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
- Dice Rules
"Andrew "Dice" Clay comes billed as a comedian, but does not get one laugh from me in the 87 minutes of this film. I do not find it amusing to watch someone mock human affliction, and I don't find it funny, either, for him to use his fear of women as a subject for humor. Of course any subject can theoretically be made funny, but just to stand and point is not the same thing as developing a humorous point of view. An example. We have all known someone who has undergone a tracheotomy, having the voice box removed because of cancer. Sometimes these people are still able to speak through controlling the air stream in their throat, or by using small battery-powered devices that magnify their whispers. Andrew Dice Clay finds their speech funny, and mocks it in this film. I imagine that tracheotomy patients themselves use morbid humor as one way of dealing with their condition, but Clay is not using humor at all—he is simply pointing, and making fun, like a playground bully."
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review."On TV, we can't show you the scene where Green swings a newborn baby around his head by its umbilical cord, or two scenes involving the sexual organs of a stallion and a bull elephant, or when he skins a deer and runs around wearing its bloody carcass, or any of the jokes about child abuse. The MPAA gave this movie an R rating; that's definitive evidence that the MPAA ratings board is morally adrift, and that we need a workable adult rating for movies like this" Ebert & Roeper review.
- Hardly Working
"Watching the Today show in a hotel room in Los Angeles, I saw Jerry Lewis being interviewed by Gene Shalit. Jerry was convinced that the critics had it in for him. He hinted, none too subtly, that the chances were Shalit would dislike the film when he saw it (Shalit claimed not to have seen it already, which was an excellent ploy). In Variety, I’d read that the critics were barred from the Miami premiere of the film because, and I paraphrase, Jerry Lewis makes films for the masses and critics are unequipped to understand his appeal. Horse manure. Hardly Working is one of the worst movies ever to achieve commercial release in this country, and it is no wonder it was on the shelf for two years before it saw the light of day. It is not just a bad film, it is incompetent filmmaking."
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review."Here is a movie where the most amazing thing in the history of mankind occurs: their girlfriend is inside a man's body. Incredible! And so what is the first thing these ditzy airheads ask? They wanna look at his family jewels. These characters are too stupid to be in a movie. About half an hour into the screening the film got trapped in the projector and it caught fire; that was the good news! The bad news was the screening continued, and hardly any of the film was destroyed." Ebert & Roeper review.
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"..they first meet on an airplane. She follows him into the restroom, she has sex with him, and then she says that's strike one against him because she had to make the first move. Yeah, like, for example, a dude is gonna break into the restroom and make love with a woman he's never seen before? I don't think so. I think that's how you get to meet the federal air marshal." Ebert & Roeper review
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"I hated this movie as much as any movie we've ever reviewed in the 19 years we've been doing this show. I hated it because of the premise, which seems shockingly cold-hearted, and because this premise is being suggested to kids as children's entertainment, and because everybody in the movie was vulgar and stupid, and because the jokes weren't funny, and because most of the characters were obnoxious, and because of the phony attempt to add a little pseudo-hip philosophy with a Bruce Willis character!" Siskel & Ebert review
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"I sat there and I thought: life is precious, life is short, and the idiots who made this film are taking two hours of my life and robbing it from me in order to give me less than nothing!" Siskel & Ebert review
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review."I would like to announce that I have now seen the worst movie of 1998. note This movie stinks; it is an entertainment free dead zone, as far as I'm concerned. They...they can't even lip-synch to their horrible music successfully!" Siskel & Ebert review.
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"I hated this movie, but on the other hand, the title is not only bad, but inaccurate, because for most of the movie, it's not Ecks Vs Sever, but Ecks & Sever Vs The Bad Guy. And think about this: usually Canadian cities double for American cities, but in this movie, Vancouver is identified as Vancouver. Yet, the battle is between the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is an actual U.S. government agency, and they're using rocket launchers, grenades, plastic explosions, machine guns, dozens of people are dead, blood is running in the gutter. I think Canadian's gonna say, "Hey, why don't you go home, and fight, fight each other in an American city? Isn't there some kind of jurisdictional problem?" It is, it is, it is unusually bad." Ebert & Roeper review
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review."Let's not beat around the bush; this is one of the ugliest and most incomprehensible movies I've ever seen. It's like spending two hours in the intergalactic town dump with a lot of people who need a bath and a trip to the dentist." Ebert & Roeper review.
"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?" Chicago Sun-Times review."There are 3 good things in it: Halle Berry's face, Halle Berry's body, and Halle Berry's costumes. Those are first rate. Everything else in this movie is unbelievably bad. This is a really bad movie! There is no chemistry between Benjamin Bratt and Halle Berry, none, none. I mean, it's a good thing that it's PG-13 and the love scene was offscreen because it probably would have been boring, except for the scratch he gets, of course." Ebert & Roeper review.
"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."
"Nobody looks very happy in this movie. Actors stand around in ridiculous costumes, mouthing dialogue that has little or no context. They're not even given scenes that work on a self-contained basis; portentous lines of pop profundity are allowed to hang in the air unanswered, while additional characters arrive or leave on unexplained errands. Dune looks like a project that was seriously out of control from the start. Sets were constructed, actors were hired; no usable screenplay was ever written; everybody faked it as long as they could. Some shabby special effects were thrown into the pot, and the producers crossed their fingers and hoped that everybody who has read the books will want to see the movie. Not if the word gets out, they won’t.''
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"The name of the film is Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and I guess it's more or less a continuation of the original hit film, Film/Hellraiser. Actually, though, it plays more like a compact disc than it does like a movie, especially if you have one of those C Ds that you can program in any order." Siskel & Ebert review
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"It's a chaotic and truly lame-brained zombie movie about an evil corporation that once again opens up its secret lab and once again releases a virus that once again inspires lots and lots and lots of shots of zombies getting their brains blown out." Ebert & Roeper review
"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." Chicago Sun-Times review"I think The Skulls has been inspired by "Skull And Bones", a secret society at Yale. The film is set in New Haven, but it's sneaky and it never quite mentions the name of the college. they is a big "Y" on the wall in some shots, so maybe it's "Yazoo State". The villains are slimy, the hero is conflicted, and the Skulls are impossibly powerful. They hold a duel right there on their clubground. The Skulls goes so far over the top that this movie may a future at festivals of bad movies." Ebert & Roeper review
- 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 1 1/2 or less.
- $1,000,000 Duck
"There was a Stan Freberg record once about a rat that was put through this ordeal. Over drawbridges. Up ramps. Through doors. Past dead-ends. Across the moat. Up the ladder. And finally, finally...when the exhausted rodent reached his objective and punched the right button, do you know what came out of the little door for him to eat? One single chlorophyll gumball."
- The Amityville Horror note
"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?" Chicago Sun-Times review.note "We have Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down on this show, and now we introduce a new position, (in echo voice) THE WAGGING FINGER OF SHAME (end echo voice), which is awarded to movies that the studios are too embarrassed to screen in advance for movie critics. The first (in echo voice again) WAGGING FINGER OF SHAME (end echo voice again) winner is The Amityville Horror which opens this weekend without benefit of reviews, maybe because the studio knows something about this movie that they don't want you to know." Ebert & Roeper review. note
- 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."
- Behind Enemy Lines
"The premiere of Behind Enemy Lines was held aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. I wonder if it played as a comedy. Its hero is so reckless and its villains so incompetent that it's a showdown between a man begging to be shot, and an enemy that can't hit the side of a Bos-nian barn. This is not the story of a fugitive trying to sneak through enemy terrain and be rescued, but of a movie character magically transported from one photo opportunity to another." Chicago Sun-Times review"Behind Enemy Lines recycles two of the most beloved cliches of bad war movies. Cliche No. 1: The immature hot dog showoff turns into a hero when the chips are down. Cliche No. 2: The enemy can fire thousands of rounds of machine gun fire, rifle fire, tank fire, and even missiles at the guy and never hit him, but when he fires back, well, he never misses." Ebert & Roeper review
- The Beverly Hillbillies
"Imagine the dumbest half-hour sitcom you've ever seen, spin it out to 93 minutes by making it even more thin and shallow, and you have this movie. It's appalling. It's not even really a good version of whatever it was that made the TV series appealing. And it certainly doesn't add the kind of spin and quality we expect when we go to the movies."
- 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."
- Cabin Fever
"If some of this material had been harnessed and channeled into a disciplined screenplay with a goal in mind, the movie might have worked. But the director and co-author, Eli Roth, is too clever for his own good, and impatiently switches among genres, tones and intentions. There are truly horrible scenes (guy finds corpse in reservoir, falls onto it), over-the-top horrible scenes (dogs have eaten skin off good girl's face, but she is still alive), and just plain inexplicable scenes (Dennis, the little boy at the general store, bites people). By the end, we've lost all interest. The movie adds up to a few good ideas and a lot of bad ones, wandering around in search of an organizing principle."
- The Cannonball Run
"The Cannonball Run is an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition. In other words, they didn't even care enough to make a good lousy movie. Cannonball was probably always intended as junk, as an easy exploitation picture. But it's possible to bring some sense of style and humor even to grade-zilch material. This movie doesn't even seem to be trying."
- Charlie's Angels
"A movie like this is a deep mystery. It asks the question: What went wrong? Clifford is not bad on the acting, directing or even writing levels. It fails on a deeper level still, the level of the underlying conception. Something about the material itself is profoundly not funny. Irredeemably not funny, so that it doesn't matter what the actors do, because they are in a movie that should never have been made." Chicago Sun-Times review"Clifford is like a movie from Mars. This is the kind of movie where you sit there simply stupefied. The cast contains some of my favorite actors, and yet, nothing works, and I wonder if the central mistake might not have been the casting of Martin Short as the little boy. He looks so weird, there's never a moment where you can stop gawking at it long enough for the character to gather up any momentum. Now we saw this movie in a theater with maybe 150 people. Two people laughed once apiece. One of them was me, and I think the other one laughed because I have an infectious laugh. I found one gag in this movie, and 148 other people found nothing." Siskel & Ebert review
- Crossroads (2002)
"I went to Crossroads expecting a glitzy bimbofest and got the bimbos but not the fest." Chicago Sun-Times review"What was Britney Spears thinking when greenlighted this project? That it would be sincere and dramatic and showcase her serious acting skills? Won't audiences basically be expecting an upbeat comedy with a lot of music? I think so. The stories involving Britney's long lost mom and Zoe's indifferent fiancee and Taryn's pregnancy all end sadly. And I'm thinking, "Give us a break! We're only 18 and already, life is a dismal soap opera?" And since the movie's primary audience will be younger kids, do we really need Date Rape, drinking, trying to lose your virginity, miscarriages, and running away from home? Crossroads was enough to make me nostalgic for The Spice Girls!" Ebert & Roeper review.
