How the directors and critics voted

Danny Cannon

Top Ten

  1. Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
  2. Network (Lumet)
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg)
  4. The Exorcist (Friedkin)
  5. The Parallax View (Pakula)
  6. Jacob's Ladder (Lyne)
  7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Hughes)
  8. The Apartment (Wilder)
  9. The Godfather Part II (Coppola)
  10. Taxi Driver (Scorsese)


Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
Most films break down to wide shot, over the shoulder and close-ups. Not this piece of art. Beauty, power, majesty.
Network (Lumet)
The best script ever written. Great dialogue, great message, great acting.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg)
Spielberg's best. It's remarkable how he involved the whole world in the conspiracy and still managed to make it from one man's point of view.
The Exorcist (Friedkin)
Nobody's ever come close since. Making this story seem real must have been hard, but that's what makes it the scariest movie ever.
The Parallax View (Pakula)
Still relevant today. Still being ripped off.
Jacob's Ladder (Lyne)
The attention to detail. The use of images instead of effects. So much texture.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Hughes)
An American Alfie. Hughes has been copied thousands of times, but nobody matches this energy and sense of innocent fun.
The Apartment (Wilder)
I love all his films, but I thought this was the best script, and arguably Lemmon's best performance ever.
The Godfather Part II (Coppola)
Slightly better than his previous masterpiece The Godfather.
Taxi Driver (Scorsese)
It was to cinema what punk rock was to music.

Last Updated: 03 Aug 2011