Mainstream American cinema around the turn of the twenty-first century was prolific in producing a specific representation of the individual in crisis: a human subject beset by an onslaught of forces alien to itself. The regularity with which this type of figure appeared in popular cinema was both a result of and contributed to practices of collective representation. Implicit in the assumption that popular narrative provide insight into the cultures that produce and circulate them is the concomitant assumption that identities and subjectivities are inseparable from stories cultures tell about themselves, and that upon closer examination, these stories will always tell something more about historical selves. Following this logic, popular cinematic representations can be treated as cultural artefacts that both form collective representations and reflect “collective preoccupations,” as Renée Hoogland has put it (213). Who, then, was this set-upon figure in popular cinema of recent decades, and what can his collective representation tell us about the ideas and sentiments Durkheim proposes as indicators of cultural concerns?