(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)
Why I added it to my queue: Because this is officially the most expensive film Martin Scorsese has ever made, the largest grossing film of his career too, as well as his very first 3D film; plus it received more Oscar nominations than any other movie in 2011 (eleven of them), winning five; plus it currently has an approval rating of 93 percent at Rotten Tomatoes, nearly unheard of for a film this big and reviewed by so many people.
The reality: Ugh. Yes, okay, I get it, people love this movie, for displaying the kind of cloying earnestness usually only seen in '80s Spielberg; but the problem is that this film displays the kind of cloying earnestness usually only seen in '80s Spielberg, and as a cynical fortysomething I have to confess that such a thing sets me on edge as badly as a roomful of screaming six-year-old girls at an ice-skating competition. Because brother, if you haven't seen it yourself yet, prepare yourself for the wonderfully magic magical wonder of it all; there isn't a single detail that hasn't been whimsied up into vomit-inducing sweetness, not a single performance that hasn't been ramped up into cartoonishly over-the-top territory (the worst surprisingly being the usually misanthropic Sacha Baron Cohen, who should be f-cking ashamed of himself for the eye-gougingly treacly job he turns in here), not a single second of running time that doesn't pathetically scream, "Now bask in the joy of it all, sheep! Bask, I say! BASK IN THE JOY, MOTHERF-CKER!" The perfect companion to our "Rick Santorum Has An Actual Shot At Being President" times, the American public's embrace of this manipulative, almost unwatchable piece of ostrich-head-in-the-sand retro-obsessed propaganda has made me lose yet a little more faith in humanity as a whole, and the fact that this has now easily become the most popular movie of Scorsese's career means that we're all just going to hell a little faster than we were before. NOW BASK IN THE JOY, MEATSACK! BAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSKKK!!!!
Strangest piece of trivia: After an early screening, James Cameron called this the greatest 3D movie ever made. Of course he did.
Worth your time? YOU'RE ALL GOING TO HELL