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

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

55 Episodes

Once every decade, “Sight and Sound” magazine has polled film critics from around the world and issued a list of the 100 greatest films of all time. Ever since the first poll in 1952, the “Sight and Sound” list has played a central role in film culture, sending movie lovers on obsessive viewing quests to watch them all, as well as catalyzing debates around the assumptions and biases that shape the canon. With over 1,600 critics contributing ballots, 2022’s edition is the most expansive yet, resulting in a list that includes old favorites like TOKYO STORY, THE RULES OF THE GAME, and SEVEN SAMURAI and new entries such as WANDA and CHUNGKING EXPRESS—as well as a new champion in the number-one spot, now occupied by Chantal Akerman’s singular masterpiece JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES. Drawing from Janus Films’s library of essential art-house classics, we’re pleased to be able to present so many of the poll’s selections—you won’t find as many of the consensus greats on any other streaming service.

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Sight and Sound Critics’ Poll: Greatest Films of All Time
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

    Episode 1

    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 ...

  • Tokyo Story

    Episode 2

    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...

  • In the Mood for Love

    Episode 3

    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...

  • Beau travail

    Episode 4

    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 ...

  • The Rules of the Game

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1939 • France
    Starring Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

    Considered one of the greatest films ever made, THE RULES OF THE GAME (LA RÈGLE DU JEU), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners in which a weekend a...

  • Cléo from 5 to 7

    Episode 6

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1962 • France
    Starring Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray

    Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of ...

  • Meshes of the Afternoon

    Episode 7

    Directed by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid • 1943 • United States
    Starring Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

    Cinematic trance-maker Maya Deren and her husband Alexander Hammid launched an underground revolution with this avant-garde landmark—shot in their Hollywood home, but a world away from the co...

  • Close-up

    Episode 8

    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...

  • Persona

    Episode 9

    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...

  • Seven Samurai

    Episode 10

    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...

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    Episode 11

    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...

  • Late Spring

    Episode 12

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1949 • Japan
    Starring Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka

    One of the most powerful of Yasujiro Ozu’s family portraits, LATE SPRING (BANSHUN) tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu...

  • PlayTime

    Episode 13

    Directed by Jacques Tati • 1967 • France
    Starring Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Georges Montant

    Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PLAYTIME. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-y...

  • Au hasard Balthazar

    Episode 14

    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 ...

  • Daisies

    Episode 15

    Directed by Věra Chytilová • 1966 • Czechoslovakia
    Starring Ivana Karbanová, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Češková

    If the entire world is bad, why shouldn’t we be? Adopting this insolent attitude as their guiding philosophy, a pair of hedonistic young women (Ivana Karbanová and Jitka Cerhová), both named...

  • 8½
    2:19:35
    Episode 16

    Episode 16

    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 17

    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...

  • L’Atalante

    Episode 18

    Directed by Jean Vigo • 1934 • France

    In Jean Vigo's hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean (Jean Dasté), a barge captain, marries Juliette (Dita Parlo), an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean's boat, the L'Atalan...

  • Pather Panchali

    Episode 19

    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...

  • City Lights

    Episode 20

    Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1931 • United States
    Starring Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers

    CITY LIGHTS, the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dra...

  • M
    1:49:42
    Episode 21

    M

    Episode 21

    Directed by Fritz Lang • 1931 • Germany

    A simple, haunting musical phrase whistled offscreen tells us that a young girl will be killed. "Who Is the Murderer?" pleads a nearby placard as serial killer Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann... In his harrowing masterwork M, ...

  • Breathless

    Episode 22

    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...

  • Bicycle Thieves

    Episode 23

    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 ...

  • Rashomon

    Episode 24

    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...