Most Over-Rated Films I've Seen

  1. Titanic (1997)
  2. Spider-Man 2
  3. Sleeper
  4. Modern Times
  5. Waiting for Guffman
  6. Aguirre: The Wrath of God
  7. Moulin Rouge
  8. Highlander
  9. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  10. M*A*S*H
  11. Grease
  12. Spider-Man
  13. Face/Off
  14. The Jerk
  15. Batman (1989)
  16. Anything 'Three Stooges'

Lots of worthy entries on here, and I won't argue with most of the ones I loved (CTHD, Life is Beautiful, Dances with Wolves). But Ran? RAN?! What are you, nuts?!


Kidding, of course. But I do happen to think it's in the running for Kurosawa's best movie. Perhaps it doesn't win that race, but it's an awfully close call.

Jim (who realizes statements like that contribute to the whole "over-rated" phenomenon (and whose favorite Shakespeare is King Lear, so was predisposed to like it))

Yes, I'm fully ready to take a lot of flak on this one (Ran). For an explanation of why I didn't particularily care for Ran, see my review AND especially the comments made after it (for rebuttal by Shroomy of MilkPlus), and my answers to his rebuttals.

I'd love it if you'd comment to that review as well with your own thoughts on why Ran is so great.

I haven't forgotten you. Just need more time...

Sorry for the delay, which is particularly unjustified given how lame my response is likely to be. I still find myself with less time that I would like. Anyway, regarding your review:

You say Kurosawa has made a film more to please himself than the viewer. Even were it true, this it not necessarily a fault. All artists put themselves into their work. Regardless, I don't really see how such a blanket statement can be made about a movie that is clearly loved by quite a few people, and not just film school grads. I first saw the film in high school, when Die Hard was about as highbrow as I got, and I still liked Ran. When you're talking about "pleasing" one person or another I think you're in particularly subjective territory in a highly subjective field.

You state that Kurosawa intentionally diminishes the spectacle of the epic, but I remember being blown away by it. It's been awhile, so I'd have to see it again to confirm, but in any case you make interesting points about the cinematography choices, so I'd like to rewatch with an eye toward those.

As for why I liked it, it sounds like too pat an answer (and it probably sounds like it because that's what it is), but it's because it's a stunning interpretation of my favorite Shakespeare tragedy. I'm still amazed that Kurosawa could take King Lear, transplant it to medieval Japan, and have it be faithful and completely distinct simultaneously. The inescapable bleakness of the source material and of the movie aren't for everybody, but man it makes for good tragedy.

I think your point about 'pleasing people' and the way I described it is definitely a valid point - there's no measure of how many people were pleased, it just felt indulgent to me, you know?

I agree that the adaptation was quite a feat. But for me, when I look at a movie, I only look at the end result, and not hte process it took to get there and where it came from. This is not the 'correct' approach, just MY approach.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Don't imagine for a second I'd chide the creator and maintainer of Listology for not responding instantly to my post.

:-) Thanks. Y'know, I'm pretty sure the whole "consider the art itself and nothing else" is a legit school of critical thought. I don't know if it's currently in vogue or not, but you're certainly not alone in critiqueing that way.

One other thing I do consider, though, is its historical context. For example, it'd be silly to complain about how King Kong (1933) looks compared to Return of the King (2003) in the special effects department. Likewise, Citizen Kane's script is not terribly original by today's standards, but it certainly was at the time.

Side note: I have picked "American Beauty" as the 'best' film of all time, meaning it is currently the best film ever made without consideration of historical context.

As far as the best film of all time in the normal context (historical context considered), I can't decide.

Sadly American Beauty lands squarely at the intersection of a couple sub-genres I generally don't dig: the "suburban angst" tale and the "midlife crisis" tale. It's pretty good considering it's niche, but it's no Sopranos, the ruler of that particular roost (who would have thought it would take gangsters to finally nail those sub-genres?).

I understand that my total love for American Beauty is not well understood by anyone else. I've never seen American Beauty on any 'Top 100' list. Perhaps it will become one of those better appreciated decades after its release, or perhaps I will always be its sole crusader :-)

Damn, if you think Kurosawa's long, stationary shots are boring, may I suggest you never see "Tokyo Story."

I was thinking of making a list like this, but it seems you had it first. I would definetly add Office Space, Silence of the Lambs, Misery (terrible, how the HELL did Kathy Bates win an Oscar?) and the Big Lewbowski and Breakfast Club.

Silence Of The Lambs? Huh? I'm not sure if I can believe I've just read this. Could you explain that statement in more depth...please?

Other than that, are these films rated highly in the first place? Some people like 'em, but some people like sodomy too.

Kathy Bates is the bomb dude, especially in that film. Okay let's look at Misery without her, James Caan is boring, the rest of the cast is forgettable, the story is to say the least, thin. So here's Kathy in this mediocre hack of a film and she's tearing it up. Balls to the wall baby. 1. She's the only believable character...AND SHE'S A COMPLETELY INSANE, TYRANICAL, AUTHOR STALKING, CREEPY HERMIT WOMAN. <---how exactly do you play that role?. She zooms in and out of manic states of Brady Bunch-like motherliness and then bottoms out into sadistic inquisition-like wack-jobbery. Complete with a voice that vomits out swear-words and then apologizes. It's incredible considering her role is without a shred of depth and compassion. It's a completely 2-dimensional role that she takes and molds into a "villain" who's both pitiful and monstrous. Let's see Michelle Pfeiffer pull that kind of performance off.



