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20 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time!

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LuckyLuciano

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20. American Beauty (1999)

Hey, I dug Kevin Spacey, Conrad Hall's cinematography, and the reach of Alan Ball's script. But under the winkingly parodistic role-playing (frigid wife; unhappy Willy Loman character; Lolita cupcake; homocoïtusually panicked marine; alienated daughter), there's more than a whiff of TV sitcom. Chekhov said if you bring a gun onstage, you'd best fire it before the play ends. Here, when the shot rings out we don't quite know who fired it—a bit of stagy misdirection that may have more to do with the original plot, framed by courtroom scenes, than dramatic necessity.

REBUTTAL: Sure, the characters initially come off as parodistic . . . until Willy Loman forgoes suicide in favor of burger flipping. But the film's stylish send-up of American suburbia is only surface anyway. Look closer, and you'll find a layered and humanistic meditation on the universal search for meaning.

19. Chicago (2002)

The sequins must have blinded Oscar voters in 2003, when Chicago racked up six awards, despite its blip of a story—jazz killers charm a nation, or something—and uninspired staging; its song-and-dance numbers leapt off the Broadway stage and onto. . . a stage, set in Roxie Hart's limited imagination. A sly celebration of duplicity, Chicago does some fooling of its own, editing furiously to cover the subpar hoofing of Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere (who sing as if under the spells of asthma and Ethel Merman, respectively). —Kelly Borgeson, copy chief

REBUTTAL: Uninspired? Director Rob Marshall brought visual panache to death row precisely because he allowed this musical to remain mostly in its natural confines, the stage. Carp all you want about Gere, but between Catherine Zeta-Jones's footwork, Queen Latifah's lung power, and John C. Reilly's sad-sack sucker, Chicago earns its props.

18. Clerks (1994)

Kevin Smith's Clerks is a little funny and a lot boring, just like Dante Hicks, the convenience store cashier it follows for one long, pointless day. This trifle's lame acting and anemic plot were celebrated for their street cred because the slackers among us could relate and the critics all wanted to seem cool. So, sure, a cornchip shark in a salsa sea is funny when you're drunk. But a movie shouldn't require beer goggles. And moving the camera occasionally or hiring unknown actors who can actually act doesn't cost any extra, even if you've only got $27 grand.

REBUTTAL: The acting could have been better and some shots seem static, but you can't deny that Clerks is a true triumph of the do-it-yourself spirit. Bleak, funny, and unique with its scurrilous charm, Smith's movie desperately wants to entertain any way it can, and succeeds, despite its lowly production values, because of its dialogue—perverted and profane patter about twentysomething coïtus, work, and love. Never have lives of not-so-quiet desperation been so hilarious.

17. Fantasia (1940)

To those who love Fantasia, Walt Disney's marriage of classical music and animation, I suggest skipping your daily dose of acid before breakfast. This film is a mishmash of pedantic narration and erratic tone (the finale's soul-sucking demon gives the death of Bambi's mom a run for the money in the childhood trauma department), and, frankly, some of the animated sequences now seem dangerously akin to screensavers. A flop upon its initial release, the film only reached iconic status when it made a return trip (pun intended) to theaters in the 1960s. As cute as Mickey is in the sorcerer's cap, I prefer some coherency with my gee-whiz animation.

REBUTTAL: Like a classical music concert, Fantasia doesn't have an overall narrative, so the tone varies, but listen, kids: When you invent a form (the proto–music video), being a bit abstract is part of the deal. The genius of Disney animation in 1940 is still sublime and sometimes terrifying, and it set a standard that today's artists still clearly yearn to attain

16. Field of Dreams (1989)

In Roger Ebert's four-star review of Field of Dreams, he dismisses its detractors as "grinches and grouches and realists." Call me all three, but every element of Dreams is just too on the nose: James Earl Jones's authoritative presence, the sweetness of Ray Liotta, Kevin Costner's boyish gait as he wades through corn. Furthermore, the movie's fans mistake Dreams for a well-constructed fantasy, failing to recognize that it fouls into an illogical realm, hoping to coast on its fuzzy sentimentality. What am I to make of inconsistencies like Ray Kinsella's sudden ability to travel through time? To achieve the status of a classic, a movie should do more than play to America's love for the game. It should also make sense.

REBUTTAL: Anyone who goes into this movie expecting realism must be as crazy as a guy who hears voices in a cornfield. Granted, Costner's time-traveling is a stretch, but true cinematic reality hasn't existed since the early 1900s. Sense-making aside, this film is for people who cherish baseball and a game of catch with their dads. And for those fortunate ones—and there are many—Field of Dreams is as real as it gets. —Jason Matloff, research editor

15. Chariots of Fire (1981)

The filmmaking of this Best Picture Oscar winner is so uneven and unsophisticated that it has always irked me. First, the sound is so bad that it sometimes plays like a poorly dubbed Hong Kong flick. Second, a race is depicted once, and then, strangely, shown again from another angle. And then there are spoken lines of dialogue that repeat later in the film as if they're being remembered in some thematic echo chamber. And, wait, the screenplay has characters who aren't developed enough and resolutions that feel rushed. All I'm left with are those notes by Vangelis, whose soundtrack, let's be honest, is really just good Muzak.

REBUTTAL: To nitpick about sound and camera angles is just poor sportsmanship. Chariots is an exciting sports film, incisive social commentary, and stellar costume drama all in one. It inspires, has heart, and shows the rewards of perseverance without being maudlin. It's a winner.

14. Good Will Hunting (1997)

That Will is an MIT janitor as well as a math genius is the kind of forced premise that would get laughed out of the lowest-tiered undergrad fiction-writing courses. So why did so many fall for Good Will Hunting? It had less to do with the value of the movie's Cinderella story line than it did with the parallel tale of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's rise out of Boston obscurity. Figure in a canned performance by Robin Williams as a nonconformist role model who is, coincidentally, a fellow underachiever, and you've got the kinds of symmetries that, in a movie, are just plain derivative.

REBUTTAL: Forced premise? Here's a true story no less inspirational than Will's, and just as dramatic: The Scotsman James Croll (b. 1821) was a janitor with little formal education at Anderson's University in Glasgow when he came up with the epochal theory that variations in the earth's orbit helped precipitate ice ages. Are there hokey moments in Hunting? Sure. But this is still an effective film about the powerful valences of redemption and the struggle for self-understanding and expression.

13. Forrest Gump (1994)

Being There, done that—only not quite as well. Gump makes a big, sloppy show of adoring its puerile hero to the degree of adopting his idiotic notion that whatever life gives you—be it the growth of your Apple stock or the death of a spouse from AIDS—is like a chocolate bonbon. The film is just a short-bus joke wrapped in cloying nostalgia and faux empathy. Robin Wright Penn's Jenny is redeemed by marrying the pure Forrest, but the junkie whore still must die, a plot contrivance that reveals the film's misguided moralism.

REBUTTAL: Can anybody spell f-a-b-l-e? And, hey, Forrest does say his mom told him life was like a box of chocolates, which means that life is a mystery, like the box—he's not talking about the chocolates per se. Thus, we live through the alternating sad and hopeful turns in this heartfelt, if often wry, run through recent American history. Why, occasionally what's under the wrapper of one of those chocolates may even be a tough, hard thing, like the heart of one who can't feel the tender spirit of this exploration into how a whole nation, personified by Tom Hanks's brilliant turn, stumbled its way through the Vietnam experience.

12. Jules and Jim (1962)

This is one of the signature films of New Wave cinema, but those who have trumpeted it as a delirious tribute to free love and bohemian bons vivants have grievously misjudged it. Let college kids fall for a woman who throws herself in rivers and makes love to best friends under one roof. Ultimately, Jules and Jim was never a celebration of this nutjob arrangement. It wasn't condemnation either, but its complex, painful last act just never seemed to resonate as much as the three of them frolicking in gay Paris.

REBUTTAL: Jules and Jim is about a threesome, yes. It's also a study of love in all of its permutations—ecstatic, unrequited, platonic, tragic—over a lifetime. The carousel music, the French girl puffing a cigarette like a steam engine, Jeanne Moreau's face . . . No other film fills me with more joy and sadness than this one.

11. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PR can be a real bitch. On the one hand, it's partly because of Universal's relentless pre-Oscar campaigning that Ron Howard's biopic of Nobel Prize–winning mathematician John Nash became heralded as such a prestige pic. Too bad the film didn't leave nearly as memorable of an impression as the nasty battles surrounding it during awards season. I'll try not to dwell on how the film skirts inconvenient subjects like Nash's illegitimate son or his rumored homocoïtusuality, which he has denied. Nah, I'd rather point out the ridiculously manipulative exploitation of schizophrenia as a plot device in a film that adds up to little more than a Disneyfied version of an entry in the DSM-IV.

