5 Most Polarizing ‘Love It or Hate It’ Movies of 2013

Published 10 months ago by , Updated December 19th, 2013 at 2:41 pm, This is a list post.

'Love It or Hate It' Movies of 2013

Most Polarizing Love or Hate It Movies 2013

Sometimes it seems like the phrase "movies are a subjective art form" was invented solely to ward off violence over differing opinions of film. Sure, there might be some cases where general consensus is nearly reached - but even then you can count on that one person who hated Godfather II or Silence of the Lambs or Shawshank Redemption to voice their opinion. But some movies, they just come through like magnets and either pull people in intensely or push them away with just as much intensity - and in 2013, we had some pretty big examples of that sort of polarization. Here's our 5 Most Polarizing 'Love It or Hate It' movie list for 2013.

Maniac

Maniac 2013 Love It or Hate It Movies

HATERS SAY: It's sexist, violent, perverse exploitation trash masking itself as high-concept horror art. LOVERS SAY: It's high-concept and self-aware horror cinema (that actually horrifies), and it actually makes a very feministic point about the genre. Maniac is brutal; you could probably put it on a separate list for people who will watch until the end vs. people who won't. For all those who complain that horror movies aren't scary enough anymore: step up to this one and see what you think. READ OUR REVIEW

Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives (2012) Love It or Hate It Movies

HATERS SAY: It's a bizarre, violent, self-indulgent crass bore with delusions of cinematic grandeur. LOVERS SAY: It's a visually stunning and poetic meditation on the struggle between good and evil, mother and father, and every major force in between. Nicolas Winding Refn is no stranger to making divisive movies. People either loved or hated Drive (one person filed a lawsuit about it) and Only God Forgives was like a triple dose of that film. The problem child of Cannes is still splitting them down the middle. READ OUR REVIEW

Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers (2013) Love It or Hate It Movies

HATERS SAY: It's exploitative and poorly-acted trash cinema trying to give indie cred to some Disney kids and James Franco. LOVERS SAY: It's a brilliantly subversive portrait of modern youth culture mentality. James Franco deserves an Oscar. Harmony Korine wrote the groundbreaking movie Kids, has scarred people with films like Gummo, and showed hints of ironic brilliance in films like Mister Lonely. At the very least, his work can never be called "forgettable." READ OUR REVIEW

Man of Steel

Man of Steel (2013) Love It or Hate It Movies

HATERS SAY: Superman has been ruined. LOVERS SAY: Superman is back, and better than ever. This is the one that seems to have split the masses way beyond the film-buff crowd. Superman is a world icon, and all other criticism aside, this new vision of the character (with a new British actor in the role) either connected or it did not. READ OUR REVIEW

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 (2013) Love It or Hate It Movies

HATERS SAY: Hella weak start to Marvel's Phase Two, and it ruins so many elements of the Iron Man mythos it's not even funny. LOVERS SAY: Witty and entertaining bit of superhero blockbuster movie-making by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), with RDJ at his best. When Ben Kingsley's "Mandarin" was revealed, you either groaned or laughed out loud. There would be many other praises vs criticisms of the film, but this is the big divider, no doubt - and there is no roar like that of a geek fanbase, divided. READ OUR REVIEW (Image Credit: Ismael Bergara)

Other Polarizers

2013 Movies Debate Love or Hate It Discussion Here are a few other films that caused some smaller divides between filmgoers, perhaps not on the same scale as those in the main list: Oblivion - The Tom Cruise sci-fi film by TRON Legacy director Joseph Kosinski was either LOVED for its immersive world-building and engaging story, or HATED on for "borrowing" so many elements of its twisting (but predictable) sci-fi narrative. The Desolation of Smaug - The second chapter of The Hobbit is LOVED for upping the pacing and action quotient (and Evangeline Lily); but others HATE on it for being a flat middle filler with no real arc, or a video game-style desolation of Tolkien's text.  

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TAGS: iron man 3, maniac, Only God Forgives, Spring Breakers, superman man of steel

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  1. I’m a huge Superman fan and I absolutely loved Man of Steel. One of my all time favorite comic book movies. Iron Man 3 is kinda meh to me. Its good looking, its fun, great cast but it didn’t honor the shared universe in the way it should have.

