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The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film

LISTS - MOVIE LISTS

'The kid stays in the picture'. Why...?

Kill. Kiillll...

We’ve all been there. The hotly-anticipated action/comedy/fantasy film debuts, a movie that you’ve waited for months to see, and you head to the cinema with friends or family in the hopes that it will be an experience that you will thoroughly enjoy. The action will be actiony. The comedy will be, well, comedy-y. And you hope for the opportunity to be able to pore over the subtle nuances of brilliance/explosions long after the film is over. You settle in, the lights go down, the curtains draw open…and you spend the next 90 minutes flabbergasted at the uncanny awfulness of a certain cast player; awfulness so unyielding that it overwhelms the film itself and ruins the entire experience for any and all attentive viewers. I speak, of course, of the “kid”.

The “kid” can take many forms – annoying sidekick, awkward character actor, blubbering deadweight, and so on. Sometimes the “kid” is purposely annoying, so it is difficult to define their true level of irritation. I doubt that I could find many people that think Michael Oliver’s portrayal of “Junior” in Problem Child is anything short of nauseating. He’s a wretched child in a wretched film, but that’s the idea. So he cannot be included here. Same goes for Brett Kelly’s character of Thurman Merman in Bad Santa. Thurman is supposed to be an idiot, and Brett pulls it off quite well, so he did his job and is not on the list either. However, there are many instances where a “great” movie becomes merely “good”, a “good” movie ends up just “ok”, or an “ok” movie turns out to be “intolerable” solely because of the “kid”. In “honor” of said annoying child character, I have compiled a list of the 8 worst prepubescent offenses to cinema.

8. Max Reede (Justin Cooper)Liar Liar (1997)

Max Reede

It’s a bad sign when the mere sight of a certain character on screen drives one to irrational rage, but that’s the case with Max Reede, the mop-topped son of Jim Carrey’s Fletcher Reede in Liar Liar. Unfortunate children can thank Max for the short-lived, late 1990s fad of parents giving their children Moe-style haircuts and making them easy targets for frequent playground beatings. But although Max’s idiotic hairstyle is the most outwardly-obvious problem with the character, his status as ‘film albatross’ only truly rears its head when he becomes the movie’s moral center. I understand that films with kids teaching adults an important life lesson can sometimes work, but thanks to Max, this one falls flatter than his Beatlesque bangs.

You see, Fletcher constantly misses important events in Max’s life (baseball games, birthdays, etc.) because of his demanding job, so Max decides Daddy is just a big fat liar. Taking it a step further and figuring that all adults lie all the time, Max wonders how great everything would be if nobody was ever allowed to lie again, so when he blows out the candles on his birthday cake, that’s just what he wishes for. Cue oft-absent father Fletcher encountering disaster at every turn, including nearly losing his job and becoming a pariah around town due to his inability to practice his usual brown-nosing interactions. Did I mention that Fletcher is a lawyer? And now he can’t lie! Hoho!

Throughout the film, Max rarely shows any emotion beyond hang-dog disappointment with nearly every adult that he encounters, while the adults all feverishly scramble to live up to a 9-year-old’s Christ-like perfection. Inevitably, the moral of the story ends up being that jobs and “grown up stuff” are stupid and that adults need to just drop everything at their children’s whims because that’s “what’s important”. Take this “children know best” theory to its end and everybody is living in homeless shelters and wearing tissue boxes for shoes. But at least there’s plenty of time to play catch when your daddy doesn’t have a job, right Max? Cue the vomiting.

7. Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001); Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Ron Weasley

I realize that I may catch flak for this selection, but do you honestly remember what the first two Harry Potter films were like? Until Alfonso Cuaron saved the franchise with the incredible Prisoner of Azkaban, the entire series was in danger of becoming a trite and boring example of how not to adapt children’s novels to cinema. Thanks to borderline-listless directing from Chris Columbus and an awkward child cast, the first two films are nearly unwatchable, and no character was more difficult to watch than Rupert Grint’s Ron Weasley.

In recent Potter selections, Grint has established himself as an actor with great comedic timing and an ability to successfully portray a wide variety of emotions; gravitas even. In the early Chris Columbus films, Grint’s Weasley was a painful buffoon, used for nothing more than a moronic foil to Harry’s burgeoning heroism. Not yet able to show a bevy of emotions, Weasley’s single and ever-present countenance, one of tight-lipped befuddlement, is perhaps the single most annoying facial expression ever captured on film. While Harry is beginning to get into the rhythm of constantly saving the lives of everyone around him, Ron is breaking his wand or accidentally casting spells on himself, all the while grimacing like he’s been sprayed in the face with lemon juice.

One wonders if all that is required to gain entrance to Hogwarts is wizarding blood or lineage. If so, then that’s some serious nepotism in favor of the Weasley family! I can’t imagine that magical ability was a prerequisite to be admitted, as Ron spent his first two years at Hogwarts embarrassing himself constantly and showing little to no reason why he should have been allowed to so much as walk through Hogwarts’ front doors, let alone enroll there.

6. Rachel Ferrier (Dakota Fanning)War of the Worlds (2005)

Rachel Ferrier

Contradictorily, Ferrier would probably be higher on the list if she had a more vital role in War of the Worlds, but the very fact that she does so little is what guaranteed her inclusion in the first place. I can only imagine the intricate planning that went into the conversations between director Steven Spielberg and Rachel Ferrier’s portrayer, Dakota Fanning, when it came to fleshing out her character. I imagine it went something like this:

Spielberg: “Ok, now in this scene a giant alien ship is chasing the car you are riding in. Do you remember what to do?”
Fanning: “Yep! Scream and cry.”
Spielberg: “You got it. Annnnd….ACTION!”
Fanning: “SHRIEEEEEEK!!! BWAAAAAA!!!!!!!”

(Repeat throughout the picture)

Under the guise of an action movie, the 2005 version of War of the Worlds is actually a film about a family learning to be a family again. Single divorced father Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is treated with disdain by son Robbie and with offhanded acceptance by daughter Rachel. When the Martians come to invade and occupy Earth, the Ferriers learn to be a cohesive unit under pressure and to love each other again. The only problem with that is that 20 minutes into the invasion, the audience is already actively rooting for Rachel to either be separated from the family or just blasted into powder already.

Now, I’ll admit that it’s in the best interest of the screenwriters to show Ray’s selfless and caring side after they set him up as a bit of a smarmy jerk at the beginning of the film, but does that have to translate into pulling his idiot daughter out of harm’s way every two minutes? To make Ray a believable Everyman hero, the script pencils in his daughter as the most helpless person in the world, in constant need of saving, constantly screaming, constantly crying, and, to top it off, a sufferer of some vague nervous disorder. I have a 3-year-old daughter who I love dearly, but if we were transplanted into the roles of Ray and Rachel Ferrier, I’d have lasted about 10 minutes before snapping and telling her “yeah, yeah, the aliens are coming. I GET IT! Stop CRYING, already!”

Perhaps worst of all, Rachel not only has a severe case of the mega-nerves, she also suffers from “Never Do What the Adults Tell You” Syndrome. Told to be quiet, she invariably breaks the tension by screaming. Told to stay out of sight inside a deserted farmhouse, she invariably breaks the tension by illogically figuring that she would be safest in an open field and thusly runs outside straight into the arms of the Martians, necessitating yet another “Rescue Rachel Again” sideplot. To say that Rachel is utterly distracting and ruinous to the picture as a whole is an understatement.

5. Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin)Home Alone (1990)

Kevin McAllister

Culkin’s most famous role is an obvious inclusion here and a nightmarish portent of things to come regarding this list. You’re not reading this incorrectly – Kevin is, in fact, only #5. That there are four worse examples of awful child characters than the gleefully-homicidal McAllister child is hard to imagine, but before we move on to the worst of the worst, let us study young Kevin.

At least the makers of Home Alone knew how to deal with their character, unlike previous examples. Kevin is, from the beginning, rightly portrayed as a nasty little irritating worm whose own family can barely stand him and constantly berate him for his backtalk and smart mouth. He’s such a non-entity in his own home that when the McAllister clan leaves for their Christmas vacation to Paris, Kevin is left behind. Instead of being frightened, Kevin is ecstatic. He can’t stand his family either and thinks that he successfully wished them away the night before while he sulked in bed. With those annoying people (who feed him, clothe him, and provide him with a warm bed) out of the way, Kevin is now free to raid the fridge, mess with his older brother’s private property, and jump on his parents’ bed at his leisure.

Meanwhile, Kevin’s mother doesn’t realize that her son is missing until she’s flying over the Atlantic. Large group or not, that’s some basic parenting skills that need to be taken into question, but I digress. Once in Paris, she frantically tries to book a ticket back to the States, with little success, while the rest of the family act like they’d just rather continue their Parisian vacation. Can’t say I blame them.

As if watching an obstinate brat in desperate need of a spanking isn’t bad enough, the filmmakers soon see fit to turn him into a kind of urbanite Rambo, due to his house becoming a target of the Abbott and Costello of movie burglars, the Wet Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). The Wet Bandits burgle during the Christmas season by paying attention to which houses have their automatic lighting systems on and, thusly, are empty for the holidays. Although most 8-year-olds have been coached to call for help when accosted by creepy strangers, that doesn’t make for a very interesting movie. Therefore, Kevin’s observance of the skulking figures outside his window prompts him to not bother with the police and instead turn the McAllister abode into a house of horrors of Edgar Allen Poe-like proportions. Having shown exactly zero fluency in anything besides being a thoroughly-unlikable urchin, Kevin now suddenly possesses the ability to construct elaborate booby traps and predict the movements and strategies of two seasoned burglars; burglars who are both stronger and faster than him and brag on multiple occasions of the horrific injuries they soon plan to inflict on him.

So what happens? Naturally these two career criminals nonsensically, but predictably, stumble into every trap this grade schooler has created and get the utter crap beaten out of them. After every successful ‘shovel to the face’ or ‘flamethrower to the head’ trap, Kevin fist-pumps and mugs for the camera and suddenly you realize that you very badly want the next trap to fail horribly so that the Wet Bandits can drown him in the bathtub and ransack the house. Instead, the burglars are eventually foiled and arrested, the rest of the McAllisters finally make their way back home, and everybody realizes that they do all care for and love each other. That is, until the next time one of them ticks off Mr. Mini Mad Scientist and they choke on the razor blades he put in their corn flakes.

4. Buster Blues (J. Evan Bonifant)Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

Buster Blues

What is a guaranteed and surefire way to ruin a franchise? Take everything that made the first film great, dilute it, homogenize it, sugarcoat it, and be sure to add an annoying and totally inessential kid. The necessity of even making another Blues Brothers movie after John Belushi’s death is certainly debatable, but I’m sure that what fans had not been clamoring for in the 18 years between the two Blues Brothers entries was the inclusion of a creepy tagalong.

Blues Brothers 2000 opens with Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) being released from prison. Once on the outside, he discovers that brother Jake (played by John Belushi in the first film) has died, along with their surrogate father figure Curtis (Cab Calloway). Through a convoluted subplot whereby Elwood becomes friends with blues-singing bartender Mighty Mack (John Goodman), picks up a musically-inclined orphan Buster (J. Evan Bonifant), and gets on the bad side of the Russian Mob, he decides that it is again time to “get the band back together”. All of that sounds familiar, save for one part. Guess which part?

Well, you can’t have a Blues Brothers movie with only one brother. So Mighty Mack becomes the Jake Blues stand-in. The first movie had Illinois Nazis. This one has the Russian Mafia. The first film had a huge police car chase. So does the second. What plot point is ‘odd man out’? The goofy little kid who tries to dress, act, and sing like his more talented and older counterparts. The brothers Blues smoked, drank, swore, stole, destroyed personal property, and ran people off roads in the first film. In no conceivable instance can I imagine those characters putting up with a little boy for more than 10 seconds.

And yet I suppose that time has softened Elwood a bit. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s softened him a lot. And I know that’s the point the movie is trying to make. His brother is dead. The man who acted as his father of sorts is dead. The orphanage where he grew up is gone. So when the convenient plot point arises where he’s confronted with the chance to take care of somebody, that’s what he does. I get that. I understand it. But Buster takes obnoxiousness to an all new level. He’s cloying, his “cool” persona is a train wreck and, in perhaps the most devastating insult one could give a character, he is wholly unnecessary. He could be taken out of the movie with minimal effort and would barely be missed. The first Blues Brothers movie portrayed Jake and Elwood as hilariously anti-establishment. The second movie shows a near broken down Elwood living in the past, apparently punishing himself for past transgressions by allowing a faux-cool punk kid to hang around and play crummy harmonica at the drop of a hat, and putting together the worst revisionist band since Sammy Hagar fronted Van Halen. Quite frankly, the majority of the awfulness is due to the “kid”. It’s been 12 years since Blues Brothers 2000 and Jake Blues is probably still spinning in his fictional grave.

3. John Connor (Edward Furlong)Terminator 2 (1991)

John Connor

There is no character more important to the Terminator mythos than John Connor. Allow me to briefly summarize the backstory – it is the year 2029 and mankind is under attack by a sentient artificial intelligence known as Skynet. Initially a defense program designed by humans, Skynet eventually becomes self-aware and decides that its superiority over humans requires it to wipe out the human race. A war begins between man and machine and things are going very badly for humans, until Skynet encounters a roadblock in its plans to take over the planet. A human leader named John Connor has pulled together a few large groups of soldiers and is making significant headway in pushing the machines back. Try as it might, Skynet is not only finding it impossible to kill John Connor, but is beginning to actually lose the war to the inferior humans.

In response to its failing battle strategies, Skynet realizes that its programming has failed to achieve its goal in killing Connor and stamping down human resistance forever, so it BUILDS A TIME MACHINE in order to send a cyborg Terminator, essentially an indestructible hitman, to go back in time to BEFORE JOHN CONNOR WAS EVEN BORN and kill his mother. That’s right – John Connor is such an unbelievable badass that armies of laser gun-wielding unstoppable robots basically throw up their hands and say “Well, this ain’t working. Now what???”

In the first film, John’s mother Sarah Connor, along with another guy who was sent back in time after the Terminator, manage to destroy it and Sarah lives on. She gives birth to John and by the time the events of Terminator 2 roll around, he is 10 years old. And every Terminator fan in the world that saw the sequel all had the same concurrent thought – “THIS is who Skynet is afraid of?”

Edward Furlong’s ten-year-old John is a sniveling hipster smartass, who regularly steals from ATM machines thanks to an unexplained, genius-level knowledge of technology (see Home Alone). To call John Connor as a child “entirely unlikeable” is akin to calling Jupiter “entirely a planet”. His mother, who saved his unborn life in the first film, is locked in a psych ward because of the events of the first film, along with the terrible knowledge of what the world might become once Skynet becomes self-aware. Not to say that fazes John much - in a conversation with a friend, John refers to her as both a “complete psycho” and a “total loser”. That’s gratitude for you, eh?