I guess some explanation is deserved for my bashery of those two films. No prob bro.

First off, not saying Silence of the Lambs isn't good, I just thought of it as nothing more than a glorified action movie. I put it on the same level as Speed. Sure, Speed with far better acting (I hate Keanau Reeves so much) but the plot wasn't as thick or interesting as I thought, the direction of it could've been better I think, and it was all excuses for gross-out shock value for Anthony Hopkins to do gross shit. At least in a Tarentino flick it adds to the plot (most the time) it just felt like masturbation in Silence. At least to me.

And Misery was just a sad excuse of a movie. I read the book first, and it wasn't bad. I rented the movie with high hopes after reading this very interesting story, knowing that Stephan King usually translates well to film, and that Kathy Bates won a oscar for her performance. But it was almost a bad joke. Kathy Bates was terrible. Good acting for maybe the Texas Chainsaw Massacre or something like that, but it was pathetic. She came off more like an eccentric aunt or something. Times where she was supposed to seem insane and dangerous to herself and others, she just seemed like one of those kindergarden teachers that has tought for so long they are wierd all the time. Strange, but not scary at all. They botched the "hobbling" scene terribly. In the book it was far, far more terrifying with Kathy Bates Chopping off his feet with a blunt axe and using a blowtorch to cauterize the wound as he smelled his own cooking meat. She just broke them in the movie. As bad as that is, its really nothing big. They built up that sherrif character just to kill him off as an afterthought, which was horrible. I hated that movie, and I'm a pretty easy sell for a movie.

Sorry if I spoiled it for anyone, I tried to put the spoiler warning in, but it didn't work. Anyone know how to do that so you have to click+drag to read?

You almost had it. The tag is SPOILER, not SPOILERS. I took the liberty of expanding it's scope a little beyond what you had originally encompassed.


I agree that the story has inklings of action movie cliche spattered (snicker) throughout, but I'm not sure whether this movie didn't influence the action cliches in movies made after it's release. But most of the content seems to come from the 70's exploitation thrillers. Using gore to soften up the audience, get them a little uneasy and then layer on the overtly dramatic sexy killer and innocent prey scenes. As for the direction, I'm not sure what you mean, could you elaborate a little bit?

I think Silence hits the perfect balance between exploitation and unease. Slowly tightening the screws, personally I enjoy the film. And introduced the intelligent, career-minded female character whose secret weapon was the ability to adapt and react under stress, that was pretty refreshing.


Not argueing that the picture is bad. It's confused to say the least, not sure whether to be a dry, melodramatic thriller or a campy horror film.

I think K.B. was darn good, So I totally disagree. Do I think she should have won an oscar? No. (Don't get me started about the oscars.) If a little more flair had been infused into this lightweight horror fair it could've been a sick-camp classic. I agree that it should have been far more viceral, but it's a Rob Reiner film, what'd you expect.



Your comment about Anthony Hopkins simply baffles me. Unless my memory is failing me, there is only one scene where Anthony Hopkins does anything gross - when he kills the guards to escape from his tight confinement. How can you think the entire movie was an excuse for that one scene?

Well, I personally don't think Office Space, Silence of the Lambs, Misery, or Big Lebowski are over-rated. And I haven't seen Breakfast Club.

Ooooo. You have to watch Breakfast Club, it's like a right of passage for young men and women. And it's easy to make fun of, Yeehaw.



Okay, it's on my personal list of 'movies I want to see but Netflix won't let me add any more to my queue.'

Interview With A Vampire? It can't be over-rated cus it isn' It's kinda bad and that ain't just my opinion.



Good point. Fixed.

Heh heh -- nothing like an Overrated Film List to get the little red laser targets buzzing around your chest.

I could quibble about a number of these (and admittedly, I do agree with a lot of the choices), but I only have two comments:

I think saying GREASE is overrated is sorta missing the point. I think it's fun as hell, but I don't know anyone who puts it on a pedestal or anything. It's like cotton candy; sure it's yummy, but no one calls it haute cuisine.

And I think you got your sentence about 2001 backwards: Great, but not that influential.

you say The Shining is your fourth fave king book too Movie..which is your fave?

it's a toss up between Shawshank and Stand By Me.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. You can diss the hilarious Woody Allen comedy, the good but probably overrated Guest film, and the largely-guilty-pleasure-but-still-hilarious-in-my-book Steve Martin movie. But Modern Times? You think that's overrated? Really? What didn't you like about it?

It was rarely funny. It's plot disintigrated at about the half way point. It's half-talkie, half-silent approach simply didn't work.

Well I could probably argue with the last two statements, but I think what it really comes down to is that I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Other than that, nothing else really matters, when you get right down to it. And it's pointless to argue about whether or not something is funny, because it's just so subjective.

Oh yeah. And I found the ending pretty uplifting too - a beautiful, optimistic declaration of love and hope amidst the dehumanizing, technology-obsessed society we live in.

fair enough.

I totally agree with you. Batman is definatly overrated, as is Sleeper, Modern Times, and The Jerk. Aguirre; Wrath of God, however, I consider one of the greatest movies ever made. But many people I know totally hate that movie, so likeing it is probably one of my quirks....

I'm very curious - what did you like about it? I didn't really think it was a bad movie, just BORING AS HELL.