Return to nonfamous.com index page

December 10, 2002

Metacritically yours

Metacritic.com has the potential to be my favorite new site on the net. So what is it? The founders speak:

Metacritic.com was founded in 1999 by three movie fans who like to read movie reviews. In fact, we like to read a good cross-section of reviews for each movie to get a better idea of the critical consensus for each release. (You know, it's a hobby.) Although at the time the web offered a wealth of reviews and other movie information, there was no easy way to track down all of the various pages without spending a lot of time and effort searching. Thus, Metacritic was born.

We envisioned Metacritic.com as a place where movie fans like us could easily find the most important reviews for each new movie at a glance. Thus, in addition to quotes from reviews from major critics on each movie page on our site, you will find links to each of the full reviews. We also wanted to design a system for comparing reviews between critics and between movies. To accomplish this goal, we developed our Metascore formula. Each movie is assigned a Metascore, which is a weighted average of each of the individual reviews for that film. This number, on a 0-100 scale, lets you know at a glance how each movie is reviewed.

Of course this is not groundbreaking-- rags like EW have long provided reviewer scoreboards-- but Metacritic seems to bring this approach to perfection online. I particularly appreciate the videogame reviews; I am too much of a newbie to know all the magazines and sites that could steer me towards quality.

Now all that needs to happen is a grafting of the "Just Like You" engine from Amazon onto the site. Then the need for personal opinion can be abrogated entirely.


Posted by jay at December 10, 2002 10:57 AM | TrackBack
Comment spammers: see our Unauthorized Advertising Policy and rates
Comments

This is a great site. One of my secret pleasures is reading all the reviews *after* I've seen a film, just so I can be smug about my opinions afterwards (not that I need any help in that regard!). The trick is to avoid reviews (and, hopefully, previews -- but this is tricky) *before* seeing the film, and try to presage the commentary.

A handy feature here would be a "metacritic scorecard". You could enter a few key phrases like "terminally ponderous", "cookie-cutter characters", "cliched dialogue" etc. etc. and the site would score you against how many of the reviews matched your assessment. If there was a live "metacritic championship ladder" I could then back up my smugness with quantitative evidence!

My only criticism of the site is that it doesn't cover some of my favourite rec.arts.movies.reviews reviewers, so I'll still have to log on to imdb.com after every film.

Posted by: dave on December 10, 2002 01:03 PM
Post a comment