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

  • #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.

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