Woody Allen's Must-See Movies

Best Woody Allen Movies

Annie Hall

Often considered Woody Allen's masterpiece, this romantic comedy-drama starring Woody Allen as Alvy Singer, a neurotic comedian, and Diane Keaton as the free-spirited Annie Hall, broke new ground with its innovative narrative structure and witty, introspective dialogue. The film explores the complexities of relationships, love, and identity in a way that was both hilarious and deeply affecting. Annie Hall won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, cementing its place as one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made.

Manhattan (1979)

A bittersweet love letter to New York City, Manhattan follows the complicated life of Isaac Davis (Woody Allen), a twice-divorced comedy writer who finds himself in a relationship with a 17-year-old girl (Mariel Hemingway) while also falling for his best friend's mistress (Diane Keaton).

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

This thought-provoking drama explores themes of morality, guilt, and the nature of happiness. The film follows two interconnected stories: a successful ophthalmologist (Martin Landau) who is being blackmailed by his mistress, and a struggling documentary filmmaker (Woody Allen) who is attracted to his shallow brother-in-law's mistress (Mia Farrow).

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

A complex and emotionally resonant drama, Hannah and Her Sisters follows the intertwined lives of three sisters (Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Barbara Hershey) over a period of three years. The film explores themes of family, love, betrayal, and forgiveness with Allen's trademark wit and insight.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

This charming and whimsical romantic comedy stars Owen Wilson as Gil Pender, a screenwriter who is transported back to 1920s Paris every night at midnight. There he encounters literary and artistic icons like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Salvador Dalí.

Blue Jasmine (2013)

This powerful drama features a tour-de-force performance from Cate Blanchett as Jasmine, a wealthy socialite who suffers a mental breakdown after her husband is exposed as a fraud. Forced to move in with her working-class sister (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco, Jasmine struggles to rebuild her life and come to terms with her past.


Manhattan, the island borough of New York City, has served as both a backdrop and a character in many of Woody Allen's films. His love affair with the city, and particularly with Manhattan, is evident in the way he captures its energy, neurosis, and romanticism.

Allen's "Manhattan" (1979) is perhaps the most iconic love letter to the city. Shot in stunning black and white, the film showcases Manhattan's skyline, bustling streets, and cultural landmarks. The film follows Isaac Davis, a neurotic writer, as he navigates love, relationships, and his own existential crisis against the backdrop of the city.

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"Annie Hall" (1977), another critically acclaimed Allen film, also heavily features The film's iconic opening scene, with Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) directly addressing the audience in front of the Coney Island Parachute Jump, sets the tone for a film deeply rooted in New York City.

"Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986) offers a more nuanced and complex portrait of The film explores the lives of three sisters and their families, their relationships unfolding against the backdrop of the city's Upper West Side.

These films, among others, solidify Manhattan's place as a recurring character in Woody Allen's filmography. The city's energy, anxieties, and romantic possibilities are woven into the fabric of his stories, making them inseparable from the world he creates.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Woody Allen's filmography is a rich tapestry of comedic and dramatic explorations, and among his most celebrated works are those that delve into the complexities of morality, guilt, and the human condition. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989), often hailed as one of his finest achievements, stands as a compelling example. This thought-provoking film weaves together two narratives: the moral descent of Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau), a successful ophthalmologist who contemplates murder to protect his comfortable life, and the comedic struggles of Cliff Stern (Woody Allen), a struggling documentary filmmaker grappling with his own romantic and professional frustrations.

The film masterfully contrasts these parallel storylines, prompting viewers to confront uncomfortable questions about the nature of justice, the elusiveness of happiness, and the weight of conscience. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a potent exploration of the choices we make and their profound impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.

While "Crimes and Misdemeanors" delves into the darker recesses of human behavior, other highly-rated Woody Allen films offer a lighter, yet equally insightful, perspective on life's complexities. "Annie Hall" (1977), a romantic comedy-drama that earned Allen Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, explores the intricacies of relationships with wit and honesty. The film's unconventional narrative structure and introspective tone resonated with audiences, cementing its status as a cinematic masterpiece.

Similarly, "Manhattan" (1979), a visually stunning black-and-white ode to New York City, navigates the complexities of love, relationships, and urban life with Allen's signature blend of humor and pathos. These films, while diverse in tone and subject matter, share a common thread: they invite viewers to engage with life's complexities, prompting reflection and sparking conversations that linger long after the credits roll.

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Hannah and Her Sisters

“Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) is widely considered one of Woody Allen’s finest achievements and a landmark in American cinema. The film masterfully interweaves the lives of three sisters: Hannah, the successful actress; Lee, involved in an affair with Hannah’s husband; and Holly, the struggling writer. Allen’s signature wit and neurotic humor are present, but they are balanced by a profound exploration of family dynamics, love, loss, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world.

The film boasts an exceptional ensemble cast, including Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Michael Caine, all delivering award-winning performances. “Hannah and Her Sisters” garnered critical acclaim, winning three Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Caine, and further solidifying Allen’s reputation as a master storyteller.

The film’s enduring appeal lies in its relatable characters, sharp dialogue, and poignant observations about the human condition. It’s a film that stays with you long after the credits roll, prompting reflection on your own relationships and life choices.

Midnight in Paris

"Midnight in Paris" (2011) is arguably one of Woody Allen's most beloved and critically acclaimed films. This romantic comedy-drama, set in Paris, tells the story of Gil Pender, a screenwriter who finds himself transported back to the 1920s each night at midnight. The film beautifully captures the magic and allure of Paris, while exploring themes of nostalgia, disillusionment, and the search for creative inspiration. "Midnight in Paris" won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for three others, including Best Picture and Best Director.

While "Midnight in Paris" stands out as a late-career triumph for Allen, it's just one gem in a filmography filled with highly-rated and influential works. His early comedies like "Annie Hall" (1977) and "Manhattan" (1979) are considered classics, showcasing his signature wit and neurotic characters. "Annie Hall," a romantic comedy that broke conventional storytelling norms, won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. "Manhattan," a love letter to New York City, is praised for its stunning black-and-white cinematography and poignant exploration of love and relationships.

Moving into the 1980s, Allen explored more dramatic territory with films like "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986) and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989). "Hannah and Her Sisters," a complex family drama, earned critical acclaim for its sharp writing and stellar ensemble cast, winning three Academy Awards. "Crimes and Misdemeanors," a morally ambiguous tale that intertwines philosophy and suspense, further solidified Allen's range as a filmmaker.

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These are just a few examples of the many highly-rated films Woody Allen has directed throughout his long and prolific career. From witty comedies to thought-provoking dramas, his work continues to resonate with audiences and inspire filmmakers today.

The Purple Rose of Cairo

“The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985) isn’t just a great Woody Allen film; it’s considered one of his very best, often mentioned alongside masterpieces like “Annie Hall” (1977) and “Manhattan” (1979). This whimsical and poignant film within a film tells the story of Cecilia, a Depression-era waitress who escapes her dreary life by getting lost in the world of Hollywood romance. When a character from her favorite film, “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” steps off the screen and into her life, the lines between fantasy and reality blur in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking.

The film is a love letter to the magic of cinema, exploring the power of movies to transport us and the comfort they can offer in difficult times. It’s also a testament to Allen’s ability to blend comedy and drama seamlessly, creating a film that’s both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving. “The Purple Rose of Cairo” received widespread critical acclaim, earning Allen an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and further solidifying his place as one of America’s most talented filmmakers.

Film Title Year Rotten Tomatoes Score Notable Awards
Annie Hall 1977 98% Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Director
Manhattan 1979 90% BAFTA Award for Best Film
Midnight in Paris 2011 93% Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

Bullets over Broadway

"Bullets over Broadway" is a 1994 American comedy film that tells the story of David Shayne, a young playwright in 1920s New York City who is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his new play in order to get it produced. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $13 million against a $11 million budget. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and Dianne Wiest won Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Helen Sinclair, an aging diva.

best woody allen movies

"Bullets over Broadway" is considered one of Woody Allen's best films, and it is certainly one of his most purely entertaining. The film is a hilarious and insightful look at the world of theater, and it features a stellar cast that is clearly having a blast. John Cusack is perfectly cast as the nebbish playwright, and he is well-matched by Wiest's scene-stealing turn as the demanding diva. The supporting cast is equally strong, with standout performances from Chazz Palminteri, Jennifer Tilly, and Jim Broadbent.

If you're looking for a hilarious and thought-provoking comedy, "Bullets over Broadway" is definitely worth checking out. It's one of Woody Allen's best films, and it's sure to leave you laughing long after the credits have rolled.

Here are some other highly-rated movies directed by Woody Allen:

Annie Hall (1977): This romantic comedy-drama is considered Allen's magnum opus, and it won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Manhattan (1979): This black-and-white romantic comedy-drama is another of Allen's most acclaimed films, and it was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay.

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986): This comedy-drama follows the intertwined lives of three sisters over the course of a year. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Caine, and Best Supporting Actress for Dianne Wiest.

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989): This comedy-drama follows the intersecting lives of several characters, including a successful ophthalmologist who is haunted by his mistress and a struggling documentary filmmaker who is having an affair with his brother's wife. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Midnight in Paris (2011): This romantic comedy-fantasy follows a screenwriter who finds himself transported back to 1920s Paris every night at midnight. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

While "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" might not reach the iconic status of some of Woody Allen's most celebrated works like "Annie Hall" or "Manhattan," it undeniably holds a place among his most visually stunning and emotionally resonant films. Released in 2008, the film transports viewers to the sun-drenched streets of Barcelona, following the intertwined journeys of two American friends, Vicky and Cristina, as they navigate love, art, and self-discovery amidst the backdrop of Spanish culture.

"Vicky Cristina Barcelona" showcases Allen's masterful ability to craft captivating narratives that explore the complexities of human relationships. The film is a testament to his signature wit and sharp dialogue, offering a blend of humor and pathos that resonates deeply with audiences. The film's exploration of love's unpredictable nature, the allure of the unknown, and the search for personal fulfillment are themes that have consistently permeated Allen's filmography, solidifying his status as a keen observer of the human condition.

best woody allen movies

Critically acclaimed upon its release, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" garnered widespread praise for its performances, particularly Penélope Cruz's Oscar-winning portrayal of the fiery and passionate María Elena. The film's visual beauty, captured exquisitely by cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, further elevates it to a visual feast, showcasing the vibrant energy of Barcelona and the intoxicating allure of its artistic spirit.

For those seeking a visually captivating and emotionally engaging cinematic experience, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" stands as a compelling testament to Woody Allen's enduring talent as a filmmaker. While it may not be his most groundbreaking work, it undeniably captures the essence of his signature style, offering a thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of love, life, and the choices we make.