List of films considered the best
|This list needs additional citations for verification. (November 2008)|
While there is no general agreement upon the greatest film, many publications and organizations have tried to determine the films considered the best. The films mentioned in this article have all been mentioned in a notable survey – be it a popular poll or critics' poll. Many of these sources focus on American films or were polls of English-speaking film goers, but those considered the greatest within their respective countries are also included here.
None of these citations should be viewed as scientific measures of the film-watching world. They are often influenced by vote stacking or survey a population with skewed demographics. Internet-based surveys have a self-selecting audience of unknown participants. The methodology of some surveys may be questionable. Sometimes (as in the case of the American Film Institute) voters were asked to select films from a limited list of entries.
- 1 Polls of critics and filmmakers
- 2 Audience polls
- 3 Particular genres or media
- 3.1 Action
- 3.2 Animation
- 3.3 Christmas
- 3.4 Comedy
- 3.5 Comic book/superhero
- 3.6 Courtroom
- 3.7 Crime/gangster
- 3.8 Disaster
- 3.9 Documentary
- 3.10 Epic
- 3.11 Fantasy
- 3.12 High school
- 3.13 Horror/thriller
- 3.14 Musical
- 3.15 Mystery
- 3.16 Political/historical
- 3.17 Propaganda
- 3.18 Religious
- 3.19 Romance
- 3.20 Science fiction
- 3.21 Sports
- 3.22 War
- 3.23 Western
- 4 Countries
- 4.1 Argentina
- 4.2 Australia
- 4.3 Belgium
- 4.4 Brazil
- 4.5 Canada
- 4.6 Czech Republic/Slovakia
- 4.7 Chile
- 4.8 China
- 4.9 Croatia
- 4.10 Denmark
- 4.11 Egypt
- 4.12 Estonia
- 4.13 Finland
- 4.14 France
- 4.15 Germany
- 4.16 Hong Kong
- 4.17 Hungary
- 4.18 India
- 4.19 Iran
- 4.20 Ireland
- 4.21 Israel
- 4.22 Italy
- 4.23 Japan
- 4.24 Macedonia
- 4.25 Mexico
- 4.26 Netherlands
- 4.27 New Zealand
- 4.28 Norway
- 4.29 Pakistan
- 4.30 Palestine
- 4.31 Philippines
- 4.32 Poland
- 4.33 Romania
- 4.34 Russia
- 4.35 Serbia
- 4.36 South Africa
- 4.37 South Korea
- 4.38 Spain
- 4.39 Sri Lanka
- 4.40 Sweden
- 4.41 Switzerland
- 4.42 Taiwan
- 4.43 Turkey
- 4.44 Ukraine
- 4.45 United Kingdom
- 4.46 United States
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Polls of critics and filmmakers
Sight & Sound poll
Every decade, the British film magazine Sight & Sound asks an international group of film professionals to vote for the greatest film of all time. The Sight & Sound accolade has come to be regarded as one of the most important of the "greatest ever film" lists. The American film critic Roger Ebert described it as "by far the most respected of the countless polls of great movies—the only one most serious movie people take seriously."1
- Citizen Kane (1941) by Orson Welles was voted #1 in the five Sight & Sound critics' polls from 1962 to 2002.2 A separate Sight & Sound poll of established film directors, held for the first time in 1992, also placed Citizen Kane at the top in 1992 and 2002.2
- Bicycle Thieves (1948) by Vittorio De Sica topped the first Sight & Sound critics' poll, in 1952. It also came #7 in 1962 and #6 in 2002.2 It also came #10 in the 2012 directors' poll.3
- Tokyo Story (1953) by Yasujirō Ozu topped the Sight & Sound directors' poll in 2012, dethroning Citizen Kane.3 Tokyo Story also appeared in the Sight & Sound critics' poll at third place in 1992, fifth in 2002, and third in 2012.4
- Vertigo (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock topped the Sight & Sound critics' poll in 2012, dethroning Citizen Kane.3 It also came #7 in 1982, #4 in 1992, and #2 in 2002.2 In the directors' poll, it came #6 in 1992 and 2002,2 and #7 in 2012.3
- La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) (1939) by Jean Renoir is the only movie to have appeared in every one of the Sight & Sound critics' polls; its only appearance in the directors' poll was #9 in 2002.
Brussels World’s Fair's international poll
The Brussels World’s Fair, organized in 1958, offered the occasion for the organization by thousands of critics and filmmakers from all over the world, of the first universal film poll in history.5 These were the films chosen as most artistically fulfilled:6789
||The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2012)|
- Gone with the Wind (1939) was ranked as the greatest film in a poll surveyed by Harris Interactive between January 15 and 22, 2008. Star Wars came in second place and Casablanca in third.10 Gone with the Wind was also picked as the best film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.11
- Casablanca (1942) was voted the greatest film by readers of the Los Angeles Daily News in 1997.12 It is also regarded the "best Hollywood movie of all time" by the influential Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.13 On April 7, 2006, the Writers' Guild of America declared Casablanca's screenplay the best ever written.14
- Seven Samurai (1954) was voted #1 in an audience poll conducted by MovieMail in 2000. It was followed by The Third Man (1949) in second place.15
- The Godfather (1972) was voted #1 by Entertainment Weekly's readers16 and voted as #1 in a Time Out readers' poll in 1998.17 The film was also voted as the "Greatest Movie of All Time" in September 2008 by 10,000 readers of Empire magazine, 150 people from the movie business and 50 film critics.18
- The Godfather Part II (1974) was voted best movie ever by TV Guide readers19 in 1998.
