Top 100 Greatest Films

Adrian Țofei, January 9, 2018

Latest Update: January 20, 2018

  • These are the films that I currently consider to be the best and most important ever made. But they’re not necessarily the ones that marked my life. For that, check out my Top 105 Films that Impressed & Influenced Me the Most.
  • For the films I watched a long time ago, I didn’t always reconsider the rankings after a full re-watch, I sometimes re-watched 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 100.
  • 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 12 Greatest Films

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke based on stories by Arthur C. Clarke
  2. The Gold Rush (1925) – directed & written by Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin
  3. Man with a Movie Camera / Chelovek s kino-apparatom (1929) (Experimental Documentary) – directed & written by Dziga Vertov
  4. The Seventh Seal / Det sjunde inseglet (1957) – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman
  5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) – directed by F. W. Murnau, screenplay by Carl Mayer, original theme by Hermann Sudermann
  6. Bicycle Thieves / The Bicycle Thief / Ladri di biciclette (1948) – 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
  7. The 400 Blows / Les quatre cents coups (1959) – directed by Francois Truffaut, written by Francois Truffaut & Marcel Moussy
  8. M (1931) – directed by Fritz Lang, written by Fritz Lang & Thea von Harbou, starring Peter Lorre
  9. The Celebration / Festen (1998) – directed by Thomas Vinterberg, written by Thomas Vinterberg & Mogens Rukov
  10. Mulholland Drive / Mulholland Dr. (2001) (Experimental) – directed & written by David Lynch, starring Naomi Watts
  11. Freaks (1932) – directed by Tod Browning, based on story by Tod Robbins
  12. Grizzly Man (2005) (Documentary) – directed & written by Werner Herzog

