March 25, 2018
MoviePass is supposed to be the cool new service that lets you see all the movies you want, for just $6.95 a month. I couldn't wait to try it, since a single movie costs well over $6.95, so in theory, MoviePass should pay for itself by watching less than one movie a month. I thought I would be saving money and seeing movies all the time with MoviePass. This is my review.
How MoviePass Works
First, you download the MoviePass app, and sign up. In a few days, they'll mail you a debit card that is connected to your account. When you want to see a movie, you drive to the movie theater, open the app, and choose a movie for that theater. After selecting a movie, you "check in" on the app. Then you walk into the theater, and pay for the movie using your MoviePass debit card. You can't do this from home, the app must be close to the theater, so location must be enabled to use the app. It sounds pretty easy.
The MoviePass App
The MoviePass app on the iPhone is very good. Once you're signed in, its easy to use. You can browse movies currently in theaters, and it will show you where they are playing near you. You can view a synopsis of each movie, and see its rating and length. You use a map to pick the theater near you. Overall, it is a solid app. Easy to use, and figure out how to check in.
While the MoviePass app is good, overall, MoviePass is extremely frustrating. Just because you've chosen the movie from the app, doesn't mean you actually get to see it. Often, when you go in to pay, the theater will explain that the movie is "special" in some way, and more expensive than usual, so MoviePass won't work, even though the app acts like it will work. Another problem is that since you have to be close to the theater to "check in" with MoviePass means you can't reserve a seat online. This is even more frustrating as theaters start revamping their theaters to have the fancy reclining seats, as they take up more space, leaving less seats in each theater. We often show up to the theater, only to find that all the seats have already been reserved online. Not being able to check in online makes using MoviePass a gamble. At first these problems just seemed annoying, but we have had five failed attempts to see a movie over the past few months, and I've decided MoviePass is just plain bad.
MoviePass is a cool idea, executed poorly. Their service is bad. Instead of a convenient way to see movies cheaply, it is a stressful gamble. The theaters don't make this any better, as they seem weirdly obsessed with MoviePass when it is just supposed to be like any other debit card to them. If they weren't so hostile towards MoviePass, more customers might show up and buy concessions. But with expensive ticket prices and MoviePass's bad service, its easier to just avoid the movies altogether. Plus that way I don't have to share the theater with rude parents, crying children, or people on their cellphones. Avoid MoviePass until they get some things fixed, it isn't worth the inconvenience.