GreenCine.com (pronounced “green scene”) is an online movie rental business in the mold of Netflix or Blockbuster. Customers select from a constantly growing library of films (over 50,000), and these choices are then delivered by mail. Once a movie has been viewed, the customer is ready to return the DVD and receive another film, all for a low monthly price and no late fees.
But the big difference between GreenCine.com and its competitors is selection. GreenCine prides itself on being a service for hardcore film buffs, so they carry a wide range of foreign, independent, cult classics, and documentary movies (some of which can‘t be found at other services). If it’s rare, long-forgotten, or in another language, the best place to start is GreenCine. They also stock all the latest Hollywood blockbusters, so those who love Michael Bay movies won’t be left out in the cold.
In addition to their film library, GreenCine.com strives to create an online community where fans of cinema can come together. Members are encouraged to write reviews, rate movies, make lists, and even read articles and interviews involving the finest filmmakers from all eras of motion picture history.
GreenCine Film Genres
This GreenCine review wouldn’t be complete without a list of all the film genres they stock. As you can tell by the variety of categories, GreenCine tends to offer more eclectic choices than competitors like Netflix and Blockbuster. Besides listing all the major genres available, I’ve also included related sub-genres.
- Action (Chase, Classic Action/Adventure, Disaster Action, Manhunt, Serials, Silent Action, Video Game Inspired)
- Adventure (Classic Action/Adventure, Seafaring, Silent Adventure, Swashbucklers, Wilderness & Nature)
- Animation (Adult, Cel, CGI, Marionation, Shorts, Stop-Motion, Anime, Action Anime, Adult Anime/Hentai, Anime Feature Films, Comedy Anime, Drama Anime, Fantasy Anime, Horror Anime, Mecha, Science Fiction Anime, Shojo, Yaoi)
- Classics (Classic Action/Adventure, Classic Comedy, Classic Crime, Classic Drama, Classic Horror, Classic Romance, Classic Sci Fi/Fantasy, Precode, Serials)
- Comedies (Black Comedy, British Comedy, Camp, Classic Comedy, Farce, Mockumentary, Parodies, Political Satire, Romantic Comedy, Screwball, Silent Comedy, Slapstick, SNL Alums, Sports Comedy, Stand-up Comedy/Performance, Teen Comedy, Television Comedy)
- Comic Books (Alternative Press)
- Crime (Capers, Classic Crime, Cops, Courtroom, Crime TV, Gangsters, Neo Noir, Criterion Collection)
- Cult (Blaxploitation, Cult TV, Golden Turkeys, Mondo/Shockumentaries)
- Documentary (Art, Biographies, Conspiracies, Film, GLBT, Military, Mockumentaries, Music, Nature & Science, Political & Social Issues, Quirky Characters, Religion, Sports, Supernatural, Travel)
- Drama (Biopics, British Drama, Classic Drama, Coming of Age, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Courtroom, Drama TV, Dysfunctional Families, Politics and Social Issues, Prison, Romance, Shakespeare, Silent Drama, Sports Drama, Urban Drama, Weepies)
- Erotica (Sexploitation, Vintage, Women in Prison)
- Espionage (Cold War, James Bond, Spy TV, Experimental/Avant-Garde)
- Fantasy (Classic Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Myths, Lost Worlds, Sword & Sorcery)
- Film Noir (Neo Noir, Vintage Noir)
- Foreign (Africa, Australia & New Zealand, Canada, China, Czech, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Middle East, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, Spain, Taiwan, UK)
- Gay & Lesbian (Documentary, Features, Shorts, HD (High Def)
- Horror (Anthologies, Asian Horror, Cannibals, Classic Horror, Ghosts, Horror TV, Italian Horror, Killer Critters, Mad Science, Silent Horror, Slashers, Supernatural/Occult, Vampire, Werewolves, Zombies)
- Independent (Film Movement, Short Films)
- Kids (Animated, Live Action)
- Martial Arts (Ninja, Samurai, Wuxia)
- Music (Documentary, Music Videos/Performance, Musicals, Bollywood, Pre-Code)
- Quest (Chase, Manhunt, Revenge, Road Movies)
- Science Fiction (Aliens, Classic Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk, Kaiju Eiga, Mad Science, Post-Apocalypse, Robots & Cyborgs, Sci-Fi TV, Space Opera, Time Travel, Serials)
- Silent (Silent Action/Adventure, Silent Comedies, Silent Dramas, Silent Horror, Silent Westerns)
- Sports (Sports Comedy, Sports Documentary, Sports Drama)
- Suspense/Thriller (Courtroom, Crime TV, Manhunt, Political Thriller, Sword & Sandal)
- Television (British TV, Comedy TV, Crime TV, Cult TV, Horror TV, Miniseries, Reality TV, Sci-Fi TV, Spy TV, TV Drama, Vintage TV)
- War (Civil War, Iraq, Vietnam War, WWII)
- Westerns (Silent Westerns, Spaghetti Westerns)
NOTE: GreenCine carries more anime films that any other online rental service (more than three times, in fact), making it a haven for fans of foreign animation. They also carry adult titles, but they’re currently prohibited from sending these films to certain zip codes. Before you order one, make sure you don’t live in such an area.
GreenCine.com Subscription Plans
Those wishing to become monthly subscribers and receive DVDs via mail can choose from the following options:
- $9.95 per month (one movie out at a time)
- $14.95 per month (two movies out at a time)
- $21.95 per month (three movies out at a time)
- $27.95 per month (four movies out at a time)
- $33.95 per month (five movies out at a time)
- $49.95 per month (eight movies out at a time)
GreenCine.com accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. California residents will be charged 8.5% sales tax.
Queue and Color Bars
Anyone who’s used another online rental service will quickly recognize the queue. Basically, it’s a place where all your upcoming movie selections are stored. When it’s time for the next movie to be shipped to you, the film at the top of your queue will be mailed out (assuming it’s available). If it’s not available, then the next choice will be sent instead.
You can determine availability by looking at the five-level color scale next to a film’s title in your queue. A film colored green should be immediately available for rental, while red indicates a movie that isn’t currently available (because all the copies are out). The length of the colored bars also indicates the current demand for the movie.
GreenCine Streaming Movies
While there are GreenCine streaming movies, they are not included with your monthly subscription fee. The monthly fee only covers movies that are delivered to your home on DVD. Movies watched via video-on-demand are paid for separately. If you’re only interested in watching movies in this fashion, please note that you do not have to choose a monthly subscription plan. You can simply create an account with GreenCine and then pay for each selection on an individual basis. Here are a few helpful facts to know about GreenCine streaming movies:
- You will need a high speed connection to take advantage of the video-on-demand option.
- If you stop watching in the middle of a movie, you can resume it later by entering a code that’s provided at the time of purchase.
- When you purchase a video-on-demand rental, you’ll be given a certain amount of time to watch the film. This time diminishes as you watch your selection, and when it expires you will no longer be able to access the movie. Don’t worry, as more than enough time will be allotted for you to watch the whole thing.
- Charges to your credit card will appear as “GreenCine LLC.”
- As of this writing, the VOD service for GreenCine does not support Mac. PC owners will need the latest version of Windows Media Player.
GreenCine Downloadable Movies
In addition to GreenCine streaming movies, you can also choose to download movies to your hard drive with the DivX option. DivX offers quality that’s close to a DVD, and you may access the movie at any time for up to 10 days (the length of the rental agreement for DivX movies). Adult films may be accessed for 30 days. The standard price for renting a movie on GreenCine with the DivX option is $4.99 per movie, although this can vary. Once the allotted period is up, you will no longer be able to access the movie (you can then delete it from your hard drive).
In order to use the DivX option for online movie rentals, your PC (sorry, no MAC as of this writing) will need to meet the following requirements:
- 500+ MHz is recommended
- Pentium II-equivalent processor
- Broadband Internet connection running at a minimum of 512 kbps
- 64 megabytes of RAM (128 is recommended)
- Video card (at least 8MB of memory is required, although 16MB or more is suggested)
- Windows 2000 or later
- DirectX 7 or 8
- Monitor resolution must be a minimum of 800×600
Buying Movies from GreenCine
If you’re looking for a hard-to-find film or weird movie, GreenCine is a good place to start. In addition to renting motion pictures, you can also purchase them as a permanent addition to your personal film library. Monthly subscribers are welcome to take advantage of this option, although you don’t have to be a member to buy movies from GreenCine. You can register at their site for free, and then purchase as many movies as your bank account can stand.
GreenCine Gift Certificates
If you have a friend of family member who loves movies, a GreenCine gift certificate is a perfect gift option. Once the gift certificate is activated, the user will have access to GreenCine for a pre-determined number of months. Three movies can be kept out at a time during this period.