- Death Before Dishonor
"Death Before Dishonor is a fairly pure example of the Ordinary Day/Narrowed Eyes/Far-Off Rattle/Rum-Dum-a-Dum Movie. There isn't a lick of original thinking in it. The plot: Americans are kidnapped and brave marines blast their way in and free them from their heathen Arab kidnappers. The movie's dramatic high point is when Brian Keith takes an electric drill right through the back of his hand and still won't sign the phony confession. Courage? Maybe. Or maybe it just didn't hurt much. Seconds later, he's barking out orders, and in later scenes he seems to have regained the use of the maimed hand."
- 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."
- Death Wish II
"Although the original Death Wish had its detractors, it was an effective movie that spoke directly to the law-and-order mentality of the Nixon-Ford era. It was directed with a nice slick polish by Michael Winner, and, on its own terms, it worked. Death Wish II is a disaster by comparison. It has the same director, Winner, but he directs the dialogue scenes as if the actors' shoes were nailed to the floor....What’s most shocking about Death Wish II is the lack of artistry and skill in the filmmaking. The movie is underwritten and desperately underplotted, so that its witless action scenes alternate with lobotomized dialogue passages. The movie doesn't contain an ounce of life. It slinks onto the screen and squirms for a while, and is over."
"The character traits of the "D.E.B.S." are only slightly more useful than the color-coded uniforms of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In such movies, taxonomy is personality; once you've got the label straight, you know all you're ever going to know about the character. In addition to Amy, who is a lesbian, we meet Max (Meagan Good), who is black, Janet (Jill Ritchie), who is white, and Dominique (Devon Aoki), who corners the market on character attributes by being an Asian with a French accent who smokes all the time. I would not identify the characters by race, but the movie leaves us with no other way to differentiate them."
- 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."
"The movie has been "inspired by" the famous video game. No, I haven't played it, and I never will, but I know how it feels not to play it, because I've seen the movie. Doom is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play." Chicago Sun-Times review"Doom is certainly what anybody is gonna face who goes to see this movie." Ebert & Roeper review
- Double Take
"Double Take is the kind of double-triple-reverse movie that can drive you nuts because you can't count on anything in the plot. Characters, motivations and true identities change from scene to scene at the whim of the screenplay. Finally you tire of trying to follow the story. You can only get the rug jerked out from under you so many times before you realize the movie has the attention span of a gnat and thinks you do, too." Chicago Sun-Times review"You know, I'm gonna make a little mental note here that Double Take is already on my list of the worst movies of 2001. note This movie is a complete disaster area, and Eddie Griffin, who I'm sure is a very nice guy, and maybe even a very talented guy in real life, in this movie, his performance comes across as the "fingernails on the blackboard" syndrome. I got to the point where I didn't want to see him on the screen again. He was so obnoxious and so tiresome, and the complete movie is a disaster zone!" Ebert & Roeper review
"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. No adult could possibly enjoy a single frame of the film - it's pitched at the level of a knock-knock joke - and yet what child could enjoy, or understand, all the double entendres about sperm, and what goes into its production? This movie, as nearly as I can tell, was not made with any possible audience in mind." Chicago Sun-Times review"Not even the worst comedy ever made, just the worst movie ever made, I don't know. You know the theory of reincarnation, where the dues we pay in this lifetime we may get to collect in another lifetime? For having seen this movie, I want months and months and months in a beautiful valley with honey and nectar and zephyr-like breezes. I mean, years, perhaps, appropriate. And a big car!" Siskel & Ebert review
- Funny About Love
"The screenplay is "based on an article by Bob Greene," the credits say, and Greene, who was sitting near me in the screening, did allow that he had once written a piece for Esquire about giving a speech at a sorority convention. In the movie, Gene Wilder does indeed give a speech at a sorority convention (that's where he meets Masterson), but I am at a loss to understand how anything else in this movie could have been inspired by anything. Let's put it this way. I would have had a better time if the 101 minutes had been devoted to the cast reading aloud from one of Greene's books." Chicago Sun-Times review"Here is a film that has a genius for awkward scenes, dopey dialogue, and cinema so shameless, it is actually offensive." Siskel & Ebert review
- Ghost Dad
"Ghost Dad is a desperately unfunny film - a strained, contrived construction that left me shaking my head in amazement. How does Bill Cosby, so capable on television, get himself into movie disaster zones like this movie and his previous one, Leonard Part 6? How could Sidney Poitier, a skilled filmmaker with an actor's sense of timing, have been the director of this mess? How did a production executive go for it? Who ever thought this was a good idea?"
"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."
- Good Boy!
