The 1990s in Review: The Bottom 10

Commentary by James Berardinelli


Around this time of the decade, a great deal of thought goes into compiling "best of" lists. In the midst of all this frenzied activity to identify the cream of the crop, the peak quarter of a percent, it's easy to forget the other end of the spectrum. Any list, no matter how long, must have a top and a bottom, and it's often no easier to organize titles at the tail than at the head. It's also significantly more painful, since calling up memories of some of the most unwatchable drek of the decade can cause feelings of revulsion, horror, and depression. But, acting with great fortitude, I have approached this task and faced it without flinching.

It's worth noting that the list below should not be considered comprehensive. While I freely admit to having seen a higher number of awful movies than many of my colleagues, there are limits to my masochism. As a result, it is possible that I missed a film or two that deserves a place on this list (Note: that includes almost all Pauly Shore movies). Also, I conveniently bypassed almost everything that skipped theaters in favor of a direct-to-video or direct-to-cable deal. In short, if I didn't write a review of it, it's not eligible (considering that I reviewed about 1600 films released during the 1990s, there's no shortage of candidates). Allowing for those caveats, here are my picks for the Worst 10 Movies of the 1990s. (These are presented in reverse order, with the absolute worst being #1.)

So that's it for the worst of the '90s. Starting next week, I can begin delving into a far more pleasurable arena, by exploring some of the best that the decade had to offer, beginning with 10 of the best performances, many of which were neither nominated for nor won Academy Awards.

© 1999 James Berardinelli

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