In Czech we say it's "viewer-demanding" (divácky náročný). This can either mean it's "a movie that requires deep comprehension on the part of hte viewer" or that it's "a movie that requires being an artist or a movie critic".

How could I say something like:

The OA is not a series for the late Sunday night. It requires you to concentrate and to be sensitive to every little allusion in the way people speak.

Is there a similar idiom in English?

  • Would that be restrictive? See the "Comparison table" here. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 21:07
  • Do you mean "a movie that requires deep comprehension on the part of hte viewer", "a movie not for the ordinary mind"? Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 21:28
  • Could you explain how it is not for the general audience in your usage? It could be viewer age restrictions or content just not interesting to average people.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 0:12
  • 2
    We do use the verb demands and the adjective demanding of works of art that require the audience to be fully engaged with their ideas and/or to surrender their own opinions while watching or reading. (The film demands .... This demanding film....) Sometimes these words can be "code" for "the average person won't get it and won't enjoy it".
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 12:56
  • 1
    Note that we do not refer to television series as movies. You have referred to the OA in your question. This is not a movie. It's a television series or television show. Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


Is this film not for the general public because it's offensive to some people or because it's intellectually demanding so that many people won't enjoy it?

In the first case we might in the US say the film is "X-rated" (if it has extremely graphic sexual content) or "R-rated" (if it is not suitable for children due to suggestive sexual content or violence) or "for mature audiences".

In the second case, we might call the film an "art film".


To add on to Photon's answer:

An intellectual film

A thought-provoking film

An art / art-house / artsy film

A specialty film.

In some cases these might be also called "experimental" films or "independent" films.

  • Thank you, isn't there a phrase when you want to actually express it's too specialty?
    – Probably
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 21:13
  • @Probably There are several, but I would say it's a "niche" or "niche market" film.
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 22:44

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