Movies can be rated by genre, the number of awards they receive, the quality of acting, the greatness of directors, cinematography, and even costumes. Perhaps the most arbitrary way to rate them is based on when they were made. Is it really reasonable to rank the best movies released from the 1990s against the movies made in the early 2000s? Probably not. It makes less sense to rate the best movies of the 20th Century against the best of the 21st Century. But, the best movies of just the 21st Century against one another? Maybe.
The technology used to make movies has gotten progressively better. This is particularly true of animation, and the way digital cinematography has advanced. The most recent “Star Wars” movies use tech that was not available for the earliest ones. However, many great 21st Century movies do no use much technology. They are made with just cameras, crews, and directors.
To determine the best movie of the 21st century, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on several measures from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. The index is a composite of the movies’ IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. All ratings were weighted equally.
Only films with at least 25,000 reviews on IMDb, 5,000 audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and 10 Tomatometer critics reviews were considered. Data was collected in mid-March 2021. Supplemental data on domestic box office and production budgets by movie came from industry data site the Numbers.
The best movie of the 21st Century is Spirited Away, released in 2001. Here are some details:
> Director: Hayao Miyazaki
> Cast: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
> RT Tomatometer: 97%
> IMDb rating: 8.6 out of 10
> Domestic gross box office: $10 million
“Spirited Away” is about a young girl who finds herself transported to a strange world filled with demons, spirits, and malevolent gods. It is the eighth feature film directed by Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and won the director his sole Oscar, for Best Animated Feature, in 2003. The movie was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures in the U.S. at the urging of Pixar’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter.