10 Movies People Loved But Completely Missed the Point

Wolf of Wall Street
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.
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)

Midsommar (2019)
Image Credit: A24
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)

500 Days of Summer (2009)
Image Credit: Searchlight Pictures
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 (1999)
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios
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)

Get Out (2017)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures
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)

Robocop (1987)
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
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)

Inception (2010)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.
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)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures
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)

American Psycho (2000)
Image Credit: Lionsgate
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)

Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Image Credit: Lionsgate
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)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Image Credit: Focus Features
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.”

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The Usual Suspects
Image Credit: Gramercy Pictures.
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Katherine Heigl
Image Credit: Shutterstock.
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Best in Show
Photo Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment
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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.
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Tropic Thunder Ben Stiller
Image Credit: Dreamworks.
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  • Daisy Frisch

    I've been writing since I've known how to hold a pen. I also love snacks, cats, and exploring when it's not 1,000,000 degrees outside.

Written by Daisy Frisch

I've been writing since I've known how to hold a pen. I also love snacks, cats, and exploring when it's not 1,000,000 degrees outside.

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