50. A Little Princess (1995)
> Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy
> Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
> Starring: Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham
This adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel by Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón tells the story of a young girl acclimating to life at a rigid boarding school. It has a 97% Freshness rating from critics, and 88% of Rotten Tomatoes users liked the film, which dabbles in magic realism. Writing for Variety, critic Todd McCarthy described it as “a children’s film that plays equally well to kids and adults.”
49. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
> Directed by: Peter Jackson
> Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen
The final film in Peter Jackson’s exceedingly popular Lord of the Rings trilogy won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay. The 201 minute epic is the 45th top-grossing movie of all time at the domestic box office when not adjusting for inflation, having grossed more than $377 million.
48. A Christmas Carol (1951)
> Genre: Drama, Fantasy
> Directed by: Brian Desmond Hurst
> Starring: Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison
The 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” is considered by many critics and film aficionados as the best. Actor Alastair Sim left an indelible imprint as Scrooge, an interpretation of the character that is equal parts contemptible and vulnerable. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes agree this version is most faithful to the Charles Dickens classic.
47. Amadeus (1984)
> Genre: Biography, Drama, History
> Directed by: Milos Forman
> Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge
Based on Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play of the same name, this account of the life and successes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — told through the eyes of his rival, Antonio Salieri – dominated the 1985 Oscars. “Amadeus” won eight Academy Awards, including those for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. It is currently the 83rd top-rated movie on IMDb.
46. Up (2009)
> Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
> Directed by: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
> Starring: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger
“Up” is among the highest rated of the extremely popular animated films from Pixar, with a 98% rating from critics and 90% rating from users on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie follows 78-year-old widower Carl Fredricksen who sets out to South America along with Boy Scout Russell by attaching balloons to his house. The movie was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and won Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.
45. All About Eve (1950)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
> Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Backstage Hollywood venom tinged with biting wit infuses this much-acclaimed Bette Davis black comedy about an aspiring actress who cold-bloodedly manipulates her way toward stardom. Critics called it “impeccably written,” “gunshot sharp,” and “downright funny.”
44. Rear Window (1954)
> Genre: Mystery, Thriller
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
In “Rear Window,” James Stewart plays a photojournalist who is homebound because of an injury. He passes the time observing his neighbors, assigning them nicknames like “Miss Lonelyhearts.” He creates a story that one neighbor killed his wife, but then comes to realize he might be right. This Hitchcock gem that also starred the luminous Grace Kelly received a 99% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% of audiences liked the movie.
43. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
> Directed by: Peter Jackson
> Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
The first entry to Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings franchise — based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic books — was a massive critical and financial success. The movie grossed more than $315 million at the domestic box office and currently has a 91% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences were even more enamored, with 95% liking it.
42. Inception (2010)
> Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page
“Smart, innovating, and thrilling,” is the critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes as it goes on praising this complex sci-fi mystery about a thief who can enter the dreams of others and steal their ideas — and ultimately maybe implant new ones. Critics applied words like “spectacular,” “endlessly fascinating,” and “awesomely original.”
41. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
> Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy
> Directed by: Henry Selick
> Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
This stop-motion animated film has the gothic fingerprints of the uber-creative Tim Burton (who co-wrote the movie), though it was directed by Henry Selick, who also directed the well-liked “Coraline.” The movie follows Jack Skellington, skeletal king of Halloween Town, who discovers Christmas Town and becomes enchanted by the idea of Christmas. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has a 95% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 91% of the voting audience liked it.
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