Best of 2016

The lists have nearly halted, and I couldn’t be happier to announce that this could very well be the last update for 2016.  And for the first time ever, we have over 1000 lists – 1040 to be exact.

More than ever, it seemed like everyone wanted to provide their say on what the best films of 2016 were – perhaps this shows just how good of a year it was for movies.  Although there were many great films, three films stood out, each appearing on at least 40% of critics’ lists.

Barry Jenkins’ beautiful Moonlight was the clear favorite, appearing on over 60% of the lists.  The marquee at the theater in my hometown described the film as “a Frank Ocean song put into film”, which I think really captures the beauty of the film.

Kenneth Lonergan’s heartbreaking Manchester by the Sea and Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land round out a very strong top three.

50. Moana (54 lists; 2 top spots)


“Moana has a lot of the hallmarks of your classic Disney adventure – the goofy animal sidekicks, the feel-good messages – but its heroine is something new, a smart and fiery deviation from your standard European lovestruck princesses.”- Devin Coggan, Entertainment Weekly

49. A Bigger Splash (55 lists; 5 top spots)


“To speak or stay silent? Excess or restraint? Honesty or discretion? It’s clear which is right and which is wrong, but “A Bigger Splash” manages to infuse even the most straightforward questions with vicariously alluring ambiguity.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

48. Swiss Army Man (57 lists; 2 top spots)


“Impossible to categorize, this stunningly original mix of the macabre and the magical combines comedy, tragedy, fantasy and love story into an utterly singular package that’s beholden to no rules but its own.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

47. Krisha (58 lists; 2 top spots)


“Impossible to categorize, this stunningly original mix of the macabre and the magical combines comedy, tragedy, fantasy and love story into an utterly singular package that’s beholden to no rules but its own.” – Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

46. 10 Cloverfield Lane (68 lists; 2 top spots)


“10 Cloverfield Lane does what it needs to do: make you sit and squirm and want very badly to know. It has the appeal of suspense radio plays from the ’30s and ’40s and even a touch of Orson Welles’s most infamous Mercury Theater broadcast.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

45. Midnight Special (69 lists; 1 top spot)


“Four films into his career, Jeff Nichols seems incapable of making a bad movie, or even an uninteresting one. At a time when most indie filmmakers gauge success by the speed of their graduation to Marvel blockbusters, he continues to forge his own path.” – Tim Grierson, The New Republic

44. I Am Not Your Negro (74 lists; 3 top spots)


“By weaving in old speeches, pieces from other books, and even some visual juxtapositions that maybe only he fully understands, the director makes a persuasive, intuitive case for Baldwin as a poet and a prophet.” – Noel Murray, AV Club

43. The Neon Demon (74 lists; 4 top spots)


“There’s no denying the beauty of Refn’s images, even if his puerile instincts are at odds with his obvious pretensions. Those who cry it’s shallow and ugly won’t be wrong; others will love it for those very reasons.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News

42. Hacksaw Ridge (76 lists; 5 top spots)


“Hacksaw Ridge is being touted as Gibson’s comeback. Is it also an atonement? What’s clear is that Gibson has made a film about family, faith, love and forgiveness all put to the test in an arena of violent conflict – a movie you don’t want to miss.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

41. Hail, Caesar! (78 lists; 2 top spots)


“If the Coen brothers’ dramas are cautionary tales, their comedies are veritable how-to guides for people who can’t help but enjoy a mirthless chuckle at the humility of human existence. Yeah, the joke is on us, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t funny.” – Dave Ehrlich, Slate

40. The Edge of Seventeen (79 lists; 1 top spot)


“When you leave the theater, you feel as though you’ve finished a road trip through some of High School Film Land’s best-loved attractions… But each stop is ever so slightly better than you remembered. Not another teen movie, indeed.” – Katy Waldman, Slate

39. Things to Come (79 lists; 2 top spots)


“One can place Hansen-Løve’s films within a tradition of sporadic and inconvenient character-centric narratives, which can create a vivid sense of life by sidestepping causality; her movies phase and accumulate instead of moving in straight lines.” – Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club

38. The Fits (79 lists; 3 top spots)


“Neither cutesy nor needlessly bleak, the debut narrative film from writer-director Anna Rose Holmer possesses a refreshingly intimate, honest tone about adolescence. The modesty of this movie’s design has its own sneaky power.” – Tim Grierson, The New Republic

37. Aquarius (79 lists; 4 top spots)


“At the center of this emotional maelstrom is the 65-year-old Braga, herself a living legend and bridge to the past. In a long film of many turns, her performance – weathered, proud, sensuous, fragile – captivates and brings us into her world.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

36. Sully (80 lists; 1 top spot)


“Good people doing their jobs thoughtfully and at the height of their abilities, working together under unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances. Sometimes all of those things come together to create a miracle, and “Sully” is a warm reminder of that.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

35. Weiner (82 lists)


“According to “Weiner,” some politicians are pathological creatures, wrapped in their egos, secure in their narcissism and addicted to constant attention. Yeah, well, tell us something we don’t know. Somehow, though, this new documentary manages to.” – Stephen Whitty, Newark Star Ledger

34. Captain America: Civil War (82 lists; 2 top spots)


“Fun, happily, is one of the many ingredients in copious supply here. When you include Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, how could it not be? Then again, there isn’t a lot of room for him, so he’s kind of wedged in there, but it’s pretty swell when he’s around.” – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

33. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (87 lists; 5 top spots)


“Rogue One is groundbreaking for the Star Wars franchise, a rousing side story that blows the doors wide open for future installments of the series. That it stands on its own as a slam-bam action thrill ride is a bonus.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News

32. 13th (91 lists; 3 top spots)


“Directed with calm passion and controlled outrage, the movie – named after the amendment which outlawed slavery, but left a significant loophole when it came to criminal convictions – is a study in profits. And power.” – Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News

31. Cemetery of Splendor (96 lists; 13 top spots)


“Weerasethakul films the Thai landscape and village spaces, their tones of light and color, with a poised and painterly eye, keeping the camera still and the action quiet as if to invite elusive spirits to inhabit the image.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

29. Kubo and the Two Strings (97 lists; 4 top spots)


“Yet wizardly art direction isn’t the film’s most striking quality. It’s the endearing, playful, touching, cantankerous and sometimes frightening individuals who supply this spectacular story about friendship, courage and sacrifice with its life force.” – Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

29. The Nice Guys (97 lists; 4 top spots)


“It creates great on-screen chemistry between Gosling and Crowe – as brute adversaries who partner up as private eyes to solve a criminal conspiracy. And it blows your mind with its sense of absurdity – even while making the crime caper count.” – Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun

28. Fences (97 lists; 6 top spots)


“As you watch “Fences,” there’s never a doubt that these lives matter, and that’s a good and noble thing, but you’re also aware (maybe too aware) of how much the movie itself wants to matter.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

27. Nocturnal Animals (97 lists; 9 top spots)


“All the more impressive for being two movies in one: the kind of “sad people in nice houses” tale you might expect from the couturier-turned-filmmaker, and a down-and-dirty West Texas revenge thriller that calls to mind Sam Peckinpah.” – Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

26. Silence (101 lists; 10 top spots)


“Scorsese has flirted with and danced around the subject in many of his other films… but of his explicitly religious dramas, specifically including Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ, this is, by a considerable distance, the most eloquent and coherent.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

25. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (107 lists; 7 top spots)

Film Review Hunt For The Wilderpeople“Laugh-out-loud funny one minute, achingly sad the next, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” takes the audience on a rollicking yet poignant journey through the New Zealand backcountry in the company of a pair of engagingly eccentric characters.” – Soren Anderson, Seattle Times

24. Deadpool (109 lists; 5 top spots)


“It’s a film that’s amused with itself, but thanks to a screwball screenplay by Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick and a charmingly snarky lead turn by Ryan Reynolds, that amusement is both thoroughly earned and completely contagious.” – Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

23. 20th Century Women (110 lists; 7 top spots)


“When 20th Century Women concerns itself with the utterly human question of personal satisfaction, it’s huggable: the kind of movie you wish more directors had the courage to grab for.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

22. Loving (117 lists; 6 top spots)


“Watch how Edgerton’s Joel, a stoic man of few words, puts an arm around Mildred without seeming to think about it, naturally wanting her near; watch how Negga lets her performance speak through her expressive eyes, always looking for Richard.” – Moira McDonald, Seattle Times

21.  Love & Friendship (124 lists; 5 top spots)


“Love & Friendship has the air of one of those movies where you sense the actors had the time of their lives on the set, what with getting to wear the garb of the time and reciting such sublime dialogue and performing such exquisitely choreographed scenes.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

20. Cameraperson (124 lists; 8 top spots)


“Cameraperson makes a strong argument to assert the person behind the camera – who they are, how they live, and how they interact with others as a crucial focal point in the process of filmmaking.” – Katie Walsh, The Playlist

19. Sing Street (126 lists; 8 top spots)


“The beguiling modesty of the film ends up being even more important than its music or incredibly likable characters. Like most of the bands it honors, “Sing Street” may be a bit disposable, but its electric emotions linger like a warm memory.” – Tim Grierson, The New Republic

18. Everybody Wants Some!! (130 lists; 4 top spots)


“The film – which is being marketed as “a spiritual sequel” to Linklater’s Dazed And Confused (and a “more chill” Animal House by the director himself) – meanders from minor adventure to minor adventure, with exchanges of amiable dude existentialism.” – Jim Stotek, Toronto Sun

17. Zootopia (132 lists; 3 top spots)


“Heavy with pop allusions and references to other crime underworld movies, including The Godfather and Chinatown, Zootopia is impressive in its visual conception and scope: At once straightforward and densely layered with wit and incident …” – Michelle Orange, Village Voice

16. Green Room (135 lists; 6 top spots)


“It doesn’t take a big budget and loads of special effects to create a genuinely scary movie. It just takes – as writer/director Jeremy Saulnier ably demonstrates in Green Room – an intriguing premise, a taut, sinewy script and a solid cast.” – Bruce Demara, Toronto Star

15. American Honey (141 lists; 9 top spots)


“At 162 minutes, “American Honey” may test some viewers’ patience, but for this one, it paid off with an unflinching portrait of middle America, a love letter to the open road and a dynamic newcomer in Sasha Lane.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

14. Certain Women (148 lists; 11 top spots)


“The cumulative power of Reichardt’s film, beautifully acted by Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and Lily Gladstone, is undeniable and quietly devastating.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

13. The Witch (187 lists; 5 top spots)


“Building his film on the diabolical aftershocks of Puritan repression, Eggers raises The Witch far above the horror herd. He doesn’t need cheap tricks. Eggers merely directs us to look inside. Be warned: It’ll scare the hell out of you.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

12. O.J.: Made in America (192 lists; 19 top spots)


“Edelman helps us understand why the O.J. verdict was inevitable; it was, in essence, a grand act of jury nullification. O.J. was no longer a person, but a symbol; a “vessel” for civil rights issues, as activist Danny Bakewell describes in the film.” – Sarah Weinman, The New Republic

11. Paterson (193 lists; 15 top spots)


“Paterson himself is deathly allergic to pretension, and the film inhabits his sensibility. It’s A Portrait Of The Artist As A Working-Class Stiff, arguing for the mundane beauty of all our lives.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club

10. Jackie (194 lists; 6 top spots)


“Portman’s been a committed, in-the-moment actress since she was a skinny kid running after Leon: The Professional but Jackie is an accomplishment on the Oscar-winning order of Black Swan.” – Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News

9. The Lobster (197 lists; 13 top spots)


“Mr. Farrell, a habitual over-actor, is especially affecting because you can sense his effort to restrain himself. Rachel Weisz … is perfectly cast as the only person in this world with the normal capacities for warmth, empathy and desire.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

8. The Handmaiden (219 lists; 16 top spots)


“Starts out looking as if it’ll be a deeply serious (and seriously depressing) tale of a Korean “comfort woman” forced to service the occupying Japanese military. After about five minutes of grandiose solemnity, Park drops the charade.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club

7. Elle (234 lists; 17 top spots)


“Leads its audience through a meticulously constructed maze of ambiguity, scrambling our assumptions and expectations at every turn, dispensing discomfort and delight and daring us to distinguish one from the other.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

6. Toni Erdmann (242 lists; 43 top spots)


“Ade begins with a fairly simple dynamic and then proceeds to tease out every possible facet, taking her characters to truly unexpected places and ending on a note of disarming irresolution.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club

5. Hell or High Water (316 lists; 19 top spots)


“Texas is as much a riveting character in [this] fascinating crime drama as the brothers turned bank robbers at its heart or the laconic lawman who coolly follows them across the sun-hardened landscape like a hunter on the trail of his next kill.” – Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

4. Arrival (371 lists; 43 top spots)


“The revelation here is Villeneuve, who expands on the symphonic pacing showcased last year in the drug war drama Sicario. Even though the concept of Arrival is far-out fiction, Villeneuve treats it with no less detail or urgency.” – Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

3. La La Land (436 lists; 99 top spots)


“If you haven’t succumbed to the joyous magic of La La Land by the end of the Fred-and-Ginger-flavored “A Lovely Night,” well, then, pick up your Official Curmudgeon badge and head for the exit.” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

2. Manchester by the Sea (505 lists; 68 top spots)

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, from left, Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, 2016. ph: Claire Folger. © Roadside

“No film this year has moved me more with its humor, heart and humanity. Engrave the name Casey Affleck on the Oscar for Best Actor right now, so extraordinary and engulfing is his performance.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

1. Moonlight (641 lists; 162 top spots)


“Moonlight takes the pain of growing up and turns it into hardened scars and private caresses. This film is, without a doubt, the reason we go to the movies: to understand, to come closer, to ache — hopefully with another.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

297 responses to “Best of 2016

  1. joe

    I don’t remember The Assassination of Jesse James coming to my city

  2. david

    I saw No Country for Old Men, and I paid attention. I am still flummoxed at the number of people who are making excuses for this films non-ending. I liked the movie alot, but it lacked KEY elements of a story like climax and dynamic characters. And if you think you paid attention and “got it” then you tell me and everyone else who reads this site what the climax was and who was/were the dynamic character(s)! I bet some people will try but I dont think anyone can do it. And if youre reading this Peter Travers, Im calling you out. You tell us what you gathered when you “paid attention”. Edify me!

    • jimmy d

      the ending was key. The entire film up to that point was about the evils of man and the world we are living in. The ending gave us hope, that maybe there is some form of salvation for us in the end regardless of how horrible we are on this side. The film was perfect.

  3. Lance

    David – I’m not a big fan of the movie (21/2 out of 5, at best), but one of the reasons I did like it was that the structure of the story DIDN’T include a normal climax and tried to do something different. There was a climax but it happened off-screen and we missed it. Is this the best way to tell a story? I don’t think it worked but I’m happy that someone tried to do something different.

    With that said, I agree with your frustration with film critics who say they like something but never justify their reasons. I watched the VH1 special on the broadcast film critics awards and some of their reasons for liking a film or a performance sounded more like the reasons why any 16 year old would like something. Tell me your opinion and then give me real examples to back up your opinion. “It blew me away” or “I fell in love with this movie” should be outlawed from any future movie reviews.

  4. Daniel

    Here’s what I thought about No Country (which I loved by the way).
    The obvious theme of the movie is good versus evil. If you think about it, this struggle is on going. This movie did not have a definite climax or ending in order to represent that real life battle that continues as we type.

    I also think that Tommy Lee Jones’ character was pretty dynamic. For most of the movie he is a “good guy” who is fighting the good fight without questioning because he knows his father is waiting for him and that it is all worth it. But this country is “no country for old men.” He is realizing throughout the movie that times are changing, new evil is creeping in (represented by Anton) and he wonders whether he should even bother trying to keep up with it anymore.
    That was my take on it, anyway, I hope to hear back from you, David.

  5. Cliff

    I agree with Daniel. I felt like the story was a contrast between the apparition of evil to an honest man and a dishonest man. If Anton represents the presence of evil in this world, implacable and immutable, as his final scene would suggest, then what ultimately happens to Llewellyn and the sheriff is the basis for the film’s morality, and each of the three characters reaches his own personal resolution by the film’s end. And if you look at Tommy Lee Jones’ struggle as the viewer’s struggle, then the end of the film provides absolute closure for the question at the heart of the film.

  6. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen No Country For Old Men yet.

    No Country For Old Men is a meditation on the fear of growing old and dying. It is told from the point of view of an aging sheriff who sees death everywhere he looks. His fear throughout the film is that he is getting too old to contribute anything anymore and he is just going to wither away and die. He tells his crippled uncle that he feels “over-matched”. The end of the film, specifically the final monologue delivered by Tommy Lee Jones, represents acceptance of death. He says he knows when he gets there, his father will be waiting for him. He looks sad and terrified, because death is such an unknown frontier. But he has at least come to terms with it.

    The storylines of Llewellyn Moss and Anton Chigurh are metaphorically significant to this theme. Llewellyn represents how people indulge in superficial pursuits over their lives without giving much of a second thought to their own mortality until they get to be Sheriff Bell’s age (that is, if they make it that far). Anton Chigurh represents the Angel of Death himself. Sheriff Bell’s uncle responds to the news of the sheriff’s retirement and his feeling of being “over-matched” by telling him the story of another uncle in their family who was meaninglessly gunned down on his own front porch many years ago and says “What you got aint nothing new.” Obviously this refers to the same fears we’ve been discussing here.

    We all choose to live our lives however we see fit, many times we act selfishly and forget our place. But at the end of the day, we “can’t stop what’s coming”. We all go to the same place, and someday we must all accept that. I’d say that acceptance is as satisfying a conclusion to this story as there could possibly be.

    • Andy

      I love this movie/book and this is the best explanation I’ve ever heard on it. However, the story is also a comment on the (author’s perceived) moral de-evolution of modern day American society. The morbid remains of the Mexican stand-off serves as a microcosmic foreshadowing of the entire chain of events that is about to occur – as well as a prophetic statement about the younger generations taking control of American society.

  7. RichardA

    The explanations are all good; but, it’s an extrapolation of what’s presented on the screen.

  8. Mike Anderson

    There Will Be Blood is a bulldozer of a movie. Or should I say Daniel Day-Lewis bulldozes his way through the Daniel Plainview character. I saw this film at a screening in September and the thing still resonates with me. I don’t remember the last time I have seen a movie where practically every human emotion is displayed on screen, to where you are moved with the same types of emotions. Near perfect movie making all the way around, and Anderson has made a gigantic leap forward in his writing and directing. And Day-Lewis IS Plainview. You are watching Daniel Plainview, not Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s almost scary how that guy can become another person. Total immersion. You just shake your head in wonderment. I can’t wait to see it again when it’s released in January. Oh… No Country For Old Men is also my top film of 2007.

    • , No, I booked my fihglt online and rode the plane. Oh and another one I also get is Do you still live in teepees. Which is wrong cuz I’m not a plains Indian that you see on those old black and white western videos but rather Navajo and our traditional home is the hogan. All in all, I agree with ya on your blog about your view of stereotypes. But sometimes, you find a person that embodies the stereotype and you can’t help but smile. And as for the Japanese one. I gotta do some research of my own to see if it is true. Haha. J/K.

  9. Buddy

    I like all the different views on No Country for Old Men and I felt it was such a great film because it’s so rich with layers and different themes one could draw from. So, I’d like to share mine, it’s similar to other people’s but I’d still like to share it.

    When I first walked out of the theater I saw it as being a story about how it’s impossible for any of us to prevent death. The line “You can’t stop what’s comin’ ” from the Sheriff’s cousin towards the end of the film is key. Throughout the entire film the characters are constantly trying to escape Anton (an agent of death) and buy their way out. In the end though Moss still dies, and while it wasn’t by Anton’s hand it still happened. Then after that Anton goes to Moss’ wife and offers her a chance to get out of dying and she rejects it, proving herself to be the only person in the entire film that will accept her fate.

    Then the final moments of the film help solidify this theme. After leaving the wife’s house Anton is the car wreck, basically the universes’ way of reminding him that no matter how he sees himself he’s not the angel of death, he’s not a supernatural force, he’s just another superhuman being and it might not happen today, it might not happen tomorrow but he’s still going to die.

    The sheriff’s final dream at the end involves his father riding off to prepare a camp for him, his father doesn’t even look at him. His father’s ashamed that his son didn’t keep fighting for the good in the world. He might have died at Anton’s hand if he kept on searching but it would have been an honorable death. But just because he escaped Anton does not mean he’s escaped death and his father is still going ahead of him to prepare a place for him.

  10. Buddy

    Also, I thought I’d add in addition to No Country for Old Men my other favorite movies of 2007 are The Assassination of Jesse James and Zodiac. There’s alot on this list I haven’t gotten the oppurtunity to see yet because in my town we don’t get alot of the limited release stuff till later but I’m eagerly awaiting There Will Be Blood and Juno among others.

  11. Daniel

    I’d just like to say one more thing, my favorite movie of the year so far isn’t on this list (I haven’t seen Sweeney yet which will probably become my favorite when I do). That movie is Lars and the Real Girl. I highly reccomend it to everyone who likes comedies or dramas, because really its both. Its a definate must see, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. Mike Anderson

    Yes. Lars and The Real Girl, Rescue Dawn, Gone Baby Gone, 3:10 To Yuma I would say personally, are missing from this list.

  13. Greetings: Thanks so much for including my list from But for future reference, my first name has no “f” in it. Cheers, and Happy New Year.

  14. Joe

    The top three films on this list are killer. “No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Zodiac” will be remembered for a long time as masterpieces by The Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher.

  15. Top 10 list from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans

  16. Tom

    DAVID –

    I loved this movie and paid attention enough to interpret it in my own way…great films are ambiguous.
    This is a film about a man who wishes he could have known his father better…and that he could have ‘saved’ him, had he known him better. At the end of the film it is clear that either time has past and Tommy lee is now retired, or no time has passed and he has BEEN retired. The main action has been his dream.

    Llewellen (Brolin) represented Tommy Lee Jones’s father as “the younger man’ in the main action. Tommy says he had two dreams at the end of the film: one where his father gave him some money and then he lost it…and the other where his father was “the younger man”.

    I decided to read the book to see if it would confirm my take on it…there are things that link and things that don’t…but to me the most profound evidence for my interpretation comes in the final sentence of the novel: “And then I woke up.”

  17. Cool site! I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Here’s my top 10 list from 2007, I write for Study Breaks Magazine, INsite Magazine and keep all my reviews archived on Thanks!

  18. Kurt

    Is it a typo that the text for #31 and #34 are the same?

  19. Jordan

    Any updates coming up?

  20. criticstop10

    I will do one final update this weekend. There aren’t many additional lists coming out, but I do hope to add 2000 – 2005 in the next few weeks as well.

  21. Top10Scout

    I found you another 10 best list. It’s from the Corsair Newspaper in Santa Monica, Ca. I found it in their print edition but it wasn’t posted on their online. It’s done by Jonathan Ramos, their Arts & Leisure editor.
    1. The Kite Runner
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Once
    4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    5. 3:10 to Yuma
    6. I’m Not There
    7. The Darjeeling Limited
    8. Juno
    9.Away From Her
    10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

  22. hitesh choudhary

    i am really excited of 2008 version . when will it be posted on this site??

  23. I enjoy checking out this compilation each year. Thanks so much for your hard work.

    Here’s my 2008 list if you’d like to add it to the pot:

    Cheers (and Happy Holidays),

  24. JR

    Time for an update 😉

  25. Send me an email when you get a chance and I will send you our member’s individual top 10 lists–I see you already have our combined list up. I thought I had your email from last year but I guess not. Talk with you soon.

  26. I don’t understand this chart. where are the lists? which lists are being calculated?

  27. JR

    re @Nathaniel

    Its not that hard to figure it out; just click on critics top 10 lists.

  28. Dave

    Is there a final update coming? It’s been saying for weeks that there will be one final one, but so far there’s been nothing!

  29. Emmaline

    Halo! The babes are here! This is my favorite site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.

  30. Oops. I hadn’t checked the individual lists until too late.

    I see you’ve already included the Slant staff’s Top Tens.

  31. Here’s a 2008 top ten from Aaron Dumont:

    10. Death in the Land of Encantos
    9. Rachel Getting Married
    8. Let the Right One In
    7. The Beaches of Agnes
    6. Standard Operating Procedure
    5. My Winnipeg
    4. Hunger
    3. United Red Army
    2. Che
    1. Synecdoche, New York

  32. .

    Oops. That shouldn’t say Death in the Land of Encantos.

    That should read “Import/Export”. My bad.

  33. Scott

    Hey… when are we getting 2009’s list? Movie City News has their first list up!

  34. David Cochrane

    Nice to see the 2009 list up (and especially nice to see the Coens placing so well again). Will there be a best-of-decade page up as well?

  35. Dave Van

    Am I not seeing it, or is there no page that has the individual lists for 2009 up yet? Is there going to be?

  36. Cliff

    Yay! Glad to see the list up, and already surprised and intrigued by some of the placements (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Headless Woman). I’m sure you’ve got enough work on your hands right now, but I look forward to seeing the quotes to make the case for each one! In the meantime, happy to see Hurt Locker atop the heap, and Coraline sneaking in there.

  37. ron

    thanks for the update
    no.2 film inglourious basterds should have 174 lists, 23 top spots so far if i’m not mistaken.

  38. David Cochrane

    Wow – it doesn’t seem anything is going to catch The Hurt Locker. If it hadn’t come out in the summer and grossed only a tiny amount, I’d say it was a lock for a nomination and perhaps a win.

    I’ve seen a couple of end-of-decade polls but they only cover a couple dozen lists at the most; it would be interesting to see what a big survey would contain. I really hope you’ll put up a best-of-decade page here!

  39. Hey! You have already upload the first 2010 list! That’s awesome!

  40. Dave V

    Any chance you can post the individual lists of the critics for 2010? I am interested in seeing the breakdown, but also in each critics list.

  41. Pope

    This site is pretty cool. Looking forward to see who’ll take the #2 spot.

  42. Anonymous

    Where are these lists?! There’s only been like 5 or 6 lists posted on AwardsDaily yet you’re saying there’s 23 already? Where are they?

  43. Scott

    Where are these lists?! There’s only been like 5 or 6 lists posted on AwardsDaily yet you’re saying there’s 23 already? Where are they?

  44. Scott

    Oops, didn’t realize that double posted…sorry

  45. adithyakantewada

    Here is my list of 10 best movies of 2011
    2.Nader and Simin, A Seperation
    3.The Tree of Life
    5.Margin Call
    7.The Descendants
    8.The Artist
    10.War Horse

  46. Top Ten as of 12/16/11 (Still 10+ films to see)
    01- The Tree of Life
    02- This is Not a Film
    03- Mysteries of Lisbon
    04- Take Shelter
    05- The Muppets
    06- Certified Copy
    07- A Separation
    08- The Kid with a Bike
    09- Midnight in Paris
    10- Melancholia

  47. David Cochrane

    So glad to see The Tree of Life clambering to the top spot – it’s easily my #1 movie of a pretty good year – considering it came out over the summer & I was sure a backlash would have started to build by now. It will get nominated but has no chance in hell of winning (I’d say Hazanavicius, Payne or Fincher will get it – the latter two more in recognition of past films than of their new ones).

    A bigger surprise is Drive doing so well – it’s also been pretty polarizing & I was expecting, like the Malick film, to see its acclaim drop in the months since it came out, but the opposite seems to have happened. I had mixed feelings about it back in September but I really should take another look.

    • Anonymous

      The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story…in reality it’s little more then a video art installment. I think the critics were brainwashed or something by the eyegasms from the Planet Earth sequence.

      • Thomas

        “The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story”

        I’m glad you can determine that for us. But, in reality, the fact that you found that it lacks a “remotely entertaining or coherent story” doesn’t mean that everyone else feels the same way. I personally found it to be an enormously entertaining film, and one of enormous emotional resonance. While I do have some problems with the structure and overall worldview of the film, I do think it is a pretty exceptional film. Also, the “video art installation” line has been making it’s way around the internet, and the only thing that the line reveals is the fact that most people have never seen a “video art installation,” nor do they have any familiarity with art cinema.

        A general clue for life: If your best argument is “I didn’t like the film therefore anyone who did must be brainwashed,” you automatically fail. That is to say, your opinion that the film isn’t very good is perfectly valid – your opinion on the “brainwashed” nature of those who do like it isn’t valid, and the fact that you think it is says a lot about your own maturity.

        No matter how strong your feelings are on the subject, you do not have the one true reading of the film, nor is your opinion strong and definitive enough that anyone who disagrees with it reveals themselves to be “brainwashed.”

        Or, to use your tactics of assigning ulterior motives to those who disagree with your opinion and/or questioning the legitimacy and “objectivity” of opinions that differ from your own, it’s too bad you’re such a contrarian that, even though you loved it, you feel obligated to bash “The Tree of Life” just because other people praised it. Stop being brainwashed by anti-conformists and start learning to express your true feelings.

  48. Anonymous

    The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story…in reality it’s little more then a video art installment, lol

  49. Anonymous

    Do you consider foreign list? Here is Norway’s largest paper, VG’s list. They do a pretty good list every year.
    1. Drive
    2. Kongens tale
    3. Melancholia
    4. Winter’s bone
    5. Under huden
    6.Black Swan
    7. Another Year
    8. True Grit
    9. Rango
    10. Tree of Life

  50. Anonymous

    I don’t want this to become a slippery slope, but I’d really love to see a list for 1999. It’s often considered one of the best years in film history, and this site goes back to 2000… just one year away, come on now!!!

  51. Jesse

    The problem with including foreign lists are that release dates are different. Black Swan, True Grit, Another Year were released in 2010 in North America, but several other countries got them in 2011. Also, not all of these movies will open in every country so that’s a bit of a disadvantage when you include a country’s list that had no access to said film.

  52. Anonymous

    Very true Jesse. Although most festival titles have opened as far as I know, while missing some studio titles like J.Edgar.

  53. Anonymous

    Annual list from different critics by allocine:
    another foreign list however, from France.

  54. Anonymous

    Thanks for the list! The other lists doesn’t even come close to the number of lists you have here.

    And if you haven’t already have these, here’s a few top 10s from the folks at Film Threat:

  55. Kirk

    Thanks so much for maintaining this page. It’s an invaluable resource for me every year.

  56. AJC

    First: awesome site. I love trying to record this stuff.

    Secondly: you really need to get some citations. I would love to see which lists gave which movies top spots. Please? Thanks.

  57. David Cochrane

    I’ll add to the thanks – every year this is always fascinating to look at.
    As you mentioned at the top of the page, it’s interesting that there’s been no real runaway winner this year, or even any films making a majority of lists – Brokeback Mountain, I think, was the last ‘winner’ not to reach that threshold.

  58. Anonymous

    I love this site. But nobody seems to make any comments any more.

  59. I don’t understand why Drive only recieved one Oscar nomination

    • Andrew Sidhom

      It’s not very accessible, is it? You need to invest some thought and a special appreciation for it cause otherwise it could seem like an empty arthouse exercise about nothing in particular. Same reason MMMM, Take Shelter and Shame didn’t have a shot last year. Not to mention the extreme violence in Drive…

  60. Awesome site. Keep up the great, hard work. I use this as a main resource for 2000s movies, while I use They Shoot Pictures for older films.

  61. Anonymous

    What’s happening with the 2004 list?

  62. Anonymous

    Great site. (one mistake: in 2006 I don’t think you spell ”The Queen” —> ”The Qeen”)

    2011 IMO:
    1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    3. Rundskop
    4. Margin Call
    5. The Tree of Life
    6. Drive
    7. The Artist
    8. Ides of March
    9. Carnage
    10. Moneyball
    11. A Separation
    12. Les Intouchables
    13. Hugo
    14. Rango
    15. The Help

  63. Anonymous

    So when’s the party kicking off this year?

  64. Anonymous

    Exactly? You still have some followers here.

  65. Anonymous

    Hurrah. Been checking up on this page for a couple of weeks now. Glad it’s back.

  66. David Cochrane

    Given what the critics’ groups have been saying so far, looks like Kathryn Bigelow will top the list again – it may even be by a margin like The Social Network or No Country for Old Men managed, but of course it’s too early to tell for sure. Looking forward to seeing what other films place in the top ten – hopefully Looper won’t get squeezed out.

  67. ajcfood

    Hey, this is a great blog, but some suggestions:
    1. PLEASE update your banner pictures.
    2. Try to make the comments MOST RECENT on top, instead of seeing comments from 2007
    3. You need to show citations and data, because I’m not sure how accurate some of these numbers are.

  68. Anonymous

    I always look forward to this site in December. Keep up the great work!

  69. Bellissima lista ma non trovare film come On The Road o Snow White & the Huntsman è una vera delusione….! Ma si sa i critici quest’anno ce l’hanno con Kristen Stewart e così facendo non si accorgono che con il loro fare ci rimettono grandi attrici e attori come CharlizeTheron , Chris Hemsworth , Sam Claflin, Hedlund, Sam Riley , Tom Sturridge, Kirsten Dunst, e una grande Amy Adams che sicuramente si porterà a casa molti premi a gennaio tra cui il Golden Globes e può essere anche un Oscar!!!!

  70. Anonymous

    I would like it if you could supply a database of links to every top 10 used.

  71. Anonymous

    yay!!! The Master is leading!!!

  72. Anonymous

    I really hope Killer Joe gets a place.

  73. I’d love to see if Killer Joe gets a place.

  74. Andrew Sidhom

    Hmm, where are The Sessions, Monsieur Lazhar, Middle of Nowhere, Elena, Frankenweenie, Sister, Footnote, Chico and Rita, Keep the Lights On and In Darkness?

    All of these received great reviews – in general descending order. Are critics schizophrenic or is some stuff missing here??

    • Melvin

      I was wondering that too. The Master was not well received by critics with only 85% at RT but it’s at No. 1. The same thing happened last year with The Tree of Life.

    • ericmvan

      There are definitely some movies that are legitimate critical hits but fare poorly in Top 10 rankings, because they seem to be a lot of people’s #15 choice but somehow nobody’s #10. (This is especially true of documentaries, by the way.) End of Watch is another.

      It’s paradoxical, in a way. How many of the movies you named were in your top 10? I’m disappointed to not see Monsieur Lazhar — but it’s #11 on my list right now. If we see a ton of films, we would like this top 40 list to match our own, but that requires some people liking our number 11 to 40, which we really, really liked, even better than we did — much better, in fact. I thought it scandalous that The Prestige got 0 votes in the Sight and Sound Poll and hence does not rank among the 1000++ movies of all time, when I have it as #20 … but if I had been voting, I wouldn’t have voted for it myself! Given that, it’s surprising that the system works as well as it does.

      To answer your general question, though, there are way more than 40 movies in a year that get significant critical love.

  75. It’s fabulous to see this site back up (when did that happen?). The re-design, with the photos and critic blurbs, makes for a very attractive experience.

    However, for a true film buff, it’s frustrating. There’s no longer any links to the actual separate lists, from which I used to compile my own rankings, rankings that included any film that got a mention. I’d include mentions from previous years for films that were making the rounds of festivals, and eventually from subsequent years for critics who came to a film late.

    And I suspect that the person compiling the lists is not a math fan, because the proper way to do this is to not simply count the number of list inclusions, but to give points depending on where a film is ranked 1 through 10 (18 points down to 9) — the problem of course then being that any critic who futzes with a strict 1 to 10 ranking (like giving a top 3 and listing 7 more films alphabetically, or worse yet, 8 more films) needs to be treated correctly, and that requires a certain comfort level with the math.

    And of course the biggest problem now is that you’re showing just 40 films a year. I think that’s a good number to show (50 might be better), but you also have to have a list that goes much deeper. You probably would have missed Blade Runner entirely in its year! I’d say that there are easily 100 films truly worth seeing in any given year, and I’ve discovered a bunch by spotting them in the 41-100 range of previous lists.

    I wouldn’t complain like this if I weren’t actually willing to *do all the work to provide corrected, complete lists for each year.* Just give me the raw data! Besides being an insane film buff, I’m a nationally-known stats guy for my work in baseball; in fact, ESPN Magazine is interviewing me next week for an article they’re doing on former baseball statistical consultants.

    You’ve done an incredible service to the film-buff community by collecting these lists. It would be a shame to have that data languish with its full potential untapped, and I’d love to help you extract the maximum value from it (I’ve got ideas that go way beyond just listing the results.) Please e-mail me!

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Why would you specifically start at 18 points for Number 1 and end with 9 points for Number 10 ? You could choose any range for this allocation of points, depending on whether you most value consensus or passionate support in your rankings (though it’s arguable that any movie listed even at 10th place from a film critic is already a passionate choice given the amount of films they see every year). You could also scale the range (of points awarded) with a multiplier. Since you have an infinite number of choices isn’t it almost impossible to get a sense of what it means really when you choose this range instead of that one? I know you just have to choose whatever in the end and get on with it, but it’s just that your 9 to 18 method seems like such a random choice.

      • ericmvan

        It’s admittedly somewhat arbitrary. You want the ratio of points awarded for #1 to points awarded for #10 to reflect the ratio of perceived excellence or worth of the two films. Obviously, no one thinks their favorite film of the year is ten times as good as their tenth favorite film. A 2:1 ratio seems right to me. It makes the #1 film 20% better than the #4 film, and 50% better than the #7 film. When I look at last year, that means A Separation is 20% better than Poetry, 50% better than Take Shelter, and twice as good as Incendies. All of that seems reasonable to me. (I didn’t invent the 9 to 18 scale, by the way.)

        Having established the ratio of values for #1 and #10, you then need to construct the scale for the intervening ones. In reality, it’s probably not linear, but assuming it is makes the math much easier. And the linear scale where #1 is twice as large as #10 is 18 to 9.

        In practice what you’re really doing is giving 1 to 10 points for the ranking, plus X for just getting mentioned at all. I’m saying I believe the best value for X is 8, because it produces the 2:1 ratio. But I would be open to counter-arguments: if most other people thought the 2:1 ratio should be higher or lower, I’d go with the consensus.

      • ericmvan

        Oh, in case it wasn’t clear, those 2011 movies were from my personal top 10. Anyone testing whether the 2:1 ratio feels right to them, obviously, should use their own top 10 from some year. But for the opinion to be valid, I think you have to have seen essentially everything of merit (I’ve seen 122 films from 2011). If you miss a film that would have actually made your top 10, that will make the 2:1 ratio seem too small.

  76. Ronald Trull

    This is my favorite website for approx. 8 weeks every year.

    Thank you.

  77. Anonymous

    Now that some mentioned it I am quite confused that End of Watch and The Sessions aren’t even in the top 40. Both hugely popular movies with the critics this year.

    • Anonymous

      Having said that, looking at other Top 10 aggregated lists at Indiewire and Metacritic, I can see that neither of these made their top 50/20s either. I suppose that’s the difference between a review aggregator like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, and a Top 10 list aggregator, which doesn’t measure how many critics liked a movie, but how much they LOVED it.

  78. Anonymous

    And so he said they shall be 50, and there were 50.

  79. Terry

    The “always extraordinary” Michelle Williams!?!?!?! She and Anne Hathaway RUINED Brokeback Mountain.

  80. David Lowrey

    You say Toy Story got 1st place in 1995, where are the critics compilations of 90s films?

  81. My top 10 films of 2012

    10. Compliance
    9. Les Miserables
    8. Silver Linings Playbook
    7. Zero Dark Thirty
    6. Moonrise Kingdom
    5. Searching for Sugar Man
    4. Life of Pi
    3. Looper
    2. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    1. The Master

  82. Ed Kargir

    Thank you for doing this. This a great amount of work.

  83. Bartender

    My Top films for the century:
    NOTE: I’m still missing some acclaimed masterpieces like Yi Yi, In the Moo for Love, Before Sunset, Walking Life….

    1. L’enfant
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Mulholland Drive
    4. The Master
    5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    6. Punch-Drunk Love
    7. Lost in Translation
    8. Capote
    9. The Ghost Writer
    10. (Memento, it’s from 2000 so I don’t know if this counts)
    10.’ WALL-E

  84. Mike

    Does anyone have guesses on what will make the list for 2013? I think the following all have great shots at the top 50:

    Top 10 Bound:
    12 Years a Slave
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Before Midnight
    Captain Phillips
    American Hustle

    Top 25:
    Blue is the Warmest Color
    Dallas Buyers Club
    Fruitvale Station
    Blue Jasmine
    All is Lost
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Star Trek: Into Darkness
    Short Term 12
    The Past
    Enough Said
    The Butler

    Top 50:
    Catching Fire
    Saving Mr. Banks
    Stories We Tell
    The Spectacular Now
    Frances Ha
    Side Effects
    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

  85. Adam

    My best guess at top 10:
    1. Gravity
    2. Her
    3. 12 Years a Slave
    4. Inside Llewyn Davis
    5. Before Midnight
    6. Captain Phillips
    7. Blue is the Warmest Color
    8. Nebraska
    9. The Wolf of Wall Street
    10. Blue Jasmine

  86. Nik

    In no particular order

    1. Blue Jasmine
    2. Gravity
    3. Her
    4. August: Osage County
    5. 12 Years a Slave
    6. Blue is the Warmest Color
    7. The Wolf of Wall Street
    8. Captain Phillips
    9. Saving Mr. Banks
    10. Inside Llewyn Davis

  87. moviewatcher

    You need to add Django and Lincoln’s mentions to the 2012 list. They’re clearly 2012 films.

  88. Nasir

    He cannot split a list between two years can he. He has to count the list itself in one year.

  89. Nasir

    Can you please create a page ans post the lists themselves too with the name of the critics. That would be immensely helpful. I can help out with that, you can contact me on my email address. Thanks.

  90. Ed Kargir

    Are you going to post individual lists?

  91. Anonymous

    I’ve asked this before, but you reference 90s movies that topped your compilations in the past, is there a way to see those compilations?

  92. Anonymous

    You reference 90s movies that topped your compilations in the past, is there a way to see those compilations?

  93. Ben

    Amazed there’s been no mention of The Spectacular Now so far.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Damn, you’re right. How come it’s not in the Top 46 so far? I thought it would be more like a Top 20 film. Had lots of raves around its release…

  94. Edkargir

    We all appreciate the hard work you do to product this poll , but it’s lost some of the fun with out the critics lists. I think these lists tells more about the individual critics than it does about the movies.


  95. Ben

    C’mon Inside Llewyn Davis! Great a technical achievement as Gravity was, I’d hate to see such a poorly written movie come out on top in the end.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Poorly written? How is that??

      • Ben

        Dire dialogue. A poorly conceived main character with a story (concerning her daughter) that not one person I’ve met has warmed to.

        Perhaps poorly written is overboard, but very basically written, to the extent where if its technical accomplishments were any less than immense, it would have been a largely forgettable film.

  96. Edkargir

    Good job, now it’s time to publish all 825 lists.

  97. Ben

    Thanks for your excellent work again. Your website is one of the things I look forward to the most towards the end of the year. See you again in December

  98. printthelegends

    Oh, man. I LOVE that it looks like you’re going back to the past years and expanding them all to 50. This is something I’d hoped you would do since last year, but I get that this page takes a lot of work to keep up so I never wanted ask. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  99. Anonymous

    When will you begin complying the list for the top films of 2014?

    • Mike

      Once critics’ Top Ten lists start coming in, so not until closer to the end of the year.

    • Eric M. Van

      However, for folks who want to get a head start on the best reviewed movies to date, here are some high scores fro Rotten Tomatoes (their Average Score, which is a better number to look at than the Tomato Meter, and better than the Metacritic score). Bracketed movies had limited exposure and are not at all guaranteed to get end-of-year support, movies in braces may not be regarded as eligible by all voters:

      9.4, Boyhood (a slam dunk for this year’s top spot; the second best score ever for a wide release is 9.0)
      [9.2 Stray Dogs]
      8.5, Whiplash (so far; it’s in limited release and expanding)
      8.4 The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman (q.v. Whiplash)
      8.3, Ida
      {8.2, Ernest & Celestine: had Oscar-qualifying run only in LA in 2013}
      8.1, The LEGO Movie, Snowpiercer, [Ilo Ilo]
      8.0 Gone Girl, Blue Ruin, Gloria, [Love is Strange, Norte the End of History, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors]
      7.9 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Under the Skin, We Are the Best!, 7 Boxes, [Closed Curtain]
      7.8 How to Train Your Dragon 2, {The Normal Heart (HBO)}, Starred Up, {Stranger by the Lake}, [Manuscripts Don’t Burn]
      7.7, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunchbox, Pride, [{Archipelago}, Honey (Miele), (Once Upon a Time) Veronica, The Retrieval]

  100. Anonymous

    You wouldn’t happen to have any top 10 lists for years prior to 2000, would you?

  101. Anonymous

    So it begins.

    Guess on what the top 10 will look like:
    1. Boyhood
    2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    3. Birdman
    4. Under the Skin
    5. Selma
    6. Inherent Vice
    7. Gone Girl
    8. Whiplash
    9. Nightcrawler
    10. Interstellar (I know it wasn’t well received by critics but it seems like the kind of film where the people who love it love it and will put it on their lists)

    11-20 I see: Guardians of the Galaxy, Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year, Mr. Turner, Goodbye to Language, Winter Sleep, The Imitation Game, Citizenfour, Snowpiercer, Life Itself

    Probably missing 3-4 things that, despite not super high scores, will be super embraced by certain critics, like Spring Breakers last year.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      You forgot:
      The LEGO Movie
      Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

      • Anonymous

        to be honest I don’t really see Gloria or Dawn even getting in the list, or at least if they did it’d probably be in the 30s+ at least.

        LEGO Movie is a good one, probably switch that ut for Winter Sleep. Ida I see being 20-25

      • Andrew Sidhom

        We’ll see. I think Ida and Dawn will surprise you. Gloria maybe not as much but it will figure somewhere. On the other hand, I think Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be anywhere near the 20s.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      So I was wrong about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (47) and Guardians of the Galaxy (15) (really surprised at that one), very wrong about Gloria (not in the 50), right about the LEGO Movie (14) and very right about Ida (9) 😉

      • Anonymous

        And now Guardians is in the top 10! And you are looking more right with Dawn. Might crack the top 30.

  102. lcbaseball22

    No Interstellar on the list yet? Surely it’s had at least 3 mentions, right? Here’s two alone from both the NYPost critics-

  103. Ben

    I’d be shocked and dismayed if Winter Sleep didn’t even crack the top 50. Brilliant film. It’s been an exceptionally strong year for movies I think. 2013 was a great year but I honestly don’t think 2014 is that far behind.

    The number of very good to excellent movies that aren’t in the list so far is a measure of the year’s strength:

    Listen Up Philip
    A Most Wanted Man
    Magic in the Moonlight
    The Wind Rises
    The Tale of Princess Kaguya
    The Unknown Known
    Merchants of Doubt
    A Most Violent Year
    Life Itself
    The Drop

  104. Bryan

    1. Where are the lists from the 1990’s? I see them mentioned in some section headings…
    2. How many lists were tallied in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009?
    Love the site!

  105. Tom

    Do you have the lists from the 1990s?

  106. lcbaseball22

    Another notice to the webmaster, individual lists for critics-

  107. Hello to every , as I am actually keen of reading this website’s post to be
    updated daily. It carries pleasant stuff.

  108. chrosTV

    Where the heck is How to train Your Dragon 2? It was better reviewed, than the first part and the first part was in the 20s of 2010.

    • andrew592014

      No the first one was better reviewed.

      • chrosTV

        No, the second one has a metascore of 76 and 4 listed 100-ratings, where the first one only has a metascore of 74 and 0 listed 100-ratings.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Metacritic is almost a joke. First, 30-40 reviews is not nearly enough of a sample to indicate consensus. Second, they assign a score according to their whim to reviews that have no rating. Third, they weigh some critics much more heavily than others (as if shutting out all except 30-40 voices in the country wasn’t elitist enough). Look to the Rottentomatoes average score for a much more accurate indicator of critical opinion.

      • Grego

        I disagree. Metacritic has a filter. Just because someone writes on the internet does not make them a critic, though Rottentomatoes believes the opposite. Rottentomatoes is a far less accurate “critical” aggregate precisely because, by sampling so many critics, they end up dumbing down their scores to practically invite the audience (less experienced or renowned critics) to rate the movies. So it’s true that Metacritic picks and chooses their critics and could do to add a few more, but Rottentomatoes has far too many to offer what I would refer to as an accurate critical assessment. An all-encompassing assessment, sure. Metacritic is elitist and highbrow whereas Rottentomatoes is for the masses.

      • Eric M. Van

        In theory sure. But I did an analysis of 600+ films released in 2011 — of which I’d seen, and rated on a 0-100 scale, 172 — and I found that the Rotten Tomatoes Average Score was definitely a better measure than the Metacritic score. It correlated better to IMDB scores, to Netflix’s prediction for me for all the films (which is based on the ratings of those who share my taste, which is extremely broad and, well, smart), and to my actual ratings for the 172.

        Furthermore, the “Top Critics” score correlated less well than their overall score.

      • andrew592014

        “Just because someone writes on the internet does not make them a critic”
        Rottentomatoes doesn’t add just anyone who writes on the internet. They add people who have movies-dedicated websites or blogs who have been around for a while writing reviews on a consistent basis. I don’t know what your definition of a critic is (just those lucky enough to get the very limited number of jobs available at famous newspapers?) but to me, that qualifies them as people who spend a significant amount of their time watching many movies of different genres and sizes and thinking about them in order to articulate what worked and what didn’t. In my opinion, that’s a critic. It’s not the millions of moviegoers, it’s still only 200-300 people.

      • Grego

        Andrew and Eric,

        Thanks for the replies. That’s an interesting study you did in 2011, Eric. However, I would argue that the closer a critics’ aggregate is to an IMDB score, the less accurate the critics’ aggregate. If I did the study, I would probably relate more to the top critics as I have with movies that I’ve investigated, so in that regard its a matter of taste I suppose.

        And, perhaps I didn’t state what I meant accurately. I know the object of these sites is to present an accurate, objective assessment of what critics think. In that regard, all critics could be counted and therefore Rottentomatoes better encompasses the critical spectrum. What I’m saying is simply that I find a lot of the critics on Rottentomatoes to be inferior critics. Once again, a matter of subjectivity I suppose regarding something that should be objective. But I can liken it to this criticstop10 website. At first, you get a bunch of diverse lists from acknowledged critics. Then, as more and more lists are collected, Guardians of the Galaxy and other mainstream movies creep up the list while lesser known, more experimental films fall. I think Rottentomatoes is similar in that sense. A week ago, Inherent Vice was at a 74%, highlighting both its acclaim and divisiveness. Since it went wide, it dropped to a 69%, which most likely lowered its average score, which I know is more important and a better correlative to the metacritic score.

        That said, Inherent Vice is one of the year’s most acclaimed films and is bound to be more passionately remembered than most of the year’s films as time does its thing given its off-kilter nature and the pedigree of its director. So, in that regard, I would say that the metascore is a more accurate aggregate, where it scores an 81 rather than a 7. In both cases, the score is obtained objectively. Reading inside the numbers, both scores reveal themselves as torn between good, bad and confounded. But, in my way of looking at things, the metascore provides a more accurate assessment than the tomatometer.

        And, while I’m on the subject of Paul Thomas Anderson, his previous film, 2012’s The Master, which topped many a list and a few polls, scores an 8.1 on rottentomatoes and an 86 on metacritic. To me, the metascore is clearly a better indicator of not only the film’s quality and its placement on year-end lists, but also of how it will age. Not only that, but if The Master is only an 8.1, then how is 2012’s Avengers an 8.0? I admit I find Metacritic’s lower rating of Avengers (69) a bit too low, but I think the gap of quality and year-end placement is more accurately represented by the 17-point difference in the metascore.

        Now, you may disagree with all of this based on personal preference, or, oppositely, on the grounds that Avengers’ 8.0 was achieved objectively, and that The Master’s 8.1 was achieved the same exact way. I don’t disagree with that at all. It’s all about knowing how each website operates and then reading into the numbers. But as a guy who likes everything but whose year-end lists generally match up with those of Film Comment and Village Voice polls, I can’t help but view the metascore as “smarter” and the rottentomatoes score as more for the masses. The only thing about both websites, as evidenced by RT’s ratings of Inherent Vice, is that you can never account for a film that divides critics. Like a Dogville, for example, which renders a lot of this argument moot since it scores so much higher on Rottentomatoes (7.0) than it does on metacritic (59). But, regardless, to me that 59 truly speaks to its polarizing nature as a work of extreme art whereas the 7.0 on RT just seems so middle of the road. But, these divisive films and their aggregate scores can never speak to their true quality the way a unanimously acclaimed film’s rating can. So at the end of the day, both Metacritic and Rottentomatoes are meant to average out a critics score and its fun to look at, but its hardly consistent with how the film will be remembered. Boyhood, for example, will likely be remembered the way the aggregates tell us. But Dogville? No way.

        I’m more an advocate of list tallying and critics polls than critics’ initial reviews. But I have the same problem with this site that I do with Rottentomatoes. Too many lists. Accurate as it may be in objectively representing the critical spectrum, I simply don’t believe that the more mainstream elements of this list will predict the decade-end lists or once-a-decade Sight and Sound polls. I suppose its a question of how movies primarily come to be remembered as great – by way of audience or by way of critics. Who furthers a film’s history and carries on its acclaim more? Which brings me back to what I said about the masses. All of these lists collected may have been submitted by critics, but the more of them you get, the more the mainstream movies rise – the more you have to question whether they’ve even seen Stray Dogs or Norte. That said, I’d rather have this site just how it is than not at all, and its once again about reading inside the numbers. I find it fascinating that Guardians of the Galaxy places inside the top ten, and in some ways I couldn’t disagree with the 191 lists that place it there.

      • Eric M. Van

        Great response, Grego. I’m also someone who loves a lot of films that don’t make the mainstream critics’ lists: my top 12 for 2011 was A Separation, Hugo, Margaret, Mysteries of Lisbon, Poetry, Love Exposure, The Tree of Life, Pina, Take Shelter, Certified Copy, Incendies, and Beginners (Hugo could drop as far as 5th when I re-watch the next three). But I find many of the arthouse-leaning critics to have very blinkered taste, as if there were only one way for a movie to be great. In the last Sight and Sound poll, Memento, Donnie Darko, and The Prestige combined for 1 vote across both polls, which I find unimaginable and indefensible (they’d have two of my top three). IMDB voters actually do a great job of identifying great movies that the arthouse critics don’t even seem to consider (all three of those films are very deservedly in the IMDB Top 250). And although these films seem to be hit-or-miss with all critics (The Prestige had a 7.1 RTS and 66 Metacritic), they do fare better with the mainstream critics than with the arthouse-only crowd.

        It may well be that, for you, the Metacritic score works better than the RT. But I don’t think there’s any good argument that the better metric would be the one that correlates worse with IMDB scores. The people (like myself) who rate films there are film buffs. We may have, as a group, more commercial tastes than arthouse critics, but we still know good from bad. There are even great, pure arthouse films that have made their top 250 (like Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring) without generating much of a buzz from critics (3 critics and 1 director in the S&S poll). Furthermore, it’s only arthouse films that get tons of press and hence get seen by an unusually large number of commercial moviegoers that get their IMDB scores driven down to the point of inaccuracy. For every The Tree of Life with a 6.7, there are probably thirty or fifty like Once Upon a Time in Anatolia at 7.8 or The Turin Horse at 7.7 — and Bela Tarr makes Malik look like Michael Bay. (Arthouse films that get seen by very few people also have unreliable ratings, but that’s true of almost every film there.)

        If you question this, here are some examples from a score that actually DOES correlate negatively with quality, all other things being equal, and perhaps even just by itself. If two films have the same Metacritic, Rotten Tomato, and IMDB scores, I can guarantee you that the film with the lower Netflix user rating will be the one both you and I prefer. As in, Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakwell ahead of Annie Hall, 3.6 to 3.4, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets ahead of 2001: A Space Odyssey, 3.8 to 3.7.

        The other problem with Metacritic, BTW, is that one or two critics who are unfair and inconsistent can have way too much influence. You’ve probably noticed that Slant critics tend to savage anything good, but sometimes they don’t (a difference entirely driven by ideology rather than film quality).

        My own ratings are predicted best by adding the IMDB and RTS together with absolutely equal weights, or (fractionally better) multiplying them together. IOW, for me, there are just as many good and great films whose merits are missed by critics as ones that the average film buff doesn’t get. (And a film that satisfied both equally tends to be a bit better than one that was divisive across the two groups.)

      • andrew592014

        Grego and Eric, I appreciate the long, thought-out responses. Let me add my opinion.

        First, I don’t think you can very accurately correlate any number based on a movie’s reviews (be it from RT or metacritic) with its year-end placement based on Top 10 lists. It’s just not possible. One of the reasons it’s not possible is that there’s a significant number of critics who make a distinction between a movie that’s “good at doing its own thing” and a movie that’s “memorable and worthy of being in a Top 10”. For example they’ll give 5/5s and A ratings to a summer blockbuster or a comedy that is “great as a summer blockbuster/comedy” even though they don’t consider it quality cinema, so it won’t come close to being considered at the end of the year. While I highly disagree with this distinction, the fact is that these critics exist. There are other reasons why Top 10s placement is very difficult to predict like the fact that you just can’t know how passionate the people who did like a movie are about it just by looking at the rating they gave it. (And many critics give more than 10 perfect ratings per year). You touch upon this in your post when you talk about divisive films and how these fare poorly on RT and MC as opposed to year-end lists.

        So I disagree with you that metacritic can be an indicator of year-end placement, even if in the instances you mentioned (The Avengers, The Master) it is so. I can find countless other where it’s not and the year-end placement of a film is either surprisingly low or surprisingly high compared to its MC score. Examples of the latter just from this year’s Top 10: Under the Skin, Nightcrawler, Gone Girl and Guardians of the Galaxy. The RT avg rating is either just as good or actually better at predicting all four! (though not by much). That’s why it’s fun to come to this website at the end of each year and find out about all the surprise picks 😉

        As for the number of lists on this site, I think you make a very valid point when you say that“the more [lists] you get, the more you have to question whether they’ve even seen Stray Dogs or Norte”. This is certainly a problem. Still, don’t you agree that the majority of movies listed here are still very much art films (just not the very obscure ones)? It doesn’t feel to me like the Guardians of the Galaxy’s and the Interstellar’s are all over the list. Also, I can easily recognize which of the 50 are the mainstream ones and which are not, so I can almost treat a year’s Top 50 as two separate lists which give me the “Best of Arthouse” and “Best of Mainstream”. Personally, I still want to know about both as I need both in my movie-watching experience.

        Finally, regarding correlation between quality and MC/RT score, sure RT has some more mainstream critics. Personally I still want those voices to somewhat factor in because, as Eric puts it, some arthouse critics have blinkered taste. But let’s say you identify more with those critics (MC, Village Voice, Sight & Sound…), nothing wrong with that but may I suggest you look at the RT Top Critics average rating rather than MC? I think it has 2 advantages. First it doesn’t further weigh those top critics’ voices according to a hierarchy of who writes for the supposedly superior publication. Second, it doesn’t pretend to know how a critic would have rated a film if he/she used a rating system. Critics find both negative and positive aspects in most films but in my opinion, while they may lend one or the other more writing space, that doesn’t necessarily say how much weight these aspects have on their overall perception of the film. And guessing their rating to be a 90 instead of an 80 or a 70 makes a difference.

