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What types of reviews do you personally find to be the most accurate?

tzhu07

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 12, 2008
189
26
Film reviews (eg RottenTomatoes)?
Music reviews?
Restaurant reviews (eg Yelp)?
Doctor/Dentist reviews?
Video game reviews?

Etc...

In your own personal experience, what types of reviews have you found to be the most reliable?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,923
19,076
Doesn't really matter which ones--some can be good while some can be bad. Since different people are involved in providing reviews (whatever they might be about) it can go either way without really any general or specific conclusion what would really apply.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,206
34,347
Boston
Reviews are personal opinions and as such I take them with a grain of salt. If I see a trend of negativity on a given product/service then perhaps I'll avoid it. No matter what you research, the best highest rated product/service will still have some single start ultra-negative reviews.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
53,730
36,975
The Far Horizon
I rely to some extent on word of mouth reviews, and also on reviews from serious - and respected - sources that I have come to trust and believe.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
40,302
30,297
Behind the Lens, UK
Many on line reviews are bogus. We regularly get spam emails at work offering to write positive reviews for our products. We never take them up on the offer, but I'm sure plenty do.
I'm also rather opinionated so tend to just review the product and make my own mind up.
I never use film or music reviews. I usually watch a trailer and make a decision on a film.
For music I typically by songs I've heard and like.
 

ejb190

macrumors 65816
I have read a number of books on marketing. One thing all the books had in common was the importance of peer to peer endorsements. And they all said something like, "if they like you they will tell one best friend. If they don't they will tell 100 complete strangers." And that's the lens I look at reviews through, especially on-line.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68020
Apr 19, 2014
2,093
2,078
The most accurate reviews are those with good spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

For some reason, the angriest reviews are always the bottom of the barrel in those 3 categories.
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,595
3,575
Atlanta, GA
The most accurate reviews are those with good spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

For some reason, the angriest reviews are always the bottom of the barrel in those 3 categories.

HA! I was just about to post this. My wife and I both start with the worst review on a place. They re almost always riddled with misspellings, bad punctuation, and terrible grammar. And they are almost always the case of "my waiter was mean, the food was cold, the water was dirty, the bill was wrong, the place was smelly". Like every single possible thing was wrong. I don't take those reviews seriously, at all.

We also tend to look at how spread out the reviews are. If there are ten reviews over three years, but seven of them are from within one week in the middle, I'll take those with a grain of salt, as it was likely the staff making those reviews, or the owner trotting out some discount to leave a review.

And lastly, I steer away from reviews where someone says something like "I went to Crazy Morocco Food Palace and did not like it. I spent seven years in the mountains of western Morocco learning to cook traditional fare from blind monks using ingredients sourced from local hills and picked by orphan children, and this food was not as good." Anything that looks like it's written by a hipster foodie is out.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
53,730
36,975
The Far Horizon
Well, I watch so few movies (and have a very low tolerance level for poor movies) that I rely on critics, usually individuals I respect, or word of mouth from people I respect, to prompt me to view a movie.

Re restaurants, I know some people who work in or around the food world (the Slow Food Movement etc); while some are food hipsters, not all are, and their standards are exacting with regard to provenance, professionalism, skill and creativity. Hence, a word of mouth recommendation from any of them will be heeded (and my experience has taught me that they are worth heeding).

On books, as I am an avid reader, there are critics I respect, writers I admire or who interest me, and subject matters that fascinate me; choosing how to buy books are not usually an issue.

Wines, likewise; I have certain quite marked preferences - strong recommendations from within that sort of range from someone I respect will usually persuade me to produce a credit card.

Plays are a very grey area, because going to the theatre to watch a play is such a personal and subjective experience. This is because reviews, even from individuals I like and respect don't always reflect or find interesting what I would find most absorbing on the stage.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,804
1,171
NJ
Product reviews are the least subjective form of review, especially when the critic compares to competing products. Although, I do believe movie and music reviews can determine whether a piece of media is good by the criteria of the industry. Whether or not you enjoy the movie or music is another story, but there are ways to determine whether the filmmaking or songwriting was a quality effort.

I've been to some great restaurants that are better than their Yelp reviews would imply, and vice-versa.
 
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ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
18,219
9,222
Colorado
I tend to look at the lowest (1 star) reviews to see what some of the potential problems of the item I'm interested in are.
 

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,319
6,571
Germany
Funny, I try to not listen to the guys in the office!
I must work at the wrong office!

But yes word of mouth reviews by like minded people are the most useful.

I work for the Army, and a very specific part of the Army, we all generally have almost identical backgrounds so we're all like minded.
 
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