ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

So, do you fancy yourself as a bit of a director? Can you make A Clockwork Orange tick, or show the Godfather who's daddy? The clever guys over at Superfi think they have cracked the formula to what makes the best film ever and could score a perfect mark on IMDb. So far, the highest rated film is The Shawshank Redemption with a stellar 9.2/10, but could it ever be beaten? Using the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 films, they have come up with a sure-fire method to make sure your film will be going for gold and not winning any Razzies. Pass the popcorn, here we go!

Money, Money, Money

You don't need to be a big budget blockbuster to pull in the punters. Sure, last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had an impressive $250 million thrown at it, but according to statistics, $72.3 million is the perfect budget. This puts our fictional film at about level with The Lion King. No small amount of change, but still way off Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and its whopping $400 million budget.

It's All A Big Drama

Are you a sucker for a soppy rom-com, or a gore whore? Well, a third of the Top 250 films fall into the drama genre category; this is followed by crime, with 15.6 percent of the stats, and action with 13.6 percent. Just in cast you still aren't convinced, 30 percent of the movies also list drama as their secondary genre and 33 of the Top 250 fall under crime-drama — just look at the top five, four of them are listed as a crime-drama.

Unsuitable For Young Audiences

For those pushing for everything to be rated R, don't be so hasty. Deadpool may have broken records left right and center, but the optimum rating you want a film to be is 15+. This way you can capitalize on those young adult families and still keep those all-important scenes of frequent, bloody drama.

Location Is Key

It is no secret that the USA is the place you want to be setting your crime-drama. New Zealand may be popular with hobbits, but with 44 percent of the IMDb Top 250 being set in America, head on over to the land of hope and glory. If filming taxes are a bit much for you, the UK comes a close second for desirable film settings, and British Airways does some pretty good plane food.

The Clock Is Ticking

The longest film in the Top 250 is an impressive 5 hours, 20 minutes for 2012's Gangs of Wassypur, compared to Buster Keaton's The General, a snip at just 1 hour, 7 minutes. The key runtime for a golden movie is an average 2 hours, 9 minutes — not long enough for Rose to be rescued in Titanic, but long enough for Tony Stark to put on his suit in Iron Man.

The Director's Chair

A great film is only as great as its director, and the IMDb 250 has some pretty big names to choose from. Spielberg? Scorsese? It is in fact Batman's best buddy Christopher Nolan who should be behind the lens. Nolan's The Dark Knight ranks at No. 4 on the list, followed by Inception at No. 14. In an ideal world, it would have been legendary director Alfred Hitchcock as the perfect director, but with Hitchcock long dead, I guess we will have to settle for Nolan.

Let's Hear It For The Boys

You have your director, you have your budget, but who is the shining star to take your film to Harrison Ford realness? It may have taken him a while to grab that coveted golden statue, but Leonardo DiCaprio is that man of the hour for the perfect film. In the Top 250 he leads with six appearances as the main character, followed by Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Clint Eastwood, all with five. Leo needs a buddy though, right? In steps Tom Hardy, billed as a primary supporting actor more times than anyone else. If Tom doesn't float your boat, Robert Duvall and Steve Buscemi are both safe bets, according to the findings.

Girls On Film

Forget JLaw and leave Scarlett Johansson to her race rows — thanks to a rather famous space opera, there is only one woman you should cast as your leading lady. Star Wars's places on IMDb mean that Carrie Fisher is the woman for the job. She's tied with Grace Kelly, but given the former's deceased capacity, Carrie is a one woman show; perhaps it was that golden bikini?

What's In A Name?

A weak title can scupper a film at the first hurdle. Would Back to the Future have been as cool if it had gone by its original title of Spaceman From Pluto? We doubt it. Still, we somehow ended up with the likes of Dude, Where's My Car? and F.A.R.T: The Movie (this really exists). For the IMDb Top 250, the optimum number of words in a title is apparently three. Words like "Star," "Wars" and "Episode" crop up a lot, so removing them, alongside words like "Godfather" still gives you plenty of options.

The chosen title for our film is Time of Day, but personally I think Blood Dollar Sunrise or American Murder Train have more of a ring to them!

So there you have it, the story of forensics expert Max Day, who is forced out of retirement to solve one more case. Teaming up with ex IRA member Tom Knight, the two solve a series of crimes that threaten to destroy their worlds. So, does a modestly budgeted crime drama with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carrie Fisher and Christopher Nolan sound good? Get a wriggle on Hollywood!

What do you think is the perfect film formula? Sound off below!


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