You’re Dumb and Wrong: Critiquing a movie as ‘overrated’ is lazy

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You’re Dumb and Wrong: Critiquing a movie as ‘overrated’ is lazy

This is me, looking at Facebook comments on any given column. Image by Lucasfilm Ltd.

This is me, looking at Facebook comments on any given column. Image by Lucasfilm Ltd.

This is me, looking at Facebook comments on any given column. Image by Lucasfilm Ltd.

This is me, looking at Facebook comments on any given column. Image by Lucasfilm Ltd.

By Jeremy Brown, Arts & Entertainment Editor

This final column might come off as a desperate attempt at relevancy. I can assure you I already did that in week 3.

It’s easy for critical entertainment audiences to blow off popular movies as either watered-down for the masses or overrated. The latter is an obnoxious blanket statement with immediately less effort than anything the audience is criticizing.

“Overrated” boils down to one basic thought: “Everyone is liking this. Instead they should have my much smarter, more correct opinion.”

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Alone, this comes across arrogant and pessimistic. However, it’s not like you’re not allowed to have this opinion of others’ opinions — I still think Red Dead Redemption II doesn’t justify being open-world. With a score of 97 on Metacritic, I’m clearly in the minority.

Moreover, understanding you’re an outlier isn’t the same as calling something overrated, because the former acknowledges the critic as just one voice and the latter conveys the critic is the one voice.

Since this has always been an antagonistic column and I’m graduating in a week, let’s use a controversial movie as our main example: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

I love The Last Jedi. The praetorian guard fight is awesome, the salt planet at the end is one of the coolest planets the series has ever visited and each of the three protagonists learn specific values which will set them up for their finale this December.

A large portion of the Star Wars fanbase hates this movie and it’s their right to do so. I’d say the ratio for haters to lovers is probably comparable to my reader base.

Yet when disgruntled fans disagree with the praise from critics while still having evidence to back their opinions, it still doesn’t negate others’ praise or enjoyment. Granted, irate fans would probably not acknowledge The Last Jedi as overrated, but just terrible.

When critiquing any movie, using “overrated” is just laziness. Critiques aren’t just your frustrations, they should be coming from wanting the entertainment to improve, to be elevated. Find your reasons for disliking the movie and understand they are your own, not objective foundations of what makes films good or bad — then, maybe your words will help someone create something better in the future.

“Underrated” is never nearly as frustrating to hear, because it comes from a place of optimism. But this is typically incorrectly used.

Many times, when someone will say a movie like Logan Lucky or The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is underrated, what they really mean is not enough people saw the movie. Because in actuality, most people who actually went to see these films enjoyed them. I’m definitely projecting.

Truly using “underrated” usually gets greeted with backlash — has anyone been respected for liking Suicide Squad? I’m looking at you, Caleb and no you still aren’t. Just like I’ll never get respect for liking The Last Jedi by mostly likely anyone reading this.

I could try to end on something more pretentiously intellectual, but this column’s been overrated from the start. Thanks all for reading.

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Daily Egyptian, its staff or its associates. 

You’re Dumb and Wrong is a weekly column about video games, movies and popular entertainment from Arts & Entertainment editor Jeremy Brown. Brown can be reached at [email protected]

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