Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Most importantly the game’s gradual learning curve, handy tutorials and simple interface is immediately accessible, yet there’s still plenty to learn and discover when it comes to the subtleties of filmmaking 30 hours later.
  2. We're very impressed with this enormous new simulation game, despite the fairly steep learning curve.
  3. 100
    The Movies takes Tycoon-style gameplay and brings it to a new level of polish and immersion, not only delivering addicting and challenging gameplay, but the means to create some funny movies to share with friends, too.
  4. Quite possibly our game of the year. It really is every bit as good as we could have hoped for and every bit as good as the hype would have suggested. [PC Zone]
  5. A title that is only limited by two factors, your imagination and the ability of the title to match it.
  6. What Lionhead have done is truly given us the real control we have craved for all this time... The Movies is simply dripping with style and substance, and will reward you long until the inevitable expansion packs hit the street.
  7. Great controls, fun storyline, an addictive game that you just can’t stop playing and top it all with fantastic movie creation and viewing and you have one top notch game that is hard to pass up.
  8. A flexible and fun experience which can be overwhelming at times but always manages to entertain.
  9. Despite some minor problems, The Movies breaks new ground in the sim genre by putting business elements together with people-sim elements to create a wholly unique experience.
  10. The inclusion of the ability for people to make their own movies will surely spark a number of creative movies with endless possibilities, especially with the potential of future additional downloadable content.
  11. The Movies is an all-around first-class effort. It is easy to learn, fun and addictive to play.
  12. A tremendously well done game.
  13. From the gorgeous detailed graphics, humour, wonderful on-set animation and the entertaining radio news system, The Movies is a landmark game.
  14. I can’t overstate the power of the game engine behind The Movies. The possibilities are almost endless given that this game is mod friendly. Once fans get their hands on this game, we will get to see some incredible movies.
  15. Addictive, entertaining and just plain fun, The Movies gives players creative freedom no other sim has offered.
  16. Its intuitive interface allows anyone to grasp the tools necessary to start making films immediately, as well as providing an outlet for the future Stanley Kubricks of the world to get busy working on the world's next great film.
  17. Two very distinct products – a tycoon, studio manager of sorts and a detailed movie making piece of software. The game doesn’t intertwine them as well as it should, but The Movies has enough going for it to make it easily recommendable.
  18. The Movies is addictive. The Movies is compelling. The Movies is innovative. The Movies is one of those games that you could become lost in for a very long time – should you devote the time to it.
  19. A great management game almost in the same league as Theme Park coupled with a fairly versatile and endlessly amusing movie-making tool makes for a compelling package, but the online options add the kind of polish that’ll potentially keep you coming back for months.
  20. It's as playable, entertaining and creative as was expected both from the hype and from the type of game we know that only Lionhead Studios could produce.
  21. What would happen if you combined the best aspects of resource management with the personal relationships facet of the ever popular TheSims style of games? Activision has done just that with TheMovies, and as we learned, it’s a winning combination.
  22. While film aficionados will get more out of it than your regular Joe who will pay full price to see anything starring Rob Schneider, The Movies is for anyone who not only think they can make movies better than Hollywood, they know they can.
  23. Easily the finest and most involving product to carry Molyneux’s name in years. A stunning achievement. [Christmas 2005, p.100]
  24. Tremendously fun title to say the least.
  25. A must-see blockbuster with that ineffable star quality. [Christmas 2005, p.94]
  26. The only real drawback to The Movies is that, with how deep of a game experience that it provides, it can be overwhelming at times.
  27. It's really to the game's credit that its enormous breadth makes us long for even more sets, scenes, and goodies to muck with.
  28. Offers 500 percent more flexibility than anything that has come before. [Dec 2005, p.185]
  29. The thriving fan community and huge potential of the movie making tools push this game over the edge and really make it an attractive purchase for anyone interested in the theme.
  30. The movie construction system is impressive.
  31. From the obtuse system of management, to the lack of total control with the movie making, this game will disappoint somewhat. However, on balance, The Movies contains some remarkable features, that could only be spawned from the likes of Molyneux.
  32. There is no other game like it on the market, which proves that Peter Molyneux never ceases in his ceaseless search for innovation.
  33. 87
    An excellent simulation title, and anyone that is a fan of the genre would be very happy to pick it up.
  34. A whole lot of fun. Managing your own studio is a real blast, although things tend to get a bit too simple and straight-forward at times. Creating movies from scratch is intuitive and strangely addictive. [Dec 2005]
  35. Lionhead Studios creates a fun movie mogul sim, while giving wannabe Spielbergs the chance to make their masterpieces.
  36. Offers a unique perspective on moviemaking and its gameplay style is refreshingly original. If you're a movie buff, or love Sims-type games, The Movies is for you.
  37. The most innovative sim in years, even with its manageability issues. [Jan 2005, p.66]
  38. Taken too seriously the game can become frustrating and repetitive. But if you're just in it for the fun, fun is what you're going to have.
  39. The replay value for this game is extremely high, as you are only limited by your imagination.
  40. There's nothing wrong with sweating the details, but hopefully the sequel will focus on the ones that make this game special.
  41. An ambitious attempt at an addictive game, and meets expectations more times than not.
  42. The Movies proves to be an accessible and good-spirited tycoon game, and its moviemaking tools offer a surprisingly deep amount of control. But the disconnection between these elements is noticeable.
  43. Like in Hollywood, the real magic in The Movies is in the films you produce and not in the mundane business of making movies.
