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Criticwatch Presents: Pete Hammond (The 2013 Retrospective)

by Erik Childress

There are two Petes in this business who filmmakers should not want to see promoting their films. Oh sure, those big adjectives look good on TV and in the newspaper, but not as enticing when you see the fine print. Pete Hammond is one of those guys. Criticwatch readers know the history. He once generated 88 quotes on film ads in a single calendar year and was briefly a bigger threat to get himself quoted than even that Travers person. In recent years, the hyperbole king from Rolling Stone Magazine retook the crown and the consistency in Hammond being the annual #2 guy of record led us to create the Pete Hammond Sloppy Seconds Award for each year's runner-up quote whore. Poor Hammond could no longer compete for the Top Ten, but he's now got an award named after him and will continue to have that recognition long after the studios come to their senses and realize that his name promotes nothing but instant snickers. You are about to see why.

Hammond was quoted 31 times in 2013, just slightly up from his 2012 total. He averaged nearly 46 quotes from 2008-2011 and averaging 30 the past two years. So we are going in the right direction, but these retrospectives will not stop until the number hits zero. The studios are not fooling anyone with their reliance on Hammond either. Who cares if he calls American Hustle "a fearless piece of American cinema" when he calls Safe Haven "evocative" and "a must-see." Evocative? Tending or serving to evoke what? Memories of Sleeping with the Enemy? That Julianne Hough is very pretty but cannot act worth a lick? Why E-vocative instead of PRO-vocative, Pete?

"A major motion picture achievement. Stands apart as a powerful, provocative and spellbinding film." (A Mighty Heart)
"As provocative and deeply original a film as we are likely to see this year, is from title to end credits one of those choice cinematic gems. Superb performances across the board." (Little Children)
"Provocative and compelling. Don't miss it...engrossing, intelligent storytelling at its very best. The ensemble cast is superb." (The Words)
"Provocative, highly entertaining. Helen Mirren lets loose with another terrific performance." (Love Ranch)

Notice how Pete says things stand apart but then describes films the same way? That is the essence of the Pete Hammond experience and why we do what we do at Criticwatch. Loss of perspective. Saying without thinking just to keep the studios happy. And few have whored their meaningless words as much as Pete Hammond. To show just how comfortable this guy is saying great things about a film like Safe Haven and its 12% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, we have included the ratings of the films on the negative side over at the aggregate.

"Powerful!" (The Attack)
"Powerful and brilliantly acted. Tommy Lee Jones is remarkable as General Douglas MacArthur in a side of World War II that has remained hidden." (Emperor - 31%)

"A major motion picture achievement. A Mighty Heart stands apart as a powerful, provocative and spellbinding film." (A Mighty Heart)
"Powerfully compelling! Makes a return to the lost art of true storytelling, every bit as epic as The Godfather." (American Gangster)
"A powerful, compelling and shocking drama that will keep you hooked from beginning to end. A certain must-see this fall!" (The Burning Plain)
"Gripping and powerful." (Contagion)
"Exciting and powerful." (Miracle at St. Anna)
"Powerful and moving beyond words." (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
"A powerful human drama that packs a strong punch." (Reservation Road)
"Incredibly exciting and powerfully human!" (Superman Returns)
"Brilliant! A powerful, important, humane and uncompromising film." (In the Land of Blood and Honey)
"Vital and powerfully important. A movie that should - and must - be seen. "(Trade)
"One of the most powerful films in years. Exhilarating. A movie you must see." (Reign Over Me)

"Magnificent! Easily one of the best pictures of the year." (Saving Mr. Banks)
"Magnificent. A unique and totally original vision of a not-too-distant future. Director Alfonso Cuaron is a master craftsman." (Children of Men)
"Magnificent! A ravishing, stunning epic with superlative performances. A riveting, compelling love story from a brilliant filmmaker. A must see for fans of great world cinema." (A Royal Affair)
"Magnificent! An incredible, heartwarming and 100% thrilling action/adventure you won't forget." (Eight Below)
"Magnificent! An absolute triumph for Denzel Washington. Will make you believe again in the power of movies." (The Great Debaters)
"Magnificent! It's the real life Lion King." (African Cats)
"Magnificent! A truly exciting, beautifully made movie." (Secretariat)
"Magical. Madly inventive. Magnificent." (Alice In Wonderland)
"Truly magnificent!" (The Flowers of War)

The next film on the list is a lot of things. Not sure "inspiring" is one of them. Then again, Hammond has a very loose definition of what he finds inspirational.

