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10 best movie reviewers on tiktok.


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Stephen king succinctly endorses netflix's new #1 movie, denzel washington's next movie wraps filming with bts image.

The year 2022 is coming to a close, but there are still many movies out there that have yet to be released, like the Black Adam movie featuring Dwayne Johnson and the highly anticipated, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever . Of course, until then it's up to folks to find some other forms of entertainment.

But rather than looking up movies and seeing which are the best by rating, a less impersonal experience could be derived from listening to the experiences of some of the most renowned creators on TikTok .

With over three million followers, @maddikoch reviews have proven to be extremely popular with the world. Despite the small-time restriction, Maddi still manages to make sure that her explanations are clear and concise, fitting in as much information as possible. She is often sponsored by companies like Netflix and invited to see and review films before they've come out.

Related: 10 Best Comic Book Related Content Creators To Follow On TikTok

Apart from that, she is even an AMC+ partner who gets sponsored to promote their app and its content. As for her content specifically, she tries her best not to spoil the movie she is reviewing, a very appreciated sentiment her fans share. Though be aware that she only seems to post reviews on movies she enjoys or doesn't blatantly dislike.

Compared to other film reviewers on the platform, @muny_rags seems to take a more analytical approach to finer detail. Aside from just reviewing television shows and films, this content creator points out certain aspects of films and explains why they are important or why they are detrimental to the film as a whole.

He even breaks down some of the best action films of all time and how they aid films both narratively and visually. All in all, Muny Rags is a unique creator on the platform that more and more people are taking note of as time goes on. His status as a movie writer and director certainly aids him in that department.

@cinema.joe is a movie reviewer popular for dishing out film recommendations to his loyal fans. His most popular method of doing so is by selecting a theme, such as horror or romance, and making a collection to present for each genre. He doesn't rush his explanations, and he speaks in a clear voice.

The titles for his videos are descriptions and are especially useful for anyone who wants to avoid spoilers (as he labels his spoiler-free reviews as such). He is also known for giving analytics regarding the rankings of where movies should be placed in a specific genre and some facts that stand more as trivia that some people may not have known.

@tmi_7 account went through a large change after finding success in movie recommendations; before then it was an account that mostly catered to reviewing near enough everything else.

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Due to the fact that it was concise and short, Mr. Movie first recommendation video found immediate success, garnering over 5 million views. Since then, he's done dozens of such videos, both for Netflix and Hulu recommendations. He even does reviews for trailers as well.

@sydneyvolpe is a small up-and-coming content creator with a bright future ahead. Every video she posts radiates positivity as she adamantly gives her opinions and, ultimately, her review on the works she's watched. Better yet, she tends to review films that many people may not yet know of, making her the perfect creator to find new films.

She also reviews some of the best movies of 2022 , where she isn't afraid of giving her opinions on whether she found a movie good or bad. Neither does she tend to spoil a movie, placing importance on a moviegoer's first time.

Seth Film Reviews

If someone is looking for a film enthusiast who creates each video with a hint of passion, @sethfilmreviews is just the right creator for the job. Aside from movie reviews, he tends to also update his audience with news of upcoming films and releases. That in itself makes him a sort of "one-stop-shop" when it comes to finding a good film to watch.

As mentioned before, he is a very passionate creator when it comes to doing what he loves. He speaks in a strong tone making him easily understandable in his content. Seth Film Reviews even posts rankings of genres or series he's watched and some movies of 2021 now releasing in 2022 .

Stoney Tha Great

@stoney_tha_great is a great movie reviewer for those who want a more relaxed experience when it comes to receiving their film news. His soothing voice in tandem with the neutral music in the background makes for a great environment to digest the information he's giving out. Apart from that he also partakes in analyzing scenes of movies as well.

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His selections aren't solely dedicated to modern media, as often he'll look back at the classics and give his opinions. He often reviews trailers for upcoming films or shows as well, such as the trailer for the up-and-coming The Last of Us series. Despite being a sizable creator he doesn't fail to respond to comment feedback either, making him more personable to other creators.

In terms of how personable a content creator can be when it comes to movie reviewing, @cinemonika is a high contender for first place. She is a positive content creator who gives recommendations for both western films and anime films. She also tends to do a few scenarios or more aptly hypothetical movies.

She's a rather outspoken person who isn't afraid of giving her opinion, even when it seems to contest with the common user. In comparison to other accounts like her, her recommendations tend to be uncommon. Though she doesn't fail when it comes to why her audience should watch them, as she offers short reviews for the ones she's particularly outspoken on.


As the name implies, @moviesandstuff14 is an account dedicated to films and the news regarding them. In particular, this account focuses on the most anticipated releases whilst posting his reaction to their trailers if there are some. He also tends to rank popular series such as the X-Men films.

A particular set of films he made a list for in a video are the greatest slasher movies ever made (which is just in time for the spooky season too). His reviews tend to have a bit of a comedic side to them with a few of his videos being somewhat skits. Though that doesn't mean his reviews lack sincerity, as he spends a large chunk of time dedicated to what his impressions were when watching a film.

Cameron Kozak

@kodak_cameron is a popular movie reviewer with a following of over 1.4 million. It's not too difficult to see why either, with each of his videos cutting out the useless prattling and instead focusing on what people clicked for in the first place.

His videos are usually around the minute mark, with no distracting visuals appearing on-screen that may take away from a user's experience. He also does movie recommendations on the side, each video themed around a specific genre or idea. And on top of that, he sometimes does analysis' of the movies and outside factors like marketing and promotion.

NEXT: The 10 Best Movies Of All-Time, According To Letterboxd


10 Movie-Review TikTok Accounts to Watch

A man films a movie review in front of a smartphone that is mounted on a tripod

Rotten Tomatoes isn’t the only website for movie reviews anymore; many are heading to TikTok.  TikTokers have plenty to say on new and old movies alike — the hashtag #moviereview has over 932.7 million views. If you’re a movie-lover, a brand looking to work with movie buffs or an influencer hoping to step into film reviews, there are plenty of opportunities to share new and exciting content on TikTok .

10 movie-review TikTok accounts to watch

Madi Koch, or Madi Moo as she goes by on TikTok, has created an audience of 3 million film buffs with her movie reviews. She’s been invited by brands like Netflix to see and review new films before they come out to the public. If you’re looking to work with a film reviewer or you want to focus your own TikTok around movies, check out Madi’s videos.

@maddikoch THE LIE. Spoiler posted ! #movierecommendation #movie #moviesuggestion #movieclip #scarymovie #moviescene ♬ original sound - Maddi Moo

Cameron Kozak

Dubbed “Your TikTok Movie Guy,” Cameron Kozak on TikTok has built a following of almost 790,000 followers by sharing his movie reviews. Most of his videos share a scene from the film with his own voiceover giving his opinion, like this one in the movie, “ Encanto ,” or this one about what he’s looking for in the “ Batman” movie. Don’t worry, though — Cameron always lets you know if he’s giving away any spoilers so the film doesn’t get ruined for you!

@kodak_cameron Come back every week for a new mystery waiting to be solved, stream POKER FACE today! only on @peacock streaming now. #pokerfacepeacock ♬ original sound - Cameron Kozak

J Buck Studios

With 393,000 followers, J Buck Studios is another favorite film and movie review TikTok account to work with or follow. Equipped with sarcasm, J Buck gives fun, in-depth movie reviews on new films and some of his favorites. He’s even started a YouTube channel where he can give even longer reviews on upcoming films.

@jbuckstudios Did you know this about Clue? #cluemovie #clue #moviedetails #jbuckstudios #jbuck #eastereggs ♬ original sound - JBuck

TikToker J Stoobs (aka Megan) shares in-depth movie and comic reviews with her 420,000 followers. She’s even worked with brands and gone to the red carpet event for the new “Batman” movie. Megan also dives into social injustices and likes to show scenes from movies to help change the conversation.

@jstoobs Also it’s genuinely funny as hell #tv #movies #girls ♬ original sound - stoobs

Let’s Watch That

With 173,000 followers , Let’s Watch That is another TikToker sharing movie reviews, but this channel has a slight focus on horror films . Love ‘em or hate ‘em, horror movies have quite the following and this TikToker shares her feelings on the horror films you should watch despite their bad reviews. If horror films aren’t your thing, don’t worry — she also throws in movies that will boost serotonin levels .

@letswatchthat The Pale Blue Eye is on Netflix now #fyp #newmovies #review #film #thriller #christianbale #harrymelling #thepaleblueeye #filmtok #letswatchthat #films2023 #2023 ♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono - moshimo sound design

Cinema Nation

Cinema Nation is a group-run TikTok about all things movies and television. They’ve grown their following to almost 150,000 other movie lovers with their in-depth movie reviews and letting their followers know which movies to watch out for in the upcoming month .

@cinemanation It’s About Drive. It’s About Power. #fyp #blackadam #dc #movie #moviereview #filmtok #cinemanation #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Cinema Nation

Muny Rags, a Toronto-based TikToker , is a movie writer and director who likes to not only give reviews, but show his followers why certain aspects are important in filmmaking. He also likes to show films that aren’t brand new and even explains why props are important in films. Muny Rags’ unique take on film reviews has helped his TikTok grow to almost 80,000 followers.

@muny_rags #smilemovie #smilemovie2022 #horrormovie #movieanalysis #filmanalysis #learnontiktok ♬ Smile - Lily Allen

Anime and movies are two genres that sum up Cinemonika on TikTok. If you’re looking for anime movie recommendations or funny skits on popular TV shows, Cinemonika has plenty of short TikToks for you to scroll through. While she only has about 16,000 followers on TikTok, you can also find Cinemonika on YouTube with a subscriber base of 138,000. Her YouTube videos show even more in-depth recommendations on anime movies she recommends.

@cinemonika the most wholesome show i’ve seen in a while 🥹💗 #themakanai #netflix #netflixrecommendation #tvshow #japanesetvshow #koreeda #hirokazukoreeda ♬ End Theme of “The Makanai” 舞妓さんちのまかないさん エンドテーマ (feat. キヨ) - Yoko Kanno

With just under 18,000 followers on TikTok, Vidz by V is an 18-year-old filmmaker who shares movie and TV reviews. Because of her love for filmmaking, she has a unique take on watching films and TV shows. She even did a roundup video on what she believes were the best films of 2021 .

@vm_b Just some of my fav films #film #filmtok #movies #spidermannowayhome #animatedmovies #marvelmovies #filmtokers #movieindustry #movietoker #gonegirl #ladybird #intothespiderverse #midsommarmovie #jojorabbit #womeninfilmmaking #womeninfilm #tiktikboom #andrewgarfield ♬ Boho days from tick tick boom Netflix - JameCur

Lindsay Shannon Joyner

Lover of all things film, Lindsay Shannon Joyner shares relaxing reviews of movies with her 25,000 followers. As a “film fatale” as she calls herself, Lindsay joins in on different TikTok trends to share 50 films set in the 50 states and even film ideas to watch on a first date .

@filmlinds movie tag! 🎞️✨ #a24 #filmtok #movietok #moviereview #everythingeverywhereallatonce #greenscreen ♬ sarahs movie tag - sarah ! 🦕


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10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

By Reggie Ugwu

Maddi Koch loves to spread the gospel about a good movie. Her favorites are little-noted thrillers with few stars but juicy concepts or dig-your-nails-into-the-sofa plot twists.

On TikTok, where Koch has three million followers (and goes by Maddi Moo), her review of “ What Happened to Monday ,” about a dystopian world where seven identical sisters share a single identity, has drawn over 24 million views. “If I were to die tomorrow, I’d watch this tonight,” she raved.

Koch, who is a senior at Virginia Tech and is sometimes paid by film companies to promote their work, says she makes videos to connect people and to spare them “the pain of arguing over finding a movie or not knowing what you’re really looking for.” (Most of her videos, including the “What Happened to Monday” review, are not sponsored.) When asked, she’ll describe herself as a “random girl” who loves movies, a “content creator,” or, sure, even an “influencer.”

But one title that she would never use might be the most obvious: “Critic.”

“I just don’t see myself in that light,” she said.

Koch, 22, is among dozens of personalities on TikTok, along with peers like Straw Hat Goofy and Cinema.Joe , who reach millions of people by reviewing, analyzing or promoting movies. Several earn enough on the platform — from posts sponsored by Hollywood studios (many have taken a break from working with them since the actors’ strike), through one of TikTok’s revenue sharing programs or both — to make their passion for film a full-time job, a feat amid longstanding cuts to arts critic positions in newsrooms.

But the new school of film critic doesn’t see much of itself in the old one. And some tenets of the profession — such as rendering judgments or making claims that go beyond one’s personal taste — are now considered antiquated and objectionable.

“When you read a critic’s review, it almost sounds like a computer wrote it,” said Cameron Kozak, 21, who calls himself a “movie reviewer” and has 1.5 million followers . “But when you have someone on TikTok who you watch every day and you know their voice and what they like, there’s something personal that people can connect to.”

On MovieTok — as the community is known — the most successful users generally post at least once per day, with videos typically ranging between 30 and 90 seconds. Many attempt to capture the viewer’s attention within the first three seconds (“This movie’s perfect for you if you never want to sleep again,” begins Koch’s review of the hit horror film “Barbarian”) and speak directly to the camera, with screenshots from the film in the background.

Many creators, most in their 20s or early 30s, specialize within a particular niche. Joe Aragon ( Cinema.Joe , 931,000 followers) is known for his breakdowns of coming attractions; Monse Gutierrez ( cvnela , 1.4 million followers) and Bryan Lucious ( stoney_tha_great , 387,000 followers) demystify and rank horror films; Seth Mullan-Feroze ( sethsfilmreviews , 256,000 followers) leans toward art house and foreign cinema.

Unlike film departments at major metropolitan newspapers or national magazines, individuals on MovieTok generally don’t aspire to review every noteworthy film. And while most expressed admiration for traditional critics’ grasp of film history, they tended to associate the profession as a whole with false or unearned authority.

“A lot of us don’t trust critics,” said Lucious, 31. He was one of many who pointed to the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, where the scores of “Top Critics” often differ widely from those of casual users, as evidence that the critical establishment is out of touch. “They watch movies and are just looking for something to critique,” he said. “Fans watch movies looking for entertainment.”

MovieTok creators are not the first in the history of film criticism to rebel against their elders. In the 1950s, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and other writers of the journal Cahiers du Cinéma disavowed the nationalism of mainstream French criticism. In the 1960s and ’70s, the New Yorker critic Pauline Kael assailed the moralism associated with Bosley Crowther, a longtime movie critic of The New York Times, and others. And movie bloggers in the 2000s charged print critics with indifference or hostility to superhero and fantasy films.

“There’s always this denigrating of those so-called ‘other’ critics as somehow elitist and old-fashioned while presenting yourself as the new avant-garde,” said Mattias Frey, head of the department of media, culture and creative industries at the City University of London and the author of “The Permanent Crisis of Film Criticism.” He defined criticism, by any name, as “evaluation grounded in reason,” citing the philosopher Noël Carroll.

Juju Green, a 31-year-old former advertising copywriter, sees himself as on a “mission to combat film snobbery." Known as Straw Hat Goofy , Green is the most prominent member of MovieTok, with 3.4 million followers and an emerging side career as a correspondent and host. His most popular video , in which he identifies Easter eggs in Pixar movies, has nearly 29 million views.

Seven years ago, Green started a movie-themed channel on YouTube — which favors longer, more produced videos — but abandoned it after the birth of his first child. On TikTok, he found that he could reach an enormous audience with relatively little effort. He said one of his first videos on the platform, a post from January 2020 about Tom Holland’s performance in “Avengers: Endgame,” received over 200,000 views in about an hour.

“I had a feeling like I was meant to do this,” he said. Green quit his advertising job last year.

Without the salary of a news organization, MovieTok creators earn money by partnering with entertainment companies. A sponsored post promoting a film or streaming service can be worth anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000.

Green’s clients have included Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros., among others. In January, Universal paid him to create a post at an N.F.L. game promoting the movie “M3GAN” that received nearly seven million views — part of a marketing campaign that helped the film earn $30.2 million in the United States and Canada on opening weekend, about 30 percent more than box office analysts had predicted.

It is impossible, of course, to make a direct link between TikTok influencers and ticket sales. But there are signs that the impact can be considerable. Sony executives have cited MovieTok campaigns as one reason for the strong performance of “Insidious: The Red Door,” which cost $16 million to make and has taken in a surprising $183 million worldwide.

Being paid by the studios presents an obvious conflict of interest. Creators may be reluctant to speak negatively about the products of a company that pays them (or might). While traditional news organizations, including The Times, sell ads to movie studios, they do not allow critics, reporters or editors to accept compensation from them and generally keep editorial and business operations separate.

Carrie Rickey, who was the film critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1986 to 2011, said she refrained from working too closely with studios to avoid even the “appearance of impropriety.”

“It would mar my reputation as an independent writer,” she said.

Many on MovieTok have evolved an ad hoc code of ethics — accepting payment only for trailer announcements or general recommendations, for example, rather than true reviews — but recognize accusations of bias as an occupational hazard.

“I always try to be super transparent with my viewers,” said Megan Cruz ( jstoobs , 535,000 followers), noting that she is careful to identify gifts and sponsorships in her videos. “We do exist in this in-between space and I think it’s important to clarify whenever you’re getting any kind of advantage.” (By law, paid endorsements on TikTok must be labeled; but gifts, including swag boxes and travel to red carpet events, are not always disclosed.)

Cruz, 34, echoed other MovieTok reviewers who said they dislike doing sharply negative posts and would be unlikely to slam a movie whether they were in business with the studio or not. She said she generally prefers to deliver negative opinions in the form of a “compliment sandwich,” preceded and followed by more positive remarks.

“It pains me to say that this movie, by and large, did not work for me,” she said, in a review of the horror-comedy “Renfield.” Cruz then added: “There are a lot of individual elements of this film that really do work.”

Another source of income is TikTok itself. Since 2020, the platform has shared revenue with accounts that meet eligibility requirements. Gutierrez said that between sponsored posts and payouts from TikTok she has made as much as four times the salary of her previous job as a substitute teacher.

After Hollywood actors went on strike in July, many creators stopped working for the studios in solidarity. SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, issued guidelines for influencers last month discouraging them from accepting “any new work for promotion of struck companies or their content.”

Green, who had previously implied that he would continue working as usual, subsequently walked back those comments. He said in a recent interview that he had turned down eight proposals to work with struck companies and would continue to do so for the duration of the strike.

“It was a mistake that I made and I completely own that,” he said.

The lack of Hollywood work has prompted many creators to pivot to other subjects, such as independent films and anime.

But with or without the studios, those interviewed for this story said their obsession with dissecting movies would remain.

“I like to call it professional overthinking,” Green said.

Brooks Barnes contributed reporting from Los Angeles.

An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a philosopher who formulated a definition of criticism. He is Noël Carroll, not Carrol.

How we handle corrections

Reggie Ugwu  is a pop culture reporter covering a range of subjects, including film, television, music and internet culture. Before joining The Times in 2017, he was a reporter for BuzzFeed News and Billboard magazine. More about Reggie Ugwu

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10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

10 TikTok Book Reviewers You Should Be Following

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Kate is a 2011 Drake University grad, where she received her BA in magazine journalism. A hopeless romantic with a cynical heart, Kate will read anything that comes with a content warning, a love triangle, and a major plot twist. Twitter: @katekrug Blog:

View All posts by Kate Krug

We also know that BookTok has its fair share of drama (helloooo Hockey BookTok Controversy of 2023 ), but I think it is also clear that these videos have encouraged people to pick up a book, whether they are devoted readers or trying to get back into the habit. What #BookTok has done for many creators, the industry, and a resurgence of love for books cannot be ignored. As with all social media platforms, we can hold both good and bad simultaneously. 

