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The Cynical Optimist’s Top 100 films

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I’ve been working on this for quite some time now. I’m finally ready to release my Top 100 Films, organized by the year in which the film was originally released. I plan on doing a feature of my Top 10 Favorite Films with full write-ups, organized by intensity of burning love and adoration for said cinematic work.

In perhaps a controversial move, I’ve added a film from 2011 to the list. Currently, “Beginners” is my favorite film of the year – of course with Awards Season upon us this could certainly change, but regardless I consider Mike Mills’ latest to be a personal, definitive film. So, without any further adieu, I present to you my Top 100 Films…

1 Metropolis 1927 Fritz Lang

2 King Kong 1933 Merian C. Cooper

3 Bride of Frankenstein 1935 James Whale

4 The Wizard of Oz 1939 Victor Fleming

5 Citizen Kane 1941 Orson Welles

6 Casablanca 1942 Michael Curtiz

7 Rashomon 1950 Akira Kurosawa

8 The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 Robert Wise

9 High Noon 1952 Fred Zinnemann

10 Seven Samurai 1954 Akira Kurosawa

11 Rear Window 1954 Alfred Hitchcock

12 The Creature From the Black Lagoon 1954 Jack Arnold

13 Forbidden Planet 1956 Fred M. Wilcox

14 The Searchers 1956 John Ford

15 The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 David Lean

16 The Seventh Seal 1957 Ingmar Bergman

17 12 Angry Men 1957 Sidney Lumet

18 The Hidden Fortress 1958 Akira Kurosawa

19 Vertigo 1958 Alfred Hitchcock

20 Some Like It Hot 1959 Billy Wilder

21 Psycho 1960 Alfred Hitchcock

22 Carnival of Souls 1962 Herk Harvey

23 To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 Robert Mulligan

24 High and Low 1963 Akira Kurosawa

25 Dr. Strangelove 1964 Stanley Kubrick

26 Bonnie and Clyde 1967 Arthur Penn

27 The Graduate 1967 Mike Nichols

28 Rosemary’s Baby 1968 Roman Polanski

29 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 Stanley Kubrick

30 Midnight Cowboy 1969 John Schlesinger

31 The Wild Bunch 1969 Sam Peckinpah

32 Dirty Harry 1971 Don Siegel

33 THX-1138 1971 George Lucas

34 A Clockwork Orange 1971 Stanley Kubrick

35 The Godfather 1972 Francis Ford Coppola

36 American Graffiti 1973 George Lucas

37 The Exorcist 1973 William Friedkin

38 The Godfather Part II 1974 Francis Ford Coppola

39 Chinatown 1974 Roman Polanski

40 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974 Tobe Hooper

41 Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975 Jim Sharman

42 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975 Milos Forman

43 Barry Lyndon 1975 Stanley Kubrick

44 Jaws 1975 Steven Spielberg

45 Rocky 1976 John G. Avildsen

46 Taxi Driver 1976 Martin Scorsese

47 Network 1976 Sidney Lumet

48 Star Wars 1977 George Lucas

49 Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 Steven Spielberg

50 Annie Hall 1977 Woody Allen

51 Dawn of the Dead 1978 George A. Romero

52 Halloween 1978 John Carpenter

53 Apocalypse Now 1979 Francis Ford Coppola

54 Alien 1979 Ridley Scott

55 The Empire Strikes Back 1980 Irvin Kirshner

56 Raging Bull 1980 Martin Scorsese

57 The Shining 1980 Stanley Kubrick

58 Blow Out 1981 Brian De Palma

59 The Evil Dead 1981 Sam Raimi

60 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 Steven Spielberg

61 The Thing 1982 John Carpenter

62 Blade Runner 1982 Ridley Scott

63 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 Steven Spielberg

64 Videodrome 1983 David Cronenberg

65 Return of the Jedi 1983 Richard Marquand

66 Ghostbusters 1984 Ivan Reitman

67 A Nightmare On Elm Street 1984 Wes Craven

68 Return of the Living Dead 1985 Dan O’Bannon

69 Back to the Future 1985 Robert Zemeckis

70 The Fly 1986 David Cronenberg

71 Aliens 1986 James Cameron

72 Big Trouble in Little China 1986 John Carpenter

73 Stand By Me 1986 Rob Reiner

74 Adventures in Babysitting 1987 Chris Columbus

75 Predator 1987 john McTiernan

76 Robocop 1987 Paul Verhoeven

77 Beetlejuice 1988 Tim Burton

78 Goodfellas 1990 Martin Scorsese

79 Tremors 1990 Ron Underwood

80 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 James Cameron

81 Silence of the Lambs 1991 Jonathan Demme

82 JFK 1991 Oliver Stone

83 The Sandlot 1993 David M. Evans

84 Dazed and Confused 1993 Richard Linklater

85 Jurassic Park 1993 Steven Spielberg

86 The Crow 1994 Alex Proyas

87 The Shawshank Redemption 1994 Frank Darabont

88 Pulp Fiction 1994 Quentin Tarantino

89 Se7en 1995 David Fincher

90 L.A. Confidential 1997 Curtis Hanson

91 The Big Lebowski 1998 The Coen Brothers

92 American Beauty 1999 Sam Mendes

93 Almost Famous 2000 Cameron Crowe

94 Amélie 2001 Jean-Pierre Jeunet

95 Lost in Translation 2003 Sofia Coppola

96 Zodiac 2006 David Fincher

97 Pan’s Labyrinth 2006 Guillermo del Toro

98 Grindhouse 2007 Quentin Tarantino / Robert Rodriquez

99 The Dark Knight 2008 Christopher Nolan

100 Beginners 2011 Mike Mills

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Author: Adam Frazier
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