I get asked a lot what I thought of a particular movie and my answer is usually, “it was okay.” That’s because most movies are okay. They’re not great, they’re not bad. Just okay. In almost 5000 movies in my spreadsheet that I’ve seen, less than 500 got ** or lower. Some 1500 get ***.5 or ****. And so, even though I try to see better movies (with my obsession with awards), fully 60% of the movies I have seen got *** or **.5. In other words, they were okay.

Well, almost five years ago now I got tired of seeing okay films. I also got tired of not having seen certain films (specifically The Shining). I decided to finally watch The Shining, but also to watch all the Kubrick films I had never seen. I also decided to rewatch all of the other Kubrick films. Thus, my Director Project was born. I made a list of great directors and decided I would watch all of the films by these directors.

Over the years, certain people have been crossed off the list and other directors have been added. But, from the list I made, I am almost done. I have five Kurosawa films to rewatch and then my actual vision for the project is complete. In a later post, I’ll include the director list. In this post however, I can rejoice that the only films I have left to watch are foreign films. Since I have finished all the English language directors on the list, I have written up a list of my top 100 English language films of alltime.

A couple of quick caveats about this list. 1 – I stopped with 2005. Though some films from the last two years (Departed, Children of Men, Atonement, No Country for Old Men) might make a later version, I wanted some more time and perspective on films. 2 – This list is fluid. It changes. This is the version I wrote in response to my mother asking me about a different list printed in the London Times. It will certainly change over time. 3 – This is my top 100 list, not my favorite films. I still maintain that my favorite film is a four way tie between Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Princess Bride and Return of the King. Those would be followed by Clerks and Trainspotting. Those are the movies I choose to watch over and over. The following list are the films I rank to be the greatest in the history of cinema in the English language, regardless of country of origin.

100. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

99. The Music Man (1962)

98. The Great Dictator (1940)

97. JFK (1991)

96. The Ice Storm (1997)

95. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

94. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

93. Apocalypse Now (1979)

92. The French Connection (1971)

91. Bambi (1942)

90. From Here to Eternity (1953)

89. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958 )

88. Strangers on a Train (1951)

87. Greed (1925)

86. Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)

85. The Lion in Winter (1968 )

84. Terms of Endearment (1983)

83. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

82. Gangs of New York (2002)

81. Hamlet (1996)

80. All the President’s Men (1976)

79. The Searchers (1956)

78. Fantasia (1940)

77. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

76. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

75. Alien (1979)

74. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

73. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

72. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

71. The Crying Game (1992)

70. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

69. American Beauty (1999)

68. Mystic River (2003)

67. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

66. King Kong (2005)

65. Henry V (1989)

64. M*A*S*H (1970)

63. The Elephant Man (1980)

62. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

61. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)

60. Double Indemnity (1944)

59. The Best Years of our Lives (1946)

58. Sullivan’s Travels (1942)

57. The Age of Innocence (1993)

56. Pulp Fiction (1994)

55. Moulin Rouge (2001)

54. Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

53. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

52. Munich (2005)

51. Unforgiven (1992)

50. Field of Dreams (1989)

49. The Aviator (2004)

48. All About Eve (1950)

47. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

46. Some Like It Hot (1959)

45. A Passage to India (1984)

44. Chimes at Midnight (1966)

43. The Apartment (1960)

42. Fargo (1996)

41. Amadeus (1984)

40. The English Patient (1996)

39. Singin in the Rain (1952)

38. West Side Story (1961)

37. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968 )

36. Platoon (1986)

35. Annie Hall (1977)

34. LA Confidential (1997)

33. Trainspotting (1995)

32. Glory (1989)

31. Hannah and her Sisters (1986)

30. The Wild Bunch (1969)

29. On the Waterfront (1954)

28. Lone Star (1996)

27. Raging Bull (1980)

26. Modern Times (1936)

25. Ed Wood (1994)

24. Schindler’s List (1993)

23. Paths of Glory (1957)

22. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

21. The Third Man (1949)

20. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948 )

19. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

18. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

17. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

16. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

15. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

13. The Princess Bride (1987)

12. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

11. Touch of Evil (1958 )

10. Dr Strangelove (1964)

9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

8. GoodFellas (1990)

7. Citizen Kane (1941)

6. Casablanca (1942)

5. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

4. Chinatown (1974)

3. The Godfather (1972)

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

1. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

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