Top 10 Woody Allen Movies



Top 10 Woody Allen Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

He's made a career out of putting the neurotic on screen. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 Woody Allen movies. For this list, we've chosen the Woody Allen films based on their critical acclaim, originality, and fan popularity.

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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies

He’s made a career out of putting the neurotic on screen. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Woody Allen movies.

For this list, we’ve chosen the Woody Allen films based on their critical acclaim, originality, and fan popularity.

#10: “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989)

Philosophical questions and dilemmas have to be some of Allen’s favorite themes to tackle. This existential film is one of the best examples of this, as he poses the question of whether a person can live a normal life after committing a murder. The story is a terrific meeting of comedy and drama while simultaneously presenting the audience with serious moral questions. Allen really took his time to perfect this film, bringing the actors back to re-shoot the whole first act after completing the first cut. “Crimes and Misdemeanors” was later recognized with 3 Oscar nods.

#9: “Sleeper” (1973)

Merging the genres of comedy and science fiction, this film follows a cryogenically frozen health food storeowner that’s woken up two centuries later only to find himself in a dystopic police state. Both a parody of sci-fi works like H.G. Wells’ “The Sleeper Awakes,” and George Orwell’s “1984” as well as an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” ”Sleeper” was praised for its humor, slapstick elements and energetic pace.

#8: “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008)

Shot on location in the three Spanish cities of Barcelona, Aviles, and Oviedo, this comedy-drama was Allen’s fourth consecutive feature not shot on his native soil. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” centers on a sexy love triangle – er, square – between a Spanish artist, two American women, and his ex-wife. Earning almost $100 million at the box office, the romantic yet melancholy film was a hit with critics as well: winning a Golden Globe for Best Comedy, and earning Penelope Cruz an Oscar for Best Actress.

#7: “Zelig” (1983)

One of his more experimental films, this mockumentary centers around Leonard Zelig, a man who can adopt different personalities and change his appearance to suit the people around him. Taking place in the 1920s and 1930s, it follows Zelig as he gains fame for being a “human chameleon.” The satire also ties in Allen’s love for psychology and analysis by allowing famed psychologists and intellectuals to analyze the character through color commentary. Meanwhile, Allen utilized old black and white newsreels and intercut fake footage with some real footage from the time period to give “Zelig” a more authentic feel, resulting in a genuinely funny, touching and original film.

#6: “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985)

More than any of his other films, “The Purple Rose of Cairo” is truly an ode to the magic of the movies. The romantic fantasy comedy focuses on a young, lonely waitress who turns to them for comfort. She’s given a shot at happiness when the main character from her favorite film comes out of the screen and into the real world. Lovely, funny and clever, the critically lauded flick also won multiple awards and Allen’s screenplay was nominated for an Oscar.

#5: “Midnight in Paris” (2011)

As one of Allen’s more fantastical films, this rom-com tells the tale of a screenwriter who realizes his relationship isn’t as perfect as it seems after he discovers a way to go back in time to Paris during the 1920s and meet the decade’s most famous authors and artists. Quirky and gorgeous, it also features Allen’s typically neurotic but charming writer archetype through the role played by Owen Wilson. Met with much critical acclaim, “Midnight in Paris” also won for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars.

#4: “Stardust Memories” (1980)

Parodying Federico Fellini’s comedy-drama “8 ½,” “Stardust Memories” follows Allen as he plays a director reflecting on his life through a retrospective of his work. Many believed that the film was autobiographical but Woody claims that it is pure fiction. Either way, it’s a compelling story that contemplates life, luck, and much much more. Though critics were divided about the black and white film, it’s now considered one of his best, both by fans and Allen himself.

#3: “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986)

This comedy-drama tells the story of Hannah, her two sisters, and the men in their lives. The couples swap partners in typical Allen fashion as they try to figure out their places in life. Their relationships are messy and complex but also funny, which gives us a rich picture of family life. Allen tells the story in a three-arc structure he adapted from the Ingmar Bergman feature, “Fanny and Alexander.” Winning Allen an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, “Hannah and her Sisters” also earned trophies for Michael Caine and Dianne Wiest, making it one of only three movies to win in both the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories.

#2: “Manhattan” (1979)

More than anything else, this black and white film is a love letter to the beauty of New York. It may tell the unconventional story of an older man falling out of love with an under-aged girl, but it’s also as funny as it is sophisticated. With two Oscar nods and much critical acclaim, “Manhattan” also includes the George Gershwin tune “Rhapsody in Blue,” which only adds to the movie’s timelessness. Thanks to its edge, acting and sentiment, the romantic comedy-drama is also one of Allen’s most commercially successful flicks.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Blue Jasmine” (2013)
- “Bananas” (1971)
- “Love and Death” (1975)
- “Broadway Danny Rose” (1984)
- “Husbands and Wives” (1992)

#1: “Annie Hall” (1977)

This film is the epitome of Allen as an auteur and has all the quirks audiences have come to love and expect. At his neurotic best, Allen plays a comedian attempting to decipher the causes of his breakup with the romantic comedy’s titular character. Diane Keaton wowed audiences as Annie Hall and won an Oscar for her portrayal, which was fitting since the role was written for her. Dealing with love, relationships, and life, “Annie Hall” is also funny, sad and thoughtful, making it Allen’s most iconic film of all time.

Do you agree with our list? Which Woody Allen movie is your favorite? For more eccentric Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to