movies that don't meet expectations
November 4, 2005 6:17 PM   Subscribe

what do you suppose are some of the most over-rated movies you've ever seen?
posted by brandz to Media & Arts (143 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Office Space
posted by notcostello at 6:19 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

Donnie Darko
posted by Jon-o at 6:21 PM on November 4, 2005

This one and this one.
posted by mds35 at 6:22 PM on November 4, 2005

Star Wars.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:23 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

Lost in Translation, and I saw The Stupids, in the theaters.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:24 PM on November 4, 2005

The Good Girl
posted by fshgrl at 6:24 PM on November 4, 2005

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Not because I'm a foaming advocate of the movies needing to be exact interpretations of the books, but because after seeing them all a few times, I just don't like them that much. Something is missing. I think part of it is that the movies on the whole fail to lend a sense of menace to the enemy; the special effects can be hamfisted at times and I was never really creeped out by any of it.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2005

posted by Gyan at 6:27 PM on November 4, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite was so bad I feel dirty just mentioning it.
posted by odinsdream at 6:29 PM on November 4, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite
posted by nile_red at 6:33 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

This is all very subjective and you probably won't get any solid answers. For instance, many people consider godfather to a classic, a whole lot of people loved napoleon dynamite, same for donnie darko.

Now if you want to talk about movies that were overrated by the general media and critics in particular (i'm looking at you, harry knowles), you need only mention the 3 new star wars movies. Which many critics liked but a lot of the public thought stank.
posted by puke & cry at 6:35 PM on November 4, 2005

The English Patient

posted by johngoren at 6:36 PM on November 4, 2005

oh also, your favorite movie sucks.
posted by puke & cry at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2005

I am Sam

Million Dollar Baby
posted by arcticwoman at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2005

Most of them. Cinema as a medium has so much potential to thrill and challenge and stimulate and excite, and time and time again we get fed facile, clichéd nonsense about the CIA/FBI, or about people falling in love despite the fact that they started out annoying each other, or any number of boring, repetitive plot devices. Even aside from the obvious stoopid Hollywood/Bruckheimer dross, for a film to get backing these days it more often than not has to compromise in some way to appeal to the most number of people, usually by having a happy - and therefore predictable - ending. It amazes me how film critics can keep seeing so many films and not just want to kill themselves through jadedness. There are good films, sure, but as a percentage of all that are made, well, it's a sad statistic for such a huge industry.

Spoil-sport no-fun curmudgeonliness aside, I really don't get the appeal of Gone With The Wind, I didn't enjoy Three Colours Blue, and although The Big Lebowski is a great film, no doubt about that, I don't really understand the fanaticism that it seems to inspire in some people.
posted by nylon at 6:39 PM on November 4, 2005

The Matrix.
posted by Rothko at 6:41 PM on November 4, 2005

posted by whatzit at 6:43 PM on November 4, 2005

Life is Beautiful. Blazin' Benigni, I just loathed it.
posted by boombot at 6:43 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

The Passion of the Christ. They should have called it "They Beat the Shit Out of Jesus." Just stupid.
posted by Carbolic at 6:43 PM on November 4, 2005

As an aside, is it possible for The Stupids to be over-rated? Who's overestimating a Tom Arnold vehicle?
posted by boombot at 6:44 PM on November 4, 2005

Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River were both quite astonishingly bad. Clint Eastwood is a terrible director.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:46 PM on November 4, 2005

Forrest Gump
ANYTHING with Travolta
posted by lois1950 at 6:49 PM on November 4, 2005

Thinking of recent movies, both Garden State and the Shrek movies.

And the most recent addition to my list: Layer Cake.
posted by aiko at 6:49 PM on November 4, 2005

American Beauty.
posted by loquax at 6:50 PM on November 4, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite.

Anchorman. God, I hated Anchorman.
posted by schustafa at 6:52 PM on November 4, 2005

Kill Bill, both volumes.
posted by tastybrains at 6:54 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

I hate movie hype. Not just the marketing, but the people around me in real life who won't shut up about the latest Leo DiCaprio oeuvre. Excessive hype alone is enough to keep me from seeing a lot of movies when they're out in theaters, but sometimes when I reluctantly tune in on cable, they're actually pretty cool. But movies that I felt didn't live up to the hype, even after the hype died down? Lessee.

Ghost. The Truman Show. Spider-Man and Spider-Man II. Every freakin' Harry Potter movie. Shrek. (I refuse to watch Shrek II, unless you pay me.) Cast Away. (Seriously, the hell?) And yeah, episodes I & II of Star Wars (again, pay me).

I've spitefully avoided several already-mentioned movies, like Million Dollar Baby, The English Patient, and above all Titanic, because I got sick of hearing about them. Also, I despise DiCaprio.
posted by Gator at 6:56 PM on November 4, 2005

Another vote for Donnie Darko.
posted by fillsthepews at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2005

There are older movies that people liked at the time that I couldn't stand, like Barry Lyndon. For the most part, they have faded from (popular) memory, probably deservedly.

More recent flicks that I was unimpressed by: (I second) Lost in Translation, There's Something About Mary, Sixth Sense, Vanilla Sky, Eyes Wide Shut.
posted by rob511 at 6:58 PM on November 4, 2005

Apocalypse Now

There. I said it.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:01 PM on November 4, 2005

I'll second Mystic River. Woulda made a good Law and Order episode, but really really overrated as a movie.

FYI it's quite possible for something to be overrated and still decent.

I think Gone With the Wind is pretty hellishly boring, too.
posted by xmutex at 7:06 PM on November 4, 2005

Fight Club.

Also, for the movie curmudgeons in here, you'd love Ray Carney, who is possibly the crankiest guy I've ever seen. Eloquent, though, and he makes a lot of good points about the shortcomings of today's films. Another interview here.
posted by Succa at 7:07 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

Anything marketed as having a big amazing "twist," like The Crying Game or The Sixth Sense. The most hyped endings are generally the easiest to guess and the most disappointing.
posted by jrossi4r at 7:09 PM on November 4, 2005

The Last Temptation of Christ.
posted by desuetude at 7:12 PM on November 4, 2005

posted by tristeza at 7:20 PM on November 4, 2005

Somebody already said this, but Forrest Gump. The fact that it beat both Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption for best picture just amazes me.
posted by number9dream at 7:28 PM on November 4, 2005

What comes to mind immediately - comedies that aren't funny. Maybe I lack a sense of humor, but I think most big Hollywood comedies are unfunny. Some examples:

Any Adam Sandler comedy except for Billy Madison
Any Ben Stiller comedy except for Mystery Men
The Jerk (although people will swear by this one)
Van Wilder

Other movies...

Never saw the appeal of Forest Gump. Actually, I really disliked the movie. I wonder what proportion of Gump fans voted for Bush. The two are so similar....
posted by afroblanca at 7:29 PM on November 4, 2005

Magnolia. Dear god I want those 3 hours back.
posted by arha at 7:35 PM on November 4, 2005

No question: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Dear god I want those 9 hours back. (And my untainted vision of the story.)
posted by jdroth at 7:39 PM on November 4, 2005

Anything Kevin Smith was involved in. Also Gump and Fight Club. And, while not a movie, the Simpsons.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:42 PM on November 4, 2005

FYI it's quite possible for something to be overrated and still decent.

xmutex has an excellent point. I recently saw Serenity. I'd heard orgasmic things about it from fans of Firefly. I'd never seen the TV show, and thought Serenity was okay, but not much more than that. There were a lot of problems with it that I think fans forgave it. But still: I liked it.
posted by jdroth at 7:44 PM on November 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

The English Patient
Forrest Gump (and I voted for Bush in '04)
posted by shoos at 7:54 PM on November 4, 2005

I keep thinking of more answers to this question. For example, in my opinion, recent years have seen the Oscar for best picture often go to overrated films in lieu of films of greater merit. I make a point of seeing all the Best Picture nominees each year. All of the following struck me as overrated and undeserving: Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Return of the King.
posted by jdroth at 7:56 PM on November 4, 2005

Gump, LOTR, the last Star Wars series (overreached the plot), Titanic, 80% of everything. hype, hype, hype.
posted by edgeways at 7:57 PM on November 4, 2005

Signs. Traffic. And I loathe Gump.
posted by squidlarkin at 7:57 PM on November 4, 2005

garden state was simply okay. but seemed like everyone in the theater kept lol at everything. every 15-20 minutes i had to question myself if i was missing something...
posted by sammich at 8:00 PM on November 4, 2005

what everybody else said ^-1
posted by signal at 8:00 PM on November 4, 2005

Malkovich. Not that it was awful, but I got pretty bored.

Pretty much all recent comedy. Nearly the entire current batch of major comedic actors is really horrid, and the scripts are beyond banal. (And I like stupid, vulgar, and slapstick comedy!)
posted by majick at 8:03 PM on November 4, 2005

Every Woody Allen movie ever made. Enough said.

Waking Life. If I wanted to watch short bursts of obnoxious philosophizing, I'd give a big bag of weed and a video to some college freshmen.

Every Michael Moore film after Roger & Me. He started out so good, and got so damned lazy.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2005

Meet The Parents
Love Actually
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Garden State
Bridget Jones' Diary
Star Wars
Napoleon Dynamite
posted by Mike C. at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2005

posted by oflinkey at 8:26 PM on November 4, 2005

It's A Wonderful Life: it's not a wonderful movie.
posted by SPrintF at 8:30 PM on November 4, 2005

Lost in Translation
Being John Malkovich
Eyes Wide Shut
9 1/2 Weeks
Office Space
American Beauty

... were all seriously underwhelming. And I was only able to watch the first eight minutes of Life is Beautiful. Benigni = Boringni. Ugh.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:33 PM on November 4, 2005

Hard as I tried, I just couldn't sit still through What Dreams May Come. It was just... ugh.
posted by sian at 8:34 PM on November 4, 2005

Crouching Tiger. Here in Asia kung-fu & flying martial arts movies have been shown for ages.
posted by arrowhead at 8:35 PM on November 4, 2005

Top Ten World Films We Love to Hate
posted by muckster at 8:36 PM on November 4, 2005

Hard as I tried, I just couldn't sit still through What Dreams May Come. It was just... ugh.

I agree, but that doesn't make it overrated. It received mediocre to poor reviews and lost 30 million dollars at the box office. I've never heard anyone with a kind word for it. It's a bad movie, but that doesn't mean it's overrated.
posted by jdroth at 8:39 PM on November 4, 2005

2001, The Graduate, and Rashômon
posted by jzb at 8:43 PM on November 4, 2005

The Seventh Seal
posted by Hildago at 8:44 PM on November 4, 2005

Films I've seen by the following "acclaimed" directors have left me less than impressed:

John Cassavetes
Atom Etgoyan
Hsiao-hsien Hou
Guy Maddin
Sergei Parajanov

And the following films... Alphaville, Maelstrom, Last House on the Left (a Straw Dogs rip-off), Garden State (it was a cute indie film, so was Adrien Brody's Dummy but I don't see acclaim over that), Mystic River, Sonny Chiba's Street Fighter and Andrey Rublyov.

I would have said Million Dollar Baby a few weeks ago but it improved immensely on a second viewing.
posted by bobo123 at 9:02 PM on November 4, 2005

Superman -Reeve was great, but he couldn't make up for all the failings of that movie.

Any thing by Tim Burton, except for maybe The Nightmare Before Christmas. Visually, his films all look pretty, but they seriously lack depth in character or plot. Not that that is bad, I don't mind it when I'm in the mood for some fluff. But it gets old hearing my friends and roommate heap praise on him.

I also like Graden State, but I do think it was over-hyped.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:10 PM on November 4, 2005

Bladerunner. I don't care if your film studies prof loved it.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:26 PM on November 4, 2005

The recent three Star Wars movies
The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover

Screw you folks who said LOTR...a movie is not a book. Take them separately and quit freakin' whining about it. The annoyance you're causing trumps the level of annoyance you feel.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:33 PM on November 4, 2005

Anything by Tarantino or M. Night Whasisname. Juvenile tripe.

Spielberg is the Thomas Kincade of movies. And that ain't good.
posted by words1 at 9:37 PM on November 4, 2005

Happiness. Ugh.
posted by mochapickle at 9:39 PM on November 4, 2005

I never read LOTR, and thought the movie was terrible, terrible stuff.

Million Dollar Baby, definitely, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:47 PM on November 4, 2005


Opportunity Knocks. (Okay, that's just the worst movie I've seen.)
posted by acoutu at 9:53 PM on November 4, 2005

thanks for all the great responses. i'd have to say titanic and forrest gump, both of which won oscars for best movie and were just awful. gladiator, beautiful mind and braveheart are other best picture winners that failed miserably, at least in my book.

i did love happiness and magnolia, btw.
posted by brandz at 9:55 PM on November 4, 2005

posted by brad! at 10:24 PM on November 4, 2005

Bless you to all those who mentioned Mystic River. I loathed that movie, and I thought I was the only one who felt that way.
posted by amarynth at 10:24 PM on November 4, 2005

Requiem for a Dream.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:28 PM on November 4, 2005

In addition to the aforementioned Napoleon Dynamite (admittedly a pretty quotable movie), I add Team America: World Police. I rented it on DVD. I thought it was a good DVD movie. I'm glad I missed it in theaters.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:32 PM on November 4, 2005

There's a lot of movies that while I liked, are pretty overrated. One of these is the Hudsucker Proxy. Just wasn't funny. But, fun to watch.

Oh, and Kung Pow: Enter the Fist is the dumbest piece of cellulose ever made.
posted by angry modem at 10:35 PM on November 4, 2005

Screw you folks who said LOTR...a movie is not a book. Take them separately and quit freakin' whining about it. The annoyance you're causing trumps the level of annoyance you feel.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:33 PM PST on November 4 [!]

I specifically stated that my dislike of the movies had nothing to do with faithfulness to the book, and MrMoonPie never read the books in the first place. I guess jdroth had issues with the book thing, but that's his prerogative. The movies could have been excellent without being faithful to the books. We all get our own opinions, so chill out. Damn.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 10:36 PM on November 4, 2005

Star Wars - All of Them

Absolutely no contest in my book for the most wildly over rated series of films. The Clone Wars cartoons showed us the potential it had. Lucas went the route, more or less, of the infamous Christmas Special.
posted by juiceCake at 10:37 PM on November 4, 2005

Sex, Lies and Videotape
Gosford Park
A Beautiful Mind
Good Will Hunting
posted by panoptican at 10:48 PM on November 4, 2005

The best part about this thread is that most of the responses I either absolutely agree with... or absolutely disagree with. Unless I want to take the absolutely absurd position that I'm Right about Everything, I'm forced to acknowledge that I must in fact have missed the point in certain artifacts that I didn't properly appreciate... and that I also have an inflated opinion about a certain amount of crap...

