Blade Runner is the Most Overrated Movie of All Time

Blade Runner 1982

(Thirty Seven), day Two

If you have not read the title, move your eyes up a few inches and do so. Now that you have done so, I will say it again, because it bears repeating. Blade Runner is the most over rated move ever made. Even more so than Brazil. Even more so than Gladiator. I said it, and if you don’t agree with me then you are just plain wrong.

I have said this, or versions of it, many times in my life. I have said it so many times that I have almost, sort of come to believe it, even though I have always known that I was wrong. Sometimes we make assertions and then defend them virulently enough and often enough that they become part of our identity. Among my friends, if Blade Runner comes up everyone shoots me a glance. They know that I am thinking “Blade Runner sucks, and everyone who thinks it doesn’t suck sucks for thinking it doesn’t suck when it does suck!”

Sure, I could explain to them that my thoughts on the subject are more complicated, but then I would no longer be the controversial anti-Blade Runner guy. It might even get to the point that some of my friends might be able to interact with Blade Runner in some way, large or small, without thinking of me. I am just not comfortable with that. If they knew the full truth, I would probably have to do something like run around downtown Seattle wearing only a Blade Runner shirt, just to maintain the association.

My relationship with the film is a long one. It is longer, in fact, than my relationship with any person other than family. It took years to realize that I did not like the movie, and then twenty minutes after that realization to tell everyone I ever met about it. I have defended by opinion no less than thirty thousand times, by last count, and I will continue to do so, even after this article is written, and the lie is exposed.

The first time I saw it was at my friend Darren’s house in seventh grade, during a sleepover. As an adult, it seems weird to use the word sleepover to describe something seventh grade boys do. But that is the word we used, and that it what it was. Once we grew bored of playing video games, we decided to watch a movie. He pulled out Blade Runner. It was really awesome, he said. It was about Replicants. I didn’t know what a Replicant was, but it sounded cool.

We only got ten minutes in before Darren’s mom announced that it was dinner time. We had vegetable lasagna. I didn’t like vegetable lasagna, but I ate it anyway and enjoyed it. I was a picky eater as a kid in a very dumb way.

After dinner we went back to watching Blade Runner. I was confused, because we picked up where we left off and I did not quite understand what was happening. Perhaps because of this, I found it profoundly boring. I fell asleep before the end.

Twice more by the end of high school I tried to watch the movie and fell asleep. It was due to circumstances, not necessarily the movie itself, but it did not help that I found the movie very boring. Even some people that like it admit that the pace is perhaps a little too slow. Finally, during my senior year, I saw the movie all the way through. I did not care for it.

By the time I got to college, my opinion was that I did not like the movie. I had a vague feeling that I had never given it a proper chance. I told people that I didn’t like it. If you have ever told anyone that you do not like Blade Runner – and I hope that you have – the response is always the same.

“Have you seen the special edition?”

I did not know if I had seen the special edition. It turns out, there are many special editions. I think that Ridley Scott’s annual birthday celebration involves cutting a new special edition of Blade Runner. Supposedly all of them are better than the original. The salient point, I am told, is whether or not there is voice over. Voice over is bad.

Eventually someone in college screened a version of what was presumably the definitive edition available at the time. I was excited. By this point I had read so much and heard so much about how important Blade Runner was to science fiction cinema. The idea that the original was crap and the special edition was a masterpiece had been so thoroughly hammered into my skill, that I felt I had never really seen the movie. This required ignoring the fact that it was the theatrical release that was so influential, and if it was no good and everyone hated it then that did not make a whole lot of sense. The point is that I went into the special edition with more than an open mind. I expect to like it. I expected to see for the first time what I had missed all the other times. This was going to be an experience, and I was pumped.

I hated it.

I recognized that the visual design did not have the impact it once did because I saw it almost two decades after release. That did not help the underdeveloped story. Or the flat characterization. Or the wading-through-maple-syrup pacing found in every scene of the film including the action scenes. The themes raised were interesting, but it felt to me like the movie threw its themes in the air and then filmed them falling in slow motion, rather than weaving them into the story in an engaging or sophisticated way.

These opinions were calcified into my own personal dogma by two things. The first was that I read the book, and loved it. To this day, it is one of my favorite Phil Dick novels. I find it superior to the movie in every way, save for the fact that Replicant is a much cooler word than Android. One one level, this is not fair. Blade Runner is not so much an adaptation of the book as it is a film inspired by the book. It is extremely different, and this is to its credit. Phil Dick novels do not play well in other media. The best way to adapt a Phil Dick novel into a movie is to read the book five times, do a bunch of acid, then write the screenplay naked on top of a snow covered mountain. In this, I think Blade Runner was a success. It definitely feels like that’s how the script was written.

The other thing that set my opinion on Blade Runner in stone was arguing about it. I spent all of college arguing about it, with one person over and over, and with other guest debate partners from time to time. By the end of college, my opinion had transformed from “Blade Runner just doesn’t do it for me,” to “Blade Runner is the most overrated movie of all time.” I met a girl who agreed with me. We’re married, now.

I have argued with many people in many different situations about how overrated Blade Runner is. Whenever I enter into a new social group or a new person enters mine, I get a giddy little thrill when Blade Runner first comes up. It is my chance to show that I disagree with things that are more or less the consensus in the SF fandom community. There are not a lot of works that are universally loved. There are only a few people who hate Star Wars, and only a few people who hate Blade Runner. This is less true now than it used to be, with the internet having elevated disagreeing with popular things to an art form on part with the musical styling of the late John Denver.

If that joke didn’t work for you, allow me to explain that John Denver was last generation’s Nickelback. If it didn’t work for you because you just didn’t think it was funny, then I am going to assume it is because you are incensed by inflammatory opinion of Blade Runner. I would advise you to stop reading now. Things are about to get




Eventually, hating Blade Runner became part of my identity. This is a thing that can happen, and it can be liberating or it can be dangerous. On one level, it is great to have personality elements to hang on to, and that your friends all know about. I have…a lot of those, I suppose. On the other hand, it is important not to be enslaved to your own identity. That is a complicated issue, and past the scope of this article. This article is about dissing Blade Runner.

Until it isn’t. The terrible thing about all of this, the thing that really kills me, is that I know that I am wrong. Of course I am wrong. There is no way I could possibly not be wrong. It is, in a very specific way, a definitional impossibility.

When I say that Blade Runner is overrated, what do I mean by that? It is a statement about two things that are related but not identical: quality and value. The quality has to do with the technical aspects. How well was it filmed? How well constructed were the sets, and how well implemented were the special effects? Were there any major plot holes? Were the characters consistent, and well portrayed by the actors? The value, on the other hand, involves the emergent elements. How awesome were the action scenes? How intriguing were the ideas? How emotionally stirring were the character relationships?

It is, of course, impossible to pull quality and value completely apart from each other. They are to some extent interdependent. Badly acted movies with huge plot holes rarely deliver powerful emotional experiences. That being said, quality and value are still different. It is highly possible to have a technically well done movie that just is not very interesting. Or a movie with huge technical problems that nonetheless is fantastic and moving and well loved.

More to the point, it is much easier to critique quality than it is to critique value. You might make the legitimate point that Avengers had some messy plot elements, some leaps of logic, and some continuity errors. However, if you say that it wasn’t awesome, then you are no longer giving a critique, but rather an opinion. Avengers is widely regarded as having been awesome. If it did not work for you, then it is because it didn’t work for you, not because it didn’t deliver. There are myriad reasons why it may not have worked for you. Maybe you were predisposed not to like it. Maybe the combination of elements is one that hits home for a lot of people but not for you. Maybe you only like things that are dark and gritty, and this was too silly. It doesn’t matter. The fact is that when most people think something is awesome, then it is. That is the only meaningful metric for awesomeness that we have. Since it is subjective, then quantity of subjects is the deciding factor.

When you say a movie is overrated, what you are really saying is that either the quality, or the value, or more likely both, are more highly regarded by a wide spectrum of the audience than they should be. For a movie that is overwhelmingly loved and highly regarded, and Blade Runner falls squarely in that category, it is a tricky thing to say.

You might have a legitimate case that any given film is overrated with regards to quality. If a lot of industry insiders and professional critics disagree with you, you had better have the technical knowledge to back it up. If you think that Lawrence of Arabia is overrated with regards to cinematography and editing, you are battling against the weight of so many professionals who believe it is one of the best shot and cut movies ever. If you think the screenplay for Casablanca is overrated in terms of characterization and narrative, you better have serious credentials. Otherwise you are just some guy who thinks your opinion is more valid than people with vastly more knowledge and experience than him just because your opinion comes out of your mouth. In other words, you are probably wrong.

It is much harder to have a legitimate case that the value of a movie is overrated. Value is just about how “good” something is, and that is determined solely by the reactions and opinions of those who experience it.

When it comes to the overall worth of a film, or any piece of art, there are only a few different metrics that make any kind of sense. It has to be some combination of critical acclaim and widespread audience love and appreciation. You could fool around with the exact ratios and methods of calculation, but the result is the same. You can say that a film is overrated, but that is a meaningless statement if asserted objectively. What you really mean is, “I don’t like that film as much as most people.” That is a fine thing to say, but it is very much not what people mean when they say something is overrated. They mean that everyone who disagrees with them are wrong, and they are right, even though this is, essentially, a definitional impossibility.

I believe that, when it comes to Blade Runner, everyone else ascribes more value to it than the film deserves. People seem to think it is a masterwork of science fiction, and I think they are fooling themselves.

I am wrong.

I can quibble about how well drawn the characters are, whether or not its themes are well communicated, whether or not the action scenes are as exciting as running out of dryer sheets. I might have legitimate points about each of those. I might also be misrepresenting how much fun I have buying dryer sheets. But if I say that Blade Runner is not a great movie, then I am using a definition of great movie that is neither useful nor widely accepted. I am saying “I don’t like it,” and trying to legitimize my opinion by granting it an objectivity it cannot possibly have. It is impossible to even imagine a situation in which all of these things are true:

1. There is movie everyone one loves and says is great.
2. One man thinks they are wrong and it is terrible.
3. The dissenter is right.

That is an impossible scenario. Even if, two generations later, everyone now decides they hate that movie, all that would indicate is that the standards have changed.

