Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Where you can watch the 100 best movies of all time right now

  • Where you can watch the 100 best movies of all time right now

    What’s the best movie of all time? The answer is not unanimous, but there’s a strong consensus when it comes to the top 100. The good news is that the best movies are available to watch right now, either through a streaming service or rental. Stacker’s ranking offers a master class in film, not only for people who love a great story but also for aficionados who appreciate technical artistry. Stacker’s list includes classic films from the silent era, like Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” and “Modern Times,” as well as acclaimed dramas released in 2019, like Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

    In fact, many of the auteurs of American cinema, directors known for their own distinct creative signature, have multiple films on this list. Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Ford each directed numerous films considered cinematic masterpieces. Francis Ford Coppola made strong waves in the New American style of the early 1970s, while Martin Scorsese’s work started there and continues to be relevant and influential.

    The films on this list span all the major genres—animated adventures, science fiction actioners, film noirs, romantic comedies, courtroom dramas, Westerns, and thrillers—with the gangster film being one of the most-esteemed and frequent genres on the list. The actor James Stewart shows up over and over again in the most-renowned films, with Robert De Niro making frequent appearances as well. Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, Jodie Foster, and Cybill Shepherd also appear in more than one of these top cinematic masterpieces.

    The Stacker score offers a noteworthy ranking of movies that are loved by both critics and audiences. Stacker ranked the top 100 movies of all time using an equally-weighted average of IMDb ratings and Metascores to create a unique score. Only English-language movies released in the United States were considered, and each movie needed at least 20,000 votes on IMDb as of early May 2020. If the movie didn't have a Metascore, it was not included. See if your all-time favorites made the list, where they rank, and where you can watch them right now.

    You may also like: 100 most critically acclaimed movies from the last decade.

  • #100. ‘Amadeus’ (1984)

    - Streaming: Only available to rent
    - Director: Milos Forman
    - Stacker score: 89.1
    - Metascore: 88
    - IMDb user rating: 8.3
    - Run time: 160 minutes

    “Amadeus” took the best picture Oscar for its opulent dramatization of Mozart’s life and times during 18th century Vienna. The film follows a largely-fictionalized account of the backbiting rivalry between the virtuoso composer, played by Tom Hulce, and his envious adversary Salieri, played by F. Murray Abraham. Lavish costumes, a sweeping score, and acclaimed performances carry this story about the conflicts that arise between talent and mediocrity.

  • #99. ‘The Hurt Locker’ (2008)

    - Streaming: Max Go, DIRECTV
    - Director: Kathryn Bigelow
    - Stacker score: 89.1
    - Metascore: 95
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Run time: 131 minutes

    Screenwriter Mark Boal based the story on his own experiences as an embedded journalist during the Iraq war. “The Hurt Locker” is a gritty, suspenseful deep dive into soldiers who dismantle bombs. Director Kathryn Bigelow infuses this best picture Oscar-winner with nail-biting suspense and an unnerving presentation of war. She won the best director Oscar for this film and remains the only woman to be recognized with that award as of 2020.

  • #98. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (2015)

    - Streaming: Only available to rent
    - Director: George Miller
    - Stacker score: 89.1
    - Metascore: 90
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Run time: 120 minutes

    In the fourth “Mad Max” movie, Tom Hardy takes over for Mel Gibson as the gunslinger Max, in this sci-fi/western mashup that blends the strange with the visceral. Charlize Theron stars as Furiosa, a heroine trying to save the enslaved in a future wasteland where resources are scarce and humans are used as “blood bags.” “Fury Road” boasts what may be one of the most exuberant and surreal car chase sequences in film.

    'Mad Max: Fury Road' was the best sci-fi movie of 2015. See what was popular the year you were born, in Stacker's Best sci-fi film the year you were born.

  • #97. ‘The Truman Show’ (1998)

    - Streaming: Starz, DIRECTV
    - Director: Peter Weir
    - Stacker score: 89.1
    - Metascore: 90
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Run time: 103 minutes

    Comedian Jim Carrey took on a dramatic role as Truman in Peter Weir’s surreal take on the soon-to-be-popular reality TV boom. Truman, who is raised from birth in a televised soundstage disguised as a small town world, slowly awakens to the truth of his existence. Ed Harris plays the show’s producer, a godlike director whose voice beams from above to keep Truman compliant.

  • #96. ‘Finding Nemo’ (2003)

    - Streaming: Disney+
    - Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
    - Stacker score: 89.1
    - Metascore: 90
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Run time: 100 minutes

    “Finding Nemo” stands out as one of Pixar’s most-beloved animated films, known for its vivid computer-generated images (CGIs) of the undersea home of a dad clown fish and his adorable son. After Nemo gets lured into danger, the film becomes a triumphant and heartwarming tale about reconnection and hope. Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres give voice to the fish buddies on a mission to locate the lost Nemo.

  • #95. ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991)

    - Streaming: Only available to rent
    - Director: Jonathan Demme
    - Stacker score: 89.1
    - Metascore: 85
    - IMDb user rating: 8.6
    - Run time: 118 minutes

    “The Silence of the Lambs” is famous for being one of the rare films to win the top five Academy Awards for best picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay. It’s also the singular strictly horror film to win best picture. Anthony Hopkins gives an iconic performance as the gruesome murderer Hannibal Lecter. Jodie Foster plays a homespun FBI agent tracking down a serial killer who seeks Lecter’s advice.

  • #94. ‘The Circus’ (1928)

    - Streaming: Prime Video, The Criterion Channel, Kanopy, FlixFling
    - Director: Charles Chaplin
    - Stacker score: 89.6
    - Metascore: 90
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Run time: 72 minutes

    Charlie Chaplin, who also wrote and directed this movie, plays his zany Little Tramp character. He joins up with a traveling circus to evade police and falls in love with a performer. The setting proves just right for Chaplin’s signature slapstick antics, that overlay a melancholy take on class status and the experience of outcasts.

  • #93. ‘Stagecoach’ (1939)

    - Streaming: Prime Video, Hoopla, The Criterion Channel, Kanopy
    - Director: John Ford
    - Stacker score: 89.6
    - Metascore: 93
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Run time: 96 minutes

    John Wayne stars as the Ringo Kid in one of John Ford’s most-iconic Westerns. A stagecoach makes its way across terrain established by the Apache tribe—Native Americans who are represented in the bumbling, savage and racist modes of the era. The motley crew aboard the traveling coach represent the opposing morality embodied by characters such as an alcoholic, a prostitute, an outlaw, and a virtuous woman.

    See where 'Stagecoach' ranks on Stacker's 100 best John Wayne movies.

  • #92. ‘The Producers’ (1967)

    - Streaming: Only available to rent
    - Director: Mel Brooks
    - Stacker score: 89.6
    - Metascore: 96
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Run time: 88 minutes

    Mel Brooks’ directorial debut makes for an exuberantly offensive backstage romp. It’s a satire about a Broadway musical replete with dancing Nazi showgirls and a beatnik Hitler. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder give slapstick performances as producers trying to put on the worst show of all time who instead, unwittingly stage a hit.

  • #91. ‘Little Women’ (2019)

    - Streaming: DIRECTV
    - Director: Greta Gerwig
    - Stacker score: 89.6
    - Metascore: 91
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Run time: 135 minutes

    Greta Gerwig wrote and directed this acclaimed drama that adapts Louisa May Alcott’s popular 1868 novel for contemporary audiences. The source material, which follows the March sisters during the Civil War era, serves as a way to explore modern women’s experience from a historical lense. Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Laura Dern star, with Meryl Streep as the sisters’ imposing, wealthy aunt.

2018 All rights reserved.