UPDATE: For an updated list of IMDb Message Boards alternatives go to the Movie Forums: Which Is Best?
Film Forums began life with the intention of becoming a full fledged alternative to the IMDb message boards which closed on 20th February 2017. We were all set to archive all of those boards (quite an undertaking!) and establish an IMDb message boards alternative website when it soon became apparent that there were already a suitable replacements for the IMDb movie forums such as the appropriately named MovieChat.org
Moviechat, for example, has archived not just the IMDb message boards, but, in fact, added every single page on IMDb relating to movies and tv series, along with actors’ pages.
That’s right. Every. Single. Board. Millions of entries salvaged.
But how did it even come to this point?
In an attempt to explain its decision to close its movie message boards, the authoritative Internet Movie Database, established way back in 1993, said it had arrived at the conclusion to pull the plug “after careful consideration”, and that the call was made based on “data and traffic”, as well as the notion that film discussion had apparently transitioned to social channels like its Facebook and Twitter pages.
The thing is, movie forums offer something more than the exchanges you generally find on social media. Dedicated movie websites and film forums are much more likely attract folk interested in a specific topic. Movie message boards provide a platform for people that, generally speaking, care that bit more than your average movie goer and are often more invested in movie discussion. Film chat on Facebook is arguably a little more vulnerable to trolling and hostile commentary too, as it is open to a far bigger audience. Hardly a safe breeding ground for conversation between movie aficionados and healthy silver screen obsessives.
So, the IMDb message boards were rather brutally shut down and tossed into the abyss by the powers that be at the now Amazon-owned IMDB; forums with decades worth of film debates between people from everywhere across the globe would have just disappeared as if they had never existed. All those ignorant as well as enlightening and insightful comments from folk who had discussed the minutiae of scenes from just about every movie you may have laid your eyes on – from the shower scene in Psycho (1960) to the themes of class and division in Titanic, as well as debating “why Star Wars sucks and George Lucas is a crap writer” (yep, the beauty of different opinions, the fuel for debate). All lost forever without intervention from Moviechat.org and others.
IMDb Movie Chat Alternatives
As you can see from a screenshot of their homepage above they have opted, essentially, for a pared back version of the IMDb website. Their logo cleverly hints at IMDb’s without being a clone. Autocomplete (when you type a movie name e.g. “Jur…” for Jurassic Park) has been implemented on both mobile and desktop versions of the site. There is a link back to the corresponding IMDb page too, making it dead easy to switch over whenever you like to check out movie trivia, goofs and other info only currently available on IMDb. A MovieChat Chrome extension facilitates a one-click to the corresponding MovieChat page once you’re done with the Trivia and actor info on IMDb.
MovieChat is not the only place for movie forum lovers but it does appear to be the best by some distance.
Having scoured the internet for IMDb message boards alternatives to fill the void, it has been quite eye opening to see just how many film forums and movie debate sites there are out there. There are many forums tacked onto existing websites, as well as blu ray chat boards, DVD forums, and even a movie forums board sitting on an Australian Internet Service provider’s website (Whirlpool Forums) with, frankly, a dreadfully 90s-looking aesthetic. I mention this one in particular as it appeared as the last entry on Page 1 of the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) for one of the main keyword phrases I used. This suggests that many of the movie forums websites out there are not search engine optimised for keyword phrases such as “movie forums”, “film forum” etc. (otherwise our friends down under would be nowhere near the first page) and should invest some time in keyword research to ensure they are easier to find when people search for IMDb message board alternatives.
In place well before MovieChat is the more established IMDb message board alternative The Movie Database (no prizes for originality guys), which was born 9 years ago, some 15 years after IMDb. It’s a beautiful looking site and arguably more aesthetically pleasing than IMDb. They clearly have a huge community but, doing some random searches for films like “Jurassic Park (1993)”, “Casino (1995)”, and “Wonder Woman (2017)” produced mixed results, with Jurassic Park and Casino having very few threads on their respective movie discussion boards. Wonder Woman (2017) had many more entries, which is probably reflective of the IMDB message boards closure as well as the movie’s success.
The Movie Database is certainly worth checking out.
One other site of note is movieforums.com. Whilst it offers movie pages and reviews, it doesn’t provide message boards for individual movies. However, the film discussion boards it does have appear to be very active and some date right back to 2000 when the site was born, so there is clearly a dedicated following.
For a wider review of all the IMDb message boards alternatives out there please visit the link at the top of this page.
We think the way to go is either TMDb or IMDB message board alternative MovieChat.org, or even both, unless IMDb do a mahoosive u-turn and decide to reinstall their movie chat boards and private messaging system. That, however, seems sadly unikely.