BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

Make Your Mind Up

Post categories:

Mark Kermode | 15:12 UK time, Friday, 9 March 2012

I recently posted about the new William Friedkin film, Killer Joe and confessed that I didn't know immediately whether I liked it or not.

Am I the only one who sometimes feels I need time for the film to settle before I decide?

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructionsIf you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit Mark's blog to view the video.


Related Posts on Kermode Uncut
Killer Joe Preview

Mark's reviews on 5 live
Take your pick from Mark's A-Z

Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.



Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I completely agree that sometimes you simply can't figure out how you feel. The full creeping horror of Martha Marcy May Marlene only hit me a few days after I saw it.

    Your experience with Blue Velvet is almost identical to my reaction to Black Swan. On first viewing, I thought it was terrible. Over the top, hysterical and totally ridiculous. On second viewing a few months later, I realsed that this was the point. I now think it's a brilliant film.

  • Comment number 2.

    you are certainly not the only one Mark! There are many films that creep up on you, and sometimes it is only on a second or repeat viewings that you really 'get it' next time round. For me, the most memorable was Casablanca. For a seventies child, getting 'Casablanca' the first time round was difficult under the weight of peer pressure and expectation. It wasn't until the 1990s that I first saw it, and by this time it was the kind of film that you thought you MUST surely be EXPECTED to like because if you didn't you were a) an amoeba and b) had taken leave of your senses. Imagine my disappointment when I sat through it without being particularly moved by it. But then just a few years ago, I happened to catch it on a remote satellite channel when I wasn't really looking for it, and it astounded me with it's brilliance. I suddenly got it. The power of the story, the restraint of Bogart, the emotional quality of the whole piece. It isn't the first film to have done that to me and I'm sure it won't be the last

  • Comment number 3.

    And just as an aside, a few years ago I was discussing classic film with my Uncle, who was born in the forties. I happened to mention that I recently seen Rebel Without A Cause for the first time, and wasn't particularly mesmerised by it. He looked at me for an incredibly, awkwardly long pause without speaking. His eyes bore through me and it was as if I had just deliberately run over his cat or something. I quickly moved on...

  • Comment number 4.

    Sometimes I do take a while to decide upon my opinion on a film. Recently I saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The ending moved me and I left the movie not sure whether it was profound, pretentious, good, bad, boring, well paced... It was only about a day later that I decided it should have been much better, as a movie should be there for entertainment, and I was looking at my watch a little too often for my liking. I agree that the Cinematography was beautiful, but then why not go to an art gallery? I agree that the ideas flag-poled were interesting, but if I wanted ideas that made me think but didn't move me, I would go to university. Films should move and entertain you, and that means that ideas, emotions, technical skill, and story should be blended seamlessly... not be laid out separately and incoherently so as to leave you with a tasteless meal.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Mark, first-time poster - I think part of the enduring appeal of movie-going in general is to be left with an unerring sense of 'did I like that?' With music too, it's something I imagine a lot of people would embrace; the time to mull, criticise, analyse, evaluate - if this was a simple 'Like it? Yes/No' cinema as an experience would be far-less complex and poorer for it.

    Months on, I still cannot decide if I liked 'The Skin I Live In'; it disturbed and delighted me in equal measure. If to 'like' equates to 'would probably watch it again' then maybe that is a more truthful sense of evaluation...

  • Comment number 6.

    I must say I feel the same as you Mark. I think in the case of Killer Joe you need to let it settle, why? well for all the reasons you mentioned plus the fact that Friedkin is one of your favourite filmmakers.

    As a film writer myself I have learned to overcome my fanboy instincts to write with clarity and honesty instead of admitting that one of my favourite directors have made a stinker or a film that didn't match my expectations.

    I was super excited for Aronofsky's Black Swan, opening night I watched it loved it and wrote my review very hastily the following day and gave it a gleaming review. A short time later I saw the film for what it was, disappointing. I'm a BIG Aronofky fan and let that cloud my judgement, my view of the film now is so much more objective and because of this i'm a better critic for it. With Friedkin's film you owe it to your viewers and yourself to do this too.

    I really value your reviews because I feel you do this honesty well, like with the last two Gilliam films you refused to give in to their faults even though you must have been dying to love them, he doesn't make films very often after all!

    Mark, you are not alone you are in the majority. It's easy to say if you did or didn't enjoy a film, its hard to accurately critique a film, especially one by a filmmaker very dear to you. You wanna do it justice after all out of pure respect.

  • Comment number 7.


    (sorry about that), suppose watching porn leaves you with the same undecided feelings, it serves its purpose but is it actually any good.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well i think that comment was wrong. Films have to be left to settle. As we have to analysis a film to see if we enjjoyed it on some level and on what level. FOr exampel Don't Look now I have njo immediate reaction to however when I went over to it I really loved it. Same with the dark knight. I know you are not a fan of Dark Knight Doctor K however when I wnet over it I thought it was really good. It had what most screen batmans have which is that batman doesnt have to go after the supervillian all the time he usually wants to take down crimes which effects the puilation of the city he loves. I think when I left all i liked was heath ledger's performance. However I was undecided whther its was a good film with a great performance in it or was it a great film with a great performance in it. I decided it was shte later. THe film event horizon took multiple watches for me to decide whter i liked it or not. THe first time iI watched it i turned it off as i thought it was being inapporopriate in its imagery. However as I watched and by the way hello to jason issacs is good as the irish teammate in it. Also there are filmw which i have loved which by reassesing them i hate for example i thought batman and robin was just harmles fluff the first time i saw it however i have really come to despise that fiolm for ruining agreat hero

  • Comment number 9.

    It’s too simplistic to think we have to either ‘love’ or ‘hate’ a film.

    Some movies might have considerable merit in some aspects, but be let down by poor endings, bad casting, or misjudged mood and tone swings. (Little Voice, for example, has great performances by Cain & Horrocks, but is badly let down by the script’s shifts in mood towards its ending; ten rewrites short of a good script as the saying goes. The Mission, great score by Morricone, otherwise unmemorable and so on.)

    Other movies fall into an ‘OK, but forgettable’ or ‘dull but worthy’ category. Films that don’t make you feel much about them in either a good or bad way.

    Others give us (well me) a nagging feeling that they could have been so much better somehow; some nag you into thinking it must have greater meaning than first appears (some do, some don’t), some capture a zeitgeist that we (I) just fail to catch onto.

