IMDB Top 100 March Madness Tournament: Round 1

Movie March Madness

With March Madness being in full swing, I thought it would be an appropriate time to come up with some kind of tournament. After throwing around some ideas in my head, a movie tournament seemed most appropriate. From there, I started thinking about a tournament that truly represents the voice of the average moviegoer. After all, that is the genesis of the IMDB’s Top 250 list. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this list, it is voted on by IMDB users (essentially average people). I don’t know why but I thought it would be great inspiration for a March Madness style tournament.

To that end, I settled on organizing a tournament to see what we feel is the best film in the top 100 of that list. For the next several weeks, we will be going round by round until we end up with one film left standing. Here is how the tournament works:

  1. All 100 films have been randomly placed into the tournament by a random number generator
  2. The first 28 films on the IMDB list earned “first-round byes.” In layman’s terms, this means they won’t have to participate in the first round.
  3. Each round is divided into four sets of match-ups
  4. The tournament is single-elimination style
  5. Our writers have voted for their choice in each match-up. The film with the most votes moves on to the next round. If there is a tie when the round of voting closes, a tie-breaker ensues. This tie-breaker is a second round of voting open 24 hours.
  6. Every writer has one vote per match-up.

Before I show the results for Round 1, here is an overview of the entire tournament. I apologize for my handwriting but this is how it looks on paper:


Without any further ado, here are the match-ups for Round 1 along with the results.

Round 1, Set 1:

Aliens v. Princess Mononoke (first round tie 9-9, Aliens wins tiebreaker 6-4)

Casablanca v. The Kid (Casablanca wins 18-0)

American History X v. Toy Story (Toy Story wins 16-2)

The Prestige v. Taxi Driver (Taxi Drivers wins 14-4)

Apocalypse Now v. Toy Story 3 (first round tie 9-9, Apocalypse Now wins tiebreaker 7-3)

Django Unchained v. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (Django Unchained wins 10-8)

The Green Mile v. Amadeus (Amadeus wins 11-7)

Cinema Paradiso v. M (M wins 11-6)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day v. Full Metal Jacket (Terminator 2: Judgment Day wins 11-7)


Round 1, Set 2:

The Dark Knight Rises v. North by Northwest (North by Northwest wins 13-5)

Spirited Away v. For a Few Dollars More (Spirited Away wins 15-3)

Raiders of the Lost Ark v. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Raiders of the Lost Ark wins 11-7)

The Lion King v. Braveheart (Braveheart wins 15-3)

Whiplash v. Lawrence of Arabia (Lawrence of Arabia wins 12-6)

Grave of the Fireflies v. Once Upon a Time in America (Once Upon a Time in America wins 9-8)

Rear Window v. The Bicycle Thieves (Rear Window wins 10-8)

Alien v. Reservoir Dogs (Alien wins 11-6)

Back to the Future v. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind wins 11-7)

Round 2, Set 1:

American Beauty v. Oldboy (American Beauty wins 9-8)

Interstellar v. Inglorious Basterds (Inglorious Basterds wins 11-7)

City Lights v. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Monty Python and the Holy Grail wins 12-6)

Dr. Strangelove v. A Clockwork Orange (Dr. Strangelove wins 10-8)

Gladiator v. Double Indemnity (Gladiator wins 10-8)

The Shining v. Das Boot (The Shining wins 13-5)

Modern Times v. The Sting (Modern Times wins 9-8)

The Lives of Others v. Witness for the Prosecution (The Lives of Others wins 10-5)

The Pianist v. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens wins 11-7)


Round 2, Set 2:

Wall-E v. Citizen Kane (Citizen Kane wins 12-6)

Saving Private Ryan v. L.A. Confidential (L.A. Confidential wins 10-8)

Psycho v. Snatch (Psycho wins 17-0)

Sunset Boulevard v. Requiem for a Dream (Requiem for a Dream wins 9-8)

Memento v. To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird wins 11-7)

Paths of Glory v. Vertigo (Vertigo wins 15-3)

The Intouchables v. Singin’ in the Rain (Singin’ in the Rain wins 12-4)

The Great Dictator v. Amelie (The Great Dictator wins 10-8)

The Departed v. Deadpool (The Departed wins 12-6)


On behalf of all of us, we hope you enjoy watching the rest of this tournament unfold.  Stay tuned for a post detailing the second round. What film are you hoping to see win it all? Let us know in the comments below.


Matt is a 21 year old film buff and recent graduate from The University of Rhode Island. Growing up in a small town in the smallest state, Matt began developing a taste in film and general geekdom at a young age. After years of watching various DC and Marvel animated television shows as a boy, Matt has become quite the afficinado in the realm of comic books. Towards the end of middle school, Matt began delving into the world of film by watching anything he could get his hands on. Nowadays, his tastes range from classic film noir and the mindbending works of David Cronenberg to the latest trends on the independent scene. Don't worry; he's still one for the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or DC animated adventure. Comics aren't the only source of literature Matt enjoys. He can sometimes be spotted reading the works of Stephen King or even the plays of William Shakespeare. As an aspiring film critic and screenwriter, Matt is always looking for inspiration and new ideas.