50 of the best romantic movies of all time, according to critics

Fox Searchlight Pictures‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has a critic score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • There are a lot of romantic movies out there that focus on drama, mystery, and comedy.
  • Here are some of the best romantic movies of all time according to critics.
  • Films like “The Big Sick,” “Call Me by Your Name,” and “Titanic” made the list.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Whether it’s a high-stakes, dramatic love story or a hilarious, relatable series of dates, romantic elements can be found in a lot of films. And with decades of movie magic behind us, there are so many romantic movies that critics can’t say enough great things about.

In no particular order, here are 50 of the best romantic movies of all time, according to the critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s worth noting that the critic scores were up to date as of publication but are subject to change.


“Your Name. (Kimi no na wa.)” (2016)

AmuseThe film is animated.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

In this animated movie, a high-school girl in rural Japan finds she has switched bodies with a boy, who is the same age, in Tokyo.

Over the next few weeks, they communicate with one another by writing notes and sometimes writing on their skin. Eventually, they fall in love – but can’t figure out how they can meet in real life.


“God’s Own Country” (2017)

British Film Institute (BFI)The movie is about a sheep farmer.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor), a young sheep farmer in Yorkshire, distracts himself from the monotony of his life with drinking and having casual sex.But one day, he meets a Romanian migrant worker named Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu), who changes his life forever.


“Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud)” (1958)

Nouvelles Éditions de Films (NEF)The movie is partially set in an elevator.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Florence Carala (Jeanne Moreau) and her lover, Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet), plan to murder Florence’s husband. But after committing the murder, Julien accidentally leaves evidence behind and, on his way out from picking it up, he gets stuck in the building’s elevator.


“West Side Story” (1961)

United ArtistsThe movie is set in New York City.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Through song, dance, and snaps, this musical tells the story of Tony (Richard Beymer) and Maria (Natalie Wood), two teens who fall in love despite being affiliated with warring gangs in New York City.


“Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)

Fox Searchlight PicturesThe story is set in Mumbai.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Jamal (Dev Patel), a teen who grew up in a Mumbai slum, has a chance to change his life by appearing on a version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” He begins to reflect on his youth when he gets accused of rigging the game. All the while, he is trying to win over his true love.


“Titanic” (1997)

20th Century Fox/Paramount PicturesThe movie is incredibly famous.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

In April of 1912, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a poor American, wins a third-class ticket to board the Titanic, a supposedly indestructible ship sailing from England to New York. While aboard the ship, he meets Rose (Kate Winslet) and the two fall in love, not knowing the Titanic is doomed to sink.


“Enough Said” (2013)

Fox Searchlight PicturesJames Gandolfini and Julia Louis Dreyfus star in the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Eva (Julia Louis Dreyfus), a single mum, meets Albert (James Gandolfini), a single dad, at a friend’s party. After a somewhat rocky start, the two hit it off – until Eva finds out that Albert is her client and friend’s ex-husband. Soon, her friend’s complaints about Albert begin to rub off on her.


“Lost In Translation” (2003)

Focus FeaturesThe movie is about an unlikely friendship.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a past-his-prime American movie star, is in Tokyo to film a commercial for a whiskey brand.

In his hotel, he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a recent college graduate who is travelling with her husband, a celebrity photographer. After consistently running into each other, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship over their fraying marriages.


“Sense and Sensibility” (1995)

Columbia PicturesThe movie is based on a book.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

In this adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel of the same title, sisters Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet) and their mother are left destitute after their father dies. To regain a chance at survival, they have to marry well – but it’s difficult for the sisters to figure out who exactly to wed.

In addition to starring in the film, Thompson worked behind-the-scenes and won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for “Sense and Sensibility.”


“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long)” (2000)

Sony Pictures via YouTubeThe movie is packed with action.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

In 19th-century China, warrior Li (Yun-Fat Chow), gives his prized sword to his lover for safekeeping. But the sword is stolen, so Li embarks on a mission to find it.


“Bull Durham” (1988)

The Mount CompanyThe movie involves baseball.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) is a baseball player who gets sent to a new minor-league team, the Durham Bulls. While there, he gets involved with Annie (Susan Sarandon), a self-proclaimed “baseball groupie” who says she worships at the “Church of Baseball” and chooses a new player on the team to have an affair with every year.

Together, the two of them work to mould a rookie pitcher with lots of raw talent and very little precision into a big-league player.


“The Young Girls of Rochefort (Les demoiselles de Rochefort)” (1967)

Philippe LE TELLIER/PARISMATCH/SCOOPThe movie is set in a French town.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Sisters Delphine (Catherine Deneuve) and Solange Garnier (Françoise Dorléac) live, as the title of the movie implies, in the French, seaside town of Rochefort. Hired by a carnival, the two sisters leave their town in search of true love.


“Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin)” (1987)

Road Movies FilmproduktionThe movie follows an angel.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

In this movie, angels watch over the city of Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall. One of the angels falls in love with a mortal and wishes to become a human, too.


“Groundhog Day” (1993)

Columbia PicturesThe film stars Bill Murray.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to report on Groundhog Day and he is not happy about it. As he reports, he finds that he is inexplicably repeating the same day over and over again. To end the cycle, he has to lose his cynicism – and he ends up finding love in the process.


“The Apartment” (1960)

The Mirisch CompanyThe movie is set in New York.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a young insurance clerk who, in an attempt to advance at work, allows senior members of his company use his apartment to have affairs with women. In the process, he develops feelings for the elevator operator at his office (Shirley Maclaine) who is having an affair with his boss.


“Sideways” (2004)

Fox Searchlight PicturesThe movie is about a road trip.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Two men in their 40s, a teacher (Paul Giamatti) and an actor (Thomas Haden Church), take a road trip to California’s wine country to celebrate the actor’s upcoming wedding. While there, both of them face challenges that test what they have long believed about themselves.


“Before Sunrise” (1995)

Columbia PicturesIt is part of a series of films.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

In “Before Sunrise,” Jesse (Ethan Hawke), an American, strikes up a conversation with Céline (Julie Delpy), a French woman, while on a train in Europe. Both feel a spark, so they decide to get off the train together in Vienna.

Despite knowing this will likely be their only night together, they spend their time walking, talking, and falling in love.


“Before Midnight” (2013)

Sony Pictures ClassicsThe movie has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Years after meeting on a train, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) now live in Paris with twin daughters. They decide to spend a summer in Greece and as the summer passes the couple finds themselves questioning everything about their life and relationship.


“The Hustler” (1961)

20th Century FoxThe film is about pool.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) is a small-town pool hustler whose goal is to break into big-time pool games. While travelling to do so, he falls in love with Sarah (Piper Laurie), but his ambition comes at a terrible cost to her.


“Sunrise” (1927)

Fox Film CorporationIt’s a silent film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Originally titled “A Song of Two Humans,” this silent film depicts a small farming community where people who live in the city often take holidays. In allegorical fashion, the movie shows a man falling for a woman who is trying to convince him he should kill his wife.


“The Princess Bride” (1987)

20th Century FoxThe story is filled with romance.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

A young boy, sick in bed, listens to his grandfather read him a story. The story he tells is of a romance between Buttercup (Robin Wright), a farm girl who has been chosen as the bride of a prince, and her true love, Westley (Cary Elwes), as they embark on a journey to ensure they can be together.


“Three Colours: Red (Trois Couleurs: Rouge)” (1994)

The Criterion CollectionThe movie follows a part-time student.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Valentine Dussault (Irène Jacob), a university student and part-time model, accidentally hits a man’s dog with her car one night. The dog’s owner is a retired judge who amuses himself by eavesdropping on people’s phone calls.

Valentine grows closer to the judge and he teaches her about what he has learned about the human condition.


“Bringing Up Baby” (1938)

RKO Radio PicturesCary Grant and Katharine Hepburn star in the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Shortly before his wedding to a woman he’s not quite sure about, stuffy paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) meets Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a free-spirited woman with a pet leopard named Baby. On a quest to find a missing bone for a brontosaurus skeleton he’s putting together – which involves several mishaps, including getting sent to jail – the two of them fall in love.

