Whether you’re a cinephile yourself or want to make a particular movie-obsessive happy over the holidays, here’s our 2022 gift guide for film fans. According to film fans. Prices range from pretty affordable to “wow, you must really like this person.” Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Note: Prices you see here may change!
#11 – Cinephile: A Card Game
You want the film fan in your life to show off their skills, right? Cinephile is the essential card game for movie lovers of all stripes, but especially cinephiles who can’t seem to close their IMDB browser tab. The game comes in multiple formats, plus you can shop expansion packs to add something extra or add to their existing game. The Cinephile website also features an array of merchandise, including shirts and pins.
#10 – A24 Screenplay Books
Is their coffee table or bookshelf lacking some existential grain filter? Better get them two books just to be safe. A24 sells high-quality screenplay books for some of their most acclaimed films. Books like Minari, which include Isaac Chung’s alternate ending, and Lady Bird, which is packed with letters Greta Gerwig wrote to Dave Matthews, Alanis Morisette, and (checks notes) Justin Timberlake. The A24 site also has plenty of other merchandise like shirts, gym shorts, and collectibles.
#9 – Color Changing Cinema Lightbox
So I’ve had one of these for the last year, and my favorite thing about it is how I can remind absolutely everyone on my Zoom calls that I used to work at a movie theater. I even get that same sick thrill from making fake movie titles back when I worked at a dollar theater in 2008. It’s bliss. I’ve also used this as a house party deco, and you better believe my friends have more respect for me than ever. No doubt about it.
Prices vary depending on the size you want. Smallest mini is a fun quick buy (and admirable white elephant gift) but you can get the standard for $35 and a biggie (the one I have) for $100. Programming a film festival in your living room has never been easier.
#8 – [LAST MINUTE IDEA!] Criterion Channel Subscription
Let’s be reel. Many if not most of you are way too late on your gift shopping, and I’m not here to judge. Only help. If you need something on the fly that is simultaneously thoughtful-adjacent, then consider putting the bucks down for a subscription to The Criterion Channel, a streaming service that gives them access to over 1,000 classic movies and recent discoveries. Gifting can be done at checkout for any subscription length (anywhere from 1 month to a full year), but the look on their face when they tell you François Truffaut’s take on mise-en-scène is free.
#7 – Or…just get them some actual Criterion movies
If you are planning ahead or don’t mind a late arrival, Criterion has some new releases for sale, and variety is certainly not an issue. Sure, they already have WALL-E on Disney+ or whatever, but do they have a 4K Blu-Ray of WALL-E with extra special features and more than a dozen documentaries about the making of the movie? Criterion also offers e-gift cards, in case they want to pre-order or pick a movie out themselves.
#6 – Mondo Posters
It’s not easy finding movie posters that don’t suck, which is probably why Mondo started selling their own. These posters are handcrafted and not just unique. They’re pretty much irreplaceable once the editions are sold out. Definitely use a good hanging solution for these.
#5 – Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Collection
We can’t stress enough that the film lover in your life is probably good with, you know, movies. But if you want to splurge a little extra, we get it. Thankfully, Sony Pictures Classics has a limited edition gift set that is sure to put a wry grin on their faces. This set includes 11 films from the last 30 years. Films as recent as Call Me By Your Name and as confoundingly brilliant as Synecdoche New York. Bonus points if you get this for someone who is or is about to turn 30.
#4 – Super Yaki Shirts that will make them point and say, “I get that reference”
Super Yaki has no shortage of awesome apparel for movie geeks, but they can sell out quick so you might want to get these while you can. Yes, there is a “Crimson Peak Was Good” shirt that hurts my soul, but they also have a “Justice for Jennifer’s Body” that deserves to be worn proudly in Alamo Drafthouses everywhere. Shirts usually range around $30 to $50, but you can also spend lower or higher on mugs, windbreakers, hats, tote bags, you get the idea.
#3 – A movie bucket list they might actually make progress on
It’s simple. They hang up the poster. When they see one of these iconic movies, they scratch it off to reveal the film art. You both gaze at the list of completed films like a monument to all the minutes you spent not making your own movie. Even if they’ve already seen most of these movies, you can do it as a group activity bucket list. Especially if you’re the one who’s been procrastinating on catching up to the cinema of it all.
#2 – Streaming Decider Dice (AKA Couple Preservation Device)
#1 – Booze Clues Movie Night Drinking Game
In addition to having the best name possible, the Booze Clues Movie Night Drinking Game is a good party game for the non-cinephiles, too. It’s basically Cards Against Humanity with a drinking problem and entertainment references. What could go wrong?
“Oh no! I just realized they hate movies and want books instead!”
No worries. We have a guide for that, too.