Everybody has an opinion, especially when it comes to entertainment. Fans have their opinions. Critics have their opinions. Like we said, everybody has an opinion. Sometimes, those opinions differ.
But with some movies, there is no debate to be had. Some movies are just universally embraced by fans and critics alike right out of the gate. We call these movies “classics.” But does every movie that gets the lofty “classic” label actually deserve it? We argue that, sometimes, they most certainly do not.
Here are the 10 most overrated movies of all-time, in our opinion…
There’s no denying that Avatar was a grand achievement…in special effects. But much like a stellar light show at a concert by an otherwise shitty band, CGI isn’t enough to compensate for a three-hour borefest of a movie. At it’s heart, that’s what Avatar is.
Sure, there’s some pretty epic battle scenes near the end, but they weren’t enough to make up for the dull, two-hour love story that leads up to them. We’ve seen that movie before, it was called Titanic. And, honestly, even that bathroom break-friendly period piece was easier to sit through, Celine Dion theme song and all. How this ever got nominated for Best Picture will forever remain a mystery to us.
9. Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is a lot like Nirvana’s Nevermind. At the time, it shook the world and seemed like a revolution. Now, it’s just an average work that speaks more to the overwhelming less-than-averageness of everything it was competing against.
Pulp Fiction today plays like a disjointed series of tales forced to uneasily tie together at some point, with a whole bunch of shock and gore thrown in for the sake of shock and gore alone. Just as Nirvana would eventually make a real masterpiece a few years later (1993′s In Utero), Tarantino has done much better work. But, just like Nirvana and Nevermind, this is the one he’ll always be most remembered for, and that’s a shame.
8. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Award nominations can sometimes be a good indicator of the quality of a movie, but they can also be a good indicator of an overrated movie. Take Raiders of the Lost Ark, for example. In 1982, the film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won four awards, in the following categories:
- Best Sound
- Best Film Editing
- Best Visual Effects
- Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Much like Avatar, this wasn’t a film propelled to classic status on the strength of the story. It was just a technological marvel by 1982 standards that had the added bonus of Harrison Ford’s off-the-charts charisma on board to carry an otherwise unremarkable script to the promised land.
Once again, a classic example of style over substance. Inception was gorgeous to look at, but we’re still trying to figure out exactly what it was that we watched. Did the central drama in the movie really revolve around Leonardo DiCaprio trying to get back to the United States to be reunited with his kids? We’re no scientists, but hasn’t the technology that would allow old man Caine to bring his kids TO HIM been invented already? You don’t need Juno to erect a dream maze to solve that problem. Book a flight and call it day.
6. Lord of the Rings (All of Them)
Sometimes, the book is better than the movie. Scratch that, the book is almost ALWAYS better than the movie. And any Tolkien geek worth his weight in virginity will attest to the fact that the Lord of the Rings trilogy translates far better on paper than it does on the big screen.
We understand that it had to happen, but did it have to happen in such a pretentious way? Yeah, probably. We’re just glad it’s all over now.
First of all, aside from the first ten minutes or so, this movie doesn’t even take place in Fargo. But that’s just a minor complaint on our part. Our real gripe is that, while it was a slightly entertaining story, the plot of Fargo is a wholly unbelievable one. Masking the hack story telling in quirky Nordic accents was a nice touch, but at the end of the day, this movie should have been called Hey, Look, People From Minnesota Are Funny!
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Jack Nicholson playing a crazy person? No. This is Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson, just like he does in every movie. It’s considered one of his greatest roles because it’s one of his first roles that people remember. He’s been doing the same thing ever since, it’s just that, when this turd of a movie was released, it was fresh and interesting. When viewed in the context of all of his other identical performances, it’s just another hammy Nicholson character. Big deal.
3. On the Waterfront
Talk about a movie in need of a gritty reboot. Cinema snobs would likely cry bloody murder at the thought, but if any movie could benefit from being retooled to appeal to the sensibilities of the moder moviegoer, it’s On the Waterfront. Kill the black and white, ratchet up the violence and sit back and enjoy the benefits of a great story finally receiving the visual treatment it deserves.
2 . LA Confidential
Look, we love graphic violence as much as the next man, but it’s no reason to fawn over a movie like it’s the second coming of Deer Hunter. This movie succeeds by deftly inserting brutal scenes of murder and assault at just the right moment to make you forget that, without them, you’d be bored to tears. And it also made Russell Crowe a household name, a sin beyond forgiveness.
1. Star Wars (All of Them)
Sorry nerds, your beloved Star Wars may have rocked the world in the 70s and 80s. But it’s 2011, and this shit has not aged well. We understand it’s tantamount to treason to say it, but we’d rather watch the damn prequels at this point. At least Jar Jar Binks looked kind of real with the added benefit of modern technology. That’s more than we can say for Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian.