(Movies discussed in this post: Shame, Hunger, and Drive.)
In film criticism, it is trendy to champion the smallest of movies. Micro-budgeted, artsy, foreign language — any or all of these qualities will do. The more bare-bones and stripped down a film is, the better. Basically, the less a movie has going for it to appeal to a mass audience, the more a tried-and-true film critic is going to love.
I’m going to admit something that makes me a bad film critic. (I use the term “critic” loosely, in that “everybody’s a critic” way; never would I imply that I’m a real film critic. Alas, I’m just a guy with great taste.)