101 Movies to avoid watching before you die.

by Harry on June 2, 2008

This should be Kieran’s thread really, since he came up with the concept. But, having made that acknowledgment, I’ll jump in. His first nomination is the truly awful Chasing Amy: I watched 15 minutes before deciding that there was a perfectly good toilet to clean in the other room. henry (not the famous one) proposes You’ve Got Mail, which sounds plausible. But my nomination is more serious: The House of Sand and Fog. I rarely dislike a movie enough to warn people against it, but this is one of the worst, and most unpleasant, movies I’ve watched. (I see that someone has vandalised the wikipedia entry on this one, saying, hilariously, that it and some of its actors were nominated for awards!)

The premise is implausible. A woman has her house taken from her, by mistake, for failure to pay a business tax that she did not genuinely owe. She had 8 months to correct the mistake and did nothing. Now, the only possible explanation in the circumstances is that she was severely depressed. Whatever plausibility that explanation has is undermined by the fact that, on screen, the actress has no sign at all of being, or ever having been, depressed. She seems bratty, to be sure, but not ill. Now, an exiled Iranian general purchases the house at a steal at an auction from the County. He is, unfortunately, played by Ben Kingsley, who seems to be the only actor in the movie who can act, thus unwittingly preventing it from being hilarious (up to the point at which it turns gratuitously nasty). He is also, understandably given his own circumstances, unwilling to give up the house and the bounty that it represents, so a battle of wills ensues, in which Jennifer Connelly is assisted by the most wooden actor I’ve ever seen in a big movie (he makes Arnold, on a bad day, look like Olivier by comparison—Dolph Lundgren territory), a rogue cop who leaves his happy family for a depressed alcoholic (Connelly) – that part of the story seeming plausible only because Connelly is manifestly not a depressed alcoholic, but looks healthy, happy, and well-made up every time she appears onscreen.

Why did I watch to the end? Well, the box promised a surprising ending, and the only morally acceptable ending seemed to me to be one in which the general kept the house and Jennifer Connelly and her beau descended into the pits of daytime TV. Below the fold is a short spoiler that will save you from wasting your time:

Connelly tries to commit suicide with a gun just outside the house (she can’t even manage that), and Kingsley saves her, and tries to nurse her to health with his wife. She tries again, this time with pills in the bath, and while they are dragging her around, the cop comes back with a gun, and locks them in the bathroom. Next day he takes Kingsley and his son to the courthouse so they can get $45,000 for the house and give it to Connelly and cop to start their new life together. Kingsley breaks free of the cop, his son picks up the gun, and another cop kills him (the son). Kingsley goes home, poisons his wife and suffocates himself. Cop goes to jail, Connelly survives, seemingly unscathed. The end. Badly acted, poorly written, gratuitously unpleasant. Don’t bother.

{ 935 comments }

1

Kathryn 06.02.08 at 6:18 pm

One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen: The Lake House.

It makes no sense and has both Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.

Ugh.

2

The Modesto Kid 06.02.08 at 6:19 pm

I was really surprised at what a bad movie House of Sand and Fog turned out to be — I loved the book and it seemed like it had potential to work really well as a movie. I liked Kingsley’s acting a lot though.

(Somewhat relatedly: I read Blindness this winter and was blown away by it, as how could anybody not be, and was excited when I heard the movie was being produced — as I was reading the book, I was imagining it as a movie, as a really good movie. But the review I read of them movie screened at Cannes makes it sound just awful.)

3

Hidari 06.02.08 at 6:23 pm

I know it’s an oldie, and it’s a long time since I’ve seen it, but ‘Going Places (French: Les Valseuses)’ by Bertrand Blier sticks in my mind as a truly reprehensible, vicious, heartless awful movie.

In terms of Hollywood, ‘Contact’ was pretty bad. As the guy says in South Park: ‘I wait two hours for the alien and it’s her goddammned father!’.

Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes also deserves some kind of award for simple relentless incomprehensibility, including a twist ending that negates the rest of the movie and can only be explained if the cocaine which drives LA is now regularly cut with angel dust.

‘Signs’ is terrible too. Mind you it has Mel Gibson in it, so you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.

4

Robin 06.02.08 at 6:25 pm

Crash, both of them Paul Haggis’ and David Cronenberg’s, are to be avoided, especially back to back.

5

The Modesto Kid 06.02.08 at 6:29 pm

Crash

This is a bad movie. I don’t know anything about a movie of that title by David Cronenberg but the other one is a bad movie.

6

hypatia cade 06.02.08 at 6:35 pm

About a bunch of Irish people who die. My family called it “The horse movie” because it opens with a dead horse floating in the ocean and each time someone dies they pan up past the horse to the dead people floating in the ocean. It is the standard against which all bad movies are compared in my household.

As in “Is it as bad as the horse movie?”

7

rm 06.02.08 at 6:43 pm

There was the thriller with what’s-her-name, Rebecca De Mornay IMDB tells me, where she was a nanny who wants to murder the wife and take over the family, and then there was the thriller where she’s a lawyer whose client is guilty and tries to kill her. IMDB tells me the names of these two movies, which must never be watched again, are “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and “Guilty as Sin.” The second one is especially pointless as the entire plot is that her client is a bad guy, he tries to kill her, and she ends up having to kill him, and isn’t that just what life is. The first one gets extra points for misogyny.

8

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 6:47 pm

Sorry, Hidari, but I disagree: Signs is actually damn good. Yes, an alien invasion is way too large a plot device to effectively use as a simple McGuffin for the film’s actual story, with the probably to-be-expected result that the aliens and their invasion plans were ultimately cartoonish and lazily conceived. And Shyamalan’s insertion of himself into the movie was too much, clearly. Still, the family drama works on multiple levels, with the result that the movie’s tension is genuinely earned. Feel free the trash Shyamalan’s subsequent films, but I maintain that Signs stands as one of those Last-Decent-Film-Before-The-Director-Lost-His-Talent movies. (See Rob Reiner’s <A Few Good Men for another example.)

Now, if we’re talking about truly atrocious movies that one must avoid seeing at all costs, the answer is pretty simple: Superman III. The only movie that I have ever, after actually having paid the price of admission, walked out on.

9

Bill Gardner 06.02.08 at 6:48 pm

My Dinner with Andre. If you liked it, let’s be sure we never are seated next to each other on a trans-oceanic flight. We’ll both be happier that way.

10

magistra 06.02.08 at 6:49 pm

Don’t see any recent serious movie set in Western Europe before the sixteenth century. They will get the Middle Ages totally wrong, they will get classical Greek or Rome wrong, and not in a so-bad-it’s funny-way, but in a ‘why are they such idiots way?’ I talked once to someone whose house had been used on the set for ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’. The film-makers had brought mistletoe in from France, but they couldn’t work out the difference between a Saracen and an African-American. They are that stupid, they all are (except for the Pythons).

11

Bruce Baugh 06.02.08 at 6:50 pm

Focusing here on movies I see generally discussed as good, as opposed to the insight that a particular bit of trash actually is trash…

The Magnificent Ambersons. So this guy, he’s a jerk, and he goes around being a jerk, and everyone around him suffers, and finally he gets his comeuppance. It’s like watching a teleplay of some random blogger’s life.

12

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 6:50 pm

Ok, I screwed up the html there pretty badly. Let’s try again:

“(See Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men for another example.)”

And, of course, Superman III is still the nadir of modern crap moviemaking.

13

Milo 06.02.08 at 6:52 pm

What’s wrong with My Dinner with Andre?

14

Righteous Bubba 06.02.08 at 6:55 pm

Nobody’s mentioned the most recent spate of Star Wars movies? Or maybe any Star Wars movie that is not Star Wars?

15

F 06.02.08 at 7:07 pm

Marie Antoinette

Demolition Man

16

Dan Kervick 06.02.08 at 7:13 pm

My Dinner with Andre. If you liked it, let’s be sure we never are seated next to each other on a trans-oceanic flight. We’ll both be happier that way.

I did like it. But partly that’s because I had a friend who actually attended the strange actor’s camp-in-the-woods in Poland with Jerzy Grotowski that Andre Gregory talks about in the film.

17

Righteous Bubba 06.02.08 at 7:14 pm

Moulin Rouge!

18

Rob 06.02.08 at 7:17 pm

The new Indiana Jones, which is actually worse than the MacGyver film that it rips off, because Brian Blessed doesn’t appear in it.

19

Kieran 06.02.08 at 7:17 pm

Boxing Helena.

20

shpx.ohfu 06.02.08 at 7:19 pm

Junebug billed as a “wise, bittersweet … comedy,” in reality none of the above. Just awful, leaving out the grotesque misrepresentations on the dvd jacket.

21

Righteous Bubba 06.02.08 at 7:22 pm

Boxing Helena.

There should be a special category for “it was just a crazy dream” movies. Or the “magical way out” movies, like Wild at Heart.

22

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 7:22 pm

I had a friend who actually attended the strange actor’s camp-in-the-woods in Poland with Jerzy Grotowski that Andre Gregory talks about in the film.

I haven’t watched that movie in so long…was that the scene when Andre is talking about some monster emerging from the woods? Weird, great movie. (The thing that makes it for me is the waiter, whom I seem to recall reading somewhere was played by a prestigious Eastern European actor whose name I don’t remember. They way the camera would keep cutting to him, staring at Andre and Wallace Shawn as they talked…it was unnerving. Like having Banquo’s Ghost watching your meal.)

23

Cryptic Ned 06.02.08 at 7:23 pm

Powder.

Don’t see any recent serious movie set in Western Europe before the sixteenth century. They will get the Middle Ages totally wrong, they will get classical Greek or Rome wrong, and not in a so-bad-it’s funny-way, but in a ‘why are they such idiots way?’ I talked once to someone whose house had been used on the set for ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’. The film-makers had brought mistletoe in from France, but they couldn’t work out the difference between a Saracen and an African-American. They are that stupid, they all are (except for the Pythons).

Thanks, but I think I’ll still be able to enjoy movies that are set in the past, as long as I don’t A) become an expert on the particular time period of the movie, and B) devote most of my attention to looking for signs of accuracy or inaccuracy.

24

Maurice Meilleur 06.02.08 at 7:24 pm

Hard to beat Superman III. But as for recent films:

The Golden Compass, for being the worst insult against the book on which it’s based. I managed as far as when the Gyptians show up to rescue Lyra from the Gobblers before I started screaming. Never begrudge an author the right to make money from writing, but for God’s sake I hope Philip Pullman donated his cut to Amnesty International or something.

–Any Lars von Trier film, on principle. I couldn’t get a half-hour into either Breaking the Waves or Dancer in the Dark; I just couldn’t watch him keep shoving Emily Watson and Björk into his cinematic meat grinder.

Gigli. ‘My eyes! The goggles do nothing!’

25

Robin 06.02.08 at 7:25 pm

The sheer deeply misogynistic offensiveness of Boxing Helena, what I saw of it, made it hard for me to judge aesthetically.

26

Neel Krishnaswami 06.02.08 at 7:28 pm

‘Signs’ is terrible too. Mind you it has Mel Gibson in it, so you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.

I enjoyed it, but that’s because I have a soft spots for movies with an accidentally mal-theistic cosmology.

27

anthony 06.02.08 at 7:30 pm

Let’s never have Signs and “damn good” voiced in such close proximity, ever again. Even after having had the inane surprise ending spoiled for me some two years earlier, I was so taken aback by how dumb it was I spent the next week complaining about the two hours I wasted on that mind trash.

28

jlr 06.02.08 at 7:31 pm

Thanks, but I think I’ll still be able to enjoy movies that are set in the past, as long as I don’t A) become an expert on the particular time period of the movie, and B) devote most of my attention to looking for signs of accuracy or inaccuracy.

Likewise, almost any movie involving hacking, except maybe Sneakers is ruined if you’re a computer programmer.

29

arthur 06.02.08 at 7:41 pm

Eyese Wide Shuty, in which everyone involved seems o have forgotten that a nineteenth century novella can’t be set in 2000 without a few adjustments. So the contemporary New York City doctor seems unacquainted with the possibility that women might have sex for pleasure.

Later, when the doctor’s elderly patient dies, someone calls him at his home after hours, and he immediately heads over to the patient’s home, since that’s what doctors always do when their patients die. The corpse has been dressed in a suit and laid out for viewing on the family couch, naturally. That the doctor and some floozy have sex in front of the corpse is the least implausible aspect of the vignette.

Also, the writers can’t write dialogue, and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman cannot act. For nonactors, they are surprisingly incapable of expressing the slightest bit of affection towards each other, even though at the time of filming had been married in real life for several years.

30

Scott Spiegelberg 06.02.08 at 7:45 pm

My priest showed House of Sand and Fog as part of a film series to discuss the place of God in our lives. This movie was meant to show how all of the characters had opportunities to listen to each other, and to let God work through them, but never did. I disagree with the criticism of Jennifer Connelly’s acting. While she may have looked too nice (it is Hollywood, after all), her behaviors did seem plausibly depressive to me. And the cop was very disfunctional himself, desperate to help Connelly’s character but not listening to what kind of help she wanted. It isn’t a perfect movie, but it isn’t awful either.

I agree with Superman III, though. And I’d offer Julie Taynor’s Titus, a horribly brutal version of Titus Andronicus. The only movie I’ve rented that I refused to watch the second half.

31

Hidari 06.02.08 at 7:53 pm

‘Feel free the trash Shyamalan’s subsequent films…’

Oh I will don’t worry. Incidentally, I am fully prepared to agree, for the sake of argument, that Shyamalan’s films after Signs are even worse. The Sixth Sense was pretty good though, and I would even be prepared to ‘stand up’ for ‘Unbreakable’ if only on the grounds that it’s not as bad as ‘Signs’.

Incidentally, I thought I would just be the first person to mention ‘Titanic’. I’ve never seen it, but it’s the movie that people most want to warn you about. In a Kurtz-like ‘The horror…..the horror….’ kinda way.

I have also been warned off anything Woody Allen has done since he stopped making his movies in New York.

32

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 7:53 pm

Likewise, almost any movie involving hacking, except maybe Sneakers, is ruined if you’re a computer programmer.

I can remember, long ago, once asking some hacker friend of mine exactly what was impossible or unrealistic about War Games. He went on a rant which lasted for about 30 minutes. I felt, shall we say, rather foolish.

33

Hidari 06.02.08 at 7:54 pm

‘eXistenZ’.

Incidentally, I thought I would just be the first person to mention ‘Titanic’. I’ve never seen it, but it’s the movie that people most want to warn you about. In a Kurtz-like ‘The horror…..the horror….’ kinda way.

I have also been warned off anything Woody Allen has done since he stopped making his movies in New York.

34

Righteous Bubba 06.02.08 at 7:55 pm

I thought I would just be the first person to mention ‘Titanic’.

Could have been worse. The good part is that almost everyone dies.

35

Tomas 06.02.08 at 7:56 pm

The only movie I ever walked out of a cinema from was “Van Helsing”.

The scene that broke me was when Dracula had just lost one of his wives to Van Helsings semi-automatic holywater crossbow (!) and he awakens in an icecovered coffin. He then precedes to moan for 2 solid minuts in the worst eastern european accent about how awful he feels and how horrible everything is and when his two other poorly acting and heavily accented wives tell him to calm down he screams (while walking upside down for no obvious reason): “I harrrve no hearrrt, I feel nozhing!”.

WTFOMGBBQIWASLEFT!

36

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 8:05 pm

The Sixth Sense was pretty good though, and I would even be prepared to ‘stand up’ for ‘Unbreakable’ if only on the grounds that it’s not as bad as ‘Signs’.

I actually think that The Sixth Sense falls into the same “pretty damn good” category as Signs, where I think Unbreakable is one of the great films of the last 10 years or so. To each their own.

As for Woody Allen, the world lost an enormous talent when passed away sometime in the late 90s. Who that person making movies in London with his name is I have no idea.

37

roac 06.02.08 at 8:08 pm

Vanilla Sky.

38

DHN 06.02.08 at 8:19 pm

Sorry, # 8, 13 and 17, but you can’t put a sequel on the list. Sequels aren’t movies. Sequels are brand extensions.

I once was a movie reviewer for a daily newspaper, for about three years in the early 70s. A golden age, in retrospect, though most of it looked liked crap at the time. The only movie I walked out on during that period was Ryan’s Daughter. They literally couldn’t pay me to sit through it to the end.

39

Miriam 06.02.08 at 8:21 pm

The Secret Agent, featuring Robin Williams, of all people. The only time I have ever felt the urge to put scare quotes around the “motion” in “motion picture.”

40

Aulus Gellius 06.02.08 at 8:28 pm

Everyone should be sure to die before having to see Dogma. If I could, I’d be tempted to go back in time and kill myself before I had to see it. Its preachiness is surpassed only by its stupidity, every line is an insult to the viewer’s intelligence and sense of humor, and its oh-so-controversial attempts to shock are the tamest, most cowardly bullshit imaginable. The only movie of which I’ve ever read the evangelical review on capalert.com and thought, “yeah, that’s a good point.”

Also, #14 above is crazy: not only should you watch Demolition Man as many times as possible before dying, you should all that after you die, you may be transported to an eternal movie theater where it is playing non-stop. One of the most delightfully silly movies ever.

41

Dan Simon 06.02.08 at 8:29 pm

Likewise, almost any movie involving hacking, except maybe Sneakers is ruined if you’re a computer programmer.

If you know anything about cryptography, then “Sneakers”, too, is pretty unwatchable.

But the one film I’ve ever seen that actually made me feel angry at the filmmaker for having stolen my money was Jim Jarmusch’s first film, “Stranger than Paradise”. Numerous people I knew walked out of it hailing his arch minimalism, but I was convinced that he was laughing at me, personally, in every single frame he shot, for having been stupid enough to fork over the price of admission to see something that he’d obviously put so unbelievably little effort into making. Since then, I’ve resolutely refused to watch another Jim Jarmusch film ever, on the “fool me once” principle.

42

Aulus Gellius 06.02.08 at 8:29 pm

Damn it. Replace “all” with “pray” in the second-to-last sentence of 39.

43

rickm 06.02.08 at 8:32 pm

For me, Magnolia has to be one of the most frustrating movies I’ve ever seen. In addition to being long, its original and moving enough for 2 and a half hours to make the ending endlessly frustrating.

44

The Modesto Kid 06.02.08 at 8:35 pm

Here’s something: Life is Beautiful was a huge disappointment based on how great Benigni was in Johnny Stecchino.

45

The Modesto Kid 06.02.08 at 8:38 pm

Also: I saw The Man Without a Past a few months ago and found it beautiful. Then (just last night) I saw Lights in the Dusk and found it grindingly, sickeningly depressing. I prefer “beautiful” to “grindingly depressing” but perhaps that is just me.

46

Nick Valvo 06.02.08 at 8:38 pm

You’ve Got Mail is a perfectly brilliant romantic comedy that is actually about the AOL Time Warner merger, and the American corporate media landscape in general. This is, we recall, about a romance between a Barnes & Noble executive and the manager of an independent bookstore. In order to enjoy it, you need to interpret it in that way.

47

lemuel pitkin 06.02.08 at 8:49 pm

Larry Clark’s Kids. A perfect example of the combination of prudish condemnation of, and prurient fascination with, teenagers’ sex lives in the form of 90 minutes of vicious, vile slander on the city of New York.

48

christian h. 06.02.08 at 8:51 pm

Oliver Stone’s Alexander. Watched it thinking it would be mindless fun (and yes, I realize from the other comments that mindless fun is BAD…) – and it was incredibly booooooring.

Also, I’d say Battlefield Earth is a shoe-in.

49

W. Kiernan 06.02.08 at 8:59 pm

Star Wars. Any of them.

50

harry b 06.02.08 at 9:01 pm

Dan — I felt exactly the same way about another Jim Jarmusch movie which I can’t be bothered to look up the name of. BUT, brilliantly, just as I started getting ready to walk out, the film started burning up, and the projection room caught on fire.

aulus — Yes, I quit Dogma pretty early in the game. Awful.

miriam — I bet you anything you like that Good Morning Vietnam is even more awful. I haven’t seen either, on the principle that Robin Williams is unwatchable post-Mork and Mindy. But I just imagine that Good Morning Vietnam must be worse than any of the others.

51

nick 06.02.08 at 9:02 pm

I adore _Stranger than Paradise_, and feel that to associate it with arch superiority or contempt for its audience, as Dan Simon does, is a symptom of a benighted age: it’s a beautiful little movie which predates the internet and its ever-so-nuanced pseudosociological tendency to dismiss all art as hipster pretention….

52

Ben Alpers 06.02.08 at 9:03 pm

I totally agree on:

The Hand the Rocks the Cradle. Awful, awful movie that manages to play in probably the greatest variety of offensive, negative racial and gender stereotypes in a single Hollywood film since Birth of a Nation. This was actually the first movie I thought of when I read this post.

Signs Unintentionally maltheistic is right! God kills Mel Gibson’s wife and then nearly slaughters all of humanity in order to reinforce his faith in Him. Wouldn’t a burning bush have been easier?

Titanic Three hours of my life I’ll never have back.

On the other hand…

House of Sand and Fog is a bad movie that I’d warn people away from, but I just wouldn’t quite put it in this category.

And I actually liked My Dinner with André and eXistenZ.

Other films that would make my list:

Out of Africa With apologies to the late Sidney Pollack, this stinker is up there with Titanic in the list of utterly undeserving Oscar® winners. And while we’re on that category….

Dances with Wolves

Maxie A horrible, unfunny, and implausible comedy ghost story in which the generally awful Glen Close is possessed by the ghost of a flapper.

Autumn in New York Attempted tear jerker May-October romance that’s awful even by disease-of-the-week movie standards.

Godfather, Part III If only Sofia could act as well as she can direct!

The Natural This was always infuriating, especially because of its tacked on happy ending. Became more so when I had to watch its climax repeatedly intercut with Gibby beating my A’s in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

The Touch Ingmar Bergman’s first English language movie starring the often awful Eliot Gould. Potential saving grace: approaches unintentional self-parody.

The middle portion of the anthology film New York Stories. The first part, “Life Lessons,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Nick Nolte is quite good. The third part, “Oedipus Wrecks,” directed by Woody Allen is merely so-so. But the middle section, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Life Without Zoe” is one of the most insufferable, self-involved half hours of in all of world cinema.

53

lemuel pitkin 06.02.08 at 9:03 pm

City Hall. Every plot twist is telegraphed froma mile away … and then announced in advance … and then cued with ominous music … and was utterly predictable to begin with. Which I guess isn’t so rare, but it starred Al Pacino (who admittedly has been in a lot of clunkers) and the adorable John Cusack (who hasn’t). And it was based on All the King’s Men, for god’s sake — how could you so thoroughly screw up material like that?

54

mulkey 06.02.08 at 9:04 pm

Cabin Boy
Boat Trip
Unbreakable (Unbearable)

55

Cakesniffer 06.02.08 at 9:05 pm

Obviously, only one commenter so far has seen Van Helsing.

My jaw was sore the next day, having dropped so hard and so often during the movie.

56

lemuel pitkin 06.02.08 at 9:07 pm

Since then, I’ve resolutely refused to watch another Jim Jarmusch film ever, on the “fool me once” principle.

Smart man. They’ve just gotten worse. If a bunch of right-wing movie critics were to gin up a pastiche of everything they imagine avant-garde, “politically correct” filmmakers are guilty of, they couldn’t do much better than Ghost Dog.

57

Tom Scudder 06.02.08 at 9:08 pm

Nah, Good Morning Vietnam had a half an hour of perfectly good Robin Williams stand-up wrapped around some kind of plot or another. Basically the same formula as any action movie, except with stand-up substituting for car chases & stunts.

58

Tom Scudder 06.02.08 at 9:09 pm

I successfully avoided seeing Highlander II when it came out. Good for me.

59

R. Stanton Scott 06.02.08 at 9:09 pm

Big Jake, even if you like John Wayne for some reason.

60

fardels bear 06.02.08 at 9:12 pm

I’ve always hated “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I thought Ferris was an insufferable little prick.

61

Ben Alpers 06.02.08 at 9:12 pm

Speaking of John Wayne: The Green Berets, though that begins to bring us into unintentionally funny territory. And unintentionally funny films can, when one is in the right mood be worth seeing. What keeps Green Berets on this list is that too much of it is just slow and awful.

62

Ciarán 06.02.08 at 9:14 pm

Bicentennial Man. Watch it twice? I’d rather be reincarnated as cat litter.

Still, it did provoke the best nul point movie review ever.

63

Tom Scudder 06.02.08 at 9:16 pm

Matt McIrvin had a great post hating on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on his livejournal a couple years ago, but damned if I can find it.

64

roac 06.02.08 at 9:19 pm

51: I thought the “Life Lessons” segment of New York Stories was better than “quite good.” I wish the format had caught on, in view of the number of mediocre-to-bad two-hour movies that have great half-hour movies embedded in them But the Coppola contribution, as you say, was beyond awful.

65

Keith 06.02.08 at 9:20 pm

And I’d offer Julie Taynor’s Titus, a horribly brutal version of Titus Andronicus.

Wait, you were shocked that Titus was brutal? Were you expecting it to be one of Shakespeare’s comedies? Baffling…

Now, The Passion of the Christ was unnecessarily brutal. Also, horribly overwrought for a film that had no story and was just Mel Gibson proving to the world that he very well could make a theological snuff film in Aramaic thank you very much, so suck it all you Jews. Horrible. I still have not forgiven the friend who convinced me to go see it.

66

lemuel pitkin 06.02.08 at 9:21 pm

Now that I think about it, I’ve seen, in theaters, Dances with Wolves, Batman and Robin, First Knight (with Richard Gere!), the 1998 Godzilla, XXX and The Fast and the Furious (both with Vin Diesel – now there’s some potential squandered!), and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake. There’s a hall of shame for you, altho in my defense(?) the last two were on dates. Anyway, thankfully there’s not much danger of any CT readers being exposed to any of them.

67

ssss 06.02.08 at 9:21 pm

Just don’t confuse ‘House of Sand and Fog’ with the quite good Brazilian film ‘House of Sand.’

68

Ben Alpers 06.02.08 at 9:29 pm

I meant to say above that I also kinda liked Demolition Man. The Taco Bell and no-toilet-paper jokes alone should spare it from this list.

And to be added to the list:

Howard the Duck Simply awful without being in the least bit unintentionally funny. A comedy in which the funniest joke is a sign that says “Cajun Sushi” (and, no, it’s not funnier in context). Saw this in a huge, largely empty theater in Boston on the weekend of its release. Apparently word traveled fast. One guy in the sparse audience actually liked the film and laughed loudly throughout, which made this an oddly socially awkward experience for the rest of us.

Something Wild Practically everyone I know liked this movie. I hated it. Go figure.

Angel Heart Ponderous puzzle pic that the writers clearly thought was really, really clever. Almost rescued by a great Robert DeNiro cameo as the devil and/or Martin Scorsese.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula Hate to keep adding Coppola to the list. When he’s good (e.g. first two Godfather films; The Conversation) he’s very, very good. But when he’s bad…you get this film. Watch Keanu Reeves lose a two-hour long battle with an English accent.

69

Ellie 06.02.08 at 9:29 pm

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (or The League of Gentlemen movie for that matter).

Also The House of Mirth – 2 hours and 20 minutes waiting for Gillian Anderson to OD.

70

Ben Alpers 06.02.08 at 9:31 pm

FWIW, I loved Taymor’s Titus. I thought the film was a really interesting (and visually stunning) reflection on male violence. It’s a mediocre play (at least for a Shakespeare play), but Taymor did everything one could possibly do with it.

71

David Coombs 06.02.08 at 9:33 pm

I nominate ‘The Island’. Most of the film is merely boring, but the abortion scene, in which full-grown adults in scientifically engineered amniotic sacs are terminated, is perhaps the most mind-blowingly imbecilic literalization of right-wing hysteria of the last couple decades.

72

Wilson 06.02.08 at 9:33 pm

These decommendations are all over the place, so I might as well add mine. I humbly suggest that one consider dying before watching West Side Story.

73

WoodyD 06.02.08 at 9:34 pm

I sat through Dances with Wolves in the theater and barely managed to stay awake. I would have left if I hadn’t gone with my mother-in-law, who did fall asleep. I envied her.

My husband refuses to watch any Kevin Costner movie other than Tin Cup, but one day he did start watching DwW on TV. At one point he asked me “When does the movie get going? I’ve been watching for almost 20 minutes.” I had to tell him that he has missed the first half hour and was nearly an hour into the damn thing. And the answer to his question was “Never.”

So I nominate another Costner stinker, The Postman. And you thought I was going to say Waterworld. But The Postman gets the nod for its inspiring message: Even if everything’s all post-apocalyptic-y, if people get mail, it’s all good. Plus that godawful scene where the little kid is holding up the letter that The Postman missed, and he turns his horse around, we got into slomo, the heroic music swells, and as it reaches its crescendo, he GRABS THE LETTER! We’re saved!

I always say that Costner’s best performance was in The Big Chill.

74

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 9:35 pm

I’ve always hated “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I thought Ferris was an insufferable little prick.

You’re not watching the movie for Ferris; you’re watching it for Cameron. He’s the only interesting person in the whole film (though why Starfleet later made the mistake of putting him in charge of a starship is anybody’s guess).

75

notsneaky 06.02.08 at 9:36 pm

“Don’t see any recent serious movie set in Western Europe before the sixteenth century. “

I enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven even though it has all kinds of inaccuracies (neither Raymond nor Guy were Templars for one thing) and Legolas in it. There are historical inaccuracies and then there are historical inaccuracies (like suggesting that Uto-Aztec and proto-Incan/Queche are related languages as was done in the most recent Indiana Jones movie). I can put up with the former if it somehow advances or enhances the movie (and everyone knows Templars were bad anyway)

76

lemuel pitkin 06.02.08 at 9:39 pm

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Ah, no, it’s got its moments. “I have rossed oceans of time to find you”: that shit is funny, man.

77

notsneaky 06.02.08 at 9:40 pm

“I loved Taymor’s Titus”

I thought it was pretty good given the awfulness of the actual play – which TS Eliot called the worst place ever written. Also after you read Titus you look at Shakespeare’s other works in a different light and realize that he wasn’t all that since many of the stupidities of Titus are present in the other plays just in a less obvious manner.

“West Side Story.”

Whoa, that’s just wrong. One of the best musicals of all times. Even if the movie ain’t your thing the soundtrack is awesome. For the more adventurous I’d recommend trying to find the “Punk Side Story” (easy enough to google)

78

eszter 06.02.08 at 9:44 pm

You’ve Got Mail on this list? Why does it sound like a plausible candidate? Henry didn’t say anything to back up that nomination. I completely disagree. It’s a very good romantic comedy with lots of interesting commentary and witty script (plus a cute story).

And Star Wars? Puhlease.

79

notsneaky 06.02.08 at 9:45 pm

Also, lay of off Jim Jarmusch folks. Ghost Dog is a very good movie? What exactly’s wrong with? It even has a plot and stuff. Mystery Train is a masterpiece though.

80

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 9:46 pm

Howard the Duck Simply awful without being in the least bit unintentionally funny.

Oh, sweet heavens–I’d hoped that I’d never remember that date again. When Howard crashes through the wall of the bathroom and they show you a nice full-frontal shot of the female duck showering…gaaaahhh. Possibly the worst moment of my entire 18th year.

Angel Heart…Almost rescued by a great Robert DeNiro cameo as the devil and/or Martin Scorsese.

Ok, Ben, thank you: now you’re making me laugh. (The “and/or” really does it.)

Never seen Demolition Man. But I have seen The Running Man which is super-duper awesome. And as for West Side Story, you can take the plot, the dialogue, the casting, even the music, but you can’t ignore the dancing. Best choreographed film musical ever, period.

81

novakant 06.02.08 at 9:46 pm

Sorry Harry, I think you’re off base as far as House of Sand and Fog is concerned. It’s not a great movie, but a decent to good movie. People do such stuff when they’re depressed, especially when they also have an alcohol problem. And Jennifer Connelly is doing a fine job portraying this mixture of lethargy, self-loathing and defensive aggressiveness. She’s not the greatest actress in the world, but she can be very effective and in this movie she’s good. Also the film is beautifully shot by Roger Deakins. I agree that the script is a bit clunky and heavy handed at times, but by god, if that’s a criterion, then you can put 75% of all movies on your worst list.

As for movies to avoid, here’s my pick:

Vanilla Sky
Year of the Dragon
Suspiria
Insomnia
Grave of the Fireflies

82

Ben Alpers 06.02.08 at 9:46 pm

No Way Out (the 1987 Kevin Costner thriller) A film that proves that a surprise twist isn’t so welcome when it relies on the film’s actively lying to you for two hours. Bonus points for including a gratuitously evil gay character and for featuring Sean Young, who’s awful when she’s not playing a cyborg, as a seductress.

83

sharon 06.02.08 at 9:49 pm

How Green Was My Valley.

84

novakant 06.02.08 at 9:50 pm

forgot one:

Kingdom of Heaven

85

Russell Arben Fox 06.02.08 at 9:52 pm

A film that proves that a surprise twist isn’t so welcome when it relies on the film’s actively lying to you for two hours

…which is how some of us felt after viewing The Usual Suspects.

86

Ben Alpers 06.02.08 at 9:52 pm

I forgot to second Vanilla Sky, which made me want to throw large objects at the screen.

I have a soft spot for Dario Argento, however, so I can’t agree with Suspiria.

87

Wilson 06.02.08 at 9:54 pm

Oh, try to miss Gods and Generals unless you’re particularly fond of the Lost Cause. Gettysburg is a good miss too, but I liked it more when I saw it.

88

John Protevi 06.02.08 at 10:04 pm

I’ll see your Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula and raise you Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Unless you like seeing Helena Bonham Carter’s heart ripped out of her chest. And I’m just not that big a fan of Emma Thompson. Badda-bing!

89

Mark Haag 06.02.08 at 10:04 pm

Speaking of Robin Williams;

No embalming fluid is strong enough to wash off the taint of having seen Patch Adams.

90

Goldberg 06.02.08 at 10:05 pm

No one has mentioned Contact yet? It let’s us in on that profound secret that faith and science can conflict, especially when faith is the dreamy Matthew McConoughy. Add the 4 or 5 false endings….man, that movie is bad.

91

"Q" the Enchanter 06.02.08 at 10:14 pm

It’s a bit too easy to find just any old turd worth avoiding, isn’t it? For heaven’s sake, let’s have some standards! Here, for example, are some placers in the AFI top 100 the avoidance of which will enhance the quality of your life:

E.T. the Extraterrestrial
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Forrest Gump

92

"Q" the Enchanter 06.02.08 at 10:16 pm

Notwithstanding my call for standards, I have to say that “Battlefield Earth” is indeed very impressive. I only sneaked a 37-second peak on the way out from watching another film, but those are 37 seconds I’d desperately like to have back.

93

lemuel pitkin 06.02.08 at 10:20 pm

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Are you on crack?

94

agum 06.02.08 at 10:29 pm

“Straw Dogs.” The bits that aren’t like “Home Alone” are cringeworthy. Before I saw it, I wouldn’t have believed Dustin Hoffman was capable of such bad acting.

95

Kevin 06.02.08 at 10:31 pm

novokant@79:

I thought “Grave of the Fireflies” was beautifully made, from an aesthetic standpoint, but ultimately a manipulative, heavy-handed downer.

96

Chris Bertram 06.02.08 at 10:35 pm

Michael Winner’s remake of _The Big Sleep_ starring Robert Mitchum.

97

mitterko 06.02.08 at 10:38 pm

Novakant, do you mean the original version of Insomnia with Stellan Skarsgård, or the Robin Williams & Al Pacino version, the latter of which was terrible by comparison?

My nominations:
The Village
Anchorman

98

peter 06.02.08 at 10:42 pm

Resevoir Dogs:

Ever since I saw it in a theater full of frat boy types who were vocally thrilled to see the police officer tortured, I have had trepidations about watching films in public.

And, having seen and read about Tarantino’s more recent “work,” I wonder if I misunderstood the intent behind Resevoir Dogs–perhaps Tarantino really was simply trying to gratify his audience’s baser urges.

99

Righteous Bubba 06.02.08 at 10:43 pm

Anthony Newley has a shot at one of the most awful films ever made, but it might be recommended viewing for its DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO THIS effect.

100

Donald A. Coffin 06.02.08 at 10:54 pm

I probably shouldn’t say this, but man, are you people young. There are some awful movies cited, but two, in my memory, stand out.

When I saw it, I thought “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962) had to be the worst movie ever made that was intended to be good. Starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (the rest of the cast is pretty forgettable, and, perhaps, best forgotten), directed by Robert Aldrich (who had a long, if not distinguished career: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000736/). Someone thought this would be a major movie. As it turned out, it became, quite quickly, the butt of a billion jokes.

But then, two years later–and directed by Robert Aldrich (he sure had a bad couple of years)–“Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte,” which was essentially the same movie, but not as well done. 7 Academy Award nominations! Bette Davis (also having a bad couple of years, Olivia deHaviland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Morehead. If this isn’t the worst-intended-to-be-good movie of all time, I hope I never see the champion.

Perhaps notably, both screenplays were by Henry Farrell…also having a bad couple of years.

101

Doctor Memory 06.02.08 at 10:54 pm

I’m a little torn about Lemuel Pitkin’s nomination of Kids. On the one hand, everything he says about the movie is true. If anything, he dramatically undersells what vicious, evil pieces of shit Larry Clark and Harmony Korine reveal themselves to be via that movie. On the other hand, it’s fucking gorgeous: you can certainly make a case of it as the most beautifully composed, shot and edited teen exploitation flick ever made.

Luckily, no such caveats apply to my own personal recommendations for movies to avoid at all costs: the entire oeuvre of Gregg Araki. Awful scripts, terrible acting, crappy editing, boom mics in frame: he’s basically the gay punk rock version of Kevin Smith, except substantially less competent as a filmmaker. Specifically, I cannot stress enough that time spent watching “The Living End” and “Nowhere” is time that could be more productively employed flossing your teeth.

102

R 06.02.08 at 10:57 pm

Its more than 20 year since I’ve seen it, but The Bride Wore Black is one I’d have really liked to walk out on, except it was a date with a guy I liked…

103

bernard Yomtov 06.02.08 at 11:12 pm

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Are you on crack?

I share Lemuel’s opinion of this movie. Wind blows, lights flash, strangeness suggested. Very sleep-inducing.

104

Doug K 06.02.08 at 11:13 pm

I thought ‘House of Sand and Fog’ was a vile book for just the reason you mention, the gratuitously unpleasant plotting. It was well written, didn’t hurt to read the prose, but I found nothing edifying in it.

Starship Troopers gets my vote for appalling brain-sucking movie horror. It’s closely followed by Last Tango in Paris: though here again it may be revulsion from nastiness, rather than a considered response to the art of the thing: though the movie was immensely tedious as well as nasty.

105

jlr 06.02.08 at 11:16 pm

Leaving Las Vegas

Not a bad movie, really, but there’s no upside whatsoever. After seeing it, I wanted to drink myself to death.

106

novakant 06.02.08 at 11:18 pm

I have a soft spot for Dario Argento, however, so I can’t agree with Suspiria.

I only checked out Argento recently and thought Tenebrae was entertaining if clumsy, which I didn’t really mind. But Suspiria – sorry, no.

E.T. the Extraterrestrial

nothing personal, but you have no heart ;) – also,
Drew Barrymore as Gertie is the best child actor ever!

I thought “Grave of the Fireflies” was beautifully made, from an aesthetic standpoint, but ultimately a manipulative, heavy-handed downer.

I agree, it is beautifully made, but the latter part of your description made me turn it off, I just couldn’t stand it. I kinda liked Spirited Away though.

do you mean the original version of Insomnia

No the Nolan/Pacino version, nothing really worked in that movie at all. Is the original worth getting? I like Skarsgård.

When I saw it, I thought “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962) had to be the worst movie ever made that was intended to be good.

Same here, totally over the top, seems to be some sort of gay cult film though.

107

Zeno 06.02.08 at 11:51 pm

I rather enjoyed Demolition Man, but I regarded it as just a goofy comedy. It’s the only Stallone movie I’ve ever seen (and that’s only because I’m slightly acquainted with the screenwriter).

I laughed nonstop through Cabin Boy, which is the epitome of stupidity. I couldn’t tell, though, whether it was intentionally the way it was or just a lucky resonance with the exact frequency of my funny bone.

Anyone remember Arthur? The only good thing in it was Gielgud. No one else in that movie generated even a scintilla of empathy from me.

108

grackle 06.03.08 at 12:06 am

I loved My Dinner with Andre, and have enjoyed most of the Jim Jarmusch I’ve seen. (I’m not too keen on trans-Atlantic conversations anyway, thanks very much.) I highly recommend Dead Man as one of Jarmusch’s best.

I’ve seen so many really bad movies, the titles have mercifully melted away. I do think that Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil was unredeemable though. In all fairness, it may have been because of studio editing but my impression was that Charlton Heston acting in the manner of Victor Mature had its effect.

109

The Modesto Kid 06.03.08 at 12:26 am

I kinda liked Spirited Away though.

This prompts me to ask, are you on crack? “Kinda” nothing, Spirited Away is one of the greatest kids’ movies ever. I’m pretty taken with (almost) all the Ghibli films though I have not watched “Fireflies” yet. But Spirited Away is right at the top of the list, jostling up against Howl’s Moving Castle. And, well, Porco Rosso too…

Even their truly treacly pieces (e.g. Whispers of the Heart, which could be an after-school special) are worth watching.

110

Dan Kervick 06.03.08 at 12:28 am

Troy

And the worst thing about it was watching the emaciated and nearly lifeless corpse of Peter O’Toole, looking not all there, and making a damn, sad fool of himself in such a clunker.

I second the badness votes for A Few Good Men.

I happen to like Eyes Wide Shut very much. And I don’t think Coppola’s Dracula was bad at all.

111

Dr. Free-Ride 06.03.08 at 12:54 am

If this thread demonstrates anything, it is that matters of taste are hard to debate objectively.

That said, I was trying to recall if I had ever seen a movie more unwatchable than Toys. At which point, I remembered the existence of Hook.

Now I need to kill some stored memories with drink.

112

Randy Paul 06.03.08 at 1:00 am

Pretty much anything by Catherine Breillat. Titanic. Visitor Q. Irreversible. The Skin by Liliana Cavani. Pretty much anything by Lina Wertmuller. Any remake of a Lina Wertmuller film. Cousin, Cousine.

113

tom bach 06.03.08 at 1:02 am

Ironweed.

114

notsneaky 06.03.08 at 1:12 am

Re: Howard the Duck and general topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucxqC8sH83Q

The HtD part starts at about 5:37 and gets really funny/creepy at 6:57
(not really sfw (I mean, this is HtD) but nothing really bad either)

115

The Modesto Kid 06.03.08 at 1:13 am

Cousin, Cousine

Does this have an audience outside high school French classes?

116

Randy Paul 06.03.08 at 1:22 am

It shouldn’t. I just remember when it first came out everyone raved about it and I thought it was absolute crap.

117

hapax 06.03.08 at 1:31 am

I can’t believe that you drew me out of lurkerdom with this thread.

Anyone remember Arthur?

Dumped a boyfriend who took me to see it on a date. He said afterwards “it was the saddest movie I have ever seen.” Why? “Because the main character had all that money and I don’t.”

Nonetheless, the two movies that truly scarred my youth:

Disney’s The Black Cauldron. Yeah, I know the Mouse is famous for raping great children’s books. But this one is special, not only for its truly spectacular display of Missing The Point (see also, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid, and, God help us, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but for perverting one of the good role models for young girls in fantasy fiction into a Disney Princess.

And my obscure gem: Nasty Habits. An amazing cast and some fine writers who decided to use all of that talent in a parody of the Watergate scandal. Except with nuns.

118

roac 06.03.08 at 1:32 am

Ben Alpers at 84: You thirded Vanilla Sky. I firsted it at 37.

Somewhere near the end (but not near enough), Tom Cruise ran out into the lobby of an office building. Someone behind me said at the top of his voice, “Please somebody shoot him, so this movie will be over!” Everybody cheered.

Speaking of Kevin Costner, what was the the name of the one where he was an escaped convict? And got shot, and took about ten very long minutes to die? That was a bad movie. Eastwood was in it, and Laura Dern.

And Hook, oh God yes. As Pauline Kael said, positively drenched in flop sweat.

119

Righteous Bubba 06.03.08 at 1:36 am

The Postman by Kevin Costner. Long long long and nowhere near funny enough except for the final fight.

120

Gene O'Grady 06.03.08 at 1:37 am

I haven’t seen the Robert Mitchum remake of The Big Sleep (strange movie to remake, although I guess Lauren Bacall sort of did), but his version of Farewell, My Lovely is almost good. The really bad Philip Marlowe in the movies is Elliott Gould. I saw part of his version on an airplane and was ready to be let off in midair.

121

"Q" the Enchanter 06.03.08 at 1:45 am

“Drew Barrymore as Gertie is the best child actor ever!”

Fair enough.

122

Heather m. 06.03.08 at 1:59 am

Cabin Boy was the only movie I’ve ever paid for only to walk out on. And it was the last five minutes. I decided that if anything, at least I could salvage those.
I thought Titus was visually beautiful, which counted for a lot. Vanilla Sky, as well, I found visually appealing.
Thanks for mentioning Forrest Gump, too ;)

123

Lord Acton 06.03.08 at 2:11 am

You have missed “Being John Malkovich”.

And, if you are of a certain age, the film version
of “West Side Story” was so painfully bad that the
“Star” – Richard Beymer – actually tried to buy all
of the prints before it was released.

124

gatherdust 06.03.08 at 2:17 am

O Lucky Man.

Not for the viewer.

125

4jkb4ia 06.03.08 at 2:17 am

Star Trek: Nemesis.

126

4jkb4ia 06.03.08 at 2:18 am

Of course Star Trek V must be included. I have never watched First Contact all the way to the end, but my husband tells me it was watchable.

127

4jkb4ia 06.03.08 at 2:19 am

Field of Dreams!

128

4jkb4ia 06.03.08 at 2:21 am

The people who made Field of Dreams made it too sentimental and a father/son story when it was only in part. Eddie/Kid Scissons should have stayed in the movie even if J.D. Salinger could not under his own name.

129

david 06.03.08 at 2:21 am

Eyes Wide Shut certainly the worst movie I’ve paid to see, including Independence Day.

But as for classics, no one has brought up Bringing Up Baby. Hepburn manages to singlehandedly turn this into the most nauseating film outside of Dawn of the Dead. When she starts faking piano play, the sympathetic embarrassment shames Ricky Gervais. Do not live to see this movie, if you have been so far spared.

130

4jkb4ia 06.03.08 at 2:25 am

re 118: This may be why Dave Marsh preferred the Crystals/neighborhood kids to the mannered choreography of “West Side Story”.

131

The Modesto Kid 06.03.08 at 2:27 am

Richard Beymer – actually tried to buy all
of the prints before it was released.

True story? I’d love to read about this if you could point me to a source.

132

lemuel pitkin 06.03.08 at 2:28 am

Speaking of Kevin Costner, what was the the name of the one where he was an escaped convict?

A Perfect World. Costner has been in rather a lot of these, hasn’t he?

133

ozma 06.03.08 at 2:31 am

David Lynch’s Dune is a terrible movie that will strangely grow on you over time. I think it might be tolerable if one altered one’s brain chemistry sufficiently.

But it might be one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ ones.

134

Clayton 06.03.08 at 2:37 am

Dear #54,

There is no one who would (willingly) watch Cabin Boy and not love it. Lighten up.

Baby Mama.
Boondock Saints.
El Topo.

135

Righteous Bubba 06.03.08 at 2:38 am

Costner has been in rather a lot of these, hasn’t he?

Did anyone here make it through Waterworld? Is it funny?

136

david 06.03.08 at 2:39 am

130:

No; and no.

137

vivian 06.03.08 at 2:42 am

Liquid Sky and Betty Blue. Every now and then I remember sitting in the theater, staring at the stupid, desperate to figure out why someone had recommended either of these. The first was later clarified: “No, I said whatever you do, DON”T see this movie.”

138

beebklarg 06.03.08 at 2:51 am

Christ Almighty. By now I thought at least someone would have proposed Natural Borne Killers. I hope this is because no one has seen it. It was the only/worst movie I was ashamed of myself for not walking out of. I kept promising myself I would leave when the protagonists were killed. Dumbass! Nothing could have kept that crapfest going but the survival of the miserable protagonists. I hope that film failed financially or we are all in big trouble.

139

Dave Maier 06.03.08 at 2:57 am

Let’s see. Of course we want to avoid

1) various ghastly remakes, most of which I have been careful to avoid (Breathless, The Vanishing, various J- and K-horror). But I did get suckered into Vanilla Sky, Planet of the Apes, and Insomnia (the original is good).

But as someone said, that’s easy. And so is

2) anything with Kevin Costner, Robin Williams, Nicolas Cage, or Keanu Reeves (with a extra-special double bonus vote for Matrix III, whatever that atrocity was called).

We knew these things already. But we don’t want to be simply contrary either. For example, if you don’t like musicals, that’s fine. But West Side Story is a perfectly entertaining film. And we’ve all had too much indie cool; but Stranger than Paradise was a hoot.

Myself, I’m coming up fairly empty, but I would like to second and/or mention these:

The Usual Suspects (and while we’re talking about Spacey, let’s add American Beauty)
A Beautiful Mind
The Shawshank Redemption, which is unaccountably high on imdb’s Top 250
Ferris Bueller, sure
Chasing Amy, my stars, yes; but the worst part is toward the end
Something Wild, oh yes
Batman and Robin, yikes
Punch-Drunk Love, an Adam Sandler movie in which he is not the problem
Much recent Godard, especially the insufferable In Praise of Love
Russian Ark
Where the Truth Lies
Alien Resurrection (well, it could have been good!)
After Hours – !?
and yes indeed, Bringing up Baby. Wow.

Let me think about it some more…

140

Chuck Darwin 06.03.08 at 3:03 am

I too loathed “Being John Malkovich”. Truly nasty and depressing.

“I Heart Huckabees” was soul-vacuuming.

Finally, “Arsenic and Old Lace” is highly unpleasant – no mean feat with Cary Grant on the set.

