So, a few weeks ago I saw Steven Soderbergh's supposedly "last" theatrical feature film, Side Effects. I was pumped for it, despite the fact that Soderbergh, more than any other director, can really be hit and miss. When he's good, he's amazing. I love his clinical, hyper-stylish direction of movies like Ocean's 11, Traffic, The Informant!, Contagion, and Magic Mike. But I'm equally annoyed and turned off by movies like Bubble, Haywire, and, yes, Side Effects. I admired parts of Side Effects, but never really bought into the story, especially when it gets kind of ridiculously lurid at the end, like something out of a bad Brian DePalma movie. And, as good as Rooney Mara was in Dragon Tattoo and Social Network, I found her performance kind of impenetrable here. Maybe that was the point. I don't know. I do know that I didn't like the movie. 2 stars out of 5. Maybe 2.5 if I'm feeling generous.
That got me thinking though. What went wrong for me with Side Effects? The movie currently has an 85% on rottentomatoes.com. (Side note: do you regularly check rottentomatoes.com? If not, you absolutely should - it compiles all nationwide critics' reviews of a movie and gives you a clear sense of perceived quality). That means 85% of all critics recommend it, which is high. Now, I take a certain pride in my reviews. I like to think that I keep my finger on the pulse of mainstream moviegoers. But when something like Side Effects comes along, where I'm clearly in the minority, I start to question my abilities.
I'm sure I'm not alone. Has anyone else ever seen a movie that they disliked, hated, or downright despised, even though everyone else around them seemed to love it? If so, what movie? I've done some thinking, and looked back on some of the films from the past decade or so. Here are 10 movies that just didn't work for me, despite all the critical and/or commercial love that was showered upon them.
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