Mac And Me

(Photo by Orion/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Vertical Entertainment, TriStar Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

100 Worst Movies of All Time

It’s bad movies galore as we encounter the Rottenest of the Rotten: 100 movies that scored less than 5% with the critics on the Tomatometer!

You’re going to see lots of 0% movies, and there’s even more out there, but the ones on this list all have at least 20 reviews. We wanted to make sure the movies we’re “vouching” for as the worst ever have inflicted a minimum threshold of agony on critics. And the 20-review entry applies for every other movie on this list, and that includes the usual suspects of garbage cinema, like the deep space train wreck Battlefield Earth, the box office turkey (turtle?) The Master of Disguise, Netflix’s lazy western The Ridiculous 6, and flaccid softcore Killing Me Softly (which also makes a dubious appearance in the 200 best and worst erotic movies).

You may also note a number of significant stinkers are from the past 20 years. It’s not just because Uwe Boll was employed during this time period. And, by the way, he’s actually beat by dubious directing duo Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who have four movies on the list. Instead, it’s the fact more reviews are being written and collected than ever before, so today’s disasters have a better chance of vaunting over 20 reviews. (And for movies that share the same score, more reviews means you’re placed higher within the ranking.)

But fret not: Plenty of yesteryear’s bombs are here. After all, the decade that produced Mac & Me has a lot to account for. Some of the classic trash featured includes the soul-sucking Mortal Kombat: AnnihilationSpeed 2: Cruise Control (see what happens when you throw Keanu overboard?), off-the-deep-end Jaws: The Revenge, and prime directive-violating RoboCop 3.

What you won’t see: Some legendary bad movies like CatsBirdemic, and The Room, all of which have cleared at least a 10% Tomatometer. That’s right, they were too good. And Miami Connection and Plan 9 From Outer Space are actually Fresh!

Now that we set the mood for truly bad movies, start the most painful watchlist you’ll ever make with the 100 worst movies of all time! Alex Vo

#100

Mac and Me (1988)
7%

#100
Adjusted Score: 8219%
Critics Consensus: Mac and Me is duly infamous: not only is it a pale imitation of E.T., it's also a thinly-veiled feature length commercial for McDonalds and Coca-Cola.
Synopsis: A young extraterrestrial, separated from its family and stranded on Earth, finds friendship with a boy in a wheelchair.... [More]
Directed By: Stewart Raffill

#99
Adjusted Score: 4399%
Critics Consensus: Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.
Synopsis: As war looms in an idyllic kingdom, a man named Farmer (Jason Statham) begins a heroic quest to find his... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#98

Material Girls (2006)
4%

#98
Adjusted Score: 4637%
Critics Consensus: Plagued by paper-thin characterizations and a hackneyed script, Material Girls fails to live up to even the minimum standards of its genre.
Synopsis: Two sibling cosmetics heiresses (Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff) must grow up quickly when a company scandal leaves them penniless. Though... [More]
Directed By: Martha Coolidge

#97

BloodRayne (2005)
4%

#97
Adjusted Score: 4564%
Critics Consensus: BloodRayne is an absurd sword-and-sorcery vid-game adaptation from schlock-maestro Uwe Boll, featuring a distinguished (and slumming) cast.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne (Kristanna Loken) escapes and... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 4688%
Critics Consensus: A Little Bit of Heaven subjects viewers to a whole bunch of schmaltz - and strands Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal in a fatally misguided film.
Synopsis: New Orleans ad executive Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is a free-spirited woman who embraces her easy sexuality, shuns commitment, and... [More]
Directed By: Nicole Kassell

#95

Darkness (2002)
4%

#95
Adjusted Score: 4573%
Critics Consensus: Yet another predictable variation on the hoary old haunted-house movie, Darkness is an illogical, portentous mess.
Synopsis: Paul (Stephan Enquist) and his older sister, Regina (Anna Paquin), unpack and settle into their new country home with their... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Balagueró

#94

Zoom (2006)
4%

#94
Adjusted Score: 6322%
Critics Consensus: Lacking the punch and good cheer of The Incredibles and Sky High, Zoom is a dull and laugh-free affair.
Synopsis: Capt. Zoom, or Jack (Tim Allen), as he is now known, has long since given up his career of fighting... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hewitt

#93

The Fog (2005)
4%

#93
Adjusted Score: 6338%
Critics Consensus: The Fog is a so-so remake of a so-so movie, lacking scares, suspense or originality.
Synopsis: The prosperous town of Antonio Bay, Ore., is born in blood, as the town's founders get their money by murdering... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wainwright

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 6682%
Critics Consensus: Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.
Synopsis: Annie (Sandra Bullock) is looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), who purchased the... [More]
Directed By: Jan de Bont

#91

The Covenant (2006)
4%

#91
Adjusted Score: 6660%
Critics Consensus: The Covenant plays out like a teen soap opera, full of pretty faces, wooden acting, laughable dialogue, and little suspense.
Synopsis: In the 17th century, five families with supernatural powers make a pact of silence. Eventually one power-hungry family is banished.... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#90

Flatliners (2017)
4%

#90
Adjusted Score: 8347%
Critics Consensus: Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.
Synopsis: Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond... [More]
Directed By: Niels Arden Oplev

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 7030%
Critics Consensus: Happily N'Ever After has none of the moxy, edge, or postmodern wit of the other fairy-tales-gone-haywire CG movie it so blatantly rips off.
Synopsis: Fairy Tale Land becomes a realm of happy endings gone wrong when Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Frieda (Sigourney Weaver), joins forces... [More]
Directed By: Paul J. Bolger

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 6175%
Critics Consensus: Code Name: The Cleaner is a limp action/comedy flick that alternates between lame, worn-out jokes and cheesy martial arts.
Synopsis: When Jake (Cedric the Entertainer) awakes one morning in a strange hotel room, he finds himself in a bit of... [More]
Directed By: Les Mayfield

#87

Movie 43 (2013)
4%

#87
Adjusted Score: 7131%
Critics Consensus: A star-studded turkey, Movie 43 is loaded with gleefully offensive and often scatological gags, but it's largely bereft of laughs.
Synopsis: Twelve directors, including Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne and Brett Ratner, contributed to this collection of outrageous spoofs and stories. A... [More]

#86
Adjusted Score: 7566%
Critics Consensus: The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.
Synopsis: "Pluto Nash" is an action comedy set on the moon in the year 2087, starring Eddie Murphy as the title... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#85

Vampires Suck (2010)
4%

#85
Adjusted Score: 7079%
Critics Consensus: Witlessly broad and utterly devoid of laughs, Vampires Suck represents a slight step forward for the Friedberg-Seltzer team.
Synopsis: Becca, an angst-ridden teenager, is torn between two supernatural suitors: vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob. However, she must find a... [More]

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 7447%
Critics Consensus: Witless, unfocused, and arguably misogynistic, Playing for Keeps is a dispiriting, lowest-common-denominator Hollywood rom-com.
Synopsis: Long past his soccer-playing heyday, George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is struggling financially and failing in his attempt to reconcile with... [More]
Directed By: Gabriele Muccino

#83

Serving Sara (2002)
4%

#83
Adjusted Score: 7478%
Critics Consensus: A romantic comedy that's neither funny nor particularly romantic, Serving Sara is a forgettable time waster.
Synopsis: When Sara (Elizabeth Hurley) is served divorce papers while she is in New York, she is stunned. Not about to... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 8514%
Critics Consensus: A strained, laugh-free sequel, The Whole Ten Yards recycles its predecessor's cast and plot but not its wit or reason for being.
Synopsis: After faking his death, former killer-for-hire Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis) retires to Mexico with his new wife, Jill... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#81

Godsend (2004)
4%

#81
Adjusted Score: 8338%
Critics Consensus: A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.
Synopsis: After Paul Duncan (Greg Kinnear) and his wife, Jessie (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), lose their young son, Adam (Cameron Bright), in an... [More]
Directed By: Nick Hamm

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 9861%
Critics Consensus: Overly reliant on caricatures and lacking any human insight, Because I Said So is an unfunny, cliche-ridden mess.
Synopsis: Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) is the proud mother of three women: Milly (Mandy Moore), Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#79

McHale's Navy (1997)
3%

#79
Adjusted Score: 4114%
Critics Consensus: About as funny as a keelhauling, McHale's Navy will leave most viewers feeling they've been the victim of a particularly dishonorable discharge.
Synopsis: Shopkeeper McHale (Tom Arnold) is called back to captain the PT-73 and save a Caribbean island from annihilation.... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Spicer

#78

Arsenal (2017)
3%

#78
Adjusted Score: 4411%
Critics Consensus: Aside from an opportunity to watch a mustachioed Nicolas Cage acting from under a wig and behind a prosthetic nose, Arsenal has depressingly little to offer.
Synopsis: The Lindel brothers, Mikey and JP, only had each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP finds success... [More]
Directed By: Steven C. Miller

#77

Twelve (2010)
3%

#77
Adjusted Score: 3343%
Critics Consensus: As pretentious as it is hopelessly clichéd, this Twelve is closer to zero.
Synopsis: A high-school dropout (Chace Crawford) sells drugs to his wealthy former classmates.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 3424%
Critics Consensus: Overly formulaic and tonally inconsistent, Getting Even with Dad tries for a sentimental conclusion it doesn't earn and winds up a slapsticky cash grab aimed at fans of Home Alone.
Synopsis: Con man Ray Gleason (Ted Danson) is going after one last heist -- a stash of rare coins -- when... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#75

Passion Play (2010)
3%

#75
Adjusted Score: 3500%
Critics Consensus: Passion Play has a terrific cast, but don't be fooled - the only real question at the heart of this misbegotten mystery is what its stars were thinking.
Synopsis: A washed-up musician (Mickey Rourke) tries to protect an enigmatic winged woman (Megan Fox) from a merciless gangster (Bill Murray)... [More]
Directed By: Mitch Glazer

#74

The Darkness (2016)
3%

#74
Adjusted Score: 3391%
Critics Consensus: The Darkness clumsily relies on an assortment of genre tropes, leaving only the decidedly non-frightening ghost of superior horror films in its wake.
Synopsis: Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon), his wife Bronny and their two children return to Los Angeles after a fun-filled vacation to... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#73

Deal (2008)
3%

#73
Adjusted Score: 2648%
Critics Consensus: Employing multiple cinematic clichés and milking stale performances, Deal proves inadequate for even the lowly regarded poker movie genre.
Synopsis: Tommy Vinson (Burt Reynolds), a former cardsharp, gave up poker years ago when his wife threatened to leave him. Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Gil Cates Jr.

#72
Adjusted Score: 2637%
Critics Consensus: A severely misguided and inept comedy incapable of even telling its single joke properly.
Synopsis: Innocent Midwesterner Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson) works in a dead-end job as a grocery bagger and has never even kissed... [More]
Directed By: Tom Brady

#71

Down to You (2000)
3%

#71
Adjusted Score: 4571%
Critics Consensus: Down to You is ruined by a bland, by-the-numbers plot and an awful script.
Synopsis: College coeds in New York City, Al (Freddie Prinze Jr.), the son of a celebrity chef (Henry Winkler), and Imogen... [More]
Directed By: Kris Isacsson

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 4564%
Critics Consensus: A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs.
Synopsis: Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson) meet a group of friends and set out to attend a rave on... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#69

The Apparition (2012)
3%

#69
Adjusted Score: 5030%
Critics Consensus: The Apparition fails to offer anything original, isn't particularly scary, and offers so little in the way of dramatic momentum that it's more likely to put you to sleep than thrill you.
Synopsis: Plagued by frightening occurrences in their home, Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) learn that a university's parapsychology experiment... [More]
Directed By: Todd Lincoln

#68

The Mod Squad (1999)
3%

#68
Adjusted Score: 5158%
Critics Consensus: The Mod Squad aims for stylish cool and thrilling adventure, but collapses in an incoherent jumble of dated source material and unintentional hilarity.
Synopsis: Julie (Claire Danes) is on her way to jail for assault. Arsonist Linc (Omar Epps) is looking at serious prison... [More]
Directed By: Scott Silver

#67

Deuces Wild (2002)
3%

#67
Adjusted Score: 3933%
Critics Consensus: Melodramatic and weighed down with silly dialogue, Deuces Wild is a forgettable, overheated thriller that leaves no cliche unturned.
Synopsis: Leon (Stephen Dorff) and Bobby (Brad Renfro) are brothers who, with their friends, are determined to maintain the way of... [More]
Directed By: Scott Kalvert

#66

The Roommate (2011)
3%

#66
Adjusted Score: 5908%
Critics Consensus: Devoid of chills, thrills, or even cheap titillation, The Roommate isn't even bad enough to be good.
Synopsis: When Sara (Minka Kelly), a young design student from Iowa, arrives for college in Los Angeles, she is eager to... [More]

#65

Half Past Dead (2002)
3%

#65
Adjusted Score: 5487%
Critics Consensus: Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks.
Synopsis: Criminal mastermind Donny/49er One (Morris Chestnut) has set in motion a plan to infiltrate a high-tech prison in order to... [More]
Directed By: Don Michael Paul

#64

FeardotCom (2002)
3%

#64
Adjusted Score: 5003%
Critics Consensus: As frustrating as a 404 error, Fear Dot Com is a stylish, incoherent, and often nasty mess with few scares.
Synopsis: When four bodies are discovered among the industrial decay and urban grime of New York City, brash young detective Mike... [More]
Directed By: William Malone

#63

Bless the Child (2000)
3%

#63
Adjusted Score: 5798%
Critics Consensus: Bless the Child squanders its talented cast on a plot that's more likely to inspire unintentional laughs than shivers.
Synopsis: When Maggie's sister Jenna saddles her with an autistic newborn named Cody she touches Maggie's heart and becomes the daughter... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#62

Jack and Jill (2011)
3%

#62
Adjusted Score: 6272%
Critics Consensus: Although it features an inexplicably committed performance from Al Pacino, Jack and Jill is impossible to recommend on any level whatsoever.
Synopsis: Thanksgiving is usually a happy time, but ad executive Jack (Adam Sandler) dreads the holiday because his twin sister, Jill... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#61

Rollerball (2002)
3%

#61
Adjusted Score: 6677%
Critics Consensus: Removing the social critique of the original, this updated version of Rollerball is violent, confusing, and choppy. Klein makes for a bland hero.
Synopsis: Jonathan (Chris Klein) is the most popular player in the fastest and most extreme sport of all time: rollerball. Along... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 7555%
Critics Consensus: Ugly, campy, and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly.
Synopsis: In the year 3000, there are no countries, no cities... Earth is a wasteland. And man is an endangered species.... [More]
Directed By: Roger Christian

#59

Getaway (2013)
3%

#59
Adjusted Score: 8732%
Critics Consensus: Monotonously fast-paced to the point of exhaustion, Getaway offers a reminder of the dangers in attempting to speed past coherent editing, character development, sensible dialogue, and an interesting plot.
Synopsis: Though he used to race cars for a living, Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is now pitted against the clock in... [More]
Directed By: Courtney Solomon

#58
Adjusted Score: 2930%
Critics Consensus: The Haunting of Molly Hartley is a rather lifeless horror endeavor, with a pedestrian plot and few scares.
Synopsis: After surviving a brutal attack by her insane mother, teenage Molly (Haley Bennett) is eager to get a fresh start... [More]
Directed By: Mickey Liddell

#57

Nina (2016)
2%

#57
Adjusted Score: 3870%
Critics Consensus: A wholly misguided tribute to its subject's searing talent and enduring impact, Nina is the cinematic equivalent of a covers project featuring all the wrong artists.
Synopsis: Manager Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo) helps singer and pianist Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana) rediscover her love for music.... [More]
Directed By: Cynthia Mort

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 3139%
Critics Consensus: Kickin' It Old Skool is one big unfunny pop culture reference that doesn't feature many laughs.
Synopsis: At a talent show in 1986, young Justin Schumacher suffers a head injury and slips into a coma. Twenty years... [More]
Directed By: Harvey Glazer

#55

Baby Geniuses (1999)
2%

#55
Adjusted Score: 3256%
Critics Consensus: Flat direction and actors who look embarrassed to be onscreen make Baby Geniuses worse than the premise suggests.
Synopsis: Evil partners (Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd) experiment on an infant and send his twin to a reputable research nursery.... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 3259%
Critics Consensus: Strange Wilderness is a laugh-free comedy that's both aimless and overly crass.
Synopsis: Peter Gaulke takes over, when his father, a respected wildlife TV host dies, but receives far less success. When the... [More]
Directed By: Fred Wolf

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 3305%
Critics Consensus: A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.
Synopsis: When Xerxes (Ken Davitian), the evil god king of Persia, sends his massive army to Sparta, King Leonidas (Sean Maguire)... [More]

#52
Adjusted Score: 5749%
Critics Consensus: With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Directed By: John R. Leonetti

#51

King's Ransom (2005)
2%

#51
Adjusted Score: 3368%
Critics Consensus: Filled with crass dialogue, unlikable characters, and overdone slapstick gags, King's Ransom is an utterly inept would-be comedy.
Synopsis: When the rich and arrogant Malcolm King (Anthony Anderson) informs his wife, Renee (Kellita Smith), that he plans to divorce... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Byrd

#50

Texas Rangers (2001)
2%

#50
Adjusted Score: 2343%
Critics Consensus: As far as westerns go, Texas Rangers is strictly mediocre stuff.
Synopsis: Texas, 1875. In a land without justice, where chaos reigns, one legendary man, Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott), is chosen to... [More]
Directed By: Steve Miner

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 2688%
Critics Consensus: Dull and unfunny, One For the Money wastes Katherine Heigl's talents on a stunningly generic comic thriller.
Synopsis: New Jersey native Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) has plenty of attitude, even if she is broke after six months of... [More]
Directed By: Julie Anne Robinson

#48

The In Crowd (2000)
2%

#48
Adjusted Score: 2570%
Critics Consensus: A dull, soapy potboiler that lacks the energy to qualify as a guilty pleasure, The In Crowd is undone by slow pacing, poor acting, and a stunning lack of originality.
Synopsis: Adrien Williams has spent time at a psychiatric hospital, learning to come to terms with a troubled past and is... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#47

Crossover (2006)
2%

#47
Adjusted Score: 3172%
Critics Consensus: This heartfelt but incompetent, cliche-ridden sports picture is the cinematic equivalent of an airball.
Synopsis: The lives of a gifted athlete (Wesley Jonathan) and his best friend (Anthony Mackie) change when they take a fateful... [More]

#46

Epic Movie (2007)
2%

#46
Adjusted Score: 3282%
Critics Consensus: A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.
Synopsis: Four adult orphans (Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Faune Chambers, Jayma Mays) have an incredible adventure in a spoof of blockbuster... [More]

#45

Left Behind (2014)
0%

#45
Adjusted Score: 2361%
Critics Consensus: Yea verily, like unto a plague of locusts, Left Behind hath begat a further scourge of devastation upon Nicolas Cage's once-proud filmography.
Synopsis: The entire planet is thrown into mayhem when millions of people disappear without a trace -- all that remains are... [More]
Directed By: Vic Armstrong

#44

Disaster Movie (2008)
1%

#44
Adjusted Score: 3484%
Critics Consensus: Returning to their seemingly bottomless well of flatulence humor, racial stereotypes, and stale pop culture gags, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have produced what is arguably their worst Movie yet.
Synopsis: During a fateful night, a group of impossibly attractive 20-somethings (Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Kim Kardashian) must dodge a series... [More]

#43

Daddy Day Camp (2007)
1%

#43
Adjusted Score: 4030%
Critics Consensus: A mirthless, fairly desperate family film, Daddy Day Camp relies too heavily on bodily functions for comedic effect, resulting in plenty of cheap gags but no laughs.
Synopsis: Spurred on by their wives' insistence that their children attend summer camp, daycare entrepreneurs Charlie Hinton (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and... [More]
Directed By: Fred Savage

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 4122%
Critics Consensus: An ill-concieved attempt to utilize Dana Carvey's talent for mimicry, The Master of Disguise is an irritating, witless farce weighted down by sophomoric gags.
Synopsis: Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey), a genial waiter at his father Frabbrizio's (James Brolin) Italian restaurant, possesses an uncanny knack for... [More]
Directed By: Perry Andelin Blake

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 5946%
Critics Consensus: Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it's good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter.
Synopsis: When the investigations of supernatural detective Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) lead him to uncover a long-lost tribe called the Abskani,... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#40

Twisted (2004)
1%

#40
Adjusted Score: 6142%
Critics Consensus: An implausible, overheated potboiler that squanders a stellar cast, Twisted is a clichéd, risible whodunit.
Synopsis: Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) feels pressure to prove herself -- and... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#39

Dark Tide (2012)
0%

#39
Critics Consensus: Shallow and brackish, Dark Tide fails to rise.
Synopsis: A traumatized shark expert (Halle Berry) must battle her own fears to lead a thrill-seeking businessman on a dive into... [More]
Directed By: John Stockwell

#38

Stolen (2009)
0%

#38
Critics Consensus: With plot points Stolen from countless superior films, this would-be thriller squanders a solid cast on overly serious and suspense-free storytelling.
Synopsis: A detective (Jon Hamm) becomes obsessed with solving a child's 50-year-old murder, uncovering striking similarities between the case and his... [More]
Directed By: Anders Anderson

#37

Constellation (2005)
0%

#37
Critics Consensus: Though earnestly directed, Constellation lacks dramatic fireworks and eventually falls into TV-movie sentimentality.
Synopsis: The continuing legacy of a long-ago, interracial love affair forms the backdrop for a tale of an extended Southern family's... [More]

#36

Folks! (1992)
0%

#36
Adjusted Score: 943%
Critics Consensus: Don't watch this alleged comedy looking for more than pained performances in support of ill-advised ageist jokes, because that's all Folks! has to offer.
Synopsis: When Jon (Tom Selleck), a well-heeled professional, visits his mother, Mildred (Anne Jackson), in the hospital, he's unaware of how... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#35
Critics Consensus: Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.
Synopsis: Feeling that his squad is not up to snuff, a police commander comes up with an unorthodox plan to hire... [More]
Directed By: Jim Drake

#34

Simon Sez (1999)
0%

#34
Adjusted Score: 3%
Critics Consensus: Simon Sez no matter how starved you are for something to watch, there has to be a better option than this dreadfully misguided action thriller.
Synopsis: Interpol agent Simon (Dennis Rodman) is gathering information about the weapons trade on the French Riviera and trying to pinpoint... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Elders

#33

Precious Cargo (2016)
0%

#33
Adjusted Score: 502%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: To get back in the good graces of her murderous boss (Bruce Willis), a seductive thief (Claire Forlani) recruits an... [More]
Directed By: Max Adams

#32

Max Steel (2016)
0%

#32
Adjusted Score: 502%
Critics Consensus: Bereft of characterization or even satisfying rock 'em sock 'em, Max Steel feels like futzing with an action figure without any childhood imagination.
Synopsis: Teenager Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) discovers that his body can generate the most powerful energy in the universe. Steel (Josh... [More]
Directed By: Stewart Hendler

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 4711%
Critics Consensus: A trifecta of failure for writer-director-star Keenen Ivory Wayans, A Low Down Dirty Shame lives repeatedly and resolutely down to its title.
Synopsis: After hitting a wall in his case against drug kingpin Ernesto Mendoza (Andrew Divoff), private eye Andre Shame (Keenen Ivory... [More]
Directed By: Keenen Ivory Wayans

#30

Transylmania (2009)
0%

#30
Critics Consensus: Never aiming higher than threadbare jokes and offensive attempts at politically incorrect humor, Transylmania is a vampire comedy that truly sucks.
Synopsis: College students arrive at a Romanian castle for a semester abroad, unaware that the place is infested with vampires.... [More]

