I stumbled on Criticker.com a few weeks ago, and I must say I like it, despite some flaws that would make it even easier to do what I want.
I wanted to tell you something about how I personally look for movies to watch on DVD or in the theater, and how Criticker aids me in that search.
In the past few years I've been developing a movie database in Excel that makes scores (much like PSI here) that tell me which movies I'll probably like and which I probably won't. During those years, the database has gradually gotten bigger and more complex. Before I came across Criticker.com it was calculating a PSI-like score for each movie on 6 parameters: 1) IMDB-score (for 18-29 year olds), 2) Length of the movie, 3) Popcorn-rating (more on that below), 4) Age of the movie, 5) Genre, 6) Awards.
The algorithm is quite complex, but in the end the score is based on these 6 parameters, each having their own weight. I calculate these weights with a program I wrote in IDL so that the final scores most accurately agree with how I rated my movies myself after I saw them (putting more emphasis on the movies I rated high). Now that I know about Criticker, I added a 7th parameter: the PSI shown to me here on criticker.
The weights for each of these parameters in my final score is now as follows:
- IMDB: 29.0 %
- Criticker PSI: 22.8 %
- Length: 13.4 % (apparently longer movies have a better chance at pleasing me... maybe because they have more depth?)
- Popcorn: 12.1 % (I calculate a popcorn rating based on the ratio between box office income and IMDB rating. If a movie has a high box office income, but a low IMDB, I claim that it has a higher 'popcorn' rating, i.e. it's less alternative and is able to reach the wide audience. For example, Spider-Man has a high popcorn rating, Donnie Darko has a low popcorn rating)
- Age: 10.6 % (Don't ask me why, but I tend to like more recent movies better than older ones. This might be a psychological effect whereby I 'forget' how good an old movie actually was...?)
- Genre: 7.8 % (I like history, sport, war better than family, comedy, horror)
- Awards: 4.3 % (the more awards a movie has won, the better)
As you can see, Criticker PSI now provides me with a good chunk of new information. It definitely is not perfect (otherwise the parameters would be 100% for criticker and 0% for all the others), but it helps quite well.
Below you can see the top recommendations for me of all movies that I haven't seen yet and that are supposed to be available on dvd at my local video store.
Most of you probably think I'm crazy by now, which is pretty much true, considering that this hobby got way out of hand . I also suspect a lot of you will think I should just read reviews online instead of basing my recommendations on numbers. This is probably true as well, however I consider it a challenge to be able to come up with these recommendations solely based on numbers and constantly try to improve the algorithm. I'm a scientist (well... going to be) for a reason .
Nevertheless, I was hoping that some of you might be inspired by this post to think of new ways to get their movie recommendations. If you have any questions, suggestions, requests concerning this project, I'd really appreciate it . If you would be willing to take the time to provide me with your own PSI's on a big list of movies, I'd actually be willing to provide you with your own top recommendations like the one for myself in the picture .
And now for the developers here... It would be really helpful if you wouldn't hide PSI's for movies you've already seen . I had to delete all of my scores and resubmit them one by one in order to find my PSI for each of these movies so I could test how well PSI conforms to my ratings...