100 best mystery movies of all time

Written by:
September 28, 2020
Paramount Pictures

100 best mystery movies of all time

Deciding on the best mystery movies of all time may be a mystery unto itself. Devotees of suspense, thrillers, whodunits, and horror films will no doubt have their own solutions to such a puzzle.

Stacker compiled data on all mystery movies to come up with a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores. To qualify, the film had to be listed as a mystery on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 2,500 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore, and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. Every movie on the list has been considered according to the history and development of mystery films.

Some of the best are based on true crime, like “Zodiac,” about a killer who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s and was never found. “Sicario” is based on the real-life U.S.-led war on drugs on the United States-Mexico border, and “Reversal of Fortune” draws from the story of Claus von Bulow, accused of trying to kill his socialite wife, Sunny.

Some are entirely unrealistic and futuristic, like the “The Wailing” or “Bacurau,” about a Brazilian village that starts disappearing from maps. The future is portrayed as horribly frightening and uninviting in such mysteries as “Ghost in the Shell” and “Minority Report.”

Animation breeds its own hits, like “Zootopia,” Japanese science fiction anime like “Paprika,” or the steampunk setting of “April and the Extraordinary World.” Film noir holds its own with such favorites as “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity.”

The 21st century shows its strength at the back of the list, but only manages to squeeze four films into the top 25 among the greats. Not surprisingly, Alfred Hitchcock holds the most claim to great movie mysteries, with far and away more favorites on the list than any other director, with “Rebecca,” “Suspicion,” “The Birds,” “The 39 Steps,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho,” “Vertigo,” and “Rear Window.”

But many of the best mysteries simply tell a great story, filled with unexpected twists and clever surprises that make moviegoers want to watch them again and again. That’s why movies like “The Usual Suspects,” “Mystic River,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “The Fugitive,” “The Lives of Others,” “Chinatown,” and “Apocalypse Now” are consistent favorites.

Hold onto your seats, enjoy, and beware of a few spoilers that may follow.

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1 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#100. Zodiac (2007)

- Director: David Fincher
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 157 minutes

“Zodiac” is based on the real story of a serial killer in the late 1960s in Northern California who sent coded messages to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Edwards. The Zodiac killer was never found.

2 / 100
Pan Media & Entertainment

#99. The Wailing (2016)

- Director: Na Hong-jin
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 156 minutes

“The Wailing” is a horror film about demonic possession terrorizing a South Korean village. Critics credit it for being unpredictable and defying the genre’s formulas of suspense and storytelling.

3 / 100
Production I.G

#98. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

- Director: Mamoru Oshii
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 83 minutes

Set in the year 2029, “Ghost in the Shell” is a dark, violent Japanese anime film with a cult following. It follows an elite security team of cyborgs—part human, part computer—hunting a manipulative criminal hacker. A live-action version was made in 2017 starring Scarlett Johansson and Juliette Binoche.

4 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#97. Minority Report (2002)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 145 minutes

“Minority Report” is set in a future when an elite police squad use psychic “precogs” to see crimes before they happen and arrest criminals before they can commit their crimes. Tom Cruise plays an officer accused of committing a future murder. He tries to prove his innocence by finding the case’s minority report—when one of the precogs has a dissenting prediction.

5 / 100
South Australian Film Corporation

#96. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

- Director: Peter Weir
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 115 minutes

“Picnic at Hanging Rock” is a classic favorite in which Australian schoolgirls disappear during a country outing on a hot St. Valentine’s Day in 1900. The haunting and unsettling film is shot as though it were based on a true story.

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6 / 100
Focus Features

#95. The Constant Gardener (2005)

- Director: Fernando Meirelles
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 129 minutes

Based on a novel by author John le Carre, “The Constant Gardener” spins the story of the murder of a British diplomat’s wife, played by Rachel Weisz, in Kenya. The search for the truth behind her death leads her bereft widower, played by Ralph Fiennes, into a web of multinational corruption and crime. Weisz earned an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild award.

7 / 100
Music Box Films

#94. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010)

- Director: Raoul Ruiz
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 272 minutes

Directed by celebrated Chilean filmmaker Raul Ruiz, “Mysteries of Lisbon” is a period piece set in Portugal and adapted from a 19th century novel. It was originally created as a miniseries for European television, with the movie of intrigue and murder running more than four hours.

8 / 100
Canal+

#93. Caché (2005)

- Director: Michael Haneke
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 117 minutes

“Caché” is a French thriller starring Juliette Binoche about a couple whose everyday lives are disrupted when mysterious videotapes start appearing at their doorstep. The tapes hint at secrets in their pasts. Michael Haneke took home three prizes from the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, including best director.

9 / 100
Lionsgate Films

#92. Lantana (2001)

- Director: Ray Lawrence
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 121 minutes

In the psychological thriller “Lantana,” Anthony LaPaglia leads a cast of characters whose lives are intertwined by deceptions, suspicions, and betrayals. The film, which critics call complex and intelligent, also stars Barbara Hershey and Geoffrey Rush.

