5 Best IMDb Alternatives for Free Movies and TV Series Database
The Internet Movie Database, or IMDb, is the world’s most popular website and application for finding information about any movie or TV show. But he has some problems. There have been complaints about the lack of transparency in its rating system. The site is owned by Amazon and aggressively promotes Prime Video content. And its famous chat rooms have now been whittled down to another location with unreliable reviews.
But there are free alternative movie databases that give you similar information. Some even let you choose ratings from different places to sort through their databases. And fans of old chat rooms have created better sites for you to discuss what you’re watching.
TMDB has been around since 2008 and is written and edited entirely by its users, much like Wikipedia. And you won’t find any ads or promotions if you sign up for a free account.
TMDB covers both movies and TV series, with a detailed database for alternate titles, cast, crew, each episode’s descriptions, runtime, and where it’s currently airing (works in some countries). You will also find user reviews and discussions for each entry, but be careful as you could easily encounter spoilers. And finally, you can browse all the publicly available media on the title, like trailers, posters, set images, and logos.
Registered users can also create personal watchlists to keep track of what to watch or create public lists for others to see and contribute to. In some countries, you can also filter by streaming services to find what’s available to you.
You’ll find a lot of non-English and regional content on TMDb that you might not easily come across on IMDb, especially for older releases. It’s so comprehensive that popular movie trackers like Trakt.TV and Letterboxd use this database. After all, there’s a reason we’ve already said The Movie Database is the best IMDb alternative.
2. All movies (Web): Simple, Old-Fashioned Movie Database
Launched in 1990, IMDb is almost as old as the World Wide Web. The next oldest movie database is AllMovie, which started in 1998 and continues to operate. But while IMDb sports a modern look, AllMovie maintains a sense of simplicity and old-school minimalism that’s refreshing to browse. And there are only movies on this site, because you won’t find TV series.
The main page displays a marquee banner of currently popular movies, and you can then browse new and upcoming releases in a box. Two other sections show what’s available to stream or buy digital, and current box office revenue. The rest of the site is all about browsing by genre, mood, or theme, or using powerful search functions to find what you want in its vast database of Hollywood and foreign films.
Each title page reinforces the simplicity that AllMovie is known for. The first tab only gives you a synopsis, then you can read an original review from the site’s authors or user reviews. Finally, you will find information about the cast and crew or the awards it has won. AllMovie is not as comprehensive as IMDb or TMDB in cast and crew details. Still, it usually covers the most famous or essential aspects of filmmaking.
3. television maze (Web): Comprehensive and Detailed Database of TV Shows
While AllMovie is for movies, TV Maze is for TV series and shows. This site focuses on what is happening on TV channels. And, of course, streaming services count as “channels.”
The main page displays today’s TV schedule in the sidebar and popular shows airing that day or premieres of the upcoming season. There’s a detailed episode schedule to keep track of TV times, and registered users can also include their favorite streaming services. Plus, you can follow your favorite shows and get reminders whenever an episode comes out.
TV Maze includes a comprehensive database of episodes and seasons for any TV show. You’ll find cast and crew information, descriptions of each episode, guest stars, character bios and appearances, a media gallery, and news.
The website is primarily aimed at channels or shows in the United States or United Kingdom. While there are sometimes listings for other countries and shows, don’t rely on TV Maze for those; instead, find local sites similar to this one.
4. MovieChat (Web): the largest discussion forums on the Internet for film and television
In 2017, IMDb announced that it was shutting down its discussion forums, a beloved part of the website for moviegoers. After all, each film had its own forum, with multiple sub-topics for fans to talk about different aspects of the film. One of those fans was Jim Smith. And that’s how MovieChat was born.
Like the original IMDb discussion forums, MovieChat offers a sub-forum for every movie and TV show. So if it’s on IMDb, you’ll find it on MovieChat. And in this sub-forum, you can create and participate in as many discussions as possible. But you must follow the community guidelines. And in a frustrating UI experience, you can only sort threads by latest post, not by popularity.
Still, these are small sacrifices for the chance to participate in the largest community of movie fans on the internet talking about what they’ve watched. So it’s doubly awesome when you find out that Smith saved the posts of IMDb’s Top 10,000 Movies and TV Shows before the discussion forums went down.
MovieChat is a great example of how the Internet serves its users, even when businesses cannot. It is also to read Wired’s excellent article on Smith’s crusade.
5. Large cartoon database (Web): Database of all cartoons ever made
What IMDb does for movies, Big Cartoon Database (BCDB) does for cartoons. The website hosts a meticulous record of every cartoon ever made, along with all the information you might want to know about it.
Whether it’s Flintstones or Bugs Bunny, BCDB has the details on any toon. You’ll get information about episodes or standalone cartoons, with a synopsis of what it’s about, the cast and crew who worked on it, production notes, and media, if any. You will also often find links to download the cartoon via Amazon or iTunes.
BCDB also helps you discover cartoons with sections such as the top 25 toons, the most popular cartoons or the monthly “hot 100”. Or you can browse by studios such as Disney, Pixar, MGM, Warner Bros, etc. Finally, you can also chat with other anime lovers on the BCDB forums.
Whether you use IMDb or one of these alternatives, it’s probably best to ignore the rating system. Movie studios, fans, and other biases have crept into the movie rating methodology. As a result, these ratings aren’t necessarily a reliable measure of whether a movie is good or bad.
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