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And now, the overrated movie list

Which is MY OPINION of overrated movies. MY OPINION. Not yours. So don't get your panties in a wad if your favorite movie is on this list. It's not MY READER'S LIST OF OVERRATED MOVIES. It's MINE.

  • Titanic
  • The Matrix
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Any Woody Allen movie besides Sleeper and Bananas
  • Ghost World
  • Forrest Gump
  • Cast Away
  • Casino
  • Gangs of New York
  • Virgin Suicides
  • Blair Witch Project
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Eyes Wide Shut
  • Scent of a Woman
  • Swingers
  • Lost in Translation
  • American Beauty
  • Scarface
  • Anchorman

I think I'll stop before I get carried away. Or maybe it's too late.

I started a "worst horror movies ever" list last week and never finished that. Maybe I'll just add that on to the pile today.

Original content? What's that?


How about anything nominated for best picture last year?

Oh, and I'd like to throw in a vote for Top Gun, that movie was pure cheese.

You're a snob.

Incorrect. Anchorman is hilarious.

Then it would be incorrect if it were YOUR opinion, but it's not.

I would include these on my list:

The English Patient
Moulin Rouge
Life Is Beautiful
The Remains of the Day

I'm not xenophobic, it's just that European films or films with European-y subjects tend to be overrated, I think. I do love Cinema Paradiso (the ending always makes me bawl, fragile flower of masulinity that I am) and Before Sunrise/Before Sunset (which features a pretentious American and Parisian, but they're a likeable, insecure kind of pretentious, dammit). Those two would probably make other people's overrated lists, but I like 'em.

Anchorman was probably the most seriously godawful movie I've seen in the last year. When my wife brought it home from Blockbuster, I made her promise I got to make the next five selections after sitting through that dreck.

You left Star Wars off the list...

(he said, just before looking for a quiet, out of the way forest moon to hide on for the rest of his damned, miserable, doomed to be hunted like a rat existence)

I think the spiderman series is the most overrated. Sure they were good but not amazing.

I'd have to throw in X-Men. X-Men 2 was better, though I think it comes from knowing 90% of the story going into the first movie.

The Blair Witch Project was the SUCK! That people took that movie even remotely seriously is a damning indictment on the human race. Oh, and Anchorman was my most recent recollection of paying $8 to yawn. Man that movie dumb.

Agree with Lost in Translation, American Beauty, Swingers, Scarface, & Moulin Rouge wholeheartedly (esp. American Beauty--the most inexplicably well received movie in years). I'd quibble with the likes of Titanic, Forrest Gump, etc. as I don't know anyone who thinks these movies are anything but wretched, regardless of their initial successes and Oscars thrown their way. Maybe I don't know the right people. Others like Eyes Wide Shut, Gangs of New York had a pretty mixed (to pretty negative) reception at the time. Not sure how overrated they are by most. They do both suck, though in occasionally interesting ways. Their defenders are usually unthinking acolytes of the directors involved. Where's Wicker Man? You hate that movie correct? It's reckoned a cult classic by many, so it would seem a prime candidate for inclusion.

Ghost World
Forrest Gump

Oh, thank you. Then it's not just me.

Anchorman was dreadful. I love dumb comedy and I love Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, but I gave up 30 minutes into it. Thirty laughless minutes into it.

Don't get the deal with Lost in Translation, either. Am I the only one who thinks Scarlett Johanson's idea of acting is simply to load up on quaaludes and look pensive?

I second The English Patient. That movie was pretentious, "look at what I can do with my camera" crap.

Oh, and it sucked.

Moulin Rouge: a punishing 2 1/2 hr music video

Ghost World: would have been great if it were about 45 min shorter

American Beauty: the effete literati's idea of what America is like

Scarface: too long, turns into an excuse for elegant slo-motion massacres

As for Woody Allen, the late great film critic Pauline Kael said of his 'serious' pics: "Isn't it awful that Woody Allen wants to be Ingmar Bergman when we're all SICK of Ingmar Bergman?"

Joel brings up an interesting point: "Others like Eyes Wide Shut, Gangs of New York had a pretty mixed (to pretty negative) reception at the time." Let me see if I understand Joel's thesis here -

Gangs of New York sucked hard, but the reviews I'd seen recognised it as sucking hard. So it wasn't overrated but correctly rated...

A similar argument holds for Eyes Wide Shut, which few outside the Kubrick fanclub will defend. I think it ends up on this list because this fanclub is predominant among film students and a certain class of critics, which make it seem more highly estimated than it actually is. But this movie came out with Episode I Star Wars, and there were plenty of grouchy critics willing to pee on Kubrick's tombstone over their disappointment with EWS as well. So it's hard to see it as having been given a particularly cheap ride.

Anyway I agree with Joel on GoNY and EWS being out of place, and with Joel's reasons for GoNY; but my argument against including EWS on this list is rather different.

I'm one of the Kubrick kool-aid customers (on this occasion anyway). EWS was slow-paced and hard to understand, but much faster-paced and more understandable than, say, 2001. One has every right to include Eyes Wide Shut on this list but I'd suggest inserting 2001 several layers over it.

[asshole spammer]


Those of you with blogs may want to ban that IP

Shakespeare in Love.



Full assent on the dreck-ridden "American Beauty."

"It's a Wonderful Life," conversely, is one of the greatest motion pictures ever made.

Just can't go with you on The Matrix, Ghost World, American Beauty, or Lost in Translation. I think you're guilty of reverse snobbery.

