We don’t subscribe to the notion that every Academy Award-winning movie deserved the golden Oscar. Sure, there have been a few mistakes, but the Academy’s 84-year record proves the institution is frequently spot-on. Surveying Oscar’s Best Picture winners allows us to walk the halls of cinema history, with film’s most honorable at every turn. Netflix users don’t always agree, however. The streaming service’s anonymous and boldly opinionated comments section reveals a number of misguided reviews of Oscar-winning movies that won unanimous praise. Opinions are subjective, but we question these critics. Hold your heads along with us after the jump where we examine the most ill-considered write-ups on Oscar’s best.
“Cmon folks…Citizen Kane this ISN’T. Nothing new here…boys meets girl, losese girl, finds girl again, all against the backdrop of war. It’s been done 100’s of times. Many of those are superior to this in both acting and writing.”
Those “100’s of times” probably weren’t inspired by one of the most beloved films from Hollywood’s Golden Age, right? Right??
“I’m not quite sure why so many people like this movie. It must be from decades of being told by the media that it’s a great movie. But it’s very hard to ‘enjoy’ this movie. I could not connect on an emotional level to any of the characters. I got the feeling the director was trying to create sympathy for Bogart’s ‘Rick’ but it’s hard to feel anything for a self-abusive, chauvinist, murdering, adulturer who never sees the error in his ways. Every character except Peter Lorre’s ‘Ugarte’ is a cliche and overacted. Hollywood could only have gotten away with this in 1942. If anything this silly was produced today, it would be laughed right out of the theatre and onto video in a just a few weeks before being so unbelievable and ridiculous. And what does ‘Here’s looking at you, kid.’ even mean? It’s just another stupid, catch-phrase that has no real meaning. Maybe this movie’s popularity was related to the anti-Nazism of the time. I don’t know. I wasn’t around then. Whatever it is, I don’t get it.”
Pardon us, we’re still trying to imagine a direct-to-video Casablanca with a schlocky, Scary Movie-esque tagline: “The fifth and final chapter of the four-part trilogy!”
“Time has not been good to the Godfather legacy. I hadn’t seen it since it first appeared nearly 40 years ago and was eager to relive the magic. Instead, everything I thought was so fresh and exhilirating back then and been used a zillion times since then. The opening sequence with the wedding went on and on and on until i fast forwarded to the next scene. To me, the movie just meandered casually, with long, long shots followed by long, long reaction shots. I’m afraid The Sopranos has spoiled me… ”
Even Tony Soprano knows he owes his entire existence to The Godfather.
“Terrible movie….totally ridiculous story, bad acting. A total snoozefest. I fell asleep in a lot of scenes. The best movie of all time is Last Action Hero…a true piece of cinematic genius….Godfather isnt HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!”
“I finally watched this movie after hearing almost 40 years of praise. I feel its too long by for what they accomplished. The acting is good but the wedding scene could have been cut.I really don’t think if it was made today it would be such a hit. maybe if they sped it up a bit. I watched up to the wedding and had to take a nap then i continued after i woke up. I found it hard to follow who was related to who and against who. maybe the sequels in this case were better. I’ll have to see.”
“I was forced to watch this movie (and all of the sequels) by a male friend who is obsessed with them. Ladies- run if someone asks you to sit through these long, slow, relentless demonstrations of the male ego. Or if you see a Godfather poster hanging up anywhere…Just RUN!”
Women aren’t allowed to love The Godfather? We had no idea.
“Worst movie ever! To be honest, I only made it half way through to the intermission. It was so bad, I couldn’t bare wasting another two hours of my life to finish it. The main character Scarlett acts like a spoiled whiny little girl. Just listening to her for two hours was enough for me. This movie might be a ‘classic’ but only because it has been out for 75 years. If this movie came out today, it would be scrutinized for the sub-par acting and lack of plot. It seems that people who have jumped on the fan bandwagon are probably just reminiscing fond memories of a younger time of their life. In short, this movie is way overrated. You can see better acting with a more indepth plot during a play put on by your local elementary school.”
