When we are looking for a good movie to watch, we trust individual reviewers much more than we do the big review aggregation sites like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic which group reviews from hundreds of critics together. We could see that a movie has a 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, but if we saw that even one of the trusted critics we follow likes the movie, chances are we will find something to enjoy about it. And as long as you don’t take every review as the word of god and look at a few different critics for suggestions, you will always be able to find something great to watch, or at least have an easier time finding movies that line up with your taste than if you only looked at the RTs/MCs of the world.
We weren’t able to find the perfect outlet to follow all the critics we liked (Letterboxd, came close, but not everyone we like is on there). Because of that, we decided to gathered together 11 different reviewers and personalities we like or trust (plus our own shoehorned in recommendations), and all of the movies we could find that they have reviewed as being 4-5 star films.
None of these people are associated with our site directly, so there are sure to be hundreds or thousands of movies that we are not able to include because a Letterboxd rating/rotten tomatoes review/end of year list does not exist for that movie by that critic (that we were able to find). For example, since our reviewer pool is slightly younger skewing, only a few of the people have ratings/reviews for movies older than the last decade or two. So, again, if an old classic isn’t recommended by everyone that just means a public review or rating doesn’t exist by that person for that movie… or they might just hate it, in which case we would recommend not letting another’s opinion about entertainment have any effect whatsoever on your emotional well-being.
A Few Notes:
- We tried to source all of the original reviews or sources that the recommendations came from. If one does not exist there is a good chance it came from a Letterboxd Rating.
- We tried to organize the movies by their American release dates, but there are only so many hours in a day, so there are surely some movies that appear in the year they first premiered instead
- Not every critic we have listed rates their movies on a 5 star scale so we used the rating scale equivalent (8-10/10, B+-A+, etc.) for those. And for Sean Baker, who is not a critic, and doesn’t use Letterboxds ratings, we used our best judgment on his few sentence reviews.
- We will try and keep the list as up to date as possible, which means we will add in new movies every month or so, and especially during year-end-list season.
- This whole thing is meant as a positive experience which is why we only included 4-5 star movies by people. There are surely a lot of terrible things to say about some of the movies that are listed, but if you watch a movie and enjoy it, nothing is more annoying than having a person tell you why you are wrong. So try and enjoy the movies that are recommended and don’t sweat the ones that aren’t.
- We decided to include Roger Ebert on here just so we could fill in some of the older years with some entries. Plus he did have some interesting choices now and again.
- You can view the recommendations by Reviewer or Year in our sections below
(In Alphabetical Order)