"Millions of Dog Owners Demand to Know: 'Who's a Good Boy?' — Headline in The Onion If a child and a dog love each other, the relationship is one of mutual wonder. Making the dog an alien from outer space is not an improvement. Giving it the ability to speak is a disaster. My dog Blackie used his eyes to say things so eloquent that Churchill would have been stuck for a comeback. Among my favorite recent movie dogs are Skip, in My Dog Skip, who teaches a boy how to be a boy, and Shiloh, in Shiloh, who teaches a boy that life is filled with hard choices. Hubble, the dog in Good Boy!, teaches that dogs will be pulled off Earth and returned to their home planet in a "global recall." I've told you all you really need to know about the movie's plot. Owen Baker (Liam Aiken), the young hero, adopts a terrier who turns out to have arrived in a flying saucer to investigate why dogs on Earth are our pets, instead of the other way around. This will be a no-brainer for anyone who has watched a dog operating a pooper scooper. Nor do dogs look like the master race when they go after your pants leg. But I am willing to accept this premise if anything clever is done with it. Nothing is."
- The Good Son
"One of the reasons the movie feels so unwholesome is that Macaulay seems too young and innocent to play a character this malevolent. At times, hearing the things he's made to say, you want to confront the filmmakers who made him do it, and ask them what they were thinking of."
- 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."
- High School High
"High School High opens with a big laugh (“Produced by the producer formerly known as David Zucker”) and goes downhill. Zucker, associated with the Naked Gun movies, wants to do the same thing here for the urban high school genre, but the movie makes two mistakes: (1) It isn't very funny, and (2) it makes the crucial error of taking its story seriously and angling for a happy ending."
- Highlander II: The Quickening
"This movie has to be seen to be believed. On the other hand, maybe that's too high a price to pay. Highlander 2: The Quickening is the most hilariously incomprehensible movie I've seen in many a long day - a movie almost awesome in its badness. Wherever science fiction fans gather, in decades and generations to come, this film will be remembered in hushed tones as one of the immortal low points of the genre." Chicago Sun-Times review"Highlander II: The Quickening... what a title! This movie, I think I can safely say is a film that defies description. How else to account for a character who comes from another planet, but seems to know nothing he didn't learn in Scotland 500 years ago? Or a planetary shield that should have produced an ice age, but creates a heat wave instead? Or an ozone layer that can repair itself in just 25 years?" Siskel & Ebert review
- 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."
- Hocus Pocus
"Of the film's many problems, the greatest may be that all three witches are thoroughly unpleasant. They don't have personalities; they have behavior patterns and decibel levels. A good movie inspires the audience to subconsciously ask, "Give me more!" The witches in this one inspired my silent cry, "Get me out of here!""
"Note: If you are a viewer of intelligence and curiosity, and live in a city where human beings still program some of the theaters, there is a much better movie right now about guerrillas fighting to protect an endangered species. It is Mountain Patrol: Kekexili, which I also review today. You have a choice: a inane dead zone of sitcom cliches, or a stunning adventure shot on location in the high deserts of Asia." Chicago Sun-Times review"I wanted to know why they're building the, yeah, this is true, why, why are they building a pancake house in the middle of the wilderness with no highways around? Apparently, you have to walk to get to the pancake house through the woods." Ebert & Roeper review
- 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 Know What You Did Last Summer
"The ads make much of the fact that I Know What You Did Last Summer is from “the creators of Scream. “ That means both scripts are by Kevin Williamson. My bet is that he hauled this one out of the bottom drawer after Scream passed the $100 million mark. The neat thing about Scream was that the characters had seen a lot of horror films, were familiar with all the conventions, and knew they were in a horror-type situation. In I Know, there's one moment like that (as the two women approached an ominous house, they observe ominously, “Jodie Foster tried this ... “). But for the rest of the movie they're blissfully unaware of the dangers of running upstairs when pursued, walking around at night alone, trying to investigate the situation themselves, going onto seemingly empty fishing boats, etc." Chicago Sun-Times review"Yeah, uh, I sat in the dark, the movie started, the first scene is fabulous. The first shot. It's a long helicopter scene. It shows a dark and stormy night, the waves, it shows the entire coast, and it zeroes in on one unbroken shot to a guy sitting on a cliff, and I thought, "That's terrific." And about an hour later, I wrote, "You know you're in trouble when the best shot in a movie is the first one, because it was all downhill from the opening credits." Siskel & Ebert review
- I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
"I Still Know What You Did Last Summer assembles the building blocks of idiot-proof slasher movies: Stings, Snicker-Snacks, false alarms and point-of-view baits-and-switches. We'll get back to those. The movie's R rating mentions "intense terror violence and gore," but only its publicity team could consider it intense or terrifying. Gore it has." Chicago Sun-Times review"I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is a deadening series of setups and slashings, setups and slashings, setups and slashings, and for it's viewers, it's a waste of 90 precious minutes that they can never get back!" Siskel & Ebert review
- 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."
"Now we have proof: It's possible for the Jim Henson folks and Industrial Light and Magic to put their heads together and come up with the most repulsive single creature in the history of special effects!"
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the theater..." Siskel & Ebert review
- The Jazz Singer
"The Jazz Singer has so many things wrong with it that a review threatens to become a list. Let me start with the most obvious: This movie is about a man who is at least 20 years too old for such things to be happening to him. The Jazz Singer looks ridiculous giving us Neil Diamond going through an adolescent crisis."
- Jeepers Creepers 2
"The movie wants to work at the level of scaring us every so often with unexpected sudden attacks of the Creeper, although in this genre you expect sudden unexpected attacks, so you end up evaluating the craftsmanship instead of being scared. On that level, praise for the makeup and costume departments, including Richard Radlefsen, credited for "Creeper makeup and lead suit." Why the creature is called the Creeper when he leaps and flies I am not sure. Why Francis Ford Coppola decided to produce this movie I am also not sure." Chicago Sun-Times review"Every 23 years, for 23 days, it gets to eat. It has it easy, every 2 years we have to see a movie about it." Ebert & Roeper review
- Joe's Apartment
"I am informed that 5,000 cockroaches were used in the filming of Joe’s Apartment. That depresses me, but not as much as the news that none of them were harmed during the production. I do not like roaches, and I wonder if they even like themselves. Although it is said that after a nuclear holocaust they would inherit the earth, my guess is they would still scurry out of sight even when there was no one left to see them. Joe's Apartment would be a very bad comedy even without the roaches, but it would not be a disgusting one. No, wait: I take that back. Even without the roaches, we would still have the subplot involving the pink disinfectant urinal cakes. Not everybody's cup of tea. My standards are not inflexible. There is a scene in Trainspotting, another recently released movie, in which the hero dives head-first into the filthiest toilet in Scotland, and I actually enjoyed that scene (you would have to see the movie to understand why). But when we arrived at the tender little scene in Joe's Apartment where the roaches were tugging at his eyelashes to wake him up, I easily contained my enthusiasm. The movie is a feature-length version of a 1992 short film made for MTV by John Payson. Less is more. The idea of singing, dancing cockroach buddies can easily be explored in all of its manifestations, I am sure, in a film much briefer than 80 minutes, which is how long Joe's Apartment runs, illustrating my principle that no good film is too long and no bad film is short enough."
- Jungle 2 Jungle
"No one is allowed to think in this movie. Not one single event in the entire plot can possibly take place unless every character in the cast has brains made of Bac-o-Bits."
"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."
- Lady in the Water
"The key to deciphering M. Night Shyamalan's fractured fairy tale, Lady in the Water, is to remember that it is rooted in the mythology of Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report. It is a warning to Mankind about the dire threat posed by ferocious topiary bears in America today, and a salute to the gigantic, soaring eagle who swoops in to rescue Wet Ladies from pitiless ursine jaws and claws. Colbert oughtta sue."
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review."There's one scene where they're in Venice, and there's a car chase, and the car is racing through the streets of Venice, and the problem with that is, there aren't any streets in Venice! It would go directly into a canal, or crash into a bridge!" Ebert & Roeper review.
- Life Or Something Like It
"Someone once said, live every day as if it will be your last. Not just someone once said that. Everyone once said it, over and over again, although Life or Something Like It thinks it's a fresh insight. This is an ungainly movie, ill-fitting, with its elbows sticking out where the knees should be. To quote another ancient proverb, A camel is a horse designed by a committee. Life or Something Like It is the movie designed by the camel." Chicago Sun-Times review"It's called Life or Something Like It, but it's nothing like it, and reads like it was pieced together after an explosion at the used screenplay factory. Jolie's archenemy is a sexy cameraman played by Edwards Burns who can't stand her ego. She can't stand him either. They fight so much, we just know they're gonna end up in the sack together. Network stardom or a life with a cameraman back in Seattle? Which choice will she make? And, who cares? Now that's a real good question?" Ebert & Roeper review
- Little Indian Big City
"Little Indian, Big City is one of the worst movies ever made. I detested every moronic minute of it. Through a stroke of good luck, the entire third reel of the film was missing the day I saw it. I went back to the screening room two days later, to view the missing reel. It was as bad as the rest, but nothing could have saved this film. As my colleague Gene Siskel observed, “If the third reel had been the missing footage from Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, this movie still would have sucked.” I could not have put it better myself."
"At one point in London, a Japanese experiment is described. Scientists place containers of white rice in two different rooms. One container is praised. Nice rice. Beautiful rice. The other container is insulted. Ugly rice. Bad rice. At the end of a month, the rice in the first container is fresh and fragrant. The rice in the other room is decayed and moldy. If there is any validity to this experiment, I expect London to start decaying any day now. Bad movie. Ugly movie." Chicago Sun-Times review"Thumbs, thumbs, thumbs down, my goodness, what an, what an ordeal this was, to be in that bathroom locked in there with these boring people who are stoned, who are stoned out of their minds and have these meaningless conversations, "Who is God, does God exist, is there an afterlife?" Let me, let me try something on you here, I've never snorted cocaine, so I can't say this for sure, but I'll bet that if you began by being wasted, snorted cocaine, drank, and passed out, and were awaken by a phone call and went to a party and spend the next three hours snorting unlimited amounts of more cocaine, and drinking tequila out of a bottle, you would not be able to talk." Ebert & Roeper review
"Patrick Stewart, best known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is an actor of effortless class and presence, and Masterminds is like an obstacle course he has to run. Can he make it from beginning to end of this dreadful movie without lowering himself to its level of idiocy? Or will he go down with the material? The answer to that question provides the only suspense and nearly the only interest in one of the worst films of the year." Chicago Sun-Times review"You know, this is one of those movies, this is one of those movies while, when you're sitting there, you're saying, "There is nothing to think about. There is nothing on the screen that interests me." It is, in a way, it's as if, you know how protons can kinda go through lead and not hit anything? This movie went through my mind and didn't hit anything." Siskel & Ebert review
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"It never ended and it was only 80 minutes." Ebert & Roeper review
- Meet The Deedles
"I am prepared to imagine a theater full of 11-year-old boys who might enjoy this movie, but I can't recommend it for anyone who might have climbed a little higher on the evolutionary ladder."
- 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."
"I saw the movie at a Saturday morning preview attended by hundreds of children. From what I could see and hear, the kids didn't get much out of it. No wonder. Although the material does indeed involve young protagonists, no effort is made to show their lives in a way today's kids can identify with. This movie must seem as odd to them as a foreign film. The fact that old man Pulitzer once tried to cheat newsies out of a tenth of a cent must represent, for many of them, the very definition of the underwhelming."
- 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.'"
- Only When I Laugh
"Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh is basically a movie about a woman who is recovering from alcoholism, although the film also provides us with a lonely homosexual, a disturbed teenager, a fortyish woman losing her husband, and a “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” scene in which protagonist Marsha Mason is assaulted and raped. It comes billed as one of Neil Simon's "serious" films. That means that it is about serious subjects. It does not mean Simon examines them seriously. The film should have contained half so many problems if he hoped to provide us with insights into them. But Simon uses misfortunes as a way of creating characters. If he can create an "alcoholic," then he doesn't have to create a three-dimensional person for his film. He can just fill out the person's life with predictable crises from the disease. The same with the film's homosexual, who can complain of loneliness, rejection, feelings of inadequacy, can do everything, indeed, except be gay onscreen."
- The Pagemaster
"The movie is not really interested in why Ahab was driven to hunt the Great White Whale. He's the butt of a joke, a peg-legged punchline forever circling the Pacific, looking for that darned leviathan. Nor does the movie show any curiosity about why a nice doctor would want to transform himself into the monster. Motivation - which is what Moby-Dick and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are about - is not a concept that much interests The Pagemaster. But maybe that doesn't surprise me. Maybe I didn't really go to The Pagemaster hoping that Macaulay Culkin would gain a new appreciation of Moby Dick. Maybe I would have been pleased if The Pagemaster had simply been an entertaining animated feature. If that's the case, then The Pagemaster is still a disappointment.
- Pearl Harbor
"Pearl Harbor is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle. Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality. The film has been directed without grace, vision, or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialog, it will not be because you admire them."
- 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."
- Police Academy
"It's really something. It's so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you're sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, and chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don't know what bad is. This is the kind of movie where they'll bring a couple of characters onscreen and begin to set up a joke, and then, just when you realize you can predict exactly what's going to happen ... not only doesn't it happen, but nothing happens — they just cut to some different characters! If there's anything worse than a punch line that doesn't work, it's a movie that doesn't even bother to put the punch lines in."
- Pootie Tang
"Pootie Tang is not bad so much as inexplicable. You watch in puzzlement: How did this train wreck happen? How was this movie assembled out of such ill-fitting pieces? Who thought it was funny? Who thought it was finished? For that matter, was it finished? Take away the endless opening titles and end credits, and it's about 70 minutes long. The press notes say it comes "from the comedy laboratory of HBO's Emmy Award-winning Chris Rock Show." It's like one of those lab experiments where the room smells like swamp gas and all the mice are dead."
- Return To The Blue Lagoon
"The sincere idiocy of this film really has to be seen to be appreciated - not that I think there is any need for you to see, or appreciate, it. Return to the Blue Lagoon aspires to the soft-core porn achievements of the earlier film, but succeeds instead of creating a new genre, no-core porn."
"Someday this film may inspire a long, thoughtful book by John Wright, its editor. My guess is that something went dreadfully wrong early in the production. Maybe dysentery or mass hypnosis. And the director, John Mc Tiernan (Die Hard), was unable to supply Wright with the shots he needed to make sense of the story. I saw a Russian documentary once where half the shots were blurred and overexposed, because the KGB attacked the negative with X-rays. Maybe this movie was put through an MRI scan. Curiously, the signifiers have survived, but not the signified. Characters set up big revelations and then forget to make them. And the long, murky night sequence looks like it was shot, pointlessly, with the green-light Night Shot feature on a consumer video camera." Chicago Sun-Times review"I think "Rollerball" consists of throwing a ball at a golden gong and setting off a shower of sparks without getting yourself murdered, but I'm not sure. Even the Romijn-Stamos character admits she doesn't understand the game, which is OK, because Jean Reno suspends all the rules, all the fouls, and all the penalties in order to get a player killed and also, as he keeps screaming, "To get that North American cable deal"! You don't often see a big-budget movie this incoherent and chaotic." Ebert & Roeper review
- Rush Hour 2
"Jackie Chan complained, I hear, that the Hollywood filmmakers didn't give him time to compose his usual elaborately choreographed stunts in Rush Hour 2, preferring shorter bursts of action. Too bad Brett Ratner, the director, didn't focus instead on shortening Tucker's dialogue scenes. Tucker plays an L.A. cop who on the evidence of this movie is a race-fixated motormouth who makes it a point of being as loud, offensive and ignorant as he possibly can be." Chicago Sun-Times review"The problem with this movie is Chris Tucker never. Shuts. Up. He acts less like a cop than like a madman on speed. I was personally embarrassed during a scene in a casino, where he starts screaming that the dealer is a racist. I don't think long rants where black guys insult white guys are any funnier than when white guys insult black guys, especially when the white guy hasn't done anything, and the other actors have to stand around pretending not to notice that they're in the company of an egomaniacal motormouth. There are some impressive stunts in the movie, and some funny moments, but basically, Rush Hour 2 sinks under the weight of Chris Tucker's overacting." Ebert & Roeper review
- Saturn 3
"This movie is awesomely stupid, totally implausible from a scientific viewpoint, and a shameful waste of money. If Grade and Kastner intend to continue producing films with standards this low, I think they ought instead, in simple fairness, to simply give their money to filmmakers at random. The results couldn't be worse."
"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." Chicago Sun-Times review"This is my introduction to the entire genre, and I hope it's the end of my exposure to this genre because I'm completely unmoved by this film. I don't understand, I don't understand it, I didn't get it, it wasn't funny, I didn't like it, and that's it." Ebert & Roeper review
"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."
- Sky Bandits
"The design of the airplanes in this movie is its single, lonely, redeeming facet. Everything else is surprisingly boring, given the fact that the movie cost a reported $17 million to make. The plot involves aerial battles in World War I, but the dialogue rolls along at about the level and intensity of a couple of fraternity kids making plans for the weekend."
"I don't require all high school (or junior high) comedies to involve smart, imaginative, articulate future leaders. But I am grateful when the movie at least devises something interesting for them to do, or expresses empathy with their real natures. The characters in Sleepover are shadows of shadows, diluted from countless better, even marginally better, movies. There was no reason to make this movie, and no reason to see it." Chicago Sun-Times review"This is a hopeless movie, almost pathetic in the way it assembles the usual materials of a teenage girl comedy, but is completely unable to do anything interesting with them. Once again, we get the smart but unpopular girls, led by Alexa Vega, and the pack of snobs who rule the school, led by Sara Paxton. Lots and lots of would-be comedy in this movie involves sneaking out of the house, and, of course, sneaking into the house. There's even a scavenger hunt in this movie, and it seems very important when they first announce it, although the movie keeps seeming to forget about it, and, isn't it strange how the adults remain oblivious to the total chaos happening all around them. Thumbs Down." Ebert & Roeper review
- Son of the Mask
"What we basically have here is a license for the filmmakers to do whatever they want to do with the special effects, while the plot, like Wile E. Coyote, keeps running into the wall."
- 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."
- Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
"The movie has cute stuff like multiple roles (Stallone talking to three other characters played by himself) and celebrity supporting appearances (George Clooney, Steve Buscemi, Bill Paxton, Mike Judge). But I wasn't excited, I wasn't amused, and although 3-D didn't help, the movie wouldn't work in 2-D, either. Rodriguez famously loves to work fast, but speed in execution requires care in preparation. At the basic levels of production design and screenplay, this movie is not ready for prime time." Chicago Sun-Times review"You know, my dad took me to see the first 3-D movie, Bwana Devil, and I've seen just just about every 3-D movie since then, and I'm going to tell ya, 3-D sucks as a way at looking at movies! 2-D looks a lot better. It's more convincing, it's brighter, it's crisper, it's cleaner. 3-D, even the very best systems I've seen, kinda washes out things and makes them murky, and doesn't add anything, because I don't care if the arm comes toward me in the screen! I'm really, I'm not really moved by that!." Ebert & Roeper review
- The Squeeze
"Sometimes they hold sneak previews for movies, and ask the audience to rate the picture on a scale ranging from "excellent" to "poor." I've got an idea for The Squeeze. They should hand the audience postcards and ask them to mail them back a week after seeing the movie - if they can recall anything about the plot. I'm serious. This movie isn't about anything or anybody, and to remember it is an act of the will." Chicago Sun-Times review"Who could remember a title like The Squeeze? Certainly not me! When we had a conference call to decide, I'm going to tell this story, we had a conference call to decide what movies to put on this show, and The Squeeze was mentioned, I couldn't even remember the name of the movie, I couldn't remember having seen it, they said, "You saw it Friday." I said, "Who was in it?" They said, "Michael Keaton." "Oh, yeah, that movie, right!" This movie is like an occasion, I have to be honest and tell you this, it doesn't make me a bad movie critic that I forgot this movie. I think I could anyone a test six days after they saw this movie. They'd flunk every question! This movie is just vapor, it just goes into your head and evaporates. This is chewing gum for the mind; that is an insult to chewing gum." Siskel & Ebert review
"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."
- Sweet November
"Sweet November passes off pathological behavior as romantic bliss. It's about two sick and twisted people playing mind games and calling it love. I don't know who I disliked more intensely—Nelson, the abrupt, insulting ad man played by Keanu Reeves, or Sara, Charlize Theron's narcissistic martyr." Chicago Sun-Times review"Yeah, he climbs through the window, he's like Santa Claus, and out of the bag, among the things he takes out of the bag, is an automatic dishwasher. Now how can you get an automatic dishwasher into a bag small enough that you can climb through a second floor window with it over your shoulder? The answer, I'm afraid, is this is a very. Small. Automatic dishwasher. But as he pulls it out of the bag, I was just shaking my head in disbelief." Ebert & Roeper review
- Tai Pan
"Of the women of Tai-Pan, it can be said that Joan Collins could have played each and every one of them at some point in her career. My favorite is Mary Sinclair (Katy Behean), who comes out to Hong Kong as a simple English lass and, through pluck and dedication, becomes a successful prostitute, inspiring the immortal line, "You're not the Mary Sinclair I knew." Then there is May-May (Joan Chen), Brown's Chinese mistress, who will-will. Their most tender moment comes when she loses face with him and wants to commit suicide, and he helps her regain face by whipping her but not really hitting her very hard. You gotta love this guy." Chicago Sun-Times review"Apparently what happened is, the entire British empire went out there and spent 40 years in bed, right? And occasionally, they got up for a costume dance or a swordfight. And the other amazing thing is, none of these guys age, you notice that? You see Brian Brown at the beginning, they're shelling the Chinese coast, it's about 1802 or 1804. 40 years later, he's still dancing around on the parapets in this big swordfight. Meanwhile, he's got a grown son. I mean, he must be about 80 by then. And he hasn't, I mean, not a single whisker has changed." Siskel & Ebert review
- 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."
- 'Til There Was You
"Here is the most tiresome and affected movie in many a moon, a 114-minute demonstration of the Idiot Plot, in which everything could be solved with a few well-chosen words that are never spoken." Chicago Sun-Times review"Didn't it strike you as strange that although the building was built by the mentor of the hero architect, he didn't know that that was her building? He would have known his own teacher's most famous building there in town. The casting director should be fired for having cast this picture. Now I know them because some of these people are stars on television. I presume that there are some people who will be able to tell them apart, but I kept thinking, "Is this the professor, or is it the architect, or is it some other guy who was this guy? Is that the relationship? Is this the guy she knew then, and this is the guy she knows now, or are they each other?"" Siskel & Ebert review
- ˇThree Amigos!
"The ideas to make Three Amigos into a good comedy are here, but the madness is missing. All great farces need a certain insane focus, an intensity that declares how important they are to themselves. This movie is too confident, too relaxed, too clever to be really funny. And yet, when the cowboys sit around their campfire singing a sad lament and then their horses join in, you see where the movie could have gone."
- 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."
- What Planet Are You From
"Here is the most uncomfortable movie of the new year, an exercise in feel-good smut. What Planet Are You From? starts out as a dirty comedy, but then abandons the comedy, followed by the dirt, and by the end is actually trying to be poignant. For that to work, we'd have to like the hero, and Garry Shandling makes that difficult. He begrudges every emotion as if there's no more where that came from. That worked on TV's The Larry Sanders Show—it's why his character was funny—but here he can't make the movie's U-turn into sentimentality."
- White Chicks
"The fact that White Chicks actually devotes expository time to the kidnap plot shows how lame-brained it is, because no one in the audience can conceivably care in any way about its details. Audiences who see the TV commercials and attend White Chicks will want sharp, transgressive humor, which they will not find, instead of a wheezy story about off-the-shelf bad guys, which drags on and on in one complicated permutation after another." Chicago Sun-Times review"The Wayans family has produced some funny movies, but White Chicks is. Not. One of them." Ebert & Roeper review
- The Whole Ten Yards
"A fog of gloom lowers over The Whole Ten Yards, as actors who know they're in a turkey try their best to prevail. We sense a certain desperation as dialogue mechanically grinds through unplayable scenes, and the characters arrive at moments that the movie thinks are funny but they suspect are not. This is one of those movies you look at quizzically: What did they think they were doing?" Chicago Sun-Times review"I sat there, patiently and passively, and the time went past, and eventually, the movie was over. And there was a large dead zone. Nothing happened." Ebert & Roeper review
- Wild Orchid
"Wild Orchid is an erotic film, plain and simple. It cannot be read any other way. There is no other purpose for its existence. Its story is absurd, and even its locale was chosen primarily for its travelogue value; this movie no more needs to take place in Brazil than in Kansas, which the heroine leaves in the opening scene." Chicago Sun-Times review"Wild Orchid has some intriguing people in it, it's photographed with style, but since I didn't believe in these people, I couldn't care much about their love life." Siskel & Ebert review
- Wing Commander
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"Nintendo fans are gonna be as disappointed as everyone else. Now what do I know about Nintendo? Very little. But I know this: I once got to the second level of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, note and so, when this movie, when they talk about "Hey, I got to the third level", and they showed the screen, even dummy like me, I know enough that they only got to the first level. So any kid is gonna say, "This movie doesn't know what it's talking about! That's not the third level of ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles''," and, you gotta get stuff like that right in movies like this." Siskel & Ebert review
- 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."