The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films

INTRODUCTION to The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Films (including films from 2000)
Current Version: February 2018 (11th edition)
Published on February 7, 2018
Call Me by Your Name
The second highest entrant… Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Hello once again, my fellow list compadres, to yet another edition of The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Films. Please enjoy, and most importantly, please discover and watch some more worthwhile films - which is after all what this resource is all about.

The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Films is an annually updated compendium of end-of-year, end-of-decade, all-time and miscellaneous lists and ballots relating specifically to films released from 2000 onwards. It contains, based on TSPDT's calculations, the 1,000 leading films (critically-speaking) from 2000 to 2017. It has been compiled from the multiple lists/ballots of 3,176 critics/sources.

In terms of the timeline of this project, the forthcoming 24 months could somewhat be considered the calm before the storm, as we await the end-of-decade lists that will inundate us at the end of 2019, where films from 2010-2019 will, without a doubt, stamp a firmer mark on proceedings. Till then, this is what we have, with the first part of the 21st Century dominating the 1,000. In particular 2004, which chimes in again with 75 entries.

This year, a total of 89 films came and went, including 37 new entrants from 2016 and 2017. There was no change to the top-10, or, much more surprisingly, the top-50.

The 10 Most Acclaimed Films of the 21st Century
1. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Wong Kar-wai
2. MULHOLLAND DR. David Lynch
3. YI YI Edward Yang
4. THERE WILL BE BLOOD Paul Thomas Anderson
5. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND Michel Gondry
6. CACHÉ Michael Haneke
7. THE TREE OF LIFE Terrence Malick
8. SPIRITED AWAY Hayao Miyazaki
9. TROPICAL MALADY Apichatpong Weerasethakul
10. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Ang Lee

Jordan Peele’s horror-satire Get Out, according to TSPDT's numbers, was the most critically-acclaimed film of 2017 followed by Call Me by Your Name and The Florida Project. See below for the top-50 from the past year.

TSPDT's 50 Most Critically-Acclaimed Films of 2017 (based on 2017 end-of-year ballots only)
1. GET OUT Jordan Peele
2. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Luca Guadagnino
3. THE FLORIDA PROJECT Sean Baker
4. LADY BIRD Greta Gerwig
5. DUNKIRK Christopher Nolan
6. FACES PLACES Agnès Varda & JR
7. THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo del Toro
8. TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN David Lynch
9. PHANTOM THREAD Paul Thomas Anderson
10. A GHOST STORY David Lowery
11. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh
12. WESTERN Valeska Grisebach
13. GOOD TIME Ben Safdie & Joshua Safdie
14. ZAMA Lucrecia Martel
15. A QUIET PASSION Terence Davies
16. BLADE RUNNER 2049 Denis Villeneuve
17. MOTHER! Darren Aronofsky
18. MUDBOUND Dee Rees
19. PERSONAL SHOPPER Olivier Assayas
20. BABY DRIVER Edgar Wright
21. LOVELESS Andrey Zvyagintsev
22. EX LIBRIS: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY Frederick Wiseman
23. NOCTURAMA Bertrand Bonello
24. THE SQUARE Ruben Östlund
25. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Raoul Peck
26. RAW Julia Ducournau
27. LADY MACBETH William Oldroyd
28. BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) Robin Campillo
29. MOONLIGHT Barry Jenkins
30. THE BIG SICK Michael Showalter
31. COLUMBUS Kogonada
32. I, TONYA Craig Gillespie
33. OKJA Bong Joon-ho
34. GOD'S OWN COUNTRY Francis Lee
35. DETROIT Kathryn Bigelow
36. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER Yorgos Lanthimos
37. LET THE SUN SHINE IN Claire Denis
38. LOGAN James Mangold
39. THE POST Steven Spielberg
40. A FANTASTIC WOMAN Sebastián Lelio
41. DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME Bill Morrison
42. GRADUATION Cristian Mungiu
43. THE LOST CITY OF Z James Gray
44. WONDER WOMAN Patty Jenkins
45. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Lynne Ramsay
46. SILENCE Martin Scorsese
47. STRONG ISLAND Yance Ford
48. THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE Aki Kaurismäki
49. CERTAIN WOMEN Kelly Reichardt
50. THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED) Noah Baumbach

Directors with the most films in the 21st Century list:
8 - Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard Linklater, Christopher Nolan.
7 – Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino
6 - Wes Anderson, Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Clint Eastwood, Michael Haneke, Jia Zhangke, Guy Maddin, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Frederick Wiseman.
5 - Pedro Almodóvar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Noah Baumbach, Bong Joon-ho, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, David Fincher, Jean-Luc Godard, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Abbas Kiarostami, Spike Lee, Mike Leigh, Jafar Panahi, Park Chan-wook, Tsai Ming-liang, Gus Van Sant, Lars von Trier, Edgar Wright.

Breakdown of 1,000 films by Year:
2000 = 72 (-3)
2001 = 64 (-6)
2002 = 69 (-4)
2003 = 69 (-2)
2004 = 75 (no change)
2005 = 57 (no change)
2006 = 71 (-4)
2007 = 61 (-3)
2008 = 64 (+1)
2009 = 52 (+1)
2010 = 53 (-1)
2011 = 51 (-5)
2012 = 48 (-3)
2013 = 44 (-3)
2014 = 42 (-1)
2015 = 41 (-3)
2016 = 38 (+7)
2017 = 29 (+29)

Breakdown of 1,000 films by Country (Top 10 in bold):
Argentina 12, Australia 9, Austria 10, Belarus 1, Belgium 7, Brazil 6, Cambodia 2, Cameroon 1, Canada 21, Chad 1, Chile 5, China 21, Colombia 1, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 9, Ethiopia 1, Finland 3, France 126, Germany 26, Ghana 1, Greece 3, Hong Kong 7, Hungary 3, Iceland 1, India 4, Indonesia 2, Iran 14, Ireland 7, Israel 4, Italy 16, Japan 25, Mali 1, Mauritania 1, Mexico 6, Nepal 1, Netherlands 4, New Zealand 5, Norway 2, Philippines 3, Poland 1, Portugal 9, Romania 10, Russia 10, Saudi Arabia 1, Senegal 1, South Korea 21, Spain 22, Sweden 13, Switzerland 2, Taiwan 8, Thailand 7, Turkey 5, Ukraine 1, United Kingdom 95, Uruguay 1, USA 420.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the compilation of this edition (and previous editions for that matter) and to everyone who has contacted me with their ongoing support. Your enthusiasm and assistance is very much appreciated. Please email your feedback (good, bad, or ugly) to bill@theyshootpictures.com or leave comments below.

Begin browsing the 2018 edition of The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.

Download the list of the 21st Century's most acclaimed 1,000 films
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