Fantastic iPhone Movie Apps for Film Fanatics

movie apps for ios

Download a few iOS movies apps and the iPhone or iPad can easily become a Film Fanatic's version of a mobile home theater system.

The Oscars are nearly here, and regardless of whether the award strikes you as glamorous fun or just self-congratulatory, odds are you’ll want to catch up on some of the movies that are earning buzz. The iPhone in your pocket, it turns out, is a great place to start. Whether you’re using the built-in GPS to find your nearest movie theater, the mobile web to look for some movie trivia, or the crisp retina display to watch a film in its entirety, you’ll find the following movie apps for iPhone some of the most useful the App Store has on offer.

Must-Have Movies App for All

No matter what your favorite genre or whether you prefer to consume film in theaters, at home or the go, there are a few general purpose movies apps that belong in every movie lover's mobile arsenal.

Movies by Flixster, with Rotten Tomatoes (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Movies by Flixster, with Rotten Tomatoes
Developer: Flixster, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

In the early days of the iPhone, film enthusiasts had a few options when it came to finding movie times, local theaters, reviews, and trailers. Those days are over-- Flixter is the clear victor. This app does it all, and doesn’t cost a cent. After you type in your search terms, Flixter will use the GPS to locate your closest theaters, and it will even show you some reviews by Rotten Tomatoes. There’s no reason to look elsewhere.

Leonard Maltin Movie Guide (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Leonard Maltin Movie Guide
Developer: MobileAge, Inc
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store

Fans of Doug Benson’s popular Doug Loves Movies podcast already know Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide app as the backbone of the “Leonard Maltin Game” played at the end of every episode. There’s a good reason for this: the Movie Guide is a fast, searchable, easy-to-use collection of every review by famed film critic Leonard Maltin. That’s more than 24,000 reviews, not counting the updates that come in every week. Add to this Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes integration, and you have the best two bucks a movie fanatic could ever spend.

Apps for Watching Movies

Netflix (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Netflix, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

Netflix came along for the iPad just in time to be one of the killer apps of the new platform. The way it works is simple: just swipe across the screen to find movies from Netflix’s enormous library of streaming movies, tap your selection, and watch them on your device, right then, without any waiting at all. Now, Netflix is on the iPhone, and it works in just the same way. The best part? It can stream over 3G in addition to WiFi. Streaming-only plans start at $7.99, but new users are eligible for a free trial membership.

Movie Vault - Watch Great Classic Films for Free (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Movie Vault - Watch Great Classic Films for Free
Developer: Fling Soft LLC
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store

If a Netflix membership is a bit too much of a commitment for you, fear not: Movie Vault will stream over a thousand movies right to your iPhone, over 3G or WiFi, without any cost beyond the modest two-dollar purchase price. The catch? All of these movies are oldies, belonging in the royalty-free public domain. You may want to watch some classic Orson Welles or Charlie Chaplin, or maybe you just want to laugh at some embarrassingly awful B-movies. Regardless, Movie Vault will keep you entertained for hours on end.

Skyfire Web Browser - Your Path to Flash Video on iPhone (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Skyfire Web Browser - Your Path to Flash Video on iPhone
Developer: Skyfire Labs, Inc.
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store

Skyfire is well known as an alternative web browser for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, so why did it make the list of favorite movie apps? The answer is simple: Skyfire Web Browser makes it easier than ever to watch countless free, flash-based movies on the web, movies that have been off limits to iOS users — until now, that is. Skyfire makes these videos viewable by actually converting them into an iOS-friendly format in the cloud, then streaming them directly to your device. For a service that elaborate, it’s amazing it doesn’t come with a monthly fee. For a list of movies to watch via Skyfire, check out Open Culture’s fantastic list of free movies on the web.

Movies Apps to Manage Your Addiction

This app is not currently available in the App Store.

