Guest column: judging IMDb's top 15
This article is a guest column by the Movie Guru himself, Declan Riordan.
IMDb is 100% the most credible and respected movie review database in the world, unless you’re a movie hipster who hates everything that everyone else loves. If that’s you, keep reading anyway, I need the page views.
If anything in the world of movie review websites is overdone, it’s “Top X” lists. That’s why, instead of making my own, I’m going to evaluate someone else’s.
IMDb contains one of the most well known “Top X” lists in the form of their Top 250 Rated Movies chart, which ranks movies by IMDb user ratings. I’m here to decide whether IMDb’s users are up to snuff. Let’s get right to it.
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Decidedly the least-loved child of the LotR franchise, The Two Towers is a disgrace to John Rhys-Davies’ (Gimli) illustrious acting career and a slight on Viggo Mortensen’s beautiful face. Damn straight it’s ranked lower than its beloved siblings.
14. Inception (2010)
Pretty sure this is a sci-fi take on (500) Days of Summer, where Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls in love with Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), but it all turns out to be a dream! The scene where Tom wakes up right before the Titanic sinks only to realize that he was in bed with Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) the whole time is breathtaking and slots this movie in well at #14. A movie well ahead of its time.
13. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
I always mix the Star Wars movies up. I think this was the one where Luke finds out his dad sucks? Maybe not, though. Either way, I could watch a looped GIF of a lightsaber battle for upwards of 12 hours and still peg it as a top-15 film, so I’m okay with this placement.
12. Forrest Gump (1994)
In all seriousness, why is this movie not ranked higher? Number 12 is for chumps, and if you think Forrest Gump is a chump, you’re probably ableist. Heart-wrenching and action-packed, Forrest Gump represents America at its finest. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) really carried the United States to glory in the world ping-pong championships and I think this movie did a great job at portraying this true story.
Edit: I just had a flashback to every day of middle school cross country practice, when I heard constant shouts of “Run, Forrest, run!” follow me up and down pretty much every block. Fuck this movie and anyone who quotes that line at me. Get it off the top 15.
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
My editor tells me this list is too long and that I should’ve started at number 10. Too late for that, I’ll skip over a few later. For now, we’ll bask in the glory of the film that raised up nerds everywhere and made people actually attempt to learn a made up language: Elfish. I knew a guy in college who thought he was cool because he could write in elfish. He tried to steal my girlfriend. Now that I think about it, even Orlando Bloom couldn’t save this film from becoming overburdened by weird kids who take it too far. Get off my top 15.
10. Fight Club (1999)
Not many of you probably know this yet, but this movie is actually really amazing for one reason: Edward Norton’s character is actually a schizophrenic! Now go back and watch this movie again so that you can finally understand why it’s good. You’re welcome.
9. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
I never actually saw this one and my editor was right about my list being a little ambitious, so I’m going to skip this one.
8. Pulp Fiction (1994)
I feel as if I say anything, good or bad, about this movie I’ll be roasted for years to come. I value my emotions, so I will pass on this one as well.
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Ohhhhh baby, we hit the motherload with this one. Gandalf gets more badass, Boromir is still dead, and we get to watch an entire race get exterminated. Sorry orcs. This movie deserves its spot.
6. Schindler’s List (1993)
Speaking of wars on an entire race, this movie deserves it’s spot simply because if you disagree with it you’re automatically a Nazi. I don’t set the rules, just enforce them.
5. 12 Angry Men (1957)
I was really hoping for more from this movie. I’m not a fan of conflict, so the premise of this really made me nervous. My worst fears were validated when it was literally just 12 guys bickering for hours on end. I like the black-and-white special effect though, so I’d maybe place it at #12 instead.
4. The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger and Christopher Nolan, fuck yeah!
3&2. The Godfather (1972), The Godfather: Part II (1974)
I decided to group these together because they’re too similar sounding. I feel like if someone made a movie and then someone else made a movie and called it the same thing but added "Part II” onto it then there’d be some legal action involved, but I guess everyone was chill with it. Also, I’ve never seen these films, so I’m going to skip ‘em.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
If you think this movie doesn’t deserve #1, you’re an asshole. The narration was Morgan Freeman’d to perfection and I shed one single tear at the end. Movies that make you bawl are bad, movies that you don’t cry at are shit, so this was a smooth navigation through a rock and a hard place. Couldn’t have done it better myself.