Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Every New Addition To The 2022 Sight And Sound 100 Greatest Films Of All Time Critics Poll

Since 1952, the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine has conducted a poll once a decade asking film professionals what they believe the greatest movies of all time are. Initially, both critics' and directors' responses were counted in the same small poll, but as the field expanded, the magazine split the list into separate lists. Roger Ebert called the Sight and Sound poll "by far the most respected of the countless polls of great movies — the only one most serious movie people take seriously."

The 2022 critics survey is the most expansive yet, surveying 1,639 experts from around the world. This expanded field, double the 846 surveyed in 2012, has brought some major shifts to the rankings. 24 of the films in the critics' Top 100 weren't included in 2012. Four of these are films released since the last list came out, while the rest are older classics that have gained greater appreciation. Many of these new inclusions were directed by women and people of color; many also show increased respect for "genre" films.

Here's a guide to the 24 new additions to the 2022 Sight and Sound 100 Greatest Films of All Time critics poll, explaining why these films made the prestigious list and where you can stream them.

Cléo from 5 to 7

Agnès Varda's 1962 film "Cléo from 5 to 7," one of the major movies of the French New Wave, made an enormous leap up in the Sight and Sound rankings: The 2012 results show it tied for 202nd place, while the 2022 poll has it in 14th place. This boost could partially be attributed to the expanded group of critics making more of an effort to include films directed by women, but that alone wouldn't explain its meteoric rise in critical esteem.

Varda enjoyed a late-career surge of recognition, winning an honorary Oscar in 2018 at the age of 89, the same year that she was also nominated in the best documentary feature category for "Faces Places." Her death a year later inspired widespread mourning amongst the film community; Martin Scorsese called Varda "one of the gods" of the art form (via The Hollywood Reporter).

"Cléo from 5 to 7" is a drama told in real time over 90 minutes (arguably the film should be titled "Cléo from 5 to 6:30," but that doesn't have the same ring). It follows a singer, Cléo Victoire (played by Corinne Marchand), who is awaiting the results of a cancer test. Beautifully filmed, psychologically astute, and thoroughly compelling, it well deserves its placement on this list.

"Cléo from 5 to 7" is currently streaming on HBO Max, The Criterion Channel, and Kanopy.

Meshes of the Afternoon

1943's "Meshes of the Afternoon," directed by the married couple Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, almost made the 2012 top 100, with enough critics in its corner to tie for 102nd place. In 2022, it takes 16th place on the Sight and Sound critics list, making it the highest-ranked short film on the list.

This 14-minute piece of avant-garde filmmaking, filmed silently and initially released without even any accompanying music, is a difficult one to summarize. It involves shadows, flowers, knives, mirrors, doppelgangers, mysterious hooded figures, distortions of gravity, jump cuts across space and time, and eerie violence — essentially, it feels like a nightmare put on film, with layers of psychological and feminist symbolism one can unpack.

Many experimental filmmakers have been inspired by Deren's short films. Clear parallels can be drawn between "Meshes of the Afternoon" and the works of David Lynch, whose "Mulholland Dr." is now ranked in 8th place.

"Meshes of the Afternoon" is streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy.

Do the Right Thing

Jumping 103 places between 2012 and 2022, from 127th to 24th place, Spike Lee's 1989 masterpiece "Do the Right Thing" feels like it should have made this list a while ago. This energetically directed drama about racial tensions boiling over in an extremely hot Brooklyn summer was controversial upon release, with some commentators believing it could provoke riots (via Vulture). No such riots happened; instead, the movie inspired over three decades of intense and thought-provoking conversations.

The film's themes and its climax of police violence remain sadly as relevant today as they were back in 1989. But this isn't one of the austere downers on this list — it's incredibly entertaining, enriched by Lee's distinctive sense of style, and carried by a great ensemble of actors. Also, Rosie Perez dancing to "Fight the Power" may be the best opening credits sequence of all time.

"Do the Right Thing" is available for rental on digital platforms.


"Daisies," the 1966 Czechoslovakian surrealist comedy from director Věra Chytilová, tied with "Cléo from 5 to 7" (and many other films) in 202nd place in the 2012 list. Now it's in 28th place. Not only did it benefit from increased attention to women directors, but its peculiar comedic stylings feel extremely ahead of their time. It makes sense that a new generation of critics who grew up with Adult Swim and internet alt-comedy would vibe with this film's sheer chaotic energy.

Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová star as two girls, both named Marie, who decide to behave "spoiled" through a series of bizarre skits. Working through heavy layers of irony, the film managed to smuggle harsh critique of authoritarianism past the communist government censors by pretending to condemn its central pranksters while secretly celebrating their anarchic attitudes.

"Daisies" is streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Released in 2019, Céline Sciamma's "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" is the most recent film to make the Sight and Sound Top 100, and one of four entries to have been made in the decade since the previous list. This intense slow-burn romance between a painter (Noémie Merlant) and her subject (Adèle Haenel) in 1700s France is already being considered a modern classic of lesbian cinema.

While firmly an arthouse film in style and pacing, its emotional core is powerful enough to connect even with viewers who don't typically watch indie movies. The ending in particular is downright masterful and justifies its presence on this list. An additional factor that might have contributed to its high ranking: It was one of the last films to be released in American theaters before the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a particularly cherished memory for those who got to see it on the big screen.

"Portrait of a Lady on Fire" is streaming on Hulu and Kanopy.

Killer of Sheep

"Killer of Sheep," which has jumped from 202nd place in 2012 to 43rd place in 2022, might be the most successful student film of all time. Filmed throughout the 1970s on a budget of just $10,000, Charles Burnett submitted the film as his Master's thesis to UCLA's film program in 1977. The film had its public premiere a year later, but difficulty acquiring the music rights kept the film out of mainstream circulation until it was remastered in 2007 (via the film's official website).

As obscure as his film remained, Burnett's application of neorealist filmmaking techniques to the lives of a working-class African American family proved extremely influential. Elvis Mitchell's Netflix documentary "Is That Black Enough For You?!?" includes a whole segment showcasing just how many indie filmmakers have borrowed from "Killer of Sheep." Don't go into this slice-of-life movie expecting much of a plot, but the images and use of music will stick with you.

"Killer of Sheep" is streaming on Kanopy.


"Wanda" was also part of that big 202nd place tie in 2012, and has risen to 48th in 2022. In the decade between polls, it's become a lot easier to track down and watch, having been added to the prestigious Criterion Collection in 2018. It is the only feature film to have been directed by Barbara Loden, an actress who also played the film's title character.

The story of a housewife who leaves her husband and goes on the run with a bank robber (Michael Higgins) might sound similar to "Bonnie and Clyde" on paper, but "Wanda" seriously downplays the excitement of its plot in favor of a slow-paced character study of its unusually passive protagonist. Aside from Loden and Higgins, all the actors in the film are non-professionals, a decision intended to add to the film's realism. 

"Wanda" is currently streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

The Piano

Ranking in a 235th place tie in 2012, Jane Campion's 1993 drama "The Piano" is now in 50th place on the 2022 list. Thanks to this movie, Campion became the first woman to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes and only the second woman to be nominated for best director at the Oscars (she would later go on to win for 2021's "The Power of the Dog").

This period piece set in 19th century New Zealand stars Holly Hunter as the mysterious mute woman Ada McGrath, who is sold into marriage and travels from Scotland to New Zealand with her daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) and the titular piano. Both Hunter and Paquin won Oscars for their standout performances. The film deals with themes of power, repression, and sexuality from a woman's perspective, presented via a haunting gothic atmosphere.

"The Piano" is available for rental on digital platforms.

News from Home

The biggest surprise and controversy of the 2022 Sight and Sound list has been that Chantal Akerman's 1975 film "Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" took the #1 spot (it was 36th in 2012). As a 201-minute movie focused primarily on mundane tasks of housework, "Jeanne Dielman" is an intentionally challenging watch. Critics love its artistic building of tension and feminist social commentary, but it's a much less widely accessible movie than previous decades' top picks, which have included "Vertigo" and "Citizen Kane."

Like Varda, Akerman's death in the decade since the last poll has led to increased recognition of her accomplishments. She has another new film on the list, the 52nd place entry "News from Home." At 88 minutes, it's much less of a time commitment than "Jeanne Dielman," but still might be a challenge for most viewers. The imagery is filled with long, mostly still shots of New York City, accompanied by narration of letters sent by the director's mother from Belgium. Think of this less as a traditional documentary and more as a conceptual art piece about family relationships and feelings of isolation. 

"News from Home" is available to stream on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

The Apartment

In 2012, directors were fonder of Billy Wilder's 1960 comedy "The Apartment" than critics were: It ranked 44th in the directors' poll vs. 127th in the critics' poll. The film's esteem has clearly grown with the latter group, now ranking at 54th place in 2022. In a survey where a lot of the most famous classical Hollywood filmmakers, such as William Wyler and Howard Hawks, are absent from the Top 100, Wilder manages three films in the Top 100, with "The Apartment" joining "Some Like It Hot" (#38) and "Sunset Boulevard" (#78).

"The Apartment" stars Jack Lemmon as C.C. "Bud" Baxter, an insurance salesman who lets coworkers use his apartment building to have affairs in hopes of climbing the corporate ladder. This was edgy material for 1960; just a few years earlier, such casual depictions of adultery were prohibited by the Hayes Code. The film was a hit, winning five Academy Awards including best picture, and its humor has stood the test of time.

"The Apartment" is available for rental on digital platforms.

Daughters of the Dust

The only film on the list directed by a Black woman, and the first film from such a filmmaker to be given a major theatrical release in the United States (via UCLA), Julie Dash's 1991 film "Daughters of the Dust" comes in 60th place. You can thank Beyoncé for at least some of its increased popularity: In 2016, the same year "Daughters of the Dust" was remastered and rereleased in theaters, the pop queen's visual album "Lemonade" featured many direct homages to Dash's groundbreaking movie.

This poetic independent drama follows three generations of women in the Peazant family, Gullah islanders living on Ibo Landing but preparing to move north to the mainland in 1902. The story is told in non-linear fashion, following the rhythms of Gullah storytelling rather than standard Hollywood narratives.

"Daughters of the Dust" is streaming on Tubi and Kanopy.


Tied for 60th place is Barry Jenkins' 2016 Oscar winner "Moonlight," the second highest-ranking film of the 2010s. Jenkins' second feature follows Chiron, a gay Black boy growing up poor in Miami, at three different points in his life: as a child nicknamed "Little" (Alex Hibbert), as a teenager (Ashton Sanders), and as an adult drug dealer nicknamed "Black" (Trevante Rhodes).

Based on an unproduced semi-autobiographical play by Tarell Alvin McCraney (via The Miami Herald), "Moonlight" is a powerful examination of both positive and negative forms of masculinity that offered a perspective virtually unseen in mainstream cinema. Though its big best picture Oscar moment was unfortunately overshadowed by the presenters accidentally giving the award to "La La Land" before the mistake was hastily (and awkwardly) correctly on stage, its place in the canon of great movies feels firmly established.

As of this writing, "Moonlight" is streaming on Showtime, Hoopla, and Kanopy.


The Martin Scorsese favorites have shifted. While 1976's "Taxi Driver" is still secure on the Sight and Sound list, slightly rising from 31st place to 29th, 1980's "Raging Bull" has fallen out of the list from its previous 53rd place ranking, while 1990's "Goodfellas" now emerges in 63rd place (it was 171st among critics in 2012, though it made the 2012 directors' poll at 48th).

Fairly or not, Scorsese is often pegged as a "gangster movie" director in the popular discourse, and a lot of that reputation rests on the success of "Goodfellas," his deliriously entertaining epic about the rise and fall of the real-life mafioso-turned-informant Henry Hill (played by the late Ray Liotta). Stylishly presented, gleefully profane, and often very funny, Scorsese's film has fun with the allure of the gangster lifestyle while also showcasing its tragedy. How many other films on this list can lay claim to directly inspiring both "The Sopranos" and a recurring "Animaniacs" segment?

As of this writing, "Goodfellas" is streaming on HBO Max.

The Red Shoes

Ranking 117th in 2012, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1948 adaptation of Hans Christen Andersen's fairy tale "The Red Shoes" is now one of five films tied for 67th place in the 2022 list. It's overtaken "A Matter of Life and Death" (#78 in 2022, #90 in 2012) as the favored Powell and Pressburger film, pushing the duo's "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (#93 in 2012) off the list.

