Frequently Asked Questions
About the Greatest Movies Project Criteria, component lists, and more

Q: What the hell is this, anyway?
A: It's a list of the 100 Greatest Movies of all time. I know, I know, not a particularly original tack. However, I think this list stands out because it is assembled from all the other lists following the same tack. Thus, it forms a sort of consensus amongst all the lists. You may have noticed that, to some extent, a lot of "greatest movies lists" are the same; this list reflects where so many lists agree.

Q: How did you arrange the films?
A: Still figuring that one out. I have a poll on Da Blog where you can choose an algorithm for me to use. The page links to a post where I explain the different methods. At the moment, I'm probably going to use the familiar Borda count (1=100 points, 2=99, etc).

Q: What lists did you use to make the lists?
A: A complete "list of lists" is available here.

Q: Hey, I know a great list! Could you include it in your ranking?
A: Perhaps. E-mail me at mwmailsea at yahoo dot com. Include either a URL to the ranking or the ranking itself, and make clear whether it's a people's or critics' list.

Q: Hey, I sent you an e-mail about my list and you didn't add it in!
A: There are several reasons why I might decide to reject a list. It may be limited to a particular nationality's films. It may only reflect one person's opinions; while I'd respect greatly a list of Roger Ebert's favorite films, I wouldn't add it to the Critics list. It may be restricted in ways other than nationality; for example, a particular genre, era, director, or a list of "most groundbreaking" films. Often I'll reject a list because it isn't ranked, which makes it next to useless for my purposes.

Q: You're biased! You have the AFI list, which is restricted to American films! Why won't you accept my list of British/Canadian/French/Indian/Australian/Maltan films?
A: Um, maybe because American films make up about 90% of all films made worldwide? The difference between an American-only list and a worldwide list is negligible. Besides, the AFI list isn't completely American-only; it includes some British films like Lawrence of Arabia. Don't ask me why, we've never gotten a satisfactory answer.

Q: What's the point of this list? Aren't you fighting an uphill battle against all the other lists?
Q: How can you call this list "definitive"? Isn't it all your own opinions?
A: I find that people who ask questions like these usually don't know what they're talking about. This list is not composed of a poll of filmgoers. This list is not composed of a poll of critics or so-called experts. This list is definitely not composed of my opinions. This list is composed of every list of the Greatest Movies ever made. I believe that this gives it a quality and an authoritativeness beyond that of most lists, and probably beyond that of all lists. I made every effort to include every list of Greatest Movies according to the criteria above. I don't mean to suggest that you can't contest the list's selection and order, but it's been established by thousands of critics' votes and millions of people's votes, over more than a decade of lists. One publication telling you these are the greatest films ever made, is easy to brush off. 17 of them (and counting), not so much.