24 Movies That Were Too Clever for Most Viewers

Some fantastic movies have been misunderstood or not fully understood by those watching them. A recent Reddit poll revealed the top 24 movies most people missed the point of.

Inception

Inception Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Everyone was debating for years afterward about what the “real” setting of the ending was, real or dream. Except the entire movie is an exercise in figuring out that it doesn’t matter. The real world is what they choose, and in the end, Cobb chooses his children.”

Zodiac

Zodiac Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“I’m not sure many people realize that Zodiac is supposed to be a microcosm of America’s obsession with true crime.”

“Some people miss that the marketing phrase was ‘There’s More Than One Way to Lose Your Life to a Killer.”

Fight Club

Fight Club 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“As well as toxic masculinity, this movie is about consumerism. Working a job you hate, just so you can have a lifestyle you don’t even like.”

American Beauty

American Beauty DreamWorks Pictures
Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures.

“People think that the movie endorses adults having sexual feelings towards minors, which is the exact opposite of what the movie is actually saying.”

Jennifer’s Body

Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

It’s a really good movie! It’s just not the movie some people thought it would be.”

“It ended up attracting teen boys, who didn’t get it, since the intended audience was young women who would understand its message.”

Pulp Fiction 

Pulp Fiction Mira Max
Photo Credit: Mira Max.

“It’s a pretty effective deconstruction of the tropes and archetypes of toxic masculinity.”

“But what college students got from it was ‘look at these bad boys pointing pistols. I want that as a poster.”

Last Action Hero

last action hero Photo Credit Columbia Pictures
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

“All the cliched, over-the-top, poorly-written bits were a satire of silly action films.”

“People thought it was meant to be an actual action movie and not a commentary of the genre.”

Goodfellas

Goodfellas Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“In the end, Henry had all his priorities wrong, was almost whacked, and everyone around him ended up in prison, yet people still aspire to be a gangster like him.”

Falling Down

Falling Down Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“My dad seems to think Falling Down is about getting fed up with waiting in traffic.”

“It starts with him being relatable and he keeps taking steps away from sanity. Then you realize he’s always been the bad, violent guy.”

Wall Street

Wall Street 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“The repulsive, cheating, criminal, bad guy says “greed is good” and the whole country takes that as their motto.”

“People told Michael Douglas that his character was the reason they pursued careers in finance. His response? ‘I was the villain.’”

A.I.

A.I. Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“A character at the end of the first scene all but turns to the audience and asks a question that makes up its most important theme; most of the people I’ve met who have seen A.I. have no answer for its question and don’t even know what the question is.”

Showgirls

Showgirls United Artist
Photo Credit: United Artist.

“It is not a satire on Hollywood exploitation any more than pro wrestling is a satire of combat sports.”

“The writer wrote it during the most difficult stretch of his life, which is why it was written so bitterly.”

American Psycho

American Psycho
Photo Credit: Lions Gate Films.

Imagine watching the business card scene and not knowing it’s a joke.”

“I swear all these kids who share American Psycho memes and think they’re “alpha” haven’t actually seen the movie.”

Starship Troopers

Star-ship Troopers Touchstone
Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

“Everyone just thought (still do) that it’s just a mindless action movie.”

“I was talking to someone about it, and I realized that they did not view the movie as anything other than an action movie. I didn’t know that was a common view.”

Cast Away

Cast Away DreamWorks Pictures & 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures & 20th Century Studios.

“So many people I know missed the hopeful, optimistic ending of Cast Away.”

“Heading back, he stops at a literal and metaphorical crossroad.”

American History X

American History X
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

“They never watch or realize it’s a movie that literally showcases all the flaws of racism.”

“It’s literally a movie AGAINST racism, but so many people can’t see it for what it is.”

Midsommar

Midsommar A24
Photo Credit: A24.

“A lot of people interpreted Midsommar as ‘you go, girl! stand up for yourself. In reality, was: cults will take abused, broken, hurt, lonely people and further isolate them.”

“I literally misinterpreted it until my 3rd watch.”

Scarface

Scarface Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

Most people ignore how Tony spends most of the movie as a jealous, miserable loser hiding behind the facade of success.”

“I watched it last night, and I felt like it was a tragedy, almost Shakespearean.”

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“Young men were being emotionally crushed to make them into killers, but most people just make jokes about Ermy yelling at the recruits.”

“The “duality of man” concept is on the movie poster, yet people still don’t get it.”

The Batman

The Batman Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“Wayne himself didn’t act much differently from his Batman identity, which was the whole point of his arc in the movie if you paid attention to it.”

“I agree it was quite obvious at times, so it’s surprising how people missed this so badly.”

Parasite

Parasite Neon Films
Photo Credit: Neon Films.

“Capitalism makes everyone parasitic was what I took away from it.”

“I rather thought both rich and poor were shown to be parasitic in this movie. A statement, to say the least, on Korean society as it is now.”

Nope

Nope Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

It seemed like a lot of people were confused by it and thought many of the elements were random when it’s a pretty thematically cohesive movie about exploitation and spectacle.”

I would totally forgive someone for missing Peele’s point for Nope.”

The Power Of The Dog

The Power Of The Dog Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix.

“Always makes me laugh when I see someone over there say they “didn’t buy Cumberbatch as the tough cowboy.” You know, literally the entire point of his character.”

“He isn’t a natural fit for the role; it underlines how much of Phil is macho posturing.”

The Whale

The Whale A24
Photo Credit: A24.

“People think the movie is about obesity and its consequences when really the obesity is simply dressing for a deeper story about guilt, redemption, authenticity, and optimism.”

“It presents how family & faith can almost destroy loved ones who don’t live the life that is expected.”

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