Best Screenplay - Year by Year

Since 1930
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
The Blue Angel (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer. (106 mins.)
 
2.
Comradeship (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Plea against war and for friendship between peoples, through the story of French miners rescued by German colleagues after a firedamp explosion. (93 mins.)
 
3.
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
 
4.
Dinner at Eight (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan throw a dinner for a handful of wealthy and/or well-born acquaintances, each of whom has much to reveal. (111 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
5.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
6.
The 39 Steps (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information. (86 mins.)
 
7.
Fury (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the Mob for his murder. (92 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
8.
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
 
9.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby. (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
10.
Ninotchka (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest. (110 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
11.
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
 
12.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
13.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
14.
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.)
 
15.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 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
 
16.
The Lost Weekend (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout. (101 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
17.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion and the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier. (116 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
18.
Out of the Past (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. (97 mins.)
 
19.
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
 
20.
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
 
21.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
22.
Ace in the Hole (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. (111 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
23.
Kansas City Confidential (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits. (99 mins.)
Director: Phil Karlson
 
24.
I Confess (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A priest who comes under suspicion for murder cannot clear his name without breaking the seal of the confessional. (95 mins.)
 
25.
On the Waterfront (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. (108 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
26.
The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down. (119 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
27.
The Killing (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery. (85 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
28.
Wild Strawberries (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence. (91 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
29.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
30.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (121 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
31.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome. (174 mins.)
 
32.
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A fragile Kansas girl's love for a handsome young man from the town's most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness. (124 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
33.
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An alcoholic marries a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together. (117 mins.)
Director: Blake Edwards
 
34.
The Silence (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
35.
The Soft Skin (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her. (113 mins.)
 
36.
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
 
37.
A Man and a Woman (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their childrens' boarding school. Slowly they reveal themselves to each other... (102 mins.)
Director: Claude Lelouch
 
38.
The Graduate (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. (106 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
39.
The Odd Couple (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day. (105 mins.)
Director: Gene Saks
 
40.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend. (113 mins.)
 
41.
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A dropout from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest. (98 mins.)
Director: Bob Rafelson
 
42.
Harold and Maude (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral. (91 mins.)
Director: Hal Ashby
 
43.
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid overnight bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations. (94 mins.)
 
44.
The Way We Were (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart. (118 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
 
45.
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
 
46.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
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. (133 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
 
47.
Mado (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Middle-aged businessman, Simon Léotard finds his future in jeopardy when his partner Julien commits suicide after having accumulated a mass of debts... (135 mins.)
Director: Claude Sautet
 
48.
Annie Hall (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall. (93 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
49.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania. (183 mins.)
Director: Michael Cimino
 
50.
The China Syndrome (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant. (122 mins.)
Director: James Bridges
 
51.
Ordinary People (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son. (124 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
 
52.
Lola (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In post-war West Germany, the charming Von Bohm is appointed a city's new Building Commissioner. His morality is tested when he unknowingly falls in love with a brothel worker, Lola, the paid mistress of a corrupt property developer. (113 mins.)
 
53.
Missing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When an idealistic American writer disappears during the Chilean coup d'état in September 1973, his wife and father try to find him. (122 mins.)
Director: Costa-Gavras
 
54.
Terms of Endearment (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems. (132 mins.)
Director: James L. Brooks
 
55.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life. (229 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
 
56.
Witness (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial. (112 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
 
57.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly. (107 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
58.
Moonstruck (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Loretta Castorini, a book keeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry. (102 mins.)
Director: Norman Jewison
 
59.
Life Is a Long Quiet River (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two babies are switched at birth. When the mistake is discovered 12 years later, it leads to complications in the lives of both families... (90 mins.)
 
60.
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship. (96 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
61.
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment. (101 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
62.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird. (130 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
63.
Unforgiven (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man. (131 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
64.
A Perfect World (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A kidnapped boy strikes up a friendship with his captor: an escaped convict on the run from the law, headed by an honorable U.S. Marshal. (138 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
65.
Forrest Gump (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
While not intelligent, Forrest Gump has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him. (142 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
66.
Before Sunrise (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together. (101 mins.)
 
67.
Thesis (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty... (125 mins.)
 
68.
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
 
69.
The Celebration (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed. (105 mins.)
 
70.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (107 mins.)
 
71.
Traffic (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business. (147 mins.)
 
72.
The Others (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted. (101 mins.)
 
73.
Broken Wings (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Daphne and her four children try to cope with the abrupt death of husband/father. As the family seems to fall apart, a sudden incident gives them a chance to heal their 'broken wings'. (87 mins.)
Director: Nir Bergman
 
74.
Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. (121 mins.)
Director: Wolfgang Becker
 
75.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
76.
Summer in Berlin (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A tragicomic movie which focuses on two women and their daily struggle for survival during a summer in Berlin... (107 mins.)
Director: Andreas Dresen
 
77.
Babel (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families. (143 mins.)
 
78.
In Love We Trust (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A divorced couple learns that the way to possibly save daughter, who is suffering from blood cancer, is to have another child. Problem is: They're both already remarried. (115 mins.)
Director: Xiaoshuai Wang
 
79.
I've Loved You So Long (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman struggles to interact with her family and find her place in society after spending fifteen years in prison. (117 mins.)
 
80.
The White Ribbon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible? (144 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
 
81.
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological father into their non-traditional family life. (106 mins.)
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
 
82.
A Separation (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease. (123 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
 
83.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011. (157 mins.)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
 
84.
Circles (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Five people are affected by a tragic heroic act. 12 years later, each of them will have to confront the past... (112 mins.)
Director: Srdan Golubovic