5 Recent Movies Whose Popular Acclaim Makes No Sense

I’ve come to terms with Argo being declared by a number of governing bodies including the oh-so-prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the Best Picture of 2012. It’s ok. I watched it again, and it’s fine, whatever. A well told story that’s engaging throughout and has a conclusion that stretches the definition of “true story” but is fairly well conceived and executed and all that. It’s good. It’s fine. It deserves to be among the year’s acclaimed movies.

I also think I get why it received all this acclaim long after it had been released. In what seems to be the victorious narrative, Ben Affleck was left out of the Best Director category when the Oscar nominations were released, and this led to a flood of sympathy votes for his darling little movie to win every award that came after. This is not necessarily a satisfying explanation in the sense that it’s unfortunate this is the way the world in general and the world of Hollywood more specifically seems to work, but satisfying in the sense that there is an explanation, and this one seems to hold water.

There are other movies that have been the recipients of enormous acclaim, either popularly in the form of box office or word of mouth reception, or from critical raves, none of which makes any sense to me. I’m not saying they’re bad in every case, but the degree to which they’re hailed as great movies baffles me nonetheless. This may just be obtuseness on my part. But I’ve never let that stop me before from sharing my reservations about popular movies.

Comments (22)

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  1. First off, that is an M1 Garand rifle, not a shotgun in Gran Torino.
    Second, he wasn’t playing “the classic SOB”, he was playing the Vietnam Vet who lost close friends in the war and struggled with multiple problems including PTSD and an intense hatred of the entire group of people.
    Third, sure, some of the Hmong actors were a little unpolished, but the one that counted put on a very good performance for her first role.

    The story isn’t “the mean guy is actually good”, the story is a man dealing with his pain overcoming his hatred of a race of people because he chose to honor the memory of his wife. Sorry you missed the predominate themes, but this movie doesn’t deserve to be on your list.

    1. Hatoriansays:

      Don’t you mean Korean War? When you want to correct someone get your own facts right. Geez.

  2. Jennifersays:

    After reading all your reviews I realize you lack depth and attention. You’re correct it is hard to take you seriously since you sound like an errant adolescent with an obvious lack of understanding or true appreciation of life and art. You really do seem to miss the mark on most accounts with all your “reviews”.

  3. stststsays:

    I’m glad you had the balls to pan the King’s Speech so I’m only going to address that. You’re right about it. The reason it’s silly is because King George’s stutter is historically unimportant. It was Churchill’s inspiration that gave England heart during the war. Churchill who came from nothing. Where is his movie? It was a boring topic for a movie even if it was solidly rendered.

    1. nevillerosssays:

      Churchill didn’t come from ‘nothing’, he was the son of an MP and was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the noble Spencer family. His life was just as aristocratic as that of the King George’s (not that I’m defending this movie, far from it). Also, Churchill’s has a ton of movies devoted to his life (including Young Churchill, so he’s not lacking for movie biopics that could win Academy Awards.

      Another thing that gets me about The King’s Speech is that King George shouldn’t have been king in the first place; it should have been his brother, Edward (even if he was married to a commoner and even if he had Axis sympathies.) Of course, if they didn’t want him, they could have just kept the monarchy free until somebody else came of age that could be king or queen. As it was, George had health problems brought on by being king and died to the stresses.

  4. schniebemsays:

    First I want to say thank you to Brandon Rader for the M1 Garand correction. Iagree with you on some of your picks and I typically not to ridicule people for their opinions, but your comments about the kid from Extremely Loud and incredibly Close are way off the mark. That kid did a fantastic job portraying a child with a serious mental disorder. If you found him irratating you should probably never volunteer to work with the disabled. Among the many side effects of mental and social disorders, is O.C.D. and his performance was spot on.

  5. Ricsays:

    Wow, you truly have no idea what you’re talking about. So sad. The King’s Speech was a seminal movie about struggle, with Bertie’s struggle actually a metaphor for the great war. But I expect that’s lost on an imbecile like you. Oh well..

  6. Anti-Criticsays:

    You are seriously one of the worst critics I have ever had the displeasure of commenting on. You need to realize the shallow depth of your understanding of movies and work on it. How can you not realize how great of a movie Argo actually is? I’m not saying other movies are just as good. I’m just saying your reviews are completely of the mark of what the viewers actually enjoy in a movie they want to see. You seem to make it a personal vendetta to write the worst reviews possible for decent or good movies. Do yourself and everyone else a favor, and please delete your site.

  7. Durrr, more splosions! Derp!

  8. KXBsays:

    POPULAR acclaim for Extremely Loud…? What are you talking about???? The movie was a (deserved) dud that was hardly “popular” with the audience (who wisely ignored it, seeing it as the exploitative claptrap it is)..

    1. Yeah, Extremely Loud was not good, and I don’t think the audience treated it any better than the critics. That is just about the only movie that belongs on this list though

  9. J.D. Stuttssays:

    MOST people HATED J. Edgar (or just didn’t see it)- WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

  10. Garbage. Gran Torino was awesome.

  11. Garbage. Gran Torino was awesome.

  12. So was Blind Side. This list is nonsense.

  13. Chicnstu49says:

    Spot on.

  14. Brandy McNameesays:

    OMG, I’m just going to go get a tub of popcorn and sit back and scroll through the comments. This is going to be fun… so many irreversibly ruffled feathers, lol.

  15. p3orionsays:

    This list needs to be retitled “Five recent movies I didn’t like that a few of my friends did.”

  16. Jackie Jormpjompsays:

    Extremely Loud was not critically acclaimed (it sits at 46% on Rottentomatoes). If you don’t get the merit behind Gran Torino, who really cares what you think? Maybe retire, or find yourself a new vocation. Maybe take some advice from Don Rickles and go move out to the mountains and don’t bother anyone.

  17. JD101says:


  18. Zed68says:

    Gran Torino ??? Please stop talking or writing about movies right now.

  19. V.C. Priviterasays:

    Gran Torino – was/is a Grand Repetative Mess: Clint Eastwood playing the same character we’ve seen since, gee, forever. How many times do we have to see a grumpy old fart, pissed off at the world, only to turn that frown upside down through the persistence of a pesky neighbor, coworker, family member, etc. I truly think everyone who likes Gran Torino are probably Asians (I’m NOT Racist), but I don’t see why people made the movie out to be something it wasn’t.

    Argo – If Ben Afleck didn’t star in the film, maybe it would’ve been a bit better, but who knows. I thought he did a decent job Directing-wise, capturing that period with actors that seemed to fit their real life characters. But, Afleck just plain sucks at acting…he’s the sole reason why The Town didn’t work for me; he seems to always add elements of a man torn within himself, but he can’t execute that to the screen for himself.

    King’s Speech – I honestly felt the film was rewarding. I’m not into English Politics by any means, but I really dug the story of the relationship between these two men, one, the newly crowned King, and his Teacher. Colin Firth & Geoffrey Rush did an excellent job.

    J. Edgar – I’m not wasting time watching anything regarding Hoover, but to boot, having Leonardo DiCaprio dawn the ever-so ugly looking Director of the FBI is probably the most outrageous casting choices in recent memory. But it’s old man Clint in the Directors chair, maybe he was too busy talking to his chair to realize DiCaprio is NOT J. Edgar Hoover.

    The Blind Side – I can’t believe this was even nominated for anything aside from a Razzie. And to top it off, to give Best Actress to Sandra Bullock…I’m not saying she sucks, but the movie does….they must’ve had a real short-list of nominees that year. If they gave her an Oscar for this, then they should have an Honorary Oscar to Cuba Gooding Jr. for RADIO. Haha.

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