The Netflix app may be great for streaming, but it's clear from the reviews that users are less than pleased about using it manage their account. A far better alternative is the iPhlix - Netflix Queue Manager. Use gestures to easily add, delete or reorder your titles, share recommendations with friends, browse high-res artwork, search the movies database and view filmography information. You can even use the app to manage multiple Netflix accounts — a true must for Netflix addicts.

MovieKeeper (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
not yet rated
Developer: Nosleep Software
Price: free Download on the App Store

Some movies stick in your mind forever, but if you're a bonafide film fanatic, then chances are you own enough flicks that keeping track of your collection has become cumbersome. MovieKeeper is an iPhone app to manage your movie collection that enter a few details and let MovieKeeper find the rest — including cover art. When you're ready to watch a movie, searching your collection is a breeze.

Apps For Film Factoids & Movie Trivia Games

IMDb Movies & TV (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
IMDb Movies & TV
Developer: IMDb
Price: free Download on the App Store

IMDb—the website—has been a haven for film addicts and movie trivia nerds since what feels like the beginning of the internet. They took their sweet time developing an iPhone app, however, giving independent web devs ample time to create third party mobile-enabled sites. Now the wait is over, and the official, native IMDb iPhone app is here, and it is great. Find info on over a million movies and TV shows, plus pages on millions of actors and directors. If you’re a film fan, you must download this app.

This app is not currently available in the App Store.

Are you a fan of the Scene It? series of DVD board games. Then, you'll find the iPhone and iPad editions are just as fun. Answer trivia questions based on movie clips from your favorite films, genres or actors — ie: Harry Potter or Scene It Romance. The mini-games can be played alone or with friends using pass-and-play. Just beware before you buy, these apps are a monster download so be sure you have enough space on your device.

Movie Apps — Outtakes and Extras (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Dan Florio
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store

When you got to go, you got to go. But, for the rest of the time you can use RunPee by Rock Software to coordinate your movietime bathroom breaks with the action in the film. The app tells you the best time to sneak out out the movie, what on-screen clues to look for, how long you can safely be gone and what's going to happen in the plot while you're away. You can also set an alert and have your phone vibrate when it's time to go.

VLC Remote (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
VLC Remote
Developer: Hobbyist Software Limited
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store

So far we’ve touched on apps for watching movies in the theater or directly on the screen of the iPhone, but what if you want to watch a movie on your computer, but you don’t want to get up and walk all the way over there to skip ahead or adjust the volume? Thankfully, that iPhone of yours also makes a great remote control. The App Store is loaded with remote apps, but VLC Remote is the best of the lot. VLC Remote can find any file on your computer and play it through VLC, the free desktop app that can play any media file you throw at it. What’s more, VLC Remote can intelligently make playlists, or even find and queue up YouTube videos to watch on your computer. It’s a great app with a list of features that grows with every update.

Did we forget your favorite iOS movies app? Let us know in the comments!

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  • warplayer

    Netflix gets a nod but no mention of Hulu Plus? It is subscription based too, and offers tons of movies, plus full TV seasons. I've been digging it.

  • timothyjpreut

    RT @'MarketMeTweet' AppCraver Friday Favorites: The Best iPhone Apps for Movie Mavens

  • Renniksoft

    We've just released 'Movie Genius' on the iPhone ( It's a movie recommendation engine with a difference as it bases its matches on plots and themes in movies and not actors, directors, genres etc. This can lead to some quirky and unexpected movie recommendations!

  • subrosa is available (again?) on the app store and still free! I looked it up—not affiliated. I assume it's the same one, just rebranded and/or rereleased for some reason. Anyway, the reviews are good with 5 stars. Here's the link:

  • Rambone

    you guiz did not talk about MovieCat, a great game for movie trivia buffs, and that app is better than all the others on this list


    'Movie Database' iOS App ( is now available in App Store where you can easily manage your movies collection with its super fast search & save function, all movie details will be auto filled including the movie poster & backdrop. One of the great features is the report generator where you can email or print your movies collection in nicely build report sheet that shows your movie posters in thumbnail format. Great for sharing with friends & families!