King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game

Any hardcore movie buff will want to play King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game. It's a game unlike any other, one tailored to cinephiles who have great imaginations. Available at or for just $25, the game's entire premise revolves around distinguishing a real (but obscure) film from fake ones made up by the players. There's a definite challenge to it, but also an opportunity for fun and laughter.

The gist is simple. One person is “the Maltin” (a.k.a. the moderator). That person reads an actual movie title aloud. The players, meanwhile, write a short synopsis/review of what they think the plot could be based on that title. They have to do it according to some guidelines, so that each one generally follows Maltin's style. The Maltin then reads the guesses aloud, mixing the real Maltin's actual synopsis/review in with the fake ones. Players must guess which is the real deal. You score based on how many of your competitors you can trick into believing what you wrote.

The potential for humor is obvious, as bizarro synopses are guaranteed. The King of Movies' instruction manual comes with several ways to vary the game to make it easier, harder, or just different. Getting bored by the game would be difficult because you can play it in a variety of ways. The more clever you are, and the better you are at mimicking Maltin's prose, the better you'll do.

If you don't have many movie-loving friends to play with you, don't fear. The King of Movies app for iOS and Android will allow you to organize games via Zoom. Connect with your Twitter pals in other places and it can be just as enjoyable as playing in person. (That makes it ideal for these socially distant times.) If one of you comes up with a really amazing fake premise, it could even become a real movie. Post a picture of your work to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MaltinKingofMovies. On January 1 of each year, Leonard Maltin himself will pick his personal favorite, and that idea will be optioned by Drafthouse Films.

Handsomely made and including a cardboard crown inside for the victor to wear, King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game offers the potential for many hours of cinema-related fun. With 300 cards containing 600 movie titles, you can play again and again without fear of repetition. Nothing else quite like this exists, and it's hard to imagine any movie buff not loving it.

King of Movies