Monday, June 4, 2012

The Top 100 Films of All-Time

1. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967, France)
2. Pakeezah (Kamal Amrohi, 1972, India)
3. Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966, France)
4. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939, Japan)
5. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959, United States)
6. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948, United States)
7. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939, France)
8. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, United States)
9. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955, Denmark)
10. Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami, 1994, Iran)

Floating Clouds
11. Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937, United States)
12. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979, Soviet Union)
13. The Green Ray (Eric Rohmer, 1986, France)
14. Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse, 1955, Japan)
15. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956, United States)
16. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932, United States)
17. A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989, Taiwan)
18. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994, Hungary)
19. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929, Soviet Union)
20. The Young Girls of Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967, France)

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
21. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991, Taiwan)
22. Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951, Japan)
23. Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927, United States)
24. L'Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962, Italy)
25. Celine and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette, 1974, France)
26. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1976, Belgium)
27. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010, Thailand)
28. The General (Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, 1926, United States)
29. The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini, 1950, Italy)
30. By the Bluest of Seas (Boris Barnet, 1936, Soviet Union)

Distant Voices, Still Lives
31. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988, United Kingdom)
32. L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934, France)
33. The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973, Spain)
34. The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953, United States)
35. Charulata (Satyajit Ray, 1964, India)
36. Doomed Love (Manoel de Oliveira, 1978, Portugal)
37. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946, United Kingdom)
38. Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967, France)
39. The Scarlet Empress (Josef von Sternberg, 1934, United States)
40. Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu, 1948, China)

Ivan the Terrible
41. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975, United States)
42. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985, France)
43. Ivan the Terrible (Sergei Eisenstein, 1944-1946, Soviet Union)
44. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998, United States)
45. The Travelling Players (Theo Angelopoulos, 1975, Greece)
46. Goodbye Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2003, Taiwan)
47. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942, United States)
48. Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002, Russia)
49. Lonesome (Paul Fejos, 1928, United States)
50. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood, 1993, United States)

51. Limelight (Charles Chaplin, 1952, United States)
52. Pyaasa (Guru Dutt, 1957, India)
53. Listen to Britain (Humphrey Jennings and Stewart McAllister, 1942, United Kingdom)
54. Ingeborg Holm (Victor Sjöström, 1913, Sweden)
55. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001, United States)
56. El (Luis Buñuel, 1952, Mexico)
57. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955, United States)
58. Yeelen (Souleymane Cissé, 1987, Mali)
59. The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915, United States)
60. My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988, Japan)

Kings of the Road
61. Kings of the Road (Wim Wenders, 1976, West Germany)
62. Muriel (Alain Resnais, 1963, France)
63. Boy (Nagisa Oshima, 1969, Japan)
64. Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915-16, France)
65. Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944, United States)
66. Three Crowns of the Sailor (Raoul Ruiz, 1983, France)
67. La Région centrale (Michael Snow, 1971, Canada)
68. Foolish Wives (Erich von Stroheim, 1922, United States)
69. Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952, United States)
70. The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963, Italy)

Written on the Wind
71. Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-wai, 1991, Hong Kong)
72. Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980, West Germany)
73. Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949, United Kingdom)
74. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008, Argentina)
75. A Star is Born (George Cukor, 1954, United States)
76. Centre Stage (Stanley Kwan, 1992, Hong Kong)
77. Sans Soleil (Chris Marker, 1983, France)
78. Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956, United States)
79. Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956, United States)
80. The Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1989, Poland)

81. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968, Italy)
82. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957, Japan)
83. Earth (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, Soviet Union)
84. Platform (Jia Zhangke, 2000, China)
85. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011, Turkey)
86. Awaara (Raj Kapoor, 1951, India)
87. (nostalgia) (Hollis Frampton, 1971, United States)
88. Lost in America (Albert Brooks, 1985, United States)
89. Story of a Cheat (Sacha Guitry, 1936, France)
90. Seventh Heaven (Frank Borzage, 1927, United States)

Il Posto
91. The Red and the White (Miklós Jancsó, 1967, Hungary)
92. Il Posto (Ermanno Olmi, 1961, Italy)
93. Antoine and Antoinette (Jacques Becker, 1947, France)
94. I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943, United States)
95. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982, Sweden)
96. Me and My Gal (Raoul Walsh, 1932, United States)
97. Pot Worth a Million Ryo (Yamanaka Sadao, 1935, Japan)
98. Dog Star Man (Stan Brakhage, 1965, United States)
99. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988, Canada)
100. Mr. Thank You (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1936, Japan)


Fredrik Gustafsson said...

I very much like your list, but I have to confess I do not like By The Bluest of Seas one bit. Found it intolerable... Not sure why.

Unknown said...

What would be really interesting to see is a top 100 where you don't restrict yourself to a limited number of films per director. So that Pickpocket immediately follows Balthazar (and other Bressons are included as well) and The Wind Will Carry Us immediately follows Through the Olive Trees (with other Kiarostamis included as well) and so on. That the list would then probably contain even more American films that I find immensely sub-par compared to non-continuity-defined cinema is another matter ;)

Peter said...

25Interesting list, Michael. Some of my own favorites are included-"Boy", "By the Bluest of Seas", "Jeanne Dielman", "Story of a Cheat".

If I were making such a list I would include films such as Franju's "Thérèse Desqueyroux" and Sokurov's "Save and Protect", both films adaptations of French novels, the former from Mauriac and the latter Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
My favorite Olmi is probably "I Fidanzati".

By the way, is your list of films in order of preference?

Unknown said...

By the way, once you had year-top10s of the best English-langauge film. Could you re-post them somewhere? (Or alternatively mail them to me on

Michael J. Anderson said...

Here you are, Lasse (note that they have not been updated since early 2009):

1. An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion, Australia/United Kingdom/
New Zealand)
2. To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett, United States)
3. White Hunter, Black Heart (Clint Eastwood, United States)
4. Trust (Hal Hartley, United Kingdom/United States)
5. Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen, United States)
6. Metropolitan (Whit Stillman, United States)
7. Archangel (Guy Maddin, Canada)
8. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, United States)
9. King of New York (Abel Ferrara, Italy/United States/United Kingdom)
10. Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, United States)

1. Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks, United States)
2. Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh, United Kingdom)
3. My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, United States)
4. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, United States)
5. The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan, Canada)
6. The Rapture (Michael Tolkin, United States)
7. Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse, Australia)
8. Barton Fink (Joel Coen, United States)
9. The Man in the Moon (Robert Mulligan, United States)
10. Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, United States)

1. The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, United Kingdom)
2. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, United States)
3. Simple Men (Hal Hartley, United States/Italy/United Kingdom)
4. Careful (Guy Maddin, Canada)
5. The Crying Game (Neil Jordan, United Kingdom/Japan)
6. Light Sleeper (Paul Schrader, United States)
7. The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, United States)
8. Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen, United States)
9. Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara, United States)
10. Wayne's World (Penelope Spheeris, United States)

1. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood, United States)
2. Naked (Mike Leigh, United Kingdom)
3. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, United States)
4. Calendar (Atom Egoyan, Armenia/Canada/Germany)
5. The Piano (Jane Campion, Australia/New Zealand/France)
6. Ruby in Paradise (Victor Nunez, United States)
7. Matinee (Joe Dante, United States)
8. M. Butterfly (David Cronenberg, United States)
9. Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (Nick Park, United Kingdom)
10. The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, United States)

1. Exotica (Atom Egoyan, Canada)
2. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, United States)
3. Hoop Dreams (Steve James, United States)
4. Little Women (Gillian Armstrong, United States)
5. Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, United Kingdom/Germany/
New Zealand)
6. Quiz Show (Robert Redford, United States)
7. Barcelona (Whit Stillman, United States)
8. Crumb (Terry Zwigoff, United States)
9. Dumb & Dumber (Peter Farrelly, United States)
10. Ed Wood (Tim Burton, United States)

1. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, United States/Germany/Japan)
2. The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood, United States)
3. Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, United States/Austria/
4. Heat (Michael Mann, United States)
5. Clueless (Amy Heckerling, United States/United Kingdom)
6. Toy Story (John Lasseter, United States)
7. Twelve Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, United States)
8. Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz, United States)
9. [Safe] (Todd Haynes, United Kingdom/United States)
10. The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, United States)

Michael J. Anderson said...

Pt. 2 -

1. The Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion, United Kingdom/United States)
2. Crash (David Cronenberg, Canada/United States)
3. Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier, Demark/Sweden/France/
4. Mother (Albert Brooks, United States)
5. Big Night (Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci, United States)
6. Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, United States)
7. Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, United Kingdom/France)
8. The Daytrippers (Greg Mottola, Canada/United States)
9. Lone Star (John Sayles, United States)
10. Sling Blade (Billy Bob Thorton, United States)

1. L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, United States)
2. Kundun (Martin Scorsese, United States)
3. Ulee's Gold (Victor Nunez, United States)
4. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, United States)
5. In the Company of Men (Neil LaBute, United States)
6. Absolute Power (Clint Eastwood, United States)
7. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, United States)
8. As Good as it Gets (James L. Brooks, United States)
9. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, United States)
10. Titanic (James Cameron, United States)

1. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, United States)
2. Rushmore (Wes Anderson, United States)
3. A Simple Plan (Sam Raimi, United States)
4. There's Something About Mary (Bobby & Peter Farrelly, United States)
5. Small Soldiers (Joe Dante, United States)
6. Croupier (Mike Hodges, France/United Kingdom/Germany/Ireland)
7. Happiness (Todd Solondz, United States)
8. My Name is Joe (Ken Loach, Spain/Italy/France/United Kingdom/ Germany)
9. Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh, United States)
10. Enemy of the State (Tony Scott, United States)

1. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, United States/United Kingdom)
2. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, United States)
3. The End of the Affair (Neil Jordan, United Kingdom/United States)
4. Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh, United Kingdom)
5. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, Germany/
France/United States/Japan)
6. eXistenZ (David Cronenberg, Canada/United Kingdom/France)
7. Ratcatcher (Lynne Ramsay, United Kingdom/France)
8. Election (Alexander Payne, United States)
9. True Crime (Clint Eastwood, United States)
10. The Insider (Michael Mann, United States)

Michael J. Anderson said...

Pt. 3 -

1. The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, United Kingdom/France/
Germany/United States)
2. Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson, United States)
3. You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan, United States)
4. Space Cowboys (Clint Eastwood, United States)
5. George Washington (David Gordon Green, United States)
6. The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin, Canada)
7. Innocence (Paul Cox, Australia/Belgium)
8. Nurse Betty (Neil LaBute, United States/Germany)
9. Memento (Christopher Nolan, United States)
10. Bedazzled (Harold Ramis, United States/Germany)

1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, United States/France)
2. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, United States)
3. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, United States/United Kingdom/Germany)
4. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, Australia/United States)
5. Gosford Park (Robert Altman, United Kingdom/United States/Germany/Italy)
6. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, United States)
7. A.I. Artifical Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, United States)
8. The Man Who Wasn't There (Joel Coen, United States)
9. In the Bedroom (Todd Field, United States)
10. Monsters, Inc. (Pete Docter, United States)

1. Spider (David Cronenberg, Canada/United Kingdom)
2. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, United States)
3. Solaris (Steven Soderbergh, United States)
4. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, United States)
5. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, United States)
6. About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, United States)
7. Catch Me if You Can (Steven Spielberg, United States)
8. Femme Fatale (Brian De Palma, France)
9. Sweet Sixteen (Ken Loach, United Kingdom/Germany/Spain)
10. Blood Work (Clint Eastwood, United States)

1. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, United States)
2. The Fog of War (Errol Morris, United States)
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, United States/New Zealand/Germany)
4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, United States)
5. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, United States)
6. My Architect (Nathaniel Kahn, United States)
7. Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff, United States)
8. Cowards Bend the Knee (Guy Maddin, Canada)
9. School of Rock (Richard Linklater, United States)
10. Stuck on You (Bobby & Peter Farrelly, United States)

1. Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood, United States)
2. Collateral (Michael Mann, United States)
3. The Incredibles (Brad Bird, United States)
4. Vera Drake (Mike Leigh, United Kingdom)
5. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, United States)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, United States)
7. Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, United States)
8. Sideways (Alexander Payne, United States)
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuarón, United Kingdom/United States)
10. Spartan (David Mamet, United States)

1. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, United States)
2. The New World (Terrence Malick, United States)
3. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, United States)
4. Police Beat (Robinson Devor, United States)
5. The Ice Harvest (Harold Ramis, United States)
6. Junebug (Phil Morrison, United States)
7. Wedding Crashers (David Dobkin, United States)
8. Domino (Tony Scott, United States/France)
9. Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, United States)
10. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones, United States/France)

Michael J. Anderson said...

Pt. 4 -

1. Déjà Vu (Tony Scott, United States)
2. Inland Empire (David Lynch, France/Poland/United States)
3. The Queen (Stephen Frears, United Kingdom/France/Italy)
4. United 93 (Paul Greengrass, United States)
5. Monster House (Gil Kenan, United States)
6. Miami Vice (Michael Mann, United States)
7. Inside Man (Spike Lee, United States)
8. Nacho Libre (Jared Hess, United States)
9. The Illusionist (Neil Burger, Czech Republic/United States)
10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Adam McKay, United States)

1. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, United Kingdom/Canada/
United States)
2. The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, United States)
3. Zodiac (David Fincher, United States)
4. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, United States)
5. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, United States)
6. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, United States)
7. Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, United States/France)
8. Knocked Up (Judd Apatow, United States)
9. Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright, United Kingdom/France)
10. 3:10 to Yuma (James Mangold, United States)

1. Two Lovers (James Gray, United States)
2. Be Kind Rewind (Michel Gondry, United States)
3. Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood, United States)
4. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, United States/France)
5. Redbelt (David Mamet, United States)
6. Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, United States)
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, United States)
8. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, United States)
9. Role Models (David Wain, United States)
10. Momma's Man (Azazel Jacobs, United States)

Unknown said...

Thanks! It would be interesting to see lists from 09-12 as well. I'm a bit surprised you didn't appreciate The Hurt Locker more. It seems to me that it's a bit underrated among cinephiles. I think it succeeds very well in being a sort of western in a contemporary setting.

Unknown said...

Gotta agree with Lasse on that one - the Hurt Locker was a fantastic movie, and I'd definitely put it above most everything else on that list.

Aside from The Wrestler. And absolutely amazing, heart-wrenching film. I watched it purely based on the name and for a film that features a disproportionate amount of action and violence that its name might suggest, it's absolutely perfect at what it does.