Top 10: “Classic” films that are actually really bad

The following is a guest post by Ben Morris. He is an aspiring film writer and reviews the latest cinema on Tumblr. His cynicism is matched only by… well, nothing really.

The most overrated classic films of all time

Greetings, Aliens. To those of you that don’t know me, I’m this blogger’s evil twin, but the kind of evil twin with surprisingly good looks and razor sharp wit. And, like Lex Luthor with hair, I am here today to rid the world of the popular “classics” you seem so very keen on enjoying despite there being nothing to enjoy.

Before the current, internet filter friendly title, this was actually called “Stuff That’s Popular But Shit”.

Note: Many of these entries contain spoilers, so don’t read below the sub-heading if you haven’t seen the film.

10. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Christoph Waltz in 2009 Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds
“Boring sequence after boring sequence”: Christoph Waltz in 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds

It’s not generally in Tarantino’s nature to create a boring film, but unfortunately, apart from the last 20 minutes (which I would thoroughly recommend) his Nazi epic Inglourious Basterds just becomes boring sequence after boring sequence, lacking the classic Tarantino over-the-top fight scenes.

Action makes way instead for overdrawn character development that just refuses to be captivating. Scenes like “The Bear Jew” emerging from the cave might fill you with anticipation but, unusually for Tarantino, it fizzles out into anticlimax again and again and again.

This is only dropping in at number 10 because the last 20 minutes are awesome and, if you manage to fight through the rest of it, there’s a pay-off worthier of Quentin’s talents than any segment of the rest of the film.

9. Titanic (1997)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in romantic classic Titanic
“Predictable and nauseous”: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic

I’m not going to have to do too much work here to prove that despite the weeping hysterical fans, Titanic is a festering turd that should be kept as far away from any rational human being as possible. Ignoring the fact that there was actually a real story they could have followed, James Cameron decided that a romantic fabrication where you unnecessarily kill the lead character off would be perfect. JESUS CHRIST YOU STINGY BITCH; JUST MOVE UP A BIT.

Titanic is predictable and nauseous. I could go further but I think it’s all a bit overdone. If you want to know all of the things wrong with Titanic, there are people that care about hating it more than me.

8. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Pixar's lauded finale to the Toy Story trilogy
“Not heart-warming or saddening”: Pixar’s lauded finale to the Toy Story trilogy

Now this one will probably get some negative feedback, but I’ve spent my entire life receiving negative feedback, so bring it on. Toy Story 3 sucks.

It’s not heart-warming, saddening, gripping or worth watching. At no point should anyone fear for the safety of the toys because JESUS H CHRIST, it’s Toy Story, not Schindler’s List. When I was in the cinema and the story obviously resolved itself, people in the audience stood up and clapped. I almost did too, because it meant that I could now take myself home and watch a better film.

I think people’s wishes for a grand end to the franchise probably set people up to enjoy it more than they should. It’s the weak link in the franchise.

7. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Guillermo del Toro's dark fairytale Pan's Labyrinth
“Irritably predictable”: Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairytale Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth is stupid and has no target audience. Like playing Fifa 13 for the first time because you’re at a lame party and haven’t had enough drink to feel comfortable socialising yet, Pan’s Labyrinth is the proverbial football that has been hoofed goalwards only to hit the disabled man in Row Q.

You couldn’t sit children down in front of the TV to watch a fairytale that would give them more nightmares than a lump of Stinking Bishop, but any adult that sits down to watch it will find it irritably predictable, boring and not scary. The latter is a good thing; scary films suck.

Fifa 13 on the other hand doesn’t, so go and play that instead.

6. Lord of The Rings (2001-2003)

Elijah Wood in 2001 fantasy epic The Fellowship of the Ring
“Tedious fighting and pointless dialogue”: 2001 Tolkien adaptation The Fellowship of the Ring

I’m fairly certain it takes longer to read the books than to watch the films in The Lord of the Rings – the most boring franchise ever created. I actually feel like I can only offer half of a comment on the content of these films because I have genuinely never been able to stay awake through one of them. I saw enough though of tedious fighting and pointless dialogue to know that these films were ludicrously overrated.