My picks: Titanic, Magnolia, American Beauty. I'm sure I could come up with a hundred if I had the time.
posted by nanojath at 10:57 PM on November 4, 2005

Chariots of Fire
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:06 PM on November 4, 2005

Star wars
Last Tango in Paris
Million Dollar Baby is the worst, boss...
posted by lorbus at 11:19 PM on November 4, 2005

Magnolia, Forrest Gump. I thought LOTR was decent but not the greatest thing ever made. Crouching Tiger. Sideways: I just didn't care. Secretary was too tame. Amelie was just a cute movie yet it's #29 on IMDB's top 250????

Go was awful. Although I saw it with a girl I despised who loved it so that may have colored my perception.
posted by 6550 at 11:21 PM on November 4, 2005

I'd like to add that DiCaprio is the most over-rated actor. Gangs of New York really needed an actor with a powerful presence in that role and he was not up to it. Liam Neeson was perfect as the father, I just couldn't believe Leo was his son. And Daniel Day Lewis totally overpowered him.

I also didn't buy him as Hughes in The Aviator.

The decision to cast him in both these roles makes me question my previous adoration of Scorcese.
posted by mullacc at 11:40 PM on November 4, 2005

Re: Star Wars, Which many critics liked but a lot of the public thought stank.

This is from the perspective as them all being individual stories, and not one giant story. Do you frequently remark to your friends about enjoying one particular chapter of a book, or simply liking the book? Star Wars is one huge story, not a series of seperate adventures. Likewise with the Matrix -- it is continuous, not seperate. Many claim to have enjoyed the first but less toward the 2nd and 3rd -- but what is that really saying, that you like the first act but not the second? It's all one play.

The Passion of the Christ. They should have called it "They Beat the Shit Out of Jesus." Just stupid.

Glad you could join us in reality. And you're welcome.
posted by vanoakenfold at 11:41 PM on November 4, 2005

I am sad that Casablanca is mentioned in this thread :(
posted by xmutex at 11:43 PM on November 4, 2005

28 Days Later. What (very) little social commentary was there was drowned out by the unsympathetic characters and pretentious overtones. And yes, Danny Boyle, it really is a zombie movie, even if you don't think so.
posted by headlessagnew at 11:44 PM on November 4, 2005

The Bicycle Thief.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:13 AM on November 5, 2005

I get a headache just thinking about Magnolia. Waking Life too, particularly when it's refered to as a triumph of animation.
As much as I dig the Coens, I've never been able to figure out why Fargo is considered their most popular movie (although Lebowski may have finally surpassed it.)
posted by maryh at 12:22 AM on November 5, 2005

Every single Leonardo DiCaprio movie with the possible exception of The Basketball Diaries. This includes Oxcar™ nominees/winners for roles in Titanic, The Aviator. Catch Me If You Can (I remember being so eager to see the movie after reading the book almost 15 years ago), and Gangs of New York.

The frontal lobotomy known as Sideways.

Just about every single animated movie, (with particular disdain for ones with songs written by Elton John). This includes Shrek et. al., The Incredibles (the "parenting" scenes made me physically ill), Pocohontas, The Polar Express, Finding Nemo, Lilo and Stitch, The Lion King, Monsters, Inc., Mulan, etc., etc., etc.

Super Size Me.

Just about every single historical "epic": Troy, Alexander, the not-maligned-enough Gladiator (tripe), The Passion of the Christ (well-digested tripe), The Last Samurai (stool that was once tripe), Pearl Harbor, etc.

Both Being John Malcovich and Adaptaion.

Most Tom Hanks movies (exception: Joe vs. the Volcano). Including, but not limited to: Road to Perdition, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and Saving Private Ryan (with the exception of the first 20 minutes or so).

Star Wars Episodes I-III.

That overrated steaming pile of excrement, that mountain of shit that everyone needs to crowd around and point to with gleeful smiles and exclaim, "WHAT A FABULOUS NON-MOUNTAIN OF SHIT!" known as Amélie.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (hey, wait, haven't I seen this movie... oh, like a million times before? Ah, that's right, I have. Thanks.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:23 AM on November 5, 2005

And I'll second or third the recommendations of Fargo and The Big Lebowski, and raise you a Raising Arizona.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:25 AM on November 5, 2005

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
posted by the cuban at 12:30 AM on November 5, 2005

Citizen Kane.
posted by TheDonF at 12:32 AM on November 5, 2005

The most over-rated? I'd have to say Titanic. This is a movie on par with Waterworld but many people think it is a masterpiece. The entire LOTR series is also heavily bloated with hype.

