The 10 Most Polarizing Movies From 2000-2010


Literally hundreds of movies receive mixed reviews, but every so often, a film comes along that people absolutely abhor or genuinely love, with very little room for any middle ground.  It may drive you nuts that the same movie you think is incredible, someone else finds unbearable, and vice versa.  Me?  I don’t really care; if I love or hate a movie, that’s enough for me.  I’m not going to get worked up because someone has different tastes than my own.

I think there’s been several movies that stood out at being particularly polarizing.  With these movies, you’ll rarely find someone who has a neutral opinion – almost everyone you speak to will feel quite strongly one way or the other.  Keep reading to see what I think are the 10 most polarizing movies from 2000-2010.  I went ahead and wrote my opinion on each, too, mainly in an attempt to humor myself by thinking you actually give a crap.  If you do, you can have at it in the comments.

The Fountain (2006)


People who love it say: The Fountain is a beautiful, deep, moving love story that knows no bounds, in addition to being a visual masterpiece.  If you don’t love it, you simply don’t understand it.

People who hate it say:  The Fountain is a pretentious, art school film with no real substance other than a theme similar to that in The Lion King.  It’s slow and the pacing is terrible.

My opinion: It’s a simply gorgeous movie, both visually and thematically.  The use of only minimal CGI special effects help maintain a feel of timelessness, and this movie will have you pondering love and life long after you’ve seen it.

Vanilla Sky (2001)


People who love it say:  It’s a mind-bending science fiction piece that transcends its own genre, accompanied by an incredible soundtrack.

People who hate it say: Tom Cruise annoys me, his character is generally unlikeable, and the payoff at the end of the film wasn’t worth the wait.

My opinion: I’m a pretty big fan.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)


People who love it say: Stanley Kubrick is a genius and Kidman’s performance is perhaps the best of her career.  The themes of cheating psychologically – as opposed to physically – and the pain that a lover can cause simply by dreaming have a definite gravity that Kubrick recognized and expounded upon brilliantly.

People who hate it say: Tom Cruise annoys me and this film was simply an excuse for Kubrick to shoot a bizarre orgy.  There’s little suspense, and in the end, nothing really happens.

My opinion: While not as strong as God’s Kubrick’s other works, Eyes Wide Shut is cinematic storytelling at its finest, immersing the viewer into a world of sex, scandal, and paranoia.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)


People who love it say: It’s a truly terrifying film, it feels “real,” and the fact that you never really see the Blair Witch only serves to make it scarier.

People who hate it say: It gave me a headache, I was nauseous, and there was nothing remotely scary about it.  Some kid facing a corner?  Big deal.

My opinion:  I’m actually pretty adamant about this one: The Blair Witch Project scared me more than maybe any other movie I had seen in the theater.  Granted, I saw it pre-hype and knew nothing about the subject matter, but the less-is-more approach has always worked for me in the horror genre.  There is nothing you can show me on screen that is scarier than the images in my head, and the makers of this movie knew that.

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)


People who love it say: Michael Moore is a genius and not afraid to speak out against injustice.  This film shows what a doofus George W. Bush really is, and he should be tried as a war criminal.

People who hate it say: It’s all just a bunch of skewed, cherry-picked, liberal propaganda bullshit, and anyone with a camera and editing equipment can twist facts into anything they like.

My opinion: Michael Moore is a fine filmmaker, and his use of music is excellent – if not humorous – but Fahrenheit 9/11 was a dishonest, inaccurate piece of propaganda masquerading as a documentary.  Just like the people he targets, Moore himself has quite an agenda.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)


People who love it say: It’s a colorful, fun, enchanting musical with great songs, an awesome score, and breathtaking visuals.

People who hate it say: It is an utterly unwatchable, nonsensical pile of filth that only women would enjoy.  Musicals suck, anyway.

My opinion: Admittedly, I haven’t seen this one.  I’m guessing I’d probably like it; I do like a lot of musicals.  My friend Aaron loves this movie like a boss, and his movie picks are usually very solid.  To be continued, I guess…

The Village (2004)


People who love it say: Shyamalan has succeeded in making a period piece, and his trademark twist ending works this time.  The audience is guessing the outcome the entire film and when it finally arrives, they’re floored.  Shyamalan’s use of color shows his attention to detail and development as a director.

People who hate it say: Shyamalan is a one-trick pony, knowing nothing but twist endings, and the ending to The Village is utterly unbelievable, unrealistic, and ridiculous.  God forbid he’d make the monsters terrorizing the villagers real.

My opinion: I don’t get all the Shyamalan hate.  His last two movies were horrendous, sure, but he made some great films earlier in his career.  The Village is one of them.

Crash (2005)


People who love it say: It’s a rare type of film that puts life in perspective and shows us that we really should put aside our petty differences to make this world a more enjoyable place.  The connection of all the film’s characters is brilliant, and it’s wonderful to see how everything comes together at the end.

People who hate it say: The movie inaccurately presents the concept racism, dressing it up as straightforward issue with zero wiggle room for discussion.  It’s melodramatic as hell, and the characters are linked together simply because it seems like a clever thing to do.

My opinion:  I hate this movie.  Crash was an unrealistic, melodramatic depiction of racism in this country.  Of course racism exists, but it’s not as black and white cut and dry as Crash would have you believe.  The film suffers from finding itself quite clever, linking together its characters (a technique that was executed properly and brilliantly in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia) in an unbelievable, far-fetched manner.  Plus, presenting the scenes in slow motion coupled with an overly dramatic score doesn’t make the movie good.  It makes it pretentious, and the social message about racism is delivered with the subtlety of a jackhammer.

A.I. (2001)


People who love it say: It’s a modern sci-fi masterpiece, exploring the question that guys like Asimov and Dick have been asking for years: just what does it mean to be human?

People who hate it say: It’s long, boring, and the future world of robots and a flooded Manhattan are too bizarre to give the audience any feeling of connection with the characters.

My opinion: I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a masterpiece (had Kubrick gotten his wish and been able to direct it before his death, then maybe – wow, I am really doing a lot of Kubrick fellating today, huh?), but this re-telling of Pinocchio does indeed do a terrific job of evaluating our concepts of life and humanity.  And dammit, the beings at the end are robots, not aliens.

Watchmen (2009)


People who love it say: It’s a crisp film that is incredibly pleasing not only to the eye, but to the mind as well.  Zack Snyder’s direction brings the viewer into the Watchmen universe, and the representation of superheroes is a refreshing and different angle than what we’ve been spoon-fed for years.

People who hate it say: It was unfilmable to begin with and it doesn’t compare with the graphic novel.

My opinion: It’s not fair to compare the movie to the graphic novel – so I won’t – but in any event, this movie sucked.  Zack Snyder is all style, no substance, and I just wanted the movie to end so I wouldn’t be stuck watching his cardboard characters gallivanting around in slow motion.  A disaster of a film.

I’m pretty sure that nobody is going to agree with me on all 10 of these movies, so if you’re the type that gets worked up over that, go ahead and let me hear it in the comments section!

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  1. I’ll agree with you on Watchmen but the only 20 or so minutes was pure genius. I loved that part and that part alone.

    This also makes me want to watch A.I. again because I first watched it when I was much younger and I think I might be able to appreciate it more now.

  2. Napolean Dynomite – even I didn’t like it the first time I saw it, I thought all the funny parts were in the commercials. It grew on me after awhile, it’s so different from other teen comedies and Heder’s performance was just awesome.

  3. yo,
    nice pics- love vanilla sky and the village( i think the key point about the village is the theme of fear as a means to control, by far one of the most suspenseful films). your friend aaron is probably gay for liking moulin rouge, can i get his number? he sounds cool, like a boss.

  4. I would agree on all of those except your opinion of Watchmen. It was finally a comic book/graphic novel film that didn’t “kiddy” down the story. Oh, and Jackie Earle Haley was brilliant as Rorschach.

  5. I don’t get it where does all that talk that conspiracy talk about 9/11 is liberal propaganda or untrue. I mean I know it’s far fetched and almost unthinkable but I ask?

    Are any of those question raised in Fahrenheit or in Zeitgeist answered? And if any is that enough to say we know for sure it was all propaganda? I mean what propaganda, Micheal Moore and people like him can’t start propaganda, sure they can raise twist fact a little but they can’t twist facts that far to be called propaganda they simply don’t have that kind of power and influence. anyway…

    Vanilla sky is badly repackaged Spanish move called Abre Los Ojos. Or rip off if you will. Abre Los Ojos is simply far better move, it’s same in almost every aspect just director did a better job.

  6. Wow, I actually completely agree with you on all ten. Even to the point of never seeing Moulin Rouge. I had forgotten how much I hated Crash until I read this, I tried to put that film out of my mind when it won best picture. I was also thinking Wet Hot American Summer and Freddy Got Fingered. I absolutely love both films, but I know a large number of people that despise them.

  7. Wait, there are people who actually like The Village?

    Also, Watchmen is the movie I feel the most neutral about out of almost everything I’ve ever seen. It’s a perfect recreation of the novel, but so much so it didn’t add anything and therefore left pretty much no impression on me. But you are right, the movie is immensely polarizing for most.

    Great list though.

  8. @Cheryl on Napoleon Dynamite…I didn’t see it until after the hype had reached huge proportions, with every other person on campus wearing a “Vote for Pedro” shirt and raving about how awesome it was….then I saw it and was massively disappointed. Maybe if it hadn’t been built up as the new Greatest Thing Ever, I might have liked it more.

    And the first time I saw Crash, which I watched with my sister for her class assignment, I didn’t really hate it; I think I might have only been giving it half of my attention so it didn’t have much of an effect on me. Then I watched it again after my boyfriend put it on Netflix and I realized how awful it is and how much I hate it. did a good piece on it ( I can’t believe that movie actually won an Oscar for Best Picture.

  9. @ Dude

    Farenheit and Zeitgeist are both total crap propaganda. Moore is nothing more then a fearmonger. I admit, Bowling for Columbine was actually a solid documentary, and really informational, but Farenheit and Sicko, are nothing but bits and pieces from his interviews to give the most skewed pro-left anti-government view possible. And as for Zeitgeist, that movie is almost entirely lies. Do the research, and you’ll see that much of the movie is a complete fabrication, let alone half truths.

  10. Shyamalan

    Not Shyalaman. I’m not trying to endorse his films, I don’t particularly care for them, but for pete’s sake, it took me a whole of 5 seconds to get the proper spelling of the guys name right.

  11. I agree that these are polarizing for the most part, but I only think Crash is OK. I don’t think it deserved Best Picture, and I did think it was a bit pretentious, but I still enjoyed it to a degree.

    I wanted to like The Village, and I enjoyed it up until the monsters were shown to be fake. The part where the monsters are walking around in the village was quite suspenseful, and the creature design was creepy. The “twist” ending was also ridiculous and annoying.

  12. A.I . I found, should have ended when he was at the bottom of the sea and found the blue fairy. But nooooo! We had what seemed like another hour of film that in Kubrick’s capable hands, might have worked. Rather than attampt to emulate him, Speilberg should have done his own flick. Never felt like the idea had to be beaten into me, but boy did it ever. One of my worst of all time.

