If you are anything like me, then chances are you are somewhat bored with the current selection of movie streaming sites out there. All of the so-called ‘best movie streaming sites’ like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video … they all have more than one fatal flaw, don’t they? Whether it is the slow and unreliable servers of Prime Video, the hit-or-miss quality of Netflix originals, or the lackluster and somewhat inconvenient user experience offered by Hulu, all of the best movie streaming sites have pretty remarkable shortcomings. Especially when you take into account how much money each of these asks for each month.
I have been long overdue for a movie streaming site that offers something different. I want a movie streaming site that prioritizes quality over everything else. I want a movie streaming site that offers a uniquely tailored, curated experience. I don’t even mind if I have to sacrifice quantity for quality. What good are 5,000 movies if only 5 of them are good anyway? I think I may be ready to trade in my membership with one of those alleged best movie streaming sites that I mentioned earlier for a streamer that focuses on one thing above all else: providing only life-altering, brilliant exercises in cinema.
If you, too, are ready for a movie streaming site that is unlike all the rest, I think I might have the best movie streaming site for you. Allow me to introduce you to Cine Tree. If Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu can be called the fast food of movie streaming services (and I think that they can be), then Cine Tree would be something like a 5-star restaurant. Cine Tree offers the promise of no more clicking through an endless barrage of garbage every time you sit down to stream a movie; instead, choose from a preselected menu of a few choice films.
Have you ever spent more time trying to decide on what to watch than you actually spend watching it? If so, there’s no need to be ashamed. This is a fairly common occurrence. At least for those of us who use more-is-more streaming services like Netflix. Too many options can be downright overwhelming. That is one of the reasons that I started StreamingSites.com to begin with – there are too many streaming sites to choose from, someone had to provide a user-friendly list of easily accessible reviews (shameless plug…).
With Cine Tree, the philosophy is less is more. But you aren’t just getting fewer movies, you’re getting fewer movies that have been specially curated for you by a community of cinephiles, experts, movie makers, and enthusiasts. You won’t have hundreds of movies to scroll through when you sit down to stream movies on Cine Tree, no, but you will have a menu of the highest-quality films handpicked by people who truly understand and love movies. In such a fast-paced, overstimulating world of nonstop choices, doesn’t that sound like a relief? I can feel myself calming down just thinking about it.
Who are these experts, though, that choose what movies you should watch? How can we trust that they will truly choose the best movies? I mean, that is so subjective, right? Anytime somebody claims that they know what’s best for you, it is natural to push back, to be a bit skeptical. I get that. On the flipside, though, I think it is also healthy to admit that there are experts on just about every topic who exist – film included. I would take a doctors advice on what medication to take; so, why wouldn’t I take a film experts advice on what movies to watch? I know that is a dramatic analogy, you’ll have to forgive me.
Nevertheless, Cine Tree does a good job at personalizing this group of experts, making it so that they aren’t just some shadowy cabal of mysterious forces secretly picking the best movies for you to watch behind the scenes. Each guest curator is identified by name. Plus, they offer a bit about why they felt the movies they chose were important and some fascinating insights into filmmaking writ large. Curators have included actors, filmmakers, photographers, writers, film critics, and well-known film festival and film house programmers. On their homepage, Cine Tree further elucidates, saying, “Think of people such as Jelle Brandt Corstius, Pepijn Lanen, Thomas Acda, Halina Reijn, Carice van Houten, Olivia Lonsdale, Sacha Polak and Jeroen van Koningsbrugge.”
So, does Cine Tree sound like it might have a shot at being the best movie streaming site for you? Well, the only way to figure out for sure is to take a closer look at the site itself and everything that it has to offer. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Cine Tree.
One of the first things that I always look at when I am evaluating a movie streaming service is its interface and site design. After all, one of the most crucial elements to the best movie streaming sites is usability. If your streaming service is clunky, inconvenient, or difficult to navigate, frankly, I don’t care what movies it has to offer, I probably won’t be using it.
Fortunately, though, Cine Tree offers a sleek, modern, minimalistic, and easy to use interface that would be the envy of any top streamer. Pages are nicely spaced, easy on the eye, and browsing is a cinch. Cine Tree offers, as is its entire MO, a unique user experience that smoothly blends media with text. As I mentioned before, you aren’t going to be browsing hundreds of titles on Cine Tree; therefore, the Cine Tree layout is able to breathe a lot more than your typical site.
The user experience of Cine Tree is fully immersive. The site menu, for instance, is kept tucked away, a dropdown in top left corner is all you get outside of the movie and supplementary information on it. With as little as possible getting in the way between you, the movie, and the story behind the movie, you may even forget that you are using a movie streaming site at all. This is as close as it gets to going to the cinema.
Content and Features
As we have already discussed, the content is, in some ways, the central feature of Cine Tree: handpicked, curated movies that are made to last, to stand the test of time. This movie streaming service is monolithic: quality is its only concern. Well, that and the impactful nature of narrative. I think that if I had to qualify how the curators tend to choose the movies that they select each month, I would say that they choose movies that, sure, are technically great; but they also take into account the power of story. All of the movies that you will find here contain transcendent narratives that speak to the human condition in some meaningful way.
Cine Tree offers a selection of 15 movies to choose from every month. Additionally, though, you will be able to enjoy wonderfully written articles and introductions for each movie and 30% off Cine Tree’s movie rentals. Even if you aren’t a Cine Tree member, you can still rent some of the best films ever made. And if you are, you get the 30% off, but you also get an expanded library of movie options if you should plow through your 15 movies of the month within the first 2 weeks.
Some might see Cine Tree’s rejection of quantity as a downside. It just depends on how you like to stream movies. I would also take into consideration the spread of streaming services that you already have at your disposal. If you are a member of a few movie streaming sites that offer thousands of titles, maybe it is time to consider something a little more personalized and artisanal.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Mobile streamers, rejoice! Cine Tree has a sizeable list of compatible devices, including both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The app, I should add, is every bit as gorgeous and easy to use as the site itself.
Additionally, you can stream movies with Cine Tree on your Apple TV, Chrome Cast, or Samsung smart TV. I would like to see a broader list of compatible TVs and consoles, but this isn’t a bad start for a newer streamer.
Pricings and Plans
I think that Cine Tree’s price is fair for what it offers. Since the whole deal is that you get fewer movies, it wouldn’t be right if the cost of Cine Tree wasn’t at least a little cheaper than the top movie streamers. You can enjoy the one-of-a-kind curatorial experience of Cine Tree for only €7.99/month.