Although most fans seem to generally agree that the first two films, Alien and Aliens, are of higher quality than anything that came after it, there are arguments over which film is better. Some prefer the cerebral horror, mounting tension and Anyone Can Die mentality of the first film (and hate what James Cameron did to the franchise afterwards), while others prefer the militaristic non-stop action and Ripley's Character Development of the second.
Alien³ splintered the fanbase into pieces over its continuation of the story from the previous film, leaving fans in different camps:
Were Hicks' and Newt's death justified because they wouldn't have contributed much to the action on Fury 161, or was it cruel, pointless, nihilistic and nonsensical due to the chain of events that caused it?
Was the return to the "one alien in a confined space" plot good for the series and Ripley's character development, or was it just rehashing the first film?
The Alien vs. Predator spinoffs fueled many debates and arguments between fans who either hate one or both of the films:
Fans of the first film either enjoy it because it finally brings two of the galaxy's biggest enemies face-to-face, or hate it because it squanders the source material and reduces several of the fights to a glorified wrestling match between the two species.
Fans of the second either enjoy it because it has an Ensemble Darkhorse Predator in the form of Wolf and some proper Alien/Predator battles, or hate it because it once again squanders its potential, making it both part-soap opera and a Shaggy Dog Story.
Prometheus didn't make things any better, with fan wars springing up in the wake of its release:
Is the film a part of the Alien franchise, a separate story in the same universe, or a completely standalone film? It doesn't help that Ridley Scott has flip-flopped on this.
Is the reveal about the "Space Jockey"/Engineer's true purpose and impact on Earth's development a big step forward for the franchise, or is it a poorly-written, nonsensical excuse to explain a story element that should have remained mysterious?
Are the characters reacting realistically to the threat given their observer backgrounds, or are they carbon copies of the characters from Alien who really should conduct themselves in a scientific manner?
While Sean Connery's role as James Bond is almost unanimously loved, any other actor playing Bond after him has been either loved or hated by the fans.
Basically, there's two types of James Bond fans: Those who like the more dark, emotional, serious Bonds (and therefore generally prefer Dalton or Craig's roles), and those who like the more camp, joking, lighthearted Bonds (and therefore generally prefer Moore or Brosnan's roles).
Licence to Kill is probably the biggest Broken Base over a single film. Generally a consensus on a film will form within a few years of its release (though there will always be those who disagree). Licence to Kill is almost always at the top or bottom of movie rankings.
Honorable mention to On Her Majestys Secret Service. Most fans agree the movie itself is good (some rating it among the franchise's best), but George Lazenby's Bond incites no end of arguments.
Blade: Trinity created an upheaval among fans; some felt the Nightstalkers overshadowed Blade (especially Hannibal King), while others felt the Nightstalkers were the best thing about the movie.
Honestly ALL of the X-films (outside of the first 2, and maybe The Wolverine) are argued over. X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine are for the most part outright hated, First Class is well liked by the critics but is polarizing among the base and general public. Storm as a character is also hotly debated, usually from people who either hate the actress or the character, or hate the character because of the actress. Then there's the debate over whether or not the character's casting was a blatant case of But Not Too Black. And then there's the issue of the films being overly wolverine centric to the detriment of other interesting and popular characters. The last 2 issues are HUGE flame starters.
It doesn't help that people are starting to see Wolverine as a Creator's Pet for FOX.
Some see Sarah as a broken sympathetic woman who was pushed over the edge by Juno's idiocy and incompetence. Not to mention she found out about Juno's affair with her husband, and the cover up of the injury to Beth. Others see her as a psycho bitch who unfairly condemned Juno to death by intentionally wounding her leg over a genuine mistake she made.
Some see Juno as a good (but flawed) friend who was just trying to make the group of friends close again by taking them caving. And acted heroically when they were being attacked by the mutants (for the most part). While others see her as a incompetent home wrecking jackass who got everyone killed.
Then there's the third group who see both of them as sympathetic flawed characters.
Group 4 sees them both as unredeemable jackasses who deserved everything they got...But felt sorry for everyone else who was dragged down with them.
The surprisingly good sequel gleefully plays with this. Adding more fuel to the fire.
As mentioned below there's also debates over whether The Crawlers adds to the film or ruins it.
