Five Most Overrated Movies of 2013

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros., The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Releasing
January 12th, 2014

It's easy to pinpoint excellent films deserving of the attention they draw. The numbers they bring in at the box office are often a solid indicator they are worthy of praise. An overrated film can vary depending on who you ask, but it is generally one that receives much more credit than it deserves. This can happen due to a star's pulling power, the cost of making the movie, or the media attention it received during filming. This list features five of the most overrated movies of 2013 in no particular order and the reasons they did not deserve the attention they received.



"Gravity" is a film that took roughly six years to perfect. It is a movie about space, which stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Ryan (Bullock), a talented medical engineer, and Matt (Clooney), an astronaut, are stranded in space when their space shuttle is damaged by debris from a destroyed satellite during a routine spacewalk. The film does have a variety of glaring inconsistencies; for instance, when Ryan is running out of oxygen, Matt tells her to breathe slowly and conserve what little she has left. Then he begins asking her a wide array of questions encouraging her to talk and waste precious oxygen. Matt must sacrifice himself in order to ensure Ryan lives, and she fights to survive in spite of one disastrous event after another. The film was judged the most overrated movie of 2013, according to a reader's poll from the Los Angeles Times.



"'Lee Daniels' The Butler" stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines and David Banner as Earl Gaines. Cecil is a butler in the White House who has served eight different presidents. The film follows his life and the events that changed him, including the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and American society. The movie received twelve award nominations, including a Camerimage nomination for the Best Cinematography. In spite of its numerous nominations, the movie received an average of six out of ten from viewers.


"Captain Phillips" was also listed as one of the most overrated films of 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times readers poll. The movie stars Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips and Catherine Keener as Andrea Phillips. The film is based on the true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first cargo ship from America to be hijacked in two hundred years. Due to the nature of the story, it should have seen a few more climactic events, but instead it is slow in action scenes leading up to the conclusion. The performances by Hanks and Keener were excellent, and the film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, but more than 10 percent of the LA Times readers agree it was overrated.



Typically, any film with Brad Pitt is going to receive a great deal of attention. "World War Z" was no different. Based on the novel by Max Brooks, "World War Z" was destined to be a race against time to save the world from the zombie pandemic. With an average viewer rating of six out of ten, the film diverges from the author's original intentions of a zombie apocalypse and becomes more of a disaster film. The performances by Pitt as Gerry Lane and Mireille Enos as Karin Lane were phenomenal, but the film could have reached its audience a bit better by following the novel.



"Elysium" is the last film on the overrated list, which stars Matt Damon as Max and Jodie Foster as Delacourt. The year is 2154, and the elite have managed to secure life on a man-made space station. The rest of the population is doomed to fight for survival on what is left of the Earth. Max begins a mission to create equality between the two worlds. In spite of the excellent visual effects and the performances by Damon and Foster, the move received its acclaim as being the follow-up to the award-winning debut film of Neill Blomkamp, "District 9." The film only received two movie award nominations and a small following from viewers.

Overrated films can—for all intents and purposes—be excellent movies with stunning visual effects and good ratings. The 2013 winner for the LA Times most overrated film was "The Avengers." While wildly popular among moviegoers, these films seem to just fall short of what is expected from both critics and viewers.