100 best romance movies of all time

Written by:
June 9, 2020
Selznick International Pictures

100 best romance movies of all time

When we think about the greatest love stories of all time, a handful seems to pop up repeatedly. Romeo and Juliet. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Heathcliff and Cathy. Lancelot and Guinevere. After examining these stories, it seems like there are some recurring themes these iconic stories share that differentiate them from ordinary love stories. Some of the themes include sacrifice, serendipity, passion, conflict, and relatability. But when it comes to love on the big screen, the deciding factor between a good love story and a great love story may very well be watchability. It seems like the best romances are those people can watch over and over again without getting bored.

Stacker rounded up 100 of these great love stories for you to get lost in, assembling a list of the best romantic movies of all time. Our research team compiled data on all romance movies to come up with a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores as of May 29, 2020. To qualify, films had to be listed as romance on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascores and IMDb user ratings. Every film on the list has been considered according to the cinematic history and development of the romance genre.

From romantic thrillers like "Vertigo" to period pictures like "Atonement," modern hits like "Moonrise Kingdom," and classics like "Casablanca," watching any one of these films will most likely leave audiences with that jubilant feeling of having witnessed true, everlasting love.

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1 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#100. The Remains of the Day (1993)

- Director: James Ivory
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 134 min

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

2 / 100
Indian Paintbrush

#99. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

- Director: Wes Anderson
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 94 min

There's no love like young love, especially young love in the Wes Anderson universe. In "Moonrise Kingdom," Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzie (Kara Hayward), two hopelessly romantic pre-teens, decide to run away together, a particularly difficult feat as they live on an island, and there's a hurricane heading right in their direction. The film is filled with typical Anderson whimsy, and was best summed up by famed critic Roger Ebert who said, "[‘Moonrise Kingdom']... reminds me of the sort of serials I used to follow in Boys' Life magazine."

3 / 100
BFI

#98. God's Own Country (2017)

- Director: Francis Lee
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 104 min

Controversy surrounded "God's Own Country" in May 2020, when an edited version of the film was uploaded by a distributor to Amazon without the knowledge or approval of the film's director, Francis Lee. Lee's directorial debut, which follows Johnny Saxby, an English farmer, as his life and heart are transformed by a hired hand named Gheorghe Ionescu, certainly contains some risque material, but to edit these adult scenes out would be akin to chopping the film's hand off, preventing it from working as well as it does.

4 / 100
Les Films du Fleuve

#97. The Child (2005)

- Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 95 min

In 2017, The New York Times named "The Child" (or "L'Enfant" in its native French) "one of the best movies of the 21st Century so far." The Dardenne brothers film follows 20-year-old Bruno, a petty criminal with no clear morals, and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Sonia. After the arrival of their baby, Bruno, who feels unequipped to be a father and is money-hungry, sells their son on the black market. While the movie certainly has a handful of romantic scenes, at its core, it's a tale of redemption.

5 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#96. Tootsie (1982)

- Director: Sydney Pollack
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 116 min

A multilayered comedy starring Dustin Hoffman, "Tootsie" is about an out-of-work actor who poses as a woman to land a role on a soap opera, and then rockets to fame. Along the way, he learns to be a better man and a better romantic partner. "Tootsie" grossed $177.2 million, making it the second-highest-grossing movie of 1982.

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6 / 100
Schramm Film Koerner & Weber

#95. Phoenix (2014)

- Director: Christian Petzold
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 98 min

In "Phoenix," Nelly Lenz survived Auschwitz by getting shot in the face and left for dead. Upon the camp's liberation, she gets full reconstructive plastic surgery and takes advantage of her new face to find out whether her husband was the one who betrayed her to the Nazis. A dark and moving tale, the film's final scene is devastating, the perfect ending to this Hitchcockian love story.

7 / 100
Palace Pictures

#94. The Crying Game (1992)

- Director: Neil Jordan
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 112 min

Set against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the crux of "The Crying Game" story is this: A British soldier is captured by the IRA, and certain that he won't make it out alive, he asks one of his captors to check up on his girlfriend in London when the fighting is all over. The captor keeps his promise before the movie takes a couple more twists, and nothing ends like you thought it would. The Neil Jordan film, which Roger Ebert deemed "one of the best movies of 1992", is a love story that will keep you guessing for its entire 112-minute runtime.

8 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#93. The Age of Innocence (1993)

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 139 min

This Martin Scorsese film adapts the 1920s Edith Wharton novel of the same name. Set in Gilded Age Manhattan, "The Age of Innocence" follows lawyer Newland Archer as he struggles to choose between his proper, socialite fiance and her more-modern, divorcee cousin. It's a story about choosing to do what's right over what's preferred, and how those choices, and the struggle to make them, can shape our lives.

9 / 100
Amuse

#92. Your Name (2016)

- Director: Makoto Shinkai
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 106 min

As of 2016, "Your Name" was the second-highest-grossing film of all time in Japan. The animated movie tells the story of two teenagers, one from Tokyo and one from the countryside, who inexplicably trade bodies. As they try to work out what is happening to them, they fall in love. The film is magical and optimistic, and if its handful of awards are any indication, it's one you should take some time to watch.

10 / 100
Eisei Gekijo

#91. The Twilight Samurai (2002)

- Director: Yôji Yamada
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 129 min

Set in the mid-1800s, during the period of the Meiji Restoration in Japan, "The Twilight Samurai" is about an atypical samurai who is attempting to live by the Code of Bushido while single-handedly taking care of his two young daughters and senile mother, climb out of debt, and fall in love again. The movie swept the 2003 Japanese Academy Awards, taking home 12 trophies, including major categories like best picture, best actor, best actress, and best director.

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11 / 100
Lawrence Truman Productions

#90. The Graduate (1967)

- Director: Mike Nichols
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 106 min

While we now regard "The Graduate" as a classic and see its trope repeated over and over again in cinema, upon its release in 1967, the movie's story was totally fresh. The film follows a 21-year-old college student who returns home after graduation and begins an affair with a much-older woman, Mrs. Robinson, before falling in love with her daughter. "The Graduate" was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning best director, and was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry 29 years after its debut.

12 / 100
Universal Pictures

#89. Atonement (2007)

- Director: Joe Wright
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 123 min

"Atonement" is not a movie with a happy ending. In the beginning, it appears that everything is going swimmingly, until a single moment when a 13-year-old girl misunderstands what she sees and ruins three lives: her own, her older sister's, and her older sister's paramour. An adaptation of Ian McEwan's 2001 novel, "Atonement," is beautifully shot, and the special attention paid to set and costume design make this a true feast for the eyes.

13 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#88. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

- Director: Howard Hawks
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 121 min

A select group of film critics has made the argument that "Only Angels Have Wings," the smash hit starring Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, and Cary Grant, might be the best movie of all time. In the black and white film, Arthur plays a traveling entertainer who falls in love with a daredevil pilot (Grant) while making a stop in South America. As their relationship grows, she must decide whether she's going to stay with him, despite his insistence that he's not all that in love with her, or return to her old, safe life.

14 / 100
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#87. Brooklyn (2015)

- Director: John Crowley
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 117 min

Set in 1951, "Brooklyn" follows Ellis Lacey (played by Saoirse Ronan) as she leaves her native Ireland for Brooklyn in search of more-stable employment. Her heart ends up being torn between both her home country and her new one, as well as the small-town boy she left behind and the big-city man she's falling in love with. Widely acclaimed by critics, the film, based on a novel by Colin Tobin, won Ronan a host of acting nominations and awards.

15 / 100
Merchant Ivory Productions

#86. Howards End (1992)

- Director: James Ivory
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 142 min

"Howards End" takes place in Edwardian England, and is a tale about money, love between classes, and a grand old country home. The period piece earned nine Academy Award nominations, and Emma Thompson, who plays the main character, Margaret Schlegel, took home a trophy for best actress.

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16 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#85. Funny Girl (1968)

- Director: William Wyler
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 151 min

Loosely based on the life story of entertainer Fanny Brice, "Funny Girl," starring Barbra Streisand, is an adaptation of a Broadway show of the same name. Told in flashbacks, the film follows Brice as she rises through the professional ranks from vaudeville player to Ziegfeld girl, and falls in love with gambling man Nicky Arnstein along the way. Critics panned the movie upon its initial release, but Streisand still managed to take home a best actress Oscar for her work, and the film has developed a cult following in the intervening years.

17 / 100
Celador Films

#84. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

- Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 120 min

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

18 / 100
MK2 Productions

#83. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 94 min

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

19 / 100
Sidéral Productions

#82. The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 98 min

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

20 / 100
Parc Film

#81. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

- Director: Jacques Demy
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 91 min

All the dialogue in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is sung, much like in an opera but with a 1960s twist. The musical drama stars Catherine Deneuve as the daughter of an umbrella shop owner, in the blushes of first love with a local mechanic. After the young lovers find out that he's set to be shipped out to a faraway battlefield, they're forced to make some tough decisions about their futures, both as a couple and as individuals.

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21 / 100
MGM

#80. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

- Director: Frank Lloyd
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 132 min

An offering from the golden age of Hollywood, the 1935 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" is one of MGM's best pictures. Starring heartthrobs Clark Gable and Franchot Tone, the film was the highest-grossing movie in 1935, and took home the Academy Award for best picture that awards season. Part action-adventure and part love story, set on the open seas and the idyllic island of Tahiti, this classic film has earned its spot on the "best romance movies of all time" list.

22 / 100
AFFC

#79. Shine (1996)

- Director: Scott Hicks
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 105 min

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

23 / 100
Focus Features

#78. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

- Director: Ang Lee
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 134 min

"Brokeback Mountain" is the story of two cowboys who fall in love and are forced to keep their relationship secret from everyone else in their lives. When it was released, it was praised by many for being an important stepping stone for queer films. Starring the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, it seems that all those who were working on the classic love story knew at the time how important the film was in the grand scheme of things. In fact, Gyllenhaal told "Out" magazine that Ledger "was extraordinarily serious about the political issues surrounding the movie when it came out. A lot of times, people would want to have fun and joke about it, and he was vehement about being serious, to the point where he didn't really want to hear about anything that was being made fun of."

24 / 100
MK2 Productions

#77. Three Colors: White (1994)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 92 min

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

25 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#76. The Little Mermaid (1989)

- Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 83 min

One of the few offerings on this list suitable for audiences of all ages, Disney's "The Little Mermaid" was an instant classic. The film, which is based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, began a renaissance in animation at the studio, its success greenlighting other family-friendly favorites like "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Aladdin." Throughout its box office run, "The Little Mermaid" brought in over $274 million worldwide.

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26 / 100
Beijing New Picture Film Co.

#75. House of Flying Daggers (2004)

- Director: Zhang Yimou
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 119 min

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

27 / 100
K5 International

#74. Paterson (2016)

- Director: Jim Jarmusch
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 118 min

The 2016 movie "Paterson" is a philosophical tale. On its surface, it follows Paterson, a poetry-writing bus driver, over the course of a single week, highlighting the sameness of his everyday routine and his loving relationship with his more-exuberant wife. Underneath, it leans into questions about the nature of art, and how our views on things like beauty can affect our interpersonal relationships.

28 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#73. Little Women (1933)

- Director: George Cukor
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 115 min

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

29 / 100
CJ Entertainment

#72. The Handmaiden (2016)

- Director: Park Chan-wook
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 145 min

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

30 / 100
Korea Pictures

#71. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring (2003)

- Director: Kim Ki-duk
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 103 min

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

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31 / 100
El Deseo

#70. Talk to Her (2002)

- Director: Pedro Almodóvar
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 112 min

Watching "Talk to Her" feels like watching a well-done soap opera. The movie centers on two men who spend a significant amount of time in the hospital tending to the women they love who are both in comas. Throughout the 112-minute runtime, there's plenty of humor; some serious moments dealing with the nature of science and faith; and even a film-within-a-film component—plenty to keep even the biggest romance fanatic engaged.

32 / 100
Warner Bros. Pictures

#69. A Star Is Born (2018)

- Director: Bradley Cooper
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 136 min

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

33 / 100
Quat'sous Films

#68. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

- Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 180 min

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

34 / 100
CiBy 2000

#67. The Piano (1993)

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

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

35 / 100
Transcona Enterprises

#66. A Star Is Born (1954)

- Director: George Cukor
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 154 min

The 1954 version of this rags to riches love story stars Judy Garland and James Mason as the mismatched couple. Garland's performance, which came towards the end of her Hollywood career, was widely praised by critics, described by Time magazine as "the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history."

