Criterions I Dislike

by nightgoat72

Created 08/07/12

Edit List

As with anyone with a personality, subjective interests, and uniquely forged tastes, not every film in the Criterion Collection speaks to me.

Some of these I hate, others I just dislike.

  • Godard, I love you, but I guess no one's perfect.

  • Simply put, this just did nothing for me.

  • Lars von Trier is probably one of my least favorite people on the planet, and this movie pretty much sums up why.

  • It has interesting elements, but in the end the execution is just dull.

  • I think there are some really powerful ideas and material here, but they are largely undermined by the way the film overstates the emotion, drama, and "power" to melodramatic degrees. It just makes me feel manipulated rather than affected.

  • Amazing production design...and not much else. The somewhat interesting themes of generational conflict are rendered obtuse and dull by insufferable melodrama (this seems to have been very common in Japanese cinema of the era), a brutally sluggish pace, blandly repetitive camerawork, an obnoxious score/narration, and a near-impenetrable bombardment of Japanese cultural mythos.


    This is a dark movie. Like, really, really dark. Sickly dark. And when the film is at its most pitch-black, I kind of liked it. Like the moment when it is revealed that the underage girl's not-father raped her, or the scene when Serge is too drunk and apathetic to even be conscious when his child is being born. That shit was insane. But that being said, I found Chabrol's style dull (and amateurish in this particular film) and all of the connective tissue between these fleeting moments of interest to be plodding.

  • Ugh, this movie just sends my douche radar off the charts. So much ridiculous, pretentious, obnoxious silliness.

  • A cold, detached, cynical ode to lovelessness. A faux-realism style is dull, its narrative is unfocused, and its editing is undisciplined. Even after three hours, there is no meaningful character progression or sense of a passage of time. The class commentary is condescending and empty. And the disgusting scenes of people eating are seemingly endless.

  • This lame mix of diluted Woody Allen and mainstream rom-com is one of the most confounding additions to the Collection. Sure, William Hurt is a stud and Albert Brooks is funny. That ain't enough.

  • Like many films on this list, there are interesting qualities, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

  • I'm actually a big Bergman fan, but I found little to latch on to here. Usually, I find what Bergman is exploring so insightful, honest, piercing, and genuinely profound that the atmosphere of misery that tends to pervade everything feels earned and authentic, but here I didn't find that level of humanity and insight, so the morose tone slipped into tedium for me.

  • A dull, meandering documentary about a pathetic hypocrite.

  • Sentimental, uninteresting Hollywood fluff. Why is this on Criterion?

  • One of the most infuriatingly obnoxious pieces of garbage ever made. Empty Dadaist style (rendered even more painful by its insistence on a postured precociousness) and totally vapid and unearned social commentary. Calling this junk "feminist" in an insult to feminism. It pisses me off that this bullshit enjoys such a lofty reputation while the truly great works of the Czech New Wave (such as The Joke or A Report on the Party and Guests) go practically ignored.

  • Richard Linklater is a bad filmmaker. This is one of the most obnoxious, worthless movies I've ever seen. It can hardly be considered a time capsule since its vibe is so distinctly '90s, not '70s, its characters are some of the most annoying morons ever put on screen, and the film is content to merely be a nostalgic depiction, never an examination. There's no insight. There's no panache. There's no anything. This movie is terrible.

  • I really can't stand Noah Baumbach's films. This dull mess didn't help. Just watch the brilliant "Girls" instead; it does everything this tries to do, but a hell of a lot better and with a lot more honesty. This just came off like an aging man feigning an understanding of modern youth while having a lot of French New Wave on his mind.

    To say the least, I was underwhelmed.

  • Anthony Mann is actually one of my favorite directors of all time, but this is one of his few misfires for me. Probably has a lot to do with my dislike of Barbara Stanwyck.

  • Wake me when it's over.

  • In many ways, the birth of modern hipster cinema. Therefore, the birth of the worst kind of cinema in history.

