As a critic I generally have the privilege of choosing which movies I see each week, so therefore there are many films reputed to be awful that I did not see this year.
- Jack and Jill
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon
- The Human Centipede: Full Sequence
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
- Your Highness
- The Beaver
- Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
- and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
That said, here are the ten worst films I did see:
This "comedy" from Adam Sandler kicked off with ten minutes of ugly-Jewish-girl jokes, yet somehow went all downhill from there. Deeply mean-spirited and unfunny, Just Go With It is at the vanguard of Sandler's new, more loathsome sensibility: While he usually played an underdog earlier in his career, he now regularly plays a rich, selfish jerk, taking shots at people below him.
It's Inception for idiots. Zack Snyder obliterated any remaining goodwill with this violent, "sexy" fantasia that made no sense and displayed virtually no skill other than the ability to collect gorgeous actresses. Nevermind heroine Baby Doll (Emily Browning) trying to avoid a lobotomy; she looks like she already had one, as did the movie itself.
Jonah Hill's pseudo-remake of Adventures in Babysitting is based on the very tired notion that a combination of child neglect and kids precociously cursing is somehow inherently hilarious. Another notch on the sad descent of once-promising director David Gordon Green, The Sitter is the first comedy in years in which I was rooting for the hero to get arrested.
A super-dark family drama disguised as a light comedy, Jesse Peretz's film assembles a once-in-a-lifetime comic cast and doesn't let anyone be funny. Every character is a moron, a moral monster or both.
In a year of disappointing superhero movies, the first was the worst. Directed by the usually dependable Michel Gondry, the Seth Rogen-starring actioner was a huge swing and miss – mostly because the hero was such a jerk, and not in any sort of interesting way.
6. Clint Eastwood's biopic made just about every wrong choice, the worst of all being the atrociously unconvincing old-age makeup. An unfocused narrative and motivations made up entirely of Pop Psych 101 nonsense didn't help much either.
Pixar's first truly bad film was a jumble of toothless James Bond parody and an inexplicable showcase for Larry the Cable Guy's comedic sensibility. In a way that neither Toy Story sequel did, Cars 2 bears the unmistakable stink of a desperate cash-in, a film made for no reason other than to sell more toys.
8. A potentially entertaining premise is ruined by an out-of-place, super-serious tone, as well as nonentity lead performances by Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde.
9. The big-bad-wolf legend, told through a Stephenie Meyer filter, stealing the look, feel and even the director of the Twilight films. It also piles on laughable special effects and horribly shot action scenes. Despite a tone of arch seriousness, it's a ridiculous story that's told poorly.
10. An unfunny, completely unnecessary remake, plugging the tiresome Russell Brand into the title role and playing alcoholism for laughs that never come. A very convincing argument for the estate tax.
The Final Reel
I want to thank everyone for reading in the last year, as well as the rest of the Patch staff. "The Silver Screen" column is going on an indefinite hiatus, but you can continue to follow my writing at SteveSilver.net and on my RottenTomatoes page, as well as on Twitter.