Over the past couple years, I’ve been busy collecting top 10 lists, dating back to 1970.  It is my hope to someday (hopefully soon) update the website to include top 10 tallies dating back to 1922 (with the help of the Awards Daily Polls).  With this, I plan to overhaul the website to make it more user friendly and include individual critics’ lists.  However, I would like to have a minimum of 100 lists from each year to make the updates worth the effort.  Therefore, I’m asking for your help.  If, for any reason, you have a collection of top 10 lists from 1970 – 1985, please email them to criticstop10@gmail.com.

Also, many libraries have archives and access to online databases that make it reasonably easy to find additional top 10 lists.  If you’d like to help make Critics Top 10 expand to include earlier years, please consider seeing what is available at your local library or University.

Below is a list of fifty publications that are currently not included, but have been referenced in “one of the year’s ten best” advertisements through the 1970s.  If your library has access to any of these publications, and you’re willing to help out, please send the lists to criticstop10@gmail.com as well.

Available Lists - 1970s

This list isn’t exclusive, and lists not mentioned above are definitely welcome, too. However, there are a few requirements in what lists to include:

  • The lists must be published, either in a newspaper, magazine or TV/radio program.  Please do not send in your personal favorites, unless you were a published critic during this timeframe.
  • The list must have been published within a few months of the end of the year that is being discussed.  Please don’t send me lists that were published in the 2000s regarding the best movies of 1975.
  • The lists should be from the publication’s critic – not from readers who write in to the newspaper to list their favorites.

Finally, to help determine which publications to look through, I have included lists of critics that are currently included for 1970 – 1985, which are available at here.

Thank you!

Critics Top 10

427 thoughts on “

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.”

  15. 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 coleandbobby.com. Thanks!

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

  19. 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.

  20. re @Nathaniel

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

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

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

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

  24. 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

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

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

  26. 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?

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

  28. 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.

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

  30. 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!

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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?

  34. 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?

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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!!!

  41. 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.

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

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

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. “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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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

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

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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!!!!

  53. , 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.

  54. 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…

  55. 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??

  56. 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.

  57. 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!

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

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

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

  66. 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

  67. 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

  68. 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

  69. 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

  70. 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

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

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

  73. 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.

  74. 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?

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

  76. 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…

  77. 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.


  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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

  81. 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!

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

  83. 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]

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

  85. 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.

  86. 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

  87. 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.

  88. 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

  89. 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!

  90. 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) 😉

  91. 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.

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

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

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

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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!

  102. “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.

  103. “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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.)

  106. 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.

  107. 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.)

  108. 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?

  109. 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.”

  110. 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 criticstop10.com 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.

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

  112. 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.

  113. 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

  114. Also possible in the Top 20:
    The Look of Silence
    45 Years
    The End of the Tour
    Wild Tales

  115. 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.

  116. 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

  117. 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.

  118. I searched for it on Web Archive and it’s not there. It was only up for a few days. I doubt that the internet archives crawled that page.

  119. 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

  120. 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!!

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

  122. 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!

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

  124. 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!

  125. 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.

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

  127. 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

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

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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

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

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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. :-/

  136. 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!)

  137. 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.

  138. 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!

  139. 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?

  140. Sorry, meant to say that I FIND your statement hyperbolic. Should have proof-read that.

  141. 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).

  142. 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.

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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!

  154. 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

  155. 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)

  156. 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!

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. I’m particularly interested 1991. I’m familiar with these LA Times polls. The top 2 in 1991 were Silence of the Lambs (19) and Thelma and Louise (12). None others were listed because no other films received more than 7 votes! The article talked about how it was a bad year for film so most of the top ten lists were filled with personal favorites with little consensus between them. But if our webmaster has access to the results and knows which films got 6 or 7 votes or whatever I’d love to know!

  160. 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.)

  161. 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.


  162. 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.

  163. 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 “https://criticstop10.com/best-of-2014-2”.
    All I can ask is for the creator(s) of this site to think about it.

  164. 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.

  165. 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


  166. Kirk4,
    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).

  167. 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?

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. Certain Women
    Everybody Wants Some!!
    Green Room
    The Lobster
    Toni Erdmann

    OJ: Made in America could contend, but that’s contingent on critics classifying it as a movie.

  171. I predict that the Top 10 will look something like this:

    1. Moonlight
    2. Manchester by the Sea
    3. Zootopia
    4. The Witch
    5. Hell or High Water
    6. Arrival
    7. La La Land
    8. The Nice Guys
    9. Silence
    10. Kubo and the Two Strings

    Jackie, Sing Street and Love & Friendship will make the Top 20 for sure.

  172. 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

  173. oh damn I realized I forgot to include Deadpool. All the people with no taste will be including that

  174. 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.

  175. 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!

  176. 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.

  177. 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.

  178. 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?

  179. 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.

  180. 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*, TheyShootPitcures.com 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.

  181. 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.

  182. 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.

  183. 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.

  184. Dear EMV,

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

  185. 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.

  186. [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.

  187. 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.

  188. 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.

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

  191. 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.

  192. 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.

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

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

  195. 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!

  196. 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”.

  197. 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

  198. 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.

  199. 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.

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

  201. 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.

  202. 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.

  203. 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.

  204. 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.

  205. 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.

  206. 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.

  207. 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!

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

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

  210. I really hope at least 1997, 1998 and 1999 will be expanded as they all have 150+ lists counted.

  211. Time for another Top 10 prediction, methinks. This is more or less how I see the list turning out this year.

    1. Call Me by Your Name
    2. Blade Runner 2049
    3. Dunkirk
    4. The Shape of Water
    5. Lady Bird
    6. Get Out
    7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    8. Baby Driver
    9. BPM
    10. Wonder Woman

    Meanwhile Logan, The Big Sick and The Florida Project all end up in the Top 20.

  212. actually on second thoughts florida project will almost certainly crack top 10, but whatever. i’ll keep the list the way it is.

