The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to Sucker Punch

So Zack Snyder's unhinged, geek fantasy Sucker Punch hits theaters today, and to be fair, the often polarizing director has found a few supporters. Andrew O'Hehir's gleeful musings on the "stupid brilliance" of the film are almost enough to make you curious, and Marshall Fine somehow manages to compare Snyder to Brian DePalma and the film to Brazil. But most critics' opinions of the film (Currently at 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) fell more in line with Elvis Mitchell's pan. And those who hated it really let the vitriol flow. For proof, just check out the nine most scathing responses to the film.

9. "An unerotic unthrilling erotic thriller in the video game mold, Sucker Punch is Last Airbender with bustiers." -- Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

8. "It's so bad that the Director's Guild should revoke Snyder's membership and he should never be allowed to direct again." -- Beth Accomando, KPBS

7. "Sucker Punch is a scorched-earth PG-13 epic, making any possible return to these heights of excess utterly distasteful to financiers and visionaries alike, while failing every opportunity to deliver the sexy, bloody payload promised by the film's very existence: girls in fetish outfits, kicking ass and taking names." -- Jaime N. Christley, Slant Magazine

6. "... A barrage of green-screen effects and comic-book portentousness from 300 and Watchmen director Zack Snyder, is hands-down the most nightmarishly awful film of the year." -- Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer

5. "The film abdicates so many basic responsibilities of coherent storytelling, even coherent stupid-action-movie storytelling, director/co-writer/co-producer Zack Snyder must have known in pre-production that his greasy collection of near-rape fantasies and violent revenge scenarios disguised as a female-empowerment fairy tale wasn't going to satisfy anyone but himself." -- Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

4. "You could go to see Sucker Punch this weekend -- a lot of people probably will, and a few may even admit as much back at the office on Monday -- or you could try to make it yourself, which might be more fun, though not necessarily cheaper. Here's what you will need: a bunch of video-game platforms; DVDs of Shutter Island, Kill Bill, Burlesque and Shrek; some back issues of Maxim; a large bag of crystal meth; and around $100 million." -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

3. "... Ruled by so much concrete-brain idiocy and coarsely "mythic" cliches... and ludicrous, charmless, bottom-of-the-pit dialogue and cheaply pandering female-revenge fantasies that you literally CAN'T STAND IT and WANT TO HOWL and THROW YOUR 24 OZ. COKE AT THE SCREEN." -- Jeffery Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

2. "Sucker Punch is not one of the worst movies of the year, it's three of the worst slapped together on a single reel." -- Josh Tyler, Cinema Blend

1. "Like his porcelain heroine, anyone who willingly spends $13 for a ticket to this smut is willfully lobotomizing themselves. No matter how bad you are expecting this film to be, 'you will be unprepared.'" -- Leslie Stonebraker, The New York Press


  • carg0 says:

    im not gonna argue the veracity of any of these critics but, if this movie is so god-awful, how is it that he still got tapped to direct the next Superman?
    i wonder what the executives over at Warner are thinking...

    • Dan says:

      I have a feeling people think Snyder is better at directing SOMEONE ELSE'S material (original or otherwise) than his own awful ideas.

  • I saw it. It was awful. I did a SPOILERS run-down at my site if you're interested.

  • The Winchester says:

    Why do you think that announcement was made months before this was released?
    This was a bone thrown to Snyder to keep him in the WB family, so that he can keep making comic book movies that make crap loads of money for them. Like Inception was for Nolan. (Although that was a gamble that payed off, whereas this doesn't seem like it).
    Still, in this internet-laden world of film criticism being reduced to knee-jerk reactions of "Epic Win" or "Epic Fail", I sincerely doubt this movie is as terrible as everybody is saying it is.

    • Dan says:

      Except that Nolan had proven his legitimacy as a director *well* before he came anywhere near Batman.

      Additionally, you mention the announcement was made to keep Snyder around so he could "keep making comic book movies that make craploads of money for WB." What films are you talking about? Aside from "300" (which was based on historical legend as much as the obscure graphic novel), he hasn't made any comic book movies that "made a crapload of money" for WB. Watchmen was all but a flop, and "Owls of Gahoole" wasn't exactly a hit. This will have been his third underwhelming film in a row since 300.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    I have a large bag of crystal meth and a couple of back issues of Maxim. Anybody got $100 million dollars they want to pitch in?

  • T-Rex says:

    If you start counting the directors who've continued to direct despite making awful and/or low box office films, you'd have plenty.
    My theory is that studios would rather hire an experienced and recognizable director over an unknown or little-known, no matter how bad that director may be. And if that director's had some success, even if they've made a bunch of bad movies, they will definitely keep being hired.

  • I also wrote a review. I truly wanted to leave my seat most of the time i was watching, but I tried to be fair in my review.

  • casting couch says:

    The story and overall movie might suck, but there's really no questioning Snyder's visual artistry and skill. He just needs a decent writer to bring his creations to life—which Sucker Punch lacks. Superman: Man of Steel (can't wait for the porn remake) has a decent writer.

  • ted says:

    "greasy collection of near-rape fantasies and violent revenge scenarios" makes me want to see it

  • Brian says:

    Definitely going to watch this no matter what the critics say. I never listen to them anyway =P

  • Tim says:

    Screw the critics, screw the haters. Every fan must go see this film! If you enjoyed Watchmen, you'll surely enjoy this action packed dream tour. The story is original and engaging, the girls are pretty, the action is epic. If you saw the trailer and thought, "Holy shit this looks cool!" chances are you'll be thinking that for the whole 2 hours. Haters gonna hate, Snyder will not be hurt by the criticism but instead motivated to continue to make movies for the fans. Nobody ever thought that this film would win over the critics. Snyder made this movie for his fans.

  • herb says:

    I better watched a bdsm porn movie and played some action video games.. that would be the real deal, not that bullcrap. what a waste of time

  • Mykayel says:

    The critics are somewhat correct: this movie's story makes no sense (if you have the intellect of a dead chipmunk) and it resembles something you might expect to see in a video game (a little Silent Hill 2 + Zelda story with inspiration from Ninja Gaiden, Killzone and Dragon Age).
    It's times like these when I wonder "Am I some kind of super-genius or are the critics simply retarded?" since I thought the plot was very (and I'm not joking here) straight forward. God help them if they ever actually play Silent Hill 2, their head might explode.
    So yes, if you are capable of understanding a story more complex than say...bad guy deals drugs, good guy is cop, good guy kills bad guy, then you should be able to understand what this movie is about, if not, then I suggest just stick to shallow movies..and then go jump off a cliff because you are wasting the planet's resources.

    • Dan says:

      I think when the critics claim the story makes "no sense," it's not that they don't understand the multiple narrative levels--they're probably saying the ultimate character arc and resolution makes for a very unsatisfying, illogical payoff. At the end of the film, it's hard not to ask what exactly did the main character *DO?*

    • Mukkinese says:

      I pretty much agree. I loved the film from start to finish, it was a fast roller-coaster ride into insanity and redemption from, misplaced, guilt-driven, self punishment, via practically every contemporary cultural iconography we are familiar with and kick-ass action by women, rather than men kicking ass for women. To say it is exploitative or "soft porn" is idiotic. Pop divas wear far more explicit clothing and I counted only one gratuitous close up in the whole film. No nudity, no sex, no provocative dancing, not even blood. If critics thought it was porn and exploitative then they got the "mood music" of the themes, just not the actuality of what was going on.

      Illogical pay-off? In the end she got on the bus to Fort Worth, "The city that saved itself"? It can be read as her getting on the road to recovery or escaping into a deeper "safer" insanity, like the ending of Brazil.

      It's OK not to like the film, but much of the over the top criticism reads like bandwagon jumping of the "me too" kind of thinking.

  • joemoe says:

    this movie is a rapists movie about a rapist director s morbid fantasy
    one of the most human rights violation changed to a nerdsturbation,a sick nerdsturbation by the way,i hope this movie ruins zack snyder s short career

  • This goes down in my memory as the worst movie I have ever seen