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Where you can stream the 50 best films of the 21st century

Where can you stream the 50 best films of the 21st century

Although some hardened cinephiles may argue that the true film masterpieces exist primarily in the movies of the 20th century, the past two decades have brought with them enduring cinema staples that arguably earned their place among the very best in the genre. With directors of the prestigious “New Hollywood” filmmaking movement of the ’60s and ’70s still alive and creating as good of work as ever, alongside modern and older auteurs and up-and-comers around the world carving their own distinct paths in the film industry, there is enough groundwork laid out between 2000 and 2020 to distinguish this century’s own classic canon.

The best films of the 21st century span genre and style, from art films like Béla Tarr’s “Werckmeister Harmonies” and Cristian Mungiu’s “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” to the animated superhero film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” to the epic fantasy trilogy of “The Lord of the Rings,” to the modern musical “La La Land.” While many of these films went on to be Academy Award-nominated (and winning), others—such as Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunset” or Don Hertzfeldt’s “It’s Such a Beautiful Day”—maintain enduring critical and audience acclaim regardless of accolades.

For this list, Flixed compiled data on the top 21st-century films to come up with a Flixed score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores as of Dec. 28, 2020. To qualify, the film had to have a Metascore and at least 10,000 IMDb user votes. Ties were broken by Metascore and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating and vote count. Movies are ranked from 50 down, with the best in the #1 slot. Five of these films are only available to rent online, and two are not available to rent or stream anywhere.

Keep reading to see where you can stream the best films of the 21st century.

#50. Her (2013)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Spike Jonze
- Flixed score: 92.9
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 126 minutes

In a not-so-distant future, lonely and divorced Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) finds companionship in his life-like new operating system, which creates the manufactured persona of a playful woman named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). But the more time he spends with his artificial intelligence, the more he finds himself falling for it as if it was real. From acclaimed director Spike Jonze, the film is also available for rent on various sites such as Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and YouTube.

#49. The Incredibles (2004)

- Where to stream: Disney+
- Director: Brad Bird
- Flixed score: 92.9
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 115 minutes

Forced into hiding after superpowers are banned by the government, the Parrs assume the identities of mundane, average civilians, but patriarch Bob—alias “Mr. Incredible”—longs to return to the life of a superhero. However, when he’s called on mysterious circumstances to battle a dangerous threat, his whole family must save him. This Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature is streaming on Disney+, but is also available to rent on other streaming platforms.

#48. The Hurt Locker (2008)

- Where to stream: Prime Video, Hulu, DIRECTV, EPIX, Watch TCM
- Director: Kathryn Bigelow
- Flixed score: 92.9
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 131 minutes

Winner of Best Picture (and five other Oscars) at the 82nd Academy Awards, this war thriller centers on an Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team and the harmful psychological effects combat has on the soldiers involved. To this day, the film remains the only winner of the Best Picture Oscar to have been directed by a woman.

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

- Where to stream: Only available for rent
- Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
- Flixed score: 93.4
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 117 minutes

This animated Marvel film follows teenager Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) as he transforms into New York City’s titular web-slinging superhero. But Miles soon learns there are numerous other Spider-People (and pigs) from other dimensions, who must band together to stop the villainous Kingpin (Liev Schreiber).

#46. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)

- Where to stream: MUBI Amazon Channel
- Director: Anurag Kashyap
- Flixed score: 93.4
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 321 minutes

This two-part Indian crime film chronicles an epic, years-long feud between a gangster and the ruthless kingpin who killed his father. The movie was divided into two films for the Indian market due to its length, but screened as one film at its premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight section.

#45. Before Sunset (2004)

- Where to stream: HBO Max, DIRECTV
- Director: Richard Linklater
- Flixed score: 93.4
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 80 minutes

In 1995’s “Before Sunrise,” Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet by chance on a train to Vienna and share one intimate night with the promise to meet again in six months. "Before Sunset" picks things up nine years later as Jesse reunites with Celine in Paris during a stop along his book tour. Through a long, meandering walk through the city, they share the separate paths their lives have taken and their enduring desire for one another.

#44. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

- Where to stream: DIRECTV, TNT, TBS, Spectrum
- Director: George Miller
- Flixed score: 93.4
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 120 minutes

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, water is scarce and cruel despot Immortan Joe has taken control over a desert civilization with the remaining survivors. But a rogue warrior (Charlize Theron) on the run with the tyrant’s wives forms an alliance with escaped captive Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), together pursued by Joe’s henchman on an epic chase across the barren wasteland in search of a better world. Director George Miller’s reimagining of his original film garnered him a Best Director nomination at the 88th Academy Awards, along with a slew of other nominations.

#43. Finding Nemo (2003)

- Where to stream: Disney+
- Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
- Flixed score: 93.4
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 100 minutes

After being separated from his son, cautious Clownfish father Marlin must embark on a quest to find Nemo, encountering an array of colorful (and occasionally dangerous) characters who help him on his way. The celebrated Disney Pixar film features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen Degeneres, and Willem Dafoe.

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

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Michel Gondry
- Flixed score: 94
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 108 minutes

In the aftermath of their painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) decides to undergo a procedure to erase all memories of her time spent with Joel (Jim Carrey). But when Joel discovers what Clementine is doing, he wants the procedure for himself as well—until his subconscious changes its mind. Written by acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the film won the award for Best Original Screenplay at the 77th Academy Awards.

#41. No Country for Old Men (2007)

- Where to stream: Starz, DIRECTV
- Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
- Flixed score: 94
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 122 minutes

This neo-Western thriller from the Coen brothers centers on Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), an opportunistic antelope hunter who steals a briefcase of cash he finds abandoned after a drug deal goes sideways. Hunter becomes hunted as Moss is pursued by a ruthless hitman (Javier Bardem) who won’t stop until Moss is dead. The film also features Tommy Lee Jones as an aging sheriff reckoning with a rapidly changing world.

#40. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

- Where to stream: HBO, DIRECTV, Max Go
- Directors: Julian Schnabel, Laura Obiols
- Flixed score: 94
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 112 minutes

Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (portrayed by Mathieu Amalric) was left paralyzed after a stroke, his movement suddenly limited to use of his left eye. Bauby goes on to painstakingly dictate his memoir through his eye, his only means left of communication. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is based on Bauby’s 1997 memoir of the same name.

#39. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

- Where to stream: Starz
- Director: Luca Guadagnino
- Flixed score: 94
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 132 minutes

Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, Luca Guadagnino’s intimate look at first love and sexual awakening observes the romance between a 17-year-old boy and his father’s older doctoral student, set against the backdrop of idyllic 1983 Lombardy, Italy. The film won Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards.

#38. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

- Where to stream: Prime Video
- Director: Ang Lee
- Flixed score: 94
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 120 minutes

A missing sword is the object of a widespread chase to find it between two warriors in Qing dynasty China, leading them to the house of a young and physically skilled nobleman’s daughter. The Chinese film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, maintaining a tie with 2018's "Roma" for most Academy Award nominations for a non-English language film.

#37. The Social Network (2010)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: David Fincher
- Flixed score: 94
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 120 minutes

The story of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s (Jesse Eisenberg) rise to power is told in this dynamic bio-drama from tour de force writer/director pairing David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, chronicling the Harvard drop-out’s quest for power at the expense of others. There are talks of a sequel currently on the table, with Sorkin and Eisenberg reportedly both on board.

#36. Whiplash (2014)

- Where to stream: IMDb TV, Pluto TV
- Director: Damien Chazelle
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 106 minutes

Success-hungry jazz drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) has dreams of being the best but finds a challenge in his ruthless new instructor, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), who pushes Neiman to his breaking point. The drama film was based on director Damien Chazelle’s short film of the same name, which was screened at Sundance in 2013.