    It’s like meeting people, you don’t have to make your mind up whether or not you ‘love’ or ‘hate’ someone the first time you meet them; they may have qualities you like, things your unsure about and some traits you find annoying; but that’s life!

  • Comment number 10.

    I felt the exact same after watching Terry Gilliam's 'Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'. I had gone into the cinema with high expectations, but when I left I wasn't sure if I had actually like the film itself or just the people involved in it. To be honest I'm still not sure even now.

  • Comment number 11.

    When I saw "Shame" about a fortnight ago, I came out feeling like I'd been through the wringer but couldn't decide whether I liked it or not. A fortnight later, I'm still not sure (which I think is the mark of it being a good movie, but I wouldn't know yet). It being a film presented in a cold, clinical way, I found it cold and clinical, and still am not sure if that worked in its favour (presenting the issue objectively and disturbingly) or not (it took me a good 45 minutes or so to really feel like I'd connected and wasn't just watching naked people act well). It's easy to come out and know whether a performance or cinematography or music was good, but the overall package can be hard to work out. I also think that "There Will Be Blood" is one of the best films of the last ten or twenty years, but came out of that thinking "Well that was odd".

  • Comment number 12.

    Certainly you can leave a movie theatre uncertain of what you feel. I remember when I went to see Cronenberg's Crash, whilst the movie left I did not know just after watching whether I liked it. It took a second viewing to confirm I did.

  • Comment number 13.

    Alien 3, I still don't know.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Mark,
    first time poster, long, long time reader/listener/viewer. The most notable example of this for me was Funny Games. I only saw it a few years ago on a VHS my friend had of the night you introduced it on C4. At first I didn't know what to make of it, I thought at best that it was decent horror but I found myself thinking about it for days after, reliving the critical moments of the film in my head and digesting what was going on and just how well directed it was. Its now one of my favorite foreign language films but if asked immediately after viewing it, I would have said no chance. Also, its my birthday today and a shout out from the good doctor would make it all the more pleasant :)

  • Comment number 15.

    and more seriously the same goes for some propa films, i recently watched Snowtown(only vaguely knowing what it was about prior to viewing), and i have to say it was the most unrelentlesst disturbing movie ive ever seen(made all the more so having being based on real incidents), would i watch it again-very unlikely, if sombody asked me if it was any good i could only offer yes ....BUT be prepared.

    ill also add that ive seen many many brutal films and i dont have a weak stomach but that film really is brutaly relentless(only way i can describe it).

  • Comment number 16.

    No! Not the only one, certainly not. 'There Will be Blood' took me a couple of days to digest before I decided that I loved it to pieces.
    The one that really sticks in my mind, though is 'Public Enemies' from Michael Mann. I saw it and had the strangest feeling. It was a physical feeling, the like of which I have not otherwise experienced. I watched the film again about three weeks later and still I had the same feeling that I couldn't articulate. Only after another couple of days did I realise what it was. I didn't feel anything at all for the film. It was as though I hadn't watched a film. I can think a films is good, bad, not all all that, fair, OK, whatever. This was just... I don't care. I absolutely don't care. Weird.

  • Comment number 17.

    One of the films I've really big change of heart about was Moon - when I initially saw it, I didn't know anything about it, and came away feeling a little bit bored and not particularly moved. But, it stayed with me, and after re-watching the trailer, I went out and bought it, intent of giving it another go. Second time round, the poignancy was almost overwhelming, and I really loved it; it's now one of my very favourite films.

    I'm shocked that it was entirely overlooked at the Oscars, and I suspect that that's because my initial reaction was shared by other people.

  • Comment number 18.

    10 years after release I still don't know how I feel about about Irreversible. Like Enter the Void I can't help but marvel at the innovation and style in the shooting, while having this nagging sensation that Noe is trying too hard to provoke. I'm leaning towards Irreversible being a good film that I never intend to see again and Enter the Void being a mediocre film that I'm similarly happy to have experienced once.

    All that in mind, both films pass the Haneke test of my leaving the cinema in a different mindspace that I entered with.

  • Comment number 19.

    sorry about the seemingly unrelated to the topic post, i think the point i was getting at is the same as others are making in that some films(particularly films with sexual violence, i find) cant just be pigeon hold as good or bad(or even in-between), they can only i think be judged on whether they served their purpose.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think it's related to how well the film absorbs my attention while it was on. I generally need a little time to think about a film, but if I find myself mentally critiquing a film while it's on, that's generally not a good sign. A recent example is "Rampart": it lost me by the 2/3 point, and by the time the lights came up I could tell you exactly why I didn't like it.

  • Comment number 21.

    ill also add that ive seen many many brutal films and i dont have a weak stomach but that film really is brutally UN-relentless(only way i can describe it).

  • Comment number 22.

    I've had this problem but to the extreme where for weeks and weeks maybe even months where I can't tell whether I liked a film or not. The dark knight (eventually figured I didn't like) or Blood Simple (which I did like) being some of them. In general it takes me awhile to soak everything in and tell whether I liked the film or not. It's horrible if you watch something by someone you really love and can't tell whether you liked it or not, do you stand up for the film even if you didn't like it because your a fan or do you stay honest to yourself and admit you thought the film wasn't very good despite being a fan?

  • Comment number 23.

    No you're not alone, Mark. Take, for example, one of your favourite movies: "Silent Running". I saw that movie in 1976 and it's STILL taking its time to settle with me. I admire it in many ways but it still doesn't sit right in my mind; I still feel compelled to see it whenever it comes around on TV. The same with Carl Foreman's "The Victors" and even "Starship Troopers". I like them, I dislike them, I mull over them, I watch them again, I'm still no closer to a definitive answer but kudos to the film-makers: They have produced films that have made me rewatch and consider them time and again. They may not have won me over, but they're still trying to woo me.

  • Comment number 24.

    For me it is In Bruges , but mine is in a good way.
    watched the trailer and looked like some shoot em up guy Ritchie movie and it was the opposite and didnt look foward to watching it only bought it on the cheap. touching movie with great characters and is now in my top 5 favorite movies ever.

  • Comment number 25.

    also add the first time i didnt know what to make of it as like i said trailer was god awful , worse trailer i have ever seen considering how the movie was.

  • Comment number 26.

    Yes most recently in fact with Safe House, big fan of Demzel so I wanted to really like it, now I think it's probably not very good.

    Last year I had to take my step sister to see Transformers 3 and I my opinion was torn again, what did I think was worse Michael Bay's directing or Rosie Huntington Whitleys acting

  • Comment number 27.

