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My Top 100 Films (2021 Revision)

Posted by martinteller on June 17, 2021

Last time I did this list, I made it into one big “top 250” list. Revisiting several of these movies in the past couple of years, I realized that there were definitely two tiers. There are films I deeply admire and enjoy, and then there are films that are like a part of my soul. I wanted to maintain that distinction. The top 100 are the movies I feel will always satisfy me, entertain me, move me, or fascinate me. It’s a fluid list (this is certainly not the final revision), and perhaps some films are included (or excluded) to achieve the roundness of the number 100, but they’re all special to me. The honorable mentions below these are all wonderful films too, ones that I heartily recommend.

1. 8½ (1963, Federico Fellini)

2. An Actor’s Revenge (1963, Kon Ichikawa)

3. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972, Werner Herzog)

4. Airplane! (1980, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker)

5. Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)

6. All About My Mother (1999, Pedro Almodovar)

7. American Movie (1999, Chris Smith)

8. An Angel at My Table (1990, Jane Campion)

9. Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)

10. The Big City [Mahanagar] (1963, Satyajit Ray)

11. The Black Stallion (1979, Carroll Ballard)

12. Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)

13. Blazing Saddles (1974, Mel Brooks)

14. Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)

15. The Blues Brothers (1980, John Landis)

16. The Browning Version (1951, Anthony Asquith)

17. Cairo Station (1958, Youssef Chahine)

18. Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz)

19. Charulata (1964, Satyajit Ray)

20. Cocorico Monsieur Poulet (1974, Jean Rouch)

21. The Dead (1987, John Huston)

22. Devi (1960, Satyajit Ray)

23. Devils on the Doorstep (2000, Wen Jiang)

24. Do the Right Thing (1989, Spike Lee)

25. Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder)

26. Drugstore Cowboy (1989, Gus Van Sant)

27. Eraserhead (1977, David Lynch)

28. The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin)

29. Faces (1968, John Cassavetes)

30. Fanny and Alexander (1982, Ingmar Bergman)

31. Fargo (1996, Joel and Ethan Coen)

32. Gimme the Loot (2012, Adam Leon)

33. Girl Walk//All Day (2011, Jason Krupnick)

34. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992, James Foley)

35. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, Sergio Leone)

36. Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)

37. Hairspray (1988, John Waters)

38. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa)

39. The Hole (1998, Ming-liang Tsai)

40. House a.k.a. Hausu (1977, Nobuhiko Obayashi)

41. Imitation of Life (1959, Douglas Sirk)

42. Innocence (2004, Lucile Hadzihalilovic)

43. Jules and Jim (1962, Francois Truffaut)

44. Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)

45. Linda Linda Linda (2005, Nobuhiro Yamashita)

46. The Long Day Closes (1992, Terence Davies)

47. Malcolm X (1992, Spike Lee)

48. A Man Escaped (1956, Robert Bresson)

49. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944, Vincente Minnelli)

50. Midnight Run (1988, Martin Brest)

51. A Moment of Innocence (1996, Mohsen Makhmalbaf)

52. Mulholland Drive (2001, David Lynch)

53. Murder By Contract (1958, Irving Lerner)

54. The New World (2005, Terrence Malick)

55. The Night of the Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton)

56. El Norte (1983, Gregory Nava)

57. Offside (2006, Jafar Panahi)

58. Once (2006, John Varney)

59. Ordinary People (1980, Robert Redford)

60. The Organizer (1963, Mario Monicelli)

61. Our Little Sister (2015, Hirokazu Kore-eda)

62. Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray)

63. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, Peter Weir)

64. Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982, Alan Parker)

65. Rafiki (2018, Wanuri Kahiu)


66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg)

67. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)

68. Red Beard (1965, Akira Kurosawa)

69. Rosetta (1999, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)

70. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001, Wes Anderson)

71. Safe (1995, Todd Haynes)

72. Scenes From a Marriage (1973, Ingmar Bergman)

73. The Scent of Green Papaya (1993, Anh Hung Tran)

74. Secrets & Lies (1996, Mike Leigh)

75. Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa)

76. The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)

77. Songs from the Second Floor (2000, Roy Andersson)

78. Sorry to Bother You (2018, Boots Riley)

79. Stalker (1979, Andrei Tarkovsky)

80. Stop Making Sense (1984, Jonathan Demme)

81. Sweet Smell of Success (1957, Alexander Mackendrick)

82. Syndromes and a Century (2006, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

83. Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)

84. Thief (1981, Michael Mann)

85. Three Colors: Blue (1993, Krzysztof Kieslowski)

86. Through a Glass Darkly (1961, Ingmar Bergman)

87. Time of the Gypsies (1988, Emir Kusturica)

88. The Trial (1962, Orson Welles)

89. The Turin Horse (2011, Bela Tarr)

90. The Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000, Anh Hung Tran)

91. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)

92. The Wayward Cloud (2005, Ming-liang Tsai)

93. Wendy and Lucy (2008, Kelly Reichardt)

94. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000, Bela Tarr)

95. What Time Is It There? (2001, Ming-liang Tsai)

96. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966, Mike Nichols)

97. The Wicker Man (1973, Robin Hardy)

98. Winter Light (1962, Ingmar Bergman)

99. A Woman Under the Influence (1974, John Cassavetes)

100. You, the Living (2007, Roy Andersson)


Honorable mentions:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
The 400 Blows (1959, Francois Truffaut)
All That Heaven Allows (1955, Douglas Sirk)
All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)
Amadeus (1984, Milos Forman)
The Americanization of Emily (1964, Arthur Hiller)
Aparajito (1956, Satyajit Ray)
The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000, Jonas Mekas)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950, John Huston)
Autumn Sonata (1978, Ingmar Bergman)
The Beautiful Washing Machine (2004, James Lee)
Beyond the Forest (1949, King Vidor)
The Big Combo (1955, Joseph H. Lewis)
Blast of Silence (1961, Allen Baron)
Boogie Nights (1997, Paul Thomas Anderson)
Brazil (1985, Terry Gilliam)
The Burglar (1957, Paul Wendkos)
Carmen (1983, Carlos Saura)
Carrie (1976, Brian De Palma)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, Steven Spielberg)
The Conformist (1970, Bernardo Bertolucci)
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989, Peter Greenaway)
The Cranes Are Flying (1957, Mikhail Kalatozov)
Cruel Gun Story (1964, Takumi Furukawa)
Daughters of the Dust (1991, Julie Dash)

