There’s always been a push in criticism to be the one who stands against the crowd. It appears that the word ‘criticism’ has become something wholly negative when it should be intimately linked to the word ‘judge’. Well, in the spirit of contemporary criticism, we’re going to join in on the fun and tell you why the films you think are great are actually not. We’re sure this is going to be a fun exercise for everyone. For the most part, we love film. Without exaggeration, every highly rated film that isn’t on this list is one that we believe should be highly rated. The 15 films that we’ve included herein, in our most humble opinion, should not be. In the age of aggregate movie rating sites, what qualifies as highly rated can be muddled. Take Rotten Tomatoes, for example. If a movie is fresh, that simply means that more people enjoyed the film than hated it. While seeing a number as high as 90% might give the illusion that the film is worthy of nine out of 10 stars, that is not the case. But, we’ll deal with that when we get to it.
So, what makes a movie overrated? How does it get to that point? In our minds, some of the biggest contributing factors are genre, audience, and precedent. By precedent, we mean sequels and perceived originality. Each of these factors influence critics and fans when judging a movie. We’re not free from these influences either. Hell, we enjoyed The Hobbit films largely because we loved Lord of the Rings. It just so happens that we are somewhat free from these influences when it comes to the movies on this list. If you like these films, which you very likely do, you are bound to disagree with us. That’s allowed. You probably hate plenty of movies we like too. No more talk. Let’s make some friends. Here are 15 Recent Films That Are Wildly Overrated and Why.
15. Doctor Strange
With a powerful cast, an interesting concept, and the millions and millions of loyal and dedicated fans behind it, Doctor Strange was bound to be a hit before it even hit theaters. But, here’s the thing. It wasn’t all that great. Don’t get us wrong. It was a fine film. It had moments of fun and it was visually beautiful, but the entire thing felt rushed and, at times, ham-fisted. There was an absence of the quality humor which has made the other MCU films such huge successes, and the story played out pretty much exactly as everyone expected. If Inception had not already been made, this might have been the most visually stunning film ever, but is that enough for the supremely high ratings this film has received? Not in our minds. If this was not in the MCU, we bet it would have been scored much lower.
14. Love & Friendship
When you consider Love & Friendship before watching it, you might wonder how effective a comedy based on Jane Austen’s story, Lady Susan, could be for modern audiences. Can this be accessible to the average movie fan? Well, apparently, judging by the reviews, this is not only successful, but it’s one of the greatest comedies ever made. Let’s back up, though. Go back to your initial concerns. You were right to wonder about those things because they are founded. This movie is just as dry and slow-paced as you might imagine a Jane Austen adaptation to be. The comedy is so high brow, you might only laugh if you have your pinkie finger extended. To say that this is a good film is acceptable. We will also say that Kate Beckinsale is fantastic in it. We will not say anything more than that.
13. Alien: Covenant
Call us traditionalists if you like, but the thing that made Alien so successful was that it was a claustrophobic horror film in space. Aliens came around and transformed the franchise into an action franchise, and no one has ever tried taking it back to its roots. While Alien: Covenant might help answer some of the mind-numbing questions we were left with after Prometheus, it does nothing else. It doesn’t add anything new to the franchise and, although it is fun at times, it’s rather dreary and depressing overall. This one has the lowest ratings of all the films on this list, so it’s not going to be winning any major awards outside of effects, but people are saying that this might rejuvenate the franchise. If anything, Covenant was the last twitch of a long-dead, once-beautiful corpse.
12. The Fits
This film has been called perfect on several occasions. Many critics have The Fits up on their best of 2016 lists. But, few can explain why they enjoy it. Sure, there’s an aestheticism to the film that makes it feel new and original, points for that. The young star, Royalty Hightower, is wonderfully talented, more points. It doesn’t beat you over the head with metaphor or lead you by the hand with narrative, more points. But it loses points in its accessibility. It feels alien and unapproachable. The concept is high; so high that many viewers struggle to know what’s even happening or what has happened. By the end, it feels unfinished and we feel unsatisfied.
11. Lights Out
We won’t be too hard on Lights Out because it doesn’t have insanely high ratings. Besides, it’s short and inexpensive and was made from extending a short film into a feature. No one expected miracles. Still, the film’s real effectiveness ends as soon as it starts. There is really no story here and no character growth. It’s just a simple concept that was scary in a short. Someone got the idea that people will pay to see a feature film of this, and they tried to make it into something more than it was. The project was not successful but the film was, if that makes any sense. People watched it and enjoyed it and rated it quite high on most aggregate sites, but don’t confuse this for something it’s not. This is not a great film. It’s not even a scary film, which is unfortunate for a horror movie.
10. The Jungle Book
Visually, The Jungle Book might be the greatest film of the last decade. There is so much to love about the use of CGI in this film. It felt seamless and real in a way that we’ve never seen before. But, when you consider that this film has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 7.7/10, we have to throw up a stop sign. How is this movie that good? The story wasn’t all that engaging and the splicing of old songs into a grittier and darker storyline left it feeling jarring as if two different movies were forcefully mashed in together as one. Without holding anything back, once you got used to the incredible images on screen, this film was pretty boring. Are people giving it the benefit of the doubt because it’s a kid’s movie? Well, even if we are, it’s still overrated.
9. The Lego Batman Movie
There seems to be two schools of thought surrounding The Lego Batman Movie. One is that this is a mind-blowing addition to the Batman franchise, some even going so far as saying this is the BEST Batman movie. The other school of thought is that this is a mind-blowing sequel to a movie that surprised the hell out of everyone, The Lego Movie. The common ground is that this movie is mind-blowing. Well, we disagree with everything there. If another film was ever so jam-packed with references that it became nothing more than a muddled mess of tongue-in-cheek fanboyisms, it would be ridiculed. But this one is applauded for doing just that. Secondly, this sequel pales in comparison to the genre-busting original. It’s a fine sequel, but it’s like most other sequels in that it is not as good. It’s an insult to the first film to suggest otherwise.
There’s a lot to like in Jackie, particularly Natalie Portman‘s performance. The issue is that in a film that receives as much critical praise as Jackie did, we should like everything. We did not. This film was dreadfully slow-paced in several areas. The second act was so slow that it felt as if we were being dragged over hot coals. There may have been a method to the madness, pacing the movie so deliberately that we marinate in the grief and the feeling of the film, but we didn’t feel it. Should Portman have received all the praise she did? Yes. We believe that is rightly placed. We just don’t see how so many people enjoyed this film so thoroughly.
Sully is a fine film… just fine. It plays out exactly as you expect it to and it hits all the beats it should, almost as if the screenwriters had a template that they were filling in as they went along. The problems with this film is that almost all the tension is forced. There are moments in this film that we are expected to feel suspense but instead, we feel physical pain because our eyes are rolling so hard into the back of our skulls. For instance, there is a woman who cuts her ankle. The camera tracks this closely so, based on our experience in watching film, we are led to believe that she’s probably going to die from this cut. She doesn’t. It’s just a cut that needs a small band-aid. Then, there’s a father and son that are split up and the father is losing his mind trying to find his boy even though he knows full well that every single passenger is safe and sound. While this might sound dramatic, it’s not. The son is like 35 years old. It’s tough making a film about an event that everyone knows about. It’s even tougher when the stakes are not high at all.
6. Sausage Party
There are moments in Sausage Party that are so smart and clever. There are also some laughs that are deep-bellied and genuine. The rest is kind of an uncomfortable chuckle or a “ha, yeah that’s kind of funny.” The film deserves a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and honestly, it’s not like a 6.8 average rating screams greatest film ever, but too many people were talking about this film after it came out and too many people throwing praise on it for its little quirks. We don’t see the appeal, and we love the creators. At least, we love most of the work they do, but we can acknowledge when high concept doesn’t quite land on its mark. It’s likely that this would have been a very high-quality short that was stretched into a feature. There are times when that translation doesn’t quite work out. Oh, that reminds us.
5. John Wick: Chapter 2
Every once in a while, a movie like John Wick comes around and changes the game a little. In that surprising film, we saw humanity in an unsavory character that we were drawn to it like a moth to a flame. The fighting and shootouts were quick with no unnecessary sizzle. It was extremely effective. Then, the sequel came out and people were raving that it was better than the first. It got better reviews and better ratings. But, we don’t seriously believe that the sequel is a better film, do we? Everything we liked about the character of John Wick in the first was erased. The fighting was much more choreographed and the storyline was nonsense. We enjoy turn-your-brain-off action flicks as much as the rest of the population, but we would never do something crazy like suggest this is a better film than the first. It’s not and isn’t even close.
4. Guardians Of The Galaxy
To see it through the eyes of movie reviewers and the online community, the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy should be one of the best movies in the franchise. While we enjoyed the film, we did not ever come close to loving it. In fact, we were kind of bored by it all. It was just so predictable, and the script was too reliant on childish humor that never really hit home. Sure, Drax was hilarious, but we can’t seem to find very much love in our hearts for Peter or Rocky. They were both more irritating than we usually like from our stars. There were some great high moments in the film and some real laugh-out-loud jokes, but the ending was like a punch to the face from everyone’s least favorite relative. Was the dance party supposed to be funny or cute? It was neither. It made the movie feel even more like it was designed for 12-year-olds. More than it already did before that, it cheapened the entire journey.
Right off the hop, we want to say that we really like Raw. We thought it was executed well and dealt with it’s feminine and bodily concerns in an interesting way. Here’s the issue. It wasn’t long into the film that we saw where it was headed. That’s because we had seen something very similar before. Even worse, this similar film that we had already seen, Ginger Snaps, was a better movie. We have no qualms about people rating this film well; it deserves it. We do take some issue when people suggest that it’s one of the greatest modern horror films ever made. Many have it ranked very high on their list of the best films of the year. Come on. It’s a neat little film, but it’s not earth-shattering in any way. This concept has been done before and done extremely well.
Just wait. Quiet your rage trembling and hear us out. Deadpool is a good movie. We just can’t see how it could ever be as good as people think it is. Perhaps this has to do with all the buzz and lead-up for the film. Maybe fans were so enthralled by the concept that they overlooked any flaws in the film. But, people are taking it a little overboard with all the Deadpool love. We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Deadpool was one of the most popular boy names in 2016. Again, good movie. But, was the outrage that Deadpool didn’t get an Oscar nomination really necessary? For a self-referential and totally-aware film and film hero, the movie sure played out exactly the way every other superhero movies have. Hopefully, they throw in a few curveballs in the sequel or this shtick could get tired awfully quick.
1. La La Land
There is definitely something to be said for how expectations change our opinion of a film, but hype is all part of critique. We can’t avoid the hype, so we can’t discount it either when it contributes to our feelings about a movie. We’re quite aware that the hype that propped up La La Land is partly why we believe it to be overrated. People were pegging this movie to sweep the award season (they weren’t far off). They were saying that it hearkened back to an age of musicals that has long since disappeared. Sure, we can buy that. They were calling this film the greatest musical of all time. Really? Let’s slow down a bit. This might not even be the best musical of the year. Sing Street was considerably more enjoyable. Listen. Like many films in here, we like this one. Do we think it deserved all that Academy Award buzz and the insanely high ratings everywhere? Not at all.
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