Movie Recommendations From The May 20, 2018 Weekend Box Office

Most people will probably enjoy Deadpool 2 but beware. It is Certified Cringeworthy.

In May 2016 I wrote a piece about a website called cringeMDB. The premise behind the website is that there are movies that would make you cringe if you saw them with your parents or vice versa with your kids. The number one movie at the box office this weekend is Deadpool 2. Not only is it a box office success, but it has also been favorably reviewed by critics and audiences alike. It is a movie that many of us will want to see when we get a chance. Just don’t see it with your family. It is Certified Cringeworthy. The original Deadpool was 90.4% Cringeworthy which means that nearly everyone who saw the movie felt it was unsafe to see either with their parents or their kids. Deadpool 2 should be similarly cringeworthy.

The second new movie of interest is Book Club. Like the movies I mentioned last week, this is another movie with big IMDB splits between men and women. Unlike those other movies, Book Club has pretty high ratings for women. While men give the movie a 5.9 average IMDB rating, women give it a very strong 7.7 average rating. This movie should do very well with its target audience, older women.

The third new movie in the top ten this weekend is Show Dogs. The early feedback from critics and audiences is that this movie is pretty bad and, despite a decent opening weekend, is probably headed to the 2018 movie graveyard.

Next weekend, Memorial Day, is one of the biggest of the year at the movies. Solo: A Star Wars Movie is expected to dominate the weekend box office. Check in next Monday to see if its worth the hype.

Will Family Movie Night Be Cringeworthy?

A fairly new site has been created, cringeMDb, which allows you to input a movie released between 1995 and 2015 to determine whether it is safe to watch with your parents.

One of the activities we enjoy doing as a family is a trip to the movie theater to watch a movie we all want to see. In the summer of 2005, that movie was The 40 year-old Virgin. The R rating didn’t scare us away from this well-reviewed movie, since the kids were aged 18 to 23. As we walked out of this funny, but raunchy, film, my wife turned to me and said, “That was uncomfortable”. Sitting with our children through explicit sexual references, one after the other, turned family “fun day” into family “awkward” day. While we had no way of knowing, since we didn’t want to discuss it with them, it had to be uncomfortable for my daughter and two sons as well.

Fortunately, there is a website that can help avoid those embarrassing movie viewing situations. A fairly new site has been created, cringeMDb, which allows you to input a movie released between 1995 and 2015 to determine whether it is safe to watch with your parents. It’s not going to help you decide if a recent release is cringeworthy, and I don’t know if the site has plans to periodically add newer movies to the site but it will include many of the movies you might watch as a family in front of your own TV.

To provide some perspective on what movies might qualify as cringeworthy, I tested the tool against the eight 2016 Best Picture nominees:

2016 Best Picture Nominee cringeMDb Rating
Big Short, The Certified Cringeworthy
Bridge of Spies Certified Parent-Safe
Brooklyn Certified Cringeworthy
Mad Max: Fury Road Certified Parent-Safe
Martian, The Certified Cringeworthy
Revenant, The Certified Cringeworthy
Room Certified Parent-Safe
Spotlight Certified Cringeworthy

The site goes beyond the traditional rating system. Note that the R rated Mad Max: Fury Road is Certified Parent-Safe while the PG-13 Brooklyn is Certified Cringeworthy. In my opinion, the tool needs some more work. CringeMDb has almost no tolerance for any nudity or sexuality. I mean really, The Martian is cringeworthy? Not all sexual situations are cringeworthy. Spotlight, which my wife and I watched with my son, generated discussion of the topic, not embarrassment. You can register whether you agree or disagree with the rating the site generates and ideally your input would feed their algorithm. Whether it does or not I can’t say. Hopefully, it does. I’m confident the “wisdom of crowds” would do a fairly good job of defining the line where a movie crosses over into the cringeworthy zone.  It is an interesting and useful idea for a site and it is well worth watching to see if the developers do more with it.

Done right, cringeMDb, my children will thank you.