Movies

7 Critically Acclaimed Films Audiences Just Didn't Get

Image credit: Legion-Media

These films are unlikely to be recommended by your friends, but journalists write about them in movie magazines and books.

Hail, Caesar (2016)

The Coen brothers usually make films that please both critics and ordinary viewers. Four Academy Awards are proof of that. However, Hail Caesar went right over the audience's heads. People found the story confusing, the references were hard to decipher, and the out-of-the-blue musical number with Channing Tatum fell flat. The movie performed modestly at the box office. However, critics insisted in unison that the convoluted plot was not a bug but a feature. Some even went as far as to compare Hail Caesar with the cult classic, The Big Lebowski.

Spy Kids (2001)

The film about a crazy spy family makes many people pine for the good old days when they were kids and didn't have a care in the world. Robert Rodriguez's trilogy features a great cast and original stories.

When the first instalment hit theatres, critics praised it, but audiences were not impressed. However, after the third movie came out, even die-hard fans had to concede it was hard to watch.

Ad Astra (2018)

Director James Gray made a film in which Roy (Brad Pitt), a hard-boiled and lonely astronaut, is sent to the far reaches of the solar system to find his missing father.

Brad Pitt said in an interview the role had been one of the most challenging of his career.

Critics praised Pitt's acting. Many compared the film to such cinema masterpieces as Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris and Stanely Kubric's 2001:A Space Odyssey. However, the film failed to impress audiences and barely broke even at the box office.

Noah (2014)

The Christian myth of Noah's Ark has counterparts in other religions. But many viewers had a negative response to this interpretation. People weren't amused by the liberties the filmmakers took with their faith. And to add insult to injury, few people liked the acting, which was described as contrived and pathetic. The critics, however, noted that the actors accurately captured and communicated the essence and the atmosphere.

Well, as the saying goes, there are at least three opinions on any biblical topic in a room with two Christians.

Uncut Gems (2019)

The Safdie Brothers' film Uncut Gems is yet another proof of their unwillingness to stick to the trodden path. The main character, Jewish jeweller Howard (Adam Sandler), owes a lot of money to gangsters who constantly terrorize him. And to get out of this mess, he has to auction off a gem from Ethiopia whose price is estimated at a million dollars. Critics loved the film, and many praised Sandler's acting. Audiences, by contrast, were confused to see a comedy actor in a dramatic role and didn't get the movie.

The Witch (2015)

In 2015, the low-budget Russian film, The Witch, made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival, winning the Best Director award. The film also performed well at the box office, grossing $32 million on a budget of just $1 million.

The film was directed by former theatre actor Robert Iggers, for whom it was his directorial debut.

Iggers says that he has been fascinated and frightened by witches since childhood and that he had often had nightmares about them.

So it should come as no surprise that the film has a nightmarish feel to it. It got praised by critics and did well at the box office, but some scenes were described as a bit too much and stirred some audience resentment.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

This movie seems to have everything audiences love: the Cold War, aliens, conflict, and, as the icing on the cake, Shia LaBeouf. And yet, judging by audience reviews, the film still lacked something. Probably, a young Harrison Ford, but even the cult Hollywood director Steven Spielberg could not pull it off. Few people were interested in seeing their favourite actor get older with every sequel. People didn't hold back their negative emotions after seeing the movie. Meanwhile, most critics agreed the movie was a perfect send-off for the franchise.