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36 / 100
Focus Features

#65. Phantom Thread (2017)

- Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 130 min

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

37 / 100
BFI Film Fund

#64. 45 Years (2015)

- Director: Andrew Haigh
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 91 min

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

38 / 100
Block 2 Pictures

#63. In the Mood for Love (2000)

- Director: Wong Kar-wai
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 98 min

Early in the movie, the two protagonists of "In the Mood for Love," Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen, realize that their spouses have been having an affair. As they begin to spend more time together, and cope with their own feelings of betrayal and shame of having been left by their partners, they begin to harbor feelings for each other. A story of missed connections and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the film doesn't have a particularly optimistic ending, but it does paint a noble idea of what love can be.

39 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#62. Aladdin (1992)

- Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 90 min

Another Disney classic, "Aladdin," was released just three short years after "The Little Mermaid" and a year after "Beauty and the Beast." That was an impressive feat for the studio, considering it took a team of 40 animators a year and a half to finish the film. The family-friendly flick, inspired by "1,001 Arabian Nights," was a smash hit. The film beat out both of those immediate predecessors in the box office and on home video, grossing $504 million worldwide and selling more than 25 million copies.

40 / 100
Bórd Scannán na hÉireann

#61. Once (2007)

- Director: John Carney
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 86 min

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

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41 / 100
Opus Film

#60. Cold War (2018)

- Director: Paweł Pawlikowski
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 89 min

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

42 / 100
The Weinstein Company

#59. Carol (2015)

- Director: Todd Haynes
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 118 min

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

43 / 100
Selznick International Pictures

#58. Rebecca (1940)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 130 min

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

44 / 100
NTV

#57. Only Yesterday (1991)

- Director: Isao Takahata
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 118 min

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

45 / 100
Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

#56. The Birds (1963)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 119 min

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

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46 / 100
Canal+

#55. A Summer's Tale (1996)

- Director: Éric Rohmer
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 113 min

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

47 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#54. Swing Time (1936)

- Director: George Stevens
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 103 min

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

48 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#53. It Happened One Night (1934)

- Director: Frank Capra
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 105 min

"It Happened One Night" stands out in cinematic history as being the first film to sweep the five major Oscar categories: best actor and actress, best picture, best director, and best screenplay. The Depression Era movie tells the story of a spoiled, runaway heiress (played by Claudette Colbert) who falls in with a regular joe reporter (played by Clark Gable). The heiress is trying to reunite with her new husband, who her mogul father doesn't approve of, but as the reporter assists her with the reunion, he comes to wonder if she may have married the wrong man after all.

49 / 100
Studio 37

#52. The Artist (2011)

- Director: Michel Hazanavicius
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 100 min

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

50 / 100
Romulus Films

#51. The African Queen (1951)

- Director: John Huston
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 105 min

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

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51 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#50. Breaking Away (1979)

- Director: Peter Yates
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 101 min

A coming of age movie, "Breaking Away" follows four recent high school graduates in Bloomington, Indiana as they brawl with the privileged kids, fall in love, and prepare for a competitive bicycle race that has been a lifelong dream of one of the group's members. The film wasn't expected to be a box office hit, but once audiences discovered it, they fell in love with this tale of Middle America.

52 / 100
MGM

#49. The Band Wagon (1953)

- Director: Vincente Minnelli
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 112 min

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

53 / 100
Anouchka Films

#48. Masculin Féminin (1966)

- Director: Jean-Luc Godard
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 103 min

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

54 / 100
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#47. Sideways (2004)

- Director: Alexander Payne
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 127 min

In "Sideways," two former college roommates, Miles and Jack, take a trip to wine country in the lead-up to Jack's wedding. While drinking their way through California, the two meet Maya and Stephanie, and begin relationships that will threaten to tear their friendship apart. The flick took home the Academy Award for best-adapted screenplay, and has been credited with reviving and reshaping the wine industry.

