In the second part [read the first part here] of our Worst Films of 2011 list, regular Criticize This! critic Andrew Parker chimes in with the 10 films he despised more than any others this year.
10. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – By not even attempting to care about the mystery that should be driving an actual Sherlock Holmes movies, director Guy Ritiche delivers his worst film since Swept Away with this blustering, incoherent, and assaulting bit of cinematic noise. Even Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t seem to care about starring in this film, simply content to phone in a performance equal to playing Sherlock as if he’s Jack Sparrow with a brain.
9. New Year’s Eve – Someone should sit down and have a serious conversation with director Garry Marshal and tell him that no matter how hard he tries he will never be Love Actually creator Richard Curtis and that he needs to learn how to tell ONE story in a satisfying manner instead of stringing a whole bunch together with only a holiday to relate to them. A painful experience that suggests Marshal should just up and retire before he ruins holidays worse than 80s slasher films did.
8. Creature – Not so much awful as it’s just plain sloppy, this barely seen dud tries to revive the swamp monster film, but with very little ingenuity and the most baffling and anger inducing climax to a horror film in recent memory (mostly because nothing happens). This is the kind of film that would’ve been made with a camcorder in the 80s and released straight to video, which would be fine if that’s what it was. Instead, it’s way too slickly produced for any of its sometimes sleazy subject matter to be fun.
7. The Lincoln Lawyer – Speaking of sleazy, this implausibly well liked adaptation of author Michael Connelly’s best seller never once cops to how brain dead it is and instead thinks of itself as a prestige project. Featuring some of the most gaping plot holes in the history of legal potboilers (including a crime that in flashbacks continually shows witnesses to the crime that are never once questioned or even brought up in court), the melodrama on display here is sickening. It’s mysoginst, homophobic, and worst of all, completely irredeemable outside of watching some decent actors (Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, and William H. Macy, to name just a few) who are really slumming here.
6. Red Riding Hood – Twilight and Thirteen director Catherine Hardwick unsuccessfully attempts to turn her overtly sexual eye to fairy tales with this laugh out loud funny retelling of that girl who wears the hood. I think I’ve blocked most of this movie from my memory because I can’t remember any specific scenes from the film except for one where Gary Oldman hams it up so much he should change his name to Babe. Easily the worst literary adaptation of the year by far.
5. Priest – Murky, useless 3-D + a sanitized version of a story that should have been far nastier + total incoherence and incompetence = the 5th worst movie of the year, and easily the worst to feature Christopher Plummer in a prominent role.
4. The Hangover Part II – While my editor here would disagree with me on this one, this insulting, insipid excuse for a sequel simply recycles the plot of the decent original film word for word and mistakes being funnier and zanier than the original simply by being meaner and nastier. The most unredeemable blockbuster of the year.
3. Wound – While I didn’t review this New Zealand horror import for this site, I trashed it almost as badly as my editor here did. He had more words to explain his hatred for this gory mess than I did, though. An icky and thoroughly reprehensible mess that occupies this spot on the list most likely because I didn’t see Human Centipede 2 this year. I can’t imagine it being worse than this.
2. The Art of Getting By – The problems of rich white kids don’t get any more thoroughly banal than this annoying tale of an underachiever (Freddie Highmore, with a horrible accent and in over his head) with a crush on a free spirited rich girl (Emma Roberts, on autopilot). It’s the kind of movie only the one percent club could love, but even they might find the whining on display here to be a bit much to swallow. It’s even lightyears worse than Wound was, meaning it should by all rights be the worst movie if the year, but…
1. Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star – … is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. I couldn’t watch it in a single sitting and I almost walked away from the paycheque reviewing it would have brought me. An ugly, hateful, and unfunny movie from the Adam Sandler “laugh factory,” this film should be used to end hostage standoffs instead of blaring loud music or using tear gas. I can’t think of a more singularly awful film that I’ve seen in my entire life. And no, that isn’t a recommendation to see it just so you bad movie buffs out there can say you sat through it. Some things in life just aren’t worth it.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know what movies you hated this year in the comments below.
Top image: A scene from Priest. Courtesy Sony Pictures.