There comes a time in an entertainment lover’s life when search engines become tedious, and word-of-mouth inefficient and lackluster. When that time comes, it may be time to try metacritic.com. The website takes the massive number of critical reviews of film,, DVD, music, games and television available on the Internet, filters out the grime and the grit and condenses all of that information into a simple, easy-to-navigate page.
Reviews by well-respected critics are gathered and the scores they give to works of media are compiled into an overall “Metascore”— a number out of 100. If the critic has not assigned a score to what they’re reviewing, Metacritic gives a score based on the overall feel of the review. At least four scores must be compiled before a Metascore is given, so one bad review can’t spoil an item’s rating.
Scores above 60 are green for “universal acclaim,” scores between 40 and 60 are yellow for “mixed or average reviews” and scores 40 and below are red for “generally negative reviews.” This makes finding a quick review of what’s good and what’s bad in new entertainment extremely easy.
Reviews are updated quite often, except in the books section. However, Metacritic provides a link to another website called “The Complete Review” for those who are still interested in book reviews.
The music section is probably the highlight of the website—it includes the all-time high and low scores given to albums, as well as the high and low scores of each year since 2000. The lowest score of all time is not surprising: Kevin Federline’s “Playing with Fire.” The high scores include Led Zeppelin, Outkast, Brian Wilson and the Talking Heads, but there are also fantastic ratings for albums many people have never heard of like “The Streets,” “Madvillain,” “The Avalanches” and “Los Super Seven.” The music featured on the site is not limited by genre, and all interests are well-explored.
Each section of the site is organized to better suit the media which it reviews—television reviews, for example, are put in sections according to Fall Season, Midseason and Summer Season, and games are organized by company and console.
Users can also review items in comments, and their ratings are averaged into a separate user score.
Metacritic conserves time and money spent discovering that the newest album or DVD just bought is not really as fantastic as that guy in fourth period said it was, and helps figure out whether or not it is worth staying up until 11 to watch that new series.