Year-by-year favorite films, 1921-present

My personal favorites from each year. I like to think that aesthetic merit affects how much I like the film, but not always. YMMV.
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1.
The Kid (1921)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy. (68 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
“ Only 1921 film seen ” - Reaper
 
2.
Häxan (1922 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe. (91 mins.)
“ For 1922, I've seen only this and Nosferatu. ” - Reaper
 
3.
Safety Last! (1923)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When a store clerk organizes a publicity stunt, in which a friend climbs the outside of a tall building, circumstances force him to make the perilous climb himself. (70 mins.)
“ Harold Lloyd was a terrific physical comedian and this is very funny stuff. ” - Reaper
 
4.
Sherlock Jr. (1924)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch. (45 mins.)
Director: Buster Keaton
“ See notes for "Our Hospitality". Same applies to this one ” - Reaper
 
5.
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre. (75 mins.)
Director: S.M. Eisenstein
“ It's effectively down to this and The Gold Rush. I chose this one because of how many times other filmmakers have swiped the Odessa Steps scene. ” - Reaper
 
6.
The General (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines. (67 mins.)
“ Only 1926 film seen, but I'd probably choose this one if I'd watched hundreds. ” - Reaper
 
7.
Sunrise (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
“ As effective as Metropolis is, visually, it doesn't grip me the way that Sunrise does. Sue me. ” - Reaper
 
8.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (110 mins.)
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
“ A performance for the ages. One of the few silents where you don't even miss spoken dialogue. ” - Reaper
 
9.
Blackmail (1929)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After killing a man in self-defence, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing. (85 mins.)
“ Only other 1929 film seen was Man With a Movie Camera, which again is technically brilliant, but a little sterile. ” - Reaper
 
10.
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. (136 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
“ Any film banned by the Nazis is a good one in my book ” - Reaper
 
11.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ Toughest choice so far; down to M, City Lights and The Public Enemy. ” - Reaper
 
12.
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme. (83 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
“ I love Lubitsch, and this is one of his best. ” - Reaper
 
13.
Design for Living (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship. (91 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
“ Another tough choice. King Kong, Duck Soup and Barbara Stanwyck's Baby Face also date from 1933. ” - Reaper
 
14.
L'Atalante (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy. (89 mins.)
Director: Jean Vigo
“ Visually effective, and Dita Parlo is so sexy. ” - Reaper
 
15.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti... (132 mins.)
Director: Frank Lloyd
“ A lean year, in my personal catalogue. I admire John Ford's The Informer more, but Mutiny is more fun for me to watch ” - Reaper
 
16.
The Story of a Cheat (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A charming scoundrel reflects on his exploits, from childhood through to manhood. (81 mins.)
Director: Sacha Guitry
“ Difficult to choose between this, Swing Time and Modern Times, but I'll take this one. Very French, without the pomposity. ” - Reaper
 
17.
The Awful Truth (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance. (91 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
“ Lots to choose from, but I will rewatch this over The Grand Illusion and even Snow White most of the time. ” - Reaper
 
18.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. (102 mins.)
“ Chosen for pure entertainment value, including Technicolor, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and stunt archers. There were better films from 1938, but none that were more fun. ” - Reaper
 
19.
The Rules of the Game (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau. (110 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
“ No shortage of great and fun movies for this year, of course. I choose La règle du jeu for its great dialogue and performanes, as well as an added poignancy: I am aware, as the film's initial audiences were not, of the terrible things that were looming within a year for these characters. ” - Reaper
 
20.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. (112 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
“ Grant, Hepburn and Stewart, all at the tops of their games. Another great year, but a relatively easy choice. ” - Reaper
 
21.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Another relatively easy choice: this is one of my personal favorite films of any year. ” - Reaper
 
22.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ And a third easy choice in a row. ” - Reaper
 
