2016 Challenge Debrief

Well, it’s been almost three months since my year-long movie challenge officially completed, and it’s taken me that long to decompress, rerank everything, and generally get ready to post a recap of the year. The short version: it was awesome! I watched a ton of movies I really liked, very few I didn’t like, and found several that are going to be long-term favorites. It was a wonderful year of movie-watching, with a ton of variety, a lot of blind spot greats I should’ve gotten to before now, a lot of hidden gems I was glad to seek out, and a solid mix of fun and homework (and I found favorites among both!).

Thanks to everyone who participated in this by giving me movies and waiting (often very patiently) for my feedback. If you have the time and freedom, I highly recommend doing a similar challenge. It was surprisingly freeing to not have to decide what movies to watch, and knowing everyone was waiting to hear my reactions was highly motivating to keep with this project.

Stats

Total films watched: 104 from 52 different people
Range of years represented: 1921-2014 (The Phantom Carriage to Whiplash)
# of countries represented: 14
Average ranking/percentage: 1066 mean, 999 median
Total films I have ranked: 3865, so that means the vast majority of films fell in the top third of my chart

Top 15% Challenge Films

All of these films landed at 85% or higher on my chart. I was initially going to do Top 10%, but there were too many films I truly loved that fell just outside 10%. Including 15% captured much better the films I loved compared to the ones I really liked, which fell in the 70-85% range. I’m not going to write anything about each one, as you can look at my full reviews if you’re curious. Links to every review are in the full ranked list below.

Mr. Nobody (97%) – Derek Armstrong

The Blues Brothers (95%) – Matthew Thomas

Limelight (94%) – Patrick Gray

Millenium Actress (94%) – Travis Easton

Europa ’51 (93%) – Dan Kocher

Whiplash (92%) – Alex Lovendahl

Before Midnight (91%) – Ryan Hope

Moonrise (92%) – Kristina Dijon

My Cousin Vinny (90%) – Hannah Keefer

Stray Dog (89%) – David Conrad

Team America: World Police (89%) – Ryan Stuckey

Westward the Women (89%) – Laura G.

The Last Days of Disco (89%) – Dan Heaton

My Best Girl (88%) – Dan Kocher

Welcome to Dongmakgol (88%) – Nick Dallas

Son of Frankenstein (88%) – Travis McClain

The Collector (88%) – Steve Honeywell

Far from the Madding Crowd (88%) – Beth Z

Marty (88%) – Greg Dorr

Army of Darkness (87%) – Jennifer Sicurella

Mauvais Sang (86%) – Alex Lovendahl

Stand by Me (85%) – Andy Nelson

The Dance of Reality (85%) – Bryan Dressel

Biggest Surprises (that I liked way more than I expected)

Some of the films, like Before Midnight as an example, I fully expected to love, so it wasn’t a surprise when I did. These are films that I didn’t really expect to love, either because the genre isn’t usually my thing, or I had some incorrect preconceptions about the film, or whatever. Some of them I even feared (in fact, BOTH of the films I put in my “I’m terrified” section of my preview post way back at the beginning of the challenge ended up in this section). But these films proved my expectations were way off base.

Millennium Actress – Travis Easton

Europa ’51 – Dan Kocher

My Cousin Vinny – Hannah Keefer

Team America: World Police – Ryan Stuckey

The Collector – Steve Honeywell

The Dance of Reality – Bryan Dressel

Hobson’s Choice – Sarah Freeland

Silver Linings Playbook – Elisabeth Miller

Naked – Chewie Darsow

Birdemic: Shock and Terror – Ricky Janzen

Best Surprises (that I didn’t know anything about)

These films “surprised” me because I truly didn’t know anything about them. Either I hadn’t heard of them at all before the challenge or I had no preconceived ideas about them to the point that I had no expectations one way or the other. But they ended up becoming some of my favorites, and hidden gems that I will definitely be recommending to others in the future.

Welcome to Dongmakgol – Nick Dallas

Mauvais Sang – Alex Lovendahl

8 Women – Bas van Stratum

Little Man, What Now? – Jeremy Bond

The Good Fairy – Matthew Price

3 Women – Joseph Brown

After the Dark – Ricky Jazen

Condorman – Andrew Robinson

The Hole – Chad Hoolihan

Final Rankings

I reranked everything over the past few weeks, after the challenge ended. If you compare back to the original rankings in my posts on Facebook, you’ll note these are quite different. There are a lot of reasons why – my ongoing rerank project that is tending to move most things down my chart as things I had ranked too low move up, some amount of overranking (especially toward the beginning of the challenge when I was overenthusiastic about the whole thing), and the fact that some films have simply stuck more in my mind than others. Not everything moved down – quite a few things moved UP over time. Also note that I take Flickchart rankings with a grain of salt. I enjoy the process and the overall taste profile my chart shows, but on a film by film basis, the potential margin of error, even on the reranked portion of my chart, is significant. So yeah, all in fun, don’t take it too seriously. When rankings were captured, I had 3865 films on my Flickchart. You can see all of them here, if you’re so inclined.

#117 – Mr. Nobody (97%) – Derek Armstrong
#206 – The Blues Brothers (95%) – Matthew Thomas
#224 – Limelight (94%) – Patrick Gray
#240 – Millennium Actress (94%) – Travis Easton
#247 – Europa ‘51 (93%) – Dan Kocher
#294 – Whiplash (92%) – Alex Lovendahl
#355 – Before Midnight (91%) – Ryan Hope
#357 – Moonrise (91%) – Kristina Dijon
#382 – My Cousin Vinny (90%) – Hannah Keefer
#409 – Stray Dog (89%) – David Conrad
#423 – Team America: World Police (89%) – Ryan Stuckey
#425 – Westward the Women (89%) – Laura G.
#440 – The Last Days of Disco (89%) – Dan Heaton
#444 – My Best Girl (88%) – Dan Kocher
#449 – Welcome to Dongmakgol (88%) – Nick Dallas
#463 – Son of Frankenstein (88%) – Travis McClain
#465 – The Collector (88%) – Steve Honeywell
#466 – Far from the Madding Crowd (88%) – Beth Z.
#467 – Marty (88%) – Greg Dorr
#504 – Army of Darkness (87%) – Jennifer Sicurella
#551 – Mauvais Sang (86%) – Alex Lovendahl
#579 – Stand by Me (85%) – Andy Nelson
#596 – The Dance of Reality (85%) – Bryan Dressel
#616 – A Man for All Seasons (84%) – Kara Rapp
#617 – 8 Women (84%) – Bas van Stratum
#657 – Little Man What Now? (83%) – Jeremy Bond
#688 – The Keys of the Kingdom (82%) – Malea Selby
#689 – The Visitor (82%) – Greg Dorr
#703 – Harakiri (82%) – David Brook
#712 – Fail Safe (82%) – Ken Gagne
#713 – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (81%) – David Brook
#721 – The King of Kong (81%) – Daniel Stidham
#738 – Babette’s Feast (81%) – David Conrad
#799 – Hobson’s Choice (79%) – Sarah Freeland
#809 – Capricorn One (79%) – Derek Armstrong
#813 – Quiz Show (79%) – David Anderson
#822 – Standing in the Shadow of Motown (79%) – Ryan McNeil
#847 – The Good Fairy (78%) – Matthew Price
#857 – Autumn Sonata (78%) – Bas van Stratum
