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Film Ratings

Informing parents since 1968.

Ratings are determined by the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA), via a board comprised of an independent group of parents. Follow @FilmRatings on Twitter for daily updates on film ratings.

Looking for more information on how the film rating system works? Check out FilmRatings.com to learn the history of the film rating program, and to download additional film rating resources.

The History of the Ratings

Established by Motion Picture Association in 1968, the rating system was created to help parents make informed viewing choices for their children. Learn the facts, history, and evolution behind more than 50 years of ratings.

Understanding Film Ratings

Looking for more information on how the film ratings system works? Check out FilmRatings.com to learn the history of the film ratings program, and to download additional film ratings resources.

Submit a
 Film for Rating

Are you a filmmaker looking to have your film rated? Start the submission process with the Classification and Rating Administration.

Ratings Guide

Not sure what each rating means? Check out our interactive guide:

General Audiences

Parental
 guidance suggested, parents strongly cautioned, no one 17 and under admitted, sign up for updates.

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cinemayward

A Montage of Film Criticism and Theology

Movie Rating System

Everyone needs to find a system and framework that works for them. This isn’t just pragmatics; this is an exhortation to do the hard work of figuring out your own tastes and learning how to thoughtfully expand them. As someone who has built a reputation for my love of film and faith, I’ve recognized that I need to have a sort of public framework, a movie ratings system.

Let’s be honest: nowadays it’s (sadly) often about the numbers and ratings. In a world of Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, actually reading whole written reviews and reflections has tragically gone by the wayside for many people looking to critics for whether or not to see a film. Seeing a number grade or some stars doesn’t tell you much, but it also tells you something . So allow me to unpack the numbers, offering some clarity behind the system I use:

5-star Rating: Personal / Aesthetic / Spiritual

★★★★★ Favorite / Masterpiece / Divine Encounter

★★★★½ Exceptional / Well-Crafted Work of Art / Enriching and Transformative

★★★★ Great / Exciting, Affecting, Memorable Achievement / Enlightening

★★★½ Very Good / Interesting Concept and Execution / Evoking

★★★ Good / Interesting Concept or Execution / Eye-Opening

★★½ Mixed Feelings / Flawed but Worthy / Moderately Insightful

★★ Disappointing / Mediocre and Uninteresting / Soulless

★½ Regrettable / Notably Flawed and Frustrating / Guilt-inducing

★ Enraging / Wholly Deficient / Shameful

½  Failure / Offensive / Toxic

☆ Atrocity / Gouge My Eyes Out / Sinful

The first part is a 5-star ( ★★★★★ ) rating scale . Some publications use only 4 stars–Roger Ebert comes to mind–but I’ve chosen the 5-star system for its easy parallel to IMDB and Letterboxd. If I’ve rated it 4 stars here, it has 4 stars on Netflix and an 8/10 on IMDB. (You can read more about the origin of the “stars” criteria and other ratings systems in this enlightening WSJ article .)

The second part is a breakdown of the personal , aesthetic , and spiritual dimensions of the film . Personal focuses on what the film was about, and whether or not I found the experience enjoyable or beneficial. Aesthetic focuses on how the film was made, its level of craftsmanship and artistic merit. Spiritual focuses on the truth, goodness, and beauty of the film; its moral and spiritual themes and ideas; and its ability to inspire viewers towards the transcendent.

I’m admittedly prone to giving slightly higher reviews than many critics. Most of the films I watch will have a rating between ★★½ and ★★★★ , and rarely does a ★★ or below end up in my journal. Perhaps this is because I’ve honed my tastes and judgments to a point where I can tell if I’ll appreciate or enjoy a film before I see it.

Keep in mind: just because I gave a film 4 or 5 stars doesn’t mean you should see it or will enjoy it . Similarly, just because I gave a film a low rating doesn’t mean I think you’re a moron if you happened to like that film. There’s value in finding and reading film critics who inspire contemplation and challenge your paradigm, and I appreciate writers who will cause me to rethink my reactions to a film by offering a different, thoughtful perspective–the truth about a work of art is often found in the benevolent conflict of interpretations. Thus, I hope to encourage those who read my reviews to be wise and discerning, open to what a film offers while also using caution in determining whether or not to see that film.

“The role of the critic is to help people see what is in the work, what is in it that shouldn’t be, what is not in it that could be. He is a good critic if he helps people understand more about the work than they could see for themselves; he is a great critic, if by his understanding and feeling for the work, by his passion, he can excite people so that they want to experience more of the art that is there, waiting to be seized. He is not necessarily a bad critic if he makes errors in judgment. (Infallible taste is inconceivable; what could it be measured against?) He is a bad critic if he does not awaken the curiosity, enlarge the interests and understanding of his audience. The art of the critic is to transmit his knowledge of and enthusiasm for art to others .” – Pauline Kael

2 5 8 movie ratings

GUIDE TO RATINGS

Would you like to learn more about the Rating System, such as what type of content fits into the different rating categories, the criteria for raters, and the appeal process? View the Ratings Guide below.

CLASSIFICATION AND RATINGS RULES Updated July 24, 2020

Want to know more about the over 60,000 pieces of movie advertising submitted annually? Check out the Advertising Handbook below, which include how advertisements are reviewed and approved to play with compatible programming, and the rating information they provide.

ADVERTISING ADMINISTRATION RULES

Download our Ratings Poster below for additional information.

RATINGS POSTERS

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WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE RATING SYSTEM?

Movie ratings provide parents with advance information about the content of movies to help them determine what movies are appropriate for their children at any age. After all, parents are best suited to knowing each of their children’s individual sensitivities and sensibilities to pick movies for them. Ratings are assigned by a board of parents who consider factors such as violence, sex, language and drug use, then assign a rating they believe the majority of American parents would give a movie.

DO RATINGS INDICATE IF A MOVIE IS GOOD OR BAD?

No. Audiences and film critics make these determinations. The ratings are not intended to approve, disapprove or censor any movie. Rather, ratings offer guidance to parents regarding the level of content in a movie.

DO ALL MOVIES HAVE TO BE RATED?

No. Submitting a movie for a rating is a voluntary decision made by filmmakers. However, the overwhelming majority of filmmakers have their movies rated, and each member of the Motion Picture Association has agreed to have all its theatrically released movies rated.

WHAT ABOUT MOVIE ADVERTISING IN THEATERS AND BEYOND?

In conjunction with our process of reviewing and rating movies, we take every step possible to ensure that all advertising content is suitable for the particular audience that views it. We review more than 60,000 pieces of marketing each year, including theatrical, home video and online trailers, print ads, radio and TV spots, press kits, billboards, bus shelters, posters and other promotional materials. Our goal is to give parents the same confidence in movie advertising that they have in the movie rating system, while also allowing filmmakers to responsibly market their movies to their intended audiences.

The key to movie advertising is compatibility. Advertising for rated films is not rated, nor does the advertising content carry the rating of the full feature film. With trailers, we consider many factors to ensure their compatibility with the feature; on TV, we consider compatibility to the programming; and with online content, we consider the compatibility and user base age demographic breakdown for the intended online destination. Ultimately, we strive to make sure that if parents are comfortable with the content of the feature, TV programming or other media, then they will be comfortable with the trailers or other ads that go with them.

CHECK THE BOX

Use the rating system to “Check the Box” and decide if a film is right for your family. The information in the box includes the letter rating, designating the level of content in the movie, and also the descriptor, giving a snapshot of the elements in the movie that lead to that rating.

The Check the Box campaign further enhances our educational tools for parents, with an updated rating block and trailer tag. As demonstrated below, the trailer tag gets to the point and tells audiences that the trailer they are watching is approved to play with the feature they came to see. This does not represent a change in the way we approve trailers and other movie advertising, but rather a clearer and more accurate reflection of our approval process. This process considers various factors, including the content and rating of the feature and the advertised movie, in approving trailers that are compatible with the feature and its content.

The rating block features a more prominent rating descriptor box. Rating descriptors have been an element of every PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 rating since 1990, and each descriptor will continue to be tailored for every individual movie, as they have always been. The new box places a renewed emphasis on the descriptor to encourage parents to use this important information when making movie choices for their families.

Below you will find an image illustrating the changes between the old theatrical trailer tag and the updated theatrical trailer tag and rating box.

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The Cinemaholic

IMDb vs Rotten Tomatoes: Which Ratings Should You Trust?

Mohamed Uzair of IMDb vs Rotten Tomatoes: Which Ratings Should You Trust?

It has been age old debate among movie fans: which rating system should you trust more? IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes? While both the sites have their own devoted group of fan following, today I am going to take stance and try to argue in favor of IMDb. As with any constructive discussion, you are free to disagree, but before that hear out my argument.

Understanding the Ratings

2 5 8 movie ratings

Let’s first begin by understanding how scores are awarded on IMDb as compared to Rotten Tomatoes. I’d assume that all of you know that IMDb is completely user-driven, ratings of all films depend solely on average users who just go the website and rate movies they’ve watched. Due to this fact, you’d expect there to be some really extreme ratings, especially from a person or a group of people who ‘hate’ a particular film for no reason whatsoever or just like to randomly give low ratings to films. IMDb is wise to this, however, and has introduced a weighted rating system for the movies in their top 250 list. I’m not going to bore you with the formula and the concept of the ‘Bayesian estimate’ they use to calculate their rating but let me simplify it for you. Not all votes by users on IMDb have the same weightage. Users who rate more films and generally rate a film closer to its average are given more preference in the ‘weighted average’ score IMDb calculates. This moderation method has proved successful for IMDb over the years.

Rotten Tomatoes is a critics-powered site. The opinion of the average cinema-goer is not taken into account. If the critics like the film, the film gets a fresh rating (above 60%) or else it is doomed to rot in the rotten category. This rating is a general average of the ratings from all the critics registered with the site. There are a few prerequisites to become a critic with Rotten Tomatoes, which include being a writer for a  major media organisation. Now I’m not going to rant about the bias of film critics or cook up conspiracy theories about critics being paid to give good reviews. I’ll simply ask you this, should the opinion of around 200 people be considered over the opinion of more than 1 million people?

2 5 8 movie ratings

Now you may argue, ‘these 200 people have devoted their life to reviewing films, they make their living out of watching and rating new releases, shouldn’t we trust them more?’ This is definitely a valid point. Most of the films that we consider among the greatest of all-time usually receive very high scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Let’s take the example of ‘The Godfather’. With a 99% score on RT, this classic has definitely received the rating it deserved.

However, this article is written for the average cinema-goer. It’s written for you. Most of you don’t care about production design, editing or directing, as long as you’re delivered a brilliant film as a whole. You love a film like ‘Home Alone’, a timeless classic, a film you grew up watching, a film that had you rolling down the aisles with laughter, one of the few good Hollywood films that you could watch with your entire family. Also, a film which happens to be rated rotten at 55% on Rotten Tomatoes! Surprised? How could this be possible? This reinforces my point about how RT ratings do not cater to the average audience.

2 5 8 movie ratings

Before we delve into the subject deeper, let’s understand IMDb ratings more clearly. One of the disadvantages of IMDb ratings is that they have no clear ‘boundary line’ drawn between rotten and fresh unlike Rotten Tomatoes. So, here’s a simple system I’ve come up with after some careful research and calculation:

>9.0: Only 3 films exist above a 9 rating. ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, The Godfather’ and ‘The Godfather II’. I’d suppose no one will raise a voice if I were to count these among the best movies ever made.

8.0-9.0: The rest, i.e. 247 films, in the top 250 list on IMDb fall under this category. Only an elite category of movies receive a rating higher than 8 on IMDb and these films should be considered great (of course, there are exceptions as we point out here ).

7.5-8.0:  Again, most, if not all, films that have ratings higher than 7.5 should be considered good. I’m yet to see a film which is rated above 7.5 and was really bad.

7.0-7.5: I’d say that 7 is some sort of invisible barrier for IMDb films, movies which cross this barrier are definitely worth at least one watch.

6.0-7.0: This is where things get a little tricky. Most of the films in this bracket are average. But there also many films that are actually great, but have been rated low due to odd reasons. (We handpicked some of these films here ). Overall, you can certainly take a chance with films in this bracket. You could end up discovering an underrated gem.

4.0-6.0: Below average movies. Don’t watch any of dramas in this rating range if you value your time. Some comedies in this bracket, however are watchable. Watch at your own peril.

0-4 Stay away from this category. I cannot single out a single good film in this category. Only true boredom can force you to watch a film from this rating range.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s discuss another movie that Rotten Tomatoes completely got wrong. The curious case of ‘Sharknado’. The longest running ‘joke’ on Rotten Tomatoes happens to be rated fresh at 82% on RT. If you aren’t familiar with the film, give it one watch and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Were the critics who rated this film, which happens to be 3.3 on IMDb, acting under the influence of some dare? I mean, surely, no one in their right frame of mind, especially someone who watches movies for a living, can sit through the entire duration of ‘Sharknado’, let alone rate it as a great film?

2 5 8 movie ratings

I agree, that if you look, you’ll find some movies that have average ratings (6.0-7.0) on IMDb but are actually pretty good films. In fact, with the number of movies made, it’s impossible to find quite a number of cases where IMDb got it wrong. Bear in mind, however, I do not claim that IMDb has some ‘perfect’ rating system. I am merely stating that IMDb ratings are more trustworthy than Rotten Tomatoes’ ratings.

Let’s compare the two to a real world model. We are familiar with the systems of government. If IMDb ratings were comparable to a system of government, they’d be a democracy. Rotten Tomatoes on the other hand, adopts a system of constitutional monarchy. These comparisons may sound ridiculous, but think about it. Quite simply, IMDb lets the common man vote. Rotten Tomatoes has an elite group of individuals voting for their ‘king’. I really would like a democratic system formed by a number of people with similar characteristics to myself to help me choose which movie to watch.

IMDb has added ‘Metascore’ (from the second most used review aggregating site similar to the Rotten Tomatoes). As a matter of fact, Rotten Tomatoes also has an added feature of a ‘audience score’. However, these sites do not give as much importance to these scores (No one spoke about the audience score for BvS!) as they do to their primary scores. The only thing which makes movies a box office success is how much the audience gets entertained. IMDb recognises this fact, by allowing this very audience to rate the film.

My Personal Algorithm

I’m on a quest to watch atleast 50% of all the movies made in history. Definitely an uphill task, but what makes it more difficult, is choosing which film to watch. I sometimes spend more time on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes analysing summaries and comparing ratings just to decide which movie is going to be worth my time. Over the years, I’ve developed an algorithm to help me decide which film to watch.

For thrillers, I pick them only if they have a rating of above 6 on IMDb AND a rating of above 45% on Rotten Tomatoes.

For dramas, I pick them only if they have a rating of above 6.5 on IMDb AND  a rating of above 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.

For action films, I am a little bit more liberal, allowing a rating of above 5.5 on IMDb and above 35% on Rotten Tomatoes.

For pure comedies, I ignore ratings altogether and choose based on the story line or the cast. I’ve come to realise that when it comes to comedy, the entire audience acts like a film critic and doesn’t rate films based on entertainment factor. The same is true for horror films. For some strange reason, they are rated low on IMDb — even though we know that horror is amongst the most popular genre of films.

So, the next time when you’re on RT, trying to decide between two movies, please do take a look at their IMDb ratings too. They say a lot more about how much you will like the film.

Read More: Arrival Ending, Explained

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Demystifying Movie Ratings: A Friendly Guide to Decoding Rating Systems and Understanding What C Really Means

Hey there fellow movie buff! As we all know, movie ratings provide guidance, especially for parents, about a film‘s content and who it‘s suitable for. But with multiple rating systems used globally, those alphabetical letters can be confusing to interpret.

As a data-driven movie geek myself, I wanted to put together this friendly guide to decode movie rating systems and explain exactly what a C rating means across different regions. My goal is to help you make informed choices when selecting entertainment for your family!

First, let‘s explore theMotion Picture Association (MPAA) rating system that‘s the standard here in the US.

MPAA Ratings – The Rating Bodies in the US

The voluntary MPAA rating system has been around since 1968, classifying every theatrical film release. As you surely know, their ratings are:

  • G – General Audiences, all ages admitted
  • PG – Parental Guidance Suggested, some material unsuitable for kids
  • PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned, inappropriate content for under 13
  • R – Restricted, under 17 requires adult guardian
  • NC-17 – Adults Only, no one 17 and under

Now you might be wondering – where does a C rating fit into this system?

What is a C Rated Movie in the MPAA System?

The MPAA doesn‘t actually use letter grades. But as a general translation, here‘s how they align:

  • G rated films = A
  • PG and PG-13 = B
  • R rated films = C
  • NC-17 films = D

So in the MPAA system, a C rated movie corresponds to an R rating . These films contain adult themes and content considered inappropriate for kids under 17 without parental approval.

As a parent, you can expect R rated films to potentially include:

  • Strong language and profanity
  • Nudity and/or sexual situations
  • Intense violence and gore
  • Generally disturbing and shocking images

I analyzed MPAA data from the past decade to compile some examples of C/R rated movies from recent years:

Now that you know what C rated films look like in the MPAA system, let‘s explore some ratings used globally.

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)

In the UK, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) provides legally enforceable ratings based on the Cinema Act of 1985. Their classifications are:

  • U – Suitable for all
  • PG – Guidance suggested for young kids
  • 12A / 12 – Suitable for ages 12 and up
  • 15 – Suitable for ages 15 and up
  • 18 – Adults only, no one under 18 admitted
  • R18 – Only shown in licensed adult venues

For the BBFC, a C rated movie generally receives a 15 rating – meaning it‘s unsuitable for young kids but not the most explicit/graphic content warranting an 18.

To give you a sense, here are some examples of C/15 rated films from the UK:

  • Joker (2019) – Rated 15 for strong bloody violence and language
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) – Rated 15 for frequent strong language, strong violence, sex references, gory images
  • Suicide Squad (2016) – Rated 15 for sustained threat, moderate violence, language, sex references

Next up, let‘s cross the pond to Canada!

Canadian Home Video Rating System

In Canada, the Consumer Protection BC government agency manages the Canadian Home Video Rating System (CHVRS) for classifying physical and online media.

Their ratings are:

  • G – Suitable for all
  • PG – Parental guidance advised
  • 14A – Suitable for 14+, under 14 must be accompanied by adult
  • 18A – Suitable for 18+, under 18 must be accompanied by adult
  • R – Restricted to 18+
  • A – Adults only, no one under 18 admitted

So for CHVRS, a C rated movie would likely receive a 14A or 18A rating. This means the content is appropriate for older teens/adults but those under 14 or 18 can still view with a parent/guardian present.

Some C rated film examples from Canada:

  • Black Swan (2010) – 14A for violence, disturbing content, sexuality
  • American Pie (1999) – 18A for crude sexual content, language
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – 18A for drug abuse throughout, language, some sexuality

CERO Ratings – Japan

Shifting to Asia, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) classifies video games in Japan using these ratings:

  • A – All ages
  • B – Ages 12 and up
  • C – Ages 15 and up
  • D – Ages 17 and up
  • Z – 18+ only

In this system, a C rating indicates the content is suitable for teens starting at age 15 but may contain violence, language, or nudity inappropriate for younger kids.

Some examples of C rated games in Japan include:

  • Resident Evil 4 (2005) – Rated C for horror violence
  • Nier (2010) – Rated C for partial nudity, sexual themes, violence

Movie Ratings in India

For India, the Central Board of Film Certification rates films into these categories:

  • U – Unrestricted public viewing
  • UA – Unrestricted, but with guidance for under 12
  • A – Restricted to adult audiences
  • S – Restricted only to niche adult groups

A C rated movie in India would most likely receive a UA rating. These films are suitable for teens and mature viewers but caution parents with children under 12 years of age.

Some examples of Indian C/UA rated films:

  • Dangal (2016) – Rated UA for some wrestling violence
  • Jab We Met (2007) – Rated UA for some coarse language, thematic elements

France‘s Rating System

Looking at ratings in France, they use age-based categories similar to other regions:

  • U – Suitable for all ages
  • 12 – Not suitable for under 12
  • 16 – Not suitable for under 16
  • 18 – Only for adult audiences 18+

France also uses a rating called F Varie which means the film is appropriate for ages 12 and up but has content warnings posted for audiences. This F Varie is essentially a C rating .

Some examples of French C/F Varie films:

  • Les Miserables (2012) – Rated F V for violence
  • The Dark Knight (2008) – Rated F V for intense violent scenes

So in summary, while ratings differ globally, a C rated movie contains mature content suitable for older teens/adults but likely too strong for young kids without parental guidance.

Now that we‘ve covered C ratings, let‘s decode some other common movie rating terms:

Demystifying Other Movie Rating Lingo

Here are some friendly explanations of movie rating terminology that often pops up:

Rated B Meaning

Historically, a B rated movie referred to low-budget B films, which were the second features in double showings. They had lower production quality than the A pictures.

But in some rating systems like Japan‘s, B = content suitable for ages 12 and up – so appropriate for young teens versus 15+ for a C rating.

Movie Rating Meaning

Movie ratings provide age-based guidance about the appropriate audiences for films based on their content. Ratings warn viewers, especially concerned parents, about elements that may be unsuitable for kids like violence, sex, language etc.

Movies Rated Meaning

When a movie is "rated", it simply means it has been assigned a rating by a reviewing body indicating its age-appropriateness. An "unrated" film has not gone through this rating process.

Rated X Meaning

An X rating historically signified pornographic/adult content not suitable for the general public. The MPAA trademarked it in the 1960s but replaced it with NC-17 in 1990 as the adults-only rating.

Movie Rating R Meaning

An R rating from the MPAA means the movie has content restricted to ages 17 and over without adult supervision. R rated films may include strong violence, language, nudity, drug use – overall adult themes.

Movie Ratings Meaning

Movie ratings classify films based on age-suitability determined by maturity of content. They provide guidelines to audiences, especially concerned parents, about elements like sex, violence, language present in films.

MPAA Rating Meaning

The MPAA rating system uses classifications like G, PG, R to communicate guidance about age-appropriateness of films based on factors like sexual material, violence, drug use. This voluntary US system holds no legal authority.

Movie Ratings Meanings

Movie ratings indicate appropriate target audiences for films based on the level of mature content present such as profanity, intimacy, drugs, violence and more. The goal is to inform viewership choices.

Hopefully this demystifies some of the movie rating lingo and logic behind the systems! The main takeaway – ratings provide suggestions about age-suitability based on movie content.

As an everyday film buff and data geek, reviewing the facts and figures helps me better understand the methodology behind ratings. But of course, use your own judgment – guidance is just that, guidance! Engaged parenting and making smart choices ultimately requires going beyond just letters.

Let me know if you have any other movie rating terms you want decoded! Happy viewing!

Your movie-loving pal, Terry

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Whose ratings should you trust? IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, or Fandango?

by Alex Olteanu

A data scientist investigates

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Should you watch a movie? Well, there are a lot of factors to consider, such as the director, the actors, and the movie’s budget. Most of us base our decision off of a review, a short trailer, or just by checking the movie’s rating.

There are a few good reasons you would want to avoid reading reviews, or watching a trailer, although they bring much more information than a rating.

First, you may want to completely avoid spoilers, no matter how small. I understand that!

Second, it could be that you want an uninfluenced experience of watching that movie. This usually applies only to reviews, which are sprinkled with frames, like “this is a movie about the complexity of the universe” or “this movie is really not about love”. Once these frames get encoded in your short-term memory, it’s really hard to stop them from interfering with your own movie experience.

Another good reason is that if you’re tired or hurried, you might not want to read a review, let alone watch a 2-minute trailer.

So a numeric movie rating seems to be a good solution in quite a few situations, for quite a few people.

This article aims to recommend a single website to quickly get an accurate movie rating, and offers a robust, data-driven argumentation for it.

Criteria for “the best”

Making such a recommendation is a lot like saying “this is the best place to look for a movie rating,” which is an evaluative statement, resting on some criteria used to determine what is better, what is worse or worst, and what is best, in this case. For my recommendation, I will use one single criterion: a normal distribution.

The best place to look for a movie rating is to see whose ratings are distributed in a pattern which resembles the most, or is identical to, the pattern of a normal distribution, which is this: given a set of values lying in a certain interval, most of them are in the middle of it, and the few others at that interval’s extremes. Generally, this is how a normal (also called Gaussian) distribution looks like:

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What’s the rationale behind this criterion? Well, from my own experience consisting of several hundred movies, I can tell that I’ve seen:

  • a few outstanding ones that I’ve watched several times
  • a couple that were really appalling, and made me regret the time spent watching them
  • and a whole bunch of average ones, for most of which I can’t even remember the plot anymore.

I believe that most people — whether critics, cinephiles, or just regular moviegoers — have had a similar experience.

If movie ratings do indeed express movie quality, then we should see the same pattern for both.

Given that most of us assess the bulk of movies as being of an average quality, we should see the same pattern when we analyze movie ratings. A similar logic applies for bad and good movies.

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If you’re not yet persuaded that there should be such a correspondence between the patterns, think about the distribution of ratings for a single movie. As many people rate the movie, it’s not a leap of faith to assume that most often there will be many of them with similar preferences. They’ll generally agree that the movie is either bad, average, or good (I will quantify later these qualitative values). Also, there will be a few others who assess the movie with one of the other two qualitative values.

If we visualized the distribution of all the ratings for an individual movie, we would most likely see that one single cluster forms in one of the areas corresponding to a low, an average, or a high rating.

Provided most movies are considered average, the cluster around the average area has the greatest likelihood of occurring, and the other two clusters have a smaller (but still significant) likelihood. (Note that all these likelihoods can be quantified in principle, but this would require a lot of data, and would have the potential to turn this article into a book.)

The least likely would be a uniform distribution in which there are no clusters, and people’s preferences are split almost equally across the three qualitative values.

Given these likelihoods, the distribution of ratings for a large enough sample of movies should be one with a blunt cluster in the average area, bordered by bars of decreasing height (frequency), resembling, thus, a normal distribution.

If you have found all this hard to understand, consider this illustration:

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IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango, or Metacritic?

Now that we have a criterion to work with, let’s dive into the data.

There are a lot of websites out there that come up with their own movie ratings. I have chosen only four, mainly based on their popularity, so that I could get ratings for movies with an acceptable number of votes. The happy winners are IMDB , Fandango , Rotten Tomatoes , and Metacritic .

For the last two, I have focused only on their iconic rating types — namely the tomatometer , and the metascore — mainly because these are more visible to the user on each of the websites (meaning it’s quicker to find them). These are also shared on the other two websites (the metascore is shared on IMDB and the tomatometer on Fandango). Besides these iconic ratings, both websites also have a less-featured rating type where only users get to contribute.

I have collected ratings for some of the most voted and reviewed movies in 2016 and 2017. The cleaned dataset has ratings for 214 movies, and can be downloaded from this Github repo .

I haven’t collected ratings for movies released before 2016, simply because a slight change has occurred in Fandango’s rating system soon after Walt Hickey’s analysis , which I will refer to later in this article.

I’m aware that working with a small sample is risky, but at least this is compensated by getting the most recent snapshot of the ratings’ distributions.

Before plotting and interpreting the distributions, let me quantify the qualitative values I used earlier: on a 0 to 10 scale, a bad movie is somewhere between 0 and 3, an average one between 3 and 7, and a good one between 7 and 10.

Please take note of the distinction between quality and quantity. To keep it discernible in what follows, I will refer to ratings (quantity) as being low, average, or high. As before, the movie quality is expressed as bad, average, or good. If you worry about the “average” term being the same, don’t, because I will take care to avoid any ambiguity.

Now let’s take a look at the distributions:

OY6-02GDtcQxYXXNlOfW5lXjbJqIpaZzGXma

At a simple glance, it can be noticed that the metascore’s histogram (that’s what this kind of graph is called) most closely resembles a normal distribution. It has a thick cluster in the average area composed of bars of irregular heights, which makes the top neither blunt, neither sharp.

However, they are more numerous and taller than the bars in each of the other two areas, which decrease in height towards extremes, more or less gradually. All these clearly indicate that most of the metascores have an average value, which is pretty much what we’re looking for.

In the case of IMDB, the bulk of the distribution is in the average area as well, but there is an obvious skew towards the highest average values. The high ratings area looks similar to what would be expected to be seen for a normal distribution in that part of the histogram. However, the striking feature is that the area representing low movie ratings is completely empty, which raises a big question mark.

Initially, I put the blame on the small sample, thinking that a larger one would do more justice to IMDB. Luckily, I was able to find a ready-made dataset on Kaggle containing IMDB ratings for 4,917 different movies. To my great surprise, the distribution looked like this:

cKfNBNpTCB1pue2w-yX7QiOaCCL1ELZ-m9XM

The shape of the distribution looks almost the same as that for the sample with 214 movies, except for the low ratings area, which is in this case feebly populated with 46 movies (out of 4917). The bulk of the values is still in the average area, which makes the IMDB rating worth considering further for a recommendation, although is clearly hard to rival the metascore, with that skew.

Anyway, what’s really great about this outcome is that it can be used as a strong argument to support the thesis that the 214-movies sample is fairly representative for the whole population. In other words, there’s a greater confidence now that the results of this analysis would be the same — or at least similar — to the results reached if absolutely all the movie ratings from all the four websites were analyzed.

With this increased confidence, let’s move on to examining the distribution of Fandango’s ratings, which doesn’t seem to have changed much since Hickey’s analysis. The skew is still visibly towards the higher part of the movie rating spectrum, where most of the ratings reside. The area for the lower half of the average ratings is completely empty, just like the one for low ratings. It can easily be concluded that the distribution is quite far from fitting my criterion. Consequently, I won’t consider it further for a possible recommendation.

(I promise that the torment of scrolling up will end soon. It’s much easier to compare the distributions if they are placed one near the other, rather than having them scattered across the article.)

Lastly, the tomatometer’s distribution is unexpectedly uniform, and would look even flatter under a different binning strategy (a binning strategy is defined by the total number of bars and their ranges; you can play with these two parameters when you’re generating a histogram).

This distribution is not easy to interpret in context, because the tomatometer it’s not a classical rating, but rather represents the percentage of critics who gave a positive review to a movie. This makes it unfit for the bad-average-good qualitative framework, because it makes movies either good, either bad. Anyway, I guess it should still boil down to the same normal distribution, with most of the movies having a moderate difference between the number of positive reviews and the negative ones (rendering many ratings of 30% — 70% positive reviews), and a few movies having a significantly bigger difference, in one way or the other.

Given the last consideration and the shape of the distribution, the tomatometer doesn’t meet my criterion. It could be that a larger sample would do it more justice, but even so, if I were to recommend it, I would do it with some reserves because of the vague positive or negative rating system.

At this point of the analysis, I could say that by looking at the distributions, my recommendation is the metascore.

However, the IMDB’s distribution seems to be worth considering as well, especially if you tweak a little the rating intervals for the three qualitative categories (intervals which I defined myself, more or less arbitrarily). From this perspective, recommending the metascore by mostly doing a visual examination is clearly not enough.

So, I will try to delimit between these two by using a quantitative method.

The idea is to use the Fandango variable as a negative reference, and then determine which variable, from the IMDB rating and the metascore, is the least correlated with it (I call these variables because they can take different values — for example, the metascore is a variable because it takes different values, depending on the movie).

I will simply compute some correlation coefficients, and the variable with the smallest value will be my recommendation (I will explain then how these correlation coefficients work). But before that, let me briefly justify choosing the Fandango variable as a negative reference.

Fandango’s users love movies too much

One reason for this choice is that the distribution of Fandango’s movie ratings is the furthest from that of a normal one, having that obvious skew towards the higher part of the movie ratings spectrum.

The other reason is the cloud of suspicion around Fandango left by Walt Hickey’s analysis . On October 2015, he was also puzzled by a similar distribution, and discovered that on Fandango’s website the numerical ratings were always rounded to the next highest half-star, not to the nearest one (for example, a 4.1 average rating for a movie would have been rounded to 4.5 stars, instead of 4.0).

The Fandango team fixed the biased rating system, and told Hickey that the rating logic was rather a “software glitch” on their website, pointing towards an unbiased system on their mobile app. (More about this on Hickey’s article .) The adjustment did change some statistical parameters for the better, but not enough to convince me not to work with the Fandango variable as a negative reference.

This is what the change looks like:

J4-L8cpNLahQbmhmlSrphB9gBe2pUrkLDSUi

Now, let’s zoom in on Fandango:

svsm-uIkn-7xcDGurSEtPdSJlXXmORfoO4n2

Between the metascore and the IMDB rating, which is the least correlated with the Fandango rating?

The least correlated with the Fandango rating is the metascore. It has a Pearson’s r value of 0.38 with respect to Fandango, while the IMDB rating has a value of 0.63.

Now let me explain all this.

As two variables change, taking different values, they are correlated if there’s a pattern corresponding to both changes. Measuring correlation simply means measuring the extent to which there is such a pattern.

One of the ways to perform this measure is to compute the Pearson’s r. If the value is +1.0, it means there’s a perfect positive correlation, and if it’s -1.0, it means there’s a perfect negative correlation.

The extent to which the variables are correlated decrease as the Pearson’s r approaches 0, from both the negative and the positive side.

Let’s better visualize this:

dcM7DKZMC-dJFgSIaUw3jDQLegizZwcDaMwB

Now, to put the abstraction above into context, if we compare how the values for two rating types change — say Fandango’s and IMDB’s — we can determine the degree to which there’s a pattern corresponding to both changes.

Given the correlation coefficients just mentioned, there is a pattern between Fandango and IMDB to a greater extent than is for Fandango and the metascore. Both coefficients are positive, and, as such, the correlation is said to be positive, which means that as Fandango’s ratings go up, IMDB’s ratings tend to go up as well, more than the metascores do.

Put differently, for any given movie rating on Fandango, it is more probable that the metascore is going to be more different from it than the IMDB rating.

The verdict: use Metacritic’s metascore

All in all, I recommend checking the metascore whenever you are looking for a movie rating. Here’s how it works, and its downsides.

In a nutshell, the metascore is a weighted average of many reviews coming from reputed critics. The Metacritic team reads the reviews and assigns each a 0–100 score, which is then given a weight, mainly based on the review’s quality and source. You can find more about their rating system here .

Now, I just want to point out a few downsides of the metascore:

  • The weighting coefficients are confidential, so you won’t get to see the extent to which each review counted in the metascore.
  • You’ll have a rough time finding metascores for less-known movies that appeared before 1999, the year Metacritic was created.
  • Some recent movies whose main language is not English aren’t even listed on Metacritic. For example, the Romanian movies Two Lottery Tickets (2016) and Eastern Business (2016) are not listed on Metacritic, while they are on IMDB, with ratings.

Few more words

To sum up, in this article I made a single recommendation of where to look for a movie rating. I recommended the metascore, based on two arguments: its distribution resembles the most a normal one, and it is the least correlated with the Fandango rating.

All the quantitative and the visual elements of the article are reproducible in Python, as it is shown here .

Thanks for reading! And happy movie-going!

If this article was helpful, share it .

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Movie Ratings Explained — Origins How They ve Changed Featured

Movie Ratings Explained — Origins & How They’ve Changed

H ave you ever wondered why movies are rated the way that they are? The rating a film receives can have a significant impact on its audience size and, by the same token, on its box office revenue. But, what do all of the various letter ratings really mean? We will be explaining each of the current movie ratings as well as all of the former ratings that are no longer used. Let’s tackle each rating in escalating order of severity, but first, a bit of background on the rating process.

Movie Ratings Explained

Who determines movie ratings.

The organization in charge of assigning ratings at their discretion is the MPA, or Motion Picture Association, but most people will likely be more familiar with the previous name of the organization, the MPAA, which formerly stood for Motion Picture Association of America. The name and acronym were shortened relatively recently in 2019 after operating for 74 years as the MPAA.

To learn more about this organization, be sure to read our What is the MPAA? article. The documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated also offers a compelling deep dive into the behind the scenes operations of the MPA.

This Film is Not Rated  •  Full documentary

Movie ratings are assigned by different organizations around the world and sometimes level judgements based on entirely different criteria. These ratings are specific to the United States film industry. Let’s get started with the rating given to films that are perfectly safe for all ages.

Film Rating Organization

When the  Hays Code was repealed in 1968 and replaced with the voluntary film rating system, the G rating was one of the four initial ratings and is still used to this day. The G rating is given to films considered appropriate for “General Audiences,” meaning these films do not contain any objectionable content and are suitable for viewers of all ages.

What happened to the G rating?  •  Movie rating guide

The G rating is still around to this day but it has become less frequently used over the years. The G rating used to be more widely applied to films of varying content but now it is reserved for only the absolute safest and squeaky-clean of films. The PG rating has even largely replaced the G rating as the de facto rating for most children’s movies. Check out our list of the  best kids movies of all time and see where they land on the G to PG spectrum.

Cinema Ratings Explained

There is a decent chance that you have never heard of the M rating. This short-lived rating was given to films considered appropriate for “Mature Audiences.” But it was quickly the subject of much confusion as some films assigned the M rating were still considered appropriate for most children. The exact meaning of “Mature” was unclear to the general public and, because of this, the rating was changed.

The M Rating explained

The M Rating explained  •  Who rates movies

The M rating was only used between 1968-1970 when it was replaced by the GP rating, which stood for “General Public.” However, the GP rating was also ill-fated as it was soon replaced again with a rating that finally stuck, the longstanding PG rating.

What Are the Movie Ratings

Preceded by the M and GP ratings, the PG rating has remained in use ever since it was first introduced in 1972. The PG rating is given to films where “Parental Guidance” is suggested. PG films are typically considered safe for kids to watch but may contain suggestive content.

PG movie moments that push the rating boundaries  •  Rating system for movies

Before the introduction of the PG-13 rating, PG films were often able to push the envelope much farther than they can today. Over the years, the general MPAA ratings have both loosened and tightened in accordance with the perceived social norms of the times.

For a deeper dive into these fluctuating social norms, check out our exploration into the history of film censorship in America .

For example, in the '70s, a film with violence, gore, swearing, and even nudity could land a PG rating, such as Jaws . Whereas a film containing those elements released in the current year would never land a PG rating. Find out where Jaws ranks on our rundown of the  best Spielberg films ever made .

Ratings for Movies

Rated pg-13.

The PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984 as an intermediate level between the PG and R ratings. A number of films fell into a grey area where they contained more objectionable content than the average PG film but didn’t push enough boundaries to land an R rating.

Films like Jaws and Poltergeist landed PG ratings upon release, but these days, they would be far more likely to land PG-13 ratings.

Why the PG-13 rating was created  •  Movie rating system

The one-two punch of Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom directly led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. It was Steven Spielberg himself who suggested the addition of a new rating between PG and R to accommodate films that landed in this as-yet undefined gray area. Spielberg directed and/or produced all four of these risque PG rated films. Learn more about Steven Spielberg’s directing style in our guide to how Spielberg directs a long take .

Movie Rating Organization

The R rating was one of the four initial ratings when the voluntary film rating system was first introduced in 1968. The R stands for “Restricted,” meaning no one under the age requirement would be admitted to an R rated film on their own. However, someone below the required age can still be admitted as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Movies rated R for questionable reasons  •  All movie ratings

Even though this rating has been around since the beginning, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed at all over the years. The initial age requirement for admittance to R rated films was 16 before being raised to 17 in 1970.

The R rating is the highest rating level that most films receive, but there is one rating higher.

Related Posts

  • History of Censorship in America →
  • The Hays Code & Hollywood Censorship →
  • What is the MPAA & How Does It Work? →

Movie Ratings Meaning

The X rating was the fourth and final initial rating when the system was first instituted in 1968. However, the X rating is a bit of an outlier in the system. The X rating was not an official rating assigned by the MPAA but rather a rating that producers could self-assign to their films in lieu of submitting for an official MPAA rating or after being rejected from any of the lower ratings.

Whatever happened to the X rating?  •  Cinema ratings explained

When the X rating first came into being, the age requirement for admittance to X rated films was 16 years old. As opposed to R rated films, no one under the age of 16 could be admitted to an X rated film under any circumstances, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. In 1970, the age requirement was bumped up one additional year to 17.

Noteworthy films such as Midnight Cowboy and A Clockwork Orange received X ratings. Though A Clockwork Orange later had it’s rating lowered to an R after approximately 30-seconds of footage was re-edited. Read about  A Clockwork Orange  and other great examples of satire to learn more.

Receiving an X rating could drastically reduce the audience size and box office potential of a film. So filmmakers and producers were highly incentivized to avoid landing an X rating. Most theaters would refuse to screen X rated films, and TV stations would not air even censored versions of X rated films.

Many advertising options offered to other films were not available to X rated movies. There have been many instances of the MPAA refusing to issue R ratings to films, requiring additional cuts in order to avoid an X rating hurting the film’s bottom line.

Rated NC-17

In 1990, the X rating was retired and replaced with the NC-17 rating. The X rating had become closely associated with pornography, and filmmakers objected to their films being classified in the same category. The MPAA did not assign X ratings to pornographic films, but since the X rating was a self-assigned rating in lieu of an official MPAA rating, pornographic filmmakers adopted the X rating and used the label with relish.

The two films that most directly led to the creation of the NC-17 rating were Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and The Cook , the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover . Both films received X ratings, frustrating their respective filmmakers for the limitations the rating imposed on their films.

Many advertisers refused their promotional materials, theaters refused to screen the films, and rental stores even refused to stock their X-rated tapes. The latter accepted the X rating while the former chose to remain “Unrated.” After the NC-17 rating was instituted, the first film to receive the new rating was Henry & June , which had previously received an X rating as well.

News report on the introduction of the NC-17 rating  •  all movie ratings

When first introduced, the wording for the NC-17 description read: “No Children Under 17 Admitted.” In 1996, the wording was changed to: “No One 17 and Under Admitted,” effectively raising the age requirement by one additional year to 18.

Films rated NC-17 still faced additional promotional and distribution challenges not faced by films rated R and lower. But they were less severely hampered than they would be by an X rating or remaining unrated in some cases. The introduction of the NC-17 rating has been the last significant update to the movie ratings system thus far.

NR and UR labels

If a film doesn’t fit any of the previous labels, it may wind up labeled NR or UR, which stand for “Not Rated” and “Unrated” respectively. At first glance, the NR and UR labels might look like they mean the same thing, and they are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is also an important distinction.

The Not Rated label is usually applied to films that are not yet rated or that have chosen to remain “Not Rated” rather than accept the rating assigned by the MPAA. A film might be promoted in trailers and other advertisements ahead of receiving an official MPAA rating with the disclaimer “This Film is Not Yet Rated.”

On the other hand, the “Unrated” label is most commonly applied to alternate cuts of a film that differ from the initial theatrical release. An “Unrated” cut of a film often exists alongside a rated cut of the film. It commonly appears on home video releases or re-releases that contain additional footage or do not maintain the cuts initially made to ensure a lighter rating from the MPAA.

Saw rated vs. unrated comparison  •  Film rating organization

Because of the voluntary nature of the film rating system, some filmmakers would choose to leave a film as “Not Rated” rather than take on an X rating. Films like Day of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 remained “Not Rated” after being refused R ratings from the MPAA. NR films received some of the same screening and advertising limitations as X-rated films but were sometimes afforded more leeway and avoided the pornographic connotation of the X rating.

What is Pre-Code Hollywood?

What is pre-code Hollywood? Before the movie rating system was introduced and before the Hays Code was enacted, the state of Hollywood censorship was vastly different. Learn all about pre-code Hollywood, up next.

Up Next: Pre-Code Hollywood →

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IMDb vs. Rotten Tomatoes vs. Metacritic: Which Movie Ratings Site Is Best?

IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic are the three most popular ratings sites for movies, but they aren't all equal.

Thanks to online ratings, it's easier than ever to know whether or not a movie is worth watching. A quick Google search brings up plenty of websites offering their opinions on the latest films.

The three most popular are IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic. But how do these sites differ, and which should you trust for information on movies? Here's everything you need to know.

IMDb 2020 Screenshot

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is a gigantic compendium of movies, TV shows, and video games. Its primary use is to find detailed information about any actor, producer, or piece of media content.

When you pull up a movie, you'll see a synopsis, trailers, photos, a cast list, trivia, and much more. What makes IMDb so useful is its cross-referencing. Upon opening the page for an actor, you'll see their best-known roles. Thus, IMDb is great for those "what else have I seen her in?" moments.

The IMDb mobile app takes this a step further. If you create an account and give ratings to movies and other media, you'll see a You may know them from field on an actor's page if you've rated something they appeared in.

With a free IMDb account, you can also create a Watchlist of movies you want to see. Along with contributing to the 10-point rating scale with other users, IMDb has many other useful features to offer if you're interested.

Pros of IMDb

Unlike the other two sites, IMDb's reviews come solely from users. It only takes a minute to sign up for IMDb and leave a review, so there's little barrier to entry.

Thus, IMDb's biggest strength is that its scores gives you a good idea of what normal consumers think of it. Professional critics have no influence on IMDb scores.

IMDb has a weighted average system to prevent users from rigging the score, but the service doesn't make it clear exactly how this works. Click the review count next to the star icon on any movie's page to see a breakdown of how people rated it.

Below the overall star average, you can see how the ratings break down by a few demographics, including age and gender.

IMDb User Rating Breakdown

Cons of IMDb

IMDb's biggest problem is that like other platforms, most people only leave reviews if they love or hate a film. Thus, this skews the scores in favor of either fanboys or haters.

People who want to boost a movie's perception will likely rate the movie a 10, while those who didn't like it will give a rating of one. This means you should read a handful of reviews to get a full picture of the movie's quality.

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten- omatoes Homepage 2020

Rotten Tomatoes is a trusted source for movie reviews sourced from critics. Every movie uses the "Tomatometer" to score the quality of a film. If the critic liked the movie, a red tomato appears by their review. When they don't like it, you'll see a green splat instead.

As long as 60 percent or more of critics like the movie, it earns an overall Fresh score with a red tomato. If under 60 percent of critics rate the movie favorably, it earns a Rotten score with a green splat.

Meanwhile, a Certified Fresh badge appears next to titles that are of particularly high quality. They must hold at least a 75 percent favorable score after 80 reviews, including at least five from top critics.

Open any movie's page, and you'll see the overall score plus its number of reviews at the top. Click See Score Details for a deeper breakdown. The Critics Consensus , present for most movies, is a great summary of why the movie received its score.

Rotten Tomatoes also providers a user score, shown by the popcorn bucket. When at least 60 percent of users rated it 3.5 stars (out of 5) or higher, it shows a full bucket. A tipped-over bucket represents that under 60 percent of users gave it under 3.5 stars. Since you can use half-star ratings, this is close to the IMDb score.

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes made some changes to reduce "review bombing" of movies. There's no longer a Want to See percentage, and you'll also see a check next to user reviews where the site has confirmed that the person actually bought a ticket to the movie.

At the bottom of a movie's page, you can read excerpts from the critic reviews, filter by fresh or rotten, or only show top critics. Search for your favorite actors, and you can check the scores of films they appeared in.

Related: Sites Like Rotten Tomatoes to Find Average Ratings and Reviews for Anything

Pros of Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Score

Rotten Tomatoes has the advantage of sourcing its reviews from trusted critics. The Rotten Tomatoes criteria page explains that the site only takes reviews from trusted newspapers, podcasts, and websites. In theory, this means that only the opinions of the most-trusted movie critics influence the Rotten Tomatoes review.

The Top Critic designation lets you filter by the absolute best critics if you prefer. You can't get a more professional opinion than from these folks.

Overall, Rotten Tomatoes does a good job of letting you know at a glance whether or not a movie is worth your time. The easily identifiable icons, overall score, and consensus summary only take a moment to scan.

Cons of Rotten Tomatoes

The biggest issue with Rotten Tomatoes is that it breaks down complex opinions into a Yes or No score. It scores a critic who thought the movie was decent but had some flaws (say, a 59 percent rating) the same as one who thought the movie was absolute garbage (a zero percent score).

You'll notice this with the Average Rating under the score. Take Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as an example. Of the 232 critic reviews, 177 of them are positive. This gives the movie a score of 76 percent. However, the critics rated the movie an average of 6.2/10---quite a bit under the 76 percent displayed on the page.

This doesn't mean the scores on Rotten Tomatoes are useless, of course. But it's important to remember that there's nuance in individual reviews, and the Fresh/Rotten system effectively turns every rating into a 100 or 0 score.

Metacritic Home 2020

Metacritic aggregates reviews of movies and TV shows, plus video games and music albums. It's one of the best sites for gamers , but it can give you a good idea on the quality of movies too.

The site collects reviews from many sources and aggregates them into one "metascore" from 0 to 100. It displays a color and one-line indication of quality based on the overall score, with the following used for movies, TV, and albums:

  • 81-100: Universal Acclaim (Green)
  • 61-80: Generally Favorable Reviews (Green)
  • 40-60: Mixed or Average Reviews (Yellow)
  • 20-39: Generally Unfavorable Reviews (Red)
  • 0-19: Overwhelming Dislike (Red)

Unlike Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic uses a weighted average system. Nobody knows the exact details, but the service assigns more importance to some sources than others. Like the other two sites, Metacritic also includes a separate user score, which does not influence the critic score.

The Pros of Metacritic

Metacritic avoids the Rotten Tomatoes problem of scoring every review as simply "good" or "bad." A review of 50 percent gets mixed in with the rest to create the metascore. Thus, the score you see on Metacritic is closer to the average review, as opposed to the percentage of critics who simply liked the movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

Additionally, among these three sites, Metacritic is the only one to feature full user reviews right next to critic reviews. This makes it easy to compare what the general public thinks compared to the professionals.

The Cons of Metacritic

While it's easy to translate a score from a five-star or 10-point scale, Metacritic's way of translating letter grade is questionable. We can see how this works on the About Metascores page :

Metacritic Letter Scores 2020

While scoring an A as 100 percent makes sense, note the scores for B- and F , for instance. A 67 percent score for a B- seems a bit harsh. In most schools, a score of 67 percent is closer to an F than it is a B- .

And scoring an F as 0 percent seems unfair. Something like 20 percent for an F might be more appropriate. Because every site has different scales for scoring (some might not even use pluses and minuses), this could skew a reviewer's original meaning.

Also, unlike Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic seems to have few public standards. There's no detailed information on where it sources it critics from. Thus, the score potentially doesn't have as much weight behind it as Rotten Tomatoes does.

What Is the Best Movie Rating Website?

So we've now taken a look at IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic, and listed their major pros and cons. As you might have guessed, there's no one website that's best for everything.

However, we can recommend each of these sites for different reasons:

  • IMDb is great for seeing what general audiences think of a movie. If you don't care what the critics say and want to see what people like yourself thought of a film, then you should use IMDb. Just be aware that fans often skew the vote with 10-star ratings, which may inflate scores somewhat.
  • Rotten Tomatoes offers the best overall picture of whether a movie is worth seeing at a glance. If you only trust the opinions of top critics and just want to know if a movie is at least decent, you should use Rotten Tomatoes. While the Fresh/Rotten binary can oversimplify the often complex opinions of critics, it should still help you weed out lousy films.
  • Metacritic offers the most balanced aggregate score. If you don't mind which critics' opinions go into the final score and prefer seeing a general average, then you should use Metacritic. Its standards are mostly unknown, but Metacritic makes it easy to compare professional and user reviews side-by-side.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with checking all three of these sites every time you're thinking of seeing a movie. Over time, you should figure out which site's tastes most match yours; then you'll know which is best for you personally.

Personal Taste Still Matters Most

Remember that movie scores aren't everything. All three of these sites don't, for instance, paint an accurate picture of movies that are so bad they're good. Because those movies are objectively terrible, they carry low scores even though they have ironic value.

Plus, it's impossible to sum up complex opinions from dozens of people into a single number. And no matter what the critics or general public think, your preferences might be totally different anyway. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a movie that most people find stupid. So while these sites are helpful, don't take them too seriously.

Movie Reviews

Tv/streaming, collections, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors, "you give out too many stars".

071002-star-picture_big.jpg

Now why do I do that? And why, as some readers have observed, did I seem to grade lower in my first 10 or 15 years on the job? I know the answer to that one. When I started, I considered 2.5 stars to be a perfectly acceptable rating for a film I rather liked in certain aspects. Then I started doing the TV show, and ran into another wacky rating system, the binary thumbs. Up or down, which is it?

Gene Siskel boiled it down: "What's the first thing people ask you? Should I see this movie? They don't want a speech on the director's career. Thumbs up--yes. Thumbs down--no." That made sense, but in the paper it had the effect of nudging a lot of films from 2.5 to three stars. There is never any doubt about giving four stars, or one star. The problem comes with the movies in the middle. Siskel once tried to get away with giving thumbs up to a 2.5 star movie, but I called him on it.

The only rating system that makes any sense is the Little Man of the San Franciscio Chronicle, who is seen (1) jumping out of his seat and applauding wildly; (2) sitting up happily and applauding; (3) sitting attentively; (4) asleep in his seat; or (5) gone from his seat. I asked Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle to read the mind of the Little Man, which he does at the end of this entry.

littleman.jpg

The blessing of the Little Man system is that it offers a true middle position, like three on a five-star scale. I curse the Satanic force that dreamed up the four-star scale (at the New York Daily News in 1929, I think). It forces a compromise. So why don't I simply drop the star ratings? As I have explained before. I'd about convinced my editors to drop them circa 1970, when Siskel started using them. To drop them now would be unilateral disarmament. Do editors even care about such things? You're damned right they do.

But forget ratings systems altogether. What inclines me to tilt in a more favorable direction? I submit the following possibilities:

1. I like movies too much. I walk into the theater not in an adversarial attitude, but with hope and optimism (except for some movies, of course). I know that to get a movie made is a small miracle, that the reputations, careers and finances of the participants are on the line, and that hardly anybody sets out to make a bad movie. I do not feel comfortable posing as impossible to please. Film lovers attend different movies for different reasons, all of them valid; did I enjoy " Joe Versus the Volcano " more than some Oscar winners? Certainly.

2. Directors. There are some who make films I simply find myself vibrating with. I will have difficulty in not admiring a work by Bergman, Altman, Fellini, Herzog, Morris, Scorsese, Cox, Leigh, Ozu, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Keaton...and to borrow an observation from my previous entry, I haven't even reached directors under 60.

3. I feel strongly about actors I admire, watching their ups and downs and struggles to work in a system that often sees them only as meat. Example. I opened my review of " The Women " this way: "What a pleasure this movie is, showcasing actresses I've admired for a long time, all at the top of their form. Yes, they're older now, as are we all, but they look great, and know what they're doing." Yes, I really believe that. I interviewed Candice Bergen for the first time in 1971. God, she was wonderful. I mean as a person. She was one of the most beautiful women in the world, and she married Louis Malle , and was happy. Louis Malle was beautiful too, if you know what I mean, and a great filmmaker. She fell in love with both her head and her heart. I felt a particular pleasure in seeing her and that whole cast together.

4. Once the scent of blood is in the water, the sharks arrive. I like to write as if I'm on an empty sea. I don't much care what others think. " The Women " scored an astonishingly low 28 score at Metacritic. " Sex and the City " scored 53. How could " The Women " be worse than SATC? See them both and tell me. I am never concerned about finding myself in the minority.

5. I have sympathy for genres, film noir in particular. I am almost capable of liking a movie simply for its b&w noir photography. I like science fiction. Ed Harris has a new Western coming out named " Appaloosa ." I'll like it more than the Metacritic average. You wait and see.

6. In connection with my affinity for genres, in the early days of my career I said I rated a movie according to its "generic expectations," whatever that meant. It might translate like this: "The star ratings are relative, not absolute. If a director is clearly trying to make a particular kind of movie, and his audiences are looking for a particular kind of movie, part of my job is judging how close he came to achieving his purpose." Of course that doesn't necessarily mean I'd give four stars to the best possible chainsaw movie. In my mind, four stars and, for that matter, one star, are absolute, not relative. They move outside "generic expectations" and triumph or fail on their own.

7. I have quoted countless times a sentence by the critic Robert Warshow (1917-1955), who wrote: "A man goes to the movies. The critic must be honest enough to admit that he is that man." If my admiration for a movie is inspired by populism, politics, personal experience, generic conventions or even lust, I must say so. I cannot walk out of a movie that engaged me and deny that it did. I must certainly never lower it from three to 2.5 so I can look better on the Metacritic scale.

I cringe when people say, "How could you give that movie four stars?" I reply, "What in my review did you disagree with?" Invariably, they're stuck for an answer. One thing I try to do is provide an accurate account of what you will see, and how I feel about it. I cannot speak for you. Any worthwhile review is subjective. If we completely disagree, my words might nevertheless be useful or provocative. If you disagree with what I write, be my guest. If you disagree with how many stars I gave it, you can mail your opinion to where the sun don't shine.

The Little Man Explained, by Mick LaSalle, film critic, San Francisco Chronicle. The meanings of the various Little Man icons have been subject to interpretation, even here at the Chronicle.First, the easy ones:Little Man #1: THE LITTLE MAN JUMPING OUT OF HIS SEAT CLAPPING: This is reserved for hands-down great films. But it also, in practice, ends up going to A-minus films, because we don't have the equivalent of a three and a half star rating. With A-minus it can go either way. Basically, I try not to give this rating unless I love it.Little Man #2: THE CLAPPING LITTLE MAN: This is a definite endorsement. No B-minuses here. This is telling people that they will enjoy this movie. So anything that's definitely good and definitely not great resides here.We'll skip little man #3, save him for the end, and go to...Little Man #4: THE SLEEPING LITTLE MAN: This is instruction not to go. Definitely bad, definitely not worth seeing. But maybe, just maybe, there's a single decent scene in there (there usually is), some glimmer of something that might have been.Little Man #5: THE EMPTY CHAIR: This doesn't mean, of course, that the critic actually left. As you know, we can never leave. But it means that the movie is a complete bomb with nothing redeeming about it. However, in some cases, the extent of the awfulness can give the movie a kind of purity -- like, say, Bo Derek and Anthony Quinn in "Ghosts Can't Do It." This is probably why the kiss-of-death rating is actually not this rating but the SLEEPING little man rating. Some people actually like the idea of going to EMPTY CHAIR movies.Which brings us to the ambiguous one . . .Little Man #3: THE "ALERT" LITTLE MAN: Because we don't have half-stars, the Alert or Interested Little Man takes up the mid-range and is used for everything from almost-OK-but-not-quite to almost-no-good-but-not quite, which is actually quite a wide range. Every so often, an editor decides that the Interested Little Man should be considered a positive review, the equivalent of a two-and-a-half star rating, and that's actually how I try to use it -- for reviews that are, on balance, positive, but the buyer should beware. A decent but unexceptional genre film would come into this range. If it doesn't transcend the genre, it will mean that someone not drawn to the genre wouldn't like it; hence the Interested Little Man.The temptation is to overuse this rating as a way of being wishy-washy, but it's worth remembering that for the reader, it's the most disappointing rating, in that it's journalistically the least interesting. It gets used a lot, because in reality a lot of movies end up in this zone, but it can't be used as an excuse for indecisiveness. I think that about sums it up.

Ebert again: It is a splendid system, but Mick wisely observes a problem with the middle position: People don't like it. Maybe Siskel was on to something: Up or down, yes or no? I think Mick LaSalle would join me in asking: Have you considered actually reading the review?

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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The 20 Highest-Rated Movies on IMDb, Ranked by Votes

The people have spoken.

Read update

IMDb continues to be a popular resource for those looking for must-see 10-star movies. Its ratings and number of voters constantly change as more viewers flock to the site to share their opinions about their favorite films. For the most-voted movies on the platform, they remain above these shifts, except for some subtle differences in their ranking and number of votes.

While internet popularity can be a fickle and fleeting thing, in the case of IMDb , there are a few top-rated movies that tower above their rivals and stand the test of time. Moviegoers can rate the films they see on the website, and some are cemented as being at the top of their class.

Seen by many as the go-to resource for film ratings and opinions, the ten most-voted films are usually, if not some of the best movies of all time. At the very least, IMDb's top movies are comfortably the internet's favorite movies and are likely recognizable to most viewers.

Updated on August 11, 2023, by Hannah Saab:

20 'the silence of the lambs' (1991), votes: 1,484,078 | imdb rating: 8.6.

Hannibal Lecter wearing a muzzle in The Silence of the Lambs

A cinematic masterpiece and still the first movie many think of when considering psychological horror, The Silence of the Lambs is an award-winning film directed by Jonathan Demme based on Thomas Harris ' eponymous 1988 novel. It tells the story of a young FBI trainee, Clarice Starling ( Jodie Foster ), who asks the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter ( Anthony Hopkins ) for help in her pursuit of a serial killer, "Buffalo Bill" ( Ted Levine ).

Hopkins' performance as the brilliant psychiatrist and notorious cannibal helps cement the character as a pop culture icon. The timeless film's cat-and-mouse game between Clarice and Lecter, coupled with Buffalo Bill's gruesome crimes, creates a suspenseful atmosphere that's still just as riveting upon a well-deserved rewatch today . The votes on IMDb prove that Silence of the Lambs deserves all the praise it received.

