ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion -- we all know that!

So even if you're a filmmaker and your movie had raked in numerous Oscar nominations, you better know that that doesn't necessarily mean you're guaranteed an easy ride with movie critics.

I bet you had no idea that the following 9 movies, loved by millions of fans all over the world, were subject to such hatred in the initial reviews, despite going on to get nominated or even win Best Picture!

1. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Total nominations: 5

Kelly Vance from East Bay Express didn't have a single nice thing to say about the movie:

"A horrible mistake dressed up in juvenile gross-out drag — the worst writing Scorsese has ever been associated with. Some stories are just too stupid to care about."

2. Birdman (2014)

Won: Best Picture, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography

Total nominations: 9

Mark Hughes writes on that:

"The film works too hard to appear to say more than it does, and its sensibilities are liable to be off-putting for a lot of viewers. [...] It’s pointless, other than trying to prove its indie bonafides as 'edgy.'"

What do you think? Relive the trailer:

3. Gladiator (2000)

Won: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Effects

Total nominations: 12

Roger Ebert wrote on his website in 2000:

"'Gladiator' lacks joy. It employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if the characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are."

I guess Ebert isn't, no.

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Won: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Writing

Total nominations: 7

Unfortunately, Gene Siskel was less than impressed with the horror flick, writing in the Chicago Tribune:

"Any 10-second video image of Charles Manson is more frightening than what goes on here, as Lecter is interviewed behind a specially built glass prison wall-specially built for a movie, that is."

5. Gravity (2013)

Won: Best Achievement in Cinematogrpahy, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Original Score, Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Total nominations: 10

Erick Weber from Final Cut on Film:

"As [Alfonso] Cuarón spells out in his intro: ‘Life in space is impossible.’ So is forming any emotional attachment to Gravity."

6. Argo (2012)

Won: Best Picture, Best Writing, Best Achievement in Film Editing

Total nominations: 7

Nigel Andrews over at the Financial Times:

"A woolly script, underpowered characterisation and rabbit-in-headlights direction by Affleck – whose talents were more apparent in less publicity-freighted projects – mean the movie plays like a one of those gauchely deadpan heist-instructional flicks that screen crooks used to show each other before they robbed banks."

7. Forrest Gump (1994)

Won: Best Picture, Best Actor in Leading Role, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Film Editing, Best Effects

Total nominations: 13

A metacritic review on doesn't feel that the movie is as praiseworthy as it appears to be:

"'Forrest Gump' is not, however, a great film. It has the form of an epic without real depth or resonance; the trappings of satire without a coherent attitude; and the semblance of historical revisionism without a critical sensibility."

8. American Sniper (2014)

Won: Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Total ominations: 6

Matt Taibbi shared this scathing review of Clint Eastwood's war flick on rolling

"'American Sniper' is almost too dumb to criticize. It's a simple, well-lit little fairy tale with the nutritional value of a fortune cookie."

9. Titanic (1997)

Won: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects, Best Visual Effects, Best Music - Original Song, Best Dramatic Scor

Total nominations: 14

Kenneth Turan from Times Film Critic:

"What really brings on the tears is Cameron’s insistence that writing this kind of movie is within his abilities. Not only is it not, it is not even close… Instead, what audiences end up with word-wise is a hackneyed, completely derivative copy of old Hollywood romances, a movie that reeks of phoniness and lacks even minimal originality."


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