Every person’s taste is different, always has been and, thankfully, always will be. Whether it be movies, television, literature, music, food, you name it, things will divide people. And how two people go about analyzing something like a film makes things basically unpredictable. Sure, there are classics such as Psycho or Citizen Kane, but cinema’s evolution during the 21st century has definitely turned some heads. And the challenge of deciding what deems film a “modern classic” remains unclear.
However, some of those questions have actually been answered. The BBC recently surveyed 177 critics from all across the world, asking them to pick the greatest films of the century. And unsurprisingly, the list is very diverse. The films that are in the top ten have long been some favorites of cinephiles, although there are many in the lower 90 that are very curious choices. See the Top Ten entries below.
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
All 100 entries can be seen at BBC Culture, which features a plethora of masterful films. Most probably won’t deny the importance of films like Mulholland Drive, No Country for Old Men, and The Tree of Life being included, so hopefully those picks will stand the test of time. And in the rest of the list, it’s refreshing to see very recent films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice (2014) and 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road make the cut. In summation, this new survey of critics is relaxing to finally have. It shows that cinema is still very much alive, and that truly is a lovely thing.