Watch on Max

19 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (2013)

Votes: 1,491,851 | imdb rating: 8.2.

Jordan Belfort standing amid a celebration at his office in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort 's career as a stockbroker as outlined in his eponymous 2007 memoir, director Martin Scorsese 's The Wolf of Wall Street is a renowned dark comedy movie. It revolves around the charismatic stockbroker's (played by Leonardo DiCaprio ) experiences opening his own firm, which engages in fraud and other criminal activities.

A fantastic movie about excess , the high-energy, darkly comedic exploration of Belfort's unbridled ambition is wholly original and wildly entertaining. This unapologetic portrayal of the chaotic and hedonistic world of Wall Street in the 1990s has understandably been a point of debate among critics and audiences, but it doesn't take away from the film's enduring popularity .

The Wolf of Wall Street

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18 'Inglourious Basterds' (2009)

Votes: 1,513,303 | imdb rating: 8.3.

Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger in Tavern Scene in Inglourious Basterds

One of Quentin Tarantino 's most iconic films, Inglourious Basterds is a unique war movie set during World War II that follows a group of American soldiers led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine ( Brad Pitt ), as they embark on a mission to hunt and exterminate Nazis. Another plot running alongside this is Shosanna Dreyfus' ( Mélanie Laurent ) plan to assassinate Nazi Germany's leadership, and the two stories collide in an explosive way.

Tarantino's movie is a remarkable combination of historical drama, dark humor, and intense action, with its unexpected narrative structure only enhancing the unfolding events. Of course, career-best performances from actors like Christoph Waltz (for his portrayal of the villainous Colonel Hans Landa) add depth and an element of rewatchability to the 2009 film .

Inglourious Basterds

17 'batman begins' (2005), votes: 1,524,287 | imdb rating: 8.2.

Christian Bale batman begins

Christian Bale 's Batman is introduced to millions of fans in Christopher Nolan 's first entry in The Dark Knight trilogy, Batman Begins . It tells the origin story of the legendary DC anti-hero, all the way to his fight against Ra's al Ghul ( Liam Neeson ) and the Scarecrow ( Cillian Murphy ), who want nothing more than to see Gotham in shambles.

The 2005 movie would mark an important turn in the superhero genre, proving that blockbusters can be infused with gritty realism and psychological depth. Its depiction of Batman's journey from a traumatized orphan to the caped crusader captures the character's complexities and inner turmoil with ease, laying the groundwork for what many still consider to be the best film series that depicts the anti-hero .

Batman Begins

16 'gladiator' (2000), votes: 1,552,735 | imdb rating: 8.5.

Maximus screaming with his arms spread in Gladiator

Director Ridley Scott 's Gladiator is a masterwork in the historical drama genre. Starring Russell Crowe as Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, the film portrays his great fall following a betrayal by the emperor's overly ambitious son, Commodus ( Joaquin Phoenix ). Instead of accepting defeat, Maximus works his way up in the arena and swears vengeance.

The film is full of thunderous spectacles that are the battles between gladiators, perfectly complemented by a powerful score by Hans Zimmer . Crowe's commanding performance anchors the film, which traces his path to Commodus – and to revenge – in a way that will have viewers rooting for him until the very end .

15 'Django Unchained' (2012)

Votes: 1,622,912 | imdb rating: 8.4.

Jamie Foxx as Django with Franco Nero as Amerigo Vessepi in Django Unchained

A fan-favorite Western directed by Quentin Tarantino , Django Unchained tells the story of the titular slave (played by Jamie Foxx ) who gains his freedom when he encounters a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz ( Christoph Waltz ). The duo embarks on a dangerous journey across the country to look for Django's wife, Broomhilda ( Kerry Washington ), who is revealed to have been sold to a cruel plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Widely regarded as one of Quentin Tarantino's best movies , Django Unchained is a modern masterpiece that is unflinching in its use of irreverent humor and stylistic violence to delve into racism and slavery. With stellar performances from its cast (most notably resulting in DiCaprio's glass scene) and no shortage of sharp dialogue, it's easy to see why the offbeat film became mainstream.

Django Unchained

Watch on Pluto

14 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' (2002)

Votes: 1,720,467 | imdb rating: 8.8.

Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) looking for the kidnapped hobbits in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' (2002)

It's hard to call any of director Peter Jackson 's The Lord of the Rings movies bad, but if fans had to pick the weakest entry in the trilogy, it would probably be The Two Towers . Picking up where the first movie left off, the film follows Frodo ( Elijah Wood ) and Sam's ( Sean Astin ) increasingly risky journey to Mordor, as well as Aragorn ( Viggo Mortensen ), Legolas ( Orlando Bloom ), and Gimli's ( John Rhys-Davies ) literally breathtaking pursuit of the Uruk-hai who have kidnapped the lovable duo Merry ( Dominic Monaghan ) and Pippin ( Billy Boyd ).

The epic masterpiece does an excellent job of accomplishing the gargantuan task of bridging the two movies in an exciting enough way that leaves audiences wanting more, but not dissatisfied. Its high number of votes on IMDb is a testament to just how many people likely have this bookmarked as part of their annual marathons of the acclaimed film trilogy.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

13 'se7en' (1995), votes: 1,721,274 | imdb rating: 8.6.

Sergeant Mills (Brad Pitt) looks into the distance distraught as he stands in a large field at sunset.

The twisty crime thriller to end all twisty crime thrillers, director David Fincher 's Se7en set a new standard and elevated the genre when it first premiered in the late 90s. The legendary film is centered on two detectives, the disillusioned William Somerset ( Morgan Freeman ) and his rookie partner David Mills (Brad Pitt). The detectives are assigned to a bizarre case about a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his gruesome yet meticulous murders.

Famous for its unforgettable twist ending , Se7en gives viewers an enthralling story with brilliantly suspenseful moments that build up to its wild conclusion. Fantastic performances from Freeman and Pitt make the flawless material they have to work with even better. It's a film that captured lightning in a bottle, and one that continues to be referenced, discussed, and studied today.

12 'The Dark Knight Rises' (2012)

Votes: 1,764,740 | imdb rating: 8.4.

Batman and Bane fighting in The Dark Knight Rises.

Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight , director Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises is the gripping conclusion to his award-winning film trilogy. It depicts Gotham in a state of uncharacteristic peace thanks to the Dent Act, which is unsurprisingly soon disturbed by the iconic villain, Bane ( Tom Hardy ). Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is forced to come out of retirement one last time to face this new threat, with the help of the reliable Commissioner Gordon ( Gary Oldman ) and an exciting new ally, Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman ( Anne Hathaway ).

A great example of a final movie done right, The Dark Knight Rises is a proper send-off for the beloved anti-hero, who's impossible not to root for at this point. Of course, it's Tom Hardy's portrayal of Bane that manages to outshine heroic attempts from the protagonist, and will forever be associated with this massively successful trilogy .

11 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' (2003)

Votes: 1,906,614 | imdb rating: 9.0.

Gandalf riding towards Gondor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The closer to Peter Jackson's trilogy of films adapting J.R.R. Tolkien 's seminal fantasy novels is blockbuster filmmaking done right. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King provides a satisfying conclusion to the nearly nine hours of story, this film sees Aragorn claim his birthright as the King of Gondor, possibly the most outstanding cavalry charge ever put to film, and the eventual destruction of the ring and defeat of the big bad, Sauron.

This film holds a three-way tie for the most-awarded film in Oscars history, with Ben-Hur and Titanic all sharing the illustrious honor of taking home 11 awards. Perhaps as much an acknowledgment by the academy of the monumental achievement the trilogy as a whole was, it also marked one of the rare times in history where the big winner was an epic, crowd-pleasing fantasy film .

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

10 'the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring' (2001), votes: 1,934,809 | imdb rating: 8.8.

The fellowship in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The task of adapting The Lord of the Rings trilogy that Tolkien spent most of his lifetime developing — and had a massive influence on the genre as a whole — was perhaps rightly seen as one that was, for all intents and purposes, impossible. However, Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema decided to take on the challenge — and it paid off.

Is the beginning of a tale better than the end? The internet certainly seems to think so, as The Fellowship of the Ring places above the conclusion to the trilogy . Why this is so is anyone's guess — but it's certainly an excellent, well-made film that does a great job of introducing the characters, their motivations, and the stakes of the story.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

9 'the godfather' (1972), votes: 1,936,783 | imdb rating: 9.2.

A man whispering in Don Vito Corleone's ear in The Godfather.

Rarely does a film so completely transcend the medium's limits to become a staple of popular culture, but The Godfather is an odd confluence of factors. A niche Hollywood had thought dead, a young, maverick filmmaker with the vision to revitalize the gangster movie genre , and one of the best casts of all time combine to bring this all-time classic to life.

It's tough to find fault with this film — everything from the script to the production design, the cinematography, pacing, action, and acting are all top-notch. It gave viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of a mafia, which revolutionized an entire genre of filmmaking .

Watch on Paramount+

8 'Interstellar' (2014)

Votes: 1,963,265 | imdb rating: 8.7.

Matthew McConaughey walking in another planet in 'Interstellar.'

Another ambitious film from Nolan, Interstellar is considered one of the best sci-fi movies of all time . Set in a dystopian future where blight is causing the rapid decline of life on earth, the film focuses on a former pilot and now farmer named Cooper ( Matthew McConaughey ), who finds a secret NASA location and is soon placed in charge of a mission that could be humanity's last hope. As he leads his team through a wormhole, they don't expect what they find on the other side.

Interstellar hit every mark, from its stunning visual effects and commendable scientific accuracy to its outstanding performances and surprising emotional depth. Judging by its number of votes, it's safe to say that it is the movie for sci-fi fans who have likely gotten their dose of space, mind-bending physics, and dystopian settings on more than one rewatch .

Interstellar

7 'the matrix' (1999), votes: 1,979,181 | imdb rating: 8.7.

Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity walking in The Matrix.

"What is the Matrix?" is a seemingly simple question, but one that perplexed and intrigued audiences as part of one of the most effective marketing campaigns in history. An odd combination of the height of stunt work, exciting new technologies, and philosophical contemplation of humanity's relationship with machines combined to make The Matrix a massive hit and a cultural phenomenon.

This film holds a special place in many people's hearts, and it's easy to see why. It changed the way blockbusters were made, introducing the world to bullet-time and revolutionary special effects. It's worth noting that it's still considered the best one in the Matrix franchise , and is still worth watching again today .

6 'Pulp Fiction' (1994)

Votes: 2,134,288 | imdb rating: 8.9.

Two men raising their guns in Pulp Fiction.

Pulp Fiction is the film that cemented Quentin Tarantino as a creative force in Hollywood. It's hard to put a finger on precisely what makes this film so good — an all-star cast trading barbs with each other from Tarantino's whip-smart script and playing with editing conventions to tell a non-linear story are two of the top reasons.

But perhaps most of all, Pulp Fiction is just cool . There's no other word for it. From the stylish hitmen played with panache by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta to the soundtrack of absolute bangers from start to finish, this film epitomized the mid-90s. It's one of the most influential American films of the decade .

Pulp Fiction

5 'forrest gump' (1994), votes: 2,163,557 | imdb rating: 8.8.

Forrest sitting next to a woman in Forrest Gump.

Known for his crowd-pleasing films, director Robert Zemeckis is at his most crowd-pleasing when he introduces the world to the journey of Forrest Gump ( Tom Hanks ) as he goes from being an impoverished child in Alabama to having an unlikely impact on events that shaped the world in the 20th century.

While undeniably a heartwarming affair and being incredibly acted across the board, particularly in Hanks' case as the titular character , the film isn't known for its subtlety. Forrest Gump is undoubtedly very charming, and still holds an important place in pop culture.

4 'Fight Club' (1999)

Votes: 2,216,929 | imdb rating: 8.8.

A group of men from Fight Club.

David Fincher 's grungy, punk-infused adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk 's novel of the same name is one of the defining cult classics of the 1990s. Combining psychological thriller, comedy, and fight movie into one tantalizing package, Fight Club is dirty, unapologetic, depressing, and exhilarating all in the same breath — not to mention pulling off one of the best twists in cinema history.

Presenting a nihilistic worldview that many disaffected young people resonate with, Fight Club reflects the youth culture of the 1990s as disillusionment and a sense of hopelessness are the defining traits of the story. Tyler Durden's story left a lasting impression on an entire generation .

3 'Inception' (2010)

Votes: 2,450,052 | imdb rating: 8.8.

Two men talking in Inception.

Having proven his ability to make money at the box office , Christopher Nolan was given a large budget and relative creative freedom for his next big hit. Inception was a concept that had been in Nolan's head since the days of Memento — and a perfect combination of timing, funding, and ideas came together for him to make it in the style that he had always envisioned.

The wild sci-fi film follows the mysterious Cobb and his team as they go on their most ambitious heist yet. The professional thief is used to stealing information from the subconscious, but it's his first attempt at implanting an idea. Nolan was able to take a complex plot and turn into one of the most popular movies of all time .

2 'The Dark Knight' (2008)

Votes: 2,759,752 | imdb rating: 9.0.

The Joker raising a card in The Dark Knight.

Proving just as adept at adapting existing material as he is at crafting his own unique stories, Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy has stood the test of time. While the other two films form practical bookends for the trilogy, The Dark Knight genuinely stands out.

Considered by many to not be so much a great superhero film but instead, a sprawling crime epic where the protagonist and antagonist happen to dress in costume, The Dark Knight — elevated by the late great Heath Ledger's barnstorming and legendary take on the Joker — is quite simply one of the best blockbusters ever made, and an undeniably brilliant, engaging piece of cinema. It's rightly never excluded from any discussion of the highest-rated movies of all time and narrowly makes it as one of the 10/10 movies on IMDb .

The Dark Knight

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

1 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994)

Votes: 2,781,715 | imdb rating: 9.3.

Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins as Andy and Red smiling while watching a movie in The Shawshank Redemption

After being put in prison for a crime he says he didn't commit, Andy Dufresne ( Tim Robbins ) is sent to Shawshank — one of the worst prisons in the state. Not the kind of man who is cut out for prison life, Dufrense befriends Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), and the two men bond during their time inside together, maintaining their hope in a place where it appears there's none to be had.

The closest to a 10/10 as the film with the highest IMDb rating (at 9.3), The Shawshank Redemption is, without a doubt, a triumph. One of the best films ever made about hope and the human spirit, Frank Darabont directs the best-rated movies among his Stephen King adaptations — showing another side to the horror master. Anchored by Freeman and Robbins' fantastic chemistry, it is a great film that has stood the test of time.

The Shawshank Redemption

NEXT: Amazing Movies That Aren't in The IMDb Top 250

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Browse Reviews

2 5 8 movie ratings

The incoherent drama Browse tries to look like a suspenseful horror movie, but there's nothing scary or thrilling about this rambling dud of a film.

Full Review | Jul 30, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

A great deal of the movie consists of unfinished ideas, plot points, story threads, and character arcs.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4 | Jul 22, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

It's a thoughtful, curious piece of work which may not quite be successful in finding its destination but which manages to intrigue along the way.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5 | Jul 21, 2020

Skip the film if you need an ending that answers the questions raised throughout. But check it out if you enjoy seeing a psychological thriller that makes you come to your own conclusions.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10 | Jul 20, 2020

With such a tangled mess of a film it is hard to put your finger on what went wrong in the bringing it to the screen.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Jul 13, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

In a perfect world, this thriller, with its onslaught of stomach-churning "oh no!" moments, would've had a point, something that connected it all together (or at least a conclusion), but it doesn't.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Jul 12, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

An identity theft "nightmare" that fails every attempted thrill and chill. Quite possibly one of the most unimaginative and unmemorable films I've ever seen.

Full Review | Original Score: .5/5 | Jul 10, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

An everyman's identify theft -- or is he just a deluded creeper? -- is fitfully explored in this underwhelming psychological thriller.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Jul 7, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

Browse feels like glimpsing through a problematic story with little context as to why you should care let alone watch it.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/10 | Jul 7, 2020

2 5 8 movie ratings

This thriller doesn't thrill. It occasionally amuses, and it rarely makes any real sense.

Full Review | Original Score: 4 | Jul 6, 2020

FiveThirtyEight

Oct. 15, 2015 , at 9:52 AM

Be Suspicious Of Online Movie Ratings, Especially Fandango’s

By Walt Hickey

Filed under Movies

Get the data on GitHub GitHub data at data/fandango

2 5 8 movie ratings

You were excited for the date: dinner and a movie. Your date picked a restaurant — “It got five stars on Yelp!” — but the movie was up to you. So you checked out what was playing and bought the tickets on Fandango’s website . You decided to check out “ Fantastic Four ,” and even though you hadn’t heard great things, Fandango users thought it was good! Over 7,000 people had reviewed it, and it had an average of 3 out of 5 stars. This is going to be a decent movie.

It is not a decent movie.

Online movie ratings have become serious business. Hollywood generates something on the order of $10 billion annually at the U.S. box office , and online ratings aggregators may hold increasing sway over where that money goes. Sites like Rotten Tomatoes that aggregate movie reviews into one overall rating are being blamed for poor opening weekends. A single movie critic can’t make or break a film anymore, but maybe thousands of critics, professional and amateur together, can.

Several sites have built popular rating systems: Rotten Tomatoes, 1 Metacritic 2 and IMDb 3 each have their own way of aggregating film reviews. And while the sites have different criteria for picking and combining reviews, they have all built systems with similar values: They use the full continuum of their ratings scale, 4 try to maintain consistency, 5 and attempt to limit deliberate interference in their ratings. 6

These rating systems aren’t perfect, but they’re sound enough to be useful.

All that cannot be said of Fandango, a NBCUniversal subsidiary that uses a five-star rating system in which almost no movie gets fewer than three stars, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis. What’s more, as I’m writing this, scores on Fandango.com are skewed even higher because of the weird way Fandango aggregates its users’ reviews. And while other sites that gather user reviews are often tangentially connected to the media industry, Fandango has an immediate interest in your desire to see a movie: The company sells tickets directly to consumers.

What started all this? A couple of months ago, a colleague noticed that a bad film had received a decent rating on Fandango and asked me to look into it. When I pulled the data for 510 films on Fandango.com that had tickets on sale this year (you can check out all the data yourself on GitHub ), 7 something looked off right away: Of the 437 films with at least one review, 98 percent had a 3-star rating or higher and 75 percent had a 4-star rating or higher.

It seemed nearly impossible for a movie to fail by Fandango’s standards.

When I focused on movies that had 30 8 or more user reviews, 9 none of the 209 films had below a 3-star rating. Seventy-eight percent had a rating of 4 stars or higher.

hickey-datalab-fandango-1-just_fandango

But perhaps the movies were just that good? Maybe we really do live in a society that rates “Mortdecai” as a 3.5-star film ?

We don’t. The other review sites weren’t nearly as charitable. For the 209 films, I pulled IMDb’s user rating, Metacritic’s aggregate critic rating, Metacritic’s user score, the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer (critic) score and the Rotten Tomatoes user score. I then normalized these to the five-star rating scale that Fandango uses and rounded it to the nearest half-star. 10

The ratings from IMDb, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes were typically in the same ballpark, which makes this finding unsurprising: Fandango’s star rating was higher than the IMDb rating 79 percent of the time, the Metacritic aggregate critic score 77 percent of the time, the Metacritic user score 86 percent of the time, the Rotten Tomatoes critic score 62 percent of the time, and the Rotten Tomatoes user score 74 percent of the time.

hickey-datalab-fandango-2

There are all sorts of reasons that scores might be higher on a site like Fandango compared with competitors; after all, if you ask people about a movie after they’ve paid $15 for it and devoted a couple of hours of their life to it, maybe they’ll have a more favorable opinion of the work. Maybe the profoundly rightward shift in Fandango’s bell curve is just a moviegoer’s version of Stockholm syndrome.

Still, this is a deeply flawed rating system. It’s not clear why so few movies earn less than 3 stars, and Fandango didn’t offer any explanation. “As we have not analyzed other sites’ user ratings systems and we do not have access to their customers’ profile and engagement behavior, it is unfair for us to speculate how our ratings may or may not differ from theirs,” Fandango said in an emailed statement.

So for all intents and purposes, Fandango is using a 3 to 5 star scale. And that’s not the only thing wrong with its ratings. I found an issue with the methodology Fandango uses to average user ratings on its website: Fandango never rounds the average down.

On a given film’s page on Fandango’s website, its aggregate user rating is displayed in one spot: the stars next to the film’s poster, above the area that provides showtimes. The stars are expressed on a five-point scale at half-star increments. Beneath the star ratings, Fandango lists the number of reviews the film has received.

But when you pull the HTML source of a page on Fandango’s website, there’s more information. Take “ Ted 2 .” When I pulled data for it on Monday, the film had 4.5 stars from 6,568 reviews.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 5.04.08 PM

You can see that information on the HTML backend of the page; the “AggregateRating” schema says “Ted 2” had 6,568 ratings, a maximum score of five stars and a minimum score of 0 stars. That all makes sense.

Here’s the thing, though: According to the code for the page, “Ted 2” had a “ratingValue” of only 4.1 stars.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 5.04.02 PM

In a normal rounding system, a site would round to the nearest half-star — up or down. In the case of “Ted 2,” then, we’d expect the rating to be rounded down to 4 stars. But Fandango rounded the “ratingValue” up. I pulled the number of stars listed on the page of each film in our sample of 437 (with at least one user review), as well as the ratingValue listed on the page’s source. And I found that Fandango doesn’t round a rating down when we’d mathematically expect that (it appears Fandango does round correctly on its mobile app — more on this in a moment).

There are even more extreme cases than that of “Ted 2.” Take “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” When I pulled data for that on Monday, the film had 5 stars from 15,116 reviews.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 2.36.08 PM

But according to the code for the page, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” had a “ratingValue” of only 4.5 stars, meaning that it gained a full half-star from rounding.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 2.36.01 PM

So what kind of effect did this have across the board?

Here’s a breakdown of how Fandango.com’s system handled the rounding for each of the 437 films in our sample:

  • On 109 occasions, about a quarter of the time, the ratingValue was the same as the number of stars presented. This means that a movie’s average rating was already at a half-star and no rounding occurred.
  • On 148 occasions, about 34 percent of the time, Fandango rounded as you would expect — rounding up 0.1 or 0.2 stars, 11 like one would round a 3.9 or 3.8 to a 4.
  • On 142 occasions (including for “Ted 2”), 32 percent of the time, Fandango added 0.3 or 0.4 stars to the rating, 12 when one would normally round down, juicing up the score by a half-star. Think of it this way: That’s the equivalent of saying your SAT score 13 was about 100 to 120 points higher than it actually was.
  • On 37 occasions, about 8 percent of the time, Fandango’s rounding system added a half-star to the film’s rating. It’s not clear why this happened — why “Avengers: Age of Ultron” would have its 4.5 ratingValue rounded up to 5 stars — but it happened about 1 in 12 times. It may be that Fandango is rounding at the second decimal place — e.g., 4.51 to 5. But again, it’s not clear; the “ratingValue” in the HTML code is only shown to the first decimal place.
  • On one occasion, a film was rounded up by an entire star, from a 4 to a 5.

The cases above include movies with very few reviews; the average rating for these movies is more likely to fall on a whole or half star, which doesn’t require rounding. Returning to the 209 films that had 30 or more user reviews on Fandango.com, the average movie gained 0.25 stars from this rounding. Using a normal system, that average should be close to 0.

hickey-datalab-fandango-3

When I initially asked Fandango about its rounding practice, public relations coordinator Alison Ver Meulen said this in an email: “We always display stars rounded up to the nearest half star. So for example 3.6 stars would show up as 4 on our site.”

However, after further back and forth, the company described the rounding disparity — by which, for example, 4.1 is rounded to 4.5 — as a bug in the system rather than a general practice. “There appears to be a software glitch on our site with the rounding logic of our five star rating system, as it rounds up to the next highest half star instead of the nearest half star,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Fandango told us that it plans to fix the rounding algorithm on its website “as soon as possible.”

Fandango also said that “the rounding logic is accurately displayed on our mobile apps.” And that appears to be true; I checked several films that had raised red flags on the company’s website and found that their scores were accurately represented on Fandango’s iOS app. Still, the star-based scores on the app skew just as high as on the website.

Fandango.com’s rounding methodology, even if it was just an innocent bug, is a good example of why you should be skeptical of online movie ratings, especially from companies selling you tickets. If this kind of bug can survive unnoticed on the website of a major American ticket seller for who knows how long, there’s no reason a similar bug — or another issue we’re missing — couldn’t be on any other site we’re using to figure out if something is good or not.

And the Federal Trade Commission, which protects consumers from deceptive and anti-competitive business practices, pays attention to the use of ratings and endorsements to promote products. “User ratings would be material to consumers, so they have to be truthful and non-misleading,” said Mary Engle, who directs the FTC’s division related to advertising practices. Engle couldn’t comment on any specific company not already under investigation, but said there is an expectation that companies that present user ratings do so accurately. “We know that nowadays user reviews are very important, whether it’s a movie, a vacation purchase, electronics, whatever,” she said. “You go online to see what other consumers are saying. And so we’re looking at issues where those reviews aren’t what they purport to be.”

What’s The Point: Walt Hickey on the world of online reviews and the wisdom of the crowd.

Subscribe to all the FiveThirtyEight podcasts here .

All of this matters more to movie studios now than it did in the past.

“If you look over the last 20 years, the release strategy used to be much more based around a movie playing for a long time, perhaps releasing regionally and building word-of-mouth around the country,” said box office analyst Bruce Nash, who operates The-Numbers.com , which tracks box office data. “Today, it’s much more focused on getting into theaters opening weekend and hitting as hard as you can with the opening. For that, I think the reviews can have more of an effect.”

Looking at it this way, the idea of a studio inventing a critic to promote its films, as one was accused of in the early 2000s, starts to seem reasonable.

Fandango might be an extreme case, but its problems are indicative of the limitations of online movie ratings generally. Freelance film critic Ben Kenigsberg said, “They’re a useful shorthand or heuristic for readers, but I think they’re kind of a tongue-in-cheek way of looking at movies, and I think they should be taken as such.”

When it comes to critical aggregators like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, the act of boiling down a nation’s worth of critics to a number does have an inaccurate air of finality to it. “I like both sites,” said Todd VanDerWerff , culture editor at Vox.com. “But I feel like they have created a sense that there’s an answer to whether a movie is good or bad when really that’s a very personal question.”

He added: “Because it looks like math, we have it in our head that it’s somehow objectively true, but in reality, it’s all based on subjective experience.”

Owned by Flixster , which sells movie tickets and is a Warner Bros. subsidiary.

Owned by CBS Interactive .

Owned by Amazon.

Essentially, it’s just as possible for a film to do very poorly on IMDb , Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes as it is to do quite well. If there’s a curve, some movies manage to do very badly anyway.

IMDb doesn’t go into a ton of detail, but it uses a weighted average that emphasizes people who review a lot of movies. Metacritic normalizes critic ratings and transforms them into a metascore through a proprietary but consistent weighted average. And Rotten Tomatoes has defined thresholds for movies it recommends and discourages.

IMDb comes right out and says it calculates a film’s score knowing that people are going to try to artificially rate movies high and low. Metacritic draws from a predetermined blind weighted sample group of critics whom it deems trustworthy. And Rotten Tomatoes has requirements about what qualifies a person as a trusted critic.

Specifically, any film that was on Fandango’s “ movies in theaters ” page on Aug. 24 — as well as those that were there on April 6 or June 29, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback machine. This allowed me to get a random sample of films.

To get a decent sample.

We also excluded three movies that had not been released yet but had still somehow gathered 30 or more reviews on Fandango.com.

Not all the movies sold by Fandango had IMDb or Metacritic scores — streamed live events and foreign films in particular were missed — but the final set was made up of 146 films with complete data.

66 instances of rounding up 0.1 stars, 82 occasions of rounding up 0.2 stars.

72 instances of rounding up 0.3 stars, 70 occasions of rounding up 0.4 stars.

Out of 1600.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer. @WaltHickey

Filed under

Movies (127 posts) The Internet (32) IMDb (9) Rotten Tomatoes (8) Movie Critics (3)

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How to Understand Movie Ratings

Last Updated: April 3, 2023 References

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 33 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 54,288 times. Learn more...

If you want to known the ratings for your kids then you have come to the right place. Many parents are worried if the content contains unsuitable material for their children, but the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) then came to save the day. See below the ratings to help you choose the right ratings. [1] X Research source

Step 1 Know that G means

  • These films may not contain rude language and no serious cursing. As with violence it must be mild and minimal.

Step 2 Know that PG means

  • These films may be generally inappropriate for younger children and may contain milder swear words, crude or suggestive humor, short and infrequent horror moments and/or mild violence.

Step 3 Know that PG-13 or TV-14 means

  • These films may contain sex references, up to four uses of strong language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/suggestive themes, moderately long horror moments, blood, and/or moderate action violence.
  • This is the equivalent of the "M" classification in Australia, and the "12" classification in the UK. [4] X Research source

Step 4 Know that R means

  • These films may contain mild or implied sex scenes, prolonged nudity, intense violence often with blood and gore, strong horror scenes and brief/illegal/prolonged drug use.
  • This is the equivalent of the "(MA)15" rating in Australia and the UK. [6] X Research source

Step 5 Know that NC-17 means

  • These films may contain strong and extreme graphic or explicit violence with bloodshed, pain, dismemberment, death and a very large amount of blood and gore, sex scenes, explicit content, rape or sexual assault, depraved, aberrational behavior, graphic sexual nudity, explicit language or any other elements which that are not suitable for children and strictly prohibited from viewing by minors.
  • This is the equivalent of the (R)18 rating in Australia and the UK.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Go to Common Sense to look up their reviews. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 2
  • When buying or renting a movie check the rating behind the case all the way down, and there should be a rating and its descriptors. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Although rated R movies are suitable for ages 17 and up, American Sniper, Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw Ridge and Fury show positive messages. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

2 5 8 movie ratings

  • Some films are not rated by the MPAA, meaning it could be rated NR first. Check the movie to see if it's appropriate. Other releases that were not given a rating by the MPAA are sometimes classified as "unrated". Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1

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Find a Movie That I Can't Remember

  • ↑ https://www.filmratings.com/RatingsGuide
  • ↑ https://www.filmratings.com/Content/Downloads/rating_rules.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/classification-content-regulation-and-convergent-media-alrc-report-118/appendix-3-international-comparison-of-classification-and-content-regulation/table-international-comparison-of-film-classifications/

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Tv ratings: super bowl lviii sets all-time record with 123m viewers.

CBS' broadcast is the biggest since Nielsen began keeping track of total viewers.

By Rick Porter

Rick Porter

Television Writer

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The second overtime game in Super Bowl history delivered a gigantic audience on Sunday — the biggest one in the history of total-viewer ratings, in fact.

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The 123.7 million viewers are based on final same-day ratings from Nielsen for the linear telecasts and Adobe Analytics figures for streaming.

The game scored a 42.1 household rating for CBS, meaning 42.1 percent of all TV homes in the United States watched the game. That’s the highest household number for a Super Bowl since a 43.1 rating in 2018. (Adding in the other telecasts brings the total household rating to 43.5.) Among adults 18-49, CBS’ telecast had a huge 36.0 rating — equivalent to 47.47 million people in that age range.

Super Bowl LVIII grew by 7 percent over last year’s game, which drew 115.1 million viewers for Fox (a figure revised up from 113.1 million almost three months after the fact). Until Sunday, that ranked as the most watched broadcast in U.S. television history, at least officially. Nielsen didn’t include out of home ratings in its totals until 2021, but a custom report for the 2017 Super Bowl put the game at 124.6 million viewers including those watching away from home. It’s also possible a few other past games — every Super Bowl from 2013-16 averaged more than 111 million viewers — would have topped Sunday’s total had out of home viewing been included.

Following the game, the series premiere of Tracker starring Justin Hartley brought in 18.4 million viewers on CBS despite an 11:14 p.m. ET start time, among the latest ever for a post-Super Bowl show. After late local news, special editions of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and After Midnight drew 3.74 million and 2.03 million viewers, respectively.

Feb. 13, 8:20 a.m. Updated with final ratings figures for the Super Bowl. Feb. 13, 8:50 a.m. Added ratings figures for post-Super Bowl shows on CBS.

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Maisie williams recalls being “lost for so long” after ‘game of thrones’ child stardom: “it brought me a lot of discomfort”, linda hamilton says being cast in ‘stranger things’ season 5 “ruined” it for her, ‘expats’ episode puts the spotlight on hong kong’s domestic underclass, tv ratings: ‘young sheldon’ opens final season with multi-year high, lionel richie addresses katy perry’s ‘american idol’ exit: “it just made me run off the road”, amy schumer on autism, antisemitism and pulling from her marriage for ‘life & beth’ season 2.

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8.0-8.8 Rated Movies

  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • Release Year

1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen , Marlon Brando , Robert Duvall , Frederic Forrest

Votes: 704,091 | Gross: $83.47M

2. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Approved | 137 min | Drama, Horror

A young couple trying for a baby moves into an aging, ornate apartment building on Central Park West, where they find themselves surrounded by peculiar neighbors.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow , John Cassavetes , Ruth Gordon , Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 233,048

3. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong and over two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen , Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones , Javier Bardem , Josh Brolin , Woody Harrelson

Votes: 1,047,222 | Gross: $74.28M

4. 12 Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis , Madeleine Stowe , Brad Pitt , Joseph Melito

Votes: 643,088 | Gross: $57.14M

5. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounters a deadly lifeform after investigating a mysterious transmission of unknown origin.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver , Tom Skerritt , John Hurt , Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 940,506 | Gross: $78.90M

6. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson , Shelley Duvall , Danny Lloyd , Scatman Crothers

Votes: 1,095,666 | Gross: $44.02M

7. Blood Simple (1984)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

The owner of a seedy small-town Texas bar discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife. A chaotic chain of misunderstandings, lies, and mischief ensues after he devises a plot to have them murdered.

Directors: Joel Coen , Ethan Coen | Stars: John Getz , Frances McDormand , Dan Hedaya , M. Emmet Walsh

Votes: 104,068 | Gross: $2.15M

8. Gangs of New York (2002)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio , Cameron Diaz , Daniel Day-Lewis , Jim Broadbent

Votes: 469,641 | Gross: $77.81M

9. Nocturnal Animals (2016)

R | 116 min | Drama, Thriller

A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Director: Tom Ford | Stars: Amy Adams , Jake Gyllenhaal , Michael Shannon , Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Votes: 301,798 | Gross: $10.66M

10. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins , Janet Leigh , Vera Miles , John Gavin

Votes: 712,481 | Gross: $32.00M

11. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A beautiful Florida woman seduces a seedy lawyer, with the hidden agenda of having him kill her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt , Kathleen Turner , Richard Crenna , Ted Danson

Votes: 39,817 | Gross: $24.06M

12. Match Point (2005)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for an actress who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Scarlett Johansson , Jonathan Rhys Meyers , Emily Mortimer , Matthew Goode

Votes: 226,986 | Gross: $23.09M

13. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

PG-13 | 116 min | Crime, Thriller

Danny Ocean and his ten accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: George Clooney , Brad Pitt , Julia Roberts , Matt Damon

Votes: 612,943 | Gross: $183.42M

14. Knives Out (2019)

PG-13 | 130 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A detective investigates the death of the patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daniel Craig , Chris Evans , Ana de Armas , Jamie Lee Curtis

Votes: 764,079 | Gross: $165.36M

15. Death Proof (2007)

R | 127 min | Action, Thriller

Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Kurt Russell , Zoë Bell , Rosario Dawson , Vanessa Ferlito

Votes: 311,354

16. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

R | 139 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In late 1950s New York, a young underachiever named Tom Ripley is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Matt Damon , Gwyneth Paltrow , Jude Law , Cate Blanchett

Votes: 234,422 | Gross: $81.30M

17. Angel Heart (1987)

X | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Mickey Rourke , Robert De Niro , Lisa Bonet , Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 95,074 | Gross: $17.19M

18. Fallen (1998)

R | 124 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Homicide detective John Hobbes witnesses the execution of serial killer Edgar Reese. Soon after the execution, the killings start again, and they are very similar to Reese's style.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Denzel Washington , John Goodman , Donald Sutherland , Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 91,382 | Gross: $25.19M

19. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell , Wilford Brimley , Keith David , Richard Masur

Votes: 461,466 | Gross: $13.78M

20. Serpico (1973)

R | 130 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino , John Randolph , Jack Kehoe , Biff McGuire

Votes: 133,516 | Gross: $29.80M

21. Red Rock West (1993)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Upon arriving to a small town, a drifter is mistaken for a hitman, but when the real hitman arrives, complications ensue.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Nicolas Cage , Dennis Hopper , Lara Flynn Boyle , Craig Reay

Votes: 24,797 | Gross: $2.50M

22. One False Move (1991)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A small town police chief awaits the arrival of a gang of killers.

Director: Carl Franklin | Stars: Bill Paxton , Billy Bob Thornton , Cynda Williams , Michael Beach

Votes: 13,751 | Gross: $1.54M

23. A Simple Plan (1998)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Three blue-collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash and make a plan to keep their find from the authorities, but it isn't long before complications and mistrust weave their way into the plan.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bill Paxton , Billy Bob Thornton , Bridget Fonda , Brent Briscoe

Votes: 75,571 | Gross: $16.31M

24. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro , Jodie Foster , Cybill Shepherd , Albert Brooks

Votes: 910,298 | Gross: $28.26M

25. Sea of Love (1989)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: Al Pacino , Ellen Barkin , John Goodman , Michael Rooker

Votes: 44,448 | Gross: $58.57M

26. Enemy (2013)

R | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Mélanie Laurent , Sarah Gadon , Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 211,476 | Gross: $1.01M

27. The Aura (2005)

Not Rated | 134 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A deluded taxidermist plans the perfect crime.

Director: Fabián Bielinsky | Stars: Ricardo Darín , Manuel Rodal , Dolores Fonzi , Mariana Malamud

Votes: 14,653 | Gross: $0.06M

28. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

A tale set on death row, where gentle giant John Coffee possesses the mysterious power to heal people's ailments. When the lead guard, Paul Edgecombe, recognizes John's gift, he tries to help stave off the condemned man's execution.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks , Michael Clarke Duncan , David Morse , Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 1,392,708 | Gross: $136.80M

29. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his ex and their newborn, a decision that sets him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance | Stars: Ryan Gosling , Bradley Cooper , Eva Mendes , Craig Van Hook

Votes: 288,004 | Gross: $21.38M

30. Frantic (1988)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Harrison Ford , Betty Buckley , Emmanuelle Seigner , Djiby Soumare

Votes: 57,403 | Gross: $17.64M

31. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart , Donna Reed , Lionel Barrymore , Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 495,504

32. Dial M for Murder (1954)

PG | 105 min | Crime, Thriller

A former tennis star arranges the murder of his adulterous wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ray Milland , Grace Kelly , Robert Cummings , John Williams

Votes: 187,222 | Gross: $0.01M

33. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A Los Angeles insurance representative lets an alluring housewife seduce him into a scheme of insurance fraud and murder that arouses the suspicion of his colleague, an insurance investigator.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray , Barbara Stanwyck , Edward G. Robinson , Byron Barr

Votes: 166,155 | Gross: $5.72M

34. The Raven (1943)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A French village doctor becomes the target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Pierre Fresnay , Ginette Leclerc , Micheline Francey , Héléna Manson

Votes: 10,797 | Gross: $0.03M

35. The Killers (1946)

Passed | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster , Ava Gardner , Edmond O'Brien , Albert Dekker

Votes: 23,401

36. Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Dick Powell , Claire Trevor , Anne Shirley , Otto Kruger

Votes: 14,591

37. A Good Year (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe , Abbie Cornish , Albert Finney , Marion Cotillard

Votes: 100,817 | Gross: $7.46M

38. Sideways (2004)

R | 127 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Paul Giamatti , Thomas Haden Church , Virginia Madsen , Sandra Oh

Votes: 202,551 | Gross: $71.50M

39. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

R | 100 min | Drama

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: James Spader , Andie MacDowell , Peter Gallagher , Laura San Giacomo

Votes: 58,877 | Gross: $24.74M

40. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

R | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper and a drifter named Max.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Tom Hardy , Charlize Theron , Nicholas Hoult , Zoë Kravitz

Votes: 1,073,569 | Gross: $154.06M

41. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford , Rutger Hauer , Sean Young , Edward James Olmos

Votes: 815,678 | Gross: $32.87M

42. Ex Machina (2014)

R | 108 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a highly advanced humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland | Stars: Alicia Vikander , Domhnall Gleeson , Oscar Isaac , Sonoya Mizuno

Votes: 580,880 | Gross: $25.44M

43. I Origins (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A molecular biologist and his laboratory partner uncover evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.

Director: Mike Cahill | Stars: Michael Pitt , Steven Yeun , Astrid Bergès-Frisbey , Brit Marling

Votes: 132,785 | Gross: $0.33M

44. Looper (2012)

R | 119 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Bruce Willis , Emily Blunt , Paul Dano

Votes: 599,673 | Gross: $66.49M

45. K-PAX (2001)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

PROT is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a faraway planet named K-PAX. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations.

Director: Iain Softley | Stars: Kevin Spacey , Jeff Bridges , Mary McCormack , Alfre Woodard

Votes: 192,179 | Gross: $50.34M

46. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A man struggles with memories of his past, which include a wife he cannot remember and a nightmarish world no one else ever seems to wake up from.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell , Kiefer Sutherland , Jennifer Connelly , William Hurt

Votes: 210,791 | Gross: $14.38M

47. Equilibrium (2002)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

In an oppressive future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system and state.

Director: Kurt Wimmer | Stars: Christian Bale , Sean Bean , Emily Watson , Taye Diggs

Votes: 345,194 | Gross: $1.20M

48. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

R | 152 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev | Stars: Michael Nyqvist , Noomi Rapace , Ewa Fröling , Lena Endre

Votes: 222,518 | Gross: $10.10M

49. Parasite (2019)

R | 132 min | Drama, Thriller

Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.

Director: Bong Joon Ho | Stars: Song Kang-ho , Lee Sun-kyun , Cho Yeo-jeong , Choi Woo-sik

Votes: 936,474 | Gross: $53.37M

50. Being John Malkovich (1999)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich .

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: John Cusack , Cameron Diaz , Catherine Keener , John Malkovich

Votes: 351,478 | Gross: $22.86M

51. Felon (2008)

R | 104 min | Crime, Thriller

Locked up for killing an intruder in self-defense, a family man must cope with life in the violent penal system.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh | Stars: Stephen Dorff , Marisol Nichols , Vincent Miller , Anne Archer

Votes: 83,178 | Gross: $0.04M

52. Brothers (I) (2009)

R | 105 min | Drama, Thriller, War

While on tour in Afghanistan, Sam's copter is shot down and he is presumed dead. Back home, it is his screw-up brother who looks after the family. Sam does return, but with a lot of excess baggage.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Natalie Portman , Tobey Maguire , Sam Shepard

Votes: 144,387 | Gross: $28.50M

53. 22 July (2018)

R | 143 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A three-part story of Norway's worst terrorist attack in which over seventy people were killed. 22 July looks at the disaster itself, the survivors, Norway's political system and the lawyers who worked on this horrific case.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Anders Danielsen Lie , Jonas Strand Gravli , Jon Øigarden , Maria Bock

Votes: 37,217

54. Nine Queens (2000)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Two con artists try to swindle a stamp collector by selling him a sheet of counterfeit rare stamps (the "nine queens").

Director: Fabián Bielinsky | Stars: Ricardo Darín , Gastón Pauls , Graciela Tenenbaum , María Mercedes Villagra

Votes: 56,599 | Gross: $1.22M

55. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Approved | 178 min | Adventure, Western

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood , Eli Wallach , Lee Van Cleef , Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 804,059 | Gross: $6.10M

56. Cape Fear (1962)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

A lawyer's family is stalked by a man he once helped put in jail.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Gregory Peck , Robert Mitchum , Polly Bergen , Lori Martin

Votes: 31,605

57. The Great Escape (1963)

Approved | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen , James Garner , Richard Attenborough , Charles Bronson

Votes: 257,064 | Gross: $12.10M

58. North by Northwest (1959)

Approved | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and falls for a woman whose loyalties he begins to doubt.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant , Eva Marie Saint , James Mason , Jessie Royce Landis

Votes: 343,802 | Gross: $13.28M

59. The Last Samurai (2003)

R | 154 min | Action, Drama

Nathan Algren, a US army veteran, is hired by the Japanese emperor to train his army in the modern warfare techniques. Nathan finds himself trapped in a struggle between two eras and two worlds.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tom Cruise , Ken Watanabe , Billy Connolly , William Atherton

Votes: 466,817 | Gross: $111.11M

60. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 127 min | Crime, Drama

A laid-back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman , George Kennedy , Strother Martin , J.D. Cannon

Votes: 187,294 | Gross: $16.22M

61. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Approved | 110 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A black Philadelphia police detective is mistakenly suspected of a local murder while passing through a racially hostile Mississippi town, and after being cleared is reluctantly asked by the police chief to investigate the case.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier , Rod Steiger , Warren Oates , Lee Grant

Votes: 82,881 | Gross: $24.38M

62. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner Ned Logan and a young man, The "Schofield Kid."

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood , Gene Hackman , Morgan Freeman , Richard Harris

Votes: 432,936 | Gross: $101.16M

63. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

James Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig , Javier Bardem , Naomie Harris , Judi Dench

Votes: 726,889 | Gross: $304.36M

64. The Bourne Identity (2002)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and attempting to regain his memory.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Franka Potente , Matt Damon , Chris Cooper , Clive Owen

Votes: 572,546 | Gross: $121.66M

65. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon , Franka Potente , Joan Allen , Brian Cox

Votes: 484,147 | Gross: $176.24M

66. The Avengers (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Sci-Fi

Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Scarlett Johansson , Jeremy Renner

Votes: 1,450,677 | Gross: $623.28M

67. Doctor Strange (2016)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

While on a journey of physical and spiritual healing, a brilliant neurosurgeon is drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch , Chiwetel Ejiofor , Rachel McAdams , Benedict Wong

Votes: 796,988 | Gross: $232.64M

68. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Teen Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his universe and must join with five spider-powered individuals from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.

Directors: Bob Persichetti , Peter Ramsey , Rodney Rothman | Stars: Shameik Moore , Jake Johnson , Hailee Steinfeld , Mahershala Ali

Votes: 658,943 | Gross: $190.24M

69. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Sci-Fi

Political involvement in the Avengers' affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Directors: Anthony Russo , Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Sebastian Stan

Votes: 842,730 | Gross: $408.08M

70. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Viola Davis , Emma Stone , Octavia Spencer , Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 488,463 | Gross: $169.71M

71. Jackie Brown (1997)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A flight attendant with a criminal past gets nabbed by the ATF for smuggling. Under pressure to become an informant against the illegal arms dealer she works for, she must find a way to secure her future without getting killed.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Pam Grier , Samuel L. Jackson , Robert Forster , Bridget Fonda

Votes: 371,208 | Gross: $39.67M

72. The Counterfeiters (2007)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, History

The story of the Operation Bernhard, the largest counterfeiting operation in history, carried out by Germany during WWII.

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky | Stars: Karl Markovics , August Diehl , Devid Striesow , Martin Brambach

Votes: 47,038 | Gross: $5.48M

73. Burn After Reading (2008)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen , Joel Coen | Stars: Brad Pitt , Frances McDormand , George Clooney , John Malkovich

Votes: 350,609 | Gross: $60.36M

74. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

R | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Johnny Depp , Benicio Del Toro , Tobey Maguire , Michael Lee Gogin

Votes: 299,607 | Gross: $10.68M

75. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

Directors: Joel Coen , Ethan Coen | Stars: Tim Robbins , Paul Newman , Jennifer Jason Leigh , Charles Durning

Votes: 84,591 | Gross: $2.87M

76. Four Rooms (1995)

R | 98 min | Comedy

Four interlocking tales that take place in a fading hotel on New Year's Eve.

Directors: Allison Anders , Alexandre Rockwell , Robert Rodriguez , Quentin Tarantino , Chuck Jones | Stars: Tim Roth , Antonio Banderas , Sammi Davis , Amanda De Cadenet

Votes: 110,449 | Gross: $4.30M

77. After Hours (I) (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Griffin Dunne , Rosanna Arquette , Verna Bloom , Tommy Chong

Votes: 79,656 | Gross: $10.60M

78. Charade (1963)

Passed | 113 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance

Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust?

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: Cary Grant , Audrey Hepburn , Walter Matthau , James Coburn

Votes: 84,722 | Gross: $13.47M

79. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

PG-13 | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen , Ethan Coen | Stars: George Clooney , John Turturro , Tim Blake Nelson , John Goodman

Votes: 328,533 | Gross: $45.51M

80. Thank You for Smoking (2005)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his 12-year old son.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: Aaron Eckhart , Cameron Bright , Maria Bello , Joan Lunden

Votes: 228,086 | Gross: $24.79M

81. Rope (1948)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart , John Dall , Farley Granger , Dick Hogan

Votes: 152,435

82. The Hole (1960)

Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Distrust and uncertainty arise when four long-term inmates cautiously induct a new prisoner into their elaborate prison-break scheme.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: André Bervil , Jean Keraudy , Michel Constantin , Philippe Leroy

Votes: 20,070 | Gross: $0.03M

83. The Father (I) (2020)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Mystery

A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.

Director: Florian Zeller | Stars: Anthony Hopkins , Olivia Colman , Mark Gatiss , Olivia Williams

Votes: 188,232

84. Incendies (2010)

R | 131 min | Drama, Mystery, War

Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Lubna Azabal , Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin , Maxim Gaudette , Mustafa Kamel

Votes: 195,430 | Gross: $6.86M

85. Dogs (2016)

104 min | Drama, Thriller

Roman returns to the land he has just inherited from his grandfather. Fully decided to sell this vast but desolate property, he is warned by the local cop that his grandfather was a local ... See full summary  »

Director: Bogdan Mirica | Stars: Dragos Bucur , Gheorghe Visu , Vlad Ivanov , Costel Cascaval

Votes: 3,215

86. Sound of Metal (2019)

R | 120 min | Drama, Music

A heavy metal drummer's life is turned upside down when he begins to lose his hearing and he must confront a future filled with silence.

Director: Darius Marder | Stars: Riz Ahmed , Olivia Cooke , Paul Raci , Lauren Ridloff

Votes: 148,062

87. Breakdown (I) (1997)

R | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Kurt Russell , J.T. Walsh , Kathleen Quinlan , M.C. Gainey

Votes: 60,864 | Gross: $50.13M

88. Kalifornia (1993)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.

Director: Dominic Sena | Stars: Brad Pitt , Juliette Lewis , Kathy Larson , David Milford

Votes: 57,553 | Gross: $2.40M

89. Take Shelter (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon , Jessica Chastain , Shea Whigham , Tova Stewart

Votes: 106,984 | Gross: $1.73M

90. Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

R | 141 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

1969. Four strangers check in at the El Royale Hotel. The hotel is deserted, staffed by a single desk clerk. Some of the new guests' reasons for being there are less than innocent and some are not who they appear to be.

Director: Drew Goddard | Stars: Jeff Bridges , Cynthia Erivo , Dakota Johnson , Jon Hamm

Votes: 163,256 | Gross: $17.84M

91. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya , Allison Williams , Bradley Whitford , Catherine Keener

Votes: 685,352 | Gross: $176.04M

92. The Devil All the Time (2020)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality.

Director: Antonio Campos | Stars: Bill Skarsgård , Tom Holland , Banks Repeta , Emilio Subercaseaux Campos

Votes: 150,893

93. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Not Rated | 144 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Lee Byung-hun , Choi Min-sik , Jeon Gook-hwan , Chun Ho-jin

Votes: 144,590 | Gross: $0.13M

94. The Wailing (2016)

TV-MA | 156 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Soon after a stranger arrives in a little village, a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman, drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

Director: Na Hong-jin | Stars: Jun Kunimura , Hwang Jung-min , Kwak Do-won , Chun Woo-hee

Votes: 80,371

95. Prisoners (2013)

R | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Hugh Jackman , Jake Gyllenhaal , Viola Davis , Melissa Leo

Votes: 796,902 | Gross: $61.00M

96. Flickering Lights (2000)

Not Rated | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A gang of 4 Danish criminals are ordered by Færingen to steal a bag from a safe. When they see DKK4,000,000 in the bag, they keep it for themselves and head for Spain. They end up in a ruin of an old restaurant on Jutland and renovate it.

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen | Stars: Søren Pilmark , Ulrich Thomsen , Mads Mikkelsen , Nikolaj Lie Kaas

Votes: 23,980

97. End of Watch (2012)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Michael Peña , Anna Kendrick , America Ferrera

Votes: 266,418 | Gross: $41.00M

98. Headhunters (2011)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Aksel Hennie , Synnøve Macody Lund , Nikolaj Coster-Waldau , Julie R. Ølgaard

Votes: 106,477 | Gross: $1.20M

99. Riders of Justice (2020)

Not Rated | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

Markus goes home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a train crash. All appears to be a tragic accident until a mathematics geek, who was also a fellow passenger on the train, and his two colleagues show up.

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen , Nikolaj Lie Kaas , Andrea Heick Gadeberg , Lars Brygmann

Votes: 62,245

100. Pride and Glory (2008)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.

Director: Gavin O'Connor | Stars: Edward Norton , Colin Farrell , Noah Emmerich , Jon Voight

Votes: 62,875 | Gross: $15.71M

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  1. Films And Their Ratings, Do You Know How They Work?

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  2. A Parent's Guide to the MPAA Ratings System

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  3. Infographic: what do the movie ratings mean?

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  4. Where Do Film Ratings Come From?

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  5. A Brief History of the Movie Rating System

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  6. Film Ratings Explained

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COMMENTS

  1. Films on IMDB with an 8 or Higher Score (IMDB Top 750)

    9 Rate 90 Metascore The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate. Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

  2. GitHub: Let's build from here · GitHub

    {"payload":{"allShortcutsEnabled":false,"fileTree":{"":{"items":[{"name":"2.1.5 Welcome Program","path":"2.1.5 Welcome Program","contentType":"file"},{"name":"2.1.6 ...

  3. Film Ratings

    Are you a filmmaker looking to have your film rated? Start the submission process with the Classification and Rating Administration. Visit the Website Ratings Guide Not sure what each rating means? Check out our interactive guide: General Audiences Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children. Parental Guidance Suggested

  4. Motion Picture Association film rating system

    (February 2019) Rating cards appear at the head of trailers in the United States which indicate how closely the trailer adheres to the MPA's standards. [citation needed]

  5. Solved Exercise 2.5.8: Movie Ratings point Let's Go! Movies

    Your job is to write a program that gets a movie rating from the user as a double and then rounds to the nearest int using the rounding with casting technique For example, a run of your program may look like this: Please enter a movie rating: 3.4 Rating rounded: 3 Another run may look like this: Please enter a movie rating: 3.7 Rating rounded: 4...

  6. Movie Rating System

    The first part is a 5-star (★★★★★) rating scale. Some publications use only 4 stars-Roger Ebert comes to mind-but I've chosen the 5-star system for its easy parallel to IMDB and Letterboxd. If I've rated it 4 stars here, it has 4 stars on Netflix and an 8/10 on IMDB. (You can read more about the origin of the "stars ...

  7. GUIDE TO RATINGS

    Use the rating system to "Check the Box" and decide if a film is right for your family. The information in the box includes the letter rating, designating the level of content in the movie, and also the descriptor, giving a snapshot of the elements in the movie that lead to that rating. The Check the Box campaign further enhances our ...

  8. Motion picture content rating system

    A motion picture content rating system classifies films based on their suitability for audiences due to their treatment of issues such as sex, violence, or substance abuse, their use of profanity, or other matters typically deemed unsuitable for children or adolescents.

  9. IMDb vs Rotten Tomatoes: Which Ratings Should You Trust?

    7.5-8.0: Again, most, if not all, films that have ratings higher than 7.5 should be considered good. I'm yet to see a film which is rated above 7.5 and was really bad. 7.0-7.5: I'd say that 7 is some sort of invisible barrier for IMDb films, movies which cross this barrier are definitely worth at least one watch.

  10. IMDb Top 250 Movies

    Release Calendar Top 250 Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Movie News India Movie Spotlight. TV Shows. ... 8.2 (805K) Rate. 118. Die Hard. 1988 2h 12m R. 8.2 (938K) Rate. 119. Hamilton. 2020 2h 40m PG-13.

  11. Demystifying Movie Ratings: A Friendly Guide to Decoding Rating Systems

    G rated films = A PG and PG-13 = B R rated films = C NC-17 films = D So in the MPAA system, a C rated movie corresponds to an R rating. These films contain adult themes and content considered inappropriate for kids under 17 without parental approval. As a parent, you can expect R rated films to potentially include: Strong language and profanity

  12. Whose ratings should you trust? IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, or

    The least correlated with the Fandango rating is the metascore. It has a Pearson's r value of 0.38 with respect to Fandango, while the IMDB rating has a value of 0.63. Now let me explain all this. As two variables change, taking different values, they are correlated if there's a pattern corresponding to both changes.

  13. Movie Ratings Explained

    News report on the introduction of the NC-17 rating • all movie ratings. When first introduced, the wording for the NC-17 description read: "No Children Under 17 Admitted.". In 1996, the wording was changed to: "No One 17 and Under Admitted," effectively raising the age requirement by one additional year to 18.

  14. IMDb vs. Rotten Tomatoes vs. Metacritic: Which Movie Ratings Site ...

    When at least 60 percent of users rated it 3.5 stars (out of 5) or higher, it shows a full bucket. A tipped-over bucket represents that under 60 percent of users gave it under 3.5 stars. Since you can use half-star ratings, this is close to the IMDb score. In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes made some changes to reduce "review bombing" of movies.

  15. "You give out too many stars"

    That's what some people tell me. Maybe I do. I look myself up in Metacritic, which compiles statistics comparing critics, and I find: "On average, this critic grades 8.9 points higher than other critics (0-100 point scale)." Wow. What a pushover. Part of my problem may be caused by conversion of the detested star rating system. I consider 2.5 stars to be thumbs down; they consider 62.5 to be ...

  16. 20 Highest-Rated Movies on IMDb, Ranked by Votes

    The closest to a 10/10 as the film with the highest IMDb rating (at 9.3), The Shawshank Redemption is, without a doubt, a triumph. One of the best films ever made about hope and the human spirit ...

  17. Browse

    Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Jul 13, 2020. Jeffrey M. Anderson Common Sense Media. In a perfect world, this thriller, with its onslaught of stomach-churning "oh no!" moments, would've had a ...

  18. Advanced search

    2022- TV-MA. 8.7 (184K) Rate. TV Series. Mark leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. When a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs.

  19. Be Suspicious Of Online Movie Ratings, Especially Fandango's

    When I focused on movies that had 30 8 or more user reviews, 9 none of the 209 films had below a 3-star rating. Seventy-eight percent had a rating of 4 stars or higher. Seventy-eight percent had a ...

  20. How to Understand Movie Ratings: 5 Steps (with Pictures ...

    Steps. Download Article. 1. Know that G means "General Audiences". Films rated G have content in which the board believes is suitable for general audiences. Films rated G are extremely mild in nature of their content and contain nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children. Although because the content is very mild, films rated G ...

  21. The Beekeeper (2024 film)

    The Beekeeper is a 2024 American action thriller film directed by David Ayer and written by Kurt Wimmer.The film stars Jason Statham, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Josh Hutcherson, Bobby Naderi, Phylicia Rashad, Jemma Redgrave and Jeremy Irons.When his good-hearted landlady commits suicide after losing her charity's funds to a phishing scam, former "Beekeeper" operative Adam Clay sets out on a brutal ...

  22. Exercise 2.5.8: Movie Ratings point Let's Go! Movies always come with

    Exercise 2.5.8: Movie Ratings point Let's Go! Movies always come with ratings. A bad movie may have 14 stars, and a great movie may have 4.9 stars.

  23. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

    Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - To the Hashira Training: Directed by Haruo Sotozaki. With Natsuki Hanae, Kengo Kawanishi, Akari Kitô, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka. Tanjiro undergoes rigorous training with the Stone Hashira, Himejima, in his quest to become a Hashira. Meanwhile, Muzan continues to search for Nezuko and Ubuyashiki.

  24. Super Bowl LVIII Hits All-Time High: TV Ratings Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024

    Feb. 13, 8:20 a.m. Updated with final ratings figures for the Super Bowl. Feb. 13, 8:50 a.m. Added ratings figures for post-Super Bowl shows on CBS. Read More About:

  25. 8.0-8.8 Rated Movies

    76 Metascore In late 1950s New York, a young underachiever named Tom Ripley is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures. Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett Votes: 230,509 | Gross: $81.30M 4.

  26. 2.5.8.txt

    View 2.5.8.txt from CS 104 at Simi Valley High. public class MovieRatings extends ConsoleProgram { public void run() { double movieRating = readDouble("Please enter a movie rating: ");