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Where to Stream the AFI Top 100 Movies


Nothing brings family, friends and film buffs together like a classic movie.

Old movies connect us to each other and our past. They let us relive memorable moments, laugh, cry, quote golden lines of dialogue and get everybody involved in friendly discussions.

But with so much silver screen history to choose from, it can be a little difficult to find a starting point. Perhaps that’s why the American Film Institute celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1998 with a list of the hundred best movies of all time (revised in 2007).

If you’re looking for classics, there’s no better place to start than the best.

The next step?

Figuring out where to stream all 100. Don’t worry, Suddenlink has you covered.

 Black and white photograph of a film projector

100. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942, Musical Biography)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Follow the trials and triumph of patriotic songwriter Geroge M. Cohen (played by James Cagney) as he rises from vaudeville to Tin Pan Alley to the White House.

99. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967, Drama)
Streaming on Amazon Prime, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Sidney Poitier brings immense dignity to the role of John Prentice, a young Black man meeting the parents of his white fiancé for the first time.

98. Unforgiven (1992, Rated R, Drama)
Streaming on Showtime, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Clint Eastwood leaves his final stamp on the Western genre as Bill Munny, a reformed gunslinger who returns to his old ways to become death incarnate.

97. Bringing Up Baby (1938, Romantic Comedy)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Cary Grant as a museum paleontologist and Katherine Hepburn as an heiress with a pet leopard exchange witty dialogue at the speed and volume of a firehose.

96. The Searchers (1956, Western)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

John Wayne plays… John Wayne in this classic Western drama where the leader of a search party grows increasingly obsessed.

95. Pulp Fiction (1994, Rated R, Crime Drama)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A nonlinear series of vignettes string together an undeniably cool cast of underworld characters in this bloody, funny, dark, wild and weird Quentin Tarantino film.

94. Goodfellas (1990, Rated R, Crime Drama)
Streaming on Hulu
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A budding gangster descends into increasingly dangerous and violent entanglements over the course of a lifetime, rendered indelibly through director Martin Scorcese’s signature blend of blood and profanity.

93. The Apartment (1960, Drama)
Streaming on Fubo, TCM
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Jack Lemmon mixes business with pleasure as an aspiring insurance executive whose gradually loosening morals lead him into a romantic complication of his own.

92. A Place In The Sun (1951, Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Montgomery Clift is a social climber on the precipice of a new life who must decide between wrong and right while courting a wealthy heiress.

91. My Fair Lady (1964, Rated G, Musical)
Not Available for Streaming

90. The Jazz Singer (1927, Musical)

Marked as a top movie due to its status as the first film ever produced with sound, The Jazz Singer follows a 1920’s Jewish songster whose aspirations to become a jazz singer lead him to pursue vaudevillian minstrelsy. This important historical document of cinema history can be a rough watch for modern audiences. Tread carefully.

89. Patton (1970, Rated PG, War Epic)
Streaming on Cinemax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

George C. Scott as tough-as-nails U.S. General George S. Patton Jr. will have you saluting a giant flag from your couch, while also introducing subtle questions about the morality of war.

88. Easy Rider (1969, Rated R, Road Movie)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson thumb their noses at convention (filmmaking and otherwise) and take to the road on their custom choppers in this rambling 60’s adventure that’s at turns funny, inspiring, sad and poignant.

87. Frankenstein (1931, Horror)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

“It’s alive!” If you’re familiar with the story but haven’t actually seen the original film adaptation, get ready for an unexpectedly moving treatise on madness, obsession and alienation.

86. Mutiny On The Bounty (1935, Period Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The classic tale of maritime revolt has been remade a few times, but Clark Gable in the original is tough to beat. If you’ve ever had to deal with a tyrannical boss, this might be just the escapist fantasy (and cautionary tale) for you.

85. Duck Soup (1933, Comedy)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Wacky, goofy, fun-loving and zany, this Marx Brothers farce still packs a comedic punch nearly 100 years later. Pay special attention to Groucho’s sly asides - he was a master at sneaking eyebrow-raising innuendo past the censors of the time.

84. Fargo (1996, Rated R, Crime)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A very pregnant detective in the frozen plains of North Dakota investigates a series of bloody murders that unravel an astonishingly inept kidnapping plot, framed by the Coen Brothers and their unique blend of charming offbeat comedy and shocking come-from-nowhere violence.

83. Platoon (1986, Rated R, War Drama)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Director Oliver Stone highlights the moral ambiguity of the Vietnam War with a tale of layered conflict between and within members of a combat platoon.

