The 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century: The BBC polls 180 critics from around the world

Only 12% were made by female directors, despite a third of the critics asked being women

The 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century: The BBC polls 180 critics from around the world

Naomi Watts and Laura Harring in 'Mulholland Drive' [Universal Pictures]

In 2015, the BBC polled a number of international film critics in order to combine a list of the 100 greatest American films ever made – with only six movies made in the 21st century making the final cut. Now the BBC has returned with a new poll that seeks to balance the books somewhat, with a new list o the 100 greatest films released in the last 16 years.

Topping the poll is David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, with Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love taking second place, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood sipping up the remaining milkshake in third.

The BBC revealed that it polled 177 film critics from every continent on Earth – except Antarctica – and the list examines the year in which the film was released, the language it was made in, the gender of its director, and at which prestigious festival it premiered to add weight to the critics’ choices. As per the numbers, it would appear that 2012 and 2013 were bumper years for critical darlings, that the English language still dominates the field, and that – despite almost a third of the critics polled being women – on 12% of the films were made by a female director.

And misery loves company, as there is a serious lack of comedies on the list – although Pixar does particularly well as a studio. You can head over to the BBC website to see which film critics were invited to take part, and an essay about why the audience-dividing Mulholland Drive went the distance with critics.

  1. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
    100. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
    100. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
    99. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
    98. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
    97. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
    96. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
    95. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
    94. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
    93. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
    92. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
    91. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
    90. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
    89. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
    88. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
    87. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
    86. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
    85. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
    84. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
    83. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
    82. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
    81. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
    80. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
    79. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
    78. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
    77. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
    76. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
    75. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
    74. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
    73. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
    72. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
    71. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
    70. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
    69. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
    68. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
    67. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
    66. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
    65. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
    64. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
    63. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
    62. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
    61. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
    60. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
    59. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
    58. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
    57. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
    56. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
    55. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
    54. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
    53. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
    52. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
    51. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
    50. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
    49. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
    48. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
    47. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
    46. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
    45. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
    44. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
    43. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
    42. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
    41. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
    40. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
    39. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
    38. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
    37. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
    36. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
    35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
    34. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
    33. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
    32. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
    31. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
    30. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
    29. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
    28. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
    27. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
    26. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
    25. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
    24. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
    23. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
    22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
    21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
    20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
    19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
    18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
    17. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
    16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
    15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
    14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
    13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
    12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
    11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
    10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
    9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
    8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
    7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
    6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
    5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
    4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
    3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
    2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
    1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

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