10 / 100
Focus Features

#91. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

- Director: Tomas Alfredson
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 122 minutes

Set in the Cold War, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” tells the story of British spy George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman, who comes out of semi-retirement to hunt for a Soviet mole. It is adapted from the popular espionage novel of the same name by John Le Carre. The story is drawn from the real-life ring of double agents known as the Cambridge Five, led by Kim Philby, discovered working in British intelligence in the 1950s.

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11 / 100
A24

#90. First Reformed (2017)

- Director: Paul Schrader
- Stacker score: 85‘
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 113 minutes

In “First Reformed,” Ethan Hawke portrays a lonely, middle-aged priest at a small church in upstate New York. He is pulled by a parishioner to consider environmentalism and the role his church plays in harmful capitalism—and what responsibility he has to do something about it. Director and writer Paul Schrader also wrote “Raging Bull,” “American Gigolo,” and “Taxi Driver.”

12 / 100
BBC Films

#89. The Souvenir (2019)

- Director: Joanna Hogg
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 120 minutes

“The Souvenir” tells the story of a film student who falls into a destructive love relationship. The student is played by Honor Swinton Byrne, and her mother in the film is played by her mother in real life, Tilda Swinton. The film was based on real-life experiences of director and writer Johanna Hogg, who asked Byrne to improvise her role from old personal diaries and notes she had kept, while the rest of the cast read from a script.

13 / 100
Canal+

#88. Tell No One (2006)

- Director: Guillaume Canet
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 131 minutes

In the French thriller “Tell No One,” suspicions arise around a doctor in the death of his wife eight years earlier.The suspense mounts with a sign that she may still be alive. It was adapted from a novel by the popular American mystery writer Harlan Coben.

14 / 100
CinemaScopio/SBS

#87. Bacurau (2019)

- Directors: Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 131 minutes

“Bacurau” is a remote village in Brazil shaken by strange and sinister events, including its disappearance from maps. Villagers must find a way to survive in this dreamlike allegory about colonialism and exploitation. The directors were awarded the jury prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

15 / 100
Limelight Productions

#86. Palm Springs (2020)

- Director: Max Barbakow
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 90 minutes

In “Palm Springs,” two wedding guests—Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti—have a casual hook-up that lands them inside a time loop. Part mystery, part romantic comedy, the movie earned critical praise for taking the “Groundhog Day” theme in an inventive direction.

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16 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#85. Suspicion (1941)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 99 minutes

In “Suspicion,” the incomparable Alfred Hitchcock spins a tale about a newlywed woman, played by Joan Fontaine, who starts to suspect her husband is trying to kill her. Cary Grant plays the dashing husband. The movie, which features some of the director’s famously compelling imagery, was tied up in production when Hitchcock and the studio were at odds over how the movie should end.

17 / 100
Haut et Court

#84. Under the Sand (2000)

- Director: François Ozon
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 92 minutes

The French “Under the Sand” recounts the saga of a university professor who begins to unravel when her husband disappears while swimming in the sea. The forsaken wife, not knowing her husband’s fate or if he is dead or if he left, is played by Charlotte Rampling.

18 / 100
Jet Tone Production

#83. Chungking Express (1994)

- Director: Wong Kar-Wai
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 102 minutes

“Chungking Express” splits its running time into two stories, each featuring a lovelorn policeman in Hong Kong. One falls for a mysterious woman involved in the shadowy underworld, while the other tries to get over his ex. The young woman in the snack bar he frequents falls for him, going to unusual measures to show her affection. The critically acclaimed movie was shot in less than a month with a hand-held camera, and it is filled with a mix of techniques like slow-motion scenes and rushing backgrounds.

19 / 100
Walt Disney Studios

#82. Zootopia (2016)

- Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 108 minutes

In the animated “Zootopia,” an ambitious rabbit named Judy Hopps is new to the police force and teams up with an old-time fox to solve a crime. The movie’s scene at the DMV—the Division of Mammal Vehicles staffed by sloths—is a highlight. Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Octavia Spencer, and Shakira provided voice work.

20 / 100
Sony Pictures

#81. Paprika (2006)

- Director: Satoshi Kon
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 90 minutes

“Paprika” is Japanese anime science fiction in which scientists invent a machine that can see and record people’s dreams. When it is stolen, a team sets out to get the device back, but it is being used against them.

21 / 100
Warner Bros.

#80. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

- Director: Mike Newell
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 157 minutes

In “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Harry Potter competes in a dangerous magical tournament, defending against dragons, mermaids, and dark wizardry. It is the fourth movie in the enormously successful Harry Potter franchise based on the books by J.K. Rowling.

22 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

#79. Blow-Up (1966)

- Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 111 minutes

“Blow-Up” portrays a British fashion photographer who happens to take pictures of strangers in a park. When he develops his film, he thinks he has photographed a murder. Set in London in the 1960s, it is Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first feature film in English.

23 / 100
Lionsgate

#78. Sicario (2015)

- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 121 minutes

“Sicario” is a tension-filled thriller about the U.S.-led war on drugs, set amid growing violence along the United States-Mexico border. It stars Emily Blunt as an FBI agent, with Josh Brolin as a government task force officer, and Benicio del Toro as a former cartel member.

