List of Films Considered the Best
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List of Films Considered the Best
Citizen Kane (1941), starring Orson Welles, has topped several international polls, including five Sight & Sound critics' polls

This is a list of films considered "the best ever", so voted in a notable national or international survey of either critics or the public.

Some surveys focus on all films, while others focus on a particular genre or country. Voting systems differ from poll to poll: some surveys suffer from biases such as self-selection or skewed demographics, while others may be susceptible to forms of interference such as vote-stacking.

Critics and filmmakers

Sight & Sound

Vertigo (1958) was ranked number one in the most recent Sight & Sound critics' poll

Every decade, starting in 1952, the British film magazine Sight & Sound asks an international group of film critics to vote for the greatest film of all time. Since 1992, they have invited directors to vote in a separate poll. 63 critics participated in 1952, 70 critics in 1962, 89 critics in 1972, 122 critics in 1982, 132 critics and 101 directors in 1992, 145 critics and 108 directors in 2002, and 846 critics and 358 directors in 2012.[1]

This poll is regarded as one of the most important "greatest ever film" lists. American 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."[2]

  • Bicycle Thieves (1948) topped the first poll in 1952 with 25 votes.[1]
  • Citizen Kane (1941) topped five critics' polls, with 22 votes in 1962, 32 votes in 1972, 45 votes in 1982, 43 votes in 1992, and 46 votes in 2002. It also topped the first two directors' polls, with 30 votes in 1992 and 42 votes in 2002.[1]
  • Vertigo (1958) topped the critics' poll in 2012 with 191 votes, dethroning Citizen Kane.[1]
  • Tokyo Story (1953) topped the directors' poll in 2012 with 48 votes, dethroning Citizen Kane.[1]
  • La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (1939) is the only movie to have appeared in every critics' poll, achieving its highest rank of number 2 in 1972, 1982, and 1992; its only appearance in the directors' poll was number 9 in 2002.[1]

Other notable polls

(1963) was the highest-ranked Italian film in many international professional polls
  • Battleship Potemkin (1925) was ranked number 1 with 32 votes when the Festival Mondial du Film et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique asked 63 film professionals around the world, mostly directors, to vote for the best films of the half-century in 1951.[3] It was also ranked number 1 when the Brussels World's Fair polled 117 experts from 26 countries in 1958.[4]
  • Citizen Kane (1941) was ranked number 1 with 48 votes when French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma asked 78 French critics and historians to vote for the best films in 2007.[5] It was also ranked number 1 with 48 votes when Chinese website Cinephilia.net asked 135 Chinese-speaking critics, scholars, curators, and cultural workers to vote for the best films in 2012.[6] It was ranked number 1 with 49 votes when Spanish film magazine Nickel Odeon (es) asked 150 Spanish film experts to vote for the best films in 1999.[7]
  • Vertigo (1958) was ranked number 1 with 39 votes when German film magazine Steadycam (de) asked 174 critics and filmmakers to vote for their favorite films in 2007.[8][9] It was also ranked number 1 with 25 votes when Iranian film magazine Film asked 92 Iranian critics to vote for the best films in 2009.[10]
  • (1963) was voted the best foreign (i.e. non-Swedish) sound film with 21 votes in a 1964 poll of 50 Swedish film professionals organized by Swedish film magazine Chaplin (sv).[11] It was also ranked number 1 when the Museum of Cinematography in ?ód? (pl) asked 279 Polish film professionals (filmmakers, critics, and professors) to vote for the best films in 2015.[12]
  • The Godfather (1972) was ranked number 1 when Japanese film magazine Kinema Junpo asked 114 Japanese critics and film professionals to vote for the best foreign (i.e. non-Japanese) films in 2009.[13] It was also voted the greatest film in a Hollywood Reporter poll of 2120 industry members, including every studio, agency, publicity firm and production house in Hollywood in 2014.[14]
  • Apocalypse Now (1979) was voted number 1 by a group of 3,760 film critics and personalities on the Channel 4 program 50 Films to See Before You Die.[15]

Review aggregators

Audience polls

The Godfather (1972) tops many audience and professionals polls
  • Gone with the Wind (1939) was voted the favorite film of Americans in a poll of 2,279 adults undertaken by Harris Interactive in 2008,[18] and again in a follow-up poll of 2,276 adults in 2014.[19]
  • Roman Holiday (1953) was voted the best foreign (i.e. non-Japanese) film of all time in a 1990 poll of about a million people organized by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.[20]
  • The Godfather (1972) was voted number 1 by Entertainment Weeklys readers in 1999[21] and voted as number 1 in a Time Out readers' poll in 1998.[22] The film was voted 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.[23]
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was voted the best film of all time by over 250,000 readers of the Empire film magazine in 2015.[24]
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) was voted the greatest film of all time by Empire magazine readers in "The 201 Greatest Movies of All Time" poll undertaken in March, 2006.[25]
  • Shiri (1999) was voted the favorite film of Koreans with 11,918 votes in a 2002 online poll of 54,013 people conducted by Korean movie channel Orion Cinema Network.[26]
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) was voted the most popular film of all time by an audience poll for the Australian television special My Favourite Film in 2005[27] and by a poll cast by 120,000 German voters for the TV special Die besten Filme aller Zeiten ("The best films of all time") in 2004.[28]

Genres or media

Action

  • Mad Max 2 (1981) was voted the greatest action film of all time in a readers' poll by American magazine Rolling Stone in 2015.[29]
  • Die Hard (1988) was voted the best action film of all time with 21 votes in a 2014 poll of 50 directors, actors, critics, and experts conducted by Time Out New York.[30]
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) tops Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Action & Adventure Movies list with a 97% score based on 374 reviews as of 13 December 2017.[31]

Animation (shorts and features)

  • What's Opera, Doc? (1957), a Bugs Bunny cartoon, was selected as the greatest animated short film of all time by 1,000 animation professionals in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons.[32]
  • Hedgehog in the Fog (1975) was ranked number 1 in a poll at the 2003 Laputa Animation Festival where 140 animators from around the world voted for the best animated films of all time.[33]
  • Tale of Tales (1979) was ranked number 1 with 17 votes in a poll at the Olympiad of Animation in 1984 where an international panel of 35 journalists, scholars, festival directors, and animation programmers voted for the best animated films.[34][35] It was also ranked number 1 in a poll organized by the Channel 4 animation magazine Dope Sheet in 1997, as well as a poll organized by the Zagreb International Animation Festival, which announced the results in 2002.[35]
  • Toy Story (1995) was voted number 1 on the "Top 100 Animated Features of All Time" list by the Online Film Critics Society (published March 2003). Voters chose from a reminder list of more than 350 films.[36] It also topped a poll of 4000 film fans for "greatest animated film of all time" in 2009, when it was re-released in 3D.[37]
  • Inside Out (2015) topped Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Animation Movies list with a 98% score based on 329 reviews as of 13 December 2017.[38]

Christmas

The trailer for It's A Wonderful Life (1946). The film tops several lists of the best Christmas movies.

Comedy

  • Some Like It Hot (1959) was voted the best comedy of all time in a poll of 253 film critics from 52 countries conducted by the BBC in 2017.[42]
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) was voted the greatest comedy of all time in a poll of over 22,000 people conducted by the British TV network Channel 4 in 2006.[43] It was also voted the greatest comedy film in polls conducted by British film magazine Total Film in 2000,[44] and British newspaper The Guardian in 2007.[45]
  • Get Out (2017) is ranked number 1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Comedy Movies list with a 99% score based on 293 reviews as of 13 December 2017.[46]

Comic/superhero

Disaster

Documentary

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) topped a Sight & Sound poll of documentaries in 2014

Horror

  • The Exorcist (1973) was voted the best horror film of all time with 53 votes in a 2012 poll of 150 experts conducted by Time Out London.[55]
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) ranked number 1 on British film magazine Total Films 2005 list of the greatest horror films.[56]
  • Get Out (2017) is ranked number 1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Horror Movies list with a 99% score based on 293 reviews as of 13 December 2017.[57]

Musical

See The Wizard of Oz in the Rotten Tomatoes section above.

