How Long Is Too Long For A Movie?
Start writing a post
Entertainment

How Long Is Too Long For A Movie?

It's hard to gauge the optimal length for a film, but there are certain tells for a film that goes on too long.

58
How Long Is Too Long For A Movie?

If you read/watch a review for certain big budget films these days, you will most likely find the reviewer criticizing the length of said film. Many modern blockbusters feature a runtime between two and a half hours, and three hours. To many people, sitting down to watch a movie than long can be a difficult task, but as long as the filmmakers know what they're doing they can make a long movie that audiences are willing to watch. However, it's quite obvious when a movie runs too long due to certain aspects that run through most overly long movies.

One of the best examples of proper and improper use of length in film can both be found in the "Middle-Earth" series of films. The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is a good example of long movies, each film averages out to about 2 hours 50 minutes (unless were talking about the extended editions that average out to about 3 hours 30 minutes each). Despite the massive length of each film audiences fell in love with these films. These films have a lot of locations, characters, and side plots; but the films never lose focus on the main quest to destroy the one ring and make Middle Earth a better place. Almost everything that happens in these films is in service to that main quest. It also helps that the characters are defined, dimensional, and a lot of fun to be around.

On the other hand, a bad example of length in film is the "Hobbit" trilogy. While I wouldn't go as far as to call them terrible movies, their length (which is equivalent to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) is a massive issue. It's extremely clear that, because they were adapting a much shorter book this time, they didn't have enough material to justify the length. To fill those holes, they add additional material from other Tolkien works and original scenes that are meant to connect them to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. However, this causes the film to lose focus and the main plot often gets derailed in favor of setting up things that happen in future films that are unrelated to the film at hand. Also the third "Hobbit" film almost has no real plot, it's basically a two and a half hour battle conclusion. Things like this are usually used for the third act of one movie, not stretched over an entire film.

There are more examples of films using their lengths in good and bad ways, but I think you got the gist of it. Films often feel overly long when they don't put enough material in them to justify the length. They feel like they're stretching out scenes that should be simple and quick in order to "run out the clock". Films like these could benefit from another pass by the editors to tighten up the story's pacing and keep the narrative focused. Hopefully people can take the same lesson from this article as the one from the "Lord of the Rings" films: "What matters is what you do with the time that is given to you".

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
How to Use Your Passion for Writing to Complete Academic Essays

Academic paper writing is often considered one of the most dreaded parts of college for students. Most people hate it, even if they are into writing in general. Many students feel like it puts them into a box where no creative expression is possible. Like having to use a more formal tone of voice and thinking about referencing restricts one’s flow of thought.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Long Would It Take To Mine A Bitcoin?

No one will give you the correct answer to this question because there are a lot of details that they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

50223
Mine A Bitcoin

they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cakes You Need to Try This Winter

Spending the winter trying different cakes can be a great way to combat seasonal depression. Lift the spirits of your entire family by trying these five cakes.

52054
Try This Winter

The winter can be a dull time spent indoors with very little change. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily routine, and dessert is one of them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Reasons to Consider a Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty."

116889
Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty." But if you're thinking about becoming a defense attorney, it's not this pretty simple. Defense lawyers argue that their clients are innocent because they don't want their actions to seem suspect in any way. They essentially say for the sake of the argument itself. If you're trying to decide whether or not becoming a defense attorney is something you would like to do, here are five reasons why it's worth considering:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What Everyone Should Know About Online Degrees

Nowadays, many working adults, high school graduates, and retired lifelong learners are choosing to advance their careers, lives, and personal knowledge by completing school at home.

209711
Online Degrees

The rising popularity of online college and graduate school degrees has completely changed the face of education and student life. It's no longer necessary to pack up all your belongings and head off to a distant locale in order to earn a diploma. Nowadays, many working adults, high school graduates, and retired lifelong learners are choosing to advance their careers, lives, and personal knowledge by completing school at home.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments