When people eventually look back at 2014, they will remember it as the year that Hollywood paid a lot of respect to geniuses. There’s The Theory of Everything, a biopic about the noted cosmologist, physicist and black-hole theorist Stephen Hawking. There’s the upcoming The Imitation Game, which tells the story of Alan Turing — Britain’s cryptanalyst who cracked the Nazis’ Enigma code and singlehandedly shifted World War II in Allies favor. There’s even Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s fictional sci-fi headscratcher that nonetheless demands a new Renaissance of wonder and exploration. These are films that champion brain power, showcase society’s full potential and put smarts on a pedestal.
But what about the not-so-smart guys? Shouldn’t audiences know that for every Hawking and Turing there’s a Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas? This week, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ dimwits return in Dumb and Dumber To, a movie ready to dump cheese-doodle slapstick all over Oscar season’s fine cuisine. Sure, Hawking has helped explain the very fabric of the universe, but Harry and Lloyd produced the most annoying sound in the world. That’s still a discovery.
So, in the spirit of 2014’s high-minded dramas, we look back and take a quantitative approach to some of our favorite examples of cinematic stupidity. Just how dumb are the screen’s most famous idiots, buffoons and nincompoops? Read on.