Top 100 (Sep 2011)

1. Days of Heaven [Commentary] (1978)

2. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

3. The New World (2005)

4. Notorious (1946)

5. Citizen Kane (1941)

6. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

7. The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

8. Blade Runner (1982)

9. Mon oncle (1958)

10. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

11. A Short Film About Love (1988)

12. All About Eve (1950)

13. Paris, Texas (1984)

14. Ostrov (The Island) (2006)

15. Casablanca (1942)

16. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

17. Aliens (1986)

18. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

19. Apocalypse Now (1979)

20. Play Time (1967)

21. Ordet (1955)

22. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

23. The Graduate (1967)

24. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

25. A Serious Man (2009)

26. Wings of Desire (1987)

27. Taxi Driver (1976)

28. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

29. Black Narcissus (1947)

30. Lost in Transation (2003)

31. Wise Blood (1979)

32. Carrie (1976)

33. Chinatown (1974)

34. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

35. Brazil (1985)

36. There Will Be Blood (2007)

37. Babette’s Feast (1987)

38. Ivan the Terrible Part 1 (1944)

39. Night and Fog (1955)

40. Amadeus (1984)

41. Pickpocket (1959)

42. M (1931)

43. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

44. The Thin Red Line (1998)

45. Rashomon (1950)

46. The Big Lebowski (1998)

47. Vertigo (1958)

48. Three Colors: Red (1994)

49. The Godfather Part II (1974)

50. The Shining (1980)

51. The Godfather (1972)

52. Olympia (1938)

53. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

54. Metropolis (1927)

55. Into the Wild (2007)

56. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

57. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

58. City Lights (1931)

59. Alien (1979)

60. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

61. Spirited Away (2001)

62. Au hasard Balthazar (1966)

63. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

64. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

65. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

66. Kanal (1957)

67. City Girl (1930)

68. Friday Night (2002)

69. The Third Man (1949)

70. Die Hard (1988)

71. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

72. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

73. 12 Angry Men (1957)

74. Three Colors: White (1994)

75. Two Lovers (2009)

76. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

77. 7th Heaven (1927)

78. Funny Games (1998)

79. Scream (1996)

80. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

81. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

82. Dark City (1998)

83. Jaws (1975)

84. The Truman Show (1998)

85. Shotgun Stories (2007)

86. We Own the Night (2007)

87. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

88. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

89. Groundhog Day (1993)

90. Nights of Cabiria (1957)

91. A Man Escaped (1956)

92. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)

93. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

94. Camera Buff (1979)

95. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

96. Badlands (1973)

97. Syndromes and a Century (2006)

98. Southland Tales (2006)

99. The Illusionist (2010)

100. Say Anthing… (1989)

  • I’ve seen 33 of the films. I’m progressing.

    And James, thank you … you kept in “Say Anything” 😀

    • Yup. I watched part of it again around Christmas time. Still love that film too much to knock it off the list. Let us hope that lasts.

  • You really love Malick, don’t you? 🙂 I watched my second one the other night, The New World, but while it was good, I wouldn’t rank quite as high as you do. But maybe my love will grow over time, who knows? And I know it’s unfair to watch it on a TV and not in a cinema.

    I any case we don’t lack movies we have in common. There are plenty. I was partcularly satisfied to see Blade Runner so high up on your list, as well as Lost in Translation. Groundhog Day, Truman Show, Brazil are other typical favorites of mine. I was also very pleased to see Into the Wild appearing. I haven’t seen it on many top 100 lists, but I like it. It’s actually better than the book it’s based on.

    • I haven’t seen The New World on the big screen. In fact, I’ve seen very few of these films in theaters.

  • I love the fact that you have “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Southland Tales” within just a few spots of each other.

  • two lovers and all about eve were on the outside looking in (for my top 100). nice list, again.

  • Nice update James. I have actually seen most of your Top 10 at some point this year. Bleu, Notorious, Veronique, The New World and Days of Heaven. There Will be Blood dropped a few spots though didn’t it? I should watch some more Bresson…i have only seen Lancelot Du Lac. Actually, there are a ton of films you have convinced me to seek out, or watch again. This is definitely one of the most unique Top 100 I have seen!

    • Thanks. Yea, TWBB dropped a bit, but I still like it a lot. All the Bresson I’ve seen is on this list. I need to check out more of his stuff as I’m sure I’d love it.

  • Sandy

    This is a fantastic list! Since you have never steered me wrong, I am eagerly looking forward to seeing: Mon Oncle, Ostrov, Ordet, Babette’s Feast, Au Hasard Balthazar, City Girl… Well, you get the picture. Thanks for compiling it.

    • But not Southland Tales? Actually, you probably wouldn’t like that one. Look forward to your thoughts on those films.


  • CS

    Black Narcissus is currently in my Netflix Canada list, hope to get to it by the end of the month. Your list reminded me of a few other classic (Mon Oncle, Days of Heaven, Battleship Potemkin, etc.) I need check out.

    I still do not understand what you and Dylan see in Southland Tales? I though Kelly tried to do far too much with the film.

  • Great list, gotta love Terrence Malick! I’ve seen 46 films of these.

    • Some accuse me of loving Malick too much. I don’t think such a thing is possible. Looking forward to seeing his next film.

  • SO glad to see the Illusionist on this list.

    We definitely have a similar taste in films, going by my own 100 list.

    Days of Heaven is wonderful. I can totally understand why you have it as your number 1.

    Great list!

  • This is a brilliant list. Makes me wish that bloody Fatso would send me DAYS OF HEAVEN right now. Also, I’m watching SUNRISE in about two minutes. I am excited…

  • Incredible list, I don’t even know where to start on a list like this.

    • Thank you. It’s a tough process making this list. Some of it feels a bit hobbled and weak at first as you start ranking films, but it slowly begins to take shapes and the fact that I regularly update it makes each successive list feel a bit stronger.

  • Great list, as always such top 100s are always very subjective. There are going to be films that we like that we really shouldn’t, and of course also popular audience favourites. Watched Nights of Cabiria (1957) at weekend, has a great second half, the beginning was not as strong to me. A few of these I have yet to see, particularly some of the oldies. I really thought The Tree of Life was a better film than The New World-that’s just my opinion. Will have to read your review of Malick’s latest.

    I find it impossible to rank my favourites other than A-Z, as one day I like one film, the next week I prefer another, and so on. Good on you for putting this together !

    Oh, and by the way, I just reviewed no 15 Casablanca

    from Chris, moviesandsongs365

    • A lot of people loved The Tree of Life. I wasn’t one of them. I certainly liked it, but I have a lot of qualms about it.

  • What an astonishingly great list; it shares so many comparisons with my own. Great to see so much Kieslowski here, he’s my all time favourite director. There’s also other films that are on my list but barely anyone else’s, such as A SERIOUS MAN and AU HASARD BALTHAZAR. Fantastic, brilliant work!

    • Yes, A Serious Man seems to be one of the more divisive Coen Bros films. I do know some people who like Au Hasard Balthazar a lot, but I know a lot of people don’t care for Bresson’s style at all.

      Kieslowski is one of my all time favorite directors, a close second to Terrence Malick.

  • Waco

    Take a look at A Face in The Crowd-I think there is a bit of Lonesome Rhodes in all of us!

  • thomas Howle

    Cant see how you can have terminator 2, two lord of the rings movies and no Star Wars Episode IV. Easily the greatest SCIFI movie ever made, one of the biggest fan bases for any movie ever and the inspiration and technological base for dozens of other movies. Sounds like you have a Hobbit shaped chip on your shoulder. Alteast you had Thin Red Line – but seriously Terminator 2 instead of Terminator? Surely this must be a typo or Hobbito? Surely Godfather 2 gets a look in over half of your other films too. Pretty one sided list but typical ‘Film School wanna be director one day’ selection.

    • I don’t think I’m alone in considering T2 as the better film. In fact, I think that’s the general consensus. Also, I can tell you right now that The Hobbit has little chance of being in my top 100. The story is good, but not nearly as good as LotR, so unless they somehow make the story magnificent, it won’t be making my list.

      Glad you approve of Thin Red Line. Malick is one of my favorite directors.