The Movies

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The Movies
The Movies Coverart.jpg
Developer(s)Lionhead Studios
Feral Interactive (Mac)
Designer(s)Adrian Moore[1]
Programmer(s)James Brown
Artist(s)Joe Rider
Wilfried Ayel
Writer(s)Martin Korda
Composer(s)Daniel Pemberton
Platform(s)Windows, Mac OS X
  • NA: 8 November 2005
  • EU: 11 November 2005
Mac OS X
20 December 2006
Genre(s)Business simulation
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

The Movies is a business simulation game created by Lionhead Studios for Microsoft Windows and ported to Mac OS X by Feral Interactive. Players run a Hollywood film studio, creating films that can be exported from the game. The Movies was released in November 2005 to positive reviews and several awards, but sold poorly. An expansion, The Movies: Stunts & Effects, was released in 2006.


The Movies allows players to run their own movie studio, including designing the studio itself and managing the careers of film stars. The game starts at the birth of cinema and continues into the future.

Players can create their own movies using in-game assets and at one time could upload them to the game's website The Movies Online.[2]


Lionhead Studios co-founder Peter Molyneux came up with the original idea and development began in February 2002.[3] An early version of the game was ready to show to journalists at the European Computer Trade Show in September 2002.[3]

The game was released in November 2005 and by the end of the year had sold above 50,000 copies in the United Kingdom, a number that Eurogamer's Kristan Reed called "relatively minor".[4] The game ultimately received a "Silver" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 100,000 copies in the region.[5][6]

The soundtrack for the game was composed by Daniel Pemberton.[7]

Stunts and Effects expansion pack[edit]

In June 2006, Lionhead studios released the expansion pack The Movies: Stunts and Effects. Feral Interactive ported the expansion to Mac OS in 2008. The expansion added stunts and stuntmen, new special effects, fewer camera placement restrictions, and expanded environments and clothing options.[8][9]


Review aggregator Metacritic gave the PC version a score of 84 out of 100 ("Generally favorable reviews") based on 62 reviews from critics.[24] The first review was published by GameSpy, which gave the game a 3.5 out of 5.[25] Metacritic gave the expansion, The Movies: Stunts & Effects, a score of 78 out of 100 based on 37 reviews from critics.[26]

Computer Games Magazine gave The Movies their 2005 "Best Utility" and "Best Original Music" awards.[23] The game won the best simulation award at the 2006 BAFTA Video Games Awards[27]

Looking back at the game in 2015, Rock, Paper, Shotgun said that it had promising features but failed to deliver on them.[28] In 2016, The Guardian called The Movies's online service "[p]erhaps the most forward-thinking feature" because it pre-dated YouTube by a year.[2]

Use in machinima[edit]

Using The Movies, Alex Chan, a French resident with no previous filmmaking experience, took four days to create The French Democracy, a short machinima political film about the 2005 civil unrest in France.[29]


  1. ^ Lionhead Studios (22 November 2016). The Movies. Activision. Scene: Credits sequence. Adrian Moore, Lead Designer
  2. ^ a b Stanton, Rich (20 May 2016). "Lionhead: the rise and fall of a British video game legend". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b Molyneux, Peter; Moore, Adrian (21 July 2004). "GameSpy: The Beginnings of The Movies - Page 1". GameSpy. IGN. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  4. ^ Reed, Kristan (5 May 2006). "2005 UK Sales Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011.
  5. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009.
  6. ^ Caoili, Eric (26 November 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Daniel Pemberton Talks Composing Music for Ridley Scott, Danny Boyle & Guy Ritchie". Billboard. 6 July 2016.
  8. ^ McNeilly, Joe (15 June 2006). "The Movies: Stunts & Effects Review". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  9. ^ Dan, Adams (17 May 2012). "The Movies: Stunts & Effects". IGN. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  10. ^ "The Movies for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  11. ^ Edge (December 2005). "The Movies". Edge. No. 156. Future Publishing. p. 86.
  12. ^ Dave 'Fargo' Kosak (8 November 2005). "The Movies". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  13. ^ Mike Reilly (16 December 2005). "I laughed, I cried..It was better than Cats!". GameRevolution. GameRevolution. Archived from the original on 25 November 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  14. ^ Matt Keller (15 December 2005). "The Movies Review". Palgn. Palgn. Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  15. ^ Computer Gaming World (December 2005). "The Movies". Computer Gaming World. No. 257. Future Publishing. pp. 6–7.
  16. ^ Mr. Marbles (11 September 2005). "The Movies Review". GamePro. GamePro. Archived from the original on 20 December 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  17. ^ Garnett Lee (11 November 2005). "The Movies Review". 1UP. 1UP. Archived from the original on 27 January 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  18. ^ "The Movies". GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  19. ^ Dan Adams (9 November 2005). "The Movies". IGN. IGN. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  20. ^ PC Gamer (January 2005). "The Movies". PC Gamer. PC Gamer. p. 66.
  21. ^ Michael Lafferty (8 November 2005). "The Movies Review". GameZone. GameZone. Archived from the original on 25 November 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  22. ^ Tony "OUberLord" Mitera (1 December 2005). "The Movies". Worth Playing. Worth Playing. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  23. ^ a b "The Best (and Worst) of 2005: The 15th Annual Computer Games Awards". Computer Games Magazine. March 2006. pp. 42–47.
  24. ^ "The Movies". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  25. ^ Kosak, Dave 'Fargo' (8 November 2005). "The Movies". GameSpy. IGN. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  26. ^ "The Movies: Stunts & Effects". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Simulation in 2006". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  28. ^ Graham, Graham (6 February 2015). "Have You Played... The Movies?". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  29. ^ Musgrove, Mike (1 December 2005). "Game Turns Players Into Indie Moviemakers". The Washington Post. D01. ISSN 0190-8286.

External links[edit]