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Show HN: Most mentioned movies on HN (hnstore.co)
114 points by raimonds 1732 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 89 comments

Opinions on some of the movies from the list I've seen:

Idiocracy – Basically an ordinary comedy, with an above average plot, but overall nothing that special or interesting. Overrated.

Fight Club – One of my favourite movies, perhaps in my top 10. Really loved it.

The Game – Another great movie from David Fincher, I love the mysterious atmosphere of his movies.

The Man From Earth. – Huge disappointment, I never understood why people like this movie. It's basically one guy telling a predictable and boring story. One of the most overrated movies ever. (I mean overrated in subjective sense obviously.)

Traffic – One of the best movies about drugs and organized crime.

Inception – Above average but overrated, logically inconsistent, nothing really special about this movie. The Cell is another movie where people enter someone else's dreams and even though it has only 6.2 on IMDB, I think I enjoyed it more. The depictions of the dreams were definitely more creative and looked more dreamy.

Of the top of my head I would recommend these:

* Something from David Lynch – Lost Highway, Blue Velvet or Mullholland Drive.

* Requiem for Dream

* Evil (2003)

* Sin City

* Crank – not very known, but wow, this is the best action movie ever.

* Elite squad – another great action movie, very realistic, borderline documentary.

    Idiocracy – Basically an ordinary comedy, with an above average plot, but 
    overall nothing special or interesting. Overrated.
Agreed. I found it surprising when some relatives started overusing the jokes contained on the movie, as if they were part of the idiotic society portrayed on it.

Maybe the movie is a joke about itself, but I am afraid that's not the case.

Do you have any comments on Mullholland Drive? Perhaps I'm showing off my shallowness here, but that movie just seemed to be mostly random scenes, under the guise of being deep.

I need to watch Lynch movies a couple of times to understand them. The first round goes with just an excitement about the themes, the atmosphere, the music. On the second round I got more pieces together and the movie finally hits me on the third watch.

Good examples are Mulholland Drive, a movie about dreams and reality. And Lost Highway, a movie about denial and jealousy.


Basically, the first part of the movie is Betty's dream and the second part is harsh reallity. After watching it, I was as confused as you but still was amazed by the movie. What I like about Lynch's movies is the "trippy" experience.

I think one core problem with Mulholland is that it was supposed to be a tv series. After some time of filming, they realized that wasn't going to happen (not sure why), so they had to wrap it up to make a movie instead. ddg for more details.

Completely agree, take a random topic generator for the plot, add some fear to death and other therapy topics, mix it all with some randomly annoying music, edit cutting randmly at the story and you have and instant clasic!!. You will have all those in need of mental Jigsaws chearing you as a gennious. Blogbuster movies are unable to create any mental challenge, so "art" directors just overcompensate for those who need them. For me art cinema ends being as annoying as comercial movies, just at the other end of the spectrum. There are always exceptions at both ends though.

> * Crank – not very known, but wow, this is the best action movie ever.

Just seconding this, in case it is not known. As action, Crank is perfect in every way. It's a shame Crank 2 went off the rails the way it did...

Nice to see that others appreciate Crank as well! I always wondered why it was so underrated.

I hoped Crank 2 would be as good, but the craziness was over the top.

Yeah, they seem to have thought what was called for was "Crank, but more so" when what they really needed to hit was "Crank, and exactly the same amount." I wasn't too disappointed though, since the original stands so well on it's own.

In regards to Elite Squad, I suggest the complementary (actually the other way around) City of God http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317248/

Lost Highway is an adventure. I highly recommend everyone take it at least once in their lives. It's like a modern hajj.

I've seen most of them, here some recommendations of my own:

* Revolver (2005)

* Enter the void (2009)

* The fountain (2006)

* Jacob's ladder (1990)

* Lost highway (1997)

* Love and sex (2000)

* RocknRolla (2008)

* The road (2009)

* The shining (1980)

> Inception – Above average but overrated, logically inconsistent, nothing really special about this movie.

What did you find logically inconsistent, out of curiosity?

I liked Inception, but it's nowhere near my top 10. It's more interesting to me if you ignore the actual content and look at it purely in terms of story formation: the deliberateness with which Nolan loops well... everything, from themes to sounds to places and so on is interesting to me.

It's certainly not the mindfuck that people keep claiming it is. I'm actually a little bothered by how many people have trouble wrapping their heads around it... almost as much as I'm bothered by how much people prefer the first Matrix to the latter two.

For example it doesn't make sense to use spinning top as a dream vs reality test. In my dreams spinning tops fall all the time.

Other plot holes I've recently seen on Quora:


It makes about as much sense as having a magic device that induces dream-sharing. :P

a. We seem to have pretty bad (or at least predictable) taste in movies.

b. The list is missing the two most important movies to HN: The Shawshank Redemption, which is about how you're never going to close funding until you give up on ever closing funding, and Ghostbusters, the greatest startup movie of all time.

Interesting that you seem to associate bad with predictable for movie taste.

Uninteresting or mediocre might be more appropriate. I love finding new media through hearing about other peoples suggestions, hearing the tenth or twentieth recommendation of Pi, Fight Club or Requiem for a Dream is just totally boring and not useful. Is an exercise in un-surprise.

Parent is not talking about the quality of the recommendations, but the taste of the people who like those movies.

If I recommend you Fight Club, the recommendation would be of poor quality because everybody has seen/likes this particular movie already, but does that have to mean the movie itself is bad too, just because it is "common" ?

It's of course hard to suggest lesser known movies without knowing what someone likes. For tech movies there's cyberpunk review:

http://www.cyberpunkreview.com/cyberpunk-movies-by-decade/ http://www.cyberpunkreview.com/hacker-movies/ (also in the comments)

Top X lists of anything tend to be a bit odd. John Peel used to say that the songs in 51 to 100 were better than the Festive Fifty.


(I'm a bit surprised by the comments about affiliate links. Affiliate links are much more preferable to me than ad-heavy pages.)

Yeah, "most popular" is usually a really bad metric. Often the top listed are items that nobody dislikes, but also nobody really loves. If you surveyed the most popular food in San Francisco, you would probably just get "salad" instead of hearing about the Jewish-style fried artichoke dish at Locanda on Valencia.

It needs a different dataset, but I'd be more interested in developing a metric of how much people disagree on a movie (or any non-average). With the same food metaphor-- the flavor of a dish is not always supposed to be sugary pleasant, but it's supposed to make you feel something and surprise your palette. I actually think this method of evaluation is what sets apart the great critics of any art. They focus on experience rather than simple emotion.

> but I'd be more interested in developing a metric of how much people disagree on a movie

That's actually a really interesting idea. Some of my favorite movies do not have universal appeal, in fact, they fall under that polarising category. An example of this is There Will be Blood. To me, it is quite possibly the most interesting piece of film I've ever seen. But it exists as one of those love or hate movies. Just about everyone I know found the movie insufferable, while I've happily watched it at least 10- 15 times. A way of of sorting that favored love it or hate it movies could probably yield some really interesting results.

I'm Jewish, and what's our style for fried artichoke ;-)?

HN is not a movie community so it seems rather pointless anyways (cue "HN is always negative comments"). Seems like a cheap way to grab amazon affiliate money and I find that unethical.

That's funny, because a few weeks ago somebody did the same exact thing but with books and no affiliate links. All the comments were about how he should add affiliate links, and that HN appreciates projects which make money.

I think you mean this discussion https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5485653. It's about the same project actually. It didn't have affiliated links then.

Full disclosure: I'm the author.

That's brilliant. :D Perfect example of HN's contrarian nature. Looks like the commenters will never be happy, so keep the affiliate links and hopefully get a beer out of it at minimum.

HN is a broad community. If you use some kind of average or "what is the top most voted post" as your "what is HN's verdict" you will get different results every time.

It would be boring and a giant circle-jerk if every member had the same opinion. What would we discuss then?

I have no problem with him making money for posting something. I wish everyone on here was able to capitalize in some way for their work.

it's unethical that the OP is financially rewarded for building something?

Considering the affiliate links offer the exact same user experience as if they didn't use affiliate links, I find you comment perplexing.

To me the dividing line is more a question of motivation. Some things with affiliate links are written because the person genuinely wants to say something about the subject, and then adds in affiliate links to get a little money without (as you note) diminishing the user experience at all. But other things are written solely as scaffolding for the affiliate links, content-farm style. The latter I think generally add noise, while the former are unobjectionable. It's not always clear which is which, though it's clearer at the extremes.

Sorry if it feels like that. Main link goes straight to IMDB, it's non-affiliated. I show general opt-out link in the sidebar. Other pages have both affiliated and non-affiliated links in the lists of items.

What are your favourite movies BTW (regardless whether they are about startups)?

A few of my personal favorites:

Joint Security Area and Old Boy - two movies of totally different style from brilliant Korean director Park Chan-wook

A Separation - an excellent Iranian family drama, great actors, a surprising script, my personal favorite from the last few years

Reservoir Dogs - and almost all Tarantino movies

Gran Torino - Clint's beautiful farewell

The Celebration - Dark comedy/drama, the highpoint of Danish Dogme 95 movement for me

If you liked The Celebration you should check out The Hunt, by the same director.

Thanks for the tip!

In no particular order: Shawshank, Goodfellas, Raiders, The Professional, Out Of Sight, Raising Arizona, Glengarry Glen Ross, Rushmore. Oh, and, obviously, Ghostbusters.

I wish I could say something like Aguirre, or Tokyo Story, but that's the honest list.

Hmm, this doesn't seem very accurate... Tron has 360 mentions:


Some of them are split between "Tron" and "Tron: Legacy" so parsing this correctly isn't totally easy.

And don't you think "Star Wars" would have been talked about here at least once?

Agree. This is just an index of links to IMDB from stories and comments. I couldn't come up with anything better/more accurate.

Ah, that explains it. I couldn't believe Star Wars wasn't on the list. But nobody needs to link to Star Wars. It seems this only works for the middle tier of movie mentions. Anything that's really common currency will be missed.

I agree, though I can't think of a good way to fix it due to ambiguity in film names that aren't explicitly marked with "this is a film name".

With relatively unique names like Star Wars you could match the names as text strings. But that would lead to over-counting films like "Brazil" whose names are also names of other things.

But will it really be missed? Who needs a list of the most common movies, we already know of them. I also know most of the movies on this middle tier list, but there are still a couple that I hadn’t heard of (and am looking into now). For HN users, I think the chosen method is a lot more useful.

Spot on. I was scratching my head on this.

That makes sense. I found the page interesting, but noticed that the 'Inception' counts were lower than expected. There was at least one or two entire front page threads dedicated to visualizations detailing the movie's dream levels.

Nice work!

I think that actually makes for a better list in this case, filters out all the things everyone has seen and leaves the ones that people might have missed (I'm certainly going to be trying to hunt a few of these down, thanks!)

Glad you liked it!

It was funny to see the movie "Riot On!" on the list about the first start up I worked for. Here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQwoLYcbVmg

I ended up watching that movie on Netflix after reading some article about the Alec Baldwin speech popped up here on HN. Fantastic movie and fantastic cast. Highly recommended.

Put, that coffee, down. Coffee is for closers.

ABC, always be coding.

No hackers the movie? No zerocool? No emmanuel goldstein on his rollerblades in that terribad NYC nightclub (which sort of actually did exist).

It gets made fun of a lot, but personally I believe Hackers had the most realistic depiction of what hacking is like to hackers of any movie. Definitely one of my favorites.

That's actually a good insight! It is like that sometimes, just with worse editing :p Here's an example of some guys hanging out and hacking a fun project over a couple days. The first video is the introduction, then in the second video they head to a club to talk things out (and drink :) and the third video is wrapping up the hacking session and a discussion of why their little project is crap haha. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccxoig5yAKU&list=SP436FFA... With better editing and soundtrack, a montage of this could be right out of that movie...

I was around and active at that time, reading T-Filez, phrack and using those giant phreaker and hacker chatrooms. I did go to a club in NYC that was very similar to the one in the movie which were freq by Patrick K Kroupa and Corrupt, plus other hackers before they threw me out for being underage.

I seem to remember in the film the two guys Razor and Blade who had that pirate broadcast 'Hack the planet' actually existed as well.

It was definitely lol'd at but was the only film I can remember that showed how overzealous and paranoid the feds were cracking down on kids just looking for information.

A friend of mine was arrested then for owning the cellular hackers bible which was considered forbidden knowledge. Crazy how far we've come now, you now longer have to go through an elaborate scam to social engineer a telecom employee just to get some basic information on how a POTS works.

Most people I know who were active in that "scene" from that era (even those who think Eric Corley is an annoying hot-air bag) love "Hackers", mostly because of how ridiculous it is.

But I mean, c'mon, you've got Penn Jillette there, one of the best soundtracks of any movie out of the mid-90s there, Angelina Jolie's boobs there, what's not to like?

Oh man, I'd never put it together that that's Penn. Something else to love about that movie :)

how was this list compiled? by scanning for mentions of words like "primer", "surrogate", and "brazil"? or just by looking for links to movie pages on IMDB or amazon? because i imagine the first method would have a lot of false positives.

> the first method would have a lot of false positives

Exactly. So this is just an index of links to movie pages on IMDB.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088258 needs another mention..

I don't know what to make of this list. As mentioned in the title these movies are "mentions", and necessary doesn't mean that they are recommendations. Having said that if the movies aren't recommendation ( like say, what movie an entrepreneur must watch? ), does the mere mention of the movie means either author of comment is influenced by the movie, to use it as a metaphor for something he is saying or trying to say. In effect, Is a movie name being dropped in conversation by a HNer the movie might be more likable by you ?

OP here. Good points! The idea is that if something comes up in discussions often then it's part of our collective memory. Studying and drawing inspiration from it seems valuable and interesting.

I've seen it mentioned a few times on HN, and would highly recommend 'Code Rush' which is missing from this list; it's a great documentary which covers Netscape (and more broadly the general bay area culture) around the time that Microsoft came to dominate with Internet Explorer, and Mozilla was being prepared for release as an open source project.

I'm somewhat bemused that The Social Network isn't on there somehow, despite the movie's misgivings.

No Sneakers? Hm.

Cool idea. I always use HN as a starting point for tech purchase. For example, I'm looking for a NAS and the first thing I'm going to do is search HN to see what other people are using. I would totally use this if you expanded to other areas.

Thanks for your feedback and kind words! There's Stuff [1] page there for all the different things HNers link to. But as I'm only indexing links there's not that much data to draw reliable conclusions from. :(

[1] http://www.hnstore.co/stuff.html

I'm disappointed that Hackers isn't on there.

You should add open source software tools, os's, or like someone said hardware (NAS, routers, servers, chips, etc.) that are mentioned too. On top of all these movies that are mentioned here. Great work.

Very good idea! I like it!

Hi everyone, if you like, you can checkout the social graph among the characters of some movies at our page http://moviegalaxies.com . Enjoy :)

Cool project! Love it!

It expected Primer to be in there, but it wasn't.


Isn't it the eleventh?

Hah! Indeed it is, I mis-spelled it while searching. Thank you.

I'd be interested to see an anime category (it's pretty much all I watch nowadays :/)

True story: One of the entrepreneurs from Startup.com was my summer camp counselor.

I hope it wasn't the CTO guy.

Does the HN community not talk about Pulp Fiction? This app must be buggy.

Sorry about that. This is just an index of links to IMDB pages. Link to Pulp Fiction page was mentioned 2 times but both times more than 1 year ago. I do not show such entries to make TOP items a little bit more varied and current.

Hey OP: I'd like to know if these are also streaming on Netflix :)

Wow, thanks for the idea! Didn't think of it as Netflix is not available in my country.

Hey raimonds, great work. Nice clean use of bootstrap, too.

Many thanks for your kind words! I'm afraid it's too clean as it's almost vanilla Bootstrap. :)

> The Game

I just lost it :(

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