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 some cases). 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 Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch)
  3. The Mortal Storm (Frank Borzage)
  4. The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin)
  5. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks)
  6. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor)
  7. My Favourite Wife (Garson Kanin)
  8. When the Daltons Rode (George Marshall)
  9. Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner)
  10. Too Many Husbands (Wesley Ruggles)

1941

  1. Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges)
  2. Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks)
  3. Hellzapoppin’ (H.C. Potter)
  4. How Green Was My Valley (John Ford)
  5. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
  6. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges)
  7. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston)
  8. Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock)
  9. Meet John Doe (Frank Capra)
  10. Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (Yasujiro Ozu)
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)
  9. Strange Illusion (Edgar G Ulmer)

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. The Strange Love of Martha Ives (Lewis Milestone)
  6. It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra)
  7. The Dark Mirror (Robert Siodmak)
  8. Panique (Julien Duvivier)
  9. The Killers (Robert Siodmak)
  10. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)

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)
  10. Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding)

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. Raw Deal (Anthony Mann)
  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. Colorado Territory (Raoul Walsh)
  8. Thirst (Ingmar Bergman)
  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. The Lusty Men (Nicholas Ray)
  8. Rancho Notorious (Fritz Lang)
  9. Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (Douglas Sirk)
  10. The Big Sky (Howard Hawks)
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 Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov)
  2. The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk)
  3. The Tall T (Budd Boetticher)
  4. Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini)
  5. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa) 
  6. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet)
  7. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur)
  8. 3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves)
  9. Tokyo Twilight (Yasujiro Ozu)
  10. Pyaasa (Guru Dutt)

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. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (Masaki Kobayashi)
  2. Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
  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. The Misfits (John Huston)
  10. Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa)

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 Gospel According to Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  5. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy)
  6. The Pumpkin Eater (Jack Clayton)
  7. Woman in the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
  8. Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick)
  9. My Fair Lady (George Cukor)
  10. The Train (John Frankenheimer)
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. Mudhoney (Russ Meyer)
Daisies
Daisies

1966

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

1967

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

1968

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero)
  3. The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey)
  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 Things of Life (Claude Sautet)
  2. Valerie and her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jares)
  3. The Vampire Lovers (Roy Ward Baker)
  4. Dream No Evil (John Hayes)
  5. Ucho [The Ear] (Karel Kachyna) 
  6. Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin)
  7. Catch-22 (Mike Nichols)
  8. Brewster McCloud (Robert Altman)
  9. Wanda (Barbara Loden)
  10. Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni) 

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. Punishment Park (Peter Watkins)
  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. Poem (Akio Jissoji)
  4. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  5. What Have You Done to Solange? (Massimo Dallamano)
  6. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds (Paul Newman)
  7. Toys Are Not For Children (Stanley H Brassloff)
  8. Season of the Witch (George A. Romero)
  9. Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion (Shunya Ito)
  10. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (Kenji Misume)

1973

  1. Coffy (Jack Hill)
  2. Messiah of Evil (Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz)
  3. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shunya Ito)
  4. Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto)
  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. Torso (Sergio Martino)
  10. Day for Night (Francois Truffaut)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

1974

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

1975

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

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. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)
  7. The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg)
  8. The Pom Pom Girls (Joseph Ruben)
  9. Dark August (Martin Goldman)
  10. In the Realm of the Senses (Nagisa Oshima)
3 Women
3 Women

1977

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

1978

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

1979

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

1980

  1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. The Fog (John Carpenter)
  3. Airplane! (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker)
  4. 9 to 5 (Colin Higgins)
  5. Inferno (Dario Argento)
  6. Babylon (Franco Rosso)
  7. The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller)
  8. Cruising (William Friedkin)
  9. The Blues Brothers (John Landis)
  10. The Elephant Man (David Lynch)
Ms. 45
Ms. 45

1981

  1. Ms. 45 (Abel Ferrara)
  2. One from the Heart (Francis Ford Coppola)
  3. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski)
  4. Kagero-Za (Seijun Suzuki)
  5. Halloween II (Rick Rosenthal)
  6. Blow Out (Brian De Palma)
  7. Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan)
  8. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis)
  9. Sailor Suit and Machine Gun (Shinji Sômai)
  10. Thief (Michael Mann)

1982

  1. The Thing (John Carpenter)
  2. A Good Marriage (Éric Rohmer)
  3. Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman)
  4. The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese)
  5. White Dog (Samuel Fuller)
  6. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
  7. Boat People (Ann Hui)
  8. Eating Raoul (Paul Bartel)
  9. Smithereens (Susan Seidelman)
  10. The Trout (Joseph Losey)
Videodrome

1983

  1. Videodrome (David Cronenberg)
  2. Burroughs: The Movie (Howard Brookner)
  3. The Hunger (Tony Scott)
  4. Pauline at the Beach (Éric Rohmer)
  5. Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden)
  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. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki)
  3. Body Double (Brian De Palma)
  4. The Terminator (James Cameron)
  5. Special Effects (Larry Cohen)
  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. Ran (Akira Kurosawa)
  3. Desert Hearts (Donna Deitch)
  4. Tampopo (Juzo Itami)
  5. Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Siedelman)
  6. Pale Rider (Clint Eastwood)
  7. Vagabond (Agnes Varda)
  8. Fool For Love (Robert Altman)
  9. To Live and Die in LA (William Friedkin)
  10. Clue (Jonathan Lynn)
Working Girls
Working Girls

1986

  1. Working Girls (Lizzie Borden)
  2. The Green Ray (Éric Rohmer)
  3. The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky)
  4. Mauvais Sang (Leos Carax)
  5. Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
  6. Terrorizers (Edward Yang)
  7. Positive I.D. (Andy Anderson)
  8. True Stories (David Byrne)
  9. Aliens (James Cameron)
  10. Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch)
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. Diary for my Loves (Márta Mészáros)
  5. Housekeeping (Bill Forsyth)
  6. China Girl (Abel Ferrara)
  7. Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick)
  8. Hellraiser (Clive Barker)
  9. Robocop (Paul Verhoeven)
  10. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders)

1988

  1. My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
  2. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg)
  3. As Tears Go By (Wong Kar Wai)
  4. Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo)
  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. Tetsuo: the Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto)
  3. Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee)
  4. For All Mankind (Al Reinert)
  5. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway)
  6. Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki)
  7. sex, lies and videotape (Steven Soderbergh)
  8. Homework (Abbas Kiarostami)
  9. Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch)
  10. Society (Brian Yuzna)

1990

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

1991

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

1992

  1. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch)
  2. And Life Goes On (Abbas Kiarostami)
  3. Orlando (Sally Potter)
  4. Candyman (Bernard Rose)
  5. Rebels of the Neon God (Tsai Ming-liang)
  6. Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (Shinya Tsukamoto)
  7. Malcolm X (Spike Lee)
  8. The Player (Robert Altman)
  9. Alien³ (David Fincher)
  10. Gas, Food Lodging (Alison Anders)
8 Dazed And Confused
Dazed And Confused

1993

  1. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)
  2. The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese) 
  3. Three Colours: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  4. Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg)
  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. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr)
  2. Amateur (Hal Hartley)
  3. Vive L’Amour (Tsai Ming-liang)
  4. Three Colours: Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  5. Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai)
  6. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)
  7. Nadja (Michael Almereyda)
  8. Hoop Dreams (Steve James)
  9. Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami)
  10. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott)

1995

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

1996

  1. Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
  2. Bound (Lana Wachowski, Lily Wachowski)
  3. Crash (David Cronenberg)
  4. Gabbeh (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
  5. Set it Off (F Gary Gray)
  6. Fargo (Joel Coen)
  7. The Funeral (Abel Ferrara)
  8. Grace Of My Heart (Allison Anders)
  9. Nenette and Boni (Claire Denis)
  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. Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon)
  5. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
  6. I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie)
  7. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee)
  8. Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki)
  9. The Small Town (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
  10. Funny Games (Michaek Haneke)

1998

  1. After Life (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  2. The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf)
  3. New Rose Hotel (Abel Ferrara)
  4. Bride of Chucky (Ronny Yu)
  5. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)
  6. The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen)
  7. Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
  8. Wild Things (John McNaughton)
  9. Show Me Love (Lukas Moodysson)
  10. Ring (Hideo Nakata)
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. Bamboozled (Spike Lee)
  4. Yi Yi (Edward Yang)
  5. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett)
  6. Shadow of the Vampire (E. Elias Merhige)
  7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)
  8. Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier)
  9. Memento (Christopher Nolan)
  10. Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku)
Mulholland Drive 5
Mulholland Drive

2001

  1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
  2. What Time is it There? (Tsai Ming-liang)
  3. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel Coen)
  4. Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  5. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
  6. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff) 
  7. Josie and the Pussycats (Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont)
  8. Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis)
  9. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly)
  10. Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon)

2002

  1. In My Skin (Marina de Van)
  2. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  3. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  4. Vendredi soir (Claire Denis)
  5. Gerry (Gus Van Sant)
  6. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Park Chan-Wook)
  7. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay)
  8. 25th Hour (Spike Lee)
  9. May (Lucky McKee)
  10. The Hours (Stephen Daldry)
GDI
Goodbye, Dragon Inn

2003

  1. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang)
  2. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-Ho)
  3. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
  4. Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
  5. Saraband (Ingmar Bergman)
  6. Gozu (Takashi Miike)
  7. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki) 
  8. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
  9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson)
  10. Oldboy (Park Chan-Wook)
Innocence
Innocence

