The Five Worst Films Of 2012 So Far

With half the year behind us, we recently looked at the Ten Best Films of 2012 So Far, and as I wrote in that article, it has been an incredibly strong year for film. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some outright creative failures as well, and while I don’t feel there have been enough awful films to fill another top-ten list, there’s plenty for a Top Five.

So today, we’re looking at the Five Worst Films of 2012 So Far, and trust me when I say this is a list loaded with bad. Each one of these movies hurt me, battered my soul and chipped away at my spirit until I felt like never returning to a theatre again. They are that awful, and if you’re one of those people who thinks watching bad movies is fun, don’t seek out these. They’re not ‘funny’ bad. They’re offensively bad, and I despise them with every fiber of my being.

So without further ado, let’s kick off the countdown of crap with the Top Five Worst Films of 2012 So Far… 

5. John Carter

I resent the idea some have recently suggested that critics like me dismissed John Carter creatively because it bombed financially. I saw John Carter at an early screening a week before it opened. There was no possible way for box-office data to influence my criticism, and even if there were, I believe myself an intelligent enough person to separate commerce from art when forming opinions.

And in my honest, unfiltered opinion, I believe John Carter is a train-wreck of a movie. The script is a disastrous hodge-podge of unnecessarily complex exposition and inept character development, the acting is largely horrendous (especially from lead Taylor Kitsch), and tonally, it’s all over the place without any clear sense of voice.

Director Andrew Stanton seems unsure whether he’s making a serious sci-fi drama or a lighthearted pulp adventure, so he’s seemingly elected to do both, and the choice doesn’t succeed. It’s impossible to take long conversations about Martian marital succession plans seriously when the next cut will take us to the title character jumping around canyons like a super Mario brother. The tone never gels, the story is too convoluted to be interesting, and I never felt even remotely invested in the characters.

John Carter is a bad, bad movie. I personally believe that is part of the reason why it bombed at the box-office. That it set new records for financial failure has nothing to do with my opinion of the film. I simply did not like nor respond to it on any level, and while it’s certainly not as bad as the next four movies on this countdown, it’s absolutely one of the biggest creative misfires of 2012.

4. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

You know what I love about fishing?  Subtlety. 

It is a quiet sport, one based on patience and discipline; it requires both a nuance of craft and a stillness of mind, which is precisely why fishing is such an attractive activity to many.  With a rod in one’s hand, in a boat or in waders, where else can one find such mental peace and clarity?

Not in Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, for starters. A story about a real-life effort to introduce salmon fishing to the harsh conditions of the Yemen river, the film claims to have a love and understanding of fishing, but it is an impostor, for it has not a subtle bone in its spectacularly stupid body.  Every plot point is loudly telegraphed, every character trait shouted at the camera, every message or theme delivered in monologue, every second of music obvious and manipulative, every piece of development outlined with small, easily digestible phrases, and so on and so on.

Combined with flat characters, terrible comedic interludes, and a number of plot contrivances so ill-advised they border on morally reprehensible, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen displays startlingly naked contempt for the audience’s intellect. The film fishes not with grace and precision, but with dynamite, and the results are proportionally disastrous. To their credit, Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt are both quite good in the lead roles, but that’s the film’s sole redeeming quality. Like a salmon scared away by a group of loud, drunken buffoons, it’s best to keep swimming until one finds something better.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos

Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist is one of my absolute favorite stories of all time, an endlessly imaginative and wickedly smart work of epic fiction that I could never recommend highly enough.

But The Sacred Star of Milos, the latest film based on the anime adaptation, is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad train-wreck, a giant middle finger to devoted fans of Arakawa’s work and one of the more thoroughly painful cinematic experiences in recent memory.

The film has many problems – for starters, the animation is atrociously lazy on every possible level – but the film’s core issue is that it is, in essence, one-hundred uninterrupted minutes of exposition. Of characters explaining, in excruciatingly precise detail, every single minute facet of the story, most of it entirely irrelevant. When they aren’t going over the plot, they dive into backstory, exploring the history behind the narrative. When they aren’t doing this, the characters inexplicably decide to relate everything they are feeling, describing every emotion or thought as though it is worthy of Shakespearean scholarship. Even in the midst of a big-action set piece, the characters will still find time for long, droning exposition, and it is absolutely dreadful to watch.

Even with all this exposition, the plot still makes precious little sense. To say The Sacred Star of Milos is riddled with plot holes would be an insult both to plots and to holes. The ‘story,’ such as it is, involves three nations, a town, and a great big valley, but figuring out where all the characters fit in, who they work for, or what they’re trying to accomplish is a fool’s errand, because what may be true one minute could be entirely false once the next plot contrivance arrives.

The new characters, of which there are many, are wildly inconsistent, and the old characters we know and love are barely featured. In the last act, the film’s last vestiges of coherency are torn asunder by a number of twists that make so little sense it’s a wonder they don’t rupture tears in the space-time continuum.

I have never before seen a movie that was both largely incomprehensible and fetishistically devoted to clarifying its own story. Usually, it’s one or the other. With Milos, it’s both, and at the very least, you have to give the movie props for establishing a brand new level of anime awfulness.

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Comments (140)

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  1. LizzieJsays:

    I couldn’t agree with you any less about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  It was a lovely film, whose gentle good humor and hopeful story are what we need more of from film.  If you enjoyed the excellently directed Battleship (cough), the oh so well made A Thousand Words (choke) or any of the other crap that Hollywood is churning out these days better, then you are welcome to it. 

  2. seyaedomsays:

    The script to John Carter is actually pretty good. It’s well detailed and written nicely. Not filled with cliche BS and one liners like the Avengers.
    The CGI in John Carter is great as well. Acting is also good. I take it you didn’t see the movie and you’re just cosigning whatever you’ve read from critics.

    1. buffslayer22says:

       @seyaedom I do 3D and motion graphics and the compositing in some places of John Carter is absolutely laughable.  There are places where pieces of the characters float oddly like Hal Jordan’s head in Green Lantern, as if they weren’t properly stabilized or tracked.  I also had problems with the design.  Frank Frazetta’s drawings and textures connote armor not dissimilar to the battle worn armor in Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings.”  The armor in Carter is pearlescent and iridescent and more akin to the ahistorical, fantasy armor of “Thor.”  I teach film and write reviews in my spare time as well, and being a John Carter fan, I certainly was not engaged with this movie as the director kept hitting off notes that would interrupt the flow of the movie.  I wrote, that if you check your expectations at the door, and view it somewhere along the lines of “The Mummy” it was a fun popcorn film.  But if you were expecting something a cut above, you would have to look elsewhere.  I couldn’t tell you how much hate mail I received saying I knew nothing about “Carter.”  I did in fact know a lot about Carter, the same way I know about Sherlock Holmes and many other characters I love (I actually grew up in an age when people read fantastic escapist, well-written literature, and we used our minds to create the worlds that these words inspired).  Also, having been a writer myself, and optioning several scripts, I had to say that the individual choices of John Carter weren’t wrong in and of themselves, but it was the context in which the choices were made that upset the tonal and aesthetic beauty of Carter.  There’s nothing wrong with tuna fish, but tuna on a peanut butter sandwich isn’t for everyone; and the lack of box office support for Carter doesn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t a flaw in marketing as well; but great movies are known to generate their own buzz and their own marketing.   

  3. dman111says:

    i knew from the preview THE LORAX would be horrendous! the message was clearly not there in ANY preview, even the “tease” of a moral felt convoluted by the staff trying to expressing it. THE LORAX was my favorite DR SUESS novel, the lorax had nobility. NOT in the movie or ANY of the trailers. It made it look unintelligent. The Lorax was a wise and noble creature not FRANK from ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILLY (which is how DEVITO played it, it shoulda been more serious)

    1. dman111says:

      the environment is a serious thing and as our world becomes more and more polluted it woulda been nice to have them receive a clear cut positive message. NOT THIS TURD THAT WAS PUSHED OFF ON AUDIENCES! so kids in the new millenium can grow up with sketchy values.

  4. AdamBrittensays:

    I didn’t think John Carter was THAT bad. Sure, the script had problems and the lead was pretty terrible, but there were some elements of the movie that I enjoyed.

  5. Spawn_of_Santasays:

    I enjoyed John Carter a lot more than Prometheus. 

  6. Spriggan7says:

    I FREAKING LOVED John Carter. And before snobby critics write me off as a simple minded movie goer who is eager to please, I assure you that is not the case. John Carter is NOWHERE near as bad as some people would have you believe. Sure I was a little bit annoyed at Taylor Kitsch potrayal (he didn’t sound like a Confederate soldier at all) but I’ve seen a lot worse. JC had a decent story, likable characters, fantastic special effects, and some great action scenes; most notably the scene when he and Woola are fighting all those Martians while he’s having flashbacks about his family, that scene was just beautiful. I don’t know what all the haters were expected from it, but John Carter is a great sci-fi flick the whole family  can enjoy. Its got a little something in there for everybody.
    P.S. As far as Sci-Fi adventure flicks go, it kicks the crud out of Tron: Legacy and Avatar (although thats not very hard is it).

  7. kmcarlocksays:

        I feel bad for you that someone choked to death your inner child years ago.  I am 50 years old and LOVE this movie.  Guess you never saw those ’60s and ’70s Harryhausen adventure films which this movie recalls.  Sorry that the John Carter character works out his feelings with swords rather than tears.  I enjoyed the heck out of John Carter and quite cynically feel the only reason you deride this movie is to drive up page hits.  Because you’re not going to stir up the fanboys going on about salmon.

  8. ClayChristopherHarrissays:

     My own opinion is somewhat biased. i am an active sci -fi/fantasy fan. i don’t shy away from the term “geek” at all. i’ve seen avengers 3 times, loved the amazing spider-man….and i adored John Carter. There were actually several moments in the film that were …heart-rendering. and i mean in ways that lord of the rings impressed me. i actually thought the movie was more in the vein of pulp sci-fi than the star wars prequels were. however u  measure train-wrecks 4 movie-going, we’re obviously not even on the same railroad…..the fact that u mention John Carter in the same sentence with Super Mario Bros. kind of tells me that your lack of appreciation for the source material by Edgar Rice Burroughs is nearly cataclysmic. Which explains , of course, why you’re a critic. Go read the books ( or at least the 70’s Marvel Comics adaptations) before you go around pontificating about the “tone” of John Carter. It is the grandfather of all sci-fi space operas, and even modern superheroes. Most “serious science-fiction dramas” owe their entire existence to John Carter of Mars. 
    Meanwhile, please keep resenting the opinions from fans like me. It took decades for science-fiction to be respected as a literary genre, well before the CGI blockbusters of the 21st Century. Fans like me had 2 write, annoy, and piss off critics like u before the George Lucases and the Stanley Kubricks could even get their feet in the door.  But , in the end, we succeeded. Sci -fi is a popular, wonderful teaching tool that can get kids interested in math, sciences, AND the arts . And that makes the world a better place.

  9. dsjj251says:

    I thought John Carter was a good film, better than the avengers.
    I honestly dont understand the hate for that movie, the fans boys seems to hate it but that has to do with whether or not it is a decent adaption, not if it is a good film in and of itself. from the people i have talk to that saw it, they all liked it.

  10. widdershinssays:

    John Carter was incredible. I never bother looking at what critics have to say about anything before deciding to watch, listen to, or read something. In fact, I avoid all critical commentary like radioactivity. Sometimes I’ll read what someone has to say after I’ve seen or heard or read a work, and such was the case here. I couldn’t believe someone would include John Carter on a list of the worst movies of the year. I would personally put it on the list of the best. It just goes to show you…

    1. “It just goes to show you” that our opinions differ? Wow, what an amazing revelation Professor Einstein! You must feel so incredibly accomplished to have learned not everybody agrees with you! Gee, maybe next you can learn to count, and memorize all the colors, and even work your way up to the ABCs!

      I’m glad you liked John Carter. I really am. But give me a friggin’ break over this “critics are idiots because they don’t agree with me” thing. You must lead a sad, lonely life if you hate everyone who disagrees with you.

      1. jedcebkcsays:

        classic elitist crap.. attack the intelligence of someone who has a different oppinion.. grats! did your ego grow after that?

      2. Infectdsays:

        Or you could be less disrespectful. you re a dick my friend. Critics are out of touch. Rotten Tomatoes has my favorite example actually. Out Cold for example has like a 7% from critics and has over 85% from users. Critics have no middle ground any more. If the movie wasn’t life altering it is a D+ at best. Go fuck yourself you smug piece of shit.

      3. Slicksays:

        Ok’s the deal..everyone has a right to their own opinion, nobody’s disputing that, but “professional critics” are held to a higher standard…that’s just the way it if someone has an opinion about the guy that criticizes other people’s hard work for a living..tough need to be a douche about it..lighten up a little…

      4. tonypsays:

        Well, that was entirely uncalled for. You’re entitled to your opinion but you’re not entitled to belittle anyone for having theirs. Based on the evidence presented here, you’re not in a position to cast aspersions on the intellectual prowess of others.

      5. Smoovesays:

        What a douche. He never said critics are idiots, only that he avoided them like radioactivity. Would you be mad if I said I do the same? Fuck off dick.

      6. Ibbock86says:

        Wow you must have a great amount of people that respect you if you talk to people you dont even know like that, you tried to belittle that person for having an opinion to make yourself look more grown up and smarter than everyone else but you pretty much just made yourself look like a complete and utter douche….congratulations tosser.

      7. Bobbysays:

        Just a tip after reading all these posts that apparently disagree strongly with your list. Follow what a politician would do and make no comment… dont start bashing the critique or the crowd will rip you apart.

  11. Larus Sigsays:

    You should change your last name to “Hack”, I can´t really take a film critic seriously that would put John Carter on a “worst 5 films of the year”. I absoutely loved it, however I do realize that it would not neccesarily be everybodys cup of tea, but to put it on a list like this is just preposterous. I also don´t agree about “The Lorax”, the only other film I have seen on this list, I´ll admit I actually didn´t like it but I didn´d dislike it either, was very average in my opininon but I would never put it on a list like this.

  12. n8csquaredsays:

    John Carter was horrible. I think you’ve placed it correctly in worst 5. There just wasn’t anything good about it. I was skeptical from the trailers but saw it against my better judgement and was not surprised when I was disappointed with the outcome.

  13. riiznsays:

    John Carter is one of the worst things I’ve ever watched. I haven’t seen anything else on this list, nor did I have plans to, with the possible exception of the Full Metal feature. Not any more though.

  14. Sullysays:

    I think that people who didn’t know about the John Carter franchise before going into the movie probably didn’t like it. Reports I read were like “a Star Wars rip off”, “an Avatar rip off.” Anyone who knew anything about the franchise already knew that JC was the inspiration *for* those movies, not inspired by them. John Carter is the reason we have Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, Avatar, Conan, and on and on. He was the first real superhero.

  15. The_Face_of_Boesays:

    I usually instantly discount the opinions of people who jump on the bandwagon of stupidity. You sir have done that by including John Carter on your list. Not only was it not one of the worst it was one of the better movies so far this year. Stop catering to so called popular opinion.

    1. I agree TFOB. One of the better movies I have seen this year. Thanks.

  16. Adam Sandler movies by and large suck 9 times out of 10. He tries to be funny but mostly it’s humor he himself only finds amusing.

    1. he used to be funny, before he started to advertise his Jewishness. Now its all about jews these jews that..

  17. I just saw John Carter. Loved it.

    1. Bob Backwardssays:

      Ye the acting may have been weak and there were certainly a few holes here and there but i actually managed to sit through the film which speaks volumes seeing as i couldn’t even get 5 minutes of Battleshits

    2. Katsays:

      I honestly couldn’t finish watching John Carter. I thought it was so bad I turned off the DVD after about 30 minutes. It was such bad film-making that I found it offensive.

      1. obviously u havent read the book.. i’ve grew up on it! u probably would enjoy battle ship, or saw of some other trash as such..

  18. Martin Soderstromsays:

    John Carter was an amazing movie and I really hope they do another one. It suffered from bad marketing. Do yourself a favor and ignore the marketing and self-appointed critics and just watch the film and see for yourself. I’ve watched it 3 or 4 times. Great stuff. Oh, and go out and get any of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels (there’s over 50 of them!) and see what real storytelling looks like.

    1. Very good Martin! I am also hoping for a sequel. I believe many young people do not get Burroughs because they don’t understand America in the early days as compared to current events.

    2. J to the Osays:

      I can do no other than echo Martin’s response!

  19. Arieasays:

    First of all, did you people read what the man said? He explained in painful detail all the things he hated about these movies and you still believe he’s catering to popular opinion?I can’t judge 3 of them because I haven”t seen them, but I ‘ii take his word because I have seen the other 2. I waited for John Carter to come out on DVD and then spent way too much on it……It was so bad that my grandchildren ( 2 five year old and 2 eight year old and one three year old) asked me to turn it off and put the Power Rangers on. And Adam Sandler is and has been for quite some time a true disgrace to Humankind………… .

    1. Dansays:

      Your grandchildren have bad taste.

    2. You really expected a group of little kids all of them under 9 to understand a movie mostly aimed at teens and up? Wow man, you’re so smart…

    3. Debra LaPumasays:

      Let me get this straight – John Carter was “so bad” because it couldn’t hold the attention of 3 to 8 year old kids? Considering that this was NOT a movie for the toddler set, I don’t consider your grandchildren to be any more valid critics than the author of this (extremely) biased article!

  20. jeteyesays:

    I saw John Carter and did not feel it was quite so bad, and actually enjoyed it…but yes, I would have to agree with you on the rest..

  21. angry3says:

    I liked Salmon Fishing in the Yemen…so there…

  22. I was sad to see the Fullmetal Alchemist movie on this list…buuut if you love FMA and thought this movie was terrible, I believe you.

  23. Pearsays:

    I really liked John Cater, not bother watching it again and again.

  24. John Cartersays:

    John Carter was awesome. It reminded me of the 70s Flash Gordon movie I remember seeing as a kid. Exiting to watch as long as you don’t get hung up on it making sense.

    1. shane hsays:

      Flash Gordan came out in 1980. ;P Loved it as a kid as well, btw — very campy but entertaining movie with a killer soundtrack (Queen ftw!)

      1. Dr. Decadessays:

        1980 was the last year of the seventies. So there’s that…

  25. Really diasagree about John Carter, it isn’t garbage movie. I LIKE it! And I seen it few times, whitch is not happening with crap films.

  26. John Carter” worst film of 2012” who wrote this can only be retarded!

  27. Infectdsays:

    I liked John Carter. You are overly opinionated and think that every single movie needs to pander to your taste. I am sorry that not every movie can be the best and greatest thing you have ever seen. It is sad you can no longer just enjoy a B movie for what it is. Need a better example of comparison on how far out of touch Critics are? Check out the reviews for Out Cold on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics and the general consumer are very different in taste. So much that I think their opinions no longer matter.

    1. S3RIOUSsays:

      I’ve read all the john carter books. I thought they changed so much around in the movie. For one thing there the wasn’t an amulet in the book that allowed him to travel to Barsoom. I have no idea where they pulled that from. Also the therns did not have magical powers. I wished I watched the movie before I read the books because I constantly found myself criticizing it.

  28. Starscream and Hutchsays:

    wow, first time i find anything on this zerg bullshit and it’s a worthless piece of shit article from a small dicked fun hating loser. Never comin back here again. But I will go watch John Carter, cause it fuckin ruled. Small minds, small dicks, small ad revenue. That’s zerg.

  29. artemissays:

    I agree with everything you said about “That’s My Boy”–a totally disgusting movie. But, I also hated all those talk show hosts who had Adam Sandler on and then greeted him as king of comedy.

  30. Whodatninjasays:

    This list sucks. Especially John Carter as an addition. Critics were bagging on that one before it even came out.

    1. Blofeldsays:

      Perhaps because they SAW it before it came out? One of the perks of being a goddamn movie critic.

      1. ORLY? And where do you get your diploma on “Cynical Movie Criticism”? It’s more like a bunch of opinionated douchebags that have nothing better to do, yup, that’s a movie critic. And just like in John Carter’s case, they just wait for the first bad review to jump on the sheep wagon.

      2. Ibbock86says:

        That is the problem, Critics should be the last people to see films not the first.

  31. NojustN0says:

    Not a good top worst ones………….

  32. I really enjoyed John Carter. I think you need to look at that one again.

  33. Dansays:

    John Carter is amazing.

    Nuff said!wh

  34. I believe you are mistaken about John Carter. For those of us who read the Book Series of John Carter of Mars, the Movie was GREAT! It was true to the writer Edgar Rice Burroughs and true to the Story line…for the most part. I really enjoyed the movie experience although it was different than the book experience. I am able to recognize why & how it is different and enjoyed the Movie immensely. Your comments about the Salmon Fishing movie betray that you are a devout fisherman who was dissappointed in the treatment of a fishing story. If you had read the entire series of John Carter I believe you would better appreciate the Movie. It is about a great story teller who spins a story about an adventure beyond imagining…unless you are Edgar Rice Burroughs.

  35. Kayn Remi Lamar Hamiltonsays:

    Thats my boy looks hilarious bro, if you actually properly watched an Adam Sandler film properly instead of jumping on the bandwagon you’d know that most of Sandler’s films are about some total douche who realises where his life has gone wrong and tries to fix things. All of his films have morals, but you wouldn’t know that because that’s not what everybody else thinks

  36. Jared Cristysays:

    Like everyone else i loved John Carter, so much I boght the movie and the books series. After reading the books I do think he could have done better. Most disappointing though is that the next two books after the princess of mars which it was based on were even better. You apparently have little in common with the taste of most people. As critic ratings have been low for this movie but people who have watched have given it a high rating. if you had actually read the book and had an informed perception on this movie I would give you that but at this point you sound nothing short of a hack.

  37. Duncan Longsays:

    I have to disagree: As far as I’m concerned, John Carter was a fantastic movie, right up there with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the original Star Wars movie. The acting is good, the special effects amazing, and the pacing perfect. Other than that…

  38. Mikesays:

    You listed John Carter as one of your five worst films and lost my interest in the rest of your choices. I can understand not liking it, we all have or own tastes. I thought the film was flawed, but fun with a great sense of humor. It also managed to capture the pulp genre so well. I suspect it actually didn’t real make your five worst films list originally, but you added it to get more hits on your article. For that I’ll be avoiding anything you write from this point on, Jonathan R Lack.

    1. Eddy Gordosays:

      I second this theory, just digging for traffic here. Not coming back.

      1. Jeffsays:

        Agreed. John Carter hit the target it was aiming for quite nicely, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was not meant to be subtle, you fool. It was meant to be absurd (see: the title…), and it was. That was what made it fun!

      2. parasvatisays:

        “Lack” is right. John Carter kicked ass. Another idiot wanna-be reviewer.

    2. FromTokyosays:

      Because the person didn’t like a movie you do like you don’t want to visit the site anymore? Rather childish response, negating your statement about understanding a person not liking the film and how we all have our own tastes. “You don’t like what I like, so I’m leaving.” >_> Lucky for you the internet is a very big place.

      1. The problem wasn’t the disagreement, but the belief the film was listed simply to get hits. With Full Metal Alchemist listed you do have to wonder why we just don’t walk into Blockbuster and target 5 straight to DVD movies as the worst. Instead, he places a film whose criticism has been controversial as the first thing visitors see.

  39. stansays:

    All you John Carter lovers in here-are you paid by the studio to write these comments? You must be, because John Carter SUCKED! It was horrible, unless of course you never read ERB’s stories upon which the movie is based. If you want to be entertained, read the “Warlord of Mars” and sequels (available for free on the internet) and you will understand why JC was an abomination.

  40. I love the “critic vs. ‘the people'” comments – if “the people” are all such fans of John Carter, because it’s so awesome and only a critic could dislike it… wouldn’t it have been at least moderately successful? If Rotten Tomatoes is the supposed arbiter of how “out of touch” the elitist critics are, wouldn’t the difference between critics (51%) and “the people” (62%) be wider? Critics do what they do. Find one whose taste lines up with yours, and they can save you from wasting money on movies you’ll hate, or perhaps inspire you to go see one on which you might have passed. Childishly slamming someone who disagrees with you hidden behind the anonymity of the internet is not impressing anyone.

  41. Sara E. Jamessays:

    I’ll echo those who liked John Carter. I really enjoyed it and so did the rest of my family. Why can’t it be funny and serious? Plenty of movies are.

  42. patricksays:

    After reading your review of John Carter and having read the series, I must agree with your critique. Why do movie companies have to mess with a good story. I promise you, that if you read the series, NOTHING compared with the movie. Why do movie companies have to dumb down their movies to appease the masses. It the books were good enough to turn into a movie, than make the book the movie. They did it to Conan, TWICE, Robert Howard is turning in his grave. John Carter was a war hero not a turn coat. Why they chose to take the safe road and remove the name, Princess of Mars from the title. They invented a blue ray that never existed. I sat through the entire Imax experiance bored. I kept comparing it to the LOR trilogy and asking why did they butcher this film which spawned almost every Sci Fi film ever made. Thank you for your lucid critique.

  43. John Carter was bad. Of course that is just mine and allot of peoples opinions. It didnt realy have good special effects. (which it seemed to be relying on). Taylor Kitchs (or whatever) wasnt good or likable in it. One major plot whole. And just plain boring. The one part I thought was kind of cool was the dog like alien and the battle in the middle of the desert. (mars) Where John and the dog were fighting and all the blood(blue pen ink) was flying around. I dont need violence in a movie. Its just welcome when the movie is putting you to sleep.

  44. HongVansays:

    I do agree about The Sacred Star of Milos but not so sure about the rest..

  45. Johnsays:

    Saw ‘John Carter’ listed and figured the rest of the list was BS.

  46. trishbeezsays:

    You forgot “Rock of Ages.” ’nuff said.

    1. J to the Osays:

      Ridiculous film! Tom Cruise singing “Wanted Dead or Alive”? He can’t sing! And that is just the start of it all!

  47. W W Woodwardsays:

    As far as I can determine I have a copy of every SciFi related story Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote and had looked forward to the day when movie making magic could do justice to the stories I have seen in my mind’s eye since first reading them back in the 1950s. There were flaws in the John Carter movie as expected, however on the whole I think it was well done. Thankfully it wasn’t converted into one of those critically acclaimed artsy fartsy limp-wristed pieces of trash that seem to win all the awards. Granted there wasn’t much back story development, but I’ve had over 60 years to develop that for myself. The John Carter character’s physical abilities were somewhat overdone and the scene where Carter commandeered the flyer was ridiculous. I can understand that for someone who has never read Burroughs, the movie could be confusing, but for my self, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  48. endashsays:

    lol, John Carter was one of the better Movies I’ve seen.

  49. Davidsays:

    John Cartes was one of the best movies I saw in the last years.

  50. Mattysays:

    John Carter was an excellent film, and it’s fan base is growing by the day. A petition is already up and running for Disney to make a sequel. Follow @JohnCarter2Fans on twitter and visit people. If you don’t like John Carter that’s fine but it’s no way deserving of been placed in this idiot’s worst films list.

  51. John carter was a great movie actually… i think you are a movie snobist

  52. Jenna M.says:

    Wow. That trailer for “That’s My Boy” looks awful. Adam Sandler is doing that yell-voice through the whole thing.

    1. Jo Howardsays:

      I got as far as “13 year old knocks up his teacher” in the summary and hit the back button as fast as I could. Ugh.

  53. Marianasays:

    Finally found someone that hates John Carter as much as I did. I literally fell asleep in the cinema while watching it. Cowboys…aliens…and princesses …Gosh…

  54. I’m surprised Battleship is nowhere near this list. Now that was a true stinker!

    1. Bobbysays:

      Yea have to say if I were to compare the movies I saw for 2012( including John Carter) Battleship would be near or at the bottom.

  55. Of these movies, the only two I have seen are John Carter, and FMA.
    Personally, I thought the former was decent, it’s true that it is truly rare to find a GOOD movie any more. John Carter was better than I expected it to be, after seeing “The Princess of Mars” not two years earlier, and finding out that they were the same story (the latter literally used “rat-a-tat-tat” and “pew-pew” sound effects. it was hilariously awful).
    Yes, the main character was largely unlikable until he actually started giving a rat’s ass about anyone and/or anything. yes, the dramatic increase in his strength and jumping capabilities due to the change in gravity were vastly overplayed, and highly unrealistic. But it far surpassed my expectations, and films rarely do that.
    As for the Sacred Star of Milos, I agree that it was a nonsensical mess of a story. It followed no distinguishable continuity, suffered from too many plot holes and pointless twists, and was downright predictable before the end. all it did for me was give me my “Elric Fix” to hold me over until I can afford to buy Brotherhood.
    can’t say about the other three, I didn’t see anything about The Lorax or the new Sandler clusterf– I mean, movie, that made me rush to see them. as for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, I’ve never even heard of it…
    …. that’s about all the useful stuff I have to spew.

  56. Jamessays:

    indeed john carter was one the shittiest movies of all time

  57. tonypsays:

    John Carter may not be perfect but it’s pretty good, I think it’s streets ahead of Avatar, which is all spectacle and cliche, and lightyears ahead of Prometheus which is a pretty but mindless piece of drivel.

  58. Maraudmaniasays:

    In the context of an original story and as a movie concept, John Carter (Princess of Mars) far outstrips Avatar and most other SF Movies of the last 5 years. The movie was well made but could have been better. Andrew Stanton did a great job but not a spectacular job. It’s a shame most movie critics are not open minded enough and that this story has been copied shamelessly in bit parts over the last eighty years and therefore doesn’t look as fresh or original as something like Avatar which has been shamelessly copied from a myriad of sources.

  59. shane hsays:

    I agree with you especially about The Lorax. That film was just off. One thing I’ll add to your assesment of it — the voices were the most mis-matched that I’ve ever seen in an animated film. There’s a chef dancing around who looks like he could be a poster for a pasta product, but when he opens his mouth to sing, he’s got this nasal, high-shrieking rock star voice. The Once-ler also has a rock-star voice — it’s just wrong and was like nails on a chalkboard for me. I hated the movie.

  60. Thats my boy was pretty damn funny saw it in the theaters and i wanna see it again when it comes to bluray

  61. john carter was crazy awesome

  62. Disagree about That’s My Boy, mean-spirited yes, but I for one found it hilarious, if you aks me that Oogieloves film should’ve been #1, the fact that even kids hated the film should tell you how bad it is.

  63. I can think of dozens of comedies WAY worse then That’s My Boy, from this year The Babymakers was WAAAYYYYYY worse.

  64. Ibbock86says:

    I’m not someone that loved John Carter but it was certainly watchable. To have it on your top 5 worst movies of 2012 easily says you have not watched many movies this year.

  65. Jared Michael Youngbearsays:

    WHAT THE FUCK!!?!? the LORAX is on this list?!?!??! (how dare you!)

  66. Rugalsays:

    I LOVED John Carter

  67. R csays:

    I just loved scrolling down and finding out almost every comment made here is in defense of John Carter… And count me in as well, I also just read this article to see if the writer had any reasonable arguments against John Carter, to find out he’s just tagging it as garbage based on completely subjective observations, and I didn’t care (nor will) go through the rest of the reviews… What is actually garbage here is this article…

    1. R csays:

      *didn’t care to go through the rest of the reviews

  68. Jack Pricksays:

    Wow, terrible choices… no film acumen. Try: The Words, Resident Evil: Retribution, Intruders, The Cold Light of Day, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Comedies are subjective and should never be included and John Carter is totally watchable, try actually seeing some films dumb shit.

  69. Squallsays:

    Why did you include an obscure Anime movie that I’m relatively sure was NEVER in theatres?

  70. Jeff Junkstuffsays:

    I might have liked the movie had I not read the books first. The books are sooo much better than the movie and could have been the next LOTR. Instead the movie hardly follows the books at all and just wrecks anyone doing the movie correctly in the future. Highly recommend the books!

  71. Since I liked John Carter of Mars, and Salmon Fishing in Yemen, I may actually see an Adam Sandler movie on purpose. Or just recognize that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  72. Alisays:

    John Carter and Lorax are not that bad to be included in this list

  73. Stevesays:

    I strongly disagree with regards to John Carter being listed as number one on your worst movies for 2012, I saw this movie twice at theatre, first time being in XD 3D, 2nd time 3D only and loved this movie both times and I definitely would have gone to see it a third time if I had the chance..IMO there are other movies that are more deserving of being included on this list, but John Carter is not one of them…John Carter was a great movie and alot of fun to watch, but than again I don’t sit through a movie and overanalyze everything about a movie, if I did half the movies that I go to see I probably would not enjoy…I would also recommend this movie to anyone who loves action movies, this is one of the best..I’m guessing one of the reasons that it probably did not do so well is the over the top action..My personal choice for the number one worst movie on this list should be the Conan remake, that movie sucked.

  74. Stevesays:

    Unfortunately I realized after making post about John Carter than I was unable to edit my post about Conan remake…Conan the remake did suck, but I mistakenly put it down as worst movie of 2012 instead of 2011.

  75. Chrisysays:

    I totally agree with John Carter. First time i saw a John Carter preview i thought “holy chiz please tell me they did not remake that stupid star wars II scene where they are tied up in an arena and nearly killed.” It looked like a train wreck just in those 30 odd seconds.

  76. Jacques Jonessays:

    My number 6 would be Super Hero Taisen. Simply because it’s an awesome concept with a horrifically botched execution, mediocre plot and an ending that makes my head want to cave in.

  77. T Sulivansays:

    John Carter is not a bad movie if you don’t mind mindlessness and senselessness. I have been a John Carter fan all my life, but the fact remains that poor choices were made in the crafting of this movie. The results are a mismatch of tones that don’t totally cohere for MANY PEOPLE. A lot of critics — critics who have been around for a while, critics who are geeks themselves, critics who love sci fi in all its incarnations — they panned the film too. Not because it was a “Star Wars” clone, not because they weren’t John Carter Fans and unfamiliar with the property — they panned it because the elements didn’t totally cohere. People forget a lot of the critics out there are uber film historian geeks with multiple books out. Their tastes are their tastes, but when it comes to geekdom, they are not on the fringe looking in as some of these comments suggest — they are the very cult and clergy themselves.
    When a poorly made film still manages to make lots of money, a critic is not necessarily wrong — but his/her opinion shows how they are evaluating a movie apart from the tastes of the general audience. A perfect case in point is “The Mummy” with Brendan Fraser. The movie did not get great reviews. And as an uber filmgeek comic book illustrator/animator myself I must say it’s not even the best pulp movie of its kind. However, I LOVE this movie. I can’t definitively tell you why it works, but despite its own flaws, and critics’ reservations, the movie still made a lot of money and garnered a large audience.
    In the case of John Carter, the critics are vindicated by market forces. John Carter failed to find its audience. We can blame it on everything from poor marketing to solar flares in space. But the question for the filmmaker has to be, “Was there something wrong with the execution and subject matter that prevented it from overcoming marketing issues?”
    And if you’ve read Andrew Stanton’s comments about John Carter, he really does agree that the movie was not as singleminded as it should have been. He blames it on everything from competing interests within Disney studios, to the switch in Disney CEO’s to the idea that they wanted John Carter to function like “Avatar” and Abrams’ “Star Trek.”
    The fact remains when it comes to studio financiers, you are rarely evaluated on the quality of your film compared to how much money your film makes. It’s that simple.
    As someone who has worked in 3D graphics and visual effects, I see a lot wrong with John Carter that the general audience won’t see. But any artist will tell you that our jobs as artists involves manipulating the audience in such a way that sometimes even they aren’t sure why they are feeling what they are feeling.
    As a John Carter fan, I want to love this movie more than it warrants. As a cinematic artist, I have to say there are laughably bad moments in this movie. So I can understand why fanboys are so upset that people are slamming their film… but fanboys maybe need to stand back a moment and see if there isn’t some validity to the arguments.

  78. Mkayesays:

    Seriously?! The Lorax was awesome – my daughter loves it, and it’s one of those I don’t mind sitting down and watching it with her. It has a great message.

  79. Nemanja Vujnovicsays:

    Dont really care about the rest of the movies, but john carter? Like seriously? It was a legit movie, and if you think it sucked, then I better not tell you what i think of your list

  80. tubsisays:

    disagree with john carter and fishing in the yemen. enjoyed both movies immensely. don’t care about the anime. adam sandler movies are getting worse every year it seems.

  81. Zamphir The Bunny Kingsays:

    About John Carter – WRONG!

  82. i liked the lorax. i understood that the song and dance numbers were for the kids – my son for once wouldn’t watch movies without song numbers. for me, the depicted manic look in the eyes of the characters; the contrast between the tragedy unfolding and the overly “plastic,” bright songs was an effective irony. i loved the movie!

  83. J to the Osays:

    I really believe if John Carter had been commercialized properly it would not have been a flop. I really enjoyed this movie and I was much more entertained watching this movie then the commercial success of Avatar. Avatar war just another typical old tale of Cowboy and Indians. Avatar consists of a more advanced civilization trying to take control of a planets valuable natural resources! Oh so bleeping epic! I really grow tired of these mental degenerates lambasting pictures that are actually more entertaining and well thought out then anything out there to date. John Carter kept my interest from the word go!

  84. Daniel Fredriksensays:

    The Lorax wasn’t that bad. You might have a point when saying that it wasn’t exactly like Dr Seuss’ novel, but I however found it entertaining. When watching it in HD it’s a quite amazing movie. You think way too much about the history behind it and not so much about the actual movie. Think about it =)

  85. andysays:

    John Carter was trashed without giving it a chance. It did great worldwide.

  86. I saw Salmon thought it was wonderful

  87. By including ‘John Carter’ and not ‘Rock of Ages’ you just won for the ‘Worst Article on Worst Films’ ever.
    John Carter rocked. It’s even better on Blu ray.

  88. I enjoyed John Carter much more than Avatar.

  89. ml3301says:

    I think your wrong about John Carter. It reminded me of a great adventure much like Swiss Family Robinson. I enjoyed the story and the acting. I have recommended it to friends and they have all liked it. I just think it was not promoted the correct way and so did not get people in to see it.

  90. So you are saying the FMA movie is just like the series but with less plot then?

  91. I won’t argue any of the other films ( especially Adam Sandler ), but I really rather loved John Carter. I found the story to be rather rich with creativity, special effects, and a pulp feel. We have to remember, that the ideas that birthed the series are over 100 years old. Box office or not, there are many great films which tank at the box office only to thrive with cult status. The film retained the spirit of the books, which is more than I can say for other movies based from books. I.e., The Scarlett Letter, HG Wells – Time Machine ( Guy Pierce ), War of the Worlds ( Tom Cruise version ).

  92. adsfssays:

    John carter was a solid move (not great but solid)…..

  93. gork57says:

    John Carter was plain awful on just about all counts. Start with the fact the we’ve known there’s no sentient life on Mars for decades now. Smarter filmmakers would’ve set the film on some other, fictional planet.

  94. Davidsays:

    I loved John Carter, the plot was a little strange. I know nothing of That’s My Boy, but I can tell by the main actors that it would be horrible.

  95. Katsays:

    I’m utterly shocked to see so many positive comments about John Carter. I can usually get through any movie, even bad movies, but that one was so inept that I turned off the DVD after the first half hour. An absolute abomination. I would have rated it worse than this writer did. I would have named it the second worst movie after That’s My Boy.

  96. Saharsays:

    John Carter is a nice movie as well as Lorax. Lorax is very informative specially for kids.
    I think you better keep your judgement only with you. Everyone has his own standpoint, we can not classify movies in bad or good ranges and then inflict them upon others.

  97. nina rosalinesays:

    Die, Lorax hater, die!

  98. Bree A Manahansays:

    Only movie on this list that I saw was John Carter. I was so excited for this movie. Read the books before it came out, and went to the midnight showing. SO disappointing. The only appealing characters were Tars Tarkas and Woola, and the script seems like it went through revision hell or something. Too bad, because it could have been really good if done right.

  99. What ?? John Carter on this list ?? Are you serious ?? This was one of the best sci fi aventures film for ages !! And where the hell is Batthleship ?

  100. I couldn’t agree more on your inclusion of Fullmetal Alchemist. I like you consider Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 series specifically) among my favourite works of fiction, if not my absolute favourite of all time. Although, I admit that the series has never been the most well executed of visual media, there are parts in all versions I really dislike but the story is just so astonishingly human despite being animated. The weaving together of such a grand fantasy epic with a very personal family story is something that no other work of fiction has ever pulled of in my opinion, let alone that well.

    It started to go downhill after that with the films and Brotherhood, which was entertaining but thats pretty much it, replacing the unbelievably fitting (though rushed) 2003 ending which was filled with extreme pathos and the ideal bittersweet ending the series deserved. Brotherhood on the other hand decided to go for such an unbelievably ciiche ending that is really incongrous to the rest of the story ( I know it’s the ‘Proper’ ending seen in the manga but its still far inferior).

    Now this insult of a film that has about as much depth and care as an animated Michael Bay film that completely disregards any established character personalities, relationships the list goes on. If there was a biggest insult to injury at the Oscars FMA SSOM would be carrying that statue with pride.

  101. NCBriansays:

    people expecting john carter to be anything other than what it was were setting themselves up for disappointment. You can spend a paragraph arguing about how unbiased and smart you are, but what more did you expect?
    i knew nothing about it going in other than the fact that it was going to be pretty bad…it definitely wasn’t the worst movie of the year.

    i mean, what do you expect from the kid from small town texas in Friday Night Lights who sounds so “Canadian” it’s absurd.

    Ohh yeh coooch, put me in. i knew everything about football and small town livin’, from a to zed

  102. NCBriansays:

    i think indiana jones and the crystal skull should be on this list.
    yeah – i know it wasn’t made in 2012.
    it was that bad it should carry over.

  103. John Carter is AN AWESOMEST movie! only idiots don’t get it!!!
    why no Battleship? and so much more..

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