What is Letterboxd?
Letterboxd is a global social network for grass-roots film discussion and discovery. Use it as a diary to record and share your opinion about films as you watch them, or just to keep track of films you’ve seen in the past. Showcase your favorites on your profile page. Rate, review and tag films as you add them. Find and follow your friends to see what they’re enjoying. Keep a watchlist of films you’d like to see, and create lists/collections on any given topic. We’ve been described as “like GoodReads for movies”.
We have apps for iOS, Android and Apple TV. Pro members get an ad-free experience, personalized all-time and annual stats pages, the ability to clone other members’ lists, filter activity streams by entry type, filter lists (and other views) by what’s available on popular streaming services, and much more. Learn about Pro.
Why is it called Letterboxd?
Wikipedia defines letterboxing as the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video formats while preserving the original aspect ratio. Generally this is accomplished by adding mattes (or ‘black bars’) above and below the picture area. Letterboxd is named for our love of the widescreen format, and has nothing whatsoever to do with orienteering or that thing in Stand By Me. Here’s some history.
Do I need to create an account to use this site?
No. You may freely browse all of Letterboxd without an account, but you’ll need to create one if you want to log any films or otherwise participate.
How do I become a member?
Create an account — there is no requirement to be invited by another member.
Does it cost to use this site?
Will I be paid for my reviews?
Do you have a community policy?
How should I use this site?
Short answer: however you like. We invite new members to read our Welcome page, which covers a number of common actions and helpful tips. The easiest interaction is to mark films you’ve seen using the ‘eye’ icon on each poster. You can rate films and perform other actions from the Actions menu on the poster as well. Each film you mark as watched is added to your profile, allowing others to see what you’ve watched, and the site to optionally hide films we know you’ve seen when browsing some pages.
Use the ‘+ Log’ button in the website header to add a film, including the date you watched it and an optional review. Do this as you watch films (to populate your Diary) or to share your opinion of a film you’ve seen in the past (the watched date is optional). When logging/reviewing a film, you can also rate and/or like it, and add tags (for the film itself or to remind you how/with whom you watched it). We provide easy tools for making and sharing lists/collections of films too.
What’s the difference between marking a film ‘watched’ and logging a film?
Marking a film as ‘watched’ (using the ‘eye’ icon on the film’s poster, or from the Actions panel on its page) tells Letterboxd you’ve seen the film at some point in the past. It’s the best way to back-fill films on the site, without having to recall exactly when you watched them. Marking films ‘watched’ adds to your overall tally of films, is useful when browsing lists (we show the percentage of each list you’ve watched) and allows you to optionally hide the films you’ve seen when browsing some listing pages.
Logging a film (via the ‘+ Log’ button) allows you to record that you watched a film on a particular date. Adding films in this manner builds up your Diary (a record of when you saw each film) and the Recent Activity section of your Profile page. A minimum of ten diary entries in a given year is required to generate a Year in Review page (Pro members only), or the email summary that we send in January (to all members who opt in to receiving our general news emails). Most members keep an up-to-date Diary only from the time they join the site, but it is possible to import your viewing history if you have that data from another app or spreadsheet.
I’ve been marking films watched instead of logging them to my Diary. How can I fix this?
You can retrospectively add diary entries for films you’ve marked as watched, in order to complete your Diary. If you need the activity dates for when you marked each film, these are included in your account export bundle, which you can download in Settings.
What’s the difference between liking and rating a film?
Letterboxd doesn’t mind which of these you use. You can ‘like’ a film any time to show you enjoyed it, which builds up your Profile and Likes pages, or rate films via the Actions menu on any poster to give your friends a better idea of how much you loved (or hated) it, and they’ll see this on your Ratings page. It’s no problem to use both (or none).
Can I log a film and review it later?
Yes. You can edit a diary entry and/or add a review at any point after logging a film. Go to the diary entry page from the Diary tab in your Films section, and find the option to ‘Add a Review’. Your review will show in your friends’ activity as soon as you save it (if this is the first time you’ve added it), even if they already saw activity when you first logged the film.
When I rate a film, do all my ratings for it change?
No. Ratings attached to previous diary entries or reviews are not updated. This allows your rating to change over time, should you log or review a film multiple times, rather than enforcing a single rating for a film for all time. Note that each time you add a rating as part of a diary entry/review (or update an old diary entry/review), your ‘default’ rating for the film is updated to the new value.
Why is my number of watched films or diary entries incorrect?