#888 – It Should Happen to You (77%) – Sarah Freeland
#889 – The Last Five Years (77%) – Hannah Keefer
#895 – 3 Women (77%) – Joseph Brown
#897 – The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (77%) – Patrick Gray
#911 – Silver Linings Playbook (76%) – Elisabeth Miller
#945 – I’ve Loved You So Long (75%) – Mike Seaman
#946 – Paris, Texas (75%) – Joseph Brown
#957 – Naked (75%) – Chewie Darsow
#958 – La Haine (75%) – Nick Dallas
#960 – Barcelona (75%) – Dan Heaton
#982 – The Abyss (75%) – Ben Lott
#991 – The Trial (74%) – Ryan Swinimer
#998 – After the Dark (74%) – Ricky Janzen
#1000 – Midnight Mary (74%) – Laura G.
#1002 – Rocky (74%) – Gordon Spates
#1003 – Fanny and Alexander (74%) – Mike Seaman
#1018 – The Long Memory (74%) – Grant Watson
#1021 – Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (74%) – Chewie Darsow
#1080 – Joe Versus the Volcano (72%) – Beth Z.
#1081 – Footloose (72%) – Kevin Z.
#1083 – The Last Waltz (71%) – Ryan McNeil
#1086 – I Confess (72%) – David Anderson
#1116 – Triangle (71%) – Nathan Chase
#1117 – The Color of Money (71%) – Andrew Robinson
#1118 – The Phantom Carriage (71%) – Travis Easton
#1133 – April in Paris (71%) – Naomi Laeuchli
#1136 – The Docks of New York (71%) – Jeremy Bond
#1156 – The Punk Singer (70%) – Rachel Gilbert
#1184 – Come and Get It (69%) – Matthew Price
#1195 – Lone Star (69%) – Ben Shoemaker
#1197 – Condorman (69%) – Andrew Robinson
#1199 – Heat (69%) – Nigel Druitt
#1206 – Of Gods and Men (69%) – Malea Selby
#1280 – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (67%) – Nathan Chase
#1284 – Crime Wave (67%) – Kristina Dijon
#1298 – Woman in the Dunes (66%) – Grant Watson
#1299 – Some Kind of Wonderful (66%) – Kevin Z.
#1302 – Boyhood (66%) – Kara Rapp
#1307 – The Long Good Friday (66%) – Daniel Stidham
#1374 – Mon Oncle Antoine (64%) – Josh Haysom
#1397 – Dinner at the Ritz (64%) – Naomi Laeuchli
#1401 – Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (64%) – Chad Hoolihan
#1413 – Birdemic: Shock and Terror (63%) – Ricky Janzen
#1415 – 13 Conversations About One Thing (63%) – Andy Nelson
#1424 – Grumpy Old Men (63%) – Nigel Druitt
#1426 – Videodrome (63%) – Matthew Thomas
#1427 – Grosse Pointe Blank (63%) – Ben Shoemaker
#1436 – Sneakers (63%) – Ben Lott
#1437 – Aelita: Queen of Mars (63%) – Travis McClain
#1440 – The Hole (63%) – Chad Hollihan
#1441 – Viridiana (63%) – Josh Haysom
#1442 – Love Comes Softly (63%) – Micaela Z.
#1446 – Something New (63%) – Marya Gates
#1474 – Obvious Child (62%) – Marya Gates
#1923 – True Stories (50%) – Steve Honeywell
#2138 – Requiem for a Dream (45%) – Elisabeth Miller
#2161 – Beginners (44%) – Rachel Gilbert
#2163 – Being There (44%) – Ryan Hope
#2253 – Mortal Kombat (42%) – Ken Gagne
#2495 – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (35%) – Bryan Dressel
#2534 – The Wrestler (34%) – Ryan Swinimer
#2542 – Milk (34%) – Jennifer Sicurella
#2543 – Tommy Boy (34%) – Ryan Stuckey
#2608 – Love’s Enduring Promise (32%) – Micaela Z.
#3119 – Animal House (19%) – Gordon Spates

