Grant Watson


Voted for

RUDAO LONGHU BANG2004Johnnie To Kei-fung
In the Mood for Love2000Wong Kar Wai
Some Like It Hot1959Billy Wilder
Singin' in the Rain1951Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
The Kid1921Charles Chaplin
Seven Samurai1954Akira Kurosawa
Dragon Inn1967King Hu
The Exorcist1973William Friedkin
Winter's Bone2010Debra Granik
Blade Runner1982Ridley Scott



2004 Hong Kong

This judo-fighting drama may ostensibly form a tribute to Kurosawa's Sanshiro Sugata, but Johnnie To takes his film so much further in terms of style, depth, and character. One of the finest post-Handover features Hong Kong ever had.

In the Mood for Love

2000 Hong Kong, France

Truly perfect films are exceedingly rare. They represent works who creators knew precisely what kind of film they wanted to make, and every aspect of the production – writing, design, direction, performance – works seamlessly in pursuit of their goal. Almost all of Wong's films could justify a place on this list, but it is In the Mood for Love that does so with quality to spare.

Some Like It Hot

1959 USA

A superb American comedy which, decade after decade, simply refuses to date or fall out of fashion.

Singin' in the Rain

1951 USA

If there is a general pinnacle to the American musical, it is the production unit of MGM's Arthur Freed, and if there is a best individual work among those that Freed produced, it is Singin' in the Rain. It's not simply a great film; it's a great film about love for great film.

The Kid

1921 USA

We have reached a point where some of our most beloved feature films are over a century old, and despite The Kid's age it still entertains, enchants, and amuses.

Seven Samurai

1954 Japan

The greatest work of a superlative director. A masterpiece of storytelling. A tremendous showcase of acting talent. Seven Samurai is an unparalleled achievement.

Dragon Inn


It is difficult enough to make a film that people remember; how difficult must it be to also kick-start an entire genre of East Asian cinema?

The Exorcist

1973 USA

History's best horror movie manages that feat not simply by being atmospheric or scary. In truth, the bulk of The Exorcist is not a horror film at all, but rather a sensational adult drama about the loss of faith. That serves to make the scary bits even more effective.

Winter's Bone

2010 USA

Time will determine how and if Debra Granik's uniformly exceptional films are remembered, but she is fully deserving of loud recognition today as one of North America's finest contemporary filmmakers. Winter's Bone is her strongest work to date.

Blade Runner

1982 USA, Hong Kong

There is simply no science-fiction film that is better, nor any feature film with a stronger and more impressive sense of mise en scène. That a filmmaker could make a genre film so incredibly immersive is achievement enough; that Scott has managed to do so multiple times is nothing short of miraculous.

Further remarks

Voting for a greatest film of all time is a fool's errand. How does one compare Chaplin's The Kid with Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men? Selecting a list of just 10 films is a special kind of torture for any lover of the screen arts, and the pain of favourites missing out is so much worse a feeling than the excitement of nominating an included film for the list.

In the end, I'd implore readers to ignore the numerical rankings. Given the sheer number of films produced over what is now well over a century of cinema, for a film to be ranked #200 is surely as outstanding an achievement as ranking #1.