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Curious about our pre-launch rankings and what we consider 'top movies'? Please see our post here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Movies that Make You Appreciate the Olympics

With the Olympics in full swing in Rio, we gathered a few of our favorite Olympic films. The Olympics show the perseverance and strength of individuals who are dedicated and passionate about their sport. This is what makes the Olympics so intriguing to watch. One hears stories of how Olympians became a master of their sport and the sacrifices they made. One hears of the ups and downs of the journey. Not many people want to practice at 5 am, but so many Olympians do. That is what makes the Olympic movies so great. They show the work behind the perfect game—or how close loss was.


Chariots of Fire (1981)

The film focuses on two British runners who will compete in the 1924 Paris Olympics and their stories. While they try to make it to the top, their religion and class affect their fellow countrymen. The film shows how personal lives can get set aside in order to be crowned the best and how sports can help overcome political obstacles.


Stick It (2006)

While this film does not go to the Olympics, it reaches to Team USA. Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) must return to the catty world of gymnastics. The film focuses on an elite gym where some of the U.S.’s best gymnasts train. The film reminds the audience of the work and the drama that it takes to reach the top. 



 Personal Best (1982)

Runner Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemmingway) wants to reach her full potential, but romance complicates her goals when she falls for fellow runner Tory Skinner (Patrice Donnelly). Athletes need motivation, and it can be hard to find someone who gets the pressures of always having to be the best. The film explores the love lives of elite athletes and the sacrifices they make to be number one.


Without Limits (1998)
Another runner film makes the cut features the true story of Olympian Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) and his work with Coach Billy Bowerman (Donald Sutherland). The film follows him from the 1974 Munich Games to his early death at age 24. While the ending may be sad, the story remains heartwarming.


Prefontaine (1997)
This film also focuses on runner Steve Profontaine, starring Jared Leto and follows a similar plotline to Without Limits. Though both movies have similar plotlines, they take different approaches. Either way, you may find yourself wanting to run the distance.

Breaking Away (1979)
The Italian cycling team fascinates recent high school graduate Dave (Dennis Christopher) so much so that he pretends to be Italian. However, he is really from Bloomington, Indiana—a town divided by those who built the university and those who attend the university. Dave, along with his best friends Mike (Denis Quaid) and Cyril (Daniel Stern) attempt to navigate their reality, without really wanting to accept it.


Tokyo Olympiad (1965)
This critically acclaimed film focuses on the emotion behind the numbers through cinematography. Instead of zooming in on one runner, Ichikawa shows all the runners at the start and follows the winner. The documentary is three hours long, but critics and audiences found the documentary worthwhile. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Best Biopics of All Time - Based on Rankings from 30 Websites

Please go to our site to read Best Biopics of All Time - Based on Rankings from 30 Websites (this article).

Scene from Schindler's List (1993) ranked best biopic


Welcome to our 
Reel Fives pre-launch movie rankings for the best biopics of all time. Our Reel Fives team found 30 ranked lists of the top biopics published online and ended up with 56 movies that made the list. For each ranked biopics list we have taken the top five biopics. The movie rankings for best biopics we aggregated are included at the bottom of this post and include the best movies in the genre as ranked by movie experts as well as polling sites, such as ranker.com.

Biopics focus on the compelling story of one person who made a difference. While the people and their stories are real, films will dramatize some events or omit certain details to create a compelling narrative. Biopics also tend to have corresponding genres based on their plotlines. Schindler’s List (1993), the all-time best biopic (also the all-time best historical movie and ranked sixth best war movie), centers on a German business owner that manages to save over 1,000 Jewish lives by hriing during World War II . Though made in 1993, the film is shot in black and white to illustrate the seriousness of genocide. T.E. Lawrence, a British WWI soldier leads Britain to defeat the Ottoman Empire in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), ranked third (also ranked second best historical movie). Gandhi (1982), tied for ninth, shows the non-violence movement he led with the objective of freeing India from British rule. The film follows Gandhi through his earliest years as an activist in South Africa to  this activity in India, where he is seen as a hero. 

Not all biopics focus on war or national heroes. In fact, most biopics simply focus on interesting people. Raging Bull (1980), ranked second (also ranked second best boxing movie), is the true story of Jake La Motta’s boxing career. La Motta (Robert De Niro) must overcome the obstacles outside the boxing ring to defeat his opponents. Eight-time Oscar winning Amadeus (1984), ranked fourth, tells the rise of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the perspective of his rival Antonio Salieri. Mozart’s natural talent outweighs Salieri’s mediocrity and he becomes consumed by proving himself the better man. Salieri seeks to praise God through music, whereas Mozart creates music for the love of music.  Mark Zuckerberg changed the world when he created Facebook in his Harvard dorm in The Social Network (2010), ranked sixth. Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is portrayed both as selfish and driven. Biopics show all sides of their protagonists and do not always seek to show them in the best light because that is often where plot lines thicken.

The rankings show favoritism towards interesting figures, no matter their morality. Biopics can often cross other genres, but share in that they focus on one person’s actions. War is not outright favored, even though the top film centers on WWII. We like that the biopics do not have a central theme because it allows for biopics to tell any compelling story without having to worry about certain criteria.

Top 56 Movies Based on 30 Published Rankings
Percent of online top fives movies appear in shown
1 . Schindler’s List (1993): 56.6%
2 . Raging Bull (1980): 50%
3 . Lawrence of Arabia (1962): 43.3%
4 . Amadeus (1984): 36.6%
5 . Goodfellas (1990): 30.0%
6 . The Social Network (2010): 20%
7 . The Aviator (2004): 16.6%
8 . Walk the Line (2005): 13.3%
9 (tied). Gandhi (1982): 10%
9 (tied). I'm Not There (2007): 10%
11 . The Pianist (2002): 10%
12 (tied). La Vie en Rose (2007): 10%
12 (tied). Malcolm X (1992): 10%
12 (tied). The Elephant Man (1980): 10%
15 . My Left Foot (1989): 10%
16 . The Hours (2002): 6.66%
17 . A Beautiful Mind (2001): 6.66%
18 . The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928): 6.66%
19 . The Iron Lady (2011): 6.66%
20 (tied). The King’s Speech (2010): 6.66%
20 (tied). Frida (2002): 6.66%
22 (tied). Braveheart (1995): 6.66%
22 (tied). Downfall (2004): 6.66%
24 . Ed Wood (1994): 6.66%
25 (tied). Elizabeth (1998): 3.33%
25 (tied). Mommie Dearest (1981): 3.33%
25 (tied). Andrei Rublev (1966): 3.33%
25 (tied). Basquiat (1996): 3.33%
25 (tied). Control (2007): 3.33%
25 (tied). Lola Mont├Ęs (1955): 3.33%
25 (tied). The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974): 3.33%
25 (tied). The Scarlet Empress (1934): 3.33%
25 (tied). Good Night and Good Luck (2005): 3.33%
25 (tied). Blow (2001): 3.33%
25 (tied). The Fighter (2010): 3.33%
25 (tied). Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007): 3.33%
37 (tied). Steve Jobs (2015): 3.33%
37 (tied). Ray (2005): 3.33%
37 (tied). Bonnie and Clyde (1967): 3.33%
37 (tied). Red Dog (2011): 3.33%
37 (tied). Man on the Moon (1999): 3.33%
42 (tied). Barfly (1987): 3.33%
42 (tied). Finding Neverland (2004): 3.33%
42 (tied). Shattered Glass (2003): 3.33%
45 (tied). 12 Years a Slave (2013): 3.33%
45 (tied). Quiz Show (1994): 3.33%
45 (tied). The Queen (2006): 3.33%
45 (tied). A Man Escaped (1956): 3.33%
45 (tied). Milk (2008): 3.33%
45 (tied). Chopper (2000): 3.33%
51 (tied). Henry V (1989): 3.33%
51 (tied). The Intouchables (2011): 3.33%
51 (tied). All the President's Men (1976): 3.33%
51 (tied). Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993): 3.33%
51 (tied). Napoleon (1927): 3.33%
56 . Catch Me if You Can (2002): 0%
Biopic Movie Ranking Sources
PasteList of top 20 (link)
The GuardianList of top 10 (link)
Movie Film ReviewList of top 100 (link)
The Script LabList of top 10 (link)
The Sydney Morning HeraldList of top 5 (link)
FlickchartList of top 1360 (link)
Film VaultList of top 5 (link)
Film VaultList of top 5 (link)
BoldlistList of top 5 (link)
WonderslistList of top 10 (link)
Movie Chop ShopList of top 5 (link)
Film School WTFList of top 100 (link)
OdysseyList of top 5 (link)
Top10ForList of top 10 (link)
Feedy WeedyList of top 10 (link)
The Sydney Morning HeraldList of top 10 (link)
SensCritiqueList of top 50 (link)
The Top 10sList of top 10 (link)
MoviefoneList of top 25 (link)
Good Movies ListList of top 50 (link)
AZCentralList of top 10 (link)
Entertainment WeeklyList of top 25 (link)
CaraKitaList of top 10 (link)
Itcher MagazineList of top 12 (link)
List DoseList of top 10 (link)
Film CraveList of top 500 (link)
Games RadarList of top 30 (link)
The CinemaholicList of top 10 (link)
Film AffinityList of top 100 (link)
Digital Dream DoorList of top 100 (link)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Best Mockumentaries of All Time

Scene from This is Spinal Tap (1984) ranked number one mockumentary.
Welcome to our Reel Fives pre-launch movie rankings for the best mockumentaries of all time. Our Reel Fives team found 22 ranked lists of the top mockumentaries published online and ended up with 42 movies that made the list. For each ranked list of greatest movies for the genre, we have taken the top five ranked films. The movie rankings of the best mockumentaries we aggregated are included at the bottom of this post and include the best mockumentaries as ranked by movie experts as well as polling sites, such as ranker.com.

