iCheckMovies Top 250 Films (New list suggestion)

Hello guys! I can’t believe it took me almost 12 years to post something in the forums. About a month ago, I thought of looking for a list of the films that are in the most overall top lists in iCheckMovies, but it didn’t exist. So, I did the top 250 myself and it turned out to be one of my favorite lists ever.

Here it is.

Compared to the other official lists from the site itself, is not as obscure as the most favorited and not as… well… weak as the most checked one (I mean… Stuart Little?.. Ice Age 2?.. Only 11 films made before 1970? Only 3 non-english speaking entries?).

This one is a nice mix of prestige and popularity. I love the fact that a movie like Children of Paradise is in more top lists than American History X despite having 77k checks less.

Of course it leans a little bit towards recent decades but it’s still way more balanced than any other top 250. The very nature of the list, (mostly!) avoids incluiding newer films that can be overhyped (Did you know that the 2010’s is the decade with the most entries in IMDB’s top 250?). Here’s how it goes in this one:

1920’s: 8
1930’s: 14
1940’s: 17
1950’s: 27
1960’s: 21
1970’s: 30
1980’s: 31
1990’s: 39
2000’s: 41
2010’s: 22

And here’s a breakdown by director:

-8 films

-7 films
Kubrick, Nolan, Spielberg

-6 films
Scorsese, Tarantino

-5 films

-4 films
Bergman, Chaplin, Coppola, Kurosawa, Lynch, Wilder

-3 films
Coen Bros, Fincher, Ford, Gilliam, Jackson, Leone, Lumet. Miyazaki, Polanski, Scott, Tarkovsky

-2 films
Allen, Capra, Carpenter, Clouzot, Fellini, Hawks, Lean, Murnau, Renoir, Welles, Wyler,

Yeah! There are lots of masters missing (I’m surprised by the complete lack of Buñuel, Bresson, Lubitsch, Rossellini, Tati, and Haneke), but again, compared to other lists, it’s a pretty good bunch.

I try to keep the number of official top lists and favs as tie breaks.

iCheckMovies is a site to explore film lists. There’s already the most checked and the most favorited so why not the most listed? I believe it would be great to make it official. Although I don’t know if “most listed” is the right term. It sounds weird. Please tell me. lol

Here, we don’t give movies a grade; so I think this criteria is the closest thing to a consensus within the site of the most liked/popular ones. I’d like to know what you think.


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You used most lists of all sorts rather than most official lists, right? The problem with this is that unofficial lists includes a lot of people’s watchlists and seen lists and other lists of that sort. The end result is an interesting list due to the numbers at play, but it’s not a criteria that could be official.

@mjf314 who made the formula used for the favourites, made different variations, one of which was relatively mainstream and might be interesting to you https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icheckmovies+most+favorite+-+mainstream+version/mjf314/
it seems he hasn’t updated it in quite a while.

When we were choosing which version to chose the question was how to balance how favourited a movie is in raw quantity vs proportional. A purely proportional version would be very volatile and have many truly obscure films, while the more mainstream version would be very reflective of what people like and have seen, but exclude many lesser known but still highly favourited films. The current version was rather in between and seems to have worked reasonably well with a healthy mix of obscure and popular favourites and it’s reasonably stable.

All of that said, I must admit I’m surprised by the decade distribution of the list you made. I would have expected it to skew more strongly towards recent films

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I made a more recent version of that list in Feb 2020 (with a slightly different formula), but I didn’t update the iCM list.


The spreadsheet includes 2 versions of the list (the 1.3 version is more mainstream).
favs^1.3 / (checks+50)
favs^1.25 / (checks+50)

I’ve suggested this list for adoption in the past, but I don’t think there was a lot of support for it.

We also talked about adopting iCM decade lists using the same formula, and I think that idea had a little bit more support, but I’m not sure if it’s ever going to happen.

