How do you decide whether you will watch a movie, or give it a miss? Is it a movie you will make every effort to see in the theatre, are you content to wait till it hits Netflix, or will you one day have it on as background noise while you iron your tea towels to get an idea of what all the fuss was about?
Aside from boy-humour and horror, my movie watching parameters are pretty broad. There are a few factors, however, which if present, almost guarantee a bad experience. If either Al Pacino or William Hurt are in it, don't watch it. Al has very bad hair, and just can not act. In fact, in certain circles, he is known as Hairpacino, and is used as a marker for how bad a movie was, as in: it was a Hairpacino kind of movie. William (I don't imagine anyone calls him Billy) breathes very loudly. He can't help it, poor fellow, but it's very distracting.
If the film is touted as being "this year's...." give it a miss. It wont just be a bad movie, it will be a bad knock-off movie that leaves you making endless comparisons about how last year's version was better.
Through experience, I have learned that references to Hitchcock do not bode well. Any film described as being Hitchcockian - whether French Hitchcockian or Hitchcock for the post 9/11 audience - is bound to be a bad movie with an icy blonde actress.
I'm glad to share this hard-earned knowledge with you, with the hope that it will save you from making bad movie-watching choices. The rest is up to you.