    Of course there are films that leave you undecided, a film that gave me pause for thought was Crash (the Cronenberg version). I remember leaving the cinema thinking 'what the hell was that', even after pondering it when I got home I knew I had to go back and watch it again....I did....I loved it and it is now one of my favourite film of. all time

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm with you Dr. K.

    There are times when I'm watching a film and I know I hate it or there are films that I immediately know that I love.

    Then there are those that I need time. A recent example being Malick's Tree of Life. It took me a good while to stew over that film, going over it again and again in my head. I've seen it a couple of times and to this day I'm still not sure if I fully like it or not.

    Then there are films that I dismiss straight off the bat but then revisit as you did with Blue Velvet and have a completely different outlook the second time around.

    An example being that I had to watch Get Carter twice before fully appreciating it and finding it the masterwork that it really is.

    There are some films that need dwelling over, some films that need to be viewed more than once before anyone can make a sound judgment. It depends on the film and it depends on the person but there are just some films you need time to respond to.

  • Comment number 29.

    Interesting question. I took it for granted that sometimes you can’t really tell immediately if you enjoyed a film or not. I thought most people would experience this to some degree. Film is like music – there are the ones that you enjoy instantly, and then there are the growers, plus, like music, film is best suited to your mood. I had recently been on a downer, so took the opporchancity to see Tyrannosaur and We Need to Talk About Kevin. I figured these couldn’t bring my mood down much further at the time. I had been avoiding them, but I am now glad I saw them. I’m not sure I enjoyed them at the time, but I now enjoy being able to reflect on what I’ve seen at a distance. Both films are remarkable in many ways, but wait for the right mood to develop. I also finally got around to watching The Human Condition by Masaki Kobayashi – all 10 hours of it. There were times where I wasn’t enjoying it so much, but now, I will fail to express the impact this has had on me. I’m a huge Blue Nile disciple, but I know when to play them.

    On a side note, Tilda Swinton is a superb actress (or is this “actor” in the parlance of today? In which case, why is there a category for best actress in awards season? One category would indeed reveal the year’s true best actor), there are times when she is also quite striking on film, however, whoever is advising her on hairstyle off screen ought to be sent into the countryside for re-education.

  • Comment number 30.

    I experienced this effect with 'No Country For Old Men'. I think it was because I was overwhelmed by it, in the sense that I was trying to digest it as a piece of entertainment at the cost of the other elements in the film. Since then it has preyed and preyed on my mind and I now regard it as one of the finest examples of film in the history of the medium. It's strange because I want to like other films ahead of it but can't justify anything else ahead of it. (except 'Heat' obv:))

  • Comment number 31.

    I think you're right. It often takes time to formulate an opinion of a film.

    The first time I saw Mulholland Drive, I hated it. My opinion changed once I'd read up on it and had a think about what it all meant.

    And more recently with Kill List (which i'm STILL undecided on).

    I saw Rampart last week and I still haven't made up my mind on whether I liked that film or not.

    It took me a few days before I realised, just how great We Need To Talk About Kevin is.

  • Comment number 32.

    This happened to me last week. It was one of those "must see" classic films which I hadn't yet seen: Raging Bull. Immediately after the film I thought it was a very good film. However, a few days later I realised that it was the best film I had ever seen. The same thing happened with Tim Burton's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, only it went from very bad, to possibly the worst film I had ever seen.

  • Comment number 33.

    Absolutely agree, Mark.

    I couldn't for the life of me understand what the big deal was when I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey years ago. It was long. It was slow. It was confusing. But now, as I've become an older, more mature, more spiritual person, the film's depiction of man shedding his technological skin and reaching a higher plateau of existence---towards aliens? towards God? towards whatever ideas you wish to apply to the black monoliths---holds a greater, more profound meaning for me.

    Or in other words: it finally settled on me, and I finally got it.

  • Comment number 34.

    For the most part when i finish watching a film i know exactly what i think of it and it doesn't linger long in the mind. On the rare occasion when a film stays with me because i'm unable to articulate my feeling towards it. An example being 'Snowtown' no one would describe it as an enjoyable viewing experience but the fact that i was still thinking about the film days later was because it made me reconsider my entire attitude to screen violence and eventually rated it as my of the year. On the flipside 'Eden Lake' left me feeling really depressed and over time feelings towards the film snowballed into outright hatred.

    Personally i think your instant response blogs are more interesting when you aren't quite sure what to make of a film, you can give an articulate well reasoned response to film any time.

  • Comment number 35.

    Taxi Driver. The first time I saw it, I hated the last twenty minutes and felt as if I'd entered another film, when the rest of it had been so good. Only when watching it a second time did I change my opinion and subsequently it's now one of my favourite American films.

  • Comment number 36.

    I acctually know the situation very well, not knowing, if I like a film or not. Certain films I can't deside, even after years gone by.
    One of them is David Lynchs "Mullholand Drive", probably primarely, because I still don't get it.
    Another example is "Funny Games". I know, that I disagree with the message it has, but I think Haneke did a brilliant job in making his point.
    I think it's not always so simple to say, if you like a movie or not. Some movies, you might never be able to make up your mind.

  • Comment number 37.

    Normally I know exactly what I think of a film as soon as I've finished watching it. The only film to go against this was L'avventura (I should point out it was the first Michelangelo Antonioni film I saw, so I was not used to his style). When it was over, I was left frustrated with the film and it's peculiarities of the characters, but I thought it was a standard boring drama film; nothing to write home about and I thought it would escape me.
    It didn't. The move reeled over and over and over in my head and I felt hugely compelled to watch it again (especially after reading Ebert's Great Movies review on it). So I gave it a re-watch (a few months after my first viewing) and enjoyed it immensely and saw it as the flat-out masterpiece it is. And I've enjoyed the other Antonioni films I've seen since, but not as much as L'avventura (maybe I just need to rewatch them as well).

  • Comment number 38.

    There is plenty of films I didn't like and re-watched and absolutely loved.

    For a film I don't know if liked it or not originally was Running Scared with Paul Walker, which I now do like and has one of the creepiest pedo scenes in cinema.

  • Comment number 39.

    I have a policy of deliberately remembering my initial reaction to a film, much like yours after 'Killer Joe'. Our first reaction to a film, be it overwhelmingly positive/negative or problematic, is something that we can only experience once so there is definite merit in noting our immediate response.

    Giving a film a second chance may end up being the best thing to do as, if it gives us a contrary opinion, it may allow for a deeper understanding of the material.