#29
#29
Critics Consensus: This overly wacky farce strains for sophistication but lacks polish and a coherent narrative.
Synopsis: A gay man (Stanislas Merhar) tells a woman (Jane Birkin) impersonating a psychiatrist that he witnessed a murder.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Litvack

#28
#28
Critics Consensus: Respected director Chen Kaige's first English-language film is a spectacularly misguided erotic thriller, with ludicrous plot twists and cringe-worthy dialogue.
Synopsis: A woman (Heather Graham) grows suspicious of her controlling husband (Joseph Fiennes) after she discovers secrets about the women in... [More]
Directed By: Chen Kaige

#27

Bolero (1984)
0%

#27
Adjusted Score: 571%
Critics Consensus: Bolero combines a ludicrous storyline and wildly mismatched cast in its desperate attempts to titillate, but only succeeds in arousing boredom.
Synopsis: A 1920s English heiress (Bo Derek) seeks ecstasy with a sheik in Morocco and a bullfighter (Andrea Occhipinti) in Spain.... [More]
Directed By: John Derek

#26

Homecoming (2009)
0%

#26
Adjusted Score: 76%
Critics Consensus: A lazy collection of obsession thriller clichés, Homecoming will leave viewers wishing they'd opted for a lopsided football game and some awkward dancing instead.
Synopsis: A jealous woman (Mischa Barton) plots revenge after her former beau (Matt Long) returns to their hometown with a pretty... [More]
Directed By: Morgan J. Freeman

#25
Adjusted Score: 121%
Critics Consensus: There should have been only one.
Synopsis: In this sci-fi/fantasy sequel, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) has become an elderly man after losing his immortality. Living in a... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 844%
Critics Consensus: The Disappointments Room lives down to its title with a thrill-free thriller that presumably left its stars filled with regret - and threatens to do the same for audiences.
Synopsis: Dana (Kate Beckinsale), her husband David and their 5-year-old son Lucas start a new life after moving from the hustle... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Caruso

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 52%
Critics Consensus: Look Who's Talking Now: Look away.
Synopsis: James (John Travolta) and Mollie Ubriacco (Kirstie Alley) are expanding the family again, this time with Rocks the mutt (Danny... [More]
Directed By: Tom Ropelewski

#22

Staying Alive (1983)
0%

#22
Adjusted Score: 70%
Critics Consensus: This sequel to Saturday Night Fever is shockingly embarrassing and unnecessary, trading the original's dramatic depth for a series of uninspired dance sequences.
Synopsis: Six years after his glittering triumph in the disco dance contest of "Saturday Night Fever," an older and wiser Tony... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#21

Redline (2007)
0%

#21
Adjusted Score: 344%
Critics Consensus: Redline has plenty of bad acting, laughable dialogue, and luxury cars.
Synopsis: Natasha (Nadia Bjorlin) is an aspiring singer and an ace driver. She gets a gig illegally racing flashy sports cars... [More]
Directed By: Andy Cheng

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 4043%
Critics Consensus: Rather than exciting audiences with a thrilling race against time, Shadow Conspiracy suggests there may be a secret cabal duping talented actors into selecting woefully deficient scripts.
Synopsis: Presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) runs into an old professor who tells him of a secret plot to assassinate... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

#19

Cabin Fever (2016)
0%

#19
Adjusted Score: 980%
Critics Consensus: No need for a quarantine -- enthusiasm for this inert remake is not contagious.
Synopsis: Fresh out of college, five friends (Nadine Crocker, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis) face the horrors of a flesh-eating virus while... [More]
Directed By: Travis Z

#18

3 Strikes (2000)
0%

#18
Adjusted Score: 243%
Critics Consensus: 3 Strikes lacks direction and its low-brow humor isn't even that funny.
Synopsis: Rob Douglas (Brian Hooks) is just released from jail. The state adopts a "3 strikes" rule for felons that involves... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Pooh

#17

Wagons East! (1994)
0%

#17
Adjusted Score: 189%
Critics Consensus: Wagons East! is a witless, toothless satire of Westerns that falls far below the standard set by Blazing Saddles, and is notable only for being John Candy's final screen performance.
Synopsis: When a group of dissatisfied settlers decides they've had enough of the Wild West, they hire James Harlow (John Candy),... [More]
Directed By: Peter Markle

#16

Problem Child (1990)
0%

#16
Adjusted Score: 443%
Critics Consensus: Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that's loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.
Synopsis: Ben (John Ritter) is a good-hearted guy who's always wanted a son of his own, but so far he and... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#15
Adjusted Score: 227%
Critics Consensus: Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.
Synopsis: When widow Sarah Hargrave (Lisa Pelikan) washes ashore on a tropical island with her daughter and adopted son, she learns... [More]
Directed By: William A. Graham

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 433%
Critics Consensus: Misguided, misconceived, and misbegotten on every level, The Nutcracker in 3D is a stunning exercise in astonishing cinematic wrong-headedness.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Unknown Actor
Directed By: Andreas Morell

#13

London Fields (2018)
0%

#13
Adjusted Score: 1319%
Critics Consensus: London Fields bungles its beloved source material and an intriguingly eclectic cast, leaving audiences with a would-be neo-noir of interest only to the morbidly curious.
Synopsis: Clairvoyant femme fatale Nicola Six has been living with a dark premonition of her impending death by murder. She begins... [More]
Directed By: Mathew Cullen

#12

Stratton (2017)
0%

#12
Adjusted Score: 1341%
Critics Consensus: Stratton's action-thriller ambitions are roundly thwarted by a derivative story, misguided casting, and a low-budget feel underscored by unimpressive set pieces.
Synopsis: After the death of his American counterpart, an MI6 agent and his team must race against time to stop a... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 1893%
Critics Consensus: Every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest, The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.
Synopsis: White Knife, an orphan raised by Native Americans, discovers that five outlaws are actually his half-brothers. Together, they set out... [More]
Directed By: Frank Coraci

#10

Dark Crimes (2016)
0%

#10
Adjusted Score: 1406%
Critics Consensus: Dark Crimes is a rote, unpleasant thriller that fails to parlay its compelling true story and a committed Jim Carrey performance into even modest chills.
Synopsis: A hard-boiled detective becomes suspicious of an author when the incidents described in his hit novel resemble the inner-workings of... [More]
Directed By: Alexandros Avranas

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 2553%
Critics Consensus: Illogical, tension-free, and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws: The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud franchise.
Synopsis: The family of widow Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) has long been plagued by shark attacks, and this unfortunate association continues... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Sargent

#8
Adjusted Score: 2265%
Critics Consensus: This Crime is punishment.
Synopsis: Two men and a woman plan the heist of the century before a government-broadcast signal wipes out crime forever.... [More]
Directed By: Olivier Megaton

#7

Gold Diggers (2003)
0%

#7
Adjusted Score: 849%
Critics Consensus: It aspires to Farrelly-level offensiveness, but the PG-13 rating and a dearth of decent gags renders Gold Diggers tame, toothless, and dull.
Synopsis: Calvin (Will Friedle) and Leonard (Chris Owen), two broke losers, are arrested for trying to rob rich old sisters Doris... [More]
Directed By: Gary Preisler

#6
Adjusted Score: 1108%
Critics Consensus: A startling lack of taste pervades Superbabies, a sequel offering further proof that bad jokes still aren't funny when coming from the mouths of babes.
Synopsis: Toddlers use their special abilities to stop a media mogul (Jon Voight) from altering the minds of children.... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#5

Pinocchio (2002)
0%

#5
Adjusted Score: 1180%
Critics Consensus: Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.
Synopsis: A woodcarver creates a puppet (Roberto Benigni) that longs to become a real boy.... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#4

Gotti (2018)
0%

#4
Adjusted Score: 2837%
Critics Consensus: Fuhgeddaboudit.
Synopsis: Raised on the streets of New York, young John Gotti found his way into the Gambino crime family, eventually having... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Connolly

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 1883%
Critics Consensus: Dated jokes (A Thousand Words was shot in 2008) and removing Eddie Murphy's voice -- his greatest comedic asset -- dooms this painful mess from the start.
Synopsis: Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a selfish literary agent whose fast-talking ways allow him to close any deal. His next... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#2

One Missed Call (2008)
0%

#2
Adjusted Score: 2763%
Critics Consensus: One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.
Synopsis: When Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) witnesses the deaths of two friends, she knows there is more at work than just... [More]
Directed By: Éric Valette

#1
Adjusted Score: 3677%
Critics Consensus: A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.
Synopsis: Haunted by the mysterious death of his wife, Jeremiah Ecks (Antonio Banderas) has become a recluse, but the former FBI... [More]
Directed By: Kaos

With the Packers and Steelers squaring off in the Super Bowl, moviegoers avoided the multiplexes as the North American box office slumped to the third worst frame of the past two years. Of the two new releases that dared to compete against football, the collegiate thriller The Roommate fared well opening at number one by targeting young females but the older-skewing 3D action film Sanctum debuted poorly in second. The NFL championship game always commands the attention of the entire nation but this weekend’s Top 20 plunged to just $84.2M falling well below recent Super Bowl sessions from the past three years.

Teenage girls and young women, the demographic least affected by football, turned out in solid numbers for the college-set thriller The Roommate which debuted at number one with an estimated $15.6M. The PG-13 film about a freshman gal with a creepy obsession with her new living partner averaged a good $6,156 from 2,534 theaters and marked Sony’s eighth film over the past eleven years to bow on top over Super Bowl weekend. Most were suspense thrillers from the studio’s Screen Gems unit like Roommate which play to this dependable audience.

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Produced for just $16M, The Roommate drew in its target audience with a relatable storyline and starpower from TV stars Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights). Studio research showed that 65% of the crowd was female and 61% was under 21. A targeted marketing campaign made sure that too much wasn’t spent on other demographic groups that would never come out anyway. Moviegoers polled by CinemaScore gave the pic a weak B- average grade.

The underwater survival actioner Sanctum sank in its opening weekend grossing just $9.2M, according to estimates, despite playing very wide in 2,787 locations including over 2,000 3D screens and 178 IMAX venues. Averaging a weak $3,310, the R-rated film failed to spark much interest with ticket buyers despite being heavily promoted as a project from James Cameron who was one of the executive producers. In fact, Sanctum opened just below the $9.3M debut of the Oscar-winning director’s 1989 underwater adventure The Abyss which had significantly lower ticket prices, no 3D surcharges, and 1,200 fewer theaters.

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Universal and Relativity Media paid only $12M to acquire distribution rights (and paid for marketing) so the $30M-budgeted Sanctum should not turn into too problematic of a title financially. IMAX screens accounted for 17% of the gross, but overall moviegoers showed that paying a premium for this particular film was not worth it. The aquatic actioner suffered one of the worst openings for a live-action 3D film during the format’s current era and was about even with the two-day $6.3M bow of Gulliver’s Travels this past Christmas. According to studio research, females made up 53% of the audience and 65% was 30 and over so the film skewed much older than other titles. A poor C+ CinemaScore grade indicates a quick fade in the weeks to come. Reviews were mostly lackluster. Overseas, Sanctum debuted in second place in Australia with $1.6M and in fifth place in the U.K. with $1.5M.

With only one new release generating good results and most holdovers fading away, the Top 20 suffered troubling declines compared to recent Super Bowl weekends – 23% vs. 2010, 29% vs 2009, and 30% vs. 2008. The aftermath of last week’s massive blizzard also played a role as people in many top markets in the Midwest and Northeast were still digging themselves out of the latest round of winter snow.

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The Natalie Portman-Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy No Strings Attached remained a popular item with audiences sliding only 37% in its third session to an estimated $8.4M. Paramount’s sex comedy has laughed up an impressive $51.8M in 17 days and is playing as effective counter-programming for women against all the football hoopla.

Stepping closer to the $100M mark, Oscar front-runner The King’s Speech ranked fourth with an estimated $8.3M enjoying the smallest drop in the top ten with its 25% dip. The Weinstein Co. has reached $84.1M and will join the century club before the February 27 awards.

