Movies are terrible these days, right? Just superhero films and sequels? Yeah, no. It’s never been easier to find great movies to watch, both in the cinema or at home. Let’s dig in.
Finding Great, New Movies in the Cinema
A movie theater is the best place to watch movies: the big screen, fresh popcorn, and an attentive audience. This is a hill I’ll die on.
The problem is a lot of great movies are only showing for a week or two, and if you miss them, you miss them. Here’s how to keep on top of the latest releases.
Check Out Smaller, Arthouse Cinemas
If you go to a huge, multiplex, pretty much every screen will be playing the latest big-budget Hollywood film. I’ll concede that point. Those, however, aren’t the only places showing movies. Arthouse and small cinemas tend to play smaller films that are less widely released. One of this year’s sleeper hits, Free Solo, was actually released in September, last year. It just ran in smaller cinemas. It’s only when it won an Oscar that it broke into public consciousness.
Many other films that later go on to become cult classics or are successful on streaming platforms start this way too. The best thing to do, then, is to keep an eye on the listings in your closest small cinema. Sign up for the newsletter if they have one. If you see a director or actor you like, Google the film and see if it looks good. That’s how I find many of the films I watch.
Keep an Eye on Film Reviews
Film critics often get a bad rap because their views can run counter to what “fans” believe. Just look at all the drama around big releases like Captain Marvel, Suicide Squad, Aquaman, and The Last Jedi. And while it’s true that big flashy movies that do badly with the critics can be fun to watch, critics often have a point: Captain Marvel is one of Marvels better recent offerings, Suicide Squad and Aquaman are absolute messes, and The Last Jedi was a welcome change for Star Wars.
Even if you disagree with critics about the big movies, odds are you’re likely to agree with them a lot more when it comes to smaller flicks in which you don’t have any emotional investment. Nearly everyone adored Get Out and A Quiet Place.
Find a film publication or even just a critic whose tastes broadly line up with yours and keep an eye on what they’re rating highly. Especially with smaller movies, critics will view previews so the reviews will be out in time for you to see them and then catch the movie when it shows. You should also keep an eye on aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic to see what smaller movies are generating some buzz.