Film Yearbook

I've compiled, mostly for my own records and information, top ten lists of my favorite films of every year from the beginning of the art form to the present.  I've used the arbitrary decimal system as a limiter but not as a requirement.  In other words, no year's list will ever have more than ten films no matter how good the year was (and there were a few very great years), but some lists will have fewer than ten films either because they were weak years or (as is more likely the case) because I simply haven't seen enough films from that year to merit a full list.  Movies in these lists are only films that I would consider worthy of being in a top ten list.  I've seen much more than seven films from 2004, for example, but I only would consider the seven listed below to be of superior caliber.  I would recommend every movie listed on this page.

Furthermore, this page is not limited to theatrical releases.  I have considered short films, direct to video films, television movies, miniseries, and even compact television series to be valid, though theatrical films far outnumber all of these.

This is, of course, a fluid and dynamic compilation.  As I see more films, the lists will become fuller.  Some films will drop to be replaced by greater films.  With time and reflection (and greater wisdom and maturity, I hope), my opinions of certain movies change.  Not every masterpiece is readily apparent as one immediately after the first viewing.  Expect changes.

I haven't seen nearly enough movies pre-1950. I will correct that in due time.

A clickable title links to my review of the movie listed.  My hope is to one day have all of these titles clickable.


1. Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich
2. Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance
3. Animal Kingdom, David Michôd
4. Catfish, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy
6. Winter's Bone, Debra Granik
7. The Social Network, David Fincher
8. The King's Speech, Tom Hooper
9. The Town, Ben Affleck
10. The Fighter, David O. Russell

2. Mother, Joon-ho Bong
3. Precious, Lee Daniels
4. Humpday, Lynn Shelton
5. I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino
6. A Prophet, Jacques Audiard
7. The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke
8. Up, Pete Docter and Bob Peterson
9. The Secret in Their Eyes, Juan José Campanella
10. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans, Werner Herzog

1. The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky
2. The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan
3. Let the Right One In, Thomas Alfredson
4. Rachel Getting Married, Jonathan Demme
5. Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman
6. Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman
7. Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt
8. Summer Hours, Olivier Assayas
9. Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green
10. Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan

1. There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson
2. No Country for Old Men, Joel and Ethan Coen
3. Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
4. No End in Sight, Charles H. Ferguson
5. Hairspray, Adam Shankman
6. Into the Wild, Sean Penn
7. The Orphanage, Juan Antonio Bayona
8. Death to the Tinman, Ray Tintori (short)
9. Flight of the Red Balloon, Hsiao-hsien Hou
10. Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days, Cristian Mungiu

1. Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón
2. United 93, Paul Greengrass
3. Half Nelson, Ryan Fleck
4. Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro
5. The Departed, Martin Scorcese
6. This is England, Shane Meadows
7. Borat, Larry Charles
8. The Lives of Others, Florian Henckel von Donnersmark
9. The Prestige, Christopher Nolan
10. Rescue Dawn, Werner Herzog

1. Broken Flowers, Jim Jarmusch
2. 9, Shane Acker (short)
3. Tsotsi, Gavin Hood
4. Dave Chapelle's Block Party, Michel Gondry
5. The Descent, Neil Marshall
6. Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog
7. Hustle and Flow, Craig Brewer
8. Capote, Bennett Miller
9. Pride and Prejudice, Joe Wright
10. Murderball, Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michel Gondry
2. Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright
3. Dig!, Ondi Timoner
4. Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Quentin Tarantino
5. Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore
6. Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood
7. Millions, Danny Boyle

1. Dogville, Lars von Trier
2. Capturing the Friedmans, Andrew Jarecki
3. Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Quentin Tarantino
4. The Return, Andrej Zvjagintsev
5. Angels in America, Mike Nichols
6. Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola
7. Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
8. Oldboy, Chan-wook Park
9. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Peter Weir
10. Memories of Murder, Joon-ho Bong

