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A New Movie Review Aggregator

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by Matt Singer
May 3, 2013 2:17 PM
2 Comments
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Critics Round Up

There are already quite a few movie review aggregators out there, including Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and this really awesome little website you should check out called Criticwire. But if you really and truly feel like your movie review aggregation needs are still not being met, there's a new one to try called Critics Round Up. It's billed by its founder and editor James Kang as "the first movie review aggregator to select critics and publications based on merit instead of popularity."

Inspired, according to Kang's "About CRU" page, by David Hudson's excellent Keyframe Daily blog, the site has two goals. Here is Goal #1:

"To provide an alternative to the aggregated numbers of more popular sites. Rotten Tomatoes is good for people who want to see the highest number of critics included, but standards need to be applied. Not everyone should be counted. Metacritic works for people who are mainly interested in well-known publications, but they ignore many of the best sources for film criticism because they aren’t as recognizable (no MUBI, no Cinema Scope, no more J. Hoberman since he left the Village Voice). My idea was to synthesize the approaches of these sites: to filter out the majority of the online discourse, but also to be plugged in enough to include smaller sites that have valuable things to say."

Goal #2 is a link archive, including articles on films as they premiere at film festivals -- like Cannes in just a few weeks.

The site assigns 0-100 numerical grades to each review it collects, and gives numerical averages, Metacritic-style, to each movie featured; the current high score amongst the newer titles on the home page is "Spring Breakers," with an 86 (this week's "Iron Man 3" received a 62). 

The idea of a very selective aggregator is interesting, as is the notion of collecting reviews based on the quality of the writing instead of the prestige of the outlet. I'm not quite sure how that goal fits with the scores, or what those numbers really mean if you're being extremely picky about who you include. Regardless, it's a good-looking, well-designed website. If you're looking for an alternative to, uh, me, take a look. 

(Also if you're looking for an alternative to me: was it something I said?)

Read more of Critics Round Up.

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2 Comments

  • Colin Biggs | May 4, 2013 3:19 PMReply

    For those interested in even another ranking site, PopCircle allows you to create circles of critics whom you agree with most often.

  • James Kang | May 3, 2013 6:12 PMReply

    Thanks for the mention, Matt.

    The two goals don't really aid each other. They're just two website ideas I had that I combined into one site. Rotten Tomatoes collects from hundreds of sources, but they still don't make room for film journals like La Furia Umana, LOLA, Cleo and dozens of others that will be on my site when I have the time to add them.

    And when I use Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, I kept wondering what those aggregated numbers would look like if they used the critics that appear in David Hudson's Daily instead of the more popular venues. So instead of hoping Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes would change, I created my own aggregator.

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