women working as directors, writers, producers, executive producers, and editors of independent films has reached a high. According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, women made up 20% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 100 grossing films in 2019, which is up from 16% in 2018.

Stacker ranked the top 50 films on CherryPicks, a site similar to Metacritic that focuses solely on aggregating reviews from women and non-binary critics. Their mission statement reads: "At CherryPicks, we believe the people who review films need to be as diverse as the people who watch them. We are the place to find out what women are thinking about movies. That’s why we highlight reviews and write original stories exclusively from female-identifying and non-binary writers during a time when most film critics are overwhelmingly male. [...] Our algorithm converts individual critics’ stars, letter grades, and scores into our four-prong scoring system. Unscored reviews are carefully assessed by our editorial staff. The final Cherry Score is the average of all of the individual scores." Ties are broken by Metascore, a representation of the critical consensus as a whole. When Metascores weren't available, ties were further broken by IMDb user rating.

While in the early days of film women like Mary Pickford, who co-founded United Artists, held influential roles in Hollywood, the decades since saw a severe drop in their presence. Recent movements like the #MeToo and Times Up have shone a much-needed light on the injustices toward women in the film industry. Today, women continue to stake their claims as vital parts of the film industry, and are helping the rest of the world face issues such as race, gender, sex, politics, and beyond.

It should be noted that the majority of the films in this list skew toward the modern era. One of the main reasons is there are more women and non-binary critics reviewing films today than ever before.

Are you ready to discover the 50 best films according to female critics? Read on to find out more.

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1 / 50
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc

#50. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

- Director: Rob Reiner
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 95 min

One of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time, “When Harry Met Sally” is a film whose charm and poignancy still holds up more than four decades later. Fans adore it for the magnetic dialogue and the fact that all we really know about the main characters are their attitudes toward sex, love, friendship, and each other. The movie passes two of CherryPicks’ three categories for the Cherry Check: the Bechdel test, which means it features two named women characters, who talk to each other about something besides a man. It also passes the F-rated test, meaning it was written and/or directed by a woman (Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay).

2 / 50
Trimark Pictures

#49. Eve's Bayou (1997)

- Director: Kasi Lemmons
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 109 min

A coming-of-age story, “Eve's Bayou” is an evocative and meaningful “portrait of Black identity,” according to Vulture’s Angelica Jade Bastien, which still rings true now two decades later. Written and directed by Kasi Lemmons (which means it is F-rated), the film is set in rural Louisiana and tells the story about a young Black girl's youth. Eve is 10 years old, growing up in a well-off family in a Creole community in the 1960s. After witnessing an emotionally traumatic event involving her father, Eve's world starts to crumble as she begins to reevaluate her understanding of family. Other central characters are her older sister, Cicely, and her mother Roz, as well as Aunt Mozelle. These strong, female characters also help the movie pass the Bechdel test.

3 / 50
Perfect Village Entertainment

#48. Shadow (2018)

- Director: Zhang Yimou
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 116 min

From director Zhang Yimou, of “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers fame,” is this period piece about a decoy military commander working his way through personal and political strife. A visually stunning piece, as well as packed with dialogue, the story follows commander Yu as he falls back into the shadows following a serious battle wound. So as to not lose his job, he hires a lookalike so as to not show his weakness to the ruler. Though rated by female critics on CherryPick, the film does not meet any of the CherryPick standards.

4 / 50
Sony Pictures Entertainment

#47. Paprika (2006)

- Director: Satoshi Kon
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 90 min

A trippy, provocative anime film, “Paprika” follows the futuristic journey of a psychiatrist, Dr. Atsuko Chiba in a search for a thief who has stolen new technology designed to enter patients' dreams and record them. Dr. Chiba teams up with her mental alter ego, Paprika, to enter the dream world to track down the thief. It's in this dream realm, however, that Paprika starts to develop a mind of her own. This film passes the Bechdel test in the Cherry Check.

5 / 50
Lucasfilm

#46. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

- Director: Irvin Kershner
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 124 min

“Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back” is the second installment of the original trilogy, and one of the most beloved among Star Wars fanatics. George Lucas introduces complex themes and deepens the storytelling with concepts of love, father-son competition, and the deepening of Luke Skywalker's journey. “The Empire Strikes Back” does not meet any of the three Cherry Check standards.

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6 / 50
Red Bank Films

#45. Carrie (1976)

- Director: Brian De Palma
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 98 min

This film adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel follows the story of Carrie, a reclusive teenager making her way through her senior year of high school. Her fellow classmates seem to be infinitely more popular than she, and far more sexually experienced, as she lives in a repressed household dominated by her mother. Carrie is played by Sissy Spacek, who gives a dynamite performance. Piper Laurie plays her mother. These two strong female performances give "Carrie" the pass on the Bechdel test in CherryPicks’ Cherry Check.

7 / 50
Ciudad Lunar Producciones

#44. Birds of Passage (2018)

- Directors: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 125 min

The 2018 film “Birds of Passage” (Pájaros de Verano) is a crime drama that follows an indigenous Wayuu family during the rise of the drug trade in Colombia. Inspired by a true story, the film was described by Metro News as a combination of “Scarface” meets “The Sopranos” meets “Narcos.” It's a challenging, deeply provocative movie that shows how the chasing of easy money so easily crumbles community. “Birds of Passages” passes all three Cherry Check standards, including the Bechdel test, the F-rated test, and the ReFrame, which is given to films that demonstrate success in gender balance by hiring female-identifying people in key areas of production.

8 / 50
Sony Pictures Animation

#43. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

- Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 117 min

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a shock to the system for comic devotees. It begins with Peter Parker's death, and New York City mourning the loss of Spider-Man. The story transitions to follow Miles Morales, a teenager with serious artistic talent. After entering the subway system to spray-paint a mural, he is bitten by a spider and a whole new chapter for Spider-Man fans begins. The visually epic film relies heavily on fans’ deep knowledge from previous Spider-Man films; but those who have the background will find the film moving and emotional, with just the right amount of comic relief. The film does not pass any of the Cherry Check standards.

9 / 50
Cinereach

#42. Shirkers (2018)

- Director: Sandi Tan
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 97 min

“Shirkers” is a Netflix grand slam that follows the true story of Sandi Tan who, back as a teenager in 1992, set out to make Singapore's first indie film. During its production, their American mentor stole the footage. Now, nearly 20 years later, Sandi Tan sets out to find out what happens in this documentary. The impetus for the movie was a call from New Orleans to Sandi, when the 16mm film canisters containing the film were found. Described by Alissa Wilkinson of Vox as a “punk feminist project,” this moving and personal tale is nonfiction at its best. The film passes the F-rated test in CherryPicks’ Cherry Checks.

10 / 50
Walt Disney Pictures

#41. Mary Poppins (1964)

- Director: Robert Stevenson
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 139 min

Disney broke the mold back in 1964 when they released this now-lifetime classic. “Mary Poppins,” a five-time Oscar winner, follows the tale of the mysterious (and magical) nanny who descends on the Banks family in London to care for their children, all the while helping them to realize just what it means to be a family. Mary Poppins passes the Bechdel test, which means the plot involves two named women characters talking to each other about something besides a man.

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11 / 50
CiBy 2000

#40. The Piano (1993)

- Director: Jane Campion
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 121 min

“The Piano” follows the journey of Ada (Holly Hunter), a mute Scottish woman who is sold into marriage in the 19th century in New Zealand. She makes the long voyage from Scotland with her baby daughter. She arrives on the beach in New Zealand, where Maori servants take her possessions ashore, among them being a baby grand piano. The piano becomes her voice in a world where, in every other aspect, she has none. The film passes the Bechdel test, and is also F-rated.

12 / 50
BBC Films

#39. The Souvenir (2019)

- Director: Joanna Hogg
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 120 min

Starring Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton's daughter, in her breakout role, “The Souvenir” released at Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and critical acclaim. It tells the story of Julie, a student living in Knightsbridge London in the early 1980s. She falls in love with a sharp-talking rebel, mistaking his verbosity for being deeply cultured. By the time Julie realizes what is happening, she finds she's fallen in love with a heroin addict with a host of issues. The story is loosely based on a true story from the director's life, and Julie's mother, Rosalind, is played by her real-life mother, Tilda. “The Souvenir” passes the Bechdel test, and is also F-rated.

