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The best Android apps for moviegoers and cinephiles

by Phil Owen

The world of mobile movies is a wild one, but it's so full of worthwhile Android apps that you no longer really need a TV or computer to enjoy feature films. Your movie life can revolve around your phone or tablet, and while director David Lynch would be horrified if you let that happen, I won't denounce checking something out on the small screens every once in a while.

It all starts with information

Most people know about the Internet Movie Database, or IMDB, and they've got an excellent Android app. The mobile app allows you to view the cast listing for a movie and the filmography of a person in the movie industry. When you're trying to figure out that actor from The River who you recognize in The Place Beyond the Pines (Bruce Greenwood), the IMDB app is the place to go. Unfortunately, a lot of the cool functionality of the IMDB is not in the app, like running times or production budgets.. At the bottom of a movie page in the app, though, there is a link out, so it doesn’t require too much effort.

 


You can find even more apps for watching and reading about movies here.


What about movie reviews?

You'll want Movies by Flixster, which claims itself to be the most downloaded movies app on mobile devices. The Flixster app comes with Rotten Tomatoes integration, which means anybody who wrote a review that is worth anything can be found there. It is also a sort of social network for films, where folks go to rate the movies they watch and share their ratings on Facebook. All your friends' tastes in movies, then, can be found (and silently judged) with this app.

Flixster is also handy for looking up movie theater showtimes, and in my experience it is pretty comprehensive in that respect. Other good showtimes apps include Fandango and MovieTickets.com, and those also allow you to buy tickets at some theaters. You can get tickets from Regal Theaters via Fandango, and AMC Theaters are plugged into MovieTickets.com. There are others that use those platforms as well, but a lot of smaller chains, such as Landmark (which has an app), use their own web portals.

Streaming your favorites

If you're looking to watch a movie on your Android device, you have a few apps to choose from. Netflix and Hulu Plus are undoubtedly the most popular, and then you've got Crackle as a sort of free, ad-supported version of those. But if you're more interested in finding something more specific, then on-demand rentals are the way to go. Unfortunately, you can't use Amazon Instant Video on Android phones or tablets aside from the Kindle Fire family, but Google Play is there to save you. Google Play Movies and TV has a pretty comprehensive collection of new movies, and they've also got a robust selection of catalog titles. A new release rental will usually run you about $4, which is pretty typical pricing for movies that have just been released on disc, and you can watch Google Play content on your computer or Google TV as well as your devices.

VuduIf you've got a Nexus tablet or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, I highly recommend the  Vudu app. This app is pretty ubiquitous these days, as it’s integrated with most smart TVs, Blu-ray players, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, and your content can be shared among all your devices. Vudu also acts as a portal for your Ultraviolet collection, too. When you buy a Blu-ray disc or DVD that comes with an Ultraviolet code, you can enter it online and then link your Vudu and Ultraviolet accounts to add that movie to your Vudu collection. I do this because it's pretty much the only way to watch a streaming digital copy in 1080p.

Vudu doesn't only allow you to stream your content; videos you own on the service can be downloaded to any compatible device. But if you're dealing with a phone, Flixster can also be linked to your Ultraviolet account, and most of your Ultraviolet collection can be downloaded to any mobile device that supports the app. Flixster, I should also point out, loves to give away full copies of movies, and you'll get one for signing up for an account.

As you can see, the world of movies on Android is alive and well, and there are many options for cinephiles to feed their addictions.