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Criticwatch 2005 - The Whores Of The Year

Shawn Edwards Liked ALL Of These Films
by Erik Childress

As attested to in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, a reign of terror cannot be solved by eliminating the enemy. Ten more will pop up in their place. Such a sad notion. How can the fight be won if those waiting in the wings to find a voice amongst film criticism are willing to sacrifice the written word and dignity for a few shwag bags and their names above the title in a print ad? The answer is because here at Criticwatch the fight will continue. We will lay the groundwork, provide the evidence and continue to expose those who harm the industry with every breath they take and every free flight and hotel room they accept. Now, it becomes your turn. Ignore the films that boast their words and boycott the studio marketing machines who use and support them. After all, what chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?

2005 proved to be another year of regress as much as progress. As it was a year of questionable quality, the usual suspects were out front and running, some boasting record numbers as you will soon read about. But there was also a refreshing decline in some of those suspects. Whore quotes are down from ’04 even as Peter Travers sets a new personal record, beating last year’s total of 61 by four quotes. The good news is we saw less of Jeff Craig’s Sixty Second Preview, almost non-existent and 2004’s Kevin Thomas Sloppy Seconds Award recipient, Jim Ferguson, went from 27 down to only 14 quotes. Progress is in the making. Down are the totals of happy-go-lucky morning show hyperbolics, Gene Shalit and Joel Siegel as are Mose Persico, Tony Toscano and Greg Russell. Fastcoming rookie, Todd David Schwartz, seemingly got shut down around the same time a filmmaker came to me for advise on whether or not his film’s video box be best served with a quote from Schwartz or not. Schwartz quote or no quote – pretty much of equal value.

There’s still work to be done though. Critics, even the ones we’ve counted on for years, have been getting less reliable. Flaunty recommendations, overhyping importance over quality and turning advanced reviews into features to make ways around the flinty studio embargoes and to beat the online critics at their own game. Whom can you trust? It’s the question Criticwatch has been asking from the beginning and it’s the one we will be asking until the end of the Quote Whores as we know them. The countdown is on again for the Whores of the Year, a race that went down to the wire producing another Top 10 list and another year of disgrace. Remember these names. And when you think of them – think less. They certainly do when it comes to film.

10. Larry King (15 Quotes)
Can someone explain to anyone why Larry King’s name on a movie ad means something? Why does anyone’s for that matter? Touche. But seriously, other than Oprah Winfrey whose cultish fanbase would watch animal shizer porn if she led them to it, would you go see a movie that boasted praise from Phil Donahue or Maury Povich? Of course not. Next thing you know we’ll have gossip columnists like Liz Smith providing quotes. Oh, wait – too late! But there is Larry, heaping praise from the East Coast, getting the big interviews and kissing their ass so as not to upset the publicists standing behind them, doing their best to limit the damage on some of the swill they’re paid to promote and protect. We’ve got bigger fish on this stove to fry and we’re just warming up. So take a look at ol’ Lar’s handywork, ignore it and move on.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie - An unforgettable new character
Robots - Thrilling! Funny. Creative. Terrific.
The Upside of Anger - A wonderful movie. You'll laugh; you'll cry.
The Interpreter - Spellbinding! A terrific thriller with outstanding performances by Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman.
Kingdom of Heaven - Ridley Scott at his masterful best!
Monster-in-Law - A million laughs.
Cinderella Man - A truly great film.
Fantastic Four - Fun!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - A delectable treat. A wonderful movie for children of all ages.
The Greatest Game Ever Played - Wow! What a movie! The golf equivalent of Seabiscuit and every bit as good a film.
Two for the Money - The best movie about gambling ever made!
North Country - Filmmaking at its best. Charlize Theron has never been better.
Chicken Little - A pure delight! Chicken Little has something for everyone.
Derailed - Terrific! A gripping movie! This is a Jennifer Aniston you've never seen.
Casanova - Brilliantly directed. An absolute delight.

9. Chuck “The Movie Guy” Thomas (11 Quotes)
I wear my moniker of “The Movieman” with pride. It was given to me by my friends back in grade school, not some self-branded calling card once I gave up my amateur status and went pro. The Movie Guy? It’s one thing to be called that in private or on the radio, but to have that separate your name in print while you call House of Wax “wickedly terrifying” is a brand of humiliation I could never equate with pride. Welcome to your first Criticwatch Top Ten, Movie Guy. Pray that it’s your last.

Must Love Dogs - Hopelessly romantic and hysterically funny
Just Friends - Hysterically sidesplitting!
House of Wax - Wickedly terrifying!
Domino - Simply brilliant filmmaking!

Bad News Bears - Good fun!
Be Cool - The most fun you'll have at the movies this year
Racing Stripes - A fantastically funny family film! I don't know who will love it more, adults or kids!

Coach Carter - Samuel L. Jackson gives the performance of her career.
Sahara - A rip roaring adventure from start to finish. Matthew McConaughey is the new Indiana Jones!
The Weather Man - Nicolas Cage’s performance in The Weather Man proves without a shadow of a doubt why he’s the best in the business.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ - Curtis ‘”50 Cent” Jackson gives a breakthrough performance. Director Jim Sheridan is a master storyteller.

8. Paul Fischer (20 Quotes)
Big. Sweaty. Rude. And that’s the nice stuff about the Fish. Yet there he’ll be again at Sundance adding new levels of moisture to his steel-enforced chair in the front row of the screening rooms. Consider all the aspiring journalists not admitted to the festival and surely one of them is more worthy of the ink stains he sells to any outlet desperate for stale interviews or blurbs to the studios with the best all-you-can-eat buffet. Anyone who plasters themselves all over a film (Man of the House) that was actually hidden from critics must be forced to reenact the gluttony scene from Seven. In Fischer’s case, it may not be called punishment. Just dinner.

Man of the House – A laugh-out-loud comedy
Herbie: Fully Loaded - The perfect summer comedy.
The Pacifier - Hugely entertaining

The Chronicles of Narnia - Magnificent! This is an extraordinary and thrilling film. Destined to become a classic.
Robots - The most fun-filled family movie since Shrek.
Zathura - Zathura is spectacular, fun-filled family entertainment for kids, adults and the child within.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a triumph-Totally original and exhilarating, fresh, dazzling and often hilarious!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Exhilarating, enthralling and one of the best films of the year.
Rent - ...Sheer

XXX: State of the Union - The best action film of the year.
Stealth - Stealth is a full-throttle adventure, adrenaline-charged, suspenseful and a high-octane summer blockbuster not to be missed.
The Jacket - A razor-sharp, mind-blowing thriller!
Assault on Precinct 13 - A terrifically entertaining and intelligent thriller! Takes the action film and gives it heart and non-stop, edge-of-the-seat suspense.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose - ...An intelligent edge-of-your-seat thriller in the tradition of The Omen...One of the most chilling movies of the year.
Wolf Creek - Riveting and suspenseful! Hands down the most chilling film of the year.

7. Ain’t It Cool News & Harry Knowles (21 Quotes)
Did I use up all my fat jokes? How about adjectives for stinky? Cheap, I know, but I’d rather save my change for the homeless than waste them on the scourge of internet journalism. Especially when I’ve got hundred dollar bills in my pocket. You want to comment on why you said Aeon Flux is “A very accomplished film?” Could it be because you have ties into the production company for your own film projects? After all, you’re crossing the line from non-journalism (their own words) into actual production and the best “I swear I liked the film” line you can come up with is calling a film “very accomplished?” You might as well say “It’s done.” Yep, they completed it all right. Mission accomplished. The “very” part is stretching it a bit thick, like your stomach. See what I did there? Never mind me – see some of the praise that the ol’ Orange Crush and his AICN minions doled out this year.

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior - Just awe-inspiring! Without a doubt, an awesome cinematic experience on par with the best martial arts ever unleashed on the screen. (Harry Knowles)
Oldboy - Easily among the best of the year. A brilliant masterpiece.(Harry Knowles)
Kung Fu Hustle - Just $?*%#@& Genius! A masterpiece! (Harry Knowles)
Unleashed - Incredibly intense! Morgan Freeman and Jet Li are so charismatic together.

OK – we get it. You think so much of Asian cinema that you would recommend Unleashed. Consider yourself lucky if you weren’t there to witness Harry all but jerk-off on the print before its midnight debut at the South by Southwest. And try being a writer and not using swears to punctuate, you fucking retard!

Assault on Precinct 13 - Hardcore Bad-Ass - Amazingly Entertaining
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Absolutely spectacular. Everything about this film kicks a@#. (Harry Knowles)

See what I mean?

The Thing About My Folks - A terrific film! Peter Falk is a national treasure here. Paul Reiser is note perfect. (Harry Knowles)

HERE Peter Falk is a national treasure. I guess in all those Cassavetes flicks and Vibes he’s not.

My Date With Drew - Laughs and tears for all...and has a big heart, just like Drew.

Is he talking about Barrymore or McWeeny? You make the call.

