As the year is drawing to an end, let’s take time to remember all the movies which made you cringe and (almost) leave the theater. If we are to believe TIME’s columnist Joel Stein (one of the funniest writers around), 2013 has been the year of not trying too hard. Well, the following titles most certainly substantiate his statement. Without further ado, I present you this year’s the bold and the ugly. Let me know if you agree or completely disagree in the comments section!
We’ve probably all read The Catcher in the Rye in high school as we were instructed by our teacher to attempt an analysis on its character Holden Caulfield. Oh, those times. The author of this classic masterpiece, J.D. Salinger, is generally known for his mysterious ways of avoiding the press and any particular attention. Salinger is the hysterical and really unnecessary documentary of one of America’s greatest writers in history. Although it keeps up a very dramatic tone, it’s nothing more than hundred bits and pieces of Salinger’s life — including interviews with people who were close to him and a bunch of other boring stuff. Then, there is also Salinger being poorly glorified in many pretentious interviews. J.D. Salinger already is, from my perspective, a legend of his own: this documentary was not only needed, it also didn’t reveal any striking truths while it promised such things.
9. The Host
Another adaptation from Stephenie Meyer’s novel, The Host is too superficial to be called a recommendable movie. While many aspects of the movie have played out rather nicely though, the very fact that Andrew Niccol himself has directed this book adaptation is a direct insult to the sci-fi genre. Niccol’s unwillingness to expand and refine on the strong fundamentals of good filmmaking combined with a terribly cliché story and poor acting therefore make The Host more than just a disappointing movie. Not so long ago, Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Oscar — she deserves more than playing the typical female protagonist you can expect from someone like Stephenie Meyer.
8. Only God Forgives
Now, Only God Forgives was the disappointment of the year. Many, including me, highly expected it to be the next Drive (2011/I) from director Nicolas Winding Refn, but Only God Forgives simply missed out on the sheer ingenuity of what made Drive so good in the first place. I want to refrain from drawing too many comparisons between the two, yet I must mention that the acting from the lead — portrayed by Ryan Gosling — has been the movie’s sole spectacle. It is, however, the slow build-up of the premise that makes the movie an unfocused examination of a well-known revenge tale.
7. Grown Ups 2
As if one movie wasn’t enough, Adam Sandler returns with Grown Ups 2. Just like the first one, I’m amazed how such a talented cast of funny actors could become a nightmare when combined. I’m betting it’s the plot — or wait, there isn’t any. And that’s exactly the thing with Grown Ups 2: while it desperately strives to be a comedy, the movie only deals with some rather important themes which we have seen countless of times in all of the American Pie movies. Also, the movie not only falls short on delivering witty jokes, but it also doesn’t do much good with stupid and slappy humor.
6. After Earth
Two Smiths and one Shyamalan (especially that guy) have made After Earth a shameful movie which relentlessly echoes down as the ultimate letdown in this year’s sci-fi genre. I really wished the best for the Smiths family and I still think the two make a great father-son couple on-screen. However, After Earth stays above everything else a weak interpretation of a story that could’ve been made so much better. Director M. Night Shyamalan continues his steady downhill path which leaves me pondering over the question how he every time gets the opportunity to do something wicked with a really promising story.
5. The Hangover Part III
I’m not usually a sucker for comedy which means that I enjoy watching any movie that makes me laugh. However The Hangover Part III feels really out of place compared to the previous parts. Having endlessly been praised as an hilariously exciting franchise over the years, this movie does not live up to its name. Not very good, boys.
4. A Good Day to Die Hard
What happened to this franchise? I’m shocked. While A Good Day to Die Hard contains all of the familiar Die Hard aspects in a movie, I thought it was a messy, flawed and dreadful movie to watch. If there weren’t any movies worse than this, it would have definitely ranked number one on this list. Yippiekayee, m****** — it’s actually that bad.
3. Runner Runner
I believe a lot of people
have forgotten want to forget this movie happened. Well, newsflash, it did and the one and only Justin Timberlake starred in it together with Ben Affleck — which is a total surprise of course because Ben would never sink lower than Argo. The movie displays itself as a thriller, but I have seen enough thrillers this year only to know that the movie is in fact far the opposite. It’s a cheap and shallow shot at creating some kind of typical Hollywood blockbuster as it even features the hot Gemma Arterton within a two-men conflict. Runner, Runner is too much confined in the idealistic world of Hollywood and that makes it just another version of the same kind.
2. Texas Chainsaw 3D
I haven’t watched the classic Texas Chainsaw, therefore this ranking is solely based on my viewing of this movie only and is not the result of an unfair comparison between the two productions. Texas Chainsaw…. 3D is a rather funny approach to a really scary idea. However it failed in convincing me or even giving me the slightest idea that what happened in the movie could overcome anyone. Basically, to test whether it was an effective horror film or a bad one I just had to rely upon my dreams and let me tell you that I actually dreamt of very nice things that particular night while I actually expected Leatherface to show up.
The absolute worst movie of 2013 has to be Getaway. Directed by a guy called Courtney Solomon (I’m so mean), Getaway successfully manages to be nothing more than a Hollywood stunt. It doesn’t have anything to do with Selena Gomez’ slender acting skills (to be fair, I did like her in Spring Breakers) or Ethan Hawke’s experienced looks, but the problems lie entirely with the movie itself. It’s a B-movie which has been fitted to the needs and desires of Hollywood’s finest moneymakers. Just like proteins denature if they aren’t placed in optimal temperatures, this movie has worsened from the very fact that it tries so hard to look like any other Hollywood movie on the outward, but deforms miserably from the inside with the story, the camerawork and the dialogue being one of its many failing factors.
Other ‘horrible’ mentions: G.I. Joe: Retaliation; RIPD; Sharknado; The Starving Games, Movie 43.