Movie Tickets and Show times

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Movies: From the Web to the Silver Screen

Whether you're looking to go to a movie, learn about the movies, or add to your home collection of movies, the Internet can provide the tools you need. Find current listings and buy movie tickets; read and compare reviews, track the box office, and view trailers online; track major and minor film festivals or explore movie history and trivia; buy or rent movies on DVD. Whatever your film needs, you can find what you're looking for on the Web.

Movie Tickets and Show times

It's certainly still possible to find show times and theaters the old-fashioned way, by picking up a newspaper or phone. But why live in the Stone Age? On the right Web site, you'll be able to find out what's playing in your area, download previews, read reviews, and book tickets as well.

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  • If you're looking only for show times, and plan to buy your tickets at the theater, your local newspaper might be a good choice. Most newspapers publish movie listings online, but they are rarely set up for ticket purchases.
  • Remember that many smaller movies are on limited release and may never reach a screen in your town. Some movie listing sites allow you to expand your search beyond your zip code, helping you find a theater that's playing a little-known movie you badly want to see.
  • When you buy a ticket online, you're probably going to be charged a small booking fee in addition to the ticket price. Also, be sure to note whether you have to print the ticket at home or collect it at the theater.
  • If you are picking up a ticket at the theater, make sure to bring the credit card you used for the purchase with you to the theater; you'll need that card to confirm your ID.

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Movie Reviews

Perhaps you trust a certain national reviewer above any other film critic, or like to compare opinions from a number of publications. Maybe you need to know whether a movie is appropriate for children, or just want to find out what's doing well at the box office. We've compiled a list of links that should meet your requirements for film reviews, whatever they are.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • All of the sites that contain movie listings (IMDB, Moviefone, Yahoo Movies, Fandango, etc.) also carry movie reviews in some form. It's possible to do all your movie research in one place.
  • Many sites contain review archives. You can learn which critics share your taste in movies by reading their opinions on films you've already seen.

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For national and aggregated review sites ...
For finding out whether a movie is appropriate for children ...
For box office results ...
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Film News and Gossip

Whether you're a movie fanatic or just like to dip into Hollywood gossip now and then, there are sites to help you keep abreast of developments in the film industry.

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  • Celebrity gossip Web sites abound, but are often no more reliable than their supermarket checkout counterparts. For more credible entertainment journalism, a good first stop for anyone looking for insider insight, industry gossip, and news of forthcoming attractions might be the online outlets of the big print entertainment magazines. The links are provided below.
  • If you have a dial-up connection, you can forget about watching trailers online. You need a reasonably fast connection speed if you're not going to drive yourself nuts. And some users will have to download additional software, such as RealPlayer or Flash plug-ins, to watch previews.
  • Sites designed for and by self-confessed film geeks often carry some wild speculation, including scandalous gossip that the big magazines shy away from printing. But as long as you have at least a pinch of salt to hand, then these blogs can be great fun to read. As well as publishing some entertaining conjecture, they are often first with the most sensational stories.
  • Almost all movies that are on current release have their own Web sites. To find it, try www.[movie title].com, or www.[movie title]themovie.com; one of those options will likely get you directly to the site. And if that doesn't work, you can always type the movie title into a search engine.

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For online entertainment magazines ...
For watching trailers ...
For film geek sites ...
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Learn about Film Festivals

Film festivals used to be the preserve of industry professionals, but recent years have seen the arrival of movie events that cater to specialized markets and are accessible to the general public. This section makes it easy for you to learn about what's going on at festivals large and small across the country.

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  • Many smaller films bid for national distribution deals through film festival screenings. So a film festival buzz can alert you to interesting upcoming movies that might easily slip under the radar of the mainstream media.
  • By the same token, film festivals provide an opportunity to see exciting new movies that may never win a nationwide release.

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Research Movies

There's an enormous amount of film history, movie trivia, and industry facts available on the Web. Whether you're a film scholar or simply trying to place the movie quote that's stuck on loop in your brain, you can find what you're looking for.

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  • Award sites and best-of lists provide a means to identify historically significant films, as well as links to sites dedicated to specific movies.
  • The full-service movie Web sites, particularly imdb.com, are extremely comprehensive and well suited to both amateur and professional research.

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For award shows ...
For best-of lists ...
For trivia, blogs, and general movie history ...
For movie quotes ...
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Buy and Rent DVDs

The high picture quality, relatively low price, and ready availability of DVDs mean that a lot of people choose to recreate the film theater experience at home. Here are the links to help you do that.

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  • As with buying anything online, be sure to factor in shipping costs if you're trying to save money. Sure, it might seem a really obvious point, but some outlets only reveal the shipping costs at the end of a number of pages in the buying process.
  • If you're building a library of movies, you might want to consider the new formats that are currently battling to succeed regular DVDs: HD-DVD and Blu-ray. The extensive collection you create could be unplayable one day soon because your films are recorded on an obsolete medium.
  • The DVD review sites listed below differ from regular film review sites in that they place more focus on the disc technology. Plus, the reviews help you determine whether you want to own a movie, not just watch it. You'll also be able to keep track of what's soon to be released.
  • Full-service sites, such as imdb.com, usually indicate whether movies are available for purchase and provide links to online retailers.

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For DVD reviews ...
For purchasing DVDs ...
For renting DVDs ...
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Watch Movies Online

It's not only movie trailers that you can watch online these days. Many sites now enable you to download entire films directly to your computer or to watch streaming movies via the Internet.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • The slower your Internet connection speed, the longer the download time for movies. And streaming video will be constantly interrupted by a substandard connection. As mentioned elsewhere, dial-up is not an option if you want to watch videos from the Internet on your computer.
  • Expect most services to have a subscription or per-use fee. Any site that lets users download or watch streaming versions of movies from the studios without charging a fee is probably breaking the law.
  • Legitimate sites such as apple.com enable you to download movies for approximately the same price as a DVD and, of course, you don't have to wait for the movie to arrive in the mail.

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