Culture,  Media

At the Movies…

The Good Movies, the Bad Movies and the Ugly Movies

Here’s a list of over 300 movies viewed over the years, with numeric ratings and summaries. These are, for the large part, films that were on someone’s “recommended” list. This makes for a nice reference that can be expanded over time. A good resource if you want to see something but don’t know if it’s a waste of time. (It might be a good idea if this format were utilized by other reviewers.) Note that the James Bond franchise is reviewed in its own blog.

The ratings give a somewhat objective assessment of each movie. “Score” is from 0-10, the other values are from 0-2. A final score out of 22 is calculated based on Score, Watc. (Watchable), ReW. (Re-watchable), Qual. (Quality), Pion. (Pioneering), Memo. (Memorable) and Comp. (Compelling).

The Columns

  • Title and year: listed in alphabetical order, except series. Series are marked with a solid• or hollow◦ bullet and listed in chronological order. Note that not all movies in a particular series are necessarily rated in this table.
  • Score: is an assessment based on superficial impressions, tempered by looking at what other reviewers and the public are saying.
  • Genres: So many of these: Action, adventure, animated, bawdy, biography, black comedy, caper, classic, comedy, crime, disturbing, drama, epic, erotic, exploitation, family/children’s, fantasy, farce, fetish, fiction, fight, gore, grindhouse (exploitation/schlock), historical, horror, martial arts, medieval, melodrama, moody, mystery, mystical, neo-noir, noir, pornographic, prehistoric, prison, propaganda, quirky, religious, revenge, romance, satire, sci-fi/fantasy, shock/gross-out, slapstick, slasher, speculative, sports, surrealist, suspense, technical, thriller, titillation, tragedy, twist, violence, war, Western. Animation is generally fantasy unless otherwise noted. Exploitation/grindhouse, are pretty much the same, usually combine gore/violence, titillation, farce, fight, black comedy, horror, mystical, quirky, schlock and satire.
  • Watchable: if you can at least sit through it and be entertained
  • Re-watchable: does it stand up to repeated viewings? Perfect example here is The Sixth Sense. Watchable, but once you know the twist, there’s little point in watching again.
  • Quality: timelessness/classic. Includes acting, direction, sound, music and “look and feel.”
  • Pioneering: innovative: does the film introduce something new, or something old in a new way, or have new technical achievements?
  • Memorable: just that — if it can be remembered without reviewing clips and summaries. In these ratings, we’re speaking of “memorable” only in a good way. For example, there’s a scene in Lone Wolf McQuade of Chuck “Lone Wolf” Norris stomping the gas pedal to free his pickup from hopeless entombment, an impossible feat, but unforgettable for its stupidity.
  • Compelling: if, for example, it makes you stay up late to watch to the end
  • Notes: optional comments

(Hover your cursor over any title for a listing of the column headers.)

Out of a sense of magnanimity, and in the spirit of the director who says he stands up and applauds at the end of every movie he sees, because he knows how hard it is to actually create a movie, it looks like everyone gets at least two points.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the data, then discuss the results afterwards:

At the Movies… Summary Reviews 
Title and YearScoreGenresWatc.ReW.Qual.Pion.Memo.Comp.Notes
13 Assassins (2010) 3Adventure, Shock, Martial Arts100000
16 Blocks (2006)7Crime, Thriller211011
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)9Sci-fi212221you know, there’s sweet bugger-all happening, but it’s still interesting
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)7Sci-fi, Adventure111112
A Bug’s Life (1998)7Animation, Adventure211112
A Place in the Sun (1951) 7Romance, Melodrama, Crime211001
A Taxi Driver (2017) 8Drama, Suspense, History211022
Aces ‘N’ Eights (2008)2Western000000made for TV
Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938) 9Adventure, Medieval222112timeless classic
Adventurers, The (1970) 3Adventure100000
Alien (1979) •10Horror, Sci-fi222222
Aliens (1986) •9Action, Horror, Sci-fi222122
All-Star Superman (2011) 8Animation, Fantasy221012
American Beauty (1999)9Black Comedy, Drama212112as one critic described it, suburban satire
Ant-Man (2015) ◦7Action, Sci-fi, Comedy 210002
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) ◦7Action, Sci-fi, Comedy 210002
Antz (1998) 7Animation, Comedy, Adventure210001
As Good as It Gets (1997)7Drama, Comedy, Romance211011
Assassin X (2016) 4Action, Twist, Martial Arts200000low-budget, a.k.a. The Chemist a.k.a. The Target
Au Pair Girls (1972)5Bawdy110000
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) •6Action, Adventure, Sci-fi 200001
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) •8Action, Adventure, Sci-fi 210002
Avengers: Endgame (2019) • 7Action, Adventure, Sci-fi210001too pat a story
Baby Driver (2017) 5Action, Crime100000overrated, annoying, borrows from Guardians of Galaxy & Transporter
Bananas (1971) 3Political satire100000self-indulgent, not Allen’s best, “a few pretty funny parts”
Barton Fink (1991)9Drama, Surreal, Crime222122has Hollywood ever been this self-aware?
Batman Begins (2005) •7Action, Adventure, Fantasy212001overrated – at some point, retelling Batman’s origin has to get tedious
Dark Knight, The (2008) •8Action, Adventure, Fantasy212001
Dark Knight Rises, The (2012) •6Action, Adventure, Fantasy212001
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) ◦ 9Animation, Action221112groundbreaking story; adaptation of Frank Miller’s 1986 comic
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (2013) ◦ 9Animation, Action221112sets higher standard for animation
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)3Animation, Titillation, Shock100000pointless failure
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) 5Animation, Action, Revenge111001
Batoru rowaiaru (2000) 5Thriller, Melodrama, Black comedy110001“Battle Royale,” Japanese
Battlefield Earth (2000) 5Sci-fi, Farce200010not quite as bad as they say
Baytown Outlaws, The (2012) 6Action, Comedy, Grindhouse210001violent but fairly entertaining; not as bad as reviewers say
Being There (1979)9Fantasy, Comedy, Satire212122excellent
Ben-Hur (1959) 8Epic, Religious, Drama212121
Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946) 7Melodrama, War propaganda101011
Big Bad Mama (1974) •6Titillation, Action, Crime, Farce210011
Big Bad Mama II (1987) •6Titillation, Action, Crime, Revenge210011
Big Lebowski, The (1998) 7Farce, Comedy, Crime222111original, absurdist stoner movie
Big Short, The (2015) 7Biographical211001whitewash of the criminal malfeasance that led to 2008 economic meltdown
Billy Elliot (2000) 7Drama 211001
Billy Jack (1971) 4Action, Drama100000preachy slog
Black Adam (2022)6Action, Fantasy 111011
Black Dynamite (2009) 5Farce, Martial Arts, Action110000
Blade Runner (1982)10Sci-fi212222amazing achievement, best seen on the big screen
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)8Sci-fi211111interesting in its exploration of sentiment, romance, affection
Bourne Legacy, The (2012)9Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller 221112underrated, perhaps it hits too close to home for some
Breakdown (1997) 7Thriller210011borrows from Duel, poor ending, but has Kurt Russel, who always elevates a movie
Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman (2012)5Action, Farce, Exploitation100001Chilean
Bronco Billy (1980)8Western, Satire211111“entertaining and unusual”
Bucktown (1975)4Action, Farce100000
Bullet to Beijing (1995)5Spy, Adventure100001made for TV
BUtterfield 8 (1960)5Melodrama, Schlock100010silly, strictly a vehicle to ogle Liz
Cabin in the Woods, The (2011) 8Thriller, Twist, Sci-fi212122original
Call (2020)7Thriller211111South Korean
Capricorn One (1978)8Drama, Thriller211101underrated conspiracy film created panic among the sycophantic lying “critics”
Cell 211 (2009) 6Prison, Action, Suspense211001
Charley Varrick (1973) 8Adventure, Caper, Twist211012
Child’s Play (1988) ◦8Thriller221121good series, worth watching in full despite the Child’s Play 3 dud
Child’s Play 2 (1990) ◦6Horror211001
Child’s Play 3 (1991) ◦4Horror100000disappointing: very poor movie, but at least it has Chucky
Bride of Chucky (1998) ◦8Horror, Comedy222121
Seed of Chucky (2004) ◦7Horror, Comedy221011underrated
Curse of Chucky (2013) ◦7Horror221011
Cult of Chucky (2017) ◦5Horror210000
Child’s Play (2019) 7Horror100001unnecessary remake
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) 7Adventure,Family, Fantasy212110classic that’s too long for children – and adults
Circle, The (2017) 4Sci-fi, Drama, Thriller100000disappointing
Citizen Kane (1941) 3Drama, Propaganda101000overrated nonsense
Cleopatra Jones (1973) 3Action, Farce, Fetish100001
Coffy (1973) 6Action, Crime, Revenge, Titillation211012
Commuter, The (2018) 6Action, Thriller, Crime210001
Crank (2006) •8Action, Farce221222Cranky is gleeful hardcore lunacy at its best
Crank: High Voltage (2009) •8Action, Farce221222“nothing succeeds like excess” “played to the heights of idiocy”
Crash (1996) 6Drama, Fetish101100clinical, Matt Brunson appropriately called it "exploitation chic"
Crash (2005) 6Drama, Crime101001wasn’t as bad as I though it’d be, but very forgettable
Crime Story (1993) 7Action, Crime111001
Dances with Wolves (1990) 9Western212112
Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)8Adventure, Romance, Fantasy211122some clever tricks and twists, particularly in final act, surprise and delight
Dead Man (1995) 7Surrealist, Western211102definitely different
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) 4Drama, Revenge100000unlikable characters, seems low budget, amateurish
Despicable Me (2010) 7Animation, Family, Comedy211011yes, a little bit trite
Dirty Harry (1971) ◦8Action, Thriller, Police211222“Every dirty job that comes along.”
Magnum Force (1973) ◦6Action, Thriller, Police210001very typically seventies movie
The Enforcer (1976) ◦7Action, Thriller, Police210001
Sudden Impact (1983) ◦7Action, Thriller, Police211112“Go ahead. Make my day.”
The Dead Pool (1988) ◦5Action, Thriller, Police200000somewhat modernized Harry, lacking that special something
District B13 (2004) •7Action, Martial Arts211001
District 13: Ultimatum (2009) • 6Action, Martial Arts201001
Doctor Strangelove (1964)9Satire, Suspense, Propaganda222222suddenly relevant again?
Doctor Zhivago (1965) 5Romance, Melodrama, War, Epic101000dull, unlikable lead, unimaginative and lacks curiosity
Don’t Breathe (2016)7Suspense, Thriller, Crime, Shock211122and don’t swallow
Down by Law (1986) 6Prison, Drama, Comedy101110peculiar, quirky arthouse film, often descends to dullness
Drive (1997) 7Action, Martial Arts, Sci-fi, Comedy211001
Drive (2011) 7Action 201001remake or ripoff of The Driver
Driver, The (1978) 7Crime, Drama201001
Duck Soup (1933)4Comedy, Slapstick110000What a piece of crap! Mirror routine only good part. Laughing at us, not with us.
Dumbo (1941) 7Animation, Family101111typical Disney fare, somewhat maudlin and overrated
Easy Rider (1969)7Drama, Crime110210plotless stoner road movie, of its era, not so compelling these days
Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 9Action, Sci-fi222122epic and fresh Science Fiction
Eraserhead (1977)8Shock, Disturbing, Surrealism, Horror112222a challenging picture
Event Horizon (1997) 5Sci-fi, Mystery, Thriller101000stylish but pointless bore
Every Which Way But Loose (1978)8Slapstick, Action, Fight211122underrated, not meant to be Shakespeare
Evil Dead (2013) 5Horror111001
Evil Dead, The (1981) ◦7Horror, Farce211111cult classic
Evil Dead 2 (1987) ◦7Horror, Farce211111
Army of Darkness (1992) ◦7Adventure, Fantasy, Action, Comedy211111offbeat
Exorcist, The (1973)8Shock, Horror211222
F9 (2021)2Action, Farce001000an embarrassment, easily among the worst movies of all time
Fantasia (1940) 5Animation, Fantasy, Propaganda101110watchable only for some segments
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 7Action, Adventure, Comedy211001cartoonish; goes overboard on the quips and rivalry
Faster (2010) 6Action 110001
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)7Comedy, Exploitation, Farce211011
Fiddler on the Roof (1971) 6Musical101000
Fist of Legend (1994) 7Action, Martial Arts211001
Fitzwilly (1967)4Caper, Comedy101000
Forbidden Planet (1956)9Sci-fi222222wonderful, classic Sci-fi adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Ford v Ferrari (2019)9Biographical211011
Founder, The (2016) 7Biographical211011
Foxy Brown (1974)7Action, Exploitation, Farce, Fetish220011
From Paris With Love (2010) 7Action, Crime, Thriller211002
Gambit (1966) 8Twist, Caper221112
Gambit (2012) 5Twist, Caper, Comedy200001remake; even after reading a plot summary I barely remember it
Gaslight (1944) 6Suspense, Drama111111dated, but a saucy Angela Lansbury perks things up a bit
Gattaca (1997)8Sci-fi, Drama, Thriller, Romance 221122remarkable and memorable movie that goes somewhat unappreciated
Get Out (2017) 9Horror, Satire, Twist212122
Get the Gringo (2012) 8Action, Crime, Prison212102
Getaway, The (1972)7Action, Adventure, Crime, Romance211101
Getaway, The (1994) 8Action, Adventure, Crime, Romance221022underrated remake of the 1972 McQueen/MacGraw film, far surpassing the original
Girl on the Third Floor (2019) 7Horror, Suspense212011especially good if you’re a Phil Brooks (“CM Punk”) fan, weak ending
Girl Vs. Monster (2012) 3Family, Adventure, Fantasy 100000
Gladiator (2000) 7Action, Adventure212111good but doesn’t quite deliver epic status
Godfather, The (1972) •10Crime, Drama, Epic222222classic crime picture
Godfather, Part II, The (1974) •10Crime, Drama, Epic222222
Gods Must Be Crazy, The (1980) 7Slapstick, Family, Comedy212111pleasant surprise
Gone Girl (2014) 8Drama, Crime, Mystery, Thriller211111
Gone with the Wind (1939) 10Epic, Melodrama, Historical222121one of the all-time greats
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The (1967)9Western, War, Adventure, Epic222221can get slow at times, but a classic
Great Escape, The (1963)8Adventure, Suspense, Drama, War 212112
Great Train Robbery, The (1978) 7Drama, Caper, Historical211112slow-paced but never boring
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) •8Action, Adventure, Sci-fi222112
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) •7Action, Adventure, Sci-fi212101
Harold and Maude (1971) 7Black Comedy, Disturbing, Fetish201111
Harry Brown (2009) 7Thriller, Crime, Revenge211001
Hell Night (1981) 6Horror, Suspense110011
High-Rise (2015)4Sci-fi, Drama101010disappointingly failed concept
His Girl Friday (1940) 2Propaganda000000cheap, absurd and wildly overrated
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)6Grindhouse, Farce111001low-budget, teased as a fake trailer in Grindhouse movie
Hot Fuzz (2007) 7Comedy, Action, Farce, Police211001
Hot Spot, The (1990)8Thriller, Crime, Romance211012
House of Dark Shadows (1970) 5Suspense, Drama, Horror100000
Hud (1963)10Western, Drama, Epic222122classic
Imitation of Life (1959) 6Melodrama 101101
In the Mood for Love (2000) 6Drama, Romance001000Chinese film not to my taste but popular with those who like the genre
In the Name of the Father (1993) 7Biography, Drama211011
Inception (2010) 9Action, Sci-fi, Thriller222212fantastic movie, stunning and original
Injustice (2021)2Animation, Action100000dopey, trite, misguided and poorly executed
Iron Girl: Ultimate Weapon (2015)5Action, Martial Arts, Titillation210001
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 5Drama, Family, Fantasy111000overrated – too simplistic and unrealistic – seems derivative of A Christmas Carol
JFK (1991)9History, Drama222122doesn’t solve anything, but amazingly evocative
Jacob’s Ladder (1990) 5Disturbing, Mystery, Thriller, Horror101101
Jaws (1975)10Suspense, Horror, Adventure212222modern classic
John Carter (2012)8Adventure, Fantasy, Action212111underrated; historically important & influential concept invented by E. R. Burroughs in 1912
Joker (2019) 6Crime, Drama, Fantasy111001thought I was watching some other old DeNiro movies
Justice Society: World War II (2021) 6Animation, Action, War, Propaganda100001
Kentucky Fried Movie, The (1977) 5Comedy, Farce, Titillation210000gratuitous nudity helps this dated skit comedy
L.A. Story (1991)8Fantasy, Comedy, Romance222211ingenious, highly original
Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend (2022)5Biography, Drama201001lacks depth
Last Action Hero (1993) 7Action, Fantasy, Comedy, Satire211111underrated but could use a few tweaks
Last Tango in Paris (1972)7Titillation, Drama, Moody, Romance211111controversial, obviously not for everyone
Legend of Drunken Master, The (1994)8Martial Arts, Comedy221001
Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)6Martial Arts, Farce, Western110001ridiculous, but amusing
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) ◦10Fantasy, Adventure, Epic212222modern classic
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) ◦10Fantasy, Adventure, Epic212222
Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, The (2003) ◦10Fantasy, Adventure, Epic212222
MacGruber (2010)3Action, Comedy, Farce100000No. Predictable, misguided, falls flat.
Machete (2010) •7Grindhouse, Farce, Titillation211012just a fun bloodbath
Machete Kills (2013) •7Grindhouse, Farce, Titillation211012Waiting for, Machete Kills Again… In Space. What’s the ^*@#$ hold-up?
Man from Nowhere, The (2010) 7Action, Crime211001
Man on the Moon (1999)9Biographical211022award-worthy performance by Jim Carey
Man Who Would Be King, The (1975) 9Adventure222112
Many Saints of Newark, The (2021)7Crime, Drama101001a bit pointless, some bad execution, but not that bad, but I’m a sucker for period pieces
Marksman, The (2021) 6Action, Adventure111001road trip movie reminiscent of No Country for Old Men, but a little bit tired
Marnie (1964) 6Melodrama, Psychological thriller210111good performances, but needs something extra, and a bigger budget
Mary Poppins (1964) 7Classic, Family, Musical, Fantasy111111needs a bit of editing
Matrix, The (1999) •10Adventure, Sci-fi, Martial Arts222222modern escapist classic
Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) •9Adventure, Sci-fi, Martial Arts222122
Matrix Revolutions, The (2003) •7Adventure, Sci-fi, Martial Arts211111wearing out its welcome at this point
Mean Girls (2004) 8Teen Comedy221112pleasant surprise
Meet John Doe (1941)4Comedy, Drama, Romance100001unbelievable, cloying, mawkish schmaltz from Frank Capra
Melvin and Howard (1980)8Comedy, Drama211001
Memento (2000) 8Mystery, Thriller212202
Metropolis (1927)10Sci-fi212222iconic, epic work of art
Minority Report (2002)5Action, Sci-fi, Mystery111101somewhat boring and aimless
Mission: Impossible (1996) ◦5Action, Adventure112001The real Jim Phelps was no sell-out.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) ◦8Action, Adventure211102improbable but not half bad
Modern Times (1936)10Comedy, Slapstick, Satire222212classic Chaplin comedy masterpiece
Mortal Engines (2018)7Sci-fi, Adventure112211started off so well, but story fizzled
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) 5Drama, Propaganda101111vastly overrated, unrealistic… oh, right, it’s Frank Capra again
My Left Foot (1989)9Biography211122monumental, award-winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis
Nashville (1975) 5Musical, Drama101100vastly overrated
Natural, The (1984) 7Sports, Drama200001
Network (1976) 8Drama, Satire211111timeless message but somewhat dated presentation
No Holds Barred (1989) 2Sports, Action100000
No Way Out (1987) 6Thriller110000remake of The Big Clock (1948)
Nobody (2021) 8Action, Suspense211002fun, but derivative of John Wick and Mr. & Mrs. Smith
North by Northwest (1959)9Adventure, Mystery, Suspense222122probably Hitchcock’s best
North Sea Hijack (1980)6Adventure200011Roger Moore picture, also titled ffolkes
Now, Voyager (1942) 8Romance, Melodrama211002
Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010) 4Action, Exploitation, Farce, Fetish200001
Once Upon a Time in America (1984) 5Crime, Drama111101
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014) 7Action, Martial Arts110000
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)8Drama, Fantasy221122
Paper Moon (1973)8Comedy, Caper211112award-winning performance by Tatum O’Neal
Papillon (1973)8Biographical, Adventure211122
Paprika (1991)6Erotic, Drama221011
Parasite (2019) 10Comedy, Disturbing, Twist212222
Parents (1989)8Suspense, Comedy, Satire211212real movie-making: evocative, good acting, transports you
Pelican Brief, The (1993) 5Mystery, Thriller100001
Planet of the Apes (1968)9Adventure, Sci-fi 212212Way better than expected. “Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
Point Blank (1967) 8Action, Crime221111somewhat dreamy or surreal which slows it down but great ‘60s feel
Project X (1968) 4Sci-fi100000
Project X (2012) 2Teen Comedy100000
Psycho (1960)9Suspense, Drama, Thriller211122Hitchcock didn’t really have a great ending that this deserved
Pulp Fiction (1994)9Drama, Thriller, Crime, Shock221222
Pumping Iron (1977) 7Biographical, Bodybuilding211112
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)9Action, Adventure222122
Ratatouille (2007) 9Animation, Family, Comedy211112
Rear Window (1954)7Mystery, Suspense111011decent, but overrated, could be a TV movie of the week
Recoil (2011)6Violence, Action, Revenge220001
Red Dawn (1984) 6Adventure210011
Redemption (2013)7Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller211001a.k.a.: Hummingbird
Reefer Madness (1936)2Propaganda100000so bad it’s good, then back to bad again
Rocky Horror Picture Show, The (1975)7Fantasy, Comedy, Musical, Farce200121quirky old stoner pic, notable for Tim Curry’s great performance and singing
Route Irish (2010) 5Action, Drama, War100000
Savage Streets (1984) 7Action, Revenge, Farce210011enjoyably trashy Linda Blair movie
Scarecrow (1973) 7Drama 11111170s buddy picture
Scorched Earth (2018)4Sci-fi, Action100000insipid
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) 6Teen Comedy, Action, Fantasy111101
Searchers, The (1956)6Western, Drama, Epic102110unusually boring for such a beautifully filmed picture
Seconds (1966)8Sci-fi, Thriller211111intriguing, could be more compelling
Seven Samurai (1954) 7Martial Arts, Drama, Epic211111somewhat too long
Shakes the Clown (1991)3Comedy, Crime100000
Shazam! (2019) 7Action, Fantasy, Comedy200001predictable but mostly fun
Sheba, Baby (1975)5Action110001Pam Grier movie that disappoints after her other films
Shining, The (1980)7Horror111011
Shocker (1989) 3Horror, Satire100000lame
Sicario (2015) 4Police, Thriller, Propaganda101000overrated – leads nowhere – false glorification of law enforcement
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)7Crime, Thriller, Quirky212112
Silent Running (1972)8Sci-fi222112excellent, melancholy, perhaps a bit much propaganda, but required for the story
Sin City (2005)9Neo-Noir212212intensity – not for everyone – stunning adaptation of the Miller comic
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 4Musical112111vastly overrated, only watchable for the fantastic dance numbers
Sixth Sense, The (1999)8Suspense, Drama, Twist201222
Smash Palace (1981)7Drama 211002
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)5Action, Comedy, Farce100111
Something Wild (1986)9Comedy, Drama, Twist, Caper222122almost magical ride, perhaps Liotta’s best role
Song of the South (1946) 6Fantasy, Musical, Family111111
Sorcerer (1977)8Adventure, Drama, Suspense212122
Sound of Music, The (1965) 6Classic, Family, Musical, War111010
Southern Comfort (1981)7Action, Thriller211111
Spartacus (1960)8Adventure, Drama, Historical, Epic212112
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) ◦7Sci-fi, Action, Adventure111001overrated disappointment
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) ◦7Sci-fi, Action, Adventure111001overrated disappointment
Stick (1985)3Crime, Drama000000
Straight Outta Compton (2015) 7Biography, Drama, Musical211001unfortunately whitewashed and sanitized but still watchable
Stranger, The (1991) 6Drama201111Indian movie that doesn’t seem to understand its own message
Stranger, The (1995) 5Action100001
Striking Distance (1993)6Action, Crime, Mystery100001
Suicide Squad, The (2021)6Action, Fantasy 211001copying the Marvel formula
Sunset Blvd. (1950) 9Drama, Suspense, Crime212122old classic and a pleasant surprise
Superbad (2007) 6Teen Comedy101000
Superman (1978) •10Action, Adventure, Fantasy222211
Superman II (1980) •9Action, Adventure, Fantasy212211
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006) •10Action, Adventure, Fantasy222211
Superman III (1983) •5Action, Adventure, Fantasy100001lost the plot
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) •2Action, Adventure, Fantasy000000hopeless
Surrogates (2009)7Sci-fi, Thriller211001
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)8Adventure, Family212122hard to fault this one
Taken (2008) ◦9Action, Suspense221122Neeson shines. Sure, it’s simple & fanciful, but sometimes that makes the finest result.
Taken 2 (2012) ◦8Action, Suspense, Farce221012Still fun. You have to understand they’re playing it for laughs now
Taken 3 (2014) ◦7Action, Suspense, Farce211002see above; would still like to see #4, where they take Granny
Taxi Driver (1976) 8Drama, Violence221112
Team America: World Police (2004)8Comedy, Satire, Puppets211112
Tears of the Sun (2003) 3Action, War, Melodrama000000ridiculous
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) •8Animation, Action211111TTG! is one of the freshest, most intelligent cartoons today
Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans (2019) •7Animation, Action211111
Terminator, The (1984) ◦10Action, Sci-fi, Suspense221222
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) ◦10Action, Sci-fi222122
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) ◦7Action, Sci-fi212111bit of a downer though
Terminator Salvation (2009) ◦2Action, Sci-fi000000pointless
Terminator Genisys (2015) ◦2Action, Sci-fi000000pointless
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) ◦2Action, Sci-fi000000one of the biggest flops of all time
They Live (1988)9Action, Sci-fi220122
Thing, The (1982)9Action, Horror, Sci-fi221222
Third Man, The (1949) 5Drama100001overrated, billed as a thriller but hardly so; Harry’s speech to Holly somewhat interesting
Third Person (2013) 5Drama, Romance100000
This Island Earth (1955)4Sci-fi101000you can skip this one without much fear
Thor (2011) •6Action, Fantasy 100001
Thor: The Dark World (2013) •7Action, Adventure, Fantasy210001
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) •9Action, Adventure, Sci-fi221122terrific – this is the way to do Science Fiction
Tokyo Story (1953) 7Drama111101slow, melancholy little drama film
Total Recall (1990)10Sci-fi, Action222222classic that never lets up or lets you down
Total Recall (2012)2Sci-fi, Action100000Why, oh why? Pointless drivel & time waster
Toy Story (1995)10Family, Fantasy, Adventure222212
True Romance (1993) 8Crime, Romance, Action211012
UHF (1989) 2Comedy, Satire 000000lousy movie – we do get Michael Richards before an extreme makeover
Ultimate Avengers (2006) 5Animation, Action110001
Unforgiven (1992)10revisionist Western212222
Upgrade (2018)8Sci-fi, Action, Crime211112pleasant surprise
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) 5Sci-fi111001pretty but pretty confusing
Vertigo (1958)8Mystery, Thriller, Romance112211overrated, hard to care about story or characters
Village of the Damned (1995) 4Horror100000
Way of the Gun, The (2000) 7Crime, Drama211111
Werewolf by Night (2022)8Action, Fantasy 212212short (1 hr.) but clever, fun monster movie
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) 5Melodrama, Twist100011overwrought
Widows (2018) 5Crime, Caper111001
Wild Bunch, The (1969) 6Western101100vastly overrated
Winter Kills (1979)8Comedy, Satire, Twist, Mystery211102clever, but was confusing to audiences
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)10Fantasy, Musical222222outstanding classic
Wrongfully Accused (1998)2Farce 000000lousy movie

The Results

You could calculate the total score, but why trouble yourself when that’s already done for you? Here are the most interesting results, based on the numbers.

The Tiers

Movies from 80-100% are top tier. The list has a lot of other very good ones, that didn’t quite make 80%. Pretty much anything with a plain Score of 6 or above is watchable (plus a “Watchable” score of at least 1).

Note: watch your genres. If you don’t like particular genres, you may not like even highly-rated movies of that type. Crank, Eraserhead and Sin City, for example, are going to alienate whole swaths, but are good movies.

And so… the top movies on the list (80-100%) are:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938)
Alien (1979)
Aliens (1986)
American Beauty (1999)
Barton Fink (1991)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (2013)
Being There (1979)
Blade Runner (1982)
Bourne Legacy, The (2012)
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Cabin in the Woods, The (2011)
Crank (2006)
Crank: High Voltage (2009)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Doctor Strangelove (1964)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Eraserhead (1977)
Exorcist, The (1973)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Gattaca (1997)
Get Out (2017)
Godfather, The (1972)
Godfather, Part II, The (1974)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The (1967)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015)
Hud (1963)
Inception (2010)
Jaws (1975)
JFK (1991)
L.A. Story (1991)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, The (2003)
Man Who Would Be King, The (1975)
Matrix, The (1999)
Matrix Reloaded, The (2003)
Metropolis (1927)
Modern Times (1936)
My Left Foot (1989)
North by Northwest (1959)
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019)
Parasite (2019)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Psycho (1960)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Silent Running (1972)
Sin City (2005)
Something Wild (1986)
Sorcerer (1977)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Superman (1978)
Superman II (1980)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
Taken (2008)
Terminator, The (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
They Live (1988)
Thing, The (1982)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Total Recall (1990)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Werewolf by Night (2022)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)

The bottom tier entries, 30% and below, are as follows:

13 Assassins (2010)
Aces ‘N’ Eights (2008)
Adventurers, The (1970)
Assassin X (2016)
Baby Driver (2017)
Bananas (1971)
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
Billy Jack (1971)
Bucktown (1975)
Child’s Play 3 (1991)
Circle, The (2017)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Cleopatra Jones (1973)
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
Duck Soup (1933)
F9 (2021)
Fitzwilly (1967)
Girl vs. Monster (2012)
His Girl Friday (1940)
House of Dark Shadows (1970)
Injustice (2021)
MacGruber (2010)
Meet John Doe (1941)
No Holds Barred (1989)
Project X (1968)
Project X (2012)
Reefer Madness (1936)
Route Irish (2010)
Scorched Earth (2018)
Shakes the Clown (1991)
Shocker (1989)
Sicario (2015)
Stick (1985)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Tears of the Sun (2003)
Terminator Genisys (2015)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Third Person (2013)
This Island Earth (1955)
Total Recall (2012)
UHF (1989)
Village of the Damned (1995)
Wrongfully Accused (1998)

Notable failures include Citizen Kane and His Girl Friday. Those two flops are ridiculously, relentlessly praised by critics, but there’s a story behind that. There’s a post devoted to Citizen Kane, see below for more on His Girl Friday.

A Few Notes

Meet John Doe

More of Frank Capra’s unbelievable, cloying, mawkish schmaltz. Once again, Hays era restrictions were at least partly to blame in ruining this picture. If they had any guts, the only way to redeem this film was for Cooper’s character to suicide.

Crapra, I don’t for a minute buy the crap you’re peddling.

Now, if the story is actually an insidious reversal, actually mocking and satirizing the mercurial, frenzied, selfish, pandering “little guy,” it purports to champion, then it’s a near-masterpiece. If he’s satirizing the fickle, hypocritical general public, the picture suddenly makes sense. Imagine, “every day like Christmas.” That’s infantile, and a tall order when every day is already occupied by April Fools.

An online comment sums it up wonderfully.

An excellent premise, but the message ultimately falls short. Instead of making a poignant commentary on corruption or faith in the goodness of people or the ability of people to improve their own conditions through conscious action, it ends up falling into no-man’s land, as neither comedy or tragedy, falling into the message that no man should try to make a difference, the masses are just sheep and incapable of seeing through smear, and that individual action is ultimately meaningless. John ultimately decides to avoid suicide, but does not propagate his message beyond just a handful of devoted followers. He abandons his purpose in the name of his desire for Ann’s love — her affection based solely on sympathy and illusion — and in compliance with the will of his destroyers. While the movie pretends to have a happy ending, every character is ultimately “evil”. I can think of no alternate ending that could have been a greater surrender, a greater message of uselessness and despair.

Eternals (2021)

Not rated because I couldn’t bear to sit all the way through this crap, though I’ve always loved superheroes and comics. Can there be anything more annoying than a passel of B-actors skittering around flailing their arms in a show of their “godly super powers,” and faking gravitas?

Not to mention my dismay and profound disgust at Time being appropriated. What a shallow misuse of that tune.

Exploiting the emotion engendered by good songs is a cheap and easy scam for lazy writers. They certainly didn’t earn the right to use it here. And what of Waters and Gilmore et al? Are the boys hurting for cash?

His Girl Friday

Praise for this and Citizen Kane remind me of South Park, when Butters wrote The Poop That Took a Pee, and all the praise it garnered, except praise for The Poop is much, much more justified. Without going into too much detail, this movie is insidious, low-budget, ugly and crappy.

(Updated Jan. 26, 2023)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *