Visualising the IMDb

The IMDb Top 250, as a source of movies, dries out quickly. In my case, I’ve seen about 175/250. Not sure how much I want to see the rest.

When chatting with Col Needham (who’s working his way through every movie with over 40,000 votes), I came up with this as a useful way of finding what movies to watch next.


Each box is one or more movies. Darker boxes mean more movies. Those on the right have more votes.  Those on top have a better rating. The ones I’ve seen are green, the rest are red. (I’ve seen more movies than that – just haven’t marked them green yet 🙂

I think people like to watch the movies on the top right – that popularity compensates (at least partly) for rating, and the number of votes is an indication of popularity.

For example, my movie pattern tells me that I ought to see Cidade de Deus, Inglourious Basterds and Heat – which I knew from the IMDb Top 250, but also that I ought to cover Kick-Ass, The Hangover and Juno.


It’s easy to pick movies in a specific genre as well.


Clearly, there are many more Comedy movies in the list than any other type – though Romance and Action are doing fine too. And I seem the have a strong preference for the Fantasy genre, in stark contrast to Horror.

(Incidentally, I’ve given up trying to see The Shining after three attempts. Stephen King’s scary enough. The novel kept me awake checking under my bed for a week at night. Then there’s Stanley Kubrick’s style. A Clockwork Orange was disturbing enough, but Haley Joel Osment in the first part of A.I. was downright scary. Finally, there’s Jack Nicholson. Sorry, but I won’t risk that combination on a bright sunny day with the doors open.)

You can track your list at

For those who want to play with the code, it’s at

  1. Umar Sharief says:

    Great Idea… would have been much more awesome if we were able to select multiple Genres ..

  2. […] is another way to find good movies to watch you might have missed, and the link for the visualization […]