by Nathan Rabin
In Michael and Phenomenon, peak-comeback Travolta played a pair of superhumans in the service of sappy material.
In adapting Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’ comic-book miniseries, the 2008 film stripped away much of its central premise, and its central nastiness. But that didn’t hurt the movie.
James Cameron’s $2.7 billion blockbuster broke box-office records and took over the culture. So why has it so completely disappeared from the pop-culture landscape?
This Christmas hit, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, can barely hide its contempt for its audience.
Director Tim Story got a second chance to get one of the comics’ most iconic teams right with the Fantastic Four sequel. It didn’t work out so well.
Sam Peckinpah’s greatest financial success adapted a novelty song from the 1970s CB craze, but the film was a creative dead end.
Part comedy, part deconstruction of superheroes, part action movie, Hancock defied categorization, yet proved strangely forgettable.
As take-no-prisoners cop Marion “Cobra” Cobretti, Sylvester Stallone embodied a thirst for law and order at any price.
In this abysmal rom-com, McConaughey plays a character stuck in a cozy rut, in ways that mirrored his own professional apathy.
Robert Redford plays a billionaire who offers a million dollars for one night with a happily married, cash-poor woman played by Demi Moore. The premise sparked many conversations, all of them more interesting than the film itself.
Remaking a 1977 comedy starring George Segal and Jane Fonda should have let Jim Carrey and others comment on American economic anxiety. It didn’t happen.
A 1991 Top Gun parody directed by one third of the team behind Airplane!, Hot Shots! leans hard on easy references, just like the sorry work of parody’s modern heirs
When Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell teamed up for a 1989 buddy-cop movie, the troubled production yielded a strange sort of magic.
Blake Edwards’ surprisingly perceptive, sad 10 briefly popularized Bo Derek (and cornrows on white women), but don’t hold that against it.
In the 1970s, a former football player from Wisconsin struck box-office gold by casting himself as a Native American hero in two violent revenge films that doubled as bizarre, contradictory political screeds.
In 2002, this Vin Diesel-starring action film attempted to take the spy genre to thrilling new extremes. It didn’t exactly get there.
The M*A*S*H star’s unspeakably tedious debut as a feature-film writer-director offered an oppressive vision of middle age.
In the star-packed 2007 road comedy, would-be bikers played by John Travolta, William H. Macy, Martin Lawrence, and Tim Allen discover freedom isn’t really worth the bother.