Top Recommenders

Quite a bit of change, as David, who held the #1 spot throughout, dropped to #5 after I reranked everything. He’s also my editor on the Flickchart blog, so I hope he doesn’t get vindictive on me! He was the first one to go and I was so excited to see actual good/challenging films I probably overranked his even more than everyone else’s in the beginning.

Obviously, the higher ranked folks managed to find two films I loved, but there are plenty of people who had ONE film I loved but got dragged down by a second choice I didn’t. The ultimate goal of this challenge was for me to see a bunch of movies I would enjoy, and that goal was met and exceeded, and everyone contributed to a very excellent year of movie-watching. Thank you!

1. Dan Kocher – average #345 (Europa ‘51 #247, My Best Girl #444)
2. Alex Lovendahl – average #422 (Whiplash #294, Mauvais Sang #551)
3. Derek Armstrong – average #521 (Mr. Nobody #117, Capricorn One #809)
4. Patrick Gray – average #560 (Limelight #224, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir #897)
5. David Conrad – average #573 (Stray Dog #409, Babette’s Feast #738)
6. Greg Dorr – average #578 (Marty #467, The Visitor #689)
7. Hannah Keefer – average #635 (My Cousin Vinny #382, The Last Five Years #889)
8. Travis Easton – average #679 (Millennium Actress #240, The Phantom Carriage #1118)
9. Dan Heaton – average #700 (Last Days of Disco #440, Barcelona #960)
10. Nick Dallas – average #703 (Welcome to Dongmakgol #449, La Haine #958)
11. David Brook – average #708 (Harakiri #703, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind #713)
12. Laura G. – average #712 (Westward the Women #425, Midnight Mary #1000)
13. Bas van Stratum – average #737 (8 Women #617, Autumn Sonata #857)
14. Cousin Beth – average #773 (Far from the Madding Crowd #466, Joe Versus the Volcano #1080)
15. Matthew Thomas – average #816 (The Blues Brothers #206, Videodrome #1426)
16. Kristina Dijon – average #820 (Moonrise #357, Crime Wave #1284)
17. Sarah Freeland – average #843 (Hobson’s Choice #799, It Should Happen to You #888)
18. Jeremy Bond – average #896 (Little Man, What Now? #657, The Docks of New York #1136)
19. Joseph Brown – average #920 (3 Women #895, Paris Texas #946)
21. Travis McClain – average #950 (Son of Frankenstein #463, Aelita Queen of Mars #1437)
21. Malea Selby – average #947 (The Keys of the Kingdom #688, Of Gods and Men #1206)
22. David Anderson – average #949 (Quiz Show #813, I Confess #1086)
23. Ryan McNeil – average #952 (Standing in the Shadows of Motown #822, The Last Waltz #1083)
24. Kara Rapp – average #959 (A Man for All Seasons #616, Boyhood #1302)
25. Mike Seaman – average #974 (Fanny and Alexander #1003, I’ve Loved You So Long #945)
26. Chewie Darsow – average #989 (Naked #957, Why Don’t We Play In Hell #1021)
27. Andy Nelson – average #997 (Stand By Me #579, 13 Conversations About One Thing #1415)
28. Daniel Stidham – average #1014 (The King of Kong #721, The Long Good Friday #1307)
29. Matthew Price – average #1015 (The Good Fairy #847, Come and Get It #1184)
30. Andrew Robinson – average #1157 (The Color of Money #1117, Condorman #1197)
31. Grant Watson – average #1158 (The Long Memory #1018, Woman in the Dunes #1298)
32. Cousin Kevin – average #1190 (Footloose #1081, Some Kind of Wonderful #1299)
33. Steve Honeywell – average #1194 (The Collector #465, True Stories #1923)
34. Nathan Chase – average #1198 (Triangle #1116, Perfume: Story of a Murderer #1280)
35. Ricky Janzen – average #1205 (After the Dark #998, Birdemic: Shock and Terror #1413)
36. Ben Lott – average #1209 (The Abyss #982, Sneakers #1436)
37. Ryan Hope – average #1259 (Before Midnight #355, Being There #2163)
38. Naomi Laeuchli – average #1265 (April in Paris #1133, Dinner at the Ritz #1397)
39. Ben Shoemaker – average #1311 (Lone Star #1195, Grosse Pointe Blank #1427)
40. Nigel Druitt – average #1311 (Heat #1199, Grumpy Old Men #1424)
41. Josh Haysom – average #1407 (Mon Oncle Antoine #1374, Viridiana #1441)
42. Chad Hoolihan – average #1420 (Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural #1401, The Hole #1440)
43. Marya Gates – average #1460 (Something New #1446, Obvious Child #1474)
44. Ken Gagne – average #1482 (Fail-Safe #712, Mortal Kombat #2253)
45. Ryan Stuckey – average #1483 (Team America: World Police #423, Tommy Boy #2543)
46. Jennifer Sicurella – average #1523 (Army of Darkness #504, Milk #2542)
47. Elisabeth Miller – average #1524 (Silver Linings Playbook #911, Requiem for a Dream #2138)
48. Bryan Dressel – average #1545 (The Dance of Reality #596, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie #2495)
49. Rachel Gilbert – average #1568 (The Punk Singer #1156, Beginners #2161)
50. Ryan Swinimer – average #1762 (The Trial #991, The Wrestler #2534)
51. Cousin Micaela – average #2025 (Love Comes Softly #1442, Love’s Enduring Promise #2608)
52. Gordon Spates – average #2060 (Rocky #1002, Animal House #3119)