2001: A Space Odyssey

Top 100 Great Films that Marked My Life

Adrian Țofei, January 10, 2018

Latest Update: January 18, 2018

  • You’ll see that each film has 3 ratings. The first one reflects my current opinion on how good and important the films are, the second one reflects how much they impressed and influenced me in the past (from childhood till recently), and the third one is the average on which the top is based. You can also explore the separate lists: Top 100 Greatest Films and Top 105 Films that Marked My Life.
  • For the films I watched a long time ago, I didn’t always reconsider the first rating after a full rewatch, I sometimes rewatched only some scenes or simply used my memory, so the list might not perfectly reflect my current opinion on all films.
  • The list is subjective. There are influences, of course, but I tried to keep them to a minimum. If you’re looking for a list based on opinions of thousands of critics, filmmakers and academics, check out TSPDT’s 1,000 Greatest Films.
  • If one of your favorites is missing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t like it, I might have not seen it yet, or maybe I liked it, but didn’t make my top 110.
  • Listing these films doesn’t mean support or acceptance of the illegal, unethical, immoral or simply wrong behavior of some of their creators and stars, nor that I agree with their opinions on all subject matters. It also doesn’t mean approval of all the ideas in the films. I tried to consider less the politics and more the artistic quality (with the exception of documentaries, where both are equally important).

Top 8 Great Films that Marked My Life

(all with an average rating of at least 9)
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (Metaphysical Sci-Fi) – directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke based on stories by Arthur C. Clarke (10+10=10)
  2. The Gold Rush (1925) (Slapstick Comedy) – directed & written by Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin (10+9=9.5)
  3. Man with a Movie Camera / Chelovek s kino-apparatom (1929) (Experimental Documentary, Metaphysical) – directed & written by Dziga Vertov (9+9=9)
  4. The Celebration / Festen (1998) (Dogma Film, Family Drama) – directed by Thomas Vinterberg, written by Thomas Vinterberg & Mogens Rukov (9+9=9)
  5. Pan’s Labyrinth / El laberinto del fauno (2006) (Dark Fantasy, Childhood Drama) – directed & written by Guillermo del Toro (8+10=9)
  6. Roger & Me (1989) (Social Documentary) – directed & written by Michael Moore (8+10=9)
  7. Freaks (1932) (Drama, Horror) – directed by Tod Browning, based on story by Tod Robbins (9+9=9)
  8. The Blair Witch Project (1999) (Found Footage, Psychological Horror, Mystery) – directed & written by Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez, starring Heather Donahue (8+10=9)

Top 28 Great Films that Marked My Life

(all with an average rating of 8.5, in chronological order from 9th to 28th)
  • 2005 – Grizzly Man (Documentary) – directed & written by Werner Herzog (9+8=8.5)
  • 2001 – Mulholland Drive / Mulholland Dr. (Experimental, Surreal) – directed & written by David Lynch, starring Naomi Watts (9+8=8.5)
  • 1999 – The Iron Giant (1999) (Animated) – directed by Brad Bird, screenplay by Brad Bird & Tim McCanlies based on book by Ted Hughes (8+9=8.5)
  • 1999 – My Voyage to Italy / Il mio viaggio in Italia (Film History Documentary) – directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Martin Scorsese, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Raffaele Donato, Kent Jones (8+9=8.5)
  • 1985 – Frontline: A Class Divided (TV Episode) (Social Documentary) – starring Jane Elliott, directed by William Peters, written by William Peters & Charlie Cobb (8+9=8.5)
  • 1982 – Blade Runner (Sci-Fi) – directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by Hampton Fancher & David Webb Peoples based on novel by Philip K. Dick, starring Rutger Hauer (8+9=8.5)
  • 1976 – Carrie (Horror, Teen Drama) – directed by Brian De Palma, screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen based on novel by Stephen King, starring Sissy Spacek (7+10=8.5)
  • 1976 – Taxi Driver (Antihero Drama) – directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro (8+9=8.5)
  • 1975 – Picnic at Hanging Rock (Mystery) – directed by Peter Weir, screenplay by Cliff Green based on novel by Joan Lindsay (8+9=8.5)
  • 1974 – Hearts and Minds (History Documentary) – directed by Peter Davis (8+9=8.5)
  • 1964 – Empire (Experimental) – directed by Andy Warhol (8+9=8.5)
  • 1960 – Peeping Tom (Thriller, Horror, Slasher) – directed by Michael Powell, written by Leo Marks (8+9=8.5)
  • 1959 – The 400 Blows / Les quatre cents coups (Childhood Drama) – directed by Francois Truffaut, written by Francois Truffaut & Marcel Moussy (9+8=8.5)
  • 1957 – Paths of Glory (Anti-War Drama, Idealist Film) – directed by Stanley Kubrick, screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham & Jim Thompson based on novel by Humphrey Cobb, starring Kirk Douglas (8+9=8.5)
  • 1957 – The Seventh Seal / Det sjunde inseglet (Metaphysical Drama) – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman (9+8=8.5)
  • 1952 – Forbidden Games / Jeux interdits (Childhood Drama) – directed by Rene Clement, screenplay by Rene Clement, Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost & Francois Boyer based on novel by Francois Boyer (8+9=8.5)
  • 1948 – Bicycle Thieves / The Bicycle Thief / Ladri di biciclette (Neorealism, Drama) – directed by Vittorio De Sica, screenplay by Vittorio De Sica, Cesare Zavattini, Oreste Biancoli, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Adolfo Franci & Gherardo Gheraldi based on novel by Luigi Bartolini (9+8=8.5)
  • 1935 – Bride of Frankenstein (Dark Fantasy, Horror, Metaphysical) – directed by James Whale, based on novel by Mary Shelley, starring Boris Karloff (8+9=8.5)
  • 1931 – M (Thriller, Psychopath Film) – directed by Fritz Lang, written by Fritz Lang & Thea von Harbou, starring Peter Lorre (9+8=8.5)
  • 1927 – Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (Innocence Drama) – directed by F. W. Murnau, screenplay by Carl Mayer, original theme by Hermann Sudermann (9+8=8.5)

