How to Tell if a Movie Will Suck

We’ve all been there. We’ve walked out of a dark theater into the blinding sunlight feeling disheveled and ashamed of ourselves. We’ve wondered what we did to deserve sitting through the atrocity we’ve just seen. We contemplate writing a strongly-worded letter to the studio to harangue them for having the balls to take our money for the piece of trash we just watched. We all have experienced the anger of a movie that not even Ryan Gosling can save.

There is a way to avoid this feeling. Or at least, there is a way to increase the chances you’ll avoid it. Keep an eye out for these key indicators to determine the likelihood that a movie will suck.

  1. The first time you see the trailer on TV, it is two months before the movie comes out. If a movie is trying to convince you this far in advance that it’s awesome, it’s really not. The studio is willing to risk you getting sick of the movie in an effort just to get you to remember the movie exists. I’d cite John Carter here, but I wouldn’t want to insult The Hotness.
  2. The cast has 87 celebrities. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or just some random schmucky movie, if a movie has a billionty two celebrities, it’s sure to suck. Here’s why: they all want to be the center of attention. However, an 89-minute movie does not have time to get you to care about all of them. The attempt to do so results in you not giving a crap about any of them. (Note: Love Actually is the exception to this rule.)
  3. It is more than the third in a series. There is a reason trilogies are made. That’s typically all we can take in terms of a story being told with any compelling logic. Eventually, the core villain is defeated, the guy gets the girl, conflicts are resolved. And then… they try to manufacture some NEW drama for us to care about. We don’t, we won’t, we can’t. Don’t ruin the original with a Phantom Menace of a movie. (Note: Harry Potter is the exception to this rule as it was originally written by a magnificent author and conflicts are not resolved until movie 8.)
  4. It stars Kevin Costner, Nicolas Cage or a WWE star. I don’t need to explain this to you. You know what’s wrong.

Of course, these tips aren’t fool proof. If they were, Twilight would never have been filmed.


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About Anissa Mayhew

You can read more Anissa at her blog Free Anissa and as a contributing writer at Babble. She's at Twitter, FacebookG+, and Pinterest too. And yes, she's probably up to no good either.



  1. Marj Hatzell says:

    Your forgot, “If millions of teenage girls and Cougars like it” or “If my MIL recommends it.”

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  2. CC says:

    Usually a movie will suck if slow-motion is used frequently.

  3. Tricia says:

    I will make a Kevin Costner exception for sports movies. Field of Dreams and Bull Durham are fantasmic classics. For Love of the Game, whilst cheesy, was a chick flick well told. And even Tin Cup was funny.

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  4. SurferWife says:

    If you want my honest opinion? We shouldn’t be shelling out big bucks to watch anything unless it stars Molly Ringwald. Sooo….

  5. Alexandra says:

    I have seen movies I never thought I’d like, and I’ve seen movies I was positive I’d LOVE, and hated.

    So, how can anyone ever figure that out?

    My latest, that I watch over and over, is Pineapple Express.

    Seriously, makes me feel high just watching it.

    But then I went to Hunger Games: and couldn’t even watch that b/c they handed the camera to Michael J. Fox.

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  6. Val says:

    I am SO with you on that 4th in a series thing!!! I never want to see a crystal skull EVER again in my lifetime…
    And I LOVED Love Actually. Anything else with that many stars and it might as well be Cannonball Run…


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