Ranked: Woody Allen Films from Worst to Best

With Midnight in Paris hitting theaters this week, we look back at everything from Annie Hall to Match Point.

by Zachary Wigon

Woody Allen has written and directed forty-one films in the last forty-five years, making him one of our most prolific auteurs. He's also run the gamut between great and awful more perhaps than any other director. With his latest, Midnight In Paris, out this Friday, I sized up the man's formidable body of work, listed here from worst to best.

 

41. Cassandra's Dream (2007)

Sometimes you really do wonder what goes through Woody's head when he's working on a script: "What should I recycle? A little murder from Crimes and Misdemeanors? A little guilt complex from same and Match Point?" An insipid retread of those two excellent films, Cassandra's Dream is a movie Woody had already made twice, with no room to improve. Woody on full autopilot; it's a terrible picture by any standard.

 

40. Whatever Works (2009)

Some people say there's no such thing as a bad Woody Allen movie, just weaker and stronger ones. To which I say: watch Whatever Works. Screwing up as exciting a combination as Larry David and Woody Allen is practically inconceivable, but David feels totally off (strangely) in the Woody surrogate role, and Evan Rachel Wood (otherwise a fantastic actress) plays like a caricature. It also seems criminal to waste the talents of Harris Savides — the world's greatest working director of photography — on this. The one-liners are as clunky as they've ever been.

 

39. September (1987)

Woody shot this film, edited it, and then decided he had to shoot it again with a different cast. He should've just shelved the thing entirely. Taking place in one summer house with a interconnected web of people who all have attractions to each other, it aims to be an unaffected character study, but comes across as narcissistic. That's always the danger of making the type of movies Allen makes — movies simply about the relationships of little people in an indifferent world. His filmmaking is stronger when he doesn't seem to invest those relationships with deep, undeserved meaning.

 

38. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)

Despite what the title might have you believe, this is not in the same realm as wacky Woody flicks like Bananas — rather, it's an uncertain, confused film that falls somewhere between a screwball comedy and a more straightforward entangled-relationships drama.

 

37. Midnight In Paris (2011)

Neither a comedy nor a drama, this fantasy-romance plays like a C-grade version of The Purple Rose of Cairo. Owen Wilson is miscast as a neurotic-yet-romantic screenwriter, and the story feels thin, with a love interest (Rachel McAdams) who has about as much characterization as an electrical appliance. The most interesting character (Michael Sheen) basically vanishes after the first act. There are occasional laughs, and Darius Khondji's photography of Paris is fantastic, but those are the few bright spots.

 

36. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)

This film was derided by many, and Allen's called it his worst. I wouldn't go that far — the screwball form always lets him at least slip in some solid one-liners — but the jokes fall flat here more often than in similar faux-noir farces like Manhattan Murder Mystery and Small Time Crooks. Jade Scorption concerns a hypnotist who exerts mind-control over Allen's insurance investigator as well as his co-worker (Helen Hunt) to make them steal jewels for him. It's about as sensible as it sounds.

 

35. Melinda and Melinda(2005)

Points to Woody for an ambitious narrative construct — he tells the same story twice, once as a comedy, once as a drama — but no points for anything else, frankly. Will Ferrell, pre-mega-fame, hews too close to the traditional Woody persona in the comedic section, and the dramatic half aches of melodrama.

 

34. What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)

Technically the first film Woody directed, Tiger Lily is actually a mash-up of two Japanese spy movies that he recut and overdubbed; the plot is utterly absurd, and the whole film is basically just a vehicle for Woody to play off of the bizarre image/dialogue juxtaposition. Slightly dated at this point, but the strength of the best lines — "They kill, they maim, and they call information for numbers they could easily look up in the phone book!" — ensured that he would be able to keep making films.

 

33. Alice (1990)

A more fantastical version of the stronger Another Woman, Alice is another example of Woody trying to make a film he often struggles with: the well-off-person-trying-to-gain-perspective movie. Here, the protagonist is a wealthy housewife whose dalliance with magical herbs provides her with the strength to push herself outside her comfort zone — because, Allen seems to be saying, she's not strong enough to do it herself. While the emptiness of materialism is an interesting subject, the goofy magic-herbs device undermines what Allen is trying to deal with.


Commentarium (134 Comments)

May 17 11 - 3:25am
I got my Woody on

When the great ones are this great, the bad ones are easily forgiven.

Jan 29 12 - 2:25am
dwpsychtech

I'm surprised Sleeper didn't make the top 10. An oldie but an orginal goodie!

Apr 18 12 - 5:22pm
nameA

Why did Play it again Sam not make this list? Love that movie its sweet and funny and part of the unforgettable Woody/Keaton era.

Jun 04 12 - 1:02pm
gsystem888

It wasn't directed by Allen

May 17 11 - 4:53am
nope

As I watched Melinda and Melinda, I thought it was the worst Woody Allen movie ever made. I still think it's worse than you gave it credit for. What an awful film.

Also Scoop was awful. It should not have been above Bullets Over Broadway, no way no how.

May 17 11 - 6:57am
Appears To Be

"Radio Days" probably belongs in the top five. I'm not sure why you rank it so poorly. I also like "Alice" a lot better than you do, and "Scoop" a lot less.

May 21 12 - 10:43am
DB

Quite right.

May 17 11 - 8:53am
THC

"What's Up Tiger Lilly?" is severely underrated here.

