I'm trying to find some (mostly feature) films dealing with / focusing on a certain subject. And maybe I have additional criteria for them, e.g. constraints on the kind of director, or the continent on which they were filmed, etc.

Is it legitimate to ask "Are there any films which meet these criteria" on movies.SE?

2 Answers 2


This is movie recommendation, i.e. please recommend movies that match this criteria that I am looking for.

Unfortunately that is off-topic here.

However you are welcome to ask for recommendations in chat.

  • 2
    But I'm not asking for a recommendation, I don't care if it's good or bad. Are you sure?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 15:33
  • Let's see if an opposing opinion appears. It's not my personal decision - but I would guess a question like this will get downvoted and closed by the community.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 16:46
  • @einsupportsModeratorStrike A judgment if it's "good or bad" doesn't really have any bearing on it being a recommendation. In your case, "good or bad" would depend on if/how it features the criteria you're looking for.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 17:31
  • @NapoleonWilson: The question is whether a "mention" and a "recommendation" are the same thing, w.r.t. the reason for considering them off-topic for the site. Anyway, upvotes seem to indicate that is indeed the case.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 18:10
  • 1
    The problem is @einsupportsModeratorStrike is that the other type of question that this borders, the Identification question ... is also off-topic here. Yes, this is not a strict ID question either, but it is in the same zone as ID and Recommendation. I think people will downvote and close-vote a question like this.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 18:48
  • @iandotkelly: Oh, but it would not be an identification question, since I'm not aware of some particular film I'm interested in, I just want a few examples. Anyway, I've asked on the chat.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 18:50
  • 2
    @einsupportsModeratorStrike Mentioning it and recommending it to you on the grounds of it serving your criteria is basically the same, it seems a technicality what you call it. Specifically, the way you phrase your question, you're not even curious if some outlandish film concept was ever even done, your assumption is that it was and you're looking for a list of films that feature it. That is for all intents and purposes a "recommendation" question, even if none of the answers say "go watch it!".
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 22:32
  • 1
    @NapoleonWilson `@iandotkelly What about [first-appearance] and [most-appearances]? They're on-topic, usually well-received, and they also ask about the "film / TV show meeting criteria XYZ". Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 3:25

You should specify exactly what question you're looking to ask. It should be on-topic if it's not open-ended or asking for a large list. Preferably, only one or very few films or TV shows should be the correct answer.

(e.g., "What is the first film or TV show meeting criteria XYZ?") and (e.g., "What is the film or TV show that has the most of criteria XYZ?") questions are allowed because they're not open-ended; only one film or TV show is the correct answer. They don't ask for a large list of films or TV shows. If the question asks for a large list of films or TV shows, is open-ended, or if every answer is equally valid, it is likely to be closed as an off-topic recommendation question. This is in accordance with the Help Center on what types of questions one should avoid asking.

Some "Is there any film / TV show meeting criteria XYZ?" questions that are open and well-received:

  • Are other single-answer questions also on topic? e.g. "What is highest-grossing film meeting criteria XYZ"?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 13:36
  • 1
    @einsupportsModeratorStrike Seems on-topic to me (see the examples I've added to my answer). Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 13:50

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