- Cross of Iron (1977) was voted the greatest film of all time by Cinemag.citation needed
- Star Wars (1977) and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back (1980) were chosen as the greatest films by readers of Empire magazine in November 2001 and by voters in a Channel 4 (Film4) poll.20 Star Wars is also the highest ranking sci-fi film in both versions of the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest movies of all time (ranked #15 in the original list, and #13 in the updated list).
- Raise the Red Lantern (1991) was voted the best Asian film in another audience poll conducted by MovieMail in 2000. It was followed by The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) at second place.15
- Schindler's List (1993) was voted the best film ever made by the German film magazine Cinema.21
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994) was voted the best film not to have won an Academy Award in a 2004 Radio Times poll and again in 2008.22 The film is ranked #1 on FilmCrave.com's top 100 movies list23 and holds the top spot on the Internet Movie Database's list of the top 250 films.24 It holds an extremely high score on Rotten Tomatoes within the community, at 97%.25
- The Lord of the Rings series (2001–2003) was voted the most popular film of all time by an audience poll for the Australian television special My Favourite Film and by a poll cast by 120,000 German voters for the TV special "Die besten Filme aller Zeiten" (German "The best films of all time").26 Its first film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), was the pick of readers in a poll by Empire magazine in November 2004.27
Particular genres or media
||The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2012)|
- Seven Samurai (1954) is the highest reviewed movie at Rotten Tomatoes with the highest number of votes that is listed as an action movie on the site.28
- Fist of Fury (1972),29 Enter the Dragon (1973),30 Five Deadly Venoms (1978),31 The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978),32 Magnificent Butcher (1979)33 and Drunken Master II (1994)343536 have been chosen as the best action martial arts films.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was chosen as the best action film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.37 Sites such Moviefone38 and IGN 39 also placed the film as the #1 greatest action movie of all time.
- The Terminator (1984)2840 along with its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991),4142 Aliens (1986),283943 and The Matrix (1999) 38 are often the highest ranking and most positively reviewed action science fiction films.
- Die Hard (1988) is also sometimes commonly considered to be one of the greatest action movies ever.4144 Entertainment Weekly voted it the greatest action movie of all time.45
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) by Walt Disney was selected as the best American animated movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46
- Pinocchio (1940) by Walt Disney was ranked as the #1 greatest animated movie by Time magazine.47
- The Russian animated films Hedgehog in the Fog (1975) and Tale of Tales (1979) by Yuri Norshtein have been voted as the greatest animated films ever in particular festivals.48
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) by Hayao Miyazaki was the highest-ranked animated film in an audience poll of 100 best animations, conducted by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2007.49
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988) by Miyazaki was ranked at #1 in Time Out's list of top 50 greatest animated films.50
- Akira (1988) by Katsuhiro Otomo is considered the greatest anime film ever made on the top ten anime lists at MovieCricket51 and Screen Junkies.52
- Grave of the Fireflies (1988) by Isao Takahata topped the Rotten Tomatoes list of best anime films,53 and is the highest-ranking animation in Time Out magazine's "50 greatest World War II movies" list54 and Empire magazine's "Top 10 Depressing Movies" list.55
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) is the highest rated live-action/animated hybrid film on film aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, and has scored an almost perfect rating of 98%.56 The film was also ranked as the best animated/live action hybrid film by Entertainment Weekly.57
- Beauty and the Beast (1991) is #1 on the IGN's Top 25 Animated Movies of All Time.58
- The Lion King (1994) was chosen as the best animated film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.59
- Toy Story (1995) was voted #1 on the Top 100 Animated Features of All Time by the Online Film Critics Society (list published March 2003).60 The film was also ranked as the greatest animated movie by Moviefone 61 and Total Film.62
- Toy Story 2 (1999) topped a Rotten Tomatoes poll of the 50 best animated movies ever made.63 It is also #1 on their list of the best kids movies,64 and is #1 on the Movie Review Query Engine's list of the best animated movies.65 The original and the sequel hold a perfect 100% score at Rotten Tomatoes.6667
- Spirited Away (2001) by Miyazaki is the highest-ranking animation in Empire magazine's "100 Best Films of World Cinema" list68 and the 2002 Sight & Sound critics' & directors' poll.69 It has also been ranked highly in several best animation lists: second place in Total Film,70 fifth in Time,71 and second in Entertainment Weekly.72 It is the highest rated animated film on IMDb's Top 250.24
- WALL-E (2008) was ranked as the greatest animated movie ever by Entertainment Weekly.73
- The Lego Movie is currently #1 in the animation category on the Internet Movie Database site.
- A Christmas Story (1983) is AOL's #1 Christmas movie of all time74 and IGN's top holiday-themed movie of all time.75
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is #1 on the Movie Review Query Engine's list of the best holiday movies,76 and also topped AFI's 100 Years…100 Cheers list.77
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is ranked #1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Top 25 Best Christmas Movies list.78
- Die Hard (1988) was voted Empire Magazine's "The Greatest Christmas Film of All Time" in 2010,79 and the fourth best in Rotten Tomatoes' list.80
- Airplane! (1980) was chosen as the best comedy for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.81
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is the highest reviewed comedy movie at Rotten Tomatoes, with a perfect score of 100%.82 It also has a Metacritic score of 96/100, one of the website's highest rated comedy movies.83
- Ghostbusters (1984) was ranked first by IGN as the best comedy in their list of Top 25 Best Comedies Of All Time.84
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) was named the best British comedy picture of all time in a 2004 poll by the UK arm of Amazon and the Internet Movie Database named Monty Python and the Holy Grail.85
- Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) was voted the greatest comedy ever in polls conducted by Total Film magazine in 2000,86 the British TV networks Channel 4 in 2006 87 and Five in 2007, and The Guardian newspaper in 2007.88
- National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) was voted #1 on the Bravo list of funniest movies of all time.89
- Some Like It Hot (1959) was listed Best American Film Comedy by the American Film Institute in June 2000.90
- City Lights (1931) was selected as the best romantic comedy ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46
- Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) is ranked sixth in the BFI Top 100 British films and is the highest ranked comedy.
- Akira (1988) is the highest-ranking film based on a manga comic in lists published by the Movie Review Query Engine91 and Rotten Tomatoes.92
- Death Note (2006) was chosen as the best live-action film based on a comic in a Japanese audience poll conducted by the Goo Research online monitor group.93
- Persepolis (2007) is #1 in the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of movies based on superheroes, graphic novels, manga and comic strips – in order of critical approval. Iron Man was also the highest rated superhero film based on a comic in the list being at #2.92
- Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy was ranked as #1 on Newsarama's top ten comic book movies list.94 The Dark Knight (2008) is #1 on the Movie Review Query Engine's list of the best comic and superhero movies, and on Rotten Tomatoes' Best Comix Countdown 2012.9195
- Spider-Man 2 (2004) is number 1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Comix Worst to Best list.96
- X2 (2003) was voted #1 in Empire Magazine's list of the 20 Greatest Comic Book Movies.97
- The Incredibles (2004) was ranked #1 in Time magazine's list of top ten greatest superhero films.98
- Superman (1978) was ranked #1 out of IGN's list of 25 greatest superhero films of all time.99
- The Avengers (2012) is ranked #1 by SFX.100
- To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) was selected as the best courtroom drama ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10 list.46
- The Godfather (1972) was selected as the best gangster movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46 It is the highest rated film on Metacritic with 100 and it also tops the Rotten Tomatoes list of the best drama movies.101
- Goodfellas (1990) was chosen as the greatest crime film out of the 25 movies by the IGN website.102
- Pulp Fiction (1994) was ranked the greatest film of the past 25 years (1983-2008) by Entertainment Weekly.103
- The Poseidon Adventure (1972) was voted best disaster movie in a poll commissioned by UCI cinemas in May 2004.104
- Bowling for Columbine (2002), Michael Moore's controversial documentary relating gun control and the culture of fear in the United States, heads the list of 20 all-time favorite non-fiction films selected by members of the International Documentary Association (IDA).105106
- Grey Gardens (1975), the Maysles Brothers' documentary about former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's eccentric aunt and cousin Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, was ranked as one of the greatest documentaries of all time by the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film 107 and the International Documentary Association.108 The film holds an 89% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.109
- The Seven Up! series (1964-) was voted as the greatest ever documentary in a Channel 4 poll of the 50 Greatest Documentaries in 2005.110
- The Last Waltz (1978) is considered one of the greatest concert documentaries ever created, and has been deemed as such by Total Film,111 Michael Worthington of the Chicago Tribune,112 and by Rotten Tomatoes, where it holds a 97% favorable rating.113
- Seven Samurai (1954) was the highest-ranking epic film in the 1982 Sight & Sound critics' poll.2
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962) was voted best epic by readers of Total Film in May 2004. It was selected as the best epic movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) was selected as the best American fantasy movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46
- Spirited Away (2001) is the highest-ranking animated film on "The 25 best sci-fi and fantasy films of all time" list published by The Guardian, and the second highest-ranking fantasy film on the list after The Wizard of Oz.114
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) is #1 on the list of the top rated fantasy titles at the Internet movie database(IDMB).115 It is the only film in the genre to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It also won 11 Academy Awards, the highest number of any film ever made (tying with Ben-Hur and Titanic). It is also the only film in history having won Best Film awards from the Academy, BAFTA, Empire, Golden Globe, Hugo, MTV, and Saturn Awards.
- The Breakfast Club (1985) ranks at #1 on Entertainment Weekly's list of best high school movies.116 Other films written and directed by John Hughes, namely Weird Science, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, are also often considered epitomal high school, and by extension, teenage coming of age films,117 as are the other nicknamed "Brat Pack" '80s films.
- Blackboard Jungle (1955) was listed as #1 best movie about high school on Newsweek/The Daily Beast.118
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) was ranked #1 on Moviefone's list of Best High School Movies of All Time.119
- The Thing (1982) ranks #1 on The Boston Globe's list of the 50 scariest movies of all time.120
- The Shining (1980) ranks #1 on The Moving Arts Film Journal's list of the 25 greatest horror films.121
- The Exorcist (1973) was voted scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com,citation needed and by viewers of AMC in 2006.122 It was also chosen as the best horror film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.123
- Psycho (1960), the Alfred Hitchcock classic, tops AFI's list of the 100 most thrilling American films,124 and the top rated horror titles at the Internet Movie Database.125
- King Kong (1933) ranked #1 in the Rotten Tomatoes list of the 50 best horror movies of all time.126
- Jaws (1975) was #1 in the Bravo network's five-hour miniseries The 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2004.127 It was also ranked second on AFI's list for thrillers, 100 Years... 100 Thrills. It holds a rare 100% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.128
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) ranks #1 on Total Film's list of the greatest horror films.129
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991) was chosen as the best suspense/thriller for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.130
- Singin' in the Rain (1952) tops the American Film Institute's list of the 25 best American musicals of all time,131 and the top rated musicals at the Internet Movie Database.132
- West Side Story (1961) was chosen as the best screen musical by readers of The Observer in a 2007 poll.133
- The Sound of Music (1965) was chosen as the best musical for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.134
- Rear Window (1954) is #1 on the Rotten Tomatoes list of the best mystery/suspense films.135
- Vertigo (1958) was selected as the best mystery movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46
- Seven Samurai (1954) was the highest-ranking historical period film in the 1982 Sight & Sound critics' poll.2
- Schindler's List (1993) was chosen as the best political/historical film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.136
- The Battleship Potemkin (1925) has been called one of the most influential propaganda films of all time,137 and was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958.138139140
- Triumph of the Will (1935), Leni Riefenstahl's documentary film glorifying Adolf Hitler and the 1934 Nazi Party Convention, in Nuremberg is widely perceived, renowned and acknowledged as the best propaganda film ever,141 although Riefenstahl asserted she intended it only as a documentary.
- In 1996, the Holy See released three lists of recommended films. The three different lists considered films of religious value, virtue (or moral value) and artistic merit. Among the list of 15 religious films considered by the Vatican to be the best ever were, in no particular order, William Wyler's Ben-Hur, The Mission, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Fred Zinnemann's 1966 version of A Man For All Seasons.142
- Casablanca (1942) was voted the top romantic American film on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions list,143 and is #1 on the top rated romance titles at the Internet Movie Database.144
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) tops the Online Film Critics Society list of greatest science fiction films of all time.145 It is also the only science fiction film to make the Sight and Sound poll for ten best movies, and was selected as the best science fiction movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46
- Star Wars (1977): See Films acclaimed in audience polls section above.
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was voted #1 in Total Film's Top 100 Movies of All Time,146 and #1 in the 2006 Empire "Greatest Movies Ever" special.147 It is #1 on the top rated sci-fi titles at the Internet Movie Database.148
- Blade Runner (1982) was voted the best science fiction film by a panel of scientists assembled by the British newspaper The Guardian in 2004.149 In New Scientist, Blade Runner was voted "all-time favourite science fiction film" in both the staff,150 and reader's 2008 polls.151
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) topped a Rotten Tomatoes poll of the 100 best Science Fiction movies ever made.152
- Akira (1988) is considered by some to be the best animated science fiction film.153154155156
- Rocky (1976) topped Digital Spy's "greatest ever sports movie" audience poll in 2012.157
- Raging Bull (1980) was selected as the best sports movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10,46 and is #1 on the top rated sport titles at the Internet Movie Database.158
- Miracle (2004) is standing as the overall best sports movie of all time in the ongoing poll at sportsinmovies.com 159
- Murderball (2005) is #1 on the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of the top sports movies.160
- Paths of Glory (1957) is #1 on the Movie Review Query Engine's list of the best military movies.161
- The Longest Day (1962) topped the list of the Moviefone 25 Best War Movies.162
- Apocalypse Now (1979) was ranked as the number one greatest war movie by The Guardian in a 2013 critics poll with The Observer.163 The film also topped on Channel 4's 50 Films To See Before You Die.164 It is the second rated war movie of all time based on the Movifone list (after The Longest Day).162
- Come and See (1985) was listed as the number one greatest World War II film by Time Out.165
- Saving Private Ryan (1998) was voted as the greatest war film in a 2008 Channel 4 poll of the 100 greatest war films.166
- The Searchers (1956) was selected as the best western movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.46 (See also: Polls of critics and filmmakers above).
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) was chosen as the best western film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.167
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo) (1966). #1 on the top rated western titles at the Internet Movie Database.168
- Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). Empire Magazine ranks the film on its poll of "500 Greatest Movies of All Time" at #14, the highest ranking Western.
- Mad Max (1979): a post-apocalyptic action thriller starring Mel Gibson was voted the best Australian film ever by the Australian Film Institute.citation needed
- Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975): voted No. 1 of the Top 10 best-ever Australian films at 1995 centenary of Australian cinema.170
- Loft: voted the best Belgian film on Moviemeter.nl, followed by Man Bites Dog, The Memory of a Killer, Toto the Hero and Ben X.citation needed
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles: voted the best Belgian film on the "They Shoot Pictures" site (no. 142 in the Top 250).citation needed
- Académie André Delvaux, Union de la Critique de Cinéma and Ostend Film Festival awarded Mr. Nobody best Belgian film.171172173
- Bus 174 (2002). This documentary about a bus hijacking by José Padilha is the highest rated foreign film at Rotten Tomatoes.174
- City of God (2002) is the highest ranked Brazilian film on Empire magazine's "100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010175 and the highest rated Brazilian film on the IMDb Top 250 list.176
- Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964) has been selected by Brazilian critics as the best film of all time several times, such as the 27th edition of Brazilian film magazine Contracampo.177
- Jesus of Montreal (Jésus de Montréal) (1989): Ranked second on the All Time TIFF, and in a reader's poll conducted by Playback's list since its release. Winner of 12 Genie Awards at the 11th Genie Awards.