  • Comment number 40.

    I watched George Clooney's The Idles of March recently. I enjoyed watching it, it was well acted, the script was mostly solid(but didn't go anywhere), great cinemtography and I like George and Ryan anyway! But it fizzled out at the end and I didn't take anything away from it, apart from the fact that it's one of the only films where I can't make my mind up about!

  • Comment number 41.

    I would say that there's no hard and fast rule for me.

    There are some films like Taxi Driver and There Will Be Blood that when I saw them I knew instantly they would be in my top ten films of all time. It's like that overused line about falling in love: "you just know".

    But there are some films like: The Departed, Inception, American Psycho and others that really didn't fully take a hold of me until further viewings.

    I watched them and for some reason they look like mistakes. Then with time I grow to really love certain parts of them and actually embrace the shortcomings that were initially a put off.

    Th most surprising though was that I loved The Lord of the Rings trilogy and got caught up in the fever that surrounded the release of the films.

    But now I've gone right off them in a way I didn't expect and I think the ending of ROTK is one of the most tedious cinematic experiences.

  • Comment number 42.

    There are moments from films that stay with you, even if there are poor bits or structural points in a film- Eyes Wide Shut was antiquated and laughable in places, but equally had flashes of total genius that made it hard to quantify it. The idea of a 'good' film or a 'bad' film is not so simplistic; there are amazing bits in structurally bad films and terrible bits in structural masterpieces.

    I saw Rampart last night, and - unlike Brian Thompson - I thought it was pretty good. Though I went in under the impression it was going to be much better. It wasn't, I don't know why and it's bugging me. The performances were great, the tone spot on, the characterisation amazing. But something was fundamentally wrong. And it's going to take a day or two to work out what. Maybe it's a second viewing thing - I had to see Oldboy numerous times to work it out.

    So maybe see Killer Joe again in a month's time, Mark, because sometimes there are films that just need a second viewing to fully appreciate and have a full opinion on. There's no shame in an initial, then a considered, opinion. And good job for being so honest about your confusion - it's nice to know even the most professional of critics doesn't come out ready to write a 1,000 word essay on how this fits into film history as a whole

  • Comment number 43.

    There's one film I'm still undecided on. The Exorcist - any good or not?

  • Comment number 44.

    I didn't know if I liked Revenge of the Sith or not whenever I first saw it. I couldn't reconcile the fact that I cared about the characters (not Jar Jar, never Jar Jar), the action was decent, the effects not as invasive and showy as the previous film with the fact that we didn't see Darth Vader until right at the very end and all he did was yell 'Noooooo!' in a very silly way which undermined the character's badassery for all time. After 7 years of thinking about it (with breaks to go to the toilet), my feelings on the film are that while it fails to do so, it is at least in part an attempt at a serious film, unlike the 2-hour toy adverts that preceeded it.

  • Comment number 45.

    I came out of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life with very mixed feelings - one one hand it was an intensely emotional piece of work featuring terrific performances but on the other hand, the CGI scenes were flawed and the narrative was too 'unconventional' for its own good. I really couldn't decide if I liked it or not.

    A few days later I had a sudden urge to see it again and this time was convinced that it was a terrific film.

  • Comment number 46.

    One film that immediately springs to mind when I think of a film that I'm not sure about, is The Human Centipede. This film puzzles me Dr. K, as despite the fact that I applaud it's Cronenbergian, yet original premise, I still to this day am not sure how I feel about the film.

    Firstly, the film definitely un-nerved me, and even though it isn't as graphic as people claim it to be, I still felt that the movie disturbed me. One scene in particular that made my skin crawl was the surgery scene, where Dr. Heiter is actually cutting out people's teeth, removing ligaments etc. While you don't see these things happen, the stark, quiet background really unsettles me and with every click of a tooth being clipped out, just made me sick. My opinion on it as a critical viewer however, I still don't know what to make of the film. It was disturbing and the film was trying to do that, but at the same time I'd never watch it again and there's nothing in the film to be entertained from. My opinion on the film sort of mirrors Roger Ebert's review in a way, in how it doesn't matter whether it was good or bad, either way, it's bleak, unsettling and doesn't aim to be anything more so.

  • Comment number 47.


    Despite being a committed Lynch fan -some of my most memorable Scala visits back in the day- I was not quite ready for the 3 hours of madness I'd just purchased a ticket for.

    Easily the least accessible Lynch movie ever in my opinion, it took me a second viewing at the Ritzy, then a dvd purchase a couple of months later before I finally concluded that it was indeed up their with Eraserhead for sheer bonkers enjoyment.

    It's a movie that I couldn't stop thinking about long after my initial viewing, I just didn't know what to think, had Lynch completely lost his marbles or was I not open to letting it just flow over me whilst looking out for clues. It's an odd fish that I've long since given up trying to convince any of my friends of the merits of it's creepy visuals, broken narrative and intense moments of dread.

    To anyone here who may not have managed to sit through the whole movie first time around, I would recommend a late night viewing, in total darkness.

    Pure Lynch.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm quite surprised many of us haven't been able to formulate if they liked a film or not at some point after leaving/finishing a film, as I have never met anyone who was unsure if they liked a film or not and just can’t fathom the idea but still, some great response’s and reasons to why the felt completely neutral from the post above me.

    The only times in my experience where someone wasn't sure about if they liked it or not was when they didn't understand what was going on with it with "It wasn't my sort of thing" or "It went over my head" coming to my mind.

    I have watched films before (like Mark with Blue Velvet and ActionMirror with Mulholland Drive) hating it the first time and then giving it a second go for whatever reason and finding it better the second time round, but I think that's very different to leaving the film and not being sure if you liked the film or not personally.

  • Comment number 49.

    I had to see DRIVE twice in theaters. The first half was so sweet and didn't fall into the cliches of love affairs or their downfalls, because neither Driver, Irene nor Standard do anything wrong. I felt betrayed by the second half's willingness to plunge into seedy, violent gratuity. I soon understood that this was the point and it's to Refn's credit that I still regret that loss of innocence.

    On the other hand, I knew I loved "The Descendants" WHILE I WAS WATCHING IT. Hmmmm...

  • Comment number 50.

