Many great movies are innovative and unique experiences. For example, in 2019 several of the year's best movies - such as Parasite, Ad Astra, The Lighthouse and Rocketman - worked so well partly because of their wonderful ability to subvert expectations and give us something we hadn't seen before.
That being said, strangely enough a film trying desperately to be unique is something that often really brings it down. By being too out-there and straying too far from cinematic norms, many a film has completely lost its heart, narrative coherence and fallen apart altogether.
The following twelve films are very frustrating examples of this. They tried far too hard to be different and ended up as messy, disjointed viewing experiences. As these films prove, sometimes sticking to basics is far better. Like they say, "If it ain't broke, why fix it?"
12. The Tree Of Life
Terrence Malick, as reaffirmed by his successful recent film A Hidden Life, is a very gifted filmmaker but he does have a tendency to get a bit carried away with his ambitious projects. The Tree of Life was perhaps the peak of this.
A movie so pretentious and self-indulgent it frequently feels like a parody of pretentious, indulgent art-house films, this combination of bewildering creation montages, irritating surrealism, endless voice-overs and even CGI dinosaurs at one point is just too much on every conceivable level. It's so abstract and bizarre that its themes are rendered far too hard to decipher, so The Tree of Life pretty much shoots itself in the foot.
The main narrative core of the film is a family drama set in the 1950s and this does have some good moments. Malick is actually good at telling intimate human stories (as films like Badlands and A Hidden Life prove) so he should've just focused on that and dialled down on all the distracting weirdness that filled the rest of the movie.
Film Studies graduate, aspiring screenwriter and all-around nerd who, despite being a pretentious cinephile who loves art-house movies, also loves modern blockbusters and would rather watch superhero movies than classic Hollywood films. Once met Tommy Wiseau.