10 Brilliant Films That Were Intentionally Boring

They're tedious, dreary but actually great.

ONly God Forgives Ryan Gosling

What does boring mean, exactly? Well, for cinema fans it is often a word that's casually thrown around to describe a movie that's not good. In fact, for most people "boring" and "bad movie" are pretty much synonymous. Roger Ebert famously said that there was nothing worse than a boring movie. Of all the crimes that a movie could possibly commit, that was the big one.

However, what happens when a talented filmmaker goes out of his way to make a film slow-moving, meditative and deliberately paced. Well, on occasion you get a film that occupies that unusual space that many would prefer to believe doesn't exist, a movie that’s worthy but often inert, but also enriching and enervating: a good boring movie.

At the risk of sounding pretentious, for many people thinking is tiresome, which is why so many mainstream movies work so hard to entertain you. If you’re entertained, or so the logic seems to be, you won’t have the time and head space to think about how crummy, inane and familiar the movie looks, and how badly written, shoddily directed and indifferently acted it is.

This list will be shedding a light on great films that deliberately tested audience's attention span. They're tedious, dreary and also quite brilliant.

10. Killing Them Softly (2012)


After only about five people paid to see Andrew Dominik‘s beautifully poetic The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, the popular belief was that any director in that position would follow up his ambitious financial failure with something more commercial. While Killing Them Softly had far more public appeal than Jesse James, Dominik fortunately made another film unafraid to polarize.

Based on the 1974 novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins, Killing Them Softly follows three idiotic individuals who think they're smart and rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order.

Killing Them Softly isn't your typical Hollywood crime drama. It’s much slower and more calculated, while also revealing its own secondary agenda -- a parallel between the 2008 financial crisis and the fiscal--driven nature of the narrative. But the film is far from simply a political diatribe. Its primary mission is to deliver bone-cracking violence and funny, profanity-driven tough-guy dialogue, and it does that quite well.


Jesse Gumbarge is editor and chief blogger at JarvisCity.com - He loves old-school horror films and starting pointless debates. You can reach out at: JesseGumbarge@JarvisCity.com