10 Movies You Weren't Supposed To Understand

10 confusing movies you weren't supposed to understand. The Lighthouse, Inception & more.

Vivarium movie
Vertigo Releasing

Back in the good ol' days, where people didn't understand the inner workings of the internet and the average person spent about an hour a day looking into a black mirror, films were either comprehendible or not and there was nothing you could do about it.

We weren't able to leave the cinema and immediately load up Google and ask it a thousand questions about the movie's plot or characters. If we didn't understand it, well that was our own fault, or maybe, that was exactly what the crew behind the film wanted all along.

Film theorists of today pride themselves on getting to the bottom of every last detail in famously mystifying movies, and because of the internet they can get online and spout nonsense about what a movie really means. But for some directors, they'd rather their movies were left alone to remain bewildering to their audiences.

Filmmakers like Darren Aronofsky and Charlie Kaufman have always prided themselves on confusing their audience and have even refused to explain their movies!

The purpose of a movie is to make you feel something, so why can't that something be utter confusion?

10. Inherent Vice

Vivarium movie
IAC Films

Inherent Vice is so purposely incomprehensible, it's almost laughable.

The film is based on a novel of the same name by the famously infuriating author Thomas Pynchon, whose books are hard to get through because they're practically written in a way that dares the reader to keep on reading.

So, when one of his novels, Inherent Vice, was set to be made into a movie, people were not optimistic that the film would be easy to follow.

This turned out to be an understatement, and many audience members found the movie so confusing they actually walked out of their screening, refusing to put in the effort needed to follow the film. But that doesn't mean it was unenjoyable for everyone.

This drug-addled tale of Joaquin Phoenix's troubled private detective Doc is genre-obliterating and the cast does do well to feed into the wacky and dream-like storytelling.

In that sense the flick does work just as Pynchon's novel does, by enchanting and drawing the audience into its world in a way that many films fail to do.

Still, everyone expecting a straightforward crime caper about a man investigating a disappearance will be left in the dust at this winding, surreal movie that doesn't care if the plot doesn't make sense. It's the very definition of a piece of media motivated by vibes above anything else, operating exclusively on stoner logic.


Lily thought it was about time she wrote Top Ten lists for people other than herself. She also owes her dog a lot of money so she thought it was about time to pay her dues. There is no tv show she likes that she hasn't seen at least twice.