10 Most Hated Movies In Cannes Film Festival Throughout History

Many films in Cannes history have received notoriety, whether for controversial themes or critical failures. Read on to learn more!

Updated on May 16, 2024  |  10:40 AM IST |  30.2K
Top 10 Hated Cannes Films
Top 10 Hated Cannes Films (PC: IMDb)

One of the most prominent film festivals worldwide, the Cannes Film Festival is typically attended by the finest actors and actresses in the business to view the year's top films. 

Occasionally, though, a few duds manage to get past security, and critics are quick to call them subpar pieces of art, usually with a lot of booing. The below-mentioned films were appropriately mocked by Cannes reviewers.

1. Gotti (2018)

Even in 2011, John Travolta expressed interest in directing a film about Gambino crime lord John Gotti; however, viewers would have preferred if he had kept the concept to himself. When Gotti performed at Cannes in 2018, the reviews were all negative, and everyone else felt the same way. 

Considering how terrible the movie is, it's impressive that it has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The biopic is a complete disaster; it isn't even "so bad it's good"—rather, it is absolutely awful in every way.

2. The Sea of Trees (2015)

The Sea of Trees, a 2015 Gus Van Sant film starring Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, and Ken Watanabe, was supposed to be at least passable on paper.



In actuality, though, it was detested by Cannes reviewers, who made it the first movie to be jeered at the 2015 festival. The movie was praised for its "dimestore mysticism of a highly maudlin and unpleasant order" and for being a "fantastically annoying and dishonest tear-jerker."

3. Grace of Monaco (2014)

At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco caused an unexpected reaction: laughing. Although the film had serious aims, it was panned by critics who labeled it as "hilariously bad" and "beautiful but empty." 

Even the royal family of Monaco disagreed, citing historical inaccuracies. The film became known for all the wrong reasons after its Cannes presentation, which showed the unanticipated consequences of a serious film gone awry.

4. Lost River (2014)


Ryan Gosling directed his first film, Lost River, in 2014. The film follows a single mother and her teenage son as they discover a hidden underwater town and a dark underworld near Detroit. The film was not well received, with audiences at Cannes jeering. 

Critics were outspoken about their dislike. Gosling hasn't directed a film since, and many believe it was a wise decision for him to focus on acting instead of directing.

5. Only God Forgives (2013)

After their successful 2011 film Drive, Ryan Gosling and Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn reunited in 2013 for the film Only God Forgives. They were sadly unable to recreate that enchantment. At Cannes, Only God Forgives was severely criticized for having too little substance to match its flashy aesthetic, and its excessive violence didn't help either.

6. The Paperboy (2012)

Lee Daniels aimed to capitalize on the success of his 2009 picture Precious by presenting The Paperboy at Cannes in 2012. The film starred Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Zac Efron. Sadly, it came to an abrupt end because the picture was widely criticized for having terrible writing and a campy atmosphere. 

7. Sleeping Beauty (2011)


This isn't your average fairy tale, it is the 2011 Australian film Sleeping Beauty. It did not succeed in appealing audiences despite its provocative theme, which examined a college student's work in a brothel. 

Despite its daring take on sexuality, critics at Cannes and elsewhere thought it was boring and uninteresting.  As far as the Hollywood Reporter was concerned, it was "psychosexual twaddle."

8. Southland Tales (2006)

Richard Kelly, best known for directing "Donnie Darko" in 2001, took a significant risk with Southland Tales in 2006. Despite featuring famous actors such as Dwayne Johnson and Justin Timberlake, the film did not perform well at Cannes. Even the famous critic Roger Ebert disliked it, calling it boring. Critics said the film was self-indulgent.

9. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

It's a little surprising that one of the most populist books ever written generated anger when it was adapted for the big screen: Cannes. The Da Vinci Code, a highly anticipated 2006 film, is mainly based on Dan Brown's best-selling novel about a two-thousand-year-old cover-up of the true nature of the Holy Grail. 

The Cannes critics' reactions to this specific film had ranged from various shrugs to outright laughs. The audience that are majorly accustomed to Hollywood-style storytelling and less overt narration had found the excessive use of dramatization uncomfortable.

10. The Ladykillers (2004)

The Coen Brothers are fantastic filmmakers, but their record is far from perfect. Review scores for The Ladykillers, which many consider to be their worst picture, ranged from positive to negative at its 2004 Cannes Film Festival premiere. The 1955 dark comedy film of the same name should never have been attempted, not even by true masters of their craft like the Coen brothers. 

ALSO READ: Cannes Film Festival 2024: Veteran 2 and Walking in the Movies, explore the South Korean films invited for screening

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