      • Eric M. Van

        Andrew, your comments about the difference between Top 10 rankings and RT / Metacritic scores are spot-on. That’s why I’m always so eager to see the lists. And the fact that many critics never see the best indie and foreign films is indeed a vexing source of bias. With the 2011 films, I threw in the number of RT reviews into the analysis and messed around with an adjustment system. The trouble is estimating how many more top 10 rankings a film would get if seen by the critics who aren’t interested enough in seeing those kinds of films to seek them out. I never quite came up with something that felt entirely satisfactory; I should give it another shot some time.

        In the meantime, I have pretty complete lists of all votes for 2010-13, with lots of fine detail checking on the obscure ones, and votes from multiple years consolidated into the year of actual U.S. release (or into a list of still-unreleased ones). I could probably beat all of that data into publishable shape in a couple of days or so at some point later this winter, and I believe that our glorious site runner is willing to put them up here.

        Just looking at 2011, films that were 51-100 but were in my top 50:

        Source Code 52 / 43
        The Future 56 / 13
        Pina 59 / 8
        My Week With Marilyn 63 / 50
        Jane Eyre 64 / 17
        Bill Cunningham New York 71 / 28
        Crazy, Stupid, Love. 74 / 49
        Aurora 82 / 20
        Tyrannosaur 86 / 21
        We Were Here 98 / 38

        Films in my top 50 that were 101+ include Love Exposure, The Names of Love, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Even the Rain, The Adjustment Bureau, Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), and Limitless.

        I think any serious cinephile wants to see the whole list. I had 80 films rated as B+ (must-see) or better, and there were 26 films in the critics’ top 80 that aren’t included. I actually believe that there are now 200 films worth checking out in any given year, and mentions at the bottom of the full critics list are one of the ways the more obscure films can cross your radar.

        (2011-U.S. films that got no votes at all, however, include King of Devil’s Island (my 24), Sidewalls (41), A Somewhat Gentle Man (46), Archie’s Final Project (48), When We Leave (57), and Fish Story (58). So you need other sources: all of those were highly recommended for me by Netflix.)

      • andrew592014

        Eric it’s very interesting that you have the full lists for 2010-2013. Where did you get them from? I know the individual lists are posted on this website from 2012 on (and I hope they’ll be posted this year when the tallying is over) but what about 2010 and 2011? I’d love to see the rest of the movies from 51st onwards. Could you possibly share them in some way?

      • Grego

        Eric and Andrew,

        Thanks once again for the replies. I actually agree with pretty much everything you’ve both said. I still don’t feel that IMDB is a good correlative to critics’ scores, for, as Eric alluded to, it seems that the more people who see an arthouse film, the lower the score will drop. Perhaps Turin Horse scores a 7.7 on IMDB and it scores close to that on metacritic, but for my money it can’t be a whole 1.6 off of The Shawshank Redemption! An extreme example, I know. And, for what its worth, I actually got Slant added to metacritic. As much as I sometimes regret doing so, I consider them the great equalizer, as much as they seem to delight in contrarian opinion, and for as much as they promote each of their critics to have their own unique opinion yet still come off as a clique, I consider their outlook to be highly revealing when it comes to getting deeper into a film, whether its unanimously acclaimed or otherwise.

        Andrew, those films you named – Under the Skin and Gone Girl, etc – may not be easily predicted from the metascore but they are easily predicted, for me anyway, by looking at the individual critics ratings for the films, which metacritic provides in an accessible format. Actually, you know, predicting year-end lists is pretty much the only thing I’m good at, so I don’t know where it comes from. It probably is a combination of a lot of things – director and style of the film, first and foremost – it’s just that I utilize metacritic more often than any other site. I agree that the top critics score on RottenTomatoes is the closest thing to the metascore and even has its objective advantages, but I actually appreciate metacritics weighting system, even if it doesn’t make complete objective sense, especially if, say, Peter Travers is one of the people they weigh more heavily (I can’t remember if he is) just because he writes for Rolling Stone. But I like the attempt to distinguish certain critics and their influence.

        I think the biggest problem with the year-end lists is knowing whether a critic has actually seen a movie, be it due to late-year release dates or to poor distribution. Such a problem for factoring a be-all, end-all sample. The other problem, as previously mentioned by all of us, is if a certain critic with mainstream taste hasn’t seen Stray Dogs, it makes me wonder if he also hasn’t seen Goodbye Dragon Inn and The River, etc., and how that has affected that critic’s taste. If the critic has seen all of those movies and simply doesn’t find value in them, then fine, that’s great. If he’s only seen one of them, then I wouldn’t expect him/her to appreciate it, and if he/she hasn’t seen any of them, then I feel a large part of what-cinema-can-be is missing from the critic’s vocabulary, which makes his/her approach to cinema more limited. In other words, if you want to put the quite lovely and incredibly fun Guardians of the Galaxy in your top ten, be my guest, but I just hope you’ve seen everything there is to see and have at least attempted to appreciate it. You know? And in these lists, you just never know!

        As for me, so I don’t seem like a total snob, I’m actually quite amazed that Interstellar was received so tepidly. I feel that Ebert would have championed the hell out of it in one of those reviews where he just glows about its ambition and the feeling it gave him. The movie I was most wrong about, apparently, is Nymphomaniac, of which I loved the first part and felt totally deflated by the second part, but which I could never have predicted would have been left off the entire Film Comment Top 50 poll since it’s Lars von Triers making an intentional magnum opus and so many people had so much fun with the first part. But at this point, I blame the producers, who released the theatrical cut, which allowed so many people to see the film and perhaps not be too curious to revisit a 5 and a half hour cut, which is a shame, since the director’s cut is so much fuller and flows so much better, especially in its transition from part one to two. In this form it really seems like it’s a movie about Lars himself, which makes it more puzzling that more arthouse critics decided that this would be the film NOT to champion. I mean, is it really so inferior to Antichrist? Once the smoke clears with the whole smug pornographic button pushing angle of the film and people start to focus on the film as a sort of Lars on Lars and remember that its the third part of his Depression Trilogy rather than a film about nymphomania, I think opinion may change. But as far as that applies to this conversation about lists and predicting them, the fact that the director’s cut is probably underseen (I expected to find a ton of reviews on it, but there are very few, even including blu-ray review websites) adds another facet to the whole debacle of trustworthy, year-end “accuracy.”

      • Andrew Sidhom

        Eric I find your 3rd paragraph very much on target (about whether a critic has seen enough movies from left-field and how that affects his/her cinematic taste). It would be fine with me if after a sufficient period of having checked out these kinds of films a critic has decided he’s mostly not interested in that type of cinema. But certainly many of them have simply not had the exposure to it.

        And yet, there is something to be said for an unfiltered “be-all, end-all sample” which this website provides. First, maybe some critics haven’t had exposure to obscure films because these films haven’t done much to get themselves noticed and seen – whether on account of insufficient funds, faults in distribution, bad luck, or bad quality – and maybe I don’t want to be one of two people in the world to have seen something even if it’s really good. Or at least not before I see all the other titles that are in the conversation. Which brings me to a second point: I’m personally on the low end among film fans in terms of the number of films I see every year. I like to give myself the time to digest movies, think about them, read and talk about them rather than cramming a new thing every day. This means the 50 titles of are enough for me as reference for stuff I need to check out if I haven’t already. I’d still love to have a list beyond 50 just so that, when I stumble upon a movie on TV or at a friend’s at any time, I know whether or not it’s worth my time. But I digress. My point is: what this website, with its unfiltered be-all, end-all sample, tells me is: What are the movies that are being talked about the most as people look back on the year? This website answers the question very transparently and beautifully for me without complicating the process with filters or unnecessary math.

        Of course that may not be the same case for everyone as it is for me. If you’re more interested in the question “what are the most arthouse-inclined people talking about as they look back on the year” and especially if you’re the kind of viewer who watches lots and lots of films, then maybe you do have to look elsewhere.

      • andrew592014

        I’m sorry, I meant to address my last post to Grego. Sorry about the mix-up.

  109. John

    You should create a bar graph to illustrated the disparity between Boyhood and all the other films.

  110. matt

    It makes no sense that you ignore the top spots, I mean, for example Inherent Vice is only one list less than Lego Movie, but it has almost the triple of top spots.

    • andrew592014

      We really don’t need one more site which attempts to assign a random numerical value to each movie on a Top 10 list according to how high it is in the list. These methods are very arbitrary. For example how do you know how much more a critic liked their #1 choice than their #2? Maybe the gap between their #2 and #3 is huge while that between #3 and #4 is infinitesimal.

      A film critic probably sees 100 to 300 films a year so a Top 10 is already a very narrow selection of movies that he/she thinks are very good. One of the main reasons I like this site is that it simply counts how many people think Movie X is “very good” without complicating the process with arbitrary math.

      • Grego

        You know, you’re absolutely right yet also a bit wrong. I believe that most critics really do know what they’d put number 1 or 2 on their lists and that those films should be awarded more points than what finishes number 8. So maybe at least a film’s ranking should have more to do with how many first place votes it has received. Basically, this website tries to assemble an accurate – though extremely large (which makes it less accurate to me, for as the more lists you get the more mainstream stuff gets mentioned at the expense of the foreign, indies, and weirdos) – sample of the year’s best movies. Which is great. But if you want to try to predict which movies are going to last, you kind of have to look at what movies have finished number 1 on the most people’s lists. At the end of a decade these same critics will be asked to submit a top ten that covers 10 years, and you better believe they’ll be reaching for the films that finished in the top three of each of their year-end lists.

      • Eric M. Van

        I’m the guy who helps our glorious webmaster with the data, compiling, for instance, the 2013 votes for 2014 films (which wee just added, giving a boost to a lot of good foreign and indie flicks that played festivals in 2013). And I just proposed to him that he should do precisely what Matt suggested and which you support: add the first place votes to the total votes. IOW, a first place vote simply counts double. He is not yet convinced, so I think I’ll explain the rationale and see what other users think!

        The reason why adding the first place votes to the overall total (which is to say, counting #1 votes double) provides a better ranking is that it is actually a terrific approximation for any compilation that actually keeps track of the 1 through 10 votes, and then assigns some extra weight (like 18 for a 1, and 9 for a 10, or 22 and 13). But it’s vastly less work, and, best of all, you don’t have to decide precisely how much extra weight to give a 1 versus a 10.

        So the math is anything but arbitrary. It’s incontrovertible that a guy who ranked their films 1 through 10 liked 1 more than 2, and so on down to 10. You can weight that any one of a number of ways. But in every case, the list you would get will more closely resemble the one from the simple “#1 vote counts double” method than it resembles the original list which ignores the #1 votes. So, there is no argument against including that extra preference information, and, no matter how you include it in order to make the ratings better, you can achieve results 90% as good, and much better than what you started with, by counting the #1 votes twice.

        The reason why this works, of course, is that films that get a lot of #1 votes also tend to get more #2, #3, and so on. So counting the #1 votes double is a beautiful quick proxy for tabulating all the separate ballots and counting a #1 whatever percent extra, a #2 a bit less extra, and so on. Which I did do for 2011 and, regrettably, will never have time to do again!

      • andrew592014

        “So the math is anything but arbitrary.”
        I still think it’s arbitrary to decide to multiply the #1 votes by two. Another guy can say well let’s multiply them by 1.5 to make it more even or let’s multiply them by 3 as these are very loved movies by the critic who ranks them #1 so they should have a lot of weight. And another guy can say well let’s multiply the #1s by 2 and the #2s by 1.5 since the #2 is also almost at the top. In my opinion, these are all arbitrary choices.

        “The reason why this works, of course, is that films that get a lot of #1 votes also tend to get more #2, #3, and so on.”
        For many movies yes that will be the case but what about love-it-or-hate-it movies? There are such movies. They may either be someone’s #1 or nowhere to be seen on their list. These would benefit a lot from doubling #1s while movies who almost everyone agrees are somewhere in the Top 5 of the year will be hurt by the method.

        I know there isn’t a perfect way to do things but to me the way this site currently works is really great because it tells me, in descending order, which movies most people agree are “Top 10 worthy” (ie. very good movies which are memorable by the year’s end). For a critic who sees lots of movies, he/she considers even his #10 to be very good. As a film viewer my own opinion will probably not fall in line with any particular critic enough for his fine distinctions between his #1 and his #2 and his #3 and his #4 to matter to me that much.

        That’s my opinion FWIW.

  111. Chick Mitchell

    Here’s another list you may not have counted, to help you get to 800:

  112. Joseph

    Do you guys have the list rankings from the 1990s?

  113. Joseph

    Do you have 1990s list, you’ve mentioned them but I see no links?????

  114. Raymond

    Do you have any lists from the 1990s?

  115. Craig

    Where are the lists from the 1990s?

  116. Bernard

    Would you be willing to make list of 1990s films

  117. I assume that the 2015 version will begin to assemble within the coming week like it normally does. Thought I’d through out my predictions like I did last year.

    1. Carol
    2. Mad Max: Fury Road
    3. Spotlight
    4. Anomalisa
    5. Inside Out
    6. The Martian
    7. Room
    8. Son of Saul
    9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    10. The Revenant

    And then in 11-20 I see probably Ex Machina, Brooklyn, Creed, Joy, Bridge of Spies, Sicario, Amy, It Follows, The Hateful Eight and Steve Jobs.

    Maybe (and hopefully) The Assassin can squeeze in there too, but I’m betting it will be around 20-30

  118. Yep I was considering some of those as well, also Tangerine, Phoenix and Clouds of Sils Maria

  119. A few more that will do well: Love & Mercy, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, About Elly, Beasts of No Nation, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (despite it’s b/o debacle). And if more people were to see it, Guy Maddin’s fabulous The Forbidden Room.

    • All of those I’m pretty sure will make the top 50 (well besides Forbidden Room due to what you said, its definitely in my top 10 at least). Well maybe hesitant on About Elly, considering it originally came out in 2009 I wonder how many critics will actually make the stretch and call it a top 10 of 2015

  120. ralphy

    where are 1990s movies?!?!

  121. Heinzwill

    My predictions for the movies that could be #1 for 2015.

    Won Best Film at the NYFCC Awards. Out of the 15 Best Film winners from 2000 till 2014, 8 of them match this site’s #1 film.

    Inside Out
    As of writing this, 277 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes at 9/10. It’s in the same club as The Social Network, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and Boyhood, all achieved at least 9/10 with over 200 reviews before the end of the year. All of those movies were also #1 on this site (except Gravity of course, but it came close) and were nominated for Best Picture Oscar.

    Mad Max: Fury Road
    Tons of praise from audiences and critics all over, the first ever film to get over 300 reviews on RT before the end of the year. Bound to be included in many critics’ list.

    Basically no real criticism for this movie, a rare supposedly perfect film that many people (and critics) have seen. A safe bet for Best Picture frontrunner for now.

  122. andrew592014

    So 26 films are now on the list. Films that I expect might make up the 50 are…
    The End of the Tour
    The Revenant
    Shaun the Sheep
    GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
    Wild Tales
    Jafar Panahi’s Taxi
    Love & Mercy
    What We Do in the Shadows
    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
    Beasts of No Nation
    The Forbidden Room
    99 Homes
    About Elly
    A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
    The Second Mother
    White God
    Hard to be a God

  123. Craig

    I am beyond thankful for the 1990s lists! Thanks for the hard work to whoever helps make this great site run! Keep the 90s lists coming if possible, if not, thank you for all the hard work!!

  124. Ian

    I just wanted to say thank you for making these lists every year and I appreciate what you do.

  125. LOVE your web site, hope we can go even earlier than 1998!

  126. Anonymous

    Thank you for the ’99 and ’98 lists!! Quite impressive to see A Bug’s Life still make the top 20 even with 186 lists collected, it even has a top spot! Also, very glad to see The Truman Show actually got the love it deserved at the time.

    Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

  127. Heinzwill

    Star Wars apparently lives up to hype. I think we might have a new challenger for the #1 spot now.

    • Rotten Tomatoes Average Scores (a better measure of critical approval than either the RT% or Metacritic):

      9. 0 Spotlight
      9.0 Inside Out
      8.8 Mad Max: Fury Road
      8.7 Carol
      8.6 Brooklyn
      8.3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens

      I think it has no chance at all to crack the top 5 (and the four of which have already opened are my top 4 so far as well, and that almost never happens). It has a solid chance at 6, though.

      I don’t know what the rush was to publish Top 10 lists so early when the most eagerly awaited film of all time had its press screenings on 12/15!

      • Heinzwill

        Correction. Mad Max: Fury Road has an 8.6 rating.

        If higher RT average ratings=higher position on CriticsTop10, then either Spotlight or Inside Out would have been #1 now. In fact, I searched on Internet Archives, Gravity had a 9.1 avg rating around Dec 30 2013, while 12YAS had a 9 avg rating around the same day, yet it still managed to beat Gravity. Right now both movies are at 9/10 so maybe the competition for #1 was close back then during the updates (I first discovered this site this year so I don’t know). So while I think a high RT avg rating is a good indicator, I don’t think it’s the best indicator. I think there are more factors surrounding the average rating that play into that.

        1) I think that the closer the average rating is to its Tomatometer, the more likely the critics who liked it will put it on their top 10 lists.The Tree of Life was polarizing, but generally most critics liked it. And the ones who loved it REALLY loved it, and it ended being #1 here. It has an 84% Tomatometer, while it’s average rating is 8.1. Another example is the 2010 movies. Inception also has an 8.1, while it’s Tomatometer is 86%, and it still beat Toy Story 3 for 2nd place that has an 8.9 but with a 99% Tomatometer.

        2) Timeliness. WALL-E beating The Dark Knight would disprove my theory above (W-E 96% 8.5, TDK 94% 8.6), but I think WALL-E beat TDK was largely because the subject matter of WALL-E was very relevant at the time. Same goes to The Social Network when everyone was using Facebook when it was released.

        3) Ambition. Obviously Boyhood was very ambitious, so it was easy for it to get #1. Same goes to Toy Story which got #1 because it was the first computer animated film. Both have at least 9/10 avg rating (Boyhood=9.2, TS=9.0).

        4) Lastly, it’s the fact that the movie itself is a highlight of the year. Fury Road was the most talked about movie of the year that has been released, which is why I think it’s #1 right now, beating other movies that have higher ratings, but arguably less talked about. That’s why I thought Star Wars can be a contender. But now it has an 8.2/10 average rating, with over 160 reviews counted already…so maybe not then.

        Of course, these factors aren’t proven all the time. Both The Hurt Locker and Up has a 98%. THL has an 8.4 while Up has an 8.7, but THL appeared in nearly 100 lists more than Up. So that disproves factor #1.

  128. ReggieDwight

    Where does this website list Toy Story? That movie came out in 1995 right?

  129. chrosTV

    Magic Mike has a RT rating in the 60s. So how come, that so many critics actually put it in their lists?

    • Heinzwill

      I think that applies to films that have 75% and above, or at least somewhere there. The Wolf of Wall Street has a 77% and a 7.7 avg rating and ended up at #7 in 2013.

      Sorry, I forgot to add this in that comment

    • jeremy09

      The people who like Magic Mike XXL, LOVE it, and want to promote it by putting it on their Top 10.

    • andrew592014

      The Tomatometer (the “RT rating” you refer to) doesn’t tell you how loved a movie is. It tells you how many critics at least liked the movie, or thought it was “allright”. About 40% of critics actually disliked Magic Mike. So what? How many loved it enough to put it on their Top 10? The Tomatometer doesn’t tell you that.

      • Eric M. Van

        Well, replies are not showing up after the posts they’re supposed to! Let’s see if this one works.

        You are correct that “Tomatometer” is flawed. That’s why I never use it! The score I use is the “Rotten Tomatoes Average Score,” on a ten-point scale. It’s basically like a Metacrtitic score divided by 10, only it’s more accurate. I tend to called it “RTS” for short.

        Now, the RTS is better than the Tomatometer because it weights how much critics loved a film rather than merely liked it. And the Critics Top 10 performance adds further data to the RTS, but doesn’t quite supplant it. So my goal is to derive an accurate and fair formula to modify the RTS by adding the Critics Top 10 list performance data (using both the total lists, and the #1’s), resulting in the best possible measure of critical approval.

        The big challenge is to properly factor in the number of critics who saw each film, as indicated (imperfectly) by the number of reviews collected by RT. Films with a relatively small number of RT reviews can be assumed to have seen less by critics, and hence to be underrated by top 10 list mentions, but they can’t be expected to have done as well with the critics who didn’t see them as they did with the critics who did, because the latter have often gone out of the way to check out indie and foreign films that other critics aren’t interested in as much.

        Why do I want to to do this? Because I also want to derive a set of formulas that combines that modified RTS with the IMDB rating and votes, plus my own rating, plus Netflix’s predicted rating for me (based on the ratings of others with taste like mine), to produce an informed consensus score. And I’ll use that for various annotated lists, the first of which, the top 78 indie sci-fi films from 1997 to 2015, already exists with a first draft of the set of formulas

        I believe that if I liked a film better than everyone else, that’s completely real, but that a consensus rating should factor in only part of how much I liked it better. If, OTOH, I liked a film less than others, that’s rather less real, and the consensus rating should have my opinion as a significantly smaller component.

        What I’ve learned in my prior attempts is that you can’t do the modified RTS with just one or two years of data. But I think 5 years of data will do the trick. It’s on my list for 2017 projects! A lot of the work will just be looking up the RTS and total number of RT reviews for a huge number of films.

  130. Anonymous

    It’s amazing how it’s at 424 lists already when last year it was only 200+ lists around the same time. could probably reach close to 900 lists.

  131. Eric M. Van

    Some worthy movies not listed:

    1. Predestination (almost direct to VOD)
    2. About Elly (probably regarded as ineligible by many, but unseen in the US until this year)
    3. Tomorrowland (widely misunderstood)
    4. White God
    5. Wild Tales (probably regarded as 2014 by some because of its Oscar nom)
    6. While We’re Young (room for only one Noah Baumbach)
    7. The Walk
    8-10: The Hunger Games finale, Ant-Man, MI Rogue Nation (blockbuster fatigue)
    11. The Hunting Ground
    12. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (backlash)

    And probably a bunch more indie and foreign films.

  132. Eric M. Van

    The ten movies that have a shot at Best Picture seem well established:

    1. Mad Max: Fury Road
    2. Carol
    3. Spotlight
    6. Brooklyn
    7. The Martian
    11. Room
    20. The Big Short
    23. The Revenant
    24. Bridge of Spies
    26. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    • Heinzwill

      No Hateful Eight?

      • Eric M. Van

        The Hollywood Reporter just listed their 12 Best Picture contenders: those 10 plus Creed and Straight Outta Compton. They make a pretty good argument that the latter has a chance to sneak in. If so, it would be at the expense of Room, Brooklyn, and/or The Big Short.

    • andrew592014

      If Straight Outta Compton gets in it could take the place of Brooklyn? How does Brooklyn miss out? I see it as a lock. It’s a period drama/romance and extremely well reviewed.

      • Eric M. Van

        I see Brooklyn as a lock as well, but some online prognosticators do not. And there are those, BTW, who think that Star Wars is not a lock. Ditto for Bridge of Spies.

  133. Sam

    Seems pretty much original. Love all the best of 2015 but very few are my favorite however.

  134. Shame that Kumiko the Treasure Hunter isn’t here, and that godawful Me and Earl and the Dying Girl movie bumped off Girlhood/Mustang.

  135. Eric M. Van

    Mad Max is in a dead heat for the second-highest percentage of mentions ever, currently 66.3% versus Boyhood’s 66.8%. It’s also in a dead-heat for second-highest percentage of #1’s, currently 18.9% versus The Social Network’s 19.0%. And yes, the champion for mentions is The Social Network (73%) and the champion for #1’s is Boyhood (35%).

    Interestingly, the fourth best film for #1’s didn’t even win its year: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

    While I don’t think Boyhood and Mad Max quite represent the best back-to-back combination of the year’s best films (that would be Boyhood or Interstellar following Upstream Color or The Great Beauty), they certainly seem to me to be the best back-to-back #1’s — as evidenced by their tremendous support from critics.

  136. The biggest, most disappointing surprise for me this year has been the failure of “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” to show up on any of the critics lists. I think the only place I’ve even seen it mentioned is in the Documentary nominations for, like, the North Carolina Film Critics or something like that. I’m flabbergasted. To me, this look at the life and turmoil of a great artist far surpasses the moving but inertly constructed “Amy”, and is the second best documentary of the year behind “The Look of Silence.” While Amy’s story was sad and sobering, I never felt like the movie really probed the psyche of its subject. I think critics are so eager to make a statement about the importance and increasing prevalence of recording on cell phones and personal cameras that they are giving the movie points for perceived prescience. They are awarding the film more for what they believe will prove to be an influential mode of creating film than with the actual quality of how that footage is edited. For all the praise being thrown around about the sheer amount of found footage assembled, I felt that Cobain’s “fake” animations and illustrations better relayed the life and essence of Cobain than any of Amy’s real footage, in spite of being created by a director who never met the man. There is so much more to capturing the spirit of a person than simply having the most access to your subject. Still crossing my fingers that Cobain might somehow crack the top 50, but it’s not looking good. :-/

    • Eric M. Van

      Brady, as someone who was an active rock critic until a few years before Nirvana happened, I had one serious problem with the film: it omitted the single most important fact.

      What killed both Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse was their complete inability to handle fame. “Amy” explained what was going on there, quite well.

      For years, I’ve been explaining the historical context of Nirvana, and how it explained Cobain’s tragedy, to folks who were unaware of it. They always find it illuminating. Its omission from the doc, I believe, essentially renders it a failure, in that it ends up actively misrepresenting the story.

      Here’s the fact: the style of music that Nirvana played had had a nearly twenty-year history of overwhelming commercial failure. There was a realistic zero expectation of fame and wealth. The dream of a band like Nirvana, when they started, was literally to make enough money to not have to work regular jobs. If each of the band members could clear $20K to $40K a year from touring, merchandise, and record sales, that would be their dream utterly fulfilled. I think that if you had told the band when they signed their major-label deal that they would have matched the success of The Ramones, and had an album get to #44 on the charts and another to #49, they would have been very skeptical. And not because they didn’t think they were great. Their label was hoping that Nevermind could match Sonic Youth’s “Goo” and sell 250,000 copies, which would just sneak it into the top 100, and would have been exceptional, even epic for a band playing their style of music. It ended up selling 400,000 copies per week at its peak, and 30 million total.

      Think about this. You have guys in suits telling you “I think you can be as big as Sonic Youth,” and to be that big was a crazy dream that you never thought was realistic, and it makes you feel a little unsure that you could handle that sort of best-case scenario. (And I think that’s analogous to what happened to Amy Winehouse relative to her own understanding of how big she could conceivably become.)

      And then you turn out to be ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY TIMES bigger than Sonic Youth.

      So you can’t understand Kurt Cobain without understanding the degree to which he was blindsided by his fame, and without knowing that he was in no way naive or otherwise at fault for being so unprepared for it. The documentary didn’t even hint at this. Even if the success of Nevermind had been merely “unexpected,” you could fault the doc for omitting that important fact, but in fact its success was far beyond “unexpected”: even words like surreal, absurd, and incomprehensible don’t quite capture it (especially because as soon as it did happen, it also felt inevitable). How can you leave that out of the story? It IS the story.

      The film leaves you intensely puzzled as to what element of his psyche would lead him to pursue a career as a “rock star” if he hated the idea of being famous. It suggests the presence of a significant internal conflict that was in fact entirely absent. It’s a much purer and stranger tragedy than the film begins to suggest.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Eric! It’s a movie I have very high on my list, so I have been planning a rewatch for some time. When I do view it again (though I do have to catch up with a lot of other films before the Globes), I will view it in the context of your insights and see if I can reconcile my initial enthusiasm with your reservations. I agree that the matter of Nirvana’s sudden fame and Cobain’s reaction to that pressure are extremely important aspects of his story. If it truly does fail to address this aspect, that would be a serious flaw in the film, so I’m interested to focus on that next time. Happy New Year!

      • andrew592014

        That’s great. In no way did I mean to press you – only to draw your attention to it, but it’s great to know you’re planning all this work – which must be time-consuming. And personally, what I’d be more excited about than these changes (since I understand everything takes time) is for you to continue with the pre-2000 years… It was a very pleasant surprise to see 1999 and 1998. But all in time I suppose.
        Just in case you remember, it would be nice to make a remark whenever you update the 2010-2015 pages, since I save all your wonderful work for reference.

    • andrew592014

      When the 2015 individual lists are posted, you’ll be able to see how close it got. I’m waiting to check how some movies I really liked fared as well, such as Wild Tales and Far From the Madding Crowd.

      • Eric M. Van

        Andrew, we haven’t gone back that far yet, and won’t for a while. This is happening in two parallel tracks:

        2013 — After the year’s list was finished, a revision of the 2012 list that included 2011 votes was done.
        2014 — Included 2013 votes, but no further work was done on older lists.
        2015 — The old votes will again be included when the list is finalized (Tribe will jump a few places, and Clouds of Sils Maria, Timbuktu, and Hard to be a God may move up one; Horse Money may get back into the top 50).
        After that– The 2013 list will be revised.

        And that 2013 revision, I believe, should also include 2014 votes for films released late. “No” jumps up 8 place and The Wind Rises 7, among many other changes, but it’s the same 50 films.

        Also ready to go is a final revision of 2012 which includes 2013 (which I haven’t yet passed on to the Authority) , and that adds 2 films. When I get the 2015 data, I’ll send off a revision for 2014. And once we’ve done that, I have the data to update 2011 with 2010 and 2012. Going back further will take some more time.

  137. Eric M. Van

    Mad Max is now firmly in second for highest percentage of mentions ever, and third for highest percentage of #1’s.

    I was interested in the combination of critical and popular success, so I took all 21 films that have topped 50% in list mentions and calculated their worldwide box office, adjusted for inflation. Adding that to critical success (percentage of total mentions + percentage of firsts) produced a list of six dominant films. (The score is the sum of standard deviations, of films in this group, of their two measures). In order:

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (3.1). Won Best Picture and 10 others.
    The Social Network (1.86). Lost Best Picture to Oscar-bait The King’s Speech.
    Mad Max: Fury Road (1.84). Can move into second with a re-release. Will lose Best Picture to Spotlight or Carol.
    The Dark Knight (1.6). Lost the last nomination spot to The Reader, perhaps the darkest moment in Best Picture nomination history.
    Boyhood (1.2). Lost Best Picture to Birdman, a film about actors.
    Saving Private Ryan (1.1). Lost Best Picture to Oscar-bait Shakespeare in Love.

    There’s then a big gap to Gravity at 0.4. A special shout-out to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which placed 10th (after WALL-E and No Country For Old Men), an amazing performance for a foreign-language film.

    The first three films here are special. LOTR:ROTK is the box office champ (and 7th critically), The Social Network is the critical champ and did a fine $245M at the box office in today’s dollars. And MM:FR beats LOTR critically and The Social Network commercially. Every other film of the last 17 years loses to either LOTR or The Social Network on both measures.

    (The other films on this lost, in order, are Lost in Translation, The Hurt Locker, 12 Years a Slave, The Departed, Sideways, Far From Heaven, The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Ghost World. Obviously, if I included films that just missed 50%, there would be some others in this group. Yeah, I hope to do that someday!)

    • Joseph

      While I personally disagree with your assessment of Birdman v Boyhood, and feel that your statement about TDK’s lack of BP nomination to be very hyperbolic, I must confess that I am very impressed by your analysis. How exactly did you calculate all that?

  138. Eric M. Van

    Joseph, thanks for the praise! The answer to your question: I’m really good with a spreadsheet. Notoriously so. Check out

    In fact, I help the siterunner with the data (he has the 2014 votes for this year’s films that he should be including soon).

    I’ll address your Dark Knight quibble tomorrow, because in 72 minutes folks will begin arriving to join me watching all 11 hours of The Lord of the Rings extended editions. Fourth time I’ve done this, but the first with my 65″ plasma (last, great Samsung model before they discontinued them).

    • Joseph

      Wow, that sounds like fun! I’ve only seen the first two extended editions and the theatrical version of ROTK, but I’ve heard that the extended one is magnificent.

    • andrew592014

      If you add the votes from the previous year to the year in which the movie was most widely seen (which I think is a great idea), why do The Lives of Others and In The Mood for Love appear in two different years? I don’t mean that as criticism, just a question/remark. Keep up the great work.

  139. Just for interest’s sake, with all the SWTFA hype – a list of where the highest-grossing movie of the year (worldwide gross) ranked on the list –
    2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 11 (yes, Jurassic World is still ahead, but that won’t last for more than another week)
    2014 – Transformers: Age of Extinction – didn’t make the cut
    2013 – Frozen – 31
    2012 – The Avengers – 16
    2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – 15
    2010 – Toy Story 3 – 3
    2009 – Avatar – 8
    2008 – The Dark Knight – 2
    2007 – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – didn’t make the cut
    2006 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – didn’t make the cut
    2005 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 50
    2004 – Shrek 2 – 44
    2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – 2
    2002 – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – 6
    2001 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – didn’t make the cut
    2000 – Mission: Impossible II – didn’t make the cut
    1999 – Star wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – didn’t make the cut (only 20 in list, not 50)
    1998 – Armageddon – didn’t make the cut (only 20 in list, not 50)
    So only 5 times did the best film commercially make the top 10 (6 if SWTFA jumps a spot ot two), and 7 times (5 times since the list was expanded to 50) it didn’t even make the list.

  140. artinos

    Thoughts on BP nominees based on CriticsTop10 ranking:
    1. Mad Max: Fury Road – No one expected this movie to do so well during awards season. Really glad the Academy is recognizing these kind of movies.
    2. Spotlight – I thought this movie would get more noms because it was a huge frontrunner during the precursors.
    6. Brooklyn – Not much surprises here
    7. The Martian – I had some feelings this might not make it due to the lack of SAG noms. No Best Director nom is still disappointing though
    8. Room – No surprise here in terms of BP. Pleasant surprise for Director nom
    15. The Big Short – This one rose through the ranks very quickly during awards season. Have yet to see it
    16. The Revenant – Because of its reviews, I thought this might be a little too disturbing for the Academy to vote for.
    25. Bridge of Spies – Another one where I thought it wouldn’t make it because it seemed like all it had was Mark Rylance. Maybe I shouldn’t have doubted Spielberg/Hanks.

    Now for the snubs:
    3. Inside Out – I knew for a while this wouldn’t make it, especially after not getting nominated at the Critics’ Choice. I’m completely fine with it but what was a little more disappointing was that it was left out in sound and music categories where Pixar usually excels in
    4. Carol – Todd Haynes has missed it… again. Ever since I heard about it I always thought this was a huge contender while awards experts didn’t seem to think so. Now that it is snubbed, I’m still not sure why.
    5. Ex Machina – Probably too sci-fi for the Academy’s own good but at least it got a screenplay nom
    9. Creed – Thought it was a long shot really. But yay for Stallone!
    10. Sicario – I was genuinely surprised it had a lot of BP noms from other awards. I thought it would be largely ignored by most awards especially the Oscars
    11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Sequels rarely get it (save for MM:FR this year), so I guess this was a long shot since the beginning
    21. Steve Jobs – Box office performance probably killed its chances
    26. The Hateful Eight – Not as greatly reviewed as Tarantino’s recent films
    30. Straight Outta Compton – Summer release, mostly black cast, a film about music, of course the Academy wouldn’t give a shit about this. Still undeserving to be left out though

    There are eight nominees again this year, all white acting nominees, expect low ratings Academy. If they were smart they would go back to 10 nominees but they would probably go to five again. But overall, all the nominations were interesting while it may not be the one I hoped for.

  141. Joseph

    I’m very surprised not to see Before Sunrise on the “Best of 1995” list – it has a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and is now considered to be one of the best films of that decade!

  142. Anonymous

    Top Spot Predictions for 1986-1994:

    1986: Platoon
    1987: The Last Emperor
    1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    1989: Born on the Fourth of July
    1990: GoodFellas
    1991: Beauty and the Beast
    1992: Unforgiven
    1993: Schindler’s List
    1994: The Lion King

  143. Eric M. Van

    A comparison of the 1980 list with TheyShootPictures Top 1000 (including mentions in former versions) … Here’s their top 20, with the critics’ ranking following. Just ten films made both lists.

    I’ll try to post one of these at least every week.

    1. Raging Bull (3)
    2. The Shining (–)
    3. The Empire Strikes Back (4)
    4. Kagemusha (–)
    5. Heaven’s Gate (–)
    6. All That Jazz (t12, but released 12/79)
    7. The Elephant Man (t5)
    8. The Tin Drum (t10)
    9. Being There (t12, but released 12/79)
    10. Stardust Memories (t17)
    11. The Blues Brothers (–)
    12. My American Uncle (–)
    13. Airplane! (t10)
    14. Bad Timing (–)
    15. Ordinary People (1)
    16. The Big Red One (–)
    17. American Gigolo (–)
    18. Gloria (–)
    19. Inferno (–)
    20. My Brilliant Career (9)
    –. Coal Miner’s Daughter (2)
    –. The Stunt Man (t5). {I think the critics got this right.}
    –. The Black Stallion (7)
    –. The Great Santini (8)
    –. Fame (t12)
    — Wise Blood (t15)
    –. Best Boy (t15)
    –. Melvin and Howard (t17)
    –. My Bodyguard (t19)
    –. Dressed to Kill (t19)

  144. Bryan

    A little over halfways through the year and I’m predicting the following will make the Best of 2016 Edition.
    10 Cloverfield Lane
    Captain America: Civil War
    Eye in The Sky
    Green Room
    Hell or High Water
    Florence Foster Jenkins
    Pete’s Dragon
    The Nice Guys
    Finding Dory
    The Jungle Book
    The Witch
    Hail, Caesar!

    • Anonymous

      Since To the Wonder made it in in 2013 despite getting “Rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m sure Knight of Cups will make it in too in 2016.

  145. Ronald Trull

    Thank you for 1987. At the top of the 1987 page you make a reference to “Moonrise”. Did you mean “Moonstruck”? I loved that movie. I saw it twice in the theaters.

  146. Kirk4

    Hello. As this seems to be the place for critical consensus and you seem to be interested in going into the past as far as possible I wanted to ask, do you know about The Film Daily? It was a trade publication from 1915-1970. They started a critics poll in 1922. In fact I think they may have been the ones to introduce the idea of a year-end top ten list. At first they would only publish the top ten films. But as the poll grew, and it didn’t take long, they published what they called the Honor Roll consisting of every film that received more than 10 votes, listed in order of votes received, just like you do here.

    (I’ve tried to post a comment about this a couple of times before and they didn’t post for some reason. In case it’s the length, I’ll try breaking it up this time and continuing in another comment.)

  147. Kirk4

    The results were published both in the daily periodical, usually during the second week of January, and in the yearbook, which in addition to the full results for the most recent year, would reprint the top ten of every previous year. The last poll was for 1969, published in the 1970 yearbook. I live in San Francisco and our main Library had a copy, lucky me.

    The full results for 1922-1947 can be found in scans of the original paper at this site. The Film Daily is listed under Extensive Runs and some of the yearbooks are under Selected Holdings. The latest yearbook they have is 1963, so you can get at least the top tens up to 1962.

  148. Kirk4

    For some reason they didn’t publish full results for 1950, instead just the top vote getters in several categories. The published results for 1950-1956 can be found at this blog.

  149. Kirk4

    They declined to publish the number of votes for some of the later years, I’m guessing because their influence was waning and they weren’t getting top ten’s from the hundreds of critics that they used to.

    I would love to see any or all of those years on your site, done up with photos (and quotes where available) like all the others. I don’t know how much time you have on your hands but there you go.

  150. I wish more people DID talk about Reversal of Fortune. Jeremy Irons’ performance is just outstanding.

  151. I already have my prediction for 1989 and I’m going to say it’s Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing that will gain the number one top spot.

  152. John Smith

    Really nice site, however my question is why only the top 50 movies of the year.
    I think it would be nice if the lists were expanded beyond that. Look at the fact that even the bottom films on this page (spots 40-50) sometimes have top spot on one or more lists .
    I believe that a lot of film lovers would like to see more expanded lists, and that such an expansion will have hidden gems for different people and there preferences/tastes etc.
    In order to not change the design of the site i would add movies 50+ in a separate page, for example “”.
    All I can ask is for the creator(s) of this site to think about it.

  153. andrew592014

    Why not include recent lists which list their top tens of older years? I mean for instance a list published this year about the best films of 1989. Why restrict it to lists published in 1989-1990? After all, film fans who are using this outstanding website to check out the films they haven’t yet seen are seeing them TODAY, so it makes sense that today’s critics and blog writers recommendations are taken into account. There’s also the added perspective of writing about 1989 films 10 or 20 years later. Just my opinion.

  154. Kirk4

    I disagree with Andrew’s comment above. There are plenty of other sites where you can see what writers today think of older films. What makes these lists so great is the time capsule-like glimpse of what critics at the time thought were the best of the year. It’s unfortunate that some of the LA Times surveys are less accurate given they were taken before some of the most acclaimed films of the year had been released (1987 without Moonstruck? 1988 without Dangerous Liaisons?) but I think this site is valuable for being just what it is.

    Andrew, if you’d like an “in retrospect” consensus look at great films by year, I suggest films101

    • andrew592014

      In the website you provided, the methodology isn’t clear. It seems the top ten films of each year are ordered by rating (out of 5 stars) but how is that rating calculated? When I open any film title’s page, under “selected by”, there’s a rather arbitrary and pretty short list of mentions for the film, which presumably form the basis of a calculation towards the film’s rating. There’s a couple of critics listed who selected the film. That’s not a good enough basis to determine the year’s top films according to critical consensus.

      So until I see a website that does criticstop10’s job but including “in retrospect” lists, I remain of the humble opinion that criticstop10 would profit from inclusion of such lists as I personally feel there’s more value in determining what are a particular year’s best films full stop as opposed to what are a particular year’s best films as determined only by judgments that were made some weeks to months after release. (I’m not against those latter judgments but just think restricting the lists to those leaves out another valuable group of judgments published later).

      • Kirk4

        Mostly he complies data from all of the “best films of all time” lists he can find and scores them accordingly. The star ratings are simply where they fall on his ranked list of all time films. 5 red stars is top 100, 101-500 is 5 stars, 4 1/2 is 501-1000, 4 is 1001-1500, etc.

  155. andrew592014

    An early prediction for the 2016 top 15-20 contenders, only including movies for which we have enough reviews so far…
    (in general but not strict order)

    La La Land
    Hell or High Water
    Manchester by the Sea
    Kubo and the Two Strings
    Love & Friendship
    Embrace of the Serpent
    Sing Street
    Captain America: Civil War
    The Witch
    Little Men
    The Handmaiden (Ah-Ga-Ssi)
    Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    The Edge of Seventeen

    Anything else?

  156. Adam

    I guess I should do my prediction as I have the last two years now

    1. Moonlight
    2. Manchester by the Sea
    3. La La Land
    4. Arrival
    5. Toni Erdmann
    6. Hell or High Water
    7. Silence
    8. The Lobster
    9. Jackie
    10. Paterson

    And then the remaining 25 I’m guessing will be the following in no particular order:
    Love & Friendship
    Hacksaw Ridge
    Everybody Wants Some!!
    Kubo and the Two Strings
    The Handmaiden
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    American Honey
    Nocturnal Animals
    The Witch
    Hail, Caesar!
    O.J. Made in America
    Certain Women

  157. artinos

    I’m surprised Zootopia has appeared but not Kubo and the Two Strings yet.

  158. Jack

    That image of Deadpool isn’t from the movie…

  159. Dear Eric,

    Will you consider adding actual critics list to the 1980-1988 (and 1992 + 1993) lists…………………. I have loved this site and it’s ambition, and consider it to be one of the best time capsules and a excellent resources for what films I should look into, and I appreciate and love the effort and detail you put into the site. But…………. the fact that the lists mentioned above, the McGilligan + Rowland polls, are mostly calculated from arbitrary poll, and doesn’t include top spots and doesn’t feel as fleshed out as it could be, makes me somewhat upset.

    Thank you for the recommendations, and giving me the inspiration to make my own projects.

