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September 3, 2010 4:00 PM   Subscribe

It's a simple concept: Given a choice between two random movies, which one do you like best? That's the driving force behind Flickchart, an addictive review site for movie lovers. Faced with two posters, click the one for the title you prefer (weeding out the ones you haven't seen). Good! Now do it again. And again. And again. With each new face-off, Flickchart perfects a growing list of your favorite films -- and there can be no ties. This leads to some difficult dilemmas: Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark? Citizen Kane or The Godfather? WALL-E or Spirited Away? But you needn't struggle alone -- Flickchart is also social. By drawing on the data of tens of thousands of fellow users, you can create remarkably specific lists: Martin Scorsese's Best Period Films. The Best Road Movies of the 1980s. The Worst Movies of All Time. If you rank enough films, you can generate interesting personalized charts, like "Your Favorite Musicals" or "The Best Movies You Haven't Seen." These filters carry over to the ranking system, letting you judge nothing but Horror movies or 1960s movies or unranked movies or movies from your top 100. You can also comment on popular match-ups, lending your voice to contentious debates like Ghostbusters vs. Back to the Future or Jaws vs. Predator. Not a movie fan? Don't worry. Flickchart will be expanding into books, games, and music soon. Until then, you can give your own data sets the Flickchart treatment using this tool from CNN.

Note: Don't let the homepage scare you away! Registration is only required to rank your own movies, and the process is near-instant: just enter a username, password, and a gibberish email address (you don't need to confirm it), and you can start ranking immediately. If you don't want to do that, you can still use the site's non-personalized tools, including the best-of lists, the custom chart-builder, and all the articles and features on the official blog, such as movie reviews, user articles, and the site podcast. But I'd recommend registering, myself -- it takes only a few seconds, requires no personal information, and the rankings and other personalized features it enables make it totally worth it.
posted by Rhaomi (202 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think this sounds like a really cool site. Although, I can see myself getting sucked in to the website for more time than I should. Especially if accessing from work, which i probably would! I love that it is more than just a pick the best of these two website and actually builds some intelligence that may prove useful for the user. Very cool!
posted by Life_Settlement_Broker at 4:07 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


So it's kittenwar for movies?
posted by delmoi at 4:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just want to say I felt guilty when I picked Boondock Saints over To Kill a Mockingbird. But I did it anyway.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:09 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bookhouse, I flagged that as offensive
posted by Mick at 4:10 PM on September 3, 2010 [11 favorites]


I ♥ Flickchart. It really is addictive.
posted by brundlefly at 4:13 PM on September 3, 2010


Bookhouse, that is a sin in the eyes of the Lord. I wish we were friends so I could unfriend you.
posted by komara at 4:14 PM on September 3, 2010


Oh, and Bookhouse should feel guilty for picking Boondock Saints over anything not involving Uwe Boll.
posted by brundlefly at 4:15 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Or in my case, Clerks vs Chasing Amy. How am I supposed to pick between two Kevin Smith flicks? Damn you, Flickchart.
posted by asciident at 4:16 PM on September 3, 2010


Transitivity is gonna cause problems here, if the goal is really to establish a total ordering.</nerd>
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:20 PM on September 3, 2010


Hey everyone - thanks for checking out Flickchart. I'm the co-founder. I've been lurking here on Me-Fi for a long while now, so it's humbling to see a site I've worked on featured here.

If anyone has any questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions, praise/hate, feel free to send it our way. We're always looking for feedback!
posted by Zampa at 4:20 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


Man, I felt dirty picking Crash over Independence Day. Not that it's an inevitable choice, just that I have a hard time picking Crash over anything.
posted by gauche at 4:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Transitivity is gonna cause problems here, if the goal is really to establish a total ordering.

A lot of people ask about that lack of perfect transitivity, but it's really not a problem. We always take whatever your most recent preference is, as many users have flipped back and forth on their choices. Sometimes the difficult matchups are so close that you might go with one film today, but the other next week. Sometimes your tastes just evolve over time.
posted by Zampa at 4:25 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Bookhouse should feel guilty for picking Boondock Saints over anything not involving Uwe Boll.

I could lie about it, but if it's midnight and there's two teevee stations and one's playing Boondock Saints and the other is playing Mockingbird, I'm going to watch Boondock Saints. I know that Mockingbird is the better-crafted, more meaningful and more important film. But hey, I'm into fun. I'm comfortable with who I am.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:28 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Or in my case, Clerks vs Chasing Amy. How am I supposed to pick between two Kevin Smith flicks? Damn you, Flickchart."

Chasing Amy vs. Alien How is a choice possible.
posted by Mitheral at 4:29 PM on September 3, 2010


What's with all the foreign posters?
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:29 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Life Aquatic vs. Forrest Gump?

Damn you! Those are equally sacred to me!
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:30 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Zampa : If anyone has any questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions, praise/hate, feel free to send it our way. We're always looking for feedback!

How about a non-logged-in demo mode? I appreciate that you don't ask for a ton of personal info, Kudos for that; but honestly, having to remember one... more... frickin'... password just to get to a site that I may or may not ever visit again - It just gets tiresome.

Don't take that the wrong way, I may well use it for five minutes and love it and want an account. But just to see the basics of "this site does this for you" (and I don't mean just a slideshow - Really let someone use it as a non-persistent guest account)? Not likely unless a close friend recommends it.
posted by pla at 4:31 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hotel Rwanda vs. The Incredibles? No, you cannot make me vote against either movie! If I vote against the Incredibles, I have no soul, and if I vote against Hotel Rwanda, I am callous!
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:32 PM on September 3, 2010


I just want to say I felt guilty when I picked Boondock Saints over To Kill a Mockingbird. But I did it anyway.

And you chose incorrectly. The empirical and irrefutable evidence proving your choice wrong is that there was no To Kill a Mockingbird 2 (yet).
posted by cjorgensen at 4:33 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Things were going pretty easy for a long long time until I rolled Toy Story vs. The Seven Samurai.
posted by furiousthought at 4:33 PM on September 3, 2010


What's with all the foreign posters?

We're all about the international posters, as some of the artwork is world's better than anything from the U.S. designs. There are some really unique designs - especially some of the Polish and Japanese versions of certain films.

How about a non-logged-in demo mode?

We've considered doing exactly that - a way to jump right into ranking, and then the option to save your rankings by creating an account... We just haven't implemented that type of system yet. We may still do that in the future in lieu of the splash page you're presented with currently.
posted by Zampa at 4:34 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Top Gun vs. The Fast and The Furious?

This site is just an elaborate ruse to make me stand up for Top Gun, my least favorite piece of softcore volleyball taters and airplanes.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:39 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Tried it for about fifty movies but gave up after finding about 6 movies that I have seen, or would see if the opportunity arose. What crap the movie industry produces.
posted by charlesminus at 4:40 PM on September 3, 2010


...over anything not involving Uwe Boll.

I've heard good things about Rampage. I'm not even kidding.
posted by griphus at 4:41 PM on September 3, 2010


Is this a joke? I always get Aladdin vs. [insert terrible movie here], so Aladdin is now near the very tippy top.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I cannot convince it that I do not love Interview with a Vampire or Spiderman 3. Just because I choose a movie over American Pie 2 does not put it in my top ten.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:44 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tried it for about fifty movies but gave up after finding about 6 movies that I have seen, or would see if the opportunity arose. What crap the movie industry produces.

