"'This sucks on so many levels.' — Dialogue from Jason X. Rare for a movie to so frankly describe itself."
A stock part of reviews
, usually critical ones.
This is when the reviewer takes a line from the work being reviewed, and points out how it describes the work as a whole. For example, if a character in a film says "This is too confusing!", the reviewer might quote it and mention that he felt the same way after watching the movie.
It can also be done with unintentionally self-critical sounding titles. Indeed, if your terrible movie is named along the lines of Disaster
or Finally Over
, you can bet every reviewer will gleefully turn that into a punchline, or at least allude to the possibility of doing so.
This is sort of an inversion of Quotes Fit for a Trailer
, when the work's creators or publicizers use a work's own lines to promote
it. Of course, reviewers can do this trope "positively" and creators can do that one "negatively", but such instances are rare (especially the latter for a certain reason
). Compare Spoofed with Their Own Words
- This review of The Mosquito Coast. (See last paragraph.)
- This review of Vampires Suck mentions that the title is "too apt".
- The review in SFX starts off saying it's almost too obvious to say that "Vampires Suck ... does", but it's also entirely accurate.
- Peter Travers wrote a zero-star, four-word review: "This film sucks more."
- This review of Disaster Movie. "Contender for most apt movie title ever".
- Luke Mochrie took the "random events" line from the trailer of Devil and said that it describes the film as a whole perfectly; everything that happens in the plot is random.
- This wiki's page on Jurassic Park isn't the only place that quotes Ian Malcolm's lines from the second movie to sum up the whole franchise:
"Oooh, ahhh. That's how it always starts. Then later there's the running and the screaming."
- Doug Walker's Five Second Movies do something similar, such as summarising The Matrix with Neo's "Woah."
- If we consider The Wizard as an ad for Nintendo products, The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the Power Glove counts.
"It's so bad."
- The Time Magazine review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince noted the book's parallels to the series' second installment and quotes the character Hagrid saying "Chamber o' Secrets all over again, isn't it?"
- The Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide has a bit of fun when characters say things like "There is no plot!", "We must act!" and "I can't stand the confusion in my mind!"
- "The Nightmare on Elm Street remake lives up to its title in the worst possible way"
- Roger Ebert, as seen in the above quote, and also from his review of The Last Airbender: review: "I close with the hope that the title proves prophetic."
- "Dear God is the kind of movie where you walk out repeating the title."
- "All I want for Christmas is to never see All I Want for Christmas again."
- "Oh no, not You Again."
- The review of Sucker Punch: "You know what? Take the 'Punch' out of it, just 'Sucker', alright?" - said Korey Coleman.
- Beastly review:
Co-Host 3000: I will give the movie credit though: You are given a fair warning at the very beginning, where you see one of the fucking err... fugly Olsen twin—
Leon: Olsen twin?
Co-Host 3000: —addresses the screen and addresses the audiences by tell[ing] them "Get ready to embrace the suck."
(Spill crew's laughter)
Co-Host 3000: Wow, you really embrace it.
Leon: That-that is ballsy for a movie to look you in the eyes and tell you "Embrace the suck".
Korey: By the way, none of us embrace this, okay? It was forced upon us.
Cyrus: However, we acknowledge that it did in fact, suck.
- Cop Out review: "I mean, just think about—Okay, the name of this movie is 'Cop Out', and this... that name alone has so much more hidden meanings into it than we'll ever know because Holy Jesus! I cannot believe what I suffered through tonight." said Co-Host 3000.
- The Cabin in the Woods review: "It gave me a cabin in the wood" - guest reviewer Brian Salisbury.
- A Thousand Words review:
Have we-Have we mentioned the title of this movie? Korey:
A Thousand Words. Co-Host 3000:
No, no. Actually, it's A Thousand Deaths of Eddie Murphy
) Co-Host 3000:
'Cause every goddamn frame is literally killing Eddie Murphy's career. Korey:
Oh, I though you were gonna say A Thousand Words Can't Describe How Bad This Movie Is.
- Holy Moly's review of Just Go With It is an subversion. Just read the title.
- Also Sucker Punch: "But there is nothing here to enjoy, beyond the tiny satisfaction in noting that the movie lives up to its name." - New York Times review.
- blu-ray.com's review of The Ugly Truth opens with:
What an appropriate title — with an emphasis on the "ugly"
- Dread Central resident Scott Foy's review of Lake Dead:
: Just how bad is Lake Dead
? There's a scene about an hour in when one of the girls in the movie freaks out over their situation and starts yelling, "This is so bad! This is awful!" Sitting in the theater I felt like that scene in The Terminator
when the building super knocks on the door to ask The Terminator if everything is okay in there and multiple response choices began scrolling across the machine's field of sight. In this case, my options were: "No kidding!","You're telling me?","Ain't that the truth!","Tell me something I don't know!","Preach on, sister!","Oh, so it's a self-reviewing movie?" The one the Terminator selected, "Fuck you, asshole!" might have fit here as well, if only out of sheer spite.
- Occasionally used by The Agony Booth, for example (in the Zardoz recap):
Frayn, apparently watching this movie, yells out, "A bore!" He then repeats, "How pointless!" a couple of times as he falls out of the mouth to his death. So, I guess he knows how the movie will end.
- Given the overall warm reception the game Awesomenauts has received, several reviews have noted that its title is for the most part, well-earned.
- At least 5 critics used the title acronym of House At The End of the Street (spelled as "HATES") to describe how they feel about the movie.
- Negative reviews of 300 had a lot of fun with the line "You will not enjoy this". It helps that it was actually plastered over some of the movie's posters.
- The movie Twister coined the term "the Suck Zone" to describe the point where a tornado lifts you into the air. Many reviewers found other creative uses for the term. At least the production team was smart enough not to go with their original idea for the tagline: "It Sucks." note
- The Disaster trailer of SimCity (2013) featured the line "complete and utter disaster". Gamespot picked it up to close their video review of the game.
- A DLC for Omerta: City of Gangsters, titled The Con Artist, has collected very unenthusiastic reviews from the customers, some of which point out how fitting the title is for a DLC that offers so little content for such a high price.
- At the end of Jack and Jill, Al Pacino is being shown the incredibly cheesy Dunkin' Donuts commercial he was hired to perform in and he tells the protagonist "Burn this. This must never be seen...by anyone. All copies...destroy them." Cue several reviewers "wondering" if he was actually referring to the movie itself.
- Variation in Todd in the Shadows and The Rap Critic's take on "Accidental Racist", when Todd described it as being "extremely accidentally racist".
- Many reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey picked up on Gandalf's line in response to being called out on telling a tall tale in the film 'Well, all good stories deserve embellishment.' that may or may not have been intended as a Take That, Critics! by Peter Jackson and certainly seems to embody Jackson's adaptational approach for better or worse.
- This review of Anaconda from a blog reassessing movie reviews by Roger Ebert hated it a lot more than Ebert (who thought it was So Bad, It's Good at best himself). Near the end the reviewer notes Jennifer Lopez's character commenting on the In-Universe documentary they are shooting "This film was supposed to be my big break, it's turned out to be a big disaster.", and says he loves truth in movies.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 likes to use this occasionally.
- Midway through Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, Aram Fingal (trapped inside a computer simulation) is re-enacting a usual day of his life. "This is so boring! I can't take it anymore!" he declares. Mike and the 'bots, watching the movie, wonder aloud, "Which one of us said that?"
- At the end of Timechasers, the protagonist decides his time machine is too dangerous, so he dismantles it and deletes all the associated computer code. When the computer prompts "DELETE ALL COPIES? Y/N", Mike responds, "Yes. Delete all copies of the movie. Delete the movie from mankind's consciousness..."
- When they watch Pod People, Joel and the bots are very critical of its misuse of the Hyperlink Story structure. Then, midway through the movie, there's a scene where Tommy tries to show his alien friend how to assemble a jigsaw puzzle: "See? The pieces fit together!" Tom Servo quickly replies, "If only the movie were so lucky."
- Leonard Maltin earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for shortest movie review for his criticism of 1948's Isn't It Romantic? Maltin's review read, in its entirety: "No."
- In The Room, when Claudette walks in on two of Lisa's friends having sex, she exclaims, "What are these two characters doing here?!" Both Obscurus Lupa and the Nostalgia Critic have pretty much the same question in their reviews, given that the scene in question adds nothing to the plot, and the characters in it are totally irrelevant.
- When this contestant on Americas Got Talent chose to audition with the song "You're No Good," Piers Morgan remarked, "I don't think I've ever seen a singer choose a more appropriate song to sing. What was the lyric again? 'You're no good, you're no good, you're no good, you're no good!'"
- In Bring on the Girls! by P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton, the authors reflect on the unfortunate title chosen for the one Princess musical they refused to write, Go To It:
Offer a dramatic critic something called Go To It, and he is immediately struck by the happy thought of saying that it should have been called Don't Go To It, for these dramatic critics are as quick as lightning.
- Not Since Carrie, on the 1970 musical flop Gantry:
When the audience arrived at Gantry, it was greeted with a show curtain painted to resemble the side of a worn revival tent. It bore the inscription "Where Will YOU Spend Eternity?"—the answer turned out to be, at Gantry.