About the AFI Challenge

The AFI Challenge has two separate components to it. The first component is that it is a challenge to myself, a self-proclaimed “movie-nerd,” to watch the top 100 greatest American films in history, as selected by the American Film Institute (AFI). A fairly daunting task in its own right.

That being said, I know I am not the first person to make this challenge to myself (or even the first person to blog about it), nor do I expect to be the last. However, it is the second component of the challenge that makes this a bit more interesting (at least I hope so); I am not just challenging myself, but the AFI as well. I will now be posting weekly reviews of each film from the list that I watch, and determine whether or not I believe it deserves a spot on the list. Basically, I am challenging the AFI’s claim that it has accurately chosen the best and most culturally significant films in American history. The basics of the challenge are:

  • Over the course of the next two years, I will post weekly reviews of movies from the AFI Top 100 list, ultimately deeming whether or not they actually should be included. I will rate these movies based on one of three rankings:
    1. Classic: Without a doubt earns its spot on the list
    2. Pretty Great: Deserves a spot, but should be placed lower on the list than it currently is (you won’t see many films with this ranking until we start getting into the #70’s or so)
    3. Get Outta’ Here: Does not deserve a spot on the list, and may not even be that good of a film in general
  • Reviews will be posted every Monday of the week, starting August 4th, 2014 (three weeks prior to my move-in date for college!). I aim to post my final review on Monday August 1st, 2016. This is a two year long endeavor I’m about to start, which may not be a big deal to you, but to a college freshmen with procrastination problems like me, it’ll be quite the accomplishment.
  • All you great mathematicians out there have probably noticed that there are 104 Mondays from 2014 to 2016, but only 100 movies on the list. Good job! Because of this minor inconvenience, I will choose four weeks within that span that I will not post a review on. Each time I plan to skip a week, I will let you know a week in advance via the previous review.
  • I will be going through the list sequentially, starting at #100 with Ben-Hur and ending finally with Citizen Kane at #1.
  • I have currently seen 24 of the movies on the list, but you’ll have to wait until I reach those reviews to know which 24 I have seen (how fun!)
  • At the end of each review, after I’ve decided whether or not I think it is worthy to be on the list, there will be a poll for you guys to say whether or not you agree with me. I love movies, and think I have pretty good film taste, but I’m sure disagreement will arise. I’ll be looking forward to seeing other people’s opinions on these (supposedly) classic films.

I hope you enjoy reading my opinions on these movies, and I can’t wait to hear whether or not you agree with me. Happy watching!


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