Jinni - the Best Movie Recommendation Engine

Jun 3, 2009
Updated • Jun 21, 2015

Update: Jinni announced that it will shut down its service on the web and concentrate on delivering "content recommendations and discovery via [..] TV & online operators".

For years there was really only one website I used to get information and reviews for movie releases – IMDB. Lately however the site has been feeling a bit dated, and comprehensive as it is, a bit lacking when you want to go beyond movie data, and instead find new movies based on your existing preferences.

There are no lack of websites to do this, in fact Netflix currently has one of the best recommendation engines, but unfortunately is only available for people in the US.

A couple of other notables come up, including Movielens, Flixter and Criticker. However by far the best service I’ve discovered is Jinni, a new movie recommendation engine in public beta.

I really won’t go into too much detail about the site, I suggest you go sign up yourself, but I will say this; Jinni provides the most useful recommendation service I’ve ever used and is also unique in inclusion of the long tail into the system. Many services notoriously suffer from simply sending people to the same popular movies which in turn makes them more popular and more likely to be recommended. On Jinni you’ll get the popular, the obscure and the unlikely.

The engine is based around the Movie Genome, a similar idea to the Music Genome Project used by Pandora.

“Jinni's social search-and-recommendation engine uses our Movie Genome, a big, ongoing project with the Jinni community to describe video more complexly. Using proprietary technology, a Jinni search takes you inside plot elements, atmosphere, and more - for search that reflects how we think and talk about movies”

Because Jinni is using a much richer set of data than the recommendation system at Netflix, it can consequently create much better results and even solve the problems Netflix has with predicting indie if people will like certain indie movies like Napoleon Dynamite.

Also, if you are a big Netflix user – Jinni integrates well with the service including the importing of Netflix data and ratings and the ability to add a movie from Jinni to your Netflix account.


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  1. Aura le said on January 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Jinni.com is a great website, but it is a menu driven style. So getting what I want is difficult as I have to understand how i need to navigate.
    TrustedOpinion.com again is a selective set of list.
    I use myBantu.com which is like Jinni + TrustedOpinion + Natural language query instead of menu driven style. However, these guys need to update their databases as I don’t see any new movies being shown.

  2. Nitzan Sherman said on June 16, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    For me, I really like Trusted Opinion for movie recommendations (http://www.trustedopinion.com because I trust my friends’ recommendations more than any computerized blackbox. For example, check out how they rated The Dark Knight (www.trustedopinion.com/movie-review/the-dark-knight).

    1. Stacy said on October 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm

      Nitzan, try Jinni the point is not to tell you if a particular movie is good or bad- true that your friends will able to do better but to help you explore other movies you may like and find online- It really expands your horizon.

  3. Jojo said on June 3, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I don’t watch enough movies to need a recommendation engine.

    The site I turn to for movie info is http://www.metacritic.com. They have a rating system based on commercial newspaper reviews and user reviews. I find the user reviews section to be accurate and very useful for my purposes.

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