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Joaquin Phoenix and his OS predicted the rise of AI in "Her," which takes top honors in our poll.

* according to me and 838 other film critics

Right, so here’s how it all went down. In 2022, Sight & Sound magazine ran its poll of the greatest movies of all time, something the British publication has been doing every 10 years since the 1950s. Last August, the people at the film criticism website They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? asked 839 film critics around the world (including yours truly) to vote on the best movies that did not receive a vote in the Sight & Sound poll. Please note: 250 movies make S&S’ canonical list every decade, but the list of movies that received a vote numbered more than 4,300, and we had to choose up to 100 films from those that failed to make that very long list. We were given until December 31 to present our choices.

Two weeks ago, They Shoot Pictures unveiled the results of that poll. You can click on the survey’s homepage here. As the site says, movies released after August 2022 were not eligible for the survey, so the Barbie movie doesn’t make it. All told, we voted for more than 14,000 movies. Leading the way with 77 votes was Spike Jonze’s Her, which I discussed in a recent retrospective post. Other notable vote-getters include

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Jules Dassin’s Rififi (75)
Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (71)
the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems (70)
Takashi Miike’s Audition (63)
Samuel Fuller’s Pickup on South Street (60)
Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson (57)
Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor’s Safety Last! (56)
Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers (56)
William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. (54)
Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels (54)
Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride (52)
Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 (52)
Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (50)
Gregory LaCava’s My Man Godfrey (48)
Orson Welles’ Othello (48)
John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness (48)
Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan (47)
Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz (46)
Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun (45)
Jacques Tourneur’s Canyon Passage (45)

Pretty solid list, that. The only ones I haven’t seen are Tourneur’s 1946 Western about gold prospectors in Oregon and Carpenter’s 1987 demonic possession movie. Welles’ Othello is the only one I’m not so high on, although Micheál Mac Liammóir makes a good Iago in that one.

If you want to see my list, click here. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to find me. I’m the guy who voted for both Bridesmaids and Mandy, besides some of the films above. You won’t be surprised to find that my ballot skews toward newer stuff, since most of the old films that are any good already received votes by S&S’ distinguished scholars. I am ashamed that I didn’t vote for L.A. Confidential, since I was so sure that one of Sight & Sound’s voters had plumped for it that I didn’t look for its absence on the list of films that had received votes. I’m surprised at the soft support for Gaslight, the 1944 thriller that gave us that term as we use it. The acting by Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer is fantastic.

The full list of movies that garnered more than one vote from us is here. I need to track down Cristi Puiu’s Malmkrog. I’m a big fan of Puiu’s. Feel free to click around with the feature. My thanks to the good folks at They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? for inviting me to take part. What do you think I missed? What do you think us 839 voters missed? Let us know and make your case.

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