I suggest you ...

Disallow reviews and ratings from being created until a film is released, be it at a festival, screening, theatrical, or otherwise.

While you can't stop people who haven't seen a film from rating and reviewing it, films should be "locked" until its first screening, be it at a film festival or a premiere. e.g. a film that isn't released until June should not have any ratings or reviews prior to its release date unless an early screening can be verified.

25 votes
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  • DannyVFilms commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To start, I pulled a few numbers to give context to the issue I'm sure you know already exists:

    The Batman (2020)
    * 93 Watched
    * Average Rating: 4.0
    * 1 Review
    * Word Count: 41
    Flashpoint (2020)
    * 330 Watched
    * Average Rating: 3.6
    * 8 Reviews:
    * Avg Word Count: 11.5
    * Longest: 30
    Sherlock Holmes 3 (2019)
    * 349 Watched
    * Average Rating: 3.5
    * 2 Reviews
    * Avg Word Count: 19.5
    * Longest: 31
    Untitled Avengers Movie (2019)
    * 113 Watched
    * Average Rating: 4.0
    * 3 Reviews
    * Avg Word Count: 9.66
    * Longest: 16

    So I have two thoughts for how this could potentially be fixed. Lock reviews entirely until we have entered the scheduled release year of the film. After that, there's obviously still a large group of people that will try and affect the rating average of a film, so I propose requiring several pieces of information to be able to post a review before the film is out (because some people are press).

    It could just be as simple as limiting pre-release reviews to Pro or Patron members, but I had a few other ideas in mind as well. I showed word counts up above because most people will keep it short. In theory, placing a word minimum on a pre-release review would discourage the majority, and for the rest a simple disclaimer box that their account could be suspended, or a field entry to ask where they saw the movie before release could be used to ensure less fraud. Just a few thoughts for you. Love the platform!

  • Ravishankar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How about an "are you sure" confirmation when pressing mark-as-watched for such films?

  • AdminMatthew Buchanan (CEO / Founder, Letterboxd) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Samuel: some people are legitimately able to see films ahead of even these dates, as rought cuts or special screenings, etc. We are considering a 3- or 6-month window prior to these dates as a possibility. Feel free to report nonsense reviews on unreleased films.

  • Samuel Scott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Seen as data is populated from tmdb, perhaps they can use the earliest release date they have listed as a way to do this?

  • Dan Browne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What really annoys me on IMDB and the likes is the amount of ratings a film gets even when it's still a year or so out from being released.

    The only potential problem I see with this is when people see pre release/premiere screenings of films if you're in the industry or have worked on a feature... Then you wouldn't be able to mark it as seen... Dunno surely there is a nicer way around this.

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