Here’s the sad truth about life as a film critic – in order to get to the good stuff, you have to sift through a whole lot of shit first. This year, that law held as true as ever, and though 2014 yielded some truly extraordinary works of cinematic decadence and beauty, it also gave us some real clunkers. For every Guardians of the Galaxy, there was an Amazing Spider-Man 2. For every Interstellar, there was a Transcendence. This year, Hollywood rained such an unrelenting deluge of crapola down on moviegoers that some still claim 2014 was one of the worst years for movies on record.
Without getting into whether or not that statement holds water, it’s true that, over the past twelve months, I went up against some of the most atrocious and meritless messes I’ve ever encountered. Fuming in my seat, I quietly endured all manner of shallow, CGI-glutted blockbusters (I, Frankenstein), pretentious slogfests (Very Good Girls) and straight-up disasters (Transcendence). Now, the time for my vengeance is finally at hand (*insert maniacal laugh*).
There were some good, even great movies in 2014 (which I’ll be counting off for you next week). It’s just that there were way more terrible ones. Luckily, I avoided some of the most relentlessly dire ones to hit theaters, which is why you won’t see Transformers: Age of Extinction, Endless Love, The Pyramid and The Expendables 3 on this list. (Let’s say a brief prayer for my co-worker Matt Donato, who sat through all of those and just hasn’t been the same since.)
That’s not to say any of us critics got out unscathed, though. As fortunate as I was to keep those pics at arm’s length, I found myself trapped in front of an array of disasters this year. I could rant for a while about movies that look like they were cobbled together five minutes before opening night, but this list is more about the movies that downright insulted me. For me, a movie that squanders its potential is worse than practically anything else (unless Michael Bay is involved). They’re depressing, frustrating and painful to watch.
So here’s my rundown of those worst of the worst: the films that utterly missed the mark, that you should burn at night to keep yourself warm, and the ones that made me question whether it’s time the FDA started examining movies alongside the MPAA.
Here’s the crap of the crop.