Greatest Films - Extended List (ARCHIVED)

  1. 9.5/10
  2. Citizen Kane - Welles (1941)
  3. Metropolis - Lang (1927) ["The Complete Metropolis", 147 minutes]

  4. 9.4/10
  5. Underground - Kusturica (1995)
  6. Brazil - Gilliam (1985) [The Final Cut, 142 minutes]

  7. 9.3/10
  8. Nostalghia - Tarkovsky (1983)
  9. Lost Highway - Lynch (1997)

  10. 9.2/10
  11. Touch of Evil - Welles (1958) [Restored Welles' Cut, 108 minutes]
  12. North By Northwest - Hitchcock (1959)

  13. 9.1/10
  14. The Kingdom - Von Trier (1994)
  15. Nashville - Altman (1975)
  16. The Wild Bunch - Peckinpah (1969) [Director's Cut, 145 minutes]
  17. Mirror - Tarkovsky (1974)

  18. 9.0/10
  19. Persona - Bergman (1966)
  20. Possession - Zulawski (1981) [Original Cut, 123 minutes]
  21. Inland Empire - Lynch (2006)
  22. The Traveling Players - Angelopoulos (1975)
  23. The Passion of Joan of Arc - Dreyer (1927)
  24. Ikiru - Kurosawa (1952)

  25. 8.9/10
  26. Landscape in the Mist - Angelopoulos (1988)
  27. Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte - Aldrich (1965)
  28. Apocalypse Now - Coppola (1979) [Original Theatrical Release, 153 minutes]
  29. Vertigo - Alfred Hitchcock (1958)
  30. The Sacrifice - Tarkovsky (1986)
  31. 2001: A Space Odyssey - Kubrick (1968)
  32. Blade Runner - Scott (1982) [The Final Cut, 117 minutes]
  33. La Dolce Vita - Fellini (1960)
  34. The Godfather - Coppola (1972)

  35. 8.8/10
  36. Marnie - Hitchcock (1964)
  37. Natural Born Killers - Stone (1994) [Director's Cut, 123 minutes]
  38. Taxi Driver - Scorsese (1976)
  39. Greed - Von Stroheim (1924) [Studio Cut, 140 minutes]
  40. Stalker - Tarkovsky (1979)
  41. The Killer - Woo (1989)
  42. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - Greenaway (1989)
  43. Ran - Kurosawa (1985)

  44. Conspirators of Pleasure - Jan Svankmajer (1996) (8.8/10+, currently undecided on exact rating)

  45. 8.7/10
  46. Battleship Potemkin - Eisenstein (1925) [Fully Restored 2007 Kino Version]
  47. City of Lost Children - Jeunet (1995)
  48. Andrei Rublev - Tarkovsky (1966)
  49. Marketa Lazarova - Viacil (1967)

  50. 8.6/10
  51. Chinatown - Polanski (1974)
  52. 8 1/2 - Fellini (1963)
  53. Cries & Whispers - Bergman (1973)
  54. Belle de Jour - Bunuel (1967)
  55. Satantango - Tarr (1994)
  56. Raging Bull - Scorsese (1980)
  57. Pulp Fiction - Tarantino (1994)
  58. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Peckinpah (1974)
  59. On the Waterfront - Kazan (1954)
  60. Miracle in Milan - De Sica (1951)
  61. The Man With A Movie Camera - Vertov (1928)

  62. 8.5/10
  63. Earth - Dovzhenko (1930)
  64. Blue Velvet - Lynch (1986)
  65. Twelve Monkeys - Gilliam (1995)
  66. Eternity and a Day - Angelopoulos (1998)
  67. Europa - Von Trier (1991)
  68. Funny Games - Haneke (1997)
  69. The Ballad of Narayama - Imamura (1983)
  70. Wings of Desire - Wenders (1987)

  71. 8.4/10
  72. The Magnificent Ambersons - Welles (1942)
  73. Zardoz - Boorman (1972)
  74. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? - Aldrich (1962)
  75. The Lady from Shanghai - Welles (1948)
  76. Mr. Arkadin - Welles (1955) [The Comprehensive Version, 105 minutes]
  77. Dr. Akagi - Imamura (1998)
  78. Sunrise - Murnau (1927)
  79. Black Cat, White Cat - Kusturica (1998)
  80. Face/Off - Woo (1997)
  81. LA Confidential - Hanson (1998)
  82. Once Upon A Time In The West - Leone (1968)
  83. The Godfather, Part 2 - Coppola (1974)
  84. Raiders of the Lost Ark - Spielberg (1981)

  85. 8.3/10
  86. Blow Up - Antonioni (1966)
  87. Werckmeister Harmonies - Tarr (2000)
  88. Shock Corridor - Fuller (1963)
  89. Point Blank - Boorman (1967)
  90. Secret Ceremony - Losey (1968)
  91. Faust - Murnau (1926)
  92. The Phantom Carriage - Sjostrom (1921)
  93. The Circus - Chaplin (1928)
  94. Weekend - Godard (1967)
  95. Children of Paradise - Carne (1945)
  96. The Deer Hunter - Cimino (1978)
  97. The Seventh Seal - Bergman (1957)
  98. Wild Strawberries - Bergman (1957)
  99. The Terminator - Cameron (1984)

  100. 8.2/10
  101. The Last Laugh - Murnau (1924)
  102. A Face in the Crowd - Kazan (1957)
  103. Reservoir Dogs - Tarantino (1992)
  104. Leon: The Professional - Besson (1994)
  105. A Clockwork Orange - Kubrick (1971)
  106. Wild at Heart - Lynch (1990)
  107. Hard Boiled - Woo (1992)
  108. Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Spielberg (1977)
  109. The Seven Samurai - Kurosawa (1954)
  110. Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? - Yong-kyun (1989)

  111. 8.1/10
  112. Dressed To Kill - De Palma (1980)
  113. Splendor in the Grass - Kazan (1961)
  114. The Blue Angel - Von Sternberg (1930)
  115. L'Age D'Or - Bunuel (1930)
  116. Sansho the Bailiff - Mizoguchi (1954)
  117. Leaving Las Vegas - Figgis (1995)
  118. Come & See - Klimov (1985)
  119. The Color of Paradise - Majidi (1998)
  120. Red - Kieslowski (1994)
  121. The Red Shoes - Powell/Pressburger (1948)
  122. It's a Wonderful Life - Capra (1946)
  123. Ulysses' Gaze - Angelopoulos (1995)
  124. The Road Warrior - Miller (1981)
  125. The Birds - Hitchcock (1963)
  126. Dr. Strangelove - Kubrick (1964)
  127. The Great Dictator - Chaplin (1940)
  128. Othello - Welles (1952)
  129. Limelight - Chaplin (1952)
  130. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Huston (1948)
  131. To Be or Not To Be - Lubitsch (1947)
  132. The General - Keaton (1926)
  133. Mean Streets - Scorsese (1973)
  134. Maborosi - Kore-eda (1995)
  135. Dead Man - Jarmusch (1995)
  136. Bonnie & Clyde - Penn (1967)
  137. The Pillow Book - Greenaway (1996)

  138. 8.0/10
  139. Hiroshima, Mon Amour - Resnais (1959)
  140. The Graduate - Nichols (1967)
  141. After Hours - Scorsese (1985)
  142. After Life - Kore-eda (1998)
  143. Hour of the Wolf - Bergman (1968)
  144. Psycho - Hitchcock (1960)
  145. Memento - Nolan (2001)
  146. Miller's Crossing - Coen (1990)
  147. Delicatessen - Jeunet (1991)
  148. Rashomon - Kurosawa (1950)
  149. McCabe & Mrs. Miller - Altman (1971)
  150. Duel - Spielberg (1971)
  151. Rosemary's Baby - Polanski (1968)
  152. M - Lang (1931)
  153. Repulsion - Polanski (1965)
  154. Sunset Boulevard - Wilder (1950)
  155. Naked - Leigh (1993)
  156. Play Time - Tati (1967)
  157. Grand Illusion - Renoir (1937)
  158. Viridiana - Bunuel (1961)
  159. Hero - Yimou (2002)
  160. High Noon - Zimmerman (1952)
  161. The Holy Mountain - Jodorowsky (1973)
  162. Das Boot - Petersen (1981)
  163. The Big Sleep - Hawks (1946)

  164. 7.9/10
  165. Time - Ki-duk (2006)
  166. Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Siegel (1956)
  167. Old Boy - Chan-wook (2003)
  168. Dirty Harry - Siegel (1971)
  169. Some Like it Hot - Wilder (1959)
  170. The Exterminating Angel - Bunuel (1962)
  171. Something Wild - Demme (1986)
  172. Shallow Grave - Boyle (1994)
  173. The Conversation - Coppola (1974)
  174. Last Tango in Paris - Bertolucci (1972)
  175. Pi - Aronofsky (1998)
  176. Being John Malkovich - Jonze (1999)
  177. Blow Out - De Palma (1981)
  178. Jules & Jim - Truffaut (1961)
  179. Rear Window - Hitchcock (1954)
  180. The Rules of the Game - Renoir (1939)
  181. Vampyr - Dreyer (1931)
  182. La Strada - Fellini (1954)
  183. Mad Max - Miller (1980)
  184. Body Double - De Palma (1984)
  185. Aliens - Cameron (1986) [Theatrical Cut, 137 minutes]
  186. Scarface - Hawks (1932)
  187. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Wiene (1920)
  188. The Scarlet Empress - Von Sternberg (1934)
  189. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington - Capra (1939)
  190. The King of Comedy - Scorsese (1983)
  191. La Femme Nikita - Besson (1990)
  192. The Game - Fincher (1998)
  193. City Lights - Chaplin (1931)
  194. The 39 Steps - Hitchcock (1935)
  195. His Girl Friday - Hawks (1940)
  196. Ordet - Dreyer (1955)
  197. Alien - Scott (1979)
  198. Airplane - Zucker (1980)
  199. A Fish Called Wanda - Crichton (1988)

  200. 7.8/10
  201. The Ballad of Cable Hogue - Peckinpah (1970)
  202. Cache - Haneke (2005)
  203. 21 Grams - Inarritu (2003)
  204. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Gondry (2004)
  205. Star Wars - Lucas (1977)
  206. Deliverance - Boorman (1972)
  207. Petulia - Lester (1968)
  208. The Willow Tree - Majidi (2005)
  209. The French Connection - Friedkin (1971)
  210. Black Rain - Imamura (1989)
  211. If... - Anderson (1968)
  212. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Forman (1975)
  213. The Exorcist - Friedkin (1973)
  214. King of New York - Ferrara (1990)
  215. Silence of the Lambs - Demme (1991)
  216. Fargo - Coen (1996)
  217. Amateur - Hartley (1994)
  218. Breaking the Waves - Von Trier (1996)
  219. Schindler's List - Spielberg (1993)
  220. Meshes of the Afternoon - Deren (1943)
  221. Last Year at Marienbad - Resnais (1961)
  222. Soylent Green - Fleischer (1973)
  223. Walkabout - Roeg (1971)
  224. Night of the Living Dead - Romero (1968)
  225. Fatal Attraction - Lyne (1987)
  226. Peeping Tom - Powell (1960)
  227. The Last Picture Show - Bogdanovich (1971)
  228. The Sweet Hereafter - Egoyan (1998)
  229. Raising Arizona - Coen (1987)
  230. The Truman Show - Weir (1998)
  231. Strange Days - Bigelow (1995)
  232. Dogma - Smith (1999)
  233. Trainspotting - Boyle (1996)
  234. Annie Hall - Allen (1977)
  235. The Fifth Element - Besson (1996)
  236. Once Were Warriors - Tamahori (1994)

  237. 7.7/10
  238. Mulholland Drive - Lynch (2001)
  239. Videodrome - Cronenberg (1983)
  240. Network - Lumet (1976)
  241. The Empire Strikes Back - Kershner (1980)
  242. Belly of an Architect - Greenaway (1987)
  243. The Duchess of Langeais - Rivette (2007)
  244. All Quiet on the Western Front - Milestone (1930)
  245. Goodfellas - Scorsese (1990)
  246. Modern Times - Chaplin (1936)
  247. Duck Soup - McCarey/The Marx Brothers (1933)
  248. Sullivan's Travels - Sturges (1941)
  249. Bringing Up Baby - Hawks (1938)
  250. Jaws - Spielberg (1975)
  251. Woman Under The Influence - Cassavetes (1974)
  252. Funny Bones - Chelsom (1995)

  253. 7.6/10
  254. Synecdoche, New York - Kaufman (2008)
  255. The Getaway - Peckinpah (1972)
  256. The Tree of Life - Malick (2011)
  257. The Conformist - Bertolucci (1971)
  258. Birth of a Nation - Griffith (1915)
  259. Intolerance - Griffith (1916)
  260. Insignificance - Roeg (1985)
  261. The Trial - Welles (1962)
  262. Frantic - Polanski (1988)
  263. Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Hooper (1974)
  264. Black Narcissus - Powell (1947)
  265. Ivan the Terrible, Part 1 - Eisenstein (1944)
  266. The Crowd - Vidor (1928)
  267. The Manchurian Candidate - Frankenheimer (1962)
  268. The Third Man - Reed (1949)
  269. Pepe Le Moko - Duvivier (1937)
  270. Blue - Kieslowski (1993)
  271. The Searchers - Ford (1956)
  272. Under the Skin - Jonathan Glazer (2014)
  273. A Zed & Two Noughts - Greenaway (1985)
  274. Nosferatu - Murnau (1922)
  275. Simon of the Desert - Bunuel (1965)

  276. 7.5/10
  277. The Shining-Kubrick (1980)
  278. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Ford (1962)
  279. American Beauty - Mendes (1999)
  280. Prefab People - Tarr (1987)
  281. Platoon - Stone (1986)
  282. To Catch a Thief - Hitchcock (1955)
  283. Un Chien Andalou - Bunuel (1928)
  284. The Magician - Bergman (1958)
  285. All About Eve - Mankiewicz (1950)
  286. The Big Heat - Lang (1953)
  287. Kiss Me Deadly - Aldrich (1955)
  288. Blood Simple - Coen (1984)
  289. Notorious - Hitchcock (1946)
  290. The Andromeda Strain - Wise (1971)
  291. Amores Perros - Inarritu (2000)
  292. Stagecoach - Ford (1939)
  293. Shame - Bergman (1968)
  294. The Thin Red Line - Malick (1998)
  295. Paris, Texas - Wenders (1983)
  296. Tokyo Story - Ozu (1953)
  297. Alexander Nevsky - Eisenstein (1938)
  298. Broken Blossoms - Griffith (1919)
  299. Pather Panchali - Ray (1955)
  300. Don't Look Now - Roeg (1973)
  301. King Kong - Schoedsack (1933)
  302. The Gold Rush - Chaplin (1925)
  303. Damnation - Tarr (1989)
  304. The Seventh Continent - Haneke (1989)
  305. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring - Ki-duk (2003)
  306. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - Parajanov (1964)

  307. 7.4/10
  308. Southland Tales - Kelly (2005)
  309. The Science of Sleep - Gondry (2006)
  310. Ugetsu Monogatari - Mizoguchi (1953)
  311. The Piano - Campion (1993)
  312. Days of Heaven - Malick (1978)
  313. Amelie - Jeunet (2001)
  314. Magnolia - Anderson (1999)
  315. Forrest Gump - Zemeckis (1994)
  316. Fanny & Alexander - Bergman (1982)
  317. Cat Ballou - Silverstein (1965)
  318. Giant - Stevens (1955)
  319. Taxidermia - Palfi (2006)
  320. Double Indemnity - Wilder (1944)
  321. The Killing - Kubrick (1956)
  322. Rebecca - Hitchcock (1940)
  323. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Gilliam (1975)
  324. Robocop - Verhoeven (1987)
  325. Casino - Scorsese (1995)
  326. Spellbound - Hitchcock (1945)
  327. The Untouchables - De Palma (1987)
  328. Au Hasard Balthazar - Bresson (1966)
  329. Manhattan - Allen (1979)
  330. Life is Beautiful - Benigni (1997)
  331. Badlands - Malick (1973)
  332. The Lives of Others - Donnersmarck (2007)
  333. L'Avventura - Antonioni (1960)
  334. Midnight Cowboy - Schlesinger (1969)
  335. The Bride of Frankenstein - Whale (1935)
  336. Irma La Douce - Wilder (1963)
  337. Chungking Express - Kar Wai (1994)
  338. Planet of the Apes - Schaffner (1968)
  339. Pierrot le Fou - Godard (1965)
  340. World on a Wire - Fassbinder (1973)
  341. The Shanghai Gesture - Von Sternberg (1941)
  342. Exotica - Egoyan (1994)
  343. To Die For - Van Sant (1995)
  344. The Beat That My Heart Skipped - Audiard (2005)
  345. Ivan's Childhood - Tarkovsky (1962)
  346. Late Spring - Ozu (1949)
  347. Bicycle Thieves - DeSica (1948)
  348. Breathless - Godard (1959)
  349. Shadows - Cassavetes (1959)
  350. Drugstore Cowboy - Van Sant (1989)
  351. Solaris - Tarkovsky (1971)
  352. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - Weerasethakul (2010)
  353. Rain Man - Barry Levinson (1988)

  354. 7.3/10
  355. 2046 - Kar Wai (2004)
  356. There Will Be Blood - Anderson (2007)
  357. Dogville - Von Trier (2003)
  358. Smiles of a Summer Night - Bergman (1955)
  359. Adaptation - Jonze (2002)
  360. Waltz With Bashir - Folman (2008)
  361. Cabaret - Fosse (1972)
  362. The Eel - Imamura (1997)
  363. Yeelen - Cisse (1987)
  364. Aguirre, the Wrath of God - Herzog (1972)
  365. The African Queen - Huston (1951)
  366. Paths of Glory - Kubrick (1957)
  367. The Usual Suspects - Singer (1995)
  368. All About My Mother - Almodovar (1999)
  369. Thelma & Louise - Scott (1991)
  370. Shane - Stevens (1953)
  371. Melancholia - Von Trier (2011)
  372. No Country For Old Men - Coen (2007)
  373. Secrets & Lies - Leigh (1996)
  374. Requiem For A Dream - Aronofsky (2000)
  375. American Graffiti - Lucas (1973)
  376. The White Ribbon - Haneke (2009)
  377. Grave of the Fireflies - Takahata (1988)
  378. Europa Europa - Holland (1990)
  379. The Ice Storm - Egoyan (1997)
  380. The Virgin Spring - Bergman (1961)
  381. Eyes Wide Shut - Kubrick (1999)
  382. Working Girl - Nichols (1988)
  383. Zero for Conduct - Vigo (1933)
  384. Emperor of the North - Aldrich (1973)
  385. The Outlaw and His Wife - Sjostrom (1917)
  386. Heat - Mann (1995)
  387. Winter Light - Bergman (1962)
  388. Back To The Future - Zemeckis (1985)
  389. Hausu - Obayashi (1977)
  390. La Jetee - Marker (1962)
  391. Children of Men - Cuaron (2006)
  392. Night of the Hunter - Laughton (1955)
  393. The Draughtman's Contract - Greenaway (1982)
  394. Laura - Preminger (1944)
  395. Full Metal Jacket - Kubrick (1987)
  396. The State I Am In - Petzold (2000)
  397. Freaks - Browning (1932)
  398. The Grapes of Wrath - Ford (1940)
  399. Dog Day Afternoon - Lumet (1975)
  400. L'Atalante - Vigo (1934)
  401. Beetlejuice - Burton (1988)
  402. Blues Brothers - Landis (1980)
  403. Dead Ringers - Cronenberg (1988)
  404. The Devil's Advocate - Hackford (1997)
  405. Chimes at Midnight - Welles (1966)
  406. Faces - Cassavetes (1968)
  407. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Hill (1969)
  408. Wayne's World - Spheeris (1992)
  409. Ghostbusters - Reitman (1984)
  410. The Purple Rose of Cairo - Allen (1985)
  411. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - Zemeckis (1988)
  412. Do the Right Thing - Lee (1989)
  413. The Apartment - Wilder (1960)
  414. The Day the Earth Stood Still - Wise (1951)
  415. Die Hard - McTiernan (1988)

hello, how do you make that yellow strip through your list?

Add the plus symbol before the line you want to highlight. You may need to add an underline symbol just following the "plus", depending on the type of list you're creating.

Notes: this will sooner or later be rectified (I am rewatching tons of films as well as a steady flow of new ones), but currently this list is most accurate from the top down. In other words, the higher you go the more accurate the list becomes. This is mainly because, usually, I've watched those ones several times more than the lower ones, so am more certain of their exact rating and position. This is also why there's been so much change recently with the 7.3's and at other various points.

Also, it is a good estimate that there will sooner or later be several more films in the 7.9-8.7 range than there are now, whether through new discoveries ranking there, or by rewatching and upgrading films already ranked.

Holy shitfuckdamn this is exact!

Yep ( :

I'm getting increasingly sensitive to the nuances that separate the films overall rating, point to miniscule point.

This works for a single authored list like this, which I like more than lumping a bunch of stuff together (ahem...). I still think is stupid for using it with 100's of authors. And...Brazil!!! I love it, but wow! I can't remember how great Possession was, only how crazy it got as it progressed. I still don't understand the greatness behind NBK or Blow-Up, but I have Mallrats and Dazed and Confused up as high. It's nice to see Color of paradise high too. End slightly random transmission of thoughts.

I too agree that a personalized list is usually better than the lumped together lists, particularly if a certain criteria is followed and stuck with throughout - then there's some more sense and organization behind it and it's easier to relate to (even at points of disagreement).

Pretty much anything I have to say on NBK is covered in my "Guide to Greatest Films" review. Possession is unbelievable. I have it on order to see again soon, and hopefully after that, I'll write a review. Blow Up too, perhaps soon? I hope... it's definitely one of the more difficult ones to analyze/explain...

I am intrigued by your high rating of Natural Born Killers. What qualities of it impress you? I hear lots of negative reviews, so I never checked it out.

EDIT: Now that I've watched it to see, I am really, really impressed by it as a visceral experience. I feel that one or two more watches might be necessary to really absorb what it's trying to get across (beyond the obvious major theme of media exploitation of violence). I would love to hear your take on it, though.

First off, make sure it's the Director's Cut if you haven't already, which in particular elevates the apocalyptic finale in the prison to a whole new level.

Natural Born Killers is one of the most astonishing visual experiences in cinema: a surreal, apocalyptic nightmare which in itself is not only a damning, excessive (but accurate) depiction of the media hordes, but even more importantly from an emotional perspective is that the entire film is a terrifying state of mind; a forced, frenzied plunge into the horrifying inner world & psychotic state of its characters--virtually every shot/sequence is psychotically altered to depict violent, surreal, mercurial changes in the varying mental states of its protagonists. It accomplishes this not only by its visual state but also through the constant influx of sequencing & shots through the maniacal editing, which takes Eisensteinian montage from Battleship Potemkin to the extreme.

Natural Born Killers could be likened to the album Nail by Foetus. I highly recommend listening to "album equivalents" as companion pieces while going throug the best films (and vice versa, while going through the best albums). See my "Greatest Films & Their Album Equivalents" list if you haven't already.

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate the suggestions I've taken from this list so far. Just finished The Kingdom (just the first four episodes) today. What a devastating work! Just massive, and the editing style creates such a confused, exciting sense of space. Dizzying in the best ways, but also with a great sense of humor and a good amount of scares. Do you recommend the second part, as well?

Thanks ( : Its combination of (very black) comedy, horror, ensemble drama, satire, etc is indeed overwhelming... You know, for some reason I haven't seen the 2nd series yet. If you do, please let me know how it is.

AfterHours, you might like Criticker. They have a 100 point rating scale for movies _and_ it does an incredibly accurate job of predicting future scores on movies.

Thanks, you're right: it is a very good site and it did a better job than I would've expected with its score predictions.

Woah, great list. How old might you be?

Thanks :) 32

You're welcome. I also love 2001, Citizen Kane, and others. Have you seen House, the 1977 Japanese film?

Woah, that's old.

Yea, it's completely absurd and nonsensical. Amazing visuals and editing.

Agree with you there.

Many thanks for the great list! It, certainly, will help to orient for fans of cinema in the ocean of the cinema production. But, as it seems to me, this list reflects purely a subjective view. And there is also another, may be alternative, may be fuller and, the most important thing, more objective list (The Top 1000 Movies of all time) at FilmGourmand.In the same place, on this site, objective criteria of inclusion of films into the list of the best movies are specified.

Why is an objective list "the most important thing"?

All is very simple. The lists published in a network or somewhere else, serve as a certain reference point for the people who are doing not wish and not having possibility to spend the personal time for watching all films for defining, which films are worthy for appreciation and which are not. Therefore, having a respect for such people, and, in my opinion, there are majority of them, it is necessary to give as much as possible objective information, instead of to show the subjective view. As simple as that.

Thank you

NOTE: At this point in time, this list is quite a bit more accurate from 7.8 on up than from 7.3 - 7.7 (some 7.3's or 7.4's could really be 7.4's and 7.5's, a handful of 7.5's - 7.7's could be 7.8+, etc...). I am going to be discovering the remaining 7.3's - 7.7's (probably a minimum of 100 more) so now that portion of the list will gradually fill out and get more solidified. Also, I estimate there are at least 30 more 7.8+ to find (or upgrade from the 7.3 - 7.7 range), and possibly some more 8.5's, and I'm also holding out hope that I'll find a few more 9's, so I'll be filling out those echelons simultaneously as needed.

Such an amazing list. The best I've ever seen. I have been watching all the films on it.

Thanks, it will be fun to watch your own list expand. It already has so many amazing films on it :-)

What about Se7en? I personally found it much better than Silence of the Lambs (the other cult film in this category). It should be at least a 8/10 (if not a 9/10) :)

Yes, they do share similarities don't they? Really, I'd have to see it again. It's been years but I remember it being, pardon the pun, a 7 - though, again, it's been at least 7-8 years since I saw it.


Oh God, so many 7s.

The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile. What do you think of this Stephen King - Frank Darabont masterpieces?

I think they're both solid, affecting films. I'd rate them 6, 6.5-ish, but obviously plenty of people would disagree with me and say they're two of the greatest films ever (particularly Shawshank Redemption).