I'm surprised to see so many under-rated movies on this list. Coen brothers movies over-rated? Donnie Darko, Napolean Dynamite, Requiem for a Dream, foreign films? All these movies are sleepers and barely survived at the box office, how could anyone say they are over-rated? Think major box-office and studio hype ala Harry Potter. Ugh.
posted by JJ86 at 12:36 AM on November 5, 2005

Anything with Tom Cruise in
posted by TheDonF at 1:08 AM on November 5, 2005

JJ86: A question like this is only ever a chance for people to show oh-how-cool they are by slamming things other people like. In fact, let's face it - that's exactly what the question is: "What films did you hate that most other people liked". It's ChatFilter at best, FlameBaitFilter at worst and a disappointment to be sure...
posted by benzo8 at 3:09 AM on November 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

I have to add another tally for Napoleon Dynamite. I was told by everyone that I (specifically me) would love it's irreverance.

It blew. It didn't blow in that comfortable, well it's gonna be over soon kinda way. It blew in that way where I am thinking to myself midway through the film, "maybe I should go wait in the bathroom for the movie to end and just catch up with my friends then. It blew because I had to endure two years of people talking about Ligers, "vote for pedro" tee-shirts, and near weekly assurances that my mom "goes to college." But what blew the most was that every time I mention how much the movie blew I was assured by an incredulous audience that I simply "didn't get it."
posted by herting at 3:42 AM on November 5, 2005

New items: The Blair Witch Project, La Jetée, Secretary.

2nd votes for: The Big Lebowski, The Shawshank Redemption
posted by Leon at 4:21 AM on November 5, 2005

Wow, you people really, really hate movies.
posted by signal at 4:41 AM on November 5, 2005

Wow, you people really, really hate movies.

Not at all. I just didn't like how Crouching Tiger was feted as something innovative. As martial arts movies go, it wouldn't even make my top 50. If that.
posted by the cuban at 5:08 AM on November 5, 2005

Taste of Cherry.
posted by escabeche at 5:31 AM on November 5, 2005

I Heart Huckabees.
posted by schnee at 5:58 AM on November 5, 2005

The most three recent Star Wars movies (I, II, III or whatever)

Robots - Visually awkward, almost totally plotless, miscast and phoned-in voice performances...
posted by Orb2069 at 6:03 AM on November 5, 2005

Wow, you people really, really hate movies.

On the contrary, we love movies. Which is why these heaps of celluloid feces make us retch so.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:05 AM on November 5, 2005

Lord of the Rings - I've only seen two of them and that's enough, thanks. Rambling, repetitive nonsense

Gosford Park - don't be fooled by the period setting and hordes of famous luvvies. It's a boring, simplistic soap

Titanic - appalling dialogue and unsubtle sentimentality. So stupidly bad it makes me feel queasy thinking about it
posted by malevolent at 7:11 AM on November 5, 2005

benzo8: Guilty. It's strange how I couldn't resist participating though.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:19 AM on November 5, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite
Mad Hot Ballroom
posted by thefinned1 at 7:27 AM on November 5, 2005

I couldn't stand Dancer in the Dark. I didn't care about any of the characters by the end of the movie.

I also can't sit through Ran. It is a bit too pretentious and boring for me and I love King Lear and Akira Kurosawa.
posted by Alison at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2005

It's a Wonderful Life -- Hailed as a heartwarming affirmation of each individual's worth, it is, in fact, a dark, ugly condemnation of man's base nature, coated in sentimental syrup. Cynicism + Pathos = Despicable.
posted by adgnyc at 7:42 AM on November 5, 2005

Oh, and also King of Hearts -- twee, twee, twee, and a purveyor of that annoying message: Hey, maybe the asylum inmates are sane and we're really the crazy ones. Yuck.
posted by adgnyc at 7:49 AM on November 5, 2005

Over 100 comments in and nobody's mentioned Chicago?
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:51 AM on November 5, 2005

I'm glad someone else mentioned Citizen Kane; since it consistently tops lists of the best movies since time began it would be almost impossible to live up to that kind of hype
posted by TedW at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2005

Over 100 comments in and nobody's mentioned Chicago?

good call, johnny assay. i only thought of it this morning. dreadful. another best picture winner, no?
posted by brandz at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2005

The Ring (japanese version - haven't seen the US remake).
posted by springload at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2005

Fahrenheit 9/11
Bowling for Columbine
Pulp Fiction
ANY "Hip-Hop/Rap" movie
posted by Independent Scholarship at 8:40 AM on November 5, 2005

I wanted to second the "Everything that Woody Allen has done" nomination. I've never understood the appeal of him or his movies.

I'll also add Easy Rider. I'd always heard it held up as one of those great masterpieces of cinema, only to experience a film serving as a mouthpiece for the extreme liberal hippy movement. I'm fine with political films, Michael Moore is great, but it took such a gross bias that I began to feel ill. No movie had ever achieved that, previously.

