This thesis examines the ways in which film operates as a culturally significant medium capable of challenging institutionalized ideologies and systems of belief. I use Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno’s concept of the culture industry to expose a hegemonic American ideology which demands unquestioned loyalty from society, an intrinsically malicious and monopolistic system. While the film industry itself is a product of this ideology and serves to proliferate its authority, cinema nonetheless possesses the potential to act as a disruptive force in its ability to bring into focus truths buried in the collective unconscious. I argue that David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Lee Daniels’s Precious, and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb each utilize specific cinematic conventions to encourage audiences to engage critically with uncomfortable, and at times unbearable, subject matter. These films necessitate engagement from viewers at a safe distance in an exercise of individual agency within an oppressive ideological society. I identify experimental narrative structure, visual rhetoric, and genre as the means through which this distance is established.