141

rand careaga 06.03.08 at 3:10 am

Requiem for a Dream. Two hours of my life I’ll never have back, never, never!

142

Britta 06.03.08 at 3:27 am

Second to Troy. I just watched it on tv last week. It’s basically poorly made soft core porn for women, but not even a naked Brad Pitt can make up for the overall crappiness of the movie.

As for the person who mentioned Arthur, I assume you mean Jerry Bruckheimer’s Arthur movie? Because that’d be a top contender. Clive Owens doesn’t utter a single line that isn’t a cliche (we kept track), the movie is completely self serious, yet the plot is laughably implausible, e.g. Kiera Knightly, a Wiccan priestess fights of multiple 300 lb Saxons in hand to hand combat.

My parents should get an honorary award for picking out obscure European dud after dud. In 20 years, my mother’s never yet not rented a clunker. One was a French movie that involved nuns, and pigs farting (or maybe it was the nuns?), anyways, it’s our equivalent of the “horse movie.”

Finally, I wouldn’t say not watch it, but think twice before you rent a 3 hour movie described as a “Japanese Icelandic vision quest.”

143

Zora 06.03.08 at 3:31 am

Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage

Hrithik Roshan did his best, but the script sucked big rocks through a straw and Amisha Patel was HORRIBLE. All she can do is simper and cry. I wanted to throttle her.

Y’all keep bringing up recent Hollywood movies. Bollywood or the Hong Kong martial movie industry could surely beat Hollywood. In a face-off between Bollywood and Hong Kong for worst movies evah, I don’t know who would win.

144

Dan Simon 06.03.08 at 3:49 am

…which is how some of us felt after viewing The Usual Suspects.

Don’t watch “The Usual Suspects” before reading the Foundation Trilogy.

145

skywater 06.03.08 at 3:58 am

The English Patient . . . just plain godawful.

146

Matt McIrvin 06.03.08 at 4:08 am

And I’d offer Julie Taynor’s Titus, a horribly brutal version of Titus Andronicus.

I’d argue that, given that she’d decided to film Titus Andronicus in the first place, it wasn’t a bad effort.

147

John Quiggin 06.03.08 at 4:10 am

I mainly wanted to say that the title of the post should be “101 Movies to Die before you see”

My nomination “Shakespeare in Love” – combining sappy teen romance with lame script from Tom Stoppard who is (IMO) having a bad couple of decades.

148

Thomas 06.03.08 at 4:31 am

The worst movies are the disappointments, so I think these would belong on any list: Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, The Darjeeling Limited

149

bicycle Hussein paladin 06.03.08 at 4:33 am

1- Black Book, by director Paul Verhoeven. Carice van Houten was great in it, but it felt like watching a mashup of Shindler’s List, Pulp Fiction, and Pearl Harbor. No relation to Orhan Pamuk’s novel, The Black Book.

2- Pearl Harbor

150

bicycle Hussein paladin 06.03.08 at 4:46 am

3- Sweeny Todd (the recent one with Johnny Depp)

A bit more on Black Book… the review in the NYT (I think) said something along the lines of “it was not really a serious movie”, yet a lot of it was about the holocaust, the main character is a Jewish woman in hiding from the Nazis, and the story was framed at the beginning and end by idyllic scenes of Israel, complete with blooming desert. Then, at the very end, there is gunfire from unseen attackers as the holocaust survivors take refuge (the year is given as 1956). The NYT reviewer loved the movie, but they wished that the current “struggle for Jewish survival” in Israel got more attention. So, The Holocaust = not something a movie has to treat seriously. Israel = the real struggle for Jewish survival. Go figure.

I guess you could say there were a lot of good things about how the ambiguities of war were portrayed (few clear goodguys and badguys), but I didn’t see anything all that special there, to me it seemed more like just a big mess where everybody was crooked or at least very misguided and most of them ended up shooting at each other anyway. Perhaps the most endearing character in of all was the S S officer (or was it gestapo?) who has a romance with the main character lasting most of the movie (provided you put his job title out of your mind).

151

Mike 06.03.08 at 4:53 am

The Illusionist. Talk about getting lied to, but totally knowing that that’s the only way they can save the movie. It’s like a two-hour version of Law & Order

I don’t know what’s worse, being lied to, or the ‘Murder She Wrote’-style plot where the bad guy is always the special guest.

152

fargo north, decoder 06.03.08 at 5:03 am

Oh! I want to play!

Two stinkers from 1991: Queens Logic, Meeting Venus. Films so hopelessly corrupt they could have had Robin Williams in them and it wouldn’t have made them any worse.

I thought I had a hat trick for that year, but I just checked IMDB and it turns out Mr. Holland’s Opus was 1995.

And Zora–I’ll see your Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage and raise you one Ham Dil De Chuke Sanam. Although my fellow victim and I amused ourselves by hypothesizing that the censors cut the scene towards the end when Ajay gives Salman a big ol’ BJ in a Budapest public urninal, which would have given the story some semblance of coherence. And class.

153

Helen 06.03.08 at 5:03 am

Did anyone mention Keanu Reeves? I recently watched Sweet November on TV. After noting that it began with Boy meets Girl and then nothing much happens for a while except that Girl is cute and wacky! and zany! and madcap! and lovable, I said to teenage daughter: “I know what’s happening. She’ll turn out to have a terminal disease.”
Daughter: “How do you know that?”
“Seeing many, many telemovies like this in the 70s, my child.”

154

MobiusKlein 06.03.08 at 5:06 am

Pushing Tin.
Walked out, and got my money back.

155

rm 06.03.08 at 5:06 am

Nuns on the Run. There can only be one Sister Act, (in which horrible nun cliches somehow work) and this wasn’t it.

Defenses of movies that are really okay:

A Perfect World. Eastwood directed it too, and it’s one of the few things I like by him. (I didn’t see the one about the female boxer, but I’ve been told it’s pointlessly nihilistic and nasty, which seems to be a theme in this thread). There is a Costner Hindsight Effect, in which decent movies fall under the shadow of Kevin’s late career.

Dances With Wolves. More Costner Hindsight. A movie with Lakota language was a good thing to do, and it had landscapes. You urban sophisticates just don’t get it.

Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. I never realized it was supposed to be good. I thought it was the best bad movie of all time. I Walked With a Zombie is in the same vein, I thought. Now I realize HHSC was big budget, with major stars, while IWWAZ (best Bronte adaptation ever) is the opposite.

ET. Drew Barrymore; and what’s wrong with sentiment?

Touch of Evil. I thought it was great, but even if not, the opening shot should keep it out of the reject pile.

And . . .

I agree, Jarmusch’s Dead Man is a great movie. Johnny Depp and Neil Young’s guitar have a lot to do with that. Never could get into any other JJ movies.

On the Shyamalan things . . . isn’t his problem that he ends the movie just when the story begins? They might be interesting if the ending were the premise, and they proceeded from there.

156

Righteous Bubba 06.03.08 at 5:19 am

Waking Life. Pretty to look at, but people offer bullshit through the entire film. Like My Dinner With 100 Stoned Andres.

157

rm 06.03.08 at 5:21 am

Oh, yes, I forgot about Mr. Holland’s Opus. Just as programmers can’t watch movies with hackers, no teacher can watch MHO without thinking “what an ass” and “why is he alone in a room with her?” and “how did he not get fired?”.

I submit that the Scorsese “Life Lessons” part of New York Stories is just as horrible as the Coppola “Life Without Zoe.” It shares with Mr. Holland’s Opus a hateful main character who we are supposed to admire somehow. In this case, the character does not even change, but reveals that his manipulative, abusive behavior is part of a compulsive dysfunctional pattern. We are meant to feel good about that. Am I wrong?

158

rm 06.03.08 at 5:22 am

Or am I the guy who ruined the thread with italics?

159

notsneaky 06.03.08 at 5:23 am

Also the movie called either “Before Sunset” or “After Sunset” or “Before Sunrise” or “After Sunrise”. Definitely one of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen. And yes, saw it cuz a girl made me watch it.

Which opens a whole another category:
“Movies that your date/partner liked but that were really so bad that you at least considered breaking up/not having a second date based on that fact alone”

160

rm 06.03.08 at 5:26 am

Gone With The Wind.

161

rm 06.03.08 at 5:27 am

Close italics.

162

Ben Alpers 06.03.08 at 5:36 am

The following films should be nowhere remotely near this conversation, IMO (that is, I regularly actually recommend them to people):

Touch of Evil
Being John Malkovich
I Walked With a Zombie
After Hours
Magnolia
The Usual Suspects (a character lying to you is different from the movie lying to you, fwiw)
Requiem for a Dream (though I’d only recommend this to certain people)
Bringing Up Baby

163

futzinfarb 06.03.08 at 5:42 am

Dances with Wolves is a worthy entry being largely a remake of Little Big Man except with absolutely none of the wit and requiring the device of a white male Jesus-surrogate to draw out the nobility of the savages. I’m a bit surprised The Green Mile – in which we learn the ultimate redemption for being a large and not particularly bright black man is through self-immolation by delivering healing to white prison guards with kidney infections and white women with cancer – hasn’t drawn a nomination. But hands down worst – the move is so bad that when I think about it I feel pangs of guilt for having seen it, kind of like when I think about that picture of the naked girl running away from the napalmed Vietnamese village – Nacho Libre. As Louise Pendrake might have advised: avert your eyes.

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milo 06.03.08 at 5:54 am

Ned Kelly

165

fratbeef 06.03.08 at 5:54 am

requiem for a dream rocks and its deep too

166

scm 06.03.08 at 5:56 am

2001: A Space Odyssey, whilst perhaps not as absolutely awful as some others mentioned, is my all-time most overrated movie. Admittedly, there is one good jump cut from the bone to the spacecraft, but the rest is pretentious drivel.

Some apes, a couple of black monoliths, a screwy computer, and this is deep?

167

rm 06.03.08 at 5:57 am

Yeah . . . I meant to mention I Walked W/ a Zombie positively. Maybe not too clearly.

168

Nabakov 06.03.08 at 6:14 am

Hers more the usual suspects…

Japanese Story/The Well/The Winter Dark etc, etc -half an hour of story packed into 90 minutes of meaningful looks and tortured landscape.

Captain Coreilli’s Mandolin – like eating warm ice-cream.

Planet of The Apes (Burton version) – killer premise, good actors, unlimited budget and one of Hollywood’s most original directors. Yet ended up as bonobo poopoo. Michael Caine was right. “Why don’t they remake bad movies instead?”.

Signs – artful and suspenseful allegory of lost faith and redemption or aliens spraying poison gas from within cheap bodysuits, taken down by an all-American, faith-based baseball bat? I’ve decided. And if these malevolent and covalent ETs are allergic to water, what are they doing invading a planet where the ecosystem and top species all depend on water?

The Village – even dumber and dumberer.

The Magnificent Ambersons – let’s face it, we’d all rather watch Touch of Evil again.

Eyes Wide Shut – I’m a real Kubrick aficionado but that really stretched my patience. Mind you, I’m inclined to blame Cruise and Kidman. They were excruciatingly smug and boring together. OK, Stan cast them, so he should share the blame.

A.I. – and it’s a sad thing Stan’s dead, otherwise we could have been treated to some of the old ultra violence visited upon Spielberg after Artificial Idiot. Like Burton’s Ape Planet, all the ingredients were there but utterly cocked up. And like all bad Spielberg films, it ended with a cute kid staring winsomely into a bright light. I can see the Spielberg memorial now.

Reality Bites – a film that commodified youth culture to make the point commodifying youth culture is bad. Bad faith indeed.

The Matrix series. Whether launched, refried or revolting, it’s still well worn old SF ideas, beautifully art directed though, lifted without credit to drive a mythos that just disappeared up its own Trojan Horse’s arse.

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Dan Simon 06.03.08 at 6:16 am

2001: A Space Odyssey, whilst perhaps not as absolutely awful as some others mentioned, is my all-time most overrated movie.

don’t read this item before seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Ben Alpers 06.03.08 at 6:19 am

Other awful aspects of Dances with Wolves:

Though the film presents the Sioux as “noble,” the Pawnee appear as classic, cardboard-cutout evil Hollywood Injuns.

The film concludes with an end title that invokes the tragic-vanishing-Indians meme and more or less suggests that there aren’t any Sioux anymore.

And the film’s Civil War prelude is particularly phony and grandiose.

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agm 06.03.08 at 6:23 am

notsneaky,

That would be a fabulous thread. And I can even name a film that wins in each thread:

Shrek 3.

No matter how much my date complained about how cliched and horrible it was, I couldn’t get said date to leave. More complaining, no leaving. More complaining, no leaving. And so on. There was not a second date, not with someone that off their rocker.

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michael paleologus 06.03.08 at 6:25 am

American Beauty got a brief mention above which deserves to be expanded upon.

It deserves the moniker of truly nasty – it is a thoroughly depressing account of US sexual morality which is entirely without redeeeming features, for craps sake why doesn’t Kevin spacey screw the girl, not to mention the nastily homophobic sub plot (the homophobe next door turns out to be gay really! Quelle surprise!) The dilemmas posed by the film are entirely false (wholesome vs. sex for example) that the only response is to run sreaming: get out of this frame.

And that plastic bag (nicely parodied since though).

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Ben Alpers 06.03.08 at 6:25 am

I disagree about the The Magnificent Ambersons. Despite being mangled by the studio while Welles was in South America, it’s still a very good film.

AI on the other hand just gets worse and worse as it drags on and on. Nabokov is 100% correct: what could have been a fascinating Kubrick film ended up as an awful Spielberg movie.

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lemuel pitkin 06.03.08 at 6:32 am

Ooooh, yeah, <i)Requiem for a Dream. That’s got to get a top spot on the “Die First” list.

The fact that Ben Alpers liked this movie is making me reevaluate my whole commitment rationalizing the US primary system.

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lemuel pitkin 06.03.08 at 6:33 am

Tag disaster! Should have been:

Ooooh, yeah, Requiem for a Dream. That’s got to get a top spot on the “Die First” list.

The fact that Ben Alpers liked this movie is making me reevaluate my whole commitment rationalizing the US primary system.

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Righteous Bubba 06.03.08 at 6:33 am

Planet of The Apes (Burton version) – killer premise, good actors, unlimited budget and one of Hollywood’s most original directors.

Good lord that guy sucks as a director. Technically he’s got all the verve and imagination of a soap-opera hack; his strength is that he has the art and design sense of a morbid 14-year old girl, which I suppose deserves on-screen representation somewhere or other.

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was good despite him, same for Ed Wood.

177

Chris Bertram 06.03.08 at 8:18 am

Yes I’m pretty outraged that people are putting-down _Bringing Up Baby_. A brilliant and funny film.

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Laura 06.03.08 at 8:41 am

THE GRADUATE

and

DEAD POETS SOCIETY

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toby 06.03.08 at 9:10 am

I’m glad more than one person has mentioned Tim Burton’s execrable “re-imagining” of Planet of the Apes. It gets my vote.

I never felt more let down by a movie.

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Praisegod Barebones 06.03.08 at 9:14 am

Don’t watch “The Usual Suspects” before reading the Foundation Trilogy.

Don’t read the Foundation trilogy before sinking yourself in a concrete foundation.

181

John Meredith 06.03.08 at 9:16 am

Another vote here for “Signs” which I only watched to the end because I was paralysed by shock at the awfulness of it. Can someone who had better command of his faculties tell me if I am right that we learn at the end of the movie that the Aliens are not carrying weapons because they believe that if they did there would be an arms escalation that would lead to a nuke war that would make the planet uninhabitable? Are they really trying to persuade us that if the invaders come unarmed we would feel morally obliged to fight them unarmed? Leaving aside that anyone with a power shower is effectively nuked up anyway.

182

Jim Flannery 06.03.08 at 9:20 am

As someone said upthread, gosh you people are young.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Trip with Teacher. The Devil’s Rain. Love Story.

183

John Meredith 06.03.08 at 9:20 am

“American Beauty … truly nasty – it is a thoroughly depressing account of US sexual morality which is entirely without redeeeming features”

Completely agree. A masterclass in misogyny.

184

CK Dexter 06.03.08 at 10:51 am

This is an embarrassing and disheartening thread. Like a firstyear undergrad discussion. “Plato sucks! He’s hard and boring!”

I note two surprising and particularly saddening trends:

1. The tendency to list arguably mediocre films that made an effort to be good, but that are thought by many knowledgeable people to be very good. And, at the same time, a tendency to defend choices (e.g., You’ve Got Mail) that are equally mediocre, but try not to be more.
2. To equate sad or depressing with “don’t watch it.” Have I got a Disney library to sell you people.

At the very least, it’s a good argument in favor of respect for specialized expertise in knowledge, since clearly the high level of general intelligence doesn’t make its opinions about film any better than the average.

185

Milena 06.03.08 at 10:57 am

The world as far as I am concerned is divided between people who abhor Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, and those who incomprehensibly think it is meaningful and warm. It is possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen.
Next to Austin Powers II, which I have never got.

186

John Protevi 06.03.08 at 11:17 am

Cousin, Cousine

Does this have an audience outside high school French classes?

Point taken, but without it we would not have had Les Cousins dangereux.

187

CK Dexter 06.03.08 at 11:22 am

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

That’s more like it! That’s a truly impressive achievement in awfulness. And a pick that shows some imaginatio,n at least. So many of this picks are too bland to be bad.

188

aaron_m 06.03.08 at 11:36 am

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? WTF

189

Sumana Harihareswara 06.03.08 at 11:44 am

Maurice @24: you should see The Five Obstructions, even though von Trier is in it. It’s hilarious.

190

roystontemple 06.03.08 at 12:11 pm

But on no account attempt to watch Dogville.

191

rdb 06.03.08 at 12:22 pm

Paul Agapow’s Postviews

[film] “Starship Troopers”
I couldn’t wait for that smarmy little brunette to die.

It’s the near future, shortly after the Californian invasion of Buenos Aires which looks like a live action version of “The Jetsons” done by the cast of “90210”. (Albeit with considerably less animation.) Here our pearly-teethed teens are beset with those eternal problems of the spirit: Who will win the big football game? Who shall I go to the prom with? Shall I join the military, dress up as a Nazi and lay waste to the known universe? Since Michael “Bad SF is my middle name” Ironside is playing their mono-handed Civics teacher, we can safely arrive at two conclusions: (1) We are in Bad Movie heaven, (2) Universe, bend over.

192

monboddo 06.03.08 at 12:42 pm

Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Prince’s movie “Under the Cherry Moon” yet? Or was I the only person who saw it?

193

Richard J 06.03.08 at 12:43 pm

It’s very curious that those who love Starship Troopers as a gleefully over-the-top satire on the intersection of consumerism and militarism love it for the same reasons as those who hate it despise it.

194

Mold 06.03.08 at 12:47 pm

Juno..one of the worst movies with a female idiot. Forrest Gump for chicks.

Anything Woody Allen after he decided that ‘artists’ should have sex with their daughters.

Most of the movies listed as bad are simply time-wasters with little mental nutrition. Think of them as Harlequin Romances and don’t affect pretense that these flicks are Great Art. Buncha posers!

195

leinad 06.03.08 at 12:49 pm

192: which makes it great. And Verhoeven a genius.

(cue blog-destroying flamewar)

196

thomas 06.03.08 at 12:56 pm

It’s telling that I didn’t see a single film mentioned above that I feel the need to defend, but one in particular – The Golden Compass, first mentioned by #24 – stands out as being particularly dreadful, perhaps because it’s fresh in my mind. Fans of the books will hate it because it will soil the memory of the story for them, while newcomers will bemoan the convoluted and confused plot.

A special hell is reserved by me for The Da Vinci Code. This is hardly surprising, given how much I hated the book, but when I flicked through the book I felt it would at least make a watchable film. As Steven Fry called it: “complete loose stool-water…arse gravy of the worst kind.”

197

Doug 06.03.08 at 12:57 pm

Vastly overrated, die before seeing: Pulp Fiction, In the Realm of the Senses, The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin: unlike many things, not actually better in the original German).

198

Doctor Slack 06.03.08 at 12:58 pm

I’m with CK Dexter on this one. Grave of the Fireflies was too much of a “downer”? Good Lord. That’s the sort of thing you should be embarrassed to say (or type) in public.

And I know any movie thread will eventually end in every possible film that can be called to mind being denounced by somebody-or-other, but one might suggest that calling down Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, The Magnificent Ambersons, and The Graduate (just for starters) is perhaps trying just a little too hard.

it was based on All the King’s Men, for god’s sake—how could you so thoroughly screw up material like that?

Cf. the Sean Penn film version of All the King’s Men.

199

Doctor Slack 06.03.08 at 1:01 pm

a gleefully over-the-top satire on the intersection of consumerism and militarism

This is a description of Robocop — a far superior film — not Starship Troopers.

Add to the trying-too-hard list: Pulp Fiction, The Princess and the Warrior. “Overrated” is not the same thing as “must be avoided.”

200

Doctor Slack 06.03.08 at 1:06 pm

Also Juno, fashionable backlash target-of-the-moment. It’s obviously a fable, which is not the same thing as a bad or odious movie, and the lead character is precisely the opposite of a “female idiot”: we’re supposed to be hating on her because she’s too precocious and says things too mature for any teenager to say, remember? At least keep the backlash straight.

201

Jason 06.03.08 at 1:08 pm

Hey dexter sounds crabby. Quick everybody else list the 101 CT Threads to Avoid Reading Before You Die.
I vote Juno on the movie front. Thanks to that film I am more reflective about cheating on my wife with hipster teens. But I am still getting the band back together.

202

Doug 06.03.08 at 1:10 pm

Dr S: Ok, for “overrated” please substitute “terrible movies made with apparent utter contempt for their audiences”. “Die before seeing” can also be understood to mean “under no circumstances waste several hours of your life watching” if you so desire, or may be ratcheted down to “films you will wish you had walked out on if, for unfathomable reasons you watch them despite this warning, and, for equally unknowable causes, you should sit through them in their entirety.”

203

Jason 06.03.08 at 1:11 pm

Could you describe the fashionable backlash, sir?

204

Doctor Slack 06.03.08 at 1:22 pm

I hear you, Doug, but you’re going to have to admit that’s just not going to be many people’s reaction to either Pulp Fiction or The Princess and the Warrior. Who knows but there may even be a good reason for that. (I’m not sure what “apparent utter contempt for their audiences” is supposed to mean… I’m curious, but apprehensive.) I’d never heard of In the Realm of the Senses before this thread, but based on the anti-recommendation will probably give it a try.

Could you describe the fashionable backlash, sir?

The process whereby a small-budget film garners widespread critical and audience praise, wins an Oscar or two and thereby forces film geeks to distance themselves from it at all costs, no matter what absurdities this requires. The cinematic version of the sort of thing that happens when an indie band hits the big time. A certain breed of film geek will confess to liking Juno or The Blair Witch Project as readily as a certain breed of rock snob will admit to liking The White Stripes.

205

Randy Paul 06.03.08 at 1:38 pm

Vivian,

Good call on Liquid Sky and Betty Blue. Arguably two of the worst lines in the history of film. In the former: “I’m killing people with my c*&^!” In the latter: “Her diaphragm [not the body part] was flapping like a screen door in a breeze.”

206

Jason 06.03.08 at 1:47 pm

Dammit ds. So what the hell am I supposed to do with all these Moldy Peaches albums.

I’m figuring the film geeks don’t pile on The Hottest State in the same way as Juno b/c, y’know, tits? But the White Stripes really only got played out after a “meg white sex tape” search started returning hits. Never underestimate the jiggle factor, I guess. I haven’t heard much about Forgetting Sarah Marshall so I don’t know if penis is the new black, yet.

Still think Juno was crap though.

207

scm 06.03.08 at 2:02 pm

Starship Troopers was not a satire of consumerism and militarism, as such (where’s the humour?). But it was a film critical of a militaristic society that was entirely constituted by a (fictional) romantic militaristic propaganda film made within that society.

That structure reminded me of Lolita, a novel about a pathetic, despicable pedophile entirely constituted by that pedophile’s pompous and increasingly delusional romantic narrative about himself.

208

notsneaky 06.03.08 at 2:13 pm

Also with dexter on this one. Requiem for a Dream wasn’t a bad movie, it was a movie that made you feel bad. Though not nearly as much as the book, which in turn didn’t make you feel nearly as bad as Hubert Selby’s other books, like Last Exit to Brooklyn or Song of the Silent Snow. Seriously, the director SPARED you people in Requiem.

209

novakant 06.03.08 at 2:19 pm

“American Beauty … truly nasty – it is a thoroughly depressing account of US sexual morality which is entirely without redeeeming features”

Completely agree. A masterclass in misogyny.

Why shouldn’t films be depressing, why does there always have to be something ‘redeeming’? That said, all three of the young protagonists in the movie actually find something like redemption at the end of the movie.

Also, I really don’t see how the film is misogynistic. OK, so the Bening character is a bit of a caricature, but gee, it’s not as if nobody ever met somebody like this in real life. And I could name literally dozens of movies where men are chasing the wrong dream and in the process make fools of themselves or go off their rocker, so why shouldn’t a female be allowed to be portrayed like this. Additionally, the Thora Birch character is entirely likeable and while Mena Suvari’s character is disingenuous and shallow throughout most of the film, her true and better self is revealed and wins out at the end.

Grave of the Fireflies was too much of a “downer”? Good Lord. That’s the sort of thing you should be embarrassed to say (or type) in public.

I think you missed the part about the film being manipulative, which IMHO it is and in a bad way.

Good call on Liquid Sky and Betty Blue.

I know it’s a bit rubbish, but I truly love Betty Blue ;).

210

Gene O'Grady 06.03.08 at 2:20 pm

Is there really a movie in which California invades Buenos Aires? As a former Californian, I must point out that Argentina invaded California first (in 1818, as a matter of fact). Which is how (I almost said) we got more flags than Texas.

211

novakant 06.03.08 at 2:20 pm

that second para should be italicized, sorry

212

palmettok 06.03.08 at 2:22 pm

When it comes to films I watched this year, it has to be I am Legend. I have found few that agree with me, but I thought the movie was terrible and went nowhere.

213

rea 06.03.08 at 2:28 pm

Liquid Sky is one of those movies that are so bad as to redeemably amusing–alien endorphin junkies with their frisbie-sized space ship–kinky sex, drugs and bad club music–vintage Soviet special effects–how could you not like that?

214

rea 06.03.08 at 2:31 pm

Is there really a movie in which California invades Buenos Aires?

No, what he means is that the movie is supposedly set in Buenos Aires, but the characters aren’t very authentically Argentinian.

215

politicalfootball 06.03.08 at 2:48 pm

Starship Troopers was pegged by one reviewer as “Triumph of Will 90210.” I thought this was dead-on, but I really enjoyed the movie. If I recall correctly, the reviewer liked it, too.

216

Miracle Max 06.03.08 at 2:53 pm

Lots of movies I like up here, esp. Eyes Wide Shut. Luv the post-apocalyptic stuff, no matter how bad (Warriors of the Wasteland!). Liquid Sky was epic. I have a poster of that one.

On the bad side, anything with Adam Sandler or Paulie Shore. Looking for Mr Goodbar. Hustle and Flow. Spike Lee’s Son of Sam film. Nicholas Cage seems to come up a lot. Couldn’t sit through Ghost Rider. Wicker Man, bad. National Treasure, yuck. Jarmusch, awful.

217

Glorious Godfrey 06.03.08 at 3:08 pm

Starship Troopers is remarkable because the director had the gumption of delivering an in-your-face parody of the book he was supposed to be adapting to film. That alone is more than enough to keep it off any worst-films-evah list.

Plus, it’s quite hilarious, really. For example, the bit where the Queen Bug sucks out the brains of the companion of the main character’s love interest is a brilliant send-up of the way Hollywood likes to handle your standard love triangle. Now if Lucas had tried something similar in Return of the Jedi to solve the Luke-Leia-Han situation…

218

Questioner 06.03.08 at 3:09 pm

Here are some beloved movies that I think are terrible, and that I haven’t seen mentioned:

Rosemary’s Baby (though the part where the old lady said “hail, Satan” was pretty hilarious, I will admit; however, it wasn’t supposed to be)
The Paper Chase (unbelievably stupid)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (so precious I wanted to kill myself and everyone else)

Here are some justly hated movies that have not gotten mention:

The Devil’s Rejects (the most morally repugnant movie I have ever seen; made me want to destroy decadent Western culture)
Turistas (PC–in the justly pejorative sense of that term, not the sense in which right wingers complain that they can’t call women “broads”–gone amok)
Higher Learning (PC gone even more amok)

The worst sequels of all time:

Highlander 3, Matrix 3, Batman & Robin

219

Glorious Godfrey 06.03.08 at 3:11 pm

Oh, and aren’t the phony all-American Argentinians half the point of the movie?

220

b 06.03.08 at 3:12 pm

What a bunch of nonsense.

American Beauty is a satire, you fucking idiot!

221

Pär Isaksson 06.03.08 at 3:15 pm

Bridget Jones Diary

anything with Steven Seagal.

222

Richard J 06.03.08 at 3:16 pm

Exactly, GG. When you have a film whose climax is child soldiers gleefully shouting ‘Huzzah’ when a guy in an SS-style greatcoat announces that the foe knows fear…

223

Al 06.03.08 at 3:18 pm

the movie is supposedly set in Buenos Aires, but the characters aren’t very authentically Argentinian.

Exactly. Its Hegemony people!

224

doug 06.03.08 at 3:19 pm

high school hormones led me to the theater to see “Black Orchid” with Mickey Rourke the ‘hott’ follow up to 9 1/2 Weeks… another strike against rational choice theory…

225

Stephen 06.03.08 at 3:19 pm

A couple of bad ones come to mind:

“Being Human” – Robin Williams directed by Bill Forsyth. Williams is a sort of everyman through history. A misconceived and stupid movie.

“Secret Window” – Johnny Depp in a thriller based on a Stephen King story. Ends up not being suspenseful, just unpleasant.

226

Greg Reed 06.03.08 at 3:36 pm

Crybaby!

That’s not meant to be directed at anybody. It was simply a terrible film.

227

Jackmormon 06.03.08 at 3:39 pm

My European film-buff friends used to point to the deliberate casting of actors with lots and lots of plastic surgery as one of the funnier bits of Starship Troopers.

228

Righteous Bubba 06.03.08 at 3:40 pm

Starship Troopers is good and funny work. On the other hand it’s easy to see why nobody wants to waste two hours on Nazi 90210 in Space.

229

Sophia 06.03.08 at 3:45 pm

I nominate, The Patriot, Braveheart and 300 as movies without any redeeming features.

Sophia

230

DUDACKATTACK!!! 06.03.08 at 4:07 pm

Angel Heart – I wholeheartedly agree. That ending had me shouting “FOR FUCKS SAKE!!” out loud in the theatre.

Other noteables:

Every Robert Rodriguez movie since El Mariachi. The dialogue is sooo awful in everyone of them. All first-takes spliced together. They’re all like watching long episodes of the A-Team.
Any movie featuring Ryan Reynolds. Even gravity-bong hits can’t make him funny. Same goes for Dane Cook- you wonder if they’re the same person. Oh yeah, Rob Schnieder too.

Indiana Jones 4 (yep, its a steamer)
The Spanish Prisoner
The Sea Inside (oh, go ahead film school tools, start bitching!!)
Stranger Than Fiction

231

BKN 06.03.08 at 4:09 pm

#185 in particular in on to something: this thread needs a thorough meta-analysis. Let me contribute to that project. I notice a couple of trends/themes in the posts:

-Many seem rooted in distaste for a particular genre per se. If you generally don’t like a particular film genre (romantic epic, period piece, musicial…), but get dragged/tricked/hyped into seeing an especially representative example of that genre, that experience will stick with you, and you’ll take it out on the film.

-Films punished for dashing your expectations of them. Once I decide I want to see a film, I make a point of avoiding reading, seeing, or listening to anything about it. This somewhat helps avoid disappointment. Beyond a certain point no film can ever live up to its hype.

-Films dissed because of dislike of a particular actor, not merely b/c of their (lack of) acting skills but a visceral dislike. I’m guilty of this; e.g. I can’t stand John Malkovich–how he looks, the sound of his voice. He ruins for me any movie he’s in, for that reason.

232

Glorious Godfrey 06.03.08 at 4:21 pm

I have to disagree somewhat on “300”. The comparison between the film and the comic that inspires it provides proof positive of the slow, inexorable descent into madness of Frank Miller’s mind. Now, as a comic buff, I find that to be a most fascinating train wreck.

Plus, it’s a handy summation of the features of contemporary Orientalism cum Islamophobia. For example, things like the depiction of Rodrigo Santoro’s i.e. Xerxes’s serraglio show that some well-meaning left-wing commentators
are falling well short of the goal of plumbing the depths, of capturing the multifarious manifestations, of the animosity towards the swarthies which prevails in warmongering circles.

The film is a gem due its unintended humour, of course. These days, who is the underdog, and who wields the craven weapons that kill from a safe distance, or the heavy war beasts?

Last but not least, my reptile brain tells me that the ripped abs and the stylised bloodletting are yummy. What can I say, I don’t hold myself to high standards.

233

The Modesto Kid 06.03.08 at 4:23 pm

WRT Angel Heart — All I remember about this movie is that there was nudity and I was young. Well that and the ceiling fans.

234

Richard J 06.03.08 at 4:27 pm

Oh God, 300. Triumph of the Will as remade by someone with an aesthetic sense more suited to Man O’War album covers.

235

Glorious Godfrey 06.03.08 at 4:34 pm

Basically, I’m saying that 300 is so bad it’s good. And it has Chippendale Spartans. No amount of second-order awareness of the first-order phenomenal experience of Chippendale Spartans can allow you to get over the “first-orderness” of Chippendale Spartans, if you know what I mean.

236

Hiyo_2366 06.03.08 at 4:34 pm

I think it’s more in line with the original poster’s intent to say that “the list” should NOT include films merely bad, or merely dull. There are thousands of those. It should be a list of films that are so deeply, morally, factually or historically inaccurate, so mistaken about so many basic life issues that when you’re trying to tell someone why the film is bad you don’t know where to start. So given over to the madness of a fixed idea, or mired in some idiot’s concept of Pure Art, or so pandering to a depraved and narrow view of what some ethnic or social group (e.g blacks, gays, women) might want to see, that every scene presents multiple levels of pure awfulness.

It’s easy to think of dull or obnoxious films, but those that actually poison the springs of humanity are thankfully somewhat rarer, and more worthy of the list.

237

Tom Hurka 06.03.08 at 4:34 pm

Re #145

Agree about The English Patient, but in one respect it’s an improvement on the book. In the book Almasy’s going back to the cave to have some necrophilia with his dead lover’s corpse. (And she’s something like 2 years dead – ugh!)

238

Glorious Godfrey 06.03.08 at 4:34 pm

Oh God, 300. Triumph of the Will as remade by someone with an aesthetic sense more suited to Man O’War album covers.

Exactly.

239

Glorious Godfrey 06.03.08 at 4:37 pm

pandering to a depraved and narrow view of what some ethnic or social group (e.g blacks, gays, women) might want to see..

Or Republicans.

240

Jacob Christensen 06.03.08 at 4:38 pm

Just to add an international perspective: As a rule, Danish folkekomedier should be avoided at all costs. Fortunately, only very few ever reached the international market and by the mid-1990s the genre was almost extinct. But I do remember Min søsters børn i sneen, a 1990s remake of a 1960s disaster (the 1960s version is reactionary humour at its most pathetic, the 1990s version does not have any reason to exist except to rip off the reputation of some otherwise good actors), being shown on a route bus between Umeå and Sundsvall.

In case any Germans read this I will make an exception for Olsenbanden, although Olsensbandens sidste stik was and is a terrible misunderstanding. All copies of this film should be deposited in the Mariana Trench.

241

lemuel pitkin 06.03.08 at 4:41 pm

Every Robert Rodriguez movie since El Mariachi.

Since s/b including.

Sure, he made it for $30,000 or whatever. If they sold the tickets for a nickel I’d be appreciative.

The Spanish Prisoner is another good suggestion, altho it did have a couple of decent scenes. But if you’re going to make a movie around an elaborate scam that is gradually revealed layer by layer, the thing has got to make some minimal amount of sense when the last veil comes off. Otherwise — well, you’ve got Doug’s “utter contempt for the audience.”

242

lemuel pitkin 06.03.08 at 4:42 pm

those that actually poison the springs of humanity

Well put. That’s why my first suggestion was Kids.

243

C M R 06.03.08 at 5:08 pm

I must agree that Requiem for a Dream was a useless waste of celluloid. A pseudo-sophisticated, “deep” for college students, two hour long piece of anti-drug propaganda. For that matter, Pi was colossally overrated.

But those are mere trifles compared to a movie like Across the Universe, which was so bad that it became good and then went back to being bad again. I can just imagine all the washed up sixty-year olds who were never even part of the counter-culture to begin with tearing up in nostalgia while watching this endlessly crass, hamfisted repackaging of their adolescence. I think that mini-series “The Sixties” was better than this film.

Really, though, what evil genius thought to film Beatles songs as though the lyrics were literal blueprints for a scene? “She came in through the bathroom window” and then someone actually comes in through the bathroom window?!

I want to see a movie that covers the Kinks oeuvre, about a boy who loves his village green in England and ends up meeting a magnificent flying cat who introduces him to a transgender person in America. Then they travel through time to fight in the war.

244

someguy 06.03.08 at 5:18 pm

“Exactly, GG. When you have a film whose climax is child soldiers gleefully shouting ‘Huzzah’ when a guy in an SS-style greatcoat announces that the foe knows fear…”

And isn’t they guy in the coat Doogie Howser? That was great!

The BIG BRAIN BUG!

Not my favorite but certainly not the worst.

Expectations and money spent really matter. I thought Planet of Apes would actually be good and saw it in a theatre with my wife. I still feel ripped off.

Van Helsing(way unthread 35 and 55) was like the third free video, watched late at night, and I thought it would be incredible stupid but maybe stupid fun. I enjoyed it.

A lot of good nominations.

245

notsneaky 06.03.08 at 5:24 pm

“aesthetic sense more suited to Man O’War album covers”

NTTIWWT

246

smaug 06.03.08 at 5:35 pm

Using the standard of a movie that purports to be high art but fails seriously (e.g., House of Sand and Fog), I would list:

eXistenZ – I was confused rather than puzzled, and bored; I like his Crash

Spider – ditto

Italian for Beginners – bored, bored, bored

The Piano – woman doesn’t talk for no apparent reason (though hint of abuse) and gets sexually harassed into love?!

Titus – pretentious, violent w/o motivation. If the play is bad, then DON’T MAKE A MOVIE OF IT.

Though it does not belong in this category, I agree that Chasing Amy was lousy.

247

Javier 06.03.08 at 5:44 pm

There should be a category for:

A film that proves that a surprise twist isn’t so welcome when it relies on the film’s actively lying to you for two hours…

Five fingers (it doens’t lasts two hours, but it feels that long)
One featuring Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser (I forgot the name)

248

Randy Paul 06.03.08 at 5:54 pm

Coming Home. God what an odious compendium of cliches and the subtlety of anthrax wrapped as an alleged anti-war film.

When Bruce Dern has sex with Jane Fonda, the music on the soundtrack is Hey Jude. But when Jon Voight does it, it’s Strawberry Field Forever!

I remember when Dern finds out about Fonda and Voight sleeping together, confronts them with his M-16 and Voight says to Dern, “I’m a brother,” I turned to my girlfriend at the time and said “Give me the weapon, Bruce. This one’s on me.”

The Deer Hunter. They should have ended it after the wedding scene. The Russian Roulette scenes were nothing but racist claptrap. Three hours of sheer tedium and macho posturing.

249

Matt Weiner 06.03.08 at 5:55 pm

The really bad Philip Marlowe in the movies is Elliott Gould.

I disagree.

250

Western Dave 06.03.08 at 6:38 pm

You all have a weird threshold for what constitutes a bad movie. The Dark Wind, an adaptation of a Tony Hillerman novel is so bad that you can see the boom mic in a bunch of the shots. Most of the rest of what you all have mentioned are at least technically competent. Okay, Liquid Sky was really bad but I saw it for free. There is a difference between bad and cliche. For example, whatever it’s other faults in terms of narrative or message Titanic was at least startlingly well-made in it’s attention to detail, design etc..

Of course, I did love Starship Troopers when I saw it on TV.

251

Kent 06.03.08 at 6:43 pm

Nobody has mentioned 8MM (a Nicolas Cage flick). A truly horrific movie. It’s hard to describe just how awful this film is. Awful not only in the artistic sense but in the moral sense. Watching the movie itself degrades the viewer. Ick.

252

MR Bill 06.03.08 at 6:52 pm

I loathed Crash, violent, sexist, homophobic. stoopid…It was supposed to be a black comedy, but gloried in bloodletting too much.
And Chronicles of Riddick was in incoherent mess. I hope Judi Dench got good money for being in that stinker.

And I actually won two tickets to Howard the Duck. I was embarrassed for the actors. (The original comic was, in fact, great…)

253

bdub 06.03.08 at 6:53 pm

Some very good nominations here. I agree with most, but I have yet so see, unless I missed it, a nomination for the movie that is without a doubt the worst ever:

Battlefield Earth.

254

Mikke 06.03.08 at 6:59 pm

‘Batman and Robin’. Hideous.

255

cartesian 06.03.08 at 7:09 pm

I have to nominate the (pseudo-)documentary movie:

What the Bleep Do We Know!?

Surely the most nonsensical, steaming pile of stream-of-consciousness free association ever to make the transition from “F” grade freshman philosophy essay to the big screen, it combines the factual informativeness of Blue Velvet with the honesty of Fox News Channel’s hosts and the artistic sensibility of Fox News Channel’s computer graphics team. Yet bizarrely, many people seem to actually like it and find it “educational”.
Talk about poisoning the springs of humanity!

256

eric 06.03.08 at 7:23 pm

I can’t believe nobody has mentioned Monkeybone. If you think that Brendan Fraser sucks in his other movies (and he does, btw), you have yet to endure this epic failure of a movie.

257

not even an mba 06.03.08 at 7:32 pm

I totally agree with beebklarg @ 138. The fact that the two main characters continue to survive through the movie is a slap in the face of the viewer. A totally undeserved ending as well. It’s as if some totally self-absorbed sociopath got rewarded for his complete lack of empathy by being elected President of the United States.

258

"Fair and Balanced" Dave 06.03.08 at 7:34 pm

Love Story

The epitome of treacly awfulness. Speaking of really bad 70’s films, nobody has mentioned the phenomenally awful Billy Jack.

I’m also surprised nobody has mentioned the epitome of bad 80’s films Rambo: First Blood Part 2. I managed to avoid this film for over 20 years but finally saw it on “Encore” a few weeks ago (2 hours of my life I’ll never get back)

259

Doug 06.03.08 at 7:37 pm

227: “It should be a list of films that are so deeply, morally, factually or historically inaccurate, so mistaken about so many basic life issues that when you’re trying to tell someone why the film is bad you don’t know where to start. So given over to the madness of a fixed idea, or mired in some idiot’s concept of Pure Art, or so pandering to a depraved and narrow view of [life] that every scene presents multiple levels of pure awfulness.”

That about sums up what I remember Pulp Fiction being like. Thanks, hiyo.

260

bartkid 06.03.08 at 7:46 pm

Funny Games
I am a lesser human for watching that.

Any film with Michael Ironside in it. Yes, even Scanners.

261

John Emerson 06.03.08 at 7:46 pm

“Pulp Fiction” is excellent as a reference standard for jerky American culture, however, and maybe as a litmus test to decide who you’d want to be freinds with.

262

HP 06.03.08 at 8:06 pm

I’m glad I only watch low-budget exploitation films.

I saw an interview a year or so ago with Jorge Grau, director of 1973’s The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (aka a whole bunch of other titles), who, thanks to DVD, has been recently making the rounds at fan conventions all over the world. He said something like,* “I hate film buffs, but I love horror fans. You see, a film buff will watch a new, 80-million-dollar movie and point out everything that’s wrong with it. And he will be exactly right. But a horror fan will watch a 30-year-old, 20,000-dollar movie and find the one thing that’s good about it, and love it for that.”

You all sound like a bunch of film buffs.

Re. Dario Argento — I don’t know why, but for some reason nobody outside fandom seems to be aware of his undisputed masterpiece, Profundo rosso. It is for me the apotheosis of the giallo, and the first film I would recommend to Argento newbies. After that, probably his debut film, and arguably the first giallo, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, which is the film that Hitchcock said made him “nervous.” It’s nowhere near as flawless as Deep Red, but it does have the vastly superior score by Morricone.

* From memory, and questionable translation from Castilian. But the essence of it is correct.

263

The Modesto Kid 06.03.08 at 8:07 pm

a litmus test to decide who you’d want to be freinds with.

This is certainly a redeeming feature to justify the film’s existence, but does not move it off the “avoid” list. Rather the opposite.

264

The Modesto Kid 06.03.08 at 8:10 pm

Thanks hp, I had not heard of Dario Argento before. I added Crystal Plumage to my Netflix queue; they don’t seem to have Deep Red yet.

265

kenzdawg 06.03.08 at 8:11 pm

I’m surprised and saddened that no one has mentioned Zardoz. Cod-Nietzsche meets cod-Fraser meets cod-sci-fi. Nor have we mentioned Pink Floyd The Wall and indeed everything Alan Parker has ever done.

266

Michael Dietz 06.03.08 at 8:28 pm

Happiness. Utterly loathsome film. Kind of surprised nobody’s mentioned it till now.

267

Ben Alpers 06.03.08 at 8:40 pm

Goin’ back and keepin’ score (and in no particular order)…

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band is truly an indefensible film. May eventually go down as the undisputed champion of this thread.

Rosemary’s Baby A very good film. Not Knife in the Water or Chinatown, mind you, but masterfully filmed by Polanski. Cassavetes is wonderfully creepy in it. Mia Farrow is not entirely unwatchable (a high achievement for her, in my book). And “Hail Satan” is, of course, supposed to be funny. Despite the fact that this is a serious film, it has a lot of irony and humor in it.

O Lucky Man A mixed bag, but still worth seeing, if only for the music. Not as good a film as If…; a much better film than Brittania Hospital

Spider I was very frustrated by this one until the very end. One of the rare films with an O’Henry ending in which the twist not only works, but actually pulls the whole film together in a logical and convincing fashion. The anti-No Way Out

Pulp Fiction A very good film, imo. Lots of fun, fairly interesting, well made and well put together. If Tarantino had cast just about anyone other than himself as Jimmie Dimmick, it would have been even better.

Totally agree about the Juno backlash phenomenon. I just saw the film a few days ago (I was out of the country when it came out). It was perfectly pleasant. For an earlier version of this backlash dynamic, see Lost in Translation, another overpraised film that I didn’t get around to seeing until everyone decided it was terrible. I thought it was just fine. (If you want to see a not only overpraised, but also actually bad, film with Ellen Page, check out Hard Candy, though she’s quite good in it).

268

Ben Alpers 06.03.08 at 8:41 pm

I think Happiness is great. Though I realize this is a minority opinion.

269

Todd 06.03.08 at 9:20 pm

I’m glad someone mentioned “Sweet November,” I had the misfortune of seeing this on a plane and immediately deemed it the worst movie I’d ever seen. That was until a friend of my ex rented “First Daughter” one night, which was even worse, mostly because a movie about the president’s daughter made by Forest Whitaker should have been at least interesting. It was the most banal thing I’ve ever seen.

270

Chris 06.03.08 at 9:23 pm

Toys with Robin Williams and LL Cool J.

271

Harold 06.03.08 at 9:25 pm

To Live and Die in L.A. exemplifies everything that was/is bad about 80’s films.

272

Doug 06.03.08 at 9:28 pm

Pulp Fiction A very good film, imo. Lots of fun”

This is obviously some strange usage of the word “fun” that I wasn’t previously aware of.

273

C M R 06.03.08 at 9:31 pm

Re:

Dario Argento

If you refuse to recognize the unbridled visual genius of a film like Suspiria, you are truly not deserving of your eyesight. Or ears for that matter– horror movie music doesn’t get much better than Goblin.

Re:

The “fashionable backlash”

Films like Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Napoleon Dynamite, and Sideways are all calculated, mediocre pieces of insincere crap that deserve every ounce of derision they receive. Even if their popularity is causing them to be hated when they normally would only have been dismissed, they still stink!

Pretending that they are actually acceptable works of art and that they are only experiencing a backlash because of their popularity is just an attempt to justify an extremely high tolerance on your part for utter junk.

Or, perhaps you think you need to act as a counterweight to all those people who think they need to act as a counterweight to all those people who originally liked the film. Either way, most of that stuff is simply terrible, there’s no way around it, and you’re wasting my time by suggesting otherwise.

In closing, “Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money…”

274

vanya 06.03.08 at 9:31 pm

Chasing Amy? What kind of humorless 50 year old pantywaists hate that movie? Actually it’s not really very good, but it’s certainly nowhere near the 101 worst movies of all time. The characters in the movie may not be all that likable, they may kind of stupid, but, for better or worse, they resemble a lot of people I know. Chasing Amy is a more “realistic” movie than almost anything Hollywood puts out, if you can’t deal with that, too bad.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band yup, now this is a good candidate. Nothing redeemable at all.

275

Lesley 06.03.08 at 9:31 pm

Girl on a swing

Who’s that Girl

I’m not hating on women, I am one, but those two were terrible.

Golden Compass

Across the Universe

Superbad is, well, super bad.

276

Rob 06.03.08 at 9:36 pm

The Hulk. Dullest comic-book adaptation ever.

277

PaulW 06.03.08 at 9:37 pm

On my list of bad movies is The Last Emperor. Any so-called-epic Oscar-winning pile of rubbish that has the audacity to BORE MY PARENTS TO DEATH deserves to be ranked with the worst of the worst. At least Plan 9 *tries* to entertain you…

278

melissa 06.03.08 at 9:39 pm

Perfume. Without question the stupidest ending to ever movie ever made. Narrated it to my husband after he gave up (2-plus hours in). Here’s how it went: “Perfume murder puts a dot of perfume on a piece of cloth. Waves it around just before being executed. Everyone’s entranced; everyone gets naked. Everyone starts having sex! While that should be a *good* thing, somehow in this movie it’s not. Then something else and something else happens, and the dude gets eaten by rats.

279

melissa 06.03.08 at 9:41 pm

Sorry–my post above should read, “Without question the stupidest ending to any move ever made.” And then there should be a closing quotation mark at some point.

280

monboddo 06.03.08 at 9:41 pm

Sure, some awful movies mentioned here, but still IMHO nothing beats Prince’s Under the Cherry Moon

281

Jeremiah J. 06.03.08 at 9:43 pm

The Spanish Prisoner, Moulin Rouge, Junebug, You’ve Got Mail and Life is Beautiful? I can understand if some people don’t like these movies, but it seems a bit snobbish to assume no one at all could, so we’d better warn them not to see it.

If someone mentions You’ve Got Mail, but no other Meg Ryan film, then I think they have it all exactly backwards. So you think French Kiss was better?

282

Righteous Bubba 06.03.08 at 9:44 pm

Actually it’s not really very good, but it’s certainly nowhere near the 101 worst movies of all time.

The category is movies to avoid. I think almost everybody acknowledges that there is entertainment value in the awful.

Let me plug Heironymous Merkin Blah Blah Blah again, a movie so wonderfully off-putting that the trailer does not mention anything meaningful about it except that it provides boners:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdTAYk9f1_g

Introducing Trampolina Whambang!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otry9dTltR8&feature=related

Notice that Anthony Newley is explaining his yearnings to HIS ACTUAL CHILDREN. Wife Joan Collins is in the film – as his wife – but is renamed Polyester Poontang.

283

CK Dexter 06.03.08 at 9:45 pm

“I think Happiness is great.”

How is this possible?–it’s not “happy” at all!

Happiness is no Welcome to the Dollhouse, but it’s not bad, and surely not listworthy.

Sad trend #3: many posters seem incapable of distinguishing moral (or emotional) and artistic evaluation. This is particularly odd in cases like Happiness, where the “loathsomeness” is intentional. It’s like hating Schindler’s List because Nazis are bad, rather than because Spielberg’s a hack. (In the case of emotional evaluation, bad emotion = bad movie. Which would rule out, e.g., tragedy).

That anyone would put Bringing Up Baby or Arsenic and Old Lace on such a list completely destroys my faith in the smallest trace of goodness in the nature of human beings. Which is OK. I only had a very small trace of such faith.

I can understand not liking Pulp Fiction, but to put it on this list seems like an overreacting–and not liking it is a pretty good litmus test of humourlesssonofabitchedness.

Argento’s a flawed genius, and Suspiria is a masterpiece. His aestheticism is his both his greatest artistic strength and weakness, but anyone who can’t recognize the brilliance of his work deserves to have their eyes gouged out–preferably as executed, choreographed, and filmed by Argento.

284

Kevin 06.03.08 at 9:49 pm

“The Man in the Iron Mask”. Thrill to the wonderment of Leonardo di Caprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu and Gabriel Bryne all phoning it in as 18th century Frenchmen speaking in US, British, US, French and Irish accents. The best of the bad is John Malkovich, who slogs through his lines like a sullen teen being forced to eat dinner at grandma’s. And the script will sear itself into your memory. (Not in a good way.)

285

matt 06.03.08 at 9:53 pm

My list would be the insane romance dramadies of the late 1990s.

Autumn in New York

Sweet November

The plot of both movies: He’s an on the go tough business man, who sleeps with many women, but as no time for love. She’s a quirky, short of hippish girl who tries to show said man what life and love is all about. But she gets a brain tumor and dies leaving the man with the memories of their time together, and his renewed faith in love. WTF?

The Brother’s Grimm
Dumb and Dumber
Message in a Bottle
Titanic- the dialog in that movie is atrocious.
Juno- Yes thats right, there was no Juno backlash, it was the feel good movie for the pro-lifers with a plot that was pretty far-fetched.
All of those movies that try to parody other movies: Scary Movie etc.
Matrix Revolutions

286

PaulW 06.03.08 at 9:55 pm

The only thing good about You’ve Got Mail were the Godfather references.

My problem is, I actually try to avoid seeing movies I *know* in my soul are gonna suck rhino. So I don’t personally see a lot of the trashy crap that everyone else reveals to be crap. Of the ones I did go out of my way to see, even with truckloads of dread about them, were: Batman and Robin, Highlander II (the first sequel to openly screw the concept of continuity), Star Trek V, Mission Impossibles I and II, Tomb Raider (I wisely avoided the sequel), and 3000 Miles to Graceland . If I had to rank the worst of the worst, 3000 Miles would do it for sheer lack of likable characters and waste of a concept.

287

jason whitworth 06.03.08 at 10:00 pm

Believe it or not, the worst film ever made just came out last week: The Strangers. Every second of this film; every word spoken; every shot filmed is terrible.

288

Chet 06.03.08 at 10:05 pm

I call bullshit. Most of these are really good movies that certain trendy-types have determined that you can’t like and still be “cool.” Nothing can be great to such people if other people like it.

289

Karmakin 06.03.08 at 10:06 pm

The problem is a lot of the movies listed I saw different things out of them that redeemed the movie.

For example…

The Lake House was actually one of the best representations of a long-distance relationship that I’ve seen. That it does it in a sort of sci-fi/fantasy twist that in the end works pretty well helps.

Signs would have been better if it was what it was REALLY supposed to be. A family sitting down watching the events of 9/11 together. But something like that would be ghoulish, so we get aliens. But for what it is, it still works.

Starship Troopers took the message of the original book and threw it on its ear. It’s a movie about propaganda and the worthlessness of the soldier and the individual in an authoritarian culture.

The Matrix trilogy (at least the second and third movies), are more decipherable when you realize that the major influence, both storywise and stylistically, is Hironobu Sakaguchi, the long time head cheese behind the video game Final Fantasy series.

Speaking of Final Fantasy, The Spirits Within is a great sci-fi movie. The problem is that among its target audience, most didn’t get the Final Fantasy link.

It’s our “Final Fantasy”, and it uses some of our myths and legends to create a great sci-fi/fantasy world. The story? The story plays second fiddle to the setting. Same with The Matrix movies. I’m fine with that. Most of my favorite books are like that as well actually.

There are very few BAD movies, or ugly movies out there. Eyes Wide Shut, for one. The piano in that alone made me turn it off.

290

dogfacegeorge 06.03.08 at 10:13 pm

“[‘Pulp Fiction’ is] so deeply, morally, factually or historically inaccurate, so mistaken about so many basic life issues that when you’re trying to tell someone why the film is bad you don’t know where to start.”

“’Pulp Fiction’ is excellent as a reference standard for jerky American culture”

You do realize, don’t you, that “Pulp Fiction” is just pulp fiction?

291

dave 06.03.08 at 10:15 pm

Evil Movies- seven, 8mm, NBK, kids, the parent trap. (they separated the twins????)

Bad movies- What about Bob, Judge Dread, Highlander II, Fled, etc

Starship troopers, the usual suspects, and Love actually were all IMHO, great.

Though I could see some black turtlenecker finding the latter annoying.

292

Keith M Ellis 06.03.08 at 10:16 pm

My Dinner with Andre demonstrates why actors are the most boring and uninsightful people alive.

American Beauty, Forrest Gump, and The Shawshank Redemption are all middlebrow vacuities.

V for Vendetta, Full Metal Jacket, any of the Star Wars films except ESB.

293

random 06.03.08 at 10:17 pm

“Druids” starring the incomparably wooden Cristopher Lambert. Imagine a movie where the first line is delivered by some poorly made-up Celt screaming in a thunderstorm, “I’m being crushed by the Wheel of Destiny!” as lightening strikes nearby. And it gets worse from there; I couldn’t make it past 45 minutes.

294

Keith M Ellis 06.03.08 at 10:24 pm

“…an adaptation of a Tony Hillerman novel is so bad that you can see the boom mic in a bunch of the shots.”

This is essentially never the fault of anyone who made the film. It is almost always the fault of the projectionist for failing to set the masking on the projection equipment correctly.

295

KobayashiMaru 06.03.08 at 10:28 pm

Alien v. Predator: Requiem

There are “good” bad movies and “bad” bad movies. I actually like the former… and the first Alien v. Predator was in this category. The problem is that when you’re already in the realm of bad movies, no matter how hard you seek out the good ones you’ll still run into many objectively awful ones. Hence, the two hours of my life I wasted on the sequel.

296

Dave Maier 06.03.08 at 10:28 pm

Before this thread gets out of hand (oops – too late), it should be pointed out that the title of the post is “101 Movies to avoid watching before you die,” with examples given which include both the “gratuitously nasty” (House of Sand and Fog) and the merely unfunny (You’ve Got Mail – my description, though I haven’t seen the film).

Both actual moral decay and simply being a waste of time are good reasons not to see a film. But the former is a more convincing and substantial reason, while the latter is more a matter of (aesthetic or comedic) sensibility, and leads to people simply listing films they didn’t like, and thus to pained disagreement, and eventually to a free-for-all.

So maybe the thread might have been entitled “Films which will leach away your humanity” or something; but it wasn’t. That means that if someone mentions a film they thought to be a mere waste of time, that does not mean that they think it degrading or reprehensible.

So I agree, Batman and Robin, which I must again stress to have been just awful and a complete failure, is not in remotely the same category as what I imagine 8MM to have been (based on the trailer and reviews). (Nor, of course, is Bringing Up Baby.)

Still, just as great art is in some sense ennobling, aesthetic disaster can’t be so easily dismissed as harmless, especially when it passes for art. I see we all have our favorite examples of this phenomenon from the Miramax catalog – thanks, I guess, to smaug for reminding me of The Piano. Anyway, perhaps a more positive cinematic thread is in order?

297

Bruce Baugh 06.03.08 at 10:31 pm

Spider is one of the most profoundly unsettling movies I’ve seen, ever. I have spots of memory loss as a side effect of my auto-immune problems (hint: neurotransmitters are not good to be allergic to), and damn. Cronenberg, Fiennes, et al put that experience up on screen and then amped it up. I love it, though I’m not sure I could bear to watch it again.

Sgt’ Pepper’s…this was on the freebie Video on Demand for Comcast Seattle recently. I couldn’t bear to look away. It was fascinating. Short of having the best boys come in to throw up on camera at random intervals, it’s hard to imagine how much worse it could get, and how better it could waste anyo f the talent involved.

I do agree with comments up above including that some people are reifying their dislike of a genre or other feature into a standard of quality.

Oh! Jade! Anyone else had the misfortune to see it? I don’t remember where I first encountered the description “like a dog turd encased in Lucite”, but whoo boy. It fits. I mean, if you’re going to make a piece of misogynistic incomprehensible sleazy trash, you can at least make the sex scenes fun to watch. But no.

298

Seitz 06.03.08 at 10:41 pm

260 posts and no mention of Heaven’s Gate? Joe Queenan:

I am firmly in the camp that believes that Heaven’s Gate is the worst movie ever made. For my money, none of these other films can hold a candle to Michael Cimino’s 1980 apocalyptic disaster. This is a movie that destroyed the director’s career. This is a movie that lost so much money it literally drove a major American studio out of business. This is a movie about Harvard-educated gunslingers who face off against eastern European sodbusters in an epic struggle for the soul of America. This is a movie that stars Isabelle Huppert as a shotgun-toting cowgirl. This is a movie in which Jeff Bridges pukes while mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that has five minutes of uninterrupted fiddle-playing by a fiddler who is also mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that defies belief.

299

Jason 06.03.08 at 10:47 pm

“You all sound like a bunch of film buffs.”

Perhaps it’s our lack of quotes from Castilian hauteurs. But I’ve yet to experience the apotheosis of the jello, so…

While we’re on the topic, Saw. Not even worth it, & contains the single dumbest scene in movie history – when Danny Glover and his partner find the killer’s well-appointed loft and spend 90% of the scene doing that thing where actors point their guns jerkily in every direction. Ben Linus gets beat to death with a toilet.

300

C M R 06.03.08 at 10:48 pm

None of my posts are showing up for some reason. They are all still waiting for moderator approval. What’s that about? Any advice? In the meantime, someone actually beat me to the punch in saying that someone “who can’t recognize the brilliance of his work deserves to have their eyes gouged out—preferably as executed, choreographed, and filmed by Argento.”

NO FAIR!

301

Melvillain 06.03.08 at 10:49 pm

I didn’t read through the whole list but, I think the worst movie I’ve seen lately, and yes, should be avoided, was The Brave One. I can count the number of movies I have turned off on one hand (I even sat through The Last Samurai in two installments) but, I couldn’t hack The Brave One. And ditto to all those who mentioned Crash. Both version are trash. Oscar my ass!

302

bobbo 06.03.08 at 10:55 pm

“What Dreams May Come.” Robin Williams at his most annoyingly saccarine, which is saying a lot. Cuba Gooding as an equally cloying angel. Heroic dead doctor, bound for heaven, decides to risk a trip to hell to save his wife from the punishment for suicide! I left after 20 minutes, once I realized this was the “story.” 20 minutes I will never get back. Please don’t tell me how it ends. I bet I know!

303

s.e. 06.03.08 at 11:02 pm

A: What do you think of Piero della Francesca?
B: Did you ever see the Flagellation of Christ? That’s not how they dressed! And that architecture, where was anything like that ever in the Middle East!??

I got more but that’s enough.

304

Bruce Baugh 06.03.08 at 11:02 pm

Saw does provide opportunity for inappropriate Princess Bride quotations. Saw II does one clever thing, I’m going to spoil it: the villain does actually tell the literal truth, and the trouble that happens in movie present time happens because the cops don’t believe it. Not enough to make the movie worth watching, but a nice touch.

305

bobbo 06.03.08 at 11:12 pm

Bringing Up Baby, seriously? And Katharine Hepburn doesn’t play piano in it, fake or otherwise.

306

Shay Begorrah 06.03.08 at 11:12 pm

Aim higher folks.

When you see a film and its makes you look back on every previous work of the directors with suspicion, when a film makes you discount the collective wisdom of your peers and feel like a stranger among them, when a film leaves you worried for the fate of humanity then you know it has made the list.

For me the top contender for most morally reprehensible film of the last twenty years has to be Saving Private Ryan, a film that actually got people killed. I left the cinema snarling at its simple minded bellicosity and horrified that it had been so generously reviewed. I am utterly convinced that the film and its attendant TV series really laid the ground culturally for the Bush wars and the general conviction that invading abroad was just a perfect way to emulate the “greatest generation”. It amazed me that it was more racist and less humane then propaganda films made during the second world war. A completely unironic paean to killing, mercilessness and the evil of the other. Amazing.

On the other hand Van Helsing needs to be taken seriously as a bad film as it was so wilfully stupid, incoherent, visually messy and loud that it hurt to be in the cinema. The Saint and Snake Eye’s also deserve to be wiped from the page of history. Saving Private Ryan though, that film could convince benevolent aliens not to contact us, even if they were bored.

307

Luther van Pumpernickel 06.03.08 at 11:15 pm

A few more:

Double Team – starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman. Intentionally terrible? maybe.

The Official Story – a mediocre movie about the Argentine dictatorship. You probably saw it in a Spanish class. Worst, most cloying movie music ever.

Speed – the movie that created Sandra Bullock. If that wasn’t bad enough, watch the actual movie.

Old School. Good god.

308

Nat 06.03.08 at 11:16 pm

I’m just going to go on record that Moulin Rouge is brilliant, gorgeous excess. It’s the only movie I’ve paid to see twice in a day.

Unbreakable is also hugely underrated, by far Shyamalan’s best movie, and the Bruce Willis’ best work since Moonlighting (in part because the character plays so well at a right angle to Willis’ persona). The scene with the handgun is amazing. If not for terrible marketing and the precedent of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable’s ending would be interpreted completely differently; I thought it was perfect.

Other movies mentioned so far by people whose taste I consider suspect: Titus, The Island (Michael Bay’s most enjoyable effort since The Rock, for whatever that’s worth), Coppola’s Dracula, Cabin Boy, Being John Malkovich, Black Book, Pulp Fiction, and The Princess and the Warrior — if Franka Potente wants to make a movie where she reads the phone book, I will buy that DVD.

309

anthony baxter 06.03.08 at 11:24 pm

Lawnmower Man. Oh my god.

Actually, _any_ movie that calls itself “Stephen King’s X” is pretty much guaranteed to be a stinker. There’s been some great movies based on his short stories, but the ones promoted with his name – I can’t think of a single good one.

I found Starship Troopers to be unwatchably bad.

Any of the modern series of torture porn splatter flicks, including Wolf Creek, the Saw movies, the Hostel movies – the entire genre and the people behind them need to be fired into the sun.

310

slag 06.03.08 at 11:26 pm

Chasing Amy was hilarious. You people haven’t seen enough bad movies.

I can’t believe no one’s mentioned Chronicles of Narnia. Horrifying.

311

sherry 06.03.08 at 11:31 pm

I didn’t see “A Time to Die” on this list. It was horrid. It’s OK to be a vigilante was essentially the theme of this phony high minded manipulative garbage. It wasn’t helped by the excruciatingly bad performance by the usually boring Matthew McConnaughy.

I also hated “Driving Miss Daisy” which I thought was horribly patronizing toward blacks and utterly inaccurate in its portrayal of Jews in the South.

I actually liked “Troy” although mosty for the beefcake. “Alexander” and “300” were simply bad.

312

donna jean 06.03.08 at 11:33 pm

that Jack Nicholson movie with Diane Keaton (how are you supposed to remember the difference between the names As Good As It Gets and Something’s Got to Give). Whichever, Diane Keaton was embarassingly hideous and every element of the plot was pitiful (two grown women see a strange man in their kitchen–in broad daylight==and scream??????) and Keanu Reeves can’t act, and old women liked it. Disgusting movie.

313

GS 06.03.08 at 11:44 pm

The Men’s Club with Roy Scheider. The only movie I ever walked out of.

Show Girls – which is both a waste of time and morally debasing.

314

rm 06.03.08 at 11:44 pm

So, at least one category of Filmi Avertendi is the antinomian, soul-sucking anti-humanist kind. Hearing 8MM mentioned reminds me of the existence of Se7en. It sounds like the Saw things are similar.

But it’s possible to mistake films for this whose virtues aren’t in the uplifting story but in the portrait of unsavory characters or in formalist play. Pulp Fiction has no real characters, but it’s got lots of formalist play. It makes one wonder why it is we humans love pulp stories, and it strongly implies, the way pulp detective fiction does, a continuity between modern trashy fare and Arthurian legend. The hit men, etc., are on quests in which they follow codes of honor, and the macguffin fits the profile of the Grail.

315

H.C. Carey 06.03.08 at 11:45 pm

What was the movie with Bruce Willis as the leader of a team of oil drillers who go into space to stop and asteroid from hitting the earth. It was so very very bad, so comically bitterly bad “Drilling’s an art, it’s a science.” Bruce and a cast of disagreeable jackasses and liv tyler and some kind of bad rock score and I think Ben Affleck or someone like him dies, but not soon enough. Someone please tell me the name of this thing, so I can warn the next generation

316

Seitz 06.03.08 at 11:48 pm

I had a longer comment stuck in moderation, but seriously, no Heaven’s Gate? This far into the thread? Google Joe Queenan Worst Movies and click the first link.

317

eyelessgame 06.03.08 at 11:49 pm

Piling on. Starship Troopers had such obvious satirical roots — the incredibly bad strategies and tactics (A war buff friend of mine said, of the soldiers in this movie, “The Romans could have taken them, technology disadvantage and all”), the use of over-the-top hilariously bad warfare simulation (helmets that resemble nothing so much as partial bicycle helmets are supposed to protect from bullets? Soldiers are armed with thermonuclear hand grenades?)

that said, the satire was not quite over the top enough for the movie to shine for what it was, because virtually every reviewer missed it.

318

Angry Sam 06.04.08 at 12:09 am

I love schlock sci-fi, so all of the Starship Troopers and Event Horizons, while objectively bad, are so delightfully corny that I enjoy ’em.

You want a film to never see? Batman Forever. It happened to be at a rental house on the beach, and I watched 15 minutes of it with family while a storm was passing. For about a week afterward, I was embarrassed to admit that I’d ever seen a movie before.

Oh, and Fever Pitch. Take a dumb, formulaic romantic comedy with a script that’s stupid even as dumb, formulaic romantic comedies go, thrown in poorly conceived Red Sox allusions and saturate with BoSox merch. Now dudes from New England don’t mind going with a girl. Worst. Movie. Ever. Shoulda been banned in Boston.

319

feverfire 06.04.08 at 12:12 am

Mr. Brooks was a terrible movie I would recommend avoiding. Just when you think your at the merciful conclusion, they tack on two additional endings. awful.

320

novakant 06.04.08 at 12:15 am

Joe Queenan is clueless, predictable and boring.

And Argento has made some good bad movies and some bad bad movies, but I’m afraid all of his movies that I’ve seen are full of basic, technical errors. I think the sad truth is he wouldn’t be talented enough to even make a mediocre Hollywood thriller and nobody outside his rather large and devoted fan-base is really taking him seriously as a film-maker. De Palma had some of the same problems, but at least he has proven that he can deliver ever so often. I wish it were different, since he has some good ideas.

321

KevDog 06.04.08 at 12:28 am

“The Game” with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. What a pointless piece of excrement and a waste of film stock that could have been used to make millions of badly posed picture frame inserts.

322

matt mckeon 06.04.08 at 12:32 am

I can’t believe there is only one mention of “Pearl Harbor” a movie where you can’t believe the pilots are pilots, the nurses are nurses or the Japanese are Japanese.

The action scenes are boring and stupid. The only way to enjoy this movie is to realize that the 2 leads (Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett) are closeted gay lovers. Then, the scenes almost make sense.

323

mxh 06.04.08 at 12:38 am

Jaws IV, the Revenge; Waterworld, Elektra, Daredevil, The Hulk, Star Trek V, Rocky IV, Last of the Mohicans (remake); The Patriot; The Belly of the Architect; A Zed And Two Naughts; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover; Much Ado About Nothing; Willow; Marie Antoinette; The Joy Luck Club; The Bad Lieutenant; Husbands and Wives; The People Under The Stairs; Willy Wonka (remake).

324

matt mckeon 06.04.08 at 12:38 am

I was disappointed with The Village. Lady in the water was awful.

I like Signs a lot. After two hours of being harassed, frightened and picked on by aliens, grabbing a bat and beating the shit out of one was very satisfying. I thought Mel did good as a depressed man gritting his teeth to get through the day. In one scene he’s fortifying the house and he pauses and sighs a little. “Jesus Christ, with all the shit I have to worry about, now this ridiculous crap.” he seems to be thinking. Now that’s a little thing I call acting.

325

j fyrste 06.04.08 at 12:49 am

pret a porter

326

vanya 06.04.08 at 12:52 am

that said, the satire was not quite over the top enough for the movie to shine for what it was, because virtually every reviewer missed it.

This is why Starship Troopers is such a popular cult movie. You instantly feel intellectually superior to anyone who criticizes the film, because the criticism usually only shows to what extent they completely missed the point of the film. ST is really one of the best comedies of the 90s.

327

CK Dexter 06.04.08 at 12:52 am

“Saving Private Ryan though, that film could convince benevolent aliens not to contact us, even if they were bored.”

Bravo Shay! Signs of intelligent life! Sliver of faith in humanity restored!

“full of basic, technical errors.”

Because that’s what I watch out for in a work of art, as well as in my car mechanic. There’s more soul and beauty and real humanity, with all its horror and wonder and hatred and joy, in Argento’s little severed gloved pinky, or in a 30 second clip of Suspiria, than in the last 10 years of Oscars.

“I kinda liked Spirited Away though.

This prompts me to ask, are you on crack? ‘Kinda’ nothing, Spirited Away is one of the greatest kids’ movies ever.”

Seconded. But one of the greatest movies of recent years, not limited to “kids’ movies”.

328

Scott Spiegelberg 06.04.08 at 12:54 am

#240 is spot on with 8mm, to which I would add Very Bad Things, two movies that made me really want to shower for a week and then use a brain scrub.

329

Giovanni da Procida 06.04.08 at 12:57 am

“Breakdown” with Kurt Russell. I saw it on a Greyhound bus, so I couldn’t walk out. The movie that convinced me that cinematic violence caused violence in real life. By the end of that sucker I wanted to hit everyone involved in the film with a crowbar.

Second place goes to natural born killers, which I did walk out of.

330

j2 06.04.08 at 12:59 am

“Fur”
“The English Patient” – as per skywater post #145

331

Doctor Slack 06.04.08 at 1:11 am

First off, I’m glad to see 8MM get a mention in the evil films category, in which it belongs with Strange Days. Also agree with NBK, 300 (a future text for “proto-fascism in American cinema” courses), The Passion of the Christ. Apocalypto should be on the reprehensible films list, too, for its egregious caricature of the Maya (and for being a really stupid chase film dressed up in period costume). And there’s Showgirls, which is on occasion hilariously bad, but it really is something worse than just bad.

Junebug isn’t so bad as to be must-avoid, it’s just a truly inessential film whose entire premise is built around interpersonal relationships that it completely flubs.

And now to the bitchiness:

Re Grave of the Fireflies: I think you missed the part about the film being manipulative, which IMHO it is and in a bad way.

No, I caught that part, it just doesn’t make much sense. “Manipulative” how? Because it portrays orphans dying from malnutrition in war as tragic, or because it portrays them at all? Or perhaps because you don’t think such a narrative should have that kind of emotional affect? I’m not very avidly pro-sentimentalist myself, but there comes a point when the quest to root sentiment out of the modern aesthetic becomes ridiculous. If I’m a sucker because I’m willing to cut some slack to a guy writing about his sister’s death from malnutrition in WWII, so be it.

From the Fashionable Backlash files: Films like Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Napoleon Dynamite, and Sideways are all calculated, mediocre pieces of insincere crap that deserve every ounce of derision they receive.

How terribly fashionable of you. And what I especially love about this sort of fashionability is the superpowers it confers on its representatives. Here, c m r displays astonishing telepathy — they Know What Lurks in the Hearts of Filmmakers and can just tell these movies were “calculated” and “insincere” — alongside the Neo-esque power to redefine the Matrix by sheer willpower, hence “mediocre” is what they it is, because they say so, dammit. As Keanu Reeves would say: whoa.

Also, this: it was the feel good movie for the pro-lifers with a plot that was pretty far-fetched.

This is a more comprehensible objection than “how dare they have a precocious heroine,” but pro-choicers getting worked up about Juno is unpleasantly reminiscent of fundies getting worked up about Harry Potter.

Re: Pulp Fiction This is obviously some strange usage of the word “fun” that I wasn’t previously aware of.

No, it’s actually not that uncommon for people to find over-the-top stories about sex, drugs, violence and the seamy side of life “fun.” How’s about we don’t pretend to find this surprising?

More from the trying-a-little-too-hard files: blaming the Iraq War on Saving Private Ryan. This would be more plausible if most of American culture and self-image hadn’t been built around its heroic WWII deeds for decades prior. Has there been a year since 1945 when the ideal for the average American soldier was something other than going into a fight against a “real” enemy like the Nazis?

332

evan500 06.04.08 at 1:11 am

Twister (1996). Really terrible. I swore off Hollywood blockbuster after seeing this. Really inane. If you think you might be excited by seeing a cow fly through the air, then perhaps you’d appreciate it more than I did.

333

Jonathan Dresner 06.04.08 at 1:13 am

I can’t believe, 300+ entries in, that Clint Eastwood’s The Gauntlet hasn’t been mentioned.

334

Randy Paul 06.04.08 at 1:17 am

Funny Games
I am a lesser human for watching that.

Bartkid,

The original or the remake?

335

wally 06.04.08 at 1:18 am

The Bruce Willis abomination about the drilling was “Armageddon.” It’s the only movie I’ve ever walked out of.

But I wished I could walk out of “Atonement,” which was unconscionably boring, implausible, overhyped, and annoying.

And “Forrest Gump” continues to make me angry for being shamelessly manipulative and stupid at the same time.

336

donna jean 06.04.08 at 1:23 am

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

337

crack 06.04.08 at 1:24 am

I wish I’d die before the pretension in this thread killed me.

338

C M R 06.04.08 at 2:02 am

“How terribly fashionable of you. And what I especially love about this sort of fashionability is the superpowers it confers on its representatives. Here, c m r displays astonishing telepathy—they Know What Lurks in the Hearts of Filmmakers and can just tell these movies were “calculated” and “insincere”—alongside the Neo-esque power to redefine the Matrix by sheer willpower, hence “mediocre” is what they it is, because they say so, dammit. As Keanu Reeves would say: whoa.”

If you think $10 spent on Juno or Napoleon Dynamite is worth the money, good for you.

But do me a favor: stop rationalizing and just embrace the films. You don’t need to call someone names when you feel uncomfortable with your own taste in movies.

I’m not calling them junk based on some desire to seem hip or fashionable or prescient. I’m calling them junk because, to me, they’re junk. Sorry if I touched a nerve!

339

H.C. Carey 06.04.08 at 2:03 am

Armageddon–it was called armageddon. The worst movie I ever saw. Maybe because I saw it on a large screen, and that magnified its badness.

Wasn’t ben affleck in it? and he died and there was onscreen weeping and offscreen rejoycing?

340

Everyman 06.04.08 at 2:07 am

Mission to Mars
Red Planet
Doom
War of the Worlds

341

Doctor Slack 06.04.08 at 2:08 am

Sorry if I touched a nerve!

The passive-aggressiveness is strong in this one.

342

Rebecca 06.04.08 at 2:12 am

Love Story – utter crap, especially the idea that getting cancer makes you more beautiful the sicker you get.

Thelma and Louise – I was misled into believing that this was a “female buddy movie” and then was appalled to watch the rape scene 10 minutes in and then the ending with the heroines dying… yuck.

343

Mike 06.04.08 at 2:39 am

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset in no way belong on this list. Some that do:
Van Helsing
Message in a Bottle
Newer Star Wars films
8MM
Alex and Emma
Analyze That
Because I Said So
Bewitched
Bridget Jones 2 (liked first one)
The Bucket List
Catwoman
Death to Smoochy
Dirty Dancing
Dr. T & the Women
Dukes of Hazard
Duplex
First Daughter
Ghost Rider
Judge Dredd
League of Extraordinary Gentlmen
Lucky You (can’t believe Curtis Hanson made this)
Nanny Diaries
People I Know (Pacino should have retired years ago)
Showtime (Deniro too)
A Sound of Thunder
Stepford Wives
Stepmom
Surviving Christmas
Vertical Limit
Wild Wild West
Windtalkers

344

Henry (not the famous one) 06.04.08 at 2:44 am

To answer Eszter’s defense of You’ve Got Mail–it was the laziness of the whole concept that makes it worse than the average remake. Efron simply hijacked the plot to “The Shop Around The Corner,” stripped it of everything that made the not-quite-star-crossed lovers story poignant (our romantic couple’s fear of unemployment, the infidelity, the attempted suicide), and then stuck Hanks and Ryan in there to charm us all to death. I don’t have a problem if you play a tune by Mozart on a music box–just don’t make me sit through it for two hours.

I know it’s too far down the thread to propose another category, but here’s mine: movies that convince you that you married the right person. When we came out of sitting through “The English Patient” my wife delivered the verdict–“Casablanca but the Nazis won.” Of course I knew by then that I was luckier than I deserved to be.

345

Reginald Perrin 06.04.08 at 2:53 am

Noone has mentioned the Astronaut’s Wife. Characters without motivation, actors without enthusiasm, no direction, plot holes as big as all of outer space, misogyny, marital rape and Charlize Theron (before she somehow got an Oscar for not wearing make-up on set), I had to press my hands to my head to keep my eyes from leaping out of their sockets. My date liked it.
Someone earlier mentioned the Island. I left that movie (had paid $1 on base!) ten minutes or so in when anonymous savages began torturing their captives by keeping their eyelids open with broken toothpicks. As my friend remarked on visiting the Alien museum in Roswell, “It’s free, and you still feel like you’ve been ripped off.”

346

NBarnes 06.04.08 at 2:56 am

329: Inevitable in a thread like this with such poorly defined criteria for ‘worst’. Shoddily made? Poor craftsmenship? Does a brilliantly made, morally bankrupt film such as Birth of a Nation come out better or worse than the horrifically poorly edited, but basically innocuous Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Do we ding 300 because the easiest interpretation is the ‘heroic manly military men defend the women and the wussies from the darkie hordes’, even though you can actually dig around in it a bit more and come up with some much more subversive takes (Frank Miller is one part simple fear of female sexuality, one part testosterone poisoning, and one part gender bending genius interpretations of heroism)?

Does a movie have to be both bad and morally bankrupt before it fits? It’s intellectually consistant, but then we can just start with Saw IV and Hostel II and work our way from there. Not really insightful, doesn’t tell us much.

For my personal experience, Starship Troopers is great. Heinlein wrote a book in which militarism and fascism save us from the scary bug aliens. Verheoven made a movie based on the book about his thoughts as a guy who grew up in Nazi-occupied Holland about fascism and militarism.

You’ve Got Mail is morally corrupt. Am I the only person that noticed that Tom Hanks’ character is a nearly sociopathic serial liar? And that the central premise of the movie, that both characters are unaware of their secret romance, is violated about a third of the way through, leaving the last two thirds of the movie to Hanks creepily manipulating Ryan like a puppetmaster? Ew ew ew.

347

dporpentine 06.04.08 at 3:02 am

Truly, it restores my faith in humanity to see so many people dumping on Jim Jarmusch. The late 80s, when it was that guy and the lame Lynch of Blue Velvet duking it out for most “avant-garde” director on Earth–that was a terrible time to be alive.

348

RepubAnon 06.04.08 at 3:13 am

Two for the most awful of all time: Inchon made by the Moonies and pulled permanently after 1 day in the theaters, and
The Three Amigos for a movie that anyone may have actually seen. I keep a copy of Amigos in my first aid kit in case I have to induce vomiting…

349

becky57 06.04.08 at 3:18 am

Ok, I’m not cool, obviously, since Dances with Wolves is one of my all-time favorite movies. I also thought Bringing Up Baby was hilarious. Now that I’ve convinced you all of my terrible taste, here’s my list, in no particular order:

The Natural and Field of Dreams–I love baseball, but these 2 movies manage to make it boring! (Bull Durham remains my favorite baseball movie)

Waterworld–Oh my God. The same guy who made DWW came up with this dreck? Ditto the small part of the Postman I caught once on TV (and quickly turned off)

American Beauty–Turned off the DVD after about 20 minutes, with the enthusiastic approval of my husband

Hannah and Her Sisters–See American Beauty. As far as I’m concerned, Woody’s career ended with Manhattan

Dune–Yeaaaaagh! Manages to be both disgusting and boring, except for the 10 minutes of Sting at the very end

350

becky57 06.04.08 at 3:22 am

I almost forgot the English Patient. I stayed until the bitter end, since so many people had said it was good and I kept thinking it had to improve. What a waste of almost 3 hours.

And I can’t believe I almost forgot The Deer Hunter. That movie enraged me: it was pretentious, it condescended to the people it was about (none of whom seemed to learn anything–the scene at the end of them singing “God Bless America” made me want to throw large, heavy, sharp objects at the screen). And again, I stuck with it to the bitter end. I was only about 19 at the time, that’s my excuse.

351

Tyro 06.04.08 at 3:40 am

A lot of you are a bunch of pretentious nitwits. The question was “which are some of the worst movies ever that you must avoid?” not, “which movies did not satisfy your personal tastes?”

Also, the best part about You’ve Got Mail was Parker Posey.

352

scm 06.04.08 at 3:42 am

Is there ever an explanation in The English Patient for why a person seriously wounded in a plane crash in North Africa is being lugged about behind the front line in Italy, instead of being transported on a hospital ship back to England?

353

Davis X. Machina 06.04.08 at 3:52 am

1992’s Far and Away, early Cruise-and-Kidman, should have been a warning. It is recursive, insofar as Far and Away is far and away the worst movie made with intent-to-be-good I can remember.

354

JC 06.04.08 at 3:54 am

For what it’s worth, no one is naming REAL absolute trash here.

I’m talking things like Look Who’s Talking III. Freddy Krueger 4. Halloween Six.

Come on – if you are going to name BAD HORRIBLE movies, name bad horrible movies. Not just sorta bad movies…

I remember, back when I was 16 or so, About Last Night came out. I was going with a friend to the movies, and since I had the hots at that point for Demi Moore – in a REALLY bad way, I had the hots for her – I wanted to see that.

He convince me to go see this sci-fi movie, on the basis that we both like, even bad sci-fi.

It was the WORST. It was some italian movie, translated, happening in a house, with just absurd special effects (you could see every prop), horrendous over-acting – just bad bad bad bad bad. I can’t even convey how horrible this picture was.

We walked out after about 45 minutes – all I could stand without gouging my eyes out.

Since then, NO movie has reached the nadir of that particular excrement. So my tolerance for sort-bad movies, is clearly higher than a lot of commenters here.

355

JC 06.04.08 at 4:00 am

Here’s an awful movie – The Maize.

All this stuff about Waterworld, Heaven’s Gate, Starship Troopers – really, just doesn’t compare to the the REALLY bad movies.

356

john stephen lewis 06.04.08 at 4:03 am

Two letters:
A.I.

357

Borden Tarde 06.04.08 at 4:06 am

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (with Jar Jar Binks): the other Star Wars movies are at least bearable.

I’m still burned about a 1977 film called Handle with Care, which I went to see on the strength of a glowing review in the Times. The boredom was excruciating, and I believe to this day that the Times owes me the $5.00 admission (or whatever it cost to get into a movie in 1977).

358

NBarnes 06.04.08 at 4:12 am

Actually, Heaven’s Gate really is really bad.

But, as I said, jc points at some of the same things I was trying to get at. Saw IV, Birth of a Nation, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Look Who’s Talking III, and Manos: The Hands of Fate are all really bad movies. To have a intellectually serious conversation, we need a better basis for discussion other than ‘But what is THE WURST!!11!’

359

Luke 06.04.08 at 4:30 am

When House of Sand and Fog came out, I was thinking of seeing it until I read David Edelstein’s review, which ends “It’s the feel-bad movie of the year!” I never saw the movie, but I often think of that line.

360

austin steel 06.04.08 at 4:50 am

the pacifier with van diesel it was like being visually nauseas

361

danimal 06.04.08 at 4:53 am

Shakes the Clown. The only movie I’ve ever walked out of, walked up to the manager, and demanded my money back. Stunningly, stunningly bad.

362

austin steel 06.04.08 at 4:54 am

the fountain it was unnecessarily confusing it was on verge good cinema then turned to crap it’s hour and 30 minutes of my life i want back! hugh jackman was still a good actor

363

austin steel 06.04.08 at 5:01 am

the hills have eyes it took me two days to watch only did it for my brother. You guys are whinnying over movies that you thought were good and they ended up ok. You need to have watched movies that you knew where going to be bad from the startling and you still gave them a chance.like the pacifier and hills have eyes.

364

austin steel 06.04.08 at 5:08 am

and any thing that won award had to be good for someone. also i love margert chow but her movie kiki bang bang or what ever it was called was awful and poorly acted not very funny at all . but i do love her stand up.

365

Gus 06.04.08 at 5:26 am

Wait a minute, are we talking really bad or overpraised? Because a lot of these moves qualify for the one but not the other. Magnificent Ambersons for example is overpraised, but not among the worst. Not even close.

366

Gus 06.04.08 at 5:28 am

Whoops! What Chet said at 10:05.

367

Righteous Bubba 06.04.08 at 5:28 am

‘But what is THE WURST‘

Where are the economists? Shouldn’t there be some ballpark stat one could cobble up?

There could be weight for
Cost of film
Box office gross
Proportion of pay to director
Proportion of pay to actor
Running time
Length of script
Total dialogue word count
Total exclamation points per script

And so forth. Get with it, thesis writers!

368

dallas 06.04.08 at 5:30 am

oo also i remember i could only tolerate 15 minutes dukes of hazards. Legally blond 2 was pretty awful it made me loose IQ points. i would had more fun soiling myself. if it didn’t have Reese Withespoon and bunch half naked girls in it would have not sold any tickets. Never try to make sequel out of a semi ok movie.Also adam sandler and polly shore movies not the best movies but not exactly the worst. Exception 8 crazy night what the hell was that is it kids moive no was dark comedy no cartoons cussing vulgarity and poorly written songs and story made this movie one worst things i have ever seen i cant’ believe any one would watch this movie twice unless under the influence pot or hallucinogenics.It should come with warning label do not drink and watch this movie, it my cause depression and suicidal thoughts.

369

vinegarhill 06.04.08 at 5:37 am

The Phantom of The Opera (the recent musical version) is the last movie that I just flat out loathed. My mother picked that one.

I found The Devil’s Rejects pretty infuriating but it kind of made me think.

I don’t see how anyone could not love Starship Troopers.

370

hrm 06.04.08 at 5:43 am

300! The only movie review I’ve ever read that name-checked Tom of Finland!

In the NYRB, no less…

371

picaraza 06.04.08 at 5:48 am

The movie I have especial hate for is… *Gorillas in the Mist*

A paint-by-the-numbers Oscar machine. Bad movies are one thing, but vehicles like this — pompous, boring, cliched– are the worst. *A Few Good Men* falls in the same category. Hollywood makes a statement!

Oh, and *Sgt. Pepper’s*. I have forgot about that!

372

austin steel 06.04.08 at 5:51 am

road house 2 if you can’t get the actors that made the movie form first don’t do a second one.Also the same guy who wrote clueless also gave birth to the bastard child of pride prejudice we call Emma with Gweneth paltrow. If you didn’t like clueless you will hate Emma clueless is Shakesspear to Emma

373

austin steel 06.04.08 at 5:53 am

ANOTHER FRIDAY, ok Friday hit a nitch in are population does not mean we need another one

374

austin steel 06.04.08 at 6:04 am

sequel to the blair witch project whats the point? another film that was good cause it was different but don’t make a sequel! you know i never saw that movie with Anna Nicole with the super hot aliens form outer space but i bet it was pretty bad sense no one else saw it either . I think it was called illegal aliens.

375

Shawn Crowley 06.04.08 at 6:45 am

I’m with #338, there is a big difference between poorly made films and real trash. Where is Joe Bob Briggs when we really need him?

Up late last night and nursing a torn calf muscle I watched Hugh Grant in something called “Night Train to Venice.” Truly, bewilderingly bad. I kept waiting for cream pies to fly out of wings and let me know it was all a joke. Not even strong narcotic drugs could help this film. A bit like a modern Plan 9 but with Eurotrash pretension.

But for bad without any redemption, Commando with Stallone. It was the only available entertainment in a small Oregon desert town and we all still walked out to the greater fun of watching local high school kids drive up and down the town’s one street. That’s bad film.

376

D B Carroll 06.04.08 at 6:59 am

New Rose Hotel Really, really the worst movie I have ever seen.
Also, I remember despising The Adjuster, but in retrospect it’s not nearly as bad.

377

SqueakyRat 06.04.08 at 7:07 am

Verhoeven: “The Fourth Man” was completely pointless and disgusting.

Remember “Face Off”? Eww. But as Stravinsky said about the use of his music in “Fantasia”, I wouldn’t wish to criticize an unresisting imbecility.

I liked “The English Patient,” actually. Why was he in Italy? I dunno. But why should he have been in England? He wasn’t English.

“Bringing up Baby”. It was hard watching Hepburn play a dumbass airhead.

I saw something by Hitchcock recently that sucked, to my surprise. Can’t remember what it was.

378

r€nato 06.04.08 at 7:11 am

In no particular order:

Natural Born Killers
I have this theory about Oliver Stone, when he is allowed to do whatever the hell he wants, he puts out dreck like this and U-Turn. I have no actual knowledge of how the producer/director dynamic has played out for various Stone films, it’s just a gut feeling. Kind of like when Robin Williams is cast in a film with a director who doesn’t know how to rein him in.

Highlander 2
The Terminal
Spielberg at his most schmaltzy and sappy. I was surprised I didn’t lapse into a diabetic coma. Made even worse by completely obnoxious and very frequent product placement. I felt like they should have paid me to watch it. I took to announcing out loud the name of each brand, which was about every two minutes. Walked out halfway through.

Cabin Boy
I am a complete nut for Chris Elliot, so imagine my surprise when I could not make it more than halfway through this piece of shit.

379

r€nato 06.04.08 at 7:14 am

I thought Face/Off was awesome! It was way cool watching Nick Cage overact!

Leaving Las Vegas was unrelentingly depressing.

Mission To Mars was a supreme waste of Don Cheadle and Gary Sinise. Ending totally ripped off from 2001.

380

SqueakyRat 06.04.08 at 7:16 am

Oh yeah. Watch “Spellbound” again some time. It actually sucks. Ingrid Bergmann is alternately prissy, mushy, and hysterical without any noticeable transitions between. The music is unbelievably overbearing. And the psychoanalysis stuff is of course ludicrous.

381

GladiadorBR 06.04.08 at 7:33 am

Since I’ve seen an lot of awful movies in my life, I’ll cite the two last horrible movies I’ve seen:

Southland Tales – A pretentious David Lynch Wannabe film with a tremendous mess of a history and laughable actings by the Rock, Sarah Michelle … err, Buffy, that highlander guy and stifler from american pie. Really, the story is such a mess full of elements that it would be needed a TV series to show it all, and it would remain a bad written, uninteresting and stupid plot. Specially when you see that there was some good ideas (only a few) that were completely misused in the movie. I think it got to the director’s head when he was called a genius for Donnie Darko (another overrating)

One Missed Call – Probably the worst horror movie I’ve seen to date. Terrible and hard to convince acting, and, worst of all 100% not scary. As far as Japanese horror movies adaptations go, this one has hit the pits bottom.

382

dave 06.04.08 at 8:53 am

commando was Ahrnold.

Ben affleck lives through armageddon, which IS a shame.

I don’t mind bad movies, it feels so good when they stop. They refresh the ability to appreciate the less bad.

Evil movies, I can’t abide, unless they are also really well done.

To die for… for example.

383

Shawn Crowley 06.04.08 at 10:36 am

Dave is right, it was Cobra with Stallone not Commando. How could I have confused the two?

I missed the above nomination of Shakes the Clown. Now in absolute terms it is one of the worst films ever made. But it is the best alcoholic clown comedy of modern times. The image of mime bars haunts me still.

384

Glorious Godfrey 06.04.08 at 11:04 am

Frank Miller is one part simple fear of female sexuality, one part testosterone poisoning, and one part gender bending genius interpretations of heroism…

The gender-bending is to be found mostly in the comics, though. In the film version of 300 it clearly takes a back seat to the testosterone. That being said…

300 (a future text for “proto-fascism in American cinema” courses)

This is not the definition of a film to be avoided; this is the definition of a (reprehensible) film to be studied. Both the film and its enthusiastic reception in wingnut circles.

As I said, its portrayal of “Oriental” depravity is less obvious than it seems. In the “Persian” host, freakishness and faceless uniformity fight side by side; the sexuality in Xerxes’s camp is deviant and joyous, but at the same time it is controlled with extreme violence (i.e. mutilation) by a “monopolist” (the film tries only half-heartedly to distance itself from the notion of sex as a commodity); “freedom” is treated almost exclusively as that moral ointment that ennobles the very same acts of suicidal bravery that among the Persians are a sign of abject bondage, etc, etc.

People in Iran got very angry when the film was released. With good reason: it’s a potent, poisonous brew.

385

glenn 06.04.08 at 11:10 am

Just about anything with Keanu Reeves, but I’d have to say Break Point is about the worst and extremely unwatchable.

Next to Keanu, Ben Affleck is almost Oscar worthy.

386

pjn't 06.04.08 at 11:35 am

Most of these movies are bad but not really bad.

I haven’t seen them all, but of those nominated that I have seen, I’d only agree with Cabin Boy so far, which was simply unwatchable. I didn’t walk out of the theatre, but I checked my watch about a dozen times.

My nominees, in addition to Cabin Boy

The Kris Kristopheron non-classic, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea

Ultraviolet — this movie just couldn’t hold my attention

387

Shay Begorrah 06.04.08 at 12:26 pm

I’d like to add Woody Allen’s Match Point as my second worst to see film after Saving Private Ryan.

For me I think the essential quality that marks a film to be avoided at all costs is not just that it fails in itself but that it spoils other pleasures.

The spectacle of Woody Allen raiding his own grave and defiling the corpse of Crimes and Misdemeanors for Match Point ruined my enjoyment retrospectively of the earlier film. After SPR I had to reevaluate every other Spielberg film that dealt with the Nazis.

Its like if you had a charming but enjoyably disreputable friend who out of the blue sexually assaults a drunken unconscious teenager one night making you feel soiled by your own friendship.

388

CK Dexter 06.04.08 at 12:29 pm

“’Bringing up Baby’. It was hard watching Hepburn play a dumbass airhead.”

Again. Is this the third time? This will not stand. Let’s get this straight. There’s a lot of room for reasonable disagreement about art, but there are limits. If you think this film belongs on the top of a list of lifelong avoidance, there’s something wrong with you. Like there’s something wrong with the vision of the colorblind, or the tastesbuds of someone who thinks vinegar tastes sweet.

A bit of perspective, a random selection of critic’s best films lists, and Bringing Up Baby’s place on each:
http://www.filmsite.org/mrshowbz.html – 36/100
http://www.theyshootpictures.com/gf1000_top100films76-100.htm – 88/1000
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/movies/features/afi100list.htm (American Film Institute) – 97/100
http://www.filmsite.org/afi100laughs.html (American Film Institute’s best comedies) – 14/100

Of course, critics can be wrong. Maybe it’s not one of the best 100 movies of all time, maybe it’s even mediocre or bad. But top movies to devote a lifetime to avoiding? That’s irrational. It’s objectively, hilariously false. Get your tastebuds checked. There is something wrong with you. It’s called, to use an old-fashioned word, “bad taste.”

389

Steven Hart 06.04.08 at 12:30 pm

Hypatia cade, No. 6: The floating horse movie you refer to is “The Field,” based on John Keane’s play about a dispossessed Irish farmer who is determined to buy the land he rents from the village widow. Instead of selling it to him, the widow puts it up for auction. An American buys it (in the play he was a Brit) and hilarity ensues. Well, not exactly. At the time, watching Richard Harris chewing up bits of the auld sod and spitting them out, I thought Harris had reconciled himself to the fact that he would never play Lear on the screen, so he would do the role in this film instead.

What was interesting to me was learning that when the play was first presented in Ireland (Keane wrote it in 1965), the audiences were known to applaud when the interloping Brit gets killed.

There are so many categories of bad movies that 101 entries hardly seems a big enough list. “Titanic” offered a teaching moment while I watched the DVD with my 10-year-old. When she asked me why I thought something was stupid, I got to explain the concept of anachronism, and why it was ridiculous to have Kate Winslet calling her rich husband a “master of the universe” in a film set in the early part of the 20th century. She agreed that it was pretty stupid, so thank you, Jim Cameron, for that opportunity.

390

royalblue_tom 06.04.08 at 12:31 pm

World Traveler. Absolute dross. No plot (man walks out on family and travels round, meets homeless woman).

Van Helsing definitely gets a nod.

I second the post about Freddie 4.

391

Greg Reed 06.04.08 at 12:43 pm

RE: #316

Oh, yes…I’d forgotten that one. Thanks for reminding me, though.

392

Doctor Slack 06.04.08 at 1:12 pm

This is not the definition of a film to be avoided; this is the definition of a (reprehensible) film to be studied.

A fair point.

Yet more additions to the overkill files:

Match Point‘s reworking of themes from Crime and Misdemeanors cannot be plausibly painted as “bad” cinema in any sense but that it marks a departure from the Woody Allen “whimsical films” brand. Which was, for a very great many critics and audience members alike apparently, an enormous relief. Allen in whimsical mode is many years past his sell-by date. (Too bad it didn’t last; Scoop doesn’t belong on a 101 worst films list or anything but was pretty painful nonetheless.)

Leaving Las Vegas is not a great film by any means, but I’ll second the person upthread who noted how depressing it is that people think the word “depressing” passes as aesthetic judgment.

393

lemuel pitkin 06.04.08 at 1:20 pm

It’s movies to avoid before you die (or to die before you see), i.e. the movies you should make the greatest effort *not* to see.

This means not just bad movies but movies that (1) are actively harmful in some way and (2) you might in fact see, if you don’t make a special effort not to.

394

ajay 06.04.08 at 1:29 pm

Match Point’s reworking of themes from Crime and Misdemeanors cannot be plausibly painted as “bad” cinema in any sense but that it marks a departure from the Woody Allen “whimsical films” brand.

Virtually the first shot of Match Point was of Jonathan Rhys Meyers lying on his bed reading “Crime and Punishment”, the book being held up RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA as though the audience were a female arts student that Meyers was trying to impress in a coffee shop.

Given the plot of the film, the only less subtle piece of foreshadowing I have ever seen was in Wayne’s World:

Wayne walks past two men stacking up crates and asks “What are you guys doing?”
“Oh, we’re just stacking up these empty crates in the middle of the road.”
(turns to camera) “Hmm, I can’t help feeling this is going to pay off later on”.
Of course, when the car chase happens, they go straight through the stack…

395

Doctor Slack 06.04.08 at 1:37 pm

The shot with the book was unsubtle, although I’ll note that given the ultimate resolution of the film’s plot, it actually turns out to be the setting-up of false expectation, not foreshadowing.

396

booda555 06.04.08 at 1:50 pm

So glad to see both Chasing Amy and Dogma mentioned. For a while I felt like the only person who thought Kevin Smith movies sucked. His scripts are so self-consciously clever that every character seems to be constantly delivering a rehearsed monologue. people don’t talk like that. All his movies drive me nuts. Clerks included. Dogma is by far the worst.

397

Ed S, Lexington KY 06.04.08 at 2:05 pm

I liked Starship Troopers. The actual message of the movie is ‘The only thing fascism is good for is killing bugs.’. I listened to the director’s commentary, which was filmed in late 2000 or early 2001 (after W was elected, but before he took over), and he made some incredibly insightful predictions about what W’s presidency would be like. He essentially said that W was a fascist, and America would regret electing him. He nailed it.

After watching the 70-minute ‘Master of Disguise,’ I felt like I wanted that hour+ of my life back, and wanted to sue the creators of that movie. Truly truly dreadful. Avoid that movie like the plague.

398

Shonin 06.04.08 at 2:13 pm

1. I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s an Irish movie about a spoiled, thoroughly unpleasant lad played by Cillian Murphy who ends up in a mental institution and his romance with a fellow patient. Couldn’t watch it or think about people who would find the lead appealing.

2. “Storytelling”. It’s weird, because all the other Todd Solondz movies are very good, but this one is just dehumanizing crap.

3. “The Life Aquatic”. The needle that broke the camel’s back as far as mopey Bill Murray goes. Precious bullshit, harmful to the soul.

4. “Redbelt”. Really dumb world-view on full display.

5. “U2 in 3D”. Frightening to be that close to Bono’s sunglasses. Will give you nightmares for weeks.

6. “Velvet Goldmine”. Encourages preening.

7. “Brothers Karamazov” (with Yul Brenner). The best book becomes the worst movie. Especially don’t watch this if you ever want to enjoy the book.

8. “Crash”. A 3rd-grader’s view of racial conflict. But only a 3rd-grader raised in LA would make it so vapid.

9. “Rising Sun”. Anti-Japanese paranoia and auto-erotic asphyxiation. What’s to like?

10. “In the Company of Men”. More completely unreal “realism”. The mirror image of a sappy rom-com, and just as fake. People just aren’t like that.

11. “Short Cuts”. I love many David Altman films but this one just drains your will to live.

12. “Shakespeare in Love”. OK, it’s not really harmful, but god is it unbearable.

399

Jamey 06.04.08 at 2:24 pm

Not enough mentions of Pretty Woman hereabouts. Easily the most offensive, evil movie ever made.

I thought Juno was pretty bad, too. As writers go, Diablo Cody’s an excellent stripper.

400

FhnuZoag 06.04.08 at 2:32 pm

Waterworld is actually quite watchable. It isn’t worth its budget, but as a stupid effects show, it could be much worse. At least the makers bothered to create a somewhat interesting setting.

401

ralf 06.04.08 at 2:32 pm

I really liked ‘My dinner with Andre’.

‘Being John Malkovich’ on the other hand was stupid and pointless. The bit of ‘Contact’ that I saw on TV also appeared shockingly bad. I didn’t see ‘Sgt Pepper’, but the soundtrack was bad enough to give a disturbing intimation of it. ‘Wild wild west’was bad.

For mine, a fascinatingly bad movie is one that is made by a bunch of really talented people, but turns out pear-shaped nonetheless. I didn’t see ‘Golden Compass’ but it sounds like it may fit the bill.

402

Rich B. 06.04.08 at 2:43 pm

Seconding “Billy Jack” in #259.

I had the advantage of watching it in 1987 with my parents (I was 15, they were 45), who recommended it to me and rented the video.

The growing look of horror on their faces as the first 20 or so minutes past, and it slowly (but not that slowly) dawned on them that this movie that they claimed had moved them as youths was the most unbelievably wretched, unwatchable piece of crap in the history of creation was absolutely PRICELESS.

For years after that, whenever my parents recommended a movie from “before me time” that they liked, I could respond, “Yes, but you also liked Billy Jack,” and that would shut them up.

403

Tantor 06.04.08 at 3:12 pm

Nothing can compare to “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover” in sheer awfulness. My girlfriend made me go to this movie against my will.

Not many people showed up in the theater and most of them left by the time the flick reached the halfway point. That’s the first time I’d ever seen a mass of people walk out of a movie. I stayed on until the bitter end to satisfy my girlfriend and her newfound interest in art movies. The movie descended into an artsy cannibalism scene at the end that strained all credibility and taste. What was left of the audience stumbled out in stunned silence.

A very close contender for the worst movie is the incomprehensible “Barton Fink,” where you actually watch wallpaper peel and the protagonist ends up on the beach at LA with the severed head of his lover in a bowling bag. Most of the people had the good sense to walk out of that one, too, except for me. Sometimes it’s just so awful it’s like watching a train wreck: You just can’t take your eyes off the spectacle.

404

Nick L 06.04.08 at 3:15 pm

I agree with 279. Perfume is the worst film ever made. It isn’t just bad, it is a colossal, towering monument to badness. I watched it all the way through, it transfixed me with its beautiful, stylish awfulness. ‘Basta!’

405

Cirkux 06.04.08 at 3:22 pm

I’m sorry but this whole “it’s too depressing” thing is just ridiculous. You may have been depressed by Lars von Triers “Breaking the waves” but don’t tell me it’s not competent storytelling. Same goes for many of the other films knocked above. If you can’t take anything darker than Sound of music that’s up to you, but that doesn’t make sad=bad a universal truth. So there.

406

thomas h 06.04.08 at 3:56 pm

Has anyone seen Master Of Disguise with Dana Carvey? I knew it was going to be a bad movie, but more like pure crap. Also, I hate, just absolutley hate Cry Baby by John Watters. Most recently I rented Resident Evil- Extinction. Pure crap. There are many others, but I try to forget I spent my time and money on watching garbage.

I love Short Circuit, but Short Circuit 2 broke my heart.

407

Mike 06.04.08 at 4:08 pm

I liked ‘Starship Troopers’ because it confirmed my suspicion that Doogie Hauser was a Nazi.

I wish the standard film convention was that actors must have all their past movies worked in as back story for their present movies. So Mel Gibson in ‘We Were Soldiers’ would be a victorious Scottish Warlord who helped win the American Revolution before defeating Tina Turner. Oh, and he can hear women’s thoughts.

408

Tom 06.04.08 at 4:18 pm

400+ comments and neither hide nor hair of Uwe Boll’s work?

409

matthew 06.04.08 at 4:20 pm

I’ll be the umpteenth person to put Vanilla Sky (probably at the top) of my list, though watching a deformed Tom Cruise run around like a moron yelling “TECH THUPPORT! TECH THUPPORT!” was LOLZ for days. And pretty much anything starring or involving Mel Gibson that’s not part of the Mad Max or Lethal Weapon series should be on the list.

410

ajay 06.04.08 at 4:50 pm

a fascinatingly bad movie is one that is made by a bunch of really talented people, but turns out pear-shaped nonetheless.

“The Man in the Iron Mask” qualifies here. I’m not sure how you put Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, John Malkovich and Gabriel Byrne in front of a camera and not get something at least watchable, but they managed.

407: I think there should certainly be a convention that actors should use their real accents for all roles. Partly because this would have made “Gladiator” so much funnier.

411

Filmworks 06.04.08 at 4:50 pm

Castaway.
Who can suffer through Tom hanks howling for his lost volleyball “Wilsooooooooooooon!”. Come to think of it who can suffer that much tom hanks period.

412

Tom Hilton 06.04.08 at 4:59 pm

The two worst movies ever made, bar none: Interiors, and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean (there may be yet another ‘Jimmy Dean’ there, but this movie is so awful it isn’t even worth reading through the title). Interiors poisoned my view of every subsequent movie by Woody Allen, which is a shame, because some of them are intermittently funny. Come Back etc. etc. etc. didn’t have a comparable effect on my view of Altman, possibly because Altman wasn’t constantly re-making the same damn movie.

413

Ben Alpers 06.04.08 at 5:00 pm

Some that I wish I’d mentioned first….

Storytelling Now this is an awful, soulless Todd Solondz movie. Lay off Happiness!

About Last Night Take coherent, but fairly thin and predictable source material (Sexual Perversity in Chicago, David Mamet’s indictment of the incredible emptiness of a certain kind of ’70s masculinity), and vitiate it entirely by having the totally unredeemable characters redeem themselves through dreams of business success. Whether this film was the result of a Hollywood failure of nerve or an inability to get Mamet’s (very simple) point, it is deeply awful. Challenges The Natural as the film whose tacked-on happy ending most destroys the entire point of the source material.

On the other hand…

Showgirls definitely falls into the good bad film category. Hilarious, especially in its edited-for-tv version with overdubbed dialog and floating black bikinis. Don’t rent it, but if it’s on VH1, there are worse ways to spend your evening.

Barton Fink Not the most coherent Cohen Bros. film, but very good, nonetheless.

Sideways A relatively intelligent comedy. Not a great film by any stretch but I enjoyed it a lot, backlash be damned.

I even kind of liked Napoleon Dynamite.

If it’s any comfort, I found Little Miss Sunshine smug, predictable and infuriating. But it’s nowhere nearly bad enough to make this list.

414

Ben Alpers 06.04.08 at 5:05 pm

It’s worth noting that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is still entirely without defenders, not only on this thread but, so far as I know, anywhere else.

Even Heaven’s Gate inspired a decade or so of revisionist defenses before everyone more or less came to their senses and realized that it was, after all, dreck.

415

Tom Hilton 06.04.08 at 5:07 pm

“The Man in the Iron Mask” qualifies here.

Terrible movie, but I’m not sure it’s even the worst Dumas adaptation; for that dishonor, I would nominate the Hollywood adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo from a few years back (my girlfriend refers to it as “The Count of Monte Crap”).

416

Ben Alpers 06.04.08 at 5:07 pm

I meant to write that Showgirls is so bad it’s good, btw. And it is.

417

Randy Paul 06.04.08 at 5:08 pm

Three Women. First it shows that as skileld Altman was a director, he was a terrible writer. Second, it ‘s a mass of incoherence mixed with contemptible condescension towards the Shelly Duvall character.

418

nigel 06.04.08 at 5:10 pm

Although I agree that sequals shouldn’t really count, I can only admire the sheer mental stamina of those who actually sat through Legally Blonde 2 and Look Who’s Talking 3.

I’d nominate The Thin Red Line.
The Thin Red Very Very Long Positively Coma-Inducing Line.

419

Ben Alpers 06.04.08 at 5:10 pm

Incidentally, who did Larry Clark’s Bully sleep with to get left off this list? Definitely falls into the evil category. Certainly worse than the already mentioned Kids.

420

Ben Alpers 06.04.08 at 5:12 pm

@417: I actually think that a lot of Altman movies suffer from a certain contempt for their characters. That’s always been my beef with Nashville (though, to be clear, I’m not suggesting it belongs on this list at all).

421

tbonz 06.04.08 at 5:15 pm

422

Ben Alpers 06.04.08 at 5:17 pm

In the category of films that have actually caused public harm (e.g. Private Ryan killing people, an analysis I agree with, fwiw; or Birth of a Nation), you gotta include JFK, a pack of utter nonsense passing itself of as historically accurate docudrama. Helped worsen the historical consciousness of a an already functionally historically illiterate nation.

423

Edward, the mad shirt grinder 06.04.08 at 5:20 pm

I love ck dexter defending Katharine Hepburn. Nice.

I read all the way through the read to see if someone would shed some light on #144: “Don’t watch “The Usual Suspects” before reading the Foundation Trilogy.” Maybe I would have gotten it if I hadn’t read Foundation before watching the movie? Maybe there’s nothing to get?

I thought the worst movie I ever sat through was “Henry and June.” The scene at the end with what’s her name mournfully wailing, “YOONE, YOONE” was just hilariously awful. To this day my spouse and I giggle about it.

424

jboa 06.04.08 at 5:27 pm

i have always believed that a special level of cinematic hell is reserved for movies of the developmentally-disabled-savant genre. i see that “forrest gump” has already been mentioned. it is, undoubtedly, the worst of the bunch. but, i would add “sling blade” and “rain man” to the list as well. for a decent movie featuring a disabled character, try “what’s eating gilbert grape.”

i also find the i-know-why-the-caged-bird-sings genre to be a fertile source of bad film. “shawshank redemption” and “dead man walking” come to mind, but there are others.

425

tbonz 06.04.08 at 5:30 pm

I’ll second “Master of Disguise” with Dana Carvey. When the terrible Italian-accented voice-over starts, as we push in on the little bistro, you immediately know that something awful has gone wrong with the governing taste behind this project.

Lead character’s name is “Pistachio Disguisi.” Just typing that gives me shivers.

But what about “Baby Geniuses”?

426

Henry (not the famous one) 06.04.08 at 6:07 pm

I only saw the last two minutes of JFK, when Costner and Spacek and their kids walk off into the sunset. Now that’s entertainment!

427

NickDeFender 06.04.08 at 6:42 pm

Anything directed by Stephen Sommers. He is awful!

428

Texas in Africa 06.04.08 at 6:48 pm

Cruel Intentions, the 1999 remake of Dangerous Liaisons starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Reese Witherspoon’s ex-husband. I’m still bitter over having been dragged to see it in the theater.

Cabin Boy was pretty awful, too.

429

Wayne 06.04.08 at 6:50 pm

The 2005 Hallmark-produced, made-for-TV remake of “The Poseidon Adventure” starring Steve Guttenberg, C. Thomas Howell, and Rutger Hauer.

430

The Fool 06.04.08 at 6:53 pm

Romy and Michelle
Supertroopers

Both of those movies blow.

431

DubTee 06.04.08 at 6:53 pm

“Margot at the Wedding” – my God, this was brutal. Owing partly to a certain scene in the movie, I have renamed this movie “Margot Poops Her Pants”.

432

Mark 06.04.08 at 6:55 pm

Pretty Woman

433

Mike 06.04.08 at 6:55 pm

Little Nicky and Zoolander are the two worst movies I’ve ever seen.

434

Glenn 06.04.08 at 6:56 pm

I have 3:
Twister
Congo
Dune (The original david lynch version).

435

BP 06.04.08 at 6:58 pm

Emmanuelle in Rio…softcore porn with hysterically bad attempts at mysticism.

436

rob! 06.04.08 at 6:58 pm

Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, anything produced by Golan/Globus, or anything directed by Greg Araki.

437

JS 06.04.08 at 7:01 pm

Pulp Fiction.

The most shallow and overrated film ever made. A Mary-Kate and Ashley production has better scripting. Tarantino (as usual) coasts by completely on style, most of which was ripped off from a host of much better films.
I’d rather have an awl stuck in my urethra, than have to suffer through this worthless masturbatory piece of film-school hackery ever again.

whew!

438

Chris in Virginia 06.04.08 at 7:03 pm

“New York, New York”

Worst. Movie. EVAR.

439

The Fool 06.04.08 at 7:03 pm

Also any movie with Hugh Grant.

440

Mike Barry 06.04.08 at 7:04 pm

I’m glad someone said “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I do not get this movie’s appeal. I rememeber being thirteen and thinking “why is the kid with the mansion, pool and sports car whining so much”.

Also hate “Easy Rider”. I doubt many people have really tried to watch it- it is brutal sixties self-congratulation. Makes me more mad that this overshadows the terrific “Five Easy Peices,” which really is about all the great things people think “Easy Rider” is about.

Finally, “American Beauty”. So Kevin Spacey is such a good guy because he only looked at the naked little girl, but didn’t go all the way. Way to go. And that annoying dork next door! The most pretentious “faux intellectual” movie ever. Except for maybe “Easy Rider”.

441

Jimmy2911 06.04.08 at 7:04 pm

Give me a break! Hardly any movies mentioned on this page are actually terrible. Overrated, perhaps, but to say movies such as “House of Sand and Fog” are awful movies is painfully ridiculous.

442

Jon Blumenfeld 06.04.08 at 7:05 pm

I know nobody remembers “The Road to Wellville” but I walked out of that. And then there was the Disney animated remake of “The King and I.”

Please, please, please avoid these movies.

443

Jimmy2911 06.04.08 at 7:05 pm

Give me a break! Hardly any movies mentioned on this page are actually terrible. Overrated or overhyped, perhaps, but to say movies such as “House of Sand and Fog” are awful movies is painfully ridiculous.

444

Mike Barry 06.04.08 at 7:05 pm

I’m glad someone said “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I do not get this movie’s appeal. I rememeber being thirteen and thinking “why is the kid with the mansion, pool and sports car whining so much”.

Also hate “Easy Rider”. I doubt many people have really tried to watch it- it is brutal sixties self-congratulation. Makes me more mad that this overshadows the terrific “Five Easy Peices,” which really is about all the great things people think “Easy Rider” is about.

Finally, “American Beauty”. So Kevin Spacey is such a good guy because he only looked at the naked little girl, but didn’t go all the way. Way to go. And that annoying dork next door! The most pretentious “faux intellectual” movie ever. Except for maybe “Easy Rider”.

445

Jimmy2911 06.04.08 at 7:07 pm

Give me a break! Hardly any movies mentioned on this page are actually terrible. Overrated or over-hyped, perhaps, but to say movies such as “House of Sand and Fog” are awful films is absolutely ridiculous.

446

The Fool 06.04.08 at 7:07 pm

“Also Juno, fashionable backlash target-of-the-moment…we’re supposed to be hating on her because she’s too precocious and says things too mature for any teenager to say, remember? At least keep the backlash straight.”

Actually the problem is not that she’s too mature, the problem is she’s so goddamn smug and full of smuggy one-liners. How droll. Spare me.

447

Duh 06.04.08 at 7:07 pm

I am shocked you people even went and saw and/or rented most of these movies. You honestly couldn’t tell before hand that they would suck? Please.

448

John 06.04.08 at 7:07 pm

The Crow! Kill me now!
Crash (the one about sex and automobile accidents)
Anything with Kevin Costner is to be avoided at all costs.

449

4jkb4ia 06.04.08 at 7:09 pm

I liked Fever Pitch! For one thing it got me to read the book. For the second thing you can never have too many scenes of Fenway Park in a movie theater.

450

Geoff Blankenmeyer 06.04.08 at 7:09 pm

Punch Drunk Love. Gawdawful.

I Heart Hukabees

451

Jeffro 06.04.08 at 7:10 pm

Greystoke – all I remember is Bo Derek in a wet shirt and walking out anyway.

452

lemuel pitkin 06.04.08 at 7:10 pm

Romy and Michelle

You, sir, have no heart.

453

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 1:17 am

Uwe Boll: Too obvious.

400: As writers go, Diablo Cody’s an excellent stripper.

Mmmm, now that’s classy. I think I’ll trade in the term “fashionable backlash” for “classy backlash.”

420: Okay, so I wondered earlier why we’re singling out SPR as having “killed people,” and I’m still wondering. It’s a drop in the bucket of American WWII myth-mongering, remembered largely for its opening sequence. So it’s really hard to see how that makes sense.

424: Actually the problem is not that she’s too mature, the problem is she’s so goddamn smug and full of smuggy one-liners.

See, now “smug” is a comprehensible criticism. I can look at the movie and see where it comes from. I may not agree with it, but I can understand it.

454

Cap'n Phealy 06.05.08 at 1:56 am

I have to preface this by saying I only saw this film because I was a part-time professional movie reviewer at the time:

Wing Commander

I saw an entire audience’s suspension of disbelief crushed under its own weight.

455

Randy Paul 06.05.08 at 2:10 am

Okay here’s one: Pay or Die, a Filipino chopsocky in which the heroine is named Cleopatra Wong and she is assisted by a swishy-to-the-point-of-repellent gay ex-cop and a 300 pound fortune-teller. It was the front end of a double feature with The Terminator.

456

Michael 06.05.08 at 2:17 am

I’ve only read down thru 250, but cannot believe that no one has mentioned Top Gun. Are our collective memories that shallow? Have we all forgotten the beach volleyball scene, or Val Kilmer inexplicably snapping his teeth upon being introduced to Maverick. The very worst in Tom Cruise’s misbegotten career.

457

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 2:17 am

428: Starring Marrie Lee? So bad it’s good, surely!

458

Dave 06.05.08 at 2:22 am

The Unforgiven — This film managed a trifecta of badness. Boring story, incredibly wooden acting (particularly by Gene Hackman and costumes that looked like they came from the Gap! The final insult was that it won the Best Picture Oscar.

459

NBarnes 06.05.08 at 2:24 am

Waterworld isn’t even near the worst movie ever, or the most damaging, and certainly not particularly evil at all. There are a lot of bad genre flicks that should aspire to Waterworld‘s level of vision and craftsmanship. It was damn watchable for a bad SF flick.

Highlander 2 might actually manage to be evil, beyond being awful, by virtue of the violence it does to the entirely entertaining and creatively meritorious original.

460

Michael 06.05.08 at 2:37 am

Oh be serious people:

Father of the Bride (Steve Martin)
Top Gun
No Way Out
Titanic
Arthur (Dudley Moore)
Failure to Launch, with human oilslick Matthew McConaughey

461

Gene Debs 06.05.08 at 2:49 am

Okay, I’m game. Actually, I’m going to tweak it a bit – – there are too many movies to avoid watching before you die, so I’m going to chip in movies to avoid by directors whose work you should see before you die.

Leading off:

Aviator, dir. Scorcese. Leaden, dull, miscast. Sacrificed to the bio-pic genre (or the pomo pastiche of the biopic) are Scorcese’s usual energy, personality, and fascination with working-class loser-heroes.

Curse of the Jade Scorpion, dir. Woody Allen. Allen’s “homage” addiction goes way off mark in this creepy (as in creepily bad) remake of a 30’s pulp flick. Poorly cast, crappy screenplay, creaking direction – – hard to understand why Allen pursued such an uninspired remake of a genre already so obviously ripe for parody.

Billy Bathgate, dir. Robert Benton. Take a not half-bad novel by a great American writer, mix with an unevenly brilliant director, shake don’t stir – – and the result is a constipated, remote movie that strives for myth and falls into something less than Robert Stack period Untouchables.

Apollo 13, dir. Ron Howard. Okay, okay – – Opie as director? Actually, some of Howard’s movies are pretty good, especially his early “drive-in” Detroit motor epics (Eat My Dust, Grand Theft Auto). The rest of his “oeuvre” reads like some kind of erratic, stumbling effort to recapture the National Popular movietone. Things go really bad when Howard struggles to achieve the national popular epic and ends up with a movie so corny (and corniness is a generally a virtue in this line of moviemaking), so totally and utterly unironic, so much like the Gene Roddenberry’s rendering of Ben Bova’s rendering of space romance that you actually crave more moments of outer space silence in between Tom Hanks’, Bill Paxton’s, Kevin Bacon’s, Gary Sinise’s, and Ed Harris’s grim, disembodied performances (what a waste of American thespian manhood).

462

Ryan 06.05.08 at 3:09 am

Uh, Shoot em’ Up was absolutely, the worst movie I’ve ever watched. Thank God I didn’t go see it in theaters, but I did waste my money, and time, on it. Also The Village was horrible.

463

Jeffrey Ellis 06.05.08 at 3:37 am

1. Mulholland Drive. Yes, I got it, but that only made it worse.
2. Natural Born Killers. Or was it The Doors? Maybe both.
3. Any Robin Williams film except Mrs. Doubtfire
4. Saving Private Ryan — except for the brilliant opening sequence it was like watching a re-run of the ’60’s series “Combat”, but without Vic Morrow.
5. Gangs of New York. If only it were a musical!
6. A Dirty Shame. As if John Waters were channeling Woody Allen at his worst, but without any of the self-abnegating Jewish humor.

464

neunerdude 06.05.08 at 4:13 am

Any movie starring Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, or Ben Stiller.

Avoid these and your life will be way better for it.

465

PEOverbrook 06.05.08 at 4:22 am

“Driving Miss Daisy” was awful on many levels (racist, cliche, etc.).

“There Will Be Blood” was boring and had no plot and none of the characters were particularly interesting. It’s only redeeming value was a mildely interesting look into oil drilling early in the 20th century.

466

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 4:43 am

Having spent most of the thread kvetching, some further suggestions:

Operation: Dumbo Drop and Delta Farce, both built around the horrifically misconceived notion that war is a fabulous backdrop for wacky hijinks.

The Pink Panther, the thuddingly unfunny Steve Martin version, which could potentially contaminate the very funny legacy of Peter Sellers’ work in the original.

Team America: World Police, Bush-era Republican propaganda trying lamely to pass itself off as satire, in which most of the humour is about how much the filmmakers suck with puppets when they aren’t retreading old South Park jokes or (har! har!) noting that foreign accents sound funny.

Bamboozled, a nigh-unwatchable film whose sledgehammer sensibilities fatally undermine its political message.

Cool World, Ralph Bakshi’s profoundly ugly and misogynistic attempt to cash in on the success of Roger Rabbit.

Let’s Go To Prison, because prison rape is totally hilarious.

Snoop Dogg’s Soul Plane, resurrecting minstrelsy for the Oughties.

Naked, a poisonous brew of unreflective misogyny and misanthropy dressed up in art-house rags.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which may yet convince future filmmakers that their movies don’t need scripts, just really kickass digital backgrounds.

I’m Not There and Masked and Anonymous, from the flaccid, pretentious Dylanolatry genre.

Every Which Way But Loose, an important pioneer in the art of dragging apes onto movie sets to be laughed at.

467

Hattie 06.05.08 at 5:06 am

If you thought House of Sand and Fog was bad, you should have read the book. Even worse!

468

Ben Alpers 06.05.08 at 5:16 am

Okay, so I wondered earlier why we’re singling out SPR as having “killed people,” and I’m still wondering. It’s a drop in the bucket of American WWII myth-mongering, remembered largely for its opening sequence. So it’s really hard to see how that makes sense.

I didn’t bring up this notion first on this thread, but I did endorse it. Here’s why.

I think the D-Day sequence of SPR significantly ups the graphic-violence ante of the WWII combat film (of which SPR is, in many other ways, an extremely typical example). As such, it does take an important step toward normalizing (the actually normal) extreme violence of modern warfare. During the Vietnam War, images of such violence could still shock the American public. Now, I’d argue, they really can’t. We’ve turned against the War in Iraq, but largely because it seems pointless and going nowhere. SPR helped spread the blanket of justification over a greater range of horrors. That’s the short version of the argument, at any rate.

469

Paul 06.05.08 at 5:18 am

Although Signs is a train wreck of implausibility and lame plot devices (crop circles?), it is not dull and does have some suspenseful scenes. Very well directed (written, not so much) I assert it is neither bad or good.

Now, The Brown Bunny, that’s a bad movie. So is Wild Hogs. I could go on. In fact, most movies are bad. At least Signs manages to entertain, or at least make one want to ridicule it (which is a form of goodness).

470

Jaliya 06.05.08 at 5:19 am

“Kids” revolted me to the point of throwing up; I walked out of “Airport II”; “The Golden Compass” insulted the book it was based on.

471

Robert Weaver 06.05.08 at 5:34 am

American Beauty

“Hello. Protagonist here. Just thought I’d let you know I’m going to die at the end of the film. I’ll bet knowing that will make the trivial melodrama you’re about to sit through seem way more profound.”

God I hate that schtick.

Oh, and anything by Darren Aronofsky.

And that pretentious horror-movie-for-middle-class-wankers The Boys, though that’s an Oz flick so you’ve all probably not seen it. However, it does remind me:

Anything in which I have to watch David Wenham trying to act.

472

Waldo 06.05.08 at 5:35 am

Wilson (1944)
The Beast With Five Fingers (1946)
Strategic Air Command (1955)
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Krakatoa, East of Java (1969)
The Hindenburg (1975)
Eraserhead (1977)
The Boy in Blue (1986)
Priest (1994)
Bicentennial Man (1999)

473

jonjon 06.05.08 at 5:41 am

“Body of Evidence”, or any other movie starring Madonna.

474

rollo tomassi 06.05.08 at 5:42 am

Forrest Gump is the worst movie of all time. What makes it the worst is that so many people loved its message, which is that it’s perfectly fine not to understand any of the complicated events that are going on around you and instead happily sail through life with the aid of a few simplistic platitudes. This is a message that must give hope to tyrants and dictators, and must therefore be extremely disheartening to anyone concerned about fostering an educated and engaged citizenry.

475

lemuel pitkin 06.05.08 at 5:43 am

Dr. Slack, you are so profoundly wrong about Naked that all your other opinions are preemptively discredited.

476

Hattie 06.05.08 at 5:50 am

OH, OH, I have it. The Gods Must be Crazy. Pee Yew!
Pigmy finds coke bottle and profoundness ensues.

477

Todd 06.05.08 at 5:52 am

The Vanishing, execrable to the final “credits”, was worse for being a remake of the original, brilliant, scary-as-hell Dutch Spoorloos.

I was sorry when I saw the original, as I was unable to sleep well for quite a few days. I was sorrier to see the remake, although I did catch a little shuteye.

Also nominated for worst ending…

478

Nick 06.05.08 at 5:56 am

ok romy any michelle rocks. ill just say that.

Also, you guys are missing out on some reeeal gems. Holla back if you feel me on these:

-Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
I watched this movie. I really did. Granted, I was going for the its-so-bad-its-funny tack, but what I got was a black portal into a blood-slicked dimension of purest terror. The director’s name is K-Os. Honestly.

-Shoot ‘Em Up
Paul Giamatti?!?!? Surely, not you! I can believe Clive Owen, and that women who plays the Merovingian’s wife in the Matrix . . . but Paul Giamatti?? “Tit for Tat” has to be THE worst villainous tagline of all movie times.

-Deep Impact
Nothing hurt my soul more than this movie. I actually, completely out of reflex, said “Thank God!” in the theater when Tea Leone and her dad are finally killed by the giant tsunami. I was initially embarassed, but I was quickly cheered by most of the theater.

Any other winners?

479

Eamonn 06.05.08 at 5:56 am

RE: Perfume. Not sure it was the worst movie I have ever seen, but the ending was the most jaw-droppingly holy-shit-I-can’t-believe-someone-actually-wrote-this ending I have ever seen

As to the worst movie I have ever seen, gotta go with “The Lovers on the Bridge” Truly, truly, horrifyingly bad.

A testament to the badness of this movie, (and perfume’s ending) is the amount of adverbs I have been forced to use writing this.

480

Chris 06.05.08 at 5:59 am

I saw a movie called Dungeon Master with Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P. HORRIBLE 80’s band). Worst movie ever. However, seeing it in the theater (I’m retarded), they showed film of snowmobiles going over open water and ice and that was the memory that stuck with me.

Dungeon Master was awful.

To qualify my comment, I loved Hudson Hawk (second worst movie ever, apparently)…

481

moondancer 06.05.08 at 5:59 am

Couple of notes:
“Toys” was so bad I couldn’t figure the why of it.
I liked Betty Blue but I am a sucker for French cinema.
Even the few movies with Keanu Reeves I liked would be better without him. So ixnay on the lot.
All time worst movie experience for me? The Sound of Music. thirty minutes in, I was rooting for the Nazis.

482

Manx 06.05.08 at 6:01 am

Hey, how come nobody’s mentioned Erin Brockovitch?
A terrible concept for a movie and disingenuous at best.

483

MissLaura 06.05.08 at 6:09 am

Third or fourth or whatever to Saving Private Ryan. The idea that this was some kind of deep artistic anti-war statement sickens me.

Third or fourth or whatever to Autumn in New York, a film so bad that, seeing it on a day I was depressed just a couple months after a friend died from a heart problem, this movie about a woman dying from a heart problem made me bored and annoyed but not at all sad.

484

Bill Cushing 06.05.08 at 6:25 am

Les Boys I, II, III, IV.

Criminal destruction of the French language.

485

George 06.05.08 at 6:31 am

Big Jim McLain. Marian’s masterpiece….

486

George 06.05.08 at 6:33 am

Howzabout ‘Big Jim McLain’? Not exactly Marian’s masterpiece….

487

PretentiousMusings 06.05.08 at 6:36 am

it’s been a while, but i’ve always considered the worst movie i’ve ever seen to be nothing but trouble, with chevy chase, dan ackroyd and demi moore. completely unwatchable. ackroyd wrote and directed as well.

if you’re going to fail, you might as well fail big, so kudos to you mr. ackroyd.

488

LarryG 06.05.08 at 6:50 am

For me, these are the three most overrated movies in recent memory:
Lost in Translation
Little Miss Sunshine
The Blair Witch Project

I disagree with those who give thumbs down to Juno, A.I., Magnolia, and Bram Stokers Dracula.

489

david 06.05.08 at 6:55 am

OMG,

Some of my top ten movies are on mentioned above:

The Graduate
close Encounters of the Third Kind
Dances With Wolves

Not top ten, but very fun to watch, over and over, and also very “give me a break” on this list of bad movies:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Finally, I’ve never wanted to see either Liquid Sky or Betty Blue again, but when I saw each during its initial release in New York in the 1980s, as a 20something, I rated both very highly — successful and unforgettable.

490

Ben Alpers 06.05.08 at 6:58 am

@478: The Hollywood version of The Vanishing definitely goes in the winner’s circle of films with awful, tacked-on happy endings (previously mentioned: About Last Night… and The Natural). Spoorloos (the Dutch original, the English title of which is also The Vanishing), on the other hand, is one of the best thrillers of the last thirty years. If you haven’t seen it, put it in your Netflix queue now!

491

gh lewes 06.05.08 at 7:00 am

Most Boring Movie:

The New Rose Hotel. When you look up the word ‘soporiphic’ in the dictionary… No one can remain awake through this movie.

Most Annoying Movie:

Vanilla Sky, The American Version. This movie pretends that you’re supposed to figure something out while you watch it, but you eventually realize that there’s nothing to figure out, and then the movie ends, and you want to hit something.

Most Disappointing Movie:

A.I. Just watch the first half of this movie and then turn it off; you’ll think it’s a classic. Whatever you do, don’t watch the second half!

Worst Acting:

The Man in The Iron Mask

Most of the otherwise great actors in this movie- Byrne, Depardieu, Malkovich- are okay, but Dicaprio’s performance is unbearable. I know, there are worse actors than Dicaprio, but he isn’t just unbelievable here, he’s annoying.

Stupidest Movie (And ALSO the most overrated movie.)

The African Queen. I love old movies, but this is clearly the worst movie ever made. This movie was supposed to be a WWII drama/romance, but as it was being made, they realized it was kind of stupidly funny, and they decided to play up the comedy. Unfortunately, the resultant “humor” doesn’t translate well to modern audiences and so the movie is unwatchable.

Worst Bad Movie:

Billy Jack. Whoever first nominated ‘Billy Jack’ unleashed some repressed memories from my childhood.

My Favorite Movies, Called Bad Here:

American Beauty, Happiness, The Fountain, Crash (I won’t say which Crash) The Piano, Breaking The Waves, 2001: A Space Odyssey, There Will Be Blood

492

Aulus Gellius 06.05.08 at 7:01 am

There’s clearly no way to agree on “worst,” or even “bad”: the problem is, different flaws are more irritating to different people. I get really irritated when movies get preachy, and try to pass off really stupid ideas as brilliant and thought-provoking: so Dogma absolutely enrages me (and I can only enjoy Starship Troopers by NOT thinking about the subversive meaning). On the other hand, I really love silliness and throwaway stupid jokes, and am not too bothered if they’re surrounded by mediocre writing and a clumsy plot: so I liked Wild Wild West a whole lot. Can’t really blame anyone for disagreeing. (About the latter, anyway. If you like Dogma, I hate you.)

493

Joel D. 06.05.08 at 7:02 am

Reds.

Julia.

Ordinary People.

All these movies sucked, for the simple reason that the point of a movie is entertainment; not practice in how to survive alone in a doctor’s office waiting room with no magazines.

494

Ben Alpers 06.05.08 at 7:02 am

FYI, this thread has spawned a copycat thread over on the Great Orange Satan.

495

Aulus Gellius 06.05.08 at 7:10 am

Oh, and a qualified defense of Batman and Robin. Yes, George Clooney is the worst Batman imaginable. Yes, the plot is idiotic and the writing and acting bad. Yes, a significant portion of the movie is given over to Alicia Silverstone pointlessly riding a motorcycle or something (hey, at least she’s pretty). All this I grant.

But you shouldn’t totally avoid watching this movie. What you should do is fast-forward to all the scenes with Arnold Schwarzenegger (as Mr. Freeze). Because his lines consist almost entirely of an endless succession of completely moronic puns on the theme of cold and ice, and he delivers them with a relish that I, at least, can’t help sharing. “Everybody. . . freeze!” I still chuckle whenever I even think about that.

496

wonder6789 06.05.08 at 7:12 am

Bertrand Blier’s “Merci La Vie”

Marco Ferreri’s “La Chair”

… and any number of other flicks by these 2 pseudo-liberated crap makers.

Adrian Lyn’s “9 1/2 Weeks” should be included as well.

And for those who put “Bringing up Baby” or “Touch of Evil”, and “Magnificient Ambersons” on the list:
you need to get around a lot.

497

Colin 06.05.08 at 7:26 am

Norbit, it was crap.
Superman 3, as above. Total waste of time.

498

Fredrik Pettersson 06.05.08 at 7:26 am

American History X

I mean come on, it’s just so stupid.

499

B. Lehmann 06.05.08 at 7:37 am

I love bad movies. The “Day After Tomorrow” is one of my favorites. But the worst movie I have ever seen was “The Astronaut’s Wife”. I kept watching–expecting it to deliver on its promise of suckiness. But, no, it was just boring. Recently got a copy of “Night of the Comet”. It was as horrible as I had remembered and it was glorious.

500

Becca 06.05.08 at 7:44 am

Worst movies? Well arguably one could include virtually anything done on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” (Of those, “Manos: The Hands of Fate” probably takes the cake, because even the mad scientists apologized to Joel & the ‘Bots for sending them such a loathsome stinkpile.)

But among those I actually sat through and wished afterwards I had brain bleach…or, at the least the those minutes back?

Top for me was “Seven.” A nasty piece of work. Yes, yes, the acting was superb, especially Kevin Spacey (as always). But the imagery and situations so awful I find I wish I had never seen it.

Second? “The Phantom.” Alec Baldwin. One of only two theater movies that I actually walked out on.

Third: “Dressed to Kill.” Michael Caine & Angie Dickinson. The other movie I walked out on.

501

Mike 06.05.08 at 7:47 am

Wyatt Earp….

Tombstone was 10X the movie at 1/4 of the price.

502

Fabian 06.05.08 at 7:50 am

I read that someone wrote that “The ShawShank Redemption” was one of his/hers worst ever movie experiences.

I am sorry, but I then have to say, that you probably ain’t got a clue of good movies…

Besides brilliant acting and a well elated storyline, the pictures and use of music plus the dialogues are just excellent.

This is not a matter of personal opinion, this is a matter of knowing on which details you should pay attetntion when you watch a movie to determine if it is good or really bad.

And also: Requiem For a Dream is also a brilliant pic.
I don’t understand why there are so many folks out ther who just don’t like it or who just don’t understand it.
It is no film to entertain you by any means, the movie wants to reflect on things that make you addicted and how that changes you from good to worse.
The performance of Ellen Burstyn, a killer performance as someone wrote at IMD, is outstanding and should state an example for all the young, beautiful AND DUMD knightleys, etc. etc. out there.

Worst movies ever, in my personal opinion:

Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me:

Absolutely incomprehensible, absolutely superfluous.

The Marathon Man:

Besides bad acting and outdated filmmaking and sound engineering, the plot is weak, the actors are badly directed, etc. etc.
Just close to Worst movie No. 1

The Last Legion:

Poorly acted, poorly directed, poorly written, poorly outfitted, poorly, poorly, poorly.

It will take some time until a new movie about the roman era will come close to the all-time-number-one: “Gladiator”, which really IS among the few best movie we all should have seen during the last 50 years!

503

J Philip 06.05.08 at 7:58 am

“Bram Stoker’s Dracula Hate to keep adding Coppola to the list. When he’s good (e.g. first two Godfather films; The Conversation) he’s very, very good. But when he’s bad…you get this film. Watch Keanu Reeves lose a two-hour long battle with an English accent.”

Sounds like the same battle Reeves was fighting in “Dangerous Liaisons” but ten times more irritating as he was supposed to be French.

Worst movie honors go to “Gandhi” and “The English Patient.” They both have running times of approximately 12 hours and are tedious beyond redemption. Even the absense of Keanu Reeves can’t save them.

504

lori 06.05.08 at 8:08 am

I hate Gone With The Wind more than any other film I’ve ever seen. I wanted to walk out of it, but I didn’t have a way to get home without my friend, who loved the movie.

505

Maldoror 06.05.08 at 8:22 am

The worst movie ever made is The Magic Christmas Tree.
It’s a g-rated film made on a porn film budget.
It’s completely overdubbed as well.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195039/

506

Bannemar 06.05.08 at 8:32 am

Anything with the Toms (Cruise or Hanks); Juno (just what we don’t need…another pregnant teenager!! Hated, “The English Patient”, “Ghost”, anything with Stallone in it.

507

King of terriers 06.05.08 at 8:34 am

Aguirre, Wrath of God – yes I know that it is supposed to be Werner Herzog’s masterpiece, but in 1977, going to a Saturday night showing with your buddies at college after drinking beer, a German film about a crazy conquistador played by a German that doesn’t say very much with a soundtrack by a German progressive rock band, just weirded me out.
(As Basil Fawlty said, “Don’t mention the war”).

508

JJ Hunsecker 06.05.08 at 8:37 am

Geez, people! No mention yet of the excesses of Brian De Palma? The Bonfire of the Vanities immediately comes to mind. Oliver Stone’s Platoon has to be the worst film ever made about Vietnam.

Others that I wish I could erase from memory:
Bertolucci’s La Luna, Robert Altman’s Quintet, Edward Norton’s Keeping The Faith.

509

snaveca 06.05.08 at 8:37 am

Return to Oz (starring a young Fairuza Balk) – the first movie I ever walked out on.
Anything Else (absolutely unbearable)
Blue Lagoon (excrutiating)
Crossroads (starring Britney Spears. Need I say more?)
Batman & Robin (I don’t know how Clooney’s career survived after this one)
Scent of a Woman (root canal w/out painkillers)
St. Elmo’s Fire (nauseatingly self-absorbed)

510

Morjana 06.05.08 at 8:45 am

Aliens 3 and Aliens 4, Hustle (Burt Reynolds), Slap Shot (Paul Newman), Matrix, Point Break, The Postman, Waterworld, Wyatt Earp, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Wild Wild West (extremely cringe-worthy), The Piano…

511

Fee 06.05.08 at 8:56 am

Bloom – hands down the worst movie my friends and I have ever seen. When we see a bad movie these days, it usually has at least that redeeming feature: it’s better than Bloom… Somebody should’ve listened when Ulysses was deemed unfilmable.

512

Mechant 06.05.08 at 9:00 am

House of Sand and Fog actually was nominated for awards

513

nate 06.05.08 at 9:02 am

Well, I may have missed something, but in skimming this list I didn’t see either of the two films I have personally walked out of:

Independence Day
Trapped in Paradise

Those were truly awful.

Also, there seem to be a number of movies that people have nominated because they didn’t get it and were personally offended that they totally missed the point. I may not personally have cared for Citizen Kane, but I would never have put it on this list because I can recognize many qualities in it. If you can’t see anything redeeming about Good Morning Vietnam, American Beauty, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Dead Poets Society (which have all received multiple mentions), or several other decent-to-great but flawed movies, you’re really not trying very hard…

514

Jedinate 06.05.08 at 9:09 am

OK! BattleField Earth. crap. Unadulterated crap. John Travolta made a horrific movie that boggles the senses. It is 3000 AD and aliens have conquered Earth and enslaved almost all of humanity for a millennium. Humans have DE-EVOLVED into a near neanderthal, with constant grunting(very annoying) and the clincher of stupidity, the humans fight the advanced aliens with ANCIENT American technology, even though it is a thousand years old. So, recap, the enslaved (grunting) humans are using ancient aircraft grunting and smashing controls beating advanced alien technology. To overthrow the alien (John Travolta) which is two hours of my life that I’ll never get back. Don’t watch.

515

FOARP 06.05.08 at 9:13 am

Memento – Long, dull, boring, repetitious, and with a plot twist you can see coming a mile away. Do not watch this total pile of do-do, and if any of you get around to inventing a time machine please hit me up so I can go back in time and tell my younger self the same thing.

Oh, and I totally second the person who selected Bicentenial Man. The idea that you could change a short story by Asimov into a feature-length film was pretty far-fetched, throw in Robin Williams with his never-ending obsession with schmaltz and you have the film version of white noise.

516

ubuntu 06.05.08 at 9:17 am

Walked out of 2 movies in my life. A Night In The Life Of Jimmy Reardon starring River Phoenix. Maybe he turned to drugs to try to forget that gem. And the most recent The Hills Have Eyes. Gratuitous violence and an idiotic family just begging to be killed do not a good movie make.

517

JP 06.05.08 at 9:17 am

The Shipping News

It was a really shitty movie – a big disappointment because the book is great.

518

miles jefferson davies 06.05.08 at 9:18 am

Crash by Paul Haggis
Das Experiment
Derailed

519

miles jefferson davies 06.05.08 at 9:19 am

The Cube. All of the Cubes

520

Tira 06.05.08 at 9:21 am

Juno – I’ve been praying for a backlash because at the time, everybody I knew was raving about how it was brilliant. I’d like to join them in “hooray for strong female protagonists” and “lol shes so wise and clever”, but I know girls like that and they are neither wise or clever, they are annoying as hell because they wipe their arse with Socrates. It took me at least a month to find somebody to bitch with about how full of shit it was. Less Junos, more Ripleys please?

The Other Boleyn Girl – I loved the book. I was sure I’d hate it, but I completely fell in love with Anne’s ambition and arrogance and how that was her downfall. The movie? A Lifetime Movie of the Week piece of crap about sisterhood and “the sufferings of teh womens” and modern thinking in olden times. Where’s the family ruthlessness? Big fat Henry VIII (I am I am)?

A Streetcar Named Desire – I know I’m going to hell for this, but I only liked it for Marlon Brando’s half nekkidness, when he’s not bellowing like a rogue elephant “STELLAYOODUMBITCH!” I really tried liking this, but I’ve never been a fan of Tennessee Williams.

Ma Vie en Rose – not the Edith Piaf movie. Much worse. A little French boy wants to be a girl, but his family’s neighbours are very, “we are French! We do not do these sorts of things here!” There’s potential for it to be interesting, but it’s just very boring.

Blue Velvet – I’m sorry. I want to like David Lynch, but…eh. (However Elephant Man was fantastic)

Speed Racer – I expected it to suck, but not this badly. >.o “What about it sucked?” EVERYTHING.

Becoming Jane – “Yay! Bio-fiction! This sounds like fu-OH MY GOD.” I’m still not sure what was so “omg furbidden” about their affair, or why I needed to give a crap.

521

giant killer llama 06.05.08 at 9:23 am

Wing Commander.
Even when compared to other movies about video games, it is truly awful.

522

pete miller 06.05.08 at 9:29 am

the cook,the thief his wife and her lover. i think this came out 15 years as the first NR rating that replaced X rated.anyway a total gross out movie with nudity you want to forget. add in canabilism and uncomfortable violence and you can actual walk out the theater – like i did. ( still the only time i’ve done that)

523

aracos 06.05.08 at 9:30 am

Whomever suggested that Manos: The Hands of Fate was only “really bad” severely understated the worst movie of all time. There is no other movie that can hold a candle to it in the competition of worst movie. The production values are atrocious, and actor are F-list at best, with a none too good story attached. You can sit and watch 20 minutes of it, and think you’ve been watching for at least an hour. If you feel you absolutely must watch Manos, be sure to have copious amounts of your drink of choice handy, because I don’t believe one can actually finish Manos: The Hands of Fate while sober.

524

Tira 06.05.08 at 9:30 am

I almost forgot:

The Boy Who Could Fly, Starman, Troy, and The Butterfly Effect. The last two were so horrible I left the theater in a rage and unleashed verbal plagues on both retards who not only recommended it, but stood by the films as “great piece of art”. Bastards.

““There Will Be Blood” was boring and had no plot and none of the characters were particularly interesting. It’s only redeeming value was a mildely interesting look into oil drilling early in the 20th century.”

Oh man, TWBB is one of my new favorite movies. What got me in love with the film is that (probably spoilers ahead) it’s about this competition between two greedy people. Normally, they would be the villains of a film, but they’re the lead characters. There is no righteous do-gooder who is out to stop them. It’s this race to get the oil and it will never be used for something good. Plainview embraces his greed and Eli has to force himself to believe his faith is driving him, when it’s his greed. It is all worth it for the ending. I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. (But this is from someone who can barely sit through ‘Streetcar’ so maybe I shouldn’t be talking. Lol)

525

Yosef 06.05.08 at 9:31 am

Pulp Fiction: Ain’t violence cool? Utterly morally bankrupt, and Tarantino is a cretin.

Other pieces o’ crap:

Waterworld
Eraserhead
The Aristocrats
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
The Adventurers
Borat
(Ugly, vulgar, stupid, embarrassing)
Anything with Ashton Kutcher.
Anything with Pauly Shore.
Just about anything with Adam Sandler.

And by the way, Saving Private Ryan was a tremendous movie that showed us, especially in its first 20 minutes, a face of war few other Hollywood movies have dared to show us. Some Omaha Beach veterans publicly gave Spielberg the unit patches they had saved since the war as a sign of gratitude to him. That says something to me.

And anyone who thought The Deer Hunter was lousy needs help. It was a masterpiece, pure and simple.

526

ajay 06.05.08 at 9:35 am

482: there was (so it is said) a live stage version of “The Diary of Anne Frank” in London, with Anne played by Pia Zadora. She was so appallingly bad that when the Nazis stormed into the Frank house at the start of Act II, a voice from the audience shouted “She’s in the attic!”

527

lazarus 06.05.08 at 9:38 am

I wonder if this thread would have died sooner if it hadn’t been mentioned on the DK. Oh, look, most of the movies I consider profound, aesthetic and life changing appear somewhere on this list. I hope most of you put more thought into your life choices than you do into your movie tastes.

Then again, maybe I’m just a huge dork.

528

Billy Bill 06.05.08 at 9:46 am

Stranger Than Paradise? Really? I thought it was great fun.

Me, I nominate Bolero. Bo Derek on a worldwide search for sexual ecstasy. Doesn’t sound too bad, huh? Unbelievably, the filmmaking is so terrible that there is no eroticism at all, and because they can’t get across via any usual methods the idea that she found what she was looking for, a fucking neon sign lights up saying “ecstasy”. It’s the standard against which I measure all other bad movies.

529

paving 06.05.08 at 9:54 am

obviously a ton of movies that are really quite decent, many very, very good have made this list. to that I offer simply the idea that maybe YOU DON’T GET IT!!!

I would like to defend Perfume, in particular, because I think it is excellent and making a movie of a book that is almost entirely about scent is very difficult and to have pulled it off deserves much more credit.

also, Jim Jarmusch has made a number of less interesting “vignette” type movies but Dead Man towers above as an achievement in film history. that is an absolute classic for the ages and if you want to talk about “film” and not recognize this one well you’re really out of your league.

as for Starship Troopers it is so obviously hilarious that I can’t believe anyone missed that.

Finally I never saw house of sand and fog but House of Sand, the Brazilian movie mentioned earlier, is one-of-a-kind. I still think of it occasionally about two years after watching it. Astounding. It’s literally about a House of Sand. Go watch it.

In my opinion a truly awful movie actually makes you like the previous work of the director and actors less after seeing it. “Marie Antoinette” absolutely destroyed Sofia Coppola in my mind and the biggest piece of shit movie I’ve seen in years, “Little Children,” actually turned me off Kate Winslet for years and counting…

530

paving 06.05.08 at 9:57 am

Oh, and whatever jackass posted “Unforgiven” must be kidding. Seriously, did you miss the last half hour? Jesus christ.

531

boilerman10 06.05.08 at 10:01 am

“Howard The Duck” has to be one of the worst of the worst…we’re talking “Creeping Terror” and “Plan Nine From Outer Space” bad here. Poor Lea Thompson’s career never fully recovered from the scene where she is about to “surrender” to the Duck…Puts a whole new twist on “go F*^# a duck!”

Blue City did nothing for Judd Nelson, and aside from Paul Winfield’s good work, the film was implausible.

Wild Things was over-rated…Conniving girl in love with girl that gets killed turns tables on conniving guys and Bill Murray plays a scummy lawyer….sick.

Shalyaman’s “The Village” was a bitter disappointment, what a boring piece of work. No wonder they had to direct market this chunk of junk.

532

francisco f. 06.05.08 at 10:01 am

Who the fuck said that we should avoid any Star Wars?

One of the worst films I can think at the moment is “The Grudge”

533

Dane Janeiro 06.05.08 at 10:02 am

The Shining
I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed by a movie. Love Kubrick, love Nicholson — didn’t realize at the time that anything Steven King touches is utter crap.

534

Nick 06.05.08 at 10:10 am

Oh my God, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry has got to be one of the worst movies ever produced. I turned it off after about five minutes. Awful. Absolutely awful.

535

TJ 06.05.08 at 10:13 am

I LOVE GINGER SNAPS, THE LAST CASINO, ROMEO + JULIET, FINAL DESTINATION 3, STAR WARS, LORD OF THE RINGS AND ANY OTHER AWESOME, FUNNY, SILLY, RANDOM MOVIE!!!!! YAY!!!!

the movies i don’t love are: I DUNNO!!! CAN’T THINK OF ANY!! :D

536

lulu sub 06.05.08 at 10:13 am

Speed Racer
Cold Mountain
12 Monkeys
Blue Streak
National Security

537

Nitrous McBread 06.05.08 at 10:17 am

1. THE RUSSIA HOUSE. The only film I have ever walked out of the cinema to avoid having to see the end of. Not even Sean Connery can save this deeply tedious Cold War ship from sinking.

2. GRAFFITI BRIDGE. Prince’s hugely embarrassing ode to himself saw him flouncing about in a romper suit and an ill-advised beard to the strains of some of his dullest music ever and various impenetrable storylines about angels and the titular sprayed structure. What the hell was it all about? No idea but it led me to deny the little hairy twat at least three times before the cock crowed.

3. THE WICKER MAN (Nic Cage’s wholly preposterous remake). Like watching a remake of “Don’t Look Now” done by the cast of “Little House On The Prairie”. Ouch!

538

Ummm 06.05.08 at 10:21 am

Don’t ever capitalize the word “but”.

Signs is feces.

539

Stupid 06.05.08 at 10:30 am

Why is this on the front page of IMDB? There is nothing here that merits attention. Awful blog.

540

b-ran 06.05.08 at 10:34 am

fools gold…. worst movie i’ve seen in a while

and the house of sand and fog..yeah i watched like 5 minutes and went to bed.

but signs… on a scale of one to ten… signs is raptor jesus!

541

Randy Midgett 06.05.08 at 10:36 am

Cronenburg’s Crash is the only movie I’ve ever walked out of. I only survived sitting through one of the worst movies of all time, My Stepmother Was An Alien, by gnawing one of the arms off the cinema’s seats. It’s said Saddam used this movie to torture Western prisoners.

542

novakant 06.05.08 at 10:39 am

“full of basic, technical errors.”

Because that’s what I watch out for in a work of art, as well as in my car mechanic. There’s more soul and beauty and real humanity, with all its horror and wonder and hatred and joy, in Argento’s little severed gloved pinky, or in a 30 second clip of Suspiria, than in the last 10 years of Oscars.

Film is first and foremost a craft and a very difficult one at that. Argento is not a master of this craft, since he makes basic errors, errors that one can see in the output of young, inexperienced film school students. A juxtaposition of more or less clever set pieces with boring and badly acted dialogue scenes doesn’t make a good film. Funky, multicolored lighting and extravagant camera moves and angles do not make a good film. Argento has little sense of rhythm or visual coherence and both are essential to the film craft. You are confusing showy ineptness with genius.

543

bogdan 06.05.08 at 10:42 am

Firstly, the only film to give me headaches:The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.Avoid at all costs!!!!!!!Secondly,the following movies did not give me any headaches but still sucked:Commando(i know…easy target but still…!),Titanic, Armagedon, Wild at Heart (and im a Lynch fan), We Were Soldiers (sucked even more than Windtalkers), Reign of Fire and of course lets not forget every movie based on a video-game.

544

Willie Horton 06.05.08 at 10:51 am

Entrapment.
They had to cut all the love scenes between Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones out of the film. Curiously (and thankfully) they have not been “restored” to a DVD… I think they just wouldn’t stick to a DVD.

Sex and the City
Two hours too long.

545

Larry Tate 06.05.08 at 10:52 am

The Constant Gardner

Critic Anthony Lane really nails why this film was truly dreadful:

We see Justin and Tessa’s first meeting, back in London, where she rises to her feet after a lecture, delivered by Justin, and launches into a formless, flaming rant about Iraq. After which, needless to say, he has no option but to sleep with her; you can’t walk away from flames like that.

That was, indeed, the most inexplicable part of the film. But if this actually works we should have considered sending a fleet of hookers to the Pentagon and the Project for a New American Century think-tank.

My favorite scene was the threadbare cinematic shorthand to indicate a psychological state of isolation/separation: the begrimaced face flattening on the windows of his former happy home. It didn’t help matters that the very next scene was The Constant Gardener himself, sitting inside the flat, looking at photos. He must have needed a bath after raking, fertilizing, and treating his garden for pests.

The whole thing read like one of those Victorian serial narratives where the author writes himself into a tight spot and then MacGyvers a completely implausible, but necessary, solution. Just think of all the late-arriving information that patches up plot holes at the very last moment:

1. Why would a government official send a letter detailing his own crimes in his own handwriting? And why would someone keep said incriminating letter? And even if he did, why would he risk his marriage, family, job, reputation, and potentially jail time for a fling with a marginally beautiful tart? Of course, as the Downing Street Memos indicate, the British are really are bad at this. If only we could get Rumsfeld to do this. “Dear Diary, today I ordered the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and I feel spotless as a lamb…”

2. Why is it that just when the Constant Gardner asks the indelicate question about his wife’s possible black lover that a picture can be produced instantly from the nearest purse proving that he was, in fact, gay? And now that I think of it, the photo wasn’t even in a wallet or in any kind of protective sheath…the Indian woman just reached in and pulled it out like the contestants on the Price is Right game “Punchboard.”

3. How many people have access to a “dodgy” individual who can manufacture fake passports on a moments notice?

4. As Anthony Lane already indicated, how do you get a neocon ambassador and a firebrand leftist crusader together for the purposes of the narrative? Obviously in the most impossible way ever: the flaming liberal calls the Blair apologist a murdering warmonger then they immediately go on an insane sportfuck bender at her flat.

5. How many people have a webcam with a 50 foot cord?

We must also consider the moral arithmetic the film articulates: Big Pharma = Arms Dealers. We might have a CFP here friends.

http://www.ihatewhatyoujustsaid.com

546

Larry Tate 06.05.08 at 10:55 am

The Constant Gardner

Critic Anthony Lane really nails why this film was truly dreadful:

We see Justin and Tessa’s first meeting, back in London, where she rises to her feet after a lecture, delivered by Justin, and launches into a formless, flaming rant about Iraq. After which, needless to say, he has no option but to sleep with her; you can’t walk away from flames like that.

That was, indeed, the most inexplicable part of the film. But if this actually works we should have considered sending a fleet of hookers to the Pentagon and the Project for a New American Century think-tank.

My favorite scene was the threadbare cinematic shorthand to indicate a psychological state of isolation/separation: the begrimaced face flattening on the windows of his former happy home. It didn’t help matters that the very next scene was The Constant Gardener himself, sitting inside the flat, looking at photos. He must have needed a bath after raking, fertilizing, and treating his garden for pests.

The whole thing read like one of those Victorian serial narratives where the author writes himself into a tight spot and then MacGyvers a completely implausible, but necessary, solution. Just think of all the late-arriving information that patches up plot holes at the very last moment:

1. Why would a government official send a letter detailing his own crimes in his own handwriting? And why would someone keep said incriminating letter? And even if he did, why would he risk his marriage, family, job, reputation, and potentially jail time for a fling with a marginally beautiful tart? Of course, as the Downing Street Memos indicate, the British are really are bad at this. If only we could get Rumsfeld to do this. “Dear Diary, today I ordered the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and I feel spotless as a lamb…”

2. Why is it that just when the Constant Gardner asks the indelicate question about his wife’s possible black lover that a picture can be produced instantly from the nearest purse proving that he was, in fact, gay? And now that I think of it, the photo wasn’t even in a wallet or in any kind of protective sheath…the Indian woman just reached in and pulled it out like the contestants on the Price is Right game “Punchboard.”

3. How many people have access to a “dodgy” individual who can manufacture fake passports on a moments notice?

4. As Anthony Lane already indicated, how do you get a neocon ambassador and a firebrand leftist crusader together for the purposes of the narrative? Obviously in the most impossible way ever: the flaming liberal calls the Blair apologist a murdering warmonger then they immediately go on an insane sportfuck bender at her flat.

5. How many people have a webcam with a 50 foot cord?

We must also consider the moral arithmetic the film articulates: Big Pharma = Arms Dealers. We might have a CFP here friends.

547

Phillip J 06.05.08 at 10:58 am

No no no you guys are aaaalll wrong. the worst movie of all time.. is: Cabin by the lake

Seriously…

548

Asim Ahmad 06.05.08 at 11:02 am

Oh, a few come to mind about some really bad movies… anything by Uwe Boll (Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead, Bloodrayne etc…)

Sequels don’t count, but what about remakes? Stallone’s remake of Get Carter. One reason why Sly should direct his own movies, and not let something as important as Get Carter in the hands of a novice.

Death Proof – I’m not a fan of Tarantino, I think he is highly overrated, but Death Proof was immensely boring. The far superior Planet Terror was so much better.

549

kentuckybootleg 06.05.08 at 11:04 am

“Brokeback Mountain” BARF
I knew how to quit it. I turned it off.

550

Melusine 06.05.08 at 11:04 am

I have to throw the Clint Eastwood piece of mindless dribble, Blood Work, out there. There are three well known actors in the movie: Eastwood, Angelica Houston, and Jeff Daniels. Logic says that Eastwood is going to be the hero (he has a life threatening problem, is in a constant struggle, the whole sappy sob story). Logic also says that Angelica Houston, Eastwood’s doctor, is there to help him. Besides, we can’t have a woman being the villian, that doesn’t jive with the chivalry of Clint. So that leaves Jeff Daniels. Can’t have the almighty Clint taking on some nobody in the struggle of G vs. E.

During the opening credits I looked at the guy I was with and said: “Jesus tap-dancing Christ, Jeff Daniels did it! Can I go home now?” He insisted that I stay. I spent the rest of the movie trying to keep my snickering, snoring, and yawning to a minimum. I rolled my eyes so much I’m surprised I didn’t have to have them surgically realigned. Turned out I was right, by the way.

Clint Eastwood owes me two hours of my life back. If you’re gonna do a crime thriller, please hire some more real actors to flesh out the possibilities pool. I shouldn’t be able to figure it out during the opening credits. I’d rather watch paint dry in the dark.

551

Larry Elfes 06.05.08 at 11:05 am

How about The Remains of the Day and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – 2 films that totally confuse being long-winded and pretentious with being profound.

P.S. to richard j of # 223: It’s not just a guy in an SS greatcoat, it’s Doogie Howser in an SS greatcoat!!!

552

Dylan 06.05.08 at 11:08 am

Never watched Cinderella II: Dreams Come True after sometime in September 2006. (It’s a direct-to-video sequel from Disney; does that count here?)

Also, beware of Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992).

553

Luke Kaven 06.05.08 at 11:10 am

With so many worthy contributors, I think this one will still walk off with the prize: Liquid Sky

Jimmy’s mom to the scientist: “You’re German, right?”
Scientist: “Yes.”
Jimmy’s mom: “I’m Jewish,” (winks her eye and shakes her ass)

554

Peng Dehuai 06.05.08 at 11:12 am

Seems like a lot of people are listing overrated movies, not truly bad ones. The hall of shame surely includes …

Quicksilver
Patch Adams
Enemy Mine
Speed 2
Hook (Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell? Someone should die for that.)

My daughter suggests a terrible South African-made horror movie, The Breed, which keeps showing up on cable.

555

Better Days 06.05.08 at 11:12 am

Forrest Gump! A movie about nothing with people you don’t care about. Proof that the Academy Award is often for films that have no value.

556

jobarules 06.05.08 at 11:14 am

The Brown Bunny..except for the one famous scene,this was the absolute worst movie ever. Vincent Gallo tries to be artistic,but all he really wanted was to have someone give him oral on screen.

557

truth machine 06.05.08 at 11:19 am

A lot of shallow ignorant people here. The very idea of this thread is moronic when there are so many great movies (most of them not made in Hollywood) that you could watch nonstop for the rest of your life and not nearly see all of them.

558

lumpy 06.05.08 at 11:21 am

respectfully folks, none of you are true fans of truly bad movies, nothing compares to “tits in trouble movies” a under appreciated genre of all the drive in movies that repeat the same thing over and over. The big tits come out and then the killer gets her. Bad writing, bad acting, no plot, just good old sex and fear. I used to rent four at a time for a dollar, my finger stuck on the fast forward until the utterly rediculous happened, then I’d rewind and watch that again. My all time favorite worst tits in trouble movie? Girls With Guns. Las vegas show girls have been recruited to go kill dirty arabs. The scenes alternate between topless girls relaxing in a big hot tub and gun slaughter sequences where all arabs die and all babes live.

559

lswote 06.05.08 at 11:23 am

The wikipedia entry for The House of Sand and Fog wasn’t vandalized. The awards it speaks of are real. Check the imdb entry for it and look under awards.

560

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 11:25 am

you are so profoundly wrong about Naked that all your other opinions are preemptively discredited.

Tell me why. Give me, for just one instance, a convincing account of what purpose the hair-whipping scene served. I’m picking on it because it was by that time that I stopped trying to interpret the movie generously and decided it was swill.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is probably a great choice; deliberately avoided that one. So also Speed Racer and The Last Legion and, no doubt, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, whose title alone is nausea-inducing. Once Upon a Time in Mexico is definitely a great choice.

Memento is a bit overrated — after a few viewings you realize how stupid this story would seem played forward — but far from horrible. (Following, Nolan’s first film, is actually much better.) Troy is underrated, which doesn’t mean it isn’t cheese — and anyone calling it a great work of art should be slapped with a fish — but does mean that it can be entertaining cheese. But there are some unintentionally hilarious moments to be sure, like the sun apparently rising in the west in one scene.

More from the trying-way-too-hard files: Gandhi, of all things. (“Too long” is a fairly laughable criticism here; if you couldn’t notice anything happening during the running time, maybe you weren’t watching the screen? It has been more plausibly criticized as being too much of a hagiography, but even those critics had the sense not to try to claim it was a poorly-crafted film.)

I agree with Yosef about SPR. I think that to diagnose apathy about actual atrocity in Iraq as coming out of the first 20 minutes of that film is a) giving it way too much credit, and b) getting the reality exactly backwards. Inasmuch as a certain fragment of the American populace is desensitized to atrocity, the Internet can claim far more credit than that movie. More importantly, I think the reality is that far more people still think of war in terms of the sanitized versions of WWII presented by many iconic films in the several decades prior.

I know girls like [Juno] and they are neither wise or clever, they are annoying as hell because they wipe their arse with Socrates.

Except the point of fables is not that their heroes would be cool to know in real life. In real life, Amelie of Amelie would be a sociopathic stalker; she’s only charming in the context of the fable.

561

Vader101 06.05.08 at 11:26 am

I have only ever not watch three movies to their end:
– Chicago
– Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
– Superman Returns

562

FhnuZoag 06.05.08 at 11:26 am

Oh, didn’t put in mine…

1. Forrest Gump: Stupid premise focused on making the idiots feel proud to be stupid and american
2. Dude, Where’s My Car: Well, it makes me proud to be british, I guess
3. Saw: PTSD generating. A film from the moral abyss.

563

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 11:28 am

Oh, and Shoot ‘Em Up is a great choice. Must have blacked that one out.

564

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 11:29 am

And whoever it was above who noted the creepy “ignorance is virtue” message at the core of Forrest Gump is exactly right, as well.

565

Dr. Raoul Duke 06.05.08 at 11:30 am

THE DA VINCI CODE

Not only were the premises of the book idiotic (if Jesus was breeding 2000 years ago, chances are all of western Europe would be his decedents), but the acting/screenwiting/direction was absolutely atrocious.

566

aurabass 06.05.08 at 11:30 am

THERE’s NO ACCOUNTING FOR TASTE

and never has it been more obvious than in this thread.
I own some 4,000 movies, started collecting on Beta Tape, switched to VHS, added Laser Disks, and finally DVD’s.

Panning a movie after one viewing or walkout is dangerous. So much has to do with one’s mood and state of mind. There are few if any movies in my collection that have not been screened at least 4 times. I am homebound for the most part and average about 5 movies a day as I multi-task on computers. The movies serve up the background and soundtrack to days of book writing, blogging, or research.
I cannot fall asleep without a movie playing.
I exercise on a recumbent bicycle with movies playing. I subscribe to HBO, Showtime, TMC, Starz, and Cinemax. At 62 years of age I would bet that I have watched more movies more times than anyone on the planet. So let me tell you this.
I am constantly amazed when I find something I could not get through on first viewing – eg Moulin Rouge – that becomes over time a favorite.
Vanilla Sky has it’s Prelude to a Dream that explains that you are required to view it several times.
The ‘I want my time back’ folks must be very special. I want more movies to fill my time. I’m a block from my local Blockbuster and I have rented and bought more of their movies than any customer in history. 35 movies a week and 1800 a year find their way onto one of three HDTV’s with impressive surround systems here at the house. I built subwoofers and sold them to Malco Cinemas for a living
When someone writes that they walked out on Forrest Gump, Dances with Wolves, or even Contact, I just have to laugh out loud, and The Shawshank Redemption is one of if not the greatest movie of our time. Folks who put Star Wars, Close Encounters, or ET on a list of movies no body should ever see shouldn’t be viewing movies. Anything by Stone, Shyamalan, Zemeckis, or Kubrick has some redeeming value.
I am constantly amazed at these multi-million dollar works of art – these photographs in motion. I am constantly spotting something I missed the first few times the movement of light in technicolor danced across my screen.
Some poor soul or souls poured years of work into the celluloid that eventually showed up on a digital disk and you want your 1:30 back?
I always look for one thing good about a film and I amost always find it.

567

truth machine 06.05.08 at 11:30 am

Also, I hate, just absolutley hate Cry Baby by John Watters.

His name is Waters, and if you’re not a fan, why in helll would you watch his movie?

Most recently I rented Resident Evil- Extinction. Pure crap.

What the hell did you expect? What sort of cretin rents such a movie, or even considers renting it? I’ve got 250 movies in my NetFlix queue, all with 4-5 star ratings. If you choose to watch crap, you have no one to blame but yourself.

568

Mike 06.05.08 at 11:31 am

I am appalled by the number of people who think “Signs” is a good movie. It is not a good movie. It is the opposite of a good movie. The writing is utterly lazy and hackneyed. There isn’t room here to discuss even a fraction of the examples one could lay out, but two of the most egregious instances that leap to mind are are:

The method by which Mel Gibson’s wife meets her tragic end. The whole “cut in half by a heavy thing but you’re still alive enough to call your family” urban legend thing? COME ON! Was Shyamalan cruising Snopes.com looking for plot devices? Lame. Improbable. Lazy. Bad writing. It might work if you were 8 years old and hadn’t heard that urban legend before. As it was, going with such a played out gag robbed the scene of any emotional impact. The only way that scene could have been any dumber was having her meet her untimely and tragic end by downing a bunch of pop rocks and soda.

The second, and even less forgivable, example of bad, lazy writing is the secret weakness of the aliens. Water is like acid to them. And what planet do they choose to invade? Earth. Which is mostly made up of water. So the aliens, this ultra intelligent and hyper advanced race of intergalactic beings, have decided to try and conquer Acid World. Oh, and they go down to the surface of this planet which features seas of acid where acid regularly rains from the sky, and acid is found in standing pools and lakes, and is inhabited by a race of creatures who are made of up 50-60% acid, without so much as an umbrella or rain jacket. Oh, also, this hyper advanced race cannot operate door knobs. Gimme a &#^@ing break.

And the whole movie is full of stuff like that. Kind of wrecks the suspension of disbelief. And yeah, those were two spoilers up there. Don’t like it? Tough. I’m trying to save you the trouble of sitting through this cinematic atrocity. Trust me, it’s for your own good.

569

truth machine 06.05.08 at 11:35 am

he made some incredibly insightful predictions about what W’s presidency would be like. He essentially said that W was a fascist, and America would regret electing him. He nailed it.

You think that’s “incredibly insightful”? Only a blithering idiot (which includes all Republicans) could have expected anything else.

570

flamebait 06.05.08 at 11:39 am

Not the movie to avoid, but certainly one to avoid if you memorized and believe in the AFI top 100:

The Third Man

People say that the scene where Welles makes his appearance is great.
I saw this film first, then ‘Touch of Evil’, so I didn’t get that moment. It shouldn’t have to be so elitist to enjoy.
In all fairness, I did like Joseph Cotten in ‘Shadow of a doubt’, though not the ending and I did like the over-the-top ‘Touch of Evil’.

571

Mat 06.05.08 at 11:40 am

Titanic… for me it’s one of the worst of all time…

572

MikeyBackwards 06.05.08 at 11:42 am

Grey Gardens – this interminable and depressing exploitation of two ladies who are obviously both seriously mentally ill but have the fortune/misfortune of being related to Jackie O is excreble. This is the only movie I have walked out on after paying for it. In fact; me and my friends made it further than most; leaving onlt 3 people in the theater when we departed about 30 minutes in.

573

Passerby 06.05.08 at 11:50 am

I saw “Cobra” starring Sylvester Stallone in the theater when it first came out.. Thank god there was a bomb threat. The police showed up, stopped the film, evacuated the theater. I didn’t bother to stand in line to get a refund.

Watching the evening news that night, it turned out there was an actual, you know, *bomb* in the balconcy of the theater (it was shoebox filled with gunpowder, nails, and a poorly wired trigger mechanism).

Sylvester Stallone is the disease, acting lessons are the cure.

———————————-

Dragnet is god-awful.

574

Nabakov 06.05.08 at 11:51 am

“Now, The Brown Bunny, that’s a bad movie.”

Oh yes, how could I forget…perhaps because I wanted to?

And speaking of ‘The Sound of Music’, apparently a version was released in South Korea with all the songs edited out. Your mileage may vary on whether that would have been an improvement or not.

575

Sy 06.05.08 at 11:53 am

Very long thread this, so pardon me if I’m repeating others, but Southland Tales is worth watching only as an exercise in how badly confused one movie can be.

576

Jacob T. Levy 06.05.08 at 11:53 am

I like the attempts to capture the list in rules but then find movies outside the rules. Avoid all SNL-based movies that aren’t The Blues Brothers. Avoid all Rob Schneider and Pauly Shore movies; all Kevin Costner or Robin Williams movies after 1990; and Shyamalan movies after Unbreakable; all genre sequels other than Lord of the Rings movies, Harry Potter movies, Aliens, Empire Strikes Back, Superman II, and Batman Returns; Ben Affleck movies that aren’t directed by Kevin Smith– these are all important rules to know and live by, but we also all already know them.

Like paving, I’m interested in the ways that “a truly awful movie actually makes you like the previous work of the director and actors less after seeing it.” The hateful Haggis-directed Crash is in that category for me– makes it hard even for me to watch one of my onetime favorite movies, Flirting, even though I adored Thandie Newton in Flirting, just because she was in Crash. Of course, Jefferson in Paris had already done some of that damage, too. Took me a while to be able to enjoy *any* of the great actors from Titanic again.

I certainly wish I had back the time I spent watching Into The Wild. It was purty and all, and I don’t begrudge other people how much they seem to enjoy it, but I found the lead character both thoroughly unsympathetic and dumb. If I hadn’t been so sure that the filmmakers thought they were making an uplifting tribute to the human spirit I would have enjoyed it more– because I could have at least wondered whether it was meant to be an extended Darwin Awards sketch.

577

Rabin S 06.05.08 at 11:55 am

Anyone remember Color of the Night with Bruce Willis…it was so badly made that you could see the Microphone on top of the screen quite a few times. Ofcourse with a lot more gaffes thrown in as well.

578

Rich D 06.05.08 at 12:05 pm

AI. Underlined, in bold and highlighted.
All copies should be incinerated.

579

Davis X. Machina 06.05.08 at 12:05 pm

And whoever it was above who noted the creepy “ignorance is virtue” message at the core of Forrest Gump is exactly right, as well.

Forrest Gump made George Bush not only possible, but predictable, and perhaps inevitable.

580

Mathew 06.05.08 at 12:08 pm

No one has yet to mention the most torturous experience the cinema had unleashed upon mankind know as Mrs. Doubtfire?!!!

581

Rich D 06.05.08 at 12:08 pm

Oh yeah, and anything Seagal has done since Exit Wounds in 2001.

582

sdguppy 06.05.08 at 12:15 pm

A/I Artifical Intelligence – dumb AND depressing

Scent of a Woman – turned me off Pacino FOREVER

Neighbors – Belushi/Ackroyd – maybe I was too young but only movie I ever walked out on in my life

Showgirls – bad movie but good sex

583

Kirsa 06.05.08 at 12:25 pm

Has anyone mentioned “The Sweetest Thing”? My friend and I walked out shortly after “The Penis Song”. As we left, we invited people to come with us for a few drinks; not a soul moved. and I don’t think it was because they thought we were whack-jobs – I genuinely think the educationally subnormal chimeras were ENJOYING it. I ask you.

584

miora 06.05.08 at 12:33 pm

Eurotrip, I still can’t believe that I paid to see this movie and full, evening price too! The only thing that sorta makes it not a complete piece of crap is Matt Damon singing “Scott doesn’t know”…at least I think that’s the name of the song.

As for some of these movies…geez if one really thought hard, I am sure that someone could come up with a reason that Seven Samurai stinks or The Godfather. I agree that the “it’s too depressing, violent, (insert other descriptive term here)” is just a little too I don’t know now right. I mean take Grave of the Fireflies. The movie is really depressing. It’s one of the biggest downers that I can think of, but it’s also one of the best movies that I can think of when it comes to people’s actions during wartime. Taymor’s “Titus” is another one that’s called bad because there’s a lot of bad violent things happened, but it’s still a really intriguing movie and quite well done. But then of course, I actually really like the play and hate to see fellow Shakespeareans knock it. I mean how can you listen to Aaron say “If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul,” especially when performed by an actor of Lennix’s caliber, and not be moved in sme way?

585

owaschr 06.05.08 at 12:41 pm

STAR WARS.
All episodes.
Do not watch.

586

Kirsa 06.05.08 at 12:45 pm

I’ve always thought that inclusion of a scene – apparently cut from the shooting script – wherein Dillon and Bacon get it in on the shower, would have gingered “Wild Things” up immeasurably.

Can’t think of the title, but there is a film in which Lesley Ann Warren scratches her seven yesr itch in the form of the bloke who was in “The Blue Lagoon”. I recall a Bryan Adams song over the end credits (you’ll all be pleased to know that she and hubby reconcile) and a bit in which the object of her affections (high school pupil by day, appalling stripper by night) rhythmically jams his crotch in her face. It’s just charming, it really is.

And, I’m sorry, but I thought “Battle Royale” was one of the biggest piles of toss I have ever seen. Particularly hated the girl with bunches in the infomercial at the beginning, sort of remonstrating with them “Now don’t go trying to take off those necklaces, you hear?” while waggling her finger. Ugghh. Hated it.

587

Matt Lockwood 06.05.08 at 12:49 pm

Mulholland Drive.

Pretentious rubbish.

588

Zeba 06.05.08 at 12:52 pm

Amores Perros was a long dark night of the soul. It had amazing reviews, but was just dreary and horrible.

I have never seen a movie with Nicholas Cage in it that was any good. I am not sure this is coincidence.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is high on my list of diabolically awful timewasting flicks. Along with the latest version of King Kong.

589

Bill Gardner 06.05.08 at 12:56 pm

“My Dinner with Andre demonstrates why actors are the most boring and uninsightful people alive.”

An inaccurate characterization of actors, but a perfect characterization of the film.

590

Edward, the mad shirt grinder 06.05.08 at 1:05 pm

Whoever dissed “The African Queen” above was profoundly misguided. Even if you didn’t like the rest of the movie, seeing Katharine Hepburn say, “Nev-ah-theless” to the German captain makes the whole movie worthwhile.

Someone else wondered about the failure to mention DePalma’s excesses. Good point! Horrible stuff, that.

Has anyone else seen “Star Crash?”

591

Nico 06.05.08 at 1:05 pm

Lord of the Rings. Every one. Good GOD are they boring. I mean for fuck’s sake, people went crazy for a league of closet-gay trolls who, with the unfortunate exception of Elijah Wood, will never have a movie career, and a bald monkey obviously based on a shaved Chris Kattan, or Chris “Hail” Satan. Extra plus for having around eight endings, an overrated director going on to direct the poor King Kong remake, and killing off the best character (Sean Bean’s) in the first movie. (The same can be said of the trilogy of EPIC shit, the Star Wars-prequels, with killing off Liam Neeson’s character)

The entire productions of Ben Affleck, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Will Ferrell.
Affleck just plain sucks. His “heroic” parts cause nothing but great nausea (see, or actually don’t, Daredevil – Armageddon – Pearl Harbor – Paycheck – Reindeer Games and so on and so on)
Van Damme should never, ever have been allowed to feature in a movie. Street Fighter was the worst piece of crap to ever have existed. It should be noted that a man with an accent either French/Belgian or Austrian playing an American named “Burke”, “Quaid” or an American period is grounds for tremendous fail. (see also Schwarzengger, Arnold)
Ferrell is reaaaally overrated. He basically plays the same character in every movie. (see, or not, Elf, Blades of Glory, Talladega Nights, Roxbury (featuring Chris Satan), Anchorman…….)

Anyone claiming to have liked Dogville is a liar, a pretentious turd or just fell asleep and thought they saw it when they were dreaming.

And it should also be noted that Demolition Man was a movie so awesome that anyone mentioning it on this list deserves to be violated by Chris “Hail Satan” Kattan.

592

Ddey65 06.05.08 at 1:10 pm

Junebug billed as a “wise, bittersweet … comedy,” in reality none of the above. Just awful, leaving out the grotesque misrepresentations on the dvd jacket.

No, Junebug is anything but a Comedy and is loaded with people with negative I.Q.’s, but it’s still a decent movie in light doses. And I agree with #420 about JFK. In fact, I called it communist propaganda on IMDb and got flamed for it royally!

Joysticks was the worst of the 1980’s.
Howard the Duck is better off in the comics where it originated.
Funny About Love was anything but funny.
The Pickle made me want to puke!
The Fox and the original version of Sweet November. Between those two, I’d tolerate Sandy Dennis’ bad British accent in Thank You All Very Much before I see those again.
The only thing good abou Napoleon Dynamite was Tina Majorino.
The only thing good about Ginger Ale Afternoon was Yeardley Smith and not just because of her nude scene.
The only good things about Hook were the original concept, and Rufio.

I like Kevin Smith, but I thought Chasing Amy sucked, and Dogma was worse. The only thing I liked about Dogma was Alan Rickman’s speech about God’s attitude towards us humans during sex. Well, that and Chris Rock’s speech about the crap being carried out presumably in Jesus’ name.

Also, I didn’t see 300 but just because the enemies were Persian, doesn’t make the movie “proto-fascist.”

593

Magali 06.05.08 at 1:11 pm

I would say the worst films I ever saw are War of the Worlds and Batman Begins… I’m pretty sure most people will disagree but Kathie Holmes definitely ruined Batman Begins, which without her could have been pretty good…

594

Magali 06.05.08 at 1:11 pm

I would say the worst films I ever saw are War of the Worlds and Batman Begins… I’m pretty sure most people will disagree but Kathie Holmes definitely ruined Batman Begins, which without her could have been pretty good…

595

CK Dexter 06.05.08 at 1:11 pm

“‘Manos: The Hands of Fate’ probably takes the cake, because even the mad scientists apologized to Joel & the ‘Bots for sending them such a loathsome stinkpile.”

Yes, it’s astonishingly bad, Sgt Pepper’s-level bad. But immensely entertaining as long as you have the MST3K commentary. “Mitchell,” on the other hand, is bang your head against the wall bad, not even MST3K could make that less painful.

“Film is first and foremost a craft and a very difficult one at that.

This is utter nonsense. Art includes craft as a necessary but not sufficient condition. It hasn’t been a “craft” since the 14th century.

“A juxtaposition of more or less clever set pieces with boring and badly acted dialogue scenes doesn’t make a good film. Funky, multicolored lighting and extravagant camera moves and angles do not make a good film. Argento has little sense of rhythm or visual coherence and both are essential to the film craft.”

The suggestion that he has no sense of rhythm is mind-boggling. The fairest criticism of Argento is that he makes poetry or music rather than film–that his formal skill hides a lack of content or depth.

The other suggestions: that, basically, mis-en-scene, lighting, and cinematography don’t make a film is astonishing in its stupidity. Judging from your contempt for attention to the actual process of filming, the strangely Aristotelian demand for “coherence” and criticism of scenic juxtaposition, I can only suspect your idea of good film is good theatre–particularly 17th century French theatre. In which case, you’ve committed a category mistake, and you’ve missed out on three very interesting centuries of artistic innovation. My sympathies.

596

emix 06.05.08 at 1:13 pm

Thelma and Louise : I was on a date, and in the first few minutes, we had watched something like 3 commercial ads. The scenes had no heart, they looked like a jeans ad, an AT&T ad and whatnot. We left.
The only other movie I ever walked out of was El Topo, but I did watch La montagne sacrée in its entirety.
Transformers was pretty bad too, and then Armageddon…

597

Geoff 06.05.08 at 1:14 pm

“Bad and overrated” could be a separate list. I would nominate “Lost in Translation,” in which Bill Murray’s deadpan cynicism of his early comedies has devolved into lumpy middle age angst. He and Scarlatt appear to be sleepwalking through the boring and pointless movie, although who could blame them given the terrible script?

For just plain bad, any movie with Adam Sandler (especially the serious ones!).

598

kc 06.05.08 at 1:15 pm

Firewalker urch….

599

Gerald 06.05.08 at 1:16 pm

“The River”

I was always taught that it was Renoir’s “masterpiece” but it bored the hell out of my partner and I – we kept nudging each other to stay awake. The color was freakish and the acting was on the standards of early Lillian Gish.

600

kc 06.05.08 at 1:18 pm

601

JAC 06.05.08 at 1:21 pm

Domino. Awful film. Awful awful film. Badly written, terribly cast, hideously shot as it tried to be styish and FAILED. It has no redeeming features.

602

Cata 06.05.08 at 1:22 pm

Bug
Ashley Judd. One of the rare movies I’ve seen where half the crowd literally booed at the end; the other half clapped wildly.

603

Forrest Gump 06.05.08 at 1:23 pm

It was tiresome. They tried to fit every tragedy into one pathetic movie.

604

Blondie Hills 06.05.08 at 1:27 pm

American Pyscho. I cannot watch any movie with Christian Bale because of that piece of crap….

605

Dan Phillips 06.05.08 at 1:27 pm

I can’t believe it: 426 comments, and no one mentions “The Hired Hand.”

Run away! Run away, if you value your sanity!

606

whatcha 06.05.08 at 1:34 pm

I think that everyone who saw Vanilla Sky and Minority Report should be able to bring a class action lawsuit against Tom Cruise for robbing us of the time it took out of our lives to watch those truly awful movies

607

TekTami78 06.05.08 at 1:36 pm

I actually saw ‘The Boondock Saints’ on this list, which to me is a sheer travesty! I’ve been on a mission since I saw it several years ago in NYC to make sure EVERYONE I meet sees this movie!
But then again, I also absolutely LOVE ‘NBK’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘The Usual Suspects’ (But I will watch anything with Kevin Spacey in it), the ‘Saw’ series and ‘Starship Troopers’.

Movies that don’t impress me are films like ‘8MM’ and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ that are attempting to shock the audience with ideas like ‘I do bad things because I can’ or ‘women have sex for pleasure’. And??? I don’t think they’re bad movies, just that the premise of them isn’t nearly as shocking to some people as the director would have you believe.

But to the point of this thread – movies to die before you see:

1) Any intentional, mindless parody like the ‘Scary Movie’ series. My best friend forced me to sit through ‘Kung Pow:Enter the Fist’. He’s still paying me back for that.

2) Any movie with Kevin Costner. Actually, the only Kevin Costner movie I’ve ever liked made this list – ‘A Perfect World’.

3) Any over-hyped teen movie, like ‘Juno’, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ or ‘Superbad’.

608

Scott in Dallas 06.05.08 at 1:38 pm

Brians Song…..I thought it was supposed to be a musical, but no…

609

toast171 06.05.08 at 1:39 pm

While there are a lot of *bad* movies mentioned, the only two I have ever walked out on were:

Prophecy (1979) (remade in 2005 as Fox’s “When Mutant Bears Attack!” I think)

and “Highlander II”

which has Sean Connery in it because, I assume, someone’s parternity suit finally caught up to him and he needed the money or something.

Really, the kind of movies sensible civilizations bury in places like Yucca Mountain.

610

jesus lebowski 06.05.08 at 1:42 pm

apocalypse now was the worst piece of trash i have ever seen… who else in here thinks marlon brando cant act his way out of a paper bag…ooh “the horror…” and “lets wash my bald head and look off into the distance, with light across half of my face so you cant see how fat im getting”
you wanna see a good coppola film watch JACK… with robin williams and bill cosby… now there is a pair that can act…

611

Hawker14 06.05.08 at 1:45 pm

Not sure if they have been been mentioned but:

Breakin, Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo, Beat Streat, Krush Groove or anything like the such…

oh yeah Stomp the Yard…. WTF!!!!!

Average white guy here…

612

One Guy 06.05.08 at 1:58 pm

As a former film critic, I’ve seen a lot of terrible movies, but there are lousy and incompetent films released all the time, so it doesn’t seem fair to rip something like “Exterminator 2” or “Meatballs 3.”

No, for truly horrible failures, you need to grasp a movie that is TRYING to be great, but just misses the mark so profoundly it’s an insult to humanity.

For that, I offer “Kalifonia,” starring Brad Pitt as a grungy serial killer who catches a ride cross country with David Duchovny, who just happens to be a serial killer expert! Ludicrous, stupid, gory, mean-spirited and naive (message: Serial killers are Just Like Us!), of course Roger Ebert gave it a rave review.

613

CobraCommander 06.05.08 at 1:58 pm

Mortal Kombat Annihilation: The only movie I have ever got up and left before the movie was over

614

Tybalt 06.05.08 at 1:58 pm

I will second the nomination of Armageddon, the only movie that has ever made me question my own humanity.

Given the plot of the film, the only less subtle piece of foreshadowing I have ever seen was in Wayne’s World:

Wayne walks past two men stacking up crates and asks “What are you guys doing?”

“Oh, we’re just stacking up these empty crates in the middle of the road.”
(turns to camera) “Hmm, I can’t help feeling this is going to pay off later on”.
Of course, when the car chase happens, they go straight through the stack…

Thanks for reminding me, in the midst of this slog through decades of heartless crap, of how wonderful movies can be.

615

Mark Borok 06.05.08 at 2:00 pm

“Johnny Mnemonic”, if only for the part where Keanu Reeves and Henry Rollins try to do a dramatic scene together. Also, because they adapted a William Gibson story and left out the coolest character, Molly Millions.

616

Ray the cynic 06.05.08 at 2:01 pm

Movies I’m amazed no one has mentioned yet:

Popeye – I was 11 when this came out, and I still walked out on this movie. After less than 15 minutes!

Against All Odds – Every character was unlikeable, every line cliched. When a Phil Collins song is by far the best part of a movie, it’s not a good sign.

The Fifth Element – The English language will not describe how dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, DUMB this film is.

617

Rafael J. 06.05.08 at 2:02 pm

I have sat through some really big stinkers but these rank as the worst of the pile:
Catwoman
Freddy Got Fingered
Showgirls
Street Fighter (Live Action)
Batman and Robin
Mortal Kombat 2
Billy Madison
Alien Vs Predator: Requiem
Wild Wild West
RV

618

John Michael Watkins 06.05.08 at 2:09 pm

All those who said “House of Sand and Fog” is a bad movie are WRONG WRONG WRONG. Those of you who have been turned off of that movie due to this site, PLEASE reconsider! It was a compelling movie that had top-notch acting and will absolutely break your heart, it’s so sad. Watch it!

I have postponed watching Paul Haggis’s “Crash”, although my sister said it was really good, because so many other people online seem to hate it. But David Cronenberg’s “Crash” was really a very good film. Definitely not for everyone (it’s about people with a car crash fetish, and it’s rated NC-17), but since Cronenberg can give a humane element to such a grotesque abberance, he deserves his place as one of my three favorite directors (along with Alfonso Cuaron and Stanley Kubrick).

Speaking of Stanley Kubrick, I didn’t get through the entire list, but I’m sure someone put “Eyes Wide Shut” on there, because people love ripping on a movie they don’t understand. Well, “Eyes Wide Shut” is definitely in my Top 5 movies of all time, if not Top 3. It is, in one word, breathtaking. Don’t let any haters tell you differently.

I don’t like this 101 movies to avoid list. It seems people are just listing movies based purely off their own opinions, instead of picking out movies that a large portion of general audiences will hate. Haggis’s “Crash” and “Juno” happen to be on IMDB’s Top 250, so they don’t deserve to be vilified on this list, because too many people like them. I personally despise “Raging Bull” and “From Here to Eternity”, but I’d refrain from putting them on a list like this, because I know so many other people DO like them.

619

Chip Olson 06.05.08 at 2:12 pm

Tin Cup. I was forced to sit through it on a bus ride once. I kept hoping that the brilliant, successful female lead would clue in that Costner’s character and his rival for her affections were both immature, feckess nincompoops and throw both of them into a water hazard, but no such luck. (No apologies for spoilers, because if you haven’t seen it, you really shouldn’t.)

620

Snoogins74 06.05.08 at 2:13 pm

I would place The Blair Witch Project at the top of the list. Sure, it’s not the worst movie while you’re watching it because you expect something really nuts to happen at the end. What you get instead is…nothing.

A great big scam that fooled the world.

621

Joike 06.05.08 at 2:14 pm

Hook and A.I. stand out as two of my most teeth-gnashingly painful experiences. Spielberg can be a terrific storyteller, but these bug me no end.

Also, I recommend turning off Saving Private Ryan after the first 20 minutes. The beginning is one of the most riveting sequences ever put to film; the remainder simply distracts and detracts from the power of the beginning.

622

evan 06.05.08 at 2:18 pm

I’m sorry if I missed it in an earlier comment, but at all costs avoid Gregg Araki’s “Nowhere.”

623

Bill 06.05.08 at 2:18 pm

any movie with Vin Diesel, is it just me or does he only speak in word with less than 3 letters

624

Adam 06.05.08 at 2:20 pm

Only movie I’ve ever walked out of: Prizzi’s Honor. The most mind-numbingly boring cinematic experience in history. I walked out when I realized I was losing the will to live. The movie almost killed me.

625

tom 06.05.08 at 2:21 pm

I’d have to put Caligula on this list! Bad acting, bad direction, gratuitous graphic violence & unerotic sex, this film has everything that defines BAD moviemaking!

626

Kiki_w 06.05.08 at 2:24 pm

Ok, here is my list of movies I wish I had avoided. Or as I say to my friends: “If someone suggests you watch this movie, get up and leave immediately. And don’t be friends with that person anymore.”
-Spiderman 3
-Dan in Real Life
-Mars Attacks
-Broken Bridges (If you’ve never heard of it, all you need to know is that it’s Toby Keith’s acting debut.)
-Jumper

And yes, this will probably cause the world to explode, but I think Casablanca is the most overrated, overblown piece of cinema EVER. I mean honestly, how can so many people like a movie with such a ridiculous group of characters? It’s baffling.

627

pisher 06.05.08 at 2:25 pm

“Hard to beat Superman III.”

Yeah, but Superman Returns did it easily.

It would be impossible to agree with everybody’s picks on a thread like this, but I have to say–I don’t see one of my favorite movies here. I love Studio Ghibli with a passion, but Grave of the Fireflies is my least favorite of their films.

There’s no reason a good movie can’t be about horrible people doing horrible things. That’s not an argument. However, if the movie was really reaching you, you wouldn’t care. Some of the most enduring beloved classics of all time are real downer films.

So the question then would be is the movie failing to make the pitch, or are you failing to make the catch?

I’d like to make a pitch for more of the type of films that online fans love, and everybody else hates.

Exhibit #1: Serenity.

It was a horrific, badly acted, badly written, badly directed piece of crap, that couldn’t make it as a TV show, so they turned it into a movie. The stars aren’t the worst possible actors (well, some of them are), but they simply aren’t stars. Please note that none of them has gone on to anything bigger since.

