Skip To Content

    19 Award-Winning, Highly Praised Movies That Are Underwhelming, And I Want To Know If You Agree

    "The villain was obvious, the plot was obvious, and I ended up almost falling asleep multiple times in the cinema while watching it."

    Recently, on the Ask Reddit subreddit, u/Angry_Entertainer asked the question, "Which movie got too highly praised but was honestly underwhelming?" The responses were filled with award-winning movies that critics called masterpieces — but people think the opposite. Here are the most surprising responses:

    1. Citizen Kane (1941)

    "I'm not a filmmaker nor an aspiring filmmaker, but I can appreciate the cinematography and how it was groundbreaking at the time, but the story and the acting was excruciating. I really struggled to finish it."


    2. Joker (2019)

    "I hated that people were mentioning Arthur Fleck in the same breath as Heath [Ledger]’s Joker. I thought Phoenix did a phenomenal job playing the character, and I understand it’s a very different style of film, but Fleck never once felt like 'The Joker' to me."


    3. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

    "A fun, if mediocre, film. How the hell Saving Private Ryan lost Best Picture to it, I will never know."


    4. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

    "I was so fucking excited for this movie based on the trailer. I dragged my girlfriend to go and see it and walked out after realizing why Sacha Baron Cohen bailed on the movie. This is probably why you don’t do biopics with a bunch of the people involved still alive. Or, at the very least, do it without their input."


    5. Mulan (2020)

    "What I hate the most about it is its wasted potential. A period war epic with an uplifting message about how anyone can make a difference? Yes, please. Instead, they cut out a lot of what made the animated movie fun for 'realism' but added an unnecessary magic plot that undercuts the whole message."


    6. Crash (2004)

    "Crash didn't deserve an Oscar. It wasn't particularly deep or well-made, nor was it particularly nuanced or insightful. Anyone who feels this movie is special must be, 'I'm fourteen, and this is deep.' It was standard Oscar bait, and it sadly worked. It is a very skippable film."


    7. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

    "The movie falls apart really quickly after the first act. I think the only that will stay with me about Wakanda Forever is how passionate Angela Basset's speech was."


    8. Ad Astra (2019)

    "It's like Interstellar's boring cousin. It's slower than slow, doesn't really do anything new or interesting, and is generally just kind of depressing. I'm sure some people love that, but it just didn't feel like it went anywhere. And when it did have something that broke up the monotony (moon pirate chase), it still somehow felt dull and nonsensical."


    9. The English Patient (1996)

    "The English Patient won several Oscars, but honestly I thought it was kind of boring overall. I never really understood how the two main characters wound up being attracted to each other. Neither seemed to have much personality."

    "Edit: To clarify, most of the problem seemed to lie with the script, not the actors. I usually really enjoy movies with Ralph Fiennes, but it wasn't at all clear what his character's appeal was here. Same with Kristen Scott Thomas' character- not apparent what either or husband or her lover sees in her."


    10. The Notebook (2014)

    "As a 30-year-old lady in a happy, long-term relationship, having watched this movie recently, I’m embarrassed that I ever found it romantic."


    11. The Incredibles 2 (2018)

    "The villain was obvious, the plot was obvious, and I ended up almost falling asleep multiple times in the cinema while watching it."


    12. The Piano (1993)

    "Not only was it nominated for Best Picture, but people were also saying it deserved to win over Schindler's List. I thought the music was good, but so much of the movie was so contrived that I could barely believe someone had written it, let alone that someone decided to spend seven million filming it. It's just not good."


    13. Mother! (2017)

    "I've seen so many people praise it as stressful and tense and a deep metaphor. I found it boring and thought the whole biblical aspects to be hamfisted and annoying."


    14. Gravity (2013)

    "I’m studying as an Aerospace Engineer, so growing up, everyone I knew would try to watch it with me or ask what I thought. I told them that on top of the physics and, yes, the gravity being so inconsistent and wrong, it genuinely hurt my brain. It was one of the most insulting depictions of astronauts and NASA. The two main astronauts are shown as bumbling idiots who don’t know how anything works or the basics of physics in whatever this alternate reality is. They have no sense of teamwork. An objectively dumb movie that, as astronaut Chris Hadfield said, set back our interpretation of astronauts and especially female astronauts by a decade."


    15. Licorice Pizza (2021)

    "I saw a TON of hype around Licorice Pizza, and thankfully did not spend money to watch it in theaters. It was on some streaming service, and by the end, I was angry. I even spent my time on it. It felt like a self-insert fanfic you’d read on Wattpad, but also extremely fucking creepy. People would have probably responded much differently if the genders were reversed in the movie."


    16. The Shape of Water (2017)

    "I felt like I was being trolled while watching that movie. How it won four Oscars, including best picture, is beyond me. It was nowhere near the quality of Pan's Labyrinth."


    17. The Hurt Locker (2008)

    "As an Iraq war combat vet, The Hurt Locker is absolutely atrocious and does not jive with anything combat operations-wise or chain of command; it is a dumb-ass movie. That movie won six Academy Awards. It makes me want to vomit. What a joke."


    18. Wonder Woman (2017)

    "I started to fall asleep and decided to walk out it was so boring. And I've never walked out of a movie before that. Could not understand the hype at all."


    19. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

    "I tried watching Birdman because I'd heard good things and I'll watch Michael Keaton read the phone book. But I don't think I even finished Birdman. It really just didn't do anything for me."


    Have you seen a highly praised movie that you think is underwhelming and overhyped? If so, let me know in the comments.

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.