Four Critical Reasons Why I can’t See New Movies Anymore


Nearly every single time I go to the theaters these days I’m skeptical.  I would say around 10 years ago I was always pumped to go see a new movie but today?  Today I feel like it’s a gamble.  Now I’m not saying that good movies don’t exist anymore.  They clearly do.  However, somewhere along the way society has changed.

We live in a fast world right now with less attention spans.  We live in a world where visuals seem to matter more than ever before.  We are living in a world where artistic integrity is suffering at the jaws of conformity.

Boom!  Bang!  Pow!  Did you see that?  This is what movies are today.   And dammit someone’s gotta talk about it.

Here are four reasons I can’t stand new movies anymore

Technology is Working Against The Story and Acting


I don’t want this to be a rant against technology.  Please don’t get me wrong here.  Technology is always good in terms of introducing new methods of displaying imagery and worlds we have never seen.  But I have yet to see a movie that can combine this technology with a stunning story and acting.  I hope it’s coming but right now these giant blockbusters are way too focused on what we see and not how we feel.  My main purpose in seeing a film is to get something out of it.  Yes, maybe I want to get a “wow I never saw that before” out of it but honestly it’s not enough.  Iron Man 2?  Sure it was entertaining but the plot was horrible, the acting was eh, and I just didn’t care to see the film.  To me the best movie so far that’s combined technology with a cool story was Star Trek.

Actors Aren’t Good Anymore


Even though Mickey Rourke is a dick he had a great point.  This new crop of actors isn’t really good.  I mean when Robert Pattinson and Dakota Fanning are leading the new crop can you really compare them to the likes of Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep?  Hahahaha.  Just writing that made me laugh.  And this goes back to my last point.  With technology carrying a film lots of times the actors don’t even have to act…which is sad.  There are a few great actors out there in the new crop that I think are good but man there’s just not enough anymore.  Emile Hirsch and Joseph Gordon Levitt are very solid.  Other than that on the male side?  Dicaprio is not this generation nor is Ed Norton.  They’re older.  And females?  Kristen Stewart?  Dakota Fanning?  Let’s be real here.  Actors just aren’t as good anymore.

They Aren’t “New”

Karate Kid

Could there be more remakes and sequels these days?   Please don’t get me started on this.  I might vomit if I write any more.

Ticket Prices Are Absurd


Thirteen bucks to see a movie?  Come on man.  That’s just insane.  I hate being Mr. Old Fart guy here but back when I was a kid movies were five bucks.  And how do you think our parents feel?  When they were young movies were around 50 cents to a buck.  You throw in popcorn and a soda and you’re literally spending 25 dollars just to see a movie…for one person!  I could get five $5 foot long sandwiches from Subway for that.  I just wanted you all to think “5 Dollar Footlooonnnnng!”  Seriously though, movies cost too much to attend.

  • Brads

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy combined the effects with storytelling, emotion and acting…

    Casey Affleck? Matt Damon? There will always be a group of actors who will take the craft seriously and want to achieve a body of work and not just big box office.

    On the whole though, I agree. As an industry, summer blockbuster movies are pretty dire, but on the flip side a lot of smaller, idie movies are still getting made. As long as actors are willing to take roles for the challenge and not the paycheck, there is still gold performances to be had. Remember nobody was raving about Kevin Spacey until he was in his forties and rocking The Usual Suspects and Seven.

  • I’ll agree with 3 of those points but I disagree that actors aren’t good anymore. Looking back to 25 years ago there was a crop of young actors like Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Machio, C. Thomas Howell, Molly Ringwald, etc… All of these were light weights at the time because that’s the roles that they could get. A few went on to prove themselves. Most didn’t. Look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 3 Rock from the Sun, who’d have thought he would go on to be the actor he is today? The main difference today is that there’s multiple networks devoted to tween entertainment that churns out lightweight actors, a few of which will actually cross over into the movies. And a few of those will make good actors one day. Granted, right now the main candidate is Shia Le Boeuf & that doesn’t really prove my point but you see where I’m going with this.

    On the flipside there’s people like Charlie Sheen who start off looking like the top actor of his generation (Platoon & Wall Street) and ends up spending most of his career as a cautionary tale and then a sitcom star.

  • Dude

    Great post, I agree on all of your points.

    South Korea, to me, is making some of the best movies right now from The Host to Oldboy. Check it out.

  • Candee

    I completely agree. I haven’t gone to a movie in a probably a good year, and the only I’m looking forward to is Toy Story 3…which I am super skeptical about.

    TV shows have gone down hill as well. I’m tired of remakes, CGI, and guns. Gimme some good ol’ fashioned fist fightin’.

    I think I’d rather watch a bad representation of a Shakespeare play then a newer movie. Good god.

  • JZ

    4/4. There should be a law against remakes.

  • Thogo

    @ Eric

    You are totally right, you can’t analysis the entire film industry by the youngest generation, that’s ludicrous. The best actors all mainly got famous around the age of 25. For example Dakota Fanning peeked way to early and is destroyed by the American industry. When looking for talent try to take a gander across the oceans.

  • Cla

    I gotta agree with the last 2 points but I’m not sure about the first 2 (which are probably the most interesting). Somebody already mentioned The Lord of the Rings as an example… I’ll add an even newer movie that comes to my mind: District 9. The plot is not actually the most original you’ll ever find but, in my opinion, it is incredibly mixed with accurate technology. I mean, you can’t have a movie like that without technology because that’s the only thing that makes its plot (its well-written plot) possible. As for the third point I disagree with the article but at the moment I don’t have valid ideas (and I totally agree with the reader “Eric”) so I’ll just stop here.

  • DarthObsidienne

    The last time I went to the theatre for a movie was for Episode III…….I doubt i’ll be going back to the theatre anytime soon. In five years the only movie i’ve seen that I actually would have wanted to pay to see in a theatre was Star Trek.

    Something else keeping me out of the theatre? The people. People are so much ruder than they used to be. I can remember being in a theater when I was in HS and not hearing at least a dozen cell phones ringing during the opening credits.

  • Zarquon

    Doesn’t the fact that 10 years ago, you were 10 years younger and probably less sciptical doesn’t have something to do with you liking movies more 10 years ago?

    I mean, Top Gun is 20 years old, but did that movie have a plot? Wasn’t that just some ’80s music, gooey romance scenes and airplanes going really fast?

    Or The Rock.

    Blockbusters are, were and will always be cheesy.

    And the plot of Iron Man 2 wasn’t horrible, it was a comic book-adaptation, what did you expect? Citizen Kane?

    I agree on the price though.

  • Sean

    You made a couple somewhat valid points. But all the problems you mentioned mainly deal with mainstream and Hollywood. If you want quality, it’s usually found in independent or foreign films.

  • Bert

    You could add a fifth reason, at least for some – SPOILERS. These days there are updates, exclusives, first pics, casting news, etc. all over the internet WAY before the movie comes out. All this “pre-release” creates buzz, but ruins that sense of discovery that going to see a film in theaters used to have. It’s hard to be surprised by a film when eighteen different websites have deconstructed it before it’s even been released.

  • Dan

    I agree with all of these points, but I think it goes a little deeper.

    I personally think that this generation simply will not be impressed with any new movie, no matter how ‘original’ or how well cast for two reasons:

    1. Movie libraries are extending their reach everywhere (Xbox 360, Wii, Google/Apple TV, etc), increasing the average persons exposure to movies and plots. At the same time, the amount of movies in the libraries are constantly increasing. Watching 100 action movies instead of 5 action movies makes your next action movie viewing more dull. This leads into my second point

    2. Mostly every movie follows a plot archetype. From sci-fi to crime to comedy, they always follow a basic plot line that has been done before in one way or another. Plot twists and character relationships become predictable when you finally figure out what kind of plot archetype the movie follows.