Top 47 Great Films that Marked My Life

(all with an average rating of 8, in chronological order from 29th to 47th)
  • 2015 – Where to Invade Next (Social Documentary) – directed & written by Michael Moore (7+9=8)
  • 2015 – The Witch (Horror, Drama) – directed & written by Robert Eggers (8+8=8)
  • 2012 – The Act of Killing (Documentary) – directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (8+8=8)
  • 2011 – The Tree of Life (Metaphysical Drama) – directed & written by Terrence Malick (8+8=8)
  • 2007 – Exhibit A (Found Footage Thriller, Family Drama) – directed by Dom Rotheroe, screenplay by Dom Rotheroe, story by Darren Bender, produced by Darren Bender, starring Brittany Ashworth (7+9=8)
  • 2005 – Earthlings (Animal Rights Documentary) – directed & written by Shaun Monson (7+9=8)
  • 2006 – Kiwi! (Animated Short) – directed & written by Dony Permedi (8+8=8)
  • 2004 – Twist of Faith (Social Documentary) – directed by Kirby Dick (8+8=8)
  • 2003 – Memories of Murder (Thriller, Drama) – directed by Joon-ho Bong, screenplay by Joon-ho Bong  & Sung-bo Shim based on play by Kwang-rim Kim (8+8=8)
  • 1996 – Secrets & Lies (Family Drama) – directed & written by Mike Leigh (8+8=8)
  • 1989 –  Dekalog: One / The Decalogue 1 / Dekalog, jeden (TV Episode) (Metaphysical Drama) – directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, written by Krzysztof Kieslowski & Krzysztof Piesiewicz (8+8=8)
  • 1988 – Time of the Gypsies / Dom za vesanje (Drama) – directed by Emir Kusturica, written by Emir Kusturica & Gordan Mihic (8+8=8)
  • 1987 – The Moromete Family / Moromeții (Rural Drama) – directed by Stere Gulea, screenplay by Stere Gulea based on novel by Marin Preda, starring Victor Rebengiuc (8+8=8)
  • 1975 – Barry Lyndon (Period Drama) – directed by Stanley Kubrick, screenplay by Stanley Kubrick based on novel by William Makepeace Thackeray (8+8=8)
  • 1975 – The Mirror / Zerkalo (Experimental Drama) – directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, written by Andrei Tarkovsky & Aleksandr Misharin (8+8=8)
  • 1972 – Cries and Whispers / Viskningar och rop (Family Drama) – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman, starring Harriet Andersson (8+8=8)
  • 1951 – Strangers on a Train (Thriller, Psychopath Film) – directed by Alfred Hitchcock, screenplay by Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde & Whitfield Cook based on novel by Patricia Highsmith (8+8=8)
  • 1940 – The Great Dictator (Slapstick Comedy) – directed & written by Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin (8+8=8)
  • 1939 – The Wizard of Oz (Musical Fantasy, Family Film) – directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor & King Vidor, based on book by L. Frank Baum, produced by Mervyn LeRoy (8+8=8)

