Our Acronym is Better Than Theirs – Picking the LAMB’s Top 10 Favorite Films

by Dylan · December 18, 2008 · Uncategorized · 16 Comments

The results are in, and the LAMB has picked its Top 10 Favorite Films (for background on this, click here). There were a total of 40 voters, with their votes spread out amongst a whopping 270 films (out of a possible 400)! If ever there was a poll that displayed our diversity (or just inability to agree on anything 😉 ), this is it.

With the votes spread out all over the place, again it didn’t take much more than a single Top 10 vote for a film to make the Top 10 here, and a number of individuals’ top film didn’t even get a glimpse of the top 10. The top pair of films reached that hallowed ground with a bit of breathing room, though (and are sure to gain the ire of one Dean Treadway). However, I’d say that all of the Top 10 save for perhaps number ten have reputations as classics, and if it makes you lovers of classic movies feel better, I’ll go outside the norm and show you all numbers 20-11, which included a few golden oldies:

20. The Big Lebowski
19. Amelie
18. Shaun of the Dead
17. Singin’ in the Rain
16. Brazil
15. Blade Runner
14. The Shawshank Redemption
13. Taxi Driver
12. Sunset Boulevard
11. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Here are your winners (1st place votes in parentheses):

10. High Fidelity – 28 points from 4 voters (1)

9. The Empire Strikes Back – 30 points from 4 voters (1)

8. The Godfather: Part II – 34 points from 6 voters (0)

7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 34 points from 5 voters (1)

6. Annie Hall – 35 points from 5 voters (0)

5. The Godfather – 36 points from 5 voters (1)

4. GoodFellas – 36 points from 6 votes (2)

3. Casablanca – 39 points from 5 votes (1)

2. Fight Club – 47 points from 7 votes (0)

1. Pulp Fiction – 54 points from 8 votes (1)

So…how many did you vote for? If you’d like to see yours and all the other votes, scroll down. A post has been added with all of them, but I have dated it prior to this post so it won’t clutter the page.

Others receiving 1st-place votes: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Almost Famous, Beauty and the Beast, Boogie Nights, Casino, City of Lost Children, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Duck Soup, Ghostbusters, Gone With the Wind, Halloween, Harvey, Magnolia, Miller’s Crossing, Nashville, Night of the Living Dead, Office Space, Raging Bull, Satantango, Sense and Sensibility, Shaun of the Dead, Sin City, Singin’ in the Rain, Taxi Driver, The Conformist, The Graduate, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King, The Matrix, The Warriors, The Wizard of Oz, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Wristcutters: A Love Story.

As for our next topic: those of you that were around this time last year might recall getting an email from me, asking for your top five of 2007. It was (I believe) the first ever “event” held on the LAMB, and you can bet I won’t be asking for ~200 emails this time around. But you can bet we’re doing our year-end “Best of” again, elegantly titled “LIONs for LAMBs.” So, I’ve created the poll over at Mister Poll, now give me your LIONs. As a bonus, I’ve added a number of other categories to the list. And if you’re already starting to wonder about the Academy Awards, no worries there, either. We’ll have predictions, our “LAMBs Devour the Oscars” series (if there’s interest) and, of course, an Oscars pool complete with a fabo prize.

But for now, it’s just time to vote. After this one, we’ll move on to the top vote-getters for “What to do next?” from the last poll, namely Top 10 Film Noirs, Foreign Language Films, and Independent Films, in that order (don’t let me forget).

The poll is already up, and will be until January 15 – be sure to read the instructions. Go vote now so I don’t have to hassle you later! Thanks.

One final note – I’ve heard that Mister Poll doesn’t get along well with Internet Explorer 8. If you are having troubles, please try Firefox or Safari.



16 Responses to Our Acronym is Better Than Theirs – Picking the LAMB’s Top 10 Favorite Films

  1. Srikanth says:

    Only 1 of my 10 films made the top 20 🙁
    And please correct the typo in the best movie title. (Pulp Fiction instead of Fight Club)

  2. Fletch says:

    I managed 4 of my 10 in the top 20, and 3 in the top 10. I guess that’s pretty good. 🙂

    Thanks, tis fixed now. What an awful place to make a typo.

  3. Nick says:

    Yeah, Fletch… I noticed that little conspiracy!

    Well… at least Shaun of the Dead made it into the Top 20…

  4. Rachel says:

    Sweet! Three of mine made the Top 10. That’ll never happen again.

  5. Kirby says:

    :Sigh: I’ll never understand the love for “Fight Club” … and “Eternal Sunshine” too, for that matter.

    – kch

  6. Fletch says:

    Your loss, Kirby… 🙁

  7. Ed Howard says:

    Wow, one non-American film barely snuck into the top 20 there. I do like most of these movies, but where’s the variety?

  8. Srikanth says:

    Just as I had predicted during the poll announcement… An all American top 10.

    But I had expected Shawshank, 2001 and TDK to make it to the top 10. Good to see that people remembered Annie Hall. But Amelie is the best foreign film? Come on…

  9. Rachel says:

    Once again, I think some people are sadly mistaking the words “best” and “favorite.”

    And Shaun of the Dead is NOT an American film either folks.

  10. Ed Howard says:

    The films I think are the “best” tend to also be my “favorites.” I understand that some people do make a distinction between those two words, but to me that’s kind of a cop-out. It’s like making excuses for your taste: “oh, I know these aren’t the best movies but I like them anyway.” If you like a movie and consider it a favorite, stand by the choice, don’t waffle on semantics.

    Anyway, I’m not knocking anyone’s taste. As I said, I like a lot of these movies myself, though few of them would make my own top 20 or even top 50. I just think it’s sad that the final list is so predictable, though as is often the case, some of the individual ballots are much more interesting.

  11. Fletch says:

    Is 2001 considered to be an American film? As far as I can tell, it was shot in both the UK and the US. But all the studio shots were in the UK…

    Anyway, I’m with Rachel – I’m one of those people who make a clear distinction between labeling something as “Best” and “Favorite,” especially (or maybe exclusively?) when it comes to movies. Fletch and The Princess Bride might be some of my favorites, but I’d be certifiably insane had I lobbied for Best Pic noms in their respective release years.

    Likewise, I find it weird when people have The Godfather on their list of favorites. Sure, the conglomerated film establishment can agree that it’s one of the Best films ever, but I’d be hard-pressed to put any 3+ hour film in my list of favorites. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know when I’m rifling through my DVD collection for something to watch, I just can’t bring myself to commit to watching a movie that long just for fun. Might be poor reasoning, but a “favorite” for me (and thus another thing making the distinction) is something I can watch over and over and over, never get sick of, and even have pangs of desire to watch again from time to time.

    And though I might consider Requiem for a Dream one of the better films of whatever year it was released, I sure as hell don’t consider it a favorite and can’t say I really want to see it again.

  12. Ed Howard says:

    2001 is one of those debatable cases that could go either way, but personally I’d say if the director is American and the film is in English, it’s very hard for me to call it totally “non-American,” even if it’s mostly made elsewhere. At the very least, I wouldn’t call it a British film or anything.

    Anyway, it sounds to me like some of you are making distinctions between films you find fun or enjoyable and films that are more serious and weighty. I don’t see why that needs to be, or why it should be the basis for separating “best” from “favorite.” It seems like the distinction is an attempt to factor out aesthetic and cinematic merit from the process of making the list.

    If a film is well-made and aesthetically engaging, then I’ll enjoy it and be able to call it a “favorite” even if it’s very long and complex, and even if its subject matter is heavy or downright depressing. I would rank both Howard Hawks’ funny, light-on-its-feet His Girl Friday and Jacques Rivette’s dense, serious, 4-hour La belle noiseuse among my favorites, because both engage my imagination and stimulate my mind and my senses in various ways. That to me is the definition of both the “best” movies and my personal favorites. These are the movies that imprint their images into my consciousness, and which make me want to watch them over and over again.

  13. srikanth says:

    I agree with Ed. I’m game for the 7-hour Satan Tango as much as I am for Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms.

    The term “best” is by itself a collective result of a large number of “favorites” of many critics. True that the cinematic achievements and breakthroughs matter , but considering the large number of films that have done it regularly, the small section of films considered best now are but a result of a common consensus.

    SO considering LAMB as the sample space, this list could well be taken for the best films in the community’s opinion.

  14. Nick says:

    I’m with Fletch and Rachel. There IS a distinction between ‘best’ and ‘favorite’, and saying so doesn’t make you a cop-out. And you might say Fletch was making a distinction between serious movies and more light-weight movies… but look at the Oscars, the people whose job it is to decide what makes a ‘best’ movie. What do they 9 times out of 10 choose? The serious, depressing, Eastwood-esque films.

    Sure there’s the rare indie or comedy that goes for Best Pic, but it rarely ever wins.

    But I’m on a soapbox there. To get back to the discussion… there is a distinction. Like Fletch said, I respect movies such as The Godfather or The Godfather Part II or Citizen Kane or, more recently, any of the major contestants for Best Pic in the last 5 years. But I can’t honestly say I would go “Hey! Lemme take out some good ‘ol Ben Hur or Million Dollar Baby, pop some popcorn, and enjoy myself.” But something like Shaun of the Dead, Little Shop of Horrors, or Inside Man? Hell yeah.

    They might not be the best movies ever made, but they’re my favorites. And that’s not a cop out. Just because I label them as my favorites does NOT mean I think they’re the best examples of American film to show a visiting alien who wants to sample human existence. I’d warm him up with some of the ‘best’ stuff, THEN I’d pop in the fun stuff.

    And that’s really the big difference, I feel, between the ‘best’ films and the ‘favorite’ films. ‘Best’ films aren’t fun. They’re an experience… something fantastic or spiritual about it. Your favorite films are, like Fletch said, those you can watch over and over without getting tired of them.

    And I might stab my entire speech here with this… but I only have one exception to everything I just said. For me, there’s only one movie that crosses the line between one of the best films ever made and one of my favorite films to just sit down and enjoy… and that’s “12 Angry Men.” I love that movie.

  15. srikanth says:

    12 Angry Men: Hell, how did I miss that in my top 10…It’s the movie that started it all for me… Pathetic me.

  16. Glad to see the GodFather making it to the list. I shall participate and cast my votes.

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