13 / 50
S.M. Films

#38. Beau travail (1999)

- Director: Claire Denis
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 92 min

Based peripherally on Herman Melville's “Billy Budd,” “Beau Travail” is the journey of actor Denis Lavant, a disgraced French Foreign Legion sergeant-major as he remembers his time in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. Directed by Claire Denis, with cinematography from Agnes Godard, the film is both sensual and shocking. It's a film of contrasts, from stillness to quick action, dark and bright, and routines of family life and brutal punishment. “Beau Travail” is F-rated.

14 / 50
40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

#37. Do the Right Thing (1989)

- Director: Spike Lee
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 120 min

Spike Lee's third film, and arguably one of his most transformative, “Do the Right Thing” is about the need for the Black community to come together, the disaster of race relations, and the overall negligence of the Reagan Administration. The film follows a 24-hour period in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. Tensions snap, and the drama and riots that ensue is a blatant statement on racial clashes in America. The film passes the Bechdel test, featuring two named women characters who talk to each other about something besides a man.

15 / 50
40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

#36. Amazing Grace (2018)

- Directors: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 89 min

Just eight months after Aretha Franklin's death, she comes alive again in “Amazing Grace.” This concert documentary had been lost for decades, but was brought to light following her death. The film was shot over 48 hours in 1972 at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. And while Entertainment Weekly reports that the quality of the documentary itself is low budget, it does not detract from the overall message and poignancy of the film, which is peppered with moments that will leave viewers with both goosebumps and smiles. The film does not pass any of the Cherry Check tests.

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16 / 50
A24

#35. Moonlight (2016)

- Director: Barry Jenkins
- CherryPicks score: 95
- Metascore: 99
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 111 min

Rave reviews from the media have cemented “Moonlight” as one of the greatest films of this generation. The story follows the life of one black man in Miami in the 1980s in three chapters. From his youth being "raised" by drug dealer Juan, to his adolescence exploring sexuality, to his retroactive acceptance of his past as an adult. Director Barry Jenkins touches on themes that span homosexuality to drug abuse to coming of age in a film that, according to Hilton Als of the New Yorker, "undoes our expectations." The movie does not fulfill any of the Cherry Check standards.

17 / 50
Miramax

#34. Good Will Hunting (1997)

- Director: Gus Van Sant
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 70
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 126 min

“Good Will Hunting” came to the screens in 1997, and the names Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were forever emblazoned in our minds. Written by the two A-list actors (and long-time friends), “Good Will Hunting” was also the film that demonstrated the brilliant range of talent that was Robin Williams. The story follows Will Hunting, a janitor working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is a quiet math prodigy. That said, he prefers drinking with his Southie buddies than pursuing anything in academia. The transformative story follows his slow acceptance of his own brilliance, with the help of Williams, and love interest Minnie Driver. “Good Will Hunting” does not meet any standards on the Cherry Check.

18 / 50
Terra Mater Factual Studios

#33. Sea of Shadows (2019)

- Directors: Richard Ladkani, Sean Bogle, Matthew Podolsky
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 105 min

A disturbing documentary, “Sea of Shadows” tells a series of stories, from the Mexican drug cartels to the dwindling population of whales in the Sea of Cortez. Director Richard Ladkani embarks on a journey with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society through the Sea of Cortez to help clean up the mess that the cartels leave behind—such as illegal nets—that is killing the sea life. “Sea of Shadows” does not pass any of the Cherry Check standards.

19 / 50
Paramount Pictures

#32. Terms of Endearment (1983)

- Director: James L. Brooks
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 132 min

James L. Brooks' critically acclaimed “Terms of Endearment” is a 30-year story of a mother and daughter. It is known for its drastic shift from lighthearted to devastatingly tragic. Shirley MacLaine plays Aurora Greenway, a mother who loves her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger) almost suffocatingly. The audience fluctuates between frustration at Aurora's control over Emma, to pure empathy and pain as their story turns unexpectedly dark. “Terms of Endearment” passes the Bechdel test on CherryPicks.

20 / 50
Grey Water Park Productions

#31. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019)

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 142 min

Documentary-esque in style, Martin Scorsese brings Bob Dylan to the (little) big screen with his made-for-netflix “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.” The story follows Dylan's 1975 tour that took to stages of smaller auditoriums to make his music more accessible. The tour included performances from other legends, like Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Allen Ginsberg. The documentary splices tour footage with contemporary interviews, many with Bob Dylan himself. The film does not meet any of the Cherry Check standards.

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21 / 50
Hulu

#30. Crime + Punishment (2018)

- Director: Stephen Maing
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 112 min

The 2018 documentary by Stephen Maing tells the story of a class-action lawsuit filed by a small group of cops against the NYPD following poor performance reviews based on officers' numbers. This came after the NYPD said they had eliminated quotas for arrests and summonses. The film details how law enforcement may use Black people to generate revenue. It does not pass any of the Cherry Check standards.

22 / 50
Chanel 4

#29. For Sama (2019)

- Directors: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 96 min
 
From within the heart of the Syrian conflict comes this movie from filmmaker and journalist Waad Al-Kateab. Spanning the period between 2012–2016 (the Battle of Aleppo), the story is told out of order, and flashes back and forth to different points in time during the conflict. It chronicles her love story with a doctor who worked at a hospital. On Jan. 1, 2016, the couple had their daughter, Sama, who brought new reasons to keep fighting for freedom and peace. This film is F-rated.

23 / 50
AOI Promotion

#28. Shoplifters (2018)

- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 121 min

"Shoplifters," from director Hirokazu Koreeda, follows a family living in poverty in a multigenerational household in Tokyo. After they bring home a small girl whom they find in the cold, their household continues to grow. The family makes their small living pulling off petty crimes, yet there is an unmistakable bond and beautiful generosity that exists between them. The movie passes the Bechdel test from CherryPickers.

24 / 50
Warner Bros.

#27. My Fair Lady (1964)

- Director: George Cukor
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 170 min

Based on the play “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw, this stage musical-turned-film shows the transformation of Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney working-class woman, into a member of high society. She is guided under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins, who uses his phonetics training to pass her off as high class. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. It passes the Bechdel test.

25 / 50
Lilies Films

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

- Director: Céline Sciamma
- CherryPicks score: 96
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 121 min

French director Céline Sciamma has taken us back in time to make a film ahead of its time. The story follows two women who develop an unexpected romance in the 1700s, and it highlights female self-fulfillment during this time. The relationship between Heloise and Marianne is passionate, as well as heartbreaking, considering that in that time their hope for a future is bleak. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” has passed the Bechdel test and is F-rated.

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26 / 50
Paramount Pictures

#25. Election (1999)

- Director: Alexander Payne
- CherryPicks score: 97
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 103 min

Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, and Chris Klein star in this dark comedy about high school election ethics. Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) desperately wants to be elected class president, and she won't let anyone stop her. But dreading the prospect of working with her for an entire year, social studies teacher Mr. McAllister (Broderick) tries his hardest to make sure she fails. “Election” meets the Bechdel test in the Cherry Check.

27 / 50
Pointblank Pictures

#24. The Interview (1998)

- Director: Craig Monahan
- CherryPicks score: 98
- Metascore: data not available
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 104 min

Chock-full of twists and turns, “The Interview” is, according to Luke Buckmaster of The Guardian, Australia's answer to “The Usual Suspects.” The film follows suspect Eddie Fleming and the Machiavellian cop, Detective Sergeant John Steele. The bulk of the movie centers around these two men in a room doing a back-and-forth dance of "did he/didn't he?" If at any point you think you've figured it out, just keep watching. This film does not meet any of the Cherry Check standards.

28 / 50
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

- Director: Jonathan Demme
- CherryPicks score: 98
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 118 min

An on-screen adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel, “Silence of the Lambs” is one of the greatest psycho-thrillers of all time. A bizarre and twisted love story, the plot follows the relationship between a gruesome sociopath and an ambitious, career-driven woman. FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is given the assignment of interviewing known cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), with the intention of using his mind to try to solve a series of brutal murders. Eerily intimate, the relationship between Hannibal and Clarice is magnetic, as this monstrous (but brilliant) killer attempts to earn the depths of Clarice's mind. “Silence of the Lambs” passes the Bechdel test on CherryPicks.

