What is a good film?

Over the past century (1917-2017), films have impacted billions of viewers all over the world.  So how do people define a good film?  Is it the popularity?  Is it the aesthetic?  Is it the plot line?  Everyone defines a good film based on their person preferences and experiences.

So what is this blog about?  It’s about good films within the last century.  This is also a blog for my Digital Marketing course at Siena College so there will be a lot of links to marketing in terms of good films.

In a 1991 article, popular movie reviewer Roger Ebert defined a good film as something that evokes emotion in its audience.  Among his list of his Ten Greatest Films of All Time are “Casablanca” (1942), “Citizen Kane” (1941), and “Raging Bull” (1980).

Personally, I look at a few different parts of a film. Sometimes what is weaker in one category will be stronger in another.  As a film enthusiast I mostly look at the aesthetic, plot line and if it creates enough emotion for me.  With a background in video editing, I also tend to look at how well the editing was done.

Ebert put it best when he said, “[t]he cinema is the greatest art form ever conceived for generating emotions in its audience.”  We watch movies to receive entertainment.  Many don’t look at more than the first layer of a film.  They don’t analyze it or things featured in the production.  We look at these Hollywood blockbusters or franchises and think “oh they’re popular” or “look so and so is in it” or “oh that won an Oscar, it must be good” but this isn’t always the case.  Yes, many of the greater films out there are popular but it’s not because of it’s [now] all-star cast.  They have risen to popularity because of the plot, aesthetic, emotion, or other similar features.  Everyone should try peeling back some of the layers and really look at a film at least once.

So by now you’re probably wondering what some of my favorite movies are.  Most of them are because of the different layers they have but others are just because of the pure entertainment of the feature.  The list is always changing but here are 10 (in no particular order) that I always enjoy:
  1. Blazing Saddles (1974)
  2. Rear Window (1954)
  3. Vertigo (1958)
  4. Whiplash (2014)
  5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  6. Good Will Hunting (1997)
  7. Miracle (2004)
  8. The Sandlot (1993)
  9. Toy Story (1995)
  10. The Usual Suspects (1994)
 This post is affiliated with Siena College’s Digital Marketing (MRKT327) course with Professor Michael Pepe.