20 Best romance movies of all time


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When we think of the greatest love stories of all time, a handful of couples always seem to come to mind—from Romeo and Juliet and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to Heathcliff and Cathy and Lancelot and Guinevere.

At a second glance, it seems these iconic romances share recurring themes that distinguish them from ordinary love stories. These films involve sacrifice, serendipity, passion, conflict, and relatability, but on the big screen, what separates a great love story from just any old love story is its watchability. The best romances don’t just tug at our heartstrings, they’re the ones we want to watch over and over again.

Stacker rounded up the 100 greatest on-screen love stories of all time by assembling a list of the best romantic movies over the years, using data to determine a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores as of Jan. 31, 2022. To qualify, films had to be listed as romance on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascores and IMDb user ratings. Every film on the list has been considered according to the cinematic history and development of the romance genre.

From the romantic thriller “Vertigo” and period picture “Atonement” to modern darlings like “Moonrise Kingdom” and the classic, “Casablanca,” these are some of the best romances to have left audiences with that jubilant feeling of having witnessed true, everlasting love.

The Crying Game (1992)

– Director: Neil Jordan
– Stacker score: 88.1
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Set against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the crux of “The Crying Game” story is this: A British soldier gets captured by the IRA and, certain he won’t make it out alive, asks one of his captors to check up on his girlfriend in London when the fighting is all over. The captor keeps his promise before the movie takes a couple more twists, and nothing ends as you thought it would. The Neil Jordan-directed film, which Roger Ebert deemed “one of the best movies of 1992,” is a love story that will keep you guessing from beginning to end.