Polls and surveys

Browse all our Greatest Films of All Time polls, our annual roundups and more.

Smile (1974)

Smile (1974)

The conducting of polls and the forming of canons has long been meat and drink to Sight & Sound. Throughout the world, wherever the magazine is known, it is often best known for the prestigious critics’ Top Ten Films poll (of all time) that the magazine conducts every ten years. This first took place in 1952, the only time the poll wasn’t won by Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane – Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves took the honours that year – and was most recently done in 2002, when Kane beat Hitchcock’s Vertigo by two votes and I had the privilege myself of discussing the result on all the major UK television news programmes. From 1992 onwards we added an equally successful concurrent ten-year poll for film director’s choices of the Top Ten Films, and they too have selected Kane as their winner.

More recently, over the last six years or so, we have taken survey polls of a more relaxed kind on a range of subjects listed below and have asked each year a more restricted list than our major poll’s for their Film of the Year. Canon-forming of this kind is for us not a dusty matter of building statues to the dead but a living form of constant re-assessment that shows us how tastes in film evolve and change almost on a screening by screening basis.

Nick James, editor

The greatest films – and documentaries – of all time

See our annual roundups from pre-2012

Annual roundups

  • 2015 in review

    2015 in review

    Our roundups and overviews of the year’s highlights in cinema, covering new features and DVDs, documentary and animation.

  • 2014 in review

    2014 in review

    The year’s best in new features, home-cinema releases and revivals, documentaries, animation and more…

  • 2013 in review

    2013 in review

    The year’s best new features, documentaries and home-cinema releases.

  • 2012 in review

    2012 in review

    The year’s best new features, documentaries and home-cinema releases.

See more of our surveys from pre-2012

Other surveys

  • TV special: Home cinema

    TV special: Home cinema

    At a time when television drama is reckoned to be superior to most film releases, we look at how 50 top-drawer film directors, from Robert Altman to Orson Welles, made their impact on the smaller screen. Introduced by Henry K. Miller.

    Wednesday 14 August 2013

    Polls and surveys

  • The Film Book poll

    The Film Book poll

    Which are the most inspirational five books about film ever written? This was the question we asked 51 leading critics and writers and the results may surprise you…

    Polls and surveys

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