May 17 11 - 11:23am
dave1976

While every list is going to create disagreement (it's sort of the point of lists); this one is light years better than the Apatow one put out last week. You can tell the author is a true Allen fan (for god sake, he's seen all 41 Allen flicks. I've only seen about two-thirds, and I think that's pretty stupendous).

Reading the Apatow list, you got the feeling the writers hadn't even seen many of the Apatow movies.

May 17 11 - 11:29am
oo7

Match point was really slow and boring.

May 17 11 - 12:01pm
KT.

1. Annie Hall
2. Manhattan
3. Deconstructing Harry

May 17 11 - 12:36pm
hconrad49

Hey! Where's "Play it Again, Sam"?

May 17 11 - 1:38pm
PeterSmith

He wrote it and starred in it, but didn't direct it, and we figured this list was massive enough.

Jun 27 12 - 12:06pm
Jack

I think this just shows how screenwriters don't get enough credit. Even if he didn't direct, he's still the dominant creative force of Play It Again, Sam. I think it's very much one of his films.

May 17 11 - 2:30pm
mostly bs

This ranking is mostly ridiculous. The top 2 are right (would be hard not to make these two the top 2) but a lot of the rest is just plain wrong. VCB was an overrated flick with no story at all, it seemed like Woody just wanted to film his vacation with some hot young actresses to Spain.
Whatever works was one if not the best Allen films in the last 20 years, since he finally got the idea that the only person who could replace him is Larry David. I still wonder what took him so long, and why he tried Will Ferell first...

May 17 11 - 2:35pm
Me

I liked Whatever Works too. I was surprised to see it so low.

Sep 02 11 - 11:54pm
DrGrozozo

Excellent movie!

May 17 11 - 2:38pm
your friend

Celebrity was really great, I thought. Stardust Memories ought to have been #1!

May 17 11 - 3:42pm
Danielle Gibson

I liked Celebrity more than most too. Winona Ryder is just so PRETTY!

Apr 03 12 - 10:16am
karnstien

Stardust Memories is my favourite too.

May 17 11 - 3:06pm
Sharky

Annie Hall and Husbands & Wives are tied for my favorite.
I found Match Point unwatchable. I hated it. Surprised to see it ranked so high.

May 17 11 - 5:57pm
greg

'Husbands And Wives' gets my vote for best; 'Hollywood Ending' gets my vote for worst.
I'm pretty surprised 'Interiors' rated so low; it's still in my top five. I'm also pretty surprised 'Celebrity' rates so high (relatively.)

May 07 12 - 8:07am
Ram

I agree with your best and your worst.

May 17 11 - 8:23pm
Goldensummer

I just want to mention that it was sheep not a goat. Also that is one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

May 17 11 - 10:04pm
Jason Kruta

You forgot "The Front!" One of my favorites.

May 17 11 - 11:09pm
MB

Allen didn't direct it.

May 17 11 - 10:05pm
Spanky

I really appreciate the time you put on this. Great list. Crimes & Misdemeanors was an excellent movie and should have been ranked higher. No way does Match Point make it into the top 10.

Thanks again!

May 17 11 - 10:19pm
Jen in NY

I'm glad to see Manhattan Murder Mystery in the top 11. I love that stupid movie.

May 17 11 - 11:35pm
RTF

Re 25: it's not a typo if it's handwritten.

May 18 11 - 12:55am
Zawmer

Match Point outranking Crimes and Misdemeanors? Earlier in the article you criticize Allen for ripping himself off, and here he does it with less dopier characters and you call it an improvement? Crimes and Misdemeanors is Allen's masterpiece. Compared with it, most of his other movies seem like he was trying stuff out to see if it worked.

May 18 11 - 5:47am
Tyrone Revere

This is not a list of the funniest; maybe 'best reviewed', 'most artistic', whatever. But funniest? That is a subjective criteria, for sure, but EYAWTKASBWATA, Bananas, and What's Up, Tiger Lily should all be at the top, not a "dark take on human nature..."

May 18 11 - 10:16am
Alfalfa

"What's Up, Tiger Lily?" belongs in the top 10.

Jun 23 11 - 7:22pm
curses!

I definitely agree !

May 18 11 - 10:53am
Redt

I think Match Point is actually one of his worst films. Jonathan Rys Meyers (sp?) is awful and robotic.

Aug 31 12 - 8:00am
atena

I recently watched Match Point. I think this is one of the most interesting and incredible movies I ever seen:)

May 18 11 - 1:28pm
armsaroundparis

I love this! Most of the reviews are spot-on, my only changes would be to drop Match Point down a notch or two and bring Love & Death up to the top 5.

May 18 11 - 2:36pm
Spanky

Agree with Love & Death getting a better placement as well.
1. Annie Hall
2. Manhattan
3. Crimes & Misdemeanors
4. Love & Death
5. Husbands and Wives

The line in Love & Death about "wheat" is hilarious.

May 18 11 - 5:18pm
ALEX

Stopped reading when I saw you put the brilliant 'Interiors' at 30. It was a change of direction, sure. But its brilliant.

Nov 24 11 - 11:11pm
slovenian guy

i agree. Interiors is among top 5 for me.

May 18 11 - 6:10pm
Vincent

"What's Up, Tiger Lily?" all the way at the bottom? It might not be for everyone, sure, but one of his WORST movies? Really?

May 18 11 - 6:12pm
Vincent

though, otherwise, pretty spot on from what i've seen.

May 19 11 - 9:44am
robyn rowe

You forget Play it Again Sam. A real gem. Top 10.

May 19 11 - 10:17am
eric

Thanks for the list.
Radio Days is slight, but wall-to-wall laughs; I'm astonished it's not ranked higher. Like many above, despite a lifetime spent watching and mostly loving Woody's work, I find Match Point nearly unwatchable. To rank it higher than Crimes and Misdemeanors--the film from which its plot is recycled, far less successfully--is outrageous. C&M is certainly one of Woody's three masterworks, along with Manhattan and Hannah, and Alan Alda's performance alone elevates it above Allen's faux-Euro dreck. But you did give Zelig the props it deserves, which delighted me no end.
My suggested top 5, though the top 3 could apear in almost any order, depending on how cynical I feel from day to day:
5. Annie Hall
4. Husbands and Wives
3. Manhattan
2. Hannah and her Sisters
1. Crimes and Misdemeanors

May 19 11 - 11:02am
Brad

Woody didn't actually direct "Play It Again, Sam" or "The Front." Just starred.

May 19 11 - 11:54am
Doug M

I agree that "Annie Hall" is the best of Woody Allen. He started out with his own style of comedy ("Bananas," "Tiger Lily," "Start the Revolution...")) and then took himself way too seriously. The resulting films have been pretentious bores; it always amazes me this man is able to get financing for his films when they don't manage to play longer than a week in most theaters. Despite being a film geek, I was blown away that that were three or four movies I'd never even heard of listed; I'm wondering if these even got a release at all.

May 19 11 - 4:08pm
PP

Am I the only person who was sorely disappointed by Annie Hall? After seeing some of his other classics (e.g., Hannah and Her Sisters), I expected to at least enjoy it... but I found it dreadfully boring and not particularly memorable. I get that some of it has to do with context and when it came out, and I know what seems like cliche now may not have been so then, but seriously, I don't see what is so spectacular about it. It just felt tedious.

I suppose it doesn't help that I always find the worst parts of Woody Allen movies are Woody Allen himself.

May 20 11 - 2:20pm
davey

yes, you're the only one

Mar 14 12 - 4:07pm
Bob

Ha, yeh sorry PP.

May 19 11 - 8:08pm
D

Match Point was atrocious!!!

May 19 11 - 9:22pm
hpleibo

It's a sheep, not a goat. That fact that it is a sheep sets up the ending with Wilder on the street corner drinking Woolite. You have just lost all credibility.

May 20 11 - 1:44am
Awespishus

Stupid and self-important, the reviewer here, not Mr. Allen. This list is hopelessly inept, with exception of the rather obvious top 5, minus "Match Point", of course, which should probably be in the late teens. And he was already a household name before "Sex", which, by the way, featured a sheep in the Gene Wilder segment, not a goat. Shows you just how observant this "expert" is.

May 20 11 - 7:00pm
Socrates

Obviously it's easy to quibble with a list like this.

But let me just add my humble 2 cents:

"Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "Hannah" are both masterpieces. So are "Annie" and "Manhattan". I wouldn't be able to choose the best. I guess they all have to be tied for number one.

"Another Woman" is a great movie. Much higher. "Radio Days" higher too.

I'm glad you liked "Everyone Says I Love You". Very much an under-appreciated movie.

And "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy"? That's a very fine movie too. You're just way wrong about that one.

May 26 11 - 1:35am
Andrew

I totally agree. "Another Woman" got hosed. It's a MUCH better movie than #20whatever...

Nov 24 11 - 11:12pm
slovenian guy

I agree

Jan 04 12 - 11:28pm
Laura

I totally agree with your top 4-they are masterpieces.
Annie Hall
Hannah and Her Sisters
Manhattan
Crimes and Misdemeanors
The rest of Woody's movies are just plain wonderful.

May 21 11 - 9:29am
BriannaS420

I am so sad about Cassandra's Dream being the worst. I thought it was a great movie with compelling and moving performances by both Ewen McGregor and Colin Ferrell. It was a great story, original, a lot of depth and meaning. So.. that's just like, your opinion, man. However, your article was a great read and very informative. I have a list now of movies I haven't seen but jotted down as I was reading. Thank you for the time and effort you put into it.

As much as I love Larry David I do agree about Whatever Works, the Evan Rachel Wood character was terrible and horribly acted. Her accent wasn't believable at all nor was the romance between the two. The character Larry David played could have been great in a different movie with a different plot, I bet WA could have developed a great story around him if he were so inclined.

May 26 11 - 1:36am
Andrew

I sort of agree with you re Cassandra's Dream...for me the best part of it was how Philip Glass wrote the music! What a cool convergence of artists!!!

May 21 11 - 8:35pm
NY, NY

Agree with Annie Hall and Manhattan but not Match Point.
And Vicky Cristina Barcelona at no 19! Should be much higher!

May 22 11 - 10:07pm
loppa

Excellent, excellent list. I'm so glad you didn't try to be all hip and cool by doing something stupid like not ranking Annie Hall #1. It's definitely his best and without question one of the greatest films of all time.

And I am surprised that so many disagree with Match Point. I absolutely LOVE this film. I've been a huge Woody Allen fan for 20 years and have seen all but one or two of the movies on this list, and I totally agree with the top 5. My list would be slightly different though:

1. Annie Hall
2. Match Point
3. Crimes and Misdemeanors
4. Hannah and Her Sisters
5. Manhattan

Dec 04 11 - 8:22am
RE

Totally agree!
Moreover, everyone should know that Match Point is Woody Allen's favourite film of his own.

May 24 11 - 10:30am
TFT

Have you seen Bunny Hall?

May 28 11 - 9:09am
Lil Lamb

What was the one with the gigantic breast squirting milk at everyone?

May 30 11 - 6:40pm
Bear

I'm also really surprised at the negative perceptions of Match Point. I would definitely rank it top five. For me, it was a huge turning point for Woody Allen and made him suddenly relevant again. I also think he's a brilliant dramatic director (seems most people prefer to keep him in the comedy box) and Match Point is maybe his best, plus it has really well-done tension and suspense that we rarely find in Allen. I also think Vicky Cristina Barcelona needs to be moved WAY UP on the list, and would probably kick Scoop down a bit (especially since it was his first film AFTER Match Point and was dreadful in comparison).

Jun 10 11 - 8:04pm
Gino

No real issues aside from the fact that EVERYONE IS OFF THEIR GORD about Match Point. That movie was sub-par and one of his poorer efforts. Such a nothing story that built into a "get this over with" situation two thrids the way in . I do think that critics overlook just how amazing his early works are and I don't really understand what's wrong with being silly. Banana's, and Sleeper and What's Up Tiger Lilly are all amazing and while I would take Love and Death over the lot, they should be considered alongside Stardust Memories and Deconstructing Harry despite their silliness. Top 5 is pretty solid though...can't argue. Match Point sucks and is completely overrated.

Jun 10 11 - 8:06pm
Gino

I guess it would be gourd...oh ya gourd.

Jun 15 11 - 1:19am
Ava

Alice is amazing, and Interiors is a thousand times better than any of his 2000s releases.

Jun 15 11 - 8:37pm
FilmReady1

Seems to be a consistent chorus about Match Point, which I agree stunk; contrived and a ridiculous remake of the 50's black and white classic. Interiors was amazing, so surprised to see it so low.
Also the early comedies should be rated much higher then some of the other stinkers.
Woody's films now seem so tiring, and rehashes of earlier films, plus have the pov of an old perv
covering up his pervdom. But worse, they're just dull.

Jun 19 11 - 7:14pm
Bogart14

Whatever Works is NOT the second worst Allen movie by a long shot. Totally wrong about Midnight in Paris. Granted, I would only suggest this film for big fans or people with lots of knowledge of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bunuel, Dali, Gertrude Stein and their whole milieu, but claiming that Michael Sheen is the most interesting character? He serves his purpose: being an agonizingly pretentious douche. This whole list is suspect.

Jul 24 11 - 10:22pm
Ed Dread

Right on!

Aug 02 11 - 2:46pm
Opuscula

Suspect indeed. I don't even think that the whole exercise of imposing a "best-to-worst" taxonomy on Allen's oeuvre brings much value to us. It leads us into thinking that half of his work progressively degrades to the bad-est in terms of the worst; and I just don't think it applies to Allen. Whatever film/s that you might deem as his "worst," in my opinion, have more to provoke one's imagination and thought than 95% of the schlock that is produced today. I don't really think that people understand him very well these days. He has worked extremely hard at having independent control over what he does. He is an artist to be sure. And like all true artists, he has always been a bold experimenter and still is. That necessarily means that not every experiment is going to be a masterpiece, far from it. But there is something in every single film that he has ever made which is worth far more than the effort required to view it. Taking Match Point as an example, since so many here have trashed it, I have rarely seen a film (or have read a book) which penetrates so deeply into questions of class, freewill, and morality with such a masterful control of the characters, narrative, and emotional suspense. God! I guess people just didn't get it. And make no mistake; Woody's subconscious sense of satire and of the comically absurd is still there, as it is in ALL of his films. You think it's not there in Match Point or Interiors? Think again. I have always felt that even his early work is misunderstood and a lot more sophisticated than people think. I guess if you press me, I personally thought that Jade Scorpion was the least "Allenesque" of all; I hesitate to say weak. He is one of the great Auteurs of our time; and we are lucky that he is still with us and so prolific.

Aug 09 11 - 3:38am
Opuscula

As an experimenter, that's not to say that Allen always forges a new direction with every film. To the contrary, he has often stayed with the same material as in earlier works. Some say that he is just rehashing the same old stuff. Not at all. Like all artists, he is often compelled to fully explore many of the same themes and ideas, repainting the canvas from a variable point of view, abstracting and reconstructing as variations on a theme. Admittedly, certain favorite themes recur often; however it's anything but rehash.

Jun 23 11 - 12:16pm
Diaconov

Just goes to show that everyone's got her/his own Woody going on. This is by far the most unfair - from my point of view - list I've seen on Nerve.
Personally I absolutely LOVE "Anything Else". I really-really think it is one of his greatest movies. Mother and daughter interaction there put the female family dynamics in Almodovar movies to shame.
"Midsummer Night Sex Comedy" is better than anything in the 20-10 section.
And "VCB"... What a great movie.
And please, drop the "90s was the lowpoint" refrain. They are perfectly all right if only for "Deconstructing Harry".
OK, I'm being rude now. That kinda shows his range: classics are classics, and personal bests are personal bests.

Jun 23 11 - 9:38pm
thegonzoway

Where is Don't Drink The Water??? And I found Shadows and Fog to be much better than you gave it credit for

Jul 17 11 - 5:44pm
Gary P

Match Point at number 3 !?!? Absolutely astonishing and so far off the mark. I found the movie almost unwatchable and had it not been one of Woody's I'd have stopped viewing after seeing the first ten or so poorly-acted and totally unrealistic London cliche characters.

All your other choices were pretty spot-on - Id have reveresed the top two though.

Jul 21 11 - 8:40pm
Clara

I went to tons of links bfreoe this, what was I thinking?

Jul 22 11 - 12:55am
Kaylynn

Way to use the internet to help popele solve problems!

Jul 22 11 - 7:21am
Crissy

Whoa, tnhgis just got a whole lot easier.

Jul 23 11 - 10:00am
Lottie

No qeuostin this is the place to get this info, thanks y'all.

Jul 23 11 - 12:23pm
Gloriane

Shoot, so that's that one supoepss.

Jul 24 11 - 10:21pm
Ed Dread

How can you rank Midnight In Paris at 37?? Totally disagree with your remarks on the movie as well, I thought it was cast wonderfully, ...and "few bright spots" ?? cmonnn!! Who's with me on this?

Jul 28 11 - 10:36pm
Craigles

I totally agree with you on Midnight in Paris. There were a few movies that I was glad to see were given a higher ranking than usual (Love and Death is the film that got me into Woody Allen as a kid), but Midnight in Paris deserves to be in at least the top half!
My top would probably be:
1) Manhattan
2) Annie Hall
3) Love and Death
4) Deconstructing Harry
5) Hannah and Her Sisters
6) Manhattan Murder Mystery

Aug 03 11 - 10:40am
juan_cusack_

how you gonna tell me the murder in crimes and misdemeanors was of necessity?

Aug 03 11 - 11:54am
Yellowknife

I don't disagree with the overall rankings (the top 5 is spot on), but 'Mighty Aphrodite,' 'Sweet and Lowdown,' and 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' deserve to be MUCH higher on the list. Especially the first two.

Aug 07 11 - 3:33am
Bilford Astor

I saw Midnight in Paris. It was great. So creative and funny. Owen Wilson was perfectly fine in this role. There was one time when he was trying to hard to be Allen. The film is not perfect, but certainly should in no way be on the bottom end of this list. I hate it when critics state things as if they are facts: "Owen Wilson is miscast..." That's one person's not-so-humble opinion. Later.

Dec 10 11 - 8:32am
Dawson

Would it make you feel better if everyone put IMHO before everything they say then? WASTE.OF.TIME. I think we can understand peoples opinions are just that. Stop wearing your passive-aggressive fairness like a badge.

Aug 12 11 - 5:15pm
AJD

Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors are two of my absolute favorites. So happy to see them in the top 5.

Aug 20 11 - 4:44am
Kashi Go Mean

I think Match Point is one of Woody's best! An intense film that leaves me drained, yet how he does it is strangely subtle... or not -- you're with the Jonathan Rhys-Myers character in almost every scene, so as he starts to make bad choices some part of you still sides with him since all the other characters are pretty shallow and hollow. Like someone said, maybe people didn't get it. Rhys-Myers is fantastic. Radio Days is one of my all time favorite flicks, and a really disagree with your take on A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy -- also a favorite.

Aug 30 11 - 7:09pm
Arthur

I think Crimes and Misdemeanors is Woody's best

Sep 24 11 - 5:24pm
steve

There's no point in derision and name-calling. People list as "best" the movies that appeal to their sensibilities. It doesn't make any list right or wrong, just different. I personally think Allen does best what he did at the beginning....gag writing and slapstick. I thought Annie Hall was all right, but the ones I return to to laugh again and again are
4. Take the Money and Run
3. Sleeper
2. Bananas
1. Love and Death
Ones that I couldn't even finish because of their soap opera quality were
Interiors
Melinda and Melinda
Shadows and Fog
Nothing against Annie or Manhattan or any of the others that people love, I just personally felt no overwhelming desire to revisit them. The late seventies were the beginning of his "talking head" period that just didn't resonate with me as much. To each, his own. He is certainly a genius with something for everyone.

Dec 26 11 - 4:16am
Theodore

I agree that the flat our funny comedies are great. Top 10 are:

1. Annie Hall. Spot on at number 1. Really captured the NY vibe of the late 70's.
2. Love and death. Funny as buggery. Last of his drop dead hilarious flicks.
3. Sleeper. The observations about he future are so spot on...I swear this man is a visionary.
4. Bananas. God this cracks me up every viewing.
5. Take the money and run. Comedy of Woody's lfe of crime is a crack up...and the commentary is hilarious.
6. Zelig. Forgotten Woody classic...funny and clever use of newsreels...inspired Forest Gump no doubt.
7. Manhattan. I guess because I would be deemed not fit to be apart of the human ecosystem by not putting this in the top 10....great cinematography that overcompensates the writing and does not have the comedy punch of he above titles. Still one of the best of his "walking down the NY sidewalk gabbling to his lady friend" pictures.
8. Take the money and run. Who cares if he didn't direct it. It's Hilarious!
9. Broadway Danny Rose. Hilarious movie where Woody plays an entertainment agent.
10. Match Point. Errr....only joking folks!!!!!! Haven't seen it nor do I want to.

Oct 04 11 - 5:31pm
Biruk

I see few movies of woody like anything else, small time crook, everyone says i love you and midnight in paris but i find it all interasthing.

