Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Introduce yourself to the community or chat with other users about whatever is on your mind
hyrras
Posts: 1
381 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 1:21 am

Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by hyrras »

So first I apologize if this is a topic that’s been beaten to death. (I don’t hang out on the forums much, I had a quick search).

I have had a criticker account for a number of years and one thing I have noticed is that criticker will often recommend me “difficult watches” over mindless entertainment. I think this is a good thing, in that, especially when I first made my account, it greatly expanded the scope of the kind of films I watched and really introduced me to serious and historical cinema. I am very grateful for this (and I think criticker is great). The downside is that the PSIs are actually not so accurate and it is more difficult to find things that I actually want to watch.

What do I mean by “difficult watches”? This includes but is not limited to: older films, art-house films, foreign films, “classics”, really niche films and films with a very dark tone or serious subject matter. In fact usually it’s a combination of the above.

I believe the reason it does this is three-fold.
First: With most of these films, someone who does not enjoy that kind of thing or is less adventurous will often know at a glance that this film is not what they are looking for, or possibly they will try to watch it and not finish it. In either case they do not rate it. For example: criticker gives me a PSI of 90 for The Turin Horse, I have watched half of it and would probably give it a 60 or so if I ever finish it but I probably never will. A beautiful film but a great example of what I mean.

Secondly: People feel a certain pride and sense of accomplishment in sitting through something difficult, and in appreciating high art that others “don’t get” or couldn’t be bothered with. This artificially inflates the score they give the piece.

Thirdly: People are likely to see their least favourite films with other people (reaching a compromise over what to watch) or watching under the influence of other peoples tastes in some way, thus mainstream cinema is likely to make up the bulk of peoples lowest rated films.

When I first encountered this problem, after a little introspection I thought it was actually my fault. I had been pretentiously rating difficult watches too highly, and when my account was maybe a year or so old (I don’t remember exactly) I deleted all my ratings and started again, making special care to rate films solely on how much I enjoyed them and even erring in the other direction, ruthlessly punishing films I consider to be over-hyped classics or pretentious/boring art house cinema etc. and even rating films I would consider historically significant masterpieces such as Metropolis, Battleship Potemkin or Andrei Rublev, very low when I found them a bit boring. Also rating light comedies and guilty pleasures highly. But it didn’t really fix the problem. (Because people with similar TCIs to me aren’t doing the same thing). Even if I try to search for films filtered by comedy and recent it still recommends me 90% very dark, dry comedies (I like dark humour but not all the time).

This problem came to my attention yet again when criticker recommended me a cartoon yesterday: Xavier Renegade Angel with a PSI of 93 (very high for me). I googled it and found it somewhat clever and also somewhat unwatchable, just way out of my comfort zone, and I noticed that only like one other person on criticker gave it a somewhat negative rating. Everyone who could stomach it for long enough to feel justified in rating it absolutely loves it. I gave it a 28.

Anyway. Like I said i really like criticker. Other than this bias the PSIs are really great. I’m just wondering, do other people have this problem? How do you deal with it?
Sorry for the long rant. Also Hi. My name is Harry. :)

coffee
Posts: 319
2310 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:45 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by coffee »

Hi,
You can filter the films in your PSI list.

Also liking a film is not really the biggest factor when most people rank films. I personally liked Avatar more than Persona. But -forget me- even a log or a rock can tell that Persona is great cinema and Avatar does not even have an original story. It's like loving a stupid whistle better than the 9th Symphony.

It's about what you expect from movies. If you're expecting entertainment then you might find some boring classics recommended to you. But for some it's about art and an intellectual journey. They are boring people. Do not mind them.

So, you can use filters. Use action, crime and comedy genres between 2000 and 2020... you're good to go.
Last edited by coffee on Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CosmicMonkey
Posts: 587
1229 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:52 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by CosmicMonkey »

Hey, I'm the opposite. I rank films mostly based on how much I enjoyed them, not how "great" I think they are. Obviously those things aren't mutually exclusive, but there's been loads of films that I recognized were great well-made films that I ranked pretty mediocre because I didn't enjoy it that much. Do I really think that Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is better a film than Citizen Kane, of course not, but I still have more fun when I'm watching the former.


