What is a Good Movie?


photo by Natalie Mudd

Natalie Mudd, Staff Writer

What is a movie? That seems like a simple question with a simple answer, but is it really? Generally, movies are defined as moving images that have been recorded by cameras to tell a story or recall an event. But movies are much more than that. They entertain and sway the audience, expose people to new cultures and viewpoints, and let people escape to another fantastical reality for a short time.

But what qualifies as a good movie?

Recently, a debate was sparked when one of the most influential filmmakers in the Hollywood industry, Martin Scorsese, stated that he didn’t consider Marvel movies actual cinema. He compares them to theme parks with actors that are doing the best with what they have. 

Marvel currently holds the rights to the highest-grossing film of all time, Avengers: Endgame. The film boasts a number of awards, including an Oscar for Black Panther

It’s unfair to call a movie bad because it doesn’t show some form of psychological struggle.”

Yet, Scorsese doesn’t see their appeal, as he believes the movies don’t convey emotional, psychological experiences between humans. This brings up the question of how you quantify the quality of movies.

For me, there are two schools of thought. You have your Oscar-esque qualities that focus on deeper meanings, symbolization, and greater perspectives. These are the movies that address societal issues or psychological issues or even the struggle of humans within their existence. These are the movies I believe Scorsese is focusing on: the ones that prod the audience into deeper thoughts and journeys.

On the other hand, you have your entertainment movies. These movies are generally geared more towards the public and do not usually have a multi-level depth or line of thinking. These are the movies that the majority of people watch to escape to another world and relax for a brief interlude. Like the action-packed Marvel movies.

It’s entirely up to each person as to which category gets more emphasis when considering whether or not a movie is good. But both types should be treated as relevant, influential movies. It’s unfair to call a movie bad because it doesn’t show some form of psychological struggle. The groups are different because they have different purposes.

What Scorsese implies is that only his requirements validate movies. Obviously, he’s allowed to only enjoy movies that fit his taste, but not calling Marvel movies cinema is too harsh. That’s like someone saying classical music is the only viable form of music because it’s more sophisticated. Music is still music, but there are different genres that appeal to different people. The same goes for film. 

A movie is entertainment. It entertains an audience. Marvel movies entertain a significant audience.  While they may not be what Scorsese considers a good movie, but they are still cinema.

So, what is a good movie? That’s up to you.