  213. 1. Call Me By Your Name
    2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    3. Dunkirk
    4. The Shape of Water
    5. Blade Runner 2049
    6. Get Out
    7. The Big Sick
    8. The Florida Project
    9. Lady Bird
    10. Baby Driver
    11. Logan
    12. Mudbound
    13. A Ghost Story
    14. War for the Planet of the Apes
    15. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    16. Wonder Woman
    17. The Salesman
    18. I, Tonya
    19. The Red Turtle
    20. Columbus

  214. I think Andrew probably has the top 10 correct, but I think the order might be a bit different. I think Dunkirk will take the top spot because it will be seen by more people at year end and it received high marks from people and critics.

    01. Dunkirk
    02. Call Me By Your Name
    03. Get Out
    04. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    05. The Shape of Water
    06. Blade Runner 2049
    07. Lady Bird
    08. Baby Driver
    09. The Big Sick
    10. The Florida Project

    11 through 20:
    The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    Wonder Woman
    War of the Planet of the Apes
    A Ghost Story
    The Salesman
    The Disaster Artist
    Good Time

  215. Based on Guadagnino’s track record, it wouldn’t shock me at all if Call Me By Your Name doesn’t finish in the top 5. Every year there’s a film that festival critics overrate, in part because of its subject matter. The Birth of a Nation has a Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating of 6.7, which is about right. I’d love to know what it was before it actually opened, but I’m guessing it was about 8.0.

    I think mother! will make the to 20. Maybe easily. People who love it (and I’m one) are crazy about it.

    Six forthcoming films worth keeping in mind: Happy End (Michael Haneke) and A Fantastic Woman (Sebastian Lelio [Gloria]); Wonderstruck and Downsizing (I suspect festival critics are less likely to ‘get’ fantastic narratives), and two unseen films, Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Phantom Thread (or whatever else they might call it).

    See my next post for some more possibilities.

  216. Top 30 films of the year so far (minimum 65 Rotten Tomatoes reviews) based on a combination of Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating and IMDB Score (converted into a 10-point scale). *Indicates a film just released and likely to drop down at least a bit.

    Sc Title
    9.1 Dunkirk
    9.0 *Blade Runner 2049
    9.0 Your Name.
    8.8 *The Florida Project
    8.6 Logan
    8.6 My Life as a Zucchini
    8.6 The Big Sick
    8.6 Get Out
    8.6 *Columbus
    8.5 Baby Driver
    8.5 War For the Planet of the Apes
    8.5 The Salesman
    8.5 The Red Turtle
    8.4 Kedi
    8.4 *Lucky
    8.3 Graduation
    8.3 Wind River
    8.2 Good Time
    8.2 After the Storm
    8.2 Wonder Woman
    8.2 Spider-Man: Homecoming
    8.1 *Stronger
    8.1 Detroit
    8.0 *It
    8.0 Okja
    8.0 The LEGO Batman Movie
    8.0 Frantz
    8.0 John Wick: Chapter 2
    8.0 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    8.0 A Ghost Story

    Five noteworthy recent films that don’t yet have 65 reviews (and few votes at IMDB):

    9.0 Faces Places
    8.5 Ex Libris: New York Public Library
    8.4 In This Corner of the World
    8.1 Sieranevada
    8.1 First They Killed My Father

  217. Revised top 20 prediction, after looking more closely at the strength of reviews and how widely seen by critics the movies are. This list excludes any unseen film… bearing in mind that any film seen only in festivals has a more shaky (subject-to-change) placing. There are always surprises in the end… a film that ends up higher than its reviews or any other signs would suggest (maybe it ages better in the mind of viewers – there are no numbers online for that) and vice versa… for example Guardians of the Galaxy as high as 8th in 2014. But the following is based on my evaluation of the data we have at our disposal…

    1. Call Me By Your Name
    2. Dunkirk
    3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    4. The Shape of Water
    5. Blade Runner 2049
    6. The Florida Project
    7. Get Out
    8. Lady Bird
    9. The Big Sick
    10. Baby Driver

    11. Mudbound
    12. Logan
    13. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    14. Wonder Woman
    15. War for the Planet of the Apes
    16. A Ghost Story
    17. Graduation
    18. Columbus
    19. The Red Turtle
    20. The Salesman

    – Still think Call Me By Your Name’s unbelievable critical reception (if it can hold after theatrical release) will carry it over Dunkirk but these two are very close.
    – I hesitated a lot about War for the Planet of the Apes. If we go by reviews and popularity it would be in the top 10. But the previous entry in the franchise hasn’t fared well in critics’ lists despite great reviews (as low as 30th). Still, reviews are hailing this one as one of the best conclusions to a trilogy and that status of a conclusion I think will help it make the top 15.
    – Spider-Man: Homecoming would have been there in any other year but misses out in my view on account of a very crowded blockbuster field.
    – #17 to #20 are up for grabs but I see them going to these smaller indie movies. If anything else can challenge them it’s Detroit but I don’t think either its reviews or run at the box office have been too impressive.

  218. If Baby Driver cracks the top ten then critics have appalling taste (and the rest of the year will be a bust.) Hope not!

  219. Daarnaast kunt u rimpelvorming voorkomen met diverse behandelingen. Beste middel tegen striae vlog libido.cremes.amsterdam. Britse vrouwen denken een wondermiddel ontdekt te hebben.

  220. I see that you got 1990-1994 up to 25 movies. Can you do the same thing to 1995-1999?

  221. I’m sure Baby Driver will crack the top ten. If Scott Pilgrim vs the World got to #11 in 2010, I’m sure Baby Driver will do pretty well on the top ten lists.

  222. Prediction:
    1. Call Me By Your Name
    2. Dunkirk
    3. Lady Bird
    4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    5. The Post
    6. Get Out
    7. Blade Runner 2049
    8. The Shape of Water
    9. Baby Driver
    10. The Florida Project

    11. Logan
    12. Faces Places
    13. The Big Sick
    14. Coco
    15. Good Time
    16. Mudbound
    17. BPM
    18. Wonder Woman
    19. A Ghost Story
    20. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  223. I mean, I noticed that the number of movies from years 1990-1994 has increased from 20 to 25 each. I would like to see 5 more movies for each of 1995-1999.

  224. Several of the early lists come from publications outside of the US, many of which didn’t get Moonlight until 2017. It will eventually fall off the aggregate list.

  225. ” I think the most surprising thing about the lists so far is how many films have appeared. In the 80s, when Pat McGilligan and Mark Rowland conducted polls, typically a film would need to appear on nine or ten lists to crack the top 20. This year, only six lists are needed to crack the top 20.”

    It’s definitely a great year for film! It’s exciting. I think critics are having a hard time coming up with only ten titles, so we’re seeing a lot of variety. I believe Mudbound and The Killing of a Sacred Deer will also be challenging for a Top 20 spot. Maybe A Ghost Story and Coco too. But there’s also possibilities for surprise packages, as always, and we’re seeing some already such as Personal Shopper which I would have said would end up somewhere in the # 40-50 yet so far is 11th.
    Three Billboards and The Shape of Water would be Top 5 material in any other year I think, yet they’re only 14th and 16th right now. It’s insane. There are just too many good choices 🙂

  226. That’s seriously the best quote you could find to attach to Wonder Woman? C’mon…

  227. Well it’s not like our webmaster to go almost a week without updating. Hope nothing bad has happened to him.

  228. Damn, dude… Are you OK? Even Metacritic has more Top 10s listed than here. Do we know if this guy’s doing alright?

  229. Hi am I right in saying you’re involved in the running of this site? Is everything ok? No updates for 5 days plus. I’m a bit concerned.

  230. Craig, not really involved in running the site, just in sometimes e-mail contact, helping with data analysis (combining votes across years). Haven’t done that in a year, though.

  231. Hi am i correct in saying youre involved in the running of this site? Is everything ok. There hasnt been an update for approx a week. Hope all is well as am bit concerned.

  232. Ah. Never mind. Evidently I need to learn to be a little more patient! Happy holidays, webmaster!

  233. The Salesman is getting the shaft from critics who are forgetting that it’s a 2017 film, after it won last year’s Oscar. It’s the only film with a Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating of 7.8 or higher based on 125 or more reviews that hasn’t appeared yet (update of 175 lists). The same thing happened to The Lives of Others — it’s nowhere near as high on its list as it should be.

  234. Actually, the Red Turtle is another — but that’s the same thing; it was a Best Animated Feature nominee, was released 1/20 (a week before The Salesman), and it’s not getting enough mentions because people therefore think of it as a film from last year. There are 20 total films that fit these criteria, BTW.

  235. I’m guessing you don’t include BFI’s Sight and Sound lists? Because a bunch of them put Twin Peaks on their lists.

  236. You forgot I, Daniel Blake also. Similar story. Many considered it a 2016 film but it only got a US release this year.

    One noteworthy film that’s only 2 reviews short of your “125 reviews” cutoff line but has a significantly higher average rating of 8.2/10 is Graduation. It isn’t getting the mentions I thought it would get. But it’s bound to make an appearance here soon since on Metacritic it has more mentions than many of the films here so far.

  237. What a great year for movies! It makes it damn near impossible to predict what will end up in the top 50, but I’ll give it a try!

    1. Get Out
    2. Lady Bird
    3. Call Me By Your Name
    4. The Shape of Water
    5. The Florida Project
    6. Dunkirk
    7. Phantom Thread
    8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    9. Blade Runner 2049
    10. The Big Sick
    11. The Post
    12. A Ghost Story
    13. Wonder Woman
    14. Baby Driver
    15. Good Time
    16. Faces Places
    17. mother!
    18. Personal Shopper
    19. Mudbound
    20. Logan
    21. The Disaster Artist
    22. The Lost City of Z
    23. A Quiet Passion
    24. I, Tonya
    25. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    26. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    27. All the Money in the World
    28. War for the Planet of the Apes
    29. Okja
    30. Coco
    31. Nocturama
    32. BPM (Beats Per Minute)
    33. Raw
    34. Wind River
    35. Thor: Ragnarok
    36. Darkest Hour
    37. Columbus
    38. Dawson City: Frozen Time
    39. Detroit
    40. A Fantastic Woman
    41. It Comes at Night
    42. Lady Macbeth
    43. Thelma
    44. The Square
    45. Molly’s Game
    46. Downsizing
    47. Last Flag Flying
    48. The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)
    49. It
    50. God’s Own Country

    But honestly, any of this 20 films could end up in there: Battle of the Sexes; Beach Rats; The Beguiled; Brawl in Cell Block 99; Crown Heights; The Death of Louis XIV; First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers; Foxtrot; Free Fire; Hostiles; Ingrid Goes West; Logan Lucky; Loveless; Marjorie Prime; On Body and Soul; Patti Cake$; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Stronger; Their Finest; Wonderstruck or Zama.

  238. You forgot better movies such as The Emoji Movie, Geostorm, Transformers 5, The Dark Tower, 50 Shades Darker, Nut Job 2, POTC 5, Justice League, The Boss Baby and The Snowman
    Can’t Believe You included any of these movies here (BR2049??? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? GET OUT? BIG SICK???? LADY BIRD??? FLORIDA PROJECT???) WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOOD MOVIE???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  239. Since 2000, Get Out ranks 2nd in percentage of critics who put it in their top 10, and at best 49th in percentage of critics who had it as #1. In fact, the race for the most #1 votes is very much alive, with just 4 votes separating it, The Florida Project, and Call Me B Your Name.

  240. There have been 32 films this year with 50 or more reviews at Rotten Tomatoes who have an average 7.8 or higher between their RT Average Rating and their IMDB User Rating. With the addition of Graduation and Your Name., now all but 6 are on the current list. Four of them are not being perceived as 2018 films: Oscar winner for 2016 The Salesman (7.95), Oscar nominees My Life as a Zucchini (8.0) and The Red Turtle (7.8), and I, Daniel Blake (7.95), which was pulled from December release at the last moment. The other two films, City of Ghosts (7.9) and In This Corner of the World (7.8), are respectively a documentary and an animated film, both with far fewer reviews and IMDB votes than most of the films on the list.

    Four of the five feature films with a 7.6 to 7.8 average are here as well–the exception being After the Storm (7.7). Kore-eda’s films are so modest in their ambitions and yet so exquisitely executed that you’d guess he’d be the one who would make fewer top 10 lists than expected based on the overall high regard. That’s an inherent shortcoming with this way of assessing the year’s best films and why you also want to look at other numbers — or extend the list to 60 or 75 films.

    If you just look at RT Average Rating and include only widely-seen and reviewed live-action feature films, there’s only one other omission among the 12 films with a 7.5 or better –The Meyerowitz Stories (7.7). It may be the most surprising omission. Also worth a mention is Lucky, whose 7.8 RT and 7.7 IMDB is the best pair of scores among unlisted lesser-seen features.

  241. I’m glad to see Twin Peaks: The Return making the list. At first I thought you were actually disqualifying it, which I thought would be wrong since critics were voting for it. I do see it as a film, and there are precedents, and I think years from now we’ll look silly for even debating it. Of course, it’s also TV, as well as neither TV nor movie, and I also think there’s no debating any of that.

    That said, are all the Sight and Sound ballots included? I thought I had counted 24 first place finishes out of the 31 critics who voted for it, but I may be wrong.

  242. It’s quite clearly a TV show by any and every definition. Why not add Big Little Lies while we’re at it?

    The OJ thing from last year was at least released in theatres in its entirety…

  243. Re Twin Peaks … Berlin Alexanderplatz, The Dekalog, and the only version of Fanny and Alexander that Bergman wanted you to watch were all TV series as well. There’s a long tradition of film directors working in TV for the sole reason of telling a story that’s too long for the cinema. Here’s my comment to Ty Burr of the Boston Globe when addressed the issue:

    There is a simple, logically sound, and historically established criterion that can be applied here. If every “episode” of a TV “mini-series” is written and directed by the same people (which almost never happens in ordinary TV), it’s a movie made for television. Otherwise, the only cut of Fanny and Alexander that Bergman didn’t disown is not a film. And neither is The Dekalog, and that’s widely regarded as a film even though it doesn’t even have a through-story.

    Almost all of these long movies for TV are made by experienced film directors, and often by major names. The current trend goes back to at least 2010 with the astonishing Mysteries of Lisbon, although Raoul Ruiz prefers the 2011 4:30 theatrical cut even though major plot threads are missing. 2011, Mildred Pearce ( Todd Haynes). 2012, Parade’s End (Susanna White). 2013, Top of the Lake (Jane Campion). 2014, Olive Kitteridge (Lisa Cholodenko), True Detective (Cary Fukanaga), The Missing (Tom Shankland), and The Honourable Woman (Hugo Blick, the only director on this list who hasn’t previously directed a feature film). 2015, Show Me a Hero (Paul Haggis), Wolf Hall (Peter Kominsky), and from India, Gangs of Wasseypur (Anurag Kashyap). 2016, The Night Of (Steven Zaillian), The Night Manager (Suzanne Bier), The OA (Zal Batmanglij), and War & Peace (Tom Harper). This year also has Big Little Lies (Jean-Marc Vallee), Godless (Scott Frank), and Alias Grace (Mary Harron). And these are just the ones good enough to get on my must-see queue (and the ones I’ve tracked down). Note that 35% of these have been directed by women.

    Somewhere on my hard drive is a thorough historical list, but I know it includes I, Claudius, Pennies From Heaven and The Singing Detective, and (more recently) The Best of Youth.

  244. You could add Big Little Lies, especially since it was directed entirely by one person. Eric outlines this below, and the similar precedents that I was referring to.

    However, the reason Big Little Lies isn’t making as many film lists is because it’s not nearly as good as Twin Peaks, which is making so many lists because it is so monumental that it makes some critics want to include it despite not being strictly a film. Voting for Twin Peaks is like voting Blue Velvet or Mulholland Drive whereas voting for Big Little Lies is like voting for Wild or Dallas Buyers Club.

    Specifically, for what it’s worth, Twin Peaks is also more like cinema than most TV series. It was directed by a film director. It was written in one large chunk, not broken into chapters, and shot the same way, like a film, rather than like episodes. It was designed for the cinema, but screened in your living room. If you take the 18-hour plunge and watch it all in a single sitting, it flows like a film; you can’t tell where one episode ends and another begins; roadhouse performances further reveal themselves as mood pieces, just as likely to occur in the middle of an hour as at the end of one; Parts (aka “episodes”) begin and end softly without any narrative resolution. As a whole, it ebbs and flows and resembles the structure of something like Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire.

    And it is being theatrically screened in its entirety at MOMA.

  245. He only includes the final tally of the Sight and Sound poll, not the individual votes.

  246. If there’s ever a year to go to 60 films or more, this has to be it. The latest update bumped Your Name., Colossal, Jane, Graduation, and God’s Own Country, which I have ranked 6, 10, 16, 21, and 30 respectively. And I’ve seen all of the top 30 except 16 through 18, plus nine of the other 20, and I’m anything but an eccentric rater. My top 5 non-fantastic films are The Florida Project, Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards, and Phantom Thread in that order (3, 2, 4, 6, and 5 among non-fantastic films here), and the top 6 fantastic films here, along with Your Name. and Colossal, constitute my top 8.

  247. For those wondering, Zama is an April 2018 film that critics saw at Toronto and other festivals. Other 2018 films that some critics are jumping the gun on are A Fantastic Woman and Foxtrot.

  248. I’ve never inquired about this and maybe it’s obvious, but is it possible to look at the individual lists? I’m really curious where Twin Peaks falls on the lists of those who included it yet don’t have it #1.

  249. It appears there is a typo in The Shape of Water’s tally. It was 206 in the last update and is now 203.

  250. Quite an abundant year 2017 was for “very good” movies. In a good year, I hand out 4 stars out of 4 to about a dozen movies. In a great year, 20ish. In 2017, I only gave about a dozen movies 4 stars, but the number of 3.5’s just might be the longest I’ve ever seen in the 20+ years I’ve been keeping track. I think there are 3 docs on this entire list. There should be more, like “LA 92” or “I Called Him Morgan” or “Whose Streets?” or “The Work”. And then there are a bunch of indie & foreign films that should be on more lists, from “Beach Rats” to “Gook” to “Heal The Living” to “After the Storm”.