  44. The heavy micromanagement necessary in The Movies may not be for everyone, but it’s easy to see that this is a good game. There are enough unique touches so it never feels stale or derivative, even though parts of it may seem familiar to some gamers.
  45. 80
    In order to work within the mechanics of the sim, only the game-created factors figure into how well-received your movies are. The experience of creating your own movies during the game is rendered hollow by knowing that no matter how much tweaking you do, it doesn't figure into it.
  46. 80
    While the studio lots themselves can become wonderful places given the right attention, and stars can be fun to screw with, too many limitations and confusion as to why some things work the way they do can create a tiresome management simulation.
  47. Don't expect challenging financial decisions or careful economic planning, but if all you want is to make your own movies, this game's awe-inspiringly varied toolset should not be missed.
  48. 80
    Like any generic Tycoon sim, The Movies gets a bit over-focused on the trivial aspects of simulation, specifically with studio upkeep and playing constant babysitter to bigheaded actors, though while somewhat satirical, is a continuous bother. But the main attraction here is making short movies, which, if you're willing to spend the time, can be oodles of fun.
  49. The Movies isn't so addictive that it will likely cause you to lose sleep like some management games, but the time you do spend with it will probably prove to be some the most enjoyable "tycoon" style gameplay you've had in 2005.
  50. One of the most addictive and enjoyable games you'll play this year. [Jan 2005, p.84]
  51. 80
    An addictive tycoon style game which also caters to those with a bit of creative flair.
  52. It is once the main game is over that the real fun of The Movies begins.
  53. While running the studio does boil down too quickly into lather-rinse-repeat patterns of tycoon-style management, the moviemaking part of the game gives you an almost endless supply of replayability.
  54. It has all of the elements of a good game, and it can be fun at times, but the endless micromanagement gets a little tedious.
  55. A pretty solid, compelling take on the inner and outer workings of the deliciously corrupt film business and should satisfy most who audition - until they invariably freak out and seek rehab, that is.
  56. 70
    Few games in recent years have been laugh-out-loud funny, but The Movies generates so much random silliness that - even when things are going wrong - you can still have a good time.
  57. When you need a quality action scene, you call on the chicken; Is this a future star? [Jan 2006, p.55]
  58. That this is one decidedly average experience and one decidedly great one jammed together becomes clear long before you’re freed to fully enjoy yourself. [Jan 2005, p.86]
  59. If you are hungering for a good tycoon game, keep looking. The Movies won’t butter your popcorn. But if the idea of making your own short films sounds even remotely interesting, the creation tools and capabilities of the game can provide hours and hours of fun.
  60. The Movies takes elements of all our favorite simulation games, most noticeably The Sims and the various Tycoon games, and combines them successfully with simple, user-friendly controls.
  61. Although the game has some very nice quirks and touches, it fails to provide a strong, engaging experience. The rewards of running a successful studio aren't worth the patience and frustrations involved.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Nov 25, 2011
    There aren't many games that I give a a perfect 10 score. The Movies is a perfect example of an imperfect, entertaining game that is expandedThere aren't many games that I give a a perfect 10 score. The Movies is a perfect example of an imperfect, entertaining game that is expanded almost endlessly on your own personal imagination. The ability to craft your own short-stories with Sims quality characters (at least Sims back in 2005), and to voice act in your own movies is something unseen. If you're looking into animation, or anything of the sort, pick this game up for $10 and let your imagination run wild. Export the movies and share them with friends, or make them with your friends. There's hours of fun to be had here. Full Review »
  2. MattDC
    Nov 21, 2005
    The deeper you dig, the better it gets. This game is a wondeful evocation of movie-making through the eras. The attention to detail is The deeper you dig, the better it gets. This game is a wondeful evocation of movie-making through the eras. The attention to detail is astonishing and the longer you play, the more you appreciate the fact that Lionhead loved making this game. Critics have pointed to the diconnect between the movie-making and tycoon aspects, but this is a pretty insignificant objection. Ultimately, it's fun, charming, funny and addictive. You can't ask for much more. Full Review »
  3. KimP.
    Nov 11, 2005
    It's really two apps in one: A tycoon game with a"movie mogul" setting; and a consumer-level machinima tool. You can play the game It's really two apps in one: A tycoon game with a"movie mogul" setting; and a consumer-level machinima tool. You can play the game without really caring about your movies (you actually arent required to view them if you don't want to). You can *kind of* use the machinima side of it without playing the game. However, you do need to know how the UI works, and certain 'eras' of film making are only unlocked after playing. As a tycoon game, it's first rate. I'm not personally a fan of games that require too much micromanagement, something most of this genre is guilty of. However, that being said, the tutorials, user-interface, and interactivity are an absolute triumph. I'm REALLY impressed. As a machinima tool, it seems REALLY powerful. Despite that, it's very easy to use. After playing the game part for 2 hrs, I went back, did the 'sandbox' mode to unlock a bunch of stuff, and created a 4 minute vignette subtitled film in about 15 minutes and was quite impressed with the results. (note, I didn't even view the tutorials for this part, so was lucky to find out that you need to build a post-production facility if you want to add audio or subtitle, and that is also where you export to WMV). I'm running it on a beta of Windows Vista, and had no bugs or crashes, though the ingame movie viewer was running a little choppy. 9 on 10 for The Movies. My only complaints are too much micromanagement (typical for this genre), and the problems I had with the speed of the ingame movie player. Otherwise, I loved it! Full Review »