In my quest to determine which movies are true classics — not just historically important ones or objects of nostalgia, but old movies that people still enjoy today — I found the Internet Movie Database’s Top 250. But it’s weird.
The top 20 movies are, in order:
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
The Dark Knight (2008)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Fight Club (1999)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
The Matrix (1999)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
They’re all “guy movies,” where almost all of the characters (especially the lead roles) are men involved in traditionally male-dominated activities, like war and crime.
You can’t find a movie with a female lead until The Silence of the Lambs — a movie about crime — at #23. Even in that one, nearly all of the major characters and most of the minor ones are men. You don’t see a movie with a large number of female roles until Spirited Away, at #28.
And if you’re looking for, say, a romantic comedy or a Disney princess movie — genres that appeal strongly to women and girls — you won’t find one until #61, La La Land.
I don’t get it. IMDb is open to everyone. Why do guy movies dominate? Is IMDb’s voting algorithm weighted toward men?