If there are particular movies you want to rank, you can search for them at the top right and add them to your list. You might also try the filters (links above the posters) to rank just within years, or decades, or particular genres, actors, or directors that you're more familiar with...

Is this a joke? I always get Aladdin vs. [insert terrible movie here], so Aladdin is now near the very tippy top.

If you get something terrible early on in your Top 20, you can remove it and re-add it. See this how-to video for more info.
posted by Zampa at 4:45 PM on September 3, 2010


I've heard good things about Rampage. I'm not even kidding.

I heard the same things, and they're all lies. I couldn't even finish it. Imagine Boll's usual level of ineptitude, except pretentious and with really amateurish improv. If anything it's his worst movie, if only because everything else he's done has been entertainingly awful.
posted by brundlefly at 4:47 PM on September 3, 2010


I cannot convince it that I do not love Interview with a Vampire or Spiderman 3. Just because I choose a movie over American Pie 2 does not put it in my top ten.

You won't have instant results as to what your true favorites are (your Top 20) right away - the more you rank, the more accurate it will become. If you want to speed up the process though, you can use the filters (links above the posters) to rank just your Top 20, 50, 100, or 250 to refine the top of your list faster.
posted by Zampa at 4:47 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


charlesminus, note that you can filter the movies you're presented with by date, genre, cast/crew, etc., using the options above the movie posters. It can help you narrow down the field if you have less than mainstream tastes.

mccarty.tim and Bookhouse, if you get a bad movie stuck near the top of your list, you can always re-rank it by clicking on the movie title in your top 20 list and clicking "Re-Rank This Movie" (or even "Remove From My Flickchart"). This becomes less of a problem as you rank more movies -- I've got 400+ rated currently and my top 10 is mostly Pixar at this point.

On preview: I promise I don't work for Flickchart. :/
posted by Rhaomi at 4:48 PM on September 3, 2010


Twilight vs. Matrix Reloaded? It's like choosing between filth and garbage!
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:48 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd an option saying "This was a really hard decision" vs "This was a really really easy decision". Even if you threw away the information, it would make me feel better about myself.
posted by Gary at 4:48 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'd like an option. I'd also like an edit window on metafilter.
posted by Gary at 4:49 PM on September 3, 2010


There's a related research project at Princeton University called Allourideas.org that lets you set up this kind of all-pairs voting for any topic. They use examples of what policies the US government should undertake. Note that people can add their own suggestions, hence things like "produce more bacon" or "develop motorbikes for squirrels".
posted by jasonhong at 4:49 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dead Poets Society is ranked #2 on my list. That can't be right.
posted by saffry at 4:50 PM on September 3, 2010


Oh man. I just blew 40 minutes ranking movies, when I've got guests coming for dinner! Awesome idea, and there are some tough tough choices... Apocalypse Now vs Fargo? Damnit!
posted by gofargogo at 4:51 PM on September 3, 2010


Apparently I haven't seen many movies.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:51 PM on September 3, 2010


It keeps giving me shit movie vs. shit movie. King Kong (remake) vs. Serenity? History of Violence vs. Batman Begins? I'd rather poke out my eyes than rewatch any of these. Should I just click "Haven't seen it" when it gives me two movies I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemies?
posted by dobbs at 4:54 PM on September 3, 2010


SERENITY WAS AWESOME BECAUSE RIVER BEAT UP BAD GUYS! AND I STILL CRY WHEN WASH DIES! YOU TAKE THAT BACK!
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:55 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


Crap. It's a Wonderful Life vs. The Evil Dead.

I'm a bit stumped.
posted by brundlefly at 4:57 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


...welp, you just spoiled Serenity for the last guy on Earth who has never seen it.
posted by griphus at 4:57 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It keeps giving me shit movie vs. shit movie. King Kong (remake) vs. Serenity? History of Violence vs. Batman Begins? I'd rather poke out my eyes than rewatch any of these. Should I just click "Haven't seen it" when it gives me two movies I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemies?

To me, choosing between two awful movies is just as interesting a question as choosing between two great ones. You see a movie like star wars two pop up and you're like, no way I'm picking that one and then BOOM! the other choice is Transformers and there you are clicking on Star Wars II.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:58 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


As a person who visits Princeton all the time and who loved the idea of AmericaSpeakingOut, just without the trolls and conservative bias, let me just say AllOurIdeas.com is awesome!
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:58 PM on September 3, 2010


Grr, .org
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:58 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clerks Vs. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. You gotta be shitting me.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:00 PM on September 3, 2010


Should I just click "Haven't seen it" when it gives me two movies I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemies?

No. You should always pick the lesser evil if you get two films you hate. You might try the filters (links above the posters) to get more specific types of movies in your matchups.
posted by Zampa at 5:01 PM on September 3, 2010


To me, choosing between two awful movies is just as interesting a question

Not to me. If I say Buckaroo Banzai is better than Midnight Run, it just means I liked it better. If I say King Kong was better than Serenity it means I thought there was something at all good about it, which I didn't.

You should always pick the lesser evil if you get two films you hate.

Alright, but, you know, just as a data point, I'm more the type of jerk that would rather just not use the app if that keeps happening. Heh. I will check out the filters.
posted by dobbs at 5:04 PM on September 3, 2010


It locked me into a circular register / re-register / oops back to register loop. I'll try again later. I'll be interested to see how niche their films go.
posted by Forktine at 5:05 PM on September 3, 2010


Somebody should have mentioned that this is addictive. Did I mention that this is addictive? I think I am addicted to this. How are you?
posted by iamkimiam at 5:07 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Zampa, is the site evenly balanced toward movies from different decades? Or am I just imagining that I'm seeing the same 10 movies from the 1940s over and over again?
posted by blucevalo at 5:08 PM on September 3, 2010


THIS POSTER!
posted by dirigibleman at 5:09 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I say King Kong was better than Serenity it means I thought there was something at all good about it, which I didn't.


I dunno, I find it odd that you think all bad movies are without any redeeming qualities. So there's a line where you can't compare them anymore? Where is that line?
posted by Bookhouse at 5:14 PM on September 3, 2010


Yeah, I agree. Think of it this way:

King Kong has dinosaurs.

Serenity has space ships.

Which thing do you think is more awesome? Dinosaurs or spaceships?
posted by brundlefly at 5:18 PM on September 3, 2010


If I say King Kong was better than Serenity it means I thought there was something at all good about it, which I didn't.

Even if you absolutely hated them both, the King Kong remake was 68 minutes longer.
posted by Gary at 5:19 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this a joke? I always get Aladdin vs. [insert terrible movie here], so Aladdin is now near the very tippy top.

Same reason Titanic is #1 for me. I want to keep going just to get an actually representative list... very clever, Flickchart.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:20 PM on September 3, 2010


dobbs, this is metafilter. Leave Whedon alone. And Nolan. And Viggo. You can have King Kong.

I will admit The Day After Tomorrow vs. Shrek 2 gave me pause.

