Lost in a long and sleepy holiday weekend’s ennui, we couldn’t help ourselves: We’ve pulled together lines culled from the funniest/worst movie reviews so far this year, pulling out some jewels. Here’s what we came up with:
Tammy (Opened July 2, 27% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
Melissa McCarthy‘s film sees her once again working the schtick as an in-your-face femme, this time on the road with her just-as-crass granny (Susan Sarandon). Given that the film seems to be headed into a ditch after a weak open, one can’t help wondering whether the Bridesmaids thesp’s routine is aging fast.
“The good news is that Tammy is not a crappy remake of the 1957 Tammy movie with Debbie Reynolds that spawned three sequels and a TV comedy series. The bad news is that this one is much worse… It’s about as funny as a liver transplant.” — New York Observer’s Rex Reed, who already had a bone to pick with McCarthy last year.
Endless Love (Feb. 14, 15% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
The remake of the poorly reviewed 1981 film of the same name based on the same Scott Spencer novel … only much worse … got similar reviews.
“A movie just begging to go up in the flames of camp. If only somebody had brought a match.” — Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips
Grace of Monaco (May 14, 10% Rotten Tomatoes)
This controversial film starring Nicole Kidman premiered during the Cannes Film Festival, prompting lots of criticism and this memorable review:
“It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk. The cringe-factor is ionospherically high. A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anesthetic.” — The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw
Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27, 17% Rotten Tomatoes).
Even though it is racking up huge numbers in its second weekend, especially overseas), we’d be crazy to skip over this crash/bang/boom sequel and the noise it generated among unhappy critics. Back in 2009, the New Yorker’s David Denby said of previous installment Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: “Two sets of leaden-voiced, plastic-and-metal monsters, the Autobots and the Decepticons, having failed to settle their differences over a parking space on an alien planet, fight it out on Earth.” This time around, what sayeth the critics on Extinction? Here’s one:
“It is scattered, weightless, impossible to get hold of, and somehow, after seven years and more than 10 hours of screen time, I could not tell you what these films are about.” — Chicago Tribune‘s Christopher Borrelli
“A good family movie the way Hooters is a good family restaurant.” — New York magazine’s David Edelstein
“Most of Blended has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth graders and conceived by their less bright classmates.” — New York Times‘ A.O. Scott
A Haunted House 2 (April 18, 9% Rotten Tomatoes Score) Yes, they made another but likely will not be making a third.
“The worst movie of the year … and it’s only April.” — Film.com‘s Jenni Miller
“It definitely exceed expectations, but in the worst way possible.” Toronto Globe and Mail‘s John Semley
“It’s certainly likely to be among the worst movies in wide release this year, but it’s far from the most hateable, and that should count for something.” Variety‘s Andrew Barker
A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 30, 33% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
This fish-out-of-water story about a sheep farmer who’s meant for a more cosmopolitan life, but gets pulled back into the dreaded conventions of the Wild, Wild West lost its audience with too many jokes about cow dung and sex. Who knew those would turn off a Seth MacFarlane audience, let alone the delicate sensibilities of critics?
“Almost approaches so-bad-you-need-to-see-it categorization.” RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico
“The things that stay with you are the dull, boilerplate love story, the laziest performance of Liam Neeson’s career as a murderous gunslinger and the distracting amount of makeup Seth MacFarlane sports in the film.” — Miami Herald’s Rene Rodriguez
Pompei (Feb. 23, 28% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
Arguably the first sword and sandal/disaster pic since Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in Cleopatra, but this one crosses genres and also stars a lava-spewing volcano.
“It fails to offer as single compelling character as a sacrifice to the angry volcano.” — Arizona Republic’s Barbara VanDenburgh
The Quiet Ones (April 25, 36% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
The horror film that spooked some critics, but not for the right reasons.
“It’s a junky, unscary genre piece with a misleading title, because director and co-writer John Pogue jacks up the decibels so often to manufacture frights that you fear a punctured eardrum more than anything else.” — Los Angeles Times‘ Robert Abele
“This demonic possession story is at times so lame it makes the last Paranormal Activity flick look like a masterpiece.” — New York magazine‘s Bilge Ebiri
The Legend of Hercules (Jan.10, 3% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
The latest (but not the year’s only) reboot of the mythological hero’s story starred former fashion model-turned actor Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga films). It turned out to be a sore for sighted eyes, more Augean stables before Herc than after his cleanup work.
“… and while the role may not call for a master thespian, it at least begs someone who can emote without looking like he’s straining to execute a dead lift.” — Variety‘s Scott Foundas
“While Lutz might possess the beefcake to fill out his chest armor, he lacks the acting chops to make us much care about the fate of his gleaming hero, who looks as if he just stepped out of a Beverly Hills salon.” — RogerEbert.com‘s Susan Wlosczyna
I, Frankenstein (Jan. 24, 4% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
Because all monster movies should be titled in the first person. This one starred Aaron Eckhart. It was not, in any way, a monster hit, no matter the pronoun involved.
“It isn’t until approximately 92 minutes into the film’s 93-minute running time that it even cracks its first joke, when the end credits offer ‘special thanks’ to Mary Shelley.” — Variety‘s Andrew Barker
“Eckhart plays Frankenstein’s monster in a monotonous, teeth-gritting mode, as if someone had one gun on him and another on his family.” — New York magazine’s David Edelstein
Winter’s Tale (Feb. 14, 13% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
A romantic yarn across time that marked the directorial debut of Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and had a list of A-list talent that included Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, and William Hurt.
“The whole thing is so roaringly absurd, and delivered with such hands-clasped sincerity, that the only rational response is to laugh the house down.” — The Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin
“It is sincerely, painstakingly and astonishingly awful.” — Toronto Globe and Mail‘s Liam Lacey
“The actors – who seem to have been involved in a hideous industrial accident that’s left them with the superpower of repelling all comic timing – are spectacularly unfunny.” Time Out London’s Cath Clarke
“Although the characters talk really fast, swear a lot, and overlap their lines, what they’re saying isn’t very funny or authentic. It’s as if David Mamet collaborated on writing an episode of Two and a Half Men.” — The Boston Globe‘s Peter Keough
“It’s Torture porn for the action set with no discernible message other than, perhaps, that friends who want to hack you and stuff your corpse in a fridge really aren’t your friends.” — USA Today‘s Scott Bowles
“Terrence Howard seems to be hoping that Don Cheadle will turn up to relieve him.” — RogerEbert.com’s Peter Sobczynski
Transcendence (April 18, 19% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
Johnny Depp starred in this big-budget sci-fi film about a scientist who becomes one with the Interwebz, but this movie about the resulting disaster was a disaster.
“If you programmed an algorithm to figure out how The Lawnmower Man might be retold by Snake Plissken at the conclusion of Escape from L.A., you’d still wind up with a more recognizably human effort.” — Slant Magazine‘s Eric Henderson
“Her for dummies.” — Miami Herald‘s Rene Rodriguez
Moms’ Night Out (May 9, 16% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
“Moms’ Night Out is a hectic mess that does just the opposite of what it clearly set out to do: It makes motherhood seem like one of the most ill-conceived ideas since New Coke.” — Los Angeles Times‘ Gary Goldstein
“There’s nothing wrong with Moms’ Night Out that couldn’t be fixed by a massive rewrite, preferably one that involves a lobotomy for the main character.” — Variety‘s Justin Chang