Lisa Schwarzbaum?s worst movies of 2000 -- See why she hated ''Pay It Forward,'' ''Autumn in New York,'' and more

By Owen Gleiberman
Updated December 22, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
  • Movie

Lisa Schwarzbaum?s worst movies of 2000

1. Pay It Forward
The year’s worst feel-good movie belittled the decency of the very folks it claims ought to be ”inspired.” How else to explain the preachy story, the sticky script, the crayoned-in performances (Helen Hunt! Take a breath!), or the sadistic ending — an all-time low in stooping for tears. This was one time Hollywood gambled on audience stupidity and lost.

2. Hanging Up
The year’s worst indulgence in female stereotypes in the guise of catty honesty birthed unlikable performances from Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan, and Lisa Kudrow, three stereotype-prone actresses playing sisters genetically prone to self-obsession, even while Dad lies dying. That women (director Keaton, scriptwriters Nora and Delia Ephron) were in charge only makes the misogyny uglier.

3. Bless The Child
The year’s worst crackpot spiritual hooey settled for hysterics from Kim Basinger, and muddled devilry from a campy Rufus Sewell, rather than risk offending anyone with a moment’s serious reflection on goodness, evil, and the possibility of miracles. Worse, it fell for that cheapest, most emotionally pornographic of scenarios: an innocent (possibly saintly) child in peril.

4. Autumn In New York
The worst romantic movie of the year is also the best reason to call a moratorium on unsexy May-December love stories in which aging stars, like Richard Gere, indulge their vanity by puckering up with actresses, like Winona Ryder, young enough to be their daughters. (It’s also the best reason for good indie directors like Joan Chen to resist getting into bed with Hollywood.)

5. Gone In 60 Seconds
The year’s worst action movie couldn’t be bothered with plot, dialogue, or acting. It’s about cars going fast, stuff blowing up, Nicolas Cage blowing up, and graceless images from the Jerry Bruckheimer factory pelting you like a bucket of stones. Buddy, the mojo has stalled.

Almost Famous

  • Movie
  • R
  • 124 minutes
  • Cameron Crowe