keyword_expert's profile

2.7K Messages


47K Points

Saturday, November 5th, 2022 9:55 PM

In Progress

IMDb's "Interesting Keywords" List - suggestions for modifications

This post involves IMDb's list of "Interesting Keywords" at this link:

The list includes 150 keywords. The keywords on that list have apparently never changed since it was first posted in 2014

At this point, a few changes to this list are in order. Below I will post 14 keywords that I believe should be removed from the list, followed by a list of potential keywords to add to the list to replace any keywords removed.

Keywords Proposed for Removal from "Interesting Keywords" List

The following keywords should be deleted from the "Interesting Keywords" list. I am not proposing here that the keywords be deleted from IMDb entirely -- just that they should be removed from the "Interesting" list.

blockbuster (966 titles)

character's-point-of-view-camera-shot (6675 titles)

chick-flick (135 titles)

cult (2404 titles)

famous-line (241 titles)

famous-opening-theme (435 titles)

famous-score (538 titles)

multiple-actors-playing-same-role (28 titles)

multiple-storyline (0 titles)

no-background-score (18 titles)

no-music (115 titles)  

rotoscoping (230 titles)

shakespeare (50 titles)

supernatural (0 titles)

1.  blockbuster (966 titles)

The keyword "blockbuster" is controversial, to say the least. It is vague, undefined, overused, and in some people's opinion, not even a proper keyword. Setting aside the question of whether the keyword is a good or bad keyword, it probably does not belong on a list of IMDb's most "interesting" keywords. It's time for it to be replaced on this list.

2. character's-point-of-view-camera-shot (6675 titles)

The keyword "character's-point-of-view-camera-shot" is not really an "interesting" keyword (at least not to me), because it simply describes a filmmaking technique used at some point in a movie. It is not a plot keyword. And besides, there are whole bunch of potential duplicates for this keyword, and I will likely recommend a merger in the future, probably into "character's-point-of-view-shot," because "character's-point-of-view-camera-shot" is often mistakenly used on animated films where no camera is involved.

Some of the currently existing duplicate keywords include "pov-shot," "point-of-view-shot," "pov-camera," "point-of-view-camera-shot," "first-person-view," "first-person-camera," "first-person-pov," "first-person-point-of-view," "pov-footage," "characters-point-of-view-camera-shot," "character's-point-of-view," "character's-point-of-view-camera-shot," and "character's-point-of-view-shot." All of these keywords should cleaned up through a merger. For now, this keyword should be removed from the "interesting" keywords list.

3. chick-flick (135 titles)

It can be debated whether "chick-flick" is even an appropriate keyword, since among other problems, the very term divides by gender: "While the tailoring of interests may seem helpful and natural, many critics argue that unnecessary gendering can have negative consequences on many different social groups." We don't, after all, see keywords like "guy-flick." Well, I take that back -- that keyword is currently assigned to 2 titles: guy-flick (2 titles). More importantly, the word "chick" itself is often viewed as pejorative. IMDb can do better. I'm not arguing for getting rid of the keyword completely, just that it doesn't belong on this exclusive list of "Interesting" keywords.

4. cult (2404 titles)

The keyword "cult" is included on the list side by side with "cult-film." The keyword "cult" should only be used for movies with a cult as an actual plot point. It should not be used as a synonym for "cult-favorite," "cult-film," "cult-tv," etc. Unfortunately, some contributors have frequently used the "cult" keyword where one of those other keywords should be used. Regardless of IMDb's original intentions for including "cult" in this list, it should now be removed. That may help reduce confusion about the proper use of this keyword.

5.  famous-line (241 titles)

6.  famous-opening-theme (435 titles)

7.  famous-score (538 titles)

These three "famous" keywords are not great keywords, given the inherent subjectivity that comes with the word "famous." I have often seen these keywords, when used on titles, down-voted by other contributors as "not relevant"--probably because the down-voting contributor disagrees with the "famous" characterization or disagrees with the existence of the keyword itself. Contributors are generally discouraged from adding subjective keywords. IMDb should not set a bad example in favor of subjective keywords by promoting these keywords on its list. 

8. multiple-actors-playing-same-role (28 titles)

I intend to post the keyword "multiple-actors-playing-same-role" in a future list of proposed mergers of duplicate keywords, something like this:

role-played-by-multiple-actors (28 titles)  -->  multiple-actors-playing-same-role (28 titles)  -->  multiple-actors-play-the-same-role (7 titles)  -->  multiple-actors-for-one-character (77 titles) -->  multiple-actors-play-one-character

For now, this keyword should be removed from the list of "Interesting Keywords." The particular keyword that appears on this list will likely be merged in the future. Plus, there are gender questions that arise from the word "actor," since there are also keywords like "multiple-actresses-playing-same-role" and some contributors use "actor" only for male actors while others use it for all actors. For these reasons and more, it is not a great keyword for this list.

9.  multiple-storyline (0 titles)

The keyword "multiple-storyline" no longer exists, since it has been merged into "multiple-storylines."

10.  no-background-score (18 titles)

I personally believe "no-background-score" is a badly formatted keyword that should not even exist. Very rarely should keywords be framed in terms of what the title does not contain (e.g., the "no-" prefix in this keyword). I may take up that case at a later date. For now, the keyword should be removed from the "Interesting Keywords" list. It is hard to conclude that this keyword is "interesting," given that it only was ever used on 18 titles, and therefore never caught on.

11.  no-music (115 titles)  

I don't like the "no-music" keyword either for the same reasons as "no-background-score", but setting aside my personal predilections, this keyword also never really caught on. There are likely a lot of movies without music, particularly documentaries, yet this keyword has only been assigned to 115 titles. It's debatable whether this keyword is "interesting," and either way, sometimes it is good to have a fresh start -- in this case by replacing this keyword with something new.

12. rotoscoping (230 titles)

I had to look up the keyword "rotoscoping" to even understand what it means. It is definitely not a plot keyword, unless the film focuses on rotoscoping as its subject matter. Plus, the keyword never really caught on among contributors, and is only assigned to 230 titles today. I don't regard this as one of IMDb's most "interesting" keywords.

13. shakespeare (50 titles)

As discussed here, the keyword "shakespeare" probably should not even exist. This keyword arguably violates the guidelines, which tell us to not use standalone names as keywords.  The keyword "shakespeare" should be "audited" and replaced with better keywords like "shakespeare-adaptation" and "based-on-shakespeare" and "reference-to-william-shakespeare." For now, this keyword definitely does not belong on the list of "Interesting" keywords. 

14. supernatural (0 titles)

This keyword no longer exists, since it has been merged into supernatural-power

Potential Keywords to Add to the "Interesting Keywords" List

Now comes the fun part: adding new keywords to the list to replace any keywords removed.

Below is a list of some keywords that I personally find interesting. I would hope that some of these might be added. I could narrow the list down further if needed. Other contributors might have additional suggestions.

alien-invasion (1163 titles)

antagonist-as-protagonist (146 titles)

based-on-true-story (7760 titles)

based-on-urban-legend (496 titles)

beach (10483 titles)

body-swap (392 titles)

buddy-movie (241 titles)

bully-comeuppance (332 titles)

cinema-verite (248 titles)

con-artist (924 titles)

fictional-drug (215 titles)

fictional-town (229 titles)

fictional-war (1342 titles)

film-within-a-film (1236 titles)

final-showdown (815 titles)

friendship (16704 titles)

group-of-friends (1224 titles)

haunted-by-the-past (775 titles)

land-grab (493 titles)

long-title (475 titles)

love-triangle (4761 titles)

naivete (494 titles)

political-corruption (672 titles)

politics (12062 titles)

no-one-believes-the-protagonist (150 titles)

or-as-title-separator (381 titles)

paranormal-phenomenon (1695 titles)

return-home (711 titles)

revenge (15192 titles)

revenge-from-beyond-the-grave (114 titles)

self-referential (392 titles)

showdown (2963 titles)

silent-protagonist (118 titles)

supernatural-power (5797 titles)

teenage-protagonist (1064 titles)

telephone-terror (379 titles)

time-loop (377 titles)

town-with-a-dark-secret (216 titles)

traumatized-protagonist (154 titles)

vacation-gone-wrong (619 titles)

very-little-dialogue (504 titles)

vigilante-justice (548 titles)

villain-as-protagonist (465 titles)

wartime-romance (105 titles)

watching-tv (5062 titles)

wedding (6640 titles)



13.3K Messages


318K Points

1 year ago

12. rotoscoping (230 titles)

I had to look up the keyword "rotoscoping" to even understand what it means. It is definitely not a plot keyword, unless the film focuses on rotoscoping as its subject matter.

It's a filmmaking technique, like the very much IMDb-approved cg-animation or stop-motion-animation.

Keywords describe "any notable object, concept, style or action."

2.7K Messages


47K Points

@Peter_pbn​ But do you think it warrants keeping on this list of the most "interesting" keywords? Maybe it should be replaced with the much more frequently used and more widely understood stop-motion-animation (1112 titles)?




13.3K Messages


318K Points

It isn't my list, nor yours.

2.7K Messages


47K Points

@Peter_pbn​ It doesn't have to be our list for us to have an opinion on whether it can be improved. 



13.3K Messages


318K Points

What is interesting is subjective.



13.3K Messages


318K Points

1 year ago

click-flick also appears in the iOS app search feature.

Keywords that appear in the app, but not in the list of interesting keywords:














2.7K Messages


47K Points


alien-invasion and based-on-true-story were both on my list of interesting keywords that I had recommended should be added, so that seems like two votes in favor of adding each of these keywords. 

I had also considered adding sequel, which I think is a good keyword for these purposes. 

2.7K Messages


47K Points

1 year ago

Just for posterity's sake, I will copy and paste below the current full list of "Interesting Keywords":

Browse Interesting Keywords




3.6K Messages


38.2K Points

1 year ago

Hi @keyword_expert -

I have sent your suggestions to the team in charge, will keep you posted on their decision.


1.3K Messages


22.7K Points

1 year ago

This is about as weird as one can get.  What is possibly MORE subjective and LESS objective than "interesting"!