This list is tentative but The Stone is his best film to me right now. An odd choice perhaps, it’s certainly not his most popular film—-only Sontag of the major critics seemed to rate it highly—but it had a strong emotional effect on me, even moreso than Mother and Son, which more is refined in terms of its approach.
Overall I’d say that Sokurov is probably the best director working today, and certainly one of the most consistent, even though for years i felt he was uneven.
It’s just a shame that outside of 3-4 films, so few cinephiles seem interested in exploring his filmography. I guess part of the reason is that his films are difficult to ‘access’, both emotionally and intellectually. Russian Ark and Mother and Son are two of his most straight forward efforts, so naturally they are the most popular. While it takes patience and effort to get into his work, i feel it’s definitely well worth it. I would recommend consulting secondary sources though. They definitely helped increase my appreciation for his style.Read less