Roger Ebert Most Hated Film List
"Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."If we have Roger Ebert's list of great movies, we might as well also have his list of most-hated films.
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- An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn
"In taking his name off the film, Arthur Hiller has wisely distanced himself from the disaster, but on the basis of what's on the screen I cannot, frankly, imagine any version of this film that I would want to see. The only way to save this film would be to trim 86 minutes."
"The movie doesn't work, but was there any way this material could ever have worked? My guess is that African Americans will be offended by the movie, and whites will be embarrassed. The movie will bring us all together, I imagine, in paralyzing boredom."
- Baby Geniuses
"Bad films are easy to make, but a film as unpleasant as Baby Geniuses achieves a kind of grandeur. And it proves something I've long suspected: Babies are cute only when they're being babies. When they're presented as miniature adults (on greeting cards, in TV commercials or especially in this movie), there is something so fundamentally wrong that our human instincts cry out in protest."
- Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
"Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo makes a living cleaning fish tanks and occasionally prostituting himself. How much he charges I'm not sure, but the price is worth it if it keeps him off the streets and out of another movie. Deuce Bigalow is aggressively bad, as if it wants to cause suffering to the audience. The best thing about it is that it runs for only 75 minutes. ... Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."note
- The Dukes of Hazzard
"It's a retread of a sitcom that ran from about 1979 to 1985, years during which I was able to find better ways to pass my time. Yes, it is still another TV program I have never ever seen. As this list grows, it provides more and more clues about why I am so smart and cheerful. ... Bo and Luke are involved in a mishap that causes their faces to be blackened with soot, and then, wouldn't you know, they drive into an African-American neighborhood, where their car is surrounded by ominous young men who are not amused by blackface, or by the Confederate flag painted on the car. I was hoping maybe the boyz n the hood would carjack the General, which would provide a fresh twist to the story, but no, the scene sinks into the mire of its own despond."
- Freddy Got Fingered
"This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as barrels. ... The day may come when Freddy Got Fingered is seen as a milestone for neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as funny."
- The Hot Chick
"The movie resolutely avoids all the comic possibilities of its situation, and becomes one more dumb high school comedy about sex gags and prom dates. ... Through superhuman effort of the will, I did not walk out of The Hot Chick, but reader, I confess I could not sit through the credits. The MPAA rates this PG-13. It is too vulgar for anyone under 13, and too dumb for anyone over 13."
- Joe Dirt
"We professional movie critics count it a banner week when only one movie involves eating, falling into or being covered by excrement (or a cameo appearance by Carson Daly). We are not prudes. We are prepared to laugh. But what these movies, including Joe Dirt, often do not understand is that the act of being buried in crap is not in and of itself funny."
- A Lot Like Love
"Judging by their dialogue, Oliver and Emily have never read a book or a newspaper, seen a movie, watched TV, had an idea, carried on an interesting conversation or ever thought much about anything. The movie thinks they are cute and funny, which is embarrassing, like your uncle who won't stop with the golf jokes. ... Later they Meet Cute again, walk into a bar, drink four shots of Jack Daniel's in one minute, and order a pitcher of beer. No, they're not alcoholics. This is just Movie Behavior; for example, at first she smokes and then she stops and then she starts again. That supplies her with a Personality Characteristic."
- Mad Dog Time
"Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching Mad Dog Time is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line. ... Mad Dog Time should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor."
"I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."
- One Woman or Two
"Add it all up, and what you've got here is a waste of good electricity. I'm not talking about the electricity between the actors. I'm talking about the current to the projector."
- She's Out of Control
"What planet did the makers of this film come from? What assumptions do they have about the purpose and quality of life? I ask because She's Out of Control is simultaneously so bizarre and so banal that it's a first: the first movie fabricated entirely from sitcom cliches and plastic lifestyles, without reference to any known plane of reality."
- Sorority Boys
"I should be a good sport and go along with the joke. But the joke is not funny. The movie is not funny. If it's this easy to get a screenplay filmed in Hollywood, why did they bother with that Project Greenlight contest? Why not ship all the entries directly to Larry Brezner, Michael Fottrell and Walter Hamada, the producers of Sorority Boys, who must wear Santa suits to work?''"
- Sour Grapes
"How to account for the fact that Larry David is one of the creators of Seinfeld? Maybe he works well with others. I can't easily remember a film I've enjoyed less. North, a comedy I hated, was at least able to inflame me with dislike. Sour Grapes is a movie that deserves its title: It's puckered, deflated and vinegary. It's a dead zone."
