When the critics run out of insults

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

M Night Shyamalan's new film has been hammered by the critics this week, but how does it compare with cinema's all-time turkeys? Arifa Akbar selects her top 10 worst-reviewed movies of all time


Plan 9 from Outer Space (1953)



Dir. Ed Wood


Aliens use zombies against Earth!


Critic's view: "Unintentionally hilarious feast of tinfoil, cardboard and atrocious acting." Barbara Ellen, The Times.


Budget: $60,000


Box office: Unknown (it bombed).

The Life of Stuff (1997)

Dir. Simon Donald

An adaptation of Donald's own play set in a Glasgow gangland nightclub.

Critic's view: "The increasingly hysterical tone ensures whatever wit may have resided in the original play is well and truly crushed". Mail on Sunday.

Budget: £2m

Box office: 304 tickets sold.

Ishtar (1987)

Dir. Elaine May

Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman star as unsuccessful lounge singers who travel to Morocco for work but walk into a Cold War stand-off. A notorious flop with cult status, the comedy drew media attention for its snowballing budget.

Critic's view: "So bad it could almost have been deliberate. May's script is unfunny, and anything approximating a joke is wrung dry." Time Out

Budget: $55m

Box office: $14m

Swept away (2002)

Dir. Guy Ritchie

A bored 40-year-old wife (Madonna) is taken on a private cruise by her mega-rich husband only to find herself stranded on a deserted island with the ship's first mate after a shipwreck. You can guess the rest.

Critics' view: "A shipwreck." Rolling Stone "A vehicle for Madonna, who, as everyone but her husband knows, has the acting talent of a pickled egg." Fiona Sturges, The Independent

Budget: $10m.

Box office: $600,000 (in the US, straight to video in the UK).

The Last Airbender (2010)

Dir. M Night Shyamalan

A devastated Earth is divided into four warring factions, water, earth, fire and air. Two teenagers discover Aang, frozen, and release the last person with the power to, yep, bend air. He must restore balance and peace.

Critics' view: "An agonising experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

"The best way to watch The Last Airbender is probably with your eyes closed." A O Scott, The New York Times.

Budget: $150m, plus $130m marketing.

Box office: $16m on first day (Twilight Eclipse took $93m).

Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004)

Dir. Andy Humphries

The sex lives of of four potato delivery men in Birmingham. You don't want to know any more.

Critics' view: "Crude, desperately unfunny... The cinematic equivalent of untreated sewage." The Daily Telegraph

A masterclass in film-making ineptitude... It is one of the most nauseous films ever made. No one felt like lunch." James Christopher, The Times

Budget: £1.8m

Box office: £500,000 in its first week

The Hottie and The Nottie (2008)

Dir. Tom Putnam

Rom-com and Paris Hilton vehicle.

Critics' view: "About as funny as the anal rape scene in The War Zone." James Berardinelli, online critic.

"Toxic stuff." Anthony Quinn, The Independent

Budget: $9m

Box office: $1.6m

No Orchids for Mrs Blandish (1948)

Dir. St John Legh Clowes

Casual sex and brutality that somehow bypassed the censors made this British gangster film hugely controversial on release. With a cast including Sid James, it was set in New York, with the mostly British actors often struggling with their US accents (the American in the cast, Jack LaRue, affected a slight Italian accent).

Critics' view: "It has the morals of an alley cat and the sweetness of a sewer." The Observer

"The most sickening exhibition of brutality, perversion, sex and sadism ever to be shown on a cinema screen." The Monthly Film Bulletin

Budget: unknown.

Box office: dismal .

Gigli (1995)

Dir. Martin Brest

Ben Affleck is a low-ranking mobster charged with kidnapping the mentally-challenged, Baywatch-obsessed brother of a top federal prosecutor. Intended as a black comedy, it became a botched rom-com when financiers sought to cash-in on the real-life relationship between Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, but they lacked any chemistry.

Critic's view: "The least seductive interchange in the history of movie sex is when Ms Lopez parts her lovely legs on a bed and tells Mr Affleck, 'It's turkey time', explaining her invitation with the encouraging words, 'gobble, gobble'." John Walsh, The Independent

Budget: $54m

Box office: $7m

Battlefield Earth (2000)

Dir. Roger Christian

A dreadlocked "security chief" (John Travolta) lives in the year 3000, when Earth has been taken over by aliens, in this adaptation of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard's 1982 novel.

Critic's view: "It ... supports only one message or creed – that you have wasted your time in entering the cinema." David Thomson, The Independent.

Budget: $44m.

Box office: $30m.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
At this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas

Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Arts and Entertainment
Crime watch: Cara Delevingne and Daniel Brühl in ‘The Face of an Angel’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
music Malik left the Asian leg of the band's world tour after being signed off with stress last week
News
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England.
peopleNot the first time the author has defended Dumbledore's sexuality
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
photography
News
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
people
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss