Top Ten Worst Movies of 2012 (That I Saw)

Top Ten Worst Movies of 2012

I don’t go see every movie. I do my best to see as many as I can, but there are some I just don’t feel I need to see in order to do my job. Those I tend to skip are films I’m quite certain I will not enjoy because what need is there, really, for me to head into a movie in a foul mood, with little enthusiasm to review a movie? Especially if said movie is the reason my mood is so foul.

That said, sometimes the job takes you places you would prefer not to go and sometimes those movies you don’t expect to be very good are movies you need to go see. Such films found their way onto this list.

Some of the other entries are simply films I wanted to be good, films that piqued my curiosity or just thought would be fun. They weren’t.

When making my list of the top ten films of each year (see my here) I make the list with the first thought being, “Would I watch this movie again?” With my list of the Top Ten Worst Movies of 2012 that thought becomes, “Would I do most anything to never have to watch this movie again?” Looking over the list of ten films that made this particular top ten I can quite safely say I will never watch a single one of these movies again in my life (because one of them I already have). Yet, there are a few that were just as worthy that had to be left off.

Worst of 2012 : Dishonorable MentionIn the case of the best films of any year there is usually some form of honorable mention, the same goes for the worst films. This is where I get to tell you Oliver Stone‘s Savages nearly made this list, as did Peter Berg‘s Battleship and the awful Act of Valor.

The Amazing Spider-Man and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance were the two comic book movies up for consideration for this list. Yes, for those of you that read Ghost Rider and thought to yourself, “Did that come out this year?” Yes, it did, and it was terrible. Spider-Man was terrible in different ways and wasn’t close to the top ten, but leaving off Ghost Rider was a chore.

On the so-called “comedy” side of the spectrum, The Five-Year Engagement, This is 40 and Ted quite nearly made this list. The funniest of those three is probably This is 40 and yet, it’s probably the worst made of those three. Ted is a film I will never understand why so many people seemed to love it, but then again, I’m sure others will question my taste in comedy considering I enjoyed That’s My Boy and The Watch. Comedy is the one genre that’s nearly impossible to explain what makes us laugh and my taste is wildly different than everyone else it would seem.

The art house had its share of duds as well including Anna Karenina, Hyde Park on Hudson and a film I saw at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai. Being Flynn was a mess, Ruby Sparks I thought would never end and then there was Snow White and the Huntsman, which tried to make this list but was pardoned in the end.

The Bay was a terrible found footage movie, Mel Gibson‘s Get the Gringo belonged on Video On Demand and Sam Worthington‘s career took a couple of hits in 2012 and while it almost made this list, Man on a Ledge was a lesser offender.

EDIT: Some are already asking about Aftershock, which I saw at the Toronto Film Festival this year and hated. It looks like it will have a 2013 release date so it is already in line for a spot on next year’s list, but if you would like to read my thoughts on that film you can find them here.

Every year a lot of movies are made and more often than not those movies are average at best and complete failures at worst. It’s hard to make a great movie, but I’d argue many films aren’t striving for greatness or even a general sense of “good”. Most seem to be hoping for a shrug of the shoulders and a “It wasn’t bad” before being forgotten with hopes sights are set elsewhere.

Well, the following ten films weren’t able to even get that shrug of the shoulders. They got the eye-roll, pained expressions and saw me bolting out of the theater before the first credit could begin to roll.

I now offer my top ten worst films of 2012, may they rest in peace and hopefully never again be disturbed.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Steve Carell in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Steve Carell in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Photo: Focus Features

I will be making a list of my most disappointing films of the year as well and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World will be pulling double duty. I was intrigued by writer/director Lorene Scafaria‘s attempt to turn the idea of an asteroid coming to destroy the Earth into a romantic-comedy. It seemed a dry wit could have a lot of fun playing in that world, but boy did it flounder right out of the gate with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley playing two characters I couldn’t care in the least if they lived or died. He’s a cold fish, and she’s got an oh-so-charming fondness for the history of the record player. Ugh.

REVIEW SNIPPET: (read the full review here)

None of the performances were particularly intriguing either. We’ve seen Carell mope before, feeling mistreated and lost, and I’d argue Knightley brought a maturity level closer to that of a high schooler than the adult with her character. No part of this film rung true to me as much as everyone seemed to be conjured out of thin air. Given the intensity of the circumstances I guess I was merely supposed to accept this is how these people would be acting. I couldn’t do it.

This film just sort of sits there, going through the motions, hitting its minor plot points, hoping you’re along for the ride, but it results in a missed opportunity.

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