- 2 months – $43.90
- 3 months – $65.85
- 4 months – $87.80
- 5 months – $109.75
- 6 months – $131.70
- 12 months – $263.40
GreenCine gift certificates are valid in all U.S. states, territories, and possessions. You will need a valid credit card to activate the gift certificate, and it cannot be combined with any other offers or specials. At the end of the period determined by the gift certificate, the user will be billed for a monthly GreenCine membership if they do not cancel.
GreenCine Free Trial and GreenCine Promo Code
If you’re looking for a GreenCine free trial or GreenCine promo code, you’re out of luck. Free trials are only offered during specific promotions or seasons, and there’s no set schedule. While some sites claim to offer GreenCine promo codes, you’ll be hard-pressed to actually find any. If you want to take advantage of GreenCine’s services, you’ll have to pay the monthly fee like everyone else.
As of this writing, GreenCine has one shipping center in Southern California. Subscribers who live on the West Coast can expect their movies to arrive in one to three days. East Coast residents should expect arrival in two to four days.
There is a way to speed up delivery, though. Once you’ve put a movie back in the mail, click on the “Quick Return” button and the next available title will be sent out within two days. This applies even if your movie has yet to reach the GreenCine shipping center. It’s not a perfect system, but it does allow you to shave off a day or two.
GreenCine also receives and ships movies on Saturdays. Not all of their competitors can make the same claim.
GreenCine vs Netflix
No GreenCine review would be complete without a breakdown of how they stack up against Netflix, the nation’s largest online movie rental service. So let’s dive right into our look at GreenCine vs. Netflix.
There are plenty of hardcore movie fans who use Netflix, so it’s not as thought GreenCine has cornered the market in cinephiles. Still, Netflix does appeal more to the masses, if for no other reason than it’s the most widely known option for those looking to rent movies online.
Here’s a look, as of this writing, at the top-10 movies being rented at Netflix and GreenCine.
GreenCine Top 10 Movie Rentals
- A Serious Man
- Where the Wild Things Are
- An Education
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- The Men Who Stare at Goats
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
- Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
- The Road
Netflix Top 10 Movie Rentals
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Bucket List
- The Departed
- The Blind Side
- Iron Man
- No Country for Old Men
- The Hurt Locker
- The Pursuit of Happyness
- The Proposal
While GreenCine isn’t slow, it still can’t stand to Netflix and their multiple shipping centers dotting the landscape. One to four days is normal for GreenCine, while Netflix movies will normally arrive in one to two days after shipping.
Netflix has over 100,000 movies, while GreenCine has around 50,000. However, f you’re into anime, cult films, indie films, odd films, or just downright weird films, GreenCine may be the better option. They have three times the amount of anime available from Netflix or Blockbuster, and they also carry adult titles (something Netflix does not do).
Prices are comparable, with both services offering multiple subscription plans. Netflix subscribers, however, can also watch streaming movies as part of their monthly fee. GreenCine subscribers must pay for streaming movies separately.
There’s little doubt that GreenCine has the edge when it comes to community. Netflix used to offer members the opportunity to add fellow subscribers to their “friends” list, but that’s no longer an option. GreenCine, meanwhile, offers a frequently updated blog and numerous discussion groups. If you want to talk to fellow film buffs, GreenCine is the clear-cut winner.
GreenCine Home Page
There are a number of options available on the homepage, and this section will run down some of the more important ones. Each of these options can be found front and center at GreenCine.com.
Browse Stories (includes the following)
- Articles (includes a counting of the 25 Most Disturbing Movies, A History of Australian Cinema (1990 to Present), and American Absurdum: The 8 Strangest and Strangely Awful Films Ever
- Interviews (filmmakers such as Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), Jared and Jerusha Hess (Nacho Libre, Napoleon Dynamite), and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
- Primers (fun introductory overview of major film genres and movements)
- GreenCine Central (their blog)
Blogs (includes the following)
- GreenCine Daily
- GreenCine Guru Movie Reviews
- GreenCine Central (articles and more)
- Pravda (GreenCine press releases, in the news, etc.)
Community (includes the following)
- GreenCine Central
- Member Reviews
- Discussion Forum
- GreenCine on MySpace
DVDs (includes the following)
- New & Coming Soon
- GreenCine Recommended
- Member Reviews
- Member Lists
- Adult DVDs
Rent-by-Mail (includes the following)
- Subscribe Today!
- DVD Subscription Rental Info
- Top Renting DVDs
- Rental Gift Certificates
- Rent-by-Mail Help/FAQ
That’s the end of our GreenCine review. I’ve tried to cover all the major areas regarding their service, as well as offering some lesser-known facts that are only present in the fine print.