Jan 2, 2010

Most Overrated Movies of the Last Decade

I'm a picky eater when it comes to movies. It's my reward to myself to make up for having to sit through everything when I was reviewing them for the Times. Now I'm the opposite: I scan every review, cross referring a handpicked group of trusted critics to work out whether something is even in the running as something I might want to see. Then I narrow it down. So my Worst movies of the decade list has some peculiarities. For one thing, it contains none of the obvious turkeys — Gigli, The Dukes of Hazzard, Battlefield Earth, Catwoman. Not only did I not come within a hundred miles of these film, I find it hard to imagine the poor suckers who did. Were they living in a news blackout? Did they recently emerge from a coma? Had they signed up with a Reality Show? And nor have I included many bad blockbusters, since even the turkeys make money these days, thus making them poor barometers of popular taste: a film had to make over $600 million, and then really suck balls, to get on my list. What that leaves me with is the following — doomy masterpieces, critical darlings, cult favorites, filmmakers who aspired to be the American Dostoyevsky, films bent double with their own agendas, ideas and literary aspirations — the fake rolexes of film. The higher the praise, the harder the fall. So Crash wins because it not only won the Oscar for best film but committed the unpardonable sin of stealing it from my favorite film of the decade, Brokeback Mountain, in the process. A Serious Man is almost a textbook definition of a critical favorite that is just pure hell to sit through. There Will Be Blood had masterpiece written all over it and nowhere within it. And I'm sure M Night Shaymalan made worse movies than Signs but that was the one where he and I parted company. The urge has not seized me since.
1. Crash
2. A Serious Man
3. Kill Bill Vol. 1
4. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
5. Australia
6. In The Bedroom
7. The Matrix Revolutions
8. Inglorious Basterds
9. Signs / Lady in the Water
10. There Will Be Blood

I would like to second the comments this post has got, with honorable mentions going to: Little Miss Sunshine, The Dark Knight, Sin City and Grindhous, Snatch, Chicago and Pearl Harbour


  1. Happy New Year !!!

    2010 New Year's Fireworks show


  2. Casino Royale, because Daniel Craig is wrong wrong wrong for Bond. I realize I am probably the only person on the planet who thinks this.
    Also, Little Miss Sunshine, which I thought was mediocre at best and positively tastless at the end.
    I agree completely on Crash, Australia, and Kill Bill, though disagree on There Will Be Blood.

  3. Dark Knight?

    Sin City?

  4. Sin City — yeeucch! I hated that. I can't believe I even saw it.

  5. All three Lord of the Rings, but especially the last one, with the 200 endings. Walk FASTER to that ship, old hobbit! PLEEEEEASE!!

    And: Bug. The Host.

    Grindhouse! That, I think, was my least favorite movie I've ever sat through maybe ever.

  6. Do I detect a bit of anti-hipsterism going on here? Nearly all of Tarantino's work in the '00s gets a mention, save for "Kill Bill Vol. 2," which perhaps you liked. (I admired both.) And you need to revisit "There Will Be Blood." Seriously.

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