Today I'll be reminiscing over 2014 once again and pinpointing the year's most overrated and overblown features. A few days ago I compiled my list of 2014's Most Underrated Films and Overlooked Performances as well.
Now, staying focused on my current list, I always refer to 4 specific pieces of criteria. Two mainstream indicators for a film's quality reside in its critic evaluation percentage (courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes) and IMDB viewer score (where a "7.0" rating represents a strong film and the "8.0" range means its highly exceptional). My final two pieces of criteria for formulating my list are a film's Box Office Revenue and any award season accolades (i.e. Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice awards). So here they are, 2014's Most Overrated Films of the Year!
Honorable Mention: The Equalizer (7.3 rating on IMDB and grossed north of $100 million), The Maze Runner and its infuriating ending (7.0 rating on IMDB and grossed north of $100 million), and Selma, a presumed Oscar contender that's already been recognized by the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. Despite giving the Civil Rights drama a slightly above-average grade (mainly for its performances and direction), its 100% critic approval and outpouring of love is way overblown.
#5. Edge of Tomorrow
I remember walking out of the movie theater completely on the fence with the Live.Die.Repeat action thriller, Edge of Tomorrow. After taking the night to sleep on it, I woke up still feeling unsatisfied with the film's ending. This Tom Cruise sci-fi flick lands on my overrated list not because it's an awful movie, but more so because of the public perception surrounding the film. With a 90% critic approval, an unfathomable 8.0 rating on IMDB, a box office north of the $100 million plateau and a Best Action Film nomination by the Critics Choice Awards, there are plenty of reasons to think Edge of Tomorrow needs to be knocked off its high horse.
#4. Into the Woods
As stated in my recent review of the Oscar-hopeful Broadway musical adaptation, Into the Woods, the film's a tale of two halves. The first being an enjoyable and enchanting genre-blend, while the second portion is as unbearable as nails being scraped along a chalkboard. Into the Woods is by no means Best Picture material, but the film has performed well in the early going of awards season after being recognized at each of the Golden Globes, SAG and the Critics Choice Awards. With a 71% critic approval and a box office that's on its way to $100 million, Into the Woods hasn't warranted any of its accomplishments.
One of 2014's most anticipated blockbusters also turned out to be its most disappointing. It isn't hard to believe that hordes of people swarmed to theaters to catch the monster destruction movie, enough to land Godzilla's box office total north of $200 million. What's more shocking is the film's 74% critic approval. Especially considering the fact that we're only given about 10 minutes of face time with the title character! The majority of the action movie centers around the human characters' story lines, none of which are that thrilling. Needless to say, Godzilla was one of 2014's biggest busts.
Once upon a time, Angelina Jolie's account of Louis Zamperini's heroic journey was believed to be "the film to beat" in the Oscar race. However, Unbroken, justifiably opened to middling critic reviews and now its awards season hopes are in some serious jeopardy. In one of the most polarizing films in recent memory, Unbroken has a fair share of supports (evident by the movie's solid 7.3 viewer rating on IMDB). Yet, drowned in religious undertones and obsessed with physical brutality, Jolie's offering is barely enjoyable. Unbroken has been recognized by the Critics Choice Awards and it's on its way to crossing the $100 million mark, making the one-time Oscar favorite a highly overrated inclusion on my list.
#1. 22 Jump Street
Despite my counterpart's (guest-writer Greg Rouleau) glowing review of the action-comedy sequel, 22 Jump Street, I actually found the follow-up to be mildly entertaining at best. 84% of critics approved, its box office fell just short of an astounding $200 million and the film even captured a few nominations from the Critics Choice Awards. Obviously, there is plenty of love being thrown around for the overly self-aware and minimally funny action-comedy, enough to land 22 Jump Street as my most overrated film of the year. The first installment used cleverly developed jokes to aid its leading pair of immature officers to comedy glory. However, this extremely anticipated sequel took all of the original's glowing attributes and outstretched them to ridiculous lengths in a self mocking and pretentious manner. I was hoping for a lot more than what 22 Jump Street actually delivered.