If it wasn't made in the early 90's or before I tend to approach it with the pre-conceived notion that it is going to suck because of how dissatisfied I've been with the majority of the movies I've seen since then. It's rare for me to see a movie I like these days. I don't really expect others to understand this though.
I'm in the same boat... but I don't think it's because movies have gotten worse overall (they really haven't -- in a lot of ways they're better now than they used to be)... I think it's more that the medium itself is becoming outdated and replaced by long-running serials like Sopranos, BSG, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Weeds, etc, etc. With a series you have more time to develop characters, build more complex stories, have deeper writing, and just do more than you can in a 90 or even a 120 minute movie.
As a result, the shows are so engaging that these shorter movies tend to fall flat by comparison.
I'm starting to suspect this is one of the reasons why they're making movie series, now (apart from the other obvious reasons of milking an easy sell). Things like the Avengers, the Hobbit, etc are all movie series -- allowing character development and story arcs from previous movies carry forward into future movies. Which theoretically allows them to create more depth. Maybe this is them attempting to rebrand themselves to compete with the much more engaging stories people are finding in TV and online serials.
Though, IMO it doesn't work. For 3 very big reasons:
- Movies are expected to be self-contained. Whereas a single episode of a series doesn't have to be. Therefore a single movie has to have a complete arc. This makes it more difficult (if not impossible) to dedicate enough time to character and story development... because even if you are building up a larger story... the main arc of the movie has
to be wrapped up by the end.
- 90 minutes is like exactly the wrong length. It's too long to be an episode, or a single-part installment to a larger story because it's too long to keep people interested unless you have a big payoff... and it's too short to be a fully realized and well developed story.
- Similarly to the above point, people are expected to watch a movie in one sitting. Which is an even bigger problem for the time constraints. I can pick up and put down a show at my convenience. Whether it be popping in for a half hour when I have some free time, or binge-watching 5 episodes in a row. You can't do that with a movie -- especially not if you're going out to theaters.
So yeah -- really... the theatrical movie is kind of just becoming outdated. About the only thing keeping it alive is the big screen and big speakers.