The movie, which stars T.J. Miller -- who played Erlich Bachman on "Silicon Valley" -- seems to have burrowed itself so deeply beneath reviewers' skins that there is no existing emoji that sufficiently describes their pain.
For example, this from Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com: "This is a film that has literally nothing to offer viewers -- there are no moments of humor, excitement or insight regarding a culture that considers emojis to be the pinnacle of contemporary communication."
Or this, from the Wrap's Alonso Duralde: "It is a soul-crushing disaster because it lacks humor, wit, ideas, visual style, compelling performances, a point of view or any other distinguishing characteristic that would make it anything but a complete waste of your time, not to mention that of the diligent animators who brought this catastrophe into being."
A source at the studio told me, however, that Sony is more interested in how children will react to the movie, rather than adults who always expect to get their own entertainment out of taking their kids to movies. So far, I understand, the kids quite like it.
Still, when reviews are quite this awful it creates a perverse fascination.
I want to see this movie as deeply as I regret not having had the chance to see the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez classic "Gigli," before the stars had every copy preserved for only themselves.
In the end, the studio will look to the numbers. If this tale of a world in which the emojis on your phone have a life of their own attracts audiences, Sony will be happy.
And there is a glimmer of hope. Currently on Rotten Tomatoes, 46 percent of audience reviewers liked the movie.