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The Best Rome Movies on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Rome movie to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Rome movies of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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1. Night on Earth

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Released: 1991Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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2. Rome, Open City

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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71/100
Released: 1945
Drama

What it's about: A realistic portrayal of the underground resistance in Italy in 1945. The film has strong impacting imagery with its mix of fiction and reality that strengthened Italian Neo-realism and the film industry.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & FilmBox) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. The Great Beauty

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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73/100
Released: 2013
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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4. Titus

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
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65/100
Released: 1999Rated: R
Thriller, Drama

What it's about: Titus Andronicus returns from the wars and sees his sons and daughters taken from him, one by one. Shakespeare's goriest and earliest tragedy.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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5. Caesar and Cleopatra

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
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51/100
Released: 1945
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: The aging Caesar finds himself intrigued by the young Egyptian queen. Adapted by George Bernard Shaw from his own play.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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6. Androcles and the Lion

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
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50/100
Released: 1952
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: George Bernard Shaw’s breezy, delightful dramatization of this classic fable—about a Christian slave who pulls a thorn from a lion’s paw and is spared from death in the Colosseum as a result of his kind act—was written as a meditation on modern Christian values. Pascal’s final Shaw production is played broadly, with comic character actor Alan Young as the titular naïf. He’s ably supported by Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Robert Newton, and Elsa Lanchester.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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7. A Special Day

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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66/100
Released: 1977
Romance, Drama

What it's about: The film is set during the late 1930s: the occasion is the first meeting between Mussolini and Hitler. Left alone in her tenement home when her fascist husband runs off to attend the historic event, Antonietta strikes up a friendship with her neighbor Gabriele. As the day segues into night, Antonietta and Gabriele develop a very special relationship that will radically alter both of their outlooks on life.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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8. Mamma Roma

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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80/100
Released: 1962
LGBTQ, Drama

What it's about: After years spent working as a prostitute in her Italian village, middle-aged Mamma Roma has saved enough money to buy herself a fruit stand so that she can have a respectable middle-class life and reestablish contact with the 16-year-old son she abandoned when he was an infant. But her former pimp threatens to expose her sordid past, and her troubled son seems destined to fall into a life of crime and violence.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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9. Germany Year Zero

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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67/100
Released: 1948
Drama

What it's about: The final film in Rossellini's war film trilogy (the first two being Rome, Open City and Paisà). Germany Year Zero takes place in post-war Germany, unlike the others, which take place in German-occupied Rome and post-war Italy, respectively. The story follows a twelve-year-old boy, Edmund Kohler, who is mainly left to his own devices in order to survive and to help his family do the same.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & FilmBox).

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10. Umberto D.

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
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68/100
Released: 1952
Romance, Drama

What it's about: When elderly pensioner Umberto Domenico Ferrari returns to his boarding house from a protest calling for a hike in old-age pensions, his landlady demands her 15,000-lire rent by the end of the month or he and his small dog will be turned out onto the street. Unable to get the money in time, Umberto fakes illness to get sent to a hospital, giving his beloved dog to the landlady's pregnant and abandoned maid for temporary safekeeping.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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11. Big Deal on Madonna Street

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
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80/100
Released: 1958
Crime, Comedy

What it's about: Best friends Peppe and Mario are thieves, but they're not very good at it. Still, Peppe thinks that he's finally devised a master heist that will make them rich. With the help of some fellow criminals, he plans to dig a tunnel from a rented apartment to the pawnshop next door, where they can rob the safe. But his plan is far from foolproof, and the fact that no one in the group has any experience digging tunnels proves to be the least of their problems.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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12. Summertime

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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61/100
Released: 1955
Romance, Drama

What it's about: Middle-aged Ohio secretary Jane Hudson has never found love and has nearly resigned herself to spending the rest of her life alone. But before she does, she uses her savings to finance a summer in romantic Venice, where she finally meets the man of her dreams, the elegant Renato Di Rossi.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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13. Journey to Italy

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
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63/100
Released: 1954
Romance, Drama

What it's about: This deceptively simple tale of a bored English couple travelling to Italy to find a buyer for a house inherited from an uncle is transformed by Roberto Rossellini into a passionate story of cruelty and cynicism as their marriage disintegrates around them.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (IMDb TV), stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel, Kanopy & 1 other) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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14. I Vitelloni

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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66/100
Released: 1953
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Five young men dream of success as they drift lazily through life in a small Italian village. Fausto, the group's leader, is a womanizer; Riccardo craves fame; Alberto is a hopeless dreamer; Moraldo fantasizes about life in the city; and Leopoldo is an aspiring playwright. As Fausto chases a string of women, to the horror of his pregnant wife, the other four blunder their way from one uneventful experience to the next.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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15. L'Avventura

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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70/100
Released: 1960
Mystery, Romance

What it's about: Claudia and Anna join Anna's lover, Sandro, on a boat trip to a remote volcanic island. When Anna goes missing, a search is launched. In the meantime, Sandro and Claudia become involved in a romance despite Anna's disappearance, though the relationship suffers from guilt and tension.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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16. Alexander Nevsky

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
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61/100
Released: 1938Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: When German knights invade Russia, Prince Alexander Nevsky must rally his people to resist the formidable force. After the Teutonic soldiers take over an eastern Russian city, Alexander stages his stand at Novgorod, where a major battle is fought on the ice of frozen Lake Chudskoe. While Alexander leads his outnumbered troops, two of their number, Vasili and Gavrilo, begin a contest of bravery to win the hand of a local maiden.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & FilmBox) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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17. Amarcord

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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71/100
Released: 1973Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: In an Italian seaside town, young Titta gets into trouble with his friends and watches various local eccentrics as they engage in often absurd behavior. Frequently clashing with his stern father and defended by his doting mother, Titta witnesses the actions of a wide range of characters, from his extended family to Fascist loyalists to sensual women, with certain moments shifting into fantastical scenarios.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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18. Ivan the Terrible, Part I

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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63/100
Released: 1945
History, Drama

What it's about: Sergei Eisenstein's final film, this is the first part of a three-part biopic of Czar Ivan Grozny, which was never completed due again to producer dissatisfaction with Eisenstein's attempts to use forbidden experimental filming techniques and excessive cost overruns. The second part was completed but not released for a decade after Eisenstein's death and a change of heart in the USSR government toward his work; the third part was only in its earliest stage of filming when shooting was stopped altogether. In this first part, set during the early part of his reign, Ivan faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & FilmBox) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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19. La Strada

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
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72/100
Released: 1954
Romance, Drama

What it's about: When Gelsomina, a naïve young woman, is purchased from her impoverished mother by brutish circus strongman Zampanò to be his wife and partner, she loyally endures her husband's coldness and abuse as they travel the Italian countryside performing together. Soon Zampanò must deal with his jealousy and conflicted feelings about Gelsomina when she finds a kindred spirit in Il Matto, the carefree circus fool, and contemplates leaving Zampanò.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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