Jonathan Rosenbaum's Annual Top Ten Lists

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1.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado. (95 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
2.
Amarcord (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town. (123 mins.)
 
3.
Cockfighter (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Southern action drama film about cockfighting. (83 mins.)
Director: Monte Hellman
 
4.
The Conversation (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered. (113 mins.)
 
5.
The Mother and the Whore (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In Paris, the pedantic Alexandre lives with his mate Marie in her apartment, an open relationship. Alexandre... (217 mins.)
Director: Jean Eustache
 
6.
Penthesilea (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(99 mins.)
 
7.
The Little Theatre of Jean Renoir (1970 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Made for television, this film consists of four parts: Part One, "The Last Christmas Dinner," is about... (100 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
8.
Scenes from a Marriage (1973 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage... (283 mins.)
 
9.
Toni (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture... (81 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
10.
What? (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right... (114 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
11.
The Life of Oharu (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society. (148 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
12.
Lancelot of the Lake (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials... (85 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
13.
Nashville (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed. (160 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
 
14.
Stavisky... (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Irrestisible charm and talent helps Serge Alexandre alias Stavisky, small-time swindler, to make friends... (120 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
15.
Winstanley (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Winstanley explores the attempt by Gerrard Winstanley who formed 'The Diggers' and with a group of followers attempted to form a small farming community in one of the first proto-Communist attempts at collective agriculture. (95 mins.)
Director: Kevin Brownlow
 
16.
Good Morning (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two boys begin a silence strike to press their parents into buying them a television set. (94 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
17.
California Split (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but... (108 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
 
18.
Badlands (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
 
19.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo. (112 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
 
20.
Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Roswitha is working to carry out illegal abortions, to support her husband and two children. The police discovers her and the husband is arrested. Roswitha gets involved in social work and politics. (91 mins.)
Director: Alexander Kluge
 
21.
Taira Clan Saga (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Special Forces commander Captain Tadamori returns to Kyoto after successfully defeating the uprising of pirates in the western sea of Japan... (108 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
22.
Utamaro and His Five Women (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models... (106 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
23.
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression. (124 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
24.
Numéro deux (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An analysis of the power relations in an ordinary family. (88 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
 
25.
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama... (193 mins.)
Director: Jacques Rivette
 
26.
Family Plot (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California. (120 mins.)
 
27.
F for Fake (1973 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary about fraud and fakery. (89 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
28.
Coilin and Platonida (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
The 1920s. Thrown out of the house by her uncle, Aksinya marries her lover, a sexton, and five months later gives birth to a son...
Director: James Scott
 
29.
Breaking with Old Ideas (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
(110 mins.)
Director: Wenhua Li
 
30.
Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary film about the English photographer Eadweard Muybridge. (59 mins.)
 
31.
Ill-Fated Love (1978 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A story about doomed love between to people from different worlds and the impact in their lives. (45 mins.)
 
32.
Cutter's Way (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter. (109 mins.)
Director: Ivan Passer
 
33.
Gal Young Un (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Gal Young 'Un centers on a spinster woman who lives alone in the woods of north Florida until she is swept off her feet by an opportunistic bootlegger... (105 mins.)
Director: Victor Nunez
 
34.
Hardly Working (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
In Jerry Lewis's first film in a decade, he plays Bo Hooper, an unemployed circus clown who can't seem to hold down a job... (91 mins.)
Director: Jerry Lewis
 
35.
India Song (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Poetical tale of Anne-Marie Stretter, the wife of a French diplomat in India in the 1930s. At 18 she... (120 mins.)
 
36.
Mommie Dearest (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted. (129 mins.)
Director: Frank Perry
 
37.
Numéro deux (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An analysis of the power relations in an ordinary family. (88 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
 
38.
Reds (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States. (195 mins.)
Director: Warren Beatty
 
39.
Shock Treatment (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show... but wind up as captives instead. (94 mins.)
Director: Jim Sharman
 
40.
Taxi zum Klo (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Frank Ripploh is a bit of a rascal: he's a bearded and shaggy-haired teacher, and he's gay with a very active sex life and an interest in making films... (98 mins.)
Director: Frank Ripploh
 
41.
The Horse Thief (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son... (88 mins.)
 
42.
Mammame (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Ruizian adaptation of Jean-Claude Gallotta's iconic wordless ballet choreography. (65 mins.)
Director: Raoul Ruiz
 
43.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (116 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
44.
Mélo (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In Paris in the 1920s, a concert violinist meets and falls in love with a stylish young flapper who's the wife of an old friend... (112 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
45.
The Last Emperor (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the final Emperor of China. (163 mins.)
 
46.
Ishtar (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
Two terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the CIA, the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime. (107 mins.)
Director: Elaine May
 
47.
Landscape Suicide (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In "Landscape Suicide" Benning continues his examination of Americana through the stories of two murderers... (95 mins.)
Director: James Benning
 
48.
Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Writer, ex-con and 40-something bottle-baby Tim Madden, who is prone to black-outs, awakens from a two-week... (110 mins.)
Director: Norman Mailer
 
49.
From the Pole to the Equator (1987 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
(96 mins.)
 
50.
Black Widow (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A federal investigator tracks down a gold digging woman who moves from husband to husband, kills them and collects the inheritance. (102 mins.)
Director: Bob Rafelson
 
51.
Mix-Up ou Meli-melo (1986 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
(60 mins.)
 
52.
Brightness (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father. (105 mins.)
 
53.
Housekeeping (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In the Pacific Northwest in 1955, two young sisters, abandoned by their mother, wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie... (116 mins.)
Director: Bill Forsyth
 
54.
Repentance (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The day after the funeral of Varlam Aravidze, the mayor of a small Georgian town, his corpse turns up in his son's garden and is secretly reburied... (153 mins.)
Director: Tengiz Abuladze
 
55.
Wings of Desire (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal. (128 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
 
56.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder. (104 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
57.
King Lear (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Everything returns to normal after Chernobyl. That is, everything but art. Most of the great works are lost... (90 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
 
58.
Talking to Strangers (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Rob Tregenza
 
59.
Plain Talk & Common Sense (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(110 mins.)
Director: Jon Jost
 
60.
Hairspray (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show. (92 mins.)
Director: John Waters
 
61.
Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The second film in Terence Davies's autobiographical series ('Trilogy', 'The Long Day Closes') is an... (85 mins.)
Director: Terence Davies
 
62.
A Short Film About Love (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An innocent virgin spies on his frontal neighbor and falls in love with her, thus starts using tricks on her which he hopes will lead to them meeting. (86 mins.)
 
63.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits. (126 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
64.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence. (120 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
65.
High Hopes (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful... (108 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
66.
Golub (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Leon Golub's massive canvasses depict scenes most of us would prefer not to see - mercenary killings... (56 mins.)
Stars: Leon Golub
 
67.
Rembrandt Laughing (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(100 mins.)
Director: Jon Jost
 
68.
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything. (100 mins.)
 
69.
 
70.
Say Anything... (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college. (100 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
 
71.
Sweetie (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An introspective young woman's life is upturned by the arrival of her maladjusted sister. (97 mins.)
Director: Jane Campion
 
72.
A City of Sadness (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers. (157 mins.)
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
 
73.
To Sleep with Anger (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Harry Mention, an enigmatic drifter from the South, comes to visit an old acquaintance named Gideon... (102 mins.)
Director: Charles Burnett
 
74.
White Hunter Black Heart (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa. (112 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
75.
The Icicle Thief (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A movie resembling Bicycle Thieves is shown on TV, but the real-life world gets muddled with the film and the TV commercials. (94 mins.)
 
76.
Pump Up the Volume (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens. (102 mins.)
Director: Allan Moyle
 
77.
The Plot Against Harry (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A small-time Jewish racketeer, just out of prison, finds himself in a quandary. Returning to his old neighborhood... (81 mins.)
Director: Michael Roemer
 
78.
Texasville (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen... (123 mins.)
 
79.
Mr. Hoover and I (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
(86 mins.)
 
80.
The Freshman (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A NYC film school student accepts a job with a local mobster who resembles a famous cinema godfather and who takes the young man under his wing, after demanding total loyalty. (102 mins.)
Director: Andrew Bergman
 
81.
Miami Blues (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When Fred Frenger gets out of prison, he decides to start over in Miami, Florida, where he starts a violent one-man crime wave... (97 mins.)
Director: George Armitage
 
82.
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
 
83.
An Angel at My Table (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters... (158 mins.)
Director: Jane Campion
 
84.
White Dog (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A trainer attempts to retrain a vicious dog that's been raised to attack black people. (90 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
 
85.
Ju Dou (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with... (95 mins.)
 
86.
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way. (104 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
87.
Chameleon Street (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money... (94 mins.)
 
88.
Europa Europa (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A boy in Nazi Germany, trying to conceal that he is Jewish, joins the Hitler Youth. (112 mins.)
 
89.
Camp de Thiaroye (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In this semi-autobiographical film, black soldiers help to defend France, but are detained in prison camp before being repatriated home. (157 mins.)
 
90.
Hangin' with the Homeboys (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two African-Americans and two Puerto-Ricans (though one pretends to be Italian) go out on the town on a Friday night... (88 mins.)
 
91.
For the Boys (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
With the help of the singer and dancer Dixie Leonhard US-Entertainer Eddie Sparks wants to bring some fun to the soldiers during World War II... (138 mins.)
Director: Mark Rydell
 
92.
A Tale of the Wind (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
This film travels through fantasy and reality as Joris Ivens goes to China to capture the wind.... (80 mins.)
Director: Joris Ivens
 
93.
Center Stage (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Biopic of 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu. (126 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kwan
 
94.
Rhapsody in August (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three generations' responses to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. (98 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
95.
Close-Up (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The true story of Hossain Sabzian that impersonated the director Mohsen Makhmalbaf to convince a family they would star in his so-called new film. (98 mins.)
 
96.
Life, and Nothing More... (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A director and his son return to a region damaged by the Guilan earthquake, hoping to find the children who appeared in his film a few years earlier. (95 mins.)
 
97.
The Famine Within (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Documents the contemporary obsession with an unrealistic body size and shape among North American women and the eating disorders it engenders. (90 mins.)
 
98.
Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Documentary about the career and eventual death from AIDS of actor Rock Hudson. (63 mins.)
Director: Mark Rappaport
 
99.
Naked Lunch (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa. (115 mins.)
 
100.
Close My Eyes (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
After some years of tension, Richard begins a sexual relationship with his sister Natalie, who is now married... (108 mins.)