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Greatest Films - By Year Year-by-Year - The 'Greatest' Films: 1902 - 2021

One way to look at films is to concentrate on each individual year's releases. It's a good method to recognize the flow and the trends of films, to see those that performed best, and to look at those that came to the forefront or were critically important.

These are the greatest or best films of each year, sometimes called the 'essential' films, the 'must-see' films 'before you die', the all-time best films, the 'A-list' films, or the top films, including a strong mix of foreign-language films - although not all award-winning or notable films could be listed or described. There is also a sampling of some independent and cult films.

Many of the entries have short or brief capsule summaries, and some provide links to much longer essays. Select an individual year within a decade for a listing of the greatest films for that particular year. Each of the films is labeled with Film Genre icons, designating whether it was a drama, comedy, adventure film, horror film, or a hybrid combination.

>> Year by Year: The 'Greatest' Films - 1902 - 2021

>> See also Other Extensive Film Write-Ups: Films: A - H | Films: I - R | Films: S - Z

Extra!! See Filmsite's illustrated review of Top Gun (1986)

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About Filmsite.org

Filmsite.org is an award-winning website for classic film buffs, students, moviegoers and anyone else interested in the great movies of the last century. Detailed plot synopses, review commentary and film reference material are just some of the features available on the site. The site also contains film analysis, original content, information on the top films and most memorable movie scenes, "Best of..." articles, and the most popular film quotes in all genres of film. Its many resources include a comprehensive overview of film history, a complete survey of the Academy Awards (Oscars), milestones and turning points in the industry, and background and descriptions for hundreds of classic Hollywood/American and other English-language movies from the last one hundred years. In the mid-1990s when it was first launched, filmsite.org was one of the first websites to initiate the trend to select 100 Greatest Films in the history of cinema.

About Film Historian Tim Dirks

Tim Dirks created the popular filmsite.org website, aka Greatest Films, in mid-1996, and the site has now celebrated its landmark 25th anniversary in 2021. He has been writing about and reviewing films on the site ever since. Tim originated Filmsite and has remained its sole contributor, manager, and editor - he adds significant content to the site spanning all the years of cinematic history, often writes blogs and other film-related articles, and has engaged in a number of on-camera interviews about film. Wikipedia has called the site "an introduction to cinematic literacy," and CultureSonar referred to the site as "A One-Man IMDb." The site has averaged over time about 10 million page views per year (see visitor and traffic statistics).

Roger Ebert Endorsement

Film critic and columnist Roger Ebert, author of The Great Movies (2002), The Great Movies II (2005), and The Great Movies III (2010) made many detailed references to filmsite.org in his Chicago Sun-Times "Answer Man" column and in his many writings about the Great Movies over the years. He has written that the site is "an invaluable repository of movie descriptions and dialogue" and that it is an "awesome website [that] contains detailed descriptions of 300 great American films, along with many other riches."