The Island - Bigger, faster, cooler!
Undead - Everything about this film is exceptional.
Doom - Doom is a blast. It’s a big fun film. This isn’t just an adaptation of Doom, it’s an adaptation of the culture of Doom. I was delighted that this movie was this fun. (Harry Knowles)

The culture of Doom? THAT is what that boring, craplunk of a film was supposed to be an adaptation of? If this is the film critic site you have hitched your wagon to, may it be robbed and flung off a tall cliff.

6. Bill Bregoli (17 Quotes)
Bregoli was never much more than a low-level whore. We had our eye on him as one to watch back in 2002-03, but he never achieved serious cornhole status and was all but forgotten. That is until someone apparently got him on the Dreamworks hot list and he generously gave 8 of his 17 quotes to films distributed by the SKG. Know how many films they distributed this year? EIGHT!!! It’s a rare feat to find eight films worthy of praise from any studio, but to go 8-for-8 and say that you weren’t influenced one bit by the junketeering? Bitch, please. Watch the pun-meister at work.

Racing Stripes - Four-footed fun for kids and adults.
Madagascar - The year's funniest movie! Grown-up or cub, two feet or four - you'll howl with delight!
Valiant - Action! Thrills! Feathered fun for the whole family!
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Howlingly funny.

Were you able to penetrate that oh-so-subtle animal prose? There were two of the Dreamworks quotes. Want the other six?

The Ring Two - Better, scarier, more intense than the first.
The Island - A big summer adventure as only Michael Bay can do it!
Red Eye - The summer's scariest surprise!
Just Like Heaven - A sure-fire clue for the movie blues.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Pure magic...Julianne Moore is positively brilliant!
Dreamer – Whole families are cheering! It’s rousing and inspiring – Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell are terrific.

Now, ask yourself one question. If Bregoli had seen the film at a press screening, how in the hell does he know that whole families are cheering? Let’s say he saw it at a promo screening with strategically placed families – the kind that publicists love to pack theaters with so as to help along the delicate, frozen emotions of us straight-faced critics – shouldn’t he have said that whole families WERE cheering. Why misrepresent yourself as a psychic that can witness the foreseeable present when whole families are cheering?

House of D - A heartfelt gem of a movie!
Derailed - Riveting. You can’t take your eyes off the screen. A pure adrenaline rush of a thriller.
Casanova - One of the year’s best films is also one of the funniest.

Have you washed yourself of this idiot yet?

5. Clay Smith (24 Quotes)
The entertainment world is doing everything they can to get rid of this guy. OK, not everything. After taking home Criticwatch’s 2003 Whore of the Year award, his sucking was cut in half last year and didn’t even make the Top 10. He leaped back into the fray racking up 19 of his 24 quotes just through August. Somewhere in between though, he was no longer credited with Access Hollywood and instead began getting credit as part of Pat O’Brien’s fourth-rate entertainment expose known as The Insider, rumored to be named after O’Brien’s phone sex nickname. What happened over there at Access Hollywood? Who had the good sense to let him go so we can give them a medal? Why were given another reason NOT to watch The Insider? Ask the family guy.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie - A delightfully funny family adventure!
Because of Winn-Dixie - A wonderful, warm and funny family film.
The Pacifier - It's James Bond meets Mary Poppins...pure fun for the whole family!
Herbie: Fully Loaded - Herbie is fully loaded with laughs and a whole lot of fun! Pure Disney entertainment.
Madagascar - Hilarious...maybe the funniest animated movie ever made!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - A summer thrill ride you don't want to miss! Destined to become a family movie classic.
Sky High - The most entertaining family film you will see this summer!
Valiant - The last fantastic family comedy of the summer!

As Stewie Griffin once said – “I've seen it sitting in there, lazy, slothful, porcelain layabout feeding on other people's doo-doos while contributing nothing of its own to society!

House of Wax - Sends a chill up your spine. Don't miss it.
Dark Water - A ghost story that will jolt you right out of your seat
Where the Truth Lies - Grabs you and just doesn’t let go! This is one sexy who-done-it that you do not want to miss! One of the most clever and original movies I’ve seen this year!

Well, it let go of a colleague of mine who walked out on it in Toronto. The very fact that the revelation of the culprit is the oldest cliché in the mystery handbook, kind of negates the whole concept of originality.

A History of Violence - The year's sexiest adult thriller with some chilling twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very final scene!

WHAT movie was HE watching? There is NOTHING to guess in the final scene. The truth is revealed around the hour mark, well before the final scene at the 90-minute mark.

Be Cool - The hottest comedy of the year!
Sahara - An action-adventure sensation! Grab some popcorn, sit back and have a blast! Matthew McConaughey is the Errol Flynn of his generation; he and Penelope Cruz don't just heat up the screen - they sizzle!
A Lot Like Love – Sexy
Bad News Bears - Bad News Bears loads the bases with hilarious, non-stop comedy! Better than the original...Billy Bob Thornton's comedy is pure genius!
The Island - Michael Bay at his explosive best!
North Country - Hands down the best movie this year. A film of staggering power and emotion. North Country is an Oscar contender in every way.

4. Pete Hammond (31 Quotes)
Here may just be the Criticwatch story of the year. Not since Clay Smith in 2002 has a “critic” appeared out of nowhere to show up and steal the spotlight. Pete Hammond of Maxim magazine had not a single quote prior to June of this year. In the final six months he managed to get his name on 31 different ads. 31! As many as Ebert’s partner, Richard Roeper and almost as much as the New York Times’ A.O. Scott and Stephen Holden, good enough to tie him for 9th on the 2005 master list for most quotes, which also includes Ebert and the two for whom our Whore Awards are named after – Peter Travers and Kevin Thomas. Where did you come from, Pete? And why don’t you go back there? We’ve already got one Jeffrey Lyons and that’s enough.

Land of the Dead - Bow down to the master and accept no substitutions. Star Wars, Batman and the others better watch out! This is the movie we've been waiting for! One of the year's most purely entertaining films.
Dark Water - The year's first genuinely frightening edge-of-your-seat chiller. Even Hitchcock could not have done better.
Stealth - Wow! Stealth takes your breath away. For sheer non-stop action and aerial thrills this movie just soars above the rest!
Flightplan - Fasten your seatbelts and hang onto your seats for a first-rate thriller. Suspenseful and gripping.
Four Brothers - Four Brothers' arrives just in time to turn the summer heat way up.
King Kong - King Kong rules over all the others. As big, breathtakingly exciting and relentlessly thrilling as any epic adventure the screen has seen in many years! If you think you’ve seen Kong, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Wedding Crashers - The bust-a-gut, roll-in-the-aisle funniest movie of the year. Do yourself a favor and crash this 'Wedding'!
The Dukes of Hazzard - A high octane, revved up southern fried good time with an irresistible cast.
Chicken Little - Full of fun. With big out-of-this-world laughter.
The Ringer - One of this year’s most unexpected comedy surprises! The Ringer gets the gold medal for genuine heart and comic inspiration. Johnny Knoxville scores a whole lotta laughs!

The 40-Year Old Virgin - Outrageously hilarious!
The Brothers Grimm - Outrageously entertaining!

The Exorcism of Emily Rose - ...terrific performances and a riveting story so compelling you won't be able to take your eyes off the screen!
Memoirs of a Geisha - A stunning motion picture experience in the grand tradition! Director Rob Marshall vividly brings Arthur Golden’s best seller to life with an irresistible cast of women who will have your eyes glued to the screen.

Proof - Look out Oscar.
Transamerica - Felicity Huffman is simply remarkable in a performance so convincing, fiercely funny and deeply powerful it should make her a major Oscar contender.
The World’s Fastest Indian - Anthony Hopkins gives the greatest film performance of his entire career. He deserves another Oscar.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - The most original film this year.
Mrs. Henderson Presents - One of the most entertaining films of the year!
Match Point - …one of the most erotic and exhilarating movies in years.
A History of Violence - *****! The most exciting film of the year, it's also easily one of the best!
Rent - ...Thrilling...A major movie event!
North Country - …stands out as one of the year’s most important movies.
Jarhead - A timeless masterwork! Jarhead is one of this year’s can’t-miss movies, unlike any other war film you will ever see.

Does he mean pointless or boring – or just if you don’t have access to Full Metal Jacket or Three Kings. Or Platoon. Or Saving Private Ryan.

3. Jeffrey Lyons (50 Quotes)
Oh, Hi Jeff! I was just talking about you. You put up 50 this year, Jeff. Fifty! I suppose you were destined for it. As the other whores dwindle, your feeble tastes best suited for the Big Fat Greek Wedding crowds were bound to get more noticed. I’d say more but you’ve got enough ink to fill up a graduate thesis in pre-school.

Downfall - A performance for the ages.
Coach Carter - One of Samuel L. Jackson's best performances
The Deal - Christian Slater gives a riveting performance!
Second Best - Joe Pantoliano's performance is so convincing, you'd think he wrote and directed it as well.
The Longest Yard - This is easily Adam Sandler's best, funniest movie. Chris Rock gives his best, most hilarious screen performance.
Wedding Crashers - The summer's funniest film so far.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - No-holds-barred humor.
The Family Stone - Hilarious

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Wallace & Gromit is endless fun…one of the most enjoyable family films of the year.
Racing Stripes - Good family fun.
Madagascar - Sure to be this summer's family delight! It's warm, brilliantly animated, with a witty script sure to have children and especially parents in stitches.
The Boys & Girl from County Clare - Charming, delightful and a welcome bit of loveable blarney...A must see!
Cape of Good Hope - Absolutely charming! One of the year’s most engaging films.
Mrs. Henderson Presents - One of the year’s most delightful movies! A treasure. A gem. Absolutely enchanting!
Chicken Little - An enchanting, hilarious, wonderfully-made movie.
- Edgy and intense! Tilda Swinton is, as always, enchanting.
The Libertine - Edgy and daring. Johnny Depp's acting knows no bounds.
Domino - Fast-paced, brilliantly directed. Daring, edgy and Keira Knightley solidifies her growing stardom with a top-drawer performance.
The Upside of Anger - One of the most abosrbing, compelling family dramas since Terms of Endearment. Joan Allen solidifies her position as one of our great actresses.
Madison - Madison is warm and absorbing. In the tradition of Breaking Away, I highly recommend it for the whole family.
The Constant Gardener - An absorbing, provocative, intelligent, wonderful film!
Finding Home - Absorbing…Will touch you deeply.
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont - A tender, touching, deeply moving film.
The Thing About My Folks - One of the sweetest most touching films of the year.
Little Manhattan - One of the sweetest, most touching films you're likely to see!
The Kid and I - About as sweet and funny a movie you're likely to see this year!
Casanova - Casanova is the funniest, most enjoyable romantic comedy since Shakespeare In Love.

Red Eye - A first-rate thriller.
Asylum - A stunning, romantic thriller!
The Island - An enormously entertaining thriller.
Dust To Glory - A thrill ride with all the twists and turns you'd expect in any racing movie, but with hundreds more.
Rent - The energy, the performances, the thrilling songs, and the dance numbers jump out at you and will sweep you up and thrill you!
Sahara - This is one terrific movie! Sahara is the most enjoyable, thrilling and entertaining action-adventure since the heyday of Indiana Jones.

Batman Begins - A brilliant, complex, intelligent action thriller.
The Ring Two - An intelligent and effective sequel to a superb horror film.
Heights - One of the best films of the season. A wonderfully-acted, intelligently-written and directed drama.
The Constant Gardener - An absorbing, provocative, intelligent, wonderful film! Surely one of the year's best!
The World’s Fastest Indian - Anthony Hopkins gives one of his finest, most endearing performances in what is sure to be one of the year’s best films.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Sure to be among the best films of the year.
North Country - One of the most powerful films of the year.
Ushpizin - Unique, passionately acted and unlike any movie you’ve ever seen.
Unleashed - Unlike any action film you have ever seen! Amazing!

Rory O’Shea Was Here – A wonderful film.
Saint Ralph - A wonderful movie that will inspire you.
The Great Raid - Put you right with these American heroes. It tells the true story long overdue for glory.
The Chronicles of Narnia - Astonishing! Brilliant special effects, thrilling adventure, and some of the best, most amazing battle sequences you will ever see.

As Lyons’ coup de grace, these final two films have 15 reviews listed at Rotten Tomatoes and have a collective score of 0% or ZERO positive reviews.

Dirty Deeds - An engaging teenage comedy
Into the Fire - Intense, powerful, intelligent and compelling!

And thus we get to our Whores of the Year. If you’ve followed Criticwatch for any length then surely you’ve noticed the absence of two names from the Top 10. Without them it would be like a best-of-Scorsese list and leaving off GoodFellas and Taxi Driver. Whatever suspense I can drum up by not revealing their names is moot compared to which of the two will take the top prize. Shawn Edwards and Earl Dittman put on a show akin to Sosa & McGwire of ’98. Dittman got out to a huge lead (13 just through March), but then Edwards came charging back during the summer months with 15 quotes and still had time to wage a public war through his local gossip columnist (Kansas City Star’s Hearne Christopher) against the KC Film Critics Circle calling them “jealous and envious” of him. Hearsay reports claim he also called them “writers and journalists.” The last couple months saw Edwards in the lead only to find Dittman sneak back up and tie him at every opportunity, usually on the same ads. They wound up tied with 36 quotes apiece. So who shall claim the spoils. Once you see the quotes, you’ll agree there was only one decision we could come to.


Shawn Edwards (36 Quotes)
We know you read Criticwatch, Shawn, so Congratulations on your achievement. You’ve found yourself on the outside looking in before with Top Ten finishes of seventh, fourth and fifth the last three years. You put up a big fight this year you whore, but it’s tough to beat the king and reigning champion. Maybe next year since you believe you are so important to the world of criticism and that your own taste is beyond such a thing. If you think you were unjustly passed over for Whore of the Year, how ‘bout you give your buddy Hearne Christopher a call and cry about it.

Are We There Yet? - A family film that's perfect for everyone. It will have you laughing from beginning to end.
Kicking and Screaming - This comedy is perfect for the entire family! You'll be Kicking and Screaming with laughter from beginning to end.
The Longest Yard - A winning comedy! Scores with laugh after laugh. Touchdown!
Guess Who - Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher are flat-out hilarious.
Hitch - Hitch is the Comedy of the Year. Highly Entertaining and Laugh-Out-Loud Funny!
Diary of a Mad Black Woman - A throw your hands in the air, knee-slapping, gut-busting crowd pleaser!

The Wedding Date - Tremendously funny. An old-fashioned romantic comedy with a cool contemporary vibe! Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney are a flawless match.
Be Cool - The coolest movie of the year!
Mr. & Mrs. Smith - The coolest! Combines romance, action and humor. You've never seen anything like it before!

Lords of Dogtown - A wild and radical ride. Heath Ledger is amazing.
Constantine - Original. Classic. Action-packed and mind-blowing.
XXX: State of the Union - XXX: State of the Union is a deliciously explosive thrill seeker's delight!
Sahara - Spectacular! Sahara is a big adventure full of major league action and clever surprises. It's Indiana Jones and James Bond rolled into one incredibly fun film to watch.
The Great Raid - More compelling than Saving Private Ryan. Intelligent and inspiring!

Waiting - Outrageously funny! The craziest comedy of the year!
High Tension - The best horror movie of the year!
Batman Begins - ***** Phenomenal. Not only the must-see movie of the summer, it's the film of the year!
The Skeleton Key - Unlock the secret of the best thriller of the year. Totally creepy and intense
Lord of War - Complete genius! Easily one of the best films of the year.
At Last - **** One of the best romantic movies in years!
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants - ****! Excellent! The most charming and wonderful movie you'll see all year.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ - ****! The most powerful movie of the year! Profoundly uplifting and utterly provocative. An instant classic like Scarface.
Robots - The most dazzling animated feature ever made.

And these I have no answer for…

Into the Blue - Super hot. It sizzles with sexiness!
The Cave - It will scare you out of your seat.
Underclassman - Nick Cannon gets an A+! He's witty, charming and fun to watch.

…Only to say that this is the same Shawn Edwards who put both The Producers AND The Aristocrats on his list on the year’s worst films.



1. Earl Dittman (36 Quotes)
The first repeat Whore of the Year for Criticwatch and its only fitting that it’s the Ditt. Not only is he quoted on not one, but TWO films (Cursed & King’s Ransom; the latter of which even Shawn Edwards put on his worst list) that were not screened for legit press in advance but he was also a key figure in our expose this year of studios making up their own quotes and then submitting them to whores like Dittman who have no hesitation in lining their name up with it. His quote on Robots is proof to this. On one hand we have to salute you, Earl. You just keep doing your thing oblivious to the idiocy that you speak and the fraud that we know you commit. What does it say that any Google search of your name – doesn’t bring a researcher to your reviews, but to our site, Dittman-central.

Robots - More incredible than The Incredibles. Brilliant. Innovative. Spectacular.
Because of Winn-Dixie - Charming, magical and funny.
Son of the Mask – Hilarious! Wonderfully witty. A comedy for the child in all of us.
Racing Stripes - Soon to take its place as one of this generation's most hilarious, smart and entertaining family classics.

Sin City – ****! Absolutely brilliant filmmaking. The must-see event of the year
Coach Carter - Coach Carter will have you on your feet, cheering for more...A filmmaking triumph!
Memoirs of a Geisha - A breathtaking and unforgettable masterpiece. A triumphant journey of the human heart.

The Brothers Grimm - ****! Brilliant!
The Legend of Zorro - …Sensational…Brilliantly exciting…An exhilarating, gutsy, and hilarious swashbuckling adventure.
Stealth - Jamie Foxx is at his absolute best.

Hitch - You'll absolutely love it!
Fever Pitch - Irresistible! The perfect date movie. Drew Barrymore is absolutely enchanting. The best romantic comedy since 50 First Dates!
Guess Who - Outrageously funny! Absolute comic perfection! An extraordinarily funny, laugh-a-minute, side-splitting comedy. Brilliantly-made date movie and buddy comedy all in one.
King's Ransom - A gut-busting and sidesplitting comedy!
Bewitched - ...hysterical...
Beauty Shop - The most hysterical comedy you'll see this year. Positively hilarious! Queen Latifah is sensational! She gives a wildly hysterical and incredibly charming performance.
Just Friends - Get ready for a hysterically good time.
In Her Shoes - Sexy and hilarious
Must Love Dogs - Wonderfully heartwarming and undeniably hilarious.
Fun with Dick and Jane - The most hilarious comedy we’ve seen in years.

Hide and Seek - It will keep you guessing from start to finish.
Mindhunters - The best thriller since Seven! Mindhunters will absolutely blow you away! You’ll never guess the ending. A first-rate thriller that keeps you guessing 'til the end!
The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl In 3-D - Spectacular! An eye-popping, action-packed masterpiece!
Assault on Precinct 13 - Jaw-Dropping
Unleashed - ****! Electrifying!
Hostage - Bruce Willis has never been better! More electrifying than Die Hard!
Constantine - Electrifying. Bone-chilling
Venom - A spine-tingling, bone-chilling thriller.
Hide and Seek - Bone-chilling. Heart-stopping. A provocative nail-biter! It'll raise your heart rate!
The Cave - Spine-tingling...Heart-stopping...Terrifying...
Into the Blue - A heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Jessica Alba gives a knockout performance. It will leave you breathless.
Derailed - A shocking nail-biting thriller! It will leave you breathless. ****! A film for movie-goers in search of an intelligent and emotional thriller.
Underclassman - 100% Hilarious with non-stop laughs! Hip and cool, Underclassman is an exhilarating, action-packed, laugh-filled nail-biter that will keep you glued to your seat.
Cursed - **** A breathtaking supernatural thriller!
Wolf Creek - Terrifying! It will shock even the most experienced horror fan!
The Exorcism of Emily Rose - The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a shocking, top-notch supernatural thriller unlike any you've seen before or will likely see again.

You mean like The Exorcist, Earl, you dumbass!!!

What do you think of when you consider the term “masterpiece”?

“A masterpiece!” (Saraband) - David Sterritt
“A masterpiece.” (2046) - Lou Lumenick
“A masterpiece!” (Crash) - Shawn Edwards
“A masterpiece!” (Batman Begins) - Mark S. Allen
“A masterpiece!” (Kung Fu Hustle) - Harry Knowles
“A masterpiece.” (Land of the Dead) - Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
“A masterpiece!” (Coach Carter) - Fred Saxon
“A masterpiece!” (Robots) - Lee Thomas, FOX 2 Detroit
“A masterpiece!” (Cape of Good Hope) – S.T. Flor, San Diego Citybeat

“A brilliant masterpiece.” (Oldboy) - Harry Knowles
”A remarkable masterpiece.” (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) - Film Comment
”A genuine masterpiece!” (A Tout De Suite) - David Fear, Time Out New York
“A vital masterpiece!” (The Constant Gardener) - Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune
“A ravishing masterpiece!” (2046) - Dennis Dermody
“A cinematic masterpiece.” (Deep Blue) – Todd David Schwartz
”A masterpiece of filmmaking!” (Nobody Knows) - Elle Magazine

“Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece.” (Munich) – Time Magazine
“Terrence Malick’s beautiful masterpiece.” (The New World) - Richard Roeper
”Van Sant's masterpiece!” (Last Days) - J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“This is Tommy Lee Jones’s masterpiece!” (The Three Burials of Melquaides Estrada) - Jeffrey Lyons
“Another Roman Polanski masterpiece!” (Oliver Twist) - Mose Persico
“A masterpiece Dickens himself would have loved.” (Oliver Twist) - Jeffrey Lyons

“A masterpiece of historical accuracy and cinematic drama.” (Downfall) - Wall Street Journal
“A masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills” (A History of Violence) - Manohla Dargis
“A masterpiece destined to become a timeless classic.” (Cinderella Man) - Shawn Edwards
“A masterpiece about a masterpiece!” (Capote) – Robert Wilonsky, San Francisco Weekly

