Best Movies of the Year

Even my side projects have side projects!

I’ve been running Critics for the past couple of years. It’s purely a labour of love. I love movies, and watch many each week. I even signed up for MoviePass, to save me a little money at the theatre.

As I’ve been collecting movie reviews posted on YouTube (we’re up over 11K now), at the end of the year I noticed a lot of “Best Movies” of the year summaries were being posted.

I thought it would be cool to collect these all into one place for people see the what the YouTube critics thought were the best from the year.

My first thought was that this could just be a page on Critics, but the more I thought about it, thought it could actually be a site of it’s own. Although the idea right now is to collect the best movies of the year, what about the best scifi movies of all time, or the best action movies, or best halloween movies … the possibilities are endless.


Of course this is a side project (of a side project), so I wanted to keep things simple and easy to get started.

I decided to embed the site into the Critics infrastructure, but present the site at it’s own URL.

Why do this? I can save a bunch of time, not having to setup and entirely new website with a CMS, and have to import all the youtube videos again. I already have a database, going back a few years for this stuff. So I just built a new section into the Critic CMS that allows me to create a entry for the Best Movies listing.

Since I just needed to create a new database table, and one new section in the CMS this saved me a bunch of time.


For the front end, since I wanted to eventually run it as a separate project, I decided to spin up a new Laravel project, instead of trying to bury it into the Critics codebase. In retrospect this was probably the best call, as it meant the code was a lot cleaner, and setup for the long term.

I built the front end using the latest beta of Bootstrap 4, and bit of custom tweaking. I decided try my hand a designing a image for he homepage, and although it’s pretty basic, I think it turned out pretty nice.

I was a little surprised to find the BestMovies.io was available, since that is exactly what I’m trying to show here, seemed like the perfect name/URL for the website.

The website is setup to show the latest YouTube videos on the homepage, and provide a breakdown by year if the user wants to see that. I’m going to try and get the older post going back to 2015 and earlier, but we’ll see how easy that is from the YouTube API. For now just 2017 and 2016 are covered. I’ve found 120 recaps so far but there are still more coming in for 2017.

Right now I’m just collecting the YouTube videos, but later on I want to get the actual movies mentioned and build a list of the movies themselves, but we’re setup to do this easier when we get there.

That’s it, in a few hours I was able to make a side project for my side project, by leveraging the existing setup and reusing where it made sense, without hurting future development.

Hope you enjoy!