5 Most Overrated Films


Some films just aren’t great, but the whole world seems to get behind them. For what reason, I cannot fathom but, regardless, here are five films that really grind my gears.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Now don’t get me wrong, I realise that this film is generally considered a childhood classic and I respect that but, and this is a big but, E.T. (the “loveable extra terrestrial) is nothing short of terrifying.

He sends a chill down my spine every time I stare into his dead, soulless eyes and I don’t really get why anyone would want to watch this little terror croak on about his home planet.

Simply put, E.T. haunts my dreams and I have no time for that.

Home Alone Series (1990 – 2002)

This is another childhood classic that I dislike immensely, but for entirely different reasons. Macaulay Culkin (later replaced by Mike Weinberg for the straight-to-DVD, Home Alone 4) is indisputably the most annoying child actor I have ever had the misfortune of watching.

Ultimately though, what really annoys me about the series is how insufferably repetitive the structure is: frustrating child has neglectful parents and gets left at home alone. Queue an hour of the same old paint can on string trap gag and there’s really not much else to it.

It’s boring and it’s grating.

Donnie Darko (2001)

This is a film that takes itself entirely too seriously. Combine moany characters and pseudoscience that means very little, and you’ve got yourself over two hours of the most inane drivel.

It’s got that sort of faux-profoundness to it that prioritises style over substance, with the same emotional integrity as the Twilight series.

Avatar (2009)

I wouldn’t exactly consider myself an advocate of 3D technology; in fact I think it’s little more than a lazy shock and awe device used to distract viewers from otherwise dull narrative, but James Cameron’s Avatar really takes the biscuit on this.

As uninspiring as it is long, Avatar exploits its colour and visual imagery to help mask the fact that it’s actually very predictable and banal. Sam Worthington carries the film with unbridled dullness and no amount of flashy visuals is an excuse for this.

Most Jim Carrey Films

This might be a controversial one (and, admittedly, not a specific film), but Jim Carrey may well be the most overrated character actor of a generation. His style of humour is offensively puerile, made all the worse by his incessant desire to shout everything.

Don’t get me wrong, The Truman Show (1998) is a remarkable film that was well ahead of its time, but that can be attributed more appropriately to Andrew Niccol’s insightful writing and Peter Weir’s masterful direction than Jim Carrey.

– Joe

joe sketch3


9 thoughts

  1. I was reading this and thinking to myself he’s spot on then I saw Donnie Darko pop up and thought NOOO! It is my favourite film of all time, anywayyyyyyyy the others I agree with, especially ET!

    • It seems a fair few people disagree with me on Donnie Darko! I think what really gets my goat about it is the amount of hype that I heard before watching it for the first time. “Revolutionary” and words of similar effect are grossly misused (in my opinion, at least). I’m glad that I’m not the only person who finds E.T. absolutely horrifying though!

    • I haven’t seen Donnie Darko in ages, so perhaps I might prefer it after a rewatch, but it just bores me. I don’t think it’s as deserving of the praise it gets, at any rate.

  2. Brilliant! And I agree with all of these-I hated Avatar and really did not think it could be that bad with Sigourney Weaver, kick ass CGI and James Cameron….but you still need a story!

    • I used to hold James Cameron in such high regard, particularly for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but after Avatar I lost any affection I had for him. In fact, I’d go as far to say that Avatar is my least favourite movie of all time. Admittedly, it’s a semi-irrational hatred, but it’s one I passionately abide by!

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