Tracking Down Movies & Series


Do you ever have a patron ask for a movie or tv series, but that you’ve never heard of? Or the patron wonders if a movie has come out on DVD yet? Or maybe the patron wants to know how many seasons a tv show had? Or you need to find out the average opinion about a movie. Here are some websites that I use to track down this information.

Internet Movie Database aka IMDB : The Internet Movie Database is a good resource about movies, actors, and directors. I also use this website to find parental guidelines about a movie. This website is not a commercial service.

  • How to Search. There is a search bar in the center of the screen. You may search by the movie name, actor, or director. A result list will appear with exact or close results. These results usually include the date the movie was made, which is helpful when you are searching for a common title or different versions of the same story. Click on the result that matches your need; the record will include information about who directed and acted in the movie, as well as parental guidelines, and much more. The parental guidelines, if provided for the movie, can be found at the very bottom of the screen, under the heading “Story,” and is listed as “Parents Guide.” The Parents Guide states any and all incidents of sex, violence, gore, profanity, alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes in the movie.
  • Example. The Dark Knight (2008) was directed by Christopher Nolan, and starred Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. A parents guide is included; kisses and suggested sexual activity occur, violence occurs on and off screen, profanity includes “b**ch, d*mn and etc, drinking and smoking is seen, and there are multiple intense or frightening scenes.

Rotten Tomatoes : Rotten Tomatoes is a great resource to find out the common opinion regarding a movie or celebrity. This website compiles the opinions of paid reviewers with that of regular movie goers. It also tracks the box office returns of new movies, as well as the success of rental DVDs. Although it provides links to third party sellers, this website is not overtly commercial.

  • How to Search. Use the search bar located at the top of the screen to search for information on movies, celebrities, or critics. A results list will appear, and you can choose from the results for the title that best matches what you are looking for.
  • Example. Star Trek (2009) has a 95% fresh rating; it has an 8.1/10 rating based on 292 reviews. The website also contains a brief summary of the movie plot, and a list of the actors and director associated with the movie.

Video ETA : I use Video ETA to find out the release dates of popular movies and tv series. This website is not a commercial service.

  • How to Search. There is a search bar in the upper right corner that you can enter titles into. There is also a pull down list of commonly asked-about movies in the center of the screen. Either use the search bar or choose from the list to be directed to an information page about the movie. Sometimes there is a summary of the movie included.
  • Example. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (USA-2011) is estimated to be released on DVD in April 2012.

TV Shows on DVD : I use TV Shows on DVD to find out how many seasons a tv show was on, and whether they have been released on DVD. Unfortunately, you will only be able to see how many seasons the show was on if they are also released on DVD. This website is a commercial service; the company will try to sell you DVDs.

  • How to Search. There is search bar at the top of the screen that allows you to search for DVDs or tv series. A results list will appear, even if there’s only one result. Once you click on the best match in the results list, it will show the DVD release dates and season names.
  • Example. The tv show The Amazing Race has released five seasons on DVD : the first, second, third, fourth, and seventh. The first and seventh season was released in 2005, and the second, third, and fourth seasons were released in 2011.
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About shortlibrarian

I am a woman working in the Twin Cities as a programming Librarian.
This entry was posted in Tips for Reference and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tracking Down Movies & Series

  1. Kathy Richardson says:

    Glad to see you back! 🙂

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