Top 100 Great Films that Marked My Life

(all with a 7.5 average rating, in chronological order from 48th to 110th)
  • 2016 – Planet Earth II: Islands (TV Episode) (Wild Life Documentary) – directed by Elizabeth White (8+7=7.5)
  • 2014 – True Detective: Season 1 (TV Mini-Series) (Dark Drama) – created by Nic Pizzolatto, starring Matthew McConaughey (7+8=7.5)
  • 2012 – American Horror Story: Asylum (TV Mini-Series) (Horror, Drama, Sci-Fi) – created by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk, starring Jessica Lange (6+9=7.5)
  • 2012 – Byzantium (Fantasy Drama, Horror) – directed by Neil Jordan, screenplay by Moira Buffini based on her own play (7+8=7.5)
  • 2012 – The Invisible War (Social Documentary) – directed & written by Kirby Dick (7+8=7.5)
  • 2012 – Les Miserables (Musical Drama) – directed by Tom Hooper, based on novel by Victor Hugo, starring Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman (7+8=7.5)
  • 2011 – Absentia (Horror) – directed & written by Mike Flanegan (7+8=7.5)
  • 2011 – A Separation / Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Family Drama, Idealist Film) – directed & written by Asghar Farhadi (7+8=7.5)
  • 2010 – The Walking Dead: Season 1 (TV Series) (Apocalyptic Drama, Horror) – created by Frank Darabont (7+8=7.5)
  • 2008 – Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (Documentary) – directed & written by Kurt Kuenne (8+7=7.5)
  • 2007 – Sicko (Social Documentary) – directed & written by Michael Moore (7+8=7.5)
  • 1997 – Titanic (Epic Drama, Disaster Film, Romance) – directed & written by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet (7+8=7.5)
  • 2006 – Death Note (TV Mini-Series) (Animated Thriller) – directed by Tetsuro Araki (7+8=7.5)
  • 2005 – Brokeback Mountain (LGBT Drama) – directed by Ang Lee, screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana based on short story by Annie Proulx, starring Heath Ledger (7+8=7.5)
  • 2003 – Da Ali G Show (TV Series) (Reality Comedy) – starring Sacha Baron Cohen (7+8=7.5)
  • 2003 – The Iceman and the Psychiatrist (TV) (Psychological Documentary) – directed by Arthur Ginsberg, with Richard Kuklinski (7+8=7.5)
  • 2001 – The Pledge (Drama, Mystery) – directed by Sean Penn, screenplay by Jerzy Kromolowski & Mary Olson-Kromolowski based on book by Friedrich Durrenmatt, starring Jack Nicholson (7+8=7.5)
  • 1999 – American Beauty (Comedy Drama) – directed by Sam Mendes, written by Alan Ball, starring Kevin Spacey (7+8=7.5)
  • 1999 – A Christmas Carol (TV Movie) (Christmas Film, Fantasy Drama) – directed by David Hugh Jones, screenplay by Peter Barnes based on novel by Charles Dickens, starring Patrick Stewart (7+8=7.5)
  • 1999 – The Straight Story (Journey Drama, Metaphysical) – directed by David Lynch, written by Mary Sweeney & John Roach, starring Richard Farnsworth (7+8=7.5)
  • 1996 – Breaking the Waves (Drama) – directed by Lars von Trier, written by Lars von Trier & Peter Asmussen, starring Emily Watson (7+8=7.5)
  • 1995 – The Bridges of Madison County (Drama, Romance) – directed by Clint Eastwood, screenplay by Richard LeGravenesse based on novel by Robert James Waller, starring Meryl Streep (7+8=7.5)
  • 1994 – Forrest Gump (Comedy Drama, Metaphysical, Journey Film, Circle of Life) – directed by Robert Zemeckis, screenplay by Eric Roth based on novel by Winston Groom, starring Tom Hanks (7+8=7.5)
  • 1993 – Falling Down (Antihero Drama) – directed by Joel Schumacher, written by Ebbe Roe Smith, starring Michael Douglas (7+8=7.5)
  • 1993 – The Piano (Feminist Drama) – directed & written by Jane Campion, starring Holly Hunter (8+7=7.5)
  • 1990 – Mr. Bean (TV Series) (Slapstick Comedy) – starring Rowan Atkinson (7+8=7.5)
  • 1990 – Edward Scissorhands (Fantasy Drama) – directed by Tim Burton, screenplay by Caroline Thompson, story by Tim Burton & Caroline Thomson (7+8=7.5)
  • 1990 – GoodFellas (Crime Drama, Gangster Film) – directed by Martin Scorsese, screenplay by Martin Scorsese & Nicholas Pileggi based on book by Nicholas Pileggi, starring Joe Pesci (8+7=7.5)
  • 1989 – Crimes & Misdemeanors (Comedy Drama) – directed & written by Woody Allen, starring Martin Landau & Woody Allen (8+7=7.5)
  • 1989 – Dead Poets Society (Teen Drama) – directed by Peter Weir, written by Tom Schulman, starring Robin Williams (7+8=7.5)
  • 1988 – The Land Before Time (Animated) – directed by Don Bluth, screenplay by Stu Krieger, story by Judy Freudberg & Tony Geiss (7+8=7.5)
