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Our Favorite Crazy Votes in the Sight & Sound Greatest Film Poll

by Matt Singer
August 16, 2012 11:25 AM
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"Anvil! The Story of Anvil."
"Anvil! The Story of Anvil."

Sight & Sound Magazine finally put the complete results of their 2012 Greatest Films Poll online, allowing us the opportunity to pour over every single ballot and then loudly and obnoxiously judge them. For instance: "Die Hard" didn't get a single vote out of 800 critics but Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd" got two? C'mon folks. I know movies are subjective, I know opinions are subjective, but some things are clear-cut: "Die Hard" is better than "Sweeney Todd." 

Kidding aside, I'm not really upset about any of the results, but I do love studying them. And I love seeing the crazy movies (*coughSweeneyToddcough*) that wind up on people's lists. Just yesterday I wrote about Maria Montez and Arnold Schwarzenegger and perfect filmic appositeness, so while I call these votes "crazy" I say that with love: I think it's fantastic when critics throw caution, consensus, taste, and reputation to the wind to pick a movie they admire regardless of what others thinks. If these ten critics are nuts, then I salute their insanity.

To repeat: all of these movies received votes as one of the ten greatest films ever made. I swear I'm not kidding. And, seriously: "Die Hard" didn't get one vote. Neither did "Ghostbusters." We may need to start a petition before the 2022 poll.

Movies That (Shockingly) Received At Least One Vote in Sight & Sound's Greatest Films Poll

"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" - Diane Negra, Head of Film Studies, University College Dublin

"Dead or Alive 2: Birds" - Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Film Critic, MUBI

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" - Li Hongyu, Journalist and Editor

"Hitman" - Slavoj Zizek, Philosopher and Cultural Critic

"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" - Diane Negra, Head of Film Studies, University College Dublin

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" - Mark Sinker, Writer/Editor

"The Rainmaker" - Martial Pisani, Critic, Independencia

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - Rob White, Editor, Film Quarterly

"A Serbian Film" - Karen Oughton, Visiting Lecturer, Freelance Film Journalist

"Zoolander" - Fernando E. Juan Lima, Film Critic, El Amante; Charles Whitehouse, Film Critic

Read more from Sight & Sound's 2012 Poll.

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More: Sight & Sound Film Poll


  • Eric | August 19, 2012 12:22 PMReply

    idk...Sweeney Todd was a pretty great movie I thought.

  • John | August 17, 2012 2:55 PMReply

    Zoolander is amazing, it should not be a shock that it received one vote. And it is the only film you listed with two votes.

  • Mark Rabinowitz | August 16, 2012 10:01 PMReply

    The only excuse for these votes is some sort of mass insanity.

  • I seriously hope you guys ross douthat | August 16, 2012 7:17 PMReply

    Lack of 'Die Hard' is baffling. But 'Zoolander' deserves more votes, if anything. ('Anchorman' got one vote.)

  • Ferenc Zalaba | August 19, 2012 3:25 PM

    You're welcome, San Diego.

  • AAAutin | August 16, 2012 3:08 PMReply

    A SERBIAN FILM is a pretty inspired pick. Besides being stylish as hell, it's also a veiled attack on modern Eastern European cinema. (Meaty AND flavorful!)

  • Michael Nordine | August 16, 2012 1:43 PMReply

    It's worth noting re: Zoolander that, had Terrence Malick participated, he likely would have included it, too:

  • Steven | January 29, 2013 8:55 PM

    Thanks for the link Michael, I did not know that ... Also, although I would never include it on a top 10 list (or even a top 250 list), being a real-life lawyer, I will say this much for 'The Rainmaker' - it is not only the only John Grisham adaptation (or novel, for that matter) that I have ever been able to tolerate, and it might just be one of the narratives about the practice of law put to celluloid (up there with 'Anatomy of a Murder' in my book).

  • Jeff H. | August 16, 2012 12:30 PMReply

    I have no issues with Anvil being on someone's list either.

  • Matt Cohen | August 16, 2012 12:03 PMReply

    And yet, here I was chastised for proposing "Jurassic Park":


  • Todd S. | August 16, 2012 11:32 AMReply

    I would never begrudge anybody calling Zoolander one of the greatest films of all time.

  • racquetman | August 16, 2012 2:08 PM

    I agree . . . if that's the only movie you've ever seen.

  • Brian Z | August 16, 2012 12:20 PM

    Was thinking the same thing about that one too.

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