George Morahan counts down the top 10 most overly praised films of all time
10. Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette) (1948)
In post-war Italy, a poor man’s bike is stolen, and therefore, he cannot do his job. Consequently, the man steals a bike, gets caught and is ostracised by society. Big whoop, life is cruel.
9. Avatar (2009)
No one can deny that Avatar looks pretty and was incredibly successful (mainly due to those badass glasses you’d get with your ticket), but upon repeat viewing, one could easily assume that James Cameron spent a decade of his life trying to meld Amazonian Smurfs with An Inconvenient Truth.
8. Schindler’s List (1993)
This one goes out to everyone who thinks they can make a Holocaust film and get an easy Oscar, but mainly to Spielberg (and his non-union Mexican equivalent) for consistently exploiting Important Moments in Twentieth Century History for awards season glory.
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
One of the better and lesser-known moments in the sordid history of meddling Hollywood executives came in 2004, when Focus Features re-titled the Charlie Kaufman film Eternal Sunshine Out My Own Ass by Charlie Kaufman, however, they also thought it was a good time for Jim Carrey to try ‘serious acting’ again, yeesh.
6. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
Yes, Zooey Deschanel is adorable, and you could easily lose yourself in her eyes, and of course Joseph Gordon Levitt is charm personified and has the dance moves to match, but nobody – and I mean nobody – ordered the double helping of twee with a side-order of Manic Pixie Dream Girl inversion. Oh, and keep off the furniture, you’re in IKEA for fuck’s sake.
5. 300 (2007)
Granted, nobody this side of an IQ of fifty believes any of Zach Snyder’s works to be classics, but for many of this writer’s teenage class mates, laboured, larynx-shredding cries of “THIS IS SPARTA!” replaced punctuation in 2007, so it’s going on the list. That’ll show them.
4. The King’s Speech (2010)
Statistics have shown The King’s Speech to be the most ‘meh’ film of all time. True story.
3. Raging Bull (1980)
Frequently touted as a masterpiece already, Raging Bull seems to have undergone a critical renaissance of late. It’s difficult to see why as Martin Scorsese’s turgid ode to paedophilia, boxing and Marlon Brando monologues is a bona fide snooze fest.
2. Citizen Kane (1941)
A sled? A fucking sled?!
Some films are cult films for a reason. It’s not because they’re misunderstood by the mainstream or ahead of their time, but because they are mediocre. Blade Runner is one such film and it isn’t improved by its revered extended cuts. No, they house just as many delusions of grandeur and miserable shots of Harrison Ford as the original, nay, even more. Time to die.