You Have to Read These Hilariously Bad Reviews of Oscar-Winning Movies

They may have won big at the Academy Awards, but they still owned brutal critical takedowns.

Just because a film's taken home one or more major Academy Awards doesn't mean that critics everywhere agree that it deserved them. Very few movies are universally acclaimed, but you still may be surprised at just how much certain reviewers detested these awarded movies. In some cases, prevailing critical opinion has shifted over time, while in others, the film in question was controversial even when it won big on Oscar night. But all of these bad reviews of Oscar-winning movies are hysterically blunt and guaranteed to make you chuckle. And for films almost nobody liked, check out These Are the Movies on Rotten Tomatoes With 0 Percent Ratings.

American Beauty (1999)

Wes Bentley and Chris Cooper in American Beauty
DreamWorks Pictures

"American Beauty is so wittily written and gorgeously directed that you might think you're seeing something archetypal–maybe even the Great American Movie. But when you stop and smell the roses … Well, that scent isn't Miracle-Gro. The hairpin turns from farce to melodrama, from satire to bathos, are fresh and deftly navigated, but almost every one of the underlying attitudes is smug and easy…It's amazing that [Sam] Mendes and [Alan] Ball get away with recycling so many stale and reactionary ideas under the all-purpose rubric of 'black comedy.'"


And for how more movies about adolescence stack up, we're Ranking Every '90s Teen Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.

Green Book (2018)

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in Green Book
Universal Pictures

"I don't think anyone who made Green Book consciously set out on a mission to make white people feel smug and self-congratulatory about race relations, but that's the end result of watching it."


Out of Africa (1985)

Meryl Streep in Out of Africa
Universal Pictures

"This may be the silliest serious movie since Reds. When you finally get the heck out of Africa, it's not a second too soon."

The Washington Post

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Crash (2004)

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in Crash

"But its characters come straight from the assembly line of screenwriting archetypes, and too often they act in ways that archetypes, rather than human beings, do. You can feel its creator shuttling them here and there on the grid of greater LA, pausing portentously between each move."

The Boston Globe

The Blind Side (2009)

Quinton Aaron and Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
Warner Bros. Pictures

"The true-life story from which this Oscar-winning movie is taken may well be every bit as inspirational and remarkable as its fans believe it to be. But the film itself is dead from the neck up and the neck down: a Photoshopped image of reality that is bland, parochial, and stereotypically acted by a cast who have nothing like the subtlety and range of Trey Parker's puppets from Team America: World Police."

The Guardian

To see what film buffs were loving during your formative years, check out The Best Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated, According to Critics.

Annie Hall (1977)

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall
United Artists

"Woody Allen's major limitation remains the solipsistic turn of mind that makes it difficult for him to formulate jokes in any voice but his own."

The Washington Post

Titanic (1997)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
Paramount Pictures

"For seeing Titanic almost makes you weep in frustration. Not because of the excessive budget, not even because it recalls the unnecessary loss of life in the real 1912 catastrophe, which saw more than 1,500 of the 2,200-plus passengers dying when an iceberg sliced the ship open like a can opener. What really brings on the tears is [James] Cameron's insistence that writing this kind of movie is within his abilities. Not only isn't it, it isn't even close."

The LA Times

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Joker (2019)

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures

"Joker is a wannabe movie that also wants to be all things to all viewers, that imitates the notion of adding substance while only subtracting it. Joker is a viewing experience of a rare, numbing emptiness."

The New Yorker

Forrest Gump (1994)

Tom Hanks and Robin Wright in Forrest Gump
Paramount Pictures

"Forrest Gump is often brilliantly staged and well-played; but it's no more than a sort of miniaturized car wash for the emotions, a set of bonsai revolving brushes wearing away at the edge of the audience's eyes till at last the tear ducts release their drippy cargo."

The Independent

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The King's Speech (2010)

Colin Firth in The King's Speech
The Weinstein Company

"Yet for some of us, Tom Hooper's period drama about the stammer of King George VI is exactly the kind of movie we've had enough of — complacent middlebrow tosh engineered for maximum awards bling and catering to a nostalgia for the royalty we've never actually had to live with."

The Boston Globe

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
The Weinstein Company

"But Playbook just feels worked up—an exercise in which actors can blow off steam. The crowded family living room resembles a coop with outraged chickens pecking for an advantage."

The New Yorker

La La Land (2016)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Dale Robinette/Lionsgate

"There are a million people just like Mia and Seb in town — the movie says so itself. [Damien] Chazelle undervalues and overvalues them all at once, and when he makes his feeble case for why they should stay together, it's unchallenged wish fulfillment where he erases even more of their personalities to make the claim that any two attractive people could make a baby if they were nicer and luckier and fated to be famous."


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