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Do you rely on online reviews and ratings before watching a movie?

February 19, 2018
  • Usually
  • Occasionally
  • Never

Remember those good ol’ days when you’d go to Blockbuster, casually peruse the shelves, and pick out a movie based on its cover art? Well, times have changed, and today, choosing a movie feels like preparing for a job interview. You analyze ratings, read reviews, and conduct background checks on the director and actors. Heck, you might even get into forensic analysis of the critics’ credentials. And all for what? To escape reality for two hours without regretting the choice.

The question we’re diving into today is: Do people actually rely on online reviews and ratings before watching a movie? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this, folks. 

“Usually” – The Pragmatic Approach

Why People Choose This Answer

For many, ratings and reviews are the GPS of the digital entertainment highway. According to a Pew Research Center study, around 78% of Americans believe online reviews are generally accurate. These individuals are not playing Russian roulette with their Friday nights. They want a guaranteed good time and believe that reviews serve as a trustworthy guiding light.

Real-world Perspective

“I don’t have time to be sifting through duds. I have kids, a dog, and a job that sucks the life out of me. Reviews save me from wasting two hours on a bad movie,” says Jennifer Holt, a marketing executive from Texas.

Curious Fact

Did you know that a single-star increase in a Yelp rating can lead to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue for a business? Ratings are powerful. If they can uplift a local diner, imagine the impact they have on a $100 million blockbuster!

“Occasionally” – The Flexible Middle Ground

Why People Choose This Answer

Life is all about balance, like a smoothie with both kale and chocolate. Some folks rely on reviews but also leave room for spontaneity or personal recommendations. Maybe they’ll consider reviews for a new release but will willingly take a risk on a classic or a film from a beloved director.

Real-world Perspective

“Online reviews are a good guide, but they’re not my Bible. Sometimes, you have to go with your gut or give a chance to something different,” explains Rajiv Sharma, a film student from California.

Curious Fact

According to a study by BrightLocal, 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Yet, 66% of consumers are skeptical and read up to 10 reviews to make up their mind. It’s not that they’re indecisive; they just want a second, third, and tenth opinion.

“Never” – The Trailblazers

Why People Choose This Answer

Then some love to live dangerously (at least when it comes to movie choices). They believe the journey is more important than the destination. They don’t want reviews to color their perceptions or dictate their choices. To them, each movie is a new adventure, with or without a safety net.

Real-world Perspective

“In a world of spoilers and preconceived opinions, I want my movie-watching to be as pure as the driven snow. If I get burned, at least it’s on my terms,” says Karen Weber, an artist from New York.

Curious Fact

An MIT study revealed that online reviews are more likely to be negative if the product has higher consumer expectations. This means some great movies may get unfair bad reviews because they were too hyped up. So, going in blind might actually save you from missing a gem.

If you’re looking to read movie reviews before you hit the theater or stream a film, here are three reputable websites where you can find in-depth, credible critiques:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes
    What It Offers: Rotten Tomatoes is perhaps one of the most well-known review aggregation websites. It provides both a critics’ score and an audience score, summarizing reviews from verified critics and viewers.
    Why It’s Worth Checking Out: The site also features a “Tomatometer” which gives a percentage score based on the proportion of positive reviews out of the total. For many, a high Tomatometer score is a seal of approval.
  2. IMDb
    What It Offers: IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is a rich resource for movie reviews, but it’s also so much more. You can find details about the cast, crew, trivia, and even goofs. User reviews often range from brief impressions to detailed analyses.
    Why It’s Worth Checking Out: The site provides a 10-point rating system, and because it’s a go-to resource for all things movies, you’ll find a large number of reviews which can give you a more balanced viewpoint.
  3. Metacritic
    What It Offers: Metacritic aggregates reviews from respected critics and calculates a weighted average, known as the Metascore. It also provides a user score, based on reviews from the general public.
    Why It’s Worth Checking Out: If you’re looking for a comprehensive look at what the critics are saying, Metacritic’s Metascore can offer a snapshot, helping you quickly gauge a movie’s reception.

Each of these websites has its own unique approach to reviews and ratings, making them complementary resources for movie-goers. Happy movie hunting!

The Great Debate

Let’s face it; we’re spoiled for choice. With streaming platforms releasing hundreds of titles yearly, alongside traditional releases, the decision-making process can get overwhelming. Whether you’re a die-hard review checker, an occasional skimmer, or a flat-out maverick, one thing’s for sure—everyone has a strategy.

So, the next time you’re about to watch a movie, consider this: Each of these poll options holds its charm and logic. It’s not just about the destination (finding a great film), but also the journey (how you get there). Choose wisely, or don’t. Either way, you’re in for a ride.

And hey, if you end up watching a dud, you can always cleanse your palate with some classic episodes of “Friends” or “The Office” – a universally beloved series that defy the need for any reviews!

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