All Time Best 100 Movies: Author's Pick 2015

A Compilation of Favorite Films from Across the Globe

2014 turned out to be an exceptional year for A Potpourri of Vestiges. In the BlogAdda Awards 2014, the blog got featured among the Top 5 blogs in the Entertainment niche. Indian top blogs featured it in its eclectically chosen Directory of Best Indian Blogs for the third consecutive year in May 2014. A Potpourri of Vestiges also reached the milestone of 1.2 million hits during the last year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers for making this possible. 

In my first major write up of 2015, I bring to you a compilation of my all time favorite films (in no particular order) that I have chosen from the thousands of films watched over the last half a decade or so. However, I believe that I have just reached the tip of the iceberg. And, 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 the particular film(s) yet. 

I encourage you to share your views/comments in the box below. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

Note: I had published similar compilations in 2014 as well as 2013, both of which are among the most read articles on this blog. 

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
  • 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
  • A Passage to India (1984), Directed by David Lean
  • The Conversation (1974), Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Directed by Robert Altman
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964), Directed by John Huston
  • Ivan the Terrible [Part I (1944) & Part II (1958)], Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein
  • 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
  • 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
  • Apocalypse Now (1979), Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Force of Evil (1948), Directed by Abraham Polonsky
  • 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
  • Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Directed by Robert Aldrich
  • 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 Mission (1986), Directed by Roland Joffé
  • 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
  • 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
  • Magnolia (1999), Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Wild Bunch (1969), Directed by Sam Peckinpah
  • There Will Be Blood (2007), Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • 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
  • El (1953), Directed by Luis Buñuel
  • 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
  • No Country for Old Men (2005), Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Directed by Martin Ritt
  • Match Point (2005), Directed by Woody Allen
  • Yusuf Trilogy [Egg (2007),  Milk (2008), Honey (2010)], Directed by Semih Kaplanoglu
  • Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Directed by Kundan Shah

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 (Author, A POTPOURRI OF VESTIGES)

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  1. The French Connection and Satantango could have been there as well. Since it's your list so I'm perfectly fine with it. You've made some very interesting selections this year, I would love to add many of these to my watchlist which already has many films from your previous lists.

    I would like to know the criteria of this list. Is it biased towards personal favorites or towards social/cinematic/artistic values of the titles you've picked?

  2. Thanks Tanmay for sharing your thoughts so candidly. Actually, I have always felt that The French Connection is a bit overrated. None the less, it's a brilliant film and I am a great fan of the filmmaker William Friedkin (he is still making some really good movies like Killer Joe) as well as Gene Hackman. But, I have some issues with its treatment that's quite typical of the crime thrillers of the 70s (This is precisely where the stalwarts of The French New Wave succeeded in shifting the paradigm despite borrowing heavily from the Master of Suspense himself). The best thing about the movie is the adrenaline-pumping chase sequence and the worst thing, IMHO, is how Friedkin uses the great Fernando Rey (you should see films of Luis Bunuel to see how good an actor he really was). I feel Gene Hackman was at his peak during the 70s (superior to the likes of Pacino, Hackman, De Niro, Duvall and Nicholson) with films like Scarecrow, The Conversation l, Night Moves and The French Connection.

    Coming to Satantango, I must confess that I badly need to revisit it. Only then will I be in better position to truly assess it. As to the criteria, various essays, critiques as well as best film lists on the Internet like AFI, Sight and Sound, Roger Ebert Great movies, etc. have greatly influenced me. I have also been influenced by my own learnings/experiences about motion pictures at large over the years. I cannot rule out the bias factor as it's a given with such lists. Also, there are many great filmmakers whose works I haven't yet got the chance to study in detail like say Ozu, Bresson, Fassbinder, Cassavates, Dreyer, Mizoguchi, Parajanov, Ghatak, Buster Keaton, Tati, Olmi, among others. So, you see, there is also a blindside to it... I hope to fill these gaps in the coming years. And, yes, I have selected these films keeping in mind the bigger picture (the impact that a particular film has had on the society or how the society had influenced the film as well as its contribution in the development of the art form or a particular movement in cinema... Rashomon (groundbreaking), Bicycle Thieves (high point of Neo Realism in Italian cinema and has inspired generations of filmmakers), La Samaurai and Le cercle rouge (how they impacted the heist and crime thrill/suspense genre), The Godfather Trilogy (how the franchise captured the dark truths of the New York mafia families and how it changed the very face of cinema), The Apu Trilogy (how it pioneered India Neo-realism), Citizen Kane (groundbreaking on countless fronts), Ran (One of the greatest renditions of a Shakespearean epic), 2001 and Solyaris (benchmarks not only in the sci fi genre but cinema at large), Force of Evil (how a maverick like Abraham Polonsky set the ball rolling for the noir films that followed... a great amalgamation of the Gangster films of the 30s and Film Noir of the 40s), Kiss Me Deadly (probably a great culmination to the film noir genre), Metropolis (The consummation of the German Expressionism), A Passage to India (A landmark adaptation of a highly complex work of literature and also how it succeeds in capturing the zeitgeist of the times), Lawrence of Arabia and Aguirre (great and momentous epics and each serve as a great contrast to one another), The Mission, The Return, Dekalog, Three Colors, The Seventh Seal (great interpretation of Biblical as well as related theological themes) and so on. And, of course, I badly need to expand this Top 100 to say a Top 250 to begin with.

  3. Wow, that was an excellent brief summary of the History of Cinema. :)
    I would be glad if you could make a top 250.

    Since I haven't seen the best of cinema yet, I do not have much to choose from. I found The French Connection one of best I've ever seen, and the way it was created, the documentary-style, the most realistic depiction of New York of the 70's, the story and the acting are the parts which I found very interesting and relevant even today. Even its poster seemed very unusual and one of its kind for its time.

    This was the second movie of Gene Hackman that I saw, after The Firm, and I have to say, this man is a natural, a born actor. It looks so easy for him, and how well does he reacts to different situations. Every expression is so precise, it never feels like he's acting at all. I don't think Hollywood has seen many better actors than him. He surely has to be one of the best ever.

    Haven't seen any work of Fernando Rey before, but I could sense that he is a very fine actor from little that I saw him in it.

  4. Well, the more movies one watches the choosier one becomes. No doubt, The French Connection is major achievement of the American cinema of the 70s much like The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, or Taxi Driver.

    For the best of Hackman, I think you ought to watch him in The Conversation, Night Moves, Unforgiven, Scarecrow, Mississippi Burning, Heist, Runaway Jury, Crimson Tide, among others.

    You can watch Fernando Rey at his absolute best in films of the master Spanish filmmmaker Luis Bunuel like Tristana and Viridiana.

  5. Pretty amazing list with some great choices as expected from you but where is cinema paradiso ? I don't know may be this movie is overrated but I liked it nonetheless and I have saved this list in my PC there are some good movies i n it which I haven't seen yet :-)

  6. Pretty amazing list with some great choices as expected from you but where is cinema paradiso ? I don't know may be this movie is overrated but I liked it nonetheless and I have saved this list in my PC there are some good movies i n it which I haven't seen yet :-)

  7. i just don't know what is the criteria to made this list because there is no fantasy films on that list such .

  8. Shankha Ghosh DastidarJune 9, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    Seven Samurai should be there as well..i thought the screenplay was quite impeccable ..and it does not feel like a 3 hour movie....

  9. Well perhaps it should have been there but it's just that it's not my favorite Kurosawa!


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