ByTom Perkins, writer at
If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.
Tom Perkins

IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes are arguably two of the biggest movie databases on the Internet right now, both websites are great for different things and other things not so much.

Today I am going to be discussing which Movie website you should go to for a honest rating of a film. Obviously it's up to you which website you feel more comfortable using, for me I feel more comfortable using IMDb over Rotten Tomatoes. I personally feel that it's a lot easier to use and just everything flows easier, the pages for each different film is straight to the point and it's not even the closest bit hard to see the whole cast & crew, the budget and overall box office results, it's all literally a scroll away on IMDb regardless of how much you have used it before.

Whereas with Rotten Tomatoes they don't feature things like the filming locations, budget, final box office results and even company credits (I mean it's not easy to find if it is on there). I mean a couple things I did like about each individual page, is that on the left hand side it features all the new films which makes it easier to navigate between the newest films through just a click of the mouse, it even shows the rating next to it which will either persuade you to click on it or put you off clicking. But before I really start waffling, let's get back to the point!

Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.
Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.


So in this day and age we rely a lot on the internet for reviews of movies to decide whether or not it is actually worth seeing, I mean I am sure after the poor reviews of the new '50 Shades of Gray' (2015) I can safely assume that a lot of people will be waiting for the DVD release later this year. So a lot of the time, reviews basically determine or not we see a film but in some cases a review can be unfaithful, bias and just a lot of sh*t. Now I know that film is subjective and that's fine, but some film companies can have online websites to give a positive review of a film ejust to boost up it's numbers at the box office.

But the biggest way films can be mis-represented is through website rating systems that are completely based on what the AUDIENCE likes and dislikes, not the critics but the audience. Now in a lot of ways and most of the time this quite a good thing, you know hearing back what others thought and where it when wrong and where it did well, having those moments when you're like 'Oh yeah, I didn't even notice that! That's bad' or 'Tell me about it, that was a great scene!'. But in a lot of other cases it is the worst thing imaginable.

Let me continue!

Now for example, you have Pablo, an average guy with internet access and unfortunately for this guy he lives an hour from any cinema and has to wait for DVD releases a few months later. Pablo loves comic book films and see's that the new Fantastic Four film is coming out in a couple weeks and because he loves the Fantastic Four comic line so much, he hops onto the internet and gives the film a 10/10 without even seeing the film! This is where a lot of websites go wrong with their rating system, regardless of whether or not you have a seen a film you can still rate it whatever you want and when this is the main rating system it affect others attitudes the film when someone like Pablo has given it a 10 when it's actually quite a bad film. These functions can sometimes make you lose trust in a website after just wasting £7/8 on a movie ticket on what was meant to be a great film.

Now with much regret, this is exactly what IMBb is centred around. As much I love IMDb and the flow and features of the site, it can give a potential mis representation of a film where there just doesn't need to be one. I've got a couple examples to share with you. The first being that before Interstellar(2014) was released, it had about a 9.2 rating from 40,000+ users on IMDb and I take into account that there are film festivals and pre-screenings that films are released early at, but not to 40,000+ people. I mean give or take a couple thousand, but not as big as 40k! In this case people had literally logged on and given it an extremely high rating or an extremely low rating without even seeing the film. Another example is of 'The Dark Knight' (2008), now before the release of the film there was the tragic loss of Heath Ledger who played the Joker so after seeing the film and Heath's incredible performance, people wanted to respond to this differently than just writing 'RIP' on social media. So the online community took it upon themselves to make the Batman film into number one on IMDb by rating it 10/10, making new accounts and doing the exactly the same and after time it eventually to that place. But even though they are paying respect to a beloved actor, it gives a mis-representation of the film and can sometimes disappoint expectations, it's a massive flaw in IMDb and it's the reason why it can't be trusted for an honest and genuine rating of a film.

Coincidentally both Christopher Nolan films xD
Coincidentally both Christopher Nolan films xD

Whereas with Rotten Tomatoes their rating system is mainly based around the certified and background checked critics, these critics reviews is what bases a films rating on the website and whether or not it's 'Rotten' or 'Fresh'. Even though the audience can give their vote, it's not the main focus of the page and this is great! It gives the chance for me and you (you being an every day user and not a critic) to give our thoughts and a personal rating for what we think about the film and it shows us genuine views from actual critics, not reviews from such like Pablo the critic from earlier.

This is why I do recommend that if you're looking for an honest and reliable review, you choose Rotten Tomatoes over IMDb.

This is probably one of my longest posts yet, so I hope it wasn't too boring for you and I hope it gives you a little more insight on the difference in reviews between the two websites.

Got a counter argument? Then leave your thoughts in the comments, I'd love to hear them :) Want to check out these websites for yourself? Check below.


Rotten Tomatoes

If you get the time, check out some of my other posts I talk about the Dredd Future, a great Batman story, the X-Files reboot and more!



Latest from our Creators