Battle: Los Angeles

Rated 1.0

With a movie as inhuman and unpleasant as Battle: Los Angeles, it’s easy to get caught up in “worst-ever” hyperbole, to the point that it gets labeled as a threat to the existence of narrative cinema. That line of thought ignores a film history that has always been littered with terrible movies, none of which destroyed the art form. Some bad movies have even allowed for great filmmaking—The Sound of Music inadvertently led to a Hollywood revolution when every studio in town went bankrupt trying to repeat its success. Perhaps there will be a similar silver lining to Jonathan Liebesman’s virtually unwatchable Battle: Los Angeles, which devotes immense amounts of money and hard drive space to recycling hoary war movie clichés, then spiking them with aliens and nauseating handheld camerawork. The effect is like punching yourself in the face while watching The Sands of Iwo Jima.