The magazine has picked its top ten films of the year, most years. Top ten films were not picked in the years 1952-1954, 1969-1980, and in the year 2003. Rankings can be viewed in my source list URL, or via the link provided in the comments section. In some cases, films tie for a certain spot in the yearly top 10; for example, 2012's #4 spot is tied between three films (consequently, there is no #5 or #6). Some directors definitely appear to be heavily preferred by those responsible for selecting the list.
This list does not include the special "best of 1990s" and "best of 2000s" decade lists, though most of those twenty films are included here. (The exceptions are David Lynch's TV show Twin Peaks on the 1990s list, and Gus Van Sant's Elephant, Abdellatif Kechiche's The Secret of the Grain, and Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds on the 2000s decade list.)
The TV show "24" tied for the #10 spot in 2002, along with Gus Van Sant's Gerry. Gerry also tied for #6 on the 2004 list.
A TV episode "Travolta et moi" (dir. Patricia Mazuy) from the show "Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge..." was selected as #6 in 1994. Claire Denis' episode "US Go Home" from the same series rated #9 in 1994.
Raul Ruiz's Les trois couronnes du matelot (Three Crowns of the Sailor) tied for #7 in 1983 and tied for #8 in 1982.
1968's #4 spot for Histoires extraordinaires is specifically for Federico Fellini's segment "Toby Damnit."
1965's #4 spot for Paris vu par... is specifically for the Jean Rouch episode.
1959's #3 spot was claimed by Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible. Since Part II was released in 1958, it is possible that the award was for Part II, but since my sources didn't specify a part and both parts may have been shown together, I have included Parts I & II in the list.
Love it or hate it, here it is...
Updated Feb 2020
Cahiers du Cinéma, (Notebooks on Cinema) is a French film magazine founded in 1951.
Top 10 films chosen annually by the critics of Cahiers du Cinéma
The history of the Cahiers is related to the Cinéma history, in particular because of a generation of enthusiasts who gave birth to the Nouvelle Vague. Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and many others wrote their first reviews before becoming filmmakers.