Top 10 Overrated Movies

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After my recent Top 10 Hated Movies list, I bet you were all curious what movies I either disliked or at least found overrated. If a movie is on this list, that doesn’t mean I disliked the movie. It means it wasn’t worth its hype or praise. Here we go!

10) Charlie & the Chocolate Factory  (2005) – This was one of my favorite books as a kid and I love the Gene Wilder version. This one? Terrible. Johnny Depp overdoes portraying Willy Wonka as an insubordinate, parent-hating sociopath, and there was no charm or magic to the script. The Chocolate Factory in the original was fun and whimsical. The Chocolate Factory in this one looks like a bad drug trip, and this version is unnecessarily cruel.

9) The King’s Speech (2010) – The King’s Speech won Best Picture and Original Screenplay at the 2011 Academy Awards. What’s the plot? A man (Colin Firth) filled with great potential needs to seek therapy so he can face his fears, inspiring his washed-up therapist (Geoffrey Rush) in the process. Sound familiar? Well, it should because this is nothing more than a well-polished remake of Good Will Hunting (1997). The Social NetworkBlack SwanThe Fighter, and Inception all lost Best Picture to this rehash?

8) The Kids are All Right (2010) – I found The Kids are All Right to be a nasty movie filled with unlikable characters. The only characters worth caring about were the kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutchison). The main couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) are terrible people with Bening being a selfish, high-strung workaholic and Moore sleeping with a man out of spite. It’s implied these two work through their problems, but personally, they both could have done better.

7) They Live (1988) – Full disclaimer – I love John Carpenter’s movies and consider him one of my favorite directors, but I can’t stand They Live. Yes, Roddy Piper and Keith David have an amazing fight scene, but Carpenter got carried away spouting his political views. There are way too many redundant jabs at the news and Republicans, and the self-indulgent “screw you” Carpenter gives critics in the end doesn’t work very well. It could have worked as either an action movie or a satire, but not both.

6) The Tree of Life (2011) – Critics praised it as one of the most beautiful and epic movies about life. Yet Sean Penn didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing in this movie, and neither did I. People still think Terrence Malick is a great director? He’s not if his actors don’t know what they’re supposed to do. The only scenes I liked were the scenes with the kids torn between Jessica Chastain (their mom) and Brad Pitt (their harsh father). Both actors are exceptional, but Malick doesn’t have a lot of restraint, so it’s hard to tell what the point was in this movie.

5) Cars (2006) – Pixar set high standards with their concepts through Toy Story (1995), Monster’s Inc. (2001), and The Incredible’s (2004), but Cars is just too damn simple to enjoy. It doesn’t feel like a Pixar movie at all, but more a Dreamworks animation (hacks) movie. It’s also a formulaic plot – the top celebrity is at the bottom and must work his way back to the top? Pixar movies should have at least a little more imagination than talking cars (which was done in a series of commercials), and a celebrity story.

4) The Gift (2015) – I originally gave The Gift a favorable review last summer, but it’s one where I changed my mind over time. Joel Edgerton wrote and directed this thriller, casting himself as a psycho stalker named Gordo. He wants revenge against a successful and handsome high school friend (Jason Bateman), dragging his wife (Rebecca Hall) into his own scheme. It’s an unpleasant experience with an ending that’s over-the-top, unbalanced, and plain disgusting. It also rips off Oldboy (2004), which was brilliant. I love twisted thrillers, but Edgerton’s self-indulgent rape fantasy could have been more if it had some class.

3) Life of Pi (2012) – So, let me get this straight: A man tells another man a story that he was stranded on a raft with a tiger until they landed on shores, was rescued, gave a statement that he was actually on a raft with a racist, murderous chef who murdered his family? And depending which story you believe determines whether or not you believe in God? Okay… Not buying what you’re selling.

2) Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) – All Star Trek Into Darkness is, is just a rehash of Star Trek II and some of the greatest episodes, with a small dose of Indiana Jones. Narrative-wise, it feels like a fan film rather than a refreshing installment like its predecessor was. However, I still enjoy this one because of Cumberbatch.

1) Snowpiercer (2014) – Why does everyone love this movie and say it’s a sci-fi masterpiece? Yes, the production design, cinematography, action sequences, and acting are great, but that doesn’t excuse its bad pacing, plot holes, and pretentious conclusion. The plot is like any other dystopian tale – a lower-class hero leads a revolution against the upper class for equality aboard a train during an ice age. But it ends with basically everyone dying? Also, things seem to be too frustratingly convenient. How does the imprisoned engineer (Song Kang-ho) know the snow is melting if he was locked in solitary for so long? How do the enforcers enter the back car without the protein bar maker noticing them?  None of this is explained clearly, which is a pet peeve in science fiction.

And those are my top 10 overrated movies! Thanks for reading! What movie do you think is overrated?

“The Gift”

What makes Joel Edgerton’s (“Warrior” (2011)) directorial debut so admirable is his subtle development and revelation of horrific secrets. It’s also the film with this year’s most polarizing ending.

Edgerton writes, directs, and co-stars in “The Gift” as Gordo, A seemingly friendly loner who runs into an old acquaintance named Simon (Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall), and offers his friendship. He sends them a bottle of wine, some goldfish, and window cleaner, but Simon is immediately unnerved and tells Gordo to leave them alone. He regrets it when Gordo subtly makes his life a living hell while Robyn starts to question her husband as a person.

“The Gift” is a twisted tale of revenge and karma that defies all the stalker thriller’s cliches and audiences’ expectations. It remains distinct from other thrillers because the focus isn’t on the creeper’s agenda, but on seeing Simon and Robyn’s true colors. Gordo is merely an instigator in tearing apart Simon and Robyn’s marriage. The more harm Gordo does, the more we learn how morally corrupt Simon is and how unhappy Robyn is.

Hall and Bateman carry “The Gift” and add some emotional punches to this movie. Hall is very believable as the fragile and troubled Robyn while Bateman disappears into his role as Simon, a corporate sociopath. Through shots of their facial expressions and their realistic delivery, I completely bought into their troubled relationship.

SPOILER ALERT (Seriously, this will ruin the movie if you haven’t seen it).

Edgerton is very restrained and unsettling as Gordo. While his vengeful actions are satisfying at first, I found his video involving Robyn was an insult to injury for Simon and plain disgusting; especially if you believe Gordo did what he implied (though, I personally don’t)!

Putting the uncharacteristically ending aside, “The Gift” is an otherwise brilliant mumblecore thriller featuring Bateman and Hall’s best work. They’re the stars here and seeing the story primarily from Robyn’s perspective is a breath of fresh air.

Grade: N/A