Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo tells the story of a former police detective battling his own demons who becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman. Starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, the film is now considered a classic by fans of thriller movies, and of Hitchcock in particular. It’s hard to believe any critic could have distaste for a film that’s held in such high regard today, but Time magazine’s review was less than stellar: ‘The old master has turned out another Hitchcock-and-bull story in which the mystery is not so much who done it as who cares.’ Although we appreciate the reviewer’s pun, if you love a good mystery, give Vertigo a watch.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Director: Stanley Kubrick
One of the best sci-fi movies ever, this flick directed by Stanley Kubrick is about astronauts sent to the moon on a mysterious mission who wind up in a battle between man and machine. ‘For all its lively visual and mechanical spectacle, this is a kind of space-Spartacus and, more pretentious still, a shaggy God story,’ wrote John Simon of the New Leader when the film came out. Keep in mind that the movie won an Oscar for its dazzling visual effects (which were a big deal for the time), and Kubrick was also nominated for the Best Director award. We side with the real critics – the fans – on this one, because 2001: A Space Odyssey was an instant classic that earned its place in film history.
Director: Michael Bay
There are so many things to love about Armageddon: there’s action, romance, family drama, and cool special effects. Oh, and Aerosmith’s killer power ballad ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,’ which gives the flick one of the best movie soundtracks. It also boasts a great cast with Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, and Liv Tyler. Still, film critics weren’t sold. ‘The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense, and the human desire to be entertained,’ wrote Roger Ebert in 1998. The New York Times‘ Janet Maslin penned a similarly terrible review, saying, ‘Though it means to be inspiring, it has quite the opposite effect. There’s not a believable moment here.’