What is the worst movie that is supposed to be good?

In order to be on the ballot, a movie had to have one or more of the following four qualifications:

Sometimes I get surprised by these polls. I thought this would turn out to be a battle between Blair Witch and The English Patient, with some possible darkhorses being Return of the Jedi, Prince of Tides, and Rocky Horror.

I missed it by a lot. I had no idea people hated Titanic that much. I agree that Titanic isn't as good as some people said it was - especially 12 year old girls. (It's the Monet of movies.) But if I had made Titanic I would be proud of what I had done. Not just the money it made, but the fact that it's a pretty good yarn, if a trifle maudlin, and has some lavish production values. On the other hand, some of the movies on this list are actually bad movies, Blair Witch being a good example. I guess you chose to interpret this as "most overrated", and maybe from that perspective Titanic is the rightful queen, because of its astronomical box office, solid reviews, and fistful of awards.

Independence Day was a strange one. The original word-of-mouth was great, and people were seeing it 19 times, like the first Star Wars. Then public opinion took a sudden u-turn, and it experienced a severe backlash, which lingers.

Rocky Horror did get plenty of support, as I expected, but my other darkhorses finished way out of the money. There was no support for Return of the Jedi, which I find loathsome, or Barbra Streisand, who most people find loathsome. The strongest dark horse after Rocky Horror was Patch Adams.

One of the categories of movie on this list is the tedious British movie. England actually produces plenty of vibrant films, but you'd never know it from the Academy, which prefers its Englishmen to have stiff upper lips or dry senses of humor. It seems like every year the Oscar nominations include something well intentioned and tedious like Howard's End or The Remains of the Day. I guess this is meant to add class to the nominations, and to maintain a dignified link to the world of legitimate theater. My theory is that people don't hate these movies if they are nominated losers, like those two or Passage to India, but they despise them if they win, like English Patient, Ghandi, and Chariots of Fire. Chariots beat out Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Ghandi beat E.T., back in the days before Spielberg had achieved sainthood. Patient didn't really do anything too offensive. It actually was one of the best movies in one of the weakest years in history.

That year, the NY Film critics picked "Fargo", the national society of Film Critics picked "Breaking the Waves" and the L.A. Film Critics picked "Secrets and Lies". So you see, English Patient wasn't really in over its head.

But, damn, people hate that movie. I know guys who boycott any movie featuring the stars of English Patient. I know one guy who won't go into a hospital for necessary care because hospitals remind him of that movie. He won't even use Binaca, because it reminds him of Binoche.

By the way, I apologize for leaving Sling Blade off the list. My error. It wouldn't have won, but it deserved a chance.

Your choices:

  1. Titanic
  2. The Blair Witch Project
  3. Independence Day
  4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  5. Natural Born Killers
  6. Chariots of Fire
  7. The English Patient
  8. Dune
  9. Pulp Fiction
  10. Patch Adams
  11. The Piano
  12. Dances With Wolves
  13. Forrest Gump
  14. Eyes Wide Shut
  15. The Phantom Menace
  16. Crash
  17. Out of Africa
  18. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  19. Bram Stoker's Dracula
  20. Fargo
  21. The Fifth Element
  22. City of Angels
  23. From Dusk Til Dawn
  24. The Prince of Tides
  25. Interview With a Vampire
  26. Legends of the Fall
  27. The Englishman Who went Up a Mountain
  28. Highlander
  29. Cruel Intentions