Movies I have given five stars to

Note: If I had been consistent in the significance I gave to five stars (and four, etc.), some of these would have received only four. Since it would be difficult to retrospectively apply a consistent standard, I have left my rankings stand. Now at least, five stars means exceptional, four means excellent, three means good, two means bad, and one means very bad. Among the five star films, some I might characterize as divine. Many of Yasuhiro Ozu's films fit into this category. An example of this would be Tokyo Story. So would the Australian film, Japanese Story.


13 Tzameti

(2005) NR (French–Georgian), director: Géla Babluani

84 Charing Cross Road

(1986) PG Romance (British), director: David Hugh Jones

After the Wedding

(2007) Efter Brylluppet (Danish), director: Susanne Bier

An Autumn Afternoon

(1962) Sanma no aji NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu


(1994) PG-13 Comedy (American), director: Whit Stillman

Before Sunrise

(1995) R Romance (American), director: Richard Linklater

Before Sunset

(2004) R Romance (American), director: Richard Linklater

Biograph Shorts

(1908) (2-Disc Series) NR (American)

Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back

(1967) UR Music & Musicals (American), maker: D.A. Pennebaker

Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror: Live at Newport Folk Festival 1963–1965

NR Music & Musicals (American), maker: Murray Lerner

A Brief Vacation

(1973) Una Breve Vacanza PG (Italian), director: Vittorio de Sica

Central Station

(1998) Central do Brasil R (Brazilian), director: Walter Salles

Children of Paradise

(1946) UR (French), director: Marcel Carné

Cleo from 5 to 7

(1961) Cleo de 5 a 7 UR (French), director: Agnès Varda

Closely Watched Train

(1966) Ostre Sledované Vlaky UR (Czechoslovakian), director: Jirí Menzel

The Conversation

(1974) PG Thrillers (American), director: Francis Ford Coppola

Coup de Grace

(1976) Der Fangschuss NR (German), director: Volker Schlondorff

D.W. Griffith: Years of Discovery

(1909) (2-Disc Series) NR (American)


(2004–6) (18-Disc Series) NR Television (American), producer-writer: David Milch

The Deer Hunter

(1978) R Drama (American), director: Michael Cimino

Divorce, Italian Style

(1961) Divorzio all'italiana UR (Italian), director: Pietro Germi

Divorce, Italian Style: Bonus Material


(2008) PG-13 Drama (American), director: John Patrick Shanley

Drunken Angel

(1948) Yoidore tenshi NR (Japanese), director: Akira Kurosawa

Early Spring

(1956) Soshun NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

Early Summer

(1951) Bakushû NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

The Edge of Heaven

(2007) Auf der anderen Seite NR (German), director: Fatih Akin

Edison: The Invention of the Movies

(1891) (4-Disc Series) NR Documentary (American)

The End of Summer

(1961) Kohayagawa-ke no aki NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

Equinox Flower

(1958) Higanbana NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

The Fire Within

(1963) Le feu follet NR (French), director: Louis Malle

The French Connection

(1971) R Classics (American), director: William Friedkin

The French Connection II

(1975) R Classics (American), director: John Frankenheimer


(2002) R Drama (American), director: Julie Taymor

The Godfather

(1972) R Classics (American), director: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather: Part II

(1974) R Classics (American), director: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather III

(1990) R Classics (American), director: Francis Ford Coppola

Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life

(1925) UR Documentary (American), makers: Merian Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack

The Great Santini

(1979) PG Drama (American), director: Lewis John Carlino


(2008) R (British), director: Mike Leigh


(1962) Seppuku NR (Japanese), director: Masaki Kobayashi

Harakiri: Bonus Material


(1984) (6-Disc Series, 924 min.) NR (German), director: Edgar Reitz

Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque

(2005) NR documentary (French), director: Jacques Richard


(1952) UR (Japanese), director: Akira Kurosawa

Ikiru: Bonus Material

(1952) UR

Inland Empire

(2006) R (American), director: David Lynch

Japanese Story

(2003) R Drama (Australian), director: Sue Brooks

Journey from the Fall

(2007) R Drama (Vietnamese-American), director: Ham Tran

La Rupture

(1970) The Breach NR (French), director: Claude Chabrol

La Vie en Rose

(2007) La Mome PG-13 (French), director: Olivier Dahan

Landmarks of Early Film

(1997) NR (American)

Late Autumn

(1963) Akibiyori NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

Late Spring

(1949) Banshun NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

Lawrence of Arabia

(1962) PG (British), director: David Lean

The Legend of Rita

(2001) NR (German), director: Volker Schlondorff

Little Children

(2006) R Drama (American), director: Todd Field

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

(1975) Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum Oder PG (German), directors: Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta


(1931) UR (German), director: Fritz Lang

M: Bonus Material

M. Hulot's Holiday

(1953) Les Vacances de M. Hulot UR (French), director: Jacques Tati

The Maltese Falcon

(1941) NR (American), director: John Huston


(1927) NR (German), director: Fritz Lang


(1990) PG-13 Comedy (American), director: Whit Stillman

A Mighty Wind

(2003) PG-13 Comedy (American), director: Christopher Guest

Mon Oncle

(1958) My Uncle UR (French), director: Jacques Tati

Mongolian Ping Pong

(2005) Lü cao di NR (Mongolian/Chinese), director: Hao Ning

Mother of Mine

(2005) Äideistä parhain NR (Finnish/Swedish), director: Klaus Härö

My Dinner with Andre

(1981) PG Drama (French/American), director: Louis Malle

The Ninth Day

(2004) Der Neunte Tag NR (German), director: Volker Schlondorff

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan

(2-Disc Series) (2005) NR Music & Musicals (American), director: Martin Scorsese

Once Upon a Time in America

(1984) R Drama (Italian/American), director: Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time in the West

(1968) C'era una Volta il West PG-13 (Italian/American), director: Sergio Leone

Passing Fancy

(1933) Dekigokoro NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu


(2005) The Last Hangman R Drama (British), director: Adrian Shergold


(1967) UR (French), director: Jacques Tati


(2002) PG-13 Romance (American/British), director: Neil LaBute

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

(1969) PG (British), director: Ronald Neame

The Return of Martin Guerre

(1982) Le retour de Martin Guerre NR (French), director: Daniel Vigne

Scenes from a Marriage

(1973) TV Miniseries Version (2-disc series, 299 min.) Scener ur ett äktenskap PG (Swedish), director: Ingmar Bergman

Seduced and Abandoned

(1964) Sedotta e abbandonata NR (Italian), director: Pietro Germi

Seven Samurai

(1954) Shichinin no samurai UR (Japanese), director: Akira Kurosawa


(1993) PG Drama (British), director: Richard Attenborough

The Shop on Main Street

(1965) Obchod na korze UR (Czechoslovakian), directors: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos

The Sopranos

(1999–) TV-MA Television (American), director: David Chase

Stray Dog

(1949) Nora inu PG (Japanese), director: Akira Kurosawa


(1999) A Napfény íze / Sunshine—Ein Hauch von Sonnenschein R (Hungarian/Austrian/German/Canadian), director: Istvan Szabo

Taxi Driver

(1976) R Drama (American), director: Martin Scorsese

Ten Canoes

(2006) NR (Australian/Aboriginal), director: Rolf De Heer

The Thin Red Line

(1998) R Drama (American), director: Terrence Malick

Tokyo Story

(1953) Tokyo Monogatari NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Twilight

(1957) Tokyo boshoku NR (Japanese), director: Yasujiro Ozu

Traces of Stones

(1966) Spur der Steine NR (East German), director: Frank Beyer

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

(1978) L'Albero degli zoccoli NR (Italian), director: Ermanno Olmi

Triad Election

(2006) Hak se wui yi wo wai kwaim NR (Hong Kong Chinese), director: Johnny To

Triumph of the Will

(1934) Triumph des Willens UR (German), director: Leni Riefenstahl

Umberto D.

(1952) NR (Italian), director: Vittorio De Sica


(1966) Krylya NR (Russian), director: Larisa Shepitko

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl

(1993) Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl NR documentary (German), director: Ray Müller