Following the tried-and-true Internet formula of taking something you might do anyway (keep a movie log) and making the resulting data easily quantifiable, sortable, and “social,” Letterboxd is the best new way for cinephiles to get into online arguments with their friends.
In addition to creating IMDb-style lists (e.g., the emergent “Bad people yelling at each other” genre), users can publicly log, rate, and review what they’ve seen. Au hasard Balthazar and other art- and rep-house fare get more attention and higher ratings than The Godfather or Requiem for a Dream. Thanks to unlimited space and lack of editorial oversight, the write-ups often veer toward the pretentious, but the open comments sections allow you respond to, commiserate with, or flame anyone. The site also has potential as a tool for critics who want to weigh in on movies they’re not reviewing for publication (Time Out New York’s Keith Uhlich rattles off one-line reviews with the poetic concision of Basho).
To the delight of critical completists, a special section on the site analyzes “The Year in Review” in sleek, info-graphic form while, for paying subscribers, your profile can be integrated with your Netflix queue. You can see which movies received the most positive and negative reviews; how many words were expended on The Devil Inside, the worst-ranked release of 2012; and how many hours users spent watching films . . . and how many of those hours went to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.