Oct 06 11 - 4:48pm
Charles

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, thank you. There are some things I really about this list: I like that Stardust Memories is rated so highly and I agree that Anything Else is underrated. However, explicitly stating that Match Point is a better film than Crimes and Misdemeanours is criminal (pun intended). I found the plot of Match Point to be pretty uninvolving but the script was dreadful, just awful. It felt like it was written by someone who had never met a British person. I think this might also be the reason it was much better received in the US than over here. In my opinion, Crimes and Misdemeanours is not only Allen's best film but also one of the best films ever made. You should rewatch them, there is really no comparison. I don't even think it's a matter of opinion, it's cold hard fact. I also think you underrated Another Woman, Radio Days and especially Midnight in Paris and severely overrated Scoop. For what it's worth, I also rather liked Melinda and Melinda and thought Radha Mitchell gave a very good performance (I'm aware this is a fairly controversial view). I had a go at coming up with my own top ten:

1. Crimes and Misdemeanours
2. Stardust Memories
3. Husbands and Wives
4. Hannah and Her Sisters
5. Annie Hall
6. Zelig
7. Manhattan
8. Sleeper
9. Love and Death
10. Deconstructing Harry/ Bullets Over Broadway (This depends on my mood!)

Thanks again.

Oct 16 11 - 7:45am
TERESA

I logged in to get a list of all the Woody Allen films in case I have missed any. I find it sad that someone has taken all this trouble to study the work of Woody Allen and managed to understand it so little.Most of the comments are inane and stem from evaluating the comedy alone. As a critique, it is uncultured and seems to ignore all the artistic and historical references.the philosophy and the profundity of thought.As professional artists,my husband and I KNOW that Midnight in Paris is a masterpiece but we are used to casting our pearls to swine.....

Nov 24 11 - 11:29pm
slovenian guy

I think Woody would LOL at your comment. "As professional artists,my husband and I KNOW that Midnight in Paris is a masterpiece but we are used to casting our pearls to swine....." sounds like the guy from the Annie Hall scene, where Woody and Keaton are standing in a movie line and this guy behind them speaks about Fellini and Marshall McLuhan. well, your comment sure made me lough.

Dec 10 11 - 10:16am
Dawson

Ha ha I know I did THATS INCREDIBLE - Theresa - get in touch with Woody NOW!

Nov 24 11 - 11:21pm
slovenian guy

ive seen 15 films from the list i think. movies that inspirted me most were (in random order)

Interiors
Radio Days
Stardust memories
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Manhattan
Anny Hall
Another Woman

i also liked all the others ive seen so far.

the only movie i disliked completely, and it even made me depressed was

Christina Vicky Barcelona

i found it like watching Desperate Houswifes and i have no clue why people like it or why Penelope got Oscar for her acting.

Dec 10 11 - 8:37am
Dawson

Absolutely agree about VCB and Penelope Cruz - my theory is she got it for appearing 'very latin'
which Javier Bardem was encouraged to do by Allen who seemed to be wanking off on it all - I guess Woody has always moaned about his lack of sexual potency, so it has a weird consistency.

Nov 24 11 - 11:33pm
slovenian guy

the funnies moments i found in Deconstructing Harry and Bullets Over Broadway.

Nov 24 11 - 11:38pm
slovenian guy

No, don´t speak. No. (hillarious)

Nov 25 11 - 4:39pm
Wait Five Minutes

"Melinda and Melinda" is unspeakably tedious. Couldn't get through it, tried really hard. Can't remember anything else quite so flat and dull.

Dec 10 11 - 11:26am
howard einhorn

Not including Play It Again Sam is wrong logic...just incorrect..Personal preference...I think Broadway Danny Rose.is not given the ranking it deserves..It should be top 5

Dec 26 11 - 5:08am
Theodore

You are so right Howard. I must give Woody his fair crack and say that even though he has done some dull (Melinda and Melinda), over reaching (Radio Days) and forgettable (that one with Shaun Penn), but he is the last of his type and a true legend.

Like artists like Bob Dylan or Neil Young, he has had a rocky career and over extends himself at times or retreads when there is a lack of inspiration, but he has had at least a third of his movies that a stone cold classics and it is better to have had the audacity to go with his id and create a project that may polarise his audience. No matter what...people will always discuss a Woody Allen movie afterwards rather than a Transformers or Big Momma's House movie!

Dec 27 11 - 8:11pm
Andy

Very interesting list and comments, but not too many have rated 'Broadway Danny Rose' as one of Allen's best. For what it's worth, I think it's fantastic and should be much higher in the list.

Dec 29 11 - 12:07am
Amandine

You did Midnight in Paris a dirty turn! It's not as though it was flawless, but still it had its moments. It's definitely not one of his worst films.
Also, it would've been very nice if you had included Play It Again Sam, which was really a good picture.

Dec 29 11 - 6:50pm
Corey

What the heck, man? Midnight in Paris that low? Inconceivable! Then again, Match Point was included in your top five so I'm not too surprised.

My top five:
1. Midnight in Paris
2. The Purple Rose of Cairo
3. Crimes and Misdemeanors
4. Sweet and Lowdown
5. Hannah and Her Sisters

Jan 15 12 - 6:28pm
Mick

Hey, where's THE FRONT? As trenchant and humerous a look at the Blacklist as has eveer been filmed. Besides, my ex is in it.

Jan 29 12 - 6:18am
Katherine D

The Front was good...and who is your ex????

Jan 20 12 - 7:59pm
KG

You put Midnight in Paris at 37? You're out of your mind. That, alone, makes this list worthless. MIP is Allen at his best. Owen Wilson too.

Jan 29 12 - 6:27am
Katherine D

A beautiful, sweet film....brings back memories of travelling Europe with my ex-husband twenty five years ago and never wanting go home...

Feb 05 12 - 12:18pm
joanna kay

Match point? You're kidding right? Terrible..most of WA's European flicks have been cack.
He works best when working with American stalwart actors..I'm thinking Alan Alda, Dianne Wiest (not random cast Celebrities) in domestic dramas, with a mix of humour, great characterisation and pathos. The euro films (with possibly the exception of Midnight in Paris) have been humourless and hollow.

Crimes and Misdemeanours
Hannah and Her Sisters
Manhattan
Annie Hall
Manhattan Murder Mystery

Feb 05 12 - 11:45pm
Michael R

Like most critics, I think you're dead wrong about Midnight in Paris, which is up there with his best. I'd also put What's Up, Tiger Lily down there among his weakest.

My ordered list of the 29 Allen films I've seen:
29. What's Up, Tiger Lily?
28. Curse of the Jade Scorpion
27. Interiors
26. Scoop
25. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex...
24. Whatever Works
23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
22. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
21. Bananas
20. Melinda and Melinda
19. Take the Money and Run
18. Zelig
17. Broadway Danny Rose
16. Manhattan Murder Mystery
15. Sleeper
14. Love and Death
13. Radio Days
12. Stardust Memories
11. Deconstructing Harry
10. Everyone Says I Love You
9. Purple Rose of Cairo
8. Midnight in Paris
7. Vicky Christina Barcelona
6. Husbands and Wives
5. Hannah and Her Sisters
4. Matchpoint
3. Manhattan
2. Crimes and Misdemeanors
1. Annie Hall

Feb 11 12 - 8:59am
Vernon

I just watched some of his early slapsticky funny films. From bad to good

1.Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex...
This film is so dated and is excrutiating to watch. Was this even funny in the days of 70's sexual liberation? Just looks lecherous in these days of sexualised exploitation/ internet pornscape weariness.

2. What's Up, Tiger Lily?
I guess this influenced a plethora of the amusing attempts at comedy dialogue overdubbed over bad foreign films, but it is pretty weak and wears out it's welcome after 10 mins.

3. Play it again Sam.
We all know and have pontificated that he didn't direct this, but it really has every Woody Allen nuance and style he developed and employed in his later late 70's /early 80's golden era films. His first attempt at the sophisticated wordplay with Dianne Keaton is fun to watch.

4. Love and Death.
Regarded as his best "early" period movies, it definitely, at that point, his most ambitious comedy and a successful attempt to blend the historical wiith today's modern attitudes. He matured as a writer, and pulls it off, even though it is not the laugh out loud silliness of "Bananas" or "Take the money and run".

5. Sleeper.
Woody's imagine goes into future with amusing results. Recovering after his first misfire of "Everything you wanted to know about sex..." this movie contains his over imaginative on a tight leash and keeps the laugh rate on high, even though some of the jokes misfire occassionally.

6. Take the money and run.
This film revels in it's raw, unpretentious comedy. The running narration by Jackson Beck is hilarious. No studies into relationships, nothing to tax the senses, it is a perfect Friday night movie you can watch with the boys, not just with the wife/girlfriend.

7. Bananas.
Fast and furious joke-a-thon that hits a home run with every joke. Louise Lasser in her best Woody Allen movie role is hilarious as the hapless student socialist who collects funding for political causes by being a door to door collector, and knocks on relationship-starved Allen's door, and then the fun kicks in.

And the best early film....

1. Annie Hall.
Woody Allen's masterpiece effortlessly mixes offbeat, goofy humour with Woody's skillfully intelligent and witty dialogue perfectly. The tempo is upbeat, fast paced and clicks on intellectual and emotional levels, due to the honesty and believability of the writing.

Feb 26 12 - 2:05am
Girlbird

You are so full of it. Anyone who says Jade Scorpian is worse than Midnight in Paris, is just full of it. Come on! You just have no clue.

Mar 03 12 - 4:40pm
Voodoo

Crimes and Misdemeanors is not only Woody Allen's best movie, but also one of the best movies ever made. The screenplay alone is unparalleled.

Mar 28 12 - 1:46am
Scott

Wow. This list is horrible. This just made the top of my "websites to avoid" list. I started typing all of the horrible Allen films (and I'm a huge fan) that are too high, but gave up. Just know this - "Scoop", "Deconstructing Harry", and "Celebrity" are horrible films. Anything below them is way better.

Mar 28 12 - 5:38pm
Jonathan

Nice list. Woody has certainly had an effect on film makers and film-goers for more than 4 decades. And with the success of Midnight in Paris it seems he still has his audience. I've always been a fan, from the zany comedies of the early 70's thru the more serious work that followed and beyond. He is so unaffected by trends and current events and so focused on telling the most compelling of stories in the most original ways. Love him! My personal Top 10 (today) would have to be:

10. Sweet and Lowdown
9. Zelig
8. Husbands and Wives
7. Match Point
6. Love and Death
5. Take the Money and Run
4. Bullets over Broadway
3. Annie Hall
2. Hannah and Her Sisters
1. The Purple Rose of Cairo

Apr 13 12 - 2:05pm
Canto

1. Manhattan
2. Annie Hall
3. Play It Again, Sam! (Very underrated - extremely cool!!!)
3. Take the Money and Run
4. Crimes and Misdemeanors
5. Deconstructing Harry
6. Whatever Works :D lol
7. The Purple Rose of Cairo
8. Hannah and Her Sisters
9. Bullets over Broadway
10. Husbands and Wives

Apr 18 12 - 3:04pm
Valrie

I accessed this because I had just heard that "Midnight in Paris" was a top Woody Allen movie. I disagree and so I agree with it's placement on this list. As the author states Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams are both really miscast, especially Wilson. I agree with the top 5. And "Annie Hall" is a masterpiece!

