How much about a movie do you need to know before . . .

. . . you decide to see it?

I’ve been thinking about this ever since the discussions over certain recent political and/or religious movies (which shall remain nameless.) :wink: During these discussions, many people said words to the effect that “you can’t judge the movie if you haven’t seen it.” During these discussions, I always thought to myself “but I judge movies before I see them all the time, it’s how I decide if I’m going to spend my time and money on it.”
So my question is, what do want to know about a movie before you decide to go to it. What makes you decide if your going to see it opening night? on video/DVD? on free tv? Are there any things that ensure your that you’ll skip it?
For me, there are a few:

  1. R rated movies aren’t verbotten, but it has to be very well recommended to get over my initial reaction that I don’t want all the violence & language.
  2. screwball comedies have 2 strikes against them in theaters, but I’ll rent them if I hear they are good.
  3. “Intellectual” or “Important” or “Oscar-Worthy” movies, I generally wait until video. I want to be able to pause, rewind and think.
  4. Well-reviewed (by my friends) special effects based movies (i.e. Spider-man 2) are usually the only things that gets me to a noisy, uncomfortable movie screen. I’d usually wait to get them on video/dvd.
  5. I used to go to any Kenneth Branaugh (Sp?) movie, but that stopped with Wild Wild West.

How about you? And please, refrain from a rehash of old arguments about the aforementioned certain recent political and/or religious movies.

You’re conflating two different meanings of “judge.”

I’ll judge whether to go see a movie based on any reason whatsoever, rational or irrational. As you say, it’s my money and/or time and of no business to anyone else.

But there is no value to my spouting off to others on a movie I haven’t seen based on secord- or third-hand reports. I’m not adding anything of value to the conversation. In fact, I’m lowering the IQ of the crowd by acting so stupidly.

Two entirely different things.

If I’m considering (but not completely committed) to seeing/avoiding a movie, a trip to Rotten Tomatoes is usually enough for me to cement a decision. Between the review excerpts and the tomatometer, I get enough of a feel for the movie’s overall worthiness to decide either to avoid the movie or to make an effort to see it.

I hardly go out to see any movies at all, so the only ones I’m going to go see are part of a franchise that I know I like. So, I’ll go see movies in any of a group of series–James Bond, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, etc., and I don’t have to know anything about them except that they’re part of the franchise.