On Film

A collection of quotes from
filmmakers, critics, and viewers

“I don’t know how much movies should entertain.… I’m always interested in movies that scar. The thing I love about Jaws is the fact that I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean again.”

—  David Fincher

“There’s no one who hated Alien³ more than I did… I got hired for a personal vision and was railroaded into something else. I had never been devalued or lied to or treated so badly. I wasn’t used to adults lying to me. I didn’t read a script for a year and a half after that. I thought I’d rather die of colon cancer than do another movie.”

—  David Fincher

“You looked at Bertolucci, it was just like he took Godard and Antonioni, put them in bed together, held a gun to their heads and said, ‘You guys fuck or I’ll shoot you.’”

—  Paul Schrader, quoted in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

“The difference between Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and 2001: A Space Odyssey is that the end of Kubrick’s film is a question, while the end of Close Encounters is an answer. And it’s a really silly answer: little kids in latex suits.”

—  Terry Gilliam, quoted in Gilliam On Gilliam

“Emotionally involving the audience is easy. Anybody can do it blindfolded: get a little kitten and have some guy wring its neck.”

—  George Lucas, quoted (by his ex-wife!) in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

“Film will only become art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper.”

—  Jean Cocteau

“That wasn’t an ending. It was just a stopping point.”

—  Robert Altman, to a reporter who “didn’t get the ending” of Dr. T and the Women

“Disbelief suspended by the neck until dead, dead, dead.”

—  The Annotated Pratchett File on John Wayne’s The Golden Horde

“The editing is desperate.”

—  Roger Ebert on Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves

Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time.… [it] should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor.”

—  Roger Ebert

“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.”

—  Roger Ebert on North

“I am having trouble putting my total contempt for North into words.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp

“I liked the film better the first time around, when it was called Natural Born Killers.”

— David Spade on The Doom Generation

Natural Born Killers is like getting a lecture from your parents during a particularly bad acid trip. You just want it to stop.”

—  Scott Renshaw

“The next thing you know, she’s shedding her clothes like a snake with eczema.”

—  Rita Kempley on Sharon Stone in Sliver

“When Maverick is launched to help Iceman, he is more than 110 miles from him. Claiming he’ll be there in 30 seconds, he would have to travel at 13,200mph (Mach 18). His F-14’s top speed would be Mach 2.”

—  A slight goof in Top Gun, noted at the IMDb

“If your life is going well and you have too much joy in your soul, try renting Barb Wire…”

— Mike Nelson in Home Theater

“Of course a big finale with Queen [Bavmorda] breweth. But it taketh forever.”

—  Desson Howe on Willow

“…a filmic experience that can only be compared, in terms of a good time, with watching Richard Nixon sweat on television.”

— Harlan Ellison in Watching on Repo Man

“It is, truly, The Muppet Chain Saw Massacre.”

— Harlan Ellison, Watching, on Gremlins

“I’ve been on trips to the DMV that were shorter and less dimwitted.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp on Independence Day

“It amazes me — really amazes me beyond language — how much energy went into a movie this vapid.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp on Stargate

“I’ve seen less contrived developments extracted from fortune cookies.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp on Bad Girls

“Any film in which a big snake eats the villain (Jon Voight), who then gets regurgitated so he can wink at the leading lady (Jennifer Lopez), is OK by me.”

— Robert Hofler on Anaconda

“…movies like Body Of Evidence fail at the box office in no small part because people enjoy masturbating in the comfort and privacy of their own home.”

—  Nathan Rabin

Body Of Evidence… has a puzzling Eszterhas-ish presence all over it. In other words, it’s (a) really dirty and (b) really, really stupid.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp

“I’ve seen comedies with fewer laughs than Body Of Evidence, and this is a movie that isn’t even trying to be funny.”

—  Roger Ebert

“[Madonna] nails down her title as the queen of movies that were bad ideas right from the beginning.”

—  Roger Ebert (again) on Body Of Evidence

“Casting Madonna as a girl who’s supposed to be pixielike is like casting Heinrich Himmler as the Tooth Fairy.”

—  Joe Queenan writing in If You’re Talking To Me, Your Career Must Be In Trouble about Who’s That Girl?, “a.k.a What’s That Smell?

“Frankly, if there’s a better film about scantily attired, trilingual infanticides who mumble baby talk in German to twittish British Hummel salesmen out there, we are all in for a real treat.”

—  Joe Queenan on The Girl In A Swing

“This is a classic story of boy meets girl, boy has head injury, boy accidentally sleeps with father.”

—  Film Threat on the Taiwanese film The River

Rob Roy (R) — Contains rape, violence, 18th-century profanity and American accents.”

—  Desson Howe, The Washington Post

Twister (PG-13) — Contains profanity, major thermal violence and actors impersonating real people.”

—  Desson Howe in The Washington Post

“Overall, I feel that Twister delivered on its promise that it was a movie that had tornadoes in it.”

— Mike Nelson

“Travolta and Cage give the biggest, dumbest performances you’ll ever see, even if you regularly attend shows featuring huge, animatronic bears singing Carpenters songs.”

— Mike Nelson on Face/Off

“Buy it, you doss cunt!”

— Russell Barrett on the Criterion Trainspotting

“Keanu Reeves… couldn’t give a believable performance as a tomato in a fourth-grade ‘basic food groups’ skit.”

—  Paul Tatara

“Considering the pace, you’d think [U-Turn] was directed by a rattled, Oscar-winning Chihuahua.”

—  Paul Tatara

“If Morgan Freeman were to look straight at me and tell me I have a poodle sitting on my head, I’d believe him. He hasn’t given a weak performance since The Electric Company…”

—  Paul Tatara

Kiss The Girls is pretty vile, but what do you expect? Women beaten and held prisoner against their will, slashings, shootings, stabbings. Implications of rape and torture. There will be no Happy Meal tie-ins.”

—  Paul Tatara

“…Jean-Claude Van Damme’s dramatic range remains millimetres wide.”

— Geoff Brown, The Times, on Maximum Risk

“If someone asks, ‘What do you think of The Island Of Dr Moreau?’, I’m not going to go, ‘Well, it was a good film which didn’t quite work.’ No, I’m going to say it’s a pile of shit. What a pile of cack.”

— David Thewlis

“He tries so hard, but he just doesn’t have the tools — he’s like an aspiring basketball player with a great jump shot and superb control and a 5'2" frame. Forget it, Keanu.”

—  Mike D’Angelo on Keanu Reeves

“In space, no one can hear you sigh.”

— Gregory Bruce Carlson on Alien Resurrection

“It’s loud, it’s bloody, it’s redundant. Did I mention bloody?”

—  Paul Tatara on Alien Resurrection

“…the dialogue… sounds as if it’s been culled from one of those unintentionally hilarious 1950’s short subjects that instructed teenagers about proper dating behavior. (’Hi, Sally. Say, is that repulsive extraterrestrial lifeform still gestating in your womb?’ ‘Why, Tommy, don’t be silly. The womb is for human babies. The alien’s right here next to my sternum.’) Before long, I was rooting for the aliens, if only in the hope that they’d shut the humans up.”

—  Mike D’Angelo on Alien Resurrection

“The sudden appearance of Elmo the Muppet could not possibly have been more disconcerting.”

—  Mike D’Angelo (again) on Alien Resurrection, specifically the “Newborn”

“When I walked out of the theater, I found myself trembling. An hour later, I was still shaking slightly. (This is not hyperbole. I suspect it was a reaction to sitting tensely for over two hours.) I cannot recall ever responding so physically and viscerally to a motion picture before, nor can I think of another studio picture — at least in recent years — in which superlative performances and direction so thoroughly transcended and transformed a mediocre script. (I’ve read the shooting script, so this is not mere conjecture.) I cannot believe this movie got made. I truly don’t understand why it became such a huge hit. I’m not sure that I’m comfortable actually recommending it to others.”

—  Mike D’Angelo on SE7EN

“I swear, if I hear one more comparison [between John Woo films and] ‘ballet,’ I’m going to scream. I’ve seen ballet, and the dancers do not blow off each other’s body parts with automatic weapons… though come to think of it, that would have been a welcome addition to the Macaulay Culkin version of The Nutcracker.”

— Skander Halim

“If you care about character and plotting, if you’re one of those people who’s complained that movies don’t have a compelling story anymore, if you’ve ever mourned the demise of adeptly concise filmmaking technique at the hands of directors interested in ‘look at me’ stylistic spectacles, then get off your ass and go see L.A. Confidential…”

—  Bryant Frazer

“…SE7EN finds the dark heart of the soul and pokes at it ’til it bursts.”

—  Bryant Frazer

“…a weird hybrid of action juggernaut, buddy cop caper and reactionary soft-core pornography. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll exult in the blood of your enemies.”

—  Rita Kempley on True Lies

Starship Troopers is America at its Collector’s Edition G.I. Joe dopiest.”

— Libby Gelman-Waxner [Paul Rudnick] in Premiere

Starship Troopers… is nothing short of an exhilarating reminder that movies have only one real purpose: to show us supermodels with shoulder-mounted nuclear weapons screaming at the top of their lungs as they are repeatedly ripped in half by armies of monster bugs.”

—  Brown Film Society Bulletin

“There’s more dignity in most instances of bestiality caught on tape than in that jack-ass’ acceptance speeches.”

—  Justin Kristopher Siegel on James Cameron at the 1997 Oscars

Turbulence thrashes about like a formula action picture that has stepped on a live wire: It’s dead, but doesn’t stop moving.”

—  Roger Ebert

“Frankly, I wish the killer had strangled [Lauren Holly] and left the more likable [Catherine] Hicks to land the plane.”

—  Roger Ebert (again) on Turbulence

“…it’s not hard to understand why they called this Turbulence — it really is nauseating.”

—  James Berardinelli

“After 20+ years, I’m still waiting for someone to come up with an example of a single kind of force that Imperial [stormtrooper] armor could stop or even mitigate. It sure as hell isn’t blasters, rocks, fists, leaping teddy bears, logs, branches, sticks, The Force, or anything else that ever transpired in the course of the action.”

—  J.D. Baldwin

“Pregnant women shouldn’t see this one, not because it’ll give them nightmares, but because it’s a bad movie and I wouldn’t want to upset them.”

—  Paul Tatara on Hush

“Forget what you may have already heard. Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential, an unapologetically brutal modern film noir, is not the best movie of the year. It’s the five best movies of the year.”