55 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#46. Forrest Gump (1994)

- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Runtime: 142 min

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

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56 / 100
Faces

#45. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

- Director: John Cassavetes
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 155 min

Independent filmmaker John Cassavetes chose his wife, Gena Rowlands, and best friend, Peter Falk, to star in his 1947 film about a Los Angeles couple whose marriage seems poised on the brink of collapse. Rowlands's character is desperately lonely, almost-certainly alcoholic, and mentally unstable. After being committed to a psych ward for six months, all the while leaving viewers to question whether or not the couple will make it out of the dark period, she returns home, only to have it revealed that her husband's madness is equal to her own, which leaves them better suited to each other than anyone previously realized.

57 / 100
SF

#44. Wild Strawberries (1957)

- Director: Ingmar Bergman
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 91 min

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

58 / 100
WIP

#43. Before Sunset (2004)

- Director: Richard Linklater
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 80 min

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

59 / 100
Annapurna Pictures

#42. Her (2013)

- Director: Spike Jonze
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 126 min

The Atlantic declared that the 2013 release "Her" directed by Spike Jonze was the "movie of the year." About a closed-off man who finds himself falling in love with a piece of artificial intelligence, the movie is set in a nearby future and acts as a commentary about how technology may come to shape our world.

60 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#41. Little Women (2019)

- Director: Greta Gerwig
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 135 min

The most recent "Little Women" remake, this 2019 version had a truly star-studded cast: Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, Laura Dern as Marmee, Timothee Chalamet as Laurie, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Raking in more than $206 million worldwide, the movie also garnered six Oscar nominations, making it among the most commercially-popular romance films released that year.

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61 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#40. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

- Director: Howard Hawks
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 102 min

While "Bringing Up Baby" is considered a classic film today, it was far from a hit when it was released in 1938. The movie, which stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, is about a straightlaced paleontologist and an eccentric heiress whose paths cross on a golf course, and the ensuing hijinks (a missing dinosaur bone, a pet leopard, and a stint in jail to name a few). For audiences in 1938, who were caught in the midst of the Great Depression and the beginning of WWII, the movie just failed to provide the complete and total escape from real life that they were searching for.

62 / 100
Mercury Productions

#39. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

- Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 88 min

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

63 / 100
Les Films André Paulvé

#38. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

- Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 93 min

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

64 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#37. Days of Heaven (1978)

- Director: Terrence Malick
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 94 min

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

65 / 100
Walt Disney Productions

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

- Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 83 min

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

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66 / 100
Focus Features

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

- Director: Michel Gondry
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 108 min

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

67 / 100
Charles Chaplin Productions

#34. The Circus (1928)

- Director: Charles Chaplin
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 72 min

"The Circus" earned Charlie Chaplin, the film's director and star, his first Academy Award at the 1929 ceremony. That fact is especially impressive, considering that the movie (which is about a man who's wrongly accused of a crime, stumbles into a circus and becomes an unwitting performer) almost didn't get made. The control of assets in Chaplin's divorce, a destroyed set, weeks of film that were rendered unusable, and fire that destroyed nearly all the props and costumes were among a few of the challenges Chaplin had to overcome to finish his project.

68 / 100
Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

#33. Annie Hall (1977)

- Director: Woody Allen
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 93 min

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

69 / 100
Frenesy Film Company

#32. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

- Director: Luca Guadagnino
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 132 min

"Call Me by Your Name" is adapted from a novel of the same name written by Andre Aciman. It's the story of two young men who meet one summer in Italy and develop a connection that will alter both of their lives forever. The movie was widely praised by critics and audiences alike, and a sequel titled "Find Me" (also based on an Aciman book) is forthcoming.

70 / 100
Asia Union Film & Entertainment Ltd.

#31. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

- Director: Ang Lee
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 120 min

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

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71 / 100
In-Gear Film

#30. Days of Being Wild (1990)

- Director: Wong Kar-wai
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 94 min

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

72 / 100
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

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

- Director: William Wyler
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 170 min

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

73 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#28. The Last Picture Show (1971)

- Director: Peter Bogdanovich
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 118 min

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

74 / 100
Les Films du Losange

#27. Amour (2012)

- Director: Michael Haneke
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 127 min

So many romance movies focus on the first blushes of young love, but that's not the case with Michael Haneke's "Amour." This movie features an octogenarian couple at the end of a long marriage, as they go to unimaginable lengths to keep promises they've made to one another. The film is a testament to the fact that true love can long outlast the lives of those involved.