Also, let’s just say it: while the TikTok FYP is amazing for curating your own experience, it’s all too easy to get stuck in a non-diverse echo chamber. Every few months, I highly recommend doing a search within the #BookTok or other related hashtags to find some new faces or even crowd-sourcing from friends. We’ve got an entire article on diversifying your BookTok FYP . 

So now I’m going to take you on a tour of my FYP and recommend some top-notch BookTokers whose opinions I regard highly and have taken many recommendations from. We’re talking about content quality here, not necessarily the size of their following. No matter what, I will stop scrolling and watch these TikTok book reviewers’ videos in their entirety each time. 

1. Tritney – @Tritney

This creator does a series called Spice vs Spice where she reads a spicy romance book while indulging in some spicy food. Combining two of my favorite things on this app — I absolutely adore these videos. This is also the account where I learned about the infamous sentient door novella. IYKYK.

@tritney I’m stuffed on buldak chapate & she’s stuffed by a pillow! #spicevsspice #stuffedsylviamorrow #spicyromancereads ♬ original sound – tritney🍓

2. Ayushi – @BookWormBullet

Ayushi is my absolute go-to creator for any South Asian recommendation. I appreciate her commentary on the books she reads and also the genre and author diversity!

@bookwormbullet 📚 MAYA’S LAWS OF LOVE by @Alina Khawaja!! Thank you @Harlequin Trade Publishing for the copy! 🫶🏽 #booktok #desibooks #desibooktok #southasianbooks #southasianbooktok #mayaslawsoflove #pakistani #bollywood #k3g #ddlj #srk #desi #desitiktok #romancebooks #bookrecommendations #bookwormbullet ♬ original sound – riya

3. Muhammad – @GoatFantasyBooks

I’m typically not a repeat reader, especially for massive epic fantasies. But if anyone could convince me to reread Brandon Sanderson, it would be Muhammad. His passion for the genre is infectious and truly makes me to want read more fantasy.

@goatfantasybooks come at me #booktok #fantasy #books #reading #brandonsanderson #rfkuang #babel #swordofkaigen #theswordofkaigen #neverletmego #theliesoflockelamora #booktube #bookreviews #fyp #bookworm #mlwang #recommendations ♬ original sound – Muhammad Mustafa

4. Abbie – @ AbbieKonnick

I came for the books and stayed for her lovely personality and yummy recipes (and, of course, I stayed for the books, too!) Also, if I get a Kindle Unlimited subscription to read every Freida McFadden, it will definitely be because of her.

@abbiekonnick Replying to @mistykay85 Just me and my *hot takes* here with Miss Freida McFadden 🙈📚 WHAT ARE YOUR FAVS? #freidamcfadden #freidamcfaddenbooks #freidamcfaddenrankings #thrillerbooktok #thrillerbookrecs #neverliefreidamcfadden #theexfreidamcfadden #thehousemaidfreidamcfadden #theteacherfreidamcfadden #theinmatefreidamcfadden #top5thrillerbooks #thrillerbooks #fyp #amazonbooks #topthrillerbooks #booktok #bookish ♬ Autumn Leaves – Timothy Cole

5. Marines – @MyNameIsMarines

I found Marines after her take on the hockey romance drama ended up on my FYP, and it was an instant follow. She’s so incredibly smart and I always value her reviews and opinions on books.

@mynameismarines its ambiguous at best #books #booktok #sjm #acotar ♬ original sound – Mari – booktok + media reviews

6. Brandon – @Baker.Reads

I read Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke on his recommendation, and it was so unhinged that it blew my mind. Now, I watch all of his videos not necessarily to get recommendations, but to hear the out-of-the-box plots. I’m also a sucker for a video that starts with ‘These are the most disturbing books I’ve ever read.”

@baker.reads #Inverted dark reads to keep you hooked!! #booktok #bakerreads #horrorbooks #disturbingbooks #psychologicalthriller #bookrecommendations ♬ original sound – Brandon Baker • baker.reads

7. Kayla – @KaylaBerman_

Anyone giving love to my fave, Jodi Picoult, is an instant follow from me. I also love how she adds commentary and talks about the books she necessarily didn’t enjoy. It’s always a good sign when I can appreciate a “negative” review just as much as a positive one.

@kaylaberman_ Let me know your thoughts if you have read any of these!! 💭📖 #booksineverseeonbooktok #booksineversee #shouldireadit #booksidontseeonbooktok #booksidontsee #booktok #booklover #books #unpopularbooks ♬ original sound – books with kay ✨📚

8. Az – @Azhangia

Something about Az’s videos is so calming. I love her video editing style! Also, hot tip: her playlists are A+ for both background music while reading and even for workday concentration.

@azhangia my 3 favorite fantasy duologies! #booktok #fantasybooks #bookrecs #sixofcrows #onedarkwindow #strangethedreamer #favoritebooks ♬ original sound – azhangia | 📖

9. Aubrei – @EarlGreyPls

Aubrei has a series where she talks about the words she learned through reading, and it has inspired me to do the same. I love expanding my vocabulary, and it’s been a wonderful addition to my reading routine.

@earlgreypls too much chortling tho #funnystoryemilyhenry #emilyhenry #berkleypartner ♬ original sound – aubrei

10. Zoranne – @Zoranne_

I found Zoranne after I finished The Will of the Many and needed to see other people’s opinions. I love her passion, and she always has me nodding to her videos.

@zoranne_ more fantasy book recommendations based on your favorite trope ◡̈ #fantasybookrecs #epicfantasybooks #fantasybookseries ♬ original sound – Zoranne | Fantasy Book Reviews

On TikTok, we know it’s all too easy for the same books to get recommended over and over again. If you’re looking for some unique and personalized recommendations, our subscription service, TBR , is a great way to get made-for-you book recommendations to supplement your BookTok discoveries.

And if you’re looking for more BookTok content, we’ve got that too:

  • BIPOC BookTokers to Follow
  • 7 Types of Booktoks That Skyrocketed My Reading By 1000%
  • 12 BookTok Accounts You Need to Follow

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Spencer X appears in TikTok Boom by Shalini Kantayya, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

TikTok , the omnipresent video-based social-media app that launched five years ago, has always seemed a less serious, more frivolously youthquakey destination than a number of other online networking services — most obviously Facebook. Yet as Shalini Kantayya’s sprightly, informative documentary “TikTok, Boom.” makes clear, there are more levels to the TikTok phenomenon than there are to almost any other blockbuster app.

There are the countless people who consume it: the kids from all over the world who get addicted to watching the up-to-three-minute-long videos (dances, pranks, sexy flaunts, tutorials, monologues, protest messages) as if they were popping Sour Patch Kids. There are the people who are on it: the makers of those videos, who could be just about anyone and might be doing it just for kicks, though what a lot of them want to be, if they can go viral enough, are influencers — the elite echelon of TikTok stars who have made themselves over into brands, based on a look or a talent or a signature or some combination of the above, and who succeed in attracting the attention of companies who will pay them to be casual endorsers of some product.

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The saga of TikTok doesn’t end there. The sheer hugeness of the app is its own paradigm-shifting story. It has been downloaded over two billion times, making it bigger than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. As a result, it has shaken up the hierarchy of the tech universe. And since TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in China, the fact that much of what TikTok is actually about, once you peek beneath the candy-colored surface of its endless-shopping-mall-of-videos, how-I-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-dopamine-hit mystique, is data mining (the targeting of you , the user, as a consumer, who will be digitally read like a book and pitched products until your dying day), there are sizable geopolitical implications to the TikTok story. Does the fact that the data mined by TikTok is stored in a brain trust controlled by a Chinese corporation mean that the app, for America, represents a security risk? Some say yes. Beyond that, the fact that Silicon Valley, for the first time, has been beaten at its own game by China, America’s preeminent rival in the 21st-century global power structure, is its own kind of wake-up call.

Popular on Variety

Not to mention this: What does it mean that the Gen-Z multitudes now spend obsessive amounts of time immersed in a never-ending digital casserole of content that is fast turning us into America’s Funniest/Wildest/Most Narcissistic Home Videos Nation?

“TikTok, Boom.” gives all those issues a workout. For anyone who’s not up on the story, or who has followed it with half a glance, the documentary, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is a lively, handy TikTok primer. Yet there are ways in which it’s all too content to skitter along the surface of what TikTok is. That may sound like a paradoxical complaint — TikTok, after all, kind of is all surface — but I wish the movie had probed, a little more deeply than it does, into how an app like TikTok is changing our habits, our society, and maybe our souls.

Kantayya, the director of “Coded Bias,” introduces us to a handful of TikTok influencers, like Spencer X, the ace beatboxer who actually came up on YouTube (his first deal was with Nike); or Deja Foxx, who went viral when she was 16 years old by confronting Sen. Jeff Flake at a Republican town hall about the defunding of Planned Parenthood (the next morning, the video of their confrontation had 18 million views), and now divides her TikTok presence between political statements and showing herself off in a bathing suit; or Feroza Aziz, an Afghan American activist who found herself in conflict with TikTok over videos she posted in protest of Chinese detention camps. (At one point she does an end run around their algorithm by nestling her activism in the middle of an eyelash tutorial.)

There’s a let-it-rip, if-it-feels-good-record-it aspect to the TikTok experience; the app basically turns the whole planet into your bedroom mirror. Yet as “TikTok, Boom.” reveals, that spirit is belied by how much of the content is regulated. Douyin, the original Chinese version of TikTok (it was launched in 2016), has strict provisions that don’t even allow people to appear with tattoos or dyed hair. And though TikTok itself is obviously much looser, the film explores the phenomenon of “shadowbanning,” in which certain videos, due to algorithmic judgments that happen off the radar, are basically banned by not being allowed to pile up any views or likes. At one point it was discovered that anything with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter or #GeorgeFloyd had been shadowbanned, a shocking suppression that the company tried to explain away as a “technical glitch.”

But beyond such flagrant acts of censorship, the documentary examines the larger ethics of TikTok’s control of content. The tech writer David Ryan Polgar claims that “Major tech companies, if they have the power of deciding what’s okay and what’s not okay with what I say, if they have the power to de-platform…that puts a tremendous level of power in an unelected official.” He calls this “anti-democratic.”

