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What's the most overrated movie of 2010? (Part 1)

December 23, 2010 |  4:44 pm

You've been in the situation before. You hear about a movie for weeks on end from your friends and family. Then you finally have a chance to see it, and your first reaction is: "That's what all the fuss is about?"

Below, six movies from the past year that inspired just such a reaction among a number of our colleagues here at The Times. We offer up a synopsis of fans' belief in their greatness, and our colleagues' case for why they didn't live up to the hype. Write in and tell us which of these films (or another movie entirely) you think deserves the title of most overrated movie of 2010.

"The Town"
The buzz: Ben Affleck has crafted an exciting story filled with class tension.
The case against it: We've seen the working-class Boston setting before. The chase scenes are tired. And accents and outfits can't substitute for character depth.

"Winter's Bone"
The buzz: A gritty story with great atmosphere and a powerful central performance.
The case against it: Slow pacing, a contrived world and unearned bleakness make this the emperor's new clothes of the indie world.

"The Social Network"
The buzz: A timely story with crackling dialogue and great performances.
The case against it: A movie that's not nearly as much about sociological trends as it claims to be, and that derives power from truth when it's mostly truthiness.

"The Kids Are All Right"
The buzz: A funny and tender story of a uniquely 21st century family that breaks both social taboos and new dramatic ground.
The case against it: The novelty of the setup can't camouflage a dysfunctional-family dramedy we've seen before.

"Black Swan"
The buzz: A movie with style, scares and sizzling Sapphism.
The case against it: As subtle as a pit bull, it's camp disguised as art.

The buzz: A brilliant exploration of the subconscious and virtual reality, "2001" for a new generation.
The case against it: It might have seemed like a good idea in Christopher Nolan's teenage mind. But complicated doesn't mean brilliant, and the expositional sections are less fun than a freshman calculus class.

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Jon Hamm in "The Town." Credit: Warner Bros.


Film critic Kenneth Turan's 10 overlooked films of 2010

Film critic Betsy Sharkey's 10 overlooked films of 2010

What's the most under-appreciated movie of 2010? (Part 1)

What's the most under-appreciated movie of 2010? (Part 2)