Yes. I believe the quantity of top list is very valuable and telling. More than half of the entries in the Most Checked list are nowhere to be seen here, because most of those tend to be just popular not great films. And also there are barely any entries from the Most Favorited one because those tend to be less mainstream and some even difficult for most movie fans. There will always be time for comfort food and hidden gems. But this list is about what I believe is an unspoken consensus among the user of the site. The number of total top lists is not about popularity or greatness, but a combination of both: Relevance. Every single list adds to that.

The Godfather is included in filmography lists of Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Duvall and even Gordon Willis. That elevates its legendary status. They are/were great talents and the fact that they all worked on that particular movie separates it from others. Then there are the all-time lists, decade lists, awards list, and even overrated lists. The Godfather (ranked 2nd) is a massive movie.

At the same time some bad movies can be benefited by this metric, but in the end that’s still part of my point. For example, American Graffiti, one of my favorites, is in fewer lists than Episodes I and III. The Star Wars prequels were big movies, which for better or worse, left a mark in the industry and still have a massive fanbase. That doesn’t make them better than Graffiti but it figures that they’re more cited. They are relevant movies. And don’t feel bad for Graffiti, it’s in a respectable amount of lists.

Another example. Plan 9 from Outer Space, a movie I haven’t even watched, is in more top lists than the Best Picture nominee The Reader. But in the end, Plan 9 is special. Despite not having the best reputation, it’s a memorable movie with lots of fans and even non-fans like me recognize moments from it and still plan to see it someday. The Reader, while fine, is just routine Oscar bait. No wonder almost nobody talks about it. Again, relevance.

As for things like “to watch”, “owned“ or “seen in theaters”, it balances out on its own. Yes, everybody’s going to include whatever they want in their personal lists but more people are going to consider something arguably great like Raging Bull than Big Daddy. Murnau’s Nosferatu is going to be in more people’s watchlists than The Devil Wears Prada. That speaks, again, of their relevance. The ranking itself shows this. Plain popularity is not a defining quality here. Shrek and Home Alone are the most checked movies that aren’t in the list. A lot of people agree that the former hasn’t aged that well compared to Monsters Inc. (ranked 235th) which came out the same year; and the latter is good but almost nobody thinks of it as high quality cinema. Meanwhile, something like There Will Be Blood, which is popular and acclaimed, has a high ranking (57th).

It doesn’t matter if a list is about a critic saying “these movies are great”, or “these movies are awful” or about an award, or the best of certain genre, or the filmography of a talented person, or even if it’s just a fan saying “I’ve seen that” or “I want to see that”, all of that amounts to the relevance of the movies in question. If it’s in a list, is because it’s being considered to be remembered, which is more than we can say for most things that have ever existed. It might seem arbitrary at first, but in a broad sense it isn’t. The users of iCheckMovies have a high regard for great films. This list shows it. I don’t like all of entries but I understand why they are liked.

The Most Checked list doesn’t give us a good bunch of films overall but it’s based on a defined and verifiable number. So is this one. I think it’d be great if we have an official list that takes into account the main attraction of the site. Specially, because it’s so good and well distributed among the decades, which gives it an edge over other user based lists.The top coment in the Most Checked list, reads, “When you have completed this list you can talk to anyone about movies, who is not into movies”. I believe that’s more fitting for this one.

It’s not even mine, it’s from pretty much all the users. I encourage you to consider it.

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What do you want us to consider? Do you propose this to be an official list? That won’t happen. The moment such a list would be official, some people would create tons of lists with their favorite unofficial movie, to get it on an official list.

You were surprised the list wasn’t on iCM yet. Now it is, thank you for that. People who are interested in it, can bookmark it and use it for recommendations. Apart from that, I don’t see what more to do with such a list.

Yeah! I admit that comment sounded very tacky. Sorry. I understand (although it would be funny to see some dude spamming tons of new lists just to put a favorite up there). Maybe it would’ve been official when there was a limit for free users. Anyway, keep up the good work. Always looking forward for the new batch of lists.