Going to the movies is one of the easiest, and hopefully most entertaining, ways to spend Valentine’s Day, but how do you decide which date movie option is best for you?
We’ve weighed the pros and cons of nine major titles below. From current hits to brand new releases to Oscar-nominated prestige movies, there’s definitely something for everyone this Feb. 14.
We hope it helps you make the right choice for you and your Valentine.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 24%
Pros: Last weekend’s #1 movie will likely be a popular Valentine’s Day choice, even though there’s very little romance in it (aside from Jason Bateman’s loving marriage to Amanda Peet, which only plays a minor role). Star Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”) has broad appeal and she makes the most of mediocre material.
Cons: The poorly reviewed movie is completely forgettable, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing if you’d rather focus on your date than what’s on screen.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%
Pros: Adapted from a young adult novel, this “Twilight”-esque story of witches in a small Southern town focuses on a star-crossed love story involving young actors Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert, which should make it the top Valentine’s draw for teens.
Cons: Adults will want to consider anything else. Despite game performances from Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis, “Creatures” is a hodgepodge of bad visual effects, tedious storytelling and eye-rolling “Twilight”-by-numbers romance.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%
Pros: A lot of people thought last year’s Valentine hit “The Vow” was based on a Nicholas Sparks novel because it starred Rachel McAdams (“The Notebook”) and Channing Tatum (“Dear John”). It wasn’t. But “Safe Haven” is. Sparks has his fan base, and if you’re a member then you’ve probably already committed to seeing this lukewarm-looking romance starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough.
Cons: If you’ve ever seen, and hated, any of the previous Nicholas Sparks movies (also including “The Lucky One,” “A Walk to Remember,” “The Last Song,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Nights in Rodanthe”), you already know the cons.
“A Good Day to Die Hard”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%
Pros: The only major release with significant dude appeal, the fifth “Die Hard” movie is the obvious choice for both men and women who refuse to see anything that might be labeled a “chick flick.”
Cons: It’s an abysmal movie. Watching the once great “Die Hard” franchise descend to the level of totally generic action movie could be so depressing it’ll ruin your whole night.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%
Pros: The zombie romance with rising stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer bridges the stereotypical gender gap — undead action for men, a sweet love story for women. It would probably be #1 at the box office if it didn’t already score the top spot when it opened two weeks ago.
Cons: It still has the stigma of a young adult novel adaptation (though the author disagrees with that categorization and the movie has been much better received than “Beautiful Creatures”). Audiences seeking more mature stories may decide to keep on looking.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
Pros: One of the more adult options currently in theaters, this R-rated thriller boasts an acclaimed director (Steven Soderbergh), an attractive and talented cast (Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a whole lot of twists and turns.
Cons: Despite some people — including Soderbergh — positioning the film as an “erotic thriller,” it’s a pretty chilly viewing experience, which could be a turn-off if you’re looking for something fun or romantic.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Pros: As grown-up and sober-minded as movies get, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke’s acclaimed look at an elderly couple facing their final days together is a deeply felt and brutally honest account of the highs and lows of relationships. Plus, there’s a decent chance it will score some upset victories at the Oscars, so you could brag to your friends that you’ve actually seen it.
Cons: As a foreign language film, “Amour” is not playing in wide release, so it may not even be an option depending on where you live. While it’s an ideal choice for thoughtful moviegoers, there’s no denying it’s a very heavy film. There’s a reason Hollywood fluff — even really bad Hollywood fluff — makes a lot more money at the box office.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Pros: Nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and acting noms for hot stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings” has the classy cachet of “Amour” but far more crowd-pleasing appeal. David O. Russell’s screwball romance charts the unlikely love story between a former mental patient (Cooper) and a young widow (Lawrence).
Cons: Since “Silver Linings” is the best romantic comedy in years, there aren’t many cons. But it’s been in release longer and made more money to date than any other title on this list, so it’s possible you’ve already seen it. And some people take issue with the film’s portrayal of mental illness. Haters gonna hate, and all that.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%
Pros: Goth couples need something to see on Valentine’s Day too, and the Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror fairy tale is the perfect fit. Since “Warm Bodies” is more of a comedy, “Mama” is the only true scary movie in wide release and has the added benefit of awesome leading lady Jessica Chastain.
Cons: There’s a very narrow audience that will consider “Mama” a great date movie, and chances are they’ve already seen it.