As a film, The Green Mile was the biggest surprise for me. I've never thought this kind of film would enter my top 20. Maybe it's not a perfect film, but I think it's the most emotional film of all time, above everything else.

Whoops, missed this comment! I remember it being emotional too. I'd say the most emotionally moving "Hollywood" film of all time is probably Schindler's List. Another one I'd rank highly that is in a style that influenced Spielberg/Hollywood filmmaking, is Kurosawa's Ikiru. Overall, I'd probably rank Tarkovsky's Nostalghia, Angelopoulos' Traveling Players, Landscape in the Mist, and perhaps Zulawksi's Possession at or near the top. Possession is so catastrophically, ferociously devastating. And Landscape in the Mist, Traveling Players and Nostalghia are so emotionally moving in such amazingly profound ways that the effect, combined with such awe, is "reverberating" and overwhelming.

Another question: I'd say all your top picks (9.0's and above) are in my top 100, or close. They're very original, profound, well-directed, emotionally moving films. But there's one pick I don't understand: North By Northwest. Of course, it's an essential piece of entertaining cinema, I respect it very much. But it's really better than Mirror, Persona or Underground etc.? Vertigo and Psycho (and maybe Rear Window) are more profound, complex, and significant. On the other side of the coin, North by Nortwest perhaps one of the most entertaining film of the era, and very dynamic. However, this list doesn't contain this kind of films (except Aliens) in the top 100. Considering your taste in cinema, seems illogical to me (like mine's pick The Green Mile considering my taste) Of course, I would'nt like to mean that you are wrong about this rating, but I'm curious why you rank this so high.

North by Northwest is possibly the most misunderstood choice of my 9/10's and yours is a question that gets asked from time to time. I do plan on writing a review of the film on my "Guide to Greatest Films" list which will explain why in detail. There is MUCH more than initially meets the eye with North by Northwest, and it is indeed one of the most astonishing, powerful films ever made. Each climax of the film is a collision of several themes/genres volcanically merging and each is a life-changing/character-altering experience for the protagonist. Every thing in the film is suspenseful, from the plot, to each conversation. Each theme is met with several dichotomies during the action: suspenseful and death-defying while being screwball comedy and hilarious, etc. The entire film adds up to a relentless overhaul of the main character, whereupon a life he denies is forced on him unwittingly and he eventually becomes a person who didn't exist. Throughout the majority of the film he is left defenseless as this happens in each episode, but by the end he is anarchic towards both sides and has grown into a self-determined individual who takes control of his own fate regardless of either side. All of this takes place in scenes of grave danger, ridiculous irony and gloriously vivid spectacle. Lastly, even though all this is in plain sight and right there to experience, Hitchcock "hides" it in the breeziness and "entertainment" of the film, in an act of defiance to the audience/critics (who at the time had dismissed Vertigo) - a grand joke on them who don't realize the depth and power of what they are watching (no offense to you or anyone else - it took me several viewings to see this).

Damn, I've hardly had time to talk (type) about it, but it has been so friggin' amazing discovering (and rediscovering) all these films. Just looking through this list often brings goosebumps and makes me want to rewatch any film on here that I haven't seen recently! And here I thought I'd actually make the time to start going through music (particularly classical) again... More than likely I will get back into music at a later time. The way things are going, there's probably still another 100+ movies to add in the 7.3+ range. Yes, I know I said the same thing some 70-odd additions ago, hence the plus symbol :)

City Lights is too low!

I might agree. I do need to watch it again. I could see it being as high as a 7.6 or 7.7 maybe :)

I think it's a great movie, but only that, until the ending, one of the best ever. That would be a good list, without spoilers, what would be your top endings of movies?

Depends on how you define “ending”. Is it the last shot, the last few scenes, or the last full sequence? You can make the case that the entire Kurtz compound sequence is Apocalypse Now’s “ending” or the entire last 30-ish minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey is its “ending”, or the last 1/2 of Nostalghia, or the entire last hour-ish (“Furioso”) of Metropolis. If we’re talking “short” endings (approx 15 min or less?), then these could be the best imo, in possibly the following order:

-2001: A Space Odyssey (Aftermath of Dave’s landing: advancing through subconscious [after]lifetime inside “cosmic bedroom” + final shot of star child towards Earth)
-Nostalghia (final Domenico/Andrei sequences + final shot)
-Brazil (funeral + vertigo + underground chase + home sweet home + torture chair)
-Blade Runner (Deckard vs Roy in the Bradford + metaphysical and physical ascension + tears in rain + Deckard/Rachel escape)
-Aliens (going back to rescue little girl + finale vs Queen + escape + surprise)
-Mulholland Drive (everything switches around and comes full circle)  note: would have to watch again to be certain of its inclusion and rank (don’t remember exactly how long the whole finale is [probably 30 min more], where to cut it, or exactly how amazing the last 15 min of it are)
-Touch of Evil (Entire sequence of attempting to get Quinlan’s confession + final shootout + death + “metaphor for the end of Welles/film noir” fade out)
-Earth (Multi-faceted montage finale)
-The Wild Bunch (final shootout + closing scene)
-Possession (ascending the staircase + multiple deaths/doppelganger + child's bath + marriage as metaphor for WW III)
-Lady from Shanghai (Welles descends through crazy house + mirrors + death scenes)
-Vertigo (Revisiting the Mission + dramatic ascension + reliving the fall as cure for vertigo)
-The Killer (shoot out in Church + blind lovers)
-Taxi Driver (suicide mission + taking Betsy home)
-Come & See (Hitler in reverse + POV onto the next battle)
-M (Trial + closing shot about protecting our children)
-Blow Up (no body + mimes + tennis + fade out of existence)
-It’s a Wonderful Life (joyous return to the present)
-Chinatown (Chinatown sequence)
-Rosemary’s Baby (Rosemary, in between a dream and reality, leaves bed and confronts her neighbors as Satanists, her husband as cohort and the Devil’s baby as her own)

NOTE: I’d probably include Hard Boiled but I have no idea where to cut it so that the ending is relatively “short” enough – the hospital finale is long and continuous. Same with Metropolis: the final hour-ish is continuous and is probably the greatest sequence in film history.

Several others came VERY close and deserve serious consideration (in no particular order): Dead Man, Synecdoche New York, Greed, Seventh Continent, North by Northwest, Color of Paradise, Werckmeister Harmonies, Landscape in the Mist, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Repulsion, Aguirre the Wrath of God, Citizen Kane, Ikiru, Kiss Me Deadly, Sunset Boulevard, Blue Angel, Delicatessen, Funny Games, Dressed to Kill, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, The Godfather, Godfather Part 2, Star Wars, L’Age d’Or, Time, Dr Strangelove, King of New York, Eraserhead, Freaks, Pi, 12 Monkeys, Sacrifice, Dr Akagi, Underground, Stalker, Blow Out, La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, Satantango, The Traveling Players, Eternity and a Day, Nashville, Europa, Michael Clayton, The Professional, Pulp Fiction, The Circus, Limelight, Memento, Dr Akagi, Zardoz, Persona, Mirror, Solaris, Dancer in the Dark, The Fountain, Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, 21 Grams, Memento, Mean Streets, Ballad of Narayama, Last Tango in Paris, Apocalypse Now, Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Reservoir Dogs, Melancholia, Breaking the Waves, The Kingdom, Lost Highway, Secret Ceremony, Petulia, Giant, Rules of the Game, Insignificance, The Willow Tree, Southland Tales, Uncle Boonmee, etc, etc, etc – most of the films on my Extended List have great endings.

Thanks for that, the fact that I've seen over three quarters of the main list means that I'm on my way to watching the best movies. Unfortunately, I'm at the stage where I have seen them all only once, and have to rewatch them. I may be freeing up even more time on my already sparse schedule, so I'll jump into that.

If I had to pick from memory, I'd go with 2001, Come and See, City Lights, Brazil, and the Kingdom, if you count it as a movie, off the top of my head. Get on Riget II!

Whoops, forgot Face/Off (boat chase + final duel + familial return and addition) and North by Northwest (scaling the faces of Mt Rushmore + near death + jump cut to honeymoon), both of which would probably be in the top 20 above so we might remove the two Polanski's to make room... hmmmmm... it's too close to call... whatever...

So nice to come back to Listology and see that you have come around on what might be my favorite film of all time, Brazil!

"Come around"? :) I've rated it 9.2/10 for the last few years! But anyway, nice to have you back! We were gonna start playing "Where's Waldo" around here! :)

Touch of Evil over Citizen Kane, nice to see that. Welles' best film IMO

Possibly :) We'll see if it holds with Citizen Kane screaming at me to move it to #1 over the last couple weeks. Whether I do so or not, the difference is marginal - both are 2 of the greatest works of art in history.

I see you have Sunrise by Murnau rated at an 8.5. After seeing it in the Sight and Sound poll, and in the Top 10, I am intrigued by it.
What is your opinion of it and what should I be expecting in order to get the most out of the film?

Also, any plans to rewatch Tokyo Story? I have watched it 3 times this week and it has cracked my top 10. Beautiful.

Sunrise is incredible. It's poetic and like a fairytale. It submerges the viewer in a dreamy world of surreal romanticism. The environments become extensions of the characters states of mind, and it uses amazing silent film era special effects that, like films such as Metropolis and Faust, still astonish to this day for their ingenuity, craft and expressiveness. Visually it was way ahead of its time. Combined with Murnau's famed camera movement, several sequences become virtually 3D.

I've seen Tokyo Story 5 times I think. Relatively speaking (compared to a masterpiece in my own criteria), I doubt it has enough layers of content/meaning/depth etc and/or enough emotional power from start to finish, to change much in rating. But I'd love to have more Japenese films at or near the top so I'm all for it if that changes at some point for me. Still, it's difficult to imagine it rating much higher on my scale (maybe 7.5 instead of 7.3, but is it more amazing than the likes of Werckmeister Harmonies, Synecdoche NY, Spring Summer Fall Winter and Spring, etc?). That said, it's last 1/4 or 1/3 or so is very moving and usually draws some tears, or nearly so. But if you want a comparison in terms of a 7.5 like Tokyo Story vs a masterpiece, I find Kurosawa's Ikiru vastly superior (even if less "subtle"). It accomplishes much more depth imo while being even more moving from start to finish.

one more thing...

do you think bluray quality will improve Sunrise if I choose to buy it?

YES, absolutely get Blu Ray, but see if the quality rates high on a site such as Slant Magazine first. Some companies do cheap jobs even with Blu Ray and this site is good at telling the truth in that regard (plus has well written, interesting reviews of the films themselves).

Ikiru moved up from #26 to #24 ... Rear Window, from 7.3 to 7.4 ...

You know what I was just thinking? Was just thinking about how Mr. Arkadin, a film I should prob rate higher and will prob rate higher upon another viewing, is like an amassment of Citizen Kane and North By Northwest.

I've thought that exact same comparison before :)

Have you watched Alien?

Yes, it's great. At worst a "high" 7 (7.2), but probably should be on this list ... just haven't watched it in a few years and need to see it again to be sure

I'm going back through many films as well as discovering a slew of new ones. Expect lots of changes -- too many to bother accounting for all of them on my "top 10 albums and movies of the week" list. A majority of the ones I am re-watching are getting re-rated. Every time I make my rounds through these films and new ones, my understanding of the art form has increased, thus the changes.

See my "NOTE" above, between my 7.7/10 & 7.8/10 ratings, for a general update regarding this list.

Okay ... it's been an exhausting/rewarding few weeks of film watching. I believe this list is now updated to the point where it includes every 7.3+ film I presently consider worthy -- though, it's somewhat inaccurate, especially 7.7 on down, on where they rate/rank. Several of the 7.3-7.5 are probably 7.6-7.7, and perhaps 7.8+, if I were to re-watch them, and there's probably a handful of 7.8-8.2's that are actually 8.3+ ... Per the "law of averages" (if it even applies to such a thing as this) there will likely be a handful more 7.6's, 7.7's, 8.2's and 8.7's to add, as these are each very slim relative to the other ratings. These will either come from what's already on here being upgraded, or the dozens (I estimate 150 minimum) of films yet to see that will probably make 7.3+... That means I estimate this list should be at least 500 strong...

Some films I highly recommend (including my personal ratings)

Alex Cox: Repo Man (1984) 7.4/10
David Fincher: Fight Club (1999) 7.8/10
Stanley Kubrick: The Shining (1980) 8.4/10 [an insightful review by Roger Ebert]
Richard Linklater: Waking Life (2001) 7.2/10

Also, have you considered extending this list into the 7/10 range or is 7.3/10 the permanent cut-off point?

Thanks, I currently rate Repo Man, Fight Club and Waking Life in the 7 - 7.2 range. The Shining is 7.5 on this list (but has been as high as 8.8+ for me before). I've considered extending it, but if I do, would likely only be done after I fill out the 7.3+ range (probably 500+ entries).

I just watched Meshes of the Afternoon and, well, I enjoyed the surreal atmosphere and visuals but I don't see what makes it an 8/10? I'd like to see your interpretation of the events...

Well the film is short and I'm not going to go into it shot-by-shot for a full interpretation, but... the film has a haunting dream logic... Much of it is POV... it has an extraordinary and surreal visual sense and sense of movement w/ several scenes from that POV capturing the feeling of slowly falling or levitating ... the film is short but may be a metaphoric nightmare on an eternal cycle of birth-to-death ... the character's movement seems to be not of this world, seems to be trapped, disoriented in an out-of-body experience following death, then re-experiencing its fleeting sensations over and over in different alterations of memory/reality/surreality, but continually flummoxed -- as if, once outside her body she no longer understands the world around her and isn't subject to the laws of the physical universe, continually fraught by re-experiencing/acting out her recent death -- fixated and confused by this incident, by what happened to her...

I got all that, but still thought the film was worth at most a 7.5/10. Oh well.....

Well then, there you go. It's all subjective...

Amazing 3 1/2 minute excerpt/tribute to Tarkovsky's Nostalghia, perhaps the most profoundly moving film ever made:

they don't shoot pictures created this list of the most acclaimed directors of the 21st century.

What do you think?

Looks pretty accurate as most acclaimed. Not really sure who I would consider the best of the decade. Lynch or Haneke probably

You forgot to add Dial M for Murder to the list!

Whoops -- thanks, I'll add it as soon as I figure out where

NOTE: This list is going through changes right now. There are currently several omissions and also the order is not as reliable as it could be (it's fine in parts but not so much in others). I'll be updating it bit by bit in the near future.

Regardless, it is likely that all (or virtually all) of the films listed are still worthy of the list (7.3+) so they all remain highly recommended even if their exact ratings/rankings aren't currently "perfect". It is more likely that a good number of the selections will move up the ratings rather than down, and that in due time several will be added to the 7.3-7.7 range that hadn't been listed yet.

About your list I miss these titles
2.Metropolis-Lang (1927) ["The Complete Metropolis", 147 minutes]
4.Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [The Final Cut, 142 minutes]
5.Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983)
10.The Kingdom-Von Trier (1994)
11.Greed-Von Stroheim (1924) [Studio Cut, 140 minutes]
16.Landscape in the Mist-Angelopoulos (1988)
25.The Traveling Players-Angelopoulos (1975)
31.The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1998)
37.The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover-Greenaway (1989)
41.City of Lost Children-Jeunet (1995)
44.Miracle in Milan-De Sica (1951)
45.The Man With A Movie Camera-Vertov (1928)
51.Earth-Dovzhenko (1930)
52.Satantango-Tarr (1994)
54.Wings of Desire-Wenders (1987)
58.Zardoz-Boorman (1972)
61.12 Monkeys-Gilliam (1995)
62.Dr. Akagi-Imamura (1998)
64.The Blue Angel-Von Sternberg (1930)
69.Europa-Von Trier (1991)
71.Secret Ceremony-Losey (1968)
86.La Strada-Fellini (1954)
87.Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998)
91.The Last Laugh-Murnau (1924)
92.A Face in the Crowd-Kazan (1957)
93.Reservoir Dogs-Tarantino (1992)
94.Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994)
95.Close Encounters of the Third Kind-Spielberg (1977)
96.The Seven Samurai-Kurosawa (1954)
97.To Be or Not To Be-Lubitsch (1947)
98.Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?-Yong-kyun (1989)
101.Hard Boiled-Woo (1992)
104.The Road Warrior-Miller (1981)
107.Dead Man-Jarmusch (1995)
108.Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954)
110.The Pillow Book-Greenaway

Out of those, I'd probably recommend these ones the most strongly to you:

Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983)
Landscape in the Mist-Angelopoulos (1988)
The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1998)
Wings of Desire-Wenders (1987)
Europa-Von Trier (1991)
Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998)
Dead Man-Jarmusch (1995)
Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954)

Damn, I have so many films to watch :o I hope by next month, there would be only around 300 films on this list left to watch though.

Good luck, it took me awhile too :-)

What's the secret to unlocking Face/Off's genius? :/

Briefly ... the action scenes and emotional scenes are sensationally shot and choreographed but also extremely perverse while also remaining intense/affecting -- the presentation of the scenes themselves are metaphors of the personality clash/dichotomy between Cage and Travolta: the opening scene of his sons death is shot like a fairy tale in slo-mo -- its both criminal/horrific but also beautiful and child-like and innocent, the combination of which is perverse/insane; the near-finale in the Church, doves flying about, etc... the film continually tops itself in escalations of the insanity between the personality switches of the two leads, until he finally kills ... himself, staring at his own death scene as if looking in the mirror, shaken by not being able to tell the difference any longer. And then, to top it all off, it ends with him adopting Cage's son to replace the death of his own son ... again, restarting the cycle (of Cage/Travolta), the scene is both beautiful and perverse/insane (with the same shot composition/cinematography and slo-mo as the opening)...

The opening scene is brilliant, I agree, and the action scene near the end was great as well. All of this is obvious enough for me to give it a 7/10 only though. I think I get Face/Off fine, but just don't think it's impressive to the degree you do.

I think I should've asked about Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs instead.

Cool, a 7/10 is still excellent (if a 7/10 is as good as mine in your ratings system) ... Pulp Fiction is Tarantino presenting a series of retro characters that recall old crime films and leading them into situations that defy the immediate expectations that those characters would get into in those old crime films, instead exploding those situations from the retro past into violent or intense modern-style dilemmas, including the structure of the plot and their verbose interactions with one another. It also has a visual sense that tends to turn the characters into larger-than-life mythic figures (as if exploding off the climactic pages from a comic book).

Reservoir Dogs has some similarities in that regard, subverting expectations, and never showing the actual crime scene, making it character (and their madness in its aftermath) driven. It's a bit more relentless/economical (if less thematic and visually provocative) in its tensions and brutality. Its sort of a spin on the 12 Angry Men gimmick. As one learns more about the characters through situations and in their flashbacks, the scenes become increasingly tense until the volcanic release of the conclusion where every character in the scene turns against one another.

Regardless, you're better off viewing more of the history of cinema to more fully appreciate the depth of what other great modern directors like Tarantino are doing/alluding to. He displays a striking verbal and conversational delivery that seems founded in Howard Hawks (Big Sleep, His Girl Friday, etc), but more directly from Scorsese (such as Goodfellas and Mean Streets). And a visual, thematic and editing sense that again recalls Scorsese directly, but runs even deeper through Peckinpah (Wild Bunch, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia) and back to Welles (Touch of Evil, and in how it turns its characters into larger than life B-movie mythic figures [especially Quinlan] and throws them into situations that subvert expectations by exploding into strikingly vivid modern situations). Perhaps it's all most accurately encapsulated in Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West which does a similar thing to Westerns though in a more operatic fashion -- and clearly a major influence on Tarantino.