The movie does full justice to the insidious implications of what TikTok does and does not allow. Yet given how much “TikTok, Boom.” looks askance at aspects of TikTok, the film still betrays a certain wide-eyed eagerness to accept and (implicitly) endorse the way that TikTok operates. It was back in 2015 that Zhang Yiming, the 38-year-old Chinese founder of Douyin and TikTok, introduced the idea of “recommendation engines,” which would create an intricate profile of the user and then show that user what he or she likes. TikTok has been compared to the Sorting Hat from “Harry Potter,” splitting its audience into niches, tailoring products to a micro delineation of their tastes. We hear testimony from TikTok users who express amazement at how totally the app “knows” them.

But does the app really know you? Or are its relatively crude sorting methods creating a crude version of you? That there is now a passionate desire on the part of consumers to have computer technology tell them “who they are” may say more about those consumers than it does about the all-seeing nature of the technology.

For scores of the Gen-Z faithful, TikTok turns everyday reality into a show. On the surface there’s no harm in that, yet we should increasingly be skeptical of it, especially when we’re encouraged to think that TikTok, through the very grip of its appeal, creates a place for people to “speak truth to power.” The movie plays up the moment when a TikTok user got the idea to reserve a ticket to a Donald Trump rally in Oklahoma and then not show up for the rally. Her gambit was imitated by scores of others, and it worked. At the rally, there were large sections of empty seats; Trump was infuriated; the denizens of TikTok had pranked the president.

Yet here’s the thing. If you believe that you’re speaking truth to power, but you’re doing it on a playing field where grabbing eyeballs and going viral is the yardstick of success, then the people who are hucksters and liars and political fantasists will always have a built-in advantage. Because lies can always be made to look more entertaining than the raw political truth. Only time will tell how TikTok is changing us, but in its very success the app could be a way of getting us to fiddle while the world burns.

Reviewed online (Sundance U.S. Documentary Competition), Feb. 3 25, 2022. Running time: 97 MIN.

  • Production: A Campfire Studios production, presented by Olive Hill Media, in association with Forbes Entertainment, Such Content, 7th Empire Media. Producers: Ross M. Dinerstein, Shalini Kantayya, Danni Mynard. Executive producers: Rebecca Evans, Ross Girard, David Tomlin, Michael Cho, Mimi Rode, Tim Lee, William Rosenfeld, Robert Kapp, Randall Lane, Travis Collins.
  • Crew: Director: Shalini Kantayya. Camera: Steve Acevedo. Editor: Seth Anderson. Music: Katya Mikailova.
  • With: Feroza Aziz, Spencer X, Deja Foxx, Shelly Banjo, Emily Barbour, Matthew Brennan, Scott. R. Drury, Merrick Hanna, Shawn Hanna, David Jay, Aleysha Johnson, Taylor Lorenz, Rui Ma, Kyra Maxwell, Rick McElroy, David Ryan Polgar, Eugene Wei, Jason Zhang.

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149 Movie Recommendations from Tiktok (if you don’t know what movie to watch next!)

Here are some fantastic movie recommendations I came across on TikTok that you won’t find on Netflix. However, if you’re more interested in Netflix movies, I have a dedicated blog post just for that – 159 Netflix Movie Challenge – follow this list and watch 159 NEW movies at the end of 2023 (Tiktok Recommendations) .

Just follow this list if you are not sure which movie to watch next!

  • Triangle of Sadness
  • Last Night in Soho
  • The Break-Up (Jennifer Aniston)
  • Obsessed (Korean)
  • How to Be Single
  • Bora Debora
  • The Before Trilogy
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Just Like Heaven
  • Interstellar
  • Dead Poets Society
  • The In-Between
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • Better Days
  • Forgotten (2017)
  • The Apartment
  • Shoplifters
  • Hello Goodbye and Everything in Between
  • Swarm (Amazon Prime)
  • Fantasy Island
  • Lost in Translation
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Seven (1995)
  • Heartbreakers
  • The Northman
  • American Mary
  • The Invisible Guest
  • The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
  • The Handmaiden
  • The Godfather
  • A Good Person
  • Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23
  • Donnie Darko
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Prestige
  • Sleeping Beauty (2011)
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • My Best Friend’s Movie
  • Love, Rosie
  • Ben and Kate
  • Deep Blue Sea
  • Chemical Hearts
  • Life – Korean, Series
  • Life Is Beautiful
  • Ready or Not
  • Vanished – Korean
  • The Banshees
  • The Dark Knight
  • Oppenheimer
  • Before Sunset
  • Clouds (2020)
  • Nightcrawler
  • Good Will Hunting
  • One Million Yen Girl
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous
  • All the Bright Places
  • Scream Queens
  • No Reservations
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Bachelorette
  • Girl, Interrupted
  • I Feel Pretty
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Someone Great
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Youth of May
  • The Babysitter
  • The Grave of the Fireflies
  • Predestination
  • The School for Good and Evil
  • Everything, Everywhere, All at Once
  • Infinity Pool
  • Little First
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Departed
  • Beauty and the Briefcase
  • The Maze Runner
  • Decision to Leave
  • Celeste & Jess Forever
  • Schindler’s List
  • The Pianist
  • Paper Towns
  • Sinkhole – Korean
  • Django Unchained
  • Serendipity
  • Romy & Michele’s HS Reunion
  • Dollhouse – Horror
  • Oldboy (2003)
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Ingrid Goes West
  • A Simple Favor
  • Wintersleep
  • Beyond the Universe
  • The Other Woman
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • One Week Friends

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Flickering Myth

Geek Culture | Movies, TV, Comic Books & Video Games

Movie Review – TikTok, Boom. (2022)

August 31, 2022 by Shaun Munro

TikTok, Boom., 2022.

Directed by Shalini Kantayya.

With TikTok crowned the world’s most downloaded app, these are the personal stories of a cultural phenomenon, told through an ensemble cast of Gen-Z natives, journalists, and experts alike.

Coded Bias director Shalini Kantayya’s follow-up doc challenges yet another window of our increasingly algorithm-controlled lives; social media, and in particular the world’s most downloaded app, TikTok. Kantayya’s multi-faceted exploration of its benevolent potential and decidedly less-democratic reality make for a well-rounded film that thoughtfully considers the platform’s contentious place in the global stage without solely singling it out.

“On TikTok, anything can happen,” one of its users claims early on, and speaking as someone who hasn’t ever touched the app, it’s easy to appreciate the intoxicating appeal, especially for youngsters seduced by the democratising power – or implied power, at least – it gives them to reach an audience of billions.

With TikTok’s wider userbase and higher engagement rate than any other platform, silly lip-sync videos and political screeds alike can theoretically reach a global crowd within seconds. The speed with which its popularity has spread and impacted all manner of cultures is basically unprecedented.

Kantayya frames her film around the testimonies of several likeable young subjects described as “digital natives”; they’ve never known an existence without the Internet. There’s Afghan-American human rights activist Feroza Aziz, who uses the app to decry China’s internment of Uyghurs; beatbox artist Spencer X, who thanks to TikTok has become a millionaire; and political activist Deja Foxx, who parlayed her following into becoming the youngest staffer on Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign.

These industriously committed young people demonstrate the greatness that can be achieved with TikTok and apps like it, whether to entertain or open the eyes of millions to injustice. Yet for most it is, inherently, an exercise in branding, where even seemingly “regular people” can be paid exorbitant sums to promote brands, or even end up with a Hollywood career.

But TikTok’s global influence only makes the elephant in the room that much more urgent to explore. Despite its veneer of democratically-served content, the Chinese-created software uses its groundbreaking algorithm to read its users’ behaviours, gather data on them, and potentially even influence their future acts.

“Data is the new oil and China is the new Saudi Arabia,” we’re told at one point, and several of the subjects in Kantayya’s film persuasively suggest that TikTok is emblematic of China’s attempt to shift global power, economically and otherwise, effectively usurping America’s primacy on the global stage. This is transparently felt when Mark Zuckerberg, realising that Facebook wouldn’t ever be allowed to penetrate China’s Great Firewall, tries instead to chip away at TikTok’s domestic market share by any dirty means necessary.

And so, what may superficially appear to be a goofy app to post daft videos crowbars open a more widespread discussion about geopolitics, cybersecurity, digital biases, and the place of the algorithm in society.

On an interpersonal level, though, TikTok has far-reaching implications the extent of which we won’t fully understand for decades. Gen-Z is the first generation whose entire lives have been documented online, and Deja Foxx laments, “I don’t know a world where I’m not being received always.” She finds herself caught in a tug of war between desiring an empowering connection and decrying the toxic potential of any sufficiently large community.

There’s persuasive evidence that social media re-shapes its users’ brains, especially in an app as lightning-fast as TikTok, where a person’s mental development and understanding of the world can be moulded by algorithmic processes. Yet when so many become financially dependent on the exposure the app brings them, deleting it to stave off depression and burnout isn’t much of an option. Fox, who uses TikTok to pay bills for herself and her recovering addict mother, horrifyingly likens it to an abusive relationship.

The crux of Kantayya’s investigation centers around the app’s mysterious recommendation algorithm, which uses highly complex machine learning to decide which content to deliver you and also which sort of user you are. Numerous subjects report feeling like the algorithm is reading their thoughts, so brilliantly intuitive it is, which begs the question – what else is TikTok doing with all this information?

The business of data brokering isn’t exactly a secret to anyone paying attention to Silicon Valley over the last decade, but naturally there’s heightened concern when that data is being acquired and potentially sent outside of the U.S., where the implications of its use may be further-reaching. The prospect of a Chinese conglomerate like TikTok owner ByteDance amassing strategic profiles of hundreds of millions of people is valid cause for concern, especially with the patent lack of transparency over how that data is used across geographic lines.

Then there’s the matter of freedom of speech – or lack thereof, rather – where social media platforms as private enterprises are free to silence opinions counter to their interests. Feroza Aziz’s videos about China’s treatment of the Uyghurs eventually caused her content to be devalued by the algorithm, and so she made the creative decision to Trojan horse them inside eyelash curling tutorials instead.

