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Mark Kermode | 16:53 UK time, Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Kenneth Branagh is interviewed on 5 live's Kermode & Mayo show this Friday. I'm a big admirer of his 1994 version of Frankenstein - a film that was savaged by critics at the time. This made me wonder what you think are the biggest errors of judgement made by me and my colleagues over the years and which films are ripe for re-evaluation.

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  • Comment number 1.

    One thing I've never understood is the critical love for Lost in Translation. Johansson can't act, Murray is boring, nothing happens for two hours and in the end the last, only meaningful things said in the film are inaudible.

  • Comment number 2.

    The first thing I thought of was Showgirls. I was far too young to watch it when it first came out, but I caught it on TV sometime in the last year or so, and I couldn't understand why it had been so derided. It's like a missing link between Basic Instinct and Black Swan, with a bit of Mulholland Drive thrown in - almost surreally heightened and overwrought, but deliberately and effectively so, with great performances (the way Gloria Swanson's performance in Sunset Blvd. is great, or Bette Davis' in Baby Jane). It also has at its centre a convincing female friendship, and it segues from seeming to sexualise and objectify its female characters to examining the consequences of that objectification.

  • Comment number 3.

    The ninth gate was pretty well panned and is actually a fine and interesting piece that stands up to repeat viewings. Likewise for Alien3, despite its obvious flaws it is a far better film that given credit for. Its often films that push the limit between bold/imaginative and pretentious that get misjudged and then later revised in this way, although I doubt Lady in the Water will ever surface above the puddle of dross that it was first time round.

  • Comment number 4.

    Zardoz perhaps?

  • Comment number 5.

    I would agree with chronax; Alien3 and Alien Resurrection are far better films than they're given credit for. In my opinion, some of the earlier attempts at filming comic book heroes, for example Daredevil and Ang Lee's Hulk, stand up far better than more popular fare like Spiderman. Oh, and while we're thinking of Frankenstein, am I the only person who thinks that Splice is a terrific, and terrifying, film?

  • Comment number 6.

    The (very) final Harry Potter got huge amounts of critical acclaim, when there really wasn't much to it - watching them back, it was completely overshadowed by the foreboding first part. And that's something of a theme for the series - the first two were just awful but got acclaim, while the third was a thoroughly decent film but got a little passed over by most critics. I don't think it's coincidence that they were films that would be ingrained in popular culture whether they turned out good or not

    Some critics lambasted Inception - presumably because they didn't understand the plot - if you go on Metacritic, you can find some several colossal errors of judgement; in particular, the guy who describes it as 'jabbering twaddle', 'incomprehensible gibberish' and 'prattling drivel' must really be kicking himself now.

    #1 I'd have to argue with you - Lost in Translation is one of my favourite films ever, it's beautiful and avoids the obvious plot turns that could have happened. It needed their relationship to be quiet and understated for it to work - it's testament to their acting that so much is said about the characters with so little dialogue between them.

  • Comment number 7.

    I totally agree about Lost in Translation. I read the reviews and was so looking forward to seeing the film, but I was so disappointed. Yes, it's understated, but it's so understated that it's boring!
    I'm going to suggest a bit of a strange one here... what about Stranger than Fiction? It's a strange but clever little film. Great performances by Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhall, plus the only good Will Ferrell performance that I have ever seen. It's a gentle, heart-warming film that doesn't insult your intelligence.
    I would put Dan in Real Life in the same category. A great ensemble cast, well-thought out story and one of the only Steve Carrell performances that I can bear!
    Perhaps both of those actors should play it straight more often?

  • Comment number 8.

    Silent Running. It's an AWFUL film.

    I agree with JasperAalbers about Lost In Translation which wasn't terrible but it certainly wasn't worth the hype. Attack the Block... On that one I have to believe that you were pulling for the home team (a low budget British genre film). Some others: Antichrist... Monsters... I absolutely HATED that one.

    I've never hear you say anything about Adaptation. When you asked about what your readers/listeners thought about the best films about writing you failed to mention it, so I have to assume you didn't care for it. I also know your feelings on Ol' Horseface so I would think you'd have a built in bias against it. I could be wrong there. Most critics liked that one, though (and rightly so).

    I do have a Top 10 films that Roger Ebert was wrong about:

  • Comment number 9.

    "Tracy, Tracy, Tracy!"

    Yep, I always felt that Warren Beatty, Madonna and Al Pacino all managed to successfully pull-off Beatty's big budget version of Dick Tracy back in 1990. However, against the odds and a high profile Batman style marketing push, it performed averagely at the box office and critics seemed relatively underwhelmed.

    Looking at it today, it stands up very well, appearing as 'quality cinema' when compared to many contemporary high concept summer movies. The production design, art direction, make-up and cinematography are all outstanding (even by today's standards) and Beatty directs with real verve and style.

    I for one look forward to a blu ray release. Those primary colours will know doubt render spectacularly in HD. Come on the Mouse House!

  • Comment number 10.

    One film that could do with a second look by critics is Christophe Gans' "Silent Hill".

    It is flawed but the general criticism seems to be at it's lack of conventional narrative.

    It's "Silent Hill" if anything the film has way too much narrative structure.

    The games are like David Lynch films or Herk Harvey's "Carnival Of Souls".

    They are meant to be atmospheric and follow the non sequential logic of nightmares and dreams.

    The main problem with the film isn't the lack of plot but the huge info-dump at the end which creates an impression of a conventionally defined plot which need not have existed.

    When viewed as a surreal parade of vignettes with a general arc it becomes much more rewarding.

    Sadly I can't help but suspect that when most critics see the words 'based on a game' as an excuse to dial down their critical faculties when the words 'based on a novel' or 'based on a play' wouldn't.

    Otherwise the film would have been cut more slack than it got at the time.

  • Comment number 11.

    One word 'Dune' everyone seems to hate this film except for me, I do think it helps if you have some knowledge of the Herbert books.
    However their is no denying Lynch's stamp is all over it, from the grotesque Baron to Sting and his Gnadger wings.
    Crazy, messy maybe even a little pretentious.
    But undeniably an adult sci-fi film ten times more entertaining than any George Lucas fodder.

  • Comment number 12.

    It's pronounced "Frunkenshteen."

  • Comment number 13.

    Two films, Where the Wild Things Are & The Fountain. I loved both of them and they were not greatly received. Where the Wild Things Are showed the sheer joy of childhood and The Fountain has so many great ideas but was just panned as being pretentious.
    Also agree about earlier comments on Alien 3. The extended cut is great, and to this day, I cannot understand the bad reputation it gets..

  • Comment number 14.

    The Weather Man with Nicolas Cage I thought was an unfairly maligned film, misleading trailers that made it look like a comedy and the fact it was directed by Gore Verbinski meant it was never given a chance by the critics (including Dr K I believe) or the public. Cage actually gives one of his best performances, winning you over to a character who at the start of the film admits he's unsympathetic.

  • Comment number 15.

    I dont think its to do with being wrong in the first place.
    I think it is more to do with changes of society overtime and what meaning people can get from things. As a result this leads to changes in interpretation over prolonged period as the reverse can also happen, something may seem to be initiallly great but after a period lose its claim, thats what makes a classic a classic its prolongued popularity and critical acclaim.

  • Comment number 16.

    I really like Kenneth Branagh, as an actor and director, and one film of his that I think is far better than people give it credit for is his 2007 adaptation of the Harold Pinter play "Sleuth". The cinematography gives a total sense of Michael Caine being in complete control and toying with Jude Law, until it all starts to go wrong for him, and the general art direction is moody, intense and devilishly clever. I think it is better than the 1972 Lawrence Olivier version (big statement I know).

    Also "Lost in Translation" is the only film, to date, that i fell asleep in at the cinema.


  • Comment number 17.

    keyser_sozes_ghost, I agree with you about Dune, it's really not as bad as everyone says it is (apart from everything involving Sting of course). I didn't read Dune until 20 years after I'd first seen the film and I still enjoyed it.

    The film I think that Mark was unfair about is the original Pirates Of The Caribbean and in particular Johnny Depp's performance in it. It's a fairly entertaining film but Depp's Sparrow brings it to life. It's a genius of a character; entertaining, roguish, funny and just a little dark and they sold three lesser sequels to the public on the back of it. For whatever reason he took a dislike to the character and his judgement of the film was coloured by this.

  • Comment number 18.

    Just to weigh in again, I agree that Splice and The Weather Man were underrated (particularly The Weather Man, which I thought was a really engaging character piece - Splice had some great ideas but fell apart in the last ten minutes). As for Lost in Translation, I was never a fan personally, but I can sort of see its appeal.

  • Comment number 19.

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service..... why oh why is this still the most derided film in the whole Bond canon, especially compared to some of the recent rubbish such as Tomorrow Never Dies. To me it is a great film with Telly Savilis as Blofeld and the beautiful Diana Rigg who is much more than the usual Bond totty. Great soundtrack and fantastic skiing stunts add up to a great action movie. And Lazenby may not be Connery but by no means the worst Bond.

    I agree with the comments on Lost in Translation. Saw it again recently and thought it was about two sulking Americans wondering why Japan is not like the USA. Having been lucky enough to go to Tokyo and found it to be one of the world's greatest cities made the film seem even more pathetic.

  • Comment number 20.

    A film that I think received way too much praise is No Country For Old Men. As far as I can tell it's praised solely for Javier Bardem's performance because other than his very early scenes it is dull as dishwater.

  • Comment number 21.

    All Wes Anderson films. People keep saying they're great. They aren't. They really aren't.

  • Comment number 22.

    Tinker, Tail, Soldier, Spy: Critically loved but boring and very slow. (though definitely about Spying)

    Good Will Hunting: Award Winning and Dull

    The Exorcist: Scariest film ever made? No

  • Comment number 23.

    Layer Cake.

    At the time it was treated as some kind of near relative of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It's actually a much better film which owes much more to The Long Good Friday with its oppressive feel of spiraling catastrophe and inevitable doom. It featured the best performance I've ever seen from Daniel Craig, and some really entertaining supporting performances from Colm Meany and Kenneth Cranham among others.

  • Comment number 24.

    The 2 films in the last few years that you and many others hated and still do to my knowledge that I think are masterpieces are Terrence Malick's "The New World" + Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche,New York - I know your not going to change your mind as you hated them both so much -

  • Comment number 25.

    A couple of films which were treated with disdain by critics at the time and now regarded as milestones - Carpenter's "The Thing", and, of course, "Blade Runner". I've long felt that the release of the director's cut of Blade Runner was seized on by critics as an excuse to justify why they were wrong - "oh, now we can finally see Scott's true intentions, yes, you're right".

  • Comment number 26.

    A film that a lot of people have forgotten about is Day of the Jackal. It is a brilliant movie where all the elements gel together. edward Fox plays the Jackal but ou never actually find out anything that is true about him. It is a film that critics have forgotten about and is crying out for a good DVD release (with a clean up of the print).

    I agree about On Her Majesty's Secret Service. I think it is an excellent film and has some of the best action sequence in any of the Bond movies. I wish it would get a bluray release as it is one of the few Bond movies that is unavailable.

    There are 2 films amazingly over rated by critics and they're by the Coen Brothers. I speak of Fargo and No Country For Old Men.

    I tried to watch Fargo the other week (having seen it in 1997) and gave up on it after 20 minutes. It is a cold, draggy movie with dull people. Some people call it a black comedy and yet there is nothing I find funny about it.

    No Country For Old Men flaps along for 2 hours and critics mistook style for a plot.

  • Comment number 27.

    There are a few films over the years which I have heartily disagreed with you on Dr. K.

    One of them, as you may remember, was a small film called Helen, released a couple of years ago. I remember you made it one of your films of the year and I remember wholly disliking it. Then I watched it again, under your recommendation to reassess it. I'll admit, upon second viewing it wasn't as unlikeable and pretentious as I remember it but I still believe you awarded that film far more generous praise than it deserved.

    Another film I noticed that you admit that you "got wrong" was A.I Artificial Intelligence, a film that I really really liked when it was first released. I remember the reviews from most critics, including yourself, describing that film as schmaltzy sentimental tripe and I didn't understand why. For me, it was a remarkable film about a search for belonging in a world where nothing really belongs and everything is simply artificial and fake, including emotions. I was embarrassed to speak of my love for Spielberg's film but after hearing on one of your blogs that you got it wrong, I can finally admit to being a real fan of that work.

    It is incredible how many times great films have been initially overlooked upon their release and only after years have they rightly reassessed. Michael Powell's Peeping Tom is a clear example. A film derided upon film, pretty much ending Powell's career but later of course being recognised as the truly masterful work that it is. It just goes to show that sometimes great films can be overlooked and only with the context of time do they eventually get the recognition they deserve.

    But then this makes me wonder. If this is the case then, I ask you Dr. K, what if you're wrong about a certain director? What if you're wrong about Transformers? What if you're wrong about Michael Bay? What if twenty years down the line Bay and his films are regarded as artisitic masterworks?

    Will the world truly become that mad? Can we as sane mortal cinema lovers allow such a travesty to happen?

    But what if Dr. K? What if?

  • Comment number 28.

    'Natural Born Killers' anyone? - widely panned on it's original release but now reappraised by all those that can see further than the end of their nose and recognise it as Oliver Stone's finest hour.
    'There Will Be Blood' deserves the same treatment in reverse.

  • Comment number 29.

    Interesting. Superficially this is a blog about, well, mea culpa. But actually it's a blog about you being vindicated in your opinion about Frankenstein. Hey ho. Anyway, I think Ang Lee's Hulk is flawed but much better than the reviews suggest. Lee's scope, comicbook cell framing and action sequences (except the ending) are an attempt to render the story in a manner similar to it's origins. Now it's your turn to rereview the awful Thunderbirds. I don't care if preteens like it, they also like eating their own nosepick.

  • Comment number 30.

    Off topic, I know but I've just seen a report on the DVD release of the Devils - huzzah! - but "Scenes which were deleted before the UK film censors would issue its toughest certificate included naked nuns assaulting a statue of Christ. This sequence was restored in 2004, but will not appear in the DVD release." Boooo!

  • Comment number 31.

    @ 2 Liz - Showgirls is brilliant - but for none of the reasons that you describe. It is because it is one of the worst Hollywood films ever made. Ever. Laughably brilliant, it is full of dreadful dialogue, appalling sex scenes, hackneyed plotting and one dimensional characters. It's not some kind of anarcho-feminist tract, it just terrible.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ 10 Brian - I think the reason Silent Hill got such a bad ride is that everything that's good about it (basically the first half) was taken straight from the game. As soon as they get to the church the film goes up in a puff of smoke, providing exposition when none would have been far more effective.

  • Comment number 33.

    So, having been critical about others' choices, I'm throwing my hat into the ring with Kathryn Bigelow's "Strange Days". I loved it and still do. A great cast, it's densely plotted with interesting characters, the film deals with racism, the nature of addiction, the abuse of power and the march of technology in a way that conveys both paranoia and fascination.

    I vaguely remember it tanking at the box office and getting a critical panning but maybe I'm wrong about that? It's a damn sight better than Near Dark, a film I loved when it came out but I hated when I rewatched it a few years ago.

  • Comment number 34.

    It is not a film that I think has been misjudged but a scene; the infamous ‘dinosaur scene’ in The Tree of Life.

    At the time of my first viewing I struggled with the scene (though it was not helped by the accompaniment of audience laughter). It was only over the following days when I thought about the pre-notions of dinosaurs I was carrying with me that my opinions changed. I suspect I had fallen into a position taken from the Triune brain theory; that higher thoughts, such as morality, are linked to the neomammalian complex of the brain, while the most basic segment of the brain, the reptilian complex, deals with essential needs. This model has largely been debunked in science but still holds a considerable sway in popular perspective (mine included it turns out). Thus the representation of dinosaurs with emotions like pity struck me as ridiculous at first thought, reinforced no doubt by the all the CGI representations of dinosaurs (not animated though) I’ve seen showing them as unthinking creatures that only chase the fulfilment of their basic desires. The Tree of Life attacks this notion and was, in my opinion, wrongly deemed laughable for this. It is to this scene’s credit that I was forced to not only question both it and my opinions, but also to go back and re-read my evolutionary psychology books. While I do not agree with Malick’s reflections of life in their totality, I commend him for keeping a scene that managed to raise the issues it did.

  • Comment number 35.

    I cannot agree with Lost in Translation i thought it was well paced and thoughtful as well as avoiding smoochy sentimentality by having them go off into the sunset together. Also i love the coen brothers but i have to admit quite a few of their films are over rated, No country for old men and Fargo are both excellent but not 10 star with a cherry on top brilliant.

    Also i know its not a specific movie but chick flick type movies are usually under rated. Granted most do tend to be very sentimental and ridiculous and rightly only deserve 4 or 5 out of 10, but some are very good indeed. Moreover, teenage high school movies are also treated the same way and so even excellent films like American Pie (i know its a bit gross but it is funny and not always because of gross out gags) and Easy A which is just amazing, funny, engaging and, amazingly, clean humour! It was given a very "luke warm" of about 5 or 6 out of 10 when it deserved far more.

    Btw, @27 savvifilm, if in twenty years time Michael Bay's films are indeed seen as master pieces i will, and i swear i will, set fire to every DVD i have and refuse to watch another film ever ever again. HE CANNOT DIRECT FOR TOFFEE!!!!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    While on the issue of scenes that have been misunderstood I'll bring up the 'Brad Pitt doing an impression of James Dean on a motorcycle' section in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was used widely, by the good doctor as well, to highlight failings in the film. I happen to think that the scene was actually a joke about the mid-life crisis, inasmuch as when you age in reverse you look perfectly normal during such a panic of ageing.

  • Comment number 37.

    Forrest Gump is by far the most critically overpraised film ever made. Wishy, washy, sentimental, conservative nonsense. Which in fact is quite racist, sexist and throughout is constantly trying to make you cry, but instead of gently tugging your heartstrings, it sticks a great big bowl of rotten onions under your face and every now and then grinds them into your eyes. As far as Best Picture wins go, its up there with Driving Miss Daisy as one of the worst.

    Although Sally Field is admittedly very good.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think you ought to give Sofia Coppola's 'Somewhere' another go, even though perhaps not enough time has passed for your view to mellow; I can't say I was expecting much from it, especially after your review, but I found it to be surprisingly good, with a deal more depth and honesty than you gave it credit for. Of course, i also liked 'Lost in Translation', so maybe it's just me.

  • Comment number 39.

    Good doctor, I have heard you pan Eyes Wide Shut every now and then and I have always wanted to leap into the studio with you and Simon to defend it ferociously. I can fathom a guess as to why you hate it; the apparently absurd and random narrative conveyed with glacial pacing and supremely cold and detached performances. But this is to miss the point, Eyes Wide Shut is investigating themes which transcend the narrative containing it; fidelity, marriage, decadence, corruption, filmed by a true master in his own unmistakeable style.

    Based on the Arthur Schnitzler novella Traumnovell, it's title when literally translated is 'dream story.' The movie operates on dream logic not unlike another work you are surely a fan of which is Mullholland drive.

    Trust me, the film really seeps into your conscious in a vastly superior way compared to most other works. Here is the link to a site which has a superb detailed analysis on the movie that may inspire you to give a reappraisal of this extraordinary work.:

    And if i get the honour of having this read out on your blog by you, please do not utter the words "Good point, well made. But your wrong," i might scream. Eyes Wide Shut is a haunting motion picture experience which should not be dismissed so turgidly.

  • Comment number 40.

