Just as some movies are unfairly maligned, there are films out there which are held up as absolute classics... but don't hold up under close scrutiny.
Please feel free to disagree, because other opinions are available. And besides, we're punching upwards – these films were huge hits.
It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and do you know why? Because the Oscars are mostly voted for by actors, and Birdman is all about actors. It's a massive, arse-kissing love-letter to actors and their egos, in fact – a flattering picture of great, tormented, neurotic egomaniac artists who struggle to reconcile their creative ambition with the draw of lucre and the pesky emotional demands of lesser mortals who aren't blessed enough to be actors.
And filming it in an apparent (but not actual) single take is a gimmick that deserves an award for logistics, not editorial genius. Also: RELENTLESS JAZZ DRUMMING.
More sugary than a patisserie full of macaroons, Jean Pierre Jeunet's Amelie is a tale of a cute little lovely pixie (Audrey Tatou) who enhances the lives of those around her by manipulating, fibbing to and gaslighting people on her quest to make everyone happy (like a massive egomaniac who has to control everyone else's lives), only at the end gaining a bit of happiness for herself.
Okay, if you're feeling particularly hungry for twinkly twee-ness, this might be the kind of cupcake movie that appeals. But seriously, two BAFTAwins and five Oscar noms? Too rich for our tastes.
3. Million Dollar Baby
It won the Best Picture Oscar because it looked like a Best Picture film: a sports movie that isn't about sport, but about Life, and Death, and Mortality, and Clint Eastwood's Wise And Wrinkly Face.
But look closer and it's clichéd, sentimental hogwash: a scrappy underdog rises to triumph through grit, determination and the tough love of a cranky old white dude and his sensible black friend. We'll grant you the quadriplegia was a neat twist, but then in come the ridiculous hillbilly white-trash family and the big teary "awards please" ending.
4. Forrest Gump
Popular opinion would have us believe that Robert Zemeckis's Tom Hanks-starring movie is a feel-good, highly quotable classic. Well, quotable it may be, but it's judgmental and preachy with some extremely questionable politics.
If you'll forgive us a little Biblical reference, Forrest is our happy naïve Adam, rewarded for his ignorance, while Robin Wright's Jenny is Eve, who makes the terrible mistake of being socially conscious and (gasp!) sexually promiscuous. She must be punished by dying from an AIDS-like illness! Forrest also steals the credit for the achievements of African-Americans, from breaking segregation to catching the Watergate burglars. Pour some sickly sweet syrup over all that, and you're good to go.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Everyone knows the Harry Potter story inside out, but that turned out to be a weakness for the eighth and final film. Just imaging trying to follow the convoluted gubbins about Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem (what?) and wand loyalty (who?) if you hadn't read the books in advance, and you have to admit that the storytelling is a mess.
Sequences like the action in the Forbidden Forest, which is so dark as to be almost impossible to follow, and the appalling "nineteen years later" epilogue, drag down an already turgid plot. Citizen Kane this is not. Speaking of which...
6. Citizen Kane
Beloved of critics and scholars of cinema, yet unwatched by hundreds of millions of cinemagoers. It's one of the undisputed pioneers of film, a groundbreaking technical masterpiece for anyone, let alone a 25-year-old first-timer. We won't dispute any of that. On those terms, it's magnificent.
But what's in it for the regular punter? There's no one to care about – Joseph Cotten's ostensible protagonist barely exists as a character, while Orson Welles' Kane is a copper-bottomed asshole who makes life worse for everyone he meets. (Yes we know that's the point, but it leaves us watching an entitled young man become a grotesque old monster over the course of two hours. Big whoop.)
Add to that the celebrated structure – a rich man's life told from multiple, differing perspectives – and you have a movie that constantly shuts you down the moment you're starting to engage with it.
And the ending ("Rosebud!") doesn't justify the means.
7. Finding Dory
So Finding Dory isn't terrible, but it is mind-blowing to us that they got away with making what is essentially a watered-down imitation of Finding Nemo and then it went on to become the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time. Seriously, it hits all the same beats as the original movie – missing fish, captured by humans, final daring rescue climax, etc, etc.
No one seemed to bat an eyelid at the scene dedicated to mocking an apparently mentally disabled sea lion, and the film went on to make over $1 billion.
8. There Will Be Blood
It's easy to admire Paul Thomas Anderson's work. It looks ravishing, it deals with Big Themes, it features the world's greatest actors doing outstanding work. But it's also frequently boring. We're not saying there's no merit to There Will Be Blood – obviously it's an epic story of Biblical proportions, but it also goes on and on and on while very little of apparent significance happens.
The founding of the US oil industry just isn't a ripe subject for cinematic excitement and human drama, even if Daniel Day-Lewis does his biggest John Huston impression and you throw in the occasional pillar of fire to liven things up.
And the milkshake thing at the end was just silly.