Washington: A new study has recently revealed that automated method beats critics, wisdom of crowds, the numbers of awards won and the amount of box office sales, among others in picking great movies, especially in movies 25 years old or older.
According to a new Northwestern University study, the best predictor of a movie's significance was how often a movie was referenced by other movies. In other words, a movie's significance was decided by today's and tomorrow's film directors, not the critics.
Luis Amaral co-director the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems, said that movie critics could be overconfident in spotting important works, and they have bias but the automated method was as objective as it gets.
The research team conducted a big data study of 15,425 U.S.-produced films listed in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Specifically, they looked to see how well an approach predicted a movie's inclusion in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress, which is akin to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
In their analysis, the researchers found the number of times a movie 25 years or older was referenced by other movies best predicts inclusion in this registry of American films deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
Films with the most long-gap citations that also are in the National Film Registry are "The Wizard of Oz," "Star Wars," "Psycho," "Casablanca" and "Gone with the Wind."
Also important, the researchers mentioned, was that the automated method could easily be applied to older films for which no other rating might be available.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).