This fantasy film, starring Moira Shearer as a ballerina going to extreme lengths for her art, is particularly beloved for its insight into the creative process and its stunning Technicolor cinematography. The ballet is presented in a surreal manner, with elements of horror. You can see its influence in everything from "An American in Paris" to "The Shape of Water" — though surprisingly, Darren Aronofsky has denied that it influenced "Black Swan" in any way (via Film School Rejects).

As of this writing, "The Red Shoes" is streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

The Gleaners and I

Also tied in 67th place is another Agnès Varda film: 2000's "The Gleaners and I." This is another huge leap up the list for Varda: Only four critics selected it in 2012, resulting in a 377th-place ranking. Where "Cléo from 5 to 7" is the most acclaimed example of Varda's narrative filmmaking, "The Gleaners and I" is her most famous documentary.

This documentary follows Varda around different parts of France as she interviews gleaners (people who gather leftover crops from fields). It was Varda's first film shot on a handheld digital camera (via The Academy Museum), and utilized the freedom of the then-new format to its advantage, the unique visual perspectives making up for the technology's disadvantages. The charms of Varda's own personality on camera as well as behind it contribute to the movie's appeal.

"The Gleaners and I" is currently available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

My Neighbor Totoro

No animated films made the 2012 Sight and Sound Top 100, but Hayao Miyazaki's 1988 classic "My Neighbor Totoro" came the closest, ranking at 154th. It rises to 72nd in 2012, as one of two animated films (both Miyazaki anime) to make the list. This is not the first such list of great movies to consider "My Neighbor Totoro" the greatest animated film of all time: None other than "Seven Samurai" director Akira Kurosawa himself included it as the only animated entry on his list of favorite movies (via Far Out Magazine).

Though "My Neighbor Totoro" is easily the film on this list most directly targeted towards children, viewers of all ages can easily get swept up by the wonder of its young protagonist's magical view of everyday life and the astonishing beauty of Studio Ghibli's animation. Also, it has a cat which is also a bus, which automatically qualifies it as a masterpiece.

As of this writing, "My Neighbor Totoro" is streaming on HBO Max.

Spirited Away

Right behind "My Neighbor Totoro" is Miyazaki's 2001 Oscar winner "Spirited Away" in 75th place (previously part of the 202nd place tie in 2012). Aimed at slightly older children than "My Neighbor Totoro," "Spirited Away" is scarier and more dramatic, with 10-year-old protagonist Chihiro encountering huge challenges on her quest to save her parents who've been transformed into pigs in a strange spirit world. What it shares with the other Miyazaki film on this list is a creative approach to Shintoism, gorgeously detailed animation, and a deep respect for its audience's intelligence.

Winning the best animated feature Oscar attracted mainstream Western attention to "Spirited Away" beyond what Miyazaki's previous films had been able to accomplish. Being many Western viewers' first Miyazaki film may play a role in so many of them determining it to be the best Miyazaki film. But even with that bias acknowledged, it's impossible to deny that this movie is a monumental work of art.

As of this writing, "Spirited Away" is streaming on HBO Max.

Céline and Julie Go Boating

Jacques Rivette's 1973 film "Céline and Julie Go Boating" was part of the 127th place tie in 2012, and it now rises to 78th place in 2022. Rivette is another French New Wave director, though unlike his peers at Cahiers du Cinema who made their most acclaimed films in the late '50s and early '60s, Rivette found his greatest successes in the early '70s. His style was defined by the heavy use of improvisation.

"Céline and Julie Go Boating" is a comedic fantasy film, and its inclusion on the Sight and Sound list seems to indicate a greater critical embrace of both these genre elements. Running over three hours, this playful film follows the magician Céline (Juliet Berto) and the librarian Julie (Dominique Labourier) on a number of strange adventures.

"Céline and Julie Go Boating" is currently available to watch on The Criterion Channel.

The Shining

Here's Johnny! The 1980 horror classic "The Shining" elevated its ranking with critics from 154th in 2012 (75th in the directors' poll) to 88th in 2022. It's one of three Stanley Kubrick films to make the Top 100 in 2022, alongside 1968's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (#6) and "Barry Lyndon" (#45).

