BY KEVIN CARR
While publicists and the film industry itself eagerly await the bevy of Best Films lists from critics, they’re less excited about our lists for the bottom of the barrel. But when there’s arguably more films that can make it on a Worst Films list, this can be a cathartic act for people like me. Where my Best Films list inevitably contains several animated titles, a new trend has shown up on my Worst Films list. Check out numbers 1, 2 and 3 and question whether I want to see another shaky-cam movie in the near future.
10. WON’T BACK DOWN
As the husband of a teacher – and a damn good one at that – a film that vilifies public school educators on the whole was so hard to swallow, it barely got past my nose. Are schools perfect? No. But this manipulative, straw-man attack on the people within the system isn’t going to solve these problems.
9. THAT’S MY BOY
Adam Sandler’s moving up in the world again. Sure, his return to R-rated comedy made my 10 Worst Films of 2012 list, but last year, he topped the list with the odious “Jack and Jill.” Just think… next year he might not even show up on here. But as it stands, this haphazard film about a deadbeat teen dad trying to connect with his adult son goes so far off the rails of raunch that it never recovers.
8. ROCK OF AGES
I suppose this is a fun musical when seen in its proper format, but the weird sanitizing of the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll of the 80s was worse than what you see on “Glee” each week. Bad covers of good songs doesn’t save this softball of a jukebox musical. And Tom Cruise, put on a shirt, ‘cause your saggy tits are giving me a headache.
7. THE LUCKY ONE
Nicholas Sparks meets Zac Efron. And someone dies. Can we stop making these movies, please?
Well acted or not, this film was the most egregious bait-and-switch of 2012. It was billed as a tense thriller about the persecution of a hero pilot after a plane crash. However, what we got was a bloated made-for-TV movie about alcoholism and how cocaine is actually a beneficial drug. Sigh… at least it opens with a fantastic nude scene.
5. THIS IS 40
Can you believe this movie got an awards push? More over, can you believe it actually got some significant nominations? Judd Apatow reveals the horrible nature of his own family by airing his personal dirty laundry with his real-life wife in this screeching, hate-filled non-comedy about what it’s like to be rich and successful but still hate your life.
4. ONE FOR THE MONEY
Katherine Heigl was once a massive TV star with a burgeoning leading lady movie career. But her acerbic personality on- and off-screen has led her to headlining movies in January and failing even to impress the fans of the original source material. Laying down a terrible New Jersey accent and now evoking any sympathy, Heigl drove Janet Evanovich’s heroine Stephanie Plum into the dirt.
Yeah, there’s a lot of people who liked this movie, but I loathed it. What was meant to be a clever take on the superhero genre turned into a clunky, nonsensical and aggressively unrealistic look at teens with super powers. Could you tell I was exhausted with the found footage genre by February?
2. THE DEVIL INSIDE
We all expect January movies to be bad, but did any of us expect them to be this bad? Tragically leading the box office on the first week of 2011 with more than $30 million and an alarming F Cinemascore, “The Devil Inside” embodied everything that is bad about found footage and exorcism films. The only thing that could have made this worse is if it were a spoof.
1. PROJECT X
Though I was charged with hyperbole, I proudly declared that “Project X” was the worst movie ever made and quite likely the worst movie that will ever be made in the history of the universe. Whether that’s true or not, one cannot deny this is a terrible film. A nihilistic non-story about the wholly terrible nature of adolescence, “Project X” actually made the world a worse place to live.