I cannot say that Blade Runner is overrated without being both obstinate and cognitively dissonant. I hate both of those things, and I usually try to purge them from my being whenever I can. On the other hand, abandoning my asserted stance on Blade Runner would be like ending a relationship that has nurtured me and provided me with good times for nearly my entire life.

Clearly, I have some serious thinking to do.


63 thoughts on “Blade Runner is the Most Overrated Movie of All Time

  1. DaPoet says:

    LOL You should try watching 2001! 🙂

    • Oh man, I bet 2001 is the movie more people feel this way about than any other. Hilariously, I think most people think 2001 is overrated, which is a bit of a paradox, but still funny.

      • DaPoet says:

        The book is far better than the movie which only shows just how boring hard science fiction can be. On the other hand when viewed from the perspective of how actual space flight will be in reality it is a masterpiece. 🙂

    • Daniel says:

      90% of the people that think 2001 is ‘overrated’ didn’t get the main topic of the movie, and I am pretty sure you’re of them.

  2. Glenn B. says:

    You’re right about Blade Runner, but wrong about Brazil 🙂

    And kudos. It takes serious critical chops to dissect the roots and meaning of your own opinion like this.

  3. Jeff says:

    I must be wrong too because I’m surfing Amazon looking for movies and saw another Bladerunner special edition and thought, “I wonder if anyone found this movie to be as overrated as I did.” I Google’d and found this post. I also completely agree about both Brazil and Gladiator. I love sci fi. I love Alien and Legend – 2 Scott films from around the same time. I love Harrison Ford. I even like Rutger Hauer for some reason. I don’t like this movie. I would rather watch Outland.

    • We Blade-runner-is-over-rateders are a rare breed, it seems. But Alien and Legend are the only two Ridley Scott films that I like, so maybe there’s a thread in common here that goes a little bit deeper.

      • Atarii says:

        I don’t think you are right. I think people who like Blade Runner are a minority, but they are louder and it is now NECESSARY to like Blade Runner to have geek credibility.
        So technically, “over-rated” in this instance does not mean, “too many people like it,” it means, “too many people SAY IT IS GOOD to seem cool, without actually believing it; or, they convince themselves they like it, but never watch it”.
        It’s like people who claim to like classical music but would rather eat spiders than endure a classical work.

        I have no doubt that there is the odd person who adores the movie and has watched it multiple times with great intrigue; however, THAT person is the minority.

      • thehistoryboyz says:

        Agreed. In fact, maybe someday I’ll write an umbrella follow-up “Ridley Scott is the most overrated director of all time.” I haven’t seen Legend, so the only two of his I enjoy are Alien and Thelma & Louise. Apart from those, his preference for visual spectacle and simulated thematic “depth” over plot coherence and believable dialogue seem to define his output from Blade Runner on.
        Indeed, there are very few movies I’ve seen that actively offended me on an ethical level to the point I nearly walked out, but he’s made two of them: Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. I don’t like to get moralistic about art and would almost never use the word “reprehensible” to describe a film. but those two fit the bill perfectly.

  4. titties says:

    while i agree that blade runner is very over rated, i personally think that the godfather is the most overrated movie of all time. Seriously, its not even what i would consider a good movie, much less a masterpiece that so many claim.

  5. No, you aren’t wrong. I’ve been saying and thinking the exact same things for years, and coming across this post was refreshing for me. Blade Runner is astonishing in the visual sense, and perhaps interesting thematically, but in terms of dramatic engagement and a movie-going experience in general, it’s boring as hell. I’ve nearly fallen asleep both times I’ve tried to watch it. I’ve only seen the director’s cut, which I’m assured is the superior version, but somehow I doubt watching either the theatrical or final cut will change my opinion of this movie. It’s the type of film you hear people praise when they want to sound tasteful, sophisticated, and high-brow. I doubt anyone actually watches it for the entertainment value.

  6. Sam Midwood says:

    I’ve NEVER been able to watch Blade Runner all the way through. I’ve tried at least ten times now. I usually fall asleep around minute 20. This coming from a guy who’s a huge scifi fan and f’n loves most Ridley Scott films.

  7. Linus says:

    I feel exactly the same way. In fact I googled “Blade Runner is overrated” just to confirm that I’m not the only one. I also thought “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” was fantastic.

    You are right that we shouldn’t take our own like or dislike of a film too seriously. Sometimes it comes down to taste and you may as well be arguing about whether or not green olives taste good. I love “Inland Empire”, for instance, but I wouldn’t fault anyone for not appreciating it.

    • Kubrick says:

      I got here with the same google search. I can’t believe this is 8.2 top 250 on IMDB and the fanboys think its top 3…sigh. I tried rewatching and fell asleep. So many bad things about this movie. Only the super geeks ever even saw it, so it doesn’t get any bad votes. This movie was a disappointment when it was in the theaters in 1982 I remember. The only thing I recalled from those days was the ambiance, darkness and rain. Couldn’t even remember what it was about.

