150 Best Female-Directed Movies of the 21st Century

(Photo by A24, Paramount, Summit Entertainment, Focus Features, Annapurna/Courtesy Everett Collection)

For Women’s History Month, Rotten Tomatoes is commemorating the work of female directors throughout the 21st Century. Our guide to the 150 best-reviewed movies by women filmmakers since 2000 includes documentary marvels like Nanfu Wang’s One Child Nation and Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson as well as unforgettable narrative features like Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Ava DuVernay’s Selma. The movies on the list cover an expansive breadth of topics, characters, and stories. They dispel the fallacy that women directors can only tell one type of story, one gorgeous image after moving story after another.

Women have been shaping cinema since its earliest days. Silent era pioneers like Alice Guy-Blaché and Lois Weber blazed a trail as influential as their male counterparts; screenwriters like Francis Marion and editors like Margaret Booth were celebrated for their work, and Booth would go on to be one of the most influential voices on the MGM Studio lot. But as the film business became more lucrative, women were largely and unceremoniously pushed out of the creative and decision-making side of filmmaking. While many broke through with incredible work — among them Dorothy Arzner, Elaine May, Agnès Varda, and Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director for her film The Hurt Locker — the decades after the silent era and through the end of the 20th century saw filmmaking, especially in the mainstream, increasingly dominated by men. 

The past two decades have seen some great movement, though, and some major milestones hit (that Oscar win for Bigelow; Patty Jenkins’ historic work on Wonder Woman). The directors on this list include Lulu Wang, whose touching movie The Farewell won critical and industry acclaim, as well as Céline Sciamma for her latest film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire. (Now, if only the Academy would acknowledge their efforts…). There’s also Waad Al-Kateab, who with fellow director Edward Watts, brought her searing personal experience of the Syrian conflict to viewers around the world in For Sama, and Dominga Sotomayor Castillo, who took audiences with her back to 1990s Chile in her coming-of-age drama Too Late to Die Young. Sabaah Folayan’s feature debut Whose Streets? sits near Agnès Varda’s final documentaries Varda by Agnès and Faces Places.

To make the list, we looked at the top 150 Certified Fresh films directed by women, including those in directing teams, that had opened in theaters since 2000. We left off movies that went straight to streaming or TV unless they had a theatrical release, Oscar-qualifying runs included. We ordered them chronologically.

Enjoy the following list as a guide to some of the best movies by women directors so far this century. No two movies are alike in their ability to entertain, inform or reach us. If there are more movies you wish you could add to our list, let us know in the comments below. – Monica Castillo 


Adjusted Score: 98.708%

Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.

Synopsis: Portrait of the legendary Bronx-born Jewish baseball player who came close to breaking Babe Ruth’s record–hitting 58 home runs in… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.458%

Critics Consensus: The Taste of Others is a fresh, witty comedy about the attraction of opposites. The characters are well-drawn and engaging and their social interactions believable.

Synopsis: Agnes Jaoui co-writes and directs this romantic comedy of manners set in France’s rustic Provence. Unpolished and ultra-pragmatic industrialist Jean-Jacques… [More]


Adjusted Score: 93.658%

Critics Consensus: The Gleaners and I takes a compassionate look at a rarely considered subculture whose individualism resonates powerfully with director Agnès Varda’s humanistic approach.

Synopsis: Both a diary and a kind of extended essay on poverty, thrift and the curious place of scavenging in French… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.094%

Critics Consensus: An insightful, energetic blend of Hollywood and Bollywood styles, Monsoon Wedding is a colorful, exuberant celebration of modern-day India, family, love, and life.

Synopsis: Following up on her controversial erotic drama Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Mira Nair directs this charming family drama… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.897%

Critics Consensus: Pulsing with honesty, this film lays bare the rawness of human emotion with a story made all the more believable thanks to its gritty, low-budget approach.

Synopsis: Two people are brought together by a tragic accident in this emotional drama. Joachim (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and Cecilie (Sonja… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.564%

Critics Consensus: A heartbreaking and illuminating look at the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through the eyes of children.

Synopsis: Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.236%

Critics Consensus: Exhilarating both stylistically and for its entertaining, moving portrayal of an everyman, American Splendor is a portrait of a true underground original.

Synopsis: Harvey Pekar is file clerk at the local VA hospital. His interactions with his co-workers offer some relief from the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.812%

Critics Consensus: Effectively balancing humor and subtle pathos, Sofia Coppola crafts a moving, melancholy story that serves as a showcase for both Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

Synopsis: After making a striking directorial debut with her screen adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola offers a story of… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.576%

Critics Consensus: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is as persuasive and engrossing as it is unapologetically biased.

Synopsis: While Irish filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain were in Venezuela to make a documentary about the charismatic, democratically elected… [More]



Adjusted Score: 96.4%

Critics Consensus: Delightful and strangely moving.

Synopsis: Directed by Luigi Falomi and Mongolian documentary maker Byambasuren Davaa, Die Geschichte vom Weinenden Kamel (The Story of the Weeping… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.664%

Critics Consensus: A fascinating, enlightening behind-the-scenes look at the Al Jazeera network.

Synopsis: A chronicle which provides a rare window into the international perception of the Iraq War, courtesy of Al Jazeera, the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.452%

Critics Consensus: The Lost boys of Sudan works as both a riveting documentary and scathing indictment of colonialism.

Synopsis: Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk’s award-winning documentary Lost Boys of Sudan examines what happens when a pair of Sudanese boys,… [More]



Adjusted Score: 97.565%

Critics Consensus: A powerful and uplifting documentary.

Synopsis: This film is a portrait of a group of unforgettable children in Calcutta’s red light district. Feisty, resilient and wickedly… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.849%

Critics Consensus: A drama that’s both funny and moving.

Synopsis: A family is forced into deception for the sake of their matriarch in this poignant drama. Three generations of women… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.89%

Critics Consensus: Interesting and appealing as both a study of man and nature.

Synopsis: Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the hillier sections of San Francisco that over the years has become… [More]


Adjusted Score: 93.756%

Critics Consensus: Blame it on Fidel is a charming comedy of manners, class, and politics, elevated by a remarkable performance from lead child actor Nina Kervel.

Synopsis: When her wealthy parents are suddenly motivated to take an overtly political stance as massive political and economical change sweeps… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.146%

Critics Consensus: Equal parts mystery and biography, Deep Water is both an engrossing documentary and an affecting treatise on human folly and obsession.

Synopsis: Co-directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell’s historical documentary Deep Water chronicles one of the most infamous nautical tragedies of the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.951%

Critics Consensus: A powerful glimpse of the possibilities for transcendence in straightforward documentary filmmaking — and extreme physical disability.

Synopsis: Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, “Blindsight” follows the gripping adventure of six Tibetan teenagers who set out… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.537%

Critics Consensus: Candid, eye-opening footage gives viewers a close-up — and educational — look at the experiences of American soldiers in Iraq, a viewpoint not normally seen.

Synopsis: Uses footage shot by three members of the National Guard deployed in Iraq. Sergeant Steve Pink is a wisecracking carpenter… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.544%

Critics Consensus: An accomplished directorial debut by Sarah Polley, Away From Her is a touching exploration of the effects of Alzheimer’s, in which the tender wisdom of Polley’s script is beautifully complemented by a wonderful performance from Julie Christie.

Synopsis: Married for almost 50 years, Grant and Fiona’s commitment to each other appears unwavering, and their everyday life is full… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.156%

Critics Consensus: Persepolis is an emotionally powerful, dramatically enthralling autobiographical gem, and the film’s simple black-and-white images are effective and bold.

Synopsis: Marjane is precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl who was nine years old during the Islamic Revolution when the fundamentalists… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.682%

Critics Consensus: An emotionally blunt and gripping drama, Grbavica deftly explores the emotional toll that all wars take upon those who survive them.

Synopsis: A woman sees her own traumatic past reflected in the actions of her teenage daughter in this drama from first-time… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.065%

Critics Consensus: The Devil Came on Horseback is both a strong primer on the complexities of the situation in Darfur and a harrowing first-person doc.

Synopsis: The violence and tragedy of the genocide taking place in Darfur as seen through the eyes of an American witness…. [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.237%

Critics Consensus: This incredible documentary displays the tragedy and mismanagement of Katrina along with the heroism of strangers and survivors.

Synopsis: “Trouble the Water” takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. The film opens the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.067%

Critics Consensus: An enchanting self-portrait by a veteran director, Beach of Agnes is equal parts playful and profound.

Synopsis: Agnès Varda has been one of the most distinct voices in French cinema since making her directorial debut with La… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.769%

Critics Consensus: This slow-moving French family drama is rich, complex, subtle and emotionally eloquent.

Synopsis: Time and romantic attraction threaten to sour a family relationship in this drama from writer and director Claire Denis. Lionel… [More]


Adjusted Score: 94.502%

Critics Consensus: Equal parts edification and entertainment, Kempner’s tender tribute to a forgotten pioneer of American entertainment is both richly deserved and long overdue.

Synopsis: The true story of television pioneer, Gertrude Berg, the creator, principal writer, and star of “The Goldbergs,” a popular radio… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.175%

Critics Consensus: Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan’s standout performance.

Synopsis: It’s 1961 and attractive, bright 16-year-old schoolgirl, Jenny is poised on the brink of womanhood. Stifled by the tedium of… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.061%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.355%

Critics Consensus: At once tender and unsentimental, Sweetgrass gracefully captures the beauty and hardships of a dying way of life.

Synopsis: Filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor continue their work capturing the stark beauty and danger of the Western landscape with… [More]


Adjusted Score: 106.56%

Critics Consensus: A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.

Synopsis: Based on the personal wartime experiences of journalist Mark Boal (who adapted his experiences with a bomb squad into a… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.281%

Critics Consensus: An enlightening and sobering documentary on Afghanistan’s very own X-Factor.

Synopsis: After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, “Pop Idol” has come to television in Afghanistan. Here, we follow four… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.722%

Critics Consensus: Worthwhile as both a well-acted ensemble piece and as a smart, warm statement on family values, The Kids Are All Right is remarkable.

Synopsis: Two teenaged children get the notion to seek out their biological father and introduce him into the family life that… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.998%

Critics Consensus: Bleak, haunting, and yet still somehow hopeful, Winter’s Bone is writer-director Debra Granik’s best work yet — and it boasts an incredible, starmaking performance from Jennifer Lawrence.

Synopsis: Her family home in danger of being repossessed after her meth-cooking dad skips bail and disappears, Ozark teen Ree Dolly… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.241%

Critics Consensus: A heartbreaking, haunting historical document, A Film Unfinished excavates particularly horrible chapter of Holocaust history, and in doing so, the film provides a glimpse into the Nazi propaganda machine.

Synopsis: Yael Hersonski’s powerful documentary achieves a remarkable feat through its penetrating look at another film-the now-infamous Nazi-produced film about the… [More]



Adjusted Score: 101.448%

Critics Consensus: Waste Land begins with an eco-friendly premise, but quickly transforms into an uplifting portrait of the power of art and the dignity of the human spirit.

Synopsis: Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.149%

Critics Consensus: Pulsing with authenticity and led by a stirring lead performance from Adepero Oduye, Pariah is a powerful coming out/coming-of-age film that signals the arrival of a fresh new talent in writer/director Dee Rees.

Synopsis: Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur (Kim Wayans… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.79%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.645%

Critics Consensus: Smart and inventive, The Arbor offers some intensely memorable twists on tired documentary tropes.

Synopsis: Instead if making a conventional documentary or adapting Dunbar’s play The Arbor for the screen, director Clio Barnard has crafted… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.397%

Critics Consensus: In tune with the emotion and tribulations of childhood, Tomboy is a charming movie that treats its main subject with warmth and heart.

Synopsis: A French family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, moves to a new neighborhood during the summer holidays…. [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.177%

Critics Consensus: An upbeat and visually dramatic documentary of children’s ballet, First Position displays the potential of the human spirit when fostered at a young age.

Synopsis: Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 93.84%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: 15-year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.968%

Critics Consensus: An affectionate portrait created with visual flair, Diana Vreeland is entertaining, informative, and stylish, due in large part to its charismatic subject.

Synopsis: During Diana Vreeland’s fifty year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie Onassis, and established countless… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.891%

Critics Consensus: The Queen of Versailles is a timely, engaging, and richly drawn portrait of the American Dream improbably composed of equal parts compassion and schadenfreude.

Synopsis: The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.891%

Critics Consensus: Both a sobering look at a true crime story and a scathing indictment of the American justice system, West of Memphis is a real-life horror story told with fury and compassion.

Synopsis: From director Amy Berg, in collaboration with first time Producers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis along with filmmakers Peter Jackson… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.672%

Critics Consensus: Sing Your Song takes an absorbing — if decidedly non-critical — look at an incredible show business career and admirable public life.

Synopsis: Sing Your Song, surveys the life and times of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.216%

Critics Consensus: Brooklyn Castle is a warm, engaging, and even uplifting documentary about chess-playing whiz kids.

Synopsis: Brooklyn Castle is the remarkable and improbable true story of I.S. 318 in Brooklyn. The school, where 65% of students… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.926%

Critics Consensus: Léa Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein are exceptional as downtrodden siblings in this sad and wintry character study.

Synopsis: Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) lives with his older sister (Léa Seydoux) in a housing complex below a luxury Swiss ski… [More]



Adjusted Score: 100.428%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is the first feature-length film about the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. In… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.975%

Critics Consensus: Newcomer Saskia Rosendahl gives an astonishingly assured performance in the title role, and director Cate Shortland establishes a delicate, disturbingly ominous tone in the powerful World War II drama Lore.

Synopsis: Left to fend for themselves after their SS officer father and mother, a staunch Nazi believer, are interred by the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.229%

Critics Consensus: In Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley plays with the documentary format to explore the nature of memory and storytelling, crafting a thoughtful, compelling narrative that unfolds like a mystery.

Synopsis: In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar (R)-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it…. [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.263%

Critics Consensus: Wryly charming, impeccably acted, and ultimately quite bittersweet, Enough Said is a grown-up movie in the best possible way.

Synopsis: A divorced and single parent, Eva (Julia Louis Dreyfus) spends her days enjoying work as a masseuse but dreading her… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.99%

Critics Consensus: Smart, compassionate, and moving, The Crash Reel uses the familiar sport-doc formula to subvert expectations and ask challenging questions about ambition and achievement.

Synopsis: This eye-popping, yet intimate, story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the potentially… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.206%

Critics Consensus: Alternately horrific and uplifting, Call Me Kuchu exposes heinous systematic brutality with a clear eye and admirable precision.

Synopsis: In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers follow David Kato… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.677%

Critics Consensus: Starkly emotional and beautifully directed, The Selfish Giant uses a lovely script and some powerful performances to present some of the best that modern British cinema has to offer.

Synopsis: THE SELFISH GIANT is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.667%

Critics Consensus: Blackfish is an aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performance killer whales.

Synopsis: Magnolia Pictures invites you and a guest to attend an advance screening of BLACKFISH, an eye-opening documentary directed by Gabriela… [More]


Adjusted Score: 103.191%

Critics Consensus: Transgressive in the best possible way, Wadjda presents a startlingly assured new voice from a corner of the globe where cinema has been all but silenced.

Synopsis: WADJDA is a movie of firsts. This first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia is the story of a… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.985%

Critics Consensus: The Square offers an electrifying — and edifying — ground-level glimpse of life inside a real-life political revolution.

Synopsis: The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we… [More]


Adjusted Score: 93.761%

Critics Consensus: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry takes an entertaining, informative look at the dawn of the American women’s movement — and the oft-overlooked activists who fought for it.

Synopsis: SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.83%

Critics Consensus: Revealing yet respectful, 20,000 Days on Earth is essential viewing for any Nick Cave fan.

Synopsis: Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international cultural icon, Nick Cave…. [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.856%

Critics Consensus: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night blends conventional elements into something brilliantly original — and serves as a striking calling card for writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour.

Synopsis: The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.428%

Critics Consensus: Part real-life thriller, part sobering examination of 21st century civil liberties, Citizenfour transcends ideology to offer riveting, must-see cinema.

Synopsis: In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public… [More]


Adjusted Score: 107.523%

Critics Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares — and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.

Synopsis: Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.95%

Critics Consensus: Brutally honest and utterly compelling, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me offers a riveting, vanity-free portrait of its legendary subject while offering a few essential truths about the human condition.

Synopsis: Now in her late 80s, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch remains as ferociously funny as ever. In this bold, hilarious and… [More]


Adjusted Score: 111.605%

Critics Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. — but doesn’t ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.

Synopsis: SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.05%

Critics Consensus: The Hunting Ground isn’t director Kirby Dick’s strongest work as a filmmaker, but the movie’s powerful message more than trumps any technical weaknesses.

Synopsis: From the team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes a startling exposé of rape crimes on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.347%

Critics Consensus: Respectful without veering into hagiography and inquisitive without being intrusive, Janis: Little Girl Blue offers an insightful glimpse into the life of a rock ‘n’ roll legend.

Synopsis: Janis Joplin is one of the most revered and iconic rock & roll singers of all time, a tragic and… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.947%

Critics Consensus: Boldly unconventional and refreshingly honest, Diary of a Teenage Girl is a frank coming-of-age story that addresses its themes — and its protagonist — without judgment.

Synopsis: Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.347%

Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and smartly scripted, Girlhood offers a fresh perspective on familiar cinematic territory.

Synopsis: Fed up with her abusive family situation, lack of school prospects and the “boys’ law” in the neighborhood, Marieme starts… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.813%

Critics Consensus: Of a piece with much of director Laurie Anderson’s idiosyncratic output, Heart of a Dog delves into weighty themes with lyrical, haunting grace.

Synopsis: Artist Laurie Anderson reflects on the deaths of her husband, mother, beloved dog and subjects such as family memories, surveillance,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.965%

Critics Consensus: The Wonders offers a charming coming-of-age tale that doubles as a quietly effective tribute to a vanishing way of life.

Synopsis: Rohrwacher’s richly textured sophomore feature centers on a family of beekeepers living in stark isolation in central Italy. The dynamic… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.312%

Critics Consensus: Mustang delivers a bracing — and thoroughly timely — message whose power is further bolstered by the efforts of a stellar ensemble cast.

Synopsis: Early summer in a village in Northern Turkey. Five free-spirited teenaged sisters splash about on the beach with their male… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.499%

Critics Consensus: Warm, funny, and quietly profound, Appropriate Behavior serves as a thoroughly compelling calling card for writer, director, and star Desiree Akhavan.

Synopsis: For Shirin, being part of a perfect Persian family isn’t easy. Acceptance eludes her from all sides: her family doesn’t… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.813%

Critics Consensus: The Second Mother’s compelling characters serve an artfully drawn, thought-provoking story that’s beautifully brought to life by a talented cast.

Synopsis: Val spends 13 years working as nanny to Fabinho in Sao Paulo. She is financially stable but has to live… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.737%

Critics Consensus: A heartbreaking story told with tremendous narrative and visual skill, Sherpa exposes the audience to a side of Mount Everest that many have never seen or considered.

