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This is a (mostly) unsolicited and (mostly) unnecessary list of 100 films that I personally have deemed significant for some reason, in some way. At various points in my life each of these films has made an impression upon me; a select few are enduring favorites. I’ve presented them alphabetically rather than ranking them because 1) this list is far from comprehensive and 2) the point is not to try to figure out whether one film is better than another, but rather to illuminate all of these films.


I have made some deliberate exclusions of worthwhile films because I felt that they’re already well represented elsewhere: big franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, Pixar films, anything by Quentin Tarantino. Of course everyone loves them, but chances are you’ve already seen them. Conversely, it does include Citizen Kane and other critically acclaimed masterpieces that you’re more likely to have put off watching, mostly because I’m a pretentious film snob who enjoys letting everyone know how good his taste is.



(500) Days of Summer (2009, dir. Marc Webb)

12 Monkeys (1995, dir. Terry Gilliam)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

8 1/2 (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)

A Clockwork Orange (1971, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

A Face in the Crowd (1957, dir. Elia Kazan)

Adaptation (2001, dir. Spike Jonze)

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012, dir. Alison Klayman)

Alien (1979, dir. Ridley Scott)

Aliens (1986, dir. James Cameron)

Amélie (2001, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

American Splendor (2003, dirs. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini)

Annie Hall (1977, dir. Woody Allen)

Apocalypse Now (1979, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

Band of Outsiders (1964, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)

Barton Fink (1991, dir. Joel Coen)

Being John Malkovich (1999, dir. Spike Jonze)

Being There (1979, dir. Hal Ashby)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007, dir. Ridley Scott)

Blue Jasmine (2013, dir. Woody Allen)

Boogie Nights (1997, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

Brokeback Mountain (2005, dir. Ang Lee)

Broken Flowers (2005, dir. Jim Jarmusch)

Casino (1995, dir. Martin Scorsese)

Children of Men (2006, dir. Alfonso Cuarón)

Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)

City of God (2002, dir. Fernando Meirelles)

Coraline (2009, dir. Henry Selick)

Crumb (1994, dir. Terry Zwigoff)

Dead Man (1995, dir. Jim Jarmusch)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2007, dir. Michel Gondry)

Fanny and Alexander (1980, dir. Ingmar Bergman)

Fargo (1996, dir. Joel Coen)

Full Metal Jacket (1987, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Groundhog Day (1993, dir. Harold Ramis)

Harold and Maude (1971, dir. Hal Ashby)

Her (2013, dir. Spike Jonze)

I’m Not There (2007, dir. Todd Haynes)

In Bruges (2007, dir. Martin McDonagh)

La Strada (1954, dir. Federico Fellini)

Lost in Translation (2003, dir. Sofia Coppola)

Manhattan (1979, dir. Woody Allen)

Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)

Midnight in Paris (2011, dir. Woody Allen)

Million Dollar Baby (2004, dir. Clint Eastwood)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, dirs. Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones)

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979, dir. Terry Jones)

Moonrise Kingdom (2007, dir. Wes Anderson)

Mulholland Drive (2001, dir. David Lynch)

Nashville (1975, dir. Robert Altman)

No Country for Old Men (2007, dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000, dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen)

On the Waterfront (1954, dir. Elia Kazan)

Onibaba (1964, dir. Kaneto Shindô)

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, dir. Guillermo Del Toro)

Persepolis (2007, dirs. Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud)

Philomena (2013, dir. Stephen Frears)

Psycho (1960, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Ran (1980, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

Rashomon (1950, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

Rear Window (1954, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Requiem for a Dream (2000, dir. Darren Aronofsky)

Road to Perdition (2002, dir. Sam Mendes)

RoboCop (1987, dir. Paul Verhoeven)

Rushmore (1998, dir. Wes Anderson)

Saving Private Ryan (1998, dir. Stephen Spielberg)

Seven (1995, dir. David Fincher)

Shoot the Piano Player (1960, dir. Francois Truffaut)

Sideways (2004, dir. Alexander Payne)

Stagecoach (1938, dir. John Ford)

Stardust Memories (1980, dir. Woody Allen)

Strangers on a Train (1951, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Submarine (2011, dir. Richard Ayoade)

Super (2010, dir. James Gunn)

Synecdoche, New York (2009, dir. Charlie Kaufman)

Taxi Driver (1976, dir. Martin Scorsese)

The 400 Blows (1959, dir. Francois Truffaut)

The Big Lebowski (1998, dir. Joel Coen)

The Departed (2006, dir. Martin Scorsese)

The Elephant Man (1980, dir. David Lynch)

The Godfather (1972, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

The Godfather, Part II (1974, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966, dir. Sergio Leone)

The Graduate (1967, dir. Mike Nichols)

The Hustler (1955, dir. Robert Rossen)

The King of Comedy (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)

The Master (2012, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

The Seven Samurai (1954, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

The Seventh Seal (1957, dir. Ingmar Bergman)

The Shining (1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

The Squid and the Whale (2005, dir. Noah Baumbach)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, dir. John Huston)

The Truman Show (1998, dir. Peter Weir)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, dir. Martin Scorsese)

There Will Be Blood (2007, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

Touch of Evil (1958, dir. Orson Welles)

Unforgiven (1992, dir. Clint Eastwood)

Vertigo (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Wild Strawberries (1957, dir. Ingmar Bergman)

Y tu mamá también (2001, dir. Alfonso Cuarón)


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