      I do like good Sci-fi. I liked Alien/s, I love 2001 and that is one of the top movies IMO, Love Kubrick and slow paced movies. I liked Brazil, but I just can’t get into BR. I only wanted to revisit this movie, because I learned about Phillip K Dick’s stories. I do think the story could have been interesting, but there was too much “atmosphere” and crap surrounding it. If the robots died after 4 years, why even bother hunting them down?

  8. Crash says:

    I liked it.
    Maybe because unlike many of you, I heard it was terrible from many people. When I watched it I enjoyed it. Probably because I didn’t go in with high expectations.

    I found the movie to be unique and even have an element of romance. The story is hard to follow so to sum it up;
    Boy has job in which is must kill artificial beings. Boy meets female artificial being and falls in love. He learns he can’t kill her so they run away together.

    I think you’re better off watching the movie with the voice over otherwise the movie will just be more confusing.

  9. ryno says:

    There is one thing about Blade Runner that is a masterpiece that usually gets overlooked…the score.
    Much like the movie, Mission to Mars, the story line has many holes and is a bit slow. But the score for both Blase Runner and Mission to Mars carries both in a way that makes many people like these movies more than they would if they had different music. Dances with Wolves was another movie that was slow but had a tremendous score (even if they did steal it from Out of Africa).

    • scott says:


      I have seen Blade Runner probably seven or eight times. Yes, it drags in several places. The shooting/death of Zhora was painfully bad. I hate it when characters wear fingerless gloves and 55 gal drums are on fire. Most dirty, trashy streets in movies – and Blade Runner is no exception – look like a set designer crumpled up some newspaper and threw down a few beer cans. It almost always looks fake.

      I know the general criticisms of the movie, and many, if not most, are valid. At least I can see where people are coming from.

      No matter what anyone says, though, the score is a masterpiece. In a big loud movie theater it was incredible. I don’t even like ambient music, but it’s perfect for the film: a little odd, other-worldly, grandiose, sad, occasionally heavy-handed, pretty. Just like Blade Runner.

      I also love the film, despite its flaws, because I think the good scenes are amazing. They’re either tense, or so… different. The opening scene (“Let me tell you about my mother”) and the creepy questions of the Voight-Kamp test with Rachel. The scene where Roy makes John Sebastian take him to see Tyrell, I love it all, from “Checkmate, I think” to Roy killing his Maker. When Deckard is analyzing the photograph and moving around the room outside the image, it took me a minute to realize just what the f*** was happening. So much cooler than flying cars. The scene where he chases Zhora (before the shooting) was awesome.

      The shots of Los Angeles may feel cliche, but I suspect that’s because it has become the standard for dystopian films? At the time that was incredibly cool. Guillermo del Toro talks about how those shots influenced his career and vision as a filmmaker. As a kid and a young adult who loved movies, I was mesmerized seeing it on the big screen.

      Back then most people wanted to see another Star Wars-style movie with the guy who played Han Solo. I remember a lot of people saying Blade Runner was terrible.

      It wasn’t terrible. It was strange and beautiful and slow and profound and occasionally corny. When it was good, it was sublime.

  10. David says:

    I stumbled upon this rant as a result of trying to find new developments on the upcoming Blade runner 2 movie. I don’t want to spend to much time pointing out the merits of the movie, it will just be wasted on you. Clearly, you have made up your mind and you hate this movie. I am at the opposite side of the spectrum, it is one of my favorite movies for a couple of reasons. 1) visually I found it to be beautiful, along with the score by Vangelis it was poetic. 2) the themes of what makes someone human was something I ponder quite often 3) to (me) nothing has come close. Now, it’s not much of a story as it is an episode in the life of Rick Deckard. And the (fact) that he is a replicant himself makes it that more intriguing. I will stop there. It’s quitting time here at work. My other favorite movies alien 1 and 2 close encounters and jaws and star wars (the original three) mad max, 1,2,3. Oh and if you want to talk about overrated movies what did you think of interstellar?

    • CordlessBurrito says:

      I dunno… I read the book late last year and then listened to an abridged audio book version and I thought both of them were great. I put off watching the movie for a long time but since it’s got a lot of positive feedback I thought I’d watch it. So I did, yesterday. Of course a movie based on a book almost never lives up to the same level as the book, so I guess my expectations may have been somewhat unrealistic, but I was pretty underwhelmed. Not by the visuals or the music, or even the acting really. Those things were actually well done, and they form a great dystopian atmosphere.

      Maybe I felt like it should have been longer, maybe it was the pacing, but I wish the director had taken after the book in that aspect a little more. I can respect everything else about the movie but that. It touched on the concept of the animals, Harrison Ford shot around some androids and had a few near death experiences, and it gave a window into all that dystopian-ness. I just wish there had been more elements like the mood organ, or Deckard’s wife, or any kind of interaction with other humans, or Wilbur Mercer, or the crazy android run television show. Yes, it wasn’t supposed to be an adaptation, but it didn’t even replace those great story elements with anything. It just left gaps in their place for me to be disappointed. It was lacking the added flavor of the androids really using their intelligence to take advantage of people like in the book where the one poses as the police and nearly kills Deckard. In the movie they were more like incompetent juggernauts that just swooped in and attacked. The giant focus of the book was empathy, and it did a great job giving enough content for me to think “Wow, there’s a lot going on here, between the Wilber Mercer pseudo-religion, the reminiscing of a world war terminus, and the question of the morality of killing androids, hence the title…” There wasn’t enough content or explanation in Blade Runner to even come close to matching the book. The only major element that was changed was Roy Batty’s role, which was a great implementation but didn’t make up for everything else that was lost.

  11. yes says:

    You are giving people too much credit. you assume people judge things on its on merits, when in fact people sayand even “feel” what they are expected to feel. if enough people said blade runner is amazing you will find people having this opinion even if they never saw the film.
    another example is the iphone

    • David suaza says:

      I don’t assume anything. Most people that I talk to about the movie find it slow and boring. I see other things that people with very short attention spans don’t see. Once I explain it to them they usually say “oh I didn’t see that” or ” I didn’t get that” oh, and by the way, your statement about people saying things are amazing because others repeat it so they take it on themselves has nothing to do about the way I “feel” about the movie. I will agree with you on the Iphone, I hate apple. Anyway back to the “merits” of course people judge movies on more than its remarkable qualities but now that I think about it how many movies in the last 5.. no 10 years have you seen where you said that movie was good from start to finish??? Not many, so usually you hear people say “I liked this but I didn’t like that” so “people” do judge movies on their merits! You Know why? Because these days movies are a bunch of ideas thrown together and made into bitter tasting stews! (last exclamation I promise) prometheus sucked, superman sucked, The last batman sucked, all the hype in the world could not save prometheus what a load of shit. So, anyway apart from 2001 ASO blade runner will forever be my favorite science fiction movie exclamation mark. Not much of a rebuttal but, there it is. Once I like something I tend to believe I like it for a reason, not because someone told me too, critical thinking…that’s still allowed right?

  12. Artifex 28 says:

    I agree, and I’m a movie & TV fanatic so to say.

    For some reason though, I never had seen Blade Runner and just recently decided to plug the hole in my ‘resume’. I gave it a 6/10. It was just a mediocre flick, nothing else. Great soundtrack, suberb visuals (for the time at least), but character/plot-wise there was absolutely nothing special.

    In comparison, a movie that has had an avg. of 6.5/10 on IMDB, got a 9/10 from me – that’d be Europa Report.

  13. Jamey says:

    I can’t stand Blade Runner either. I watched it once and never want to see it again. I came here after reading about the overhyped BFI ‘re-issue’ that’s going on at the moment and tired of hearing about it.

  14. Mark Mitchell says:

    Like others, I too googled whether BR is overrated such was my allergic reaction to the film and its epic reputation.. As the author points out, we are in the land of subjectivity which means there is a degree of futility in all of this. While you’ll never persuade anyone who truly feels good about this movie, I question its quality and value. Mind you, I’ve never rated Harrison Ford. His disdain for the project comes through in his portrayal. He was as reluctant as his character or is it the other way around?

  15. Darlyn Gonzalez says:

    I saw Blade Runner like a month ago and I had to stop it and finished it the next day. I think that this movie had a huge impact in the Sci-Fi gender because of its astonishing visuals effects and well created world but the movie itself is boring as hell! I did not like any of the characters and the plot was very slow and flawed. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person who thinks that this movie is over-rated as hell!

  16. Toad says:

    A film can be influential and still suck. That’s what Blade Runner is. It looks kinda cool and some other films borrowed the vibe and gave it kudos for the inspiration. That doesn’t mean it was entertaining… it wasn’t. I also fell asleep during it.

  17. Nick Melton says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that “Blade Runner” is an absurdly overrated movie. I do not agree about “Brazil,” but having seen multiple cuts of “Blade Runner” multiple times I feel confident in voicing my opinion that it is a pretty underwhelming film.

    I love the points you make about quality vs. value, but I feel you stumble at the end of the article. You make the argument that the following statements cannot all be true:

    1. There is a movie everyone loves and thinks is great.
    2. One man hates it and thinks it’s terrible.
    3. The dissenter is right.

    This is, to my eyes, an example of an “argumentum ad populum” – a logical fallacy. Something is not true just because it has the support of the majority. For example, we could say that smoking is a good idea because there are millions of smokers. But anyone who’s looked at the medical evidence knows that’s not the case.

    • Great comment! I appreciate you engaging with the critical element of the article as well as the Blade Runner stuff.

      As for your specific point, I think that’s valid only in the case of truths that can be objectively determined. In regards to your smoking example, we can say that smoking isn’t a good idea because we can judge the health risks. On the other hand, something subjective and experiential like a movie’s greatness can’t be quantified in that way.

      A better analogue would be “smoking is pleasurable enough to be work the health risks.” We can determine the health risks, but we can’t objectively determine how pleasurable it is. So if, say, 60% of the world’s population smoked despite knowing the health risks, that would be a clear sign that to the extent that we can make a definitive statement on whether the pleasure outweighs the risks we would have to say yes.

      Movies are the same way. You can’t objectively say that a movie isn’t great when swarms of people say it is. All you can do is disagree with them from your personal perspective. You can say it’s technically or narratively flawed, but clearly greatness isn’t just a product of those things.

  18. shnast says:

    I also think blade runner is overrated. I couldn’t make it through the whole thing ever. I also feel the same way about knocked up which is an overrated comedy people like to pretend it’s as good as 40 yr old virgin. But back to this movie I think “blasé runner “more like it. In one word it’s “boring”. People who like this movie probably like anything sci fi that comes out the hatch. To keep it real star wars and star trek are also both overrated but I LIKED THOSE so don’t burn me at the stake. Blade Runner is overrated AND I didn’t like it. Other movies that I agree are overrated are Gladiator? yup, Brazil? Yup. OH And I got another one for you highly highly overrated A Clockwork Orange….blah.
    Even Dark Knight was overrated. Batman’s voice in that movie is unforgivable and Jack Nicholson is still the best Joker.
    2001 was awesome but I think it’s a mixture of over and under rated depending on the person talking about it and what they think it means to them. In other words I think people who just like popular movies to like them because they are popular are overrating them and those people are followers. Other reasons for overrating films is people in mass tend to be satisfied with cheese and low quality things. I’ll give you an example of some underrated films : Alexander, Lets Be Cops, Moon, In Bruges, Hot Rod, The Thirteenth Floor (Just to name a few)

    • anon says:

      Oh god, the Dark Knight.
      That trilogy is baffling in its success. The second movie had a glorious Joker, but that was about it.
      The first and third movies both use a villain that utilizes circular logic to be evil (“look at how evil we made this city because of how evil it already was so now it has to be purged because we made it evil and it being evil means it has to be purged!”) and the third movie is basically a random collection of unconnected scenes that look kinda cool.

      But then again, I enjoyed Jupiter Ascending, John Carter, Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim. People tend to get riled up when I mention that.
      I loved how choke-full John Carter was in terms of content and parallel plot threads, Lone Ranger was a fun Pirates of the Carribean as a Western, Pacific Rim was one of the few cases of me liking mechs and Jupiter Ascending had glorious world building where a seemingly pointless scene (the beaurocratic alien stuff) showed the true scale of the setting and how much larger the universe is than the comparably petty conflict of the movie – a conflict that is about the survival of planet earth.

      • I agree with all of those movies you like! Except that I haven’t seen the Lone Ranger. But Jupiter Ascending is pretty wonderful. I’ve seen that specific scene criticized, but it was my favorite part of the movie for exactly the reason that you stated.

      • SHNAST says:

        Great comment. Personally I can’t stomach Jupiter Ascending enough to make it all the way through. I mean there’s so many things in it that give me a aversive feeling. The same as if I tried to watch a Bratz cgi film. I just don’t think it’s for me. The make up, the pointy ears, it’s all so cliche’ and syfy generic. I mean really it’s like eating 30 years of sci fi movies and comics and then barfing it all up and there’s the movie. It’s got EVERYTHING! Even lizard men. AND GREYS! Lol And basically an elf in the lead. I can’t handle it. When stuff gets to be too generic and too muddled with amalgams of different genres it makes me want to puke. lol Sorry I don’t know why I even shared this info

  19. anon says:

    The funny thing about Blade Runner is that everyone takes a shit on the narrating voiceover of the theatrical version.

    I saw the movie, and you know what I thought?
    “This movie would be so much better with a noir-style monologuing voiceover of the main character to fill the empty void of scenery.”

    From what I read, the voiceover in the theatrical release was horrible. Because, apparently, the director felt offended when he was told to include narration and then put the lowest possible effort into it. Which kinda makes me hate the guy.

    The movie itself is visually impressive, but the effects lose impact when you watch them for an hour straight with nothing else going on.
    The plot is nonsensical. So replicants cannot be differentiated from humans, but their artificial snakes have branded scales? Why in all fucking hells wouldn’t you do the same branding on the replicants?
    And what are replicants? Half the time they seem to be machines, in which case the “replicants are impossible to differentiate from humans” plot point falls flat – just run a fucking magnet next to them -, while other parts seem to imply that they are biological, in which case you gotta wonder why you’d even give them limited lifespans and fake memories instead of just making them part of society. After all, they are objectively superhuman and only go crazy because they are aware of their limited lifetime.
    Then there’s the protagonist. A lone guy hunting down a bunch of superhumanly strong and intelligent humanoids. What could possibly go wrong? How the hell is this justifiable?
    Then there’s the theory that he’s a replicant, which makes everything just weirder and barely has any supporting evidence in the movie, outside of maybe the rape scene and that weird as fuck unicorn thing.
    Funny how no one ever mentions the rape scene. It was the one thing that surprised me about the movie.

    The only part I enjoyed?
    The replicant’s monologue at the end. That was actually quite nice.

    • Daniel Senn says:

      Hilarious response, especially the magnet idea 🙂

      Like what I said with my earlier post here, there just wasn’t any character development. This can be applied to the Replicants as well, because, like you said, what the fuck are they?

      We’d feel more for their plight if their entire history wasn’t summed up in an intro paragraph at the beginning of the film. Time should have been spent on their existence before they arrived back on Earth.

  20. Daniel Senn says:

    I have VERY mixed feelings about the film, possibly more so than any film I’ve ever watched. Every notable aspect the film offers can be matched by another aspect that is awkward or vague. The character development was far too shallow to convey the sense of “humanity” that people claim the film has in spades. A simple two minute interaction between Data and the crew from Star Trek: TNG provides more humanity than the entire film of Blade Runner. Roy’s “epic” monologue certainly didn’t serve up enough humanity to excuse the rest of the film from having none.

  21. Shauqi Salmi says:

    Finally gave in to geekdom societal pressure and watched the movie. Went on google and just prayed that let there be others out there who think this movie “greatness” was blown out of proportion. Thank god I’m not the only one.

    The worst part? When I first got the movie, I watched the first 2 minutes of the film and went, “Hey! This movie looks cool!” So, had a friend came for movie night. Movie killed the whole night, as we sat through the credits, thinking wether it would have been wise of us to switch to something else rather than actually sitting through the whole thing. I guess we were clinging on to the glimer of hope that the story might pull a Hot Fuzz on us. How naive.

    And again honestly, why do people never mention the rape scene? It got me and my friend looking at each other in disbelief going,” wait, he IS the hero right? We’re suppose to be routing for this guy right? Because this seems to suggest some really f*cked up forced stockholm thing going on here.””Nah man, that straight up rape.”

    Ps: There are “other” versions of this movie?!

  22. G Vis says:

    Glad that I found this page. I watched BR years ago, after all the hype. I had to drag myself through it. What a freakin’bore.

    I hated Harrison Ford’s wooden acting, hated those dumb unconvincing replicants and really hated how a lot of interesting potential plot twists were wasted in the movie.

    Granted it looks great, even for today, but thatś the only redeeming thing I could find.

    Like someone else here said, it has become one of those movies everyone claims to like just to sound sophisticated and hip.

  23. Ridley Scott says:

    It is shite.

  24. JB says:

    Hi there, I’m also from the ‘Searched for “Blade Runner sucks” on Google’-posse. 🙂

    Because Blade Runner indeed sucks. You can only be objective about your own feelings. They are objective to you, and a large group of people that disagree will not change that. The word ‘overrated’ can actually only be used when lots of people think something is fantastic.

    Your mind, your personality, your character (and to some extend the mood/surroundings/physical well-being) is the ruler with which an experience is measured.

    If something paints a picture that is very distant from how you see life, you are not likely going to respect and/or enjoy it. The world of Blade Runner is a very pessimistic one. It’s a world that you actually want to get away from.

    If you are not attracted to a certain pessimistic view of the future, you will probably also not like a movie in which the main character comes across as someone without lust for life. A man who is not a master of his own fortune, who lets himself be forced by not very sympathetic characters to do horrible things. He does not stand up to it. And when he finally does, the movie end with a message that it’s probably all in vain.

    If you have seen your fair share of movies, you are probably also familiar with the way certain scenes play out. Movies throughout history build on this. They tend to take less time for scenes based on evolving and established conventions. It doesn’t help that Blade Runner was made quite a while back, but it’s a very slow-paced movie, even by standards of those days. I’m not saying Citizen Kane is a perfect movie, but in my view not overrated. And its pace is refreshingly up-tempo.

    If you have an certain philosophic history, you probably have also already read or seen scenarios in which computers get a mind of their own, and how to deal with this. The way in which Blade Runner tries to bring this about is far from impressive. Gee golly jeepers, these things that are self-aware and experience emotions do not want to die. And whoop de doo, they must have seen some hard to swallow images. I had a hard time not finding myself insulted by this pathetic attempt at intellectual enlightenment.

    Having to watch Blade Runner is like experiencing a nightmare while being awake. And it’s good to know that there’s more people who feel this way. 🙂

  25. Marcel Zachary says:

    I like the movie.Really you have to be out of space and time to get the real messages in it.Alot of sci fi flicks like Blade Runner,Brazil, Space Odyssey,and 12 monkeys that if were not careful technology could obsrtuct the way we deal with daily lives.And the way we going on in this age shows you the time is approaching. Who will you put your trust in man,Technology or God.Speaking about overrated I don’t get why. Casablanca not here or even Star Wars not on here i mean i know get all hype but come on once media starts talking about its praise.You know it get way too much not because it’s bad but that you really don’t care for it.But everybody different I still prefer Planet of the Apes as the best Sci fi that created all this mess we have now.

  26. Jims says:

    Except Blade Runner is, in fact, garbage. I have also tried watching it twice and I just cannot finish it. I love sci fi movies, too. I really do. But I find this movie spectacularly dull. Just do not care for it one bit. And guess what, I also hate The Godfather.

  27. Jonny R. says:

    100% agree! I love movies, the classics, the independents, the mainstream, color, black and white, whatever… there is no single film more unworthy of its inexplicably still growing reputation as Blade Runner. It’s borderline unwatchable. I appreciate the visuals, but the direction, plot, script, and acting is middle of the road or worse. I’ve tried it 3 times at different ages and fallen asleep each viewing. In terms of pacing, Blade Runner makes 2001 seem like Fast and the Furious. But 2001 had huge ideas, was more impressive visually and musically, and had such vision. BR is muddled and dark and boring. I’m fine apologizing for that opinion. I’m glad there’s a group of serious filmgoers that agree.

  28. symbiote1982 says:

    Overrated? As an artistic endeavour it clearly isn’t, art exists to create an emotional response, your “hate” for this film means that it achieved this.
    The best thing any form of art can be is polarising as it means that it is resonating in some way with the viewer and clearly BR is polarising.
    You can dissect a film down to it’s every minute detail to see what makes it tick and which parts you think make it so terrible, but in doing so you’ve stripped it of it’s gestalt nature and have failed to appreciate it on an artistic level. This is partly what’s wrong with the way films are viewed now, no longer are big budget films attempts at artistic expression and instead are thinly veiled attempts at removing as much money from a person as is possible, your assertion that the avengers cannot be considered a bad film is a falicy, it’s corporate window dressing masking a pretty lackluster film with almost zero artistic merit.
    At least BR comes from a time when an artistic vision was still allowed in big budget films, and love it or hate it it is a work of art, that it bores you is more a reflection of your personality and viewpoints, the film simply exists, it’s we who react to it.
    Great article though, it served as a very telling window into you as an author, that you can be so open and truthful about these things is commendable is this age of empty hyberbole.

  29. JB says:

    symbiote1982, you can’t climb on a high horse and say Blade Runner is more ‘art’ than other movies. It doesn’t make it better. You are not the one who decides that polarising is the best thing art can be. Nor is the one who told you so. You can’t say that other people have overlooked the ‘gestalt nature’. Some of them here clearly referred to it, still didn’t care about it one bit.

    You can say however that they failed to appreciate it on an artistic level. But that is exactly the point a lot of people are making here. It is quite impossible to label some things art and then claim it is in a league of its own. Who are you to judge what is art, and who is capable of appreciating it? There are still lots of very fine movies made nowadays, which I’m sure you would consider ‘art’. But if you leave all the pretentiousness out of it, what remains is if people actually like the movie.

    The way you’re trying to bring most opinions here down to the observation that it is a reflection of personality and viewpoints is rather an open door. Your opinion is worth nothing more or less than the others here, even if your first name happens to be Art. 😉

  30. egold27 says:

    YES. exactly. blade runner is a disaster and should be put to sleep forever. #boycottbladerunner

  31. perfect1972 says:

    Metropolis blows Blade Runner away. And the cinematography is ripped straight from it.

  32. Luigi Master says:

    The thought recently serrated that I hate Blade Runner fervently, so I googled “Blade Runner sucks” jut to make sure I wasn’t crazy or something and now I’m here. I tend to really enjoy movies of this sort, but this movie pissed me off, and the reason it did was somewhat intangible.
    I felt insulted on an intellectual level I think. It felt like I was being fed bible quotes covered in sprinkles, the message and morals so blatant and engraved in culture that it wasn’t saying any thing provocative, interesting, or otherwise original in any manner.
    It’s characters, were boring and played flat, the central plot was uninteresting and done better before, Mel Gibson just doesn’t fit this roll and- I can go on and on but I’ll stop for brevity’s sake.
    Of course, all this is my opinion, and what are those worth? Since I’m already handing out opinions, I suppose I ought to say that Zardoz is totally a better movie.

    • Luigi Master says:

      And that’s what I get for not checking over my work before hitting the post button. That typo is so bad I hope whomever moderates these comments will laugh my ass out the door and straight up ban me from the Internet. I clearly don’t deserve this keyboard.

  33. Miguel Cruz says:

    The thing to keep in mind is that Blade Runner was a flop when it was released. It made $27 million in the summer of 1982 and was out of theaters in 5 weeks. By way of comparison, Poltergeist, also released that same summer, had a similar opening weekend of about $6 million. It, however ran for 19 weeks and took in $73 million all told.

    What’s the difference? Poltergeist is an emotionally engaging movie. Blade Runner is a visually astounding movie, but it’s emotionally dead. You don’t care about anyone in it or what they are doing.

    And so for 1982 audiences it translated into bad word of mouth or non-repeat viewing. Blade Runner became a cult film when it was released on home video because for as unengaging as it is as a story it is an intriguing vision of the future that came out at a time when those movies were kind of rare. Add to that the Oscar/critic/auteur cred of its director and it takes on an air of a cinema classic.

  34. You guys are all, like relatively young, right?

  35. steve says:

    I totally agree. Same conclusion through a different path. Worst part, those guys that can’t accept the very existence of someone that thinks that movie is so pretentious

  36. scott says:

    Worst piece of shit that was supposed to be good possibly very inflicted on the movie going public.

  37. Emma Eeke says:

    .well i will never have those hrs back…blade runner all of them are a waste of Your time…better time sPent walkin ma Pooch :).

  38. Rich Carlson says:

    I remember very well seeing BR at the theater, first release. I and my 70’s sf-fan friends were the targeted audience. Unfortunately, were underwhelmed to say the least. –But you have to consider the heavy duty genre film competition that year (1982): Conan the Barbarian, Tron, E.T., The Secret of NIMH, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Poltergeist, The Thing, The Dark Crystal, etc. Wow! Syrup-slow Blade Runner didn’t stand a chance.

  39. I tried to watch the Final Cut last night, and I kid you not, I was asleep before the 30 minute mark. This movie is amazingly boring, no matter which version you watch.

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