Critics Love Them, But These 16 ‘Masterpieces’ Might Just Bore You

Not every movie masterpiece is about high-octane action, quick storytelling, and lively characters. Sometimes, films manage to win over critics and viewers without the usual cinematic thrills and spills. I’m going to share 16 ‘boring’ movies that are, despite everything, absolute gems:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The release of “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968 wasn’t just a big deal for sci-fi fans but for the whole movie world. it’s often hailed as the best movie ever made, but that said, it’s a bit of a marathon, thanks to its two-and-a-half-hour runtime and super slow pace.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Putting “Forrest Gump” on this list might raise a few eyebrows. It’s given us some unforgettable lines and even sparked a remake in India. I can see why it is a classic, though I also get why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The movie is long-winded, and some scenes are longer than they need to be.

Blade Runner (1982)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Blade Runner is a difficult movie to get through, but not because of a lack of quality. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, this sci-fi film captivates with its plot as much as its visuals. However, thanks to a mixture of its dystopian theme, uneven pacing, and dim lighting, some scenes can feel dragged out.

Boyhood (2014)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Richard Linklater’s 2014 film Boyhood reportedly took over 12 years to film. With a runtime of three hours and basic-feeling dialogue, watching Boyhood can feel as long as the several years it took to make it.

Casablanca (1942)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Casablanca is popularly regarded as one of the best movies ever made, and I agree. It is a fantastic film with a thrilling plot and superb performances by its ensemble cast. However, while the film is a masterpiece by every meaningful metric, you might still find yourself a bit bored in the non-romantic parts of the storyline.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Photo Credit: River Road Entertainment.

Brokeback Mountain tells the forbidden love story of two men embroiled in a romantic relationship in the 1980s. The film’s premise is captivating, and this shines through in the plot and acting. The charm, however, wears off occasionally, which leads to the movie feeling like a bore in those periods.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

The main problem with Gone with the Wind is that the film was released a long time ago. As such, the attributes that made it enthralling when it premiered don’t really work for today’s audience. To be honest, the almost four-hour runtime doesn’t help, either.

Dead Man Walking (1995)

Photo Credit: Gramercy Pictures.

The acting in Dead Man Walking is phenomenal, and this is why the film remains a masterpiece despite being characterized by tediously lengthy dialogue. The movie certainly deserves its critical acclaim, even if the audience cannot be blamed for getting uninterested at times.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Lawrence of Arabia is a biopic drama centered around the life of T.E. Lawrence and his adventures in the Ottoman provinces. While the film boasts of several exciting moments, it easily finds opportunities to be dull, no thanks to its 4-hour length.

Joker (2019)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Joker was a masterpiece in almost every way, even winning lead actor Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar for Best Actor. Some have described the film as incredibly boring, but that’s likely because it deviates from the action-packed style of DC Comics-based movies.

Gandhi (1982)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The eponymously named Gandhi follows the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic anti-colonial nationalist of India. Drawing on many historical events and notable speeches, the movie is no doubt memorable. However, its heavy reliance on these same elements also makes it difficult for viewers to pay attention throughout.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Photo Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

Produced and written by Orson Welles, Citizen Kane was the quintessential mystery drama of the 1940s and laid the groundwork for many films that followed. Though almost universally hailed as a timeless masterpiece, a huge chunk of Citizen Kane’s plot is made up of flashback scenes that can feel unnecessary.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Regardless of how you feel about Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the last couple of minutes were truly a treat. However, I suspect not all viewers made it that far as the film drags on quite a few times, thanks to its tedious subplots.

Russian Ark (2002)

Photo Credit: Seville Pictures.

Russian Ark is one of those movies that is difficult to get through but ultimately rewards the resilient viewers who continue to pay attention. The 2002 experimental movie explores the 300-year history of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Weekend (2011)

Photo Credit: Peccadillo Pictures.

Like numerous other films that attempt to and successfully replicate everyday dialogue and experiences on screen, Weekend tends to feel mundane at times. But that’s exactly what the film sets out to do by adopting a naturalistic approach in telling its tale of the romance shared by two men over a weekend.

Paterson (2016)

Photo Credit: Amazon Studios.

For the most part, Paterson is intentionally uneventful. The film revolves around the titular character, a bus driver and poet who follows the same routine each day. With a critics’ rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, Paterson earned critical acclaim for its brilliant portrayal of everyday struggles.

It Follows (2014)

Photo Credit: Northern Lights Films.

It Follows is one of the definitive movies of the elevated horror subgenre, a category that is viewed by many as a collection of snooze fests. This should tell you everything you need to know about the movie. While there are certainly qualities to be appreciated about It Follows, just don’t expect to be thrilled by the typical gore and threats of other horror films.