We’ve all had it happen to us at some point: you’ve come out of the cinema with one eyebrow raised, as everyone around us gushes on about the film they’ve just seen. These are critical darlings, blockbuster sensations, fan favourites: movies that moved people to watch them again and again. You’ve heard all the plaudits, read the rave reviews, seen the reports of broken box office records and the lists of the highest grossing movies of all time… and you just don’t get it.
It’s not really the film though… some of these movies actually are genuinely great, brilliantly written and directed. No, it’s the idea behind the film, or an idea. Perhaps the central conceit doesn’t make any sense, or the plot has one major, inescapable hole in it that wrecks everything.