Sight and Sound Directors’ Poll: Greatest Films of All Time

Sight and Sound Directors’ Poll: Greatest Films of All Time

62 Episodes

Alongside its legendary once-a-decade critics’ poll, “Sight and Sound” magazine conducts a parallel survey of filmmakers to produce a collective list of the 100 greatest films of all time. 2022’s edition polled 480 directors, producing a selection that includes many surprises not present on the critics’ list, such as COME AND SEE, ERASERHEAD, and LA CIÉNAGA.

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Sight and Sound Directors’ Poll: Greatest Films of All Time
  • Tokyo Story

    Episode 1

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1953 • Japan
    Starring Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara

    A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, TOKYO STORY is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple’s journe...

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

    Episode 2

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • 1975 • Belgium
    Starring Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte

    A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow, whose chores ...

  • Episode 3

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1963 • Italy

    Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (Otto e mezzo) turns one man's artistic crisis into a grand e...

  • Mirror

    Episode 4

    Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1974 • Soviet Union
    Starring Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev

    A subtly ravishing passage through the halls of time and memory, this sublime reflection on twentieth-century Russian history by Andrei Tarkovsky (STALKER) is as much a poem compos...

  • Persona

    Episode 5

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1966 • Sweden
    Starring Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson

    By the midsixties, Ingmar Bergman had already conjured many of the cinema’s most unforgettable images. But with the radical PERSONA, he attained new levels of visual poetry. In the first of a series of legendary perf...

  • In the Mood for Love

    Episode 6

    Directed by Wong Kar Wai • 2000 • Hong Kong
    Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk

    Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite—until a discovery abo...

  • Close-up

    Episode 7

    Directed by Abbas Kiarostami • 1990 • Iran
    Starring Hossein Sabzian, Abolfazi Ahankhah, Mahrokh Ahankhah

    Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and CLOSE-UP is his most radical, brilliant...

  • Beau travail

    Episode 8

    Directed by Claire Denis • 1999 • France
    Starring Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin

    With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd, Sailor,” Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked ...

  • Seven Samurai

    Episode 9

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1954 • Japan
    Starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima

    One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, SEVEN SAMURAI (SHICHININ NO SAMURAI) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to pro...

  • Breathless

    Episode 10

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard • France • 1960
    Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger

    There was before BREATHLESS, and there was after BREATHLESS. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspi...

  • Stalker

    Episode 11

    Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1979 • Russian Federation

    Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a metaphys­ical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a professor into the heart...

  • A Woman Under the Influence

    Episode 12

    Directed by John Cassavetes • 1974 • United States
    Starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk

    This uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give unforgettably harro...

  • Rashomon

    Episode 13

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1950 • Japan
    Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori

    A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, RASHOMON is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accou...

  • Bicycle Thieves

    Episode 14

    Directed by Vittorio De Sica • 1948 • Italy
    Starring Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell

    Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award-winning BICYCLE THIEVES, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar ...

  • The Battle of Algiers

    Episode 15

    Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo • 1966 • Algeria, Italy
    Starring Brahim Haggiag, Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef

    One of the most influential political films in history, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the o...

  • Mulholland Dr.

    Episode 16

    Directed by David Lynch • 2001 • United States
    Starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux

    A love story in the city of dreams . . .
    Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia (Laura Harring)...

  • Pather Panchali

    Episode 17

    Directed by Satyajit Ray • 1955 • India
    Starring Subir Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee

    With the release in 1955 of Satyajit Ray’s debut, PATHER PANCHALI, an eloquent and important new cinematic voice made itself heard all over the world. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style insp...

  • Andrei Rublev

    Episode 18

    Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1966 • Soviet Union
    Starring Anatoly Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolai Grinko

    Tracing the life of a renowned icon painter, the second feature by Andrei Tarkovsky vividly conjures the murky world of medieval Russia. This dreamlike and remarkably tactile film follow...

  • Ordet

    Episode 19

    Directed by Carl Th. Dreyer • 1955 • Denmark
    Starring Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Cay Kristiansen

    A farmer’s family is torn apart by faith, sanctity, and love—one child believes he’s Jesus Christ, a second proclaims himself agnostic, and the third falls in love with a fundamentalist’s...

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    Episode 20

    Directed by Carl Th. Dreyer • 1928 • France
    Starring Renée Falconetti, Eugène Silvain, André Berley

    Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy come to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent masterpieces of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the hours leading up...

  • The 400 Blows

    Episode 21

    Directed by François Truffaut • 1959 • France
    Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claire Maurier, Albert Rémy

    François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), THE 400 BLOWS sensitively re-creates t...

  • La Jetée

    Episode 22

    Directed by Chris Marker • 1963 • France

    Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement ...

  • Au hasard Balthazar

    Episode 23

    Directed by Robert Bresson • 1966 • France
    Starring Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge

    A profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema, Robert Bresson’s AU HASARD BALTHAZAR follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some ...

  • La strada

    Episode 24

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1954 • Italy
    Starring Giulietta Masina, Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart

    With this breakthrough film, Federico Fellini launched both himself and his wife and collaborator Giulietta Masina to international stardom, breaking with the neorealism of his early career in ...