  160. andrew592014

    I can’t believe the best reviewed animated film of the year, Kubo and the Two Strings, is not (yet) in the Top 50, while Zootopia and Moana are up there at 17th and 33rd!

    • chrosTV

      Can’t believe it either. Also surprised that “Finding Dory”, “The Jungle Book”, “10 Cloverfield Lane”, “Swiss Army Man” and “Doctor Strange” haven’t couldn’t get a spot on the list.

  161. andrew592014

    Kubo and the Two Strings features on 8 lists according to Metacritic ( Does this website have all these lists counted?

  162. Eric M. Van

    Top 8 films of the year, according to the combination of Rotten Tomatoes Average Score and IMDB rating, and where they rank on this list. Documentaries and as-ye unreleased films (Toni Erdmann, Paterson, etc.) are excluded.

    1. Moonlight (1)
    2. La La Land (3)
    3. Manchester By the Sea (2)
    4. Kubo and the Two Strings (c. 27)
    5. Arrival (4)
    6. Embrace of the Serpent (c. 40)
    7. The Handmaiden (6)
    8. Hell of High Water (5)

    EotS was a 2016 Oscar Best Foreign Film nominee but was released in the U.S. in 2017, and would probably get more list mentions if that weren’t so (The Lives of Others got killed here for that reason). Kubo indicates a double standard for animation.

    Once those two are eliminated, this is a pretty remarkable correlation. If you rank those 6 by their performance here, I have them as 1, 2, 4, 3, 9, and 13, and I’ve never had that kind of agreement with critics before.

    I think this is a fluke: none of the great films this year (so far) have been divisive, audience vs. critics, a la The Tree of Life (easy #1 here, 6.7 at IMDB) or The Prestige (top film of 2006 at IMDB, but 40th here, and I could write several thousand words as to why the former is correct).

    We’ll see how much (if any) Toni Erdmann messes this up.

    • Eric M. Van

      Obviously, Serpent was an Oscar nominee for films released in 2016 but was released here in 2016. How is it that WordPress is the only blogging platform where you can’t edit comments?

    • Can you please reply to my comment above? I love this site and would like to see it evolved fully.

      • Eric M. Van

        vv2, I don’t run the site. I just help the siterunner with the data crunching, specifically, finding votes from the year before (from festival screenings) and the year after (from critics who didn’t see screeners of late December movies, and for movies not released in the U.K. until after New Year’s).

        Right now, the 2014 rankings include 2013 votes, and the 2012 rankings include 2011 votes. So we have a lot of work to do! I’ve laid out a plan, but it won’t be implemented until this year is done. (The plan I’ve suggested also would include complete lists for each year, going back to at least 2010.)

        To answer your question, I dream of a nationwide project where folks would go to their local libraries and look through microfiche and microfilm records for *every film review we could find.* And then there would be a website which was effectively Retro-Rotten Tomatoes, except the review links would go to scans that were on the site itself. Of course, since this website would list films like Psycho and Blade Runner as “rotten” rather than “fresh,” it would be largely for historic interest. But it would be incredibly informative! Until we do that, the lists that are posted here are really all we have.

        If you want to know what the best movies of a given year are *as now regarded*, and IMDB are the go-to sources. I could see this site eventually including a 3-way comparison for each year from 1980 to perhaps 1999. (I did a comparison of 1980 with TSP in these comments, in fact.) That would be invaluable, but it’s even further in the future than the stuff I’ve already mentioned.

  163. Eric M. Van

    Moonlight is currently 4th in all-time highest percentage of list mentions (1998 on) and 2nd in percentage of #1s. In 2010 The Social Network dominated these lists unlike no previous film, and it remains the overall champ, but this is the 3rd year in a row (after Boyhood, the champ for #1s, and Mad Max: Fury Road) that a film has challenged it.

    I also have the last three poll winners as my favorite film of the year, and I have to go back to Pulp Fiction in 1994 to find another match. It’s kind of mind-blowing.

  164. Eric M. Van

    By my count, there were 27 English language live-action feature films that earned a Rotten Tomatoes Average Score of 7.6 or better from 50 or more reviews, and all but 2 are on this list. The exceptions were Don’t Think Twice (7.8), and the biggest surprise, Little Men (8.1).

    Furthermore, 3 of the 4 films that earned a 7.4 or 7.5 from 100+ voters have made the list as well (American Honey, The Nice Guys, and 10 Cloverfield Lane), the exception being Eye in the Sky.

    Zootopia (8.1) and Kubo and the Two Strings (8.4, tied for the 4th highest score but just 23rd here among English features) are the only animated features, while Moana (7.9), Finding Dory (7.7), and The Jungle Book (7.7) are currently missing. Animation fatigue? Or an easier standard in the original reviews?

    Seven films are currently on the list while falling short of 7.4: Nocturnal Animals (7.0 but 7.9 at IMDB), Hail, Caesar! (7.2 / 6.3), Deadpool (6.9 / 8.1), A Bigger Splash (7.3 / 6.4), Knight of Cups (5.6 / 5.9), Sully (7.2 / 7.6), and The Neon Demon (5.9 / 6.3). I wonder whether Knight of Cups and The Neon Demon can survive to the end of the poll.

    • AdamL

      Really disappointed Eye in the Sky doesn’t crack even the top 50. It’s easily in my top 5. Also baffled by the Moonlight dominance. I see why some people like it but it’s hardly so good that it separates itself from the pack.

  165. Anton

    Please add these lists by cinephiles (or some directors – for example, Miguel Gomes, Denis Cote, Alain Guiraudie) from all over the world, for representativeness.
    I hope u conside

    • Eric M. Van

      I’m fairly certain they’ll be included, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it shapes the list. I think that the majority of folks who are passionate enough about film to use this website have tastes that lean towards the arthouse and away from the commercial. It’s easy to find the commercially-oriented lists from the major newspaper critics; the polls of cinephiles, like this one and the Village Voice poll, provide a necessary balance. Michael Haneke’s Cache is now regarded as a top 10 film of the century, but it placed just 21st in 2005, behind the likes of The 40-Year Old Virgin. Oops.

      • Anonymous

        Dear EMV,

        How many lists did Picture contenders “Hidden Figures” and “Lion” end up on, overall?

      • Eric M. Van

        Anonymous — I only see the final votes when the process is done! Compiling the lists and updating the site takes all of our glorious webmaster’s spare time. I agree with you, it would be great to see the films that just missed the top 50, which is why I hope to eventually provide the website with complete lists for every possible year.

        The next 15 or so films are typically consistently very good to great (there has been discussion of expanding the number), and after that there are scattered gems going way down the list. I actually think there are now 200 films a year worth seeing.

      • andrew592014

        Thank you for your contribution to this wonderful website! I just disagree with you about Cache. I don’t think its ranking in 2005 can be blamed on the success of the likes of The 40-Year Old Virgin due to the commercially-inclined lists. Many films that are very small arthouse pictures place much better than 21st on this website. Cache simply couldn’t get enough votes. Maybe it’s been more highly regarded in retrospect.

  166. Eric M. Van

    [Taking off data wrangling hat and putting on the film buff chapeau] I’m thrilled to see Midnight Special solidifying its spot. If it doesn’t end up in my to 10, it’ll just miss. It was widely misunderstood — it’s a parable about parenthood, and as such it’s deeply moving. And it’s also a thought-provoking examination of some other thematic stuff, and as such it’s very thought-provoking. What it’s not is a conventional sci-fi adventure, even though it has an ostensible thriller structure.

  167. Eric M. Van

    I just found on my hard drive the complete lists, by critic, for 2001 through 2004, grabbed from a prior incarnation of this project where they were made available. That may come in handy if we ever get around to providing full lists for as many years as possible.

    One thing you can do when you have all the lists of the individual critics is to take your own top 10 list and then derive a customized ranked list of all films from that year, based on just the critics who included one or more of your films (weighted by where you ranked each film and where they ranked it, when that’s available). This can be done both on an absolute basis and relative to the consensus, so if you agree with the latter, you can still find films that you might not aware you would especially like. I can do this in Excel, but I dream of automating this process (someone else would have to write the code!) so that it could be made available to cinephiles.

    • Anonymous

      Again, sorry to bother you, I love this site, and I consider it a good companion for recs, along with TSPDT, which I use for classic films, more than more recent / popular (1980-1999 sections) ones like this one. I guess, I would like for 2017, if the site updates 1980-1988, and 1992+1993, with BOTY lists not from the film poll.

      • Eric M. Van

        I alluded to this already when I talked about finding old reviews. Like the review, those older year-end lists just aren’t available. There was no Internet. Lists appeared in local newspapers, were seen by local readers, and with luck, were saved by local libraries on microfilm; without luck, they’ve been lost.

  168. Eric M. Van

    This is strange, and it turns out to be very interesting and telling.

    Here is the number of foreign language feature films in the top 10, plus the number ranking 21 through 50, for each year of this decade:

    2010: 0, 14
    2011: 1, 7
    2012: 2, 9
    2013: 1, 12
    2014: 1, 9
    2015: 0, 13
    2016: 3, 3.

    The number of foreign language films in the top 10 is a statistically significant predictor of the total number on the list. The more such films in the top 10, the fewer on the entire list. You can explain 61% of the list total by looking at the top 10 total (r = .78, p < .04).

    It sure seems to me that there a number of critics who make a point of getting one foreign film on their list. But just one! Hence, when there's widespread agreement on the year's best foreign films, fewer others get mentioned. The lone votes this year tented to settle on the same three films. When there's no obvious frontrunners, as in 2010 and 2015, many more films make the lower region of the list.

    Another reason to publish the full list and/or extend the list to 65 or even 75.

    • Eric M. Van

      The last time there were 3 foreign feature films in the top 10 was 2002, and a glorious trio of films they were: Y Tu Mama Tambien, Talk to Her, and Spirited Away. There were 12 total foreign films on the list instead of the 7 you’d expect from the 2010-2016 pattern. But there were only 360 lists that year, versus the 942 this year (so far). So if there really are critics who have a 1-foreign-film quota, they appear to be largely the newer voices.

      • Anonymous

        BTW, Lion, looks near-locked for a Picture nom come 2 weeks from now. How many BOTY lists did it get on?

  169. Edkargir

    Great job as usual. Please publish all the lists . For both 2015 and 2016

  170. andrew592014

    Amazing work compiling 1003 lists! I think such a glorious year deserves at least 75 titles though! But it’s not me doing the work so I understand if the webmaster will be taking a break now!

  171. Ron Trull

    I think that you have the wrong quote for 2016 “Swiss Army Man”

  172. Ron Trull

    Hi. I love your website. I think that the quote that you have for 2016 “Swiss Army Man” is for the movie 2016 “Captain Fantastic”.

  173. andrew592014

    Since individual lists are not published on this website anymore (I still hope they will be!), I ran through metacritic’s compilation of lists to see which titles got the most mentions outside of the Top 50 films listed here. Metacritic’s work is limited to a smaller sample: 256 lists instead of the whopping 1003 compiled here. But it should give an idea of which films just missed out on being on this page. Here goes:

    (13 mentions)
    I, DanielBlake

    Embrace of the Serpent
    Knight of Cups


    Fire at Sea
    Little Men

    Don’t Think Twice
    Hidden Figures
    The Love Witch

    Mountains May Depart
    The Invitation

    Pete’s Dragon
    Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
    Right Now, Wrong Then
    Sunset Song

    A Monster Calls
    Florence Foster Jenkins
    Happy Hour
    Kate Plays Christine
    Maggie’s Plan
    The Jungle Book
    The Wailing
    Your Name

    • andrew592014

      I forgot Captain Fantastic, which got 10 list mentions. The fact that it was in this Top 50 in the last update got me mixed up.

      • Eric M. Van

        Great work, Andrew. We now know that (supposed almost Best Picture) Lion may not have even been in the top 70, and unlike Hidden Figures, it didn’t have the excuse of a late December release.

        I certainly hope we can get, if not the individual lists, full lists for each year up on the website … our webmaster needs to send me some data (nudge nudge)!

        And now a film-buff comment: the best film not on the list is unquestionably A Monster Calls, which I think is (after Pan’s Labyrinth and The Fall) one of the three great post-LOTR fantasy films. All three deal with the nature of story as a way of dealing with loss. It’s the only feature film in my top 25 that isn’t in the top 50 here, and I actually have it 5th, after the same top 4 that’s the consensus.

  174. heinzwill

    Not since 2009’s The Blind Side, we have two films nominated for Best Picture that are not on the top 50.

    • Eric M. Van

      Not quite right — in 2011, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was nowhere close (66 in my ranking). To clarify, this year’s two entries (Hidden Figures and Lion) double the previous total. Hidden Figures came out very late and I bet wasn’t seen by some critics, though.

      • AdamL

        ELAIC is another that shows if you’re nominating more than 5 you run the risk of letting in something appalling. It’s District 9 level bad.

      • andrew592014

        Do you have this year’s lists then? Could you possibly let us know what are the 5-10 movies that just missed out? That would be appreciated!

      • heinzwill

        Oh right. I forgot about that one

  175. Edkargir

    The top 5 films got nominated for best picture . I had 4 of the 5 on my top 10
    list . I did not like arrival.
    This is a good argument for the academy to go back to 5 bp nominations.

    • AdamL

      Yeah I don’t like 9 nominees or whatever. Lion didn’t even make the top 50 here and somehow gets a Best Pic nom. Very strange.

    • Eric M. Van

      WTF? WTFF? The #5 film, Hell or High Water, which immensely deserved its nom, would have had no chance at all in the old system. So I think what you mean is “this is proof of the importance of the expanded ballot.” The downside to omitting a film that deserved it is much larger than the downside of nominating a film that didn’t deserve it. You’re basically saying, it sucks that Lion got a nom, so, let’s go back to the system where it or Hacksaw Ridge getting a nom would have also deprived a deserving film.

      Given the Academy’s notorious bias against sci-fi and action films, I don’t think there’s any way last year’s colossal #1, Max Max: Fury Road, gets its nomination. After all, they went to 6-10 films the year after The Dark Knight got the most critics picks for #1 film of the year AND topped the domestic box office and didn’t even get a nom.

      Going backwards in time, Brooklyn and Room, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nebraska, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Winter’s Bone, District 9 and A Serious Man … the list of clearly deserving films that wouldn’t have made a 5-film ballot starts there and is probably much longer.

      • AdamL

        District 9 is one of the most laughable Best Picture nominations of all time. The Dark Knight would have been close to being just as laughable if it had been nominated. These are worlds and worlds away from the quality of Mad Max.

      • videovideo2

        What’s next for CriticsTop10 after this? Retiring until December?

    • heinzwill

      Well most people did like Arrival, including many other award organizations other than the Academy.

  176. Come on.. The Jungle Book has more merit as a movie than Civil War, Moana and Zootopia.. Even perhaps than Hell or High Water…

  177. Edkargir

    If your 2016 lists are done, please supply the individual critics top 10 lists.
    Thank you

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