A Night at the Movies: Best Film Sites on the Internet

Dennis Faas's picture

Who doesn't love watching movies?

And of course, there's the thrill of the big theater experience: a giant screen, a large tub of popcorn, and the excited hustle and bustle of hundreds of other people. And then there's the relaxation and comfort of staying at home and cozily spreading out on your living room couch with a DVD, a bag of grapes, and a mug of beer. Whichever option you choose, there's something undeniably magical about sitting back with a good flick and getting swept up in another world.

Whether you're a diehard film buff or just a casual moviegoer, the following websites are sure to enhance your viewing pleasure.


  • IMDb: The Internet Movie Database has been mentioned before on Infopackets, but no list of movie sites can begin without this one. IMDb is the place to go for pretty much everything you could ever want to know about any film.
  • Rotten Tomatoes: This hilarious website compiles the funniest quotes from movie reviewers all over. Here's one gem from critic Susan Granger about Freddy Got Fingered: "This picture is so bad that you shouldn't even walk down the street where it's playing in case it starts to rain and you're tempted to go inside and seek shelter."
  • MRQE: The Movie Review Query Engine is similar to Rotten Tomatoes, but much more straightforward. Simply enter the name of a film and a list of links will appear on the screen containing various reviews and scores. Want to see if the movie showing at 6 is worth two hours of your time? MRQE makes it quick and easy to find out. I use it all the time.
  • Roger Ebert: Ebert was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. Now you can find out why. This website features a collection of Ebert's work, which dates all the way back to 1967 and contains some of the best writing on film you'll find anywhere. The site also hosts his series of essays on "Great Movies" (many from before he was born), his highly informative "Answer Man" column with questions and answers on anything and everything relating to film, and more. RogerEbert.com is an absolute treasure for film aficionados.
  • Film Critic: Sign up for their mailing list and get reviews e-mailed to you every week. They also run periodical contests, and I've actually won a few -- with the "highlight" being the Elizabeth Berkley straight-to-video "classic," The Shipment, about Mexican Viagra.
  • Fast Rewind: The '80s were great! Teen angst galore, slasher flicks, boiled bunnies, and crazed Wall Street tycoons proclaiming that "greed is good." Now you can relive that glorious decade with a site dedicated to its movies.


  • DVD Talk: This site has everything, but my favorite section is easily the DVD Bargains forum. If you thought you were obsessed about saving a buck, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
  • DVD Verdict: DVD reviews with a twist. Is your favorite movie guilty or not guilty? Yeah, it's a gimmick, but it works because the writing contains real substance. Also be sure to check out their "Jury Room" message board. You can catch me there once in a blue moon as "FrailtyCS." For a bonus, look through the archives for a thread where I was almost found "in contempt of court" for arguing with a "Judge" over Mr. Nanny (of all things), starring cinematic legend Hulk Hogan. Objection!
  • The Digital Bits: News, rumors, and future releases. This is the place to find out what's coming up on DVD in the months and even years ahead. I use their "Upcoming DVD Art" section to plan my future purchases.
  • Home Theater Forum: These guys probably know more than you about how to set up the perfect home theater. They know more than just about anybody. They'll also tell you why those little black bars on DVD movies are usually a good thing (but not always!).


  • Huge Movie Quiz: Test your knowledge! But beware: some of these questions can be tricky beasts even for the hardest of the hardcore. [Note: As of this writing, the site appears to be down for maintenance.]
  • FilmWise Invisibles: Pictures of famous movie scenes -- with one important omission: people's heads. Now it's up to you to guess which movie is being depicted. You better have a good head on your shoulder -- because the actors in these photos don't!


  • Yahoo Showtimes: Enter your location or zip code and go. It's easy, fast, and fun. Plus, you can click on individual movie titles to get plot descriptions and other information.
  • Tribute: If you're in Canada, Tribute.ca is the most reliable source for when and where the latest blockbusters are playing.

Of course, it goes without saying that this isn't meant to be a complete and definitive list of outstanding movie websites on the Internet. Consider this more of a starting point on some of the best the web has to offer. After you're done browsing through my recommendations, go from there and find your own favorites. Enjoy!

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