Later, John, his escaped mental patient mother, and a reprogrammed “good” Terminator are on the run from T2’s “evil” Terminator, which can shape-shift at will and possesses incredible strength, speed, and stamina. Unfortunately, being hunted by a futuristic killing machine isn’t quite enough to sway John from acting like an insufferable jackass at every opportunity, most alarmingly when Furlong’s character decides to teach expletives and Spanish putdowns to his robotic protector. This led to years of pre-teen punks arrogantly mimicking John’s “Hasta la vista, baby” line to everyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot.

It’s a bad sign when the protagonist of a billion dollar franchise is somebody that you no longer wish emerges victorious, but is somebody that you desire to have physical harm inflicted on them. At no point during T2 is it remotely possible to picture Edward Furlong’s John Connor as somebody who will be a savior to humankind in his adulthood. Instead, Connor seems much more likely to be in the early stages of an inexorable journey towards a lengthy prison sentence. What makes him easily one of the worst child characters ever is the strength of the movie that was built around him. Terminator 2 received overwhelmingly-positive reviews from critics and moviegoers alike. It won four Academy Awards. It made hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. Yet one of the first things, if not THE first thing, that people recall about this good film is how bad of a character John Connor was.

2. Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Anakin Skywalker (Phantom Menace)

It takes near-incalculable levels of failure to turn the popular image of one of the greatest villains in cinematic history from a death-dealing badass into a whiny, shrieky, bumbling oaf. But that’s what George Lucas and “actor” Jake Lloyd managed to do to Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode I. Perhaps no fictional backstory has ever been as hotly anticipated as the events behind Anakin Skywalker turning into the evil Darth Vader and so, in response, the Lucasfilm team filled in the blanks…by portraying Skywalker as an over-emoting petulant dolt whose legendary exploits, it turned out, transpired largely from him constantly falling ass-backwards into danger and accidentally using his genetic magical powers to untangle himself from said danger, often not even realizing how close he had just come to death. Think a young Inspector Clouseau with the Force and you’re pretty close.

To think that Edward Furlong’s portrayal of John Connor will be humanity’s last hope in 20 years is pretty difficult. To think that Jake Lloyd’s Anakin Skywalker will be a near-invincible tyrant in 20 years is impossible. In this case, and as callous as it may sound, much of the blame falls on the actor, Jake Lloyd. I admire George Lucas’ efforts in turning unknown actors into stars. After all, it worked wonders in the original trilogy. In this instance, it is a failure of titanic proportions. I can only imagine what the scenes on the cutting room floor looked like, as the scenes that did somehow make the cut show conflicting emotions on Jake Lloyd’s face at hilariously-inept levels. A scene calls for an angry outburst and Jake’s profile hasn’t got around to actually registering anger until five seconds in. A scene calls for heartfelt emotion and the line is spoken like a toy robot. And so on.

Between another example of the dreaded mop-top haircut and big puppy dog eyes, it’s fairly clear that Lucas chose Lloyd on looks alone. But it’s not as if the blame should stop with the little boy who was just doing his best. After all, Star Wars scripts aren’t exactly known for their decipherability, Shakespearean richness, or realism. A six-year-old told to hide in a one-man attack fighter during a firefight pushes buttons stupidly, accidentally flies out of the ship’s hanger, and happens to find a blast helmet to put on that fits a six-year-old.

What?

After his fighter auto-pilots him to a space battle, he flies into a huge command ship, blows some stuff up, and then escapes in the nick of time before the entire thing explodes, while shouting “Woo Hoo!!!!!” He manages this, even though he knew nothing about how to control his fighter five minutes previously.

Ugh….

The movie is littered with irritating scenarios like this. Anakin does not make a single rational decision in the entire picture. He either does something stupid and has the unbelievable good fortune to end up being ok or he’s swept along in the plot, staring stupidly as various adults order him to and fro. Millions of filmgoers watched the Star Wars prequels to see the evolution of a character. Instead they got convoluted bureaucratic grievances and the least-dramatic origins of a madman ever put to print. The only scene in which Anakin is left to his own devices is the pod-race, where Anakin’s look of what I am assuming is ‘intense concentration’ ends up looking more like the face awkward children make when their parents are posing them for a picture that they don’t want to be a part of. Hey, it’s ok Annie. That makes two of us.

1. Tim & Lex Murphy (Joseph Mazzello & Ariana Richards) Jurassic Park (1993)

Tim and Lex Murphy

Finally we come to the nadir of the list, the Marianas Trench of terrible kid characters, the lowest of the low, the yardstick by which all other obnoxious, snot-nosed, smart-mouthed children in movies are measured. Moral know-it-alls, crybabies, attempted murder played for laughs, even the character that nearly ruined what is possibly my favorite movie of all time (Star Wars) – none of these were dire enough to be found worthy as the worst “kid” character ever. Or, as is the case, characters. I present to you THE WORST KIDS in movie history: Tim & Lex Hammond, the brother and sister duo from Jurassic Park.

One of the ways that an observer can tell that a character’s actions are properly matching its story’s tone is to put oneself in the movie. Ask yourself – “If I was in this situation, would I behave in a way that is similar to the way these characters are behaving? Or, at the very least, do I understand why they are behaving like they are?” Tim and Lex not only fail this test, but fail it miserably. They are all of the other seven entries’ worst traits rolled into one. Depending on what part of the film you are watching, they are either monumentally stupid or incomparable geniuses, either precociously self-aware or oblivious to everything happening around them, either failing to avoid trouble or almost consciously and purposefully looking for trouble. The characters suffer from that most terrible of screenwriting shortcomings – their decision-making abilities change at the convenience of the script.

As grandchildren of Jurassic Park’s founder and curator John Hammond, Tim and Lex arrive at the park’s far-flung island acting as if the entirety of its park and inhabitants is there for their own personal amusement. This is never more obvious than when they first encounter Sam Neill’s paleontologist character of Alan Grant. Tim rattles off increasingly-irritating questions at Alan before Alan finally snaps in a famous passive-aggressive moment. The scene is theoretically supposed to show Alan’s hardbitten, takes-no-crap-from-people personality, but instead ends up focusing the instinctive desire of everyone watching the movie towards hoping that Alan just punches Tim square in the face. To make the initial interactions between Alan, Tim, and Lex awkward and tense creates opportunities for character development later on. Except that Tim and Lex don’t develop. As in previous entries (see War of the Worlds), the adult finds himself constantly saving the imbecilic children from themselves.

While the characters and audience alike explore Jurassic Park, Tim and Lex’s eccentricities (i.e. stupid decisions) are mere brief sidetracks. When the dinosaurs escape and begin marauding throughout the park, their decisions and actions put people’s lives in direct danger and fly in the face of rationality. Kids can make some dumb decisions sometimes, but do any of them really make decisions THIS DUMB???

When faced with a loose Tyrannosaurus Rex sniffing around the car she is riding in, does Lexi shut off her million-watt flashlight so as to not attract attention? No, she actually shines it in his eye.

When told that the extremely loud klaxons signify that electricity will, in a matter of seconds, again be running through the previously-disabled electric fence that he is climbing on, does Tim hurry to get off the fence before he is fried? No, he stupidly stands on the highest rung, muttering something about his fear of heights. Seconds later, the newly-restored electricity “helps” him off the fence by blasting him 40 feet across the jungle.

