Favourite Films

I feel as if any reviewer should set out their stall right up front and let people know what their favourite films are. It’s a difficult question, though. Choices can change over time. The film I loved unconditionally when I was 20 may be a film I have great reservations about 10 or 15 years later.

Some of these films below I may not have seen for quite some time, but all of them are films I’ve seen more than once with a good gap between viewings so I feel that my assessment of them is pretty solid. This does however mean that recent films are unlikely to make it in here very quickly. My judgement is based on how much I enjoyed them, but they also have to be films I want to watch again (which cuts out at least some of my more film student-y choices). I suppose, too, that the types of films that make these kinds of list tend towards the monolithic, a certain kind of cinema of quality, and I apologise for that. There should be more action films, and more weird experimental stuff, is what I’m saying ;)

Anyway, someday I hope to write a post about them, and if I do, I will link it here.

Choices are presented in strictly alphabetical order, as my preferences shift regularly and probably, currently as you’re reading this, include a bunch of things I haven’t even listed here yet, but you can see my more recent end-of-year lists of favourites at the end.

The Thin Red Line (1998)
‘The Thin Red Line’ (1998)


All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, USA, 1956)
Anatahan (Josef von Sternberg, USA, 1954)
L’Argent (Robert Bresson, France, 1983)

Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, UK/USA, 1975)
Beau travail (Claire Denis, France, 1999)
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, USA, 2004)
Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, USA, 1956)

Carol (Todd Haynes, USA/UK, 2015)
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2016)
A City of Sadness (Beiqing chengshi) (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, 1989)
Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo from 5 to 7) (Agnès Varda, France, 1962)
Clueless (Amy Heckerling, USA, 1995)

Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, USA, 1995)
Distant Voices Still Lives (Terence Davies, UK, 1988)
Down with Love (Peyton Reed, USA, 2003)
Dreams of a Life (Carol Morley, UK, 2011)

Early Summer (Bakushu) (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951)

Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1974)

Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark, 1964)
Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, USA, 2002)

In the Mood for Love (Huayang Nianhua) (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong/China, 2000)

Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France, 1975)
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, USA, 1954)

Lancelot du Lac (Robert Bresson, France, 1974)
The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, USA, 1992)
Late Spring (Banshun) (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, USA, 1982)

Mouchette (Robert Bresson, France, 1966)

Ordet (aka The Word) (Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark, 1955)
Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh, USA, 1998)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc) (Carl Theodor Dreyer, France, 1928)
Play Time (aka PlayTime) (Jacques Tati, France, 1967)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (Céline Sciamma, France, 2019)

The Red and the White (Csillagosok, katonák) (Miklós Jancsó, Hungary, 1966)
Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, USA, 1959)
RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, USA, 1987)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, USA, 2001)

Scum [TV] (Alan Clarke, UK, 1977)
Seven Men from Now (Budd Boetticher, USA, 1956)
Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, USA, 1925)
Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1979)
Stray Dogs (Jiao you) (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France, 2013)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, USA, 1928)

Taste of Cherry (Ta’ame gilas…) (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1997)
The Terrorizers (Kongbu fenzi) (Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1986)
The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, USA, 1998)
35 Shots of Rum (35 rhums) (Claire Denis, France/Germany, 2008)
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, USA, 1958)

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) (Jacques Demy, France, 1964)

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1958)
Vivre sa vie: film en douze tableaux (aka My Life to Live) (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1962)

The Wind (Victor Sjöström, USA, 1928)
Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, USA, 1956)

The Young Women of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles de Rochefort) (Jacques Demy, France, 1967)

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, USA, 1970)


Favourite Films of 2022
Favourite Films of 2021
Favourite Films of 2020
Favourite Films of 2019
Favourite Films of 2018
Favourite Films of 2017
Favourite Films of 2016
Favourite Films of 2015
Favourite Films of 2014
Favourite Films of 2013
Favourite Films of 1997


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