My Five-Star Films

I’ve never been a big fan of making “Top 100” film lists.  It makes more sense to me to rate all the films I’ve seen and make a list of the top-rated films.  Here are the 271 films that I rated 5 out of 5 stars, in chronological order.

  1. Intolerance (US, 1916) Dir: D.W. Griffith
  2. The Pawnshop (US, 1916) Dir. Charles Chaplin
  3. One A.M. (US, 1916) Dir: Charles Chaplin
  4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Germany, 1920) Dir: Robert Weine
  5. Greed (US, 1924) Dir: Erich von Stroheim
  6. Sherlock Jr. (US, 1924) Dir: Buster Keaton
  7. The Gold Rush (US, 1925) Dir: Charles Chaplin
  8. Battleship Potemkin (USSR, 1925) Dir: Sergei Eisenstein
  9. The General (US, 1926) Dir: Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
  10. Napoleon (France, 1927) Dir: Abel Gance
  11. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (US, 1927) Dir: F.W. Murnau
  12. The Passion of Joan of Arc (France, 1928) Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  13. Man with a Movie Camera (USSR 1929) Dir: Dziga Vertov
  14. Un Chien Andalou (France, 1929) Dir: Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dali
  15. L’Âge d’Or (France, 1930) Dir: Luis Buñuel
  16. City Lights (US, 1931) Dir: Charles Chaplin
  17. Trouble in Paradise (US, 1932) Dir: Ernst Lubitsch
  18. King Kong (US, 1933) Dir: Ernest Schoedsack & Merian Cooper
  19. Zéro de Conduite (France, 1933) Dir: Jean Vigo
  20. L’Atalante (France, 1934) Dir: Jean Vigo
  21. Bride of Frankenstein (US, 1935) Dir: James Whale
  22. Swing Time (US, 1936) Dir: George Stevens
  23. Modern Times (US, 1936) Dir: Charles Chaplin
  24. Grand Illusion (France, 1937) Dir: Jean Renoir
  25. Bringing Up Baby (US, 1938) Dir: Howard Hawks
  26. Stagecoach (US, 1939) Dir: John Ford
  27. The Rules of the Game (France, 1939) Dir: Jean Renoir
  28. The Wizard of Oz (US, 1939) Dir: Victor Fleming
  29. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (US, 1939) Dir: Frank Capra
  30. Gone With the Wind (US, 1939) Dir: Victor Fleming
  31. His Girl Friday (US, 1940) Dir: Howard Hawks
  32. The Philadelphia Story (US, 1940) Dir: George Cukor
  33. The Lady Eve (US, 1941) Dir: Preston Sturges
  34. Citizen Kane (US, 1941) Dir: Orson Welles
  35. The Maltese Falcon (US, 1941) Dir: John Huston
  36. The Magnificent Ambersons (US, 1942) Dir: Orson Welles
  37. Casablanca (US, 1942) Dir: Michael Curtiz
  38. Shadow of a Doubt (US, 1943) Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
  39. Double Indemnity (US, 1944) Dir: Billy Wilder
  40. Meet Me in St. Louis (US, 1944) Dir: Vincente Minnelli
  41. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (USSR, 1944) Dir: Sergei Eisenstein
  42. Children of Paradise (France, 1945) Dir: Marcel Carne
  43. Mildred Pierce (US, 1945) Dir: Michael Curtiz
  44. Rome, Open City (Italy, 1945) Dir: Roberto Rossellini
  45. Brief Encounter  (UK, 1945) Dir: David Lean
  46. Shoe Shine (Italy, 1946) Dir: Vittorio De Sica
  47. Notorious (US, 1946) Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
  48. The Big Sleep  (US, 1946) Dir: Howard Hawks
  49. Beauty and the Beast (France, 1946) Dir: Jean Cocteau
  50. The Best Years of Our Lives (US, 1946) Dir: William Wyler
  51. My Darling Clementine (US, 1946) Dir: John Ford
  52. It’s a Wonderful Life (US, 1946) Dir: Frank Capra
  53. Great Expectations (UK, 1946) Dir: David Lean
  54. A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) (UK, 1946) Dir: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
  55. Out of the Past (US, 1947) Dir: Jacques Tourneur
  56. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (US, 1948) Dir: John Huston
  57. Bicycle Thieves (Italy, 1948) Dir: Vittorio de Sica
  58. Kind Hearts and Coronets (UK, 1949) Dir: Robert Hamer
  59. The Third Man (UK, 1949) Dir: Carol Reed
  60. White Heat (US, 1949) Dir: Raoul Walsh
  61. Sunset Blvd. (US, 1950) Dir: Billy Wilder
  62. Rashomon (Japan, 1950) Dir: Akira Kurosawa
  63. All About Eve (US, 1950) Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  64. Diary of a Country Priest (France, 1951) Dir: Robert Bresson
  65. A Streetcar Named Desire (US, 1951) Dir: Elia Kazan
  66. The African Queen (US, 1951) Dir: John Huston
  67. Singin’ in the Rain (US, 1952) Dir: Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
  68. Ikiru (Japan, 1952) Dir: Akira Kurosawa
  69. Forbidden Games (France, 1952) Dir: René Clément
  70. The Life of Oharu (Japan, 1952) Dir: Kenji Mizoguchi
  71. The Naked Spur (US, 1953) Dir: Anthony Mann
  72. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (France, 1953) Dir: Jacques Tati
  73. Ugetsu (Japan, 1953) Dir: Kenzo Mizoguchi
  74. The Band Wagon (US, 1953) Dir: Vincente Minnelli
  75. The Earrings of Madame de… (France, 1953) Dir: Max Ophüls
  76. Tokyo Story (Japan, 1953) Dir: Yasujiro Ozu
  77. Seven Samurai (Japan, 1954) Dir: Akira Kurosawa
  78. On the Waterfront (US, 1954) Dir: Elia Kazan
  79. La Strada (Italy, 1954) Dir: Federico Fellini
  80. A Star Is Born  (US, 1954) Dir: George Cukor
  81. Night and Fog (France, 1955) Dir: Alain Resnais
  82. Kiss Me Deadly (US, 1955) Dir: Robert Aldrich
  83. The Night of the Hunter (US, 1955) Dir: Charles Laughton
  84. Pather Panchali  (India, 1955) Dir: Satyajit Ray
  85. Ordet (Denmark, 1955) Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  86. One Froggy Evening (US, 1955) Dir: Chuck Jones
  87. Aparajito (The Unvanquished) (India, 1956) Dir: Satyajit Ray
  88. The Searchers (US, 1956) Dir: John Ford
  89. A Man Escaped (France, 1956) Dir: Robert Bresson
  90. The Seventh Seal (Sweden, 1957) Dir: Ingmar Bergman
  91. Nights of Cabiria (Italy, 1957) Dir: Federico Fellini
  92. Sweet Smell of Success (US, 1957) Dir: Alexander Mackendrick
  93. The Bridge on the River Kwai (UK, 1957) Dir: David Lean
  94. Wild Strawberries (Sweden, 1957) Dir: Ingmar Bergman
  95. What’s Opera, Doc? (US, 1957) Dir: Chuck Jones
  96. Touch of Evil (US, 1958) Dir: Orson Welles
  97. Vertigo (US, 1958) Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
  98. Ivan the Terrible, Part II (USSR, 1958) Dir: Sergei Eisenstein
  99. Some Like It Hot (US, 1959) Dir: Billy Wilder
  100. The World of Apu (India, 1959) Dir: Satyajit Ray
  101. The 400 Blows (France, 1959) Dir: Francois Truffaut
  102. Hiroshima Mon Amour (France, 1959) Dir: Alain Resnais
  103. Anatomy of a Murder (US, 1959) Dir: Otto Preminger
  104. La Dolce Vita (Italy, 1960) Dir: Federico Fellini
  105. Breathless (France, 1960) Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  106. Peeping Tom (UK, 1960) Dir: Michael Powell
  107. The Virgin Spring (Sweden, 1960) Dir: Ingmar Bergman
  108. L’Avventura (Italy, 1960) Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni
  109. The Apartment (US, 1960) Dir: Billy Wilder
  110. Viridiana (Spain/Mexico, 1961) Dir: Luis Buñuel
  111. Jules and Jim (France, 1962) Dir: Francois Truffaut
  112. La Jetée (France, 1962) Dir: Chris Marker
  113. Cosmic Ray (US, 1962) Dir: Bruce Conner
  114. Knife in the Water (Poland, 1962) Dir: Roman Polanski
  115. The Exterminating Angel (Mexico, 1962) Dir: Luis Buñuel
  116. Vivre Sa Vie (My Life to Live) (France, 1962) Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  117. The Manchurian Candidate  (US, 1962) Dir: John Frankenheimer
  118. Lawrence of Arabia (UK, 1962) Dir: David Lean
  119. The Trial (France, 1962) Dir: Orson Welles
  120. Cléo From 5 to 7 (France, 1962) Dir: Agnès Varda
  121. 8 ½ (Italy, 1963) Dir: Federico Fellini
  122. The Servant (UK, 1963) Dir: Joseph Losey
  123. The Leopard (Italy, 1963) Dir: Luchino Visconti
  124. Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb (UK, 1964) Dir: Stanley Kubrick
  125. Band of Outsiders (France, 1964) Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  126. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Italy, 1964) Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  127. Repulsion (UK, 1965) Dir: Roman Polanski
  128. Darling (UK, 1965) Dir: John Schlesinger
  129. Chimes at Midnight (Spain, 1965) Dir: Orson Welles
  130. Ruka (The Hand) (Czechoslovakia, 1965) Dir: Jiří Trnka
  131. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (US, 1966) Dir: Mike Nichols
  132. Blow-Up (Italy/UK, 1966) Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni
  133. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Italy, 1966) Dir: Sergio Leone
  134. Persona (Sweden, 1966) Dir: Ingmar Bergman
  135. The Battle of Algiers (Italy/Algeria, 1966) Dir: Gillo Pontecorvo
  136. Belle de Jour (France, 1967) Dir: Luis Buñuel
  137. Bonnie and Clyde (US, 1967) Dir: Arthur Penn
  138. Play Time (France, 1967) Dir: Jacques Tati
  139. The Graduate (US, 1967) Dir: Mike Nichols
  140. Weekend (France, 1967) Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  141. De Düva: The Dove (US, 1968) Dir: George Coe & Anthony Lover
  142. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (US, 1968) Dir: William Greaves
  143. 2001: A Space Odyssey (UK/US, 1968) Dir: Stanley Kubrick
  144. Faces  (US, 1968) Dir: John Cassavetes
  145. Night of the Living Dead (1968) Dir: George Romero
  146. Midnight Cowboy (US, 1969) Dir: John Schlesinger
  147. Women in Love (UK, 1969) Dir: Ken Russell
  148. Kes (UK, 1969) Dir: Ken Loach
  149. My Night at Maud’s (France, 1969) Dir: Eric Rohmer
  150. M*A*S*H  (US, 1970) Dir: Robert Altman
  151. Five Easy Pieces (US, 1970) Dir: Bob Rafelson
  152. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Italy, 1970) Dir: Vittorio de Sica
  153. The Conformist (Italy/France, 1970) Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci
  154. The Last Picture Show (US, 1971) Dir: Peter Bogdanovich
  155. A Clockwork Orange (UK, 1971) Dir: Stanley Kubrick
  156. Harold and Maude (US, 1971) Dir: Hal Ashby
  157. The Godfather (US, 1972) Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
  158. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (France, 1972) Dir: Luis Buñuel
  159. Last Tango in Paris (France/Italy, 1972) Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci
  160. Cries and Whispers (Sweden, 1972) Dir: Ingmar Bergman
  161. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (West Germany, 1972) Dir: Werner Herzog
  162. Badlands (US, 1973) Dir: Terence Malick
  163. The Conversation (US, 1974) Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
  164. Chinatown (US, 1974) Dir: Roman Polanski
  165. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (West Germany, 1974) Dir: Werner Herzog
  166. A Woman Under the Influence (US, 1974) Dir: John Cassavetes
  167. Swept Away… (Italy, 1974) Dir: Lina Wertmüller
  168. The Godfather: Part II (US, 1974) Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
  169. Mirror (USSR, 1975) Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky
  170. Nashville (US, 1975) Dir: Robert Altman
  171. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (US, 1975) Dir: Milos Forman
  172. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Belgium/France, 1975) Dir: Chantal Akerman
  173. Taxi Driver  (US, 1976) Dir: Martin Scorsese
  174. Eraserhead (US, 1977) Dir: David Lynch
  175. 3 Women (US, 1977) Dir: Robert Altman
  176. Annie Hall (US, 1977) Dir: Woody Allen
  177. The Marriage of Maria Braun (West Germany, 1979) Dir: Rainer Maria Fassbinder
  178. Apocalypse Now (US, 1979) Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
  179. Being There (US, 1979) Dir: Hal Ashby
  180. Return of the Secaucus Seven (US, 1980) Dir: John Sayles
  181. Atlantic City (US/Canada 1980) Dir: Louis Malle
  182. Stardust Memories (US, 1980) Dir: Woody Allen
  183. Raging Bull (US, 1980) Dir: Martin Scorsese
  184. My Dinner with Andre (US, 1981) Dir: Louis Malle
  185. Fanny and Alexander (Sweden, 1982) Dir: Ingmar Bergman
  186. Local Hero (UK, 1983) Dir: Bill Forsyth
  187. The King of Comedy (US, 1983) Dir: Martin Scorsese
  188. Baby It’s You (US, 1983) Dir: John Sayles
  189. This Is Spinal Tap (US, 1984) Dir: Rob Reiner
  190. Jumping (Japan, 1984) Dir: Osamu Tezuka
  191. Brazil (US, 1985) Dir: Terry Gilliam
  192. Hannah and Her Sisters (US, 1986) Dir: Woody Allen
  193. The Sacrifice (USSR/(Sweden, 1986) Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky
  194. Blue Velvet (US, 1986) Dir: David Lynch
  195. The Singing Detective (UK, 1986) Dir: John Amiel (TV)
  196. Raising Arizona  (US, 1987) Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen
  197. Wings of Desire (West Germany, 1987) Dir: Wim Wenders
  198. The Thin Blue Line (US, 1988) Dir: Errol Morris
  199. The Vanishing (The Netherlands, 1988) Dir: George Sluizer
  200. sex, lies, and videotape (US, 1989) Dir: Steve Soderbergh
  201. Say Anything… (US, 1989) Dir: Cameron Crowe
  202. Do the Right Thing (US, 1989) Dir: Spike Lee
  203. Crimes and Misdemeanors (US, 1989) Dir: Woody Allen
