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IMDb TOP 250 (in English)


IMDb TOP 250

I can not tell the exact date but it must have been around 3 years ago that I set the goal for myself: I wanna watch all the movies from the LIST. The IMDb list (as my girlfriend calls it the “magic list”) changed me from a mainly literature person to a mainly movie person.


See my recommendations HERE.


I got to know a lot. /Well, I spend some 500 hours doing something planned./

For example:

  • black and white movies can be much more tense and exciting than colour movies

  • usually with less visual effects come better acting

  • Many of the movies I watched in TV were simple remakes of movies (main movie plots at least) from 1940s

  • Some movies will never make it to the TOP 250: for me, a lover of idiotic/slapstick comedies/parodies/spoofs (e.g. Airplane!, Hot Shots, Wrongfully accused, etc.) was quite interesting to see that these movies generally have low rating

  • I realized / got to know that there are other movie cultures then American: Indian movies, Japanese movies, French, German, Italian, Russian, Danish, Swedish movies. They are very different with great achievements.

So what is the IMDb list? On the most known movie-sites of the world (Internet Movie Database) there is a list of the best movies solely based on the opinions of the audience. Forget about movie critics and everything else. We are talking about movies that viewers like.

To make it to the list a movie has to have 25000 votes so it must be well known and people must rate it high. If a movie has more votes with the same rating, the one with the more votes will have somewhat higher position.1 While only “regular voters” count but it's a secret who is a regular voter in order to “maintain effectiveness of the top 250 list”.2

If interested in Math click here for the formula.

Many agree that the IMDb TOP 250 list is the most known ”movie list”. The list shows the opinion of the mass of people however -obviously- can not determine the very favourite movies of YOU. My idea lying behind the decision of watching them all is to get to know “people” and people's opinion better. The list appears on a US website, most movies are made in the US too.

I am not the only one though who likes lists or particularly movie lists. Some websites are solely created to pick movies from pick / check off movies from lists.3 4 5

An interesting project about the genres of films has been made here where you can find all the film titles by genre in a subway map.

The great advantage of the IMDb list are that there are quite many votes. The first 3 most rated movies only, have more than 3.000.000 votes while even the lowest number for a movie can not be less than 25000 vote. One voter can vote only once for a movie so at least 1,1 million voters contributed to the list but the number is probably more than a few million. So it's the people's opinion, not elite movie critic's list. However, there definitely are disadvantages of the list: new movies are rated high by masses of people. When Kick Ass came out 3,5 years ago, it easily made it into the TOP 100 movies while now it's off the list. The Dark Night managed to stay as TOP #1 movie after which it slipped to the 10th place and now it's the 4th.6 As of today, 21st October 2014 there are 5 movies from 2014, 4 movies from 2013, 4 movies from 2012 and 5 from 2011. Many new but not only new movies. At the same time the list changes day by day, mostly the last 10 movies of the list. When one attempts to watch all movies from the list, one must calculate to watch at least 300 movies until the end but if you have other things to do in life so let's say you'll manage in few years, you can easily watch even more movies. From 1996 there were altogether 670 movies on the list.7

As I got to know I was not the only one who had the idea of watching “THEM ALL” from “THE LIST”.8 9

In the finish line of watching all the 250 movies I was thinking a lot about writing this article. The reason mostly is that I didn't want to say farewell to this project with a Facebook post in the middle of the night. So my idea was to write something about the fluctuation of the movies appearing on the list, the exact number of US and English language movies and a list of actors and directors that contributed to most to the movies in the list. Fortunately others were faster than me. A whole website is dedicated to the changes of the list. We can find Alfred Hitchcock the most represented director with 9 movies followed by Kubrick, Scorsese, Nolan and Miyazaki while the top actors are John Ratzenberger, Sherry Lynn, Bess Flowers, Robert De Niro, Hitchkock and so on. If interested, check them and all the movies that had been part of the list all the way from April 1996 when the sum of votes were 170.000 compared to 63.900.000 of today here.

If you are not a fan of lists, there are other ways to find good movies on IMDb. The easiest is: find you favourite movie / movie that you like, look it up on IMDb, scroll down and check: “People who liked this also liked...” where you'll have 6 recommended movies, usually good ones. While it's a good idea to look at the right side of the screen when scrolling down when you'll see lists put together by users containing the movie you like. It's usually not too difficult to find someone having similar taste to you.

If this doesn't help try “advanced search”: you can find for example Albanian movies from 1970s that are rated higher than 7. (There are 31 such movies.)



1 If the movie has a rating of 8,1 with 25.001 votes, it's weighted rating ill be ~7,55; if another movie has the same rating of 8,1 with 100.001 votes, it's weighted rating will be ~7,88.










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