erik lundegaard

The 2012 Best Picture Nominees Ranked by IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes Scores

Here are the best picture nominees as ranked by their Rotten Tomatoes scores:

BP Nominee R. Tomatoes Top Crits Difference
Argo 96% 95% -1
Zero Dark Thirty 93% 90% -3
Amour 91% 97% 6
Lincoln 91% 95% 4
Silver Linings Playbook 91% 91% 0
Life of Pi 89% 88% -1
Django Unchained 88% 76% -12
Beasts of the Southern Wild 86% 77% -9
Les Miserables 70% 58% -22

I've included Top Critics rankings and the difference between the two. Top Crits obviously less enamored of “Les Miserables” and “Django Unchained.” The love “Amour.” They revere “Lincoln.” “Beasts” is interesting. I would've thought that would be a top-critic darling. 

Now here are the best picture nominees as ranked by IMDb readers:

BP Nominee IMDb
Django Unchained 8.7
Life of Pi 8.3
Silver Linings Playbook 8.2
Amour 8.1
Argo 8.1
Les Miserables 8
Lincoln 8
Zero Dark Thirty 7.7
Beasts of the Southern Wild 7.5

I did this last year when “The Artist” was on top and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was at the bottom, but that's not necessarily good news for “Django.” I can't conceive of a “Django” victory. I can't conceived of a “Life of Pi” victory unless the other films cancel each other out. Jeff Wells is still imagining his “Silver Linings” victory. Maybe. “Crash” won once, too. You can never tell. I still assume “Lincoln” but I'm waiting for the DGAs.

Finally, here's where each film ranks on each list:

BP Nominee R. Tomatoes RT's Top Critics IMDb
Argo 1 2 4
Zero Dark Thirty 2 5 8
Amour 3 1 4
Lincoln 3 3 6
Silver Linings Playbook 3 4 3
Life of Pi 6 6 2
Django Unchained 7 8 1
Beasts of the Southern Wild 8 7 9
Les Miserables 9 9 6

The biggest difference between critics (as represented by Rotten Tomatoes) and moviegoers (as represented by IMDb score) is “Django”: near the bottom for the critics, particularly top critics, and at the top for moviegoers. IMDb's readers love themselves some QT. “Pulp Fiction” is at 9.0 (the fourth greatest movie of all time), “Reservoir Dogs” is at 8.4, “Inglourious Basterds” at 8.3, etc., etc. No QT-directed feature film is below 7.0. His lowest is “Death Proof” at 7.1. “Django” will drop, but probably not much. IMDb is his core audience at the moment.

There's also some vast discrepancies between “Life of Pi” (6, 6, 2) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2, 5, 8). Everyone seems to agree on where to place “Silver Linings”: 3, 4, 3. Everyone except me. My rankings, without having seen “Amour” yet, would probably put “Lincoln” first, “Argo” second ...


BP Nominee R. Tomatoes Top Critics IMDb Me
Argo 1 2 4 2
Zero Dark Thirty 2 5 8 5
Amour 3 1 4 n/a
Lincoln 3 3 6 1
Silver Linings Playbook 3 4 3 8
Life of Pi 6 6 2 3
Django Unchained 7 8 1 6
Beasts of the Southern Wild 8 7 9 7
Les Miserables 9 9 6 4

But overall I don't have much enthusiasm for this year's picks. I'd put three of last year's best picture nominees (“The Tree of Life,” “Moneyball” and “The Descendants”) ahead of this year's favorite.

2012 best picture nominees

You have a favorite? Feb. 24 is closer than you think.

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Posted at 09:45 AM on Mon. Jan 21, 2013 in category Movies - 2012 Oscars  


Reed wrote:

Interesting, but only as useful as the metrics themselves. I used to greatly revere the IMDb because it was movie fans making their voice heard. You had to take certain movies with a grain of salt (where you figured maybe people were rating without watching - say Sex and the City series haters or lovers when the movie was released), but the data input, interpreted the right way, was really useful. But ever since they sold the site to Amazon, it's become a glorified Us Weekly. Comments are more inane, publicity pictures and TV episodes dominate the content, and it's more for the masses than connoisseurs. Fine for business perhaps, but I feel like I've lost a nice resource. I still use it to track what I've seen and what I thought at the time, but we now need a few spoons of salt.

And Rotten Tomatoes suffers a significant design flaw in that it is a binary voting system. Roger Ebert's forgiving 3* review of xXx is treated equally as his praise for, ahem, Crash. OK, I mean Casablanca. Better example. So once again we are looking for simplified mass approval rather than nuanced praise.

How does that translate to the Oscars? Things are different now that they are using ranked voting rather than one vote per person. Under this system, Crash would never have won because many would have put it in last place. I suppose that the Tomatoes are the best predictor in this case. Because even if a critic LOVED Argo far and above all the other contenders, the film only gets one extra point from her over the next best. So movies with significant negativity will suffer, but nobody this side of Jeff Wells is going to put Lincoln last.

Comment posted on Mon. Jan 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Erik wrote:

Reed: Wasn't using either as a predictor here; more of a curiosity than anything. What are the numbers, what do they say? This is what they say. I only use the DGAs as a predictor.

Comment posted on Mon. Jan 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Erik wrote:

Reed, have you thought about writing a book, digital or otherwise, on the history of IMDb? Could be interesting...

Comment posted on Mon. Jan 21, 2013 at 11:47 AM
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