20 best romance movies at all time

  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie
  • 20 best romance movie

When we think about the greatest love stories of all time, a handful seems to pop up repeatedly. Romeo and Juliet. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Heathcliff and Cathy. Lancelot and Guinevere. After examining these stories, it seems like there are some recurring themes these iconic stories share that differentiate them from ordinary love stories. Some of the themes include sacrifice, serendipity, passion, conflict, and relatability.

But when it comes to love on the big screen, the deciding factor between a good love story and a great love story may very well be watchable. It seems like the best romances are those people can watch over and over again without getting bored.

Here is a countdown of 20 most romantic movies of all times from Stacker.

20. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

– Director: Edward Yang
– Stacker score: 94
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Runtime: 237 min

“A Brighter Summer Day” is four hours long, but the movie, which works like a novel in the approach toward its characters, is a modern masterpiece, receiving an immense amount of praise from critics. It follows a teenager in 1960s Taiwan who goes from rule-abiding student to a member of a street gang, who falls in love and experiences a sexual awakening.

19. Marriage Story (2019)

– Director: Noah Baumbach
– Stacker score: 94
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 137 min

“A Marriage Story” paints a deeply-emotional picture of just how difficult the end of a once-beautiful relationship can be. Starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, the movie, released by Netflix, was included on several “Best of the Year” lists in 2019. It was also nominated for dozens of awards, with Laura Dern taking home both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her supporting role.

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18. La La Land (2016)

– Director: Damien Chazelle
– Stacker score: 94
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 128 min

Although it earned a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, “La La Land” was an extremely polarizing film, with audiences either loving or hating the musical. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Watson, the movie is about two performers who find their relationship fraying as they become increasingly successful in their careers. Inspired by classics like “Singin’ In the Rain” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “La La Land” was primarily criticized by its detractors for not featuring enough diversity, and a general lack of inclusion that they argue could have brought the movie to the next level.

17. The Lady Eve (1941)

– Director: Preston Sturges
– Stacker score: 94
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 94 min

In “The Lady Eve,” Barbara Stanwyck plays a con artist named Jean, who has set her eye on a wealthy bachelor named Charles, played by Henry Fonda. As she sets out to con him out of his millions, she genuinely falls in love with him, only to get called out, double down on her disguise, and seduce him once again. The screwball comedy is a fun ride that was praised by critics upon its release in 1941.

16. Journey to Italy (1954)

– Director: Roberto Rossellini
– Stacker score: 94
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Runtime: 97 min

Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders star as a couple trapped in a loveless marriage in “Journey to Italy.” After travelling to Naples to deal with a villa they’ve inherited, the couple seems poised on the edge of divorce, before a series of experiences lead them to a change of heart. So, there was very little script set for the film, and much of it was shot in an improvisational manner, a method that inspired the French New Wave film tradition.

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15. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

– Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
– Stacker score: 95
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 84 min

The 1991 Disney version of “Beauty and the Beast” was the first full-length animated feature film to be nominated for the best picture Oscar. It didn’t win, but audiences connected with the story and its characters, particularly Belle. Belle was reportedly inspired by Katharine Hepburn in the 1939 version of “Little Women,” another great romance film on our list.#17. Beauty and the Beast (1991) – Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

14. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

– Director: Céline Sciamma
– Stacker score: 95
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 122 min

Currently available to stream on Hulu, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is about a young painter, Marianne, who arrives in Brittany, France sometime in the 18th century to paint a portrait of Héloïse for a potential suitor. As the two spend time together, they find that they share a powerful connection, and begin an intense, albeit short, affair. Hence, the movie won the Queer Palm prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

13. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

– Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
– Stacker score: 95
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 102 min

When “The Adventures of Robin Hood” was released in 1938, Errol Flynn was at the top of his game, as one of the biggest action and adventure stars in the country. His star power, combined with the creative vision of Michael Curtiz and Hal B. Wallis (the team behind “Casablanca”), the outstanding soundtrack composed by Erich Wolfgang, and the chemistry between Flynn and his on-screen love Olivia de Havilland, made the movie a mega-hit. It earned more than $4 million dollars at the box office and collected three Academy Awards.

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12. The Apartment (1960)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– Stacker score: 96
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 125 min

“The Apartment” has been described as both a cynical and a hopeful story. The 1960s movie is about a mid-level insurance man, C.C. “Bud” Baxter, who allows his bosses to use his apartment to conduct their extramarital affairs in hopes that it will advance his own career prospects. However, when Bud realizes one of them is carrying on with the girl he loves, he’s forced to choose between love and money.

11. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

– Director: Ernst Lubitsch
– Stacker score: 96
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 99 min

The inspiration for another classic rom-com (“You’ve Got Mail”), “The Shop Around the Corner” follows the relationship between Alfred, an experienced clerk at the Matuschek and Company shop in Budapest, and Klara, the shop’s newest hire. The two constantly butt heads at work, while simultaneously, and unbeknownst to both of them, falling in love through their correspondence as pen pals.

10. Gone with the Wind (1939)

– Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood
– Stacker score: 96
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 238 min

“Gone With the Wind” is an epic Civil War romance, adapted from the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. For the classic film, the road to completion was not an easy one. Three different directors were involved before the project was completed; the script proved an overwhelming project, with sixteen writers trying their hand at it before it reached a filmable length; and there were several fights with the censors (including one about Clark Gable’s famous “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!” line). So, it was a smashing success, winning 10 Academy Awards, including the first for an African-American actor, and becoming the highest-earning film up to that point.

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9. Notorious (1946)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– Stacker score: 97
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 102 min

In Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious,” former party girl Alicia Huberman (played by Ingrid Bergman) is employed by government man T.R. Devlin to seduce a former Nazi named Alexander Sebastian. As she slips deeper undercover, Huberman fears she’s losing the affections of Devlin and throws herself wholeheartedly into her relationship with Sebastian, resulting in a movie that’s both suspenseful and tortuous, in true Hitchcock form.

8. Children of Paradise (1945)

– Director: Marcel Carné
– Stacker score: 97
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Runtime: 189 min

Several of the crew members of “Children of Paradise,” shot in Paris and Nice during the Nazi occupation, were Jews who were actively being pursued by Nazis and were forced to work in hiding. Surprisingly, none of these production challenges and the dozens of others faced by Marcel Carne’s film made their way on screen. In fact, the world of the movie, which is about an actress and the four men vying for her affections, is so all-consuming that it was the perfect antidote to the trauma and destruction many Frenchmen were experiencing in their real lives at the time.

7. Some Like It Hot (1959)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– Stacker score: 97
– Metascore: 98
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 121 min

Marilyn Monroe stars in “Some Like It Hot,” a comedy about two buddies (Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon) who witness a mafia murder and go into hiding, posing as women and joining an all-female jazz band to save their own skins. There’s a steamy romance between Monroe and Curtis that was so risque the state of Kansas banned the film after United Artists refused to edit out the duo’s love scene. The state of Kansas wasn’t the only one to object to the film: The National Legion of Decency (a Catholic organization) also condemned the film, saying it promoted “homosexuality, lesbians, and transvestism” and was, therefore “morally objectionable.”

6. Modern Times (1936)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 98
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 87 min

“Modern Times” was the last time Charlie Chaplin’s most famous character, the Little Tramp, appears on the screen. In this comedy, the Little Tramp, a down-on-his-luck factory worker, meets Ellen, who’s equally struggling, and the two make valiant efforts to hold down stable employment, stay out of trouble, and create new lives for themselves. The film is a funny commentary on how industrialization had ruined the prospects of skilled workers, an issue that Chaplin felt very passionately about in real life.#6. Modern Times (1936) – Director: Charles Chaplin

5. Three Colors: Red (1994)

– Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
– Stacker score: 98
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 99 min

The third and final instalment in Kieślowski’s “Three Colors” trilogy, “Red,” was also the director’s last work—shortly after its release, he announced his retirement, and two years later he passed away. His final movie is about a runway model who forms a relationship with a much-older judge who lives down the street. However, the two share many of the same experiences, and as the closed-off judge opens up about his life, they develop a deep bond, one that’s impeded only by their substantial gap in age.

4. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

– Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
– Stacker score: 98
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 103 min

“Singin’ In the Rain,” a movie about movies, is a musical about the struggles actors faced in the 1920s when movies switched from being silent features to talkies. The central story of the film—starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds—is fresh, but almost everything else, from songs to sets to props, is recycled from earlier productions. Years later, the film itself would be recycled into a stage show that appeared in London’s West End and on Broadway.

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3. Vertigo (1958)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– Stacker score: 99
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 128 min

While initially a commercial failure, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” has since become one of his more acclaimed films. So, this romantic thriller is about an ex-cop who is hired by an old friend to trail his wife, who he fears is going to try to commit suicide. Meanwhile, the twists and turns of the classic movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, and if you can’t get enough of the tale, there are plenty of other films inspired by the classic.

2. City Lights (1931)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 99
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 87 min

“City Lights” took Charlie Chaplin more than 190 days to shoot, making it one of the biggest undertakings of his entire career. In the film, the Little Tramp falls in love with a penniless, blind flower girl and proceeds to do everything in his power to scrape together enough money to provide both her and her elderly grandmother with a home. A critical triumph, the movie made headlines around the world, especially when Chaplin showed up to the premieres with Albert Einstein and Bernard Shaw.\

1. Casablanca (1942)

– Director: Michael Curtiz
– Stacker score: 100
– Metascore: 100
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 102 min

Finally, the title of “Best Romantic Movie of All Time” goes to Casablanca. The classic film stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner, and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, an old flame of Blane’s who shows up in Casablanca with her husband, a known rebel. Desperate for a way out of the country before the Germans catch up with them, Ilsa turns to Rick, falling in love with him again along the way, before leaving town with her husband in the most heartbreaking final scene of a movie—ever.