I only fell asleep once during The Hobbit though, so signs are looking up for that glorified money-making scheme!

I’d much rather read the books than watch the films, but even saying that, I remember that the books weren’t much good either. In fact, the best way of knowing what happens is probably to just read the ‘storyline’ bit on the IMDB page.

5. Avatar (2009)

James Cameron's box office behemoth Avatar
“Pretty lame”: James Cameron’s box office behemoth Avatar

BUT HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE AVATAR? IT’S SO PRETTY.

Haha, pretty lame more like. Almost as lame as that joke. (Kids, learn from uncle Ben’s mistakes; never set yourself up for jokes.) So yes, Avatar.

I could understand the admiration when it came out because of how incredible it was aesthetically. However, many, many films have come out since then that have been as pretty or more pretty than Avatar. Stoker – which has been the best film out so far this year – is a visual masterpiece. I suspect that technology will continue moving forward and eventually these films will look more like old episodes of Doctor Who.

What’s puzzling me is why people ever thought of Avatar as a good film. It’s a recycled plot which was predictable the first time it was used and it makes me genuinely angry that people think it’s up there with films like Pulp Fiction, Fight Club and Donnie Darko. Go and reassess your favourite film criteria.

4. Taxi Driver (1976)

Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver
“Dull, monotonous and self-congratulatory”: Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver is one of the many acclaimed films that could’ve been cut in half and would’ve still made sense, but still would have been too long. A slow-burning storyline and the world’s lamest character development ever are thrown together with dull, monotonous dialogue and self-congratulatory scenes.

It makes you wonder if this 100-year long film was actually directed by a jazz band or a progressive rock group who really love playing the same three chords in their guitar solos. Managing to make the ending almost as boring as the rest of the film, Taxi Driver is a movie that I will take great pleasure in never watching ever again.

3. Inception (2010)

Mind-bending thriller Inception
“A stupid film”: Mind-bending Christopher Nolan thriller Inception

Inception is a stupid film and, if you didn’t understand it, you are stupid too. It was an interesting concept ruined by the worst character development I have ever seen, and the introduction of the actress I have the most mixed feelings about: Ellen Page.

She was good in Hard Candy, bad in Juno and, in fairness, she did nothing wrong in this film. But then again, she did nothing in this film. Inception could have worked exactly the same without her. The character was brought in to do a job that she didn’t ultimately do and the time spent introducing and training her up could have been spent giving some of the other characters a bit of actual background.

To say that this film is a masterpiece of cinema would be the same as saying “haven’t One Direction done a lot for the music industry?” or “aren’t the Conservatives doing a cracking job in government?”

2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Campy musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show
“Insult to B-movies”: Campy sci-fi musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I find it so hard to put into words how much I hate this film. Yes, I understand it, but I’m afraid a film has to do more than be stupid to win me over and cameos from Meatloaf really don’t sway me. It has reached the stage where I shudder when The Time Warp comes on at parties.

It would be an insult to B-movies to call The Rocky Horror Picture Show a B-movie. It didn’t even age. It died a young death and is now rotting away, being eaten by worms and cockroaches. Take note; if ever you want to throw a party and don’t want me to come, make it Rocky Horror themed. I would rather hang myself.

1. The Godfather (1972)

Marlon Brando in 1972 crime epic The Godfather
“The most boring film in the entire universe”: Marlon Brando in The Godfather

Here it is – the most overrated film of all time. The Godfather is a stain on Top Movies lists everywhere, forcing gullible young film lovers to put it on. There’s the expectation of something fantastic so that they can turn around and say “YES. I HAVE WATCHED THE GODFATHER. COME, CHILDREN, AND FALL AT MY FEET.”

Instead, what you are treated to is the most boring film in the entire universe. The introduction alone takes up what would be half of a normal film, with Marlon Brando muttering things that may or may not have been words. The rest of the film is all a bit of a blur.

