I saw a lot of bad movies this year.
These are the ones I disliked the most.
And let me say that if I’d seen National Treasure: Book of Secrets, I’m sure I’d have hated it most of all.
10. Evan Almighty
Steve Carell! Lauren Helen Graham! Morgan Freeman! How can anything starring these people be anything but awesome? I think the problem is that every second of the movie was trying too hard, when, with all of that talent involved, it shouldn’t have had to try at all. I don’t blame the cast at all. I just wanted a lot better for all of them. Original review here.
9. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Like the first Fantastic Four, this isn’t entirely terrible. In fact, it’s actually pretty harmless and kind of fun in a dumb kind of way. But that’s the problem. I still keep hoping that a new writer or director will come along to put some actual thought and effort into this franchise. Original review here.
Had Shooter been done just a little bit differently, it might have made my Top 10 for the year (or at the very least gotten an honorable mention). Mark Wahlberg was excellent in a film that tried to be part The Bourne Identity and part The Fugitive, and for the most part the film succeeds as a fun throwback to classic ’80s actioners like Commando. But about midway through the film, a mean, creepy and completely unnecessary sexual torture subplot comes into play and ruins the whole damn movie. It’s so jarring because it so totally doesn’t match the fun tone of the rest of the movie, which makes its inclusion even more puzzling, bizarre and disgusting.
7. Hannibal Rising
I’ve made this argument many times, and I’ll make it again. Which Hannibal Lecter is more terrifying? A conflicted youth who does what he does because of deep psychological and emotional traumas from his past, or an educated, cultured, charming gentleman who wakes up one morning and decides he’d like to eat people? I’ll go for the latter every time; sometimes evil just happens, and that’s when it’s at its scariest.
6. Catch and Release
Original review right here. I’ll summarize my contempt for this film by saying again that even though it has a solid cast, the main characters all do things that make them entirely unlikable, and all of their awful behaviors are inspired by a dead guy whose actions in life were even more awful and selfish than the actions of the people he left behind! Kevin Smith was a lot of fun as Jennifer Garner’s supportive friend, but by the end of the movie he was riffing on Star Wars as if the filmmakers thought that might be the only thing that could save their train wreck. But fear not, Jenny Garner! You not only also starred in my favorite movie of 2007 but were one of the reasons it was my favorite, so I’ll gladly forgive you for this one.
5. Because I Said So
Original review right here. I can only say “Shame on you!” to the writers and director who somehow found a way to make me dislike a movie in which I get to look at Lauren Graham, Mandy Moore and Piper Perabo.
Jason Statham vs. Jet Li! Well, not really. What should have been wall-to-wall action was weighed down by lots of bad dialogue and a putting-off of the inevitable Statham/Li confrontation until the very end. The film did have one very inspired plot twist, but it handled the twist so badly that it had to create a second (and very ridiculous) plot twist to fix the poor handling of the first (very excellent) plot twist. Truly, truly terrible.
3. The Reaping
Oh, the horror! And I don’t mean scary horror. I mean the horror of having to sit through tripe like this. Oh, Hilary Swank. But at least she was very good in Freedom Writers, which also came out this year. Anyway, The Reaping really is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Atrocious.
2. Ghost Rider
Writer/director Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil was awful despite an excellent leading man performance from Ben Affleck, but his Ghost Rider was downright abysmal. Terrible script, terrible effects, terrible characterization. I’m a huge fan of Nicolas Cage in the right roles, but everything about this movie is all wrong. (Except for the way cinematographer Russell Boyd captured the power of Eva Mendes’s derriere. That thing is good.)
1. Spider-Man 3
The first two Spider-Man movies are among my all-time favorites; this clunker is easily among my most hated, swirling in the same deep, black pool of bile at the center of my gut where Superman Returns lives. It’s so awful that I can’t even talk about it, so I’ll just direct you to my original review right here.
The Top 10 is coming up.