The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is still the largest film database in the world – including most of the film ratings by viewers. And because the ratings are quite representative due to the sheer number of participants, at least for classic and mainstream films, the same puzzle has been posed again and again for many years – why the heck is the prison drama “The Convicts” starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman the number one best movie of all time according to viewer ratings?
Sure, the Stephen King film adaptation by Frank Darabont (“The Mist”) is damn good and very touching. But the best movie of all time? In any case, I’ve never seen a critic’s top list that just mentions “The Condemned” as the best film of all time! Anyway, if you’re one of the few who haven’t seen the film, despite its IMDb-fuelled reputation – you can currently watch “The Condemned” on Netflix or simply order the Blu-ray from Amazon:
» “The Condemned” at Amazon (also in 4K)*
The average value at the IMDb (“The Convicted” has a 9.2 out of 10 as one of only two films in the top 100 there) is not a simple average, but results from a more complicated algorithm, in which the number of Ratings plays a big role. Now, the IMDb was getting bigger and bigger in the ’90s, around the time The Convicts hit theaters and soon became even more widespread on video and TV premieres. So “The Condemned” sat at the top of the list.
But the fact that the film has stayed there over the years is also due to the fact that once you’ve got the position, it’s not that easy to lose it. After all, being the “best movie of all time” puts you in a pretty exposed position – which means pretty much everyone new to IMDb will come across “The Convicts” and reevaluate it, while you might not necessarily have everyone else star rated movie you have ever seen in your life. So there is a constant influx of further ratings – and because the mere number of ratings is also included in the algorithm, it is now very difficult to displace oneself from the top, even statistically speaking.
But whether “best film” or not: We can definitely recommend “The Condemned” because we also gave it a very good rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. So if you have a Netflix subscription and haven’t seen the prison drama yet, you should take the chance.
For those of you who are interested, here is the rest of the top 10 (as of March 16, 2022) – and there is some overlap with the typical all-time top ten lists from film critics:
- 10. “Two Glorious Scoundrels”
- 9. “The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring”
- 8. “Pulp Fiction”
- 7. “The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King”
- 6. “Schindler’s List”
- 5. “The 12 Jurymen”
- 4. “The Godfather II”
- 3. “The Dark Knight”
- 2. “The Godfather”
- 1. “The Condemned”
So Return of the King is better than The Fellowship of the Ring? Well, as we all know, there is no arguing about taste…
This is a re-release of an article previously published on DashFUN.
*The link to the Amazon offer is a so-called affiliate link. If you make a purchase through this link, we will receive a commission.