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"'This sucks on so many levels.' — Dialogue from Jason X. Rare for a movie to so frankly describe itself."

A stock part of reviews, usually critical ones.

This is when the reviewer takes a line from the work being reviewed and points out how it describes the work as a whole. For example, if a character in a film says “This is too confusing!”, the reviewer might quote it and mention that they felt the same way after watching the movie.

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It can also be done with unintentionally self-critical sounding titles. Indeed, if your terrible movie is named along the lines of Disaster or Finally Over, you can bet every reviewer will gleefully turn that into a punchline, or at least allude to the possibility of doing so.

This is sort of an inversion of Quotes Fit for a Trailer when the work's creators or publicizers use a work's own lines to promote it. Of course, reviewers can do this trope "positively" and creators can do that one "negatively", but such instances are rare (especially the latter for a certain reason). Compare Spoofed with Their Own Words; see also Snark Bait.


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Examples:

  • CinemaSins spotted this in Pixels.
    Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler): What are we doing right now?
    Cinema Sins: Is this... almost self-awareness coming from Adam Sandler? And couldn't that question be applied to the movie itself?
  • This review of Vampires Suck mentions that the title is “too apt.”
    • The review in SFX starts off saying it's almost too obvious to say that “Vampires Suck … does,” but it's also entirely accurate.
    • Peter Travers wrote a zero-star, four-word review: “This film sucks more.”
  • This review of Disaster Movie. “Contender for most apt movie title ever.”
  • This wiki's page on Jurassic Park isn't the only place that quotes Ian Malcolm's lines from the second movie to sum up the whole franchise:
    Oooh, ahhh. That's how it always starts. Then later there's the running and the screaming.”
  • Doug Walker's Five Second Movies do something similar, such as summarizing The Matrix with Neo's “Woah.”
  • Happens a good deal on The Nostalgia Critic.
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    • In a series of DVD-exclusive reviews, he reviews a series of films by “The Nostalgia Cricket” (not realizing that it's actually himself). At the end of the last review, he says, “And that was To Boldly Flee. And what a shock, it made me want to boldly flee.”
    • In his review of The Master of Disguise, he points out how the lead character's girlfriend breaking up with him because "the silly voices and funny faces were only funny for a few seconds" pretty much sums up the movie.
    • Let's just say he gets a lot of mileage out of the clip where Tom and Jerry beat their heads against a wall in the Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory review.
  • If we consider The Wizard as an ad for Nintendo products, The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the Power Glove counts.
    “It's so bad.”
  • Another disastrous motion controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Brøderbund Software's U-Force, was supposed to work by using infrared sensors to track the players hand movements. It had the slogan “Don't Touch,” which sites such as Kotaku considered rather good advice.
  • The Time Magazine review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince noted the book's parallels to the series' second installment and quotes the character Hagrid saying “Chamber o' Secrets all over again, isn't it?”. British newspaper The Independent reviewed it in its media section with attention drawn to Hermione remarking "Then all of that was a complete waste of time!"
  • The Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide has a bit of fun when characters say things like “There is no plot!”, “We must act!”, and “I can't stand the confusion in my mind!”
  • Roger Ebert, as seen in the above quote, and also from his review of The Last Airbender found here: “I close with the hope that the title proves prophetic.”
    • Dear God is the kind of movie where you walk out repeating the title.”
    • “All I want for Christmas is to never see All I Want for Christmas again.”
    • “Oh no, not You Again.”
    • Ebert remarked that he walked out of The Lonely Lady saying the same “brilliant dialogue” that Pia Zadora's character writes for the star of her husband's movie to cry while kneeling beside an open grave: “Why? Why!!!”
    • “I know this all sounds so stupid and offensive and unbelievably amateurish that it's hard to believe, but … Why Would I Lie?”
  • Spill
    • The review of Sucker Punch: "You know what? Take the 'Punch' out of it, just 'Sucker', alright?" — said Korey Coleman.
    • Beastly review:
      Co-Host 3000: I will give the movie credit though: You are given a fair warning at the very beginning, where you see one of the fucking err … fugly Olsen twin—
      Leon: Olsen twin?
      Co-Host 3000: —addresses the screen and addresses the audiences by tell[ing] them "Get ready to embrace the suck."
      (Spill crew's laughter)
      Co-Host 3000: Wow, you really embrace it.
      Leon: That-that is ballsy for a movie to look you in the eyes and tell you "Embrace the suck".
      Korey: By the way, none of us embrace this, okay? It was forced upon us.
      Cyrus: However, we acknowledge that it did in fact, suck.
    • Cop Out review: "I mean, just think about — Okay, the name of this movie is 'Cop Out', and this … that name alone has so much more hidden meanings into it than we'll ever know because Holy Jesus! I cannot believe what I suffered through tonight." said Co-Host 3000.
    • The Cabin in the Woods review: "It gave me a cabin in the wood" — guest reviewer Brian Salisbury.
    • A Thousand Words review:
      Co-Host 3000: Have we-Have we mentioned the title of this movie?
      Korey: A Thousand Words.
      Co-Host 3000: No, no. Actually, it's A Thousand Deaths of Eddie Murphy.
      (Korey's laughter)
      Co-Host 3000: 'Cause every goddamn frame is literally killing Eddie Murphy's career.
      Korey: Oh, I though you were gonna say "A Thousand Words Can't Describe How Bad This Movie Is."
  • Holy Moly's review of Just Go With It answers the title with "Don't go with it. You wouldn't like it".
  • New York Times review of Sucker Punch: "But there is nothing here to enjoy, beyond the tiny satisfaction in noting that the movie lives up to its name."
  • blu-ray.com's review of The Ugly Truth opens with:
    What an appropriate title — with an emphasis on the "ugly"
  • Dread Central resident Scott Foy's review of Lake Dead:
    Foy: Just how bad is Lake Dead? There's a scene about an hour in when one of the girls in the movie freaks out over their situation and starts yelling, "This is so bad! This is awful!" Sitting in the theater I felt like that scene in The Terminator when the building super knocks on the door to ask The Terminator if everything is okay in there and multiple response choices began scrolling across the machine's field of sight. In this case, my options were: "No kidding!", "You're telling me?", "Ain't that the truth!", "Tell me something I don't know!", "Preach on, sister!", "Oh, so it's a self-reviewing movie?" The one the Terminator selected, "Fuck you, asshole!" might have fit here as well, if only out of sheer spite.
  • Occasionally used by The Agony Booth, for example (in the Zardoz recap):
    Frayn, apparently watching this movie, yells out, "A bore!" He then repeats, "How pointless!" a couple of times as he falls out of the mouth to his death. So, I guess he knows how the movie will end.
  • Given the overall warm reception the game Awesomenauts has received, several reviews have noted that its title is, for the most part, well-earned.
  • At least five critics used the title acronym of House at the End of the Street (spelled as "HATES") to describe how they feel about the movie.
  • Negative reviews of 300 had a lot of fun with the line "You will not enjoy this". It helps that it was actually plastered over some of the movie's posters.
  • The movie Twister coined the term "the Suck Zone" to describe the point where a tornado lifts you into the air. Many reviewers found other creative uses for the term. At least the production team was smart enough not to go with their original idea for the tagline: "It Sucks."note 
  • The Disaster trailer of SimCity (2013) featured the line "complete and utter disaster". Gamespot picked it up to close their video review of the game.
  • A DLC for Omerta: City of Gangsters, titled The Con Artist, has collected very unenthusiastic reviews from the customers, some of which point out how fitting the title is for a DLC that offers so little content for such a high price.
  • At the end of Jack and Jill, Al Pacino is being shown the incredibly cheesy Dunkin' Donuts commercial for which Jack hired him to perform. He tells Jack, "Burn this. This must never be seen… by anyone. All copies … destroy them." Cue several reviewers "wondering" if he was actually referring to the movie itself.