We keep temporary caches for many different types of content, including counts of films watched and logged. If one of your totals is incorrect, try saving changes to your Settings page in order to reset your account caches (there is no need to change any settings).
Why does my films total differ from my diary entries total?
Your ‘Films’ total counts each film once for the period (all time or within a single year), while your ‘Diary Entries’ total counts each individual watch of a film. If you’ve logged any films two or more times within the period, your Diary Entries total will exceed your Films total.
Why is a particular actor missing from my most watched stats?
Some cast contributions are internally marked as ‘cameo’ roles, for instance if there is no character name associated with the role. These roles do not count towards ‘Most Watched’ stats. (Also know as the ‘Stan Lee Rule’.)
Pro and Patron Subscriptions
Why should I upgrade my account?
Letterboxd is run by a small, independent team of film fans and membership fees are our chief source of income. If you enjoy using Letterboxd and want to send a little goodwill our way, this is the best way to do so. The material benefits of upgrading to Pro or Patron are listed here. Big kisses to all subscribers—past, present and future!
Will my subscription renew automatically?
No. We send an email when your subscription is one week from expiring, and you can renew at either Pro or Patron level via the supplied link. We add a full year to your current expiry date when you renew, so there’s no harm in renewing a week early.
What happens when my subscription expires?
If you don’t renew your subscription, all stats pages will disappear from your account, and you’ll lose access to any Pro- or Patron-level features that were enabled for you. If you’ve used these features during your subscription period (for example, by editing your username) the changes you’ve made will not revert, but you’ll be unable to use these features until you renew again.
If your subscription lapses, and you lose your stats pages, you can restore them in full by renewing at any time—nothing is lost that can’t be restored by upgrading again.
I’ve upgraded (or renewed a lapsed subscription) but my stats pages are missing. Can I get them back?
If your stats pages don’t auto-generate following an upgrade or renewal, try hitting ‘Save Changes’ on your Settings page to force them to regenerate—there’s no need to change any of your settings before doing this.
What payment options do you accept?
We only accept payment via PayPal at this time (you may pay from your account balance, by credit card or by eCheck). When paying by eCheck, your account will be upgraded once the eCheck clears.
Can I gift a Pro or Patron subscription?
Yes. Please use the following links to make payment for a gift of a year of Pro or Patron. When you have completed payment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your PayPal receipt ID and the recipient’s Letterboxd username in your message. We will verify receipt of your payment, then apply the subscription to the nominated account.
Can I upgrade from Pro to Patron during my subscription?
Yes. Please use this link to make payment for the difference between the two tiers. When you have completed payment, please email email@example.com and include your PayPal receipt ID and Letterboxd username in your message. We will verify receipt of your payment, then upgrade your account for the remainder of your subscription. We do not pro-rate this upgrade price, but we are happy to cancel any remaining days on a Pro subscription if you are keen to renew as Patron immediately. And we love you.
Reviews and Tags
How do I apply formatting in my reviews?
We support a limited set of HTML tags on our website for formatting and linking to other content. These are:
<b>tags for bold text,
<i>tags for italics,
<a href="[URL]">for links and
<blockquote>tags for quoting others.
For all of these tags, place an opening tag (eg.
<strong>) and its corresponding closing tag (eg.
</strong>) on either side of the content you’d like to format. For links, include the URL to link to as the
hrefparameter, and ensure it is surrounded by straight quotes (
") rather than smart or curly quotes.
Our native apps provide toolbar buttons for applying formatting while editing content.
Why do my reviews sometimes not appear in Activity?
When logging diary entries for films you watched more than two weeks in the past, we show your followers a maximum of one item per hour, to prevent this activity from saturating their feeds. To avoid followers missing your updates, log watched films in a timely fashion, and add your review later — your review will show in your friends’ activity the first time you save the diary entry with review text.
Can I review a trailer?
We’d prefer you didn’t. Letterboxd is for reviews of films you’ve seen, not those you want to see. Feel free to use the Report function to alert us to trailer (or other pre-release) reviews, which we’ll remove at our discretion.
You removed a film I reviewed. Is my review lost?
No, all your reviews are always in your Export file, even those for removed entries.
How do tags work?
You can tag films (when adding them to your diary) and curated lists. Use tags as you would on a blog or Twitter, to add context to your content. Tags may reflect your own genre taxonomy, an occasion or festival, where/how/with whom you saw a film, the type or style of a list, or anything else you care to use them for. Each diary entry or curated list displays its list of keyword tags which you can use to cross-reference your own content, your friends’ content, or site-wide.
Can I use unicode tags?
