Get Out tops WGA 101 Greatest Screenplays of 21st Century

(Get Out by Jordan Peele)

The  Writers Guilds of America West and East announced the WGA list of 101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far), as voted by the Guilds’ members, honoring outstanding screenwriting over the last two decades.

From horror films and sci-fi – Get Out (#1, Written by Jordan Peele), Arrival (#27, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer) – to superhero blockbusters – Black Panther (#57, Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole) – and comedic thrillers – Promising Young Woman (#23, Written by Emerald Fennell), this contemporary list spans the past 20-plus years of film, spotlighting a wide array of acclaimed, culture-defining movies and the screenwriters who wrote them.

“As voted upon by the members of the WGA West and East, the list of the 101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (so far) is both a celebration of the great writers and screenplays of the last 21 years and a study of how writing for the screen has evolved and diversified since the 20th Century. Plus, it’s a great conversation (and argument) starter,” said Aaron Mendelsohn, chair of WGAW’s Publicity & Marketing Committee, which conceived the Guilds’ latest 101 list.

Read the WGA list below, then get a hand on the screenplays and read them:

1. Get Out (2017)

Written by Jordan Peele


2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Written by Charlie Kaufman, Story by Charlie Kaufman & Michel Gondry & Pierre Bismuth

Focus Features

3. The Social Network (2010)

Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, Based Upon the Book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich


4. Parasite (2019)

Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Story by Bong Joon Ho


5. No Country for Old Men (2007)

Written for the Screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Based on the Novel by Cormac McCarthy

Miramax/Paramount Vantage

6. Moonlight (2016)

Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney


7. There Will Be Blood (2007)

Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson, Based on the Novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair

Paramount Vantage

8. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Written by Quentin Tarantino 


9. Almost Famous (2000)

Written by Cameron Crowe


10. Memento (2000)

Screenplay by Christopher Nolan, Based on the Short Story by Jonathan Nolan


11. Adaptation. (2002)

Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman, Based on the Book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

Columbia / Sony

12. Bridesmaids (2011)

Written by Annie Mumulo & Kristen Wiig


13. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Based on the Short Story by Annie Proulx

Focus Features

14. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Written by Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson


15. Sideways (2004)

Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Based on the Novel by Rex Pickett

Fox Searchlight

16. Lady Bird (2017)

Written by Greta Gerwig


17. Her (2013)

Written by Spike Jonze

Warner Bros.

18. Children of Men (2006)

Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, Based on the Novel The Children of Men by P.D. James


19. Lost in Translation (2003)

Written by Sofia Coppola

Focus Features

20. Michael Clayton (2007)

Written by Tony Gilroy

Warner Bros.

21. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Written by Michael Arndt

Fox Searchlight

22. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Written by Quentin Tarantino 


23. Promising Young Woman (2020)

Written by Emerald Fennell

Focus Features

24. Juno (2007)

Written by Diablo Cody

Fox Searchlight

25. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Screenplay by Wes Anderson, Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

Fox Searchlight

26. The Dark Knight (2008)

Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, Based Upon Characters Appearing in Comic Books Published by DC Comic, Batman Created by Bob Kane 

Warner Bros.

27. Arrival (2016)

Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” Written by Ted Chiang


28. Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Screenplay by Taika Waititi, Based on the Book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens 

Fox Searchlight

29. Inside Out (2015)

Screenplay by Meg LeFauve, Original Story by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen


30. The Departed (2006)

Screenplay by William Monahan, Based on the Motion Picture Infernal Affairs, Written Alex Mak and Felix Chong

Warner Bros.

31. Spotlight (2015)

Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Open Road

32. Whiplash (2014)

Written by Damien Chazelle

Sony Pictures Classics

33. Up (2009)

Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy


34. Mean Girls (2004)

Screenplay by Tina Fey, Based on the Book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman


35. WALL-E (2008)

Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original Story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter


36. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Written by Guillermo del Toro

Warner Bros.

37. Inception (2010)

Written by Christopher Nolan

Warner Bros.

38. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Based on the Novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup

Fox Searchlight

39. Before Sunset (2004)

Screenplay by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, Story by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan, Based on Characters Created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan

Warner Bros.

40. In Bruges (2008)

Written by Martin McDonagh

Focus Features

41. Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Written by David Lynch


42. A Serious Man (2009)

Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Focus Features

43. Amélie (2001)

Screenplay by Guillame Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet


44. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich


45. The Favourite (2018)

Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara

Fox Searchlight

46. Zodiac (2007)

Screenplay by James Vanderbilt, Based on the Book by Robert Graysmith 


47. Gladiator (2000)

Screenplay by David Franzoni and John Logan and William Nicholson, Story by David Franzoni


48. The Incredibles (2004)

Written by Brad Bird


49. Knives Out (2019)

Written by Rian Johnson


50. Ex Machina (2015)

Written by Alex Garland

Universal / A24

51. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu Nicolás Giacobone Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bó

Fox Searchlight

52. The Lives of Others (2006)

Written by Florian Henckel von Donnerschmarck

Sony Pictures Classics

53. Nightcrawler (2014)

Written by Dan Gilroy

Open Road

54. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Screenplay by John Ridley, Based on Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

20th Century Fox

55. The Big Short (2015)

Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, Based on the Book by Michael Lewis


56. Moneyball (2011)

Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin, Based on the Book by Michael Lewis


57. Black Panther (2018)

Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole, Based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby


58. You Can Count on Me (2000)

Written by Kenneth Lonergan


59. Boyhood (2014)

Written by Richard Linklater 


60. Finding Nemo (2003)

Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds, Original Story by Andrew Stanton


61. The Hurt Locker (2009)

Written by Mark Boal


62. Roma (2018)

Written by Alfonso Cuarón


63. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Screenplay by Terence Winter, Based on the Book by Jordan Belfort


64. Hell or High Water (2016)

Written by Taylor Sheridan


65. Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Written by Kenneth Lonergan


66. A Separation (2011)

Written by Asghar Farhadi

Sony Pictures Classics

67. Spirited Away (2001)

Written by Hayao Miyazaki


68. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris

Warner Bros.

69. Booksmart (2019)

Written by Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins and Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman 

United Artists

70. City of God (2002)

Screenplay by Bráulio Montovani, Based on the Novel by Paulo Lins


71. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, Story by Phil Lord, Based on the Marvel Comics


72. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

CBS Films

73. The King’s Speech (2010)

Screenplay by David Seidler


74. Django Unchained (2012)

Written by Quentin Tarantino 


75. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Screenplay by Ted Griffin, Based on a Screenplay by Harry Brown and Charles Lederer and a Story by George Clayton Johnson & Jack Golden Russell

Warner Bros.

76. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, Based on the Book The Fellowship of the Ringby J.R.R. Tolkien

New Line

77. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright


78. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Written by Susannah Grant


79. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Screenplay by James Ivory, Based on the Novel by André Aciman

Sony Pictures Classics

80. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Written by Martin McDonagh

Fox Searchlight

81. The Lobster (2015)

Written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou


82. The Prestige (2006)

Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, Based on the Novel by Christopher Priest

Touchstone/Warner Bros.

83. Midnight in Paris (2011)

Written by Woody Allen

Sony Pictures Classics

84. The Master (2012)

Written by Paul Thomas Anderson


85. Argo (2012)

Screenplay by Chris Terrio, Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine Article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman

Warner Bros.

86. Y tu mamá también (2001)

Written by Carlos Cuarón & Alfonso Cuarón


87. Phantom Thread (2017)

Written by Paul Thomas Anderson

Focus Features

88. Superbad (2007)

Written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg


89. Little Women (2019)

Screenplay by Greta Gerwig, Based on the Novel by Louisa May Alcott


90. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Written by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee, Based on the Book by Ron Stallworth

Focus Features

91. The Farewell (2019)

Written by Lulu Wang


92. La La Land (2016)

Written by Damien Chazelle


93. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips, Based on a Character Created by Sacha Baron Cohen

20th Century Fox

94. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Written by Judd Apatow & Steve Carell


95. Ratatouille (2007)

Screenwriter: Brad Bird, Original Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Additional Story Material by Emily Cook & Kathy Greenberg, Bob Peterson 


96. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Written by Nancy Oliver


97. Nomadland (2020)

Written for the Screen by Chloe Zhao, Based on the Book by Jessica Bruder


98. Winter’s Bone (2010)

Screenplay by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini, Based on the Novel by Daniel Woodrell

Roadside Attractions

99. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Written by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, Based Upon the Odyssey by Homer

Touchstone / Universal

100. Legally Blonde (2001)

Screenplay by Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith, Based on the Book by Amanda Brown


101. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Screenplay by David O. Russell, Based on the Novel by Matthew Quick Weinstein

This contemporary WGA list, spanning the last two decades, honors outstanding screenwriting for films that were theatrically released or premiered on television or a streaming platform in the U.S. from 2000 to present.

The first two decades of this millennium have witnessed an unprecedented revolution in the way audiences watch films on a variety of platforms, as a wider range of writers have found increased opportunities to tell more diverse, inclusive stories than ever before. These films share one thing in common: They all began with writers.

Films were eligible if they were exhibited theatrically or premiered on television or a streaming platform in the U.S. from 2000 to present; live-action, animation, silent, and documentary and non-English language features were all eligible. Short (under 60 minutes in length), miniseries or limited series, and films that do not feature on-screen writing credits were not eligible for consideration.

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Coverage under a WGA collective bargaining agreement was not required.