  204. The Decalogue (Poland, 1989) Dir: Krzysztof Kieślowski (TV)
  205. Unforgiven (US, 1992) Dir: Clint Eastwood
  206. Groundhog Day (US, 1993) Dir: Harold Ramis
  207. Naked (UK, 1993) Dir: Mike Leigh
  208. Short Cuts (US, 1993) Dir: Robert Altman
  209. The Wrong Trousers (UK, 1993) Dir: Nick Park
  210. Schindler’s List (US, 1993) Dir: Steven Spielberg
  211. Pulp Fiction (US, 1994) Dir: Quentin Tarantino
  212. Ed Wood (US, 1994) Dir: Tim Burton
  213. Before Sunrise (US, 1995) Dir: Richard Linklater
  214. Pride and Prejudice (UK, 1995) Dir: Simon Langton (TV)
  215. Fargo (US, 1996) Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen
  216. Secrets & Lies (UK, 1996) Dir: Mike Leigh
  217. Lone Star (US, 1996) Dir: John Sayles
  218. Microcosmos (France, 1996) Dir: Claude Nuridsany & Marie Pérennou
  219. The Sweet Hereafter (Canada, 1997) Dir: Atom Egoyan
  220. Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (US, 1997) Dir: Errol Morris
  221. Boogie Nights (US, 1997) Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
  222. Happiness (US, 1998) Dir: Todd Solondz
  223. The Celebration (Denmark, 1998) Dir: Thomas Vinterberg
  224. Rushmore (US, 1998) Dir: Wes Anderson
  225. All About My Mother (Spain, 1999) Dir: Pedro Almodóvar
  226. Being John Malkovich (US, 1999) Dir: Spike Jonze
  227. Magnolia (US, 1999) Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
  228. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Taiwan, 2000) Dir: Edward Yang
  229. In the Mood for Love (China, 2000) Dir: Wong Kar-Wai
  230. Requiem for a Dream (US, 2000) Dir: Darren Aronofsky
  231. Songs from the Second Floor (Sweden, 2000) Dir: Roy Andersson
  232. Traffic (US, 2000) Dir: Steven Soderbergh
  233. Waking Life (US, 2001) Dir: Richard Linklater
  234. Fat Girl (France, 2001) Dir: Catherine Breillat
  235. Mulholland Dr. (US, 2001) Dir: David Lynch
  236. Moulin Rouge! (US, 2001) Dir: Baz Luhrmann
  237. The Royal Tenenbaums (US, 2001) Dir: Wes Anderson
  238. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (US/NZ 2001) Dir: Peter Jackson
  239. Talk to Her (Spain, 2002) Dir: Pedro Almodóvar
  240. Dogville (Denmark, 2003) Dir: Lars von Trier
  241. Capturing the Friedmans (US, 2003) Dir: Andrew Jarecki
  242. American Splendor (US, 2003) Dir: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini
  243. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (US/NZ 2003) Dir: Peter Jackson
  244. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (US, 2004) Dir: Michel Gondry
  245. Fahrenheit 9/11 (US, 2004) Dir: Michael Moore
  246. Downfall (Germany, 2004) Dir: Oliver Hirschbiegel
  247. Tarnation (US, 2004) Dir: Jonathan Caouette
  248. Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids (US/India) Dir: Zana Briski & Ross Kauffman
  249. Grizzly Man (US, 2005) Dir: Werner Herzog
  250. The Lives of Others (Germany, 2006) Dir: Florian Henckel von Donnersmark
  251. Once (Ireland, 2006) Dir: John Carney
  252. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania, 2007) Dir: Cristian Mungiu
  253. Encounters at the End of the World (US, 2007) Dir: Werner Herzog
  254. Juno (US, 2007) Dir: Jason Reitman
  255. No Country for Old Men (US, 2007) Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen
  256. Slumdog Millionaire (UK, 2008) Dir: Danny Boyle
  257. Food, Inc. (US, 2008) Dir: Robert Kenner
  258. The White Ribbon (Germany/Austria 2009) Dir: Michael Haneke
  259. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (US, 2010) Dir: Werner Herzog
  260. The Tree of Life (US, 2011) Dir: Terence Malick
  261. Moonrise Kingdom (US, 2012) Dir: Wes Anderson
  262. The Act of Killing (Denmark, 2012) Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer
  263. Boyhood (US, 2014) Dir: Richard Linklater
  264. Anomalisa (US, 2015) Dir: Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson
  265. Moonlight (US, 2016) Dir: Barry Jenkins
  266. The Florida Project (US, 2017) Dir: Sean Baker
  267. The Favourite (Ireland/UK/US, 2018) Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
  268. The Souvenir (UK, 2019) Dir: Joanna Hogg
  269. The Irishman (US, 2019) Dir: Martin Scorsese
  270. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (US, 2020) Dir: Charlie Kaufman
  271. Aftersun (US/UK, 2022) Dir: Charlotte Wells

