Are the IMDb ratings correct?

Film selection

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Movies on TV

Recommendations for selection

Last change 2018-07-13 - Hans-Georg Michna

Choosing good movies is a difficult endeavor that can be very time consuming. Therefore, here are instructions on how you can find and rate the films in the television program yourself as quickly and elegantly as possible.

For improvements to this procedure and for additional sources of information, I am grateful for an email and would include it here. If someone sends me texts that I can add verbatim or with minor changes, then I give the name of the author, but not his email address, if no other request is made.

Warning of Tele 5

Beware of private broadcasters like Kabel 1 and Tele 5! There are some madmen at work broadcasting postage-stamp television. Instead of focusing on higher resolutions such as HDTV, the resolution there is even lower than normal PAL. To do this, they typically use three methods at the same time, namely:

  • Non-anamorphic transmission (letterbox with only a little more than 300 pixels used vertically)
  • Reduced horizontal resolution (544 instead of 720 pixels)
  • Black borders also left and right, therefore often less than 500 pixels used horizontally)

In this way, it is not uncommon for such broadcasters to be able to transmit only around 150,000 instead of 414,720 pixels per picture (PAL), less than half. Accordingly, the films there are totally blurred and exhausting on the eyes. Half an hour of Tele 5 is a great way to get rid of a headache.

At the moment, the best option by far seems to be the TV download service, which charges a moderate monthly or annual fee.

The service automatically cuts out the advertising on almost all channels, which I think is a decisive advantage.

In you can use the menu items TV program, program overview, genres, films to select only cinema and television films, open a brief description and other information and plan recordings.

I recommend focusing on the afternoon and evening films. This reduces the search time considerably, and you hardly miss any good films because they are not broadcast after midnight or in the morning.

After the broadcast is over, the recorded films are stored for a longer period of time and can be downloaded at any time. The file format is MP4.

Some of the channels are recorded in HD (1280 × 720 = 720p). The frame rate is 50 frames / s, but two consecutive frames are always identical for films (apart from minimal compression artifacts), so that the effective frame rate is only 25 frames / s. Unfortunately, almost all films are made with 23.976 to 25 frames / s, so that a higher quality is not offered. However, you can possibly activate an extrapolation to a higher frame rate in your own home theater. If you set it up technically correctly and set the signal source to 23.976 (typical for international films) or 24.0 (rare) or 25.0 (German TV recordings), depending on the frame rate in the film file, you can finally get the jerking that is typical of films remove.

Unfortunately, incomprehensibly, the sound is always mutilated by the recording services and reduced to stereo. I haven't found an alternative that offers surround sound yet.

An alternative resource is Here you can register (free of charge) so that the server remembers your personal settings, namely the channel selection, and you don't have to enter them again and again.

Attention: Films that start between midnight and 6 a.m. are listed here under the date of the previous day.

You can only select the feature films here and then click on each film that seems promising, read the description and find the original title.

My personal movie rating method

In 2008 I tightened and changed my selection criteria for films. Here is my current method very briefly. There are always exceptions, but the rules are these:

Films made before 1980 will no longer be considered.

Films made before 1990 are downgraded (by one notch, such as an IMDB point or one of my own rating classes — see below).

Films that revolve around the following topics are greatly devalued: drugs, mafia, disadvantaged minorities, disease, unscientific nonsense (such as vampires, ghosts), more or less crime in general and a few more that I can think of if necessary.

Films based on real events are upgraded.

Science fiction films and anime films are upgraded.

Films with good, well-known actors are upgraded.

TV films are viewed critically and, if necessary, devalued.

Films whose story seems consistently depressing are devalued. (I prefer feel-good movies over feel-bad movies.)

Films with a promising, unusual, interesting or fascinating story are upgraded.

Films with accompanying music made by Hans Zimmer or John Williams are upgraded.

Recordings and Blu-rays with DTS or Dolby surround sound are upgraded somewhat.

Films that score well above average according to this rating (from IMDB 7 or my rating class B) are seen, I record them from TV, etc.

I take a quick look at TV recordings and then judge the film a little, especially its speed. Slow films are devalued. Brutality is devalued. Films with poor accompanying music are devalued. Other deficiencies, such as poor direction, poor camera work, poor acting, lead to devaluation. TV recordings with poor picture quality (lower resolution, worse than HD 720p) are devalued. As a result of these devaluations, a number of films are deleted and do not come into the home theater.

The ratings in the TV magazines are no good. A good tool is the International Movie DataBase (IMDB). I myself look for every movie on before I record it.

You can find the film with the original title or a title in another language by choosing the second option, "Title", instead of "All" in the selection box and entering the title in the input field.

The IMDB ratings are better than most of the others, but also nowhere near reliable.

First and foremost, the rating number is of interest. In my opinion, the IMDB ratings typically roughly have the following meanings:

8.x = first class
7.x = worth seeing
6.x = bearable
5.x = mostly not worth seeing, but there are a few exceptions
<5 = not worth seeing

However, I occasionally find films that I like very much with ratings in the 5.x range, so that I can only accept lower ratings as a knockout criterion.

Newer, better-known films also have a "Metascore" rating, which is based on reviews from critics. This seems to me to be even more meaningful than the audience rating, but the critics seem to be mostly old and therefore more receptive to sentimental films and films with a very slowly progressing plot.

You can get various other information when leafing through, in particular the relevant keywords (e.g. based-on-true-story) and various descriptions and assessments of the film.

With this information you decide whether you want to see the film or not.

Unfortunately, tastes when it comes to films are sometimes very different from person to person. Ultimately, there is no relying on the reviews. You can only say with certainty whether you like a film once you have seen it.

If you have a similar taste in films as I do, you can take a look here and consult my personal ratings. The list of all films that I have already seen or that have been recommended to me can be found at

If I know the film, my own ratings are also included:

A = excellent
B = worth seeing or at least entertaining
C = bearable
D = Annoying or a waste of time

They relate to the genre, so they do not evaluate the film absolutely, but only within the films of a similar age and type. For example, I try to judge a children's film whether I would like to show it to children.

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