June 15, 2024

FCityPotraits

Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

Movies With Just Numbers For Titles, Ranked by Tomatometer

8 min read

(Photo by New Line Cinema / courtesy Everett Collection)

Studio producer Louis B. Mayer (the B stands for Billion) coined the classic Hollywood adage still followed to this day: “You haven’t made it in this town until you’ve made a movie whose title is just a number.” And when one of the letters in MGM talks, you listen. So ever since, directors, being a superstitious lot, have obliged, validating their careers to greatness.

Steven Spielberg, for example, directed 1941, which had nothing to do with anything in the World War II-set comedy, but was actually a sly reference to the number of times the shark broke down in his previous movie, The Sugarland Express. Inspired by Spielberg, Federico Fellini also took a meta approach to naming his opus 8 1/2, which referred to his wife Giulietta Masina’s shoe size. David Fincher took us around the world in Seven, from the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Temple of Artemis to the jacked Statue of Zeus at Olympia.

Also on this list: The 2009 apocalyptic CG movie 9 and its 2009 reboot starring Daniel Day-Lewis. There’s Thirteen, its sequel Twelve, and its prequel Fourteen, with the trilogy recently released on 4K Ultra HD as The Whole Bloody Affair. 1408 is a boobs and blood-soaked re-creation of the Battle of Bramham Moor, which ended the Percy Rebellion and put the Earl of Northumberland in his place once and for all.

42 is a documentary on Douglas Adams. 5-25-77 (pronounced “fifty-two thousand, five-hundred and seventy-seven”) has something to do with nerds. And Billy Crystal directed 61*. If you turn the DVD case around, you’ll see the asterisk text at the bottom reminding viewers that this film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.

Most recently, Adam Driver starred in 65, which refers to 65,000,000 years ago when dinosaurs could order at restaurants without getting weird looks, but the title was shortened when studio executives got nervous about so many commas on a movie poster.

What fantastic voyages await us in future movies with titles that are just numbers? What number will get the star treatment next? 54? 11,287? 6.3? Current estimations suggest we’ll run out of numbers to use within a decade, but that’s why Pauline Kael invented remakes. —Alex Vo

#1

Adjusted Score: 103612%

Critics Consensus: Inventive, thought-provoking, and funny, 8 1/2 represents the arguable peak of Federico Fellini’s many towering feats of cinema.

Synopsis: Troubled Italian filmmaker Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) struggles with creative stasis as he attempts to get a new movie off… [More]

#2

Adjusted Score: 100167%

Critics Consensus: Fourteen subtly establishes the bond between its main characters — and the way longtime friendships can erode by a matter of nearly invisible degrees.

Synopsis: Two childhood friends weather life together with varying degrees of success…. [More]

#3

Adjusted Score: 101004%

Critics Consensus: 1945 sifts through the aftermath of the Holocaust to offer a sober, well-crafted look at a variety of weighty themes.

Synopsis: A village is forced to face up to its ill-gotten gains from World War II…. [More]

#4

Adjusted Score: 100767%

Critics Consensus: Powerfully directed and acted, ’71 stays true to its fact-based origins while remaining as gripping as any solidly crafted action thriller.

Synopsis: A young British soldier (Jack O’Connell) must find his way back to safety after his unit accidentally abandons him during… [More]

#5

Adjusted Score: 94481%

Critics Consensus: Thanks to director Zak Hilditch’s patient storytelling and strong work from lead Thomas Jane, 1922 ranks among the more satisfying Stephen King adaptations.

Synopsis: A rancher conspires to murder his wife for financial gain and convinces his teenage son to participate…. [More]

#6

Adjusted Score: 115895%

Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting, immersive, and an impressive technical achievement, 1917 captures the trench warfare of World War I with raw, startling immediacy.

Synopsis: During World War I, two British soldiers — Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake — receive seemingly impossible orders…. [More]

#7

Adjusted Score: 90064%

Critics Consensus: Director Wong Kar-Wai has created in 2046 another visually stunning, atmospheric, and melancholy movie about unrequited love and loneliness.

Synopsis: A train in a futuristic landscape takes passengers to a place where they can recapture their memories, a place from… [More]

#8

Adjusted Score: 86849%

Critics Consensus: A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.

Synopsis: When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills… [More]

#9

Adjusted Score: 88224%

Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.

Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball’s notorious color barrier by… [More]

#10

Adjusted Score: 85813%

Critics Consensus: An emotionally wrenching, not to mention terrifying, film about the perils of being a teenager.

Synopsis: Honor student Tracy Freeland (Evan Rachel Wood) has a troubling home life, but she is close to her mother, Melanie… [More]

#11

Adjusted Score: 85379%

Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.

Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena — before he checks into… [More]

#12

Adjusted Score: 79148%

Critics Consensus: Some tonal inconsistency makes 18 1/2 more of a 7/10, but this well-acted period piece mines the Watergate scandal for fresh, insightful dramedy.

Synopsis: A 1970s-era Watergate conspiracy thriller/dark comedy about a woman in the Nixon White House who tries to leak the 18… [More]

#13

Adjusted Score: 78491%

Critics Consensus: Loosely based on 1957’s 12 Angry Men, Nikita Mikhalkov’s superbly acted 12 is clever and gripping like its predecessor, but with a distinctly Russian feel.

Synopsis: Jurors (Sergei Makovetsky, Sergey Garmash, Aleksei Petrenko) from a fragmented Russian society must decide the fate of a Chechen teenager… [More]

#14

Adjusted Score: 101221%

Critics Consensus: With 2040, documentarian Damon Gameau entertainingly surveys possible solutions to the climate change crisis, offering an unusually optimistic way forward.

Synopsis: Concerned about his young daughter’s future, filmmaker Damon Gameau travels the world in search of new approaches and solutions to… [More]

#15

Adjusted Score: 47743%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Young, nerdy and alienated, Pat Johnson starts to make movies in his backyard after watching “2001: A Space Odyssey” in… [More]

#16

Adjusted Score: 34319%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: A photographer loses the images needed for a filmmaker’s (Sivaroj Kongsakul) new movie…. [More]

#17

Adjusted Score: 43512%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: An estimated 200,000 Chinese women were forced into prostitution by the Japanese army during WWII. Only 22 of them remain… [More]

Starring:

#18

Adjusted Score: 53041%

Critics Consensus: An endearing dramedy, Seventeen is filled with honesty and sweetness and is sure to move audience.

Synopsis: A 17-year-old escapes from juvie and embarks on a journey to find his therapy dog…. [More]

#19

Adjusted Score: 75101%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: The nation’s fathers harmonize their way through the founding of America in this musical adapted from a popular Broadway show…. [More]

#20

Adjusted Score: 74305%

Critics Consensus: 1984 doesn’t fully emerge from the shadow of its source material, but still proves a solid, suitably discomfiting adaptation of a classic dystopian tale.

Synopsis: A man loses his identity while living under a repressive regime. In a story based on George Orwell’s classic novel,… [More]

#21

Adjusted Score: 69330%

Critics Consensus: Blake Edwards’ bawdy comedy may not score a perfect 10, but Dudley Moore’s self-deprecating performance makes this midlife crisis persistently funny.

Synopsis: A successful, middle-aged Hollywood songwriter falls hopelessly in love with the woman of his dreams, and even follows the girl… [More]

#22

Adjusted Score: 69909%

Critics Consensus: A simple-minded but visually exciting experience, full of blood, violence, and ready-made movie quotes.

Synopsis: In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Greece. At the… [More]

#23

Adjusted Score: 64744%

Critics Consensus: Although its story is perhaps too familiar and less complex than some might wish, 9 is visually spectacular, and director Shane Acker’s attention to detail succeeds in drawing viewers into the film’s universe.

Synopsis: When 9 (Elijah Wood) springs to life, it finds itself in a post-apocalyptic world where humans no longer exist, and… [More]

#24

Adjusted Score: 58246%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: This expansive period drama follows two childhood friends in northern Italy during the early 20th century. Alfredo Berlinghieri (Robert De… [More]

#25

Adjusted Score: 30689%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: As Londoner Katie (Patsy Kensit) turns 21 years old, she decides it’s time to stop stringing men along and make… [More]

#26

Adjusted Score: 48802%

Critics Consensus: 31 delivers all the high-energy gore Rob Zombie fans have come to expect, but a lack of fresh ideas and likable characters mean only the already converted need apply.

Synopsis: Five carnival workers are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large compound. At the mercy of… [More]

#27

Adjusted Score: 47283%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: A bisexual man (Devid Striesow) has affairs with both members (Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper) of a longtime couple who have… [More]

#28

Adjusted Score: 41336%

Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg’s attempt at screwball comedy collapses under a glut of ideas, confusing an unwieldy scope for a commensurate amount of guffaws.

Synopsis: After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, residents of California descend into a wild panic, afraid that they might be the… [More]

#29

Adjusted Score: 14880%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Two strangers awaken to discover their abdomens have been sewn together, and are further shocked when they learn who’s behind… [More]

#30

Adjusted Score: 16405%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Protests and strange accidents spread panic among the cast and crew of a man’s (Simon Abkarian) play about the Armenian… [More]

#31

Adjusted Score: 48297%

Critics Consensus: Roland Emmerich’s 2012 provides plenty of visual thrills, but lacks a strong enough script to support its massive scope and inflated length.

Synopsis: Earth’s billions of inhabitants are unaware that the planet has an expiration date. With the warnings of an American scientist… [More]

#32

Adjusted Score: 46707%

Critics Consensus: It has a game, great-looking cast, led by the always worthwhile Daniel Day-Lewis, but Rob Marshall’s Nine is chaotic and curiously distant.

Synopsis: Italian film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) grapples with epic crises in his personal and professional lives. At the same… [More]

#33

Adjusted Score: 42167%

Critics Consensus: 21 could have been a fascinating study had it not supplanted the true story on which it is based with mundane melodrama.

Synopsis: Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), a brilliant student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, needs some quick cash to pay his tuition… [More]

#34

Adjusted Score: 40824%

Critics Consensus: Sodden sci-fi that somehow finds a way to bungle Adam Driver fighting dinosaurs, 65 is closer to zero.

Synopsis: After a catastrophic crash on an unknown planet, pilot Mills (Adam Driver) quickly discovers he’s actually stranded on Earth… 65… [More]

#35

Adjusted Score: 11795%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: The film is inspired by a true story set in 1964 in New York, where several neighbors witness the brutal… [More]

#36

Adjusted Score: 17771%

Critics Consensus: Robbed of its integral LGBTQ themes, 54 is a compromised and disjointed glance at the glory days of disco.

Synopsis: In 1970s New York City, Studio 54 is the epicenter of sex, drugs and disco music. It’s there that up-and-comer… [More]

#37

Adjusted Score: 3929%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: A desperate man (Sam Riley) takes part in an underworld game of Russian roulette in which gamblers place bets on… [More]

#38

Adjusted Score: 3218%

Critics Consensus: As pretentious as it is hopelessly clichéd, this Twelve is closer to zero.

Synopsis: A high-school dropout (Chace Crawford) sells drugs to his wealthy former classmates…. [More]

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