In 2005, TIME launched the first of a series of comprehensive culture lists: The 100 Greatest Movies of All-TIME. Compiled by Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel, it named the best films—in our legendary critics’ very subjective opinions—made since the magazine was founded in 1923. In the years since, our critics and writers have done the same for fiction, nonfiction, albums and television shows, sifting through the cultural history of more than eight decades to distill what we think is worthwhile, lasting, transcendent.
Why do we do it? As TIME’s TV critic James Poniewozik wrote in 2007 to preface his selection, “Lists are incredibly important: they are how we define what matters to us, what we want entertainment and art to do, what we expect of our culture.” A great list can turn us on to things we’ve never heard of and remind us of things we’ve long loved, make us nod our head in agreement or start arguing about all the things that didn’t make the cut. It’s a tool for both entertainment and discovery.
Today, we are launching a free iPad app called TIME Populist. On it, you can access more than 100 of the movie, book, television, music, and video game lists that TIME has compiled over the years, big and small. Looking for the best movie car-chase scenes ever? We’ve got it. Interested in the worst TV spin-offs? We’ve got it. Want to know what the Top 10 novels of the 2000s were? We’ve got that too. (One of them was a Harry Potter book.)
You can download it—rather you should download it—here.
We’ve designed TIME Populist especially for tablets. You can swipe through lists, look at iconic movie stills and album covers, add TV shows to your Netflix queues, buy stuff on iTunes, watch original movie trailers from YouTube, buy books on Amazon and create your own lists of things to watch, listen to or read and share them with friends over email, Facebook or Twitter. The only thing you can’t do with this app is actually make a movie or write a book. Yet. (Just kidding—you should find another app for that.)
TIME Populist is easy to use. Along the top of the opening page, you’ll see the last five lists that we’ve published on Time.com. More will be added every week. On the bottom left is a box that you can customize based on which categories you prefer. On the bottom right, you’ll be able to access stories from TIME Entertainment, our online culture hub, without ever having to leave the app. Most important, though, is the rail on the left side of the app, where you’ll see the five main categories we cover: movies, books, music, TV and video games. Under each you can browse genre-specific best-of and worst-of lists. Tapping any individual item will present you with our write-up for why it belongs there, as well as many other options for interacting with it. The idea is that you custom-fit Populist to reflect your tastes and opinions. You become a list-maker too.
As pop culture obsessives, we’ve loved putting TIME Populist together. We hope you’ll love playing around with it just as much. Please let us know what you think. Enjoy