I’m a lifelong science fiction fan, I loved the first few years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I’m a western movie buff as well. And I walked out on Serenity. I’ve never been able to get through it on cable.

It didn’t help that the mostly-empty theater I saw it in was otherwise entirely inhabited by fanatical braindead Joss Whedon fans, who were cackling mechanically at EVERY SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE that was even marginally humorous in intent (if not in effect). It wasn’t like a good midnight showing of Rocky Horror–there was no sense of irony. They really thought it was brilliant eternal genius they were watching. They really thought this was as good as it gets. And some of them smelled really bad.

Serenity is the worst movie of the past few years that people tried to present as the best movie of the past few years–or ever.

But just wait until that new X-Files movie comes out.

628

David Schroeder 06.05.08 at 2:25 pm

Red Dawn

629

Backslider 06.05.08 at 2:26 pm

I’ve seen almost every movie mentioned, but none of them are nearly as unwatachable as….

Julien Donkey-Boy

The list can start and end here, folks. The only movie I simply couldn’t make it through, no matter how hard I tried.

On the depressing scale, Requiem for a Dream is up there with House of Sand and Fog. They both star Jennifer Connelly… hmmm… (FWIW – RfaD is worth watching, if you don’t mind being depressed occasionally.)

630

Connossieur of Camp 06.05.08 at 2:38 pm

My vote (for movies to avoid) is Red Dawn

631

Beth 06.05.08 at 2:39 pm

Van Helsing

Tomas (#35) is right. It is truly abyssmal. It is the terrible film by which I rate all other terrible films. How bad is it? It’s Van Helsing bad. Unfortunately, I have seen the entire thing. Do not waste your life and see it. It’s garbage, in every conceivable way.

632

George B Seitz 06.05.08 at 2:39 pm

I’ve read through the entire gd thread, and only TWO mentions of Billy Jack! People, this one is so bad it’s almost worth Netflixxing. Made in 1976 or so, combining the dying 60s hippie consciousness with a foreshadowing of the karate boom AND the Bushian “sometimes ya just have ta kick ASS” milieu we just lived through. So relentlessly earnest, self-important, utterly offensive, and off-putting on so many levels.

And where’s Used Cars (Zemeckis) and The 12 Chairs (Mel Brooks)?? High water marks of relentless directorial/writerly self-indulgence, both of them. Probably just me, but I left the theatre feeling as if I’d been pummeled for 2 hours by a shrieking guy in a hideous clown suit. Of course, Billy Jack has both of them beat, but still.

633

cory 06.05.08 at 2:42 pm

My discrepancies:
Going back the top of the page; Arthur was/is/will forever be amazing. Starship Troopers is just so bad that it’s awesome.

My actual choices:
Kung-Pow: Enter the Fist. I don’t care how stupid it was supposed to be, it was one of the only movies I’ve ever shut off prior to finishing due to the fact that I hated it.
Crank. Jason Statham should just stay out of the movies for a while. I’ve never seen the Transporter movies, but I’ve heard those were his only good ones. The story, while not amazing, had potential, but it ended up being just a full movie of bad effects and stupid action sequences. I mean they used Google Earth to jump to locations…
Pulse. I hated this movie so much I’ve almost completely blocked it out of my mind. The fact that any of it still lingers pisses me off.

Sequels:
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (though the first was pretty horrendous as well)
The Matrix: Reloaded & Revolutions,
& Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest & At World’s End
. Both had amazing first movies, then were completely shit on by their long, boring, horribly stupid sequels.

634

Bart C. 06.05.08 at 2:47 pm

426 posts and not one of you mentions the atrocity that was Ishtar. Anyone remember a Gary Larson cartoon depicting “hell’s video store”? Where the only movie available for rent was Ishtar? There’s a reason folks. I’d almost want to go to church in order to avoid hell JUST so I’d never see that movie again. I can live with fire/brimstone/torture, but not Ishtar!!

635

Stever 06.05.08 at 2:56 pm

FRESH HORSES. More then 20 years later, my wife still brings this one up as one so bad she walked out. I can no longer remember if I did, but I should have.

Everyone has mentioned SIGNS. What a piece of crap.

NETWORK NEWS (The one with Holly Hunter). Garbage again.

636

Larry Santoro 06.05.08 at 2:57 pm

“Elvira Madigan” Oh God…ELVIRA MADIGAN! It’s been decades, a LIFETIME, since I saw this. I was living in London. I was surrounded by bright, erudite people. Many of them advised me to see it. I am a sensitive, articulate, caring person. Within an hour of this film hitting my retinas I wanted to kill. I wanted the central character to just plain DIE…DIE horribly. The finally do, thank God, but getting there was no fun.

637

Adam 06.05.08 at 2:57 pm

Also, “Xanadu.” Breathtakingly abysmal 1980 stinker with Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly and the guy who was the gang leader in “The Warriors.” Almost single-handedly killed musicals for good.

638

Ginger Yellow 06.05.08 at 2:57 pm

“Starship Troopers is good and funny work. On the other hand it’s easy to see why nobody wants to waste two hours on Nazi 90210 in Space.”

Such people have no soul. Seriously, the only way Nazi 90210 in Space could be made any better would be the addition of zombies.

639

Conrad 06.05.08 at 2:58 pm

Number 6 is an idiot!! You did not name the actual title of the movie! “The Horse Movie” is what you and your family calls it. Trying being more informative and less clever…

“Crime Wave” back from the 80’s. – Bad. Sam Raimi back in the day…before he was good.

640

Mike 06.05.08 at 2:59 pm

The island was cool, demolition man was flawed but awesomely futuristic, dances with wolves was excellent for the numbskull who said it wasnt and robin hood men in tights was interesting. Obviously none of you have ever had the grave misfortune of watching: 18 fingers of death(couldnt finish it), casshern(thought it would be cool but was so wrong), dark blue (cornball or a predictable mess) and the grand prize goes to Ghosts of mars…thank you carpenter!

641

Steve 06.05.08 at 3:00 pm

Idi i smotri, aka Come and See is the most insanely boring movie imaginable. A Russian flick about WWII. The cover notes make it sound like the best movie ever, but it’s about 2½ hours of really trite moviemaking, less subtle than the Star Wars prequels.

642

InspectorWinship 06.05.08 at 3:01 pm

Romy and Michelle/ is absolutely the worst “modern” film I have seen. As for films that recieved critical acclaim they didn’t deserve, Closer/ was awful!

643

Brecht 06.05.08 at 3:03 pm

I’ve Abandoned my child!

644

Ron A. Zajac 06.05.08 at 3:03 pm

Gotta chime in on Signs; I too think it sucked.

But there’s an interesting side story.

I’ve got a buddy; we would meet at juggling club and pass pins. He likes movies, as do I, and we would often talk film.

He liked Signs and I thought it sucked.

We were at a conversational impasse; he’d pulled out all his guns, I did too, and neither of us were budging. Finally, he resorted to, “Well, the critics liked it, so it may be you’re just out of sync on this one!”

I went home, got on the IMDb, and started riffling thru the external reviews, keeping a running document with thumbnails. Then I did a quick summary analysis.

Here’s what I found: 30% liked it. 30% hated it. And the remaining 40% felt it had all the same flaws I felt it had, but didn’t think those flaws “downed” the film; they liked it nonetheless.

So next time I saw my friend, I reported to him: 70% agreed with him (either liked it or “liked” it), and 70% agreed with me (either didn’t like it, or “liked” it in spite of issues that I personally think downed it).

I’ll never understand how that 40% would see the same stupidities I saw in “Signs”, yet think they didn’t impinge on its quality.

645

director 101 06.05.08 at 3:05 pm

I would list the German film “Cannibal,” based on the real life case of cannibalism perpetrated by a psycho who met his victim on the internet. Not surprisingly, this is the “feel bad” movie of all time, and you’ll want to scrub your brain with a toothbrush and bleach afterward.

646

Dave F 06.05.08 at 3:08 pm

My entry – “Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowlerama” – an excuse for a teen slasher movie where the monster is hidden in a bowling alley trophy.

647

jdowd 06.05.08 at 3:08 pm

contact – it’s not really the ending that pisses me off. it’s the whole point of the film. there is one line where someone challenges jodie foster’s atheism with ‘95% of the population believes in god do you think they are all under some mass delusion?’ – she then offers the lame well i believe in things you can see etc.
the end of the film is no one believing her because they can’t see her experience.

here’s the problem: 1. at one time 95% of the population thought the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe – the right answer is yes humans are capable of mass delusions 2. jodie foster’s character actually did witness proof – it’s not based on what she would like to believe (i.e. faith).

my two cents and some others
dogville is a horribly depressing film but not a bad one.

dogma is mildly amusing and i heart huckabees is pretty funny.

ironically, robin williams sucks in comedies and is not bad in dramas — compare RV, license to wed, the one where he’s a politician (which i dont need to see to know it sucks) to awakenings or good will hunting.

648

Dan Breed 06.05.08 at 3:12 pm

I haven’t the time to review this entire post, but feel the need to mention Michael Moore passing off his Op-Ed pieces as ‘documentary filmmaking.’ While I am not any great fan of the Bush administration or, obviously, teen gun violence, Moore’s heavy handed one-sidedness in his movies inspire me to warn people off. I wholeheartedly support Moore’s right to present his opinions in his films, and probably agree with some of his views, but documentaries they are not.

649

Forrest 06.05.08 at 3:14 pm

Heinlein wrote a book in which militarism and fascism save us from the scary bug aliens.

In fact he wrote a book about public service — the willing subordination of the individual to the good of society — a book in which the aliens (a species that doesn’t really have individuals) may well win.

Unfortunately it got bogged down in other things; but it does point out that any political philosophy that lacks a mathematicalogical proof of its correctness (in the real world, all of them) is in the end mere opinion.

By the by, HOWARD THE DUCK is redeemed by a rather nice John Barry score that he later disowned, presumably because the film was so debacular.

MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE is sort of interesting in that once you subtract all its actual defects there’s something genuinely disturbing left over.

650

npr 06.05.08 at 3:18 pm

Showgirls and Tough Guys Don’t Dance would make a great double bill. Two films made by misogynists who were obviously heavily intoxicated — coke and alcohol is my guess.
Then there’s The Fifth Element, the movie Ed Wood would have made if he’d had unlimited resources.

651

Mark 06.05.08 at 3:19 pm

I’m shocked that no one has mentioned CHARLIE’S ANGELS — the single worst movie I’ve ever paid money to see. WHO’S THAT GIRL comes in as number two.

I’m less shocked that no one has mentioned SILENT PREY. While it is the single worst movie that I have ever seen (on Cable) — very few people have seen it. It stars that NYC cop who got fired for being in Playboy. Ugh!

652

cc 06.05.08 at 3:21 pm

While I have in the past defended movies that others have considered godawful, there are a few that not even I could tolerate. First, I am in wholehearted agreement about Napolean Dynamite, Dr. T and the Women, Catwoman, Daredevil, and American Beauty. Second, I’d like to add The Pursuit of Happyness (the Will Smith one) for having the most depressing “happy ending” I have ever seen; The New World because if I wanted to look at a field for 10 straight minutes I’d buy a house in the prairies and look out the window; and 16 Blocks for attempting to be an action movie and failing so miserably that I actually got excited when someone was finally shot in the foot (also, for being the only Bruce Willis movie that I have ever truly hated).

653

Forrest 06.05.08 at 3:22 pm

(cough) Mathematicological.

I now see that someone mentioned the HITCH HIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY movie. After the Sci Fi channel edited it down to 88 minutes, removing entirely all the bits that the makers had merely edited down to the point that they didn’t work any more, it was not too bad.

654

falstaff 06.05.08 at 3:23 pm

“300” was absolutely terrible. Horrible dialogue, worse acting. Painful to watch in every way.

655

Cthulhu 06.05.08 at 3:25 pm

Children, children — you all don’t know bad movies. Let me lay some hubris upon y’all:

(1) JAWS 4 THE REVENGE “THIS TIME ITS PERSONAL” an incredibly bad film. Bad plot (“preternatural shark decides to go after the Brody family, who, rather than moving to Arizona, decide to live by the ocean”). Bad filming (man devoured by shark to Christmas carols). Bad Acting (“Come and get me, you bastard.”) Bad stunts (attempting to kill shark by crashing small plane upon it). Bad logic (People who crash plane into ocean emerge from ocean without getting wet).

(2) JENNIFER THE SNAKE GODDESS. Yes, a real movie. Girl (Jennifer) is member of weird appalachian snake-handling religion. Mom dies, and Jennifer won’t use her power any more because she lacks faith. Jennifer is captured by eveil teen gang who decide to terrorize her by driving her to a remote location and driving around her. Jennifer, captured and in trunk of car, decides to pray. When she is let out of the car, snakes attack all of the evil teenagers.

(3) WILLARD. A boy and his lizard. Totally screwed up.

(4) WILD THINGS: Soft core porn masquerading as a movie with a plot. Avoid: better porn is available free on-line, and better acting is available at most middle schools.

656

Cthulhu 06.05.08 at 3:25 pm

Children, children — you all don’t know bad movies. Let me lay some hubris upon y’all:

(1) JAWS 4 THE REVENGE “THIS TIME ITS PERSONAL” an incredibly bad film. Bad plot (“preternatural shark decides to go after the Brody family, who, rather than moving to Arizona, decide to live by the ocean”). Bad filming (man devoured by shark to Christmas carols). Bad Acting (“Come and get me, you bastard.”) Bad stunts (attempting to kill shark by crashing small plane upon it). Bad logic (People who crash plane into ocean emerge from ocean without getting wet).

(2) JENNIFER THE SNAKE GODDESS. Yes, a real movie. Girl (Jennifer) is member of weird appalachian snake-handling religion. Mom dies, and Jennifer won’t use her power any more because she lacks faith. Jennifer is captured by eveil teen gang who decide to terrorize her by driving her to a remote location and driving around her. Jennifer, captured and in trunk of car, decides to pray. When she is let out of the car, snakes attack all of the evil teenagers.

(3) WILLARD. A boy and his lizard. Totally screwed up.

(4) WILD THINGS: Soft core porn masquerading as a movie with a plot. Avoid: better porn is available free on-line, and better acting is available at most middle schools.

657

olo 06.05.08 at 3:28 pm

Every movie made with Bing Crosby appearing.

658

Callum 06.05.08 at 3:28 pm

Dead Poet’s Society

659

Jessica 06.05.08 at 3:29 pm

Am I the only one who just couldn’t like A History of Violence? That movie just seemed completely pointless to me.

660

Scavenger 06.05.08 at 3:29 pm

I’ll defend Sgt. Pepper’s.

It’s a cheesy movie with some good music and fun performances.

661

Wowza 06.05.08 at 3:29 pm

Man, I don’t know about people. A lot of the movies I’ve seen mentioned here have at least something interesting about them, or are actually pretty damn good. Really? Should we avoid Crash and Signs more that Norbit or American Pie: the Naked Mile? Or Date Movie or Meet the Spartans? How can Altman even be mentioned in this thread? There are enough truly inane movies out there to criticize, we don’t need to exaggerate the flaws of OK films.

662

Ben Alpers 06.05.08 at 3:33 pm

This thread has deteriorated into “films I don’t like,” which is not the same thing as “films that nobody will like and should thus be avoided” (a category that I continue to believe Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band may well be dominate….612 comments and not one defender to be found).

That said, The Third Man is not only a great film, it’s a great film that nearly everyone who sees it likes (I’ve shown it to half a dozen classes and in one film series, so I speak from some experience). That doesn’t make you a cretin for not liking it. There’s no accounting for taste and different people like different things. But I think it’s wrong to suggest that it’s a film to avoid from the AFI 100. This is, of course, a different topic from the question Harry asked way, way up thread. But my nominee for AFI 100 film most likely to produce a negative reaction in a randomly selected viewer would far and away be Birth of a Nation, a film that unquestionably belongs on the list, but that seems to most modern viewers not only long and boring, but politically vile.

I quite liked American Psycho. I thought that it, like the also maligned Titus, was an interesting exploration of male violence by a female director. And the business card scene is great!

663

Valuethinker 06.05.08 at 3:36 pm

106

The Swedish version of Insomnia is a very good film. Shades of the Inspector Kurt Wallender thrillers that Henning Mankell writes.

Generally most readers here seem to have gotten the point about Starship Troopers, which is that it is biting satire of Heinlein’s novel, and the general militaristic tendencies in modern society.

I actually liked Chasing Amy quite a bit. I thought it had something quite powerful to say about sexual identity and being your own person.

664

Funbud 06.05.08 at 3:37 pm

“You’ve Got Mail” deserves to be on this list if only because it showcases the insufferable Meg Ryan whose career seems to ahve (mercifully) disappeared.

To see the only worthwhile version of the same story, see Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Shop Around the Corner” starring the incomparable Margaret Sullivan and Jimmy Stewart.

665

Kirsa 06.05.08 at 3:38 pm

I actually have a soft spot for the rash of British sit-coms made into films in the 70s, especially “Man About the House” and “Please, Sir!” (which features a gypsy kid called Nobbler, for chrissake) but the film version of “On the Buses” is stupefyingly awful.

“Prayer of the Rollerboys”. I laughed ’til I wept.

666

George 06.05.08 at 3:41 pm

Sorry but I thought there’d be a list of the 101 to avoid; is there another link (I got this one off IMDB.COM)

THANK YOU

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Valuethinker 06.05.08 at 3:42 pm

425

Fever Pitch was first done in the original setting of the novel: Arsenal Football Club in North London, with Colin Firth and Ruth Gemmell.

Not a bad film at all, particularly the parts with Neil Pearson as the estranged father, taking his boy to Arsenal games to reconnect with him… and thus the lifelong obsession with Arsenal.

‘High Fidelity’ survived the migration to John Cusack and Chicago, but was still a better book set in its original environs of a used record shop on Holloway Road (midway between the 1890s Arsenal FC grounds and the new ones, the Emirates Stadium at Drayton Park).

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Phil 06.05.08 at 3:42 pm

One big one that no one has mentioned: Thin Red Line. My friend that picked that one to go see is no longer allowed to choose movies. Midway through in one of the “dramatic scenes” a couple of us started laughing, couldn’t stop, and had the rest of the theater laughing at us.

On the other hand, one of my friends liked the movie so much he made a Thin Red Line diorama the next day.

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Kirsa 06.05.08 at 3:43 pm

Oh, and “Cool as Ice” starring – and I use the word advisedly – Vanilla Ice. Surely no-one’s life was the richer for seeing that pile of wank. Only thing is, I quite enjoyed the songs at the beginning and the end. Even though one is performed by Naomi Campbell.

670

Bunnygloves 06.05.08 at 3:46 pm

You’re all fools.

Showgirls? One of the best American satires in decades.

Bully? A Masterpiece.

Try Irreversible – it ends the discussion.

671

Gustav L 06.05.08 at 3:54 pm

I’d say “Caddyshack II”. Its my benchmark for awful-and-nothing-else movies. Yeah I’ve seen many lousy movies, working nights and all, but I remember finding no redeeming point in it whatsoever.

All the characters are hateful and the movie actually murders the first one more than “Highlander II”

672

Avnas 06.05.08 at 3:58 pm

Garden State: overwrought and simultaneously unremarkable story, acting, and filmmaking. It was less a movie than a pastiche of film teasers meant to display Zach Braff’s “eclectic” iTunes library.

Troy: Orlando Bloom was such a pansy that I thought they were making a version where Helen absconded with Paris and not the other way around. Also, the fact that Agamemnon was killed in the most anticlimactic way possible, even though he was supposed to live.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

673

Dudeems 06.05.08 at 4:00 pm

Schindler’s List – it’s like real sad and stuff

The Godfather – too violent, terrible acting

Citizen Kane – boring, I fell asleep

Pulp Fiction – too weird, and violent too

Lord of the Rings – not realistic.

674

Clare 06.05.08 at 4:01 pm

Indecent Proposal

675

Race Bannon 06.05.08 at 4:02 pm

Inbred Redneck Alien Abduction – Not the English version. The French remake.

676

iron eyes cody 06.05.08 at 4:03 pm

Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang is by far the worst movie I have every had the displeasure of seeing. I walked out after about ten minutes and I was seeing it for free. In fact, not only did I walk out I shouted vulgarities at the screen which may have made me seem like a crazy person but during that moment in time I simply did not care. It is insulting to anybody with a working brain and a pair of eyes.

I agree with everybody mentioning Forrest Gump as well, it’s just utterly moronic.

Somehow I made it to the end of Sgt. Pepper’s, but when Billy Preston came to life and started doing all his magic, I felt a deep, deep sadness inside.

I also think Wedding Crashers is absolutely terrible and I do not understand the reputation it holds as being “funny”.

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Geoff 06.05.08 at 4:04 pm

Why do we watch these? Because many bad, overwrought Hollywood confections are fun to watch. Don’t you like donuts? I don’t mean watching them with one hand on the irony, either. I have seen bad movies such as You’ve Got Mail more than once, and would watch them again when they inevitably reappear on TV. Unfortunately, Hitchcock and Wilder aren’t here anymore – now that was entertainment with class.

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Valuethinker 06.05.08 at 4:04 pm

608 whatcha

Not sure about Minority Report. The ending was pure Hollywood (the villain confesses all) but the movie itself was at times quite disturbing and the visual realisation quite powerful.

The Hollywood stuff (missing 12 year old children etc.) was pure Spielberg, and unnecessary.

But enough of the underlying Phil K Dick paranoia and uncertainty shone through to make it better than an ‘all time bad’ movie.

679

Bert Chadick 06.05.08 at 4:04 pm

Steve Martin’s “Pink Panther” has got to be on the list, as the remake of “The Inlaws” or “Psycho”. The original “Psycho” wasn’t all that great, but still watchable.

I’m waiting for the remake of “Showgirls”! Now THAT would be a movie!

680

nick poissant 06.05.08 at 4:05 pm

Anyone who said ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ should be sterilized immediately.

681

jryn 06.05.08 at 4:05 pm

IMHO, the worst movies are comedies which are not funny. Any bad horror, action, sci-fi or drama film can usually (but NOT always) be subverted by the viewer into a comedy so that he or she can survive and sometimes even enjoy (and repeat) the experience. But an unfunny comedy really has no reason to exist. Of course, humor is so subjective that the same bad comedy could be hilarious to someone else.

Nevertheless, I’ll list 2 recent “comedies” that will suck away your will to live:

Death At A Funeral – I saw this in a theater full of 60somethings who thought it was the funniest thing ever, which nearly subverted the experience to a horror film for me

Rumor Has It – My wife and I finally had to get up and leave after Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston met up and discussed his “hilarious” groin injury. Who would have thought a movie with Costner and Aniston could be bad – madness!

682

bryan 06.05.08 at 4:10 pm

Forrest Gump MADE George Bush..possible..predictable, and perhaps inevitable.

Wow, it’s like the American Triumph of the Will or something.

Anyway, having sat through this thread to its current end I can say that it is a thread to be avoided as absolutely worthless. What do I base this criticism on?

The thread is overlong, it takes you quite a long time to extract the simple message that a thread which suggests that:

Pulp Fiction, Juno, Indiana Jones 4, a number of movies by Argento, anything by Lars Von Trier, Titanic, Forrest Gump, Who’s got mail, Speed Racer
Cold Mountain, 12 Monkeys, Blue Streak, National Security, The Russia House, The Wicker Man, Juno, Chasing Amy, “Dude, Where’s My Car”, The Shining, everything by Shalyaman, American Beauty, Waterworld, Eraserhead, The Aristocrats, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Adventurers, a large selection of the works of Jim Jarmusch, Wing Commander, “the cook,the thief his wife and her lover”, Blue Velvet, The Shipping News, Memento, House of Sand and Fog, Independence Day, Let’s Go To Prison, Every which way but loose, bamboozled, cool world, The Marathon Man, anything by Darren Aronofsky, Father of the Bride, Top Gun,
No Way Out,Arthur, Failure to Launch, Billy Jack, African Queen, Lost in Translation, Little Miss Sunshine, The Blair Witch Project, E.T, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Twister, Bringing Up Baby, The Matrix films, V for Vendetta, 8MM, Strange Days, and a host of others I don’t have time to categorize.

Are all so bad that one should make an effort to avoid seeing them in this lifetime (no idea as to whether one shall continue to avoid seeing them in the next lifetime) is a thread with no useful insight to actually offer on what one should avoid seeing. The standard by which it was decided that one should avoid movies was too diffuse to be useful, and this is the list that resulted. Furthermore it can be seen that lots of the people who contributed seemed to have as diffuse standards for evaluating the quality of films, given the wide variation between genre, aesthetic quality, purpose and source of their choices that one could not derive a meaningful vision in most of the lists of films to be avoided other than the personal one that the films did not happen to suit their tastes.

That’s a valid reason to avoid a film, but useless as we can’t figure out what anybody’s tastes actually are on such a scant sampling of dislikes across such a wide stylistic spectrum.

Also I have to say I agree with the view of a certain subthread of this thread that quite a lot of the people posting seem to have no actual criteria for evaluating the quality of things other than a desire not to like something that is too popular.

Please avoid this thread before you die.

683

Beav 06.05.08 at 4:11 pm

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset….

Especially back to back

They’re like Seinfeld but without the funny, but then again Linklater is pretty overrated to begin with.

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Righteous Bubba 06.05.08 at 4:11 pm

Why do we watch these? Because many bad, overwrought Hollywood confections are fun to watch.

Once again that’s not the point of the thread. What movies should be avoided? Godzilla in any manifestation is terrible but watchable. Velvet Goldmine, however, is pretty much a waste of everyone’s time.

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dave 06.05.08 at 4:13 pm

The Comebacks – actually add spoof movies in here: Epic Movie, etc.
Gigli
Anything with Paris Hilton (sans sex tape material, of course) – i hope she hasn’t made more than two movies but i couldn’t tell you
Alexander
Battlefield Earth

…there are just way too many horrible horrible movies

oh and to add one that is going to be released soon (the only movie i suggest to never be watched despite having jenna jameson in it): Zombie Strippers. coming to theaters summer ’08

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Geoff, Ohio 06.05.08 at 4:14 pm

A lot of people on this thread don’t seem to understand the question posed, nor the definition of a bad movie. Ah, well, such is life.

My nomination is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.” A horror movie with virtually no tension (we know from the outset who’s going to win) and no scares. Utterly vacuous, nihilistic sadism.

I’ll also nominate “Bloodsucking Freaks,” a vile speck of inhumanity whose title defines its audience.

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pisher 06.05.08 at 4:15 pm

Anybody who lists The Third Man as a movie not to see, ever, has never really seen a movie. They may have looked at screens with movies playing on them, but they have no idea what a movie is, or ought to be.

That is not an opinion. That is an objective fact.

Some people who say they have a problem with certain movies are really saying they have a problem with the truth. They want to be lied to. Well, there’s no shortage of movies, good and bad, that will do that for them. Some of us actually do crave a bit of honesty, from time to time.

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Harry 06.05.08 at 4:17 pm

The most pathetic movie of all- BABEL

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Doug 06.05.08 at 4:31 pm

The Brown Bunny — something like ninety minutes of excruciatingly angsty pseudo-meaningful but ultimately pointless scenes followed by a sex scene that would garner a 2.00 rating or less on YouPorn. I suspect Vincent Gallo made this movie because it was the only way he could get some action. Pathetic.

Rabbit Test — an old piece of torture overlooked at Gitmo, courtesy of Joan Rivers. I love Billy Crystal, but it’s a miracle Rabbit Test didn’t kill his career.

Rabbit Test . . . The Brown Bunny . . . naw, no theme here.

690

ray d 06.05.08 at 4:35 pm

Did NO-ONE mention Jurassic Park? The film would have been more enjoyable if 1 or both of the kids HAD been eaten!
I agree with Signs being awful, No-one mentioned The Mothman Prophesies? Utter Shite!
Yes, Golden Compass is utter shite of the highest degree. I agree with #197 about The Da Vinci Code or as I call it “Americans shooting guns all over the world without getting arrested”.
Whoever said The Running Man”? Trust me, you’ve never seen it. In Kings story Ben Richards hijacks a 747 and flies it into the gaming building, blowing it up killing himself & Killian in the process after having crawled through miles of sewers.

Whoever mentioned Hook & Toys (both of which I really like) clearly can’t see the humour in them.
Across The Universe gets another vote from me due to being the worst idea to base a film on.
Whoever mentioned Aliens Versus Predator:Requiem ? Clearly you saw the cinematic cut, the unrated dvd cut with the extra 7 minutes is a VERY good film compared to the cinema version.

No-one’s mentioned Ishtar, Best Defence, Solaris (either version) or Sunshine either?
Oh, or Cloverfield? Or Speed Racer? (I nearly vomited watching that)

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C M R 06.05.08 at 4:37 pm

RE: Bryan’s complaint regarding the value of this thread.

What else could this thread have ended up as but a bloated mishmash of biased critical opinions with no visible criteria?

It’s not like the original post asked for a nuanced appraisal of set design in early German expressionist film.

The thread is about “movies to avoid watching before you die.” A thread with that title is probably supposed to be a forum for pushing your largely subjective personal tastes on strangers and bashing their subjective personal tastes in the face with a film canister.

I don’t think anyone is seriously bringing a measured, reasonable critical attitude to this thread. It doesn’t seem warranted in this thread, anyway.

One last point: “Quite a lot of the people posting seem to have no actual criteria for evaluating the quality of things other than a desire not to like something that is too popular.”

Apparently you and other defenders of the status-quo “Know What Lurks in the Hearts of [the fashionistas] and can just tell [their distate for films like Juno is] “calculated” and “insincere””

I guess we’re all a bit telepathetic.

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zubair kaka 06.05.08 at 4:42 pm

By all means avoid THE DEPARTED, the most overated piece of boston trash ever. Famous actors speaking in Boston accents is all it was. No Plot. No twist. What an insult that Martin got his oscar for this crap after he made classics such as Casino..

The assasination of Jesse James, i tried to watch that movie 3 times, starting where i left off the last time and still not past halfway.

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W1ns7on 06.05.08 at 4:43 pm

Rosetta

Ug.

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nick poissant 06.05.08 at 4:44 pm

RE: #166

It’s a match cut in 2001, not a jump cut. Guess you should take that film class again.

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Slim Pickens 06.05.08 at 4:46 pm

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and
“All the Presidents Men” were both incomprehensible. (And I read both books). At least Fear was generally recognized as terrible. Why anyone would think Presidents made for a good movie is beyond me.

And for New Englands: “A Perfect Storm”. Perfect Garbage. Some of the Globe Reviewers gave it high marks. But then some reviewers have been giving Aerosmith high marks for their records, and they’ve sucked since the late 70’s. Homers.

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Geoff 06.05.08 at 4:46 pm

Amen to BABEL! In fact, that movie defines the truly worst bad movie: earnest, pretentious, humorless, self-important, no real plot, A-list actors who look like celebrities rather than characters, and a forced ending that exposes the weakness of the plot.

The people who really irritate you are the ones who think they’re something and let you know it.

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Kim M. 06.05.08 at 4:54 pm

My Fellow Americans–a waste of talent (awful, potty humored script)

Nell was ridiculous despite having top-notch actors.

Any TV movie with Tori Spelling.

I will definitely agree with Cabin Boy.

Who doesn’t like Quentin Tarantino?? His movies are violent, yes…but extremely well-executed. Maybe that person doesn’t like thinking outside the box?

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Eric 06.05.08 at 4:57 pm

I LOVED House of Sand & Fog; sad to be sure, but the best film of 2003!

Instead, how about such awful works of dreck as Norbit, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Bless the Child, Love & Sex, North, Tideland, Bio-Dome, All the King’s Men (2006), Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Abbas Kiarostami films (A Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us), Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, and the list goes on and on… and on…

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Glorious Godfrey 06.05.08 at 4:57 pm

It is quite noteworthy that the most successful long-running Hollywood franchise ever, the James Bond flicks, hasn’t been mentioned.

I don’t think that the 007 movies should be avoided, they’re entertaining pap if nothing else, but the fact that blatant Cold-War propaganda movies, with female characters named Pussy Galore or Plenty O’Toole, don’t seem to elicit in anybody the somewhat random dislike on display here, is remarkable.

In other news, we need Seth Edenbaum to bring the hammer down on this miserable thread, for real. The Piero della Francesca bit was yeomanly at best.

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Th3M3ssiah 06.05.08 at 5:05 pm

It’s all a matter of opinion, really, and based on what it is we have had the “pleasure” of torturing ourselves with. Shawshank? Really? I happen to like it very much.

Terminator 3. This is what happens when the techno geeks we’ve discussed before can’t live with the “mistakes” in the plot. And not only will there be a T4, but the actor signed on to play John Connor has signed a on for (count ’em) THREE more…

Meet Joe Black.

State and Main.

In the undeserving Oscar winners catergory – Unforgiven

And in the bad book adaptation catergory – Congo.

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Ariel 06.05.08 at 5:06 pm

I nominate Alien vs. Predator 2 for slowing down the progress of all humanity.

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pisher 06.05.08 at 5:11 pm

“The African Queen. I love old movies, but this is clearly the worst movie ever made. This movie was supposed to be a WWII drama/romance, but as it was being made, they realized it was kind of stupidly funny, and they decided to play up the comedy.”

It’s a drama. And a romance. And a comedy. And it’s set during WWI. But why quibble over minutiae?

” Unfortunately, the resultant “humor” doesn’t translate well to modern audiences and so the movie is unwatchable.”

Which is why it was a huge hit, and Bogie won the Oscar, and people adore it to this very day. Yeah, maybe people who think Meet the Parents is funny have trouble getting the humor. That’s quite understandable.

I am starting to see genuinely great movies mentioned on this thread, which probably means too many of the wrong people are finding out about it. ;)

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Vin 06.05.08 at 5:13 pm

Caligula

704

David 06.05.08 at 5:13 pm

I don’t know if anyone mentioned it but, Batman and Robin. You know the one with the Gay Mr. Freeze. It destroyed the movie career of Chris O’donnell, Alicia Silverstone and Arnold. Only Clooney and Uma Thurman got out unscathed. Joel Schumacher should never be allowed to direct a movie. Check out his career, brutal.

705

J.O. 06.05.08 at 5:13 pm

“Be Cool” – I actually went and watched this movie in the theatre. At least 10 tiems I turned to my wife and said, “I hope this is the end of the movie….please let this be the end of the movie.” It wasn’t. The movie went on and on and on and on. It was a “comedy” – I didn’t laugh – I cried because of all the pain.

Honorable mention – “The Lake House” “The Family Stone” come to mind. Most movies have at least one thing that can be seen as redeeming….these movies have none.

“Double Jeopardy” with Ashley Judd just for the pure ridiculousness of the entire plot. The whole movie was based off of a premise that isn’t even true!

706

fairportfan 06.05.08 at 5:14 pm

…a beautiful little movie which predates the internet and its ever-so-nuanced pseudosociological tendency to dismiss all art as hipster pretention.

Anyone who can say that has obviously never read “little” magazines or journals of academic film or literary criticism from any time in the last ffty years or more.

Which *were* hipster pretension incarnate dismissing most asrt as either mere “popular” trash or wouldbe hip pretentiousness…

The Postman, as all too often happens, is (apparently having avoided it like the plague) a terrible movie alegedly based on a book that was at least decent. Another in this category, of course, is Blade Runner. In the history of Costner, Silverado shines as a trashy, but enjoyable Guilty Pleasure.

I would never say that i thought a film “based on” a Steven King book was actually even dumber and less worth expending brain cells on than the book … but The Running Man managed it. Of course King’s “original” story is a blatant rip-off of a Sheckley story entitled, i believe, “The Prize of Peril”, but at least it’s a competently done ripoff.

A film that proves that a surprise twist isn’t so welcome when it relies on the film’s actively lying to you for two hours…

Vertigo

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Are you on crack?

Nope, it’s just a BAD film, like virtually everything Spielberg’s done after Duel, if you actually *look* at it and see how the plot is twisted and manipulated to send it where Spielberg wants to go rather than where logic says it should. (The “dirt in the wndow” sequence exists solely for the purpose of allowing him to ditch the wife and kids who are no longer needed in the plot without having to supply any, you know, actual motivation.)

Starship Troopers gets my vote for appalling brain-sucking movie horror.

And mine for “Films the director shouldn’t have been let anywhere near”, since Verhoeven, completely misunderstanding the original book, made what he apparently thought was a film that would reveal its ultimate badness. Mostly it just revealed his own.

Speaking of Studio Ghibli – the only way that anyone could get Howl’s Moving Castle, a very visual book in itself, so thoroughly wrong must have been to actively try to.

Have to agree with The Usual Suspects (a character lying to you is different from the movie lying to you, fwiw)

requiem for a dream rocks and its deep too – so are the La Brea Tar Pits.

Other awful aspects of Dances with Wolves:

Though the film presents the Sioux as “noble,” the Pawnee appear as classic, cardboard-cutout evil Hollywood Injuns.

Well, consider that that’s the way the Sioux probably saw them – remember that the names we know most tribes by are often versions of “Those evil bastards over there” in the language of the tribe just east of them…

Anything Woody Allen after he decided that ‘artists’ should have sex with their daughters.

Ummm, Mia’s adopted legally-adult daughter, adopted while she was married to the man who she stole from an older friend. Schadenfreude, indeed.

Starship Troopers is remarkable because the director had the gumption of delivering an in-your-face parody of the book he was supposed to be adapting to film. That alone is more than enough to keep it off any worst-films-evah list.

Except, of course, that it’s a “parody” (“travesty” is a better word) that shows that the director compeltely misunderstood what he thinks he’s “parodying”.

As to I can understand if some people don’t like these movies, but it seems a bit snobbish to assume no one at all could, so we’d better warn them not to see it – i’ve missed most of the films you are defending, but <i.Moulin Rouge lasted fifteen minutes in our DVD player, and if it hadn’t been from Netflix, its next destination would have been my microwave, for at least some visual enjoyment.

“…so bad that you can see the boom mic in a bunch of the shots.”

This is essentially never the fault of anyone who made the film. It is almost always the fault of the projectionist for failing to set the masking on the projection equipment correctly.

Bull. It’s the fault of the cameraman and/or soundman who framed the shots badly or handled the mike poorly. If it ain’t on the film, it can’t be projected.

The Island (Michael Bay’s most enjoyable effort since The Rock, for whatever that’s worth…

Good lord, talk about damning with some kind of praise…

I also hated Driving Miss Daisy which I thought was horribly patronizing toward blacks and utterly inaccurate in its portrayal of Jews in the South.

Are you yourself a Jewish Southerner, or do you have actual knowledge of the lives of Jews in the South? Most of my Southern Jewish acquaintances rather liked it. And one suspects you wouldn’t actually know “patronising” if it bit you on some fundamental part of your anatomy.

Thelma and Louise – I was misled into believing that this was a “female buddy movie” and then was appalled to watch the rape scene 10 minutes in and then the ending with the heroines dying… yuck.

This differs how from, say, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which we are led to believe that one of the “heros” is a rapist and the heroes die in freezeframe in the end? Except, of course, that Louise is more likeable than Sundance.

For my personal experience, Starship Troopers [the film] is great. Heinlein wrote a book in which militarism and fascism save us from the scary bug aliens.

Have you actually read the book, or are you simply relying on what people who missed the point say? If you did, how did you manage to miss the point so thoroughly?

707

olo 06.05.08 at 5:14 pm

Biblical fantasy movies have been endlessly recycled since the days of Edison & Eastman.
I would sincerely advise the Kool-Aid free, to avoid these at all cost.
Even the Oscar winners should be shunned unless you’re packing a strong anti-emetic.

708

pisher 06.05.08 at 5:15 pm

“It is quite noteworthy that the most successful long-running Hollywood franchise ever, the James Bond flicks, hasn’t been mentioned.”

Noteworthy, yes. Surprising, no. Everybody loves those films. Even people who wish they didn’t. But frankly, I think most of the Post-Connery films are to be avoided. And yes, that includes the current placeholder, whose name temporarily eludes me.

They are not great films, but the 60’s ones with Connery are hugely influential on most of today’s action hits–so people still relate to them. Particularly since they’re far better than most of the films that imitate them. Which isn’t saying much.

709

alric-ender 06.05.08 at 5:18 pm

Flowers in the Attic (1987) and Hercules in New York (1970) are both examples of a complete waste of time. The House by the Cemetery (1981) is revoltingly awful. The Green Berets (1968) was my introduction to laughably over-the-top propaganda, hideous film.
Funny Games (1997) was excrutiatingly mindnumbingly painful to watch. All the Rambo movies, I’ve had the incredible misfortune to watch also deserve to be flushed down the toilet. However the only movie that I can remember actually walking out of the cinema to stop me killing myself was Annie Hall.

710

John David Stanway 06.05.08 at 5:23 pm

The Thin Red Line. The 1998 remake.

My wife fell asleep in the theatre. I managed to stay awake so that I could marvel at how beautifully one would photograph such a crappy movie. Then it went on for another 40 minutes after it ended. And the dialogue/monologues: “How can I tell where you end and where I begin?” “What difference can one man make in all this madness?”. Now when was the last bloody time an American used the word “madness”?

After it got nominated for best picture, I rented it (when my wife was out of town) because I figured that I must have been missing something. Nope. Still sucked.

711

Peng Dehuai 06.05.08 at 5:25 pm

Three more stinkers…

Hulk
The 13th Warrior
Sliver

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hapax 06.05.08 at 5:28 pm

It’s worth noting that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is still entirely without defenders, not only on this thread but, so far as I know, anywhere else.

(raises hand)

Well. I can’t *defend* it, honestly, because I’ve never seen it all the way through, but it has scored me infinite one-upmanship points in that my brother and sister actually paid to see as teens, but I chose to skip it of well-deserved foreboding.

And of the bits I’ve seen, Aerosmith’s cover of “Come Together” is pretty good. And Steve Martin exhibits a strangely surreal charm.

713

Emilie 06.05.08 at 5:29 pm

Troll I & II are the worst movies ever made! However, I would argue that this is the reason you need to watch this movie with your bong of choice. The script must have been written in a weekend. It truly is a cinematic abortion. Hysterical, though it isn’t intended!

714

Geoff Sebesta 06.05.08 at 5:32 pm

I think I hate 300 more than I hate any other movie. It’s good-looking sword porn, sure, but it is so relentlessly hateful to anyone who isn’t a dick swinging Spartan, so cluelessly specific in the indictments it hands down on Persians, gays, the handicapped, black people, etc. There are exactly two female characters, one of whom is a drugged-up sex slave and the other is George Bush. Not only does it get its history wrong (which I’m comfortable with — it’s a movie, not a textbook), it gets it so perfectly and diametrically wrong that you start wondering if it’s not mistakes, if it’s just plain lies. Despicable, hateful, pointed lies, that smugly depend on the American public being too dumb and lazy to figure them out.

The violence is pretty but oh so fake. There’s not a hint of consequence or responsibility to the whole movie. It’s all “Say something badass and stab somebody, because freedom isn’t free! Freedom isn’t free!”

Now, there are plenty good movies that do any one of the things I mention above — Reservoir Dogs is not known for its strong female characters, for example, and I don’t think the Princess Bride is very realistic in its depiction of violence. But it’s rare to find a movie that does all of those things, and so gleefully, and does nothing else beside.

I don’t think I can like a movie that is so obviously built to appeal to George Bush and his bullshit agenda. 300 is the neoconservative “Triumph of the Will.” I fucking hate that movie. It’s a jingoistic piece of shit. It hurts my brain to think they are letting that jackal director loose on Watchmen.

It is very pretty, though.

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Mihai 06.05.08 at 5:44 pm

Where is “Lord of the Rings?” All of them are over-hyped extremely well done pices of boring shit. Popular that is. Popular shit.

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Badger 06.05.08 at 5:47 pm

Usually I don’t enter into these types of blogs, but this time around, I’m doing you all a public service announcement. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, see Southland Tales with Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson and Sean William Scott. It’s bad. It’s really bad. It’s an order of bad, with a side order of badlettes, cooked in a bad way, served over a bed of bad, and smothered in bad sauce. RUN FROM THIS MOVIE until your lungs ache.

717

TheGreenOne 06.05.08 at 5:52 pm

Alien Ressurection
Can’t believe no-one’s mentioned it also American Dreamz wasn’t that bad and had Hugh Grant in.

718

cerebus 06.05.08 at 5:54 pm

Scream 3. Cox-Arquette. The horror!

719

Charles 06.05.08 at 5:57 pm

Dee Snider’s Strangeland is absolutely awful. Anyone who thinks Private Ryan is a bad film is dense.

720

Anonymous 06.05.08 at 5:59 pm

I’m always shocked and dismayed by the utter hatred placed upon “Titanic”. I know it may not be the greatest film ever, but it had the ability to reach to almost each demographic and satisfy it. The story was flawed but able to hold its lengthy running time, the acting was passably charming, and the effects in my opinion were superb. I think that there are many worse films in this world that could be discussed on this board than “Titanic”. I don’t quite understand all of this bashing of it. If someone could explain I’d greatly appreciate it. Maybe it’s just that the majority of you are men and it isn’t socially acceptable to like a film that is emotionally taxing/love story/weepy/semi-cheesy.

721

Leandra Rhenisch 06.05.08 at 6:01 pm

Escape From Atlantis.
Worst movie. Ever.

722

Th3M3ssiah 06.05.08 at 6:03 pm

Sorry, I forgot one…

“They Live” with Rowdy Roddy Piper.

723

Sahve 06.05.08 at 6:06 pm

I cannot believe no one has mentioned Troy! That was such a stinker even Brad Pitt in a leather skirt could make me sit through the whole thing.

724

Brian Pendell 06.05.08 at 6:06 pm

My nominations:

Zardoz (starring Sean Connery).
Star Wars Holiday Special (not strictly a movie, but hey, even George Lucas hates it). Read the wikipedia entry on it and some of the things he’s said about the movie.

[rant] about Starship troopers.

The book by Robert Heinlein was neither fascist nor militaristic. Heinlein, in fact, had been a military officer during WWII and had spent quite a bit of his career confronting the menace of actual fascists.

Fascism (according to wikipedia) occurs when you have a strong autocratic government led by a single strong leader with lots of racial supremacy overtones.

That is the antithesis of the kind of government Heinlein believed in (see ‘Glory Road’ and ‘Farnham’s Freehold’). If anything, he was a libertarian.

The government in Starship Troopers was indistinguishable from that of the 1950s US government with one exception: It extended the franchise only to veterans, on the theory that only those who had put their lives on the line should have any say in when, and how, war was declared. In other words: No chickenhawks.

[/rant]

725

djtyg 06.05.08 at 6:08 pm

Are We There Yet? I saw it on an airplane. For those of us who grew up being fans of Ice Cube, watching a hard gangsta rapper getting one-upped by a couple of bratty kids was just torture. I seriously think they play this movie to detainees at GTMO to try to get them to talk. It is truly so awful that playing it should be considered a crime against humanity.

726

Craig 06.05.08 at 6:10 pm

Before I start, let me say this:

I dont walk out of movies I pay to see. I go to see a movie, I stay to watch the movie.

But when I went to see Transformers, I walked out of the theater, twice. Both times were because of Shia LaBeouf’s character story.

The only reason I came back was because I was waiting for some goddamn robots to show up (and had to wait the 2+ hours to do it!)

727

bryan 06.05.08 at 6:13 pm

‘Apparently you and other defenders of the status-quo “Know What Lurks in the Hearts of [the fashionistas] and can just tell [their distate for films like Juno is] “calculated” and “insincere””

I guess we’re all a bit telepathetic.’

yes. especially since I’ve never seen Juno.

I say it, and not in reference to you because I haven’t bothered to go identify any comments of yours other than the one I am now replying to, because I have noticed assemblages of disliked movies that seemed to cry for some sort of explanation and yet none was given. I can accept the explanation that one does not like Pulp Fiction (as an example) because Tarantino glorifies violence(in it) as an honestly held albeit incorrect opinion, but there have been a number of announcements without even that much of argumentation that just seems to go against not just the popular opinion of particular films but also common critical views. I think in such a case one should make a reasoned argument.

As noted I haven’t seen Juno but there is already a popular and critical opinion on the movie that goes against ‘ugh godawful, avoid this’, so if someone says you should avoid Juno I suppose they should also express why in terms exceeding just value-laden ones, for example when discussing popular and critical favorites it does not help to say the film was vapid but also what parts of the film made it vapid.(note: not having seen Juno I just used the word vapid as an example value-laden term without actually meaning any connection to the film)

Also note that these are supposedly films to be avoided until death. That’s a strong level of avoidance. That basically means that if you come home from a hard day at work and would like to vegetate a bit and not think to hard but just have an enjoyable film you must avoid this, it means that if your significant other would really like to see this movie with you you should try to say you have some extra work to do, it’s a statement that exceeds don’t go pay for this at the theatre by a good bit.

By the way your use of quotes up there implied that it was I who said the fashionistas were calculated and insincere. I didn’t, what I said was “quite a lot of the people posting seem to have no actual criteria for evaluating the quality of things other than a desire not to like something that is too popular.”

I don’t think most of the fashionistas are calculated or insincere, I think they are somewhat reflexive dislikers of anything that is too popular, I’m not going to go into the various reasons why I think this is, as there can be different neurotic traits that could lead to exhibiting the same symptom. I suppose though that in some of the more extreme fashionista cases they can be calculated.

Finally there’s some people in the status quo that would be pretty surprised to hear I was a defender of it.

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Mike 06.05.08 at 6:15 pm

Most movies based on popular T.V shows….
especially “The Avengers”,”Wild,Wild,West” and”The Honeymooners”

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Fluffy T 06.05.08 at 6:16 pm

I honestly think that 90% of the people that have commented on this so far represent the stupidest, most cynical people in America. Is there anything you actually do like?!? I’m surprised no one has said, “The Godfather was the biggest waste of time ever. Marlon Brando can’t act his way out of a paper bag.” Wait, no one would say that because that would represent an actual reason someone hated a movie instead of just saying it was crap and not giving any concrete reasons beyond your complete and total lack of taste. Are there any movies you do like?!? Here’s some of the choices that display your stupidity.

Juno – beautifully written script and smart … just because you didn’t have good parents doesn’t mean they don’t exist

The Shawshank Redemption – What a wonderful story about friendship and hope. If you don’t like this movie, you don’t know what either of these things are.

American Beauty – An amazingly artistic look at a man having a mid-life crisis and the people around him. Yes, movie making is an art, and this is a master class in it.

Saving Private Ryan – There hasn’t been a better war movie made in the last 20 years. The opening invasion of Normandy could be considered one of the greatest scenes in film history. Those who don’t agree are obviously in denial about how brutal war really is.

Forrest Gump – OK, if you don’t like Forrest Gump, you should just stop watching movies now, then check to see if you have a heart or not. This is one of the most beautifully crafted movies of all time featuring one of the greatest characters of all time. You will be hard-pressed to find a more real, honest, and heart-felt character in a movie.

Now that I have my rant out of the way, here are some movies to stay away from.

Malibu’s Most Wanted – I’m all for a good comedic satire, but this was not funny at all. It relies to much on racial awkwardness, which just wasn’t funny.

Mr. 3000 – I wanted this to be good, but it was nowhere near. The main character was a combination of all the problems with sports today, and he’s supposed to be the hero. That’s a great message to sending in a movie. On top of that, the baseball sequences were terribly put together.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow – This movie looks amazing, but that’s where the good stops. I thought this was going to be a good movie, but all it showed was Jude Law’s inability to carry a movie in the lead role. Also the idea of a futuristic movie and a WWII-type setting just didn’t work.

Mr. Brooks – Can Kevin Costner just erase the last 15 years or so of his career? This movie was so bad it was laughable. First off, Costner was joined by Dane Cook and Demi Moore, which set up a lineup of absolutely no talent. Second, the film takes place in Portland, OR, yet shot in Shreveport, LA, which looks absolutely nothing like Portland and you can tell. And lastly, the story is just terrible. Since when is serial killer a genetic trait that can be passed to your children? Just stay away from it, unless you want to get a good laugh at a bad movie.

The Kingdom – Some people enjoyed this movie, which I don’t understand. First off, it was a waste of talent to have Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper in such a bad movie. Cooper’s character was one of the few bright spots so they kept him off screen as much as possible. They’d rather focus on Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman who, unlike in Juno, were terrible. Never once did I believe either of them as military investigators. Bateman couldn’t stop complaining and being sarcastic with no sense of humor. Garner couldn’t stop being a pretty girl in the Middle East, unless she was shooting a bad guy. It was just very poorly done and not worth watching.

So there are some real movies that should be discussed on here. So stop attacking good movies just because people like them and you want to be different!!!

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Albert 06.05.08 at 6:22 pm

“Out of Africa”, “Dances with Wolves” , “The Graduate” and “West Side Story” stinkers? What kind of movies do you people like??!?

All three of those films are excellent, and deserved most of the awards that they got. “My Dinner with Andre” has no plot and no action, but it’s brilliant, intellectually stimulating conversation between two people who know and love theatre and literature.

After reading some of the choices here, I would really like to know your idea of a good movie.

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Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 6:25 pm

The guy who mentioned Kalifornia gets it. Now that’s a genuinely odious film.

Does Irreversible end the discussion? No, although I can certainly understand someone’s finding it distasteful. Unlike, say, Naked, there’s more going on there than mere shock and exploitation with arty pretensions; it’s a film that very effectively implicates quotidian daily tensions and attitudes in one of the most heinous imaginable crimes. Monica Bellucci apparently had to film the lynchpin scene multiple times, which is unimaginable. I almost didn’t make it past that scene but am glad I did.

Solaris (either version) or Sunshine either?
Oh, or Cloverfield?

Both versions of Solaris are excellent films for those with an attention span over thirty seconds, Sunshine was a cop-out but not a horrible film, and Cloverfield has arguably done a lot to revitalize the city-smashing monster genre.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang was hilarious, and whoever mentioned Casino Royale as a Bond film to avoid must either not have seen it or must be unfamiliar with Bond films; it’s the only decent Bond film to have been made since Goldeneye and the first in the post-Connery franchise to hold up to the earliest instalments.

I’m just amazed at some of the truly bad taste on display in this thread, honestly. I’ve seen “movies you hate” threads before but have never seen someone in all seriousness try to claim that All the President’s Men is must-avoid.

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shemmel 06.05.08 at 6:28 pm

You poor delusional souls, it is sad that you have the time to judge that by which you have no hand in making, your utterly catastrophic post have caused me so much grief that words alone cannot describe my anger. i hope that your pretentiousness is the result of bad choices in life and not simply a gaping character flaw. Before any of you further attempt to judge a “bad” film, perhaps you should try WATCHING a film and not simply staring at the screen for two hours; or in the words of Henry Jones Sr. perhaps you should try reading books instead of burning them.

733

Jeff 06.05.08 at 6:30 pm

It seems like people are beating a dead horse with Pulp Fiction and Starship Troopers, move on, you like it or you don’t, they’re that type of movie.

I saw Shawshank listed on here numerous times but no mention of Green Mile. I really like Shawshank but felt Green Mile lacking.

734

olivia 06.05.08 at 6:31 pm

Autumn in New York is the worst movie i’ve ever seen. It was even worse than Multiplicity.

735

Cody 06.05.08 at 6:32 pm

American Beauty,; the cinematic equivalent to the naked emperor.

736

Cody 06.05.08 at 6:39 pm

If this tridiculous thread solves anything, all it’s proven is that internet armchair critics know absolutely nothing about film.

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Bob 06.05.08 at 6:44 pm

Juno

738

Righteous Bubba 06.05.08 at 6:49 pm

It’s hard to think of a reason why Juno would be a movie to avoid beyond 40s style fast-talking and not-quite-hip references from a teenager. It’s otherwise conventional and sweet. There are at least 101 movies that are obviously worse no matter what your tastes are regarding snotty kids.

739

Philonius 06.05.08 at 6:56 pm

This is too long of a thread to go through the whole thing. But in case no one has mentioned The Bodyguard, let me be the first. If the litmus test is walking out during the showing, then this POS would be mine.

Any film w. Kevin Costner would qualify, except for The Big Chill. Which he was great in.

740

teben 06.05.08 at 7:00 pm

Any Michael bay Films
Any Jerry Bruckheimer
Any Adam Sandler Films

741

Adam 06.05.08 at 7:03 pm

Forgot to mention (and I don’t think anyone else has): “Basic Instinct 2.”

Never watch this movie. It lowers you IQ drastically while also making you feel grubby. An ugly combo. If you’re on a plane and this is the in-flight entertainment, open a door and get off – even if you’re airborne.

742

Hana 06.05.08 at 7:08 pm

Totally agree with The Astronauts Wife which I could just not sit through. It was just so unwatchable.

Crimson Blood (if anyones seen it?) was awful. It started off very promisingly, but by the end I was bored to tears and would have walked out long ago if it hadn’t been mandatory that I stay for my course.

I find films like League of Extraordinary gentlemen and Van Helsing to have at least some value for being laughably bad, I’d say that this list should contain films that are not only atrocious, but have almost NO redeeming features, and are just plain trying to watch. Films you truly come out of thinking, why did I waste my time doing that?

I’ve never seen Juno and have no intention of doing so as the whole backlash, anti backlash, anti-anti backlash tirade has just sapped all of my enthusiasm for checking it out. I know I’d just sit through it with a big imaginary argument taking place in my head. Shame.

That film with the three guys trying to raise a baby? Almost killed me.

Having read the book of Perfume I watched the film, and to it’s credit it does do a pretty good job of portraying the novel, but despite my love for Ben Whishaw, it was just a bad film. Same with The Golden Compass which is the worst adaption I’ve ever seen.

Overall, the worst movie I’ve seen ever ever would have to be Cabin Fever. It was just bad and not even funny bad, just overall rubbish.

743

Citizen Spain 06.05.08 at 7:13 pm

Cloverfield was awful! It had the most annoying doofus character since Cody on Step by Step.

744

pisher 06.05.08 at 7:14 pm

Far as I’m concerned, that goes for Basic Instinct I as well.

I have to round up a few movies I love a lot that have been included here–Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Memento, and Mulholland Drive.

I’ve watched all of them repeatedly, and I never feel like I’m wasting my time by doing so. Which frankly, is exactly how I feel when going to see most of the major grossers of the past two decades, for even the first time. It’s how I feel when watching most movies made since 1980, and many made before then. And sometimes I want to waste time. We all do. But ideally, a movie should be more than just an excuse to turn off your brain and fall into a sort of waking sleep. It should tease you back awake.

I wouldn’t say anyone’s life is incomplete without seeing any movie I like. But if this list is about movies you should die before you see, it shouldn’t have any David Lynch movies on it. Because honestly, he’s one of the last people on earth who still knows how to make a movie that isn’t just–product.

But that being said, it takes a hardy soul to make it through Inland Empire. And I am such a soul. ;)

745

Randy Paul 06.05.08 at 7:17 pm

One good use for The Thin Red Line: testing the DTS decoder on your home theater. When the mortars get launched onto the Japanese positions on the hills, the sound is incredible.

746

John Thelin 06.05.08 at 7:18 pm

This discussion suggests to me, once again, that movie-viewing may be the most SUBJECTIVE activity in which we can participate. And how democratic! We can pick anything for any reason that rubs us the wrong way. In this case, though, I do think the people voting for Boxing Helena, which I have not seen, may be on the right track since they talk about how vile and disgusting it was to them. Ultimately, that may be what this query is all about. In that spirit, I’d probably pick Salo by Pier Paolo Pasolini. I remember walking out the theatre and really wishing I had not seen that film. It left me feeling depressed, disturbed, dirty, and hopeless. Not a great combination. (I like & value other work, film and poetry, by Pasolini.) On the other hand, I hate what Rob Reiner does to most of his films. It’s as if the man has no sense of cinematography. His pictures look like badly shot TV shows! Really no excuse for him in this regard. Boycott him now…and forever.

747

Jake 06.05.08 at 7:18 pm

Hmmm…there’s already a tone of movies not to see.

That said, here’s my list:

Doom
Ghosts of Mars
Thirteen Days
Blade Runner
Dune
The Covenant
Killer Clowns from Outer Space
Spider-Man (all 3)
The Golden Compass

748

alex 06.05.08 at 7:27 pm

okay i’ve always thought there’s never a reason that these list should be comprised because everyone has different tastes, and why fight the people who don’t agree with you, it’s not going to change the way you like the movie.

749

theo69 06.05.08 at 7:28 pm

I’m with you on all your posts, CK Dexter, especially regarding #389. (Love your moniker’s nod to that other great Grant-Hepburn movie, btw.) There is definitely something severely wrong with those who think Bringing Up Baby belongs on this list. On the contrary, I submit that you could do a lot worse than ignore pretty much every movie of the last 10 or 20 years and just watch “Baby” over and over before you die. I know I wouldn’t mind going out of the world that way.

People have very strange criteria for what they think makes a movie “bad” or “one to avoid.” Others that don’t belong on this list in any way, shape, or form:

After Hours (probably my favorite Scorsese, but then I’m not big on mob movies)
Being John Malkovich
Angel Heart
Hannah and Her Sisters (one of Allen’s best, IMO)
Match Point (his best in the last 10 years or so)
Before Sunrise/Sunset
American Beauty
The Game

In fact, I’m baffled to see so many movies here that are obviously not “bad,” as in poorly made, but just something that a poster didn’t happen to like for one personal reason or another, so they think it’s terrible and no one else could possibly like it and everyone should avoid it at all costs. Not that the theme of this list is even technically about “worst” movies. But it’s frustrating to see people condemn movies they couldn’t relate to or just had problems with as outright “bad” or “worst thing I ever saw,” etc.

750

Joe 06.05.08 at 7:30 pm

I think these should be avoided:

– Psycho (1998 Version)
– From Justin To Kelly
– Epic Movie
– The Hottie And The Nottie
– Leprechaun series
– Jaws 3
– Die Hard Dracula
– Godzilla 2000
– Puppet Master Vs Demonic Toys
– Superman III
– Rocky V

751

ntmyslftdy 06.05.08 at 7:31 pm

Normally I enjoy bad movies as much as brilliant films… but… I do have two nominees for wholly unwatchable films.

1. Dune – three hours of unmitigated crap about worms and spices that makes no sense and drags on like a parapalegics legs in the sand.

2. Babel – Every time I though the story lines would actually start to mean something or go somewhere my hopes were dashed. This movie actually made me mad.

3. Showgirls – Any movie that contains this much nudity and is STILL unwatchable by a horny sex-deprived male in his early 20s (at the time) deserves to be on this list. The acting is so bad it makes the hot naked women unenjoyable.

As for some of the other comments above, I do have to disagree on a few:

Vanilla Sky – Up until the surprise twist ending, I HATED this movie. After I learned the “truth” of the film, I realized how brilliantly it was actually put together.

Unbreakable – granted it plods along with grace and speed of Jason Voorhees on mushrooms, but it is a necessary plot devise to build up the tension in the final reel. I suggest rewatching the film with this in mind. I was not happy the first time I viewed it, but it has grown in my estimation upon repeat viewings.

Signs – So what if the whole “our viruses kill the evil aliens” trick is old hat. That’s not what this movie is about. The aliens are there as props for a solid family drama.

752

Aaron Leggo 06.05.08 at 7:34 pm

This is a great idea for a list and the comments above have been fun to read. Some I agree with, others I am completely in the other camp. But here are a few I especially loathe:

Gigli: A practically incoherent, sickly looking mess.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2-6: I love horror movies, but these five sequels were exercises in short but very painful torture.
House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne: Uwe Boll movies were built for lists like this. These are three terrible movies that you should avoid, unless you’re a masochist like me.
The Smokers: I’ve been trying to purge this movie about nasty girl friends at a private school from my memory for a while now. I think it’s working, so that’s good.
Superman IV, Batman and Robin, Catwoman: The superhero genre has rarely been so hilariously awful as it is in these three pieces of total junk.
O Brother Where Art Thou?: I love many Coen Brother movies (from No Country for Old Men to Fargo to Blood Simple), but I hate this movie with a fiery passion. Three irritating characters wander through a charmless, unfunny, pathetic world and have adventures that are supposedly based on The Odyssey. I hated the three lead characters so much that I nearly left the theater. I didn’t, though, and it just got worse.

That’s all for now!

753

Caitlin 06.05.08 at 7:38 pm

The Village

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Forrest Gump

Apple Dumpling Gang

Chariots of Fire

Kill Bill

Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars

Hamlet (Ethan Hawke version)

754

Shaz 06.05.08 at 7:44 pm

Ok, here’s my list:

High Tension (I publicly appeal to Directors hell bent on proving a “twist ending” to advertise that their film has one. Dean Koontz should have sued.)

Saving Private Ryan (It’s messages were so confusing that I still get headaches. And its BOOOORING)

Battlegield Earth, everything by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (yes, including Black)and Ram Gopal Verma (or his “Factory”), For Whom the Bell Tolls, After, One Missed Call, Analyze This and That, Meet the Parents/Fockers…actually the list is quite endless…love all your comments even of those I don’t agree with.

755

Dorene 06.05.08 at 7:50 pm

Glad to see someone else mention Waking Life; one of very few films I’ve walked out on. All the pretty animation in the world won’t make relentless pretentous babble palatable. I never saw Heaven’s Gate. I used to think I would eventually see it to find out just how bad it really is. However, after learning about the horrific animal abuses that took place during filming, I’ll pass. Makes me all the more glad that it knocked Cimino out of commission for awhile. Sometimes justice prevails.

756

Nick Faust 06.05.08 at 7:52 pm

Bad Movies: Any movie directed by Ron Howard and Rob Reiner. Howard will homogenize the most interesting and complex subjects. His movies are fake and condescending, played to a middle-line demographic that doesn’t actually exist (hence CINDERELLA MAN’S total failure), and they all pretty much conform to a TV kind of pacing. The rock bottom Howard moment is in A SIMPLE MIND, excuse me, A BEAUTIFUL MIND when the Russell Crowe character gets all teary eyed telling his delusions he’s not going to talk to them any more. Reiner copies other movie directors and plays the obvious at all times.

Agree totally with your HOUSE AND FOG critique.

757

BlueHotRage 06.05.08 at 7:53 pm

Forgetting Sarah Marshall was the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve seen nearly every movie on MST3K and the Sci-Fi channel, but this one was by far the biggest waste of celluloid or whatever material they’re using to show movies now.

It was simply about a bunch of “grown-ups” acting like highschoolers who seem utterly incapable of maturing without outside help. That’s not funny. It’s pathetic. And irritating.

Jason Segel is a terrible, terrible excuse for a “screenwriter” and a sub-par actor with no charisma whatsoever, and who ought to stick to the sidelines where he belongs.

758

yikbo 06.05.08 at 7:57 pm

Failure to Launch. Matthew McConaughey + Sarah Jessica Parker = DEATH. Runners up? Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and A Knight’s Tale.

759

Audrey 06.05.08 at 7:57 pm

The Forgotten – I could film Paul Reubens taking a shit and it would be a cinematic triumph compared to this monstrosity.

The DaVinci Code – Just fucking boring. The trailer was cool, though.

National Treasure 1 & 2: I’m sorry, these do not remotely work. And Nicholas Cage’s hair looks like it slid about 6 inches backward in the second one.

Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame – No. Just no.

760

Nic Niewart 06.05.08 at 7:59 pm

One of the worst I’ve ever seen: HOT PURSUIT. About a chase in yachts: Mind numbingly awful and I’ve forgotten what it was about, but everyone watching the film agreed it was definitely one of worst wastes of celluloid in modern history.
There was an awful one with Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane on a yacht too, but it was worse than that. Much worse. The script, acting, casting, photography all were the pits of the art.

761

scott dyer 06.05.08 at 8:01 pm

I stumbled on this discussion while looking for information on the IMDB site.

It is actually entertaining to see the clashing of opinions. One person’s trash really is another’s treasure.

I do like sci-fi; and would recommend that anyone who is interested read Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers”. Like many books, it is MUCH better than the movie; and you can see the extreme leeway that was taken (the title is almost the only thing recognizable).

762

hman 06.05.08 at 8:05 pm

You can never be as good a person after having watched Eraserhead as you were before you watched it.

763

olivier 06.05.08 at 8:06 pm

Independance day, 8mm, A Time to kill, Judge Dredd… So many bad movies in Hollywood history. How can people mention Barton Fink or Cronenberg’s Crash while there’s such an ocean of crap deep under those movies?

764

mc-nick 06.05.08 at 8:07 pm

I still can’t believe it took 144 posts BEFORE someone mentioned The DAMN English Patient.

765

Matt 06.05.08 at 8:09 pm

I respect that people don’t like certain movies, but I find it annoying when people continuously complain about the movie days after they’ve seen it. Get over it, you saw it, you didn’t like it haha.

I would put basically anything by Uwe Boll on there and Dane Cook’s comedys…they ARE lame, Mr. Brooks isn’t bad, and Dan in Real Life is pretty good too.

766

ThunderMonkey 06.05.08 at 8:11 pm

Daddy’s Dyin’… Who’s Got the Will (1990)… I rarely trusted my future sister-in-law’s recommendation after that one.

I Love You to Death (1990)… Decent cast, but I felt a part of my soul die.

Shijie (2004)… (The World). A Chinese film and I can appreciate a good foreign movie. HOWEVER, it completely changed my view as what defines a “slow” movie or a movie with “slow” parts.

Watch this film and any other slow movie will pale in comparison.

767

miora 06.05.08 at 8:20 pm

I really think that some people here are mistaking movies to avoid EVER watching with movies that have been a disappointment. I can understand hearing all the hype about say “Little Miss Sunshine”, watching it, and thinking “wow, everyone I know has said this is the best film ever, but it wasn’t”. However, does this really translate into you should never watch “Little Miss Sunshine” because it’s the lowest of the low? It really shouldn’t. There are plenty of really crappy movies out there that have little or no redeeming value and a number have been mentioned. Just because you find something overrated, doesn’t meant that it’s not worthwhile. I mean I think that “The Seventh Seal” is really overrated, but do I think that everyone should avoid it like the plague? No, not really.

768

andrew pro 06.05.08 at 8:20 pm

Wow, it seems that many of you just hate film. Io say that people should avoid a lot of the movies listed is ridiculous. I hate Mulholland Dr., but I would never say people should avoid it.

769

Dick Mulliken 06.05.08 at 8:24 pm

all Ingmar Bergman films

770

Magma42 06.05.08 at 8:25 pm

400+ comments and neither hide nor hair of Uwe Boll’s work?

Would require someone actually willing to admit watching one of his damned films, wouldnt it?

I did in fact see the Dungeon Seige one, and it was really interesting since, as I understand it, one of Boll’s main complaints has been a lack of studio support with his previous movies. And here he is pissing away hundreds of millions on recognizable actors and everything, and none of us could actually be bothered to pay attention to the damn thing. The best facet of the movie is just the look on Burt Reynolds’ face through the whole thing, how utterly bored he is with making this dreck, how he doesn’t even care how obvious it is that this films just his next paycheck. We walked out and saw something else.

Speaking of Dull beyond words, Van Helsing Again. I remember going to see it in the theater, like around 2pm or something, and fell asleep in the middle of one of the action scenes. I dont mean just before one, I mean last thing I remember was a vampire swooping in or something, then credits. Now thats a lame film.

Funny Games (both versions, as I understand the remake was shot-for-shot) is just insulting. Its a film about how much its own audience just plain sucks. Its one big “$%&*-Your-Mother for having and preconceptions coming into this!” of a movie. We were all hoping it would actually come around to not being so damn tediously stupid at us, and then the Rewind, the Damned REWIND, GRAAAGHH…

*ahem* so yeah, Funny Games definately. Go see Psycho or something if you want to see how to do the whole “Playing with the Audience’s Expectations” game done right.

Also, for reasons too numerous and obvious to mention, Expelled. If you’ve not seen it, its everything you think it is and more. By the end the central thesis is something like “Ben Stein must summon Ronald Reagan from the Grave to keep the Darwinist Spacemen Nazis from building a wall out of aborted fetuses which will turn us all atheist” or something.

771

House of Mayhem 06.05.08 at 8:25 pm

Waiting For Guffman.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hours

Barnyard

Dirty Dancing

772

lkneece 06.05.08 at 8:30 pm

Prelude to a Kiss is my choice.

I mean you’d think Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin in an early 90’s movie wouldn’t be so bad. AWFUL!!! I saw it in the theatre and its always been at the top of my Most Hated Movie List.

773

Nico 06.05.08 at 8:33 pm

Fido. It was supposed to be funny and a satire, I get it, it just wasn’t. The only thing remotely entertaining was Fido tossing the fat kid like a rag doll.

Fido still had more charisma than the freaking Bore of the Rings. I hate that trilogy more than words can say.

Also, Mission: Impossible II was a horrible raping of a brilliant first movie, the only movie where Tom Cruise ever was good.

As an added bonus, I think a petition should be started in which Jean-Claude Van Damme is banned from ever acting again and all his movies are erased from history. He has NOTHING on Stallone’s movies, hell, he has nothing on DOLPH LUNDGREN’s movies. Maybe he’ll co-operate with Uwe Boll for an absolute classic.

774

Diana 06.05.08 at 8:37 pm

Bad movies? Really bad movies?

Try Reign of the Gargoyles (ex-Charmed hunk Wes Ramsey fights Gargoyles and does some very bad acting while at it), or Timber Falls (a young couple gets forced to wed and rut by two very very strange old people in the woods), or any of the Uwe Boll movies (makes me feel ashamed to be German) or the newest remake of Helloween. Oh, and Starship Troopers (Humans battling giant alien-bugs?). By the time I stopped laughing, I felt a desperate need to weep and cry.

775

Mike 06.05.08 at 8:41 pm

I doubt anyone reads this far down but,

Brown Bunny – The misogyny in that movie makes me mad to be a man.

The Island – I thought the sci-fi premise seemed cool, little did I know that it would just be another Michael Bay bowl of tripe.

A lot of movies on this list are indeed bad, but still fun to watch, so in a sense, they are still entertainment and “good”. I’m talking to you, naysayer of Cabin Boy.

776

guy 06.05.08 at 8:44 pm

You guys are all idiots. There are billions of horribles movies that have disgraced theaters everywhere but no one is mentioning them. People are instead mentioning any movie that shows a trace of uniqueness and punishing them for it. How can someone say that Tarratino’s work is bad. He revolutionized the genre and made it his own. Also many of the movies mentioned are academy award winning films. The only person i agree with is the one that stated that they hate Uwe Bolls work. The truth is he is by far and away the worst director to ever be given the right to make Hollywood Films.

777

JWT 06.05.08 at 8:44 pm

Holy cow I can not believe some of the films o this list, or some of the lack of taste that some of you have. Well before I say that some of you probally actually like the movies on my list. But still, some of you need help. :)

1.) Any and I mean any Woody Allen Movie!

2.) Millennium still till this date the only movie I have ever paid to see and walked out of.

3.) Any Richard Gere Movie I can’t name them all but I can’t give him props for the 1 bright spot with all the turds just avoid them all like the plauge.

4.) If the directors first name is Uwe, run and hide from the screen. How that man still gets paid to make films we will never know.

5.) Showgirls

6.) Crash

7.) Catwoman (WHY did someone think Hallie could act?)

8.) Leonard Part 6

9.) I saw some people with Demolation Man on the list but these people haven’t seen Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot.

10.) Superman III

Avoid them like the plague if you can please.

778

paving 06.05.08 at 8:52 pm

Babel, FTW. I had almost managed to forget that one.

779

Hads87 06.05.08 at 9:02 pm

Soul Plane, Spun, Anything by Keanu Reeves except the Matrix 1. All mind-numbingly stupid and an insult to common decency.

780

pablo 06.05.08 at 9:06 pm

I agree with Superman III, though. And I’d offer Julie Taynor’s Titus, a horribly brutal version of Titus Andronicus. The only movie I’ve rented that I refused to watch the second half.

To be fair Titus Andronicus is a horrible play. Yeah, I know it’s Shakespeare’s. It does have one of the funniest stage directions of all time: “Boy enters with two heads and a hand”.

I’m tempted to recommend Brian DePalma’s “Black Dahlia”, but it’s so bad that it’s kind of fun, so my nomination is “Requiem for a Dream”. It’s like an afterschool special for grown-ups. Did you know getting hooked on drugs is bad?

781

Greg 06.05.08 at 9:12 pm

Without question, the worst movie I’ve ever seen is the Martin Short/Charles Grodin “comedy” Clifford. I use comedy in quotations because it was supposed to be funny. The only thing funny about it was that I actually paid to watch this piece of crap. Even funnier than that, I watched Cabin Boy a mere weeks earlier and found that to be slightly more entertaining, which is like comparing how much more pleasant bile smells when compared to freshly produced dog turds on a hot summer’s day.

782

magiccornflake 06.05.08 at 9:15 pm

Dr.T & The Women, without any doubt. Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, a ridiculous plot and some hugely irritating scenes.

783

Gus 06.05.08 at 9:17 pm

Anything with Kevin Costner gets my vote. I only watched “Dances With Wolves” for school and I was barely able to stay awake after the first ten or twelve minutes. Don’t even get me started on “Waterworld” (probably the worst thing to come out of Hollywood in the last 20 years). “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” was okay, in general. Alan Rickman and Morgan Freeman are always a pleasure to watch Costner was dreadful in it.

784

Anna 06.05.08 at 9:19 pm

Personally, for me, the worst film ever is “The Benchwarmers”. It’s REALLY bad. After watching it, I was thinking “Why on Earth did I see that God awful movie?”. It’s funny a few times, but after that, it just goes downhill.
P.S. Some of the films already posted(i.e. “Ed Wood”, “Juno”) are really good, unlike what some of you people think.

785

A Braunsdorf 06.05.08 at 9:20 pm

House of the Spirits. Maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind. Maybe it’s as good as some people think. Maybe it’s better if you read the book. Maybe.

But I really, really didn’t like it and use it as my example of Worst Movie Ever because of the huge amount of talent involved.

786

Chris M. 06.05.08 at 9:20 pm

Never EVER see “POOTIE TANG”

787

danny 06.05.08 at 9:25 pm

There Will Be Blood

788

neimat 06.05.08 at 9:32 pm

102 Dalmatians

A Cinderella story (worst cindrella ever)

A holiday for love (i don’t expect any one to know it)

Aquamarine (for kids under 7 years only)

Grosse point blank

I am with Lucy

It had to be you (worst movie ever)

Mars attacks

Material Girls

Only love (there is a major thing missing……….FEELINGS)

Solaris (i still don’t understand it)

The avengers (what was i thinking wathcing a movie like that)

The Englishman how went up a hill and came down a mountain (i think the title will do it)

The lake house

Virtuosity (what was denzel or russel thinking of making that movie )

Win a date with tad Hamilton

789

sarah 06.05.08 at 9:34 pm

“I enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven even though it has all kinds of inaccuracies (neither Raymond nor Guy were Templars for one thing) and Legolas in it. There are historical inaccuracies and then there are historical inaccuracies (like suggesting that Uto-Aztec and proto-Incan/Queche are related languages as was done in the most recent Indiana Jones movie). I can put up with the former if it somehow advances or enhances the movie (and everyone knows Templars were bad anyway)”

By the by – do you know anything about the Templars? They were hardly the paragons of virtue as presented in recent popular works inspired by The DaVinci Code (no medieval knights were), but they were hardly as bad as either their contemporary detractors or the idiots who made Kingdom of Heaven say they are. Indeed, they often seemed to have a more realistic conception of how to rule Arabs without an unnecessary degree of brutality than many others. And it is entirely true that they were executed solely because they were powerful and rich. Perhaps this is because I’m a medievalist, and know very little about the Aztec and Inca peoples, but as far as I’m concerned, an incorrect presentation of the entire character of a knightly order which existed for centuries is certainly no better than creating false linguistic connections. If you’re going to essentially invent a medieval knightly order, why not invent a name for it instead of using a real one and convincing the unfortunate individuals who know nothing about medieval history that this is what happened?

790

mrpie 06.05.08 at 9:36 pm

I am now about to show my age:

I hated World According to Garp. It seemed generally incomprehensible.

I was bored to tears with the Accidental Tourist.

791

A. 06.05.08 at 9:38 pm

Yes, you are a “fool” because you don’t recognize the brilliance of “Romy and Michele.”

“Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood.”

My pick for one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen:
Alpha Dog (!!)

792

Ramone 06.05.08 at 9:39 pm

So what I get from this post is that the main article intended this to be warning people off of poorly executed films, and the majority of the comments are from witless morons who can’t properly explain why they disliked a movie vs. what makes that movie ‘bad’.

Few posts are able to articulate the context the movie was made, presented in. Some make blanket statements like not wanting to watch Woody Allen since he stopped filming in NYC. ??! What? How stupid? So you won’t see a movie because of the filming location? Weak.

If you don’t like a movie, that’s one thing. If you don’t appreciate it, that’s another story.

Magnificent Ambersons? A masterpiece of cinematography, editing, and directing by Orson Wells. Starship Troopers? Satire my friend–not meant to be taken seriously. How are these things not obvious? Neither of these belong on a ‘worst’ list.

Take a lesson–if you’re going to be film snob, start THINKING about what you’re watching. Don’t just take a shit on it because you ‘couldn’t get into it’. Some movies require multiple viewings to be appreciated. Even the worst movies have something to teach us.

793

lumpy 06.05.08 at 9:40 pm

yous crooked timber folks don’t know nuttin about bad taste. You’re a bunch of ignoranuses when it comes to truly bad taste. 717 opinions and no mention of B movies, pornography, or Ed Wood clasics? It would seem you all live in blissful ignorance about just how bad movies can get. But then again, maybe you are better off living in your fantasy world where big budget failures are as low as you can go.

794

Righteous Bubba 06.05.08 at 9:51 pm

You’re a bunch of ignoranuses when it comes to truly bad taste. 717 opinions and no mention of B movies, pornography, or Ed Wood clasics?

Enjoyable kitsch is not stuff to avoid.

795

A. 06.05.08 at 9:53 pm

I think that you kind of missed the point here, lumpy.

We EXPECT b-movies, porn, and Ed Wood classics to suck! Tt’s the films with supposably “A-list” actors, producers, writers, and directors that are worth mentioning when they fail miserably.

796

Non PC, as easy as 1,2,3 06.05.08 at 9:54 pm

I actually think that NO film should be avoided. I like to decide for myself and so should everyone else. I mean, I didn’t like hundreds of films, but i wouldn’t tell people not to watch them as its an experience by itself to watch a bad movie, it makes you appreciate the good ones more. Plus, if i had to sit through King Kong and Bridget Jones Diary, then everyone else should! Films i can’t stand:

Anything with Nicholas Cage (nice accent work in Con Air), Godzilla (remake), Batman & Robin, Flubber, The Bone Collector, The Postman, Waterworld, Sex in the City (not even seen it and i know), The assasination of jesse james by the coward Robert Ford (any slower and it would go backwards), Munich, Walk the line, The Rock, the last broadcast

797

Non PC, as easy as 1,2,3 06.05.08 at 9:57 pm

oh and of course all the critters movies

798

Larry 06.05.08 at 10:00 pm

Battlefield Earth and the Invisible. Worst movies EVER!

799

Kim 06.05.08 at 10:01 pm

DaVinci Code—-TERRIBLE. While the actors lacked chemistry on all levels, the storyline was completely changed from the original novel, and all suspense was lost to the viewers. I’m a teacher and it makes me sick listening to my students judge the book–and Dan Brown as an author–based purely on the movie.

800

C M R 06.05.08 at 10:07 pm

“Also note that these are supposedly films to be avoided until death. That’s a strong level of avoidance. That basically means that if you come home from a hard day at work and would like to vegetate a bit and not think to hard but just have an enjoyable film you must avoid this, it means that if your significant other would really like to see this movie with you you should try to say you have some extra work to do, it’s a statement that exceeds don’t go pay for this at the theatre by a good bit.”

Hm. I took “movies to avoid watching before you die” to mean the opposite of “movies to watch before you die.” If the traditional meaning of “movies to watch before you die” is “movies that, no matter your personal taste, you should make time to see before you die” then to me “movies to avoid watching before you die” means “movies that, no matter your personal taste, you should NOT make time to see before you die,” ie, not AWFUL TERRIBLE movies (which can actually be worth seeing for the amusement factor) but mediocre studio crap that is fully a waste of time and money, and you can’t even enjoy for how bad it is.

So, to me, it would be exactly the kind of crap that you put on TV after work and then later in the evening hate yourself for wasting precious time on. Unlike, say, Black Snake Moan, which was a delightfully shoddy piece of craft that I gladly doled out 10 bucks to see.

“There is already a popular and critical opinion on the movie that goes against ‘ugh godawful, avoid this’, so if someone says you should avoid Juno I suppose they should also express why in terms exceeding just value-laden ones”

You make the mistake of giving the popular and critical opinion the benefit of the doubt. I don’t see why one should in this country, especially considering the scarcity of developed literary film journalism. I don’t have much use for the “thumbs up, thumbs down” stuff. Besides, it often happens that the box office and even film critics love a movie in the short term, but a few years later everyone sort of agrees that it wasn’t really worth all the excitement. Look at how well many Oscar winners have aged (the answer is not well).

Also: “By the way your use of quotes up there implied that it was I who said the fashionistas were calculated and insincere.”

I took you to be defending a charlatan like this doctor slack fellow who tries to make the Worse film seem like the Better film, and who charged me with pretending to see inside the heads of bad filmmakers when, in the first place, he was pretending to see inside the heads of people who find movies like Juno and Lost in Translation to be an utter disappointment and a waste of celluloid.

My sincere apologies if you were falsely implicated.

801

snivellingass 06.05.08 at 10:08 pm

Juno is the worst piece of trash. And it wasn’t even original, let’s see, a movie about a pregnant woman, Junebug.

802

sarah 06.05.08 at 10:14 pm

Second to “The Phantom of the Opera” recent movie version, for the simple reason that it seems to willfully destroy a great musical, in the following ways (among others):
1. Gerard Butler, who plays the Phantom, cannot sing. At all. This is not only a problem because it is *gasp* a musical (I could live with Richard Gere’s awful voice in “Chicago,” for example); it is a problem because the point of the Phantom’s character, in a nutshell, is that he’s hideous and can sing and write music. In fact, they at some point considered Hugh Jackman for the role, a good actor with experience in musical theater, but somehow wound up with Gerard Butler instead.
2. Emmy Rossum, at least in this movie, cannot act. She also has no chemistry with EITHER of the two men she was supposed to be attracted to or in love with.
3. For some incomprehensible reason, they decided to alter the plot unnecessarily by moving the falling of the chandelier from the middle to the end. Granted, the real reason that the chandelier falls when it does in the play, to have a climactic end to the first act, is not as applicable. However, moving it serves no discernible purpose, since it’s not like there isn’t enough going on at the end to provide suitable dramatic material. The result is that the Phantom’s activities still seem pretty innocuous at the middle, whereas in the play he becomes much more threatening and thus the rest of the play actually makes sense. Also, they had to change the line in the song “Masquerade,” “to a prosperous year and the new chandelier,” which is kind of amusing, to “to a prosperous year and our friends that are here” which is less clever, too sickly-sweet, and just doesn’t sound quite right in the song.

As a better movie interpretation of “The Phantom of the Opera,” I would like to disagree with someone’s inclusion of “V for Vendetta” on this list. I saw it as the story of what would happen if the Phantom decided to overthrow a totalitarian government instead of writing music, and I loved it.

803

Robert L. Bell 06.05.08 at 10:16 pm

Never having seen the film in question, I can yet assert – with great confidence – that your understanding of depression does not rise even to the level expected of a yak dung smoking goat feltcher.

Good day, sir.

804

Brendan 06.05.08 at 10:17 pm

Gods and Generals has got to be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen!

805

Layne Petersen 06.05.08 at 10:24 pm

Nobody’s mentioned the most recent spate of Star Wars movies? Or maybe any Star Wars movie that is not Star Wars?

“The Empire Strikes Back” is one of the five or so best science fiction films ever made. Now, the other 4 after that one…

2001: A Space Odyssey, whilst perhaps not as absolutely awful as some others mentioned, is my all-time most overrated movie.

Speaking of sci-fi, I absolutely agree with this. Completely overrated. And yes, I “got” it.

Now, The Passion of the Christ was unnecessarily brutal. Also, horribly overwrought for a film that had no story and was just Mel Gibson proving to the world that he very well could make a theological snuff film in Aramaic thank you very much, so suck it all you Jews. Horrible. I still have not forgiven the friend who convinced me to go see it.

If not like how portrayed, then how do people think someone whipped and crucified until death would have been killed?

The worst movies are the disappointments, so I think these would belong on any list: Magnolia, There Will Be Blood

Not a PTAnderson fan, huh? Did Magnolia lose you at the frogs or before?

Waking Life. Pretty to look at, but people offer bullshit through the entire film. Like My Dinner With 100 Stoned Andres.

No doubt. I kept waiting for the stoned-college-student-in-Denny’s-smoking-section-at-4am crap to stop and the film to start. And I like Linklater’s more esoteric talky stuff.

Juno..one of the worst movies with a female idiot. Forrest Gump for chicks.

This statement makes no sense. The two characters are in no way related by action, attitude, or anything.

For me the top contender for most morally reprehensible film of the last twenty years has to be Saving Private Ryan, a film that actually got people killed. I left the cinema snarling at its simple minded bellicosity and horrified that it had been so generously reviewed. I am utterly convinced that the film and its attendant TV series really laid the ground culturally for the Bush wars and the general conviction that invading abroad was just a perfect way to emulate the “greatest generation”. It amazed me that it was more racist and less humane then propaganda films made during the second world war. A completely unironic paean to killing, mercilessness and the evil of the other. Amazing.

I am appalled by war. Totally and completely. The war we are engaged in was begun under false pretenses and is simply making the problem it’s supposed to be solving worse. But the statement you just made is overreaching. By a long shot. Seeing this film made me more disgusted by war than I was before. Pretty much the opposite of a propaganda film’s objective. The ground was laid culturally for our current war by the conflict at the beginning of the last decade and how “easy” it was for “our side.” Not by a film about World War II.

My personal list would include:
Very Bad Things
Morvern Callar
Natural Born Killers
Pearl Harbor (you could pretty much insert any Michael Bay film, really)
Planet of the Apes (Tim Burton)
Death to Smoochy
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (which I loved when I was 8 because if it had Beatles music it had to be good)
The Blair Witch Project

That’s all I got, I guess.

806

fadedreality 06.05.08 at 10:27 pm

I so love this inspired list of gloom and doom. But there are a couple that seem to have slipped through the cracks in my opinion.

Having grown up with a love of bad flicks there are a few in my heart that this thread has resurfaced.

1 – Dark Star : I love crappy sci-fi, but what to say about this? I wish I could surf into the atmosphere of a planet on a steel beam.

2- Serial Mom : One of the few movies in my life I have ever walked out on.

3- The Fast and the Furious II : the other movie I have walked out on, and I was there for free.

I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that have surfaced.

Where is that draino? I need to cleans my soul now.

807

Righteous Bubba 06.05.08 at 10:27 pm

find movies like Juno and Lost in Translation to be an utter disappointment and a waste of celluloid.

Disappointment implies strong expectations. To a certain extent a film not meeting your expectations of it is not the film’s fault.

808

drool 06.05.08 at 10:30 pm

I’ll raise both hands voting for The Fifth Element. This borders on so-dumb-it’s-funny, but I wasn’t laughing after paying to see it. I still loathe Chris Tucker because of that movie and thought that if I heard him say “Green” one more time, I’d wig out.

809

Kate 06.05.08 at 10:33 pm

I Love You, I Love You Not I can’t even describe how awful this movie was.

810

Steven Getz 06.05.08 at 10:41 pm

The intensely vapid “The Night Listener.”

Robin Williams develops a creepy relationship over the phone with a precocious teen who was abused by his parents. Robin begins to dislike the relationship when it is pointed out to him the voice doesn’t sound like a kids. It is only when he finds out the teen boy he was talking to might be a 30 something female does he get upset.

There is a scene where Sandra Oh and him fold laundry. Isn’t that the sign of a bad acting class?

The real victim of this movie is the viewer.

811

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 10:43 pm

c m r: Your schtick is transparent enough that I don’t have to see inside your head. Glad I touched a nerve!

812

Doctor Slack 06.05.08 at 10:44 pm

(Interestingly, I have a longer and much more polite comment than that which is “awaiting moderation,” seemingly at random. I wonder why.)

813

kate 06.05.08 at 10:47 pm

Dances with Wolves and Far and Away are the two most terrible movies I’ve ever seen. I was forced to watch both of them by a lazy high school history teacher and to this day, my old classmates and I still agree we’d all rather die than have to sit through that crap again.

I also tell some people to avoid watching Requiem for a Dream, not because it’s a bad movie, but because it makes you feel terrible. I saw it once, and I doubt I could ever watch it again.

814

Troels 06.05.08 at 10:56 pm

I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle

815

Mike 06.05.08 at 10:59 pm

Maid in Manhattan. Holy.Cow.What.A.Crock

816

Ed Fenstermacher 06.05.08 at 11:00 pm

Weed End, (Godard). French couple goes for weekend trip, get caught in traffic jam. Woman joins band of cannibles, man goes in stew pot.

817

Armin 06.05.08 at 11:13 pm

“Stargate”. One of the worst films ever made. Anything containing Kurt Russel. I also second “The Man With the Iron Mask”. Gruesome.

818

JC 06.05.08 at 11:13 pm

Just to start a fight – because I like starting fights, I guess – is this thread full of pompous moviegoers or what?

Really – as was said above, where IS Joe Bob Briggs when you need him?

So many people are listing what are basically 3rd rate action movies – from Cobra to Man in the Iron Mask – that yes, are not bad, but not AWFUL, POP MY EYES OUT WITH A SPOON.

Even something like Bully, or Kids. You’d have to say, not great filmmaking, but at the same time, really fascinating, can’t look away stuff. Certainly not AWFUL.

Any movie with Hugh Grant? Now people just aren’t trying – sure, the Grant schtick grows old, but – the worst movies ever?

Get a grip, people.

We can have better conversation on why a particular film is worse than another particular film – which really are what most people are volunteering here – but for the awful stuff, keep it awful.

Regarding what is worse, to 413 – dude, no way About Last Night is worse than Showgirls. Sure, it’s ALN is stilted, with a silly ending, but Showgirls? At least two degrees worse.

819

A. 06.05.08 at 11:16 pm

Did anyone else here see “Alpha Dog”? Seriously…

820

rick ben 06.05.08 at 11:18 pm

In over 400 posts no-one has mentioned ‘The Untouchables’?!? Watched it recently for the first time after hearing nothing but praise for it, absolutely laughable – terrible, like, holocaust-terrible dialogue, woeful acting all round (save maybe for De Niro [and at a push Garcia]), the most misplaced score in the history of film, the complete bi-polar opposite of ‘unpredictable’ – total gash, why is Brian De Palma such an acclaimed filmmaker???

Also worth a mention:

Blade II (shame on you, Guillermo Del Toro)
Cursed (Wes Craven werewolf-abortion)
Blair Witch 2
Virtuosity (and so began my hatred of Russell Crowe, which incidentally ended with American Gangster)
The Net
One Hour Photo (cancerous, I mean REALLY bad)
The last Pirates of the Caribbean (first; great, second; ok, third; fuck)
and of course everything in the recent spate of “spoof” movies; Date…, Epic…, Superhero…, Meet the Spartans, et al – seen about ten minutes of ‘Epic Movie’ when channel hopping: the funniest thing about it was that more than a dozen people sat around a table writing this diarrhoea and all agreeing that it was funny enough to let people pay to see it – I haven’t seen any part of any of them but I would stake my soul on them all being The Worst Thing You Will Ever See. Thereby if you like any part of any of them you deserve a horrible death.

Ok, I’m done

821

An Australian 06.05.08 at 11:24 pm

Independance Day

Don’t know where to start with how wrong this piece of American military propaganda is. Pure mythology!

822

A. 06.05.08 at 11:25 pm

Bill? Any Vin Diesel?
“Pitch Black” isn’t horrible.

823

HM 06.05.08 at 11:28 pm

Madame Bovary- Don’t get me started
Pieces of April- Maybe I’m to hard on this one but it could barely hold my interest
Taxi- Didn’t mind Queen Latifah, but the rest of that movie sucked
Batman and Robin- Do I really need to say anything?

And that one really weird French movie when that kid’s mother dies. Then all the kids get together to keep that one kid from going to an orphanage and bury his mother inside a grandfather’s clock. I can’t recall the name.

Oh and The Invasion. Granted I’ve only seen about half of that movie, in French, with no English subtitles. But even if I saw it in English I doubt it would make any more sense.

824

theo 06.05.08 at 11:34 pm

Amazing that people are mentioning Titanic, Juno, and Little Miss Sunshine, three movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. I supposed I’m just a bit too mainstream–one of my many faults when trying to judge a movie.
I’m going to throw a movie out there that I might be attacked for putting, but i saw “Brother Son, Sister Moon” recently in a class and I’m still having flashbacks of that day. Honestly, I don’t know what it is about that movie but I don’t think that anyone should see it unless they would like to be substantially creeped out in several ways. Either the director was trying to be overly artsy or I’m just being a complete and total ignoramous for not liking this movie. To avoid bringing back more bad memories I’m just going to stop now.

I’m also going to nominate the biggest stinker of the 20th century, in my opinion, which was “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” A towering embodiment of everything that upsets me about movies all crammed into a couple hours of tragically edited celluloid. An amazing book, jam packed with clever symbolism, three-dimensional characters, and relevant themes somehow got interpreted into film by making it complete and utter mysoginism. Um, excuse me, Coppola, did you remember Lucy and Mina kissing in the book? I must’ve missed that page.

825

Dsmith 06.05.08 at 11:35 pm

Big Fan of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series, but have to go along with Clive with his leaving the production of Sahara. Refuse to see the movie that pretends to be a Dirk Pitt affair. Better not make more trash with what’s his name “C” something or other.

826

horrorfreak889 06.05.08 at 11:36 pm

Batman Begins….dear god what an awful movie.

827

theo 06.05.08 at 11:37 pm

And any parody movie ie., Scary Movie, Date Movie, and Epic Movie (the only movie I have ever walked out on (and that list includes Fool’s Gold, by the way) which I was forced into going to see with some friends. I am seriously rethinking our friendship).

828

Actually 06.05.08 at 11:50 pm

To not like HOSAF is one thing, but to call it one of the worst movies you’ve ever seen is just stupid. Either you’ve only seen about 8 movies total in your life, or you just have awful taste. Personally I loved the movie, and the book in which it was based on. I thought Kingsley was excellent, as was the woman who played his wife and Jennifer Connoly. I thought the script was brilliant and the cinematography was amazing.

I said good day!

829

Steve K 06.06.08 at 12:01 am

Well, we clearly don’t all have the same tastes, but I defy anyone to claim they liked “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” (in 3D!), one of the most no-socially-redeeming-value atrocities ever committed to film. It made “Caligula” look like art.

830

Actually 06.06.08 at 12:02 am

Some movies to avoid watching are:

Juno, the Spiderman trilogy, Elektra, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3, any Eddie Murphy movie except Coming to America and Trading Places, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Savage Grace, Basic Instinct 2, Exorcist: The Beginning, the Star Wars prequels, Catwoman, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, the Saw series, Hostel 1 and 2, Cabin Fever, Cannibal Holocaust, Over Her Dead Body, Scary Movie 2, 3, and 4, Epic Movie, Date Movie, Meet the Spartans, Amityville Horror remake, Cry Wolf, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Fog remake, I Robot, Newsies, Grease 2, Van Helsing, Miss Congeniality 1 and 2, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Golden Compass, Gods and Generals, Gigli, The Wedding Planner, Bogeyman, Blues Brothers 2000, Honey, Men in Black 2, The Grinch, Cat in the Hat, Chuck and Larry, Lost In Space, Armageddon, Summer Catch, Hannibal Rising, Here On Earth, Scooby Doo, Wild Wild West, BAPS, From Justin to Kelly, Battlefield Earth, Driven, Planet of the Apes remake, Baby Geniuses, Dumb and Dumberer, King Kong Lives, Glitter, Rhinestone, Darkness Falls, Wing Commander, Its Pat, On the Line, XXX, The In Crowd, Loser, Bats, Space Jam, Kazaam, Jaws 3 and 4, Garden State, Resident Evil 1,2,3, Dungeons and Dragons, EXIT TO EDEN, Jason X, The Man Who Cried.
I could go on, but I’m bringing back bad memories…

831

shelby 06.06.08 at 12:12 am

Sweet November – absolutely.
I was on a flight from Europe and watched almost the entire plane (myself included) simultaneously remove their headphones after the first 10 minutes of this film.
When you can’t even keep the attention of a captive audience with 5 or 6 more hours to fly, you know you’ve made a BAAAAAD movie!
(This, of course, was before the days of personal TVs on every seat back)

832

Kat 06.06.08 at 12:14 am

Simon Birch is worst book to movie ever. Thank God that John Irving had enough clout to force a name change even if he couldn’t get it scrapped.

833

Anna 06.06.08 at 12:16 am

Oh, italicsfine, righteous bubba. Has it ever occured to you that nobody metioned B movies, pornography and/or Ed Wood classics is because they’re SO bad, nobody wants to type them the movies titles? Or the fact that nobody has yet seen any of those types of movies?

834

Anna 06.06.08 at 12:17 am

Sorry about above post. Typing mistake.

835

TheDude 06.06.08 at 12:18 am

I know I will probably get shitted on for this,but as far as movie’s too avoid,I am going to go with there will be blood. I know alot of people liked this,this was so dissapointing and feel so far short of my expectations. As well as something that felt very cliche and predictable. Like something I had already seen done before and far better.

836

peter ramus 06.06.08 at 12:40 am

But if this list is about movies you should die before you see, it shouldn’t have any David Lynch movies on it.

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!1!!!ELEVEN!!!!

837

ammaq 06.06.08 at 12:46 am

My list: The english patient, blade, anything with seagal (except for under siege) and van damme and might as well include stallone because nothing good with these cats come to mind.
oh and blade almost got me killed at crowded base theater. I thought it was a trailer and laugh thru the first few minutes of it and laughed even harder when I realised it was serious. My husband dragged me out there when he figured which way the wind was blowing.

838

Randy Paul 06.06.08 at 12:57 am

You’re a bunch of ignoranuses when it comes to truly bad taste. 717 opinions and no mention of B movies, pornography, or Ed Wood clasics?

Ahem.

839

luis federico 06.06.08 at 1:09 am

1. The Da Vinci Code. Crap of the century, both: the book and the movie.

2. Gigli. Preposterous and horrible.

3. Glitter

4. Catwoman

5. Batman & Robin

6. Juno

7. The Island of Doctor Moreau

8. Scooby Doo 2

9. Rocky IV

10. U-Turn

11. Cinderella II: Dreams Come True

12. Paycheck

13. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throtle

14. The Terminal

15. Armaggedon

16. White Noise

17. In Good Company

18. The Libertine

19. Rent

20. The Lake House

21. Something New

22. Irresistible

23. Awake (2007)

24. The Big White (2005) Robin Williams

25. Sahara

26. White Hogs

27. I Know Who Killed Me

28. Neverwas

29. Copying Beethoven

30. American Beauty.

840

Stephen 06.06.08 at 1:24 am

Vanilla Sky is a good choice, I still remember doing a slow burn when Noah Taylor shows up towards the end to explain the movie to Tom Cruise, and by extension the rest of us. Certainly outdid the end of Psycho in that regard.

But very few films mentioned so far–except maybe Sgt. Pepper and Showgirls–can summon the kind of pain inflicted by an obscure little number called Shadowboxer, in which Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. play a mother and stepson team of trained assassins who double cross their crimelord boss (Stephen Dorff, an actor who seems to be morphing into Mickey Rourke) by refusing to kill his pregnant wife.

The ultimate nadir of this cinematic slushpile is the scene where Helen Mirren is dying of cancer and is fornicated into the next world by her stepson. Has to be seen to be believed.

Oh, and you also get to watch Dorff sodomize one of his enemies to death with a pool cue.

By comparison, most of the other films cited here are just dull or dopey.

841

lonestarr357 06.06.08 at 1:28 am

Welcome to the Dollhouse – Three words: emotional torture porn.

And to the person who said Kiss Kiss Bang Bang…please kill yourself.

842

corey 06.06.08 at 1:41 am

first, thank you #266 for Zardos

second, they made a Jaws 4?!??!?!?!

now, i’d like to nominate “Nothing but trouble”, aptly titled and so sad john candy in drag.17 years now and i cant get it out of my nightmares.

and a special place in my heart for the Police Academy sequel they made just to call the bluff on the movie reviewer who threatened to retire if they made another one.

they did, and he didnt. tsk tsk

843

Parris 06.06.08 at 1:42 am

Signs to begin with is one of the best movies ever made in my opinion and M. Night Shyamalan is easily one of the best film makers of late. The most recent film called crash was a work of art, how dare you movie goers claim it to be bad. A few of the worst movies I’ve ever seen are Jumper, Hitman, and Ghost Rider. Most movies have something worth seeing in them, and some don’t, but this list is a bad idea to begin with.

844

Anna 06.06.08 at 1:55 am

Man, you people are REALLY picky when it comes to movies. I mean, you guys basically hate all the classics(and semi-classics). My suggestion is that you watch the film that you considered the worst ever again, and maybe it won’t be as bad(I guess).

845

Christopher Gallo 06.06.08 at 1:56 am

At #404– you have absolutely awful taste in film. The fact that anyone allows you to continue watching films is beyond me. THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE, AND HER LOVER is (in my personal opinion) visually the most beautiful and stunning film I’ve ever seen. And BARTON FINK is yet another genius film you seem to dislike. The ending to that film is wonderful.

It would appear you dislike black comedies in general.

846

C M R 06.06.08 at 2:07 am

“c m r: Your schtick is transparent enough that I don’t have to see inside your head. Glad I touched a nerve!”

I can’t beat this. Good day, sir.

847

sas 06.06.08 at 2:18 am

I have seen my share of bad movies, but certain movies are so bad that I actually am pissed that I wasted two hours of my life on it. I’m sure I will get crap for this but “Seven” is one of those. I love Fincher but this movie was retched. Yes, good acting, good directing and the story was interesting but I couldn’t get past how unbelievably disgusting it was. I saw it over 10 years ago and I still get haunting images of it. Same goes for “Requiem of A Dream.” It’s not deep, it’s just plain god-awful.

You can add “2001” to that. After watching that movie my only thought was, “thank god Kubrick is dead because I would have killed him for stealing 3 hours of my life.”

To whomever added “West Side Story”, thank you! I love musicals but this one was awful.

Same goes for “The English Patient”, “Game 6 (not even Robert Downey Jr could save this for me)”, “Magnolia”, and my absolute worst movie ever, “Crash.” Let’s throw every racial stereotype together in one movie and then call it groundbreaking! How this won Best Picture and Best Screenplay when the dialogue was dreadful is beyond me.

848

Caitlin 06.06.08 at 2:42 am

Ugh, I forgot about The Benchwarmers. That was horrendous on every level.

I, for one, loved Juno and RENT, though.

849

wbbuff 06.06.08 at 3:01 am

No one has mentioned Idiocracy of Adaptation.

Idiocracy had a good concept (what happens in 5000 years when a frozen mediocre Army guy and a hooker wake up and they are the smartest people in the world due to all the stupid people breeding), but basically ended up going straight to DVD (I think it actually only was on abou 40 screens). It was god awful. I know it was by the same guy who did Office Space, but at least that movie everyone could relate to. I just can’t relate to characters who don’t realize they are in a dust bowl because they are watering their crops with a power drink and name their kids after products.

Adaptation was awful too. I’m still unsure of what exactly was happening in that movie. I only saw it because of the Oscar buzz and I didn’t understand what was so great about it.

Also, anything by Stanley Kubrick belongs on this list. I have seen about 5 of his movies and they are long-winded and boring. I stopped watching Full Metal Jacket after boot camp. It was that awful.

850

mendez 06.06.08 at 3:11 am

every film on this list is an epic that i would watch until the aquarius age compared to 1. Flight of the living dead. &
2. Flood.

851

Adnan 06.06.08 at 3:12 am

Movies that don’t belong on the list.

Shawshank Redemption (whoever suggested this is an idiot)
Saving Private Ryan
Usual Suspects
Starship Troopers
300
Dogma
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Chasing Amy
Death to Smoochy
All the “dumb” comedies that have cult following (Dumb and Dumber, SuperTroopers, Superbad, Ferris Bueler etc)

Here is some real crap for you

Summer Blockbusters
– Superman 3 (no need to explain)
– Spiderman 3 (ditto)
– Indiana Jones 2 & 4 (Raiders and Crusade are classics, these are just crap)
– Star Wars 1, 2, 3 (do I need to explain first 3? And 6 should maybe on the list as well, but at least it is watchable)
– Pirates of the Carribean 2, 3 (20 minute sword fight atop of a moving wheel through a forest. ‘Nuff said)
– LotR 2 and 3 (so the first movie covers almost half of the trilogy so that these two movies could spend 2 hours each on battle scenes? And what is up with 17 endings, all in slo-mo at the end of 3?)
– Van Helsing
– Matrix 2 and 3 (4+ hours of pointless CGI orgy)
– Batman 3 and 4 (should never be watched unless you are playing a drinking game where you take a shot each time camera zooms on batmans nipples or sack)
– Anything from M Night after Unbreakable (well I learned my lesson after Village so can’t speak for Lady in the Water).

And just plain bad movies
UltraViolet (soooooo bad)
Catwoman
Gigli
Highlander 2 and 4
Eyes Wide Shut
Crash (like someone said, 3rd graders view of racism)
Vanilla Sky
Mulholland Drive (artsy Lynch lovers can hate me all you want but, just as Vanilla Sky, movie is basically 90 minutes of total randomness with last 10 minutes being the actual plot)

852

Doctor Slack 06.06.08 at 3:13 am

c m r at 2:07: Good day, sir.

Spoken like a gentleman, sir. Now, I would like to buy a bee license.

theo at 11:34: I supposed I’m just a bit too mainstream—one of my many faults when trying to judge a movie.

It’s hardly a fault in itself to think a movie is good when other people also think it’s good. Quite outside of the whole backlash phenomenon — which apparently now has one poster seriously trying to claim Juno is worse than The Island of Dr. Moreau, U-Turn and Armageddon — I think we also have a fair number of people making considerable efforts to advertise their discernment by calling down movies they know to be widely admired by critics and audiences. (Latest entries on the trying-too-hard list: the nominators of Batman Begins, Gross Pointe Blank, and The Untouchables — and on the last one, extra points for the pretended incredulity that nobody thought of putting this on a worst-ever movies list before!)

Ramone at 9:39 really has the pulse of a great deal of the thread, I’m afraid.

853

KCurmudgeon 06.06.08 at 3:24 am

Has nobody mentioned “The Passion of the Christ”
As one critic put it:
“a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie — The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre — that thinks it’s an act of faith”.
Yet it must have pulled in close to $1 billion for a $25 million film. How is this possible? Over-violent religious porn.

I only managed to last through half of “King Arthur”

854

Ralph 06.06.08 at 3:33 am

Babel and The Fountain.
Both of these are supposed to explore some kind of emotional and philosophical perspective on life. They both made me want to open my veins and end the pain. The pain caused by these movies!!!

Save yourselves some pain. Avoid them at all cost.

855

wbbuff 06.06.08 at 3:34 am

Schindler’s List – it’s like real sad and stuff

Seriously? 675 you’re seriously saying this is a bad movie because it’s real sad and stuff?! That is the most idiotic comment I’ve heard thus far. This is a movie about true accounts from the holocaust. Was it supposed to be happy? This was a very well shot film with great casting and a sense of something very real (the documentary style of it being shot in black and white). I cannot let anyone get away with saying this movie shouldn’t be seen because it is ‘sad and stuff’.

856

extreme81 06.06.08 at 3:51 am

Marie Antionette was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. While many people defend it, after the second or third silent dinner I was fast asleep. It really had no point except to bore the hell out of everyone who saw it.

Now I will defend Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it may be campy in spots but it really scared me back in my younger days so it holds a special place in my heart. You can’t tell me Gary Oldman doesn’t give you chills when he licks Harker’s bloody shaver.

857

StoneSourRox 06.06.08 at 3:58 am

Sorry if someone else mentioned it and I did not see it but how about that God Awful piece of trash Disney put out entitled PEARL HARBOR.

858

Lyndz 06.06.08 at 3:58 am

so while reading this entire thread, I have to say that I don’t think there is 101 movies listed here, because everyone keeps repeating them. Let’s get some originality here.
The worst movie ever on my list would be ‘O’. The attempt to modernize Shakespeare’s Othello. I rented it for a dollar, and I would like my money back. The only time I’ve seen Josh Harnett do worse was in ‘Blow Dry’ in which he has the worst fake accent ever.
Coming in at a close second, Guy Maddin’s ‘The Saddest Music in the World’. For anyone who isn’t Canadian, and has never heard of this film, consider yourself lucky. Maddin calls it experimental cinema, but how can it be experimental when he’d already made several films in the same style? If I hadn’t been forced to watch and then write an essay on this film for a class, I would have never let the dvd near the dvd player.

859

mike c 06.06.08 at 4:00 am

bad boys 2

860

Quatermass 06.06.08 at 4:07 am

Needless to say there are a lot of movies I liked mentioned in the comments, like O Lucky Man!,The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, and Suspiria, but no two people ever agree completely so I won’t fight it out.

For what it’s worth, though, here are the movies that were bad enough to make me angry:

The Last Boy Scout — I think I actually broke something after watching it.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues — This cancelled my subscription to Gus Van Sant.
300 — My favorite line? After some guy gets his arm chopped off, he says, “Ah! My arm!”
Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring — Oh, I know, everybody loves these, but about the time poor old Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee start hopping around like ninjas fighting each other, I thought, “I’ve been here way too long.” Saw the second one because someone else paid the ticket. When the third one came out, I said to myself, life’s too short to go around watching movies about freaking hobbits.
John Carpenter’s Vampires — A once-talented filmmaker gone totally to pot. Man did I want the living ones to die.
Joe Dirt — At one point I laughed because I was thinking of something else. Then the darkness closed in again.
Batman and Robin — Actually did walk out. It was a sneak preview following Contact, so you can imagine my joy that evening…
Not Another Teen Movie — The spoof genre is dead. Please, let it be so! Please, Lord!
The Sound of Music — Not for nothing did Christopher Plummer call it “The Sound of Mucous.” Never again.

861

riz 06.06.08 at 4:10 am

THE FOG!!!! (2005)

862

shari 06.06.08 at 4:23 am

Boat Trip

Pooty Tang (my daughters choice)

863

Dan Gosse 06.06.08 at 4:40 am

Eastern Promises

Cronenberg has been neutured.

The Black Dahlia

De Palma is creatively dead.

The Fellowship of the Ring

Science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres. But this movie was such a slog I haven’t (and won’t) bother to see the other two.

864

sarrah 06.06.08 at 4:53 am

Gigli

How To Deal

865

Noi 06.06.08 at 5:00 am

The worst movie is watched fairly recently was Red Eye. It started out fine but became utterly insanely stupid after the girl found out that the Cillian Murphy character was up to no good.

866

wingedcapulet 06.06.08 at 5:03 am

I am a fan of the movies, I thoroughly enjoy movies, but I tend to stay away from films that I don’t think that I will enjoy.

That being said my vote would have to go to the Adam Sandler film

Going Overboard

It is one of the only movies that I have sat down with the intention of watching, and I could not bear to do so.

867

Ben Alpers 06.06.08 at 5:21 am

Close the tag?

868

Lizzie 06.06.08 at 5:22 am

I knew enough to stay away from Vanilla Sky for 2 reasons: Tom Cruise and I’d seen the original that made no sense.

My votes- Spawn (that’s how I rate bad movies…bad or Spawn-bad?)

Boogeyman- So bad I tried to take a nap

869

Rem 06.06.08 at 5:28 am

Prom Night and The Mist

H-o-r-r-i-b-l-e.

870

sandra 06.06.08 at 5:29 am

Two words:

Napoleon Dynamite.

I cannot comprehend my anger towards this crap that i refuse to call a ‘film’

871

Doctor Slack 06.06.08 at 5:33 am

Close the tag?

872

Doctor Slack 06.06.08 at 5:34 am

No such luck.

873

jackson 06.06.08 at 5:34 am

“Mr. Nanny” with Hulk Hogan.

“Stealth” and just about anything else Rob Cohen has directed.

“National Lampoon’s (Fill in the Blank)” — exceptions: Animal House, the first three Vacation movies

Everything Michael Bay has ever made.

MOVIES THAT YOU NEED TO QUIT SIPPING THE HATERADE ON:

“Judge Dredd” — flying motorcycles, c’mon
“After Hours”
“Requiem for a Dream”
“Freddy 4” — come on, “Freddy 5” sucks WAY MORE BALLS. Freddy raps…
“Hulk” — there was NOTHING WRONG with this film

874

Lone_wolf 06.06.08 at 5:41 am

I agree with Kent on 8mm. I’m not a fan of movie censorship but it’s the only movie I’ve ever seen that I actually felt should never have been made, let alone watched. I felt dirty after watching it.

875

stealthisbook 06.06.08 at 5:54 am

I’ve finally given up on learning to love Sofia Coppola’s work. Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation were both very pretty and I was told were quite important movies, but I wasn’t excited. Then, when forced to rewatch Lost in Translation, all I could do was count under my breath the minutes devoted to expensive panoramic shots declaring “We shot this on location damn it!” in order to keep myself awake.

876

donna 06.06.08 at 5:58 am

Matrix 2 and 3 – The first one was so great, I loved it. But the followup was painful and awful and came close to making the first one bad too.

877

MikeO 06.06.08 at 6:28 am

There have been a lot of movies mentioned which I would endorse, but one I haven’t seen mentioned is ‘Swordfish’, the most reprehensible piece of crap I’ve ever seen. You will definitely want to shower after seeing it.

I would also throw my hat in for ‘Dogma’ — I have never seen a more tedious movie. On the other hand, it’s hilarious to hear the Kevin Smith fanboys spout about how ‘deep’ it is. Smith must have the most moronic hardcore fans in existence.

878

Dissolved 06.06.08 at 6:32 am

Double Team with Jean-Claude Van Damme, I actually think my brain became slightly stupider after watching it.

Semi-Pro, an hour and a half of un-funny.

Alpha Dog, how to take an interesting story and sap everything decent out of it.

The good shepherd, again…how to take an interesting story and rinse the life out of it, also it was about 14 years long….So plodding.

Hostel 2, dude, seriously…..Enough….

Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3. An exercise in how to make zombies uncool.

Freejack, my eyes still hurt!

Blade 3, why oh why did you have to make that?

Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie, all those other types of movie….. I hate you directors, I hate you with a passion, stop making these excruciatingly dire things….

879

Dissolved 06.06.08 at 6:47 am

Sample People, I kept on wishing for a power cut, a fire, a memory wipe….

3000 Miles to Graceland, oh robbers dressed as Elvis. Great Idea, pat yourselves on the back.

The lake house, Owwwwwwww! Must stop stabbing myself.

880

Lone_Wolf 06.06.08 at 7:10 am

It’s scary that about a dozen of the movies people have listed are ones I have in my collection but haven’t had time to watch yet. [Note to self: no more movies from the $5.00 “bargain” bin].
Movies so bad you need to watch them to recalibrate ‘awful’: Gymkata, Star Crash.
Movies I really hated (break the ‘awful’ scale): Eraserhead, Black Moon, Naked Lunch, Susperia, Lair of the White Worm?, The Room.
I like a movie that can suprise me but these movies were all too bizarre for words. I’ve heard they all had deep symbolism of some sort; Eraserhead, for example I’m told represented the Holocaust. OK, well now I fully understand the horror of the Holocaust if the Nazis made the prisoners watch Eraserhead.
Hated: Alien III & IV, Superman III & IV, any Highlander beyond the original, and new Star Wars sequels, (paid to see the first one, borrowed DVD of the second one, still haven’t dared watch the last one). Perhaps there should be a special catagory for bad sequels?
“Demons” is the only movie I can remember walking out of, unfortunately years later a lady friend rented it and insisted I watch it with her, (it was even worse than I anticipated). I almost walked out of the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” mainly because of a cringe-worthy scene involving a big meathook. “Poltergeist” was a huge disappointment. It didn’t scare me but I remember about a dozen times during the movie saying aloud in the theatre, “Gross”. I also never understood all the fuss about “ET”.
But I did like Starship Troopers, Juno, Dances With Wolves, Pulp Fiction. Yes, Leaving Las Vegas was depressing but its one of the few movies I thought Cage earned his paycheck. I have mixed emotions about Natural Born Killers. I saw flashes of genius in it but they were buried in the trash of other 97% of the movie.
I can suspend disbelief and enjoy movies that reek of bad science if I find them entertaining, so I enjoyed Independence Day, MIB, Face/Off, and Twister for what they were. I couldn’t be that charitable with Volcano though – people were leaping over streams of molten rock as if it was ice water! And the sickly after school special style message at the end. Puke.
And now I’ll probably invalidate everything I’ve said so far when I say I kinda liked Waterworld (Hey, I live in Alaska and they used the Exxon Valdez! – hilarious), but I’m the only person I know who found Battlefield Earth watchable. Probably helps that I never read the book.
– Haven’t seen Perfume but I loved the book – its the only book I’ve read in a single sitting, but I can imagine why the movie could be bad. The book is one of those stories that would be nearly impossible to translate to the screen.
Oh yeah, I watched about 10 minutes of Glitter and returned the DVD to my sister.

881

Paul Ryan 06.06.08 at 7:15 am

My nomination: The Secret of the Grain. 145 increasingly torturous minutes of a Moroccan fisherman’s doomed attempt to launch a floating couscous restaurant. Won stacks of awards in France, proabably because it is all about the futility of existence, or some nhilistic crap. Slow, ludicriously overlong, and hammers home every single point miles past the point of redundancy.

And the lingering shaky-cam shots of mouths full of mullet couscous are really gross. It’s glacier-paced bores like this that give arthouse movies a bad name. Avoid!

882

Danny Steel 06.06.08 at 7:33 am

Films that should be buried and never dug up:

1. I Know Who Killed Me – A “Thriller” “Starring” Lindsay Lohan

2. House Of The Dead – Absolute rubbish

3. Moulin Rouge – How Baz Luhrmann ever got to direct is beyond me

4. Feast – A horror movie with no scares

5. House Of Wax – Who puts Paris Hilton in a movie..seriously!

As for Suspiria, it should never have even been mentioned on this list as it is a classic Horror film and Dario Argento is a legend.

883

Valuethinker 06.06.08 at 7:56 am

749

Jake. 13 Days is actually pretty good history, most of the dialogue came straight off the Kennedy White House tapes. Yes the Kevin Costner character is ridiculous, and yes the movie is too much like ‘No Way Out’ (down to the same actors). But it’s a fantastic film for teaching about the Cuban Missile Crisis. I would use it in a course about Cold War history, or about leadership.

As to Blade Runner. It is a stylistic tour-de-force, a pivotal movie of its time. What is perhaps unclear is its date (1980) and how influential it has been on the style and content of movies since.

The irony of modern Shanghai is that it looks like Blade Runner. So much so that a critic commented that Blade Runner was based on modern Shanghai. Oops. In 1980 Shanghai didn’t have skyscrapers. Life imitates art.

Yes it is an occasionally completely inept remake of a film noir. Yes it has Harrison Ford and Sean Young as ‘acting’. Yes it deviates too much from the original Philip K Dick script. But if Blade Runner had not been an artistic success, would ‘A Scanner Darkly’ (let alone The Matrix) ever have been made?

And yet the visual effects, and the themes raised, are stunning. Ridley Scott has really never managed anything like it since.

I am talking particularly ‘The Director’s Cut’ (the first one) which strips out the add-ons that the studio mandated, and leaves us with one of the best endings in cinema.

726 Brian pendell

ST the movie is a satire of Heinlein. The society Heinlein depicted couldn’t exist and Heinlein eludes over the problems of same. To be fair to RAH, he would never have imagined the ‘perfect’ society to be the 1950s America of racial segregation and (legally enforced) puritan sexuality.

fluffy T

There are dozens of war movies better than ‘Saving Private Ryan’– the last 20 years hasn’t been great for war movies (Clint Eastwood excepted, and some superb foreign cinema) but Private Ryan was an exemplar of what is lousy about Hollywood war films.

Although the cinematography of the first 10 minutes is brilliant, the rest of the movie is an ever descending spiral of war cliches (a hint: a P51 Mustang cannot kill a Tiger tank, and the Germans didn’t have Tiger tanks in Normandy on D Day, in any numbers– but we have deus ex machina where yes, the P51s come along and kill the German tanks just as the Germans are about to take the bridge, but our hero dies anyways. Oh and then we have that scene in the graveyard. Ya know what?, real veterans don’t say things like that amongst the rows of their fallen comrades). You are left with images which are very powerful, but a plot and characterisation which is beyond cliched.

Watch ‘Cross of Iron’ or ‘In Which we Serve’ or ‘The Cruel Sea’ or ‘Soldiers of the Night’ or even ‘Platoon’ for war movies with bite. Let alone ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’. Even that German one (‘Stalingrad’) was better (the moment in the battle in the factory where the German soldier leaps on an ore skip to run into the Russian lines and screams ‘at least now I’ll get my Iron Cross’).

884

John McCauley 06.06.08 at 9:23 am

WOW….after reading over this list I can’t believe no one put “SPEED RACER” on this list. I took my 5 year old to see it and even he thought it was bad.

885

Valuethinker 06.06.08 at 9:58 am

726

That’s ‘elides’ not ‘eludes’. Mui bad.

Verhoeven ‘fills in the colours’ on the picture RAH painted. What you get is a militaristic dictatorship which stokes up war fever.

RAH is also pretty clear about how his ST society emerged from the flawed society of postwar America: views on adolescent hoodlums, capital punishment etc. He doesn’t mention Civil Rights of course, (remember the US Army was segregated until the end of the Korean War).

886

bryan 06.06.08 at 10:43 am

887

bryan 06.06.08 at 10:43 am

Just checking if the b element has been closed.

888

Diana 06.06.08 at 11:26 am

I got another one to add and I noticed that it hasn’t been mentioned before:

Highlander – The Source!

What a crappy crappy crappy movie this is. I actually packed up my DVD and sent it back to the producers.

I will never understand why they greenlit such a movie. Why they messed up the Highlander legend on purpose and why Adrian Paul, Peter Wingfield and Jim Byrnes appeared in it. There must have been a desperate need of money.

Shoot the writer and the producers and then get someone good to make the next Highlander movie.

If I didn’t know better, I would say Uwe was involved in this one.

889

mollymooly 06.06.08 at 11:55 am

Concur on the crapness of “House of Sand and Fog”. I thought it was aiming for Shakespearian Tragedy and missed.

890

Adam 06.06.08 at 12:21 pm

Thanks to whoever nominated “The Good Shepherd.” That was a lost period in my life. Oddly, I’d forgotten almost all of it even though I saw it only a couple of years ago and it lasted about as long as third grade.

If you haven’t seen this movie, try to die before it gets anywhere near you. In the time it takes for your life to be made worse by watching it, you could go a long way to getting a degree and a better job.

An absolute stinker.

891

NiaMassage 06.06.08 at 12:45 pm

I don’t know if you’ve mentioned this; my eyeballs have glazed over!

Dream a Little Dream was the worst teenage movie I’ve ever seen. There are tons of movies I have seen as a teenager. This is the only one that I am STILL asking for my money back.

892

Doctor Slack 06.06.08 at 1:57 pm

What made The Good Shepherd a stinker, specifically? I remember it being a reasonably competent but rather slow and unexceptional drama.

893

Doctor Slack 06.06.08 at 1:58 pm

Seriously? 675 you’re seriously saying this is a bad movie because it’s real sad and stuff?!

He’s not being serious. He’s mocking much of the content of the thread, and rightly so.

894

Geoff 06.06.08 at 2:01 pm

I wonder why many people here cite “American Beauty” – maybe it hits a little too close to home?

Several have mentioned “Failure to Launch.” But isn’t it redeemed by the scene in which Zooey Deschanel goes into a sporting goods store to buy a gun to kill the annoying mockingbird outside her window, and the clerk is horrified, saying, “Didn’t you read “To Kill a Mockingbird”?” and she replies, “Oh, there’s a book on it?”

Also, if the filmmakers involved with “You’ve Got Mail” are reading this, I’d like to amend my comment #679 in which I said it was a bad movie that I keep watching. It’s not a bad movie. It’s funny, clever, with good characters and pacing.

Here is my list of films to absolutely avoid at all costs:

Citizen Kane
The Godfather
Casablanca
Raging Bull
Singin’ in the Rain
Gone with the Wind
Lawrence of Arabia
Schindler’s List
Vertigo
The Wizard of Oz

895

CK Dexter 06.06.08 at 2:37 pm

“I took you to be defending a charlatan like this doctor slack fellow who tries to make the Worse film seem like the Better film”

Wow, Dr Slack’s been Socratized! That’s good company to keep.

“Then, when forced to rewatch Lost in Translation, all I could do was count under my breath the minutes devoted to expensive panoramic shots declaring ‘We shot this on location damn it!'”

I am growing bored of those who back up accusations of pretentiousness with claims about the interior monologues or secrete intentions of the filmmakers, usually claims that amount to projecting the accuser’s own defensiveness onto the screen. Did it occur to you that the camera might have lingered on these shots, not to prove anything to your precious little ego, but cause, gosh, I don’t know, artists have a weird liking for beautiful stuff and often linger over it? I’d love to go the grand canyon with these cretins: “OK, we’ve seen it, let’s go already!” “Damn those people standing around trying to prove to me they’re at the grand canyon!”

896

coco 06.06.08 at 2:59 pm

The only movies I ever walked out of were “Magnolia” and “Le Bassin de John Wayne” or “The Hips/Pelvis of John Wayne” by Joao Cesar Monteiro, Portuguese director. The opening shot filmed a room above a theater or backstage and nothing happened. The camera didn’t move, there was no in-frame action. No people. Nothing. For about half an hour. I’m not kidding.

Sad thing is, that’s not even when I walked out. I actually figured it couldn’t get worse, what the hell.

897

VoldemortWearsPrada 06.06.08 at 3:11 pm

Anyone remember a piece of shit Tarantino clone from a few years back called Feeling Minnesota?

No?

Cameron Diaz’s incredibly annoying character goes missing, presumed dead, about halfway through. When she returns (surprise surprise), I was not the only audience member to groan `Oh no – not you again!’

Put it this way – Courtney Love was the best thing in it.

Others I have considered walking out of:

The Big Hit (more quasi Tarantino garbage)
Duplex (an inflight movie so walking out was not an option)
Boogie Nights

898

antero ramsay 06.06.08 at 3:39 pm

I found this page by accident and of course due to my interest in the art of motion picture, decided to read a bit. I was quite surprised to see some really good and mediocre movies listed here. I thought the idea was to name the worst movies ever made?

Anyway, back in 1972 I selected a movie to take a few friends to see (as was the custom those days to go and view a new movie with a group of close friends as a way to pass time in the weekend). A few catastrophe films had already been made and this one starred a classic movie star Ray Milland and supporting cast including Sam Elliot, so I did not suspect anything was amiss even if the name was suggestive.

My friends have not forgiven me to this day and many years after as we went to movies (which I never again got to pick) they reminded me of my poor choice that one weekend, saying after 2 hours in a theater, that “at least it wasn’t as bad as the one you picked once, namely Frogs which was the worst movie ever made! I am calling “Frogs” the winner of this list.

899

Th3M3ssiah 06.06.08 at 4:07 pm

859 – stonesour; Thank you for epitomizing 99.9% of the people on this list. Calling a movie YOU’VE NEVER EVEN SEEN the worst movie ever.

875 – jackson; although the ending of the movie lacked, I think HULK was a “this movie didnt meet the hype/expectation” so Id have to agree that it doesnt belong on this list

900

Adam 06.06.08 at 4:14 pm

doctor-slack asks:

“What made The Good Shepherd a stinker, specifically? I remember it being a reasonably competent but rather slow and unexceptional drama.”

As I’ve already said, I barely remember it even though I saw it less than two years ago and a couple in the row behind me raised a child while it was happening. That makes it a stinker. Plus, it was a steaming bowl of shit.

Well-known actor gets other well-known actors to sit in his ego vehicle. So none of the unknown suits has the temerity to say: “Bob? Maybe you should put a lid on this now. Okay? You’re causing actual catatonia. This movie, Bob? It hurts. It just hurts.”

Gruesomely bad. Never invest the time it takes to be this bored. Compared to “the Good Shepherd,” “You’ve Got Mail” is a marvel of modern cinema.

901

bob 06.06.08 at 4:56 pm

I’ve seen Highlander II mentioned a few times. I haven’t watched it, but it surely can’t be worse than Highlander: Endgame. The most compellingly awful film I have ever seen.

Perhaps the worst comedy I’ve encountered is My Boss’s Daughter, featuring Ashton Kutcher. Not just completely without laughs, but also the most disjointed, lazy thing I’ve ever seen.

902

Mike Poole 06.06.08 at 5:42 pm

I have a tie – Led Zepplin’s truly horrible The Song Remains the Same, and the over-hyped, pointless Blair Witch Project. I also have a deep antipathy for the person who nominated the Star Wars films. Shame on you! Okay, so now you can go back and judge the merit of my first comment . . .

903

CM 06.06.08 at 5:52 pm

Comment number 900. Woo hoo.

Two critically acclaimed movies from 2008: Killers of Sheep and Bamako.

904

CM 06.06.08 at 5:55 pm

Correction: That should be Killer of Sheep and , for the record, it was re-released in 2008 but made in 1977.

905

C M R 06.06.08 at 6:23 pm

“Disappointment implies strong expectations. To a certain extent a film not meeting your expectations of it is not the film’s fault.”

If a film is extremely well received by critics and audiences, and one views it and finds it to be merely adequate (or worse), it is all the more imperative for one to recommend that others avoid it, since it is being so strongly hyped and doesn’t actually seem to warrant it.

I do want to address some of what is floating around in this thread in a more serious manner than I have previously. I did not originally claim Juno or Lost in Translation or Broken Flowers (or any other of the dozen “indie” movies that I’ve seen the last several years) as being my own personal betes noire or “movies to avoid before dying.” My rejection of those films was sparked by the suggestion (of slack and others) that people who find these films to be deeply unsatisfying are necessarily disingenous.

I will admit to finding the works of Wes Anderson amusing. I will admit that I did sit all the way through Little Miss Sunshine when I could have gotten up and left the theater if it was really that bad. I will even admit to liking Sofia Coppola’s first movie and finding Lost in Translation beautiful and a bit of a chuckle (albeit also kind of dry, and, although I know it’s sort of the point, still unsettling in its treatment of the Japanese).

But at the end of the day– and I hope that someone else in the world feels this way– I expect MUCH MORE from works claimed by multiple respectable parties to be “the best film of the year” and with Tomatometer rankings of over 95-97%.

And since these are what we’re seeing held up by critics as the pinnacle of cinematic achievement in America over the past few years, I guess expect much more from contemporary film in general. I find it hard not to want to come down hard on film critics who seem to have become so inured to Michael Bay movies that they go overboard praising the first movie with even just the pretense of human drama, wit, or artistic ambition.

Peter Greenaway has said that he thinks the promise of film to become the great medium of the 20th century was, for the most part, unrealized. I can’t help but agree when I compare contemporary “indie” fare to the great noirs like Out of the Past, or truly magical and frightening films like Suspiria, bizarrely profound and moving films like the work of Herzog, or even the relentlessly stuctural and formalist works of Greenaway.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I find myself wishing for more unrestrained celebration of sublime, uncompromising, mysterious works of art like Inland Empire (unless you don’t like Lynch), and much fewer overblown accolades to be bestowed upon cute “indie”-style movies like Little Miss Sunshine.

What all this means is that I’m willing to give even the most fashionable Juno-haters the benefit of the doubt and hope that maybe, like me, they’re sick of all the ‘cute,’ and want a few more truly great films to be vaunted as the “best of the year.”

Maybe it’s just me, though.

906

s.w.a.c. 06.06.08 at 6:39 pm

Manos…the Hands of Fate.

Not to be watched without a pair of robot puppets and a goofy space janitor.

907

Righteous Bubba 06.06.08 at 6:40 pm

If a film is extremely well received by critics and audiences, and one views it and finds it to be merely adequate (or worse), it is all the more imperative for one to recommend that others avoid it, since it is being so strongly hyped and doesn’t actually seem to warrant it.

I like movies and all but “more imperative” sounds like a call to don a sandwich-board and pester people. If a film is “extremely well received by critics and audiences” the chances are that people should be encouraged to see it because they will enjoy it.

908

C M R 06.06.08 at 6:57 pm

“I like movies and all but “more imperative” sounds like a call to don a sandwich-board and pester people. If a film is “extremely well received by critics and audiences” the chances are that people should be encouraged to see it because they will enjoy it.”

Well, ok, I guess what I mean is “more imperative when you’re surfing the internet at work and posting in a thread discussing movies that you don’t think are good.”

I don’t usually approach people on the street and and tell them “Crash actually sucked. So save your money. And the world is ending.” I probably wouldn’t try to dissuade a friend from seeing it if they were sincerely interested, either, but I would express my reservations if I found the film lacking in a lot of ways.

Does anyone here really plan to use what is said in this thread as the basis for instructing others to avoid certain films? I kind of figured it was all just about wrangling with others about their taste in films, and defending your own vulnerable favorites from being squashed by philistines. Or something along those lines.

909

Adam 06.06.08 at 7:00 pm

At 6:23 p,m., “C m r” has many opinions to express. Let’s get right to them. Let’s take just the ones in his/her most recent message:

“I do want to address …”
“I did not originally claim …”
“I will admit to finding the works of Wes Anderson amusing … “
“I will admit that I did sit all the way through Little Miss Sunshine … “
“I could have gotten up and left the theater …”
“I will even admit to liking Sofia Coppola’s first movie …”
“I know it’s sort of the point …”
“I hope that someone else in the world feels this way … “
“I guess expect [sic] much more from contemporary film in general../.”
“I find it hard not to want to come down hard on film critics …
“I can’t help but agree when I compare contemporary “indie” fare to the great noirs ….”
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I find myself wishing for more unrestrained celebration of sublime, uncompromising, mysterious works of art …”
“I’m willing to give even the most fashionable Juno-haters the benefit of the doubt …
“Maybe it’s just me, though.”
Just you? Are you kidding? With an ego like that, how on Earth could it be “just you”?

910

Righteous Bubba 06.06.08 at 7:05 pm

Does anyone here really plan to use what is said in this thread as the basis for instructing others to avoid certain films?

For instructing myself, sure. But as with critics it’s more important to understand the perspective than to embrace the conclusion. If someone likes a certain thing and I know their tendencies it can be a pretty easy call as to whether I will like it.

The most valuable property of a critic is not correctness but consistency.

911

C M R 06.06.08 at 7:06 pm

Sorry.

912

C M R 06.06.08 at 7:16 pm

Now that CMR looks back at this thread, though, he notices that MOST people are just broadcasting their own opinions, and in a manner not dissimilar to CMR’s (with first person pronouns and everythign!). Also, in the post Adam quotes from, CMR was earnestly and sincerely trying to get a feel for how other people on the thread feel about movies, even if CMR though some explanation of CMRs personal approach was required.

So, CMR wonders, what is it that is REALLY so wrong with him that adam took time out of his day to delibirately attempt to humiliate CMR?

For himself, CMR thinks that it has to do with Adam being a jerk.

913

lemuel pitkin 06.06.08 at 7:38 pm

I would really love to see a breakdown of the referring pages for this thread…

914

Adam 06.06.08 at 7:50 pm

“A Tale of Two Cities” The 1958 version. Worst film.

The dude, like, DIES in the end. Freaked me out. The dude DIES. Complete bummer.

OK, so I read the book in twelfth grade and everything … but I didn’t get to the end, okay?

And then they, like, showed us the movie? Me and my girlfriends? In the school? And he still dies? I think the movie should be better than the book. This book sucked, and the movie wasn’t much better.

915

3cardmonty 06.06.08 at 8:15 pm

Worst ever: Boondock Saints, and it’s not particularly close.

Honorable mentions: Witness, K-Pax

916

Anna 06.06.08 at 8:41 pm

Apologies to Adam Sandler fans, but I suggest you MUST avoid “Mr. Deeds”. Like what I said for “The Benchwarmers”(ugh), it’s funny a few times, goes downhill afterwards.

917

Patrick 06.06.08 at 8:50 pm

If you want a movie that lies to you, “They Died with their Boots On,” is the one for you. It claims that Custer won Gettysburg for the Union.

My wife calls it, “They Lied with their Boots On.”

918

Kieran Healy 06.06.08 at 9:14 pm

I would really love to see a breakdown of the referring pages for this thread…

This page has got about 45,000 visitors yesterday. About 34,000 of them came from the front page of imdb.com, where apparently we were featured on their hit list or somesuch.

919

Demetri M 06.06.08 at 9:17 pm

I thought Toy Story 2 was OK

920

Anna 06.06.08 at 9:22 pm

FILMS THAT SHOULDN’T BE CONSIDERED THE WORST EVER
-any of the Indiana Jones films(yes, including the new one. I liked it, so sue me)
-Juno
-Forrest Gump
-any of the original Star Wars films
-Ed Wood
-A Beautiful Mind
-basically ANY film that won(or was nominated for) Best Picture at the Oscars
-any film on an American Film Institute(AFI) Top 100 list
-any Steven Speilberg film(except Hook)
I have only one question for you people: HOW CAN YOU HATE THESE FILMS?!?

921

Adam 06.06.08 at 9:24 pm

An astonishing post that all should see and note, from CMR.

CMR, referring to himself in the third person, has things to say. Let’s hear them:

“Now that CMR looks back at this thread, though, he notices that MOST people are just broadcasting their own opinions, and in a manner not dissimilar to CMR’s (with first person pronouns and everythign!)[sic]

CMR was earnestly and sincerely [sic] trying to get a feel [sic] for how other people on the thread feel about movies, even if CMR though some explanation of CMRs personal approach was required [sic][sic][sic][what?].

So, CMR wonders, what is it that is REALLY so wrong with him that adam took time out of his day to delibirately [sic] attempt to humiliate CMR?”

Thanks, CMR. Great message. But …

You humiliate yourself. No help required. Anyone who refers to himself in the third person is, by definition, foolish. Any native English speaker who can’t spell “everything” is, by definition, tedious beyond redemption.

922

Righteous Bubba 06.06.08 at 9:34 pm

I have only one question for you people: HOW CAN YOU HATE THESE FILMS?!?

All us people stand as one in hating absolutely every film that has been mentioned so far.

923

Anna 06.06.08 at 11:02 pm

This is for the people that completely hate “There Will Be Blood”. How can you not like the “I drink your milkshake” line?

924

CK Dexter 06.07.08 at 12:08 am

Re; 923

This Adam guy is a real charmer! I think his pedantry is quite insightful and not at all tedious.

But I think the response is ever so slightly disproportionate to the admittedly egregious nature of C M R’s crimes.

925

Doctor Slack 06.07.08 at 1:14 am

Dexter is talking sense again at 2:37.

Adam re: Good Shepherd… okay… but how do you have feelings that strong about a movie you can’t remember? This is just a little alien to me; any true stinker I’ve sat through (Alexander, for example, which my friends wouldn’t let me leave since I dragged them to see it) is burned into my memory in the most unpleasant way no matter how dull it was.

C M R: My rejection of those films was sparked by the suggestion (of slack and others) that people who find these films to be deeply unsatisfying are necessarily disingenous.

On the contrary, one doesn’t have to be consciously disingenuous to engage in ridiculous snobbery. I diagnose the backlash as analogous to indie rock snobbery not because I think indie rock snobs are disingenuous; they are, in fact, quite convinced at any given moment of their superior honesty and forthrightness and the depth and nuance of their opinions. (And by “they” I mean “we,” this being a sin of which I’ve partaken pretty extensively myself.) What makes a rock snob/ film geek backlash recognizable is the utterly predictable pattern it follows — INDIE FILM/BAND –> ACCLAIM –> CRITICAL RECOGNITION –> AWARD SHOW –> $$$ –> HERE UPON THESE STONES WE WILL BUILD OUR BARRICADE! — and the typical incoherency of the rationalizations that accompany it. Juno is, for most cases of those who have discovered a sudden loathing of precocious female teens, a perfect fit.

By way of extending an olive branch, however, I completely agree with you that Lost in Translation‘s treatment of the Japanese is in some ways unsettling. Nor am I by any stretch claiming to be one of those who finds Juno or Lost in Translation or Little Miss Sunshine to be paramount works of the cinematic art; I happen to think they’re just quite pleasant films that don’t merit high dudgeon. And if others think they merit higher praise than I’m willing to give, that’s up to them.

I do have to almost agree with those who’ve nominated Boondock Saints; not worst ever, maybe, but it’s a big player in the Probably Unintentional Ridiculousness sweepstakes. The reason I say “almost” is that the Willem Dafoe “reenacting the shootout” scene is so hilariously bad that it really must be seen.

926

Randy Paul 06.07.08 at 1:18 am

HOW CAN YOU HATE THESE FILMS?!?

For Forrest Gump and A Beautiful Mind, I attribute my disaste to a strong family history of diabetes.

927

Doctor Slack 06.07.08 at 1:33 am

HOW CAN YOU HATE THESE FILMS?!?

Speaking as a hater of Forrest Gump, and simultaneously a hater of pretentious anti-“mainstream” film snobbery, I’ll explain myself.

I don’t think in any technical sense that Forrest Gump is a “bad” film. It’s well-acted, the cinematography is brilliant, it pioneered many of the technologies used to integrate the titular hero into various historic events.

I nevertheless found it hard to enjoy when I saw the central message emerging that Ignorance is Virtue. Forrest is a paragon of American heroism, successful in everything from football to war to ping-pong diplomacy to the import-export business, because he is unquestioning.

Sometimes the underlying message makes a real difference. I find “ignorance is virtue” to be a genuinely destructive and dangerous message, in much the same way (if not to quite the same degree) that I think 300 is actual in-your-face fascist propaganda rather than Totally Gay, Harmless Fun. That it comes packaged in slick cinematic technology and technique makes it more insidious and more dangerous.

Stuff like this is a big part of the reason I take such offense at the negative attentions film geeks lavish on innocuous films like Juno. There ARE really hideous movies out there that are making the world a worse place, but Ellen Paige hasn’t starred in any of them yet. (Unless Hard Candy is extremely evil, I haven’t seen that one yet.)

928

salientdowns 06.07.08 at 2:50 am

I have only one question for you people: HOW CAN YOU HATE THESE FILMS?!?

Hmm. I see a distinction between hating a film and nominating it for universal disdain. Also, you defer unquestioningly to authority institutions (Oscars, AFI) rather than setting forth some common characteristics of these movies that would make them unhateable. I have nothing against the AFI, mind you – but they’re not going to determine my taste. They won’t even significantly influence the standards by which I attempt to judge films semi-objectively. That’s probably true about most people.

[…], but it’s a big player in the Probably Unintentional Ridiculousness sweepstakes.

Are you claiming Boondock Saints took itself even remotely seriously? Seriously?

I can comprehend nominating it for Quite Obviously Intentional Ridiculousness That The Director Probably Found A *Lot* Funnier Than We Did LOL, but that’s an entirely different subcategory of bad (and this category has already been won, handily, by the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie).

929

Doctor Slack 06.07.08 at 3:16 am

Are you claiming Boondock Saints took itself even remotely seriously?

Put it this way: if they were shooting for evident ironical distance, they misjudged the distance.

930

salientdowns 06.07.08 at 3:56 am

Put it this way: if they were shooting for evident ironical distance, they misjudged the distance.

Ironical distance is taking oneself meta-seriously. I didn’t see any evidence of that in The Boondock Saints.

For the record, I think The Departed is objectively worse: arbitrarily misogynist, despite a lack of explicitly misogynist characters; a far more sincere attempt at intrigue with less payoff. The comeuppance Departed concludes with proves that film took itself completely seriously, as does the awful scene in which the pro(?)tagonist moans to his beloved floozy psychiatrist, “I’m Irish. I’ll put up with anything.” Maybe it was meant to be funny. It’s hard to infer. Regardless, there’s a movie that misjudged ironical distance.

Boondock Saints established itself as a weird flavor of action-slapstick in the first five minutes, right about when the boys were let off for self-defense. After winning a kind of obviously arbitrary battle by dropping something off the roof, or something. Facing rather intense danger, the Irish guy offers his Russian adversary a drink and grinningly, not-exactly-mockingly invites him to be Irish for the day. Wildly implausible. Completely goofy. Clearly slapstick.

A mediocre band named Greta released an album titled, This is Greta!!!. Colorful letters on a dark foreboding background. I imagine you would accuse them of probably unintentional ridiculousness and/or misjudging ironical distance. That would also be incorrect.

931

Doctor Slack 06.07.08 at 4:01 am

Boondock Saints established itself as a weird flavor of action-slapstick in the first five minutes, right about when the boys were let off for self-defense.

The Monkees established themselves as joking at their own expense in the first five minutes of their first season on television, but they were still lame.

A mediocre band named Greta released an album titled, This is Greta. Colorful letters on a dark foreboding background. I imagine you would accuse them of probably unintentional ridiculousness and/or misjudging ironical distance.

Actually, it was titled This Is Greta! As a matter of fact, I know the album — reviewed it years ago — and I would. And despite having repented of my many sins as a former rock snob, in this case I would stand by that verdict.

932

Doctor Slack 06.07.08 at 4:02 am

“former rock snob” s/b “former and probably present rock snob”, take it in what sense thou wilt

933

Doctor Slack 06.07.08 at 4:59 am

(and this category has already been won, handily, by the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie).

This, nevertheless, a fair point.

934

Anna 06.07.08 at 12:55 pm

Apologies for typing “HOW CAN YOU HATE THESE FILMS?!?”. I was getting a little annoyed when I started noticing that good films were being considered “the worst film ever made”.

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Anna 06.07.08 at 1:21 pm

Even though I get annoyed if you blast a good film, namely an Oscar winner(i.e. “A Beautiful Mind”), I don’t mind that much if you blast a Razzie winner(i.e. “Catwoman”(ick)).

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