10 Movies That Ruin The Credibility Of The IMDb Top 250

Can we really take the list seriously with these inclusions?

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Voldemort
Warner Bros.

For a lot of movie fans, the IMDb Top 250 has long stood as the definitive indictor of film quality. It's an unofficial cinematic bible, forever guiding them towards their next masterpiece. It's where a lot of people instinctively go to work out what they should see next, and where they ascertain a movie's quality.

As such, qualification for that list is an unspoken accolade that puts films in supposedly exalted company. And to add an extra later of intrigue, the site has always kept the inner workings of its selection algorithm a secret.

In practice, the Top 250 feels like a scattershot collection of old classics, modern hits, and films that are currently popular in cinemas. On one hand, this creates a nice balance of the old and new, of timeless gems and contemporary favourites. On the other, though, it often makes for a rather bizarre and ramshackle assemblage - which is odd, given the purpose of the list. And there are entries that, essentially, throw the entire notion of the IMDb Top 250 into question; entries that outright ruin its credibility.

Yes, it's an ever-changing entity, and no, it never outright proclaimed to be anything other than a list of 250 films generated by user votes... but there's no denying that it is a hugely influential part of modern film culture and should therefore be held to the highest standard.

That's why the flies in the ointment stick out so much...

10. Logan (2016)

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Voldemort
20th Century Fox

In a way, Logan stands for that "whatever is cool right now" movie that the IMDb algorithm consistently seems to encourage; as such, it might have been any very popular 2017 comic book movie that I decided to include here... it just happens that Logan is the latest flick to find itself unnecessarily hurtled up the Top 250 rankings.

See, Logan exposes a fundamental flaw in the IMDb Top 250's design. Don't get me wrong - it's a great movie, but it doesn't have the makings of a classic. Lost in Translation, Blue Velvet, Halloween, Boogie Nights, Do the Right Thing, True Romance, on the other hand - timeless pictures, all of them, their places on the Top 250 potentially lost to the latest blockbusters.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the algorithm to take time into consideration as a factor for inclusion? You know: newer releases must have been out for a specific amount of time before they're permitted to enter the pantheon, thus avoiding a premature ranking. Wouldn't this create a fairer, more weighed system?

Again, it's important to reiterate: Logan is a great film and an important milestone in the comic book movie genre, but as an illustration of showcasing the inherent shortcomings of the way the IMDb Top 250 works, it makes sense to point it out.


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.