75 / 100
Faliro House Productions

#26. Before Midnight (2013)

- Director: Richard Linklater
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 109 min

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

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76 / 100
Warner Bros.

#25. My Fair Lady (1964)

- Director: George Cukor
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 170 min

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

77 / 100
Bibi Film

#24. The Best of Youth (2003)

- Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 366 min

Clocking in at over six hours, "The Best of Youth" is undoubtedly the longest movie on our list. Split into two parts, the movie tells the story of two Italian brothers, Nicola and Matteo, whose lives and romantic relationships are heavily influenced by the social and political upheavals in their country during the 1960s and '70s. Despite its long runtime, "The Best of Youth" avoids the expected cliches and doesn't contain a single boring or wasted scene.

78 / 100
Yang & His Gang Filmmakers

#23. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

- Director: Edward Yang
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 237 min

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

79 / 100
1+2 Seisaku Iinkai

#22. Yi Yi (2000)

- Director: Edward Yang
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 173 min

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

80 / 100
Heyday Films

#21. Marriage Story (2019)

- Director: Noah Baumbach
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 137 min

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

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81 / 100
Summit Entertainment

#20. La La Land (2016)

- Director: Damien Chazelle
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 128 min

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

82 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#19. The Lady Eve (1941)

- Director: Preston Sturges
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 94 min

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

83 / 100
Italia Film

#18. Journey to Italy (1954)

- Director: Roberto Rossellini
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 97 min

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

84 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#17. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

- Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 84 min

The 1991 Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast" was the first full-length animated feature film to be nominated for a best picture Oscar. It didn't win, but audiences connected with the story and its characters, particularly Belle. Belle was reportedly inspired by Katharine Hepburn in the 1939 version of "Little Women," another great romance film on our list.

85 / 100
MGM

#16. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

- Director: George Cukor
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 112 min

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

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86 / 100
Paris Film

#15. Pépé le Moko (1937)

- Director: Julien Duvivier
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 94 min

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

87 / 100
Lilies Films

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

- Director: Céline Sciamma
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 122 min

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

88 / 100
Warner Bros.

#13. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

- Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 102 min

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

89 / 100
The Mirisch Corporation

#12. The Apartment (1960)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 125 min

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

90 / 100
MGM

#11. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

- Director: Ernst Lubitsch
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 99 min

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

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91 / 100
Selznick International Pictures

#10. Gone with the Wind (1939)

- Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 238 min

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

92 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#9. Notorious (1946)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 102 min

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

93 / 100
Société Nouvelle Pathé Cinéma

#8. Children of Paradise (1945)

- Director: Marcel Carné
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 189 min

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

94 / 100
Ashton Productions

#7. Some Like It Hot (1959)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 121 min

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

95 / 100
Charles Chaplin Productions

#6. Modern Times (1936)

- Director: Charles Chaplin
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 87 min

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

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96 / 100
MK2 Productions

#5. Three Colors: Red (1994)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 99 min

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

97 / 100
MGM

#4. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

- Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 99
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 103 min

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

98 / 100
Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

#3. Vertigo (1958)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 99
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 128 min

While initially a commercial failure, Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" has since become one of his more-acclaimed films. The romantic thriller is about an ex-cop who is hired by an old friend to trail his wife, who he fears is going to try to harm himself. The twists and turns of the classic movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, and if you can't get enough of the tale, there are plenty of other films inspired by the classic.

99 / 100
Charles Chaplin Productions

#2. City Lights (1931)

- Director: Charles Chaplin
- Stacker score: 99
- Metascore: 99
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 87 min

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

100 / 100
Warner Bros.

#1. Casablanca (1942)

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

Finally, the title of "Best Romantic Movie of All Time" goes to Casablanca. The classic film stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner, and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, an old flame of Blane's who shows up in Casablanca with her husband, a known rebel. Desperate for a way out of the country before the Germans catch up with them, Ilsa turns to Rick, falling in love with him again along the way, before leaving town with her husband in the most heartbreaking final scene of a movie—ever.

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