Movie Reviews

10 Acclaimed Movies That Were Actually Underwhelming, According To Reddit

Amsterdam, starring Christian Bale, Taylor Swift and Robert DeNiro, premiered on October 7th, adding to the exciting movie lineup for fall 2022. Movies like this, with established celebrities and famed directors like David O’Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) come with huge expectations from their fan base who have followed their careers and critical releases.

Redditors discussed how some acclaimed movies sometimes fall short for viewers, even if they are considered classics, have received good ratings from critics, and feature well known directors and franchises.

A blockbuster and highest grossing movie of all time, Avatar, the creative genius of James Cameron, was not everyone’s cup of tea. According to snark_enterprises: “A film can be overrated to one viewer and not to another. So I don’t think Avatar is generally overrated, I just think I overrated it going in.”

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Redditors spoke about how either their expectations or life experiences altered the way they viewed this fantasy classic. A particularly poignant remark was made by HoneyedLining, who attributed its popularity to a generational divide: “I watched this with my parents and my partner at the time. My parents absolutely loved it and we both hated it (especially as it was so long). Possibly it hits different as a parent when you’ve actually seen your own child growing up.”

Denis Villeneuve’s recent Hollywood hit, Dune, was another film discussed on Reddit as being underwhelming. According to Redditor meneroth, “It’s very ’empty.’ If this thread is about personal impressions and feelings, that’s what I felt during and after Dune. Its great visually and fun to update the imagination, but outside of maybe Duncan Idaho…the characters felt paper thin to me.”

Fans who had read the book seemed unimpressed with the movie, even though it seemed faithful to the plot, indicating how subjective views can be of the silver screen. Redditors found it hard to pinpoint why the film did not inspire or motivate them, with possible reasons being the starkness of the cinematography and length of the movie.

Excessive hype for a movie can lead to audience disappointment, according to several Redditors who spoke about The Dark Knight, the last Hollywood film of the late Heath Ledger. As christopia86 remarked, “It feels like so much of the praise is just how good Heath Ledger is as The Joker, and some amazing stunt work and some very cool scenes…The rest of the film seems a bit forgettable.”

When The Dark Knight was released, audiences and Hollywood were still gripping with the tragedy of Ledger’s premature death, which threw a lot of attention on this film. Most Redditors agreed Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was superb, but felt that the dialogue and depiction of Gotham were lacking.

The coming of age hit of 2021, Licorice Pizza, also inspired a less than enthusiastic response from Redditors. Following teenage love, show biz and trying to make it in the1970’s in San Fernando, California, it was harshly described by BddyGrease as “Just a steaming pile of hot garbage.”

Another Redditor, Admirable_Fig_6993, commented, “Why is everyone always running in this movie?” The artistic, whimsical nature of Licorice Pizza, which received rave reviews from critics and even a SAG nomination for Bradley Cooper as Barbra Streisand’s husband, seemed lost on Redditors, who felt it was an overly praised movie.

Sometimes good ratings and large budgets do not impact the popularity of a movie. Despite the star power of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, Redditors complained that Gravity was the worst movie they had seen and could not wait for it to end. Bullock, an Oscar award winner was described by DoneDidThisGirl by saying, “Those Sandra Bullock distress groans were like nails on a chalkboard.”

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Interestingly, another Redditor admitted to not having watched the film originally due to it being overly promoted, but actually liked Sandra Bullock’s performance and the physics premise of the film. This observation reconfirms how strongly anticipation and perception play a role in how fans enjoy movies.

Christopher Nolan’s 2014 sci-fi romance, Insterstellar, sparked differing views on Reddit, with some disappointed and others pleasantly surprised. Redditor puffybunion said, “I was waiting for Interstellar for like two years. I’m still sour on it. I think he tried to appeal to too many people and the movie hardly reached it’s potential.” Other Redditors felt that the film was too complex and that the theme of love was lame, whereas Redditor Jo__Backson initially felt disappointed, but admitted that the film grew on them.

Some Redditors who looked forward to the Christopher Nolan hit were disappointed, while others were able to embrace its flaws. According to DrossChat, “For me interstellar is one of those flawed films that more than makes up for it with spectacular moments. The score is beyond incredible and there are a few sequences in the film that are just perfect”

The 2022 critically acclaimed movie, Everything Everywhere All At Once, was also discussed as falling short of expectations. Redditors complimented its visual creativity, but felt its “absurdist” attempt fell short in its writing and overall tone.

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Premiering at the South by Southwest film festival, the movie caught the attention of global critics for its new take on sci-fi comedy drama, yet Redditors concluded it fell dramatically short. FreeLook93 said, “I liked a lot of the movie, but felt the way in which the central conflict was resolved undermined the emotional core of the movie. Everything Everywhere All At Once was very beautiful body, dressed in the finest clothes, supported by a hollow and rotting skeleton.”

The Ridley Scott 1982 classic starring a young Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, was also considered to have fallen short of its famed reputation. As per tragicjohnson84: “I watched Blade Runner years ago after hearing about it my whole life. I can definitely appreciate a lot of things about the movie, especially the setting and look of the movie, but overall I couldn’t get into the movie that much myself.”

Classics that hold a special place in film history and popular culture can grow on fans, as Redditor tcor15 noted they were originally underwhelmed by Blade Runner but now they “share the masterpiece perspective as others which is completely the opposite of my first impressions.”

Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1958 horror thriller, also featured on the list of disappointments for Redditors. According to nevereatpears, he described the movie as “just an awkward romance movie with a jarring age gap between the lead actors and actress…I’m astonished it gets so highly reviewed.”

Vertigo is a good example of a legendary Alfred Hitchcock film having to live up to its reputation and not connecting with Redditors who represent a younger generation.

Redditors debated whether Love Actually, starring Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, qualified as an acclaimed movie, but felt it held a special place in popular culture as a rom-com favorite of TV networks. Reddit users described the movie as being boring with a poor plot and not holding up to other legendary rom-coms like Four Weddings and a Funeral and the Bridget Jones series.

Comments illustrated that Redditors felt the movie lacked the necessary ingredients for a successful romantic comedy and therefore disappointed. McSmackthe1st said, “It’s not really all that romantic or funny. One guy’s cheating on his wife, some girl trying to date but has to take care of her brother who takes up all of her time and some kids mom dies. So ‘funny and romantic.’” Other Redditors gave it kudos for its plot threads and acting, illustrating how subjective the movie viewing is for fans of the silver screen.

Next: 10 Movies That Could Win Best Picture In 2023

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