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I noticed that older movies with a 7 - 7.5 rating are really good, while 2012 movies with that rating are quite bad, and they would most likely be rated 4 - 5.5 in 2004 for example :)

Also newer movies have many more votes then older ones. I've heard companies hire people to register random accounts and rate their movies. Is this true? IMDB ratings don't seem to be reliable anymore

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Where did you hear this? With a reasonable source for this claim, it would probably be a good question for Skeptics. –  Flimzy Apr 17 '12 at 16:57
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Examples, or it didn't happen. –  Robert Harvey Apr 17 '12 at 17:16
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I doubt it. Newer movies just attract more attention than older movies. When older movies were released, there was no IMDB (or internet for that matter), so they have less votes. And the higher score is part of the hype. The score usually adjusts over time. –  atticae Apr 17 '12 at 17:16
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Here's my theory: Newer ratings are cast by younger people who like explosions. –  Robert Harvey Apr 17 '12 at 17:19
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It's an interesting question, but ultimately I never trust online rating systems (or printed for that matter). It's way too easy for like-minded fan groups (Twi-Hards etc) to skew the results through positive AND negative votes. –  Nobby Apr 17 '12 at 17:55
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3 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I've some experiences in freelancing. I guess this answer is correct because I've seen numerous job postings like this to give positive reviews. But one point to be noted is that, to stop this sort of rating manipulation, IMDB only counts votes from regular voters. That means if you just register and give couple of movies very high ratings, you votes are not going to be included in the calculation.

Anyway, I've another explanation, but I don't have any proof to back it up. Old movies are seen mostly by people who really love movies and passionate about them. They are more like movie critic type. On the other hand, new movies are seen mostly by general audiences. And I believe ratings from critics are most of the time less than the ratings from general audiences. So for this reason, being equal in quality, newer movies enjoy better ratings than old movies.

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+1 for the alternate theory! –  AidanO Apr 24 '12 at 7:55
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Pretty much spot on, but add one thing: "just watched euphoria." I've seen (and experienced) a sort of emotional high from watching an exciting movie. Months later, after more sober reflection, I realized that the movie was actually fairly mediocre (or worse). New movie ratings are probably inflated by a certain amount of this euphoria, whereas votes for older movies are generally entered years later. I don't think that this issue ever really evens out as most people don't go back and revise their votes. –  Donald.McLean Mar 28 '13 at 17:03
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Although this answer is late I asked myself the same question just now. I wanted to look at a movie called Alien Armageddon and decided to see what imdb said before I did. Most people gave it a low rating. I was curious about the few persons giving high ratings to a movie that was overall rated very low. I found this strange. So I looked one up and saw the reviews. I am not sure if I am allowed to tell but the person is called info-10912. He or she has rated four movies high. All of these movies are rated low overall. So I looked at what combined those movies and voila: three of them are from the same production company: Halcyon International Pictures. And that one has made only thirteen movies, of which three are thus given high ratings by the same person while overall their ratings are low.The odd one out is Chrysalis as it doesn't seem to be from the same company. But maybe some people know what the link is. Seems to me that could be a paid reviewer.

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The user "info-10912" joined IMDb in 2006, and has only reviewed four films. Apparently he/she/it is a fan of alien-themed sci-fi, which happens to be what Halcyon distributes. I'm not sure there's a conspiracy here; just someone with tastes outside the mainstream. –  FredH Jun 28 '13 at 12:46
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It's difficult to say who's hiring, but I know at least one source where people are offering.

I would guess fiverr is more for the amateurs. Big movie studios generate enough buzz on their own to get people talking and rating.

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