Letterboxd: The Social Media Platform Keeping Film Discourse Alive

Discover how Letterboxd, a unique social media platform, fosters dynamic film discourse and engages audiences in relevant and accessible discussions long after the credits roll.

The Rise of Letterboxd

Founded in 2011 by Matt Buchanan and Karl von Randow, Letterboxd offers film enthusiasts a unique space to engage in film criticism, ranking, reviewing, and organizing films. Described as a ‘global social network for grassroots film discussion and discovery,’ Letterboxd provides a down-to-earth platform for users to track and engage with films they watch, fostering a sense of community and allowing for personal collection purposes or active participation in film discussions.

Letterboxd: The Social Media Platform Keeping Film Discourse Alive - 1580450334

( Credit to: Dailybruin )

Demographics and Popularity

Although it gained mainstream popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Letterboxd has managed to attract a diverse range of users. From young Twitter critics to devoted ‘film bros’ and even celebrities like Ayo Edebiri, the platform offers a social experience that unites different archetypes behind their shared passion for film. This democratic nature has led to comparisons with Goodreads, but for movies.

The Commercial Aspect

Contrary to concerns about commercialization, Letterboxd remains largely uncommercial. While users may encounter ads, the basic Letterboxd experience is free, allowing anyone to post reviews without the influence of sponsorship or paid reviews. The ranking system, based on a standard five-star scale, caters to a wide range of review lengths and earnestness. Some users delve into poetic descriptions and detailed analyses, while others find the review section a platform ripe for humorous quips and memes.

The Facetious Nature

Letterboxd embraces its social media presence by reposting memes on platforms like Twitter and engaging with celebrities on TikTok. The platform has evolved beyond its initial goal of uniting film lovers, now cultivating a curated image, atmosphere, and audience that is both hip and cultured, without taking itself too seriously. This facetious nature adds to the site’s appeal, allowing for a mix of legitimate and intelligent film discourse alongside lighthearted banter.

Alignment with Martin Scorsese

Interestingly, Letterboxd recently found support from one of the prominent figures in the ‘death of cinema’ conversation: Martin Scorsese. Despite his previous criticism of Marvel films as pure entertainment rather than cinema, Scorsese joined Letterboxd in October, playfully endorsing the platform. This endorsement signifies the earnest and pure essence of Letterboxd and the film culture it fosters. If streaming and sequels are considered the culprits ‘killing cinema,’ shouldn’t a platform that celebrates live film attendance and subsequent open discussion be celebrated?

The Dark Side

While Letterboxd’s humorous side has produced hilarious content, it has also faced criticism for its occasional excesses. Ayo Edebiri, for instance, received backlash on Twitter for a critical review she posted on Letterboxd. This incident highlights the platform’s tendency toward intemperance and frenzy, where users may face scrutiny if their opinions do not align with popular internet sentiment.

Preserving the Love of Cinema

In a time when the future of cinema is uncertain, with AI negotiations and labor reform looming, it is crucial to return to the fundamental principle of a genuine love for film. Letterboxd not only achieves its goal of bringing film lovers together but also encourages engagement with films in various forms, whether through one-liner references or comprehensive dissertations. Ultimately, it is the love of cinema that keeps it alive for new generations.


Letterboxd has become a powerful social media platform for film enthusiasts, providing a space for dynamic discourse and engagement with films. While concerns about its ironic popularity and facetious nature may arise, the platform’s ability to foster both lighthearted banter and genuine film discussion contributes to its success. As we navigate the uncertain future of cinema, Letterboxd stands as a shining example of how a platform can keep the love of film alive for new generations.

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Written by Reddit Manga

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