24 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#77. Hugo (2011)

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 126 minutes

“Hugo” is set in 1931 in Paris, where an orphan living in a train station becomes entangled in a mystery about an automated toy left to him by his late father. He crosses paths with a fictionalized version of Georges Méliès, an early pioneer in French cinema. It won Oscars for cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects, and art direction, and a Golden Globe for best motion picture director.

25 / 100
A24

#76. The Lighthouse (2019)

- Director: Robert Eggers
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 109 minutes

In “The Lighthouse,” Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play two lighthouse keepers isolated on a remote island in New England in the 1890s. It was shot in black and white with custom filtering and square frames to evoke a silent movie format. The buildings were made explicitly for the film, including the full-sized lighthouse, and it was shot during actual high winds, freezing temperatures, and driving rainstorms.

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26 / 100
Madhouse

#75. Kaili Blues (2015)

- Director: Bi Gan
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 113 minutes

“Kaili Blues” is the meditative story of a Chinese doctor on a search for his abandoned nephew. His journey travels through time, mixing in his past, his longings, and his regrets. The dreamlike film was shot with hand-held cameras and features a single take lasting 41 minutes.

27 / 100
Arte France

#74. April and the Extraordinary World (2015)

- Directors: Christian Desmares, Franck Ekinci
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 105 minutes

The animated science fiction movie “April and the Extraordinary World” depicts a steampunk image of Paris where a family of scientists is abducted, leaving their young daughter behind. She grows up to pursue their secret research, finding herself in a web of danger and conspiracy. The daughter’s voice is provided by Marion Cotillard, winner of an Academy Award in 2008 for her starring role in “La Vie En Rose” about French singer Edith Piaf.

28 / 100
StudioCanal

#73. Hot Fuzz (2007)

- Director: Edgar Wright
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 121 minutes

In “Hot Fuzz,” a London police officer with a string of successful cases to his name is transferred to a small English village. A spate of suspicious accidents and brutal deaths quickly ensue, and all is not as tranquil as it seems. The movie features Simon Pegg as the accomplished cop, Nick Frost as his new partner, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Steve Coogan, and Martin Freeman.

29 / 100
New Line Cinema

#72. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

- Director: James Foley
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 100 minutes

“Glengarry Glen Ross” focuses on the high pressure, desperate ploys, and vicious backroom deals in a real estate sales office, where a representative from the head office, played by Alec Baldwin, arrives with an ultimatum. The movie was adapted from a play by David Mamet, and the star-studded cast also features Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, and Jonathan Pryce.

30 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#71. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

- Director: Tay Garnett
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 113 minutes

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” is a film noir classic, featuring a drifter and his married girlfriend scheming to murder her husband, the owner of a Calfiornia roadside restaurant. It stars Lana Turner and John Garfield, and it is based on a novel by James M. Cain, who also wrote “Double Indemnity” and “Mildred Pierce.”

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31 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#70. Gone Girl (2014)

- Director: David Fincher
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 149 minutes

“Gone Girl” spins the story of unemployed journalist Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, whose wife, played by Rosamund Pike, goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. The investigation into her disappearance, and into their marriage, puts Dunne under suspicion. The screenplay and novel were written by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the mystery novel “Sharp Objects,” which was made into an award-winning HBO miniseries.

32 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#69. Arrival (2016)

- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 116 minutes

In the science fiction thriller “Arrival,” a fleet of alien spaceships arrives and hovers above the ground in a dozen places around the world. A renowned linguist, played by Amy Adams, is tapped by the U.S. military to try and communicate with whomever is inside. Praised by critics as sophisticated and thought-provoking, the movie also stars Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

33 / 100
Films du Losange

#68. The White Ribbon (2009)

- Director: Michael Haneke
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 144 minutes

“The White Ribbon” tells the story of mysterious, sadistic and cruel occurrences taking place in a German village before the start of World War I. The links between the deaths and disappearances in the movie, shot in black and white, foreshadow the evil and violence that looms.

34 / 100
Walt Disney Studios

#67. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

- Directors: Robert Zemeckis, Richard Williams
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 104 minutes

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” uses a mix of live acting and animation to recount the tale of an old-time private eye, played by actor Bob Hoskins, helping solve a mystery. The action takes place in Toonland, inhabited by such memorable characters as Jessica Rabbit, whose voice is provided by Kathleen Turner. It garnered four Oscars for its effects, including a special achievement award for its animation direction and creation.

35 / 100
Seville Pictures

#66. Russian Ark (2002)

- Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 99 minutes

The dreamlike “Russian Ark” is an experimental fantasy that travels through Russian history, encountering figures like Peter the Great as they are portrayed in the Winter Palace of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The film was shot in a single take, using hundreds of actors who rehearsed extensively to choreograph their movements for the camera.

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36 / 100
Cinema 77

#65. Blow Out (1981)

- Director: Brian De Palma
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 108 minutes

In this remake of the 1966 classic “Blow-Up,” an audio technician records sound that he thinks is evidence of a murder. “Blow Out” is written and directed by horror mastermind Brian De Palma and stars John Travolta.

37 / 100
A24

#64. Hereditary (2018)

- Director: Ari Aster
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 127 minutes

With the death of a family's grandmother in “Hereditary,” the lives of her survivors begin to break apart under the pressure of harrowing secrets and a tragic loss. The chilling movie stars Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne.

