In matters of taste, concepts like “good” and “bad” have become shakier as of late. Naturally, everyone enjoys watching a great film, but there is a perverse glee in seeking out movies that are unambiguously awful. From shows to podcasts to midnight showings of The Room, there is a thriving industry for commentary on bad films. Here is our own contribution to the growing field, a selection of 10 films that are best (or perhaps only) enjoyed after a few drinks.
Atlas Shrugged trilogy
Ayn Rand’s most enduring and longest work — a bloated corpse of an economics lecture dressed up as a novel — required three films to bring to the screen, each with increasingly tighter budget constraints. The films are set in a version of America where the government tightly regulates industry, redistributing wealth to unions and crippling the entrepreneurial spirit. Two titans of industry, Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden, fight the regulations on their businesses and eventually join other business leaders in a strike against the government.
Critics often rake Atlas Shrugged over the coals for the worldview it espouses, but even the most fanatical free market acolyte must cringe at the meandering dialogue, none of which is improved through the medium of film. Characters in Atlas Shrugged do not engage in dialogue; they speak in polemics, ranting about the virtues of unrestrained self-interest, as their ideological opponents stutter and fall to their knees. The films are like a recording of a high-school debate scored with trite orchestral music.
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