Most movies are designed to be as easily digestible as possible, no matter how dumb/distracted/proficient in any human language the viewer is. But occasionally, a film comes out that demands a little more from its audience—attention, a little intelligence‚ you know, things you pride yourself on. Here are a few such movies that demand a little more attention than usual (for one, the ability to scratch your head).
"Memento" There's nothing more confusing than to take a movie and rearrange the scenes so they come in reverse order. That's what Christopher Nolan did for "Memento," about an amnesiac who's on a quest to avenge his wife's murder. The backwards structure is an attempt to replicate the feel of not knowing what happened five minutes earlier (which is what Guy Pierce's character suffers from). The end result is a movie that's easy and fun to follow if you're paying close attention, but if you're not careful, it's easy to get lost.
"The Usual Suspects" This crime drama takes the form of an extended (and sometimes disjointed) flashback as Kevin Spacey tells his story to the cops. But how much of this guy's story can be believed? That's the question the cops and the audience have to ask themselves every step of the way. By the end of the movie, it's possible you'll feel battered by all the confusing events that have occurred, which is the perfect condition to be in while the movie's famous twist ending knocks you in the gut.
"The Big Lebowski" A shaggy parody of Raymond Chandler's famously convoluted mystery stories, "The Big Lebowski" is a stoner movie with a plot that even stone-cold sober audience members will have trouble puzzling out. The good news is that you don't have to really know what's going on any more than the movie's hero, The Dude, does, which isn't much. Unlike most film detectives, The Dude isn't afraid to simply ask "Who is that guy?" when an unfamiliar face pops up. Just adopt The Dude's laid back attitude as a movie viewer and you'll be fine.