Everyone has different tastes in movies. That is not an opinion; it’s a fact. We all have a friend who inexplicably loves a movie that is known as “the worst.” We also all have that friend who hates a movie we all know as “the best.” But who gets to decide what the worst and best movies are? Who is creating that opinion for us? Is there a committee somewhere voting? No. It’s just loud people on the Internet who choose, which isn’t right. We should all get a say in what we like and what we don’t like. So how is it a common fact that some movies (most which a majority of people haven’t seen) are bad? More importantly, what about those movies that are decidedly good?
People say things all the time like “Well if you don’t like The Godfather you don’t like movies.” Why is that? There is no other form of art where we think this. There are very few people saying that if you don’t like Adele you don’t like music, or if you don’t like tomatoes you don’t like food. This general idea of what movies are good and what movies are bad has become so prominent in our lives that it isn’t unthinkable to see a fist fight go down because someone prefers Iron Man 2 over The Avengers. We rate movies we have never seen purely on reputation, and that’s never fair. We should make up our own mind and stop putting weight into what strangers tell us is good or bad. There are plenty of movies that are known to be great, but a lot of people don’t like. Here are 20 of the most overrated movies of all time.
20 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Harry Potter is a generation defining series, and the 8 movies have made more than $7 billion. Obviously. the franchise is doing a lot right. While they are all enjoyable, some of the Harry Potter films had glaring issues. Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince always seem to take a hefty chunk of the criticism, while fans and critics alike revere the 2-part Deathly Hallows. Whatever your opinion is, it’s tough to deny that The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was one giant fight scene. With ample amount of budget and time, it’s baffling what we did not see. How did they cut the scene where Percy returns? Or when Fred dies? Or when Harry punches a dude in the face for Professor McGonagall? The changes didn’t take away from the story, but when it comes to a great adaptation of book to movie, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 falls a little flat.
19 The Wolf of Wall Street
Sex, drugs, and the stock exchange: Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street has got it all! While the movie is heralded for the incredible performances given by the entire cast, the overwhelming crudeness along with the excessive drug use was a major turn off for a lot of moviegoers. For those who weren’t offended by the content, the 3-hour run time was a bit off-putting. While many critics put this movie on their “best of the year” lists, numerous fans had a much different view ultimately giving the film a C grade on CinemaScore.com. To put it in perspective, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip got an A. The movie is great, but audiences need to know what they’re getting into before turning it on.
The Broadway musical turned movie was so well received that for the next 10 years producers tried to recreate the magic. During Oscar season we were treated to movies like The Producers, Dreamgirls, and Hairspray. None of these got the same acclaim as Chicago, which took home a slew of major awards including Best Picture. This movie doesn’t hold up, and really feels like a novelty at best. The dances are no longer impressive and the plot line is dry and clichéd (as it was in 2003). The movie received so much acclaim because it was significantly different than the other movies that had been winning recently. Previous winners had been darker movies that always seemed to end with the lead character dying. Obviously that’s a bit far off from the plot of Chicago.
When we were 13 and this movie came out, it was the coolest thing that had ever happened. Seriously Zach Snyder has made a career out of how cool we thought this movie was at the time. On future views, once we grew up a bit, this movie retains little of the charm that it once had. The fight scenes stay epic, but the rest of the movie is a downright mess. The plot makes no sense and was so far from being historically accurate that it forces the question “why pretend that it was, Snyder?” If you want to watch super muscular guys fight for a couple hours then go ahead and watch this movie, but if you want to watch something with any substance, don’t.
This movie somehow won Best Picture in 2004, and that still baffles us. 5 different movies were favored to win the Oscar, yet the drama about racism shockingly walked away with the biggest prize of the year. The problem is that the movie isn’t that good. The plot is confusing and is filled with over the top stereotypes and poorly constructed characters. And Ludacris, which is awesome. It’s hard to say this movie was overrated, because most people didn’t even seem to notice it until after it somehow got the Oscar. Now it is forever talked about with the greats, not because of the quality of the movie, but because the little gold statue that it was given.
15 Napoleon Dynamite
Oh the awkwardness. This movie shot Jon Heder to near stardom for a few years. The tater tot eating dork danced his way into our hearts as he unsuccessfully tried to woo classmates and ran a student presidential campaign. It was fun, but we all got over the joke pretty quickly. This movie became overrated from people shoving it down the public’s throats for the past 12 years. A video game was made 3 years after the film’s release, and an animated show came out (and was cancelled) in 2012. If the studio were to have let this movie die as nature intended, we would all be better from it.
14 Super Size Me
One of the most iconic documentaries of all time, Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me follows the director on his quest to… die by fast food? For a month Spurlock only ate at McDonald's to show the ramification that it has on the human body, and according to him, it will kill you. We aren’t gonna sit here and tell you that Micky-D’s is a healthy restaurant, but it’s hard to believe that a month of it causes kidney failure and the inability to get an erection. Since the movie was released, numerous critics have come out saying that Spurlock lied about how often he was eating, his caloric intake, and the negative side effects that he dealt with. Numerous people attempted the same diet and claimed to have lost weight. Filmmaker, Tom Naughton, even released a counter movie, Fat Head, where he goes on a similar diet just to disprove Super Size Me. After presented with the information, it’s hard not to question Spurlock’s honesty. Now who wants a Big Mac?
13 Paranormal Activity
It was a great idea, but Paranormal Activity just doesn’t have what it takes to be a good horror film. Every new movie leads to the question “will this one scare us?” The inevitable answer is “no.” The movie ripped off The Blair Witch Project by using a handheld camera and then the producers decided that it would be enough to scare even the biggest horror fans. Take away the lighting and the shaky cam, and you’re left with a movie about a family who hasn’t noticed a ghost haunting one woman for the past 20 years. Seriously, why won’t anyone help her? And how come it’s only now that the ghost is evil? Someone really should have thought about what this movie was about instead of just putting a night vision camera in a bedroom.
Isn’t Wall-E just the most adorable little robot ever? His clumsy charm and Pokemon-like ability to only say his own name makes for a fantastic movie protagonist for kids and adults. That is until you really think about him. Wall-E either watched (uncaringly) as all his robot companions died or he is the victor in a global fight to the death for spare parts. Wall-E is sentient; he can make friends, has feelings and has the ability to fall in love. Yet we watch as he pries the eyes off of dead robots that are scattered across his city, and saves them for later use. Wall-E is not mentally stable; he is a psychopathic serial killer who rains destruction at every turn. If the creators were to replace Wall-E with a human being the movie would possibly be the most disturbing 2 hours in cinematic history.
11 Dumb and Dumber
1994 gave us Jim Carrey. Yeah, he had his time on TV, but in 1994 he starred in The Mask, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Dumb and Dumber. These were all blockbuster level movies that all spawned just terrible sequels. Dumb and Dumber is no different. The classic comedy about two idiots that want to give some woman her briefcase has a large following that demanded new movies for the past 20 years. It’s too bad none of them showed up to actually see those sequels. We loved Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels at first, but upon a second watch it became apparent that the once “clever” jokes do not stand the test of time, and the audience may find itself rooting against the dimwits on their quest.
The movie’s popularity is the reason that it is so overrated. The franchise should have died after Liam Neeson was able to find and kill his daughter’s kidnappers. It wasn’t until the second and third sequel that we found out he failed, and in a big way. The movie has plenty of great action and a well thought out (though highly improbable) plot, so it was definitely worth the watch. However, when you factor in that it’s the first part of a trilogy it just means Neeson didn’t finish the job. As a side note, both sequels are not overrated; they were both bad from the beginning.
9 Spirited Away
Spirited Away is here, not because it was a bad movie, but because it is remembered as Hayao Miyazaki’s greatest work when in reality it was just his opening to America. Miyazaki is one of the most prolific directors of all time, but in the United States he basically only receives praise for the 2002 Oscar winner, even though it won the Oscar over a weak crop of other animated movies like Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Treasure Planet. Miyazaki’s portfolio is full of fantastic movies and saying Spirited Away is the best is almost like admitting you haven’t seen any other ones.
8 The Dark Knight Rises
Numerous people have recognized The Dark Knight as a masterpiece of film. Because the movie was so well praised and a huge box office success, people like to lump the sequel in as well. It’s not as if The Dark Knight Rises was bad, it was very good, but it always gets lumped in with it’s predecessor when being herald as “The Greatest Super Hero Franchise Ever.” The Dark Knight Rises was littered with gaping plot holes that should have been caught on the original read through (How did Batman heal his broken back exactly?). Seeing as it’s a comic book movie, we can move past the impossible being probable, but audiences never had to suspend their disbelief that much in The Dark Knight. However overrated this movie is, it surpasses almost every other 3rd movie in a superhero trilogy, but the competition is very, very thin.
Yes, it’s beautiful - so what? If we wanted to watch Pocahontas or Dances With Wolves, we could have just done that. Also we didn’t want to! So why did James Cameron decide to just rehash their scripts for his epic? No one denies that the cinematography is brilliant, but considering Cameron was working on the movie for the better part of this century, it better look perfect. In all that time of developing the correct technology, how could he not spare any extra money on a scriptwriter? The movie had very little original plot ideas and relied on colorful aliens and scenery to keep the crowd entertained. It kinda sounds like the Teletubbies, but for adults.
6 2001: A Space Odyssey
What the f*** is this movie about? We understand that it is a cinematic masterpiece and a classic film, but honestly what is going on? When this movie was released, critics were the first to admit they weren’t sure what it was about, and a lot of negative reviews were being voiced. Then it became “cool” to say that you liked this movie and suddenly everyone called it a masterpiece. The movie moves slowly and has a loose plot, but makes up for it with beautiful cinematography. There is no ending, and the beginning makes no sense, so why on Earth is this considered Kubrick’s masterpiece?
5 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi
Please don’t x-out of the screen yet. The original trilogy is great. It’s a defining piece of nerd-culture that changed everything about movies. That being said Return of the Jedi just didn’t live up to the epicness of Episodes IV and V. It seemed like everyone was in a hurry to make sure everything wrapped up as quickly as possible so we could get to the final fight scene between Luke and his father (spoilers). While this movie still blows the prequels out of the water, Return of the Jedi gets a lot of credit because of how good the others were. Also Ewoks beat the Empire? What?
4 The Sound of Music
Oh my god this movie never ends. The near 3-hour run time is just too painful. Whenever you think that it’s over, it turns out there is at least another hour of sing-along nonsense that you have to stay awake through. There was a time when this was the highest grossing movie of all time, and to this day is still mentioned with movies like The Godfather in lists comprising the “best movies ever.” Apparently whoever makes those lists hasn’t seen it, or stopped watching movies after the ‘90s. The Sound of Music is dry, long, and I don’t believe it takes place in Austria for a second. Seriously who was the accent coach? Kevin Costner?
3 Forrest Gump
Yes, we are going there. Forrest Gump is a loveable character that bumbles his way into every major historical event in the 60s and 70s, but he’s also the human incarnate for arguments against free will. Forrest succeeds because he doesn’t make his own choices. He gets a scholarship, becomes a war hero, and becomes a millionaire just by doing something someone told him to. In fact the few choices he makes on his own lead down very dark roads for our lovable dimwit. Forrest does as he’s told and doesn’t ask questions, and apparently that’s a good thing? Meanwhile Jenny, an emotionally and sexually abused child, makes all of her own choices, and she ends up as an unwed mother with AIDS. Pretty much a leper in the 90s. It’s a charming movie, but at the end of the day, the message is to not think for yourself and do what your government wants.
2 Any Disney Princess Film
Oh the Disney princess movies, what a magical set of films. Or what a terrible bunch of women. Yea they’re pretty, but they are all as dumb as a bag of rocks and utterly useless at taking care of themselves. Honestly, it wasn’t until Tangled came out that any of the Princesses didn’t need to be saved constantly. Belle was a victim of Stockholm syndrome, Cinderella thought true love is achieved by dancing with a guy (once), and don’t get me started on Snow White. While the films are fun and mostly kid friendly, the 2-D characters are desperately in need of a redesign. Stay tuned as Disney is actually attempting this with a series of live action fairy tales. We already got Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast is coming soon.
1 Jurassic World
The second highest grossing movie of all time. Jurassic World treated fans to the greatest dinosaur fight of all time. But that’s it. We love Chris Pratt, he is amazing, but his overacting was grating, and the same could be said about Bryce Dallas Howard. The biggest flaw in the movie comes back to the original flaw brought up when the movie was announced; why do they still think dinosaur cloning is a good idea? People keep dying. Like a lot of people. The whole movie decides that logic is less important than product placement and while the dino-fight is amazing, it doesn’t make up for the rest of the movie.