My one critique for the site is that with the foreign posters, I can't always tell which version is at stake -- the original version of Insomnia or the crappy American remake. And is there a non-Sigourney Weaver movie called Aliens?
posted by freshwater at 5:25 PM on September 3, 2010


Yeah, this is some interesting choices. I went in thinking, how hard can it be, but this is ranking for movies you like, not always movies that are great, so the choice becomes really difficult when you get two movies that you like, but like for different reasons. For example, I get a choice between Rocky and Zoolander. Seems like an obvious choice for Rocky since it's a classic and and I enjoyed it. Zoolander is just throw-away Ben Stiller comedy. However, I enjoy Zoolander, and to echo Zampa upthread, if I'm flipping around channels and Rocky and Zoolander are on, I'll probably end up watching Zoolander cause I'm usually in the mood for a dumb laugh. So, which one do I choose?

I choose Zoolander. *hangs head in shame* But, I'm hopping for Rocky to show up later so I can pick it over something else.
posted by snwod at 5:26 PM on September 3, 2010


Apparently I hated Hannibal enough that I'd rather watch Home Alone. This is enlightening.
posted by freshwater at 5:29 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


JFK or gone in 60 Seconds?? Which is better or which would I watch right now?
posted by cmoj at 5:32 PM on September 3, 2010


Afterthought...this is really gonna depend on my mood when choosing as well. I guess that means I'll have to go back over a period of time to make things even. Too bad I don't have an office job so that I could do this during the slow times at work.
posted by snwod at 5:34 PM on September 3, 2010


Of course, the dates help between versions, but I don't remember when the Insomnias came out.
posted by freshwater at 5:36 PM on September 3, 2010


OH LORD FORGIVE ME I PICKED GONE IN 60 SECONDS
posted by cmoj at 5:36 PM on September 3, 2010


Forktine: It locked me into a circular register / re-register / oops back to register loop. I'll try again later. I'll be interested to see how niche their films go.

You may have tried a username that already exists. Our validation checking seems to be on the fritz for some reason, so my apologies. You might try another username/email combination... Sorry for the trouble. We have quite a few niches - over

blucevalo: is the site evenly balanced toward movies from different decades? Or am I just imagining that I'm seeing the same 10 movies from the 1940s over and over again?

The algorithm will work to both introduce new films and give opportunities to re-rank films on your list to get them into their "correct" spots. When you first create an account, it tends towards more popular films, and then will grow more obscure the more you rank.
posted by Zampa at 5:43 PM on September 3, 2010


Citizen Cane vs. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy

I'm not going to say which way I went, but I'm slowly realizing that I may have have an awful taste in movies.

Also, the first twenty movies I chose are now my all time top twenty. Hope it updates, because it will only confirm my above suspicion.
posted by bionic.junkie at 5:45 PM on September 3, 2010


We have quite a few niches - over... 17,000 films are in our database, and if you have films you've seen that aren't available to rank, you can submit them and we'll add them to the site, pronto.
posted by Zampa at 5:47 PM on September 3, 2010


This is fun, but after ranking 100 movies, it's still convinced my favorite movie is Die Hard. Die Hard isn't even my favorite Die Hard movie.
posted by malapropist at 5:48 PM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I've invested quite a bit of time in Flickchart, with over 18,000 rankings of over 1700 movies. I'm less enchanted with it than I once was because I've found what appears to be a hole in their system. All of the movies on my Top 20 list periodically come up for re-ranking except one. The movie in question is relatively obscure but not so obscure that it didn't show up to be ranked fairly early on. I'm mostly just going back now to see if that one movie ever pops up again because otherwise I think I've got my Top 20 set pretty well. (But it took a lot of rankings to get there...)

The criteria is use is which movie I'd choose to watch on a three-hour airplane flight, although I know some of these movies could never be shown on a public airline. So far I haven't had to make any choices which would make we want to jump out of the plane but I fear 300 vs. Pan's Labyrinth.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:48 PM on September 3, 2010


a mere two rounds in and I'm stumped. how to choose between Lost in Translation and The Village????

hahahahah! can't wait to hear the snark on that set...
posted by supermedusa at 5:52 PM on September 3, 2010


Superman Returns vs. X-Men 3: The Last Stand

I see what you did there.
posted by Rangeboy at 5:53 PM on September 3, 2010


This sounds like it should be such a cool app, but for me it just doesn't work out very well. It constantly shows me pairs of movies where I really love both or I really hate both. Although I've spent a lot of time ranking movies on FlickChart, my top 20 movies are not at all representative of movies I would rank in my own top 20. I think their success rate would be much higher if they added "loved both" and "hated both" buttons.
posted by marsha56 at 5:55 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


fuse theorem: I'm mostly just going back now to see if that one movie ever pops up again because otherwise I think I've got my Top 20 set pretty well.

Have you tried the filters to rank just within your Top 20/Top 50/Top 100/Top 250 to refine the top of your list faster? Click the "Your Movies" link above the posters, then try a "top" filter...

You can also just manually rank that one movie that doesn't seem to want to come up for you. Just do a search for it (top right), then click "Re-Rank"... you can repeat this until you get it right into the spot you want.
posted by Zampa at 5:57 PM on September 3, 2010


Also, the first twenty movies I chose are now my all time top twenty. Hope it updates, because it will only confirm my above suspicion.

The more you rank, the more opportunities you'll have to refine and improve that list.

Although I've spent a lot of time ranking movies on FlickChart, my top 20 movies are not at all representative of movies I would rank in my own top 20.

Try the "Top" filters (mentioned above), or do some manual ranking (search for the title you want to move the position of, and choose "re-rank") to get movies into their correct spots faster.
posted by Zampa at 6:01 PM on September 3, 2010


It constantly shows me pairs of movies where I really love both or I really hate both.

I know. Blade Runner vs. Empire Strikes Back? Transformers 2 vs. Matrix Reloaded?

The algorithm is SERIOUSLY interested in how I feel about a Few Good Men. I think I've seen that poster in the neighborhood of fifteen times or more.
posted by bionic.junkie at 6:02 PM on September 3, 2010


We've considered doing exactly that - a way to jump right into ranking, and then the option to save your rankings by creating an account... We just haven't implemented that type of system yet. We may still do that in the future in lieu of the splash page you're presented with currently.

Yeah. Do that. Also, let people use openID or something so they don't need to create a new password pair.
posted by delmoi at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2010


Neat. And the use of international artwork is fun too.
posted by Artw at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just joined thanks to this post, and came to make a comment and Artw scooped me - the fact that you get to see funky off-brand posters of your favorite movies makes this all the more fun.
posted by chaff at 6:09 PM on September 3, 2010


Er just joined flickchart that is
posted by chaff at 6:10 PM on September 3, 2010


Just picked "Back to the Future III" over "Rosemary's Baby" and I didn't even blink. I'd pick it over "Citizen Kane" too motherfuckers! Only God can judge me!
posted by ND¢ at 6:10 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]



You can also just manually rank that one movie that doesn't seem to want to come up for you. Just do a search for it (top right), then click "Re-Rank"... you can repeat this until you get it right into the spot you want.