Upon narrowly escaping death and with several carnivorous dinosaurs still on the loose, do the children decide to find a safe place to hide until rescue comes, preferably behind a strong locked door of some sort? No, they decide that they are hungry, so their next decision is to hobble over to the spacious, open-air cafeteria for some food, whereby they are quickly attacked by two velociraptors.

Amidst all of these poor choices, the characters’ realism takes another hit by their random and uncharacteristic flashes of brilliance that would make Einstein do a double-take. After being shocked half to death, Tim somehow manages to avoid attacks by the aforementioned pair of lightning-fast velociraptors by the clever use of kitchen utensils and cabinets. Even worse, and in what is probably the most egregiously-stupid scene of the entire film, the park’s command center has been left unprotected by the security system’s power grid, the head analyst (Samuel L. “Hold on to your butts” Jackson) is dead, and things look grim. Enter Lex, a self-described “computer hacker”, who in a matter of seconds breaks into the system and restores power, creating a temporary respite from the man-eaters outside. As you are assumedly reading this article on a computer, you already know how insulting and absurd such a scene is, and yet there it is on celluloid. Not only is it possibly the most excruciatingly-painful “kid saving the day” scene ever, but the smartest hacker in the real world couldn’t hope to complete that task in the allotted time on his or her best day.

Lex and Tim are the worst kid characters ever for a variety of reasons all rolled into one perfect storm of suckery. Their precociousness does not translate to intelligence, except for random times when their stupidity suddenly morphs into inconceivable inventiveness at a moment’s notice. Useful advice from the surrounding adults like “shut the flashlight off” or “get off the fence” go unnoticed by the children, who, although they are clearly wrong to ignore what the adults say, suffer little to no consequences as a result. The screenwriters were certainly no help either - apparently not content with allowing Tim and Lex to defy reality and cheat death on multiple occasions on an island crawling with bloodthirsty dinosaurs, they aggravatingly instilled in Lex the presence of mind to save a variety of intelligent adults who hold a variety of doctorates by pretending to be able to “hack” a sophisticated security grid in a matter of seconds.

Adults are dying all around them. Computer analysts are killed, the scum-sucking lawyer is eaten, and the expert hunter is out-hunted by a pair of raptors. And yet the kids live on, a spit in the face of sensibility. There have been many bothersome child characters throughout film, from Max Reede to Anakin Skywalker, but Lex and Tim Hammond are the worst. Ever.

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Comments 

 
#1 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Rup fan 2010-11-11 14:40
I disagree with Ron Weasley, he is a sweet and lovable character and if seems annoyed in COS 2nd part is because of the script, they changed the sense of Ron from the books which I hated it.
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#2 Bravo Josh 2010-11-11 15:36
Finally, someone out there has the guts to say what I've always been thinking -- children ruin movies. If its not the giggling teenagers in the row behind me, its the useless little brats on the screen.

I'm especially glad to see my all-time most hated child role depicted on the list (Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds). That kid has a real set of lungs -- screeching through 80% of the movie, I kept wishing she'd take it too far and just pass out.

Would that every on-screen kid could be as quiet and resourceful as Newt from Aliens.
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#3 Superb! The Wife 2010-11-11 15:37
Excellent writing. I do have to admit, though, that I liked Max's character in Liar Liar. Granted, the movie would have been successful simply due to Jim Carrey being in the film, but I thought Max was cute. Chalk it up to me being a mother.
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#4 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Kyndig 2010-11-11 16:36
Don't feel bad at all about blaming Jake Lloyd, in large part, for how horrible SW:TPM was. I knew the kid up until he left high school, he was just as irritating in person as he was on screen.
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#5 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Luke Connolly 2010-11-11 17:58
Nice article...reading it between other work :)...

However, how could you have forgotten Ernest Liu? The Kid who delivered the truly terrible performance in "From Dusk till Dawn?"....

He was so bad and so annoying, he never got another movie role and by 2005 was 'Guy in Studio'(uncreddited) in an episode of Unscripted.
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#6 honorable mention pithy psuedonym 2010-11-11 19:16
Fred "wonder years" savage in the princess bride.
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#7 Ahem... WinterRose 2010-11-11 21:19
No mention of the infamous Wesley Crusher? Welll this was FILM. Not TV I guess...
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#8 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film jim 2010-11-11 22:36
You totally forgot about "Shortround" from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Gawd, how I hated him...
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#9 Jurrasic Park... Lachren 2010-11-12 03:56
is even more of a farce if you recall that the little shit actually said "this is UNIX, I know this!" and then saved the day. also keeping in mind this was before most GUIs, so Sam Nedry basically was running a homebrew interface that she could somehow "hack" by randomly pressing buttons.
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#10 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Plantaganda 2010-11-12 05:09
What about the kid from "The Road"?

(Someone mentioned Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom kid, nice.)
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#11 good call Ambient 2010-11-12 13:10
Quoting WinterRose:
No mention of the infamous Wesley Crusher? Welll this was FILM. Not TV I guess...


OMG YES!!
He should be in the #2 or #3 slot. I was so happy that he finally left. He may have been average in his acting, but the writers gave him annoying and bratty lines and I blame them mostly.
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#12 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film The Wife 2010-11-13 02:23
Quoting dude:
A couple of these kids were obviously annoying, but most of the kids listed in this ridiculous article caused the movies they starred in to earn hundreds of millions of dollars.

This article is ****ing retarded. You've all been trolled by the author.


You should go watch your favorite show, Two and a Half Men, and leave the useful critiques to people who actually have something useful to include.

And to call yourself the Dude is a disgrace to "The Dude".
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#13 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Lynsey 2010-11-13 18:32
God that kid from the road was annoying. I couldn't stand watching that movie, I just wanted to slap him the whole way through.
And he's been allowed to ruin 'Let me in' too.
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#14 jlaree jlaree 2010-11-15 04:58
The 8 MOST annoying kids in film....sorry there are much worse. Seems like someone pitched the idea then picked the first 8 movies they saw with kids and made a list. These kids are nowhere near the most annoying the ones mentioned in the comments are more annoying than any kid in the article.
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#15 one more... sean 2010-11-15 18:52
that cry baby kid from the movie over the top...oh and fred
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#16 Spencer Breslin R.D. 2010-11-15 19:15
How could you have skipped over Spencer Breslin (scourge of THE KID with Bruce Willis)? As THE HAPPENING showed, even at the age of seventeen he still spoke with a mouthful of spit.
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#17 Then Please Enlighten Us T-Bone 2010-11-16 18:39
Quoting jlaree:
The 8 MOST annoying kids in film....sorry there are much worse. Seems like someone pitched the idea then picked the first 8 movies they saw with kids and made a list. These kids are nowhere near the most annoying the ones mentioned in the comments are more annoying than any kid in the article.


Instead of bashing it, enlighten us with more examples. Clearly you're the smartest out of everyone here. Go on, tell us. Can't stand people like you who bash this type of thing and have nothing remotely useful to say. But please, go on about how you're amazing and everyone else posting on here is an idiot.

Useless. Just Useless.
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#18 Good List, Add 1 more... suzyq 2010-11-17 05:22
I agree with all your picks. I also hated the kid in The Mummy Returns. Another sequel that was made worse by adding an annoying child actor. Hey screenwriters out there, try to be more creative and make sequels better, not worse, by leaving out the child actors that have nothing to do with the original movie.
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#19 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film robthom 2011-01-23 09:57
Wouldn't it be much easier to list the kids who AREN'T annoying in movies?

