What Is The Internet Movie Database?

Recently, many readers of AskDeb.com have written in and asked, “What is the Internet Movie Database?”. Since our stated goal is to answer any and all questions, I figured it was high time that I addressed this query. Whether you’re looking for information on “Internet Movie Database actors” or “Internet Movie Database film,” this article should have you covered.

What Is The IMDB?

The Internet Movie Database, also known as the IMDB, is located at imdb.com. It’s a site for fans of movies and television, and it offers a wide array of fun and interesting content. Some features of the IMDB include:

  • Movie and television news
  • Movie reviews
  • DVD and Blue-ray information
  • Message boards
  • Tickets and showtimes
  • Movie trailers
  • Full television episodes
  • Independent short films
  • Movie and television articles
  • Movie trivia
  • Movie quote of the day
  • Detailed information on individual movies
  • Full-length downloadable movies
  • And much more!

As you can see, the IMDB offers lots of features and unique content. This should go a long way towards answering the question, “What is the Internet Movie Database?”, but we’re just getting started.

Perhaps the most popular IMDB feature is the ability to look up thousands of movies and find out everything about them. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look at a specific film and see what the Internet Movie Database has to offer. For this example, we’ll search for Sling Blade, the 1996 hit starring Billy Bob Thornton.

IMDB Movie Photos


Once you’ve selected a movie to search for, you’ll notice movie photos right at the top of the page. Four pictures are available initially, but you can click on a link to see more.

The Sling Blade article has photos of Billy Bob Thornton standing in a theater lobby next to a poster for his film, but a quick glance shows that 30 other movie photos are also available. You can even select a slideshow option and view them one after another.

IMDB Movie Videos

Next to the IMDB movie photos is a section appropriately entitled “Videos.” In the case of Sling Blade, the viewer can choose to see the full-length trailer for the film.

IMDB Overview

Below the pictures and videos is a section labeled “Overview.” This IMDB section is intended to give viewers basic information about the film. It contains the following features:

  • User Rating – All members of the Internet Movie Database can rate the movies on the site. Movies are ranked on a scale from one to ten, and it’s free to become a member. The ratings are compiled to give the film an overall rating. In the case of Sling Blade, it has an overall rating of 8 out of 10 (with 36,842 votes).
  • MOVIEmeter – Analyzes the trends in a movie’s popularity. When I viewed the page, Sling Blade was down 6% in popularity for the week.
  • Director – The name of the director.
  • Writers – Includes the names of the film’s writers.
  • Contact – Provides information for contacting the company that made the film.
  • Release Date – Lists the date that the film was released in the United States and other countries.
  • Genre – Tells the viewer what type of movie it is. In this case, Sling Blade is listed as a “Drama.”
  • Tagline – The line that’s usually featured on the movie poster or DVD cover. The tagline for Sling Blade is listed as “Sometimes a hero comes from the most unlikely place.”
  • Plot – Gives the reader an idea of what the movie is about. If you want more details, you can also click on the “Full Summary” option.
  • Plot Keywords – Keywords associated with the movie. By clicking on these keywords, you can find other movies which share similar themes. A couple of the Sling Blade keywords were “murder,” “repair shop,” and “mental institution.”
  • Awards – Details all the awards which the film has won. It also includes nominations.
  • News Desk – If the movie has been in the news lately, it will be documented here. For example, by looking at the first two stories I can see that Liz Lemon recently did a Sling Blade impression on an episode of 30 Rock, and Dwight Yoakum (who appears in Sling Blade) will be starring in an upcoming movie titled Crank 2: High Voltage.
  • User Comments – Clicking on this link will show short comments from various IMDB users.
  • US TV Schedule – Want to know when the selected movie will air on television? That information is provided here. Looks like Sling Blade will be airing a few times over the next two weeks.


The Internet Movie Database includes cast members, and most actors or actresses can then be clicked on to view their individual pages (which usually include a bio, trivia and complete filmography). Many movie characters will also have their own pages featuring quotes and fun trivia.

IMDB Additional Details

The following extra goodies are also included on each IMDB movie page:

  • MPAA – Tells viewers what rating the movie received in the U.S. and why.
  • Parents Guide – A content advisory for parents.
  • Runtime – The length of the film.
  • Country – Where the movie was made.
  • Language – What language is spoken by characters in the film?
  • Color – Is the film in color or black & white?
  • Aspect Ratio – What aspect ratio was the movie filmed in?
  • Sound Mix – How was the sound for the movie recorded? In the case of Sling Blade, it was Dolby Digital.
  • Certification – Provides around-the-world content ratings for the film. In Singapore, for example, Sling Blade was cut down to a PG rating.
  • Filming Location – Where the movie was shot.
  • Company – What company distributed the film?

IMDB Fun Stuff

When answering questions like, “What is the Internet Movie Database?”, I’m always sure to mention the IMDB fun stuff section. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m betting that you’ll be fond of it, too.

  • Trivia – Provides interesting facts about the film. For example, Billy Bob Thornton placed crushed glass in his shoes to make his walk more awkward.
  • Goofs – Points out mistakes that made their way into the finished product.
  • Quotes – Memorable quotes from the film. “I like them French friend potaters.”
  • Movie Connections – Has the movie been mentioned in another film, or does it make reference to a movie? Any such reference or connection can be found here.
  • Soundtrack – What songs are on the soundtrack and who recorded them?

IMDB Frequently Asked Questions

If there are frequently asked questions about a film, the Internet Movie Database will list them in this section. Considering their attention to detail, you can also bet that they’ll have an answer for the question.

IMDB User Comments

People love to give feedback, and this section allows all sorts of IMDB user comments. Whether you loved a movie or hated it, this is the place to give your unfiltered opinion.

IMDB Message Boards

Each IMDB entry has its own message board where fans or detractors can come together and argue. In this section, the six most recent IMDB message board posts will be displayed.

IMDB Recommendations

The IMDB searches through its vast database and recommends five films which you might also enjoy. Since I’m on the Sling Blade page, it lists the following as IMDB recommendations: American Beauty, Road House, The Notebook, Infamous, and A Time to Kill. I’ve seen three of the five recommendations and enjoyed them, so it looks like this feature is pretty reliable.

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