This is Letterboxd.

This is Letterboxd. It’s like Goodreads, but for film. You can mark films that you’ve watched, add ratings and reviews, and follow other users, which improves the recommendation algorithms.

When I wanted to watch a movie, I’d add it to my watchlist. I ended up with too many. It’s like Pocket, but for film.

The Letterboxd website is pretty cool, but it’s super slow and errors frequently (showing the “Gremlins” page). I got access to the API, and working with Chris, I started to write an app.

The official app was released during the inevitable fizzle of our project. The app itself is pretty cool — it does everything I want (plus more) — but it’s slow and unreliable:

  • errors (indefinite loading)
  • loading times are long (network errors and retries?)
  • it would sign you out frequently (maybe dropping authentication tokens on any error instead of only invalid token errors?)

For me, the website and any app using the API will struggle to provide a decent UX until the backend issues are sorted.

I’ve continued working on the app this month since I decided to try to clear my watchlist (it’ll happen!) and I’m hoping with thoughtful error handling, it’ll go a long way to mitigate the issues that come with the frustrating API, until the service improves.