First of all let me begin by stating that I've put off reviewing this canon for some time. I see no justification to review a book like this until one has consumed most of it. At present I have seen 841 of these films and feel now that a review is justified.
I believe that of all the books in this series this is the strongest entry although not gospel. This canon or list of films is an excellent introduction to cinema, it gives you the basics to develop a well rounded appreciation of all cinema beginning in 1902 with George Melies' "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" right up to the present day. As would be expected in concentrates a lot on American cinema when it was a force to reckoned with. It does not overlook all the important movements like German expressionism(1920s), Socialist realism (1920s), French poetic realism(1930s), Italian neo-realism(late40s-early50s), Film Noir and all the New Wave movements in the 1960s from Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Eastern Europe. It continues in the 1970s where there is a lot of attention to New Hollywood directors as well as New German cinema which were making a massive impact at the time. After that it moves into blockbuster territory in the 1980s which is to be expected. It was a period which is not held in much regard by cineastes but is a part of cinema's development. From the 1990s onward one begins to notice how important films seem to come from all over the world and not concentrated in one area. As would be expected the last few years are open to debate, evidence of which can be seen in the fact that every time the book is revised it's those last few years that are shuffled around.
So what you got is a skeletal view of cinema which allows you to flesh it out. This book is the introduction to cinema, the yellow brick road to the Emerald city if you will, to becoming a film buff. Once you've seen 50% of these you'll already be an above average film fan. After you've completed this list it's time to move onto the Jonathan Rosenbaum 1000 which I believe will take you way way beyond.
There is however one serious flaw with the book in that it is jam packed with spoilers. So proceed with caution.
Another word of caution is that this book is highly addictive and one may need purchase a multi-region dvd player in order to satisfy your desire to complete this canon. I doubt you'll be disappointed however.