Jonathan K Benton – Ranking Movies

jkbTime wasters: these films owe us all an apology. The only good thing about time wasters, is that they are utterly forgettable. They fill up the empty spaces in DVD stores, preying on the indecisive (and occasionally adventurous) consumer.


Bearable: exactly that. If you’ve got nothing better to do, and you don’t feel like sleeping, then why not watch a bearable movie. It might have a weak plot, but passable cinematography; alright script, but poor acting.  If anything, a bearable movie will give you something to complain about.


Good movie: good isn’t a great word but these films can be watched again. They might even draw a tear, or surprise a laugh.


Wow movie: most classics (and destined to be classics) fit into this category. The Godfather, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Forest Gump, The Silence of the Lambs – the list goes on and some of these films can crossover into the final category. Everything works in these movies; acting, directing, scripting.


Terrifying movie: this final deeply personal category evokes such profound emotions in us that we are terrified to revisit the experience for fear of losing ourselves in their vast transformational depths. Terrifying movies are unique to the individual – what touches me might not have the same effect on you, reciprocated. They are addictive films, ones that linger in our thoughts, and remain with us forever. Two films that have terrified me are Pan’s Labyrinth and Life is Beautiful. Subtitles aren’t usually my thing, so it is testament to the harrowing nature of these films. They took me on a journey of extremes, soaring joy and deep, wrenching sorrow.

I watched a Wow movie on DVD last night. Definitely a classic fantasy. Labyrinth. The masquerade ball scene is haunting and beautiful.


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