Top 62 Greatest Films

(in chronological order from 13th to 62nd)
  • 2016 – Planet Earth II: Islands (TV Documentary Episode) – directed by Elizabeth White
  • 2015 – The Witch – directed & written by Robert Eggers
  • 2012 – The Act of Killing (Documentary) – directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
  • 2011 – The Tree of Life – directed & written by Terrence Malick
  • 2008 – Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (Documentary) – directed & written by Kurt Kuenne
  • 2006 – Kiwi! (Animated Short) – directed & written by Dony Permedi
  • 2006 – Pan’s Labyrinth / El laberinto del fauno – directed & written by Guillermo del Toro
  • 2004 – Twist of Faith (Documentary) – directed by Kirby Dick
  • 2003 – Memories of Murder – directed by Joon-ho Bong, screenplay by Joon-ho Bong  & Sung-bo Shim based on play by Kwang-rim Kim
  • 1999 – The Blair Witch Project – directed & written by Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez, starring Heather Donahue
  • 1999 – The Iron Giant (1999) (Animated) – directed by Brad Bird, screenplay by Brad Bird & Tim McCanlies based on book by Ted Hughes
  • 1999 – My Voyage to Italy / Il mio viaggio in Italia (Documentary) – directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Martin Scorsese, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Raffaele Donato, Kent Jones
  • 1996 – Secrets & Lies – directed & written by Mike Leigh
  • 1993 – The Piano – directed & written by Jane Campion, starring Holly Hunter
  • 1990 – GoodFellas – directed by Martin Scorsese, screenplay by Martin Scorsese & Nicholas Pileggi based on book by Nicholas Pileggi, starring Joe Pesci
  • 1989 – Crimes & Misdemeanors – directed & written by Woody Allen, starring Martin Landau & Woody Allen
  • 1989 –  Dekalog: One / The Decalogue 1 / Dekalog, jeden (TV Episode) – directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, written by Krzysztof Kieslowski & Krzysztof Piesiewicz
  • 1989 – Roger & Me (Documentary) – directed & written by Michael Moore
  • 1988 – Time of the Gypsies / Dom za vesanje – directed by Emir Kusturica, written by Emir Kusturica & Gordan Mihic
  • 1987 – The Moromete Family / Moromeții – directed by Stere Gulea, screenplay by Stere Gulea based on novel by Marin Preda, starring Victor Rebengiuc
  • 1985 – Frontline: A Class Divided (TV Documentary Episode) – starring Jane Elliott, directed by William Peters, written by William Peters & Charlie Cobb
  • 1982 – Blade Runner – directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by Hampton Fancher & David Webb Peoples based on novel by Philip K. Dick, starring Rutger Hauer
  • 1978 – Autumn Sonata / Hostsonaten – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman, starring Ingrid Bergman
  • 1976 – Taxi Driver – directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro
  • 1975 – Barry Lyndon – directed by Stanley Kubrick, screenplay by Stanley Kubrick based on novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • 1975 – The Mirror / Zerkalo (Experimental) – directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, written by Andrei Tarkovsky & Aleksandr Misharin
  • 1975 – Picnic at Hanging Rock – directed by Peter Weir, screenplay by Cliff Green based on novel by Joan Lindsay
  • 1974 – Chinatown – directed by Roman Polanski, written by Robert Towne
  • 1974 – Hearts and Minds (Documentary) – directed by Peter Davis
  • 1972 – Cries and Whispers / Viskningar och rop – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman, starring Harriet Andersson
  • 1965 – The Sound of Music – directed by Robert Wise, screenplay by Ernest Lehman based on various sources, starring Julie Andrews & Christopher Plummer
  • 1967 – Bonnie and Clyde – directed by Arthur Penn, written by David Newman & Robert Benton, starring Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty
  • 1964 – Empire (Experimental) – directed by Andy Warhol
  • 1961 – Judgment at Nuremberg – directed by Stanley Kramer, written by Abby Mann
  • 1960 – Peeping Tom – directed by Michael Powell, written by Leo Marks
  • 1957 – Paths of Glory – directed by Stanley Kubrick, screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham & Jim Thompson based on novel by Humphrey Cobb, starring Kirk Douglas
  • 1955 – One Froggy Evening (Animated Short) – directed by Chuck Jones, story by Michael Maltese
  • 1954 – On the Waterfront – directed by Elia Kazan, written by Budd Schulberg, starring Marlon Brando
  • 1952 – Forbidden Games / Jeux interdits – directed by Rene Clement, screenplay by Rene Clement, Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost & Francois Boyer based on novel by Francois Boyer
  • 1952 – High Noon – directed by Fred Zinnemann, screenplay by Carl Foreman based on magazine story by John W. Cunningham
  • 1951 – Strangers on a Train – directed by Alfred Hitchcock, screenplay by Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde & Whitfield Cook based on novel by Patricia Highsmith
  • 1946 – It’s A Wonderful Life – directed by Frank Capra, screenplay by Frank Capra, Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett, story by Philip Van Doren Stern, starring James Stewart
  • 1946 – Notorious – directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by Ben Hecht
  • 1942 – Bambi (Animated) – produced by Walt Disney
  • 1940 – The Great Dictator – directed & written by Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin
  • 1940 – Rebecca – 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
  • 1939 – Gone with the Wind – directed by Victor Fleming, Geoge Cukor & Sam Wood, screenplay by Sidney Howard based on novel by Margaret Mitchell, produced by David O. Selznick
  • 1939 – The Wizard of Oz – directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor & King Vidor, based on book by L. Frank Baum, produced by Mervyn LeRoy
  • 1935 – Bride of Frankenstein – directed by James Whale, based on novel by Mary Shelley, starring Boris Karloff
  • 1927 – Napoleon – directed & written by Abel Gance

Top 100 Greatest Films

(in chronological order from 63rd to 100th)
  • 2015 – Inside Out (Animated) – directed by Pete Docter, screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley, original story by Pete Docter & Ronnie Del Carmen
  • 2014 – Boyhood – directed & written by Richard Linklater
  • 2014 – True Detective: Season 1 (TV Mini-Series) – created by Nic Pizzolatto, starring Matthew McConaughey
  • 2013 – Fruitvale Station – directed & written by Ryan Coogler
  • 2012 – Les Miserables – directed by Tom Hooper, based on novel by Victor Hugo, starring Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman
  • 2011 – A Separation / Jodaeiye Nader az Simin – directed & written by Asghar Farhadi
  • 2006 – Death Note (Animated TV Mini-Series) – directed by Tetsuro Araki
  • 2005 – Brokeback Mountain – directed by Ang Lee, screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana based on short story by Annie Proulx
  • 2005 – Earthlings (Documentary) – directed & written by Shaun Monson
  • 2003 – Da Ali G Show (TV Series) – starring Sacha Baron Cohen
  • 1999 – American Beauty – directed by Sam Mendes, written by Alan Ball, starring Kevin Spacey
  • 1999 – The Straight Story – directed by David Lynch, written by Mary Sweeney & John Roach, starring Richard Farnsworth
  • 1998 – The Truman Show – directed by Peter Weir, written by Andrew Niccol, starring Jim Carrey
  • 1997 – Titanic – directed & written by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet
  • 1996 – Breaking the Waves – directed by Lars von Trier, written by Lars von Trier & Peter Asmussen, starring Emily Watson
  • 1994 – Forrest Gump – directed by Robert Zemeckis, screenplay by Eric Roth based on novel by Winston Groom, starring Tom Hanks
  • 1991 – Thelma & Louise – directed by Ridley Scott, written by Callie Khouri, starring Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis
  • 1990 – Edward Scissorhands – directed by Tim Burton, screenplay by Caroline Thompson, story by Tim Burton & Caroline Thomson
  • 1988 – Die Hard – directed by John McTiernan, screenplay by Jeb Stuart & Steven E. de Souza based on novel by Roderick Thorp
  • 1985 – My Life as a Dog / Mitt liv som hund – directed by Lasse Hallstrom, screenplay by Lasse Hallstrom, Brasse Brannstrom, Per Berglund & Reidar Jonsson based on novel by Reidar Jonsson
  • 1984 – The Neverending Story – directed by Wolfgang Petersen, screenplay by Wolfgang Petersen & Herman Weigel based on novel by Michael Ende
  • 1984 – Stranger than Paradise – directed & written by Jim Jarmusch
  • 1982 – Koyaanisqatsi (Experimental Documentary) – directed by Godfrey Reggio, written by Godfrey Reggio, Ron Fricke, Michael Hoenig, Alton Walpole
  • 1977 – Eraserhead – directed & written by David Lynch
  • 1977 – Jesus of Nazareth (TV Mini-Series) – directed by Franco Zeffirelli, screenplay by Franco Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess & Suso Cecchi D’Amico based on The Bible, starring Robert Powell
  • 1976 – Assault on Precinct 13 – directed & written by John Carpenter
  • 1976 – Carrie – directed by Brian De Palma, screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen based on novel by Stephen King, starring Sissy Spacek
  • 1974 – The Phantom of Liberty / Le fantome de la liberte (Experimental) – directed by Luis Bunuel, written by Luis Bunuel & Jean-Claude Carriere
  • 1966 – War and Peace / Voyna i mir – directed by Sergey Bondarchuk, screenplay by Sergey Bondarchuk & Vasiliy Solovyov based on novel by Lev Tolstoy
  • 1962 – L’Eclisse – directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, written by Michelangelo Antonioni & Tonino Guerra
  • 1960 – The Apartment – directed by Billy Wilder, written by Billy Wilder & I. A. L. Diamond, starring Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine
  • 1960 – Rocco and His Brothers – directed by Luchino Visconti
  • 1959 – Ben-Hur – directed by William Wyler, screenplay by Karl Tunberg based on novel by Lee Wallace, starring Charlton Heston
  • 1957 – 12 Angry Men – directed by Sidney Lumet, screenplay by Reginald Rose based on teleplay by Reginald Rose
  • 1957 – Wild Strawberries / Smultronstallet – directed & written by Ingmar Bergman, starring Victor Sjostrom
  • 1942 – To Be or Not to Be – directed by Ernst Lubitsch, screenplay by Edwin Justus Mayer, original story by Melchior Lengyel
  • 1933 – King Kong – directed by Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack, screenplay by James Creelman & Ruth Rose, story by Merian C. Cooper & Edgar Wallace
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