Although it would admittedly make a much shorter article.

;)
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#20 Jurassic Park complaints slightly off... Alexander 2011-02-10 18:31
SLJ said that if they reset the system that he would be able to reset it. However, he was killed before he got to that point, so he never got the chance to do it. Yes the rest of the cast (minus the kids) is assumed to be well educated, but there's no chance they know about computers, or even had a chance to look at it... it seemed like it wasn't so much of a hack as a restart of the system in a MS-DOS kind of way. Yes, her calmness in the situation was ridiculously bad for the scene, but it was probably a simple task for someone who claimed to know her way around a computer.
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#21 Jonathan Lipnicki conjured 2011-02-14 01:51
In ever movie he was every in....
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#22 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Rhod 2011-02-16 00:35
I'll say one thing in defense of the Jurassic Park kids (and it's not much) - they were *much* less annoying than their characters in the book. Hard to believe, but we got to see a fairly toned-down version.
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#23 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Scary Mary 2011-02-17 03:11
NO! WRONG! NO!
The worst kid EVER is the kid from The Road!
I couldn't finish the movie! Little prick ruined it for me!
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#24 JP kids DC 2011-03-14 07:42
Oh thank you! I just saw Jurassic Park again tonight and those kids were so annoying I had to see if anyone wrote about them. They're mentioned on another lists but thank you for putting them at #1. There should be images of the girl's proud face after "hacking" the computer, or her running in the kitchen with her arms stretched out in front of her like a zombie. So annoying. Probably won't be able to sleep tonight. Well written article.
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#25 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Brett 2011-03-16 01:59
Oh man... Spot on with Jurassic Park. I think that was a testament to the 90s lack of respect for the audience though...

Has anyone read Jurassic Park the book? Michael Crichton must dislike teenage girls because the level of disdain you feel for Lex is tremendous. She puts her hands on her hips and stamps on the ground when the T-Rex is thundering around nearby and clearly hungry. She was literally every cliche of a bratty teenager rolled into one character in the book.
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#26 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Apathygrrl 2011-03-30 16:06
For me, the worst was the kid from Problem Child. I wanted him to die in a fire. I still don't understand why you say he can't be included. I know he was supposed to be obnoxious, but he was supposed to have at least some redeeming qualities for John Ritter to want to keep him in the end, right? I don't see why he didn't say to the serial killer "F*ck this! Take the brat!"

I also had the misfortune of watching the miniseries version of The Shining, and the kid who played Danny was god awful. He constantly talked like he had a bad cold and his nose was stuffed up. You know what I mean? He couldn't even say Redrum, he kept saying "Redrub".

I disagree with everything you said about the first 2 Harry Potter movies. The kid from Liar Liar wasn't that bad, and he did have a point about his dad's compulsive lying.
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#27 The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Very Recent Films Vladdy 2011-04-09 08:06
There were actually movies made before the mi-1990s. By far the most annoying child ever in a movie is in The Day of the Locust from 1975. Anyone who doesn't believe me should check it out. You won't like it, but you'll agree, I promise.
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#28 what about Jaden Smith? Mike.E. 2011-04-09 14:00
How can you list the most annoying kids in movies and NOT include Will Smith's devil-spawn child in the remake of Day the Earth Stood Still?

I HEARTILY disagree with you about Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds. Do you even HAVE children? She acts exactly like any spoiled intelligent kid from a broken home acts. She's cute, she screams a lot, she's totally useless (what kid WOULD be "useful" in an "action" scenario? be honest).

This whole article seems like it just picked the most prominent kids in recent movie history. It's playing to the "I-Hate-Kids" crowd, as is amply demonstrated by the comments being left here.
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#29 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Irving 143 2011-05-13 21:48
In defense of the kids in Jurassic Park, I found them to be fairly credible. So their responses to the various situations they found themselves in weren't consistent? Newsflash: kids aren't consistent! They're clever and clueless by turns, often within a matter of minutes, and often take their cues from adults in how to deal with things. Then there's context. The so-called open-air cafeteria scene? They settled down to eating ice cream only after they saw their grandfather doing it.

As for the kids in Phantom Menace and Liar, Liar…agree completely, in every particular, full stop.
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#30 Brad Brad 2011-05-14 01:32
Ok yeah you can write, but anybody can with some editing. It really just sounds like someone is pissed their parents didn't showcase them to talent agencies when they were 6. It's real classy to bash on child actors and actresses. I'd love to see 99% of kids do anything other than freeze in front of cameras and lights. Good quality critic. I know I plan on reading from here again.
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#31 Thanks, Brad... Gabriel_Ruzin 2011-05-14 02:06
Glad to hear that you recognize the high quality of content here at Shadowlocked. I particularly liked your deft use of cleverly indirect sarcasm when highlighting your complaints about the above article. Of course, by your logic, movie critics would be disallowed from deconstructing film unless they had actually made movies themselves. This would be slightly difficult and also self-defeating, as there are many movie directors working right now who have shown themselves incapable of making movies (see M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Bay, Uwe Boll, et al).

Regardless, I hardly see the necessity of having been a child actor (which I wasn't) to touch upon examples of horrible child acting. I don't have to be a baseball player to recognize a home run. There are risks that a director and producer take when casting children in their film. It is not my fault when said tyke spends 105 minutes shrieking like a banshee or mugging like a silent film actor and ruins the entire film.

Anyhow, thanks Brad. "Good quality" comment. :)
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#32 you forgot.. lb83 2011-06-01 19:16
I think you forgot to include here Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) from Temple of Doom, god he`s annoying
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#33 Gotta Be Jurassic Park Kids... Scott 2011-06-05 04:58
Was watching Jurassic Park again (considering how bored I was) and always marveled at how awful the performances were across the board, from the idiotic "spared no expense" /
Scottish weasel to Laura Dern's shockingly wooden acting. But the kids in the movie, especially the girl made me want to reach my hand through the screen and repeatedly slap them. I always wondered what movie executive's kids they were since surely their screen test could not have landed them the part. Only Jeff Goldblum and Newman from Seinfeld were mildly entertaining. Oh yeah, Short Round was equally annoying as these brats...
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#34 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film aidan 2011-06-08 11:58
what about that freiking kid from Shane? OMG how did he get nominated for an oscar, he annoyed the shit out of me
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#35 so many child haters here For An Angel 2011-06-08 14:01
"I have a 3-year-old daughter who I love dearly, but if we were transplanted into the roles of Ray and Rachel Ferrier, I’d have lasted about 10 minutes before snapping and telling her “yeah, yeah, the aliens are coming. I GET IT! Stop CRYING, already!”

Really? You would say that to a 3 year old who was being abducted by aliens? How about to prove to everyone that you're not really a psychotic child hater, you make a list with the top 10 most likeable children in movies?
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#36 Don't blame the kids gary g. 2011-06-26 04:33
Don't blame the kid actors, blame the producers/directors.
"at the convenience of the script" would describe just about every Spielberg movie made. Gods gift to celluloid believes he can get away with anything because we're in the palm of his hand when viewing one of his movies. I find his bending of reality and common sense to be annoying at best.
P.S. - thumbs up for the comment posted by For An Angel
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#37 Macaulay? REALLY? Ty 2011-08-13 13:36
This honestly just sounds like a bitter lament from a single guy who hates kids in general. The only thing in your little analysis that is specific to the movie is the plot holes you like to point out. Maybe you should just stay away from movies with kids, and let others enjoy them.
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#38 Nope... Gabriel_Ruzin 2011-08-13 16:25
Quoting Ty:
This honestly just sounds like a bitter lament from a single guy who hates kids in general. The only thing in your little analysis that is specific to the movie is the plot holes you like to point out. Maybe you should just stay away from movies with kids, and let others enjoy them.


