Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013's Most Overrated Movies

Here's where I make some enemies. Today I'm taking a look at the most overrated movies from 2013. If you happened to miss it, you can also check out my picks for the past year's Most Underrated Films. When developing a list such as this, it's important to outline certain criteria on which the selections are based. For me I use three main tools to help me classify "overrated". First, there's critical reception. Rotten Tomatoes becomes my source for this specific element, where anything over a 60% critic approval is classified as a "fresh" score. Then, there's public perception. A good indicator on how the general public feels about a film can be found at IMDB. Generally, anything close to a "7.0" suggests audiences liked the film. Ratings hovering around "8.0" suggest the movie is exceptional. Finally, I use box-office totals and awards season success as my last sets of criteria to help determine my list. While it's almost certain that we'll never agree on everything, here's my list of 2013's most overrated films.

Honorable Mention: Elysium (68% on Rotten Tomatoes and $93+ million in box office revenue), Philomena (7.9 rating on IMDB and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes) and Her (an astounding 8.6 on IMDB and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes).

#5. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Now don't get me wrong, there are definitely some well earned laughs in this highly anticipated sequel. However, a fair amount of critical praise (75%) and a box-office total that continues to surge past $110 million is a little unwarranted. We all knew that people would flock to theatres to see Anchorman 2, yet the outpouring of affection is a little astonishing. As a fan of the first installment, this one felt highly forced and rather mediocre. 

With Harvey Weinstein making an Oscar-consideration push and the Screen Actors Guild recognizing its cast, Lee Daniels' The Butler is a far cry from the big-time awards season contenders. Critics approved (73%), audiences enjoyed it as well (7.0 on IMDB) and its box-office crossed the $115 million threshold. Most importantly, there's no excuse for the forced subplots that were obviously included in order to get Oprah Winfrey some "much needed" face time. 

While critics were rather mixed on Zack Snyder's attempt at Superman, a much-expected $290+ million total at the box-office and an inflated 7.4 moviegoer score on IMDB leave me scratching my head. There were so many issues with Man of Steel and I guess dedicated fandom allowed many viewers to turn a blind-eye to its shortcomings. Drowned in action and lacking in real substance, Man of Steel is clearly one of the year's most overrated films.

One of 2013's fall releases that had audiences clamoring for no good reason was Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners. This crime-thriller-mystery was short on thrills and surprises. I'm not one who usually "guesses" right, but I felt like the movie was overly predictable. I'm still baffled by the film's 8.1 rating on IMDB and the lofty amount of critical praise (82%). With a running time north of two and a half hours and an ambiguous "are you serious" final scene, Prisoners never felt like it deserved the attention it received.

As someone who enjoyed the first two installments of the Iron Man franchise (yes, even the second one), Shane Black's first go-around felt completely wrong. After Jon Favreau stepped away from the directors chair for this newest addition, I still had high hopes. However, a completely misused and anger-inducing revelation regarding the great Ben Kingsley headlined a long list or shortcomings. While no one was shocked by Iron Man 3's enormous $400+ million box-office total, rather a 78% critic approval rating and a 7.4 IMDB score are completely unfathomable. If this is the direction that the franchise is headed, count me out. Because without question, Iron Man 3 is 2013's most overrated film. 

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