Producers Guild Preview and Contest

Awards Daily’s Predict the Producers Guild contest now open for business!

Back in 1994 and before that, the Producers Guild nominees matched the Oscar Best Picture five fairly well.  But since 1995 and onward, there has been at least one mismatch. Usually the end of December would represent the earlier part of the race but this year everything is smushed together even more tightly than it has been in the past. That would suggest that Oscar ballots would reflect the same temperature as earlier awards groups, like perhaps, the BFCA, or the NBR, or even the Globes.

This is the first year ever that most of the Oscar ballots will be turned in before the Producers Guild announces its ten nominees (January 3).  There are a few groups that offer up a top ten every year (minus various critics groups) and those would be the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics (or Critics Choice), the American Film Institute and the Producers Guild.  In looking them over all together there are usually a strong four, or three, or five that make it all the way through to the end.  And not every year can be measured the same way.

For instance, in 2009 and 2010, Oscar went with a solid ten. That meant voters wrote down ten nominees for Best Picture.  That probably allowed them to be a little more free, less PASSIONATE, with their picks as the sought to fill out the 8th, 9th or 10th blank. They could, for instance, go for District 9 and Winter’s Bone the same year.  But Oscar rules changed again last year so that members will now only be asked to name FIVE nominees instead of ten, which would then reflect PASSIONATE choices.  That’s the key difference. It reverts to the way Oscar voting for Best Picture had gone down since the 1940s when they changed to five.  The BP nomination process now is the same as it was for decades — except by expanding the category to include up to 10 titles they are allowing more of their PASSIONATE choices to be embraced.  That has sometimes resulted, if last year was any indication, in an odd assortment.  Such rules do not apply to the NBR, BFCA, AFI and PGA.  The Producers Guild still uses the same method Oscar did in 2009, 2010, each individual voter picking TEN nominees and not five.  That means, really, we only have last year to go on.  But I included the other years just for perspective’s sake.  2009 gave us a more disparate lineup than we saw in 2010 when everything mostly matched up.

Last year, the four films that hit all markers were The Artist, War Horse, The Descendants and Hugo.  Those would probably have been the nominees if there were only five – and then add in one more, which would have been a battle between Moneyball, The Help, Midnight in Paris, etc.  We don’t really know what would have been that fifth slot, but the new tabulation procedure allows for the cut off to happen at an point between five and ten.  So to figure out Best Picture this year, once we see how the PGA leans, we should be able to get pretty close to what the strongest four or five are going to be, and what the stragglers are going to be.

One thing to note, so far, the winner for Best Picture has always appeared on all of these lists.

Therefore, I will first take a look at the films I think would be the strongest five right now. They should all show up on the PGA’s list.  There are always going to be potential spoilers that haven’t shown up anywhere, like The Blind Side.  But for now, let’s go from the strongest to the least likely.

1. Lincoln, Argo

These two, so far, are the only films in the race that have hit every necessary awards group so far.  That means, they have the Golden Globe for Director (and Screenplay), plus a SAG ensemble nod, in addition to being on the NBR, BFCA, and AFI.  I would bet the bank that these two will be on the PGA’s list. They are both well liked across the board, and have both made over $100 million already, before Oscar nominations have even been announced — building on the strength of pure buzz and word of mouth and general interest in history, particularly American history where America comes out looking pretty great in both films.

Lincoln has the most going for it right now, even if it isn’t the hipsters pick.  It has broken the record for most nominations ever at the BFCA, broken Spielberg’s own record for acting noms at the SAG, and Golden Globe noms. It is now the highest grossing of all of the Oscar contenders for Best Picture. It has arguably the best lead actor performance of the year, and it’s arguable that Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field also own their categories.  It is a timely, important film about a moment in history where everything we thought we knew about ourselves and our government was questioned.  Were we really about a country for free people? And if so, why did we enslave other human beings for centuries? Lincoln, the least passionate abolitionist (and never called himself one) ends up becoming president and must then pull a bait and switch on the pro-slavery population to get the 13th amendment passed.  Anyone with a knowledge of history and a thinking brain will appreciate this film for everything it does right, even if it isn’t “perfect.” I have no patience for people who wanted tap dancing bears or a meaningless plot in its place.  But I understand that there are many people who feel it is “homework” and not “entertaining” enough. Ain’t that America for you.

On the other hand, Argo IS that entertaining film that most everyone loves. Like The Artist and The King’s Speech no one hates Argo. No one can really complain about it and many people, including critics and the public, love it. It is about an important historical event — America working with Canada to free hostages — and blends humor, suspense, and emotion. Of all of the Best Picture contenders it has the least amount of controversy associated with it — part of the reason is that no one yet sees it as a threat. And that would be a huge mistake.  Once you become a threat to win you are a target and Argo has mostly escaped the wrath of rival studios so far. It is the classic example of a film flying under the radar, riding in Lincoln’s shadow and waiting for the moment when a consensus vote might deliver upon it the big win.  Like Lincoln, Argo’s screenplay is in the adapted category.  In Oscar old school, Argo might win the top two prizes and then Lincoln would win the three acting prizes.  But we just don’t know enough yet to make that call.

2. Zero Dark Thirty sitting pretty and sure to be nominated with a potential to win is Kathryn Bigelow’s embattled Zero Dark Thirty, an unquestioningly brilliant film that has now seen more attacks on it from all sides than I have ever seen a Best Picture contender endure. The ruckus is really a marvel to behold. That tells me people are very very afraid of its power.  Zero Dark Thirty has two major strikes against it that have nothing to do with torture or the quality of the film itself.  1) No SAG ensemble nod. No film in about 15 years (not counting this year and their first year) has ever won without it.  The studio says they didn’t get the DVD the SAG members in time but so far that explanation has never overcome the rarity a Best Picture win without it.  People will say that the screwy date changes mean a late-beaking movie like Zero Dark Thirty or Django Unchained couldn’t have been put in front of SAG voters in time. And that is possibly true, too. We won’t know until this thing lumbers to a close. 2) Bigelow and Boal won very recently, in 2009. It is extremely rare, like Chariots of Fire rare, like Driving Miss Daisy rare, that a director can win both Director and Picture so soon after having just won.  People will say, well no woman ever won before and that’s also true.  To predict Zero Dark Thirty to win is a long shot, however, simply because of these two factors. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, just that it’s the long call which may or may not pay off.

3. Silver Linings Playbook has hit almost every marker, too, except the Globe nod for Director. And it’s true that only one film ever in Globe/Oscar history has won Best Picture from the Musical/Comedy section without that nod (Driving Miss Daisy again). It has a SAG ensemble nod, and a very strong lead performance carrying it through.  It is a longer shot to win than Zero Dark Thirty, however, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Never underestimate the power of Weinstein Co. and it’s just the kind of film that could upset in both the musical/comedy category at the Globes and the SAG ensemble award.

4. Les Miserables – the bad reviews and divisive reactions for this film have put it pretty far down the list, simply because no musical has ever won Best Picture without that crucial Globes director’s nod. Again, precedents were meant to be broken and so it’s not impossible, it just isn’t likely. If it wins the SAG ensemble award it could possibly have a better shot at winning but it is a film people either really love or really hate and those kind of movies do not win Best Picture in a consensus vote.

5. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Django Unchained appear to be the films that most likely would have taken that fifth slot if there were still only Five Best Picture nominees.  That’s going by what we see so far.  Beasts was entirely shut out of the Golden Globes, which shocked many, but as you can see, it is still hitting these top ten lists among American critics fairly strongly.  There is only one movie so far that has had the first three of these and missed out on Best Picture and that was The Town. Dragon Tattoo had three but it had the PGA (and the DGA, come to that).  That means both of these films, or at least one of them, would be among the final five if there were five and most likely both will get in with more than five.

6. Moonrise Kingdom and Life of Pi – these two films I think will each carry over to the PGA. Scott Rudin is on Moonrise and Life of Pi is making shitloads of money right now, a testament to its mass appeal. I think both get in for PGA and both get in for Best Picture.

For the Producers Guild that leaves us only one slot left and plenty of options. Those options would be one of the following:

The Dark Knight Rises

It could be any of these and I have no idea which one it will be.  But I think I’ll go with Nolan, with Flight as a possible spoiler.

