People inevitably have the same reaction when they find out you're a professional film critic. "Oh, that must be so much fun," they gush, apparently under the delusion that we spend our days watching classic films and then passionately debating about them with our colleagues while smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee at a café. Wearing berets, of course.
The reality is far different, as the lineup below will attest. For every good — let alone great — film we see, there are dozens of stinkers. Endless remakes, reboots and franchise installments. Horror films made cheaply enough that even when they bomb, they're still profitable. Animated films more designed to sell tie-in merchandise than enchant young minds. And even worse, self-consciously arty movies so filled with auteurial self-indulgence that you long for the return of the studio system led by cigar-chomping executives who knew when a film was too long (Harvey Weinstein doesn't count).
Anyone who aspires to become a film critic (and please don't, the competition is stiff enough) should be forced to watch all 10 movies in this year's 10 Worst list as a cautionary measure. If you're still inclined to join the profession after all that, you either need career counseling or a professional dominatrix. — Frank Scheck