Top Five Most OVERRATED Movies Ever. Period.

8 Dec

This list is going to get me in trouble, if for no other reason than number three. I know that several of my friends will disown me for even suggeting it.

But, what’s the purpose of lists like these if not to generate controversy and discussion? So, into the breach. Here’s yesterday’s Top Five Most Underrated Movies, so you can have some basis for comparison.

Scent of a Woman (1992) – God awful. Tripe. Chris O’Donnell gets smaller and smaller throughout the entire movie as Al Pacino chews more and more of the scenery. This was the first flick that I noticed “The Pacino Technique”, in which an actor simply shouts key lines as a way of projecting emotion. Interestingly, Pacino has been stuck in that mode ever since. I think he passed the threshhold for audience’s tolerance with his awful performance in “Any Given Sunday” which would have made this list if anyone had considered it worth anything to begin with. On the plus side, “Scent” did give us an early glimpse into the gifts of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Titanic (1997) – this is a movie that has diminished as time passes despite the fond memories of its “brilliance”. The special effects are not-so-special now (this is strictly in reference to CGI shots; the set pieces remain some of the best artistry ever put on film) and the story, much maligned when the flick was released, is even worse now. This movie tapped into a momentary flux in the zeitgeist and became huge. Today it wouldn’t even pass muster as a Lifetime Movie of the Month. Well, okay – Lifetime would green-light it, but even that’s telling you something, if the silliness of their recent flick “12 Men of Christmas” is any indication of their selection skills.

Star Wars (1977) – I’m going to get killed on this one. I love Star Wars. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker when I was a kid. And when I was in high school. And college. But now, as a grown man and father, looking back on the storyline and dialogue – dear Lord, is there a wussier hero than Luke Skywalker? It took Yoda and a butt-whuppin’ for the blond haired one to become a real hero instead of a whiner and then he stepped into psycho by the time Jedi rolled around. So we get a total of five minutes that feature Luke as even remotely heroic. As a kid, I never understood why so many people identified with Han Solo; now, I wish the movie were told from his perspective alone.

King Kong (1933, 2005) – both the original and all of its remakes. Stop-motion monkeys and blue-screened scream queens do not captivating film make. And it gets even worse when Peter Jackson stretches out a thirty minute story (at best) to almost THREE FREAKING HOURS of tedium. I didn’t even go see this one on the big screen; I waited until someone in my circle of friends was silly enough to buy it, then borrowed it. On the plus side, though, let’s hear it for the T-Rex vs. King Kong fight scene in the movie’s early moments. That should have been the entire film right there; or Kong could have gone on to face other massive animals in sort of UFC fashion. That would have been cool to see.

Transformers (2007) – I wanted to love this movie, I really did. But Michael Bay let me down by focusing too much on Shia LaBeuf and the other irrelevant human beings. Why couldn’t they just tell the tale of the Autobots vs. Decepticons and let the machines be the stars? As it was, there was too few Transformers and too many human beings, specifically John Turturro, who must have done something horribly wrong in Hollyweird to have to take crap roles like this. What happened to the dynamic actor in Quiz Show? Where’d he go?


So there they are. What movies are missing? Which ones deserve to be here more? Leave a comment below to add to the discussion.


12 Responses to “Top Five Most OVERRATED Movies Ever. Period.”

  1. Eric December 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    I’ll agree with all of them, even the Star Wars pick, which I gasped at to begin with. But any movie that spawns its own religion ( ) can fittingly be called overrated.

  2. Brian December 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Okay so I have to agree with the Star Wars on Number Three only if you simply say that “A New Hope” was overrated, because Empire and Jedi are good movies (fitting since they were directed by other people). Now Episode 3 was a bust as far as I’m concerned because they did a poor job of telling the story. the Novelization of Revenge of the Sith is fantastic, probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

  3. Brian December 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    The Second transformers movie was even worse. It was pathetic reference back to the Original cartoon movie of the 1980’s that was even worse. really, why are my childhood toys cussing and humoing Megan Fox’s leg. It was a joke and I really would like my money back. Perhaps I will send it back to the studio that relased it with a box of my own fecal matter.

    • Brian December 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

      Sorry, typos in the last comment. it should say “humping” and “released”

    • Jason December 8, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

      Wow, I thought it sucked, but man! That takes it to a whole ‘nother level…

  4. P.C. Frailey December 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    I can’t grant you that Scent of a Woman, Transformers or King Kong are overrated. Nobody ever said they were all that great, and none were exceptionally successful at the box office or in rentals/sales. I agree that none of those movies are great, but I think most people would say the same thing. How can that be overrated?

    As for Titanic, if you go by box office gross, then this wins, hands down, as the most overrated movie of all time (though adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind gives it a real run for its money, both financially, and critically). But comparing ratings of “Titanic” to “Scent of a Woman” on the Internet Movie Database reveals that the movies both rate relatively low (both in the low 7s, or nearly 73%). Titanic was a hit for all kinds of reasons, but it was never because it was a great movie (it’s not even a good movie).

    Star Wars is set up pretty easy to be the most overrated movie of all time, but primarily because of the fanboy love for it. Anything loved this much almost has to be overrated. Deep down in places most Star Wars nerds won’t want to admit, they identified with Luke because he was so whiny, and weak. They loved the idea that the force could be strong with one like them. I take issue with the idea that the story is weak; most people only point out plot holes and other failures after thirty years to think on them. The fact that some of those are so obvious, and yet were still overlooked at least goes to the effectiveness of the way the story was told. Say what you want about it, people definitely bought in. That said, I can’t argue with you that it is likely one of the five most overrated films of all time, but that doesn’t make it a bad film.

    For what it’s worth, my top 5 overrated films would be (in no particular order):

    “The Shawshank Redemption” – Again, not a bad movie, just undeserving of the exceptionally high praise it gets. Tim Robbins is a grating actor who somehow managed to not kill this film for me, but I can’t say that I love it. Regardless, that isn’t why this movie is overrated; go look at IMDB’s top 250 movies sometime. This one tops the list…really? Better than “The Godfather?” Better than “Casablanca?” Even in a similar genre, better than “Cool Hand Luke?” Please. Overrated.

    “Gone With the Wind” – Like Titanic, a mega-hit that relied on big budget special effects, but this one benefited from an era that left little competition to oust it as king of the box office.

    “Caddyshack” – This one might surprise you because, well, who rates this movie high in the first place, right? Still, Cadyshack is almost always listed as a classic comedy. Why? For the dozen or so one-liners? Certainly not for Rodney Dangerfield…or at least I hope not. Please don’t let it be for the Baby Ruth scene.

    “Star Wars” – for the reasons I’ve outlined above.
    “Titanic” – As I said before, I can’t argue with this one.

  5. Ryan Brooks December 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    ok, I know that as soon as i type this that’ll i’ll be disembowled in some of your minds. Here is my top 5:
    1) Deliverance – I never saw how this movie was considered great. acting good, but just an overall sucky plot
    2) Pulp Fiction – i know, i know. This movie was a star studded film packed with comedic-realism, but honestly, the plot and overall storyline could have been summed up in about 20-30 minutes. But it had a damn good soundtrack.
    3) Indiana Jones – Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved these films, except Crystal Skull. I own all of them, except CS. Action was great and dry humor was satisfying, yet again the plot in all of the flicks was redundant and could have been much better with some tweaking.
    4) Shawshank Redemption – everything Senor Frailey stated. I’m with you bro!
    5) The Sixth Sense – M. Night Shylaman actually made a good movie out of nothing with this one. Once you get past Bruce Willis’ horrifying hair, you are able to see great bones, no pun intended, to a yet empty movie. A kid sees ghosts and some don’t know that they are ghosts and he tries to help them. Hopefully we all saw the outcome after the kid stated that line. I remember saying in the theater as we saw the film, “Bruce is a ghost and don’t know it and i want my money back.”

    So go ahead, pluck my eyes out with needles and poke my skin with a hot poker and tell me how wrong I am. Its ok, I’m not listening anyways. lol

    • Jason December 14, 2009 at 10:29 am #

      All of the Indy movies? Really? All of them? Wow. That’s ballsy…

      Pulp Fiction I’ll give ya, the Sixth Sense too – neither holds up very well for me after multiple re-watches.

      But I still like Shawshank, if only for the Morgan Freeman narration. You can’t beat that.

  6. sue kelly February 12, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Sometimes you have to remember the time period the film was made. When Star Wars came out it was the first, the beginning. The acting was a bit thin but an overall good story.

    Scent of a Woman – I just actually saw this one. There could have been more to it, but I love those speeches that put people in their place, speaking up for whats right or the underdog. I would have liked to see more of Chris O’Donnell

    I definitely agree with you on Titanic King Kong and

  7. Mister JT May 23, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    You bash Al Pacino’s performance, but praise Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s bit part?

    Hoffman played the role of a spoiled brat. It wasn’t a difficult role for a young actor. He hardly had any screen time, yet you claim his role showed an “early glimpse into the gifts of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.”

    You might dislike Al Pacino’s yelling. You could say that “The Pacino Technique” doesn’t work in a lot of his recent films, but his style certainly works for “Scent of a Woman.”

    “Scent of a Woman” is not an overrated movie, and definitely not worthy of being in the top 5 overrated list.

    • Jason May 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      Great point about Hoffman having the easier role to connect with based on age. I’d never considered that. But I do think that Hoffman exuded a different kind of smarmy, one that really connected with the audience. I mean, most of the people I know that have seen that movie really hated his character, and that’s saying something when you can get rational people to really hate a fictional character.

      But Pacino chews scenery, and chews it with gleeful aplomb. It may work for awhile, but it becomes tiresome and drags down the movie. He, and the movie, are overrated, but I think you have some really insightful and strong points. Thanks for the reply!

      • Kelly April 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

        Whoo-aaah! 🙂

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