The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics

citizen kane best

We’ve recently featured the all-time-greatest-film-selections from such celebrated directors as Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Quentin Tarantino. Some of these lists came from the grand poll put on last year by Sight & Sound, the British Film Institute’s well-respected cinema journal. While scrutinizing the voting records in the directors’ division yields no small pleasure for the cinephile, to focus too closely on that would ignore the big picture. By that, I mean the overall standings in this most painstaking critical effort to determine “the Greatest Films of All Time”:

  1. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
  2. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
  3. Tokyo Story (Yasujirô Ozu, 1953)
  4. La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
  5. Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
  7. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
  8. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
  9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
  10. (Federico Fellini, 1963)

These results came out with a bang — the sound, of course, of Vertigo displacing Citizen Kane. How many who watched the young Orson Welles’ debut during its financially inauspicious original run could have guessed it would one day stand as a byword for the height of cinematic craftsmanship?

But Citizen Kane just flopped, drawing a good deal of critical acclaim even as it did so, whereas, seventeen years later, Hitchcock’s Vertigo not only flopped, but did so into a fog of mixed reviews, tumbling unceremoniously from there into obscurity. Prints became scarce, and the ones Hitchcock aficionados could later track down had seen better days. It would take a kind of obsession — not to mention a thorough restoration — to return Vertigo to the zeitgeist.

We ignored Vertigo at our peril, and if we now ignore Citizen Kane because of its new second-chair status, we do that at our peril as well. The 90-minute documentary, The Complete Citizen Kane, originally aired in 1991 as an episode of the BBC’s Arena. It looks at Welles’ masterpiece from every possible angle, even bringing in New Yorker critic Pauline Kael, whose essay “Raising Kane” took a controversial anti-auteurist position about this most seemingly auteur-driven of all American films.

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Related Content:

Quentin Tarantino Lists the 12 Greatest Films of All Time: From Taxi Driver to The Bad News Bears

Woody Allen Lists the Greatest Films of All Time: Includes Classics by Bergman, Truffaut & Fellini

Martin Scorsese Reveals His 12 Favorite Movies (and Writes a New Essay on Film Preservation)

Stanley Kubrick’s List of Top 10 Films (The First and Only List He Ever Created)

Philosopher Slavoj Zizek Interprets Hitchcock’s Vertigo in The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006)

Orson Welles Explains Why Ignorance Was the Genius Behind Citizen Kane

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los AngelesA Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.

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Comments (128)
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  • BaztheSpaz says:

    No credible list of greatest films can ignore “Casablanca” and be taken seriously.

  • fireball says:

    Old people actually believe this.

    • rejane florinda says:

      Oh, don’t say that. First, never discard a film just because it is old. I think it is more like snobish people think and believe their taste is better than everybody else’s. Some of the list makers here actually know cinema very well and most of them are terrific directors. They just don’t know how to analyse cinema made after 1969, that’s all.

  • Sputters says:

    Yes, and as we all know in our hearts… film critics know next to nothing about good movies.

  • JimFranco says:

    A critic isn’t an atypical movie fan. So tired of being told what I should or shouldn’t like. Why can’t I enjoy Carwash and American Pie better than movies from the 20’s without feeling like I have no film taste? Being a critic is as over-rated as it comes, it’s like working as a social media consultant. Zzzzzzzzzzz

    • Seth Derrick says:

      You’re not being told what to like. You’re being told what people who (supposedly) have dedicated a huge portion of their lives to studying the craft and history of film like. Like whatever you like. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not all opinions carry the same gravitas. Jenny McCarthy is entitled to her opinion on vaccines but her opinion carries a bit less weight on the matter than, say, an immunologist. Why don’t people get this?

      • JimFranco says:

        Oh right, I don’t get it right, so I must be dumb yet again. And to say they study the craft and history of film, well so do sports broadcasters but there are many that have never played the game a day in their life. And who’s to say the viewer hasn’t been watching with as much of an insightful eye but just saw beyond sharing their opinion with the world? I very much get it, thanks, but there’s a reason why fields like movie critic are dead, is because people don’t need to read up what someone else thinks because it has no bearing on anything. When Ebert died, it was the last nail in the coffin for critics. Everyday joes can go on Twitter and other social media platforms and post their thoughts in a short sentence on something and chances are if they have a more intimate connection to the reader than ‘Bob Dorel’ from the ‘San Diego Daily’, it’ll be more weighted. But how you come across, pretentious, shows me many are still striving to be critics of everything.

        • Seth Derrick says:

          I honestly don’t care if you like Duck Dynasty more than Downton Abbey, I don’t think that makes you dumb, but arguing in favor of less informed opinions is pretty dumb. And in since you obviously haven’t noticed the irony: you are attacking people who share their opinion in the thread of a website where you are…wait for it…SHARING YOUR OPINION!

          • JimFranco says:

            I wasn’t attacking anyone until d-bags like you chimed in.. Go crawl back into your hole, loser

          • Seth Derrick says:

            Your opening post was an an attack on movie critics (and, through an analogy, social media consultants).

            I’ll happily crawl out of the hole that is your inability to hold a civil, rational conversation with someone who disagrees with you.

          • JimFranco says:

            You just rubbed the wrong way with your ‘Why don’t people get this?’ as though again, it’s an attack on the same intellect that’s challenged because they’re not ‘critics’. I overreacted, sorry.

          • Rudny Caetano says:

            Jim… go get some sleep, you are too stressed.

          • JimFranco says:

            Social media consultants, I just noticed this. That’s one of the funniest terms ever. It really epitomizes the ‘made up label’ of job titles. I remember I had ‘social media’ a year ago in my Twitter profile last yr and got so many adds from people claiming that as their job. Then you’d go to their website and they’re just rehashing other articles and nothing is ever advanced and I’d bet dollar to donuts that a small fraction made any money off such a position if anything. You’d be better off having ‘fry cook’ or ‘janitor’ on your resume, I’ve talked to many employers who laugh at the ‘social media consultant’ label.

          • JimFranco says:

            Further… I don’t claim myself to be a comment critic, or a list critic, or wear some self-imagined title. God, it’s people like you who think others have one-ups on others that make people tune people like critics out in the first place. What makes an opinion on whether someone likes or dislikes a movie exactly? How is someone wrong for liking a movie that someone may not? Get your head of your a$$

          • Mugwomp says:

            Chill out, kid. Your opinion isn’t worth the time or bandwidth. Just be glad there isn’t a minimum age to use the internet.nnnBut I just LOVE that you used “American Pie” as an argument to not wanting to listen to critics about the greatest movies of all time. Priceless. nnnnNow, continue with your tantrum…

          • JimFranco says:

            Okay champ, thanks for chiming in with your 2 cents a few days later. Your opinion really matters so much yourself, Johnnycomelately

          • Duder20 says:

            His/her name is Mugwomp.

          • JimFranco says:

            Troll harder

          • Suzanne Bush says:

            Duck Dynasty!! Seriously?!? That guy in it is so bigoted and racist! Who watches that garbage???

      • Mappy says:

        So…. Film critics are like autists…. That makes sense.

      • victorvscn says:

        Frankly, your example is bullshit. I don’t mean your argument is bullshit, but while liking movies is subjective, whatever the history of cinematography is — meaning there is no knowledge required, opinion is vaccines is supposed to be based on knowledge — at least what the public has agreed on what qualifies as knowledge.nnntl; drnmovies: opinion = opinionnvaccines: knowledge > opinion

        • Seth Derrick says:

          So, a Sesame Street song is to be considered the cultural equal of Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” or Beethoven’s 9th Symphony because a child enjoys the song? Have I got that straight? There is no more knowledge to be accumulated about a work of art than what one’s own base emotional reactions might provide? That is is your argument? It is outside the realm of the possible for you that there are narrative subtleties and historical contexts and technical achievements and cultural impact to consider that are less than obvious that, might lend a greater appreciation? Are we to accept that a knock-knock joke or a dirty limerick is the equal of “The Taming of the Shrew” because both cause eruptions of laughter in an audience? nnI stand by my claim that everyone is welcome to their opinion but every opinion isn’t as valuable outside of the owner’s self. More knowledge about a subject always implies a more valuable opinion, in both science and the arts.

          • victorvscn says:

            You are distorting my argument. As a subjective view, they are equal. Therefore, there is no “better”. But there is “more historically important”, or “more culturally important”, etc.nnnMy point is, being more historically important or w/e is not the same as being better.

          • rejane florinda says:

            I think what he cannot accept is the “authority” of the critics, seth. And I agree with this part of his argument, that we give some of these people much of our own power. I mean, don’t you feel that the list is too “old” and biased. For example, were are the soviet moviemakers in this list. Damn, Tarkovsky made in the 60’s and 70’s. why isn’t he at least mentioned. I mean, cinema kept on evolving and it seems that the list makers didn’t notice. Don’t tell me Woody Allen don’t know soviet movies just because he was too busy doing his own, he is not that old, nor that good. He seems to pay homage to many french directors, why just mention Jean Renoir? In the end, As vitorvscn says, it is more a list of opinions than a list of best films.

