Movies Have Gotten Longer and More Boring Since the 2000s
I recall going to the movies at the movie theater as a kid in the 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s, and I also recall that most movies during those decades lasted about an hour and a half.
Starting a About six to seven years ago, unfortunately, the length of most movies crept up to about two hours.
To make matters worse, within the last two, three years, movies have grown even longer: two hours and twenty minutes seems to be the norm now.
We’re living in an age where it’s never been easier to watch movies whenever and however we want, thanks to iPads, cell phones, Disney plus, NetFlix and other streaming services, and so forth.
The computer graphics used to create special effects in movies have become even more advanced, too.
And yet, all of that, the fancy special effects and the extra length of movies, have not improved the quality.
If anything, movie quality has gone down.
The plots, the characters – all of it has become dull. Movie makers are not creating characters I care about or story-lines that I find engaging.
So it doesn’t matter if Hollywood tosses in an extra 20 minutes of story, and it’s all rendered beautifully with the latest computer graphics, because I don’t care about the characters, and the stories are yawn-inducing.
I usually watch most movies on cable TV.
I rarely go to the movie theater, and I only recently obtained Net Flix, and I find some movies so mind-numbingly boring, regardless if they’re on Net Flix or on cable, that I find it a chore to sit through all 2.5 hours.
I have to force myself to sit through many movies now. Most movies used to be a joy to sit through, or at least pleasant enough to act as a diversion.
Many people today are nit-picking movies apart over every anal retentive detail, while a lot of liberals are complaining about a lack of diversity on the screen, but in my view, one of the biggest problems with most movies now has to do with them being dull.
Off the top of my head, here’s a list of movies of the last ten or so years that struck me as being very boring (in no particular order), and I have a bit more to say under this list:
Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, or Super Hero Based:
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – released in 2017
Terminator franchise (newer movies only) – I loved the first two Terminator films, the one that came out around 1984, and I liked part two that came out around 1990.
However, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Geniesys were BORING.
(I’ve not even seen 2019’s “Terminator Dark Fate,” so I cannot speak of that one.)
In addition to being insanely dull, the plot of “Genisys” was too convoluted.
Cowboys and Aliens – released in 2011 – starring Harrison Ford, among others. The title alone sounds intriguing, but the actual film is a yawner.
Ender’s Game – released in 2013 – also stars Harrison Ford. I have no idea how Han Solo ended up being in a few other very stale science fantasy tales.
(If you’re not familiar with the film Ender’s Game, you can read more about it here, on IMDB.)
Dark Knight Rises – released in 2012.
Approximately three hours of boredom, and this film managed to make one of my favorite Batman characters of all time, Cat Woman, dull.
I didn’t care about the Bane character; he was in this movie, and I did not find him fascinating.
I didn’t care about the nuclear- bomb- on- back- of- a- truck plot, and it seems like a large chunk of this movie featured Bruce Wayne in a dimly-lit cave prison.
It was not exciting watching Christian Bale writhe in fake back pain on a cot in a grimy, under-ground prison; sorry.
Iron Man 2 – released 2010.
All that MARVEL STUDIOS touches is not gold. The first Iron Man was amusing and fun, but not the two follow-ups.
Iron Man 3 – released 2013.
Thor Dark World – totally boring. (I also felt that the first Thor was pretty dull).
I like the Thor character, but other than Thor Ragnarok (i.e., Thor part 3), I don’t think he can hold a movie on his own.
The Thor character works well as part of an ensemble where he can act as a comedic foil for Tony Stark and the Hulk, but as the focus, no.
Harry Potter (all HP films) and its spin offs, Fantastic Beasts movies – the Potter novels were fun and interesting (yes, I read all of them), but the movies are rather tepid.
The movies based on the Potter books were okay upon first viewing years ago, but as the years go by, and cable channels run Harry Potter marathons, I cannot muster interest in these things.
Ghostbusters (2016) – I wrote a blog post reviewing this film last year, so I won’t repeat myself here.
All I will say is I marvel at how anyone can take what should be a sure-fire concept, an entertaining concept, of people in proton packs hunting ghosts, and make it so… utterly boring.
The only entertaining bits in this movie were with Chris Hemsworth, who played the dopey secretary. He was a delight to watch and made me grin a few times.
Divergent (and all its sequels) – released in 2014 – unfortunately, after the Youth- Novel- Based Harry Potter works became a smash hit in the early 2000s, every other movie studio started pumping out other YA based movies, and this was another case of that.
I sat through “Divergent” and its one or two sequels on cable television. The sequels were so boring, I cannot even recall what their titles were.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – released in 2017 – I have several issues with this movie, but my biggest problem with this film: it was boring.
Baby Driver – released in 2017.
This is perhaps my most hated type of film, one that is advocated by film critics as being suave, cool, and worthy of acclaim, yet it turns out to be a Dud, and you sit there wondering what all the fuss was about.
Upon release in 2017, most reviewers acted as though this movie was great and nothing but pure brilliance.
The movie tries to pass itself as being very cool (look at the main character isn’t he cool, always wearing sun-glasses and listening to esoteric, retro rock), which is another type of movie I hate.
Well, I saw this movie for the first time this past week (in January 2020), and it’s a total snooze-fest.
I don’t intend on watching it again whenever it gets repeated on F/X, TNT, or whatever cable channel has been airing it.
And while I do like a lot of retro music, I’m sorry, I did not like the majority of particular tracks used in this movie. I do not know why movie critics loved this dud of a movie so much.
Boss Baby – released in 2017
Sing – released in 2016 – I usually enjoy watching computer animated movies about cartoon-ish looking animals, and this movie is about a koala who owns a theater who holds a singing contest, where all sorts of animals show up.
Seems like it would be a cute and fun premise, but it was very boring. I had to force myself to finish watching it the first time it was on. Now, when it’s repeated on cable, I turn the channel as fast as I can.
Keeping Up with the Joneses – released in 2016 – starring Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm.
This is two or two and a half hours of sheer boredom. Gadot and Hamm play undercover spies who move in next door to some regular Jane and John Doe suburbanites.
This is another movie that is so torturously boring any time I see it’s scheduled to come on one of my cable channels, I make sure to tune in to something else.
Girl’s Night – released in 2017.
This movie was so boring, I unintentionally tuned out mentally about half way through, so I cannot even really explain what the plot was about or what happened to the characters. It was that bad.
The Boss – starring Melissa McCarthy
Tammy – starring Melissa McCarthy – released in 2014 – This “Tammy” movie’s plot and its main character was a re-make of the 2011 Bridesmaids plot, but it lacked Bridesmaid’s humor.
McCarthy played Megan in Bridesmaids, and in this film, she’s Tammy. Just like the Annie Walker character in Bridesmaids, Tammy in Tammy is down-on-her-luck.
Some of the details are different, but the basic premise of a woman who’s life has gone down the toilet remains the same.
Murder Mystery – released in 2019, starring Adam Sandler, available only on NetFlix
I know it’s popular to hate Adam Sandler movies, but while I don’t like a lot of his crude jokes, I admit to liking some of his movies, even the ones most people hate, such as “Jack and Jill.”
However, “Murder Mystery” was pretty lackluster. It’s Adam Sandler as a New York cop with his wife played by Jennifer Aniston tooling around yachts and European cities having been framed for the murder of some wealthy guy.
Even the car chase towards the end of this movie was oddly un-exciting. I mean, one would think a car chase would be thrilling, but no, this movie even managed to make that boring.
I may in the future edit this post to add additional movies to the list. We are living in a very sad stage of movie making.
It’s so strange, too:
We have so many ways to watch movies now, some of which are so very convenient; the special effects have never been more dazzling and convincing, yet studios are churning out mind-numbingly boring fare.
Perhaps the only thing worse than a boring movie filled with bland characters I don’t care about is a boring and bland movie that is stretched out from one and a half hours (the 1980s length) to today’s two and a half hours tedium fest. It’s become a test of physical and mental stamina to just sit through movies past the year 2005 or so.
Honestly, movie theaters should start offering Intermissions now, so that today’s long movies are temporarily broken at the half-way point, so the audience can use the restroom or buy more pop corn. Something is horribly wrong with entertainment.
And don’t get me started on most music of the last ten years: pop, dance, rap, and country music have also gone downhill severely, and it’s never been easier to obtain new music.
I hope someone out there fixes things. In the meantime, one brief fix: Hollywood should make films shorter.
If Hollywood is going to keep giving us garbage movies with boring story lines and lifeless, color-less protagonists, they should at least shorten the garbage to one and a half hours, down from two and a half.