I’ve been a Letterboxd user off and on since 2013. In that entire time, I’ve never had to (thankfully) block a user on Letterboxd. To give some context to this, I haven’t been as active as some members on Letterboxd who log films daily. So this could be part of the reason I have never found individual reviewers on Letterboxd to be “annoying” enough to block.

But reading the details on the Letterboxd Reddit (linked above), I get the impression there are specific Letterboxd users, the more popular ones, who are the most annoying. This might be a generalisation, and even though I don’t follow that many people on Letterboxd as yet, I recognised some names mentioned in the thread.

I unfollowed some of those people after doing some research on the site, reading their reviews (one line crap reviews) and decided that this thread on Reddit is spot on.

For starters, as a writer on Letterboxd, I’ve dallied with one line reviews before which were just an extension of the six-word story tag line series started here on the site. And while they were fun to do, it’s not something I’d consider doing long-term as a critic. The one thing that seems to annoy people on Letterboxd is popular “reviewers” who aren’t reviewing anything at all. You can’t expect to be taken seriously on Letterboxd if you’re writing one line reviews or making sarcastic comments about a movie some people are interested in reading about. That’s bound to put people off you fast.

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However, the more popular accounts seem to do this without fail, and they keep getting followers – thousands of them. So I guess there’s room in the Letterboxd community for writers who don’t write at all but continue to make one line comments about movies they may or may not have watched.

From my perspective, I guess there’s room for everyone as Letterboxd seems to be a developing community which welcomes anyone into the fold. Even if you’re not considered a “traditional” critic who writes actual reviews that take people longer than one second to read. But I don’t want to support these “writers” for lack of a better word, because I am what you’d call a “traditional” reviewer and I respect this as an art form.

Coming from a freelance writing background, I know that while one-line reviews might be fun for a moment, the facade never lasts. People come to the Letterboxd community to find the best of the best the community has to offer, and that means writers who are semi-serious about their craft. I don’t know about you, but I’d like for Now Showing NZ to be part of the more serious group of critics.

To summarise, the “top” reviewers on Letterboxd are not the “best” of what the community has to offer. And this means that as a letterboxer, you have to spend time on the site to learn who the “better” reviewers are. Some people can’t be bothered spending more than a few minutes anywhere let alone on Letterboxd, and those are the people who will miss out on the best content.

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