Picking the most suitable movie to watch can be difficult. There are many movies to watch, but selecting a film that will make for an entertaining and memorable viewing experience takes effort. Besides, watching a meaningless or boring movie can feel like a waste when you could have watched something that could have made you laugh or cry. Catching up on a worthwhile, inspiring movie can lift your mood.
Here are some tips on how to sift through the seemingly endless options and identify a movie that you and your companions will love watching together.
- Consider movie genres
Comedy, drama, action, horror – with so many genres, it helps to choose one or two that appeal to you and your fellow viewers. For example, if you are looking for a heartwarming drama, Eleanor’s Bench the movie could be an excellent pick. It is based on a popular series with compelling characters and emotional depth, making it an excellent choice for any group.
If you’re looking for laughs, go for a highly-rated comedy, whereas movie buffs might enjoy complex drama. Those seeking a thrilling experience should opt for an action-adventure film. Narrowing your search by preferred genres makes finding satisfying options easier.
- Consider your group dynamic
Think about who you’ll watch with. A raunchy comedy that’s just right for college buddies may not work well on family movie night. When picking a film to watch with friends, look for one that aligns with your group’s inside jokes and interests.
For family members, focus on cross-generational films. Pick something romantic or thought-provoking that sparks meaningful conversation if it’s date night.
- Check reviews
Reviews from critics and regular viewers can provide insight into a film’s quality and style. Sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic compile critic reviews and ratings, while IMDb lets everyday viewers weigh in. This can help you determine if a movie is worth your time. Look for films with positive feedback to maximize your chances of picking a winner.
- Look for award winners
Movies recognized with prestigious awards like the Oscars and Golden Globes are well-regarded films. While there are always exceptions, movies honored with major awards are generally entertaining, well-made, and worth your time. Check for award nominations and wins, especially for categories like best picture, best actor/actress, and best director, as a guide to identifying quality films across genres.
These films may not have been on your radar before. Just don’t rule out a movie completely if it didn’t get awards attention – some fantastic films fly under the radar each year.
- Check the ratings
The MPAA rating system guides a film’s content and age-appropriateness. Factoring in ratings helps avoid movies with excessive violence, language, etc., that may be unsuitable for certain audiences.
Ratings are especially useful when planning family movie nights or picking films for kids. Check ratings and reviews to ensure the content aligns with your comfort level.
- Consider the length
The runtime of a movie can determine its suitability. A 90+ minute epic may not be ideal when you want something light. Conversely, a 95-minute film may leave you wanting more.
Finding the runtime in advance allows you to pick a movie length that fits your schedule and attention span. Short films work well on weeknights, while longer ones are better suited to relaxed weekends.
- Research the plot and themes
It helps to have a basic sense of a movie’s plot rather than going for one blindly. Read a brief synopsis to get a feel for the storyline and themes. This will ensure the movie appeals to your interests and aligns with the mood you want from your viewing experience.
However, ensure not to read too many spoilers – just enough to determine if the film is engaging.
- Check streaming availability
Unless you want to pay for on-demand or rental fees, it helps to look for movies included in your current streaming subscription. Search directly within streaming platforms to find a solid selection of films ready to watch instantly. Cross-reference options with critic/viewer reviews to pick a quality movie you can stream immediately.
Also, don’t limit yourself to just one streaming service – explore a few to expand your options. If you have multiple subscriptions, use that access to widen your choices.
- Consider mood and energy level
Your current mood and energy may sway your desired movie experience. For a relaxing evening, go for something lighthearted. If you want an adrenaline rush, pick an intense thriller. Don’t choose a long, complex drama if you’re too tired to pay close attention. Pick something that suits your mood and won’t require brain power after a long day.
- Step outside your comfort zone
While sticking with familiar genres and tropes is tempting, expanding your horizons can make movie nights more interesting. Try new genres like thought-provoking documentaries or subtitled foreign films. Watching something totally different from your norm can expose you to interesting topics and perspectives. You will also learn some new filmmaking styles and may even discover your new favorite movie. Even watching a film from a different era can educate and surprise you.
It can take a bit of research and consideration to pick a truly satisfying movie to watch. The point is to curate a thoughtful movie-watching experience that is right for you and your group. With so many entertaining movies waiting to be discovered, picking out the right one can also be exciting as it pays off with laughs, thrills, and shared quality time. Following these tips will maximize your chances of selecting a winner.