Many debates have been held about movies over the course of history. What is the greatest film ever made? Are cinemas about to disappear? What is the worst film ever made? Who is the greatest actor ever? These are all important questions to ask, but they are eclipsed by a single question that haunts families and causes arguments all around the world. The question is as follows: what movie should we go and see tonight?
If you have a family of your own – or a particularly tight-knit friend group – then you’ll know the frequency at which this question gets asked. It’s not an easy one to answer, either. The truth is that there are lots of factors at play when it comes to which film you should dedicate your time to seeing, especially if you’re not a super-regular movie-goer. Here are just some of the ways you and yours can decide which movie to go see.
Consult your horoscope
Hey, why not? Whether you think horoscopes are eerily accurate or just a bit of fun, there’s no harm in looking. Your horoscope could contain a crucial piece of information that will massively inform your movie viewing decision. If your horoscope tells you to stay away from dangerous situations this week, then why go see a horror film? Choose something romantic instead. If your horoscope is telling you to take risks, then pick an arty independent movie. You may not believe in the strict science of astrology, but it’s an excellent way to help you decide how to spend your movie-going hours. Consult your friends and family’s horoscopes too if you’re wanting for inspiration.
Many people feel that reviews don’t accurately reflect what “the ordinary person” thinks of a movie. That’s true up to a certain extent. It’s certainly the case that audiences flock to movies upon which critics pour scorn, and there are definitely no objective criteria by which to judge a piece of art. That said, reviews can help you decide whether you want to see a film. If you’ve been on the fence about a blockbuster and the reviews stink, stay away. Conversely, if a positive set of reviews are released for a film you’d never normally have considered, why not take a risk? This works especially well if you find a critic with whom you frequently agree.
Gauge the mood
Even if you’re hankering after a piece of old-school terrifying horror, there’s no guarantee your peer group will be. Whether or not people are in the mood for a film can significantly impact whether they like it or not. The reverse is also true: movies can have a serious impact on your mood. As such, it’s important to gauge whether the people you’re with want to go and see the same kind of movie you do. If they don’t, talk to them and find out if a compromise can be reached. Can you go and see something that satisfies everyone’s tastes? If not, try to make a deal along the lines of “I’ll go and see this film with you if you come with me to this one”.
Check out local cinemas
Before you go and see a movie, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got the measure of cinemas around you. There are plenty of cinemas out there that should win points for good behaviour, but for every cinema with a shining reputation there’s one that you should probably avoid. Check out reviews not only of the film you’re going to see but of the cinema itself. If it’s a place with a reputation for antisocial behaviour and indifferent staff, then you should know that before you go. Alternately, there could be a rule there – serving food and drink, for example – that could make or break your cinema trip. Make sure you know the character of the cinema you’re going to before you go and your visit will be significantly better for it.
Use online resources
There are plenty of great ways to figure out which movie you should watch online. If you’re not heading to the cinema and are instead snuggling up at home with a rented movie, check out What Movie Should I Watch Tonight?. This website curates different lists of films based on individual taste, so it’s great if you know what ballpark you’re in but just can’t narrow it down. Alternately, you could use Movie of the Night, which will give you a single recommendation based on a number of parameters you input manually. These resources and many more are perfect methods for narrowing down your film viewing experience.
Consider your reasons
What are you watching a movie for? There are many people for whom this will simply be an automatic response: “I just like films”. The truth is, though, most people do have a reason for watching a movie, even if it’s not apparent to them. If you’re aiming to relax, you shouldn’t pick something too cerebral or anything that’s going to provoke debate. Conversely, if you feel stifled and restless, you’re not going to have a great time with something that won’t challenge you. You and your family should choose your movie based on what everyone in the group actually wants from a film. This isn’t quite the same as mood; someone might have a permanent aversion to rom-coms, for example, or they might baulk whenever horror films are mentioned.
Find the designated cinephile
Someone in your group – whether it’s your friends, your family, or your co-workers – absolutely loves movies. That person is the one to make the decision about which film to go and see. If they really love their art form, they’ll be able to recommend a movie expertly based on just a few encouraging words from the group. This could backfire, since many cinephiles love films that “ordinary people” won’t find satisfying. Still, if you’ve got a movie-lover in your midst, you’re bound to at least have an interesting experience that’s worth talking about afterwards. Just make sure you’ve sorted out where you’re going for the meal post-movie…