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A guide to IMDb

Submitted by Druss on Fri, 2006-07-14 16:22

An all too frequent quandary that I used to get myself into, was in choosing a good movie to watch on the weekend.. However, with the advent of the Internet and sites like IMDb, this has become a thing of the past.. Here's a quickly put tpgether list of what I do / use nowadays to select a movie..

  • IMDb rating lists: This is more or less the be all and end all of rating lists out there. The Top 250 list and Top films by genre are pretty much all that you will usually need to choose a decent flick. The chart listings page provides a more convenient menu (on the left) to do the same thing.
  • IMDb's sections browser is also very handy especially when searching for movies based on language or country (and also genres). Once you choose a language or a country, the resulting page has options (in the left hand menu) to list movies based on rating or the number of votes. For e.g. searching for films from South Korea based on total votes will list some of the best movies from that country, including stuff like Oldboy and Bin-jip.
  • I also recommend that you register yourself for a free account on Besides allowing you to vote, comment and discuss movies on the site, this introduces other tools that are very handy. The most useful of these tools is the My Movies feature which allows you to bookmark movies for later.
  • Another useful ploy that can be used is to select movies by directors or writers (or actors..) that you have enjoyed in the past. Once you've seen a good film, note it down (or bookmark it into your My Movies page). The next time you feel like watching something similar, visit the page of the director / actor etc. from that movie and use the left hand menu to list other movies by them. For e.g. you could bring up a list of highly rated movies by Hayao Miyazaki, Paul Newman et al.
  • And lastly, if the above steps aren't getting you anywhere, IMDB's "power search" tool (which IMHO can be greatly improved) allows you to select movies based on a number of criteria.

A little caveat: it should be kept in mind that ratings on IMDb are very subjective. So it's useful to sift through the demographic breakdowns to get a better idea.. For e.g. Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith has an overall rating of 8 thanks to 40% of users rating it an absurd 10.. However the demographic breakdown points out that the Top 1000 voters (on the site) only give it a 6 (which IMO is closer to the truth)..

Anyways, that's about all that I could think of. I trust somebody finds this useful. If I've missed something or made any errors, please add a comment below.

P.S If you're still stuck, there is also Roger Ebert's list of great movies which is worth a browse.