What Makes a Good Movie?

Yes, I know that’s a stupid question. Good movies are films with a decent story, characters, visuals. But what draws the lline between entertainment and art? A “good” movie can be heavily artistic, but be complete garbage. Another “good” movie can be thoroughly entertaining but is lacking in a few elements such as story and characters.

I’ve seen a few people consider films like “Frozen”, “Inception”, and “Forrest Gump” terrible films and I’ve also seen people talk about how wonderful “Avatar” was or the greatness of the first “The Hunger Games” movie.

And yes, I do realize people have different opinions about things but it worries me. It really troubles me that sometimes, I may make a wrong decision as a film critic. Remember when I said “Monsters University” was one of Pixar’s best? Yeah, not a smart choice, right?

Remember I’ve said that films like Beauty and the Beast and Frozen (sorry for using those examples so much) have amazing and interesting stories? Apparently not a lot of people think that. You know how big of a deal Avatar was when it came out? I think it’s not that great. The story kind of is a rip off of Pocahontas, and it really is a bit more “style over substance”

But that goes back to my question, what can qualify as being a good film? Well, what was film made for at first. After it was only made to scare people into thinking they would be run over by trains, they were made for entertainment. Film was entertaining people, whether it was artistically good or bad. I know this is a new era, but I still feel like this kind of still applies.

Have you ever had films that were “so bad it’s good” or “guilty pleasure” films? You still enjoy them. They might not be good in the way that people perceive a “good movie” nowadays, but maybe there might be something in it that appeals to people. “The Room” is a good example of this. It may be terribly bad, but it has still done a lot of good. Maybe some of the films I’ve reviewed here such as “Killer Bean Forever,” “Planes,” and even “The Nut Job” have some kind of element that makes them entertaining.

I like a lot of “bad films.” I’d even admit that some of the films I think are great have some problems in them. “Back to the Future” has a lot of problems. “Frozen” had some problems as well. No film is a perfect one. I thoroughly believe that.

I know many of you will disagree with me, because I am sure half of you reading this have already clicked away by now. But for those who are still here, what am I trying to say?

Films are whatever you can want it to be. That is their magic. You can like them or hate them. You can judge by this thing or by that thing. But when it all comes down to it, films are a big part of culture. People all around the world have most likely watched some sort of a movie. Films have made a huge impact on us. Films can make us learn so many things and appreciate so many things. Every little film is a miracle. It takes so much hard work to give us that short two hours of entertainment. A good film doesn’t always have to perfect in story, characters, and visuals. A good film is the one that has made a big impact on our world and way of life. Whether you like it or not, these “bad” films are always going to be made. You can’t really stop that. We’re going to have movies like “Planes” and “The Room” coming out all the time.

I recall hearing internet critic Doug Walker say once, “For the good of the creative mind, I guess it’s good to put up with some crap every once in a while.”

Share your opinions below. Talk about how you disagree or agree with me there too. And keep enjoying those good movies! See you later, Animators!

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5 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Movie?

  1. Yes, I agree regarding Avatar — it seemed to me to be more about the huge-budget spectacle than the originality of the story. But there are, like you say, some enjoyable features — I liked Sigourney Weaver’s performance, for instance.

  2. There’s an entire academic arm of Film Studies attempting to define what a movie is, and what makes it good or not. I think everyone goes into a movie with their own definition of what makes it good. For me, it is a question of whether or not I get caught up in the story and feel like I’ve had a good ride by the end. If something pulls me out of the movie and I start looking at technical details, then it can still be a good story, but not great.

    • Very well said. Film has been a way of telling stories and creating extraordinary worlds. I try to critique film by the story more than everyrhing else and have that be the determining factor. But still, even with a bad story, the film can still be enjoyable.

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