You are here

Long Movies for Short Attention Spans

+ enlarge

Today, those of us in the northern hemisphere enjoy the most hours of daylight all year. So thousands of people must be wondering what they should do with all of this spare time. Our answer, of course, is: Watch movies! And the longer the day is, the longer the films can be.

But how will you know which long movies are worth your time and which are just plain boring and tedious? Here is where we at Jinni come to the rescue by providing you with a guide to the best and worst long movies.

A Selection of Long Movies That Are (and Aren’t) Worth Your Time

Over 3.5 hours:
Worst: Napoléon (1927)
This movie isn’t really bad like most of the films further down this list. Actually, for its time it was groundbreaking and even considered a masterpiece.

But we can’t help it: For the modern viewer, watching 330 minutes (!) of silent black-and-white French epic is really no treat. Especially when in this same time frame you could watch two or three

3.5 hours:
Worst: Pearl Harbor (2001)
This film is the ultimate proof that action scenes, pretty girls and a plot based on one of America’s most traumatic events do not guarantee a good film.

In fact, all 183 minutes of this film are nothing more than a tedious romance story filled with terrible actors and dialogues. The decent action scenes here and there can’t compensate.

Best: The Godfather: Part II (1974)
This film is seventeen minutes longer than Pearl Harbor (200 minutes overall), but what a difference…

There’s probably no need to talk you into it, but still: This is one of the most critically and artistically successful films in movie history, and especially in movie sequel history. It won six Oscars, including Best Picture and Director, and it’s ranked #3 in IMDb’s top 250 titles, right after The Shawshank Redemption and the first Godfather. Need any more convincing?


3 hours:
Worst: Alexander
I confess: I love historical epics. It doesn’t take a lot to please me. All I need are period costumes, battles and an interesting-enough story—and I’m good. I loved Braveheart, Troy, Elizabeth, and even 300. So I was sure I would really enjoy Alexander. But such boredom I haven’t experience since I last watched paint dry, and seriously, I think the paint had more character and attitude than the film. 175 minutes of wasted time.

Best: Inglourious Basterds
Did I just mention period costumes, battles and interesting stories? Here Tarantino shows how it’s done. True, the movie is not exactly historical (although it’s set during WWII, the events are fictional), but it’s definitely a great epic that kept me on the edge of my seat for all 153 minutes


2.5 hours: 

Worst: Gigli (2003)
This is the second Ben Affleck on the list (the first one was Pearl Harbor). This guy really makes poor choices as an actor. To sum up what I think about this movie, I will simply quote RottenTomatoes: “Bizarre and clumsily plotted, Gigli is a mess. As for its stars, Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry.” Lack chemistry indeed … In case you don’t know, the film was shot when Affleck and Lopez were still a (chemistry-lacking) couple.

Best: The Ghost Writer
When I studied film in high school, I was taught that a feature film is ninety minutes More than a decade has passed, and today most features hover around 120 minutes, so obviously, it is impossible to name the best film in this category. Instead I chose to recommend a relatively new film, not extremely long by today’s terms (128 minutes), but really good. A kind of Hitchcockian tale that is very rare in today’s cinema, it’s extremely captivating and tense.
Less than 2 hours but feels like an eternity:
Worst: Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
At a mere seventy-four minutes, Manos: The Hands of Fate managed to gain a firm reputation as one of the worst films ever made. With a rare rating of 0 percent in RottenTomatoes and a respectable # 8 in IMDb’s bottom 100 list, this proves terrible films come in all lengths and sizes. A film doesn’t have to last three hours in order to feel incredibly long and boring!

Best: Obviously there isn’t … otherwise it wouldn’t “feel like eternity”!

So what do you recommend watching on the longest day of the year?


Loading comments...