Writing a “Worst of” list is not something I tend to fully enjoy at the end of the year. One reason is because I see so many terrible films from January to December, it’s hard to sit down and actually rank their rankness. It would be much easier to just lump them into one category, stamp it as unwatchable junk, and hope to save someone from having to see it themselves. However, it is kind of funny to revisit some of my reviews and remember why I am including them on this list. Did I say funny? I meant torturous. Anyway, without further ado, here are the 10 Worst Films of 2009 with a few dishonorable mentions thrown in. Think of them as salt in the wound.
10. Year One
Relying on cheap and childish jokes (most revolve around bodily excrement and an oily Oliver Platt) and unmemorable one-liners, “Year One” fell face first somewhere in the rear of the evolution line (maybe between the amoeba and the chimpanzee). It’s a primitive, pun-filled hodgepodge that screams Monty Python without any of the wit or style.
9. Post Grad
Posing as an empowering female romantic comedy for teens, “Post Grad” hits on all stereotypes and manages to transform a seemingly respectable character into something shamefully unrealistic. When Ryden (Alexis Bledel) drops her entire life for a guy in the film’s final scene, you’ll wonder why the movie went through the whole charade if they were just going to end it in exactly the worst possible way they could have.
8. The Ugly Truth
The movie is down-right deplorable and diluted with cheap jokes and dialogue. Although it attempts to disguise itself as something with a conscious perspective on the chemistry between the opposite sex, the only thing “The Ugly Truth” succeeds in doing is demonstrating why men and women – when looking for love – are as equally annoying.
7. The Unborn
A hellacious hybrid of two of the worst films of 2008, “Mirrors” and “The Haunting of Molly Hartley,” “The Unborn” regurgitates everything that is wrong with the horror genre today and plasters it across the screen for a short and fright-less 87 minutes.
6. The Pink Panther 2
It’s difficult not to wince when you watch Steve Martin devote his entire self to something as cushy as “The Pink Panther 2,” see it implode, and wonder why no one bothered to tell him how lousy the first one was.
5. My Bloody Valentine: 3D
It’s grotesque, grim, and gimmicky without an ounce of campiness for horror fans looking for something other than the monotony of watching another masked killer flailing a sharp object. At least there are a few pickaxes to the face and a flying severed head to keep you from nodding off. I’m being facetious, of course.
4. Aliens in the Attic
Relies on generic-looking computer graphics, kids and aliens battle it out with fireworks and paintball guns for 86 minutes of boredom. Aliens were all the rage this year (“Star Trek,” “District 9,” “Avatar”), but “Aliens in the Attic” is proof that studios will toss out anything to families if they think they can make a few bucks.
3. My Life in Ruins
There’s absolutely no “kefi” (Greek for passion for life) to be found anywhere in the entire country of Greece when actress Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) takes us to her mother land for a shameless collection of stereotypical characters reading off an artificial script about living life to the fullest.
2. All About Steve
Even in Sandra Bullock’s airhead comedies like “Miss Congeniality” and ‘The Proposal” she can be cutesy and fun. In “All About Steve,” there isn’t one ounce of likeability in the moronic and deathly unfunny character she takes on for 98 minutes of pure torture. Bullock takes a big leap with this one and lands flat on her backside.
1. Land of the Lost
There’s so much improvisation in the adventure film “Land of the Lost,” one could honestly wonder why screenwriters were even paid to churn out a script. Actors Will Ferrell and Danny McBride riff off each other so poorly and so many of the jokes fall embarrassingly flat, it’s implausible to think either of these two comedians actually thought any of what they were saying on the set was remotely humorous.
Other horrendous movies of 2009 (in alphabetical order):
- The Collector
- Couple’s Retreat
- Dance Flick
- Dragonball: Evolution
- Fast and Furious
- The Final Destination
- Friday the 13th
- From Mexico with Love
- The Goods
- Halloween 2
- Haunting in Connecticut
- Hotel for Dogs
- I Love You Beth Cooper
- Miss March
- Ninja Assassin
- Old Dogs
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop
- Saw VI
- The Stepfather
- Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li
- Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
- The Uninvited
Return next week for CineSnob’s Best Films of 2009.
I agree the top 10 on the list were pretty bad but the “Other horrendous movies of 2009” movies listed; they were high grossing movies in 2009. Why is it that critics seem to be more out of touch on what audiences want than ever before? It becomes more apparent with each passing year: When it comes to the box office returns for Hollywood movies, critics just don’t matter much.
What is it exactly that one has to look for in order for the audience to see what a critic sees? One goes into a movie with open expectations and either they enjoy it or they don’t. The audience doesn’t have time to analyis the plot or pay close attention to how well an actor plays the role. They go into a movie to get away from their lives even if it is just for 2 hours. Especially now in a time of economic crisis; one goes to get away why should they pay close attention to detail?
Is it that critics haven’t adapted to their times or that they have too high of expectations to enjoy a movie?
In this instance, who should get rewarded? The producers and directors who seem to connect with the audiences and make high grossing movies or the movies that seem to please the critics but not the mass audiences?
Dang and I wanted to see like half of these movies you mentioned.
I have to agree with all the movies you have chosen to be the worst movies of 2009. I will say that 2012 shouldn’t be the worst because i think HALLOWEEN 2 WAS the worst movie of 2009 follow by land of the lost.
i thot fast and furious was ok, i saw it by force and it surprised me, even though its the same old tired plot
How can something surprise you if it’s the same old tired plot?
My girlfriend made me go see the Ugly Truth with her in the theaters. I thought it was horrible.
As the plot unfolded, I predicted at least 75% of the plot before it happened. My girlfriend was really annoyed
So weird you put LAND OF THE LOST as #1 – I saw it not once, but TWICE in theaters! I really liked it but I guess we can’t agree on everything. I mean, MISTER LONELY was one of my favorites of last year 😛
Chris O: This is because film critics have a higher standard of what a movie should be. This the main draw for some of us. Yes, the bread and butter for a critic is when mainstream audiences tune in because they’re excited about an upcoming movie and simply want to hear/read everything they can about it. But the good critic’s real audience (and they know this), the ones who pay attention regularly, are not the ones who giggle at snot jokes, explosions, or a flash of tits and ass.
I like movies. But I don’t like movies that insult my intelligence. I can accept a little stupidity if it’s engaging otherwise, but only a little. (I do exclude from this the films in which the point is stupidity as long as it’s novel and clever stupidity – “Airplane!”, for instance.) A good critic understands this and can save me the trouble of wasting ten bucks and a couple of hours. Another good thing is that they can point out the lesser known movies that I might actually enjoy.
I didn’t need to read any reviews to know that “Avatar” would be stupid, for instance, and I found out I was right when a friend dragged me to it. The majority of people, obviously distracted by shiny things, think it’s wonderful. I kept flipping off the screen when my friend wasn’t looking. Now, this movie is making a lot of people rich or richer, but it’s just crap for the masses like a McDonald’s cheeseburger.
Now, I don’t agree with everything a critic will say. Ebert has matched my tastes the most ever since I was a kid, but even with him, I’ll pay attention to why he pans a movie because whatever it is might interest me. At the same time, I’ll listen carefully when he raves about a movie (though I’m usually in agreement with him on those) to hear if anything makes me roll my eyes. That’s deal breaker for me right there.
I enjoy this site and this critic’s reviews. To be honest, I’m a bigger snob than him because I find him to be entirely too generous sometimes. But I do not doubt his tastes or intelligence.
The studios will tell you you’ll love something. And for most people, that’s good enough for them. If they bomb anyway, it’ll be for reasons like: a character wasn’t cool enough, or an actress wasn’t sexy enough, or someone didn’t get hurt enough (usually the protagonist or the antagonist), or the ending was a downer, or the special effects weren’t special enough. If the studios hit all those buttons, they’re gold. But it’s not enough for some of us.
So anyway, maybe reading what the critics say isn’t for you. No problem. The studios make trailers and teasers that will help you decide. If you want to be more sure of it, wait to see how many millions the movie makes in the first week and judge based on that. Just don’t bitch that critics are out of touch when they are the most in touch of all.