The Top 250 list describes Pulp Fiction as a rating of 8.9 yet the IMDb page states a 9.0 rating, and the film should therefore be 3rd.

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This error has been around for a while, and it disheartens me greatly as the site is my go-to place, and this film is by far the best i've seen.
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Scott Green

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Posted 6 years ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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This is not an error.

At the bottom of the page [] it states
The formula for calculating the Top Rated 250 Titles gives a true Bayesian estimate:

weighted rating (WR) = (v ÷ (v+m)) × R + (m ÷ (v+m)) × C


R = average for the movie (mean) = (Rating)
v = number of votes for the movie = (votes)
m = minimum votes required to be listed in the Top 250 (currently 25000)
C = the mean vote across the whole report (currently 7.1)

for the Top 250, only votes from regular voters are considered.

The user votes average on film X is 9.4, so it should appear in your top 250 films listing, yet it doesn't. Why?
As indicated at the IMDb Top 250 Films page, only votes from regular IMDb voters are considered when creating the top 250 out of the full voting database. This explains any difference between the vote averages reported in the top 250 and those on the individual movie pages. This also explains why movies you might think from their averages ought to appear on the list yet do not actually appear there.

To maintain the effectiveness of the top 250 list, we deliberately do not disclose the criteria used for a person to be counted as a regular voter.

Please be aware that the Top 250 list (and the Bottom 100 chart) only include theatrical features: shorts, TV movies, miniseries and documentaries are not included in those charts. Top-rated documentaries are listed in a separate chart.
In other words, the rankings work properly according to the methodology that IMDb describes. However, there are underlying difficulties in ranking films based on a self selected survey.

The IMDb ratings are nothing more and nothing less than the aggregate ratings of people who have accounts on the IMDb. It is probably not representative of the views of the population as a whole nor does it reflect any serious critical assessment of the quality of a film. It is at best a qualitative measure of populist film preferences and at worst entirely misleading.

Consider these inherent shortcomings:

1. The IMDb poll is a self selected survey. Self selected surveys are inherently flawed and statistically unsound.

2. Not everyone provides their ages and gender when registering for an account. No one can say with certainty that people provide correct demographic information.

3. Assuming that people provide accurate demographic information, the underlying population of the IMDb membership is not representative of the general population or may not be representative of the population of the film going population. People with accounts on the IMDb are predominately males between the ages of 18 and 29 who live in the United States.

4. Comparing the ratings of any two films are at best problematic since the populations rating each film may have very little overlap. Since this is a self selection survey sampling methodologies cannot be used to make that comparison.

5. There are significantly more votes for recent and heavily publicized films.

6. Initial ratings for recently released films tend to be much higher reflecting the perspective of the film’s fan base and declines in time. For instance, Avatar had a rating of 9.03, a weighted rating of 8.95 and a rank of 21 on 21 December 2009. It now has a rating of 7.98, a weighted rating of 7.92 and is no longer in the IMDb Top 250.
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Tupac Amaru

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Pulp Fiction is overrated , deserve a rating around 8.0 -.8.3 max. !!!
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And we care what you like or don't like, approve/disapprove of.... Why? Since you're such a post whore? Keep your answers technical and your opinions out of it. IMDB thinks YOU are an excellent facilitator/adviser? Are ya Jeff Bezos boyfriend? I bet ya are!
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@Tupac interesting. Bluesballs removed his comment. Nice to be an employee troll like him isn't it. Good for you.
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@Tupac I agree with you of course. Pity the superior creeps have to comment on everything.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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No one removed my comment. Further, I am not an, no anywhere else. Employees have the word "Employee" under their names. I am just a regular user.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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My favorite film is Fantasia (1940) []. I personally believe, that it should be in the IMDb Top 250. However, many people disagree with my assessment, and therefor it is not. Conversely, I dislike Pulp Fiction, but accept that others have rated it high enough for it rank 4th on the IMDb Top 250.

Whenever someone states that a film is overrated or underrated, I simply interpret this to mean that this person likes the film less or more than the typical user on IMDb. I do not use the terms overrated or underrated for films, because my tastes in films tend to deviate from the norm.

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