Looking Back: Jeremy Picks the Top 10 Most Terrible Movies of 2011
by Jeremy Kirk
December 29, 2011
Sure, there were good movies in 2011. There were even great movies released in 2011. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the dregs, the rancid, the movies that made us sit back and question if we liked movies at all. Hollywood had some real stinkers this year. The indies had their fair share, but Hollywood had some real horrible ones hit with a dull thud. Surprisingly, Nicolas Cage only showed up in one of them, although, let's be honest, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is looking good for next year's list of shame. Pixar damn near made this list, but we'll give Cars 2 a stay of execution on principle. So, without further ado, here's the 10 worst movies I saw in 2011. See the whole list below!
10. I Am Number Four - Remember this dud that landed early in the year from DJ Caruso. It wanted to be Twilight. It wanted to be a top-notch show on WB. It couldn't even live up to any of that. I Am Number Four was a good indication of how horribly wrong interesting ideas can go. The idea that an alien looks like a teenager and must fit in and a warring race is out to kill him and his kind? I'm there. The trailers even piqued an interest that wouldn't be satisfied. However, Timothy Olyphant couldn't even save this bomb of boredom that had teen angst and classrooms when it should have had big aliens blowing stuff up. If for no other reason, I'm thankful this is the last time I ever have to write about this movie because I never have to try and spell Mogadorian ever again. I'm not even sure I spelled it right this time, but I really don't care.
9. Green Lantern - Remember how excited we were for Green Lantern? We like Ryan Reynolds. We like the idea of Hal Jordan and the alien ring that lets him create anything his mind has to offer. We even like Martin Campbell who is two for two when it comes to awesome James Bond movies. We were stoked for Green Lantern, and that fire of interest had a bucket of lukewarm water tossed on it as soon as this CG crap fest began. It really is a trainwreck that you can't help but slow down and watch happen as Campbell crams so much information and edits it all beyond any possible recognition. We knew we were in trouble early, but when Hal Jordan created a racetrack to detour a crashing helicopter, most of us checked out altogether. What's that thing growing on Peter Sarsgaard's head? How is it that he, Reynolds, and Blake Lively are all childhood friends? Is that a giant poo monster coming to wipe out Earth? Don't know. Don't care. Green Lantern is an awful piece of CG crud. Hey, maybe they'll get it right in the sequel. Ugh.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Like Green Lantern, we had hopes for On Stranger Tides. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies have had their faults, but they were passable in the face of grand spectacle entertainment. On Stranger Tides let us down in every way possible. For starters, whoever thought Captain Jack Sparrow should be the main protagonist instead of the dark, quirky lead should have their head examined. Yes, he's an entertaining character and Johnny Depp's performance warrants his popularity, but putting him in the driver's seat of this adventure was the first misstep. The love story between a priest and a mermaid had us pining for the days of Ariel and Prince Eric. In fact, the only interesting part of On Stranger Tides is the evil mermaids, the ones with sharp teeth who rip men apart underneath dark waters. That was fun. But all of that is squandered the moment Sam Claflin Philip screams, "She has a name!" On Stranger Tides is a cash grab in the worst way imaginable. Disney had two of those this year. We'll forgive them for one.
7. New Year's Eve - Oh, Garry Marshall, you're so old. Watching you try to direct decent romantic comedies is like watching Betty White be crude. It's funny because you're old. But unlike Betty White and her antics, New Year's Eve was not cute by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it was a hodgepodge of horrible stories crammed together like sardines. A few of these stories were somewhat interesting, and screenwriter Katherine Fugate might have a future in feature writing. But she has to learn how structure works, and she has to get a director on board who knows how to mold a feature film better than Marshall. Once the kid crowd surfs in New York Times Square and Hilary Swank gives a speech about the New Year's Ball - something that plays like the speech from the president in Armageddon - we thought the film had completely been thrown off the tracks and would turn into an entertaining wreck. It didn't. Instead, everyone involved in this movie dropped the ball, and, yes, I know that's a horrible pun, but this movie doesn't deserve any better.
6. Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) - The only reason Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) isn't numero uno on this list is because writer/director Tim Six clearly knew what he was doing here. He was giving his fans what they wanted, showing them all the awful gore they were pining for from the first Human Centipede. The cries that the first film was boring, because it didn't show all the gory details were answered with a fury here. So congratulations, Mr. Six, you've created an atrocious piece of film that has no right even existing. And congratulations to all the people who wanted this. You got it. Now choke on it. Luckily, the version of Human Centipede 2 IFC Midnight is releasing is trimmed way down, and some of the more vulgar parts have probably been cut out. Still, I had to sit through this whole thing, and the thing that stank the worst wasn't what the people in the centipede were eating. Here's hoping Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) is a masterpiece.
5. Trespass - Another horrible movie that didn't get much viewership this past year. It stars Nicolas Cage - there he is - Nicole Kidman, and was directed by Joel Schumacher. Needless to say, the fact that it didn't even get a theatrical release says something about Trespass. It's a home invasion movie where Cage, Kidman, and their daughter is held captive in their home until Cage gives the kidnappers a priceless diamond. Okay, I'm listening. Well don't listen too hard, or your eardrums will burst. What goes down in this film's 90-minute run time is a whole lot of yelling, a whole lot of F-bombs, and some of the worst theatrics we've seen from Oscar winners since Halle Berry donned a Catwoman costume. You just want the kidnappers to put bullets into the whole family, grab the diamond, and walk away, but, no, we have to be subjected to an hour and a half of visual torture. Cage doesn't even go full Cage too often in the film, a clear sign Schumacher has no idea what he's got at his fingertips. If you want full Cage from this year, watch Drive Angry. If you want Ben Mendelsohn squandering all the good will as a villain he gained from Animal Kingdom, here you have it. Trespass is stupid, boring, and loud, not a great combination.
4. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - I feel bad for Brandon Routh. Really, I do. Superman Returns isn't a great film, but he's fine in it. He's also rather stellar in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. He's also a really nice guy, but that's beside the point. That he keeps picking movies like Dylan Dog: Dead of Night stops him from any level of success in this industry. With horrible writing, awful acting - pro wrestler Kurt Angle might be the best here if that gives you any indication - and some of the worst special effects this side of a SyFy original, this movie makes you sit back and wonder just what the people behind this movie were thinking. They had to know how awful this movie was while it was being made. Best to cut ties early and never let it see the light of day. I'm not the kind who gets up during a movie to use the restroom. I'll hold it. Dylan Dog was the kind of movie where I was thankful when the urge came up, and I promptly left the theater to relieve myself. I mean I relieved myself from having to watch this movie for about five minutes. That's what I meant. The comic book from Tiziano Sclavi was also the basis for Dellamorte Dellamore aka Cemetery Man from 1994. By all means, track that movie down before even considering watching Dylan Dog. There's no Taye Diggs, but it's a damn sight better than this trainwreck.
3. Creature - Another movie that I'm thankful hardly anyone
got a chance was forced to see. The special effects in Dylan Dog were as bad as a SyFy original, but everything about Creature screams SyFy. The only reason it's eligible for this list is because Bubble Distribution culled enough money together to get it into around 1500 theaters. Luckily, people were smart enough, and it ended up making a little over $500,000. That's all box office stuff, but believe me when I tell you this movie and everything about it is horrible. A group of teens wander into the swamps and begin getting picked off by some, strange half-man half-alligator creature that looks like a villain from the Power Rangers. Remember Ivan Ooze? The monster in Creature is so much worse. Thankfully, the monster isn't in this all that much. Neither are the awful actors who play the teens getting ripped apart. Instead, we have a large section devoted to back story on the monster and how it came to be. You know you're in trouble when someone begins telling a story, we cut to a flashback, and you're relieved to be seeing something other than the main story at hand. Creature is awful awful movie making, the kind of movie that make you feel bad for Sid Haig that he's in any way a part of it. That's right. We actually feel sorry for Sid "Never Say No" Haig.
2. Larry Crowne - I know what you're saying. Jeremy, how can Larry Crowne, a film starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, be even worse than something like Creature or Dylan Dog? I'd be lying if I said expectations don't play a part in all of this, and we expected so much more from Hanks. Maybe not Roberts, but definitely Hanks, and Larry Crowne is the kind of film where you begin to wonder if the people behind it have any clue about the subject matter they're presenting. There's a community college, students, Julia Roberts is the teacher, and Tom Hanks falls in love with her. Honestly, much of Larry Crowne came and went in my memory, but I remember the pandering going on and how it appeared Hanks, who directed and co-wrote this drivel, had never even stepped foot in a college. Or ever met anyone younger than 45. Is Larry Crowne horrendous? Maybe not, but considering how good it should have been coming from the guy whose only other directorial effort was That Thing You Do!, we expected a hell of a lot more than forgettable blandness such as this. There's nothing genuine about Larry Crowne, no feeling of true emotion for any of these characters. In fact, it feels like a Garry Marshall film, and we all know what that means lately.
1. Jack and Jill - Here it is. The number 1 worst movie of 2011, and it's precisely the movie we thought it would be after seeing the trailers. Jack and Jill is a blight on movie making, an insult to anyone who has ever tried and failed to make a comedy, and one of the most painful pieces of cinema I've ever had to endure. The idea of Adam Sandler playing twin brother and sister, the most annoying sister on the face of the planet, mind you, seems the kind of movie Judd Apatow was making fun of in Funny People. Guess what. It's exactly the kind of movie Judd Apatow was making fun of in Funny People, but that fact has either been clearly lost on Sandler or he flat out doesn't give a damn. Either way, it's an unforgivable action that he's pulled this movie together. It's even worse that he's bringing Al Pacino down with him. Pacino, by the way, has the only funny line in the entire movie when, after seeing the commercial Sandler's ad exec character has created, he turns to Sandler and flatly says, "Burn this." It's a message Pacino was sending to Sandler about the film itself. We only wish Sandler and director Dennis Dugan had listened.
And there you have it, folks. The worst of the worst. The most horrendous pieces of cinema to come out in 2011. Luckily, now I get to turn my attention to the best of the year, and I can leave all these worthless movies in the gutter. Unfortunately, I've now made you all aware of these movies, and some of you, at least two or three, will want to check them out just to see if they're as bad as I say they are. Trust me. They are. You can skip the testing phase and jump right to the believing me phase. I don't always know what I'm talking about, but these movies are B-A-D. Which movies did you think were the worst of 2011?