- Spice World
"The Spice Girls are easier to tell apart than the Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that is small consolation: What can you say about five women whose principal distinguishing characteristic is that they have different names? They occupy Spice World as if they were watching it: They're so detached they can't even successfully lip-synch their own songs."
- Tim And Erics Billion Dollar Movie
"As faithful readers will know, I have a few cult followers who enjoy my reviews of bad movies. These have been collected in the books I Hated, Hated, Hated, HATED This Movie; Your Movie Sucks, and A Horrible Experience of Unendurable Length. This movie is so bad, it couldn't even inspire a review worthy of one of those books. I have my standards."
- Tommy Boy
"Tommy Boy is one of those movies that plays like an explosion down at the screenplay factory. You can almost picture a bewildered office boy, his face smudged with soot, wandering through the ruins and rescuing pages at random. Too bad they didn't mail them to the insurance company instead of filming them."
- The Waterboy
"Do I have something visceral against Adam Sandler? I hope not. I try to keep an open mind and approach every movie with high hopes. It would give me enormous satisfaction (and relief) to like him in a movie. But I suggest he is making a tactical error when he creates a character whose manner and voice has the effect of fingernails on a blackboard, and then expects us to hang in there for a whole movie."
- Wild Wild West
"Wild Wild West is a comedy dead zone. You stare in disbelief as scenes flop and die. The movie is all concept and no content; the elaborate special effects are like watching money burn on the screen. You know something has gone wrong when a story is about two heroes in the Old West, and the last shot is of a mechanical spider riding off into the sunset."
Hideous Horror & Science Afflictions
- 13 Ghosts
"The shatterproof glass cages, we learn, are engraved with containment spells that keep the ghosts inside. You can see the ghosts with special glasses, which the cast is issued; when they see them, we see them, usually in shots so maddeningly brief we don't get a good look. Our consolation, I guess, is that the cast has the glasses but we will have the pause button when 13 Ghosts comes out on DVD. The only button this movie needs more than pause is delete."
"Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. Armageddon is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you'd have a TV ad. The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out."
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
"The movie is a chaotic mess, overloaded with special effects and explosions, light on continuity, sanity and coherence. So short is its memory span that although Sever kills, I dunno, maybe 40 Vancouver police officers in an opening battle, by the end, when someone says, 'She's a killer,' Ecks replies, 'She's a mother.' ... Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever is an ungainly mess, submerged in mayhem, occasionally surfacing for cliches."
- Battlefield Earth
"Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way. The visuals are grubby and drab. The characters are unkempt and have rotten teeth. Breathing tubes hang from their noses like ropes of snot. The soundtrack sounds like the boom mike is being slammed against the inside of a 55-gallon drum. The plot ... Some movies run off the rails. This one is like the train crash in The Fugitive. I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies."
"I wonder how Ben learned English. I seem to recall from Willard, last summer's big rat movie, that Willard trained Ben to heel, beg, roll over, play dead and sic Ernest Borgnine. Not bad for a rat. But when did Ben learn English? It takes Berlitz six weeks of intensive training to get a French businessman to the point where he can proposition a girl on Rush St. — and here's Ben learning instinctively."
"She becomes Catwoman, but what is a catwoman? She can leap like a cat, strut around on top of her furniture, survive great falls and hiss. Berry looks great doing these things, and spends a lot of time on all fours, inspiring our almost unseemly gratitude for her cleavage. She gobbles down tuna and sushi. Her eyes have vertical pupils instead of round ones. She sleeps on a shelf. The movie doesn't get into the litter box situation. What does she think about all of this?"
"Chaos is ugly, nihilistic, and cruel — a film I regret having seen. I urge you to avoid it. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's 'only' a horror film, or a slasher film. It is an exercise in heartless cruelty and it ends with careless brutality. The movie denies not only the value of life, but the possibility of hope."
"The forces of hell manifest themselves in many ways. One victim is eaten by flies. A young girl is possessed by a devil, and Constantine shouts, 'I need a mirror! Now! At least three feet high!' He can capture the demon in the mirror and throw it out the window, see, although you wonder why supernatural beings would have such low-tech security holes."
- Critters 2: The Main Course
"Critters 2: The Main Course is a movie about furry little hand puppets with lots of teeth, who are held up to salad bars by invisible puppeteers while large numbers of actors scream and pronounce unlikely dialogue."
"The movie takes place in a future world in which all civilization has been reduced to a few phony movie sets. Leather-clad neo-Nazis stalk through the ruins, beating each other senseless and talking in Pulpspeak, which is like English, but without the grace and modulation. It's cold in the future, and it's wet, but never so cold or wet that the costumes do not bare the arm muscles of the men and the heaving bosoms of the women."
- The Deathmaster
"These people are not very bright. They are so dumb, in fact, that they have had to learn to speak the English language by watching old AIP exploitation movies, and their dialog is eight years out of date. They talk like Frankie Avalon trying to pass for hip, translated from the German. Count Khorda (for such is his name) makes them a proposition: 'Would you like to trade a lifetime of petty passions for an eternity of ecstasy,' They would, I guess. Well, wouldn't you?"
- Deep Rising
"The owner of the ship (Anthony Heald) makes several speeches boasting about how stable it is; it can stay level even during a raging tempest. I wonder if those speeches were inserted after the filmmakers realized how phony their special effects look. Every time we see the ship, it's absolutely immobile in the midst of churning waves."
- The Devil's Rain
"But ... what IS the Devil's Rain? This is a question frequently asked in "The Devil's Rain" and, believe me, frequently answered. Picture it this way: All the good things of life are on one side of a sheet of plate glass, and you're on the other, and it's raining on your side, bunky."
- The Guardian
"Of the many threats to modern man documented in horror films — the slashers, the haunters, the body snatchers — the most innocent would seem to be the druids. What, after all, can a druid really do to you, apart from dropping fast-food wrappers on the lawn while worshipping your trees?"
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch
"The one saving grace in Halloween III is Stacey Nelkin, who plays the heroine. She has one of those rich voices that makes you wish she had more to say and in a better role. But watch her, too, in the reaction shots: When she's not talking, she's listening. She has a kind of rapt, yet humorous, attention that I thought was really fetching. Too bad she plays her last scene without a head."
- Hellbound: Hellraiser II
"'Kirsty!' we hear. And 'Tiffany!' And 'Kirsty!!!' and 'Tiffany!!!' And 'Kirstiyyyyyyy!!!!!' And 'Tiffanyyyyyyy!!!!!' I'm afraid this is another one of those movies that violates the First Rule of Repetition of Names, which states that when the same names are repeated in a movie more than four times a minute for more than three minutes in a row, the audience breaks out into sarcastic laughter, and some of the ruder members are likely to start shouting 'Kirsty!' and 'Tiffany!' at the screen."
- Resident Evil
"Resident Evil is a zombie movie set in the 21st century and therefore reflects several advances over 20th century films. For example, in 20th century slasher movies, knife blades make a sharpening noise when being whisked through thin air. In the 21st century, large metallic objects make crashing noises just by being looked at."
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse
"The movie is an utterly meaningless waste of time. There was no reason to produce it, except to make money, and there is no reason to see it, except to spend money. It is a dead zone, a film without interest, wit, imagination or even entertaining violence and special effects. ... Parents: If you encounter teenagers who say they liked this movie, do not let them date your children."
"It is also the kind of movie where the sun god Ra, who has harnessed the ability to traverse the universe at the speed of light, still needs slaves to build his pyramids. And where the local equivalent of a Nubian princess is sent into the chamber of the Earth visitors, to pleasure them. Don't tell me there aren't any coincidences. The movie Ed Wood, about the worst director of all time, was made to prepare us for Stargate."
- The Village
"The Village is a colossal miscalculation, a movie based on a premise that cannot support it, a premise so transparent it would be laughable were the movie not so deadly solemn. It's a flimsy excuse for a plot, with characters who move below the one-dimensional and enter Flatland. ... The whole enterprise is a shaggy dog story, and in a way, it is all secrets. ... To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It's a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All A Dream. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore."
Sex, Romance, Music, Drama, and Other Crap
- Betty Blue
"Typists will enjoy the typing scenes, in which she makes typing errors, causing her to throw away countless copies of Page 1, and then has the whole manuscript typed in no time. This is the way typing is thought about by people who always use yellow legal pads themselves."
- Beyond And Back
"The makers of Beyond and Back were also responsible, if memory serves, for another film called In Search of Noah's Ark. It figures. At the end of that one they were still searching for Noah's Ark — never found it. At the end of Beyond and Back we're back, all right — but were we beyond?
- The Blue Lagoon
"This movie made me itch. It's about a young girl and a young boy who are shipwrecked on a beautiful Pacific Island. It shows how they grow up, mostly at sunset. It follows their progress as they discover sex and smile sweetly at each other, in that order. It concludes with a series of scenes designed to inspire the question: If these two young people had grown up in civilized surroundings, wouldn't they have had to repeat the fourth grade?"
- Body Of Evidence
"What about the story here? It has to be seen to be believed — something I do not advise. There's all kinds of murky plot debris involving nasal spray with cocaine in it, ghosts from the past, bizarre sex, and lots of nudity. We are asked to believe that Madonna lives on a luxury houseboat, where she parades in front of the windows naked at all hours, yet somehow doesn't attract a crowd, not even of appreciative lobstermen."
"Caligula is sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash. If it is not the worst film I have ever seen, that makes it all the more shameful: People with talent allowed themselves to participate in this travesty. Disgusted and unspeakably depressed, I walked out of the film after two hours of its 170-minute length. That was on Saturday night, as a line of hundreds of people stretched down Lincoln Ave., waiting to pay $7.50 apiece to become eyewitnesses to shame. ... Caligula is not good art, It is not good cinema, and it is not good porn. ... 'This movie,' said the lady in front of me at the drinking fountain, 'is the worst piece of shit I have ever seen.'"
- Camille 2000
"Camille 2000 is shot in color. It is dubbed into English instead of subtitled. It is wide screen. It has a pretty girl in it. Her name is Daniele Gaubert. Whoever painted that big sign in front of the theater has an accurate critical sense. The sign says: "See Daniele Gaubert presented in the nude ... and with great frequency." That captures the essence of Metzger's art."note
- Christopher Columbus: The Discovery
"Columbus encounters friendly Indians, of which one — the chief's daughter — is positioned, bare-breasted, in the center of every composition. (I believe the chief's daughter is chosen by cup size.) Columbus sails back to Europe and the story is over. Another Columbus movie is promised us this fall.note It cannot be worse than this. I especially look forward to the chief's daughter."
- Easy Come, Easy Go
"Elvis looks about the same as he always has, with his chubby face, petulant scowl and absolutely characterless features. Here is one guy the wax museums will have no trouble getting right. He sings a lot, but I won't go into that. What I will say, however is that after two dozen movies he should have learned to talk by now."
- The First Time
"There are other moments of incredible inaccuracy. They almost outnumber the moments of dreadful inactivity. For what seems like hours, the three heroes sightsee at Niagara Falls while a lousy pop group sings dreary, square songs. Our attention is finally reduced to the lowest common denominator: Will anyone ever, ever make it with Jackie?"
"Flashdance is like a movie that won a free 90-minute shopping spree in the Hollywood supermarket. The director (Adrian Lynn, of the much better Foxes) and his collaborators race crazily down the aisles, grabbing a piece of Saturday Night Fever, a slice of Urban Cowboy, a quart of Marty and a 2-pound box of Archie Bunker's Place. The result is great sound and flashdance, signifying nothing."
"There are probably no 14- or 15-year-olds in the entire world like these two; they seem to have been created specifically for the entertainment of subscribers to Teenage Nudist. The archness of their "innocence" toward sex is, finally, just plain dirty. And the worst thing is that the movie seems to like it that way."
- The Green Berets
"The Green Berets simply will not do as a film about the war in Vietnam. It is offensive not only to those who oppose American policy but even to those who support it."
- Last Rites
"This is it — located at last and with only six weeks to spare — the worst film of 1988. Last Rites qualifies because it passes both acid tests: It is not only bad filmmaking, but it is offensive as well — offensive to my intelligence. Many films are bad. Only a few declare themselves the work of people deficient in taste, judgment, reason, tact, morality and common sense. Was there no one connected with this project who read the screenplay, considered the story, evaluated the proposed film and vomited?"
- The Scarlet Letter
"... The film version imagines all of the events leading up to the adultery, photographed in the style of those 'Playboy's Fantasies' videos. It adds action: Indians, deadly fights, burning buildings, even the old trick where the condemned on the scaffold are saved by a violent interruption. And it converts the Rev. Dimmesdale from a scoundrel into a romantic and a weakling, perhaps because the times are not right for a movie about a fundamentalist hypocrite. It also gives us a red bird, which seems to represent the devil, and a shapely slave girl, who seems to represent the filmmakers' desire to introduce voyeurism into the big sex scenes."
- The Skulls
"The Skulls is one of the great howlers, a film that bears comparison, yes, with The Greek Tycoon or even The Scarlet Letter. It's so ludicrous in so many different ways it achieves a kind of forlorn grandeur. It's in a category by itself."
- Staying Alive
"Like the Rocky movies, Staying Alive ends with a big, visually explosive climax. It is so ludicrous it has to be seen to be believed. It's opening night on Broadway: Tony Manero not only dances like a hero, he survives a production number of fire, ice, smoke, flashing lights and laser beams, throws in an improvised solo — and ends triumphantly by holding Finola Hughes above his head with one arm, like a quarry he has tracked and killed. The musical he is allegedly starring in is something called "Satan's Alley," but it's so laughably gauche it should have been called "Springtime for Tony." Stallone makes little effort to convince us we're watching a real stage presentation; there are camera effects the audience could never see, montages that create impossible physical moves and — most inexplicable of all — a vocal track, even though nobody on stage is singing. It's a mess. Travolta's big dance number looks like a high-tech TV auto commercial that got sick to its stomach."
- Swing Kids
"The screenplay is so murky, indeed, that I was never sure whether the Kids hated the Hitler Youth lads because they were Nazis, or simply because they didn't swing. At a time when civilization was crashing down around their ears and Hitler was planning the Holocaust, it doesn't make them particularly noble that they'd rather listen to big bands than enlist in the military. Who wouldn't?"
- Taste Of Cherry
"A case can be made for the movie, but it would involve transforming the experience of viewing the film (which is excruciatingly boring) into something more interesting, a fable about life and death. Just as a bad novel can be made into a good movie, so can a boring movie be made into a fascinating movie review."
- The Usual Suspects
"Once again, my comprehension began to slip, and finally I wrote down: "To the degree that I do understand, I don't care." It was, however, somewhat reassuring at the end of the movie to discover that I had, after all, understood everything I was intended to understand. It was just that there was less to understand than the movie at first suggests."
Other Hated Films
The following films don't appear on Roger Ebert's official list of most hated films, but it's nevertheless obvious that he still intensely disliked them, giving them a one-and-a-half or less.
- The Amityville Horror
"The problem with "The Amityville Horror" is that, in a very real sense, there's nothing there. We watch two hours of people being frightened and dismayed, and we ask ourselves... what for? If it's real, let it have happened to them. Too bad, Lutzes! If it's made up, make it more entertaining. If they can't make up their minds... why should we?"
- Anatomy of Hell
"... But sometimes [Catherine Breillat] is just plain goofy, as in Anatomy of Hell, which plays like porn dubbed by bitter deconstructionist theoreticians."
- Bad Boys II
"... Bad Boys II is a bloated, unpleasant assembly-line extrusion in which there are a lot of chases and a lot of killings and explosions. ... The movie has a carelessness that shows a contempt for the audience. Consider a sequence in which two helicopters pursue a speedboat near Miami. I was never sure who was in the speedboat, or why it was fleeing. Maybe I missed something, but it didn't make much difference. Eventually the cops spray the boat with automatic weapons, the engine dies, and we hear "the boat is dead in the water." End of scene. As nearly as I can tell, the only reason this scene is in the movie is so that we can watch two helicopters chasing a speedboat. In a movie that is painfully long at 146 minutes, why is this scene taking up our time?''"
- Battle of the Amazons
"One thing is for sure: No movie in the last 20 years has been dubbed more ineptly. No, not even Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. In one scene, a man has his head split open with a ferocious blow from a sword. On the screen we see his lips opening in an anguished scream. On the soundtrack we hear him say, in English: 'Oh, no!' It is possible to respect his opinion while questioning his sincerity. Another problem in the movie is that the actors who were hired to dub it into English have a hard time not laughing. There was one speech that went something like: 'Zeno, surely you agree that no matter what Ilio, Antiope, Medio, Eraglia and Sinade say, Valeria is right!' Apart from the problems already enumerated above, an additional difficulty is that most of the pretty girls in the movie are Amazons. I had my own notions about why the men of her village would not fight to resist capture by the Amazons, but I kept them from Valeria. It's hard to be sure exactly when the movie takes place; there are spears and bows and arrows and swords, which suggests early times, but then again all of the women on both sides are fresh from the hair dryer. They also exhibit impressive technical advances in the art of brassiere-design."
- The Beyond
"The Beyond opens in 'Louisiana 1927,' and has certain shots obviously filmed in New Orleans, but other locations are possibly Italian, as was (probably) the sign painter who created the big 'DO NOT ENTRY' sign for a hospital scene. It's the kind of movie that alternates stupefyingly lame dialogue with special effects scenes in which quicklime dissolves corpses and tarantulas eat lips and eyeballs. ... In a film filled with bad dialogue, it is hard to choose the most quotable line, but I think it may occur in Liza's conversations with Martin, the architect hired to renovate the hotel. 'You have carte blanche,' she tells him, 'but not a blank check!' The movie is being revived around the country for midnight cult showings. Midnight is not late enough."
- Blue Velvet
"Blue Velvet contains scenes of such raw emotional energy that it's easy to understand why some critics have hailed it as a masterpiece. A film this painful and wounding has to be given special consideration. And yet those very scenes of stark sexual despair are the tipoff to what's wrong with the movie. They're so strong that they deserve to be in a movie that is sincere, honest and true. But Blue Velvet surrounds them with a story that's marred by sophomoric satire and cheap shots. The director is either denying the strength of his material or trying to defuse it by pretending it's all part of a campy in-joke....The sexual material in Blue Velvet is so disturbing, and the performance by [Isabella] Rosellini is so convincing and courageous, that it demands a movie that deserves it. American movies have been using satire for years to take the edge off sex and violence. Occasionally, perhaps sex and violence should be treated with the seriousness they deserve. Given the power of the darker scenes in this movie, we're all the more frustrated that the director is unwilling to follow through to the consequences of his insights."
- The Bounty Hunter
"I stared with glazed eyes at The Bounty Hunter. Here is a film with no need to exist. Among its sins is the misuse of Jennifer Aniston, who can be and has been very funny, but not in dreck like this. Lacking any degree of character development, it handcuffs her to a plot of exhausted action comedy cliches — and also to a car door and a bed."
- The Bucket List
"The Bucket List is a movie about two old codgers who are nothing like people, both suffering from cancer that is nothing like cancer, and setting off on adventures that are nothing like possible. I urgently advise hospitals: Do not make the DVD available to your patients; there may be an outbreak of bedpans thrown at TV screens."
- Charlie's Angels
- Death Race (2008 remake)
"Hitchcock said a movie should play the audience like a piano. Death Race played me like a drum. It is an assault on all the senses, including common. Walking out, I had the impression I had just seen the video game and was still waiting for the movie."
- Death Race 2000
"... This is a film about a futuristic cross-country race in which the winner is determined, not merely by his speed, but also by the number of pedestrians he kills. You get 100 points for someone in a wheelchair, 70 points for the aged, 50 points for kids and so on. The killings are depicted in the most graphic way possible. Giant swords on the fronts of the cars skewer victims. Others are run over several times. ... Well, folks, the theater was up for grabs. The audience was at least half small children, and they loved it. They'd never seen anything so funny, I guess, and I was torn between walking out immediately and staying to witness a spectacle more dismaying than anything on the screen: the way small children were digging gratuitous bloodshed."
- Death to Smoochy
"Only enormously talented people could have made Death to Smoochy. Those with lesser gifts would have lacked the nerve to make something so bad, so miscalculated, so lacking any connection with any possible audience. To make a film this awful, you have to have enormous ambition and confidence, and dream big dreams."
- Did You Hear About the Morgans?
"What possible reason was there for anyone to make Did You Hear About the Morgans? Or should I say 'remake,' because this movie has been made and over and over again, and oh, so much better."
"Enough is a nasty item masquerading as a feminist revenge picture. It's a step or two above I Spit on Your Grave, but uses the same structure, in which a man victimizes a woman for the first half of the film, and then the woman turns the tables in an extended sequence of graphic violence. It's surprising to see a director like Michael Apted and an actress like Jennifer Lopez associated with such tacky material."
- The Exterminator
"The Exterminator exists primarily to show burnings, shootings, gougings, grindings, and beheadings. It is a small, unclean exercise in shame."
- The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
"The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas has dinosaurs that lumber along crushing everything in their path. The movie's screenplay works sort of the same way. Think of every possible pun involving stones, rocks and prehistoric times, and link them to a pea-brained story that creaks and groans on its laborious march through unspeakably obvious, labored and idiotic humor."