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The Green Hornet fell 46% to an estimated $6.1M placing fifth for the weekend giving Sony $87.2M to date for 2011’s top-grossing new release. Last week’s top performer The Rite suffered the worst drop of any film plunging 62% to an estimated $5.6M in its sophomore scare. Bad buzz and competition from a new fright flick contributed to the steep tumble. Warner Bros. has grossed $23.7M for its Anthony Hopkins supernatural thriller and should end up with $30-35M.

Jason Statham’s latest action platform The Mechanic plunged 53% to an estimated $5.4M in its second weekend. The CBS Films release has grossed $20.1M in ten days and should end with about $30M. Jumping the $150M mark this past week was Oscar contender True Grit which took in an estimated $4.8M, down 37%, for a cume to date of $155M for Paramount. Along with TRON: Legacy, Jeff Bridges has raked in a stellar $324M this winter from his pair of blockbuster hits.

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Dropping 39% to ninth place was Vince Vaughn’s comedy The Dilemma with an estimated $3.4M bumping the total to $45.7M for Universal. Best Actress front-runner Natalie Portman rounded out the top ten with Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan which collected an estimated $3.4M, off 34%, for a $95.9M. Look for the ballerina thriller to cross the $100M mark by Valentine’s Day.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $70.2M which was down 26% from last year when Dear John knocked Avatar out of the top spot with a $30.5M opening; and off 27% from 2009’s Super Bowl frame when Taken opened at number one with $24.7M.


Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

This week at the movies, we’ve got undersea terror (Sanctum, starring Ioan Gruffudd and Richard Roxburgh), and a psycho roomie (The Roommate, starring Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly). What do the critics have to say?

Sanctum

30%

James Cameron loves high drama under the sea; his directorial credits include Piranha 2: The Spawning, The Abyss, and that little movie about an ocean liner that sank after hitting an iceberg. Cameron is the executive producer on Sanctum, and critics say the film maintains his flair for arresting visuals, but unfortunately the characters and plot are nothing particularly special. Sanctum is the story of a group of cave divers who become trapped after a tropical storm. They’re lost in a vast undersea cavern, short on supplies, and desperate to find a way out. The pundits say Sanctum has moments of tension and visual wonder, but it’s undercut by one-dimensional characters and remarkably middling dialogue. (Check out Five Favorite Films with Cameron, director Alister Grierson and writer Andrew Wight.)

The Roommate

3%

It looks like the folks behind The Roommate forgot to list a “critics wanted” ad, since it wasn’t screened prior to release. Minka Kelly stars as a college student whose new roomie (Leighton Meester) becomes obsessed with her. Hey kids, stop scouring Craigslist for a second and guess that Tomaometer! (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a list of memorable movie stalkers.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Into Eternity, a visually stunning documentary about the construction of a huge nuclear waste facility, is at 100 percent.

  • Cold Weather, a comic mystery about a would-be sleuth looking for his missing girlfriend, is at 79 percent.

  • The Other Woman, starring Natalie Portman in a dramedy about a newly married woman dealing with a complex family life, is at 36 percent.

  • Waiting for Forever, starring Rachel Bilson in a comedy about a young woman who reconnects with an obsessive former flame, is at 10 percent.

  • Frankie and Alice, starring Halle Berry as a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder, is at nine percent.

Stalkers

Humans are social creatures, but we also need our privacy, and having it invaded is one of the more unpleasant things a person can be forced to deal with. Ironically, we sort of seem to love watching other people go through it — just ask Hollywood, where stalker movies have been raking in the dough for decades. This weekend brings us another entry in the genre: The Roommate, starring Leighton Meester as a college co-ed who develops a psychotic obsession with Minka Kelly, and it got us thinking about previous stalkers on the silver screen. From bunny boilers to former rappers, this week’s list has something for everyone who enjoys watching someone’s life infiltrated by a crazy person. It’s time for Total Recall!

The Cable Guy

55%

Over the last 30 years or so, Americans have slowly lost their faith in face-to-face connections, bringing us to the point where something as small as letting a cable installer into your home can seem like a recklessly dangerous act — because you just never know when he’s going to turn out to be a rictus-grinned lunatic like the one Jim Carrey played in The Cable Guy. Getting the premium channels for free is nice and everything, but is it worth being stalked by a guy who’ll get you arrested, fired from your job, and kidnap your girlfriend? Most critics thought it was safer just to skip The Cable Guy completely, but it had its defenders — including Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader, who wrote, “It’s a fairly interesting effort — much more ambitious than most Carrey vehicles.”

Cape Fear

96%

To a generation of filmgoers, Cape Fear will always be that one kinda creepy Scorsese picture with De Niro and Nick Nolte — but as fine as the remake is, everyone really needs to see the seething 1962 original, which pits the ever-decent Gregory Peck against a skin-crawlingly brilliant Robert Mitchum. Peck plays the committed family man and contributing citizen; Mitchum plays the skeevy rapist who blames Peck for the eight years he spent in prison; the audience can’t turn away until the inexorably violent conclusion. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times wanted to dislike Cape Fear, but couldn’t: “Menace quivers in the picture like a sneaky electrical charge. And Mr. Mitchum plays the villain with the cheekiest, wickedest arrogance and the most relentless aura of sadism that he has ever managed to generate,” he wrote, following with the disclaimer “But this is really one of those shockers that provokes disgust and regret.”

The Crush

24%

Critics loathed The Crush (James Berardinelli joined the chorus of disapproval with his review, pointing out that “The story not only relies on the complete and unalterable stupidity of every character in the movie, but on the gullibility of those who watch it”), but audiences weren’t so quick to judge — particularly on home video, where this gleefully cheesy tale of a young magazine writer (Cary Elwes) and the unbalanced 14-year-old (Alicia Silverstone) who pursues him at all costs found its audience. Silverstone picked up a couple of MTV Movie Awards for her performance, and from there it was off to Aerosmith videos and Clueless fame (as well as Batman & Robin, but let’s not talk about that right now).

