Among many films in continuous production, it often becomes difficult to choose a quality film or the one that best suits our needs. Sometimes, just an enticing trailer can fool us and push us to the box office with who knows what expectations. Other times a poster or the cast is enough to help us make the choice. The result is that we often leave the room disappointed or even with a bitter taste in our mouths.
In these cases - especially if you are parents and with children - it is good to learn to familiarize yourself with good cinema through film review sites or specialized guides. We will spend our money much better and avoid wasting our time. There are many quality guides and for all levels.
In Spanish, we point out for example:
- Fila siete: it is a portal for cinema lovers, particularly suited to professional critics and scholars. In addition to reviews on the latest films and news from the world of cinema, it also offers a rich archive of material. The moral orientation, although present, is not the main objective of the portal, which aims more than anything else to spread and promote a film culture. Surely it is a site of great quality, very attentive in particular to language and critical analysis. It's free.
- De Cine: a portal that offers beautiful reviews, also from an educational point of view. It is ideal for young users, thanks also to an impactful and intuitive graphic. It is very valid for viewers looking for quick tips. In fact, each film offers a list of suggestions that removes uncertainties or doubts, such as "to make you laugh", "to make an adrenaline rush", "for families and children", "great classics". It's free.
In English, we point out:
- Screenit: it is a perfect site for parents who are looking for a predominantly moral direction of film viewing. The reviews are indeed rich in details on the ethical quality rather than the artistic quality of the film. Perhaps it may seem outrageous for those used to judging a film according to other parameters and needs; however, for families looking for a scrupulous criticism of good customs and what is appropriate or not for minors is truly a real added value, difficult to find on other sites. The graphic is not the best, but effective enough for those looking for the substance and not the effects. A payment needed.
- Metacritic: the main characteristic of this site is rich offer, which includes not only film reviews, but also TV series, music and video games. For each product, the portal provides a general assessment in the form of a numerical score, obtained from the average of all the received reviews. These reviews – and this is its strongest point - are both of authoritative film critics (such as The Times or The New York Post), but also of common people registered to the site community. In this way the final verdict is a good synthesis of the judgment and the sensitivity both of the professional critique and that of the ordinary spectator. It's free.
In Italian, we recommend:
- Familycinema.tv: is a portal that pays great attention to the promotion of positive films, created to convey important values to the public. It expresses a judgment on the film both from a technical and artistic point of view, also from an ethical point of view, through a critique of the values (or weaknesses) of the film. In this way, the viewer can get a precise idea of the film, understand what kind of vision the film holds and also understand the underlying message that the director wants to convey. In addition to the latest releases, there are special sections dedicated to the great classics of cinema, home videos and TV series. It's free.
- Cinemainfamiglia: it is a site aimed at the general audience of families. The portal offers accurate reviews of recent films, as well as an archive of almost nine hundred films. Each film is accompanied by a short comment section, a vote on a scale of 1 to 10, the possibility to see the trailer and a graphic detail (in asterisks, from 0 to 4) of situations that could render problematic the vision or cause an embarrassing evening (violence, tension, sex, adult themes) with a final indication also on the age of the audience to whom viewing is recommended. There is also an interesting section on film critic books. The only flaw is the update. It is not very good about reviewing the latest films coming out, while it is ideal for a direction and focus on the great classics. It's free.
- Scegliere un film: it’s a paper guide and not a website. It is published by the Saint Paul editions and is available in the best bookshops and also online. The editor is Armando Fumagalli, Professor of Semiotics at the University of the Sacred Heart in Milan and is updated every year. The project began in 2004 and continues regularly every year. It was born with the idea of offering an orientation to the lovers of cinema with a critical reading in Christian perspective. Every year they collect reviews of a vast number of films, released over the course of the season. Not all of course, but only those most significant, beautiful and deserving. The judgment on the film is expressed in stars, from one to five; very useful for those who have little time to read and want to immediately get to the point. The vote is the result of an overall judgment that takes into account not only the artistic but also the moral qualities of the film. In the last edition of 2017 you can find the reviews of the films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Denial, La La Land and Oceania.
It is an undoubtedly ideal guide for those who want to deepen and focus on quality films of the latest season. An online report of this guide can be found on the familycinema.tv website.