The Best Richard Linklater Movies Ranked And Where to Watch them

If you're looking for the best Richard Linklater movies of all time then here is a definitive list. We rank every movie directed by Richard Linklater based on their popularity score from IMDB from best to worst. Click on the ‘see more’ button to find out where to watch them in Australia covering all streaming services. In August 2021 there are 17 films in this list.

List of the Best Movies Directed by Richard Linklater In Order of Popularity

  1. Before Sunrise
  2. Before Sunset
  3. Boyhood
  4. Before Midnight
  5. Waking Life
  6. Dazed and Confused
  7. Tape
  8. School of Rock
  9. A Scanner Darkly
  10. Everybody Wants Some!!
  11. Last Flag Flying
  12. Bernie
  13. SubUrbia
  14. Me and Orson Welles
  15. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  16. The Newton Boys
  17. Bad News Bears

The top 17 Movies directed by Richard Linklater

1. Before Sunrise

Rated: R

8.1/10

American tourist Jesse and French student Celine meet by chance on the train from Budapest to Vienna. Sensing that they are developing a connection, Jesse asks Celine to spend the day with him in Vienna, and she agrees. So they pass the time before his scheduled flight the next morning together. How do two perfect strangers connect so intimately over the course of a single day? What is that special thing that bonds two people so strongly? As their bond turns to love, what will happen to them the next morning when Jesse flies away?

2. Before Sunset

Rated: R

8.1/10

Early thirty-something American Jesse Wallace is in a Paris bookstore, the last stop on a tour to promote his best selling book, This Time. Although he is vague to reporters about the source material for the book, it is about his chance encounter nine years earlier on June 15-16, 1994 with a Parisienne named Celine, and the memorable and romantic day and evening they spent together in Vienna. At the end of their encounter at the Vienna train station, which is also how the book ends, they, not providing contact information to the other, vowed to meet each other again in exactly six months at that very spot. As the media scrum at the bookstore nears its conclusion, Jesse spots Celine in the crowd, she who only found out about the book when she earlier saw his photograph promoting this public appearance. Much like their previous encounter, Jesse and Celine, who is now an environmental activist, decide to spend time together until he is supposed to catch his flight back to New York, this time only being about an hour. Beyond the issue of the six month meeting, what has happened in their lives in the intervening nine years, and their current lives, they once again talk about their philosophies of life and love, this time with the knowledge of their day together and how it shaped what has happened to them.

3. Boyhood

Rated: R

7.9/10

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting.

4. Before Midnight

Rated: R

7.9/10

It has been nine years since we last met Jesse and Celine, the French-American couple who once met on a train in Vienna. They now live in Paris with twin daughters, but have spent a summer in Greece on the invitation of an author colleague of Jesse's. When the vacation is over and Jesse must send his teenage son off to the States, he begins to question his life decisions, and his relationship with Celine is at risk.

5. Waking Life

Rated: R

7.8/10

Dreams. What are they? An escape from reality or reality itself? Waking Life follows the dream(s) of one man and his attempt to find and discern the absolute difference between waking life and the dreamworld. While trying to figure out a way to wake up, he runs into many people on his way; some of which offer one sentence asides on life, others delving deeply into existential questions and life's mysteries. We become the main character. It becomes our dream and our questions being asked and answered. Can we control our dreams? What are they telling us about life? About death? About ourselves and where we come from and where we are going? The film does not answer all these for us. Instead, it inspires us to ask the questions and find the answers ourselves.

6. Dazed and Confused

Rated: R

7.6/10

It's the last day of school at a high school in a small town in Texas in 1976. The upperclassmen are hazing the incoming freshmen, and everyone is trying to get stoned, drunk, or laid, even the football players that signed a pledge not to.

7. Tape

Rated: R

7.2/10

Based on a three-character, one-act play, Tape is set entirely in Room 19 of a seedy motel in Lansing, Michigan rented by Vince, an ill-tempered, outgoing party animal/drug dealer who's visited by his old high school friend Jon, a documentary filmmaker, where they pass the time reminiscing about the good old times which take a turn when Vince records their conversation with Jon admitting to a possible date-rape of Vince's old girlfriend Amy, who later shows up and opens up a new wave of talk and arguments about whose story is fact or fabricated.

8. School of Rock

Rated: PG-13

7.1/10

Down and out rock star Dewey Finn gets fired from his band, and he faces a mountain of debts and depression. He takes a job as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school where his attitude and hijinx have a powerful effect on his students. He also meets Zack, a 10-year-old guitar prodigy, who could help Dewey win a "battle of the bands" competition, which would solve his financial problems and put him back in the spotlight.

9. A Scanner Darkly

Rated: R

7.1/10

In a totalitarian society in a near future, the undercover detective Bob Archor is working with a small time group of drug users trying to reach the big distributors of a brain-damaging drug called Substance D. His assignment is promoted by the recovery center New Path Corporation, and when Bob begins to lose his own identity and have schizophrenic behavior, he is submitted to tests to check his mental conditions.

10. Everybody Wants Some!!

Rated: R

6.9/10

In 1980, a group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.

11. Last Flag Flying

Rated: R

6.9/10

Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.

12. Bernie

Rated: PG-13

6.8/10

We meet Bernie Tiede (1958- ), a chubby undertaker, who takes pride in his work. He's a Gospel-singing tenor. In a series of interviews with townspeople, mixed with flashbacks, we follow Bernie: he arrives in Carthage, Texas (pop. 7,000), where old ladies adore him; he befriends a wealthy, mean-spirited widow named Marjorie Nugent; they become companions in both daily routines and expensive vacations. Among those interviewed, only her stockbroker and Danny Buck, the local district attorney, are unsympathetic toward the sunny, sometimes saccharine Bernie. Marjorie changes from sour and alone to happy with Bernie; then she gets possessive. What will sweet Bernie do?

13. SubUrbia

Rated: R

6.8/10

Five young losers spend their days and nights wasting their lives away, hanging out in parking lots and occasionally mentioning that they might want to make something of themselves... someday. On this particular night, they are visited by an old high school friend who has escaped their suburban town to become a pop star.

14. Me and Orson Welles

Rated: PG-13

6.7/10

In November 1937, high school student and aspiring thespian Richard Samuels takes a day trip into New York City. There, he meets and begins a casual friendship with Gretta Adler, their friendship based on a shared love and goal of a profession in the creative arts. But also on this trip, Richard stumbles across the Mercury Theatre and meets Orson Welles, who, based on an impromptu audition, offers Richard an acting job as Lucius in his modern retelling of Julius Caesar, which includes such stalwart Mercury Theatre players as Joseph Cotten and George Coulouris. Despite others with official roles as producer John Houseman, this production belongs to Welles, the unofficial/official dictator. In other words, whatever Welles wants, the cast and crew better deliver. These requests include everything, even those of a sexual nature. Welles does not believe in conventions and will do whatever he wants, which includes not having a fixed opening date, although the unofficial opening date is in one week's time. In turn, Welles realizes that his name will either be strengthened or ruined in the theater community by this production. Richard is taken under the wing by the production's Jane-of-All-Trades, Sonja Jones. Known as the Ice Queen by the male cast, Sonja deflects much of the unwanted sexual attention by jokingly implying that she and Richard are having a fling, which Richard wants nothing more than to be the truth. As the end of the week and opening night approaches, Richard, having seen Welles' behavior, has to decide if acting in this production is worth it at any cost.

15. Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Rated: PG-13

6.5/10

A loving mom becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.

16. The Newton Boys

Rated: PG-13

6.1/10

Four Newton brothers are a poor farmer family in the 1920s. The oldest of them, Willis, one day realizes that there's no future in the fields and offers his brothers to become a bank robbers. Soon the family agrees. They become very famous robbers, and five years later execute the greatest train robbery in American history.

17. Bad News Bears

Rated: PG-13

5.8/10

Morris Buttermaker, an alcoholic pest removal worker and former professional baseball player (for a very short time), is recruited to coach and train a failing baseball team of 12-year-olds which is about to be thrown out of the league.