Remove Bias, Restore Balance

I love movies. I watch the blockbusters and I watch the underground indies too. Regardless of the movie being watched, I almost always check its rating before I watch to determine my interest or I check after I’ve watched to see if the ratings/reviews match my thoughts. Well, today, my girls and I went to see Black Panther. I am not even a Marvel/superhero movie fan but I couldn’t wait to see this movie thanks to all of the hype and press it has received the last few months. Not to mention, I think all of the chosen cast members were awesome actors/actresses based on their previous work.




We went to a 9:45am showing of Black Panther and it was P-A-C-K-E-D when we arrived at 9:15. We barely found seats despite buying our tickets online ahead of time. I thought the movie was awesome. Of course, there was a typical Marvel storyline with a hero that has a villain and some inner conflict that he is trying to reconcile with while also saving the world around him. But the women are powerful warriors, multi-lingual spies and high-tech geniuses, the costumes were a perfect blend of African Tribal attire meets Superhero costume , the special effects for the Wakandan technology, the cinematography of this fictional African land and its waterfalls were nothing short of  amazing. There were also some moments in the movie that shed light on the real-life experience for people of African descent and all of the politics associated with it. Then there were positive messages like “There is more that connects us than separates us’ and “…The wise build bridges, the foolish build barriers.”  I left the movie feeling such a sense of pride in my people even if it was inspired by this fictional land of Wakanda.


Then I got home and I decided to take a look at the ratings and reviews for the movie on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Although the movie had a 7.9 rating (which I think could have been a bit higher), I just couldn’t believe all of the negative reviews.


It was disheartening. Of course, there are always people who “don’t get it” when it comes to movies in general or folks who don’t like the plot or “expected more”. But then there were so many reviews from people who just seemed to be internet trolls (i.e. I don’t get all the hype, the actors were dry and terrible, etc). These people were obviously trying to demolish the ratings for this movie (I heard some racist nut on Twitter did start this type of campaign). I mean, there was NOTHING that they liked about this movie. To give this movie anything less than a 5 rating is absurd, in my opinion. I have been an IMDB user for years and I have always noticed a trend for Black movies or movies with a majority Black cast: 1. “Other” people never seem to ‘get’ Black movies and they give almost all of them horrible ratings and 2. Black people so rarely post reviews on IMDB to provide balance to the user rating system. I have seen everyone from television and social media stars down to my parent-friends on Facebook tell everyone how awesome this movie is and what it meant to them culturally. However, not one of those wonderful reviews is posted up on IMDB. I don’t want this to become a ‘pull the race card’ debate. However, I would love to see some balance restored in this public rating system and others like it. I am tired of always reading ‘their’ reviews for movies. It’s time for some fresh opinions, especially the ones that highly favored this movie.


If you have taken time to read this post and you liked or loved the Black Panther movie, please take the time to go to IMDB’s website and leave a positive rating and review for this movie.


In the paraphrased words of another post that I saw on social media: “I need sequels. I need prequels. I need spinoffs. Y’all made us sit through 15 iterations of Spiderman and 76 Hulk remakes. We got 23 Iron Man films. I want as many as that and more for the world of Wakanda.”


  1. Michael Graham says:

    The ratings that Black Panther received are definitely abnormal and this can easily been visualized if you look at the handy bar graph, weighted average (read their description of how this is calculated), mean, and median that IMDB provides. Here are the numbers for Black Panther:

    Here are the numbers for the latest Thor film for comparison:

    You have correctly observed that there are more “1” votes than would be expected for a film with a ~8 average rating. I’d expect the “1” votes to be about 1.5% rather than 6.9%. That said, I’d expect the “10” votes to be lower for this film based on the quantity of “8” and “9” votes it received.

    In the end, the median score for Black Panther is 8 which is the same median score that every other Marvel movie that I checked (and I checked a lot!) received.


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