What am I in the mood to watch?
June 17, 2020 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Instead of endlessly scrolling through titles on various streaming platforms, are there other ways you've found to find something you're actually in the mood to watch?

Specifically, are there useful resources that can help me whittle down potential titles based on my mood at that particular time? Netflix used to have a decent enough browse feature back in the day but that has long gone by the wayside in favor of endlessly recommending me the same things in the various different categories on their home page (also including television shows in the movie categories which irks me no end). Amazon's search features really aren't very good. Frankly, most streaming services need better functionality in this arena. But it's more of an issue now that many of them have original content that they're promoting.

Is there a third party website that has more of a functionality of a library catalog but isn't restricted to only titles available in that particular library? Justwatch used to be kind of ok for this but has since revamped their results page into something unmanageable and terrible.
posted by acidnova to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
It's all based on JustWatch behind the scenes, but for movies in particular, a Letterboxd account will allow you to select your preferred streaming services and browse by decade, genre, rating, and popularity--you can also browse user-created lists and select the option to only show movies available from your services. When this feature was announced, I believe they said it would be for Pro accounts only, but it works fine for my unpaid account.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:53 PM on June 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm partial to Vultures 50 Best things to watch on Amazon and Netflix. Much good viewing has ensued.
posted by bearwife at 6:46 PM on June 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

You can Google "movies like xx" and get some recommendations.
I agree the browsing functions are poor. If only they would hire an indexer or cataloguer.
posted by Enid Lareg at 6:50 PM on June 17, 2020

IMDB lets you keep a watchlist if you're logged in, and it will make suggestions. There are "plot keywords" for films but it looks like they're user-submitted so it's not that consistent.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:13 PM on June 17, 2020

I google "best [genre] [streaming service] [current month and year]" which pulls up a number of publications (Collider, Vulture, various online mags) that keep tally of what's moving on and off the various services each month and see if anything looks appealing.

example: "best documentary netflix june 2020" "best horror film prime june 2020"
posted by crush at 7:32 PM on June 17, 2020

Upflix is very helpful for me to figure out what the hell is on Netflix. Netflix has a LOT more categories than show up at the top level for any one show, so you can find more stuff. I have the app. Recommended.
posted by jessamyn at 8:24 PM on June 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I downloaded Upflix based on Jessamyn's recommendation. Nice on my phone, dysfunctional on my iPad. $.99 to lose the ads.
posted by bearwife at 10:19 PM on June 17, 2020

I have been struggling with the same thing lately. Two things that helped:

1. Picking a movie for each letter of the alphabet. When I can't decide what to watch, it helps narrow down my choices.

2. If I enjoy a certain actor in a movie or show, looking at their IMDB page to see what else they have been in and picking something from there (also works well with directors, writers, showrunners, etc.)
posted by elvissa at 6:28 AM on June 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have a Google Sheets list of movies I intend to get around to watching one day, with columns indicating genre, mood, year, noteworthy names (stars, directors), and priority (two stars = eventual must-see; no stars = probably missable).

Every time we have found ourselves paralyzed in this manner (or too annoyed with streaming app usability to scroll blindly!), I open up that list and we can find SOMEthing. This is the stage of the process where JustWatch remains useful.

I feel the list was worth my time to assemble. (My list is about 300 titles long, but the main reason for that is that when I cancelled my Netflix mail-me-physical-discs plan, I put all those titles in the Sheet.) I used Google Sheets so that I could pair it to my phone and add stuff anytime, anywhere.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:15 AM on June 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like agoodmovietowatch.com.
posted by bendy at 11:18 PM on June 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much! That's very much the kind of thing I was looking for!
posted by acidnova at 12:34 AM on June 20, 2020

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