#35. The Lives of Others (2006)

- Where to stream: Only available for rent
- Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 137 minutes

In 1984, a member of East Germany’s secret police is tasked with wiretapping a famous playwright and his actress lover under suspicions that they are not loyal to the Communist party. However, things take a turn with the officer’s burgeoning sympathy for the couple paired with his superior’s growing fixation on the actress. This German drama won Best Foreign Language film at the 79th Academy Awards.

#34. It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

- Where to stream: Only available for rent on Vimeo
- Director: Don Hertzfeldt
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 62 minutes

Don Hertzfeldt’s existentialist animated experimental film follows a stick figure man as he grapples with an increasingly unreliable psyche. It was Hertzfeldt’s debut feature film, and the three chapters it was divided into were originally released independently as short films. Though the film was released for streaming on both iTunes and Netflix, it is now only available to rent on Vimeo.

#33. Shoplifters (2018)

- Where to stream: Hulu, Hoopla
- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 121 minutes

A found family of misfit thieves lives on the margins of society in Tokyo, coping with poverty by shoplifting to survive. But their bond is tested when one of them is caught and arrested, and their loyalty to one another is upended by exposed secrets. The Japanese drama won the Palme D’Or and was nominated for Best Forgein Language Film at both the 91st Academy Awards and the 76th Golden Globes Awards.

#32. Amour (2012)

- Where to stream: Starz, DIRECTV
- Director: Michael Haneke
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 127 minutes

The strength of a long-lasting relationship between two elderly music teachers is tested, when wife Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) suffers a stroke. Though husband George (Jean-Louis Trintignant) suffers from his own ailments from old age, he dedicates himself solely to keeping Anne from returning to the hospital. At then 85 years old, actress Emmanuelle Riva remains the oldest actress to be nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards.

#31. Before Midnight (2013)

- Where to stream: Starz, DIRECTV
- Director: Richard Linklater
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 109 minutes

The final installment of Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy sees longtime lovers Celine and Jesse (Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke returning to the roles, respectively) on an excursion to Greece, almost two decades after their chance encounter on a train to Vienna. Now married with twin girls, the pair reminisces on their time together and the choices they made. The romantic drama was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 86th Academy Awards.

#30. The Irishman (2019)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 209 minutes

Based on the nonfiction book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt, Martin Scorsese’s newest epic gangster saga details the rise to power of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a real-life mob hitman from Philadelphia. Sheeran becomes involved with high-ranking mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), eventually moving through the ranks to work for powerful teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). The film required a special three-camera rig to facilitate the use of de-aging SFX.

#29. Dunkirk (2017)

- Where to stream: only available for rent
- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 106 minutes

On the beaches of Dunkirk, Allied troops are trapped by the forces of Germany, and British and French cover from above and below must assist in heroically evacuating 330,000 French, British, Dutch, and Belgian soldiers. The film relies on little dialogue, with a heavy focus on cinematography, sound design, and score in creating the necessary suspense. It is available to rent on Google Play, Amazon Video, Youtube, Fandango Now, and elsewhere.

#28. Roma (2018)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 135 minutes

The tale of a housekeeper employed by a middle-class Mexican family in the 1970s, Cleo’s (Yalitza Aparicio) life with Antonio, Sofía, and their four children takes a turn when it is revealed that Antonio has a pregnant mistress—and has run off with her. The film was shot in color and converted to black-and-white, part of director Alfonso Cuarón’s vision for a “modern film that looks into the past.” The streamer, Netflix, also distributed the film.

#27. Gravity (2013)

- Where to stream: Tubi TV, IndieFlix
- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 91 minutes

A medical engineer (Sandra Bullock) on her first mission and a veteran astronaut (George Clooney) preparing for retirement are upended by what was supposed to be a routine space walk, when their shuttle is destroyed. Left helpless in deep space, the pair realizes they must travel further into space if they want any chance of returning home. The film’s groundbreaking special effects (which comprise over 80 of its 91-minute runtime) took three years to create.

#26. Moonlight (2016)

- Where to stream: Netflix, Hoopla, Kanopy
- Director: Barry Jenkins
- Flixed score: 94.5
- Metascore: 99
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 111 minutes

Told in three defining stages of his life, Chiron’s fraught journey of self-discovery is recounted from adolescence to adulthood in the friendships and romances he forges as he comes of age and falls in love. The 89th Academy Award Best Picture winner is based on the unpublished “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” a semi-autobiographical play by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney.

#25. The Dark Knight (2008)

- Where to stream: Peacock, Sling
- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 9.0
- Runtime: 152 minutes

The second chapter of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy sees Batman (Christian Bale) battling it out with the Clown Prince of Crime (Heath Ledger). In his quest to descend Gotham City into chaos, the Joker forces Batman to reckon with himself and whether he’s truly a hero, or merely a vigilante. Heath Ledger’s legendary performance as the Joker earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor in 2009.

#24. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

- Where to stream: Hulu, HBO Max
- Director: Peter Jackson
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 179 minutes

In the follow-up to the first film of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy from Peter Jackson, Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring continues on sans Fellowship, and they soon discover that they are being trailed by the malignant creature known as Gollum. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas travel to the besieged kingdom of Rohan. The critically acclaimed sequel was nominated for six Oscars at the 75th Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

#23. The Best of Youth (2003)

- Where to stream: Not available to stream or rent
- Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 366 minutes

Two brothers see their lives buffeted by the social and political upheaval in Italy during the 1960s and ’70s, the decades ensuing portrayed in this epic tale of love and family. Upon premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003, "The Best of Youth" was awarded the Prize Un Certain Regard (essentially the second place prize). Though originally available to stream on Netflix, the film was removed in 2016 and is not available elsewhere; this is possibly due to it having been acquired by the now-defunct Miramax.

#22. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

- Where to stream: Not available to stream or rent
- Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 145 minutes

János (Lars Rudolph) and György (Peter Fitz), two friends in communist-era Hungary, witness the arrival of a dark and mysterious circus in their small town. The title of the film is a reference to Andreas Werckmeister, a baroque musical theorist, and was shot entirely in black-and-white and made up of only 39 shots.

#21. Spotlight (2015)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Tom McCarthy
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 129 minutes

In 2001, the “Spotlight” investigative team of the Boston Globe was tasked with reporting on allegations that an unfrocked priest sexually abused over 80 young boys. The inquiry led them to a massive child sexual abuse cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, which is shockingly discovered to extend far beyond Boston. The bio-drama "Spotlight" covers the harrowing ordeal with an ensemble cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Liev Schreiber. The film took home an Oscar for Best Picture at the 88th Academy Awards.

#20. Marriage Story (2019)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Noah Baumbach
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 137 minutes

A stage director (Adam Driver) and his actress wife (Scarlett Johansson) attempt a divorce across opposing coasts, fighting over the custody of their young son as they are pushed to grueling extremes both personally and creatively. The film is thought to be a loose interpretation of director Noah Baumbach’s own divorce from actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.

#19. La La Land (2016)

- Where to stream: HBO Max, DIRECTV, USA
- Director: Damien Chazelle
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 128 minutes

"La La Land" tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and their intersecting dreams of making it big through their respective passions of acting and playing jazz. But as success begins to build for both of them, their romance is put to the test. The Oscar-nominated love letter to Los Angeles had initial difficulty finding financing, with studios hesitant to back a “jazz musical.”

#18. Manchester by the Sea (2016)

- Where to stream: Prime Video
- Director: Kenneth Lonergan
- Flixed score: 95.1
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 137 minutes

A tragic event sees Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) returning from Boston to the fishing village where he grew up, and where he’s been named the sole guardian of his nephew (Lucas Hedges). There, Chandler reckons with the past that forced him away from Manchester-by-the-Sea, its community, and his wife Randi (Michelle Williams). The concept for the film was developed by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, who both produced the film. Damon previously worked with director Kenneth Lonergan on the 2011 film “Margaret.”

#17. Toy Story 3 (2010)

- Where to stream: Disney+
- Director: Lee Unkrich
- Flixed score: 95.6
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 103 minutes

Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen), and co. are back in the third installment of the “Toy Story” saga, which sees owner Andy all grown up and off to college, forced to send his toys upstairs to the attic. But when the toys mistakenly end up outside with the trash, their last-minute diversion to a nursery school forces them to concoct yet another of their great escapes. The Disney Pixar film was nominated for Best Picture, one of only three animated films (including “Beauty and the Beast” and “Up”) to be nominated. It didn’t win Best Picture, but it did take home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

#16. Yi Yi (2000)

- Where to stream: The Criterion Channel
- Director: Edward Yang
- Flixed score: 95.6
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 173 minutes

"Yi Yi" follows the alternating perspectives of three members of the Jian family in Taiwan as they struggle through the quandaries of everyday life. The Taiwanese drama premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000, where Edward Yang won the Best Director award.

#15. There Will Be Blood (2007)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Flixed score: 95.6
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 158 minutes

"There Will Be Blood" is set at the turn of the 20th century in California, where ruthless oil tycoon Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) will stop at nothing to accumulate as much wealth as possible. Through this epic saga of his rise to power, Plainview meets his match in zealous young preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), whose family resides on oil-rich land Plainview is intent on purchasing no matter the cost. The film is based loosely on Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel “Oil!”, and was influenced in part by John Huston's film “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”

#14. Inside Out (2015)

- Where to stream: Disney+, DIRECTV
- Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
- Flixed score: 95.6
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 95 minutes

Young Riley’s blissful world is upended when her parents move the family to San Francisco and she finds herself in the throes of isolation and depression. Meanwhile, the inner machinations of Riley's mind have their own agenda, each one attempting to guide Riley through this dramatic and stressful time in her life. The animated Disney film features the voice work of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, and Lewis Black.

#13. Hamilton (2020)

- Where to stream: Disney+
- Director: Thomas Kail
- Flixed score: 96.2
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 160 minutes

The hit Broadway musical finally makes its way to homes everywhere, in this filmed version of the show’s original run. The story of Founding Father and the United States’s first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton is told in infectious hip-hop songs and the unforgettable performances from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom Jr., Jonathan Groff, and Phillipa Soo.

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

- Where to stream: Hulu
- Director: Céline Sciamma
- Flixed score: 96.2
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 122 minutes

In 18th-century France, young artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is tasked with painting the wedding portrait of the enigmatic Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), who recently left a convent and refuses to have her likeness painted. Marianne creates the portrait in secrecy while forming a bond with Héloïse that soon turns to romance. After premiering at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or and won the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay awards.

#11. Ratatouille (2007)

- Where to stream: Disney+
- Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
- Flixed score: 96.2
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 111 minutes

Remy the rat (voiced by Patton Oswald) has big dreams of becoming a Parisian chef and, despite his large rat family frowning on his cooking as an anti-rodent trade, leaves them behind when he accidentally ends up in Paris. There, he finds himself ideally situated at the restaurant of his idol: the late Auguste Gusteau, where a series of peculiar events soon allows him to put his cooking skills to the test under the toque of the restaurant’s busboy. In order to achieve animated food that looked convincingly real, the film’s animators attended cooking classes.

#10. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

- Where to stream: The Criterion Channel, DIRECTV
- Director: Cristian Mungiu
- Flixed score: 96.2
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 113 minutes

Romanian college student Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) seeks an illegal abortion for an unwanted pregnancy, aided by the help of her friend, Otilia (Anamaria Marinca). The two women recruit the services of a shady man to perform the procedure and endure a series of increasingly difficult situations in order to get Gabita the help that she needs. The art film won the Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival but was excluded from the Academy Awards, causing some controversy.

#9. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

- Where to stream: Hulu
- Director: Steve McQueen
- Flixed score: 96.7
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 134 minutes

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2014, this harrowing biographical drama tells the story of free Black man Solomon Northup, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South pre-Civil War. The film recounts Northup’s struggle for survival, humanity, and eventual freedom. Directed by Steve McQueen, it was adapted from Northup’s memoir of the same name.

