With the huge number of films released across the world annually it can be difficult to avoid all the turkeys, the pretentious or sickening dross churned out by undertalented people or fat and comfortable directors lost in their own egos. Fear not we are here to help.
There are indicators that should alert you to the fact that a movie is likely to be laughably bad. Different people have different strategies for negotiating the movie minefield but rather than concentrate on one you should try to blend together a formula based on your own dislikes.
Probably the most popularly applied technique for avoiding an hour or so of torture is to choose according to the acting cast. This has it´s pitfalls, for example you normally don't want to see anything with a Baldwin in it (especially a lesser spotted Baldwin like Daniel) but Stephen Baldwin did manage to sneak into The Usual Suspects so the rule doesn´t always work.
It can also work in reverse, when you see a great cast and feel certain the film will be good and then go to see something crushingly disappointing and cringingly awful like The Village.
Some actors give an indication of the production values you can expect, for example if the name Stacey Keach appears in the cast then it´s a made for TV movie.
Sometimes you just hate an actor but they keep getting cast in potentially great films, like Leonardo Di Caprio, what can you do? If you can bear it just grit your teeth and try to ignore them, if the film is good enough they won't be able to spoil it. Sometimes you just have to give up, my wife won´t watch anything with Tom Cruise in it and after a couple of months with no Cruise she had completely stopped cutting herself.
You could also try to look out for the director behind the film. Notable names to avoid can be found on our Director´s page.
Producers also leave their mark on films, for example if you want a slick special effects extravanganza with a terrible plot and script then look for the name Jerry Bruckheimer.
Sequels are also generally to be avoided, the higher the number, the worse the film. A sequel is virtually never as good as the original film but naturally they have their own set of contradictions like The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather II. If the original director is now listed as an executive producer then ignore the presence of their name and assume it will be bad.
Remakes are similar to sequels, if the original film was good the remake will suck and you have to ask why anyone thought making a poor copy of it was a good idea: see Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.
One of the most reliable signs that a movie will be terrible is when it stars someone known for something other than acting, such as a musician or sportsperson. The braindead divas are always trying to break into film and failing miserably producing some of the most laughable acting displays ever - see Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Madonna.
Don´t be suckered by exciting trailers, more and more of them these days seem to contain all of the action sequences in the entire film and they often show a central character dying, taken along with featurettes and interview whoring it can be difficult to get to the cinema to see a film before hearing the entire plot.
The best policy is to get the opinion of someone with similar tastes to you, but this means you have to wait for them to see it and you won't want to wait. One consolation is that even if you hate the movie you can always warn people about it...go on take out your bitter revenge and send us a scathing movie review. Submit Review