10 Movies That Unexpectedly Confused Audiences

Wait, what just happened?

Prometheus movie

Though we can all appreciate the joy of brainless, undemanding movies which let us unwind after a tough day at work, the virtue of an intelligent, challenging film also speaks for itself.

Yet there's certainly nothing surprising about, say, a David Lynch film tying audiences up in mental knots, or Christopher Nolan's Inception forcing audiences to pay close attention to its dream-hopping mechanics.

There are, however, movies which present themselves to audiences as relatively straightforward genre affairs, yet which for one reason or another, are deceptively complicated and, yes, ultimately quite confusing.

These 10 films, whether for better or more often for worse, left audiences quite unsure of what they'd just seen, scrambling to figure out the plot, the character motivations, and any potential deeper meaning.

In some cases that was clearly the filmmaker's intent, to get the audience asking questions, but in others an exciting movie premise was simply destroyed by poor writing and direction, turning dishy concepts into mentally exhausting, scarcely coherent cinematic gunk.

Whether you "got" these movies or not, they were miles away from what most viewers expected going in...

10. The Matrix Reloaded

Prometheus movie
Warner Bros.

As much as the original Matrix was a triumph of jaw-droppingly innovative visual effects, perhaps its true achievement was in delivering an ambitious, literate, philosophical blockbuster to the masses that didn't also leave them cross-eyed.

Sadly the same can't quite be said for The Matrix Reloaded, an entertainingly OTT sequel which, while lacking its predecessor's clarity of vision, at least made good on a slew of insanely slick - or slickly insane? - set-pieces.

And then that damn third act happened.

Indeed, The Matrix Reloaded drives headlong into a brick wall during Neo's (Keanu Reeves) outrageous head-scratcher of a final confrontation with the "father" of The Matrix, The Architect (Helmut Bakaitis).

While on one hand you could argue the Wachowskis simply explained something that never really needed explaining, the Architect's impenetrable word-salad of an exposition dump left the vast majority of viewers feeling like they knew less about this world than when the conversation began.

Audiences wanted The Matrix 2 to deliver cool action and a reasonable expansion of the existing lore - not some Colonel Sanders knock-off vomiting a dictionary at us.

Ultimately this clunker of a "showdown" may have single-handedly sunk much interest in the third film, The Matrix Revolutions, which grossed barely half of Reloaded's box office.

The Architect's verbose chit-chat was so maligned by audiences that it even got parodied at the MTV Movie Awards, courtesy of Will Ferrell.


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.