The 11 Most Overrated Movies of All Time

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that millions of people can be utterly, shockingly, and inexplicably wrong. There’s simply no other way to explain the repeated success and popularity of David Spade, Taylor Hicks, or George W. Bush. And people are even worse when it comes to judging movies.

The following, in my humble assessment, are the 11 most overrated films in history. If you love these films, good for you. You probably hate some of the movies I love. Let’s call it even, despite the fact that you’re so wrong not to recognize how weak many of these movies really are.

First, a disclaimer: For the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on films that either won major awards, rank highly in the IMDB Top 250 or AFI’s 100, or have a significant cult or fan following. Godfather 3 or Rocky V, for example, can’t be overrated, but most people already think they sucked. A second disclaimer: this article contains spoilers, so if you haven’t seen any of these movies, stop reading if you don’t want to read how some of them end. Finally, just because I call a movie “overrated” doesn’t mean it’s not a good, even a great, film. It just means that some of these films have gotten more of their share of acclaim than they deserve.

That said, some of these movies also flat out suck. Onto the list:

11. Fletch. A lot of people, myself included, still quote this movie often (“It’s all ball bearings nowadays!”) This 1985 Chevy Chase Comedy has a handful of memorable lines and funny moments. Fletch’s dream of playing for the Lakers, with a big bushy, white-man afro, and being interviewed by announcer Chick Hearn was endlessly amusing to me as a kid. But in between those memorable lines and short bits of goofiness, there’s not much of a movie here. The film’s producers clearly wanted to showcase Chase’s comedic silliness, but felt compelled to wrap it up in a conventional smart-but-unconventional-cop-gets-results storyline. For every one of Fletch’s great lines, there are three or four attempts that just don’t work. The guy is just a snarky wise-ass, in an early-’80s, Jack Tripper kind of way. Some comedies from the 80s hold up well, and they remain clever, entertaining, and funny. Fletch isn’t one of them — it’s half a dozen good lines, stretched out over 90 minutes of tedious, B-movie junk.

10. Crash. When I walked out of the theater having seen Crash, I thought maybe the movie was supposed to be some sort of parable. It was heavy-handed, unrealistic, and people didn’t talk like real human beings. We weren’t supposed to take this film seriously, were we? Still, it was trying to say something about race and culture and how we’re different, but separate, but connected, yet disconnected… and so on. I at least give the filmmakers credit for trying to look at some serious issues. But the movie oozed a sense of importance that it didn’t deliver. Some of the dialogue was unintentionally funny. The plot twists were manipulative and cheap. I was actually surprised that such a mediocre firm was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. I was stunned when it won, convinced it had to be the beneficiary of some odd vote-splitting list of nominees. Not only was it nowhere near the best film of 2005, let alone among the best movies in recent years. If you look at the nominees for Best Picture since 2000, I’m don’t think there’s a worse movie than Crash… maybe Gosford Park, but that’s only because Crash had Thandie Newton in it, and Gosford Park didn’t.

Photo from the movie poster for The Shawshank Redemption9. The Shawshank Redemption. Shawshank is on TNT approximately five million times a year. It is the second-highest rated film on IMDB, and it was nominated for seven Oscars. It is a movie that can make grown men cry. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins deliver great performances. Thomas Newman’s original score is beautiful. It’s an engaging film about perseverance, friendship, will power, and hope.

But then again, does it really belong in the same company as Godfather, Godfather II, Schindler’s List, and other consensus top-ten films? Is it really one of the ten best films of all time? First off, the villain of the film, Warden Norton, is an incredibly cartoonish, two dimensional bad guy. He and Cal from Titanic could have a “pure-evil-for-the-sake-of-being-pure-evil” standoff. Aside from greed, we have no idea what made him who he was. The Warden is pure evil, and is willing to kill the prisoner who can help prove Andy’s innocence in cold blood. And yet, even though Andy is the one man who could expose him and all his criminal dealings, he doesn’t do the simplest thing and just kill Andy. Why not? Because Andy has to wind up hugging Red on the beach years later.

Secondly, think about the scene where Andy locks himself in a room and plays classical music over the loudspeakers to the rest of the prisoners, who stop in the courtyard and stare up in awe and wonder. Are you kidding me? The scene tries to be a powerful, emotional peak in the film, but it comes off as laughably implausible, even in the 1950’s.

Finally, the movie makes it a little too easy on the audience by giving it all the answers. Is Andy guilty? Does he really escape? Will he and Red ever meet up again? Nothing is left for the audience to wonder about, no ambiguity — everything is spoon-fed to the audience in tasty, happy-ending bites, right up to the final “hug on the beach” scene. Wait… this movie ends with happy people hugging on a beach? Yes it does.

8. Chicago. This won Best Picture? Seriously? It must be a musical thing. I don’t get it. How did this movie get an Oscar, but Saving Private Ryan and Letters from Iwo Jima didn’t? I take back what I said about Crash. Compared to Chicago, Crash is Citizen Fucking Kane.

Photo of Humphrey Bogart in the film Casablanca7. Casablanca. Old Hollywood doesn’t get a free pass on this list. And perhaps the most overrated of the classic Hollywood films is Casablanca. AFI calls it the 3rd best film of all time. The IMDB 250 ranks it #8. Almost any list of the top ten films in history includes this Oscar-winning film. When people think of this movie, then tend to think of the famous lines: “Here’s looking at you, kid”… “Play it again, Sam”… “I’m shocked, shocked“… “We’ll always have Paris”… People also remember the look of the film: the glorious, rich black and white, with Humphrey Bogart smoking in the darkness. All of those things make this film a classic, but beyond that, the movie doesn’t quite live up its status as the best of the best. Does it really hold up after almost 70 years later as the highest achievement in filmmaking? I’d have to say no. Ultimately, I think nostalgia makes people give this movie more acclaim and praise than it deserves.

The acting, as was often the case in the 1940’s, is a bit campy and shallow. Bogart’s character is witty, sharp, and cynical, but he doesn’t seem particularly real. There’s a stage-play “acting” style to all the performances. Bogart’s role as Rick is far from his best work. He delivers dozens of quips, but they don’t seem like something a real person would actually say. The characters, aside from Rick and Ilsa, are mostly caricatures. Sam is a piano-playing black sidekick with no other human qualities, despite being one of Rick’s oldest friends. The Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark were more complex. The cynical Captain Renault is little more than a memorable bit of comic relief. And while I understand that some of this acting style was common at the time, but even for that era, the acting in Casablanca feels a bit thin. It’s a great story, but it often has the feel of a larger-than-life Broadway play more than a work of cinema. I respect this film, but if audiences watched it for the first time today, few would think the movie belongs in the top ten, even in the top twenty of all-time films. Just because a film is memorable, that doesn’t mean it is great.

Photo of Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams
6. Field of Dreams. I’ve seen people describe this as the “best baseball movie of all time.” Nonsense. It’s not even the best Kevin Costner baseball movie. It spends entirely too much time prattling on about the “poetry” of baseball and elevating the sport to some kind of mystical, magical form of art. This movie wants desperately to be the ultimate love-of-the-game baseball movie. Baseball is so incredible and magical, it will bring your dead father back to you! So I’m going to call the film’s sugary sentimentalism about baseball strike one. Strike two? This film pumped up Kevin Costner’s ego to dangerous levels and led to the American tragedy known as Waterworld. Finally, it’s obvious to me that this sentimental ode to “America’s pastime” helped inspire the intolerable Ken Burns’ 19-hour Baseball documentary series, which brought over-wrought baseball metaphors and poetry to a new height. That’s strike three. Next!

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey. AFI calls this movie the 15th best film ever made. Science Fiction fans often still speak of this 1968 movie with hushed reverence. The movie was a pioneering film in terms of visual effects that would evolve in the ’70s to make movies like Star Wars and Close Encounters possible. But it lacked the storytelling that made those later films great. In short, 2001 is a three-hour bore. With long, slow shots that go on pointlessly for minutes at a time, a meandering, confusing plot, and the lack of a single interesting human character, this film is a painful cinematic experience. Director Stanley Kubrick seemed more interested in showing what the future might look like in 2001 than in telling a good story. When the two most memorable characters from your movie are a monkey-man who finds a bone and a talking computer, it’s possible that your three-hour science fiction epic needed a lot of help.

4. Gladiator. I like this movie. It’s my favorite DVD for testing out and showing off how cool surround sound can be. It’s an entertaining action movie with a spectacular recreation of ancient Rome. Russell Crowe is memorable as Maximus. But seriously… how the hell did this win Best Picture? For all its entertainment value, it’s a bit like a comic book. The villain, Commodus, is a one-dimensional cartoon. What’s worse, in his famous exchange with Maximus in the middle of the Roman Coliseum (“I will have my vengeance…”), the two speak to each other in normal speaking voices, and yet half the crowd can hear the conversation, including Commodus’ sister, who is about 100 yards away. The movie also has the token black sidekick to the hero, the child actor who really needs a haircut, and a bunch of undeveloped characters that the audience is given little reason to care about. All that said, Gladiator was a fun, summertime, popcorn-crunching movie. I just have no idea how it was deemed the best film in the same year that Memento, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Traffic were released.

3. The Matrix. Matrix was a pretty good film, mixing an intriguing storyline, innovative special effects, and some memorable quotes. Countless movies have tried to imitate its funky style and cool action sequences. It sparked a lot of interesting philosophical conversations about fate, the nature of reality, and choice. It spawned more fan sites, videogames, and pop culture references than almost any film since. Not bad for a sci-fi action summer movie. But for a lot of people, especially younger filmgoers, this movie is their Star Wars. And while I like Matrix, it is a movie with a lot of glaring flaws.

First off, there’s Keanu Reeves, who has the emotional range of a cucumber and brings little to the movie other than a very appropriate look of befuddlement for most of the film. Whoa!

Second, if you think too much about it, the core premise of the movie doesn’t make much sense. If the “machines” are using humans for energy, who bother giving them an imaginary universe in which to live? Why not just treat them like some biological fuel source and let them all rot in a coma-like state, thinking about nothing at all? Wouldn’t that still provide them with the energy they are harvesting? Better yet, couldn’t they just harvest the energy from cows or other big mammals that aren’t so high maintenance?

Third, there’s the ending of this movie, in which Neo is dead until Trinity tells him she loves him, and that makes everything better. Hurray for love! Seriously — the writers seems to have gotten stuck trying to figure out how to revive Neo, and finally gave up. “Screw it,” they must have said, “let’s just say Trinity brings him back with a magic kiss! Genius!”

And finally, Matrix is a bit tainted by the less impressive and more confusing sequel Matrix: Reloaded and the terrible, I-wish-I’d-never-seen-it conclusion to the trilogy, Matrix: Revolutions. The final film was a wholly unsatisfying end to the series and the worst of the trilogy, leaving unresolved a lot of the biggest and most interesting questions raised in the original film. Once you see Revolutions and know that Neo isn’t going to really free his people from the Matrix after all, that Morpheus’ biggest hopes will never be fulfilled, the first movie looks a lot more like a big tease for a payoff that will never come.

Photo from the movie Dirty Dancing2. Dirty Dancing. Since I don’t know many men who like this movie, this one’s for the women of the world to explain. This movie is always on cable. It seemingly has some new commemorative DVD every year. Almost every woman I know adores this film and has probably seen it dozens of times.

I honestly don’t know why this corny ’80s dance movie isn’t largely forgotten along with Grease 2. I just don’t get the appeal of this film on any level. I must be in the minority, but even at the time the movie was released, I thought the music sucked. Moreover, the star of the film is Patrick Swayze. That by itself should have killed this film.

The worst part of it all is the final scene, an excruciating dance sequence where an army of cheesy people dance off the stage and down the aisle of the theater to that unbearable “The Time of my Life” song. One writer described the final dance sequence in this film as “the most goosebump-inducing dance scene in movie history.” I’m not sure how many dance sequences induce goosebumps, but the only thing this one should have induced is laughter.

1. Scarface. This movie is #1 and it’s not even close. Not only is this easily the most overrated film of all time, it’s not even a good movie. It’s badly-acted, badly-written, violent crap. Aside from one early part of the film — the “‘chainsaw” sequence, which is extremely suspenseful and masterfully directed — Scarface is a terrible movie.

There is not a single character in this movie you can really care about. Al Pacino’s performance mostly consists of using a terrible, fake Cuban accent and shouting “fuck” every other word. This movie marks Pacino’s first real foray into loud over-acting. And while Pacino’s performances in the Godfather films, Serpico, and Glengarry Glen Ross are rich and complex, in this film, he deliver little more than a loud, two-hour Cuban caricature.

Photo of Al Pacino in the movie ScarfaceWe also never learn why his wife, Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer) ever warms up to him. Like many of the characters in the movie, there’s no depth or complexity to her. She’s just another plot device to give Tony Montana reasons to scream and freak out.

Whenever Tony gets really angry, there’s a bizarre sound effect and a close up of his eyes that’s incredibly silly. It’s like something out of a bad kung fu movie.

The music in this movie is horribly dated —a terrible synthesizer-heavy sound that lived and died in the 1980s.

The movie is vulgar, violent, and bloody and almost all of it is gratuitous. Yes, it’s a gangster movie, so it’s going to have lots of violence, but great films about criminals or mob life find ways to make the audience identify with or care about the main characters.

Scarface is a shallow, ugly movie with few redeeming qualities. It doesn’t deserve a fraction of the attention and praise it has received over the years. It would be better if no one remembered it at all. And for that, it’s easily the most overrated movie of all time.

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133 thoughts on “The 11 Most Overrated Movies of All Time

  1. scarface is a ok movie but it is the worst gangster movie ever. Paccino sucked in it and that is the worst cuban accent ever

  2. Scarface is not the most overrated movie . In my opionion it is the best movie ever made. Many people dislike the violence and ambitions of Tony Montana however many see the genius in his character. That being said i have not met a single female who understands the movie.

  3. You must be a moron to put Casablanca in this catagory. Perhaps you have never seen the movie. Besides being the greatest movie of all time, it has the greatest supporting cast of all time. It has the greatest memorable lines of all time. I watched the movie again last night and had tears in my eyes at lease 3 times. I have to guess that you are about 15 years old. If you are older, then you must have stopped maturing at that age. Am I right on one of these.

  4. Whether or not I am a moron is a matter of debate, to be sure. And my maturity, no doubt, is also a matter of speculation.

    All that said, I like Casablanca. It’s a great movie. Everyone should see it. My argument is that as good as it is, it doesn’t hold up as “the greatest movie of all time” or one of the handful of very best films. As I noted above, the acting is a bit wooden, some of the dialogue feels artificial, and several of the characters are two-dimensional. Those things don’t make Casablanca a bad movie, but they are the kinds of things that keep it from being the kind of flawless cinematic experience that I’d expect from “the best movie of all time.”

  5. I point out that The Shawshank Redemption was a “fantasy” more than anything else. It wasn’t trying to portray real life, IMO. Being derived from Stephen King, and not being out and out horror, the only other form of writing he did was fantasy. The Shawshank Redemption should be looked at in that light. It still might not hold up, but it explains the nature of the characters – fantasies generally are more black and white, good versus evil without having to explain why.

    Having said all that, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. So many people find something in the movie, and it’s not simply hype. It struck a chord with so many people on an emotional level and that’s why it is where it is. Perhaps it is the fantastic, black and white quality that appeals so much. It’s simple to digest. But not everything needs to be ponderous to be valuable. Personally I go by how many times I’ve watched a particular movie to determine my own ranking and TSR certainly is high on the list.

  6. Movies-and all-art, need a timeless quality to be considered truly great, but understanding the times, in relationship to the movie, goes a long way to explaining much.

    For example (and a small, obvious example) if you don’t understand that there was a was a war on, with German Nazis, in the 40’s, then they’ll you’ll have much trouble understanding the context of Casablanca. And a man willing to risk his neck, when he professes to “never risk his next for anyone,” has a lot of inherent romance. Aside, from the stodgy acting-a style we’re far removed from in the post-Brando era-Casablanca is a great movie, and a greater screenplay. It’s really a dialogue driven movie, framed film noir shades of grey.

    You make a valid point about Scarface…it is overdone and undercharacterized. But Pacino’s character-long before we got used to his volcanic tirades-is mesmerizing. The violence is overdone in typical De Palma style and said to be operatic. There’s nothing operatic about it. It is, like you said, gratuitous. But the movie is so quotable because of Pacino, I just couldn’t put it on a worst list.

    Gladiator winning the oscar, like Titanic, defies explanation. I understand the thrust of those who love the film. I after all find the film highly watchable…just don’t think it is oscar material. Memento should have one, and in the year Titanic won LA Confidential should have won.

    You’re completely wrong about Shawshank Redemption. This movie is great on all counts.

    • How about bodyguard, I knew the plot and conclusion within the first two mins.. The rest was just fluff.

  7. I agree with scarface. Very dated , but the movie has this trancing effect on people. My niece who was born 9 years after that movie was made, loves it. Its more popular now than it was back then. Its the Godfather of the 80s, and like u said, its a poorly acted film filled with non latino actors destroying accents like it was a parody gone wrong.

    I enjoy the film on a simple level and feel its classic in what it accomplished but it is also very overrated as well, good call.

