10 Great Films That Are Ugly On Purpose

When a "bad" aesthetic is actually the right choice.

Warner Bros.

Making even a basically decent-looking film is a hell of a lot harder than most viewers will ever realise, and so to make something on the beautiful level of, say, Blade Runner 2049, is a truly herculean feat of artistry.

And while Hollywood is full of visually unappealing films you'd never give a second look, there are also those rare great movies which intentionally offer up a deeply offputting aesthetic.

These 10 films are all terrific works of cinema in their own right, yet undeniably roughshod on the visual front, serving up purposefully iffy cinematography, editing, camerawork, and so on, all in the quest of achieving a specific mood or vision.

Whether to place the viewer within a character's disorientated headspace, support the film's own chaotic themes, or simply assume a greater air of realism, these movies all utilised their lack of polish to their sure advantage.

The results clearly aren't for everyone, but these films nevertheless proved that, with the right filmmaker at the helm, it's possible to deviate from the typicality of Hollywood filmmaking in a way that's effective in its absolute unattractiveness.

Whether you dig these films or not, the naked artistic bravery on offer is undeniable...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.