Hollywood churns out so many movies that it is very difficult to keep up with all the new releases. And it’s not just Hollywood – there are also all the older ones you’ve missed, the British-made movies, the Bollywood movies, the independent movies, and the foreign movies with subtitles. The list goes on and on. For a movie lover, it’s pure bliss, but how can you possibly decide what to watch next?
As usual, the Internet — and by extension MakeUseOf — is here to save the day, helping you salvage the debacle which Movie Night is threatening to become. Are you all squabbling over what the main feature film should be? Are the majority saying they will only watch indie flicks the day Hell freezes over and pigs fly overhead? Then let us help. Curtains please!
We first turn to the undisputed heavyweight champion of the movie world, The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). This is a veritable goldmine, with information such as plot descriptions (which always helps), cast lists, details of movie soundtracks, quotes, and trailers.
IMDb also has a “What To Watch” section which contains movie reviews of a sort, with different presenters interviewing actors and directors. Some of this multimedia content may be restricted depending on your geographical location, but using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will circumvent that small obstacle.
IMDb relies heavily on user reviews to help you decide whether a movie is good or bad. Anyone involved in a movie or TV show, regardless of what role they played, can apply for an IMDb page to showcase their work.
Rotten Tomatoes introduces us to the Tomatometer, an indicator of what the professional critics think. The score given by the Tomatometer is calculated based on the number of professional reviews, both positive and negative. Anything above 60% is supposed to be good. Anything below 60% is bad. User reviews are also taken into account separately, but not as much as on IMDb.
But why tomatoes? According to the site:
Back in the days of the open theaters, when a play was particularly atrocious, the audience expressed their dissatisfaction by not only booing and hissing at the stage, but throwing whatever was at hand – vegetables and fruits included.
Now, it’s the online version of a tomato which you can use to express your opinion of a movie. It’s just a shame that’s clearly not as satisfying as throwing the real thing.
Leanflix is a site on which you can filter potential movies to watch via specific requirements. As you move the set of sliders across, the right-hand side of the screen automatically updates itself with suggestions on what to watch.
These filters are 1) the genre of movie (thriller, mystery, etc), 2) the year the movie came out (good if you either like really old movies, or only new blockbusters), 3) the Leanflix score, 4) the Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics score, 5) the Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score, 6) the IMDB ratings, and 7) the age ratings by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). Using all of these filters, you should definitely be able to find a movie worth watching.
Jinni’s magic box of movie wonders is called the “Entertainment Genome,” which offers search, recommendations, and something called your “Entertainment Personality”. The Entertainment Genome catalogs movies based on several areas; experience (the mood and tone of the content), plot elements, structures, flags (violence, nudity), and more.
The movies are first tagged by actual people, before advanced algorithms take over and smart-tag each movie based on elements such as critical reviews, user reviews, and metadata.
Jinni makes recommendations by comparing your Entertainment Personality and all of the titles in the catalog, figuring in your various preferences and filters.
Movli operates along the same principle as Leanflix. Apply the sliders on the left to the levels that you want, and as you do so, movie suggestions appear on the right. However, unlike Leanflix, you can also search under different categories if the actual titles don’t float your boat.
For example, you can look under “Stars”, and filter actors, actresses, directors, producers, and writers by their ages, and bizarrely enough, their star signs. Yes, that’s right, you can now look for your ideal, 30-something Aries.
Also, weirdly enough, you can search for site users by gender, location, and age. Either Movli is running an online dating service on the side, or it’s a movie site by day and the favorite haunt of stalkers by night. If you want to find me, I am a 25-year-old male and my star sign is Pyrex… I’m a test-tube baby. Badum-tish!
TasteKid has a pretty basic premise to it. First you type in the name of a movie you have previously seen and liked, in the “Recommend” box. That then gives you a bunch of tiles containing movie titles the site thinks you will like, based on the movie title you originally entered.
Clicking on a title will expand the box, showing a short synopsis, the trailer (if available), and a link to its Wikipedia page. You will also see the movie ranked by users under the categories “Like,” “Dislike,” “Save,” and “Meh”.
There’s nothing more to say about this one, except that TasteKid also applies this process to areas other than movies. So this is a site you should definitely try the next time you are stuck deciding what to watch on Netflix.
Suggest Me Movie offers suggestions on the next movie you should watch with a set of simple filters on the right-hand side of the page. These filters include the year, genre, IMDb score, number of votes, and keywords (e.g. the name of an actor).
Weirdly enough, you can’t specify an IMDb score under 6/10, which kind of rules out all of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Shame. I’m obviously just kidding around with the Austrian Oak. I love the Terminator movies. It’s just Twins and that weird one in which he gives birth that I personally can’t stand.
When you click on “Suggest Movie”, you will then get a suggestion, along with the movie trailer and a synopsis. Refreshing the page gives you another suggestion (it remembers your filters until you clear them). Testing it out mysefl, I got some pretty good suggestions to further bloat my already full Netflix queue.
How Do You Pick Which Movie to Watch?
There are many more websites online that can be used to find the perfect movie to watch right now, but these are the ones that we suggest you turn to first. Obviously you may disagree with our choices, which is what the comments section is for.
Tell us below what movie suggestion sites you use on a regular basis, and why they are better than the ones we lovingly hand-picked for you, you ungrateful person! Alternatively, tell us how these sites helped you pick the perfect movie to watch right now.
Image Credits: couple watching television via Shutterstock