So what is an intelligent movie? Gimme an example.
All I know is that I'll fall out of my chair if a Star Trek
movie is offered as an example...
There are certainly some intelligent moments in TREK movies ... I honestly found the whole two-hours-means-two-days thing in TWOK to be pretty sharply handled (for me, the thing that gave it away was the way Shatner says CAPTAIN Spock -- it just sounds totally wrong, kind of blurted, and that is a good way of flagging something without sledgehammering the point across.) The moment in TMP when Decker tells Kirk it is his job to offer options and Kirk doesn't go off on him and instead acknowledges the point seems like it hints at being the movie Livingstone was trying to write, where the characters would be more mature than he took them for at first. But TREK movies most often come off for me as either 'that was a nice try' or 'geezus REALLY?' ... and that usually is depending on whether I buy into the thing.
The comment somebody made about not being able to mess up a historical movie is hysterical ... have you seen MISSISSIPPI BURNING? A strong success as a perfomance-driven drama, yes ... but in terms of historical accuracy, it is monstrously offensive. That is a real pushmepullyou for me.
2001 is my alltime favorite motion picture, but that's not because it is intelligent, it is because it delivers a wholly unique and powerful CINEMATIC experience. It does include some smart stuff like how the US/Russian stuff that Hanks loves so much plays, but there are story deficiencies (apparently created in postproduction, as if to 'deliberately bury' traditional connective tissue in storytelling) that are evident on any viewing.
You're probably gonna laugh, but I was looking on the blu-ray.com site while writing this, and I think I'd call REPO MAN an example of an intelligent movie. It has a point of view, it has a sense of wit that goes beyond gags, and it has construction -- ufos ARE time machines discussion leaps to mind -- that you can marvel at the first time and get excited waiting to hear on the umpty-umph time.
I've always thought Se7en was an intelligent movie. Some folks have issues with scenes played where the room lights aren't turned on, but except for the first scene in the movie, which plays like TV, I find the whole thing impeccable.
Tavernier's DEATHWATCH is an intelligent movie, kind of the genre's version of NETWORK, which I still find utterly brilliant. The casual way DEATHWATCH throws away details of its culture are particularly good, though even after several viewings I think there are some aspects that don't all quite marry up.