The best way to see a movie is to go knowing nothing about it. No preconceptions, no expectations, it's up to you to see, figure out, and experience the movie on your own.
On the other hand, you could go to a lot of junky movies.
As I tried to find a movie that was playing in LA but less likely to be in Anchorage Monday, I ran into the problem of having to look at the reviews.
Well written and well thought out reviews are good after you see the movie.
What we need is a new form of movie review. The reviewers list about 20 films they really liked, 20 that were 'OK', and 20 they didn't like. Then you can see if a particular reviewer's taste matches yours. Then you could see if he likes a movie or not and decide on that alone without getting any spoilers.
Another option would be to list what you like and don't like in movies.
That said, I like movies if:
they are technically interesting
they draw me in so that I forget I'm at the movies
the actors are so good I forget they're acting
I learn something
They stretch the medium a bit and me as well
I'm not excited about seeing a lot of violence, especially if it isn't integral to the story.
While I didn't read more than a bit of one review, I read enough to take away some of what I should have discovered myself while watching the movie. So, my review below will be very careful NOT to do that.
I liked Catfish.
It fused internet visuals appropriately and cleverly, the main actor was very engaging and likable, and the story was relevant to the modern world and poignant. It dragged a bit toward the end, and you do learn why it's titled Catfish. I suspect they started out with that idea and then the movie went off in its own direction and in the end the explanation of Catfish seemed a little contrived. That's all I'm going to say.
The movie made me think of "Run Lola Run." It's not nearly as tight and good a movie, but it's clever in its own way. There are problems, but they are minor.
Oh, yes, at the Landmark, not far from my Mom's, you have to choose your seat before going into the theater. As we did that, I thought, "Gee the theater must be tiny." It turned out that we were in the "lounge." A theater with maybe 25 seats - but all very cushy couch like seats.
Sorry about the photo, it was the best I could do quickly as we left. But you get the idea.
[UPDATE: October 17, 2010: This NY Times piece "Documentaries (in Name Only) of Every Stripe" talks about the tantalizing questions in Catfish I didn't address here so as not to spoil the movie. Don't read this until after you've seen the movie!]