Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

A love letter to Letterboxd

Letterboxd, a social media platform for sharing and reviewing films, has quickly become assistant entertainment editor Chloe Southard’s favorite app.
Letterboxd, a social media platform for sharing and reviewing films, has quickly become assistant entertainment editor Chloe Southard’s favorite app.

In today’s digital age, there’s an app for everything.

For those learning a new language, there’s Duolingo. For someone looking to book a place to stay, there’s Airbnb. For those looking for love, there’s Tinder.

And for those who love movies, there’s Letterboxd.

Letterboxd, named after a film transferring process, is a social media platform in which users can keep track of, review and share their tastes in film. It almost functions as a diary; for each film logged, users can add a review and rate the movie using a five star system. Think of it as a Goodreads for film instead of books.

I began using Letterboxd in 2021. I was taking a sexualities and film class, and I thought it’d be fun to log each film that I watched. I now use the platform religiously, and I can confidently say that it’s become my favorite app.

Your Letterboxd profile is as serious as you make it, and that’s part of why I love the platform so much. There’s no correct way to review a film. I love leaving silly, one-liner reviews of movies I’ve watched, and others enjoy writing long-form, thought-out reviews. 

No matter what your opinion on a film is, someone out there will share that same idea. What the majority labels as trash may be a masterpiece to you, and on Letterboxd, you’re guaranteed to find someone else who appreciates the film similarly to yourself.

If you feel isolated for not enjoying a widely-loved film, don’t worry, someone else hates it just as much as you. I’ve never felt so comforted when I saw how many people also hated “2001: A Space Odyssey” just as much as I did.

While the platform is free to use, there are paid options that give users access to more features. The pro tier allows users to track their stats, select their favorite streaming services and more. The patron tier includes all the features of pro plus the ability for users to change movie posters and display backdrops on their accounts, reviews and lists.

When users pay to become a pro or patron on Letterboxd, the money directly goes to the creators. Because I use the app so much, I’ve upgraded to patron, and I don’t regret it.

But perhaps what I love most about Letterboxd is the way it allows us to connect through film. Communal viewing experiences are much less common today due to the rise of streaming. Through Letterboxd, you’re able to see what the entire community is watching, its thoughts on certain films, what people want to watch, etc.

This new way of bonding through cinema is the reason why I find myself instantly logging a film after viewing it. There’s something so exciting about being able to publicly share your thoughts on a movie and getting to read others’ in return, especially your friends’.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Nearly all of the accounts I follow on Letterboxd belong to my friends, and I’m constantly checking their profiles to see what they’ve been watching. Whether a friend has watched a movie I love or want to watch, it makes for an interesting conversation whenever we see each other in person.

Not to mention, I’ve been exposed to several films that I never would’ve heard of without Letterboxd. Many of these movies have scored a place on my favorites list, including “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Mayday” and “Eileen.”

Thanks to Letterboxd, I’m always adding onto my watchlist. Now, whenever I feel like watching a movie, I’m never unsure of what to pick.

Whether you consider yourself a cinephile or just casually watch movies, Letterboxd is well worth the download. Being able to connect through the art of film is such a human experience, and Letterboxd takes that experience to a whole new level.