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You Can't Please Everyone: Negative Reviews Of Some Of The Best Loved Films In Cinema History

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 17, 2012 at 10:02AM

As you may have noticed, the review embargo on "The Dark Knight Rises" broke yesterday, and the word, including that from our own Todd Gilchrist, is mostly good. We say mostly, because as with most films, there are objections from a few reviews -- Christy Lemire from the Associated Press, Marshall Fine at Hollywood & Fine, Christopher Tookey at the Daily Mail, Devin Faraci at Bad Ass Digest -- coming in on the negative side of the fence. And as has become increasingly common in the last few years -- particularly with Christopher Nolan's films, Pixar movies, and even "The Avengers" -- the fans are in uproar at the sheer concept that reviewers dare give a negative notice to "The Dark Knight Rises" (regardless of the fact that these fans haven't yet seen the film for themselves).
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The Dark Knight Rise, Tom Hardy, Bane

As you may have noticed, the review embargo on "The Dark Knight Rises" broke yesterday, and the word, including that from our own Todd Gilchrist, is mostly good. We say mostly, because as with most films, there are objections from a few reviews -- Christy Lemire from the Associated Press, Marshall Fine at Hollywood & Fine, Christopher Tookey at the Daily Mail, Devin Faraci at Bad Ass Digest -- coming in on the negative side of the fence. And as has become increasingly common in the last few years -- particularly with Christopher Nolan's films, Pixar movies, and even "The Avengers" -- the fans are in uproar at the sheer concept that reviewers dare give a negative notice to "The Dark Knight Rises" (regardless of the fact that these fans haven't yet seen the film for themselves).

Comment sections have been deluged with idiot children Bat-fans, not just angry about negative reviews, but merely "good" ones -- Playlist contributor James Rocchi has attracted ire for his 3/5 take on the film over at Movies.com. With chatter around 'Rises' only to increase in the next few days, we thought it seemed like a good time to remind everyone: everything gets a bad review at some point.

Some films are more divisive than others, and there were a few films -- "Singin' In The Rain," "Seven Samurai," "North By Northwest," "The Godfather" -- that we couldn't find bad reviews from serious critics for. But generally speaking, there's an always an outlier, and we've collected reviews from the releases of ten of the most beloved and acclaimed releases in history to prove our point. That's not to say that the reviews below are wrong -- most make their points well, and some are positively insightful. The fanboy trend of being unable to let any criticism pass is an insidious one: you should seek to challenge your views on a film, not shout down people for pointing out any possible flaws.

But for those who say they don't listen to critics, we've also grabbed some excerpts of user reviews from the IMDB boards, to again show that opinion isn't a black and white thing. And also because they're funny. Read on for more, and feel free to speak up in the comments section and let us know what movies have set you against the critical grain.

Citizen Kane
"Citizen Kane"
“The picture is very exciting to anyone who gets excited about how things are done in the movies… and in these things there is no doubt the picture is dramatic. But what goes on between the dramatic high points, the story? No. What goes on is talk and more talk. And while the stage may stand for this, the movies don’t.” – Otis Ferguson, The New Republic

"I watch movies constantly, an i rarely see movies that i have troubles watching all the way through. For one of my classes at school, i needed to watch afi's top 10 movies. This movie was ranked at number one and I have no idea why. This movie was so boring I had to watch it several times because i kept falling asleep and missing certain parts. Fine, it was clever having Rosebud, and the importance of youth, but i felt that this is an example of a movie, that could be told in about 5 minutes, rather than stretching it out into one of the longest and most boring movies that i have ever seen. Now, i was also shocked at the acting. i generally find that acting supports a relatively weak script, however in this movie's case, i felt that the relatively weak script was supporting the awful acting. i personally was not very impressed with the acting strictly because the reactions felt very forced and everything was very overdone. all in all i was not impressed at all with this film, regardless of past ratings." - tennisislife67, IMDB

Godfather Part II
"The Godfather Part II"
'The Godfather, Part II'... is not very far along before one realizes that it hasn't anything more to say. Everything of any interest was thoroughly covered in the original film, but like many people who have nothing to say, 'Part II' won't shut up... Even if 'Part II' were a lot more cohesive, revealing and exciting than it is, it probably would have run the risk of appearing to be the self-parody it now seems. Looking very expensive but spiritually desperate, 'Part II' has the air of a very long, very elaborate revue sketch. Nothing is sacred... Mr. Pacino, so fine the first time out, goes through the film looking glum, sighing wearily as he orders the execution of an old associate or a brother, winding up very lonely and powerful, which is just about the way he wound up before. Mr. De Niro, one of our best young actors, is interesting as the young Vito until, toward the end of his section of the film, he starts giving a nightclub imitation of Mr. Brando's elderly Vito." - Vincent Canby, New York Times

I really don't understand the obsession with the Godfather trilogy, brought up with society around me proclaiming it to be a classic I rented the first and found it just bearable! Determined on my task of watching all three I rented the second, I barely made it through, i found the storyline confusing and didn't see any of the quotes used in 'You've got Mail'! Please don't think that the only films I watch are chick flicks, I do like more serious, older films but ... oh dear... maybe I just can't relate to Italian mafia families, I must have wiped this film from my mind as I can hardly remember the storyline! I do not which to be stereotypical but maybe this really is a film for men! Please tell me there are other people out there who feel this way about these films! I can't understand how they always get to the top of 'Great film Lists'! If asked by a friend whether to watch this film I would say no, unless I wanted to punish them!
P.S I still haven't watched number three!!  - laura5578, IMDB

This article is related to: Features, The Dark Knight Rises


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