Much of what Stanley Kubrick has done, also overrated:
Clockwork Orange
Eyes Wide Shut
Full Metal Jacket.

I'll give him credit on Dr. Strangelove, and he was all right in 2001.
posted by Atreides at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2005

Any Tarantino movie (although Jackie Brown worked pretty well for me - better cast than his usual suspects, and he didn't try to overwrite all of the great Leonard lines)... I like a lot of the same movies he likes, and I'm glad that he's trying to make a kind of modern grindhouse thing happen, but could he please hire somebody - ANYBODY - to rewrite his dialogue?

Any Tim Burton movie (with the exception of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and maybe Mars Attacks)...

Sideways. Like I needed a reason to despise baby boomers more.

All hollywood animated movies. A movie for kids does NOT have to have singing, okay?

Romero's Land of the Dead. This one is specifically overrated by my fellow zombie fans, who love to say thatit's far better than the recent Dawn of the Dead remake, etc... No, sorry, it's not. Romero made a very, very, very bad film.

Any movie starring Leonardo diCaprio, Russel Crowe or Tom Cruise; or that has been nominated for best picture; or was directed by Ron Howard/Steven Spielberg (or recently, Scorcese). Bonus rage points if it has one in each category.

Almost every recent "horror" film; critics and audiences loved Scream, which was considered a horror film despite the fact that there was nothing scary about it. Then millions of hack directors/writers copied the "funny movie with surprises" formula, or remade classic horror films, or whatever - and all of them were awful (except Final Destination; that was pretty sweet).
posted by sluggo at 9:23 AM on November 5, 2005

Ring (Japanese version)
O Brother Where Art Thou?
The Usual Suspects
posted by FieldingGoodney at 10:06 AM on November 5, 2005

TheDonF, thank you.

I agree with many of the other choices in the thread -- most of the Oscar-winning pictures of the last ten years are overrated, yes. "Napoleon Dynamite" is a meandering, plotless mess filled with cardboard cutouts.

But "Citizen Kane" is unwatchable. I imagine that if you look at the film from the view of how it influenced moviemaking it is an important piece of cinematic history. But it is only that; it is not a good movie.

I will add "Wings of Desire" and just about everything else by Wim Wenders. Jarmusch's "Dead Man" was a waste of time. "Natural Born Killers" suffered from being pulled in two directions by two visions, making it uninteresting and unfulfilling.

I will also agree that the Disney animation studio movies of the last twenty years or so are saccharine, unchallenging tripe. Movies directed at kids can be so much better -- and I don't mean "The Iron Giant", which is also overrated.

I had Sideays" on my to-watch list for months. It had one laugh. Sandra Oh was hot as always. Paul Giamatti can act. Otherwise, it was a piece of shit. It's the kind of movie you get when you ask "how can we make a film that will appeal to sensitive men in their 40s on a budget of ten mill?" instead of asking "how can we fuck up a midbrow novel?" and then answering that question by executing everyone around the brainstorming table.

I love movies. I like mediocre movies. But I hate mediocre movies that too many other people love.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:54 AM on November 5, 2005

I remember the first Batman movie received an incredible amount of press hype. Definitely didn't live up to it.

The Star Wars movies after Empire Strikes Back. Massively imbalanced hype:quality ratio.

Anything by David Lynch gets my "" award.

Big hype, either through major media outlets and advertising or through word of mouth, is going to be a liability for movies WRT critical (and I mean that in a good way, as in "posessing critical faculties") audiences. It's a rare movie indeed where you can hear all the hype and still be impressed.
posted by adamrice at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2005

Lotta people just talking about movies they hate instead of movies that are 'overrated'. Come on. I <3 huckabees/i> and Gosford Park? Thanks for sharing that you don't like them but last time I checked they had no real cinematic weight and werely barely rated, let alone so vastly hyped as to lend themselves to really being called overrated.
posted by xmutex at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2005

Oops. Italic tags gone wild!
posted by xmutex at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2005


How the @#$?! did this movie get a best picture nod?
posted by Heminator at 11:17 AM on November 5, 2005

"Forest Gump" easily wins the most overrated film ever award from me. I am heartened to see so many here agree, just as I was deeply confused and troubled by how many people loved it at the time.

"Napoleon Dynamite"
anything by Kevin Smith or Wes Anderson
anything with Kevin Costner or John Cusack
"Star Wars" series (it's all downhill once they get to Endor)

Most of Hollywood's output since "Star Wars" came out has sucked really. It's no longer a creative industry. After "Jaws" and "Star Wars", it's all about the dollar, and that's too bad. When "Pulp Fiction" broke huge, it looked like things would turn around & we'd get a renaissance of indie films, but all we got was carbon crap like "8 Heads In A Duffel Bag". Bleah.

/buys lots of Asian movies now
posted by stinkycheese at 11:22 AM on November 5, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite
I <3 Huckabees
posted by soplerfo at 1:43 PM on November 5, 2005

I like a lot of the movies upthread. I just go to movies I think will be enjoyable/entertaining and ignore the hype. I don't understand the venom people have for some movies. Except maybe it's that if I really like a movie I'll remember it (and probably buy the DVD) and if I don't like it, it's in one eyeball and out the other. Why waste my time dwelling on something I didn't enjoy?

That said:

No mention of Moulin Rouge? I was upset that I missed in the theatre and looked forward to the DVD release. Bleh. 20 minutes and I turned it off.

Gone with the Wind. Boring. But then again, I'm not a fan of most older films. I'll probably get hung for blasphemy but The Wizard of Oz falls into this category as well.
posted by deborah at 1:51 PM on November 5, 2005

or was directed by Ron Howard/Steven Spielberg (or recently, Scorcese)

Hey, now. Raiders of the Lost Ark was a great movie. It's when he started trying to be topical that his movies went downhill, fast.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:53 PM on November 5, 2005

Another vote for Magnolia, and Meet the Parents made me want to gouge my eyes out. Garden State. The Lion King. Leaving Las Vegas.
posted by ch1x0r at 3:23 PM on November 5, 2005

I hated I heart huckabees as if it had peed on my children.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:39 PM on November 5, 2005

I'd like to add The Piano to the list. This was a date movie for me, and what made it worse was that my date loved it. I'd also like to add Realty Bites, which got good reviews and The Neverending Story.
posted by sophie at 3:50 PM on November 5, 2005

Yes, Neverending Story. Star Wars. More or less all of Disney. Saving Private Ryan. Reservoir Dogs. Phone Booth. Titanic, of course. Aliens 3. Taxi Driver. Jurassic Park. Thelma and Louise.

But please remember that I can't really include more because I don't watch that much Hollywood, and because I don't really have enough interest in pop culture to watch ads and read magazines. Or even watch much TV, at all. And there are more like me.

On the 'arthouse' or dated side of things: The Searchers, ANYTHING by Godard, Birth of a Nation, Three Colours.

Also, most porn. I'm not going from an acting p.o.v. here obviously. But so very very little porn is actually in the least bit erotic. Therefore it's overhyped. Vastly.

Future films which will be overhyped: anything to do with 9/11, The Corrections, The Secret History, basically anything based on a runaway bestseller. The da Vinci Code especially.
posted by paperpete at 4:53 PM on November 5, 2005

The History of Violence. I will never trust movie critics again. And I loathed Vanilla Sky with a passion.
posted by Ugh at 6:19 PM on November 5, 2005

Saving Private Ryan.

The D-day scenes are riveting, but after that, I defy anyone to tell me what is great about this movie.

They start walking, come to a town or somewhere, meet some German soldiers, they fight, an American dies, Tom Hanks looks serious, they move on, they get to another town or somewhere, encounter some German soldiers, an American dies, Tom looks serious, and so on.

No story, no plot, no good.
posted by notcostello at 8:18 PM on November 5, 2005

Every star wars film.
posted by pompomtom at 8:33 PM on November 5, 2005

Conspiracy Theory is an object lesson on how to ruin a movie with bad casting: It's not a terrible idea for a movie but no matter how hard he tries Mel "Sexiest Man Alive" Gibson cannot convey the menace or creepiness that would've made that movie (more) interesting; keep Julia Roberts, but imagine Steve Buscemi in Gibson's role--doesn't that sound more intriguing? Field of Dreams is awful. Unforgiven, Mystic River, and Million $ are all overrated (though some of Eastwood's films, specifically the very entertaining Absolute Power, are notably underrated). I like Woody Allen but Deconstructing Harry was one of the most loathsome wastes of celluloid I've ever seen. Most best picture winners of the past 15 years I'd are overrated; but who ever thought the Oscars were a reasonable mark of quality? Spielberg's War of the Worlds had one of the most unforgivable, "see-there-are-no-consequences" endings in recent memory. I like Leone but find Once Upon A Time In America somewhat lacking (yes, the complete version). Natural Born Killers: you can either be gonzo cinema or satire, but you can't be both--satire requires a strong, consistent point-of-view and cutting every scene up with all manner of black-n-white inserts, supposedly avant footage of bugs and atrocities, etc destroys any im[ression that the filmmaker might have any idea going on via what he wants to say. Dull films from interesting directors: Wild At Heart, Panic Room, Demme's Manchurian Candidate, Edward Scissorhands. Godfather II is a good film, but very overrated--the first one is perfect and the sequel just isn't as good. Gone With The Wind and Wizard of Oz were groundbreaking--but so were Titanic and Forrest Gump, and I can't apologize for them either. I like Michael Mann a lot but neither Manhunter nor Last of the Mohicans do much for me. The Graduate is overrated and so is Tootsie; they're perfectly fine films but among the greatest ever produced in America? And maybe it's just because I don't believe in the devil, but The Exorcist has never really scared me; horror films that locate the evil firmly in human behavior (Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) are far more unsettling.
posted by androx at 9:46 PM on November 6, 2005

(I don't know anyone who enjoyed these films that wasn't already a fan of the books)

Sideways - Just awful

Spiderman 1 & 2


I'm sure there are more but I've got enough enemies. :)
posted by aaronh at 11:25 AM on November 7, 2005

(I don't know anyone who enjoyed these films that wasn't already a fan of the books)

Are you kidding me? Most of the fans of the book I know weren't particularly impressed. And everyone I know who loved the films hadn't read the books in advance.

