The Best Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated, According to Critics

Based on Rotten Tomatoes scores, these are the greatest movies from 1950 to 2019.

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We all have our personal favorites when it comes to the movies we grew up with, and we might not always agree with the critics. After all, sometimes a movie with great reviews just isn't for you, and other times you find that a critically reviled movie is close to your heart. Still, review aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes offer a general consensus, and with their annual breakdown of top-rated movies, we can discover the best movie every year, at least according to critics.

To compile our list, we narrowed it down to the years 1950 through 2019. It's important to note that the top-rated movie for any given year on Rotten Tomatoes may not be the movie with the highest score overall; these scores are weighted by the number of reviews a film received, and the critics who wrote them. We also limited our list to movies that got a wide release in U.S. theaters that year.

With that in mind, take a look at what critics decided was the best movie of the year when you graduated high school—and every year before and after. See if any of your favorites made the cut. And for a look at how more beloved films stack up, we're Ranking Every Disney Animated Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.

1950: All About Eve

still from all about eve
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

And for movies the critics weren't as kind to, These Are the Movies on Rotten Tomatoes With 0 Percent Ratings.

1951: A Streetcar Named Desire

a streetcar named desire
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1952: Singin' in the Rain

singin in the rain
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

And to see how more modern movies got scored, we're Ranking Every Marvel Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.

1953: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

gentlemen prefer blondes
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1954: Rear Window

rear window
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

And for more classic films that capture the season, these are The 20 Best Summer Movies of All Time.

1955: The Night of the Hunter

the night of the hunter
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

1956: Seven Samurai

seven samurai
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1957: 12 Angry Men

12 angry men
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

And for another walk down memory lane, revisit these 40 Movies Turning 40 This Year.

1958: Touch of Evil

touch of evil
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

1959: North by Northwest

north by northwest
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

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1960: Psycho

still from psycho
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1961: Breathless

still from breathless
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

1962: Lawrence of Arabia

lawrence of arabia
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1963: 8 1/2

still from eight and a half
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1964: A Hard Day's Night

a hard day's night
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1965: Repulsion

still from repulsion
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

1966: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

who's afraid of virginia woolf
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

1967: The Battle of Algiers

the battle of algiers
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 a space odyssey
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92 percent

1969: Midnight Cowboy

midnight cowboy
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89 percent

1970: Patton

still from patton
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

1971: The Last Picture Show

the last picture show
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1972: The Godfather

still from the godfather
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1973: Playtime

still from playtime
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1974: Chinatown

still from chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

1975: Jaws

still from jaws
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1976: Taxi Driver

still from taxi driver
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1977: Annie Hall

still from annie hall
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1978: Halloween

still from halloween
Compass International Pictures / Aquarius Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1979: Alien

still from alien
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1980: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

empire strikes back
Lucasfilm

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark

raiders of the lost ark
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

1982: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

et the extra terrestrial
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

1983: The Right Stuff

the right stuff
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1984: The Terminator

the terminator
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1985: Ran

still from ran
Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

1986: Aliens

still from aliens
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

1987: The Princess Bride

the princess bride
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

1988: Big

still from big
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

1989: Henry V

still from henry v
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1990: Goodfellas

goodfellas
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1991: The Silence of the Lambs

the silence of the lambs
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1992: Unforgiven

still from unforgiven
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

1993: Schindler's List

schindler's list
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

1994: Three Colors: Red

three colors red
Criterion Collection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1995: Toy Story

toy story
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1996: Fargo

still from fargo
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

1997: L.A. Confidential

l.a. confidential
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

1998: The Truman Show

the truman show
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

1999: Toy Story 2

toy story 2
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

2000: Chicken Run

still from chicken run
DreamWorks Animation

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

2001: Monsters, Inc.

monsters inc.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

the lord of the rings the two towers
New Line Cinema

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

2003: Finding Nemo

finding nemo
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

2004: The Incredibles

the incredibles
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

2005: Murderball

still from murderball
Shout! Factory

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

2006: Casino Royale

casino royale
Sony Pictures Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

2007: Ratatouille

still from ratatouille
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

2008: The Dark Knight

still from the dark knight
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

2009: Up

still from up
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

2010: Toy Story 3

toy story 3
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

2012: Argo

still from argo
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

2013: Gravity

still from gravity
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

2014: Boyhood

still from boyhood
IFC Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

2015: Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max fury road
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

2016: Moonlight

still from moonlight
A24

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

2017: Lady Bird

still from lady bird
A24

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

2018: Black Panther

Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and Sydelle Noel in Black Panther (2018)
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

2019: Parasite

still from parasite
Neon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

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