Mockumentaries poke fun at the seriousness of documentaries with satire. Any topic can have a mockumentary as long as it has colorful characters and the right amount of unfortunate events.Christopher Guest’s This is Spinal Tap (1984), the all-time best mockumentary (also ranked seventh best Spoof), chronicles a British band’s American comeback. Though the band has decent reviews on their albums, they keep having mishaps while they try to regain the audience they once had. Best in Show (2000), ranked second and another Guest film, follows five dogs and their owners through the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. The humans become the starts of the show in this mockumentary with their quirks and passion for having the best show dog. Guest’s Waiting for Guffman (1996), examines the politics of small town theater as they attempt to impress Broadway critic Mr. Guffman. The ordinary town puts on a show of its non-eventful history and that is what makes the film funny. Who really cares that the town got a Dairy Queen? Belgian film Man Bites Dog (1992), tied for seventh, takes a dark twist on mockumentaries. A camera crew follows a serial killer and loses their objectivity along the way as they help the serial killer. Anything can be made into a mockumentary with the right characters and some imagination.

Controversy follows some mockumentaries, especially when mockumentaries poke fun at something at the expense of a person or group. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), ranked third, mixes fictional and real life situations. Borat comes to America and decides he wants to get married so he does not have to move back to Kazakhstan, leading him into taking a cross country road trip. Some critics accused the film of being racist and anti-Semitic towards American and the state of Kazakhstan. 

Christopher Guest dominated the rankings and this should not be surprise as he devoted his life to making mockumentaries. His films make fun of people in the right ways. Mockumentaries can offend, as Borat (2006) did, but they do not have to. The rankings do not show a preference for any time period, though few mockumentaries were made prior to 1960. No subject or plotline dominated the genre and this gives the genre room to grow. 

Top 42 Mockumentaries based on 22 published rankings
Percent of online top fives movies appear in shown

1 . This Is Spinal Tap (1984): 72.7%
2 . Best in Show (2000): 54.5%
3 . Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006): 36.3%
4 . Waiting for Guffman (1996): 22.7%
5 (tied). Man Bites Dog (1992): 22.7%
5 (tied). The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978): 22.7%
7 . Zelig (1983): 22.7%
8 . Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010): 13.6%
9 . Lake Mungo (2008): 13.6%
10 . The Blair Witch Project (1999): 13.6%
11 . Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999): 13.6%
12 . Bob Roberts (1992): 13.6%
13 . A Hard Day’s Night (1964): 9.09%
14 . What We Do in the Shadows (2014): 9.09%
15 (tied). Forgotten Silver (1995): 9.09%
15 (tied). Take the Money and Run (1969): 9.09%
17 (tied). Fubar (2002): 9.09%
17 (tied). A Mighty Wind (2003): 9.09%
19 . Fear of a Black Hat (1993): 9.09%
20 (tied). The Grand (2007): 4.54%
20 (tied). The Last Broadcast (1998): 4.54%
20 (tied). The Making of '...And God Spoke' (1993): 4.54%
20 (tied). The War Game (1965): 4.54%
24 (tied). Troll Hunter (2010): 4.54%
24 (tied). Land Without Bread (1933): 4.54%
24 (tied). Punishment Park (1971): 4.54%
24 (tied). All You Need Is Cash (1978): 4.54%
28 (tied). Interview With The Assassin (2002): 4.54%
28 (tied). Clerks (1994): 4.54%
28 (tied). The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972): 4.54%
28 (tied). Chronicle (2012): 4.54%
32 (tied). A Necessary Death (2008): 4.54%
32 (tied). Hard Core Logo (1996): 4.54%
32 (tied). Incident At Loch Ness (2004): 4.54%
32 (tied). CB4 (1993): 4.54%
32 (tied). C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2004): 4.54%
37 (tied). An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997): 4.54%
37 (tied). How to Sleep (1935): 4.54%
37 (tied). A Day Without a Mexican (2004): 4.54%
37 (tied). I’m Still Here (2010): 4.54%
37 (tied). District 9 (2009): 4.54%
37 (tied). Tropic Thunder (2008): 4.54%
Mockumentary Movie Ranking Sources
NonficsList of top 11 (link)
IMDbList of top 15 (link)
BuzzFeedList of top 31 (link)
Paste MagazineList of top 12 (link)
Taste of CinemaList of top 12 (link)
Games RadarList of top 20 (link)
FlickchartList of top 180 (link)
Watch MojoList of top 10 (link)
RankerList of top 30 (link)
Scene-StealersList of top 10 (link)
PopCrunchList of top 16 (link)
We Are Movie GeeksList of top 10 (link)
the MOST 10List of top 10 (link)
Culture BratsList of top 17 (link)
Examiner.comList of top 10 (link)
AskmenList of top 10 (link)
Smashing ListsList of top 10 (link)
Movie Film ReviewList of top 10 (link)
ImgurList of top 11 (link)
CineplexList of top 5 (link)
Movie PilotList of top 4 (link)
Weird WormList of top 6 (link)