82. Giant (1956, Rated G, Western Epic)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A Texas rancher and his Maryland bride witness the ups and downs of their family’s fortune across two generations of rivalry and conflict.

81. Modern Times (1956, Rated G, Comedy Epic)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple

Charlie Chaplin’s plucky Tramp character undergoes a series of hilarious indignities as he struggles to survive in the 1936 version of modern industrial society - with themes that still resonate today.

80. The Wild Bunch (1969, Rated R, Western)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A posse of wily outlaws join together for one last score, and find themselves embroiled in an increasingly personal battle with a brutal warlord.

79. The Deer Hunter (1978, Rated R, Epic War Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A group of blue collar friends from a small Pennsylvania town struggle to maintain their connections in the face of stunning brutality and madness brought on by the Vietnam War.

78. Rocky (1976, Rated PG, Sports Drama)
Streaming on Showtime, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

“Yo Adrian!” Clouded by an unending series of sometimes cartoonish sequels (not that there’s anything wrong with them), the original tale of Philadelphia’s favorite fictional underdog boxer is a much more intimate portrait of devotion and redemption.

77. American Graffiti (1973, Rated PG, Ensemble Dramedy)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Before Star Wars, George Lucas directed this rambling, nostalgic slice of 50’s life, loosely following a group of hot-rodding small town teens as they cruise the strip of their local berg one last time.

76. City Lights (1931, Rated G, Comedy)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Charlie Chaplin’s silent film directorial debut sees a hopelessly smitten Tramp doing whatever he can to help a flower girl regain her eyesight.

A happy African American family watches TV together  seated on a couch, the father has his arms around both a mother and a young daughter - the young daughter is smiling and holding a glass of water

75. Dances With Wolves (1990, Rated PG-13, Western Epic)
Streaming on Sling, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

This moving take on the Western stands the genre on its ear, as an accidental Civil War hero explores the frontier and open-mindedly learns the ways and wisdom of a local Sioux tribe.

74. The Gold Rush (1925, Rated G, Western Epic)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon

Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp prospects for gold in the frozen Klondike, and finds more than he bargained for in this silent comedy classic.

73. Wuthering Heights (1939, Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple

Epic melodrama meets its height in this film adaptation of the 1847 Emily Brontë novel that’ll have you yelling “HEATHCLIFF!” across the moors of England.

72. Ben-Hur (1959, Rated G, Historical Epic)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The Roman epic film arc has seen a few noteworthy incantations (honorable man is betrayed and enslaved, becomes a hero to the people who symbolically threatens the imperial power structure, and meets his fate through an ultimate confrontation in the arena), but the sweeping, majestic production value of this 1959 classic still sets the standard.

71. Forrest Gump (1994, Rated PG-13, Generational Dramedy)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The cumulative history of the Baby Boomer generation is filtered through the lifelong experiences of a simple man of virtue from Greenbow, Alabama.

70. The French Connection (1971, Rated R, Crime Thriller)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A pair of hard-charging narcotics detectives cross every line there is, obsessively pursuing a drug smuggling ring through the gritty streets of early-70’s New York.

69. Shane (1953, Western)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

It’s not easy to avoid trouble in the Old West. When a reformed gunslinger signs onto a family ranch as a hired hand, he finds himself in the midst of escalating conflict and must return to his violent old ways to protect the innocent.

68. An American In Paris (1951, Musical)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

There’s the plot - a fairly boilerplate musical comedy love triangle - and then there’s what actually happens in this Gene Kelly romp, which is the laws of filmmaking and storytelling exploding into a paroxysm of unfettered Technicolor delight.

67. The Manchurian Candidate (1962, Rated PG-13, Psychological Thriller)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple

This chilling political conspiracy thriller about mind control is the (glazed look) kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful movie you've ever seen in your life. (shakes head) We’re not sure why we said that, it’s actually pretty terrifying.

66. Network (1976, Rated R, Satire)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

This bitingly visionary satire of television’s cult of personality will have you screaming quotable lines from your windows.

65. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991, Rated R, Dark Thriller)
Streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Like taking a tense submarine ride to the darkest depths of the human psyche, The Silence of the Lambs shows you things you can’t look away from or unsee. Jodie Foster’s brave determination as aspiring FBI trainee Clarice Starling is the perfect foil for a menagerie of male characters, ranging from harmlessly offbeat to the most dangerous man alive.

64. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977, Rated PG, Science Fiction)
Streaming on Showtime, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

An escalating series of alien encounters puts regular people on an obsessive collision course with the scientists and soldiers in charge of greeting our interstellar visitors.

63. Stagecoach (1939, Western)
Streaming on Amazon Prime, HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple

When a stagecoach full of mismatched travellers trespasses through Apache territory, they soon set aside (some of) their assumptions and prejudices under threat of violence.

62. Tootsie (1982, Rated PG, Dramedy)
Streaming on Netflix
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A talented but misogynistic aspiring actor burns every bridge in town, and disguises himself as a woman to land a well-paying part. A relatively limited amount of learning and discovery ensues.

61. Vertigo (1958, Rated PG, Suspense)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

This Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece blurs the structural lines of taut suspense with an unreliably obsessive protagonist. Is the mystery unraveling, or just his mind?

60. Raiders Of The Lost Arc (1981, Rated PG, Adventure)
Streaming on Netflix
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Steven Spielberg’s homage to double-feature adventure films blends exotic locations, romance, comedy, a little plunder, religious artifacts, mysticism and good old fashioned bare-knuckle Nazi punching. Don’t forget your fedora.

59. Rebel Without A Cause (1955, Rated PG-13, Teen Drama)
Streaming on HBOMax, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Jim Stark is the streetwise new kid in a sleepy small town, but the local tough kids won’t leave him or his wayward new best friend alone. A stellar performance as the conflicted Stark put James Dean on the map as a serious talent to watch.

58. Fantasia (1940, Rated G, Animated Symphony)
Streaming on Disney+

All the sweeping imagination, technical prowess, and magic associated with Disney is on full display in this jaw-dropping, genre-defying masterpiece of animation.

57. The Third Man (1949, Film Noir)
Streaming on IndieFlix
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A pulp novelist finds himself chasing down a real life mystery, as a visit to an old friend in postwar Vienna turns into a twisting, turning murder investigation.

56. M*A*S*H (1970, Rated R, War Comedy)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

If a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H, natch) during the Korean War doesn’t sound like the right setting for madcap hijinx, that’s because there’s no way to reconcile the Hippocratic oath with the horrors of war. Join a lovable cast of wisecracking pranksters as they laugh to keep from crying.

55. The Sound Of Music (1965, Rated G, Musical)
Streaming on Disney+
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Julie Andrews plays a struggling nun turned successful nanny in the hills of 30’s Austria, and finds herself navigating a complex budding romance further complicated by impending war - in between soaring musical numbers.

54. All Quiet On The Western Front (1930, War Epic)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The first World War forms the backdrop of this exploration of disillusionment, as a band of young Germans see their sense of duty and honor dissolve into an inner battle for sanity in the face of senseless destruction.

53. Amadeus (1984, Rated R, Biographical Period Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s vulgar, tumultuous life and irrepressible genius is told through the perspective of a bitter rival who played a key role in his untimely demise.

52. From Here To Eternity (1953, Romance Drama)
Streaming on Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Punishment, betrayal, and forbidden romance reverberate through an Army unit stationed in 1941 Hawaii. Succumbing to overwhelming passion by kissing in the crashing waves was a genuine shocker back in 1953, and still holds up as an all-time cinematic moment.

51. The Philadelphia Story (1940, Romantic Comedy)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Glittering banter, hidden motives and interwoven misunderstandings abound in this classic rom com, where a few unexpected guests - including the bride’s ex husband - show up to snoop around a socialite’s wedding.

Picture of a man relaxing on his couch, streaming a movie on a tablet device

50. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969, Rated PG, Western)
Streaming on Amazon Prime, Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A love triangle of affable outlaws absconds with their one last score to escape the rapidly civilizing Old West, staying one step ahead of the law for as long as they possibly can.

49. Snow White And The Seven Dwarves (1937, Rated G, Animated Feature)
Streaming on Disney+
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The nature-loving appeal of Disney’s first feature-length animated movie endures to this day. Pop quiz: can you name all seven dwarves?

48. Jaws (1975, Rated PG-13, Blockbuster Thriller)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

When a demonic great white shark with an appetite for human flesh besieges a coastal tourist town, local leaders choose to ignore the threat, forcing the Sheriff to take matters into his own hands.

47. Taxi Driver (1976, Rated R, Gritty Drama)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

“Are you talkin’ to me? Are you talkin’ to me?!” A lone, mild-mannered young man in 70’s New York takes to driving a cab to make ends meet, and is gradually transformed into an unstable antihero by both personal trauma and the city’s bottomless depravity.

46. A Clockwork Orange (1971, Rated R, Dystopian SciFi)
Streaming on Showtime
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

In an alternative future full of unintelligible slang, London’s working class is beset by roving bands of sadistic teens. When the protagonist is captured by police, he volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy which erases both his violent tendencies and humanity.

45. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951, Rated PG, Drama)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

“STELLLLLLAAAAAA!!!!” While his performance as the hypermasculine Stanley Kowalski put Marlon Brando over the top as the most talented actor of his generation, Tennessee Williams’s source material, directed capably by Elia Kazan, would make this Southern gothic of doomed lovers feel compelling under any circumstances.

44. The Birth Of A Nation (1915, Propaganda)

It’s a tremendous but unignorable shame that cinema’s first true epic is also an openly racist pro-KKK propaganda film. Clocking in at 195 minutes, the silent film has way more historical than entertainment value as a glimpse into political ideology of its time, though its message was regarded as contemptible by many even back in 1915.

43. King Kong (1933, Monster Movie)
Streaming on HBOMax, TCM, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A film crew on location in an exotic island discovers a giant ape, and captures him for display in the big city. When he runs amok, only the striking blonde star of the film-within-a-film can soothe his rage.

42. Rear Window (1954, Rated PG, Suspense)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A photographer is confined to his city home to recover from a broken leg, and becomes engrossed in the lives of his neighbors - seen through the rear window of his apartment - as his primary source of entertainment. But is one of them hiding something sinister?

41. West Side Story (1961, Musical)
Streaming on Netflix
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A pair of star-crossed lovers must circumvent their positions on opposite sides of an ongoing turf war (weapons of choice: singing and dancing) if they’re to find true happiness.

40. North By Northwest (1959, Mystery & Thriller)
Streaming on HBO Max
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Cary Grant plays an advertising executive forced to run for his life in this Kafka-esque case of mistaken identity.

39. Doctor Zhivago (1965, Rated PG-13, Romance Drama)
Streaming on HBO Max
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A well-heeled physician and poet falls in forbidden love with a political activist's wife, setting off a series of hardships he must endure through Russia’s twin involvement in World War I and Revolution.

38. Double Indemnity (1944, Film Noir)
Streaming on Fubo, TCM
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A by-the-books insurance investigator falls for a wealthy femme fatale, and soon finds himself embroiled in a fraud and murder scheme of his own invention.

37. The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946, Romance Drama)
Rentable on Amazon

Three veterans of World War II return to daily life in small-town America, only to struggle even more through varying degrees of alienation.

36. Midnight Cowboy (1969, Rated R, Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Famously rated X at the time of its release and now downgraded to an R, this gritty drama follows the exploits of a cowboyish aspiring gigolo (played by Jon Voight) and his fast-talking streetwise accomplice (Dustin Hoffman), whose unlikely bond sends their fortunes in opposite directions.

35. It Happened One Night (1934, Romantic Comedy)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Frank Capra directs this lighthearted romantic comedy about a spoiled, wealthy heiress who leans on a down-on-his-luck reporter for help escaping her dysfunctional family. Will he sell her out for a scoop, or will sparks fly instead?

34. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962, Courtroom Drama)
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Gregory Peck is magnetic as small town lawyer and devoted father Atticus Finch, who stoically defends a Black man against an unjust charge, drawing the ire of a depression-era Alabama community that grows increasingly willing to put his children’s lives at risk.

33. High Noon (1952, Rated PG, Western)
Streaming on Starz, DIRECTV
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Life (and death?) can be a lonely affair for a former lawman in the Old West. Gary Cooper stars as the principled Marshal Will Kane, who chooses to stand and fight on his own when forced into deadly confrontation.

32. The Godfather Part II (1974, Rated R, Mafia Family Epic)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Director Francis Ford Coppola’s majestic sequel to the iconic original intertwines the storylines of young Vito Corleone’s rise to crime boss status with his son Michael’s later descent into family-rending revenge. This masterpiece comes with homework: you’ll definitely want to watch the first installment for context.

31. Annie Hall (1977, Rated PG, Romantic Comedy)
Streaming on Starz

Provided you can separate the art from the artist, Annie Hall delivers one of the most inventive romantic comedies ever captured on film.

30. The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948, Western)
Streaming on HBO Max
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A successful recovery of stolen treasure is beset by a series of misfortunes, disagreements and greed. If you need an official endorsement, keep in mind that “we don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”

29. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939, Comedy Drama)
Streaming on Criterion Channel
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A Washington outsider elected to Congress (James Stewart) is initially laughed off as a guileless rube, but his unwavering commitment to simple country values put him in a position to fight with glorious passion for a noble cause.

28. Apocalypse Now (1979, Rated R, War Drama)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

When a U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel goes rogue during the Vietnam War, a grizzled Captain is tasked with putting an end to his reign of terror. The resulting expedition reveals that madness is relative in a world devoid of reason.

27. Bonnie And Clyde (1967, Rated R, Romantic Action Drama)
Streaming on HBO Max
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A rule-breaking couple goes on a romantic yet definitely destructive crime spree, capturing the imagination of the country while doubling down on needless risk.

26. Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964, Rated PG, Satirical Comedy)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

What could be funnier than nuclear annihilation? As this Stanley Kubrick comedic masterpiece proves, almost nothing.

Picture of a man and his son sitting on a small couch, their faces illuminated by the glow of a television screen, a bowl of popcorn sits between them - the man is holding a remote control, both the father and son have their fists raised in excitement

25. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Rated PG, Family)
Streaming on Netflix
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A candy-loving alien abandoned on Earth finds his way into a struggling suburban household, and forms a special bond with a put-upon young boy as they struggle to escape their respective confines together.

24. Raging Bull (1980, Rated R, Sports Drama)
Streaming on The Roku Channel, VUDU
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The pride and anger that fuel a blue-collar prizefighter’s rise to stardom also form the mechanism for his ultimate downfall and dissolution.

23. The Maltese Falcon (1941, Film Noir)
Streaming on HBO Max, TCM, Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

If it's a classic film noir, you can expect trouble to start with a beautiful woman. Twists and turns abound as wisecracking private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) must play both sides against an evaporating middle in a multifaceted and murderous plot to make off with a priceless figurine.

22. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Rated G, SciFi)
Streaming on HBO Max, DIRECTV
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

This glacially-paced visual feast explores complex themes of creation, destruction and life itself with confoundingly little dialogue for guidance. Kubrick’s SciFi epic reveals a new wrinkle upon every rewatch, each with implications weighty enough to revive your inner coffee shop philosopher.

21. The Grapes Of Wrath (1940, History Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

John Steinbeck’s Depression-era epic novel receives a worthy adaptation on behalf of director John Ford. And if you don’t get goosebumps (or a few tears) listening to Henry Fonda’s climactic speech, you might want to check your pulse.

20. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, Rated R, Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A small-time hustler figures a state mental hospital might be his ticket to avoiding prison time, and his freewheeling influence soon lifts the spirits of his fellow patients. But he doesn’t account for the controlling and manipulative Nurse Ratched, played with expertly understated menace by Louise Fletcher.

19. Chinatown (1974, Rated R, Mystery Thriller)
Streaming on Starz
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Jack Nicholson is Jake Geddes, an L.A. gumshoe with a knack for ruffling the wrong feathers, as he follows the trail of a murder investigation. He doggedly uncovers a web of corruption, deceit and depravity so insidious, it shakes his assumptions about the differences between “polite society” and a skid row gutter. Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.

18. Psycho (1960, Rated R, Horror)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Want to know how Alfred Hitchcock earned his “Master of Suspense” honorific? Watch Psycho and think about what you know at the beginning, what you know at the end, and how deliciously long it took you to get there.

17. The African Queen (1952, Rated PG, Romantic Drama)
Streaming on Amazon Prime
Rentable on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Humphrey Bogart as a rough, vulgar, hard-drinking steamboat captain. Katherine Hepburn as the disapproving high-society widow of a stuffy missionary who was murdered in a Nazi raid. Sounds like a perfect match... eventually.

16. All About Eve (1950, Psychological Thriller)
Rentable on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Anne Baxter plays a jealous con artist in disguise as an earnestly doting fan in this original (and still the best) example of the “female identity thief” subgenre of psychological thriller. Sure, you can fool Bette Davis with flattery for a while, but if you come at the queen, you best not miss.

15. Star Wars (1977, Rated PG, SciFi Action Adventure)
Streaming on Disney+

Ever heard of it? The now-ubiquitous mystical space adventure series was just as big of a global sensation at the time of its initial release as it is now, proving that its core themes - good vs. evil, finding your friends and yearning for grander adventures than you can find on the average moisture farm - will always have relatable appeal.

14. Some Like It Hot (1959, Comedy)
Streaming on Fubo, TCM
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Two male musicians disguise themselves as women to blend in with a travelling female orchestra, avoid the wrath of a murderous kingpin and - if there’s any time left - seduce Marilyn Monroe. Hey, shoot your shot.

13. The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957, War Epic)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

British World War II POW’s in occupied Burma are forced to build a railroad bridge of key strategic importance in this nuanced tale of duty, labor, accountability and leadership.

12. Sunset Blvd. (1950, Film-Noir Drama)
Streaming on Amazon Prime
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

A “struggling” screenwriter - struggling to the point of openly grifting if the money’s good enough - teams up with a delusional and isolated former starlet to revive her career. Madness, murder and mayhem ensue. Gloria Swanson is magnificently demented in the role of Norma Desmond.

11. It’s A Wonderful Life (1947, Drama)
Streaming on Amazon Prime
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Frank Capra’s innovative film storytelling is often overshadowed by all the feel-good sentiment surrounding this nostalgic Christmas classic. But the careful and inventive early steps Capra takes to get audiences to follow a fairly complex premise - “what if you had never been born” - expertly set the stage for an emotional payoff that’s as satisfying as any in cinema history.

10. Singin’ In The Rain (1952, Rated G, Musical)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Ingredients: Winning premise. Affable charm. A strange dream sequence spliced in from another movie. Stir vigorously with a serious commitment to craft and choreography (Donald O'Connor collapsed after nailing “Make ‘Em Laugh,” and was subsequently hospitalized). Add a dash of movie magic (rainfall in the infamous title sequence wasn’t visible on camera, so they added milk). The recipe? Pure joy.

9. Schindler’s List (1993, Rated R, Historical Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Holocaust film centers on an unlikely humanitarian. Liam Neeson plays Oskar Schindler, a hard-bitten German industrialist who used his contacts as a munitions manufacturer to enlist (and save) Jewish laborers - first as a business decision, then as a moral imperative.

8. On The Waterfront (1954, Drama)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Marlon Brando is electric as frustrated dockworker and erstwhile pro boxer Terry Malloy, who eventually realizes that his well-meaning willingness to go with the flow and lay down to the powers that be have irretrievably diminished his potential as both a fighter and a man.

7. The Graduate (1954, Rated PG, Satirical Comedy)
Streaming on Hulu
Rentable on YouTube, Google Play

When a young man returns to his upper-middle class family after graduating from college, he finds himself on the threshold of lifelong suburban mediocrity (satirized to perfection by director Mike Nichols), and quickly becomes enmeshed in the affairs - quite literally - of another local family.

6. The Wizard Of Oz (1939, Rated PG, Family)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

The next time you watch The Wizard Of Oz, cast all the movie-making mythology and cultural baggage aside to concentrate on the performances. Almost every actor in the supporting cast absolutely goes for broke, mugging unapologetically with a barely concealed wink and grin, on nearly every take. You can’t help but enjoy it.

5. Lawrence Of Arabia (1962, Historical Epic)
Streaming on Fubo
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

In order to distract the Turkish Army during World War I, a lone British officer volunteers to attempt a seemingly impossible feat - unifying warring Arab tribes as a key source of opposition. Along the way, the many trials he endures to gain the trust of his adoptive Arab comrades imbue both parties with tremendous respect for each others’ courage and humanity.

4. Gone With The Wind (1940, Historical Epic)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Under fire for promoting an unrealistically wholesome-seeming view of the antebellum South, Gone With The Wind does have a few merits as a period drama. Chief among them: Vivien Leigh’s endlessly petulant and manipulative Scarlett O’Hara receiving her ultimate comeuppance through the most devastating parting line in cinema history.

3. The Godfather (1972, Rated R, Mafia Family Epic)
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Legend has it that when studio executive Robert Evans saw the first cut of this exhilaratingly expansive American gangster epic, he asked director Francis Ford Coppola to go back and make it longer. Why not? The theatrical version checks in at 175 minutes, and not a single frame of celluloid belongs on the cutting room floor.

2. Casablanca (1943, Rated PG, Romantic Drama)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

You know the old saying. “If you love something, set it free. And if it returns years later to your sleazy Moroccan jazz nightclub, set it free again.” No movie will ever capture the bittersweetness of romantic self-sacrifice as succinctly as Casablanca.

1. Citizen Kane (1943, Rated PG, Drama)
Streaming on HBOMax
Rentable on Amazon, Apple, YouTube, Google Play, etc.

Orson Welles’s directorial debut pushed film storytelling and cinematography decades into the future. As it stands, the (semi) fictional post-mortem study of a loveless but wealthy publishing tycoon is still regularly honored as the best movie ever made.

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