38 / 100
Zhejiang Huace Film

#63. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018)

- Director: Bi Gan
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 138 minutes

The Chinese “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which has nothing to do with Eugene O’Neill’s play of the same name, traces the journey of a man returning to his hometown and looking for a lost love. The film features a noted 3D tracking shot lasting 59 minutes that starts halfway into the movie.

39 / 100
Tartan Films

#62. Oldboy (2003)

- Director: Park Chan-wook
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 120 minutes

“Oldboy” from South Korean master Park Chan-wook recounts the story of a man freed from a mysterious solitary confinement after 15 years. He sets out to seek an explanation and revenge. The movie won best foreign independent film at the British Independent Film Awards in 2004.

40 / 100
Alcon Entertainment

#61. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 164 minutes

In “Blade Runner 2049,” a Los Angeles police officer uncovers a dangerous secret and must find an original replicant hunter from 30 years earlier who is missing. The sequel to the original 1982 “Blade Runner” stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.

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41 / 100
Warner Bros.

#60. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 142 minutes

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” the third movie in the wildly successful Harry Potter franchise, follows Harry and his friends returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They are caught up in fending off danger from a criminal who has escaped prison and wants to kill the young wizard.

42 / 100
Lionsgate

#59. Knives Out (2019)

- Director: Rian Johnson
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 130 minutes

In the subversive mystery “Knives Out,” a detective, played by Daniel Craig, investigates the untimely death of an author, played by Christopher Plummer. His search to uncover the truth is hampered by the late author's nurse, Ana de Armas, and his decidedly strange and hostile family. The ensemble cast includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Don Johnson.

43 / 100
Boshra Films

#58. Fireworks Wednesday (2006)

- Director: Asghar Farhadi
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 102 minutes

“Fireworks Wednesday” is an Iranian drama featuring a young house cleaner who gets caught up in perils of intrigue and infidelity in the lives of her employers. Set in Tehran, Iran, ahead of the Persian New Year, the movie provides a critique of middle class Iranian society. Farhadi’s 2011 drama “A Separation” was the first Iranian winner of an Oscar for best foreign language film.

44 / 100
DreamWorks

#57. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

- Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 85 minutes

The mystery of the claymation movie “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” is set ahead of the Great Vegetable Competition, when local vegetable gardens begin to be inexplicably attacked at night. Wallace and his dog Gromit, who run a humane pest control business, set out to catch the garden raider before a competitor who wants to finish it off for good. Voices include those of Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. It won the 2006 Oscar for best animated feature.

45 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#56. The Usual Suspects (1995)

- Director: Bryan Singer
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 106 minutes

“The Usual Suspects” is a smart whodunit centered on police trying to ferret out the mastermind of a massive ship explosion and cargo heist. Kevin Spacey, who survives the blast, spins his version of what took place among the cast of criminal characters, played by Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Stephen Baldwin, and Kevin Pollak. It also stars Chazz Palminteri and Peter Postlethwaite. Spacey won an Oscar for best supporting actor, and the movie also took home an Oscar for best screenplay.

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46 / 100
Sony Pictures Classics

#55. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

- Director: Juan José Campanella
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 129 minutes

"The Secret in Their Eyes" from Argentina won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It's the story of a retired criminal investigator looking back into the murder of a young woman, whose killer eluded justice. As the case is revisited, the victim's widower wants to exact his own justice.

47 / 100
Universal Pictures

#54. Charade (1963)

- Director: Stanley Donen
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 113 minutes

In “Charade,” Audrey Hepburn plays a widow being pursued by her late husband’s associates hunting down a fortune in gold stolen by her husband before he was murdered. A handsome stranger, played by Cary Grant, strikes up a friendship and offers to help her. The movie is acclaimed for the chemistry between Hepburn and Grant and for its score and theme song by Henry Mancini.

48 / 100
Universal Pictures

#53. Get Out (2017)

- Director: Jordan Peele
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 104 minutes

“Get Out” was a career breakthrough and the directing debut of Jordan Peele, previously known for his comic partnership with Keegan-Michael Key. Peele won an Oscar for best original screenplay for the movie, which recounts a Black man leaving for a weekend to meet the family of his white girlfriend, and the encounter grows increasingly unsettling and threatening.

49 / 100
Archipel 35

#52. The Son (2002)

- Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 99 minutes

In “The Son,” a Belgian and French suspense film, a carpenter who trains troubled boys takes on an apprentice who killed his son. The older man grows obsessed, while the younger man is unaware of their connection. The movie memorably lacks any music, and dialogue and action are spare. Olivier Gourmet, who portrays the carpenter, won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.

50 / 100
Rialto Pictures

#51. The Wicker Man (1973)

- Director: Robin Hardy
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 88 minutes

“The Wicker Man” is a British folk horror film about a devout policeman who goes to a Scottish island to follow up a tip that a young girl is missing. He encounters a village of pagan worshippers who say the girl never existed and who may have lured him to the island with sinister intentions.

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51 / 100
Anonymous Content

#50. Winter’s Bone (2010)

- Director: Debra Granik
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 100 minutes

Set in a bleak world ravaged by methamphetamine addiction, “Winter’s Bone” was for many moviegoers their first glimpse of actress Jennfier Lawrence’s talents. She plays a teenager who cares for her siblings and ill mother and sets out to find her absent father to save their home from being repossessed.