—  Paul Tatara

“When [the rescuers] finally reach the ship, the crew is found in assorted pieces, or else smeared all over the control panels like People Brand peanut butter. I guess they weren’t kidding about that distress signal.”

—  Paul Tatara on Event Horizon

“The screenplay creates a sense of foreboding and afterboding, but no actual boding.”

—  Roger Ebert on Event Horizon

“If you want to have that Event Horizon experience without spending the seven bucks, try this instead: Put a bucket on your head. Have a loved one beat on it vigorously with a wrench for 100 minutes. Same difference, and think of the gas you’ll save.”

—  Stephen Hunter

“Like [SE7EN], [The Game] revels in the horrid feeling we have that things are scuttling around out of sight and rearranging the chess pieces on us.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp

“Whatever its defects as a drama,and they are legion, it cannot be denied that Godzilla has a profound effect on the urinary tracts of the young.”

—  Gary Kamiya

“Viewed as art, Independence Day and Godzilla rank somewhere below the average porno movie. But you don’t go to porno for the dialogue.”

—  Gary Kamiya

“I am darned proud of this script. I have been working on it, without sleeping or eating, except for two grilled-cheese sandwiches, for the better part of the last 35 minutes. I realize that sounds like a lot of work, but bear in mind that writer/director James Cameron spent nearly twice that long on the script for the original movie, which was entitled Titanic I: The Original Movie.”

—  Dave Barry, on his script Titanic II: The Sequel

“Despite being hampered by a budget and access to high-tech special effects, director Paul Verhoeven managed to create a masterpiece which stands with the best work of the classic science fiction director Ed Wood.”

—  Xiphias Gladius on Starship Troopers

“Better than The Crow,
But then, I mean, jesus christ,
It’d have to be.”

—  Mike D’Angelo’s haiku review of Dark City

“The entire last third of the movie is a mishmash of tired old action clichés. They spare us nothing except ‘Let’s sneak through the ventilation ducts’ and ‘Let’s knock them out and steal their uniforms.’ I can’t think how we got so lucky. The best thing that can be said about the last part of the movie is that the constant noise level keeps you awake.”

—  Louann Miller on Armageddon

“Action! Gore! Romance! Heroism! Tits!”

—  Gary Hladik on Starship Troopers

“…there’s a difference between having a smart villain make one or two big mistakes (which even smart people can do), and having a certified super-genius whose track record is almost literal perfection suddenly start making mistakes that a 16-year old crack-addicted gang-banger wouldn’t be dumb enough to make.”

—  Chuckg on The Jackal

“Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. Armageddon is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you’d have a TV ad.… No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”

—  Roger Ebert

“I don’t believe I have seen so many people get shot in a movie in my life.”

—  Steve Tannehill on Hard Boiled

“Boom. Bang. Pow. Joke. Moral. Boom. Bang. Pow. Rated R. 120 minutes.”

—  Paul Tatara on Lethal Weapon 4

“If you’re unfamiliar with the genitalia of either gender, Basic Instinct is the movie that will clear things up.”

—  Desson Howe

“I know it’s only a movie, and so perhaps I should be willing to suspend my disbelief, but Shining Through is such an insult to the intelligence that I wasn’t able to do that.”

—  Roger Ebert

“If the fate of the free world were being threatened by goose-stepping Nazis, who would you send to the rescue? In Shining Through they send Melanie Griffith. What, you mean Betty Boop wasn’t available?”

—  Hal Hinson

“[Melanie Griffith] sounds like a 7-year-old reciting poetry for the delight of grown-ups. It’s enough to make you want to turn her in to the Nazis.”

—  Desson Howe on Shining Through

“Then Cinderella goes to the ball (the set for which is quite beautiful), and all the main characters end up in a circle, guns trained on each other in a Mexican standoff. Not really. Revisionism does have its limits, you know.”

—  Paul Tatara on Ever After

Ever After contains one moment of profanity, a decent sword fight, and nice clothes, although the latter can also be found in many of our better closets. This is supposed to be set in France, by the way, but you wouldn’t know it from Barrymore’s truly unfortunate attempt at a British accent. Don’t ask me. Rated PG-13. 121 minutes.”

—  Paul Tatara

The Negotiator contains profanity, lots of shooting, and supposedly tense situations. CLICHÉ WARNING: Overt main-character-as-Christ imagery, which always looks deep when you don’t know what else to do. Rated R. 100 minutes.”

—  Paul Tatara

Air Bud is a movie about a basketball-playing golden retriever, and, in that respect, it’s not unlike Ingmar Bergman’s brooding 1957 classic The Seventh Seal.

“Just kidding. That’s called an ‘eye-grabber.’ I really don’t know what to tell you about this movie.”

—  Paul Tatara

“Timmy does not fall down an abandoned mine shaft, probably just because there isn’t anyone in the movie named Timmy.”

—  Paul Tatara on Air Bud

“A slight crook of her eyebrow says more about what’s going on in her head than Demi Moore could accomplish in a 5-minute soliloquy focusing on her stock portfolio.”

—  Paul Tatara on Minnie Driver

“I doubt [Akiva] Goldsman could write an effective signature, from the evidence of his screenplays.”

—  Vozhd

“This… is… a… slow… movie. Incredibly… … … … … … slow. Some of the pauses are so pregnant you could bring a bull elephant to term before the actor responds to a direct question.”

—  Paul Tatara on Meet Joe Black

“I saw this in a theater packed to the gills with seven people, and three of them walked out before it was over. That left me with two really old guys whose cataracts probably wouldn’t allow them to get up in the dark and leave, and a younger guy wearing a ‘South Park’ T-shirt who finally started to look like he would congeal from the lack of hilarity.”

—  Paul Tatara on Trey Parker’s Orgazmo

“…you might want to save yourself some money and just go make faces in the bathroom mirror.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on Orgazmo

“I mean it. I’m on my knees, begging you — don’t encourage these guys. I feel like Eisenhower warning everyone about the military/industrial complex. Hollywood is definitely keeping an eye on this one, and if it winds up making a pile of money, game over. Done. We’ll be getting reheated silliness like this for the rest of our lives.”

—  Paul Tatara on the remake of Psycho

“Anne Heche plays Janet Leigh playing Marion Crane. Vince Vaughn plays Anthony Perkins playing Norman Bates.”

—  Paul Tatara on the remake of Psycho

“I felt a wave of sadness while I watched Psycho that I won’t be able to shake for a while. That’s because movies (as a form of communication as well as entertainment) matter to me. And they should matter to you, too.

“When did we grow so terribly embarrassed by self-expression? Why has the concept become so quaint? Post-modernism has infiltrated our culture to the point that there’s hardly any culture left, or any people who want to nurture the creation of new and exciting works of art.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Right now a lot of people are getting all huffy because I’m disgusted by something that’s just supposed to be a lark, but we have an entire generation of Americans coming up right now who have been nurtured on nothing but knowing, ironic larks. We can’t get truly involved in anything for fear of exposing our own longings and fears. We’re a society of chickens.

“We want only to pretend, and are systematically breeding out the exhilaration of true belief and creativity. Psycho is just the most recent, and most obvious, example of our downward spiral. Our collective heart can only beat ironically for so long, then it stops beating altogether. Have the gumption to insist that it not wither away.”

—  Paul Tatara on the remake of Psycho

“I found tears streaming down my face several times during the film, not only out of sadness for the characters I was watching, but also for the men who actually got torn to bits out on those beaches. That doddering old man who annoyed you yesterday by taking too much time in the checkout line at the grocery store very possibly served this country and experienced the unspeakable horrors of war firsthand. Saving Private Ryan drives that point home unflinchingly, and it’s about time.”

—  Paul Tatara

“As the movie opens, [Jonathan] Schaech is a scam artist who’s secured a truckload of illegally imported Australian cockatoos. We see him in a Manhattan alleyway, trying to sell one of the birds to Tina Louise. (Go ahead and read those two sentences again, if you like. Let me stress that I was completely sober while I watched this.)”

—  Paul Tatara on Welcome To Woop Woop

“Hackman, as always, is absolutely great. It’s a wonder the movie doesn’t reject him like an incompatible skin graft.”

—  Paul Tatara on Enemy Of The State

“[Will Smith’s] former college classmate… is played by Jason Lee, who actually winds up getting creamed by a fire engine.… It was all I could do to keep from pumping my fists in the air when he got nailed.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on Enemy Of The State

“Lisa Bonet is also in it, by the way, still trying desperately to act. She never gets taken out by a fire engine, but at least I still have something to look forward to.”

—  Paul Tatara (yet again) on Enemy Of The State

“140 minutes, making it one minute longer than 2001: A Space Odyssey while covering several million years less territory.”

—  Paul Tatara (still) on Enemy Of The State

“Honestly, there’s an orangutan in Babe: Pig In The City named Thelonious who’s more emotionally complex than anybody in… Enemy Of The State.”

—  Paul Tatara

“The most dramatic difference between Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and Gus Van Sant’s ‘shot-by-shot’ remake is the addition of a masturbation scene. That’s appropriate…”

—  Roger Ebert on the Psycho remake

“All of this is nicely directed by John Madden, who, amazingly enough, does not draw little x’s and o’s all over the screen to show you how the play will be developing. (Whoops! Wrong John Madden.)”

—  Paul Tatara on Mrs Brown

The Horse Whisperer is suitable for 14-year-old girls of all ages.”

—  Paul Tatara

“…this blubbering ass-kiss of a movie is very possibly the last straw.”

—  Paul Tatara on Patch Adams

“The extremely difficult-to-miss message of Patch Adams… is that peace and love would soon reign supreme if everybody would just improvise 100 miles a minute and talk in funny voices when confronted with emotionally complex situations.… Laughter can cleanse the world! Can’t we all see that?! Why are we so blind to the healing power of big, drippy, gooey, gloppy sentimental laughter?! (Now I’m acting like an insect and slamming into the wall! Now I’m talking like John Wayne! Now I’m prancing around like a gay hairdresser! Somebody stop my irrepressible spirit!)”

—  Paul Tatara

“[Jessica] Lange acts so hard, steam nearly shoots out of her ears.”

—  Paul Tatara on Hush

“Paul see Tarzan movie. Tarzan movie bad. Paul not like Tarzan movie.”

—  Paul Tatara on Tarzan And The Lost City

Tarzan And The Lost City contains some cartoon violence, and no profanity. Lots of monkey screams, though. It’s suitable for children or unbelievably stupid adults. Unbelievably stupid children have found their Citizen Kane. Rated PG. 83 minutes.”

—  Paul Tatara

“It’s like a tape loop, Chinese monster movie torture.”

—  Paul Tatara on Phantoms

“…you’re expecting this to be ridiculous, but believe me when I tell you that you have no earthly idea just how ludicrous it is. I’ve reviewed more than 250 movies since I started writing for CNN, and this may very well be the most incomprehensible mess I’ve ever had to sit through. I fell slack-jawed after about two minutes and eventually just had to throw my popcorn under the seat. Try as I might, I couldn’t get myself to chew.”

—  Paul Tatara on Knock Off

“I haven’t wept this freely since James Caan wheezed himself to the hereafter in Brian’s Song.”

—  Paul Tatara on Knock Off (specifically Jean-Claude van Damme’s exploding pants)

“So much is left unexplained that while some films call for a sequel or a prequel, this one could handily use an inquel.”

—  Mark R. Leeper on Species

“You’ll notice that there’s a ‘minus’ sign in front of my one-star rating of Species II. This is deliberate: normally, the lowest I go for any movie is ‘no stars’, meaning that I was not only unentertained, but offended as well.

“Minus-one stars, then, goes even lower than that. Species II is the most offensive movie — morally and aesthetically — ever made by a big-name studio. Period.”

—  Serdar Yegulalp

“When you pan and scan a film like The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, it becomes The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Guy’s Nose.”

—  John Sayles

“James Toback’s latest movie is called simply Two Girls And A Guy; I guess And Their Incessant Yammering wouldn’t fit on the marquee.”

—  Mike D’Angelo

“Each of the 50-odd titles below, therefore, is getting the 25-words-or-fewer treatment, give or take another 25 words or so. In some cases, a single word may suffice. (e.g., Blade: Dull.)”

—  Mike D’Angelo

Stinks Like Teen Spirit.”

— Roger Wade (The Undercover Critic) on Varsity Blues

“If you stop to think about it, She’s All That is actually Carrie minus the carnage. I wouldn’t blame you at all, though, if you didn’t stop to think about it.”

—  Paul Tatara

“…surely I can’t be alone in wishing that Celine Dion’s heart would just stop?”

—  Stephen Rowley on the “crudfest” surrounding Titanic

Maverick, or: Lethal Western…”

—  Stephen Rowley

“…Proyas — even during the few real dialogue scenes that exist in the movie — can’t hold a shot for more than three seconds before he has to barrel on to the next camera set-up. If he were. Writing this. Review. It would be. Written. Like. This. And you would be. Driven out of your. Skull. Like I was. While. Watching the. Movie.”

—  Paul Tatara on Dark City

“The whole thing is so laborious, I felt like I might cry after a while.”

—  Paul Tatara on Almost Heroes

“…if you consider a long evening of cringing to be worth your hard-earned money you’re in for a treat.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Odd Couple II

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Walter Matthau can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. He can, however, deliver the wrongs that [Neil] Simon has written for him.… They really shouldn’t have done this to Matthau, but look at it this way: every dollar they give to him is one that Keanu Reeves won’t be able to pocket.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Odd Couple II

“Some of the jokes aren’t all that bad, but only because they don’t involve copious amounts of vomit. (Castle Rock has my go-ahead to use that line on the poster.)”

—  Paul Tatara on My Giant

“Beware of sugar comas.”

—  Paul Tatara on My Giant

“I wasn’t even expecting much and I feel robbed.”

—  Paul Tatara on Blues Brothers 2000

“[Darth] Vader makes more imposing, big-shouldered entrances in this film than Joan Crawford did in her whole career. Forget the Force, you half expect him to start whipping his underlings with a wire coat hanger.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Empire Strikes Back: SE

“By the time [Yoda] gets around to ‘size doesn’t matter,’ and ‘you must learn control,’ it sounds like he’s gotten his hands on a copy of the Kinsey Report.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Empire Strikes Back: SE

“…every line of dialogue [Keanu Reeves] delivers has an odd robust quality to it, as if he’s playing a Viking instead of southern lawyer…”

—  Paul Tatara on The Devil’s Advocate

“The whole thing’s about as surprising as a box of rocks.… Your kids might like My Favorite Martian, mostly because (let’s face it) your kids might like pretty much anything.”

—  Paul Tatara

“Suffice it to say that the ‘teen-age’ girls in this movie can also be used as flotation devices if it takes a dive at the box office.”

—  Paul Tatara, trying to avoid using the word “breasts” while reviewing Jawbreaker

“…writer/director Darren Stein’s screenplay is so simple (and simple-minded) it’s almost staggering. I sure hope he didn’t stay up too late the night he wrote it.”

—  Paul Tatara on Jawbreaker

“If anyone in the plot had the slightest intelligence, the story would implode.”

—  Roger Ebert on Jawbreaker

“In My Favorite Martian, we discover that there is intelligent life in our solar system, and that absolutely none of it was involved in making this film.”

—  Scott Renshaw

“…if you don’t stop reading this review right now and rush off to see this movie, I’ll personally come to your house and bitch-slap you.”

— Michael Rose on Ronin

“Mighty sappy; mighty stupid; I’m mighty sorry I paid full price to see it.”

—  Mike D’Angelo on The Mighty

“That the first full sequence of the film takes place in a big-city slaughterhouse would be funny, if, in fact, it was funny.”

—  Paul Tatara on Blade

“I would personally like to shove every video of this movie so far up the director’s yin-yang he’d sneeze tape for the next ten years.”

—  Rob (of Oh, The Humanity! reviews) on Xanadu

“…if you prefer movies where it seems like somebody involved might have given a crap, skip it.”

—  Andrew O’Hehir on The Mummy

“So this is it? Some bunch of cunts pissing about in space hitting each other with fluorescent lightbulbs?”

— Nishlord on Star Wars (the original)

“…what does Star Wars say about our generation? Namely, that we couldn’t give a fuck about the future as long as it had big flashy lights, clearly defined borders so even the biggest moron could work out what was going on and teddy bears with military hardware.”

— Nishlord (again)

“[The plot] involves an diabolical toy maker who plans on destroying the world’s children with death rays, which are hidden inside Halloween masks he creates at his sinister mask shop in Illinois. Embedded in each mask is a microchip made from fragments of Stonehenge, which are activated by an evil Halloween commercial that plays incessantly throughout the movie. I swear to God, I am not making this up.”

—  Peter M. Bracke on Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch

“Keanu Reeves stinks. We should establish that right at the start. If you’re intending to see the new sci-fi extravaganza The Matrix because you think our boy is on the verge of wowing you with a sudden, unexpected leap to thespian competence, you might also consider making a stop at the golden arches on the way to the theater to pick up a McMignon burger. You’re a lot more optimistic than I am.”

—  Paul Tatara

“Keanu — Hawaiian for ‘Shouts Dialogue Phonetically’.… [is] like a cross between Patrick Swayze and Charlie McCarthy, minus the monocle.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on The Matrix

“…directed (or refereed, depending on how you want to look at it) by Larry and Andy Wachowski.”

—  Paul Tatara (still) on The Matrix

“…no need to take Sominex tonight, let me tell you.”

—  Paul Tatara on Amistad

“If this sounds like I’m saying that I’m smarter than lots of the people who’ll be seeing There’s Something About Mary, you’re damn right I am. Have you sat down and talked to a 14 year-old boy lately?”

—  Paul Tatara

“You’re feeling something, all right, but you might try responding to your world at a level that couldn’t be duplicated by your knee when it’s hit at the proper angle with a rubber mallet.”

—  Paul Tatara on Lethal Weapon 4

“Gibson and Glover, of course, play… mismatched partners on the L.A. police force who investigate loud, exploding, two-hour-long things.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on Lethal Weapon 4

“…you can almost feel your scrotum contract with tension. Ha ha. Sorry ladies. Got a bit carried away.”

— Jeff McNeal (The Big Picture DVD) on Full Metal Jacket

“Frankly, my house is scarier. For that matter, my mortgage is more haunting than The Haunting.”

— Jay Carr of The Boston Globe

Titanic should be titled Three Hours Of Watching People In Evening Clothes Drown. That’s not fair. It’s only 90 minutes of watching people drown. Before then we get a 90 minute love story that might be titled Romeo And Juliet Get Wet.”

—  Rich Elias of The Columbus Free Press

“The most horrifying sequence in Muppets From Space is a Reservoir Dogs takeoff in which Kermit ties Fozzie to a chair and tortures him with a straight razor. Just kidding.”

—  Paul Tatara

“…if you thought Van Damme couldn’t act in movies like Knock Off or Legionnaire, just wait until you get a load of this. He’s baaaaaad. Wow, he’s bad. This wants so hard to be a cult classic, but it’s just stupid. It’s so stupid that all the character names are taken from electric-based musical instruments. Van Damme is Gibson, the baddie is Fender, and others include Prophet, Roland, and Marshall Strat for chrissakes. And as a movie-reviewer, I’m checking out on that note, baby.”

—  Todd Doogan (of The Digital Bits) on Cyborg

“Brosnan and Russo do virtually nothing but sashay around trying to out-sophisticate each other. It’s like you’re watching two models slap each other with fashion magazines. (They also perform the stupid movie mambo by choosing to have sex on top of hardwood furniture when there’s a bed nearby.)”

—  Paul Tatara on the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair

“It chews up and spits out clichés like a wood chipper in purée mode.”

—  Liam Lacy, The Toronto Globe & Mail, on Universal Soldier: The Return

“Factor in the magic wand and she’s like a delusional homecoming queen with a cattle prod.”

—  Paul Tatara on Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard Of Oz

“Actually, you can get some fresh mileage out of the movie by comparing the plot to Apocalypse Now while you watch it.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Wizard Of Oz

“Any movie with four separate beheadings is pretty darned good entertainment.”

—  Stephen Hunter in The Washington Post on The 13th Warrior

“Let’s skip the pleasantries. If you’re looking for a hugely idiotic movie that’s written and directed by virtual no-talents, make a beeline to see Detroit Rock City.”

—  Paul Tatara

“This is the manliest of manly man movies, featuring so much hand-to-hand combat, hearty laughter and bearded alcohol guzzling you’d think it was a Miller Lite commercial aimed at Vikings.”

—  Paul Tatara on The 13th Warrior

“The picture feels like several other films without ever managing to feel much like itself.… it’s like an R-rated game of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ that takes place in a barrel full of mud and secretions.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on The 13th Warrior

The 13th Warrior is like a documentary about the history of Nordic meat processing. There are tons of human butchering, and the blood runs thick and gooey. If you’re crazy enough to bring a child to see this, I’ll personally phone the authorities. Note, by the way, how the old crone places verbs anywhere she wants to in a sentence, just like Yoda. Whatever happened to noun-verb-direct object? Rated R. 114 minutes.”

—  Paul Tatara

“If you applied Slam’s structure to Jaws, everybody would sit in a room for 90 minutes shouting ‘We have to kill the shark! We have to kill the shark!’ while all the kids were out at the beach getting eaten alive.”

—  Paul Tatara

Eraserhead… can make you cry while you’re vomiting.”

—  Paul Tatara

“From a premature raving standpoint, it’s Eyes Wide Shut minus the huge budget, big stars, fancy lighting, elegant camera work, and Stanley Kubrick.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Blair Witch Project

“Anyway, about the movie itself. It’s pretty lame. Even if you hadn’t seen the trailer, it’s about as surprising as a football-shaped Christmas present.”

—  The Self-Made Critic on Double Jeopardy

“NevR Hike. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever!!!!!! WoOds bad!”

—  The Self-Made Critic on The Blair Witch Project

“These effects are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Unless you’ve seen a Gap ad. But this time, they’re not used to show a bunch of sickeningly cute people dancing. They’re used to blow things up.”

—  The Self-Made Critic on The Matrix

“It’s more entertaining than The Waterboy, but then, so is The Weather Channel.”

—  The Self-Made Critic on Big Daddy

“…a somewhat moving, tender look at blindness and how it really, really sucks. I was convinced.”

—  The Self-Made Critic on At First Sight

“’What’s the plot?’ you may be asking. Well so am I. One of the opening credits says ‘based on an idea by the Spice Girls,’ but this should in no way be confused with ‘based on an idea by Robert Oppenheimer.’”

—  Paul Tatara on Spice World

“Right now, there are people reading this review and chuckling to themselves. They’re thinking, ‘This guy’s trying to be smart and make a point, but he doesn’t realize that what he’s written just makes me want to see the movie that much more.’ Well, I do realize that, and, when you pony up the dough to see (and probably ‘enjoy’) Spawn, the point will have been made all over again. You lose.”

—  Paul Tatara

“By now, [Christopher] Walken should just go ahead and have ‘bizarrely intimidating’ stamped on his forehead.”

—  Paul Tatara on Excess Baggage

“I confess there was one really original thing in The Phantom Menace, something I have truly never seen before. I could not believe my eyes when I read the yellow prologue letters flowing across the screen at the very beginning of the film: A sci-fi action movie whose premise is based on taxation of trade routes and negotiations over tariff treaties? Now that… (yawn)… is something… I’ve… never… (snore)…”

—  David Brin

“Is he a tough guy? No. Is he funny? Not really. Is he the wounded, mysterious type? No again. Does he seem dangerous? Not unless neatly trimmed bunnies scare you. O’Donnell is the acting equivalent of tofu, a blob of matter who takes on the flavor of whatever concoction you throw him into.”

—  Paul Tatara on Chris O’Donnell (in The Bachelor, if you care)

“The basic story is so moldy you could use it to make penicillin.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on The Bachelor

“…world-famous taste lowerer Mariah Carey makes her screen debut as an opera star who has a histrionic vocal style but can’t act her way out of a parking ticket. The casting is letter-perfect, although the ‘can’t act’ part informs Carey’s entire performance.”

—  Paul Tatara (yet again) on The Bachelor

“The first thing that needs to be said up front: despite the somewhat misleading title, this is NOT a children’s film. You will not find seven seals or, in fact, any seals at all in The Seventh Seal.”

—  DVDScrutiny (serious?)

“Little Wooden Boy.”

— J Michael Neal’s name for Keanu Reeves

“Oldman has decided to deliver his lines with a Southern accent, and I don’t mean that I detected a slight twang, either. I mean that he’s been out back with a 12-gauge and a chaw in his mouth, shootin’ at them crows that done been eatin’ up all the corn. This Ming the Mississippian is the kind of performance Brando used to give in the mid-1960s, when his only reason for existence was to yank the chains of all those people who were paying him way too much money to make faces and pretend.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Fifth Element

“See racist skinhead Edward Norton and his cronies. Bad, bad skinheads! See Edward meet a funny black man in prison and renounce his evil ways. Grow, Edward, grow! See sullen aspiring racist skinhead Edward Furlong practicing what his older brother once preached. Impart, elder Edward, impart! See helpful flashbacks in which we learn that the Edwards’ personal daddy was a casual bigot. Gape, previously ignorant moviegoers, gape! See director Tony Kaye attempt to lend this sociological primer some urgency by juxtaposing color with b&w and fragmenting the chronology a bit. Strive, Tony, str — oops, bye, Tony. See American History X. Unless of course you’re older than, say, six.”

—  Mike D’Angelo’s entire review

“Dazzling opening shot; pity about everything frickin’ else. I haven’t seen superlative style wasted on such insipid content since… uh… whaddaya know, Bonfire Of The Vanities.”

—  Mike D’Angelo’s entire review of Brian De Palma’s Snake Eyes

Sphere winds up just a load of balls.”

—  Charles Taylor

“I’ve seen sock puppets with greater range.”

—  Colin Jacobson on Denise Richards in Starship Troopers

“Every time she breathes you can actually hear oxygen being wasted.”

—  Mike Girouard on Denise Richards in Starship Troopers

“I’m afraid I missed large portions of this movie because my eyes spent so much time rolling.”

—  Mark Ramsey on End Of Days

“…a vile slice of millennial madness.… the most questionably repulsive big-budget film in recent memory.… a spiteful roller coaster of blood and humiliation.… pathetically scripted, mean-spirited foolishness.… endless, orgiastic displays of violence.… it’s impossible to stress how contemptible it is.… no less offensive for being pure hokum.… 158 minutes, because it’s so plot-heavy.”

—  Paul Tatara on End Of Days

“Just think of it as a really rousing remake of The Muppets Take Manhattan and I think your low expectations will pay off…”

—  James DiGiovanna on End Of Days


—  The New Statesman, 26 December 1975, on Jaws (quoted in Nigel Andrews’ Bloomsbury Movie Guide)

“It’s a bad sign when you’re watching a holiday movie and wind up rooting for death.”

—  Paul Tatara on Bicentennial Man

“…a film of phenomenal, ass-sucking badness if ever there was one. About an hour into the screening, I realized I had friends who were painting their apartment right at that moment — literally, watching paint dry — and knew they had to be having a better time than I was.”

—  Norm Wilner (usually so mild!) on The Loss Of Sexual Innocence

“Feeling sorry for rich, dreamy people is much more fun than worrying about, say, extra blankets for that toothless alcoholic woman vomiting in your doorway…”

— Libby Gelman-Waxner [Paul Rudnick] on Notting Hill

“I say we put Magnolia and Patch Adams in the same multiplex, right next to each other, and if anyone still chooses to see the latter film, they can be walled up inside with it forever.”

—  Norm Wilner

“…you are left with an internationally known, Academy-nominated actress peeing on herself for no reason.”

—  Paul Clinton on Kate Winslet in Holy Smoke

“I just don’t know why anyone could prefer Kubrick’s film over the awesome miniseries. I mean all Kubrick’s version has going for it is Jack Nicholson, depth, complex metaphor, awesome cinematography, a haunting score, a real budget, and one of the greatest directors of all time.

“On the other hand, the infinitely superior miniseries has everything going for it: the guy from Wings, the superb acting of Elliot Gould and Marvin Van Peebles, simpler dialogue, lots of ghosts in cheap makeup, CGI, a happy ending, and a screenplay penned by the guy who directed Maximum Overdrive.

“All that depth and complexity in the Kubrick version just makes my head hurt anyway. I don’t watch movies to have to think! If I wanted to do that, I’d go back to elementary school. And, besides, there was way too much violence and bloodshed in Kubrick’s movie. And why does Jack have to keep using the F-word on his murderous rampage? Can’t he just say ‘darn’ like in the miniseries?”

—  Eric R. comparing the two versions of The Shining

“There are more snow globes in this film than there are intelligent lines of dialogue.”

—  Paul Tatara on Eye Of The Beholder

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a big head trip
That started with this young hearthrob
Who rode a mighty ship.

“The star was a big box-office draw
The director hip, fer sure
Despite their impressive resumes
It’s a two-hour bore, a two-hour bore.

“The acting started getting rough
The lines were getting crossed
If not for the body of that French actress
The movie would be lost.”

— Denise M. Reagan on The Beach

“There are bad movies and bad movies, and then there is the rare atrocity that I watch in a state of existential dread, thinking, ‘Why is God punishing me? What did I do to deserve this?’ William Friedkin’s Rules Of Engagement is that bad, the kind of bad that’s not funny or merely annoying but truly, deeply excruciating.”

—  Godfrey Cheshire on Rules Of Engagement

“Spielberg clearly attempted to emulate the wackiness and huge all-star cast of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but all he got was a crappy, crappy, crappy, crappy movie.”

—  Colin Jacobson on Steven Spielberg’s 1941

“One of the most perfectly conceived, brilliantly executed films of all time. See Bud White violate perps just out of Q. See Ed Exley make his play. See Jack Vincennes be the coolest man on earth. Then watch it all over again and see what you missed.”

—  DVD Journal on L.A. Confidential

“Every so often a movie comes along that is so overwrought, overacted and overwhelmingly inept that it must be seen to be believed.… Battlefield Earth is an absolute disaster…”

—  Edward Johnson-Ott

Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It’s not merely bad; it’s unpleasant in a hostile way.”

—  Roger Ebert

“The director, Roger Christian, has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras, but he has not learned why.”

—  Roger Ebert, again, on Battlefield Earth

“We’re talking Ishtar Of The Apes.”

—  Desson Howe on Battlefield Earth

“…one of the most painfully excruciating experiences of my life.”

—  Joe Baltake, The Sacramento Bee, on Battlefield Earth

“Even if you were to classify it as a guilty pleasure, it would be the kind of sullying guilt that makes people leap from heights.”

— Shawn Levy, The Oregonian, on Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth should be shown only at maximum-security prisons when a prisoner is tossed in solitary for bad behavior.”

—  Max Messier, filmcritic.com

“…so stupid it defies explanation. Not even Evel Knievel himself could hurdle the rifts in reasoning.”

—  John Powell on Battlefield Earth

“It could be renamed Ed Wood’s Planet of the Apes if that title didn’t promise more cheesy fun than the movie actually delivers.”

—  David Edelstein on Battlefield Earth

“Things that start with the letter ‘B’: Battlefield Earth and Bomb.”

—  The Cranky Critic

“Brian Wright compared it to Armageddon, but I don’t think that’s exactly right. Armageddon was an ignorant film; [Battlefield Earth] can more accurately be described as mentally retarded. It’s like watching the Special Olympics.”

—  WideScreenPig

“Blank film would actually be an improvement over this two-hour eyesore, which is so ineptly written, directed, acted and photographed it seems as if it were made by circus chimps.”

—  Peter Howell on Battlefield Earth




—  Movie Geek Central on Battlefield Earth

“This is the funniest movie of the year. Period. It’s so unbelievably and egregiously bad, you have to wonder if they really meant for it to turn out this way. I’m serious. We’re talking Yor, The Hunter From The Future bad here.”

—  Widgett Walls on Battlefield Earth

“It may be a bit early to make such judgments, but Battlefield Earth may well turn out to be the worst movie of this century.”

—  Elvis Mitchell

“Never has a sick dude who kidnaps women and slowly drowns them in a giant tank before he has necrophiliac relations with them boasted reveries that looked so, well, arty.”

—  Stephen Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer, on The Cell

“Crap crap genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius crap crap.”

—  Mike D’Angelo’s entire review of Saving Private Ryan

“The end of the cold war and the waning of Gary Oldman’s interest in this kind of work have spelled hard times for movie bad guys.”

—  A.O. Scott

“…a meandering, amateurish attempt at narrative that gives [the audience] an intellectual hand job while failing on every dramatic and artistic level. It’s a lie. It’s a vulgar lie, and it doesn’t even have the balls or wit to be an entertainingly vulgar lie. I hold it and its makers in the most extreme contempt.”

—  Neil Sarver on Kids

“…you don’t need us to tell you that Coyote Ugly’s bad. It’s the type of instinctive knowledge you can feel in your bones, like the way your bones tell you that you shouldn’t put poop in your mouth…”

—  Seanbaby’s, uh, review

“There are individuals who have no problem listening to a major symphony on an AM radio, while others would not consider anything less than a live performance or the finest recordings played back on the finest gear to be viable. Although quality will vary widely, all listeners will hear the entire symphony played by all of the instruments. And it works.

“But consider that same piece of miraculous music under an adept conductorial hand, but with 50% of the players removed. Entire instrument sections suddenly missing. What has happened to our symphony? There is no difference between this and a pan-and-scanned version of a quality motion picture.”

— Robert A. Harris on pan-and-scan

“Seagal returns to theaters, zombie-like presence intact, with Exit Wounds, a vehicle so generic it might as well arrive bearing the title Interracial Buddy-Cop Thriller.”

—  Nathan Rabin

“If only Joe Dirt’s script (by [David] Spade and Fred Wolf) could be… double-edged. It’s barely even single-edged…”

—  Paul Tatara

“Is it possible to close America until further notice?”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on Joe Dirt

“I wrote the words Joe Dirt at the top of my notepad, and settled back to watch the new David Spade movie. Here is the first note I took: Approx. 6 min. until first cow fart set afire. Joe Dirt doesn’t waste any time letting you know where it stands.”

—  Roger Ebert

“Here is a comedy positioned outside the normal range of human response.”

— Roger Ebert on Tomcats (and he’s not being flattering, either)

“Of course, complaining that Little Nicky is spoiled is like complaining that you bought a Twinkie that’s past the sell-by date.”

—  Charles Taylor

“It’s not boring, it’s pretty interesting, and most importantly, it’s very entertaining. And it has Rocky selling out and the very catchy Oscar-nominated song ‘Eye Of The Tiger’. YEAH. AND MR. T. HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG WITH MR. T? I PITY THE FOOL WHO MESSES WITH T — okay, I’ve gone overboard. I apologize.”

—  Zach B. on Rocky III

“…a big, colourful farting balloon of a movie…”

—  Barbara Ellen in The Times on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

“…like what Hemingway might have come up with if he wrote fortune cookies.”

—  Charles Taylor on The Thin Red Line

“The movie Pearl Harbor does get a few things right. The Japanese did bomb Hawaii on Sunday morning, 7 December 1941…”

—  Lawrence Suid, in Naval History Magazine

Pearl Harbor is the story of how the Japanese staged a sneak attack on an American love triangle…”

—  Roger Ebert

“…when the big battle scenes finally began I was rooting for the Japanese to kill everybody.”

—  Peter M. Bracke on Pearl Harbor

O contains some intense moments. There’s profanity, drinking, drug use, lovemaking that turns into rape, point-blank shootings, and a horrible, heart-breaking strangulation. Go team go!”

—  Paul Tatara on O

“I like mass entertainment. I’ve written mass entertainment. But it’s the opposite of art because the job of mass entertainment is to cajole, seduce and flatter consumers — to let them know that what they thought was right is right, and that their tastes and their immediate gratification are of the utmost concern of the purveyor. The job of the artist, on the other hand, is to say, wait a second, to the contrary, everything that we have thought is wrong. Let’s re-examine it.”

—  David Mamet in Salon

“Yes, it has DTS. Yes, it is THX certified. Yes, it is a two-disc set. Yes, it is anamorphic. Yes, there are about a billion hours of special features. Yes, it rocks the Casbah.”

—  Wayne Rowe on Universal’s Cape Fear (1991) DVD

“[make-up effects man] Rick Baker… kicks so much ass he had to have been born with eight legs.”

—  Todd Doogan on An American Werewolf In London

“You know you’re in big trouble when halfway through a movie you ask yourself, ‘What would be better? Sitting through the rest of this garbage or receiving a scratch to the retina?’”

—  Jeremiah Kipp on Dungeons & Dragons

“Well it turns out that the movie is very bad. Not like ‘man, that gallon of expired milk I drank tasted bad,’ but like ‘the time I passed a gallstone the size of a horseshoe through the inside of my dick was bad.’”

—  Rich Kyanka on Dungeons & Dragons

“Mage Profion wants to take over the kingdom of Computer Graphic-tania because he is evil. However, Empress Savina is in charge of Computer Graphic-tania and she rules with a set of laws that sound like they were written by failed Miss America contestants and freshman liberal arts college students.”

—  Rich Kyanka (again) on Dungeons & Dragons

“Lights! Camera!! Zzzzzzzzz!!!”

—  Eva Vandergeld on Dungeons & Dragons

“This is the great secret of Star Wars, the 3-eyed cousin who lives in the barn attic, humping sheep and eating spiders.”

—  Oh, The Humanity! Reviews on the Star Wars Holiday Special

Riding In Cars With Boys assumes the premise that having a child at the age of 15 can really mess up your life. Well, duh.”

—  Paul Tatara

“If someone says ‘but… but… but,’ you can bet the farm that Mamet wrote the word three times on the page, and that’s exactly what the movie plays like, a bunch of people unquestioningly reciting every hem and haw put forth by the artiste. It gets so silly after a while, I was waiting for someone to pull a Victor Borge and start reciting the punctuation out loud.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Spanish Prisoner

“There’s so much attention paid to military hardware, a row of exploding rivets actually gets a close-up.”

—  Paul Tatara on Behind Enemy Lines

“Of course, Brando and De Niro are the main reason I did the film. If they’d said, ‘You, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are going to read the phone book on camera,’ I’d have said, ‘That sounds stupid, but okay.’”

—  Edward Norton on The Score

“…so glutinous that diabetic viewers will have to be carried from the auditorium foaming at the mouth.”

— Sean Macaulay, The Times, on The Majestic

“…footage seems to have been tossed into the air and randomly reassembled when it hit the ground.”

—  Paul Tatara on Slackers

“End credits outtakes strongly suggest that nothing of value was left on the editing room floor.”

— Variety’s Todd McCarthy on the Britney Spears movie Crossroads

“Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m hunting wepwicants.”

—  Hawwison Fudd, Bwade Wunner (Jerry Boyajian’s .sig)

“[Josh] Hartnett’s facial expressions run the gamut from ‘squinting’ to ‘squinting with mouth hanging open.’”

—  Paul Tatara on 40 Days And 40 Nights

“Given the level of realism present throughout, it would not have been wholly unexpected to see a green woman appear, wearing a pointed black hat and screeching, ‘Fly, FLY!!’ as her army of winged chimpanzees begin to darken the LA skyline.”

—  Giftzwerg on Training Day

“I laughed, I cried, I wanted to flay open my back and expose my spine.”

—  Dawn Taylor on Blade II

“The camera’s going to start here and move over here. If you stay in the shot, you’re in the movie. If you don’t, you’re not.”

—  William Friedkin directing actor William L. Petersen in To Live And Die In L.A., as related by John Harkness

“…like a symphony played on cell phones. All the parts are there, but the chintzy result seems like a conglomeration of strategic button-pushing.”

—  Paul Tatara on High Crimes

“I have yet to see a better cinematic beheading, and I saw Sleepy Hollow.”

—  Mike Lynch on I, Clavdivs

“Reduced to a plot summary, Richard III is ‘mean people suck.’”

—  Paul X. Foley

“Nor, it should be noted, was Irwin Allen himself any stranger to crap.”

—  Ken Begg on The Swarm

“…rather like an episode of Fantasy Island, if there had been a really, really long one where Tattoo got killed by bees.”

—  Ken Begg (again) on The Swarm

“…not only are Johann and Helden murderous Neo-Nazis committed to bringing about the Fourth Reich. They are, that’s right, incestuous murderous Neo-Nazis committed to bringing about the Fourth Reich.… just when you thought the film couldn’t achieve a higher anti-entertainment rating…”

—  Ken Begg on The Holcroft Covenant

“A small part of me died when I saw James Earl [Jones] clothed in a garish loincloth and Buddhist-style hat made of leopard skin. When he reared back his head and the sound track dubbed in the growl of a snarling bobcat, some of the parts of me which had survived decided to pull a Leland Palmer, and tossed themselves on top of the coffin containing the dead bits of me as it was being lowered into the ground.”

