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Comments

Toffer Peak

While specific critic's reviews aren't important to me I would love to see them implement Metacritic composite scores or a similar system as that does really help highlight some of the exceptional films.

Tai_pan

I never read the critic reviews but I do often read member reviews.

Dina

I read member reviews all the time. The critics reviews, not so much.

FiltersMan

From (extensive) experience, critic reviews are useless to me. I screen potential rentals by (manually, unfortunately) checking the IMDB, Metacritic and/or Rotten Tomatoes scores (in addition to the Netflix viewers' and my own Netflix guess ratings) and, with some exceptions, if it's 70/3.5 stars or higher, into the queue it goes. This system works fines and I rarely run into something I wouldn't have wanted to watch.

The opinions of a "critic" is hardly worth the time necessary to read his or her (usually) lengthy, boring and full-of-spoilers drivel...

Jes

Years ago I loved reading what Roger Ebert and other critics had to say when their reviews were included on individual movie pages. Now that reviews seem to be in a certain section of the site, I no longer care. More important to me is that the movie trailer clips on individual pages are no longer available. Movie trailers really helped suck me in & keep me more involved/interested. Guess it was just too costly for Netflix to do? I'm not interested in the extra time it took me (when I tried) to look up every trailer elsewhere.

Many years ago we were willing to pay $20-something dollars for Netflix, but now we're growing tired of the even the Instant watch. Too many expiring titles (yes, we understand why they expire), and too many older movies that aren't very good. One series with nine seasons recently expired while we were rushing to watch them all! The only thing keeping us hanging in with Netflix are the documentaries on Instant Watch (although it doesn't match the number available by mail & that needs to change), and our interest in upcoming Andy Griffith, Twilight Zone & more series. We'll see.

BP

@ Jes

You know Netflix is a movie rental service, right? You know this? Not a one stop shop for all your movie needs? You can't be everything to everybody, no matter how hard you might want to try.

I am curious as to what changed that has led you to think Netflix isn't still a value for its cost. I can watch as many streaming movies as I want and still rent just as many DVDs as always. The price hike blew and was majorly unjustified and Netflix has made a lot of tactical errors in the past year or so, but that doesn't affect the core service. Fact: Netflix has the largest streaming library and third largest DVD library of any rental company in the US. So... what, exactly, is your problem?

@ The originally posited question

Yes, critical reviews are important to me. As are reviews by your average John Q Everyman. It doesn't make or break the service that they are no longer a focus of the website - like most stuff, Netflix needs to either stop half-assing it or just do away with it all together - but I can always go to Rotten Tomatoes or the imdb or the likes.

Unlike most of the net using populace (apparently), I know the extra five seconds I'd have saved by not having to type my search into Google wouldn't be used for anything useful whatsoever, so it isn't exactly like I'm operating at a net time loss by having to look crap up manually. Is it less efficient? Yes, of course, but when your efficiency is measured in (as all internet users' is) how many extra Youtube videos of cute puppies or kittens you can cram into a day then it stops being all that important that you find every single time-saving short cut imaginable.

-BP

Brian

I'll give you a one-word review of Winter's Bone: Overrated.

longklaw

I never read them.

SuperScuba

@BP
Yes Netflix is just a rental service, but why have a section called "Critic Reviews" if you are going to leave it blank? I think what Jes is referring to is how Netflix has a history of implementing features and then later ditching them or simply ignoring them. Some customers might start to rely on those features before they are ripped away. Business practices like that are surely going to frustrate some people.

Rocketboy

I think a deal with Rotten Tomatoes would be more useful.

BP

@ SuperScuba

Customers have unrealistic expectations. Netflix is a movie rental service. If you expect more than that, or Netflix deliver more than that temporarily and that frustrates you, then that is your problem, not theirs. Content is king, nothing else. I am sure Netflix won't be sad to see you or Jes go if the service frustrates you so much. On the other hand, they might just smart from losing Criterion to Hulu.

As to why Netflix has a section called "Critic Reviews" if they're just going to leave it blank, nevermind the fact that I all ready addressed that in my previous post, ... I'm not sure what you want me to say. Why does eBay have a member/item reporting system if they're just going to ignore all the reports they get? Why does Newegg sell crappy jewelry? More importantly, why does it matter?

I use eBay to snipe cheap music gear and Newegg to buy computer parts. Likewise, I use Netflix to watch movies. I don't give a crap if they shirk some underutilized feature that isn't vital to the process. The search feature is vital and shirking it is dangerous to the business. Shirking critic reviews? Um, no. If you're so OCD that you can't handle a website design issue, er, well, sorry?

American consumers have such weird priorities. Maybe that's why we allowed a monopoly we spent over sixty years litigating against to reform in just less than twenty. Maybe that's why we're chasing after an internet retailer for its unpaid sales tax while simultaneously allowing mega-corporations to get away with not paying billions in unpaid taxes. Maybe that's why we're trying to turn Netflix into cable TV with a focus on new releases while decrying just how awful Comcast and Blockbuster are.

I use Netflix to watch movies.

-BP

Del

Critics NO, Members YES

Dani

I love member reviews. I always read through those first before proceeding. Unfortunately a lot of the great reviewers high-tailed out when netflix removed the social networking feature.

RAV

Why can't they have a direct link to IMDB on each title's page???????????

ts

Meh. Professional critics operate on film school principles when they review movies. Average viewers go on their gut emotions. That's why shows get panned critically yet make millions at the box office or vice versa. When I check NF reviews I generally read two or three pages of user reviews and see what the consensus is. Sometimes it helps make my decision, sometimes not. I rarely check the critics section. If they want to have it fine, if not I'm ok with that too.

Knaldskalle

Average viewers go on their gut emotions. That's why shows get panned critically yet make millions at the box office or vice versa.

And people wonder why Hollywood makes such trash as Transformers 2? If you go by your gut emotions, you get served crap.

ts

"If you go by your gut emotions, you get served crap."

There's no accounting for taste. Yours, mine or anyone else. Peace.

User

Both.

Neither generally gives a complete picture.

Critics are jaded viewers who are often out of touch with what people who don't watch 24/7 like. They often forget that movies for the most part are entertainment, not art.
Member ratings, well an overall rating is somewhat useful, but I don't read individual reviews, way too unreliable for my tastes.

mtouchto

I agree with the user who said both. When I see that there are user reviews but not critic reviews, I often think, "Straight to DVD." I say both because sometimes the critics seem to follow one another rather than each making up his own mind, that is, just going with the consensus of the top critics and not really attempting to see if a movie does have something to offer. Using the user reviews sometimes brings into focus that movies don't have to be high art to be interesting and fun to watch.

jadrnice

Sometimes I read them, but mostly I do not agree with them after I see a movie.

Patricia

I never read the Critic Reviews! they knock down a Movie and I Love it. I read the Member reviews But I still will rent a Movie even if some don't like it.

Rob Hood

I would love to see Leonard Maltin's reviews on the site! He takes a compilation of other reviewers and many of his reviews are dead on!

Seals

I try not to read either reviews unless I'm on the fence about watching the movie.

On the other hand, I'd rather see a Metacritic-style rating of each film rather than the member ratings. Members are idiots. Some film critics are too but at least they give honest ratings and reviews instead of some of the idiocy I've seen from members.

Justin

Critic Reviews can be very useful, especially if you take the time to figure out what preferences various critics have and how they relate to your own. Member reviews are less useful, because I know nothing about them. How do I know how "Srfrdude99's" taste in movies matches up to mine? At least I have a pretty decent idea where Roger Ebert and I agree and disagree, so I can use that to make an informed choice about which movies to go with.

SuperScuba

@BP
Do you think Reed Hastings would say that "Netflix is only a movie rental service?" And if that's all it was, would there even be a need for HackingNetflix.com? Netflix has revolutionized the industry in more ways than one so I think this view is a tad narrow-minded. Their announcement regarding the upcoming enhancements to the Facebook integration is just an example of how they are trying to become something more (or maybe they just feel guilty about removing the Friends features last year).

I'm fine with your avid defense of Netflix. I mean, if I didn't love Netflix myself then I wouldn't be on this blog. Am I going to cancel my subscription because of the lack of critic reviews? Of course not. It's simply something I happened to use, even if I am in the minority, and I'd prefer to have it back. If all you need is a DVD in the mail or a movie to stream to be happy, then power to you. I happen to use a majority of the features on Netflix, including some that aren't around anymore, and I like seeing Netflix add rather than remove features. If you think that makes me an "unrealistic, ODC consumer with weird priorities" then so be it.

-SuperScuba

I would rather be able to see what my friends thought about something than the critics. But alas, since Netflix took that capability away. . .

N Erasmus

I love the critic reviews. Member reviews are not always reliable. People rate movies badly because of poor sound or picture quality and a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with the film itself. Member reviews dont work for me because frankly most people have really bad taste. I use the critics mostly and to a lesser degree the members too.

N Erasmus

Please post Pauline Kael's reviews on Netflix!!

shane

Just use rottentomatoes or metacritic - netflix only seems to select reviews that make crappy movies seem better than they are.

Trystero

I consult both equally, but I generally trust the critics' reviews more, on average.

Racket

I used to read and write reviews when I was DVD only. When I started streaming I found that I just consumed so much material that I am better off just adding crap and if I don't like it I shut it off and delete it... instantly. Instant delete was an unadvertised feature of Instant watch, whats the point of reading reviews.

Martinize

I, too, generally skip what the critics say and read member reviews instead. However, having a rating system for each other's reviews is absurd. We should be rating them on content and quality, not on whether we agree with them.

asdf

I hate that they got rid of the freinds section

I used to look at what two of my friends watched and rated because their tastes are similar to mine. but they got rid of it

Steven Hoober

> You know Netflix is a movie rental service, right? You know this? Not a one stop shop for all your movie needs?

Why not? Really? Why can't they have this data. Doesn't seem overwhelmingly difficult to me, and as a few have pointed out you can just use another service and embed it, And moreover they used to have it.

The day it launched (years and years ago) I wondered why it didn't simply tie to IMDB data.

Dulcie

I often read critic reviews when looking at movies however I usually base more of my decisions on memeber reviews than on the critic reviews.

FurryGuy

"Are Critic Reviews on The Netflix Website Important To You?"

No.

Walt D in LV

I liked the Critic Reviews, but not as much as I liked my own Friends' reviews. Even the Two-Cent Mini Reviews were awesome!
But alas, they are all gone now.
The trailers, on the Netflix website, are also helpful and convenient.

@BP You said "Netflix has the largest streaming library and third largest DVD library of any rental company in the US".. Who is 1 and 2? Are you talking actual volume, or quantity of titles?

I really love Netflix, and have since 2001. However, them giving me features only to take them away a few years later is VERY frustrating :(


Walt D in LV

BP

@ Walt

Facets in Chicago, I Luv Video in Austin and there's a place in Seattle I always forget about interchange amongst themselves the titles for #1 and #2. And it's quantity, not volume, although all three have initiated their own mail-order systems.

They have a major leg-up on Netflix in that all three are distributors as well as retailers and they deal in a massive amount of out-of-print, foreign, cult and underground films. Facets alone has a unique collection a quarter the size of Netflix's that Netflix _can't_ get. I'm talking a good thirty thousand films or more that Netflix can't get. And Odd Obsession in Chicago (again) probably has a good ten thousand or so movies not even Facets has. Both of these movie shops make Criterion look like philistines!

Netflix is great for what it is, I'm not knockin' it, but for the obsessive film fan that's seen everything there is to see? Well...

(and that's where Cinemageddon comes in.)

-BP

Bast

No. Member reviews are far more helpful to me.

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