Top 100 Films that Impressed & Influenced Me the Most [2021 update]

Latest update: May 2021

These are the films that impressed and/or influenced me the most from childhood till recently. The list includes feature films, short films, series and episodes. They’re not necessarily the ones I consider to be the greatest or best ever made, it’s a highly subjective list of the films that marked my life.

The list can also be found on LetterboxdIMDb and iCheckMovies. Check out also the Top 100 Acting Performances on Film that Impressed & Inspired Me the Most and the Top 100 Horror Films that Impressed & Influenced Me the Most.

Colored green are the newly-added films and those that climbed in the top at the latest updates.

Top 10:

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Carrie (1976 horror, Brian De Palma)
  3. The Blair Witch Project (1999, found footage horror, Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez) – review
  4. The Celebration / Festen (1998, Thomas Vinterberg)
  5. Roger & Me (1989 documentary, Michael Moore)
  6. Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)
  7. Pan’s Labyrinth / El laberinto del fauno (2006, Guillermo del Toro)
  8. The Gold Rush (1925, Charles Chaplin)
  9. The Eye of the Storm (1970 tv documentary, William Peters) + Frontline: A Class Divided (1985 tv documentary episode, William Peters)
  10. The Untold History of the United States (2012-2013 tv documentary mini-series including the 2 prequels/prologues, Oliver Stone)

Top 25:

(in chronological order from 11th to 25th)

  • American Horror Story: Asylum (2012 horror tv mini-series, Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk) – review
  • My Voyage to Italy / Il mio viaggio in Italia (1999 tv documentary, Martin Scorsese)
  • The Iron Giant (1999 animated feature, Brad Bird)
  • The Land Before Time (1988 animated feature, Don Bluth)
  • Hearts and Minds (1974 documentary, Peter Davis)
  • Empire (1964 experimental film, Andy Warhol)
  • The Haunting (1963, horror, Robert Wise)
  • Peeping Tom (1960, horror, Michael Powell)
  • Paths of Glory (1957, Stanley Kubrick)
  • The Seventh Seal / Det sjunde inseglet (1957, Ingmar Bergman)
  • Forbidden Games / Jeux interdits (1952, Rene Clement) – review
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935, horror, James Whale)
  • Freaks (1932, horror, Tod Browning) – review
  • M (1931, Fritz Lang)
  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, F.W. Murnau)

Top 50:

(in chronological order from 26th to 50th)

  • 13th (2016 documentary, Ava DuVernay)
  • Where to Invade Next (2015 documentary, Michael Moore)
  • The Witch (2015, horror, Robert Eggers)
  • Gone Girl (2014, David Fincher)
  • True Detective: Season 1 (2014 tv mini-series, Cary Joji Fukunaga)
  • The Tree of Life (2011, Terrence Malick) – review
  • Exhibit A (2007, found footage, Dom Rotheroe) – review
  • Kiwi! (2006 animated short, Dony Permedi)
  • Earthlings (2005 documentary, Shaun Monson)
  • Grizzly Man (2005 documentary, Werner Herzog)
  • The Iceman and the Psychiatrist (2003 tv documentary, Arthur Ginsberg)
  • Mulholland Drive / Mulholland Dr. (2001 experimental film, David Lynch) – review
  • The Straight Story (1999, David Lynch)
  • Falling Down (1993, Joel Schumacher)
  • Mr. Bean (1990-1995 tv series, Rowan Atkinson & Richard Curtis) + Bean (1997, Mel Smith)
  • The Decalogue: One / Dekalog, jeden (1989 tv episode, Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  • Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)
  • Halloween (1978, horror, John Carpenter)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, horror, Peter Weir)
  • Cries and Whispers / Viskningar och rop (1972, Ingmar Bergman)
  • Psycho (1960, horror, Alfred Hitchcock) + Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990 horror tv movie, Mick Garris)
  • The 400 Blows / Les quatre cents coups (1959, Francois Truffaut)
  • One Froggy Evening (1955 animated short, Chuck Jones)
  • The Great Dictator (1940, Charles Chaplin)
  • Man with a Movie Camera / Chelovek s kino-apparatom (1929 experimental documentary, Dziga Vertov)

Top 100:

(in chronological order from 51st to 100th)

  • Better Brain Health: We Are What We Eat (2019 tv documentary, Raphael Hitier)
  • Collective / Colectiv (2019 documentary, Alexander Nanau) – review
  • Citizenfour (2014 documentary, Laura Poitras)
  • The Act of Killing (2012 documentary, Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • Byzantium (2012, horror, Neil Jordan) – review
  • Absentia (2011, horror, Mike Flanegan)
  • A Separation / Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011, Asghfar Farhadi)
  • Buried (2010, horror, Rodrigo Cortes)
  • The Walking Dead: Season 1 (2010 horror tv series, Frank Darabont)
  • Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008 documentary, Kurt Kuenne)
  • The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon (2008 horror short, Richard Gale)
  • The Enemies of Reason (2007 tv documentary, Russell Barnes)
  • The Mist (2007, Frank Darabont)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005, Ang Lee)
  • Wolf Creek (2005, horror, Greg McLean)
  • Twist of Faith (2004 documentary, Kirby Dick)
  • Da Ali G Show: Seasons 2 & 3 (2003-2004 tv series, Sacha Baron Cohen)
  • Memories of Murder (2003, Joon-ho Bong)
  • Zero Day (2002, found footage, Ben Coccio) – review
  • American Beauty (1999, Sam Mendes)
  • Life Is Beautiful / La vita e bella (1997, Roberto Benigni)
  • Breaking the Waves (1996, Lars von Trier)
  • Secrets & Lies (1996, Mike Leigh)
  • Forrest Gump (1994, Robert Zemeckis)
  • Dead Alive / Braindead (1992, horror, Peter Jackson)
  • Candyman (1992, horror, Bernard Rose)
  • Slacker (1991, Richard Linklater)
  • Time of the Gypsies / Dom za vesanje (1988, Emir Kusturica)
  • The Brave Little Toaster (1987 animated feature, Jerry Rees)
  • The Moromete Family / Moromeții (1987, Stere Gulea)
  • Deadly Friend (1986, horror, Wes Craven)
  • The NeverEnding Story (1984, Wolfgang Petersen)
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg)
  • Koyaanisqatsi (1982 experimental documentary, Godfrey Reggio)
  • Poltergeist (1982, horror, Tobe Hooper & Steven Spielberg)
  • Sequences / Secvențe (1982, Alexandru Tatos)
  • Jesus of Nazareth (1977 tv mini-series, Franco Zeffirelli)
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, horror, John Carpenter)
  • Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick)
  • The Last House on the Left (1972, horror, Wes Craven)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967, Arthur Penn)
  • Scorpio Rising (1963 experimental short, Kenneth Anger)
  • Ben-Hur (1959, William Wyler)
  • Strangers on a Train (1951, Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Bicycle Thieves / The Bicycle Thief / Ladri di biciclette (1948, Vittoria De Sica)
  • It’s A Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)
  • For Scent-imental Reasons (1949 animated short, Chuck Jones)
  • King Kong (1933, horror, Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack)
  • Napoleon (1927, Abel Gance)

Listing these films doesn’t mean acceptance of the potentially illegal, unethical or immoral behaviour of any creator or star, neither that I agree with their opinions on any subject matter. It also doesn’t mean approval of the ideas expressed in the films or of the ways they were made.