Most Profound Films

  1. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941)
  2. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983)
  3. Mirror-Tarkovsky (1974)
  4. Persona-Bergman (1966)
  5. 2001: A Space Odyssey-Kubrick (1968)
  6. The Traveling Players-Angelopoulos (1975)
  7. Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?-Yong-kyun (1989)
  8. Stalker-Tarkovsky (1979)
  9. Landscape in the Mist-Angelopoulos (1988)


  11. Blow Up-Antonioni (1966)
  12. Mulholland Drive-Lynch (2001)
  13. Inland Empire-Lynch (2006)
  14. Sans Soleil-Marker (1983)
  15. Ulysses' Gaze-Angelopoulos (1995)
  16. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives-Weerasethakul (2010)
  17. Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998)
  18. Synecdoche, New York-Kaufman (2008)
  19. Last Year at Marienbad-Resnais (1961)
  20. Hiroshima, Mon Amour-Resnais (1959)
  21. Wings of Desire-Wenders (1987)
  22. The Sacrifice-Tarkovsky (1986)
  23. Andrei Rublev-Tarkovsky (1966)
  24. The Tree of Life-Malick (2011)
  25. Satantango-Tarr (1994)
  26. Lost Highway-Lynch (1997)
  27. Red-Kieslowski (1994)
  28. Cache-Haneke (2005)
  29. Werckmeister Harmonies-Tarr (2000)
  30. The Draughtman's Contract-Greenaway (1982)
  31. The Seventh Seal-Bergman (1956)
  32. Grand Illusion-Renoir (1937)
  33. Chinatown-Polanski (1974)
  34. Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976)
  35. Blade Runner-Scott (1982)
  36. The Pillow Book-Greenaway (1996)
  37. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring-Ki-duk (2003)
  38. Solaris-Tarkovsky (1972)
  39. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover-Greenaway (1989)
  40. Dead Man-Jarmusch (1995)
  41. Dogville-Von Trier (2003)
  42. 8 1/2-Fellini (1963)
  43. Belle de Jour-Bunuel (1967)
  44. Point Blank-Boorman (1967)
  45. Memento-Nolan (2000)
  46. The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1998)
  47. Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind-Gondry (2004)
  48. Petulia-Lester (1968)

Hahaha, yes! Almost every Tarkovsky film certainly deserves to be here-- dude is THE philosopher of the cinema.

Absolutely agree

I scrolled down to make a comment eerily similar to this one, and then wouldn't you know it - someone beat me to it by a few months!!

Faces, The Spirit of the Beehive and Lancelot du Lac immediately spring to mind as omissions. I'm not convinced of the profundity of films like Blow Up and Memento; but having six Tarkovsky films listed definitely compensates that. Nice to see the often overlooked Spring, Summer... mentioned.

Haven't seen Spirit... or Lancelot... yet. Faces is an amazing film, but what's so profound about it?

Blow Up is profound beyond belief - but as with Citizen Kane it's not necessarily obvious. Maybe I'll review it soon to explain my thoughts more. There aren't that many films that make one delve more intellectually into its psyche than with Memento...

Note: this list definitely needs updating, which I'll do soon...

Faces takes an honest, devastating look at the way people have the tendency to retreat from reality into the familiar and safe. The way it analyzes how humans will heartbreakingly compromise their own identities in order to fabricate the facade of safety is deep. Cassavetes is Thackeray--not Swift--he isn't clinical and disdainful in his engagement of the flaws of humanity, he loves every single one of his characters, and just hopes they can awake from their nightmare. I've watched it a few times and there's always something new that strikes me. To be honest, all his films are profound: Husbands, Faces, Opening Night... he doesn't have Welles' technical finesse, but he's much more of a philosopher, albeit one who doesn't seem conscious of it.

Ironically, the emotions people are shown to ignore, most movies do as well...

I totally agree with your summary of Faces and I do find it more profound than many films (particularly the final sequences), but I don't find it as profound as the films I have here. Still, I wouldn't second guess someone if they chose it.

For me, a film like Faces is profound on one significant level: the emotional expression and depth of its characters. A film such as Stalker is profound visually, thematically, characters, structure/editing, music, sound, etc...and this sort of depth of profundity is prevalent throughout this list (obviously increasingly so near or at the top).

I'd consider it more strongly perhaps for a lower echelon in my "most emotionally devastating" list and maybe even my "most invigorating" list. It would be on the fringe of either top 50, but would probably have a better shot at each of those than this one. Also, I should probably add it to my "best acting" list at some point (understatement).

You know, I'd love to see some categorical lists such as this from you :)

ha, I can't work in these categories. The taxonomic approach is, for me, interesting to read but I can't divide my value system into such labels. It lacks definition. I'll definitely keep up to date as you update your lists, though.