    You want a real confession? I really like the 1998 film version of The Avengers. Whilst it is undeniably true that Fiennes and Thurman could not ever be MacNee and Rigg, they are surprisingly good facsimiles in a film which captures the unique bizarre stylings of the original and is played with exactly the right approach - everyone knows it is totally absurd (but never actually stupid) but takes it utterly seriously. But I suspect that a lot of film critics simply didn't know the tv series well enough to understand this.

    Meanwhile fifteen years of Michael Bay et al means that this offbeat "blockbuster disaster" probably deserves at least some partial rehabilitation. No? Oh well, suit yourself.

  • Comment number 41.

    @ #8 Crash Landen, I take what Roger Ebert says about film with pinch of salt. Although he does usual see a good film when their is 1, he's derived quite a number of gems such as The Usual Suspects, Fight Club, Full Metal Jacket, Blade Runner, Super 8 and (to my annoyance) Blue Velvet (one of my favourite films). Plus anyone who praises Titanic and Avatar should not be taken that seriously.

    There's been plenty of films that have brushed off by critics but are now considered gems. The Shawshank Redemption, 2001, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fight Club and many others.
    I agree with the people who have mention Dune and Alien 3 (I rate this better than Alien 2) as they're better than critics gave them credit for. I'm not saying they're not flawed, but I think that's down to both suffered from the director not having final cut. I saw Alien 4 for the first time the other day and I thought it isn't as bad as people make it out to be. True, it is flawed (the story could be better but then it is written by Joss "has no idea how write a decent ending to anything that he's ever done" Wheldon) but it does quite good visuals with it.

    A film I have mentioned before on here is The Element of Crime and I feel a highly under-rated film. Lars von Trier's first feature, all before the handheld dogme95 style, was dismissed by critics as art for art's sake and was refused from winning any top awards at the 1984 Cannes film festival as the head of the jury hated it. It might have been that it was a first time director, is quite slow and was highly influenced by Tarkovsky, but I feel that it is a great post-modernish film nior that has compelling sometimes disturbing dreamlike visuals and I think it deserves to be looked back at with a less cynical eye.

  • Comment number 42.

    First and foremost, critics do get it wrong. But, this is not a bad thing, it actually reaffirms the belief that there is no definitive 'perfect' film and everything is subject to taste and preference. Critics can help guide us to avoid spending hard earned money on rank rotten movies and unearth hidden gems for us all to enjoy. To berate critics with long, long careers on a few instances in which they got it 'wrong' is ludicrous and unfair.

    For example, highlighting Roger Ebert's mistakes, a man who has been in the game for so many decades, is unfair. He has reviewed literally thousands of films, so there are obviously going to be anomalies.

    However, a mistake is only valid if the critic himself/herself highlights it as a mistake and changes his/her mind. If they still maintain that they dislike the film upon further reflection then it is still their opinion, although it might go against everyone else's opinion. But it is still valid.

  • Comment number 43.

    Drive is the biggest disappointment of the year. I'm a huge fan of Winding Refn's previous films Pusher 3, Valhalla Rising and Bronson, and the raving reviews (not to mention the award for best director in Cannes) for Drive made me very excited about seeing it. Unfortunately the film is a complete let-down; seldom have I hated a film with so much passion.

    Drive is a film totally devoid of soul. It is a cynical attempt to conquer the mainstream market with a calculated mix of beefcake Gosling (for the females) and car fetishism (for the males), topped off with a sauce of cheesy 80s pastiche. The film swings back and forth from the schmaltzy love-interest between Gosling's character and his neighbour one the one hand, to silly, cartoonesque ultra-violence on the other. From the first sentence Gosling utters in the film, you know exactly how this botched-heist-by-numbers film will play out, from one predictable cliché to the next.

    Refn recycled some elements from his Pusher trilogy, but in those films the lack of a slick Hollywood production was more than compensated by engaging dialogue, humour and great acting -- all lacking in Drive. Of course Refn is known for preferring style over substance in his recent films, but never before were the two presented in such insultingly grating contrast.

    I thought Tree of Life was rubbish as well, but compared to Drive it (almost) seems a profound masterpiece.

  • Comment number 44.

    I really appreciated a 1977 film by Elliot Silverstein, called "The Car", telling of a mysterious black car causing recurrent slaughters of innocents;although its well-balanced union of horror, thriller and mystery I never heard critics or at least moviegoers speaking about it. Is it me who overestimate its value or did the film go unnoticed?

  • Comment number 45.

    Well, since you brought it up, Dr K: how about DEAD AGAIN?

    I do think part of the reason DEAD AGAIN and FRANKENSTEIN got a kicking was that periodically there's a sense that someone is getting too big for their britches and needs taking down a peg or three. HUDSON HAWK wasn't the worst thing Bruce Willis was involved with, LAST ACTION HERO wasn't the worst thing Arnie ever did. But it was their turn. And luvvies are such an easy target for the so-called mentality that applauds success, but not too much success.

    In truth I didn't dislike FRANKENSTEIN, but DEAD AGAIN I really liked - and I've just this minute added it to my rentals queue for a rewatch. It is an overblown, overdirected and overacted slice of melodramatic bonkers that, admittedly, doesn't make a whole bunch of sense but is enjoyably silly in its overthetopness. (Somewhere I even have a DEAD AGAIN T-shirt.)

    Like others, I also feel that ALIEN 3 and Lynch's DUNE are wildly underrated, but I don't expect any massed critical re-evaluation any time soon.

    And while it's true that life is too short to go back and rewatch everything, time should be made for a few revisits. Personally I've been rewatching a lot of 80s action movies recently: Stallone, Chuck Norris, Schwarzenegger and, while there have been good ones and bad ones, the hit rate has been higher than for many newer films (EXTREME PREJUDICE and TANGO & CASH were particularly enjoyable after a 20+ year gap).

  • Comment number 46.

    Another underated film which I've only got round to seeing recently is John Carpenter's They Live! Most critics ignored it when it came out in the mid 80's but it is both bitingly satirical and highly relevant these days.

  • Comment number 47.

    The Adventures Of Buckaroo BanzaiThe Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

    Adventurer, surgeon, rock musician, martial arts expert and jet car pilot Buckaroo Banzai together with his 80's chic dressed back up team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on invisible evil alien invaders from the 8th dimension.

    Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin and Jeff Goldblum star in what has since become a cult favourite amongst a certain age group of left-field sci-fi fans who group up in the 70's/80's.

    It's a marmite kind of movie but those who get the vibe really do love it! It may have been the Scott Pilgrim of it's day but, like Pilgrim, it's full of ideas, energy, great performances and endlessly quotable lines. "No matter where you go, there you are".

