Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey” as Want to Read:
A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  908 ratings  ·  91 reviews
For some of us, moviegoing is an occasional pleasure. Kevin Murphy made it his obsession, and he did it for you.

Mr. Murphy, known to legions of fans as Tom Servo on the legendary TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, went to the movies every day for a year. That's every single day, people. For a whole fricken' year. And not only did he endure, he prevailed -- for this is
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 20th 2002 by It Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Year at the Movies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Year at the Movies

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  908 ratings  ·  91 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Kevin Murphy, a current member of RiffTrax and for many years the voice of "Tom Servo" on televisions's Mystery Science Theater 3000, relates how, in 2001, he saw at least one movie a day. High points: Murphy's witty judgments and writing style, the broad range of movies he saw (everything from renowned classics to formulaic junk), and the many venues he saw them in, including many unusual foreign locales, posh revival houses, the Cannes film festival, and generic multiplexes (which he calls "Go ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kevin Murphy spent many years as the lovable gum ball machine robot Tom Servo on Mystery Science Theater 3000, of which I have long been a devoted fan. In this book, he watches a movie every day for year, and also embarks on other stunts, such as seeing a movie in the smallest theater in the world, in the largest, exploring the concept of "date movies" and popcorn movies. The book is amazing, with Murphy's humor and love the movies shining through every page. His writing is superb, and he is als ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, essays
I was hoping this would be all movie reviews and sort of the movie version of Nick Hornby's awesome reading journal compilations The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt and Shakespeare Wrote for Money. Instead, Murphy tackles various themes of the moviegoing experience, e.g., extreme theaters, independent theaters, seeing the same movie at different theaters, theaters that serve food, etc, each week, and writes a short essay on each. It's not some revealing academic anthropology text, ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved Kevin Murphy on MST3K, and I am so glad that he, Mike and Bill are back together doing Rifftrax. I somehow came across this book and just had to read it. I thought it would give descriptions of the movies he saw (at least one a day for a year) and humorous stories about his experience. This book does contain those things, but it has so much more. On January 1, 2001, Kevin was cynical in regards to the movies currently being made as well as the multiplexes they are shown in. He felt that ...more
Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella
This book reminded me of all the problems I have with moviegoing, but moreso and more importantly why I love it so, and why there can be adventure and excitement in going to a little dark room (or, in this case, sometimes in an igloo!) Murphy's travails are funny, insightful, and deep and dramatic at times too. It also has some personal significance for me as he went during a year when I was going to see EVERYTHING that was coming out to theaters, regardless of quality, so some of these mini-rev ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
In 2001 Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo on MST3K during the Mike Nelson years) watched a publicly screened movie every day (except for one, because of a broken super-8 projector) and wrote a weekly essay about the filmgoing experience. He knows movies, and while there were fewer takedowns of bad movies than expected, it was well worth reading. It was funny (though as Kristen Wilson pointed out to me, often in dad-joke mode) and well thought out and written. He watched a movie in an igloo, projected on a ...more
I didn't realize Tom Servo could write so well! I fully appreciated Kevin's quest and the many interesting ways he went about achieving it. I felt like he was a bit overly judgmental at times, that he was maybe a bit too stuck in the past (in the "golden age" before digital), and I wish he would have seen a wider variety of films (lots and lots of repeat views). However, it was a really fun book, quite funny, and at times very reflective and thoughtful. He also manages to make a book about thing ...more
Dec 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Tom Servo is beloved by me, so I was excited to read his real-life counterpart’s (Kevin Murphy) yearlong adventure with movie theaters. While Murphy is funny, he needs a serious editor. A 360-page essay on the evils of multiplexes and Hollywood’s formulaic storytelling is a bit much. And he’s generally preaching to the choir, right? Nonetheless, Murphy has some interesting stories to tell about an ice-and-snow theater in Quebec, a film festival in the land of the midnight sun, and the smallest t ...more
Joe Barlow
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Mystery Science Theater 3000's Kevin Murphy went to the movies every day for an entire year, and chronicled his adventures in this wonderful book. But it's not so much a collection of movie reviews as an examination of why we, as a culture, go to the movies. Some beautiful writing is contained in these pages, including Murphy's recounting of his visit to The Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, another trip to the world's smallest cinema (located in Australia), a pilgrimage to the few remaining ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Because I love Tom Servo, I really wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards. It has it's funny moments to be certain, but the author comes across as angry and very bitter. It just wasn't a fun book. I wish it was.

We discussed MST3K in a special episode of the all All the Books Show:
Jan 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: library_books
Interesting premise: a film a day for a year (2001), grouped by weekly theme. Murphy doesn't (generally) focus on the films themselves, as much as the experience of them, which helps keep the narrative from feeling dated. Glad I read it, although I admit my enthusiasm did flag towards the end. ...more
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Being that I've become the de facto expert on yearlong daily projects I couldn't help but pick up this 2001 release when I spotted it at the Green Valley Book Fair this past fall. It certainly doesn't hurt that I'm a longtime Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan and the author was not only one of the writers, but the voice of Tom Servo. Based on that criteria alone, I figured there would be just the right blend of genuine movie love and sardonic humor for my tastes. And indeed there was. I thoroughl ...more
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I loved MST3K so when my brother loaned me his copy of "A Year at the Movies" by none other than Kevin Murphy from the show, I dove right in. And was thoroughly entertained. Kevin watched one movie every day for a single year, and while he does occassionally have reviews of the movies he sees, the book is more about the movie-going experience from all angles, what he loves about movies, what he hates about them, and how he fell in love with the movies all over again. Each chapter is short--I tol ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lots of entertaining topics in this book. Don’t go to it for film reviews. This is a recounting of a year where the author went to a movie every day in what he defined as public theaters. He doesn’t quite make it in my opinion but I don’t really care. He goes to different parts of the world and down the street to his local megaplex. This would all be so much more fun if Kevin could write. If you like a folksy tone, conversational, chatty, sprinkled with fairly lame dad humor, this book is for yo ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Kevin Murphy one of the MST3K gang vowed to see a movie every day of the year in every kind of venue in every reach of the globe. The book is chopped up into short chapters of movie going experiences. I found this book better to take in short doses than read cover to cover. What a gleaned from this tome is that he hates multi-plexes and churned-out Hollywood product. The best theatre in the world for movie-going Kevin discovered is in Rarotonga(?sp), a small island near New Zealand. Its walls ca ...more
John Pitcock
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not expected, but still good

This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it was still good. And because of the unexpected, it took me awhile to get to where I was really enjoying the book. I made some notes to see a few theaters across the country if I’m ever in those cities... This was more about theaters and the movie industry than about a review of movies. Although we get some of that as well.
Jake Ambos
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
A funny and surprisingly moving "diary" of one man's year spent watching at least one movie per day. Murphy's joy and love of life is infectious, and his anecdotes (such as setting up a Thanksgiving dinner in the theater as he watched MONSTERS, INC. with his family, and being stranded on a Pacific island immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks) are priceless and heartwarming. ...more
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Kevin is a very entertaining guide through the world of movie theaters and movies, but his style is too self-conscious to sustain an entire book. The central premise - seeing a movie a day for a whole year, in a proper theatre - seems to bore even him very early on.
Nov 25, 2008 rated it liked it
A fairly entertaining look the experience of going to the movies. Lots of interesting info about the state of movie theaters and theater oddities. The writing was a bit hokey at times -- unfortunate for a topic with a lot of potential.
Bob Lintz
Cheese and Whine

Mainstream films often suck the root,but sorry Kev ya gotta lighten up Francis. I just found this book too be too contrary,one chapter we are all sheep in the multiplex,later Kevin finds solace in the joy of the unwashed masses enjoying their low rent fare.

Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
For a guy who claims to be a movie fan, he pretty much just bitches about every aspect of the moviegoing experience (except when the film is being shown in some hard to reach exotic locale). I think Murphy pictures himself as a lovable curmudgeon. He comes across as a cranky old fart.
Jun 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
For lovers of the social moviegoing, movieloving experience. Murphy crystalizes the unpretentious joy - he sees Broken Blossoms AND Corky Romano.
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love Kevin Murphy, a lot.
I am a giant, massive, fervent MST3K fan!! I love the show, the cast, the live shows, Riff Trax. I have autographs and commemorative posters. I have donated to kick starters ... I am a fan girl.

This book by Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) is a love letter to the movie going experience. Not movies - well one or two movies but all the the things we love and hate about going to the theater.

He decided in 2000 that the next year he would see a movie / day preferably in a theater but failing that projected
Kenya Starflight
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I don't often make it to the theater myself, it's hard to deny that there's a special thrill in seeing a film on a big screen. And I do enjoy a wide variety of movies... as well as books about movies, whether it's the making of them or just celebrating them in general. So following Kevin Murphy on his journey to spend a year watching films in theaters seemed like it'd be entertaining. And while Murphy is a bit of a self-professed movie snob and this book runs a little long, it's still very ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pop-culture
After reading about bad movies (Roger Ebert's I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie) and the worst movies (The fifty worst films of all time: (and how they got that way)) I found that "A Year at the Movies", which I thought would be about a lot of movies, is instead about the movie experience, of which the movies themselves are only a part. Kevin Murphy has earned and learned his movie chops on the popular ("legendary", says the back-cover bio) TV Series Mystery Science Theater 3000, and hatched this ...more
Travis Rowe
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I really enjoyed this book, I will state upfront that I am especially biased in this case. Not only was I a fan of Mr. Murphy from his work on MST3k and RiffTrax, but the year he chose to devote to the movies (2001) was an important year for me in regards to my interest in film.

Reading thru it was an odd kind of double-nostalgia, not only for the author's voice, but also the time-capsule descriptions of the film industry at the beginning of the millennium. This was right at the time I was
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I've just completed my fourth reading. Every time it's like revisiting a snarky good old friend. I read it this time to see if this book wears well with age. He wrote it years before the iPhone, but he speaks a lot of truth of distraction, of consumerism, of commercial-appeal, of inattention, that plague us as much in the 20-teens as much as it did in 2001.

I love Kevin because of his time on Mystery Science Theater 3000. So, when this book first came out, I read it looking for
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really loved this book. I have actually read it three times at this poing. Kevin Murphy voiced the character of Tom Servo on Mystery Science Theater 3000, but this book is not about MST3K, it is about his year of watching one movie a day. This was not just a case of him renting a movie, or watching one in his home, part of the challenge was that he must view it in a theater (or maybe more properly, a public setting). This book also is not a movie ratings book, in fact the movies take second ch ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie-going experiment! Kevin Murphy's collection of essays on seeing a movie everyday in 2001 was intelligently written, delightfully descriptive and just plain fun. While he does profess to be a film snob, he also postures himself as an everyman on the outside looking in. He is seemingly one who identifies more strongly with the have-nots, rather than the haves, despite clearly being in the latter category. I mean, come on, the guy flew all around the world to watch m ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
  • Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
  • Spirits and Spells (Chamber of Horrors #2)
  • The John Matherson Series: (One Second After, One Year After, The Final Day) (A John Matherson Novel)
  • Monster Blood Is Back (Goosebumps SlappyWorld, #13)
  • The Solar War (The Long Winter, #2)
  • I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are
  • Uzumaki
  • The Skull of Truth
  • Fire and Flight (ElfQuest #1)
  • Aliens Ate My Homework (Alien Adventures, #1)
  • The Spectacle of Illusion: Magic, the paranormal & the complicity of the mind
  • ElfQuest 2: The Forbidden Grove
  • The Complete Elfquest: Book 3: Captives of Blue Mountain (Elfquest #3)
  • Elfquest Book #04: Quest's End
  • Siege at Blue Mountain: Book Five in the Elfquest Graphic Novel Series
  • ElfQuest:  The Secret of Two-Edge (Siege at Blue Mountain part 2)
  • The Rum Diary
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Walter Isaacson, it’s safe to say, is not afraid of tackling the really big topics. In 2011, he wrote about our ubiquitous computer culture...
105 likes · 20 comments
“For the love of all that is holy and decent, do not see Town & Country. Not at a theater, not on video, not on cable, satellite, or broadcast television. Do not glance at it as it spills out from someone’s portable DVD player.” 1 likes
“Artie Circle” 0 likes
More quotes…