April 22, 2013

Letterboxd – A Tracking Tool for Film Aficionados

Letterboxd is a web-application build specifically for people who are obsessed with film. Part social network, part private diary, Letterboxd has created a way for people to keep detailed logs of all the films they’ve watched over the course of their lifetimes.

Letterboxd is clearly for people who watch a lot of films. To create an account, you must fill in a memorable line from a popular movie (or use ReCaptcha instead, if you don’t know the line). Start populating your diary by adding the name of a film you’ve recently seen. You can specify the date you saw it, write up a short review, rate the movie on a 0 to 5 scale, and tag it with keywords related to the plot or who you were with when you saw the film. Once you’ve added enough films to your diary, you can start organizing them into categories (like genre or lead actor). Get ideas for which movies you’d like to see next by “following” other users and keeping track of the films they’re watching or discussing, and then adding those films to a “watchlist” of movies you’re planning on seeing in the future.

When you upgrade from a free plan to a Pro account, you can integrate Letterboxd with your Netflix queue, and import data from IMDb into your Letterboxd account. Pro users also get access to a “Year In Review” stats page, where they can see just how many hours they spent watching films, along with how many films they watched each week or month in the previous year.

Practical Uses:

  • Recommend great movies to your friends
  • Keep a detailed record of all your favorite films
  • Make a list of all the movies you’ve been meaning to watch
  • Get ideas for new films to check out based on what your friends have reviewed

Insider Tips:

  • Film lists can be made public or private
  • People can add movies to their “watched” list without including any reviews or ratings
  • Filter your watchlist based on Netflix availability
  • All film metadata comes from The Movie Database (TMDb)

What we liked:

  • Letterboxd turns its user reviews into data, showing each user’s favorite genres, directors, and stars based on the films they’ve watched
  • The more films a user rates, the better Letterboxd becomes at recommending movies he or she might enjoy
  • People can add tags to remind themselves who they watched certain movies with
  • Users can import historic film data from Netflix

What we didn’t like:

  • Features that Letterboxd once offered for free (like Netflix integration) are now a part of the app’s Pro package


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2012
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Founded by: Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow
  • Web site:


  • Free account
  • Pro account is $19/year
  • Patron account is $49/year

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