By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor
Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed the simple pleasure of watching movies. Whether it was going to the theaters and seeing a film for the first time on the big screen, or having a movie night at home with a group of friends, movies have always provided this indescribable joy to me. Ever since college, I’ve really developed a new appreciation for movies, one that has since caused me to seek out more and more knowledge for my ever growing thirst for film.
As a musician, it has always been easy for me to delve into music that I enjoy. I could always look for acoustic versions of a song, covers, or even just learn the song myself. With film, it’s been a bit more difficult to really go beyond what I see on the screen. I can’t really look up different renditions of a film like I can for music. So instead I turn to YouTube videos to satisfy my film knowledge craving.
Over the years, YouTube has grown into such a vast community with different channels and content creators that explore many different topics and that has been no exception for movie-related YouTube channel. While there are many different YouTube channels for watching film reviews, there are also a ton that go beyond reviews. If you enjoy movies and want to explore different aspects of film and hear different points of view from many different people, YouTube is the place for great film-related content. From listicles and theory channels, to video essays and more, here are just a few of my favorite movie-related YouTube channels.
People are constantly looking for movie reviews to get an idea whether or not they should even go out and see it. There are plenty of channels out there that offer movie reviews, but if I had to pick my go-to, it would definitely by Jeremy Jahns. Jeremy Jahns is a very straightforward and enjoyable guy to watch. He doesn’t have the condescending undertones that some movie-know-it-alls may possess, but you can tell he knows his stuff. With an enjoyable and not overbearing personality, Jahns delivers concise and insightful content on a consistent basis. If it’s a guy in front of a green screen talking about movies for a few minutes you’re looking for, that’s exactly what you’ll get with Jahns. With a great and unorthodox scoring method, Jahns’s videos are easily “awesometacular.”
My second favorite channel for movie reviews goes to the SchmoesKnow channel.
Other great YouTube movie reviewers include: Chris Stuckman, Nostalgia Critic and Black Nerd Comedy.
For those who study cinema, film analysis should sound pretty familiar. You can find many people’s film video essay projects on YouTube, but if you are looking for content creators who thrive solely on video essays then look no further. While there are tons of great video essays on film all over YouTube, there are two channels that definitely stick out.
Tony Zhou’s Every Frame A Painting and the Nerdwriter1 are two movie YouTube channels that focus on the video essay format. These two channels often analyze certain aspects in filmmaking or particular things within a single film. Take Zhou’s video on The Marvel Symphonic Universe. The video essay goes into detail about why the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t really contain film scores that linger in the audience’s mind long after they leave, unlike iconic themes like the Star Wars theme or Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter franchise. Both channels do a great job in going in depth on their subject matter and it’s easy to see that the two do their homework. With well-edited videos and subject matter that has been researched and well-thought about, Every Frame a Painting and Nerdwriter1 are great channels for film students or any movie lover.
While video essays are great and all, there are tons of different movie-related content on YouTube. Not everything has to be movie reviews and critical shot-for-shot analyses. There are many unique forms of content for any topic that focus on different specialties. Here are just a few of those great movie specialty channels.
If you’re looking to find out just a little bit more beyond the surface level of a movie, ScreenCrush is a great channel to do so. They specialize in listicle videos that offer insight on some little-known facts about a movie and its production. These “So You Think You Know Movies?” videos are essentially fun facts about films in the form of digestible, quick and enjoyable videos that leave you wanting to learn more.
How It Should Have Ended, or HISHE, is one of the more popular film centric YouTube channels. With nearly 7 million subscribers, HISHE pushes out high quality movie criticisms in one of the most creative forms out there. HISHE calls out famous films for their glaring plot holes and ridiculous conveniences and creates different endings and outcomes (hence the name of the channel) that seem to be much more logical than what went down in the film originally. The channel features incredible animation and voice acting and features a running gag with Superman and Batman sitting in a cafe having a chat. I highly recommend this channel if you aren’t a complete cynic and do not mind someone poking fun at the things you love.
The Film Theorists is a channel run by the same guy in charge of the uber popular The Game Theorists, famous YouTuber MatPat. I have not seen any of his videos on the latter channel, but if they’re basically the video game version of The Film Theorists, the I’m sure I got the picture. The Film Theorists channel specializes in solving random mysteries about movies you may have never thought to have even existed. Examples of this would be MatPat’s most viewed video on the channel, Film Theory: Disney’s FROZEN Anna and Elsa are NOT SISTERS?! or his second most viewed, Film Theory: How to Kill Deadpool. There are some pretty interesting things discussed in these videos, and MatPat’s enthusiasm and slick animations make them even better.
Last but not least of the specialty channels are CinemaSins and CinemaWins. No, these two channels are not run by the same two people, but I’ve paired them together because they are essentially polar opposites. CinemaSins is an over analyzation on film, picking out everything wrong in a particular movie. On the other hand CinemaWins picks out everything good about a movie. Both incorporate the use of scoreboards, keeping track of each “sin” and “win” in a film. Cinemasins is a bit more on the critical and cynical side, but not to a fault. Despite being criticized for being so nitpicky, their videos are still great to watch and often times quite funny. Cinemawins on the other hand is a bit more on the rewarding side, granting wins to even the worst of movies. Their videos may often feel like they’re just giving away wins to be nice, almost like that “we’re all winners” type of soccer parent, but that would be taking away from the premise of the channel, which seeks to identify the positives to any film, no matter how bad.
Other notable specialty channels include Wisecrack and Screen Rant.
Lastly, these are the channels that do it all. From trailer reactions and film reviews to movie news and in-depth discussions, these are the big ones. If you’re looking for a YouTube film channel that incorporates a little bit of everything, these are my three favorite channels that do just that.
One of the most popular film YouTube pages of all time is the Screen Junkies. The Screen Junkies team is most known for their Honest Trailers series, a specialty series that takes movies and critiques them through parody trailers. The Emmy-nominated web series has garnered a great deal of followers and has had many guests that have collaborated with them like Michael Bolton and Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds. While I think their Honest Trailers are great, my personal favorite series from Screen Junkies is their Movie Fights. Every Saturday, the channel uploads a Movie Fight featuring three guests with some type of exposure, knowledge and experience with film, as they battle it out in a long-form debate show. The arguments are often filled with humor and great insight from multiple perspectives, offering for some great discussion. The Screen Junkies channel has grown quite impressively over the years, developing their own app that offers subscription-based video content, as well as absorbing and rebranding the Clevver Movies YouTube Channel into their own news-based channel, Screen Junkies News.
I really enjoy the Screen Junkies channel because of the overall professionalism. You can tell a whole lot goes into the production of these videos and the team puts it all together so well. While many viewers find the cast and crew of the Screen Junkies to be biased or annoying from time to time, I personally have grown to call the Screen Junkies family my own. Watching them talk about movies in Movie Fights just makes me feel like I’m part of a group of friends who like to argue about the stuff they love.
Next up is a two channel conglomerate of the Schmoes Know and Collider channels. I mentioned the Schmoes earlier as they are two of my favorite film reviewers on YouTube. Schmoes Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis head the channel and are two of the coolest dudes who talk about movies. They’re really just two everyday dudes who enjoy talking movies. I really enjoy their weekly Schmoes Know Show, their long-form film discussion podcast that incorporates not only Harloff and Ellis, but a wide array of hilarious and colorful cast and crew as well. In recent years, the Schmoes Know has partnered up with John Campea and the Collider channel, creating a melting pot of all things movies. The Collider channel does a daily Movie Talk show in the style of ESPN’s SportsCenter, discussing the newest in movies and movie news. They also do a weekly form of Movie Talk that specializes on certain genres like Collider’s Jedi Council (Star Wars movie news), Heroes (superhero films), Nightmares (horror and thriller films) and more.
By far, my favorite videos the Schmoes/Collider team put together is the Movie Trivia Schmoedown. Every week on the Collider channel, they release two episodes of their trivia quiz show, one two-person team match on Tuesdays and one singles match on Fridays. What’s great about the Schmoedown is that it is like the perfect blend of WWE theatrics and movie trivia bliss. All of the competitors are great and have extensive knowledge, making the show funner to watch than a lopsided party game of movie trivia. The stakes are quite real, as the show often throws in championship matches for actual belts, and even has round robin-type tournaments from time to time. The show itself has grown in the past few years, changing in format and quality, and has even grown in popularity to gain several guest appearances from the likes of celebrities like Sam Levine, Freddie Prinze Jr., and recently, four of the five rangers from this years’ Power Rangers. If you like film and you like trivia, I highly recommend you at least give the Movie Trivia Schmoedown a try. Who knows, you might even find yourself joining the Schmoedown Facebook page and entering in the fantasy league they have set up over there.
If there’s one thing that really sticks out about this channel and makes it enjoyable, it’s the people. Each member has their own unique personality and you’ll eventually find yourself having favorites. These guys are down to earth and just relatable. Overall, the Schmoes and Collider team are enjoyable to watch as they just feel like a family of people who like to sit around and have a few beers while talking about the cinema. If that doesn’t sound like a good time for film lovers, then I don’t know what does.
Out of this group of all-around channels, I believe Cinefix offers the widest array of content. They have movie reviews, homemade trailers, 8-bit versions of films and more. Clint Gage and his Cinefix team are all high intellectual individuals that definitely have a great deal of knowledge and each their own very well developed opinions of film. Like ScreenCrush, Cinefix has their own series of “Things You Didn’t Know” about movies, that are more often than not insightful and entertaining. They also have a series of trailer mixes that take films and re-edit them into trailers that flip the original genre of the film. Think of Will Ferrell in Elf as a thriller.
Aside from those videos, my channel favorites would have to be Cinefix’s “What’s the Difference?” and “Movie Lists” series. “What’s the Difference” takes films that have been based off of pre-existing source material and compares and contrasts the two. What makes these videos great are the witty and enthusiastic narrations partnered up with the sleek and equally funny animations. The “Movie Lists” series is essentially another film listicle. What separates Cinefix’s from the rest of YouTube, is just how detailed and analyzed their lists can be. That’s where the channel’s strengths come from: their extensive knowledge, not only on modern film, but foreign and classic film as well. Cinefix never fails to deliver well-thought out, high-quality, witty, entertaining and digestible content.
Featured image via Youtube.