Mystery

Romance

  • It Happened One Night (1934) is ranked number 1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Romance Movies list with a 98% score based on 52 reviews as of 13 December 2017.[61]
  • Casablanca (1942) was voted the best romance film of all time with 56 votes in a 1996 poll of 100 experts organized by Spanish film magazine Nickel Odeon (es).[62]
  • Brief Encounter (1945) was voted the best romance film of all time with 25 votes in a 2013 poll of 101 experts conducted by Time Out London.[63]

Science fiction

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was ranked as the best science-fiction film in several polls
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was voted the best science fiction film of all time with 73 votes in a 2014 poll of 136 sci-fi experts, filmmakers, science fiction writers, film critics, and scientists conducted by Time Out London.[64] It was voted the best science fiction film of all time by 115 members of the Online Film Critics Society in 2002.[65] It is also the only science fiction film to make the Sight & Sound critics' poll for the ten best movies (number 10 in 1992, number 6 in 2002 and 2012).[1]
  • Blade Runner (1982) was voted the best science fiction film by a panel of 56 scientists assembled by the British newspaper The Guardian in 2004.[66] In British magazine New Scientist, Blade Runner was voted "all-time favourite science fiction film" in the readers' poll in 2008, with 12 percent of thousands of votes.[67]
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is ranked number 2 on Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Movies list with a 97% score based on 374 reviews as of 13 December 2017, behind fantasy film The Wizard of Oz (1939).[68]

Silent

  • Battleship Potemkin (1925) was voted the best silent film with 32 votes in a 1964 poll of 50 Swedish film professionals organized by Swedish film magazine Chaplin (sv).[11]

Sports

  • Rocky (1976) topped British website Digital Spy's "greatest ever sports movie" online poll in 2012, with 18.7% of the votes. Voters chose from a list of 25 films.[69]
  • Murderball (2005) is ranked number 1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 Sports & Fitness Movies list with a 98% score based on 138 reviews as of 13 December 2017.[70]

Western

National polls

Australia

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) was voted the best Australian film of all time by members of the Australian Film Institute, industry guilds and unions, film critics and reviewers, academics and media teachers, and the NFSA's Kookaburra Card members, in a 1996 poll organized by the Victorian Centenary of Cinema Committee and the National Film & Sound Archive.[75]
  • The Castle (1997) was selected by the public as Australia's favourite film in a 2008 online poll conducted by the Australian Film Institute, in collaboration with Australia Post.[76]

Bangladesh

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (1981) was voted the best Bosnian film of all time in a 2003 poll of 13 film professionals organized by The National Film Archive of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[78]

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

  • The Strategy of the Snail (1993) was voted the best Colombian film of all time with 38 votes in a 2015 poll of 65 critics and journalists organized by Colombian magazine Semana.[91]

Croatia

  • Tko pjeva zlo ne misli (One Who Sings Means No Harm, 1970) was voted the best Croatian film of all time by 44 Croatian film critics in 1999, in a poll organized by the Croatian magazine Hollywood. It was also voted the best Croatian film by Hollywoods readers.[92]

Cuba

  • Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) was voted the best Latin American film of all time with 30 votes in a 1999 poll of 36 critics and film specialists from 11 countries organized by critics Carlos Galiano and Rufo Caballero.[93] It was also voted the best Ibero-American film of all time in a 2009 poll of more than 500 film professionals, critics, journalists, festival organizers, and fans around the world organized by Spanish magazine Noticine.[94]

Czechoslovakia

See also Czech Republic and Slovakia, below.

  • Marketa Lazarova (1967) was voted the best Czech-Slovak film of all-time in a 1998 poll of 55 Czech and Slovak film critics and publicists, receiving 41 votes.[95]
  • The Firemen's Ball (1967) was voted the best Czech-Slovak film of all time with 33 votes in a 2007 poll of 53 experts (mostly from the Czech Republic, but also from Slovakia and Poland) titled "Filmové d?dictví ?esko-slovenské kinematografie."[96]
  • The Elementary School (1991) was voted the best Czech-Slovak film with 192 votes in a 2007 public poll of "Filmové d?dictví ?esko-slovenské kinematografie."[96]

Czech Republic

See also Czechoslovakia, above.

Egypt

Estonia

  • Kevade (Spring, 1969) received first place in the Estonian feature films Top Ten Poll in 2002 held by Estonian film critics and journalists.[105]
  • Autumn Ball (2007) was voted the best Estonian film of all time with 29 votes in a 2011 poll of 33 film writers and film scholars organized by the Estonian Association of Film Journalists.[106]

Finland

France

  • The Rules of the Game (1939) was voted the best French film of all time with 15 votes in a 2012 poll of 85 film professionals conducted by Time Out Paris.[109] It was voted the best European film of all time with 56 votes (tied with the German film Nosferatu) in a 1994 poll of 70 critics and film historians organized by Cinemateca Portuguesa.[110] It is also the only film that ranked in the top 10 of every Sight & Sound critics' poll.[1]

Georgia

  • Eliso (1928) was voted the best Georgian film of all time in a critic poll organized by Tbilisi Intermedia.[111]

Germany

Greece

Hong Kong

Hungary

  • The Round-Up (1965) was chosen as the best Hungarian film in a 2000 Hungarian film critics' poll.[114]
  • Satan's Tango (1994) is 36th, the highest rank for a Hungarian film, in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll.[1]

India

  • Pather Panchali (1955) is the highest-ranking Indian film on any Sight & Sound poll at number 6 in the 1992 Critics' Poll.[1] It also topped the British Film Institute's user poll of "Top 10 Indian Films" of all time in 2002.[115]
  • Mayabazar (1957) was chosen as the greatest Indian film of all time with 16,960 votes in an online poll conducted by IBN Live in 2013. Voters select from a list of 100 films from different Indian languages, and 70,926 votes were cast.[116][117]
  • Sholay (1975) topped the British Film Institute's critics' poll of "Top 10 Indian Films" of all time in 2002.[118]

Iran

  • The Cow (1969) was voted the best Iranian film of all time with 33 votes in a 2009 poll of 92 critics organized by Iranian film magazine Film.[10]
  • 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.[119]

Ireland

Israel

Italy

  • Bicycle Thieves (1948) topped the first Sight & Sound critics' poll in 1952.[1]
  • (1963) was voted the best foreign (i.e. non-Swedish) sound film with 21 votes in a 1964 poll of 50 Swedish film professionals organized by Swedish film magazine Chaplin (sv).[11] It was also ranked number 1 when the Museum of Cinematography in ?ód? (pl) asked 279 Polish film professionals (filmmakers, critics, and professors) to vote for the best films in 2015.[12] It also ranked in the top 10, and was the highest ranked Italian film, in the Sight & Sound critics' poll in 1972, 1982, 2002, and 2012, and the directors' poll in 1992, 2002, and 2012.[1]

Japan

Tokyo Story (1953) topped several international polls
  • Tokyo Story (?; 1953) topped the Sight & Sound directors' poll with 48 votes and was number 3 in the critics' poll with 107 votes in 2012.[1] It was also voted the best Japanese film of all time in a 2009 poll of 114 critics and film professionals organized by Japanese film magazine Kinema Junpo.[13] It was voted the best Asian film of all time in a 2015 poll of 73 film critics, festival executives, programmers, and directors from around the world, organized by the Busan International Film Festival.[124]
  • Seven Samurai (1954) was voted the best Japanese film of all time in a 1989 poll of 372 celebrities for a book published by Bungeishunj?.[125] It was voted the best Japanese film of all time in a 1990 poll of about a million people organized by NHK.[20] It was also number 3 with 15 votes, the highest ranked Japanese film, in the 1982 Sight & Sound critics' poll. It was also ranked joint tenth on the Sight & Sound directors' poll in 1992, and joint ninth in 2002.[1]
  • Rashomon (1950) was ranked joint tenth in the 1992 Sight & Sound directors' poll, and joint ninth in 2002.[1]

Netherlands

New Zealand

  • Once Were Warriors (1994) was voted the best New Zealand film of all time in a 2014 online poll organized by Fairfax Media. More than 500 people voted, including about 100 film professionals and 15 critics.[128]

Norway

  • Ni Liv (Nine Lives, 1957) was the critics' choice for "Best Norwegian Film of All Time" during the 2005 Bergen International Film Festival.[129]
  • The Chasers (1959) was voted the best Norwegian film of all time with 23 votes in a 2011 poll of 32 critics and experts organized by Norwegian film magazine Rushprint (no).[130]
  • Flåklypa Grand Prix (Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, 1975) was the people's choice for "Best Norwegian Film of All Time" during the 2005 Bergen International Film Festival.[129]

Pakistan

  • Baji (1963) topped the British Film Institute's critics' poll of "Top 10 Pakistani Films" of all time in 2002.[131]
  • Aina (1977) topped the British Film Institute's user poll of "Top 10 Pakistani Films" of all time in 2002.[132]

