Overrated is a term that seems to be given to television shows, films, and Lebron James for some reason, but it’s the middle option that I want to highlight this time around because let’s face it, movies are always going to be subjective. Overrated does not mean a film is bad nor does it mean a film is great. In this case, “overrated” simply means, to me, that a film is loved by most people other than myself. I do not personally hate these films at all, but I do admit these are hyped up way more than I think they deserve as far as pure entertainment.
After trying to figure out what I truly consider overrated, I looked at some lists online only to become a constant flux of angry, humored, and disappointed at what films ended up on these poorly conceived and written lists. I refuse to disrespect these films that I am putting on this Top 10 because I love movies too much. Like most art, even if I don’t see the greatness through the scenes, many other people loves these films and I want to respect that.
10. The Big Lebowski (1998): Many cinema nerds praise this film for being one of the most thought out and well written stories in film, but not me. I love the Coen Brothers and what they’ve brought to Hollywood and The Dude is one of the most iconic film characters of all time. For me, The Big Lebowski is boring and over-hyped with some solid dialogue, but not enough to make it this phenomenon like everyone clamors for it to be.
9. The Matrix (1999): I credit The Matrix every time action films come into discussion because of what it did for the ideas and style of most modern day action movies. Bringing us bullet time action sequences along with the ideas of man and machine merging in post-apocalyptic worlds, The Matrix is something worth applauding, but even with all this, it doesn’t hit me like it does other people. I don’t think the CGI holds up exceptionally well and I am not as emotionally vested into the story or characters like people claim to be.
8. Shakespeare in Love (1998): Once again, this is not a bad movie, but the overrated tag was stamped onto this film once I realized that this took the Best-Picture Oscar from Saving Private Ryan. This is a bias pick to most, and that’s fair, but once you go back to the film, you realize the lack of replay value it has. It’s seems to go on and on with that updated Shakespearean era charm that loses luster after an hour in. It’s got the laughs you can appreciate for most of the film with a respectable story, but when I learned people liked this more than Saving Private Ryan my thought was “Well it’s not that good!”
7. The Hurt Locker (2008): I have to give credit where credit is due, Kathryn Bigelow made this sharply done film on only $11 million dollars (insert shocked face here). It won Best-Picture and brought us some incredibly well done shots, but for a film you thought would be about war like we’re used to seeing it turns out to be a bit slower than many fans would have wanted and that’s what happened to me. I will never knock what the film is, but this is on so many lists of “the best” and there are far too many other war films that I’d consider far superior to this one, including another film Bigelow did, and that was Zero Dark Thirty.
6. Gravity (2013): A film that boasts incredibly intricate and groundbreaking detail and technological advancements for film, but lacks in a compelling and heart grabbing story. This is a film more enticing by the visuals than the story and that style over substance hurts the film tremendously in my eyes. Without a story, how does a film truly become a full blown masterpiece? I tend to believe it doesn’t, but it came close, but not close enough.
5. Frozen (2014): Enough with the songs, enough with the stamps of “one of the best animated films of all-time” crap, and enough of the wannabe feminists claiming this was a landmark for female characters in cinema, Mulan, Pocahontas, Brave, Mary Poppins, and every Hayao Miyazaki film would be highly insulted with these claims. I appreciate the warmth (no pun intended) felt through little girls across the world and I want that to continue, but come on folks, this wasn’t a film worth all the praise beyond the previously named features, right?!
4. A Christmas Story (1983): Every year around — you guessed it — Christmas I roll my eyes and drown my angst in a mug of hot cocoa with whipped cream until the 24-hour rerun of this movie turns off. When I think of Christmas films, I imagine stop-motion movies. The Polar Express, Elf, Harry Potter, and other classics like Miracle on 34th Street from 1947, but never am I excited for A Christmas Story and Ralphie going through his annual shlub of mishaps while he waits for a stupid BB gun. I never liked it as a kid and I don’t like it now. If you want to rerun a movie for 24-hours, make it Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation.
3. Up (2009): Everything Pixar does is gold and I will stand by that until they make a piss poor movie. Up is overrated because of a few simple things: 1. the main reason most people like the movie is because of the intro 2. I don’t recall most of the rest of the film 3. and because no one else seems to remember much beyond the first scenes. We love the heart ripping emotion of the first scenes and I am right there with ya, but a great film has far more than just one scene.
2. Inception (2010): Christopher Nolan at times makes films that can be seen as pretentious or “too smart” for some people and normally I would disagree, but this is the film that makes me think he is trying to hard to be smart. Do not tell me I don’t comprehend his intellect or the stories plot either, I grasp it perfectly, maybe even better than fans of the film, and that’s what makes me look at it with squinted eyes. The cast is great and the story is original enough, but I can’t go back to this film feeling “over” the hype and the ceiling fights. It’s a great contributor to film and pop culture and has it’s place, but it’s not as high on my list.
1. Ted (2012): This was a great idea with poor execution. Family Guy is one of my most beloved adult cartoons in history, but the phenomena that was/is Ted kills me inside every time I hear someone bring it up. The jokes fall flat and do not hold up as funny as time goes on. What makes great comedy is the heart that coincides with the laughs in between. What I was given instead was Family Guy humor in a live-action setting that takes a really dark and twisted turn by the third act of the film along with unsettling drama that I didn’t want from a film like this. The quotes are overdone and forced to a point that I’ve seen those who claim to like the movie, force the lines at me, and it hurts.