          • JimFranco says:

            Especially in this day and age, you go to and half the critiques are written by dudes who bought a website and thus live under this self-appointed moniker of being a critic. A critic is a dime a dozen in this watered-down world. I know what’s high art and what isn’t, but I don’t see movies and assume the average person doesn’t based on what Joe Schmoe thinks of a movie. I see it if it draws me in, just like I buy albums of artists that draw me in. There’s a reason why sites like AV Club and Pitchfork are made fun of for being pretentious, stuffy sites, and it’s because sometimes things don’t need to be broken down and criticized. I don’t think anyone making Grown Ups 2 or my previous example American Pie were hoping they’d sweep the Oscars

          • JimFranco says:

            Also, on this website you can see Tarintno’s list, which at least seems more honest in what its saying and trying to accomplish. A lot of these lists make it seem like these critics are just trying too hard to sound ‘artsy’ or ‘trendy’ and thus rehashing the past to sound like they know what they’re talking about, as though if they didn’t throw 8 1/2 or Citizen Kane on there they’d be shamed into a laughing stock. Things progress, mean different things to different people, and a lot of these lists are boring. That’s just my critique, though, right on the har-har-har irony that I’m critiquing critics.

    • rejane florinda says:

      hey, I agree with you that nobody has the right to tell you what to like or dislike. But to say that American Pie is a great movie is streching it a little bit. Dumb and Dumber is actually better. But you know they don’t even consider comedy as part of the cinema history. Apparentely a good movie is supposed to make you sleep… Damn you, Aristotle!

      • JimFranco says:

        I was just using American Pie as an example, my point being is I don’t need someone to tell me what or what not to like.

        • rejane florinda says:

          I am actually with you on this one. I just used Dumb and Dumber as a joke, just to point out that even in the comedy genre, making a list is a stupid way to tell people “this is what good cinema is, no matter what you think”. So, are we cool?

        • Jim McGaw says:

          Who told you what to like? This is an article that compiles a list of some critics’ favorite films, that’s all. I enjoy reading what people who have devoted their entire lives to something have to say about that subject. I’ve seen all but one of these fiilm, but most of them are not in my top 10. So what?

    • rejane florinda says:

      But you should watch Vertigo. It is really great: intriguing, suspensefull, witty. Check it out.

      • JimFranco says:

        I agree it’s a great film and I’m happy this is at least a variation of the yawner AFI lists, my comment is just in general that there are segments of society that triumph their own critiques over that of the common person, especially when it comes to such subjective things as the arts. Movies/music/TV etc all have very personal ties to the viewer despite if it’s a movie of the week or an Oscar-contender.

      • Mappy says:

        Watched it a couple of decades ago. Those are moments of my finite lifespan that I wish I hadn’t wasted on watching Vertigo.

        • rejane florinda says:

          Oh, be honest. You wasted your time in worst films. And you know what I discovered: some films you have to watch again when you are older. Young people not always are prepared to SEE everything. Take bergman, for example (not on the list either) Or, let’s analyse Almodovar. He invented a whole genre himself. But not everyone is prepared to take that kind of openess.

          • rejane florinda says:

            but I feel the same way about Prometheus. I thought “It’s riddley scott, how bad can it be?” turns out it is so bad I think it is going to make history as well.

          • Mappy says:

            Oh, be honest. You’re being passive-aggressive in your attempt to get people to like Vertigo. Caught the film again whilst channel surfing a couple of years ago. Still pretty terrible. My least favourite Hitchcock movie by far. I even like Frenzy more. And it hurts to say that.

          • rejane florinda says:

            you see, it is impossible to say witch film is best based only in subjectivity. And I am not being passive or agressive, just making a comment. I watch movies for the sheer pleasure of it, not to enforce my taste on others. I think film and literature have to be a matter of personal choice. I just enjoy discussing movies and seeing different perspectives. If I had to make a list of best movies I’ve ever seen people would be if not shocked, at least surprised. My top ten movies are not in this list at all. Wich, I think, it’s actually cool. For example, even if vertigo is the one everybody is talking about, my favorite hitchcock film is Psycho.

        • Mugwomp says:

          Wow, I must watch Vertigo twice a year (along with Barry Lyndon and some other favorite classics). It always seems like there’s something new to notice. A true work of art.nnnSad how far film has fallen…

      • Kgprophet says:

        I just rewatched it recently after hearing of it’s supposed greatest film ever status. It isn’t even Hitchcock’s best film.

        • rejane florinda says:

          isn’t it a little suspicious that they recently made a film about him? I don’t believe in coincidences… I think it is a hook to increase audience.

  • TruthHurts says:

    What about Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, and many many others? Are we currently living in the 20th century or what?

  • Ozymonkeybutt says:

    Bah. “City Lights”. Just because it’s silent doesn’t mean it’s not Great.

  • rejane florinda says:

    Oh, people. Relax. If you don’t agree with the list just do your own list. I am apalled they did not include the The Seventh Seal, or any of Akira Kurosawa movies. You see, lists are only created to be discredited

  • madisontruth says:

    No comedies? More evidence that critics have no sense of humor, especially when the tables are turned.

  • Collin says:

    What about Kurasawa? He never makes these lists that these film critics make.

  • Sam I Am says:

    I prefer Rear Window to Vertigo. In addition to being perfectly suspenseful, Rear Window is a smart and witty metaphor about filmmaking itself.

    • Carl Hofelt says:

      Vertigo is dreadful, its denouement is perfectly absurd. Rear Window, on the other hand, has a level of verisimilitude lacking in many of Hitchcock’s films. That’s why it stands out.nnAny critic putting Vertigo at the top of the list is doing so out of a misplaced respect for Hitchcock, not out of any appreciation for the craft of film making. Film making is storytelling, if the resolution of that story is this preposterous then you’ve failed as a storyteller.

      • rejane florinda says:

        I watched it yesterday just because you mentioned it. Now I have to see vertigo again to compare. Well, these are great films and I have the time. The great thing about these films is that they are still discussed today and we cannot reach a final conclusion. Which one is better? Is it just a matter of taste?

      • Mugwomp says:

        Hitchcock is one of my favorite directors. I’d put Vertigo as his best, without much question. But you definitely have your opinion…

  • Mark Pompeo says:

    I reject the notion that the top 10 movies ever made all came before 1970. That’s a load of crap. Maybe the quality of the average movie has gone down, but the notion that the best modern movies (yes I’m considering the 70s modern for the sake of this argument) don’t stand up to the best old movies is hogwash.

    • enzofloc says:

      What critic would be adverse to including The Godfather, Raging Bull, Pulp Fiction and Mulhulland Drive to cover four more decades?

  • Rincewind54 says:

    Personally I look at movies I’ve seen but can or have seen multiple times. My personal top ten in no particular order: Die Hard, Blazing Sadles, Army of Darkness, Hackers, The Great Race, Kick Ass, Clue, The Princess Bride, Spider Man (2002), Street Fighter (Animated version). Too many honorable mentions to mention. And for quallifications I have seen a lot of movies. I tried to rent a entire Blockbuster (with the help of Rogers Video) over the course of 10 years.

  • Victor Hugo Castro says:

    I disagree, just by the fact that the most recent movie in that list is from 1968, did that mean that in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and so on ther is no a single good movie, i dont think so, the films in the list are great, but…

  • enzofloc says:

    Vertigo is a fine movie but hardly the greatest. Alas, something had to challenge and usurp Citizen Kane, despite its vastly superior cinematic story-telling style and substance. Perpetual genius can be such a bore.

  • robert says:

    What, no Tab Hunter filma

  • Mart says:

    Film critics? Lolz.

  • Todd says:

    They all stink.

  • Carl Hofelt says:

    Sounds like these critics were trying to surprise us with their choices rather than make a serious list.

  • no_more_ozu says:

    I always see tokyo story on lists like this but I feel it has no place anywhere near it. It’s visually slow for no other reason than making every shot the same length. And i frankly find the cinematography bland. It’s plot is tedious and unrewarding in any aspect. It’s depressing but there’s nothing to the depression that makes it worthwhile, nothing that makes it interesting or intriguing. Just one old couple slowly getting more depressed as they fade into an obscure life. Even the dialogue (though much may be lost in translation) leaves so much to be desired it’s as if Ozu tried to make it as bland and unrealistic as possible. since when do elders not voice their opinions on family matters? Since when do elders just take it and sit silently, especially in Japan where the elderly are held in much higher esteem and respected much more than in the states. They just sit back and take it for what seems like 4 hours of the same two shots over and over again. low shot from the floor, wide shot of the scenery. I cant explain how much this film angers me and I know alot will disagree but Tokyo Story is one of the most unimaginative and disgraceful cinematic ventures out there.

    • enzofloc says:

      So what you’re saying is it made you reflect on things like stoicism, silence, static time and the absence of motion…

  • ZandiFandi says:

    Thats how it goes man, you jsut have to rol lwith

  • Yeeheecom says:

    What about Jason lives part 343 lol

  • xtr says:

    The Searchers ? i simply dont understand why i rate em 6/10

  • wphayduke says:

    No arguments with this list but my personal list of top 10 movies would have to include 12 Angry Men, Casablanca, and Almost Famous (especially the Director’s cut). They’re all infinitely re-watchable, which is my test of a classic. I don’t get Citizen Kane, although I do realize it was amazing for it’s time and taught Hollywood a lot of new tricks (and Wells was a genius).

