10 Worst Films of 2013

Ah, the assembly of the annual worst-films list. One of my Twitter followers asked me why I felt the need to engage in this torturous exercise. Trust me, I love movies and feel hugely privileged to be able to write about them for a living. But reflecting on the worst movies of the year along with celebrating the best hopefully provides a complete depiction of what we’ve seen.

So: Here you go, in alphabetical order. You will notice that “Movie 43,” “Grown Ups 2” and the like aren’t included. These are obviously terrible from the outset and beating up on them just feels needless and redundant. Rather, I pondered films that had loftier ambitions and failed miserably.

“After Earth”

After Earth Movie Review

A shameless vehicle for Will Smith to promote his 15-year-old son, Jaden, who happens to look exactly like a young Will Smith. Jaden simply wasn’t up to the daunting task of performing alone on screen for giant chunks of time. But the movie as a whole, yet another post-apocalyptic parable (with less-than-subtle Scientological leanings), takes itself incredibly seriously but ends up being laughable.

Watch the What the Flick?! clip here

 

“Baggage Claim”

Baggage Claim Movie Review

This archaic and insulting depiction of feminine self-worth finds the usually radiant Paula Patton stooping to schlep across the country as a young woman desperate to get engaged within 30 days. Djimon Hounsou, Taye Diggs and Derek Luke are among her potential suitors. In a year filled with powerful and important black cinema, this was not exactly a shining example.

Read the full review here

 

“The Big Wedding”

The Big Wedding Movie Review

Wacky, hacky, strained and a huge waste of an enormously talented cast that includes Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams and Topher Grace. This is a movie that tries way too hard to shock us with risque humor, then turns around and wants to be all ooey-gooey and feel-good.

Watch the What the Flick?! clip here

 

“The Canyons”

The Canyons Movie Review

This “erotic thriller” was supposed to have provided Lindsay Lohan with her big comeback after years of substance abuse problems and erratic behavior. Instead, the low-budget effort from director Paul Schrader and writer Bret Easton Ellis is an inept, tedious and empty look at the desperation Hollywood breeds.

Read the full review here

 

“CBGB”

CBGB Movie Review

Such a sad irony that a film about the birth of punk rock should feel so remote, superficial and safe. Too often, it offers a parade of famous people playing famous people in what amounts to a distracting game of dress-up. It ain’t no party, it ain’t no disco, it ain’t no foolin’ around.

Read the full review here

 

“Getaway”

Getaway Movie Review

A movie in which Ethan Hawke plays a character named Brent Magna should be way more fun than this. Instead, “Getaway” isn’t even a guilty pleasure. It’s just a numbing barrage of overly edited car chases and noisy, crunched metal. This is flat, lazy, cynical filmmaking in which even the casting of Selena Gomez as a brilliant teenage hacker isn’t good for a laugh.

Read the full review here

 

“Identity Thief”

The pairing of Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy should result in comedy gold. He’s a master of deadpan, straight-man humor; she’s a gifted and fearless physical performer. Instead, they both come off as extremely unlikable in this frustrating waste of talent. It’s a film that confuses meanness for hilarity, including a weirdly uncomfortable streak of homophobia and/or emasculation.

Read the full review here

 

“The Lone Ranger”

The Lone Ranger Movie Review

Johnny Depp complained that critics had it in for his latest blockbuster with “Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski before the house lights even went down. Actually, that’s not how it works. We want to be thrilled and entertained — we want the escape. This was just a messy and bloated amalgamation of action, comedy, romance, mysticism and history lesson — a misfire on every level.

Watch the What the Flick?! clip here

 

“Plush”

Plush Movie Review

The latest baffling step in the declining career of “thirteen” director Catherine Hardwicke is a clunky psychological thriller set in the Los Angeles rock scene. Emily Browning stars as a goth-girl lead singer struggling to rebound from the death of her bandmate brother. ┬áIt feels so inauthentic at every turn, it’s as if the film itself is unsure of what it’s supposed to be.

Read the full review here

 

“The Smurfs 2”

The Smurfs 2 Movie Review

This would be Nicolas Lemire’s pick. Of all the movies my 4-year-old son saw this year — and he saw a lot — this was his least favorite. Even at his tender age, he recognized this mirthless sequel for its stilted dialogue, cheesy effects and cringe-inducing puns. The worst part of all? “I didn’t like when the Smurfs hugged at the end,” he said. Me neither, kid. Me neither.

Watch the What the Flick?! clip here

7 Comments on “10 Worst Films of 2013

  1.  by  JozieLee

    The only movie I saw that’s on your list is Identity Thief. I adore Melissa McCarthy. She’s a comedy genius. I’d heard this was bad before I watched and I can understand why it made your list, but I sort of enjoyed the overall plot. Just didn’t care for the raunchiness that came out of her character. She seemed to be the extended version of McCarthy’s Bridesmaids character not a whole new persona.

    I saw so few movies this year. The most recent film I found boring was Jack the Giant Slayer. Beautiful special effects, especially the sequence in the giant’s kitchen, otherwise a real snoozefest.

    I can thank WhatTheFlick! and a few other movie reviewer for keeping me from seeing the dogs of cinema.

  2.  by  Christy Lemire

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Lindsay and Jozie. Best-of list coming this week!

  3.  by  Dan O.

    Yeah, all of these were pretty terrible. The Canyons may be my favorite out of this list, and even then, I can’t really come up with much of a reason why I liked it all that much. Somehow, Lohan’s acting did it in for me and made me think it was a bit better than I expected it to be. But still, not a very tense, or sexy kind of thriller it was promised as being.

    Wonderful list, Christy!

  4.  by  Christian Toto

    Thanks for including “The Big Wedding” – arguably the worst time I’ve had in a movie theater in ages. To see a big name cast work around such awful material … yeah, De Niro has been doing this on and off for years, but it still hurts to watch it.

    I’d add “Adore” and “Paradise” here, but a solid list all the same!

  5.  by  JozieLee

    Who in the world edited The Lone Ranger? Terrible movie.

    The beginning was cool with the little boy in the museum. Had great hopes. Then, sadly, enter the Army Hammer character. UGH! The “story” was completely muddled. Back and forth, up and down. Great action scenes . . . . especially the run away train. And fantastic scenary of the mountain ranges. So lovely.

    But why was the story so . . . not there? Didn’t anyone notice during the editing that the story was all over the place? Didn’t they care, or didn’t they think the audience would catch that deficiency?

    In the reviews Johnny Depp caught a lot of bad press. For me, he wasn’t the problem. He showed up. Unfortunately editing left the story on the cutting room floor.

  6.  by  David

    Ha! I forgot all about Getaway til I saw it on your list. In enjoyed it. But you’re right, not a great movie. I seem to always enjoy movies, even the stinkers.

    Some of the less good movies I saw (like you, leaving off the obvious worst)…

    White House Down
    Closed Circuit
    Insidious 2
    Thor 2

    Looking forward to 2014!