“The quality of this movie was wonderful. The acting and cinematography was great. It was way ahead of its time. The music was perfect. Nearly everything about this movie was most enjoyable. Both my wife and I just loved Mammy.Why the One Star Rating? I just couldn’t get over the embarrassment for Scarlet who was unfaithful until the very end. She was also mean, greedy and hurtful. Both my wife and I agree, that woman needs to be spanked! (See Mareen O’Hara in McLintock for an example)I love old movies and would have expected nothing less than a five star rating from this one, but I just can’t stand to be embarrassed for a character on the screen. Vivien Leigh (Scarlet O’Hara) played her part extremely well. Too bad the script called for such bad behavior. Sorry, I would love to give this movie five stars, but cannot in good conscience.”
Sorry, you left this review on Netflix not the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist.
“If you are in endless, rambling Woody Allen dialogs about nothing, go for it. Otherwise, it is boring o death.”
Isn’t that why everyone watches a Woody Allen movie?
“Why does Hollywood condone Woody incestuous behavior? He married his own daughter. That has to be one of the greatest sins next to priest molestation, rape, genocide, kid napping and torcher. I guess in his or Hollywood’s world everything good is bad and what is bad is good. Nasty. The guy who kidnapped a girl and raised her and father children with her in Hollywood’s eyes is OK. What interesting the state of California awarded the family 20 million dollars, that basically says it all the sin is so great and the sin is so hard to understand. But Woody son said he is disgusting and no one came to his side like the state of California to there young people. Sick.”
So, what did you think of the movie?
“Couldn’t figure out if Diane was dressing like a 5 year old or an 85 year old. Woody Allen is a sick freak side-show pervert mental case, not worth the five cents to get in for a peek! You couldn’t pay me to attempt to watch another WA film – He must be the laugh of Hollywood and NY together!”
So… what about the movie?
“Ive made this comment several times, but Ill say it again. Just because a movie is long does not mean that it is good. Frankly, this is a boring movie. The character development is almost non-existent and the jumping backwards and fowards is not done well. The cinematography is good, but I there is no way this deserved a Best Picture award. Not sure who I would recommend this to.”
“Someone needs to shoot this movie and put it out of it’s misery….it went on and on and on….no excitement, no great dialogue. This may be the worse movie I have every seen…. ”
“Slow. This movie focuses on everything but the plot. It shows the traditions of China, great eastern costumes, a culture that has been lost to communism, and how one can be a prisoner to their position. However, the plot is slow to develop, painfully slow. There is unnecessary ‘artistic’ nudity, that I thought was illegal in today’s society (they show frontal nudity of a boy less than 10). Honestly, it seems a poor substitute for the King and I or Anna and the King. So, unless you are really into Chinese culture at the rise of communism or enjoy movies that intend to be ‘epic,’ avoid this one.”
History takes time!
“Gaudy, tasteless, and overblown, this very dated film demonstrates all how much moviemaking has changed since the days of the Hollywood epic. While the costumes and sets are impressive and are the real strength of the film, they cannot make up for the hokum that spews from the lips of the actors and a melodramatic score that seems laughable today. Sorry, I know people love this film, but its time put away such childish things.”
This *is* a quintessential Hollywood epic.
“Is it not strange that when confronted with an opposing viewpoint, modern Christians often choose to hide behind their dead-dogma doctrines of ancient superstition like Bible-brainwashed, cave-dwelling cowards buried hair-follicle-deep in the quicksand quagmire of their own cultishly creepy creeds seething with anti-Jesus belief systems, false teachings that directly replace what Jesus teaches us about God as the mercy-filled Father of everyone including the Father-loved wrongdoer with their own warped conceptions and perverse distortions of a deeply offended, despicably sadistic Monster-Monarch demanding payment in full for some ancient Edenic forbidden-fruit-felony in the favorite beverage of insatiably thirsty vampires: Droplets of Innocent Blood?! These slanderous lies are an insult to God whether whispered in the dark of night or etched in bold on a cloud-kissed kite! Behold how baffled they appear to be when a new text-based revelation movement of spiritual rejuvenation blossoms blissfully before their petrified gaze of catatonic bewilderment, one that among other things emphasizes the teachings of Jesus (the religion OF Jesus = The Fatherhood of God and The Brotherhood of Man summed up best in the first two words of The Lord’s Prayer: OUR FATHER) and de-emphasizes the constructed religion ABOUT Jesus. Well, The Urantia Papers might not have been a necessary component in the grand scheme of things had Christianity faithfully embraced more of The Master’s Teachings subsequent to His sudden departure from our planetary midst but an honest evaluation of what most Christians believe today clearly discloses such a conspicuous detachment from the personality-revelation OF Jesus of Nazareth that it required another epochal revelation to give all sincere truth-seekers from this age and subsequent ones enough spiritual enlightenment and cosmic illumination to assist our planet in evolving towards its high spiritual goal and divine destiny (on Earth as it is in Heaven)!”
“Couldn’t get through it, black and white and silent. I really can’t imagine how boring a person’s life must have been to find this format ‘entertaining.'”
Let us guess: you hate subtitles, too?
“If Michael Bay was alive in 1927, this is the film he would’ve made. Wings has battle sequences that were certainly advanced for the time period, but it features a brainless story and some particularly awful acting. As much as I liked Clara Bow in the flawed It, she is incredibly annoying here. She goes way overboard in making her character perky and is practically hopping up and down after every line. The story takes a major detour from the action in the 2nd act for an excessively long and annoying sequence where Jack is drunk and doesn’t recognize Mary, who is trying to inform him that leave has been cancelled. The scene would be stupid no matter what, but it is seriously derailed by the awful performance from Buddy Rogers, who is even worse here than he was in My Best Girl. Then there’s a major event that happens in the 3rd act that has some interesting psychological implications, and the right director could’ve done something interesting with it. William Wellman is apparently not that director. This is just really, really bad storytelling and the fact that the Academy chose to honor this film with the first Best Picture Oscar shows they were just as stupid in the 20s as they are today.”
“Over rated and disappointing fare that misses the mark in most respects. Hitchcock’s best movie is not this IMO , not really close. I knew this was going to be bad , when in the first scene, at the restaurant , coffee is ordered ,but the protagonists leave without any reference to the order– this detail is so un Hitchcock that something amiss is going on here; its the story, boss, the story.”
If an “unexplained” cup of coffee ruins an entire film directed by one of cinema’s greatest, we feel bad for you.
“With all the hype about the academy award nominations this film had recieved I was excited when I finally had a chance to view it, I’m afraid it was a disapointment for me though. Maybe I went into it expecting too much, but I found that the whole film was too tense and not easy to enjoy. There was no climax at the end of the film or anything of that sort. I found a few similarities to Gaslamp (or Gaslight…) which stars Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer and would reccamend that film way before I reccamended this one.”
We didn’t know a Hitchcock movie could be too tense, and hurray for totally missing the point.
“A chick flick if ever there was one. Olivier may be great on stage, but he overacts on file unless kept on a short leash. Compare this overblown performance to his fine supporting turn in Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing. Fontaine is dreadful, and the film bored me incessantly. Not up to Hitchcok’s classics.”
Dead chick flick, maybe.
“We were very disappointed in the ending of this film. It seemed that the writer/producer just ran out of story line and just stopped the film . Can’t believe that this film was up for an academy award – things must be really tough in Hollywood these days. Do not recommend this film for its lack of story finality.”
“Worst movie I have seen all year. No ending- the entire plot is left unresolved! It seems like everyone gets killed except the bad guy and then it just goes to credits. Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson both have great parts, but the story is left unresolved”
“Bad movie, no story line, no ending, just killing and more killing. I don’t know why everyone was killed, I don’t know if some were killed or not, I don’t know what happened to the killer in the end. What happened to the money?”
How dare a movie not wrap things up in a neat little package for you — and we can guarantee that the Coen brothers haven’t come close to running out of stories. This is what happens when people are raised on subpar movie sequels and relentless franchises.
“One of the worst movies I’ve ever see, second only to Plan 9 From Outer Space. Please do not waste your life watching this movie.”
Somewhere, Ed Wood is beaming.
“Stupid movie writen by pieces of no talent elitists that just want people to see the evil win. It was good until the main character got killed- then seems like the writers got drunk and went off into some never never land? I know they think this is brilliant i think this is crap- serious waste of my time! I think the people involved w/ making this crap are probably not too savory to put it politely, and i think that anyone who thinks this is good needs their head examined!!!!”
The racism throughout the River Kwai reviews is alarming.
“This movie is total crap and based on pure fantasy. It makes the japs out to OK people? the truth is most brutal. The japs suck and murdered so many POWs it wasnt funny. Just a garbage movie that actual Brit POWs spit at and walked out of.”
“It is a bad movie. It has nothing to do with reality of WWII. It is cartoonish to the bone. The great British soldiers… Stupid Jeps… Lazy American… Little natives… What a crack. Eight Oscars… Give me a break.”