Synopsis: A brawl on Everest? Director Jennifer Peedom set out to uncover tension in the 2014 Everest climbing season from the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.347%

Critics Consensus: On paper, GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem might seem less than thrilling, but on the screen, it delivers two hours of nonstop, tightly wound, brilliantly acted drama.

Synopsis: An Israeli woman (Ronit Elkabetz) seeking to finalize her divorce from her cruel and manipulative husband finds herself effectively put… [More]


Adjusted Score: 93.8%

Critics Consensus: Sand Storm marks an impressive first feature for debuting writer-director Elite Zexer that offers a perceptive — and crucial — look at patriarchal traditions.

Synopsis: Desert noon in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel. Jalila is hosting an awkward celebration–the marriage of her husband to… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.074%

Critics Consensus: Toni Erdmann pairs carefully constructed, three-dimensional characters in a tenderly funny character study that’s both genuinely moving and impressively ambitious.

Synopsis: Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.931%

Critics Consensus: Queen of Katwe is a feel-good movie of uncommon smarts and passion, and outstanding performances by Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo help to elevate the film past its cliches.

Synopsis: “Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.186%

Critics Consensus: Nuts! lives up to its title in the best way, offering a delightfully unorthodox look at a bizarre — and largely unexplored — chapter in American history.

Synopsis: Inventive and wildly fun, NUTS! recounts the mostly-true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.088%

Critics Consensus: The Edge of Seventeen’s sharp script — and Hailee Steinfeld’s outstanding lead performance — make this more than just another coming-of-age dramedy.

Synopsis: THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN is a new coming-of-age movie in the vein of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club -… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.716%

Critics Consensus: The Love Witch offers an absorbing visual homage to a bygone era, arranged subtly in service of a thought-provoking meditation on the battle of the sexes.

Synopsis: Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her Gothic Victorian apartment she… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.801%

Critics Consensus: The Innocents isn’t always easy to watch, but its nuanced exploration of complex themes — and its refreshing perspective — are well worth the effort.

Synopsis: Warsaw, December 1945: the second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.472%

Critics Consensus: Dark Horse offers a thoroughly crowd-pleasing look at an incredible — and inspirational — real-life story that will thrill equine enthusiasts and novices alike.

Synopsis: An inspirational true story of a group of friends from a working men’s club who decide to take on the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.373%

Critics Consensus: 13th strikes at the heart of America’s tangled racial history, offering observations as incendiary as they are calmly controlled.

Synopsis: The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.587%

Critics Consensus: As gripping as it is unique, the thrillingly kinetic The Fits marks debuting writer-director Anna Rose Holmer as a singular talent.

Synopsis: An 11-year-old girl joins a dance drill team at her local rec center but her newfound teammates and friends begin… [More]


Adjusted Score: 103.545%

Critics Consensus: Weiner uses sharp insight and untrammeled access to offer a portrait of a political and personal collapse that’s as queasy as it is undeniably compelling.

Synopsis: Former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner’s catastrophic race for Mayor of New York City in 2013 is detailed in this behind-the-scenes… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.501%

Critics Consensus: Fresh and inventive yet immediately accessible, Cameraperson distills its subject’s life and career into an experience that should prove immediately absorbing even for those unfamiliar with her work.

Synopsis: A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate… [More]


Adjusted Score: 104.13%

Critics Consensus: A union to cherish between a writer-director and star working at peak power, Things to Come offers quietly profound observations on life, love, and the irrevocable passage of time.

Synopsis: What happens when the life you’ve worked so hard to build falls apart? In THINGS TO COME, Oscar nominee Isabelle… [More]


Adjusted Score: 113.152%

Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot’s charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.

Synopsis: An Amazon princess (Gal Gadot) finds her idyllic life on an island occupied only by female warriors interrupted when a… [More]


Adjusted Score: 94.111%

Critics Consensus: Most Beautiful Island plunges audiences into a little-seen sector of society, with writer-director Ana Asensio’s fearless performance leading the way.

Synopsis: MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND is a psychological thriller examining the plight of undocumented female immigrants hoping to make a life in… [More]


Adjusted Score: 94.111%

Critics Consensus: School Life offers a warm-hearted glimpse of an educational institution that may leave audiences as inspired as the students.

Synopsis: This observational documentary follows a year in the lives of two inspirational teachers at Headfort, the only primary-age boarding school… [More]



Adjusted Score: 95.157%

Critics Consensus: All This Panic offers an unvarnished look at the lives of young American women whose less compelling moments are more than balanced out by documentarian Jenny Gage’s empathetic approach.

Synopsis: ALL THIS PANIC takes an intimate look at the interior lives of a group of teenage girls as they come… [More]



Adjusted Score: 98.772%

Critics Consensus: The Breadwinner’s stunning visuals are matched by a story that dares to confront sobering real-life issues with uncommon — and richly rewarding — honesty.

Synopsis: Parvana is an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.267%

Critics Consensus: Inspiring and tragic, Bombshell is a bittersweet celebration and reclamation of Hedy Lemarr’s journey from Hollywood legend to technology genius.

Synopsis: When Nazi U-Boats torpedo a ship carrying 83 school children during World War II, Hollywood movie star, Hedy Lamarr, decides… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.726%

Critics Consensus: Step tells an irresistibly crowd-pleasing story in a thoroughly absorbing way — and while smartly incorporating a variety of timely themes.

Synopsis: STEP documents the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore. As each… [More]


Adjusted Score: 105.131%

Critics Consensus: Mudbound offers a well-acted, finely detailed snapshot of American history whose scenes of rural class struggle resonate far beyond their period setting.

Synopsis: Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees’ Mudbound is an epic story of two families… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.9%

Critics Consensus: Whose Streets? takes a close-up look at the civil unrest that erupted after a shocking act of violence in Ferguson, Missouri – and the decades of simmering tension leading up to it.

Synopsis: Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look… [More]



Adjusted Score: 102.873%

Critics Consensus: Kedi is a cat fancier’s dream, but this thoughtful, beautifully filmed look at Istanbul’s street feline population offers absorbing viewing for filmgoers of any purr-suasion.

Synopsis: KEDi is not a documentary about house cats or the strays you occasionally see in your back yard. KEDi is… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.294%

Critics Consensus: Trophy offers a thought-provoking look at big-game hunting that should challenge, trouble, and enrage viewers regardless of their personal perspective.

Synopsis: This documentary looks at the looming extinction of various species of African wildlife as a result of big-game hunting. Directed… [More]



Adjusted Score: 116.078%

Critics Consensus: Lady Bird delivers fresh insights about the turmoil of adolescence — and reveals writer-director Greta Gerwig as a fully formed filmmaking talent.

Synopsis: In Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both… [More]


Adjusted Score: 104.515%

Critics Consensus: Equal parts breezily charming and poignantly powerful, Faces Places is a unique cross-generational portrait of life in rural France from the great Agnès Varda.

Synopsis: Agnès Varda and JR have things in common: a passion for and the exploration of images in general, and more… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.872%

Critics Consensus: Kusama: Infinity shines a richly deserved spotlight on its subject’s brilliant work while opening a fascinating – albeit necessarily incomplete – window into her personal life.

Synopsis: Now the top-selling female artist in the world, Yayoi Kusama overcame countless odds to bring her radical artistic vision to… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.199%

Critics Consensus: RBG might be preaching to the choir of viewers who admire Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, but it does so effectively.

Synopsis: At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.818%

Critics Consensus: Private Life uses one couple’s bumpy journey to take an affecting look at an easily identifiable – and too rarely dramatized – rite of adult passage.

Synopsis: The new film from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Tamara Jenkins (The Savages, Slums of Beverly Hills), PRIVATE LIFE is the bracingly… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.27%

Critics Consensus: Dark Money does an impressive job of tackling a complicated subject in easily understandable — and, for many viewers, utterly enraging — terms.

Synopsis: Dark Money, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate… [More]



Adjusted Score: 97.177%

Critics Consensus: Good Manners adroitly juggles disparate tonal shifts while taking a uniquely smart and sensitive look at female relationships.

Synopsis: Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo, is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana as the nanny… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.899%

Critics Consensus: Brilliantly brought to life by tenderly empathetic performances from Jay Duplass and Edie Falco, Outside In tells a sobering — yet thoroughly absorbing — story.

Synopsis: After serving 20 years for the crime of essentially being in the wrong place at the wrong time, 38-year-old Chris… [More]


Adjusted Score: 97.502%

Critics Consensus: On Her Shoulders traces one woman’s incredible journey to offer an inside look at modern political advocacy – and a challenge to viewers yearning to effect their own change.

Synopsis: Twenty-three-year-old Nadia Murad’s life is a dizzying array of exhausting undertakings-from giving testimony before the U.N. to visiting refugee camps… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.335%

Critics Consensus: Western earns the viewer’s attention with an unpredictable, patiently told tale that evokes the spirit of the titular genre while adding its own unique touches.

Synopsis: A group of German construction workers start a tough job at a remote building site in the Bulgarian countryside. The… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.409%

Critics Consensus: Oh Lucy! roots its narrative quirks in universal themes and deep empathy for its characters, all brought to life by strong performances from a talented cast led by the thoroughly charming Shinobu Terajima.

Synopsis: Setsuko is a single, emotionally unfulfilled woman, seemingly stuck with a drab, meaningless life in Tokyo. At least until she’s… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100.049%

Critics Consensus: Zama offers a series of scathingly insightful observations about colonialism and class dynamics — and satisfyingly ends a long wait between projects from writer-director Lucrecia Martel.

Synopsis: Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.567%

Critics Consensus: I Am Not a Witch approaches real-life injustices with a beguiling blend of sorrow, anger, and humor, marking debuting writer-director Rungano Nyoni as an exciting new talent.

Synopsis: After a banal accident in her village, Shula, an eight-year-old girl, is accused of witchcraft. After a quick trial, she… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.521%

Critics Consensus: Science Fair offers further proof that real-life academic competition can make for effortlessly entertaining – and ultimately uplifting – cinema.

Synopsis: Hailed by critics as “immensely likeable,” “brilliant and quirky” and an “ode to the teenage science geeks on who our… [More]



Adjusted Score: 103.088%

Critics Consensus: Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason – and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal.

Synopsis: From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi (“MERU”) and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes National Geographic Documentary Film’s… [More]


Adjusted Score: 104.431%

Critics Consensus: The Rider’s hard-hitting drama is only made more effective through writer-director Chloé Zhao’s use of untrained actors to tell the movie’s fact-based tale.

Synopsis: Based on his a true story, THE RIDER stars breakout Brady Jandreau as a once rising star of the rodeo… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.15%

Critics Consensus: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before plays by the teen rom-com rules, but relatable characters and a thoroughly charming cast more than make up for a lack of surprises.

Synopsis: What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once? Lara Jean Song… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.011%

Critics Consensus: Pick of the Litter has all the fluffy adorableness audiences expect from a puppy documentary, along with a story that’s as edifying as it is heartwarming.

Synopsis: PICK OF THE LITTER follows a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their quest to become… [More]



Adjusted Score: 99.038%

Critics Consensus: Subversive, gorgeously shot, and suitably visceral, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts injects timely feminist themes into a neo-western grindhouse framework.

Synopsis: Marlina (35) is a grieving woman, hard at work all year long to save enough money for the traditional Sumba… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.965%

Critics Consensus: In Between takes a light yet nuanced approach to dramatizing complex, timely themes, further enriched by outstanding cinematography and powerful performances.

Synopsis: Three Palestinian women attempt to balance faith and tradition with their modern lives while living in the heart of Tel… [More]


Adjusted Score: 111.361%

Critics Consensus: Deftly directed and laced with dark wit, Can You Ever Forgive Me? proves a compelling showcase for deeply affecting work from Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy.

Synopsis: In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who… [More]


Adjusted Score: 103.169%

Critics Consensus: Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) finds writer-director Carla Simón drawing on personal memories to create a thoughtful drama elevated by outstanding work from its young leads.

Synopsis: In Carla Simón’s touching autobiographical film, six-year-old Frida looks on in silence as the last objects from her recently deceased… [More]


Adjusted Score: 109.886%

Critics Consensus: Leave No Trace takes an effectively low-key approach to a potentially sensationalistic story — and further benefits from brilliant work by Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie.

Synopsis: Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.27%

Critics Consensus: Steadily drawing viewers into its harrowing tale with equal parts grim intensity and startling compassion, Night Comes On heralds the arrivals of debuting director Jordan Spiro and her magnetic young stars.

Synopsis: Angel LaMere is released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, Angel embarks… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.214%

Critics Consensus: Expertly drawn characters and a strong senes of humanity make Sword of Trust an enjoyable — if at times meandering — journey.

Synopsis: When Cynthia & Mary (Jillian Bell & Michaela Watkins) show up to collect Cynthia’s inheritance from her deceased grandfather, the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 103.77%

Critics Consensus: Honey Boy serves as an act of cinematic therapy for its screenwriter and subject — one whose unique perspective should strike a chord in audiences from all backgrounds.

Synopsis: From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el brings to life a young… [More]


Adjusted Score: 96.716%

Critics Consensus: As sharp, funny, and scathingly irreverent as its subject, Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins pays entertaining tribute to a brilliant writer.

Synopsis: RAISE HELL is a documentary about the celebrated national political columnist and Texan, Molly Ivins who used her razor sharp… [More]



Adjusted Score: 100.181%

Critics Consensus: The Mustang finds fresh perspectives in a familiar redemption tale brought brilliantly to life by powerful performances from Bruce Dern and Matthias Schoenaerts.

Synopsis: Roman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a convict in a rural Nevada prison who struggles to escape his violent past, is required to… [More]


Adjusted Score: 95.418%

Critics Consensus: Rafiki tells a familiar story with bracing originality, marking director/co-writer Wanuri Kahiu as a talent to watch.

Synopsis: “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between… [More]


Adjusted Score: 111.091%

Critics Consensus: Much like the beloved TV personality that inspired it, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood offers a powerfully affecting message about acceptance and understanding.

Synopsis: Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 113.198%

Critics Consensus: With a stellar cast and a smart, sensitive retelling of its classic source material, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women proves some stories truly are timeless.

Synopsis: Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.82%

Critics Consensus: Birds of Passage traces the familiar arc of the drug crime thriller from a different direction that’s as visually absorbing as it is hard-hitting.

Synopsis: From the Oscar (R)-nominated team behind the genre-defying Embrace of the Serpent, comes an equally audacious saga centered on the… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.04%

Critics Consensus: Hail Satan? challenges preconceived notions of its subject with a smart, witty, and overall entertaining dispatch from the front lines of the fight for social justice.

Synopsis: Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is… [More]



Adjusted Score: 99.167%

Critics Consensus: American Factory takes a thoughtful — and troubling — look at the dynamic between workers and employers in the 21st-century globalized economy.

Synopsis: In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring… [More]



Adjusted Score: 98.027%

Critics Consensus: Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché aims an overdue spotlight on a cinematic innovator’s career, with the added benefit of absorbing historical context.

Synopsis: A documentary searching for Alice Guy-Blaché, who at 23 was the first female director, became a powerful figure in film,… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.495%

Critics Consensus: Led by standout work from Tessa Thompson, Little Woods tells a grimly absorbing tale that marks a commendable debut for writer-director Nia DaCosta.

Synopsis: Little Woods, North Dakota, a fracking boomtown well beyond its prime. Ollie is trying to survive the last few days… [More]


Adjusted Score: 112.044%

Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.

Synopsis: The story follows Dever and Feldstein’s characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high… [More]


Adjusted Score: 99.044%

Critics Consensus: Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound pays an all-too-rare tribute to an aspect of filmmaking that’s utterly fascinating but often overlooked.

Synopsis: Few realize that sound is 50% of the cinematic experience. Building on the pioneering sight-and-sound discoveries of iconic filmmakers, this… [More]



Adjusted Score: 101.244%

Critics Consensus: Tigers Are Not Afraid draws on childhood trauma for a story that deftly blends magical fantasy and hard-hitting realism – and leaves a lingering impact.

Synopsis: A haunting horror fairytale set against the backdrop of Mexico’s devastating drug wars, TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID follows a group… [More]


Adjusted Score: 98.903%

Critics Consensus: The Kingmaker aims a disquieting spotlight at the private life of a divisive public figure — as well as the ways in which unchecked power seduces and corrupts.

Synopsis: Centered on the indomitable character of Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker examines, with intimate access, the Marcos family’s improbable return to… [More]


Adjusted Score: 112.64%

Critics Consensus: The Farewell deftly captures complicated family dynamics with a poignant, well-acted drama that marries cultural specificity with universally relatable themes.

Synopsis: The film follows a Chinese family who, when they discover their beloved Grandmother has only a short while left to… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.683%

Critics Consensus: As illuminating as it is accessible, One Child Nation probes a painful chapter in Chinese history with piercing clarity.

Synopsis: China’s One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one… [More]



Adjusted Score: 99.575%

Critics Consensus: Too Late to Die Young uses one family’s experiences as the foundation for a dreamily absorbing drama with a poignant, lingering warmth.

Synopsis: Democracy comes back to Chile during the summer of 1990. In an isolated community, Sofía (16), Lucas (16) and Clara… [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.278%

Critics Consensus: The Chambermaid uses one woman’s experiences to take audiences inside a life — and a culture — that’s as bracingly unique as it is hauntingly relatable.

Synopsis: Eve, a young chambermaid at a luxurious Mexico City hotel, confronts the monotony of long workdays with quiet examinations of… [More]


Adjusted Score: 102.542%

Critics Consensus: As intimate as it is heartbreakingly resonant, For Sama powerfully distills the difficult choices faced by citizens of war-torn regions.

Synopsis: FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a… [More]



Adjusted Score: 102.117%

Critics Consensus: An unpredictable supernatural drama rooted in real-world social commentary, Atlantique suggests a thrillingly bright future for debuting filmmaker Mati Diop.

Synopsis: In Dakar, a group of construction workers abandon their work on a sky-scraper in response to months of withheld wages…. [More]


Adjusted Score: 101.027%

Critics Consensus: An encomium that should prove illuminating for casual viewers and satisfying for fans, Varda by Agnès finds a brilliant filmmaker looking back on her own terms.

Synopsis: An unpredictable documentary from a fascinating storyteller, Agnès Varda’s new feature documentary sheds light on her experience as a director,… [More]



Adjusted Score: 101.107%

Critics Consensus: Brought to life by a breakout performance by Camila Morrone, Mickey and the Bear finds affecting drama at the crossroads of a young woman’s coming-of-age journey.

Synopsis: In Anaconda, Montana, a strong-willed teenage girl navigates a loving but volatile relationship with her veteran father. In a desperate… [More]


Adjusted Score: 104.713%

Critics Consensus: Honeyland uses life in a remote village to offer an eye-opening perspective on experiences that should resonate even for audiences halfway around the world.

Synopsis: Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a village… [More]



Adjusted Score: 112.694%

Critics Consensus: A singularly rich period piece, Portrait of a Lady on Fire finds stirring, thought-provoking drama within a powerfully acted romance.

Synopsis: France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the… [More]