Updated: Jun 26
By James Reid, Correspondent for Film and Television
An example of Metacritic's interface. The film ended up dropping down below 60
A lot of people in lock-down, quarantine, shutdown, or maybe just unemployment, have been enjoying cinema in a way they never would have before these times. Imagine scrolling through HBO max and stumbling upon Breathless by Jean Luc Goddard. You put it on and find yourself enthralled by the film-making and beauty of French New Wave. But now you’re lost. You don’t know where to go from there. I would like to suggest downloading or using these apps or websites to push your growing love of cinema even deeper. Every website or application listed here has helped me become the walking encyclopedia of knowledge seen in my writing, as well as pushed me to become even more educated.
Let’s start off easy with an aggregate of critical reviews, Rotten Tomatoes. The scores that some of the movies end up earning might not match your personal taste. Still, being able to dive deep into the insights of some of the more polished critics and compare that with the more mainstream writings of actual film bloggers is a fascinating concept. You can create your own account, rate movies on a scale of .5 to 5 out of 5 and even review some movies. It is the most basic place to start.
This stands for Internet Movie Database. You can also rate and review movies on here but it must be noted that they actually have to approve what you are writing. IMDB is the largest database for anything relating to Hollywood or celebrities and ranks everything from user scores on their IMDB Top 250 to star-meters if you just like seeing the hottest name in the industry might be. There is a caveat to this website. People like to review bomb movies that might be too progressive as those kinds of movies are nothing more than pandering to them.
This is yet another film aggregator only instead of looking at a percentage of positive and negatives it takes scores out of 100 like school and gives it an average. For example, Godfather has a 100/100 while Batman & Robin has a 28 out of a 100. It is a fun little site that is more reputable in the reviewers they use but also limited in the voices you can read. They also allow you to review and rate on your own. It must be noted that the issues with false ratings that I mentioned with IMDB are even worse here. Last of US Part 2 has a 95 from critics but only a 4.1 with users. It is clearly a review bombing. Review bombing is important to mention because it creates a false allusion that critics enjoy being pretentious when some people are just easily angry and disappointed.
This is a very informal and low traffic website. Still I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. The way this website works is that it takes the scores you give to 10 movies out of 100 and builds an algorithm to try and guess what you might give something else. I rated 13 movies personally and the suggested score for City Lights, my favorite film of all time, was 99/100 which is one of the 100 I would have actually given it. It’s a fun little time killer of a website and if successful is an amazing concept.
This is the big gun, the social media film app. The one most people who are online cinephiles use to interact with each other. You can start by logging a diary of when you watch new films and with a pro membership can even see where your viewing numbers stand in terms of different directors, actors and countries. You can also see data of your per year viewing numbers, highest rated decades and average rating per year. On top of that you can rate and review films and share with others. It is a fun website
As mentioned before all of these websites are meant to help the next wave of film buffs find a voice for themselves.