#250-201: An assessment of the IMDB Top 250 so far

After 50 movies and several late nights waiting for our infant to finally succumb to sleep, there is a clear winner in our sojourn so far: Departures, a relatively unknown Japanese film that really caught me off guard early on.  A handful of other films have been stunning in their own way, but #246 blew away most of the movies I’ve ever seen in terms of quality in just about every facet: score, screenwriting, acting, cinematography, and an unforgettable story.

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:

246. Departures (2008)
235. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003)
218. Barry Lyndon (1975)
225. La Haine (1995)
214. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
205. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
211. Throne of Blood (1957)
222. The King’s Speech (2010)
224. Ip Man (2008)
202. Wild Tales (2014)
219. The Truman Show (1998)
221. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
207. Infernal Affairs (2002)
234. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
203. Jurassic Park (1993)
209. Jaws (1975)
212. Groundhog Day (1993)
215. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
217. Rocky (1976)
229. Castle in the Sky (1986)
230. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
236. La Strada (1954)
239. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
241. Before Sunset (2004)
243. The Killing (1956)
204. Before Sunrise (1995)
247. The Graduate (1967)
232. Roman Holiday (1953)
248. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
249. Three Colors: Red (1994)
250. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
231. The Help (2011)
206. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
228. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
208. The Terminator (1984)
238. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
226. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
213. Memories of Murder (2003)
220. High Noon (1952)
227. Notorious (1946)
245. Akira (1988)
244. Laura (1944)

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

Meanwhile, I’ll 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.

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)

A few of these were parts of larger pieces that didn’t work as standalone films.  Others were either recent favorites or films that simply didn’t make any sense.  It’s possible that some others still on the list will fall into this category as the level of quality increases.

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