    Both of these factors lead to a experience that is dull. It will become increasingly hard to show people something they haven’t seen before, something that really impresses them.

    Comedy movies will always have new jokes, horror movies will always have new new ways to kill people, and that may make the movie ENJOYABLE, but not IMPRESSIVE (To me, anyway).

  • Jim

    There are still some actors out there who are magnificent. Sam Rockwell being one of them: They take their craft seriously and work on it all the time. And I think the acting in Iron Man 2 (with Rockwell, Rourke, Downey, and Paltrow who are all fine actors) was actually fantastic, I just think the plot was so horrible that all the good acting in the world wasn’t going to save the movie.

  • Steve

    Agree with Zarquon about the old blockbusters. I think it’s funny how I can’t stand the big budget summer blockbusters that come out these days (nor did I care for the ones in the 90’s either for that matter). However, Top Gun, Rocky 4, pretty much all the 80’s action movies are my favorites. So yeah, the line is pretty blurred lol.

    As far as prices, thankfully there’s a triplex near my house and they have 5 dollar Wednesdays.

    Oh and as for people being rude at the theater, here’s the 3 rules I’ve lived by for the last 8 years or so and:

    1. Don’t see a movie opening weekend no matter how much you’re tempted (though honestly, no movie has gotten me THAT excited that I simply couldn’t wait anyway). Wait a week, maybe a 2 depending on how popular it is. I went to see Transporter 3 at a small theater near my house 2-3 weeks after it was released and I pretty much had the theater to myself.

    2. Don’t see it at night. Again, gotta worry about kids and teenagers. Go during the day. Or if you can only make a night showing, see it during the week. Monday-Thursday.

    3. Don’t go to the bigger, well known (ie: expensive) theaters. I have 2-3 movie theaters I frequent and these places are NEVER packed.

    The only time I make an exception to these rules is when a friend who lives far away that I don’t see very often calls me to go see *insert big anticipated movie here*. Then I just mentally prepare myself for any and all of the following:

    You’re going to pay a lot of money.
    You’re going to get annoyed by the loud obnoxious teenagers/crying babies.
    You’re going to hear cell phones/see text messages backlight.
    You’re going to see 30 minutes of previews before the movie starts.
    You’re going to HAVE to force yourself to simply enjoy the experience. Alcohol may be involved.

  • jon

    Let’s face it, movies are more about making money than showing artisic expression. Appeal to the dumb teenie boppers of society and make millions. Don’t worry about having a good plot or good acting skills, that cost money. Just throw something to together and name it “Disney” something or about partying and you’re good. Or just watch AMC over the weekend and remake whatever come on. I smell and new “Outbreak” movie comin!

  • Ugo Strange

    I haven’t seen Dakota Fanning in anything recent but when she was a child she was believable. Robert DiNero I always thought was Robert DiNero is everything he’s ever been in, which isn’t bad exactly.

    Sadly, I don’t the actors are to blame entirely it’s mostly the director’s fault. It’s the director’s job to manhandle an actor or actress to get what they want out of them in order to finish scene. I blame these actors for not allowing themselves to be molded. Michael Cera for example is Michael Cera is EVERY movie he’s ever been in…is Michael Cera a bad actor? I don’t think so, I think it’s lack of being given direction from a half-wit pragmatic director, if it works, do it ! -_- People go on blaming actors but you notice the directors don’t say squat about Kristen Stewart, because they really don’t care. So #2 should really be Actors and Directors fail to have a relationship.

    Orson Welles was no hack when it came to directing, would the man be still alive he’d probably be like GOOD directors are nowadays ya know the kinda that only work with one particular actor because that actors delivers. Sermon over, point being, Blame directors.

  • chelsea

    i agree with your points, but i also think you’re just picking terrible movies to choose to see. if i go to the theater, it’s on tuesday nights at a not very busy theater. they have $5.50 tickets on tuesdays and although it’s not a very nice theater, it’s cheaper and less crowded. i also only choose to pay for movies that i’m excited to see, which aren’t that many. other than that, i stick to netflix.

    you have 4 valid points but the #1 reason i avoid theaters is the crowd. i’d much rather watch a horrible movie in silence and darkness (no cell phones even opening) than see a fantastic movie in the average crowd.

  • matt

    I pretty definitely agree about prices, If I go to the theater it is a cheap theater not far from my house that shows movies finished with their run for two dollars.
    I also agree about the lack of creativity.
    As far as actors go I think it is a little too much of a generalization, I still hold out that Kristen Stewart has potential I just don’t think she wants to be famous. I also believe that Fanning could be amazing in the future. I think that the most promising young actor out there is probably Ellen Page, I’ve never seen an unconvincing performance out of her and she blew me away while freaking me the fuck out in Hard Candy.

  • Ellie

    @ Candee

    I just read a review that said that Toy Story 3 was amazing. Bought out a whole new definition of love. I just can’t believe it’s the last one.

    And it’s sad, really, I never get excited about new movies these days. The only movies I’m ever excited about are Pixar’s and RDJ’s.

  • Deodorant

    I’m 16 years old, and does thus not really have any experience of a better era of movies. Still, i agree wholeheartedly with most of what you said. The only thing that annoys me is how you used Star Trek as the example of a successful combination of story and technology. My first impression when walking out of the theater was ‘Wow, that sure was a lot of bright colors.’ Now, half a year later, i have no idea whatsoever what the story was. Wouldn’t a better example be district 9? Sure, it had it’s fair share of battle suits and cute-eyed alien children, but it was one of the more intelligent movies of lately, and some of the scenes (nails, cat food, axe..) were just plain amazing.

  • Steve

    For me at least, a good example of how it is the director’s responsibility to get a good performance from the actors is Superman 2. Watch the scenes directed by Richard Donner (he directed the first film), and then watch the scenes directed be Richard Lester (he directed the third film). The acting in the Donner scenes is simply more believable. And General Zod was much more threatening as well.

  • Bobo

    “But I have yet to see a movie that can combine this technology with a stunning story and acting.”

    I guess you didn’t see Children of Men.

    And, I’m sorry, Dakota Fanning is a very good actress.

  • Heart

    @Bobo: The fact that you think Dakota Fanning is a good actress clearly shows you don’t know what acting is. That bitch isn’t even remotely good. Just shows that people have been exposed to so many bad actors/actresses in Hollywood that they don’t know real acting anymore.

  • Athene

    I may just be getting old, but I never go to the movie theater any more, for all of the above reasons. However I know a few people in “the buisness” and there is a lot more politics going on in the last 10 years with SAG and the Writers and the issue of payment for online movie showings. It has taken a front seat, unfortunately, to the quality of the movies that are prouduced. I hope everyone can find a way to make money and then we can return to finding qualified and studdied actors, directors, and prouducers with fairly new storylines.

  • Tron

    I agree with some of your points.

    Namely the technology vs. storytelling (far to true and the biggest reason i won’t waste my time seeing avatar. yes i get it the cgi/camera effects etc. were amazing… I still want a plotline in my 3 hours of time :P).

    and definently agree w/the ‘no good actors’ point.

    there are NO GOOD YOUNG actors anymore.

    Yes Damon, dicaprio etc. (mentioned in an above post) are good. but they are a generation ahead of us (i’m assuming that most people are… mid-20’s therefore putting them a gen. ahead of ‘us’).

    who knows… MAYBE rob pattinson (Sp? twilight dude.) is a great actor and we just dont know it because twilight is CRAP and has all the inventive writing of a 12 year old who was dropped on her head. (i.e. NO character development, and edward is essentially a blank slate who’s only purpose is to look good for vapid teen… i mean bella).

    But i really can’t think of any actors in their early/mid 20’s etc. that really draw me into a movie where i’ll see it simply based on ‘well so and so is a great actor and picks good roles so it’s probably a good flick’.

    As for ticket prices… yes it sucks. deal with it. EVERYTHING goes up in cost. Our parents didn’t pay $2.50 for a loaf of bread but we all do now. Nothing to be done about it.

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  • me

    I agree with you on some points.

    There are movies like Lord of the rings which have combined both technology and a solid plot, plus the actors performance were outstanding. Avatar wasn’t a great movie in terms of the story, but the technology used in it was without any doubt amazing.

    You have to bear in mind that you are talking about the 80s or even the 70s, so maybe you relate to all those actors since you are (I am only assuming) from the 70s or 80s, but kids nowadays can’t relate to those old actors, they need fresh faces, to whom they can connect and relate.

    I was born in the 90s and I prefer actors like Dakota Fanning, Ema Watson, Robert Patinson, Jaden Smith and so forth, maybe you don’t like them because you judge them based on old context, we are talking about 2010. The same applies to music, people from the 80s don’t like todays music, but we on the contrary love and enjoy them, there is nothing you can do about it.

    And the prices, of course they should be higher, we are not in 1970 anymore, we are in 2010, the prices have increased significantly to adjust to today’s situation.

  • Same tired old arguments.
    You dont like Iron Man2? What about the first one? What about The Dark Knight? The original Star Wars? Terminator 2? The 5th Element? Dark City? How about films like Triangle? District 9? Hell, even King Kong. 1933 and the modern one.

    Technology is used in all sorts of ways, CG, models, camera-tracking, bluescreen etc. Its all tech to show us things reality cant.

    Theres nothing new about it. And its not adversely effecting films now then it was back then. Its just an easy scape-goat as in the past shit storys would have had shit CG as well, now good CG is cheap enough for both the best and the worst of storytelling.

  • Ellie

    I was born in 1993 and I don’t like any young actors today.
    I much prefer an old Marx Brothers’ movie than any movie that stars any of the actors you stated above. I absolutely cannot relate to any actors today, with them so much in the tabloids today.
    And the same applies to music too. So there.

  • Tron

    @ me

    You don’t have to be ‘of a generation’ to appreciate acting talent.

    I believe the guy who makes unreality said he’s 23 (or around there). so mid-20’s as am i.

    therefore actors like… Deniro, Pacino (who WAS amazing at one point lol) etc.

    are NOT of ‘our’ generation as we weren’t alive in the 70’s or MOST of the 80’s (i was born in 84, therefore i’m a child of the 90’s only lately have i begun to appreciate 70’s/80’s etc. films).

    Jaden smith, can’t act. in movies purely because of who his parents are.

    dakota fanning… personally i don’t think she can act but i’ll admit i haven’t seen her in EVERY movie she’s been in cuz i don’t like her acting.

    and see my above post about glitter boy.

    There’s a large divide between ‘good’ acting and lots of exposure which the ‘stars’ in there teens/early 20’s get plenty of but few (if any) seem to possess any real dedication or skill in the acting department.

  • me


    My bad, I shouldn’t have generalized.

  • me

    @ Tron
    You have a good point there, I also appreciate actors and actresses from the 80s and earlier even though I was born in the 90s.
    However, you tend to compare ALL modern actors to a FEW old actors, I am sure back then some actors really sucked too.
    If you listen to an oldies radio, you will pretty much hear nothing but great songs, the reason is those radios only play good stuff from the past, we never hear the countless untold pieces of crap that probably got a lot of airplay in their day.

    Moreover, Hollywood produced lots of movies back then, but now only a small pool of those movie are shown on TV, and they are by all means some of the greatest movie ever produced, and it gives us the impression that films produced back then were great, which is not necessarily true. (Check this list

    Plus nowadays, actors don’t have much experience, they go straight from college to acting.

  • Justin

    I would add Ben Foster to the list of impressive young actors. I’ve really enjoyed him in his latest movies.

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  • Jo Bless

    No originality today. They would rather remake a hit than write one.