    Mark, your experience with "Blue Velvet" is almost identical to my relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch Drunk Love". I was impressed from the the outset by Sandler's performance (can we get more of that, please), but was really confounded by the film itself. I have a rocky relationship with Anderson's films as is: Love "Boogie Nights" (a top 25 all-time in my book), hate the first 2 hours of "Magnolia" and the ending and while there are things about "There Will Be Blood" I admire, I don't see it as quite the masterpiece everybody else does. I processed my confusion with "Punch Drunk Love" as a hatred of the film, because I had almost come to except it from Anderson. On re-watching the film, I was really able to gell with its exceptionally odd tone and genuinely enjoy it.

  • Comment number 51.

    I agree with you Mark. Not only did I have a similar experience with Blue Velvet (but being 20 it was with the DVD) but I often find myself coming out of a cinema (though more often with TV/DVD) wondering whether or not I liked what I just saw. The most recent film I saw in the cinema was Von Trier's Melancholia which touched me very deeply, I knew it was a film I liked but this isn't always the case.

  • Comment number 52.

    Fight Club. In fact it was a film I had to watch twice, not because of the plotting, before I could decide whether or not it was one of the most intelligent films I'd ever seen. On first viewing I was so astounded by the surface that the anarchical politics of it completely went over my head. On second viewing, after I'd had time to settle down and really watch the movie beyond its stunningly bold style, it was a whole other experience.

    That for me is the sign of really challenging film that is divisive for a purpose.

  • Comment number 53.

    I always know if I like a film or not, but it does sometimes take time to figure out whether it's any good - the two aren't necessarily the same. There are plenty of bad films that I enjoy and quite a few very good films that I knew were good but I just didn't like.

  • Comment number 54.

    Another one here. The most recent film that I really had to ponder was actually Citizen Kane. On the one hand, we have the apparently greatest film ever made. On the other, I can appreciate that it's a good film, but am still not entirely sure whether to me it's 'great' or just 'good'. I think I eventually gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Lovefilm, but that may just illustrate that I'm no film cricket.

  • Comment number 55.

    There are some films that you know you would have to watch twice to make up your mind. For me one such example was Brian De Palma's 1983 remake of Scarface. The first time I saw it, I hated it, I thought it was gaudy, I thought it was way over the top and I thought Al Pacino has never hammed it up so well.

    A year later I saw it again and I absolutely loved it. Gaudiness and ham became excess and the film demostrates how excess and sudden power that is capitalism corrupts.

  • Comment number 56.

    Se7en. Came out unsure and it still hasn't settled down. All that darkly lit stuff early on and the rain. Climax in the desert sun. The box!! MoreThan Freeman doing the wise old man bit he does so well. Mrs. Martin as the love interest. Brad Pitt with bad facial hair. Kaiser Soze as the mad killer.
    But was it any good?

  • Comment number 57.

    I am never 100% sure that I like a film straight after I've seen it. I thought I liked Drive but 2 days later was wondering why there wasn't more story and thinking that in the end up it was just a stylised throw back to the early 80s. The Skin I Live In was mentioned earlier and I eventually thought that was brilliant, yet when the film ended I was said to have had a slightly bemused look on my face. The same can be read for Kill List and Snowtown. It's sometimes less about "enjoyment" of a film and more about the feelings it creates. If a film is aiming to be unsettling and I leave the cinema feeling that I enjoyed it I don't believe it has done it's job.

  • Comment number 58.

    The films of Michael Mann to me are definitely ones that you need to allow to sink in before you can make your mind up. Heat is a perfect example. The first time I saw it, I found it difficult to follow, probably because 1990s crime cinema was dominated by the pop culture dialogue and chronology-shuffling of Tarantino and the quirk of the Coen brothers. Now I regard Heat as a modern classic.

  • Comment number 59.

    Scott Pilgrim for me. I really wanted to like it and wrestled with myself over it all weekend before admitting to myself that, despite many opinions to the contrary (including your own Mr Kermode), I just couldn't warm to it. Too kooky in the worst way in my opinion. Though I am prepared to give it another go.

    Also, Oldboy. It's a modern masterpiece, I know this, it's a truly great movie and THAT fight scene is just remarkable. Yet part of me, as a father to a lovely daughter, will always be repulsed by it. Surely I'm not alone in thinking this. I guess it's a classic case of what you bring to a movie will determine what you get out of it to whatever degree.

  • Comment number 60.

    Depends on the movie. Certain movies lend themselves to immediate evaluation whilst others benefit from days of thought. For me, how long it sticks in my mind is a reliable measure of how interesting a movie is. As a few people have mentioned, music, endings etc can all lead to bias in immediately evaluating movies. I think 'There will be blood' is a very good film but I initially thought it was a masterpiece, an opinion I subsequently realised was buoyed up by J.Greenwood's tremendous score; conversely it took about 5 viewings for 'Unforgiven' to work its way from vastly overrated to my top 10.

  • Comment number 61.

    The one film that has really split me in two is Super, James Gunn's film comic book film that isn't Kick-Ass.

    Part of me admires Gunn for going so far with the head-cracking violence, which is so over-the-top it's almost funny. Part of me wants to believe the film is a genuinely original twist on the theme of jealousy and comic book fans' expectations being shattered by reality. The rest of me, on the other hand, think the film is deeply misjudged, all over the place, grossly ambiguous in its depiction of rape, and guilty of moral hypocrisy on a par with Cecil B. De Mille. To be honest, even after reviewing it, I'm still not sure: the only think I'm sure of that is that I never want to see it again.

  • Comment number 62.

    Often I leave a film not really knowing whether I liked it or not. Often I only find out once I've seen it two or three times (hopefully if I don't like it it's only the twice.)

    I know thif might be strange, but also I've found that I've seen a film, leaving thinking I like, or dislike a it but later on reflection later realise that it's actually the opposite that I think.

    I often stick to the "stay with you" factor. If a film is ambiguous in like ability then the only way to tell is leave it a good 48 hours or so, if after that time I'm still thinking about it - then its done it's job.

  • Comment number 63.

    I call it letting the film marinate into my brain, and it happens a lot - most recently with Shame, which I found a bit uncomfortable to watch, but ended up really loving.

    Back when I was a student I had to watch Roeg and Cammell's 'Performance' before the lecture on it the following week, and after I had seen it I couldn't shake it off, wondering what the hell it all meant (particularly how the early courtroom scenes were in any way connected to the ending). It was only a week or two after the lecture that it all came together and I can honestly say that it's one of my favourite films.

    You're definitely not on you're own there - 90% of the time, if I have to mull over the film after I've seen it, I end up liking it.

  • Comment number 64.

    I have walked out after seeing film and thought to myself, did I like that or not. Although I have recently decided that the 'I'm not so sure' for me not liking it as it's not grabbed me. A recent example for me is Shame which I happened to get see get the Premier of in Cardiff. I walked out after the screening and Q&A with the Producer thinking 'I did I enjoy that or not. Well there's plenty of things that I didn't think worked: Carey Mulligan singing cos she can't (which even the Producer said that she hadn't gone for singing lessons, just had training to get the accent right) or Brandon's and Sissy's dodgy brother-sister relationship and some other things as well. But I couldn't think at that time what I liked about it, sure Michael Fassbender is really good and Steve McQueen clearly is a good upcoming director, but I was down than I was happy with it. Maybe I need to watch it again, I don't know.

  • Comment number 65.

    Similarly difficult films Martyrs, Kill List and Snowtown were all films which I couldn't make my mind up about on initial viewing. Since then the first two have become counted among my favourite horror films, though I don't think I could sit through Snowtown again though.

  • Comment number 66.

    Similarly difficult films Martyrs, Kill List and Snowtown were all ones which I couldn't make my mind up about on initial viewing. Since then the first two have become counted among my favourite horror films. Still don't think I could sit through Snowtown again.

  • Comment number 67.

    There's a difference between changing your mind about a film on subsequent viewings (e.g. like Dr K says about "Blue Velvet": initially he hated it but after seeing it again he changed his mind and loved it) and genuinely not knowing whether you like or dislike a film.

    For me, Terry Gilliam's "Tideland" is one of the latter. I think it is an astonishing and often brilliant if flawed piece of work but I don't know if I actually LIKE it. I say this as a huge Gilliam fan. I own the DVD and I have watched it maybe five times now but despite recognising its many strengths on an intellectual level, I still can't decide if I LIKE it. (As Michael Palin told Gilliam after seeing it, it's either the best film he's ever made or the worst.)

    I do find it weird that I can't decide. (And I will no doubt re-watch it again many times to see if I can make up my mind.)

  • Comment number 68.

    I left the film "Children of Men" and knew that I'd seen a very powerful film, but I was not sure that I actually liked or disliked it. It took a couple of hours before I could honestly say that I liked it. My thoughts had to marinade for some time.

  • Comment number 69.

    The very worst time to ask me if a film is any good is while I'm watching it for the first time. While I'm watching, unless it's a truly, aggressively awful flick, I'm keyed in on what is good or great in it. A performance, the cinematography, whatever. Once it's over, I can look at the forest instead of focusing on the trees.

    Sometimes I know immediately it's over that I love or hate it, but very often, at least with movies that have ambition greater than their genre, I definitely have to "let it settle", or to sleep on it for at least a day.

  • Comment number 70.

    I've seen numerous films – too many to remember – where I've either been staggered by how good it was (or how bad) but wasn't sure whether I enjoyed it or not. I remember reading an article in the Guardian by a film critic (I forget who) who said they are frequently asked whether they liked the film or not, arguing it doesn't matter as the most important thing is whether the film is any good or not, not whether it's enjoyable.

  • Comment number 71.

    I agree. Sometimes I've left a film and been asked "Did you like it?" and I've responded, "I don't know yet". It never goes down well, sometimes I have to live with it, think about it or even see it again. I even change my mind each time I see a film reassessing it. I thought everyone was like this.

  • Comment number 72.

    A couple of recent films, neither of which are generally reviewed as good, both of which left me saying "what an odd film" at the end with "not sure if I really liked it or not", Sucker Punch and Super.

    On reflection I did enjoy both and was glad to have seen them

  • Comment number 73.

    kermode you are self confessed film obsessive...this type of post film indecision is just an excuse to watch the film 2 or 3 more times...think about it

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with what Dr K is saying up to a point.

    The first time I saw The Dark Knight at the cinema, I thought it was OK but not as good as the critics were saying. I found it long, over blown and self indulgent. A few months later I watched it on DVD and was blown away by it (what might be called the Doctor K Blue Velvet Moment). I was kicking myself for not seeing what a brilliant, dark, intelligent movie it was.

    Sometimes there is a sequence that just blows me away and I fall in love with the rest of the movie. On Boxing Day 2001 I saw Fellowship of the Ring AND Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone on the same day. Right at the very start of Fellowship, there is a battle and the camera flies over the battlefield and there are Orcs falling off a cliff. In that one camera movement, I KNEW that the film was going to be brilliant and after that I read all the books and bought the extended cuts on DVD. I then went to see Harry Potter and was bored rigid after the first hour. There were characters being introduced and the whole movie plodded along until the end.

    Another sequence that made me fall in love with a film is the first 'tuning' sequence in Dark City. A friend in LA had recomended the film to me because "it's got the guy who plays Francis Urquhart in it". It not only had the late (and much underrated actor Ian Richardson in it) but Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Wiliam Hurt and Richard O'Brien. The moment the tuning sequence started and the city began to twist and reform like buildings made out of melting toffee, I realised that this was a film that needed to be shouted from the roof tops.

    Another sequence that made me fall in love with a movie is Inception where the Paris street folds over on itself. I saw that at the cinema and my jaw hit the carpet and I thought to myself "How the fluffin muffin did they do that?"

  • Comment number 75.

    In her article 'Are boring films good for the soul?', Vanessa Thorpe wrote: "AO Scott was also keen to expose Kois's doubts with the pinpoint light of an usher's torch. "Why is thinking about a movie an activity to be avoided, and a movie that seems to require thinking a source of suspicion?" he asked."

    I think it's better to have a film which provides some work for the grey cells and stays with you for days or weeks than instant gratification, where you can't remember anything about the film several hours after the end credits have rolled.

  • Comment number 76.

    This happens to me frequently. Two recent examples are the new adaptation of Faust by Alexander Sokurov, the forth part of his tetralogy exploring the question of power (including The Sun and Moloch); and Enter the Void. In the case of Enter the Void, I've ended up more or less hating it, and have no real desire to ever see it again. I think I need to see Faust again before I can decide - but unlike Enter the Void, I really do want to see it again. It's one of those films where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself after you come out of the cinema - I ended up walking around aimlessly for an hour or so trying to digest what I'd seen, half hating it, but still intrigued by it. It's an incredibly bleak, even nihilistic film, and I'm not sure it would ever make sense to talk about 'liking it'; but I think I'd have to say that on reflection, I've grown to admire it, and it is certainly one of the most interesting and unsettling films I've seen in a long time. The same thing happened to me with Eyes Wide Shut; I saw it a couple of times before knowing if I liked it, but always had the urge to re-watch it (I now consider it one of Kubrick's best - apologies everyone).

  • Comment number 77.

    I think ideally any film should make its impression the first time round but there are always exceptions.

    The first time I watched Blade Runner I found it very underwhelming and kind of one-dimensional. I appreciated it visually but didn't get much out of the story. A friend advised me to watch it again as he had experienced the same thing on first watching it.

    I have since watched it several times and now love every bit of it and have found my reaction to be common among other friends who go in cold, seeing it while knowing very little. Perhaps its initial status as a box office disappointment could be attributed to this effect the film has. It's one that really takes some reminicing to appreciate.

  • Comment number 78.

    I am never in much doubt if a film was awful. Usually though, I manage to avoid truly awful films. Many times I finished watching a film and thought a lot about whether I liked it that much or not.

    I came out of both 'Wolf Creek' and 'Happiness' completely disturbed and in need of a stiff drink and/or shower. Both films had very powerful content and I could have gone through the rest of my life very happy not having seen them. I know they are not 'bad' films, I would just never EVER watch either film again.

    To me the mark of a good film has a lot to do with wanting to revisit the film. Every film I have ever given 7/10 or above to on IMDb, I would gladly watch again and again.... or is that just boring?

  • Comment number 79.

    I've come out the cinema many times 'unsure'. Meaning I know I didn't hate the movie, but maybe feel it's a grower. Some of my favourite films have come into being that way. Some times the relationship doesn't grow, and I leave it at that. I watch a lot of films at the cinema, but always have some background on them, so sort of know they have a chance. That way, I rarely dislike the films I see.
    J.Edgar - Had hopes for it. Didn't work for me. I didn't hate it. Will probably laze through it on T.V.
    Hunger - Had hopes for it. Enjoyed it a lot. There's a space reserved for it on my to Drive.

    And that's how it goes for me. Like/Dislike/Grower. So yes, being unsure is allowed.

  • Comment number 80.

    The environment I watch a film in plays a major part in whether I like it as soon as it has finished or not.

    When I was about 12 years old I watched Terry Gilliam's Brazil at a mate's place and watching a pan & scan VHS copy on a 14 inch tv sitting on an uncomfortable beanbag in a cold room. So after two hours of watching this surreal mono nightmare giving me a spilting headache I had no qualms stating that it was the worst film ever made, period. But yet over the following months certain scenes kept poppping in my head for no reason, i.e. De Niro covered with paperwork and disappearing, what did it mean? and did i care ?

    A couple of years later when I madly invested in Laserdiscs ! In a sale I picked up the excellent Criterion Collection Box set of Brazil and gave it a second chance by watching it properly in surround sound on my new widescreen tv.
    From being the worst film ever made it jumped in my opinion then to the best film ever made, and still remains today as one of my all time favourite movies.

  • Comment number 81.

    Surely a review of a film needs to be instantaneous. Or as near to that as possible, otherwise it's not reviwing the film or your reaction to it but you're musing on what you think, what your mate thinks and what someone else may say.
    Love the reviews walking out the pictures because they're generally what everyone wants to know: did you like it or not.

  • Comment number 82.

    No you are not Dr Kermode thre definately times when you know a film is bad my last example of this ould be watching Percy Jackson Lightning Thief at the cinema with not long after it came out, not long after noticing the similarities between the storyline and that of the Harry Potter films & the product I sat there for the remainder of the film eagerly awaiting the end credits that was the firt and so far only time that has happened.

    Alien 3 was a film that for a long time I thought of as replusive I saw after having first discovered the series Alien was unlike any film Id seen before at that point and Aliens is one of the best sequels ever made after the one two punch of the first two I did'nt hesitate in watching the next film in the series.
    Upon first viewing I found it depressing the ending and one onther scene i the film put me off watching again.
    Years later I've becoming a big fan of David Fincher's work and decided to give it another look and found that while the film is still a mess I appreciated the visuals and the soundtrack more than I did the first time its become one of those films I can just pop on and watch from beginning to end, I still enjoy watching it after having seen the assembley cut which is a greater improvement on the theatrical version.

  • Comment number 83.

    Its happened on a few occasions, where I have been unsure as to whether Ive liked a film or not.

    Most memorably it occurred after seeing Winters Bone and Black Swan. I came out almost numb in both cases, and required quite a while to think through what Id seen. I came to the conclusion that I genuinely liked both films, and it was perhaps the bleak atmosphere and occasional incoherent mumbling in Winters Bone, or the grating soundtrack and claustrophobic feel of Black Swan, that dragged me away from my enjoying them outright at the time.

    Subsequently, ive recommended them to friends, and I feel that this is in no small part to my having to analyse them more than I would the throw-away, trashy, fodder thrown at you in many recent 'films'.

  • Comment number 84.

    I always wait one day after watching movie to settle it down. Results are more intuitive than reasonable but day after I very often know, what to think. That doesn´t stop me from ranting or gloryfying movie immidiately after screening. But it´s more guessing affected by last scene or just parts of the movie. Day after is the time to come up with definitive true.
    My girlfriend thinks that too... Very often we watch movie in the evening, go to sleep and share our opinions during the launch following day.
    There are exceptions of course. Inception was masterpiece right on. Jennifer´s Body (or how it´s call here in Czech Republic "Watch out! She´s biting!) is the most puzzling for me right now. I am never sure, what to think about this movie. It was really stupid yet somehow very clever and catching. But it´s hard to say that in discussion without shame...

  • Comment number 85.

    Perhaps not entirely along the lines of what you're saying, but there are many films I see which I know I like, but simply not realising until some time later just how much.

    The most extreme example would be Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story - when I first watched it, I happily sat through it without being particularly enthralled, and because I knew of its reputation my immediate reaction was one of slight disappointment that it didn't live up to my expectations. Over the next few days I couldn't stop thinking about it, and, eventually, it didn't even take me a second viewing (although there have since been multiple) to conclude that it's probably the greatest film ever made.

  • Comment number 86.

    An interesting question. Some films you have an immediate response to. Others take time to really digest. There Will Be Blood is a recent one for me. It just jarred and although I found the central performances fascinating and the photography often breathtaking, there was just something that didn't sit right and I left the film feeling rather cold towards it. Only on reflection have I since started to understand what that film was actually doing. I still have certain issues with the film but each subsequent viewing has shaped my understanding and opinion of it greatly.