I will anxiously await January 3rd to see if my formula for predicting these will succeed or fail. If you’re keeping track, my predictions would then be:

Zero Dark Thirty
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
Life of Pi
The Dark Knight Rises
Alt. Flight

NBR | BFCA | AFI | Producers Guild | Best Picture

Argo Argo Argo
Beasts of the Southern Beasts of the Southern Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained Django Unchained Django Unchained
Les Miserables Les Miserables Les Miserables
Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook Silver Linings Playbook Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty Zero Dark Thirty Zero Dark Thirty
Moonrise Kingdom Moonrise Kingdom
Life of Pi Life of Pi
The Master
Perks of Being/Wall
Promised Land
Dark Knight Rises

2011 NBR | BFCA | AFI | Producers Guild | Best Picture

The Artist The Artist The Artist The Artist The Artist
War Horse War Horse War Horse War Horse War Horse
The Descendants The Descendants The Descendants The Descendants The Descendants
Hugo Hugo Hugo Hugo Hugo
Moneyball Moneyball Moneyball Moneyball
The Help The Help The Help The Help
Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris
Tree of Life Tree of Life Tree of Life
Extremely Loud Extremely Loud
Drive Drive
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Ides of March The Ides of March
Bridesmaids Bridesmaids
J Edgar J Edgar
Harry Potter

2010 NBR | BFCA | AFI | Producers Guild | Best Picture

The King’s Speech The King’s Speech* The King’s Speech The King’s Speech The King’s Speech
The Fighter The Fighter The Fighter The Fighter The Fighter
The Social Network The Social Network The Social Network The Social Network The Social Network
Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan
Inception Inception Inception Inception Inception
Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3
True Grit True Grit True Grit True Grit True Grit
Kids Are All Right Kids Are All Right Kids Are All Right Kids Are All Right
127 Hours 127 Hours 127 Hours 127 Hours
Winter’s Bone Winter’s Bone
The Town The Town The Town The Town

*AFI special award

2009 NBR | BFCA | AFI | Producers Guild | Best Picture

The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
Up Up Up Up Up
Up in the Air Up in the Air Up in the Air Up in the Air Up in the Air
Inglourious Basterds Inglourious Basterds Inglourious Basterds Inglourious Basterds
An Education An Education An Education An Education
Precious Precious Precious Precious
Avatar Avatar Avatar
District 9 District 9
A Serious Man A Serious Man A Serious Man
The Blind Side
Invictus Invictus Invictus
Star Trek Star Trek
Wild Things Are…
The Messenger The Messenger
A Single Man
The Hangover


JUST Producers Guild
Won PGA | Won Oscar


The Artist The Artist
The Help The Help
Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris
The Ides of March Tree of Life
War Horse War Horse
The Descendants The Descendants
Hugo Hugo
Moneyball Moneyball
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


The King’s Speech The King’s Speech
The Town Winter’s Bone
The Fighter The Fighter
The Social Network The Social Network
Benjamin Button Benjamin Button
Black Swan Black Swan
The Kids Are All Right The Kids Are All Right
Inception Inception
Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3
True Grit True Grit
127 Hours 127 Hours


The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
Star Trek A Serious Man
An Education An Education
Avatar Avatar
District 9 District 9
Inglourious Basterds Inglourious Basterds
Precious Precious
Invictus The Blind Side
Up Up
Up in the Air Up in the Air


Frost/Nixon Frost/Nixon
Milk Milk
The Dark Knight The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
Benjamin Button Benjamin Button


There Will Be Blood There Will Be Blood
Juno Juno
Diving Bell and Butterfly Atonement
No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men
Michael Clayton Michael Clayton


Babel Babel
The Departed The Departed
Dreamgirls Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen The Queen



Crash Crash
Brokeback Mountain Brokeback Mountain
Capote Capote
Good Night, and Good Luck Good Night, and Good Luck
Walk the Line Munich


Finding Neverland Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby Million Dollar Baby
The Aviator The Aviator
Sideways Sideways
The Incredibles Ray


Seabiscuit Seabiscuit
Mystic River Mystic River
Master and Commander Master and Commander
The Last Samurai Lost in Translation
Cold Mountain


Adaptation The Pianist
Chicago Chicago
Gangs of New York Gangs of New York
Lord of the Rings: Two Towers Two Towers
My Big Fat Greek Wedding The Hours
Road to Perdition


A Beautiful Mind A Beautiful Mind
The Lord of the Rings The Lord of the Rings
Harry Potter Gosford Park
Moulin Rouge Moulin Rouge
Shrek In the Bedroom


Gladiator Gladiator
Almost Famous Traffic
Erin Brockovich* Erin Brockovich
Billy Elliot Chocolat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


The Cider House Rules The Cider House Rules
American Beauty American Beauty
The Insider The Insider
Being John Malkovich The Green Mile
The Hurricane The Sixth Sense


Life Is Beautiful Life Is Beautiful
Shakespeare In Love Shakespeare In Love
Gods and Monsters The Thin Red Line
Waking Ned Devine Elizabeth
Saving Private Ryan Saving Private Ryan


Titanic Titanic
Amistad The Full Monty
L. A. Confidential L. A. Confidential
As Good As It Gets As Good as it Gets
for Good Will Hunting Good Will Hunting


Fargo Fargo
Shine Shine
Hamlet Secrets & Lies
The People vs. Larry Flynt Jerry Maguire
The English Patient The English Patient


Leaving Las Vegas Babe
Dead Man Walking Braveheart
Apollo 13 Apollo 13
Sense and Sensibility Sense and Sensibility
Il Postino Il Postino
The Bridges of Madison County
The American President



Four Weddings and a Funeral Four Weddings and a Funeral
Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
Quiz Show Quiz Show
Pulp Fiction Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption The Shawshank Redemption



The Fugitive The Fugitive
Schindler’s List Schindler’s List
The Remains Of the Day The Remains Of the Day
The Piano The Piano
In the Name Of the Father In the Name Of the Father


A Few Good Men A Few Good Men
The Crying Game The Crying Game
Unforgiven Unforgiven
Scent Of a Woman Scent Of a Woman
Howards End Howards End


The Silence Of the Lambs

The Silence Of the Lambs


Dances With Wolves Dances With Wolves


Driving Miss Daisy Driving Miss Daisy

Golden Globes Preview

Next Story »

Contest Reminders


  1. John Q
    December 24, 2012


    So you have no faith in The Master here?


  2. SallyinChicago
    December 24, 2012

    Was listening to a local radio show host talking about Lincoln and he and all his friends who saw it said, it seemed like I was sitting through a history lesson. He was not fond of the movie and I think a lot of people are seeing it based on their teacher’s recommendation — My Teacher told us flat out, Go see Lincoln! Well I haven’t seen Lincoln because I don’t want to see a history lesson. And really, I’m not as in love with DDL as everyone else. He makes movies about once every five years and I don’t find him very interesting as an actor. (Sorry!) I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a movie honestly, what am I missing?

    I’ve seen flight, Beasts, Argo and of those I liked Beasts the most. I also liked Argo, but it felt like I’ had seen that movie before, esp. the end escape. I loved Flight because it was a difficult look at a subject many of us have lived through – me, through parents and relatives – but I don’t think Hollywood wants to see itself in a mirror. MOST actors are drunks, you know.

    Debating whether I should see Django, because again, it seems I’ve been there before with QT. He does revenge very well, so if I go it will be for the acting; and I’m not looking forward to the 100 N**ga words in the script.

    Other than those, I plan to see the Impossible and then move onto 2013.

  3. December 24, 2012

    Is it pointlessly abusive to call Sally an idiot? I think it might be, so I won’t. I’m asking, though, in case it is, because I’d quite like to. Weak on my part, perhaps, but I’m only human.

    Sasha, District 9 and Winter’s Bone were not the same year. Also, War Horse totally wouldn’t have been in before Midnight in Paris last year. It might have gotten the fifth Best Picture slot, but that’s only a might.

  4. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    Well I haven’t seen Lincoln because I don’t want to see a history lesson.

    And that, my friends, is why our country is in the sorry-ass state it’s in.

  5. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    I don’t know, John Q. I see two Weinstein Co movies getting in and not The Master. But it could! It’s one of my top ten of the year – it just seems too “strong flavor” for Acad.

  6. AnthonyP
    December 24, 2012

    So what’s the contest?

  7. AdamA
    December 24, 2012

    The Master probably has a better shot at an Oscar nom, IMO, than Producers’ Guild. In 2010, the PGA went for The Town where Oscar went for Winter’s Bone. In 2011, the PGA went for Bridesmaids where Oscar went for Tree of Life. Obviously, in the latter case, we don’t *know* that those two swapped spots, and just as obviously, given The Blind Side’s nom, the Academy can go either way (populist or art house) in those last few spots.

    Call it a gut feeling, or chalk it up to the fact that PGA voters don’t have to look at a nomination tally across lots of categories, where The Master *could* do very well. (If there had been 5-10 nominees in 2001, would Iris have gotten in on the strength of its acting noms? Very possibly, I think.)

    Anyway, long story short, I think Sasha is right to rule out The Master for the tenth PGA spot.

  8. Matt
    December 24, 2012

    I think Best Exotic sneaks into the Top 10.

  9. AdamA
    December 24, 2012

    Ha–rereading my comment, the closing seems like it ought to be followed by that Reading Rainbow sound:

  10. AdamA
    December 24, 2012

    Ooooo, I like that pick, Matt.

  11. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    I think Best Exotic sneaks into the Top 10.

    Good call. Possibly, very possibly.

  12. December 24, 2012

    Was listening to a local radio show host talking about Lincoln and he and all his friends who saw it said, it seemed like I was sitting through a history lesson

    Suggestion: Turn off the radio and go see the movie.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a movie honestly, what am I missing?

    Unless I misunderstand that sentence, sounds like what you’re missing are all his movies. Seems it would be easier, more meaningful, and possibly more fun for you to watch a couple of his movies rather than depend on everybody to tell you what you’re missing.

  13. phantom
    December 24, 2012

    1. Lincoln
    2. Argo
    3. Zero Dark Thirty
    4. Les Miserables
    5. Silver Linings Playbook
    6. Life of Pi
    7. Django Unchained
    8. The Dark Knight Rises
    9. Skyfall
    10.The Best Exotic Marigold

  14. phantom
    December 24, 2012

    Marigold reminds me of Bridesmaids : well-received crowdpleaser and May sleeper hit with a big, likable cast, same SAG (Ensemble+Supporting Actress) and Golden Globe (Picture+Lead Actress in Comedy) nominations. In the 2009-system it could have made it without a hitch, but just like Bridesmaids, it probably won’t be able to pull off the now required 5% #1.

  15. December 24, 2012

    “– the bad reviews and divisive reactions for this film have put it pretty far down the list”

    Right now LES MISERABLES is sitting pretty at RT with 79 to 29 and 73%. The ‘bad review’ label is no longer a truthful one.

    True, MC is a more founded barometer, and it’s less there, but has climbed to 61% with a large number of reviews still to join the scant 21 on display right now.

    But regardless, the central argument here is a sound one. Usually a BP winner has stronger numbers than what LES MIS has right now. I still believe that the film and Hooper will get nominated, and I see the film winning the SAG ensemble. If these all come to pass all bets are off. There is hidden and passionate support in the Academy for this film that will surface during the final voting stage. I’m not saying it will win over LINCOLN and/or ZERO, but it has a better chance than many people believe. The Globe snub for Hopper is getting too much attention here, as the Hollywood Press has been far less reliable in recent years in predicting Oscar noms.

    In any case I hope my expectations will be met tomorrow, especially since I am a huge fan of the Broadway show and the great score. My 16 year-old daughter is counting the hours, and even the younger ones are excited.

  16. December 24, 2012

    “batter” should be “better”
    “This is hidden” should be “There is hidden”
    “hufe” should be “huge”

    57 years old and losing it!

    [fixed! -- Ryan]

  17. December 24, 2012

    The ‘bad review’ label is no longer a truthful one.

    Here’s what’s truthful:

    Over half the reviews on metacritic are bad reviews, and the only good reviews by major critics top out at the B and C grade-level.

    a 79 on RT cannot erase the existence of a dozen bad reviews that scored lower than 60 on Metacritic.

    nor can a 79 on RT account for the lack of any review on metacritic scoring any higher than 88

  18. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    Anyone who reads this site knows we NEVER value nor look at RT. It is useless for our purposes.

  19. Mattoc
    December 24, 2012

    I don’t really understand PGA awards and how they’re distinctive from other groups.
    If the goal of the producer is to presumably make money for the backer (ie turn a profit, keep it on schedule) amongst other things, then do they look at this or is it what films they like best?

    Either way I would expect The Avengers will be nominated.

  20. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    p.s. when TIME magazine says “this is a bad movie” you have to consider reviews.

  21. Mattoc
    December 24, 2012

    “Anyone who reads this site knows we NEVER value nor look at RT. It is useless for our purposes”

    It’s good to learn some of your (ex) friends really, really liked Here Comes the Boom via the Facebook plugin.

  22. Glenn UK
    December 24, 2012

    ^^ I agree Sam – far too much is being made of the Hooper Globe snub. Bigelow never got that kind of attention when ZDT failed a SAG ensemble. And the theory that screeners never got out in time is simply nonsense since Chastain managed to gather a nom …. if that theory is correct then they awarded her a nomination sight unseen and that is even more ridiculous.

    2. Argo
    3. Zero Dark Thirty
    4. Les Miserables
    5. Silver Linings Playbook
    6. Life of Pi
    7. Moonrise Kingdom
    8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    9. The Master
    10.The Best Exotic Marigold

  23. sharkman
    December 24, 2012

    I’m inclined to predict Skyfall rather than TDKR, because there’s just zero awards heat behind TDKR, while Skyfall has shown up here and there, and plus was far better received, and a HUGE success.

  24. rufussondheim
    December 24, 2012

    Funny, because I didn’t think Lincoln was historical enough.

    Sorry to keep talking about 12 years a slave (I’ll be finished reading it this week!) but between that book and Team of Rivals (which I am also reading, but at a much slower pace) I’m becoming increasingly disappointed with Lincoln. It’s fine for what it is (which is far better than most movies and it should be lauded for that) but, well, the part-time history buff in me is seeing places where Lincoln could have been tweaked, making it a much better movie in my opinion.

    But then, I guess that is why I read, it’s a more in-depth experience overall.

    There is a lot to criticize in Argo, should it come to that. I loved the movie quite a bit, but it plays too fast and loose with facts and makes the mission seem so much more tense than it actually was. It makes for an enteraining film, but is it one that should be rewarded for making those alterations? I’m on the fence, after all it is a reward for movies, not for history lessons, but still I think the movie might have been better if they dialed back on the some of the close calls here and there as I would have spent less time rolling my eyes.

  25. Patrick
    December 24, 2012

    far too much is being made of the Hooper Globe snub.
    Just to point out, Sasha brought up the Globe snub when she listed Les Mis at #4. You say that too much is being made of the snub and then list it at #4 as well…

  26. Glenn UK
    December 24, 2012

    I so want The Impossible to begin making a strong show in the Guilds.

  27. Reno
    December 24, 2012

    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    The Dark Knight Rises
    Django Unchained
    The Impossible
    Life of Pi
    Les Miserables
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Zero Dark Thirty

  28. Patrick
    December 24, 2012

    Ah okay, it’s actually #5 for Sasha. So you moved it above Silver Linings Playbook, the other Globe director snub. Got it.

  29. Glenn UK
    December 24, 2012

    @Patrick – my top 10 were in no particular order – I should have stated – oops!

  30. Reno
    December 24, 2012

    Where’s the link to the contest?

  31. m1
    December 24, 2012

    Anyone who reads this site knows we NEVER value nor look at RT. It is useless for our purposes.

    Okay, then. How about this: the Metacritic score it has is about the same as that of The Help. You did not criticize that movie for having “mediocre” reviews either. So, according to logic, Les Mis has good reviews.

    Over half the reviews on metacritic are bad reviews

    Actually, only two of the reviews are bad. The number of mixed reviews is about the same as that of some of the other movies in contention this year.

    So, no, the reviews for the movie are not bad, even if we are using the overly selective, small sample collecting, overly weighted territory of Internet space called Metacritic. Les Mis is not the first movie to receive “good but not great” reviews and it won’t be the last. Reviews are no longer an issue for this movie.

  32. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    You did not criticize that movie for having “mediocre” reviews

    I most certainly did. You really think I’m THAT stupid? The reviews matter only until they don’t. They didn’t matter with Crash. But Les Mis, unlike Crash, is divisive, right down the middle. That makes on track for a nod but not a win.

  33. rufussondheim
    December 24, 2012

    Reviews are always important. Unless critics are completely different humans than academy members. I think it’s a fair estimate that 40% of the Academy has tastes very similar to most critics. And so far Les Miz has no reviews that are extremely strong (like the best of ZDT, Lincoln, Beasts or Argo) so the “bad” reviews are putting it at a strong disadvantage since it probably has to be #1 on at least half of the remaining 60% of the ballots since it will likely be in the bottom two on that 40% of ballots which will likely look similar to the critics choices.

  34. December 24, 2012

    I also liked Argo, but it felt like I’ had seen that movie before, esp. the end escape.

    I felt the same way about the ending. I can’t for the life of me think of what movie it’s reminding me of. I think it was something actually from the 70s/early 80s

    I think a lot of people are seeing it based on their teacher’s recommendation

    The first time I saw THE HOBBIT, I saw a large group of children leaving from another theater. At first I thought “Yay! Little Hobbit fans.” Then I thought better of it realizing they were a class and the most likely reason for the field trip was LINCOLN. I mean they were like 9 or 10. I felt bad. Because if you’re little and you’re seeing severed limbs, they should be orc limbs.

    I agree with Matt about TBEMH. But I don’t necessarily think that makes TDKR the odd man out. But then again I always expect PGA to pick the moneymakers and I’m never right. I don’t know what their motivation is.

    As far as the Oscar race goes, if I was betting on the winner today, my vibes are telling me DJANGO UNCHAINED or LES MISERABLES. If not then LIFE OF PI.

    So you ask, ‘what is wrong with your vibes are they defective?’ Probably but those films have completely different fanbases, if they are good. The two unseen by the public have the risk of plummeting if they’re only hype. That’s why I put PI as an alternate. But not only are they all different from each other they’re completely different from the history lesson trifecta ARGO, LINCOLN, and ZERO DARK THIRTY.

  35. December 24, 2012

    Sorry Ryan, but there are only 21 reviews posted at META CRITIC. That is insufficient to gage the reviews at this point. Within two days I think there’ll be a picture that serves this purpose. I reacted the way I did because I wanted to dispel the myth that the film has received “bad” reviews, not because I was trying to argue that it was the recipient of a groundswell of positive notices. I am thinking there will need to be about 44-45 reviews up there in total. Still, I see the foundation is there, and I can’t see the number going over 64 at this point. (Heck it could even dip back into the high 50′s, I have no way of knowing) But there are enough critics, Academy members and fans of the stage musical to make a special case for this particular film overcoming it’s less than stellar (as opposed to outright bad) reviews when you look at the Oscar picture.

    I understand you are casting perception based on what you have so far, but the picture remains inconclusive until at least two more days.

    As far as the issue with RT, I honestly did not know until now that the site was persona non gratta, as it has been referenced by readers and used as a general barometer on some past threads as I recall dating back several years. It’s not an intellectual bastion to say the least, but I question Richard Corliss and TIME MAGAZINE as a defining reference point. It’s a single critic’s opinion, and one who has taken down some great ones, and trashed some good ones a bit too often for my taste. When one looks at RT they try and gage opinions, any opinions, not to validate the scholarly heft of the “reviews” there.

    As far as a potentially higher rating at RT erasing the existence of some locked in negatives at MC, well again I am simply going by numbers and general concensus. I understand the “top critic” label, and I’m not arguing that, just trying to establish that there are quite a few people out there who love the film.

    I also expected you woulde be going after me on this as I have been beating this drum for weeks now. I would have done the same if the roles were reversed! Ha!

    Thanks for fixing the typos Ryan. And Happy Holidays to all!

  36. Patrick
    December 24, 2012

    How about this: the Metacritic score it has is about the same as that of The Help.
    Interesting that you point out this parallel to The Help. I see Les Miserables with the near-lock Supporting Actress win, the Director snub, and the Picture nod. But as indicated by the reviews (and the MC score), just like The Help, Les Miserables is not in the top 3 to win. Lincoln, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are to Les Miserables as The Artist, Hugo and The Descendants were to The Help.

  37. Zach
    December 24, 2012

    I don’t seem to remember War Horse being a major contender last year, even if it hit some important precursors. I think Midnight in Paris and The Help, but not War Horse, would have been the nominees if there were only 5; the year before Inception might have knocked out Black Swan or True Grit, but damn, that would have been a tough year to have only 5 BP nominees; the year before that it would have followed the Best Director nominees to a T.

  38. Danemychal
    December 24, 2012

    Rufus, regarding your comments on the accuracy of Argo: remember what medium you are talking about. The movies are to entertain first in order to make money, especially true for major studio releases like Argo. They always say “based on” or “inspired by true events”, not “this is EXACTLY how it all went down, folks!” If Argo depicted everything as it happened, it would be pretty boring as a movie but would make a great documentary that would be shown on the History Channel. But guess what? Those documentaries already exist and didn’t gain over $100 mil at the box office! Argo exceeds all expectations as a movie.

    PS – After reading Sally in Chicago’a last post, I now know I can save time by skipping anything else she writes from here on out.

  39. Zach
    December 24, 2012

    Also, I’m totally predicting THE HOBBIT in my AD ballot. Am I crazy? A quick ctrl+F reveals it was only mentioned in this post by a single commenter. I saw it the other day, and while it has its narrative flaws, it’s on par with the lesser so-called contenders this year, plus it’s making lots of dough. Nobody does what Peter Jackson does better than he. Andy Serkis needs an honorary Oscar already.

  40. December 24, 2012

    Glenn UK:

    I am with you lock, stock and barrel on THE IMPOSSIBLE.

    And yes, I agree on the matter of the Globe snub for Hooper. It could happen the same way for the Best Directing Oscar, but I am betting otherwise.

  41. m1
    December 24, 2012

    Corliss’ review of Les Mis is hilarious. He actually thinks the director of one of the best movies of the past decade needs to improve his craft. But, I still go to RT because there are still a few smaller critics that I appreciate and listen to.

    You really think I’m THAT stupid?

    No, I don’t. I’m just saying, even if major critics aren’t completely enamored with the film, there are plenty of moviegoers and smaller critics who will be. That is why I think RT is the better site; it collects a much bigger, more diverse sample of reviews. I have agreed with that site more times than I have agreed with Metacritic. That is why I think Les Mis is more like this year’s The Help than anything else. And that’s perfectly fine with me, as long as I actually end up liking the movie.

  42. December 24, 2012

    You know Zach, I feel like THE HOBBIT never got into the race. I think everyone dismissed it because the LOTR trilogy was so heavily rewarded. So in that way I think it’s like the forgotten movie, even though it’s just been released and making loads of dough. Plus, I think by this time in the year movie people, whether they vote for a group or not, already have their top ten in mind. If they thought they might like DJANGO or ZDT, I think they saved space for them a while back. Because of that I think people who may like THE HOBBIT very much just don’t have space for it in their predetermined lists. And they’d probably be reluctant to remove something else for it. Just because they’re list is somewhat set in their minds. That’s my theory anyway. I’d love to be wrong.

  43. m1
    December 24, 2012

    I feel like THE HOBBIT never got into the race.

    The Hobbit would have gotten into the race if the studio hadn’t milked that book into 9 hours worth of film. I’m not that interested in seeing the movie anymore. Maybe the next two will be better.

  44. December 24, 2012

    I understand you are casting perception based on what you have so far, but the picture remains inconclusive until at least two more days.

    There’s that. But there’s also no way (for me, personally) to “dispel the myth that the film has received bad reviews.”

    Because the bad reviews are there, they’ll always be there, they’re not going away, and they’ve done some undeniable damage by dint of being the first and loudest reviews.

    I’m not comfortable having Sasha’s straightforward statement characterize as “a myth.” That’s why I felt it was ok to offer a reminder that lots of scathingly bad reviews have been hanging out there for a couple of weeks and it’s not unreasonable to say they’ve done harm. That’s how I read what Sasha wrote.

  45. December 24, 2012

    That’s too bad, m1. Its quality far outstrips everything else I’ve seen this year.

  46. Jack
    December 24, 2012

    1. Argo
    2. Lincoln
    3. Zero Dark Thirty
    4. Les Miserables
    5. Silver Linings Playbook
    6. Life of Pi
    7. Django Unchained
    8. The Master
    9. Skyfall
    10. Moonrise Kingdom

  47. Zach
    December 24, 2012

    Well, the PGA loves their well-made B.O. champs. Skyfall was a bit better and more consistent than The Hobbit, but TDKR was decidedly worse.

    I completely forgot about The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and the PGA loves a crowd-pleasing comedy. Oh, well.

    I predicted Lincoln, Argo, ZDT, SLP, Les Mis, Life of Pi, Skyfall, The Hobbit, Beasts, and Django.

    Frankly, I’m not sold on Django, and I have yet to see it but love Inglourious Basterds. Django looks to me closer to Kill Bill than IB. And you’ve got people like Spike Lee who are complaining about the racist portrayal of blacks. There was very little hooplah surrounding IB because, let’s face it, we Jews love a good Nazi revenge fantasy. You’d think the same goes for a slavery revenge fantasy, but with a white filmmaker at the helm, an old Western tone that conjures up Sergio Leone, and our country in arms over gun control, the timing doesn’t feel right.

    Moonrise Kingdom seems like an afterthought to me, but then A Serious Man was nominated and that too had little buzz.

  48. Zach
    December 24, 2012

    And The Master has had a rather mixed reception. The Master and Django are going to be the big question marks going into Oscar nominations, particularly in the acting categories. Les Mis is unsteady, but other than possible misses in Director, Cinematography, and Editing, you know it’ll still get a Best Pic nod.

  49. December 24, 2012

    I see Ryan. I understand that. As I stated I took issue with the generalization in the body of the post that suggested that LES MISERABLES has received “bad reviews.” It has received some bad revfiews for sure, and agreed that they were the “first and the loudest” but when you factor in both RT and MC, you have a picture of good, bad and in-between. In protective mode I would have prefered “mixed” reviews, which I think are more accurate. Even at MC right now in that divided concensus there are in addition to the nine “mixed” there are 10 favorable and 2 negative.

    The present “61″ is defined by the site itself in green as “generally favorable reviews.”

    I did not read that as negative, hence I used the term “myth” to relate how I read their data, but not in any way to contest or criticize Sasha.

  50. Nic V
    December 24, 2012

    The only film that comes to mind with the sequence from Argo might be Raid on Entebbe which chronices that Israeli raid on the Ugandan Airport after a hijacked airliner was diverted there.

    And I’m still reeling a bit over Sally not having seen a single DDL movie.

  51. December 24, 2012

    In other words what I am saying here (and I am not sure if I was clear) is that while I acknowledge that there have been some scathingly bad reviews for the film, there are only TWO presently posted at MC as per their own rating system.

    10 favorable
    9 mixed
    2 negative

    How do those numbers translate to “bad” reviews? Am I missding something here? The site itself advertises that concensus as “generally favorable reviews.”

    Not know Sasha did not gage RT I brought their numbers in too, which are”

    79 favorable
    29 negative.

    So this was the picture I was getting. Yes the two really bad ones are there (and there will be a few more as well) but the good ones are there too, and the generally picture is not negative at all, even if the film isn’t in a criticalleague with the other heavy hitters. But a musical will always carry some baggage.

    Yes I know I am insane arguing on Christmas Eve for a film I won’t be seeing until tomorrow. Ha!

  52. Zach
    December 24, 2012

    OK, clearly Sally has been missing out, but maybe she’s not alone in her sentiments. I can see many Academy members thinking they’re not ready to award DDL a third Oscar. As undeniable as he is in Lincoln, and brilliant as he always is, the man only makes a movie every 5 years. These are the same people who made Meryl wait until last year for her 3rd. Really, it’s all about the part you play, so DDL is most likely golden. But he should be thankful that the reviews for Les Mis are as mixed as they are! (Though nobody’s blaming Hugh.)

  53. December 24, 2012

    The present “61″ is defined by the site itself in green as “generally favorable reviews.”