Interesting points about Pulp Fiction. Maybe it's the larger-than-life characterization and length that turn me off somewhat despite those things being among its strengths. I like Reservoir Dogs more for the very reasons you mentioned ("12 Angry Men gimmick" is pretty appropriate as 12 Angry Men is one of my favourite movies!) I guess comparing Pulp Fiction to Reservoir Dogs is like comparing VU&N to WL/WH: the former does more interesting things and is more diverse/longer while the second one is simply more enjoyable. [EDIT: Just noticed on your Comparing Albums To Films list that Pulp Fiction is a candidate for VU&N and Reservoir Dogs for WL/WH :D]

Thanks for these suggestions, I do need to watch those films.

As for our rating systems, I think they're similar enough though maybe not exactly the same. 6.5-7/10=good, 6/10=okay but flawed, something like that.

Re: Comparing Albums to Films ... yep, both for WL/WH, probably just Pulp Fiction for VU & Nico -- two of the more difficult albums to find a close comparison to. Several films share certain characteristics but I'm not quite sure if any have the whole package. Maybe such a close approximation doesn't exist for those albums?

For VU and Nico it is very difficult to find a film that visualizes the suffocating, oppressive, expressionistic "deaf noise" atmosphere of the album AND also has a similar series of episodes/situations ... Touch of Evil may be the closest (but is it too "un-serious/uninhibited" to be oppressive?). Taxi Driver has the visualization down and even bookends pretty closely to how the album does, but I'm not sure if its mid-section keeps up with VU & Nico's (especially All Tomorrow's Parties, Heroin). I'm warming up to both Alfredo Garcia and Clockwork Orange as possibilities, and I've long considered Lost Highway a possibility... re: Pulp Fiction, it has similar situations/emotional arc but, like I mentioned with Touch of Evil, it may be too "uninhibited/un-serious" and doesn't seem to exhibit its suffocating, oppressive, expressionistic, "deaf noise" at all (unless I'm missing something about it) ... and Von Stroheim's Greed might be the ticket if I could just watch the darn thing again (very difficult to find, especially a decent copy, currently only on VHS) ... For WL/WH there are a group of films that exhibit similar structure/themes but I'm not sure if one exists that spends most of one of its halves (preferably the second half) following the black mass of relentless oblivion to the degree that VU's Sister Ray does.

Yep, as always, it comes down to a matter of opinion -- subjective...blah blah... Any plans to creating and consistently updating a "Best Films" list?

Not really; my 1001 Films Before You Die Rated list is pretty close though.

Whoops :) I hadn't looked at it until now because I thought it was just a copy of the 1001 Films Before You Die book list. I'd missed the "rated" part of the title. Nice, I'll keep up on that one

Funny Games was great. Truly underrated.

I agree, it's amazing how much "hate" that film gets! Though I guess it does mess with the viewer quite a bit!

I interpreted the breaking of the fourth wall and the rewinding scene as bridging the gap between art and reality. Of course that is literally what it is, but let me explain. The art is just a caricature of a moral reality where people are not cooperating with each other. Most people aren't "realistically" prepared for self-defense. It seems to be there by law. We hope a ninja will appear in the living room and take the criminals out but are not prepared for such agency ourselves. The immobilization of the husband leads to the immobilization of the wife and child, which leads to the immobilization of the audience. If everyone sticks together they generally protect each other but also are vulnerable because in the presence of each other their suffering is more "picture-esque" to a sadistic sociopath. Surely if just one of them tried to escape from the get-go it would've increased the chances of all their survival by comparison with what ends up happening, which they did not predict because they expected mercy (instead of creating mercy for themselves) from the criminals who played God. Think about why they do not depart from the horror cliche of letting the killers kill you: it is not because they couldn't predict their own deaths; it is because they thought mercy was inherently in the family unit, and ditching one's own family is the last thing one should do, and it is dangerous to be outside of the home. By the time the boy tries to escape it is too late. The audience, in turn, expects mercy to be inherently in the movie.

In the grisly scene where the woman is attempting to walk for the husband they look like zombies. The intrusion of parallel universes and breaking of the fourth wall is like a directorial arm-twisting to confront us of our favoritism and the contradictory moral truth. In fact, we end up becoming invested in the philosophical conversation that the kids have at the end, on the boat - if we went by favoritism they would at this point become the victors, and we would be sorely disappointed by the unhappy ending. The disintegration of the family unit is the deconstruction of our moral sense. The picture-esque view of families keeping to themselves seems identical to that of individuals keeping to themselves, at times, as in the movie, being worse. In a greater sense, social classes create barriers - the family's gate is too high for the boy to climb.

The desire to see the happy ending, or the shock at the turn of events, is not enough to make us spring into action, and the fourth wall is another form of alienation as well. We want it given to us.

I think the superficially cliched ending contributes to the "underrating" of the movie. The movie seems to coalesce into a story about the devil visiting everyone's household or about him killing everyone you know and love or into a nihilistic glorification of murderers, but it instead turns into a jackpot of our heightened philosophical and moral sense, free of hatred, favoritism, or personal opinion.

Thank you, this is a spot-on analysis of it's major themes, and the specific points you took up nailed it as well! Few directors have accomplished such audience manipulation as Haneke has with Funny Games. Possibly the greatest example of such since Hitchcock's Psycho.

I just watched Belle de Jour and need some help understanding it if you don't mind:

1. I read that the film leads you to believe that the events could be unfolding in the husband's head. Is this significant, because I don't see it? I thought the film was just centered authentically on her subjective experience.

2. What is the significance of the scene where Mr. Husson and Severine go under the table and the husband is calmly there and asks the other woman to peek? It seems to appear out of nowhere because she doesn't like Mr. Husson. And why is Mr. Husson suddenly a good guy? Is it her imagination that she wants him to intervene, like she is a combination of her husband (virtuous) and Marcel (arrogant)? Holy shit! And what about the scene where the two guys rob someone in the elevator? That seemed pointless, like it was momentarily taking the form of an action movie?

Re: (1) ... I do recall it being ambiguous, particularly near the end in a closeup of the husband, but I think. Even then, perhaps her fantasizing that it's his fantasy too?

I'd have a hard time elaborating on specifics of that or #2 without revisiting the film. Its been years... Hopefully soon :)

Cool. I think I've figured it out myself just by letting it sink into my mind over the past few days - it is indeed ambiguous, in the best way, such that it illuminates both the female's dark subjective experience and the male's sympathetic projection of her...he is forced out of the ordinarily nightmarish, paranoid, judgmental vision of her and into a sympathetic one, with a revised vision of the "cheater" as a victim of a marionette, a still loyal and virtuous woman with irresistible urges. So the film is primarily a rendering of the female's experience (with the sounds she hears, the remorseful beach scene, etc.) but through that it still creates the (accepting) male vision, which is equally suffered alone.

There you go :-) Excellent points! I'd have to see it again to be sure about details, but it sounds very close to how I saw it last!