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ShortReviews – Mini Critical Reviews

Whether you like to review movies, books, music TV programmes or something else you can do it here. The site specialises in mini reviews, so a glance at each page lets visitors instantly see which ones are of interest. This is good for viewers, but also makes it more tempting to get your ideas down quickly, add a picture, and share them. You can also give a star rating to go with each review.

Like many sites this one it going the way of building a community and that seems to be an increasingly popular approach. Users are encouraged to invite friends and look at each other’s reviews. With so many people preferring to Tweet short comments rather than commit to longer blog entries, and with visitors liking to get their information in quickly digested chunks, ShortReviews should appeal.

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Filmgator – Movies Reviews and Community

There are plenty of movie websites out there so it takes a special design to gain members. Filmgator looks like it has a good chance by combining a comprehensive aggregation of films together with reviews and a social networking approach to involve the community. Movies are well organised by category and by date, so you can find older ones as well as recent movies and those coming soon.

The front page was immediately helpful to me with a selection of the most watched movies out at the moment (I chose one to go to), plus the most in-demand movies coming soon (I chose one of those too). Along with brief information there are reviews by the community so you can get involved and let others know your experience of the movies you’ve seen.

The site aims to be more than a database, helping visitors choose movies, and as well as reviewing movies members are invited to rate each one. This helps Filmgator see what individual members like so they can be sent relevant information about movies. Each member has a timeline to record the movies they see so that friends can take a look, and by following each other it becomes a film buff social network.

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TwitCritics – Movie Reviews from the Twitterverse

twitcritics logoWhy listen to the views of just a few critics before choosing the movie you want to see when you could listen to the Twitterverse? TwitCritics has a full listing of movies and invites pithy reviews in the usual brief Twitter format combined with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down judgement. Reading through the comments on a few movies made me realise how soon you could decide which TwitCritics are on your wavelength and could guide you to a choice you would also enjoy.

The site is a joy of simplicity and clarity, which is what you want when quickly looking up movie reviews before heading for the cinema. Movies can be sorted alphabetically by name, in descending order according to the number of positive reviews, by the number of tweets, and by most recent activity. All of these are relevant ways to sort information, as number of tweets could show more about popularity than the number of positive remarks. A movie that stimulates discussion could be worth seeing even if the positives and negatives are equal.

The site is fun and colourful, with red, amber and green indicators to show which movies are worth viewing according to the TwitCritics consensus. Due to the compulsory brevity the reviews have a liveliness and joyful feel which makes this a site I’d come back to when choosing a movie.

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