This Week: What We Learned About Lone Star, The Social Network, and Let Me In

  • Publish Date: October 1, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 17 user comments

10/1 5:50pm: The section on canceled fall series has been updated to reflect ABC's just-announced cancellation of "My Generation"

The Social Network's reviews are off the charts

ImageWhat's on your mind?

By now, you may have figured out that critics like The Social Network 97, director David Fincher's look at the creation of Facebook. While it's common for a few films to attain a Metascore of 90 or higher each year, those films tend to be limited releases -- typically, foreign films or "art house" fare. It is extremely uncommon for a major release to score so highly, especially if it isn't a Pixar creation. In fact, only 17 wide release films have scored 90 or higher since 2000, and only 12 of those movies -- including The Social Network -- are live-action films. Below, you can see all of these highest-scoring wide release films from the past decade.

By the way, of the 12 live action wide releases listed below, only three (including Pan's Labyrinth, a foreign film) failed to earn Best Picture nominations. You can put The Social Network down as one of ten nominees this year. In ink.

Oh, and one more thing: 28 of the 40 professional critic reviews in our database for The Social Network have been assigned a "perfect" 100 score. That is an all-time record in our database for any movie, besting the previous high of 26 perfect reviews shared by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Pan's Labyrinth (though the latter's percentage of "100" scores out of all reviews for the film is 70.3% to Social Network's 70%).

Best-Reviewed Wide Releases (Metascore of 90 or Above), 2000-2010
  Movie (* = Best Picture Nominee) Year Metascore Oscar Noms
1 Pan's Labyrinth 2006 98 6
2 The Social Network 2010 97 ???
3 Ratatouille 2007 96 5
4 Spirited Away 2002 94 1
5 WALL-E 2008 94 6
6 Sideways * 2004 94 5
7 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King * 2003 94 11
8 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon * 2000 93 10
9 There Will Be Blood * 2007 92 8
10 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring * 2001 92 13
11 Toy Story 3 2010 92 ???
12 The Queen * 2006 91 6
13 No Country for Old Men * 2007 91 8
14 The Incredibles 2004 90 4
15 Almost Famous 2000 90 4
16 Gosford Park * 2001 90 7
17 United 93 2006 90 2

Lone Star is a loner

ImageSo much for the long con

It's true: the worst-reviewed new fall show is rarely if ever the first show canceled. (This year, by the way, that "honor" goes to the sitcom -- or $#*!com -- $#*! My Dad Says 27, which is still safely on CBS' schedule.) That said, this year's first cancellation victim is even more of a rarity: a well-reviewed show.

Fox canceled its mostly acclaimed serialized drama Lone Star 73 this week after its second episode performed even more dismally in the ratings than last week's debut, despite the fact that the drama was the second-best-reviewed new show of the season. As you can see from the table below, Lone Star is now the only program with positive reviews to be canceled so quickly over the past six fall seasons. The new season's second cancellation victim, however, will likely sticks to the historical pattern; the shows mostly likely to go next (My Generation 43, The Whole Truth 56, and Outlaw 36) do not have the support of TV critics late Friday afternoon, ABC pulled the plug on the poorly-reviewed My Generation 43 after just two episodes.

Comparison of Early Fall Cancellations, 2005-2010
Year / Order Canceled Show (Network) Metascore  
2010 1st Lone Star (Fox) 73 bar
2nd My Generation (ABC) 43 bar
2009 1st The Beautiful Life (CW) 41 bar
2nd Eastwick (ABC) 50 bar
2008 1st Do Not Disturb (Fox) * 22 bar
2nd Opportunity Knocks (ABC) 55 bar
2007 1st Nashville (Fox) 38 bar
2nd Viva Laughlin (CBS) ** 30 bar
2006 1st Smith (CBS) 60 bar
2nd Runaway (CW) 53 bar
2005 1st Head Cases (Fox) 43 bar
2nd Just Legal (WB) 53 bar

** Do Not Disturb was the second-lowest-scoring fall show in 2008, behind Knight Rider.
** Viva Laughlin was the second-lowest-scoring fall show in 2007, behind Cavemen.

Let Me In has let itself into an elite club: good horror remakes

Image"Did you hear the good news?"

A remake of the acclaimed 2008 Swedish horror film Let the Right One In 82, Matt Reeves' Let Me In 80 is scoring extremely well with critics in this, its opening weekend. Not only is that an infrequent achievement for a horror movie of any kind (just 5 of 19 horror films released this year have green Metascores, indicating positive reviews), but it's especially unheard of for a horror remake. Perhaps starting with quality source material has something to do with it. Below, we look at how other recent horror remakes have fared with reviewers.

Twenty Most Recent Horror Remakes (Newest to Oldest)
Movie Year Metascore  
Let Me In 2010 80 bar
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 35 bar
The Crazies  2010 55 bar
The Wolfman  2010 43 bar
The Stepfather 2009 33 bar
Sorority Row  2009 24 bar
The Last House on the Left 2009 42 bar
Friday the 13th 2009 34 bar
The Uninvited  2009 43 bar
My Bloody Valentine 3-D  2009 51 bar
Mirrors  2008 35 bar
Prom Night 2008 17 bar
Shutter  2008 37 bar
Funny Games  2008 41 bar
The Eye  2008 36 bar
One Missed Call  2008 24 bar
Halloween 2007 47 bar
The Invasion  2007 45 bar
The Hitcher 2007 28 bar
Black Christmas 2006 22 bar

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Comments (17)

  • Link Post: Some say  

    [...] to Metacritic, The Social Network is already one of the highest rated films of the decade. So what? Well, Wikipedia leads us to at least one technological idealist/imperialist that labels [...]

  • Christian  

    I still can't believe Life got canceled.

  • Austin  

    You guys should learn a little bit more about a movie before panning it so much. Zuckerberg had nothing to do with this movie being made. He did not ask for it, does not approve of it, and it paints pretty much every single character in it in a somewhat negative light. Really, the most likeable character in the movie gets shafted. It's a socially awkward computer nerd (kind of) stealing an idea and manipulating his friends on the way to becoming a billionaire. It's a great movie, a great story, and has nothing to do with Zuckerberg's ego or facebook, really.

    Do some homework before you start insulting something, really. It's not like you had to see the movie to even get that idea, pretty much every review says what I said, and the tagline for the movie is something like "You can't more 500 million friends without making some enemies"

  • Justin  

    @ Robby:'s like you only watch local news bits on the worst Facebook has to offer (by the way, all of the negative traits of Facebook that you mentioned exist in real life, between bullying at school, real drug use, people spending hours in their basements ranting at anything they can think of). Yes, people spend way too much time playing Farmville (I admit, I was one of them for awhile) and don't get out and enjoy life. News flash - this is nothing new, and something only the most vile, treasonous, anti-freedom filth would ever suggest banning or having the creators arrested for.

    Yet, I will say that Mark Zuckerburg has perverted Facebook for personal gain. I'm one of the relatively few people that joined Facebook in its first two years. Back then, it was a fun and simple way to connect with other people at your college. At first the expanded features (out-of-network friends, events, etc.) were great. And then Zuckerburg opened it up to high schoolers, businesspeople, and the general public. Expanding the user base made the implementation of applications, privacy-infiltrating advertising, and all the other things that people hate about Facebook necessary to maximize profits. Facebook is still a great way to connect with people (I've found friends from high school that I never would have heard from again if it weren't for Facebook), it's just not as good as it used to be.

    As a note about the actual movie, I don't care if Zuckerburg or Facebook weren't involved at all, it seems like a giant, unnecessary ego boost to someone several years into a massive ego trip. I'm sure it's a great film, though as someone not high-brow enough to think highly of but a handful of films on the list at the top of the page, I doubt I'd care for it.

  • Brandon  

    There are plenty of websites online that people find addictive, many of which are social. This is only news to the decrepit and socially uninformed. So, Robby, for your sake, rest your arthritic fingers: addictiveness being the sole reason for making something illegal is a silly concept, and it isn't the sole reason for the illegality of drugs. @McMuffin: It is true what you say, and I do agree with your point on the movie's capitalization. Joe's conclusion wasn't well thought out, considering that the movies very obnoxiously presented tagline implies that Zuckerburg's way to success wasn't accompanied by unicorns and piano ballads.

    Fantastic movie, by the by.

  • Patrick  

    Wow Robby, I didn't know keeping in touch with friends and family was a drug. lol

  • Thurgood McMuffin  

    I haven't seen the movie, but my understanding is that Zuckerberg and company are not presented in an entirely positive light. That said, the timing may actually be ideal to capitalize on the growing resentment towards Facebook.

  • Joe  

    @Robby: Making a clear argument with proper spelling and grammar goes a long way towards being perceived as something besides a fruitcake.

    For those of us who aren't foaming at the mouth at the idea of a website that allows you to see how fat your high school classmates got and play farmville: I'm surprised at the timing of this movie. In the online community there has been a building resentment towards facebook as a company. What started as something you used to connect with classmates in college has blown up to enormous proportions. Since achieving worldwide success, facebook's lack of concern for your privacy is staggering. They are much more aggressive than other companies regarding selling your information and targeting advertisements. Odd that in the wake of all these questions regarding the ethics of the company, a movie should come out with facebook as the protagonists.

  • Robby  

    I'm sorry, seems like i messed up on a line. ...and who don’t understand how serious young people’s interests in this website is.

  • Robby  

    This makes me even more worred about my kids. How can Zuckerberg be so cherished for creating another loneliness-absorbant of a website? And even have a film created about this obviously inspired feat without even asking for it? The guy's entire fortune comes from sucking the life out of desperate and narrow-minded adults and blowing advertisment at kids with bad self-esteem who don't know better. It's a virtual popularity-contest for divas and people who have given up on a natural life. Facebook is a horrible, horrible drug that traps people's minds in a never-ending circle of false, ugle friendship which exist entirely to make Zuckerberg money. I feel genuinely sorry for all people who actually feel like they need this website to go through the day and who don't understand how serious young people's interests. And i feel even worse for all the kids whom's parents they see sitting infront of that demonic contraption for hours every day instead of playing with them! I am the only one here who understands that these people need help? In a sane, good world, Zuckerberg would be arrested and trialed for creating a new, easily-accessible drug. But because the world that Zuckerberg lives in is based on money, i doubt this will ever happen.

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