  • 1987 – The Brave Little Toaster (Animated) – directed by Jerry Rees, based on novella by Thomas M. Disch (7+8=7.5)
  • 1984 – The Neverending Story (Fantasy) – directed by Wolfgang Petersen, screenplay by Wolfgang Petersen & Herman Weigel based on novel by Michael Ende (7+8=7.5)
  • 1982 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Sci-Fi, Fantasy) – directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison (7+8=7.5)
  • 1982 – Koyaanisqatsi (Experimental Documentary, Metaphysical) – directed by Godfrey Reggio, written by Godfrey Reggio, Ron Fricke, Michael Hoenig, Alton Walpole (7+8=7.5)
  • 1982 – Sequences / Secvențe (Drama) – directed & written by Alexandru Tatos (7+8=7.5)
  • 1978 – Autumn Sonata / Hostsonaten (Family Drama) – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman, starring Ingrid Bergman (8+7=7.5)
  • 1978 – Halloween (Horror, Psychopath Film) – directed by John Carpenter, written by John Carpenter & Debra Hill (7+8=7.5)
  • 1977 – Jesus of Nazareth (TV Mini-Series) (Christian Drama, Biography) – directed by Franco Zeffirelli, screenplay by Franco Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess & Suso Cecchi D’Amico based on The Bible, starring Robert Powell (7+8=7.5)
  • 1976 – Assault on Precinct 13 (Dark Thriller) – directed & written by John Carpenter (7+8=7.5)
  • 1974 – Chinatown (Mystery, Crime) – directed by Roman Polanski, written by Robert Towne (8+7=7.5)
  • 1967 – Bonnie and Clyde (Antihero Drama) – directed by Arthur Penn, written by David Newman & Robert Benton, starring Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty (8+7=7.5)
  • 1965 – The Sound of Music (Musical) – directed by Robert Wise, screenplay by Ernest Lehman based on various sources, starring Julie Andrews & Christopher Plummer (8+7=7.5)
  • 1963 – The Haunting (Supernatural Horror, Psychological Horror) – directed by Robert Wise, screenplay by Nelson Gidding based on novel by Shirley Jackson (7+8=7.5)
  • 1961 – Judgment at Nuremberg (Courtroom Drama) – directed by Stanley Kramer, written by Abby Mann (8+7=7.5)
  • 1960 – The Apartment (Comedy Drama) – directed by Billy Wilder, written by Billy Wilder & I. A. L. Diamond, starring Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine (7+8=7.5)
  • 1959 – Ben-Hur (Epic Drama, Christian Film) – directed by William Wyler, screenplay by Karl Tunberg based on novel by Lee Wallace, starring Charlton Heston (7+8=7.5)
  • 1955 – One Froggy Evening (Animated Short) – directed by Chuck Jones, story by Michael Maltese (8+7=7.5)
  • 1954 – On the Waterfront (Drama) – directed by Elia Kazan, written by Budd Schulberg, starring Marlon Brando (8+7=7.5)
  • 1952 – High Noon (Western) – directed by Fred Zinnemann, screenplay by Carl Foreman based on magazine story by John W. Cunningham (8+7=7.5)
  • 1949 – For Scent-imental Reasons (Animated Short) – directed by Chuck Jones, story by Michael Maltese (7+8=7.5)
  • 1946 – It’s A Wonderful Life (Christmas Fantasy, Comedy Drama) – directed by Frank Capra, screenplay by Frank Capra, Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett, story by Philip Van Doren Stern, starring James Stewart (8+7=7.5)
  • 1946 – Notorious (Romantic Thriller) – directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by Ben Hecht (8+7=7.5)
  • 1942 – Bambi (Animated, Circle of Life) – produced by Walt Disney (8+7=7.5)
  • 1940 – Rebecca (Thriller, Drama) – directed by Alfred Hitchcock, screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood & Joan Harrison based on novel by Daphne Du Maurier, starring Laurence Olivier, produced by David O. Selznick (8+7=7.5)
  • 1939 – Gone with the Wind (Epic Drama, War Romance) – directed by Victor Fleming, Geoge Cukor & Sam Wood, screenplay by Sidney Howard based on novel by Margaret Mitchell, produced by David O. Selznick (8+7=7.5)
  • 1939 – The Little Princess (Family Film) – directed by Walter Lang, screenplay by Walter Ferris & Ethel Hill based on novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, starring Shirley Temple (7+8=7.5)
  • 1936 – Modern Times (Slapstick Comedy) – directed & written by Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin & Paulette Goddard (7+8=7.5)
  • 1933 – King Kong (Adventure Drama, Monster Film) – directed by Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack, screenplay by James Creelman & Ruth Rose, story by Merian C. Cooper & Edgar Wallace (7+8=7.5)
  • 1927 – Napoleon (Epic Drama, Biography) – directed & written by Abel Gance (8+7=7.5)
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