    I do understand that. It’s also easy to see at a glance that the very first Les Mis review with a score of 60 earns this featured quote:

    The tasteless bombardment that is Les Misérables would, under most circumstances, send audiences screaming from the theater, but the film is going to be a monster hit and award winner, and not entirely unjustly.

    That may be a “mixed reaction” — heck, it’s mixed within the same single sentence. But it’s hard for me to see how saying the movie is a “tasteless bombardment” is anything but bad news.

    And that — that right there — is why we don’t put a lot of stock into RT’s simple Up/Down, Yay/Nay, Green Tomato/Red Tomato system. Because that black-and-white blunt tool is not refined enough to tell us anything about how many shades of grey individual critics are seeing.

  54. Linc4Jess
    December 24, 2012

    I liked “Argo” and thought that Affleck did a marvelous job of directing in that he made the film very entertaining and suspenseful even though we already know the outcome as did Spielberg with “Lincoln” which to me what more than a history lesson. The script is so good that every word spoken is relevant to today as it was then. In “Lincoln” Daniel Day-Lewis amazing performance breathe life into Lincoln. the man, the President, much like George C. Scott did in “Patton” and Liam Neeson did in “Schindler’s List”. I am thinking that the PGA will have the monumental achievement of the year, in scope if anything else, “The Dark Knight Rises” as one of their ten. If they don’t shame on them.

  55. Linc4Jess
    December 24, 2012

    As for “The Master” a film I consider to be over hyped and over praised and over sexed and a film I still have no idea of what it was trying to say. Several couples walked out of this movie about two thirds into the film in the theater I was at. This said, Phoenix and Hoffman were excellent in the film but Amy Adams is definitely miscast and at times laughable in this role. Yes you can disagree but this IMHO is not a role she should be nominated for and if I was voting wouldn’t be in my top ten. I would choose “Bernie” before ‘The Master” on any given best of best film list.

  56. December 24, 2012

    1. Argo
    2. Lincoln
    3. Zero Dark Thirty
    4. Les Miserables
    5. Silver Linings Playbook
    6. Life of Pi
    7. Django Unchained
    8. Moonrise Kingdom
    9. The Dark Knight Rises
    10. The Impossible

  57. December 24, 2012

    So then the question needs to be raised if we as MC readers and gagers should consider the site rating parameters (61 with the “generally favorable reviews” generalization) as overriding that intrinsic quote that is meant deliberately to encompass the division. If we are to believe the latter component as the site’s present position, then how do we explain 10 favorable and 2 negative? That is NOT a negative concensus remotely, at least not at this point.

    RT does have some serious drawbacks, I agree with you there. There are some people who appear who are terrible writers and have bizarre cinematic taste to boot. But the site is more all-encompassing, and is rather for tghe most part snob resistanr, and able to give you a look at what the masses are thinking with moorings of the critical zeitgeist.

    I find it’s useful and constructive myself to consider the situation at BOTH sites, even if MC is the one that brings together the most serious critical response from the major players.

  58. Cameron
    December 24, 2012

    Hey Sasha is still the email right?

  59. December 24, 2012

    That is NOT a negative concensus remotely, at least not at this point.

    Maybe we’ve found the source of this misunderstanding. Sasha never said there was a negative consensus.

    The line that bothers you goes like this: “Les Miserables – the bad reviews and divisive reactions for this film have put it pretty far down the list”

    That is the current truth as the truth stands this afternoon.

    Let’s boil that down: “The bad reviews have put Les Mis farther down list.”

    Is that a myth? Have the bad reviews had no effect on the percepton of Les Mis that was markedly more optimistic a month ago? Have the bad reviews not been so brutal that some critics seem to want to make us gasp at how harsh they are?

  60. December 24, 2012

    then how do we explain 10 favorable and 2 negative?

    I’d explain it like this: 10 critics can tolerate Les Mis, 10 others can barely tolerate it, and 2 cannot tolerate it at all.

  61. rufussondheim
    December 24, 2012

    Oh dear. I feel like I am about to step into a discussion no one wants me in.

    But, let’s say this: The reviews for Les Miserables are bad relative to the other frontrunners.

    And let’s call it a day.

  62. December 24, 2012

    Ryan, I have no problem with the fact that LES MISERABLES is further down as a result of Sasha’s perception. The Oscar expectations of the film are a bit lowered at this particular site (still the best of it’s kind as it’s always been) as a result of the fair enough belief that reviews mean SOMETHING in the general equation. Yes, you did paste the line that bothered me. You had that right. While I feel the reviews have not been as strong as I originally has figured they would be, I continue to see the concensus as decent enough, not mired in a negative sphere. I didn’t agree with the wording. But no biggie. How many times have I agreed with Sasha as opposed to disagreed? Maybe 500 to 4 in agreement, or something like that. I wasn’t a fan of CLOUD ATLAS and I liked THE KING’S SPEECH more than THE SOCIAL NETWORK. But generally I greatly respect her excellent work here (and yours) and rarely find room for disagreement.

    Your final two sentences, though telling in ways have nothing to do with my original disagreement. I would counter-argue that the “mixed” reviews may not matter in the case of this film as they would with others. What bad reviews that have been “so brutal” are you referring to here? Only Calum Marsh and Michael Phillips have really taken the film to the showers. Yes there are a few more who go for the extravagent mauling at RT, but that’s at a site that is three-quarters favorable. For the record there are some there who have given it their highest rating and have issued effusive praise.


    when I read what you said here in the next response:

    “I’d explain it like this: 10 critics can tolerate Les Mis, 10 others can barely tolerate it, and 2 cannot tolerate it at all.”

    I laughed and did say touche to my old friend!

    But, after reading Luminick, Rothkopf, Weitzman, Travers, Smith and Berardinelli’s reviews, the way I read it is that for the most part 10 loved it, 9 tolerated it, and 2 loathed it.

    But heck, the irony is I may come back tomorrow and apologize, saying it didn’t measure up.

  63. Pj
    December 24, 2012

    The Les Zzzz police are fighting the good fight this Christmas eve. Could it be a little nerves before box office results start hitting?

  64. Leeland
    December 24, 2012

    Les miss reviews are OK but when you Have movies like Django, Zero Dark Thirty, SLP, Beast, Lincoln, Moonrise, the Maters all getting great reviews from critics on both Metacritic and Rt Les Mis just don’t add up.

  65. December 24, 2012

    Could it be a little nerves before box office results start hitting?

    Les Mis Box office Christmas week will be HUGE. That’s guaranteed.

  66. December 24, 2012


    One thing I am certain of and that is a big box office for this film. There is a bulit in audience overlap from the decades of theatrical adoration. But the proof will be in the pudding.

    Leland: There is no doubt all the films you mention have far better reviews. That can’t be argued.

    As it turns out I’ll have my answer on the film’s merit in less than three hours as they are showing it on a number of area multiplex screens at 10:00 P.M. My whole family is excited and are quite willing to share their evening with LES MIS and Jolly Old St. Nick. I am assuming this late night screening is being offered nationwide.

    An expensive movie night for sure! For the family of 7 and an older cousin, the on-line tab is $98.00.

    Heck, I can get this box office moving in the right direction myself!!! Ha!!!

  67. December 24, 2012

    No sooner did I just post (above) when I saw Ryan’s confirmation. I do think Ryan is 100% right here. I think Xmas week will be huge and the film will do quite well the rest of the way if not as spectacular as the opening week.

  68. rufussondheim
    December 24, 2012

    No sign of the 10PM showing in suburban Philly. Which is good, because I have to see it Wednesday. I suspect I will only enjoy this film only once every two years.

    But I did notice at least one sold out showing, tomorrow at 3:15. This seems like an odd time for me for a show to be sold out. SO I must imagine that this is going to be enormous this week. My predictions of 100 million between now and New Year’s Day may not be far off.

  69. Bette
    December 24, 2012

    Sasha, how can you say Crash was not divisive? Even before its unforgivable upset win (thanks to Academy homophobia and cowardice), many hated it, with its placement on almost as many ten worst as ten best lists. No Globe Pic nod either, and certainly not one of the ten best reviewed films of 2005.

    The relevance? It aint over yet fot Les Miz.

  70. December 24, 2012

    rufussondheim: Like you I was really figuring on a pleasant Christmas night showing after the dinner and festivities, but the temptation to see it it tonight was too great. I am surprised there are no shows in suburban Philly. I live in notheastern New Jersey just minutes west of Manhattan, and the theatre we are seeing it in is about 10 minutes west of Giants Stadium:

    I completely concur with your projections!

  71. The Japanese Viewer
    December 24, 2012

    My PGA Prediction:

    Zero Dark Thirty
    Life of Pi
    Silver Linings Playbook
    The Master
    Django Unchained
    Les Miserables
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    The Dark Knight Rises

    Alt. Moonrise Kingdom

  72. Linc4jess
    December 24, 2012

    Haven’t seen “Les Miserables” but from the trailers I have seen I will definitely line up and see this film sometime tomorrow. From all I have read on “Les Mis” is that you will either like it or hate it and judging from many if not the majority of “”so-call” expert bloggers on GoldDerby and on MovieCityNews it is buried in the third or forth slot or lower. It will get a Nod in the top ten but not so sure it is anywhere near a front runner for Best Picture and if Hooper or Jackman don’t get in you can forget it as far as ultimate best pic. On the other hand with so many strong pics out there and a probable spit vote ballots maybe it could just sneak in and take it all.

