Ebert: Why I Won't Share My Top 10 Halloween Flicks
The film critic explains why movie lists are awful
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2010 10:32 AM CDT
In this file photo provided by Universal Pictures, Bela Lugosi portrays Count Dracula in the 1931 film 'Dracula.'   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, file)

(Newser) – Lots of critics have dutifully supplied their top-10 lists of horror movies in time for Halloween. Not so Roger Ebert, who instead used the time to compile an essay on why he hates the exercise, at this time of year or any other. "No list of films has the slightest significance, unless it involves box-office receipts," he explains in the Wall Street Journal. OK, maybe one—the once-a-decade effort from British film magazine Sight & Sound.

Beyond that, they're mostly crap, good for vanity, useless arguments, and not much else. (See, for example, how the Internet Movie Database ranks the Shawshank Redemption as the greatest film of all time.) Of course, there's one thing these lists are great at in the Internet age—generating page views. And that brings up "the most insidious subterfuge of Best Lists" in Ebert's view: "How they extract free work from free-lance critics." He invites everyone to tune in next month, when he doesn't compile his list of best-ever Thanksgiving movies.