Film

The Worst Films of 2014

Here are 10 films from 2014 that we wish North Korea would have kept us from seeing instead of The Interview.

Of all the lists you'll be perusing over the course of the next few weeks, this one was, without a doubt, the hardest to make. Not because 2014 was so overloaded with quality product; just the opposite, actually. When you have to leave out terrible titles like Sex Tape, Tammy, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Dumb and Dumber To, The Best of Me, No Good Deed, The Last of Robin Hood, As Above So Below, Are You Here, Let's Be Cops, The Devil's Knot, A Haunted House 2, Dark House, The Outsider, Vampire Academy, and I, Frankenstein off your list to make room for the real crap, you know you're dealing with worst of Hollywood's hopeless dung heap... and that's just the ones we were unfortunate enough to see. All around the artform are independent and self-released atrocities just waiting to waste one's time and make them doubt in the existence of God -- or talent.

Yet when it comes right down to it, determining the cream of the crap can also be relatively easy. Indeed, when doing one's critical Santa and making a list (and checking it twice), the sense of unease and disappointment you feel via remembering one mediocrity can be instantly destroyed by recalling one of the 10 entries listed below. It's like killing a mosquito with an A-bomb. It gets the job done, but the fallout remains lethal for decades after. Among the lowlights here are two films (taking up the top two slots, actually) that have faith as the basis for their buffoonery. Granted, some people find God and spirituality in their own way. In the case of those titles - and the rest of this repugnant list - pray is not only suggested, but mandatory. Otherwise, we can't guarantee you'll get out of them with your aesthetics intact.

 
10. If I Stay...
A movie about music more tone deaf than the rejected contestants on American Idol, this second consecutive Summer season YA weeper didn't have its participants making out in the Anne Frank Museum (shame on you, The Fault in Our Stars), but it did offer up death as as good a way of any for judging your potential boyfriend material. In essence, our heroine stays in a coma so she can figure out if the wannabe rocker she's been on-again/off-again with is worthy of her nubile love. We are then treated to some terrible flashbacks which only add to our narrative frustration. By the end, we wish we were unconscious as well.

 
9. Jersey Boys
How does a thing like this happen? How does a somewhat talented director like Clint Eastwood take an incredibly popular stage musical about the equally enjoyable Four Seasons (later, "Frankie Valle and the..."), filled with their catching early '60s pop tunes, and totally drain the joy out of it? How? Perhaps, by turning it into a toothless Goodfellas, complete with Christopher Walken as the most mild mannered, laid back mobster in all of the Cosa Nostra. Eastwood doesn't understand the lure of the Season's sound, or its inherent novelty, so instead, he concentrates on everything else, ending up with a bumbling boring biopic that just so happens to be about a bunch of exciting '60s superstars.

 
8. Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
In one of the funniest examples of backhanded complimenting in recent memory, the producers of the animated CG nightmare blamed critics for killing this otherwise “worthy” sequel to a certain celebrated wizard at the box office. Sure, that’s a slam, but it also assumes that this otherwise “excellent” family entertainment would bank Pixar-level cash, had we journalists just kept our mouths shut. Who knew we still held such sway over finicky ticket buyers? Of course, the godawful efforts on the screen might have played a part in such pans, but if you believe the makers, this movie is “amazing”. Apparently, word of mouth was significantly less so.

 
7. And So It Goes
Two Oscar winners, Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, teamed up with a fellow Academy nominee (Rob Reiner) and all they got in return was this lousy movie. An attempt at an old fashioned rom-com, the plot points are so predictable and telegraphed that Samuel Morse should rise from the grave and sue. Douglas is a sour old crab apple. Keaton is the wannabe lounge singer with a heart of gold. A little kid (his heretofore unknown granddaughter) becomes the biological glue that holds these mismatched mates together, along with about 100 years of tired Tinseltown history. Add these all up and you get a complete and utter disaster.

 
6. Dracula Untold
He was a great seducer, a Victorian cad who allowed readers the illicit thrill of subversive sexual subtext without actually getting down to the bodice ripping. He also offered up the retribution for giving into such animalistic urges, also known as the curse of the undead. So, of course, current license owner Universal has decided that Vlad the Impaler and his monster pals deserve a make-over, and not as craven creatures of the night. Taking a cue from Marvel of all places, they've decided to create their own "Universe," reimagining their properties as a poor man's Avengers. This first film in the proposed series is so awful that it more or less guarantees the others will be better -- or not made at all.

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