Time Out's The 100 Best Romantic Films

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Romance isn't for everyone, but the sign of a good romantic movie is if it can move even the most steely hearted grump in some way. A romance should have you crying into a box of tissues, get you hot under the collar, make you laugh and leave your heart feeling full. After all, life is better when there’s love in the air.

Choosing the greatest films about love requires skill. That’s why, to help us curate this list, we chatted to more than 100 filmmakers, actors and writers (including those from Time Out). These are people who know romance: The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks; Notting Hill director Richard Curtis; and not forgetting a diva who has devoted a lifetime to seducing a shy frog, Miss Piggy.

Included below you’ll find classics like Dirty Dancing, comedies such as Nora Ephron’s brilliant When Harry Met Sally, animated wonders like Wall-E, and recent newcomers including Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Netflix’s Atlantics and the blockbuster 2018 remake of A Star is Born, all of which make up our definitive list of the best romantic movies of all time.

Written by Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston, Catherine Bray, Trevor Johnston, Andy P Kryza, Guy Lodge, Phil de Semlyen & Alim Kheraj

Last Updated: December 21, 2021

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  1. 1 -

    Brief Encounter

    1945, in 21 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Casablanca

    1942, in 37 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    Fa yeung nin wah

    2000 — a.k.a. In the Mood for Love, in 28 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    Annie Hall

    1977, in 33 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    Harold and Maude

    1971, in 20 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    Brokeback Mountain

    2005, in 22 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    The Apartment

    1960, in 27 top lists Check
  8. 8 -

    A Matter of Life and Death

    1946, in 20 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    2004, in 27 top lists Check
  10. 10 -

    Punch-Drunk Love

    2002, in 12 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    WALL·E

    2008, in 24 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    Gone with the Wind

    1939, in 29 top lists Check
  13. 13 -

    I Know Where I'm Going!

    1945, in 12 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    Letter from an Unknown Woman

    1948, in 14 top lists Check
  15. 15 -

    Call Me by Your Name

    2017, in 8 top lists
    Check
  16. 16 -

    Wild at Heart

    1990, in 5 top lists Check
  17. 17 -

    La belle et la bête

    1946 — a.k.a. Beauty and the Beast, in 25 top lists Check
  18. 18 -

    True Romance

    1993, in 6 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    Manhattan

    1979, in 19 top lists Check
  20. 20 -

    L'Atalante

    1934, in 21 top lists Check
  21. 21 -

    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

    1927 — a.k.a. Sunrise, in 34 top lists Check
  22. 22 -

    Les amants du Pont-Neuf

    1991 — a.k.a. The Lovers on the Bridge, in 10 top lists Check
  23. 23 -

    Up

    2009, in 15 top lists Check
  24. 24 -

    Before Sunrise

    1995, in 12 top lists Check
  25. 25 -

    When Harry Met Sally...

    1989, in 14 top lists Check
  26. 26 -

    Les parapluies de Cherbourg

    1964 — a.k.a. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, in 17 top lists Check
  27. 27 -

    The Bridges of Madison County

    1995, in 6 top lists Check
  28. 28 -

    Romeo + Juliet

    1996, in 7 top lists Check
  29. 29 -

    Before Sunset

    2004, in 16 top lists Check
  30. 30 -

    The African Queen

    1951, in 11 top lists Check
  31. 31 -

    Amour

    2012, in 13 top lists Check
  32. 32 -

    The English Patient

    1996, in 16 top lists Check
  33. 33 -

    Moonlight

    2016, in 11 top lists Check
  34. 34 -

    Angst essen Seele auf

    1974 — a.k.a. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, in 12 top lists Check
  35. 35 -

    All That Heaven Allows

    1955, in 11 top lists Check
  36. 36 -

    À bout de souffle

    1960 — a.k.a. Breathless, in 27 top lists Check
  37. 37 +1

    The Last of the Mohicans

    1992, in 9 top lists Check
  38. 38 +1

    Titanic

    1997, in 24 top lists Check
  39. 39 +1

    The Shop Around the Corner

    1940, in 14 top lists Check
  40. 40 +1

    Moonrise Kingdom

    2012, in 8 top lists Check
  41. 41 +1

    Dirty Dancing

    1987, in 9 top lists Check
  42. 42 +1

    Bringing Up Baby

    1938, in 22 top lists Check
  43. 43 +1

    Weekend

    2011, in 6 top lists Check
  44. 44 +1

    Pretty Woman

    1990, in 12 top lists Check
  45. 45 +1

    Lost in Translation

    2003, in 17 top lists Check
  46. 46 +1

    Ghost

    1990, in 9 top lists Check
  47. 47 +1

    West Side Story

    1961, in 22 top lists Check
  48. 48 +1

    His Girl Friday

    1940, in 20 top lists Check
  49. 49 +1

    An Affair to Remember

    1957, in 9 top lists Check
  50. 50 +1

    Notorious

    1946, in 23 top lists Check
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Last updated on May 21, 2022 by Fergenaprido; source