29 / 50
Esperanto Filmoj

#22. Roma (2018)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- CherryPicks score: 98
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 135 min

A black-and-white film tells the story of Cleo, a live-in nanny who cares for a family of four in Mexico City. But so much deeper than that, the movie details the intricacies of human nature, touching on everything from gender to race to class. "Roma" is set in the 1970s, a politically unstable time for Mexico, and is loosely based on the director's own childhood nanny. Yalitza Aparicio has her breakout role as Cleo, though you'd never know this was her first on-screen moment. The film focuses on Cleo and her role within the family as one of their most trusted and closest confidantes (in fact, the movie passes the Bechdel test)—but we are constantly reminded that she is still not fully one of them. It's a story about relationships and the forces that bind them as much as the forces that pull them apart.

30 / 50
Warner Home Video

#21. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

- Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor
- CherryPicks score: 98
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 102 min

“The Wizard of Oz” is one of the most memorable movies ever made—a heartwarming story about friendship and finding strength within. Dorothy Gale is blown out of Kansas in a tornado and lands in the fantasy land known as Oz. The movie follows her journey through Oz on her way to the Emerald City, where the Wizard is said to be the only person who can help her get home. Along the way she meets a cast of lovable characters, all the while trying to dodge the attacks from the Wicked Witch of the West. When it comes to the Cherry Check on CherryPicks, “The Wizard of Oz” passes the Bechdel test.

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31 / 50
Barunson E&A

#20. Parasite (2019)

- Director: Bong Joon Ho
- CherryPicks score: 99
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 132 min

Two Korean families; two very different worlds. The film “Parasite” follows the story of the Parks and the Kims: One family is extraordinarily well-off, while the other lives in poverty. But the two worlds collide when the Kims find a way to fraudulently infiltrate the Parks' wealthy world. The film recently won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best International Feature Film, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It does not meet any of the Cherry Check standards.

32 / 50
Gunpowder & Sky, LLC

#19. GTFO (2015)

- Director: Shannon Sun-Higginson
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: data not available
- IMDb user rating: 3.6
- Runtime: 76 min

“GTFO: Get The F*** Out” takes a microscope to women in the video game industry—one which has not been particularly warm and welcoming to women. In 2014 the controversial topic was brought to the forefront in the film “Gamergate.” "GTFO" is an expansion on that issue and brings to light other members of the industry, like writers, designers, and bloggers, all for whom the gaming industry has made life incredibly difficult. Directed by Shannon Sun-Higginson, this film is F-rated.

33 / 50
Warner Bros.

#18. Klute (1971)

- Director: Alan J. Pakula
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: data not available
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 114 min

Bree Daniels, played masterfully by Jane Fonda, is a New York City prostitute who is being carefully stalked by a sociopath. The themes of the movie center around second-wave feminism, which relates to Daniels' anxiety over becoming emotionally connected to the private investigator, a man. Fonda won an Academy Award for her performance in the film. According to CherryPicks, the movie passes the Bechdel test.

34 / 50
Ciné Tamaris

#17. Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)

- Director: Agnès Varda
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: data not available
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 90 min

While awaiting results from her doctor about whether or not she has cancer, Cleo, a pop singer, floats through the hours of 5 and 7 in the evening, wondering which direction her life is going to turn. An inherently vain person, Cleo spends her time in ambiguity to observe the rest of the world with fear and with fascination as she comes to terms with the fact that she may be facing her own death. The film passes the Bechdel test, and is F-rated, as it is directed by Agnes Varda.

35 / 50
Christian Frei Filmproductions

#16. Genesis 2.0 (2018)

- Directors: Christian Frei, Maxim Arbugaeva
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 60
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 112 min

A real-life tale of futuristic science, “Genesis 2.0” follows woolly mammoth hunters who live on the New Siberian Islands, a string of remote islands in the Arctic Ocean. The group hunts woolly mammoths for their prized ivory tusks, which are sold on the Chinese luxury market. However, the group makes a startling discovery, which could lead to a scientific revolution. The film does not pass any of the Cherry Check tests.

