A Decade of Regrets

March 20, 2013

Everyone's talking about "mistakes that have been made" over the last ten years and their regrets. So I figured I'd list my biggest, most egregious—most inexcusable, frankly—mistakes over the last decade. I'm not proud of some of these choices. But you have to remember that it was a tumultuous time and a decade ago I was young and impressionable.

Here are the 10 films, one per year, that I either seriously underrated or seriously overrated. It's important to own up to our mistakes.

2003: Open Range — I remember liking Kevin Costner's western but not loving it. That was a mistake: Apart from Deadwood, this is the best western of the last decade. Really holds up.

2004: Dawn of the Dead Like many, I overlooked Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake when it debuted. Little did I know that it heralded the debut of a visionary new talent and one of the few true auteurs to emerge in the last decade.

2005: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Oof. I bought into the hype and raved that it was better than everyone thought. Go back and listen to some of that clunky dialogue, though. Brutal. Fortunately, I'm not the only person who made this mistake.

2006: Miami Vice — Michael Mann's deconstruction of his hit 1980s TV show is better than you think.

2007: 30 Days of Night In an era of sparkly vampires and toned down, PG-13 horror, this visceral throwback to the gorefests of old stands out today. By no means a great movie, and perhaps fatally hampered by Josh Hartnett, 30 Days of Night nevertheless managed to do something not seen since Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark: provide a new twist on a classic movie monster.

2008: Zack and Miri Make a Porno I was way too kind to this. I blame myself for holding out hope that Kevin Smith could turn it around. I was wrong.

2009: Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire — Every once in a while, a critic gets caught up in groupthink. You fail to consider all of the contingencies. You make mistakes. Guilty as charged.

2010: Tron Legacy — Best soundtrack of the decade. An excellent two hour music video.

2011: Immortals — This was a tough year for this list, in part because so much was so blah. I have no very strong feelings about anything that came out in 2011. I'm going to go with Immortals, which I probably liked more than I should have?

2012: Looper — Given this year is still so recent, it's hard to say what I will like more or less in the years ahead. I'm going to guess that I will like Looper less as the years go on, however. I really dug it coming out of the theater but, as the days went along, I found myself nitpicking it more and more. I guess my biggest problem with it is that it borrows so heavily form other pictures—The TerminatorAkira, and more—that it feels like a mishmash of ideas rather than a picture with ideas of its own. I dunno. Time will tell.

2013: ??? — If I could barely do 2012, how will I be able to do this year? Jack the Giant Slayer was a risky film to tentatively praise, though. I might live to regret that one.

Published under: Movie Reviews