If we have Roger Ebert's list of great movies, we might as well also have his list of most-hated films. All of these films have a maximum rating of 1.5 stars on his website (except for Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which got two stars but still made the list); films that managed to offend Ebert enough to get a zero-star rating from him have those films' star rating replaced with a Thumbs Down icon (he awarded that to terrible movies that were also personally offensive to him in some form).
- 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."note
"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. Many years ago, when surrealism was new, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí made Un Chien Andalou, a film so shocking that Bunuel filled his pockets with stones to throw at the audience if it attacked him. [Tom] Green, whose film is in the surrealist tradition, may want to consider the same tactic. 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.note
- 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, Id 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."
- 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."
- 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." note
"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 nineteen 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 reviewnote
- 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! I mean, a movie like this is a crime because what it does is it robs life from people by requiring them to spend two hours having such a terrible experience happen to them. ... Go stand in the lobby and talk!" 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.
- 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."
- 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." Chicago Sun-Times review"I wanted to escape from this movie! I didn't care if the asteroid hit the Earth or not; I was afraid the movie was gonna hit me. And you know, it's cut so quickly, that there's no, uh, stretch of action that makes any sense or is comprehensible in any way. This movie, the entire movie, is cut together like a "Coming Attractions" trailer. And, uh, it was aggressive, and it was assaulting, and it was too noisy, and I liked The Rock; I gave The Rock Thumbs Up, but, this film, to me, doesn't have any kind of an arc or any kind of dramatic interest, and when it stops for drama, like when they're all saying goodbye to each other, before, you know, like, seconds are ticking down! If they don't get that bomb ready in another 20 seconds, the Earth ends, and they're saying goodbye to each other on television. I couldn't understand that!" Siskel & Ebert reviewnote
- 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 and 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 Canadians are 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 reviewnote
- 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. ... There's just no joy in Battlefield Earth. This movie is not fun. I think, although I am not sure, that the movie thinks the extreme stupidity of Terl is amusing. I mean, here's one of the leaders of a conquering race and he doesn't even know what kind of food humans eat. Travolta is a charming actor, but not here, not as Terl, hiding behind a sneer, a lot of hair, and those weird nose tubes. ... just everything looks like it has a fungus growing on it." Ebert & Roeper review. note
"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."
- Catwoman (2004)
"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 three 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. I was just amazed that they took a potentially interesting character like Catwoman and did so little with it! This movie is truly bad!" Ebert & Roeper review.note
"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."note
"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."
- Dune (1984)
"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 wont.''
- 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?" Chicago Sun-Times review"You know, there is one area, though, Gene [Siskel], where this movie breaks important new ground, and this is something that movie trivia experts are going to.... Yes, I am, I'm going to be funny. This is the first horror movie in which a chainsaw is used against a tree!" Siskel & Ebert review
- 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
"This movie has no plot in a conventional sense. It is simply a series of ugly and bloody episodes strung together one after another like a demo tape by a perverted special-effects man. There is nothing the heroines can do to understand or change their plight and no way we can get involved in their story. That makes Hellbound: Hellraiser II an ideal movie for audiences with little taste and atrophied attention spans who want to glance at the screen occasionally and ascertain that something is still happening up there. If you fit that description, you have probably not read this far, but what the heck, we believe in full-service reviews around here. You're welcome." 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, Hellraiser. Actually, though, it plays more like a Compact Disc than it does like a movie, especially if you have one of those CDs that you can program in any order. I love the names of the characters in this movie, by the way. They're named Kirsty and Tiffany. I love them because this is another one of those movies where they say the names WAY too often, over and over again. "Kirsty. Tiffany. Tiffany! Kirsty! Kirsttttttyyy!!! Tiffanyyyyyyyy!!!!" Over and over! Just until the audience is almost tempted to start shouting "Tiffany!" and "Kirsty!" back at the screen if only to break the monotony. Or to continue the monotony." 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 called Resident Evil: Apocalypse and it's a sequel to one of the worst movies of 2002. This one recycles the same material into one of the worst movies of 2004. 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."note
- 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."
- 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."
- Friends (1971)
"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. At this moment in our history, locked in the longest and one of the most controversial wars we have ever fought, what we certainly do not need is a movie depicting Vietnam in terms of cowboys and Indians. That is cruel and dishonest and unworthy of the thousands who have died there."
- 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. As a critic, I have never condemned the use of violence in films if I felt the filmmakers had an artistic reason for employing it. "I Spit on Your Grave" does not. It is a geek show. I wonder if its exhibitors saw it before they decided to play it, and if they felt as unclean afterward as I did."
- 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 club ground. The Skulls goes so far over the top that this movie may have 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."