    A great film worthy of rediscovery. If you haven't yet caught up with Buckaroo and his strange pals then do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy, watch it and start quoting before everybody else does. To quote another ill fated and now loved movie, Banzai, is 'sooo hot right now'.

  • Comment number 48.

    Jez, more typos! Obviously the title is The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension.

  • Comment number 49.

    Well first of i would like to say that i think that you are one of (if not the best) critic around today. But the fact that you like the twilight saga is no good from your part considering the fact that twillight is for teenage girls what Michael Bay Movies is for teenage boys.

    And you think Tarantino's Reason for making Kill Bill Was because he "wanted a quick buck" Is far from right. He and Uma Thurman Created the character the bride when they were making Pulp fiction. And yes Star Wars ep. 1-3 Has wooden acting and poor directions letalone dialogue... but so does Twilight And youve never cared to mention that. Other then that i think youve always been a fair critic and youve been able to back up your reviews with some strong arguments. /Greetings from Sweden.

  • Comment number 50.

    Got to agree with #34 about the ToL dinosaur scenes. I thought they were great. I don't really have a bad word to say about that film to be honest.

    Touchfinder, you're certainly in the majority in your opinion on Showgirls, but I kind of think the point of this post is to go against the consensus, so I'm not sure your rebuttal is really in the spirit of things.

  • Comment number 51.

    PS: You did never care to mention Death Proof's Amazing (To me the best of all time) Car chase at the end.

  • Comment number 52.

    A year or so ago, Empire brought out an anniversary edition of their magazine. There was a feature in it where they highlighted all their reviewing mistakes.

    Attack Of The Clones - 5 Stars!!!
    The Pianist - 2 Stars!!!

    There's a lot more but these were my favourites.

    Also I feel Speed Racer was poorly treated by critics. It does exactly what it's supposed to do (except for being too long for kids) and does it with a lot of style.

    ALSO how does Chris Tookey who writes for The Daily Mail have a job? He hates films!!! He's wrong ALLLLLL the time.

  • Comment number 53.

    It's not the most obvious, glaring error for most people but I thought Up was massively overrated, a fact made all the clearer by the release before it of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which itself was hugely underrated. It's one of the best family films for years, smartly written, funny, well-performed, and interestingly directed. Really brilliant. Up has three or four good moments amongst 90 minutes of uninteresting plot and repetitive gags. It's a shame how a Pixar film was just that dull.

  • Comment number 54.

    Didn't 'Night of the Hunter' by Charles Laughton get such a pasting that he never made another film?

    I love it by the way!

  • Comment number 55.

    Lord Of The Ring is complete and utter rubbish!
    Eyes Wide Shut is a lot better than you give it credit for. The hypnotic dream logic, theme's of sexual jealousy and a lead character out of his depth (in more ways than one). The imagery reflects its theme, the hidden, hiding behind masks.

    And I think Death Proof is panned merely as part of a Tarantino backlash. There's a thematic reason for all that talking and it's a very feminist film that makes a lot of commentary on the change in female roles in films from the 70's through to now. The first half is grainy, the second half is filmed clean for a reason, not just because Tarantino couldn't be bothered anymore. There's a lot of clues in the seemingly endless banter between the two sets of girls. And in the first half the girls lose and get killed by Stuntman Mike. In the second half, they kick his arse. Also the stunt work by Zoe Bell is nothing short of phenomenal

  • Comment number 56.

    Well? were to start. I also thought Frankenstein sucked when i saw it originally, but recently gave it another try.De Niro is great, and i enjoyed it much better this time round but a couple of scenes are ridiculously meladramatic, even now.
    My favourite film to love that the critics scoffed at (Mark Included) is Taken, which is a great action movie, which every normal person i have lent it too, has absolutely loved, yes loved. Empire gave it one star ,what a joke!
    Ps to other bloggers , i loved Lost in Translation. It is gentle in its pacing but has wonderful charm. How many Americans have you met abroad whove learnt the local language???( even a little bit).If the locals dont speak English ,there lost.Literally!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    The biggest example I can think of is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. A lot of critiques seemed to think it was badly done or that it was a poor choice to make into a film. I feel that it is one of the best adaptations of a book to film I have ever seen capturing the mood of the book perfectly and just like the book it is difficult to get throught to the end but once you have you feel satisfyed.

  • Comment number 58.

    For me it's got to be The Godfather Pt 3. If it was a film released independent of the series, simply charting an ageing mobster who wants out, it would have been a lot more successful and wouldn't have received the critical panning that it did as everyone, inevitably, compares it to one and two; the second of which was the first among sequels to actually surpass the original!

  • Comment number 59.

    how about this for a mistake: Empire magazine gave a 5 star review to Star Wars Episode 2. Even they saw sense in the end and apologised for getting over excited

  • Comment number 60.

    I went to see Requiem for a Dream when it came out and was bored to tears buy it and thought what a load of old tripe then to my horror the critics fell in love with it describing it as a dark, tragic romance I personally thought it was nothing more than an MTV version of Trainspotting by Calvin Kline.

  • Comment number 61.

    It may be too easy a target but I just can't fathom Dr K's rose-tinted view of the Twilight films. I think Mark's approach of going into each film with an open mind is an admirable one but in the case of Twiglet it seems like his mind is so open that his brain has fallen out.

  • Comment number 62.

    For me the most misunderstood and unfairly criticised film of the last 20 years has to be Eyes Wide Shut. People often make the mistake of saying that the film is unrealistic and overwrought, but the film works within the world of dreams and the subconscious and therefore shouldn't be viewed literally. Another thing people seem to miss is that the Eyes Wide Shut is very funny film; it has a subtle, subversive sense of humour that is worthy of Luis Bunuel. Almost all Kubrick films were panned by the critics on their original release and have since come to be recognised as the Masterworks that they clearly are. Perhaps this film ought to be re-evaluated.

  • Comment number 63.

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is good example but a better Gilliam example is his underrated masterpiece "Tideland". It got by far the worst reviews of Gilliam’s career. People called “isick”, “disgusting”, “creepy, exploitive”, “the film has nary a gram of human reality or compassion anywhere in it.”. I actually consider the film to be a very sweet kids film and told Gilliam when I met after the UK premiere.

    Nobody would have blinked a eye if Jeliza-Rose was helping her dad with his insulin but because she is helping him with shooting up heroin that consider it something morally objectionable but this happens daily. The biggest thing critics completely misunderstood was the relationship between Jeliza-Rose and the mentally impaired Dickens, they called him a paedophile but his mental age is below Jeliza’s and if anybody was coming on to each other it was Jeliza and it’s all very innocent.

    The film eventually made a grand total of $566,611 which is just a shame cause Tideland is a really wonderful kids film.

    I've been fan of all Richard Kelly's so far... Domino (which he wrote), Southland Tales (directed), The Box (directed, my film of 2009) which all were totally based.

    I also do like Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein which is by far the best adaptation of the book. It's not as good as James Whale but as a adaptation of Mary Shelley's book it's very good

  • Comment number 64.

    @Will Chadwick re: 37.

    When I read the introduction to this blog posting, my immediate thought was "Forrest Gump" but you've bet me to the punch! :-) Its clear to see why this was a hit with Americans (particularly those to the Right of the political spectrum), but I never understood why UK critics also seemed to fall for it too - it never deserved the awards.

    I always thought it was thuddingly average. So average, in fact, it remains my personal meridian in film, against which I make qualitative comparisons. Thus, if I were to say "Film X is at least twice as bad as Forrest Gump", you can quantify the relative Bad-ness of Film X quite easily! :-)

  • Comment number 65.

    I disagree with Samuel, Lord of the Ring was an excellent boxing movie.
    Pirates of the Caribean was reasonable but would be improved with a Directors son cut (see Erik the Viking).
    Tookey isn't always wrong as Australia was an epic film that brought back the best of old Hollywood that has been lost in the race to please the largest minority audience (those on forums who compared it to Pearl Harbour were being selective of scenes from the trailer without having seen the film)
    John Waters has received criticism in recent years post Serial Mom for lightening up but his films have always been entertaining.

  • Comment number 66.

    Public Enemies deserves several expletives, but I imagine the BBC will delete this comment if it were aptly rewarded.

  • Comment number 67.

    And so I shall get on my soapbox.

    Your fondness for the Twilight movies is greatly misguided, yes I’ve heard the arguments that they’re aimed at an audience that is regularly patronised or forgotten about entirely (and yes, I was part of that demographic once too) but holding this up as an admirable example of a solution is simply wrong. Every message the Twilight series puts across is at best flawed and occasionally dangerous and I wait with baited breath in the hope that all those young girls go see the next two instalments and that – just maybe – a few start to see it for themselves.

    I know you haven’t read the books so I’ll try and keep it spoiler free by being vague but by the closing chapter of the series we have had stalking (including entering someone’s home without their permission to watch them sleep), at least one very unhealthy – borderline abusive – relationship that tells a girl all she needs is her boyfriend even if he might kill her (and if you can’t have him just commit suicide, it’s the only other option), we have the constant themes of sex is bad (and oh boy does Bella get ‘punished’ for it, Alien would be proud!) and finally implied paedophilia. If you don’t understand the last one I won’t spoil it for you outright but anyone who holds these up as an example to young women today is setting the gender back to an unforgiveable extent.

    I’m just tired of living in a generation that seems to have all the wrong ideas about love, relationships and self-worth and the wild popularity of media such as Twilight is only hindering it from developing into anything better.

    Unless, of course, you’re only going to it for the same reasons as my sister – to look at man-candy you’re technically too old to aim for any more.

    PS: Total props to #12 for the reference, you reminded me how much I need to re-watch that movie!

  • Comment number 68.

    I cancelled my already ill-advised Empire subscription after they gave the abominable Sin City – the worst-edited film I've ever experienced – a whopping five out of five stars. It seems to be popular among critics and viewers because it looks interesting; somehow the fact that it's dreadfully written, performed and edited escapes criticism...

  • Comment number 69.

    I have to give scurra some back-up here, I thought the 1998 version of the Avengers was unfairly panned. In my opinion it was very faithful to the style of the original series, so people may dislike it but all the criticisms it got about being unfaithful to the series is absurd.

    But to throw in my own opinion, it has to be Titanic. I have nothing good to say about that film, it is nothing more than a sappy love story which has you begging for the iceberg to come. The fact that my fellow countryman William Murdoch is treated with such disrespect in the film doesn't help. Even people I have met who liked the film have a hard time explaining to me why it deserved 11 oscars.

    An interesting subject though, it shows that while critics opinions can be valuable they are, at the end of the day, just another persons opinion.

  • Comment number 70.

    M Night Shyamalan's The Village is a massively misunderstood film.

    It contains fantastic orchestration of mood and terror, the beautiful imagery and colour. James Newton Howards score and the outstanding acting. While I agree the film suffers from the wooden dialogue (Shyamalan should stick to just directing) I feel that it was overshadowed by 'the twist'.

    It's an elegant film that buries itself inside you.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have to go for (500) Days of Summer. Why the critics (though not Mark, yay!) went gaga over that film is beyond me. Zooey whatsherface is unbelievably irritating as yet another shallow Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the non-linear plot just seems like a gimmick and the 'novel idea' that a woman may not be interested in romance (shock horror!) is unbelievably sexist. The bonding moment over The Smiths was just the cherry on the top. I love The Smiths, but films HAVE TO STOP using them as a shorthand for quirky (that word!) and alternative. Terrible.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think many critics (including Mr. Kermode) still look down on Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. Granted, it is a baggy film but it contains some of the most extraordinary scenes Kubrick ever filmed. Most of it is ludicrously operatic but in the same hypnotic way as The Shining or A Clockwork Orange. Perhaps it wouldn't have been so ripped apart if Cruise & Kidman had been replaced. Kubrick considered Harrison Ford and even Steve Martin! I personally would've loved to have seen Steve Martin in that role. Why are critics, including Mark, still absolutely scathing about Eyes Wide Shut?

  • Comment number 73.

    Dr Kermode,
    Surely one of the critics biggest mistakes was the reception given to The Night of the Hunter. One of the greatest films ever made, beautifully shot and directed with Robert Mitchum giving one of his finest performances.

    But as a result of the mauling this film received first time director Charles Laughton never directed another film ever again.

    The critics treatment of Laughton wasn't just a mistake but a crime agaisn't cinema.

    John O'Shea

  • Comment number 74.

    I completely agree with Natural Born Killers. It got absolutely panned but it's following has grown massively over the years. I've always thought it was great. I love the crazy nature of the film.

    Sin City is adored by fanboys for it's graphic violence. I think it's a disgusting film, more so than Rambo 4. Sin City is misogynistic, something Rambo 4 isn't.

    Empire giving The Phantom Menace 5 out of 5. I cannot quote why they gave it this on release because they've sneakily taken the review down and replaced it with a 3 star more accurate review. Which strikes me as worse.

    p.s - Lost in Translation is excellent. It seems to be split between those who first saw it at the cinema and those who did at home. Show Girls is rubbish though.

  • Comment number 75.

    I've always been a fan of Branagh's Frankenstein. It's a really good monster movie. I can see why it's disliked though, the ending (which works well) is completely made up. People don't tend to like that.

    Is it much loved now though? Not in my experience.

  • Comment number 76.

    I have to say that I think Sin City is one of the best graphic novel adaptations.

    As this blog entry started with Branagh's Frankenstein, I'm going to watch it again as I've only seen it when it was released in the cinema. When I did see it, I remember that it almost gave me motion sickness because of all the 'whizzy' camera work.

    More misunderstood films include Dark City which has only now begun to get the respect it deserves. I have always thought it was brilliant ever since it came out in 1997.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' got a lot of critical derision when it was first released. It is now seen as a cult classic and rightly so. It could also potentially be David Lynch's masterpiece. It also covers practically every genre - horror, drama, comedy - and was completely misunderstood when it was released.

  • Comment number 78.

    +++ Nothing about this post but will there ever be a way to watch the MK blog on iPad?? I hardly use my PC anymore except to catch up with the blog. SORT IT OUT PRETTY PLEASE!

  • Comment number 79.

    'There Will Be Blood' is the single worst film I've ever seen. Hideous over-acting, dull plot, far too long, and a wholly unsatisfying ending. If it wasn't for the vistas I'm not sure I could have made it to the end. I cherish my pretentious film choices as much as the next amateur critic, but anyone claiming this to be a good film needs to pull their head out of their own behind.

    As for the Alien 3 mention - this is a good shout, but I actually preferred the theatrical release in some ways. Yes, the extended cut adds a little background, but it comes at the expense of huge swathes of frankly unnecessary swearing.

  • Comment number 80.

    Oh, and Ghost In The Shell. Overlooked by critics because it's animated, no doubt, but an astonishing and trend-setting film....

  • Comment number 81.

    Dare I say it? Watchmen. I find it completely watchable and interesting. The director's cut is even better. While I did agree with your 5 live review on a lot of points I still enjoy the movie very much inspite of it's flaws.

  • Comment number 82.

    I too enjoyed Frankenstein. Granted I was just a kid and was easily won over but it held up when I saw it again in my later years.

    You, Mark, need to re-assess your Big Lebowski opinion. I've said it before but you need telling again: STOP TRYING TO INTELLECTUALISE IT!

    I seem to remember Empire Magazine giving Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Stars. I'm sure they regret that. Almost any Bond film (excluding Casino Royale) that was thought to be anything other than fair to middling is a gross over statement of its quality.

    And, Mark, again... I remember you on Radio 1 saying week after week that Armageddon was perfectly enjoyable. How do you sleep??!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Agree regarding Fear and Loathing, it's a great film. Layer Cake too was under-rated.

    I think enjoyment of a film is influenced by many factors. The films do not change over time but we as audiences do. Whether it's the mood we happen to be in, that our ideas and believes have matured or social changes - films can always be seen in a different light.

    I didn't used to like sprouts but, with Christmas just around the corner, I'm quite looking forward to them.

  • Comment number 84.

    Dour as the first film is scary and the second is exciting: Alien 3. Very underrated. Given his penchant for the bleaker side of cinema, I'm surprised the Doc's not more enthusiastic about the film, which he recently dubbed on here "...a mess of a movie". But hey, to each his own.

  • Comment number 85.

    'Lost in Translation' is a superb film but you have to have spent time in Japanese business hotels (as I have) to fully appreciate it (perhaps). I've seen it 6 or 7 times now and I NEVER get bored.
    'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' is totally misjudged by critics in my humble opinion. A work of genius, perhaps accidental genius but genius nonetheless.

  • Comment number 86.

    Over the years lots critical of praise has been thrown at the so called David Lean masterpiece Dr Zhivargo. I have attempted to watch this film on many occasions. Hoping that I was wrong and that the Critics were right.
    But each time I have found it long winded, tedious, badly acted and a total waste of 3hrs 19 minutes of my life.
    If your going to watch a 3hr movie set during the Russian revolution I suggest watching Franklin J Schaffner s Superior Nicholas and Alexandra.
    An intimate epic that puts performances before spectacle. Yet it never really got the critical praise that was lauded on Leans film.

    P.S on the subject of critics getting it wrong.

    My wife and I met because we were fan’s of a movie that critics universally hated, but we both loved . THE PIRATE MOVIE.

  • Comment number 87.

    I certainly think you went a bit over the top about Inception - a good film sure, but far from the masterpiece some critics have suggested. For me the it feels like the critical pant-creaming over Inception was largely due to the dearth of decent action movies in recent times, but calling it a masterpiece is like calling Snow White a giant because she hangs around with a bunch of dwarves or a starving man describing a plate of gruel as the best meal ever.

    Also, anything good you said about The Rum Diary was wrong - hands down the worst film I've seen this year.

  • Comment number 88.

    A lot of critical mistakes come when the studio or distribution companies butcher a film for either commercial or censorship reasons - two cases in point: my favourite film: Peckinpah's PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID which has only recently received an edit that it deserves was ravaged as a disappointment in its pace and character development but this was only due to a severe revision of these elements from the studio... likewise Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA was cut into a completely linear version for it's initial US release, named the worst film of the year and then later, having been restored to it's intended non-linearity was claimed the film of the decade!

  • Comment number 89.

    I have never, ever, EVER understood the critical lauding that David Cronenberg's "Crash" (1996) receives. Don't shoot me down in flames yet, Mark and other Cronenberg aficionados, I think he's a great director and I am a huge admirer of "The Fly", "Spider", "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises", and I look forward to "A Dangerous Method", but "Crash" is terrible, yet is praised as some tremendously deep and meaningful work of art. Why?

    The concept is very interesting, the integration of flesh and technology, people becoming one with machines, but whenever the film could explore this, the idea is abandoned for the sake of more kinky sex. Yes, the first scene was shocking, but the "perversity" of the film rapidly becomes tedious. I saw "Crash" at the cinema and thought it was awful, rewatched it on TV some years later and still thought it was dire. What is the reason for the love that this film receives? It doesn't deserve it, it's silly, boring, overblown, pretentious pornography. Thank goodness Cronenberg re-discovered how to make good films again.

    Oh, and I also think "The Wicker Man" is hugely overrated. Not scary and very little tension because the central character is such a bumbling fool.

  • Comment number 90.

    For me one big mistake that critics have made is trashing Guy Ritchies film Lock Stock and Snatch, i will give you Revolver and Rocknrolla are rubbish but before Ritchie seemed for some reason to think that his films meant anything he made these two funny,exciting films, they may not be works of art but they're entertaining enough to pass 90 minutes.

    Another big mistake by critics is applauding the Brian De Palma film Scarface, pacino at his worst it is unbelievably boring and has pacino doing the worst accent i've ever heard, i'll stick to the godfather thanks.

  • Comment number 91.

    I don't know what the majority of critics thought, but I just thought of a series that Dr K hates and I think it's entirely because he didn't like the director Gore Verbinski...The Pirates of the Carribean... On top of that he hated some of the actors like Orlando Bloom and Keira (who only in recent years has become a 'proper actress'. (The Ring remake was a darn good film, too...)
    I realize now, someone else already mentioned the POTC series... Well, I'm seconding... Or thirding... Or whatever.

    @Luke Smith
    "I take what Roger Ebert says about film with pinch of salt"
    I do, also. Having been a fan of Ebert's show with Gene Siskel and having read his film reviews every week for years, I've come to recognize Ebert's personal prejudices and political leanings in his writing and I factor that in when I read his reviews. I do the same with Mark (Sorry, Dr K).
    I disagree with you on Avatar and Titanic. Sure, they're mainstream (and dumbed down a bit), but Jim Cameron is an effective storyteller (and an innovator on the technical side). There ARE bad movies that make a lot of money, but they don't reach the gazillion dollar mark like those two did. Just my opinion, though.

  • Comment number 92.

    Why oh why does anyone think 'The Fifth element' is a good film, everything about it from story to the special effects is relentlessly crap. This is rubbish on apar with 'Exorcist 2 the heretic' in that no aspect of the film is of any merit.

    A film that is better than many people give it credit for 'Attack of the clones'. After 'The Phantom menace' the knives were out for Lucas and the title was prime for derision but once the plot is dispenced with and characters start fighting monsters and the like the film comes alive. People criticise the clunky dialogue but when its delivered by Christopher Lee it sounds like gold and the film is never dull when he's on screen.

  • Comment number 93.

    Mark, I don't know about you, but when Jonathan Ross (former presenter of Film whatever year), called Batman Forever, one of the greatest movies of all time, another reason for Barry Norman for the being the best of the Film Presenters. Secondly, Total Film's Review of King Kong, saying its a masterpiece, total crap, the movie was so boring, it dragged on and on for hours....felt like years personally and finally it didn't do much for the original film. The film may be old, but it had heart.

  • Comment number 94.

    This isn't an example of a film, but early in their career, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin got awful reviews. Critics didn't realise their massive influence until much later.
    On a more related note, I find that big blockbusters (especially long awaited ones) tend to get a lot of acclaim when in reality they're only okay. Examples being Avatar, the Harry Potter Series, Star Wars episode III (which is worryingly highly rated on rotten tomatoes). Also, Garden State got positive reviews, but let's be honest, it's dull, pretentious and is a prime example of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl - the ideal girl is overly kooky and lives only to help you out of your issues and nothing else.

    Oh and Dr K. You couldn't possibly be more wrong about the Twilight series.

  • Comment number 95.

    @78 - the vast majority of the blogs can also be found on You Tube where they can be viewed on iPod/Pad.

    And another vote for Bond "OHMSS" - really a strikingly good film.

  • Comment number 96.

    I always thought that The matrix reloaded was a big critical blunder. Sure no one would call it more than passable now a days but when that film first came out in 2003 it got a Fairly good rep despite the over long action sences, the long nonsensical monologues of plot exposition and not to forget the worst thing about it the post modern philosophy (. You don't watch the TV the TV watches you ). I liked the first film alot and the second was just such a disappointment.I didn't even see the third one till years later... It was worse!

  • Comment number 97.

    Over-rated: Hidden (or Cache). Never understood the critical adoration this film received. If you find long, lingering shots of nothing incredibly chilling then you’ll probably go along with it up to the inevitably disappointing ending. If however you’re familiar with self-satisfied smug intellectual Michael Haneke’s one-man mission to bring to bring distress and misery to other self-satisfied smug intellectuals than you’ll more likely just find it an exercise in mind-numbing tedium. The Guardian loved it incidentally as you'll probably be aware Mark.

    Under-rated: More tricky. Never understood the mixed reception The Hudsucker Proxy received. I think it's a wonderfully charming film in the Capra mould and the finest of the Coen Brothers many screwball comedies. Anytime I hear Adagio from Spartacus I fondly think of that film.

  • Comment number 98.

    The cinema of Andrey Tarkovskiy - I'd rather watch paint dry!

  • Comment number 99.

    The plaudits lavished on The Matrix always puzzled me, coming as it did after Dark City which covers much the same ground without the distasteful firearms fetish.
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is quite the most over-rated horror film ever made. The grubby, shop worn aesthetic might be deliberate but comes across as ham-fisted. No sympathetic protagonist so the violence isn't terrifying, especially when meted out by such pathetic and laugable antagonists. Not scary, not funny, resists meaningful analysis, simply a series of outre images and grating noises that ultimately bore the viewer.
    I don't understand why Tim Burton is constantly accused of making the same movie again and again. Certainly he has favourite themes, motifs and actors, but then so do all but the most wilfully eclectic directors; Hitchcock's blondes, the Coen Brothers' fondness for fat men, Scorcese's relationshiop with DeNiro and DiCaprio. A career that includes biopics, comicbook, tv and literary adaptations, original animated films, screwball comedy and musicals can't be described as narrow. And someone capable of making films as sublime as Ed Wood (or as crushingly misjudged as Planet of the Apes) can't be classed as repetitive.

  • Comment number 100.

    I am a fan of Kenneth Branagh and, like one of the previous contributors, really enjoyed his version of "Sleuth". I also love his all-singing, all-dancing "Love's Labours Lost". I'd like to suggest one man's entire oeuvre as vastly over-rated, however, that man being Quentin Tarantino. Let's just expunge that evil-hearted dross "Inglourious Basterds" from our memory and go for the bigger game: "Pulp Fiction" is not the classic that everyone seems to think it is. The best bit is the story involving Bruce Willis which - seems to have slipped a lot of memories this - was written by Roger Avery. The rest of it is a boring mess. I'll let you into a secret - all that famous bantering dialogue of his? It's there because he can't think of anything for his characters to say. Do any of the scenes involving John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson have any dramatic point at all? Think about it - cut them out and what have you lost? Much the same could be said of the whole of "Reservoir Dogs". "Jackie Brown" travestied another writer's work and "Death Proof" was amateurish - even for something that is supposed to seem amateurish. In fact, Tarantino's only decent effort was "Kill Bill Volume 1" and - guess what? - of all his films it's the one that contains the least of his "trademark" inane and irrelevant and all-the-characters-sound-the-same dialogue.


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