"Unforgettable, tense and inspiring. A singular true story of incredible courage when it counts the most. Brilliantly acted and directed." (Lone Survivor)
"An inspiring tale of courage." (Rescue Dawn)
"Funny, touching, inspiring." (The Help)
"Thrilling, funny, charming and inspiring." (Kung Fu Panda)
"An inspiring and extraordinary true story." (The Blind Side)
"An incredible and inspiring story of redemption and determination." (Machine Gun Preacher)
"A remarkable and inspiring true story about a man with unbelievable grit, determination and heart." (Flash of Genius)
"Timeless and inspiring!" (The Greatest Game Ever Played)
"A landslide comedy winner. Kevin Costner is pitch-perfect in the one movie that is so inspiring you'll stand up and cheer." (Swing Vote)
"Inspiring and heartwarming. A whale of a great tale." (Big Miracle)
"Truly inspiring. Grabs you by the heart in unexpected and wonderful ways." (Akeelah and the Bee)
"A wonderful, entertaining and unforgettable movie. Truly inspiring." (Dolphin Tale)
"An inspiring, stirring, unforgettable human drama." (The Flowers of War)

"Compelling, surprising, unforgettable...A must-see!" (Copperhead - 24%)
"This is a film you won't forget." (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
"A film you won't forget anytime soon." (Skateland)
"An incredible, heartwarming and 100% thrilling action/adventure you won't forget." (Eight Below)
"…a honeymoon you won't soon forget." (The Heartbreak Kid)
"A wonderful family story you won't soon forget" (The Magic of Belle Isle)
"A wonderful, entertaining and unforgettable movie." (Dolphin Tale)
"Unforgettable. " (Talk to Me)
"Riveting, exciting, emotional and unforgettable! This is one to see!" (End of Watch)
"Transports you to an alternate world of jaw-dropping awe and unforgettable adventure." (The Golden Compass)
"A towering, unforgettable epic...Director Roland Joffe returns to the stirring tradition of his greatest films, The Killing Fields and The Mission." (There Be Dragons)
"An inspiring, stirring, unforgettable human drama." (The Flowers of War)
"An unforgettable, touching and wonderful movie." (The Last Song)
"Unforgettable…Sure to be one of the year's most controversial films." (The Stoning of Soraya M.)
"An unforgettable experience!" (Warrior)
"An unforgettable experience you don't want to miss." (Fugitive Pieces)
"An unforgettable movie experience." (Bobby)
"An unforgettable cinematic experience." (Into the Wild)
"An unforgettable motion picture experience." (The Guardian)
"An unforgettable motion picture experience." (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
"One of the year's most satisfying and rewarding motion picture experiences. Clive Owen delivers a moving and unforgettable portrayal." (The Boys Are Back)

"Red 2 is red hot! Watch out superheroes, this gang is where the real action is." (Red 2 - 42%)
"Star Wars, Batman and the others better watch out! This is the movie we've been waiting for!" (Land of the Dead)
"Sizzling hot!" (Salt)
"Maria Bello is sizzlingly hot!" (A History of Violence)
"A terrific coming-of-age movie with an extraordinary and talented ensemble cast of hot new stars." (Skateland)
"It's hot stuff. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off fireworks." (El Cantante)
"It packs enough red-hot fiery action for six movies." (The Condemned)

"Hilarious. A sizzling summer smash." (The Heat)
"A 100% unqualified summer smash!" (Hairspray)
"The comedy smash of the holiday season." (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)

"A superb investigative piece that cracks the code of this mysterious man." (Salinger - 34%)
"A beautifully crafted, superbly well-acted suspense-filled tale that will creep you out." (Joshua)
"A superbly written moving story of love, loss, hope and renewal." (The Greatest)
"First class...simply superb!" (The Maid)
"Leading a brilliant cast Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Jamie Foxx are simply superb." (Jarhead)
"Douglas is once again superb." (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps)
"Morgan Freeman is superb." (The Magic of Belle Isle)
"Gemma Jones is superb and poignant." (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger)
"Juno's Ellen Page is superb" (Whip It)
"Superb performances across the board." (Little Children)
"A refreshingly honest and original love story with superb performances." (Waiting For Forever)
"Frank Langella as Nixon and Michael Sheen as David Frost are equally superb." (Frost/Nixon)
"The entire cast is superb." (Miracle at St. Anna)
"The ensemble cast is superb." (The Words)
"Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline and the sterling ensemble cast are superb. (Darling Companion)

"One of the year's best films! A movie that grabs the heart." (The Way, Way Back)
"Grabs you by the heart in unexpected and wonderful ways." (Akeelah and the Bee)
"Grabs you with its epic scope and richly human story." (Jet Li's Fearless)
"A sleek, surprising and surefire thriller that will grab you by the throat." (Fracture)
"Clearly a fearless director who knows how to grab an audience and not let go for even a minute." (Apocalypto)

"Spectacular! Exceptionally smart, Ender's Game holds you in its grip throughout and doesn't let go." (Ender's Game)
From its supercharged action-packed opening...Running Scared winds you up and doesn't let go. (Running Scared)
Gets you in its grip. (Hollywoodland)
Gripping and powerful. (Contagion)
A gripping, deeply personal and often bitingly funny view of life on the front lines. (Jarhead)
Gripping, surprising, funny and outrageous! (Find Me Guilty)
Fasten your seatbelts and hang onto your seats for a first-rate thriller. Suspenseful and gripping. (Flightplan)
A gripping psychological thriller that will have you guessing from start to finish. (Premonition)
Gripping and fascinating. (September Dawn)

"First-rate direction by Antoine Fuqua makes this a must-see! Gerard Butler is an action superstar with guts and glory. A gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller." (Olympus Has Fallen - 47%)
"Even though it is based on well-known events it plays like an edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller. (A Mighty Heart)
"A relentless suspense thriller with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat. (Traitor)
"A first-rate thriller! Guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat!" (First Snow)
"The year's first genuinely frightening edge-of-your-seat chiller. Even Hitchcock could not have done better." (Dark Water)
"Takes you to the edge and keeps you there all the way." (28 Weeks Later)
"An emotional powerhouse that will keep you on edge." (Alex Cross)
"Edge of Darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat." (Edge of Darkness)

"A must-see movie event. One of the funniest, freshest, most entertaining movies of the year! A dream once-in-a-lifetime cast." (Last Vegas - 44%)
"The must-see movie event of 2011." (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2)
"A 3-D event." (Kung Fu Panda 2)
"A hilarious comedy event." (Megamind)
"A major movie event!" (Rent)
"Pure entertainment with great music, wit and a dream cast! (A Prairie Home Companion)
"Pure solid-gold entertainment! Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts prove to be a dream screen team." (Larry Crowne)
"The dream cast is to die for." (Burn After Reading)
"One of the funniest films this year." (The Big Year)
"The funniest film of the year!" (Shrek: The Final Chapter)
"The year's funniest comedy. Monstrous laughs!" (Monsters vs. Aliens)
"This summer's freshest, raunchiest, smartest comedy surprise." (The Change-Up)
"The funniest movie of the summer." (Up)
"Disney Pixar's funniest movie ever!" (Ratatouille)
"A treasure chest full of laughs! One of the funniest animated films in years." (The Pirates!: Band of Misfits)
"Ben Stiller's funniest film." (The Heartbreak Kid)
"One of the funniest films in many years." (Borat)
"A perfectly cast comic confection that's bright, sinfully clever and packed with laughs! Woody Allen is back in style with his funniest movie in many years." (Scoop)
"Robin Williams turns in his smartest, funniest performance in at least a decade." (Man of the Year)
"Huge laughs, spectacular special effects and the pure animal magnetism of Steve Carell make this the summer movie comedy event that proves to be every bit as much fun as it's meant to be - times two!" (Evan Almighty)

"Loads of laughs and heart. Pixar does it again!" (Monsters University)
"Hilarious! Pure family fun: Action, laughs and heart." (G-Force)
"A mega-funny movie loaded with laughs, action and heart." (Megamind)
"An exceptionally good comedy loaded with laughs, heart and wonderful performances." (My One and Only)
"Loaded with laughs, action, excitement, twists, attitude - you name it!" (Smokin' Aces)
"It's the…prescription for what ails you: loads of laughs!" (Charlie Bartlett)
"Insanely funny! The Coen Brothers have done it again." (Burn After Reading)
"Once again, Mel Gibson proves why he is one of the best filmmakers around." (Apocalypto)
"Meryl Streep again proves there is no one better." (Lions for Lambs)
"A brilliant ensemble cast led by Christian Bale who proves again he may be the best actor of his generation." (The Flowers of War)
"Rocky will have you cheering all over again." (Rocky Balboa)
"Paul makes going to the movies fun again." (Paul)
"Will make you believe again in the power of movies." (The Great Debaters)

