Discerning whether a film is worth watching has never been so easy. Whereas before you might have to wait for a narrow selection of reviews strewn across a publication’s pages on a given date, you can now peruse the internet superhighway at your leisure for critics’ views on tap.
Yet despite a larger sea of voices, consensus tends to come easily. Whether through the film’s actual quality or the easy suggestibility of reviewers, rubber-stamping whether a film is ‘good’ or not is a pretty clear-cut exercise. Of course certain sources can always be contrarian, but usually truth will out. The Dark Knight is awesome, Batman And Robin is terrible, and so forth.
But certain films continue to defy explanation and criticism, and not in an ironic way. Not every effort can aspire to The Room’s unintended brilliance – most filmmakers just aim for a target and hope they’ve hit it. And with the lack of an actual critical dartboard (although that would be fun), deciding whether or not a film truly hit the mark is up for debate. 2013 was no different, and was rife with these troublesome entries.
Loved and loathed in equal measure, it’s hard to get a handle on exactly what side of the critical divide these films fall on. So with 2013 safely floated into the annals of history and the dawning of the new year, I’m going to see if I can mark out ten of last year’s most divisive films. You can come down on either side about these films, so you can rest assured that I’ll walk away with splinters, such is the fence-sitting I’m going to be doing.
This article was first posted on January 3, 2014