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'Vanilla Sky' Named Most Confusing Movie

If you think a list of the best or worst movies is hard to back up with anything substantive, here's one that could be a little easier: The Top Ten Most Confusing Films of All Time. The lst comes from UK DVD outlet LoveFilm (via Worst Previews), which asked its customers what flick left them most in the dark.

Maybe my memory of Vanilla Sky is drenched in apathy, but I don't exactly recall it being confusing. I mean, I know it wasn't very good and I sure didn't recommend it at the time, but I don't know if it belongs at the top of a list like this. What was confusing was how Paul McCartney got an Oscar nomination for that wretched song he contributed to the film's soundtrack. I would put their number two selection, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive atop my personal list of movies that were a bit perplexing, if only because the narrative doesn't even seem finished.

Anyway, here's the list. It's British, which explains Guy Ritchie's Revolver. It is confusing, but you really had to search that one out in the US.

1 - Vanilla Sky
2 - Mulholland Drive
3 - Donnie Darko
4 - The Matrix Revolutions
5 - Memento
6 - 12 Monkeys
7 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
8 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
9 - Revolver
10 - A Clockwork Orange

Yeah, one Tom Cruise movie, two Stanley Kubrick flicks, and the UK completely overlooked the combo meal; Eyes Wide Shut definitely belongs here over 2001.

Reader Comments (15)

A similar poll with an american/international audience would be interesting!

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Burman

I think I'd replace Mulholland Drive with Lost Highway, and as for Vanilla Sky, it tries to be clever and enigmatic but fails on both counts, although it does have that classic Cameron Diaz line ;-)

As for what should be number one, I remember completely losing the thread (and never regaining it) whilst watching Primer. My head still hurts! Brick and The Prestige also kept me on my toes, but weren't *too* mind-melting.

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJay

ohhh now i feel like either a genious or a crazy person cause 3 through 10 are some of my favorite movies.

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdan

That's depressing. I can only assume that L'Année dernière à Marienbad must've lost its enigmatic charm over the years, and that no one writes threatening letters to Peter Greenaway any more.

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSensaes

Eternal Sunshine is not a confusing movie if you watch it all the way through.

The rest are all valid. 2001 should be much higher, and I think Mulholland should be #1

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNelson

-12 Monkeys is confusing for quite awhile, but then it all comes together. (But hey, I am a time travel nut)
-Once one gets used to some of the vocabulary, A Clockwork Orange isn't that confusing. (Don't really know why this is on this list at all.)
-Matrix Revolutions definitely a good call. Perfect example of a great start, but the creators are either too lazy or too "sophisticated" (note the sarcastic quotes!!) to really develop the conclusion.
-Vanilla Sky doesn't deserve to be on this list, simply because it wasn't a good enough movie! I mean I could string together 120 minutes of film that wouldn't make a lick of sense. Should that be on this list?

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Methinks the Fountain should be on that list

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSeverian

I forgot about the fountain, I second that.

Also there was some military movie with Samuel Jackson and John Travolta, that movie made no sense.

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterorinn

I think the Samuel Jackon and John Travolta movie was Basic. I thought it was good, but the way it came together in the end was kinda hokey and full of holes.

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Yeah, where is the damn Fountain? Good call, Severian. Or Pi, while we're on the subject of Aronofsky.

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterGet The Big Picture

What? No "Inception"? LOL

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLazarus25

I agree with what the first poster said about Lost Highway needing to be on here. Quite a few of the movies on this list, and I'd have to say Lost Highway was much more confusing than almost all of them I'm familiar with. While I wasn't the biggest fan ever of Vanilla Sky, I thought it made sense, even if you didn't see it coming and the ending to it seemed like a rather desperate way to end a mess (which, imo, the rest of the movie was). There was more confusion in the first 10 minutes of Lost Highway than most of these movies combined. Dick Laurent is rolling in his grave at this list :P

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua H

2nd sentence should start "I've seen quite a few of the movies on this list" whoops!

Monday, July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua H

I'm a David Lynch nut and even though Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr are definitely filled with confusing twists and turns, I think INLAND EMPIRE takes the cake. Even though Lynch didn't have any real story/meaning to patch the film together and it's basically a 3hr Nightmare, it can get confusing to any random viewer. I really don't get how Vanilla Sky is #1, it's not that confusing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrooklynite84

Eraserhead anyone? Clockwork, 12 Monkeys, Donnie Darko aren't particularly confusing, and Memento makes perfect sense by the end. Mulholland Drive is also more straight forward and less confusing or strange, than Lost Highway, in my opinion. Additionally I agree with the initial poster that of Kubrick's works Eyes Wide Shut is the most relevant here. Note: have yet to see Inland Empire which I have heard is far stranger than Mulholland Drive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

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