Metacritic simplifies and condenses media reviews

By NINA GREEN

It used to be that most Americans got their information from one newspaper, usually a local one. From this newspaper, they also got reviews of movies, music and TV. People came to trust their one newspaper for these opinions because, quite frankly, there wasn’t anyone else to listen to.

Well, times have changed and the advent of the Internet has brought with it a slew of arts review sites. For example, Movies.com not only shows when movies are playing nearby, it also shows how movies stack up against each other among critics and even employs its own in-house critics to give short reviews of the movies themselves.

There are many websites like this for all media types, and it can get confusing trying to keep all of the opinions straight.

Luckily, there is Metacritic.com. Metacritic brings opinions of all the top media critics together on one page to help consumers make better decisions. In essence, it is a Metacrawler of movie, video game, music and TV reviews.

Basically, the way the site works is that it takes reviews about a recent release (whether game, movie, TV show or music album) and compiles a score based off how many positive or negative reviews are written about it.

For example, “The Social Network,” a movie set to be released on Friday, currently has a score of 99 because 11 out of 11 critics gave it glowing reviews. Conversely, “You Again” (also set to be released this Friday) received a score of 29 because most critics panned it.

Now, these critics are not online users of the site, although users can give their opinions on movies as well. They are in fact actual reviews taken from newspapers and news websites across the country. The content of each review is analyzed and then given a score of how positive or negative it is. This score is then put together with the scores generated from other critics’ reviews to create the overall score of the film or TV show.

The real beauty of Metacritic is that it saves time. You don’t have to go through every newspaper or news website to get a different opinion on the movie you want to see or the album you want to buy. It’s all right there, ranked for your convenience.

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