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The 100 Best Movies Under Two Hours, According to Critics

From TIME - December 7, 2017

In 1984, TIME film critic Richard Corliss wrote a piece titled Why Do Movies Seem So Long? In it, he recalled a piece of wisdom from Columbia Pictures co-founder Harry Cohn, whose method for judging the quality of a film came down to this: If my fanny squirms, its bad. If my fanny doesnt squirm, its good.

The question Corliss explored that year is a perennial one, and its typically posed as a gripe. In Corliss estimation, movies had become longer but not richer, a trend he argued began toward the end of World War II when movies shifted, broadly speaking, from creations of the studio system to the artistic visions of directors. Speaking to the Daily Beast three decades later, Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers blamed the bloat on studios misguided belief that the longer the movie, the greater the sheen of prestige, the greater the potential for prestigious awards. Newsweek critic David Ansen wondered if studios werent reluctant to give notes to some of the biggest and most visionary directors in Hollywood.

In reality, a chart of average movie length over time looks less like the trajectory of the flying bikes in E.T. (114 min.) than the waves in Jaws (124 min.). Yes, movies today are on average much longer than they were in the 1930sexcluding the 222-min. Gone With the Wind but theyre not necessarily much longer than popular films of the 50s and 60s. This years Best Picture winner Moonlight is practically a Vine when compared with past winners Ben-Hur (1959, 212 minutes) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 222 minutes) and nominee Cleopatra (1963, 248 minutes).

Still, even if todays movies arent the longest theyve ever been, theres still the problem of the squirming fanny. To help you out, weve analyzed Rotten Tomatoes reviews to come up with a list of the 100 top-scoring movies that ring in under two hours, using a dataset of IMDBs 10,000 top-grossing films.

Theres something for everyone on the list: classics like Frankenstein (1931) and The Wizard of Oz (1939); animated favorites like Pinocchio (1940) and 101 Dalmatians (1961); Oscar Best Picture winners like On the Waterfront (1954) and Moonlight (2016); and, among other genres, documentaries like Twenty Feet From Stardom (2013) and Blackfish (2013). Below is the list, presented from lowest to highest average score:

100. Chicken Run (2000), 85 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon and Google Play

99. 50/50 (2011), 100 min.

Rent on Amazon

98. Fruitvale Station (2013), 84 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

97. Monsters, Inc. (2001), 92 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

96. Lost in Translation (2003), 102 min.

Watch on Starz, rent on Amazon

95. Pans Labyrinth (2006), 115 min.

Watch on Amazon Prime

94. Anomalisa (2015), 96 min.

Watch on Amazon Prime and Hulu

93. Looper (2012), 119 min.

Rent on Amazon

92. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), 115 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

91. The Nice Guys (2016), 116 min.

Rent on Amazon

90. 101 Dalmatians (1961), 79 min.

Buy on Amazon

89. Night of the Living Dead (1968), 90 min.

Watch on Amazon and Shudder

88. Lawrence of Arabia (1962), 111 min.

Watch on Starz, rent on Amazon

87. City of Ghosts (2017), 90 min.

Watch on Amazon

86. Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013), 89 min.

Rent on Amazon

85. Blackfish (2013), 80 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

84. Stronger (2017), 119 min.

In theaters

83. Little Men (2016), 85 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

82. Project Nim (2011), 99 min.

Watch on HBO Now, rent on Amazon

81. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 86 min.

Watch on Amazon

80. The Edge of Seventeen (2016), 98 min.

Watch on Showtime, rent on Amazon

79. Enough Said (2013), 93 min.

Rent on Amazon

78. The Queen (2006), 103 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

77. All Is Lost (2013), 105 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

76. Logan Lucky (2017), 119 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

75. Spy (2015), 117 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

74. Moonrise Kingdom (2012), 94 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon and Google Play

73. Nightcrawler (2014), 117 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

72. Dallas Buyers Club (2013), 117 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

71. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), 105 min.

Watch on Amazon Prime

70. Whiplash (2014), 106 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

69. Dunkirk (2017), 107 min.

Watch on HBO

68. To Catch a Thief (1955), 106 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

67. King Kong (1933), 103 min.

Rent on Amazon or Google Play

66. Taxi Driver (1976), 112 min.

Watch on Sundance, rent on Amazon and Google Play

65. Dont Think Twice (2016), 92 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

64. The Big Sick (2017), 119 min.

Rent on Amazon

63. Man on Wire (2008), 94 min.

Watch on Netflix and Hulu, rent on Amazon

62. Toy Story 2 (1999), 92 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

61. Sing Street (2016), 106 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon and Google Play

60. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), 115 min.

In theaters

59. Life Itself (2014), 120 min.

Watch on Netflix, rent on Amazon

58. The Florida Project (2017), 115 min.

In theaters

57. Paterson (2016), 115 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

56. The Muppets (2011), 102 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

55. The Lego Movie (2014), 101 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

54. The Incredibles (2004), 115 min.

Rent on Amazon

53. Ratatouille (2007), 110 min.

Rent on Amazon and Google Play

52. WALL-E (2008), 97 min.

51. Carol (2015), 118 min.

50. True Grit (2010), 110 min.

49. The Kings Speech (2010), 118 min.

48. Room (2015), 113 min.

47. Finding Dory (2016), 100 min.

46. Arrival (2016), 116 min.

45. Some Like It Hot (1959), 120 min.

44. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), 95 min.

43. I Am Not Your Negro (2016), 93 min.

42. Short Term 12 (2013), 21 min.

41. Before Midnight (2013), 108 min.

40. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), 101 min.

39. How to Train Your Dragon (2010), 98 min.

38. The Wrestler (2008), 109 min.

37. Moana (2016), 103 min.

36. The Artist (2011), 100 min.

35. The Jungle Book (2016), 111 min.

34. The Social Network (2010), 120 min.

33. Bambi (1942), 69 min.

32. It Follows (2014), 94 min.

31. Hell or High Water (2016), 102 min.

30. Finding Nemo (2003), 100 min.

29. Argo (2012), 120 min.

28. Gravity (2013), 91 min.

27. High Noon (1952), 85 min.

26. Citizen Kane (1941), 119 min.

25. Baby Driver (2017), 113 min.

24. Zootopia (2016), 108 min.

23. Up (2009), 89 min.

22. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), 120 min.

21. Cat People (1942), 73 min.

20. Double Indemnity (1944), 107 min.

19. Touch of Evil (1958), 95 min.

18. Lady Bird (2017), 93 min.

17. Moonlight (2016), 110 min.

16. Toy Story 3 (2010), 103 min.

15. Inside Out (2015), 94 min.

14. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), 83 min.

13. Singin in the Rain (1952), 102 min.

12. On the Waterfront (1954), 108 min.

11. An American in Paris (1951), 115 min.

10. Get Out (2017), 104 min.

9. Strangers on a Train (1951), 101 min.

8. Fantasia (1940), 116 min.

7. Rear Window (1954), 115 min.

6. Casablanca (1942), 102 min.

5. The Wizard of Oz (1939), 101 min.

4. The Gold Rush (1925), 85 min.

3. Modern Times (1936), 87 min.

2. Pinocchio (1940), 88 min.

1. Frankenstein (1931), 70 min.

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