For most of the 20th Century Film studies was dominated by psychoanalytically inclined theories which don't stand up to scientific scrutiny.
What's more, because psychoanalysis was fused with Marxism via Louis Althusser's appropriation of Lacan, the field of Film Studies was reduced to making ever more elaborate and paranoid 'discoveries' of capitalist ideology lurking within everything from classical narrative structure, shot/reverse-shot editing and even the laws of perspective. Film Theory became synonymous with 'ideology spotting'.
Noel Carroll's book forensically dismantles the more outrageous claims of the conspiracy theorists and offers instead film theories based on cognitive psychology.
A must-read for any student of film and a perfect companion to David Bordwell's equally brilliant 'Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema'