If you frequently find yourself cluelessly searching for some good movie to watch, this article is for you.
It will give you a quick overview of two little-known movie recommendation sites, that are easy to use, easy to get started and indeed help you find the movies you’re likely to enjoy.
Tastekid – Quick Movie Recommender
Tastekid gives you a basic search field where you can enter a movie title of your choice and get back a list of similar movies. No need to signup or rate anything, just enter the movie you like and discover similar movies. Quick and easy.
When it comes to movie recommendations it might need some improvements though. I’d say only about half of the movies it returns are actually similar to the one you entered. However it still works great for me.
Its killer feature is the ability to get a quick preview window for any listed movie without leaving the page. Simply point your mouse cursor over the ‘?’ mark next to each title and you’ll get a small pop-up window with short movie description and trailer. Very useful.
MovieLens – Personalized Movie Recommendations
As stated above, MovieLens is a personalized movie recommendation engine. What this means is that your recommendations are tailored to your taste and based on your ratings of other movies.
The obvious advantage of it is that you get better recommendations. The disadvantage is that it takes time to setup and get it working. First of all, you have to signup and rate at least 15 titles before it can recommend any movie to you.
Now, you should also keep in mind that the more you tell Movielens about the movies you love and hate, the better your recommendations become. So just keep on rating as you browse the site.
Once you have rated your first 15 movies, you will be able to access your account area. Below is a screenshot of my account page (click to enlarge).
Although there are plenty of features here, you will rely upon only 3 things.
- 1) Predictions
Based on your movie ratings, MovieLens generates a so called prediction ratings for movies you haven’t seen yet.
The higher predictions are the more likely you will enjoy the movie. Moreover, your search results on Movielens are also sorted based on the prediction ratings.
The Search feature is what you’re probably going to use the most. MovieLens lets you search for recommended movies by genre, year of release, title and more. Now, let’s say you want to find some good crime movie that you haven’t seen earlier. For that, simpy leave the title field blank, select the crime genre, the year of release and click search. Movielens will then get you all the crime movies matching your criteria, sorted based on prediction ratings.
There is also an Advanced Search mode where apart from searching for all the “best movies” within a certain domain, you have an option to exclude certain genres. That is to say, you can see what the “best movies” are that are in the crime category but not in Drama. Sweet.
3) New movies
Another neat feature, is a quick list of newly released movies along with a prediction for each of them. See a sample below (based on your ratings, your list might be different)
That’s about it. There are some other things you can do at Movielens but I don’t think any of them are really unique enough to be mentioned here.
To sum up, I think both websites offer something useful. Tastekid is more suitable for quick lookups and trailer peaks, movielens on the other hand for more personalized recommendations and for discovering great movies you never knew about. We have also reviewed a service called The Filter, though my personal choice stays with the above ones.
What do you think about the above sites? Have you used any of them before? Any other good sites?