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Photo: Courtesy of Cinephile LLC

10 killer gifts for movie lovers

If you want a five-star gift sure to top your favorite film freak's top-10 list, here's the place to start looking

By Joshua Rothkopf

You could take your sweetie out to the best movies out right now come the holidays, and even pick up the popcorn. But film fans are discerning, and Cats might not be special enough. Don’t risk it: Consult our handy guide of affordable gifts for the little Kubrick in your life come this Christmas in New York. Then you can fire up one of the best holiday movies in peace, knowing that under the tree, you’ve got final cut, and you’ve even come in under budget.

Best movie gifts

Photo: Courtesy of A24

1. The Lighthouse Grooming Set

Even if you haven’t seen Robert Eggers’s The Lighthouse, you can smell like you did with this mermaid-sculpted bar of soap, along with a flask of beard oil. (Joya, esteemed purveyors of fancy fragrant things, has created the set exclusively for distributor A24.) What can you expect from the scent? Per the site, it has notes of “sea foam, black waves, biblical storms and debauchery.” That sounds like a way better gift than socks.

$42 from A24

Photo: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

2. Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975

We’ve seen the new Godzilla movies—they’re fine. But don’t even step to the 1954 Japanese original, born out of a moment of postwar national trauma and shuddering with ecological warning. (It has to be a dude in a rubber suit because we are the monsters.) The Criterion Collection, wizards of deluxe home-viewing, give you eight Blu-rays full of city-stomping goodness: 15 features in all.

$179.96 from the Criterion Collection

Photo: Courtesy of Running Press

3. Rotten Movies We Love

Fresh or rotten—sometimes it’s hard to say, right? As if acknowledging as much, Rotten Tomatoes has published this immensely enjoyable anthology, filled with our favorite kind of advocacy: passionate defense of the weak. (Don’t even think of calling Step Brothers weak.) The ultimate mark of quality: Several former and current Time Out staffers contribute essays.

$24 from Running Press

Photo: Courtesy of Cinephile LLC

4. Cinephile card game

Gorgeously designed and illustrated, this stack of 150 cards is designed to be adaptable to several different modes of play: six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon-style, speed-round-style, teams or solo. Like a happier version of Alien vs. Predator, whoever loses, everyone wins.

$25 from Cinephile

Martin Scorsese MasterClass
Martin Scorsese MasterClass

5. Martin Scorsese MasterClass

Are you talkin’ to me? As a matter of fact, Martin Scorsese is talking to you, if you enroll for his 30-session online seminar, presented by MasterClass. Even though you won’t be able to ask him to read your script for Taxi Driver 2: Electric Boogaloo, you will learn a lot about directing, editing and working with actors. Alas, there's no segment in which Scorsese weighs in on Marvel movies, but feel free to yell at your TV anyway.

$90 from MasterClass

6. Cinemetal t-shirts

Love ’80s hair metal? So do we. But wouldn’t it be good if passerby also knew that you were familiar with the work of Ingmar Bergman? Here’s your solution. IFC Center is the place to shop for these T-shirts, along with a line devoted to fierce females like Tilda Swinton. Represent.

$27 each at IFC Center. Available in S, M, L, XL and XXL.


7. Shudder streaming subscription

Online streaming is increasingly the way we watch movies, and the selections at sites like Criterion Channel often make the experience phenomenal. But if horror is your thing—from spooky-old-house flicks to cult Italian gorefests—there’s only one game in town and that’s Shudder, programmed by genre experts. You could buy them Disney+, sure, but this one will undoubtedly result in greater happiness.

$49.99 for a year of total access

New Membership Card
New Membership Card

8. Gift membership to the Metrograph

How much do we love the Metrograph? We almost had our mail forwarded there during its Brian De Palma retrospective. If you’re any kind of self-respecting film fan living in NYC, you go there. Support the mission with a membership, which gives you year-round reduced admission, early access to special screenings, and members-only receptions and workshops.

Starting at $100 from Metrograph


9. Movie clapperboard at Museum of the Moving Image

Admit it, you always wanted one of these, to give your holiday videos that extra snap of authority: “Take two: My cat eats the Christmas tree.” While you’re at the museum, check out the rotating head from The Exorcist.

$8.95 at Museum of the Moving Image

Film Forum
Film Forum

10. Gift membership at Film Forum

You could swing over to Houston Street’s essential movie house and take in a screening. You could even buy a gift card. But spring for the full-on membership. The basic level gets you tickets at a massively reduced price, 365 days a year.

$75 at Film Forum

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