Recently, some film critics (846, including Roger Ebert) redid their 10 Best Films list. Not surprisingly, there was some outcry, which Ebert addressed in a blog in early August.
I’ve only seen three of the critics’ top 10 (Vertigo, Citizen Kane and 2001) and five of the directors’ top 10 (same three, plus Taxi Driver and The Godfather). I love Vertigo, Citizen Kane and The Godfather and really like 2001. I hate Taxi Driver, but will admit that it’s a very, VERY good movie.
Reading the comments, though, is a pretty disheartening experience (as it tends to be). People are apparently shocked—SHOCKED!—that some of their favorite movies aren’t considered the best.
I tend to dismiss those people with the fact that you liking something doesn’t give it artistic merit. I love the Harold and Kumar movies but would never nominate them for a list of the best movies (not even for the year they each came out, but especially not for all time). (That’s just an example; no one said that Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle should make any such list.)
But now I have an even better response, thanks to Mr. Ebert: “You’re insufficiently evolved as a moviegoer.”
I will admit that Vertigo isn’t my favorite Hitchcock (probably Psycho or Rear Window) but I will admit that Vertigo is definitely better than Psycho and probably better than Rear Window, although I need to rewatch both to say for certain.
I don’t get people who don’t like Citizen Kane. It’s enjoyable and very accessible. Maybe it’s that it’s in black and white, but I hope that’s not the case. I wouldn’t agree that it’s the BEST MOVIE EVER, as the AFI claimed in both of its 100 Years, 100 Movies lists, but I think it definitely deserves to be in the top 10. (I would probably say The Godfather, although I’m probably prejudiced—if it was good enough to be my dad’s favorite movie, it’s good enough to be mine and the AFI’s, too.)
So what would your 10 Best Movies Ever list look like?