The Fan

37%

Thirteen years after he played a schlubby stalker in The King of Comedy, Robert De Niro did it again — with admittedly diminished critical results — for 1996’s The Fan. De Niro stars here as Gil Renard, a down-on-his-luck knife salesman whose irrational love of baseball morphs into an obsession with Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes), an outfielder recently traded to Gil’s beloved San Francisco Giants. One thing leads to another, and a few absurd plot twists later, director Tony Scott gave audiences the inevitable home plate showdown. Critics mostly booed, but a few writers thought The Fan was a home run, including Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Spirituality and Practice, who called it a “mesmerizing film about the soul-killing dimensions of perfectionism.”

Fear

45%

Between his early 1990s chart-topping run as the boxer-flashing rapper Marky Mark and the award-winning string of films that started with 1997’s Boogie Nights, Mark Wahlberg was just another struggling actor, albeit one whose brother was the angriest member of the New Kids on the Block. It was during this period that Wahlberg starred in Fear, a suburban dad’s nightmare about a psychotic punk who latches on to a naïve teenager (Reese Witherspoon) and then, when she breaks up with him, enlists his friends to take revenge on her entire family (including the dog). A minor breakout success for its two young stars, Fear earned Wahlberg an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Villain, although most critics didn’t think much of it. Clint Morris offered a minority opinion for Film Threat, calling it “Corny but cool” and adding, “Wahlberg has presence.”

Fatal Attraction

76%

Hey, she warned him that she wasn’t going to be ignored — and when Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) didn’t listen, Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) made good on that promise by attempting suicide, murdering a defenseless bunny, kidnapping his daughter, and eventually attempting a little bathtub foul play. A deranged stalker classic of the 1980s, Fatal Attraction functioned as both a slick thriller and a cautionary morality tale for husbands entertaining the thought of stepping out on their wives — and more importantly, it was good cinema, as argued by critics like the Washington Post’s Hal Hinson, who wrote, “Fatal Attraction has an inescapable pull to it; it’s suffocatingly exciting.”

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

65%

Drive a woman’s husband to suicide — and put her under enough stress in the process that she loses her baby and has to have a hysterectomy — and there’s simply no telling what she’ll do. Case in point: Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, 1992’s cheesetastic stalker hit about a grieving widow who poses as a nanny to infiltrate the home of the woman (Annabella Sciorra) who helped expose her obstetrician husband’s proclivity for inappropriate touching. While most critics weren’t particularly impressed with it, Cradle had its defenders, including Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader, who wrote, “Curtis Hanson’s direction and Amanda Silver’s screenplay are both models of no-flab craft and intelligence, and all the actors (who also include Ernie Hudson and Julianne Moore) are believable from the first frame to the last.”

The King of Comedy

89%

A miserable failure at the box office during its theatrical run, 1983’s The King of Comedy is nevertheless one of the more prescient films of the decade — not only because of the unflinchingly honest way it deconstructs the relationship between celebrities and their fans, but because of its trenchant observations on celebrity culture in general. Hopeful comedian/psycho stalker Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is a fairly lamentable human being, but in the reality TV era, his rise to fame doesn’t seem all that unusual — and now that we’ve been conditioned to expect the worst from our matinee idols for decades, the unctuous antics of his obsession (a never-better Jerry Lewis) are all too familiar. “It’s Martin Scorsese’s second least popular movie, after The Last Temptation of Christ,” observed Salon’s Joyce Millman, “which is a shame, because it’s Scorsese’s second greatest film, after Taxi Driver.”

One Hour Photo

81%

Having Robin Williams stalk your family may not seem like such a bad time, but the unlucky clan that piqued his interest in One Hour Photo didn’t get the cuddly good-time Robin of Aladdin or Mrs. Doubtfire; no, they picked up a creepy weirdo who covered one of his apartment walls with pictures of them — and decided to take matters into his own hands when he discovered that their real life didn’t live up to the idyllic fantasy he’d painstakingly assembled. “It’s the mark of a good thriller when we never know quite when to relax,” wrote Jim Shelby of the Palo Alto Weekly, adding, “This movie has several witty and visually adept sequences which caught me completely off guard, and has me still thinking about them.”

Play Misty for Me

84%

Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut is an all-time stalker classic, about a late-night DJ (Eastwood) whose ill-advised fling with a fan (future Arrested Development matriarch Jessica Walter) has seriously unintended consequences — starting with her repeated calls into his show to request “Misty,” and concluding with some high-stakes stabby action in the final act. “Eastwood displays a vigorous talent for sequences of violence and tension,” wrote Time’s Jay Cocks, adding, “He has obviously seen Psycho and Repulsion more than once, but those are excellent texts and he has learned his lessons passing well.”


Single White Female

53%

No surprises here — if any movie belongs on this list, it’s the 1992 hit from which The Roommate seems to have lifted most of its DNA. Starring Bridget Fonda as a software developer who needs a roommate after she tosses her cheating boyfriend (Steven Weber) out on his keister, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the secretly nutso woman who moves in after answering her ad, Single White Female offered viewers plenty of sex, violence, and ludicrous plot twists — none of which were enough to impress most critics. Rob Thomas of Madison’s Capital Times was among those who enjoyed it, however, admitting, “This should be trash, but Fonda and Leigh’s performances keep things believably chilling.”

Sleeping with the Enemy

20%

By February of 1991, Home Alone had been king of the box office for nearly three months — and then along came this nail-biting thriller about an abused wife (Julia Roberts) who meticulously fakes her own death to escape her mustachioed control freak of a husband (Patrick Bergin). Of course, she unwittingly leaves just enough loose ends behind to convince him that she isn’t really dead, thus setting in motion the murderous chain of events that turned Sleeping with the Enemy into a $174 million hit. Critics, however, weren’t as impressed as audiences; while filmgoers were shrieking into their popcorn, Roger Ebert joined his fellow scribes in dissent, saying, “The film begins as an unyielding look at a battered wife, and ends as another one of those thrillers where the villain toys with his victim and the audience.”


Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don’t forget to check out the reviews for The Roommate.

Finally, here’s Blondie with a peppy ode to stalking: