What are the best Valentine’s Day movies? Believe it or not, you don’t have to watch The Notebook for the millionth time this Valentine’s Day. Maybe the lovey-dovey stuff isn’t your thing, or you’re looking for something a little more offbeat than Hugh Grant muttering into his hair curtains.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, there’s so much more than just your run-of-the-mill Disney movies, rom-coms, and romance movies. Sure, this list has some classics from the genres we couldn’t resist, but save the swiping for the dating apps, as we’ve rounded the best Valentine’s Day movies of all time — no matter what your plans.
Best Valentine’s Day movies
- Gone Girl
- The Shape of Water
- Brokeback Mountain
- (500) Days of Summer
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Princess Bride
- I’m Thinking of Ending Things
- But I’m A Cheerleader
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Moulin Rouge!
- 10 Things I Hate About You
Gone Girl (2014)
Feeling sore after a recent break-up? Want to silently frighten your boyfriend into doing the dishes? Thriller movie Gone Girl is the Valentine’s movie for you. It deserves a watch for Rosamund Pike’s “cool girl” monologue alone, but her chemistry with Ben Affleck and the plot twists and turns will no doubt keep you on the edge of your seat, either way.
I don’t know about you, but Taylor Launter bellowing “Bella! Where the hell have you been, loca?” is the perfect love language. Break out the ‘Team Edward’ tees, try not to cringe at the dialogue, and re-live the most passionate love story of your youth. The baseball scene will be a religious experience, promise.
The Shape of Water (2017)
Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and it just so happens that for Eliza (Sally Hawkins), that connection comes in the form of an amphibian man who lives in her bathtub. Despite the, er, unusual premise, it’s a genuinely moving film.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger both give career-defining performances in Brokeback Mountain, and since we’re all obsessed with TV series Yellowstone, surely this is the perfect time to revisit Jack and Ennis’ love story.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Sometimes, in the quest for love, things don’t always end up the way we want them to. During one of the most romanticized days of the year, (500) Days of Summer is a sobering choice if you’re looking for something a little more grounded — or maybe you just want to debate whether Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) or Summer (Zooey Deschanel) are the movie villain again.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Stockholm syndrome never felt so romantic.
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is a swashbuckling classic for the Don Juan in your life. It has all the charm of a fairytale along with sharp wit and impeccable performances by Cary Elwes and Robin Wright.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Maybe you like your Valentines Day dark, in which case this unsettling horror movie starring Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons is a perfect choice. It’s Meet the Parents, but not as you know it.
If you’re hosting Galentines this year, then it would be a crime to not watch Bridesmaids at least once. It’s laugh-out-loud moments combined with painful cringe makes it the perfect film to watch in a group.
But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Natasha Lyonne is a national treasure, but long before she was a multi-Netflix series star, she played the lead in one of the best ‘90s movies of all time. But I’m A Cheerleader isn’t just an uplifting queer romance — it also satirizes All-American teen movies and pokes fun at bigotry with its trademark black comedy, making it well-deserving of its status as cult classic.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Jim Carrey, who is usually known as a comedy movie actor, gives a deeply impactful performance in this existential love story. It’s raw, philosophical, and extremely thought-provoking, but you definitely won’t regret watching it. Carrey and Kate Winslet make an electrifying pair.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
In fairness, any one of Baz Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy would be the perfect fit for Valentine’s Day, but there’s something about this jukebox musical that makes it just that little bit more transcendent. Its visuals are a sight to behold, and by the end of the film you’ll be fully sold on Satine and Christian’s romance even though it’s clear from the outset how it will end.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Nobody writes romance like Shakespeare, but Kat Stratford’s titular poem to Patrick Verona comes pretty damn close. Not only is Julia Stiles a feminist icon as Kat, but I can’t think of a single person who has watched this movie without falling in love with Heath Ledger. Him singing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ on a football field? Pure perfection.
Have you fallen in love with my list yet? Or is it getting dumped? It’s fine, I (mostly) won’t take it personally if it’s the latter — maybe some feel-good movies or Julia Roberts movies are more your cup of tea, or if you’re looking for something a little fresher, check out our guide to all the best new movies to come this year.