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The 10 Most Overrated Movies On The IMDB Top 250

02 December 2016 | Features, Film Lists | by Redmond Bacon


For any film lover, is an invaluable source for movie news and information. The highest viewed movie website in the world by a long shot, it draws from fans ratings in order to give every film in its database a score out of ten. The top 250 ranked films — as long as they have over 25,000 votes — go into the IMDB top 250, which works as a fan-made list of the greatest movies ever made.

What makes the list unique, compared to personal lists or critics choices, is that it truly combines the arthouse with the mainstream — making sure that crowd-pleasing titles such as Back To The Future (#44) sit nicely next to tearjerking foreign films such as Grave of the Fireflies (#60).

It feels more comprehensive than any other list, especially when you factor in that it culls more votes than any other poll or survey ever could. Nevertheless, due to its key demographics, the IMDB list is host to a whole bunch of faults that call into question its status as a truly objective meta-list.

Firstly, around 70% of all users are men, meaning that you have to wait until Silence Of The Lambs (#23) to get a female lead, and every Christopher Nolan film automatically enters the top 100. Additionally, because of the relatively young age of IMDB voters, a disproportionate percentage of films on the list have been released in the past twenty-five years (six are in the top ten alone).

On top of that, given that it is an American website, you have to wait until Seven Samurai (#19) to get a film that wasn’t an American production. Yet, its not just certain American films that don’t deserve to be on the list; given some fans strange predilections, films from all over the world have seemingly snuck in there despite being either perfectly average, or even terrible. Below is a list compiling the ten most egregious, overrated cases on the so-called definitive list.


1. 3 Idiots (2009, #103)


One notable change in the IMDB Top 250 over the past few years has been the number of Bollywood films in its ranks. Whilst this notable change in diversity is to be welcomed, meaning classics such as Gangs of Wasseypur (#250) are now included, it doesn’t mean that every one of these films is particularly good.

3 Idiots is a case in point, a movie that is difficult to hate — its blandly inoffensive and plugs a feel-good vibe — yet also baffles in how it inspires the kind of love that makes it sit just above Rashomon (#104).

Starring the irrepressible Indian superstar Aamir Khan, 3 Idiots is a campus comedy about slacker friends who have to band together in order to make sure they pass their exams. A bright and colourful musical/soap opera, it touches on everything from the pressures of adulthood to falling in love to rebelling against the system.

Khan is an undeniable movie star, quite magnetic every time he appears on screen. It is no wonder that he stars in four IMDB top 250 films. The film has a positive message, and even a few catchy songs. Its appeal is obvious.

Nevertheless it is simply too damn long. Coming in at just under three hours, it feels padded within an inch of its life, stretching on and on way past its natural endpoint. The story is told back and forth over ten years, sometimes making the plot incoherent. After a while, it becomes impossible to care about what happens next.

Thus, what started off well ends with a collective sigh of relief. It would work much better as a tighter and shorter narrative. Maybe if you are chilling out with friends and sometimes not paying attention, then this is a good hang-out film, but as a work of art on its own, it certainly does not deserve the acclaim it has.


2. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962, #85)


To Kill A Mockingbird, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, is widely considered as a classic of American film. On deeper inspection, it is easy to see its manifold flaws; most namely how its message, although honourable, is problematically drawn.

Seeing it from a contemporary viewpoint, on which racist views are now being legitimised in the media, and Americans voted for a president who catered towards racist views, its gentle, almost patronising message of people getting along together seems extremely quaint.

The film is famous for Gregory Peck’s performance as Atticus Finch, acting as the lawyer on behalf of Tom Robinson, yet Robinson does not get any of his own agency in the film, either as a character with real problems, or someone who is able to change events.

His whole freedom swings upon the immense goodness of a white man, making him not a black man in and of himself, but a black man who exists on behalf of white people to watch the film and feel better about the fact that they aren’t racist.

Additionally, whilst the childish viewpoint works in the novel in terms of perspective, the film uses Scout Fincher as some kind of moral arbiter who can even stop violent lynchings from happening.

It is simply unrealistic, and in the light of continuous police shootings of blacks that have occurred over the past few years, seems like complete hogwash. It shows not only a time when Hollywood used films to make white liberals feel better, but when black people didn’t have the means to tell their own stories. We can do so much better now.


3. The Intouchables (2011, #38)


Sitting at the incredible ranking of 38 in a list of The Greatest Films Of All Time, The Intouchables — not to be confused with The Untouchables — owes its ranking to the incredible performance that it had in its home country of France.

The domestic response was huge, breaking innumerable Box Office records by grossing over $166 million alone. People got caught up in such a hype for this happy-go-lucky comedy that it now sits just above Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (#39).