- Mon oncle Antoine (1971): A poll of critics at the 1984 Toronto International Film Festival and again at the 1993 and 2004 festivals named the greatest Canadian film of all time.178 8th in Playback's reader's poll.citation needed
- The Sweet Hereafter (1997): Voted the best Canadian film ever by readers of Playback,179 and a poll done by Canadian film insiders named it the best Canadian film of the last 15 years.180
- Wavelength (1967): the only Canadian film on the Village Voice's "100 Best Films of the 20th Century" ranking at #85.181
- Julio comienza en julio (1979): Chosen in 1999 as the "Best Chilean Film of the Century" in a vote organized by the Municipality of Santiago.183
- See Raise the Red Lantern in the Films acclaimed in audience polls section above.
- Spring in a Small Town (小城之春) (1948) was voted the best Chinese film ever made by the Hong Kong Film Awards Association in 2005. A Better Tomorrow (英雄本色) (1986) came in second place.184
- Farewell My Concubine (1993), directed by Chen Kaige, is the highest-ranking Asian film on Time Magazine's "Readers Top Rated" list.34
- Tko pjeva zlo ne misli (One Who Sings Means No Harm, 1970) was voted the best Croatian all time movie by the Croatian Society of Film Critics.
- Day of Wrath (Vredens dag) Carl Th. Dreyer's harrowing tale of adultery and repression is often cited in Denmark as the greatest Danish film.185
- Flickering Lights (Blinkende lygter) the 2000 comedy about small-time gangsters was voted the Best Danish Film in a 2007 poll by Ekstra Bladet newspaper. Thomas Vinterberg's The Celebration (Festen) was the runner-up.186
To mark the centennial of Egyptian cinema, Al Ahram daily newspaper asked the country's top 20 critics to choose the best 15 best Egyptian films of all time. This is the result of the poll (first published July 12, 2007):
- The Mummy (Al-Mummia) Directed by Chadi Abdel Salam (1969)
- The Sin ("El-Haram") Directed by Henry Barakat (1965)
- The Land ("Al-Ard") Directed by Youssef Chahine (1970)
- A Beginning and an End ("Bidaya wa Nihaya) Directed by Salah Abouseif (1960)
- The Bus Driver ("Sawaq El-Autobis") Directed by Atef E-Taieb (1983)
- The Collar and the Bracelet ("El Tooq wal Eswera") Directed by Khairy Beshara (1986)
- The Will (Al-Azima) Directed by Kamal Selim (1939)
- Cairo Station ("Bab El-Hadid") Directed by Youssef Chahine (1958)
- The Wife of an Important Man ("Zawgat Ragol Mohim") Directed by Mohamed Khan (1988)
- The Flirtation of Girls ("Ghazal Al-Banat") Directed by Anwar Wagdi (1949)
- Life or Death ("Haya aw Maut") Directed by Kamal El Sheikh (1954)
- The Nightingale's Prayer ("Doaa Al-Karawan") Directed by Henry Barakat (1959)
- The Innocent ("El-Baree'") Directed by Atef E-Taieb
- El-Kit Kat Directed by Daoud Abdel Sayed (1991)
- Terrorism and Kebab ("Al-Irhab wal kabab") Directed by Sherif Arafa (1992)
- Kevade (Spring, 1969) received the first place in the Estonian feature films Top Ten Poll in 2002 held by Estonian film critics and journalists.187
- The Unknown Soldier (1955) was voted the best Finnish movie in an Internet poll by Helsingin Sanomat in 2007.188
- Talvisota (The Winter War, 1989): is the highest user rated Finnish film on the IMDb having received more than 1000 votes.189
- La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) (1939/1950). See polls of critics and filmmakers.
- Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise) (1945/1946): Voted "Best French Film of the Century" in a poll of 600 French critics and professionals in the late 1990s.190
- Léon: The Professional (1994) is the highest ranked French film on IMDb's Top 250.24
- M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder by Fritz Lang is the highest rated German film in the IMDb.191
- Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh): See Films acclaimed by critics and filmmakers above.
- Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari): See Films acclaimed by critics and filmmakers above.
- Drunken Master II (1994), directed by Jackie Chan and Lau Kar-Leung, is the highest-ranking entirely Hong Kong production and third highest-ranking Asian film on Time Magazine's "Readers Top Rated" list.34
- Infernal Affairs (2002), directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, is the highest-ranking entirely Hong Kong production on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 Movies" list.192
- The Departed (2006), Martin Scorsese's remake of Infernal Affairs,193 is the highest-ranking Hong Kong co-production on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 Movies" list.24
In 2000, Hungarian film critics chose the so-called "Budapest 12",194 the twelve best films of Hungary:
- Szegénylegények (The Round-Up, 1965) – Miklós Jancsó
- Szerelem (Love, 1971) – Károly Makk
- Szindbád (Sinbad, 1971) – Zoltán Huszárik
- Emberek a havason (Men on the Mountain, 1942) – István Szőts
- Valahol Európában (Somewhere in Europe, 1948) – Géza von Radványi
- Megáll az idő (Time Stands Still, 1982) – Péter Gothár
- Hyppolit, a lakáj (Hyppolit, 1931) – István Székely
- Körhinta (Merry-Go-Round, 1956) – Zoltán Fábri
- A kis Valentino (Little Valentino, 1979) – András Jeles
- Az én XX. Századom (My 20th Century, 1989) – Ildikó Enyedi
- Apa (Father, 1966) – István Szabó
- Hannibál tanár úr (Professor Hannibal, 1956) – Zoltán Fábri
- The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959), a Bengali film trilogy directed by Satyajit Ray, appeared on the 1992 edition of the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll (ranked #88)195 and on The Village Voice's top 250 "Best Films of the Century" critics' poll (ranked #54).196197 It is the highest-ranking trilogy in both polls.
