We all know that moment when you sit down to watch a movie that has everyone losing their minds over and hyping up beyond belief, and then when it’s over, you’re left incredibly disappointed and thinking: wait, that’s it? That’s what everyone’s been going crazy over? Why?
It’s a pretty awful moment that everyone has experienced and everyone will experience multiple times again, and these are exactly the movies we’ll be taking a look at in today’s list.
Those movies that everyone loved for some reason but are nowhere near as good as people have hyped them up to be.
The term ‘overrated’ has become rather overused in recent years, to the point that it has practically lost all meaning, as no one can seemingly fully agree on what is and isn’t overrated. But as of yet, this is the best term we have to describe the films that fall into the scenario above.
Also, as a measure of how overrated they are, we will be using IMDb as a way to rank them, the order of the films on this list aren’t from least to most overrated, that’s a discussion you can have in the comments, but the ranking will go from the lowest to highest IMDb score.
10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – 7.3
The Coen brothers are undeniably great filmmakers, but they’re great filmmakers who every now and then make films that just don’t work, like “The Ladykillers,” “Raising Arizona” (a film that has aged like cheap cheese), “Intolerable Cruelty,” “Crimewave” and “Gambit” (those last two have them only in the writing department but they are still pretty responsible for their badness). “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is their newest film to fall into this category.
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is an anthology of six stories that are connected through a thematic thread in that all of them deal with death in the Old West, but other than that, there is no real reason why these specific six stories were thrown together in this specific order. That’s a problem that all anthologies inherently have, so why these stories?
But even with a similar theme and setting, these six stories just feel so completely different that they just work as a whole and make the film feel more like it was thrown together. Almost like the Coens had six short films that they wanted to make, and then after filming all of them, they had the great idea of throwing all of them into a single film just for the heck of it.
Another inherent problem with anthology films is that some stories are always going to be more or less interesting than others, and that’s a big problem with this film because only two of the six stories are actually good.
The first segment, the one from which the film takes its title, is easily the best and is so energetic and fun that the rest of the film feels like it’s slowly turning into a lifeless unengaging slog. Starting the film off with the best story is a great way to hook the audience, but when the rest of the stories aren’t particularly good, it ends up creating huge pacing issues.
The second segment, “Near Algodones” is alright, but it’s neither sharp, witty, or exciting enough to be anything more than an okay time-waster with a meme-worthy ending.
The third segment, “Meal Ticket,” is an interesting idea executed in the dullest way possible: we watch two people we don’t care about doing something we don’t enjoy for what feels like forever, and when it finally wraps up, you realize that the most interesting parts of the story happened off-screen.
The fourth segment, “All Gold Canyon” is watchable and it’s always fun to see Tom Waits, but it’s not anything worth watching more than once, and barely that.
The fifth segment, “The Girl That Got Rattled” is probably the most boring thing the Coens have ever directed. It’s about 25 minutes too long, and is so unengaging that it becomes borderline unwatchable thanks to its excessive dullness.
The sixth and final segment, “The Mortal Remains,” is a huge improvement over the fifth one but is still too unfocused and underdeveloped to be worth it, and ends the film on an empty whimper.
How the film got a score anywhere above 6.0 is just incredible, and just goes to show that at this point people will pretty much eat up whatever the Coens throw out, even if it’s this half-baked and mind-numbingly dull.
9. Black Panther – 7.4
Black Panther is a good film, but it’s also a flawed one.
The story that it’s trying to tell is pretty great in theory, but in practise, it’s both highly underdeveloped and over-stuffed at the same time. There are too many characters that add next to nothing to the story on a whole, and all of them barely one-dimensional.
The story also suffers because it’s been forced to fit into the typical Marvel formula: it’s basically a mix between the “Thor” and “Iron Man,” but had they taken the story into bold new directions and been given the screen time necessary to fully develop all of their ideas, then this could have been a great film.
But as it stands, it isn’t.
Killmonger is a great idea for a villain, but he gets barely enough screen time to reach the surface of his vast potential, and it doesn’t help that he is sidelined for the first hour by a much more entertaining villain. Killmonger may be more complex and thematically rich, but Klaue is just plain fun, and if used correctly could have been used to develop the themes of colonialism, institutionalized racism, and white oppression over Black people, much more so than with Killmonger.
The film also suffers because the main character is probably the least interesting character in the whole movie. His journey loses all impact and steam by the halfway point because the film is asking us to root for what is pretty much a humourless plank of wood in tights.
But even when the film tries to spice up its dreary thematic groundwork with humour and action, it just ends up undermining itself, because the humour is just so painfully unfunny and forced that even David Brent would cringe himself to death (“What are those?” – studios, please stop trying to appeal to the masses with dead memes that weren’t funny in the first place).
On the action front, the film has pretty much nothing to boast about. The hand to hand combat is poorly filmed; the climax is an atrocious CGI mess; the car chase is probably the only action scene that’s not highly underwhelming or poorly handled, and even then, it’s too underlit to be fully enjoyable. It’s not the worst action ever, it’s watchable and never boring, but it could have been so much better.
That pretty much goes for the whole film. It’s a bunch of interesting ideas forced into a formula that doesn’t suit it and ends up being a flawed but enjoyable mess.
It’s a solid 6.5, anything over a 7 is being unnecessarily gracious.
8. A Quiet Place – 7.6
“A Quiet Place” is a pretty solid thriller, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen many times before. It’s just your typical monster movie mixed with your typical post-apocalypse tale, just on a smaller budget.
Narratively, it doesn’t do anything new and it’s not really trying to. It’s not trying to be some deep contemplative deconstruction on its genre, or some kind of a metaphor for the good and bad traits of masculinity, or a transcendent reworking of old ideas.
It’s not trying to reinvent the wheel; it’s just trying to show how effective that already existing wheel can be if handled correctly, and that’s perfectly fine.
Not everything has to be some deep art piece, and a solidly crafted thriller can be one hell of a ride, but the reception that “A Quiet Place” got in its release is frankly kind of absurd. This is a film that would typically not even make a splash on the cultural landscape, but for some reason everyone lost their damn mind over this film and made it out to be the saviour that modern cinema desperately needed.
And it just isn’t.
Yes, it’s pretty awesome and intense but it’s nothing more than a solid 7.0, and even with its competent old school filmmaking, strong atmosphere and overall awesomeness, 7.6 is pushing it a bit too far.
7. Upgrade – 7.6
“Upgrade” is a film we have seen many times before. The story is so worn out and typical that you’ll be able to predict every major story beat after watching only the first 10 minutes, and frankly, the only surprise this film has in store is how unexpectedly awesome the action scenes are, and that the final twist seems somewhat surprising just as long as you’ve been watching it with your brain turned completely off.
But those action scenes sure are awesome and make the film worth watching on its own. The rest of the film around them isn’t technically bad, but it’s just kind of bland and so predictable that it borders on being lazy.
Some people have called it the good version of “Venom” and they aren’t wrong, but you could also call it the good version of the new “Robocop,” the inferior version of “Death Wish” (but now with AI and hacking), the vastly inferior version of “Elysium,” and a thousand other things, both good and bad.
But no matter what, despite the countless other films it reminds you of while watching, it isn’t even close to being awesome enough to warrant a 7.6 score.
6. Incredibles 2 – 7.8
“The Incredibles” is a great film, but “Incredibles 2” isn’t.
“Incredibles 2” is okay, but it’s in no way worth the 14-year wait it took to get it, and it pretty much feels like a messier version that was rushed into production to make money, which it probably was after the financial failure of “Tomorrowland” (which is three times better than “Incredibles 2” but somehow only has a 6.4 score).
The tight plot of the original is replaced with messy wandering meandering that only ends up repeating plot and character beats already done in the first one.
But it’s not a complete failure, Jack-Jack is still hilarious and the action is pretty good (what else do you expect from Brad Bird and Pixar), but the undercooked mess that is the story and the lack of any real purpose to justify its existence (outside that fight with the racoon) does make it awfully disappointing.
That 7.8 score is more likely than not the result of nostalgia, Jack-Jack, and people obsessed with Elastigirl’s ‘thiccness.’
But in reality, it’s more like a generous 6.8.