Apr 23 12 - 2:17am
JustinS

Wow, I've only seen about eight Woody Allen movies, so maybe I'm not in a position to comment but...

I absolutely loved Midnight in Paris. That film was right in my sweet spot. It's essentially a fairy tale, but it's a damned entertaining one.

If there are really 36 superior Woody Allen films then I've sure got my work cut out.

Apr 28 12 - 11:38am
Richard

I've seen most of Woody's films.
I suppose that, for me, the best ones are the ones that I remember. I'll echo the folks
who say that even his worst are better than most of what other filmmakers make.
Don't have a *whole* lot of issues with this list.
HOWEVER ...
Bullets over Broadway & Radio Days belong in the top half. Period.
Midnight in Paris belongs in my top ten,
while Match Point lands in the teens.
Crimes & Misdemeanors holds a place near & dear to my heart --
I saw it (for the second time) on the first date with my (now) wife.

Apr 28 12 - 6:29pm
Richard

As far as ranking the 30 films that I've seen, they'd fall roughly as follows.
I've put them in groups of 5, and I'd say they're pretty fluid within those groups,
if not between groups (tho' the top & bottom 5 are pretty firm).
And I'd watch them all again, perhaps omitting only Interiors.

Manhattan
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Annie Hall
Midnight In Paris
Hannah and Her Sisters

Bullets Over Broadway
Broadway Danny Rose
Deconstructing Harry
The Purple Rose Of Cairo
Stardust Memories

Sleeper
Match Point
Husbands And Wives
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Radio Days

Love and Death
Take The Money And Run
Zelig
Everything You Always Wanted To Know
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

Manhattan Murder Mystery
Small Time Crooks
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Mighty Aphrodite
Bananas

Hollywood Ending
Whatever Works
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
Sweet And Lowdown
Interiors

Apr 28 12 - 11:49pm
BrtuallyUgly

I am truly utterly surprised that Cassandra's Dream has been listed as Woody's worst. I found the movie quite captivating and it was the one where I was wrenched in guilt as well, the tension was so strong it overflowed from the screen to the viewer. Yes, accepted that it does use elements from his other movies but it is a genuine piece of art with anxiety and suspense beautifully depicted.

May 03 12 - 3:52pm
Fred Belson

You forgot all about "Blazing Saddles." One of Allen's greatest works, how could you not include that one? That makes this entire list irrelevant.

May 07 12 - 9:03am
biochicken

Are you mad?? WA has nothing to do with Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks directed it! Check next time you make such an "expert" comment.

May 03 12 - 6:34pm
liam

really interesting and good mostly . but completely let down by MATCH POINT !!! MATCH POINT !!! being number 3 . utterly ridiculous . it is not a good film . you are wrong on that.

May 04 12 - 1:17am
Sleeper

Sleeper #1. Annie Hall #2. The rest all right, but not in the same league as 1 and 2. Nuff said.

Jun 27 12 - 1:47am
Caroo

I loved Manhattan Murder Mystery

Jun 30 12 - 10:29pm
Henrique (hita)

My top 15 Allen films:
1. Hannah and Her Sisters
2. Midnight in Paris
3. Annie Hall
4. Manhattan
5. Purple Rose of Cairo
6. Crimes and Misdemeanors
7. Zelig
8. Husbands and Wives
9. Everyone Says I Love You
10. Matchpoint
11. Radio Days
12. Bullets Over Broadway
13. Another Woman
14. Vicky Christina Barcelona
15. Hollywood Ending

Jul 05 12 - 11:14pm
Thomas

I think Match Point is a big hit or miss for some people. It is one of my favourite Woody Allen movies, but I can also understand everyone's complaints about it being slow or unwatchable. Good list though, I'm always back here to see what I should watch next!

Jul 06 12 - 6:59pm
mamacat

Match point - er - moving on - Annie Hall, Manhatten, Crimes and Misdemeanours, Sleeper, Deconstructing Harry and one gem Alice!

Jul 14 12 - 5:58pm
anddyi Gangeya

Match Point number 3. So wrong. Allen fantasises about an England where everyone is completely posh (even the Irish Rhyss Meyers character - who is supposed to be from a working class background!). This auteur has long outstayed his welcome.

Jul 21 12 - 11:18am
Karensky

WHERE IS "NEW YORK STORIES"????????????????????

Jul 27 12 - 2:15am
RRF

'Match Point' is a masterpiece (A++).

Aug 21 12 - 1:41pm
Henry

1. Annie Hall
2. Manhattan
3. Hannah & Her Sisters
4. Crimes & Misdemeanors
5. Love & Death
6. Husbands & Wives
8. Bullets Over Broadway
9. Sleeper
10. Purple Rose of Cairo

and wayyy down at the list show b Match Point!

i have no idea why Woody Allen didnt direct Play it Again, Sam! Would've been better if he had.