1. Adaptation., Spike Jonze
2. Irreversible, Gaspar Noé
3. Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore
4. 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle
5. Hero, Yimou Zhang
6. Minority Report, Steven Spielberg
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Peter Jackson
8. City of God, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund
9. Catch Me if You Can, Steven Spielberg
10. Talk to Her, Pedro Almodóvar

1. Mulholland Dr., David Lynch
2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell
3. Y tu mamá también, Alfonso Cuarón
4. Gosford Park, Robert Altman
5. Murder on a Sunday Morning, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
6. Ghost World, Terry Zwigoff
7. Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly
8. Training Day, Antoine Fuqua
9. In the Bedroom, Todd Field
10. Suicide Club, Shion Soho

1. Yi Yi, Edward Yang
2. In the Mood for Love, Kar Wai Wong
3. Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky
4. Code Unknown, Michael Haneke
5. Memento, Christopher Nolan
6. Amores Perros, Alejandro González Iñárritu
7. Dancer in the Dark, Lars von Trier
8. Werckmeister Harmonies, Béla Tarr 
9. George Washington, David Gordon Green
10. Gladiator, Ridley Scott

1. Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson
2. American Beauty, Sam Mendes
3. The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan
4. The Girl on the Bridge, Patrice Leconte
5. The Color of Paradise, Majid Majidi
6. American Movie, Chris Smith
7. Being John Malkovich, Spike Jonze
8. Queer as Folk, Sarah Harding and Charles McDougall
9. Three Kings, David O. Russell
10. The Insider, Michael Mann

1. Happiness, Todd Solondz
2. Hilary and Jackie, Anand Tucker
3. The Truman Show, Peter Weir
4. American History X, Tony Kaye
5. Central Station, Walter Salles
6. Pi, Darren Aronofsky
7. A Simple Plan, Sam Raimi

1. Life is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni
2. Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson
3. Taste of Cherry, Abbas Kiarostami
4. Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino
5. Good Will Hunting, Gus Van Sant
6. Gattaca, Andrew Niccol
7. Titanic, James Cameron
8. Character, Mike van Diem

1. Breaking the Waves, Lars von Trier
2. Secrets and Lies, Mike Leigh
3. Lone Star, John Sayles
4. The English Patient, Anthony Minghella
5. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
6. Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton
7. Scream, Wes Craven
8. Hamlet, Kenneth Branagh
9. Waiting for Guffman, Christopher Guest

1. Seven, David Fincher
2. Twelve Monkeys, Terry Gilliam
3. Dead Man, Jim Jarmusch
4. Dead Man Walking, Tim Robbins
5. Toy Story, John Lasseter

1. Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino
2. The Usual Suspects, Bryan Singer
3. The Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont
4. Three Colors: Red, Krzysztof Kieslowski
5. Clerks, Kevin Smith
6. Quiz Show, Robert Redford
7. Before the Rain, Milcho Manchevski
8. Hoop Dreams, Steve James
9. The Lion King, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
10. Ed Wood, Tim Burton

1. Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg
2. Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis
3. Manhattan Murder Mystery, Woody Allen
4. Schwarzfahrer, Pepe Danquart (short)
5. In the Line of Fire, Wolfgang Petersen

1. Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood
2. Benny's Video, Michael Haneke
3. Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino
4. Glengarry Glen Ross, James Foley
5. Léolo, Jean-Claude Lauzon
6. Lessons of Darkness, Werner Herzog

1. The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme
2. Barton Fink, Joel and Ethan Coen
3. Thelma and Louise, Ridley Scott
4. Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg
5. Slacker, Richard Linklater
6. Beauty and the Beast, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
7. My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant
8. Night on Earth, Jim Jarmusch
9. JFK, Oliver Stone

1. Goodfellas, Martin Scorcese
2. Twin Peaks, David Lynch et al.
3. Misery, Rob Reiner
4. Miller's Crossing, Joel Coen

1. Driving Miss Daisy, Bruce Beresford
2. Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee
3. Dekalog, Krystof Kieslowski
4. The Seventh Continent, Michael Haneke
5. Crimes and Misdemeanors, Woody Allen
6. Roger and Me, Michael Moore

1. The Man Who Planted Trees, Frédéric Back (short)
2. A Fish Called Wanda, Charles Crichton
3. Tin Toy, John Lasseter (short)
4. Grave of the Fireflies, Isao Takahata
5. Akira, Katsuhiro Ôtomo
6. The Thin Blue Line, Errol Morris
7. Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore

1. Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders
2. Babette's Feast, Gabriel Axel
3. Broadcast News, James L. Brooks
4. The Princess Bride, Rob Reiner
5. The Brave Little Toaster, Jerry Rees

1. Stand By Me, Rob Reiner
2. The Fly, David Cronenberg
3. Aliens, James Cameron
4. Platoon, Oliver Stone
5. An American Tail, Don Bluth

1. Come and See, Elim Klimov
2. Ran, Akira Kurosawa
3. Brazil, Terry Gilliam
4. The Official Story, Luis Puenzo
5. Runaway Train, Andrei Konchalovsky
6. Kiss of the Spider Woman, Hector Babenco
7. The Return of the Living Dead, Dan O'Bannon
8. 28 Up, Michael Apted
9. Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Tim Burton
10. Clue, Jonathan Lynn

1. Amadeus, Milos Forman
2. Blood Simple, Joel Coen
3. The Terminator, James Cameron
4. Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders
5. Nineteen Eighty-Four, Michael Radford
6. Ghost Busters, Ivan Reitman
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven

1. Sans Soleil, Chris Marker
2. Ballad of Narayama, Shôhei Imamura
3. Return of the Jedi, Richard Marquand
4. A Christmas Story, Bob Clark
5. The Dead Zone, David Cronenberg
6. Thriller, John Landis (short)
7. Terms of Endearment, James L. Brooks

1. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott
2. Fanny and Alexander, Ingmar Bergman
3. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Steven Spielberg
4. The Verdict, Sidney Lumet
5. The Thing, John Carpenter
6. Gandhi, Richard Attenborough
7. Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio

1. My Dinner with Andre, Louis Malle
2. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, George Miller
3. Reds, Warren Beatty
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg

1. The Shining, Stanley Kubrick
2. The Empire Strikes Back, Irvin Kirshner
3. The Elephant Man, David Lynch
4. Raging Bull, Martin Scorcese
5. Ordinary People, Robert Redford
6. Cosmos, Carl Sagan et al.

1. Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola
2. Alien, Ridley Scott
3. Kramer vs. Kramer, Robert Benton

1. Halloween, John Carpenter
2. Days of Heaven, Terrence Malick
3. Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero

1. Annie Hall, Woody Allen
2. 21, Michael Apted
3. Star Wars, George Lucas
4. Killer of Sheep, Charles Burnett
5. 3 Women, Robert Altman

1. Network, Sidney Lumet
2. Rocky, John G. Avildsen
3. Eraserhead, David Lynch
4. Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter
5. Taxi Driver, Martin Scorcese
6. The Omen, Richard Donner
7. Harlan County, U.S.A., Barbara Kopple

1. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, Chantal Akerman
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Milos Forman
3. Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick
4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman
5. Jaws, Steven Spielberg
6. Dog Day Afternoon, Sidney Lumet
7. Nashville, Robert Altman
8. Grey Gardens, David and Albert Maysles
9. Tommy, Ken Russell
10. The Mirror, Andrei Tarkovsky

1. A Woman Under the Influence, John Cassevetes
2. The Godfather: Part II, Francis Ford Coppola
3. The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola
4. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
5. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Werner Herzog
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper
7. Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks
8. The Phantom of Liberty, Luis Buñuel
9. Chinatown, Roman Polanski

