The Academy Awards are considered the beacon of excellence in the film industry, and each year, film studios and creators all vie for their opportunity to take home the prestigious award and immortalize themselves in the process. Over the years, countless all-time classic films have been included in the small community that makes up Academy Award winners. Unfortunately, there are also a great number of movies that are seemingly snubbed from winning, falling to an inferior foe, and drawing the ire of movie fans worldwide. Then, there are the films that you will find on our list. Films that were either ravaged by critics, or were highly overrated, and somehow pulled off the impossible. These films should have been dead on arrival, and instead, joined classics like The Godfather in the pantheon of winners.
Our list is comprised of titles that will shock you, haunt you, and will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. These films may bring back some truly painful memories of wasted time and colossal disappointment, so do read this at your own discretion. You have spent countless hours of your life watching these movies in hopes of finding entertainment, and instead found yourself living in a sea of regret. Don’t worry friends, you aren’t alone in this sentiment. Many of us had to suffer through these films, especially those of us living with family who enjoyed them. Despite our woes, these films collected the most coveted hardware in the film industry, leaving us wondering how in the world it was possible.
15. Suicide Squad, Best Makeup (2017)
Where do I even begin with this movie? Suicide Squad was one of the most highly-anticipated films in recent memory, and many thought that it would do wonders in straightening out the underwhelming DCEU. The franchise’s prior releases left a lot to be desired by fans, and this film was supposed to right the ship. Unfortunately, this film was a hot mess, and was ripped to shreds by critics. It was by far my least favorite DCEU film, and I left the theater that night incredibly disappointed that I had just wasted my money. Nevertheless, the film made a gargantuan sum of money at the box office, and wound up winning an Academy Award.
That’s right, Suicide Squad took home the Academy Award for Best Makeup that year. Now, while Best Makeup may not have the same luster as Best Picture, the fact that this film is an Academy Award winner is downright terrible.
14. Birdman, 4 Awards (2015)
Michael Keaton has a weird ornithological fetish, as indicated by his numerous roles portraying a winged character. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Back in 2014, Birdman was released to vast amounts of critical acclaim, and even managed to haul in over $100 million during its theatrical run. Keaton was widely praised for his portrayal of Riggan Thomson, and the role landed him back among the Hollywood elite. The following year, Birdman would find itself up for an impressive number of prestigious awards, and took home some impressive hardware. It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and also won Best Original Screenplay at the same ceremony.
When I finally had the chance to watch it, I was ready to have my mind blown. Instead, I found myself wishing that I would have watched something else. It was boring, uninteresting, and had an awful ending. There is beauty in everything, but Birdman was just painful.
13. Wolfman, Best Makeup (2011)
What an absolute disaster of a film. Like many people, I truly enjoy classic monster movies, and I couldn’t wait for Wolfman. The film featured an immensely talented cast, and was no doubt going to quell my itch to see a good monster flick. With my ticket in hand, I entered the theater excited, and left annoyed and sleepy. This film was difficult to watch, and even the amazing cast of performers weren’t enough to save this heap. The film’s box office haul was abysmal, and the movie is widely regarded as a catastrophic failure.
Given the wide range of categories, the Academy Awards are an open race to all film’s that are released, even the awful ones. Despite being a disaster, Wolfman will always hold the distinction of being an Academy Award winner. Like Suicide Squad, it won the award for Best Makeup. It may be hard to believe, but it is true.
12. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Best Visual Effects (1969)
Over the years, I’ve asked a great number of people why it is that this film is so highly regarded, and I have failed to get an answer. I really enjoyed A Clockwork Orange, and thought that maybe I had found a new favorite director. So, I rented this film from Blockbuster Video, and spent the next chunk of my life living in regret. I just don’t understand what all the fuss is about. It has received rave reviews, and is considered a classic. Personally, I was bored to tears watching this thing. It is almost as if the film was intended to be awful.
At the Academy Awards, it would go on to win Best Visual Effects, and would be nominated for several other awards, including Best Original Screenplay. This film will always be remembered as a classic, and I will never understand. I’d like to say that I’ll give it another watch, but that is a straight up lie.