  • Variation in Todd in the Shadows and The Rap Critic's take on "Accidental Racist", when Todd described it as being "extremely accidentally racist".
  • The Hobbit:
    • Many reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey picked up on Gandalf's line in response to being called out on telling a tall tale in the film “Well, all good stories deserve embellishment” that may or may not have been intended as a Take That, Critics! by Peter Jackson and certainly seems to embody Jackson's adaptational approach for better or worse.
    • The next film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, ends with Bilbo watching in horror as Smaug flies off to lay waste to Laketown, and whispers "What have we done?" When Honest Trailers criticised the movie as an excess of padding, they played that clip of Bilbo and followed it up by asking forlornly "What indeed, Bilbo?"
  • This review of Anaconda from a blog reassessing movie reviews by Roger Ebert hated it a lot more than Ebert (who thought it was So Bad, It's Good at best himself). Near the end the reviewer notes Jennifer Lopez's character, commenting on the In-Universe documentary they are shooting, "This film was supposed to be my big break, it's turned out to be a big disaster", and says he loves truth in movies.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 likes to use this occasionally.
    • When they watch Pod People, Joel and the bots are very critical of its misuse of the Hyperlink Story structure. Then, midway through the movie, there's a scene where Tommy tries to show his alien friend how to assemble a jigsaw puzzle: "See? The pieces fit together!" Tom Servo quickly replies, "If only the movie were so lucky."
    • Midway through Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, Aram Fingal (trapped inside a computer simulation) is reenacting a usual day of his life. "This is so boring! I can't take it anymore!" he declares. Mike and the 'bots, watching the movie, wonder aloud, "Which one of us said that?"
    • At the end of Timechasers, the protagonist decides his time machine is too dangerous, so he dismantles it and deletes all the associated computer code. When the computer prompts "DELETE ALL COPIES? Y/N", Mike responds, "Delete copies of film? Yes. Delete memory of film from mankind’s consciousness? Yes."
    • In Space Mutiny, one of the first things David Ryder does is flee from his damaged spacecraft after a crash landing, shouting "It's gonna blow!" Tom Servo quips "If the first ten minutes are any indication, this movie is gonna blow!"
  • Leonard Maltin earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for shortest movie review for his criticism of 1948's Isn't It Romantic? Maltin's review read, in its entirety: “No.”
  • In The Room, when Claudette walks in on two of Lisa's friends having sex, she exclaims, "What are these characters doing here?!" Both Obscurus Lupa and The Nostalgia Critic have pretty much the same question in their reviews, given that the scene in question adds nothing to the plot, and the characters in it are totally irrelevant.
  • When this contestant on America's Got Talent chose to audition with the song "You're No Good," Piers Morgan remarked, "I don't think I've ever seen a singer choose a more appropriate song to sing. What was the lyric again? 'You're no good, you're no good, you're no good, you're no good!'"
  • The snarkier judges on the various Idol series love trotting these out:
    • On American Idol, after performing a lackluster performance of "Never Can Say Goodbye" by The Jackson Five, contestant Jorge Nunez said he wasn't going to sing "Bad" by Michael Jackson. Simon Cowell responded, "You kind of did."
    • In the first season (before the show really took off), a would-be contestant sang "American Pie."
      Contestant: The day the music died...
      Simon: It just did.
    • An episode of Australian Idol had an auditioner singing Kasey Chambers' "Not Pretty Enough". Ian Dickson (Simon's counterpart at the time) responded with "You're not pretty enough, you're not cheerful enough, and you've got no talent."
  • In Bring on the Girls! by P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton, the authors reflect on the unfortunate title chosen for the one Princess musical they refused to write, Go to It:
    Offer a dramatic critic something called Go to It, and he is immediately struck by the happy thought of saying that it should have been called Don't Go to It, for these dramatic critics are as quick as lightning.
