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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday October 3, 2019 


Some 200 films were released in Australia in 2002, and awards have been (in Australia) - or will be (in the US & Europe) - handed out to the best of them. Here, we collate the worst 20 of them, films that could all be titled ‘Unforgivable’ according to our critics, to save you the embarrassment of renting them on video. 

The contributing critics: David Edwards, Brad Green, Shannon J. Harvey, Louise Keller, Richard Kuipers, Keith Lofthouse, Andrew L. Urban, Jake Wilson.

The worst of 2002 in alphabetical order:


“This miserably gross and offensive film does a great disservice to males, but since it’s so woeful, no harm done. The biggest sin in entertainment is boredom, and 40 Days and 40 Nights is how long it seems to last,” says Andrew.

“Shame about the script, which solidly sinks by its solitary sentiment,” says Louise.

“Ali G seems to me to be one of those truly strange comedies that are not so much culturally specific but inbred,” says Andrew.

"The plot is a mere coathanger on which Ali G hangs his whole range of comedy shtick...and it all hangs out in bedroom, bathroom and toilet," says Keith.

“This feeble soft porn passing as teenage sex comedy is so bereft of redeeming features it feels as though it’s a three hour movie,” says Andrew.

"It is not only not funny, not only offensive, but is the most tasteless piece of pie of all time," says Keith .

“…a woeful concept that has mysteriously managed to survive the script conferences, when presumably the attendees fell about laughing at the idea of a black comedian playing a sort of reluctant modern hero thrust into the past, who then parades as a fearsome Black Knight but ends up falling off his horse,” says Andrew.

"The poor man's Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence follows up his cruddy comedy, What's The Worst That Could Happen? with something that very nearly is!" says Keith .

“Marvellous book, dreadful film… the casting is flawed, the direction fuzzy, the editing nondescript and the collection of accents is like a bouquet of wildflowers – diverse and crude. As for the script, it flattens the literature from which it comes and stumbles into the wrong era with modern phrases…” says Andrew.

“Is this the worst film ever made by a pop star?… At one point she sings 'I'm not a girl, I'm not a woman'. The next line should be 'I'm also not an actress'. Pathetic beyond belief,” says Richard.

“It might be too harsh to say Crossroads plays like a 96-minute Britney music video, but it's only a G-string away,” says Shannon

“I’d sure like to know what possessed talented Englishman Michael Apted to take on this material (the actors have an excuse: their agents told them it was ok)…. it’s not the subject matter that is astonishingly banal – it’s the execution. And that’s when the film is not being ridiculous,” says Andrew.

“This monumentally stupid feminist revenge thriller is strangled by howling dialogue and an abysmal Lopez,” says Keith.


“Everything comes out false and awkward: the you-go-girl affirmations of multiracial sisterhood, the attempts to convey the excitement of spontaneous music-making, the touches of industry satire that are supposed to show Billie as a strong woman who sticks to her principles - like what, exactly?” says Richard.

“I Am Sam is as challenged as a film as Sam is as an adult intellect. Manically manipulative and clumsy in its eagerness to push the right buttons and smooch its way into our hearts, the script makes a caricature of its characters. Even Sean Penn, one of my favourite actors, seems to be working in a first year acting class here… mulchy, sloppy garden compost,” says Andrew.

“Jason X was made 2 years ago and I'd have been happy if its release had been delayed by another 453 years,” says Richard. 

“The only intelligent line in this hilarious horror, for when a hole is blown in the spaceship and everyone is about to be sucked into outer-space, one girl looks up and screams, "This sucks on SO many levels!'' You said it, baby!” says Shannon.

”Filled with foul language, in-jokes and stoopid (duh) slapstick humour, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a disappointing final chapter from Kevin Smith…. a self-indulgent trip for Smith,” says Louise.

“Kevin Smith and his Hollywood buddies let their egos hang out in this smirkingly hateful comedy. The reliance on star cameos and in-jokes should put paid to Smith’s reputation as an ‘independent’ filmmaker,” says Jake.

“It was more than titters at the nudity and eroticism to which the preview audience responded. There was laughter - and that is the kiss of death for a thriller, whose intention is to terrify,” says Louise.

“.. the kind of lurid melodrama that gives porno movies a good name. Stiff, often ludicrous and badly acted, this is a real stinker,” says David. 

”Writer/director/star/voice-over-artist Steve Oederkerk is completely to blame for this putrid, laughless spoof of the kung-fu genre,” says Richard.

“One of the dumbest and most flabbergasting films I've seen for a while,” says Jake.

“Adam Sandler pisses all over the Frank Capra classic. Poor Winona!” says Jake.

“The dumb-down Sandler effect is enough to send Frank Capra Spinning in his grave. Forget Winona Ryder's retail mishaps - this was her biggest misdemeanour of 2002,” says Richard.

“Let’s put it this way – there are bad movies, really bad movies, and there’s On the Line,” says David.

"It's a story as old as Old Mother Hubbard and is here to prove that the cupboard is bare of ideas and chockfull of clichés," says Keith.

“They should have called it Gutterball…. As subtle as a sledgehammer, acted like concrete, edited with a pickaxe, as stylish as a slush pile and as interesting as a brick wall, Rollerball is one structurally and aesthetically unsound film,” says Shannon.

“This is a mish-mash of half-baked ideas and design overkill; John McTiernan's film doesn't know what it is other than confused…. It’s an hour and a half of torture,” says Richard.

“Shallow Hal is a half hour idea inside a two hour movie. Like Gwyneth Paltrow inside the obese Rosemary, it is neither funny nor poignant. Just heavy going. Even as a far flung comedy, the film fails the funny test; as a moral story, it’s pathetic,” says Andrew.

“The premise is far-fetched, and the action becomes sillier the longer the film goes on. There’s just enough to Stealing Harvard to prevent it from being the worst movie of the year,” says David.

“Don’t count on being swept away by this contrived, predictable shipwrecked romance… Madonna’s super bitch is so over the top, that we never believe her character for a single second. Insults fly quicker than a swarm of bees heading for a hive, and unfortunately the script lacks wit, making it hard to sustain any kind of humour,” says Louise.

"Would you pay $13.50 to see Madonna bitch-slapped by a man? Guy Ritchie obviously thinks so. But I wonder if he thought about leaving her on that deserted island? At least then we'd never have to see her in another turkey like this," says Shannon.

“Lacking both the gee whizz factor of time travel and the romance of it, Time Machine is a bit of a disappointment… Ironically enough, considering the flights of imagination that propelled the original story, it’s a lack of imagination that binds the film to the floor…” says Andrew.

“Pearce does his best with the flaccid material, but he must have wished he could hop aboard the contraption and time travel his way out of this turkey...What would you do with a time machine? I would hop in and get back the 96 minutes I spent on this time wasting device," says Shannon.

Published Dec/ Jan 2003

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40 Days and 40 Nights


Jason X

On the Line

Swept Away

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