What Is IMDb?

The Internet Movie Database Explained

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is the largest, most comprehensive movie database on the web. It offers an extensive database of movie, TV show, and cast information. The site was officially launched in 1990 and is now owned by Amazon.com.

IMDb is an extremely detailed and rich source of film data that features top movies, movie news, free movies, movie reviews, movie trailers, movie showtimes, DVD movie reviews, celebrity profiles, and more. If you’ve ever researched a movie or actor, you’ve probably landed on IMDb. 

IMDb truly is a mammoth depository of movie information, and while it’s great that most of it is completely free to access, it can seem cluttered and hard to sift through. Below are some tips on how to use IMDb as well as a look at some of its features, including what you get with IMDbPro.

What’s on IMDb?

IMDb home page

IMDb is, in a word, extensive. It’s a huge hub of entertainment information. Nearly any search engine will point you there if you’re looking up the plot to a movie or if you’re trying to find out who played in a film you just watched or who’s going to be in an upcoming TV show.

There’s a staggering array of information related to the entertainment industry: scripts, trivia, director/producer information, publicity contacts, plot summaries, movie trailers, etc. In addition to background information, the Internet Movie Database also offers exclusive character resources like biographies and memorable quotes, plus includes the ability to instantly watch TV shows and movies for free.

IMDb users are invited to participate in the site's ever-growing wealth of information by rating movies on a scale. IMDb’s “top” pages are based on these user votes of confidence (or disapproval), which steadily rotates a list of movies through the list of favorites depending on votes received.

Most pages associated with a movie or TV show on IMDb offer several features, including a plot synopsis, plot summary, storyline, cast information, review scores, tagged genres, images, videos, nominations, similar titles, box office details, runtime, trivia, frequently asked questions, user reviews, quotes, and more.

IMDb Advanced Search Options

IMDb movie genre list

There are several ways to search IMDb. You might need to pick one over another if you’re looking for a new movie to watch or if you have only one or two bits of information to start the search, such as an actor’s name or information on the plot.


  • IMDb Name Search
    : Find titles on IMDb by an actor’s name, birthday, star sign, birth place, death place, gender, filmography, name group (like Oscar-Winning or Best Actress-Winning), and more.
  • IMDb Title Search: Search for movies and shows on IMDb by their title, title type (TV episode, TV short, short film, feature film, etc.), release date, user rating, number of votes, genre, title group (IMDb “Top 100” or Emmy Award-Winning), title data (locations, crazy credits, alternate versions, etc.), companies (like Sony or Paramount), instant watch options, US certificates (PG, NC-17, etc.), countries, keywords, language, filming location, cast/crew, runtime, sound mix, and more.
  • IMDb Collaborations Search: This IMDb advanced search lets you find movies and shows where two people of your choosing appear, or you can find people who played in the same film by searching for two titles.
  • IMDb Site Index: This is another IMDb search tool that lists various interesting places you can browse on IMDb, such as Best of the year, Bottom 100, Coming Soon, Birthdays, and Amazon Originals.
  • Film Genres: Browse IMDb by genre to find horror movies, comedies, animations, fantasy films, thrillers, crime shows, action-comedy movies, and more.

IMDb Free Movies

IMDb TV Zodiac free movie stream

The Internet Movie Database doesn’t just have information on movies and shows, but also free films you can watch right now. The part of IMDb that works as a free movie site is called IMDb TV.

You can browse recently added movies and TV shows, popular movies/shows, IMDb originals, and movies organized by genre. They’re all watchable from IMDb’s website and the mobile app.

IMDbPro Features

You can pay for some features of IMDb if you want them. However, they’re aimed more toward people looking for contacts in the entertainment business.

Subscribing to IMDb Pro lets you:

  • Claim your own IMDb page
  • Track updates from people/title profiles to always have the latest information
  • Find industry contacts and talent representation
  • See titles not available on IMDb

There’s a free 30-day trial of IMDb Pro but then it costs $12.50 USD /month if you pay for a year upfront, or $19.99 USD /month for a month-by-month subscription.