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MovieExplorer is a tool that allows you to explore and navigate the cinematic universe. Use it to find a movie you're in the mood for right now, to browse movies that match a particular interest, or to explore new genres and tastes!

MovieExplorer was originally developed for by Taavi Taijala as part of a research study on MovieLens. A paper examining user perceptions and usage of the tool was published at the Symposium on Applied Computing in 2018. The tool is archived here for public use. To learn more about MovieExplorer or download the paper, please visit the author's website.

A live version of the tool can be found here.


  • Python 3.7.2+ (not tested with earlier versions, but may still work)
  • virtualenv (highly recommended)


It is highly recommended that install this project and it's dependencies into a newly-created virtualenv to avoid incompatibilities and other issues. If you are using a virtualenv, make sure it's been activated before running any of the following commands.

To install dependencies, run pip3 install -r requirements.txt from the root project directory.

Running MovieExplorer

In one terminal window, run:

cd api

In another terminal window, run:


You should now be able to visit localhost:8000 in your browser and use MovieExplorer.

Please note that an internet connection is required to load movie thumbnails and trailers.

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