Will I "Really Like" this Movie?

Navigating Movie Website Ratings to Select More Enjoyable Movies

Criticker: Whose Movie Recommendation do you trust?

A friend, let’s call him Jack, recommends a movie to you. You watch the movie and it is one of those movie experiences that reminds you why you enjoy watching movies. Another friend, let’s call her Jill, recommends a movie. You watch it and you have to prop up your eyelids with toothpicks to stay awake. If future recommendations from Jack and Jill follow the same pattern, you keep on watching movies recommended by Jack but stop watching movies recommended by Jill. You reach the conclusion that you and Jack have similar taste in movies and you and Jill have different taste in movies. In the end you trust the movie recommendations of Jack because you seem to really like the same movies. This is the basis for the Criticker website movie ratings.

Criticker is not as well known a movie site as Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB. Unlike those better known sites, Criticker evaluates movies based on your taste in movies. More accurately, it estimates the rating that you will probably give a movie based on the ratings of other Criticker users that have the most similar taste in movies to you. Criticker has created a tool called the TCI (Taste Compatibility Index)). It uses the index to identify moviegoers who statistically have the most similar taste in movies to you and aggregates the scores from those moviegoers to produce the probable rating, from 1 to 100, that you might give the movie you’re interested in watching.

Here’s the thing. No matter how similar Jack’s taste in movies is to yours, there will be times when Jack recommends a movie that you don’t like. If that happens you may begin to question whether Jack really does have the same taste in movies. If Jack recommended 10 movies to you and you really liked 8 of them, you can’t be sure that you will like 8 of the next 10 movies he recommends. It may be a random event that you like 8 of Jack’s recommendations. It could just as easily have been 5 or 6. If, on the other hand, Jack has recommended 100 movies and you really liked 80 of them, the chances that you will really like 8 of the next 10 movies he recommends are greater. The same is true with Criticker. The more movies that you rate on the website, the more confident you can be of the accuracy of the probable rating that Criticker provides for the movies you are interested in seeing.

To get started, use the link at the top of the page to go to the website. Set up an account. It’s free. Then start rating movies that you’ve seen. Criticker asks you to rate movies on a 1 to 100 scale. If you ask me, that’s tough to do. For example, what criteria do you use to give one movie an 86 and another movie an 87. Unless you have established criteria to differentiate movies that finely, it’s almost impossible to do without sacrificing consistency in your ratings . In a future post, I’ll outline how I established criteria for a 100 point scale. For now, I would keep your scoring simple by rating movies on a 10 point scale and converting the score to a 100 point scale for Criticker. For example, if you rate a movie 8 out of 10 on IMDB, score it as an 80 for Criticker. If, when you were rating the movie for IMDB, you had difficulty deciding whether it was a 7 or an 8, you can rate it a 75 on Criticker. The important thing is to have a consistent set of scoring rules that are applied uniformly across all of your movies.

Go ahead and get started. Pretty soon you’ll find that there are many people out there whose movie recommendations you can trust. Just remember that there is no one whose taste is exactly like yours.

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