Over Christmas I often found myself in front of the television and, surrounded by selection boxes, tins of chocolates and a wealth of seasonal mince pies, I ended up watching a lot of movies. From the usual blockbuster movies that are shown at Christmas, to the many films I had pre-recorded and had never found time to watch, I had quite a lot of choice.
From my comfortable (call it “Christmas-Lazy”) position I realised there are plenty of cool and useful Android apps out there aimed at movie fans. So, here I present ten brilliant apps that are perfect if you like a good flick and a bucket of popcorn. So, flip back your seat, get comfortable, put your phone on silent and read on…
IMDb is the perfect app for looking up movies. They have 1.5 million movies and TV shows listed and profiles of more than 3.5 million actors. So, if you want to see whether a film is worth watching, you can consult IMDb and see what it’s about, view a trailer, see how critics and other film-fans rate it and even view movie quotes and trivia.
IMDb has to be the first entry in this list. It’s comprehensive, it’s constantly updated, and it gives you access to every part of the full IMDb website. It contains such a wealth of information that it’s my go-to app to look up a movie. Because it also highlights the actors in the film, it lets you search their profile. So, if you ever have that though while watching a film “Where have I seen her before?!” you can look her up on IMDb and it can show you!
Crackle is a cool little app that allows users to watch full-length movies and TV shows on their phone. There’s quite a nice selection to choose from, although the movies are usually a few years old (typically what you would find playing on TV).
The app does have a few problems – sometimes the picture doesn’t show, you do have to put up with some ads and you obviously need a good network or Wireless connection to stream the films properly – but the app has huge potential and is definitely worth having a look at.
LOVEFiLM is the UK-based DVD-by-post service and this is their official app. Sadly you can’t manage your account through the app, but you can browse titles and add them to your viewing list, view trailers and read reviews.
Perfect for anyone that uses the service, it lets you connect with your viewing lists and helps you choose what to watch next. While Netflix has only just launched in the UK, LOVEFiLM has possibly been the only option available for renting and streaming new films. It’s a tidy and informative app that’s essential for LOVEFiLM customers and, because of all the extras, worth checking out even if you don’t have an account.
Poynt is a smart little app that does lots of cool things. It’s essentially a highly polished local search application; expect things like the ability to find restaurants, events, businesses etc. However, perhaps its best aspect is what it provides for the movie fan.
You can search for cinemas, view movie lists, access Rotten Tomatoes reviews, add showings to your calendar, share information with your friends, see trailers and even book movie tickets – right from your phone. It’s a cool and plush app that can easily support a brilliant night out at the movies. It’ll even direct you to somewhere to eat afterwards if the popcorn didn’t do the job!
A great app for buying movie tickets if you’re in the US is Fandango. The app is incredibly user-friendly and lets you find theatres, movie listings and read fan reviews.
The developer has won three Webby Awards for their mobile apps, so if you are based in the US, it’s definitely worth a look. There is also a version optimised suited for use with tablets, which you can find here.
Developed by Flixter, the Movies app is another great source for movie information, reviews, trailers and theatre showtimes. It goes a little deeper in terms of reviews and so on, as Flixter also own the Rotten Tomatoes website, so you can expect access to all the latest reviews and comments.
This app doesn’t have quite the range of titles as IMDb, but there is still a comprehensive level of content here. Add to this the ability to book tickets through movietickets.com, locate nearby restaurants and even manage your Netflix queue, and it’s a very savvy app that’s an essential for movie goers.
Netflix is the popular movie service that lets you stream films and TV shows through your device. Available in the USA for a while now, the service has also just launched in the UK. The app lets you create schedules, lists, and queues, and search through a growing list of popular titles.
I find that people either love or hate Netflix, with some claiming the service is fantastic and others complaining of freezing and streaming issues or of not being able to log into their account. Regardless of issues, I’d argue that the potential for the service is still yet to be fully realised.
Now for a nice movie tie-in. Captain America is the recently relased action blockbuster from Marvel (well… Disney, ultimately). This is the official game of the movie and features brilliant graphics, sound, plot and a host of awesome fighting moves.
“Movie tie-in” is rarely a good omen for video games, but Captain America is a relatively solid effort without quite blowing you away. The game is very polished, as you’d expect, and contains a swell of levels to battle through. If you enjoyed the movie, this is pretty good option to also have Cap’s adventures on your mobile device.
Night of the Living Dead is an extremely cool movie-tie in. Based on the 1968 original George Romero horror film, the tower defense game features atmospheric sound effects and eerie music lifted straight from the film.
The gameplay is utterly superb with loads of levels, weapons, bonuses and gorgeous graphics. Combined, every element makes for a truly engrossing experience. If there’s a better movie tie-in app available, I haven’t seen it!
One thing you often notice about hard-core film geeks is their innate ability to remember movie trivia. Whether it be the name of the bar in the original Star Wars (Cantina) or the name of the book Matrix’s Neo keeps his discs in (Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation), curious facts are often the bedrock of any movie buff’s expertise.
Where better to test that knowledge that in the various trivia puzzles offered by Sporcle? With hundreds of quizzes already set up and a ever growing volume of community generated content, it’s a great place to test your abilities.
So, there you have it: ten useful and enthralling apps that movie fans should love. From finding out about the latest releases, booking cinema tickets, and streaming your favourite films to your Android device to finding out what Rotten Tomatoes thinks you should watch next, there’s loads of great apps and games here to quench your movie-loving thirst.
Of course, these are just a few of the better film-related apps available. If I’ve missed any be sure to let me know!