The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Length: 138 mins
Why That's Too Long: With the first film driven by mystery and action, this first sequel is an over-indulgent exploration of the nature of the Matrix, complete with over philosophising and Messianic symbolism.
How We'd Fix It: Even just editing down the Architect's speech would probably help the running time. And the rave in Zion. Oh God, the rave in Zion...
Django Unchained (2012)
Length: 165 mins
Why That's Too Long: It may deal with the serious issue of slavery and follow one man’s journey to enact life-affirming revenge, but this is still Tarantino being typically slick and pulpy. A shorter running time would fit better with the film’s stylistic tone.
How We'd Fix It: Things slow way down when Django and Schultz arrive at DiCaprio’s plantation, and then our protagonist’s ‘journey’ loses it’s way a bit. These scenes should really make up the climactic final act, but instead they constitute half of the movie. This is where the movie can be a little leaner.
Superman Returns (2006)
Length: 154 mins
Why That's Too Long: This should be first and foremost a fun comic-book movie, not - as Bryan Singer aims for - a two-and-a-half-hour tribute to the Kryptonian's earlier outings.
How We'd Fix It: Cut out all of Supes' wallowing in self-pity and his creepy stalking of Lois, and then ADD IN a few more action scenes, to help you believe that time can fly.
Bad Boys II (2003)
Length: 147 mins
Why That's Too Long: It's SUPPOSED to be short. That's the beauty of fast-paced, buddy cop action films.
How We'd Fix It: The final segment set in Cuba, when the film feels like it should end in Miami. Y'know, around the same time that the actual plot is resolved.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Length: 169 mins
Why That's Too Long: This is the FIRST PART of a TRILOGY based on a book that’s just around 300 PAGES LONG.
How We'd Fix It: Tell the whole story in one film and stop trying so hard to make it tie in with the previous Lord Of The Rings films. We don’t need to see recognisable characters if they’re not relevant to the main plot of this film.
Dances With Wolves (1990)
Length: 236 mins
Why That's Too Long: The near four-hour director's cut was released after the theatrical cut triumphed at the Oscars, which is really all the indication you need that the film doesn't need to be 'improved'.
How We'd Fix It: Take out the bits that Costner put back in, which mostly amount to an overlong hike with medicine man Kicking Bird.
This Is 40 (2012)
Length: 134 mins
Why That's Too Long: It’s a light-hearted comedy which, while trying to encapsulate a middle class mid-life crisis, is really just an excuse for Paul Rudd to riff off his co-stars.
How We'd Fix It: Some improvised scenes may raise a few chuckles but there’s no need to include every single one when they do little to drive the ‘plot’. Cut down the off-the-cuff takes and get the film down to a snappy 90 minutes.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Length: 146 mins
Why That's Too Long: Spielberg has always managed to explore his parent issues in shorter films than this, and those tended to have other plots too.
How We'd Fix It: Just pick one ending and stick with it. Continuing the story after it seems that everything has been resolved makes this film’s final third draaaaaag.
Length: 194 mins
Why That's Too Long: It feels like we are embarking on the ship's doomed voyage in real time.
How We'd Fix It: Take out the present-day framing device. We don't need to see old Rose upset about losing Jack to know that Rose might be upset about losing Jack.
King Kong (2005)
Length: 187 mins
Why That's Too Long: The original 1933 film on which it's based is only half as long.
How We'd Fix It: There is an action-packed 100min film in there somewhere. And the eternally slow build-up would be first thing to trim right down.