10 Once Popular Movies Nobody Talks About Anymore

10 Once Popular Movies Nobody Talks About Anymore

While some beloved movies become less popular over the years following their release, some are just forgotten no matter how big and critically acclaimed they once were. The cultural zeitgeist is a tricky thing to predict. Trends come and go, and this is particularly true in cinema where what was popular and innovative 10 years ago feels outdated and old-fashioned now. The ever-shifting face of pop culture means that there’s no guarantee that any movie will remain famous years after its release, regardless of its initial success and favor.

The sheer number of great horror movies with bad Rotten Tomatoes scores proves that good movies can eventually overcome an underwhelming initial reception. However, this blade cuts both ways. Some movies can be highly hyped upon release, only for critics and moviegoers to simply forget about them only a few years later. These aren’t necessarily movies that are now considered problematic — although some suffered this fate — but rather big hits that were simply forgotten despite their success.

10 Wolf (1994)

Will turns into a werewolf in Wolf

The horror drama Wolf was a huge hit upon release but has faded from collective memory in the years since. Featuring one of Jack Nicholson’s most underrated performances, the movie is about an aging editor whose life turns around when he is bitten by a werewolf. Wolf boasted an impressive supporting cast including James Spader, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Plummer, and David Hyde Pierce. Written by Legends of the Fall scribe Jim Harrison and rewritten by Hollywood icon Elaine May, Wolf remains a fun, offbeat fusion of dark comedy, supernatural horror, and romantic drama. However, since this horror movie’s scariest moments are scarcely even semi-frightening, it was soon forgotten.

9 Juno (2007)

Juno sits on a chair in the yard from Juno

Juno proved that screenwriter Diablo Cody could capture the tone and tenor of quirky teenage youth culture in the mid-2000s. Unfortunately, this was both a gift and a curse. Like Judd Apatow’s similarly critically adored dramedies from the same era, this indie dramedy was deeply of its time. Largely forgotten even though it was a huge hit with audience and critics upon release, Juno’s biggest problem is that every moment of the movie screams “2007” upon a re-watch.

8 Mystic River (2003)

Dave Mystic River

Adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane, the dark crime mystery Mystic River saw Clint Eastwood direct an ensemble including Tim Robbins, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne, Sean Penn, and Kevin Bacon. With a cast like that and one of the greatest directors at the helm, it seems impossible that this movie could be forgotten. However, Mystic River‘s story is too downbeat and depressing — it has one of the most unsettling movie endings ever — to garner much discussion in the decades since its original release.

7 Minority Report (2002)

Tom Cruise grabbing a hoverboard guard by his neck in Minority Report

The great tech noir movie Minority Report might be influential, but it is rarely mentioned in run-downs of Steven Spielberg’s best work. An intense, twisty adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name, Minority Report is a dystopian sci-fi film about a cop evading the law after he’s accused of a crime he hasn’t committed yet. This stellar premise results in a solid, thoughtful thriller that does Dick’s convoluted and trippy writing justice. Yet while Blade Runner did the same with Dick’s work and went down in sci-fi history, Minority Report was not so fortunate.

6 American Beauty (1999)

Mena Suvari in American Beauty

American Beauty was a multiple Oscar winner, receiving the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor. However, the satirical dramedy has been forgotten because its satire of middle-class malaise wasn’t as deep as it seemed at the time. Leading man Kevin Spacey’s dramatic public fall from grace didn’t help American Beauty’s reputation either, but the writing was on the wall for this one before that. The backlash against American Beauty was so intense that it is now frequently listed among the most overrated movies of all time.

5 Drive (2011)

Ryan Gosling driving in Drive

A huge hit in 2011, Drive was the Ryan Gosling vehicle that made him a genuine A-list talent. Gosling had already impressed in indies like Half Nelson as well as mainstream hits such as The Notebook, but Drive’s stylish neo-noir story proved he could fuse offbeat choices with blockbuster appeal. However, Nicolas Winding Refn’s aggressive rejection of mainstream projects in the following years meant that Drive’s hype died down fast. Meanwhile, the movie’s failure to revive the vintage ‘70s thriller aesthetic, outside sporadic hits like The Guest and Baby Driver, meant that Drive has largely been forgotten in the years since its release.

4 Team America: World Police (2004)

The team gathered at a bazaar in Team America World Police

Team America: World Police is a twisted black comedy movie that aims to satirize the War on Terror. It was a massive hit upon release, at least in part because the stop-motion action comedy came from South Park co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. However, the years haven’t been kind to a movie that suggested protesting the 2003 invasion of Iraq was as harmful as the invasion itself. Rife with homophobic jokes and smug, pseudo-intellectual centrism, Team America: World Police’s satire was very much a relic of its era.

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3 The Adventures Of Tintin (2011)

Tintin and snowy

The Adventures of Tintin saw legendary directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson team up for an adaptation of Hergé’s bestselling graphic novels. The Adventures of Tintin was a massive hit upon release despite its divisive use of motion-capture technology, and its glowing reviews appeared to prove that Jackson and Spielberg’s plans for a Tintin franchise represented the future of blockbuster cinema. A decade later, scarcely anyone ever even mentions the movie.

2 The Artist (2011)

Jean Dujardin in The Artist

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2012, The Artist was huge upon its release, and it looked like it would make both director Michel Hazanavicius and star Jean Dujardin into mainstream hit-makers. However, the French film’s appeal proved to be a one-off, and neither Hazanavicius nor Dujardin parlayed their success into further hits. Today, The Artist is one of the most forgotten Best Picture Oscar winners, and its status as a rare black-and-white movie to succeed in the 21st century means it is mostly viewed as an inessential curio.

1 Garden State (2004)

Zach Braff in Garden State in front of wallpaper matching his shirt

Like Juno, Garden State was a massive indie hit upon release. Also like Juno, Garden State has been forgotten in the decades since, as Zach Braff’s feature directorial debut embodies a lot of major early 2000s indie dramedy clichés. While Braff has continued to direct with varied acclaim and success, his hit debut movie will forever be remembered as one of the most infamous examples of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype and little else.