Sight & Sound 2012 critics top 250 films

Critics’ Top 250 Films

1

Vertigo (1958)

Alfred Hitchcock

A former detective with a fear of heights is hired to follow a woman apparently possessed by the past, in Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless thriller about obsession.

2

Citizen Kane (1941)

Orson Welles

Given extraordinary freedom by Hollywood studio RKO for his debut film, boy wonder Welles created a modernist masterpiece that is regularly voted the best film ever made.

3

Tokyo Story (1953)

Ozu Yasujirô

The final part of Yasujiro Ozu’s loosely connected ‘Noriko’ trilogy is a devastating story of elderly grandparents brushed aside by their self-involved family.

4

Règle du jeu, La (1939)

Jean Renoir

Made on the cusp of WWII, Jean Renoir’s satire of the upper-middle classes was banned as demoralising by the French government for two decades after its release.

5

Sunrise (1927)

F. W. Murnau

Lured to Hollywood by producer William Fox, German Expressionist filmmaker F.W. Murnau created one of the silent cinema’s last and most luminous masterpieces.

6

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick took science fiction cinema in a grandly intelligent new direction with this epic story of man’s quest for knowledge.

7

Searchers, The (1956)

John Ford

John Ford created perhaps the greatest of all westerns with this tale of a Civil War veteran doggedly hunting the Comanche who have kidnapped his niece.

8

Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Dziga Vertov

An impression of city life in the Soviet Union, The Man with a Movie Camera is the best-known film of experimental documentary pioneer Dziga Vertov.

9

Passion of Joan of Arc (1927)

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Silent cinema at its most sublimely expressive, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s masterpiece is an austere but hugely affecting dramatisation of the trial of St Joan.

10

8½ (1963)

Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini triumphantly conjured himself out of a bad case of creative block with this autobiographical magnum opus about a film director experiencing creative block.