#8. A Separation (2011)

- Where to stream: Only available for rent
- Director: Asghar Farhadi
- Flixed score: 97.3
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 123 minutes

Desperate to give her daughter a better life, an Iranian woman (Leila Hatami) sues her husband for divorce in order to move her and her daughter to another country. Husband Nader (Payman Maadi) refuses to leave his ailing father, and the judge’s rejection of wife Simin’s application forces the couple to find a caretaker for Nader’s father’s increasingly dire situation. The film is available for rent on services such as Amazon Video, Fandango Now, and Vudu.

#7. WALL·E (2008)

- Where to stream: Disney+
- Director: Andrew Stanton
- Flixed score: 97.8
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 98 minutes

Trash-collecting robot WALL·E lives in isolation on an abandoned, dystopian Earth that’s covered in garbage he must tidy up, one piece at a time. But when a sleek, newfangled robot named EVE descends onto his lonely planet, WALL·E becomes infatuated and follows her when she leaves for outer space. Noteworthy elements of "WALL·E" include minimal dialogue early in the film and the fact this was the first Pixar animated film to also feature live-action characters.

#6. Boyhood (2014)

- Where to stream: The Criterion Channel, DIRECTV
- Director: Richard Linklater
- Flixed score: 97.8
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 165 minutes

Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking movie, filmed over the course of 12 years, tells the coming-of-age story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and tracks the ups and downs of his life from child to college-bound adult. While the characters and ending were mapped out from the beginning, the "Boyhood" script was primarily written year by year.

#5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

- Where to stream: Hulu, HBO Max
- Director: Peter Jackson
- Flixed score: 98.4
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Runtime: 178 minutes

The first film of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy sees hero Frodo Baggins come into unfortunate possession of the One Ring of power, and he begins his fraught journey to deliver it to the fires of Mordor where it can be destroyed. Helping him are eight companions meant to protect him on his journey—but hearts are easily corrupted, and the One Ring has a will of its own. Costume designer Ngila Dickson and her seamstresses created more than 19,000 costumes for the film, which was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won four.

#4. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

- Where to stream: Netflix
- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Flixed score: 98.4
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 118 minutes

Set during Francoist Spain, young and imaginative Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her pregnant mother move to a remote forest with her mother’s new husband, Captain Vidal, a sadistic Falangist intent on flushing out the rebels there. But the forest is more than meets the eye, and Ofelia discovers a dark and beautiful world just in her backyard.

#3. Parasite (2019)

- Where to stream: Hulu
- Director: Bong Joon Ho
- Flixed score: 99.5
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 132 minutes

The destitute and clever Kim family find monetary success exploiting the wealthy Park clan, all of them posing as various, unconnected in-home service workers for the family. But an unexpected incident impedes their ingenious plan. The film broke ground when it became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards.

#2. Spirited Away (2001)

- Where to stream: HBO Max
- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Flixed score: 99.5
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 125 minutes

Hayao Miyazaki’s animated feast focuses on 10-year-old Chihiro, whose parents are turned into giant pigs after happening upon an abandoned amusement park. There, she encounters a series of strange and mysterious spirits who help her on her quest to save her parents. The film held the record for the highest-grossing film in Japanese box office history until 2020’s “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” surpassed it.

#1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

- Where to stream: Hulu, HBO Max
- Director: Peter Jackson
- Flixed score: 100
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.9
- Runtime: 201 minutes

The “Lord of the Rings” saga sees its epic conclusion in “The Return of the King” as Frodo and Sam’s journey to the fires of Mount Doom concludes. Outside Mordor, meanwhile, the stakes in the battle between good and evil could not be higher. The city of Minas Tirith prepares for battle against Sauron’s dark forces, and Frodo and Sam encounter unimaginable terrors in Mordor. The film took home an Oscar for Best Picture: the first and only film of the fantasy genre to win the coveted prize.