  251. Last year you had 1040 lists . It does not appear you will come close to that number. Does it have to do with indiewi
    wire did not publish the Croats lists and village voice did not have s poll this year?
    At some point can you publish all your lists?
    Thank you

  252. Village Voice poll is still coming. They just did it later this year, according to critic Bilge Ebiri. I saw the invitations to participate, which state that anything is eligible that the critics consider a film, no matter where they saw it (theater, TV, etc), just as long as it premiered in the US in 2017.

  253. It looks like 1930 through 1952 have the full Top 10 linked to via the footnotes on the above Wikipedia page. 1957, 1963-1969 should all be there in full as well if you click their footnotes.

  254. Theoretically, we could utilize this data and up with the site having the full Top 10 for 1922 through 1969 and only be missing 1970-1979!

    Also, “The Media History Digital Library has scans of the archive of Film Daily from 1918–48 available online as of 2015.” So, 1922-1929 should all be find-able if we look through the archive.

    I’ll even do the work trying to find these and typing them up if the site owner is willing to put up the content on here.

  255. Alright, so this guy on here named Kirk4 brought this up back in October 2016 but it kind of got lost in the shuffle. He actually found someone that has a blog and they found the entire “honor roll” of films with 10 or more votes. For example:

    The Film Daily’s Ten Best Pictures of 1961
    1) The Guns of Navarone- 187
    2) The Hustler- 167
    3) Breakfast at Tiffany’s- 161
    4) Fanny- 159
    5) West Side Story- 155
    6) Judgement of Nuremberg- 150
    7) The Parent Trap- 128
    8) Exodus (1960)- 126
    9) Splendor in the Grass- 122
    10) The Mark- 117

    The Honor Roll:
    11) The World of Suzie Wong (1960)- 77
    12) A Raisin in the Sun- 60
    13) The Alamo (1960)- 58
    14) King of Kings- 52
    15) Pocketful of Miracles- 48
    16) Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)- 42
    17) The Absent-Minded Professor- 40
    18) One-Eyed Jacks- 35
    19) The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone- 28
    20) Come September- 27
    21) Swiss Family Robinson (1960)- 25
    22) Bachelor in Paradise- 24
    23) 101 Dalmatians- 23
    24) Devil at 4 O’Clock- 21
    Where the Boys Are (1960)- 21
    25) Pepe (1960)- 20
    Summer and Smoke- 20
    27) The Pleasure of His Company- 19
    28) Cimarron- 18
    29) Francis of Assisi- 17
    30) Romanoff and Juliet- 15
    31) The Great Imposter- 14
    Parrish- 14
    33) La Dolce Vita (1960)- 13
    The Grass is Greener- 13
    35) The Village of the Damned- 12
    36) Return to Peyton Place- 11

    Again, if the site owner is willing to work on this, he could really flesh out the site even more. This Film Daily data is LITERALLY what he’s looking for. A poll of hundreds of critics taken AT THE TIME these films were being released.


  256. I appreciate the offer, but it’s not necessary since I already have the full Film Daily results from 1922 to 1969. I hope to include them at some point, but it might be years before I’m at that point. Also, unfortunately, the later years do not include the number of lists, and only the very early years are all the lists available. I appreciate the offer to help though, and hopefully someday I’ll be able to include rankings from 1922 forward.

  257. It’s really interesting and informative to look at where the eventual Oscar Best Picture winner ranked in first-place votes. In the last 11 years, 10 of the 11 winners ranked either first or second among films that earned a nomination, and 8 of them ranked 1st or 2nd, period.

    t = tie, vt = virtual tie (missed by 1 or 2 votes), jb = just barely (edge of just 1 or 2 votes), and nn = not nominated

    2002: t2, Chicago (Far From Heaven [nn], Adaptation [nn])
    2003: 1, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    2004: vt4, Million Dollar Baby (Sideways, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [nn], Before Sunset [nn], The Aviator)
    2005: 4, Crash (Brokeback Mountain, A History of Violence [nn], Capote)
    2006: 2, The Departed (United 93 [nn])
    2007: 1, No Country for Old Men
    2008: 2, Slumdog Millionaire (The Dark Knight [nn])
    2009: 1, The Hurt Locker
    2010: jb5, The King’s Speech (The Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, Winter’s Bone; 127 Hours)
    2011: 3, The Artist (Drive [nn], The Tree of Life)
    2012: jb3, Argo (Zero Dark Thirty, The Master [nn]; Moonrise Kingdom [nn])
    2013: 1, 12 Years a Slave
    2014: 2, Birdman (Boyhood)
    2015: 2, Spotlight (Mad Max: Fury Road)
    2016: 1, Moonlight

    If you use the principle that the top-ranked non-arthouse and non-fantastic nominated film wins, you’re right 8 of the last 11 years. The exceptions are The King’s Speech over The Social Network (the classic example of effective campaigning), Argo over Zero Dark Thirty (widely perceived as helped by a reaction to Affleck’s Best Director snub), and the reverse case of arthouse Moonlight over La La Land. It will be really interesting to see whether Get Out can produce a reverse-case win while becoming the first sf / fantasy / horror film to win since LOTR: ROTK, and even more interesting to see if The Shape of Water, which is in the running for 3rd place, can break all the rules (including its absence of a SAG Ensemble nomination).

  258. Re: Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow was also snubbed, and that got a pretty big reaction, too. But she was snubbed due to controversy, and I think that controversy is also what sunk the film, with certain stars campaigning against it. So that’s the other thing that helped Argo to win.

  259. Is there any chance you could just post that information in the comments here? Would be nice for a lot of us to have and save to a text file.

    Or potentially even add a page with all that information? Could just be a 1922-1969 link on the main page here with an explanation of the source and then just a list to scroll down. It would be greatly appreciated by most users here.

  260. What exactly are you referring to? I don’t seem to remember any controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty….

    I think what really hurt that film’s chances, and especially those of Bigelow, were the fact that she and her previous film had taken home the top two honors. The Academy wasn’t going to have yet ANOTHER war-on-terror picture win again and they damn sure weren’t going to take the risk of having Bigelow be a nominee because she likely would have won among the relatively weak crowd that year.