2004

  1. Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic)
  2. 2046 (Wong Kar Wai) 
  3. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
  4. Nobody Knows (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  5. Mean Girls (Mark Waters)
  6. Seed of Chucky (Don Mancini)
  7. A Dirty Shame (John Waters)
  8. Saw (James Wan)
  9. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  10. The Consequences of Love (Paolo Sorrentino)

2005

  1. House of Wax (Jaume Collet-Serra)
  2. The Wayward Cloud (Tsai Ming-liang)
  3. Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney)
  4. The Quiet (Jamie Babbit)
  5. Angel-A (Luc Besson)
  6. Caché [Hidden] (Michael Haneke)
  7. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
  8. Munich (Steven Spielberg)
  9. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-Wook)
  10. Capote (Bennett Miller)
The Lighthouse

2006

  1. The Lighthouse (Mariya Saakyan)
  2. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)
  3. Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt)
  4. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  5. Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
  6. A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater)
  7. INLAND EMPIRE (David Lynch)
  8. Jackass Number Two (Jeff Tremaine)
  9. She’s the Man (Andy Fickman)
  10. Clerks II (Kevin Smith)
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. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik)
  10. Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud)

2008

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

2009

  1. The House of the Devil (Ti West)
  2. Lourdes (Jessica Hausner)
  3. A Serious Man (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  4. The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch)
  5. Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  6. Katalin Varga (Peter Strickland)
  7. Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea)
  8. Thirst (Park Chan-Wook)
  9. Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama)
  10. The Happiest Girl in the World (Radu Jude)
Uncle Boonmee
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

2010

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

2011

  1. The Woman (Lucky McKee)
  2. The Shining: Forward and Backwards (John Fell Ryan, Akiva Saunders)
  3. House of Tolerance (Bertrand Bonello)
  4. Goodbye, First Love (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  5. Pariah (Dee Rees)
  6. Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
  7. I Wish (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  8. The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies)
  9. You’re Next (Adam Wingard) 
  10. Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin)
Like Someone In Love
Like Someone in Love

2012

  1. Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami)
  2. Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul WS Anderson)
  3. Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas)
  4. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)
  5. American Mary (Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska)
  6. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel)
  7. Excision (Richard Bates, Jr)
  8. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous)
  9. No (Pablo Larraín)
  10. Starlet (Sean Baker)

2013

  1. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
  2. Bastards (Claire Denis)
  3. Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  4. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
  5. Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt)
  6. Palo Alto (Gia Coppola)
  7. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
  8. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)
  9. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  10. Magic Magic (Sebastián Silva)

2014

  1. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  2. Girlhood (Céline Sciamma)
  3. Heaven Knows What (Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie)
  4. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
  5. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)
  6. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)
  7. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  8. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve)
  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. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach)
  4. Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  5. The Witch (Robert Eggers)
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
  7. Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs)
  8. Taxi Tehran (Jafar Panahi)
  9. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)
  10. Tangerine (Sean Baker)

2016

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

2017

  1. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  2. BPM (Beats Per Minute) (Robin Campillo)
  3. Get Out (Jordan Peele)
  4. Paddington 2 (Paul King)
  5. Virus Tropical (Santiago Caicedo)
  6. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
  7. Princess Cyd (Stephen Cone)
  8. Happy Death Day (Christopher Landon)
  9. The Rider (Chloe Zhao)
  10. Radiance (Naomi Kawase)
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. Annihilation (Alex Garland)
  4. Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)
  5. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker)
  6. Burning (Lee Chang-Dong)
  7. Widows (Steve McQueen)
  8. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
  9. The Strangers: Prey at Night (Johannes Roberts)
  10. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)

2019

  1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma) 
  2. Homecoming – A Film by Beyoncé (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter)
  3. The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg)
  4. Swallow (Carlo Mirabella-Davis)
  5. Ema (Pablo Larraín)
  6. Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov)
  7. Us (Jordan Peele) 
  8. A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick)
  9. Liberté (Albert Serra)
  10. An Easy Girl (Rebecca Zlotowski)

2020

  1. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman)
  2. Zola (Janicza Bravo)
  3. Purple Sea (Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed)
  4. Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu)
  5. Relic (Natalie Erika James)
  6. Small Axe: Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)
  7. Notturno (Gianfranco Rosi)
  8. Shiva Baby (Emma Selligman)
  9. Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili)
  10. I’m thinking of ending things (Charlie Kaufman)

2021

  1. The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)
  2. Titane (Julia Ducournau)
  3. Great Freedom (Sebastian Meise)
  4. Malignant (James Wan)
  5. Red Rocket (Sean Baker)
  6. Happening (Audrey Diwan)
  7. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  8. Parallel Mothers (Pedro Almodóvar)
  9. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  10. The Souvenir Part II (Joanna Hogg)

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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