Thirty-Four (a lifetime film list)

Just as I finished my lifetime music mix, it occurred to me that a lifetime film list would be a good idea. So here it is. There were some very tough choices (see the spreadsheet link below), so the same unable-to-choose-just-one caveat applies to several years below. One additional mention, as it’s current to this year, but I’m pretty shocked by the almost complete exclusion of A Most Wanted Man in almost every best-of-2014 list I’ve seen. Was it just forgotten?

If this inspires you to create a lifetime film list of your own, I’d love to see it!

CB, January 1, 2015


1980: The Elephant Man, David Lynch

1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg

1982: The Dark Crystal, Frank Ox and Jim Henson

1983: A Christmas Story, Bob Clark

1984: Amadeus, Miloš Forman

1985: Back to the Future, Robert Zemeckis

1986: Flight of the Navigator, Randal Kleiser

1987: Wall Street, Oliver Stone

1988: The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorcese

1989: When Harry Met Sally, Rob Reiner

1990: Jacob’s Ladder, Adrian Lyne

1991: JFK, Oliver Stone

1992: Glengarry Glen Ross, James Foley

1993: Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis; The Remains of the Day, James Ivory

1994: Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle

1995: Leaving Las Vegas, Mike Figgis; Nixon, Oliver Stone

1996: Waiting for Guffman, Christopher Guest

1997: Contact, Robert Zemeckis

1998: The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick

1999: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Anthony Minghella; The Matrix, Lana & Andy Wachowski

2000: Wonder Boys, Curtis Hanson; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee

2001: A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Steven Spielberg; Mulholland Drive, David Lynch

2002: Adaptation, Spike Jonez

2003: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Peter Weir

2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michel Gondry

2005: Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney

2006: The Lives of Others, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck; Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón

2007: Atonement, Joe Wright; Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Julian Schnabel

2008: Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman

2009: A Single Man, Tom Ford

2010: Never Let Me Go, Mark Romanek

2011: Jiro Dreams of Sushi, David Gelb; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tomas Alfredson

2012: Anna Karenina, Joe Wright; Looper, Rian Johnson

2013: All Is Lost, J.C. Chandor; Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón

2014: A Most Wanted Man, Anton Corbijn


The spreadsheet.


The list on Letterboxd.

Written by Christopher Butler on January 1, 2015,   In Essays

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