Aziz’s account was ultimately suspended regardless, making global headlines all while she expressed frustration that the news media was concerned less with China’s interment camps than her maltreatment by TikTok. But as one subject demonstrates, the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, is orders of magnitude stricter, whereby piercing, tattoos, and even a bright hair colour can result in a livestream termination within seconds.

Social media isn’t a facsimile of society, but when TikTok’s leaked moderation guidelines detail extensive “algorithmic punishment” to LGBTQ+, disabled, and even “ugly” people, and there are also suggestions they de-platformed Black creators during crucial landmark moments in the BLM movement, then the implication that it’s a freedom-promoting platform quickly falls apart.

This troubling “curation” of people – that is, selective exclusion without merit – has the potential to re-order people’s worldviews and silo them within digital echo chambers without them even knowing, which on both sides of the political spectrum is surely not a good thing.

Such is the reality of modern life, where algorithms define so many basic aspects of our existence, and may well be determining our futures in ways we have no control over. And it will only get worse, especially with the slow-moving wheels of the legal system struggling to provide adequate regulation. After all, how can tech companies ever be trusted to truly show us how the sausage is made? How do we establish objective oversight, particularly with companies operating in untouchable territory?

This documentary is at once a fascinating and frightening travelogue of our new culture where online influence is currency, and people are becoming disconcertingly accepting of their personal data being not just sold but trafficked. And yet, perhaps the scariest thing of all is that, by film’s end I was left somewhat curious to give TikTok a try.

TikTok, Boom. insightfully explores the social media platform as both an innovative app for creative expression and one worth considering with a hardy sense of skepticism.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

Shaun Munro – Follow me on Twitter for more film rambling.


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10 Horror Movies That Are Popular Among TikTok Users, Ranked

Some great ones here.

Lucas Paul in Skinamarink

When it comes to horror movies , a lot of the time, I’ll watch a new one based on word of mouth. I gave the Ari Aster horror movies a shot at first because I heard how scary they were. I watched all the Halloween films based on my mom’s recommendation. I even checked out some goofy horror comedies because my friends told me to try them. Many horror movies I’ve come to love were brought to my attention with recommendations. 

In 2020 I discovered a new way of getting these suggestions: TikTok. Of course I found myself on the horror side at one point, and I have now been led to some fun movies – and others that aren't so much fun. Here are ten horror movies I have to talk about – ranked from worst to best.

Dali Rose Tetrault in Skinamarink

10. Skinamarink (2022)

No. Just no. 

Skinamarink is what is classified as a Canadian experimental horror film that primarily follows two children who are left at home alone, and that’s really all you know. At first, you may think this is a good premise to follow, but the movie is so boring. 

I get who this movie is trying to go for – most of the shots are weird sounds and long shots of dark spaces. It’s supposed to appeal to those scared of the unknown and what could emerge from the dark. But Skinamarink is the slowest, non-horror filled horror movie. Even when there were jumpscares, they did not feel earned. You could tell from a mile away that they were coming. 

I get why some people might think this is a revolutionary film , but it’s not for me. 

Megan in Megan is Missing.

9. Megan Is Missing (2011)

Megan is Missing came out when found footage horror movies were starting to get popular again (during the Paranormal Activity era), and the film itself got quite popular on TikTok in 2020. But I have to say, there’s nothing really surprising about it in any way. 


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The main premise is about a teenager who meets a boy online and decides to meet with him, and ends up going missing, hence the title. We are given several interesting scenes that are supposed to terrify, and to other viewers, sure, they could be scary. But for someone who is so used to found-footage horror movies, this movie did nothing for me. 

Megan Fox with lighter on tongue in Jennifer's Body

8. Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Okay, hear me out – I freaking love this movie. Jennifer’s Body was one of my favorite movies when I was just getting into horror, whether it be because it was a little campy, or Megan Fox ’s performance, or even Amanda Seyfried . But I don’t think it deserves to be considered horror. 

If you need a reason to check out Jennifer's Body, here are five for you.

The movie started to make the rounds again on TikTok in 2020/2021. The film follows the title character, Jennifer, who gets possessed by a man-eating demon after she is sacrificed by her favorite band in the woods. The film itself is so much fun and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it, but certainly not the best horror film that TikTok has put on my For You page. It’s more funny than scary. 

Kate Siegel as Maddie in Hush

7. Hush (2016)

Mike Flanagan has become a master of horror with some of his most recent films and TV shows, and this movie furthers that. Hush, starring Kate Siegel, tells the story of a deaf woman who has to survive a home invasion. 

This movie isn’t gory in any way, but what makes it better than the others is that it’s so creative. I mean, think about it – we always think that we’d survive any horror movie like the Scream franchise because we have all five of our senses, but just imagine if you had to survive a home invasion while deaf. 

That’s terrifying – but Flanagan takes it a step further and really integrates the viewer into the experience because you feel as if you’re the one being chased. The sound design is great. 

Justin Long in Tusk

6. Tusk (2014)

This is a weird-ass movie. But I like it.

Tusk is a horror comedy directed by Kevin Smith and starring Justin Long about a podcaster who ends up getting more than he bargained for while conducting an interview with a retired sailor who is creepier than he seems. This A24 horror movie is strange as heck, but it works in a weird way. 

I have to say that I do like it much more than many of the other horror movies before this. It doesn’t try too hard to be scary, and really embraces its hilarious aspects. It almost reminds me of M3GAN – it knows exactly what it is and isn’t trying to fool you. It’s just so weird. 

One of the subjects of The Poughkeepsie Tapes.

5. The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

Another documentary-style horror movie, The Poughkeepsie Tapes also got popular around 2020/2021, and is about the fictional murders of a serial killer in Poughkeepsie, New York, which features “interviews, footage,” and material that is obtained from the serial killer – basically, his snuff films. 

While I would also categorize this movie as a found-footage horror movie, The Poughkeepsie Tapes actually feels quite scary. There are several gory moments that made me turn away from my screen, and others that had me quite interested. It’s not the best found-footage movie, but interesting enough.

AnnaLynne McCord in Excision.

4. Excision (2012)

Moving onto another horror film, Excision came out in 2012 and boy, this movie is something different. It’s about a young girl who has dreams of working in the medical field, but she isn’t quite right mentally and has a weird fascination with blood – so much so that she’ll do anything to get it. 

This is one of those movies that I literally could not look away from, and I was upset when it ended. The performances were great, and it really makes you squirm in your seat. Plus, you can see a young Ariel Winter literally acting her butt off in a horror movie. I can’t recommend this one enough. 

One of the subjects of Begotten.

3. Begotten (1989)

That’s right, we’re going all the way back to the 1980s. Shot entirely in black and white, Begotten takes its story from several creation myths, focusing mainly on Mother Earth and the Son of Earth, who set out on a journey. 

This movie messes with your head, man. Where Skinamarink was an experimental horror film, Begotten is just on another level of experimental. You have no idea what the heck is going on and yet, you’re scared out of your mind. It’s creepy in all the right places and features some pretty gory sequences. Definitely a good pick. 

The devil in Antrum.

2. Antrum (2018)

This movie literally comes with a warning before it, saying you could be cursed watching it. Come on. 2020 was a year for horror movies – and it was easy to stream.

This both a mockumentary and a horror film, focusing on the story of the actual film, Antrum, and the horrible things it has done to people, and then cuts to the film so it can be shown to the audience. The plot follows a pair of siblings and their journey in the woods. It's full of eerie imagery and has plenty of horrible trials for the siblings, such as running into cannibals and demons. 

One of the stars of A Serbian Film.

1. A Serbian Film (2010)

Yeah…this film. 

I discovered A Serbian Film (classified as an exploitation horror) in early 2022. The main premise follows a financially struggling pornstar who decides to work in an art film, only to find out later on that it’s a snuff film – and he’s going to be the star.

This movie…is disturbing. It’s been banned in several countries, and features heavy, heavy graphic violence. This was one of the first films in a while where, when it finished, I had to sit back and ask myself, “what the f*** did I just watch?” I felt dirty after watching it, disgusted almost. This is one of those movies where you certainly will never take your eyes away from the screen – but once it’s done, you never touch it again, which is why it’s number one on here. 

TikTok is great for many things, but horror movie recommendations? Kind of a 50/50 split on that. Either way, you might have found a new favorite film here. Or, maybe I gave you a million reasons not to watch certain movies. Whatever the case, have fun binging. 

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter. 

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‘TikTok, Boom.’ Review: Technology and Influencer Documentary Tries Too Hard to Be Everything at Once

Siddhant adlakha.

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The opening frames of “TikTok, Boom.” feature an extreme closeup of a ring-light reflected in a content creator’s eye. It is, at once, a reminder of a familiar cinematic image — the opening of the 1982 film “Blade Runner,” which explores the intersection of humanity and technology — and a promise of an up-close, intimate look at the omnipresent details of digital media, which you may or may not have noticed. However, Shalini Kantayya’s 90-minute documentary fails to live up to the tongue-in-cheek grandeur of this punchy introduction. It frequently finds itself torn between personal stories and a chilling bigger picture, in a way that struggles to blend and reconcile them.

The film chronicles both the rise of Chinese social media giant TikTok as well as the viral success found by some its young creators — among them, beatboxer Spencer X and activists Deja Foxx and Feroza Aziz — as it weaves in and out of stories about privacy in the tech sector and the app’s eventual overlap with global politics. TikTok was a lightning rod for U.S.-China relations under the Trump White House, and the film’s latter half deftly captures at least some of that scope. However, en route to this vital development, it feels far too fragmented. It touches only on the basic premise of each idea, for a brief moment at a time, before charging swiftly to its next check-point.

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The result is less a coherent tapestry of an evolving digital world, and more akin to TikTok’s own algorithmic “For You” page — though not in any way that feels intentional or mirrors the experience of using the app — cycling through truncated snippets, each carefully curated towards anyone with a vague interest in the subject, though it rarely explores any one concept long enough for it to matter.

An enormous part of the problem is that “TikTok, Boom.” feels entirely undiscerning in its selection of personal tales. Each creator on which it focuses has an interesting story to tell, some of which even intersect with the broader narrative about censorship in the digital age, but it features so many personal threads, in so little time, that each one ends up slotted across the film in mechanical fashion. The creators are introduced, before the film switches to journalistic talking heads who contextualize the tech landscape; some of the creators are then afforded a middle section, where their personal issues come to the fore before the journalists return; finally, the creators appear once final time to wind up stories that the film never fully began telling in the first place.

This rote and over-stuffed approach is made all the more frustrating by the fact that Kantayya has, in fact, succeeded at balancing the micro and macro of the digital world before. Her chilling 2020 Sundance doc “Coded Bias” mostly used a single, central subject — computer scientist Joy Buolamwini — as its guide through the unsettling rabbit-hole of racism in A.I., beginning with her own experiences as a Black woman in tech.

“TikTok, Boom.” does, at least, offer similar hints of a cultural thread running throughout its story; Spencer and Aziz, the children of Asian immigrants (like Kantayya herself) find belonging and community on TikTok, while Chinese-American creator Jason Zhang, who moves from Brooklyn to Beijing, feels culturally unmoored, and is tasked with being Kantayya’s eyes and ears in China (he uses the Chinese version of the app, Douyin). There’s a rigor, one assumes, to the questions Kantayya asks them, because their answers paint a vivid picture, as they recall the more harrowing parts of their experiences in a world where they’re hyper-visible, and hyper-scrutinized, as Asian Americans with something unconventional and challenging to say.

However, despite the many times TikTok is spoken of in a geopolitical context, the analysis is frustratingly U.S.-centric for an app that was popular elsewhere for years before it hit the American market. The film, for instance, goes long about the potential of the app being banned in America as an extension of anti-Chinese sentiment, though instances of this actually happening elsewhere, such as in India ( which had 200 million users ), are largely ignored. Furthermore, its U.S.-centricity is so spread out over so many narrative elements — from online harassment and the app’s impact on teenage development, to the shift in global power structures, to data collection and related legalese — that the aforementioned subjects, Spencer, Aziz, and Zhang, are eventually afforded little by way of insight as Asian Americans, despite attempts to frame this part of their experience as key to the global TikTok narrative. What these artists say directly into the camera is somewhat interesting, but they’ve also said it in more flowery, energetic, and visually engaging ways in their own TikTok videos.

One fascinating thing about the film’s approach is that it introduces many of its political stories using fear-mongering ideas about China, with which people might already be familiar. But as the film goes on, it begins to parse these claims in an attempt to separate truth from fiction. It’s a continuing bait-and-switch that will likely keep some viewers on their toes, though one wonders if this recontextualization will convince anyone susceptible to it in the first place. After all, this information is mostly presented as words spoken at the lens, rather than images that stir, or last, or permeate (one exception is a dimly lit dramatization of a confession by a Chinese TikTok employee, a woman presented in shadow, but this scene happens to fall in the “confirmation” category, rather than a refutation of existing biases).

The film, in trying to be about TikTok from every conceivable angle, ends up featuring little of substance, and its straightforward presentation rarely justifies its approach. While Katya Mihailova’s eerie music creates a sense of intrigue — an element of “Coded Bias” that carries over admirably — the filmmaking is otherwise bog-standard, with talking-heads providing contextual expertise interspersed with largely interchangeable footage.

“TikTok, Boom.” may not be an aesthetic analysis of the app, but each time it features clips of viral TikToks, it becomes a reminder of how much more inventive and energetic its own visual fabric could be. Instead, it discusses the dangers of a novel technology using techniques from the 1980s, imbuing iPhone cameras with the text-on-screen gaze of “The Terminator” or “RoboCop.” Perhaps this might ease older viewers into understanding new ideas, but the film’s extemporizing about Gen Z as digital natives is rarely complimented by an aesthetic understanding of this experience. “TikTok, Boom.” may be chock-full of disquieting information, but it’s rarely more than a list of bullet-points.

“TikTok, Boom.” premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It is currently seeking  distribution.

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‘tiktok, boom.’: film review | sundance 2022.

Shalini Kantayya's documentary examines one of the most influential social media platforms today, tackling issues of cultural influence, algorithmic bias, cybersecurity, geopolitics and more.

By Angie Han

Television Critic

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'TikTok, Boom.'

As noted in a voiceover near the start of TikTok , Boom. , there are so many through lines to be explored here: “It’s a cybersecurity story. It’s an algorithm story. It’s a bias story. It’s a geopolitical story.” Shalini Kantayya’s documentary tries, to varying degrees, to explore seemingly all of them. And if it’s perhaps too broad to serve as the definitive last word on the buzzy social media platform, it does at least make for a thoughtful conversation starter.

TikTok, Boom. is loosely structured around three prominent TikTok personalities: Feroza Aziz, an Afghan-American teen censored by the platform for speaking out on the Uyghur genocide; Spencer X, a beatboxer who found creative and commercial success on the app; and Deja Foxx, an activist and political strategist who founded the online community GenZ Girl Gang.

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Venue: Sundance Film Festival (U.S. Documentary Competition) Director: Shalini Kantayya

Woven around their stories are shorter appearances from other content creators (including one on Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart) — plus interviews with experts like New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz and tech ethicist David Ryan Polgar, who provide larger context about TikTok’s history, its data-collecting algorithm, its effect on young people, its role in the cultural tug-of-war between the U.S. and China, and more.

The film’s wide view makes for a more complete portrait of TikTok than a more narrowly focused one might have offered, and possibly a more nuanced one. While TikTok, Boom. does not shy away from criticism of the platform, Kantayya seems no more interested in unilaterally condemning it than praising it. Instead, she takes the time to engage with a diverse array of voices and viewpoints, and consider the platform from all angles. Her open-mindedness gives TikTok, Boom. a sense of trustworthiness — it’s more interesting to process a sincere exploration than a pointed screed.

So for one content creator, TikTok might represent a “gold rush” of sponsorship opportunities, while for another, it might feel like a burden she can’t escape because it’s how she supports herself and her family. It’s what one creator calls a “blow-up-overnight kind of place” that can mint new stars overnight, and at the same time a restrictive space with internal policies that can silence the already marginalized. The For You Page is a groundbreaking feature that makes TikTok terrifyingly good at tailoring itself to a user’s specific tastes; what shady things it does with the information it gathers isn’t necessarily all that different from what every other social media site does with it, as documented in other projects like The Social Dilemma or Kantayya’s own Coded Bias .

Kantayya’s careful construction keeps the deluge of information from overwhelming the viewer. Often, it mimics the organic flow of a conversation. When one influencer vents, “‘The algorithm’ — what does that even mean?” the film cuts to a tech developer describing it as a sort of digital Sorting Hat, emphasizing the point with a clip from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone . That the film never seems to stay on one topic too long seems wryly appropriate for its subject; after all, no TikTok video lasts more than a few minutes either.

But TikTok, Boom. ‘s ambition of covering seemingly everything to do with TikTok in 90 minutes means that it rarely has time to dig beyond basic concepts. Much is made of TikTok being the first Chinese social media app to blow up in a tech landscape previously dominated by American companies, for example — but less clear is what this means for individuals who have no particular stake in the pissing contest between Mark Zuckerberg and Zhang Yiming, the Chinese founder of TikTok parent company ByteDance.

Its Gen Z subjects give chewy, sometimes slightly depressing soundbites about their ambivalence around social media. “I kind of have to live with fact that there’s gonna be people that are profiting off my data and I have no real recourse for that,” says one teenage user — the son of Scott R. Drury, a data privacy lawyer who speaks at length in the documentary about, among other things, TikTok’s failures to protect minors from child predators. Another young influencer muses that “I don’t know what it’s like to live in a world where I’m not being perceived, always.” But a deeper exploration about how those realities change their self-perception, or how it might shape their futures, remains outside of the film’s scope.

TikTok, Boom. feels not like a dispatch from the heart of TikTok culture, or a deep dive into the issues surrounding it, but an introduction meant for people who might be familiar with the app just in passing. It seems less likely to come as a revelation to people who are Too Online as it is (myself included, admittedly). As I write this, we’re just a few days removed from West Elm Caleb, the latest TikTok tale to go viral enough to inspire think pieces on what the whole saga says about TikTok specifically, about social media more generally or about the world more broadly. These are ideas worth grappling with, and TikTok, Boom. is helpful as a way in. But those most engaged in them may find that the discussion has already moved past what’s offered here.

Full credits

Venue: Sundance Film Festival (U.S. Documentary Competition) Production companies: Campfire Studios Director: Shalini Kantayya Producers: Ross M. Dinerstein, Shalini Kantayya, Danni Mynard Executive producers: Ross Girard, Rebecca Evans, Travis Collins, Randall Lane, Michael Cho, Mimi Rode, Tim Lee, William Rosenfeld, Robert Kapp Director of photography: Steve Acevedo Editor: Seth Anderson Composer: Katya Mihailova Sales: CAA

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TikTok, Boom.

What to know.

Although it isn't as effortlessly engaging as the best content on the platform it's investigating, TikTok, Boom. offers a thoughtful look at modern social media.

Critics Reviews

Cast & crew.

Shalini Kantayya

Feroza Aziz

Ross M. Dinerstein

Danni Mynard

Ross Girard

Executive Producer

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By Hannah Jocelyn

June 5, 2024

If you think of other artists while listening to Big Swimmer, that’s not lost on King Hannah . Singer Hannah Merrick namedrops Bill Callahan , titles a song after John Prine , and recruits Sharon Van Etten on two songs; the album, Merrick’s second, is clearly the product of those influences. It’s easy to hear echoes of Callahan’s dry humor and Van Etten’s plaintive vocals; Cassandra Jenkins ’ meditative jams and Courtney Barnett ’s stoned observations come to mind as well. It’s all in service of Merrick’s meandering writing style, which finds meaning in small vignettes borne from traveling America. At its best, Swimmer feels like sitting shotgun with the duo of Merrick and guitarist Craig Whittle, like a tour vlog set to music. Because it’s so laid-back, Swimmer doesn’t necessarily try to transcend its inspirations, but it’s charming in its own right.

Merrick spends much of the album going on tangents in a low deadpan voice, as though recording exhausted voice memos documenting a given day’s journey. A lot of those tangents are genuinely funny, like the job interview that opens “New York, Let’s Do Nothing:” “He said, ‘So tell me something about you’/I said, ‘Well I’m a singer, musician too’/He said, ‘Oh no, not another one.’” Elsewhere, the commentary gets lost amid wandering musings on vending machines, as on the eight-minute “Somewhere Near El Paso.” In the album’s most compelling moments, the observations lead somewhere: Merrick increasingly ruminates while watching true-crime documentaries on “Suddenly, Your Hand,” despairing at the callousness of serial killers without being able to pull away. Merrick apologizes for her obsession right at the end (“And I’ve said it before and I will say it again/I’m really sorry for all the moods that I get in”), but Whittle’s closing guitar solo carries on long after, prolonging the fixation.

Whenever the album breaks out of its stream-of-consciousness flow, it shows a clearer sense of identity. Merrick’s secret weapon is her soaring singing voice, effectively contrasting the Sprechgesang of much of the record. On the title track, Merrick plays with her vocal phrasing, speeding up and slowing down like a human tape machine, which makes it more striking when she draws out the line, “If it feels right to do so ,” on the refrain. On “Lily Pad” and “Davy Says,” Whittle turns his guitars up: The former is an intentional Slint homage (complete with a reference to the Spiderland album cover) and the latter a straight-up catchy pop song. The tighter song structures are a welcome salve against the duo’s tendency to meander. “Lily Pad” changes course halfway through, and that shift hits harder for its abruptness.

The levity of Merrick’s lyrics occasionally goes overboard. In between the terrifically tense guitar breaks on "Milk Boy (I Love You),” she watches as a parent threatens his child, and the descriptions are haunting until a baffling lyric about Dallas Buyers Club nearly sinks the whole song: “They reminded me of McConaughey/In that film about AIDS that didn’t win enough.” (For the record, it won three Oscars from six nominations, one of which went to Jared Leto.) The sweetest song on the record, and one of the best, is the much lower-stakes closer: “John Prine on the Radio” is literally about chilling out to your favorite music, but it has the most focused songwriting on the whole record. When Merrick harmonizes with herself, it’s plainly beautiful, with no snark deflating the earnestness. On an album insistent on speak-singing across America, documenting every place visited and song listened to, the moments of sincerity are the most distinctive.

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King Hannah: Big Swimmer

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10 Best Hair Removal Creams to Get Smooth Skin, According to Beauty Experts

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

By Neha Tandon

Best hair removal creams collage featuring products from staff

You might not have thought it possible, but yes—you can absolutely remove unwanted hair from your body without any shaving razors or painful waxing appointments. The best hair removal creams can remove hair anywhere, from your face to your bikini area , legs, and everywhere in between. But what makes a hair removal cream (also known as depilatory creams) better than other hair removal methods you might ask? Hadley King, MD , a board-certified dermatologist recommends them to her patients because they can be painless, quick, and relatively inexpensive. If you’re prone to getting nicks and razor bumps (hear, hear!), you’ll be happy to hear that these creams can even decrease the risk of ingrown hairs.

We’ve rounded up the best hair removal creams to try, many of which come with the approval of beauty experts as well as Glamour testers. Below are our best tips on how to use them for unwanted hair—even if you have the most sensitive skin.

The best hair removal creams, at a glance

  • Best Hair Removal Cream Overall : Flamingo Body Hair Removal Cream , $19
  • Best Hair Removal Cream for Bikini Line : Nair Bikini Cream , $4
  • Best Hair Removal Cream for Sensitive Skin : Schick Hydro Silk Hair Removal Cream , $12
  • Best Hair Removal Cream for Face : Flamingo Face Hair Removal Cream , $21
  • Best Hair Removal Cream for Coarse Hair : Meltoway Hair Dissolving Cream , $15
  • Best Hair Removal Cream for Dry Skin : Glee Hair Removal Cream , $16

Best Hair Removal Cream Overall: Flamingo Body Hair Removal Cream

Flamingo Body Hair Removal Cream

Flamingo Body Hair Removal Cream

Original photo courtesy of Glamour contributor Neha Tandon

This hair removal cream is considered one of the best by experts as well as Glamour contributor Neha Tandon . Casa Cipriani’s lead esthetician, Samantha Susca , likes that it is formulated with anti-inflammatory bisabolol, urea, and shea butter to offset the thioglycolic acid—the chemical that removes hair. While the chemicals that help to remove hair tend to have an unpleasant, sulfuric odor to them, this one has a light floral scent. Despite the gentle scent, Tandon says the cream was effective at removing the coarse hair on her bikini line. “I have really sensitive skin, and this didn’t leave me with the redness or irritation that shaving does,” she says. “It’s the only way I’m going to remove hair from that area from now on.”

  • Key Ingredients : Shea butter
  • Size : 6.8 oz.
  • What we love : Pleasant floral scent, comes with spatula, safe for sensitive skin
  • What could improve : Not the most effective on coarse hair

Best Hair Removal Cream for Sensitive Skin: Schick Hydro Silk Hair Removal Cream

Schick Hydro Silk Hair Removal Cream

Schick Hydro Silk Hair Removal Cream

Susca recommends hair removal creams to her clients with sensitive skin because they eliminate the obvious possibility of razor burn from shaving blades and trimmers—she adds that they also eliminate the possibility of your roommate (or partner!) sharing your razor, which can increase the chance of irritation. While Schick is known for its razors, they make this ultra gentle cream option for people with sensitive skin. Featuring vitamin E to hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier, Glamour tester Gianna Ferraro was surprised by how gentle this was on her skin. “There was no stinging or burning at all,” she says. “I have sensitive skin and didn’t get any irritation. I was surprised.” The formula is even safe for use on the pubic area, though King recommends you do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying it all over.

  • Key Ingredients : Vitamin E
  • Size : 8.4 oz.
  • Pros : Works on the full body, safe for sensitive skin, exfoliates the skin to help prevent ingrown hair, comes with spatula
  • Cons : Odor may be off-putting for some

Best Hair Removal Cream for Face: Flamingo Face Hair Removal Cream

Flamingo Face Hair Removal Cream

Flamingo Face Hair Removal Cream

As with other facial products and procedures like dermaplaning , Dr. King says that facial hair removal creams should be highly vetted. Since the skin on the face tends to be thinner than the skin on your body, you’ll want to be extra careful when removing hair there. In fact, Dr. King recommends that you first test a face hair removal cream on a more discreet area of your skin to make sure it doesn’t cause any irritation before you choose to use it on your upper lip or sideburns. Susca recommends this as one of the more gentle options available, and Tandon is just as much a big fan of this cream as she is of the brand’s body cream. “Like a lot of my fellow Indian girls, I’m removing hair from my face pretty frequently—sometimes three times a week,” says Tandon. “When I used this, I actually felt like the hair stayed away for longer than when I use a facial razor , and it definitely irritated my skin a lot less than when I get my hair removed with threading and leave with redness.” She says it feels soothing on the face too.

  • Size : 1.3 oz.
  • Pros : Comes with calming serum, safe for sensitive skin, formula is dermatologist-tested, pleasant floral scent, comes with spatula
  • Cons : Not the most effective on coarse hair

Best Hair Removal Cream for Bikini Line : Nair Bikini Cream

Nair Hair Remover Sensitive Formula Bikini Cream Hair Removal

Nair Hair Remover Sensitive Formula Bikini Cream Hair Removal

Trust that this isn’t the same Nair hair removal cream you may have experimented with in your teen years . The formula has gone through many iterations and this one in particular has been specifically crafted for the bikini line. One of our testers, Nikita Agarwal, says that she came to this product after moving to a warmer country where she frequently finds herself in bathing suits . Frequent shaving and waxing was leaving her bikini line red and irritated, but this is easier to use, pain-free, and doesn’t leave behind any pesky bumps. “It gives my skin a smooth feel, and it doesn’t have a bad smell, either, like some of the other at-home hair removal lotions I’ve tried in the past.” It contains green tea to help reduce redness and irritation while sunflower seed oil hydrates the skin while helping it to retain moisture. It comes in a small, travel-friendly tube, so you’ll have an easy time bringing it on your next beach vacation with you, too.

  • Key Ingredients : Green tea, sunflower seed oil
  • Size : 1.7 oz.
  • Pros : Pleasant floral scent, affordable, safe for sensitive skin, includes anti-inflammatory green tea

Best Hair Removal Cream for Coarse Hair: Meltoway Hair Dissolving Cream

Meltoway Hair Dissolving Cream

Meltoway Hair Dissolving Cream

Those with coarse hair tend to have a hard time finding a hair removal cream that actually dissolves their hair and eliminates the need for a shave afterward. That’s why we appreciate this Meltoway cream, which features a more potent formula. It makes a great pick for the bikini line, and the positive reviews are filled with men who like to use this on their entire body too. Despite the budget-friendly price, it also has a lot of superstar skin care ingredients: glycerin, kaolin, and chamomile flower extract to hydrate, exfoliate, and calm the skin at the same time. It comes in three fun scents, too, and we love that it’ll look cute in your shower.

  • Key Ingredients : Glycerin, kaolin, chamomile flower extract
  • Size : 6.7 oz.
  • Pros : Pleasant scent with fragrance options, contains skin exfoliating and calming ingredients, many happy reviewers identify as males with coarse hair, comes in three fun fragrance options
  • Cons : Not ideal for sensitive skin or the face

Best Hair Removal Gel: Veet Botanic Inspirations

Veet Botanic Inspirations

Veet Botanic Inspirations

An oldie but a goodie, both Susca and King are fans of this Veet formulation. King loves that it contains aloe vera and vitamin E to soothe and moisturize skin, while Susca appreciates the anti-inflammatory formula. It has thousands of glowing reviews, with people appreciating how the unique gel-cream formula feels on the skin, including people with sensitive skin. Yes, this does have a slight chemical odor that is off-putting for some, but others don’t seem to notice it at all. Given the low price tag, the expert-loved cream is definitely worth a try.

  • Key Ingredients : Vitamin E, aloe vera
  • Pros : Gel-cream formula feels soothing on the skin, recommended by a dermatologist, safe for use on sensitive skin
  • Cons : Light chemical scent may be off-putting for some

Easiest Hair Removal Cream To Use: Nature Nation Hair Removal Spray Foam

Nature Nation Hair Removal Spray Foam

Nature Nation Hair Removal Spray Foam

A lot of hair removal creams come with a spatula so you don’t have to worry about getting too much product on your hands, but if you want to eliminate that need entirely, you can come to this foam by Nature Nation. The low-mess formula only needs to be left on the skin for five minutes, so you can easily put this on before stepping into the shower. By the time you’re ready to shampoo , you’ll be ready to wash this off and be hair-free. Since you won’t need any extra tools like a spatula, you can easily throw it in your gym bag (no shaving cream required!) too. Just know that some people find the scent a bit off-putting, so you may want to crack a window or leave your shower door open while using this.

  • Key Ingredients : Aloe vera
  • Size : 7.2 oz.
  • Pros : Spray foam method makes this easy to use, works quickly, safe for use on sensitive skin
  • Cons : Has a fairly strong scent that some find off-putting

Best Hair Removal Cream For Dry Skin: Glee Hair Removal Cream

Glee Hair Removal Cream

Glee Hair Removal Cream

This Glee cream contains a myriad of hydrating ingredients, so it’s no surprise that Dr. King recommends it to her clients with dry skin . Made with sunflower seed oil, camellia leaf extract, and rosemary leaf extract, Dr. King likes that this soothes skin while moisturizing it. It even features a fruity melon scent that reviewers are fans of. Better yet? You’ll only need to leave this on for three to five minutes, so it works super quickly. Just know that this is more effective on longer hair.

  • Key Ingredients : Sunflower seed oil, camellia leaf extract, rosemary leaf extract
  • Pros : Recommended and tested by a dermatologist, has a pleasant melon scent, comes with spatula
  • Cons : Won’t work as well on shorter hair

Best In-Shower Hair Removal Cream: Nair Shower Cream

Nair Shower Cream

Nair Shower Cream

Dr. King is a big fan of Nair. She appreciates its use of oils to moisturize the skin, and this is especially beneficial when you’re using a product in the shower. Nair’s in-shower cream does contain argan oil, but it also includes urea—a humectant that helps lock moisture in the skin. Instead of rubbing this off your skin, you’ll simply stand under the shower and let the hair wash off you. Reviewers love the way it leaves their underarms looking extra smooth.

  • Key Ingredients : Urea, argan oil, orange extract
  • Size : 12 oz.
  • Pros : Easy to use in the shower, safe for use on sensitive skin, contains argan oil for dry skin
  • Cons : Some find the scent off-putting

Best-Smelling Hair Removal Cream: Woo Woo Tame It!

Woo Woo Tame It

Woo Woo Tame It!

Susca recommends Woo Woo’s cream to her clients who are about to go on a photoshoot, because they shouldn’t risk razor burn. This is a great option for sensitive skin as it’s fragrance-free and made with moisturizing jojoba oil and aloe vera, she says. In fact, she even recommends this for use on the face because of how gentle the formula is. What’s more is that people rarely complain about the scent of this product, which is practically unheard of with a hair removal cream. Glamour tester Archita Patel loves how this hydrating formula feels too. “It was actually an enjoyable experience to use it on my leg hair,” she says. “I was nervous because I’ve been literally burned by hair removal creams in the past, but this was actually super soothing and felt really nice. It’s a great hair removal option.” If that’s not enough, it even comes with a soothing balm and spatula.

  • Key Ingredients : Urea, aloe leaf extract, jojoba seed oil
  • Pros : Pleasant floral scent, comes with a soothing balm and spatula, available in multiple size options, contains hydrating and soothing ingredients

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

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The 10 best things to stream this weekend, from a riveting new Netflix drama to a MoviePass documentary

  • Check out the new Netflix show "Eric."
  • "Mayor of Kingstown" and "We Are Lady Parts" have both returned for new seasons.
  • You can also watch the documentary "MoviePass, MovieCrash," inspired by BI's reporting.

Insider Today

There's a great blend of scripted and unscripted content to watch this weekend.

Over on the scripted side, the drama "Eric," starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Gaby Hoffmann , is now streaming, as is the new season of Jeremy Renner's thriller "Mayor of Kingstown." If you're looking for something more comedic, "We Are Lady Parts" is also back for season two.

Craving a new documentary or docuseries to dive into? There's "MoviePass, MovieCrash" about the rise and dramatic fall of the movie-ticketing subscription startup. 

Here's a complete rundown of all the best movies, shows, and documentaries to stream this weekend, broken down by what kind of entertainment you're looking for.

'Eric' is Netflix's latest drama series

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Vincent Anderson, a troubled puppeteer with a splintering marriage. He's pushed past his breaking point when his 9-year-old son Edgar disappears.

Set in 1980s New York City, the six-episode miniseries follows Vincent, whose fragile mental health leads him to begin imagining a 7-foot-tall furry blue puppet named Eric. Vincent is convinced the puppet can bring Edgar home.

The surreal premise is grounded in harsh reality and features powerhouse performances.

Streaming on: Netflix

'MoviePass, MovieCrash' tells the wild true story of a beloved startup's downfall

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

The new HBO documentary tracks the origin, rise, and spectacular fall of MoviePass, an innovative movie-ticketing subscription service that was beloved by filmgoers before its implosion. Bonus: It's based on award-winning reporting by BI's very own Jason Guerrasio .

Streaming on: Max

For another fantastical true story, stream 'Ren Faire'

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

It's like "Game of Thrones" meets "Succession"… but at a Renaissance festival in Texas.

"Ren Faire," a three-episode docuseries, follows a struggle for power among the employees at the Texas Renaissance Festival after its longtime boss, 86-year-old George Coulam (aka "King George"), announces his intention to retire.

The first episode is out on Sunday.

Looking for a docuseries? Watch 'Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult'

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

Fans of cult docs like "Escaping Twin Flames" will want to check out this new three-part docuseries about popular TikTok dancers who join up with 7M Films, a management company owned by Robert Shinn, and its associated church.

Featured in the doc are former members along with the relatives of current and former members, most prominently the family of TikToker Miranda Wilking.

True crime fans can also watch a new docuseries about Nicole Brown Simpson

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

Lifetime's two-part event, "The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson ," is airing in honor of the 30th anniversary of her death.

The doc puts the spotlight on the victim of one of the most notorious crimes and the first major televised trial. It features home video footage and interviews from dozens of participants, including Brown Simpson's family and friends.

Streaming on: Hulu Live TV

Comedy fans should check out the new season of 'We Are Lady Parts'

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

The British sitcom, about an all-female Muslim punk rock band called Lady Parts, returns for its second season this week.

Streaming on: Peacock

If you want a thriller, check out the new season of 'Mayor of Kingstown'

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

From "Yellowstone" creator Taylor Sheridan , "Mayor of Kingstown" follows the McLusky family in Kingstown, Michigan, a prison town plagued by gang warfare. Jeremy Renner leads as crime boss Mike McLusky.

Streaming on: Paramount+

The 'Hacks' season finale airs this week

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

The ninth and final episode of the Max comedy's third season airs on Thursday. See how things shake out for Jean Smart's Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbender's Ava after a rollercoaster of a season for the once washed-up comedian.

So does the finale of 'Under the Bridge'

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

The crime drama, based on the real murder of Reena Virk that stars Lily Gladstone and Riley Keough, airs its final episode this week.

Streaming on: Hulu

Horror fans can now stream 'The First Omen' at home

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

It's that other nun horror movie that came out this year that's not Sydney Sweeney's "Immaculate."

Part of the long-running franchise that kicked off with "The Omen" in 1976, the latest prequel was surprisingly well received by audiences and critics, currently sitting at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes .

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider's parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

10 best movie reviewers on tiktok

  • Main content

More From Forbes

‘godzilla minus one’ makes a huge debut on netflix’s top 10 movie list.

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Godzilla Minus One

Netflix’s acquisitions of films it airs on the service can be a bit hit or miss, but they really got it right by landing Godzilla Minus One, the Japanese monster film that serves as a significant contrast to the American blockbusters featuring CGI slugfests between the King of Monsters, Kong and a bunch of other creatures.

I am happy to report that Godzilla Minus One has already ascended to #1 on Netflix’s Top 10 movie list as word of mouth has spread and the film has been recommended by loads of people who have seen it to others that haven’t.

Godzilla Minus One unseated Atlas, the expensive but terrible JLo sci-fi film that has been at the top of the list for a while now. Colors of Evil: Red, a Polish thriller, is at #2 and that movie has been doing quite well. It’s an interesting situation as Colors of Evil doesn’t even have enough ratings on Rotten Tomatoes to be given a score, and under 50 audience ratings. And yet it’s the second most-watched movie in the country right now. Bizarre.

I am wondering if Godzilla Minus One will be able to hold off another new addition to the list, The LEGO Movie, which Netflix also recently just picked up, and is no doubt going to be popular with families. There’s also a new Seth MacFarlane western, A Million Ways to Die in the West, which I have never heard of, probably because it’s from 2014. The rest of the list has entries like Detective Pikachu, Shrek, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and my favorite, Madame Web, which is hanging on at #9.

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I am impressed this many people have taken the advice to watch Godzilla Minus One, which is Japanese (you can dub it) and it is far from a traditional modern monster movie, going back to the days where Godzilla was a WWII metaphor. It’s an incredibly human story and portrays Godzilla as the murderous monster he once was, rather than the protective hero he has become in the modern films. You will remember what it’s like to fear a giant nuclear lizard again. And you will probably cry during the course of the film. I’m not kidding, things really do get that emotional.

Hopefully this continues to find more and more viewers, and if you’ve seen it yourself, keep recommending it to others.

Follow me on Twitter , Threads , YouTube , and Instagram .

Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy .

Paul Tassi

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