- Pather Panchali (1955), the first part of The Apu Trilogy and Satyajit Ray's debut film, appeared on the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll several times, in 1962 (ranked #11),195 1992 (ranked #6)198199 and 2002 (ranked #22).200201 It also appeared on The Village Voice top 250 "Best Films of the Century" critics' poll (tied at #12 with The Godfather).196197
- Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) (1959), the final part of Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy, was the highest-ranking Indian film in the 1982 Sight & Sound Critics' Poll (ranked #42), followed by two other Ray films The Music Room (1958) and Charulata (1964) tied at #56.202
- Mayabazar (1957), directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy and produced by B. Nagi Reddy, Aluri Chakrapani is a Telugu mythological film. The critically acclaimed Mayabazar is considered one of the enduring classics of Indian Cinema.IBN Live listed it as the greatest Indian film of all time.203204205 The film was touted as a landmark achievement in Indian film's cinematography, art direction and visual effects with the technology available at the time.
- The Hindi film Pyaasa (1957) and the Tamil film Nayagan (1987) both joined the Bengali Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) on Time Magazine's ALL-TIME 100 Movies list.34
- Sholay (Embers) (1975), a "Curry Western" Hindi film directed by Ramesh Sippy, topped the British Film Institute's poll of "Top 10 Indian Films" of all time.206
- Gandhi (1982), an Indian English biographical film about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi directed by Richard Attenborough,207 is the highest-ranked Indian co-production on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 Movies" list.24
- Lagaan (2001), directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and produced by Aamir Khan, is a Hindi historical sports film that received that became the third Hindi film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film after Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay! (1988). In 2010, Lagaan was ranked #55 in Empire magazines "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema,"208 and in 2011, it was listed in Time magazine's "The All-TIME 25 Best Sports Movies" list.209
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), directed by Aditya Chopra features in most lists of must see hindi movies of all times,210211
- Mughal-e-Azam (1960), later re-released in colour, is considered a classic in terms of grandeur, script, music and acting 212
- Romance: Awaara, Guide, Bobby,Rajnigandha, Kabhi Kabhie, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Rangeela, Devdas, Jab We Met, '
- Drama: Anand, Ardh Satya, Aakrosh, Mr. & Mrs. Iyer', Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Dev.D
- Family Drama: Uthiripookkal, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
- Action: Zanjeer, Deewar, Baazigar, Damini, Gadar, Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1,
- Comedy: Golmaal, Golmaal: Fun Unlimited, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Munnabhai MBBS, Dil Chahta Hai
- Crime/Terrorism: Slumdog Millionaire, Indian (Tamil), Bombay (Tamil), Roja (Tamil), A Wednesday
- Bashu, the Little Stranger (1986) was voted "Best Iranian Film of all time" in November 1999 by a Persian movie magazine "Picture world" poll of 150 Iranian critics and professionals.215
- A Separation (2011) was the first Iranian movie to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. It also won the Golden Globe in the same category
- The Commitments (1991) was voted the best Irish film of all time in a 2004 Jameson Whiskey poll of 10,000 Irish people, with My Left Foot coming second.216
- Giv'at Halfon Eina Ona (1976) was voted "Favorite Israeli Film of All Time" in a 2004 poll by Ynet, the web site of a popular Israeli newspaper. The film got votes from 25,000 surfers.217
- The Policeman (1971) was voted "Best Israeli Film of All Time" in 2008 poll by Cafe The Marker, affiliated with the prestigious Israeli newspaper Haaretz. More than 100 surfers and 7 film experts chose The Policeman. The movie finished ahead of Giv'at Halfon Eina Ona and Blaumilch Canal at a split second place.218
- Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette) (1948). See Polls of critics and filmmakers section above. Also listed at #22 on Entertainment Weekly's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.219
- 8½ (1963). Director Federico Fellini's film about filmmaking was the highest rated Italian film in the 2002 Sight & Sound poll of the best films of all time.220
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo) (1966) is the highest-ranking Italian production on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 Movies" list as voted by users,221 where it is listed as the 4th best film ever.24 (Also see Western section above.)
- Rashomon (羅生門), 1950: This film by Akira Kurosawa was the first Japanese film to gain worldwide acclaim. It is the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film in the Village Voice poll of "Best Films of the Century" (ranked #10).196 It also tied for the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film on the Sight and Sound 2002 Directors' Top Ten Poll (ranked #9).222
- Seven Samurai (七人の侍 Shichinin no Samurai), 1954: Also by Kurosawa, this period adventure film is frequently cited as the greatest Japanese film ever; at #12, it is the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 movies" list.223 It ranked, for the first time, at #3 in the 1982 Sight & Sound Critics' Top Ten Poll,224 appeared on the Sight & Sound Directors' Top Ten Poll in 1992 (ranked #10),225 tied for the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film in 2002 (ranked #9),222 and ranked #17 on the 2012 critics' poll.226 It is ranked #2 on Rotten Tomatoes' top 100 foreign films,174 and #1 on their top 100 action/adventure films.28 It was also voted the "Best Japanese Film ever" in a 1979 Kinema Junpo critics’ poll.227 It also topped Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" list.228
- Tokyo Story (東京物語 Tokyo Monogatari), 1953: Directed by Yasujirō Ozu, is the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film on the 2002 Sight and Sound Critics' Top Ten Poll (ranked #5).229 It was also declared the greatest film ever by Halliwell's Film Guide in 2005.230 In 2012, Tokyo Story topped the Sight & Sound directors' poll, dethroning Citizen Kane for the first time since the directors' poll began in 1992, and has also come third place in the 2012 critics' poll.3
- Ugetsu (雨月物語 Ugetsu Monogatari), 1953: Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, it was the highest-ranking Asian film in the Sight & Sound critics' polls in 1962 (ranked #4)231 and 1972 (ranked #10).232
- Before the Rain (1994) is a Milčo Mančevski film, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
- Pan's Labyrinth, a 2006 Mexican co-production, is the highest ranked Mexican or Latin American film on Empire magazine's "100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010.233
- Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange – 1977 – Paul Verhoeven): Voted best Dutch film ever made in a 2006 Internet poll by online film magazine Filmwereld.nl.citation needed
- Turks Fruit (Turkish Delight – 1973 – Paul Verhoeven): Voted best Dutch film of the 20th century at the 1999 Netherlands Film Festival.citation needed
- Zwartboek (Black Book – 2006 – Paul Verhoeven): Voted best Dutch film ever at the 2008 Netherlands Film Festival.234
See Lord of the Rings in the Films acclaimed in audience polls section above.
- Flåklypa Grand Prix (Pinchcliffe Grand Prix – 1975 – Ivo Caprino): The people's choice for "Best Norwegian Film of the Century" during the 2005 Bergen International Film Festival.235
- Ni Liv (Nine Lives – 1957 – Arne Skouen): The critics' choice for "Best Norwegian Film of the Century" during the 2005 Bergen International Film Festival.235
- Baji (1963), directed by S. Suleman, topped the British Film Institute's critics poll of "Top 10 Pakistani Films" of all time.236
- Aina (1977), directed by Nazr-ul-Islam, topped the British Film Institute's user poll of "Top 10 Pakistani Films" of all time.237
- Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light; 1975) by Lino Brocka was cited in numerous film anthologies and critical polls as the greatest Filipino film ever.238239
- City After Dark (originally entitled Manila by Night; 1980) by Ishmael Bernal was cited in a poll conducted in 1989 by film scholar Joel David and his UP criticism class as the best Filipino film of all time.240
- Himala (Miracle; 1982) by Ishmael Bernal won the 2008 CNN Asia Pacific Screen Awards Viewers Choice as "Best Asia-Pacific Film of All Time" (voted for by thousands of film fans around the world).241242243244
- Sexmission (Seksmisja) is the best Polish film of the last 30 years according to a 2005 poll by readers of three popular film magazines.245
- Seksmisja is also on the prominence position in the ranking of Polish movies on portal Filmweb.pl.246 Other positions from the first ten places are: Polish-French cooproduction The Pianist (2002), comedies: Day of the wacko (2002), Our Folks (1967), How I Unleashed World War II (1969), Teddy Bear (1980), Boys Don't Cry (2000), and dramas showing important social or political problems after 1989: The Debt (1999), Symmetry (2003), and Psy-Pigs (1992).
- Polish best awarded production are: A Short Film About Killing (European Film Award for Best Film in 1988), Man of Iron (Palme d'Or of 1981 Cannes Film Festival), and The Pianist (Palme d'Or of 2002 Cannes Film Festival).
Best 10 Romanian films as considered by the Union of Romanian Cineastes and the Film Critics Association247 (Uniunea Cineaştilor din România şi Asociaţia Criticilor de Film):
- Reconstituirea (The Reenactment – Lucian Pintilie, 1968)
- Pădurea spânzuraţilor (The Forest of the Hanged – Liviu Ciulei, 1965)
- Moartea domnului Lazarescu (The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu – Cristi Puiu, 2005
- 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days – Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
- Secvenţe (Sequences) – Alexandru Tatos, 1982
- Nunta de piatră (The Stone Wedding) – Mircea Veroiu, Dan Piţa. 1973
- La moara cu noroc (Victor Iliu. 1956)
- A fost sau n-a fost? (12:08 East of Bucharest – Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006)
- Probă de microfon (Microphone Test) (Mircea Daneliuc, 1979)
- Croaziera (The Cruise) (Mircea Daneliuc, 1981)
- Who's That Singing Over There (Ko to tamo peva, 1980) was in 1996 voted the best Serbian movie made in the 1947-1995 period by the members of the Yugoslavian Board of the Academy of Film Art and Science (AFUN).248
- Yesterday (2004 film) Released in 2004, the film became the first South African Film to be nominated for an Oscar.
- Tsotsi In 2006 the film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first South African Film to win an Oscar.
- Invictus (film) South African, American film about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted in that country following the dismantling of apartheid. Received two acting Academy Award Nominations.
