The Renaissance of Bad Movie Titles

The latest Mission: Impossible movie has a pretty bad title. So does the next Batman. And so does the next Transformers. Are we seeing a pattern here? Weigh in.

Tom Cruise announced the title of the new Mission: Impossible film and was met with a collective snicker. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol really sounds like a video game title, but more specifically like a shitty rip off of the Ghost Recon or the Splinter Cell series.

But M:I4 isn’t alone in terrible titles. Yesterday Christopher Nolan told us that the next Batman film would have the head-scratchingly silly title of The Dark Knight Rises. Michael Bay is working on Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Steven Spielberg just signed on to direct Robopocalypse, which sounds like a toy tie-in Saturday morning cartoon show. And these are just the titles that have been announced in the last couple of weeks. Let’s not forget such recent title clunkers as Quantum of Solace or The X-Files: I Want To Believe. The new terrible Transformers title is actually better than the last terrible Transformers title, Rise of the Fallen (seriously, just parse the horribleness of that title)(sorry, folks - my brain farted. It’s just Revenge of the Fallen, which is only terrible, not fully horrible). Let the Right One In is an evocative title, but the remake Let Me In is a title that slides off the brain. Indiana Jones came back in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a title that has never managed to settle into sounding okay, as highly repeated bad titles will do. And speaking of titles that are just too long, how about Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief? Or ones that are far too short, like the single worded, unevocative Salt?

Obviously I don’t have too many stones to throw - Badass Digest is certainly a unique name for a website! - but lately I’m getting the impression nobody is even trying. And these are just the nerd movies; check out the flood of awful, generic names on non-nerdy titles: Life As We Know It, You Again, Going the Distance, Just Wright, When In Rome. Many of these sound more like generic sitcoms than big screen titles.

So this is where the floor gets opened up: are we in a particularly bad period for movie titles? Is it true that they’re either ugly, overlong word jumbles or totally forgettable generic snippets? And what do you think are some of the all-time worst movie titles? Most importantly, do bad movie titles keep you from movies?

Weigh in below.