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Critics who've hated this year's Oscar nominees


There's just no pleasing some people. This Sunday's Oscar line-up boasts the most appealing set of films we've seen for years, from Steve McQueen's powerful slavery drama 12 Years A Slave to Spike Jonze's bittersweet romance Her. For once, it's an embarrassment of riches.

But not everyone agrees. We've taken a look at the critics who've gone against the grain for the nine Best Picture nominees and shared their distaste below. You might notice one name who crops up quite a lot...


Rotten Tomatoes rating:97%

"Deadly boring...these characters may be, in the physical sense, people—but Joss Whedon’s Avengers have more psychological density and idiosyncrasy, more unruly humanity." Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"This is hardly even a film; it’s more like the prologue of another science fiction film laboriously stretched out to feature length, or the intro to the film’s subsequent theme park ride." Jake Cole, Movie Mezzanine

"Cuaron plays with philosophy in a shallow, juvenile way, the same as he misuses technology" Armond White, CityArts


12 Years A Slave

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%

"It's a picture that stays more than a few safe steps away from anything so dangerous as raw feeling" Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

"You want people to understand the truth? Explore it. Don’t make it feel like a trip to the dentist’s office. There’s more to a hard truth than “hard to watch.” Vince Mancini, Film Drunk

"The only conversation this film inspires would contain howls of discomfort."Armond White, CityArts


Dallas Buyers Club

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%

"...obnoxious hokum, an important story so distilled and stripped of its essence that by the end, it's not about AIDS and the fight for new drugs at all." Will Leitch, Deadspin

"...more often than not it impulsively switches gear into prestige-picture mode, goading the audience into a highly codified and instructed path of emotions." Tina Hassannia, Little White Lies

"Its modesty is immodest and feels wrong-headed. Part-pioneer bio-pic, part horror story, is this “entertainment”?" Armond White, CityArts



Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%

"Its metaphors are more obvious than bricks...in the guise of being direct, the movie is actually maddeningly coy." Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

"Paper-thin whimsy...this one slices and dices your patience." Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

"Imagine a sappy, live-action follow-up to Wall-E...Her’s biggest shock is that Jonze loses his sense of funny; it’s unromantic yet is unacceptably sentimental." Armond White, CityArts


American Hustle

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

"There’s no heart under those polyester lapels, and what all that Aqua Net is pasting together is a few sparse strands of wispy story." Kyle Smith, New York Post

"...too vaudeville...the movie feels like a series of contrivances" Antonia Quirke, Financial Times

"It is all over the place, and the sense of improvisation that permeates the film feels like bad jazz riffs that wind up going nowhere." Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly


Captain Phillips

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

"Paul Greengrass' cinema-of-spasticity reaches new phony lows with Captain Phillips" Nick Shager, Village Voice

"Captain Phillips is less an adventure yarn about the daring rescue of a captured American than a celebration of a huge and expensive machine that crushes disorder." Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com

"Captain Phillips is twisted, corrupt, lamely directed and finally, offensively simplistic." Armond White, CityArts



Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%

"...it feels downright disingenuous" A.A. Dowd, AV Club

"For the most part, I found Alexander Payne's American heartland drama, Nebraska, a rank exercise in hicksploitation sentimentalism." Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

"These phony, lifeless stereotype performances are exactly the characterizations Payne’s fakery deserves." Armond White, CityArts



Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%

"A witless bore about a ninny and a jerk having one of those dire, heavily staged, only-in-movies odd-couple road trips." Kyle Smith, New York Post

"...the experience still turns out to be fundamentally hollow." Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

"...a story that, as the film proceeds, panders to audiences as if they were weak-minded, vulgar and ignorant." Armond White, CityArts


The Wolf Of Wall Street

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 77%

"I couldn't buy it, and couldn't wait for the hollow spectacle to end." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"There's something missing from The Wolf of Wall Street, though...the film's relentlessness becomes monotonous." Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

"The Wolf of Wall Street is failed Scorsese...it’s still superficial bombast–sarcastic rather than funny" Armond White, CityArts

(Images: All Star, Rex Features)



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