The popular online streaming service Netflix has been known to offer some questionable movie choices, but now, there’s a website which aims to help you sort through the junk and find movies actually worth watching.
A Better Queue, first launched in 2012, filters Netflix movies based on Rotten Tomatoes reviews, and lately, it’s been getting even more attention through services like Reddit.
Using its ‘Tomatometer’, you can filter highly rated movies from any of Netflix’s 20+ defined genres. If you want to narrow down your search even more, there are filters for the minimum number of Rotten Tomato reviews, as well as the year that a movie was released. Once you hit ‘Filter’, the list of movies will come up. Clicking on the movie will take you directly to it in Netflix, or you can, as the name suggests, automatically add it to your Netflix queue by clicking ‘Add to list’.
Unfortunately, with Netflix retiring its public API this coming November, the service may not be useful for long. Netflix currently allows open access to Netflix content to let developers interact with and create apps around it that can be useful for Netflix members.
As of November 14th, however, a concerted effort from the internationally expanding Netflix means that it’ll close public access to almost all third-party applications, aside from a list deemed useful to Netflix users. According to Netflix, A Better Queue isn’t one of them, and it’s definitely no the only one.
Speaking with developer Dave Jachimiak, he’s saddedened by Netflix’s choice not to include his website on that list. As his first software project and a huge Netflix fan himself, Jachimiak was hoping to add more functionality and create a more mobile friendly site, as well as an iOS app, before Netflix announced the closing of it’s public API.
With regular surges in popularity, however, it’s easy to see that the site is continuously useful for Netflix members.
“A Better Queue’s recent popularity makes me think that the site would be valuable for Netflix, as well as for the people who want to find good movies to watch there,” says Jachimiak.
Finding good content on Netflix has always been a struggle for users: you’re only shown a small selection of movies at one time, and there’s no way to sort movies by user ratings, which are pretty arbitrary to begin with. While its genre categorization system has been quite effective in terms of sorting the type of movie you want to watch, there’s no standard for the quality of movies available.
Netflix offers some pretty specific and not so useful related movie suggestions (source)
While Netflix is still the most popular online streaming service, competitors like Amazon or Hulu already offer better ways to sort through content.
Sites like A Better Queue have already proven very useful for Netflix users, especially because it uses a well known and highly used movie ratings website to aggregate its results, and for this reason, Jachimiak isn’t giving up. “I plan on appealing to Netflix that A Better Queue should be part of the handful of sites that will still have access after November after I fix the capacity issues.”
These capacity issues come from the huge surge in traffic it experiences after appearing on sites like Reddit, an issue he’s identified and is quickly working towards fixing.
If Jachimiak isn’t successful in his appeal, I hope that Netflix will come up with its own solution for more accurate recommended content once its closes its public API later this year.
Check out A Better Queue to line up your movie picks for the weekend while you still can.