Thanks for the tip but the thing is, all my other Top 20 movies occasionally show up for re-ranking against movies that aren't in the group. This one movie never does and it seems like a bug in the algorithm. I'm otherwise happy with the Top 20 list and where each movie is placed in it. After putting in so much time to get it there, manually monkeying around with it now would seem like "cheating"...
posted by fuse theorem at 6:11 PM on September 3, 2010


Sorry "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" you're overrated as hell and depressing to boot and "The Sixth Sense" was totally awesome.
posted by ND¢ at 6:14 PM on September 3, 2010


Ahhh! I was trying to rerank Meet the Fockers to get it out of my top 20, and the last choice was Meet the Parents vs Meet the Fockers.

I chose... poorly.

Now they're both there at number 25 and 26. *speedily re-ranks them both again*
posted by WowLookStars at 6:16 PM on September 3, 2010


Just picked "Back to the Future III" over "Rosemary's Baby" and I didn't even blink. I'd pick it over "Citizen Kane" too motherfuckers! Only God can judge me!

Now I don't feel as bad about Ron Burgandy.
posted by bionic.junkie at 6:17 PM on September 3, 2010


I just got "The Blues Brothers" versus "O Brother Where Art Thou". I'm going to go sit in a corner and think for a long time.
posted by chaff at 6:18 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Although I've spent a lot of time ranking movies on FlickChart, my top 20 movies are not at all representative of movies I would rank in my own top 20.

That's how I felt when I was first introduced to Flickchart, but if you keep clicking-clicking-clicking, clearer patterns do emerge. As others have remarked above, the filtering systems really do help to fine-tune your rankings: compare movies within a decade, within a genre, within your top 10 or 20 or 100, or select individual movies to rank them against a panel of others. You'll see a difference pretty quickly --- or at least, I did.

I'm looking at my Flickchart top 20 right now and it's startlingly accurate. I don't think I would've come up with this exact list on my own, but I'll be darned if I can think of anything else I'd rank above these films.
posted by Elsa at 6:26 PM on September 3, 2010


Big Daddy vs. The Da Vinci Code.

There are some choices you shouldn't have to make in life.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:44 PM on September 3, 2010


Dude... it totally crashes mobile Safari on my iPad after I log in, every time.
I guess I'll have to fondle my wife instead.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:47 PM on September 3, 2010


Die Hard isn't even my favorite Die Hard movie.

Say what now?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:13 PM on September 3, 2010


Office Space vs. Stranger Than Fiction

I don't think may people saw and/or liked Stranger Than Fiction, but it really reached me. I thought very well written, well acted, art direction was genius. The scene where Will is in traction, and it is the most gorgeous traction ever designed... the flours. Love that movie.

But Office Space. I mean, come on!
posted by jeoc at 7:14 PM on September 3, 2010


Okay, stupid question time. Stupid because I'm pretty sure I learned how to do this in high school mathematics, and I've now completely forgotten.

Out of a list of 100 films, how many choices would it take for each film to be sorted against every other film?
posted by dumbland at 7:15 PM on September 3, 2010


1001 bubble sorts later, my top five are Alien, Toy Story 2, This Is Spinal Tap, Psycho and Oldboy. That's close enough. You @#$%ing win, Flickchart. I'm going to bed.

I know I know it's not actually a bubble sort, but it feels like one.
posted by furiousthought at 7:19 PM on September 3, 2010


Out of a list of 100 films, how many choices would it take for each film to be sorted against every other film?

Very few actually... Once any given movie is in its place, the amount of further movement is reduced drastically. You need only compare any given movie relative to the amount of movies you've seen.

Say you have 2000 movies - the new movie you're ranking goes against your #1000. It's better than that. Goes up against your #500. Worse. #750? Better. #625.? Better. 687? Right on the money. So you've only had to rank this new movie 5 times for it to find its exact correct position on your list. There it will stay unless it has to move later, which then will only take approximately the same amount of times to get it into its new position (or slightly larger if you've ranked more total movies).

Since it's a binary comparison, and not linear, the worst case analysis is tight: for any N there exists a query that takes exactly ⌊log2(N) + 1⌋ iterations. Even if you'd seen a million movies, you'd never exceed 20 rankings to get it to its rightful place on your list.
posted by Zampa at 7:24 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, the easiest choice I have ever had to make:

E.T. vs. Bridget Jones' Diary
posted by jeoc at 7:25 PM on September 3, 2010


I'm determined to get Harry Potter off the #1 spot without manually re-ranking it. As if it wasn't addictive enough, my brain went ahead and invented an achievement. I don't know if I'm more pissed at Flickchart or myself.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:26 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It keeps giving me shit movie vs. shit movie. King Kong (remake) vs. Serenity? History of Violence vs. Batman Begins?

(bold emphasis mine)

Where's that damned unfavorite button again...
posted by kmz at 7:27 PM on September 3, 2010


Taxi Driver vs Office Space.

I cannot choose. I refuse to choose.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:28 PM on September 3, 2010


Wow. The Passion of the Christ or Crash. That *is* a tough one. (And oh how I wish I'd Never Seen Either.)
posted by iamkimiam at 7:33 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


>>Die Hard isn't even my favorite Die Hard movie.

>Say what now?


Hello -- Die Hard With a Vengance??
posted by malapropist at 7:34 PM on September 3, 2010


Grr. I've clicked Fight Club like a dozen times and it still hasn't cracked my top 20, but Good Will Hunting is a 12 for some reason? And now I'm being asked to choose between Predator and The Terminator? This is like some kind of sick game! Happily my top 3 are Ghostbusters, Heat and Starship Troopers.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:41 PM on September 3, 2010


That is pretty interesting as a classification project. I was a big fan of movielens, which is a community rating and recommendation system -- think Netflix. I was reminded of it because of the promise of books, games, etc.

The Grouplens team spun off a short lived project that I loved called Wikilens. It was a wiki-based system that held categories of stuff (movies, books, beers, soda) where you rate and add items. What was super cool was that after rating a critical mass of movies, I went to the beer page and -- get this -- it has super accurate predictions of my beer tastes. You could also look at other raters and rate them, so and then they started listings of local restaurants (Minneapolis) ... I thought for sure that these guys were going to hit it big with a universal recommendation system for everything. But then they folded wikilens and moved on to bicycle routing apparently. And I moved on to OKcupid for algorithm goodness.

Anyway, I wonder if there will be any crossing over between categories when they are added to this site.
posted by cgk at 7:41 PM on September 3, 2010


And if Edward Scissorhands shows up one more time I am going to scream!
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:42 PM on September 3, 2010


Anyway, I wonder if there will be any crossing over between categories when they are added to this site.

We absolutely plan on doing all kinds of crazy cross-data insight queries between media. It's one of the things we're really looking forward to getting around to. If funding and resources come, perhaps we'll get to them faster. :)
posted by Zampa at 7:47 PM on September 3, 2010


Grr. I've clicked Fight Club like a dozen times and it still hasn't cracked my top 20, but Good Will Hunting is a 12 for some reason?

It doesn't matter how many times you rank a movie, it only matters if that movie ever beat something else in your Top 20. You could rank the worst movie ever 1000 times, but if it never beats anything, it's still your worst movie ever.
posted by Zampa at 7:48 PM on September 3, 2010


These chinese posters are just crazy.

Also even though I am only warm towards Top Gun I am surprised at how often I pick it over other movies.
posted by Allan Gordon at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2010


Zampa: Oh yeah. But still!
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:54 PM on September 3, 2010


Ranking Men in Black II over Citizen Kane.

I feel like I've sinned.
posted by Allan Gordon at 7:59 PM on September 3, 2010


This makes me miss whatsbetter.com It was created after the popularity of hotornot.com and let people upload their own anything and gave users a similar binary decision. The fun part was having choices like Oscar the Grouch vs. Mashed Potatos or Corkscrew vs. Dreamcast. I'm really surprised no one has come up with a Web 2.0 version of that yet.
posted by demiurge at 8:03 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


This makes me miss whatsbetter.com It was created after the popularity of hotornot.com and let people upload their own anything and gave users a similar binary decision. The fun part was having choices like Oscar the Grouch vs. Mashed Potatos or Corkscrew vs. Dreamcast. I'm really surprised no one has come up with a Web 2.0 version of that yet.

You might dig http://www.mostawesomestthingever.com
posted by Zampa at 8:12 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


MIB vs Mars Attacks? That's soo unfair.
posted by squeak at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2010


Well, I came in to complain about being forced to choose between Holy Grail and Blade Runner. But now, all I can say is....


WASH DIES????????????? What happens to Zoe?????? I was SAVING that movie!

/runs away weeping hysterically.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:25 PM on September 3, 2010


Due to clicking before noticing dates I may have ranked Planet of the Apes, the Burton version, over something.
posted by Artw at 8:26 PM on September 3, 2010


This is awesome. Although, Terminator vs Alien was a particularly cruel choice.
posted by Vindaloo at 8:52 PM on September 3, 2010


Nthing the "apparently I haven't seen a lot of movies" but at least I'm having fun finding out how few movies I've seen.
posted by immlass at 8:54 PM on September 3, 2010


OMFG, The Dark Knight has a global ranking of 1.
Like WTF mate!?
posted by Vindaloo at 9:04 PM on September 3, 2010


The Life of Brian vs. The Blues Brothers? Argh.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 9:17 PM on September 3, 2010


You may have tried a username that already exists. Our validation checking seems to be on the fritz for some reason, so my apologies. You might try another username/email combination... Sorry for the trouble.

Still totally fails for me even with user names that are random keystrokes (firefox on a mac, for what it's worth). This sounds interesting enough that I'll try again in a few days; too bad it's not working tonight.
posted by Forktine at 9:18 PM on September 3, 2010


Does anyone else have a weird glitch where 2 movies will load, then suddenly 1 or both will change to a different movie before you even select anything?
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:20 PM on September 3, 2010


That's pretty similar, Zampa, thanks, but I was hoping for slick ajax, not full flash everything.
posted by demiurge at 9:31 PM on September 3, 2010


I didn't like it when Notting Hill vs. Bridget Jones' Diary came up and I actually had an opinion :-|
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:39 PM on September 3, 2010


Empire Strikes Back vs Raiders and I don't know what to do.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:03 PM on September 3, 2010


Okay, I've got a weird one. The Deer Hunter vs. Kingdom of Heaven. Is it the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven or the theatrical release?

I guess I'll go looking for a FAQ?
posted by ODiV at 10:14 PM on September 3, 2010


FAQ was easy to find, but it doesn't answer the question. :(
posted by ODiV at 10:15 PM on September 3, 2010


Blade Runner (1982) vs Die Hard (1988)

/Blade Runner
posted by porpoise at 10:36 PM on September 3, 2010


It's making me choose between "Being John Malkovich" and "Office Space"... This thing is evil.
posted by botono9 at 11:10 PM on September 3, 2010


Does anyone else have a weird glitch where 2 movies will load, then suddenly 1 or both will change to a different movie before you even select anything?

Yes, and it's frustrating — the movies it arbitrarily skips past seem more interesting than the ones it lets me decide on.
posted by rewil at 11:11 PM on September 3, 2010


Zampa what is the mechanism that has one rating a movie as preferred and then having it decline on your flickchart?
posted by Mitheral at 11:16 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


2 ridiculously difficult choices in a row:

Star Wars: A New Hope vs. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
12 Monkeys vs. Sin City

I want to choose both!
posted by clorox at 11:34 PM on September 3, 2010


Sorry for the double post, but this is blowing my mind.

Find the poster for the Czech release of Ghostbusters on this page. Answer: !!!
posted by clorox at 12:00 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think I experienced the same glitch Mitheral did. I was rounding out my list by focusing on earlier decades -- when I first filtered for the 1950s, I had these three films already ranked:

1. Alice in Wonderland (#250 on my all-time chart)
2. Rashomon (#349)
3. Singin' in the Rain (#404)

I was then challenged with Rashomon vs. Peter Pan. I chose Rashomon, and was told "Rashomon went from 349 to 350 on your Flickchart." My '50s chart now looks like this:

1. Peter Pan (#234 on my all-time chart)
2. Alice in Wonderland (#251)
2. Rashomon (#350)
3. Singin' in the Rain (#405)

If I said that Rashomon was better than newcomer Peter Pan, then why did Pan get inserted in my overall chart not only above Rashomon, but several slots above a film the algorithm determined was itself better than Rashomon? And it's not like it just got stuck in the middle of the chart, like I've seen some new movies do -- I've ranked 413 movies total, so the halfway point should be at 206/207. I undid the decision and redid it several times, FWIW, always with the same result.

I get that more recent user choices trump the transitive property, but this doesn't make any sense at all.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:04 AM on September 4, 2010


Beetlejuice vs Army of Darkness?? ::head explodes::
posted by rifflesby at 12:05 AM on September 4, 2010


I'm clicking away and feeling bad when I accidentally choose The Wrong One! Because sometimes there really is a wrong one.
posted by h00py at 12:08 AM on September 4, 2010


Also, when I undid my choice and picked Peter Pan as the winner instead of Rashomon, the chart ended up like this:

1. Alice in Wonderland (#250 overall)
2. Peter Pan (#363)
2. Rashomon (#365)
3. Singin' in the Rain (#405)

So, Peter Pan actually gets inserted significantly higher in my chart when I rule against it (#234) than when I vote for it (#363). Note also how Rashomon is inexplicably knocked down 15 slots in latter scenario, even though it's losing out to a film I've never rated before. And the one that beats it shows up two slots above it. What's #364? (I'd check, but the chart tool is being sluggish right now.) Anyway, very strange.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:37 AM on September 4, 2010


Just replicated the glitch. Alice in Wonderland was my top-rated '50s movie (#270 overall), and it got pitted against Cinderella (which was unranked). Picking Alice nevertheless knocked it down a slot to #271, and Cinderella got added much higher at position #234 (just like Peter Pan did earlier). Backing up and picking Cinderella instead, on the other hand, inserts Cinderella at #309, and knocks Alice from #270 down to #310.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:04 AM on September 4, 2010


How it ranks seems to be pretty random, after going through hundreds of comparisons True Lies (which I hate) came up against some even worse bilge and went straight in at 21 in my rankings, while stuff that had won more than one battle was holding at 150.

Metafilter though, should adopt some variant of this in the sign up process. Ask potential No0bs Big Lebowski vs Attack of the Clones with the latter an automatic banhammering.
posted by biffa at 1:17 AM on September 4, 2010


I just gave it 4 hrs of my life. Why?
posted by Danila at 3:01 AM on September 4, 2010


I really dug this system. I went through about 400 movies, and one of the first ones I had was Hot Fuzz.
I love me some Hot Fuzz, so whatever the choice was against it, put it at #1.
The funny part, is that while doing it organically, I found that every time Hot Fuzz would come up (and it did come up quite often) it would be the better movie.
So it seems there's a check in place if the top of the list doesn't move around often, just to make sure you wanted it up there.
So I feel it kind of deserves the #1 spot on my list right now.
If I ever do get the match up naturally of Ghostbusters (#2) and Hot Fuzz though?

I think we'll have a new cham-peen.
posted by WeX Majors at 3:09 AM on September 4, 2010


Flickchart: Hey, remember that time you watched 'Knocked Up'?
Me: Oh god, I had forgotten about that. That was a bad time.
Flickchart: How bad? Worse than that time when you were a teenager and at a sleepover and everyone insisted on watching 'Stand by Me' and talking about how hot the mopey kid was?
Me: No, I guess that was a worse experience overall. Thanks for reminding me.
Flickchart: You're welcome. What about that time you were unemployed and interviewed for a job in Warrington out of desperation and went to see 'Pirates of the Caribbean II' because the cinema there literally wasn't showing any other films? Was that a fun time?
Me: Dammit, I guess that was worse. I really hated that film.
Flickchart: What, really? More than the 'King Kong' remake? Remember how astonishingly long that was?
Me: Yeah, I remember now. I guess that was quite a lot worse. Hours and hours of boring CGI and racism. That was a very, very bad film.
Flickchart: Ok, I get it, you didn't enjoy that film. Here, to cheer you up, let's remember the time you were with your family and had to see 'Love Actually' all the way through to the end.
Me: Please make this stop.
Flickchart: So, which was a more awesome film, 'Love Actually' or 'Pirates of the Caribbean II'. You remember about 'Pirates of the Caribbean II', right?
Me: I think I will go back to bed now.
posted by Acheman at 4:23 AM on September 4, 2010 [16 favorites]


Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle vs. In Bruges.

Hmm, Harold and Kumar delivers for my 18-24 year old male demographic. But In Bruges was really well made and I liked it a lot!

But then again, Harold and Kumar jump-started NPH's career. He's like our less-nerdy Will Wheaton!
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:41 AM on September 4, 2010


Feature request: Hold the mouse over the poster for a brief synopsis to jog my memory.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:48 AM on September 4, 2010


Mitheral & Rhaomi: Zampa what is the mechanism that has one rating a movie as preferred and then having it decline on your flickchart?

That's a known glitch, and it will be fixed in the next code push. Thanks for the detailed reports on replicating the bug though. Appreciate the feedback!

mccarty.tim: Feature request: Hold the mouse over the poster for a brief synopsis to jog my memory.

If you click "Details" in the bottom section (see bottom-left choices of "Comments", "Stats", "Details", you can get a brief on the director, actors, rating, etc. which may help to jog your memory.
posted by Zampa at 6:34 AM on September 4, 2010


This reminds me so much of browsing a video store: "Hm, that looks like shit. This one is definitely shit. God, that looks terrible. Did they even make a Die Hard 4? Oh god, not zombies again. Meh. Blah. Why aren't there more movies just like Withnail & I, only completely different, because I've already seen that? Meh. Oh, another movie based on a comic; grow a fucking brain already, Hollywood. Wow, how did all of these get funded? Who watched them? Gaah, Jim Carrey. At this rate I might as well just watch a Chuck Norris movie for the laughs..."

And that's how you end up with Firewalker in your list of top movies.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:44 AM on September 4, 2010


One more vote for "boy, there sure are a load of famous movies I've never seen." Really fun though.

Deciding which movies you've "seen" can be quite difficult. What about movies you saw decades ago and can barely remember the plot? Or movies you only half-watched whilst doing something else? It's tricky!
posted by afx237vi at 7:02 AM on September 4, 2010


For "Rank this Movie," I should be able to downgrade "Big", which is annoyingly stuck way up at #10. It doesn't help to have further random comparisons, because that probably won't affect its ranking. It would help to have comparisons to movies directly next to it in my rankings, however, or to just stick it where I want (waaaaay below the Shining, which is stuck at #38).
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:10 AM on September 4, 2010


Oh jeez, I feel a fool. I'll go click my way to oblivion now.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:20 AM on September 4, 2010


Rushmore vs. The Shining? DAAAAAMN YOUUUUU
posted by 40 Watt at 7:29 AM on September 4, 2010


Here's what I want: a site like this, or Netflix, or something, that will take these rankings, compare them with those of my friends, and give me a movie we will probably both like. I think that's the missing link that takes these sorts of personal recommendations from idle list-making into something unbelievably useful. This is a much better solution than my boyfriend and I standing in front of the Redbox for 20 minutes not being able to find anything to watch.
posted by almostmanda at 7:36 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


No wait, no I don't. I still think either the ranking system could be more intelligent within my own rankings (stop asking me if my 50th ranked is higher than my 2nd ranked, you should know that), and / or I should be able to compare near rankings. This so far, however, has not stopped me from clicking like a maniac.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:37 AM on September 4, 2010


Here's what I want: a site like this, or Netflix, or something, that will take these rankings, compare them with those of my friends, and give me a movie we will probably both like. I think that's the missing link that takes these sorts of personal recommendations from idle list-making into something unbelievably useful. This is a much better solution than my boyfriend and I standing in front of the Redbox for 20 minutes not being able to find anything to watch.

Completely agree - and more specific recommendations like this are on the way...

You'll be able to make a few clicks and see what your boyfriend's favorite movies are that you've never seen, or what the best movie (as decided by all users of Flickchart) is that neither of you have ever seen. You'll also get recommendations based on other users that are most similar to you.
posted by Zampa at 7:42 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still think either the ranking system could be more intelligent within my own rankings (stop asking me if my 50th ranked is higher than my 2nd ranked, you should know that), and / or I should be able to compare near rankings.

Absolutely. We're constantly reevaluating and tweaking our algorithms, and we have a lot still planned in this regard to improve intelligence on past rankings. Stay tuned...
posted by Zampa at 7:43 AM on September 4, 2010


I'd also like to be able to review movies I've seen, just to remind myself what I liked / disliked about that particular film. As far as I can see, you can comment on the matchups that are served up, but not individual films?
posted by afx237vi at 7:43 AM on September 4, 2010


Frost/Nixon or Toy Story 2.

Am I a man or a manchild?
posted by minifigs at 7:48 AM on September 4, 2010


This definitely fills a gap in my Netflix ratings that the demo identifies spot on:

"If all these films are five stars, which is the best"?

Still, I think Netflix API integration could be great. I often give blanket three-star ratings to films I "like," but with an "objective" list of films, my top 20% could be five stars, the next 20% could be four stars, and so on. This assume that I "don't like" or "hate" the bottom 40%, which might be problematic.

I enjoy pretending like I haven't seen certain movies when I want to help boost a movie that's been shafted by my ratings:

Eternal Sunshine vs. Blade... oh, what's Blade?
Eternal Sunshine vs. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

That's better... ARGH CONFLICT!
posted by themadjuggler at 8:11 AM on September 4, 2010


As far as I can see, you can comment on the matchups that are served up, but not individual films?

Correct. We'll be rolling out the ability to leave comments on both individual movies and user profiles in the coming months.

Still, I think Netflix API integration could be great.

We do have Netflix links from every movie's info pages, and on every title listed on the various charts permutations. We haven't found a way to elegantly fit it into the main ranking page's interface yet, but we'd like to...
posted by Zampa at 8:22 AM on September 4, 2010


I know this was posted before because the metafilter/metafilter login I created still works.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:25 AM on September 4, 2010


It was all going swimmingly for awhile. Sure, I'm not thrilled to have The Village at #1 just because it was my choice in the first pairing of two movies I'd seen. I dithered about North by Northwest vs Casablanca, and boy, was I not happy to end up choosing Independence Day over whatever its even more forgettable or irritating partner was. But now I've got Toy Story vs Nightmare Before Christmas staring me down, and that might be the pairing that forces me to close the tab and take a walk. I don't know how to choose!
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:27 AM on September 4, 2010


God, look at the "best films of all time" list. It's all Batman and Star Wars. Feh.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:59 AM on September 4, 2010


Brazil vs. Pan's Labyrinth - only a computer made of pure hate would ask me such a question.
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on September 4, 2010


God, look at the "best films of all time" list. It's all Batman and Star Wars. Feh.

That's where you come in. Your rankings are the ones that would change and affect that result!
posted by Zampa at 9:22 AM on September 4, 2010


I got Office Space vs. The Big Lebowski.
posted by Dreamcast at 9:55 AM on September 4, 2010


Flickchart is really, really interested in my opinion of Jim Carrey.

I think it's time for a Shatner filter
posted by maus at 10:25 AM on September 4, 2010


Hey Zampa, I was bitching but this is great. I spent entirely too much time on the site today.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:31 AM on September 4, 2010


Zampa: Thanks for the site, lots of fun. One minor quibble is wherever the "Starring:" data is being pulled from isn't ordering very well (it doesn't look alphabetical or order of appearance so maybe it's random?). Either way it's not including the leads for many movies I look at the details on.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:36 AM on September 4, 2010


One of my fave, The Lives of Others: only 26% have seen it, but it wins 60% of the time. Is there a way to isolate other such little-seen but admired-once-seen movies? That's a list I'd like to see.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:39 AM on September 4, 2010


Final Fantasy VII or The Bicycle Thief?? I can't choose!! AGGH!
(yes I can)
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:02 AM on September 4, 2010


How about specific genre categories for "Post-Apocalyptic" and "Zombie" movies? Otherwise great site!
posted by Horatius at 11:58 AM on September 4, 2010


Golly. Casablanca, or Kung Fu Panda?
posted by pemberkins at 12:29 PM on September 4, 2010


I'm forced to choose between my love for Indiana Jones and my love for Pixar. This is Not Fair.
posted by pemberkins at 12:30 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon versus The Incredibles.
posted by Songdog at 1:18 PM on September 4, 2010


One of the best juxtapositions yet: The Perfect Storm vs. Sunshine.

Great site, Zampa, thanks!
posted by altopower at 1:38 PM on September 4, 2010


I was just wondering how do lesser known movies get added to the list.
posted by Allan Gordon at 1:42 PM on September 4, 2010


If you get something terrible early on in your Top 20, you can remove it and re-add it.

Would it be more useful if I could click on the name of the film in the list and it generates a film to go against it?
posted by biffa at 1:42 PM on September 4, 2010


The Matrix Revolutions vs. Terminator 3.

This isn't "which do you like better?", it's "which did you hate more?".
posted by spitefulcrow at 1:44 PM on September 4, 2010


One minor quibble is wherever the "Starring:" data is being pulled from isn't ordering very well (it doesn't look alphabetical or order of appearance so maybe it's random?). Either way it's not including the leads for many movies I look at the details on.

Yeah - we don't have a strong notion in our data of who's "top billed" yet, so its being spit out either alphabetically, or in some cases just as the data was entered... We'll probably do a frequency bump to try to sort this better in the future, with some manual tweaking of the data to polish it.
posted by Zampa at 1:56 PM on September 4, 2010


I was just wondering how do lesser known movies get added to the list.

If you mean to your list, you can use any of the filters to get more obscure or random pairs, or you can always search and rank any movie you're looking for.

If you meant that you can't find a movie you want to rank, there's a submission form on the search results page that will let you plug in the essential details for a film, and then we'll fact-check it and get it added to our database ASAP.
posted by Zampa at 1:58 PM on September 4, 2010


One choice of movie vs. another choice of movie!?!?!? This would make an excellent comment on Metafilter, by gum!
posted by Kwine at 2:00 PM on September 4, 2010


Would it be more useful if I could click on the name of the film in the list and it generates a film to go against it?

You can do that too - you can re-rank it without removing from your list as many times as you like. See this how-to video on how that works.
posted by Zampa at 2:00 PM on September 4, 2010


It would be cool if in your movie list it showed how many times each movie was ranked.
posted by Allan Gordon at 2:32 PM on September 4, 2010


Hey, Zampa, there seems to be a bug in that "Ethan and Joel Coen" are a choice for director but when you select it, it says no movies match that criteria.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:34 PM on September 4, 2010


Hey, Zampa, there seems to be a bug in that "Ethan and Joel Coen" are a choice for director but when you select it, it says no movies match that criteria.

http://www.flickchart.com/Default.aspx?director=Ethan+%26+Joel+Coen should work - it might be something to do with the ampersand when it parses the data... Thanks for letting us know! We'll add it to our fix-list.
posted by Zampa at 2:41 PM on September 4, 2010


It would be cool if in your movie list it showed how many times each movie was ranked.

You can - click "Statistics" near the bottom left, and it will show you all the relevant info for each movie in the matchup: current rankings, total times ranked, how often it wins, etc.
posted by Zampa at 2:43 PM on September 4, 2010


The mobile site keeps crashing the browser on my iPhone 3GS. Which is too bad because this seems like a great way to kill time in line ups.
posted by Gary at 2:46 PM on September 4, 2010


Actually I see it does let you do this via the list but it doesn't seem to be very effective at ranking down though its a bit better at ranking up - I ended up just deleting the offending film.

I just got to a 1000 rankings, between 900 and 1000 it only offered 14 new films out of the 200 choices, which seems very low, and I have ranked a total of 484, which means it has slowed considerably. Even if the rate has become linear now, I am going to have to do another 3685 rankings to get to 1000 films ranked, more if the rate with which new films appears continues to slow.

Virtually none of my favourite films have made it into the top 20, even where they are on my list.

