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Flickchart is the most ridiculous time-waster ever, but…

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So I began “Flickcharting” a while ago, and the constant refrain in my brain has been, “What the fuck?  Why would anyone do this?”  And yet… I keep going back, updating my personalized Flickchart, adding new movies from which to compare to one another.  I mention it to others, laughing at how stupid the site is.  Then I go back again, simply for… what?   The satisfaction of comparing two different movies?

A word about what Flickchart is all about, which you may have already ascertained, is not much.  Just log on to and a maroon screen will materialize with two boxes positioned dead center.  Into those two boxes will appear movie posters for two different movies, say Weekend at Bernies 2 and My Dinner with Andre.  You simply click on the movie that you prefer, and voila!  You have just ranked your first movie in what will be (if you are like me) many more.

Flickchart allows you to hone your search into genres (various choices include absurd comedy, comic-book superhero movie, and post noir, among many others) or time periods (you may choose “The 1970’s,” for instance, or hone it to a specific year, dating all the way back to 1920).  But the goal remains the same:  choose between two divergent movies in an attempt to put together an accurate list of your top movies of all time.

The question is, does it work?  Well, after almost 11,000 comparisons made (I told you it is getting a little sick for me), here is what Flickchart says are my top 20 movies of all time:

  1. Jaws
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. The Empire Strikes Back.
  4. The Godfather
  5. Rocky
  6. This is Spinal Tap
  7. Star Wars
  8. Chinatown
  9. The Silence of the Lambs
  10. Pulp Fiction
  11. The Big Lebowski
  12. Goodfellas
  13. Die Hard
  14. The Godfather Part II
  15. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  16. Vertigo
  17. Annie Hall
  18. Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan
  19. Ghostbusters
  20. Back to the Future

Looking at the list, my first thought is- “I certainly like movies made in the 1980’s.”  Seven of the top twenty were all made in this decade.  The second thought is that there aren’t really any surprises on here; I don’t have a cool, “alternative” list, with say, Repo Man or Withnail and I on it.

But I’m OK with that- I honestly love every movie that is on my Top 20, and the movie at #1 is actually my favorite movie ever.  In that regard, Flickchart got it right.  But there are small ways in which it got it a bit wrong– I’d switch out Vertigo in favor of North by Northwest, if I was going to put a Hitchcock in there.  Similarly, I’d go Manhattan over Annie Hall for my Woody Allen fix.  I’m not sure Star Trek II belongs anywhere on my Top 20, despite my love for a Shatner/Montalban showdown.  I haven’t seen Treasure of Sierra Madre enough times to be sure enough to put it in my list of favorites ever, even though I will acknowledge that it certainly has the potential.

And what about some of my favorite movies that didn’t make the list at all? I can be comforted that most of them do make the Top 50; Butch Cassady and the Sundance Kid (#26), Dazed and Confused (#27), The Shining (#30) and Alien (#41) are all present and accounted for.

I don’t know- check it out for yourself.  Its an interesting experiment, and a fantastic time-waster.


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