  • Brian January says:

    No “Die hard”?nnBrian Januaryn

  • CH says:

    I think “Great” implies you could watch it anytime. Maybe 2 of these fit that. nCritically Acclaimed and good are NOT always the same thing.

  • Bernard O'Leary says:


  • Greg says:

    So 3 of the top ten films of all time are from the very end of the silent era, four from 53-63 and none from the last 45 years? Really?

  • I love Hitchcock but Vertigo is over-rated. And I couldn’t stand the Searchers.

  • Jordan Johnson says:

    well these are movie critics ,most of which have a degree in journalism or cinematography… So they are probably judging on thematics, plot direction, acting etc. Whereas the average person (you or me) judge a movie on if its engaging, interesting, and couldn’t care less if it used a fish eye lense or film technique X so long as it heightened our experience.nnSo in their areas of expertise they probably see these movies of greatest of all time, but the average person would be judging from different criteria, so there could be 2 seperate lists. one for ciritics one for joe average.

    • rejane florinda says:

      I don’t think that is the only reason people feel so outraged by these lists. I think it is more related to the fact that more recent productions may have contributed definetely to cinema as an art media and most of them are not included in this list.nAnd also, what qualifies a journalist to become a film critic? Unless she or he is more than informed, it doesn’t make sense that their vote is more important than anyone else’s. I think people want to be included in a way that doesn’t make everybody feel snubbed by critics, and that is a legitimate feeling, The public is a great part of cinema history, that should count for something. We are not only joes and janes. Many of us know about cinema, or at least know enough to make educated comments, point contradictions and ask more than interesting questions. So not just a bunch of nobodies…

    • Suzanne Bush says:

      I guess they consider Joe Average to be not enough intellectual to be respected for his opinion.

  • Sunastar says:

    Top ten lists should be relegated to the David Letterman show. “These are the best ten thingies of all time.” If they really are, then, without new evidence to change opinion, why does the list change?nnAnswer: Because it gets a page views. Even, or maybe especially, by people like me who think they are BS.nAnd, to the person asking why comedies never make the top lists; comedies make you smile and feel good, critics seem to believe art should wake the hidden sorrow you have buried deep inside. Yeah, we REALLY need to get more in touch with that. Too much joy in the world otherwise.

  • lorettajohnson says:

    Where’s Lee Daniels The Butler????

  • John_Brennick says:

    Passion of Joan of Arc? Really?

  • TheKlot says:

    99% of these critics were over the age of 75. 1% was pretending to be too cool for the room.n

  • rg57 says:

    There is no such thing as “greatest film of all time” however, I give that title to “The Act of Killing”, which recently displaced my previous favourite “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”.nnnWhat does it mean to be “greatest” for me? Certainly it must be memorable. It must show technical expertise (and not just for its own time period). It must connect with the audience on all levels: e.g. cognitive, visceral, emotional, visual. It must say something.nnnI do not think “Citizen Kane” belongs on the list, nor does “The Searchers” (certainly that’s the WTF choice).nnnBut I’m glad “Tokyo Story” and “2001” made it.

    • rejane florinda says:

      I am dying to watch “The act of Killing” but it didn’t come to theatres here yet. On another note… do you really like “the return of the king” better than “the two towers”? Even with the bad acting? I do not deny I like the film,I expected the acting to escalade into something more deep and meaningful. For me only Ian Mckellen seems to notice that the quest changed the characters,

  • shark says:

    this is the stupidest list ever made… get a grip ppl…we are all not 85 and counting.. i would rather kiss a public urinal then watch any of these

  • CVal says:

    It’s according to only 846 film critics. There are a lot more. Calm yo tits.

  • Bertin says:

    What makes a movie a great movie? It should be well crafted and an inovation of storytelling. And it should work and be acceptabel by the viewer (critic). How does a film end up high in a list? Many people have to have seen it and accepted it. The reason why critics prefer old movies over the latest blockbusters is that it is easier to spot originality and inovation that will later be accepted. I would prefer Being John Malcovitch, Punch Drunk Love, Entonement, Repossesion, Ferris Bueller’s day off, Black Swan etcetera but these films are all influenced by earlier films.

  • Stefan says:

    10 films I enjoy seeing once a year: “A Room With A View”, Depardieu’s “Cyrano d’Bergerac”, “Seven Samurai”, “Big Night”, “Babette’s Feast”, “Amadeus”, “Short Cuts”, “The Big Lebowski”, “Groundhog Day”, “Casablanca”…happily there are plenty of pretty good movies…

  • Rebecca says:

    Stroszek and Schindler’s List override any Woody Allen film.

  • Mike says:

    Watch everything and decide for yourself. Never take a list, even a list from 800+ film critics, as gospel. Watch everything and decide for yourself what is good, what is bad, and what is great.

  • Michael Starks says:

    No Bergman? No Kurosawa? Who are these 846 critics, high school journalism students?

  • Geert bakker says:

    Great movies

  • Juliette 1964 says:

    So what is the greatest film or films of all time .?????! . Surely it depends on the individual . Their age . Lifestyle . And personality . !!! . I found my self drawn to liking the most not very me films . . Critics?????? .not all critics represent the public! In fact I would most do not . But to dismiss another persons opinion is rude . It’s your opinion . And your opinion only . And at the end of the day’s up to joe public Not arty farty folk who think their opinion is the word . . And I,m sure your reading this and saying ” that’s rubbish ” ha ha . Bothered NOT x

  • Maricarmen says:

    Critics don’t always know everything about a film, the same happens with dance, lots of them have not even taken a dance lesson, so how can they give an opinion on what they have never executed and don’t know the technics, etc.? Sorry but I don’t agree with your list and of course I am not a critic, just a normal human being. I am an expert about dance and I read very few critics cause most of them are usually wrong. Good night.

  • Joan Hager says:

    I have watched Vertigo many times in my 71 years, each time trying to see why some consider this a great film – I find it artificial and pretentious – and I love Jimmy Stewart – This is a list with really old movies – I think Citizen Kane belongs on the list – perhaps Sunrise ( very dated though) – otherwise, there are so many more from which to choose.

  • Surrey ABC says:

    What! No, Les Enfans Du Paradis?

    This is the greatest French film of all time. Having watched it again recently, it just gets better and better. Whereas Kane is a bravura one off performance, this is superb ensemble piece. All done in occupied France.

    It really is a Epic film.

  • Hoppo says:

    Lady from Shanghai over Kane any day.

  • Kier says:

    you know whats great about all these comments? seeing that people believe that films like pulp fiction, or goodfellas or any david lynch are actually one of the greatest films of all time.

  • Misha says:

    “Wild strawberries” by Ingemar Bergman and
    “Andrei Rublev” by Andrei Tarkovsky bust have been on the list!

  • megawstt says:

    What about El Topo or. The Holy Mountain ? Clearly this was a biased vote..thumbs down..

  • Paul Tatara says:

    I am utterly dumbfounded by the praise that gets heaped upon “Tokyo Story.” I think it’s a fine film, obviously, but I simply don’t get why people go nuts over it. (If push comes to shove, I’ll go with “The Passion of Joan of Arc.”)

  • Alan Pontes says:

    If there’s a better film than Chinatown, I’d like to see it.

  • jorge says:

    so in the last 40 years nothing relevant?

  • dailyllama says:

    I remain astounded. In that Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is not on such a list. Ozu’s Tokyo Story is a resounding bore compared to it……

  • robigi says:

