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i never even knew NetFlix had staff movie reviewers - i remember there was a "critics reviews" section, but it was always empty - it just sounds like it would be more along the "friends" section they did away with a year ago - i see this guy's point, but i could still go on without it


I would like to see staff reviewers and a podcast as well. Netflix is known for promoting from within, so maybe they could find their most creative employees to assist with this as well.

Matt Lafferty

Good idea, Publius! A podcast would be the way to go. I can foresee how Netflix wouldn't want Netflix people poorly reviewing content on the website--they are, after all, content middlemen. But a podcast would be more removed and give a chance for more conversation.


I love this idea. A podcast would actually be an awesome way to publicize, especially if they could mix reviews with trailers or clips from the movies... hmm almost makes me want to start my own "Best of Netflix streaming" reviews podcast.


No. Movie reviewers, more often than not, try to sound like ultra intelectuals and are so wordy you can't tell what they truly thought of movies.


I totally remember Rocchi review movies way back in the early days of Netflix. I got a free Netflix t-shirt from him for sending a question! Wish I could find that.


I don't pay much attention to professional reviews, anyway. It means much more to me to hear what people like me, people I know, genuinely think about a movie experience than what some guy who is paid for a review wants me to think.


I don't put any weight behind what hired movie reviewers say. That just means that the money I'm paying monthly is going into someone's pocket to give an opinion that I'm not going to pay any attention to, anyway. Member reviews are one thing, but I'm paying to rent movies, not give someone an outlet for their biases or agenda.


Aren't there already too many movie reviewers in the world? Why do we need Netflix to subsidize more reviewers?


Professional movie reviews would be a nice addon but I think of rather linking to good reviews on the net (like Metacritic or RottenTomatoes does), not wasting money to hire profesional reviewers on their own.

What sounds like a much better thing to do it so integrate with some movie social network like Flixter or Filmaster (the latter has the API ready:
http://blog.programmableweb.com/2011/02/17/filmaster-starring-in-new-movie-api/) and show only reviews of people who you trust (e.g. because they are your friends or because they have a similar movie taste).

Another approach would be to simply reinvent Netflix as a social network on its own but I highly doubt this would work. You check movie iinfo in one place (IMDB), socialize in other places (networks like the ones I mentioned) and buy/rent elsewhere (Netflix). People get used to things like those and it would be hard to change the mentality of the customers.

Bob E.

Why should NF pay money for reviewers (which I think "staff/professional" implies)? Aren't there enough reviews in the world as it is? If not on NF then on Amazon or IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes? Pay for reviews, really?


meh, If I want movie reviews I'll go to metacritic or rottentomatoes.


These comments are evidence of what is really wrong with education in the U.S.A. People have no respect for educated people -- for "intelectuals" [sic]. God forbid you should actually learn something from a knowledgable critic and not just live in the insular world of people who think just like you.


Why would Netflix or the movie studios pay for reviewers when they get hundreds of free positive reviews from viewers every day?

They can always get low paid workers to post canned favorable reviews to promote a movie when it's due to come out.


I vote for jolly


I still can't understand why Netflix does not have a link to IMDB directly on each title's page.

Save the money and link us to this source.


Yes. The absence of any sort of "friends" on the site makes most of the user reviews meaningless. A couple of the most-rated can be trusted, sure, but beyond that random user reviews don't help.


Could honestly care less about "staff reviews"

I like user reviews, abit more work on "users like you" reviews could use a little work. And honestly that's probably the best review type for everyone, similar people with similar likes, what they have to say is what you'll care about.


I'd rather have user reviews to improve the community side of NF. A podcast is a great idea too. I think NF should buy hacknetflix site, hire mike and let him make a weekly podcast about the latest NF releases and NF news. R U up 2 it mikey? ;)


I agree with Michuk's comments above, and I happen to be a prolific Netflix user review writer over the last decade (about 1,400 reviews). I cringe when I read most Netflix reviews, which either say nothing or are ego trips.