REBUTTAL: So what if this picture wasn't chapter and verse the tangled life of Nash? Director, writer, and leading man each won the top award from their respective guilds—for good reason. When Nash runs into the rain to chase down his imaginary demons, and realizes they are just that, it's a classic, white-knuckles cinema moment. While vetting the textbook meaning of schizophrenia, better check out the diagnostic manual for "anhedonia"—the inability to enjoy normally pleasurable experiences.

10. Monster's Ball (2001)

Everyone loves seeing pretty people in desperate situations, but this southern drama is so tragic, it's absurd. Pity Leticia Musgrove: First her husband is executed. Then her son, who in addition to being saddled with being chubby, gets killed in a hit-and-run accident. Fortunately, Musgrove finds refuge in the arms of Hank, whose father is an alcoholic racist and whose son commits suicide. Enough! Maybe with a more plausible leading lady (say, Angela Bassett), this sobfest would have gained some credibility. But a few sweat stains and exposed breasts weren't enough to transform Halle Berry into an actress worthy of Oscar.

REBUTTAL: Hardly melodrama, Monster's Ball is a work of proper tragedy, superb in its restraint. The characters are complex knots of contradiction under constant threat of unraveling at the hands of genuine suffering and loss. Billy Bob Thornton plays Hank the way few working actors can. As for Berry, the last time I checked, the Academy isn't exactly in the habit of handing Oscars to African-American actresses for their performances, "worthy" or otherwise.

9. Moonstruck (1987)

First things first: Cher deserved her Oscar. She and Olympia Dukakis are wonderful as the practical, lovelorn Castorini women. But what makes this movie less than the intoxicating meditation on romance that many have dubbed it is the men in their lives—childish, selfish, ridiculously neurotic. The speed with which Nicolas Cage's Ronny (whom a character calls "the most tormented man," as if that were a good thing) proclaims his love for Cher's Loretta would startle even Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Their passion never rings true. And by the time the film devolves into one of those extended Italian-American family table scenes, it's hard to take it seriously.

REBUTTAL: Raise your hand if you have never met a man who is childish, selfish, and ridiculously neurotic. The characters, although definitely over the top, aren't that unrealistic. In fact, Moonstruck illustrates that no matter what our flaws, there is someone out there who is equally quirky and neurotic. As for the family sequences, anyone from an extended Italian-American family will tell you that laughter is what keeps us sane.

8. Mystic River (2003)

Clint Eastwood may be one of our most important directors, but even masters can fail. River's pacing feels like an overproduced episode of an underwhelming TV cop drama. What's with the ridiculous coincidences? Dave (Tim Robbins) just happens to kill a child molester the same night Jimmy (Sean Penn)'s daughter is murdered? Or how about subplots that should have been cut from the screenplay: The relationship between Sean (Kevin Bacon) and his wife may have been fully fleshed out in the novel, but here it feels like she's prank-calling him. And what's up with Laura Linney's totally offbeat Lady Macbeth moment? River just doesn't flow right.

REBUTTAL: The "Lady Macbeth" crack is apt: As River's themes—loyalty and betrayal, the implacable cycle of violence, crimes of the past echoing into the present—play out, the movie becomes an almost Shakespearean take on the police procedural, with the astonishing Penn at its center, evoking not Macbeth so much as a leathery-faced Lear confronting the abyss. Watch Penn in his final exchange with Bacon, and just try not to get goose bumps.

7. Nashville (1975)

The delirious—or, too often, headache-inducing—cacophony that became signature Robert Altman reached its critical apex with Nashville, and, actually, premiere has taken part in the overfluffing, having called the film a "masterpiece" five years ago. But Altman's multiple story line vision is a high-minded concept crippled by overwrought execution. The overlapping dialogue feels overindulgent, the earthy filmmaking looks sloppy, and a lot of the music is subpar, because Altman allowed his cast to write and sing some of their own songs (Keith Carradine's Oscar-winning "I'm Easy" is laughable). Is it satire? Tribute? Realism? More like a mixed-up muddle of the three.

REBUTTAL: Nashville was, is, and always will be a masterpiece. For a movie so crammed with characters and story lines, it is supremely coherent—funny, poignant, and prescient. Its country music setting gives it a red state populism that works beautifully against its political undercurrents. As for "I'm Easy" (a song so not-laughable that it cracked Billboard's Top 20) —well, that scene is pure seduction. Which is true of the film as well.

6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Judy Garland's appeal is undeniable, Bert Lahr ought to have been in more pictures, and most of the tunes have earned their places in the Great American Songbook, but a lot of this monument to studio piecework is an overcalculated self-promo for the dubious brand of enchantment it's pushing. The candy-coated art direction, highlighting Technicolor at its most garish, provokes insulin shock, and the Lollipop Guild, Glinda's damned voice, and Frank Morgan's "folksy" Wizard all give off the pungent aroma of neglected cheese. The film's reputation as kitsch-that-transcends-kitsch precedes it; a new viewer unaware of that rep might see kitsch, plain and simple.

REBUTTAL: The fact remains that Oz is one of the most influential films of all time. Without it, there is no Star Wars or Harry Potter. Oz is enchanted land, where the scenery is as Technicolor as the characters who inhabit it—and a bright and purposeful contrast to Dorothy's gray reality. Kitsch? Perhaps, but the movie offers life lessons for even the most cynical of us big kids—it's just a matter of having the heart, courage, and brains to find them.

5. An American in Paris (1951)

How could something that should be so good be so bad? The film has, like a fine beef bourguignon, all of the right, delicious ingredients: Gene Kelly, songs by George and Ira Gershwin, spectacular dance numbers, lush Technicolor, and the most beautiful city in the world as a backdrop. But, oh, the ennui! Throwing all of these overripe elements together turns the film into a gross exaggeration of the Movie Musical. Although Kelly might just be the dreamiest leading man ever to set foot on an MGM soundstage (Brigadoon . . . would I?!), he comes off here as a predatory, leering old fop in floods.

REBUTTAL: More like a macaroon from Ladurée, Vincente Minnelli's love letter to Paris is a feast for the eyes. With lavish sets, dazzling choreography, and surreal dream sequences, the film is pure escapist fantasy, the sort of transporting experience that Hollywood used to be so good at. It is an homage to Henri Rousseau and Toulouse-Lautrec, and celebrates a Paris where you can fall in love at first sight. I'll grant that Gene Kelly may come across as a lech, but don't forget that he is prey to his Peggy Guggenheimesque sugar mama.

4. Easy Rider (1969)

Why is it that movies praised for "defining a generation" never seem to age well? Granted, it's not hard to appreciate Easy Rider's cultural prescience. But for those of us who didn't come of age during the '60s, the film plays more like a music video set to a self-indulgent song about counterculture victimization than a movie that skewers a corrupt and conformist America. Jack Nicholson gives the standout performance (maybe he's the only actor who could handle his smoke), but he's saddled with the absurd task of playing an ACLU lawyer whom Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper just happen to meet in jail after they're arrested for disrupting the "parade" down Main Street, USA. Which leads us to the countless crimes of oh-so-profound symbolism during the antiheroes' ill-fated search for longhair freedom—ham-handed "message" moments that begin with Wyatt (Fonda) throwing his watch into the dirt and end with a shotgun blast from a pickup truck.

REBUTTAL: This awesome journey through the turbulent American heartland runs on unadulterated, high-octane creative spirit. The film's lack of sophistication is its charm. And its raw love for freedom, the land, and "we, the people" is palpable. Fonda ain't whistling Dixie with his stirring line near the end of the movie: "We blew it."

3. The Red Shoes (1948)

The first time Martin Scorsese saw Michael Powell's Shoes, he was blown away by its visual audacity—and I won't argue that point. But weighed down by heavy-handed direction and blatant melodrama—check out Anton Walbrook's portrayal of a devious ballet company director, and the interminable titular dance sequence—The Red Shoes feels more monotonous than magical. Although it helped pave the way for later greats such as The Band Wagon (which is far more successful in blending music, dance, and story), The Red Shoes doesn't belong in its class.

REBUTTAL: Granted, a triangle involving a ballerina, her pissy composer husband, and her passion for the daaahnce isn't for everyone—and, Scorsese aside, probably not for anyone who can grow a beard. That said, Victoria Page's struggle to choose between love and a career is still touching and pertinent. And Moira Shearer's pas de deux with a newspaper kicks ass compared with Gene Kelly's showy hoofing with that mouse Jerry in Anchors Aweigh.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

When I saw 2001 in 1968, I was occasionally thrilled, often bored, and ultimately mystified that the ending was considered a "trip," let alone that the movie was an instant classic. But everybody around me was stoned, and not in the mood for close reasoning. Today, the movie comes off as painfully slow and often achingly obvious (the portentous music, the waltz accompaniment to the oh-so-slow rocket sequences, the flatter-than-a-pancake dialogue). And the acting! The acting is . . . nonexistent. At least the apes in the opening Dawn of Man sequence show some passion, but the notion that an ape's finding that a thigh bone kills led to spaceships that look like thigh bones seems a little pat. Yes, the design of the movie is beautiful and there are lots of great shots. But a coherent story well-told, it is not.

REBUTTAL: How can a movie be both obvious and incoherent? 2001 is dazzlingly ambitious—an epic about mankind's transformation in form and spirit throughout its entire existence. And Stanley Kubrick, with magisterial cinematic virtuosity, actually pulled it off. Fast pacing, dense plotting, and punchy acting would only trivialize the movie's scope; the paradigmatic match cut (bone to spaceship) does not. Besides, homicide is a defining thou-shalt-not, for both the tool wielder and HAL 9000.

1. Gone With the Wind (1939)

The only excuse for the adoration of this bloated, nearly four-hour epic about a spoiled southern belle and the passing of the Old South is uncritical nostalgia. Yes, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable do a swell taming-of-the-shrew routine, but the movie's once-spectacular moments—the burning of Atlanta, the crane shot of wounded soldiers—look uninspired today, and its depiction of a feudal, racist society from the point of view of a victimized aristocracy is (at best) embarrassing. Even if the Max Steiner score and Technicolor cinematography are sublime, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. As a symbol of Hollywood at its height, Gone With the Wind is more kitsch than classic.

REBUTTAL: Frankly, it's amazing anyone could tell a story this huge in under four hours—it took Peter Jackson three whole movies to come close. Despite the advancement of computer graphics, the flames of Atlanta are still vividly real, as visceral as the field of dead that Scarlett stumbles through. And, by the way, the rampant racism is an unfortunate relic of a 66-year-old film, but that's exactly what it is—history.
 

roxxe

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ga eens dood
 

Sephirothsnake

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Dit artikel is goed om uw gat mee af te vegen, en dan nog.. :p


Is zo'n een artikel van kijk mij eens meesterwerken afbreken, wat ben ik toch de man bla bla.... typisch iets voor van die mensen die in de coffeeshop pöezie bespreken
 
OP
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LuckyLuciano

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Ze worden ook wel telkens verdedigd, dus dat valt wel mee.
 

Ghostrider

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Cool, Blassgeile Luststüten staat er niet in pop my cherry is dus ook goed.
:D
 

Dwighttt

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Pulp Fiction is ook overrated
 

bascross

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American Beauty. :roflol:

Wat een debiele lijst.
 

Eznir

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the aviator
 

modric

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Forrest gump was wel aardig
 

Markie13

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11. A Beautiful Mind (2001) deze werd zelfs door mij onderschat:eek:
 

Corleoné

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2001: A Space Odyssey is een zeer goede film, totaal niet mee eens.
 

willem9

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Ben het eens met nummer 20 en 2.
 

guardian

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Zitten er wel een aantal tussen waar ik het mee eens ben. Mystic River, Monsters Ball, Good Will hunting, A beautifull mind, Forrest Gump en vooral Easy rider ben ik het min of meer mee eens. Voor de rest zitten er een aantal tussen waarvoor je werkelijk idioot moet zijn om ze slecht te vinden.
 

guardian

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Good will hunting vond ik wel een goede film

Goede film mss wel ja, maar ook niets om te blijven herinneren en daarom overrated imo. Mystic river is ook een randgeval owv de vele toevalligheden in de film.

De enige die ik echt slecht vind in het rijtje is Easy rider. Gelukkig valt de soundtrack en de prestatie van Nicholson nog mee. De rest van de film heb ik echt vol ongeloof aangekeken, niet begrijpend wat hier de deal nu omtrend is. De hersenloze hippie-bullshit en dat hele puberale gedachtengoed kwamen na een halfuur mn strot alweer uit.
 
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