Go Home, IMDB. You're Drunk: 17 Times IMDb Algorithm Mischaracterized Your Favorite Stars

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | October 15, 2015 | Comments ()

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | October 15, 2015 |


There’s a game that movie bloggers play that is entirely maddening. The IMDb Game is when you name an actor/actress and your opponent must come up with all four of the top movies featured with poster thumbnails under their profile pic. The trick is, it’s not usually the four films (or TV shows) you’d expect. It may not be their most popular movies, just those most often clicked on by IMDb users. And for a feel for what IMDB users like, feel free to browse their often infuriating top 250 films list.

Through all my work-related combing of IMDb, I’ve come across an even more confounding element of the Internet Movie Database. When you begin to type in a person’s name, the site prompts possibilities—as seen above—along with a brief description meant to surmise who they are. And sometimes, this descriptor just flat-out defies logic. Like when you look up Selma’s celebrated director and see this:

Ava Duvernay.png

In honor of this bizarre algorithm for fame, we’ve collected some of the most vexing.

You know him as Khal Drogo, Conan The Barbarian, and the latest, burliest incarnation of Aquaman. But to IMDb, he’s:
Jason Mamoa.png

How about the MMA fighter who slayed in The Expendables 3 and Furious 7?
Ronda Rousey.png

Helmer of Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Dr. Strangelover and 2001: A Space Odyssey, he’s one of the most iconic directors the world has ever known. Also:
Stanley Kubrick.png

He’s fronted Oscar-nominated dramas like Nightcrawler and Brokeback Mountain, and…
Jake Gyllenhaal.png

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth all have a Hunger Games movie as their descriptor pic. But not this dude.
Woody Harrelson.png

Guess which Friends castmember doesn’t have the show as their descriptor.
Lisa Kudrow.png

Though she’s headlined comedies like Spy and stole scenes in Bridesmaids, IMDb (and us) will never forget:
Melissa McCarthy.png

He made us howl with laughter in Ant-Man and quake with tension in End of Watch. But hey, remember that Mark Wahlberg movie? (Us neither.)
Michael Pena.png

Though he had memorable roles in Alien, Hellboy and Doctor Who (among many, many, many others), he will always be The Storyteller to us. IMDb however…
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 6.48.44 PM.png

Clear eyes! Full Hearts! Ah, what in the hell!
Kyle Chandler.png

He was riveting in the Oscar-nominated docudrama Frost/Nixon, funny in 30 Rock and found his way into not one but two massively popular vampire franchises with Underworld and Twilight. And yet…
Michael Sheen.png

You might know him as The Wolverine! But never doubt the power of all things Chris Nolan.
Hugh Jackman.png

Musicians offer fun reductions.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.35.47 PM.png

And unexpected curves:
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 6.54.04 PM.png

And the power of animation causes crazy shit like this:
Angela Bassett.png

But in what world does this one make sense!?
Brendon Lee.png

Go home IMDb! You’re drunk.

Kristy Puchko also rages over movies on her podcast Popcorn & Prosecco.





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