Here's a nice compilation of top ten movie lists. Both the "cream of the crop" and the less exclusive collection of critics put "Sideways" first and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" second in the sense of being on the most lists. "Sideways" is also first on both lists in the sense of placing first on the most lists. The "cream of the crop" critics give "Million Dollar Baby" the second most number 1 mentions, and the less exclusive list keeps "Eternal Sunshine" in second place.
What is the movie on the most lists without ever getting a single number 1? It's "Spiderman 2" for the nonexclusive critics, a movie that isn't on the cream's top 20 at all. The cream put "The Incredibles" on the most lists without ever giving it a number 1. A much ballyhooed movie that doesn't even make the cream's top 20 is "Ray."
A few of my own very biased opinions, based on having seen very few of these movies (as noted here):
Most overused formula for trying to manufacture an Oscar-begging, critic-pleasing movie: the biopic.
Most successful way to earn the love of the typical "cream of the crop" critic: show a relatively unattractive man finding a satisfying relationship with a pretty attractive woman (e.g. "Sideways").
Typical scheme for producing the sort of movie that women supposedly want and that they will be able to drag their husband/boyfriend to: show a relatively unattractive man finding a satisfying relationship with a pretty attractive woman.
Alternative scheme for the same: have a sports movie with a strong female character (e.g. "Million Dollar Baby").
Movies that are supposed to be excellent that you'd have to pay me a lot of money to sit through: "Maria Full of Grace," "Vera Drake."
Movie that you might think I'd be interested in that I couldn't care less about: "Before Sunset."
Okay. Enough cranky opinions for now. Have fun at the movies!