Married with a 4-year-old daughter. But thanks for playing. You're not the first one on this thread to construct a weak straw man argument about me supposedly hating all kids because of my criticisms towards a few bad child actors. You don't like my opinion - got it. Doubt I'll lose much sleep over it.
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#39 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Martha Rhodes 2011-08-28 23:32
I clicked on this link because I was watching J. Even Bonifant from Blues Brother 2000 and I totally disagree. He was not annoying. He was very talented in this move. Although this movie was full of talented people it didn't do well because let's face it...Belushi wasn't in it. Even if John Goodman was Elvis, it just wasn't what you were tuning in for. I wish this kid now an adult well.
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#40 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Deranged 2011-08-30 12:21
I agree with the assessment of Fanning, though if you look at her brother in the movie, it becomes clear that stupidity runs in the family. The scene where the army is hauling ass AWAY from the war machines and he charges in full steam -- and unarmed -- made me cheer with delight that he would finally be killed off. I was pissed when he showed up at the end.

I don't agree with your assessment of the John Conner character, though. Based on what we were told, he didn't exactly have a normal childhood, so would be outcast from "normal" children once the child welfare system took him away from his mother and tried to put in him a normal setting. And he certainly wasn't the most useless child protagonist in an action flick, that's for sure. But, if you wanted to follow your line of argument, you should have backed it up by showing what an utter twat he turned into for T3 when he morphed into Nick Stahl. THAT was a John Conner I could rightly hate; no way that simpering twit was going to turn into a leader of men. On that note, what'd you think of Bale as Conner in Salvation?
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#41 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Xorgblex 2011-10-30 01:55
I vehemently disagree with most of these.

The first two Potter films were the only remotely watchable ones, the rest are awfully-acted, badly-written, overflowing-with-CGI farces about teen angst. Prisoner of Azkaban is, and I am not even exaggerating here, the worst movie of all time. The scene where Harry is sitting atop a boulder screaming about the conversation he had just overheard about Black? I would rather fellate a whale than be put through watching that again.

Fanning is the only thing making War of the Worlds even watchable. I wish I could transpose her scenes into another movie. One without Tom Cruise and CGI.

Your tirade about John Connor is, frankly, garbage. Oh, no! He isn't acutely aware of his destiny as a 13 year old! How dare he not wear sandals and walk on water and heal the sick! Do you not recall yourself at 13? "Ungrateful"? Really? Imagine yourself reacting at 13 to your mother having insane paranoid delusions about murderous machines from the future, and you being passed from foster home to foster home. I laughed at you calling someone from 1991 a hipster. Way to anachronistical ly reveal your insecurities.

The more I read the above the more I realise why movies have gone to hell, if these are the standards they are held to. I hate children as much as anyone, but Jesus H Christ, way to demolish some of the only palatable roles they've ever had in movies, and glorify train wrecks of films by comparison.

"Coming this fall: War of the Worlds II: More flailing Tom Cruise, more overblown CGI, less acting, less Dakota Fanning". Hmm.
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#42 Xorgblex... Gabriel_Ruzin 2011-10-30 03:51
Thanks for the input. I would argue at length with you, but why bother? Anybody who thinks that the first 2 Harry Potter movies were the best of the series, the widely critically-acclaimed Azkaban was the worst movie of all time (seriously?), Eddie Furlong wasn't an irritating d-bag in T2, and that 2 hours of Dakota Fanning screaming is wonderful filmmaking can't really be reasoned with, can they? You're hilarious.

I didn't write this article in the vein of 'movies that could have been great if not for the stupid kids'; it's simply about 'annoying kids', if you wanna try reading that title again. War of the Worlds is a mediocre movie. The Phantom Menace sucks on every level. So what??? That's not what the list is about!

Your DVD cabinet must be a trainwreck. Thanks for the pageview. Have a nice day.
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#43 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film William Derbyshire 2011-11-07 23:26
Max Reede from 'Liar, Liar' was fine. Leave him alone! Although having said that, who does his hair? Jim Carrey's character Fletcher just had a problem with lying and was focused on his career as a lawyer rather than his position as a father to Max but he does mend his ways. The message of the film is 'lying all the time doesn't really get you anywhere and could leave to bad consequences'. Well, that's the way I see it, anyway.

If there are annoying kids that should be on that list, it should be that little girl from 'Hook'. Yes, she was little and 5-years-old but her constant screaming and whingeing throughout most of the time she was in Neverland made me wish that Hook would slit her throat with his...er...hook. Although she did sing 'When You're Alone' in a nice way.

But that's just me.
Will
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#44 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film William Derbyshire 2011-11-08 23:12
...could lead to bad consequences**

But that's just me.
Will
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#45 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film tosh 2012-01-04 11:30
i completely agree that lex and tim were the most annoying kids i've ever seen in a film. this is mostly due to changes from the book though, along with bad acting and character development and randomly given traits, like you said. in the book they were a LOT less annoying and a lot more useful. their ages were switched, and tim actually was intelligent and at least knew his way around a computer, though i don't remember him having to hack into the system so much, but i may be wrong. he took care of his sister, who was pretty useless most of the time but she wasn't annoyingly so. and i don't remember them having much contact with adults at all through the book, they had to get themselves out of terrible situations, and their mistakes were understandable and their logic modest but common. i'm not sure if you've read the book because you didn't mention it, but they definitely did annoy me the most when i watched the movie afterwards. i also hated the forced romance between alan and ellie, but that's beside the point.
anyway, i do agree with most of this article, except for your mention that PoZ saved harry potter. if anything it was the beginning of HP's downfall in quality, and every movie afterwards completely took the magic out of the series and set much too modern and pretty a tone. but ron WAS pretty grinding, and that's what your point was about.
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#46 John carter Lolipopsz 2012-02-11 04:37
Um...hello? how is The Terminator 2 bad? especially with Edward Furlong in it? seriously? get a life....you can't really go judging people like that...like he/she sucks and is annoying....nope this website is...he is a great actor!!!!! (screwed up his life) but a GREAT actor!!!! and for the rest of the people....idc...
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#47 Lighten Up a Bit, Man Victoria 2012-02-13 00:27
I won't bash, but I disagree. A character is not always supposed to be fantastic and likable, they are supposed to suit their own role. Most children, in fact, would be much worse than the ones listed here if placed into such situations.

Maybe I'm a diehard Star Wars nut on every level, but I understood the portrayal of Anakin. The actor wasn't terrific, and it WAS my least favorite movie of the series (simply because I wasn't into the political stuff) but people whine and moan way too much about it.

War of the Worlds wasn't too bad. Without Dakota Fanning it would have been another ENTIRELY typical blockbuster with a completely serious male lead and lots of CGI and explosions.

Liar Liar was suppose to be a comedy and a feel-good family movie, not a serious portrayal of the responsibilitie s of life. The kid was supposed to be pitiable, not mature and deep. People who hate him missed the point of the movie, IMO.

And Ron Weasely was supposed to be rather annoying at first. The point of his character is his serious growth throughout the series from someone who pitied himself to someone who can face his own insecurities and conquer them. The children WERE akward at the beginning of the series, and the author has specifically stated that she meant it that way so that we could watch the series darken as the children grew up.

And of course, Home Alone. It is not supposed to be taken too seriously... He is supposed to be a rascal facing even more stupid villains. The stupidity of the characters is half of the humor.

Also, I WOULD add to this list the Asian kid from the second Indiana Jones film. But we often just pretend half of the film never happened, so that can be live with.
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#48 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Timmy t 2012-04-27 21:53
Great list - as a general rule, kids in movies are always annoying but you have some nice picks here. My #1 has to be that little shit from The Road. I struggled to make it to the end of that one.
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#49 mixed opinion Dave 2012-05-09 09:22
While I agree with several of these, I have to come to the defense of Bonifant in Blues Brothers 2000, which is a weak film overall, but not to his fault. Yes, the movie didn't need a kid, and yes he spends the entire time doing nothing, but it's not to the fault of his performance. He plays the role just fine. The fault lies in the writers for including a kid in the first place.
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#50 What about... Nicole 2012-06-17 21:01
...the brat from 'Enough' with JLo? They tried so hard to make her cute, and her high-pitched voice was like murder to my ears. The movie sucked anyway (shitty plot, and oh yeah, *JLo*), but The Kid made it unbearable.
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#51 almost got it richard roundtree 2012-08-17 22:52
Your list is almost perfect but I have to say that war of the worlds should have been number one with BOTH kids listed. However much I wanted that precosious idiot dakota to be slurped up by the aliens, she still after all was a little girl. That being said her "just want to punch him in his assface" complete moron of a jackass brother just pushed me over the edge. This movie could have been great without these two complete trainwrecks. To this day I cannot watch a Dakota Fanning film because of this movie. Can only thank god I have not seen the dumbass brother in anything else.
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#52 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film kr 2012-08-18 14:59
I was actually watching (or trying to watch - that girl made it insufferable) War of the Worlds last night and googled 'annoying girl' and 'war of the worlds' and voila, here I am. A great list.

As a general rule kids suck in movies and can only bring them down. A couple other missed names already mentioned in the comment section were that annoying little brat in Mummy Returns and quite possibly the #1 annoying kid (for me) is that little rotter in The Road. Ruined the entire experience. I swear, if I hear another whiny 'poppa!" one more time...man, did I want him to die a miserable death.
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#53 ? Wtf 2012-10-06 14:06
Wow, what a bunch of idiots. Nice to see you've all gathered in one spot.
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#54 You don't get it Daniel Elford 2012-10-24 09:14
I have to say, you seem to miss the point of the child's role in a lot of these, notably 'Home Alone' and 'T2' are unforgivable inclusions. The moral and audience for the prior, and the internal logic and storytelling of the latter, actually make the character and their behavior exactly right for the films. A fun read though.
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#55 jungle to jungle Crystal 2012-11-03 14:40
We all have a kid we don't like watching but the one from Jungle to jungle. He made me so mad I could not watch the rest of it. I love Tim Allen but that little kid just made it impossible. Thank u for making this page
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#56 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Mhn 2012-12-14 07:49
Just saw JurASSic Park again last night. Made me remember how much i wanted the kids to die OMG they were f'ing lil brat $hitheads. Def some studio bosses kids no legitimate explanation for casting little aholes like that

Its a UNIX system lol
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#57 Anakin #2? Calipzo Avery 2012-12-21 08:15
I would say that while the kids from Jurassic Park are insufferable to the point it being unwatchable, they were miles above that cardboard cut out they dubbed Jake Lloyd, which they stick next to the (imho) superb Liam Neeson only makes him seem more of a flat 'thing' rather than actor.

Cheers though!
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#58 Rachel in War of the World Dina 2012-12-28 16:54
haha, so i am not alone saying Rachel in War of the World is absolutely annoying ! Like i wanna throw her to the alien and let her end up eaten by them ! hhaha
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#59 Liar Liar Brittany 2013-03-20 22:47
I thought the little boy in Liar Liar played his role pretty well since he was playing a five year old. My five year old acts just like him when he's disappointed.
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#60 Children should not be seen or heard EJF 2013-04-07 20:57
It's quite right to loathe poor quality child actors when they ruin adult films but the real culprits are the people who made those films and cast those brats in prominent roles. The list above is a good start but certainly too short; you could go back much further to include any film featuring Mickey Rooney in the 1940's for example, or that ghastly, whining, bawling, little beast in 1950's SHANE, whose appearance in almost every scene including the climactic gun-fight nearly ruins one of the best westerns ever made. Oh and by the way that "cute" androgynous mop-top tyke has infested American films and TV since the 1970's - do any boys in America really look like that ? - UGH !!! Just be thankful you don't now have to hear the adults calling them "Munchkin", or telling the child: "You're a very special person" (when the brat is quite obviously anything but) or gurning away at the camera when the child accuses them: "You were never there for me !" At least some stale phrases eventually go out of fashion even if American middle-class guilt for working too hard remains.

I do recall many excellent child performances but usually in films that were about children such as OLIVER TWIST, COME AND SEE, KES etc. In films like JURASSIC PARK 1 & 2 and the train-wrecks that were the STAR WARS prequels, "cute" kids were cynically inserted into roles far beyond their abilities and any realistic sense of plot because the film-makers thought it would bring more kids into the cinemas and sell to their parents more film-related products and toys. In the case of STAR WARS this greed-driven Philistine attitude was already apparent with the wretched Ewoks in RETURN OF THE JEDI. In films like the remake of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and JURASSIC PARK 2 cynicism is taken a step further; black kids are shoe-horned into incongruous relationships with white adults to give the films "rainbow" appeal without taking the commercial risk of giving a lead role to a black adult. Unfortunately sentimentality has always sold well in America and the prominence given nowadays to CGI effects over characters and plot only makes things worse, so expect to see more and more adult films,
especially potential sci-fi classics, dumbed-down by obnoxious, talent-less "cute" brats in the years to come. Maybe the evil aliens, super-villains etc. in each film could be advised to lower their expectations and go for a more realistic target: "Sorry but despite all your superior intelligence and firepower, past experience shows you will NEVER succeed in conquering Earth - so just do us all a favour and kill that goddam kid !
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#61 HP - are you &@$?/@& crazy?! Jennifer 2013-07-26 00:57
How in the hell can you say that Prisoner of Azkaban saved the franchise? It was the biggest let down of all time! The first two Harry Potter movies were by far the best, and when they brought in a new director the world and vibe of the Harry Potter world wh had fallen in love with was completely gone! They would wear normal clothes, the characters all became less and less likable throughout the franchise after the first two movies, a different Dumbledore (true he died and while the new one did a good job we already had this Dumbledore character in our heads as a loving wise man and the new guy just made the character his own). It all took me out of the Harry Potter world and went from being a bunch of magical films that I highly anticipated seeing, to a dark action fantasy movie that I reacted to as "oh, new Harry potter film is out today, want to go see it." It went from a cherished piece of my heart to just another movie that I had to watch to finish the franchise bc I already started, and of course just bc it was Harry Potter.
Oh and Ron was a little different but was never annoying until the 4th movie, with all his jealousy and petty anger. Harry also got insanely annoying after the 2nd movie.
Basically you're nuts if you don't think that the first two films were brilliant and the new director f-Ed up the rest of the franchise. The Harry Potter films never lived up to their potential after getting rid of Chris Columbus.
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#62 Two More Salma Graynatha 2013-08-07 04:01
Maxwell connor in Kazaam (1996) and Elvis in Free Willy 2 (1995). Max and Elvis are played by Francis Capra, he's so annoying in films.. but I like his act so much! He is an awesome actor and he is so cute! :3
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#63 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film Gregory M. Smith 2013-08-08 04:48
I agree with most of this list, especially Dakota Fanning. I do realize that the scripts for kids often makes them out to be annoying but, like the adults, their performances (or lack thereof) defines the role. We expect whiny kids like Rachel Ferrier to mature during the movie, but she didn't and that's what grated on my nerves.

The only real problem I had with the list (and with many similar lists) is that it misses things that happened before the 1990's. Of course, most movies before the 90's have to be viewed on DVD's or TCM or AMC. Still, the old movies have more than their fair share of insipid whiners.

For example, the 1960 disaster classic "The Last Voyage" features a redheaded moppet named Tami Marihugh, who turns out to be Little Orphan Annie on meth. Tami had the misfortune of being identified in the credits with the infamous "...and Introducing..." putting an intense spotlight on a girl barely old enough to be in kindergarten.

At first, she was cute, then a bit annoying. Then, when a massive boiler explosion blows holes in both the bottom and top of the cruise liner, she goes straight to pure, unadulterated ham, whining and screaming as if every scene was an audition. Fortunately, the director has her out of the story before the climactic ending (though that may only have been because the producers sank a real ship for the movie and the real actors -- not stuntmen -- had to get off before being dragged down by the undertow).

If you don't believe me, look at the faces of every adult she interacts with in the movie. By the halfway mark, they all look uncomfortable being around her, especially Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone, who played her parents. Malone, as the mother, is pinned under wreckage but still acts as if Marihugh just woke her up from a badly-needed nap.

Another example is the tragic Brandon De Wilde as awestruck Joey Starrett in "Shane." We're meant to shed gallons of tears as he runs after Alan Ladd at the end. Before that, though, this kid got on my nerves and actually slowed down the movie. Not his fault, of course. Hollywood studio honchos wanted kids in such movies and even Frank Capra had to answer up. (sadly, De Wilde didn't get very long to grow up; after "Hud" in 1963, he did mostly TV work before dying in a auto accident at age 30).

And for those who thought science fiction/fantasy was well-represented on the list, try that old Grade B schlock from yesteryear. In particular, Manuel Navarro, who had not one but three annoying performances.

He was the annoying kid in "The Beast of Hollow Mountain" and even more insipid as Juanito in the cult classic "The Black Scorpion." In TBS, he never listened to his grandmother, stowed away during the descent into the scorpion cave and got on everyone's nerves.

You might remember Navarro best as one of the three kids who idolize Charles Bronson in "The Magnificent Seven." As written, they admire him, but their desire to help him even when he tells them to get out of the way leads to his death. Sure, they vow to tend to his grave but I always wondered if they realized they got him killed needlessly.

A few other examples include "rabbit girls" Melanie Fullerton and Mimi Gibson, whose characters, in their desire to save their pet bunny rabbits, unleashed monstrous hell on the countryside. Fullerton did it in "Night of the Lepus" (a dreadful movie with a cast worth of "Dancing With the Stars"), while Gibson unleashed a giant snail in "The Monster That Challenged the World." The saving grace for both girls was that it was still a man's world, so all females were reduced to quiet damsels in distress when the action came.

And, now that I've bored you all, let me tell you the one kid who should be on top of this list but won't because she gives a superior performance and that's Patty McCormack as Rhoda in 1956's "The Bad Seed."

Oh, this girl was the epitome of a bad seed. She was a bully, who huffed and puffed every time she didn't get her way. She "listened" to her mother and then did her own thing. She had an ego bigger than most dictators. She was the kind of kid who made Nellie Olson look like Laura Ingalls by comparison. The first time you met her, you wanted to give her the same treatment she gave that poor Daigle kid whose "crime" was to win the spelling medals she thought she deserved.

Of course, the movie was about Rhoda and McCormack owned the role. But, you can't miss the fact that she was the kind of kid who got on your last nerve from the get-go.
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#64 Missed Ed Furlong in T3 chartliner 2013-11-07 05:51
I totally disagree with you about Terminator 2, I think Ed Furlong did a good job in the role and was sorry he was not used for T3 and T4. I also like shorty in Temple of Doom. nanananana Remember they are all just movies, entertainment. If you want reality turn on the nightly news!


Quoting Xorgblex:
I vehemently disagree with most of these.

The first two Potter films were the only remotely watchable ones, the rest are awfully-acted, badly-written, overflowing-with-CGI farces about teen angst. Prisoner of Azkaban is, and I am not even exaggerating here, the worst movie of all time. The scene where Harry is sitting atop a boulder screaming about the conversation he had just overheard about Black? I would rather fellate a whale than be put through watching that again.

Fanning is the only thing making War of the Worlds even watchable. I wish I could transpose her scenes into another movie. One without Tom Cruise and CGI.

Your tirade about John Connor is, frankly, garbage. Oh, no! He isn't acutely aware of his destiny as a 13 year old! How dare he not wear sandals and walk on water and heal the sick! Do you not recall yourself at 13? "Ungrateful"? Really? Imagine yourself reacting at 13 to your mother having insane paranoid delusions about murderous machines from the future, and you being passed from foster home to foster home. I laughed at you calling someone from 1991 a hipster. Way to anachronistical ly reveal your insecurities.

The more I read the above the more I realise why movies have gone to hell, if these are the standards they are held to.

I hate children as much as anyone, but Jesus H Christ, way to demolish some of the only palatable roles they've ever had in movies, and glorify train wrecks of films by comparison.

"Coming this fall: War of the Worlds II: More flailing Tom Cruise, more overblown CGI, less acting, less Dakota Fanning". Hmm.
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#65 Published author JESSE KAELLIS 2014-01-20 08:46
That kid in Terminator Two--MUST DIE!
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#66 Hate the little... haydee 2014-02-15 03:18
Well written article, very engaging and funny. I think a lot of the child actors are irritating. Part of the problem might be that the roles played by children are not realistic. They usually portray precocious children who have all the answers to make a better world.

One of the roles played by a child actor that I found really annoying is that boy from The Client. Urgggg!
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#67 RE: The 8 Most Annoying Kids in Film zaid 2014-06-08 09:54
Thank you for capturing my thoughts.
i was watching a rerun of War of the Worlds and I could not notice Rachel's stupid character. I mean wtf stop it already, just get over it and tell her the truth.
I have a sister that is about her age and I know how to treat her or kids in that age for the matter. Mine would never do that and if you tell her to stop and understand, she would.
stupidest kid character i have ever seen.
Thank you for your article.
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#68 CREEPY & EVIL BRAT Talulah 2014-10-16 16:11
Quoting Vladdy:
There were actually movies made before the mi-1990s. By far the most annoying child ever in a movie is in The Day of the Locust from 1975. Anyone who doesn't believe me should check it out. You won't like it, but you'll agree, I promise.


I agree with you completely. This kid is so good in the role of Best All Around BRAT - it makes you wonder what he's like in "real" life. I wanted to reach into the screen and choke him! Downright CREEPY KID!
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