There seems to be huge amounts of repetition of some films cropping up which have lost against films which have also lost frequently and no learning mechanism to reduce these appearances.
posted by biffa at 2:46 PM on September 4, 2010


There seems to be huge amounts of repetition of some films cropping up which have lost against films which have also lost frequently and no learning mechanism to reduce these appearances.

The algorithm is such that it tends towards more resolution of your list over introducing new films on the default view "All Movies". My best advice is to try the filters (links above the posters) and get more movies into your list.

I put together a how-to video that shows off all the filter options that might be helpful.
posted by Zampa at 2:54 PM on September 4, 2010


No, I mean in your own top 20, 100, 150 w/e movie list. Just thought it would be interesting to see how many times each movie has been ranked.
posted by Allan Gordon at 3:01 PM on September 4, 2010


Just thought it would be interesting to see how many times each movie has been ranked.

Gotcha - yeah there's limited space on each title's entry on the Charts, so we don't include the total ranking counts there. You can certainly click on any movie's title to go to its page and see that data, if you're interested.
posted by Zampa at 3:10 PM on September 4, 2010


almostmantha and zampa: re the find a movie for the two of use feature. The aforementioned movielens system actually has implemented "Buddies" that allows multiple people to be factored in, not just two, but a whole gang. For now, though, its only use for me would be to pick a show for a hypothetical gathering of me and ex girlfriends.
posted by cgk at 3:50 PM on September 4, 2010


The aforementioned movielens system actually has implemented "Buddies" that allows multiple people to be factored in, not just two, but a whole gang.

Yes, our system would do the same. It wouldn't be limited to just 2 people - it could be any group size...

or perhaps you wanted to see among the Top 50 biggest horror fans (people that have horror higher on their Flickcharts than other genres), what are the top 10 horror movies you've never seen...

it's under development - we can't wait to roll it out!
posted by Zampa at 4:00 PM on September 4, 2010


Gary: "The mobile site keeps crashing the browser on my iPhone 3GS. Which is too bad because this seems like a great way to kill time in line ups."

Yes, and I hope it can be fixed. I want to keep rating away, but my 3GS with iOS4 crashes right out of Safari at random intervals when sending AJAX events on this site.
posted by Songdog at 5:38 PM on September 4, 2010


...welp, you just spoiled Serenity for the last guy on Earth who has never seen it.

That's OK. I wasn't going to see it anyway.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:01 PM on September 4, 2010


Ok, I spent more time on this today. And I realized that the movie I would like to see ranked as my #1 movie is Apocalypse Now. I've tried and tried, but can't get that to happen.

I got it up to #4, then tried to do the 'ranking' where it allows you to pick a movie on your list and compares it to three movies, and re-ranks it. I clicked on 'Rank This Movie' for Apocalypse Now on my list, and it compares it to three movies ranked lower. Even though, I pick Apocalypse Now all three times, it moves Apoc. Now down from #4 to #41. Grrrrr!!!

So, I try the filter top 50 and I get Apoc. Now back in the top 20. Then, I filter my top 20. And I after a lot of clicking, I get Apoc. Now up to #2. But now, no matter how much I click, I can't get it to compare Apoc. Now to my current #1 (Rear Window which really probably wouldn't even be in my top 5). I click and click and can't get this match to come up. I feel like the algorithm knows that I want to move Apoc. Now into #1 spot and won't give me this choice just so I will keep on clicking like an idiot.

I would really love seeing one major change.

When you try to do the 'Rank This Movie', it should ask you if you think the current ranking for this movie is too high or too low, and then show you matchups that would allow you to move the selected movie up or down your list.


I've spent a whole afternoon and evening playing with this, and am still frustrated at being so unable to get my rankings close to what I would like, and am honestly feeling a little played with.
posted by marsha56 at 8:12 PM on September 4, 2010


When you try to do the 'Rank This Movie', it should ask you if you think the current ranking for this movie is too high or too low, and then show you matchups that would allow you to move the selected movie up or down your list.

We actually have a complete system change for the "Rank This Movie" mechanism which will suit your needs much better than our current system.

If you want to, you can manually create any matchup by using the format MovieID/vs/MovieID. For example, Ghostbusters vs. Back To The Future would be:
http://www.flickchart.com/757A806672/vs/F6AF86D9BB

So just plug in the ID for Apocalypse Now, and whatever the film that you want to rank against, and you'll have your matchup...

Again, we're changing the way manual ranking works, so this will be much easier and straightforward with the new system in place.
posted by Zampa at 8:34 PM on September 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


You just made me choose between Amadeus and Pulp Fiction. Now we are enemies.
posted by Neofelis at 8:39 PM on September 4, 2010


Wow zampa, that was a quick response. I finally went back and tried manually entering the movie id's into the http address window. It's kludgy, but I finally got my top 4 movies pretty much set. Thanks !!

I'll be looking forward to the 'Rank This Movie' changes.
posted by marsha56 at 9:11 PM on September 4, 2010


This is awesome and ate up my evening.

It needs an additional checkbox next to the "Haven't seen it" button, one that says "...and I'm proud of that".

I'm finding it difficult when I've got a movie I don't dislike (say, Hunt for Red October) up against a movie I deliberately didn't see because I was pretty sure it'd be terrible (e.g. Meet the Spartans). If I rate them, then it looks like I've actually seen dreck like Meet The Spartans; but as soon as I see the dreck I immediately move to click the other movie, whatever it is, like a fear reaction.

Off to click more buttons...
posted by harriet vane at 5:54 AM on September 5, 2010


Every time I vote for Run Lola Run it moves down a ranking. I can't quite get my head around that, is it a bug?
posted by Iteki at 6:52 AM on September 5, 2010


I guess it fixed it's self, on the next time it came up for vote it said "Went from 99 to 20 on your list".
posted by Iteki at 6:56 AM on September 5, 2010


I found that it frequently moves a movie down the list when I pick it over another, and I can't figure it out at all.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:15 AM on September 5, 2010


Now with all these options, this is tons of fun. Does anyone want friends? I have the same handle there as here, and am a bit lonely.
posted by ifjuly at 11:09 AM on September 5, 2010


When you try to do the 'Rank This Movie', it should ask you if you think the current ranking for this movie is too high or too low, and then show you matchups that would allow you to move the selected movie up or down your list.

I was going to come in here and say this also, but I'd go further and have write in options so I can just bang stuff in at the top if I want to. The rate of change at the top is way too slow, even where I add my favourites then rank them multiple times. Effectively all this is doing is assuming some number of match offs, but I don't need to match off hundreds of times to know that A Matter of Life and Death is better than American Pie 2.
posted by biffa at 11:11 AM on September 5, 2010


Man, I'd kill for some of these alternate posters.
posted by cmoj at 3:33 PM on September 5, 2010


FYI - We've fixed both the iPad crashing, and the "winner dropping a place" bugs mentioned above. Thanks to everyone here for your great feedback and comments! We'll be launching new features later this week, so keep an eye out for them!
posted by Zampa at 1:26 PM on September 7, 2010


Every time I vote for Run Lola Run it moves down a ranking. I can't quite get my head around that, is it a bug?

No, your votes were just a split second early or late, which caused the entire chain of events to change.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Is there a way to list the movies by % seen?
posted by ODiV at 6:39 PM on September 14, 2010


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