AvsJoe's Favourite Movies By Yearby AvsJoe | created - 26 Dec 2010 | updated - 3 days ago | Public
From 1894 to the previous year, I rate my favourite films of their year, even if my favourite film is the only one I've seen from the year in question.
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1. Buffalo Dance (1894)
1 min | Documentary, Short
Three Sioux Indians perform a 'buffalo dance', while two others use drums to supply a rhythm. The three dancers move around in a circle as they perform the various actions that are part of the dance.
Native Americans perform their titular dance for the camera while stealing glimpses at the same time. They're clearly very interested in this odd machine that's pointing at them. This is the earliest film I have ever seen and I'm proud I've seen it, despite its content.
2. Sandow (1896)
Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Sport
Strong-man Eugene (Eugen) Sandow poses in a long shot on a bare stage against a black background, wearing only tight trunks and laced sandals. He begins with his arms folded against his ... See full summary »
A very short film showing off the muscles of a bodybuilder named Sandow from long, long ago. Really just a beta test for the Kinetoscope if anything, so it's worth watching for that, but I'd rather not look at a barely-clothed man for two minutes, thanks.
3. After the Ball, the Bath (1897)
1 min | Short
The first film to ever show a nudity scene on screen is a simple presentation of a servant preparing a bath for another woman.
A servant assists a woman undressing from formal wear all the way down to her knickers. Just 60 seconds of that. It's amusing that one of film's most important pioneers filmed this but something had to be the first "adult film".
4. The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton's) (1894)
1 min | Short, Action, Comedy
"A glove contest between trained cats. A very comical and amusing subject, and is sure to create a great laugh." (by Edison Films)
Cats are dressed up as boxers in this cute little Kinetoscope film from before the turn of last century. Nothing extraordinary today, but the novelty of it all is through the roof. There was also a film about Santa Claus made this year, creatively titled Santa Claus, that is worth mentioning.
5. The Mystic Swing (1900)
1 min | Fantasy, Short
The professor shows his power to Mephisto by mysteriously placing a young lady in a swing. Mephisto then shows his power by making the young lady disappear from the swing, to the surprise ... See full summary »
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Ah, the magic of editing. Filmmakers around this time were starting to experiment with this new medium and discover what they can do that they could not in theater. Watch this movie, or Faust and Marguerite from the same year, to see what I mean.
6. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.
Certainly among the most famous movies of its era, this early science-fiction film provides a great little story about space travel and aliens on the moon. Though I didn't like it, I am more than willing to acknowledge its novelty and recommend it to others.
7. Alice in Wonderland (1903)
8 min | Fantasy, Short
Alice dozes in a garden, awakened by a dithering white rabbit in waistcoat with pocket watch. She follows him down a hole and finds herself in a hall of many doors. A key opens a small door... See full summary »
This ain't Disney. If you ever do come across this film, keep in mind that it isn't as good as Disney's classic or Tim Burton's re-imagining. However, it provides a great snapshot of filmmaking from over a century ago, and that alone means it's worth looking at.
8. That Fatal Sneeze (1907)
6 min | Short, Comedy, Fantasy
As an older man and a youth are eating at the table, the older man decides to amuse himself by using pepper to make the boy sneeze. Later, the boy retaliates by sneaking into the older ... See full summary »
It's a sneeze that proves fatal. What more could you want in a turn-of-the-century film? This comedy classic continues to be among the most beloved films of its era because of its very simple yet well-executed concept.
9. Frankenstein (1910)
Unrated | 16 min | Short, Horror, Sci-Fi
Frankenstein, a young medical student, trying to create the perfect human being, instead creates a misshapen monster. Made ill by what he has done, Frankenstein is comforted by his fiancée ... See full summary »
This is the first of two times Frankenstein's monster will appear on this list. I liked this version the most of the three I have seen, but that doesn't mean I like it. It took me a minute to decide between this and 1910's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz but this one was eventually declared the victor.
10. The Lost World (1925)
Unrated | 106 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
The first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam.
Votes: 3,795 | Gross: $0.55M
Easily my favourite silent film of all time as well as my second favourite dinosaur film, this classic from the 1920's is a gem if you can find it. Wallace Beery's performance is incredible!
11. Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror
I'm sorry, but I need a clear narrative before I can enjoy a movie. The lack of a narrative seems to be the point of this widely-regarded film, so there was little chance I was going to like this film, Salvador Dali or not. But an 8.0/10 score speaks for itself; I'm clearly not reflecting the popular opinion.
12. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.
Votes: 50,920 | Gross: $3.27M
Damned if this isn't a powerful film. I saw another version of this film back in high school but I hadn't seen the original until I was 25. This is both an astounding film and an important one and it's well deserving of its lasting fame.
13. Frankenstein (1931)
Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.
Votes: 54,595 | Gross: $12.00M
Confession: I hate this movie. It's a horror classic, frightening millions of people even to this day, but it had zero effect on me. I liked the 1910 and 1994 versions more, though I didn't like those ones a whole lot either. Maybe if I had watched it as a kid but I did not; my first viewing came not long after my 22nd birthday. But I have not seen any other films from this early year so here it is.
14. The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
Not Rated | 63 min | Adventure, Horror, Mystery
An insane hunter arranges for a ship to be wrecked on an island where he can indulge in some sort of hunting and killing of the passengers.
I love Most Dangerous Game movies, I have seen a few and have yet to dislike any. But none of them are as good as this 1932 Fay Wray classic. Definitely worth watching.
15. Maniac (1934)
Not Rated | 51 min | Horror
A former vaudevillian gifted at impersonation assists a mad scientist in reanimating corpses and soon goes mad himself.
I hated this film. In fact, I don't know anyone who likes it. But it came in a 4-pack of movies so I figured I'd watch it. One word review: dated.
16. My Man Godfrey (1936)
Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.
This is a great era for madcap comedies and My Man Godfrey is a great example of one. The film features a family of characters in the truest sense of the word speaking some of the best dialogue of the era. It's a far better movie than the other films I've seen from 1936 including the best-forgotten Rhodes of Africa and the original adaptation of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
17. Nothing Sacred (1937)
Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.
This film is an amusing screwball satire with a wide range of jokes and gags, some of which have aged poorly but most still hit their mark. Coincidentally, this film completely skewers film director Oliver Stone years before he was even born. Nothing Sacred is nothing spectacular but it's a solid way to spend 75 minutes. Walt Disney's The Old Mill and Leo McCarey's The Awful Truth are also worthwhile watches and fine contenders for 1937.
Back of the Mike is an interesting documentary showing the audience how several sound effects were performed when filming radio serials in the 30's. Some very amusing workarounds were shown, including slapping what look like rubber gloves together to mimic hooves (which calls to mind a similar scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail). This just goes to show that creative ingenuity in the sound department is a time-honoured tradition in the entertainment business. The only other film I've seen from '38 is the novel but awful The Terror of Tiny Town, which deserves a place among the worst films of all time.
19. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama
A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.
Votes: 89,388 | Gross: $9.60M
1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year. Many, many classics were made this year, and among those not chosen were The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind. Smith here is my favourite of the bunch, but the jury's out until I see Stagecoach, Ninotchka, and His Girl Friday.
20. Rebecca (1940)
Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.
Alfred Hitchcock is still a legend today for a reason. Man knew how to make a damn good film. It certainly deserved its Oscar. The Great Dictator is also an excellent film but it cannot compete with Hitch at the top of his game.
21. The Ghost Train (1941)
Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy, Horror
High jinks and chills ensue when a group of people become stranded at an isolated station and a legendary phantom train approaches.
I didn't know there were horror-comedies made this early but this is one of the funniest horrors I've ever seen, from any year. Arthur Askey's mile-a-minute performance struck a perfect balance between irritating and hilarious, a combination that rarely works well but worked superbly here. Suspicion and The Maltese Falcon also had terrific performances, especially Sydney Greenstreet's Oscar-nominated work in the latter, and Dumbo is a heartwarming classic, but The Ghost Train takes the cake for 1941.
22. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.
Votes: 440,241 | Gross: $1.02M
I have seen a number of Superman cartoons, Donald Duck's first cartoon, Walt Disney's Bambi, Bing Crosby's Holiday Inn, and Best Picture nominee Wake Island, but not one of them is in the same league as Casablanca. You may know the ending and all the famous lines, but you really must see the whole film to appreciate this classic. Easily my favourite film of the 40's.
23. Don't Be a Sucker (1943)
Approved | 18 min | Short, History, War
Propaganda short film depicting the rise of Nazism in Germany and how political propaganda is similarly used in the United States to recruit Nazi sympathizers from the ranks of American racists.
Don't Be a Sucker is a short American propaganda piece warning the public about discriminating and prejudicial tactics by comparing them to those used by the Nazis. It makes a case that the American people should stand together for one another in spite of their differences rather than to attack those who are different. It's a relevant and stirring film that easily stands over The Ghost Ship and the other propaganda shorts that I've seen from 1943.
24. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
No chance for Screwball Squirrel or The Uninvited when they take on my second-favourite movie this side of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Arsenic and Old Lace is a genuinely funny movie and is widely considered among the greatest movies of its era.
25. Swing Shift Cinderella (1945)
Passed | 8 min | Animation, Comedy, Short
Bored with chasing Red Riding Hood, the Wolf decides to go after Cinderella, but her fairy godmother takes a shine to him instead - and has an arsenal of magical powers to help achieve her ends.
This was a tough call for me. Tex Avery's hilarious short or Mildred Pierce, a murder mystery that doubles as a film about the rise and fall of an independent single mother during the 1930's. I chose Swing Shift because it made me laugh as hard as Bugs Bunny and Goofy did when I was younger.
26. Notorious (1946)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
Votes: 80,491 | Gross: $10.46M
I shouldn't like this film as much as I do since I've seen so many similar films, but that just goes to show how strong a director Alfred Hitchcock was. He was probably the greatest director of suspense and tense, atmospheric scenes in the history of cinema. It's a Wonderful Life was enjoyable but too saccharine for my tastes and Whistle Stop was just a poor film so I'm going with Notorious for '46.
27. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Romance
A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.
I love a good, powerful movie that makes me think. This one enraptured me from start to finish and made me take a good, hard look at how I handle racism in everyday situations. Brilliant film, absolutely deserving of its Best Picture win. I like Miracle on 34th Street too but its saccharine-sweet charm can't compete against a film like Gentleman's Agreement.
28. Rope (1948)
PG | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.
This is one of Hitch's more interesting films, and it happens to be one of my favourites of his. I love a good film focusing on the villain and this movie is a shining example. It's also one of the key reasons why I'm such a Jimmy Stewart fan. The remake of this film, R.S.V.P., is also worth a watch.
29. Goofy Gymnastics (1949)
6 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
Inspired by a magazine ad, Goofy sends for a mail order body building course. First is weight lifting; after Goofy finally gets the weights up, a fly lands and sends him crashing through ... See full summary »
I really don't like Goofy. I loved him as a kid but now I find him unfunny. I got a couple of chuckles watching this short but otherwise I was just waiting for it to end. The only reasons it's on the list is because I really didn't like The Third Man and Omoo-Omoo the Shark God is a terrible, terrible movie.
30. Harvey (1950)
Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.
Jimmy Stewart is probably my favourite actor and this movie is a good example of why I'm such a fan. It's charming and funny in a way that movies seldom are today. Chain Gang and Stage Fright, the only other 1950 films I've seen, didn't stand a chance.
31. The African Queen (1951)
PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.
Votes: 63,270 | Gross: $0.54M
I walked into this film having no idea what it was about or what to expect but I certainly wasn't expecting what I got. Though the movie wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be, it was definitely not anything I had seen before, which is always a good thing. Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn put together very funny performances, the latter deserving of her Oscar nomination and the former very deserving of his Oscar win. This film is much better than Show Boat, Modern Football, and The Thing from Another World.
32. Ain't She Tweet (1952)
Approved | 7 min | Family, Animation, Short
Sylvester Cat discovers Tweety Bird in a pet store window. Tweety is taken to be delivered by truck to a new owner - Granny. Sylvester chases the delivery truck to Granny's home, where ... See full summary »
So far, of all the films I've seen from 1952, none match up with this classic Tweety Bird short, including such Oscar-nominated movies like The Member of the Wedding; The Snows of Kilimanjaro; Come Back, Little Sheba; and Neighbours, the Oscar-winning Canadian short film that was a pitch-perfect allegory about the Cold War and Mutually-Assured Destruction.
33. Roman Holiday (1953)
Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Romance
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
William Wyler's excellent romantic comedy is as classic and well-remembered as they come. And for good reason, this is a damn good film. It's neck and neck with Sabrina for my favourite Audrey Hepburn performance and it's my 3rd favourite Peck performance behind To Kill a Mockingbird and Gentleman's Agreement. Easily better than Stalag 17, From Here to Eternity, War of the Worlds, The Wild One, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, The Hitch-Hiker, and Fear and Desire in my book.
34. Dial M for Murder (1954)
PG | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.
Votes: 127,074 | Gross: $0.01M
Hitchcock again. Can you tell I'm a fan? This has got to be my favourite of his filmography; I love the twists and turns in this one. Judy Garland had a hell of a performance this year in A Star is Born (shame she didn't win the Oscar) and Sabrina, White Christmas, Rear Window, and Animal Farm are also good flicks but M is the best movie of the 1950's, let alone for just its year.
35. Tarantula (1955)
Approved | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in giantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.
Votes: 7,193 | Gross: $1.10M
I'm not a fan of giant monster movies or 50's horror flicks but this one was excellent. Just a perfect combination of hammy acting and then-revolutionary-but-now-lousy special effects. The only other 1955 films I've seen are The Court Jester with Danny Kaye, The Trouble with Harry with Shirley MacLaine, and To Hell and Back with Audie Murphy, and they weren't as enjoyable as this one.
36. Design for Dreaming (1956)
10 min | Short, Fantasy, Musical
A dancing woman of the future wants her hubbie to buy every car she sees.
The best film I've seen from 1956 is this goofy yet misogynist marketing short about a woman who dreams of owning every car she sees. Worth a look if only to see just how far women's rights have come over the next half-century. However, despite its flaws, it's still better than the Angela Lansbury-starring noir thriller with the catchy title Please Murder Me or Blue Cat Blues, the Tom and Jerry short that ends in the duo committing suicide.
37. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.
I don't know what to say about this film other than the fact that it's magnificent. The actors give terrific performances, specifically Mr. Fonda, and the script and Lumet's directing are top-notch. It's a strong drama and deserving to be remembered as one of the greatest films of all time. I love The Bridge on the River Kwai, it's another excellent movie with great performances, exceptional directing, and a powerful script, but the choice was clear for 1957.
38. Feather Bluster (1958)
6 min | Family, Animation, Short
Geriatrics Foghorn Leghorn and the barnyard dog recount their years of violent, mutual heckling, unaware that outside the window of their house, their impressionable grandsons have ... See full summary »
An aging Foghorn Leghorn and his canine nemesis reminisce about past squabbles while their grandkids listen on. Funny but otherwise just a rehash of previous cartoons. Still, I enjoyed this short more than I did Vertigo, The Blob, Glas, and She Gods of Shark Reef so here it is for 1958.
39. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Votes: 249,876 | Gross: $13.28M
3 great choices for 1959: Journey to the Center of the Earth, North by Northwest, and Some Like it Hot. All three are excellent films and would win most years from the 50's. But I can only choose one, so I did what I usually do and went with the Hitch film. Journey is a very close second and Some ain't much further back. I'm really liking this year!
40. Inherit the Wind (1960)
Not Rated | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.
This used to be my favourite movie from the 1960's, so it was an obvious choice for this spot. Seven, Shop, Spartacus, and Psycho were the runners up.
41. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
I was disappointed in this movie; I didn't know going in that Audrey's character was a "manic pixie dream girl", a character I'm growing quite tired of. Still, there were fun little moments throughout the film so it wasn't a write-off. Much better than the other 2 movies I've seen from 1961: Nude on the Moon and Very Nice, Very Nice.
42. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.
Very deserving of it's lasting fame and a classic for a good reason, this film is powerful and resonant even today. Peck's performance is one for the ages. Lawrence of Arabia was a true epic and The Music Man, Le Procès, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance all deserve their place in film history but my vote goes to Mockingbird.
43. Charade (1963)
Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance
Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust?
Votes: 55,681 | Gross: $13.47M
Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn: what a winning combination. They put together a pair of excellent performances in the most charming romantic murder mystery in the history of cinema. While there is tough competition provided by The Birds, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Dementia 13, Tom Jones, The Terror, and of course The Great Escape, Charade easily takes the cake for 1963.
44. Paris When It Sizzles (1964)
Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Romance
The sprightly young assistant of a Hollywood screenwriter helps him over his writer's block by acting out his fantasies of possible plots.
1964 was quite a year. Dr. Strangelove, Marnie, My Fair Lady, Rudolph, and The Last Man on Earth are all classics among their genres and each was great in their own way. But my favourite film of the year goes to Paris - When It Sizzles, Audrey Hepburn's much-maligned romantic comedy that I fell in love with. I have a soft spot for meta movies about screenwriting, as you can see periodically throughout this list, so take my opinion with a grain of salt as I'm a bit biased towards the subject matter.
45. The Sound of Music (1965)
G | 174 min | Biography, Drama, Family
A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.
Votes: 167,733 | Gross: $163.21M
A classic and beautiful film, this is well-remembered for good reason. Truly a cinematic gem. Better than any other I've seen from this year, including: Doctor Zhivago with Omar Sharif, The Flight of the Phoenix with James Stewart, Ship of Fools with Vivian Leigh, Cat Ballou with Lee Marvin, Guns of Diablo with Charles Bronson, and Fanatic with Tallulah Bankhead.
46. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
G | 90 min | Comedy, Family, Mystery
Luther Heggs aspires to be a reporter for his small town newspaper, the Rachel Courier Express. He gets his big break when the editor asks him to spend the night at the Simmons mansion that... See full summary »
Don Knotts is one of the legends of physical comedy and he earned his spot in history with films like this one. With pitch perfect facial expressions and madcap tumbles, Mr. Knotts can pull a guffaw from even the most stuffy of viewers. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is my choice for 1966, neither Batman: The Movie nor The Fat Spy comes even close. Attaboy, Don!
47. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Drama
A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé.
Votes: 32,820 | Gross: $56.70M
Until I saw this film, 1967 was a bit of a disappointing year of movies for me. I liked Bedazzled and Da Uomo a Uomo but I didn't love them and I didn't particularly enjoy The Dirty Dozen, Games, or The Incident. However, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a masterpiece and I enjoyed every minute of it. It's easily my favourite film of the decade, let alone the year.
48. Planet of the Apes (1968)
G | 112 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.
Votes: 149,539 | Gross: $33.40M
I love both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair, but neither made it to this list. Planet of the Apes bests the original TTCA as well as Lo Sbarco Di Anzio, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Night of the Living Dead, Yellow Submarine, The Love Bug, Targets, and The Night Hustlers.
49. Bambi Meets Godzilla (1974)
Not Rated | 2 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
Bambi is contentedly nibbling the grass, seemingly unaware of his impending encounter with Godzilla. What will happen when the two finally meet?
Director: Marv Newland
Topaz couldn't outsmart and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid couldn't outgun this two minute film about two iconic characters and their chance meeting. Simple and stupid yet effectively funny.
50. Na komete (1970)
74 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
When a comet passes the earth very closely, it pulls a small part of North Africa with it. Carried along is a bunch of people. Among them Angelika, who just escaped from a ruthless weapon ... See full summary »
What a silly movie. Everything in this film is absurd, from the ridiculous characters to the outdated special effects. Throughout the movie I couldn't tell if this movie was terrible on purpose or if the filmmakers were really that bad. Nevertheless, the film did its job; I was thoroughly entertained and laughed out loud several times. Excellent 'bad movie night' fodder.
51. Straw Dogs (1971)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.
This is by far my favourite film of the year, but there's a huge battle for second. I don't know which one I like the best between Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Duel, The Andromeda Strain, Vanishing Point, Les Levres Rouge, or A Clockwork Orange. No matter, Straw Dogs gets the win for 1971.
52. Sleuth (1972)
PG | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller
A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.
It takes a damn good film to best The Godfather in any category, especially in a list of the best films of its year. But that's what Sleuth is: a damn good film. Frenzy and The Poseidon Adventure are also deserving of mentions, but not one of the runners up is quite as good as the film that pits Sir Laurence Olivier against Sir Michael Caine in a three-heat battle of wits.
53. The Day of the Jackal (1973)
PG | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.
Votes: 32,317 | Gross: $16.06M
1973 is a pretty good year for genre and thriller classics, with movies like Westworld, Walking Tall, and The Wicker Man. Each great films, but The Day of the Jackal enraptured me from start to finish. Excellent gem from the 70's.
54. The Beast Must Die (1974)
PG | 93 min | Horror, Mystery
Eight people have been invited to an island estate for the weekend. One of them is a werewolf. Can you guess which one?
1974 was a hell of a year for film, with such classics as Blazing Saddles, Caged Heat, Chinatown, Dark Star, Foxy Brown, Gone in Sixty Seconds, The Longest Yard, The Towering Inferno, Young Frankenstein, and of course the second Godfather film. However, my favourite film of 1974 goes to The Beast Must Die, a Peter Cushing grindhouse horror that I love much more than I probably should.
55. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
R | 133 min | Drama
A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.
Votes: 769,753 | Gross: $112.00M
This is the best film of 1975. The short film Recorded Live was fun and Monty Python and the Holy Grail has some spectacularly funny scenes but Cuckoo is some of the finest cinema you'll ever experience.
56. Sybil (1976)
198 min | Biography, Drama
A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed sixteen different personalities is treated by a doctor.
Sybil is in contention for my favourite TV Movie of all time so it was the obvious choice for '76. Network and Carrie are both strong contenders but Sally Field's spectacular performance(s) cannot be ignored.
57. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
Votes: 1,042,631 | Gross: $322.74M
I don't care how far away the bridge is, I have yet to see a film from 1977 that's as good as this game changer. Though I guess the jury will be out until I watch Annie Hall, Woody Allen's Best Picture winner.
58. The Buddy Holly Story (1978)
PG | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.
Votes: 7,009 | Gross: $14.36M
There were a lot of classics released in '78 but this film stands above them all. Gary Busey was excellent as the legendary Buddy Holly and the music was fantastic. Absolutely worth a watch.
59. Norma Rae (1979)
PG | 114 min | Drama
A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.
Votes: 8,662 | Gross: $22.23M
This is the kind of choice that would make my friends tell me to "turn in my man card". I liked Norma Rae more than such genre heavyweights as The Warriors, Apocalypse Now, Alien, Zombi 2 and Mad Max, dramatic powerhouse Kramer vs. Kramer, as well as comedic gems Life of Brian and The Jerk. What can I say? Sally Field turned in an excellent performance here and was well-deserving of her Oscar win.
60. The Ninth Configuration (1980)
R | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S.M.C. soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out ... See full summary »
One of the toughest calls I had to make. Do I choose William Peter Blatty's forgotten classic about insanity or Cannibal Holocaust, the most shocking movie ever made. I had to think hard, but in the end I chose this one. I urge you to see it.
61. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
Votes: 748,985 | Gross: $248.16M
I can't think about this movie without thinking about the Raiders March, John Williams' legendary score. Or snakes. S.O.B. could have contended if it didn't fly off the rails in the third act.
62. Deathtrap (1982)
PG | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.
Votes: 9,996 | Gross: $19.28M
This year is known to be the greatest year for geek movies, a list that includes TRON, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Conan the Barbarian, Creepshow, The Thing, and Blade Runner. And yet I choose a Michael Caine-starring macabre thriller-comedy in the same vein as Sleuth for 1982, in spite of my geekiness. The only other movies in serious contention for the title are Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist, Tim Burton's Vincent, and Sidney Lumet's The Verdict.
63. The Crimson Permanent Assurance (1983)
16 min | Adventure, Short, Comedy
A group of down-and-out accountants mutiny against their bosses and sail their office building onto the high seas in search of a pirate's life.
The tic-tac-toe-playing computer. The psychotic automobile. Tony Montana. This goofy little short that precedes Monty Python's The Meaning of Life stands above them all. The movie is very dumb but I enjoyed the silliness of it all the way through. Very fun.
64. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.
Hayao Miyazaki. The one and only. Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind is one of the most gorgeous and finely-crafted animated movies in cinema history and often places among the greatest films of all time. Excellent writing and characterisation and a fantastic design of the insects and ohms also serve to elevate the film. Arnie and Axel are the co-runners up but Nausicaä glides her way into the top spot of 1984.
65. Back to the Future (1985)
PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.
Votes: 850,497 | Gross: $210.61M
Do I choose the brats in detention, the brain-eating zombies, the soul-sucking alien vampires, or the time-traveling teen with the goofy geriatric? Gotta go with Hill Valley and the Flux Capacitor.
66. Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown (1986)
4 min | Animation, Short, Action
Charlie Brown is on the run from the Peanuts Gang after the Great Pumpkin puts a bounty on his head in this wild animated student short by Jim Reardon.
Arguably my favourite "bad" movie of all time, Big Trouble in Little China, and Platoon were made this year, but nothing topples this Charlie Brown spoof.
67. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
R | 116 min | Drama, War
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.
Votes: 559,375 | Gross: $46.36M
My favourite war movie of all time, and that's saying a lot. Stiff competition from The Princess Bride and a ton of others, but this is the best of the lot.
68. Die Hard (1988)
R | 132 min | Action, Thriller
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Votes: 670,410 | Gross: $83.01M
What can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said? This is explosive 80's action at its finest. Best Picture winner Rain Man lobbied hard for the position but it definitely wasn't as good as Die Hard. No, definitely not.
69. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
R | 114 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.
Votes: 141,192 | Gross: $147.25M
The best film of a damn good series, Diplomatic Immunity: The Movie defeats Bill & Ted, Marty McFly, James Cameron, and an Oscar-winning balancing act.
From here on, every movie mentioned earned a perfect 5 score in my books.
70. Goodfellas (1990)
R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.
Votes: 832,230 | Gross: $46.84M
I would have loved it if Tremors had made this list but it just isn't in the same league as Goodfellas. Not at all.
71. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
Votes: 1,030,489 | Gross: $130.74M
Anthony Hopkins' greatest performance, hands down. This Best Picture winner easily dominates the Office Space cartoon and the second Terminator for the win.
72. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.
Votes: 762,133 | Gross: $2.83M
The first of Tarantino's three appearances on this list, Reservoir Dogs is the definition of intense and is arguably the greatest heist film of all time. AND IT DIDN'T SHOW THE HEIST! No other film was considered for 1992.
73. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.
Votes: 994,545 | Gross: $96.07M
I really wanted to put Jurassic Park here but it was Spielberg's other incredible '93 film that'll make this list.
74. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Votes: 1,507,748 | Gross: $107.93M
This makes me angry. Both my favourite and third-favourite movies were released this year, which means you won't find Clerks. on this list. Both are truly masterpieces.
75. Mallrats (1995)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.
Votes: 105,097 | Gross: $2.12M
Mallrats > The Cart Boy > Se7en. The Usual Suspects would also have been considered had I not watched it again recently and subsequently lowered its score from a perfect 5 to a solid 4.
76. Bound (1996)
R | 108 min | Crime, Romance, Thriller
Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.
Votes: 44,574 | Gross: $3.80M
The 90's was a good decade for movies by first-time filmmakers, especially in the crime genre. Bound is a brilliant debut film from the Wachowskis and one of the best con/heist movies I've ever seen, with great acting, brilliant screenwriting, and a ton of memorable stylistic shots that the Wachowskis became known for. It's easily my favourite full-length movie of 1996; only short films Genre and The Bloody Olive can contend for the title.
77. Perfect Blue (1997)
R | 81 min | Animation, Horror, Mystery
A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.
Votes: 36,442 | Gross: $0.11M
Arguably the biggest surprise I have ever had. I bought this movie when my local Roger's Video was closing despite knowing nothing about the movie at the time aside from the fact that it was directed by the same guy who did Paprika. I have several guilty pleasures from 1997 including Con Air, MiB, Face/Off, Titanic, Deadline, and L.A. Confidential but none can best this intense little film.
78. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
R | 169 min | Drama, War
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.
Votes: 1,016,715 | Gross: $216.54M
Saving Private Ryan. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Lola Rennt. 3 excellent films, all in my top 50, but just one can make this list. In the end I chose Saving Private Ryan, the film that should have won that year's Best Picture Oscar.
79. The Matrix (1999)
R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Votes: 1,386,421 | Gross: $171.48M
What can I say? I love this movie with an absolute passion and have since my first viewing. Fight Club is excellent too but it isn't in the same league as my second-favourite film of all time.
80. Battle Royale (2000)
Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
For much of my life, Snatch. was in my top 3 favourite films and would have been the obvious choice for 2000. Alas, after re-watching it for the umpteenth time a few years ago, it slipped just enough to fall below this gem from Japan. Besides, nothing beats Takeshi Kitano's method to stop a student from whispering (pun intended).
81. Ocean's Eleven (2001)
PG-13 | 116 min | Crime, Thriller
Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.
Votes: 445,857 | Gross: $183.41M
Denzel, Travolta, and Ed Harris all gave incredible performances this year but none could usurp the cool charm that Clooney, Pitt, and the gang exude throughout this picture.
82. Adaptation. (2002)
R | 114 min | Comedy, Drama
A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen.
Votes: 157,485 | Gross: $22.25M
Adaptation. is an astoundingly scripted piece of work, combining high and low art with a touch of irony so well, only a master could have done it. It's a shame this film wasn't nominated for Best Picture and an even bigger shame that it didn't win Best Adapted Screenplay but the fact that it has a huge following more than makes up for it. Best Picture winner Chicago also had a shot but it just didn't quite best this one. Adaptation for 2002.
PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.
Votes: 909,596 | Gross: $305.41M
No contest. It's my choice even in spite of the sequels turning this great film into the first of a rather lousy franchise.
84. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
R | 99 min | Comedy, Horror
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.
Votes: 440,121 | Gross: $13.54M
This is my favourite film of the 2000's, so it gets the nod. Collateral, Cashback, and Ryan were damn good too. However, had I considered television shows and mini-series', "Erufen rito" would have won by a mile.
85. Sin City (2005)
R | 124 min | Crime, Thriller
A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.
Votes: 697,247 | Gross: $74.10M
I'm really at odds about this choice. This film or the excellent The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello. It could honestly go either way.
86. Air Guitar Nation (2006)
R | 81 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
It's time to rock and roll - air guitar style. AIR GUITAR NATION is the feature documentary about the year that air guitar swept America - from New York to Los Angeles and then all the way ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,250 | Gross: $0.07M
The Departed, The Prestige, and Blood Diamond are all excellent films. They are 3 of my favourites and each bring something special to the table. But at the end of the day, this little documentary about the Air Guitar World Championships takes centre stage for 2006. It's just a pleasant and fun movie to watch and you really feel the excitement and happiness throughout. Air Guitar Nation is a breath of fresh air when compared to the plethora of grim and serious docs that permeate the genre. Canadian gem Bon Cop, Bad Cop held this spot for years before finally dropping out after my umpteenth time seeing the film.
87. Grindhouse (2007)
R | 191 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation double features in the 60s and 70s with two back-to-back cult films that include previews of coming attractions between them.
Votes: 164,611 | Gross: $25.03M
It counts and you know it. Shame I couldn't choose Hot Fuzz, Mr. Brooks, There Will Be Blood, or Persepolis.
88. Gran Torino (2008)
R | 116 min | Drama
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.
Votes: 629,631 | Gross: $148.10M
WALL-E, The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Recount... Gran Torino was above them all. It also had to contend with documentaries Zombiemania, Not Quite Hollywood, and Global Metal; short films Treevenge, This Way Up, Presto, Ice Breakers, and BURN-E; Kevin Smith's third Evening movie; and several others. Great year!
89. The Secret of Kells (2009)
Not Rated | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.
Votes: 26,349 | Gross: $0.69M
This was an odd year. I have several perfect-rated films from 2009, but only two were full-length fictions. The rest were all either documentaries or short films. In the end, The Secret of Kells edged out Technotise - Edit i Ja, The Cove, and Ataque De Pánico! for 2009's pick.
90. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
PG | 98 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.
Votes: 559,122 | Gross: $217.58M
For a supposed "terrible year", I enjoyed many films in 2010. If I didn't choose this one, I still could've chosen Toy Story 3, The Fighter, The Social Network, Unthinkable, The People vs. George Lucas, You Don't Know Jack, or Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Not a bad list at all.
91. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
PG | 90 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past.
Votes: 209,670 | Gross: $165.25M
Another year of guilty pleasures, each one guiltier than the last. Red State, Corman's World, La Luna, Meet the Medic, Real Steel, Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter Part 7 Part 2, Carnage, Comic-Con Episode IV, The Ballad of Nessie, The Backwater Gospel, Hobo with a Shotgun, and the Roast of Charlie Sheen all received perfect scores in my book. However, it was the sequel to one of my favourite family films in recent memory that takes home the gold for 2011. Skadoosh.
92. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.
Votes: 209,334 | Gross: $15.02M
2012 had several excellent films but Seven Psychopaths stood tall over the rest. Brilliant performances, free-flowing comedy, and magnificent directing by a master of dialog; it's hard to find a fault in this amusing and dark little film. Marvel's Avengers was initially rated on par with Seven Psychopaths but its score dropped on a subsequent viewing. Psychos ends the 3 year reign of family film firsts on this list.
93. Connection (I) (2013)
10 min | Short, Drama
A celebrity meets a person at the airport. All is fine until the person finds out that if they return home, they will be arrested.
Connection is a short about a chance meeting between a pair of people (Nikolai Khalezin and Jude Law, playing themselves) with a severe language barrier who find they have a lot in common. It's a powerful little film with a message and it's worth the 10 minutes of your time. 2013's runner-up perfect-rated films are Blackfish, The World's End, August: Osage County, Lights Out, and Don Jon.
94. Nightcrawler (2014)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Votes: 364,400 | Gross: $32.38M
2014 was a weak year for cinema, long on derivative films and short on anything memorable. My pretentiousness aside, there were a few stand-out films and a year like this only makes the above-average films that much more appreciated. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a performance for the ages in Nightcrawler, boosting it into the number 1 spot for the year, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention spectacular, perfect-rated runners-up Feast, Birdman, and The Book of Life.
95. A Man Called Ove (2015)
PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife's grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors.
Votes: 31,248 | Gross: $3.36M
Tarantino crafted another excellent story in The Hateful Eight with his trademarked brand of sharp dialogue, high tension, and ultraviolence. The Martian put the science back into science fiction, somehow doing so without sacrificing what makes a great movie. And Bakemono no Ko is a sharp little family film that made me run the gamut of emotions. But A Man Called Ove's simple yet emotional tale of an angry curmudgeon's rediscovery of meaning in his life that sits atop 2015.
96. Morgan (2016)
R | 92 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.
Votes: 30,772 | Gross: $3.91M
Much like 2015's Ex Machina, this poorly-marketed scifi-thriller is a very solid, well-acted little think piece about the consequences and ramifications of artificial intelligence with strong characters and a killer ending. 2016 had some stiff competition at the top, including Xavier Dolan's excellent Juste la Fin du Monde, but I'm calling Morgan my top film of a surprising year.
97. Alien: Covenant (2017)
R | 122 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.
Votes: 191,193 | Gross: $74.26M
While this film doesn't reach the dizzying heights of the first two movies in its franchise, Alien: Covenant is still a damn good movie in its own right. Combining the best aspects of Prometheus and previous Alien films, this film is a thrilling sixth entry to the main Alien canon. May the science-fiction renaissance of the mid-10's keep rolling on!