  73. Linc4Jess
    December 24, 2012

    “Les Miserables”. 2 hrs 38 minutes of non-stop live singing and with no dialogue. How can anyone not be interested.

  74. SallyinChicago
    December 24, 2012

    And that, my friends, is why our country is in the sorry-ass state it’s in.
    ^Sasha, nothing about Lincoln appeals to me, even DDL….I don’t recall seeing him in a movie, maybe I have, but I don’t remember. And it’s true, our teacher told us — GO SEE Lincoln…:) so I equate that movie with a class assignment; sorry.

  75. Gage Creed
    December 24, 2012

    I agree with Bette about Crash. If a movie that showed up in both Top 10 and Bottom 10 lists is not divisive, I don’t know what is.

  76. December 24, 2012

    And it’s true, our teacher told us — GO SEE Lincoln…:) so I equate that movie with a class assignment; sorry.

    Crazy teachers. Always tryin to put knowledge in our heads. By all means, if there’s ever a chance to learn something you should run as fast as you can in the other direction. Hopefully you’ll be able to quit school soon and teachers will stop aggravating you.

  77. Danemychal
    December 24, 2012

    If Lincoln is a history lesson, it’s the best one I’ve ever had. I don’t recall any of my professors ever telling me stories that end with the punchline: “Nothing makes a British officer shit quicker than the sight of George Washington!” I don’t recall them painting a portrait of Thaddeus Stevens that allowed me to imagine him in a tacky wig using blackmail to comic effect in order to secure a vote from a fellow House member. I don’t remember hearing at all about a spirited “Mr. Bilbo” who smashed his crabs at the dinner table, swore like a sailor and got shot at as he tried to procure Democratic votes to pass the 13th Amendment. It’s not like opening a history book. It’s like watching a great movie about historical events that are of the utmost importance to this nation (and, to varying degrees, the rest of the world). And it happens to come at a time in which interesting parallels can be drawn between the issues it covers (slavery, the divisive nature of this nation) and issues today (gay rights, gun control, the divisive nature of this nation). Give it a chance. Pretend like your teacher DIDNT tell you to go see it if that’s what it takes, and instead follow the advice of numerous film lovers on this website who have told you the same thing.

  78. December 24, 2012

    lol When I said Les Mis was going to have a huge opening a couple weeks ago no one believed me. I think even last week there was some nonsense about Americans not wanting to see foreign actors. AD’s like a home for people with short attention spans.

  79. rufussondheim
    December 24, 2012

    How I wish there would be a sequel to Lincoln. I would love to see what led to the creation of the 14th Amendment which is easily the most influential of the amendments not written by the founding fathers. Heck, it might even be the most important part of the Constitution altogether. But something tells me that’s not going to happen.

    And that’s a shame because Reconstruction is a fascinating tale that present day people know very little about.

  80. December 24, 2012

    When I said Les Mis was going to have a huge opening a couple weeks ago no one believed me.

    Not too brag or anything, but I believed you. I didn’t chime in to back you up because I didn’t notice anybody not believing you. (If you say they didn’t, then they didn’t; I just didn’t see it.)

    How was this movie ever not going to pack theaters on Christmas? What’s more important and less certain is how will it be holding up 2 weeks after Christmas.

  81. Sasha Stone
    December 24, 2012

    Sasha, how can you say Crash was not divisive? Even before its unforgivable upset win (thanks to Academy homophobia and cowardice), many hated it, with its placement on almost as many ten worst as ten best lists. No Globe Pic nod either, and certainly not one of the ten best reviewed films of 2005.

    The relevance? It aint over yet fot Les Miz.

    That revisionist. I blogged that year so I remember it well. Crash is not a divisive film; it’s a general audience film driven by its script (which won) and its actors (SAG ensemble). Les Mis is anything but a general audience movie. It is a film for a specific type of person, only. If they love it, they love.

  82. December 24, 2012

    My Predictions:

    Django Unchained
    Life of Pi
    Les Miserables
    The Master
    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Zero Dark Thirty

  83. Josh
    December 24, 2012


    Give up. Les Mis will be nominated for a slew of awards but it ain’t winning best pic. Accept it.

  84. Linc4jess
    December 24, 2012

    LOOK OUT. I was reading “Les Miserables” opened big in Japan and Korea and had audiences giving the film standing ovations which is rare in these markets. Fandango and MovieTickets are outselling the film by as much as 1000% better than any other musical and way ahead of “Django”. This could be the “Titanic” crowd pleaser many said it would be 2 months back. We all know what happened when “Titanic” hit the scene. Ever award winner up to that point went deep south and “Titanic” swept the OSCARS.

  85. December 24, 2012

    Why people can´t accept Les Mis will be a flop?
    It´s so obvious…

  86. Josh
    December 24, 2012

    I don’t think it’s going to flop. But maybe my ‘flop’ definition is different than others. If a musical makes over $100 million, and this will, it’s not a flop. I will be very interested to see how box office numbers are after the first week. It’s going to open huge because all the die hards are gonna be there in line.

    I had a few friends that have been in the ‘it’s gonna be amazing’ camp for months see it and got texts from them saying ‘should have listened…needed to temper expectations. good not great. disappointed’.

  87. December 24, 2012

    Josh, when I say Les Mis will be a flop, I´m not talking about box office, but about respectability critical and artistic value.

  88. Josh
    December 24, 2012

    Right on. I agree with that. Like I and others have said for months, this was always going to be a divisive film, love it or hate it. I am surprised there aren’t any ‘best movie of the year’ type reviews though. Thought for sure there would be a couple.

    This is how I see a fair amount of the audience responding. It’s one of those movies that immediately after and for a few weeks they’ll be like ‘o..m..g…it’s so good, it’s my favorite movie of the year/in a long time/ever’ and then ask them in a year or two and they’ll be like ‘meh…i really don’t want to see it again, it wasn’t as good as i remember’. Aka…it’s not memorable.

  89. December 24, 2012

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that Josh……

    Just got in. I thought is was TREMENDOUS!!!! Emotionally overwhelming! We all wept. The singing was superlative!!! Hathaway was sensational. Jackman was magnificent. Barks, Redmayne and Siegfried were beguiling. Crowe was admittedly the weak vocal link, but was far from the liability that some of the nay-sayers are claiming.

    The duets were lovely. The persistent use of the close-up works, and it builds on the emotional intimacy. Schoenberg and Boublil’s ravishing operatic score (the greatest Broadway has produced in about 35 years) is given a rapturous transcription, and there’s a soaring intensity at work here that envelops.

    Boyle’s cinematography does favor a dark brown hue, sometimes a bit too excessive, but this is a valid interpretation of a dark and grimy novel partially set in and around the battlements.

    We wept at Hathaway’s show stopper and for the wrenching duet at the end. My oldest daughter (16) was blown away, but everyone in my entourage loved it.

    Splendid singing and orchestration of “Bring Him Home,” “On My Own,” “Empty Chairs, Empty Tables,” “A Heart Full of Love,” “Castle on a Cloud” and the rousing “One Day More.” “Master of the House” was typically a musical tease, but bouncy comic relief. Crowe’s finest moment is with the melodious “Stars.” Hathaway’s rendition of the work’s most beloved single song of course will set the standard for all future stage Fantines.

    The 10:00 P.M. showing was sold out, and at the end there was a loud, roaring ovation from an obviously delighted and moved audience.

    This could well be the film of the year for me. LES MISERABLES was one of my favorite Broadway musicals, and the film that has been made of it is far more than just respectable. It’s a valid crossover work of art.

  90. alan of montreal
    December 24, 2012

    I’m finally starting to catch up on (some) films I’ve missed, though I still have a long way to go. I saw Skyfall, and I have to say, Javier Bardem seems like a shoe-in to me for a supporting actor nod. His opening monologue is stellar.

    Anyhoo, for the PGAs, my predictions are:

    Life of Pi
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Silver Linings Playbook

  91. December 24, 2012

    And one more thing Josh. Musicals tend to have more “staying power” than other genres, mainly because one is usually tempted to go back for varia songs or sections. I’d be no more likely to pull back from this as I would from Tarr’s arthouse “The Turin Horse” which presently views with LES MISERABLES for my #1 position for 2012.

    I predeict the intense love for this film will be LASTING, just as it has for the Broadway show and it’s incredible runs and revivals. They haven’t pulled back from this material on stage, and they won’t on film either.

  92. alan of montreal
    December 24, 2012

    And my no guts, no glory would be Beasts of the Southern Wild, with Skyfall second and Django Unchained third (though I guess the latter can’t really count as one, considering Tarantino’s track record)

  93. Josh
    December 24, 2012

    Everything you just said isn’t surprising at ALL. It’s falling right in line with what I’ve been saying…people are going to love it and big time, but others aren’t…like my friends who weren’t impressed.

  94. Josh
    December 24, 2012

    Intense love by some? A resounding YES! I totally believe there will be a faction of the audience that will adore this movie forever. I just don’t believe it will be a large percentage, that’s all.

  95. December 24, 2012

    OK Josh, fair enough. I can’t say with certainty what everyone else will be saying or feeling. Time will reveal this. But I am already planning another visit. Ha, my oldest daughter is a big DiCaprio nut, and is asking me to cancel tomorrow night’s DJANGO to see LES MIS again.

    I don’t think I’ll go that far, but I’ll keep Wednesday in mind. LOL.

  96. Scott
    December 24, 2012

    It’s not about foreign actors. If it’s anything it would be about historical subject matter, non-stop musicality and France, a particular foreign land that I can’t think of any American box office films of late being about. Unless you can rattle off some for me.

    Moulin Rouge did not even make 60.

    We are talking film box office here, right? and not quality?

    If it’s successful and hits 100 thou or more it would be that rare exception.

  97. B
    December 24, 2012

    Zero Dark Thirty
    Life of Pi
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Les Miserables
    Django Unchained
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Moonrise Kingdom

  98. rufussondheim
    December 24, 2012

    Glad you liked the film Sam, but I have to quibble with something you said. You said it was like the best score in like 35 years. And that takes us back to like 1977 which is before Sweeney Todd which debuted in 1979.

    And them’s fightin’ words!

  99. December 25, 2012

    hahahahaha!!! I forgot your Sondheim surname there my friend! Well, SWEENEY is another one I adore, and I’ll grant you that it’s very very close, and fair enough to favor the Sondheim. I have been defending Tim Burton’s film version since it released, and it’s also a huge favorite in this house.

    I saw SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM on Broadway a few years ago and loved the show! I’m sure you did as well.

    Revision though: LES MIS and SWEENEY TODD are the best scores written in the past 35 years.

    I’d say SHOWBOAT and WEST SIDE STORY would vie for greatest ever.

    Thanks for the kinds words and Merry Christmas!…….hold on I hear Santa up on the roof…..

  100. mike
    December 25, 2012

    1) Zero Dark Thirty
    2) Les Miserables
    3) Argo
    4) Silver Linings Playbook
    5) Lincoln
    6) The Dark Knight Rises
    7) The Hobbit: an unexpected journey
    8) Django Unchained
    9) Beasts of the Southern Wild
    10) Moonrise Kingdom

  101. Sammy
    December 25, 2012

    I personally think the Academy, PGA should now start awarding the real cinematic experience rather than getting into history/politics lessons. The Master should get a BP/BD nod. The Master is a far better movie than Argo – at least artistically. I also like to see Benh Zeitlin, Michael Haneke getting nominations for their films.

  102. steve50
    December 25, 2012

    Zero Dark Thirty
    Life of Pi
    Silver Linings Playbook
    The Master
    Django Unchained
    Les Miserables
    The Impossible
    The Dark Knight Rises

    Merry Christmas, all!

  103. Antoinette
    December 25, 2012

    Oh I gotta disagree. I was around way before the CRASH days. It was a general audience film but half that audience hated it. I think LES MIS is a normal folks film but I haven’t seen it. You have. It will be the same. It’s not for a specific demographic or subset of musical fans. It will draw from every kind of moviegoer. Its box office performance will depend on how good it is. If it’s good, grandpas and grandkids will be going back for more.

  104. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    The “Les Miz” score is FAR from the the best score in 35 years. I work/live in NYC (specifically the theater scene). I know a lot of professionals who absolutely hate this show. In fact, on all the lists of shows and songs not to sing at auditions, “Les Miz” is right up at the top. I heard professional casting directors and directors say that they will not stand to listen to “Les Miz” (or Frank Wildhorn, for that matter), and will automatically throw a persons H/R out if they do.

    Further more, “Les Miz” got some scathing reviews back in 1987. It’s become successful because every tourist who passed through NYC from 1987-2004 decided that they HAD to see that. It also worked its way into the popular culture. Im thinking of the use of “Les Miz’s” soundtrack as a recurring theme in Bret Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho”.

    Anyway, the point I’m getting to is that this is not the best score in 35 years. Not when musical theater has seen the likes of Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel, Robert Lopez, Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey, Aherns & Flattery, Hollman and Kotis, Lowdermilk & Kerrigan.

    There are so many more composers who have written scores that are much more intelligent, musically appealing, and aesthetically pleasing than “Les Miz”, which is unabashedly poppy and wears its heart on its sleeve.

  105. rufussondheim
    December 25, 2012

    Eric, I generally agree with you, if I were a casting agent, hearing someone sing a Les Miz tune would probaly drive me insane. I would be like “Can’t you pick something a little more original” and then would toss them out because I would then think that all of the their acting choices would be completely unoriginal as well.

    Throw in William Finn on that list as well while your at it.

    My favorite post-Sondheim score is The Last Five Years. I’ve been listening to it far more than any other musical score and think it ranks right up there with the best Sondheim. Plus it’s gorgeously sung by Norbert leo Butz and Sherri Renae Scott.

    I would urge all music (not just musical) fans to get a copy of it. One thing that makes it so good as a listening experience is that the show is nothing but the songs. It’s just the two people on the stage singing the songs. You don’t need to see the musical or read about the musical or anything else for the songs to make complete sense.

    And if there are any movie execs out there willing to take a shot, you could easily make a movie of it for less than ten million, and it would easily make that money back over time, the material is so good it would definitely find an audience.

  106. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    Jason Robert Brown in general is one of my favorite composers. “Songs for a New World” is my personal favorite. But “The Last Five Years” is right up there as well.

    Btw I agree with you on William Finn, although I do enjoy some of the “Falsettos” stuff.

  107. g
    December 25, 2012

    I think Les Mis will be a hit, I have no desire to see it.. Too darn depressing for me! My friend saw it today and cried, and my man was taking his mother to see it…

    My PGA prediction-
    Zero dark thirty
    Silver linings playbook
    Moonrise kingdom
    Life of pi
    Beasts of the southern wild
    The dark knight rises
    Les Mis
    Django unchained

  108. December 25, 2012

    Eric. P, why the obnoxious attitude and hostility? I also live outside of NYC, I know theatre people and one famous composer who has a play ready to stage on Broadway who considers this his favorite score. None of those names oputside of Sondheim complete with Schonberg and Boublil’s score IN MY OPINION.

    Then you go on to SPIN why you think it was successful.

    You are a MAJOR hypocrite!!!!

    I also see every major musical that opens in NYC, having lived there my entire life for 57 years.

    You use the opinions and leverage of OTHER PEOPLE (friends) to back up a personal opinion and then you go on to dismiss worldwide opinion as something of an abberation.

    Who cares about your little circle of friends? I am more apt to listen to millions around the world, thank you very much.

    The obnoxious way you used FAR there shows what a charletan you are.

    If you would have come here civilly to discuss my comments it would be one thing. But you come here to show off, and frankly I’m hugely unimpressed.

    Merry Christmas. Say hello to your theatre buddies.

  109. December 25, 2012

    And anytime you would like to discuss the NYC music scene with me feel free to dial me up. I’ve held season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera for 16 years, and now have a partial annual subscription with my wife, in addition to a partial subscription for the past 11 years for the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.

    Yes I am being equally obnoxious for sure. Big time. And not the way I usually am. But your mean-spirited assault has me responding in kind.

    Dismissing LES MIS’ spectacular success solely on tourism is about just as bizarre as making claim to the venerated music as “wearing it’s heart on it’s sleeve” when practically every major musical success has effectively utilized that formula.

    Perhaps Brown, Guettel, Lopez and Lowedermilk and Kerrigan need to take a cue. Ha!

  110. December 25, 2012

    The entire argument posed by Eric above is the time worn “familiarity breeds contempt.”

    Something that is popular can’t possible be good.

  111. December 25, 2012

    OK, I had to enlist my wife to help me gather the playbills together, but I have compiled a list of the Broadway musicals I have seen in person since the cut-off year when A CHORUS LINE won the Tony in a spirited battle with CHICAGO in 1976 I believe. I have sen these, a number more than once:

    (this list does not include the revivals)

    A Chorus Line
    Gospel at Collonus
    Sweeney Todd
    Big River
    Me and My Gal
    The Phantom of the Opera
    Aspects of Love
    Miss Saigon
    Little Shop of Horrors
    Jekyll & Hyde
    Into the Woods
    Starlight Express
    Beauty and the Beast
    Sunset Boulevard
    Rock of Ages
    Shrek the Musical
    A Tale of Two Cities
    Coram Boy
    Mary Poppins
    The Scottsboro Boys
    Sister Act
    Cath me if You Can
    The Light in the Piazza (liked it, but not as much as you)
    Mamma Mia!
    The Producers
    The Full Monty
    Jersey Boys
    Spring Awakenings (with The Producers and Hairspray the most overrrated!)
    In the Heights
    Passing Strange
    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Meet Me in St. Louis
    The Secret Garden
    Kiss of the Spider Woman
    Smoky Joe’s Cafe
    The Lion King
    Ain’t Misbehavin’
    The Book of Mormon (liked it but not as much as you)

    I have also seen a number of off-Broadway productions and some other majors that are left unspoken of on this round-up. For some others not seen I have listened to the CD (previously vinyl and tape) scores over the years.

    The point is, that I just didn’t come up with LES MISERABLES withoutaving done my “exposure homeowrk” for decades.

    In MY opinion LES MISERABLES and SWEENEY TODD are the best scores of all of the ones I have seen here as well as others I have listened to. You obviously like PIAZZA and MORMOM, but neither for ME would approach LES MIZ nor SWEENEY TODD.