Also, the more movies you rank, the more your PSIs will just naturally adjust for those biases.

monclivie
Posts: 51
5029 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 7:01 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by monclivie »

You can just sort database by # votes and then pick high PSI from the first page as your recommendation
https://www.criticker.com/films/?filter=uzor&view=all
or filter the most popular ones and sort them by PSI
https://www.criticker.com/films/?filter ... p&view=all
You can also narrow each list down to a certain genre/mix of genres.

What do you expect if, for example, Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner are the only action movies in your Tier 10 (both difficult watches) and most of the "mindless entertainment" ones are in Tier 1-2? You are recommending difficult watches to other people yourself!

AFlickering
Posts: 594
2630 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:15 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by AFlickering »

part of your problem may just be that you don't have enough ratings yet. the more you rate the more accurate PSIs become, i can't imagine criticker is super accurate with only a relatively small sample to draw from. that said, monclivie is also right in that i don't exactly see much of a bias toward 'easier' watches in your ratings either, seems like a mixture, which will likely be reflected in your psis.

i think coffee's suggestion is a good one, filtering by popularity will definitely increase the average watchability of what you're being recommended, and PSIs are also gonna be more accurate for films with more ratings.

lmao at criticker recommending unsuspecting people the hell that is xavier: renegade angel btw, i hope i'm one of your top TCIs for that show so i can take some credit (and also give my sincerest apologies)

paulofilmo
Posts: 2513
2377 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by paulofilmo »

the forums are hecked, but this is a bit like the oplars situation - viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5514&hilit=oplars

i'd recommend using lists/collections/movielens(/maybe kumpels)

I like to use this google search to get mubi lists - use whatever film(s) you want. obv it's mubi, so everything is ~7 years out of date prolly by now.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?safe=st ... CAw&uact=5





----

re - renegade angel. i mentioned this in the oplars thread, and i think someone did a feature request about it (tho not sure):


{"That's a screenshot of the (my) PSI summary for The Good Wife. At this stage the PSI is basically nonsense. 3 wildly different scores, the user Blair is my 712th closest TCI (there are 711 users who would be more ideal to predict taste for me, to put too fine a point on it). Whereas an established film's PSI would be drawn from 10 users, often within my top 50 TCIs.

I agree with your frustration, and think it would be better if we could edit how many, and which, users contribute to psi. So instead of [i]'At least 3 of your top 1000 users need to have seen the film, before a PSI can be generated.' - You could make it [i]At least 5 of your top 200. . . (or whatever). I quite like how it's set now, but perhaps it shouldn't be the default. (Sorry if non of this makes sense)."}

i.e. don't make such things impossible to find, but maybe don't have a psi if it's not relevant to the user's tastes (yet). or somethnig like that

oplars
Posts: 26
981 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:57 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by oplars »

This is an old thread but the OPs post is just down my alley, so I have to comment! And also I saw that Paulofilma mentioned my very old thread about a similar subject (and containing her great bits of advice).