Philippines

  • Manila in the Claws of Light (1975) was voted the best Philippine film of all time with 16 votes (tied with Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon) in a 1989 poll of 28 filmmakers and critics, organized by Joel David and his UP film criticism class, and published in Philippine magazine National Midweek. The article also included a list of the most common number-one choices (topped by Manila in the Claws of Light), as well as an alternate version of the top 10 (topped by Manila by Night) which was ordered by average rank.[133]
  • Himala (Miracle, 1982) 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).[134]

Poland

Romania

  • Reconstituirea (The Reenactment, 1968) was selected as the best Romanian film by 40 film critics in 2008.[136]

Russia

  • My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1985) was voted the best Russian film of all time with 47 votes in a 2008 poll of 100 filmmakers and critics, organized by Russian film magazine Seance (ru).[137]

See also Soviet Union, below.

Serbia

Slovakia

See also Czechoslovakia, above.

Slovenia

South Korea

Soviet Union

Battleship Potemkin (1925) was an early favorite and the top silent film
  • Battleship Potemkin (1925) was ranked number 1 with 32 votes when the Festival Mondial du Film et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique asked 63 film professionals around the world, mostly directors, to vote for the best films of the half-century in 1951.[3] It was ranked number 1 when the Brussels World's Fair polled 117 experts from 26 countries in 1958.[4] It also ranked in the top 10, and was the highest ranked Soviet/Russian film in every Sight & Sound critics' poll between 1952 and 2002.[1]
  • Man with a Movie Camera (1929) was voted the eighth greatest film ever made in the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound poll.[144]
  • The Mirror (1975) ranked 9th in the 2012 Sight & Sound directors' poll.[145]

See also Russia, above.

Spain

  • Viridiana (1961) was voted the best Spanish film of all time with 227 votes in a 2016 poll of 350 experts organized by Spanish film magazine Caimán Cuadernos de Cine.[146]
  • El verdugo (1963) was voted the best Spanish film of all time with 77 votes in a 1995 poll of 100 critics and film professionals organized by Spanish film magazine Nickel Odeon (es).[147]

Sri Lanka

Sweden

  • The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen, 1921) was voted the best Swedish film of all time with 30 votes in a poll of 50 film critics and academics conducted by film magazine FLM in 2012.[150]
  • Persona (1966) reached the highest position (number 5 in 1972) of any Swedish film on any of Sight & Sound's lists of greatest films of all time.[1]

Taiwan

Turkey

  • Yol (1982) was voted the best Turkish film of all time in a 2016 poll of 383 experts organized by Turkish magazine Notos.[152] It was also selected as the best Turkish film in a 2003 poll undertaken by Ankara Sinema Derne?i (Ankara Association for Cinema Culture) of people interested in cinema professionally.[153]

Ukraine

  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965) was voted the best Ukrainian film of all time with 30 votes in a 2012 poll of about 100 journalists organized by the Cinema Journalism Bureau of Ukraine and the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine.[154]

United Kingdom

  • The Third Man (1949) was voted the best British film ever by 1000 industry professionals, academics, and critics in a British Film Institute poll conducted in 1999.[155]
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) was voted the "best British film of all time" in August 2004 by over 200 respondents in a Sunday Telegraph poll of Britain's leading filmmakers.[156]
  • Get Carter (1971) was voted the best British film ever in a 2003 poll by Hotdog magazine.[157] It also topped the 2004 poll of 25 film critics conducted by Total Film.[158]
  • Don't Look Now (1973) was named the best British film in a poll of 150 film industry experts conducted by Time Out London in 2011.[159]
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) was voted the best British picture of all time by 7000 film fans in a 2004 poll by the UK arm of Amazon and Internet Movie Database.[160]
  • The Italian Job (1969) was voted the best British film in a poll of film fans conducted by Sky Movies HD in 2011 when it received 15% of votes.[161] It also topped a 2017 survey by Vue Entertainment.[162]

United States

Poster shows Rhett Butler carrying Scarlett O'Hara against a backdrop of the Burning of Atlanta
Gone with the Wind (1939) has topped several US audience polls

Uruguay

Venezuela

  • El Pez que Fuma (1977) was voted the best Venezuelan film of all time with 22 votes in a 1987 poll of 29 experts organized by Imagen magazine.[170] It was also voted the best Venezuelan film of all time with 33 votes in a 2016 poll of 41 experts organized by the Fundación Cinemateca Nacional.[170]

See also

References

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