You have your outdoor projector set up with all ancillaries, including an excellent audio system to give the best sound quality.
The audio system is the icing on the cake, assuming you have a crisp, clear image on the screen.
You have invited your guests and are now left with one final choice… What movies will show? What movies are the best to be screened outdoors? You have made your investment, and the prospect of showing a dull movie will just not cut the mustard.
There are so many fantastic movies to show on a big screen and to be honest. There are plenty of disastrous movies that can just ruin the whole experience for everyone.
As a rule of thumb, stays clear of art-type films. I doubt if your audience is really into watching a movie intensely only to find the plot is lackluster at the very best.
In my opinion. If you are not a Hollywood producer premiering your latest creation, then play it safe.
If this is a family event or night out for the boys and girls., Choose your movies according to your audience.
You may decide if it’s a family event with young children you may show an early movie that is age suitable. There are so many great movies for younger audiences. You will find it hard not to enjoy these movies yourself.
Know Your Audience
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Unlike heading for the movie theater where you make your own choice of movie to view from a listing, attending a backyard movie show may not and probably will not be so sophisticated.
Before sending your invites out, be sure your audience understands the seating arrangements. It is unlikely you have plush soft chairs like a movie theater.
Manage expectations. If your audience is going to be seated on a lawn area freshly manicured, let them know in advance.
Some of us have allergies to freshly mown grass and tree pollen. Antihistamines are always a good thing to have on hand for the unprepared guest.
You may wish to ask your guests to bring a soft cushion to alleviate the pressure points of sitting on the ground for so long.
I’m sure you understand the gist of what I am trying to convey in this article. Managing expectations will create a better experience for everyone.
So, let’s get on to the top ten movie list for screening in your backyard. We will start with a few age-appropriate movies assuming you have younger guests.
The movie selection is based on visuals and sounds best suited for an outdoor projector with a good sound system.
Top 11 Movies For Your Outdoor Movie Experience
- Stuart little
No one can dispute the excitement and incredible CGI used in Stuart little. I love the first movie produced. Lots of action with a great storyline and a cast of well-known actors and actresses will always be a complete winner.
The sound quality is exceptional, building expectations and some trepidation along the way.
A perfect movie for young children and adults.
- Star Wars
Star Wars is a classic movie that has become loved by generations. This movie shown on a big screen enthralls the audience with a soundtrack that sets the standards for all movies of this genre to follow.
A genuine family movie that conjures up memories of the past years for the adults in the audience.
- Despicable Me
You might consider this movie suited for a very young audience, and you would be right. However, this movie has been enjoyed by adults worldwide and has become a favorite of every generation.
A perfect movie for early screening to set the tone for the evening ahead.
- Saving Private Ryan
This movie is an absolute classic for excellent reason. Tom Hanks leads his small platoon across France and Germany in search of private Ryan. After finding his sibling has been killed in action, it is decided to return Ryan home to his elderly mother.
The move is, of course, engaging but, what makes this perfect for the outdoor projector is the constant development of the audio, Some fantastic explosions that immerse the audience in action.
Being outdoors makes the movie come to like as you can imagine the horrors of war.
- Blair Witch Project
Are you easily scared? Then this film frightens the life out of you. The film is set in some creepy woods with friends camping. Altogether like you and your friends will be the evening you show this movie,
The tension and fear are tangible throughout the movie and will cause you to glance around your surroundings as you enjoy the evening breeze. Is there anyone out there watching you?
A movie of undisputed terror, great for your outside movie experience.
Back to the war genre of movies, a recent movie with Tom Hanks playing the commander of an escort ship in the second world war.
It’s an excellent movie for historical representation as the movie is based on the true story of Greyhound and its crew.
The action sequences are full-on, and the sound quality will immerse you into the Atlantic crossings of merchant ships escorted by the US Navy while being hunted by German U boat wolf packs.
It may be suitable for an old teen audience also.
- Star Trek
Captain James Tiberius Kirk takes control of the StarShip Enterprise. You can only expect one outcome but the journey to overcome evil is quite an experience with the ups and downs of fortune you might expect from the Star Trek franchise.
A classic movie that will not disappoint, and with phasers and torpedoes shooting across open space, the imagery and sound production are second to none.
The original movie has become iconic and synonymous with tension and drama as the enormous shark terrorizes the coastline of the eastern seaboard.
Deservedly this movie is an all-time classic, and regardless of how many times you have seen this movie, the excellent storyline and plot never fail to keep you immersed in this story of the hunt for a ferocious predator.
A must watch for old and young and all ages in between, in my opinion.
- Notting Hill
This may not be your classic or your first choice, but this movie set in London with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant will be viewed as a masterpiece of comedy and romance.
It’s a classic story of a boy who meets a girl in a British setting. The humor is somewhat British, but the movie is delightful.
The acting is spot on, and the storyline will keep you watching and hoping that all will work out in the end.
Some offensive language which is a pity but mainly suited to a wide audience.
- Guardians of the Galaxy
A movie for younger and adult audiences, a fantastic storyline with some unexpected characters that grow on you in unexpected ways.
Good action movie with plenty of light-hearted moments to make you smile, if not laugh.
Why is it good for the outdoor backyard movie set up? The movie has some great visual effects and a classic soundtrack played on a walkman ( if you know what that is, you are showing your age)—lots of booms and bangs.
Definitely an adult movie, A mercenary sets out to recover a young kid who has been kidnapped. Chris Hemsworth plays the mercenary with muscles glistening with sweat.
The movie is recent and, in my opinion, is a great pick. Maybe a movie more suited to a screening with the boys, but I’m sure the girls will not be disappointed with Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of a handsome tough guy who can dish it out when called upon. Lots of blood and guts and a great storyline.
So that’s my suggested offerings for you to choose from, all the movies I selected offer great visuals and good soundtracks.
Without a good soundtrack, the outdoor movie experience will fall short regardless of how clean and crisp your projector images are.
Of course, these are only suggestions, and nothing is cast in stone. You can choose your movie style, whatever that may be, but one thing is for sure without a great soundtrack played on an audio sound system, the movie will lose some of its sparkles.
Your outdoor projector will screen anything you have saved on your mass storage device, so there are many other perfect choices.
I find the kids love to watch Tom and Jerry on a big screen, some adults too!
If it’s a boy’s night, then MMA is a popular choice. You can find some spectacular bouts from the archives to provide spectacular viewing and generate some healthy banter.
The important thing is to enjoy your outdoor projector to its total capacity and have fun with your family and friends.