Propping my eyes open with sticks and keeping myself awake with adrenalin shots to the heart, I vaguely remember scenes in Italy that could have been removed (probably about a quarter of the way through) and almost actually removed them from the DVD with a knife. I also remember literally praying for the end, but whether that was for the end of the film or the end of my life, I’m a bit hazy.

So there you have it; the top ten things that most of you will disagree are terrible. But whatever. You’re wrong.

In the likely event that you disagree with Ben, leave a comment below defending one of these films or suggesting your own overrated “classics”.

8 thoughts on “Top 10: “Classic” films that are actually really bad

  • 13/08/2013 at 00:42
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    I disagree with Pan’s Labyrinth. That you thought the film was “predictable” and Guillermo del Toro’s creatures “not scary” is highly unbelievable.
    However, wholeheartedly agree with you on Titanic and the most overrated film of this decade – Avatar. It’s as if no one recognises how it blatantly ripped off “FernGully: The Last Rainforest”.

    I would also have to add “Apocalypse Now” to the list. This movie needs the crap edited out of it SO BADLY. Save for a few memorable scenes, the slow-moving second half (?) of the movie is torturous to watch and makes me want to claw my eyeballs out.

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  • 13/08/2013 at 01:34
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    I only really agree with one of these films, it honestly just seems like you have a very limited attention span, mainly attacking any film long then an hour and a half. Not all films are there to shove as much information at you as they can in as short a time as they can. Theres nothing wrong with taking your time in telling a story.

    If this was an article about films that were overrated i would have agreed with it a little more, but none of these films are bad. Most of them are visionary and groundbreaking either for storytelling, VFX or directing.

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  • 17/08/2013 at 13:56
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    “Pan’s Labyrinth is stupid and has no target audience.” A film doesn’t need to have a target audience, for a start. And even though I agree with you on a couple of these, it’s clear that you’re VERY ignorant. Inglorious Basterds consisting of “boring sequence after boring sequence”? Just because there aren’t many fight scenes? Tarantino might as well have jangled a pair of keys in front of your face, and banged a tambourine to keep you entertained…

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  • 21/01/2015 at 21:21
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    It’s an old one but I still have to put “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” on the list of most overrated movies of all time.

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  • 19/08/2015 at 03:51
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    no idea how i got to this site and i dont usually read what nerd introverts write on the internet but does anyone actually pay attention to these mother fuckers who write these shit articles all over the place? this morons is one of those fucked up kids they had to dope up on ritalin so he could sit still for 10 minutes lmao

    taxi driver wasnt even 2 hours long u tard, if thats too long for you go back to getting beat by ur step dad

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  • 12/08/2016 at 21:38
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    Jesus Christ I was gonna call you a hipster but it just seems like you basically hate any movie longer than 1hr30min and if it doesn’t have atleast one exploding monster truck or a hot girl jiggling around in a bikini, it automatically becomes the biggest piece of shit in all of cinema. I mean, I agree with you on a few of them but I’d still rather watch a Titanic marathon than ever have to read this god awful “article” again. Just think about what the world would be like if it was populated only by people like you. It would probably be some desolate wasteland or an uncivilized cesspool where flinging feces is more popular than Twitter. You said you’ve had negative feedback your entire life, you want to know why? Not because you break the social norms and call out the movies that everybody loves for what you think they really are, but because you’re an angry and ignorant fuck. You didn’t approach these movies with an analytical or artistic mindset, you just looked for what was SUPPOSED to be in a movie and if it didn’t follow your classic 123 formula, it automatically sucked. Well (most of) these movies didn’t suck, you suck.

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  • 23/09/2016 at 18:09
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    I’m not ok with Titanic, This is a masterpiece. But i’m ok for the rest, taxi driver should be number 1

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  • 11/07/2017 at 05:39
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    Why is “Titanic” not #1? “Avatar” would have been #2, but people seem to have forgotten it existed and it has not aged well at all. So maybe “Gone With the Wind”, more like an elaborate dramatic play than a movie, should be #2, unless you want to put “The Matrix” or “Jaws” there.

    Reply

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