22 "Great Movies" That Were Actually Just Average At Best
There are a number of films that are considered to be great. Some of these, like Citizen Kane, had their critical appreciation grow exponentially over several decades, while others, such as Schindler's List, were critical darlings from the start that have remained beloved. But for every film that's justifiably regarded as a classic, there's another that's not deserving of the praise it receives. That's why I've come up with this list of so-called "great movies" that were just average at best.
Of course, taste in movies is subjective, so you're unlikely to agree with every selection I've made here. In fact, I'd say it's nearly impossible that you will, and you might think some of my choices are bonkers. But to me, the 22 films I've listed here are all overrated for various reasons. That doesn't mean they're necessarily bad movies (though some of them are, in my opinion), it just means they're not as great as many people seem to think. This includes comedy films that aren't that funny, cult classics that are undeserving of their followings, action movies that fail to thrill, and even a few Best Picture-winners that I feel are wholly undeserving of their Oscars. So take a look below at 22 movies that everyone thinks are great, but are really just OK.
1. ‘Blue Velvet’
I like David Lynch's weirdness, but I just can't get behind this film. The weirdness is too disturbing, Dennis Hopper's performance isn't believable in the slightest, and the subplot with Laura Dern feels wildly out of place. This is just weird for the sake of weird.
2. ‘The English Patient’
Elaine Benes was right, this movie is long, boring, and pointless.
This is a terrible movie, in my eyes. It's Al Pacino's worst performance, the dialogue is awful, and everything about it is over the top in its absurdity. The idea that some people seriously mention it in the same breath as The Godfather and Goodfellas is the height of insanity.
4. ‘Shakespeare In Love’
What is this? Is it supposed to be a comedy? If so, then why isn't it funny? The movie's revisionist history plot is contrived, and the fact that it plays out like a rom-com is infuriating.
5. ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’
After years of everyone telling me what a comedic masterpiece this is, I finally watched it recently. I laughed zero times. Whatever the appeal is of Pee-Wee's schtick, it's lost on me.
6. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’
The Force Awakens blows this film out of the water. Seriously, who are these characters? Why should I care about them? Besides Jyn Erso, little is revealed about any of the characters' backstories or motivations; they're just there to fill up the screen. I couldn't even name most of them by the end of the film. The Vader scene deserved a better movie.
7. ‘Cast Away’
I love Tom Hanks, but seeing him talk to a volleyball for an hour and a half is not my idea of entertainment.
8. ‘A Christmas Story’
I'll never understand the cult following behind this movie. I think it must be one of those films you have to grow up watching (I didn't), because there are so many better Christmas movies out there that don't get nearly as much praise.
9. ‘Tropic Thunder’
I guess you have to be a studio producer to fully enjoy this Hollywood satire, but for anyone outside the industry it stands as a middlingly funny movie at best.
10. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
No doubt that Furiosa's cool and all, but this movie doesn't have anything resembling a plot. It's just one giant chase scene, which I guess is the point, but I've never been so bored watching so much action on screen.
11. ‘Monster’s Ball’
Miserable people being miserable with each other. Everyone ends up miserable, especially the audience.
12. ‘Revolutionary Road’
If you want to be depressed beyond belief and see two people yell at each other for two hours, then by all means, watch this movie.
13. ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King’
This capper to the fantasy trilogy is actually a good movie for the first two hours or so, but the tedious last 40 minutes leave even the most die-hard fans looking for an exit.
The funniest thing about this alleged comedy is the plot: A struggling male actor transforms himself into a middle-aged woman to gain a role and becomes a huge star. Yes, because it's so much easier for middle-aged female actors in Hollywood to get parts than their male counterparts.
15. ‘Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2’
No characters here feel like real people, the music is grating, the plot is absurd, and the violence is ridiculous. One volume would have been more than enough.
16. ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’
The most acclaimed film in the Bourne series is really the franchise's third best entry. The plot is way too convoluted and the herky-jerky action scenes are nauseating, but hey, at least it's better than Jason Bourne.
Subpar animation that looks really terrible when combined with some ill-advised CGI and a boilerplate story adds up to a mediocre Disney effort that pales in comparison to the studio's earlier '90s efforts, and to the following year's Mulan.
Bridesmaids deserves a lot of credit for reminding audiences that female-led comedies could be just as successful as their male-led counterparts, but the movie itself isn't nearly as funny as its reputation suggests, in my opinion. Its most praised sequence is just a long poop joke, Melissa McCarthy's extensive talents are hidden behind the caricature she plays, there's too much drama, and most of the humor that is present is too reliant on Kristen Wiig's awkward charm.
19. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
Following up The Dark Knight was no easy task, and Christopher Nolan admittedly could have done worse, but this film tries to go too big and fails, with countless plot holes and coincidences that leave a sour taste.
"Let It Go" is a great song, but Frozen is just an OK movie. The big villain twist is telegraphed from the beginning, Olaf is annoying, and what is the deal with those trolls? Despite the movie's crazy following, I would argue that every animated movie Disney has released since — Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and especially Moana — is far superior.
21. '21 Jump Street'
Yet another overrated comedy from the last decade that offers no real belly laughs. I'm starting to wonder if anyone makes really funny movies anymore.
22. ‘No Country For Old Men’
This is the worst movie I've ever seen. No exaggeration. It kills the main character off screen and switches narratives for no reason and nothing makes sense and there's no point to any of it and oh my God I hate it so much.
You likely have your own ideas about what "great" films are overrated, but for me, these are the 22 worst offenders.