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Case Study

2 (or more) degrees of movie separation

Potential improvements aside, we’re huge admirers of the already intuitive – and sometimes seemingly omniscient – algorithms that power the recommendations on Netflix, Spotify, and other large content platforms. We wanted to get in on the fun, and created our own interactive network visualization revealing connections between popular movies as a way to illustrate some of the architecture underlying content recommendations.

Using only the 200 most reviewed films (from The Movie Database, TMDb) to ensure visual clarity, our network illustrates what movies were recommended based on your enjoyment of a given film. Close neighbors and direct connections reveal content similarity, while those further away illuminate crossover appeal between otherwise polar genres and movies.

You can hover over or click a given movie “bubble” to see its most common recommendations as adjacent neighbors. You can also select two movies using the drop-down menus to find the most direct pathway between them, providing a revealing look into how seemingly different movies (across genres, styles, etc.) are related.

Ever wonder how Bridget Jones’s Diary is connected to Avengers: Infinity War? Check it out for yourself below.

Click here to explore the network!