Why I Hate Lists

Hate is a strong word, I would just rather recite Shakespeare’s Othello in its entirety than sit down and come up with a best of/worst of list.

Its not that I don’t believe good and bad movies aren’t a thing, they very much are. I just don’t see the point in these time wasting reads designed mainly to give websites a boost in numbers.

Lets start with the best of list, “best films of 2020” or “best films of all time” you’ll read emblazoned on a click bait link. According to who? Lets face it, most of these lists are presented in slide show format as to squeeze more ad space out of a useless endeavor. As much as I give him hell about his dislike of a handful of movies I love, I am often reminded of the late great Roger Ebert, a sort of film hero of mine. Ebert despised lists except for the one he contributed to every ten years, ten best films of all time.

Ebert’s ten best list barely changed, see the only significance a top ten list really carries is for the readers blood to boil.

Ebert knew this well, one year he selected the top 20 films, he was still required to make a years best of as its the movie critics equivalent to the Hippocratic oath. Of course readers were enraged that he went beyond the accepted ten, and the fact that lists are the most subjective thing in film criticism.

A film critic used to be a great way to judge if you were gonna love a movie.

With Ebert I knew I was gonna like a movie if he loved it, I knew I was going to worship a film if he hated it. So really Ebert and critics like him act as a barometer to how i might enjoy a film. Once you have an idea of what their tastes are like, compare yours and you can get a very clear idea of how you’re gonna like a film. So with that in mind the top ten list is meaningless. I might select ten movies you hated and you wish to tweet your heated opinion at me. Neither one of us accomplishing anything because we don’t like the same movies. So whats the point? And when movie sites like Bloody Disgusting get involved people treat those lists like a definitive list of movies you should like, when its all just subjective and meaningless.

I suppose I don’t have to dive to deep in a worst of list. Those are confusing to me, why list a best of and than worst of, are movies you dislike worse than other movies you dislike? Perhaps there is a middle ground and you can not like a movie but still see it as legitimately a good film, but again why even talk about the ones you “hated”. Most worst of lists, seem to be made in order to bitch, the great American past time. A critic doesn’t like a movie so he cant shut up about it, how often do you talk about things you hate? Maybe I’m just rattling on like some kind of Andy Rooney segment but these lists don’t quite make sense.

In the end a comprised list of things we hate and things we love is really just a way to get likes and attention.

I’ve known some critics to place a movie they loved lower on the list just to get comments and views flowing. Bad opinions equal more views I’m afraid. Now am i calling for a boycott on lists? No, that’s would be silly and a waste of time sort of like this blurb I’m writing. I think we all need to just view these things for what they are, wastes of time. Review a film sure, but don’t group it by number.

And no i still wont be making a best of 2020 list…

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