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Ain't It Cool News screenshot.png
Ain't It Cool News Home Page
Type of site Film review
Available language(s) English
Owner Harry Knowles
Created by Harry Knowles
Launched 1996
Alexa rank #4966
Revenue unknown
Current status Active

Ain't It Cool News (AICN) is a website founded and run by Harry Knowles, dedicated to rumors and reviews of upcoming and currently playing films and television projects, with an emphasis on science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic-book and action genres. It combines gossip from anonymous and unverified sources as well as news and reviews.



Aint It Cool News was launched in 1996, and its name is attributed to a quote from John Travolta's character in the film Broken Arrow.[1] Knowles began surfing the Internet while recovering from a debilitating accident in 1994. He spent a lot of time in newsgroups exchanging gossip and rumors about upcoming films, eventually creating his own Web site as part of his Internet hobby. A principal offering was Knowles's colorful movie reviews, but the primary distinction from other sites was the (ostensible) insider news articles. Production Assistants, people in the industry, secretaries and other behind-the-scenes folk would submit news such as casting decisions, scripts and release dates, though Knowles himself has admitted that in the beginning, some of the articles from these alleged "spies" were his own work generated from scouring the newsgroups.

Over the next few years the site expanded by adding associate contributors, most of whom would go by pseudonyms. A television section (dubbed 'coaxial') was added. Practically from the start, it was supported by banner advertising. In 1998, the site was updated from the home-made style that Knowles had initially envisioned to an organized professional look.

The website garnered national attention in 1997 with the release of Batman & Robin. Knowles posted several negative reviews from preview screenings.[2] When the film performed poorly at the box office, studio executives complained that it had been sabotaged by the leaks to the Internet.[3] However, negative reviews from other, more traditional media confirmed what Knowles had posted. From there, the site's popularity rapidly expanded. National magazines such as People and Newsweek called for interviews with Knowles.[4] [5]

The site was parodied in the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back when the lead characters look at the "Movie Poop Shoot" site.[6] That site was created at as part of the film's publicity, and existed as a similar site for some time. However, after the release of Clerks II, the site was shut down. A site has since been put back up at that same URL, now run by Quick Stop Entertainment, a company probably best known for running the semi-official site for the TV series Scrubs and the official sites for the other films by Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back writer/director Kevin Smith.

Occasionally, filmmakers interact with fans on the site. Sylvester Stallone answered numerous questions from fans in the site's message boards while publicizing the release of Rocky Balboa.[7] Bruce Willis also posted on the website briefly to promote his film Live Free or Die Hard.[8]


  1. ^ Hart, Lianne (August 6, 1997). "This Guy is Driving Hollywood NUTS!". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  
  2. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (November 16, 1997). "The Two Hollywoods; Harry Knowles Is Always Listening". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  
  3. ^ Shit, David (February 12, 2001). "Cyberspace Taking the 'Sneak' Out of Sneak Previews". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  
  4. ^ Marin, Rick (July 27, 1998). "The Buzz Machine". Newsweek. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  
  5. ^ "Best of Bytes: Ain't It Cool News". People. December 29, 1997. pp. 49.  
  6. ^ Whipp, Glenn (August 24, 2001). "Director has right to remain 'silent', but doesn't". Los Angeles Daily News.,%27+BUT+DOESN%27T-a079093086. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  
  7. ^ "Round One With Sylvester Stallone Q&A!!". Ain't It Cool News. December 1, 2006. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  
  8. ^ "Lights, Camera, Action Hero". Belfast Telegraph. June 29, 2007. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  

Further reading

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