Is Justin Bieber: Never Say Never the worst movie of all time? If you feel tempted to answer yes, you’ve got quite a bit of company. The Internet Movie Database tracks a list of the worst 100 movies of all time according to its users. Movies can be ranked by any member on a scale of 1 to 10, and over the years, millions of votes have been cast. It appears that the general public has registered their opinion of the Bieberography, and the reviews are decidedly negative.
And if it weren’t for one little technicality, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never would be regarded by IMDB users as the worst movie ever made. Never Say Never currently “boasts” a rating of 1.1/10, which would give it a comfortable lead over the next worst movie of all time, 2004’s Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.
The technicality is that Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never somehow qualifies as a documentary, and as such, it isn’t eligible for the “Worst 100” list, which is restricted to fictional feature films. The term documentary must be used rather loosely in this context, since the film functions more as a propaganda piece used to bolster a highly fictional and carefully managed public persona.
Before the Beliebers chime in that this travesty of cinematic criticism must be owed the machinations of a few jaded gen-x’ers bent on bursting tweenybopper dreams, know that Never Say Never can also brag that it bests Superbabies in both the breadth and depth of the general public’s loathing. Superbabies’ score is derived from a little over 12,000 votes, while over 23,000 have chimed in to register their disdain for the Bieber biopic.
Or perhaps the Beliebers will protest by arguing that those 23,000 votes are coming from people who don’t rate movies honestly. Sadly, IMDB’s programmers are smart enough to use statistical normalization in their ratings process. Don’t go thumbing through your high school probability textbook if you don’t know what that means. It simply indicates that people who routinely rate every movie a “1” won’t factor in the final calculation very much.
What’s intriguing about the abysmal reviews and ratings of Justin Bieber’s Never Say Neveris that one has to think, given the fervency of Bieber’s fan base, that there is a large contingent of people willing to rate the movie a perfect 10 simply because it’s an ode to the latest star du jour. Ergo, one can only assume that there are many more ardent Bieber haters out there than there are Beliebers.
Of course, the people behind the Justin Bieber phenomenon have ultimately had the last laugh. Through just a few short weeks in the theaters, the film has surpassed $51 million in gross domestic box office receipts. Not bad, especially considering the production budget probably wasn’t very high to begin with.
But as someone who heralds the shallow, plasticized, vacuous Biebermania as a harbinger of the fall of western civilization as we know it, I can’t help but feel vindicated by the fact that the largest internet movie review body regards Justin Bieber: Never Say Never as the most horrid thing to ever grace the silver screen.
And if you feel, as I do, that Never Say Never should take it’s rightful place atop the ladder of atrociousness, you can contact IMDB via this form and encourage them to amend the rule (and yes, the URL is correct even though it says ‘login problems’):
Or, if you want another contrarian view about what should be rightfully considered one of the all time worst movies, check out this review of Titanic.