  • Not Since Carrie, on the 1970 musical flop Gantry:
    When the audience arrived at Gantry, it was greeted with a show curtain painted to resemble the side of a worn revival tent. It bore the inscription "Where Will YOU Spend Eternity?"—the answer turned out to be, at Gantry.
  • The website Know Your Meme allows users to comment on research articles detailing the various internet memes circulating "teh interwebz." The website is pretty heavy on Self-Demonstrating Articles, especially made by those users in question, but whenever articles come along that people don't like or that are too forced, they will use these reviews to mock the one who attempted to make it. For instance …
  • Zero Punctuation:
    • Discussed in the review of Remember Me, when Yahtzee quips that you shouldn't give your game a name that game journalists can twist into snarky headlines.
      Yahtzee: "Remember Me? Kinda forgettable!" Arf-arf!
    • He also commented that it was almost a shame that Painkiller was awesome because otherwise, he could quip "Painkiller: you'll certainly need one!"
  • The description for the Metroid: Other M Retsupurae: "I'm gonna teach you a lesson about subtlety!" and other ironic quotes from Metroid: Other M.
  • In Observe and Report one character says "I thought this was going to be funny, but it's actually kind of sad", which is a perfect summary of the film itself according to at least one review.
  • Platypus Comix:
    • The review of the bizarre 1990 TV special Happy Birthday Bugs: 50 Looney Years:
      [We see] various clips from imaginary episodes of early 90’s talk shows that took the subject of Bugs Bunny. […] Daffy is viewing this stuff on his TV and mutters to himself, “This is ridiculous!” He read our minds.
    • Their review of The Nuttiest Nutcracker (under The Island of Misfit Christmas Specials opens with a variation.
      Is it indeed the nuttiest Nutcracker? All I know is it wasn’t nutty enough.
    • Not a review, but this article briefly touched upon a children's book entitled I Don’t Think I’m Going to Like This.
      I just think it's a bit of a psychological mistake to title your book "I don't think I'm going to like this." It doesn't advertise well stored on its spine.
  • Viewers of Fantastic Four (2015) have latched onto the line "We gave you six years and millions of dollars, and you gave us nothing" — a perfect summation of the film's notoriously Troubled Production and poor critical and commercial reception.
  • Reviewing the Martin Lawrence comedy What's the Worst That Could Happen?, several critics answered, “This movie.” One of the better one-sentence reviews simply read: "Everything else is sold out and the tickets are non-refundable."
  • Mark Kermode found that the title of Criminal perfectly described the quality of the film.
  • Several reviewers of X-Men: Apocalypse who disliked it zeroed in on its scene wherein Cyclops, Jean, Jubilee, and Nightcrawler go to a theater playing Return of the Jedi. After leaving, they bicker over whether the original or The Empire Strikes Back was the best Star Wars movie, but come out agreeing, “The third movie is always the worst.” Many real-life critics noted it could describe either X-Men: The Last Stand or Apocalypse, both of which were the third movies in their respective trilogies and were the worst-reviewed.
  • In Power Rangers Megaforce, Vrak Handwaved something away with "It's far too complex for you to understand"; and Gosei did the same in the next season by saying "There's a simple explanation for that..." before being cut off. In his History of Power Rangers series, Linkara would sarcastically repeat the clips whenever their respective seasons attempted other gratuitous Handwaves.
  • The title of The Disappointments Room has been quite apt in summing up the film’s critical reception (this review even opens with the statement “Despite Kate Beckinsale’s game efforts, D.J. Caruso’s thriller proves altogether worthy of its title.”) and its box-office performance. Quite a few people have pointed out that the movie having this as its title and being bad was positively begging to be made fun of.
  • Is it any wonder that after Paycheck was critically panned, many reviewers were mocking the title for being the likely reason that Ben Affleck signed on to it?
  • Some of the more negative professional reviews of My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) noted that they found themselves empathizing with the Storm King when he complains about the overwhelming cuteness. From Hollywood Reporter: "Summing it all up is [Liev] Schreiber’s Storm King, who at one point late in the proceedings moans, "I'm so totally over the cute pony thing!" Pretty much." And Slant: "When late in the film, the Storm King complains, "I'm so over the cute pony thing," it's hard not to agree with him."
  • When Dirty Dancing was remade as an ABC TV movie, several reviews remarked that the movie should be "put in a corner".
  • The Cinema Snob started his review of the movie Bummer! with the following quote:
    Snob: Oh hey, it's a movie called Bummer!. I haven't been this excited about sitting through a movie since that time I watched Disappointment.
    • He also lampshaded the quote in his review of Jason X, saying that every negative review took the bait of using that quote in this fashion.
  • Even some broadly positive reviews of Muppets Most Wanted couldn't resist quoting the bit in "We're Doing a Sequel" where they acknowledge "And everybody knows that the sequel's never quite as good!"
  • For Star Trek: Nemesis, some snarky reviewers zeroed in on Riker's line "Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse". Indeed, it's widely considered to be either the first or second-poorly received Star Trek film featuring the Next Gen cast, competing for the title with its predecessor Star Trek: Insurrection.
  • Rotten Tomatoes loves to trot these out for the "critics' consensus" summary of the film reviews recorded for the poorly-received films stored in its database:
    • The critics' consensus for Look Who's Talking Now reads: "Look Who's Talking Now: Look away."
    • The critics' consensus for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen begins with "Just ordinary."
    • “The Nightmare on Elm Street remake lives up to its title in the worst possible way.”
    • The critics' consensus on Free Birds is "begs unfortunate comparisons with the dim-witted fowl that inspired it."
    • The critics' consensus for the Duncan Jones film Mute (2018) states that "Mute is a would-be sci-fi epic whose title serves as an unfortunate guide to how it might be best enjoyed".
    • The critics' consensus for God's Not Dead 2 mocks the film as being "every bit the proselytizing lecture promised by its title".
    • The critics' consensus for The Snowman (2017) says that the film "feels as mashed together and perishable as its title".
    • A comparatively mild case occurred with The Magnificent Seven (2016); the critics' consensus states: "The Magnificent Seven never really lives up to the superlative in its title — or the classics from which it draws inspiration — but remains a moderately diverting action thriller on its own merits."
    • The Emoji Movie has a poop emoji (voiced by Patrick Stewart) as a character. Many critics have used said emoji to sum up the film's quality, Rotten Tomatoes also uses the no-entry emoji (🚫) as the critical consensus, and one review even mocks the film as "a big pile of Patrick Stewart".
    • Several of the many negative reviews of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back said the film “should have taken its own advice,” and Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus adds that its “title also serves as a warning.”
    • The critics' consensus for Mile 22 runs as follows: "Mile 22 lets the bullets fly — and not much else — in a thrill-deficient action thriller whose title proves sadly fitting for a film that feels close to a marathon endurance test." For added irony, the percentage of fresh reviews was also at 22% at one point (it is currently at 23%).
    • The critics' consensus for Venom (2018) has a variation: "Venom's first standalone movie turns out to be like the comics character in all the wrong ways - chaotic, noisy, and in desperate need of a stronger attachment to Spider-Man."
    • A positive example; the critics' consensus for Mission: Impossible – Fallout states that the film "lives up to the "impossible" part of its name by setting yet another high mark for insane set pieces in a franchise full of them."
    • Another positive example; Pet Sematary (2019) was advertised with the tagline "Sometimes dead is better.", while the critics' consensus at one point read "Sometimes remade is better.".
    • Another mild case occurred with Captive State; the critics' consensus reads: "This sci-fi thriller may not necessarily leave viewers in a Captive State, but it offers reasonably diverting alien invasion action with ambitious political undertones."
