Favorite Movies

Still from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I have been maintaining a list of my favorite movies since my childhood in the 1980s. It is a list of movies that I love and that are close to my heart and my brain. This is the latest 2021 edition.

View this list on Letterboxd.

Chapter 1: The 1930s and 1940s - Expressionism

M (1931)
M
1931
Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre • Otto Wernicke • Gustaf Gründgens
Shanghai Express (1932)
Shanghai Express
1932
Josef von Sternberg
Marlene Dietrich • Clive Brook • Anna May Wong
Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane
1941
Orson Welles
Orson Welles • Joseph Cotton • Dorothy Comingore
Double Indemnity (1944)
Double Indemnity
1944
Billy Wilder
Fred MacMurray • Barbara Stanwyck • Edward G. Robinson
Out of the Past (1947)
Out of the Past
1947
Jacques Tourneur
Robert Mitchum • Jane Greer • Kirk Douglas

Chapter 2: The 1950s - Changes

Ace in the Hole (1951)
Ace in the Hole
1951
Billy Wilder
Kirk Douglas • Jan Sterling • Porter Hall
Pickup on South Street (1953)
Pickup on South Street
1953
Samuel Fuller
Richard Widmark • Jean Peters • Thelma Ritter
Seven Samurai (1954)
Seven Samurai
1954
Akira Kurosawa
Takashi Shimura • Yoshio Inaba • Toshirō Mifune
Diabolique (1955)
Diabolique
1955
Henri-Georges Clouzot
Simone Signoret • Véra Clouzot • Paul Meurisse
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Kiss Me Deadly
1955
Robert Aldrich
Ralph Meeker • Albert Dekker • Paul Stewart
The Killing (1956)
The Killing
1956
Stanley Kubrick
Sterling Hayden • Marie Windsor • Elisha Cook Jr.
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Angry Men
1957
Sidney Lumet
Henry Fonda • Lee J. Cobb • Jack Warden
Paths of Glory (1957)
Paths of Glory
1957
Stanley Kubrick
Kirk Douglas • Ralph Meeker • Adolphe Menjou
Rio Bravo (1959)
Rio Bravo
1959
Howard Hawks
John Wayne • Dean Martin • Ricky Nelson
The Apartment (1960)
The Apartment
1960
Billy Wilder
Jack Lemmon • Shirley MacLaine • Fred MacMurray

Chapter 3: The 1960s - New Waves

Psycho (1960)
Psycho
1960
Alfred Hitchcock
Anthony Perkins • Janet Leigh • Vera Miles
Yojimbo (1961)
Yojimbo
1961
Akira Kurosawa
Toshirō Mifune • Tatsuya Nakadai • Yôko Tsukasa
Jules and Jim (1962)
Jules and Jim
1962
François Truffaut
Jeanne Moreau • Oskar Werner • Henri Serre
High and Low (1963)
High and Low
1963
Akira Kurosawa
Toshirō Mifune • Tatsuya Nakadai • Kyōko Kagawa
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1964
Stanley Kubrick
Peter Sellers • George C. Scott • Sterling Hayden
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
For a Few Dollars More
1965
Sergio Leone
Clint Eastwood • Lee Van Cleef • Gian Maria Volonté
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
1966
Sergio Leone
Clint Eastwood • Lee Van Cleef • Eli Wallach
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey
1968
Stanley Kubrick
Keir Dullea • Gary Lockwood • William Sylvester
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Once Upon a Time in the West
1968
Sergio Leone
Claudia Cardinale • Henry Fonda • Charles Bronson
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Wild Bunch
1969
Sam Peckinpah
William Holden • Ernest Borgnine • Robert Ryan

Chapter 4: The 1970s - New Hollywood

The Graduate (1967)
The Graduate
1967
Mike Nichols
Dustin Hoffman • Anne Bancroft • Katharine Ross
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Midnight Cowboy
1969
John Schlesinger
Jon Voight • Dustin Hoffman • Sylvia Miles
Vanishing Point (1971)
Vanishing Point
1971
Richard C. Sarafian
Barry Newman • Cleavon Little • Dean Jagger
The French Connection (1971)
The French Connection
1971
William Friedkin
Gene Hackman • Roy Scheider • Fernando Rey
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather
1972
Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando • Al Pacino • James Caan
Fat City (1972)
Fat City
1972
John Huston
Stacy Keach • Jeff Bridges • Susan Tyrrell
Hickey & Boggs (1972)
Hickey & Boggs
1972
Robert Culp
Bill Cosby • Robert Culp • Rosalind Cash
Paper Moon (1973)
Paper Moon
1973
Peter Bogdanovich
Ryan O'Neal • Tatum O'Neal • Madeline Kahn
The Conversation (1974)
The Conversation
1974
Francis Ford Coppola
Gene Hackman • John Cazale • Cindy Williams
Chinatown (1974)
Chinatown
1974
Roman Polanski
Jack Nicholson • Faye Dunaway • John Huston
Mr. Majestyk (1974)
Mr. Majestyk
1974
Richard Fleischer
Charles Bronson • Al Lettieri • Linda Cristal
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
The Godfather: Part II
1974
Francis Ford Coppola
Al Pacino • Robert Duvall • Diane Keaton
Jaws (1975)
Jaws
1975
Steven Spielberg
Roy Scheider • Richard Dreyfuss • Robert Shaw
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dog Day Afternoon
1975
Sidney Lumet
Al Pacino • John Cazale • Charles Durning
Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver
1976
Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro • Jodie Foster • Cybill Shepherd
All the President's Men (1976)
All the President's Men
1976
Alan J. Pakula
Robert Redford • Dustin Hoffman • Jack Warden
Mikey and Nicky (1976)
Mikey and Nicky
1976
Elaine May
Peter Falk • John Cassavetes • Ned Beatty
Sorcerer (1977)
Sorcerer
1977
William Friedkin
Roy Scheider • Bruno Cremer • Francisco Rabal
Days of Heaven (1978)
Days of Heaven
1978
Terrence Malick
Richard Gere • Brooke Adams • Sam Shepard
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now
1979
Francis Ford Coppola
Martin Sheen • Robert Duvall • Marlon Brando
Stalker (1979)
Stalker
1979
Andrei Tarkovsky
Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy • Anatoliy Solonitsyn • Nikolay Grinko

Chapter 5: The 1980s - Blockbusters, Angst

The Shining (1980)
The Shining
1980
Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson • Shelley Duvall • Danny Lloyd
Thief (1981)
Thief
1981
Michael Mann
James Caan • Tuesday Weld • Robert Prosky
Possession (1981)
Possession
1981
Andrzej Żuławski
Isabelle Adjani • Sam Neill • Margit Carstensen
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
1981
Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford • Karen Allen • Paul Freeman
Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner
1982
Ridley Scott
Harrison Ford • Rutger Hauer • Sean Young
The Thing (1982)
The Thing
1982
John Carpenter
Kurt Russell • Wilford Brimley • T. K. Carter
White Dog (1982)
White Dog
1982
Samuel Fuller
Kristy McNichol • Paul Winfield • Burl Ives
Scarface (1983)
Scarface
1983
Brian De Palma
Al Pacino • Steven Bauer • Michelle Pfeiffer
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
1985
Paul Schrader
Ken Ogata • Gô Rijû • Masato Aizawa
Come and See (1985)
Come and See
1985
Elem Klimov
Aleksei Kravchenko • Olga Mironova • Liubomiras Laucevicius
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
To Live and Die in L.A.
1985
William Friedkin
William Petersen • Willem Dafoe • John Pankow
Manhunter (1986)
Manhunter
1986
Michael Mann
William Petersen • Kim Greist • Dennis Farina
Predator (1987)
Predator
1987
John McTiernan
Arnold Schwarzenegger • Carl Weathers • Elpidia Carrillo
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Full Metal Jacket
1987
Stanley Kubrick
Matthew Modine • Adam Baldwin • Vincent D'Onofrio
Ödipussi (1988)
Ödipussi
1988
Vicco von Bülow
Vicco von Bülow • Evelyn Hamann • Katharina Brauren
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard
1988
John McTiernan
Bruce Willis • Alan Rickman • Bonnie Bedelia
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
1988
David Zucker
Leslie Nielsen • Priscilla Presley • Ricardo Montalban
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1989
Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford • Sean Connery • Alison Doody
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
1989
Jeremiah S. Chechik
Chevy Chase • Beverly D'Angelo • Juliette Lewis

Chapter 6: The 1990s - Mainstream vs. Independent

The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The Hunt for Red October
1990
John McTiernan
Alec Baldwin • Sean Connery • Scott Glenn
Miller's Crossing (1990)
Miller's Crossing
1990
Joel Coen
Gabriel Byrne • Albert Finney • Jon Polito
Pappa ante Portas (1991)
Pappa ante Portas
1991
Vicco von Bülow
Vicco von Bülow • Evelyn Hamann • Ortrud Beginnen
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
1991
James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger • Linda Hamilton • Robert Patrick
Heat (1995)
Heat
1995
Michael Mann
Al Pacino • Robert De Niro • Val Kilmer
Fargo (1996)
Fargo
1996
Joel Coen
Frances McDormand • William H. Macy • Steve Buscemi
L.A. Confidential (1997)
L.A. Confidential
1997
Curtis Hanson
Kevin Spacey • Russell Crowe • Guy Pearce
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Big Lebowski
1998
Joel Coen
Jeff Bridges • John Goodman • Steve Buscemi
Out of Sight (1998)
Out of Sight
1998
Steven Soderbergh
George Clooney • Jennifer Lopez • Ving Rhames
The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Thin Red Line
1998
Terrence Malick
Sean Penn • Adrien Brody • Jim Caviezel

Chapter 7: The 2000s and 2010s - The New Millenium

Memento (2000)
Memento
2000
Christopher Nolan
Guy Pearce • Carrie-Anne Moss • Joe Pantoliano
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Mulholland Drive
2001
David Lynch
Naomi Watts • Laura Harring • Justin Theroux
Lost in Translation (2003)
Lost in Translation
2003
Sofia Coppola
Bill Murray • Scarlett Johansson • Giovanni Ribisi
No Country for Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men
2007
Joel Coen • Ethan Coen
Tommy Lee Jones • Javier Bardem • Josh Brolin
There Will Be Blood (2007)
There Will Be Blood
2007
Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Day-Lewis • Paul Dano • Ciarán Hinds
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight
2008
Christopher Nolan
Christian Bale • Heath Ledger • Aaron Eckhart
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Inglourious Basterds
2009
Quentin Tarantino
Brad Pitt • Mélanie Laurent • Christoph Waltz
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
2009
Werner Herzog
Nicolas Cage • Eva Mendes • Val Kilmer
Drive (2011)
Drive
2011
Nicolas Winding Refn
Ryan Gosling • Carey Mulligan • Bryan Cranston
Dredd (2012)
Dredd
2012
Pete Travis
Karl Urban • Olivia Thirlby • Lena Headey
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road
2015
George Miller
Tom Hardy • Charlize Theron • Nicholas Hoult