23.
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be. (108 mins.)
“ A difficult choice, between Heaven Can Wait and this one. If Hitchcock really thought this his favorite of all the films he'd made, however, who am I to disagree? ” - Reaper
 
24.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Between this and Olivier's Henry V. Both films are in my personal collection. However, Olivier did not have Barbara Stanwyck at the height of her femme-fataleness. ” - Reaper
 
25.
'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Joan Webster is an ambitious and stubborn middle-class English woman determined to move forward since her childhood... (91 mins.)
“ Relatively weak year, in my personal catalogue. When in doubt, pick The Archers, I suppose. ” - Reaper
 
26.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed. (172 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
“ Simply my all-time favorite film, period. Even in an incredible year, both in Hollywood and abroad, this is a simple decision for me. ” - Reaper
 
27.
Kiss of Death (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise. (99 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
“ Richard Widmark's psychotic malice elevates this to something more than an obvious gangster flick. ” - Reaper
 
28.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ If it was a list of best films, it would be The Bicycle Thief, of course. I admire that film a lot, but I find its relentless pessimism depressing. ” - Reaper
 
29.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession. (106 mins.)
Director: Robert Hamer
“ It's heartbreaking to omit White Heat, but eight Alec Guinnesses outweigh one James Cagney, no matter how great his performance. It's also fun to see British serial killing comedy. ” - Reaper
 
30.
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Hard not to choose Sunset Blvd., but Rashomon is just better - a complex philosophical treatise, cleverly disguised as an adventure movie. ” - Reaper
 
31.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement. (101 mins.)
“ For me, it's down to this and The African Queen. I'm not fond of Streetcar - too stagebound for my tastes. My favorite Hitchcock. ” - Reaper
 
32.
Forbidden Games (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young French girl orphaned in a Nazi air attack is befriended by the son of a poor farmer, and together they try to come to terms with the realities of death. (86 mins.)
Director: René Clément
“ Another weak year in my personal catalogue. This one is so poignant. ” - Reaper
 
33.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ Very tough choice. If asked tomorrow, I might say Stalag 17 or The Wages of Fear. I'll go with Ozu's gentleness and lyricism - for today, at least. ” - Reaper
 
34.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Another heartbreaking choice, because I have to omit Rear Window, On the Waterfront, and even Sensho the Bailiff. No apologies, however, for the actual choice. ” - Reaper
 
35.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
“ A year where there are a lot of films I admire, but none I really love. ” - Reaper
 
36.
A Man Escaped (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Captured French Resistance fighter Lieutenant Fontaine awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison... (99 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
“ Incredibly concentrated film, with tension throughout. Even if the title does give away the ending. ” - Reaper
 
37.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (161 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ Superb film. However, it's surprisingly difficult to choose between this and Peyton Place, of all movies. I have some guilty pleasures, and Peyton Place is one of those. ” - Reaper
 
38.
The Big Country (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land. (165 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
“ I think this falls into the "guilty pleasure" category, especially when compared to Mon oncle or Vertigo or A Touch of Evil. Maybe I just like the score ... ” - Reaper
 
39.
North by Northwest (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
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. (136 mins.)
“ Another difficult choice. I also love Anatomy of a Murder, Some Like It Hot and even Hiroshima mon amour. ” - Reaper
 
40.
The Apartment (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. (125 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Yes, even over Psycho. Jack Lemmon makes the picture work. ” - Reaper
 
41.
A Woman Is a Woman (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A French striptease artist is desperate to become a mother. When her reluctant boyfriend suggests his best friend to impregnate her, feelings become complicated when she accepts. (85 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ I'm not overly fond of Godard - probably something in my genome - but this film is easy to love, since it succeeds on several levels ” - Reaper
 
42.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed. (123 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ A relatively easy choice, even in a good year. Maybe if I watch Hara Kiri a few more times, I'll change this one, but Ford, Wayne and Stewart add up to a worthy choice in any event. ” - Reaper
 
43.
The Great Escape (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. (172 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ Relatively easy choice. I was bored by Contempt (who but Godard could make Brigitte Bardot's butt tedious?), and 8 1/2 is just a little too esoteric to be a favorite. ” - Reaper
 
44.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young girl separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision. (91 mins.)
Director: Jacques Demy
“ The device of having all dialogue sung, coupled with a charming score, turn a routine "Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl" drama into something magical. ” - Reaper
 
45.
Repulsion (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence. (105 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Creepy. ” - Reaper
 
46.
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government. (121 mins.)
“ The only competition in my mind was Blow-Up, but that film's deliberate irresolution annoyed me. ” - Reaper
 
47.
Le Samouraï (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After Professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further in a corner. (105 mins.)
“ The standard of cool (1960's France subcategory). The moral ambivalence more than makes up for any quibbles about production values. ” - Reaper
 
48.
Z (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles. (127 mins.)
Director: Costa-Gavras
“ Yes, even over The Wild Bunch. The added pain of knowing how Pyrrhic the victory in the film would ultimately be makes this one a winner. ” - Reaper
 
49.
Airport (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved. (137 mins.)
Director: George Seaton
“ Another guilty pleasure, from a fairly lean year in my personal catalogue. ” - Reaper
 
50.
Dirty Harry (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath. (102 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
“ Although it's a very fine film, this may be a guilty pleasure, especially since I'm choosing it over A Clockwork Orange. ” - Reaper
 
51.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ An easy choice. However, if I watch Aguirre: The Wrath of God a few more times, I might even change this one. ” - Reaper
 
52.
The Sting (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. (129 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ This is probably another guilty pleasure, especially compared to Amarcord and The Exorcist. Still, I like it. ” - Reaper
 
53.
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Only serious competition is The Godfather: Part II. I love them both, but I rewatch this one more often. ” - Reaper
 
54.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. (91 mins.)
“ If I was a better cineast, I'd select Nashville or Jaws, probably. Good thing I'm not. ” - Reaper
 
55.
Network (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit. (121 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ More fun than Taxi Driver, even if it's a lesser film. ” - Reaper
 
56.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ Just plain fun. ” - Reaper
 
57.
Animal House (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
At a 1962 college, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those trouble-makers have other plans for him. (109 mins.)
Director: John Landis
“ I'm ashamed of this selection, but the only competition was The Deer Hunter, the first 45 minutes of which made me want to indulge in self-immolation. ” - Reaper
 
58.
All That Jazz (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer. (123 mins.)
Director: Bob Fosse
“ A pretty lean year in my catalogue. And I found Apocalypse Now the most overrated fecal matter to be given wide distribution since the guano mines ran out. ” - Reaper
 
59.
Airplane! (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. (88 mins.)
“ It's down to this and The Empire Strikes Back. This one is more fun. ” - Reaper
 
60.
Body Heat (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband. (113 mins.)
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
“ It came down to this and Blow Out. But I couldn't pick Double Indemnity (1944) without picking the movie it inspired, could I? ” - Reaper
 
61.
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. (158 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ Great one. The director and the title character had a lot in common, it seems. ” - Reaper
 
62.
Trading Places (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. (116 mins.)
Director: John Landis
“ I've seen a lot of films from 1983, but not many good ones. This is the best of a fairly mediocre personal catalogue. ” - Reaper
 
63.
Paris, Texas (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family. (147 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ Decent film in its own right; also works as a vision of what America looks like to a European like Wenders. ” - Reaper
 
64.
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him. (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ In a weak year (in my catalogue, at least), Ran is an easy decision. A worthy culmination to Kurosawa's Samurai oeuvre. ” - Reaper
 
65.
Down by Law (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie. (107 mins.)
Director: Jim Jarmusch
“ Proves that low budget need not mean low quality. ” - Reaper
 
66.
The Princess Bride (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride. (98 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ Finding a film from 1987 that I liked more? Inconceivable! ” - Reaper
 
67.
Bull Durham (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him. (108 mins.)
Director: Ron Shelton
“ Again, if I see Totoro or Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown a few more times, I may prefer them; but for now, Bull Durham is a movie I just love to watch. ” - Reaper
 
68.
Henry V (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415. (137 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
“ Concededly, a lesser film than Do the Right Thing. Although I prefer the Olivier version from 1946, I liked Branagh's muddy, bellicose version better than any other film in 1989. ” - Reaper
 
69.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ A weak year in my catalogue, but this was a great film in any year. ” - Reaper
 
70.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ Slick, bombastic, violent, but a great film. ” - Reaper
 
71.
Short Cuts (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The day-to-day lives of a number of suburban Los Angeles residents. (188 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ In which I atone for not choosing Nashville (1974). 1993 was a good year in my catalog, but this is a wonderful film. ” - Reaper
 
72.
Three Colors: White (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After his wife divorces him, a Polish immigrant plots to get even with her. (91 mins.)
“ Yes, more than Pulp Fiction or Shawshank (or even Three Colors: Red). I love Kieslowski. ” - Reaper
 
73.
Toy Story (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room. (81 mins.)
Director: John Lasseter
“ I've seen a lot of movies from 1995, but few that I've liked very much. ” - Reaper
 
74.
Fargo (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. (98 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ See comment for 1995. It fits for '96 as well ” - Reaper
 
75.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. (138 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ Stylish and slick. Love it ” - Reaper
 
76.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. (117 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ I'm not as huge a fan of this as some people are, but I haven't seen a film from the year that I've liked more. ” - Reaper
 
77.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting. (92 mins.)
“ A worthy successor to the original; a kid's movie for grownups. ” - Reaper
 
78.
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
“ Good concept, well-executed. ” - Reaper
 
79.
Spirited Away (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ Gorgeous film. If the story bores you, you still have some very beautiful animation to look at. ” - Reaper
 
80.
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
“ Savage ” - Reaper
 
81.
Osama (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The Taliban are ruling Afghanistan, they being a repressive regime especially for women, who, among other things... (83 mins.)
Director: Siddiq Barmak
“ I'm not sure if it's really a favorite, but a lean year in my catalogue, and I can't remember a film that bothered me more than this one did ” - Reaper
 
82.
Moolaadé (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female genital mutilation, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart. (124 mins.)
Director: Ousmane Sembene
“ Another film that bothered me. Very well done. ” - Reaper
 
83.
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest. (85 mins.)
Director: Steve Box, Nick Park
“ I have actually seen very few films released in the last 5-7 years. For 2005, this is the one I liked the most. ” - Reaper
 
84.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. (118 mins.)
“ If this had been made in Hollywood, they would have dumbed it down and tacked on a saccharine happy ending. Poignant fairy tale for grownups. ” - Reaper
 
85.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande. (122 mins.)
“ Another film I'm not a huge fan of, but probably the 2007 film I've liked the most. ” - Reaper
 
86.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
“ I didn't like it much, but I did like it. ” - Reaper
 
87.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants. (122 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ It was either this or Avatar, and I couldn't live with myself if I picked Avatar. Herzog does a pretty good job in this, as does Cage. ” - Reaper
 
88.
Blue Valentine (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods. (112 mins.)
“ I didn't love it, but I liked it better than any other film from last year. ” - Reaper
 
89.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight. (94 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Clever without being overly intellectual; sentimental without mawkishness. Excellent concept, nicely realized. ” - Reaper
 
90.
Skyfall (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (143 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Didn't love it - it plagiarized The Man with the Golden Gun a little too much - but a worthy entry in the Bond oeuvre. ” - Reaper
 
91.
Gravity (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident which leaves them alone in space. (91 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
“ You'd think that watching Sandra Bullock wearing a bulky spacesuit for 90 minutes would be a lousy movie. It isn't. Well-crafted entertainment. ” - Reaper