Do You Agree with Yahoo!’s “Modern Classics” List?

by | Apr 16th, 2010 | 1:05PM | Filed under: Film 101, Other Bits

I am one of those people who loves lists. I am always making lists (if only you could see the volume of sticky notes displaying To Do reminders scattered around my condo…), I live for checking things off of lists, and I also enjoy reading other people’s  lists. So when I saw that the folks over at Yahoo! Movies released a list of 100 Movies from the last 20 years that they felt everyone should see before their time on this planet is up, I was all over it.

Before I discuss my opinions of Yahoo’s list, however, I should mention that about eleven years ago when my husband and I were first dating, he was in the process of trying to watch the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Best American Films, which came out the year prior in 1998. I think he got through nearly all of them, but I traveled too much for work back then so I still have several titles to check off.  Since that point in time, the AFI leveraged the hype around its inaugural list into an annual celebration of film called the “100 Years…” series. My favorite in the series so far has been the “100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes” list that debuted in 2005.  Can you guess what #1 was? I’ll give you a hint… it’s from a movie I’ve mentioned before on this site because it holds the film record for Most Tickets Ever Sold in the U.S. (take that, Avatar!).

Anywho… the AFI updated their 100 Greatest list in 2008 (only three films kept their original positions), and now the Yahoo! Movies editorial staff seems to be attempting to start up a series of their own, as their Modern Classics list, released yesterday, is a follow-up to their All-Time Greats list.

You can scroll through the Modern Classics list here.  After you’ve done so, I’d love to hear if you think those 100 titles represent the best of the past 20 years. I haven’t seen many of the foreign films, so I can’t speak to those. I agree with all of the dramas listed… except Michael Clayton — that seemed out of place, as did the omission of Up in the Air, which I do think will eventually come to encapsulate what “these economic times” were like for future generations. I’m more befuddled by the comedies chosen. While I liked Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I would always choose to watch Old School and The Hangover if I’m in the mood for Dudes Behaving Badly tomfoolery. I would also switch out Wall*E for Up.

What do you think about the list?  What was snubbed? What didn’t deserve a spot? And how depressed are you after realizing that we haven’t had an absolutely incredible year in cinematic achievement since 1999?


4 Responses to “Do You Agree with Yahoo!’s “Modern Classics” List?”

  1. Jeremy F.
    Posted on April 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    i really dotn agree with The Dark Knight. That movie was pure crap. And the only reason it did good is cause of all the Heath media pump up. The movie shoulda been called The Joker with his sidekick Dent. I mean c’mon, Batman was in it like 15-20 mins? lol

    seriously though…all the crap people said about Heath making the joker a complete psycho, was beyond fiction. He wasnt bad at all. He acted weird, killed what, 2 people? Just another fine example of how the media overdoes everything.

    Let the flame wars begin!

  2. JGM
    Posted on April 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I frankly don’t think you can put this type of internet filler in the same category as the AFI lists. Of course, the “A” in the AFI lists precludes the inclusion of all the foreign films listed here to begin with. The AFI lists tend to include the word “greatest”, which at least is easier to define than “classic”, which I think implies some mixture of greatness, repeat-viewing value, and historical significance. And AFI always talks about the methodology they use to come up with their lists (involving polling of hundreds of experts and careful vote tabulation), while this one doesn’t even have a byline and was presumaby developed by the “Yahoo staff” (whom you can bet skew young and callow – there’s no other way to explain the inclusion of Anchorman) over a long lunch or two. It’s a weird mashup of blockbusters, indie films, foreign films, dramas, and comedies, but no documentaries or musicals. Even within any one of the included sub-categories there are some puzzlers: eg. why “Wall-E” but not the superior “Up”?

    Having said all that, this is an *interesting* list if nothing else, and somebody looking to find good movies they missed the first time around could do worse (that’s probably how I would use it).

  3. fiirvoen
    Posted on April 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I agree with some of it, but there are certainly parts that are utter bunk. There also seem to be quite a few missing…

  4. moviegoer123
    Posted on April 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Avatar is listed in the Modern Classics, that is surprising. Up in the Air and Up should’ve been listed in the Modern Classics. I agree with a few of the films. I still got to see a handful of films yet…