Combustible Celluloid

The Worst Films of 2003

by Jeffrey M. Anderson

Finding a few good movies this year doesn't excuse the high volume of bad ones. 2003 stunk so bad that movie critics should have been licensed exterminators, or at least given some kind of protective equipment. Of the 268 films I viewed this year, more than half were bad and 24 in particular stunk so wretchedly I felt I needed to bathe in tomato juice. Will this be a lesson to 2004? Or, like so many bad horror sequels, will the evil return?

1) Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
A contemptible film that so blatantly despised its audience, it more or less hurled excrement in our faces and demanded our money in return.

2) Gigli
This more classically bad film was hilariously presented by a group of unbelievably clueless filmmakers whose idea of what we wanted to see baldly clashed with reality.

3) Kangaroo Jack
Perhaps the lowest producer Jerry Bruckheimer has ever sunk, a noisy, brain-dead film aimed at noisy, brain-dead kids.

4) Bad Sequels: Bad Boys II, Dumb and Dumberer, Legally Blonde 2, The Matrix Revolutions, 2 Fast 2 Furious
Proving just how bankrupt for ideas the studios really are.

5) Le Divorce
Kate Hudson made other bad films this year, but none more gutless than this pale Merchant-Ivory film. They've been slipping lately, but they've never been lazier or more asleep than this.

6) Boat Trip
Cuba Gooding Jr. also made a slew of bad films this year, but none more offensively unfunny than this out-of-place, out-of-time, so-called comedy.

7) Cold Creek Manor
Director Mike Figgis continues to lay bare his lack of talent, restraint and taste.

8) Bad Rock 'n' Roll Movies: Garage Days, Prey for Rock 'n' Roll
Six words: It's all about the music, man.

9) View from the Top
Almost a year later, it's still not clear whether this baffling Gwyneth Paltrow movie was supposed to be a comedy or a drama. It's actually neither, if such a thing is possible.

10) House of Sand and Fog
Insufferably pompous and thuddingly dull at the same time, this year-end Oscar contender has already fooled some of the people most of the time.

And just in case these others thought they were getting away with something, they've made the runner up list: Alex and Emma, Amen, Anger Management, Beyond Borders, Big Shot's Funeral, Bulletproof Monk, The Core, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Dog Days, Emerald Cowboy, The Event, The Heart of Me, Honey, Hulk, It Runs in the Family, KM.0, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Missing, S.W.A.T., Sinbad, The Slaughter Rule, Small Voices, Sylvia, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Underworld.

This story also appeared in The San Francisco Examiner.

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