January 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm #135646
Which movie(s) of 2013 do you disagree with the critics ruling on?
Did a film you love get ripped apart?
Did a film you loathe get put on a pedestal?
Discuss.January 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm #135648
In no particular order.
Monsters University – Great, fun film with terrific screenplay, music and voice work. I would have given it an 80 on metacrtitic as opposed to its actual score of 65.
Out of the Furnace – With the exception of the odd final shot (those who saw it know what I’m talking about), this was a powerhouse film with a terrific screenplay and hardcore acting. I remember it started out with an 80 on metacritic but tanked to 64. I would have left it at 80.
Only God Forgives – Expectations were insanely high for this and reviews were scathing. Beyond the admittedly weak screenplay and Gosling’s laughable performance, I found this film to be quite good. Scott Thomas, the cinematography and the direction were spot on imo. I would have scored it a 65 (as opposed to the ridiculous metacritic score of 37 that it got) and I think this film will see major critical reevaluation in the future.
American Hustle – I liked this film a lot, but to put it in the esteemed club of 90+ scorers on metacritic is totally undeserved. It is for me a 78 at best.
August: Osage County – What did this film do to piss so many people off? Not be perfect? What a crime. Critics were spoiled this year by masterpieces like 12 Years a Slave and Gravity and were for some reason unable to excuse some problems this film had despite its many strengths. This gets a score of 70 from me for its strong screenplay and acting. The 58 it got is sad.January 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm #135649
The Great Gatsby – All i could see is greatness! Amazing visual style, great acting all over the place and beautiful screenplay. But the movie is called a dissaster.January 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm #135650
Pacific Rim- 64 on Metacritic is too kind. Wooden acting and a bad script, though the effects were cool. I’d give it a 40.January 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm #135651
“Fruitvale Station”- This was probably the most acclaimed low budget film of the year but I thought it was grossly sentimental and phony in the extreme. The final moments were powerful, how could they not be?, but I did not buy what was leading up to them despite the fine acting from Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz.
“The Lone Ranger”- This film got terrible reviews but I actually thought it was a lot of fun and the train chase that ends this film was quite a feat of action film-making. Most people I know did not see this until DVD due to the bad reviews, I saw it in the cheapie theatre for that reason, but but they all seem to enjoy it once they see it. If you liked the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film you will probably like it. It has a similar sense of humor and style.January 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm #135652
BETTER THAN THE CRITICS SAID:
About Time – This was a lovely, affectionate movie, a cut above the average romantic comedy, and its use of time travel as a story device works as more than a gimmick. It’s about opportunity, regret, compromise, and acceptance.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – I think this showed Ben Stiller maturing as a director. This may not be faithful to the short story (which I haven’t read), but it’s a good balance of the comic and the sentimental, and it has some of the year’s best cinematography.
Stoker – This has mixed reviews on Metacritic, which surprises me, because the performances are excellent and it’s got a great visual style thanks to director Park Chan-wook. Story-wise it’s a bit of a muddle, but the style and acting compensate.
NOT AS GOOD AS THE CRITICS SAID:
All is Lost – Stone-faced Robert Redford plays a non-character whose fate I didn’t particularly care about. But the movie works to an extent thanks to JC Chandor, whose use of sound and imagery really captures the sensory plight of being lost at sea.
Blue is the Warmest Color – I thought the performances were good, but it’s a long, long, long movie in which the main character remains a bit of a mystery to me to the very end, and the sex scenes don’t add anything, at least not enough to justify the amount of time spent on them.
Inside Llewyn Davis – I liked this, actually. But its loosely connected episodes don’t add up to a story, and despite beautiful music and cinematography I was ultimately not as satisfied as the critics were.
Elysium & Pacific Rim – Whenever an action movie is borderline competent visually, critics seem to give it a pass, but if Katherine Heigl made a movie as breathtakingly stupid as either of these it would be rightly pilloried by the critical establishment. That both of these had green scores on MetaCritic boggles my mind.January 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm #135653
Agree about American Hustle, it is by no means a bad movie, but critics have vastly overrated it imo. I would give it like a 70-75 cinemascore, not in the 90’s
I also think (shoot me) 12 Years a Slave is a good not great movie that has been very overrated. I’d give it maybe 75 cinemascore, definitely not the highest of the year.
Also think Inside Llewyn Davis has been way overrated. I admire it technically, but the story didnt engage me at all. I fetl bad for Llewyn yea, but didn’t really care about him and the intended lack of any resolution at the end just left me kind of dissapointed. I also didn’t like Fargo so i think coen brothers are just not for me
I also agree the critics were a little too hard on great gatsby. I didn’t love it, would probably give it high 60’s low 70’s, but not as low as the 50’s like it has on metacritic
And technically this doesn’t apply to 2013 because I havent seen Grown Ups 2, but Grown Ups was very funny and a nice easy watch with friends that I think the critics were WAY to harsh on. I would’ve given it like 60’s on metacritic, as opposed to the score in the 30’s it got. So Grown Ups 2 may be horrible but if it’s as funny as the first one than it doesnt deserve the criticismJanuary 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm #135654
I agree with Daniel, in that Stoker has a 58 metacritic score, even though those who like it, really like it. I think it’s much too low a rating, I actually expected it to be in the 80s. Yes, it was strange, but it was also disturbing and beautiful. I know it isn’t perfect, but it was one of the most thought-provoking films I’ve seen all year.
I felt the same way about Trance, which was not seen by most people, but I thought was very interesting, despite its flaws. McAvoy was terrific, and while it wasn’t Boyle’s best, it was well directed, if not impeccably written. It also has a very low Metacritic score.
I’m not going to harp on it, but I agree with the American Hustle comments. It was a fun movie, but overrated, and certainly not worthy of winning Best Picture.January 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm #135655
I also agree with people saying “American Hustle” is overrated. It is a fun movie to watch but it is overlong and messy as all hell. Unless you love messiness I do not see how one could find it a great piece of cinema.
I am also not the biggest fan of “12 Years a Slave”. It is a good film and I like it more than “American Hustle” but it had some flaws that surprised me when I saw it and I just expected it to be better. I am used to seeing a film and thinking the tiny parts were cast and performed with surprising excellence but in “Slave” the actors outside of the leads are often quite weak… even in the case of Brad Pitt. Many of the small parts seemed like the kind of performances you see in a historical reenactment film at a historical site performed by non-actors rather than performed by skilled, professional actors. There was no feeling of twelve years passing during the course of the film and instead it seemed like it took place over a brief period of time. Finally, there was a certain sloppiness to the framing and editing of the film and it completely lacks the sublime visual sense that was the hallmark of Steve McQueen’s earlier films. The film is undeniably powerful and the main actors are great but I was expecting a masterpiece and do not feel like I got that.January 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm #135656
Stoker is one I need to watch, especially since it’s on HBO almost every day. Heard good things from everyone.January 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm #135657
Better Than What the Critics Said
- The Great Gatsby, Not perfect, failed at trying to get the emotional heart in this film and some scenes were boring, but this film was different, and different for a good reason. Leo DiCaprio was a Great Gatsby (pun implied). And I actually felt that the mix of 20’s setpieces along with modern day music was fresh and hadn’t been done anywhere else (that I can think of, at least).
- The Lone Ranger, I will state that I felt the film was about 60-90 minutes too long, but I liked the action, the humor, and the setpieces.
- Man of Steel, I got exactly what I asked for with Man of Steel. A relentlessly exciting action film with great acting and marvelous effects work. I liked it amidst its flaws.
- Monsters University, I didn’t understand why they hated this film. It’s not as good as Monsters, Inc. or a lot of other stuff that Pixar has made throughout the years, but it was funny, enjoyable, had a strong script, and had one of the funniest characters put on screen in the whole year: Art, played by Charlie Day. “I can’t go back to jail!”
- Oz: The Great and Powerful, it doesn’t hold a candle to The Wizard of Oz, but I felt that this prequel was enjoyable and fun, and James Franco is a likeable crook. It also had good effects and great characters.
- Pacific Rim, easily the best action of the year. Boasted great characters, incredible effects and something that is extremely rare in a movie like Pacific Rim, a screenplay that was as good as the effects themselves.
Worse Than What the Critics Said
January 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm #135658
- Despicable Me 2, not a total disaster. Kids will eat this film up, but I felt that it was just kinda bland and forgettable and it doesn’t really set itself apart from the other animated sequels that were released in the past.
- Elysium, I was really expecting this film to be as good as District 9, but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley were good in the acting, and the production design was nice to look at, but this film was a bit of a train wreck.
- Gravity, AKA: the most overrated film of the year. Not horrible, but strip the impressive effects away, and you have some weird Malick wannabe mixed with just an hour and a half of Sandra Bullock floating around in space.
- Oblivion, boring, forgettable, Morgan Freeman didn’t have nearly enough to do in the movie. Tom Cruise was good, and the production design was also good, as well as some action scenes, but ultimately, Oblivion was a movie that should have stayed in oblivion.
My winner would be Fruitvale Station. Like somebody else said before on the thread, the final moments were great, how could they not be, but everything before was just…there. Scene after scene after scene the movie was as regular as they come. What parts were so amazing that this movie was so beloved? The supermarket scene with the blonde girl? The please hire me back scene? The birthday card jokes? The typical “I’ve been fired” scene and the “what the fuck?/how could you?” part from all these types of movies? The dinner/birthday scene? Common…
Of course when they finally get to freakin’ Fruitvale Station it’s a great film, but that’s just 15-20 minutes…maybe not even that much.January 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm #135659
Critics overrated these:
-Inside Llewyn Davis
-Stranger by the Lake
-Gravity –> only slightly. It’s not a classic.
-Blue is the Warmest Colour
-Dallas Buyers Club
Critics underrated these:
-The Wolf of Wall Street
-August: Osage County
-This Is The EndJanuary 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm #135660
^Wolf of wall street is underrated? Most of what I read was complete praise, and the occasional bad reviews were from critics I rarely agree with anyway. I would hardly call it underrated.January 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm #135661
^Wolf of wall street is underrated? Most of what I read was complete praise, and the occasional bad reviews were from critics I rarely agree with anyway. I would hardly call it underrated.
All of my scores are from metacritic.
A 75 is quite a low score when you consider that Gravity landed a 96.