I cannot emphasise enough that I by no way mean that the films on this list are rubbish, unless I physically state that. These are films I often enjoyed and have many great elements to them; however I just do not hold them in the high regard that they commonly receive. I know I am treading into the territory of some very contentious issues, but debating with each other is fun is it not?
Of course, if we all liked the same films life would be very boring indeed and this is just my opinion. However in this list I intend to explain why I feel these films are overrated and perhaps justify these views in a that will hopefully make some kind of sense outside my rather bizarre mind. Naturally, if anyone disagrees with me, then please say (as long as you aren’t too mean). Also, if anyone has their own suggestions not on this list then please suggest away. Also, if anyone does happen to agree with me, then please say. I feel I may need the support. Either way, these are my humble opinions and will be sticking to them!
1. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan, 2008)
8.0/10 on imdb, me: 4/10
Oscar winners have a tendency to be nowhere near the best film of that particular year, but Slumdog well and truly takes the biscuit. I have not read the book, but the film’s Dickensian approach to telling this cheesy and clichéd story is annoying, predictable and embarrassing. Yes there is some good cinematography in there, some good depictions of shanty town life, and a hint of allegory. However, the quite frankly dull and uninteresting story sucks all that up like a colossal black hole. Do not even get me started on some of the migraine inducing camera work, and Danny Boyle please stop showing us that shot of Freida Pinto looking up!
2. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
8.5/10 on imdb, me: 3/10
Charming and uplifting? Extremely irritating and boring I would say. I know I am capable of being more cynical than most, but I was just not caught up in this film’s supposedly quirky take on everything. Because it is quirky it complacently thinks it can get away with farfetched story developments and plot holes, no! I found it impossible to care about any of the characters and found the film’s visual style gave me a severe headache.
3. Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)
7.9/10 on imdb, me: 6/10
Though it is without doubt predominantly entertaining and fun, and most definitely very colourful, Avatar is further proof that James Cameron really cannot write a screenplay. The plot is unoriginal, the characters unbelievably clichéd, and it is just way too bloody long! A good screenwriter could have cut the running time by at least a third. Everything having to be constantly explained and some of the chunkiest and most cringe worthy dialogue cinema has ever seen is on display here. Just because it cost a fortune to make does not automatically make it a cinematic masterpiece! Sorry James, but if I had a no. 11 on this list, it would probably be Titanic.
4. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
9.0 on imdb. Me: 6/10
I expect a lot of disagreement over this, as it is widely regarded as one of the best films ever made. I personally cannot comprehend why; yes it does have some great and extremely memorable dialogue, some excellent performances and some good shots. Like all Tarantino films, it is too long, very self indulgent, elements predominantly copy and pasted from other films, a severe case of style over substance and the man himself turns up long enough to truly embarrass himself. I will always maintain that Tarantino’s best work is True Romance, some exceptional dialogue, but they got someone else to direct it!
5. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)
7.9 on imdb, me: 6/10
Another one I expect to have more disagreements than consensus, but it was just another Bond film that I thought was ok, but no more. Better than Quantum of Solace or Die Another Day, but not by far. There is no denying that Craig is perfectly suited to the type of Bond they wanted for the franchises new direction. However, for a film that takes itself very seriously I just found it had a lame plot, was too long, no satisfying conclusion and was quite simply very disjointed and often boring.
6. Funny People (Judd Apatow, 2009)
6.4 on imdb, me: 2/10
Though not generally regarded as a great film, it has consistently good reviews, but I for one thought this film to be insulting, irritating, boring and just absolutely awful. For me Funny People is a watershed moment in Judd Apatow’s career; the complacency and self indulgence he shows here proving that he in fact is not a very good film maker. He has produced some very funny comedies, but he cannot write or direct comedy himself. Usually he has the improvisation of some very talented comic actors and directors to keep his wafer thin plots going along. However, in Funny People we have an equally smug and self indulgent Adam Sandler providing us with an extremely irritating and unlikeable protagonist. Like most of Apatow’s improvised-sketches-with-plot-in-there-somewhere films, it is a painful two and a half hours long!
7. Ted (Seth MacFarlane, 2012)
7.1 on imdb, me: 4/10
Ok, cards on the table time: I think Family Guy is overrated so having that view on Ted was perhaps inevitable. However, here is my opinion as to why I think it is just not a very good film: I will confess it has some funny moments yes, however that comedy is cheap and extremely unoriginal. Seth Macfarlane basically uses his overstuffed phone book of desperate for work Hollywood has-beens, as well as his producer’s deep pockets to persuade the likes of Sam Jones, Tom Skerritt and Ted Danson to mock themselves on screen. Throw in Patrick Stewart swearing, puerile humour and a talking teddy bear, and you have a film. Apparantly. Just because it is a CGI bear swearing is it really funny? Also, being a feature film, it has to conform to certain narrative conventions, providing the clunkiest and most cringe worthy (not to mention extremely boring) final third I have seen in a film for a very long time.
8. The World’s End (Edgar Wright, 2013)
7.5 on imdb, me: 4/10
The apparent Holy trinity of Pegg, Frost and Wright have gone all Judd Apatow on us! The World’s End was for me an extremely self indulgent film, with exceedingly lazy plot developments and predictable jokes. This was in fact a murder: A perfect example of how to effectively kill a great concept that had a solid cast to boot. To this day, I cannot find another negative review of this other than mine. Despite this, the cinema was pretty crowded and there were hardly any laughs throughout, so surely I am not alone?
9. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)
8.5 on imdb, me: 6/10
Oh dear, him again! Tarantino did it, so it must be automatically great! No. There is no denying it had some great moments. The cast were great, there were some superb shots and some exquisitely sharp dialogue, but it is surely not the 54th best film ever made (imdb)?!? It is way too long (the last half hour didn’t need to exist), extremely disjointed and occasionally very boring, there is perhaps a little self indulgence, the violent scenes are very poorly directed (no, that is not the point) and Quentin stop embarrassing yourself with those cameos! Do not even get me started on Kerry Washington’s silly applause or the dressage bit at the end!
10. Sin City (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, 2005)
8.2 on imdb, me: 6/10
If ever there was an example of style over substance then it is surely Sin City. Yes, the black and white with the occasional bit of colour is all very lovely but hardly original. However, I cannot help but find the whole film rather boring at times. The stories themselves are all actually a little rubbish, and the graphic violence does have a tendency to get a ted repetitive. I would not say Sin City is terrible by any means, it is watchable but extremely forgettable, but certainly not the 150th best film ever made.