    Much like a great book or album that initial engagement can be frustrating, but then it is often those works that have the lasting impact.

  • Comment number 87.

    When I first the saw Fight Club back in 2000, I immediately disliked it after I watched it, not because I thought it was a bad film, but because it was so powerful that I was in a state of shock. The style, the power was so awesome that I wasn't prepared for it. It's now, quite rightly, one of my favourite films but I didn't truly register that I loved the film until some time after. I also had this same experience with Darren Aronofsky's film The Fountain.... on a related note I think it is rare that a true piece of art will register as being great straight away, as any true and original piece of art will be by its very nature shocking to the system. The Radiohead album OK Computer (I have a feeling you're not a fan of Radiohead, Mark, I don't know why) elicitted this same response... I almost took the album back the first time I listened to it because I found it so jarring. But like with Fight Club and The Fountain it's now one of my all time favourites.
    Also I watched Fight Club for the first time with a girlfriend who was more of a Dawsons Creek fan, so this might have negatively affected my initial experience. If you're a thoughtful and considerate film viewer you rarely know straight away if you like a film or not, as it does take time for the information and different emotional notes to settle down in the brain. I found Psycho to be far more powerful AFTER watching that, than in the actual 90 minutes I sat watching it. And that was an interesting experience as the puzzle pieces of great films do often take a little time to land and form in the mind.

  • Comment number 88.

    It's a very interesting question. I'd say, essentially, yes, I can come out of a film not sure whether it was a good or bad experience. HOWEVER, in those circumstances, no amount of "settling" time will solve my confusion - the only option is to see the damn thing a second (perhaps third) time.

    I wasn't too sure about There Will be Blood after my first time. Of course I could recognize that there were brilliant aspects to it, and it certainly was never boring. But I remember leaving the cinema thinking "Nah, despite what most people are saying, that was no masterpiece; in fact, was it even an overall good film?" After a second viewing, I had made up my mind - it was a disjointed load of nonsense with no forward momentum whatsoever, but one or two great sequences which prevent it from being a TOTAL disaster. Final opinion: bad.

    Similar (though opposite) situation with Inception. During my first viewing I sat on the edge of my seat in excitement and suspense for much of the time, but all the techno-babble I first found baffling, then unintentionally hilarious, and finally exasperating as I realized that about 95% percent of the dialogue in the whole film was geek-speak exposition that simply had to be uttered otherwise the audience would scratch their heads at the outrageous nature of the film and walk out in anger. I left thinking I'd just seen a film too preposterous and complicated for its own good. But at the same time I thought, "Why do I also feel like I've just had a great time?" Sure enough, a second viewing followed by a third (both at the cinema; do DVD re-viewings count...?), and I was absolutely convinced I'd seen a masterpiece of popular cinema. Final opinion: excellent.

    So my personal opinion is yes, we can leave the cinema feeling unsure about what we've just watched, but no, letting it sit with you won't get you anywhere. Repeat viewings are what it takes.

  • Comment number 89.

    I completely agree. I would have thought I'd usually know straight away, but then I think back to when I first saw Donnie Darko. Admittedly I was with a less than appreciative audience who were noisy and laughing in awkward places, which doesn't help, but I walked out pretty dismissive of it... and then couldn't stop thinking about it. Seeing it again I realised it was completely mesmerising and had so many different means of interpretation (except the Director's Cut, which, while still great, kind of gives too much away).

  • Comment number 90.

    Fret not, Dr. K, for you are not alone in your occasional ambivalence. To this day, there are films I still wrestle with--films such as (the aforementioned) BUG, CHINESE COFFEE, DUCK SEASON, ENTER THE VOID, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, IRREVERSIBLE, MAGNOLIA, NAKED, THE THIN RED LINE, and TO DIE FOR. Often, it is films like these that stick with me harder and longer than those that I unabashedly adore.

  • Comment number 91.

    Very often the films I have this response to are the ones that heavily blend genres and different tones. For example, I had no idea what to think of Kill List when I first saw it, largely due to the climax which comes completely out of left field. However, I've always been drawn to films that aren't just good, but are actually worth discussing.

  • Comment number 92.

    Try watching any film by Gasper Noe and then making an instant decision on if its good or not. Some things just need time to soak in and that's all there is to it.

  • Comment number 93.

    Your reaction seemed completely normal to me. Take time to consider a film and let it sink in. Having to make your mind up on the spot means you will miss wonderful work - or think you like reprehensible tosh.
    I could give examples. But I won't.

  • Comment number 94.

    Sorry, when I mentioned about giving examples I meant my own viewing experience, not your reviewing!

  • Comment number 95.

    I saw Antichrist about 2 years ago and im still not sure whether i liked it or not

  • Comment number 96.

    Looks like Killer Joe needs the same period of gestation Guy Ritchie said Revolver needed. Perhaps your mind made the film "complicated in order for it to be distracting"

  • Comment number 97.

    Most recently I had this reaction when I went to go see Star Wars The Phantom Menace in 3D, When I first saw this film at the age of 5 or 6 I was so excited that I ruined the box the VHS came in, but I am 16 now and after leaving the cinema, going home I then realized

    it's about trade embargoes.

  • Comment number 98.

    Ive seen plenty of films that i cant decide on if i liked it or not. Films that i'm still unsure about are Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood For Love. Although i liked the set design, the acting, the film style, colour and photography etc i still cant decide if i liked it or not. And i'm still unsure if i liked Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata although it was actually a good film. But i must say when you watch a film a second time your views could change, so i shall wait and see.

  • Comment number 99.

    It's as recent as War Horse for myself. I came out feeling like I had changed somehow, but in a way just pinned it on Spielberg's commercial and sentimental storytelling. Watched it again, and completely changed my mind: Spielberg has an adult's genius with a child's wide-eyed wonder, and War Horse is is a film of beauty, restraint, and entirely welcome unashamed sentimentality.

  • Comment number 100.

    Have to agree with the Doctor on this, some films you just need don't know - Watchmen being an example after a number of viewing I ve finally made up my mind - it a good film.

    A very left feild example for me would be 'The Dukes of Hazzard' starring Jonny Knoxville, when i first saw this I through it was one of the worst films ever. But after catching it a few times over the years on TV I ve reexamined it and found it enjoyable nonsense, It a good film if you just want to turn your brain off and just enjoy something silly.

    Than there are the films you just know where bad but have to rewatch just to make sure you didn't miss something and then find it was even worse than you reemmber - Star Wars the Phanton Menace


Page 1 of 3

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.