- Oliver Stone criticizes the “infantilization of Hollywood” and popular blockbusters like Barbie, John Wick, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Stone dismisses the industry’s focus on fantasy and non-logical narratives in mainstream movies.
- The decline in box office success for many big-budget movies supports Stone’s critique, highlighting the challenges faced by the film industry and the dominance of streaming services.
Acclaimed filmmaker Oliver Stone, known for directing iconic movies such as Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon, and Scarface, has criticized the current state of cinema. In a recent interview with Yahoo, he attacked many popular blockbusters, including Barbie, John Wick, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, calling this the “infantilization of Hollywood.”
Stone, who currently promotes his new documentary Nuclear Now, expressed that he has issues with most big movies of the last decade, regardless of their genre. He stated that Ryan Gosling is “wasting his time” with films like Barbie, and instead should focus on more serious films. He argued that Hollywood has largely pivoted to fantasy-focused narratives, with even war pictures and action blockbusters suffering from a lack of logic.
His critique comes at a time when the film industry faces several challenges, including the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that exposed the unique issues of modern Hollywood, such as the rise of A.I. and the dominance of streaming services contributing to declining theater attendance. While some big-budget movies still attract audiences to the theater, escalating production costs make it harder for films to turn a profit. However, even recent critically acclaimed projects like Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon have had limited release and a budget over $200 million, showing that profitable, true-to-life narratives remain a challenge to produce.