12 "Important" Movies That Are Actually Terrible

11. Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
Warner Bros

There might not be too many calls for Kevin Reynolds' take on the mythic hero to be classed as one of the greatest films ever made. Even so, it was a huge hit on release, and remains well-regarded as a family-friendly blockbuster that has stood the test of time.

However, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves really isn't any of those things. Quite apart from being an absurd Americanisation of an English legend, it's also a grimy, sadistic, mean-spirited piece of work that should never have been shown to children. It's bad enough that Kevin Costner doesn't even attempt to speak in an English accent (whilst Christian Slater seems to keep changing his mind every few lines as to whether he will or not), and that the film takes ridiculous geographical liberties (walk from Dover to Nottingham in a single day, by way of Hadrian's Wall? If you say so).

Suspension of disbelief means we can forgive such matters. Rather harder to forgive is just how po-faced and nasty it all is. Costner takes himself and the material far too seriously, whilst Reynolds often shoots it like an episode of NYPD Blue with a constantly roving camera, as if to push how 'real' and 'edgy' it all is; hardly the appropriate tone for what should be a good-natured swashbuckler.

Thank goodness for Alan Rickman, who treats the whole enterprise with the respect and decorum it deserves: i.e., none whatsoever. (And Costner should count himself lucky this is the only one of his films listed here).

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