Ghost World: I thought it was a piece of pretentious, self-aware crap

American Beauty: I didn't hate it, I just don't think it was some great piece of filmmaking that belongs on GREATEST FUCKING THING EVER list. Look at the plastic baaaaaaaag!

Matrix: Thanks for the special effects. Now what the fuck are you talking about?

Lost in Translation: BOOOORRRINNNG.

I do take exception to Casino on your list. With DeNiro, Pesci and Stone all chewing the scenery makes it a fun one to watch. Besides, what other movie has a shotgun toting Don Rickels?

I'd disagree with you on Anchorman - you're entitled to your opinion of the movie (I enjoyed much of it, but it was definitely stupid and disjointed), but I'd question the premise that it was "rated" all that well by anybody. But maybe you're listening to different people.

I think I listened to too many teenagers on that one.

Anchorman: Generally favorable reviews per Metacritic.

I like Will Ferrell and had high hopes for the premise, but the only thing that made me laugh was him lifting weights shirtless in his slacks.

Recognizing that it is your list, a point I almost missed but then picked up when I read between the lines, I would have added "Ghost." If it were my list. Which it is not.

But I would have to agree with you there, Tiger.

So what you end up with is a bunch of nice little movies that are enjoyable in some way but got chewed up and spit out by the Hollywood hype machine. Plus Anchorman, which sucked. And Woody Allen, who sucks hard. I can't disagree with most. Forrest Gump, especially, a flick that can never be forgiven for stealing Pulp Fiction's Best Picture Oscar.

Personally, I would have put Napoleon Dynamite on this list, but then again it's not my list.

Thank you! There are no words to describe just how much Titanic sucked. But you forgot The Godfather, Part III (better known in my house as, "they should've shot Sophia Coppola in the first scene.")

I'd like to add the following:

The Talented Mr Ripley
Sideways (and any other Big Chill-type movie)

I enjoy most of those movies, but yeah, overraetd. It does my heart good to think that I'm not the only one who thinks that It's a Wonderful Life is overrated. Heck, it would have been a better movie if that damn angel had arrived 5 minutes later.

Funny, I agree with all your selections except Forest Gump. I saw it the first time without knowing a thing about it... never heard any hype before going. Was pleasantly surprised.

A Beautiful Mind (or whatever the hell that Russell Crowe thing was called)

Good Will Hunting

For that matter, ANYTHING that Ben Asslick..er..Affleck had anything to do with

Good list, except for Lost in Translation. It's authentic where the others are bogus and self-righteous.

Panties officially in a wad over inclusion of The Matrix and Moulin Rouge. I love those movies.

But then I'm a homo, and Moulin Rouge is definitely a flaming homo kind of movie.

Ugh, Lost in Translation! I watched that movie a year ago and I'm STILL waiting for the plot to pick up.

I thought Napoleon Dynamite was crap too.

I liked Napoleon Dynamite but do think it's overrated. I also agree with most on your list except Lost in Translation and Scarface. Love both those movies.

I second Shakespeare in Love and 2001: A Space Odyssey as being overrated as well.

Anyone else for Apocalypse Now?

Have to disagree with The Matrix, which was visually stunning and had a great concept. Luckily, Keanu's wooden acting was perfect for the role.

Scarface? "Say hello to my little friend.." Classic crime gore.

My wife (from Japan) hated Lost in Translation. The premise of a director who couldn't communicate with foreign talent was unbelievable. She thought it was mildly insulting. I wouldn't be quite so harsh, but it is definitely not on my list of movies to watch again.

I can't even remember the name of the worst movie I ever saw which was some mid 1960s stinker set in the Middle Ages where the main character gets killed at the end for basically no reason. Nihilist crap with no redeeming value. I think it was part of a double feature with Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, which was a good movie for its day.

Eyes Wide Shut: The most boring orgy scene in the history of cinema.

Godfather III would be on my list, too. It's the film where Al Pacino jumped the shark.

It's a Wonderful Life has been so overexposed that I can never see it again.

And Forest Gump? I tried watching it twice, both times I fell asleep. There will be no third time.

"Godfather III" One of the most painfully bad movies ever put to film. Sofia Coppola was a far better actor in the first Godfather. She was the infant being baptized as Michael Corleone's henchmen were blowing away all the family bosses.

The only film I have ever walked out of in my entire life - "Heartburn" with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. I went with my homeboy "Hambone" and we couldn't take it. Worst movie I've ever seen.

I hate that I'm only discovering this thread when it's several weeks old, but three minor points.

The Matrix was only good in that it presented a theory of human existance that is incredibly deep--that all that we experience is just in our minds. It wasn't nearly good enough, however, to spawn its cult-like following. But then, neither was Star Trek. Good, but not great.

Forrest Gump was fun, but not a "great movie."

Blair Witch was a movie that I honestly enjoyed. Was it overrated? Probably. It certainly wasn't something that would change the way we look at films, as it was hyped. The fact that it relied almost totally upon the imagination of the viewer for its content ensured that anyone who watched it would either love or hate it. Very few people think this was an "O.K." movie. To sum up, it would probably make both my "favorite" and "most overrated" lists, because the hype was totally in the wrong direction.

I've come to this site kind of late but I can really identify with those who think
American Beauty, Lost In Translation, Sideways, 2001(oh God I can't take this film!) and a whole host of other films shoved down our faces as some supposed "tour de force" or "The best film of the year" or some other tired accolade.