The 21st Century’s Greatest Films So Far August 23, 2016

A personal list inspired by the newly published BBC poll.

  1. The Turin Horse (2011, Béla Tarr & Agnes Hranitzky)
  2. Russian Ark (2002, Alexander Sokurov)
  3. Upstream Color (2013, Shane Carruth)
  4. Norte, the End of History (2013, Lav Diaz)
  5. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu (2011, Andrei Ujica)
  6. Songs from the Second Floor (2000, Roy Andersson)
  7. La captive (2000, Chantal Akerman)
  8. The Forbidden Room (2015, Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson)
  9. There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)
  10. Stray Dogs (2013, Tsai Ming-liang)

Aug. 29, 2016 update: In case you were wondering what the best-reviewed movies of the century would be according to the CRU Rating, I don’t have much of an answer. We don’t keep a master list of scores. I can say that the movie that received the highest number of reviews this century while maintaining a 100 is almost certainly Jia Zhangke’s Still Life, which currently has 21 reviews.

Jul. 13, 2017 update: A month ago, when critics and cinephiles were creating lists of the top 25 films of the century so far, I didn’t join in. There are two reasons for that: #1) I already made this top 10 less than a year ago to tie into the BBC ballots that were being published at the time, and felt that making another list was somewhat redundant. #2) I did in fact make a top 25 which I’m mostly proud of but kept it to myself because of one flaw I found hard to shake. I became a cinephile around 2005 and a hardcore cinephile in 2011. What this means is that I don’t trust most of my reactions to movies I’ve seen pre-2011 because I had extremely different standards back then, standards I’m less proud of. As a result, my list was heavily slanted in favor of movies from the current decade, with only 9 out of the top 25 coming from the ’00s. I like my list, but I’m okay with sitting this game out.

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