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Show HN: IMDb Top 250 available on Netflix Instant (paulisageek.com)
195 points by ptarjan on May 28, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 67 comments

You might want to double check "Gladiator" because I'm pretty sure the one on IMDB isn't the one available on Netflix instant. :)

I told my wife this was one of the most important web pages I'd looked at in a long time.

Same thing for Heat. I was expecting Al Pacino and ended up with Joe Dallesandro.

Which is strange because I'm pretty sure I watched the Al Pacino version of Heat on Netflix instant in the least 6 months.

Edit: I just checked and it's not on instant, but I'm pretty sure I watched it on instant recently.

You probably did. The major failing of Netflix is content churn. I can count on at least 20% of my queue disappearing every month, before I get around to watching it.

That was actually partly why I clicked on it first: I remembered watching the Al Pacino film on streaming some time ago because it was about to expire, and I wondered if the app's WI database might be out of date.

Netflix routinely adds films to Instant Watch that it will only keep for N months, presumably to keep an interesting stream of new titles available while saving costs on licensing.

Yup. I cache the API results for 7 days with a random chance of re-poll so I hopefully will notice when new releases happen.

As for the parents, yeah, sorry :( I'm doing a match on the netflix title. I'll try to suck more data out of IMDB and make sure it is the correct movie.

I'll put an expiry date column, good idea.

It's not to save costs on licensing. It's because those titles are going in and out of licensing 'windows' and Netflix isn't allowed to offer them.

Isn't the length of those windows determined by what Netflix is willing to pay? Or do the content owners restrict it?

Content owners restrict it, for example if a movie is about to be shown on television it will disappear from NetFlix's instant streaming service a week or two beforehand and re-appear a month or so afterwards.

If you use Twitter, you can follow @queuenoodle (http://twitter.com/#!/queuenoodle). It'll let you know when titles are expiring about a week in advance.

I'm working on doing better matching than just title, sorry. Should be fixed by tmrw.

As for your second comment. I'm elated! Thanks. You made my day.

Title should be:

IMDB Top 250 THAT are available on Netflix Instant.

It's not a list of 250 movies as it seems many believe.

Sorry :( I can't edit the title now. I thought IMDb 250 was a known enough list.

I'm well aware of the list and I originally read the title as "All of the top 250 are now available on netflix instant".

I thought so too. And I thought "Awesome!"

Then I got disappointed. Oh well, at least now I know to watch Rashomon before the 20th of June.

surprisingly, i don't think it is. it's a nice little resource that IMDB tucks away -- why is the only mention in the bottom footer?

fyi, we've always had our eye on doing something similar with http://gorankem.com (currently just music discovery) ... we could apply our same ranking methodology to tv shows & their episodes, but movies are a different breed.

we compare apples-to-apples (no WALE vs. The Godfather) so if/when we get there, it'll be (e.g.) rank your favorite tarantino films...

Wow, this submission totally blew up while I was out for dinner. Thanks so much!

You're invigorated me to put some more effort into it. I'm working on the feature requests. :) Check back soon.

Cool :) I spend a lot of time finding good TV shows. Wish I could do a join between the IMDB database and the Netflix one: Show me all the TV shows which score more than 8.5 on IMDB and are on instant watch on Netflix.

Thats a really good idea. That'll be next.

Cool. I'm surprised that this list isn't on http://instantwatcher.com. For those who don't know, Instant Watcher is a phenomenal resource for Netflix fans.

This is cool! Perhaps in 20 years time or so, Germany will have a service similar to Netflix... (and then, 10 years later, even something like Netflix instant).

Good for you, sad smiley for us :-(

s/Germany/Europe/ . :( from Ireland.

Slight off-topic, but does anyone know of a good way to export ratings out of Netflix? I've only been able to find broken tools for this in the past. It shouldn't be too hard to scrape this myself, but I'd rather avoid redundant programming :) Ever since they removed the "Friends" feature, I've wanted to get my ratings into something else that I can share with others.

Could you do one for the Bottom 100 as well? That would be almost as awesome.

If there's a way, it would also be very nice to also have a version of the top 250 filtered to remove films from the past decade or two. Recent movies get a lot more attention from voters on IMDB so it's a bit biased (most especially for titles from the last couple years).

It's not too bad in that regard, with a couple of bizarre exceptions (Inception is the ninth best film ever made? Really?) But overall it's a better and more historically diverse list than I would have expected.

haha, I bet netflix has more of those...

If you make me a JSON function like this I'll do it ;)


Awesome! Anyway you could link into my Netflix account to show/short-by my ratings? I'd also like to filter to only see unrated ones.

Great idea. That'll be a bit longer project, but we'll see.

Toy Story 3 is in there twice, with ratings 34 and 143.

On another note, it's amazing seeing all the movies in here which aren't available in Canada.

There are services that get you a US IP allowing you to have access to all those unavailable titles. Haven't tried any myself though.

I have an under-utilized Linode instance that could presumably do the same via ssh tunneling, and at about 1GB/movie (incoming and outgoing) it should still be under the transfer limits. Though I was under the impression that Netflix also required a credit card with a US billing address. Not an insurmountable challenge, but I'd have to look at the hassle:benefit ratio if that is the case.

I'm using a French credit card on Netflix and my vps in the US with ssh tunneling for the ip. Haven't had any problem.

If the best camera is the one you have with you, a corollary could be the best movies are available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

A corollary is a statement that follows readily from a previous statement; I'd say this is more of analogue.

When sorting by rank, there seem to be a lot missing. Why does it start with "8 - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? Are all 250 really available?

The title is somewhat misleading. Think of it like "Venn diagram intersection of Netflix Instant and IMDB top 250".

His logo should be a venn diagram

Good catch. The Godfather (imdb: 2, 3); Shawshank Redemption (imdb: 1); The dark knight (imdb: 1) are not available on instant watch. The blog post says "All the IMDB 250 that are available on Netflix Instant.", not "IMDb Top 250 available on Netflix Instant" as the HN post (which I interpreted as all 250 movies).

Because they aren't available on Instant Play.

Add amazon affiliate links for missing ones =)

"Toy Story 3" is at number 34 and number 143.

I just checked the actual list and Toy Story 3 is rank 34 and the original Toy Story is at 143. He probably stripped something like a [a-zA-Z] regex to improve misses that are actually hits because of slightly different punctuation or spacing.

Toy Story 2 isn't on the top 250 at all, nor any of the Die Hard sequels, and Terminator 2 is named "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" on IMDB so there the above explanation seems like the most plausible to me. Based on my cursory examination none of the other movies would have missed in that way if hes just ignoring digits.

It's sad that "Toy Story 2" didn't make the cut. I think it's a stronger movie than the original with a better villain, a bit of Shakespearean mistaken identity, new characters that you care about, and foreshadowing for the final movie (Stinky Pete asks "Is Andy going to take you to college?" and claims they'll all end up in a landfill.) The climatic scene at the Airport is almost as good as the "Bird Rescue" scene in "A Bug's Life" (which I contend is one of the best action scenes in any animated movie).

In fact, the only thing I don't like about it is how easy Woody gives up on Andy. Woody is, in my opinion, Andy's surrogate father and probably should have come up with "Come with me to Andy's House" much sooner.

(With all this obsession about Pixar movies, can anyone tell I have a three-year old?)

Thanks for the bug reports. I'm now extracting the Year from the IMDB page and making sure the Netflix matches correctly on the year or else I throw out the row.

The main problem, is the first search result for "Toy Story" on netflix search was "Toy Story 3".

Thanks for this page. I was putting off watching "Fargo" again until I saw that it was expiring tomorrow.

This is an awesome list. One of my big faults with netflix is that one account can be accessed by an entire family, but the genres don't mix and match and instead of rating a movie, they tell you what you might think of it. A list like this really helps.

You can split a NF account into several, and even optionally give each account their own separate DVD queues (so you can partition "3 DVDs a month" into 1 per 3 person household, if you want to). This also sections off ratings from each other's accounts.

Unfortunately, you can't section off separate streaming queues though.

Even worse the other queues can't easily find out if movies in their queue are streamable which is really irritating when I get a dvd that I could have streamed.

Ah really? Good to know, thanks. That's too bad :/

This is great, thanks. I've been lamenting about how bad Netflix instant selection is. This list brings some evidence to the contrary. Netflix should have done something like this...it takes me too long to find a decent movie using their UI.

If you think Netflix selection is bad, try the Hulu movie selection. If you want movies from the 1930s-1950s, they've got you covered. I have not yet found even one movie they have that is of the calibre of Toy Story 3, which Netflix has right now through Starz. I believe Hulu is pursuing a strategy whereby they can say with a straight face that they've got "thousands of movies", but they really hardly have any.

We've been trying Hulu Plus with a free month trial and we will not be signing up. It's pathetic next to Netflix and it plays commercials. If you aren't an 18-24 year old preferably-male, Hulu is barren, and frankly you've got poor coverage even then.

Maybe you should rewrite to check the year of the film, not just the name.

Great idea. Done.

The Pianist in the imdb top 250 is not the one listed on this page. lol.

All fixed :) Now I make sure the year matches as well as the title.

I've love to be able to see / sort by rotten tomatoes score as well.

Awesome!!! Thanks Paul!

Would be nice to have genre and year. Great job, tho!

Great idea. Coming right up.

Year was easier than Genre. I'll but that one on the back-burner.

toy story 3 is listed twice at 34 and 143.

Wait, how is Oldboy in the top 250?

Are they on Torrent? :-)

perhaps he could fill in the gaps with tube site links

Major Win.

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