The Worst Movie Ever Made: Southland Tales

I’m so angry at wasting my time watching this movie, it’s hard for me to put into words how pathetic I think it is. I watched it purely based on the cast involved – I figured with an ensemble cast, it must be decent, even if I’d never heard of it before. And I happen to like sci-fi movies, even the not-so-great ones.

What a huge mistake I made. To call this movie “bad” is an insult to every “bad” movie ever made (and that includes the worst, cheesy sci-fi and fantasy “B” movies I’ve ever seen). This movie is horrible. If I could think of a word worse than horrible I’d use it.

It’s like everyone in the cast thought “Hey, it’s that Donnie Darko guy, let’s not even read the script, let’s just say yes and go for it!”. Each actor involved with this project should immediately fire their manager for not slapping some sense into them. I don’t think this movie was released in theatres – it probably caused riots in testing. It’s not worth the plastic it’s pressed upon. I want to find each of the actors involved and ask them what kind of crack they were on when they signed up for this project.

*Maybe*, just *maybe* if you watched this movie while high on acid you might be able to make some sense of it. Not being the acid-dropping type, I can only report that that watching this movie sober only made my head hurt.

I want to find the “visionary” writer/director, Richard Kelley, and demand that he give me back the 2 hours and 20 minutes of my life that I wasted on his self-fellating opus of idiocy.

I’ll leave you with a quote I found online that sums up my feelings quite nicely:

“For anyone to associate any possible positivity to this absolute colon blow of a movie is insane. This is the worst movie of all time and will be forever disappointed with anyone associated with its making. I would have preferred to have stuck a red hot needle in my pupil and slammed my face repeatedly into a slab of concrete, then to have seen this movie. All movie making is a form of artistic design and expression but some stuff is best kept to ones self.”

Do not rent this movie if you value your time or sanity. This movie, all by itself, has made me re-think my policy of always watching a movie to the very end, to give it a chance. I should have stopped this movie after the first 15 minutes.

  • Janak Parekh

    Two comments, Jason:

    1. Are you saying you’ve never seen an awful movie with an ensemble cast? Off the top of my head, I’d cite The Avengers, or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as two heavily-panned films featuring a variety of famous/top actors.

    2. Wikipedia documents the decidedly mixed reaction to this film. While some people hated it, others quite enjoyed it. Witness: “Nathan Lee of The Village Voice named Southland Tales the best film of 2007.[33] J. Hoberman of The Village Voice named it the third best film of 2007.[34] Manohla Dargis at The New York Times had it in her Best of ’07 as well.[33]”

  • Janak Parekh

    (BTW, I’m not disagreeing with your review. I’ve never seen the movie, and your testimony is enough to convince me to never watch it. πŸ™‚ )

  • Janak,
    I never said that I hadn’t seen an awful movie with an ensemble cast – I’ve just never seen one this bad. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is practically The Godfather compared to Southland Tales. And when it comes to movies, critics are the people I least trust. πŸ˜‰ But they’re entitled to their opinion, just as I am to mine.

  • sad that the “Rock” Dwayne Johnson made a bad movie..It’s a loss big time..I’d rather watch his wrestling fights on WWE rather than watching this movie:)

  • Neil

    I’m actually glad you watched the movie. If you hadn’t, how would we ever have been graced with such an insightful and entertaining review? πŸ™‚

    Did you know that Toa on American Gladiators is Dwayne Johnson’s cousin and often does stunt double duties for Dwayne in movies?


  • Neil,
    I’m glad you liked my entertaining review – I had fun writing it. And since I value my brain cells I haven’t been watching American Gladiators, so I have no idea who Toa is.

    < does the Google >

    Phoenix? Rocket? Siren? Steel? Titan? Wolf?

    Those are the types of names I see in City of Heroes, not a TV show. πŸ˜‰

  • Neil

    You are missing out. Don’t knock it until you’ve watched it, even though Hulk Hogan is one of the co-hosts. It’s excellent TV!

  • chrisgohlke

    I was so intrigued by your review, I had to add it to my Blockbuster queue

  • rock_star7210

    hahahahaha. this seriously made me laugh. really HARD.
    you should be a movie critic on the side.
    your pretty good at it.

  • chrisgohlke

    OK, it sucked hard. But, the one redeeming quality was Dwayne’s finger twittering that was supposed to indicate when he was scared. Acting so bad that it had to be intentional.

  • Chris,
    I’m sorry you subjected yourself to that movie. πŸ˜‰

  • jester4

    I wish I had found this review YESTERDAY before we rented this movie and wasted what may have been less than the seven hours it FELT like we actually spent watching it… Wow, you’re right, horrible doesn’t really cover it. I’m not a movie snob, either. I certainly appreciate Oscar-caliber stuff, but I’ll give anything a fair shake and can usually find SOMETHING redeeming in even the WORST movies (Center Stage at least had good dancing… that sort of thing). After watching this movie last night, my husband and I just looked at each other and couldn’t get the words out to adequately register our disguest. Finally, he said, “Let’s not waste our breath even talking about it, let’s just go to bed.”

    This morning, I thought I would jump on and see if everyone in the world was a flabbergasted by how truly awful it was and was surprised to find over 30% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes… Better than that from the “elite” reviewers… I started to doubt my own sanity. I wondered if they had seen a cut of the movie I hadn’t. Perhaps they had some insight that made the whole multitude of NSA-director-wearing-a-wicked-witch-cocktail-dress-at-work-while-monitoring-spring-break-parties-on-30-TVs scenes someone relevant… But your blog confirms it for me–indeed it sucked and there must be some movie critic conspiracy that keeps it from getting it’s appropriate rating of 0% positive reviews.

  • jester4,
    I’m sorry you had the misfortune of subjecting yourself to that movie. In time, all wounds heal. πŸ˜‰

  • Aaron D.

    I loved the review, but I admit that I absolutely loved the film. It had it’s flaws, sure, but it was absolutely stunning at plenty of times. However, this is my single lone opinion, and I could definitely see why so many hate it.

    Nonetheless, very funny review, Jason. Made me laugh.

  • Aaron,
    I don’t think you should visit this blog again. Hahaha…kidding of course! I think it’s fascinating that you enjoyed the movie – but I guess art, movies included, is quite subjective. πŸ˜€

  • Getbusyliving

    Wow, this thing is on Sony Movie Channel right now. Took me about 15 minutes to figure out it is an abomination. I’m sticking it out because of the cameos, so that I can laugh at any of these stars if I ever run across them to let them know it was AT THIS POINT that their career began to nose dive. How many drugs does a cast and crew have to do to think that this is a comedy? I originally thought that this might have been a Hunter S. Thomson bookβ€”thus the star studded cast, but no. While not a Fear and Loathing fan, I can understand why 30% liked this movie. To each their own. In my opinion this is what happens when stars do pro bono work and do not heed the advice of their agents!Β