PROS / CinemaNow makes finding and downloading movies easier than ever.
CONS / There are no monthly membership options.
VERDICT / Pay-per-download costs can add up, but downloading movies is hassle free with CinemaNow.
CinemaNow provides almost everything you could want from a movie download service. It is easy to figure out, makes downloading movies easy, is accessible from your computer or internet TV and is chock-full of popular movies and new releases. There are some things missing, however. For instance, you can't rent television shows. It is a pay-per-download service, so movie marathons can be pricy. Moreover, the movie selection, as full of audience favorites as it is, is quite limited.
Like most movie download services, you have to become a member of CinemaNow before you can download anything. Unlike most movie download services, however, there are no monthly membership plans and you must pay for each movie you rent or purchase. So far, the only service that offers monthly plans with unlimited streaming is Netflix, and we would like to see more services follow its lead.
CinemaNow organizes movie information into tabs. These are General Info, Customer Reviews and Technical Info. Between these three tabs, you should be able to find any information about the movie you will need.
It's nice that CinemaNow decided to include customer reviews for its movies, but the feature could use some work. After clicking the Customer Reviews tab on a movie page, you will see an average star rating customers gave the movie as well as any written reviews. There are no critic reviews listed, which is something we think adds significantly to the movie selection process. Customer reviews can be helpful if they are well written and thought out, but not everyone takes time to do that. On one movie we looked at, the only written customer review gave the movie one star and one word to match: "sucks." Even though the movie received many good reviews from audiences and critics, CinemaNow only allows its members to give an opinion on movies.
CinemaNow isn't as accessible as our top three picks, although it is still easy to download movies to your computer and upload them on devices such as iPods and smartphones. You can also access CinemaNow from Blu-ray players and HDTVs, and then download movies you want directly to those devices for anytime couch watching.
When first arriving at the website, you might think that CinemaNow has a huge selection of movies and TV shows available to download. The homepage plays a slideshow of new releases that you can download, and it displays other boxes with featured rentals and downloads and CinemaNow picks. Upon further inspection of CinemaNow's selection, however, we found that altogether there are only about 6,000 movie and television titles to buy and only slightly more than 3,000 movies available to rent, which is far fewer options than its competition provides.
CinemaNow seems to cater to mainstream audiences. Most of the available movie downloads received good reviews from audiences and critics alike. We noticed that many of the movies would be perfect for family movie nights; Disney movies, lighthearted comedies and favorites such as "The Dark Knight" and "Inception" populate most of the movie download selection.
CinemaNow has an excellent customer support section. There, you will find answers to frequently asked questions as well as a phone number, email address and link to live chat support in case you have further questions. The Help section on CinemaNow's website shows that this service cares about its customers and makes it easy for them to get answers.
We only have one complaint with this website: it is difficult to search and browse movies unless you know what you're looking for. Browsing by genre – romance movies, for example – was confusing until we saw the small "View All Romance" button in the very bottom right-hand corner of the page.
CinemaNow has popular and well-liked movies to choose from, but it can be hard to find an interesting movie you haven't seen before. CinemaNow's website makes it look like an experienced movie download site, but it needs a bit more work before it can compete with our top picks.