  8. put Donnie Darko on that list, never has a movie been more over-rated

  9. Shawshank Redemption is not over-rated and shouldn’t be on the list atall. It is a brilliant film because of the feeling it gives you and helps people with their issues and problems in life. It’s about hope, friendship, freedom and believe. The elements of the film are all great, the story, the acting, the characters, the story, the message, soundtrack and script. In answer to your theory about the plot, is the Warden was using Andy for his benefit. He knew Andy was the only one who could keep his crimes going without getting caught and used Andy so he could get more money. The warden had no idea what Andy has been up too, with the tunnel out of prison, and the fake account which Andy could use to get the Warden caught. Without Andy, the Warden might have been found out so he needn’t Andy to carry on with his dirty work. That’s why he didn’t kill Andy, but Tommy instead cause Tommy was Andy’s way out of prison. So everyone thought. It is a fiction story yes, but it has also been said that it’s based of a morally based true story, so means it could happen. Andy found his way out of prison to start a new life in Mexico, which him crawling through the pipe was symbolic of him being born into the new real world which andy hasn’t seen for near 20 years. What’s wrong with the end scene? I think two friends would hug if they haven’t seen each other for two years, after everything they’ve been through. So in theory, go through what you’re gonna say before you post it.

  10. Great list, but definitely Titanic should be on there, and I completely have to disagree on “Shawshank Redemption.” That movie was incredible, and remember that the scene is being remembered from Red years later, so from a beach thinking back, stunned expressions could be seen as awe. Also: Shakespeare in Love. Beat everyone in awards, including Saving Private Ryan, but you don’t even remember about “Shakespeare” 10 years later, while “Ryan” will be a classic for the next several decades.

    Good overall list, though. Thanks for sharing.

    btw – Donnie Darko was amazing. Have to disagree with the comment on that one.

  11. Great point, Shane. I can’t believe I didn’t include Shakespeare in Love (good movie, but wholly unworthy of beating Private Ryan for Best Picture)

    I realize I’m in the minority on Shawshank… Very good movie, but I’m surprised how often people list is as among the best ever.

    I don’t hate Titanic as much as some, so it doesn’t quite make my list. But a LOT of people have told me it belongs high on this list. Should it have been the highest-grossing film of all time? Probably not. But I’ve seen much much worse…

  12. Scarface rules!!! BEST. MOVIE. EVER. It’s just a pure bad ass movie!

    You’re right about Casablanca…I nearly nodded off watching it. It’s by far the most overrated movie and you’re break down of it was correct.

  13. Some films I would consider to be overrated would be Titanic, Pretty Woman, Lord of the Rings series, The Blair Witch Project, Chicago, Saturday Night Fever, Juno, Birth of a Nation, E.T., A Place in the Sun, and The Apartment.

  14. Even though I love me some Shawshank, I can at least see how one could perceive it as overrated. What can I say, it moved me, which is a pretty damn tough task for any movie. So for me, it gets a high rank for doing what so many movies try and fail at doing.

    Where the heck is Forrest Gump? You talk about villians being cartoonish and one-dimensional, but in this movie the main character is just that. Although, it is fair to say the movie is not really about Forrest, its really about pop history. For me, the Gump amounted to about the same value as those “The 60’s” and “The 70’s” miniseries that came out a few years back: overly referential to the pop culture of the times, with no meaningful character development (and no, AIDS cannot be considered character development).

    Seriously, where is Titanic?

    Casablanca is a very witty and clever movie. Try watching any other movie from that period and you will understand why its held in such high regard (OK maybe its still not top 10).

    Yes, Scarface is terrible. The same guys who were into that were also into “Cobra” and “Rambo” back in the day. That should say something.

  15. Scarface is pure brilliance. not overrated in the slightest.

    i find myself terrified by montana every time i watch it. i cant even refer to pacino as pacino – he becomes montana – superb film.

    i love its dated 80s soundtrack – there is nothing wrong with a dated score.

  16. Over time, Scarface does not strike me to be as good as I thought when I first saw it, but I’d still have to say it doesn’t belong anywhere near this list. Casablanca, while dated, is still a pretty good film. Shawshank? It’s entertaining; not brilliant, but no stinker. I’d put Gone With the Wind, Saving Private Ryan, and many others on here first. I’m with mr x on Titanic, too. After the ship breaks in two, you had nothing left! A crushing bore of a film.

  17. Gladiator, by far, belongs at #1 on this list. I agree with everything you said about it, but back when all the hype was going on, I kept saying that they already made that movie, and it was called “Spartacus.” Gladiator is such a ripoff and not that good to begin with. Ridiculous.

  18. The Matrix was awesome! Although I definitely agree about some of those flaws. It’s really confusing, but Keanu Reeves didn’t bother me with little emotion. That’s what made him cool. But man that kept me from buying the matrix was that stupid kiss of life thing. I agree 100% with that.

    Gladiator was a ripoff and the only reason anyone liked it was because of Crowe.

    You should’ve put in Titanic, that was over-the-top at its worst

  19. You’re right the two matrix sequels sucked ass. The Wachowski Bros have now made 4 shit films in a row. Im Cuban and own Scarface, I live in Miami and that movie is a glorified B movie, By the way where are the Star Wars films all 6 have some of the worst acting save Harrison Ford and the guy who plays the emperor. The Dude says is right Titanic sucks.

  20. Ok, nobody thinks scarface is a good movie. cross that out.

    Lawrence of Arabia should be on there.
    Titanic should be on there.
    Citizen kane should be on there.
    No Country for old men should be on there. (There will be blood owns that crap. its like trying to put meaning into a die hard movie.)

    and 2001 a space odyssey. um WTf. that is the best movie of all time. No movie even compares to this. really. i believe you have a short attention span to not realize how amazing this movie is. Now you those who hate this movie, i can see why. it is long. its like nothing you’ve ever seen. but dont hate it just because its different. you really need to enjoy this film. its one of the few movies that can be appreciated as art. all hail kubrick!

  21. First, I’m glad there are others that think Scarface is GARBAGE. Second, I’ve got a couple movies I would like to hear at least one other person acknowledge as overrated, Unforgiven and The Godfather. I thought both were awful. Anyone with me?

  22. Shawshank should not be on this list. Nominated for 7 Oscars yet it didn’t win a single one. If anything, it was underrated in its time and only achieved its due in later years.

    Can’t agree with The Matrix either. It is arguably the best science fiction movie in the past two decades, and the special effects (i.e. bullet time) started a mini-revolution.

    Also, against what some others have said here, Titanic cannot be overrated. It is the highest grossing film of all time; that speaks for itself. Subjective ratings are meaningless in the face of the hard fact that it has grossed something like $1.2B.

  23. I very much enjoyed your list! Wanna know how I found it? I Googled “Shawshank Redemption overrated”. HA! I was just debating this very topic with an acquaintance of mine. I said almost exactly the same stuff about it that you did. He then proceeded to accuse me of knowing nothing about film, who Roger Deakins is, or what dutch angles, crane shots or depth of field means. All because I think Shawshank is highly overrated (though still very entertaining). Personally, I think it comes down to a generational thing. I’m not an older gent at all, but I guess I’m just wired differently than people my age or younger. I didn’t sit around watching MTV 24/7 while growing up, hence I have an actual attention span and don’t need to be spoon-fed every detail of a story to “get it”. I also understand things like “subtlety” and “nuance” in acting and writing. Anyway, I liked your list very much. I’d only question 2001, simply because of all the technical innovations that were made on that film, and also it’s level of ambition. It’s not an easy film to watch (this coming from someone who lists Barry Lyndon as one of their favorite films), but it’s a film of ideas, and I think people appreciate it for that reason.

  24. funny “Citizen Kane” was mentioned…talk about overrated…

    what was so brilliant? the plot? the suspense? the twist ending with the sled? did we learn anything? Was it even enjoyable? great respect for the technical aspects and the revolution it represented in that regard…but the movie itself…I’m sorry…it was boring. That is just one opinion. Taste is subjective.

  25. I couldn’t even get all the way though Crash; I thought it was absolute crap. And I’m with you on Gladiator being a strong popcorn movie, but not a best picture. As for Dirty Dancing, I loved it when I was 12; I think I’d feel downright silly watching it now.

  26. Just saw the Shawshank Redemption after reading on imdb that its the best movie ever
    That has to be the most overrated movie in the history of overrated movies. How is it better than Memento or Godfather.Is there something in the script that i’m missing. Because apart from Morgan Freeman’s acting there was nothing special about it. No creativity at all in the script or the presentaion. It certainly didn’t bring up any emotions in me. I think it was just another movie made especially for oscars and it failed to win any. It lost to Forrest Gump which in my opinion is a much better movie

  27. Any list of overrated movies needs to begin with The Grandaddy of All Overrated movies: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

  28. I’m of the opinion that Forrest Gump is terribly overrated, as well. It doesn’t hold up to repeated viewings and is absolutely riddled with cliches.

    Shawshank is a great movie, imo.

  29. I STRONGLY agree with the assessment that “Dirty Dancing” is overrated. Am I the only woman who couldn’t stand “Dirty Dancing”? Maybe I just don’t like coming-of-age movies. Many of the characters just seemed cardboard to me. I also did not care for the way they filmed the dancing (though I thought the dancing itself was good). But what do I know – it made zillions of dollars.

  30. It seems to me that praising/denouncing movies will always be an incredibly polarizing topic.

    I worked at Blockbuster for nearly a year, and although I am an avid movie fan and consider myself to have rather discerning taste, I found it nearly impossible to successfully recommend a movie to any customer. After awhile, I just became jaded and kept all my opinions to myself.

    Good for you, Matt, for having the balls to put down some of the most “beloved” movies. I believe that in the end, it always comes down to the viewer’s opinions, and you were able to express yours quite while.

  31. You are dead on with the inclusion of Dirty Dancing. Even though it wasn’t a huge box office success, it was a video rental juggernaut, and has since aquired cult musical/classic status. Aside from its scathing portayal of rich vacationing snobs, and baby helping solve a pesky purse snatching case, the film is just a collection of catchy songs and nifty dancing moves interrupted by awfully delivered dialogue.
    I have to disagree with you on Shawshank, however. It is, while flawed, THE rosetta stone on film of existentialism, which excuses the warden’s lack of nuance and unambiguous evil. He represents something larger than a typical diabolical bad guy. He is a symbol of life’s unforgiving hardships, a composite of every greedy, beurocratic SOB you’ve ever come across. Greed and hypocrasy aren’t supposed to have shades of gray.

  32. Are you kidding me? Shawshank Redeption being overrated, Its like 100 times better than the godfather. But I guess different people like different movies.
    Also, He couldn’t kill Andy in the movie because Andy was making him a ton of money up until the moment he escaped.

  33. Have you seen the first “Rocky” lately? It doesn’t hold up well for a “Best Picture.”

    I caught it the other night on cable and was surprised at its corniness, overblown and annoying the characterizations and bad acting.

    It was like Easyrider. A cheap film that made a lot of money and critical praise that, in retrospect, is almost painful to watch.

  34. You all seem to be humping saving private Ryans leg but you all bitch about the other movies being unbelieveable. But have any of you been in the military? SPR is about as cheesy non real as it gets

    • Alot of people said Jarhead was a realistic movie and it was a fucking terrible movie. If I had to choose a boring shitty realistic movie or an awesome cheesy action movie with great acting I’ll choose the the second always. Oh and btw the Hurtlocker sucked balls as well.

  35. No “most overrated” list is complete without Magnolia, a crashing bore filled with cliches, histrionic acting, and amateurish direction.

  36. The Titanic is not overrated, it is one of the best movies ever because even though you fall in love with the main characters (Jack and Rose) you still want them to be together, and it makes you feel emotions of love, sadness, fear, and assurance.

    Napolean Dynamite should definitely be on this list. I also think Slumdog Millionare should be here too, even though I haven’t seen it, everyone I know and everyone on tv has said it is such a good movie.

  37. I think that Batman the Dark Knight is the most overated movie ever. I worked down the street from where ledger died. this movie was garbage. Bad story, Batman mubbling lines, a fake crazy guy, straight garbage.You can add Traffic to that list as well.

  38. In every case, your reasoning is under-developed characters. What do you want? 5 hour movies so we can see how and why Warden Norton is evil? How about 2 hours on the childhood of Captain Hadley? Or an hour on developing the character of Commodus’s sister. C’mon, dude, expand your depth of why a movie is overrated.

  39. Titanic should not be on this list are u kidding me? You wre right not to have it. But Citizen Kane should be eventhough it is a classic and great movie. No Country For Old Men is by far the most overrated. and Scarface is a top 20 movie cmon!

  40. I would definitely add Boondock Saints to the list. Everyone I know raves about it, I think its utter crap. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lord of the Rings, The Ring, all garbage. What I hate more than anything are the Scary Movies, and all those RIDICULOUS spoof movies that have the name Movie in the title. Not another teen movie, date movie, epic movie. Its all just random pop culture references that are totally irrelevant. And everyone LOVES this shit! UGH! All movies that are made entirely in front of a green screen SUCK. CGI SUCKS. I miss the old star wars and the old indiana jones movies. No CGI there, real props. CGI looks fake and cartoonish, and they do it just to save money.

  41. This is a bad list, the most overrated movie is in Apocalypse then Shakespeare in Love and Titanic.

  42. I agree with all except Field of Dreams and The Matrix. Actually, the second half of The Matrix is pretty bad, so it’s probably overrated.

  43. You are a dead set douche for everything you said about Chicago…I mean wtf is your argument? Do you even have one? It’s most certainly a worthy Best Picture winner (it certainly is a mile better than Crash), so creative, so glamorous, so flashy and so beautiful; Zelly and Catherine Zeta-Jones are perfect as Roxie and Velma respectively, the film so cleverly integrates the musical numbers into the film…all in all a great watch, very worthy.

    And as for Casablanca…bitch please! If you think Bogart’s performance is shallow, then you might wanna take another look. The character comes across as shallow and chauvinistic at first, but he is anything but if you watch past the first 10 minutes. His deeply moving performance goes so far beyond the campy caricature you would have us believe he is, he is a man of ideals, principles, selfless, kind, genuine, and all this can be found once you watch the film in its entirety, something I urge you to do one day. And quite simply, outside of Rick and Ilsa, the other characters are not that important…so why develop them beyond what is necessary to tell Ilsa and Rick’s story?!

    You’re a class A moron.

  44. I find it strange that you criticize a couple of films on this list for being over manipulative – Crash and The Shawshank Redemption, and I agree with said criticisms – yet in the segment for another film, you lament that Saving Private Ryan didn’t win Best Picture.

    My dear boy, Saving Private Ryan may as well be Mr. Spielberg’s ode to the manipulative, spoon-feeding movie. From those disgusting backlit-by-the-sun shots of the American flag (stolen from a Nazi documentary – great to see Spielberg’s sense of nationalism to the U.S. is not unlike Reifenstahl’s sense of nationalism for the Reich), the over-dramatic deaths for any of the main characters who bite the bullet, John Williams most conventional and tear-inducing score, and that ridiculous “transformation” shot at the end, for those dense members of the audience who couldn’t figure it out, that that’s elderly Pvt. Ryan with his family visiting Arlington. Granted – I LIKE this movie, but I find it just as overrated as some of the films on your list, and much MORE overrated than some of the films on your list.

  45. “When the two most memorable characters from your movie are a monkey-man who finds a bone and a talking computer, it’s possible that your three-hour science fiction epic needed a lot of help.”

    While I usually hate using the “you didn’t get it” argument in this case it’s true. That HAL 9000 is the most memorable (and even sympathetic) character in the film is actually evidence of the success of Kubrick’s vision. One of the main themes predominant in most of his films is the effect of technology on humanity and the dehumanization of man. In other words, there is a reason the computer turns out to be the most “human” character in the film, while the actual humans are rather flat.

    That doesn’t mean you have to like the film or what Kubrick is trying to say, it just means that it’s wrongheaded to accuse him of “doing something wrong” when your reaction
    (caring more for the computer than the human) is actually exactly what he was aiming for.

  46. “No “most overrated” list is complete without Magnolia, a crashing bore filled with cliches, histrionic acting, and amateurish direction.”

    I’m not going to argue about the “histrionic acting” or the “crashing bore” (since those are very subjective criticisms), but one of the remarkable things about “Magnolia” was its ability to use all these “domestic troubles” without ever seeming cliche or predictable.

    As for the “amateurish direction” – it is a testament to Anderson’s immense skill as a director that he was able to keep the sprawling narrative completely in his control. Through all its considerable length and all its intersecting plot lines and characters Anderson maintains a strong sense of coherence and narrative thrust. No amateur could have done that.

  47. You guys are talking about old classics. I believe among the contemporary films Slumdog Millionaire is by for the most over rated film of all time. Why was it even nominated forget about winning The Oscars this year. On the other hand The Dark Knight is one of the most under rated movies of all time and should have won. Its the best and least childish adapted comic book movie ever. It didn’t even feel like a superhero movie, and is in a genre of its own.

  48. Scarface is on my list of favorite movies of all time. Al Pacino’s performance is just right. It’s supposed to be exaggerated, over the top, just like the movie itself.

  49. list has some good, some terrible. you Shawshank haters are either immature morons or have no soul. that’s not meant as an insult… it’s a fact.

  50. the only movie your right about in this article is scarface (it deserves the first spot) otherwise… The Shawshank Redemption, and Gladiator?! are you nuts bud?

  51. I am glad to see you taking a chance by discounting some of the dogs that are seen as classics. However, I must disagree with Shawshank Redemption. I loved it and think it shouldn’t be on this list. Ones that should be added, in my opinion:
    “Walk the Line”-Felicity Huffman was robbed!
    “Ghandi”-I couldn’t even watch 30 minutes.
    “As Good As It Gets”-Way overrated!
    “Gladiator”-Come on academy-WORST picture…
    “The Departed”-Consolation prizes exist.
    “Annie Hall”-Sorry Woody…
    “Dances With Wolves”-And wolves can’t dance!
    O.K., more belong on my list, but time my time isn’t forever.
    Thanks for an opportunity, and thankfully, we all deserve an opinion.

  52. Where is “Requim for a Dream” it really bad, and still people love it. And “City of God” – “A Clockwork Orange” – “Titanic” – “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Wrestler”

    And Waterworld does not suck, it’s great.

  53. Pretty damn accurate. Even in Casablanca. The only part I didn’t agree with (completely) was The Shawshank Redemption. I liked the scene in the office, however unbelievable it was. Although the warden is cartoonish, he doesn’t kill Andy because he needs him to assist in the fraud, and he needs him behind bars to keep him from spilling the beans. Granted, as much as I love Shawshank, I see the criticism for not having any questions, but c’mon, the movie gets so depressing at times that you need the happy moments.

    My overrated movies are as follows (* marks movies that are just flat out bad):

    It’s A Wonderful Life
    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly*
    Jaws
    Rocky
    West Side Story
    Titanic*
    Forrest Gump
    American Beauty

  54. I love this list,Scarface defenetly deserves the number one spot, I would probably give DePalma the number one spot for the most overrated director too. A few others I would add:

    Magnolia-it’s like playing pong again yourself-the most dragging,unengaging film ever
    The Dark Knight-afterall it’s just a superhere movie,cant believe it was N.1 on imdb
    Slumdog Millionaire-terrible acting,the plot is given away in the title
    Requiem for a dream-not as disturing as people say,overused score
    Shakespere in love-cheesy
    Up-too simple and kiddy
    The Incredibles-meh,lacks originality
    Little miss sunshine-mediocre comedy

  55. THE AFI consist of rich older people of another generation. they should have a public poll instead of private ones like these. I saw the Harrison as one that is considered a public poll that rated Casablanca high and then when i wanted to join it cost freaking 150 bucks. What kind of public poll is that? sounds more like rich ass snobby old ass poll to me.

  56. I saw Casablanca for the first time and I have to TOTALLY AGREE! I thought this movie absolutely sucked BALLS! All About Eve is way better than that crap.

  57. The REAL 10 most overrated movies of all time are:

    1. Moulan Rouge (and anything else by Baz ‘Star-Fucker’ Luhrman)
    2. ‘The Matrix’ series (see below)
    3. Anything Julia Roberts has done except ‘Erin Brockovitch’
    4. The Blair Witch Project
    5. The Ring (and the original Japanese version was even worse)
    6. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (NB: I am a die-hard Star Wars fan)
    7. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
    8. Requiem for a Dream (thanks Juriv! (above)) – I walked out.
    9. American Pie (less funny than an actual pie)
    10. Moulan Rouge (so truly, unwatchably awful that it counts twice)

    RE The Matrix series: a film that I put off watching for years, and when I finally did, would have fallen asleep if not for my DVD player’s stop button. If you thought that movie had ANYTHING philosophical to say at all, you must have had a traumatic childhood – most ten year olds have considered these concepts in greater depth. As for the SFX: SFW!)

  58. I’ve never seen Fletch

    Crash was incredibly mediocre

    The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies, but come on, IMdB shouldn’t really count, judging by how poorly they count their votes.

    I actually liked Chicago, even though I hate musicals, but I don’t know how it was able to beat out both The Two Towers and The Pianist

    I’m probably one of the few people who would actually agree with what you said about Casablanca

    I had no interest in Field of Dreams because I don’t watch baseball

    I love 2001 but I’ll admit everything you said about was true

    You pretty much wrote out my thoughts about Gladiator

    Same thing for The Matrix

    I find Dirty Dancing unbearable, but it doesn’t really count as overrated because it hasn’t had a whole lot of critical acclaim

    Your thoughts on Scarface are right on target

  59. I agree with allot of them. Especelly 2001:A space odyssy. for like 3 hours im just watching a bunch of slow moving shots of stars. Barly anything made sense. The charactors were like cardbord cutouts. And practelly no suspense or anything to keep me going. While ill agree the matrix plot barly made sense, it still should not be on this list. Its one of the best movies ever made.
    Dirty Dancing definly deserves to be on this list. So stupid. Chicago… dont get me started on how that horriable thing won Cathrine Zeta Jones the best actress award.
    Now I think the Harry Potter movies should be here. Roughly the same plot as the last horriable acting, childesh, lamest movie. And finally…Twlight. I know critics and smart people hate this piece of crap, but it still needs to be on here. All these girls go into the movie theater screaming when gay Edward comes in, now everywhere you look its twlight this, twlight that. They should make a spoof where the guys just have thier shirts off the whole time and their just going to pick up milk.

  60. This list should have the following movies:
    1.The Dark Knight
    2.Avatar
    3.Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind
    4.Goodfellas
    5.Taxi Driver
    6.The Godfather II
    7.Slumdog Millionaire
    8.The Ring

    And how the hell can you say 2001:A Space Odyssey IS THE BEST PIECE OF CINEMA MADE BY MAN.You really need to have the patience and brains to understand it.I would say if Godfather(which incidentally is my second favourite movie) is 100/100 then 2001…is beyond that list because nothing can be compared to it in it’s greatness!

  61. thank you to Siddhant Parkar
    i was waiting for somebody to bring avatar up. AVATAR has got to be on the list -_-. besides the cool 3-d effects, the movie did NOTHING for me. NOTHING. no tears, no laughters…just plain are you kidding me with this? i mean i can even understand why titanic and shawshank redemption could have moved people but avatar really?/???

  62. Holly f·”k, HOW IN THE UNHOLLY NAME OF THE C·”K YOU PUT SCARFE AT THE TOP? The Titanic Movie deserves the number one. Your list is bad.

  63. to the dumbass who wrote this article. You are quite possibly the dumbest human being to study film. Having said that, there are a few films on there that I agree with, but your reasoning is vague. “Just because it’s memorable doesn’t make it a good movie.” Yeah you know what else isn’t memorable, this article.

  64. People say Titanic is overrated, when truly, it isn’t. Just like Schindlers List, the director truly just wants to show the world how horrible the tragedy was. But he isn’t going to make the movie just simply about the damn boat, he has to put a story in it so he thinks of the characters Rose and Jack. Titanic is powerful. Titanic is a great movie. Plain and simple.

    Your list of movies that are “overrated” is okay. But I lost all respect for you when you put The Shawshank Redemption on the list. Are you an idiot? Shawshank is one of the most original movies and truly has a moral and message to the audience unlike many of the movies being released today.

    The most overrated movie of all time? The Dark Knight. It is just another superhero movie with pretty damn good special effects and truly unforgettable to me. If Heath Ledger wouldn’t have passed away, the movie would not have received as much publicity as it does today. It is overrated as hell. The movie will not go down in movie history. Period.

  65. Speaking of classics, another one that is overrated is Gone With the Wind. It is a great piece of cinema, but the movie is racist. At times the movie resembles a boring soap opera, it tends to lose my attention. It has proved that it doesn’t stand the test of time as well as movies like The Wizard of OZ which came out the same year (and the movie I personally believe should have won Best Picture that year).

  66. @siddhant GOODFELLAS AND TAXI DRIVER ? OVERRATED? DUDE THESE TWO ARE PROB SCORSESE .THE STORY OF TRAVIS BICKLE is a fuckin cinematic milestone AND GOODFELLAS IS D BEST MOB MOVIE BY FAR. AND WHOEVA SAID THR WIL B BLOOD IS BTR THAN NO COUNTRY SHLD GET MED HELP. THE FORMER IS A GUD MOVIE WID A GRT PERFORMANCE BUT NO COUNTRY IS D MOST PERFECT MUVI BY D COEN BROS ALONG WID FARGO.AND DATS SAYN A LOT. JAVIER BARDEMS PERFORMANCE IN D MUVI IS D BEST I HV SEEN IN RECENT YEARS. my top 10 ovrrated flicks r 1. Slumdog millionare-thr r at least 5 bollywood movies relasin vry year btr dan dis piece of balderash n they neva win/are nominated evn in d best foreign film category bt dis got d best film oscar.frost nixon lost to dis. Wt a fkn joke! 2.Godfather-gud muvi bt shld nt feature amng d best eva 3.psycho 4. Titanic 5.gladiator 6.chicago 7.forest gump 8.scarface 9.mystic river 10. Unforgiven

  67. I agree with Casablanca, Chicago, field of dreams, fletch and space odddesy. scarface is a little overrated, but i certainly would not put it at number one. Gladiator, Matrix, Shawshank, not overrated at all. the imdb list is a highly subjective fan list and the AFI top 100 list is basically the I-don’t-have-my-own-opinions-so-i-say-these-shitty-old-movies-are-good list. take a look at them and you’ll see what i mean. I’ve never seen dirty dancing. Crash is better than it gets credit for. people just hate it because it won best picture. A movie that deffinitely should be on this list though is Fargo.

  68. scarface yes.
    but
    come on man
    there is way more overated films than you have on this list.

    i mean most of the films you have on your list are rated as they should be.

  69. great list. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see Scarface on top of the list. So many people idolize that idiotic character, and you can’t go into any movie store without seeing a friggen poster of Pacino with a stupid sneer on his face. Ugly, clumsy, boring (but I liked the chainsaw scene) and characters you couldn’t give a crap about. I didn’t like, “Blow” either, but at least that movie was slick and actually moved.