6 thoughts on “My Five-Star Films

  1. Pingback: A New Way of Making Lists | Make Lists, Not War

  2. Arch Stanton

    Not sure if you have seen these or they just didn’t make your ‘5 star’ list
    Cool Hand Luke
    Good Fellas
    Miller’s Crossing
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    Once Upon a time in the West
    The Usual Suspects

    Reply
    1. beckchris

      Thanks for the list, Arch. Some great films there. The only one I haven’t seen yet is Miller’s Crossing, but I have it in my queue.

      The other films I’ve rated as follows:
      Cool Hand Luke: 4.0
      Good Fellas: 4.5
      Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: 4.0
      Once Upon a time in the West: 4.0
      The Usual Suspects: 4.0

      Reply
  3. Arch Stanton

    Also,
    Chariots of Fire [1981]
    Amadeus [1984]

    and my favorite ‘whodunit’ of all-time … little known movie ‘The last of Sheila’ [1973]

    Reply
  4. Sam kaplan

    I love your list of your own favorite films, not least because it’s not afflicted with a bias for recent movies. My own list (out of date because I haven’t kept it up the last 20 or 30 years) included only movies at least five years into original release. Mine is also much less generous than yours. Only about 30 movies get the top ranking. Possibly it’s evidence I’m more snobbish than you, possibly that I’m hard-hearted. But it pleased me to see so many of my favorite films on your list.
    If you’re curious, I’d be glad to send along my outdated list, but it wouldn’t have many surprises, I think, and mostly surprises of omission. . .

    Reply

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