One man's trash is another man's treasure, even when it comes to film. While you may not agree with the flack these movies have copped, the one thing these good, bad, and terrible films each have in common is the ire they drew from a few - and in some cases, all - film critics upon their release. Some are pretty scathing, and not all of them are deserved (Adam Sandler's filmography from the last ten years is an exception), but each is as entertaining, if not more so, than the films they're about.
Crimson Peak (2015)
Rating the film a measly two-stars, the BBC's Nicholas Barber was not a fan of Crimson Peak, calling it a "a banquet for the eyes ... a meagre snack in every other respect" and likening it to a trough rather than a peak.
Guillermo del Toro could have saved himself a lot of time and trouble if, instead of making Crimson Peak, he’d posted a tweet, saying, ‘I really like Victorian Gothic movies set in spooky old houses’ ... it does what ... other films have already done, except not as well.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Mary Pols of Time magazine's review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is as biting as the film is action-packed, taking aim at everything from Michael Bay's direction to Megan Fox's overly-glossed lips, and likening the experience of watching the film to "having your nose pressed into Bay's manly armpit for 2½ hours."
My son does not own any Transformer dolls. I'm sorry, make that Transformer action figures. But if he did, upon my return from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I would have taken these Hasbro toys outside, placed them under the wheels of the car and driven back and forth across them until they were ground into dust.
Jack and Jill (2011)
You can't blame Dustin Rowles for his harsh review of Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill. The film is not only terrible, but also another reminder that Adam Sandler's 'Happy Gilmore Productions' should probably be taken away from him for the sake of moviegoers worldwide. Rowles finds Jack and Jill so offensive, it proves to him that God does not exist.
I've always been ambiguous about the existence of God. I'm more agnostic than I am atheist ... it's difficult to completely rule out the idea of a grand deity, a maker, someone to pull the trigger on existence ... But now, even those doubts have been called into question. The idea that a God would allow war, famine, disease and Snooki to exist is not unfathomable: It's the universe's karmic balance, the yin to the yang of peace, prosperity, and good health. There's a give and take to existence: Death cancels out life, starvation in Africa cancels out obesity in America, and "Two and a Half Men" cancels out "Community." But the scales have tipped too far, calling my entire tenuous belief system into question. I've seen Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
The New Yorker's Anthony Lane was not the only critic to absolutely trash Fifty Shades of Grey, but his tear down of the characters, as well as E.L. James' writing skills, make for an entertaining review as he goes on to assume "no new reader, however charitable, could open 'Fifty Shades of Grey', browse a few paragraphs, and reasonably conclude that the author was writing in her first language, or even her fourth."
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is being released in time for Valentine’s Day. That’s a bold move, since the film is not just unromantic but specifically anti-romantic; take your valentine along, by all means, but, be warned, it’ll be like watching ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at Christmas.
This could very easily have been a list of every bad review an Adam Sandler movie has ever received, but I kept it short at two, with Josh Bell's two-star review of Sandler's Pixels standing out the most for its obvious disdain of the film's main star.
Of course, calling Pixels one of Sandler's better movies is like calling a particular strain of Ebola somewhat less horrifically painful; either way, it's not pleasant ... plodding and frequently boring, with listless performances and a moronic plot. Jean’s short was clever, fun, visually striking and over in two minutes. The feature version has Adam Sandler.
Isaac Feldberg's review of Insurgent was another addition to the long list of critics who disliked the film and its predecessor, Divergent. He describes the film as having a "thin plot with obnoxiously over-the-top special effects," and based on its 29% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the other critics were not so kind either.
The only uprising that Insurgent could ever incite might be in its audience, leaping out of their seats and making a beeline for the theater doors ... this stale, stagnant sequel, with its premium on special effects and failure to pull any genuine emotion out of its muddled plot, is a large-scale con job.
Despite the numerous accolades, top ratings, and huge worldwide grossing, not everyone was a fan of Christoper Nolan's Inception, including East Bay Express' Kelly Vance, who regards the film as an "ordinary spy flick ... with laughable dialogue."
One way to salvage some fun with this blunderbuss would be to fall asleep while watching and dream up a better movie yourself. Try it. You'll avoid a headache.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Most people were not too kind to Star Wars' prequel trilogy, but this particular review from The New Yorker's Anthony Lane (who makes this list twice) is fantastically harsh, taking aim at George Lucas' "rootless soul" and both the characters and the actors, including the "continual horror of Ewan McGregor’s accent." For a true prequel-hater, this review is more entertaining than all three films.
The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.
Finally, a collection of terrible film reviews would not be complete without at least one from Roger Ebert, and this one may well be his very best:
Ebert's greatest take-down of a film, North left such a bad taste in his mouth that the title of one of his collections of negative film reviews, I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie, was taken from this particularly scathing one. He leaves no stone unturned as he calls out every single one of the film's flaws, sympathises with the actors for having been cast in the film (calling them "victimized actors" and stating that "no actor, however wonderful, however young, should be punished with") and ends his rant by calling it "one of the worst movies ever made."
I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.