"The Shining" was hated when it was initially released in theaters, somehow getting nominated for two Razzie Awards. Stephen King, the author of the original novel, still hates it for diverging so heavily from his own story. And there is certainly reason for everyone to be upset with how Kubrick treated actress Shelley Duvall on set. Despite all this, "The Shining" stands out as one of the scariest movies ever made, filled with constantly stunning imagery and so many layered mysteries that have gone on to inspire a whole documentary's worth of conspiracy theories.

As of this writing, "The Shining" is streaming on HBO Max and Plex.

Chungking Express

Tied with "The Shining" for 88th place is Wong Kar-wai's 1994 release "Chungking Express." The Hong Kong-based Wong is a favorite auteur among critics: His 2000 feature "In the Mood for Love" ranks 5th on this list, the highest of any release from the 21st century. Blending romance and neo-noir, "Chungking Express" tells two separate stories about two police officers (Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tony Leung) each trying to get over breakups. An intended third story got spun off into its own feature a year later, "Fallen Angels."

With an American release handled by Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder distribution company, "Chungking Express" was many American cinephiles' first exposure to Wong's sumptuous filmmaking style. Though critics were somewhat split on how they felt about the plot and characters, basically everyone who saw it agreed that it was visually stunning. 

As of this writing, "Chungking Express" is streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.


Bong Joon-ho's 2019 Oscar winner "Parasite" is one of the newest additions to the Sight and Sound list, coming in at 90th, a sign the film is already establishing a place in the cinematic canon. It is the only Korean film to make the Top 100 in 2022, though one would hope its success will inspire international viewers to explore more of the country's great cinema.

"Parasite" makes this list for the same reasons it won so many awards and was an international box office hit: It's an expertly crafted thriller with a sharp sense of humor and a deep well of anger at the ways in which capitalism pits people from the lower classes against each other. It's the sort of film you can find rich metaphors hidden within, but it's also entertaining enough on the surface to make its message heard loud and clear.

As of this writing, "Parasite" is streaming on Hulu and Kanopy.

Get Out

Jordan Peele's 2017 horror film "Get Out" is one of six movies tied for 95th place on the Sight and Sound list. Its inclusion is mildly surprising as a more mainstream film on a list than leans arthouse, but well deserved both for its masterful construction as a thriller and for just how influential it's been in the way society talks about racism.

"Get Out" established Peele as one of the few modern filmmakers who can sell original stories on his name alone. The film's central conceit of "The Sunken Place" is one of those metaphors that works so brilliantly that it's now hard to think of a time we didn't have it. Even if you suspect some critics of voting for "Get Out" performatively, that ironically only proves the accuracy of the movie's satire of performative allies ("I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could...").

"Get Out" is available for rental on digital platforms.

Black Girl

Also in 95th place, rising from 323rd place in 2012, is Ousmane Sembène's 1966 classic of world cinema, "Black Girl." One of two Senegalese movies on the list (Djibril Diop Mambéty's "Touki Bouki" is #66), "Black Girl" tells the story of Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop), a woman who moves from Senegal to France to work as a domestic servant for a white family that treats her poorly.

Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1997 book "Movies as Politics" cites "Black Girl" as the start of sub-Saharan African cinema gaining international attention. The movie was Sembène's first, and it's a highly assured directorial debut. With a runtime of only an hour, it doesn't waste any of its time, though just because it's relatively short, doesn't mean it's light viewing — the ending in particular might require a trigger warning for some viewers.

As of this writing, "Black Girl" is streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

Tropical Malady

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 2004 feature "Tropical Malady" is tied for 95th place in 2022, a slight boost from its 127th-place ranking in 2012. The only Thai film to make the list, "Tropical Malady" is also one of the more unusual and challenging entries, another example of the slow cinema movement with a bend towards the surreal.

The first half of the movie is straightforward enough, a slow-burn gay romance between a Thai soldier (Banlop Lomnoi) and a local villager (Sakda Kaewbuadee). The second half shifts the tone to the mythic, with the soldier now on the hunt for a tiger shaman while slowly traveling through the jungle at night. This is definitely not a movie for everyone, but those who connect with it really love it: Many critics panned it at Cannes, but it ended up winning the festival's Jury Prize (via The New York Times).

As of this writing, "Tropical Malady" is streaming on Kanopy.