Why You Can’t Trust User Ratings from IMDB: A Case Study

It can be incredibly difficult to get a feel for the “critical consensus” for a new film, if there even is such a thing.  But, online review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic do their best to provide their readers with a general idea of the quality of a film, which I have discussed at length before.  Today, I’d like to show a crystal clear example of why another metric, the User Ratings from IMDB.com, borders on absolute uselessness.  Put bluntly, the site does not require that a person giving a rating has even seen the movie.  The result is blatant vote-brigading, either artificially elevating a substandard film through the sheer size of the fanbase of its underlying intellectual property, or unjustly punishing a film for its perceived transgressions that are unrelated to the quality of the filmmaking.  In the former case, we’ll look at Batman v. Superman:  Dawn of Justice, and in the later, the more recent A Dog’s Purpose.

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