Although “Bringing Up Baby” is now considered a classic, it was a box-office failure when it was released. This, along with a string of other box-office failures, caused Hepburn to be dubbed “box-office poison” until she made a comeback with “The Philadelphia Story,” according to the New England Historical Society.


“The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946)

RKO Radio PicturesThe movie takes place after World War II.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Three soldiers, all from different backgrounds, return to their hometown after fighting in World War II. Upon doing so, they find their relationships and families have changed irrevocably in their absence.


“Beauty and the Beast (La belle et la bête )” (1946)

DisCinaThe film is in black and white.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

This is a live-action interpretation of the classic French fairy tale in which Belle (Josette Day) is taken prisoner in a castle and ends up falling in love with the beast holding her captive.


“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

Walt Disney ProductionsThere have been a few remakes of the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

In this animated Disney movie, Belle (voiced by Paige O’Hara) is taken prisoner by a beast who lives in a palace filled with talking furniture and appliances. Against all odds, Belle and the beast fall in love.

Read More: 11 of the best Disney songs of all time


“The Umbrellas of Chebourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg )” (1964)

Parc FilmA woman is separated from her husband by war.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Geneviève Emery (Catherine Deneuve) is a young woman who works in her mother’s failing umbrella shop. One day, she meets and falls in love with an auto mechanic who is about to leave for a two-year tour in Algeria.

She gets pregnant and must choose between waiting for the baby’s father to return or deciding to be with someone else.


“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953)

Gentlemen Prefer BlondesMarilyn Monroe performing in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

In this musical, showgirls Dorothy (Jane Russell) and Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) travel to Paris while working on a transatlantic cruise. But Lorelei is being tailed by a private detective who has been hired by her fiance’s father, who thinks she is after the family’s money.


“Only Yesterday” (1991)

Universal PicturesThe movie is about someone looking back on their childhood.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

A 27-year-old office worker living in Tokyo takes a trip to the countryside to visit some relatives. On the way, she reminisces about her childhood and questions her life choices.


“Her” (2013)

Warner Bros. PicturesA scene from ‘Her,’ the 2013 film about an AI love affair.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

In a not-so-distant, utopic future, a writer (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with a sophisticated new operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.


“The Artist” (2011)

Warner BrosThe movie is about a celebrity and a chorus girl.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

It’s the 1920s and movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), doesn’t know that the silent-film era is ending. When he starts to fall out of favour at his studio, he develops feelings for a chorus girl who is becoming a star in her own right.


“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)

Twentieth Century FoxIt’s a Christmas movie.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

An old, bearded man (Edmund Gwenn) fills in at the last minute as a Macy’s Santa Claus. His supervisor has misgivings about him – especially because the old man seems to think he really is Santa – but he ends up helping her find love.


“Annie Hall” (1977)

United ArtistsThe movie stars Diane Keaton.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), a TV writer in New York City, falls in love with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), an aspiring nightclub singer and actress from the Midwest.


“City Lights” (1931)

United ArtistsCharlie Chaplin is in the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

After falling in love with a blind flower seller, a homeless man, played by Charlie Chaplin, secretly raises money to help her regain her sight.


“The African Queen” (1951)

Horizon Pictures / Netflix screenshotKatharine Hepburn stars in the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

After her brother is killed by German imperialists in Africa, stuffy British missionary Rose Sayer (Katharine Hepburn) decides to leave with Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), a wayward, hard-drinking captain of a ship called The African Queen.

On the way, she insists they do their part to help with the British war effort, and, somehow, they end up falling in love.


“The Red Shoes” (1948)

CriterionThe movie is about dance.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) is a young ballet dancer who has been plucked from obscurity by a teacher who asks his students to devote themselves completely to dance under his tutelage.

But when she falls for the composer of a ballet she’s dancing in, she must choose between love and her art.


“Gone with the Wind” (1939)

Metro-Goldwyn-MayerThe film has made a lot of money.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

“Gone with the Wind” is an epic historical romance that takes place in Georgia during the Civil War.

