March Movie Madness – How We Ranked Them

Our 2017 champ will be revealed tomorrow, but I’ve been asked a few times how/why a certain movie was seeded where it was. One of our two semi-final teams (Space Jam at a 13 seed is ludicrous) was seeded far lower than most thought it should have been.

Last year’s Music bracket was seeded completely subjectively by Mrs. Optimist and myself. This makes a ton of sense because there is no real way to objectively rank music and bands. There is really more personal feelings and not many quantifiable reviews out there. No one really gives a band as a whole a “grade” for lack of a better word.

Movies are a little different in that aspect. After some back and forth about the better way to seed these movies, we decided to be as objective as possible. Honestly, looking back, it may have taken a little of the fun out of it for me personally, but we still got most if not all of the movies that were suggested on Facebook in there. They just may have been seeded higher or lower than I would have put them.

Method

When trying to find a way to fairly assess movies from different genres, generations, and budgets we thought of a few different ways and settled on reviews. Movies lend themselves to finding a mathematical best to worst because reviewers of movies do tend to quantify themselves one way or another.

Personally, I tend to agree with audience sentiment over professional critics’ feelings about movies. To get both of these groups’ reviews of the movies chosen we used the average score of the IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating, and Metacritic score. There were a few movies that had not been scored by Metacritic. In that case, we took the number of “thumbs up” from Roger Ebert and assigned that score here as a percentage (4 thumbs up being 100%).

We kept the movies for the most part in the order they landed, but did leave some room for personal tastes. Otherwise, what is the point of running these things?! For example, Rudy (full disclosure – my personal favorite sports movie of all time and top 5 movie in general) was the #3 movie by average, but the top 4 Football Region movies were within 2% of each other, so I bumped that bad boy up to the top. Some movies were moved up 3 or 4 spots based on how many people were pushing for them on the Facebook posts looking for suggestions.

There were only two movies that averaged above 90%. Hoop Dreams was the highest rated at 94%. Rocky was the only other movie to earn an “A” with an average of 91%.

In short, we tried to keep it as objective as possible with a little wiggle room for personal taste. The last four movies without seeds are the movies that played in the two play-in rounds to claim the 16 seed in each region. Movies that are struck through lost in the first play-in game. Once again, thank you all so much for voting. Here are the results:


Football

Seed Movie RT IMDB MC / Ebert AVG
2 Brian’s Song 92% 76% 80% 83%
4 North Dallas 40 87% 70% 90% 82%
1 Rudy 80% 75% 88% 81%
3 The Longest Yard (1974) 81% 71% 90% 81%
6 Remember the Titans 78% 78% 75% 77%
5 Friday Night Lights 81% 73% 70% 75%
8 Invincible 71% 71% 63% 68%
7 The Blindside 66% 77% 53% 65%
9 Draft Day 60% 68% 64% 64%
10 The Program 45% 64% 75% 61%
11 We Are Marshall 49% 71% 53% 58%
12 Any Given Sunday 68% 51% 52% 57%
13 Leatherheads 53% 60% 56% 56%
14 Necessary Roughness 60% 31% 75% 55%
15 The Replacements 41% 65% 50% 52%
Varsity Blues 40% 64% 50% 51%
The Longest Yard (2005) 31% 64% 48% 48%
The Waterboy 61% 35% 41% 46%
Little Giants 40% 63% 25% 43%

Basketball

Seed Movie RT IMDB MC / Ebert AVG
1 Hoop Dreams 98% 83% 100% 94%
2 Hoosiers 88% 76% 76% 80%
3 He Got Game 80% 69% 88% 79%
5 Cornbread, Earl, and Me 95% 68% 75% 79%
4 White Men Can’t Jump 76% 67% 88% 77%
6 Love & Basketball 82% 72% 70% 75%
8 The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh 83% 51% 72% 69%
7 Coach Carter 65% 72% 57% 65%
9 Above the Rim 53% 66% 75% 65%
10 Glory Road 55% 72% 58% 62%
11 Blue Chips 37% 61% 75% 58%
15 Air Bud 43% 51% 75% 56%
12 Basketball Diaries 46% 73% 46% 55%
13 Space Jam 37% 63% 59% 53%
14 Teen Wolf 47% 60% 25% 44%
Semi-Pro 21% 58% 47% 42%
6th Man 23% 56% 38% 39%
The Air Up There 21% 55% 38% 38%
Celtic Pride 9% 52% 50% 37%

Baseball

Seed Movie RT IMDB MC / Ebert AVG
1 Bull Durham 97% 71% 93% 87%
5 Moneyball 94% 76% 87% 86%
4 Bang the Drum Slowly 88% 70% 100% 86%
2 The Pride of the Yankees 92% 78% 85% 85%
6 Bad News Bears (1976) 96% 73% 75% 81%
3 Field of Dreams 86% 75% 75% 79%
7 42 79% 75% 75% 76%
8 Fear Strikes Out 82% 70% 75% 76%
10 The Rookie 83% 70% 72% 75%
9 A League of Their Own 77% 72% 67% 72%
12 The Sandlot 58% 78% 75% 70%
13 The Natural 81% 75% 50% 69%
11 Major League 83% 72% 50% 68%
15 Fever Pitch 65% 62% 56% 61%
14 Rookie of the Year 39% 59% 75% 58%
For the Love of the Game 46% 65% 43% 51%
Angels in the Outfield 35% 61% 50% 49%
The Babe 46% 58% 25% 43%
The Benchwarmers 11% 56% 25% 31%

Other Sports

Seed Movie RT IMDB MC / Ebert AVG
1 Rocky 93% 81% 100% 91%
2 Karate Kid 90% 72% 100% 87%
3 Million Dollar Baby 91% 81% 86% 86%
4 Slap Shot 81% 74% 75% 77%
7 Shaolin Soccer 91% 73% 68% 77%
9 Cinderella Man 80% 80% 69% 76%
8 Prefontaine: Without Limits 79% 72% 75% 75%
6 Invictus 76% 74% 74% 75%
5 Caddyshack 76% 74% 75% 75%
11 Cool Runnings 75% 69% 63% 69%
10 Miracle 80% 75% 50% 68%
12 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby 72% 66% 66% 68%
14 Blades of Glory 69% 63% 64% 65%
13 Dodgeball 70% 67% 55% 64%
15 Happy Gilmore 60% 70% 38% 56%
Kingpin 50% 69% 43% 54%
Baseketball 42% 66% 38% 49%
Stick It 31% 64% 53% 49%
The Mighty Ducks 15% 64% 50% 43%
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One thought on “March Movie Madness – How We Ranked Them

  1. Pingback: March Movie Madness – Our Champion – The Clumsy Optimist

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