    ….?..nvery beautiful, nice list.n…?nand then what?n…?ncertainly lack these .. nnnIntolu00e9rance David Wark Griffith 1916nnNosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau 1922nnGreed Erich von Stroheim 1924nnThe Gold Rush Charlie Chaplin 1925nnBattleship Potemkin Sergueu00ef Eisenstein 1925nnThe General Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman 1926nnNapolu00e9on Abel Gance 1927nnLa passion de Jeanne d’Arc Carl Theodor Dreyer 1927nnSunrise: A Song of Two Humans Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau 1927nnMetropolis Fritz Lang 1927nnThe Crowd King Vidor 1928nnThe Wind Victor Sju00f6stru00f6m 1928nnDie Bu00fcchse der Pandora G.W. Pabst 1929nnDer Blaue Engel Josef von Sternberg 1930nnCity Lights Charlie Chaplin 1931nnTabu Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau 1931nnM-Eine Stadt sucht einen Mu00f6rder Fritz Lang 1931nnL’opu00e9ra de quat’sous G.W. Pabst 1931nnTrouble in Paradise Ernst Lubitsch 1932nnScarface Howard Hawks 1932nnFreaks Tod Browning 1932nnKing Kong Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Co1o9p3e3rnnL’Atalante Jean Vigo 1934nnThe Scarlet Empress Joseph von Sternberg 1934nnModern Times Charlie Chaplin 1936nnPartie de campagne Jean Renoir 1936nnLe roman d’un tricheur Sacha Guitry 1936nnLa grande illusion Jean Renoir 1937nnMan with a Movie Camera Dziga Vertov 1939nnLa ru00e8gle du jeu Jean Renoir 1939nnLe jour se lu00e8ve Marcel Carnu00e9 1939nnThe Dictator Charlie Chaplin 1940nnCitizen Kane Orson Welles 1941nnTo Be or Not to Be Ernst Lubitsch 1942nnCasablanca Michael Curtiz 1942nnLaura Otto Preminger 1944nnLes enfants du paradis Marcel Carnu00e9 1945nnIvan the Terrible Sergueu00ef Eisenstein 1945nnIt’s a Wonderful Life Frank Capra 1946nnLa belle et la bu00eate Jean Cocteau 1946nnSciusciu00e0 Vittorio De Sica 1946nnLetter from an Unknown Woman Max Ophu00fcls 1948nnGermania anno zero Roberto Rossellini 1948nnLadri di biciclette Vittorio De Sica 1948nnRoma cittu00e0 aperta Roberto Rossellini 1949nnLate Spring Yasujiro Ozu 1949nnRashomon Akira Kurosawa 1950nnCronaca di un amore Michelangelo Antonioni 1950nnStromboli Roberto Rossellini 1950nnEuropa 51 Roberto Rossellini 1951nnCasque d’or Jacques Becker 1952nnLe plaisir Max Ophu00fcls 1952nnLes vacances de monsieur Hulot Jacques Tati 1953nnUgetsu monogatari Kenji Mizoguchi 1953nnEl Luis Buu00f1uel 1953nnMadame deu2026 Max Ophu00fcls 1953nnTokyo Story Yasujiro Ozu 1953nnSeven Samurai Akira Kurosawa 1954nnA Star is Born George Cukor 1954nnThe Barefoot Contessa Joseph Mankiewicz 1954nnSanshu00f4 dayu00fb Kenji Mizoguchi 1954nnSenso Luchino Visconti 1954nnViaggio in Italia Roberto Rossellini 1954nnNuit et brouillard Alain Resnais 1955nnOrdet Carl Theodor Dreyer 1955nnThe Night of the Hunter Charles Laughton 1955nnMoonfleet Fritz Lang 1955nnKiss Me Deadly Robert Aldrich 1955nnPather Panchali Satyajit Ray 1955nnThe Searchers John Ford 1956nnDet sjunde inseglet Ingmar Bergman 1957nnAn affair to remember Leo McCarey 1957nnPath of Glory Stanley Kubrick 1957nnLes amants Louis Malle 1958nnAscenseur pour l’u00e9chafaud Louis Malle 1958nnTouch of Evil Orson Welles 1958nnJalsaghar Satyajit Ray 1958nnHiroshima mon amour Alain Resnais 1959nnSome Like It Hot Billy Wilder 1959nnLes 400 coups Franu00e7ois Truffaut 1959nnShadows John Cassavetes 1959nnPickpocket Robert Bresson 1959nnLa dolce vita Federico Fellini 1960nnu00c0 bout de souffle Jean-Luc Godard 1960nnRocco e i suoi fratelli Luchino Visconti 1960nnTutti a casa Luigi Comencini 1960nnL’avventura Michelangelo Antonioni 1960nnL’annu00e9e derniu00e8re u00e0 Marienbad Alain Resnais 1961nnLola Jacques Demy 1961nnLa notte Michelangelo Antonioni 1961nnAccattone Pier Paolo Pasolini 1961nnLa jetu00e9e Chris Marker 1962nnIl sorpasso Dino Risi 1962nnL’eclisse Michelangelo Antonioni 1962nn8u00bd Federico Fellini 1963nnAmerica, America Elia Kazan 1963nnMani sulla cittu00e0 Francesco Rosi 1963nnLe mu00e9pris Jean-Luc Godard 1963nnIl gattopardo Luchino Visconti 1963nnGertrud Carl Theodor Dreyer 1964nnDeserto rosso Michelangelo Antonioni 1964nnPer un pugno di dollari Sergio Leone 1964nnPierrot le fou Jean-Luc Godard 1965nnAndrei Rublev Andrei Tarkovsky 1966nnUn homme, une femme Claude Lelouch 1966nnLa battaglia d’Algeri Gillo Pontecorvo 1966nnPersona Ingmar Bergman 1966nnAu hasard Balthazar Robert Bresson 1966nnIl buono, il brutto e il cattivo Sergio Leone 1966nnPlaytime Jacques Tati 1967nnThe Graduate Mike Nichols 1967nnThe Party Blake Edwards 1968nnTeorema Pier Paolo Pasolini 1968nnC’era una volta il west Sergio Leone 1968nn2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick 1968nnZ Costa Gavras 1969nnEasy Rider Dennis Hopper 1969nnMa nuit chez Maud u00c9ric Rohmer 1969nnLa caduta degli dei Luchino Visconti 1969nnIl conformista Bernanrdo Bertolucci 1970nnIndagine su di un cittadino al di sopra dE’olgion iP seotsripetto 1970nnUltimo tango a Parigi Bernanrdo Bertolucci 1972nnThe Godfather Francis Ford Coppola 1972nnLe charme discret de la bourgeoisie Luis Buu00f1uel 1972nnAguirre, der Zorn Gottes Werner Herzog 1972nnAmarcord Federico Fellini 1973nnLa maman et la putain Jean Eustache 1973nnLa grande abbuffata Marco Ferreri 1973nnMean Streets Martin Scorsese 1973nnMirror Andrei Tarkovsky 1974nnC’eravamo tanto amati Ettore Scola 1974nnThe Godfather 2 Francis Ford Coppola 1974nnPortiere di notte Liliana Cavani 1974nnSalu00f2 Pier Paolo Pasolini 1975nnCadaveri eccellenti Francesco Rosi 1976nnTaxi Driver Martin Scorsese 1976nnAnnie Hall Woody Allen 1977nnThe Deer Hunter Michael Cimino 1978nnStalker Andrei Tarkovsky 1979nnApocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola 1979nnManhattan Woody Allen 1979nnMujeres al borde de un ataque de nervioPsedro Almodovar 1988nnClose-Up Abbas Kiarostami 1990nnSu00e1tu00e1ntangu00f3 Bu00e9la Tarr 1994nnIn the Mood for Love Wong Kar-Wai 2000nnnso on…..nnn—————————————————nnngood fun.nnr.nn(note: the list is by SB, I agree)

