The 13 Most Savage Reviews Of Crossroads

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On February 15, 2002, Britney Spears made her film debut in the road trip dramedy Crossroads. The movie, which co-starred Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning, pulled in a respectable $61 million at the box office. Most of those seats were filled by Brit's tween and teen fans, of course, who were clamoring to see their favorite pop star in all of her cinematic glory. (And knew all the words to Britney singles "I'm a Slave 4 U," "Overprotected," and "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," the later two of which were featured in the movie.)
Critics, however, were not so easily impressed. Crossroads has a decidedly rotten 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes. As sad as the numbers are, the brutality with which reviewers ripped apart the flick tell an even more pitiful story. Britney's acting was panned, as was the (mis)direction of Tamra Davis (Billy Madison) and the screenplay, which was penned by Shonda Rhimes, bizarrely enough.
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The good news is that the scathing reviews are so utterly hostile that they actually cross the line from tragic to hilarious. So, now that we're a comfortable 15 years on from this train wreck, it's time to celebrate just how bad people actually though Crossroads was. Here are excerpts from the 13 most savage reviews.
1 of 13
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"So mind-numbingly awful that you hope Britney won't do it one more time, as far as movies are concerned."

New York Post
2 of 13
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“Once again, we are faced with a staggering example of how stage charisma does not automatically translate into acting skill. Crossroads functions mainly as a big-screen showcase for America's No. 1 teen tease, with the story and other characters serving mainly as accessories. The desired effect is to have us all pinned to our seats in helpless awe – the same way Viagra spokesman Bob Dole is at the end of those creepy Pepsi commercials.”

The Austin Chronicle
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3 of 13
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“What it's really about, of course, is the very delicate marketing problem of turning a super-bland pop star into an acceptable human being onscreen.”

The New Yorker
4 of 13
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"Watching Ms. Spears sing, dance and act can leave you wondering what is meant nowadays by the concept of talent."

Stephen Holden, The New York Times
5 of 13
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“Go see Crossroads if you want to hear Britney sing or see her wear next-to-nothing. But otherwise, avoid this train wreck at all costs. For this isn't just a bad movie, it's groaningly, achingly, embarrassingly bad. It may not be worse than Glitter, which last year sent poor Mariah Carey spiraling toward a nervous breakdown. But hoo boy, it sure ain't any better.”

The Baltimore Sun
6 of 13
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“Creepy, reactionary, and dramatically inept, Crossroads could traumatize 10-year-old girls looking for lighthearted escapism, and not just because of the vacuum-like nature of Spears' performance or the film's grainy, under-lit look. Even as a valentine to Britney, Crossroads fails: Spears is filmed and costumed in such a harsh, unflattering manner that it looks like Christina Aguilera bribed the crew to make her rival look as hideous as possible.”

The A.V. Club
7 of 13
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“A vehicle for Britney Spears's movie debut, Crossroads is a road movie less eventful than the daily experience of most British rail commuters...Mimi [Manning] miscarries in LA, but the movie has done that long before, though Britney's fans will be touched to see her losing her virginity as the sun sinks into the Pacific."

The Observer
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8 of 13
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"Believe it or not, this was actually written by someone who was not a 400lb baboon with an addiction to very cheap whiskey… This movie should be called 'Britney Spear Tries To Get Laid And Girls Squeal And Giggle On An Annoying Car Ride' the marquee could just read BSTTGLAGSAGOAACR for short. There is no point to this movie."

Film Geeks
9 of 13
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“Oops, she's really done it this time. That chirpy songbird Britney Spears has popped up with more mindless drivel. The diva-in-training stars in Crossroads, which is less a movie than a mind-numbingly dull road trip that offers plenty of opportunity for girlish high jinks, radio duets and adorable mugging.”

USA Today
10 of 13
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“The whole thing just feels like an excuse for Britney to debut her song ‘I'm Not A Girl, Net Yet A Woman’... Casual ‘admirers’ of the singer would probably, uh, enjoy her hopping up and down on her bed in her undies or the scene of her in her pink bra and panties, but everyone else may want to stay away.”

IGN
11 of 13
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"What you don’t have is a reason to sit through this snoozefest, unless the idea of seeing Britney in a towel is somehow thrilling, or you need an example of shamelessly bad screenwriting, laden with coincidence and cliche and empty characterizations."

Seattle Times
12 of 13
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"The new Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads (Paramount) is impressive—not as a movie, as a series of brilliantly schizoid marketing calculations...something so vanilla yet so transcendentally sleazy that its target audience seems to be pubescent girls and dirty old priests. ‘Not a girl, not yet a woman’ is code for ‘jailbait that's not actionable’...Spears' lack of memorableness might be part of her allure. We need to keep seeing her to remind ourselves what she looks like."

Slate
13 of 13
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"Before I begin the inevitable assault, let me first compliment director Tamra Davis on the way she crafted the film to play to Britney’s strengths. Aware that Miss Spears has no acting talent to speak of, Davis chose instead to highlight her smoking hot body to cover up her barely adequate line delivery. In fact, the entire film seems constructed to find excuses to display Britney in a wide assortment of underwear, bikini’s and PG shower scenes. By striking contrast, her two companions apparently don’t shower or change, since they always seem to be fully clothed while Britney dances about in front of them in various states of undress."

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