  • Rolling Stone magazine's infamous two-word review of Quiet Riot's Condition Critical album.
    "Condition Terminal."
  • Musician Magazine's review of Talk by Yes was summarized simply with: "Shut up."
  • Ty Burr's review of Zoom: Academy for Superheroes gives us this gem:
    Exclaims Allen at one point, "I’m being asked to betray kids for money," and, by God, he’s right.
  • Some people who didn't like Love Never Dies (the contentious sequel to The Phantom of the Opera) created a Facebook community called "Love Should Die".
  • In forums talking about TV Tropes, some people who didn't like how popular the site became or what changes were made to it over the years love using It's Popular, Now It Sucks! or They Changed It, Now It Sucks! to describe the sentiment.
  • The Dogasu's Backpack review of the Pokémon episode "Solid as a Solrock" opened with a quote from the dub that sums up a lot of people's feelings on the battle and its infamous Deus ex Machina ending: "I can't believe that worked!"
  • The original edition of The Rolling Stone Record Guide had a few gems:
    • All three albums by early 1970s jazz rock band Chase received zero stars, and their entire output was summed up in a single word: "Flee."
    • Southern rock band Baby's 1976 album Where Did All the Money Go? received a single sentence review: "Not here, that's for sure."
  • Alexander Woolcott's review of the Broadway show Wham! simply read "Ouch!" It was listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the shortest theatrical review ever written.note 
  • For his review of the 1948 musical You Were Meant for Me, James Agee wrote the single sentence "That's what you think."
  • A Running Gag in The Mysterious Mr. Enter's review of the Family Guy episode "Fresh Heir" is describing the writers of the episode with a scene of Chris and Carter giggling to themselves while the latter sticks his finger into the former's arm fold to simulate penetrating a woman's privates.
    Carter: We're not supposed to be doing this. I bet we're supposed to be doing this.
  • At one point in the "Big Green Dub" version of Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound, Vegeta turns off a TV and says "not worth watching". At least one person used this moment to sum up the Big Green Dub as a whole.
  • Brandon's Cult Movie Reviews: Once an Episode on his "Canuxploitation-a-thon" monthly projects (which have showcased some of the flat-out dumbest fully-Canadian B-Movie productions), Brandon has done a Face Palm and an annoyed "oh, Canada!".
  • In Yor: The Hunter from the Future, Pak says "we will need a lot more hemp before we're through" while working on a boat. Spoony used this line as a response to numerous weird and/or stupid events, implying that the best way to enjoy the movie is to Watch It Stoned.
  • Netflix released a horror Anthology Film entitled — in what was surely a case of Tempting FateDon't Watch This. Naturally, many critics simply couldn't help themselves.
  • Pitbull's song for Aquaman (2018), "Ocean To Ocean", which ended up as one of the most disliked videos on YouTube within 24 hours of its upload, opens with the line "They tried to get rid of me.". Quite a few commenters were quick to mock that line with statements along the lines of "We can see why.".
  • Rolling Stone's review of Holmes & Watson ends with the following:
    At one point in Holmes & Watson, a character goes undercover as a manure salesman and begins screaming, “Horseshit for sale! Will anyone buy my horse’s shit?” It’s the one genuinely honest, self-aware moment in the movie.
    • The Razzies took note of this, and used the above quote when giving John C. Reilly the Razzie for "Worst Supporting Actor".
  • Fallout 76's advertising prominently featured the song "Country Roads", which begins with the line "Almost heaven, West Virginia." When the game launched to less than stellar reception, PCWorld could only describe the game as "Almost hell, West Virginia.
  • One Australian film critic noted the danger of giving a film a title that suggests underperformance, as the titles often become self-fulfilling prophecies. He singled out Failure to Launch and Under The Radar as examples.
  • A critical 1920 New York Times review of the play The Blue Flame highlights the line "I'm going to be so bad, I'll be remembered always" and mentions that "it would be ever so easy to write the review around that line."

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