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More Reviews Added for Movies

Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:36 PM

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One of the challenges when going to the movies is deciding which movie to see. After all, one look at the "All Movies" page shows 344 movies currently playing in theaters.

How to choose which one to see?

Narrowing down the list by Genre or by MPAA Rating is a good start, but that can still leave you with several movies from which to choose. 

One of the ways that we're trying to help is by providing reviews for each movie, so when you've found a movie that you're interested in, you can find out a little more about it and what others have thought of it. On each movie page, just look for the "Reviews" sidebar item and you will find the Reviews page for that movie. (see the Reviews page for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" as an example)

Example of a Reviews Page for a Movie
Example of a Reviews Page for a Movie

I've added two new items to each Reviews page:

  • Link to Metacritic.com
  • Link to Parental Guide Information on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

Metacritic.com is an interesting service that aggregates the reviews from dozens of sources, including newspapers such as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, magazines like Time, Rolling Stone, and Variety, and respected web sites (including our own Featured Movie Critic, James Berardinelli), and compiles those reviews into a 0-100 scale and averages them out for each movie.

For example, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is currently at a good 71 vs. a poor 26 for "Captivity." This number can give you a good idea of the general opinions among professional critics. They balance this out with a user rating feature as well, so you have professional and non-professional opinions to help you decide (these movies currently have 7.1 and 4.4 out of 10 ratings). Given the fact that the former brought in $77 million and the latter brought in a whopping $1.4 million this past weekend (just behind "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," which has been out for 8 weeks), it would seem audiences in general agree.

The Internet Movie Database is a great resource for everything related to movies. They recently released a new feature that allows registered IMDb users to add information pertaining to the content of each movie, broken down in the following categories:

  • Sex and Nudity
  • Violence and Gore
  • Profanity
  • Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes

The number of movies with this information is a little low right now, but after looking through some of the major releases of this summer, I felt that the feature has potential and was worth providing a link to it.

The two additions join the resources we were already linking to on the Reviews page. The Reader Reviews feature is a great way for BigScreen readers to share their opinions of movies, and our Featured Movie Critic has always been a popular resource for our readers. In March of 2006, we had added family-oriented reviews by Screen It! and Plugged In Online, so the IMDb Parental Guide link will provide families an additional source of content-related information about movies.

I hope these additions will help you determine which movies to see more easily and give you a better idea of which movies are appropriate for your family to see! 

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