    I found Harold grating and his morbidity insincere, and I absolutely detested the character of Maude and found much of what she did despicable (Hey, let's steal some poor guy's car because I'm such a free spirit!). What kind of self-absorbed bullshit is that? Fuck this movie.

  • Steve McQueen is a hack who makes incredibly boring, empty films. He fixates on the minutiae of misery and degradation with no compassion or empathy.

  • Ang Lee is very hit or miss. I love Brokeback Mountain and Hulk, but this movie is agonizingly dumb. A silly soap opera disguised as a serious film.

  • Equivalent to watching obnoxious teenagers acting like idiots and thinking they're doing something important.

  • I am not a fan of Tarkovsky at all, and this movie finds him up to his usual, boring tricks, but being his first feature, there is also an irritating amateurism to go along with them.

  • Probably the single most boring film I have ever sat through.

  • I think the overbearing style goes beyond inventive and slips into irritatingly busy. At least it didn't have the insulting propaganda of Soy Cuba to go with it.

  • I can't stand Nicolas Roeg's sloppy, zoom-happy style.

  • Wexler blows his load early; the deepest insight he achieves is in the bravura opening sequence, a cutting, self-aware commentary on media detachment that doubles as a mission statement for the film itself (it's also the only sequence with memorably evocative and pleasurable cinematography). After that, things quickly descend into mind-numbing, repetitive tedium full of dull, gauche symbolism (seemingly endless images evoking dislocation and wandering). Wexler's attempts at self-reflexiveness during the climactic riot scene (adding in phony lines of dialogue such as "Look out, Haskell, it's real!" and "Stinkin' commie!") are tumescent and self-satisfied (not to mention thoroughly unnecessary). The ending, which goes no deeper than the opening, then takes those adjectives to an almost-hilarious extreme.

    Wexler may have captured a snapshot of a zeitgeist, but he doesn't clarify it.

  • David Bowie is phenomenal. The rest, not so much.

  • I usually really like Bunuel, but this one just didn't click for me.

  • I found this incredibly tiresome and self-important. Same goes for everything Mishima said and did in it.

  • This movie just made me feel really depressed. I found the atmosphere very off-putting.

  • I can't believe anyone can take this seriously. It's like watching a really corny, really '90s, really teen-y TV movie.

  • Ophuls adds some nice stylistic touches here and there, but I just cannot get past how much I loathe most of the characters in this movie. Ophuls portraying them in a fond, warm light just makes it worse.

  • I actually love the first 30 minutes of this movie (and Antonioni in general), but it eventually just kind of crumbles in on itself.

  • Roman Polanski is actually my favorite director of all time, but this is one of maybe two or three films he's made that I dislike. Polanski himself calls it his "sloppiest," and says it's "technically well below the standard [he tries] to achieve," and I have to agree.

  • A bunch of privileged Brits in India. It's every bit as boring as that sounds.

  • I find Melville's aesthetic very bland. This tries so hard to be cool, but it's just painful.

    The ending is a nice touch, though.

  • An annoying, sloppy, ultra-boring slice of hippie cinema.

  • A smug, overblown filmed play that childishly reduces Nixon to a blathering, incoherent, practically senile lunatic. This is in no way humanization or "an attempt to understand" as the film's ridiculous, deflective, and dishonest opening disclaimer asserts - it's just derision.

  • Getting through all three hours of this uninteresting slog was a real chore. I must confess that I have a very hard time getting into samurai moves in general.

  • I think Tarkovsky's work and style either speak to you or they don't. I get nothing out of what he does (with the exception of Stalker, which I don't mind) and find sitting through his painfully dragged-out films to be excruciatingly boring.

  • I hate, HATE this movie and everyone involved with it. A bunch of moronic hippies without an ounce of talent or intelligence between them make a disgusting movie full of obnoxiousness, repulsive acts, and offensively inappropriate use of stock footage of the Katyn massacre. They even throw in a scene where they actually sexually abuse a group of young boys. Real classy. The inclusion of this in the Collection actually makes me reconsider my love of it a little bit.

  • A depressingly ugly and cynical film. I do not respond to this kind of nastiness.

  • Can you tell I'm not a fan of hippie cinema? I suppose it could be argued that this isn't strictly a hippie work, but it's mostly the girl that drives me crazy.

  • Singing literally every word in a movie is a VERY bad idea.

  • Another film that simply didn't speak to me; it just bored me.

  • '60s counterculture at its most irritating.

  • Occasionally funny (and Richard E. Grant is great), but overall I found this bland and forgettable.


  • By FG
    August 16, 2012
    05:26 PM

    I am surpised that you dislike A Woman Is a Woman.It's one of the best films of Godard,according to me his most enjoyable film.I can decide that you dislike Godard.
    • By nightgoat72
      August 21, 2012
      01:53 AM

      Actually, I really like Godard in general, but he's very hit or miss for me. I love Pierrot le fou and Breathless, and really like Band of Outsiders and Masculin feminin. I also enjoy lots of others to varying degrees, like Notre musique, Week End, Tout va bien, and on and on...
  • By The Narrator Returns
    August 25, 2012
    08:29 AM

    I disagree with you on a wide majority of these (how can someone not like, let alone hate, Seven Samurai?), but I'll give you A Safe Place. That is an absolute mess, and not in a fun way.
  • By pleh?
    August 28, 2012
    08:39 PM

    I like these kind of lists, but wish you'd elaborate
    • By nightgoat72
      September 12, 2012
      09:30 AM

      I probably will eventually. But for now, just putting the list together took enough time.
  • By Kurt
    August 29, 2012
    09:04 AM

    Why don't you just put I hate and/or dislike the whole collection...??? What the hell is wrong with you. Tons of the films you listed are great, but to each his own.
    • By QuQCDegueulasse
      September 12, 2012
      03:11 PM

      i agree the majority of these films are defining of the company, and how could you dislike harold and maude or last year at marienbad or last picture show? you certainly have strange taste
  • By Sam
    August 31, 2012
    11:42 PM

    I haven't seen a few of these, and a lot the films you list here I like a great deal, but I want to commend you for standing up against Seven Samurai and The Last Picture Show because I think they're terrible, and I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who felt that way!
    • By nightgoat72
      September 12, 2012
      09:30 AM

      Haha I hear you, I will never understand the love for Seven Samurai.
  • By Tjaden S.
    September 03, 2012
    03:36 PM

    You either dislike or hate a lot of films that are corner stones of what the Criterion Collection represents. I'm not sure why you "like" the Criterion Collection if this is a serious list.
    • By nightgoat72
      September 12, 2012
      09:29 AM

      Because I love a lot of other films they release and greatly admire them for the effort they put into everything they release.
  • By ggfanjase
    October 15, 2012
    07:05 PM

    I was beyond bored during Solaris, good to know I'm not the only one who disliked it. Interesting sci-fi with curious ideas that runs much too slowly and for FAR too long. In the end, I didn't care where it ended up. I can see why that reasoning would lead to someone hating Harold and Maude but I still love it despite it basically giving birth to the Wes Anderson/hipster generation.
  • By Johnathan Birks
    October 25, 2012
    05:34 PM

    WRT "Last Year at Marienbad": Can't agree more. Possibly the most pretentious film ever made. Certainly the most pretentious I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty of pretentious films. ("Vampyr" I would put in this category, but it would be more properly deemed perversely eclectic.) Strongly disagree about "Seven Samurai" but Kurasawa is admittedly an acquired taste.
    • By nightgoat72
      October 27, 2012
      01:25 AM

      "Possibly the most pretentious film ever made. Certainly the most pretentious I've ever seen," Like you said, could not agree with you more. I've never been so bored in my life. I don't even know why I finished the damn thing.
    • By Willem Vander Ark
      March 10, 2013
      05:17 AM

      i think that calling 'vampyr' pretentious is pretentious. dreyer was a pioneer and to call the work of visual poetry and innovation that is 'vampyr' pretentious from a modern standpoint just seems kind of obnoxious and irreverent. also i really don't see the point of lists like this. the criterion collection is all about film appreciation and to spend time making a list like this which still is mostly devoid of ideas strikes me as useless and egotistical. if you're so bored by all of the creative genius that went into the making of some of the films on this list maybe you should consider that your opinions seem pretty goddamn boring themselves. the idea of putting a list like this up in public on the criterion collection website and not backing your ideas with anything but claims about the value of your own opinion is vapid as fuck. i have no personal beef with you nor do i have any cause to insult your intelligence but based on whats here this is nothing if not contrarian and attention-starved
    • By nightgoat72
      April 02, 2013
      10:22 PM

      @jerryjuiceteria: I actually never called Vampyr pretentious. I simply stated I was bored by it. And I don't really buy the argument against putting up lists like this. There are tons of lists on this site of Criterion films people love (I have some myself), but no one complains that so many of those lists don't have detailed explanations about why they LIKE those films. You make it sound like I should have to justify disliking a film simply because others like it. These are just my own honest, personal opinions. I don't see how that's being contrarian. And if you'll notice, I have a different list (considerably longer than this one, I might add) up of Criterion films I love.
  • By DUDElaundrey
    November 27, 2012
    06:12 PM

    terrible listt.. let me guess, and please correct me if im worng, ur between 19 and 24 years old, always been interested in cinema, but really indulged maybe the past 2 or 3 years. definitley attended film school for a year or so... in a few years, u will appreciate these films. there r a few u named that i dislike, but some taht u added to this list make u sound completley unintellignet. especially sense u dont even say why or what u didnt like. aside from (slow, boring, pretensious)... 5 or 6 years ago i really started collecting films and studying them. after a year or 2 i thought i knew everything, and would of put a few of the titles in a dislike list. however, the more u learn and watch, the more u understand. adding a film like 7th sam to a list of bad movies is ammusing. i understand its ur opinion, but its wrong. please take careful note of this.. 'opinions are based on knowledge, so even tho everyone is intitled to their opinion, opinions can b wrong.' i dont even know why i comment on stuff like this, cause by the time u realize u sound like a pretensious film school hero, many years will have passed, and u will not be able to find me to appologize,,, and if im wrong, if ur a 46 year old film director whos been in the buisness for years, and these are ur opinions u are a hack and part of the problem with current cinema. sorry. if sum1 said this to me 5 or 6 years ago in my younger 20's, i would think their an asshole. now, i realized i didnt have the knowledge to appreciate. this is why i dont blog on imdb. cause they are mostly morons. it is fine to look for a certain thing in films for it to be fulfilling to u. but to actually think sum of these are bad films, is plain unedicated. u know how dumb first year film school students sound. they will watch a micheal mann movie and think it sucks (slow pace, bad lighting, strange audio. they think micheal mann doesnt know how to make a movie, but after a year of schooling, they could, they dont realize the things they think were done out of lack of talent or ability is actually done because of their overwhelming superiority of understanding of what cinema is. so i know i sound harsh. but i should, i sstill cringe when i think about the shit i used to say years ago, similuar to what u said. obviously i understand not enjoying salo or sweet movie. but most of the films u listed here are on most peoples top tens. u think u figured it out? like people who eat sleep and breath cinema all day, who compile list, great list, and cite great films for different reasons really dont know what they r talking about? maybe u r too vapid for bergman or kurosawa or tarkovsky. and believe me, i love pure popcorn cinema too. im just gonna stop, im sure reading this enlightend u none
    • By DUDElaundrey
      November 27, 2012
      06:16 PM

      oh and i type fast. so please, if u respond, instead of saying "im uneducated, u couldnt even spell.... or ur grammers off".. spare me, say something that actually has to do with what i said. dont take the idiots way out and hastily point out a grammar mistake because u have no idea how to respond intelligently
  • By DUDElaundrey
    November 27, 2012
    06:19 PM

    u know, i went and looked at ur profile, u like a lot of good films and directors. maybe u really just have odd taste, or completley were dazed on 38 xanax when u watched sum of them and dont really remember them, so i appologize, i guess. and yes, i am a poumpus pretensious asshole
    • By nightgoat72
      December 29, 2012
      10:06 PM

      Hahaha you know what, it's okay. I appreciate your passion, man. I think it's pretty natural for anyone who is truly enthusiastic about cinema to get a little pompous and excited every now and then. Kinda comes with the territory. As for your guesses about me, you're both right and wrong. I am 24, but I have never been to and never have any interest in attending film school. I HAVE always been interested in cinema, but I have been "really indulging" for longer than 2 or 3 years - I started to become seriously immersed in it when I was about 16 or 18, though of course my interests and tastes have changed considerably since then. It's only natural that I've grown in a lot of ways since then. I assure you, I don't just dole out "uneducated" opinions on films out of ignorance. As you said, I just have "odd taste," and have a very hard time finding others who think like I do and like what I like. In fact, I never really have (with the notable exception of my wife, though we do have some rare disagreements on certain movies). I have strong negative reactions to a lot of films that many people (and furthermore, many people whose opinions and taste I generally respect) love. I'm just used to that. I also love a hell of a lot of films that pretty much everyone hates. Again, I've just accepted this now. My approach to films has always been that there is no objective good or bad, that no film is ever above criticism and that it's always perfectly okay to hate a movie no matter what the general consensus is. I view reaction to film (and all art) as something deeply personal, rooted in who you are and what you believe in as a person. I think childhood and life experience plays a major role in shaping what interests you in movies and art. That's why certain things you said I completely disagree with, things like "i understand its ur opinion, but its wrong" and "u think u figured it out? like people who eat sleep and breath cinema all day, who compile list, great list, and cite great films for different reasons really dont know what they r talking about? maybe u r too vapid for bergman or kurosawa or tarkovsky." It's not like that at all. I'm not saying I'm right and anyone else is wrong. I am merely stating my personal, subjective reactions to these films. I'm not saying they're objectively bad (for the most part, anyway...), I just do not respond to them as a human being. But as you can see from my profile, I'm not just some attention-starved contrarian out to make ignorant, uneducated point - I also love a lot of films that are pretty much universally acclaimed. I believe what I'm saying, I like what I like. And again, I can appreciate your passion. I've always gravitated and related to people who know what they're talking about and have a unique, unusual taste in movies, people who take a philosophical approach to film criticism. People like Armond White and Michael Haneke. And I feel your pain when it comes to IMDB and message boards and whatnot. Absolutely teeming with uneducated idiots who pass of their ignorant opinions like they mean something. Don't worry - I am not one to resort to "the idiot's way out" - I always try to respond to what someone is SAYING instead of just resorting to a cheap argument or slinging unrelated mud to discredit the person. That's what the morons on IMDB do. "the more u learn and watch, the more u understand." Now there's a sentence I completely agree with and can totally get behind. Even though I look at film subjectively (and I think everyone should), there is a lot to be said for education by experience. The only way you can ever have informed, educated, valid opinions on any film is to, simply put, watch a hell of a lot films, and analyze what it is that you like and dislike about them, what works and what doesn't work. I have no patience for people who pose as cinephiles but have no idea what they're talking about, those very people you refer to that attend film school for a year and think that makes them an expert. Armond White has this great quote (which I'm gonna have to paraphrase) where he said something along the lines of the divide that has arisen between educated film critics and amateur posers has lowered film criticism to a dismal state. Ignorance is now looked at as "cool" or "rebellious" and no one is interested in the education and experience that comes with being a true student of cinema. And that is goddamn tragic. These amateurs aren't interested in the CONTENT of films, not interested in the subtext or the craftsmanship - they simply take these films at face level and don't have the background of knowledge necessary to competently assess the movies they're watching. In my opinion, they're basically infants in terms of film criticism. I will concede on one point - it's been a very long time since I've seen Seven Samurai, and to be fair, I should probably give it a second chance. That first viewing was just so dull that I've never wanted to go back. But hey, I had a lot of stupid opinions back then that I disagree with now, so you never know.
    • By nightgoat72
      December 29, 2012
      10:13 PM

      Oh, and if you're still not convinced I've seen enough to know what I'm talking about, I'll just throw this out there: my DVD/Blu-ray collection is about twice the size of yours. ;)
  • By 120FILM
    June 08, 2013
    06:11 PM

    Finally, someone else hates Harold and Maude. I can't even listen to a Ct Stevens song and not be reminded of that unfunny movie. But, you don't like Seven Samurai??? You should give it another try.
    • By nightgoat72
      June 09, 2013
      01:51 AM

      Yeah, people keep telling me that. I probably will have to - it's been many years since I've seen it, and I've liked some of the other Kurosawa I've seen. And yes, Harold and Maude blows.
  • By Ben H.
    July 05, 2013
    06:28 PM

    Wow, this is one of the best satires I've ever read in my life.
  • By Benjamin White
    December 02, 2013
    02:14 PM

    I'm sorry, but you're kind of asking for it when you put up a list like this. Maybe it would've worked better if you had kept it down to 10 or so titles, but dismissing this many films just makes you end up coming off like a hater; you don't even go on to explain most of them. I think it's cool that you've watched all of them and at least gave them an initial chance, but I have to agree with the previous comments that mention that you'll most likely revise your opinion in a few years (I know from experience). It's also kind of funny that you dismiss many of these films as "pretentious" but you state in your first entry that you love Godard; he's one of the most pretentious directors of all-time! Unfortunately, [i]pretentious[/i] is an overused critical buzzword that's lost most of its meaning. I recommend editing this list down to a manageable size and elaborating on your entries.
    • By nightgoat72
      February 01, 2014
      03:31 PM

      Again, I reject the idea that I'm somehow more obligated to explain why I dislike a Criterion than why I like one. As I've previously stated, I have a list of Criterions I love that is much longer than this one, but no one criticizes me for that or demands an explanation; it's just accepted because the consensus agrees with me. The only reason anyone thinks I need to explain these is because the consensus disagrees with me, but I'm not concerned with the consensus opinion.
    • By nightgoat72
      February 01, 2014
      03:49 PM

      - "Maybe it would've worked better if you had kept it down to 10 or so titles" - So you want me to lie and arbitrarily limit the list because others might disagree with me? Makes sense. - "you'll most likely revise your opinion in a few years" My opinion on what? Every film listed? I fully admit that my opinion on some may change, as mentalities and philosophies are always involving inside a person, but it's not like I'm a teenager, man. I assure you that I have my reasons for feeling the way I do about these movies. - " It's also kind of funny that you dismiss many of these films as "pretentious" but you state in your first entry that you love Godard; he's one of the most pretentious directors of all-time!" Subjective. - "[i]pretentious[/i] is an overused critical buzzword that's lost most of its meaning." Agreed. Doesn't mean it still doesn't genuinely apply to some films. - " I recommend editing this list down to a manageable size and elaborating on your entries." Manageable? Again, I'm not going to arbitrarily limit my list for the sake of...nothing. This is an honest list of every Criterion I've disliked from the ones I've seen. Think about that: this list has less than 50 films. The collection has almost 700. I'd have to be some kind of personality-less automaton to like every single film in the collection. And again, you might want to note I have a list of Criterions I love that is much longer than this one.
    • By nightgoat72
      February 01, 2014
      03:50 PM

      *Meant to say "evolving," not "involving."
  • By Micah M.
    May 18, 2014
    07:46 PM

    I don't think anyone's going to lambaste you for putting "Salo" on here. It's just too depraved and a lot to take in. It may be the only safe choice on your list. I was really quite impressed with "My Own Private Idaho" though. I think the transposition of Shakespeare's dialogue was the only unoriginal aspect of that movie, the rest I thought was stylized quite radically and originally