As the February 26 Academy Awards ceremony approaches, all 2011's best and worst movie lists have already been circulated and debated ad infinitum. But some of the year's movie reviews have proved even more interesting than the films themselves, especially when the movies are bad.
Film critics reach the zenith of their verbal capabilities when excoriating such terrible movies as The Change-up, Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Trespass. A great negative review is like a really amazing "Your mom" joke -- cutting, but longer and often with more existential despair. We ordinary humans slave away all week, the government takes our money and all we want to do on Saturday is relax at the theater, but the only thing playing is the steaming pile known as The Smurfs. So pardon us if we like to see the condescending makers of insultingly bad movies get what's coming to them. It is called schadenfreude and it isn't beneath us.
5. Your Highness Your Highness was a truly wretched movie, but there are many of those. What made this particular failure disappointing was its potential. A raunchy period romp starring Natalie Portman, James Franco, Zooey Deschanel and Danny McBride could have been hilarious. But too bad for Portman, gay-panic jokes and topless women equaled the opposite. In the words of Ty Burr at the Boston Globe, "In the grand tradition of following an Academy Award with the worst film of one's career, Natalie Portman appears today in Your Highness, a radioactive turd disguised as a sword-and-sorcery comedy." The poop metaphors continued: "The most painful movie so far in a year that's already scraping the bottom of the barrel, Your Highness is a tedious, dung-colored misfire that sullies the genre of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Princess Bride."