The Young and the Brainless

March 4th, 2013 by Barak

After taking a look at Facebook’s most Liked movies, we couldn’t help but notice how different these movies are from IMDb’s list of top 250, not to mention BFI’s (British Film Institute) list of top 50 films of all time (chosen by hundreds of international critics.)

Here’s our take on these three lists:

Facebook’s top 10 include: Harry PotterAvatar, The Twilight Saga, Titanic, Shrek, Toy Story 3, Jackass 3, Fast & Furious, Transformers, and The Hangover.


Besides Titanic, all movies were made in the 2000′s; most of the movies are teen or family oriented, and about 40% of them are pretty much brainless (Twilight Saga, Jackass, Fast & Furious, Transformers… I’m excluding Avatar and Titanic just because I’m nice. Let’s say both of those movies have a brain, but it was lobotomized.)

IMDb’s top 10 include: The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather 2, Pulp Fiction, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, 12 Angry Men, The Dark Knight, Schindler’s List, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Fight Club.

Four of these movies were made during the 90′s, two in the 70′s, two in the 2000′s, one in the 60′s and one in the 50′s. All movies are critically acclaimed and are considered to be classics or modern classics (well, all of them besides The Dark Knight maybe.) Most of the movies in IMDb’s top 10 are testosterone driven American movies, which would be suitable for a boy’s night.

BFI’s top 10 include: Vertigo, Citizen Kane, Tokyo Story, The Rules of the Game, Sunrise, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Searchers, The Man with a Movie Camera, and The Passion of Joan of Arc, 8 1/2.

The most recent movie in BFI’s top 10 was made in 1968… Three more were made in the 50′s, three in the 1920′s(!), one in the 40′s, one in the 30′s and one more during the 60′s. Seven of these movies are B&W movies and six of them are foreign. The BFI guys would definitely shake their heads in disagreement while listening to Frank Sinatra‘s song “the best is yet to come”, because they’re pretty sure the best has already happened, and it was a long, long time ago.

Places 11-20 in Facebook’s book include: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Saw, Finding Nemo, Twilight, Step Up, 2012, Dirty Dancing, The Dark Knight, Paranormal Activity, and The Lion King.

Eight movies from the 2000′s, one from the 80′s and one from the 90′s. All ten are teen or family oriented and were made in the U.S. In risk of receiving death threats I’ll say that six of the ten are cinematic trash (garbage didn’t sound appropriate), some of them are fun trash, but trash nonetheless (Pirates of the Caribbean, Saw, Twilight, Step Up, 2012 and Paranormal Activity. There’s a whole lot of trash and a bit of fun in these brackets.)

Places 11-20 in IMDb’s list include: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Inception, Goodfellas, Star Wars, Seven Samurai, Forrest Gump, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Three movies are from the 2000′s and three from the 90′s, two are from the 70′s, one is from the 80′s and another one is from the 50′s. Once again, IMDb’s top movies continue the trend of highly acclaimed movies which are more boys/men oriented, while this time also showcasing a bit more Sci-Fi and a little less criminal intent.

Places 11-20 in BFI’s list include: Battleship Potemkin, L’Atalante, Breathless, Apocalypse Now, Late Spring, Au hasard Balthazar, Seven Samurai, Persona, The Mirror, and Singin’ in the Rain.

These are very old movies, most of them B&W; eight are foreign movies and none were made during the past 35 years. May I remind you this list was comprised in 2012?

If I had to put a face to each list, Facebook’s list seems like it was made by a young hysterical girl with a real passion for reading (tweets.) Miley Cyrus could have written it with the help of her younger brother (if she has one.)

IMDb’s list seems compatible with a male American film enthusiast; someone like Quentin Tarantino.

And I guess that the face that’s most suitable to represent BFI’s list is that of a European film connoisseur (French no doubt) over the age of 80; let’s say Jean-Luc Godard.

To sum it up, BFI’s opinion is that cinema’s golden age ended back when Moses still wore short pants, and that good movies are eternal, even if they were made in the 1920′s and didn’t include color, or a spoken voice; Most Facebook users probably think that a movie can’t be good if it doesn’t include robots, zombies and/or vampires, and even then, it might be good only if it was made after the year 2000 of course; Preferably after the year 2010. And so, I think that IMDb is the voice of reason in this instance (at least when compared with the other two lists), including great movies that were made in the past, along with great movies that are still being made today.

So, why not end on a positive note, and just say hooray for (good) movies!

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