Is there any website better to find things out about your favorite movie, actor or television show than the internet movie database (from here on out called the IMDB)? Probably not. In terms of finding out much of what you want to know about movies, this is probably the best place to go to. The way the site has improved over the years actually helps things out more than hinders them. The only real problem is that in order to explore ever last crevice on the IMDB you'll have to sign up for IMDBpro which will actually cost you money. I haven't done so, but I've heard from others that it's worth it.
Anyway, starting from the homepage it's easy to see what the big deal is with the IMDB. The moment you get there you have a choice between looking at trailers for some upcoming films, viewing clips from some of your favorite TV shows (or full episodes which are hosted on hulu.com). More than that, however, you'll be able to read up on news stories and find out about movies that are coming soon. There's plenty of gossip on the site... and even a TV guide. The IMDB has expanded to be about much more than just movies. There's a lot you can learn about television shows and even video games. About the only thing IMDB doesn't focus on at all is music.
When focused on movies, though, there's a lot you can discover. It would take far too much time to tell you everything you can find on the IMDB. Chances are some of you have written reviews for a movie or an actor or actress here on lunch where some of the information you got was from the IMDB. Under each film you can find out all the basic info. Who wrote it. Who directed it. The cast and crew, the awards it won and others it was nominated for. genre, release date, look at its box office performance and see the latest news. And in telling you this we've only just begun to scratch the surface of what you can learn about each of your favorite films. Digging deeper you can pull out memorable quotes, learn some amusing trivia or find out what other films its connected to. And just about every film has a profile.
Under each film there are also user comments where people rank it on a scale of 1-10 like they do with Amazon rankings. In the process of doing so people can post a review. Otherwise you're allowed to simply rank it without actually reviewing (now if only IMDB had Micro Reviews like a certain other website I know of...). And ranking is quite important on IMDB. They have a top 250 list, where the highest ranked movies are put on there in order by what has the highest ranking to the lowest.
The top 250 is always in debate. A lot of users don't like that it has more recent films on it, others are always upset with what is actually on the list itself. Yet it isn't always consistent with the rating on the profile page. Take The Shawshank Redemption. It has a rating of 9.2 but if you look on the top 250 it's a 9.1. This may look like a glitch, but it isn't. The IMDB has a rating system unlike most websites. A movie gets into the top 250 with a separte rating from what's on its profile page. IMDB says that to get into the top 250 it depends on regular voters. But there's a specific formula at work that no one knows about. People have tried to figure it out but IMDB never tells anyone if they're right or wrong. There was controversy over The Dark Knight when it was number one. People said it was fanboys making more email accounts and then voting The Dark Knight up while voting The Godfather down. According to IMDB this wouldn't have an affect on the top 250 given that these new email created accounts wouldn't actually be "regular" voters (and again, IMDB hasn't actually acknowleged how many votes it takes to be made a "regular" voter) in the first place. So even if this plan were at work... it wouldn't have been effective. And that's part of what makes the top 250 fascinating. It can't be easily gamed. But the number of votes a movie needs to be in the top 250 is in question. Movies with as little as 2,000 votes have been able to get into the top 250. The list isn't full proof, but it's enough to be debated and enough to bring about discussion. You won't agree with every film, but it at least gives you a modern day look at what people qualify as good films. Because it's not some critical list made up by Roger Ebert or the American Film Institute or picked by Entertainment Weekly etc. It's a list that's formulated by regular movie goers.
While there's a top 250 for movies, there's none for video games or TV shows. Understandable, but you should know that TV shows and video games also have a profile too. And yes, everything under a movie profile you can find under a TV show or video game. They're not as "complete" but all the options are there.
The IMDB also has tons of actor profiles where you can go in and see what they've been in. Or you can look up directors and see what they've produced, directed and written. Anyone who has any connection to hollywood can be found on there. This means it isn't just actors and actresses, directors and producers. If you have a favorite author who had a film adapted like say... Anthony Burgess, John Irving, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling... you can find them on the IMDB. Favorite musician that's been in a movie? You can find him or her on the IMDB. You can find just about anything. You can't rate the movie stars, though, and it would probably be amusing to see a top 100 movie stars, but nothing like that is there.
Finally, under each movie, TV show, video, hollywood affiliate etc. is a message board where people can post just about anything they're thinking. This is probably the only problem I have with the IMDB. Much like Amazon.com, it's grea to find info at, but Dear God is the community ever horrible! There are some odd discussions out there on the IMDB. Most of which get attraction for being inflamatory rather than exibiting any sort of real discussion. Let's put it this way. Go under say... The Shawshank Redemption and look at some of the boards. Which one is going to attract your attention more. The guy who says, "This is the Best Movie Ever" or the one that says, "Good God Almight this a steaming pile of Cow Dung and shouldn't even be in the top 250!" It's probably going to be the second one. And it's amazing how fast each subject will get off topic. But it isn't so much that it gets off topic as it is that eventually you feel like you've entered a room full of high school students who can't stand to see their opinions challenged. And rather than respond in a manner that invites discussion you have to watch as it devolves into an insult fest where people tell everyone else how dumb they are for liking say... Burn After Reading or that someone MUST have a small penis because he likes watching Sylvester Stallone blow people away... or how dumb someone must be because they didn't "get" a specific film. It's not a lot of fun to particpate in discussion (though it can be quite amusing to watch) for the simple fact that most people aren't there to discuss. The boards are mostly filled with people who felt they had to come for the sake of bashing a film or for the sake of telling everyone how dumb they are for not liking it or the person who always has to ask: "Why does everyone love/hate this movie?" And no matter what answer they get, they won't like it.
That's not to say you won't find meaningful or fun discussions. It's just to say a lot of the time they get drowned out in the mindless drivel of what appears to be people posting in hopes of getting under the skin of other people. It can be amusing to read through some of these post, but for the most part it's annoying. I'm naturally skeptical of most internet discussion boards, but none of them confirm my skepticism quite like the IMDB. Yet the website as a whole is still grand. It's informative, and when you do find good discussions with movie goers it's a lot of fun to partake in these discussions. While the discussions may be integral just finding out new and interesting things about your favorite films is far more fun on the IMDB. In short, there's so much more to this site than just discussing with fellow movie goers.
In the end, the Internet Movie Database is probably one of the best places out there. You can go here whenever you've got any questions about any film. And it's expanded in the years since its establishment... and can expand further.
The Internet Movie Database has all your movie needs.
For someone like me who is a movie buff, this site was one of the greatest toys invented. I remember when it first came out how I could amaze my friend by reciting an actor's entire resume. What I really like about it is that many times I am watching a film and I see a recognizable actor that I do not know the name of or what film he/she might have been in before. With a couple of mouse clicks I can get the information. I used to be quite active on this site and am … more
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information related to movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, video games, and most recently, fictional characters featured in visual entertainment media. IMDb launched on October 17, 1990, and in 1998 was acquired by Amazon.com.
The IMDb website consists of one of the largest accumulations of data about films, television programs, direct-to-video products, and video games, reaching back to each medium's respective beginning. In many cases, the information goes beyond simple title and crew credit, but also includes data on uncredited personnel, production and distribution companies, plot summaries, memorable quotes, awards, reviews, box office performance, filming locations, technical specs, promotional content, trivia, and links to official and other websites. Furthermore, the IMDb tracks titles in production, including major announced projects still in development.
The database also houses filmographies for all persons, cast and crew, identified in listed titles. Filmographies include biographical details, awards listings, external links, and information about other professional work not covered by title entries in the database such as theatrical and commercial advertising appearances.
The IMDb also offers ancillary material such as daily movie and TV news, weekly box office reports, TV listings, cinema showtimes, user polls and ratings, and special features about various movie events ...