Monday, January 19, 2015

The Worst Movies of 2014

2014 was a great year for the cinema. I don't think anybody will be able to argue about that. But man, there were some terrible movies that I'll be glad to leave in 2014. Some were disappointments, others were just flat-out awful, but they were all bad in their own special way. Here are my picks for the fifteen worst movies of 2014.

15. DUMB AND DUMBER TO


Dumb and Dumber To is an occasionally funny movie, but it's bogged down by one of the most foolishly idiotic plots imaginable. It was one of the most convoluted and ridiculous murder mystery stories I've ever seen. Just focus on the jokes and less on the relationships and stories. Dumb and Dumber To made that crucial mistake and it fell apart because of it. There are long stretches in this movie where absolutely nothing is funny at all and that was the final nail in its coffin.

14. 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE


The first 300 is not a great film, but it's sufficiently entertaining and fun in its own way. 300: Rise of an Empire takes everything that was good about the first film and amps it up to an absurd level making it so ridiculous that the film almost feels comedic. The violence is comically graphic, the acting is stupid, the "rousing" battle speeches are cliched and the film is just boring. But hey, that sex scene was awesome!

13. GET ON UP


Get on Up is a film that had no right to be as bad as it was. The film was such a muddled, convoluted mess that things just got tedious after a while. It features one of the finest performances of the year from Chadwick Boseman, but even he can't save this dull, messy flick. The film jumps all over the place and never manages to focus on what made James Brown so successful. It's just one massive, shocking misfire.

12. MUPPETS MOST WANTED


Possibly the most crushing disappointment of the year, Muppets Most Wanted was a poorly made, unfunny catastrophe that pretty much killed one of my favorite Hollywood franchises. The Muppets were solid as always, but with a dumb plot and Tina Fey, Ty Burrell and Ricky Gervais doing their worst with a terrible script, this movie quickly became a shocking fiasco.

11. LET'S BE COPS


Sometimes, you see a movie, and it's just so dull and cliched that you hate it. Let's Be Cops was one of those movies for me this year. The Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson buddy flick was safe, predictable, and honestly, not all that funny. It plays towards a juvenile sense of humor that just never hits the mark. It's not an egregiously bad movie, but it never even attempts to do anything fun or innovative. And in the words of Terence Fletcher, "That was bad enough."

10. RIDE ALONG


Ride Along was another buddy comedy that just did nothing for me. Despite the presence of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, the filmmakers manage to create a massive miscalculation that isn't funny for its first two thirds and once it does become mildly amusing, it becomes drawn out to the point where I was just done. Hart is still a funny guy, but man, this was one giant mess.

9. FRANK


Maybe I just didn't get Frank, but I found this movie to be a slog to get through. It was quirky for the sake of being quirky and its themes were not well thought out. Nothing felt compelling or interesting and I honestly didn't care about any of the characters. I give Michael Fassbender credit for doing something different, but I think he should just stick to movies where he doesn't have a paper mache head on the entire time.

8. THE PURGE: ANARCHY


Okay, so I was a little harsh on this movie when it came out. But this is still one of the worst films of the year. A generic, disturbingly violent thriller, The Purge: Anarchy features all sorts of sickening violence that is played off as a joke. With incredibly obvious social satire and terrible dialogue spoken by stupid characters, The Purge: Anarchy is a laughable flick from start to finish.

7. JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT


I was pretty generous to Jack Ryan when it came out. I gave it a "C" and pretty much moved on. But this movie really left a bad taste in my mouth. It was a completely disposable and forgettable film that wasted the talents of many involved. Nothing was remotely entertaining and fun about it (the action at the end was okay, but that was about it). I really wanted Jack Ryan to be good, but it turned out to be a dull bomb.

6. THE MONUMENTS MEN


The Monuments Men was another movie that should not have been as bad as it was. George Clooney, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Matt Damon doing a World War II thriller with Clooney directing? Count me in. Unfortunately, this movie was choppy, bizarrely structured and devoid of any dramatic tension. I'll let this one slide for Clooney, but we can only hope that he bounces back with his next film.

5. WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL


When the Game Stands Tall should never have gone to theaters. It's a Lifetime movie disguised as an actual theatrical release. It's nothing but "inspirational" speeches and cliched dialogue. I didn't think it was possible to see a movie with so many cliches until I saw When the Game Stands Tall. It's boring, bland and not inspiring in the least.

4. EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS


Exodus: Gods and Kings was a disaster of massive proportions. It was so, so terrible. It's still difficult for me to believe that Ridley Scott, the man behind classic films like Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator made this heaping pile of garbage. The talents of everyone involved are wasted on a $100 million CGI bomb with no narrative drive and absolutely no tension at all. A huge misfire on every single level.

3. TRANSCENDENCE


I had a lot of hope for Transcendence, because it was directed by Wally Pfister, the man responsible for the cinematography on Christopher Nolan's films. I was hoping that some of Nolan's abilities had rubbed off on Pfister. Obviously not. Transcendence was an incomprehensible snooze fest with an intricately idiotic plot and a bunch of stuff that didn't make any sense. Pfister is not the next Nolan by any stretch of the imagination.

2. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES


Boring. Just boring. There was nothing entertaining, interesting or compelling about this 100-minute corporate slog about talking turtles. How can a movie about talking turtles that do karate not be at least a little fun? How does that happen? Why was the action so bad? Why was Megan Fox the lead character? What was going on with the villain? Who's to blame for this awful disaster?

1. MALEFICENT


Phew, this movie was AWFUL. On every level. Barely a good thing about it. The special effects were bad, the humor was flat, the story was uninteresting. There was one good scene in this whole movie. One scene. That lasted for a minute. Everything else was just CGI garbage that was tedious and bland on every level. It still amazes me to this day that Maleficent made so much money. Why would people want to award something so terrible? It just doesn't make sense to me. I would never watch Maleficent again if someone paid me. That's how bad it is.

Those were the fifteen movies that I absolutely couldn't stand in 2014. But thankfully, there were plenty of good movies. My list of the fifteen best films of 2014 is coming very, very soon.

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