I generally avoid movies that are clearly going to be shit so this is by no means a list of THE worst films of the year. Rather, these are the films I saw for some reason or another (they got good reviews/ the trailer looked good/ a friend wanted me to go) but my ultimate verdict was: crap. I have included some spoilers here (with spoiler alerts) but these shouldn’t matter because you shouldn’t bother watching any of these films.
Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
Not only nominated for Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards, but the winner of the Best Foreign Film Category. Also received almost unanimously positive reviews- many of them with 5 star ratings. I just don’t understand why overlong shots of mundane things like cutting the stems off flowers are considered masterpiece cinema. OK, WE GET IT. HE’S CUTTING OFF THE STEMS. WE GOT IT THREE MINUTES AGO. MOVE ON. The plot centres on an old couple and the wife’s rapid deterioration after a stroke. She ends up unable to move, talk, or do pretty much anything. At the end —-*SPOILER ALERT*—- he suffocates her with a pillow to put her out of her misery. My response to this was “ABOUT BLOODY TIME!” I’m not a terrible person, it was just crap and I wanted it to end so I could get back to binge-watching Six Feet Under.
Anna Karenina (Joe Wright, 2012)
The trailer held so much promise! Amazing costumes! Theatricality! Dancing! The theatrical element wasn’t bad, but it was just so boring. And there were secondary characters that didn’t seem to have anything to do with anything. And I just didn’t CARE about the characters. And Jude Law used to be hot but here he’s old and kind of a dick. Keira Knightley plays the same character she plays in about 20 other films. Even her —- *SPOILER ALERT* —- suicide was boring and evoked little emotion. I’m guessing the ballet is better.
The trailer was a lie! It held so much intrigue – “What would you do if the one you love became a stranger in an instant?” It also quoted a review – “A film you will never forget. It turns on the kind of small incident that could alter your life in just a few seconds”. Sounds amazing, right? One of those ‘know as little as possible about it before you see it’ kind of films (probably because if you knew much at all you’d know to pass on this piece of crap). So this engaged couple go backpacking in the mountains and —-SPOILER ALERT —- get in an altercation with some non-English speaking guys who have a gun who point it at the couple, and the dude instinctively pushes his fiancée in front of him before realising “shit, that probably wasn’t the right response” (he doesn’t actually say this because, you know, dialogue seemed to be frowned upon in this film). But the gun guys leave and they’re safe to carry on walking. Okay, so yes that COULD be a potentially interesting development. They COULD discuss his wussy reaction. But nah, they just keep walking in silence, and then she sings a stupid song for five minutes at the campfire and starts to get it on with the guide when her fiancé is in their tent, then goes into the tent and has sex with her fiancé, throws up, and then the next day they spend five minutes packing up the tent AND THEN IT’S THE END? What is this? You could do so much with that and you just chose…not to? Another review quoted in the trailer says “You don’t know what’s going to happen next… and it seems that absolutely anything could”. But the thing is, it doesn’t. NOTHING HAPPENS. And a five minute shot of a mountain is not what I call suspenseful. Or a five minute scene of her singing a stupid song. Or the final few minutes where they just pack up their tent, and then it ends. When the credits started rolling, literally everyone in the audience just went “WHAT?!” And not in a good way. I can’t even get over how bad this was.
In Bob We Trust (Lynn-Maree Milburn, 2013)
I feel so bad including this because Father Bob Maguire is obviously such a cool guy, and I don’t often say that about priests. And it wasn’t that this was boring. It was just SO shockingly filmed. Amazingly bad production values. I understand it was probably very low budget but can you at least keep the camera still?! It was unbearable to watch at times. I thought I was having a seizure at the start.
There are definitely worse films than this but it was sufficiently disappointing enough to include on the list. Rose Byrne’s character was an odd choice for a protagonist because she was kind of a superficial bitch. The film is about a couple who get married after only being together for a short time, only to find they are entirely mismatched. Basically because he’s down to earth, and she’s superficial. But she apparently is meant to be likeable enough to be the centre of the film. The thing is, she just isn’t. She is overwhelmingly turned off by her husband because he *SHOCK HORROR* presses things down into the kitchen bin to avoid having to take it to the outdoor bin. Ummm…not quite a justifiable reason to end your marriage. Everyone has annoying habits. Get over it. Then she ends up with Simon Baker who is perfect for her because he’s hot and sophisticated and buys her doves. And her husband ends up with Anna Faris who plays the ‘down-to-earth’ best friend which is just not convincing because her lips looked pumped full of collagen and since when does Anna Faris play down-to-earth characters? She’s The House Bunny. When it ended my reaction was “Oh, so that’s it”. It wasn’t unexpected but it just made me feel empty inside.
Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)
This wasn’t awful and Naomi Watts played the late princess pretty convincingly, but even 16 years on it still seems a bit too soon to be insinuating that her death was partly her own fault… Awks.
Okay, so obviously I knew this would be terrible. We watched it as a joke and I don’t think I even need to explain what was wrong with this. This is the only film listed here that might actually be worth a watch just because it is so hilariously ridiculous. We also watched 2-Headed Shark Attack that night – the quality was similar.
As I said I’m sure there were many worse-made films than these, but the universally bad reviews generally meant I avoided those (with the exception of Sharknado). Bring on some decent films in 2014!