Last year it was sci-fi TV shows, and thousands of people weighed in, crowning — a little surprisingly to me — Firefly the winner of the Best Sci-Fi TV Show of All Time Tournament. This year to coincide with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament that has offices all around the country flouting local gambling laws, we present our second annual tournament: The Greatest Sci-Fi Movie of All Time.
Click the bracket for an expanded view you can also print out.
Here's how the films were selected and seeded. First, I took the top 100 films from the IMDb "Highest Rated Sci-Fi Feature Films" List, and eliminated any films with fewer than 50,000 user votes. In what is essentially a popularity contest, films that few people have seen would skew the results and be easy marks for upsets. Then, to correct for the pronounced "recency bias" IMDb user ratings famously show, I made the following adjustments:
I revised the user rating of any films released in the last 2 years downward by ten percent
Any films released in the ten-year period before that, I revised downward by five percent
For films released between 1960 and 1975, I revised their rating upward by five percent, and
For any films released before 1960, I revised their user rating upward by ten percent
This is no doubt not a perfect system, and neither are the IMDb rankings themselves perfect (how Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan isn't on that list, I can't imagine). But I think it's a good system that gave us a solid distribution of films from every decade (except the 1940s?) since the silent era of film. But enough about math! To the voting!
Results and the next round of voting will be posted each Friday until we crown a winner. Happy voting!
Posted by Vance K — Co-editor and resident cult film reviewer of Nerds of a Feather since 2012