By Whitney Pastorek
Updated December 20, 2019 at 04:58 AM EST
Credit: Merrick Morton

Just when you think we’re done with the cumulative joys of year-end lists, another one pops up to remind us that hindsight, along with being 20/20 (yeah, that’s what I meant), is also never-ending. The fine folks at New York magazine have recently posted their poll of the “nation’s top critics,” a combination of solicited responses and close-readings of archived reviews that calls out many of the expected offenders — Speed Racer, The Love Guru, The Women — and provides the complete “ballots” of each writer. (This is especially useful so I know who hated the X-Files sequel and can avoid them at parties.)

We’ve all got our own opinions on this sort of thing. (If I were to name my worst, it would be one of those tiny piece of crap indies I was forced had the pleasure of seeing at Sundance that never made it to the multiplex, since I tend to not bother with stuff like 88 Minutes once I’ve been warned.) But to me, the real fun of this list is two-fold. First, I love reading a brilliantly-crafted evisceration, like Roger Ebert on The Spirit: “To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material.” Hee-hee. (Are you reading Ebert, people? Please be reading Ebert.)

Secondly, and perhaps in some way reassuringly to the filmmakers in question, I suddenly find myself wanting to see the badness for myself. And thus do I guarantee you that, before the week is out, I will have purchased a ticket to this list’s No. 1 Worst Movie of 2008, Will Smith’s Seven Pounds (pictured), provided it is still playing somewhere around here. Because anything EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum deems an “unintentionally ludicrous drama of repentance as an extreme sport” and the New York Times’ A.O. Scott calls “One of the most transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made,” I simply must see for myself.

What about you, PopWatchers? Care to weigh in with your worst pictures from 2008? I also invite you to put on your writing caps and explain your reasoning in the most enticing way possible. I don’t just want to know what’s bad, I want to know why it sucks and if that suckage is in any way magical. Sell those train wrecks!

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  • Moviefone’s 50 best (and 10 worst) films of the year
  • I saw it so you don’t have to! archive

addCredit(“Merrick Morton”)