Danny Dawson's Critical Analysis of 10 Movie Review Websites

The reviews below are listed in order from worst to best.

http://www.moviereviewintelligence.com

  1. Look & Feel: The overall look & feel of the site is very basic and way too cluttered. This is by far the worst look for a review site that I have seen. The color scheme isn't the greatest and some items are actually difficult to read.
    1. 1 Star.
  2. Site Navigation: There is a basic menu at the top of the site which gets the job done, but it could be done much better. 2 clicks might take you to an actual review at an external website.....along with pop-ups. I think the site could make more than enough money from the ads on their website without the need for pop-ups.
    1. 1 Star.
  3. Content: As for content, I didn't see anything on this site besides reviews from outsourced critics. The site did an ok job of giving an average review based on these critics, but that is all. Overall, the content on this site is very lackluster.
    1. 1 Star.
  4. Overall: 1 Star.

http://www.cinemafunk.com

  1. Look & Feel: The look & feel of this site is very basic, however it is very easy to read because of the color scheme chosen. It doesn't do anything to bring about a “wow” factor but it does do its job.
    1. 3 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: There is a basic menu at the top of the site that is easy to follow and gets the job done. As for the actual reviews, it is a one-click-away deal. And happily, it is to a review by a critic on the actual website.
    1. 3 Stars.
  3. Content: As for conten, this site falls short. There are no trailers, or any extra content for that matter. You get what you came for and that is about it.
    1. 1 Star.
  4. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

http://www.reelviews.net/movies.php

  1. Look & Feel: The overall look & feel is ok at best. The site is kinda cluttered but the color scheme is pretty decent. Everything is very readable, there is just too much to wade through on the main site.
    1. 3 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: The main menu at the top of the site is pretty basic. It does enough to get the job done. Getting to a review is, I'm happy to say, one click away. However, you are forced into a popup window which is just unacceptable. Get rid of the popup and this site would get a much better review.
    1. 3 Stars.
  3. Content: The content of this site is pretty lackluster. Aside from the reviews, there's not a whole lot of extras available. There is a forum for discussing movies, but it would have been nice to have at least trailers available.
    1. 2 Stars.
  4. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

http://www.metacritic.com/movies

  1. Look & Feel: This site has a solid color scheme that is easy to read and the overall layout of the main site is easy to understand. The main page does, however, contain an overabundant amount of ads. I understand this is a major way the site receives income, but there is a such thing as too much.
    1. 3 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: The site has a very easy to understand drop-down menu that makes it easy to access the various sections of the website. However, as far as actual reviews go, it takes at least 3 links to find an actual review, and when you do it is a link to a different website. Again, I would enjoy seeing a site that has its own reviews, not just links to other peoples reviews.
    1. 3 Stars.
  3. Content: This site does a nice job of listing the most recent reviews and listing upcoming movies. The site does offer multiple reviews for various proffessional reviewers as well as user reviews. It also allows the viewing of movie trailers. However, unlike many other sites, metacritic.com does not give you things such as how much a movie has made. On the plus side, metacritic.com scores a movie based on an average of all other reviews made about a particular movie.
    1. 3 Stars.
  4. Overall: 3 Stars.

http://www.moviefone.com/reviews

  1. Look & Feel: The look & feel of this site is very nice. All of the basic information you would need is available right there on the main page without the page being too cluttered. There are a few ads on the site, but this is to be expected.
    1. 4 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: There is a very nice drop-down menu at the top of the site which makes navigation pretty easy. As for getting to the actual reviews, this is a 3-click minimum. This is just unacceptable to me. And to top it off, it sends you to an external website for someone else's review. I'm just not a fan of this.
    1. 2 Stars.
  3. Content: The content on this site is pretty nice. You can access trailers, movie times and, of course, reviews. You can view cast and credits for movies and even see any awards the movie may have received. Overall, they've done a decent job of providing a fair amount of content.
    1. 4 Stars.
  4. Overall: 3.5 Stars.

http://www.moviereviews.com

  1. Look & Feel: The overall look & feel of this site is easy to read but lacks some of the pop that other website have. On the plus side, this site isn't nearly as cluttered as some other websites. There is just enough information on the main page to give the viewer what they need. If the viewer wants more, they can dig deeper. In my opinion, that is what a movie review website is all about.
    1. 4 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: This site shines in its navigation! You click on a movie and you are taken straight to the reviews. The problem here is that it is strictly reviews by other viewers. There are no professional reviews to be had here (unless the professionals themselves are registered “viewers”). Again, I would like to see a professional review from the owner of the website.
    1. 4 stars.
  3. Content: This site has some pretty nice content on its main page. You can see a list of the most recent reviews, what's currently playing and how much the top movies have made. You can watch trailers and you are encouraged (even required for the site to function) to review movies on your own.
    1. 4 Stars.
  4. Overall: 4 Stars.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com

  1. Look & Feel: The overall look & feel of this site is cluttered. There is just so much going on. The guys at Rotten Tomatoes have opted for putting fluff on their site such as showing which Facebook friends enjsoyed what movie. In my opinion, this just clutters the site with information that you have probably already obtained from your friends via word-of-mouth, SMS, or some other means. Aside from that, the color schemes chosen work very well for the site. The icons used are extremely relevant (namely the tomato and the splattered tomato).
    1. 3 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: Site navigation isn't too terrible here. It takes a minimum of 2 clicks to get you to an actual full-fledged review and when you get there, it's a different website altogether. There doesn't seem to be any actual reviews written by rottentomatoes.com reviewers. It's nice to have multiple websites' reviews all on one site, but it would have been nice to see some reviews by the folks at rottentomatoes.com as well. The menu-bar makes navigation to different sections of the website very easy.
    1. 4 Stars.
  3. Content: As for content, this website has it all. You want to know what your friends think of a movie, check the Facebook section. You want reviews from multiple different reviewers, it's here. Everything from release dates to how much a movie has made is available on the home page. The site lets you, the viewer, review movies as well. There is news about upcoming films and you can watch trailers for upcoming movies. Once you click on a movie to get its review, you are even given the opportunity to add it to your Netflix queue.
    1. 5 Stars.
  4. Overall: 4 Stars.

http://www.pluggedin.com/movies.aspx

  1. Look & Feel: The look & feel of this site is pretty basic but not too basic. The creators have laid it out in a way that is obvious to the user and pleasant to the eyes. Overall, this is one of the better layouts I have encountered.
    1. 5 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: The menu at the top of the screen is fairly small, but easy to navigate. I am very happy to say that it takes only 1 click to get to an honest-to-goodness review. There are no outside links to other site reviews. This is definitely a breath of fresh air.
    1. 5 Stars.
  3. Content: This is where this site doesn't shine as much. While is does offer phenomenal reviews by reviewers from the site itself, it doesn't offer much else in the way of trailers, etc. These are, however, just niceties and don't take away from the fact that the site does a great job of giving the user what they presumably came here for: movie reviews.
    1. 4 Stars.
  4. Overall: 4.5 Stars.

http://www.filmcritic.com

  1. Look & Feel: The overall look & feel of the site is pretty nice. The color scheme chosen is pretty basic but easy to read. The information on the main site is relevant and there is not so much as to bring a clutter to the main site.
    1. 4 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: The drop-down menu at the top of the site is very nice and easy to follow. Only a single click is required to get to a review, which is created by a critic at this site. Overall, the navigation of this site is well thought out and easy to navigate.
    1. 5 Stars.
  3. Content: As for content, this site has a multitude of things ranging from interviews, to trailers to film festivals. This site has a nice mix of content that is relevant to movie viewers.
    1. 5 Stars.
  4. Overall: 4.5 Stars.

http://www.movies.com/movie-reviews

  1. Look & Feel: The overall look & feel of this site is pretty decent. The color scheme is basic but very readable. The layout of the main page is actual one of the better that I've seen. You are given a table of the most recent reviews along with a short blurb from various reviewers about the movie. It is very nicely done.
    1. 5 Stars.
  2. Site Navigation: I am proud to say that I have, again, found a site that leads to a single click review. And once again, the critics are from their own site. This just provides a wonderful experience for the viewer.
    1. 5 Stars.
  3. Content: Once again, movies.com shines by providing plenty of content for viewers. You can access movie trailers, you can comment on your favorite (or not-so-favorite) movies. You can get a listing of what is currently available in theaters. There's also news regarding current movies.
    1. 5 Stars.
  4. Overall: 5 Stars.

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