For a man with a vision unlike any other, Martin Scorcese has certainly had enough films that didn’t resonate with his fans quite so well. His style isn’t for everyone to be sure, but more often than not he’s hit Hollywood gold with his films in a manner that simply has to be seen to be believed. He’s kind of an acquired taste really, almost like a fine wine, but some of his films really did come off with a more vinegar aftertaste that was less than appealing. Give the guy some credit though, he’s been in the game long enough to have weathered his worst and enjoyed his best.
So here’s a list for you to judge, highlighting what are believed to be some of Martin Scorsese’s worst films ever.
6. The Aviator
You might think a film about a man as eccentric as Howard Hughes would be looked at as a box office hit, but you’d be off the mark on that thought. Leonardo DiCaprio was absolute genius in the role, and took to the character of Hughes without reservation, but that didn’t really help the overall effect. In short, the film felt too dry kind of hard to follow in certain areas.
5. Gangs of New York
Scorsese likes to keep his actors around, since this was another chance to work with DiCaprio in what should have been a blockbuster for the ages. Unfortunately it works on one level but not another as the story is for better or worse is a revenge tale that is engaging but not all that deep. Plus, if you’re into historical accuracy then this movie will be a huge disappointment considering that it rips apart the Five Points in old New York and kind of remodels it after the vision that Scorsese had for the film. As far as entertainment goes, all went well, but a lot of fans were disappointed at the misrepresentation of history.
4. Shutter Island
With the current trend being set it would seem like any Scorsese film with Leo DiCaprio in it would garner little more than criticism. While Leo’s a good actor it seems more than likely that he’s not the greatest fit for Scorsese, which Martin seems to miss each and every time. Leo seems to overplay the role too often and forget that he actually has to mesh with the rest of the cast to make it work. In fact he almost seems like he’s genuinely frustrated when he has to share the scene with his fellow actors, though it’s just an act, right?
It might seem mean to pick on a kids movie. But in reality Scorsese kind of looked like he was fumbling through this one, as though he didn’t know how to write or direct a kids movie. Asa Butterfield did just fine, but the script was dry, slow, and didn’t offer a lot in the way of any real connection between one arc and the next. In a way it was almost a film that could have been chopped up into a series of short films.
2. Cape Fear
Oh go on and groan, you know you want to. So many fans thought that this was creepy just because of Robert DeNiro, another favorite of Scorsese, that even thinking about criticizing it seems blasphemous. But really, look at it this way. Is Cape Fear, which is a remake by the way, really a horror film or is it a dark parody of the original? DeNiro is so over the top that it’s hard to tell.
1. Wolf of Wall Street
I have zero doubt in my mind that Martin Scorsese partied during the entire making of this film. This was just an obvious, over the top, “let’s just have fun and make an obscene movie” kind of a film. Fun, yes. Quality? Hardly.
Scorsese is a genius, there’s no doubt. Through a lot of trial and error he has developed a style that no one can match. But along the way it’s safe to say that he got a little lost at times.