Yes. We support unicode characters in tags and tag URLs. If you mix unicode and latin characters in a single tag, only the latin characters will be used to generate the tag URL, which may cause multiple tags to ‘collapse’ into a single tag for purposes of aggregation.
Working with Lists
What are lists for?
With lists, you can collect and share groups of films (or keep private lists for yourself). All Letterboxd members have a watchlist to collect films they’d like to see. Create as many curated lists as you wish, for favorite genre films, your collection of physical discs, or your favourite heist films.
Can I work on a list without others seeing it?
Yes! Deselect the ‘Public’ option when you first save a new list. When you’re ready for others to see it, select the ‘Public’ option and save the list. Your followers will be notified that you’ve published a new list if this is the first time you’ve made it public.
Is there a maximum list size?
No! There used to be an editing limitation of around 3,300 items when using our web site, but this has been eliminated.
What’s the difference between my lists and my watchlist?
Your watchlist is where you keep track of films you’d like to watch. It doesn’t have an edit page, but it does have a single-click add/remove toggle on a film’s page (the clock icon), and from the ‘More Options’ menu on any film poster. Films in your watchlist are automatically removed when you mark them as watched, or log, review or rate them. Just like curated lists, you can set your watchlist to be visible to others or private.
When signed in and browsing films on the Letterboxd website (with a non-touch-based device), those that are in your watchlist show with a blue outline when your pointer is placed over the poster, as opposed to the regular green outline.
Can I compare my watchlist with another member’s?
Yes! Visit the other member’s watchlist and filter by ‘In your watchlist’ (to show films you both want to see) or ‘Hide watched films’ (to show films you haven’t seen) — or both! These filters are located in the menu attached to the ‘eye’ icon above the watchlist posters (and in the filters page in our iPhone app).
Is there an easy way to reorder a long list?
Yes! When editing a list on our website, temporarily enable the Ranked List option if it’s not already checked. With this option active, you can click the list position of any film, type in a new position and press Return on your keyboard. The film will move to the new position, and the remaining films in your list will be renumbered accordingly. Once the list is in your desired order, remember to disable the Ranked List option prior to saving (for lists that aren’t ranked).
The list editor also offers a Sort By control that can be used to change the current order of the list prior to saving, based on metadata associated with each film (such as its title or your rating). Note: this option changes the actual order of items in the list, and does not change the default sort order for anyone viewing the list (at present there is no way to change the default viewing mode for a list).
Our apps offer similar reordering options—tap a row in the list while in edit mode to edit its notes and change its position in the list.
How do I keep track of films I own?
We do not plan to add a specific ‘ownership’ flag to Letterboxd. The entertainment industry is moving away from ownership as a concept, and because we list films rather than box sets, regionalized and format-specific versions, the one-to-one relationship for ownership is more tenuous.
Instead of a specific ownership option, we encourage members to keep lists of their physical or digital collections. Lists can be made public or private, and you can add any film to a specific list directly from the ‘More Options’ menu on the film’s poster.
What notifications does Letterboxd send?
- New followers (email, push)
- New comments in subscribed threads—use the bell icon to subscribe (email, push)
- New likes for your reviews and lists (push only)
- General service and account alerts (email, push)
Members can also subscribe to a weekly digest and/or monthly newsletter via email.
Following and Blocking
What happens when I follow people?
Letterboxd works like Twitter: when you follow other people, you’ll see the films they add or review, the stuff they like, and the comments they make on your other friends’ stuff, appear in your Activity timeline and elsewhere.
How do I find people to follow?
In the People section, directly from review (and other) pages, via the Following and Follower pages of other members, or by using Find Friends on Twitter or Facebook from your Settings page (you’ll need to authorize read-only access to these services first).
Can I block another member?
Yes. Use the flag icon on a member’s profile or comment to block or report them (in our apps, go to their profile screen and open the action sheet from the options icon). When you block a member, the follower relationship is terminated in both directions, comments they’ve posted on your reviews and lists are hidden for everyone who visits those pages, and comments they’ve posted elsewhere are hidden for you. The blocked member is also prevented from placing new comments on (or liking) any of your content, and you won’t see activity relating to them in your feed.
You may still see a blocked member’s content in areas of the site that we cache for all visitors (such as the main Films page), however if you feel that this content is generally inappropriate or otherwise contravenes our Community Policy, we encourage you to report it via the flag icon.
Blocking a member does not hide your content from them, as Letterboxd does not provide private accounts, which are required to protect your content in this way.
Can I remove another member’s comment from my content?
Yes, by blocking them. Learn more about blocking.