  70. The Dark Knight has the same problems as Shawshank Redemption, Titanic and Gladiator

    Since I dont get 2001 I cant really give it a fair review but it is definately the most boring peice of shit I have ever seen.

    I honestly would put The lord of the rings here, yes it is an amazing trillogy but if it wasnt for the star wars prequels this movie wouldnt be rated as highly as it was

  71. In my view, forget about Casablanca, Shawshank, Titanic, Gladiator, Crash, 2001, Field of Dreams, ScarAss, Chicago, Matrix, The Godfather, The Dark Knight, etc. They were all made for the primary purpose of making the movie arm of the Plutocracy as much money as possible. “Sean” states: “People say Titanic is overrated, when truly, it isn’t. Just like Schindlers List, the director truly just wants to show the world how horrible the tragedy was”. Movies like Titanic are produced to make money for the money-crazed studio funding it. It appeals to the reptilian brain in everyone that loves to “see a good accident recreated via cutting edge special effects that create a great visual and audio sense of realism.” Schindler’s List was one of a few Steven Speilberg films made for an altruistic purpose: to inform the world of this great thing one man did to save quite a number of Jews from the “jaws” of the Nazi’s. It’s disingenuous and a sign of shallow thinking to put these 2 movies in the same category. I put Titanic in “one of the most overrated movies category because its making was primarily driven by pure greed. After James Cameron’s successes with The Abyss and the Terminator his eyes glazed over with visions of infinite wealth and fame and he knew just what he had to do to make those visions a reality – top his own highest grossing movie of all time by making Avatar, which, in my view, because of the obvious motive for making it (infinite greed and equally infinite ego), is disgusting. When I learned that Cameron was making Avatar and promoting it as the next Citizen Kane (implying that he is of Orson Wells’ caliber, gag me). Avatar would have been a wonderful viewing experience if it just had a cutting edge high tech sound track to go with the incredible imagery – AND NO PLOT! But no, Cameron had to come with some stupid cliche-ridden plot that’s an insult to every indigenous race that has been overrun and corrupted by various imperialist plutocracies throughout history. A complete cop-out of a story that undermines the totally mesmerizing special effects. Cameron has become highly megalomaniacal and probably hates to admit that he’ll have to die like the rest of us and is really not the god he sees himself as. So, in my view, taking into account the nearly $400 million in production costs put into the making of Avatar, Cameron’s delusional notion that he is now the greatest director of all time, that the movie was primarily targeted toward the Gen X and Gen Y demographic because they would be so awed by the special effects that the sleazy cliche plot line and mediocre acting wouldn’t matter.
    Avatar is not only the most costly and overrated movie of all time it is also the most shameful exploitation of a specific demographic for the sheer purpose of making a film studio billions and Cameron a millionaire many hundreds of times over. I feel sorry for the hundreds of millions of video game and special effects addicts who
    made it possible for James Cameron to bring his ego and wealth to even more ginormous heights. I’ll never forget the YouTube video of a guy who went to a special Hollywood screening of Avatar that Cameron attended also. The guy, after the movie was over, asked Cameron if he would please sign an Avatar poster or some Avatar promotion he had. Cameron responded as if the poor guy smelled like swamp ass.

    “How dare you bother me for an autograph?” The guy wasn’t going to take that shit from nobody. He shouted back (and I paraphrase) “You arrogant SOB! It’s people like me who go to see your movies that make you successful. And you can’t even take 5 seconds to sign my poster? You’re a big jerk. Avatar sucked”. He screamed at Cameron all the way out of the theater. Can’t blame the guy. I could have told him Cameron would never stoop to the level of the audience he targeted to make billions. The most underrated movie of all time is “UP” – a movie made for the right reasons and using 3-D effects subtly to enhance the message. It should have won last year’s Best Picture award but I was elated that Cameron was beat out for best picture by one of his former wives who made “The Hurt Locker”. Take that Jimmy.

  72. My number 1 overrated is Shine. Booooring!
    And anything by Jim Jarmusch. Yes I don’t agree with Scarface and Shawshank either, but Casablanca definitely blows.

  73. Number one stupidest comment ever made:

    “Director Stanley Kubrick seemed more interested in showing what the future might look like in 2001 than in telling a good story.”

    In response, a statement BY KUBRICK:

    “I think clearly there’s a problem with people who are not paying attention with their eyes. They’re listening. And they don’t get much from listening to this film. Those who won’t believe their eyes won’t be able to appreciate this film.”

    THE ENTIRE POINT OF 2001 IS TO NOT “TELL” THE STORY.

    The entire point of 2001 is to SHOW the story. The lack of interesting human characters is showing a bleak future in which technological advances has halted emotional development. The characters in 2001 are simply machines, A “clockwork orange” so to speak (if you know what the phrase means outside of being a book and movie), that is to say that they are human on the outside, mechanical (or, logically based instead of emotionally) on the inside.

    The reason everybody loved 2001 for so long is because IT IS GOOD. It’s that simple. You may not like it for it’s pacing (which is perfectly fine, but it doesn’t make it overrated, it just makes you look a bit immature).

    2001 is too far above most people’s comprehension to be truly appreciated. I’m not claiming that everybody but me is an idiot, I don’t completely get the film either. It’s just that most people think that a film has to explain “why” at every point in the film, and not have any artistic credibility in order to suit THEIR specific taste. If you don’t like it, that’s your fault. Kubrick didn’t make YOUR movie, he made his, and the few people that at least TRY to understand it (which, again, no one really will, because it’s very well crafted) will share similar tastes with Kubrick. Full Metal Jacket is a far more respected film amongst the common audience, but it’s also emotionally, intellectually, and artistically deep. If you don’t like 2001, you have only one reason to like ANY other Kubrick film, and that’s because it’s cool. 2001 lacks the stylistic approach of his later films, but if you SERIOUSLY take the time to try to figure out any significant ideas presented in 2001, and read up on it such as analysis or the like, you will be rewarded with a film that, although easily labeled as “about nothing and also really boring”, is actually a film far beyond what you could ever possibly expect from films.

    Oh, and it’s been scientifically shown that surreal films help people develop their brains more than most films. So if 2001 makes no sense, you just need to watch it more (seriously, don’t label it a piece of crap and throw it away. Watch it more than once.)

  74. completely disagree with Shawshank being on this list. Its superbly acted and gutwrentchingly engrossing.

    anyone else notice how the folks that are upset with Scarface being on this list, are about as articulate as a middle school wanna-be rebel reflecting on how awesome it was to beat up that semi-retarded kid?

  75. I can’t see how 2001 can be on here what so ever. I think it’s on of the best movies ever made. I think yeah maybe you got bored, because you don’t understand Kubrick. It was more of art then film, it was self interpretation, and that’s apparently scary to people now a day they need everything to be figured out so they can just go “oh cool awesome film!”. But sorry some of us like a film that really tries to say something, a work of art, which film needs more of. The shots were long, but they were real, thats the beauty of Kubrick. He wanted to show real fear, real time, what space would be like. Alone, slow, only you, nothing else. The scene where he goes out to get his friend who was unhooked is one of the most incredible scenes ever.

    2001 should never been on such a list.

  76. I’ll share my view on the love for Dirty Dancing:

    I seriously don’t think Dirty Dancing should be on this list, but not because I think it’s a great movie (it’s not). It’s actually extremely mediocre and excessively romantic, yet I’ve seen it dozens of times and loved each and every minute of it simply because it is excessively romantic. C’mon now, it’s a romantic guilty pleasure movie that’s better than the average. It makes you swoon and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And, lest you forget: Patrick Swayze.

    Besides, I’ve never heard anyone mention it in the same company as any of the other movies you’ve listed as one of “the greats.” It received mediocre to bad reviews when it came out, and it’s nowhere near IMDB’s Top 250 (not that that means anything, because that list is full of WTFs).

  77. Unforgiven was a phenomenal film, so I have to disagree. It has a clear moral implication of our conflict between distinguishing right from wrong. People that are accustomed and love the shoot outs and violence of the traditional westerns, will not appreciate this movie

  78. I love movies a lot…so I have this to say:

    I don’t think any movie on this list is overrated, I just think that every other movie is underrated.

  79. Jen, Wizard of Oz didn’t really stand the test of time at all. It did go out of popularity quickly and didn’t even make that much money when it came out. It just became resurrected when some TV station decided to play it once a year. Now all the baby boomers judges it through nostalgic glasses. In fact, I think that movie belongs on this list. It did not do justice to the book.

    And I think “American Beauty” should replace “Field of Dreams”. At least baseball redeems is a little less asinine than neglecting your family to live out your adolescent fantasies (as a middle-aged father) redeems.

  80. You make a great point with Casablanca- but you totally whiffed on Shawshank and The Matrix. And, you forgot one… Citizen “Fucking” Kane is by far the most overrated movie in history, hands down!

  81. Most overrated movies, off the top of my head…

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Most of this movie so boring that by the end I wanted to shove a railroad spike through my brain. The bulk the film consists of just the deconstruction of their memories by the extreme overuse of Hollywood special effects… for like an hour and a half! I just kept checking the clock to see when this dreadful and trite piece of garbage would end. Fortunately for my sanity, it did end. Eventually.

