Our sister publications LA Weekly and Village Voice just published their annual, massive film critics' poll for 2007, which includes 102 of the nation's critics, some of whom you know and some you don't, though all of the critics you regularly read in our paper are included. (My own page in the poll is HERE.)
Topping the list are the usual faves: THERE WILL BE BLOOD, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, etc. But further down the list you get to more eccentric choices — NORBIT? Comedy is highly subjective, I suppose; I put HOT ROD on my list, after all. And I have to give mad props to whoever voted for “Meatwad” as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie (were there an award for best poster, that would have to take it too). SOUTHLAND TALES is loved and hated, but it's interesting to note that most of its strongest supporters don't actually live in the Southland.
The Worst list is where things get interesting. I hate when readers impugn motives without evidence, so I don't want to do it too much here, but it's notable that almost every highly acclaimed movie of '07 is on the Worst list somewhere. I understand visceral reactions to polemics like REDACTED (though I liked it) or even the “cranky critic” reaction against FX-heavy flicks like 300 and TRANSFORMERS. But when titles like JUNO and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN make the list, it feels like the choice is simply to spite one's peers, a reactive move prompted by them being chosen as #1 elsewhere — I confess, I was tempted to vote for THERE WILL BE BLOOD just because I'm tired of it winning everything and being excessively compared to Welles and Kubrick (oh, how it wants to be them, but it ain't), but it has a lot of merits despite its flaws.
But really, there are things one can reasonably dislike about a movie like JUNO; but…worse than EPIC MOVIE? Worse than BRATZ? THE MESSENGERS? There may be an element here of critics with a certain degree of power choosing not to have seen those movies in the first place. Or the idea that such films aren't even worthy of bashing.
What do I know, though. I liked SHOOT 'EM UP.