“A 100% certified masterpiece.” (Sin City) - Shawn Edwards
“An exquisitely daft masterpiece.” (Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) – Ty Burr
“A gorgeous heart-tugging masterpiece.” (Cinderella Man) - Michael Medved
“Another magical masterpiece.” (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) – Melanie Moon
“A tender, mature masterpiece.” (Rittenhouse Square) - Emily Brochlin, Philadelphia Weekly
”A small comic masterpiece!” (Schultze Gets the Blues) - Peter Rainer, NPR
“A deeply affecting masterpiece.” (Shopgirl) - Paul Fischer
“A breathtaking and unforgettable masterpiece.” (Memoirs of a Geisha) - Earl Dittman
“An eye-popping, action-packed masterpiece!” (The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl In 3-D) - Earl Dittman

These quotes represent the dumbest of all the dumb things said or printed in 2005. So dumb it makes Peter Travers’ quote on Kung Fu Hustle in the New York Times “Fun this smart is a gift!” seem Twain-ish by comparison. (And yes, that’s the actual wording in the Times on April 10, 2005.)

25. “Beautiful, smart and imaginative…Aeon Flux is a really good movie.” (Aeon Flux) – Tom Maurstad, The Dallas Morning News

24. “Stripes is the Seabiscuit of all zebras!” (Racing Stripes) – Jim Ferguson

23. ”Not since Jerry Maguire has there been a date movie guaranteed to leave both sexes satisfied.” (Fever Pitch) - Matt Sullivan, In Touch Weekly

22. ”A splendiferous fantasy more imaginative than the new Star Wars.” (The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl In 3-D) - Kyle Smith, New York Post

21. “Brilliant! Like Psycho or The Shining, Hide and Seek keeps us on edge!” (Hide and Seek) - Michael Wilmington

20. “Even more fun than Babe.” (Racing Stripes) - Jeanne Wolf

19. “Even Hitchcock could not have done better.” (Dark Water) - Pete Hammond

18. “Ashlee Simpson shines as a punky aspiring singer-actress. The interplay between Carrie Fisher and Peter Weller is just delicious.” (Undiscovered) – US Weekly

17. “Bark if you love kids' movies that respect your intelligence.” (Because of Winn-Dixie) - Entertainment Weekly

16. ”The most sexually extreme mainstream rock movie ever!” (9 Songs) - Clark Collis, Blender

15. “Zathura is an intergalactic space word that means terrific.” (Zathura) - Joel Siegel

14. ”Michael Keaton knows how to chill the spine.” (White Noise) - Margaret A. McGurk, The Cincinnati Enquirer

13. “That rare meal that adolescent girls and their mothers will be able to agree on.” (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) - Ty Burr

12. “Forget what you think you know!” (Chicken Little) - Scott Mantz

11. “If you think you can figure out the ending...think again. Gather your friends...imaginary and otherwise...and go see this movie!” (Hide and Seek) - Guy Farris

10. ”The best zombie movie since Night of the Living Dead!” (Undead) - Dark Horizons

9. “Finally, a movie worthy of Dirk Pitt!” (Sahara) – Stephen Whitty, The Star Ledger

8. “Pure joy! Recaptures a time and place when people were more friendly, things were more positive, and life was more fun.” (House of D) - Rex Reed

7. “A wonderfull-of-fun film...Madagascar is Zooperlative.” (Madagascar) – Gene Shalit

6. “Thumbs up.” (Kids in America) - Roger Ebert

5. “Not since Alien has a movie held an audience in such relentless suspense and shock!” (The Cave) - Mark S. Allen

4. “Inside Deep Throat is a wickedly probing documentary” (Inside Deep Throat) – Peter Travers

3. “Steven Strait reminds me of a young Marlon Brando.” (Undiscovered) – Reel Talk

“The best romantic comedy since 50 First Dates!” (Fever Pitch)
“The best thriller since Seven!” (Mindhunters)
“More incredible than The Incredibles.” (Robots)
“More electrifying than Die Hard!” (Hostage)
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a shocking, top-notch supernatural thriller unlike any you've seen before or will likely see again.” (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)

1. ”This is the scariest movie - ever!” (Boogeyman) – Phil Boatwright, The Movie Republic

And with that Criticwatch closes the brothel doors for 2005. How far will Peter Travers climb in ’06? Will Pete Hammond challenge him for the title with 12 full months behind him? Can Shawn Edwards out-suck the Dittman and claim heir to the throne of whore? We’ll be watching – not out of professional jealousy, but of the hope that we can take back criticism to a higher standard while the League of Shadowed Studio Hookers do their best to destroy it for their own personal vacations. As said in this year’s Batman Begins - “Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about making yourself feel better.” I want harmony. I'm gonna show the people of Gotham that their cinema doesn't belong to the criminals and the corrupt.


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originally posted: 12/29/05 08:05:05
last updated: 04/28/06 18:58:03
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