raiders-of-the-lost-ark-1981_gallery_primary1We like ranking movies…and that is what this website is all about.  And we are not talking about a Top Ten list…we are talking about ranking all the movies in somebody’s career from Best to Worst.   The criteria used for the rankings is:  box office grosses, critic reviews, audience voting and award recognition.  Every day the amount of movies ranked by Ultimate Movie Rankings increases ….our tally is now over 25,000 movies.  The number one ranked movie is The Godfather ….coming in last is Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.  Thankfully our pages have been well received.  Recently we crossed the 5 million view mark and are now read in over 200 different countries.

How I got here.

Sometime in 2010, for the millionth time I was looking at Joel Hirschhorn’s book Rating The Movie Stars (1983) when I wondered had he updated his ratings lately? A quick internet check provided the sad news that Mr. Hirchhorn had passed away in 2005.  About a month later, I thought I could update the ratings.  I then came up with an idea to create a mathematical equation that would create a numerical score for each movie. The first thing I had to come up with were factors for the equation.

The book that got me thinking.

The book that got me thinking.

So I thought….if I were producing a movie, what would I like to see my movie accomplish. The first thing I would want would be for the movie to be successful at the box office. Secondly, I would like the critics and moviegoers to enjoy my movie. And finally I would like my movie to receive award recognition through Golden Globe® and Oscar® ceremonies.

There are all kinds of ways to determine if you want to see or skip a movie. You can depend on your favorite critic.  My favorites are the late great Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin. You might go to Rotten Tomatoes to get the consensus of all the critics. You might watch the viewer ratings at Yahoo Movies and IMDB. You might depend on which movies are doing the best at the box office. You might wait for the end of the year awards.

Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score takes all of these options and creates a mathematical equation that generates a score from 1 to 100. The higher the score the better the movie.  A “good ” movie  score = 60 or above.  So anything above 60 should be a good movie to check out.  This gives a good comparison number between centuries and now my wife and I can argue over the merits of her favorite, The Sound of Music and one of my favorites, Pulp Fiction using the same scoring criteria.

So far, I’ve generated scores for 36,000+ movies.  With these scores, I’ve written 1,000+ web pages with focus on actors/actresses and similar groups (Star Trek vs Star Wars, Top 100 Sports Movies are examples).

So let’s look at the breakdown of the variables in the equation.

1. Box office results.  Receives the second highest percentage (30%) of the equation. The ceiling was 200 million in adjusted for inflation dollars. Any movie that crossed 200 million maxed out the points in the category.

2. Critics and audience reception.  Receives the highest percentage (46%) of the equation. So where do I find critics/audience reception? I use many different sources: RottenTomatoes, IMDb, MetaCritic, Yahoo Movies, Roger Ebert, Leonard Maltin and Fandango. Put them all together and I get an average with 100% being the highest score possible.  Sadly with the passing of my all-time favorite critic, Roger Ebert, I needed a new source….after much research…..our latest movie critic and taking Mr. Ebert’s spot is You Tube movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns,

3. Award Recognition. The final part of the equation is worth 24%. A movie gets points for Golden Globe® and Oscar® nominations and wins. The Golden Globes get 5% while the Oscars® get 13% of the equation. The last 6% goes to amount of Oscar® nominations and amount of Oscar® wins.

One way to see how the scores are calculated: 

Top 200 Box Office Hits with Inflation + Top 100 Best Reviewed Movies + 88 Best Picture Oscar Winners = Top 100 UMR Score Movies

In January of 2011 we published our first Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score table on HubPages.com…we picked one of our favorite actors, Bruce Willis, to be the guinea pig.  We have updated his page countless times over the years. We have now published over 1,000 movie pages and have been viewed/read over 12 million times.


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