20 Abysmal ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Reviews

Liv Kelleher
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Photo: Universal Pictures / Focus Features

The world’s been buzzing about E.L. James‘ BDSM-filled best seller since the day it was published in 2011. With over 100 million copies sold, Fifty Shades of Grey is nothing short of a fiction book phenomenon.

Fans might love it, but critics have hated the novel from the word go (one critic said that “if Jane Austen came back to life and read this book, she would kill herself”)–and now that the movie version is being released, the second round of unfavorable reviews are streaming in.

While the movie will only premiere to the public tonight, critics have been giving their thoughts on the adaptation all week, and–no shocks here–they hate it. Despite plenty of hot-and-heavy sexy action, and a healthy amount of shirtless Jamie Dornan moments on-screen, movie critics are ripping into the film, pen-as-sword in hand.

MORE: Dr. Ruth’s Sex Tips for Singles and Couples This Valentine’s Day

We rounded up quotes from the most ruthless (read: funniest) ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movie reviews for you right here, ending with Kim Kardashian, who—funnily enough—gave it a rave on Twitter, which might be most telling review of all.

Look away super-fans–things are about to get harsh.

1. “Mr. Dornan, given the job of inspiring lust, fascination and also maybe a tiny, thrilling frisson of fear, succeeds mainly in eliciting pity” –  A. O. Scott, The New York Times

2. “There have been perfume commercials with more depth and story arc.” – Lindsay Bahr, Associated Press

3. “The final half-hour or so is punishing in more than just a literal sense, bringing us to a less-than-scintillating cliffhanger in the now de rigueur manner of book-based, fan-driven franchise fare.” – Justin ChangVariety 

4. “I’m shocked — shocked, do you hear me?!? — that the film version of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey is such a dull, decorous affair, about as erotic as an ad for Pottery Barn.” – Peter TraversRolling Stone

5. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is being released in time for Valentine’s Day. That’s a bold move, since the film is not just unromantic but specifically anti-romantic; take your valentine along, by all means, but, be warned, it’ll be like watching ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at Christmas.” —Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

6. “The, er, climax. It’s not satisfying.” – Mara ReinsteinUS Weekly

7. “[Ana’s] an ordinary, guileless, somewhat clueless young woman–kind of basic, as they say nowadays.”  – A. O. ScottThe New York Times

8. “Fifty Shades of Grey is not the lame, hot-and-bothered fantasy romance many, including myself, thought it would be”- Richard LawsonVanity Fair

9. “Anyone who has dabbled even casually in S&M will find Fifty Shades of Grey cruelly mild, though a few might get off on knowing that in the theater next door the kiddies are watching SpongeBob.” – David EdelsteinVulture

10. “The entire movie is about as sexy as a root canal” – Rex ReedThe Observer 

11. “A watered-down adaptation that hides coyly under the sheets, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is full of all sorts of sex, but it’s still a hopelessly softcore erotic drama that fails to be even a fraction as titillating as the EL James books that inspired it” – David Ehrlich, Time Out

12. “This movie is about as stimulating as a cold shower” – Robert Levin, amNewYork

13. “An unashamed and genially preposterous fairy tale, a kind of ‘Cinderella’ with restraints, ’50 Shades’ is about as believable as ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ albeit considerably more kinky in intent” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

14. “Bland and dull, except for the rare moments when it is unintentionally hilarious, all ‘Fifty Shades’ has to teach the curious is that it doesn’t matter how many shades of grey you use, you will just end up with a drab, colorless blob” – Joshua Starnes, comingsoon.net

15. “The film isn’t at all sexy and seems half the time like some mutant spawn of the reality TV series ‘The Bachelor'” – James Vernier, The Boston Herald 

16. “Grey has about as much steam as a day-old cup of Earl Grey.” – Bob Blume, Reel Bob

17.”Fifty Shades of Grey may be the first film in history made specifically for the purposes of hate-watching” – Bill ClarkFrom the Balcony 

18. “Nobody sweats or pants or experiences onscreen ecstasy, which is presumably how a movie about violent sex manages to avoid an NC-17 rating, but the result feels like 50 shades of beige.” – Courtney Shea, The Globe and Mail

19. “Isn’t the stuff of bondage and discipline, sexual role play, silky blindfolds, and whips and floggers supposed to be, well, exciting? So why does this movie, with its montaged sex scenes (to the sultry coo of Beyoncé, among others), feel so lethargic? – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

20. “OMG it’s sooooo good!!!!!” – Kim Kardashian, Twitter

Side note: Bad reviews or not, we’re still going to see the movie.

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