A handful of movies this year inspired heated debate. Take "Spring Breakers," for example: The film about a group of debaucherous, law-breaking, bikini-clad college girls who get in way over their head sent moviegoers in two very different directions. You either hated it passionately, or you loved it passionately; there was no middle ground.
Others films, like "Oz the Great and Powerful," (also starring James Franco, go figure), found huge audiences in spite of critical scorn.
The team at Yahoo Movies is stirring the pot even more, going head-to-head on the eight most divisive movies of the year. Here's what went down:
Con: Do you want to watch a movie that makes you feel like a dirty, sweaty, depraved pedophile? "Spring Breakers" is awful. It's filled with hateful characters who engage in gratuitous gun violence, murder, recreational drug use, and sex with barely legals. Sound good? It’s not. —Kara Warner
'Man of Steel'
Con: More like "Man of Ehhh." This was easily the most disappointing movie of the year, a superhero reboot with a passionate director, an intriguing new star, and an inspired supporting cast. But this movie just never took off: It was emotionless, overstuffed, at times incoherent, and worst of all, just not very fun. Don't even get me started on that mass killing of civilians in those buildings during Supes and Zod's final (overly long) fisticuffs. It did have some amazing product placements, though! —Kevin Polowy
'The Great Gatsby'
Con: As yes, old sport, "The Great Gatsby" in glorious 3-D, just as F. Scott Fitzgerald would've imagined. Hear that rumble? That was just Mr. Fitzgerald rolling in his grave. I know Baz Luhrmann makes spectacles, not movies, but this superfluous, soulless mess was so Bazzy it hurt. "Gatsby" is overstylized to the max, and the 3-D wasn't just unnecessary, it was distracting. This one goes down not only as the year's least subtle film, but also quite possibly one of the worst screen adaptations of a classic novel we've ever had the displeasure of viewing. —K.P.
Con: I wanted to love "The Heat." I had such high hopes — possibly too high? Sandra Bullock is at the top of her game and Melissa McCarthy is a brilliant comedic actress, but I'd seen these characters before. The few laughs I had — i.e., the Spanx scene — were spoiled by the trailer. And that choking scene, well, that will haunt me for life. —Giana Mucci
'Only God Forgives'
Con: There are absolutely no redeeming characters in "Only God Forgives." Sure, an anti-hero is fun to root for every once and a while, but don't mistake Gosling for that. He is a criminal, lacking any sense of empathy, just like his mother (Scott Thomas). More than that, he's just plain gross. (What's with his weird, kinky "love affair" with a prostitute? There's no backstory to it. We're not invested.) This movie is devoid of any soul, sense of justice, or justification for its existence. —Meriah Doty
'Oz the Great and Powerful'
Pro: The eye-popping opening credits alone make this worth the ticket price. In spite of some story flaws, the techni-colorful, almost edible world inhabited by Oz (James Franco) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) is enough to make your brain swirl in ecstasy for hours after viewing. It's no wonder moviegoers made "Oz" among the top 10 most popular movies of the year. —M.D.
Con: If you like things constantly flying in your face, totally see this movie in 3-D. If you love the original, "The Wizard of Oz," keep in mind that this is not that, has virtually no relation to it, and will only serve to irritate you. This James Franco-starrer has pretty costumes and Michelle Williams looking every bit the Glinda the Good Witch she was born to be, but that's where the good stops. Otherwise, it's just loud, colorful, and deeply grating. —B.H.
Con: There's no doubt the massive robots and monstrous Kaiju that del Toro created look really, really cool. The big disconnect is the action. By design it was indirect, as the Jaeger pilots inside the big robots manipulated their movements against the Kaijus. The result is a delayed effect that made the battles much less viscerally pleasing. Americans didn't buy into it and ticket sales suffered. Also, all that loud armor clanking gets pretty annoying after a while. —M.D.
'August: Osage County'
Pro: This movie is a master class in acting. Meryl Streep is amazing as always, but what surprised me is how much I liked Julia Roberts. This was the best performance I’ve seen from her in — dare I say — ever? This film, which is adapted from Tracy Letts's play about a very dysfunctional family, will not only entertain but also give you a whole new appreciation for your own family this holiday season. —G.M.
Con: I don't care that this is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play or that it stars some of the best actors alive today. No family could ever have this much dysfunction in one go. Suicide, mental health disorders, addictions, cancer, incest, and adultery — and those only scratch the surface. And, yet, the end result is just plain boring. —B.H.
What movie did you find yourself arguing over? Let us know!
Watch 'Spring Breakers' Theatrical Trailer: