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Culture,  Media

At the Movies…

The Good Movies, the Bad Movies and the Ugly Movies

Here’s a list of nearly 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 series 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: In the matter of genres, there are so many: 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 like 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 Year Score Genres Watc. ReW. Qual. Pion. Memo. Comp. Notes
13 Assassins (2010) 3 Adventure, Shock, Martial Arts 1 0 0 0 0 0
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 9 Sci-Fi 2 1 2 2 2 1 you know, there’s sweet bugger-all happening, but it’s still interesting
A Place in the Sun (1951) 7 Romance, Melodrama, Crime 2 1 1 0 0 1
A Taxi Driver (2017) 8 Drama, Suspense, History 2 1 1 0 2 2
Aces ‘N’ Eights (2008) 2 Western 0 0 0 0 0 0 made for TV
Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938) 9 Adventure, Medieval 2 2 2 1 1 2 timeless classic
Adventurers, The (1970) 3 Adventure 1 0 0 0 0 0
Alien (1979) • 10 Horror, Sci-fi 2 2 2 2 2 2
Aliens (1986) • 9 Action, Horror, Sci-fi 2 2 2 1 2 2
All-Star Superman (2011) 8 Animation, Fantasy 2 2 1 0 1 2
American Beauty (1999) 9 Black Comedy, Drama 2 1 2 1 1 2 as one critic described it, suburban satire
Ant-Man (2015) ◦ 7 Action, Sci-Fi, Comedy 2 1 0 0 0 2
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) ◦ 7 Action, Sci-Fi, Comedy 2 1 0 0 0 2
Antz (1998) 7 Animation, Comedy, Adventure 2 1 0 0 0 1
As Good as It Gets (1997) 7 Drama, Comedy, Romance 2 1 1 0 1 1
Assassin X (2016) 4 Action, Twist, Martial Arts 2 0 0 0 0 0 low-budget, a.k.a. The Chemist a.k.a. The Target
Au Pair Girls (1972) 5 Bawdy 1 1 0 0 0 0
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) • 6 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 0 0 0 0 1
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) • 8 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 1 0 0 0 2
Avengers: Endgame (2019) • 7 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 1 0 0 0 1 too pat a story
Baby Driver (2017) 5 Action, Crime 1 0 0 0 0 0 overrated, annoying, borrows from Guardians of Galaxy & Transporter
Bananas (1971) 3 Political satire 1 0 0 0 0 0 self-indulgent, not Allen’s best, “a few pretty funny parts”
Barton Fink (1991) 9 Drama, Surreal, Crime 2 2 2 1 2 2 has Hollywood ever been this self-aware?
Batman Begins (2005) • 7 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 1 2 0 0 1 overrated – at some point, retelling Batman’s origin has to get tedious
Dark Knight, The (2008) • 8 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 1 2 0 0 1
Dark Knight Rises, The (2012) • 6 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 1 2 0 0 1
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) ◦ 9 Animation, Action 2 2 1 1 1 2 groundbreaking story; adaptation of Frank Miller’s 1986 comic
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (2013) ◦ 9 Animation, Action 2 2 1 1 1 2 sets higher standard for animation
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) 3 Animation, Titillation, Shock 1 0 0 0 0 0 pointless failure
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) 5 Animation, Action, Revenge 1 1 1 0 0 1
Batoru rowaiaru (2000) 5 Thriller, Melodrama, Black comedy 1 1 0 0 0 1 “Battle Royale,” Japanese
Battlefield Earth (2000) 5 Sci-Fi, Farce 2 0 0 0 1 0 not quite as bad as they say
Baytown Outlaws, The (2012) 6 Action, Comedy, Grindhouse 2 1 0 0 0 1 violent but fairly entertaining; not as bad as reviewers say
Being There (1979) 9 Fantasy, Comedy, Satire 2 1 2 1 2 2 excellent
Ben-Hur (1959) 8 Epic, Religious, Drama 2 1 2 1 2 1
Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946) 7 Melodrama, War propaganda 1 0 1 0 1 1
Big Bad Mama (1974) • 6 Titillation, Action, Crime, Farce 2 1 0 0 1 1
Big Bad Mama II (1987) • 6 Titillation, Action, Crime, Revenge 2 1 0 0 1 1
Big Lebowski, The (1998) 7 Farce, Comedy, Crime 2 2 2 1 1 1 original, absurdist stoner movie
Big Short, The (2015) 7 Biographical 2 1 1 0 0 1 whitewash of the criminal malfeasance that led to 2008 economic meltdown
Billy Elliot (2000) 7 Drama 2 1 1 0 0 1
Billy Jack (1971) 4 Action, Drama 1 0 0 0 0 0 preachy slog
Black Dynamite (2009) 5 Farce, Martial Arts, Action 1 1 0 0 0 0
Blade Runner (1982) 10 Sci-Fi 2 1 2 2 2 2 amazing achievement, best seen on the big screen
Bourne Legacy, The (2012) 9 Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller 2 2 1 1 1 2 underrated, perhaps it hits too close to home for some
Breakdown (1997) 7 Thriller 2 1 0 0 1 1 borrows from Duel, poor ending, but has Kurt Russel, who always elevates a movie
Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman (2012) 5 Action, Farce, Exploitation 1 0 0 0 0 1 Chilean
Bronco Billy (1980) 8 Western, Satire 2 1 1 1 1 1 “entertaining and unusual”
Bucktown (1975) 4 Action, Farce 1 0 0 0 0 0
Bullet to Beijing (1995) 5 Spy, Adventure 1 0 0 0 0 1 made for TV
BUtterfield 8 (1960) 5 Melodrama, Schlock 1 0 0 0 1 0 silly, strictly a vehicle to ogle Liz
Cabin in the Woods, The (2011) 8 Thriller, Twist, Sci-fi 2 1 2 1 2 2 original
Capricorn One (1978) 8 Drama, Thriller 2 1 1 1 0 1 underrated conspiracy film created panic among the sycophantic lying “critics”
Cell 211 (2009) 6 Prison, Action, Suspense 2 1 1 0 0 1
Charley Varrick (1973) 8 Adventure, Caper, Twist 2 1 1 0 1 2
Child’s Play (1988) ◦ 8 Thriller 2 2 1 1 2 1 good series, worth watching in full despite the Child’s Play 3 dud
Child’s Play 2 (1990) ◦ 6 Horror 2 1 1 0 0 1
Child’s Play 3 (1991) ◦ 4 Horror 1 0 0 0 0 0 disappointing: very poor movie, but at least it has Chucky
Bride of Chucky (1998) ◦ 8 Horror, Comedy 2 2 2 1 2 1
Seed of Chucky (2004) ◦ 7 Horror, Comedy 2 2 1 0 1 1 underrated
Curse of Chucky (2013) ◦ 7 Horror 2 2 1 0 1 1
Cult of Chucky (2017) ◦ 5 Horror 2 1 0 0 0 0
Child’s Play (2019) 7 Horror 1 0 0 0 0 1 unnecessary remake
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) 7 Adventure,Family, Fantasy 2 1 2 1 1 0 classic that’s too long for children – and adults
Circle, The (2017) 4 Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller 1 0 0 0 0 0 disappointing
Citizen Kane (1941) 3 Drama, Propaganda 1 0 1 0 0 0 overrated nonsense
Cleopatra Jones (1973) 3 Action, Farce, Fetish 1 0 0 0 0 1
Coffy (1973) 6 Action, Crime, Revenge, Titillation 2 1 1 0 1 2
Commuter, The (2018) 6 Action, Thriller, Crime 2 1 0 0 0 1
Crank (2006) • 8 Action, Farce 2 2 1 2 2 2 Cranky is gleeful hardcore lunacy at its best
Crank: High Voltage (2009) • 8 Action, Farce 2 2 1 2 2 2 “nothing succeeds like excess” “played to the heights of idiocy”
Crash (1996) 6 Drama, Fetish 1 0 1 1 0 0 clinical, Matt Brunson appropriately called it “exploitation chic”
Crash (2005) 6 Drama, Crime 1 0 1 0 0 1 wasn’t as bad as I though it’d be, but very forgettable
Crime Story (1993) 7 Action, Crime 1 1 1 0 0 1
Dances with Wolves (1990) 9 Western 2 1 2 1 1 2
Dead Man (1995) 7 Surrealist, Western 2 1 1 1 0 2 definitely different
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) 4 Drama, Revenge 1 0 0 0 0 0 unlikable characters, seems low budget, amateurish
Despicable Me (2010) 7 Animation, Family, Comedy 2 1 1 0 1 1 yes, a little bit trite
Dirty Harry (1971) ◦ 8 Action, Thriller, Police 2 1 1 2 2 2 “Every dirty job that comes along.”
Magnum Force (1973) ◦ 6 Action, Thriller, Police 2 1 0 0 0 1 very typically seventies movie
The Enforcer (1976) ◦ 7 Action, Thriller, Police 2 1 0 0 0 1
Sudden Impact (1983) ◦ 7 Action, Thriller, Police 2 1 1 1 1 2 “Go ahead. Make my day.”
The Dead Pool (1988) ◦ 5 Action, Thriller, Police 2 0 0 0 0 0 somewhat modernized Harry, lacking that special something
District B13 (2004) • 7 Action, Martial Arts 2 1 1 0 0 1
District 13: Ultimatum (2009) • 6 Action, Martial Arts 2 0 1 0 0 1
Doctor Strangelove (1964) 9 Satire, Suspense, Propaganda 2 2 2 2 2 2 suddenly relevant again?
Doctor Zhivago (1965) 5 Romance, Melodrama, War, Epic 1 0 1 0 0 0 dull, unlikable lead, unimaginative and lacks curiosity
Don’t Breathe (2016) 7 Suspense, Thriller, Crime, Shock 2 1 1 1 2 2 and don’t swallow
Down by Law (1986) 6 Prison, Drama, Comedy 1 0 1 1 1 0 peculiar, quirky arthouse film, often descends to dullness
Drive (1997) 7 Action, Martial Arts, Sci-Fi, Comedy 2 1 1 0 0 1
Drive (2011) 7 Action 2 0 1 0 0 1 remake or ripoff of The Driver
Driver, The (1978) 7 Crime, Drama 2 0 1 0 0 1
Duck Soup (1933) 4 Comedy, Slapstick 1 1 0 0 0 0 What a piece of crap! Mirror routine only good part. Laughing at us, not with us.
Dumbo (1941) 7 Animation, Family 1 0 1 1 1 1 typical Disney fare, somewhat maudlin and overrated
Easy Rider (1969) 7 Drama, Crime 1 1 0 2 1 0 plotless stoner road movie, of its era, not so compelling these days
Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 9 Action, Sci-Fi 2 2 2 1 2 2 epic and fresh Science Fiction
Eraserhead (1977) 8 Shock, Disturbing, Surrealism, Horror 1 1 2 2 2 2 a challenging picture
Event Horizon (1997) 5 Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller 1 0 1 0 0 0 stylish but pointless bore
Every Which Way But Loose (1978) 8 Slapstick, Action, Fight 2 1 1 1 2 2 underrated, not meant to be Shakespeare
Evil Dead (2013) 5 Horror 1 1 1 0 0 1
Evil Dead, The (1981) ◦ 7 Horror, Farce 2 1 1 1 1 1 cult classic
Evil Dead 2 (1987) ◦ 7 Horror, Farce 2 1 1 1 1 1
Army of Darkness (1992) ◦ 7 Adventure, Fantasy, Action, Comedy 2 1 1 1 1 1 offbeat
Exorcist, The (1973) 8 Shock, Horror 2 1 1 2 2 2
Fantasia (1940) 5 Animation, Fantasy, Propaganda 1 0 1 1 1 0 watchable only for some segments
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 7 Action, Adventure, Comedy 2 1 1 0 0 1 cartoonish; goes overboard on the quips and rivalry
Faster (2010) 6 Action 1 1 0 0 0 1
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) 7 Comedy, Exploitation, Farce 2 1 1 0 1 1
Fiddler on the Roof (1971) 6 Musical 1 0 1 0 0 0
Fist of Legend (1994) 7 Action, Martial Arts 2 1 1 0 0 1
Fitzwilly (1967) 4 Caper, Comedy 1 0 1 0 0 0
Forbidden Planet (1956) 9 Sci-Fi 2 2 2 2 2 2 wonderful, classic Sci-Fi adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Ford v Ferrari (2019) 9 Biographical 2 1 1 0 1 1
Founder, The (2016) 7 Biographical 2 1 1 0 1 1
Foxy Brown (1974) 7 Action, Exploitation, Farce, Fetish 2 2 0 0 1 1
From Paris With Love (2010) 7 Action, Crime, Thriller 2 1 1 0 0 2
Gambit (1966) 8 Twist, Caper 2 2 1 1 1 2
Gambit (2012) 5 Twist, Caper, Comedy 2 0 0 0 0 1 remake; even after reading a plot summary I barely remember it
Gaslight (1944) 6 Suspense, Drama 1 1 1 1 1 1 dated, but a saucy Angela Lansbury perks things up a bit
Gattaca (1997) 8 Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, Romance 2 2 1 1 2 2 remarkable and memorable movie that goes somewhat unappreciated
Get Out (2017) 9 Horror, Satire, Twist 2 1 2 1 2 2
Get the Gringo (2012) 8 Action, Crime, Prison 2 1 2 1 0 2
Getaway, The (1972) 7 Action, Adventure, Crime, Romance 2 1 1 1 0 1
Getaway, The (1994) 8 Action, Adventure, Crime, Romance 2 2 1 0 2 2 underrated remake of the 1972 McQueen/MacGraw film, far surpassing the original
Girl on the Third Floor (2019) 7 Horror, Suspense 2 1 2 0 1 1 especially good if you’re a Phil Brooks (“CM Punk”) fan, weak ending
Girl Vs. Monster (2012) 3 Family, Adventure, Fantasy 1 0 0 0 0 0
Gladiator (2000) 7 Action, Adventure 2 1 2 1 1 1 good but doesn’t quite deliver epic status
Godfather, The (1972) • 10 Crime, Drama, Epic 2 2 2 2 2 2 classic crime picture
Godfather, Part II, The (1974) • 10 Crime, Drama, Epic 2 2 2 2 2 2
Gods Must Be Crazy, The (1980) 7 Slapstick, Family, Comedy 2 1 2 1 1 1 pleasant surprise
Gone Girl (2014) 8 Drama, Crime, Mystery, Thriller 2 1 1 1 1 1
Gone with the Wind (1939) 10 Epic, Melodrama, Historical 2 2 2 1 2 1 one of the all-time greats
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The (1967) 9 Western, War, Adventure, Epic 2 2 2 2 2 1 can get slow at times, but a classic
Great Escape, The (1963) 8 Adventure, Suspense, Drama, War 2 1 2 1 1 2
Great Train Robbery, The (1978) 7 Drama, Caper, Historical 2 1 1 1 1 2 slow-paced but never boring
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) • 8 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 2 2 1 1 2
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) • 7 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 1 2 1 0 1
Harold and Maude (1971) 7 Black Comedy, Disturbing, Fetish 2 0 1 1 1 1
Harry Brown (2009) 7 Thriller, Crime, Revenge 2 1 1 0 0 1
Hell Night (1981) 6 Horror, Suspense 1 1 0 0 1 1
His Girl Friday (1940) 2 Propaganda 0 0 0 0 0 0 cheap, absurd and wildly overrated
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) 6 Grindhouse, Farce 1 1 1 0 0 1 low-budget, teased as a fake trailer in Grindhouse movie
Hot Fuzz (2007) 7 Comedy, Action, Farce, Police 2 1 1 0 0 1
House of Dark Shadows (1970) 5 Suspense, Drama, Horror 1 0 0 0 0 0
Hud (1963) 10 Western, Drama, Epic 2 2 2 1 2 2 classic
Imitation of Life (1959) 6 Melodrama 1 0 1 1 0 1
In the Mood for Love (2000) 6 Drama, Romance 0 0 1 0 0 0 Chinese film not to my taste but popular with those who like the genre
In the Name of the Father (1993) 7 Biography, Drama 2 1 1 0 1 1
Inception (2010) 9 Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller 2 2 2 2 1 2 fantastic movie, stunning and original
Iron Girl: Ultimate Weapon (2015) 5 Action, Martial Arts, Titillation 2 1 0 0 0 1
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 5 Drama, Family, Fantasy 1 1 1 0 0 0 overrated – too simplistic and unrealistic – seems derivative of A Christmas Carol
JFK (1991) 9 History, Drama 2 2 2 1 2 2 doesn’t solve anything, but amazingly evocative
Jacob’s Ladder (1990) 5 Disturbing, Mystery, Thriller, Horror 1 0 1 1 0 1
Jaws (1975) 10 Suspense, Horror, Adventure 2 1 2 2 2 2 modern classic
John Carter (2012) 8 Adventure, Fantasy, Action 2 1 2 1 1 1 underrated; historically important & influential concept invented by E. R. Burroughs in 1912
Joker (2019) 6 Crime, Drama, Fantasy 1 1 1 0 0 1 thought I was watching some other old DeNiro movies
Justice Society: World War II (2021) 6 Animation, Action, War, Propaganda 1 0 0 0 0 1
Kentucky Fried Movie, The (1977) 5 Comedy, Farce, Titillation 2 1 0 0 0 0 gratuitous nudity helps this dated skit comedy
L.A. Story (1991) 8 Fantasy, Comedy, Romance 2 2 2 2 1 1 ingenious, highly original
Last Action Hero (1993) 7 Action, Fantasy, Comedy, Satire 2 1 1 1 1 1 underrated but could use a few tweaks
Last Tango in Paris (1972) 7 Titillation, Drama, Moody, Romance 2 1 1 1 1 1 controversial, obviously not for everyone
Legend of Drunken Master, The (1994) 8 Martial Arts, Comedy 2 2 1 0 0 1
Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) 6 Martial Arts, Farce, Western 1 1 0 0 0 1 ridiculous, but amusing
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) ◦ 10 Fantasy, Adventure, Epic 2 1 2 2 2 2 modern classic
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) ◦ 10 Fantasy, Adventure, Epic 2 1 2 2 2 2
Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, The (2003) ◦ 10 Fantasy, Adventure, Epic 2 1 2 2 2 2
MacGruber (2010) 3 Action, Comedy, Farce 1 0 0 0 0 0 No. Predictable, misguided, falls flat.
Machete (2010) • 7 Grindhouse, Farce, Titillation 2 1 1 0 1 2 just a fun bloodbath
Machete Kills (2013) • 7 Grindhouse, Farce, Titillation 2 1 1 0 1 2 Waiting for, Machete Kills Again… In Space. What’s the ^*@#$ hold-up?
Man from Nowhere, The (2010) 7 Action, Crime 2 1 1 0 0 1
Man on the Moon (1999) 9 Biographical 2 1 1 0 2 2 award-worthy performance by Jim Carey
Man Who Would Be King, The (1975) 9 Adventure 2 2 2 1 1 2
Marksman, The (2021) 6 Action, Adventure 1 1 1 0 0 1 road trip movie reminiscent of No Country for Old Men, but a little bit tired
Marnie (1964) 6 Melodrama, Psychological thriller 2 1 0 1 1 1 good performances, but needs something extra, and a bigger budget
Mary Poppins (1964) 7 Classic, Family, Musical, Fantasy 1 1 1 1 1 1 needs a bit of editing
Matrix, The (1999) • 10 Adventure, Sci-Fi, Martial Arts 2 2 2 2 2 2 modern escapist classic
Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) • 9 Adventure, Sci-Fi, Martial Arts 2 2 2 1 2 2
Matrix Revolutions, The (2003) • 7 Adventure, Sci-Fi, Martial Arts 2 1 1 1 1 1 wearing out its welcome at this point
Mean Girls (2004) 8 Teen Comedy 2 2 1 1 1 2 pleasant surprise
Melvin and Howard (1980) 8 Comedy, Drama 2 1 1 0 0 1
Memento (2000) 8 Mystery, Thriller 2 1 2 2 0 2
Metropolis (1927) 10 Sci-Fi 2 1 2 2 2 2 iconic, epic work of art
Minority Report (2002) 5 Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery 1 1 1 1 0 1 somewhat boring and aimless
Mission: Impossible (1996) ◦ 5 Action, Adventure 1 1 2 0 0 1 The real Jim Phelps was no sell-out.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) ◦ 8 Action, Adventure 2 1 1 1 0 2 improbable but not half bad
Modern Times (1936) 10 Comedy, Slapstick, Satire 2 2 2 2 1 2 classic Chaplin comedy masterpiece
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) 5 Drama, Propaganda 1 0 1 1 1 1 vastly overrated, unrealistic… oh, right, it’s Frank Capra again
My Left Foot (1989) 9 Biography 2 1 1 1 2 2 monumental, award-winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis
Nashville (1975) 5 Musical, Drama 1 0 1 1 0 0 vastly overrated
Natural, The (1984) 7 Sports, Drama 2 0 0 0 0 1
Network (1976) 8 Drama, Satire 2 1 1 1 1 1 timeless message but somewhat dated presentation
No Holds Barred (1989) 2 Sports, Action 1 0 0 0 0 0
No Way Out (1987) 6 Thriller 1 1 0 0 0 0 remake of The Big Clock (1948)
Nobody (2021) 8 Action, Suspense 2 1 1 0 0 2 fun, but derivative of John Wick and Mr. & Mrs. Smith
North by Northwest (1959) 9 Adventure, Mystery, Suspense 2 2 2 1 2 2 probably Hitchcock’s best
North Sea Hijack (1980) 6 Adventure 2 0 0 0 1 1 Roger Moore picture, also titled ffolkes
Now, Voyager (1942) 8 Romance, Melodrama 2 1 1 0 0 2
Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010) 4 Action, Exploitation, Farce, Fetish 2 0 0 0 0 1
Once Upon a Time in America (1984) 5 Crime, Drama 1 1 1 1 0 1
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014) 7 Action, Martial Arts 1 1 0 0 0 0
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019) 8 Drama, Fantasy 2 2 1 1 2 2
Paper Moon (1973) 8 Comedy, Caper 2 1 1 1 1 2 award-winning performance by Tatum O’Neal
Papillon (1973) 8 Biographical, Adventure 2 1 1 1 2 2
Paprika (1991) 6 Erotic, Drama 2 2 1 0 1 1
Parasite (2019) 10 Comedy, Disturbing, Twist 2 1 2 2 2 2
Parents (1989) 8 Suspense, Comedy, Satire 2 1 1 2 1 2 real movie-making: evocative, good acting, transports you
Pelican Brief, The (1993) 5 Mystery, Thriller 1 0 0 0 0 1
Planet of the Apes (1968) 9 Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 1 2 2 1 2 Way better than expected. “Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
Point Blank (1967) 8 Action, Crime 2 2 1 1 1 1 somewhat dreamy or surreal which slows it down but great ‘60s feel
Project X (1968) 4 Sci-Fi 1 0 0 0 0 0
Project X (2012) 2 Teen Comedy 1 0 0 0 0 0
Psycho (1960) 9 Suspense, Drama, Thriller 2 1 1 1 2 2 Hitchcock didn’t really have a great ending that this deserved
Pulp Fiction (1994) 9 Drama, Thriller, Crime, Shock 2 2 1 2 2 2
Pumping Iron (1977) 7 Biographical, Bodybuilding 2 1 1 1 1 2
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 9 Action, Adventure 2 2 2 1 2 2
Ratatouille (2007) 9 Animation, Family, Comedy 2 1 1 1 1 2
Rear Window (1954) 7 Mystery, Suspense 1 1 1 0 1 1 decent, but overrated, could be a TV movie of the week
Recoil (2011) 6 Violence, Action, Revenge 2 2 0 0 0 1
Red Dawn (1984) 6 Adventure 2 1 0 0 1 1
Redemption (2013) 7 Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller 2 1 1 0 0 1 a.k.a.: Hummingbird
Reefer Madness (1936) 2 Propaganda 1 0 0 0 0 0 so bad it’s good, then back to bad again
Rocky Horror Picture Show, The (1975) 7 Fantasy, Comedy, Musical, Farce 2 0 0 1 2 1 quirky old stoner pic, notable for Tim Curry’s great performance and singing
Route Irish (2010) 5 Action, Drama, War 1 0 0 0 0 0
Savage Streets (1984) 7 Action, Revenge, Farce 2 1 0 0 1 1 enjoyably trashy Linda Blair movie
Scarecrow (1973) 7 Drama 1 1 1 1 1 1 70s buddy picture
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) 6 Teen Comedy, Action, Fantasy 1 1 1 1 0 1
Searchers, The (1956) 6 Western, Drama, Epic 1 0 2 1 1 0 unusually boring for such a beautifully filmed picture
Seven Samurai (1954) 7 Martial Arts, Drama, Epic 2 1 1 1 1 1 somewhat too long
Shazam! (2019) 7 Action, Fantasy, Comedy 2 0 0 0 0 1 predictable but mostly fun
Sheba, Baby (1975) 5 Action 1 1 0 0 0 1 Pam Grier movie that disappoints after her other films
Shining, The (1980) 7 Horror 1 1 1 0 1 1
Shocker (1989) 3 Horror, Satire 1 0 0 0 0 0 lame
Sicario (2015) 4 Police, Thriller, Propaganda 1 0 1 0 0 0 overrated – leads nowhere – false glorification of law enforcement
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991) 7 Crime, Thriller, Quirky 2 1 2 1 1 2
Silent Running (1972) 8 Sci-Fi 2 2 2 1 1 2 excellent, melancholy, perhaps a bit much propaganda, but required for the story
Sin City (2005) 9 Neo-Noir 2 1 2 2 1 2 intensity – not for everyone – stunning adaptation of the Miller comic
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 4 Musical 1 1 2 1 1 1 vastly overrated, only watchable for the fantastic dance numbers
Sixth Sense, The (1999) 8 Suspense, Drama, Twist 2 0 1 2 2 2
Smash Palace (1981) 7 Drama 2 1 1 0 0 2
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) 5 Action, Comedy, Farce 1 0 0 1 1 1
Something Wild (1986) 9 Comedy, Drama, Twist, Caper 2 2 2 1 2 2 almost magical ride, perhaps Liotta’s best role
Song of the South (1946) 6 Fantasy, Musical, Family 1 1 1 1 1 1
Sorcerer (1977) 8 Adventure, Drama, Suspense 2 1 2 1 2 2
Sound of Music, The (1965) 6 Classic, Family, Musical, War 1 1 1 0 1 0
Stick (1985) 3 Crime, Drama 0 0 0 0 0 0
Straight Outta Compton (2015) 7 Biography, Drama, Musical 2 1 1 0 0 1 unfortunately whitewashed and sanitized but still watchable
Stranger, The (1991) 6 Drama 2 0 1 1 1 1 Indian movie that doesn’t seem to understand its own message
Stranger, The (1995) 5 Action 1 0 0 0 0 1
Sunset Blvd. (1950) 9 Drama, Suspense, Crime 2 1 2 1 2 2 old classic and a pleasant surprise
Superbad (2007) 6 Teen Comedy 1 0 1 0 0 0
Superman (1978) • 10 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 2 2 2 1 1
Superman II (1980) • 9 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 1 2 2 1 1
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006) • 10 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 2 2 2 1 1
Superman III (1983) • 5 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 1 0 0 0 0 1 lost the plot
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) • 2 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 0 0 0 0 0 0 hopeless
Taken (2008) ◦ 9 Action, Suspense 2 2 1 1 2 2 Neeson shines. Sure, it’s simple & fanciful, but sometimes that makes the finest result.
Taken 2 (2012) ◦ 8 Action, Suspense, Farce 2 2 1 0 1 2 Still fun. You have to understand they’re playing it for laughs now
Taken 3 (2014) ◦ 7 Action, Suspense, Farce 2 1 1 0 0 2 see above; would still like to see #4, where they take Granny
Taxi Driver (1976) 8 Drama, Violence 2 2 1 1 1 2
Team America: World Police (2004) 8 Comedy, Satire, Puppets 2 1 1 1 1 2
Tears of the Sun (2003) 3 Action, War, Melodrama 0 0 0 0 0 0 ridiculous
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) • 8 Animation, Action 2 1 1 1 1 1 TTG! is one of the freshest, most intelligent cartoons today
Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans (2019) • 7 Animation, Action 2 1 1 1 1 1
Terminator, The (1984) ◦ 10 Action, Sci-Fi, Suspense 2 2 1 2 2 2
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) ◦ 10 Action, Sci-Fi 2 2 2 1 2 2
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) ◦ 7 Action, Sci-Fi 2 1 2 1 1 1 bit of a downer though
Terminator Salvation (2009) ◦ 2 Action, Sci-Fi 0 0 0 0 0 0 pointless
Terminator Genisys (2015) ◦ 2 Action, Sci-Fi 0 0 0 0 0 0 pointless
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) ◦ 2 Action, Sci-Fi 0 0 0 0 0 0 one of the biggest flops of all time
They Live (1988) 9 Action, Sci-Fi 2 2 0 1 2 2
Thing, The (1982) 9 Action, Horror, Sci-fi 2 2 1 2 2 2
Third Man, The (1949) 5 Drama 1 0 0 0 0 1 overrated, billed as a thriller but hardly so; Harry’s speech to Holly somewhat interesting
Third Person (2013) 5 Drama, Romance 1 0 0 0 0 0
This Island Earth (1955) 4 Sci-Fi 1 0 1 0 0 0 you can skip this one without much fear
Thor (2011) • 6 Action, Fantasy 1 0 0 0 0 1
Thor: The Dark World (2013) • 7 Action, Adventure, Fantasy 2 1 0 0 0 1
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) • 9 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 2 2 1 1 2 2 terrific – this is the way to do Science Fiction
Tokyo Story (1953) 7 Drama 1 1 1 1 0 1 slow, melancholy little drama film
Total Recall (1990) 10 Sci-Fi, Action 2 2 2 2 2 2 classic that never lets up or lets you down
Total Recall (2012) 2 Sci-Fi, Action 1 0 0 0 0 0 Why, oh why? Pointless drivel & time waster
Toy Story (1995) 10 Family, Fantasy, Adventure 2 2 2 2 1 2
True Romance (1993) 8 Crime, Romance, Action 2 1 1 0 1 2
UHF (1989) 2 Comedy, Satire 0 0 0 0 0 0 lousy movie – we do get Michael Richards before an extreme makeover
Ultimate Avengers (2006) 5 Animation, Action 1 1 0 0 0 1
Unforgiven (1992) 10 revisionist Western 2 1 2 2 2 2
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) 5 Sci-Fi 1 1 1 0 0 1 pretty but pretty confusing
Vertigo (1958) 8 Mystery, Thriller, Romance 1 1 2 2 1 1 overrated, hard to care about story or characters
Village of the Damned (1995) 4 Horror 1 0 0 0 0 0
Way of the Gun, The (2000) 7 Crime, Drama 2 1 1 1 1 1
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) 5 Melodrama, Twist 1 0 0 0 1 1 overwrought
Widows (2018) 5 Crime, Caper 1 1 1 0 0 1
Wild Bunch, The (1969) 6 Western 1 0 1 1 0 0 vastly overrated
Wizard of Oz, The (1939) 10 Fantasy, Musical 2 2 2 2 2 2 outstanding classic
Wrongfully Accused (1998) 2 Farce 0 0 0 0 0 0 lousy 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). The group from 60-80% are decent, 40-60% often watchable, and the rest are the dregs.

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, Parts 1 & 2 (2012)
Being There (1979)
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)
JFK (1991)
Jaws (1975)
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)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Sin City (2005)
Something Wild (1986)
Sorcerer (1977)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Superman (1978)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)
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)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)

Notable failures are Citizen Kane and His Girl Friday, of which we’ll have more to say in the future. Those two flops are ridiculously, relentlessly praised by critics, but there’s a story behind that.


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