Top 10 Pros and Cons of Letterboxd
What is Letterboxd?
Letterboxd is a global social network for cinema conversation and discovery at the grassroots level. Use it as a journal to record and discuss your thoughts on films as you watch them, or just to keep track of films you’ve seen before. On your profile page, highlight your favorites.
Who Founded Letterboxd?
Letterboxd started off as a side project. Buchanan and von Randow cofounded Cactuslab in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2001, and it is still the parent company of Letterboxd and an active builder of apps and websites, ranging from cultural enterprises like the New Zealand International Film Festival to corporate work in health care and accounting.
Who Can Use Letterboxd?
Anyone can read the site’s content. Users who wish to participate must create an account. Every user has the ability to rate, review, and tag films with relevant keywords. They may also keep lists of movies they’ve seen or desire to see and connect with other members. Users can make their lists public or private. Ratings are given out on a five-star scale, with half-stars also permitted. A follower model allows users to track the activities of other members on the site.
Pros of Using Letterboxd:
It’s really clean and free of distractions. There’s nothing showy here, no video clips or interviews.
2. Nothing just movies
This is connected to the previous point. It outperforms IMDb in terms of TV series, episodes, and even video games. It’s one of the reasons it’s so clean. It tells you exactly which movies you’ve seen, how many times you’ve seen them, and how many times you’ve seen them.
I like how you can manually enter dates and view dates from many years ago. I tried it once with some old movie tickets, and it was interesting to see the statistics. My oldest log is from 1997, and it’s interesting to have that in a journal.
Following friends is useful since it allows you to keep track of what they watch and what they think about movies. It’s especially entertaining if you and 10-20 other friends are attending a film festival and don’t view the same films at the same time.
This is only available to premium customers, however I enjoy looking at the statistics for each year as well as the other lists on this site.
Cons of Using Letterboxd
1. One-sentence quips and joke reviews
Many users have a large number of followers. This clogs the site and draws greater attention from people who work hard on their evaluations. Especially since these little jokes frequently receive a large number of likes rather than well-articulated critique.
2. Rating before release
You can rate and log a film before it is released. Because the film is on Letterboxd, it appears that over 300 individuals have already viewed Dune (2020).
I continue to believe that there is a lot that could be done with the commenting. Perhaps an upvote/downvote feature would be useful.
4. Slow updates/fixes
Letterboxd still appears to be managed by two people in a basement. The comments page on their website is still extensive with undeveloped material from years ago. The site appears exactly the same now as it did 5 years ago (the site is clean and decent, but I am scared that other sites will push ahead and take over if they aren’t always thinking about how to improve it). This is the major reason I haven’t opted to pay for Patreon (and only have Pro), because it appears that the money is solely utilized to increase server capacity. (They experienced server issues for weeks in December.)