Most Underrated & Overrated Movies of 2011
We count down the unfairly judged and the too highly praised films of the year.
5) Super 8
Earlier this summer, JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg teamed up to give us a nostalgic ride back to the 80’s in the form of ‘Super 8’. And reviews were so ecstatic that they pegged the movie as an Oscar contender and one of the best films of the year. And don’t get me wrong – it’s a pretty good film. It’s amazingly shot (the train crash sequence is exhilarating), has a great line-up of child actors and keeps the audience hooked with suspense. But the third act of the film is so disappointingly generic that the film just ends with a weak whimper without ever matching the greatness of what came before it. That in itself takes it down a few notches and predictably so, it’s not so much of an Oscar contender anymore at all. Pretty good, but clearly falls short of greatness that it was pegged to be.
4) Source Code
I’ve actually read the original screenplay of ‘Source Code’ and thought that it was one of the most thrilling and well-written sci-fi scripts I’ve ever read. Highly anticipating the movie, the level was rise even higher after reading the reviews of the film that were almost perfect. But unfortunately the movie itself did changes to the plot that took away a lot of the original’s power. The love story was shallow and simplified, the ending ran way too long and was too formulaic among other things. Sure, the concept and plot of the film is still as strong as ever and stands as one reason to still watch the movie. But once again, the critics failed to highlight these problems in a well-made but flawed sci-fi thriller.
‘Bridesmaids’ actually ended up being one of the biggest surprise hits of the year and got critical acclaim by people calling it the best comedy of the year. And then when you end up watching it with that expectation, it falls short. It’s definitely very funny especially because of Mellisa Mcarthy who delivers a breakout performance and Kristen Wiig is a lot of fun to watch, but the movie never really finds a footing and the screenplay is all over the place structurally. It wanted to be many things at the same time and fell apart thanks to that especially in the meandearing middle. It did a lot of things different but eventually never really escaped the clutches of the chick flick genre elements which it executed poorly. A good comedy to watch, but nowhere near the acclaim that it got. That should have gone to ‘Horrible Bosses’ which actually managed to mine its potential in a great fashion.
2) Paranormal Activity 3
The third installment in this mega-hit horror franchise actually managed to impress critics this time around with it being claimed as an inventive new installment in the franchise that actually rivals the first film. But when watching it, it couldn’t be further from the truth. While the second ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie did go about replicating most of the original’s elements, it actually bothered to add some very clever plot twists that directly connected the film to the original in ways that are very satisfying for viewers who’ve caught both the movies. Here, we get a serviceable prequel that does have quite a few spooky moments (the fan-cam was admittedly clever) and a faster pace, it lacked any sort of story connection to the last two films and might as well have been a new movie altogether. None of the very promising scares from the trailer appeared in the film, which is fine but the scenes that we do get in return are uneventful. Add to that a bizarrely anti-climatic ending that seems like it was cut short during editing and we get possibly the weakest installment in the franchise yet.
1) Captain America
And here’s what I think might be the most overrated movie of the year. While Marvel managed to score immensely with ‘Thor’ which ended up being one of the most entertaining movies of the year, they stumbled greatly with ‘Captain America’ But that didn’t seem to matter with critics since it was showered with great reviews calling it retro fun and a great film. But once you actually see it, it’s problems are way too apparent. The villain is awful, the pacing after the first half is completely off and the movie runs out of story the moment Steve Rogers becomes Captain America. Even the love interest which was handled much better in ‘Thor’ is ridiculously unbelievable here. The only saving graces were Chris Evans’ dedicated performance and a well-done first act. But even all of that makes this possibly the weakest Marvel movie yet if you don’t count ‘Iron Man 2’. Disappointing considering how much potential the character has, but yet critics strangely showered the film with praise as if Marvel is immune to valid criticism.
Is there any movie that you thought was unfairly judged this year or a film that got great reviews that you ended up hating?