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36 / 50
Carolco Pictures

#15. Jacob's Ladder (1990)

- Director: Adrian Lyne
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 62
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 113 min

In a film with many biblical references, “Jacob's Ladder” is about one Vietnam veteran's struggle with a very real demon—PTSD. After coming home from the war, Jacob is living with the remnants of the chemical abuse and mental torture he underwent abroad. But he is also still suffering from trauma that plagued him before he left for war. A series of hallucinations finally leads Jacob to believe that there is more to the story about what happened in Vietnam than he was told or remembers. The film does not fulfill any of the Cherry Check standards.

37 / 50
Boardwalk Pictures

#14. The Black Godfather (2019)

- Director: Reginald Hudlin
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 69
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 118 min

Clarence Avant is one of the founding fathers of Hollywood, but his is a story that had yet to be told. Netflix takes on the task with this documentary that regales us with stories of his influence as told through stars like Snoop Dogg, Barack Obama, and Al Sharpton. While his name isn't a household one, he is credited with boosting the careers of dozens in the industry. It's a legacy story that is finally ready for the spotlight. The movie does not fulfill any of the standards for the Cherry Check.

38 / 50
National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

#13. What Is Democracy? (2018)

- Director: Astra Taylor
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 107 min

Directed by Astra Taylor (this movie is F-rated), “What Is Democracy?” unpacks the meaning of the word from ancient Athens to the modern-day United States. The documentary attempts to link the past with the present, and arm us for going forward into the future. Along the way, Taylor interviews everyone from politicians to physicians, convicted felons, students, and more.

39 / 50
Floren Shieh Productions

#12. 1985 (2018)

- Director: Yen Tan
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 85 min

A closeted Adrian returns home to his conservative family for Christmas after living in New York. Amidst the AIDS crisis, he has lost the man he loves and is fairly certain his time is coming, too. His visit home is meant to be a quiet goodbye, as he fears the truth will isolate him from the ones he cares about. “1985” does not meet any of the Cherry Check standards.

40 / 50
Evergreen Pictures

#11. The Kingmaker (2019)

- Director: Lauren Greenfield
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 101 min

What do most people know about Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines? She had a lot of shoes. It's true, though: When she and her husband, dictator Ferdinand Marcos, were driven into exile in 1986, she left behind more than 1,000 pairs of shoes. Director Lauren Greenfield (this film is F-rated), however, takes audiences much deeper than that. Marcos is interviewed in the documentary, but Greenfield challenges her side of the story with the perspectives of those who remember what life was like when she was in power.

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41 / 50
Jeonwonsa Film

#10. Hotel by the River (2018)

- Director: Hong Sang-soo
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 96 min

While waiting to die, poet Younghwan calls his two estranged sons to a riverside hotel to be with him, even though he has not shown any symptoms nor had any medical confirmation that he is dying. While waiting for them, he reflects on the moments of his life, and eventually meets two women who are also staying in the hotel with tales of sadness and healing all their own. The film passes the Bechdel test.

42 / 50
Live Entertainment

#9. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 99 min

Though not quite his first movie, “Reservoir Dogs” is the one that put Quentin Tarantino on the map. The bloody, shocking, darkly comedic movie with a killer soundtrack follows a troupe of professional con men in a diamond heist. The attempt ends in blood and gore as it comes to attention that someone tipped off the cops. The only question is who? “Reservoir Dogs” does not pass any of the CherryPicks standards of the Cherry Check.

43 / 50
Passion River

#8. Liyana (2017)

- Directors: Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 77 min

A group of children in Swaziland come together to tell the story of a girl who sets off on an adventure to save her brother. Along the way, the girl encounters a slew of horrors, from AIDS and alcoholism to kidnapping and rape. What directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp show is that these children who are telling the tale are drawing from what they know, thus shedding light on the reality of what life is like for kids in Swaziland. The film also highlights many ways that children are children, no matter which country they grow up in. The film is F-rated.

44 / 50
Allied Artists Pictures

#7. Cabaret (1972)

- Director: Bob Fosse
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 124 min

The beloved film adaptation of the Joe Masteroff musical is set in Berlin in 1931. American cabaret singer, Sally, meets and falls in love with British scholar, Brian. Their love story evolves, but things get complicated when a third man enters the picture. The themes center around bisexuality, homosexuality, sadomasochism, and more. But one thing's for certain—Liza Minnelli's portrayal of Sally is the stuff of cinematic legend. This film passes the Bechdel test.

45 / 50
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

#6. Fargo (1996)

- Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 98 min

Coen Brothers devotees will always speak in hushed, reverent tones about “Fargo,” the film noir/comedy about Brainerd, Minnesota, and a series of events gone awry. Jerry Lundegaard, played by William H. Macy, pays two men to kidnap his wife so that he can collect a ransom check. But as the plan falls apart, Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) tries to crack the case. It's one of the best performances of McDormand's career, as she uses the stereotypical "Minnesota nice" to draw the truth out of Jerry. She's also much more in tune with what is actually going on, compared to her male counterparts. Famously, the story is "based on a true story," even though it's completely fictionalized. “Fargo” does not meet any of the Cherry Check standards.

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46 / 50
Tempesta

#5. Happy as Lazzaro (2018)

- Director: Alice Rohrwacher
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 128 min

Director Alice Rohrwacher takes viewers on an allegorical journey into the class divide in Italy. It tells the story of Lazzaro, a good-natured man from a lower social class, who befriends Tancredi, an affluent man who develops a plot to have himself carry out his own kidnapping. What ensues is a journey of twists that take Lazzaro, quite literally, into a whole new existence. This film is F-rated and passes the Bechdel test.

47 / 50
Embassy International Pictures

#4. Brazil (1985)

- Director: Terry Gilliam
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 132 min

Cult classic Brazil tells the story of Sam Lowry, who lives in a futuristic world similar to George Orwell's “1984.” It's a society that's not all that different from ours, but nothing works quite right and no one questions it. Lowry works in the Ministry of Information Retrieval, where his tasks center around fixing the problems of his boss. At night he dreams about being a knight in shining armor looking for a blonde goddess. When he meets someone in real life who looks like her, his world changes and he embarks on a bizarre adventure. Brazil passes the Bechdel test, and is F-rated.

48 / 50
Twentieth Century Fox

#3. Alien (1979)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 117 min

Forty years later and Ridley Scott's "Alien" is still a lauded classic. One thing remains certain: even in today's world of explosive effects and fast-paced action, there is still a space for the slow, tension-building storyline where all the viewer can do is sit and wait for the terror to come. It's got some of the most iconic scenes in movie history, as well as one of the most memorable taglines: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” "Alien" passes the Bechdel test.

49 / 50
Walt Disney Pictures

#2. Toy Story (1995)

- Director: John Lasseter
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 81 min

In 1995 audiences were introduced to the very first “Toy Story” adventure, and the world has not been the same since. The film, and its subsequent sequels, continue to delight both kids and adults, so much so that those who grew up with the original are hooked to the sequels. “Toy Story” follows Andy, whose toys come alive when no one is around. Tension strikes when Andy's favorite toy of the moment, Woody, is replaced by a fancy new one, Buzz Lightyear. The movie touches on themes like friendship, loyalty, and growing up. The hilarious and delightful dialog is true to Disney form. This film does not meet any of the Cherry Check standards.

50 / 50
Warner Bros.

#1. Casablanca (1942)

- Director: Michael Curtiz
- CherryPicks score: 100
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 102 min

One of the most beloved films of all time, Casablanca hits all the right notes. It touches on politics, love, friendship, loyalty, defiance and more. It tells the story of Rick Blaine, who runs an illegal gambling operation in a gin joint in Morocco. He runs into an old flame, Ilsa, who is in Casablanca with her revolutionary husband. The love story that follows is tragic, memorable, and has opened the door for aspiring film buffs to cut their teeth on something truly classic. Casablanca is F-rated for having Joan Alison on its team of writers.

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