I talked to someone working at MovieLens and I brought up the question of why MovieLens can be so precise (for me) and Criticker often is giving me probable scores that are SO far from my taste that I sometimes think that its prediction is almost worse than random (This was very obvious when I decided to give Criticker another change (after not having been using Criticker for some years)). I copied all my ratings from MovieLens from the last years into Criticker. Many times a movie that I had given the highest rating at Movielens shoved a probable rating at as low as 40. And vice versa).
He told me that Criticker and MovieLens were using the same kind of algorithm and that the number of users was not that different, so in his opinion, there should not be much difference.
I am sure that the OP is on to something. But besides the things he mentions, I think that the NAME "criticker" itself makes people rating as a critic instead of as rating the amount of subjective enjoyment of each movie. Maybe the fact that Criticker is more like a "club" also plays a role, who wants to give a movie like Avatar high scores in an association of critics. In one of the comments, someone mentions that even though this movie was a much greater pleasure to watch than one from the canon, everyone can see that Avatar is not a piece of art. So, therefore: low rating.
The problem with this is that Criticker then becomes the same as "Rotten Tomatoes" (could be interesting to see how much more "Criticker Top 250" correlates with Rotten Tomatoes/Metacritic than with IMDB). I would presume that MovieLens scores correlate pretty much with IMDB as the general user does not feel inclined to be smart, but simply wants to find movies that he/she enjoys so as to not waste too many evenings being bored.
There is a general tendency among the commentators to regard the OP (hyrras) as someone who prefers popular action movies, there are even suggestions on how he can specifically search for such movies. This shows a huge misunderstanding of the message in the post (this is maybe why he has never replied). It is obvious when looking at the ratings made by the OP, that he/she is not into cheap stuff.
This is also picked up by monclivie but who then categories the OP as one who recommends the same "difficult" types of movies himself. This is in itself a misunderstanding.
The point that the OP makes is, as far as I understand him, that he refuses to give a movie high ratings JUST because it is regarded as a piece of art if he is too bored to even finish it.
I am not sure that filtering by popularity will be the answer to his problem, at least it would not be a solution for me as I tend to like movies that are not very popular nor necessary get high scores among critics.
I like some of Tarkovsky's stuff, but NOT Stalker! Which I just saw that Criticker gives a probable score of 90. I saw it some months ago, i.e. I was fast-forwarding through much of the 3 hours long movie, especially 10 minutes long passages where people were just walking - in the same barren landscape. So what I did was to "ruthlessly punish [Stalker] which I consider to be over-hyped... pretentious/boring art house cinema" to an even greater degree than the OP.
I have rated 200-300 movies yesterday to see what difference the amount of movies makes, as many users suggest that this does the trick.
All this work because I find Criticker the most sympathetic movie site on the internet.
After reading this thread I don't expect it to make much difference.

martryn
Posts: 225
1888 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by martryn »

oplars wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 10:30 pm
I like some of Tarkovsky's stuff, but NOT Stalker! Which I just saw that Criticker gives a probable score of 90. I saw it some months ago, i.e. I was fast-forwarding through much of the 3 hours long movie, especially 10 minutes long passages where people were just walking - in the same barren landscape. So what I did was to "ruthlessly punish [Stalker] which I consider to be over-hyped... pretentious/boring art house cinema" to an even greater degree than the OP.
Related to above, my review of Stalker:
I don't fucking get it. Tarkovsky is entirely too hit or miss for me. He seems to make movies not to entertain, but as art or some shit. Not only that, but the movie doesn't make sense. Read the wiki synopsis, and you'll be confused. Read Roadside Picnic and you'll be confused. It's like a script written by a five year old. I don't want to watch a film of still photographs for two and a half hours. I'm convinced people rate this high BECAUSE it's Tarkovsky and they feel they have to.

And yet, hypocritically, I've slowly increased it's ranking over the last decade some 30 points or so. It's resting now at an 89.

livelove
Posts: 659
67 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:36 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by livelove »

hyrras wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:32 pm
I’m just wondering, do other people have this problem? How do you deal with it?
Hi Harry. Welcome to the forum.
Here is an interesting discussion that deals with the topic likeability vs quality:
Forum: On what basis do you rate films?

AFlickering
Posts: 594
2630 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:15 pm

Re: Criticker ratings and difficult watches

Post by AFlickering »

oplars wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 10:30 pm
This is an old thread but the OPs post is just down my alley, so I have to comment! And also I saw that Paulofilma mentioned my very old thread about a similar subject (and containing her great bits of advice).

I talked to someone working at MovieLens and I brought up the question of why MovieLens can be so precise (for me) and Criticker often is giving me probable scores that are SO far from my taste that I sometimes think that its prediction is almost worse than random (This was very obvious when I decided to give Criticker another change (after not having been using Criticker for some years)). I copied all my ratings from MovieLens from the last years into Criticker. Many times a movie that I had given the highest rating at Movielens shoved a probable rating at as low as 40. And vice versa).
He told me that Criticker and MovieLens were using the same kind of algorithm and that the number of users was not that different, so in his opinion, there should not be much difference.
I am sure that the OP is on to something. But besides the things he mentions, I think that the NAME "criticker" itself makes people rating as a critic instead of as rating the amount of subjective enjoyment of each movie. Maybe the fact that Criticker is more like a "club" also plays a role, who wants to give a movie like Avatar high scores in an association of critics. In one of the comments, someone mentions that even though this movie was a much greater pleasure to watch than one from the canon, everyone can see that Avatar is not a piece of art. So, therefore: low rating.
The problem with this is that Criticker then becomes the same as "Rotten Tomatoes" (could be interesting to see how much more "Criticker Top 250" correlates with Rotten Tomatoes/Metacritic than with IMDB). I would presume that MovieLens scores correlate pretty much with IMDB as the general user does not feel inclined to be smart, but simply wants to find movies that he/she enjoys so as to not waste too many evenings being bored.
There is a general tendency among the commentators to regard the OP (hyrras) as someone who prefers popular action movies, there are even suggestions on how he can specifically search for such movies. This shows a huge misunderstanding of the message in the post (this is maybe why he has never replied). It is obvious when looking at the ratings made by the OP, that he/she is not into cheap stuff.
This is also picked up by monclivie but who then categories the OP as one who recommends the same "difficult" types of movies himself. This is in itself a misunderstanding.
The point that the OP makes is, as far as I understand him, that he refuses to give a movie high ratings JUST because it is regarded as a piece of art if he is too bored to even finish it.
I am not sure that filtering by popularity will be the answer to his problem, at least it would not be a solution for me as I tend to like movies that are not very popular nor necessary get high scores among critics.
I like some of Tarkovsky's stuff, but NOT Stalker! Which I just saw that Criticker gives a probable score of 90. I saw it some months ago, i.e. I was fast-forwarding through much of the 3 hours long movie, especially 10 minutes long passages where people were just walking - in the same barren landscape. So what I did was to "ruthlessly punish [Stalker] which I consider to be over-hyped... pretentious/boring art house cinema" to an even greater degree than the OP.
I have rated 200-300 movies yesterday to see what difference the amount of movies makes, as many users suggest that this does the trick.
All this work because I find Criticker the most sympathetic movie site on the internet.
After reading this thread I don't expect it to make much difference.
honestly, i think the entire thrust of your post is debunked by the fact that criticker has rated stalker 7.8/10 and IMDB has rated it 8.1/10. you can project dishonest posturing onto people who rate so-called 'difficult' films like stalker highly if you wish (although it's rather pretentious and presumptuous to do so), but such people aren't more prevalent here than elsewhere. i also don't understand the characterisation of criticker as being like a 'club', one of its most appealing qualities is it's free of the circle-jerking of more social media-influenced sites like letterboxd, and the community here isn't very tight-knit or active aside from a few core regulars.

frankly, i just don't think the criticker algorithm really 'gets' you until you hit four figures, and this is a much simpler explanation for your struggles than the bizarre psychoanalysis i'm reading in this thread. but you also just seem confused about how algorithms work. at the end of the day, if you don't enjoy difficult films, don't rate difficult films highly and you won't be recommended them. if you do enjoy them (which the OP clearly often does based on his newly honest ratings), how can you complain about being recommended more of them? criticker is very good at recommending things based on your ratings, but it is not a mind reader. "the algorithm recommending me stalker is proof that criticker users are pretentious and rate films highly solely because they're considered artistic--oh, did i mention i like other tarkovsky films?" i mean really, are you serious?

p.s. the 'popularity' filter has nothing to do with how highly a film is rated, it's based solely on volume of ratings. the PSIs for more popular films will be more accurate in general due to the higher volume of TCIs, but it's also true there's an inevitable correlation between "easy to watch" and "most seen", which is why that recommendation was a perfectly reasonable one.

Post Reply