A Way to Search for Film Recommendations Without the Trolls Ruining Everything

By Rhett Jones on at

The promise of crowd-sourcing film opinions from the public carried a lot of potential and has resulted in a lot of data about movies for companies like Netflix and IMDb. But as time goes on, informed critical analysis is looking more valuable every day. Cinetrii can help you connect films for recommendations based on mentions of related works in reviews by professional critics.

As opposed to comparing categories like aggregate ratings or genres, Cinetrii uses quotes from mainstream critics reviews that compare a film in question to others from history. For example, if I search for Star Wars: A New Hope, sitting in a bubble right above George Lucas’ classic space opera is The Hidden Fortress, Akira Kurosawa’s samurai adventure that is widely cited as the primary influence on the film. But in less expected recommendations, The Godfather appears and links out to an article comparing the crosscutting in a scene from Revenge of the Sith to the the christening massacre in Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic. That’s just a really basic example though.

Within the last week, IMDb announced that it would shut down its almost entirely useless message boards. The level of commentary that can be found on the site is mind-numbing. Its rating system has also increasingly come under attack due to an influx of fanboys pushing up the rating of movies they like and some troubling examples films by minority filmmakers receiving disproportionately low user ratings. The Hollywood Reporter cites a recent example:

Twitter users have singled out Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, as a recent example of this issue.

The doc hit theatres today and already has received 409 one-star votes from users, compared to 318 10-star votes, with a nominal number of in-between votes.

Cinetrii’s method of curating based on the thematic and influential connections between films probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Highfalutin critics are a turn off for many and that Revenge of the Sith/Godfather comparison is probably already sending many of you running for the door. It also doesn’t have nearly the depth and selection that an enormous site like IMDb does. But it’ll grow over time.

And you know you’ve flicked through Netflix’s recommendations so many times that it’s all blending together. Maybe give it a try and see where it takes you.