- District 9 An independent science fiction action/thriller film directed by Neill Blomkamp. Adapted from Alive in Joburg, a 2005 short film directed by Blomkamp and produced by Sharlto Copley and Simon Hansen, depicts humanity, xenophobia, and social segregation. Nominated for four Academy Awards in 2010: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Editing.
- Obaltan (오발탄): Released in 1960. This film is widely regarded as the best South Korean film.249
- Oldboy (올드보이): This 2003 South Korean film is the highest ranked Korean film on Empire magazine's "100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010250 and the highest rated Korean language film on the Internet Movie Database's top 250 list.251 It also won the Grand Prix of the Jury at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.252
- La Caza (The Hunt, 1966) was chosen as the best Spanish film ever made by the Spanish website cineario.com.253
- On IMDb the highest user rated Spanish films are international co-productions, such as El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth; 2006; Spain, Mexico and USA), El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes; 2009; Argentina and Spain), Viridiana (1961; Spain and Mexico) and Mar adentro (The Sea Inside; 2004; Spain, France and Italy). The highest ranked entirely Spanish film is Pedro Almodóvar’s Hable con ella (Talk to Her, 2002).169
- Pura Handa Kaluwara (1997), also known as Death on a Full Moon Day, directed by P. Vithanage and starring Joe Abeywickrama, topped the British Film Institute's poll of "Top 10 Sri Lankan Films" of all time.254
- Ananta Rathiriya (1995), directed by P. Vithanage, topped the user poll of "Top 10 Sri Lankan Films" of all time.255
- The Emigrants (Utvandrarna): Jan Troell's naturalist masterwork is often cited in Sweden as the greatest Swedish film of all-time.citation needed
- Persona: Acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman's movie reached the highest position (#5 in 1972) of any Swedish film on any of Sight & Sound's lists of greatest films of all time.citation needed
- The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet), also directed by Ingmar Bergman, is the highest rated Swedish film on the IMDb top 250 list.24
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (traditional Chinese: 臥虎藏龍): is a 2000 Wuxia film directed by Ang Lee and co-produced by Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United States and China. The movie won over 40 awards. Including Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film(for Taiwan) and 3 other Academy Awards. Also, nominated for 6 other Academy Awards. The film grossed US$128 million in the United States and became the highest grossing foreign-language film in American history.
- Cape No. 7 (traditional Chinese: 海角七號): a movie in 2008 earned over $350 million NTD in just over a month to become the highest-grossing domestic film in Taiwanese history. It is also considered to be the film that revives the 10-year-lasting depression of Taiwanese cinema.257
In 2003 Ankara Sinema Derneği (Ankara Association for Cinema Culture) chose the "Best 10 Turkish films ever" by a poll among people who are interested in cinema professionally:258
- Yol (1982), Şerif Gören
- Umut (1970), Yılmaz Güney
- Sürü (1978), Zeki Ökten
- Muhsin Bey (1987), Yavuz Turgul
- Masumiyet (1997), Zeki Demirkubuz
- Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım (1978), Atıf Yılmaz
- Anayurt Oteli (1986), Ömer Kavur
- Susuz Yaz (1964), Metin Erksan
- Gelin (1973), Ömer Lütfi Akad
- Uzak (2002), Nuri Bilge Ceylan
- Земля (Earth), one of the World's twelve greatest films of all time (Brussels World's Fair, 1958).9259
- Пропала грамота (The Lost Letter), was banned in Soviet Union. 20 years later was awarded with Golden Pagoda during the Bangkok International Film Festival, 1991.
- Тіні забутих предків (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) received the British Academy Award and Grand Prix at Mar del Plata International Film Festival (1965)
- The Third Man (1949): Voted best British film ever by members of the British Film Institute in 1999.260 #3 on the Rotten Tomatoes list of the best mystery/suspense movies.135
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962): voted "best British film of all time" in August 2004 by a London Sunday Telegraph poll of Britain's leading filmmakers.261 (See also: Epic above).
- Get Carter (1971): Named best British film in a poll of 25 film critics by Total Film magazine in 2004.262
- Don't Look Now (1973): Named best British film in a poll of 150 film industry experts conducted by Time Out London in 2011.263
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) was voted the best British picture of all time by a 2004 poll by the UK arm of Amazon and Internet Movie Database.85
- Trainspotting (1996): Named best British film between 1984-2009 by a poll of critics and film professionals in The Observer.264
Since 1998, the American Film Institute has assembled juries of film community leaders and polled them for a series of top 100 lists. Two of the lists from the series, 100 Years... 100 Movies from 1998 and 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) from 2007, identified Citizen Kane as the best American film ever. In other years, AFI's jury members selected Some Like It Hot the greatest American comedy, Psycho as the most thrilling American movie, Casablanca as the greatest American love story, Singin' in the Rain as the greatest American film musical, and It's a Wonderful Life as the most inspiring American film.265
- Vertigo (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock topped the Sight & Sound critics' poll in 2012, dethroning Citizen Kane at the top of the critics' poll for the first time in 50 years since 1962. It has also been voted #8 in the directors' poll.3
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- AFI told their jury to consider "Movies that inspire with characters of vision and conviction who face adversity and often make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. Whether these movies end happily or not, they are ultimately triumphant—both filling audiences with hope and empowering them with the spirit of human potential."
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