Q&A

How are the rankings determined?

Films are sorted by the percentage of lists they are included on this.  Is typically the same as sorting by number of lists included, but can vary when films make lists across multiple years.  For example, if one film makes 10 lists in a year with 100 lists available, it’s ranking will be higher than a film that makes 15 lists when 200 lists are available.  The times a film appears at the top of a list is used as a tie-breaker.

How are Best of the Decade rankings determined?

Best of the Decade rankings are done the same way, by calculating the percentage of eligible lists that they appear on.  There is no adjustment based on the quality of the overall film year, thus giving a slight advantage to good films that appear in bad years.

How are films that are on lists multiple years handled?

Lists are included as long as the list year is within three years of the film’s release date.  This requirements helps prevent reissues from helping a film’s ranking makes working with the data easier.

How is the film’s year selected for films that are on lists in multiple years?

I have made an attempt to include all films in the year of its American release date.  This corresponds to its eligibility for award consideration at the Academy Awards.  Typically, this corresponds to the year that the film appeared on the most lists, but not always.

Who are the “Top Film Critics”

At this time, any critic included in Rotten Tomatoes is considered a top critic.  Due to the large amount of data, this is not a perfect process and critics are only flagged as a top critic if the spelling of the name on the list matches the name on the reference table.

How is the average rank position determined?

Simply by averaging the rank on ranked lists.  Non-ranked lists are excluded from this field.  Again, data issues do exist and some lists suggest that they’re ranked but do not say so.  With this in mind, I have put together my best effort to have accurate rankings.

How are films that are reissued handled?

They are excluded unless they are named differently than the original film, or released within three years of the original release date. 

Data issues

You may occasionally notice duplicate lists or rankings that might not be accurate.  Although I believe these cases are very rare, they do exist because this is a lot of data for an individual to handle.

What are the requirements for a list to be eligible for inclusion?

Typically, I’ve only included lists that are from American or Canadian publications or websites.  I have been more lenient on this in earlier years, since it’s difficult to find lists for those years.  Blogs and college publications are excluded and I have made an attempt to only include relevant sources.

When will the additional years be added?

As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time.  Additional years will be added when time permits.

Some years include less than 50 films.  Why?

Due to the amount of effort it takes, I have elected to only include films that have appeared on 10 or more lists at this time.   Years 1996 and forward include enough lists where the top 50 will be published.  Prior years show fewer since fewer lists are included. 

How can I help?

The best way to help is by sending in lists to criticstop10@gmail.com. I’m considering lists from 1996 and forward complete for the time being, since they have enough lists that adding a few individual lists has little impact.

I’m particularly interested in getting additional lists from 1970 – 1984, as I’d like to have 100+ lists for each year prior to publishing, and these years fall short.  Unfortunately, the only way to get lists from most of theses years is by visiting a public library within the state. 

Please also pass the word on about criticstop10, through facebook, Twitter, forums or by other means.  Increasing the number of people who know about the site increases the likelihood that additional lists will be sent in.

The website also has significant costs due to the high WordPress fees and costs incurred from various restricted database searches that I purchased.  Although ads pay for a small portion of this, criticstop10 still costs me a lot out of pocket.  If you wish to help financially to ensure the site continues after its trial run expires, it is very much appreciated. 

What happened to the comments section?

Although the comment section included a lot of interesting discussion, it was bulky and not really the easiest way to communicate.  I’m hoping to add a forum where we can discuss the films and lists for each year, share our own lists and discuss what films might appear in upcoming year-end lists.

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