Are Bad Movies Badder Than They Were?

AO Scott likes the best of today’s movies. “The good movies may be doing just fine — they may even be better than ever — but I can’t shake the gloomy feeling that the bad movies just aren’t as good as they used to be. Now, by bad I don’t mean actually incompetent or unpleasant to watch. Nor am I referring to movies that have become fodder for slumming, tongue-in-cheek, pseudo-camp enjoyment. What I mean is that a vital strain of American filmmaking — unpretentious, easily ignored by polite opinion, the opposite of respectable — may be in crisis, and that this malaise may be in danger of spreading upward and outward, robbing the best and the worst alike of intensity and conviction.”