  13. I agree with Dolemite: A.I. was so damn long, and really should have ended at the bottom of the ocean/sea/figurative abyss of that confusing mess of a film. Instead, they had to drag him out of the depths and resurrect the plot for another 40 minutes. Ugh, the best part of the film was the bear and that’s it!

  14. Madison, you liked Vanilla Sky over Fahrenheit 9/11? Are you kidding me? And then you had the nerve to defend The Fountain and The Village in the same post? Why do you run this site if you obviously hate good films?

  15. @ vitakinetic:

    The point of this article wasn’t to argue whether certain movies are good or bad, it was that certain movies are very polarizing, and people either love them or hate them. Your comment kind of proves that point, wouldn’t you say?

    Also, yeah, some nerve of me to have an opinion. Sorry about that.

    Thanks for reading.

  16. Ya know dude, ya had me for a minute. I actually thought you were a pretty intelligent guy, especially for having the guts to point out what a douche Michael Moore is. But then, you killed me in the end. Watchmen was tight. No movie based on any book will be a perfect representation, and you did say as much, however……you suck, Watchmen rocked.

  17. @TJ:

    I wasn’t looking for a perfect representation; I simply wanted some depth. The movie had none. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I only wish that I did, too. I tried my best not to compare it to the graphic novel – which isn’t easy – but I just couldn’t get into it. I felt as if all of Moore’s themes were dispensed with in favor of slow motion cinematography. Not for me.

  18. This list is amazing, and really accurate (asides from the exclusion of Napoleon Dynamite. There’s no middle ground there).

    Also, the fact you hate Crash made me fall in love with you.

  19. I really do not understand the love or hate of Watchmen. The graphic novel has it ups, definitely, but compared to Moore’s other work, I’m not that impressed.
    Secondly, I think the movie was as good as it could have been. The core of the book is still there. You’ve got aging heroes, their talents going to waste, living out their lives in languid misery. The only exception is the psychotic lone wolf who no one seems to know anything ( or care) about. And finally, and possibly most importantly, the bad guy wins. And his reward? He gets to live out his life in languid misery.
    Seriously, why so much passion for a work so devoid of passion?

  20. I would say the entirety of Wes Anderson’s work is quite polarizing. Rushmore probably most of all because it generated a lot of buzz and seems to be on the fast track to becoming classic, thus, a lot of people seem to want to see it. I saw it with two friends who did NOT like it, one was bored the other disgusted, so I didn’t want to gush about how much I thought it was FABOO.

    I see a lot of people have the same kind of relationship I did with Napolean Dynamite – didn’t necessarily like it the first time I saw it, but it grew on me with subsequent viewings.

  21. Also, a quick survey of the comments makes me think every other movie Bill Murray made in the last decade can pretty much charm or rub wrong. Lost in Translation, Broken Flowers, Life Aquatic…

  22. wow, for a while i thought i was the only literate fellow who hated crash. nothing but a pretentious waste populated with characters i hated. movies are great because you become emotionally invested in the characters. the only emotion i got was hatred. i wanted bad things to happen to every one of those people, also the screenwriter and director for insulting my intelligence and pandering to controversy. the academy will look back on that oscar with a cringe…

    oh yeah, you haven’t seen moulin rouge unless you saw it on some high-powered acid in the theater. i’ve never seen it since, because there’s no way to top my initial viewing. i hate musicals, but that was quite an experience…

  23. I love “Vanilla Sky,” and I thought “Crash” was watchable; I just don’t care enough about L.A. (that’s what it’s really about) to have an opinion. My girlfriend hated it.

    However, I think “The Passion of the Christ” is the most polarizing film of the last decade. Anyone who’s seen it is bound to have a strong opinion on it.

  24. you are sooooo right about Michael Moore. Not only he has an agenda of his own, but he brought both publicity and discredit to the anti-Bush opponents.
    I quite agree with you with all the rest, but I’ll never watch the watchmen…how could you ? superpowers? why not growing a magical tree like in the Fountain?

  25. I realize this is just a dopey fail of a blog, but when you say something on the level of “Fahrenheit 9/11 was a dishonest, inaccurate piece of propaganda masquerading as a documentary,” it’s usually standard operating procedure to back it up.

  26. @ Your Mom

    I’m loathe to even respond to anyone who uses the term “fail” (are you 12? or maybe 13?), but the point of the article wasn’t to discuss the merits of Moore’s film. Rather, it was to point out how polarizing ten movies have been, while offering my brief opinion on each.

    But since you brought it up, showing images of Bush smiling and enjoying himself interlaced with images of Americans grieving over 9/11 is misleading and inaccurate. It’s meant to show that Bush didn’t care and of course, the images of Bush were taken out of context.

    Moore shows that Bush has a relationship with the bin Laden family, and does his best to convince his viewers that Bush is familiar with and has a substantive relationship with Osama bin Laden. The use of “Shiny Happy People” by REM helps to paint the relationship between Bush and the bin Ladens as a fun, friendly, jovial one.

    Moore shows Bush getting “fixed up” before a television appearance, an attempt to show how phony Bush and his administration really are. Democrats NEVER apply makeup or fix their hair before television appearances, right? Didn’t John Edwards get a $400 haircut? But that’s not nearly as phony as having an affair while your poor wife dies from cancer.

    It’s also been shown that many quotes – such as those made by Condoleeza Rice – have been shortened, edited, or taken out of context. That’s just plain dishonest.

    I hope this was up to par for your “standard operating procedure,” but as you can see, it didn’t really have any place in the article. I find it ironic that you’re calling me out, saying I should back up my opinion, yet you don’t have the balls to put down your name, email address, or anything else that could identify you. Pretty sad, really.

    Thanks for reading.

  27. So you’re criticizing the style, not the substance.

    It would’ve been better if you’d just said right up front that you were a Republican.

    FAIL. Failfailfailfailfailfailfailfalfail. I’m 12! Maybe 13!

  28. @Your Mom

    I’m criticizing the dishonest presentation. Good job presenting counterpoints, though.

    I’m not a Republican. Not even close.

  29. Moulin Rouge is a Remake (John Huston 1952 ! He’s american that should be easy for you …)

    Vanilla Sky is a remake, and it sucks.

    And as usual, Holywood makes crap.

    they’re all crap (besides Eyes Wide Shut).

  30. I agree with you on 9 out of 10. As for Watchmen? I still don’t know what I thought… I’m not a lover or a hater I guess. So, maybe I’m as close as it gets to completely agreeing with you?

  31. I think the Eyes Wide Shut hater that gives the movie a second thought beyond disliking Tom Cruise thinks that it’s just an unfinished movie. Wouldn’t hacking 20-30 minutes from the picture, like he did with 2001 and The Shining have made the film a leaner and better movie. Or replacing the irritating temp track score. It’s not a bad movie, just an unfinished one. And most movies are quite bad after the first cut.

  32. I can’t say I agree on…..any of them. The Village’s poor twist wrecked an otherwise excellent story, Watchmen had me enthralled even as a fan of the G.N., the Fountain was certainly pretty….and absurdly art house….

  33. @Fred
    We “losers” call them graphic novels because that’s what they are. A comic book is something a kid reads. It (generally) has simple heroes, cheesy villains, quick self-contained plots, and little to no actual substance. A graphic novel, on the other hand, is any book (yes, they are actually books) in mostly illustrative form. I realize you knew all of this from the beginning and only wanted to prove that you’re cooler than all us “nerds,” but guess what? Graphic Novels aren’t just for nerds. They’ve been legitimized by both pop culture (Watchmen made Time Magazine’s list of 100 best English-language novels) and through awards (Maus won the Pulitzer in 1992). You wanna call a holocaust survivor’s true story a fucking comic book?

  34. The fountain is hard to say, but so far no one i know thinks its OMG BEST EVAR nor does anyone think its a piece of shit. I personally think its meh, there are great things in that movie, and there are silly things, both cancel themselves out, anyone that thinks otherwise has got some major cognitive dissonance going on(this is regardless whether you think its a pretentious piece of junk or an amazing masterpiece because frankly its neither of those.).

    Vanilla sky, people don’t hate it because of tom cruise(though maybe now post scientology craziness) they hate it because they probably saw the original Spanish version and just cant reconcile the English version in their heads, particularly the general pointlessness of actually remaking it(it was only like 4 years old at the time). I believe its meh, but then I’m one of the few that wasn’t that impressed with the original either.

    Eyes wide shut seems to have been released a decade too late( I think had it come out in a more conservative era of politics it would totally be more popular, nothing beats an orgy when the conservatives are in power), but every kubrick film is hated on release until critics wake up and start to think a bit, no surprises here.

    Blair witch is somewhat polarizing I agree, I’m in the its boring and sucky camp, it also spurred a whole series of movies attempting to recreate its success and I think it deserves a special place in hell for that.

    Farenheit is another one of those, only worked because of the time of release, seriously watch it again, even if you thought this movie had a bit of “edge” its totally lost by this point. And now of course bush bashing just seems quaint.

    Moulin rouge is great campy fun, and I usually hate musicals, hell i thought sweeney todd was absolutely stupid but apparently i was the only one.

    The village i totally agree is polarizing, I also fall into the absolute garbage category, the sad thing is that Shymalan’s love of pointless plot twists have totally ruined his earlier good movies(I personally think from a pure cinematic perspective, signs is his best, as long as you turn it off before it gets to the end, I really really wish he would stop doing this shit), seriously try watching the sixth sense and not loling from the silliness of it all, or don’t because it will sadly ruin what was once a great movie.

    Crash, again, gets worse and worse with each viewing, but saying that its not an entirely bad movie, and I’ve never met anyone that thinks it deserved the oscar. Especially not over either brokeback or even good night, good luck, but whatever.

    The problem with AI is it tries really really hard to be a memorable movie, particularly with its scenery, but it all just comes of as gratuitous scene wank. It like the fountain, definitely has great moments but as a whole its just a mess. Saying that I think everyone should watch it at least once.

    Watchmen, I’ve seen it twice now, I love the comic book, and I also quite like the movie, it is over stylized. Though I think in the long run it will actually age well, particularly when the inevitable directors cut comes to dvd/blu ray. Time will tell.

  35. I’m normally pretty left-wing, but even I will tell you that Michael Moore is a fat-assed, self-serving douche who doesn’t give a damn about the people he claims to represent in his “documentaries”
    he just wants people to know his name

    as for the rest of the films on the list…
    while I try to like them, I sometimes find it hard to do
    I though Zach Snyder did the best job he could do with Watchmen (better than the jingoistic 300 — the movie was more homoerotic than Batman & Robin)

  36. I would not recommend watching Moulin Rouge if you like musicals at all. I’m alright with musicals, and I could barely stand to watch a clip of the movie on Youtube. The problem is that the point of the musical is to listen to the songs, and the songs are…well…completely unoriginal, since their all more or less pop songs from the 70s and 80s, sung in the most melodramatic fashion possibly. I don’t get why people like that film so much, but I’m guessing they don’t like musicals very much either.

    As for another polarizing film, I would also put out there Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which I thought was great but definitely polarizing, and Peter Jackson’s King Kong, which I thought was an absolute mess with poor pacing and terrible editing.

    Also, with Sicko…..while Fahrenheit 9/11 was a little to propagandistic, Sicko did bring up some good points. Was Sicko really really bad at times? Yes, but I think it’s better than Fahrenheit 9/11, maybe even Bowling for Columbine (Who can’t forget the infamous Charlton Heston scene?).

  37. For the most part, I agreed with your choices. But seriously,in reference to the comment about Moulin Rouge being “an utterly unwatchable, nonsensical pile of filth that only women would enjoy” is offensive, and I do not care whether you think that you truly share this feeling or that it is just really what people think about this movie, reading this phrase ruined your entire post for me. I do not think that comment was necessary, and think that while some people may express feelings like that about musicals or “Moulin Rouge” in particular, it would be like you saying that people who hated “Crash” said that it was nonsensical filth that only minorities would love. Offensive and unnecessary. Although you distanced yourself from the idea, you still published it.

  38. You thought The Village was good? You don’t actually explain why it’s good other than saying so, and the reasons for it sucking are very much presented as more valid for it being crap. I thought it sucked, the twist was just Shyamalan pulling something out of his a**e with no real grounding in the film itself.

  39. nope, not my real name. real email, though.

    look, a documentary has a point of view. and it’s pretty well documented that moore’s going to avail himself of every weapon at his disposal to make his fucking point.

    are we clear on that?

    the point he’s making, as i recall, is that W was a lying douchebag who’s in bed with the neocons, and he bullshitted all of us into paying for a war he knew he wanted before 9-11 ever took place.

    he also pointed out that Mr Everyman Religious boy…was a scamming jackass who betrayed the folks who actually got him elected.

    where, in that, do you see a problem?

    it’s not the film that’s polarizing. it’s the person.

    and, no, that’s not a film maker who everyone already acknowledges has a point of view. it’s an elected official that serves at our behest.

    when your answer above points out that democrats aren’t exactly clean…well, my *man*…you’re pointing out that you, as a young person who, as all young folks do, have to make a mark…are missing a real opportunity to do some actual good in this world by not dismissing criticism for a political point of view.

    and if you don’t think so?

    as someone who has about thirty years trodding the earth on you…i can assure you…time will change your mind.

    i saw moore’s film in the theatre, and it made me cheer.

    because the jackbooted assholes who’d gotten us into an illegal ground war — that we haven’t extricated ourselves from yet, and which has had a lot more to do with the collapse of our economy than even St Obama cares to admit — had to take the technically flawed but righteous enough to cheer criticism…

    when they were in the midst of trampling on all of our constitutional rights, and war profiteering, and doing so shamelessly…

    if that’s not clear enough…ask yourself this: a political party that *prides* itself on lesser government…grows the government, even as it insists that it’s all about smaller government…

    versus a party that acknowledges the facts that a government that is supposed to provide all that the body politic wants, will have to be larger…

    gives you a clear choice. which do you prefer:

    a bigger government that’s about handing all the wealth to the wealthy?

    or, a government that’s about having the wealth spread around to you and me and my neighbor?

    because when you support a lying douchebag piece of shit like W…you get the first. and, as an added bonus, you have us as a nation committing heinous war crimes, and insisting that a body who disagrees isn’t a patriot.

    and, you know, an economy that ends up creating the single largest wealth transfer from most of us…to the already wealthy and powerful few.

    yah. i want me some more of that W shit…

  40. There are a few movies I’m surprised to not see on this list.

    Sin City, because I’ve yet to see someone who has a middle-ground attitude about it. I loved it, personnally, but apparently those who didn’t love it hated it.

    300, for similar reasons. I thought it was good myself, mostly because of the stylizing of the movie, giving you the impression to watch a comic on-screen. It’s very peculiar, and apparently it didn’t fly with everybody.

    Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. You KNOW what I’m talking about. And all I have to say is, I loved every single bit of it, including the ending. Which was not only magnificent but also stayed true with H.G.Wells’ work. I never understood why people insist on categorizing this movie as a “Disaster Movie”. It’s not. It’s a movie about people and about how they live, how they react to extreme situations. It’s a movie about us, and the whole Martian thing could very well have been just a metaphor.

    Oh, but I have to say: Fahrenheit totally deserved a place in that list! I haven’t seen it, but it sure provokes a lot of love and hatred!

  41. I really liked “The Assasination Of Jesse James…” but I can see how a lot of people would be clockwatching in the last 1/4 of the film.
    Crash was awful. Vanilla Sky tried too hard to be cerebral. A.I. needed the last hour edited down to 15 minutes and I guessed the Village twist-ending at the beginning of the flick and spent the entire time thinking “oh I hope they’re not going to do that!” and then they did.
    Verdict is still out on Watchmen- The graphic novel was awesome when I was 15 but I re-read it again (20 years later) just before watching the movie and found it to be juvenile and melodramatically over the top. Some of the segues are embarassingly contrived. I still read Alan Moore’s stuff though, and I think he would agree with me.

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  43. @ Snoopy

    Wow. Someone else who actually loved War of the Worlds. I thought I was the only one. You nailed it with your interpretation.

    @ mokgohan

    I think I may end up liking Watchmen more as time passes. We’ll see. I was just so very disappointed.

    @ Gustavo

    Nothing wrong with that. Could be fun.

  44. I really can’t understand all the hate against Shyamalan as well. Also, I think all the movies from Adam Sandler could fit here: either people love him or hate him – and those who like ‘punch drunk love’ despite their hatred, like it because of PT Anderson.

    On the Watchmen topic I disagree: its ALWAYS fair to compare ANY adaption from comics, books, remakes or any kind of re-doing of a work of fiction. And that’s because, obviously, it has an origin, a place of birth – in short, it’s a homage and as such, it must honor and at least aim to be a good flick or whatever (read: not suck balls).
    That said, then I’ll continue: given the nature of the original, and the fact that a good adaptation (and I do mean good, not even accurate) would have to last about 4 or 6 hours, then the movie is actualy impressive.
    The action scenes are pure shit, I give you that. Snyder proves us right, showing that all he could imagine was shown in 300.

  45. Donnie Darko should be on this list. Great characters, interesting story, suspense, but in the end it doesn’t make any sense (it tries but fails). Another movie that might deserve to be on this list is Benjamin Button. I thought it was great but many people found it far too sentimental. To each his own I guess.

    The Villiage pissed me off because 10 seconds into the movie I thought “this is modern day” and then they put the year up on the screen. IMO you can never lie to your audience. You don’t have to be completely honest with them, but if you straight out lie then you are assuming that your film is not as intelligent as your audience (something worse than assuming your audience is not intelligent enough, IMO).

    The Fountain is one of the greatest movies of all time. It’s not perfect but it is deeply human. While the visuals and the themes were already mentioned, the score by Clint Mansell is one of the best ever. Obviously it’s not for everybody.

    I really wanted to love A.I. it’s exactly the type of film I like. Sadly the last quarter of the film was bogged down in absurdity, which drove me to hate it. Hate is undeserved, its just a product of the high expectations that first half created.

  46. @ Erik

    Weird, I’ve never actually met someone who hated Donnie Darko, hence its absence from my list. I happen to love it, but you’re right about it not making total sense. Richard Kelly (the director) has himself admitted that he doesn’t fully understand it.

    Mansell’s score added a lot to The Fountain. And that’s putting it mildly. His score for Moon was real good, too, but it didn’t have the same tremendous effect.

  47. I think you have to add Terrence Malick’s The New World to this list. I remember getting into heated debate about that film when it came out. I found it to be a beautiful, compelling mood piece that felt more authentic about the colonial experience than any other film I’d ever seen. Not to mention the stunning cinematography. Others, however, have called it slowly paced, pretentious, and narratively numbing–and some people seem to hate Colin Farrell on principle, which I don’t really understand.

  48. @JGoresy

    I haven’t seen The New World, actually, but I think now that I may check it out. I don’t get the Colin Farrell hate myself…I think he’s a decent enough actor, especially after seeing In Bruges.

  49. You forgot the nerd movies which cause huge rifts, such as the new Star Wars, The Lord Of The Rings, Transformers, etc, etc, etc. These movies cause much more love hate discussion than a few of the movies you listed that no one actually saw making it hard to have more than a few people with strong opinions.

    Furthermore LOTR sucks because the force is way cooler than a stupid ring. You can never go wrong with giant fighting robots, except when you add an unnecessary hour of teen angst (at least there were boobs).

    You were definitely on the nose with Blair Witch, that movie was complete garbage, and I’ve never met anyone that will stand in the middle ground with that flaming dog turd.

    Lastly bring on your artsy film buff flame session; I realize I only watch major blockbusters. The reasoning being, I watch movies to be entertained, not put to sleep.

  50. @ humanprototype

    Really? There are people that love Episode I? And why the need to compare LOTR to Star Wars? They’re both fantastic.

    I’m not going to flame you for liking only major blockbusters. If that’s what you like, great. I, too, watch movies to be entertained, but I happen to be entertained by the artsy farsty cerebral stuff. It’s the blockbusters that bore me. To each his own.

    Thanks for reading.

  51. Its true there are people that loved episode 1 none of them over 13, further you acceptance of everyone makes it very hard to troll, let the hate flow through you.

  52. i really liked the list and that you included moulin rouge and the watchmen.i really enjoyed moulin rouge i liked the music and in general though it was a great film. The watchmen, not so much it was terrible and i swear i had nightmares about a giant blue penis for a week

  53. @ antwon

    I really need to check out Moulin Rouge at this point. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it.

    The blue penis was pretty absurd. I wasn’t nearly mature enough to handle it.

  54. Burn After Reading. I personally haven’t seen it, since one of my friends freaking RUINED it for me out one night when the movie came up in discussion (I’m pointing at YOU Joe). But I have had many people tell me that they either thought it was great or absolutely hated it. Hence, Joe hated it and ruined it for me.

    I’ve seen the Fountain mentioned on here before, so I’ll have to check it out. It really looks gorgeous.

  55. @ Laura

    I haven’t seen Burn After Reading, and even though its by the Coens…I don’t know. I just have no desire, and I’ve heard nothing good.

    You really should check out The Fountain. It’s gorgeous. And even if you hate it, at least it’s ambitious and unique. Too many movies are safe.

  56. Wow, fantastic list! I can’t say I enjoyed A.I. though; for the same reasons posted again and again above – it was too long, and that damned kid drove me insane!
    Its a little sad how some people get so worked up over your opinions though Madison. Thank you for being bold enough to put them up regardless of what others will think of them! 🙂

  57. Excellent list. I watched Vanilla Sky and The Fountain and hated both of them at the time and then found myself unable to stop thinking about either of them. I went from hating them both to loving them both. I am still angry about the time and money wasted on Blair Witch.

  58. @ David K Davey:

    Thanks, man. I’m glad you enjoyed the list. And don’t sweat the people that get worked up over an opinion that’s different than mine or yours – I certainly don’t. If they explain *why* they have a different opinion, that’s great. I love that. If they make attacks or call me names, well, that’s kinda great too…it cracks me up.

    @ Ordell Robbie

    I love (most) movies that stay with you after you leave the theater. Like, three days later, you’re still thinking about it. I think Vanilla Sky and especially The Fountain have that aspect, agreed.

  59. I agree with several people above, including yourself, that think that Watchmen might age well. Having read the novel, I understood fully well that not every detail or side plot would be included in the film, but I was still slightly disappointed. I don’t think the whole plot change thing was that terrible, because it simplified the story for those who hadn’t read the novel, but I found myself wishing to see the tale in its original state. I personally will be buying the director’s cut in hopes of viewing more of the careful details that Snyder so carefully wove into the film. Oh, and my dad and I both loved the death of Lee Iacocca. Clever.

  60. Thank you for giving Eyes Wide Shut the props it deserves. I had the unique experience of taking a Kubrick class at USC for a semester. We watched all his films on the big screen, and read the book that Eyes Wide Shut was based on. I call it a unique experience because Kubrick just happened to die shortly before the end of the semester!

    Seeing it through the lens of Dream Story (the novel it is based on), I think it’s a brilliant film. But I can see why some people don’t get it.

    I’m glad I missed Crash. I didn’t trust all the hype and it seems like something I wouldn’t have liked either.

  61. Cool List.

    Quick Fact Check though on A.I.: Stanley Kubrick had always intended Steven Spielberg to direct the film and Kubrick to remain in a producer capacity (i.e. it was not Kurbrick’s death that kept him from the helm). Despite the mixed reviews of the film, it’s definately one of the most interesting collaborations in modern cinema.

  62. With the movies ive seen i completely agree with you.

    Vanilla sky is one of my favourite movies ever, people said the ending was stupid and confusing, i thought it was brilliant and the whole movie was actually very clear, giving you all the answers, plus penelope cruz, pretty cool.
    The village i like a lot, probably because of the cast, although i can see its flaws and the blair witch project is great and frightening. I thought the ending in the corner was better than any other horror movie ive ever seen.
    Watchmen is shit and AI is boring and set in an unlikeable and hard to relate world.
    Great article, ive gotta watch that Eyes wide shut soon though, looks cool

  63. @ michell ingram

    Let me know what you think of Eyes Wide Shut. As the title of the article implies, I’d bet you’ll have a strong opinion.

    Thanks for reading.

  64. This list is awesome! Glad you did include some remakes. It’s interesting that people seemed to become more passionate one way or another towards them the second time around.

  65. @JamCam

    That’s an interesting observation and something I noticed, too: people tend to get more worked up over remakes than they do for originals. Makes sense, I guess.

  66. @ Rachit

    You’re right. Many people don’t have the patience for that movie. You could say that a lot of Kubrick’s films are polarizing. My roommate can’t get through A Clockwork Orange, and I think it’s one of the best movies ever made.

  67. As much as I love Kubrick, I hated AI with a passion. Probably Haley-Joel’s fault.

    Otherwise, I have to agree with pretty much everything else here. With the exception of your praise for Magnolia. P.T. Anderson is a very talented director. Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood are top 25 movies for me. Punch Drunk Love even made me think Adam Sandler could be a capable dramatic actor. But Magnolia made me want to gouge my eyes out. Great cast, 3+ hours of boring, Aimee Mann music, culminating in a group karaoke and raining frogs.

  68. I agree (or can at least see your point on all of them) except for The Village. Much like the Sixth Sense (which everyone I know RAVED about) I saw the ending a mile away. I never saw what people liked about M. Night, but I know there are movies I love that most people hate (ie Swimming with Sharks).

  69. @FB

    I didnt’ see the ending coming at all, but I don’t think that matters too much. I thought – as I said above – that Shyamalan did a great job creating a period piece, and I thought his themes about the use of fear as a means of control were quite poignant.

  70. Nice blog post. I need to check out half of those movies… well maybe not Moulin Rouge. I think I’d claw my face off halfway through that one. No i never saw it and my judgment is based on pure speculation but it has some warrant. After all, it’s a musical, and musicals suck. Only women would watch that crap.

  71. Even though I respect what you’re doing here and give you props for it, your bad taste in movies is superceded only by your bad taste in picking movies for a list.

  72. @ Lem

    Cool. So you found all 10 of these movies to be sorta “meh,” and everyone you know feels the same? I kinda doubt that.

    Thanks for reading.

  73. one movie I didn’t particularly care for that everyone else seems to love (guess it doesn’t fit in with the theme of this list) was Pan’s Labyrinth. I understand what the film was trying to say but I believe when I saw it it was rating at like 95 on rotten tomatoes and just didn’t get it. Yeah the movie itself was beautiful but I just didn’t get it and the ending seemed over the top to prove a point as well.

    I couldn’t agree more about crash. If i want to be beat over the head with the idea that we live in a racist society I’d much rather the movie be do the right thing. it was much less contrived, when it got over the top it was intentional (specifically the scene where all the characters went back and forth with the racial epithets) and purposefully so (I never got the feeling that the people behind Crash were intending to be overt) and it didn’t feel nearly as contrived either. Don’t normally love Spike Lee but that movie never fails to entertain me.

    Moulin Rouge has a great beginning but fades once the 20 minutes in (in my opinion).

    I feel like I was much more “meh” about watchmen than love it or hate it. I know it was too long though. I think the common complaint I kept seeing was that it was too busy being true to the comic (graphic novel) that it didn’t even bother trying to convey the message the comic did.

  74. @ mike

    I, too, didn’t see all the fuss about Pan’s Labyrinth. Yes, it was beautiful, but there was still something about it that felt kind of empty. I suppose I wanted more of the fantasy world and less of the real one. That said, I liked the movie, I just didn’t gush over it like many people did. So I wouldn’t say it’s polarizing. I mean, I don’t know anyone who loathes it. Unless you do, of course.

    Thanks for reading.

  75. Twilight, as successful as that phoned-in, run-of-the-mill, lonely fat girl’s fantasy was, I hated that possibly more than any movie I can think of. I made it about halfway through, and just couldn’t stand it anymore.

  76. A couple of these films I haven’t seen, but I agree with most except Crash. Crash deserved every award that it won, while connecting every character was a little far fetched, it was still a great movie. I think (and please don’t take offense to this everyone, I mean no harm in what I say, but understand why I say it) the majority of whites (please understand that I don’t mean any offense) don’t like this movie because they don’t want to believe in the racism issue. Whenever the issue of racism comes up, a lot of white people get upset as if someone is calling them racist. Face it, racism exists, it always will, but as human beings we have to face it in a mature manner when it does. I like the movie because it doesn’t show racism as whites against blacks, but in nearly every aspect. That’s the point, racism can and does affect everyone. Look at it from that perspective, this movie tells the truth, especially about this country. That being said, I don’t hate this country, I have been a victim of racism, but that gives me no excuse to hate any race, people are who they are, just realize the truth and that’s what this movie does.

  77. @ Anne Hiro

    No offense taken whatsoever. Thanks for a well-thought out comment.

    My problem with Crash isn’t that it deals with race, it’s *how* it deals with race. I also have problems with the screenplay and how everything is made to seem melodramatic. But as far as race, of course it exists. In Crash, though, almost every character was either a) totally racist or b) not racist.

    It was insulting to see such a complex issue simplified like this. There are far too many grey areas in racism and prejudice for it to be portrayed as a simple straightforward subject.

    Thanks for reading.

  78. I have seen VANILLA SKY on dvd about 8 times and will watch it again because it has gotten better every, single time I have watched it. That movie has layers on top of layers on top of clues on top of weird shit – and I love it!!

    Nice to see it get a little appreciation here.

    As for polarizing – gotta be Peter Jackson’s King Kong for me. I, literally, would rather watch The House Bunny on a loop for a week than sit through that ham-fisted attempt at Kong.

  79. @ ThisIsEdwin

    Yeah, I appreciate Vanilla Sky the more I see it. Great use of music, too.

    As for King Kong, well, I like it. A lot. I realize most people don’t.

    Thanks for reading.

  80. @ Talia

    You should check out The Fountain and let me know what you think.

    As far as my taste, it’s very nice and refreshing to see that someone appreciates it.

    Thanks for reading.

  81. Speed Racer – find me a person that thinks its “meh.” It is either a cutting-edge, avant-garde masterpiece that is the most exciting thing to come to the big screen in years, or is utter garbage, an overlong cartoon whose source material never deserved to be visited again. I vote for option A, but if you disagree, fair enough. Unless you haven’t seen the movie. See it if you haven’t, you’ll figure out in the first 20 minutes if its a movie for you.

  82. @ Gary

    I haven’t seen it yet (I plan to), but I think you’re right. I’ve never met anyone who thought it was anything other than great or awful. I’m excited to see it.

    Thanks for reading.

  83. It always surprises me when I met someone who liked Moulin Rouge.

    I love musicals, good musicals. All good musicals ask the viewer to suspend their disbelief, just like a great sci-fi movie does.

    Moulin Rouge was very near un-watchable. I have no problem with the story, the retro music used or the actors, the biggest problem with this move is the way this movie was edited. What does it matter if you have beautiful sets, costumes, great choreography, when you only see them for 3 seconds at a time before cutting to another visual. Baz Lurhman… leave the camera alone!

  84. I agree with the list. I don’t know why white americans try to argue over Crash being a good movie or not. Most white people would not like Crash because they can’t relate to the movie. It’s like Bill Gates reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad to find out how he can attain financial freedom.

  85. @ Lew

    It has nothing to do with being able to relate to the movie. Nothing at all. It’s an overly dramatic BS film, plain and simple.

    This is like saying Latinos shouldn’t discuss the merits of American Psycho because they’re largely missing from the 80s Wall Street boom.

    Thanks for reading.

  86. Finally, someone that realizes Watchmen was a disaster of a movie. I’ve never read the novel so I can’t compare, but the movie itself was pretty bad. It had little to no substance and the ending was very anti-climactic. It did look very pretty though.

  87. No one even mentioned Snatch. Great story, great characters, plenty of humor, and action for all the junkies. Brad Pitts best performance by far. Not that the movie Snatch needs a mention of Brad Pitt in order to justify it, but it is a noteworthy point. Dont try to throw 12 Monkeys at me either…

  88. wow, i must be the only one in existence who liked Crash…. then again, i have a penchant for multiple narrative cinema of all kinds, even the cheesiest of the cheese (Valentine’s day…shut up it’s a guilty pleasure) to the masterpieces of Magnolia and Nashville.

  89. I think Crash deserved every reward it received. I personally believe the movie wasn’t that black and white about racism. For example, the racists white cop horribly harassed the African American women he stopped but later on ended up saving her from the car crash. I thought that was an extremely conflicting and complicated element added to our common idea of racism in comparison to other movies that only depict racists white people as consistently doing horrible things. I thought everyone loved Crash but on this post it seems like I am the rare one I suppose.

  90. Crash is overrated, sure, but it attempts to address race and not all the stories are as simple as critics portray. It was imperfect, but I think many of the harshest critics of the movie would hate anything that wasn’t perfect when discussing race.

    I found some of it compelling and surprising, other parts were predictable and simplistic. But it’s not “the worst movie ever” and some have stated.


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