Just like in a bad relationship, a terrible movie can have some ~early warning signs~ that things simply aren’t going to work out between the two of you.
And that fact was made even clearer this week, when redditor u/fjv08kl asked, “What are some subtle ‘red flags’ that tell you a movie is not worth watching?” and, WHEW BUDDY, did people really come through!
So, with that in mind, here are just a few subtle “red flags” that signal you pretty early on whether or not a movie is worth your time:
“When there’s a weirdly specific, random info dump in casual conversations between characters — especially within the first minute or two.”
“If you don’t laugh once at a trailer for a comedy, don’t bother watching the movie.”
“If the trailer has blurbs from reviews, I always check to see who wrote each review because — for really bad movies — they will often put multiple blurbs from the same good review.”
“If press around the movie desperately points out that the directors/producers/writers/studios were involved in other beloved movies, but those barely relate to this movie’s themes. It reads as an attempt to lure in fans. For me, that always means the movie can’t stand on its own.”
“If the ads for it say, ‘Critics are calling it laugh-out-loud funny!’ It’s almost always garbage.”
“If it’s clearly just a ‘star vehicle.’ Like, if all the hype around the film is about one star’s ‘riveting performance,’ but there’s no corresponding critical praise for the story, directing, special effects, etc.”
“When a movie has a popular song in it, but with different/changed/updated lyrics.”
“When a comedy has poop/fart jokes, and outdated meme/pop culture references.”
“The release date tells you everything you need to know. For instance, the only movies that go into wide release in January or February are: Oscar bait that got limited releases in December in NY/LA to qualify for the Oscars, a romance or two the Friday before Valentine’s Day, and crap that the distributors are assuming will bomb.”
“In animated movies, it’s a red flag for me whenever the animation is too ‘clean.’ It’s not ‘ugly,’ but everything is just a little too smooth and a little too bright.”
“I love Hall and Oates, but if ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ is used in the trailer for a movie, it’s likely going to be trash.”
“A 6/10 on IMDb. Some movies will have lower than that, but are ‘so bad they’re good.’ But a 6/10 rating usually means it will be bad in ways that vaguely annoy you, which is somehow worse.”
“I’ve found how bad a movie is is exponentially proportional to how many helicopters are in the trailer…”
“When there are long voiceovers to set up the story or to advance the story. It means either the writer sucked or they couldn’t get the scenes quite right. So the editor had nothing to work with.”
“If I see boobs in the first 10 minutes. I’ve watched a lot of really bad movies and one surprising thing they all have in common is that they have a naked woman some time early on. My theory is that they are trying to trick you into sticking around, as if you’ll think to yourself, ‘Surely if there were boobs in the first 10 minutes, there will be some more boobs later!’ But don’t be fooled. Those were the only boobs.”
“When a horror movie advertises itself as ‘The scariest movie ever,’ it usually isn’t very scary and they’re just trying to get people to fall for the bait by seeing if it really is. The only exception to this rule I’ve ever found was Hereditary. That movie used that tactic and was legitimately terrifying to me.”
“If you find out that they didn’t screen it for critics, you know it’s going to be really bad.”
Now it’s your turn! What do you think are some important “red flags” that will warn you in advance if a movie is even worth watching? Can you think of some for TV shows, too? Share all of your thoughts in the comments below!
TV and Movies
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