  • Matt says:

    I’m 32, and I think 99% of the best movies were made before I was born. And for those who are crying your favorite movies that were made in 2014 (because you never bothered to watch anything that wasn’t made today) have not come up with better movies.

  • Sanja Plavsic-Brandt says:

    sorry but…i do not trust critics. there are far too many great movies left out here !

  • orion says:

    Back to the Future set the trend and concept of sci-fi blockbuster movies afterwards.

  • John says:

    It’s all personal taste – this is just a list of the more commonly chosen ones by a few people.

    My personal list would include “8 1/2”, “Ran”, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, “The Searchers”, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “M”, “Rear Window”, “Battleship Potemkin”, “Blow Up”, and “City Lights”. Not necessarily in that order, and that’s just what I can think of offhand – with a lot more thought, I would probably change a couple.

    I would prefer to see people listing their own favouries, rather than just critizing other people’s lists.

  • roger says:

    No Casablanca? Pffft! No Gone With the Wind? Boo! Hiss! I call BS.

  • Gilmoure says:

    I don’t get all the grief over compiled lists of “X” that a person or group of people think are interesting and “good”. As a human being, I experience a lot of things that I like, don’t like, and are sorta “meh” about, but my life is too short and full of stuff like work and getting on with my day, to go and consume everything. Finding out what others like, especially people who have put some thought and arguments into why they like something and why it is interesting can help point me towards stuff to try out that I didn’t even know about.

    I guess I missed out on the “This list is only what’s good about film and yur an idjit if you disagree” line on this page.

  • Gilmoure says:

    For some folks they are. Hell, I’m a fan of Ishtar. One of the funniest films I’ve seen. To each their own.

    What I like about lists like this is they point me towards films I’ve never even heard of, much less seen. Might be something new here worth checking out. COOL!

  • Martin Heavisides says:

    Critics generally loved Citizen Kane, and so did audiences for as long as they were allowed to see it. Kane wasn’t a flop with audiences, it was driven out of theatres by Hearst.

  • Omar Gonzalez says:

    I composed my own list of the 250 best films of all times and I think it would withstand any challange. All 250! Though the the list is obviously subject to change since I have not seen every film worthy og concideration.

  • Robert Cameron says:

    Cinema is like a lot of art – those who have made it central to their lives get a different perspective than the general audience that attends/views/listens, and that produces most of the revenue that funds the industry and its members. When it comes to “serious” music (a similar but clearer example?) audiences have indicated with their wallets that the experimental is less appreciated than the tuneful (e.g. Glass vs Mozart). Ditto with movies – while aficionados and many critics rave about lighting, staging and such details, many viewers don’t understand those elements of the “craft,” and would not care much even if they did. And for rewatching, give me “The Usual Suspects” over “Citizen Kane” any day!

  • Atom Magadia says:

    The list is a little old, but I somewhat agree with most of it, except it forgot Kurosawa. I will take Seven Samurai or Rashomon over any of Ozu’s films!

  • John says:

    I don’t think you should trust this

  • Peter Griffin says:

    Some very good books!

  • Peter Griffin says:

    I would highly recommend these books for all ages. Overall very good books.

  • Frances Branning says:

    Gone with wind Always
    Top gun
    Top gun: Maverick

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