Utter, complete, total, absolute waste of time — 4 years ago
I watched Lawrence of Arabia because it’s a classic and because it’s #35 on IMDB’s Top 250.
This review comes from someone with a long attention span, who actually enjoys long movies where there is character development (Gone with the Wind, for example) or an intricate plot (The Usual Suspects); from someone who is not an action flick junkie but appreciates film for the underlying philosophy (The Machinist, Vanilla Sky, Dark City) and the dialogue (Before Sunrise); from someone who recognizes beautiful cinematography (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Anna and the King), innovative editing (Run Lola Run) or non-linear storytelling (Memento).
In each of those aspects, Lawrence of Arabia plain sucked.
The movie is so painful to watch that it took me 5 hours to go through it, with breaks to save my sanity. Yet had I left the movie running, I wouldn’t have missed anything. The plot is nothing to write home about, and the only worthwhile piece of the stilted dialogue is when Lawrence challenges the Arab notion of predestination with his willpower: “I shall be in Aqaba. That IS written. [pointing to forehead] In here”. There you’ve just had all that’s worth watching in this most protracted piece of utterly useless celluloid. Indeed, the only other memorable thing about it is its length. If you want to see a portrayal of a character’s determination, watch Cool Hand Luke. Heck, you have to be even more determined to watch Lawrence of A Labia in its entirety.
If you disagree with this review, I challenge you to describe in clear, logical terms why Lawrence of Arabia has an 8.6 rating on IMDB and is #35 in the Top 250.
I like movies that entertain or teach something. This one did teach me something: I will completely and irrevocably cease to use IMDB’s ranking as a source of movie recommendations.