Pssst, want to check out Moonfleet in our new look?
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I wouldn't say it's mediocre. The production values are very high, and the direction and mise-en-scene (acknowledging the slight vagueness of the term) are very impressive. It's a good film, one elevated by the extraordinary talents of its director and other collaborators - but you're right that it's a very strange inclusion on the Cahiers list.
It's on TSPDT top-1000 which is even stranger.
Though I suppose this helps make sense of it: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2008/cteq/moonfleet/
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!
In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #32 in Cahiers du cinéma 100
This movie ranks #387 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films
This movie ranks #488 in Cahiers du cinéma - Yearly top 10s
This movie ranks #561 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #764 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?