8 Movies From The Last 15 Years That Are Super Overrated

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BLUE VALENTINE
"Blue Valentine" is one of HuffPost's most overrated movies. | The Weinstein Company

Recently, HuffPost Entertainment presented a list of so-called terrible movies that we simply adore. Now we're flipping the coin to tear down championed films we just can't get behind. Calling something overrated is usually more contentious than calling it underrated because no one enjoys being told the things they like are garbage. Oh well! We'll accept the challenge -- and the fallout -- that comes with insulting some of the movies you may have revered the most over the past 15 years. (Ed. note: Ahem, "Gravity"? Come on!)

"The Hurt Locker" (2009)

the hurt locker

Kathryn Bigelow made great movies before "The Hurt Locker" ("Point Break" and "Strange Days" are genre classics). She made a great movie after "The Hurt Locker," too ("Zero Dark Thirty" was 2012's best movie). If only "The Hurt Locker" was a great movie. I know, it is great -- or at least that was the narrative in 2009-10, when Bigelow's war thriller about a bomb disposal squad in Iraq stormed through awards season as the little movie that could (and did) defeat James Cameron's "Avatar." But, man, this one is generic. The script -- by Mark Boal, who also wrote "Zero Dark Thirty" -- is redundant, repeating the motif about war being a drug over and over again until it loses all potency. Then there are the action beats, which feel like some cross between stuff Bigelow did better before and stuff Peter Berg did better in "The Kingdom." (Next time we do an underrated movies post, I might call dibs on "The Kingdom," which was "The Hurt Locker" and "Argo" before either won Best Picture.) For its middling efforts, "The Hurt Locker" was rewarded with six Academy Awards, including a historic Best Director win for Bigelow. That was a wonderful moment in Oscars history. If only "The Hurt Locker" were able to match its power. -- Christopher Rosen

"Blue Is the Warmest Color" (2013)

blue is the warmest color

Decent movies about lesbian romance are a rare occurrence, especially ones that aren't stereotypical or utterly terrible. This scarcity is partly what fueled the appeal of "Blue Is the Warmest Color" (original title "La Vie d'Adèle"), one of those rare movies, but one that received much unwarranted acclaim. Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or winner does a lot of things right, but not nearly as much as it does wrong, including its inability to portray and obsess over women in a sickening and sexualized manner. It's filled with sex, which you likely heard a lot about when critics decried its controversial, excessive sex scenes, and when the actresses spoke out against the director. We all love a great sex scene, but nearly every moment of the 179-minute film is drenched in a distasteful lust for the film's protagonist. The closer you pay attention, the more you'll realize that it's far more occupied with Kechiche's desires than the characters' wants. If you disagree, just count how many ass shots there are. You'll run out of fingers, and you'll also run out of patience for this (unfortunately) distracted movie. -- Erin Whitney

"Gravity" (2013)

gravity

"Gravity" was visually stunning and it uncannily captured the vacuum of sound that is space, but it was also boring and felt long, despite being only 91 minutes. Listening to everyone rave about it beyond the score and visual effects was like overhearing an inside joke that only well-respected movie critics were really in on. And that scene where Sandra Bullock jet-packs to another space station using mostly just a fire extinguisher? Crap. -- Lauren Duca

"The Matrix" (1999)

the matrix keanu reeves

Sure, sure, "The Matrix" popularized the bullet-time phenomenon and cinema was never the same again. Yes, fine, Plato and Baudrillard and Lewis Carroll all saw their prolific work borrowed for a modern-day sci-fi audience, and lovers of literature and highbrow cultural theory found themselves seated next to action-film aficionados. Why, then, 15 years later, is "The Matrix" so dull and dated? It's all action and no substance, unless you like faux-spiritualism psychobabble and blatant metaphors about the simulation of reality. Because, gosh, we are just such a troubled society, so let's use a seething Keanu Reeves and a smug Laurence Fishburne to prove it. "The Matrix" has the deadly combination of being both confusing and juvenile, and were it not for the Wachowskis' impressive visual effects, everyone would have just taken the blue pill and shut up about it. -- Matthew Jacobs

"Blue Valentine" (2010)

blue valentine

Just like the relationship it chronicles, "Blue Valentine" is incredibly disappointing. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams make for an adorable couple on paper, but I'd actually have to believe either of their characters were in love with the other to begin with for the movie to be watchable. Gosling's ukulele dance number is endearing, I guess, but with the way "Blue Valentine" jumps between time, it doesn't explain why they fell so hopelessly for each other, nor does it give a satisfying explanation of how things fell apart in such a rapid fashion. On top of that, the characters are just unlikeable people with whom I had no vested interest, leaving me to spend the majority of the film's 112 minutes wanting to scream, "Will you just break up already?" -- Stephanie Marcus

"The Descendants" (2011)

the descendants

The problem with 2011's "The Descendants" is that it sucked. The silver lining is that non-teen audiences were introduced to Shailene Woodley, and the scene where she swims underwater while crying functions as the only worthwhile moment in the entire film. The rest of it is a mishmash of Hawaiian shirts, Beau Bridges, random bouts of George Clooney running and George Clooney playing a meek version of George Clooney. What's meant to be an honest portrayal of loss, and the struggle a dad faces in connecting with his daughters, ends up putting you straight to sleep, even if you had every intention of crying. As much as we love Alexander Payne for movies like "Election," "About Schmidt" and the recent "Nebraska," I, for one, hope to never hear a ukulele again. -- Sasha Bronner

"Drive" (2011)

drive

“Drive” is an appropriate title for this movie because watching it will make you want to run out in traffic. Supposedly, the film is about a Los Angeles getaway driver for hire, but “Drive” is really one big, awkward staring contest between Ryan Gosling and every other character -- with an occasional brutal murder thrown in to make the audience go, “I’m awake! What happened?” Gosling has less dialogue than Mr. Bean playing an introverted mime with bronchitis. Director Nicolas Winding Refn spends all 100 minutes trying to convince you that he has a cool iPod playlist. There is one redeeming quality of "Drive": Gosling’s super awesome scorpion jacket. Even that, however, is not enough to make you avoid wishing you had spent your evening doing something more enjoyable, like driving off a cliff. -- Bill Bradley

"Avatar" (2009)

avatar

"Avatar" was cool for a second, like before it hit theaters when all the buzz was about how much time and money James Cameron spent on it. But then it came out, and it was just a bunch of blue people running around with super expensive special effects in the background. Seriously, that's all we can remember without looking at Wikipedia. Sure, "Avatar" was great fodder for Halloween costumes and stoned teenagers, but did it deserve to gross more than $2 billion and earn nine Oscar nominations? Nah. Does it deserve THREE more movies and FOUR movie-inspired novels? Even nah-er. -- Jessica Goodman

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