Then there's Highlander... oh dear God. You got the Original fans, the Zeist people, the TV series fans, the multiple continuity fans, the "stong immortals" fans and their "weak immortals" nemeses, those who cherry pick, those who actually liked The Source, and those that come up with their own unique views. And guess what, that doesn't cover HALF of the categories these fans are grouped into... AND they all hate each other with such a passion it makes sunis and shias look like first graders fighting in a schoolyard.
Destoroyah's gender of all things. Fans can't agree on whether it should be a male (which he is in the canon of the films/games), a female (due to many fan observations regarding his...erm...biology), or both/neither (again, due to numerous fan observations).
King Kong vs. Godzilla. In general, fans are divided over who should've won even though Toho Studios has stated that Kong technically won. The ambiguous ending doesn't help matters.
Which era of Godzilla films is also hotly debated. Were the Showa (1955-1975) films fun yet cheesy films or low-budget over-the-top messes? Was the Heisei (1984-1995) era a good throwback to Godzilla's darker roots or were they nothing but wangst and boring "beam war" fights? And, then there's the aforementioned Millennium era. Good luck getting the fans to agree on any one era.
Even the monsters that go up against Godzilla fall under this. On the one hand, you got fans who want to see Godzilla go up against more original monsters. On the other, you got fans who want Godzilla to fight more classic monsters like Ghidorah or Mothra. They rarely, if ever, agree with one another on any level.
Question: Are 28 Days Later and its sequel movies zombie movies? It may seem like a simple yes-or-no question, but there are places on the Internet where you will be lynched if you get the answer wrong.
The Lion King sequels. To some, they are extremely impressive and some of the few good Disney sequels made. To others, they are crap.
Horror fans seems to be split over the quality of audacious foreign horror films when compared to American horror films. They're either refreshing and daring, or gory pretentious crap.
Also among horror fans there's a sub-debate on what should be considered a Horror film as oppose to a Thriller and vice versa. Some feel that Thrillers are neutered horror films made for people who can't hack "Real" horror.
And within the film medium there's the whole debate over when is dark, bleak, and depressing, too dark, bleak and depressing? And the use of the Downer Ending... Some are of the opinion that people are Completely Missing the Point and that horror is SUPPOSED to be dark, bleak, and depressing. Others take the view that using such a limiting definition and emotional palate only serves to make everything ultimately seem exactly the same.
The thing is; by nature Horror is very dark, bleak, and depressing anyway. Just look at H.P. Lovecraft's work along with Edgar Allen Poe, and the Frankenstein novel. This isn't anything new really. The dividing line comes from people trying to deviate from the formula. While others think this actually takes away the effectiveness of the genre rather than add to it (however if it's a genre mash up it's usually seen as ok). This is likely a microcosm of the debate over people liking/hating the fact that some horror stories add either action, humor, and or sci-fi.
The disagreements over bleak and dark tone seems to be mostly a matter of personal taste than anything. Same with having actual ghosts/demons/aliens etc..in the film.
And whether or not to use humor and comedy. Does it add to the movie, and mood or destroys it?
For the Literature medium there are those who prefer the short and simple stories to the 900 page Doorstops. Mostly because they think Horror stories are much more effective as short stories, as bigger books tends to drag.
There's also a debate over perceived attitudes towards the genre. For instance on message boards there will be a fan who'll be like "Yaaay they're making Terror On Cliched Street part 20!", and another disgruntled one who'll be like "*ugh* Hollywood has run out of ideas". The latter thinking the former is everything that is wrong with horror today. While the former think that the latter group are a bunch of pretentious Jerkasses who think foreign horror is the best thing since indoor plumbing, and is taking the genre too seriously. While the latter fires back by saying they're the ones that are giving horror fans a "bad name" (and by extension the whole genre).
Even then people argue that if it doesn't have any supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi elements it's not a real horror film. Hell some think adding too much sci-fi and technobable ruins the genre, likely a microcosm of the Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane approach where they use science or sci-fi to explain away the paranormal/supernatural (which some see as a cop out). Same thing can be said for adding in action (See James Cameron's Aliens below)
In addition to the above is it a bad idea to try and explain everything in a horror story/plot. Or is it best to leave it mysterious and vague?, Or is that a Writer Cop Out?
There's also accusations of people Running the Asylum for the worse, By keeping all of the arguably negative stuff around because they think it's the norm for the genre. Basically creating a horror version of Sci-Fi Ghetto.
Found Footage horror is very polarizing among horror fans. Regardless of how well made they might be.
It doesn't help that the horror genre is subjective (and polarizing) to begin with.
Speaking of horror films, there seems to be a divide on how to make zombie films, and what makes a good zombie film as oppose to a generic zombie film. Should they be humorous zombie killing action pieces? Or dramatic, thought provoking, Socio-Political commentary and or deep character studies?
Punisher: War Zone: is it a return to the series' roots after the jokey The Punisher from 2004, or is it an over-the-top violent spectacle that strays too far from reality. Also, is it either completely horrible or the best Punisher film ever? Discussed in this Patton Oswaltpodcast
There's also a debate on whether or not Punisher is actually mainstream film material. Most of the violence people complained about in War Zone came directly from the comics.
Similarly Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Mostly over its "lighter" tone compared to the first film which was darker with a lot of horror undertones.
There's also a split over what the franchise should cover. One group want more exploits with Arnie's T-800 model, while the second group think Arnie is played out, and want to see future John Connor lead the resistance against the machines. The latter group is getting their wish....well they WAS getting their wish. After the lukewarm reception of Salvation (and a myriad of legal issues) the direction was up in the air . Then they decided on a reboot.
The divide basically boils down to More/Less time travel, More/less Arnie, More/Less future resistance battles, More/Less Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor. Exemplified by the responses at the bottom of this article. The base is essentially shattered into a million pieces.
This might have caused some resentment towards T2. Some fans felt Cameron just rehashed the first Terminator film, but with better special effects, instead of giving them a movie about the future John Connor.
The current split seems to be between whether The Sarah Connor Chronicles or Terminator Salvation is the superior take on the franchise, but there is relatively wide agreement that Salvation wasn't nearly as good as hoped. That's a different can of worms though.
Disney fans who have accepted the company's shift to All CGI Cartoons and consider Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and Frozen to be a welcome return to form after the Dork Age of the 2000s vs. Disney fans who hate that they shut down their traditional animation studio for good and consider all CGI films they've produced to be not as "truly Disney" as their traditionally animated output at best and being an unforgivable betrayal of their animation roots/principles at worst.
The film Paranormal Activity has about 3 different endings, and sure enough there's 3 different groups of fans that support one of the 3 endings over the others.
The sequels are liked to various degrees, but are liked overall. However part 4 has essentially broken the base. Some say it added more mystery and background to the series, while others say it was slow and boring and didn't explain anything.
The Resident Evil films, so much so that from an objective point of view it's actually two completely different groups of fandom at each others' throats. One group is the fanbase from the games, the others are solely fans of the films. In the beginning there might have been some cross polination. But around the time the second film arrived (or maybe the third) fans of the game split off. Relatively leaving only the Periphery Demographic as a fanbase for the film franchise. These two groups DO NOT like each other.
Tom Savini's version of Night of the Living Dead. Some saying it's a terrible remake that tarnishes the original. While others says that it's incredibly underrated and complements the original, Some saying it's far more entertaining. Sub-arguments of this film are;
Patricia Tallman's interpretation of Barbara vs the original actress (O'dea) interpretation. Plus there's the Took A Level In Bad Ass that Tallman's character took.
Tony Todd vs Duane Jones' version of Ben.
Whether or not the revamped ending is better than the original.
Pretty much everything in all films really is a broken base. From Megatron and Optimus being brothers, is that metaphorical or not and does it make sense with any past canon? Is Dino actually Mirage and Que Wheeljack? With a lot of fans just ignoring Ironhide's and, sometimes, Jazz's deaths. To the ever popular "Is it a bad movie or not?"
The characters designs of any given Transformers series is one of the most frequently and viciously argued-over topics. Should they be made of few chunky bits or thousands of shards? Rectangular or sleek? Simple or full of details? Cartoony or realistic? Human-like or more alien? Interestingly, while the robot designs of the first three movies were criticized all over the 'net for looking too alien, the designs for the fourth installment are under fire from the "other side" for looking like humans made of metal.
Planet of the Apes: The timelines of the original film. There are devotees of the "it's all a giant circular timeline" theory, ie the aftermath of 'Battle' ends up back at the beginning of film one, and devotees of the idea that Zira and Cornelius changed history by coming into the past with Caesar.
Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are four main camps: those who woobify Loki, those who hate Loki because of all woobifying, those who hate him in general, and those who like/enjoy him as a villain. The haters can be as obnoxious as the woobifiers because they usually try to explain the proper, rational reaction to everything that happened to him without even realizing that super villains in general don't act rationally. Given that Loki is the God of Mischief, this is somewhat fitting.
[REC] 3, has proven to be quite polarizing when compared to the first 2 films. There's also complaints about the inconsistency of how the "infected" is portrayed.
Whether or not it's a straight forward horror film or a horror comedy. The inclusion of overt humor put some people off while others were ok with it.
Fans of The Campaign seems to be split on who or what the movie was spoofing. Some believe it was spoofing how over the top political campaigns have gotten. More cynical fans believe their spoofing the naive easily fooled voters.
Law Abiding Citizen, the contention comes from arguments on whether the 2 leads are "good" or "bad" , or whether or not Clyde "won" and proved his point or "lost". basically people are projecting their own ideology, morality and political beliefs into the film. Much like...
Changing Lanes, same issues as law abiding citizen. And like that film people are once again probably projecting their own personal beliefs, and morality unto the film. People debate Ad nauseam over who was the worse. Issues of class and race can also get brought up For Massive Damage.
The Bridges of Madison County is generally well liked. But the fans can't agree on whether or not it's a touching love story, or sentimental nonsense that rationalizes moral failure.
Wreck-It Ralph's fanbase is split between the fanswho are obsessed with Turbo, constantly portay him as a misunderstood Draco in Leather Pants type of character and constantly pair their O Cs with them, then there are the fans who think that Turbo shouldn't be getting all the attention and the main characters and other characters should get their share of the limelight in the fandom.
Star Trek: Into Darkness: For starters, was Khan's casting worth it to see Benedict Cumberbatch's acting talent, or was it pointless whitewashing of a famous person of color role? There's also the divide over the film being essentially a remake of a few specific Star Trek films, and Kirk's Disney Death.
A Goofy Movie has one between Goof Troop fans and non-Troop fans, and one between people who like An Extremely Goofy Movie and those who don't. The first two groups tend to go hand-in-hand, as do the second groups. The biggest consensus is that An Extremely Goofy Movie is not a very good stand-alone sequel, but is a great culminating film of the series.
The decision to bring back Wolverine's bone claws but still have an adamantium body has split fans in two.
Superman Returns led to fan arguments, with some saying it captured the feel of the Christopher Reeve movies, and others feeling that it ignored the comics and/or upset about how he left for five years for a stupid reason—that some fans use fanon to justify—only to come back and learn that he'd left a bun in Lois' oven.
Did Clark do enough trying to take Zod out of Metropolis in the final fight, or did he not try hard enough to stem the level of carnage being done to Smallville and Metropolis?
Was Clark justified in killing Zod? Or, for other comic fans, the fact that someone involved in this film thought Superman should kill. Notably, he also kills Zod in the comics, and in the theatrical version of Superman II. Like in the comics and unlikeSuperman II he shows remorse. The degree of remorse and reasons for it are also disputed, though Snyder has hinted that it may have implications in films to come, as it did in the comics.
Lois knowing Clark's secret even before he becomes Superman, removing the traditional Two-Person Love Triangle. Though this happened before in the last season of Smallville.
Batman Vs. Superman, the sequel to Man of Steel, got this before it even started filming:
Should the film have been a solo Superman sequel from the get-go, or is adding Bruce Wayne/Batman good for the box office? More importantly, is this an actual Superman movie or a "Batman featuring Superman" movie in disguise?
Ben Affleck chosen as the new Batman for the sequel: there are those who are doubtful about him most especially the fans who still prefer Christian Bale to reprise the role and those who believe that he can pull off it as Batman.
The casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman: a great move to finally depict an under-represented female superhero in film, or stunt casting that will be marginalized and near non-existent in the final film? Likewise, does Gadot have the acting experience and/or physique necessary to take on a major female superhero?
Pacific Rim: While few will question the entertainment value of the action set pieces, opinion is sharply divided on whether the writing and story are good.