12 Essential Sites for Cinephiles

Enrich your life as a movie lover and bookmark these sites.

Everyone knows about IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, so we’re not going to include high-profile sites of that caliber in our rundown. These 12 examples listed below are no less worthy of a bookmark. Prepare to enhance your movie-watching experiences in a whole host of different ways.

1. Letterboxd

Keeping track of all the films you watch in a small notepad beside the couch is all well and good, but it hinders your ability to brag about your cinematic conquests to the world.

As a movie lovers social network, Letterboxd allows you to do just that. Keep tabs on all the titles you’ve seen, catalog discs and digital copies in your personal collection, track upcoming releases you’ve got your eye on, and assemble that info in a series of handy lists for the whole Internet to see.

With built-in Facebook and Twitter connectivity, you’re also able to peruse what your friends have been logging into their profiles and can comment on their choices. If you’re feeling brave, showcase your flair for criticism by hosting your own reviews.

2. Simply Scripts

For both the casual film fan and committed cinephile. If you’ve a passing interest in screenplays or want to trace a favorite film from its first draft right through to the shooting script, this is the place.

The staff at Simply Scripts trawl the web searching for scripts to new movies and older classics, and include links to those PDFs hosted elsewhere on the web. It’s an absolute treasure trove. You’ll easily pass an hour or so browsing before settling on one to read.

If the behind-the-scenes stories of troubled movie productions and development hell ordeals appeal to you, then you may find it most interesting as there’s a slew of scripts for movies that never made it to the big screen. One click into the site and I was reading Bob Gale’s draft of Doctor Strange from 1986.

3. What’s After The Credits

Save yourself the awkwardness of watching the technical credits scroll by while teenage ushers grumble in the aisles . As the title suggests, this site is a helpful tool to reassure you in your decision to stay seated while the rest of the theater makes for the exit.

Searching the site for a specific title brings back matching results with handy captions to let you know whether that movie includes a postscript. ‘Stingers’ appears in green below the thumbnail if there’s a scene tagged onto the end, with ‘Non-Stingers’ in red if the film has none. Want to know the specific details of those scenes? Click on. Otherwise head out to the cinema, and linger confidently in your seat knowing there’s a treat in store.

4. Can I Stream It?

Another very useful site that saves you valuable CPU energy by having countless tabs open on various sites to find out if 9 1/2 Weeks is available to stream. (It isn’t). Can I Stream It? offers a way to search through the main online services all at once.

Tap in the movie — or TV show — you’d like to stream and the site comes back with a series of results broken down into categories. Free instant streaming, streaming rental, digital purchase, DVD/Bluray options, and every subscription offered on Comcast Xfinity. If the title in question is currently unavailable across all the platforms, you can set up alerts tailored to your specifications (i.e. If and when Black Mass arrives on Netflix)

Other additions to the concept are a bunch of related apps, and developer tools that bloggers can use to incorporate the idea into their site.

5. Rate That Commentary

The early years of laserdisc and DVD introduced a new type of special feature: the filmmakers’ commentary. Before then, brief talking head featurettes passed off as insightful ‘making-of’ documentaries are what constituted home video extras. Then commentaries came along offering movie fans insider knowledge on their favorite movies - straight from the people who made them!

After a few years the novelty wore off, as the select few DVDs that came with the talk track expanded to every single movie. It didn’t matter if anyone had anything interesting to contribute. So, before you decide to rewatch a movie with the chatter, take a moment to check this [site. Like the films themselves, the actual commentaries are subjected to scrutiny, earning points once users vote. Or, if you just want to watch/hear one at random, check out the top 100 list.

6. The Movie Spoiler

Bearing in mind how much I write about troublesome spoilers, this site does serve a purpose other than ruining a film for viewers before they’ve a chance to see it. For example, if a sequel is on your watchlist, but you can’t remember the specifics of its predecessor you’d normally rewatch the first one, yes? What if there’s no time! The Movie Spoiler comes in handy for that exact scenario.

Better than the short plot synopses on IMDB or Wikipedia, these movies are painstakingly recreated in text form. Minus the creative flair of a screenplay. This is the nitty gritty, warts and all recounting of an entire movie.

7. The Oracle of Bacon

Pratting about pondering the Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon need no longer require endless searching on IMDB because of this site. Convenience is now at your fingertips. A search tool linked to a regularly-updated database allows you to find out just how Mr. Bacon is connected to practically every actor living or dead. After a dozen or so tries I struggled to find one name he isn’t tied to in six or fewer steps.

8. TV Tropes

Oft-times I’ll be having a merry time reading through an article and all of a sudden my silent head nodding and occasional grunts come to a halt when I stumble upon a word or phrase I’ve never heard of. Life moves pretty fast, a famous philosopher once said, so it’s not out of the question that some newly-coined term has entered the cultural lexicon without your knowing.

Not sure what a film critic’s referring to when they describe an actor as ‘chewing the scenery’ in a movie? Or what a MacGuffin actually is? Look no further.

9-12. Legally stream movies for free!

Aside from the bumper crop of content that regularly surfaces on YouTube, there are other options for legally streaming movies without a price tag. Tubi TV streams 20,000 mainstream titles, your standard Hollywood fare — most of which belongs to Paramount and Starz. Snag Films covers the indie, documentary, and contemporary classics market more extensively while Sony’s Crackle strikes a balance between the two. Catch up on older titles, both classic and obscure, over at Open Culture’s Free Movies Listing.