Days of Heaven (1978, Terrence Malick)
The Decalogue (1989, Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Dial M for Murder (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)
Dillinger Is Dead (1969, Marco Ferreri)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988, Terence Davies)
Le Doulos (1962, Jean-Pierre Melville)
Drowning By Numbers (1988, Peter Greenaway)
Duck Season (2004, Fernando Eimbcke)
El (1953, Luis Buñuel)
An Elephant Sitting Still (2018, Hu Bo)
Elevator to the Gallows (1958, Louis Malle)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974, Werner Herzog)
The Exterminating Angel (1962, Luis Bunuel)
Face a.k.a. Visage (2009, Ming-liang Tsai
The Face of Another (1966, Hiroshi Teshigahara)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, Wes Anderson)
Female on the Beach (1955, Joseph Pevney)
I Fidanzati (1963, Ermanno Olmi)
Funeral Parade of Roses (1969, Toshio Matsumoto)
The Furies (1950, Anthony Mann)
Gaslight (1944, George Cukor)
The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
The Graduate (1967, Mike Nichols)
Grizzly Man (2005, Werner Herzog)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, Alfonso Cuaron)
The Heiress (1949, William Wyler)
Holiday (1938, George Cukor)
House Party (1990, Reginald Hudlin)
I Stand Alone (1998, Gaspar Noe)
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018, Barry Jenkins)
In Cold Blood (1967, Richard Brooks)
In the Heat of the Sun (1994, Wen Jiang)
In the Loop (2009, Armando Iannucci)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, Steven Spielberg)
Inland Empire (2006, David Lynch)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)
Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959, Bert Stern)
Jellyfish (2007, Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret)
The Kid With a Bike (2011, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989, Hayao Miyazaki)
The Killing (1956, Stanley Kubrick)
The Lady Eve (1941, Preston Sturges)
The Lady Vanishes (1938, Alfred Hitchcock)
Lady Vengeance (2005, Chan-wook Park)
Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989, Akl Kaurismaki)
Limite (1931, Mario Peixoto)
The Lineup (1958, Don Siegel)
Lola (1961, Jacques Demy)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, Peter Jackson)
Lost in America (1985, Albert Brooks)
Love Exposure (2008, Sion Sono)
Love Streams (1984, John Cassavetes)
The Match Factory Girl (1990, Aki Kaurismaki)
A Matter of Life and Death (1946, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)
The Middleman [Jana Aranya] (1976, Satyajit Ray)
Mind Game (2004, Masaaki Yuasa)
The Music Room [Jalsaghar] (1958, Satyajit Ray)
Naked (1993, Mike Leigh)
Network (1976, Sidney Lumet)
Night and the City (1950, Jules Dassin)
Nightmare Alley (1947, Edmund Goulding)
Not One Less (1999, Zhang Yimou)
Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock)
O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000, Joel and Ethan Coen)
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959, Robert Wise)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, Milos Forman)
Orlando (1992, Sally Potter)
A Page of Madness (1926, Teinosuke Kinugasa)
Paths of Glory (1957, Stanley Kubrick)
Peacock [Kong Que] (2005, Changwei Gu)
Pickup on South Street (1953, Sam Fuller)
La Promesse (1996, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
Quadrophenia (1979, Franc Roddam)
Ran (1985, Akira Kurosawa)
Rat-Trap (1982, Adoor Gopalakrishnan)
Remember the Night (1940, Mitchell Leisen)
Ride the Pink Horse (1947, Robert Montgomery)
Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi)
Sátántangó (1994, Bela Tarr)
Sawdust and Tinsel (1953, Ingmar Bergman)
Sepet [Chinese Eye] (2004, Yasmin Ahmad)
The Set-Up (1949, Robert Wise)
The Seventh Victim (1943, Mark Robson)
Shame (1968, Ingmar Bergman)
Silent Hill (2006, Christophe Gans)
Sing Street (2016, John Carney)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952, Stanley Donen)
Sita Sings the Blues (2008, Nina Paley)
The Skin I Live In (2011, Pedro Almodovar)
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955, Ingmar Bergman)
The Son (2002, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
The Spirit of the Beehive (1973, Victor Erice)
Spirited Away (2001, Hayao Miyazaki)
Storm Fear (1955, Cornel Wilde)
The Story of Qiu Ju (1992, Zhang Yimou)
Subarnarekha [The Golden Thread] (1965, Ritwik Ghatak)
Sudden Fear (1952, David Miller)
Swimming to Cambodia (1987, Jonathan Demme)
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Bunuel)
They Made Me a Fugitive (1947, Alberto Cavalcanti)
Thieves’ Highway (1949, Jules Dassin)
The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)
Thirst for Love (1966, Koreyoshi Kurahara)
Three Colors: Red (1994, Krzysztof Kieslowski)
The Tree of Life (2011, Terrence Malick)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Underground (1995, Emir Kusturica)i)
Waiting for Happiness (2002, Abderrahmane Sissako)
Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (1993, Nick Park)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962, Robert Aldrich)
When Strangers Marry a.k.a Betrayed (1944, William Castle)
Who’s Camus Anyway? (2005, Mitsuo Yanagimachi)
The Wind Will Carry Us (1999, Abbas Kiarostami)
The Wizard of Oz (1939, Victor Fleming)
The Wolf House [La Casa Lobo] (2018, Joaquin Cociña and Cristóbal León)
Woman in the Dunes (1964, Hiroshi Teshigahara)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, Pedro Almodovar)
Xanadu (1980, Robert Greenwald)
Yojimbo (1961, Akira Kurosawa)
Young Frankenstein (1974, Mel Brooks)
The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy)


5 Responses to “My Top 100 Films (2021 Revision)”

  1. claire nau said

    Yay!!!!Thank you Martin💖 So many I haven’t seen and am eager toAlso very happy to see Sorry to Bother you on your list!! I really loved that movie and feel like not enough people have seen it or given it the love it deserves Hope you and Carrie and William are well!! 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  2. PJ said

    Thank you for your recommendations. Above is your list on list challenges. As of now (6/28/21), I’ve seen 61 of Top 100.

  3. wmjahn said

    I will check HOUSE, sounds interesting, one of a few in your list I don’t know.

    I won’t be sarcastic again. 😂

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