The clash for crown critic: Rotten Tomatoes vs. IMDB

Alex Devas, Contributing Writer

Have you ever seen a movie or TV show with a celebrity you recognize but cannot name?  Or do you remember times when you had difficulty deciding whether or not to go see a movie?  If so, you probably have used IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.  Although both websites offer insights.about movies, television, and celebrities, there are quite a few differences.  These differences often make people choose one website over the other.

IMDB (the Internet Movie Database) assesses movies and television series based on a one to ten rating provided by registered members.  Then the website weights the evaluation average and uses an algorithm to give a movie or television series a rating.  These ratings are updated weekly and are scanned for fraud.

Rotten Tomatoes uses professional critic reviews to decide the ratings of movies and television series.  It uses a “tomatometer” to decide if a movie is “fresh” or “rotten.”  If the movie or television series’ reviews are more than sixty percent positive, it is deemed fresh.

IMDB allows all registered members to vote from one to ten, so millions of people can express their opinions about each movie or television series.  This allows for greater user input.  Rotten Tomatoes, however, has professional critics review works.  Because the reviews are written by professionals, they are inevitably more carefully crafted and based on professional standards.

Sophomore Stefan Appel believes that in terms of accuracy, IMDB wins that battle.

“I feel Rotten Tomatoes’ ratings are not consistent and it is not helpful when looking for something to watch,” said Appel.

The 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption, nominated for seven Oscars, is the highest rated film on IMDB, at nine point three out of ten.  On Rotten Tomatoes, this film is rated at ninety one percent on the tomatometer.  Although this seems very similar, there are more than one hundred movies ranked higher than The Shawshank Redemption.  When it comes to Rotten Tomatoes’ highest rated movie, it is the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, ranked at ninety nine percent.  This movie on IMDB is ranked at one hundred ninety three, with an eight point one out of ten.

If you are new to both websites, or not a big fan of cinema or television, it may seem like there are no noticeable differences between IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.  However, to cinephiles and TV lovers, there is a massive difference.  IMDB goes the extra mile when it comes to movies and television.  Not only does it cover the basics, but it also has trivia, quotes, user and critic reviews, parent’s guides, and more. Rotten Tomatoes on the other hand, is far less intricate.

“With IMDB’s craving for detail, it offers me all the knowledge I could possibly want about a movie or television series,” said sophomore Eva Tamkin.

Even so, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes are useful in different ways. If someone is wondering whether or not a movie is entertaining, they should consider IMDB as their resource. However, if that person were curious about why people enjoyed or disliked that movie, Rotten Tomatoes would be the preferred reference.

Although there are many similarities and differences between the two competitors, it is up to you to decide which one is right.  More importantly, the entertainment quality of a film or show is completely based on opinion.  Although these sites guide hungry viewers to quality entertainment, you should always judge what you watch based on just that: what you watch.