52 / 100
Capitol Films

#49. Gosford Park (2001)

- Director: Robert Altman
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 131 minutes

“Gosford Park” is the setting of a murder mystery at an English country house involving the posh guests upstairs and the servants downstairs. It was directed by Robert Altman, whose hits include “M*A*S*H,” “Nashville,” and “The Player,” and it was co-written by Julian Fellowes, who later created the hit “Downton Abbey” television series.

53 / 100
HBO

#48. The Tale (2018)

- Director: Jennifer Fox
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 114 minutes

Starring Laura Dern, “The Tale” is a story of a filmmaker shooting a documentary about victims of childhood sexual assault. She begins to look closely at her own past with a running coach and a horseback riding instructor. The film was based on experiences of the director Jennifer Fox.

54 / 100
Sony Pictures Classics

#47. Incendies (2010)

- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 131 minutes

In “Incendies,” a pair of adult twins, a brother and sister, at the behest of their mother visit the Middle East in search of family they never knew. There, they encounter the horrors and violence that had filled their mother’s younger life. The Canadian movie has dialogue in French and in Arabic.

55 / 100
Neon

#46. Memories of Murder (2003)

- Director: Bong Joon-ho
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 132 minutes

The South Korean thriller “Memories of Murder” tells the story of two detectives chasing a serial killer who is raping and murdering young women in the late 1980s. It is based on the real-life story of the first known serial killer in South Korea. Bong Joon-ho’s film “Parasite” was a runaway hit at the 2020 Oscars, winning for best picture, best director, and best original screenplay.

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56 / 100
Warner Bros.

#45. Mystic River (2003)

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 138 minutes

“Mystic River” centers on the lives of three childhood friends from a Boston neighborhood. Their adult lives, and friendships, are upended when one of their children is found dead, and one of them becomes the suspect in the crime. It was directed by Clint Eastwood and adapted from a novel of the same name by popular crime writer Dennis Lehane. Sean Penn won an Oscar and a Golden Globe as best leading actor, and Tim Robbins matched him with an Oscar and Golden Globe as best supporting actor.

57 / 100
Sony Pictures Classics

#44. The Past (2013)

- Director: Asghar Farhadi
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 130 minutes

In “The Past,” an Iranian man after a long absence returns to Paris to finalize a divorce with his estranged wife. He is drawn into a complicated web of relationships, and secrets, with her, her daughters, and her new suitor, whose wife is in a coma. In French, the film is the first that the Iranian director made outside his homeland and follows his award-winning 2011 movie “A Separation.”

58 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#43. The Conversation (1974)

- Director: Francis Ford Coppola
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 113 minutes

In “The Conversation,” Gene Hackman is an electronic surveillance expert who starts to suspect he is being used to record a couple that is a target for murder. Because of its focus on surveillance and wire-tapping, the movie was seen as commentary on the Watergate scandal when it was released, but director Francis Ford Coppola said it had been researched and written several years earlier. Coppola struggled to get funding to make the movie until after the success of “The Godfather” in 1972. Star Gene Hackman learned how to play saxophone for his role in the movie.

59 / 100
Focus Features

#42. Atonement (2007)

- Director: Joe Wright
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 123 minutes

“Atonement” is a tragic story of the romance of a couple torn apart by jealousy and misunderstanding, taking place primarily in the years leading up to and during World War II. The film depicts the agonies of the French battlefields and the bombings of London, with a twist that could rectify the betrayal that broke the lovers apart. Based on a best-seller by Ian McEwan, it stars Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan.

60 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

#41. The Long Goodbye (1973)

- Director: Robert Altman
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 112 minutes

Based on the film noir classic by mystery writer Raymond Chandler, “The Long Goodbye” stars Elliott Gould as private eye Philip Marlowe investigating a murder and a missing friend. It also stars baseball star Jim Boulton, author of the bestselling “Ball Four.” Dan Blocker of the television Western “Bonanza” was cast for the movie, but died before shooting began, and he is remembered in the closing credits. Gould made four other films with director Robert Altman—“M*A*S*H,” “Nashville,” “The Player,” and “California Split.”

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61 / 100
Summit Entertainment

#40. Memento (2000)

- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 113 minutes

An early Christopher Nolan film, “Memento” features an unusual narrative. It follows a man who is incapable of making new memories as he tries to solve the puzzle of his wife’s murder, while revealing the story in reverse. Guy Pearce plays the damaged husband, whose brain injury stems from the same attack that killed his wife, tattooing notes on his body to keep track of what he is finding.

62 / 100
MK2 Productions

#39. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 94 minutes

The first of a trilogy by Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, “Three Colors: Blue” is the story of a woman, portrayed by Juliette Binoche, whose husband and daughter are killed in an auto accident. In an effort to cut herself off from the tragedy, she burrows herself into a new, solitary, pared-down and anonymous life. The three films of the Three Colors trilogy, all directed in less than 10 months, are based on the French national motto of “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”

 

63 / 100
Miramax

#38. The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 98 minutes

Another offering from Krzysztof Kieslowski, “The Double Life of Veronique” spins the stories of two women—Weronika, a choir singer in Poland, and Veronique, a music teacher in France—who do not know one another, yet are strangely and mystifyingly linked. Swiss actress Irène Jacob plays both roles.