"A rocking good time at the movies." (20 Feet from Stardom)
"These boots are made for rocking." (Puss In Boots)
"A rollicking good time…guaranteed! Pure entertainment with great music, wit and a dream cast!" (A Prairie Home Companion)
"A high octane, revved up southern fried good time with an irresistible cast." (The Dukes of Hazzard)
"Wanna have a good time, DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE!" (The Change-Up)

"A thrilling, exciting ride with a great premise and clever twist." (Escape Plan - 49%)
"An incredible ride!" (Grindhouse)
"The perfect summer joyride from start to finish line!" (Cars)
"It's an explosive, nail-biting ride that doesn't slow down." (Salt)
"One wild, super-kinetic ride! Loaded with laughs, action, excitement, twists, attitude - you name it.!" (Smokin' Aces)
"This Journey is a roller-coaster ride - Hang on for a great time at the movies!" (Journey to the Center of the Earth)
"Strap yourself in for a blistering, super-charged ride. This time around the fast and furious action is simply off the charts!" (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
"The best action movie since The Bourne Ultimatum. Get ready for the ride of your life. Move over Bourne." (Taken)
"A relentless suspense thriller with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This year's Bourne Ultimatum." (Traitor)
"Clever & original. So many twists & turns you may need to see it more than once." (Lucky Number Slevin)
"The twists and turns will send chills down your spine. A truly frightening movie experience with a 100% certified shocked of an ending." (The Uninvited)

"There's never been a film like this. The 3-D is stunning" (The Great Gatsby - 49%)
"A great story that takes us to places we've never been before." (Tron: Legacy)
"You have never seen a movie quite like...." (Brick)
"You have never seen anything like it before!" (Steep)
"This is a film guaranteed to be unlike any other you will see this year." (The Fountain)
"This film is unlike any other you will see this summer." (My Sister's Keeper)
"Unlike any other war film you will ever see." (Jarhead)
" unlike anything you've ever seen!" (Night Watch)
"Chasing a dream has never been this much fun." (Ratatouille)
"Tyler Perry like we have never seen him before." (Alex Cross)
"A 3-D event." (Kung Fu Panda 2)
"The best use of 3-D in any film ever and that includes Avatar." (Hugo)
"Mind-blowing 3-D animation." (Battle for Terra)
"A 3-D experience like we've never seen onscreen before." (Step Up 3-D)

"Absolutely wonderful! A welcome gift for moviegoers, A true gem in a season of non-stop mayhem. Don't miss it!" (The Kings of Summer)
"Extraordinary! Original! A magical and wondrous movie experience for everyone. A truly epic film that becomes the family event of the summer." (Epic)

"A gift for moviegoers, the year's most unexpected and profoundly moving love story." (Seven Pounds)
"Hilarious and lots of fun for everyone." (Enchanted)
"Fantastic movie fun for everyone." (Dr. Seuss' The Lorax)
"A great time at the movies for everyone!" (Evan Almighty)
"This is one of those rare gems you must not miss." (Control)
"...from title to end credits one of those choice cinematic gems." (Little Children)
"A cinematic gem that actually makes you feel good about being alive!" (On a Clear Day)
"A true gem." (Flipped)
"Triumphant! A true gem of a film." (Is Anybody There?)
"A true gem! A rich entertainment, the kind of smart, sophisticated adult comedy that rarely comes along these days. A must see for people who love movies. (Darling Companion)

Less than two months after calling Epic "the family event of the summer" Hammond called Turbo "the best animated movie of the year." Less than two months in 2012 after saying the above about Darling Companion and how "rarely" such a film "comes along these days" he said People Like Us "is for people who love great movies" and was "intelligent adult filmmaking at its finest." How rare indeed, Pete.

"The new year's nicest and most welcome surprise. A funny, heartwarming, superbly acted film that makes you feel good about life. Don't miss it." (Starbuck)
"A movie that just makes you feel good. See it!" (Musical Chairs)
"A cinematic gem that actually makes you feel good about being alive!" (On a Clear Day)
"Hilarious, heartwarming entertainment for all ages." (Toy Story 3)
"Like Toy Story 3 this Madagascar proves 3 is the charm. Hilarious. Exciting. Heartwarming." (Madagascar 3)
"Hilarious & heartwarming." (Mr. Popper's Penguins)
"Hilarious and heartwarming." (17 Again)
"Inspiring and heartwarming. A whale of a great tale." (Big Miracle)
"You will be standing and cheering. Real Steel is the real deal. Exciting, funny, and heartwarming...A huge winner!" (Real Steel)
"The surprise movie comedy treat of the year!...Whimsical, funny and moving……This is the real deal!" (Lars and the Real Girl)
"The surprise of the season. Rocky will have you cheering all over again." (Rocky Balboa)
"The animated surprise of the year!" (Hoodwinked)
"The adult comedy surprise of the year. Smart and riotously funny..." (What Just Happened?)
"A comedy surprise! Has style, laughs and attitude." ((Untitled))
"This is the sleeper surprise discovery of the summer. Smart, witty and genuinely human comedy…" (Diminished Capacity)
"This summer's freshest, raunchiest, smartest comedy surprise. A movie fully charged with huge booming laughs and a big heart." (The Change-Up)
"Super great in every way. The surprise blockbuster hit of the summer." (Superbad)
"One of this year's most unexpected comedy surprises! Gets the gold medal for genuine heart and comic inspiration." (The Ringer)

With his limited recall, we wonder if Hammond was even aware this next one was the same film as Starbuck?

"The perfect holiday comedy, a real crowd-pleaser that has it all." (Delivery Man - 38%)
"A fun, heart-racing adventure…Race To Witch Mountain has it all! (Race To Witch Mountain)
"They've saved the best 'X' for last. This one's got it all - and then some! Great action, great actors, the greatest X-Men movie yet." (X-Men: The Last Stand)
"The perfect holiday family film. The Avengers' of Animated movies." (Rise of the Guardians)
"More laughs, excitement and heart than any other comedy this year. The perfect holiday film." (Bolt)
"The most wondrous film of its kind since E.T....(It) is the perfect holiday film, a fantastic fusion of humor, heart and pure excitement." (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep)

Better than Traffic, Malcolm X, Boogie Nights and something else with Statham?

"A terrific thought-provoking thriller. Soderbergh at his best." (Side Effects)
"Washington & Wahlberg are at their very best." (2 Guns)
"A terrific action thriller! Jason Statham is at his absolute best." (Homefront)

"Hits the bullseye…One of Oliver Stone’s best." (W.)
" of Oliver Stone's best movies." (Savages)
" of Rob Reiner's best." (The Magic of Belle Isle)
"Jennifer Connelly delivers one of her best performances." (Reservation Road)
"This is the best performance of Sandra Bullock's career." (The Blind Side)
"Chris Cooper, in a career-best performance, is sensational..." (Breach)
"…this may be Annette Bening's finest screen work ever. (Running with Scissors)
"Paul Walker's best performance." (Running Scared)
"Smart and riotously funny with DeNiro’s best screen work in years." (What Just Happened?)
"Harrelson at his very best!" (Defendor)
"Renee (Zellweger) is at her best!" (My One and Only)
"Richard Gere has never been better." (The Hoax)
"Lopez has never been better." (El Cantante)
"Jason Statham has never been better." (Revolver)
"Totally delivers with lots of laughs, heart and a terrific ensemble of actors at their best." (What To Expect When You're Expecting)

You would have thought the score of the next film would have at least reminded him of Inception.

"Extraordinary! Oblivion is jaw-dropping, exciting and the most visually stunning and innovative science-fiction thriller to hit the screen since Blade Runner and The Matrix. Tom Cruise delivers one of the best performances of his career. (Oblivion - 54%)
"Extraordinary! The incredible jaw-dropping story behind the songs we've been singing for a lifetime." (The Boys)
"Beyond spectacular! Transports you to an alternate world of jaw-dropping awe and unforgettable adventure." (The Golden Compass)
"A relentless suspense thriller with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This year's Bourne Ultimatum." (Traitor)
"The best action movie since The Bourne Ultimatum." (Taken)
"William Friedkin's most daring movie since The Exorcist! It will crawl under your skin!" (Bug)
"Scene for scene the most explosively funny movie Ben Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers have made since There's Something About Mary." (The Heartbreak Kid)
"The greatest animated triumph since Toy Story 3." (Rio)
"The most wondrous film of its kind since E.T." (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep)
"Visually stunning." (The Flowers of War)
"Visually stunning with brilliantly executed fight sequences..." (Jet Li's Fearless)
"The most visually inventive, trailblazing film of its kind in light years." (Wanted)

"One of the best movies of this, or any, year." (Rush)
"It…just may kill you with laughs. A fast, furious and riotously funny farce in the tradition of Monty Python and Peter Sellers." ( Death at a Funeral)
"Spectacular epic moviemaking at its best in the tradition of Gladiator and Braveheart." (Robin Hood)
"Grand entertainment in the best tradition of the movies." (Amelia)
"A stunning motion picture experience in the grand tradition!" (Memoirs of a Geisha)
"It's a who-might-have-done-it in the grand tradition of the great mystery movies." (Hollywoodland)
"Director Roland Joffe returns to the stirring tradition of his greatest films, The Killing Fields and The Mission." (There Be Dragons)
"A real charmer! In the tradition of My Big Fat Greek Wedding." (Everybody Wants to Be Italian)
"One of the best American comedies in years." (The Break-Up)
"One of the best acting ensembles in ages." (The Dead Girl)
"Ranks with The Shining as one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever!" (1408)
"A timeless classic that ranks with the very best of animated films." (The Tale of Despereaux)
"The best Pirates ever. (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides)
"Destined to become the most hilarious rock epic ever." (Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny)
"Rules over all the others. As big, breathtakingly exciting and relentlessly thrilling as any epic adventure the screen has seen in many years!" (King Kong)
"The best action film in decades. A two hour high-tech chase around the world that surpasses everything that's come before it, including Oscar-winning classics like The French Connection and Bullitt." (The Bourne Ultimatum)
"A hard driving adrenaline pumping blast that leaves everything else in its dust." (Fast Five)

Finally, we may have overlooked one of Hammond's most beloved adjectives over the years. We certainly couldn't this year. Mind you, this next set of quotes were all from 2013.

"Simply sensational." (Saving Mr. Banks)
"Pure summer movie magic! Sensational fun that outdoes Ocean's 11, 12 & 13." (Now You See Me - 50%)
"Sensational...dazzling...pure movie magic. A dazzling, thrilling and wonderfully entertaining brand new classic" (Oz: The Great & Powerful - 59%)
"Sensational...A must-see! A wonderful and unexpected movie. Funny, touching, different, revealing and simply terrific!" (Thanks for Sharing - 50%)
"Sensational. A must see." (Jobs - 26%)

Sensational, isn't it? Thus we close-out 2013 with Hammond's tribute to the word since 2005.

"Sensational." (The Informant)
"Sensational. Gripping and powerful." (Contagion)
"Sensationally entertaining! You'll definitely want to stand up and cheer for Charlie Wilson." (Charlie Wilson's War)
"Outstanding. Sensationally entertaining in every way." (The Devil Wears Prada)
"Sensational! Crackling good entertainment that also stands out as one of the year's most important movies." (North Country)
"Delivers huge belly laughs and lots of fun. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick make one of the greatest comedy teams ever. Uma Thurman is sexy and sensational. Will Ferrell is comic perfection." (The Producers)
"Eye-popping! One of the year's most spectacularly visual film treats. The widescreen images are beyond astounding. Gong Li is sensational." (Curse of the Golden Flower)
"Rips into you like a hurricane! Suspenseful, emotional and completely engrossing throughout! A powerful human drama that packs a strong punch. Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo are sensational. Jennifer "Connelly delivers one of her best performances." (Reservation Road)
"A spellbinding, real-life suspense thriller. Chris Cooper, in a career-best performance, is sensational and "Ryan Phillippe matches him every step of the way." (Breach)
"Spellbinding! Spectacular! Sensationally acted and brilliantly directed, this Potter tops them all!" (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
"The biggest and best of the series. Sensational! Pure entertainment from start to finish." (High School Musical 3)

Half of Hammond's quotes in 2013 were for films that generated "rotten" ratings. Of the 58 reviews he posted at Rotten Tomatoes this year, 48 of them were positive. Forty-eight! One of those ten negatives was for Edgar Wright's The World's End, tied for the 12th best-reviewed film of 2013 at 89%. Yet, Hammond gave positive reviews to The Internship (35%), Jobs (26%) and Paranoia (4%). That may be good news for studios releasing inferior product. But do you really want this guy saying anything about positive-rated films? Especially when there are so many worthwhile critics to choose from? Something to think about (again) for 2014.

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 12/30/13 07:48:29
last updated: 12/31/13 11:03:35
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