(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 96.564%
Critics Consensus: A heartbreaking and illuminating look at the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through the eyes of children.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 98.576%
Critics Consensus: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is as persuasive and engrossing as it is unapologetically biased.
Adjusted Score: 96.4%
Critics Consensus: Delightful and strangely moving.
Adjusted Score: 97.664%
Critics Consensus: A fascinating, enlightening behind-the-scenes look at the Al Jazeera network.
Adjusted Score: 95.452%
Critics Consensus: The Lost boys of Sudan works as both a riveting documentary and scathing indictment of colonialism.
Adjusted Score: 97.565%
Critics Consensus: A powerful and uplifting documentary.
Adjusted Score: 96.849%
Critics Consensus: A drama that’s both funny and moving.
Adjusted Score: 97.89%
Critics Consensus: Interesting and appealing as both a study of man and nature.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 98.951%
Critics Consensus: A powerful glimpse of the possibilities for transcendence in straightforward documentary filmmaking — and extreme physical disability.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 98.237%
Critics Consensus: This incredible documentary displays the tragedy and mismanagement of Katrina along with the heroism of strangers and survivors.
Adjusted Score: 98.067%
Critics Consensus: An enchanting self-portrait by a veteran director, Beach of Agnes is equal parts playful and profound.
Adjusted Score: 98.769%
Critics Consensus: This slow-moving French family drama is rich, complex, subtle and emotionally eloquent.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 97.061%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Adjusted Score: 98.355%
Critics Consensus: At once tender and unsentimental, Sweetgrass gracefully captures the beauty and hardships of a dying way of life.
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.
Adjusted Score: 101.281%
Critics Consensus: An enlightening and sobering documentary on Afghanistan’s very own X-Factor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 96.645%
Critics Consensus: Smart and inventive, The Arbor offers some intensely memorable twists on tired documentary tropes.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 93.84%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 97.216%
Critics Consensus: Brooklyn Castle is a warm, engaging, and even uplifting documentary about chess-playing whiz kids.
Adjusted Score: 97.926%
Critics Consensus: Léa Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein are exceptional as downtrodden siblings in this sad and wintry character study.
Adjusted Score: 100.428%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 99.206%
Critics Consensus: Alternately horrific and uplifting, Call Me Kuchu exposes heinous systematic brutality with a clear eye and admirable precision.
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.
Adjusted Score: 102.667%
Critics Consensus: Blackfish is an aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performance killer whales.
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.
Adjusted Score: 101.985%
Critics Consensus: The Square offers an electrifying — and edifying — ground-level glimpse of life inside a real-life political revolution.
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.
Adjusted Score: 97.83%
Critics Consensus: Revealing yet respectful, 20,000 Days on Earth is essential viewing for any Nick Cave fan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 98.347%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and smartly scripted, Girlhood offers a fresh perspective on familiar cinematic territory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 113.152%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot’s charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjusted Score: 97.177%
Critics Consensus: Good Manners adroitly juggles disparate tonal shifts while taking a uniquely smart and sensitive look at female relationships.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.