Updated 11/8/09 at 9:15 pm PT: This post evaluated Flixster's Movies 1.0 app for BlackBerry phones. It turns out, we got a little bit ahead of ourselves on this review--but here's the hands-on review for the update to the app described below, Flixster's Movies 1.1.6 for BlackBerry.
We were excited to hear that Flixster's popular iPhone movie app was making the jump to BlackBerry. Unfortunately, not all apps dive as elegantly into other mobile platforms. Flixster's Movies app is one of them.
The free Movies by Flixster app for BlackBerry has all the essentials: a tab for box office hits, an area to enter your Zip code to find movies near you, a list of upcoming titles, and movies that have come out on DVD. You can even purchase movies via movietickets.com. Yet this movie "app" is not so much a native application as it is a shortcut to a BlackBerry-optimized version of Flixster's mobile Web site.
While a nicely formatted mobile site routinely delivers a better experience than navigating the site through a browser, winding up with a not-app after downloading an application feels like a cheap trick. To top it off, Flixster Mobile looks like a mobile site on BlackBerry and reloads every screen as you navigate. In contrast, the iPhone version, pulls show times and theater information into a stylized interface that in no way resembles the Flixster.com site, apart from the information it downloads.
Users aren't fooled by the bait-and-switch, either. Flixster's movie app on BlackBerry rates 2.5 stars out of 129 votes at the time of writing. The program's average iPhone rating scores higher, with a 3.5-star average for the current version out of about 16,000 user reviews.
Come on, Flixster. We know you can do better than that.