Although movies vary widely—from the plot to the underlying message—some movies are misunderstood. Whether people unintentionally insert their ideas into the messaging or the storyline is unclear, the point often gets missed. Recently, someone asked an online film forum for examples of movies where people missed the point. Here are a few of the most popular answers:
1 – Midsommar (2019)
While most can agree this movie was unsettling and had intense moments of pain, suffering, and visceral deaths, not everyone concurs about the meaning behind the film. Many viewers see the film as a display of female empowerment or revenge. Others see it as a cult or mob mentality—sentencing someone to a horrible death justified simply by their thoughtless behavior.
2 – 500 Days of Summer (2009)
As a highly respected rom-com, 500 Days of Summer quickly became known for its quirky leads, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt. However, many viewers missed the point that JGL’s character is often in the wrong. The movie is intentionally critiquing the trope of rom-coms and the pursuit of “manic pixie dream girls” as the focal point of these types of films.
3 – Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is a modern classic that touches on and deconstructs several vital topics, including consumerism, existentialism, and toxic masculinity. However, many viewers get caught up in the “big twist” and focus on the actual parking lot brawls, leaving behind integral messaging. One user even joked, “I have asked many people what the point of Fight Club is, but they won’t talk about it.”
4 – Get Out (2017)
This film is one of my favorites, and although the message was clear to me, it seems that others missed the poignant issues touched on throughout the movie. Instead, some seem to have taken Get Out as a liberal take on an interracial relationship “gone wrong” or even reduced it to a satiric horror film.
However, the movie is full of imagery and deep layers that illustrate how damaging antagonistic and hate-filled dynamics are, laden with racial prejudice and the desire to separate themselves or put themselves above the black perspective, even in current times.
5 – Robocop (1987)
Although the perception may have changed since its release, when Robocop first came out, it was dismissed and criticized by many for being “too violent.” Many viewers missed the underlying themes of this film, which had political messaging far beyond the stereotypical action flick.
Screenwriter Ed Neumeier once said, “I wanted a movie you could see at eight years old and think it was the greatest robot movie ever, then at 28 and see it was about other things.” While watching it again in their later years, many viewers realized that perspective offered a new lens into how many aspects of the film were based more on reality than science fiction.
6 – Inception (2010)
The meaning behind Inception has divided audiences since it first came out, and with good reason. The complex subject matter, illustrated through many beautiful dreamscapes, created a perplexing, deeply thought-provoking film.
So, what does it come down to? The idea is that dreams and reality are not exclusive; perhaps all levels of reality are valid.
Director Christopher Nolan has had his own thoughts on the matter, explaining that it’s feasible that Cobb—Leonardo DiCaprio’s character—no longer cared whether his time spent with his children in his dreams was real since he was enjoying his subjective reality.
7 – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Due to the stylish filming and glorification of money and power, and many risqué moments, many people interpreted his character as a bit of a superstar, something to aspire to be. Although we did see the downfall of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) throughout the latter half of the movie, the ending didn’t help solidify the takeaway: that his greed, salacious lifestyle, and desire to have it all was what did him in.
8 – American Psycho (2000)
Although people may have come around by now, when American Psycho first came out, many people totally misunderstood this movie—especially by misinterpreting that the entire movie was a hallucination or a dream. The film is a commentary on materialism, as well as the way wealth and success are idolized above any moral value.
Instead of regarding him as a sigma male role model with incredible social status (or a wild imagination—dreamland or otherwise), we can hope viewers now understand the point of this one.
9 – Cabin in the Woods (2012)
One of my personal favorite movies, Cabin in the Woods, was widely dismissed as disappointing or called a “not very scary” horror movie. Directed by Drew Goddard and written by Joss Whedon, this film is intended to be a comedic take on horror films.
It also involves an incredible amount of well-crafted symbolism (i.e., an interpretation of how Hollywood sets up everything in a horror movie and casts stereotypical characters to create a cliché tale) that is wildly misunderstood and unappreciated.
10 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
I remember the first time I saw this movie as a teenager, relating to the weight of sadness or loss that feels so severe that you would do anything you could forget it and move on. However, many took this film as a depiction of an incredible romance that could survive despite all odds. Some even took the characters’ failed relationship as something to aspire to.
One user put it succinctly: “If we aren’t able to live with the pain of loss, we will repeat all our mistakes repeatedly. It is a natural part of being in love, and without the pain that comes with it, we would never be able to grow as partners and lovers.”
More From Boss Level Gamer – 15 Films With the Best Endings of All Time: Unforgettable Scenes That Changed Everything
There’s nothing like a good comedy to lift your spirits. Whether a movie puts a non-stop smile on your face or you fall off the couch laughing, a good comedy is incredibly appreciated. A recent online thread asks what the best comedy people have ever seen is. Here are the top answers.
21 of the Absolute Best Comedies Ever Made
15 Films That Made People Literally Walk Out of the Theater
You’ve paid a small fortune for tickets, popcorn, and soda. But there are some movies that are worth throwing it all away and getting the heck out of there. Here are 15 of those films.
8 Controversial Comedies That Could Never Be Made Today
There are hours of online conversations about how hit shows like The Office and Friends wouldn’t be created and aired new today, but what about the movies? Recently, somebody asked, “I’m looking for movies that contain humor that wouldn’t be made today due to their offensive jokes but still are hilarious.” People responded with their top offensive, but said, hilarious picks.
8 Controversial Comedies That Could Never Be Made Today