Home Page – Best of 2013

With the lists stalling at a count of 840, it is time to wrap up 2013.  It was a great year for films, with Steven McQueen’s brilliant 12 Years a Slave leading the way.  The film made 464 lists and was placed in the number one spot of 117 critics – both records.  GravityInside Llewyn Davis and Her were its closest competitors, making 2013 a very memorable year.

50. The Way Way Back (37 lists; 3 top spot)

Authenticity gives the movie its witty, heartwarming, hopeful, sentimental, searing and relatable edge. It is merciless in probing the tender spots of times like these, and tough-guy sweet in patching up the wounds. – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

49. Pacific Rim (38 lists; 1 top spot)

Pacific Rim’s ability to make monster-walloping feel fun again will no doubt make Atlantic Seaboard (or maybe Mediterranean Coastal Region) as inevitable a follow-up as the return of the Kaiju through that pesky underwater portal. – Dana Stevens, Slate

48. Rush (39 lists)

Fine filmmaking, a smart, visually engorged, frequently thrilling tale of boyish competition – inspired by a true story. At heart it’s “Amadeus” on wheels, only this time Salieri is the Austrian. — Kyle Smith, New York Post

47. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (40 lists; 2 top spots)

The double, or even triple, meanings behind Catching Fire — the subtitle, as if you didn’t know, of the second Hunger Games movie — burns through this exciting, thoughtful adventure drama like a torch to tinder. — Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

46. The Wind Rises (41 lists; 1 top spot)

‘Airplanes are beautiful dreams’ is a phrase reprised throughout Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, and the same could be said about Miyazaki’s films. — Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

45. Beyond the Hills (41 lists; 4 top spots)

There are no easy villains or heroes in this sad and slow but forcefully told tale, which exhibits the same humanity Mungiu brought to 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, his abortion drama that won the 2007 Palme d’Or. — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

44. Bastards (46 lists; 2 top spot)

“Bastards” is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights. — Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

43. No (47 lists)

Explores the power of popular dissent, and the coordinated persuasions of media, marketing, and targeted advertising in shaping the word no to invigorate a populace pessimistically conditioned to think that nothing will ever change for the good. — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

42. Saving Mr. Banks (47 lists; 2 top spots)

Like the Mary Poppins film Disney would eventually serve up, Saving Mr. Banks is an affable, enjoyable spoonful of sugar that sweetens into palatability the sinus-clearing bite of the books – and the implacable iron lady who wrote them. — Ella Taylor, NPR

41. Philomena (49 lists; 1 top spot)

Director Steven Frears deserves special mention. A lesser filmmaker could so easily have turned this project into mushy, sentimental junk. The tear-jerking moments here are heartfelt and real. It’s the kind of filmmaking we see too little of today. — Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times

40. The Grandmaster (50 lists; 2 top spots)

There are sequences in Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s new film, The Grandmaster, that are as gorgeous as anything you’ll see on a screen this year, or perhaps this decade.  – Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

39. The Past (50 lists; 3 top spots)

The narrative complications can be distracting, at times exasperating, but they’re finally irrelevant because Mr. Farhadi’s filmmaking is so fluid, and the performers, Ms. Bejo, in particular, are so attractive. — Manohla Dargis, New York Times

38. Like Someone In Love (50 lists; 4 top spots)

The film deepens a style Kiarostami has been refining for years. Characters ride in the backs of cars, sealed off from the city and yet constantly moving. Reflections in windows and mirrors both bring characters together and keep them apart. — Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

37. Drug War (50 lists; 7 top spots)
Cars go crunch, bullets fly, blood spurts, bodies splatter and an unbelievable amount of cocaine is snorted. The climactic shootout, which goes on for 15 minutes and has an astronomical body count, is a masterpiece of its kind. — V.A. Musetto, New York Post

36. This is the End (54 lists; 2 top spots)

Rogen and Goldberg (making their directorial debuts) get the balance just right, with one gut-busting punchline and situation after another set against the escalating dread of the end of existence, taking place just outside of James Franco’s house.– Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

35. The Place Beyond the Pines (54 lists; 3 top spots)

With the arrival of The Place Beyond the Pines, the American dramatic film has found a loyal, gifted advocate in director Derek Cianfrance. — Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

34. The Hunt (55 lists; 2 top spots)

It leaves us not only with an unforgettable final image, but also the troubling thought that witch hunts, like war, will always be with us – all the more so in the modern era of instant communication. — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

33. Stoker (58 lists; 3 top spots)

Park has built a hothouse of erotic tension that’s primed to explode. Some will find it too much. Screw them. Park’s goal is to bust form, not conform to it. Take Stoker for what it is: a thriller of savage beauty. — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

32. To the Wonder (59 lists; 9 top spots)

 [Many will] be dissatisfied by a film that would rather evoke than supply. I understand that, and I think Terrence Malick does, too. But here he has attempted to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need. — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

31. Frozen (60 lists)

It’s great to see Disney returning to its roots and blooming anew: creating superior musical entertainment that draws on the Walt tradition of animation splendor and the verve of Broadway present. — Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

30. Museum Hours (69 lists; 4 top spots)

The two leads contribute fresh, genuine performances, and what might have been a musty academic exercise gains in tension from Cohen’s deft juxtaposing of vocal narration, character detail, and majestic artwork. — J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader

29. The Spectacular Now (72 lists)

Fairly close to great, a lovely movie about young people that is in no way a formula picture. Original, truthful and moving: It’s not about the phenomenon of being young, but about the particular characters, who are as specific and vivid as actual people. — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

28. Enough Said (72 lists; 1 top spot)

As always in Holofcener’s films, people in Enough Said say terrible things to each other. You hear them and think, No one would ever say that in real life-until you recognize that yes, of course they would. — Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

27. Prisoners (72 lists; 5 top spots)

It’s easy to make a thriller. It’s hard to make one that says something about human nature and then, like the hauntingly compelling “Prisoners,” finds something inside the genre that validates tying your nerves up in knots. — Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

26. Computer Chess (77 lists; 5 top spots)

Computer Chess is about the dawn – one of many, but that’s another story – of the tech revolution. It’s also a reminder that you don’t need state-of-the-art toys to make a formally playful comedy about man versus machine. — Ella Taylor, NPR

25. The Great Beauty (83 lists; 8 top spots)

Never have cynicism and disillusion seemed more intoxicating than in “The Great Beauty,” which is such an overwhelming visual and auditory experience that its elements of cautionary moral fable threaten to get lost amid the gorgeousness. – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

24. Dallas Buyers Club (87 lists; 4 top spots)

Vallee, working from a script by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, infuses the film with some humor – Woodroof’s posing as a priest as he smuggles drugs from Mexico is a hoot – but he never lets us forget that the stakes are deadly serious. — Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

23. A Touch of Sin (98 lists; 6 top spots)

“A Touch of Sin” is by no means subtle, but it is composed with a passion and sinuous grace that makes it far more effective than many other sincere message movies. – Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post

22. Mud (100 lists; 4 top spots)

Nichols lovingly sketches his characters and their world; he takes his time doing so, but it’s a pleasure to watch the small interactions and the humid reality of secret coves and Piggly Wiggly supermarkets and seedy hotels. – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

21. Leviathan (100 lists; 20 top spots)

Leviathan is an immersive examination of a highly mechanized industrial process, the men who work at it and the thousands of poor fish who cross their path. — Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

20. Fruitvale Station (103 lists; 3 top spots)

Without ever being forced or false, and with an amazingly honest eye and ear for detail, writer-director Ryan Coogler’s drama about a young man’s final hours is one of the most extraordinary films you’ll see this year. — Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

19. The World’s End (108 lists; 5 top spots)

I pretty much unreservedly loved The World’s End, whose compact dramatic structure and steady flow of good jokes puts most mainstream American comedies-too often loosely bundled collections of hit-or-miss sketches-to shame. — Dana Stevens, Slate

18. Short Term 12 (128 lists; 16 top spots)

“Short Term 12″ is a small wonder, a film of exceptional naturalness and empathy that takes material about troubled teenagers and young adults that could have been generic and turns it into something moving and intimate. — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

17. Blue Jasmine (133 lists; 3 top spots)

Allen’s best movie in some years and certainly his finest drama with comedy since 2005′s “Match Point,” it is a tale of wealth, greed and corruption — and the shock waves that occur when crimes lead to punishment. – Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News

16. All is Lost (137 lists; 6 top spots)

There is incredible tension in this ordeal, this effort to survive, to find rescue, and Redford – an icon of the American film experience for more than half a century now – makes that tension deeply palpable. — Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

15. Captain Phillips (138 lists; 1 top spot)

Yet another Greengrass masterpiece. And it reveals why there have been so many: Behind the director’s dispassionate, unfailingly rigorous lens lies an enormous, unfailingly compassionate heart. – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

14. Stories We Tell (139 lists; 9 top spots)

Even calling ”Stories We Tell” a documentary seems rather limiting and not entirely accurate; it’s also a deadpan comedy, a juicy melodrama and a gripping mystery, all cleverly blended together with great focus. — Christy Lemire, Associated Press

13. Upstream Color (151 lists; 12 top spots)

Here is a movie you haven’t seen before. If you think you have, it’s probably because you swallowed a white worm that turned you into a pod-person subject to total mind control and now you’re having flashbacks. — Jim Emerson, Chicago Sun-Times

12. Spring Breakers (172 lists; 15 top spots)

Neon bright and all raw energy, Spring Breakers is a pulsating paradox of a movie, both a tangerine dream and a cultural reality check, a pop artifact that simultaneously exploits and explores the shallowness of pop artifacts. — Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

11. Nebraska (182 lists; 10 top spots)

Is Nebraska a comedy or a drama? Like life, it’s both. Payne takes his time. Deal with it. This is a movie to bring home and live with, to kick around in your head after it hits you in the heart. It’s damn near perfect, starting with the acting. — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine

10. Blue is the Warmest Color (204 lists; 22 top spots)

From the moment when Adèle first catches sight of Emma, on a busy crosswalk, the movie restores your faith in the power of the coup de foudre and yet redoubles your fear of its effect; love, like lightning, can both illuminate and scorch. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker 

9. The Act of Killing (207 lists; 27 top spots)

I can’t be more direct. “The Act of Killing” is one of the most extraordinary films you’ll ever encounter, not to mention one of the craziest filmmaking concepts anywhere, and that includes the whole Bollywood thing. – Janice Page, Boston Globe

8. Frances Ha (212 lists; 12 top spots)

Shot in inky black and white and bristling with performances that feel captured on the fly, Baumbach’s best film since 2005′s The Squid and the Whale is both a nod and a throwback to the French New Wave. – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

7. The Wolf of Wall Street (234 lists; 24 top spots)

A big, unruly bacchanal of a movie that huffs and puffs and nearly blows its own house down, but holds together by sheer virtue of its furious filmmaking energy and a Leonardo DiCaprio star turn so electric it could wake the dead. — Scott Foundas, Variety

6. American Hustle (250 lists; 29 top spots)

Reveling in its ’70s milieu and in the eternal abrasion of sexy women and covetous men, American Hustle is an urban eruption of flat-out fun – the sharpest, most exhilarating comedy in years. — Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

5. Before Midnight (326 lists; 44 top spots)

If the first two films belong with the greatest (if talkiest) movie romances of all time, the new film is richer, riskier, and more bleakly perceptive about what it takes for love to endure (or not) over the long haul. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

4. Her (366 lists; 83 top spots)

If, like me, you’ve admired Jonze’s ambitions more than you’ve responded to his results, you may find that Her puts his means and his ends on more equal footing. He shoots for the moon and, this time, hits it. – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

3. Inside Llewyn Davis (405 lists; 50 top spots)

Inside Llewyn Davis is the warmest picture [the Coens have] ever made, and though it will never attract the cultlike adoration of The Big Lebowski and Fargo, or earn the serious-lit-adaptation accolades of No Country for Old Men, it’s possibly their best. – Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

2. Gravity (440 lists; 86 top spots)

Cuarón and his cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, keep the audience in weightless suspension right along with the astronauts. For most of us, Gravity is the closest we will ever get to the real deal. – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

1. 12 Years a Slave (464 lists; 117 top spots)

If the best films hold you in a captive vise, entertain you, keep you spellbound and teach you something at the same time, then 12 Years a Slave is outstanding-brave, courageous and unforgettable.– Rex Reed, New York Observer



134 responses to “Home Page – Best of 2013

  1. joe

    I don’t remember The Assassination of Jesse James coming to my city

  2. david

    I saw No Country for Old Men, and I paid attention. I am still flummoxed at the number of people who are making excuses for this films non-ending. I liked the movie alot, but it lacked KEY elements of a story like climax and dynamic characters. And if you think you paid attention and “got it” then you tell me and everyone else who reads this site what the climax was and who was/were the dynamic character(s)! I bet some people will try but I dont think anyone can do it. And if youre reading this Peter Travers, Im calling you out. You tell us what you gathered when you “paid attention”. Edify me!

  3. Lance

    David – I’m not a big fan of the movie (21/2 out of 5, at best), but one of the reasons I did like it was that the structure of the story DIDN’T include a normal climax and tried to do something different. There was a climax but it happened off-screen and we missed it. Is this the best way to tell a story? I don’t think it worked but I’m happy that someone tried to do something different.

    With that said, I agree with your frustration with film critics who say they like something but never justify their reasons. I watched the VH1 special on the broadcast film critics awards and some of their reasons for liking a film or a performance sounded more like the reasons why any 16 year old would like something. Tell me your opinion and then give me real examples to back up your opinion. “It blew me away” or “I fell in love with this movie” should be outlawed from any future movie reviews.

  4. Daniel

    Here’s what I thought about No Country (which I loved by the way).
    The obvious theme of the movie is good versus evil. If you think about it, this struggle is on going. This movie did not have a definite climax or ending in order to represent that real life battle that continues as we type.

    I also think that Tommy Lee Jones’ character was pretty dynamic. For most of the movie he is a “good guy” who is fighting the good fight without questioning because he knows his father is waiting for him and that it is all worth it. But this country is “no country for old men.” He is realizing throughout the movie that times are changing, new evil is creeping in (represented by Anton) and he wonders whether he should even bother trying to keep up with it anymore.
    That was my take on it, anyway, I hope to hear back from you, David.

  5. Cliff

    I agree with Daniel. I felt like the story was a contrast between the apparition of evil to an honest man and a dishonest man. If Anton represents the presence of evil in this world, implacable and immutable, as his final scene would suggest, then what ultimately happens to Llewellyn and the sheriff is the basis for the film’s morality, and each of the three characters reaches his own personal resolution by the film’s end. And if you look at Tommy Lee Jones’ struggle as the viewer’s struggle, then the end of the film provides absolute closure for the question at the heart of the film.

  6. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen No Country For Old Men yet.

    No Country For Old Men is a meditation on the fear of growing old and dying. It is told from the point of view of an aging sheriff who sees death everywhere he looks. His fear throughout the film is that he is getting too old to contribute anything anymore and he is just going to wither away and die. He tells his crippled uncle that he feels “over-matched”. The end of the film, specifically the final monologue delivered by Tommy Lee Jones, represents acceptance of death. He says he knows when he gets there, his father will be waiting for him. He looks sad and terrified, because death is such an unknown frontier. But he has at least come to terms with it.

    The storylines of Llewellyn Moss and Anton Chigurh are metaphorically significant to this theme. Llewellyn represents how people indulge in superficial pursuits over their lives without giving much of a second thought to their own mortality until they get to be Sheriff Bell’s age (that is, if they make it that far). Anton Chigurh represents the Angel of Death himself. Sheriff Bell’s uncle responds to the news of the sheriff’s retirement and his feeling of being “over-matched” by telling him the story of another uncle in their family who was meaninglessly gunned down on his own front porch many years ago and says “What you got aint nothing new.” Obviously this refers to the same fears we’ve been discussing here.

    We all choose to live our lives however we see fit, many times we act selfishly and forget our place. But at the end of the day, we “can’t stop what’s coming”. We all go to the same place, and someday we must all accept that. I’d say that acceptance is as satisfying a conclusion to this story as there could possibly be.

    • Andy

      I love this movie/book and this is the best explanation I’ve ever heard on it. However, the story is also a comment on the (author’s perceived) moral de-evolution of modern day American society. The morbid remains of the Mexican stand-off serves as a microcosmic foreshadowing of the entire chain of events that is about to occur – as well as a prophetic statement about the younger generations taking control of American society.

