The Worst Films of 2009

by PopMatters Staff

6 January 2010


5 - 1


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The Proposal

Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen, Malin Akerman, Craig T. Nelson
Review [19.Jun.2009]


The Proposal
Anne Fletcher

We have become so beaten down by the annual inundation of romantic comedies that are punched out like so many factory-produced widgets, updated very occasionally to keep up with that year’s fads, that sometimes it can take a film as disappointing as The Proposal to remind us just how bad things have gotten. The fish-out-of-water story, in which an abused assistant (Ryan Reynolds) gets even with his dragon-lady boss (Sandra Bullock), would be unfortunate enough, but the sexist disapproval of professional single women that hovers over the whole thing gives it an additionally foul stench. The laughs that Reynolds and Bullock spark up together against all odds make you wish for a screwball comedy that was worth their time. And ours. Chris Barsanti



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GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Director: Stephen Sommers
Cast: Channing Tatum, Christopher Eccleston, Sienna Miller, Dennis Quaid, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Marlon Wayans


GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Stephen Sommers

There’s nothing wrong with trying to cash-in on ‘80s toy nostalgia, but GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra doesn’t match the wit and imagination of an eight-year-old playing with his plastic army men. Sure, lip service and the occasional action sequence is paid to accelerator suits and nanotechnology, but the “recent future” world of the film feels flat, thanks mostly to a charisma-less cast of heroes working for an organization that’s supposed to read as international but mostly feels generic. With Joes so bland—whose inoffensiveness is reiterated in a series of time-killing flashbacks—it’s hard not to come away rooting for the only aspect of the film that has any spark of inventiveness to them (even if only temporary): the villains. Marisa LaScala



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Director: Larry Charles
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, Clifford Bañagale, Josh Meyers
Review [10.Jul.2009]


Larry Charles

No one ever doubted that Sacha Baron Cohen was a brazen and daring comedian—he proved that with Borat—and his marketing campaign for this story of a gay Austrian fashionista was a work of dogged genius. Why, then, is Brüno so disappointing, a grab-bag of desperate, attention-whoring stunts? Perhaps the shtick is getting stale. Most of the set-ups and baits here are painfully obvious, lacking any bite or satire. Baron Cohen narrates the film in a smug, deliberately narcissistic voiceover, clamoring for some semblance of story to tie up his eye-rolling gags. Whatever else it is, the whole scene in which he visits Israel is stupid and irresponsible. There was a lot of debate upon this film’s release regarding whether it straddled homophobic or homosexual-awareness lines. To be honest: does it really matter, when the titular hero is such an unfunny village idiot? Brüno is as subtle and as imaginative as the gyrating schlong which actually appears in it, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Andrew Blackie



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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Director: Chris Weitz
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Nikki Reed
Review [20.Nov.2009]


The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The Twilight Saga: New Moon could best be described as a long, drawn-out perfume commercial with fangs… except that the perfume commercial would be better written and acted. Horrendously wooden voiceovers bookend a ludicrous plot about a high school girl who is the hormonal equivalent of a chum bucket to strapping vampire and werewolf lads who both happen to find her irresistible. While Kristin Stewart’s Bella bellows anguished cries over her lost vampire lover in the middle of the night (more hilarious than heartrending), Taylor Lautner’s teen wolf tries to make her forget him by whipping off his shirt to show his washboard abs at completely inappropriate moments. All this and more makes New Moon a full blown fap-fest to lovelorn folks with goth leanings. The only mythical power the film possesses is to make the viewer want to pound a stake into their own heart rather than endure multiple viewings. Lana Cooper



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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Peter Cullen, Tony Todd, Mark Ryan, Hugo Weaving, John Turturro, Tom Kenny, Reno Wilson, Megan Fox, Charlie Adler, Frank Welker, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson,
Review [24.Jun.2009]


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Michael Bay

Have you seen the trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? Well, resist the urge to see the movie, if you haven’t already, and imagine watching the trailer over and over for roughly two hours and 15 minutes. Don’t try to add any plot (the film doesn’t have much of a plot anyway). Just the trailer, that’s it. If the idea of watching an insanely long trailer sounds unappealing, then you should be able to understand why Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the worst movie of 2009. Devoid of exposition to the point where one could fall asleep without even realizing he had, the film is a mindless collection of explosions and a girl in a tank top. It’s not a movie, it’s a commercial for GM and Megan Fox that can be explained by anybody able to memorize the sentence, “Hey did you like that one explosion with that one robot?” Gregg Lipkin


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