Usually when people consider the greatest films ever made they look for remarkable innovation, incredible performances, strong messages, or extraordinary camerawork. The Intouchables, despite being funny, even hilarious at parts, has none of those components usually associated with films that rise head and above the rest. It tells the rather ham-fisted story of a recently handicapped white man, who hires someone from the banlieues in order to be his personal assistant.

Yes, every classist and racially-aware culture clash you can think of probably exists in this movie, which proceeds down such an obvious route that every plot-twist can be telegraphed a mile away. The film does gather some charm through the unique relationship of the two men, yet there is little to nothing in this movie to make it worthy of the rating it currently sports.


4. Requiem For A Dream (2000, #79)


Requiem For A Dream not only doesn’t deserve to be on the IMDB top 250, it shouldn’t be anywhere on anybody’s top film list. An assault on every one of the senses, it substitutes migraine-inducing editing in favour of narrative and pretentious statements instead of dialogue.

Some of the statements by Jared Leto’s character are so laughably bad (“You are beautiful. You’re the most beautiful girl in the world. You are my dream”) it raises the question of how it got past the screenplay stage. What doesn’t help is how terrible his performance is, either gawping around, moaning, or suffering in some pathetic way, it becomes impossible to pity his tragic end, instead becoming exactly what his sad and annoying character deserves.

This is all before it descends into horror-porn of the worst variety. Whilst horrific images in film are not bad in and of themselves, depending on context in order to garner their meaning, there is a sense that Requiem For A Dream revels in its own depravity with nothing to actually say.

Supposedly made to mirror the experience of being on drugs, it certainly lives up to the hype: only this is like overdosing on every single drug simultaneously. How it got so high up the IMDB Top 250 — even above better films by Aranofsky such as Black Swan and The Wrestler — is quite the mystery indeed.


5. Room (2015, #136)

Jacob Tremblay – Room

Featuring possibly the most grating child in the history of cinema, Room is the kind of film that begs the viewer to start crying from the very first scene. Such blatant attempts to manipulate the audiences attention have worked their trick on IMDB audiences, who have rated this film to number 136 on the list of The Greatest Films Of All Time.

Admittedly, Oscar-winner Brie Larson puts in a heart-stopping performance of a woman trying to take care of her son despite being stuck in one room for the entirety of her life, yet it remains one-note.

Constantly suffering as a result of the physical and emotional abuse that is piled upon her, this trauma is only rendered useless by Jacob Tremblay’s characters’ basic lack of empathy, shouting and screaming at the top of his voice about random things that are seemingly irrelevant. Whilst it is good to remember that he doesn’t know anything else, the film becomes a chore simply on behalf of the child’s never-ending complaints.

Once they get out of this Room which lends the film its name, the narrative doesn’t pick up any further — director Lenny Abrahamsson having little clue what kind of film he wants to make. The result is a mismatch of the captive genre, family drama and the out-of-the-woods genre that never seems to come together to make any forceful kind of statement.



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  • CaraLegal
  • Dark Knight Rises? Arrival? Warrior?

    • Boom!

      Arrival is the best sci-fi movie in resent years. Interstellar shouldn’t be that high up.

      • J. Kerr

        Arrival sucked. The science behind it is inconceivably wrong. Interstellar is far more realistic and better in every way.

        • D Train

          Wow, J Kerr is a clueless twit to suggest Interstellar is good at all let alone has any kind of scientific accuracy. And to say something about Arrival’s science misses the point. Do you argue the science aspect of Tarkovsky or Żuławski? Have you even heard of Tarkovsky or Żuławski?

        • Ga5ton

          That is the dumbest argument to say a sci-fi movie is better than anoither one. Also Interstellar sucks and it should be on this list.

  • D Train

    This article isn’t good. It’s pretentious and poorly argued. Too bad. I expect more from TOC. Maybe next time.

    • Steve Dodds

      I don’t expect more from TOC anymore, alas…

  • Deepesh

    You need authors who don’t give a fuck about IMDB.

  • Guillermo Reyes

    How to Train your Dragon is even better than Toy Story 3

    • sailor monsoon

      A million times nope

    • I Am Tyler Durden

      Yep, it’s my favourite CGI cartoon. A perfect film. His negative points about it in this article seem to be totally the opposite of what I think and I stopped being 14 in the 1980s.

  • Brandon Thompson

    Requiem for a Dream is one of the best movies since 2000 and I think the author has missed the point, especially when it comes to the movies style. If the movie was a shot-reverse shot drama film about drug addicts it would plunge into melodrama but Aronofsky created a cinematic experience with the films hip hop cutting style.

    Also at the moment cinema needs more movies that attack all of our senses.

    • Rudi

      I fully agree. Otherwise it’s a decent list and indeed there are many ‘overrated’ (as far as that word actually holds any meaning since it’s all subjective) movies in the top 250, but Requiem is one of the bravest mainstream movies ever made. It still hits me in a brutal way every time I watch it.

    • Luuk.vanRiel

      Exactly, maybe switch out requiem for a dream with Shawshank Redemption. Though its not bad film it is just plain unoriginal or remarkable. It is made with definite craftmanship, but lacks any hint or originality. At least Aronofsky tried something different with Requiem. And IMO succeeded. Leto’s performance was spot on (I’ve used some mind altering substances and his performance captured the sensation quite well) and I love editing that at least tries to stimulate instead of just follow a set formula.

    • J. Kerr

      Aronofsky kind of ripped off Satoshi Kon. The bathtub scene in Requiem for a Dream is almost an exact copy of the scene in Perfect Blue.

      • Brandon Thompson

        So? Many directors have ripped off other directors.

    • Steve Dodds

      Requiem for a Dream is based on the 1978 novel by Hubert Selby, Jr.

      No one ever mentions that.

  • Scott Nicholls

    This bloke must be smoking some bad German weed, he couldn’t be more wrong…

  • Sherief Abdou

    All I think of is that you – the writer of that piece – is the patronising one …

    You may have some good points, but you act like you have got it all and that all the imdb movie folks are half wets or something

    All I wanna say F*** u , I always hated your pretentious type

  • Syaiful Amri


  • skybluestoday

    No “Shawshank Redemption” — ?

    • Fully support this statement

    • Alexander

      Agreed! It is a good movie, but by no means “The best movie of all time”

  • Punya

    Somebody with absolutely “no taste of cinema” has written this article.
    Shocking to see some of the best movies to be in this list.

  • jithindurden

    I think the author is frustrated about the fact that most people get what some of these movies meant better than him, so he thought let’s be pretentious

  • Dimitri Poenaru

    Damn. This author really couldn’t get the depth and the message in Requiem, could he? It’s incredible what statements he just made. Really dude, you need to start thinking about what you just saw, and not just downvote it because you didn’t understand a thing, or because you don’t like sad movies. Or, if it’s just your personal taste, i have nothing against it, but don’t say it’s “overrated”. And to say that you can’t understand how this movie got past the screenwriting… Gosh. And my opinion is fully objective. I am not a “butthurt fan” or anything, i am just able to recognize the value of a movie, even when i don’t particularly like the said movie. I still can’t believe what i just read. Don’t they have some guys who check these articles before before posting them?

  • sirnaber

    this list doesn’t include lord of the rings trilogy, so..
    also, requiem for a dream? seriously?

  • Nikos Ikonomidis

    A list with the most underrated would be more interesting, I think.Some of the movies mentioned here are very good, so even if it sounds too much to be in a list of best ever, it is not really a bad thing.In general, I rarely agree with the ranking in imdb, altough there are exceptions.

  • David Llewellin

    couldn’t agree more about requiem for a dream.. thanks! i felt it horribly indulgent, annoying, and in fact, for all it’s shock-horror, a bland and safe depiction of drug addiction. Right up there with leaving las vegas as a terrible and dishonest take on the subject. i enjoyed black swan. i don’t mind films being out there, even popular, but this confusion about how good they are rankles. something like vera farmiga’s ‘down to the bone’ is actually a good story about drug use.

    • vasilis4

      RFAD is a bad movie as the rest of aronofkys movies (except from the wrestler and p).

      • Mortimer

        No love for Black Swan ?

        • vasilis4

          nope, lets say 2 stars out of 5. aronofsky had the chance for a masterpiece and he blew it. sorry my english are not that perfect to explain exactly we i didnt like black swan. lets just say that in every scene i could here him bragging on what an amazing director he is. in The Westler he just let the camera roll and the result was fantastic. he will never be as great as coen brothers or p.t anderson (talking about modern american filmakers).

          • Mortimer

            I disagree but respect your opinion. I think it’s best Aronofsky’s film but it’s completely Ok if you didn’t liked it very much. And I agree that he isn’t on the level of PTA and Coen brothers.

          • vasilis4

            i hope i could be more fluent in order to give u a better explantation on why i didnt like it that much. thanks for the conversation anyway!

  • I agree with some picks on this list. But whoever says REQUIEM FOR A DREAM & IMITATION GAME are overrated are out of their minds!

  • Abhishek

    A movie which is on 211 isn’t called the best. All of the movies which are near 250 aren’t the best that’s why they are near 250. Out of all the public who watch Cinema only few people like quality and rest are all commercial lovers or go gaga when a Superstar’s movie come. And mostly they are the one who vote and increase the rank. So going by the IMDB rank its almost stupid to consider these movie to be ranked above some movie which we might be missing here.

  • Veteran

    Seriously, Requiem for a dream??? Perhaps there should be a for reviews like this one.

  • Mark Jeffery

    I completely disagree with the choices of Untouchable, Requiem For a Dream and V for Vendetta for this overrated list. Each is at least a good example of their respective genres.

  • Niklas Kimpel

    Why make such a list?! It’s obviously that the only result is offended people who are angry that one of their favourites is shown here…

  • CarlAxel Eduard

    Wow, a movie from the 60’s wasn’t progressive by modern standards? Of course it isn’t, it’s progressive for it’s time, where these kinds of ideas weren’t fully developed. Saying it’s overrated because it’s message is less relevant now is like saying The Godfather is overrated because it wasn’t shot on fucking IMAX.

  • FlixtheCat

    “Overrated” is such an overused and obnoxious word. It’s just code word for “What you like is bad, what I like is good.”

    • Ga5ton

      I couldn’t aghree more with you, i wish yopur comment had more upvotes because i believe more people should seriously reconsider the use of that word. it’s just a quick insult to say about something popular.

  • Will Masters

    Requiem for a Dream is a symphony of delight. Gared Leto is the most exciting actor to grace our screens since Brando. Whoever wrote this article can get to fuck. Just kidding, Requiem for a Dream is a myriad of shite. The writer doesn’t fail to understand the ‘deeper meaning’ of this film, there is no such meaning. Jared Leto is a bumboy and i really enjoyed seeing him lose his arm. It was almost as good as seeing him die of aids in Texas Dallas Buyer’s Club. Maybe not as satisfying but definitely funnier.

  • Mortimer

    I seriously didn’t have idea that IMDb Top 250 list is even relevant to someone here ? Don’t embarrass yourself people !

  • Bullet-Tooth Tony

    Agree with 2 or maybe 3 out of this list.The rest are good movies that deserve to be where they are.

  • Relf

    Where the fuck are all the Tarantino’s. He is the most overrated hack in film history. His movies are garbage, mindless action flicks which he ripped off for mindless idiots. His movies have no depth, nothing. They are worthless

    • D Train

      Overrated, yes. Hack? No. And to suggest such shows how clueless you are on the technical aspects of filmmaking. Visit a set some time and educate yourself.

      • Relf

        Hahaha so according to you saying Tarantino is a hack is a sign of being clueless ? Hahaha carry on dummy this is too funny

  • Put the Dark Knight in here and get out Room, Requiem for a dream and To Kill a mockingbird, they are all great near perfect movies, whereas The Dark Knight is just overrated

  • Steve Dodds

    “Author Bio: Redmond Bacon is a professional (… pretentious gibberish dressed up as same old ‘I’m just a regular guy trying to make in this crazy, mixed up world’ bollocks you get from the vape and meth aficionados busking on the street with a shit-smeared kazoo that TOC get to write their turgid, self-satisfying, redundant articles nowadays…) Sometimes he reads a book.”

    A book, huh? I suggest Requiem for a Dream, the 1978 novel by Hubert Selby, Jr.

    IMDB? Who the fuck in their right minds give cares about IMDB?

    Here. Take my TOC membership card. I’m out. This once great site has now been given over to the smug, patronising, sphincter-dwelling, sophomoric jackals of tomorrow.

  • Ga5ton

    This list is stupid, there are far better examples of movies with way too high scores in IMDB. I was hoping to see some Christopher Nolan movies, for example, but ”overrated” is an idiotic term anyway, and i don’t think any article or list should be taken seriously if it uses it.

  • Scott McKissack

    LOL this list is a joke. First off, it is slanted by a liberal/socialist point of view. Don’t bother reading.

    • louis

      LOL this comment is a joke. First off, it is slanted by a conservative/fascist point of view. Don’t bother reading.

      • Reality

        Literally Hitler.

        • louis

          I like to pretend like I’m being silenced for my conservative views, while doing the same exact thing to liberals. I can insult others, but I can’t take stand it when anyone disagrees with me. I shield myself from facts and reality because I am fragile. The thought that women and minorities might be equal to white men scares me. Fox News and Breitbart are life because facts aren’t real.

          See? I can do it too.

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  • David Johnson

    Usually I respect this site, but there are too many angry babblings here. To Kill a Mockingbird particularly. It’s meant to be a picture of a past America. To call it out as “quaint” or say its views don’t hold up today is beyond ludicrous and an obvious missing of the point.

  • Kosta Jovanovic

    Mostly accurate, but badly written