It is understandable that your first thoughts involve the big screen when someone mentions the art of film. Some of your youngest memories will include visiting your local cinema to see the latest blockbuster on the big screen, and the movie industry still relies on theatres to get their films in front of audiences. However, the media has changed in recent years.
Now that everyone has a phone screen in their pockets, it is perfectly natural to stream a movie on tis much smaller device. These films can’t look great on this scale, though. Can they? While there are some films that you need to see on the biggest screen possible to experience them in full, others are improved by being screened on your smartphone. Don’t believe us? Here are just a few examples of films that are best watched on your smartphone.
These are the best films to be watched on your phone!
The latest offering from destruction connoisseur, Michael Bay, received mixed reviews from critics. Ambulance is a thrilling escape movie that sees Jake Gyllenhaal trying to flee the scene of a bank robbery in hot pursuit in nothing but an ambulance. This leads to several hours of car chase action filled with the explosions and stunts that you have come to expect from this particular director. So, why is this high-action blockbuster best viewed on a smartphone?
The thing that makes Ambulance special is that it was shot using drone technology, which means that the audience is treated to some clever skyward shots. One of the biggest criticisms of this film is that these shots made the action look cheap and amateurish on the big screen. However, those who watch on their phone will receive the full impact of this direction choice that places the viewer in the hand of a drone as if they were actually there.
Rian Johnson is another director with his hands in big-budget projects for the big screen. However, the director took another approach when struggling with writer’s block in 2019. After wrapping on Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi and Knives Out, Johnson took a trip to Paris to try and reinvigorate his creative muscles. Armed with nothing but an iPhone, the director captured his experience in the city of Paris, documenting his creative breakthrough in the form of this short film.
Paris is a great film to watch if you are ever in a spot of creative strife yourself, and the filming method makes it feel as if you are going through this journey along with the filmmaker. It might not have a fancy budget or high-end special effects, but Paris is definitely something that every budding director should view at least once.
The film world was placed on its head when this South Korean-made film swept the 2019 Oscars. Best picture director Bong Joon-ho used his wits and keen eye to create a window into the lives of a struggling family trying to make ends meet by conning another rich household. Audiences weren’t expecting this commentary on an unfair capitalist society to take such a dark turn, and neither will you.
Since your screen acts as the window into this cruel world, you will benefit from using your smartphone to view the characters in Parasite. This viewing method puts you squarely behind the shoulders of the leads as if you were making these chaotic decisions alongside them, which is a powerful experience you will not find anywhere else.
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Not every film on this list is an arthouse darling. The Mitchells vs. the Machines is an animated film from Sony Pictures that hit Netflix in the summer of 2021 to much acclaim. The initial premise is nothing to shout about. A dysfunctional, nuclear family in North America has to learn to work together on a road trip after the world is taken over by robots. The animation style is great, but it is the dialogue and effervescent humour that brings this quirky film to life.
Written and directed by Mike Rianda of Gravity Falls fame, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a secret hit that the entire family will chuckle through until the final credits. What’s more, this subtle commentary on how we use the tech in our lives may hit just that little bit harder if you choose to watch on your smartphone.
The newest film on this list, Prey, came out in July 2022 and is the latest instalment of the popular Predator franchise. Again, viewers would expect a swathe of special effects and action beats in a film of this nature; however, Prey is a much more subdued affair. The film takes place in the late 1700s, before the colonisation of the United States of America, and follows Naru as she tries to prove herself as a hunter to her Native American tribe. Unfortunately, this desire places her on a collision course with an alien predator, and she has nothing but her wits and ancient hunting weaponry to help her beat the extra-terrestrial threat and survive the night.
You can stream a movie like this while on the move if you are with the right mobile network provider in the UK. If you want to find out more about network providers, you can head online to learn more about Lebara, who offer various sim-only deals that are affordable. This is a slightly scarier film than you may be used to, so it may be best if you view it at arm’s length on your phone. That way, the jump scares may hit you a little less hard than normal.
This article has mainly stayed away from the larger blockbuster movies, and for a good reason. Your smartphone allows you to view films in a more intimate setting, and a lot of special effects and visual noise can drown out what is so special about these movies. Visual noise is a staple of the superhero genre, which is what makes Shazam so unique.
This coming-of-age story from David. F. Sandberg follows a young foster child, Billy Batson, as he wrestles with being a lonely and misunderstood adolescent. However, his outlook on life changes when he receives superpowers from a mysterious stranger. With these gifts, Billy quickly learns his value as a person to save the world and make some new allies along the way.
While there are some over-the-top special effects in this movie, Shazam chooses to spend most of its time on the ground with young Billy and his friends. It is this decision that helps the film feel more like a teen movie from the eighties, rather than an action-packed superhero of the modern age. Therefore, most viewers will enjoy this film on their phones just as much as they would on the big screen.
Conclusion – best films to watch on your phone?
The smartphone has provided film viewers with another medium to experience the films they love, and filmmakers are definitely paying attention. As you can see, several artists have already embraced this medium to create something different for phone users, while others are retroactively benefiting from this new type of viewing method.
Whatever your preferred method of viewing films, make sure you don’t rule out watching on your smartphone just yet. Give these films a try on a smaller device, and you won’t regret it.
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