  261. When will the Village Voice poll results be announced? Has a specific date been set?

  262. “I don’t seem to remember any controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty”

    There was an absolutely HUGE pushback against the film for its supposed endorsement of advanced interrogation techniques. Glenn Greenwald wrote a very popular piece in The Guardian outlining some of these criticisms. It’s one of the most controversial Best Picture nominees in years.

  263. Ah, thanks for the clarification. Yeah, the evidence shows that these techniques accomplish virtually little and, you know, often violate the Geneva Convention. I likely read the Greenwald article as well, but it’s been years.

  264. Who were the critics that had Your Name at the top of their lists? I know Emily Yoshida at Vulture had at the top of her list but I’d like to find out who the other two were. My favorite film from last year tbh.

  265. The delay in the Village Voice poll is definitely skewing the rankings a bit in favor of the more conventional.

    I saved the totals (total mentions plus first place) of all the films when there were 643 lists. There are now 17% more lists. Here are the top percentage gainers:

    31% Star Wars
    29% John Wick Chapter 2
    29% Logan Lucky
    29% Wind River
    27% The Big Sick
    24% Spider-Man Homecoming
    23% War For Planet of the Apes
    23% The Shape of Water

    And the films that gained the least:

    04% The Square
    07% Lady Macbeth
    07% Raw
    09% Dawson City: Frozen Time
    11% A Quiet Passion
    11% BPM (Beats Per Minute)
    11% Personal Shopper
    11% Faces Places
    12% Call Be By Your Name

  266. During the 2017 Cannes film festival, I visited a website that gives a list of movies screened at the Sundance, Cannes and Berlin film festival. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of the webpage. all I remember is that it lists the movies shown at the festival pointwise with ‘very good’ movies having a score of 9.0/10, and ‘good’ movies having a score of between 6.5 and 9.0. It is not a website, but it resembles a blog, with Cannes data starting from 2010 and Sundance data starting from 2015.

    I am keen on accessing the website again, in light of the conclusion of Sundance 2018. For that reason, if anyone knows any such webpage, could you post it here. For your convenience, I have listed movies which I remember having scored above 9.0 in the database

    Blue is the Warmest Colour
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Mad Max Fury Road
    Inside Out
    Toni Erdmann
    My Life As a Zucchini
    The Death of Louis XII
    Twin Peaks the Return
    Florida Project

    Thanking you in advance

  267. I think you may be referring to this site (although the scores you have listed are off, the same films are doing well here): http://cannes-ratings.herokuapp.com/Sundance2018 , which I believe is a collection of ratings from various polls as well as verified Letterboxd users. It also changed its URL in the past year which is why you might have had trouble finding it.

  268. This is the website… Thanks (i thought the word ‘Cannes’ was there but i wasnt sure. the layout is the same nonetheless

    Thanks for finding it

  269. I’ve looked around and the three that I found were Emily Yoshida, io9 staff, and Alex Biese of Asbury Park Press.

  270. I contacted the Village Voice a week ago, asking whether they did their film poll this year and, if so, when they planned to release it. They have not yet replied.

  271. The overall results are now up. Once they publish the individual lists (and this site gets updated, presumably with a final ranking), Phantom Thread will get a boost and A Shape of Water will take a hit. They have a real problem with critics who have no understanding of and/or taste for the fantastic. I have seven fantastic films in my top 10, and 20 in my top 50.

  272. Happy that Nocturama will get a boost. My #2 of the year. It wasn’t widely seen but I thought it was such a masterfully executed piece of stylized cinema that carried a weight too.

  273. Am I reading your post correct if I interpret it to mean you think Shape is a better movie than Phantom? I honestly think, no offense, that that’s absurd. Cardboard cutout cartoon villains with cringeworthy motivations. A plot with several contrivances and limp dialogue, when it’s not shudderingly obvious. The acting in Phantom is far superior: ditto the score. I love Michae Shannon but even he couldn’t elevate his 2D character. Octavia Spencer played the same part she has played twice before. Jenkins was fine but I was irritated by him at times. Only Hawkins comes out with real credit and that’s almost certainly because she had no dialogue to weigh her down.

    Compare that to Day-Lewis, Manville and Krieps who do not put a foot wrong and give us something totally different to what they’ve payed before.

    I can buy an argument that Shape is better lensed and (just about) better directed (it’s arguable at least) but it wins in very few other metrics. I liked it far enough but your argument that they just don’t like the fantastic doesn’t hold up. Shape is simply not an elite film – it has too many issues, yet for some reason no one really seems to acknowledge them (which is why it was such a funny punchline in the SNL #metoo skit.)

    Of course, if I misunderstood your post, just ignore everything I just said!

  274. Hope this appears in the right place! (as a reply to AdamL re The Shape of Water vs. Phantom Thread). When two movies are as great as The Shape of Water and Phantom Thread, there’s no objective “best.” But I certainly loved the former more than the latter. In terms of objective responses, however, your chief criticism of TSOW is incorrect, because I’ve discussed how nuanced Michael Shannon’s character actually is with perceptive friends of mine, including cinephiles with heavy-duty credentials (who share my love for the movie, BTW). You have to be really careful with those kinds of negative assertions lest you discover that you’re inadvertently revealing that you just missed something. On a second viewing, Shannon’s character is actually remarkably sympathetic in the scene where his career and perhaps his life is threatened by the General. He’s a completely different person when he’s not the boss but the bossed. He reveals that a large part of his self-image is based on traits we would consider admirable and which he cherishes: reliability, love of country, willingness to serve … he is *steadfast* in the epitome. He has the casual racism and severe misogyny of most men of his era and locale. He prefers his women silent, a distasteful psychosexual quirk uncorrelated to the rest of his psyche but useful to the plot. Above all, he is convinced (implicitly because of his religious faith) that the Creature is an abomination, an affront to God, and this is the direct source of most of the behavior we find despicable. That such a belief is uncorrelated to his positive traits is one of the movie’s points.

    TSOW has more to say about more things, and more important things, than Phantom Thread. Based on one viewing (in glorious 70mm), PT is really just about things. It’s a fascinating look at the value of what the Japanese call amae, the (culturally important) feeling of being dependent upon your romantic partner as a child is to a parent. And it’s a brilliant portrait of the creative mind. If you don’t see the thematic depth of TSOW, you’re proving my point that many film viewers (and too many of the Voice critics) aren’t adept at parsing fantastic narratives at the necessary metaphoric level.

  275. Well that’s a very thoughtful response so I appreciate that, even if I don’t agree with everything you said!

    I think one of the reasons I’m a little averse to both Shape and Get Out is precisely *because* they are “trying to say something”. Call Me, Dunkirk and Bladerunner were my top 3 fwiw.

  276. Based on my quick and possibly inaccurate calculations, the movies enjoying the biggest rises will include The Meyerowitz Stories, Personal Shopper, A Quiet Passion, Nocturama, and Columbus. The films that will drop the most are Thor: Ragnarok, The Disaster Artist, IT, and Wind River.

  277. Why specifically these movies? Even if your ‘calculations’ are ‘possibly inaccurate’, could you elaborate on them?

  278. 400 COMMENTS!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  279. I just tallied up the individual ballots from the Village Voice poll and plugged them into what the current top 50 was.

  280. The two films that got bumped in the final update were Your Name., which was in my personal top 10 and has terrific Rotten Tomatoes Average and IMDB Ratings, and Wonderstruck, which didn’t. Colossal’s return was very welcome (it’s also in my top 10) while On the Beach At Night Alone was just below my radar until now (while The Other Side of Hope was on it).

    Incidentally, someone is impersonating me, which is pretty weird. “Yes … just be patient” and “400 COMMEMTS” aren’t me (ditto for the two earlier that omitted the period after the M). My posts have the green sharp icon that gives my gravatar account as “ericmvan” (of all the wacky things) while the imposter has a blue icon which gives the account as “false,” which is true.

    I’ll have a winners and losers of the last update tomorrow.

  281. “Twin Peaks: The Return had the lowest average placement out of films that cracked the top 50, with an average placement of 2.02. The next lowest was Call Me By Your Name at 4.27” – Maybe you meant the highest?

  282. Looking back on this now that the list is out, I did pretty good. Had all of the top 17 in my top 21. Only missing out on I, Tonya, Personal Shopper and mother!, all of which I definitely would have been predicting in my top 30.

    Mistakes were clearly:
    -Underestimating Get Out’s dominance, as I thought it would appear just on more mainstream lists, but this clearly was not the case, and thinking Call Me By Your Name would be the dominant film instead.
    -Overestimating The Post, but to be fair it hadn’t come out yet when I made this report and there were no official reviews, just early reports
    -Overestimating Faces Places, BPM and Coco, all just because of a belief that the trend of recent years that at least 1 documentary, foreign language and animated film would rank in the top 20. Instead they were at 23, 30, and 27 respectively. I believe this is is the first year in quite a while to not have any films in these 3 categories in the top 20, I am not sure. However I was correct in assuming that Faces Places would be the highest ranking doc and foreign film and that Coco would be the highest animated film, and I was close to thinking BPM would be the highest non-documentary foreign language film (beat out by 4 places by Nocturama at 26th.

    Also while I’m at it, highest ranked foreign language films:
    23. Faces Places
    26. Nocturama
    30. BPM
    32. Okja (half of it)
    35. The Square (most of it)
    39. Raw
    47. On the Beach at Night Alone
    50. The Other Side of Hope

  283. Top ranked foreign films:
    23. Faces Places
    26. Nocturama
    30. BPM
    32. Okja (half of it)
    35. The Square (most of it)
    39. Raw
    47. On the Beach at Night Alone
    50. The Other Side of Hope

  284. And comparing this to my top 10, 7/10 appear in the top 50, which is pretty good.
    1. Phantom Thread (#8)
    2. Marjorie Prime (NA)
    3. Call Me By Your Name (#5)
    4. Nocturama (#26)
    5. My Life as a Zucchini (NA)
    6. The Work (NA)
    7. The Meyerowitz Stories (#41)
    8. On the Beach at Night Alone (#47)
    9. Blade Runner 2049 (#9)
    10. Ex: Libris The New York Public Library (#38)

    Also my 11-13 are Columbus, Lady Bird and Personal Shopper, all of which made it <3

    And finally if I did include Twin Peaks: The Return on my list, something I was considering but instead opted against in favor of solely feature films, it would be my #2 behind PT, so thats another in the top 50 here in my personal top 10.

    Only films I haven't seen yet on the top 50 are:
    Thor: Ragnarok (#33) [want to see eventually, but I don't care much for Marvel but will do it for Taika]
    IT (#37) [don't want to see]
    Spider-Man: Homecoming (#48) [don't want to see, see above complaint against Marvel]
    The Other Side of Hope (#50) [want to see]

    47/51 I believe is best I've had by the time the list is posted since I started following this site 6 years ago.

  285. As previously noted, there are four omitted films that are not surprises because they were treated by many critics as 2016 films:

    The Salesman
    I Daniel Blake
    My Life as a Zucchini
    The Red Turtle

    The two most stunning omissions remain:

    God’s Own Country

    Given their reviews, I can’t begin to explain that.

    Including the tie for 50 and the two films bumped in the final update, that gets you to 59 films.

    A list of other films you’d expect to see if the list went further than 60, in rough order:

    After the Storm
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    Jane (which did appear at one point)
    First They Killed My Father
    City of Ghosts
    The LEGO Batman Movie
    Molly’s Game
    Marjorie Prime

    That’s just based on the Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating (tweaked by the total number of reviews). What we don’t know without the full list is which films were like Nocturama and made many more top 10 lists than you’d expect from their average critical response.

    Speaking personally … my favorite 15 omissions include 11 named above, including the top 7 and 9 of the top 10: Your Name.(1), Marjorie Prime (2), Lucky (3), Jane (4), I, Daniel Blake (6), The Red Turtle (9), The Salesman (10), After the Storm (11), God’s Own Country (12), My Life as a Zuchhini (14), The LEGO Batman Movie (15). (And I haven’t yet seen First They Killed My Father, Truman, Menashe, or Frantz, so the correlation may be even stronger).

    That leaves:

    5. Brigsby Bear
    7. Thelma
    8. The Bad Batch
    13. Maudie.

    All but Thelma were seriously misunderstood by many critics (Thelma was simply underrated). My fellow local cinephiles agree they got Maudie wrong.

  286. If a film is “seriously misunderstood” by a large percentage of people whose very job it is to analyze, review and judge the quality of films, what fault lies with the filmmaker (as opposed the critic?)

  287. Usually, none at all. First of all, it can take as few as 20% of critics to whiff on a movie to kill its online scores. 7 of 35 Metacritic reviews gave Maudie an 88 or better, but another 7 gave it a 50 or below.

    But it’s in the nature of film criticism that they sometimes get it wrong. They see so many films, and so many are predictable, that they get n the habit of creating expectations and then seeing if they are confirmed. (That Roger Ebert almost never did this is one of the reasons he was the best.) I just happened to write about this on Quora:

    “It’s a critic’s job to decide a) what a movie is about and b) how good it is. That, after all, is what they have to type up as soon as they see it.

    Critics can get a movie wrong when they decide these things *before the movie is over* (sometimes, it seems, *before it even begins*) and then start looking for evidence that backs up their belief. … Critics had two complaints about Maudie: it’s overly sentimental and Ethan Hawke isn’t very convincing. In fact, Hawke is cast so completely against type that I didn’t recognize him (I’m not great with faces, but I’ve never done that with him), and I thought that whoever was playing the male lead was tremendous. If a critic decides that Ethan Hawke must be playing an Ethan Hawke character when he isn’t, he’ll be unconvincing, and then there’s no emotional connection and the sentiment seems unearned.”

    The Bad Batch got excoriated by critics and audiences because it was marketed as a “cannibal romance” when it’s actually an arthouse science fiction film. It is indeed a terrible cannibal romance (there’s little of either element), and if you go in and watch for that, you will find it falling way short.

    I go out of my way to watch the film that’s on the screen with no prior expectations. I’ll often rent or stream a movie knowing little about it other than it’s reputation for quality. The vast majority of the times when I think a film is much better than the critical response, the reviews indicate very clearly what assumptions had colored the criticism.

    There is also the phenomenon of correctly deciding at a certain point that a film just hasn’t been any good, and then *looking for confirmation* rather than continuing to watch it with an open mind. Wonder Wheel was actually quite good after a wretched first scene (which Allen apparently shot first). There was a zombie flick two years ago called Maggie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose first 20 or 30 minutes were simply not good. Then there was a surprisingly great scene, and I thought, wow, too bad the whole movie couldn’t be like this fluke … and then the rest of the film was nearly at that level. It has a 5.7 score at Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.6 at IMDB, which I think are fair scores for the first third. I gave it a 7.8 (closer to must-see than merely should-see). So almost everyone gave up on it.

  288. I have a 16th movie to add to my list of favorite omissions (Ingrid Goes West), and it leads to a further thought about the phenomenon of critics missing a movie. The folks making an excellent indie film are not only in most cases smarter about film than many critics, they’ve thought for years about the meaning of their film, where the average critic has spent an hour at tops.

    Ingrid Goes West is about Instragram celebrities and their followers (OK, stalkers), and the obvious message is that it’s pathetic to live your life on your cellphone. The easy argument to make is that people who do this are incapable of forming genuine human attachments and use their cellphones as a substitute. The film’s actual argument is that people who are addicted to their phones are entirely capable of forming genuine human bonds, but have actually come to prefer “likes” from a hundred strangers to love from one friend. The only way to make that argument is to SHOW that the characters can be fully human, and the film does that unequivocally (and beautifully, thanks to great performances from Audrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen). I suspect that some critics thought these scenes were pointless because they were undercutting what they thought was the film’s (stupider) message. And hence you get critics slamming the ending as “gooey” when it’s actually a tragic knife-twist.

    There’s (alas) no requirement that a film critic be sharp at parsing either narrative or human relationships. They just need to know film and write well.

  289. @Eric, appreciate the thoughtful responses to my question, but in the case of Ingrid Goes West, Metacritic lists 31 favorable and just 5 mixed reviews. On RT it’s at 85%. I just don’t see how you can claim critics are off base on this, unless you are expecting 100% agreement amongst critics on every film, which would be tedious in the extreme. The critical consensus on RT reads “Led by strong performances from Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, Ingrid Goes West delivers smart, topical humor underlined by timely social observations” which pretty much nails it IMO. It’s in my top 15 of the year, so – yes – I would have liked to see it crack the top 50 on here, but had they factored in my own top 10 then I would have been as guilty of overlooking Ingrid as all of the critics you are saying misunderstood it. From what I can gather from the few negatives reviews that are out there, only Time Out called the ending gooey. One critic does not a consensus make.

  290. I actually wasn’t consciously using Ingrid as an example of missed consensus, just as an example of how a critic can miss a film.

    But in fact the critics who didn’t get Ingrid did kill everything but its Tomatometer, which survived because of all the mildly positive reviews from critics who thought it was good but deeply flawed. Its 7.1 Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating (generally a better indicator of quality) puts it in a seven-way tie for 102nd among films with 50 reviews or 5000 IMDB votes. Its Metacritic score of 71 is precisely as impressive (if you know how to get their ranked list of all films of the year, it’s 225th). I would never have rented it if it weren’t for Netflix’s algorithm predicting a 4.1/5.0 for me, which is always a film I’m glad I saw.

    I agree that you’ll never get a 100% consensus of stuff that’s subjective. But critics do get things objectively wrong. Sometimes even good critics. And that can downgrade a terrific film’s response to one of a run-of-the-mill good one.

  291. Agreed. He has access to the data for those older years that I had mentioned above in the comics. Even if it’s just a single page (for now or forever), it would be nice to be able for us to actually see those lists from the 1920s through 1960s.

  292. Baby Driver is at no.12, so it turns out that critics do not have an appalling taste… Well?

  293. Well, I absolutely love how in-depth you are planning on going for 1970-onward along with finally getting up the Awards Daily polls from the 1920s through 1969.

    And my favorite part of using these lists? Watching the movies of course!

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