We all know a little about films. Their mediocrity. Their disappointing plots. Their lack of post-mortem one-liners. Most movies are not worth paying full price to see at a first-run theater, but many are still worth seeing for less money. 50 cents, $1, $2? This is where we discuss those films – and the film experience – that might merit viewing, but not at $10.

The definition of a “dollar movie” fluctuates from person to person, including those contributing to this website and podcast. Generally, the films we love and review here have the following qualities:

  • Not Worth Full Price – We will attempt to review only those films which you can probably wait to see. But the initial judgment of a dollar movie is often made before seeing it and is thus a product of expectations. We will not review “There Will Be Blood” because of its high and serious expectations. However, we will not hesitate to review “Olympus Has Fallen”. At $10 it’s terrible, but at $2, it could be great. It’s all relative.
  • Fun – Most films we review are not principally “serious” or investigative of the human condition. Rather, their main purpose is to entertain.
  • Experiential – The theater experience is something special to these films. The lower price of admission decreases the social restraint of quiet observance while the content of the film usually encourages excitement and chatter.
  • Not ironic – There is a place for films that fit the “so bad, they’re good” category, but not here. Not intentionally, at least. The love of dollar movies is genuine and celebratory.

We do not use a rating system to distinguish the quality of films. Rather, our appreciation of the film is based on how much we would pay to see it. Cinemas have staggered pricing, ranging from weekend nights at the first-run theater down to discount weekdays at dollar theaters. By judging a film by the price we would pay for it, we are therefore prescribing the ideal time to visit, or not to visit, the cinema.

You can contact us at: hatemail@thedollartheater.com