Top 5 Most Overrated Movies

I like to try to be a film buff. I don’t think I’m anywhere close to being one, but maybe one day. I listen to about 5 movie podcasts. Scene Unseen (discontinued) was by far my favorite. But I also like the Film Vault, Doug Loves Movies, Slash Film, and Movies You Should See. Film Vault and Doug are the ones I like the most, now that Scene Unseen is no more. In the Film Vault, two dudes come up with top 5 categories and talk about them. They have done ones such as top 5 Remakes, badass bitches, war films, villans, etc. Next on my queue is “Top 5 Overrated Movies.” I decided to  give it a shot before they tackle the subject. Here are mine.

REMEMBER: There is a difference for me in a movie being overrated and it downright sucking. Only 2 of these movies I didn’t like, the rest I enjoyed. They just do not deserve anywhere near the recognition that it got.

5. Scarface.

I know I’m going to catch a lot of crap for this, but I just did not enjoy the movie. I have only seen it once, and it was very late in my movie career (last year), but maybe I had too high of expectations. Maybe I’ve seen the exact same gangster film story played over and over and over again (e.g. Blow, Goodfellas, Casino, to name just a few). Gangster gets too rich, too high on is own supply, and can’t keep it together. Al Pacino to me is an extremely overrated actor. He just yelled a lot and had weird looks on his face like he thought he was a badass. I do appreciate the “Say hello to my little friend” line. I love saying it whenever possible, but I think this is one of those movies that every guy likes because every guy thinks they are supposed to like it. Everyone thinks having the poster in your room makes you an automatic badass. I’ll give it another try, but not agreeing the legendary status that it has.

Hello

4. The Godfather

I appreciate what it did for the genre of gangster movies. I get it. It’s just so slow. Maybe the most accurate portrayal of the mob (like I know), but speed it up a little bit to keep my eyes open. If you’re number 2 on IMDb all time, I should have the desire to watch you more than twice.

Guilty, quote this line all the time too.

3. District 9

Probably is the Sci-Fi genre I dont like, but this one was worshiped by all my podcasters. A best picture nominee along with it? Wasn’t understanding. Mediocre acting at best. I guess a story that’s somewhat believable, but not to me. And setting in Johannesberg was a poor choice I think. Set a movie about putting a species into slums and separation in a city that has had extreme racial segregation problems for years. Smart.

cat food and tires… random

2. Chicago

Chicago is a 2002 musical with Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and John C. Reilly. This film could be in the category of ones that I hated. This film was nominated for (count them) 13 Oscars. That puts it tied for second all time along Gone With the Wind, Forrest Gump, Fellowship of the Ring, and Mary Poppins (among others). It won 6 of them including best picture! It beat out Gangs of New York, which was nominated for 10 (including best picture as well) and didn’t win any! The bottom line is that musicals and courtroom dramas don’t mix for me.

Renee Zellweger already has the worst spoken voice in hollywood, now she’s singing… or is she?


1. Avatar

Thank the good lord it did not win best picture last year. This movie is literally a better looking Pocahontas. Actally, I liked Pocahontas better. Awesome music in that movie. Back to Avatar. Supporting actor as the weird loser from Dodgeball and Grandma’s Boy? Okay like I can take him seriously. “Adios, Turd Nuggets.” Also, I’m not sure I’m on the 3D bandwagon. After the cool intro where the “Dolby Digital” pops out at you and your like WOW COOL, it was nothing. It added to the movie at all. You simply got used to it after 20 minutes and then it was nothing. People like 3D because they are told to like 3D. Visuals aside, it’s an extremely predictable white-man-is-the-enemy story that has been done millions of times (Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves, I could go on and on) with horrible acting. I’ll give 3D another chance and we’ll see about that then, but when it comes to Avatar, I’m fine if don’t see it for a second time. I’ll save an hour and a half and creepy blue people and watch Pocahontas.

Update: Saw Toy Story 3D. Still don’t particularly like the third dimension added.

I’m just waiting for Elton John to come in with “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.”

So there it is. Agree or not (you probably don’t), this is what I Think I Think.

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6 thoughts on “Top 5 Most Overrated Movies

  1. I definitely agree with Scarface. I might even put that as my most overrated movie of all time. It’s not that good, but everybody (especially high-school and college-aged guys) constantly worships it. I’m still trying to figure out why.

    I also agree with Avatar. Personally, I really liked it – I thought it was a very good combo sci-fi/action/epic pic that had a bit too obvious of a “save the planet” message combined with the not-very-subtle Pocahontas allegory. But still, it was visually amazing and the story and acting were good enough for me. I liked it, but I certainly don’t think it is an all-time great like so many people seem to.

    I can understand why you don’t like the pacing of The Godfather – I don’t either. It is admittedly verrry slow at times, but when it was finally all said and done I didn’t feel cheated one bit. I don’t think it deserves to be #2 on the IMDB All-Time list (I have plenty of problems with that list besides The Godfather, but that’s for another time), but I still think it’s an all-time great. Probably falls somewhere around #5-12 on my list. Still, this is your personal list and your judgment of how overrated a particular movie is, and The Godfather certainly gets a TON of recognition, so it’s not much of a stretch to call it one of the most overrated of all time if it’s not really your cup of tea.

    Chicago is fun. I thought it was a good movie adaptation of a musical (that I admittedly never saw on stage), but I liked it. Not sure if it really gets that much credit, even as a musical, so I’m a little confused why it made your Top 5 Overrated movies of all-time.

    District 9 is the one I take most issue with. Once again, I happened to like it, but that’s just a matter of opinion. While it did get a Best Film nomination, they also doubled the size of the field from 5 to 10 this year – what film didn’t get one? Again, like Avatar, I think it’s a good, not great film. I happen to think it’s better than Avatar, but that’s just me. Saying it’s one of the most overrated of last year, or possibly even the decade… I could see that. But calling it one of the most overrated of all-time is a bit of a stretch in my book. The only other thing you mentioned about District 9 that I’d like to comment on was the choice of Johannesburg/South Africa as the location. I thought that was almost too obvious – it’s a clear allegory for the racial division and tensions that went on during Apartheid, so it made perfect sense (almost too much sense if you know what I mean) to choose that location. It was painfully obvious, which actually detracted from the film’s message in my mind.

    Quickly, here’s my top 5 most overrated of all time. Let me know what you think of them.

    5. The Dark Knight – blasphemy I know, but this movie is very good, not great. I was caught up in all the hype when it first came out too, and thought it was one of the best films I’d ever seen. Ledger is still amazing, the story is still great and the action is gripping, but let’s be honest – this does not deserve to be counted as the #12 best movie of ALL TIME! (current position on IMDB) – it’s great, just not THAT great.

    4. Titanic – at least this one has lost some of its luster over the decade or so since it came out, but my GOD – it won 7 fricking Oscars! That’s a mockery! This movie is above average AT BEST. It’s a shame that the incredibly talented duo of DiCaprio/Winslet had to work on this stupid movie because they clearly showed later on that they were capable of amazing things when given a script that wasn’t written by a 14-year-old girl. (see: Reservation Road)

    3. Braveheart – I know I’ll get skewered for this one, but come on, this is just not that good of a movie. It’s ridiculously long (you want to talk about length and pacing?) and horribly historically inaccurate. To make it worse, Mel Gibson turned William Wallace into basically just every other movie Mel Gibson has EVER DONE. Someone fucks with Mel’s family/money/pride/whatever, he gets pissed, goes out for revenge. See: Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Lethal Weapon, Payback, The Patriot, Edge of Darkness, etc. etc.

    2. Casino – This is taking Goodfellas, one of my personal favorites and what I consider to be an all-time great film, and dumbing it down while kicking up the violence another 3 notches from an already plenty violent enough movie. I was so disappointed when I got around to seeing this. I’ve seen it like 8 times – why I keep watching it, I’m not sure. It’s Scorsese trying to recapture the magic by doing a gangster film with DeNiro and Pesci again, but it just doesn’t work. People LOVE this movie, and I have no idea why, unless they’ve never seen Goodfellas. Once you’ve seen what a truly good Scorsese gangster movie looks like, I can’t bear to hear people talk about how great this movie is. It’s not.

    1. Scarface – yeah, you said it all on this one. I just don’t see why everybody likes it so much. It’s okay. It’s really violent and vulgar, so I guess that’s cool. But it’s just not that good. It’s pretty average in my book. I totally agree that this one has to be on anybody’s all-time most overrated movies.

    • Correction: Titanic won ELEVEN fricking Oscars! Even worse than I thought! I’m really tempted to move this one up the list, even though it seems like people have come to their senses and agreed that this is at best an average movie. It has a 7.4 rating on IMDB right now, I gave it a generous 7. It’s not a terrible movie, but the fact that it got so much Oscar attention still pisses me off. As if you couldn’t tell. The fact that it beat out As Good As It Gets, Good Will Hunting and even L.A. Confidential is an absolute crime.

      • All very very respectable arguments.

        You are putting yourself out there saying Braveheart. I actually saw it for the first time last week, right before I traveled to Scotland (Parents were kinda strict on ratings as a kid so I have catching up to do). Very long. I stayed with it fine though. And I was watching it with a Jewish guy who was just talking shit on Mel the whole time which was fun. I understand where your coming from with that though. It is a recurring character for Mel, but probably his best character out of them all. Too many cliche love and freedom lines though. Way too many.

        I didn’t include Titanic because I get it. It’s not shocking to me that it won those awards, and it hasn’t really stood the test of time that well so far. I don’t agree that it won those many awards, but I’m not surprised or upset that it did. It didn’t win any of the actor/actresses awards either.

        And like I said, probably is the genre with District 9. But in addition to the oscar nom, I don’t think I heard one bad thing about it from any reviews. And I just didn’t like it.

        Casino I disagree with. Maybe cus I’ve just seen it more recently, but I liked it better than Goodfellas. I thought DeNiro’s character was very different than other gangster characters in other movies.

        I enjoy your arguments and I do encourage you to listen to some good movie podcasts such as the Film Vault. Although I do find myself starting to think as they do at times.

  2. I like this a lot, but I feel that it’s highly unlikely two of the Top 5 most overrated movies of all-time were from the same year, even though I can see your arguments in both points. We’ve discussed Scarface before — “Everyone thinks having the poster in your room makes you an automatic badass.” — and I know part of you was thinking of Evan when you typed that.

    I do completely agree with you on District 9, as well. I really just didn’t see it at all (I guess, a personal preference, like James said). I wasn’t even at all impressed with it. In a time now where just about any movie has the opportunity to have cool visual effects with the right resources, you need something else to do it for me. I can’t even say that it was the Sci Fi that drove me away, because I can usually dig that stuff. Just to give you an idea of what I thought of it: I saw District 9 on a double feature with Kirn and Shute last year. We watched District 9 and then after it was finished, we quietly made our way to another auditorium to watch The Time Traveler’s Wife. Honestly, I have trouble deciding which movie I enjoyed more that day. THAT’s how little District 9 did for me.

    Sadly, I have never seen The Godfather, which is funny because it is my Dad’s all-time favorite movie and even he has it on DVD. I suppose I should watch it, or maybe not, considering your post.

    As for Chicago, I have never seen it and I will not waste my life on musicals. I was a choir boy in high school, but I still just hate musicals. But only if you don’t count Disney movies with the classic badass songs in them. I mean come on – The Bare Necessities from Jungle Book, Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid, A Whole New World from Aladdin, ANYTHING from The Lion King, etc. But, that’s an entirely different point.

    After writing that, I move that your next list should be “Top 5 Disney Songs.” Just kidding, but seriously.

    • That’s a great suggestion. It’ll be up soon.
      I do need to mix movie stuff with other stuff though, so maybe in a couple weeks I’ll do the disney movie one.

      Going to be some sad sad confessions because I haven’t seen every disney classic.

  3. The reason you probably didn’t enjoy Scarface for a simple reason: its a terrible movie. It would be at the top of my overrated list for sure.

    I would debate Avatar with you for this reason; doesn’t thins film have way too many naysayers in order to be considered overrated? Avatar has so many detractors writing against this movie and speaking against this movie and all making the same comments about it (dance with wolves in space! no story! etc etc) that I just don’t think it meets the definition.

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