It doesn’t matter to many that these films were revolutionary in the scope of filmmaking, nor does it impress people that these films were critically acclaimed and won numerous awards, sometimes winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Instead, these films, while successful when they initially were released in theaters, have become reviled by contemporary film-goers who emphasize their contempt for these films by encouraging others not to view them or classify them under the category of being “overrated.”
Below are 10 examples of films that are close to perfection, yet are despised by some film viewers:
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Despite this film winning 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, many have begun to recently label Return of the King as overrated. This reaction may be due to the recent dislike towards writer/director Peter Jackson after his 3-film franchise of The Hobbit that wasn’t up to par with the brilliance he gave the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Due to their distaste for Jackson, the original Middle Earth trilogy has fallen victim to those who have accused the films of being “overlong” and “tacky.” Return of the King gets most of the hatred from viewers who argue the film is merely a “special effects film.”
It didn’t matter that Avatar changed the very spectrum of 3D visuals with the theater experience. Nor did it matter that Avatar introduced a new format of special effects that were first rate when first introduced to audiences. While it cannot be denied that the film didn’t translate well from theaters to home-theaters and the film’s plot isn’t overtly original, the true hatred with this film is merely due to James Cameron’s name being in association with it. Cameron’s name is synonymous with Hollywood pretension and to hate him means one ought to hate his films as well.
American Beauty (1999)
Despite being the most popular film of 1999, American Beauty is typically described as being “overrated” and lacking the comedy that has been commonly associated with it. The film is satire at its finest, yet that isn’t enough to satisfy contemporary audiences.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Even though Million Dollar Baby has been hailed as the best film of Clint Eastwood’s career, many claim they are dissatisfied with the quality of the film, describing it as “predictable” and “melodramatic.”
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Most of the hatred Shakespeare in Love endures is due to its win at the Academy Awards for Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. Even though the film is exquisite filmmaking with a genuinely beautiful love story at the center of it, many film goers find the film to be “boring” and “irrelevant.”
Les Miserables (2012)
The film is beautiful, historically accurate, well acted and the music is gorgeous, yet the film is hated. The primary reason for this is director Tom Hooper’s decision to have the music recorded live, which left viewers able to hear every flaw within the soundtrack. Even more hated was Hooper’s decision to have extreme close-ups of the actors whenever a song occurred. This left this brilliant film with the label of being described as “amateur.”
Forrest Gump (1994)
In one of the most unfair reasons to hate a film, Forrest Gump has become the latest victim of hated due to the vocal Quentin Tarantino groupies who are still infuriated Pulp Fiction lost the Best Picture win to Forrest Gump. Additionally, one cannot go on a Tom Hanks message board without a die-hard Tarantino fan slamming the film and Hanks’ performance.
It is one of the most famous, most recognizable films of all time, yet it is perhaps one of the most reviled films at the same time. There is such a following of those who go out of their way to diminish Titanic, citing the film as “inaccurate” and “poorly scripted.” Also, just the style of hating Avatar, the mere mention of James Cameron is enough to make film viewers despise the film for an unjust reason.
Gravity is near cinematic perfection, to which not a single component of the film was flawed. It’s my opinion that Gravity is one of the best films ever made, which was an opinion held by many leading into the 2014 Oscars season. It wasn’t until after the film’s 7 Oscars wins that a campaign to discredit the film began with people refusing to watch the film, labeling it as an “inaccurate space film” when the film never posed itself as one that conveyed space accuracy. Gravity is more than a mere special effects or “space” film, but rather a story about survival and faith, to which those themes are easily ignored by those determined to hate the film before they even watch it.
Birdman (2014) Birdman was already testing the patience of viewers with its satirical representation of the entertainment industry and the audiences who enable them. The popularity to hate Birdman immediately occurred when it defeated the highly pretentious film Boyhood at the Academy Awards. Ironically, Birdman has been described as “pretentious” even though its script and direction are first rate and will continue to influence filmmakers in the decades to come.