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10 Filmmakers’ Top 10 Films Lists: Scorsese, Kubrick, Allen, Tarantino, Nolan and More

10 Filmmakers' Top 10 Films Lists: Scorsese, Kubrick, Allen, Tarantino, Nolan and More

Flavorwire has compiled 10 filmmakers’ Top 10 Films lists. Included are Martin Scorsese (who lists Powell and Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes” and Renoir’s “The River,” among others ), Stanley Kubrick (who singles out Chaplin’s “City Lights” and Antonioni’s “La notte”), and Woody Allen (a fan of Bergman’s “Seventh Seal” and Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”). 

Lena Dunham is the sole female representative, and also the only filmmaker to list films made by women in her Top 10: Agnes Varda’s “La pointe courte,” “Le bonheur,” “Vagabond” and “Cleo from 5 to 7” all tie in her estimation, while Dunham also praises Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank.” 

It should be noted that these lists hail from different sources and have differing criteria; some are self-made, some are from the Sight & Sound poll in 2012, some are limited to Criterion-released titles (such as Nolan’s, Dunham’s and Johnson’s), some include more than 10 titles. Kubrick’s, for example, was created in 1963. Flavorwire has the details on when and where each list comes from.

Stanley Kubrick

I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)

Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1957)

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948)

City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)

Henry V (Olivier, 1944)

La notte (Antonioni, 1961)

The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940)

Roxie Hart (Wellman, 1942)

Hell’s Angels (Hughes, 1930)

Martin Scorsese

2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, 1958)

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

The Leopard (Visconti, 1963)

Paisa (Rossellini, 1946)

The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, 1948)

The River (Renoir, 1951)

Salvatore Giuliano (Rosi, 1962)

The Searchers (Ford, 1956)

Ugetsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi, 1953)

Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)

Woody Allen

The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959)

8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

Amarcord (Fellini, 1972)

The Bicycle Thieves (de Sica, 1948)

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bunuel, 1972)

Grand Illusion (Renoir, 1937)

Paths of Glory (Kubrick, 1957)

Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950)

The Seventh Seal (Bergman, 1957)

Francis Ford Coppola

The Apartment (Wilder, 1960)

Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, 1958)

The Bad Sleep Well (Kurosawa, 1960)

The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, 1946)

I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)

The King of Comedy (Scorsese, 1983)

Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980)

Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelley, 19510)

Sunrise (Murnau, 1927)

Yojimbo (Kurosawa, 1961)

Quentin Tarantino

Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)

The Bad News Bears (Ritchie, 1976)

Carrie (de Palma, 1976)

Dazed and Confused (Linklater, 1993)

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Leone, 1966)

The Great Escape (Sturges, 1963)

His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1939)

Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)

Pretty Maids All in a Row (Vadim, 1971)

Rolling Thunder (Flynn, 1977)

Sorcerer (Friedkin, 1977)

Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)

Edgar Wright

2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

An American Werewolf in London (Landis, 1981)

Carrie (de Palma, 1976)

Dames (Enright/Berkeley, 1934)

Don’t Look Now (Roeg, 1973)

Duck Soup (McCarey, 1933)

Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)

Raising Arizona (Coen, 1987)

Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)

The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, 1969)

Guillermo del Toro

8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

La Belle et la Bete (Cocteau, 1946)

Frankenstein (Whale, 1931)

Freaks (Browning, 1932)

Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990)

Greed (von Stroheim, 1925)

Los Olvidados (Bunuel, 1950)

Modern Times (Chaplin, 1936)

Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922)

Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock, 1943)

Lena Dunham

Fish Tank (Arnold, 2009)

Days of Heaven (Malick, 1978)

Broadcast News (Brooks, 1987)

Weekend (Haigh, 2011)

(tie) La Pointe Coure, Cleo from 5 to 7, Le bonheur,
Vagabond (Varda)

(tie) The Marriage of Maria Braun, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir, 1975)

(tie) Straw Dogs (Peckinpah, 1971), Dead Ringers
(Cronenberg, 1988)

Through a Glass Darkly (Bergman, 1961)

The War Room (Hegedus/Pennebaker, 1993)

Rian Johnson

8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

Brazil (Gilliam, 1985)

F for Fake (Welles, 1975)

Amarcord (Fellini, 1972)

Fanny and Alexander (Bergman, 1982)

M. Hulot’s Holiday (Tati, 1953)

Scenes from a Marriage (Bergman, 1973)

The Third Man (Reed, 1949)

The Bad Sleep Well (Kurosawa, 1960)

Down by Law (Jarmusch, 1986)

Christopher Nolan

The Hit (Frears, 1984)

Twelve Angry Men (Lumet, 1957)

The Thin Red Line (Malick, 1998)

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang, 1933)

Bad Timing (Roeg, 1980)

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, 1983)

For All Mankind (Reinert, 1989)

Koyaanisqatsi (Reggio, 1983)

Mr. Arkadin (Welles, 1955)

Greed (von Stroheim, 1925)

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Interesting that Carrie is in QT's top 10 list. I recently watched him at sbbif saying that "blow out" was the best brian de palma film.


thank you tarantino
i hope his list will inspire people to watch SORCERER
it is like hurt locker
so intense it takes your breath away

imagine chief brody driving a truck with nitro on a bad road


It's "Wajda", not "Wadja" ("Ashes and Diamonds").


Who the fuck cares about Lena Dunham?

A Jackson

All in all a bit eclectic.
Except for Scorsese and Allen , who seem to fit the 10 year Sight and Sound consensus , which , except for the strange 2012 poll results seems to average out as the best poll.
Why Satyajit Ray cannot rise into recognition passes beyond by understanding.


I was encouraged that I shared more favorites with Woody Allen than the others (on page 1) 'til I got to QT's list (one of my least favorite filmmakers) and saw that he & I have at least 4 of 10 in common. Interesting…


(Ditto on the Dunham inclusion unless toh! is trying to undermine its cred.)
Even with the "Criterion" qualification, I love Nolan's inclusion of "Koyaanisqatsi". Now if we can get Bigelow, Fincher, Greengrass & Spielberg to weigh in on their favorite 10.


Why the hell is Dunham included with those great directors? She's only directed one movie and has created a TV show.

Seriously, what is with the media and their propaganda like worship of Lena Dunham? The constant attempts to put her alongside the greatest filmmakers/TV creators of all time? It's insulting.

Justin Chang

Small detail for the record: On "Ugetsu Monogatari," the director's surname is Mizoguchi, not Kenji.

Joseph Angier

Great stuff! As a wise man once said: "When it's on the screen, it makes an evening. When it's on a list, it makes history."


Does anyone care what Lena Dunham considers to be a good movie? im not trying to be an ass. I really do wonder. Kubrick? yeah. Coppola? yeah! Tarantino? yeah. Dunham? hmmm…not interested. What were Bergman and Kurosawa and Renoir's influences? THAT i'd wanna read.

Michael LoSasso

This list is somewhat misleading, the top ten for Lena Dunham and Christopher Nolan are their top ten favorite films on the Criterion Collection not their top 10 overall.

Renee Hirshfield

Let's try this again, without ASCII codes: The eighth film on Rian Johnson€' s list should be "The Third Man (Reed, 1949)"; €"The Thin Man" director and year would be "(Van Dyke, 1934)." Also, all of Johnson's selections are Criterion Collection titles.

Renée Hirshfield

The eighth film on Rian Johnson’s list should be “The Third Man (Reed, 1949)”; “The Thin Man” director and year would be “(Van Dyke, 1934).” Also, all of Johnson’s selections are Criterion Collection titles.


Nolan's "top 10" is his top 10 favorite films available through Criterion.

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