In reality, there are plenty of readers and non-readers who didn't like the films, but they're all outweighed by the vast army of folks who thought they were Oscar-caliber material.
posted by jdroth at 12:14 PM on November 7, 2005

The Ring (japanese version - haven't seen the US remake).

Didn't realize that Ringu was overrated. I'd thought it only got mild interest world-wide and not overly praising acclaim and popularity. However, we all dwell in different spheres of influence and interest.

But based on dislike, if you didn't like Ringu, you'll utterly despise The Ring.
posted by juiceCake at 12:22 PM on November 9, 2005


Here (which is northern Europe) it wasn't really widely acclaimed, because it didn't have any high distribution. It did, however, get quite a lot of cred among knowers, reviewers and film geeks. There's been a big murmur of discussion about those films, as if they were the utmost in terror. Unless the remake is vastly superior to the original, neither of them even nearly lives up to the amount of talk.
posted by springload at 3:56 AM on November 10, 2005

Sorry - I misspelled your name.
posted by springload at 4:09 AM on November 10, 2005

No problem. I had thought it got some acclaim for just the reason you suggest, being the utmost in terror. Such things are, of course, subjective, as is a rating system in this context. Personally, I think it was a fine movie. Great pace, subdued, suggestive. Others, of course, differ.
posted by juiceCake at 6:09 AM on November 11, 2005

Movies are strange birds.

It used to amaze me when I thought a movie was great, but someone who I thought would have similar tastes thought it stupid or worse. Or someone who should have the same tastes would recommend a movie that I can't stand. (This thread confirms that feeling. I'm reading it thinking, "Who are these weirdos? What's their problem? Well, that one guy sounds normal, and maybe those two there, but the rest of them have serious problems.")

Now I'm just pleasantly surprised when someone recommends a movie I like or vice versa. Napoleon Dynamite is a good example. People who usually recommend movies that I dislike recommended ND. I liked it. (It had to sit in my head overnight and germinate before I actually started to like it.) Weird, because people either love it or hate it. I've found no one in-between on ND.

Sheesh. Gump was great. Fight Club was good. LOTR was not bad. Lost in Translation was different but interesting. A Beautiful Mind was good. Memento was great. Raising Arizona was great. Godfather was great. The first half of Office Space was superb.

The Passion of the Christ was a whole other thing. Great movie, but I see how some might see it otherwise (for various reasons).

Overrated: Bridges of Madison County, Titanic, Magnolia (enjoyed most of it but hated the rest, i.e. Tom Cruise, enough to loathe the movie), American Beauty, Star Wars I, II, and III, the Potter junk, Top Gun, Dogma, any other Kevin Smith junk (with the exception of GWH), and many others. Generally, movies with Cruise, Julia Roberts, Sarandon, Ben Affleck, and any "film" by Michael Moore are seriously overrated. I dread anything with Michael Douglas, but am occasionally surprised. The second half of Office Space was crap. Anchorman had a couple funny spots, but was stupid overall. And tons of others.

Caveat to above: I liked Good Will Hunting a lot, and Colateral a little bit.
posted by mumeishi at 10:23 AM on November 16, 2005

Now that another comment reminded me of this thread, I just have to add a vote for Team America: World Police. That was the suck of a century. And I like South Park a lot, though that movie was also much worse than the TV series.
posted by springload at 11:17 AM on November 16, 2005


Hero Hero Hero Hero Hero Hero.


Whale Rider.

And Hero.
posted by poweredbybeard at 11:00 PM on February 22, 2006

Lost in Translation was the most overrated movie of all time. It was trite, puerile and racist, not to mention poorly written and acted. Did the people praising that film actually SEE it? I doubt it.

Pretty Woman was almost as bad
posted by EXISTENTIALMOO at 10:11 AM on March 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

I tend to like stuff that doesn't get a lot of critical acclaim. I was also a film student, and some of what is acclaimed as "the greatest in film history" I just didn't like.

Amongst them:

Citizen Kane (eh. why is this "the greatest movie of all time"?)
Vertigo (that ending? so unsatisfying.)
Spinning Gasing (A Malaysian movie that got so much hype here when it was released. It was my film lecturer's favourite. It was the worst movie I've ever seen - fake accents, stilted dialogue, completely unrealistic. ARGH.)
posted by divabat at 7:51 PM on May 25, 2006

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