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One Sentence Movie Reviews

June 1st, 2008
By Johnny Apocalypse

I’m not one much for reading movie reviews, in part because there aren’t too many critics I agree with most of the time. There are some places picking up a trend of “everyday person” critics who enjoy horror and action movies, but it seems that the vast majority of critics love the most boring movies ever (like The Accidental Tourist) and they always complain about movies having too many explosions (no such thing in my book).

Lately I have started to wonder if some movie reviews are a little too long. Taking this to an extreme, I’m thinking it may be possible to review a movie with a brief synopsis of the movie (which some critics seem to think is optional), a letter grade and a one sentence review to give their gut reaction to the movie, usually the first thing you say to your friends when the credits start to roll.

So I’m going to put this experiment into action here and see how it works out. I’ll use a handful of movies, some I like and some I don’t, tell you what they’re about and give you a one sentence review.

Lethal Weapon 2: Riggs and Murtaugh race through L.A. to stop South American diplomats involved in a huge money laundering scheme.
“That guy got beheaded with a surf-board!” Rank: A

Pumpkinhead: A guy resurrects an ancient demon to take revenge on the teens who accidentally killed his son.
“I wonder if I can sue the production company to get that 90 minutes of my life back.” Rank: D-

Sudden Impact: Dirty Harry investigates serial killings perpetrated by a rape victim out for revenge.
“Not as good as the original Dirty Harry but Eastwood still rocks.” Rank: B+

Escape from New York: Snake Plissken is sent to the city-wide prison of New York to rescue the President from convicts and crazies.
“Greatest movie ever made!” Rank: A+

Escape from L.A.: Snake is sent into the city-wide prison of L.A. to retrieve a doomsday device.
“Well, at least Snake’s still awesome.” Rank: C+

The third American Pie movie: Horny idiots still trying to get laid while the smartest dumbass is getting married.
“I hated the first two, I’m not seeing this one.” Rank: F

Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke: Two stoners cruising around in a van made of weed.
“Damn funny stuff!” Rank: A

Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie: Two stoners try way too hard to follow their first success.
“Thank God I never smoked weed, I might have thought that crap was funny.” Rank: D

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: The last few days in the life of Laura Palmer’s life, complete with lots of sex and drugs.
“What the hell just happened?” Rank: B

David Lynch’s Lost Highway: A young man steals a mobster’s girl while a middle aged man has a cheating wife and a stalker.
“I have no clue what’s going on!” Rank: B

David Lynch’s Mullholland Dr.: A woman loses her memory in a car crash while another tries to break into acting.
“What the fuck was that?” Rank: A+

Borat: A TV prank show with an attempt at a plot and storyline.
“What the fuck was that?” Rank: F

Maybe this isn’t working as well as I had hoped. Mullholland Dr. and Borat got the same review but different rankings. Eh, screw it. This is fun.

John Carpenter’s Vampires: James Woods, in an Oscar-worthy performance, kills a bunch of blood suckers and cracks some great jokes.
“Holy crap, I found a movie that’s better than the book!” Rank: B+

Showgirls: One of the chicks from Saved by the Bell becomes a Vegas stripper and kisses another woman.
“I never thought I could get tired of seeing naked women.” Rank: D

Eyes Wide Shut: Tom Cruise gets mixed up in a sex cult.
“Okay, now I’m seriously tired of naked women.” Rank: D

Mr. & Mrs. Smith: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are unknowing rival assassins who happen to be married.
“I know Angelina Jolie’s a good actress, but she has some nasty feet!” Rank: B-

Gone in 60 Seconds: Angelina Jolie and Nicolas Cage steal a lot of cars while Vinnie Jones kicks a lot of ass.
“I know Angelina Jolie’s a good actress, but her lips are bigger than my head.” Rank: B.

Goldfinger: James Bond tried to stop a madman from nuking the Ft. Knox gold storage and fights a badass henchman with a badass hat.
“That doesn’t look like any nuclear bomb that I’ve ever seen.” Rank: A+

Return of the Dragon: Bruce Lee’s finest moment, kicking so much ass he doesn’t bother to take names, as is the custom.
“Chuck Norris is one hairy guy.” Rank: A

Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion: Two good actresses pick the worst script possible.
“That’s it, I’m never again watching something that my sister recommended.” Rank: F-

Night of the Comet: A comet passing by the earth eradicates most of the human race, leaving survivors and mutants living in eternal conflict.
“This is kind of like The Omega Man but not as cool.” Rank: C-

Okay, that’s enough of that. Some of these came out pretty well, others not so much. Let’s change things up a bit. I’ll review a movie with just one word, and not just words like “sucks” or “cool”, anyone can do that. In fact, I’m not going to use any adjectives at all, or even verbs. I’ll review using just nouns.

Evil Dead 2: Ash is still stuck in that haunted cabin.
“Money.” Rank: A

Batman & Robin: The dynamic duo beat up more criminals.
“Earthquake.” Rank: F+

Chinatown: Jack Nicholson investigates water mismanagement and incest.
“Pinecone.” Rank: C

The Godfather, Part 3: Al Pacino wants to go straight but his out-of-control nephew likes to shoot stuff and bang his cousin.
“Baseball?” Rank: B+ (that’s right, I like this movie!)

Alright, this is just getting ridiculous. What kind of movie review is “pinecone”? Ugh. Should have known that this was a bad idea. Oh well, it stays in the article. Hopefully it will convince others to avoid my mistake.

So that’s that. One experimental review system with some promise, and another which can be safely reviewed (noun only) as “bullshit”. Maybe I should leave the critiques to the Motherfucking Masterpieces series here on Acid Logic.