#150-101: An assessment of the IMDb Top 250 so far

The next 50 brought upon some of the most rattling films I’ve ever seen.  Unforgettable foreign pictures, a handful of controversial cult classics, and several landmark films of a bygone era made their appearance on the list. As expected, there were fewer films unworthy of being considered “great”, and it became more difficult to rank them without some subjectivity, only because of how emotionally gripping they are. World War II and 1920s-era settings are starting to populate the list, along with one extremely intense Vietnam War film.

Metropolis rose to the top as the best film so far. The movie is a masterpiece of cinema from top to bottom: the only weakness might have been its storytelling, limited by the available technology and the near-tragedy of losing the physical film to the elements. The popcorn can probably be set aside for The Deer Hunter, for it might be the most realistic and haunting take on the controversial U.S. overseas conflict of the 60s. The effective storytelling of A Separation makes the viewer reconsider seemingly harmless decisions and instead choose to mend strife.

As in the first 100, I’ve re-ranked the films thus far, not as some sort of high-brow attempt at appearing to be a competent film critic, but as a way of assessing what I’ve seen, giving recognition to films that might simply be underviewed or underrated. The list below, from best to worst, includes the original ranking alongside:

Aggregate 250-101

1 (107) Metropolis (1927)
2 (149) The Deer Hunter (1978)
3 (105) A Separation (2011)
4 (115) 3 Idiots (2009)
5 (118) The Hunt (2012)
6 (104) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
7 (218) Barry Lyndon (1975)
8 (235) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003)
9 (195) The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
10 (102) The Apartment (1960)
11 (173) Network (1976)
12 (186) Ben-Hur (1959)
13 (152) Gone With the Wind (1939)
14 (246) Departures (2008)
15 (110) Batman Begins (2005)
16 (180) Annie Hall (1977)
17 (194) The Wizard of Oz (1939)
18 (174) There Will Be Blood (2007)
19 (117) Downfall (2004)
20 (101) Toy Story (1995)
21 (113) Unforgiven (1992)
22 (158) Dial M for Murder (1954)
23 (192) Shutter Island (2010)
24 (130) Ran (1985)
25 (127) The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
26 (135) The General (1926)
27 (138) The Elephant Man (1980)
28 (114) Up (2009)
29 (132) The Gold Rush (1925)
30 (134) Blade Runner (1982)
31 (147) Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
32 (164) The Thing (1982)
33 (125) Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
34 (225) La Haine (1995)
35 (163) Mary and Max (2009)
36 (214) Fanny and Alexander (1982)
37 (151) How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
38 (154) Trainspotting (1996)
39 (205) Twelve Monkeys (1995)
40 (137) Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
41 (108) Yojimbo (1961)
42 (122) Good Will Hunting (1997)
43 (116) Raging Bull (1980)
44 (139) Casino (1995)
45 (184) In the Name of the Father (1993)
46 (200) Strangers on a Train (1951)
47 (211) Throne of Blood (1957)
48 (121) Die Hard (1988)
49 (222) The King’s Speech (2010)
50 (146) Rebecca (1940)
51 (224) Ip Man (2008)
52 (179) The Princess Bride (1987)
53 (202) Wild Tales (2014)
54 (219) The Truman Show (1998)
55 (197) The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
56 (111) Some Like It Hot (1959)
57 (141) Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
58 (155) It Happened One Night (1934)
59 (160) Rush (2013)
60 (221) Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
61 (144) V for Vendetta (2005)
62 (143) Gran Torino (2008)
63 (207) Infernal Affairs (2002)
64 (234) The Night of the Hunter (1955)
65 (203) Jurassic Park (1993)
66 (106) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
67 (156) Gone Girl (2014)
68 (209) Jaws (1975)
69 (157) Into the Wild (2007)
70 (159) The Sixth Sense (1999)
71 (212) Groundhog Day (1993)
72 (166) Hotel Rwanda (2004)
73 (189) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
74 (177) Stand by Me (1986)
75 (190) Diabolique (1955)
76 (162) Finding Nemo (2003)
77 (148) A Beautiful Mind (2001)
78 (129) Ikiru (1952)
79 (126) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
80 (150) Cool Hand Luke (1967)
81 (198) Donnie Darko (2001)
82 (169) The Wages of Fear (1953)
83 (170) Platoon (1986)
84 (176) The 400 Blows (1959)
85 (215) Monsters, Inc. (2001)
86 (217) Rocky (1976)
87 (229) Castle in the Sky (1986)
88 (230) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
89 (236) La Strada (1954)
90 (239) Beauty and the Beast (1991)
91 (187) The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
92 (241) Before Sunset (2004)
93 (243) The Killing (1956)
94 (204) Before Sunrise (1995)
95 (247) The Graduate (1967)
96 (153) Fargo (1996)
97 (120) The Great Escape (1963)
98 (131) The Seventh Seal (1957)
99 (175) Touch of Evil (1958)
100 (161) The Maltese Falcon (1941)
101 (109) The Third Man (1949)
102 (133) Wild Strawberries (1957)
103 (165) No Country for Old Men (2007)
104 (172) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
105 (167) Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
106 (178) 12 Years a Slave (2013)
107 (232) Roman Holiday (1953)
108 (123) On the Waterfront (1954)
109 (181) Persona (1966)
110 (185) Million Dollar Baby (2004)
111 (193) Stalker (1979)
112 (119) Chinatown (1974)
113 (196) Gandhi (1982)
114 (112) Scarface (1983)
115 (199) 8½ (1963)
116 (248) Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
117 (249) Three Colors: Red (1994)
118 (250) Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
119 (182) The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
120 (231) The Help (2011)
121 (206) The Battle of Algiers (1966)
122 (228) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
123 (208) The Terminator (1984)
124 (238) X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
125 (226) A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
126 (213) Memories of Murder (2003)
127 (220) High Noon (1952)
128 (124) Heat (1995)
129 (227) Notorious (1946)
130 (103) Inglourious Basterds (2009)
131 (245) Akira (1988)
132 (244) Laura (1944)
200 – 151 re-ranked

107. Metropolis (1927)
149. The Deer Hunter (1978)
105. A Separation (2011)
115. 3 Idiots (2009)
118. The Hunt (2012)
104. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
102. The Apartment (1960)
110. Batman Begins (2005)
117. Downfall (2004)
101. Toy Story (1995)
113. Unforgiven (1992)
121. Die Hard (1988)
130. Ran (1985)
127. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
135. The General (1926)
138. The Elephant Man (1980)
114. Up (2009)
132. The Gold Rush (1925)
134. Blade Runner (1982)
147. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
125. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
137. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
108. Yojimbo (1961)
122. Good Will Hunting (1997)
116. Raging Bull (1980)
139. Casino (1995)
146. Rebecca (1940)
111. Some Like It Hot (1959)
141. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
144. V for Vendetta (2005)
143. Gran Torino (2008)
106. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
148. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
129. Ikiru (1952)
126. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
150. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
120. The Great Escape (1963)
131. The Seventh Seal (1957)
109. The Third Man (1949)
133. Wild Strawberries (1957)
123. On the Waterfront (1954)
119. Chinatown (1974)
112. Scarface (1983)
124. Heat (1995)
103. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

I’ll be keeping this list and revisiting it every 50 films until all of them are shuffled in there.

Meanwhile, I’ll also be updating the following list of “eliminated” films — in no particular order, these are movies I believe don’t deserve a place among the greatest of all time.

ELIMINATED
210. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
216. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
223. The Imitation Game (2014)
233. Prisoners (2013)
237. Underground (1995)
240. Papillon (1973)
242. The Big Sleep (1946)
201. The Avengers (2012)
188. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
168. Incendies (2010)
145. The Big Lebowski (1998)
142. Warrior (2011) 

A few of these were parts of larger pieces that didn’t work as standalone films.  Others were either recent favorites that aren’t really “great” at all, or films that simply didn’t make any sense.  It’s possible that some others on the list will fall into this category as I make my way up the list.

I also skipped a few due to availability or content. It’s possible that these will be revisited later, either as they become available or I grow more brazen:

191. Sin City (2005)
171. Life of Brian (1979)
183. Amores Perros (2000)
136. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
128. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
140. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Have your say!

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1 Comment

  1. Leaving out Guardians of the Galaxy while keeping in something like Toy Story and 3 Idiots (Both of which I love btw) doesn’t seem fair.

    Reply

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