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 (129)
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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

  • MaryP says:

    This is much after the fact, but I just dis­cov­ered this won­der­ful site. We all have our favorite movies and those are the movies that speak to us, for what­ev­er rea­son. I haven’t devot­ed my life to the study of film and I can’t appre­ci­ate the tech­ni­cal aspects that a movie expert would notice. That’s the case for most peo­ple, I imag­ine. We like what we like.

    Side note: Some of the com­ments in the thread above were incred­i­bly rude. I sel­dom post online because I don’t want to be attacked like that if my opin­ion is dif­fer­ent than some­one else’s. I’m 80 and I guess I was just brought up in a dif­fer­ent time, but it’s entire­ly pos­si­ble to dis­agree with­out being dis­agree­able. Trite say­ing, but still true.

    My favorite movies in no par­tic­u­lar order:

    War and Peace
    Gone With the Wind
    Top Gun and Top Gun Mav­er­ick
    Inde­pen­dence Day
    Break­ing Away
    Cool Run­nings
    The Patri­ot
    Dune — the orig­i­nal long ver­sion

    Most of these weren’t on any crit­ic’s Top 10 list. Dune did­n’t get good rat­ings, but I loved the books and the movie. Break­ing Away and Cool Run­nings are my fave sports movies although I love sports movies as a genre. Mel Gib­son was great in The Patri­ot and I loved the sto­ry.

    Look­ing at the list, I see that I like movies with a pos­i­tive end­ing. Dark hor­ror and ser­i­al killers just aren’t my thing.

    Guess a movie crit­ic would turn up their nose and that’s fine. It’s the peo­ple who watch movies like these who ulti­mate­ly finance the crit­ics who rave about the “crit­i­cal­ly-acclaimed” movies that don’t gen­er­al­ly attract a mass audi­ence. C’est la vie.

    Hap­py movie-watch­ing!

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