Turns out, most movies are rated exactly where they should be. Most people would agree that Little Miss Sunshine is almost a perfect movie while Van Helsing is absolutely terrible. Great movies attract good word-of-mouth and critical acclaim. Even if they flop at the box office, most people recognize those movies as being quality titles. "I heard that was good," they say. Conversely, lame movies suffer appropriately from negative worth-of-mouth and critical disgust. This includes huge hits at the box office. Millions saw Transformers, but how many really thought it was as good as American cinema can deliver? As a whole, we all collectively have a realistic understanding of what's good and what's bad.
So then, how to come up with a list of overrated and underrated of the 2000s? It's a shorter list than we figured it would be. So we made it nice and even and kept the list to just ten each.
Underrated - You may have heard it wasn't all that good (or just, you know, okay), certainly not worth your $10 at a local theater. But trust us. It's way better than you expect.
* 3:10 to Yuma
* 8 Mile - That Eminem kid, he can act.
* Blue Crush
* Bring It On - Unjustly diminished by a raft of lame sequels.
* The Interpreter - The sort of sophisticated, important drama/thriller that older audiences claim to love, yet never pay money to see.
* Reign of Fire - If you're going to do a dragon siege movie, make it a good one.
* Resident Evil
* V for Vendetta
* The Village - The backlash against M. Night is big and it is relentless. The Happening deserved moviegoers scorn and ridicule, but not this one.
Overrated - You probably heard it was amazing in every way. You have to go see it immediately. Uh, no you don't. Overblown and underwhelming.
* A Beautiful Mind
* Anchorman - Why does Will Ferrell insist on making us pay to see him try to amuse himself and his friends?
* The Dark Knight - Good, yes. The second coming of film, no.
* Inception - See "The Dark Knight" above.
* Juno - Its snarky, too-cool-for-school preciousness wore out its welcome by the end of opening weekend.
* There Will Be Blood - And in the audience, there will be sleep. Sorry, couldn't resist. It's like that awful painting you see in the museum that you try to like because everyone tells you it's genius.
* Tropic Thunder
What do you think? Agree with this list? Are we way off base? Do you have your own over-unders?