Top Ten Films of the Year Lists: 1986 to the Present
These lists represent the opinions of Mark Leeper

My top ten list each year is generated almost automatically.  I take the film I rated highest over the year and then eliminate some of the films tied for the tenth position if there is more than one.  There are a few problems with this process.  First, living in the wilds of Central New Jersey and not being a professional reviewer, I frequently will not see a December release until February, when it is really too late to make my top ten list for the previous year.  A lot of these films rated high in the heat of the moment and because there was little competition I saw that year, but are something of an embarrassment now.  (Did I really think ROSEWOOD was a good film?)

Here is the list of lists in reverse chronological order:
 
 

Top Ten of the Last Century
  1. SCHINDLER'S LIST
  2. A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
  3. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
  4. THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
  5. THE PATHS OF GLORY
  6. THE KILLING FIELDS
  7. SPARTACUS
  8. KING KONG
  9. INHERIT THE WIND
  10. STAR WARS: EPISODE IV

Top Ten Films of 2012
  1. LES MISERABLES
  2. LINCOLN
  3. ARGO
  4. THE IMPOSSIBLE
  5. THE MASTER
  6. A ROYAL AFFAIR
  7. THE DEEP BLUE SEA
  8. THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
  9. IN THE FAMILY
  10. SKYFALL


Top Ten Films of 2011
  1. HUGO
  2. THE LAST CIRCUS
  3. SHOLOM ALEICHEM: LAUGHING IN THE DARKNESS
  4. CONTAGION
  5. BARNEY'S VERSION
  6. THE ARTIST
  7. MARGIN CALL
  8. TREE OF LIFE
  9. THE ILLUSIONIST
  10. WAR HORSE


Top Ten Films of 2010
  1. TEMPLE GRANDIN
  2. TRUE GRIT
  3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
  4. THE KING'S SPEECH
  5. RABBIT HOLE
  6. GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
  7. WAITING FOR SUPERMAN
  8. FOUR LIONS
  9. CARLOS
  10. INCEPTION


Top Ten Films of 2009
  1. PRECIOUS
  2. FANTASTIC MR. FOX
  3. UP IN THE AIR
  4. SLEEP DEALER
  5. THE MESSENGER
  6. UP
  7. STONING OF SORAYA M
  8. SITA SINGS THE BLUES
  9. RED CLIFF
  10. THE BURNING PLAIN


Top Ten Films of 2008
  1. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
  2. TRUMBO
  3. MILK
  4. THE DARK KNIGHT
  5. THE WRESTLER
  6. WALL-E
  7. THE BANK JOB
  8. DEFIANCE
  9. THE COUNTERFEITERS
  10. THE VISITOR


Top Ten Films of 2007
  1. AWAY FROM HER
  2. THE KITE RUNNER
  3. INTO THE WILD
  4. STARDUST
  5. GOLDA'S BALCONY
  6. EASTERN PROMISES
  7. THE NAMESAKE
  8. GONE BABY GONE
  9. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA
  10. SWEENEY TODD


Top Ten Films of 2006
  1. WATER
  2. THE PRESTIGE
  3. SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE LAST DAYS
  4. NOTES ON A SCANDAL
  5. THE HIDDEN BLADE
  6. CASINO ROYALE
  7. MUNICH
  8. THE DEPARTED
  9. THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA
  10. THE NEW WORLD


Top Ten Films of 2005
  1. THE CONSTANT GARDENER
  2. DOWNFALL
  3. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
  4. BEE SEASON
  5. EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED
  6. MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS
  7. CRASH
  8. KING KONG (2005)
  9. THE GREAT WATER
  10. CAPOTE

Top Ten Films of 2004
  1. HOTEL RWANDA
  2. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
  3. MARIA FULL OF GRACE
  4. FINDING NEVERLAND
  5. Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION
  6. KINSEY
  7. STAGE BEAUTY
  8. RAY
  9. TOUCHING THE VOID
  10. HERO


Top Ten Films of 2003
  1. SHATTERED GLASS
  2. HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG
  3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
  4. WINGED MIGRATION
  5. THE FOG OF WAR
  6. MONSTER
  7. MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
  8. MYSTIC RIVER
  9. WHALE RIDER
  10. BIG FISH


Top Ten Films of 2002
  1. THE GREY ZONE
  2. THE PIANIST
  3. WE WERE SOLDIERS
  4. MINORITY REPORT
  5. MIYAZAKI'S SPIRITED AWAY
  6. THE QUIET AMERICAN
  7. ADAPTATION
  8. GANGS OF NEW YORK
  9. THE ROAD TO PERDITION
  10. ABOUT SCHMIDT

 Top Ten Films of 2001
  1. LORD OF THE RINGS
  2. MEMENTO
  3. A BEAUTIFUL MIND
  4. A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
  5. WIT
  6. THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE
  7. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCEROR'S STONE
  8. THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE
  9. HEIST
  10. SHREK
 
Top Ten Films of 2000
  1. THE CONTENDER
  2. TITUS
  3. SUNSHINE
  4. THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN
  5. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
  6. GLADIATOR
  7. TITAN A.E.
  8. SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE
  9. HEY! RAM
  10. O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
 

Top Ten Films of 1999

  1. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
  2. STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE
  3. OCTOBER SKY
  4. CRADLE WILL ROCK
  5. AMERICAN BEAUTY
  6. THE RED VIOLIN
  7. COOKIE'S FORTUNE
  8. TOPSY TURVY
  9. THREE KINGS
  10. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

 

Top Ten Films of 1998

  1. RETURN TO PARADISE
  2. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
  3. SMOKE SIGNALS
  4. THE TRUMAN SHOW
  5. GODS AND MONSTERS
  6. DEEP IMPACT
  7. LAST NIGHT
  8. MULAN
  9. THE GIRAFFE
  10. 23

 

Top Ten Films of 1997

  1. L. A. CONFIDENTIAL
  2. THE ICE STORM
  3. CONTACT
  4. THE SWEET HEREAFTER
  5. ROSEWOOD
  6. AMISTAD
  7. EVITA
  8. EVE'S BAYOU
  9. WINGS OF THE DOVE
  10. CHASING AMY

 

Top Ten Films of 1996

  1. RICHARD III
  2. ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED
  3. BREAKING THE WAVES
  4. THE CRUCIBLE
  5. FARGO
  6. LONE STAR
  7. HEAVY
  8. TWO DAYS IN THE VALLEY
  9. LOOKING FOR RICHARD
  10. MICROCOSMOS


Top Ten Films of 1995

  1. APOLLO 13
  2. PRIEST
  3. LEAVING LAS VEGAS
  4. CASINO
  5. LEGENDS OF THE FALL
  6. DEAD MAN WALKING
  7. DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
  8. CITY OF LOST CHILDREN
  9. MURDER IN THE FIRST
  10. THE USUAL SUSPECTS

 

Top Ten of 1994

  1. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
  2. QUIZ SHOW
  3. LEGENDS OF THE FALL
  4. HOOP DREAMS
  5. PULP FICTION
  6. A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
  7. CRONOS
  8. DOOMSDAY GUN
  9. HEAVENLY CREATURES
  10. THE LAST SEDUCTION

 

Top Ten Films of 1993

  1. SCHINDLER'S LIST
  2. GETTYSBURG
  3. JURASSIC PARK
  4. AND THE BAND PLAYED ON
  5. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
  6. IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
  7. THE JOY LUCK CLUB
  8. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
  9. INDOCHINE
  10. UN COEUR EN HIVER

 

Top Ten of 1992

  1. LORENZO'S OIL
  2. THE CRYING GAME
  3. GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
  4. FAR AND AWAY
  5. UNFORGIVEN
  6. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
  7. PRELUDE TO A KISS
  8. DEAD AHEAD
  9. HOWARD'S END
  10. ENCHANTED APRIL

 

Top Ten of 1991

  1. CYRANO DE BERGERAC
  2. BARTON FINK
  3. HOMICIDE
  4. IRON AND SILK
  5. PROSPERO'S BOOKS
  6. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
  7. THE ROCKETEER
  8. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
  9. OSCAR
  10. OBJECT OF BEAUTY

 

Top Ten of 1990

  1. MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON
  2. AVALON
  3. DANCES WITH WOLVES
  4. GOODFELLAS
  5. REVERSAL OF FORTUNE
  6. AWAKENINGS
  7. THE GODFATHER PART III
  8. FLATLINERS
  9. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
  10. THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER

 

Top Ten of 1989

  1. THE ABYSS
  2. FIELD OF DREAMS
  3. BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
  4. PARENTHOOD
  5. THE BEAR
  6. ROGER & ME
  7. BLAZE
  8. INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
  9. DO THE RIGHT THING
  10. GLORY

 

Top Ten of 1988

  1. A DANGEROUS LIFE
  2. DANGEROUS LIAISONS
  3. MISSISSIPPI BURNING
  4. LADY IN WHITE
  5. THE DECEIVERS
  6. TUCKER
  7. THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING
  8. GORILLAS IN THE MIST
  9. CROSSING DELANCY
  10. STAND AND DELIVER

 

Top Ten of 1987

  1. EMPIRE OF THE SUN
  2. MATEWAN
  3. HOPE AND GLORY
  4. THE LAST EMPEROR
  5. HANOI HILTON
  6. HOUSE OF GAMES
  7. PRICK UP YOUR EARS
  8. BROADCAST NEWS
  9. RAISING ARIZONA
  10. FULL METAL JACKET

 

Top Ten of 1986

  1. A GREAT WALL
  2. LABYRINTH
  3. MONA LISA
  4. MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDERETTE
  5. STAR TREK IV
  6. THE COLOR OF MONEY
  7. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
  8. PLATOON
  9. STAND BY ME
  10. A ROOM WITH A VIEW

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