—  Douglas Milroy on Exorcist 2: The Heretic

“This is what Tom Stoppard would have written like, had he been a talent-free hermit suffering from the advanced stages of Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease.”

—  Douglas Milroy again on Exorcist 2: The Heretic

“…the children’s choir is joined by adult voices now, as if that will somehow make all this suck any less.”

—  Douglas Milroy (again!) on Exorcist 2: The Heretic

“…[a] calamitous, head-scratching sequel… a rollicking mess…whatever possessed them?”

—  Edward Margulies on Exorcist 2: The Heretic

“Hey! I just found out that if I leave my mute button on, the dialog pops up on the screen via close captioning! Sorry. I know that that’s not very interesting, but you have to realize that any diversion from the actual film at this point seems inordinately entertaining.”

—  Ken Begg on Body of Evidence

“…a touching scene (like when you touch the back of your throat to induce vomiting).… Pardon me while I have a healthy little cry (‘Zzzzzzzz’).”

—  Ken Begg on The Clan of the Cave Bear


—  Ken Begg suffering a minor breakdown while reviewing Fair Game

“Just picturing [Sharon Stone]’s lithe form coupling with [Dustin Hoffman]’s loose-skinned liver-spotted little twizzle of a trunk, and those Nachos aren’t looking too good after all. But boy, that pitcher of straw-margs sure is calling me right about now.”

—  Douglas Milroy on Sphere

“I’m going to ask that you shoot me now.”

—  Douglas Milroy, again, on Sphere

“…about the worst choice to play a ‘Dirty Harry’ type cop this side of Gary Coleman.”

—  Ken Begg on Melanie Griffith in A Stranger Among Us (a.k.a Witless, a.k.a A Shiksa Among Us)

“It’s the end of a classic love story. Boy meets catwoman, catwoman begins regressing to feline form, rampaging mutants hang catwoman. How many times have we seen it happen? And more to the point, will we ever have to see it again? Please say no.”

—  Jason MacIsaac on The Island of Dr Moreau

“[The characters] continue to banter in a manner similar to Tracy and Hepburn in a dimension where Tracy and Hepburn movies suck.”

—  Jessica Ritchey on Supergirl

“Lovers of classic cinema and Elizabeth Berkeley’s breasts, your prayers have finally been answered. Showgirls is here…”

—  Peter M. Bracke

“I hate to have to pan a movie that provides a memorable dry-hump scene….”

—  Colin Jacobson on Showgirls

“Does winky ironic self-consciousness of one’s own crappiness, the kind in which both viewer and viewed engage in a exchange of mutually self-aware guilt, make the object in question any less crappy? If a turd winks, does that make it any less a turd?”

—  Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star, on Jason X

“…how on earth could anyone be engaged by, let alone scared by, something that provokes nothing more from the viewer than a continual stream of mental — or verbal — exclamations of ‘Oh, come on!’?”

—  Liz Kingsley on I Know What You Did Last Summer

“This might truly be the dumbest film ever made — and believe me, I don’t mean ‘dumb’ in a fun, entertaining way, but in an out and out painful and insulting way.… moronic from its absolute extremities right down deep into its marrow.”

—  Liz Kingsley on I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (“a.k.a I Don’t Give My Sister’s Black Cat’s Ass What You Did TWO SUMMERS AGO What’s The Matter You Idiots Can’t You COUNT??”)

“Coming home to find his son’s friend raping a girl on his lawn, Walter does what any man would do: he packs his son off to Europe and marries the victim. After that, believe it or not, The Lonely Lady goes downhill…”

—  Liz Kingsley

“…at the end of the film — among many other delights — we have a character shrieking ‘PAAAAZUUUUZUUUU!!!!’ in a way that makes William Shatner’s delivery of the word ‘Khan’ in Star Trek II seem subtle and restrained by comparison.”

—  Liz Kingsley on Exorcist II: The Heretic

“We then get a sequence that clearly demonstrates just how thoroughly The Heretic’s screenwriters earned their pay:

  Lamont: ‘Kokumo, Kokumo!’
Regan: ‘Kokumo, Kokumo!’
Lamont: ‘Kokumo!’
Regan: ‘Kokumo!’
Lamont: ‘Kokumo!’
Regan: ‘Kokumo, Kokumo!’
Lamont: ‘Kokumo, Kokumo!’
Regan: ‘Kokumo, Kokumo, Kokumo!’”

—  Liz Kingsley (again) on Exorcist II: The Heretic

[critic] Rex Reed: “Sam! I just saw your picture! What a surprise! All that dreck — and right in the middle of it, a great Method performance by Michael Moriarty!”

[producer Sam] Arkoff: “The dreck was my idea.”

—  Roger Ebert’s story about Q: The Winged Serpent

“In Starship Troopers, Doogie Howser takes a multipointed, sharp, metal instrument, and shoves it up the anus of a massive dung beetle, for no reason other than to enjoy the sheer cruelty of the act.

“In contrast, throughout the entire running time of Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, neither Jake Loyd, nor Jar Jar Binks ever experiences any of the kind of the ruthless anal penetration they both so richly deserved.

“Based on that, I’m going with Starship Troopers as the better movie.”

—  Todd McNeeley (Lulu The Cow)

“…the most god-awful piece of shit I’ve ever seen. I’d rather eat my dinner out of the cat’s litter tray than sit through it again.”

—  Gillian White on Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

“Sometimes it is funny when people do not know they may be consuming semen (as in American Pie) and sometimes it is not, as in… this movie.”

—  Roger Ebert on The Sweetest Thing

“Along the way, Natalie Portman begins falling in love with Anakin, making him the luckiest second-grader alive…”

—  Jeff Vrabel on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

“Meanwhile, the corrupt Senate, led by Superman II’s General Zod, votes to send an investigative team to Naboo, which makes everybody unhappy and as a result, no one kneels before Zod.”

—  Jeff Vrabel (again) on Episode I

“…in a stunning twist, Natalie Portman is revealed to be… Natalie Portman.”

—  Jeff Vrabel (yet again) on Episode I

“Unfortunately, given Lucas’ proven knack for lousy dialogue, you can’t help but snicker at the two lovebirds. Special mention has to go to Anakin’s head-scratching segue between complaining about beach sand and marveling at Amidala’s silky-smooth complexion. For a couple of terrifying seconds, it seems like he might start singing.”

—  Paul Tatara on Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

“Anakin, as embodied by [Hayden] Christensen, is the kind of needlessly moody kid you might see getting punched out in a Dairy Queen parking lot.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on Episode II

“The new film Enough lives up to its title within minutes of the opening credits.”

—  Paul Clinton

“I can unequivocally say that my most enjoyable experience and the best result came out of the E.T. experience. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to completely satisfied with a picture without any desire to go back in and change it.”

— Steven Spielberg, American Premiere magazine, July 1982

“…we took the guns out of the policemen’s hands and put walkie-talkies in. That was something that very soon after shooting the movie Steven wanted to change.”

—  Spielberg’s producer Kathleen Kennedy, TechTV, March 2002

“Ashley Judd [is] an Oscar-caliber actress who consistently roots out inferior screenplays like a sexy truffle pig…”

—  Paul Tatara on Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Beat Joe Black.”

—  Rod Hilton on Fight Club

“My spleen will pop out of my body if movie makers make me stoop any lower.”

—  “Capone” on the Scooby-Doo movie

“Monkey see old hit, monkey do remake.”

—  David Edelstein on the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes

“You’d have to duct-tape me to the chair to get me to sit through The Lion King again.”

—  Ronald O. Christian

“I learned one divine secret.… Forty-five minutes into the movie, you can still get your money back.”

—  David Letterman on Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

“Without a clever script or dramatic tension, we’re left with great CGI, and CGI means NOTHING. You can turn a man invisible — big shit. I’m shaking. This is the only card in the film’s deck, and once you’ve seen an invisible man in water, you’ve seen him in smoke, steam, blood and bits of his own charred flesh and they’re all pretty much the same. Why not just call the film Oh Look At Us We’re So Fucking Clever? And then you could have the sequel — So Fucking Clever 2: Invisible Bitches In Heat Go Muff Mental. I’d buy that for a dollar.”

—  final paragraph of Al Ewing’s increasingly-angry review of Hollow Man

“…let’s cut to the consumer-advice bottom line: Stay home.”

—  Michael Atkinson on Mr. Deeds

“Your entertainment-seeking efforts would be better expended perusing old phone books. The white pages.”

—  Michael Atkinson (again) on Mr. Deeds

“…the presence of poor, repentant Winona Ryder as Sandler’s love interest, emoting her little heart out and being forced to utter dialogue a smart dog wouldn’t consider, gives the movie the torturous effect of an iron maiden.”

—  Michael Atkinson (again) on Mr. Deeds

“There are two things I will never do in my life. I will never climb Mount Everest, and I will never work with Val Kilmer again. There isn’t enough money in the world.”

—  John Frankenheimer, Premiere magazine, April 1997

“The film suddenly becomes an endless litany of, well, endless litanies.”

—  Paul Tatara on Shine

“This will sound a little nuts, but I’ve always been bothered by the size of Tom Cruise’s neck.”

—  Paul Tatara on Jerry Maguire

“I’m sure Madonna is very upset, having spent the past year and a half tirelessly portraying a grown-up, but the fact of the matter is that she can’t act. Blame who you want, but it ain’t the material, girl.”

—  Paul Tatara

“At this point I couldn’t have rolled my eyes more if I took them out of my head and tossed them across a dice table.”

—  Paul Tatara on Lost Highway

“Is it possible to take back an Oscar?”

—  Paul Tatara on Holly Hunter in Crash

“It’s not near as aggravating as the Ace Ventura pictures, much in the same way that slamming a door on your hand is not as aggravating as suddenly getting your skull split open with a ball-peen hammer.”

—  Paul Tatara on Liar Liar

“[David Spade] makes you think of Chris Farley whenever you see him. That alone makes him a sort of comic Typhoid Mary.”

—  Paul Tatara on 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag

“…suitable for anyone who can stand it. No nudity. No bad language. May cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery after watching…”

—  Paul Tatara on Gone Fishin’

“Lots of [pseudo-religious philosophical] babble falls from the mouth of Palmer Joss, played with great teeth by Matthew McConaughey.”

—  Paul Tatara on Contact

“There’s supposed to be a romance between Foster and McConaughey, but I’ve seen fewer sparks fly from a damp Bic lighter.”

—  Paul Tatara (again) on Contact

“Director Steve Oedekerk… telegraphs gags like Samuel Morse on a three-day drunk. Here’s an example: [Tim] Robbins is pumping gas into the car when the tank overflows and gets all over his shoes. About 10 minutes later, they’re driving down the road and [Martin] Lawrence mentions that he smells gas. Robbins says it’s all over his shoes. Then, Robbins gets a spider in his hair (don’t ask), pulls to the side of the road, gets out, and steps on a book of matches. The matches, amazingly enough, strike the asphalt at just the right angle, and… you’ll never guess. They set Robbins’ shoes on fire! They should have sent out engraved invitations to this joke. If they had, I would have been busy that weekend.”

—  Paul Tatara on Nothing to Lose

“If you have any kind of life to speak of, it’s probably never occurred to you that it might be fun to watch Anthony Hopkins get chased through the woods by an irate kodiak bear.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Edge

“Given [screenwriter David] Mamet’s track record, you would expect lots of the dialogue to be biting, and it often is. After a few bites, though, the hot dog has been eaten and you’re left gnawing on a bun.”

—  Paul Tatara on Wag the Dog

“…an absolute hoot, some of the most bizarre foolishness I’ve ever seen in a supposedly serious film.… about as inspiring as a movie about a vengeful meter reader.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Postman

“A lot of people have pointed to this as writer/director Kevin Smith’s ‘more mature’ approach to filmmaking, and I’ll give him that much. Whereas Clerks and Mallrats seemed aimed at 7th graders, 10th graders should get a real charge out of Chasing Amy.”

—  Paul Tatara

“Stuff zips-zangs-and-zoings all over the place for the entire movie, and every single second of it is VERY VERY VERY LOUD! KABOOM! Pensive-moment fans (smart people) might want to do something less chaotic, like pounding themselves in the head with a plank for a couple of hours.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Fifth Element

“…you eventually start to feel like you’re watching a furious perfume commercial.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Replacement Killers

“…the interesting construction of the movie reminds you of Pulp Fiction, albeit with kissing and hugging as opposed to guns and forced sodomy.”

—  Paul Tatara on Sliding Doors

“It’s like the whole movie was thrown against a wall, and whatever stuck was included in the final cut.”

—  Paul Tatara on The Avengers

“By the time it was done, I felt a lot more like a meat inspector than a movie critic.”

—  Paul Tatara on John Carpenter’s Vampires

“If you’re pretentious enough to have moved beyond laughing at booger-picking, you should probably stay at home.”

—  Paul Tatara on Little Nicky

“If they ever remake 2001: A Space Odyssey, [Keanu Reeves] should play the monolith.”

—  Paul Tatara

“Proof that Jesus died in vain.”

—  Slappy the Squirrel on Austin Powers in Goldmember

“This movie sucked like a singularity.… Tomcats’ tagline is ‘The last man standing gets the kitty!’ but I think ‘Through me the way into grief eternal’ would be more to the point. Really, this is Hell’s in-flight movie — so staggeringly loathsome, you just can’t wait to land at Hades International and begin pushing your boulder up the hill for all eternity.”

—  Eva Vandergeld

“Patrick [Swayze] pops a white cassette into the tape deck. Generic Rock Ballad #2 pops up. The tune sings ‘We’re on the road again,’ neatly paralleling the events of the movie. Hey, here’s a thought: How about just playing a series of songs titled ‘New Guy in Town,’ ‘Laying Down the Law,’ ‘Requisite Love Interest,’ ‘Undeveloped Villain,’ ‘Final Battle,’ ‘Happy Endings’ and be done with the film? No? Well, I guess it was too much to ask for.”

—  Jessica Ritchey on Roadhouse

“What the hell happened to [Kevin Costner], anyway? How did he manage to go from Young Harrison Ford to Boring, Humorless Old Harrison Ford without stopping at Good Harrison Ford?”

—  Mark Steese

“Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.”

—  Marin Independent-Journal listing for The Wizard of Oz

“I have a love-hate relationship with Eric Schaeffer’s films, only without the love.”

—  John Harkness

“…Attack of the Clones rises and falls on the strength of story and character. Mostly it flatlines.… Anakin Skywalker’s submission to the Dark Side should play as tragedy, not just the story of a galactic asshole.”

—  Bryant Frazer

“[Hayden Christensen] may very well be the first actor on earth who is less unsettling and more convincing when depicted as an awkwardly-animated computer rendering.”

—  ToastyFrog.com on Star Wars: Episode II

“Those who cannot remember history are doomed to learn [it] from Oliver Stone movies.”

—  John Harkness

“This just may be the stupidest movie I’ve ever seen.… if you’re a fan of action porn, you have found utter nirvana.”

—  Peter M. Bracke on xXx

“Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers (a.k.a Look Who’s Tolkien Too)…”

—  Philip French

[The] Two Towers should serve as a postcard to George Lucas, one that reads, ‘Making great movies, wish you were here!’”

—  Larry Carroll

“George Lucas should watch this and hang his head in shame.”

—  Ty Burr on The Two Towers

“[The droids]’re just these two sort of anonymous characters who are, in spite of it all, very very human and likable… and a tiny bit gay.”

— Adam, Star Wars fan, Channel 4’s “Top 100 Films” show

“If I ever catch that ‘Fandango’ guy out on the street, he’s dead.”

—  Kenneth Crudup

“It would be hard to think of a movie star… who seethes with darkness less than Ben Affleck.”

—  Owen Gleiberman on Daredevil

“…the Battlefield Earth of superhero films…”

—  Steve Rhodes on Daredevil

“…would be instantly forgettable if it weren’t so spectacularly bad.”

—  Jonathan Perry on Daredevil

“Whenever I see those Maid in Manhattan trailers, all I can think about is [Ralph] Fiennes showing off his full-body tattoos to a startled J.Lo, then tying her to a wheelchair, lighting her on fire and pushing her into oncoming traffic.”

—  Peter M. Bracke on Red Dragon

“…there can be only one! Or some! Or one, but not that one!”

—  Joel’s Movie Reviews commenting on the Highlander films

“You could run this film backward, soundtrack included, and it would make no less sense.”

— Stephen Hunter in The Washington Post on Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (rated a perfect 0% at Rotten Tomatoes!)

“I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.”

—  Roger Ebert

“When I see a film by Kubrick, I see Oz the Great and Powerful. When I see a film by Spielberg, I see a man behind a curtain pulling levers and barking into a microphone.”

—  Jerry Boyajian (jayembee)

“There are moments in this movie that will suck your jaw to the floor, not in wonder, but in disbelief at the idiocy on display.”

—  Gary Johnson on Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

“…And now there’s Gigli, a film that’s generating an unprecedented amount of buzz — and that buzz is the sound of flies on shit.”

—  Sean O’Hara

“I like good horror movies. They can exorcise our demons. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [remake] doesn’t want to exorcise anything. It wants to tramp crap through our imaginations and wipe its feet on our dreams.”

—  Roger Ebert

“Don’t let it kill 98 minutes of your life.”

—  Ebert, again, on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake

“Short of naming the picture Jaws 4: Electric Boogaloo, I’m not sure how much more fair warning [the filmmakers] could have provided.… If you ever wanted to see somebody cram ten pounds of crap in a five-pound bag, here’s your chance.”

—  Ken Begg on Jaws: The Revenge

“For a film lasting a mere ninety-one minutes, this one sure can drag.… hey, isn’t there a shark or something in this freakin’ movie? What the hell?”

—  Begg (again) on Jaws: The Revenge

“I don’t know, shouldn’t animatronic shark technology have gotten, you know, better in the twelve years since the first film came out?”

—  Begg (again) on Jaws: The Revenge

“‘I always wanted to make love to an angry welder,’ [actor Lance Guest] leers. Hey, buddy, should you ever want to get severely beaten by an angry audience member, give me a call.”

—  Begg (still) on Jaws: The Revenge

“The only jaws to watch out for in this film are yours, hitting the floor.”

—  Almar Haflidason on Jaws: The Revenge

“…the script is awful  —  my seven-year-old daughter makes up better stories than this when she’s trying to avoid getting in trouble.”

—  Mike Bracken on Jaws: The Revenge

“…could more accurately be titled The Matrix Repeatedly Redoubled.”

—  Mike D’Angelo on The Matrix Reloaded

“There are still a few loose ends that might be spun into future sequels  — The Matrix Recycled, perhaps, or The Matrix Recall Election or The Matrix Recipe Book and Holiday Menu Planner (featuring the Oracle’s baking tips)…”

—  A.O. Scott on The Matrix Revolutions

“[Keanu] Reeves, perhaps worried that he was showing too much range, has purged himself of all expression apart from a worried frown and a sorrowful grimace.”

—  A.O. Scott, again, on The Matrix Revolutions

“At the risk of understatement, The Matrix Revolutions sucks.”

—  Peter Travers

“…visually slick, almost shockingly simple-minded, kinda redundant, and only adequately satisfying.”

—  Gregory Weinkauf on The Matrix Revolutions

“Han Solo and Princess Leia struggle to help Luke Skywalker confront his shadow side in order to ... um ... whoops, wrong decade. Make that: Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne, flat) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss, flatter) struggle to help Neo (Keanu Reeves, goes without saying) confront his shadow side in order to, you know, save the world.”

—  Gregory Weinkauf again on The Matrix Revolutions

“…a cyberpunk/anime Tron knockoff in Blade’s duds following The Omega Man’s path toward a Hulk-like aura of self-discovery climaxing with a middling showdown stolen from Superman II…”

—  Gregory Weinkauf again on The Matrix Revolutions

“[The Wachowskis] lean so heavily on concepts and designs from director James Cameron’s Aliens in the middle third of the movie that you half-expect to hear Bill Paxton wailing ‘Game over, maaaaan!’ in the background.”

—  James Sanford on The Matrix Revolutions

“…so disappointing, they may as well have bussed in Ewoks to save Zion.… the audience was laughing its collective ass off in my screening.… God help you when you storm out of the theater and try to get your money back. You deserve it.”

—  Christopher Null on The Matrix Revolutions

“The scariest moment in the movie was when it intimated that there might yet be another episode.”

—  Movie Mom on The Matrix Revolutions

“…more like The Matrix Repetitions…”

—  Chris Hewitt on The Matrix Revolutions

“[The Wachowskis] shoplift gleefully everywhere from Star Wars to Mad Max to The Wizard of Oz without making any of the allusions either salient or witty.”

—  John Anderson on The Matrix Revolutions

“‘Everything that has a beginning has an end,’ reads the movie’s tagline. Somewhere during Hour Two you begin to have your doubts.”

—  John Anderson again on The Matrix Revolutions

“Not quite as soul-crushingly dull as this past summer’s The Matrix Reloaded, the third and (God willing) last installment in Larry and Andy Wachowski’s infantile philosophy-for-dummies crash course finally grinds to a halt with The Matrix Revolutions.… The bad news is that it’s still terrible.”

—  Sean Burns

[The] Gospel According to TronNeo Christ Superstar…”

—  Sean Burns’ alternate titles for The Matrix Revolutions

“…directors Andy and Larry Wachowski give up on character; instead, they try havoc and let slurp the dogs of war. The film is a soggy mess…a loud, wild 100-minute battle movie bookended by an incomprehensible beginning and a laughable ending.”

—  Stephen Hunter on The Matrix Revolutions

“…about as much fun as watching someone else play a video game.”

—  Sam Rouse on The Matrix Revolutions

“All of human endeavor boils down to Aunt Jemima and Colonel Sanders deadlocked in some immortal behind-the-scenes bake-off.”

—  The Still King on The Matrix Revolutions

“…a cinematic landmark… the first time someone has managed to construct a narrative entirely out of plot holes.”

—  Mac Hall on The Matrix Revolutions

“At one point in The Cat in the Hat, the Cat, played by Mike Myers, is mistaken for a pinata by a group of children at a birthday party.… the scene culminates with a husky lad swinging a baseball bat directly into the unfortunate feline’s cojones. That’s a remarkably precise metaphor for what this movie does to the memory of Dr. Seuss. If the producers had dug up Ted Geisel’s body and hung it from a tree, they couldn’t have desecrated the man more.”

—  Ty Burr

“…M:i-2 is N:f-ing: G.”

—  Anthony Lane on Mission: Impossible 2

“She’s a cock-tease. He’s her obsessive stalker. Together… they fight crime.”

—  Sean O’Hara on Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones

“If they just showed Rob Schneider getting the shit beat out of him with a baseball bat for two hours, it’d be worth it.”

—  Sean O’Hara on 50 First Dates

“If you want to see a naked guy get whipped, flogged and nailed, and you live in a community with limited access to gay leather magazines, then this is really the movie for you.”

—  James DiGiovanna on The Pirates Passion of the Caribbean Christ

“I’ve seen movies with a less open-minded worldview than Mona Lisa Smile. Let’s see — there’s Triumph of the Will…”

—  Colin Jacobson

“…or, to call it by its real name, ‘Se7en for Dummies’.”

—  John Harkness on Taking Lives

“Because Jane Campion is a talented director who has made several fine films, and because courage and integrity should be rewarded rather than ridiculed, and — most of all — because I would rather not come across as a sexist pig, I have spent the last hour or so trying, with increasing desperation, to think of something to say about Campion’s new movie, In the Cut, that does not involve the subject of Meg Ryan’s breasts. Unfortunately…”

—  Mike D’Angelo

“Johnny Depp doesn’t so much make mincemeat of his opponents as mince at every opponent he meets.”

—  Mike D’Angelo on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

“Even when a critic dislikes a movie, if it’s a good review, it has enough information so you can figure out whether you’d like it, anyway.… For example, this review is a splendid review because it lets you know you’d hate A Cinderella Story, and I am pretty much 100 percent sure that you would.”

—  Roger Ebert


—  David Edelstein on I, Robot

“Ballooning, jingoistic goat spoor…”

—  Michael Atkins on Gods and Generals

“…the only thing that might make Beverly Hills Cop III more appealing would be the inclusion of a home lobotomy kit.”

—  Colin Jacobson

“I have seen dozens of terrible movies in my life…. I’ve seen all the Karate Kid films. I’ve seen most of Russ Meyer’s catalog. I’ve seen Wild Orchid, and I’ve seen Hook. Here On Earth is the worst movie I have ever seen.”

—  Sarah D. Bunting

“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.”

—  Anthony Lane on Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

“…[it’s a] damn shame, because [George] Lucas can really make a movie look like a million bucks. A big set piece, no problem. Huge battle sequences, shit-kicking Muppets, aging an evil chancellor three hundred years with static electricity, ain’t no thing. Two people just talking to each other and he’s at a complete loss.”

—  Sarah D. Bunting on Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

“…the pivotal romance between Anakin and Padmé burns with all the passion of rubbing together two action figures…”

—  Ed Halter on Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

“…the bad guys stride through spotless corriders in buildings where weirdly calm disembodied female voices say things like ‘Switching to emergency backup lighting system.’ If only I could have found the button for the emergency backup better-movie system.…”

—  Nell Minow on Ultraviolet

“…we went to Ultraviolet so you won’t have to. It was awful. Next time you go, okay?”

—  Liz Braun

“…the worst film I have ever seen all the way through by quite some margin. To say it had a plot would be generous  —  there were several moments when my eyeballs were considering leaping out of my head and strangling me for forcing them to watch such drivel.”

—  Capel on Ultraviolet

“…The end of [Contact] is so insulting, I wanted to throw things at the screen.”

—  Glenn Erickson

“If there were hundreds of films featuring sequences of marauding gigantic hogs, these would still be the lamest marauding gigantic hogs sequences of all time.”

—  David Edelstein on Hannibal

“A money-minting technocrat like Michael Bay couldn’t make this movie if you pumped him full of sedatives, taste, and brains. This isn’t hack work.…do yourself a favor and see this one.”

—  Paul Tatara on Michael Clayton

“Hopkins doesn’t have cowboys and midgets strutting around and talking in code for no reason, but it’s possible that he simply didn’t know any midgets or cowboys.”

—  Paul Tatara comparing Anthony Hopkins’ film Slipstream to the work of David Lynch

“...has the air of having been conceived as a scriptwriter’s drinking game that uses every disaster flick cliché ever coined.”

—  Michael Moran on 2012

“Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it one of the year’s best? No. Does Emmerich hammer it together with his elbows from parts obtained from the Used Disaster Movie Store? Yes.”

—  Roger Ebert on 2012

“Emmerich’s main achievement is to take a bunch of excellent actors, including Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Woody Harrelson, and to prevent all of them — with the exception of Oliver Platt and a pair of giraffes — from giving a decent performance.”

—  Anthony Lane on 2012

“Chronic pyromaniacs might find some satisfaction [in] 2012…”

—  Dan Lybarger

“Nothing, not even a season of Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon, will give you more respect for how difficult it is to be an actor than watching top talent like John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt struggling to treat the film’s ungodly language and situations with perfect seriousness.”

—  Kenneth Turan on 2012

“Nobody expects a Roland Emmerich film to be good…”

—  Glenn Erickson on 2012

“Jesus, where to start? District 9 contains profanity, vile racism (of a sort), arms, limbs, and heads being ripped off of bodies, bodies exploding into meaty morsels, copious amounts of black vomit, close-ups of disemboweled alien torsos, Mengele-style medical experiments, point-blank gunshots to the head, a religious ritual in which raw alien meat is consumed by humans, and screaming, screaming, screaming. Think Transformers after a smart guy shit on it, wrapped it in entrails, and left it in the rain to rust. Rated R. 113 minutes.”

—  Paul Tatara

“...3D as cinematic Botox...”

—  Kate Muir on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

“The trouble is that [new co-star Penelope] Cruz is actually wearing Antonio Banderas’s Puss in Boots costume from Shrek, down to the feathered hat, and working that Espanish accent. In the row behind me someone said, wickedly: ‘It’s Pussy in Boots!’ and then I lost concentration.”

—  Kate Muir, again, on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

“Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you’ve been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.”

—  Roger Ebert on Battle: Los Angeles

“This is one of those movies you sit through with mounting dread, as the fear grows inside of you that it will indeed turn out to be feature length.”

—  Roger Ebert on Hellraiser

“[Jason Statham’s] voice alone is delectable: It sounds like a cat’s tongue feels.”

—  Stephanie Zacharek on Transporter 3

“…it turns out that [Liam Neeson’s character is] a former CIA agent. Of course he is. What did you think, that this movie was going to be some boring thing about a family? Wake up and smell the explosions!”

—  Mick LaSalle on Taken

“…The Adequate Hulk would have been a more suitable title.”

—  A.O. Scott on The Incredible Hulk

“‘Hulk. Smash!’ Yes. Hulk. Smash. Yes. Smash. Big Hulk smash. Smash cars. Buildings. Army tanks. Hulk not just smash. Hulk also go rarrr! Then smash again. Smash important, obviously. Smash Hulk’s USP. What Hulk smash most? Hulk smash all hope of interesting time in cinema.”

— Peter Bradshaw on The Incredible Hulk

“Bane…sounds like Bill Clinton trying to amuse Stevie Wonder with an impression of James Mason, and he looks like the end-of-level boss in every Sega Megadrive game ever made. I was waiting for him to fling barrels at me. And for a climactic moment near the end of the fight where his mask flew off and I had to shoot a glowing red blob on his back.”

—  Charlie Brooker on The Dark Knight Rises

“From a certain perspective, the movie is Ocean’s Eleven with a meddling cop who comes along and fucks everything up.”

—  Tom Breihan on Die Hard

“The greatest thing about doing [the US remake of] House of Cards was telling all these directors that they have final cut. I’m gonna chime in, but I definitely know how to go fuck myself.”

—  David Fincher

“…the reason movies have gotten more expensive is because the perception is that everything we’re doing is very, very precious and has to be done perfectly. It’s not like you go and rent a car and the character drives a car. You have to rent a fleet of them in case one breaks. It’s a perceived importance. There’s this sense that it’s a military operation. And it is a military operation, and if you’ve ever seen a military operation you’d be shocked that anyone ever comes out alive. Ninety people working together cannot find their ass with a flashlight.”

—  David Fincher

“Aside from the core quartet of Daniels, Tennessee, Oram, and Walter, the rest of the Covenant’s crew may as well be balloons with faces drawn on them.”

—  Alasdair Stuart on Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant is too beautiful to dismiss entirely, but too stupid to be any good.”

—  Norm Wilner