The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films — According to Audiences

Comparing moviegoers’ taste to the recent BBC critics ranking.

The audience has spoken.

While the BBC recently published a ranking of global critics’ favorite films of this century, we calculated our own ranking of audiences’ highest-rated films to see how the results compare.

Using proprietary data from Taste, we rounded up the top 100 films with the highest standardized user ratings since 2000. Here’s what the moviegoers have to say:

Here are some fun facts:

  1. 33 films showed up on both lists. Notable critic omissions include fan favorites Whiplash, The Departed, Moon and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
  2. The top 10 movies that both audiences & critics agree on are: 
    1. Spirited Away
    There Will Be Blood
    No Country for Old Men
    In the Mood for Love
    The Act of Killing
    The Dark Knight
    City of God
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  3. The top 5 audience movies all come from different countries.
  4. Action/sci-fi favorites Edge of Tomorrow, Ex Machina, The Raid, Serenity, The Martian and John Wick are omitted from the critics list.
  5. The Lord of the Rings 2 & 3, The Raid 2, The Dark Knight and Before Midnight are the only sequels on this entire list — the rest of the movies being original content. Who says audiences love sequels?
  6. Boyhood and The Tree of Life placed in #5 and #7 on the critics list, but are ranked at #278 and #349 on the audience list, respectively. Both films drew incredibly polarizing audience ratings.

While the BBC list skewed more towards niche critical darlings, and the Audience list favored more popular entries, the 33% crossover list does provide us with a fantastic group of diverse films that surely anyone could enjoy.