- Frozen Assets
"This movie is seriously bad, but what puzzles me is its tone. This is essentially a children's movie with a dirty mind."
"CANNES, France—Going to see Godzilla at the Palais of the Cannes Film Festival is like attending a satanic ritual in St. Peter's Basilica. It's a rebuke to the faith that the building represents. Cannes touchingly adheres to a belief that film can be intelligent, moving and grand. Godzilla is a big, ugly, ungainly device to give teenagers the impression they are seeing a movie. It was the festival's closing film, coming at the end like the horses in a parade, perhaps for the same reason."
- Half Past Dead
"Half Past Dead is like an alarm that goes off while nobody is in the room. It does its job and stops, and nobody cares. It goes through the motions of an action thriller, but there is a deadness at its center, a feeling that no one connected with it loved what they were doing. There are moments, to be sure, when Ja Rule and Morris Chestnut seem to hear the music, but they're dancing by themselves."
- Heaven's Gate
"...this movie is a study in wretched excess. It is so smoky, so dusty, so foggy, so unfocused and so brownish yellow that you want to try Windex on the screen. A director is in deep trouble when we do not even enjoy the primary act of looking at his picture. ... This movie is $36 million thrown to the winds. It is the most scandalous cinematic waste I have ever seen, and remember, I've seen Paint Your Wagon."
- The Hitcher (1986 original)
"But on its own terms, this movie is diseased and corrupt. I would have admired it more if it had found the courage to acknowledge the real relationship it was portraying between Howell and Rutger, but no: It prefers to disguise itself as a violent thriller, and on that level it is reprehensible."
- The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence
"This film is reprehensible, dismaying, ugly, artless and an affront to any notion, however remote, of human decency."
- I Am David
"I know, I know, I'm supposed to get sentimental about this heart-warming tale. But I couldn't believe a moment of it, and never identified with little David, who is played by young Ben Tibber as if he was lectured to mind his manners. In an era with one effective child performance after another, here is a bad one."
- I Spit on Your Grave
"This movie is an expression of the most diseased and perverted darker human natures, Because it is made artlessly, It flaunts its motives: There is no reason to see this movie except to be entertained by the sight of sadism and suffering."
- I Spit on Your Grave (2010 remake)
"This despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave adds yet another offense: a phony moral equivalency. In the original, a woman foolishly thought to go on holiday by herself at a secluded cabin. She attracted the attention of depraved local men, who raped her, one after the other. Then the film ended with her fatal revenge. In this film, less time is devoted to the revenge, and more time to verbal, psychological and physical violence against her. Thus it works even better as vicarious cruelty against women."
- Jaws: The Revenge
"The shark models have so little movement that at times they seem to be supporting themselves on boats, instead of attacking them. Up until the ludicrous final sequence of the movie, the scariest creature in the film is an eel."
"Shall I have feelings, or should I pretend to be cool? Will I seem hopelessly square if I find Kick-Ass morally reprehensible and will I appear to have missed the point? Let's say you're a big fan of the original comic book, and you think the movie does it justice. You know what? You inhabit a world I am so very not interested in."
- The Last Airbender
"The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that."
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
"Just when it seems about to become a real corker of an adventure movie, [the movie] plunges into incomprehensible action, idiotic dialogue, inexplicable motivations, causes without effects, effects without causes, and general lunacy."
- The Master of Disguise
"The Master of Disguise pants and wheezes and hurls itself exhausted across the finish line after barely 65 minutes of movie, and then follows it with 15 minutes of end credits in an attempt to clock in as a feature film. We get outtakes, deleted scenes, flubbed lines and all the other versions of the Credit Cookie, which was once a cute idea but is getting to be a bore."
- Mother's Day
"After the first five minutes of Mother's Day - after the shot of the blood spurting from the severed neck of the movie's first victim - I was ready to walk out. But no, that would have been too easy. I determined to stick this one out. I was part of a large crowd of Saturday afternoon moviegoers, some of them no doubt taking a break from Christmas shopping, and I wanted to see how this cross-section of Americans would react to the movie's images of vile and depraved sadism."
- Night at the Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian
"Oh, did I dislike this film. It made me squirm. Its premise is lame, its plot relentlessly predictable, its characters with personalities that would distinguish picture books, its cost incalculable (well, $150,000,000). Watching historical figures enact the cliches identified with the most simplistic versions of their images, I found myself yet once again echoing the frequent cry of Gene Siskel: Why not just give us a documentary of the same actors having lunch?"
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) (remake)
"I stared at A Nightmare on Elm Street with weary resignation. The movie consists of a series of teenagers who are introduced, haunted by nightmares and then slashed to death by Freddy. So what? Are we supposed to be scared? Is the sudden clanging chord supposed to evoke a fearful Pavlovian response?''"
- The Nutcracker in 3D
"From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D? Who considered it even remotely a plausible idea for a movie? ... The Nutcracker in 3D easily qualifies as one of the most preposterous ideas in the history of the movies. It isn't a story, it's a gag line for one of David Letterman's 'Top 10 List.'"
- The Perfect Man
"The Perfect Man crawls hand over bloody hand up the stony face of this plot, while we in the audience do not laugh because it is not nice to laugh at those less fortunate than ourselves, and the people in this movie are less fortunate than the people in just about any other movie I can think of, simply because they are in it."
- Pink Flamingos
"There is a temptation to praise the film, however grudgingly, just to show you have a strong enough stomach to take it. It is a temptation I can resist ... [Pink Flamingos] should be considered not as a film but as a fact, or perhaps as an object."
"Not only am I ill-prepared to review the movie, but I venture to guess that anyone who is not literally a member of a Scooby-Doo fan club would be equally incapable. This movie exists in a closed universe, and the rest of us are aliens. The Internet was invented so that you can find someone else's review of Scooby-Doo. Start surfing."
"Scrooged is one of the most disquieting, unsettling films to come along in quite some time. It was obviously intended as a comedy, but there is little comic about it, and indeed the movie's overriding emotions seem to be pain and anger. This entire production seems to be in dire need of visits from the ghosts of Christmas. ... You can't bad-mouth 'A Christmas Carol' all the way through and then expect us to believe the good cheer at the end. In his studies of Dickens in preparation for this role, Murray seems to have read only as far as 'Bah! Humbug!'"
- Sex and the City 2
"Some of these people make my skin crawl. The characters of Sex and the City 2 are flyweight bubbleheads living in a world which rarely requires three sentences in a row. Their defining quality is consuming things. They gobble food, fashion, houses, husbands, children, vitamins and freebies. They must plan their wardrobes on the phone, so often do they appear in different basic colors, like the plugs you pound into a Playskool workbench."
- The Spirit
"The Spirit is mannered to the point of madness. There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material. The movie is all style — style without substance, style whirling in a senseless void. The film's hero is an ex-cop reincarnated as an immortal enforcer; for all the personality he exhibits, we would welcome Elmer Fudd."
"Stealth is an offense against taste, intelligence and the noise pollution code — a dumbed-down Top Gun crossed with the HAL 9000 plot from 2001. It might be of interest to you if you want to see lots of jet airplanes going real fast and making a lot of noise, and if you don't care that the story doesn't merely defy logic, but strips logic bare, cremates it and scatters its ashes. Here is a movie with the nerve to discuss a computer brain 'like a quantum sponge' while violating Newton's Laws of Motion."
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
"The new version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a contemptible film: Vile, ugly and brutal. There is not a shred of a reason to see it. Those who defend it will have to dance through mental hoops of their own devising, defining its meanness and despair as 'style' or 'vision' or 'a commentary on our world.' It is not a commentary on anything, except the marriage of slick technology with the materials of a geek show."
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon
"The series exists to show gigantic and hideous robots hammering one another. So it does. The last hour involves a battle for the universe which for some reason is held at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive in Chicago. This battle is protracted mercilessly beyond all reason, at an ear-shattering sound level, with incomprehensible Autobots and Decepticons sliced up into spurts of action with no sense of the space they occupy."
"The idea, I gather, is that V/H/S is sort of a showcase for its young directors and actors. Since it's such a muddle, I don't understand how any of them hope to stand out. It plays more like a student project in which several short films were cobbled together in the popular found-footage horror genre to masquerade as a feature."
- The Wizard
"It was only after the three kids arrived safely at the championships that I began to question the ethics of the film, which is, among other things, a thinly disguised commercial for Nintendo video games and the Universal studio tour."
- Wolf Creek
"I had a hard time watching Wolf Creek. It is a film with one clear purpose: To establish the commercial credentials of its director by showing his skill at depicting the brutal tracking, torture and mutilation of screaming young women. When the killer severs the spine of one of his victims and calls her "a head on a stick," I wanted to walk out of the theater and keep on walking."