The 100 best romantic movies: film critics and journalists

Experts including Tom Hiddleston, Joan Collins and EL James vote for the best films about love and romance



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How did we choose the 100 best romantic movies of time? We asked the experts, including the folks who make their living from giving movies a critical mauling. From Danny Leigh of BBC One’s weekly film show, The Times’s Kate Muir and Time Out’s film editor Dave Calhoun, here are the critics’ top ten favourite romantic movies.

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Anna Smith

Anna Smith is a freelance film critic for publications including Time Out and Sight & Sound.

‘The classic love story of “Cyrano de Bergerac” is beautifully told in Rappeneau’s adaptation. The closing scene is heartbreaking but deeply romantic: a dying Cyrano hears confirmation of the love he dared not dream of as he staggers towards the light. “Brokeback Mountain” is an interesting take on romance, regardless of gender although in part defined by it, starting as a physical, wordless passion but quietly becoming a story of lifelong love.

‘So much romance is communicated visually and with relative restraint. The idea of love at first sight is a hard sell but “A Room With a View” presented it in unapologetic heart-swooning glory, with playful character humour to lighten the load. I went weak at the knees when Julian Sands walked into the pub just the other day.’

David Thomson

David Thomson is one of the world’s leading film critics. His books include ‘The Biographical Dictionary of Film’.

‘Romance in films depends on obstacle, frustration and separation. In nearly every film I've chosen the love story is heightened by these things. Moreover, I think that feeling of impediment or loss is a measure of the way we, the audience, are always separated from the life on the screen.’

Ben Williams

Ben Williams is the comedy editor at Time Out London.

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