Top 10s

Johnnie To’s Top 10

Johnnie To’s Top 10

Prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To has directed more than forty films, including Election, Exiled, and Mad Detective. His latest, Vengeance, is currently in some North American theaters, from IFC Films.

  • Seven Samurai

    Seven Samurai

    Akira Kurosawa

    1. The opening scene, with the horses, is one of the best ever. It always mesmerizes me.

  • High and Low

    High and Low

    Akira Kurosawa

    2. It has a great setup, great characters, and a great theme. Kurosawa’s vision raised the film to another level.

  • Straw Dogs

    Straw Dogs

    Sam Peckinpah

    3. Sam Peckinpah and Dustin Hoffman at their best. The rape scene is horrific and haunting.

  • Harakiri


    Masaki Kobayashi

    4. The first view of the sword sent chills through my spine.

  • Le samouraï

    Le samouraï

    Jean-Pierre Melville

    5. This film gave birth to the cool hit man archetype.

  • Le cercle rouge

    Le cercle rouge

    Jean-Pierre Melville

    6. It contains a Buddhist concept that is echoed in some of my own works. Here we see three heroes caught in a unique situation where their friendship matters more than anything else.

  • In the Mood for Love

    In the Mood for Love

    Wong Kar-wai

    7. It’s a film with great flavors. I wish it would just play on and on.

  • Brazil


    Terry Gilliam

    8. An abstract and strange world. A view of what we all may become one day.

  • The Last Emperor

    The Last Emperor

    Bernardo Bertolucci

    9. It’s almost surreal to see Chinese costume drama performed with English dialogue!

  • Yojimbo


    Akira Kurosawa

    10. A film that combines the sitcom and the samurai film.