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

  • #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.

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