Profile and Settings
How do I validate my email address?
Each time you change the email address associated with your account, we send you an email containing a link, to ensure you’ve provided an address that you can receive messages to. To resend the email for a non-validated account, Save Changes on your Settings page. If you don’t receive our automated emails, please check your junk/spam folder, and try adding firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contacts to increase the likelihood of receiving them.
Can I change my username?
Username editing is part of our Pro account level. Subscribers at this level or above are able to change their username once every 180 days.
What happens when I connect my Twitter account?
We request read-only access to your Twitter account for three reasons: to fetch your avatar, to make it harder to impersonate other members, and so that we can show a list of your Twitter friends who also have Letterboxd accounts. We never tweet on your behalf (it’s impossible with read-only access).
What happens when I connect my Facebook account?
We request read-only access to your Facebook account so that we can show a list of your Facebook friends who also have Letterboxd accounts. We never post on your behalf unless you manually share content using our Share options (see below).
As of August 2018, Facebook no longer permits external services to automatically publish content to its users’ timelines. Please use the Share option on a film, review or list to publish it manually to your Facebook timeline.
Can I publish my Letterboxd activity to my Facebook timeline?
No. Facebook removed these permissions as of August 2018 (see above).
Can I connect my Netflix account?
No. Netflix closed its public API a few years back, so we removed the account connection option. See the section on importing for alternative ways to import your watch history.
Can I automatically publish my reviews to other sites?
You may auto-publish content from your profile’s RSS feed (namely new diary entries/reviews and lists) to selected third-party services using a service such as IFTTT. IFTTT has example applets for Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and others. Publishing to Facebook is no longer supported due to recent policy changes.
How do I add an avatar to my account?
If you connect your Twitter account to Letterboxd, we import your avatar directly from that service. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can use the Gravatar service to attach an image to the email address on your Letterboxd account. To update your avatar, either change the selected Gravatar for your matched email address, or use the ‘Refresh Avatar’ option in Settings to update your Twitter avatar.
How do I pin reviews to my profile?
If you’re a Pro or Patron member, you can pin up to two reviews on your profile by tagging them as
profile. Your two most recently tagged reviews are prominently displayed on your profile page.
Can I import films, ratings or lists from other services?
Importing is free to all members (for a limited time), and there are three ways to import:
- Use the ‘Import your data’ link in Settings (also available here) to import films, ratings, diary entries, reviews and more into your account using the Letterboxd CSV format. This import is compatible with the export format used by IMDb, and can easily be made to work with other export files by matching the appropriate column headers in those files.
- Import directly to a list using the above CSV approach, with support for both IMDb and Delicious Library formats (you’ll need to use their export functions first, see below).
- Import directly to your watchlist using the above CSV approach.
When performing an import, you’ll be able to check and fix any mis-matched titles before confirming the changes, and to select relevant options depending upon import type, such as whether you’d like all titles marked as watched as part of the process.
To export a list from IMDb, go to your Lists page, find and open the specific list, scroll to the bottom and click ‘Export this list’. You’ll receive a CSV file which you can import via the edit page of an existing list, or as part of creating a new list.
To export from Delicious Library (version 2 or 3), use the File > Export > Export to Another Application… option. Select the shelf or library to export, select the ‘XML’ output format, and click ‘Export…’ to select the output file name and location. You’ll receive an XML file which you can import via the edit page of an existing list, or when creating a new list.
Netflix no longer provides an API to directly import your viewing history, but there are user scripts like this one that could be made to work with the CSV import facility described above.
If you use Flixster, there’s a handy guide to exporting your ratings via its API.
I can’t import very large files. What should I do?
There is a maximum upload file size limit of 1 MB. If your file exceeds this limit, try breaking it into smaller chunks (but remember to include the header row at the top of each file).
Data and Privacy
Does the site have protected (private) accounts?
Not at this time. If there’s sufficient demand, these may be added in future.
Are my profile, reviews and lists publicly visible?
Yes (with the exception of any list or watchlist you’ve set as private). Since the launch of our public beta, all content (excluding private lists) is visible by any visitor to the site, and to search engines.
Can I get a copy of my account data?
Yes, there’s an account export option in Settings that bundles your entire account (including deleted content) into a single zip file of CSV documents.
How do I close my account?
If you no longer wish to use the site, you may deactivate your account in Settings (this step requires your password). Once your account is deactivated, you may contact us to have it permanently removed. We are able to reanimate deactivated accounts, unless you have requested permanent deletion in which case your account is gone forever.
Where does Letterboxd get its film data from?
Letterboxd sources all film-related data from TMDb, a crowd-sourced database of film-related information. Read more on our film data page, and please report any duplicate or non-film content to us using the Report option on each film’s page.
How do I add or update a film’s details?
You’ll need to create an account at TMDb, and follow their guidelines for adding or updating film details. Changes to TMDb’s data will become visible on Letterboxd within 30 hours, or you can use the shortcut described on our film data page to import brand new entries.
Why is the release year for some films incorrect?
We display the earliest-known release date for each film (according to TMDb), the same approach used by IMDb.
I see a film on TMDb, why isn’t it on Letterboxd?
We import all non-adult and non-compilation titles from TMDb’s Movies section daily, and we manually add limited and miniseries from its TV section. If a film has not been imported, chances are it’s marked ‘Adult’ or ‘Video’ or is a TV entry. The Adult tag in TMDb is for pornographic material, and the Video tag is mostly for compilations (such as collections of exercise or music videos). If an entry has been miscategorized according to TMDb’s guidelines, change the appropriate setting at TMDb and we’ll restore the film on our next scheduled import (TMDb’s API has a six-hour cache and we import once per day, so the update process may take up to 30 hours). If you find a non-adult or non-compilation entry on TMDb that doesn’t appear on Letterboxd, please contact us to have it fixed manually.
Why does a film on TMDb have a different poster?
To maintain a consistent user experience, we lock the posters of popular films from being updated following their release. If you spot a released film with an incorrect or inferior poster, please let us know and we’ll consider updating it. Posters for unreleased films are updated regularly based on TMDb user votes.
Should I report duplicate films in your database?
Yes. Duplicate films are sometimes created in TMDb, which means they end up in Letterboxd as well. If/when the duplicate is removed from TMDb, we retain it in Letterboxd, as it may have been logged or reviewed by our members. If you spot a duplicate, use the Report function on the film page and we’ll merge the two (or more) films into a single entry in our database (we take care to move all member activity related to the duplicate film onto the correct entry).
Should I report non-film content?
Yes. Please use the Report function on a film’s page to report non-film content such as TV series (some exceptions are listed below). These will be removed at Letterboxd’s discretion. You may also use the Report function to report inappropriate content throughout the site, including reviews of trailers.
Does Letterboxd support TV shows?
No, we do not support ‘returning’ TV shows. For historic reasons, we support a small selection of television content that was originally allowed by TMDb in its Movies section (limited or miniseries, TV movies) as well as some notable exceptions like Black Mirror. TMDb has since moved this content to its TV section; as a result, some films on Letterboxd now link to TV entries instead of movies (so that we can continue to receive content updates). We reserve the right to remove television-related content from Letterboxd at any time, without warning. If we remove content that you have reviewed, your review will disappear from the site, but will always be available in your account export file in Settings.
What happened to the PPV and wrestling entries?
These were (mostly) removed from the site as the result of a policy change at TMDb. PPV and similar events are now classified as ‘Video’ content (a designation that was previously used for compilations of content including music and exercise videos), and we do not import such entries. As stated above, your reviews for deleted content are still included in the account export option in Settings.
Apps and API
Do you have mobile apps or an API?
We have iOS, Android and Apple TV apps that offer a subset of the website’s features. We are working towards the release of a public API and if you have a specific project in mind, you may apply for beta access.
Does Letterboxd work with Apple’s Shortcuts app?
Yes! We support Siri Shortcuts (look in the Settings screen of our iOS app) as well as
x-callback-urlfor several common actions, which means you can script our app using the Shortcuts app (previously named Workflow). See Github for documentation and sample workflows.
Why don’t images load on my Android device?
Our CDN provider has recently switched to TLS 1.2. Some older Android handsets don’t support this security protocol and therefore aren’t able to load image assets. Please contact your handset or tablet manufacturer for upgraded OS libraries that support this security protocol.
Can I embed content from Letterboxd into my site?
We’re conducting a pilot program with selected partners to show a summary of Letterboxd activity for a film. Our plan is to eventually make embedded content available to all members, but if you’d like to be considered for early access, please get in touch.
Can I use your logo on my site?
Yes, as long as you do so respectfully. You’ll find versions for download here.
Why doesn’t Letterboxd support old browsers?
It takes time and effort to support legacy browsers, and we’d rather spend that time watching films.
Letterboxd is missing a vital feature! Who should I tell?
Please direct your feedback here. We have lots of plans brewing and would welcome your thoughts on the service’s future direction.