    Fight Club: The first half of this movie was so terribly boring that I couldn’t even watch it all the way through on my first sitting. Later, when I finally mustered the fortitude to watch the whole thing, it turned out to be one of the biggest letdowns in movie history. Ooooh, it was all in his mind! Yeah, real original. No one has EVER thought of THAT before. And has Brad Pitt ever been anything but an unbelievably annoying d-bag? Seriously?

    Pulp Fiction: For starters, you can’t put Bruce Willis in a movie and actually expect him to be able to act. The guy has been nothing but a total hack since Moonlighting, as the only character he seems to be able to play is himself: just a big, dumb guy. Toss the mildly-comical-but-mostly-just-irritating Travolta and Jackson into the ridiculous plot, and you have one hell of a stupid movie. The only reason that Pulp Fiction got the attention it received was because of the acclaim from Reservoir Dogs (the only thing Tarantino ever did that was worth a damn, IMO). Good soundtrack, though.

    Kill Bill 1 & 2: (see Pulp Fiction, above).

    Fargo: Okay, I must have really missed something when I saw this, because I didn’t find it interesting or funny in the slightest. It’s the kind of film you watched with friends, and then afterwards everyone just shrugged and forgot about it. Oh, and by the way, everyone I’ve known from the upper Midwest was horrified by the mockery of the accent. Just shameful. What is so good about this movie, exactly? It’s a mediocre crime drama that tried way too hard to be quirky.

    There are other films that I didn’t include because while they may have won more awards than they deserved (like these awards aren’t all just BS anyway), they don’t actually show up on that many serious critics’ lists as truly being great movies. Call it the “Titanic syndrome”: popular as hell, but not taken as seriously by true movie aficionados, and so therefore not really as overrated as the trendy choices I have mentioned.

  82. @Stephen… some good comments. I actually wrote this piece in 2007, so there have been a number of overrated films since then to consider…

    White I disagree about “Eternal Sunshine” (which I loved), I definitely agree that Pulp Fiction is wildly overrated. Fargo as well. If I were re-writing this story today, I’d probably include Avatar on the list (though it seems to have many people already knocking it, despite its box-office success)…

    @Weave… Can’t agree with you on that… I love Citizen Kane. Not the best film of all time, but considering when it was made, it was innovative in many ways. Roger Ebert has an entire DVD commentary what explains and discusses all the ways the movie broke with filmmaking at the time…

    @Rnaw… Hmmm. I hadn’t considered Wizard of Oz, but it’s definitely close if not deserving of being one of the most over-rated movies

  83. This is all that needs to be said to show that the author’s intent was completely muddled and unclear in this gross fail of a “most overrated list” From one of his comments, i quote;

    “I don’t hate Titanic as much as some, so it doesn’t quite make my list. But a LOT of people have told me it belongs high on this list. Should it have been the highest-grossing film of all time? Probably not. But I’ve seen much much worse…”

    I guess this should have been “a list of 11 movies that a lot of people like and possibly won awards that i am not as fond of as popular opinion is”

    Seriously, if anyone has said field of dreams is/was the best baseball movie of all time it’s because that person is uncultured or an idiot and you should have stopped basing your list on such opinions immediately.

    Oh and you tried to read way too much into shawshank. It’s an emotional masterpiece, not a metaphor. You don’t “get it” you “feel it”.

  84. i’m surprised how many people make these overrated lists and scarface is in all of them. AND YES, I AGREE!!! a giant mountain of gorilla shit.

  85. I have a feeling you listed Chicago because you don’t like musicals, judging from your two sentence description. I quite enjoyed it, but it’s nowhere near as good as some of the Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly movies where the dancing took center stage. Why? Because of all the jump cutting and tight angles in Chicago. Anyone can be made to look as though they can dance if the camera angles are really tight and there are jump cuts every 5 seconds. You can barely see any dancing and with all the sound mixing today you don’t even have to be a very good singer to sing in a movie either.

    Whew! Venting on the internet is highly underrated!

  86. Can anyone tell me what was so great about John Ford and his films? Some people might think they’re classic; I think some are the most overrated ever. 1. Stagecoach- scenery makes the movie or vicera versera. 2. How Green Was My Valley?- this might be good. Don’t know; never seen it; stupid title; What? won best picture! 3. The Quiet Man-I don’t get it. What exactly makes a movie a classic? Can’t see it being in here.

  87. I agree that the Shawshank Redemption is overrated. Personally, I don’t even think it’s a good film. It’s basically soft-headed and collapses under the slightest analysis, plus the script is awful. The performances are okay, but even the best actors couldn’t make some of those lines work. Bollocks to films that give people hope – find your own hope, and watch films because they’re good, not because they contrive some kind of “uplifting” message!

  88. I agree Casablanca is definitely overrated in my opinion. When I saw it I was thinking this is nothing more than a good chick flick. It’s cheesy and not there’s not really that much too it. As for the Shawshank Redemption I loved that movie but it is a tad bit overrated it shouldn’t be #1 on imdb’s list(it still deserves a spot on that list though just not #1). 2001 A Space Odyssey was definately overrated in my opinion and I think I might be one of the few people here who thinks that Quentin Tarantino is also overrated. The Departed was overrated as well in my opinion. Now overall though I love film but those are some I found to be overrated

  89. yeah i get some of these. but for some of these films you have no idea what you’re talking about. In gladiator commudus is arguably the least one dimmensional character in the film. the matrix is genius, and theres a reason why shawshank redemption is deemed one of the best films ever. because it is. whats wrong with a happy ending?

  90. I was looking up on something and stumbled across this. Matrix,Shawshank, Gladiator are 3 good movies but your views and description about 2001 are completely incorrect, maybe your the type who likes the garbage that comes out now, but 2001 is a masterpiece of epic proportions, obviously you never experienced it. I think it may be #1 of all times

  91. I don’t think scarface is that overrated… The notebook… Now that is overrated. Everyone goes about how sweet and cute it is.. GIVE ME A BREAK

  92. I have to agree with Scarface being listed as number one. Honestly, if I had to make a top ten list, Scarface would get all ten.

  93. I will agree with you, whole heartedly, gleefully even, that Scarface is the number one most overrated piece of shite ever put on film. But there’s no way you’re going to convince me that any of these other films even comes close to the pretentious douchbaggery that is Juno. You need to revise.

  94. This list shouldn’t exist at all. I don’t like top 10 movie lists because movies have hundreds of THOUSANDS of different and mixed reactions. Seriously many love Mad Max, and some don’t. I didn’t like Mad Max, because it’s not my type of movie. I like certain kinds of games, movies. Although sometimes I wonder about Harry Potter. It was a good book, but I have read books that brought me to tears. The movie versions of the book were pretty damn good, but no Lord of The Rings.

  95. I agree with most of the list (Casablanca especially) except Shawshank Redemption and 2001. You have to be in the mood to watch 2001, just like enjoying art.

    I would add to the list the following: Star Wars (cheesy clone of Japanese manga, I rather enjoyed Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind) and Titanic. I also agree with a lot of comments about other movies like Forrest Gump.

  96. You are an idiot. Shawshank isn’t overrated. Scarface is definitely overrated. Most of these movies are not overrated. The first Matrix was as good as the hype. The Field of Dreams is also a great movie especially if you are a baseball fan. People with these list get like one or two movies right. These list just show the opinions of ant-social people who always hate what everyone else likes. BTW some of these movies didn’t win Oscars so how can they be overrated. The chick that said Up was the most underrated movie of all time is a fucking idiot.

  97. Welp, looks like everyone missed the true meaning of Titanic. If you hate on that film… I can’t even begin to understand why! It’s about so much more than “just a ship sinking” or just a “a sappy chick flick/love story.”

    That film is filled with themes that resonate with the soul no matter how old you are — male OR female. I was 5 when I first saw that movie… And I bawled my eyes out. FIVE YEARS OLD! Of course, I connect with the film greater, & on a much deeper level now at 19. And, I know for a fact that I’ll still love the film and will view it from an entirely different perspective when I’m elderly.

    There’s a reason why it’s so successful. There’s a reason why so many people continue to watch it countless times. The amazing story (both the fictional & non-fictional elements…) makes up for the script. Also, the effects/visuals/& score STILL hold up today.

    Watch it, again.

  98. Take Scarface off this list and replace it with Avatar. Scarface has a 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so there.

  99. I came here via Casablanca. The movie should have started in Paris at present day to build the character relationships and then moved on to Casablanca. It would have made the movie longer, but the flashback to Paris was to brief to stick with you.

    The only relationship that radiated depth was Bogart(Rick) and the French Police Chief.

    Movies are too often rated on their moral content and kindness to a particular community.

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  101. “Crash” is terribly pretentious and self-important. I would say it should be higher on the list except I don’t know anyone who considers it great–which makes its Best Picture that much more baffling.

    “Casablanca” is a fine movie, but if you put it in a time capsule with 100 other masterpieces, a future film buff would NOT rank it in the top 5. Not sure it would even rank top 10.

    “2001: A Space Odyssey” is too slow, and emotionally frigid. Great film though. Disagree about “Matrix” only because I don’t think it’s considered a cinematic masterpiece. So don’t see how it’s overrated as art. Same with “Dirty Dancing” and dare I say, “Scarface.” You were either entertained or not by those films, but don’t think they’re overrated as cinematic art because they’re not considered cinematic masterpieces.

  102. Judging by some of the comments I think people don’t understand the term overrated. Overrated simply means there is more hype given to a movie than it deserves. By that measure this list is pretty accurate. For years I had people demanding I see Shawshank Redemption. Hyping it as the greatest movie ever. I finally saw it. Its a good movie, watchable but I’ve never had a desire to watch it again and frankly I don’t see what all the hoopla is about. Gladiator and The Matrix fall in that same category. Dark City is much better then The Matrix. I disagree about Field of Dreams and Casablanca but I get what the author is saying. As for my list I would have to put Taxi Driver at number 1. Why this film is so beloved I’ll never understand. I’m also guilty of overrating movies myself. I used to go on and on about Heat and how its such a great movie. I have to admit, its not as great as I thought it was.

  103. Couldn’t agree more about The Shawshank Redemption. It builds well only to succumb to a phony, cop-out, audience-wooing ending. In every way. I was liking it thinking it was about a murderer who will find redemption and even a sort of inner liberty in prison, never leaving the prison. But nope. It’s Escape from Alcatraz meets gauzy bromance. They blew it with Hollywood silliness. Of course the sap loving audiences lick it up, over and over.

    You seem a bit narrow in your views on 2001 and Casablanca. Kubrick’s intention was not to give you a typical narrative and he probably intended for his human characters to be a bit blank, dwarfed by all else. He didn’t want his audience focused on the humans as they are primed to do. As for Casablanca, I’m open to all acting styles as long as grounded in real emotion or some truth. Sure it’s melodrama and what of it? It’s expert melodrama.

    Couldn’t agree more on most the others, especially Field of Dreams and Crash, both awful through and through, at least the writing was.

    I like Scarface. Me thinks maybe you read Pauline Kael’s review of it.

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  105. movies i think overrated
    the artist, argo ,The Blind Side(something smells about this “true story”),Gravity , Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,Ingmar Bergman movies, Wes Anderson,Seth MacFarlane (everything he does he’s stealling
    from someone else for ex the simpsons southpark king of the hill)

  106. jump street, star trek, lord of the rings(think about the hoobit god help us),Inception, Forrest Gump , C’era una volta il West ,The Pianist , The Dark Knight Rises (was not good the bad guy was really silly and meaning less),North by Northwest ,Das Leben der Anderen ,American Beauty(kevin spacey dies who gives a fuck)

  107. Léon ,Oldeuboi , Braveheart , Some Like It Hot, Up(we not must LIKE JUST because IT’S PIXARׁ, Trainspotting , Prisoners

  108. i think i would hate you and love you at the same time if we ever met. how can you hit the nail on the head so well with crash, then bash your thumb so badly with scarface?

  109. scarface is a good movie not a great movie but a good one there was some good scenes and there also bad was overall i do think its a little overrated it got a 8.3 out of 10 when it should had really gotten a 7 out of 10 the movie was overrrated but there more overrated movies out there .

  110. COMPLETELY agree about Crash and Shawshank!! I did’t like Crash at all – too simplistic, too preachy, too obvious. The “Best Picture” was a politically correct vote. “Shawshank” was a good movie, but GREAT?? Not even close. For one I’m sick of movies where the white protagonist has a black guy as a best friend – as if he’s the only one in the movie who’s above racial discrimination. Plus the black friend gives him cred. SO obvious. One you left out – “Avitar”. HOLY is that overrated. It’s a simplistic childs’ tale, a good movie for young kids, who need easy, black-and-white (or “blue”) simplicity, white man good, blue man (or Red man) “bad”. Two words … PUH LEASE.

    I recently re-watched “Scarface” and was dissapointed – not as good as I remembered. “Chicago” – I don’t even want to watch that. But I DO know that “Saving Private Ryan” was EXCELLENT. SHOULD have won Best Picture.

    Now I love “Gladiator”. While I agree that “Momento” and “Crouching Tiger” were excellent, my vote still goes for Glad. And “2001” – can’t agree with you on that, either. It was groundbreaking, and also from my favorite director, Mr. Kubrick.

  111. Agree with some of your picks (specifically The Matrix, good movie but totally overhyped). Shawshank is amazing though, maybe from a technical standpoint it can’t compare with the likes of Schindler or Godfather, but it’s still a damn fine, moving epic.

    Anywho, here are some movies I consider overrated. In no order:

    The Avengers- A perfectly decent action movie that was completely and utterly blown out of proportion by annoying fanboys who labled it as “one of the greatest movies ever” when it was first released. I can’t tell you how much hate was thrown my way when I said I didn’t love this film.

    Titanic- Yeah. Agree with the majority here that it’s ridiculously mediocre and boring. Last third was well-done but the love story was stale and the characters pretty damn boring.

    Lost in Translation- HOW on earth did this win so many awards? WHY is it considered one of the best movies of the 2000s? I got nothing from this boring, pretentious, drawn-out mess except a good performance from Bill Murray. But even he couldn’t save it for me. Sofia Coppola in general is the Queen of Overrated.

    WALL-E- Generic enviro-message that’s beaten into your head for the entire runtime. The second half is a total uninteresting mess. The animation is great and some of the characters are fun, but overall this is one of Pixar’s weakest IMO.

    Goodfellas- Great movie, not one of the best of all time. Not even Scorsese’s best. That title belongs to Raging Bull.

  112. Why don’t we do an “Most Underrated Films” list and include films like Donnie Drasco, Donnie Darko, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Born on the Fourth of July, Gangs of New York, The Color Purple, Do the Right Thing, Bridesmaids, Inception, Revolutionary Road, Watchmen, Monster, The Road, Momento, Insomnia and fucking I Am Legend… I mean that film captured drama, horror, science fiction and strong human emotion with an brilliant performance from Will Smith… P.S. a personal fave of mine is Seven Pounds… I don’t know why that film receives so much negative attention… A lot of ppl say it was horribly acted and has a stupid plot but I disagree

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  114. i agree with few of the names on the list.. but not fully…
    i agree few are overrated but they are enjoyable..
    In my opinion a movie should be enjoyable.
    So overrated / enjoyable is fine with me..
    but there are many other movies which are overrated and not boring..

    for me few would be,

    1 – all coen brothers movies, they are shit, full of forced dark characters and irritating.. Fargo being the worst. i mean i’m indian so i duno how people talk in Minnesota, but for me it was funny and irritating.

    2 – old movies citizen kane yes.. pretty boring and pointless..and the suspense is funny..
    Best Orson wells movie is “The third man” directed by Reed.

    3 – i’m an indian, so slumdog millionaire was overrated for me (but not boring).. band danny boyle can do some great direction..

    4 – Departed – i mean come on , scorsese deserved oscars for his previous efforts not this one….

    Scarface might be overrated but it is super fun

    Peopl might hate me but i find all tom hanks movies a little too much praised, they are OK..

    movies which should have won all oscars, godfather, there will be blood, raging bull, hmm maybe hurt locker, a female directing an action movie.. awesome !

    i also prefer The Pianist to Schindlers List.

    Also pulp fiction is overrated, Kill Bill , but they are enjoyable so its ok….

    you have chosen movies which are fun to watch..so i think thats wrong….

    but it was fun to read though..

    Cheers,
    Amey

  115. i agree with few of the names on the list.. but not fully…
    i agree few are overrated but they are enjoyable..
    In my opinion a movie should be enjoyable.
    So overrated / enjoyable is fine with me..
    but there are many other movies which are overrated and very boring..

    for me few would be,

    1 – all coen brothers movies, they are shit, full of forced dark characters and irritating.. Fargo being the worst. i mean i’m indian so i duno how people talk in Minnesota, but for me it was funny and irritating.

    2 – old movies citizen kane yes.. pretty boring and pointless..and the suspense is funny..
    Best Orson wells movie is “The third man” directed by Reed.

    3 – i’m an indian, so slumdog millionaire was overrated for me (but not boring).. band danny boyle can do some great direction..

    4 – Departed – i mean come on , scorsese deserved oscars for his previous efforts not this one….

    Scarface might be overrated but it is super fun

    Peopl might hate me but i find all tom hanks movies a little too much praised, they are OK..

    movies which should have won all oscars, godfather, there will be blood, raging bull, hmm maybe hurt locker, a female directing an action movie.. awesome !

    i also prefer The Pianist to Schindlers List.

    Also pulp fiction is overrated, Kill Bill , but they are enjoyable so its ok….

    you have chosen movies which are fun to watch..so i think thats wrong….

    but it was fun to read though..

    Cheers,
    Amey

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