    Behind those two would be:

    Into the Woods
    A Chorus Line
    Me and My Gal
    The Phantom of the Opera
    The Light in the Piazza

    My wife’s listings would be a bit different, but we share love for most of these.

    So yes, I do consider LES MISERABLES’ soaring operatic lyricism as my cup of tea, Eric, and yes I do believe it to be the finest score written for a Broadway (and West End) score in the annointed period. For ME it is.

    If you wanna go back further we’ll consider Kern, Kern and Hammerstein, Rogers and Hammerstein, Wilson, Bernstein, early Sondheim, Lerner and Loew, Bock and Harnick, Arlen, Porter, Gershwin, Comden, Green, Leigh and Darion, Bart, Loesser, Simon, Stewart, Stone, Herman, earlyKander and Ebb, etc, etc….

    As I I said in the original post I’ll propose Kern’s SHOWBOAT and Bernstein and Sondheim’s WEST SIDE STORY to be the two most perfect scores ever written for the musical theatre.

    Rant concluded.

  112. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    Sam, you made a grand statement. You said “Les Miserables” is the best score on Broadway in 35 years. I disagreed with that statement. I offered my OPINION on why I think think that statement is false. Not once did I ever call you out on a personal level. Not once did I throw words like “charlatan” or “obnoxious” your way.

    I will stick by my assertion that the music is “poppy” and that “it wears it’s heart on its sleeve” because…well…drum roll…IT DOES.

    Oh, by the way, what exactly makes me a hypocrite? I said that it was a mediocre show (IN MY OPINION) and then offered my explanation as to why it became so successful (tourist attraction…popular culture). Where exactly was I hypocritical?

    I, like you, have seen many of the shows that you have listed. And I think that a handful of them match and exceed “Les Mis’s” score.

    To name a few (in no particular order):

    -ALL of the Kander and Ebb shows
    -ALL of the Sondheim shows (SPECIFICALLY “Sunday in the Park With George”, “Assassins”…and of course “Sweeney Todd”)
    -”Passing Strange”
    -”The Light in the Piazza” (Yes, I did like it better than you)

    I’m going to throw “Spring Awakening” into the mix. I don’t think that it is the best show, but I do think that the score TRIES something very different, and I applaud that.

    “Les Mis” is A LOT of the same thing over and over and over again. It’s long. It’s epic. It’s schmaltzy. It’s a mess to be honest.

    This is my opinion. Take it or leave.

    Then again, I don’t have a subscription to the NY Philharmonic and The Met, so I guess that makes me a charlatan.

  113. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    I prefer quality over quantity. Not synthesizers and an over abundance of recitative.

  114. rufussondheim
    December 25, 2012

    When I saw Spring Awakening, I didn’t care for it too much. I thought it front-loaded its songs and midway through the first act it began to sputter and by the end I wondered if I could make it across the finish line. A couple of years later I heard a song and decided to obtain the score (having owned a couple of Duncan Sheik albums, I rationalized I might enjoy the score more upon contemplation.) And I was right! Yeah, the show is still frontloaded, but I wish I could see the show again.

    Wondering if either of you saw Merrily We Roll Along in any of its incarnations. I, obviously, love the show and put it at #5 on my Sondehim faves (OK, I know you want to know my top 5, so here goes – 1) Sunday 2) Sweeney 3) Assassins 4)Company 5) Merrily) I saw it at Penn State (a college show) and was impressed with how strong the entire show is. I always assumed the Book was extremely weak, but I was really wrong.

    OK, now that I have steered the topic back to me! can you please stop fighting. You both have valid opinions and I love reading both of you and would be sad if either of you tempered your thoughts simply because of a silly disagreeement over Les Miz (for the record, I agree with both of you, but it depends what day you ask me)

  115. December 25, 2012

    “Then again, I don’t have a subscription to the NY Philharmonic and The Met, so I guess that makes me a charlatan.”

    Right. Much the same way that you immediately in your response brought in professional opinion in an obvious attempt to mitigate my opinion with the perceived clout of professional opinion. I used the word “charletan” in the same spirit that you summarily dismissed a great score, but posing a slew of inferior ones.

    I just actually got in from my second viewing of LES MIZ and it holds up beautifully. I will now address your other points.

    As far your added comment “quality over quantity” that is again YOUR perception. The quality and poetic beauty of Schonberg’s and Boublil’s score here trumps some of the others (God did I hate that awful SPRING AWAKENINGS score!) that you seem to think are better. This is personal opinion, this is not law or fact. My composer friend left me an e mail while I was gone after reading the comments here and he referred to you as a “crackpot.” Is he right? No, not all all. There are no facts here. Only OPINIONS.

    Let’s see what else you said here.

  116. December 25, 2012

    In view of Ruffussondheim passionate plea for peace, I will issue an unconditional appology to you Eric for my harsh approach here. I greatly respect your knowledge and love for the theater, and I think I reacted too strongly.

    I happen to like recitative-dominated scores, so maybe we are much apart to start with. I liken the LES MIZ score to Puccini, with it’s soaring lyricism and abundance of melody. That type of writing works best for me. Conversely I was disappointed with SPRING AWAKENINGS. But I’m sure we will agree more than not.

    My apologies.

  117. December 25, 2012

    Rufussondheim: I haven’t seen MERRILY sorry to say, but do know the music. I do love SUNDAY and ASSASSINS for sure. SWEENEY is my own #1, but Sondheim is so great that any choice is a valid one, methinks.

  118. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    Apology accepted, Sam. And likewise to you. I too reacted strongly, because, hell, it’s Christmas, and my family drives me nuts.

    I, too, respect your love and knowledge of the musical theater form, and I hope to agree in the future.

    My personal Sondheim five are:

    “Sunday in the Park with George”
    “Sweeney Todd”
    “Merrily We Roll Along”

    Rufus, I thoroughly enjoy “Merrily”. I think its one of those misunderstood pieces that needs to be seen in a new light.

  119. December 25, 2012

    I quite understand the matter with holiday malaise Erik. I’m with you there, that’s for sure. Thank you.

    All great Sondheim choices here. I’d venture to add INTO THE WOODS and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC to this mix in some way.

  120. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    As far as “Spring Awakening” goes,like I said, I didn’t much care for the show. The music is simple…yet…there are moments…fleeting as they may be…that elicit rather strong emotional responses in me (“Touch Me”…and…well that’s about it.) But it did try for something. You can see both Sheik and Sater reaching to capture the harsh poetic voice of Wedekind’s original text while straining to contemporize their subjects. For the most part it doesn’t really work for me. But I can see the effort their. And I can respect it.

  121. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    AHHH!!!! How could I forget “Night Music”. Whipped cream with knives!!! I love it

  122. December 25, 2012

    I hear you. Heck the show was wildly popular and won a slew of Tonys and Drama Desk Awards. I know a few who don’t get it, but I know more who loved it. I think your sizing up frames it fairly. “Touch Me” is rather an arresting number indeed. Most of the rest left me cold or indifferent.

  123. Eric P.
    December 25, 2012

    I’ve done a production of the show, and that was the one number that always GOT ME. Everything else, like you said, did leave me rather cold and…wanting something more.

  124. December 26, 2012

    You’ve done a production of the show? Wow, that takes this discussion to another level. Kudos to you! Would you say your own audience response was in live with the general adoration for the show? If you do any other work in the future let me know ( I’d definitely be there!

  125. December 26, 2012


    Today’s META CRITIC numbers seem to indicate there may well be a happy ending to the mild controversy over LES MISERABLES’s performance in critical circles.

    Here is this morning’s rather solid recap:

    There are now 37 reviews included with the number climbing to 64.

    The breakdown is as follows:

    22 favorable
    13 mixed
    2 negative

    Well, that’s pretty solid in my book!

    Meanwhile at RT (which I understand andrespect is rarely referred to here) the number is 73% with 99 favorable and 39 negative in their far less revealing black and white conensus.

  126. Brotherfease
    December 27, 2012

    I will probably change my mind, but as far as I can see: Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Silver Lining Playbook are locks. Les Miserables, Life of Pi, and Moonrise Kingdom are highly probable. The real question left is who is going to get the last three spots. My gut tells me that it is probably going to boil down to The Master, Django Unchained, Beasts, Marigold, or Skyfall. The wild, wild, wildcards are The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Looper, and Amour.

    As for the Tomatometer, I think it is very credible. When a film gets a 60% to 75% rating, it usually means most critics think it is in the B- to B range. When a film gets between the 75% to 100% range, it usually means film critics thinks the movie is in the B to A-. In other words, the higher the Tomatometer percentage, the more liked the movie is.

    Criticizing Lincoln for being a history lesson is like criticizing a farmer for growing crops. It just doesn’t make any sense. Lincoln is a history lesson, and I didn’t come into the movie thinking there was going to be vampires and knew the movie was going to be about Abraham Lincoln and how the GOP came together to abolish slavery.

  127. steve50
    December 27, 2012

    “Criticizing Lincoln for being a history lesson is like criticizing a farmer for growing crops.

    Love it! Well said.

  128. Prakshid Meshram
    December 27, 2012

    My PGA Prediction:
    1. Zero Dark Thirty
    2. Lincoln
    3. Argo
    4. Django Unchained
    5. Silver Linings Playbook
    6. Life of Pi
    7. Les Miserables
    8. The Master
    9. Beasts of the southern wild
    10.Moonrise Kingdom

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