About Honest IMDb

Why did we make this?

We made Honest IMDb because while building SaidThat we noticed that IMDb would often have ratings that varied heavily from the ratings of the users on our platform and that of other platforms. Upon further digging we noticed that only the average of user reviews seemed to match. Add on to that the fact they are owned by Amazon who produces content and numerous stories that have been published about this weirdness around ratings (Example 1, example 2, example 3). By IMDb's own admission they don't weigh their ratings equally.

So we thought we'd take a stab at making a more "honest" IMDb by following our core belief of SaidThat, that the best way to get an honest opinion is to ask people. This is just for informational/educational purposes and we're not trying to imply that IMDb is doing anything wrong or that their ratings are bad. We just wanted to see what the ratings would look like if they were based solely on the user review ratings. We leave the interpretation of the results up to you.

How does it work?

The website is pretty simple. You search for a movie or tv show (this part is powered by TMDb) and then if that movie or tv show exists on IMDb we scan all the user reviews (the ones with text) for their ratings. We then take the average of those ratings and display it on the page. Simple as that! You should be able recreate the results yourself by going to the IMDb page and looking at the user reviews. Just might take you a while...

Are there flaws to this idea?

We recognize that this is not a perfect method and there are several legit reasons our "recalculated" score might differ from IMDb's. Here are a few:

  1. Response bias - people who take the time to leave a text review are more likely to have a strong opinion about the movie or tv show.
  2. Not enough reviews - if there are not many user reviews then the average is going to be more volatile.
  3. IMDb can also delete/hide user text reviews - We view it as a more reliable source since a user can go and find their review, but it's also possible to curate the ones available
  4. A lot of early negative reviews - We scan all the reviews for a movie or tv show. This includes reviews from people who may not have finished the movie or tv show. This can sometimes lead to a movie or tv show having a lower score than would be accurate by the end of its run. For example, this might explain the low score for "Succession". The show famously turns off viewers in the early episodes.