films seen
10
average score
1.50*
nationality
USA - 63 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

A guy who gets plenty of money for his films, but rarely does anything with it. And when one of his films turns out to be half decent, it's probably not because of his doing. The kind of director that makes Hollywood a very bland place.

Solid pieces

Pixels

by Chris Columbus
2015 / 105m - USA
Comedy, Sci-fi, Action
3.5*/5.0*
Pixels poster

Worthy but flawed

I Love You, Beth Cooper

by Chris Columbus
2009 / 102m - USA
Comedy
2.5*/5.0*
I Love You, Beth Cooper poster

A pretty standard American high school comedy, with slightly above average writing. The jokes are just a tad edgier and cruder (though not necessarily more vulgar) than most of its peers, which made this a somewhat easier watch. Not that this is suddenly a comedy highlight, but I don't think anyone was realistically expecting it to be.

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Denis is the school nerd, he's always had a crush on Beth, the most popular girl in his year. During his graduation speech, he decides to come clean and tell the school how he feels. It's a desperate act that turns out better than expected. That night Beth comes to his door, hoping to get to know Denis a little better.

The budding romance is cheesy (and not very believable), the high school drama is dull and predictable and the performances aren't that great, but there are moments where the film is prominently meaner than expected. Knowing this is a Chris Columbus film makes it even more special. Not great, but certainly not the worst of its kind either.

Plain forgettable

The Christmas Chronicles 2

by Chris Columbus
2020 / 112m - Canada
Fantasy, Adventure
1.5*/5.0*
The Christmas Chronicles 2 poster

I can't say I remembered too much from the first film, apart from not liking it very much. Some of the characters returned for this sequel, though Chronicles 2 feels more like a typical Christmas film, whereas the first was somewhat of an oddball film that tried to give a new twist to the whole Christmas vibe. That's what you get when you get Chris Columbus involved I guess.

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Belsnickel was once one of Santa's favorite elves. He turned bad though and was banned from Santa's Village. Belsnickel devises a plan to get back in, for that he seeks out Kate, one of Sant's True Believers. His plans succeeds and Santa will need the help of Kate again to save Christmas.

The animation is mediocre, the kids are extremely cringy and Russell is a rather poor Santa. For all its cheep cheese though, Chronicles 2 is slightly more palatable than the first film. While it doesn't even try to do anything different, it at least brings some standard Christmas atmosphere. I hope this is the last in the series though.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

by Chris Columbus
2010 / 118m - USA
Fantasy, Adventure
1.5*/5.0*
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief poster

I'm certainly glad the young adult hype is well behind us, but Percy Jackson isn't the worst of the bunch. I was vaguely aware of this title, but had no clue what it was going to be about. It's obviously aimed at younger audiences, but at least Columbus was smart enough not to overreach.

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Percy is a not so bright kid who finds out he is the half-son of a Greek god. The gods suspect him of having stolen a magic lightning rod and give him 10 days to return the trinket to them. Together with two trusted companions, Percy sets out to find who set him up, catapulting him in a realm full of gods and magic.

The lead actors are pretty dim and the plot is a big old mess, but the film isn't too serious and Columbus had plenty of dollars to spend. It's a noisy, not so creative adventure film that drags on a little too long and has no real memorable moments, but rambles on at such a pace that you might not notice while watching.

Home Alone

by Chris Columbus
1990 / 103m - USA
Comedy
1.5*/5.0*
Home Alone poster

Big nopes

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by Chris Columbus
2002 / 161m - UK
Fantasy
1.0*/5.0*
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets poster

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by Chris Columbus
2001 / 152m - UK
Fantasy
1.0*/5.0*
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone poster

Stepmom

by Chris Columbus
1998 / 125m - USA
Drama
1.0*/5.0*
Stepmom poster

Sentimental Hollywood nonsense. A film like this could be interesting, if it had some lifelike characters, fitting direction or some genuine emotion. Instead, you get Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, an extremely sentimental score and some kitschy drama. Then again, what would you expect from a Chris Columbus film.

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Luke and Jackie are divorced, but Luke already has a new love in his life: Isabel. His kids don't really like Isabel as they see her as a replacement for Jackie. There's quite a bit of tension between them, until Jackie hears she has cancer. This changes their relationship, as time is running out for her.

Though the film is called Stepmom and there's plenty of potential drama there already, it wasn't quite enough for Columbus, so he introduced a character with cancer. It's a really odd turn of events that puts the film on an entirely different track, which just seems to underline that Columbus had no idea how to fill two hours of film with genuine, human drama. A very poor effort.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

by Chris Columbus
1992 / 120m - USA
Comedy
1.0*/5.0*
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York poster

Irritation overload

Mrs. Doubtfire

by Chris Columbus
1993 / 125m - USA
Comedy
0.5*/5.0*
Mrs. Doubtfire poster

One of those films I never finished as a kid. I've never been a big fan of Robin Williams, neither of cross-dressing comedies. The combination of both was pretty excruciating, not in the least because the film lasts a whopping 120 minutes. But I was willing to give it one last shot.

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It seems not much has changed over the years. I still dislike Williams in comedy roles, I simply don't think he's very funny. He does mediocre impressions and relies on his energy, that's about it. The cross-dressing element isn't very convincing either and the situational comedy is beyond irritating.

But it's not just Williams. The rest of the cast is poor too, the plot is lame and predictable and Columbus is virtually invisible as a director. It's just drab Hollywood comedy stretched out to match an excessive runtime. At least I watched it in full now, so I can safely never watch it again.