When it comes to movies, everyone has their own opinion on what’s the best film of all time. Sight and Sound is a British film magazine that has been conducting polls of the best films of all time since 1952. The magazine surveys hundreds of film critics and professionals every decade to create a definitive list of the 100 best movies of all time. Here are the top 100 movies according to Sight and Sound:
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane is often regarded as the greatest movie ever made. It’s a drama about the life of a wealthy newspaper magnate, played by Orson Welles, and the efforts of a reporter to uncover the meaning of his final words. The film’s innovative cinematography and storytelling techniques have influenced generations of filmmakers.
2. Vertigo (1958)
Vertigo is a psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It stars James Stewart as a retired detective who becomes obsessed with a woman, played by Kim Novak, he’s been hired to follow. The film is known for its use of color and its portrayal of the complexities of human relationships.
3. Tokyo Story (1953)
Tokyo Story is a Japanese drama directed by Yasujirō Ozu. It follows an elderly couple who travel to Tokyo to visit their adult children, who are too busy with their own lives to spend time with their parents. The film is known for its understated performances and its portrayal of the changing values of post-war Japan.
4. La Règle du jeu (1939)
La Règle du jeu is a French comedy-drama directed by Jean Renoir. It’s set during a weekend hunting party at a country estate, where the relationships between the guests and their servants become increasingly complicated. The film is known for its complex characters and its commentary on the social and political climate of pre-World War II France.
5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is a silent romantic drama directed by F.W. Murnau. It’s about a farmer who falls in love with a city woman and considers killing his wife to be with her. The film is known for its use of camera techniques and its emotional storytelling.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick. It follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution. The film is known for its groundbreaking special effects and its exploration of the nature of human consciousness.
7. The Searchers (1956)
The Searchers is a Western directed by John Ford. It stars John Wayne as a Civil War veteran who spends years searching for his abducted niece. The film is known for its stunning landscapes and its portrayal of the racism and violence of the Old West.
8. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Man with a Movie Camera is a Soviet documentary directed by Dziga Vertov. It’s a day in the life of a Soviet city, captured through the lens of a cameraman. The film is known for its experimental techniques and its portrayal of the power of film as a medium.
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a French silent film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It’s a retelling of the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, with actress Renée Jeanne Falconetti giving an acclaimed performance as the title character. The film is known for its stark imagery and its emotional impact.
10. 8½ (1963)
8½ is an Italian comedy-drama directed by Federico Fellini. It stars Marcello Mastroianni as a film director struggling with creative block while trying to make his next movie. The film is known for its surreal imagery and its exploration of the creative process.
11. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Battleship Potemkin is a Soviet silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein. It’s about a mutiny on a Russian battleship in 1905 and the subsequent massacre of civilians by the Tsarist regime. The film is known for its use of montage and its depiction of revolutionary ideals.
12. L’Atalante (1934)
L’Atalante is a French romantic drama directed by Jean Vigo. It’s about a newlywed couple who live on a barge and the conflicts that arise between them and their crew. The film is known for its poetic imagery and its portrayal of the joys and pains of love.
13. Breathless (1960)
Breathless is a French crime drama directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as a small-time criminal on the run with his American girlfriend, played by Jean Seberg. The film is known for its use of jump cuts and its subversion of traditional Hollywood storytelling.
14. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now is a war film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s about a U.S. Army captain who is sent on a mission to assassinate a rogue colonel during the Vietnam War. The film is known for its hallucinatory imagery and its commentary on the futility of war.
15. Late Spring (1949)
Late Spring is a Japanese drama directed by Yasujirō Ozu. It’s about a widowed father who wants his daughter to marry but is reluctant to let her go. The film is known for its understated performances and its exploration of the changing roles of women in post-war Japan.
16. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Singin’ in the Rain is a musical-comedy directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. It stars Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor as performers in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies. The film is known for its iconic song and dance numbers and its celebration of the joy of cinema.
17. The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather is a crime drama directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s about the Corleone family, an Italian-American mafia clan, and their struggles for power and respect in post-World War II America. The film is known for its iconic performances and its portrayal of the dark side of the American Dream.
18. Ordet (1955)
Ordet is a Danish drama directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It’s about a family’s struggle with faith and death in rural Denmark. The film is known for its powerful performances and its portrayal of the complexities of religious belief.