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The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made

Updated October 10, 2019 308.2k votes 28.1k voters 531.7k views70 items

List RulesVote 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!

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    Mother! is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    • Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Ed Harris
    • Released: 2017
    • Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
    Can you smell the pretentiousness?


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  • The Tree of Life is listed (or ranked) 2 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
    • Released: 2011
    • Directed by: Terrence Malick
    Can you smell the pretentiousness?

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  • Eyes Wide Shut is listed (or ranked) 3 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
    • Released: 1999
    • Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
    Can you smell the pretentiousness?

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  • Vanilla Sky is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made
    Photo: user uploaded image
    • Actors: Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Steven Spielberg, Kurt Russell
    • Released: 2001
    • Directed by: Cameron Crowe
    Can you smell the pretentiousness?

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