The Best and Worst Movies of 1990

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And now for the bad news. The year was chockablock with clinkers, films that reached for the brass ring and fell flat on their fat ones. Starting with those inflicting the most seat-squirming torture, here are the ten worst of the bunch.

1. The Bonfire of the Vanities: Tom Wolfe's novel is the right stuff for a great movie, but the wrong director, the wrong screenwriter and the wrong cast (see review on page 43) reduce it to ashes.

2. Jacob's Ladder: Hokey New Age screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost) and ultraslick director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction) try to pass off an exploitative horror flick about a mailman (Tim Robbins) haunted by combat memories in Vietnam as a treatise on human suffering.

3. The Rookie: Clint Eastwood's cynically misogynous cop caper features the director-star being strapped in a chair and raped by kinky killer Sonia Braga; later he gets revenge by shooting her between the eyes while the audience is cued to cheer. A new low.

4. Bird on a Wire: Of all the infuriatingly stupid 1990 comedies, this hellish concoction with Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn was the only one that tempted me to throw a brick at the screen.

5. The Two Jakes: A miserably convoluted follow-up to Roman Polanski's classic Chinatown that marks another setback in the directing career of its inimitable star, Jack Nicholson.

6. Texasville: This grindingly slow Last Picture Show sequel proves that Peter Bogdanovich can't go home again.

7. Revenge: Everything Kevin Costner touches doesn't turn into a hit. Those who suffered through this demented drivel are likely to hold a grudge.

8. The Adventures of Ford Fairlane: The first starring role for comic Andrew Dice Clay. Nuff said.

9. Look Who's Talking Too: So vulgar and mean-spirited it almost makes the Diceman's effort look humane.

10. Graffiti Bridge: Prince's vanity flick is as awful as its soundtrack is exciting. And that's awful.

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