Film4's 100 Must-See Films of the 21st Century

Film4's 100 Must-See Films of the 21st Century's icon

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Drawn from 29 countries around the world, the most recent release on our list is Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which stormed into the chart at number 5. Other recent releases in the top 20 include Steve McQueen’s landmark 12 Years A Slave and Jonathan Glazer’s mesmeric Under The Skin. Glazer is one of just a handful of directors with two films on the list – the others are the afore-mentioned Linklater, indie essentials the Coen brothers, US powerhouse David Fincher and of course Austrian auteur Michael Haneke.

Something else we’re really proud of is the mixture of different types of film this list represents – there’s everything from modern teen classics like the Tina Fey-scripted Mean Girls, to massive animated blockbusters like Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen, to Oscar winners like Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, to austere art-house triumphs such as Kelly Reichart’s Old Joy, to the acutely humane social realism found in The Selfish Giant by Clio Barnard. And much, much more.

The difficulty with these lists is always what gets left off (we're saving documentaries for another list entirely). Our long-list ran to an unwieldy 300+ which we had originally intended to cut down to a top 50 before realising that the 21st century has already generated too much brilliant cinema to represent in any meaningful way with 50 films. So with apologies to the many wonderful filmmakers whose work we were unable to include, we present our list of 100 must-see films of the century so far...

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  1. 1 new

    Mulholland Dr.

    2001 — a.k.a. Mulholland Drive, in 25 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Yi yi

    2000 — a.k.a. Yi Yi, in 18 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    There Will Be Blood

    2007, in 19 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Under the Skin

    2013, in 5 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Boyhood

    2014, in 11 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Faa yeung nin wa

    2000 — a.k.a. In the Mood for Love, in 27 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Werckmeister harmóniák

    2000 — a.k.a. Werckmeister Harmonies, in 12 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Le fils

    2002 — a.k.a. The Son, in 7 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    2004, in 25 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Zodiac

    2007, in 10 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

    2001 — a.k.a. Spirited Away, in 36 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Far from Heaven

    2002, in 8 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Margaret

    2011, in 4 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Caché

    2005 — a.k.a. Hidden, in 14 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Hable con ella

    2002 — a.k.a. Talk to Her, in 11 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte

    2009 — a.k.a. The White Ribbon, in 9 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Before Sunset

    2004, in 14 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Kynodontas

    2009 — a.k.a. Dogtooth, in 4 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Jodaeiye Nader az Simin

    2011 — a.k.a. A Separation, in 12 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    12 Years a Slave

    2013, in 14 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    El laberinto del fauno

    2006 — a.k.a. Pan's Labyrinth, in 29 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile

    2007 — a.k.a. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, in 12 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Brokeback Mountain

    2005, in 20 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Salinui chueok

    2003 — a.k.a. Memories of Murder, in 13 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    No Country for Old Men

    2007, in 22 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Låt den rätte komma in

    2008 — a.k.a. Let the Right One In, in 13 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Sud pralad

    2004 — a.k.a. Tropical Malady, in 9 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    À ma soeur!

    2001 — a.k.a. Fat Girl, in 4 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Vozvrashchenie

    2003 — a.k.a. The Return, in 13 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    The Social Network

    2010, in 11 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    La vie d'Adèle

    2013 — a.k.a. Blue Is the Warmest Color, in 9 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    The Royal Tenenbaums

    2001, in 7 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da

    2011 — a.k.a. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, in 6 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    White Material

    2009, in 4 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Tillsammans

    2000 — a.k.a. Together, in 8 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Tomboy

    2011, in 2 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Moolaadé

    2004, in 5 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    A History of Violence

    2005, in 10 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Weekend

    2011, in 4 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Ghost World

    2001, in 7 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Sexy Beast

    2000, in 7 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Gravity

    2013, in 9 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Frances Ha

    2012, in 2 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Un prophète

    2009 — a.k.a. A Prophet, in 7 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Punch-Drunk Love

    2002, in 10 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Kill List

    2011, in 2 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Das Leben der Anderen

    2006 — a.k.a. The Lives of Others, in 19 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Snowtown

    2011, in 0 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Dare mo shiranai

    2004 — a.k.a. Nobody Knows, in 4 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Happy-Go-Lucky

    2008, in 1 top list Check
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Last updated on Aug 5, 2014; source