1. F For Fake, Orson Welles
2. Don't Look Now, Nicolas Roeg
3. The Holy Mountain, Alexandro Jodorowsky
4. Scenes from a Marriage, Ingmar Bergman
5. Charlotte's Web, Charles Nichols and Iwao Takamoto
6. The Sting, George Roy Hill
7. The Spirit of the Beehive, Victor Erice
8. Sisters, Brian de Palma

1. Pink Flamingos, John Waters
2. The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola
3. Cabaret, Bob Fosse
4. Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky
5. The Poseidon Adventure, Ronald Neame
6. Frenzy, Alfred Hitchcock

1. Fiddler on the Roof, Norman Jewison
2. A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick
3. Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby
4. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Mel Stuart
5. Walkabout, Nicolas Roeg
6. The Andromeda Strain, Robert Wise

1. 7 Plus Seven, Michael Apted
2. Patton, Franklin J. Schaffner
3. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer
4. Gimme Shelter, Albert and David Maysles
5. The Conformist, Bernardo Bertolucci

1. Z, Costa-Gavras
2. Army of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville
3. Midnight Cowboy, John Schlesinger
4. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Ronald Neame

1. Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick
3. Once Upon a Time in the West, Sergio Leone
4. Rosemary's Baby, Roman Polanski
5. Firecreek, Vincent McEveety
6. Oliver!, Carol Reed
7. Romeo and Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli
8. The Great Silence, Sergio Corbucci

1. Play Time, Jacques Tati
2. Bonnie and Clyde, Arthur Penn
3. Cool Hand Luke, Stuart Rosenberg
4. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, Stanley Kramer
5. In the Heat of the Night, Norman Jewison

1. The Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo
2. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Mike Nichols
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Chuck Jones and Ben Washam (short)
4. Fahrenheit 451, François Truffaut
5. Andrei Rublev, Andrei Tarkovsky
6. Persona, Ingmar Bergman
7. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Sergio Leone
8. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Bill Melendez (short)
9. Django, Sergio Corbucci

1. Repulsion, Roman Polanski
2. For a Few Dollars More, Sergio Leone

1. I Am Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov
2. Seven Up!, Paul Almond (short)
3. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick
4. Woman in the Dunes, Hiroshi Teshigahara
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Kizo Nagashima and Larry Roemer (short)
6. A Fistful of Dollars, Sergio Leone

1. The Leopard, Luchino Visconti
2. 8 1/2, Federico Fellini
3. The Great Escape, John Sturges
4. Winter Light, Ingmar Bergman
5. The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock

1. Harakiri, Masaki Kobayashi
2. La jetée, Chris Marker (short)
3. Long Day's Journey into Night, Sidney Lumet
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, Robert Mulligan
5. Jules and Jim, François Truffaut
6. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Robert Aldrich
7. Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean
8. Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Tarkovsky
9. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John Ford
10. The Manchurian Candidate, John Frankenheimer

1. The Innocents, Jack Clayton
2. Last Year at Marienbad, Alain Resnais

1. Jazz on a Summer's Day, Bert Stern and Aram Avakiam
2. La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini
3. The Apartment, Billy Wilder
4. Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock
5. Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard
6. Eyes Without a Face, Georges Franju
7. The Virgin Spring, Ingmar Bergman
8. Le trou, Jacques Becker
9. Inherit the Wind, Stanley Kramer
10. Rocco and His Brothers, Luchino Visconti

1. Hiroshima, mon amour, Alain Resnais
2. The 400 Blows, François Truffaut
3. Compulsion, Richard Fleischer
4. North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock
5. Anatomy of a Murder, Otto Preminger

1. Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock
2. Schwechater, Peter Kubelka (short)
3. Touch of Evil, Orson Welles

1. 12 Angry Men, Sidney Lumet
2. The Bridge on the River Kwai, David Lean
3. Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick
4. The Cranes Are Flying, Mikhail Kalatozov
5. Wild Strawberries, Ingmar Bergman
6. The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman

1. The Killing, Stanley Kubrick
2. The Searchers, John Ford
3. The Burmese Harp, Kon Ichikawa
4. The Red Balloon, Albert Lamorisse (short)

