All Time Best 100 Movies: Author's Pick 2014

Best of Cinema: Author's All Time Favorite 100 Films

Cinema is a way of life: for some it is a mere means of indulgence, while for others it is a profound medium to satiate the intellect. Cinema’s omnipresence gives it the enormous potential to entertain and educate, simultaneously. In fact, cinema is the most effective means of communication ever devised as the message reaches everywhere and to everyone. Cinema that is primarily light-hearted and humorous can help punctuate the monotony associated with mundane lifestyles, while cinema that is thought-provoking and insightful can have cathartic effects on the viewers. Cinema can also become a medium to portray the deepest of the human emotions and thoughts that are otherwise inexpressible. The commercialization of cinema has taken it a long way in becoming a ubiquitous medium of entertainment.  While the technical advancements have transformed cinema into an exact science the attributes of art that make it insightful have inexplicably taken a back seat.  And cinema is increasingly becoming an instrument to generate revenue. This unfortunate transformation has made people forget the true purpose and meaning of cinema.

Here is a compilation of my favorite films (in no particular order) that I have chosen from the films watched over the past few years. And while I have watched hundreds of them I believe that I have just reached the tip of the iceberg, for I have been introduced to the real good ones only recently (not to mention the new ones that get added every year). So, if you find one or more of your favorite films missing from the list then it's highly likely that I may not have watched them yet.

For the Top 100 list published by the author in 2015, click here

For the current Top 100 list published by the author in 2016, click here

  • Ran (1985), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  • Stalker (1979), Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Solyaris (1972), Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Citizen Kane (1941), Directed by Orson Welles         
  • Dersu Uzala (1975), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • 8½ (1963), Directed by Federico Fellini
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • Rashomon (1950), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Directed by David Lean
  • Ivan the Terrible [Part I (1944) & Part II (1958)], Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein
  • Bicycle Thieves (1948), Directed by Vittorio De Sica
  • Metropolis (1927), Directed by Fritz Lang
  • Belle de Jour (1967), Directed by Luis Buñuel
  • Andrei Rublev (1966), Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
  • The Seventh Seal (1957), Directed by Ingmar Bergman
  • Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972), Directed by Werner Herzog
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Directed by Sergio Leone
  • The Three Colors Trilogy [Blue (1993), White (1994), Red (1994)], Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Dekalog (Ten-Episode TV Series, 1988), Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Doctor Zhivago (1965), Directed by David Lean
  • The Conversation (1974), Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Fellini Satyricon (1969), Directed by Federico Fellini
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964), Directed by John Huston
  • Le Samouraï (1967), Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Duck, You Sucker (1971), Directed by Sergio Leone
  • The Apu Trilogy [Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), Apu Sansar (1959)], Directed by Satyajit Ray
  • Apocalypse Now (1979), Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Trial (1962), Directed by Orson Welles
  • Mysteries of Lisbon (2010), Directed by Raúl Ruiz
  • The Damned (1969), Directed by Luchino Visconti
  • Touch of Evil (1958), Directed by Orson Welles
  • Night Moves (1975), Directed by Arthur Penn
  • Get Carter (1971), Directed by Mike Hodges
  • Last Tango in Paris (1972), Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Le cercle rouge (1970), Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Heat (1995), Directed by Michael Mann
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Directed by Sergio Leone
  • Harakiri (1962), Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • The Godfather Trilogy [Part I (1972), Part II (1974), Part III (1990)], Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Gone With the Wind (1939), Directed by Victor Fleming
  • Yojimbo (1961), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  • North By Northwest (1959), Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • The Kid (1921), Directed by Charles Chaplin
  • The Europe Trilogy [The Element of Crime (1984), Epidemic (1987), Europa (1991)], Directed by Lars von Trier
  • The Turin Horse (2011), Directed by Béla Tarr
  • The Tree of Life (2011), Directed by Terrence Malick
  • Paths of Glory (1957), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • High and Low (1963), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
  • Korol Lir (1971), Directed by Grigori Kozintsev
  • Full Metal Jacket (1987), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • Queimada (1969), Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
  • Dead Man (1995), Directed by Jim Jarmusch
  • Viridiana (1961), Directed by Luis Buñuel
  • La Strada (1954), Directed by Federico Fellini
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Directed by Ang Lee
  • Scarface (1983), Directed by Brian De Palma
  • Hannibal (2001), Directed by Ridley Scott
  • Magic (1978)Directed by Richard Attenborough
  • Amadeus (1984), Directed by Milos Forman
  • Crash (1996), Directed by David Cronenberg
  • Mr. Klein (1976), Directed by Joseph Losey
  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011), Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • The Return (2003), Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
  • The Depression Trilogy [Antichrist (2009), Melancholia (2011), Nymphomaniac (Vol. 1 & 2) (2013)] Directed by Lars von Trier
  • The Great Beauty (2013), Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
  • Guide (1965), Directed by Vijay Anand
  • F for Fake (1973), Directed by Orson Welles
  • Frenzy (1972), Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Barry Lyndon (1975), Directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • Shoot the Piano Player (1960), Directed by François Truffaut
  • La Jetée (1962), Directed by Chris Marker
  • Chinatown (1974), Directed by Roman Polanski
  • Sunset Blvd. (1950), Directed by Billy Wilder
  • Jalsaghar (1958), Directed by Satyajit Ray
  • Pyaasa (1957), Directed by Guru Dutt
  • Mirror (1975), Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Blood Simple (1984), Directed by Joel Coen
  • L'Eclisse (1962), Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
  • The Duellists (1977), Directed by Ridley Scott
  • Blue Velvet (1986), Directed by David Lynch
  • Hey Ram (2000), Directed by Kamal Hassan
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Directed by Steven Spielberg
  • 12 Angry Men (1957), Directed by Sidney Lumet
  • The Raging Bull (1980), Directed by Martin Scorsese
  • The Secret in Their Eyes (2009), Directed by Juan José Campanella
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Directed by Andrew Dominik
  • Lust, Caution (2007), Directed by Ang Lee
  • Live Flesh (1997), Directed by Pedro Almodovar
  • The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Directed by Martin Scorsese
  • The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
  • There Will Be Blood (2007), Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Directed by Martin Ritt
  • Midnight in Paris (2011), Directed by Woody Allen
  • Magnolia (1999), Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Wild Bunch (1969), Directed by Sam Peckinpah
  • Yusuf Trilogy [Egg (2007),  Milk (2008), Honey (2010)], Directed by Semih Kaplanoglu
  • Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Directed by Kundan Shah

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

Note: For the previous Top 100 list by the author, click here

P.S. Instead of listing those works which constitute the same polyptych separately, I have tried to feature them as one so as to add variety to my Top 100.

— Murtaza Ali

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  1. Unfortunately...this link seems dead at the time of me clicking it :(

  2. the one, I suppose...

  3. Make sure you copy the whole link and remove any space(s) in between!!!

  4. thnx for sharing the list :-)

  5. Readers, please note that a minor change has done to the above list... The Raging Bull (1980) has replaced The King of Comedy (1980). After watching the former after a gap of 5 years, I was finally convinced that it deserves to be in my Top 100.

  6. Watching this film was an excellent experience. The visuals are all mesmerizing and the ending took me by surprise. Now, I want to watch it again to fully understand the nuanced narration. Thanks once again for introducing this movie.

  7. Glad you watched it... it's indeed an unforgettable experience, one that requires multiple viewings to savor to the fullest... just can't wait to read your review!!! :-)

  8. Dmitrijs DoroshenkovsMay 16, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Dear Murtaza, with great interest i have read the list of your choice films. I must admit that i have watched hardly the third part of the films from the list, but generally i appreciate your taste.
    From my personal point of view, i would like to offer the following items that might add to your choice:
    Two Men in Town (1973) by Jose Giovanni;

    Ballad of Narayama (1983) by Shohei Imamura

    And, i would mention Jos Stelling and Paolo Pasolini as the directors whose works are , imho, worth mentioning...

    But of course, it depends on personal taste)

    Following your publications with interest and appreciate your point of view, with compliments!


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