The BBC Picks the 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films


Every now and then, the folks over at BBC Culture like to put together lists for movie fans to argue over. Last year they released a list of the top 100 American films of all time and now this year they have decided to meet the “death of cinema” debate head on by compiling the top 100 films released since the year 2000. Although it is a British publication, they have polled 177 film critics from around the world and in the end they concluded that David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive is the greatest film of the past 16 years. As expected, the list is pretty light on genre films and comedies (The Grand Budapest Hotel being the only one that kinda qualifies for the latter). Still, there is no denying that there are some truly fantastic films on this list. Do you agree with their picks? Check out the full list after the jump and see what you think.

100. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
100. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
100. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
99. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
98. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
97. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
96. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
95. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
94. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
93. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
92. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
91. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
90. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
89. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
88. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
87. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
86. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
85. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
84. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
83. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
82. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
81. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
80. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
79. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
78. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
77. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
76. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
75. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
74. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
73. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
72. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
71. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
70. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
69. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
68. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
67. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
66. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
65. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
64. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
63. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
62. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
61. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
60. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
59. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
58. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
57. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
56. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
55. Ida (Pawe? Pawlikowski, 2013)
54. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
53. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
52. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
51. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
50. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
49. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
48. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
47. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
46. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
45. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
44. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
43. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
42. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
41. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
40. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
39. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
38. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
37. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
36. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
34. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
33. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
32. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
31. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
30. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
29. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
28. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
27. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
26. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
25. ?Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
24. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
23. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

  • iammattz

    Comes off as pretty darn pretentious to me but I suppose that’s sort of the point of getting BBC Culture to put together a list.

    Maybe a top 100 (or maybe 25-50) of the 21st century special episode of FJ at some point? Eh? Ehhhh??? Not a bad idea…

  • Jr

    I haven’t seen every movie on here but it looks like a pretty legit list. The original article is interesting and comments on the discussion from the most recent podcast. What does “American” mean in this list though? The original article is title “The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films” but in the body of the article they sometimes throw in “American” although many of these films are not American in the general sense. I could just be ignorant in regards to how this is defined.

  • Larry Morgan

    Why the hell does everyone think Mulholland Drive is so good? Ugh.

  • Tommy

    Pretentious? I’d say most of those movies are well known and generally popular.

  • Tommy

    Isn’t Toni Erdmann a comedy? I’d say all of Wes’ films here, and Inherent Vice are comedies, even if they contain a heavy theme or two.
    edit: Ratatouille’s more a comedy than anything else.

  • No one important

    No love for South Korean Joon-ho Bong, director of the amazing Memories of Murder and the Host. This list is uncultured and reeks of diarrhea.

  • RockJoker

    No “Drive”, and yet there is “Spotlight”. Mkaay… Good list though.

  • CagneyB

    Mulholland Drive being number one on this list is like The White Album being number one on a list of the greatest all-time albums. Lame.

  • Jonny Ashley

    I like

  • Sam

    Nice to see Zodiac and Inside Llewyn Davis place highly also cool to see Inherent Vice get some recognition. Otherwise seems like a fairly typical list

    Personal biggest omissions I see would be Memories of Murder, Punch-Drunk Love, Hot Fuzz (or Shaun of the Dead), Take Shelter and Incendies.

  • Frankie Knuckles

    Double Like (Pretentious and List Idea)

  • Sam

    Wouldn’t that be pretty much your standard top 100 almost Frankie?

  • Strybeck

    It’s almost Spinal-Tapian that this top 100 goes to 102. I’ve seen 62 of them, which was easy to see using a Letterboxd version:
    Many others are on my watchlist. A few were on my “heard of them, but not in a hurry to see them” list, but I may have to change that. The list is very Oscar-baity. Not much horror, sci-fi, or comedy. Coming from the BBC, I’m surprised there’s no The Trip, Philomena, or Edgar Wright films.

  • Dan Feeney

    Sort of boring list, with scores for In the Mood, Spirited Away, The Master, Grand Budapest, Eternal Sunshine, Wall-E, Crouching Tiger and a bunch of others much much too high, Gleaners and I, Let the Right One in and and The Secret in Their eyes should be much much higher – missing is the absolute one of a kind masterpiece Hard to Be a God by Alexei German (which I would put top 3), Bruno Dumont isn’t represented (I’d pick Outside Satan), No Country and Werckmeister should be much higher, but where’s Kelly Riechart?