Skip To Content

Ranking Woody Allen Lists on His 80th Birthday

In honor of Woody Allen’s 80th birthday, we thought we’d come up with a ranking of Allen’s movies. You know, all the way from #1 (Maybe “Annie Hall” or “Manhattan” or, say, “Stardust Memories” if you’re feeling contrarian) to #46 (how about “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” or “Melinda and Melinda” or “Brooklyn Jazz Memory”). But turns out that a ton of people have gotten there before us and it’s a lot more interesting to argue about the few choices vying for #1 than the dozens that could be dubbed #46. So, here it is: our ranking of Woody Allen movie rankings. And, oh by the way, there was no awful Woody Allen movie called “Brooklyn Jazz Memory,” but there easily could have been and we just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

1) Indiewire
Here Are Woody Allen’s Best Films
On one level, this list is sort of a cheat (it lists only the best movies, not all 40-something). On another level, it’s probably the most useful of the lists. After all, who really wants to read a lot of plot descriptions of “Melinda and Melinda” and “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger?”

Movies By Woody Allen: Ranking His Filmography

To be sure, a quirky list, but the personal touch is what makes this one of the most readable. Written by someone who is not a critic and not a churn-it-out content provider, this list is filled with personal quirks that alternate between endearing and simply odd. We’d take issue with terming “Interiors” a pretty damn fine film, but this is a pretty damn fine read.

3) The Daily Telegraph:

“Every Woody Allen Film Ranked From Worst to Best”

Some points here for originality in language. The use of the adjective “duff” to describe “Hollywood Ending,” for example. Also, the description of “Whatever Works” as something “left to fester behind a radiator for a year.” But the description of “Another Woman” as Allen’s most underrated? Seriously?

4) Time Out New York:
The Best and Worst Woody Allen Movies
Although the critical judgments here can be pretty spot on, a few of the actual rankings are befuddling. The awful comedy “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” scores higher than the pretty effective Patricia Highsmith-esque “Match Point?” But the main problem here is the difficulty of navigating the list. If you have to click four times to get the entire list, we’re out of there.

All 50 Woody Allen Films From Worst to Best:
A smart list, cleverly curated although the author loses some points with us for a) dubbing “Zelig” the best mockumentary ever including “This is Spinal Tap” and b) declaring that one of his favorite Woody Allen lines comes from “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.” The line in question? ““We can’t have intercourse where we eat our oatmeal!” Okay, whatever works, we guess.

Ranked: Woody Allen Films From Best to Worst::

A fairly straightforward list. But if “Deconstructing Harry” is the sixth best film Allen made, then that’s a strong argument against doing a ranked list of his films.

Ranking the Films of Woody Allen
A more-or-less reasonable list, but all in all, pretty dull. Also, the mixed metaphors make for a difficult read, i.e. “’Shadows and Fog’ runs out of steam too quickly.” Also, the four-page click-through makes for an irritating reading experience.

The Definitive Ranking of Woody Allen Movies
Although we have no doubt that the author of this article saw all of the films in question, from the brief plot summaries, you won’t actually know it by reading this list.

9) Slant Magazine
The Ten Best Woody Allen Movies

This list gets some points for being surprising. “Zelig” makes the top five. And “Manhattan Murder Mystery” makes the top ten. Surprising doesn’t always mean discerning, though.

Woody Allen Movies Ranked From Best to Worst

A list that you have to click through forty times? No thanks.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.