64 / 100
Disney/Pixar

#37. Coco (2017)

- Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 105 minutes

“Coco” won an Oscar for best original song and an Oscar and Golden Globes Award for best animated feature in 2018. It is the story of a Mexican village boy who wants to become a musician, but his family bans music, believing it to be a curse. The boy finds himself on a journey through the Land of the Dead, where he meets the souls of his ancestors. Among the actors providing voices are Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt.

65 / 100
Universal Pictures

#36. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

- Director: Paul Greengrass
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 115 minutes

In “The Bourne Ultimatum,” Matt Damon is a professional assassin hunting down those he holds responsible for stealing his identity and memories. The sequel to “The Bourne Supremacy,” it follows Jason Bourne around the world, pursued by CIA hitmen trying to kill him. Also appearing are Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Albert Finney, and Joan Allen.

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66 / 100
Universal Pictures

#35. Mulholland Drive (2001)

- Director: David Lynch
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 147 minutes

In “Mulholland Drive,” a car accident causes a young Hollywood actress to lose her memory. What follows is a surreal mix of reality, illusions, hallucinations, dreams, flashbacks, and danger. Director David Lynch is known for the movies “Wild at Heart,” “Blue Velvet,” “Eraserhead,” and the “Twin Peaks” television series.

67 / 100
Sony Pictures Classics

#34. Talk to Her (2002)

- Director: Pedro Almodóvar
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 112 minutes

“Talk to Her” is about the growing friendship of two men who share common responsibilities—each of them is the caretaker to a comatose woman. But their caring and motivation go beyond what would normally be expected. Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, who won an Oscar for best original screenplay, is known for the movies “All About My Mother,” “High Heels,” “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!,” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

68 / 100
Warner Bros.

#33. The Fugitive (1993)

- Director: Andrew Davis
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 130 minutes

“The Fugitive” is the suspenseful story of a Chicago doctor, played by Harrison Ford, wrongfully accused of murdering his wife. On the run, he is trying to prove his innocence before he is captured by a team of U.S. Marshals, headed by Tommy Lee Jones. The movie and the television series of the same name were loosely based on the true story of Sam Sheppard, a doctor accused, convicted, and cleared of killing his wife in 1954.

69 / 100
Rialto Pictures

#32. The Fallen Idol (1948)

- Director: Carol Reed
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 95 minutes

In “The Fallen Idol,” the wife of a butler falls to her death, and the butler is suspected of killing her. The key witness in the case is a young boy whose family employs the butler and who wants to protect the accused man by altering his account of what he saw. The movie was based on a short story, “The Basement Room,” by British author Graham Greene, who also wrote the screenplay. Director Carol Reed is best known for "The Third Man."

70 / 100
Rizzoli Film

#31. Deep Red (1975)

- Director: Dario Argento
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 127 minutes

In the Italian giallo horror movie “Deep Red,” a jazz musician witnesses the slaying of a psychic. He tries to solve the case, enlisting the help of a reporter who is hoping for a big story. As they follow the clues, they find themselves in danger.

 

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71 / 100
Pandora Films

#30. Burning (2018)

- Director: Lee Chang-dong
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 148 minutes

“Burning,” from South Korea, features an aspiring young writer from a lowly background entangled with a childhood friend and her rich but suspiciously strange boyfriend (an enigmatic Steven Yeun). The village of their childhood is set on the border with North Korea, where a loudspeaker fills the air with shrill propaganda.

72 / 100
Warner Bros.

#29. Reversal of Fortune (1990)

- Director: Barbet Schroeder
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 111 minutes

“Reversal of Fortune” is based on the real-life story of Claus von Bulow, who was accused of trying to kill his socialite wife Sunny, who is left comatose. He hires Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who mounts a masterful defense in a retrial to clear his wealthy client. Jeremy Irons won an Oscar for best actor for his role as von Bulow.

73 / 100
Warner Bros.

#28. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

- Director: David Yates
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 130 minutes

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is the final installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise. In it, Harry and his friends seek to find and destroy the keys to Lord Voldemort’s immortality. The ultimate showdown between good and evil stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry and Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort.

74 / 100
20th Century Fox

#27. Rebecca (1940)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 130 minutes

In Alfred Hitchcock’s spooky “Rebecca,” a young wife struggles to meet the expectations of her wealthy husband, whose first wife died mysteriously. They live at Manderley, an English estate, where the dead wife casts an uncomfortable spell, and a dour housekeeper will not welcome her successor. The timeless classic stars Sir Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson.

75 / 100
Dreamlab Films

#26. About Elly (2009)

- Director: Asghar Farhadi
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 119 minutes

“About Elly” traces the disappearance of a school teacher during a seaside outing. Questions of whether she was taken, fled, or is dead—and who is to blame—expose dishonesty and betrayal among those left behind.

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76 / 100
Universal Pictures

#25. The Birds (1963)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 119 minutes

In “The Birds,” one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best-known works, birds start acting strangely and begin attacking people in a small town in Northern California. The movie has no score except for the ever more menacing sound of the birds, and Hitchcock’s brilliance shows in his use of long shots and aerial camerawork that illustrate how vulnerable and trapped the characters become. The movie starred Rod Taylor, Tippie Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jessica Tandy.

77 / 100
Warner Bros.

#24. Mildred Pierce (1945)

- Director: Michael Curtiz
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 111 minutes

Joan Crawford won her only Academy Award for her lead role in “Mildred Pierce,” the melodramatic saga of a driven mother, hellbent on success, and her selfish daughter. Crawford famously declined to attend the Academy Awards ceremony, but invited members of the press into her bedroom where she accepted the award.

78 / 100
Newmarket Films

#23. Donnie Darko (2001)

- Director: Richard Kelly
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 113 minutes

“Donnie Darko” stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an angry, alienated teenager who sleepwalks and is haunted by a giant rabbit. The creature convinces him the world is coming to an end and coerces him into committing chilling crimes.

79 / 100
Donaldson Collection // Getty Images

#22. Great Expectations (1946)

- Director: David Lean
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 118 minutes

“Great Expectations” is the classic film version of the novel by Charles Dickens. It features a young orphan whose education and allowance are provided by an unknown benefactor. He grows up to become a snob in London society, but finds redemption. Stars of the movie include Alec Guinnes and British actress Martita Hunt as the memorable Miss Havisham, whose madness is driven by being left at the altar.

80 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#21. Don’t Look Now (1973)

- Director: Nicolas Roeg
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 110 minutes

“Don’t Look Now” is a horror story about a grieving couple—Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie—who move to Venice after their young daughter drowns. They meet a blind woman who claims she can communicate with the dead girl, and they begin to wrestle with their own supernatural visions.

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81 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

#20. The 39 Steps (1935)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 86 minutes

“The 39 Steps” is Alfred Hitchcock’s incomparable suspense tale about a Canadian man who visits London, where he meets a woman fleeing secret agents. She is murdered, and he must go on the run himself. Hitchcock is said to have ranked the movie among his personal favorites.

82 / 100
Mosfilm

#19. Solaris (1972)

- Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 167 minutes

The Russian science fiction movie “Solaris” features a psychologist who must travel to a remote space station to replace a crew member. When he arrives, he makes disturbing discoveries, encounters a duplicate of his late wife, and questions whether a form of alien intelligence has taken over.

83 / 100
Shôchiku Eiga

#18. Harakiri (1962)

- Director: Masaki Kobayashi
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 133 minutes

“Harakari” is the story of an unemployed samurai, known as a ronin, seeking to commit a ritual suicide of disembowelment, ending his state of disgrace, at the manor of a wealthy lord. The themes of fanaticism and codes of honor also appear in a nine-hour film “The Human Condition” that director Masaki Kobayashi made before the release of “Harakiri.” The movie was awarded the special jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

84 / 100
Warner Bros.

#17. L.A. Confidential (1997)

- Director: Curtis Hanson
-Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 138 minutes

“L.A. Confidential” is a stylized thriller about corruption in the Los Angeles police force in the 1950s. The cast of suave and swaggering cops is played by Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, and James Cromwell. Kim Basinger won an Oscar and a Golden Globe as best supporting actress.

85 / 100
Sony Pictures Classics

#16. The Lives of Others (2006)

- Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 137 minutes

“The Lives of Others” is a taut political drama set in 1984 in Berlin, where an East German intelligence officer is spying on a successful playwright. As his surveillance leads him deeper into his target’s life, the agent starts to doubt his purpose and morality. The film won an Oscar for best foreign language film.

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86 / 100
13 Productions

#15. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

- Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 145 minutes

In the Hungarian “Werckmeister Harmonies,” unexplained incidents of violence erupt and families disappear in an isolated, freezing cold village after a circus arrives and draws strangers from far away. The black-and-white movie uses only longshots lasting two to four minutes, so the entire 145-minute feature consists of just 39 shots.

87 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#14. Chinatown (1974)

- Director: Roman Polanski
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 130 minutes

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway star in “Chinatown,” about a private eye in the 1930s hired by a suspicious wife to collect evidence of her husband’s infidelity. In the process, he is witness to suspicious business and criminal dealings involving a plan to boost the water supply for the booming city of Los Angeles, and that knowledge proves dangerous. The movie earned an Oscar for best original screenplay for writer Robert Towne.

88 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#13. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

- Director: Otto Preminger
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 161 minutes

“Anatomy of a Murder” is a suspenseful courtroom drama with James Stewart as a defense attorney who takes the case of an Army lieutenant, played by Ben Gazzara, accused of murdering a bartender he believed had raped his wife. The accused man claims he has no memory of the crime, and his lawyer has little evidence to argue his innocence. Lee Remick plays the accused man’s wife.

89 / 100
Warner Bros.

#12. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

- Director: John Huston
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 100 minutes

Humphrey Bogart is private eye Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon,” written and directed by John Huston and drawn from a novel by Dashiell Hammett. Spade, along with memorable characters played by Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet, are drawn into a complicated film noir plot to recover a valuable bird figurine. Two falcon statues were used in the movie because Bogart accidentally dropped one. Lorre and Greenstreet went on to make nine additional movies together.

90 / 100
Zoetrope Studios

#11. Apocalypse Now (1979)

- Director: Francis Ford Coppola
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 147 minutes

“Apocalypse Now” is considered by many to be a masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola. It recounts the story of a U.S. military mission in Vietnam, led by Martin Sheen, to find and eliminate the mysterious rogue officer Colonel Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando. The army has decided Kurtz is insane, but the sanity of the war itself is called into question as the squad of soldiers travels upriver on its journey. The movie won Oscars for best cinematography and best sound.

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91 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#10. Double Indemnity (1944)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 107 minutes

In the film noir classic “Double Indemnity,” Fred MacMurray is an insurance salesman seduced into a scheme hatched by a murderous wife, played by Barbara Stanwyck, to kill her husband and live off a fake claim of accidental death. The scheme catches the sharp eye of an investigator played by Edward G. Robinson. MacMurray’s character narrates in flashback.

92 / 100
London Film Productions

#9. The Third Man (1949)

- Director: Carol Reed
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 93 minutes

In “The Third Man,” a pulp novelist played by Joseph Cotten finds himself in postwar Vienna where an old friend, played by Orson Welles, has died under mysterious circumstances. His suspicions are aroused, and his investigation reveals dark secrets about his late friend. The movie won an Oscar for best black-and-white cinematography.

93 / 100
Daiei Motion Picture Company

#8. Rashomon (1950)

- Director: Akira Kurosawa
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 88 minutes

The Japanese classic “Rashomon” recounts the rape of a woman and the murder of her samurai husband from four different viewpoints—a thief, the woman, the ghost of the samurai, and a woodcutter. Their stories of half-truths, flashbacks, and questionable memories are linked at an inquiry into the crime. It won an honorary Academy Award for outstanding foreign language film. The standing award category for foreign film at the Oscars was not established until 1956.

94 / 100
Warner Bros.

#7. North by Northwest (1959)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 136 minutes

One of Alfred Hitchcok’s finest, “North by Northwest” follows a New York City advertising executive who is mistaken for a spy and is running for his life. His mistaken identity also gets him framed for murder, so police are hunting him as well. The movie features the unforgettable scene of Cary Grant’s character being chased by a crop-dusting plane in a field and a climactic scene on Mt. Rushmore.

95 / 100
Canal+

#6. Three Colors: Red (1994)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 99 minutes

“Three Colors: Red” is the final movie in the “Three Colors” trilogy. It recounts the story of a model, played by Irène Jacob, who develops a friendship with a neighborhood judge over his penchant for spying on people and eavesdropping on their telephone conversations. When the movie was done, director Krzysztof Kieslowski said he would retire from filmmaking, and he died two years after its release.

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96 / 100
Studio Ghibli

#5. Spirited Away (2001)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 99
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 125 minutes

The animated “Spirited Away” features a girl and her parents who move to a new home in the Japanese countryside where they find an abandoned amusement park. The girl’s parents are turned into pigs, and she takes a supernatural journey, fending off demons, evil gods, and captivity as she tries to rescue her family.

97 / 100
Shamley Productions

#4. Psycho (1960)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 99
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 109 minutes

The iconic horror film “Psycho” is set at the remote Bates Motel, where a secretary played by Janet Leigh, having stolen money from her boss, stops to spend a rainy night. There she meets proprietor Norman Bates, chillingly portrayed by Anthony Perkins, who has a complex relationship with his mother. To get the movie made, Alfred Hitchcock agreed to pass on his standard salary of $250,000 and take 60% of the movie’s gross instead. He made more than $15 million.

98 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#3. Citizen Kane (1941)

- Director: Orson Welles
- Stacker score: 99
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 119 minutes

“Citizen Kane” is the story of a complicated, enigmatic newspaper tycoon, played by Orson Welles, who also directed and produced the movie. It recounts the efforts of a reporter to figure out why the once powerful tycoon died alone and what he meant by his final word: “Rosebud.” The movie was a favorite of Peanuts’ cartoonist Charles Schulz, who drew a now famous cartoon in 1973 of Linus sitting in front of a television set, saying it’s the first time he has watched “Citizen Kane.” “Rosebud was his sled,” Lucy tells him.

99 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#2. Vertigo (1958)

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

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Vertigo” stars James Stewart as a retired police detective with a fear of heights who agrees to a job following a beautiful woman, played by Kim Novak. The woman’s wealthy husband says he fears she is going mad and may be suicidal, but the assignment draws the private detective into a devious and dangerous plot. An uncredited cameraman came up with what was coined the “zoom out and track in” or “trombone” shot to create a sense of vertigo for viewers.

100 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#1. Rear Window (1954)

- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Stacker score: 100
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 112 minutes

In Alfred Hitchcok’s “Rear Window,” a laid-up photographer with a broken leg spends his sick time watching his neighbors from his apartment window. He grows convinced that one of them, played by Raymond Burr, has murdered his wife and buried her body in the garden. The photographer solicits his girlfriend, played by Grace Kelly, to help investigate while he is confined to his apartment. The movie was out of circulation for about 30 years after Hitchcock bought the rights, along with those of some other of his movies, as a legacy to leave to his daughter. It was re-released around 1984.

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