List: Top 10 Films Of Every Year, By Year Of Production

I thought I’d keep something I could update on a semi-regular basis on here, showing my favourite films from each calendar year, separated by year of production (differing from my end-of-year lists, which favour UK release). I’m going back as far as 1940 for now, largely because the number of films per year that I’ve seen before that starts to rapidly diminish (and you’ll note that filling out a top 10 isn’t quite achieved in most cases for a little while). That’s something I hope to rectify over time, and hopefully I’ll eventually update this page, stretching further into the past. It’s an idea I’ve stolen wholesale from Vadim Rizov, whose intellectual integrity when writing about film is downright intimidating. Anyway, here’s where I am right now.

 

1940

  1. Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin)
  3. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks)
  4. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor)
  5. When the Daltons Rode (George Marshall)
  6. Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner)
  7. Too Many Husbands (Wesley Ruggles)

1941

  1. Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges)
  2. Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks)
  3. Hellzapoppin’ (H.C. Potter)
  4. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
  5. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges)
  6. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston)
  7. Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock)
  8. Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (Yasujiro Ozu)
  9. High Sierra (Raoul Walsh)
NV
Now, Voyager

1942

  1. Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper)
  2. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur)
  3. The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges)
  4. The Ox-Bow Incident (William A Wellman)
  5. There Was A Father (Yasujiro Ozu)
  6. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)
  7. Saboteur (Alfred Hitchcock)
  8. To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch)
  9. Mrs Miniver (William Wyler)
  10. You Were Never Lovelier (William A Seiter)

1943

  1. Le Corbeau (Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  2. Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. I Walked With a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur)
  4. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
  5. The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur)
  6. Hangmen Also Die! (Fritz Lang)
  7. The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson)
  8. Stormy Weather (Andrew L Stone)
  9. Cabin in the Sky (Vincente Minnelli / Busby Berkeley)
  10. Son of Dracula (Robert Siodmak)

1944

  1. Gaslight (George Cukor)
  2. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder)
  3. The Curse of the Cat People (Robert Wise, Gunther von Fritsch)
  4. Christmas Holiday (Robert Siodmak)
  5. Laura (Otto Preminger)
  6. A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
  7. To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks)
  8. Murder, My Sweet (Edward Dmytryk)
  9. The Uninvited (Lewis Allen)
  10. The Lodger (John Brahm)
Leave Her To Heaven
Leave Her To Heaven

1945

  1. Leave Her to Heaven (John M Stahl)
  2. Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz)
  3. Brief Encounter (David Lean)
  4. Detour (Edgar G Ulmer)
  5. The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder)
  6. Anchors Aweigh (George Sidney)
  7. My Name is Julia Ross (Joseph H Lewis)
  8. Dead of Night (Richard Hamer, Basil Dearden, Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton)

1946

  1. The Postman Always Rings Twice (Tay Garnett)
  2. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler)
  4. Let There Be Light (John Huston)
  5. It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra)
  6. The Dark Mirror (Robert Siodmak)
  7. Panique (Julien Duvivier)
  8. The Killers (Robert Siodmak)
  9. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
  10. Gilda (Charles Vidor)

1947

  1. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
  2. The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles)
  3. Odd Man Out (Carol Reed)
  4. The Woman on the Beach (Jean Renoir)
  5. Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur)
  6. Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang)
  7. Crossfire (Edward Dmytryk)
  8. Down to Earth (Alexander Hall)
  9. Ramrod (Andre de Toth)

1948

  1. Yellow Sky (William A Wellman)
  2. A Hen in the Wind (Yasujiro Ozu)
  3. The Red Shoes (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
  4. Pitfall (Andre de Toth)
  5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston)
  6. Fort Apache (John Ford)
  7. A Foreign Affair (Billy Wilder)
  8. Hamlet (Laurence Olivier)
  9. Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle)
  10. Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak)

1949

  1. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu)
  2. D.O.A. (Rudolph Maté)
  3. The Heiress (William Wyler)
  4. Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer)
  5. The Third Man (Carol Reed)
  6. On the Town (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly)
  7. Thirst (Ingmar Bergman)
  8. The Reckless Moment (Max Ophüls)
  9. Border Incident (Anthony Mann)
  10. I Shot Jesse James (Samuel Fuller)
Furies
The Furies

1950

  1. The Furies (Anthony Mann)
  2. Winchester ’73 (Anthony Mann)
  3. Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder)
  4. Gun Crazy (Joseph H Lewis)
  5. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)
  6. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray)
  7. Woman on the Run (Norman Foster)
  8. No Man of Her Own (Michael Leisen)
  9. Broken Arrow (Delmer Daves)
  10. To Joy (Ingmar Bergman)

1951

  1. Fixed Bayonets! (Samuel Fuller)
  2. Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu)
  3. Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson)
  4. The Tales of Hoffman (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
  5. Alice in Wonderland (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson)
  6. Awaara (Raj Kapoor)
  7. The Steel Helmet (Samuel Fuller)
  8. The Day The Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise)
  9. An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli)
  10. The Thing From Another World (Christian Nyby)

1952

  1. Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica)
  2. The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  3. The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice (Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly)
  5. Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa)
  6. Bend of the River (Anthony Mann)
  7. Rancho Notorious (Fritz Lang)
  8. Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (Douglas Sirk)
  9. The Big Sky (Howard Hawks)
  10. The Bad and the Beautiful (Vincente Minnelli)
The Naked Spur
The Naked Spur

1953

  1. The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann)
  2. Tokyo Story (Yasujro Ozu)
  3. Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller)
  4. The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino)
  5. Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman)
  6. Calamity Jane (David Butler)
  7. Hiroshima (Hideo Sekigawa)
  8. Niagara (Bob Gosse)
  9. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks)
  10. Summer with Monika (Ingmar Bergman)
Godzilla 1954
Godzilla

1954

  1. Godzilla (Ishirô Honda)
  2. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray)
  3. Magnificent Obsession (Douglas Sirk)
  4. Dial M for Murder (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. Crime Wave (Andre de Toth)
  6. La Strada (Federico Fellini)
  7. Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Jacques Becker)
  8. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
  9. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock)
  10. Human Desire (Fritz Lang)

1955

  1. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)
  2. Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray)
  3. The Big Combo (Joseph H Lewis)
  4. Diabolique (Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  5. Lola Montès (Max Ophüls)
  6. All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk)
  7. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray)
  8. Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)
  9. House of Bamboo (Samuel Fuller)
  10. There’s Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk)
Aparajito

1956

  1. Aparajito (Satyajit Ray)
  2. Giant (George Stevens)
  3. Early Spring (Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray)
  5. The Killing (Stanley Kubrick)
  6. Bob le Flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville)
  7. Patterns (Fielder Cook)
  8. Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk)
  9. The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa)
  10. Forbidden Planet (Fred M Wilcox)

1957

  1. The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk)
  2. The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov)
  3. The Tall T (Budd Boetticher)
  4. Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini)
  5. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet)
  6. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur)
  7. 3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves)
  8. Tokyo Twilight (Yasujiro Ozu)
  9. Pyaasa (Guru Dutt)
  10. The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold)

1958

  1. Equinox Flower (Yasujio Ozu) 
  2. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
  3. A Time to Love and a Time to Die (Douglas Sirk)
  4. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. Cairo Station (Youssef Chahine)
  6. The Music Room (Satyajit Ray)
  7. The Big Country (William Wyler)
  8. Shadows (John Cassevetes)
  9. The Boy Who Came Back (Seijun Suzuki)
  10. Terror in a Texas Town (Joseph H Lewis)

1959

  1. Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
  2. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (Masaki Kobayashi)
  3. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (Masaki Kobayashi)
  4. Apur Sansar (Satyajit Ray)
  5. The Crimson Kimono (Samuel Fuller)
  6. Day of the Outlaw (André de Toth)
  7. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais)
  8. Good Morning (Yasujiro Ozu)
  9. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder)
  10. The Wayward Girl (Edith Carlmar)
L’Avventura

1960

  1. L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  2. La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini)
  3. Eyes without a Face (Georges Franju)
  4. The Apartment (Billy Wilder)
  5. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
  6. The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman)
  7. Beat Girl (Edmond T Gréville)
  8. Village of the Damned (Wolf Rilla)
  9. Late Autumn (Yasujiro Ozu)
  10. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)

1961

  1. La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  2. Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)
  3. The Children’s Hour (William Wyler)
  4. The Hustler (Robert Rossen) 
  5. Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais)
  6. Léon Morin, Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville) 
  7. A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson)
  8. Viridiana (Luis Bunuel)
  9. Taste of Fear (Seth Holt)
  10. The Misfits (John Huston)

1962

  1. Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi) 
  2. Vivre Sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard)
  3. L’Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  4. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey)
  5. Cape Fear (J Lee Thompson)
  6. The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel)
  7. Sanjuro (Akira Kurosawa)
  8. Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda) 
  9. Lolita (Stanley Kubrick)
  10. The Trial (Orson Welles)
The Leopard
The Leopard

1963

  1. The Leopard (Luchino Visconti)
  2. The Silence (Ingmar Bergman)
  3. Judex (Georges Franju)
  4. 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini)
  5. Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller)
  6. Le Mepris (Jean-Luc Godard)
  7. Kiss of the Vampire (Don Sharp)
  8. Hud (Martin Ritt)
  9. Cleopatra (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Rouben Mamoulian)
  10. The Servant (Joseph Losey)

1964

  1. Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  2. The Naked Kiss (Samuel Fuller)
  3. Onibaba (Kaneto Shindō)
  4. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy)
  5. The Pumpkin Eater (Jack Clayton)
  6. Woman in the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
  7. Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick)
  8. My Fair Lady (George Cukor)
  9. The Train (John Frankenheimer)
  10. Lady in a Cage (Walter Grauman)
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

1965

  1. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer)
  2. Juliet of the Spirits (Federico Fellini)
  3. Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda)
  4. Sandra (Luchino Visconti)
  5. Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard) 
  6. Repulsion (Roman Polanski)
  7. For a Few Dollars More (Sergio Leone)
  8. Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard) 
  9. Vinyl (Andy Warhol) 
  10. Gumnaam (Anwar Kamel Pasha)
Daisies
Daisies

1966

  1. Daisies (Vera Chytilová)
  2. The Nun (Jacques Rivette)
  3. Persona (Ingmar Bergman)
  4. Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson)
  5. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecovo)
  6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone)
  7. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols)
  8. Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  9. Irezumi (Yasuzo Masumura)
  10. Black Girl (Ousmane Sembène)

1967

  1. Viy (Georgi Keopachyov, Konstantin Yershov)
  2. Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki)
  3. La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard)
  4. Mouchette (Robert Bresson)
  5. Dragon Inn (King Hu)
  6. Spring Night, Summer Night (J. L. Anderson)
  7. Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands (Atsushi Yamatoya)
  8. Samurai Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi)
  9. Belle de Jour (Luis Bunuel))
  10. Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard)

1968

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey)
  3. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero)
  4. Mandabi (Ousmane Sembène)
  5. Kuroneko (Kaneti Shindo)
  6. Outlaw Gangster VIP (Toshio Masuda)
  7. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski)
  8. La Prisonniere (Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  9. Funny Girl (William Wyler)
  10. Black Panthers (Agnes Varda)
Blind Beast
Blind Beast

1969

  1. Blind Beast (Yasuzo Masumura)
  2. Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto)
  3. Fellini Satyricon (Federico Fellini)
  4. Model Shop (Jacques Demy)
  5. Salesman (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin)
  6. Eros + Massacre (Kiju Yoshida)
  7. Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville) 
  8. Orgies of Edo (Teruo Ishii)
  9. Sweet Charity (Bob Fosse)
  10. The Cow (Deriush Mehrjui) 

1970

  1. The Vampire Lovers (Roy Ward Baker)
  2. The Things of Life (Claude Sautet)
  3. Valerie and her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jares)
  4. Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin)
  5. Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (Yasuharu Hasebe)
  6. Wanda (Barbara Loden)
  7. Ucho [The Ear] (Karel Kachyna) 
  8. Catch-22 (Mike Nichols)
  9. Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni) 
  10. Husbands (John Cassavetes)

1971

  1. Klute (Alan J Pakula)
  2. Out 1 (Jacques Rivette)
  3. A New Leaf (Elaine May)
  4. Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti)
  5. Vanishing Point (Richard C Sarafian)
  6. McCabe & Mrs Miller (Robert Altman)
  7. Mandala (Akio Jissoji)
  8. Lake of Dracula (Michio Yamamoto)
  9. Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg)
  10. Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff)
fpsj41
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

1972

  1. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Shunya Ito)
  2. Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (Sergio Martino)
  3. What Have You Done to Solange? (Massimo Dallamano)
  4. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  5. Poem (Akio Jissoji)
  6. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds (Paul Newman)
  7. Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion (Shunya Ito)
  8. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (Kenji Misume)
  9. Toys Are Not For Children (Stanley H Brassloff)
  10. Images (Robert Altman)

1973

  1. Coffy (Jack Hill)
  2. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shunya Ito)
  3. Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto)
  4. Messiah of Evil (Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz)
  5. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy)
  6. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  7. Serpico (Sidney Lumet)
  8. Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn)
  9. Day for Night (Francois Truffaut)
  10. Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita)
Celine and Julie
Celine and Julie Go Boating

1974

  1. Céline and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette) 
  2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper)
  3. Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins)
  4. Chinatown (Roman Polanski)
  5. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes)
  6. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
  7. Hearts and Minds (Peter Davis)
  8. Female Trouble (John Waters)
  9. The Parallax View (Alan J Pakula)
  10. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (Jorge Grau)

1975

  1. Jaws (Steven Spielberg)
  2. Nashville (Robert Altman)
  3. Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman)
  4. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick)
  5. Three Days of the Condor (Sydney Pollack)
  6. Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet)
  7. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir)
  8. French Connection II (John Frankenheimer)
  9. Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky)
  10. Bucktown (Arthur Marks)

1976

  1. Duelle (une quarantine) (Jacques Rivette)
  2. Harlan County, U.S.A (Barbara Kopple)
  3. The Witch Who Came from the Sea (Matt Cimber)
  4. Chinese Roulette (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  5. News from Home (Chantal Akerman)
  6. Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May)
  7. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)
  8. The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg)
  9. The Pom Pom Girls (Joseph Ruben)
  10. Dark August (Martin Goldman)
3 Women
3 Women

1977

  1. 3 Women (Robert Altman)
  2. The Ascent (Larisa Sheptiko)
  3. Eraserhead (David Lynch)
  4. One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda) 
  5. A Special Day (Ettore Scola)
  6. That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Bunuel)
  7. Gay USA (Arthur J Bressan Jr.)
  8. The Child (Robert Voskanian)
  9. Suspiria (Dario Argento)
  10. Rabid (David Cronenberg)

1978

  1. Girlfriends (Claudia Weill)
  2. Halloween (John Carpenter)
  3. Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman)
  4. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett)
  5. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick)
  6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman)
  7. The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino)
  8. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Liu Chia-Laing)
  9. The Shout (Jerzy Skolimowski)
  10. Fedora (Billy Wilder)
alien
Alien

1979

  1. Alien (Ridley Scott)
  2. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola)
  3. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky)
  4. Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog)
  5. My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong)
  6. The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  7. The Warriors (Walter Hill)
  8. Being There (Hal Ashby)
  9. The China Syndrome (James Bridges)
  10. Hardcore (Paul Schrader)

1980

  1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. The Fog (John Carpenter)
  3. Airplane! (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker)
  4. The Elephant Man (David Lynch)
  5. 9 to 5 (Colin Higgins)
  6. Babylon (Franco Rosso)
  7. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese)
  8. The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller)
  9. Inferno (Dario Argento)
  10. Nightmare City (Umberto Lenzi)
Ms. 45
Ms. 45

1981

  1. Ms. 45 (Abel Fererra)
  2. Kagero-Za (Seijun Suzuki)
  3. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis)
  4. Blow Out (Brian De Palma)
  5. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski)
  6. Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan)
  7. RoadGames (Richard Franklin)
  8. Thief (Michael Mann)
  9. Halloween II (Rick Rosenthal)
  10. Modern Romance (Albert Brooks)

1982

  1. The Thing (John Carpenter)
  2. One from the Heart (Francis Ford Coppola)
  3. White Dog (Samuel Fuller)
  4. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
  5. A Good Marriage (Éric Rohmer)
  6. Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman)
  7. The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese)
  8. Eating Raoul (Paul Bartel)
  9. Smithereens (Susan Seidelman)
  10. The Seduction (David Schmoeller)
Videodrome

1983

  1. Videodrome (David Cronenberg)
  2. Burroughs: The Movie (Howard Brookner)
  3. Pauline at the Beach (Éric Rohmer)
  4. Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden)
  5. The Hunger (Tony Scott)
  6. Dark Habits (Pedro Almodóvar)
  7. A nos Amours (Maurice Pialat)
  8. Sans Soleil (Chris Marker)
  9. Psycho II (Richard Franklin)
  10. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Nagisa Oshima)

1984

  1. Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme)
  2. The Terminator (James Cameron)
  3. Special Effects (Larry Cohen)
  4. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki)
  5. Body Double (Brian De Palma)
  6. Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders)
  7. Diary for my Children (Márta Mészáros)
  8. Blood Simple (Joel Coen)
  9. The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein)
  10. Full Moon in Paris (Éric Rohmer)

1985

  1. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Paul Schrader)
  2. Desert Hearts (Donna Deitch)
  3. Tampopo (Juzo Itami)
  4. Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Siedelman)
  5. Ran (Akira Kurosawa)
  6. Vagabond (Agnes Varda)
  7. Pale Rider (Clint Eastwood)
  8. Clue (Jonathan Lynn)
  9. Fool For Love (Robert Altman)
  10. To Live and Die in LA (William Friedkin)
The Green Ray
The Green Ray

1986

  1. The Green Ray (Éric Rohmer)
  2. The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky)
  3. Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
  4. True Stories (David Byrne)
  5. Positive I.D. (Andy Anderson)
  6. Terrorizers (Edward Yang)
  7. Aliens (James Cameron)
  8. Mauvais Sang (Leos Carax)
  9. Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch)
  10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Tobe Hooper)
Lin Hsiao-yang as Lin in Daughter Of The Nile
Daughter Of The Nile

1987

  1. Daughter of the Nile (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
  2. Where is the Friend’s House? (Abbas Kiarostami)
  3. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (Éric Rohmer)
  4. Housekeeping (Bill Forsyth)
  5. Diary for my Loves (Márta Mészáros)
  6. China Girl (Abel Ferrara)
  7. Robocop (Paul Verhoeven)
  8. Hellraiser (Clive Barker)
  9. Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick)
  10. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders)

1988

  1. My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
  2. As Tears Go By (Wong Kar Wai)
  3. Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo)
  4. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg)
  5. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (Tony Randel)
  6. The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris)
  7. Scrooged (Richard Donner)
  8. Cinema Paradiso (Guiseppe Tornatore)
  9. Vampire’s Kiss (Robert Bierman)
  10. A Short Film About Love (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
My Twentieth Century

1989

  1. My Twentieth Century (Ildikó Enyedi)
  2. For All Mankind (Al Reinert)
  3. Tetsuo: the Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto)
  4. Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee)
  5. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway)
  6. Homework (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki)
  8. sex, lies and videotape (Steven Soderbergh)
  9. Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch)
  10. Society (Brian Yuzna)

1990

  1. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
  2. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Joe Dante)
  3. To Sleep With Anger (Charles Burnett) 
  4. Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen)
  5. Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston)
  6. Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar Wai)
  7. Erotic Ghost Story (Lam Ngai-Kai)
  8. Cry-Baby (John Waters)
  9. The Hot Spot (Dennis Hopper)
  10. King of New York (Abel Ferrera)

1991

  1. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)
  2. Boyz N The Hood (John Singleton)
  3. Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch)
  4. Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda)
  5. The Stranger (Satyajit Ray) 
  6. The Lovers on the Bridge (Léos Carax)
  7. Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (Fax Behr, Eleanor Coppola, George Hickenlooper)
  8. Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou)
  9. Yumeji (Seijun Suzuki) 
  10. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang)

1992

  1. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch)
  2. Orlando (Sally Potter)
  3. And Life Goes On (Abbas Kiarostami)
  4. Candyman (Bernard Rose)
  5. Alien3 (David Fincher)
  6. The Player (Robert Altman)
  7. Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (Shinya Tsukamoto)
  8. Gas, Food Lodging (Alison Anders)
  9. Death Becomes Her (Robert Zemeckis)
  10. Hard Boiled (John Woo)
8 Dazed And Confused
Dazed And Confused

1993

  1. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)
  2. Three Colours: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  3. Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg)
  4. The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese) 
  5. Patlabor 2 (Mamoru Oshii)
  6. Menace II Society (Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes)
  7. Philadelphia (Jonathan Demme)
  8. Body Snatchers (Abel Ferrara)
  9. Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige)
  10. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg)

1994

  1. Amateur (Hal Hartley)
  2. Three Colours: Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  3. Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai)
  4. Hoop Dreams (Steve James)
  5. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott)
  6. The Last Seduction (John Dahl)
  7. Nadja (Michael Almereyda)
  8. The Hudsucker Proxy (Joel Coen)
  9. Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee)
  10. Léon: The Professional (Luc Besson)

1995

  1. Maborosi (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  2. Fallen Angels (Wong Kar Wai)
  3. The Addiction (Abel Ferrara)
  4. Clockers (Spike Lee)
  5. Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater)
  6. Safe (Todd Haynes) 
  7. Tales from the Hood (Rusty Cundieff)
  8. Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii)
  9. To Die For (Gus Van Sant) 
  10. Twelve Monkeys (Terry Gilliam)
Irma Vep

1996

  1. Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
  2. Bound (Lana Wachowski, Lily Wachowski)
  3. Crash (David Cronenberg)
  4. Gabbeh (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
  5. Fargo (Joel Coen)
  6. Set it Off (F Gary Gray)
  7. The Funeral (Abel Ferrara)
  8. Grace Of My Heart (Allison Anders)
  9. Big Night (Stanley Tucci, Campbell Scott)
  10. Kansas City (Robert Altman)

1997

  1. Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (David Mirkin)
  2. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  3. Lost Highway (David Lynch)
  4. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
  5. Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon)
  6. I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie)
  7. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee)
  8. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino)
  9. The Small Town (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
  10. Rainy Dog (Takashi Miike)

1998

  1. After Life (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  2. Bride of Chucky (Ronny Yu)
  3. I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie)
  4. The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf)
  5. Wild Things (John McNaughton)
  6. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)
  7. The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen)
  8. Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
  9. Show Me Love (Lukas Moodysson)
  10. The Silence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Beau Travail

