Name as many movies as you can that came out in 2014.

How many did you name? A dozen? Six? Thirty? You recognize, of course, that far more movies came out than immediately spring to mind. Like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. That came out last year, but you probably didn't think of it, right?

The point of this exercise: You really have no idea how many movies come out each year. But the Internet, in the form of the Internet Movie Database does: More than 9,000 films made in 2014 are in its index. That's films that showed in theaters, movies that were streamed online, short films and long films. The number of movies from recent years that are in IMDB's database is much higher than for decades past, which is undoubtedly a function of access to creation and distribution tools.


Imagine how hard it must be to narrow those films down to the best of the year, as voters for the Golden Globes and Oscars must do. Even taking a small percentage of them, that's hundreds of films to weigh on relative merits.

And yet! Since 1970, Globes and Oscars voters have agreed on the best picture of the year 195 times. That includes both of the Globes' best picture categories, Drama and Musical/Comedy, mind you, so it's of a possible 640 nominations. But that's a remarkable amount of agreement on which of the thousands of pictures created each year are the best in the country.


The two awards groups agreed that zero-point-zero-six percent of the films released in 2014 deserved the title of "best." Another 0.06 percent got nominations from either the Globes or the Academy. Perhaps those 0.12 percent were objectively the best possible films of the year. Or perhaps the determination of the best picture of the year isn't as comprehensive as the winners might suggest.