Actor director Dustin Hoffman’s recent interview with The Independent has people debating whether cinema is currently at its worst. Best known for his roles in The Graduate, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Rain Man, as well as being nominated for an Academy Award seven times, Hoffman told the publication his beliefs on the subject, saying, “I think right now television is the best that it’s ever been, and I think that it’s the worst that film has ever been–in the 50 years that I’ve been  doing it, it’s the worst.”

What’s to blame? He asserts, “It’s hard to believe you can do good work for the little amount of money these days. We did ‘The Graduate’ and that film still sustains, it had a wonderful script that they spent three years on, and an exceptional director with an exceptional cast and crew, but it was a small movie, four walls and actors, that is all, and yet it was 100 days of shooting.” Compare that to many modern movies which can be made in a striking 20 to 30 days–of course besides the extravagant Hollywood films that feature comic strip themes or an ambitious movie like Jurassic World which was shot in 78 days. The reduced budgets associated with today’s dramas, skyrocketing marketing costs, along with the fact that digital technology empowers movies to be shot more quickly is arguably affecting the quality of cinema.

But consider in just the first half of 2015, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fast & Furious 7, and Jurassic World have each surpassed billion-dollar profits across the globe. And some experts predict this year will become the most booming year to date when you take into account other lucrative hits like 50 Shades of Grey and American Sniper–and then add upcoming films like the Mission Impossible, Star Wars, and Hunger Games franchise movies which will be released the second half of this year. So clearly regardless of this debate, people are still willing to spend their hard-earned cash on what’s showing in theaters. Indeed, studios are largely focussing on franchises, adaptations, and remakes in recent years which come with built-in audiences; they’re less willing to take financial risks on original storylines.

However, some people disagree with Hoffman’s point about the overall state of today’s cinema. After all, films like Boyhood which was shot intermittently over eleven years and with a tiny budget of four million, and Birdman which was shot in just 30 days with a low budget of eighteen million prove that good quality movies can and do get made these days. Birdman star Edward Norton said in an interview with Indiewire last year, “I feel like people are always talking about the business and how hard it is. But [David] Fincher’s got a terrific movie. Alejandro’s [Gonzalez Inarritu] got this movie; Wes [Anderson] has made one of his best movies ever. Richard Linklater made another great movie. Paul Thomas Anderson has made another great movie. Bennet Miller’s movie is incredible. Do you know what I mean? I mean like, c’mon. You can’t get cynical … what more do you want? How many good movies do you expect there to be?”

So with whom do you tend to agree? Do you side with Dustin Hoffman and say today’s films are seriously lacking in quality? Or do you think Edward Norton’s point about people being too cynical is a more accurate description what’s going on these days?