By: Nadia Liu
Public Relations Manager
If you’ve never heard of it, Letterboxd is a movie reviewing platform where you can rate movies, sort them into extremely niche lists, and build your watchlist. Some reviews are serious, from actual film reviewers, while others are not so serious, from silly little moviegoers like me. Letterboxd is also my favorite social media, and one my friends would probably say I’m obsessed; for context, they are staging an intervention as I write this. To me, Letterboxd is more than an app— it is a lifestyle.
For clarity, let me describe said lifestyle. I walk into a movie theater, the app already pulled up on my phone. Like a pretentious film bro, I make a note of the director. I eagerly wait for the Nicole Kidman AMC ad, whispering “heartbreak feels good in a place like this” along with her. The lights dim; the movie begins. I delegate half my brain to enjoying the movie and the other half to thinking of what I’m going to write in my Letterboxd review. While you laugh at the jokes, I store them in a mental (letter)box (get it?). The movie ends. The lights come up. You glance over at me. On my phone screen, you see my already posted Letterboxd review.
I am sure this is hard to understand without examples, so I will provide some. I wrote these reviews without much contemplation, as they should reflect my state of mind directly after each movie. After finishing the Netflix rom-com “Wedding Season” at three in the morning, I reached for my phone and typed, “he was a dj boy she said she u l8ter boy” into my Letterboxd. My mom and I watched “The Gray Man” together the day it came out. After finishing the movie, she went to bed while I wrote the absolutely brilliant and helpful review of “ryan oh-my-gosling.” Following the new Minions movie, I angrily demanded, “when are the minions going to form a min-union??” Finally, I wrote, “miles teller? I don’t even know her” as my review for Top Gun (a joke my mother did not understand or find funny.)
Most of these reviews have one or two likes, which seems depressing by Instagram standards. By Letterboxd standards, I am Kylie Jenner. I am an influencer. The second I get a like on a review, my ego gets raised to “middle school boy lands a water bottle flip in front of his crush” levels of ego. The dopamine rush is an addiction.
Letterboxd represents more than my opinion on movies; it encompasses my mental state and emotions throughout the year. For example, scrolling through my Letterboxd diary, you will see the time I watched every single Spiderman movie in two days. I was not doing well. You will also see the outrageous amount of rom-coms I watch, all with reviews like “bad movie, hot cast.” Sometimes, occasionally, very rarely, you will find a good movie with a truly in-depth review on the directing and cinematography. Very rarely.