Roger Ebert's "Zero Stars" -ratings
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10 to Midnight (1983) (1983)
"The people who made "From Ten to Midnight" have every right to be ashamed of themselves -- and that includes Charles Bronson, whose name on the marquee is the only reason anybody would come to see it."
"Africa Addio" is a brutal, dishonest, racist film. It slanders a continent and at the same time diminishes the human spirit. And it does so to entertain us."
"Have you ever been to one of those office parties where the PR department has put together a tribute to a retiring boss? That's how this film plays. It has no proper story line. No dramatic scenes. It's all done in documentary form, with people looking at the camera and relating the history of a doomed movie named ``Trio,'' which cost more than $200 million and stars Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan, who play themselves as if they are celebrity impersonators."
"The movie was written by the actress Troy Beyer, who has a small role as a lawyer. What was she thinking of? I don't have a clue. The movie doesn't work, but was there any way this material could ever have worked? My guess is that African Americans will be offended by the movie, and whites will be embarrassed. The movie will bring us all together, I imagine, in paralyzing boredom."
""Caligula" is not good art, It is not good cinema, and it is not good porn."
""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."
Death Race 2000 (1975)
"Despite the fact that the movie had a "restricted rating," the vast majority of the kids (and by kids I mean under 10 years old) were without parents or guardians. That wasn't a surprise. It's been my observation in several Chicago theaters recently that little or no attempt is made to enforce the R rating. The ratings were intended in the first place to protect kids from violence. But, you know, last Saturday I began to wonder who was going to protect us from these kids."
Death Wish 2 (1982)
"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."
"Does this sound like a movie you want to see? It sounds to me like a movie that Columbia Pictures and the film's producers (Glenn S. Gainor, Jack Giarraputo, Tom McNulty, Nathan Talbert Reimann, Adam Sandler and John Schneider) should be discussing in long, sad conversations with their inner child."
Dice Rules (1991)
""Dice Rules" was filmed in concert (what a word) at Madison Square Garden, which the comedian was able to fill two nights in a row. It is eerie, watching the shots of the audience. You never see anyone just plain laughing, as if they'd heard something that was funny. You see, instead, behavior more appropriate at a fascist rally, as his fans stick their fists in the air and chant his name as if he were making some kind of statement for them. Perhaps he is. Perhaps he is giving voice to their rage, fear, prejudice and hatred. They seem to cheer him because he is getting away with expressing the sick thoughts they don't dare to say."
Dirty Love (2006)
""Dirty Love" wasn't written and directed, it was committed. Here is a film so pitiful, it doesn't rise to the level of badness. It is hopelessly incompetent. It stars and was scripted by Jenny McCarthy, the cheerfully sexy model who, judging by this film, is fearless, plucky and completely lacking in common sense or any instinct for self-preservation."
Erik the Viking (1989)
"Every once in a while a movie comes along that makes me feel like a human dialysis machine. The film goes into my mind, which removes its impurities, and then it evaporates into thin air. "Erik the Viking" is a movie like that, an utterly worthless exercise in waste and wretched excess, uninformed by the slightest spark of humor, wit or coherence."
Fever Pitch (1985)
"This movie is sick. It pretends to be a warning against compulsive gambling, but it falls for the oldest dodge in the gambler's book: "I only gambled enough to win back my losses."
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
"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 with barrels."
Frogs for Snakes (1998)
"Seeing the cast of familiar actors (not only Hershey and Coltrane, but also Harry Hamlin, Ian Hart, Debi Mazar, John Leguizamo and Ron Perlman), I was reminded of "Mad Dog Time" (1996), another movie in which well-known actors engaged in laughable dialogue while shooting one another. Of that one, I wrote: " `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." Now comes "Frogs for Snakes," the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of "Mad Dog Time."
"I didn't feel like a viewer during "Frozen Assets." I felt like an eyewitness at a disaster. If I were more of a hero, I would spend the next couple of weeks breaking into theaters where this movie is being shown, and leading the audience to safety."
Goodbye Uncle Tom (1971)
"This is cruel exploitation. If it is tragic that the barbarism of slavery existed in this country, is it not also tragic -- and enraging -- that for a few dollars the producers of this film were able to reproduce and reenact that barbarism?"
"During all the garbage that precedes it, we're waiting uncomfortably for the film's climax, the massacre with the cyanide in the soft drink. The movie spares no details. The cult members line up and drink their poison or have it forced down their throats, and then they stagger around, clutch their stomachs, and scream in pain. Later, the film shows actual photographs of the real victims, while we are solemnly reminded that "those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." So remember: Don't drink cyanide."
Hardly Working (1980)
"Once, a very long time ago, Jerry Lewis made me laugh. I was seven at the time. He still seems to be making movies for the same audience."
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
"It was not just a large crowd, it was a profoundly disturbing one. I do not often attribute motives to audience members, nor do I try to read their minds, but the people who were sitting around me on Monday morning made it easy for me to know what they were thinking. They talked out loud. And if they seriously believed the things they were saying, they were vicarious sex criminals."
I Spit On Your Grave (2011)
"This despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film "I Spit on Your Grave" adds yet another offense: a phony moral equivalency."
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
"I believe that the shark wants revenge against Mrs. Brody. I do. I really do believe it. After all, her husband was one of the men who hunted this shark and killed it, blowing it to bits. And what shark wouldn't want revenge against the survivors of the men who killed it?"
Last Rites (1988)
"Although Bellisario makes pious bleats in his press releases about the moral crisis faced by his hero in the movie, let's face it: This movie was made in order to give us a love affair between a priest and a sexy woman. The other stuff - making the Mafia look noble, putting in lots of bloody special effects - are bonuses."
"There is a movie called "Fargo" playing right now. It is a masterpiece. Go see it. If you, under any circumstances, see "Little Indian,Big City", I will never let you read one of my reviews again."
Mad Dog Time (1996)
"``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."
""Mandingo" is racist trash, obscene in its manipulation of human beings and feelings, and excruciating to sit through in an audience made up largely of children, as I did last Saturday afternoon. "
Mother's Day (1980) (1980)
""Mother's Day" is the latest reprehensible specimen of the geek film, so-called because such films are about the activities of that subcategory of humans formerly found in the carnival sideshows, biting the heads off chickens."
"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."
Pink Flamingos (1986)
"``Pink Flamingos'' appeals to that part of our psyches in which we are horny teenagers at the county fair with fresh dollar bills in our pockets, and a desire to see the geek show with a bunch of buddies, so that we can brag about it at school on Monday. (And also because of an intriguing rumor that the Bearded Lady proves she is bearded all over.)"
Police Academy (1984)
"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."
"There were very few scenes in the prison itself, I was sorry to see. From what I could determine (it was a little hard with the 3-D images overlapping), there was a scene in the prison psychiatrist's office, and that was about it. Why no prison?"
"As a play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" is fascinating; we use our knowledge of "Hamlet" to piece together the half-glimpsed, incomplete actions of the major players, whose famous scenes we see a line or a moment at a time. As a movie, this material, freely adapted by Stoppard, is boring and endless. It lies flat on the screen, hardly stirring."
Rude Awakening (1989)
""Rude Awakening" made me wonder if perhaps it wouldn't have been the best idea, after all, to just let the memories of 1969 slip gracefully into the past, instead of dredging them up in a film so ham-handed and politically obtuse that it is an actual insult to whatever beliefs it dimly thinks it upholds."
"What a strange, confused, unpleasant movie this is. Two theories have clustered around it: (1) It is anti-Mormon propaganda to muddy the waters around the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, or (2) it is not about Mormons at all, but an allegory about the 9/11/01 terrorists. Take your choice. The problem with allegories is that you can plug them in anywhere. No doubt the film would have great impact in Darfur."
"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."
"The movie is an exhausted retread of the old campus romance gag where the pretty girl almost believes the lies of the reprehensible schemer, instead of trusting the nice guy who loves her. The only originality the movie brings to this formula is to make it incomprehensible, through the lurching incompetence of its story structure. Details are labored while the big picture remains unpainted."
"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."
Speed Zone (1989)
"Cars are not funny. Speeding cars are not funny. It is not funny when a car spins around and speeds in the other direction. It is not funny when a car flies through the air. It is not funny when a truck crashes into a car. It is not funny when cops chase speeding cars. It is not funny when cars crash through roadblocks."
The Devils (1971)
"All the events and persons depicted in "The Devils" are based on actual events and real persons. How do I know? Ken Russell tells me so!"
The Doom Generation (1995)
"This is the kind of movie where the filmmaker hopes to shock you with sickening carnage and violent amorality, while at the same time holding himself carefully aloof from it with his style."
The Exterminator (1980)
"“The Exterminator” exists primarily to show burnings, shootings, gougings, grindings, and beheadings. It is a small, unclean exercise in shame."
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Here are Roger Ebert's "zero stars" -ratings from 60's to 2010's.
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