Tom Ryan

Film critic

Voted for

Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Madame de...1953Max Ophuls
Letter from an Unknown Woman1948Max Ophuls
Make Way for Tomorrow1937Leo McCarey
The Searchers1956John Ford
La Règle du jeu1939Jean Renoir
Singin' in the Rain1951Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
Tokyo Story1953Yasujirō Ozu
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
Yi Yi1999Edward Yang


Citizen Kane

1941 USA

Bold, bravura filmmaking at its very best.

Madame de...

1953 France, Italy

Ophuls’ sublime testament to romantic yearnings.

Letter from an Unknown Woman

1948 USA

Style is substance in Ophuls’ exquisite film.

Make Way for Tomorrow

1937 USA

Uncompromising and heartbreaking.

The Searchers

1956 USA

It has me the moment the door opens. Infuriatingly flawed, but beautiful.

La Règle du jeu

1939 France

Renoir’s crowning achievement.

Singin' in the Rain

1951 USA

Pure joy.

Tokyo Story

1953 Japan

A gently tragic film about the wheel turning.


1958 USA

It seduces you, it sweeps you along, and it leaves you breathless.

Yi Yi

1999 Taiwan, Japan

Elegant, eloquent, and alive with the music of its making.

Further remarks

Some things change, some stay the same. If I compiled my Top 10 next year, or next week, it’d be different from the above. I first did this for Sight & Sound 30 years ago, but assembled my 2022 list without checking back. Half my choices have gone missing, although only one of the replacements was made during the intervening years. Go figure.