1. Ordet, Carl Thedor Dreyer
2. The Night of the Hunter, Charles Laughton
3. Oklahoma!, Fred Zinnemann
4. Diabolique, Henri-Georges Clouzot
5. Rebel Without a Cause, Nicholas Ray

1. On the Waterfront, Elia Kazan
2. La Strada, Federico Fellini
3. Sabrina, Billy Wilder

1. The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot
2. The Earrings of Madame de..., Max Ophüls
3. Tokyo Story, Yasujirô Ozu
4. Ugetsu, Kenji Mizoguchi
5. White Mane, Albert Lamorisse (short)

1. High Noon, Fred Zinnemann
2. Singin' in the Rain, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
3. Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa
4. Umberto D., Vittorio de Sica

1. Strangers on a Train, Alfred Hitchcock
2. The African Queen, John Huston
3. A Streetcar Named Desire, Elia Kazan

1. All About Eve, Joseph L. Mankiewicz
2. Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder
3. Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa

1. White Heat, Raoul Walsh
2. The Heiress, William Wyler
3. All the King's Men, Robert Rossen

1. Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio de Sica
2. Unfaithfully Yours, Preston Sturges
2. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, John Huston
3. Rope, Alfred Hitchcock

1. Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street, George Seaton
1. It's a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra
2. Notorious, Alfred Hitchcock

1. Children of Paradise, Marcel Carné
2. Brief Encounter, David Lean

1. Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder
2. Arsenic and Old Lace, Frank Capra

1. Meshes of the Afternoon, Maya Deren (short)
2. Day of Wrath, Carl Theodor Dreyer

1. To Be or Not To Be, Ernst Lubitsch
2. Casablanca, Michael Curtiz

1. Citizen Kane, Orson Welles
2. The Maltese Falcon, John Huston

1. The Philadelphia Story, George Cukor
2. The Shop Around the Corner, Ernst Lubitsch
3. Pinocchio, Norman Ferguson and T. Hee
4. Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock
5. The Grapes of Wrath, John Ford
6. His Girl Friday, Howard Hawks
7. The Great Dictator, Charles Chaplin

1. Gone with the Wind, Victor Fleming
2. The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming
3. The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir

I got nothin'.

1. Grand Illusion, Jean Renoir

1. Modern Times, Charles Chaplin
2. Things to Come, William Cameron Menzies

I got nothin'.

1. It Happened One Night, Frank Capra
2. L'Atalante, Jean Vigo

1. Duck Soup, Leo McCarey
1. Grand Hotel, Edmund Goulding
2. Trouble in Paradise, Ernst Lubitsch
3. Freaks, Tod Browning

1. M, Fritz Lang
2. City Lights, Charles Chaplin
3. Frankenstein, James Whale

I got nothin'.

1. The Man with a Camera, Dziga Vertov
2. Un Chien Andalou, Luis Buñuel (short)

1. The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Theodor Dreyer
2. West of Zanzibar, Tod Browning

1. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, F.W. Murnau
2. The Cat and the Canary, Paul Leni
3. Metropolis, Fritz Lang

1. The General, Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton
1. Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein
2. The Gold Rush, Charles Chaplin

1. Sherlock, Jr., Buster Keaton
2. Michael, Carl Theodor Dreyer
3. The Last Laugh, F.W. Murnau

I got nothin'.

1. Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau

I got nothin'.

1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene

1. The Devilish Tenant, Georges Méliès (1909, short)
2. The Hayseed, Fatty Arbunkle (1919, short)
3. Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory, Louis Lumière (1895, short)
4. Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894, short)
5. Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, Louis Lumière (1896, short)
7. Les vampires, Louis Feuillade (1915)
8. The Monster, Georges Méliès (1903, short)
9. A Trip to the Moon, Georges Méliès (1902, short)
10. Fishing for Goldfish, Louis Lumière (1895, short)