The Ten Worst Movies of 2000

By Peter Travers

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1. Pay It Forward: Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt scrape the career dregs in a toxic piece of Hollywood swill that exploits the death of a child for cheap tears and then pretends it's about the triumph of the human spirit. Puh-lease!

2. Pay It Forward: Because one spot isn't good enough to stick it to this bottom feeder.

3. Battlefield Earth: Star John Travolta, buried in alien makeup and an incomprehensible script, offers up a film tribute to the sci-fi novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and makes life hell on earth for audiences.

4. Gone in 60 Seconds: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie and Robert Duvall sell their reputations for a quick buck in this car-chase cheese from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who also mired us in the feel-good racial bromides of Remember the Titans and the tits-and-ass exploitation of Coyote Ugly. That's some year, Jerry.

5. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2: Glossy, gutless, by-the-book and imagination-free - everything the original was not. The sequel couldn't scare up any box-office heat either.

6. The Beach: Leo nose-dives in a soggy film of Alex Garland's novel that brings DiCaprio out of his Titanic-fame haze to find that his public has moved on to the next big thing. Ouch!

7. What Lies Beneath: Director Robert Zemeckis scored an undeserved summer smash with this Hitchcock rip-off. The stultifying obviousness is not helped by the fact that Harrison Ford overacts beyond all legal limits.

8. Mission to Mars: Some might argue that Y2K's other Mars epic, Red Planet, was just as bad, but the muddled, misery-inducing Mission is the work of the great director Brian De Palma and represents a greater fall from grace.

9. The Next Best Thing: The latest evidence that Madonna should cease and desist at once in her pursuit of an acting career.

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Director Ron Howard's film of the Dr. Seuss classic is rapidly on its way to an astonishing $300 million gross, which would make it the biggest box-office hit of Y2K, a spot currently held by M:I-2. But with all respect to Jim Carrey, who fires up the title role, the movie is overproduced, overbearing kiddie claptrap that dishonors the subtle art and sly wit of the good doctor.

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