The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
250.8k votes 22.9k voters 421.2k views 70 items

List Rules Vote up the films that tried to be groundbreaking in their form or message, but in a self-indulgent way that makes you roll your eyes.

What are the most pretentious movies ever made? Well, that's a pretty subjective question, but since you asked we'll try to nail down a definition so we can all vote on it. Pretentious films, "arty films," and "hipster movies" often get lumped together, but there definitely is a difference. The first two types of films use atmosphere and characters to create a unique mood or statement. Whether the movie is pretentious or not depends on your opinion. Did you like this movie? You probably think it's artsy and cool. Did you find it to be snobby and purposefully confusing? You'd probably put that on your list of pretentious, condescending movies to never watch again. Was it directed by Wes Anderson? You probably have a hipster film on your hands.

Pretentious movies or "film snob movies" are essentially snobby movies that try to be groundbreaking, but are they really? Could anyone even sit through Tree of Life or Cosmopolis? We're all friends here, you can admit it. Other snobby films think that they have a really important, intellectual premise and then they just hit you over the head with it over and over again. (Thanks for the lesson on racism Crash, we get it now!) If you watch a movie and leave with the feeling that you've been mansplained to for 90 minutes... you may have a pretentious movie on your hands! Vote 'em up!

Mother is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made
Photo: via Reddit

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Ed Harris, + more

Released: 2017

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

More Mother

#55 of 100 on The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked #1 of 15 on Horror Movie Endings People Only Pretend To Understand #10 of 14 on Horror Movies That Keep You On The Edge Of Your Seat From Start To Finish, Ranked #28 of 51 on The Best Movies No One Saw in 2017

Can you smell the pretentiousness?
see more on Mother
Eyes Wide Shut is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

Actors: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick, Alan Cumming, Leelee Sobieski, + more

Released: 1999

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

More Eyes Wide Shut

#93 of 259 on The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #75 of 157 on The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #62 of 114 on Movies Turning 20 in 2019 featuring What Happened When Stanley Kubrick Took Over Tom Cruise And Nicole Kidman's Careers For Two Years

Can you smell the pretentiousness?
see more on Eyes Wide Shut
Vanilla Sky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
James Holland added

Actors: Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Steven Spielberg, Kurt Russell, + more

Released: 2001

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

More Vanilla Sky

#47 of 170 on The Greatest Date Movies of All Time #2 of 32 on Blockbusters With No Cultural Impact Whatsoever, Ranked #18 of 23 on The Best Movies That Sort of Leave You Hanging #31 of 90 on List of Movies Like Inception

Can you smell the pretentiousness?
see more on Vanilla Sky
The Tree of Life is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

Actors: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw, Tye Sheridan, + more

Released: 2011

Directed by: Terrence Malick

More The Tree of Life

#22 of 28 on The Best Movies Where Nothing Really Happens #6 of 16 on Complicated Movie Storylines No One Truly Understands #17 of 18 on Great Movies That Have Almost No Dialogue #13 of 15 on 15 Movies Only Boring People Find Boring

Can you smell the pretentiousness?
see more on The Tree of Life