The IMDB Top 250 is commonly criticized for many reasons.
Chief among them is the fact that a movie's placement on the list usually comes down to the popular vote. Bigger blockbusters have a wider reach, and a wider reach can mean more people are rating highly, regardless of film quality.
And while the list should in no way be considered as representing the 250 finest films ever made (for the aforementioned reason), isn't it also useless as a ranking system when people can rate films without even seeing them, or give a film ten out of ten/one out of ten numerous times via numerous different user accounts?
However, this system does have one advantage. Since a good chunk of IMDB voters are only interested in seeing their favourite blockbuster rise to the top by giving it a ten out of ten, or seeing a rival blockbuster sink by giving it a one out of ten, smaller films often go overlooked, and that means their ratings are usually honest.
So when a smaller, lesser-known film does enter the IMDB Top 250, you can be fairly confident that its high rating is genuinely reflective of its quality. And they're the ones that most deserve your time...
12. City Of God
The IMDB Top 250 features a surprising number of foreign-language films, with the Brazilian City Of God sitting comfortably in the initial 25.
After receiving four Academy Award nominations at the 2004 ceremony (best director, best adapted screenplay, best cinematography, best editing - no wins) the film became a cult favourite, but has never really broken wider past that barrier.
It's always going to be difficult to watch a film that isn't in your native language, and while City Of God does fall into this category, it's also easy to enjoy visually.
Set in Rio de Janeiro, every frame bursts with vibrancy - the coloured clothes worn by the characters pop against the contrasting grey-brown slums, and the beaches burn in the golden sunlight. The movie looks stunning.
And because most of the cast actually lived in the real-life favelas in and around which the film was shot, every performance feels convincingly real and the emotions clear and raw. At times, you'll forget that the subtitles are even onscreen.
It won't be for everyone, but City Of God is well worth checking out - give it a chance and you might be surprised just how much you like it.