1999

  1. Beau Travail (Claire Denis)
  2. Audition (Takashi Miike)
  3. eXistenZ (David Cronenberg)
  4. The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola)
  5. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
  6. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Drop Dead Gorgeous (Michael Patrick Jann)
  8. The Straight Story (David Lynch)
  9. Not One Less (Zhang Yimou)
  10. But I’m A Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit)

2000

  1. Cecil B. Demented (John Waters)
  2. In The Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai)
  3. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett)
  4. Shadow of the Vampire (E. Elias Merhige)
  5. Yi Yi (Edward Yang)
  6. Bamboozled (Spike Lee)
  7. Memento (Christopher Nolan)
  8. The State I Am In (Christian Petzold)
  9. Erin Brokovich (Steven Soderbergh)
  10. Versus (Ryuhei Kitamura)
Mulholland Drive 5
Mulholland Drive

2001

  1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
  2. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel Coen)
  3. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff) 
  4. Josie and the Pussycats (Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont)
  5. Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  6. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
  7. Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis)
  8. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly)
  9. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)
  10. Monster’s Ball (Marc Forster)
43 Punch Drunk Love
Punch-Drunk Love

2002

  1. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  2. 25th Hour (Spike Lee)
  3. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Park Chan-Wook)
  4. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze)
  5. Gerry (Gus Van Sant)
  6. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay)
  7. Panic Room (David Fincher)
  8. The Hours (Stephen Daldry)
  9. Frida (Julie Taymor)
  10. May (Lucky McKee)

2003

  1. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-Laing)
  2. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-Ho)
  3. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
  4. Saraband (Ingmar Bergman)
  5. Gozu (Takashi Miike)
  6. Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
  7. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
  8. American Splendor (Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman)
  9. Oldboy (Park Chan-Wook)
  10. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki) 
2046
2046

2004

  1. 2046 (Wong Kar Wai) 
  2. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
  3. Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic)
  4. Nobody Knows (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  5. Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow)
  6. Saw (James Wan)
  7. Mean Girls (Mark Waters)
  8. The Hand (Wong Kar Wai)
  9. Seed of Chucky (Don Mancini)
  10. With Blood on my Hands: Pusher 2 (Nicolas Winding Refn)

2005

  1. House of Wax (Jaume Collet-Serra)
  2. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-Wook)
  3. Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney)
  4. Caché [Hidden] (Michael Haneke)
  5. The Quiet (Jamie Babbit)
  6. Munich (Steven Spielberg)
  7. Brick (Rian Johnson)
  8. Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July)
  9. Pusher 3: I Am the Angel of Death (Nicolas Winding Refn)
  10. Capote (Bennett Miller)
The Lighthouse

2006

  1. The Lighthouse (Mariya Saakyan)
  2. Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt)
  3. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)
  4. Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
  5. A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater)
  6. Jackass Number Two (Jeff Tremaine)
  7. Rescue Dawn (Werner Herzog)
  8. Letters from Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)
  9. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón)
  10. Final Destination 3 (James Wong)
Grind House (Death Proof)
Death Proof

2007

  1. Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino)
  2. All is Forgiven (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  3. Water Lilies (Céline Sciamma) 
  4. Hostel Part II (Eli Roth)
  5. No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  6. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  7. Zodiac (David Fincher)
  8. Go Go Tales (Abel Ferrara) 
  9. Shotgun Stories (Jeff Nichols)
  10. Unrelated (Joanna Hogg)

2008

  1. Still Walking (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  2. Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)
  3. Home (Ursula Meier)
  4. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson)
  5. Martyrs (Pascal Laugnier)
  6. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)
  7. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
  8. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman)
  9. Below Sea Level (Gianfranco Rosi)
  10. The Pleasure of Being Robbed (Joshua Safdie)

2009

  1. The House of the Devil (Ti West)
  2. The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch)
  3. A Serious Man (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  4. Lourdes (Jessica Hausner)
  5. Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  6. Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea)
  7. Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama)
  8. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)
  9. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (Werner Herzog)
  10. Mother (Bong Joon-ho)
Uncle Boonmee
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

2010

  1. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  2. El Sicario, Room 164 (Gianfranco Rosi)
  3. Somewhere (Sofia Coppola)
  4. The Myth of the American Sleepover (David Robert Mitchell)
  5. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
  6. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog)
  8. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)
  9. The Arbor (Clio Barnard)
  10. Jackass 3D (Jeff Tremaine)

2011

  1. The Woman (Lucky McKee)
  2. Goodbye, First Love (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  3. Pariah (Dee Rees)
  4. You’re Next (Adam Wingard)
  5. Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
  6. I Wish (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  7. Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin)
  8. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
  9. Tomboy (Céline Sciamma)
  10. Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman)
Resident Evil Retribution
Resident Evil: Retribution

2012

  1. Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul WS Anderson)
  2. Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami)
  3. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)
  4. Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas)
  5. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  6. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel)
  7. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine)
  8. Excision (Richard Bates, Jr)
  9. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous)
  10. American Mary (Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska)

2013

  1. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
  2. Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  3. Bastards (Claire Denis)
  4. Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt)
  5. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
  6. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch)
  7. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  8. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
  9. Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang)
  10. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)

2014

  1. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  2. Girlhood (Céline Sciamma)
  3. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)
  4. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
  5. Heaven Knows What (Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie)
  6. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)
  7. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  8. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  9. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako)
  10. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso)
5 Carol
Carol

2015

  1. Carol (Todd Haynes)
  2. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo)
  3. Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  4. Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs)
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
  6. Taxi Tehran (Jafar Panahi)
  7. The Witch (Robert Eggers)
  8. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach)
  9. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)
  10. Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry)

2016

  1. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)
  2. Jackie (Pablo Larraín)
  3. Raw (Julie Ducournau)
  4. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)
  5. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
  6. Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  7. Hail, Caesar! (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  8. Lovesong (So Yong-Kim)
  9. Cameraperson (Kristen Johnson)
  10. Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd)

2017

  1. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  2. Get Out (Jordan Peele)
  3. BPM (Beats Per Minute) (Robin Campillo)
  4. Princess Cyd (Stephen Cone)
  5. Virus Tropical (Santiago Caicedo)
  6. Happy Death Day (Christopher B Landon)
  7. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
  8. Radiance (Naomi Kawase)
  9. Paddington 2 (Paul King)
  10. The Rider (Chloe Zhao)
Long Day
Long Day’s Journey into Night

2018

  1. Long Day’s Journey into Night (Bi Gan)
  2. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
  3. Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)
  4. Annihilation (Alex Garland)
  5. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker)
  6. Burning (Lee Chang-Dong)
  7. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu)
  8. In Fabric (Peter Strickland)
  9. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)
  10. Widows (Steve McQueen)

2019

  1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma) 
  2. Homecoming – A Film by Beyoncé (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter)
  3. Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov)
  4. Us (Jordan Peele) 
  5. A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick)
  6. The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg)
  7. Black Christmas (Sophia Takal)
  8. Ema (Pablo Larraín)
  9. This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)
  10. Overseas (Sung-a Yoon)

2020

  1. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman)
  2. Purple Sea (Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed)
  3. Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu)
  4. Zola (Janicza Bravo)
  5. Relic (Natalie Erika James)
  6. Small Axe: Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)
  7. The Nest (Sean Durkin)
  8. Notturno (Gianfranco Rosi)
  9. Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili)
  10. If It Were Love (Patric Chiha)

4 Replies to “List: Top 10 Films Of Every Year, By Year Of Production”

    1. Thank you! Ha, yeah I’m aware I’m in the minority when it comes to Death Proof…

      I keep updating this and hopefully can broaden it further with experience and open up the 30s and 40s, eventually. Ongoing project.

    1. Just personal preference – its far from a definitive set of lists (as several other choices here probably indicate). T2 is a banger, though, but a banger in a busy year!

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