It Was A Very Good Year (For Movies)



“A critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded.”― Murray Kempton


I pretty much only follow movie and comic book type people on Twitter. Today Amy Smith(@filmswithamy) posted this:

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I haven’t been posting very regularly lately but this question inspired me. I just had to know which was my favorite year of this cinematic decade. But I had to at least briefly review each film in consideration. But which films to consider? I thought an easy way to do it was to look back on all the Best Picture nominees. I’m no fan of the Academy or the Oscars but the films they nominate are usually somewhat decent or, failing that, in the zeitgeist.

There were 79 nominees total from 2011-2019 (movie years being one year prior, 2010-2018). I saw 64. These numbers could be wrong but it’s late and I’m an English major and I’m too lazy to triple check. I have nothing against the 15 movies I did not see and I’ve added a new quest to see them all and I will come back and update this post. Yes, I’m crazy.

I listed out each year’s nominees and applied my mini-review formula to them. I made my own formula because I like to pretend I am a data nerd and Rotten Tomatoes annoys me.  I call it the Shark Wrighter score (SW score) because I am clearly vain and lazy. I then took the average SW score for each year and quite obviously listed them in descending order from highest average to lowest.

(the envelope please)


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So there you go, Amy Smith. 2015 (Oscars held January 2016) was, in my humble opinion, the best year for movies in this almost finished decade.

I don’t expect anyone to agree with my findings or find them sensible. But it was fun to do (my definition of fun is probably not what the word’s creators had in mind).

I do apologize for to the email subscribers of my blog. They’ve received over 60 post notifications this evening. I imagine I will have a lot fewer email subscribers tomorrow morning though I’m not sure numbers go that low. I’m blaming it on insanity and there is definitely nothing temporary about mine.

If you’re interested (and my god why would you be?), see below for the SW scores for each film I saw. I also linked to the mini-review itself if you’re pathologically loopy like me and actually want to see the breakdown for each film’s score.


2011 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
127 hours 42 4.5
true grit 38 4
the social network 38 4.2
the fighter (unseen) (unseen)
winter’s bone 36 3.8
inception 35 3.3
black swan 35 3.6
the kids are all right 32 3
toy story 3 45 4.6
the king’s speech 36 3.7
YEAR’S AVERAGES 37.44 3.86
2012 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
the descendants 34 3.2
the artist 34 3.4
extremely loud and incredibly close 33 3
moneyball 36 3.6
midnight in paris 35 3.5
war horse 33 3.1
the tree of life (unseen) (unseen)
hugo 35 3
the help (unseen) (unseen)
YEAR’S AVERAGES 34.29 3.26
2013 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
silver linings playbook 37 3.9
amour (unseen) (unseen)
django unchained 41 4
zero dark thirty 37 3.7
lincoln 36 3.4
life of pi 36 3.5
argo 41 4
les miserables (unseen) (unseen)
beasts of the southern wild (unseen) (unseen)
YEAR’S AVERAGES 38.00 3.75
2014 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
philomena 34 3.5
nebraska 36 3.8
captain phillips 34 3.5
the wolf of wall street 35 3.7
12 years a slave 39 3.9
her 39 3.9
gravity 41 4.1
american hustle 34 3.3
dallas buyers club 35 3.9
YEAR’S AVERAGES 36.33 3.73
2015 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
whiplash (unseen) (unseen)
american sniper 34 3.2
birdman 25 1.5
the grand budapest hotel 38 3.8
the imitation game 36 3.4
selma 35 3.5
the theory of everything 36 3.6
boyhood 38 3.8
YEAR’S AVERAGES 34.57 3.26
2016 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
bridge of spies 37 3.5
mad max: fury road 43 4.5
the revenant 39 3.9
spotlight 43 4.3
the martian 43 4.3
the big short 40 4
room (unseen) (unseen)
brooklyn (unseen) (unseen)
YEAR’S AVERAGES 40.83 4.08
2017 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
la la land (unseen) (unseen)
arrival 36 3.6
lion 37 3.7
hell or high water 35 3.5
hidden figures 37 3.7
moonlight 40 4
hacksaw ridge (unseen) (unseen)
manchester by the sea 37 3.5
fences (unseen) (unseen)
YEAR’S AVERAGES 37.00 3.67
2018 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
the shape of water 46 5
darkest hour 42 4
dunkirk 35 3.5
phantom thread 32 3
three billboards outside ebbing, missouri 39 4
get out 40 4
the post 35 3.3
call me by your name 28 1.5
lady bird 34 3.5
YEAR’S AVERAGES 36.78 3.53
2019 Best Picture Nominees SW Score Octopuses
bohemian rhapsody (unseen) (unseen)
the favourite (unseen) (unseen)
black panther 40 4
blakkklansman 42 4.2
green book 35 3.5
vice 37 3.7
a star is born (unseen) (unseen)
roma 33 2
YEAR’S AVERAGES 37.40 3.48


This whole insane project took me 6 hours, 25 minutes, and 23 seconds. I’ll never get that time back.

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