The Internet Movie Database allows any ol’ person to hop on their browser and rate a movie they’ve seen. Unlike Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, the scores come straight from the registered members. Sure, the aforementioned sites allow user ratings, but they’re not the primary purpose of the website. Contrarily, IMDb thrives on user ratings. Some of the more popular movies have upwards of 1,000,000 ratings.
In other words, these ratings aren’t from a list of professional film critics. Anyone can sign up and rate a movie, which makes the website pretty interesting because it often shows what the true public opinion is. There are more male users than female users, modern movies tend to be more popular, and everyone’s God. However, in general, these ratings give people a good indicator of what others think.
Sometimes the public is very very wrong. The movies below are movies that don’t deserve their high IMDb ratings. In some cases, there’s a sharp divide between critical opinion and the rating. In other cases, this particular writer thinks everyone is a little crazy. Regardless, there’s a contrast between public opinion and this Taste of Cinema list.
1. The Butterfly Effect
With 2004’s The Butterfly Effect, there’s a sharp divide between critics and casual moviegoers. While the movie was slammed by professional critics, most other viewers were willing to embrace the Ashton Kutcher flick.
Most other viewers are wrong. The 30 Metascore is far more appropriate than the outlandishly high 7.7 IMDb score. That score puts it above modern time travel classics like Predestination, Looper, and Source Code. Let’s be real, if The Butterfly Effect were half as smart as any of those movies, it wouldn’t have received such a critical beating.
Aside from the fact that the time travel mechanics are unclear, there are countless other issues dragging the movie down. Time travel movies don’t have to be grounded in reality in order to be enjoyable, but it definitely helps when everything else also happens to suck.
Bad performances, laughable dialogue, and an unnecessarily pitch black tone do nothing to save this movie. The movie’s over-the-top attempt to be edgy feels cringe-worthy, and it isn’t helped by the fact that Kelso from That ‘70s Show is (unconvincingly) playing the lead.
The critical beating was warranted following the movie’s release, but it’s even worse to sit through in over a decade later. The Butterfly Effect’s ridiculous bleakness proves to be far less endearing in 2018. We’re talking about a time when nu metal was at its peak.
It’s no wonder people were so drawn to this Mountain Dew-fueled crack at badassery. However, just like people have (mostly) moved on from Disturbed, it’s time to wake up and release that this culmination of bad ideas is a flop.
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring trilogy is universally adored by just about everyone. Maybe that’s why moviegoers were (and continue to be) soft on the first movie in the director’s mediocre Hobbit series.
The first entry in the series isn’t the worst, but it’s the one with the highest IMDb rating and the one that started it all, so it’s going to be picked on in this particular list. While there are some good ideas in the first Hobbit movie, there’s one major issue that’s borderline impossible to ignore.
The biggest issue with An Unexpected Journey is likely the same issue you’ve heard about time and time again. The Hobbit did not need to be made into three movies. The Lord of the Rings books got one movie each, so why in the world should the shortest book in the Middle Earth series be stretched into three lengthy movies? The story is so straightforward that Jackson and company are practically forced to throw in as much filler as possible.
Even if it’s only the first movie in the trilogy, the amount of unnecessary thumb twiddling is alarmingly distracting. If the goal is to expand the source material, the movie shouldn’t feel like a short section of a book stretched out over the course of three hours. It’s not a complete disaster, but the wonky pacing is inexcusable
To make matters worse, the series never really manages to find its footing. Unfortunately, the pacing problems persist in both sequels. The Desolation of Smaug has the benefit of coming from the most interesting section of the book, but even it feels unnecessarily bloated. Meanwhile, The Battle of the Five Armies is a slap in the face to any fans of the source material. In other words, An Unexpected Journey is only the first in a string of disappointments.
3. Seven Pounds
It’s a shame that none of Will Smith’s attempts to impress Academy voters end up being any good. This is especially true in regards to his work within the past decade. Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness made a splash, but movies like Collateral Beauty and Seven Pounds landed with a large thud.
Academy voters and critics weren’t buying these convoluted and emotionally manipulative attempts to win people over. For some reason, others were more receptive to Smith’s failed attempts to pick up awards.
Since we’re talking about unnecessarily high IMDb ratings, this article will be addressing the movie that’s rated higher. Despite being overly sentimental and confusing, Seven Pounds has a lot of fans. It’s one of Will Smith’s highest rated movies on IMDb even though it’s one of his worst movies. It tries so hard to be deep but only ends up being completely ludicrous. The attempt to appeal to viewers’ emotions is also largely unsuccessful.
So where does Seven Pounds succeed? Will Smith phones it in, the script is a dud,and the direction is uninspired . It succeeds in showing that Will Smith has trouble choosing decent roles. It’s hard to say anything particularly nice about this movie. It makes Men in Black II look like a masterpiece by comparison.
4. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale has no place in the IMDb Top 250 sandwiched between Before Sunrise and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It’s a perfectly average dog movie about a real-life story that deserves something a little less conventional. Lasse Hallstrom plays things so safe that reading the Wikipedia entry is just as emotional as sitting through the bland (albeit perfectly acceptable) movie.
Some movies on this list are bad movies. The Butterfly Effect, for example, is a legitimately bad movie. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale isn’t bad as much as it’s excessively dull. It’s a pleasant movie to sit through after a stressful day at work, but it’s never anything more than that.
Futurama took the same story and infused it with significantly more heart and even a bit of humor. It does in twenty minutes what Hachi: A Dog’s Tale isn’t able to do in ninety. Basically, a show about robot obsessed with the word “ass” provided a more heartfelt take on the same material.
The direction is fine, the acting is fine, the writing is fine; everything is perfectly fine. That doesn’t warrant the unnecessarily high 8.1 rating on IMDb. Maybe the animal lovers of IMDb haven’t discovered better puppy movies. Hachi is a middling “sad dog movie” compared to classics like Old Yeller and Umberto D. The nicest thing that can be said about it is that it gets the job done.
5. The Boondock Saints
Troy Duffy’s silly little creation is essentially a Tarantino movie for people who haven’t seen a Tarantino movie. It has the excessive violence, the drawn-out dialogue, and the blurred lines between social commentary and overt racism. It does not, however, feature the smarts of your average Tarantino movie.
The over-the-top violence is definitely a reason people watch Tarantino movies, but that’s not the only reason people flock to see movies like Django Unchained. These flicks keep getting screenplay nominees for a reason. Blood and gore aside, they’re actually really well-written movies with engaging characters.
The Boondock Saints is lacking in that regard, which is why it ultimately falls flat. It’s missing too many key ingredients that make comparable movies worth watching. The IMDb rating shows that most people are willing to ignore the faults and enjoy the ride, but that sky-high rating is not representative of the movie’s quality.
To some extent, The Boondock Saints is fun to watch, but it’s hardly deserving of its cult status. The people that love the movie love it to pieces, but it’s actually sort of difficult to see why. At best, it’s an over-the-top diversion. At worst, it’s a loud, offensive mishmash of Tarantino’s less endearing qualities. At least Willem Dafoe looks like he’s having fun.