Movies, an iPhone and Android app from the people at Flixster, takes the hassle out of going to the pictures. All you have to do is decide whether you want salted or sweet popcorn
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Everybody loves going to the pictures, but sometimes the choice can be overwhelming. Movies, an app for iPhone and Android by Flixster, cuts through the hassle by offering every piece of information you could possibly want for a trip to the pictures.
What does it do?
The app connects to your GPS and lists the cinemas nearest to you, or you can search by cinema name. Star your favourites, and they will always appear at the top of the list.
Films are listed by new releases and box office charts, with every other film on release also listed. This includes revival houses like the fantastic Prince Charles Cinema off Leicester Square, London, as well as all the major chains. You also get upcoming films with release dates, and DVDs. Everything can be searched by title, actor and other keywords, and each film includes a link to its IMDb entry. Each film also includes a link to watch the trailer right on your phone.
Flixster began life as a movie-themed social network. Create a profile on Flixster.com and you can rate films, create lists, take quizzes and connect with other users. If you do sign up, check your email preferences: there's about a million different email notifications, all switched on by default. It's all pitched at the MySpace generation, but signing up to the site does give you one nifty feature: it allows you to create a list of films you want to see.
When you spot a film you're interested in, add it to the list of films you want to see. You can do this from the app or the site; the app will connect to Flixster.com with your Flixster login or via Facebook Connect. The film will then be added to your favourites in the app. Do this with films from the upcoming list, and you'll be able to quickly check showtimes when they're released.
Only US film certifications are displayed, not British. The selection of review sites is limited to Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes. Apart from that, Movies couldn't be more comprehensive unless it ordered the popcorn for you.
App attack verdict
If there's only one cinema near you, Movies is handy. If you have a greater choice, it's essential.
Download Movies (iTunes link)
Search Android Market for Flixster
Cost: Free (app contains ads)