  7. RichardA

    The explanations are all good; but, it’s an extrapolation of what’s presented on the screen.

  8. Mike Anderson

    There Will Be Blood is a bulldozer of a movie. Or should I say Daniel Day-Lewis bulldozes his way through the Daniel Plainview character. I saw this film at a screening in September and the thing still resonates with me. I don’t remember the last time I have seen a movie where practically every human emotion is displayed on screen, to where you are moved with the same types of emotions. Near perfect movie making all the way around, and Anderson has made a gigantic leap forward in his writing and directing. And Day-Lewis IS Plainview. You are watching Daniel Plainview, not Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s almost scary how that guy can become another person. Total immersion. You just shake your head in wonderment. I can’t wait to see it again when it’s released in January. Oh… No Country For Old Men is also my top film of 2007.

    • , No, I booked my fihglt online and rode the plane. Oh and another one I also get is Do you still live in teepees. Which is wrong cuz I’m not a plains Indian that you see on those old black and white western videos but rather Navajo and our traditional home is the hogan. All in all, I agree with ya on your blog about your view of stereotypes. But sometimes, you find a person that embodies the stereotype and you can’t help but smile. And as for the Japanese one. I gotta do some research of my own to see if it is true. Haha. J/K.

  9. Buddy

    I like all the different views on No Country for Old Men and I felt it was such a great film because it’s so rich with layers and different themes one could draw from. So, I’d like to share mine, it’s similar to other people’s but I’d still like to share it.

    When I first walked out of the theater I saw it as being a story about how it’s impossible for any of us to prevent death. The line “You can’t stop what’s comin’ ” from the Sheriff’s cousin towards the end of the film is key. Throughout the entire film the characters are constantly trying to escape Anton (an agent of death) and buy their way out. In the end though Moss still dies, and while it wasn’t by Anton’s hand it still happened. Then after that Anton goes to Moss’ wife and offers her a chance to get out of dying and she rejects it, proving herself to be the only person in the entire film that will accept her fate.

    Then the final moments of the film help solidify this theme. After leaving the wife’s house Anton is the car wreck, basically the universes’ way of reminding him that no matter how he sees himself he’s not the angel of death, he’s not a supernatural force, he’s just another superhuman being and it might not happen today, it might not happen tomorrow but he’s still going to die.

    The sheriff’s final dream at the end involves his father riding off to prepare a camp for him, his father doesn’t even look at him. His father’s ashamed that his son didn’t keep fighting for the good in the world. He might have died at Anton’s hand if he kept on searching but it would have been an honorable death. But just because he escaped Anton does not mean he’s escaped death and his father is still going ahead of him to prepare a place for him.

  10. Buddy

    Also, I thought I’d add in addition to No Country for Old Men my other favorite movies of 2007 are The Assassination of Jesse James and Zodiac. There’s alot on this list I haven’t gotten the oppurtunity to see yet because in my town we don’t get alot of the limited release stuff till later but I’m eagerly awaiting There Will Be Blood and Juno among others.

  11. Daniel

    I’d just like to say one more thing, my favorite movie of the year so far isn’t on this list (I haven’t seen Sweeney yet which will probably become my favorite when I do). That movie is Lars and the Real Girl. I highly reccomend it to everyone who likes comedies or dramas, because really its both. Its a definate must see, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. Mike Anderson

    Yes. Lars and The Real Girl, Rescue Dawn, Gone Baby Gone, 3:10 To Yuma I would say personally, are missing from this list.

  13. Greetings: Thanks so much for including my list from MSNBC.com. But for future reference, my first name has no “f” in it. Cheers, and Happy New Year.

  14. Joe

    The top three films on this list are killer. “No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Zodiac” will be remembered for a long time as masterpieces by The Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher.

  15. Top 10 list from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans

  16. Tom

    DAVID -

    I loved this movie and paid attention enough to interpret it in my own way…great films are ambiguous.
    This is a film about a man who wishes he could have known his father better…and that he could have ‘saved’ him, had he known him better. At the end of the film it is clear that either time has past and Tommy lee is now retired, or no time has passed and he has BEEN retired. The main action has been his dream.

    Llewellen (Brolin) represented Tommy Lee Jones’s father as “the younger man’ in the main action. Tommy says he had two dreams at the end of the film: one where his father gave him some money and then he lost it…and the other where his father was “the younger man”.

    I decided to read the book to see if it would confirm my take on it…there are things that link and things that don’t…but to me the most profound evidence for my interpretation comes in the final sentence of the novel: “And then I woke up.”

  17. Cool site! I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Here’s my top 10 list from 2007, I write for Study Breaks Magazine, INsite Magazine and keep all my reviews archived on coleandbobby.com. Thanks!

  18. Kurt

    Is it a typo that the text for #31 and #34 are the same?

  19. Jordan

    Any updates coming up?

  20. criticstop10

    I will do one final update this weekend. There aren’t many additional lists coming out, but I do hope to add 2000 – 2005 in the next few weeks as well.

  21. Top10Scout

    I found you another 10 best list. It’s from the Corsair Newspaper in Santa Monica, Ca. I found it in their print edition but it wasn’t posted on their online. It’s done by Jonathan Ramos, their Arts & Leisure editor.
    1. The Kite Runner
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Once
    4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    5. 3:10 to Yuma
    6. I’m Not There
    7. The Darjeeling Limited
    8. Juno
    9.Away From Her
    10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

  22. hitesh choudhary

    i am really excited of 2008 version . when will it be posted on this site??

  23. I enjoy checking out this compilation each year. Thanks so much for your hard work.

    Here’s my 2008 list if you’d like to add it to the pot:


    Cheers (and Happy Holidays),

  24. JR

    Time for an update ;)

  25. Send me an email when you get a chance and I will send you our member’s individual top 10 lists–I see you already have our combined list up. I thought I had your email from last year but I guess not. Talk with you soon.

  26. I don’t understand this chart. where are the lists? which lists are being calculated?

  27. JR

    re @Nathaniel

    Its not that hard to figure it out; just click on critics top 10 lists.

  28. Dave

    Is there a final update coming? It’s been saying for weeks that there will be one final one, but so far there’s been nothing!

  29. Emmaline

    Halo! The babes are here! This is my favorite site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.

  30. Oops. I hadn’t checked the individual lists until too late.

    I see you’ve already included the Slant staff’s Top Tens.

  31. Here’s a 2008 top ten from Aaron Dumont:

    10. Death in the Land of Encantos
    9. Rachel Getting Married
    8. Let the Right One In
    7. The Beaches of Agnes
    6. Standard Operating Procedure
    5. My Winnipeg
    4. Hunger
    3. United Red Army
    2. Che
    1. Synecdoche, New York

  32. .

    Oops. That shouldn’t say Death in the Land of Encantos.

    That should read “Import/Export”. My bad.

  33. Scott

    Hey… when are we getting 2009′s list? Movie City News has their first list up!

  34. David Cochrane

    Nice to see the 2009 list up (and especially nice to see the Coens placing so well again). Will there be a best-of-decade page up as well?

  35. Dave Van

    Am I not seeing it, or is there no page that has the individual lists for 2009 up yet? Is there going to be?

  36. Cliff

    Yay! Glad to see the list up, and already surprised and intrigued by some of the placements (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Headless Woman). I’m sure you’ve got enough work on your hands right now, but I look forward to seeing the quotes to make the case for each one! In the meantime, happy to see Hurt Locker atop the heap, and Coraline sneaking in there.

  37. ron

    thanks for the update
    no.2 film inglourious basterds should have 174 lists, 23 top spots so far if i’m not mistaken.

  38. David Cochrane

    Wow – it doesn’t seem anything is going to catch The Hurt Locker. If it hadn’t come out in the summer and grossed only a tiny amount, I’d say it was a lock for a nomination and perhaps a win.

    I’ve seen a couple of end-of-decade polls but they only cover a couple dozen lists at the most; it would be interesting to see what a big survey would contain. I really hope you’ll put up a best-of-decade page here!

  39. Hey! You have already upload the first 2010 list! That’s awesome!

  40. Dave V

    Any chance you can post the individual lists of the critics for 2010? I am interested in seeing the breakdown, but also in each critics list.

  41. Pope

    This site is pretty cool. Looking forward to see who’ll take the #2 spot.

  42. Anonymous

    Where are these lists?! There’s only been like 5 or 6 lists posted on AwardsDaily yet you’re saying there’s 23 already? Where are they?

  43. Scott

    Where are these lists?! There’s only been like 5 or 6 lists posted on AwardsDaily yet you’re saying there’s 23 already? Where are they?

  44. Scott

    Oops, didn’t realize that double posted…sorry

  45. adithyakantewada

    Here is my list of 10 best movies of 2011
    2.Nader and Simin, A Seperation
    3.The Tree of Life
    5.Margin Call
    7.The Descendants
    8.The Artist
    10.War Horse

  46. Top Ten as of 12/16/11 (Still 10+ films to see)
    01- The Tree of Life
    02- This is Not a Film
    03- Mysteries of Lisbon
    04- Take Shelter
    05- The Muppets
    06- Certified Copy
    07- A Separation
    08- The Kid with a Bike
    09- Midnight in Paris
    10- Melancholia

  47. David Cochrane

    So glad to see The Tree of Life clambering to the top spot – it’s easily my #1 movie of a pretty good year – considering it came out over the summer & I was sure a backlash would have started to build by now. It will get nominated but has no chance in hell of winning (I’d say Hazanavicius, Payne or Fincher will get it – the latter two more in recognition of past films than of their new ones).

    A bigger surprise is Drive doing so well – it’s also been pretty polarizing & I was expecting, like the Malick film, to see its acclaim drop in the months since it came out, but the opposite seems to have happened. I had mixed feelings about it back in September but I really should take another look.

    • Anonymous

      The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story…in reality it’s little more then a video art installment. I think the critics were brainwashed or something by the eyegasms from the Planet Earth sequence.

      • Thomas

        “The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story”

        I’m glad you can determine that for us. But, in reality, the fact that you found that it lacks a “remotely entertaining or coherent story” doesn’t mean that everyone else feels the same way. I personally found it to be an enormously entertaining film, and one of enormous emotional resonance. While I do have some problems with the structure and overall worldview of the film, I do think it is a pretty exceptional film. Also, the “video art installation” line has been making it’s way around the internet, and the only thing that the line reveals is the fact that most people have never seen a “video art installation,” nor do they have any familiarity with art cinema.

        A general clue for life: If your best argument is “I didn’t like the film therefore anyone who did must be brainwashed,” you automatically fail. That is to say, your opinion that the film isn’t very good is perfectly valid – your opinion on the “brainwashed” nature of those who do like it isn’t valid, and the fact that you think it is says a lot about your own maturity.

        No matter how strong your feelings are on the subject, you do not have the one true reading of the film, nor is your opinion strong and definitive enough that anyone who disagrees with it reveals themselves to be “brainwashed.”

        Or, to use your tactics of assigning ulterior motives to those who disagree with your opinion and/or questioning the legitimacy and “objectivity” of opinions that differ from your own, it’s too bad you’re such a contrarian that, even though you loved it, you feel obligated to bash “The Tree of Life” just because other people praised it. Stop being brainwashed by anti-conformists and start learning to express your true feelings.

  48. Anonymous

    The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story…in reality it’s little more then a video art installment, lol

  49. Anonymous

    Do you consider foreign list? Here is Norway’s largest paper, VG’s list. They do a pretty good list every year.
    1. Drive
    2. Kongens tale
    3. Melancholia
    4. Winter’s bone
    5. Under huden
    6.Black Swan
    7. Another Year
    8. True Grit
    9. Rango
    10. Tree of Life
    source: http://www.vg.no/film/artikkel.php?artid=10016729

  50. Anonymous

    I don’t want this to become a slippery slope, but I’d really love to see a list for 1999. It’s often considered one of the best years in film history, and this site goes back to 2000… just one year away, come on now!!!

  51. Jesse

    The problem with including foreign lists are that release dates are different. Black Swan, True Grit, Another Year were released in 2010 in North America, but several other countries got them in 2011. Also, not all of these movies will open in every country so that’s a bit of a disadvantage when you include a country’s list that had no access to said film.

  52. Anonymous

    Very true Jesse. Although most festival titles have opened as far as I know, while missing some studio titles like J.Edgar.

  53. Anonymous

    Annual list from different critics by allocine:


    another foreign list however, from France.

  54. Anonymous

    Thanks for the list! The other lists doesn’t even come close to the number of lists you have here.

    And if you haven’t already have these, here’s a few top 10s from the folks at Film Threat: http://www.filmthreat.com/features/44746/comment-page-1/

  55. Kirk

    Thanks so much for maintaining this page. It’s an invaluable resource for me every year.

  56. AJC

    First: awesome site. I love trying to record this stuff.

    Secondly: you really need to get some citations. I would love to see which lists gave which movies top spots. Please? Thanks.

  57. David Cochrane

    I’ll add to the thanks – every year this is always fascinating to look at.
    As you mentioned at the top of the page, it’s interesting that there’s been no real runaway winner this year, or even any films making a majority of lists – Brokeback Mountain, I think, was the last ‘winner’ not to reach that threshold.

  58. Anonymous

    I love this site. But nobody seems to make any comments any more.

  59. I don’t understand why Drive only recieved one Oscar nomination

    • Andrew Sidhom

      It’s not very accessible, is it? You need to invest some thought and a special appreciation for it cause otherwise it could seem like an empty arthouse exercise about nothing in particular. Same reason MMMM, Take Shelter and Shame didn’t have a shot last year. Not to mention the extreme violence in Drive…

  60. Awesome site. Keep up the great, hard work. I use this as a main resource for 2000s movies, while I use They Shoot Pictures for older films.

  61. Anonymous

    What’s happening with the 2004 list?

  62. Anonymous

    Great site. (one mistake: in 2006 I don’t think you spell ”The Queen” —> ”The Qeen”)

    2011 IMO:
    1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    3. Rundskop
    4. Margin Call
    5. The Tree of Life
    6. Drive
    7. The Artist
    8. Ides of March
    9. Carnage
    10. Moneyball
    11. A Separation
    12. Les Intouchables
    13. Hugo
    14. Rango
    15. The Help

  63. Anonymous

    So when’s the party kicking off this year?

  64. Anonymous

    Exactly? You still have some followers here.

  65. Anonymous

    Hurrah. Been checking up on this page for a couple of weeks now. Glad it’s back.

  66. David Cochrane

    Given what the critics’ groups have been saying so far, looks like Kathryn Bigelow will top the list again – it may even be by a margin like The Social Network or No Country for Old Men managed, but of course it’s too early to tell for sure. Looking forward to seeing what other films place in the top ten – hopefully Looper won’t get squeezed out.

  67. ajcfood

    Hey, this is a great blog, but some suggestions:
    1. PLEASE update your banner pictures.
    2. Try to make the comments MOST RECENT on top, instead of seeing comments from 2007
    3. You need to show citations and data, because I’m not sure how accurate some of these numbers are.

  68. Anonymous

    I always look forward to this site in December. Keep up the great work!

  69. Bellissima lista ma non trovare film come On The Road o Snow White & the Huntsman è una vera delusione….! Ma si sa i critici quest’anno ce l’hanno con Kristen Stewart e così facendo non si accorgono che con il loro fare ci rimettono grandi attrici e attori come CharlizeTheron , Chris Hemsworth , Sam Claflin, Hedlund, Sam Riley , Tom Sturridge, Kirsten Dunst, e una grande Amy Adams che sicuramente si porterà a casa molti premi a gennaio tra cui il Golden Globes e può essere anche un Oscar!!!!

  70. Anonymous

    I would like it if you could supply a database of links to every top 10 used.

  71. Anonymous

    yay!!! The Master is leading!!!

  72. Anonymous

    I really hope Killer Joe gets a place.

  73. I’d love to see if Killer Joe gets a place.

  74. Andrew Sidhom

    Hmm, where are The Sessions, Monsieur Lazhar, Middle of Nowhere, Elena, Frankenweenie, Sister, Footnote, Chico and Rita, Keep the Lights On and In Darkness?

    All of these received great reviews – in general descending order. Are critics schizophrenic or is some stuff missing here??

    • Melvin

      I was wondering that too. The Master was not well received by critics with only 85% at RT but it’s at No. 1. The same thing happened last year with The Tree of Life.

    • ericmvan

      There are definitely some movies that are legitimate critical hits but fare poorly in Top 10 rankings, because they seem to be a lot of people’s #15 choice but somehow nobody’s #10. (This is especially true of documentaries, by the way.) End of Watch is another.

      It’s paradoxical, in a way. How many of the movies you named were in your top 10? I’m disappointed to not see Monsieur Lazhar — but it’s #11 on my list right now. If we see a ton of films, we would like this top 40 list to match our own, but that requires some people liking our number 11 to 40, which we really, really liked, even better than we did — much better, in fact. I thought it scandalous that The Prestige got 0 votes in the Sight and Sound Poll and hence does not rank among the 1000++ movies of all time, when I have it as #20 … but if I had been voting, I wouldn’t have voted for it myself! Given that, it’s surprising that the system works as well as it does.

      To answer your general question, though, there are way more than 40 movies in a year that get significant critical love.

  75. It’s fabulous to see this site back up (when did that happen?). The re-design, with the photos and critic blurbs, makes for a very attractive experience.

    However, for a true film buff, it’s frustrating. There’s no longer any links to the actual separate lists, from which I used to compile my own rankings, rankings that included any film that got a mention. I’d include mentions from previous years for films that were making the rounds of festivals, and eventually from subsequent years for critics who came to a film late.

    And I suspect that the person compiling the lists is not a math fan, because the proper way to do this is to not simply count the number of list inclusions, but to give points depending on where a film is ranked 1 through 10 (18 points down to 9) — the problem of course then being that any critic who futzes with a strict 1 to 10 ranking (like giving a top 3 and listing 7 more films alphabetically, or worse yet, 8 more films) needs to be treated correctly, and that requires a certain comfort level with the math.

    And of course the biggest problem now is that you’re showing just 40 films a year. I think that’s a good number to show (50 might be better), but you also have to have a list that goes much deeper. You probably would have missed Blade Runner entirely in its year! I’d say that there are easily 100 films truly worth seeing in any given year, and I’ve discovered a bunch by spotting them in the 41-100 range of previous lists.

    I wouldn’t complain like this if I weren’t actually willing to *do all the work to provide corrected, complete lists for each year.* Just give me the raw data! Besides being an insane film buff, I’m a nationally-known stats guy for my work in baseball; in fact, ESPN Magazine is interviewing me next week for an article they’re doing on former baseball statistical consultants.

    You’ve done an incredible service to the film-buff community by collecting these lists. It would be a shame to have that data languish with its full potential untapped, and I’d love to help you extract the maximum value from it (I’ve got ideas that go way beyond just listing the results.) Please e-mail me!

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Why would you specifically start at 18 points for Number 1 and end with 9 points for Number 10 ? You could choose any range for this allocation of points, depending on whether you most value consensus or passionate support in your rankings (though it’s arguable that any movie listed even at 10th place from a film critic is already a passionate choice given the amount of films they see every year). You could also scale the range (of points awarded) with a multiplier. Since you have an infinite number of choices isn’t it almost impossible to get a sense of what it means really when you choose this range instead of that one? I know you just have to choose whatever in the end and get on with it, but it’s just that your 9 to 18 method seems like such a random choice.

      • ericmvan

        It’s admittedly somewhat arbitrary. You want the ratio of points awarded for #1 to points awarded for #10 to reflect the ratio of perceived excellence or worth of the two films. Obviously, no one thinks their favorite film of the year is ten times as good as their tenth favorite film. A 2:1 ratio seems right to me. It makes the #1 film 20% better than the #4 film, and 50% better than the #7 film. When I look at last year, that means A Separation is 20% better than Poetry, 50% better than Take Shelter, and twice as good as Incendies. All of that seems reasonable to me. (I didn’t invent the 9 to 18 scale, by the way.)

        Having established the ratio of values for #1 and #10, you then need to construct the scale for the intervening ones. In reality, it’s probably not linear, but assuming it is makes the math much easier. And the linear scale where #1 is twice as large as #10 is 18 to 9.

        In practice what you’re really doing is giving 1 to 10 points for the ranking, plus X for just getting mentioned at all. I’m saying I believe the best value for X is 8, because it produces the 2:1 ratio. But I would be open to counter-arguments: if most other people thought the 2:1 ratio should be higher or lower, I’d go with the consensus.

      • ericmvan

        Oh, in case it wasn’t clear, those 2011 movies were from my personal top 10. Anyone testing whether the 2:1 ratio feels right to them, obviously, should use their own top 10 from some year. But for the opinion to be valid, I think you have to have seen essentially everything of merit (I’ve seen 122 films from 2011). If you miss a film that would have actually made your top 10, that will make the 2:1 ratio seem too small.

  76. Ronald Trull

    This is my favorite website for approx. 8 weeks every year.

    Thank you.

  77. Anonymous

    Now that some mentioned it I am quite confused that End of Watch and The Sessions aren’t even in the top 40. Both hugely popular movies with the critics this year.

    • Anonymous

      Having said that, looking at other Top 10 aggregated lists at Indiewire and Metacritic, I can see that neither of these made their top 50/20s either. I suppose that’s the difference between a review aggregator like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, and a Top 10 list aggregator, which doesn’t measure how many critics liked a movie, but how much they LOVED it.

  78. Anonymous

    And so he said they shall be 50, and there were 50.

  79. Terry

    The “always extraordinary” Michelle Williams!?!?!?! She and Anne Hathaway RUINED Brokeback Mountain.

  80. David Lowrey

    You say Toy Story got 1st place in 1995, where are the critics compilations of 90s films?

  81. My top 10 films of 2012

    10. Compliance
    9. Les Miserables
    8. Silver Linings Playbook
    7. Zero Dark Thirty
    6. Moonrise Kingdom
    5. Searching for Sugar Man
    4. Life of Pi
    3. Looper
    2. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    1. The Master

  82. Ed Kargir

    Thank you for doing this. This a great amount of work.

  83. Bartender

    My Top films for the century:
    NOTE: I’m still missing some acclaimed masterpieces like Yi Yi, In the Moo for Love, Before Sunset, Walking Life….

    1. L’enfant
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Mulholland Drive
    4. The Master
    5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    6. Punch-Drunk Love
    7. Lost in Translation
    8. Capote
    9. The Ghost Writer
    10. (Memento, it’s from 2000 so I don’t know if this counts)
    10.’ WALL-E

  84. Mike

    Does anyone have guesses on what will make the list for 2013? I think the following all have great shots at the top 50:

    Top 10 Bound:
    12 Years a Slave
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Before Midnight
    Captain Phillips
    American Hustle

    Top 25:
    Blue is the Warmest Color
    Dallas Buyers Club
    Fruitvale Station
    Blue Jasmine
    All is Lost
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Star Trek: Into Darkness
    Short Term 12
    The Past
    Enough Said
    The Butler

    Top 50:
    Catching Fire
    Saving Mr. Banks
    Stories We Tell
    The Spectacular Now
    Frances Ha
    Side Effects
    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

  85. Adam

    My best guess at top 10:
    1. Gravity
    2. Her
    3. 12 Years a Slave
    4. Inside Llewyn Davis
    5. Before Midnight
    6. Captain Phillips
    7. Blue is the Warmest Color
    8. Nebraska
    9. The Wolf of Wall Street
    10. Blue Jasmine

  86. Nik

    In no particular order

    1. Blue Jasmine
    2. Gravity
    3. Her
    4. August: Osage County
    5. 12 Years a Slave
    6. Blue is the Warmest Color
    7. The Wolf of Wall Street
    8. Captain Phillips
    9. Saving Mr. Banks
    10. Inside Llewyn Davis

  87. moviewatcher

    You need to add Django and Lincoln’s mentions to the 2012 list. They’re clearly 2012 films.

  88. Nasir

    He cannot split a list between two years can he. He has to count the list itself in one year.

  89. Nasir

    Can you please create a page ans post the lists themselves too with the name of the critics. That would be immensely helpful. I can help out with that, you can contact me on my email address. Thanks.

  90. Ed Kargir

    Are you going to post individual lists?

  91. Anonymous

    I’ve asked this before, but you reference 90s movies that topped your compilations in the past, is there a way to see those compilations?

  92. Anonymous

    You reference 90s movies that topped your compilations in the past, is there a way to see those compilations?

  93. Ben

    Amazed there’s been no mention of The Spectacular Now so far.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Damn, you’re right. How come it’s not in the Top 46 so far? I thought it would be more like a Top 20 film. Had lots of raves around its release…

  94. Edkargir

    We all appreciate the hard work you do to product this poll , but it’s lost some of the fun with out the critics lists. I think these lists tells more about the individual critics than it does about the movies.


  95. Ben

    C’mon Inside Llewyn Davis! Great a technical achievement as Gravity was, I’d hate to see such a poorly written movie come out on top in the end.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Poorly written? How is that??

      • Ben

        Dire dialogue. A poorly conceived main character with a story (concerning her daughter) that not one person I’ve met has warmed to.

        Perhaps poorly written is overboard, but very basically written, to the extent where if its technical accomplishments were any less than immense, it would have been a largely forgettable film.

  96. Edkargir

    Good job, now it’s time to publish all 825 lists.

  97. Ben

    Thanks for your excellent work again. Your website is one of the things I look forward to the most towards the end of the year. See you again in December

  98. printthelegends

    Oh, man. I LOVE that it looks like you’re going back to the past years and expanding them all to 50. This is something I’d hoped you would do since last year, but I get that this page takes a lot of work to keep up so I never wanted ask. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

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  108. Anonymous

    When will you begin complying the list for the top films of 2014?

    • Mike

      Once critics’ Top Ten lists start coming in, so not until closer to the end of the year.

    • Eric M. Van

      However, for folks who want to get a head start on the best reviewed movies to date, here are some high scores fro Rotten Tomatoes (their Average Score, which is a better number to look at than the Tomato Meter, and better than the Metacritic score). Bracketed movies had limited exposure and are not at all guaranteed to get end-of-year support, movies in braces may not be regarded as eligible by all voters:

      9.4, Boyhood (a slam dunk for this year’s top spot; the second best score ever for a wide release is 9.0)
      [9.2 Stray Dogs]
      8.5, Whiplash (so far; it’s in limited release and expanding)
      8.4 The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman (q.v. Whiplash)
      8.3, Ida
      {8.2, Ernest & Celestine: had Oscar-qualifying run only in LA in 2013}
      8.1, The LEGO Movie, Snowpiercer, [Ilo Ilo]
      8.0 Gone Girl, Blue Ruin, Gloria, [Love is Strange, Norte the End of History, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors]
      7.9 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Under the Skin, We Are the Best!, 7 Boxes, [Closed Curtain]
      7.8 How to Train Your Dragon 2, {The Normal Heart (HBO)}, Starred Up, {Stranger by the Lake}, [Manuscripts Don't Burn]
      7.7, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunchbox, Pride, [{Archipelago}, Honey (Miele), (Once Upon a Time) Veronica, The Retrieval]

  109. Anonymous

    You wouldn’t happen to have any top 10 lists for years prior to 2000, would you?

  110. Edkargir

    Please post the individual lists as you have done in the past .

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