Netflix Begins Thumbs Up/Down Today – No More Stars

As mentioned recently in our news post, Netflix are simplifying how you rate your favourite movies and shows and that change is starting today. Netflix have stated that people misunderstood the star ratings as being an average rating across all Netflix users – for example you might see a single red star on a new show and think it means it’s rubbish. In actual fact, this was Netflix trying to guess how much you would like it but in a world of online shopping and reviews many saw it as a overall review or rating. I also believe another issue is that many people didn’t rate movies because they felt it was to help other users – in fact, the ratings are one of the ways Netflix decides on what content it thinks you will enjoy so giving a rating is primarily for your own benefit. The new simplified format is explained in their video below:


Personally I am all in favour of the new system and I am fully aware that many of you disagree. Let me explain why: I am not a critic, I am simply someone who enjoys TV and films – yes I review some of them over on our reviews site but you’ll probably see that I review whether or not I liked the film more than how technically adept the production is; we also don’t give ratings as such. I’ve always known that rating a film or TV show on Netflix means they have a better idea of what I want to watch but I also know that I spend far too much time deciding whether to give a 4 or a 5 star rating and then sometimes decide not to rate it because I couldn’t do an instant ‘review’. To me the thumbs up/down is better – I can quickly mark a good or bad title without having to overthink things. However, we’ll have to see how it goes – at present I get some good suggestions as I do rate a lot of films. It will be interesting to see in the months to come if the quality of suggested films and TV shows has suffered or not.

Oh, one more thing… The ratings on the main websites are going to have to get a bit of an overhaul in the coming weeks. I’ve already got some ideas planned.

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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24 thoughts on “Netflix Begins Thumbs Up/Down Today – No More Stars

  1. “Netflix have stated that people misunderstood the star ratings as being an average rating across all Netflix users…” No, nobody ‘misunderstood’ anything, Netflix; everybody simply understood, in the absence of any other information from Netflix to the contrary, that their star rating system worked like every other star rating system in existence – as an average of user input. Numpties…

  2. This may simplify too much, a choice of say 1 to 100 as a rating may be more accurate? Data is a funny thing, but it’s more than just up or down, full or empty, black or white etc

  3. The thing is, people don’t want Netflix to work out how much we may like something. Everytime computer algorithms try to work things we like or what we want to see we get spammed with crap. A simple review system, gauging other people’s opinions is far more useful.

  4. I know what I like but I am also open to what ‘Joe Public’ recommend. The ‘star rating’ system is a much better guide to others’ recommendations and opens up programmes that may have otherwise been overlooked.

  5. Okay, so – I checked my Netflix List last night and most of the stuff on it now has been rated as an 80% match or higher (up to 98% in some cases!) and in many cases for films which previously had a one or two star rating, so I’m calling BS on the efficacy of this thumbs system.

    Also, I watched Poltergeist (2015), which was unremarkable but watchable, but I couldn’t really rate it; I didn’t like it, I didn’t dislike it (after all, I watched it to the end), so what am I supposed to do?

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