Roger Ebert's Worst Movies of All Time

by Roger_Ebert_Memorial | created - 04 Dec 2015 | updated - 03 Jan 2016 | Public

A list of films that Roger Ebert, in addition to giving 0 out of 4 stars, described in his reviews as horrible to a life-changing degree. Hilariously scathing quotes from his reviews will be included. This is not official, but is meant to contrast with his "greatest of all time" lists.

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1. Freddy Got Fingered (2001)

R | 87 min | Comedy

13 Metascore

An unemployed cartoonist moves back in with his parents and younger brother Freddy. When his parents demand he leave, he begins to spread rumors that his father is sexually abusing Freddy.

Director: Tom Green | Stars: Tom Green, Rip Torn, Marisa Coughlan, Eddie Kaye Thomas

Votes: 43,991 | Gross: $14.25M

"This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as barrels. ... The day may come when Freddy Got Fingered is seen as a milestone for neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as funny." "On TV, we can't show you the scene where Green swings a newborn baby around his head by its umbilical cord, or two scenes involving the sexual organs of a stallion and a bull elephant, or when he skins a deer and runs around wearing its bloody carcass, or any of the jokes about child abuse. The MPAA gave this movie an R rating; that's definitive evidence that the MPAA ratings board is morally adrift, and that we need a workable adult rating for movies like this."

2. Mad Dog Time (1996)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

With his boss in the madhouse, a mobster is temporary boss of the criminal empire just as vicious rivals threaten the control of the empire.

Director: Larry Bishop | Stars: Michael J. Pollard, Henry Silva, Gabriel Byrne, Jeff Goldblum

Votes: 2,578 | Gross: $0.08M

"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. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching Mad Dog Time is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line. ... Mad Dog Time should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor."

3. Sour Grapes (1998)

R | 91 min | Comedy

Two cousins and friends, Richie and Evan, go to Atlantic City to gamble. Richie loses all he has at slot machines and asks Evan for two more coins for a last attempt. That last attempt ... See full summary »

Director: Larry David | Stars: Steven Weber, Craig Bierko, Jack Burns, Viola Harris

Votes: 2,596 | Gross: $0.22M

"How to account for the fact that Larry David is one of the creators of Seinfeld? Maybe he works well with others. I can't easily remember a film I've enjoyed less. North, a comedy I hated, was at least able to inflame me with dislike. Sour Grapes is a movie that deserves its title: It's puckered, deflated and vinegary. It's a dead zone."

4. North (1994)

PG | 87 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Sick of the neglect he receives from his mom and dad, a young boy leaves home and travels the world in search of new parents.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Votes: 12,611 | Gross: $7.14M

"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." "I hated this movie as much as any movie we've ever reviewed in the 19 years we've been doing this show. I hated it because of the premise, which seems shockingly cold-hearted, and because this premise is being suggested to kids as children's entertainment, and because everybody in the movie was vulgar and stupid, and because the jokes weren't funny, and because most of the characters were obnoxious, and because of the phony attempt to add a little pseudo-hip philosophy with a Bruce Willis character!"

5. Caligula (1979)

Unrated | 156 min | Drama, History

Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.

Director: Tinto Brass | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, Helen Mirren, Teresa Ann Savoy

Votes: 31,387 | Gross: $23.44M

"Caligula is sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash. If it is not the worst film I have ever seen, that makes it all the more shameful: People with talent allowed themselves to participate in this travesty. Disgusted and unspeakably depressed, I walked out of the film after two hours of its 170-minute length. That was on Saturday night, as a line of hundreds of people stretched down Lincoln Ave., waiting to pay $7.50 apiece to become eyewitnesses to shame. ... Caligula is not good art, It is not good cinema, and it is not good porn. ... 'This movie,' said the lady in front of me at the drinking fountain, 'is the worst piece of *beep* I have ever seen.'"

6. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

R | 108 min | Horror, Thriller

27 Metascore

A writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.

Director: Steven R. Monroe | Stars: Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard, Daniel Franzese

Votes: 68,968 | Gross: $0.09M

"This movie is an expression of the most diseased and perverted darker human natures, Because it is made artlessly, It flaunts its motives: There is no reason to see this movie except to be entertained by the sight of sadism and suffering." "This despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave adds yet another offense: a phony moral equivalency. In the original, a woman foolishly thought to go on holiday by herself at a secluded cabin. She attracted the attention of depraved local men, who raped her, one after the other. Then the film ended with her fatal revenge. In this film, less time is devoted to the revenge, and more time to verbal, psychological and physical violence against her. Thus it works even better as vicarious cruelty against women."

7. Little Indian, Big City (1994)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

The Parisian broker Steph only needs the signature from his wife Patricia for their divorce - but she left 13 years ago for living with Amazonas indians. Steph finds her in the village and ... See full summary »

Director: Hervé Palud | Stars: Thierry Lhermitte, Ludwig Briand, Patrick Timsit, Miou-Miou

Votes: 3,814 | Gross: $1.00M

"Little Indian, Big City is one of the worst movies ever made. I detested every moronic minute of it. Through a stroke of good luck, the entire third reel of the film was missing the day I saw it. I went back to the screening room two days later, to view the missing reel. It was as bad as the rest, but nothing could have saved this film. As my colleague Gene Siskel observed, “If the third reel had been the missing footage from Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, this movie still would have sucked.” I could not have put it better myself."

8. She's Out of Control (1989)

PG | 90 min | Comedy

When an average-looking teenage girl gets a makeover, it's enough to make her father become overprotective of her.

Director: Stan Dragoti | Stars: Tony Danza, Catherine Hicks, Wallace Shawn, Dick O'Neill

Votes: 3,671 | Gross: $12.07M

"What planet did the makers of this film come from? What assumptions do they have about the purpose and quality of life? I ask because She's Out of Control is simultaneously so bizarre and so banal that it's a first: the first movie fabricated entirely from sitcom cliches and plastic lifestyles, without reference to any known plane of reality." "I sat there and I thought: life is precious, life is short, and the idiots who made this film are taking two hours of my life and robbing it from me in order to give me less than nothing! I mean, a movie like this is a crime because what it does is it robs life from people by requiring them to spend two hours having such a terrible experience happen to them."

9. An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997)

R | 86 min | Comedy

When a rookie filmmaker with the unfortunate name Alan Smithee realizes he's an unwitting studio puppet, being forced to make a big-budget action movie, he knows is horrible, he steals the master reels and tries to make a deal.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Coolio, Chuck D, Eric Idle

Votes: 3,201 | Gross: $0.05M

"In taking his name off the film, Arthur Hiller has wisely distanced himself from the disaster, but on the basis of what's on the screen I cannot, frankly, imagine any version of this film that I would want to see. The only way to save this film would be to trim 86 minutes."

10. Chaos (II) (2005)

R | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Two cops, a rookie and a grizzled vet, pursue an accomplished bank robber.

Director: Tony Giglio | Stars: Jason Statham, Ryan Phillippe, Wesley Snipes, Henry Czerny

Votes: 48,939

"Chaos is ugly, nihilistic, and cruel — a film I regret having seen. I urge you to avoid it. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's 'only' a horror film, or a slasher film. It is an exercise in heartless cruelty and it ends with careless brutality. The movie denies not only the value of life, but the possibility of hope."

11. Death Wish II (1982)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

11 Metascore

Architect Paul Kersey once again becomes a vigilante when he tries to find the five street punks who murdered his daughter and housekeeper, this time on the dark streets of Los Angeles.

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 13,195 | Gross: $16.10M

"Although the original Death Wish had its detractors, it was an effective movie that spoke directly to the law-and-order mentality of the Nixon-Ford era. It was directed with a nice slick polish by Michael Winner, and, on its own terms, it worked. Death Wish II is a disaster by comparison. It has the same director, Winner, but he directs the dialogue scenes as if the actors' shoes were nailed to the floor....What’s most shocking about Death Wish II is the lack of artistry and skill in the filmmaking. The movie is underwritten and desperately underplotted, so that its witless action scenes alternate with lobotomized dialogue passages. The movie doesn't contain an ounce of life. It slinks onto the screen and squirms for a while, and is over."

12. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)

R | 83 min | Comedy

23 Metascore

Deuce is tricked again into man-whoring by T.J., only in Amsterdam while other man-whores are being murdered in his midst.

Director: Mike Bigelow | Stars: Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Jeroen Krabbé, Til Schweiger

Votes: 46,157 | Gross: $22.26M

"Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo makes a living cleaning fish tanks and occasionally prostituting himself. How much he charges I'm not sure, but the price is worth it if it keeps him off the streets and out of another movie. Deuce Bigalow is aggressively bad, as if it wants to cause suffering to the audience. The best thing about it is that it runs for only 75 minutes. ... Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."

13. Death Race 2000 (1975)

R | 80 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

In a dystopian future, a cross country automobile race requires contestants to run down innocent pedestrians to gain points that are tallied based on each kill's brutality.

Director: Paul Bartel | Stars: David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Simone Griffeth, Mary Woronov

Votes: 22,734 | Gross: $8.00M

"... This is a film about a futuristic cross-country race in which the winner is determined, not merely by his speed, but also by the number of pedestrians he kills. You get 100 points for someone in a wheelchair, 70 points for the aged, 50 points for kids and so on. The killings are depicted in the most graphic way possible. Giant swords on the fronts of the cars skewer victims. Others are run over several times. ... Well, folks, the theater was up for grabs. The audience was at least half small children, and they loved it. They'd never seen anything so funny, I guess, and I was torn between walking out immediately and staying to witness a spectacle more dismaying than anything on the screen: the way small children were digging gratuitous bloodshed."

14. Dice Rules (1991)

NC-17 | 88 min | Comedy, Documentary

Before he was The Diceman, he was a poor, pathetic, put-upon Jew from New York who was disrespected by everyone he came across. Everyone. Then - he got the studded vanity leather jacket--... See full summary »

Director: Jay Dubin | Stars: Andrew Dice Clay, Eddie Griffin, Sylvia Harman, Lee Lawrence

Votes: 566 | Gross: $0.64M

"Andrew "Dice" Clay comes billed as a comedian, but does not get one laugh from me in the 87 minutes of this film. I do not find it amusing to watch someone mock human affliction, and I don't find it funny, either, for him to use his fear of women as a subject for humor. Of course any subject can theoretically be made funny, but just to stand and point is not the same thing as developing a humorous point of view. An example. We have all known someone who has undergone a tracheotomy, having the voice box removed because of cancer. Sometimes these people are still able to speak through controlling the air stream in their throat, or by using small battery-powered devices that magnify their whispers. Andrew Dice Clay finds their speech funny, and mocks it in this film. I imagine that tracheotomy patients themselves use morbid humor as one way of dealing with their condition, but Clay is not using humor at all—he is simply pointing, and making fun, like a playground bully."

15. Frozen Assets (1992)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy

A man is hired to run a bank which turns out to be a sperm bank.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Shelley Long, Corbin Bernsen, Larry Miller, Dody Goodman

Votes: 447 | Gross: $0.38M

"This movie is seriously bad, but what puzzles me is its tone. This is essentially a children's movie with a dirty mind. No adult could possibly enjoy a single frame of the film - it's pitched at the level of a knock-knock joke - and yet what child could enjoy, or understand, all the double entendres about sperm, and what goes into its production? This movie, as nearly as I can tell, was not made with any possible audience in mind." "Not even the worst comedy ever made, just the worst movie ever made, I don't know. You know the theory of reincarnation, where the dues we pay in this lifetime we may get to collect in another lifetime? For having seen this movie, I want months and months and months in a beautiful valley with honey and nectar and zephyr-like breezes. I mean, years, perhaps, appropriate. And a big car!"

16. Last Rites (1988)

R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Angela, the beautiful Mexican mistress of a NY mobster, asks virginal Father Michael for protection after Zena, the mobster's wife, kills her cheating husband. Michael becomes torn between his vows, Angela and his sister - Zena.

Director: Donald P. Bellisario | Stars: Tom Berenger, Daphne Zuniga, Chick Vennera, Anne Twomey

Votes: 953 | Gross: $0.43M

"This is it — located at last and with only six weeks to spare — the worst film of 1988. Last Rites qualifies because it passes both acid tests: It is not only bad filmmaking, but it is offensive as well — offensive to my intelligence. Many films are bad. Only a few declare themselves the work of people deficient in taste, judgment, reason, tact, morality and common sense. Was there no one connected with this project who read the screenplay, considered the story, evaluated the proposed film and vomited?"

17. Police Academy (1984)

R | 96 min | Comedy

41 Metascore

A group of good-hearted, but incompetent misfits enter the police academy, but the instructors there are not going to put up with their pranks.

Director: Hugh Wilson | Stars: Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith

Votes: 104,033 | Gross: $81.20M

"It's really something. It's so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you're sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, and chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don't know what bad is. This is the kind of movie where they'll bring a couple of characters onscreen and begin to set up a joke, and then, just when you realize you can predict exactly what's going to happen ... not only doesn't it happen, but nothing happens — they just cut to some different characters! If there's anything worse than a punch line that doesn't work, it's a movie that doesn't even bother to put the punch lines in."

18. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

Not Rated | 91 min | Horror

17 Metascore

Inspired by the fictional Dr. Heiter, disturbed loner Martin dreams of creating a 12-person centipede and sets out to realize his sick fantasy.

Director: Tom Six | Stars: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, Kandace Caine

Votes: 32,861 | Gross: $0.12M

"This film is reprehensible, dismaying, ugly, artless and an affront to any notion, however remote, of human decency."

19. The Life of David Gale (2003)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

31 Metascore

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Cleo King

Votes: 102,001 | Gross: $19.59M

"The secrets of the plot must remain unrevealed by me, so that you can be offended by them yourself, but let it be said this movie is about as corrupt, intellectually bankrupt and morally dishonest as it could possibly be without David Gale actually hiring himself out as a joker at the court of Saddam Hussein."

20. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

R | 98 min | Horror

38 Metascore

After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding loon and his family of equally psychopathic killers.

Director: Marcus Nispel | Stars: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Andrew Bryniarski, Erica Leerhsen

Votes: 123,418 | Gross: $80.57M

"The new version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a contemptible film: Vile, ugly and brutal. There is not a shred of a reason to see it. Those who defend it will have to dance through mental hoops of their own devising, defining its meanness and despair as 'style' or 'vision' or 'a commentary on our world.' It is not a commentary on anything, except the marriage of slick technology with the materials of a geek show."

21. Wolf Creek (2005)

R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

54 Metascore

Three backpackers stranded in the Australian outback are plunged in a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture by a sadistic psychopathic local.

Director: Greg McLean | Stars: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, John Jarratt

Votes: 63,630 | Gross: $16.19M

"I had a hard time watching Wolf Creek. It is a film with one clear purpose: To establish the commercial credentials of its director by showing his skill at depicting the brutal tracking, torture and mutilation of screaming young women. When the killer severs the spine of one of his victims and calls her "a head on a stick," I wanted to walk out of the theater and keep on walking."



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