    • i’m almost opposite i wasn’t a fan of Superman but loved this take on him. Iron Man is my favorite and i felt like IM3 was phoned in by Marvel storywise.

    • Agreed on the IM3 shared universe….it seemed like Marvel worked and worked to do this giant shared universe and then threw it all away in one movie.
      No other Avengers show up (even for a short cameo) and SHIELD was nowhere to be seen. When they had been on his @$$ the previous 2 movies.

      And of course, Kevin Feige’s infamous quote before IM3 was released, “believe in the source material, don’t be afraid to stay true to all of the elements of the characters no matter how seemingly silly or crazy they are” F.U. man F.U.

    • Same here.

  2. MOS, easily the best CBM Of the year followed by Wolverine. WB and FOX have are officially forgiven for previous bad CBMS, while Universal and Disney created ones that need forgiving.

    • I finally watched Man of Steel this past weekend. I cannot for the life of me figure out why some people, and even this site, think so highly of it. It has a poor story and okay acting, and the action was over the top as to be laughable. Amy Adams looks like she is old enough to be Henry Cavill’s mother, which just makes the “romance” icky. Don’t even get me started on Fishburne’s horrible take on Perry White or, worst of all, “Jenny” Olsen.

      • The cast was great. Henry Cavill did a good job, not perfect but good. Russell Crowe is perfect as Jor-El, Michael Shannon as Zod is one of my favorite villains of the year. I was skeptical of Amy Adams but she was good but I didn’t care much for the romance either. Its a very character driven movie, that takes the mythos seriously, while also reinventing chunks of it and bringing back Superman to the mass audiences and it succeeded at that. My only beef is the editing isn’t perfect but other than that, I thought it was fantastic and it had the best action out of any comic book movie even if the final battle did drag on a bit.

      • Agree with you on this

  3. I loved Star Trek Into Darkness (except for that damned ending), and yet everybody else just seems to hate it. I love the original Star Trek series and even the Next Generation, and it seems I’m the only Trekkie who accepts JJ Abrams’ flawed but thrilling movies.

    • Star Trek Into Darkness is movie of the year for me. I love JJ’s Star Trek movies.

    • Do you accept STID because of the action and effects, or did you also like the storytelling? Me, I thought the action and effects were good, but the story, to me, was not Trek.

      • I actually really liked the story and characters, that’s one of the major reasons why I liked it. They weren’t perfect, but there was development and chemistry between them all, I personally thought.

        • I thought Karl Urban had the best characterizations, but was not used enough. I’m about to go into *** SPOILER *** territory, so be warned.

          I didn’t like the way they portrayed Kirk, as some brash by-the-seat-of-your-pants frat-boy; the Kirk I’ve always known was never like that. I know that the timeline has changed and since Kirk’s father died, he could also change, but the way they wrote this movie just didn’t make much sense to me. Kirk should not have been given command so soon.

          I also don’t like the way they are making Spock more emotional (mostly anger), and he would never engage in intimate talk in public. I was shaking my head when he yelled KHAAAAAANNNNN!!! And then the role reversals from Trek 2? For me, cringe-worthy.

          There was also the writers not doing their homework on Trek science. Going from sector to sector does not take minutes, it takes days, weeks, sometimes, years. Also, Kirk was talking on a handheld communicator in Klingon space to Scotty….on Earth. That was a heck of a long distance call. And what happened to security in this new timeline? Scotty should not have been able to get on the Dreadnaught undetected and definitely not use a communicator without being detected. Also, there is no way a starship should have been able to crash land anywhere near any city on Earth, and especially not Starfleet Command.

          Another problem were the Klingons; Klingons have never had blue eyes and never wore jewelry. And when did they start rappelling and not using transporters? They also should not have allowed the Enterprise to enter Klingon space unchallenged (and definitely not land a shuttle craft on the homeworld).

          **** END SPOILERS ****

          Even though I was disappointed in the missteps by the writers, it was an enjoyable action sci-fi flick.

          • I think your issues about the different characterizations of Kirk and Spock actually make perfect sense in the universe JJ created.

            Kirk is young and brash and not yet a great captain in Into Darkness exactly because of what happened to his father and the very different path he ended up taking as a youth. And you’re right, Kirk was given command too soon, which is actually one of the core themes and plot points of Into Darkness. The reason you’ve never seen Kirk characterized this way before is that Into Darkness ended exactly where TOS started. In other words, you never saw Kirk’s growing pains as a commander because TOS started after he was a seasoned Captain. Then there’s the drastically different life experiences mentioned above.

            Spock is more emotional and more human in the alternate timeline because he watched his mother die before his eyes and then watched Vulcan destroyed. Because of those experiences, it seems that JJ Spock has embraced his human side much more than TOS Spock ever did (prior to Wrath of Khan anyway).

            The technical and logical gaffs are legit beefs, though. Hopefully those will decrease with Orci and Kurzman, who aren’t good, not writing the movies (at least I think/hope they aren’t).

            The only way the new Trek can truly satisfy fans and general audiences is by telling a totally original story that isn’t mined from something we’ve seen before. The only connection to TOS should be the characters. They’ve invented a parallel timeline with these movies. Nothing we’ve ever seen prior to 2009 matters anymore. Make stuff up. Go in a totally new direction with the franchise so Trek fans aren’t constantly comparing it to the TOS version of the story.

    • I try to be open-minded, but I just cannot accept Into Darkness. I can forgive its flaws as a general fan of movies (although seriously, those flaws could have been easily avoided), but as a long-time Star Trek fan, I simply cannot forgive the Khan stuff. That is just my opinion, but I feel it very strongly.

      Star Trek needs to find its balance. It used to be story-driven but honestly too boring for mass consumption. Now it is exciting enough for mass consumption, but the stories seem relegated to an afterthought.

      • The epic cast and characters is the main reason I love JJ’s Star Trek. Every single one of them do a fantastic job, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg they all do such amazing jobs with their characters and I like this new take on Khan. Thats all it is is a new take. Its not crapping on the franchise, its new take, you either like it or you don’t.

        • Right, one likes it or one doesn’t. I don’t, but if you do, then that’s that. However, and I typically avoid this, but since you used such direct wording…

          “Its not crapping on the franchise…”

          If it does not qualify as doing exactly that, then what would qualify? Because that is exactly what I feel that it does to the franchise. I’m not talking about John Harrison, but the Khan angle. It seems to be in the film purely as a gimmick, not anything related to telling a good story.

        • Liking or disliking is fine, to each their own.

          But since you made the following statement…

          “Its not crapping on the franchise, its new take…”

          If that is not the case, what would it take for it to be the case? I’m not talking about John Harrison, but Khan. Was that anything more than a gimmick?

    • Star Trek 2 was one of my favourite movies of the year also. We’re not in a minority on that opinion either.

      Star Trek Into Darkness has a much higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes (87%) than both Iron Man 3 (78%) and Man of Steel (56%)

  4. i haven’t met anyone who liked Sprinbreakers…i guess i need to talk to more teens

  5. Iron Man 3 *as a film* struck me as being remarkably good. After Iron Man 2, I was not terribly interested in further solo films because while RDJ is undeniably entertaining playing Tony Stark, what story could they tell that would be worth another movie? I applaud the time spent out of the armor, I liked the “past comes back to haunt him” storyline, and the Mandarin twist was at least different and unexpected. How often does a mainstream film throw something at you that you do not see coming a mile away, an have not seen in every other recent film? Great start to Phase 2, IMO.

  6. MoS was the biggest disappointment of the year, hands down. Fans, and movie critics alike panned this wasted effort & it showed up in the sub-par box office numbers (anything below $800m for a CBM is sub-par). This was the worst year for superhero movies in a long time, & Superman lead the charge. Thor was the only thing worth watching this year, & it wasn’t even that good.

    • Man of Steel was the most CONTROVERSIAL CBM, yes. I wouldn’t call it the biggest disappointment of 2013. I wouldn’t call $662.8 (worldwide) for a (second)reboot that was both attempting to reposition the character (Superman) back into the public arena as well as introduce a whole new DC shared universe,”sub-par”.
      Considering everything that was going against Man of Steel, it has largely succeeded in its aims, even if some people don’t like the changes.
      The gross it made back is actually good considering it’s the first film of a franchise, rather than a sequel. Anything below $800 is NOT “sub-par”.
      Remember, Iron Man (2008) actually made $585.2 (worldwide). I do understand that Superman has been on the big screen for much longer than Iron Man, but the point still stands.

      http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm

      • Man of Steel succeeded, if you for some reason don’t like it fine get over it and go back and watch your Donner films since they’re the pinnacle of cinematic greatness.

        • Ummm, Deadpool…?

          I think you’ll want to direct that toward Jonathon. Street Hawk seems to agree with you…at least to the extent that MOS was definitely NOT a failure.

          • I agree with Street Hawk, I was just throwing that out for everybody.

            • @ Archaeon

              @ The Insufferable Deadpool

              People… point taken and understood!

              Glad you see things my way!

              • @ Deadpool

                @ Street Hawk

                @ Archaeon

                Sounds like the three of you should all get together and watch MoS……..oh wait, you’re probably already are doing that right now, aren’t you?

                Reality and the bottom line: MoS was terrible and ONLY WB/DC fanboys think it was great.

                Just wait until Batman vs. Superman bombs, that will be spectacular, (btw… I’m sure Kofi already has his glowing five star review already written).

                • Jonathan…

                  Funny how you think your opinion is fact. It’s not. Just because you disagree with our opinions doesn’t make you anymore right or wrong than we are (no matter HOW desperately you argue otherwise).

                  That was a truly pathetic attempt to cut the three of us down…

                • @ Johnathan

                  I’m sincerely disappointed.

                  Was THAT your best come-back. I was at least expecting a well thought out argument backed up by evidence, facts and figures.

                  For your information, I’m NOT a WB/DC fanboy nor do I lean to Marvel Studios either. I just appreciate good films regardless of what studio or franchise they belong to. If anyone is the fanboy, it’s YOU. For you to even bring up the fact of studios/DC etc tells me that you’re that way inclined and care nothing about FILMS alone, regardless of what studio happened to produce them.

        • ScreenRant, why aren’t you banning any of these pro-MoS trolls who engage in blatant cursing and personal attacks?

          • @Motorhead – What are you talking about? We don’t ban people for liking a particular film and I’ve seen no personal attacks on this thread thus far.

            Paul Young – Moderator

            • @ Paul Young

              Well done for your handling of the issue and seeing it as it is.

              No complaints.

          • Motörhead…

            STILL trying to cause trouble on SR…REALLY?

            Sad.

            Get a hobby.

  7. I keep seeing the only complaint mentioned about Mandarin is that it was a bastardization of the comics, my complaint about him was wholly contained within the film itself. Namely that you have a genuinely terrifying villain that you immediately take a piss on and replace with a lame and lazy tycoon scientist villain (Justin Hammer 2.0) that is practically twirling his mustache.

    And Man of Steele was a morally brain dead crap-fest that tried to shoehorn Supes into the dark and grimy Goyerverse while making useless alterations to the myth like Kryptonian atmosphere that is kryptonite except for the name, and needlessly adding nutrients and the Earth’s atmosphere to explain why he’s superpowered – its the YELLOW SUN. FULL STOP. Then you have to add battle armor for the villains to make them exactly like they would be if you didn’t add all that crap, except now Zod doesn’t need the armor despite only being here for a week… wtf?!?

    All these changes seem to be for no other reason than what seemed to me a Shuster estate legal dodge. And crap destruction porn.

  8. I liked MoS. Not great but by and large an acceptable film. IM3 on the other hand was a bit of a let down and yes, The Mandarin and the overused humour were the problem.

    Hopefully with the Marvel One Shot they will deal with this issue. Trevor was a decoy and the real Mandarin will kill him. With this fix everything would be forgiven.

    • I could not agree more. IM3 was great right up until that god awful twist.

  9. Only God Forgives in probably one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Not sure how anyone could like that film besides the use of colors.

  10. Iron Man 3 was the most disappointing event film of the year. The fact that it could’ve been exciting and dramatic. Instead it turned to be idiotic near the end, ruining potential for a truly geat screen villain.

  11. At the end of the day, if movies such as Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness didn’t dare to change things, we’d just end up with the same films coming around every 20 or so years. Whether that change is better or for worse, it’s better to change something than play it safe and give the people what they expect.

    • One could argue Into Darkness and Ironman 3 didnt dare to change things
      Star Trek reused Khan and Ironman 3 avoided both the comic mandarin and a realistic terrorist first believed to be the adversary of the film.

      • @Cody

        Agree with your comments.

        @Liam James.

        I liked Into Darkness, but the fact is that it lacked originality and didn’t dare to change anything. The first one did with it’s alternate timeline that whilst controversial , gave more breathing space for newer , fresher storylines outside of canon.

        Iron Man was even worse. It didn’t dare to change things as it stuck to the same no-peril, comedic tone that i believe is hurting Phase 2 movies. The Extremis storyline was a great platform to take the franchise into bolder, darker places. The fact that they muddled up that story was bad enough, then then had to abuse Iron Man’s greatest adversary. The twist spoilt the ,movie’s tone and insulted audiences and Ben Kingsley alike.

      • IM3 reminded me of a Scooby Doo cartoon except at the end of the film the bad guy doesn’t say the famous line “I could have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

        • Scooby-Doo the baddest!

  12. Your a man of iron, but Im a man of steel.

  13. LOVED Spring Breakers, HATED IM3, fell in-between on Only God Forgives and MoS. If we’re gonna bring up STID I gotta say I loved it, even more than the first one. And to the person who mentioned talking to teens about Spring Breakers, that’s not the target audience IMO. For me it was gorgeous a dark fantasy with a memorable performance by Franco, deserving of an oscar nod, though that probably won’t happen.

  14. I didn’t see Maniac or Only God Forgives, but as far as Spring Breakers and Man of Steel go, I feel like I was on the fence with both. I liked both, but didn’t love them. They were both just decent. Wasn’t all that polarizing for me. Didn’t love them, didn’t hate them. Iron Man 3 I was more on the side of love it, but even that I didn’t find to be anything hugely spectacular either. Although I did think it was pretty great.

  15. Nice List!
    F*cking Only God Forgives! it´s a weirdo.

    But the King of the controversy is Iron Man 3, definitely.
    Why do you had to exist! WHYYY!!!

  16. It is interesting how films can be so polarizing, for me the list is
    1. Manic: thought it was ok
    2. Only God Forgives: loved it! Although I watched it more than one time in order to attempt to understand it.
    3. Spring Breakers: James Franco gave a great performance but other than that could not stand the film at all.
    4. Man of Steel: Biggest let down since last years The Dark Knight Rises, thought it was truly terrible film, I hope that Synder can get back to the Greatest that was Watchman for Batman v Superman but not counting on it.
    5. Iron Man 3: Loved it! But I am easy for Shane Black love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and this movie brought back a lot of the elements that made that film so great.
    Well that’s my two cents Happy Holidays to all those here and to all those that make Screen Rant such a great site, keep up the good work!
    Cheers

  17. I’m a MAN OF STEEL lover. It was a good movie. As for IRON MAN 3, I have never been an Iron Man fan. But, I think it was better than the first two.

    OBLIVION was pure terrible, but THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG was good. Sure, it had it’s flaws. But, it was good and had a better climax than the first film. Smaug is such a great character.

  18. Ah. ‘Only God Forgives’. Remember only too well the review and the combustible comments section. Refn’s ‘Kid A’ if you like. Looking back, I stand by all the praise I gave the film but there is no denying that Refn was being purposefully divisive. He knew what he was doing with the trailer, he knew what fans acquired from ‘Drive’ thought they were going to see. Perhaps it is too simplistic a view to suggest it was for hardcore been-there-since-’Pusher’ fans, but he knew what he was doing…

    As for ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Iron Man 3′, I neither hated nor loved. In many ways, that might be the worst reaction a person can have to a movie.

  19. I fully expected the last 2 on this list, so NOT at all a surprise there…
    In fact, most of this year’s Comic Book Movies has been divisive. Not just them, most of the other movies released as been the same. I dare to declare this year to be the year of ‘divisive cinema reaction’

  20. Don’t know why Man of Steel gets so much hate. I found the movie to be great even at the end when clark shows up at the planet. I guess some people rather watch superman returns than one of the best superhero films of the year.

    • It boggles my mind as well. And Superman Returns sucks ass.

  21. I had two probles with Iron Man 3. The storyline felt like itbwas recycled from an 80s action movie (hero needs the help of a kid to fight deadly terrorists etc.). the second and to me the most annoying problem was Pepper Potts. The movie is called Iron Man not Pepper Potts. why the heck does she take out the villain and why were Tony’s suits so ineffectual. The Mandarin twist while annoying I could get over.

    • They stole the plot of IM3 from the scooby doo cartoons of the 80′s

  22. Oblivion is great.

  23. iron man 3 was horrible, the villain was the same archetype as the last two, the mandarin reveal was horrible and insulting, the resolution in the end was ridiculous, tony stark’s decision in the end in regards to his suits and ark reactor are rushed and illogical, and the effects that the events in the avengers movie had on tony were lame; man of steel had some problems but it was not nearly as bad as the people who hated it claim it to be

  24. Spring breakers was one of the top 10 or 5 worst movies ive ever seen in my life. I cant understand how anyone can find anything at least a little bit redeemable about it but I guess to each their own?

  25. The only reason I found MOS underwhelming was the over-long and unnecessary opening that could’ve been cut down a lot and the writing in parts just seeming dull and underwhelming.

    I still fail to see how anyone can criticise IM3 though. Some of the Extremis scenes seemed a little pointless but otherwise, it was a great movie.

    • Ignoring the comics and crap Iron Man 3 as a movie, how its made from beginning to end, Iron Man 3 is a pretty good movie. BUT, its a huge wasted opportunity, the Extremis story from the comics on film could have been amazing but they over simplified it. Mandarin, whether you like the twist or not, wasted opportunity, Maya Hansen was a wasted character, Killian was a one note villain and the Iron Legion was so wasted, each armor only had like 5 seconds on screen. And the movie doesn’t honor the shared universe in the way it should. Iron Man 3 its a well made film (mostly), great cast, its funny, beautiful looking and some of the action is good. But its just wasted opportunities everywhere. Thats my opinion on Iron Man 3.

    • i agree with your opinion on man of steel, but even with those flaws i felt like it achieved its purpose; iron man 3 technically speaking is a solid movie, but subjectively speaking i can criticize it because it failed to expand or even add anything memorable to the marvel universe already established, it’s just not enough that it was a good movie, on its own it is, but it could have added so much more to the universe it shares, and besides that airplane scene, there were no awesome memorable action scenes, like the fedora fight scene in mos, and that, in a comic book movie to me is unacceptable, especially after the avengers, to me it was a huge disappointment because i had expectations, as many others, that were crushed, and i feel that a lot of people who enjoyed this movie did so because they put those expectations behind them and conformed to the reality of what the movie was, and i am simply not able to do that, that’s why i criticize it

  26. Man Of Steel was great!

    Iron Man 3 sucked!

    Its the reality folks. Accept it. No matter what explanations you say.

  27. Two things:
    1. Was anyone else confused as to which movie he was talking about on some of the obscure ones? Can we get a title on each page? Lol

    2. The real question is: why did any of y’all go see spring breakers in the first place and why would you have expected it to be quality?

  28. Im a big Superman fan. Always have been & always will be. But MOS imo was little overhyped. I thought Superman of a darker version now even though the films try to show otherwise. The film felt 50/50 to me but below below that as id rate it 3 1/2 stars.

    I agree with Dazz it was little over-long or needed different stuff in imo. Example would be I didn’t think we got a good view of what the new Krypton was like,instead it was war. Which I thought lasted little too long. And there were some dull & underwhelming parts. But what got me was Lois finding out who Clark/Kal-El was in this movie, this early in the cinematic universe.

    I agree w/ Dazz about IM3.

  29. I like how people state their opinions as fact. You like what you like and so what if someone else doesn’t like it.

    • Yeah. Especially the haters and the whiners.

      Any article that has any mention of MOS brings out these kind of people.