A Top 100 of the 2010s

Compiled for the run-up to the end-of-the-decade, will be updated until the end of the 2019 list-making season.

  1. La Flor (2018, Mariano Llinás)
  2. Stray Dogs (2013, Tsai Ming-liang)
  3. Twin Peaks: The Return (2017, David Lynch)
  4. Yourself and Yours (2016, Hong Sang-soo)
  5. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010, Raúl Ruiz)
  6. Like Someone in Love (2012, Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Asako I & II (2018, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  8. Mountains May Depart (2015, Jia Zhangke)
  9. Carol (2015, Todd Haynes)
  10. The Assassin (2015, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  11. Transit (2018, Christian Petzold)
  12. Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  13. Silence (2016, Martin Scorsese)
  14. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018, Bi Gan)
  15. Martin Eden (2019, Pietro Marcello)
  16. The Day He Arrives (2011, Hong Sang-soo)
  17. Blackhat (2015, Michael Mann)
  18. Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold)
  19. The Tree of Life (2011, Terrence Malick)
  20. Certified Copy (2010, Abbas Kiarostami)
  21. Meek’s Cutoff (2010, Kelly Reichardt)
  22. I Heard You Paint Houses (2019, Martin Scorsese)
  23. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  24. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011, Johnnie To)
  25. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014, Johnnie To)
  26. Passion (2012, Brian De Palma)
  27. Horse Money (2014, Pedro Costa)
  28. Margaret (2011, Kenneth Lonergan)
  29. Inherent Vice (2014, Paul Thomas Anderson)
  30. Manakamana (2013, Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez)
  31. To the Ends of the Earth (2019, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  32. Mistress America (2015, Noah Baumbach)
  33. Cameraperson (2016, Kirsten Johnson)
  34. The Grandmaster (2013, Wong Kar-wai)
  35. Goodbye to Language (2014, Jean-Luc Godard)
  36. Drug War (2012, Johnnie To)
  37. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, Wes Anderson)
  38. The Wind Rises (2013, Hayao Miyazaki)
  39. Happy Hour (2015, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  40. Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To)
  41. Before Midnight (2013, Richard Linklater)
  42. Ash Is Purest White (2018, Jia Zhangke)
  43. Grass (2018, Hong Sang-soo)
  44. Right Now, Wrong Then (2015, Hong Sang-soo)
  45. Manchester by the Sea (2016, Kenneth Lonergan)
  46. Frances Ha (2012, Noah Baumbach)
  47. Gone Girl (2014, David Fincher)
  48. Toni Erdmann (2016, Maren Ade)
  49. First Reformed (2017, Paul Schrader)
  50. The Princess of France (2014, Matías Piñeiro)
  51. Tabu (2012, Miguel Gomes)
  52. Parasite (2019, Bong Joon-ho)
  53. On the Beach at Night Alone (2017, Hong Sang-soo)
  54. High Life (2018, Claire Denis)
  55. Hill of Freedom (2014, Hong Sang-soo)
  56. Jauja (2014, Lisandro Alonso)
  57. Moonrise Kingdom (2012, Wes Anderson)
  58. Hanagatami (2017, Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  59. The Other Side of the Wind (2018, Orson Welles)
  60. Listen Up Philip (2014, Alex Ross Perry)
  61. This Is Not a Film (2011, Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb)
  62. No No Sleep (2015, Tsai Ming-liang)
  63. Bastards (2013, Claire Denis)
  64. Hahaha (2010, Hong Sang-soo)
  65. Arboretum Cycle (2017, Nathaniel Dorsky)
  66. Uncut Gems (2019, Josh & Benny Safdie)
  67. SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015, Soi Cheang)
  68. In My Room (2018, Ulrich Köhler)
  69. I Was at Home, But… (2019, Angela Schanelec)
  70. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, Isao Takahata)
  71. Oki’s Movie (2010, Hong Sang-soo)
  72. Shakti (2019, Martín Rejtman)
  73. The Day After (2017, Hong Sang-soo)
  74. Her Smell (2018, Alex Ross Perry)
  75. An Elephant Sitting Still (2018, Hu Bo)
  76. differently, Molussia (2012, Nicolas Rey)
  77. List (2011, Hong Sang-soo)
  78. Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013, Hong Sang-soo)
  79. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019, Quentin Tarantino)
  80. My Golden Days (2015, Arnaud Desplechin)
  81. The Traitor (2019, Marco Bellocchio)
  82. The Image Book (2018, Jean-Luc Godard)
  83. Kaili Blues (2015, Bi Gan)
  84. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (2012, Alain Resnais)
  85. Boyhood (2014, Richard Linklater)
  86. The Handmaiden (2016, Park Chan-wook)
  87. Two Days, One Night (2014, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
  88. Two Shots Fired (2014, Martín Rejtman)
  89. The Unspeakable Act (2012, Dan Sallitt)
  90. To the Wonder (2012, Terrence Malick)
  91. Sieranevada (2016, Cristi Puiu)
  92. The Color Wheel (2011, Alex Ross Perry)
  93. The Work (2017, Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous)
  94. The Grand Bizarre (2018, Jodie Mack)
  95. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018, Christopher McQuarrie)
  96. The Hedonists (2016, Jia Zhangke)
  97. Faces Places (2017, Agnès Varda & JR)
  98. In Another Country (2012, Hong Sang-soo)
  99. Kate Plays Christine (2016, Robert Greene)
  100. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018, Joel & Ethan Coen)

Top 25 Performances

  1. Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks: The Return
  2. Laura Paredes, La Flor
  3. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  4. Rooney Mara, Carol
  5. Zhao Tao, Mountains May Depart
  6. Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
  7. Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
  8. Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann
  9. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
  10. Franz Rogowski, Transit
  11. Hong Chau, Downsizing
  12. Patrick d’Assumçao, Stranger by the Lake
  13. John Huston, The Other Side of the Wind
  14. Lee Yoo-young, Yourself and Yours
  15. Shu Qi, The Assassin
  16. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  17. Kim Min-hee, On the Beach at Night Alone
  18. Nina Hoss, Phoenix
  19. Lee Kang-sheng, Stray Dogs
  20. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
  21. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  22. Anna Paquin, Margaret
  23. Rin Takanashi, Like Someone in Love
  24. Kate Lyn Sheil, Kate Plays Christine
  25. Louis Koo, Romancing in Thin Air

Honorable Mentions (not strict runners-up but rather films that have stuck with me)

  • Aloha (2015, Cameron Crowe)
  • Another Movie (2018, Morgan Fisher)
  • Aquarius (2016, Kleber Mendonça Filho)
  • Bad at Dancing (2015, Joanna Arnow)
  • Belonging (2019, Burak Çevik)
  • Brouillard: Passage #14 (Alexandre Larose)
  • Burning (2018, Lee Chang-dong)
  • By the Time It Gets Dark (2016, Anocha Suwichakornpong)
  • Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen–MUST WATCH END!! (2014, Mia Munselle)
  • Classical Period (2018, Ted Fendt)
  • Clouds of Sils Maria (2014, Olivier Assayas
  • Coherence (2013, James Ward Byrkit)
  • Downsizing (2018, Alexander Payne)
  • Elle (2016, Paul Verhoeven)
  • Garoto (2015, Júlio Bressane)
  • The Ghost Writer (2010, Roman Polanski)
  • Heaven Knows What (2014, Josh & Benny Safdie)
  • Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (2015, Stephen Cone)
  • The Human Surge (2016, Eduardo Williams)
  • I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016, Feng Xiaogang)
  • “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” (2018, Radu Jude)
  • Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang)
  • L for Leisure (2014, Lev Kalman & Whitney Horn)
  • Let Your Light Shine (2013, Jodie Mack)
  • The Lost City of Z (2016, James Gray)
  • The Mend (2014, John Magary)
  • The Midnight After (2014, Fruit Chan)
  • Mrs. Hyde (2017, Serge Bozon)
  • Night Without Distance (2015, Lois Patiño)
  • Nocturama (2016, Eduardo Williams)
  • Non-Fiction (2018, Olivier Assayas)
  • P’tit Quinquin (2014, Bruno Dumont)
  • Personal Shopper (2016, Olivier Assayas)
  • Princess Cyd (2018, Stephen Cone)
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012, Paul W.S. Anderson)
  • Six Cents in the Pocket (2015, Ricky D’Ambrose)
  • The Strange Little Cat (2013, Ramon Zürcher)
  • The Social Network (2010, David Fincher)
  • The Son of Joseph (2016, Eugène Green)
  • Stranger by the Lake (2013, Alain Guiraudie)
  • A Touch of Sin (2013, Jia Zhangke)
  • 20th Century Women (2016, Mike Mills)
  • Unfriended: Dark Web (2018, Stephen Susco)
  • Western (2017, Valeska Grisebach)
  • Zama (2017, Lucrecia Martel)

The Chinese Cinema

As inspired by Sean Gilman’s essential list ranking the Chinese-language films he’s seen, I’ve decided to make my own paltry list. Rankings are inexact, but will be regularly updated.

  1. Yi Yi (2000, Edward Yang)
  2. A Touch of Zen (1971, King Hu)
  3. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)
  4. A Brighter Summer Day (1991, Edward Yang)
  5. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003, Tsai Ming-liang)
  6. Platform (2000, Jia Zhangke)
  7. Dragon Inn (1967, King Hu)
  8. Chungking Express (1994, Wong Kar-wai)
  9. Stray Dogs (2013, Tsai Ming-liang)
  10. The Hole (1998, Tsai Ming-liang)
  11. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee)
  12. Mahjong (1996, Edward Yang)
  13. A City of Sadness (1989, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  14. Days of Being Wild (1990, Wong Kar-wai)
  15. Ashes of Time (1994, Wong Kar-wai)
  16. The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang)
  17. Mountains May Depart (2015, Jia Zhangke)
  18. Peking Opera Blues (1986, Tsui Hark)
  19. The Terrorizers (1986, Edward Yang)
  20. 2046 (2004, Wong Kar-wai)
  21. Taipei Story (1985, Edward Yang)
  22. Dirty Ho (1979, Lau Kar-leung)
  23. Sparrow (2008, Johnnie To)
  24. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978, Lau Kar-leung)
  25. A Confucian Confusion (1994, Edward Yang)
  26. The Assassin (2015, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  27. Pedicab Driver (1989, Sammo Hung)
  28. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018, Bi Gan)
  29. Legend of the Mountain (1979, King Hu)
  30. Election 2 (2006, Johnnie To)
  31. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011, Johnnie To)
  32. Spring in a Small Town (1948, Fei Mu)
  33. Wheels on Meals (1984, Sammo Hung)
  34. Throw Down (2004, Johnnie To)
  35. That Day, on the Beach (1983, Edward Yang)
  36. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014, Johnnie To)
  37. Hard-Boiled (1992, John Woo)
  38. In the Heat of the Sun (1994, Jiang Wen)
  39. The Fate of Lee Khan (1973, King Hu)
  40. Bullet in the Head (1990, John Woo)
  41. The River (1997, Tsai Ming-liang)
  42. The Grandmaster (2013, Wong Kar-wai)
  43. Millennium Mambo (2001, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  44. Still Life (2006, Jia Zhangke)
  45. Green Snake (1993, Tsui Hark)
  46. Drug War (2012, Johnnie To)
  47. Fallen Angels (1995, Wong Kar-wai)
  48. Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To)
  49. Happy Together (1997, Wong Kar-wai)
  50. My Left Eye Sees Ghosts (2002, Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  51. What Time Is It There? (2001, Tsai Ming-liang)
  52. Police Story (1985, Jackie Chan)
  53. Nomad (1982, Patrick Tam)
  54. Vive L’Amour (1994, Tsai Ming-liang)
  55. Eastern Condors (1987, Sammo Hung)
  56. Too Many Ways to Be No. 1 (1997, Wai Ka-fai)
  57. Ash Is Purest White (2018, Jia Zhangke)
  58. Oxhide II (2009, Liu Jiayin)
  59. Running on Karma (2003, Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  60. Afternoon (2015, Tsai Ming-liang)
  61. Daughter of the Nile (1987, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  62. My Young Auntie (1981, Lau Kar-leung)
  63. Dangerous Encounters – First Kind (1980, Tsui Hark)
  64. No No Sleep (2015, Tsai Ming-liang)
  65. Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002, Jeffrey Lau)
  66. Raining in the Mountain (1979, King Hu)
  67. SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015, Soi Cheang)
  68. Accident (2009, Soi Cheang)
  69. Golden Swallow (1968, Chang Cheh)
  70. The Killer (1989, John Woo)
  71. The World (2004, Jia Zhangke)
  72. Hero (2002, Zhang Yimou)
  73. An Elephant Sitting Still (2018, Hu Bo)
  74. The Valiant Ones (1975, King Hu)
  75. 24 City (2008, Jia Zhangke)
  76. School on Fire (1988, Ringo Lam)
  77. As Tears Go By (1988, Wong Kar-wai)
  78. Kaili Blues (2015, Bi Gan)
  79. The Hedonists (2016, Jia Zhangke)
  80. Love in a Puff (2010, Pang Ho-cheung)
  81. I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006, Tsai Ming-liang)
  82. A Touch of Sin (2013, Jia Zhangke)
  83. Kung Fu Hustle (2004, Stephen Chow)
  84. One-Armed Swordsman (1967, Chang Cheh)
  85. The Goddess (1934, Wu Yonggang)
  86. Goodbye South, Goodbye (1996, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  87. Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang)
  88. Exiled (2006, Johnnie To)
  89. To Live (1994, Zhang Yimou)
  90. Oxhide (2005, Liu Jiayin)
  91. Blind Detective (2013, Johnnie To)
  92. Unknown Pleasures (2002, Jia Zhangke)
  93. Face (2009, Tsai Ming-liang)
  94. Come Drink With Me (1966, King Hu)
  95. Xiao Wu (1997, Jia Zhangke)
  96. The Wayward Cloud (2005, Tsai Ming-liang)
  97. City on Fire (1987, Ringo Lam)
  98. Rebels of the Neon God (1992, Tsai Ming-liang)
  99. Love on a Diet (2001, Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  100. Expectations (1982, Edward Yang)
  101. Shaolin Soccer (2001, Stephen Chow)
  102. My Blueberry Nights (2007, Wong Kar-wai)
  103. A Hero Never Dies (1998, Johnnie To)
  104. The Odd One Dies (1997, Patrick Yau and Johnnie To)
  105. The Midnight After (2014, Fruit Chan)
  106. Raise the Red Lantern (1991, Zhang Yimou)
  107. The Mission (1999, Johnnie To)
  108. A Better Tomorrow (1986, John Woo)
  109. Election (2005, Johnnie To)
  110. House of Flying Daggers (2004, Zhang Yimou)
  111. Secret Goldfish (2016, Bi Gan)
  112. Office (2015, Johnnie To)
  113. I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016, Feng Xiaogong)
  114. The Wild Goose Lake (2019, Diao Yinan)
  115. Chasing Dream (2019, Johnnie To)
  116. Useless (2007, Jia Zhangke)
  117. Cry Me a River (2008, Jia Zhangke)
  118. Perhaps Love (2005, Peter Chan)
  119. An Autumn’s Tale (1987, Mabel Cheung)
  120. Visit (2020, Jia Zhangke)
  121. Ju Dou (1990, Zhang Yimou)
  122. I Wish I Knew (2010, Jia Zhangke)
  123. A Family Tour (2018, Ying Liang)
  124. Another Year (2016, Shengze Zhu)
  125. The Calming (2020, Song Fang)
  126. In Our Time (1982, Tao Te-chen/Edward Yang/Ko I-chen/Chang Yi)
  127. Your Face (2018, Tsai Ming-liang)
  128. The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (2019, Herman Yau)
  129. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987, Ching Siu-tung)
  130. The Great Buddha+ (2017, Huang Hsin-yao)
  131. Infernal Affairs (2002, Andrew Lau & Alan Mak)
  132. Police Story 2 (1988, Jackie Chan)
  133. Lust, Caution (2007, Ang Lee)
  134. The Poet and Singer (2012, Bi Gan)
  135. Dong (2006, Jia Zhangke)
  136. Three (2016, Johnnie To)
  137. The Mermaid (2016, Stephen Chow)
  138. Xiao Shan Going Home (1995, Jia Zhangke)
  139. Mission: Impossible II (2000, John Woo)
  140. Life Without Principle (2011, Johnnie To)
  141. Red Sorghum (1987, Zhang Yimou)
  142. The Wedding Banquet (1993, Ang Lee)
  143. Turn Left, Turn Right (2003, Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  144. Red Cliff (2008, John Woo)
  145. Red Cliff Part II (2009, John Woo)
  146. The Great Wall (2016, Zhang Yimou)
  147. Curse of the Golden Flower (2006, Zhang Yimou)
  148. The Story of Qiu Ju (1992, Zhang Yimou)
  149. SPL: Kill Zone (2005, Wilson Yip)
  150. A Taste of Killing and Romance (1994, Veronica Chan)
  151. Pushing Hands (1991, Ang Lee)
  152. Enter the Dragon (1973, Robert Clouse)
  153. Ip Man (2008, Wilson Yip)
  154. Shower (1997, Zhang Yang)
  155. Ip Man 2 (2010, Wilson Yip)
  156. Cape No. 7 (2008, Wei Te-Sheng)
  157. Secret (2007, Jay Chou)
  158. Happy Times (2000, Zhang Yimou)
  159. The Road Home (1999, Zhang Yimou)
  160. Shadow (2018, Zhang Yimou)
  161. The Way of the Dragon (1972, Bruce Lee)
  162. A City Called Macau (2019, Li Shaohong)
  163. People’s Republic of Desire (2018, Hao Wu)
  164. Forever Young (2018, Li Fangfang)
  165. The Bucket (2019, Jia Zhangke)
  166. Game of Death (1978, Robert Clouse)