In it, impetuous Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) strings along two men, Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), only to be left alone in the end.

Upon its release, “Gone With The Wind” was the highest-grossing film of all time, and, when adjusted for inflation, it still is today.


“An American in Paris” (1951)

MGMThe movie stars Gene Kelly.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an American expat living in Paris (hence the title of the movie) who is trying to make a living as an artist.

He meets a wealthy woman who is willing to support his art – with some offbeat strings attached. Then, he meets Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) and falls in love with her, without knowing she’s involved with his friend.


“Carol” (2015)

The Weinstein CompanyThe movie is adapted from a book.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

In this adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price Of Salt,” aspiring photographer Therese (Rooney Mara) falls for Carol (Cate Blanchett), a housewife trapped in a loveless marriage.


“Roman Holiday” (1953)

Paramount PicturesAudrey Hepburn stars in the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Ann (Audrey Hepburn), the crown princess of an undetermined country, is on a state visit to Rome. She feels confined by the trappings of her royal duties and one day she secretly leaves the embassy.

She meets Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), an American journalist, and before resuming her royal duties, the pair spends a magical few days together in Rome.


“On The Waterfront” (1954)

Columbia Pictures via YouTubeThe movie is about a boxer.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Terry Malloy, a washed-up boxer (Marlon Brando) turned dock worker, struggles to stand up to the corrupt bosses that run his union.


“Vertigo” (1958)

Alfred J. Hitchcock ProductionsThe film follows a police detective.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Scotty Ferguson (James Stewart), a retired private investigator, is hired to track his friend’s wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), who has been acting strangely. While tracking her, Ferguson falls in love with Madeleine – and, as a result, ends up being led down a trail of deception that is more twisted than he thought possible.


“The Philadelphia Story” (1940)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Classic Movie StillsKatharine Hepburn stars in the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is about to marry a dull, uninteresting man. The night before her wedding, she encounters a reporter (James Stewart) and her ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), setting off a chain of events that, unsurprisingly, complicate her marriage plans.


“The Shape of Water” (2017)

Fox Searchlight PicturesThe movie is about love.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Lonely janitor Elisa (Sally Hawkins) uncovers a top-secret government experiment in the building she works in. When she investigates the project, she ends up discovering much more than she anticipated while developing feelings for a creature that’s not quite human.


“The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938)

Warner Bros.The movie has been remade many times.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Outlaw knight Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) spends his days stealing from the rich so he can spread the wealth among the poor. At the same time, he makes time to woo his paramour, Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland).


“Call Me by Your Name” (2017)

Sony PicturesThe movie is about a summer romance.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) is a precocious 17-year-old spending the summer in northern Italy with his family. When his father’s apprentice, Oliver (Armie Hammer), arrives for the summer, a romance blooms between them.


“The Big Sick” (2017)

Amazon/LionsgateThe movie follows a comedian and his partner.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a burgeoning stand-up comedian, starts a casual relationship with Emily (Zoe Kazan). But when Emily is struck with a mysterious illness, the relationship progresses in ways he couldn’t have anticipated.


“Casablanca” (1942)

Warner Bros. PicturesThe movie is set in Morocco.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

In Casablanca, Morocco, at the beginning of World War II, nightclub-owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) uses his establishment to help refugees obtain documents that they can use to escape to America. One day, his ex-partner Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband arrive at the club and he has to decide what to do to help them.


“It Happened One Night” (1934)

ColumbiaThe movie is about an heiress.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Wealthy heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) has just married a money-hungry playboy. In response, her father has taken her captive on his yacht in an effort to protect their fortune.

She manages to escape and, in the process, she has to let Peter Warne (Clark Gable), a reporter who’s looking for his next big story, help her out.


“Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)The movie is about silent films and the transition to sound.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

At the end of the silent-film era, movie stars Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan) are engaged in a fake relationship and must begin to start making “talkies.”

The problem? Don doesn’t care for Lina at all in real life and Lina’s speaking voice is so harsh their production company can’t put it in movies. But then Don falls for Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), the woman who has been hired to dub Lina’s voice.

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