What a movie needs to be great

There are good and there are not so good movies. But what makes them different? Why do we as an audience go to theaters for one movie, but the next flop is simply ignored? One aspect is certainly the criticism and the marketing. But there need to be some underlying ingredients that determine, wheter a movie is perceived to be great or not.

I recently overheard a discussion, where one person was telling the other, that he could easily improve in "story-telling" if the point of the story were not already clear at the beginning of the story.

The advisor pointed out, that if one starts a story with "I had a good experience with the police last week..." it is already clear, that the police didn't really make anything bad. If one instead of "good" uses the word "funny" or "interesting", the listener could not yet determine, where the narrator is going with the story. This conversation made me think about what a movie needs to be great and enjoyable.

Movies are stories: Using actors, motion pictures and sound, they are, nothing else than a story told by a director. As with friends talking over a beer, there are good story tellers and not so good ones. This article aims to come up with a list of ingredients that are necessary to make a great movie. Just like a chef, cooking a dinner, the quality of the meal depends on it's ingredients, but also on the way it is prepared and processed.

After reading this article it came to my mind that the single most important ingredient for a great movie is independence and artistic freedom.

In addition, we assume that other essential ingredients could be:
Among the optional ingredients that top off a movie we consider:
Ultimately the result of this recipe is a movie that engages the viewers, as Bill Yates put it in this interview.

poster saw1_2004.jpg Saw (2004)

Beside a dead man, two strangers wake up chained to pipes in a old and filthy bathroom. While none of them knows how and why they are here, they slowly start figuring out hints by their captor, a serial killer called jigsaw. As time passes, it becomes clear, that the men must provide terrible sacrifices to survive this game.
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