Empire names ‘Batman and Robin’ all-time worst film

Posted by · 7:47 am · February 4th, 2010

George Clooney in Batman and RobinUK film mag Empire has polled its readers and assembled a list of the 50 worst films of all time, and the results make for fun reading, even if it would have you believe that hardly any bad films were made before the 1980s.

Anyway, the multiple Bat-fans around these parts will no doubt relish the appearance of Joel Schumacher’s universally derided “Batman and Robin” at the top of the list — apparently winning more than three times as many votes as the runner-up.

Empire describes it as follows: “From the neon design to the overblown script to the infamous Batnipples, it’s become a byword for franchise-killing and bad movie-making.”

Some of the inclusions strike me as a little hyperbolic — ridiculously so, in the case of Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate,” which I actually have a lot of time for. Sometimes the legend overshadows the actual film. Check out the full list here; their top (or bottom) 10 is after the cut.

1. “Batman and Robin”
2. “Battlefield Earth”
3. “The Love Guru”
4. “Raise the Titanic”
5. “Epic Movie”
6. “Heaven’s Gate”
7. “Sex Lives of the Potato Men”
8. “The Happening”
9. “Highlander 2: The Quickening”
10. “The Room”

→ 27 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

27 responses so far

  • 1 2-04-2010 at 7:53 am

    The Irishman said...

    I wasn’t aware enough people remembered “Raise the Titanic” to put it on these lists; it was before my time, so the only reason I know about it was from one of those “Worst of” books Michael Medved wrote before he went psycho neocon on me.

  • 2 2-04-2010 at 8:01 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Yeah, that one foxed me too. I know it only by reputation.

  • 3 2-04-2010 at 8:02 am

    Joel said...

    “The Happening”??? Really????? They don’t even have “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Shitstorm” on the the top ten? (Haven’t looked at the rest of the list.)

  • 4 2-04-2010 at 8:08 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    Ah, I remember going to the cinema when “Batman and Robin” came out, all excited at seeing the latest installment in the franchise.

    And then staring aghast at the screen at the incoherent mess that was appearing in front of my eyes. Although Arnie was supremely bad in it, Uma Thurman definitely got my vote for most atrocious performance. I never want to have to sit through that again.

  • 5 2-04-2010 at 8:09 am

    MattyD said...

    I don’t remember exactly when “Batman & Robin” was released, but as an Elementary School student I remember LOVING it. I saw it twice in theaters and once at the drive-in. I even had a Batman Bat-nipples costume….this is such an embarrassing confession. I have to admit that I haven’t watched it since.

    I think that what really drew me constantly to the film was that as a young gay boy, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy was the shiz. I loved seeing uber-strong women kick some bum.

  • 6 2-04-2010 at 8:21 am

    Derek 8-Track said...

    id say catwoman was worse than batman and robin

  • 7 2-04-2010 at 8:28 am

    david said...

    No Cannonball Run?
    No Hercules in New York?
    No Exorcist II: The Heretic?
    No Zardoz?
    No films by Chad Hartigan?

    (just kidding Chad)

  • 8 2-04-2010 at 8:50 am

    R.J. said...

    Am I the only one who didn’t hate “The Happening”?

  • 9 2-04-2010 at 8:54 am

    Joel said...

    R.J.: Nope. I loved it.

  • 10 2-04-2010 at 8:57 am

    Joe Leydon said...

    By sheer coincidence: Just a few days ago, I saw a new musical play — “Give It Up! — currently having its world premiere run at the Dallas Theater Center. It’s an updated version of “Lysistrata,” set on a contemporary college campus, with cheerleaders refusing to give it up to their basketball-player boyfriends until they start winning games. A subplot involves two players who become, ahem, more than platonic friend. And one seduces the other while showing him a Blu-Ray edition of — yes, you guessed it! — Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin.” No, I’m not making this up.

  • 11 2-04-2010 at 9:05 am

    aaron said...

    batman and fucking robin. i hated that shit so much that it made me ashamed to be a batman fan (been a lifelong batman fan, he’s the only superhero i give a shit about) and i refused to see batman begins for like a full month during its theatrical run out of sheer spite. even though i like nolan and bale i thought, “fuck it, doesn’t matter who’s in it or making it, it’s gonna suck, these movie douches will never get it right.” fortunately, my ex-gf was such a massive bale fan that she dragged my smug ass to see begins and about an hour and 20 mins in i thought, “all is forgiven, wb. ye have atoned for your sins, child!”

  • 12 2-04-2010 at 9:14 am

    Ryan said...

    Heaven’s Gate is a great movie, I bet good money the people at Empire haven’t actually seen it, they just put it on there due to reputation. Even with flaws, it’s miles better than the other films on this list.

  • 13 2-04-2010 at 9:16 am

    Joe Leydon said...

    And yet, back in the day, George Clooney seemed to enjoy “batman & Robin.” And he had nice things to say about working with Michael Gough.

  • 14 2-04-2010 at 9:25 am

    Megan said...

    Yeah, Batman & Robin was egregious, but it’s not what I consider one of the worst. In no particular order, here are some of my very least favorite films:

    THE VILLAGE: What a waste of the immensely talented Adrien Brody. And I have never been in a theater before where the entire audience collectively groaned at the “twist.”

    AUSTIN POWERS 3: The first two were cleverly hilarious, well-done parodies of the James Bond franchise. The third one was full of hideously unfunny characters and was essentially one big potty & sex joke. And one word: Beyonce.

    THE SPIRIT: I had to see for myself just how bad this was. Frank Miller is such a fantastic visionary, but you put him at the helm, and it’s utter tripe. From Johannsen’s Nazi goosewalk, to acid-drinking kittens melting in a dentist bowl, to priceless quips like “I’m going to kill you all kinds of dead,” I wanted to microwave my own head to forget how frighteningly bad it was.

    ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: The Beatles are sacred to me, and to watch a bunch of virtual nobodies execute hilariously literal interpretations of their masterpieces singed my soul. And Selma Hayek: The Multiplying Nurse. WTF is that shit.

    PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 & 3: The first one was a cleverly-made, unique summer popcorn flick with an iconic character performance. Somewhere along the line, Disney thought POTC should become this overly-grave, Tolkeinesque trilogy of sorts. The two worst moments: Jack the Weed-Creature licking his own brain, and Tia Dalma’s twist and her laughable “transformation.”

    So, those are some that come to mind when I think truly B-A-D.

  • 15 2-04-2010 at 10:00 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
    Wild Wild West
    Death to Smoochy
    Universal Solider: The Return
    Friday the 13th (2009)
    A. I.
    Boat Trip
    Mission to Mars

  • 16 2-04-2010 at 10:08 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Heaven’s Gate is a lazy, bullshit inclusion on this list. It has more artistry in a single frame than any of the other projects could have dreamed of in development.

  • 17 2-04-2010 at 10:28 am

    James D. said...

    Megan, thanks for mentioning Across the Universe. No film has ever made me angrier.

  • 18 2-04-2010 at 11:37 am

    Maxim said...


    Fuck you for mentioning A.I. and for being an idiot. Seriously, stfu.

    Kris, Heaven’s Gate IS a pretentious mess. Still, it’s the editing that made the movie seem so terrible. Heaven’s Gate is really poorly edited.

    When “people” vote for bad films the results are always idiotic. “Batman and Robin” is a fun batman flick. If it was animated, I’m sure it would be considered a classic. As is, Dr. Freeze was delightfully campy. Sure it’s much worse than Batman Forever but it was also a better watch than “Batman Begins”.

    And as for franchise killing, yeah, we all know how that one went.

    There are far, far worse movies being released virtually every day.

  • 19 2-04-2010 at 1:48 pm

    THE Diego Ortiz said...

    Man, I loved BATMAN & ROBIN as a kid. Today when I watch it, I laugh. I have a fun time.

    It’s a bad movie. I understand it being on a “Worst” list, but no way is it #1.

    It’s not the worst movie ever, but it did do the most negative damage. It ALMOST killed a franchise AND an entire genre.

  • 20 2-04-2010 at 3:03 pm

    Erik 815 said...

    Maxim, thank you for pointing out that other people’s opinions are just plain wrong! How dare they have them, let alone express them! You tell em why they’re wrong and stupid, I’m with you man!

    But yeah, Batman and Robin has always been on my personal top 5, along with the Avengers, Son of the Mask, Epic/Disaster/Date Movie, and strangely enough, Velvet Goldmine. I’d hate something like Superman 4 or Highlander 2 more passionately if I were a little older, and remembered when they came out.

    I used to love A.I., but didn’t know what to make of ‘that’ ending. When I read more about it, and the symbolism of the movie, I appreciated it more. Then years later when I saw it again I liked the film as a whole considerably less, and hated the ending because, after seeing Caché, I decided that I would hate movies that require so much contextual knowledge so as to alienate most of the audience to a large part of the meaning of the story (unless they look up later what the hell everything meant).

    Strangely, I had the same problem understanding some of A serious Man at first, and I still love it. But then, being consistent all the time is boring, I guess.

  • 21 2-04-2010 at 3:34 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Batman & Robin is not a good film, but at least it is watchable in a campy sort of way; personally I think high-minded films that completely miss the mark and end being so dull are worse.

  • 22 2-04-2010 at 4:05 pm

    Will said...

    i’m suprised there is hardly any Uwe Boll movies listed

  • 23 2-04-2010 at 4:38 pm

    Heath said...

    Yeah, B&R was pretty horrid. Though it has plenty company in such “rarefied” air with Revenge of the Fallen among the most recent additions.

  • 24 2-04-2010 at 9:25 pm

    Glenn said...

    “The Room” may be a terrible movie in every way, but it sure does make for the single greatest cinematic experience you’ll ever have. SPOONS!!

    I was surprised they ranked “Showgirls” so low considering so many people lack a sense of humour about that movie. Maybe the voters liked the naked ladies so much that they forgave it a bit.

  • 25 2-05-2010 at 12:37 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    david- Me and my film should be so lucky to get that kind of publicity!

  • 26 2-05-2010 at 9:02 am

    Chris138 said...

    Batman & Robin is a bad movie, I didn’t notice it when I saw it in theaters. I was in elementary school, so I was just entertained. But yeah, over the years I’ve realized it’s pretty bad. But at least it’s amusing. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s the worst movie of all time.

    I consider all those stupid spoof movies (Epic Movie, Date Movie, Superhero Movie, Disaster Movie, the list goes on forever…) to be much worse than Batman & Robin. Kazaam, too. Can’t forget Kazaam.