20 most overrated movies of the last 20 years (1990-2010)

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1.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
“ Massively underwhelming.*** MAJOR SPOILERS ***

The technical aspects of Inception cannot be faulted, but for me, everything else was pretty soulless. The story has no real depth so it's jazzed up with FX gimmicks, endless exposition, ponderous action sequences and blaring, sledgehammer score. Take all the window-dressing away and you don't have much left. The *concept* is brilliant, but the story and characters are paper thin and boring.

I simply didn't care for any of the characters. I also couldn't really emotionally invest in the story because there was absolutely nothing at stake. No real danger. No lives really at risk. No real consequences of failure. The idea of planting an idea in someone's mind (and making them think they came up with it) is great, but the idea itself - the thing upon which the entire story was built - was BORING.

The most fatal flaw was the banality of the central conflict: All the complexity revolved around...breaking up a company?! We knew very little about the company, or why it was so important for it to be broken up. It would've been far more interesting if the inception was a necessity in some way; something major was at stake, and the failure of the inception would lead to some kind of devastating catastrophe.

Cobb's issue with his wife/kids was not strong enough to pick up the emotional slack, mainly because both Cobb and his wife were thin, cardboard characters. In fact, all the characters were pretty lifeless, with the worst being Ariadne (Ellen Page), who seemed to be there only to explain the plot to audience as the film went on. I didn't believe for a second that she was some kind of prodigious 'Dream Architect'. We're basically told this, not shown. All I saw was Ellen Page reciting her lines; her character had no unique personality traits/inner life.

The juxtaposition of various dream- stages in the final third was interesting, but it was hard to care about what was going on. A prime example of this was the Ski-section at the end, which interminable, and just seemed like an excuse to have yet another different location.

I hesitate to compare the two, but The Matrix worked far better because the characters were actually in danger, so I cared about what was going on. If Neo died in the Matrix, he died in real life. If Cobb died in a dream, he just woke up in real life. If there's no real danger, why should we care? At what point were any of the characters actually in danger?

Other thoughts:

* Main story similar in some ways to the massively disappointing 'Shutter Island'.

* Leonardo DiCaprio basically playing the same character he plays in almost every movie. I think he was more believable here though than in 'Shutter Island'.

* Overbearing score by Hans Zimmer. Way too loud to the extent some dialogue was drowned out. It could've been the sound system at the cinema I was in, but I doubt it.

* For me, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page were miscast.

* Exposition overload. Everything in the story was repeatedly explained to the audience. Maybe it was necessary - I personally think more could've been done visually to get the point across.

* Interesting ambiguous ending - will ensure the film is debated for years to come.

Overall, superb concept, but wasted on a boring central story. Fantastic visuals, and a couple of stunning action sequences (Zero G hotel fight being the best). Memento is still Nolan's masterpiece in my view.

Despite its flaws, I hope Inception makes TONNES of money. It at least made an attempt to be original, and if it's successful, perhaps we'll see lots more original screenplays (and more Sci-fi) being greenlit. ” - Jaimie Kanwar
 
2.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (120 mins.)
 
3.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
“ There's only one way to truly enjoy TDK: leave your brain at the door, enjoy the pretty pictures on the screen and don't think about anything that's going on. Do that, and TDK is an entertaining ride. However, there are people out there who prefer to think about what they're watching, and those people find TDK to be a convoluted mess and a massive insult to the intelligence.

The script is so horrifically contrived and full of plot holes that it renders TDK almost impossible to enjoy. Nolan breaks the rules of the Batman universe, and most fatally, he ignores the rules of the world he creates in the film. Just because it's a superhero movie doesn't mean that all sense of logic and reality should be flushed down the toilet (!), yet this is precisely what Nolan does with TDK.

What makes it worse is that Nolan et al have tried so hard to ground this version of Batman in reality but when it comes to the crunch, that reality is totally ignored at every step of the way!

I could list 100 examples to illustrate my point but I don't have the time. I think along the same lines as this guy though:

http://therawness.com/why-i-hated-the-dark-knight/ ” - Jaimie Kanwar
 
4.
Lost in Translation (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. (101 mins.)
Director: Sofia Coppola
 
5.
Crash (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption. (112 mins.)
Director: Paul Haggis
 
6.
Public Enemies (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s. (140 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
 
7.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life. (126 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
8.
A Serious Man (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking. (106 mins.)
 
9.
I Am Legend (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure. (101 mins.)
 
10.
Match Point (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for an actress who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law. (119 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
11.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource. All the while, he still tries to seek revenge over the death of his love. (106 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
12.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor. (117 mins.)
 
13.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead. (143 mins.)
Director: Gore Verbinski
 
14.
Cold Mountain (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart. (154 mins.)
 
15.
Mystic River (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy. (138 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
16.
Shutter Island (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In 1954, a U.S. marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. (138 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
17.
Juno (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child. (96 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
 
18.
The Reader (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial. (124 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
 
19.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years. (134 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
20.
Up in the Air (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest. (109 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman