The most highly rated films of 2012

More or less like last year, I’ve taken most of the films that IMDb counts as 2012 releases and multiplied their IMDb Bayesian average rating times their Rotten Tomatoes critic percentages. Excluded were films with fewer than 2000 ratings, films with fewer than 20 critic reviews, and all documentaries. And so, here are the top ~36 films–all that scored over 6.0:

IMDb Hist.      Votes   IRaw    Bayes   RT%     RT%*B   Title
==========      ======  ===     =====   ==      =====   ===================================
0000000233	266519	8.6	8.592	89	7.647	Django Unchained (imdb)
0000001123	476450	8.3	8.297	92	7.633	The Avengers (imdb)
0000001321	174734	7.9	7.895	96	7.579	Argo (imdb)
0000000124	568818	8.6	8.596	87	7.479	The Dark Knight Rises (imdb)
0000001221	105227	7.9	7.893	94	7.419	Moonrise Kingdom (imdb)
0000000232	6905	8.3	8.120	91	7.389	Jagten (The Hunt) (imdb)
0000001321	143457	8.0	7.993	92	7.354	Silver Linings Playbook (imdb)
0000001221	29118	7.9	7.874	93	7.323	Amour (imdb)
0000001222	157924	8.2	8.191	88	7.208	Life of Pi (imdb)
0000001221	275398	7.8	7.798	92	7.174	Skyfall (imdb)
0000002311	201194	7.6	7.599	93	7.067	Looper (imdb)
0000002311	4286	7.5	7.500	93	6.975	No (imdb)
0000002211	85761	7.5	7.500	93	6.975	Zero Dark Thirty (imdb)
0000001222	99147	8.1	8.088	85	6.875	The Perks of Being a Wallflower (imdb)
0000013210	14694	7.2	7.236	94	6.802	The Sessions (imdb)
0000001322	85733	7.9	7.891	86	6.786	Wreck-It Ralph (imdb)
0000002211	80971	7.6	7.598	89	6.762	Lincoln (imdb)
0000013200	7140	7.0	7.109	95	6.754	The Angels' Share (imdb)
0000001212	3165	7.6	7.561	89	6.729	Dupa dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (imdb)
0000012310	2842	7.3	7.383	91	6.719	Dans la maison (In the House) (imdb)
0000002311	9977	7.5	7.500	89	6.675	En kongelig affaere (imdb)
0000012310	2044	7.2	7.348	90	6.613	Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die) (imdb)
0000002311	71192	7.7	7.695	85	6.541	End of Watch (imdb)
0000012211	3235	6.7	7.006	93	6.516	The Sapphires (imdb)
0000012210	37321	7.1	7.120	91	6.479	Safety Not Guaranteed (imdb)
0000001211	11845	7.1	7.158	90	6.442	Holy Motors (imdb)
0000001211	2030	7.4	7.450	86	6.407	Tabu (imdb)
0000122100	2284	6.2	6.807	94	6.398	Les adieux a la reine (Farewell, My Queen) (imdb)
0000012210	2534	6.9	7.165	88	6.305	Sightseers (imdb)
0000122100	3162	6.3	6.765	93	6.291	Shadow Dancer (imdb)
0000012211	36932	7.3	7.310	86	6.287	Beasts of the Southern Wild (imdb)
0000013200	13786	7.1	7.151	87	6.221	Robot & Frank (imdb)
0000002310	16306	7.5	7.500	82	6.150	De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone) (imdb)
0000012211	168604	7.2	7.204	85	6.123	21 Jump Street (imdb)
0000012201	33459	7.0	7.028	87	6.114	Frankenweenie (imdb)
0000012200	34804	7.0	7.027	87	6.113	ParaNorman (imdb)

And, incidentally, here are the top documentaries:

0000001322	12331	8.2	8.102	96	7.778	Searching for Sugar Man (imdb)
0000002211	2552	7.4	7.444	100	7.444	The Invisible War (imdb)
0000002311	3678	7.7	7.630	95	7.248	Side by Side (imdb)
0000001321	5435	7.9	7.792	93	7.247	Indie Game: The Movie (imdb)
0000002310	8859	7.6	7.582	95	7.203	The Imposter (imdb)
0000000016	2075	8.1	7.806	88	6.869	The Other Dream Team (imdb)
0000013200	4371	7.0	7.157	95	6.799	The Queen of Versailles (imdb)

The 20 most highly-rated films of 2011

I played around with IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores for all films of 2011 to arrive, subjectively, at a reasonable formula for combining the two to make one list of the most highly-rated films of 2011: just multiply the unweighted IMDB score times the RT score. That allows newer / smaller films to enjoy the ratings IMDB users actually gave them while using RT to more heavily weight the field. The films that make up the top 20 don’t change much, though, whatever formula you use.

Here’s the result:

8.6   A Separation [Jodaeiye Nader az Simin] (2011)
8.148 The Artist (2011)
7.872 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
7.857 The Muppets (2011)
7.802 Hugo (2011/II)
7.533 Drive (2011)
7.533 50/50 (2011)
7.505 Moneyball (2011)
7.254 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
7.254 Midnight in Paris (2011)
7.138 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
7.12  The Descendants (2011)
7.03  The Guard (2011)
7.007 Delhi Belly (2011)
6.992 Source Code (2011)
6.873 X-Men: First Class (2011)
6.862 Win Win (2011)
6.806 Warrior (2011)
6.552 We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
6.545 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

IMDb vs. Rotten Tomatoes

IMDb provides text file dumps of most of their public data. Below are this year’s films to date, ranked by the weighted IMDb score. I’ve included the current Rotten Tomatoes score for each.

Computing the correlation coefficient (r) for the raw, unweighted IMDb score vs. the Rotten Tomatoes score, I find it’s a .7. It goes down to .67 for weighted IMDb scores vs. Rotten Tomatoes, and that’s a weak correlation (r^2 = 0.45), indicating Rotten Tomatoes scores are not generally great predictors of what IMDb users will think and vice versa.

But if we consider only IMDb’s top 20 films for this year, the correlation improves greatly: r = 0.83; r^2 = 0.69.  That’s a fairly strong correlation.  Apparently, when IMDb users really like a film, Rotten Tomatoes critics do too.  It’s the unpopular films that are a bit murkier.

Eyeballing the discrepancies at the lower end, it looks like Rotten Tomatoes may be a slightly better source for a neutral viewer trying to prioritize their movie choices. Both sources promote major franchises (Harry Potter 7.5, Fast 5, X-Men, etc.) as well as smaller, quieter films, but Rotten Tomatoes is usually more discriminating. IMDb users often give average ratings to films hated on Rotten Tomatoes (Transformers 3, Cars 2, etc.), but they never really love a film not also loved on Rotten Tomatoes. And the only film unpopular on IMDb that Rotten Tomatoes rates above 70% is Cedar Rapids. Where Rotten Tomatoes really goes wrong, though, is giving a “fresh” rating to films in the 60-69% positive range–those wind up all over the map in the IMDb ratings.

Verdict: to pick a current movie, just use Rotten Tomatoes and common sense. Focus on movies with lots of reviews that score 80%+ overall, and try not to waste time on anything that scores below 70% unless you feel pretty sure going in that it’s the perfect film for the occasion, in which case you may as well not consider any ratings at all.

Histogram      #  Rating / (Weighted) / Rotten  Title
---------- -----  ----------------------------  -----
0000000016  9944  8.7 (8.09740420271945) 97%    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
0000000007 11636  8.6 (8.08756490844497) 100%   Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011)
0000001222 66135  8.0 (7.91755261445)    86%    X-Men: First Class (2011)
0000000016  5277  8.5 (7.63011960855389) 82%    Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)
0000002311 43727  7.7 (7.59727566503308) 91%    Source Code (2011)
0000001212 17889  7.8 (7.55585236248746) 82%    Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
0000001211 29002  7.7 (7.55000937441412) 80%    Super 8 (2011)
0000001222  7895  8.1 (7.54928866452506) 92%    Midnight in Paris (2011)
0000000113 11827  7.9 (7.53579955486616) 85%    The Tree of Life (2011)
0000001213 41411  7.6 (7.49867375199839) 78%    Fast Five (2011)
0000002211 28487  7.5 (7.36661161749295) 88%    Rango (2011)
0000001212 15757  7.6 (7.36008956656185) 90%    Bridesmaids (2011)
0000002211 56625  7.4 (7.33459119496856) 77%    Thor (2011)
0000012211 44707  7.3 (7.22453937577296) 70%    Limitless (2011)
0000002311 17596  7.4 (7.21064284327056) 83%    The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
0000001212  5658  7.7 (7.14559944559951) 72%    Horrible Bosses (2011)
0000012211 33544  7.2 (7.10969789842383) 71%    Paul (2011)
0000012211 39800  7.1 (7.02990654205609) 72%    The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
0000012211 22779  7.1 (6.98362620737812) 71%    Hanna (2011)
0000012211 20744  7.1 (6.97365229110514) 72%    Rio (2011)
0000013201 37913  7.0 (6.9340063060641)  56%    Unknown (2011)
0000011112 22184  7.0 (6.89278907242696) 57%    Scream 4 (2011)
0000012102 49869  6.9 (6.85460477784714) 33%    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
0000012111 45917  6.9 (6.85093730196047) 35%    The Hangover Part II (2011)
0000012212 12425  7.0 (6.82495948136146) 60%    Water for Elephants (2011)
0000012211  7667  7.1 (6.8187587887879)  61%    Kill the Irishman (2011)
0000011112 44401  6.7 (6.66202611759247) 36%    Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
0000022100 27577  6.5 (6.46075481571117) 53%    The Mechanic (2011)
0000011102  6664  6.6 (6.44478476821198) 34%    Cars 2 (2011)
0000022100  5989  6.6 (6.43312938035383) 85%    Cedar Rapids (2011)
0000012101  5118  6.6 (6.41522542498159) 28%    Take Me Home Tonight (2011)
0000011101  9170  6.4 (6.32604765817589) 68%    Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
0000011101 50264  6.3 (6.28873535596276) 22%    Sucker Punch (2011)
0000012101 27481  6.3 (6.28031560644338) 18%    Just Go with It (2011)
0000012101 16191  6.3 (6.26873534469285) 26%    Green Lantern (2011)
0000112101 37451  6.2 (6.19258361968803) 30%    I Am Number Four (2011)
0000122101 27237  6.2 (6.19007838079176) 49%    No Strings Attached (2011)
0000122101 10633  6.2 (6.17799457199447) 40%    The Eagle (2011)
0000112101  8060  6.1 (6.10000000000005) 44%    Bad Teacher (2011)
0000122100 41870  6.1 (6.10000000000001) 44%    The Green Hornet (2011)
0000011101  8004  6.0 (6.02726281352241) 26%    Your Highness (2011)
0000122100 17891  6.0 (6.01436025082574) 34%    Hall Pass (2011)
0000122101 18868  6.0 (6.01371867569053) 18%    The Rite (2011)
0000011102  3143  5.8 (5.94650822073914) 47%    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)
0000111101 46632  5.9 (5.91208897485494) 35%    Battle Los Angeles (2011)
0000111101  8005  5.8 (5.88178100863249) 55%    Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
2000000003  3198  5.6 (5.84201355275904) ---    5 Days of War (2011)
0000111101 13169  5.7 (5.77421609252276) 31%    Sanctum (2011)
0000121001 14267  5.7 (5.76949672786243) 17%    Priest (2011)
0000111101  3776  5.5 (5.76564344746171) 15%    Something Borrowed (2011)
0000111101  7350  5.6 (5.74492753623194) 26%    Arthur (2011)
0000111000 20588  5.6 (5.66359165677465) 45%    Drive Angry 3D (2011)
1000111002  3637  5.1 (5.55201145095684) 25%    Hop (2011)
0001221000  5611  5.2 (5.51355243293468) 39%    The Resident (2011)
0001121000 20769  5.4 (5.48835037233374)  8%    Season of the Witch (2011)
0001221000 11180  5.2 (5.39040902679835) 21%    The Dilemma (2011)
1000111002  8668  4.9 (5.20853616729521) 16%    Beastly (2011)
0001111001 15773  5.0 (5.17578437117139) 11%    Red Riding Hood (2011)
1001110001  6883  4.5 (4.98568248507544)  4%    The Roommate (2011)
2000000002  5201  3.5 (4.45110352396056)  5%    Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011)
8000000000  3672  2.1 (3.89856115107922) 17%    The Founding of a Party (2011)
8000000000 42951  1.4 (1.70684859959523) 64%    Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)