I go elsewhere to read reviews - IMDB, MetaCritic, RottenTomatoes, etc. I've been a Netflix member from almost the beginning, and I don't remember Netflix ever having professional reviewers. I remember Netflix used to have a terrible movie synopsis on the movie page, however, they cleaned that up by basing the synopsis on IMDB descriptions (smart move IMO).


I think Netflix should become more social and let viewers interact with others and with Netflix and engage them in some sort of discussions.

ex: let ppl post to facebook. or have some form of forum or discussion board on netflix where ppl can talk interactively about movies or anything else

Right now, netflix = blockbuster without walls in the sense that the experience of renting from netflix (disc & discless) is the same as renting from BB. There is no interaction among viewers or even between netflix and viewers. Its simple and clean - thats great.

But I would alos like to have the option to discuss on a movie witint netflix itself. But I guess there is no incentive for netflix to do that, unlike facebook which needs ppl to spend more time on their site.

Again, please move to reCaptcha,

Grady Hendrix

I'd love it if Netflix had editorial content, but not if it's "Thumbs up/Thumbs down" style reviews. Hire folks who know something about movies to bring attention to some hidden gems, do smarter groupings of titles, spotlight different directors and actors who have a large number of films on streaming and generally make the experience more fun.

Right now, Feedflix and other sites are doing this kind of thing but Netflix should be doing it itself to drive up its traffic and encourage people to get more out of the spotty streaming catalog. There are some real gems hidden in the foreign section that I'm sure people would love, but they're next to some real dogs, so it would be great to have some guidance there.

But blurby reviews? What good would those do?


Not just "No!", but "Hell! No!"

Movie reviewers are few and far between nowadays: everybody is a "critic". When they become critics there is a strong disconnect with the people who like movies. I think they write for each other rather than the intended audience.

But then that is the state of our present-day media for you.

Grady Hendrix

I've got to disagree, MrKwst22. Good critics are able to give context, push forward unjustly neglected titles and tell you why a movie is good or not, why a movie is fun or not, or why you might not want to spend your time on a certain title.

I agree with you that the state of film criticism is pretty bad these days. I think one of the biggest sins is that critics often don't know enough about movies to write about them and they often get confused - just because they like a movie, that doesn't mean that movie is good, and just because they dislike a movie it doesn't mean that movie is bad - but it's no reason to dismiss the entire field.

Netflix could really benefit from some good editorial content. I've always been surprised it doesn't have much.

My Instant Watch queue has about 400 + titles on it and I found most of them by scouring a bunch of film blogs. I would have loved it if that information had been easily available on Netflix.


The problem with professional reviewers and critics is they most of the time don't know a good movie when they see one. This is because they are too busy trying to analyze the camera angles and other stuff instead of taking in the story. Or they see a movie where the story is lacking and focus on that missing the other aspects, such as setting and special effects that make those particular movies good. For example almost all scfi movies are negatively reviewed by critics yet they are mostly popular movies. So it is important that the reviewers share similar tastes to you if what they have to say about the movie is going to be relevant to you. All that matters to me is knowing if I will like a movie or not before I watch it. While not spoiling the movie from any source that would spoil it. One thing I liked about netflix was the stimulatory rating. Out with the combination of the predictive ratings worked well in me determining if I would like a movie or not with a few exceptions. Even when I chose to ignore these two things and watch a movie anyways most of the time it turned out they were right. What I would like to see them do is organize the existing reviews better. Not only should they sort them by found most helpful counts (which currently only place the top 2 or 3), but they should also sort by most similar to you. I think that would be more useful that more professional reviewers that probably will have meaningless reviews for most.


I never read reviews.


ummmm ... disgruntled former employee ruminations.


Dennis....read my comment again and understand irony.


There's this invention called the 'internet'; people put billions of movie reviews on this invention. There's another invention called a search engine; people use this invention to search for movie reviews on that other invention, the 'internet'. Both inventions are quite handy and provide more movie reviews than anyone could ever read. Do we really need more movie reviews?


Reviews of Movies should be based upon viewer subscribers.


I'd rather see other Netflix viewers ratings rather than how many stars Netflix guesses for me. As for hiring reviewers - two thumbs down.

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