11. No Country For Old Men, 4 Awards (2008)
Yet another film that holds the distinction of being heralded as a classic, and yet another example of a film that I simply cannot stand. The anticipation for this film was insane, and I was ready to watch something that was truly great. Instead, I got this film. After watching it through, I was left incredibly disappointed. After all the hype and all the hoopla, this film just didn’t deliver. Maybe it was a case of having unrealistic expectations, but I could not stand this movie.
Critics, on the other hand, drooled over this film, and it was nominated for an incredible number of prestigious awards. It wound up winning the Academy Award for Best Picture and for Best Adapted Screenplay, among others. Unlike 2001: A Space Odyssey, I might consider trying this one again. I just feel like I missed something that everyone else seemed to get, and ultimately hated this film.
10. Harry And The Hendersons, Best Makeup (1988)
As a kid, this movie was the stuff of nightmares for me. This absurd comedy about a family that essentially adopts Bigfoot may be loved by some, but as a kid, Harry creeped me out, and haunted my dreams for years. The film wasn’t all that funny, nor was it that interesting. Unfortunately for me, certain members of my family loved it, so I was subjected to this nightmare on a regular basis. It wasn’t a critical darling, but it was rather successful at the box office back in 1987. In fact, the film did well enough to have a spin-off television series that ended up airing over 70 episodes.
The film would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Makeup, solidifying itself as an Academy Award winning film. Thankfully, I’m not subjected to watching this film anymore. But rest assured, having to find an image for this list will no doubt ruin my sleep for the next week.
9. Sleepy Hollow, Best Production Design (2000)
If I told you that Tim Burton made a movie starring Johnny Depp, would you be surprised? Of course not. It is almost a requirement that Burton cast Depp in his films, and Sleepy Hollow is no different. The 1999 release touched on the story of Ichabod Crane and featured a very talented cast. The film got some mixed reviews, and wound up making a whopping $200 million at the box office. It was yet another successful film for the duo, and many Burton fans love the film. The film wasn’t terrible, but it relied far too heavily on the visual effects, and not enough on the story that it was presenting, leaving me indifferent about it.
Burton is renowned for his ability to captivate viewers imaginations with his outstanding visual work, and Sleepy Hollow is an excellent example of this trait. The film wound up winning the Academy Award for Best Art Direction, further solidifying Burton’s reputation.
8. Pearl Harbor, Best Sound Editing (2002)
Aside from Transformers films, is there any particular movie that is as universally hated as Pearl Harbor? Taking one of the most tragic events in the history of the United States and turning it into a love story was not the brightest move, and the film was blasted by critics. It is so long, and so slow throughout the duration of the film. People flat out hated it, but the allure of seeing this tragedy unfold was just too much, and Pearl Harbor raked in an unfathomable $449 million while in theaters. That’s right, it made nearly half a billion dollars during its theatrical run, cementing itself as a bonafide blockbuster hit.
If that wasn’t enough, the film also pulled off the unthinkable. Somehow, Pearl Harbor won an Academy Award. It won in the category for Best Sound Editing. It’s hard to believe, but Pearl Harbor was a hit, and is also an Academy Award winner.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Best Visual Effects (2007)
I wanted this film to be great, I truly did. The first film in the franchise knocked my socks off. It was lightning in a bottle, and was insanely successful. Ever since the first film, however, each sequel has progressively gotten worse, though only one of those films can boast an Academy Award win. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was the second film released in the franchise, and the world was ready to see Captain Jack Sparrow’s latest shenanigans. Unfortunately, what fans got was a far less interesting film than the original. It wasn’t outright terrible, but considering how good the first film was, it was definitely a disappointment. However, the film did make $1 billion while in theaters, so I’m sure Disney was completely fine regardless.
The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, and would take home the prize for Best Visual Effects. It is a nice feather in the cap of the swashbuckling franchise that released its fifth installment earlier this year.
6. The Golden Compass, Best Visual Effects (2008)
This film was intended to kick off a film franchise that was sure to net massive amounts of money, but instead turned out to be the nail in the short-lived coffin. The Golden Compass hit theaters back in 2007, and expectations were high for the film. It featured some big name players in the cast, and was based off of an already popular book series. Upon its release, The Golden Compass was met with a pretty lukewarm reception, and while the film made a handsome sum at the box office, it wasn’t enough to save the series from termination. Unfortunately, it was over before it started. I didn’t care for the film at all, and was not surprised that the sequels were cancelled.
Though it may have been looked at as a failure, the film did manage to receive some praise, and even won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. It just goes to show you that there will always be someone to appreciate what you make.
5. Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Best Visual Effects (1972)
Admittedly, a lot of older Disney films weren’t the best, but I can’t help but think that this movie is a bit overrated. Disney released this film back in 1971 to mixed reviews from critics, and to some disastrous results at the box office. The film failed to make back its budget, causing the company to lose money in the process. Despite all of the negativity working against it, this film is still beloved in the eyes of many, and has a following to this day. I have never understood what all the fuss was about, and even as a kid I couldn’t stand this movie. I get its historical significance, but I’m still not a fan.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks was a disaster for Disney. It lost money and received bad reviews, but Disney still found a way to bring home some hardware. The film won the award for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.
4. The Great Gatsby, 2 Awards (2013)
2013’s The Great Gatsby was a film that I was very excited for. It boasted an amazing ensemble cast and was based on the classic novel. How could it possibly fail? Well, it may have been a success, but it was also a huge letdown. The film was released to some really divided reviews from critics, and I myself couldn’t really stand the thing. Yes, it had great visuals, but the film was straight up disappointing. Fortunately, it did haul in a ton of money at the box office, so I am sure that Warner Bros. could not have cared less about some critic’s opinions.
Unlike most of the other films on this list, The Great Gatsby actually hauled in two Academy Award wins. It won in the categories for Best Production Design and for Best Costume Design. It was a truly impressive feat considering how mixed reviews were upon its release back in 2013.
3. Death Becomes Her, Best Visual Effects (1993)
Does anyone actually remember this movie? Back in 1992, Universal Pictures released the film Death Becomes Her, to some pretty mixed reviews. I distinctly remember watching this movie as a kid and being mortified at the things that the actresses are able to do in the film. I won’t give away any spoilers, but needless to say, eternal youth allows them to survive some pretty strange things. The special effects that were used in the film were excellent for the year that it was released, but the film offered little else in terms of storytelling. Surprisingly, Death Becomes Her would rake in nearly $150 million at the box office, making it a massive financial hit.
The effects that were used were met with acclaim, and the film’s lone Academy Award win was for Best Visual Effects. If you’re looking for an odd way to kill some time, give this film a watch. You might be disappointed, but you’ll get a few laughs.
2. Flashdance, Best Original Song (1984)
This film represents one of the few movies in history that is perhaps best known for its soundtrack as opposed to what happens on screen. Back in 1983, Flashdance took the world by storm, and it became a pop culture phenomenon. The soundtrack to the film would sell over 6 million copies in the United States, making it an unstoppable force on the Billboard Charts. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the film would make $200 million at the box office against a budget of only $7 million. Despite all of this, the film actually received negative reviews, and if you’ve actually seen it, you know why.
The film won an Academy Award, but not for anything you saw on screen. Instead, it won for Best Original Song, leaving no doubt that the soundtrack actually carried the hit film. There are very few films like this, making Flashdance the most unique entry on this list.
1. Gravity, 7 Awards (2014)
This might be the most overrated film in the last 5 years, and for that reason alone it made our list. Gravity was released back in 2013, and people could not stop talking about it. You would have sworn that this film was going to change the world, but it didn’t. Critics fell in love with Gravity, and it received rave reviews upon its release. After watching the film, I had wished that I could get my time back. I couldn’t have cared less for Gravity, and the hype train just kept on rolling. When awards season rolled around, Gravity was everywhere.
At the Academy Awards, Gravity would go on to win a staggering 7 awards, making it the most decorated film on this list. Its most prestigious wins were for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects, among other. Given this, Gravity is one of the most decorated films of all-time.
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