Worst Films of 2014
Perhaps this list should be called Biggest Disappointments, for many of them mentioned, particularly in the Dishonourable Mentions section, were not so much terrible as much as they had potential but did not live up to it. However, a select few were so badly made or on a level that I could not get on that I even committed the controversial and cardinal film reviewer sin of walking out of the cinema before the film ended. It is something that I have never done before and am not proud to admit that I did, but what’s done is done. Please read, debate and challenge me on my choices.
Dishonourable mentions: Dracula Untold, 300: Rise of an Empire, Grace of Monaco, The Best of Me, Into the Storm, The Judge, The Giver, Let’s Be Cops, Deliver Us From Evil, Chef, Labor Day, Get On Up, Annabelle,
10. Transcendence – A mish-mash of sciencey ideas played out in hilarious and logic defying fashion. Talented Rebecca Hall is the rare spark in a painfully silly story.
9. Winter’s Tale – Was it intentional or a complete misfire? Many are still debating. Regardless, this cuckoo film has some of the most deliriously bad dialogue that even if the crazy tone of the film was intended, this is still a tough slog. One frequently wonders what the stellar cast were thinking when they signed on.
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Possibly the dullest build-up to a climax. There are glimmers of strong, interesting and intriguing ideas, but they are few and far between as the content of one book is stretched across two films.
7. Serena – how the mighty have fallen. Everyone’s BFF Jennifer Lawrence’s winning streak came to a screeching halt this year with this laughable drama, which sat on the shelf for a couple of years, was finally unleashed. Lawrence is left shooting crazy expressions for two hours that give Claire Danes’ in Homeland a run for their money.
6. Vampire Academy – The YA book adaptation craze took another turn for the worse after last year’s City of Bones, with this wretched big-screen version virtually incoherent. Most disappointing is that with the proven talent (Mean Girls and Heathers film makers) behind the scenes, this should have been a success.
5. The Trip To Italy – Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel Italy, eat and indulge in ongoing famous people impersonation sparring. Others connected with this admittedly inoffensive film, however it felt repetitive, self-indulgent and hollow. Not even the mouth-watering dishes and stunning scenery could save it.
4. If I Stay – Chloe Grace Moretz attempts leading role teen angst amid bad dialogue, unsubtle imagery and manipulative weepy film making clichés. At one point mother and daughter bond over dish washing. At another, Chloe walks into a shed full of boats and asks where she is. Real face-palm stuff.
3. The Water Diviner – Russell Crowe’s directorial debut tells an amazing story in an important era in Australian history, but this mawkish, cliché, groan-inducing inspirational tale is tough going. The kind of unimaginative direction that actually has a man and his love interest playfully splash water at each other in slow motion.
2. Need For Speed – If the makers of Need For Speed set out to out-dumb the Fast and Furious series, they succeeded admirably, but they also threw in some misogyny and bad-taste (attempted) humour. Without a smidge of logic (some may scoff at the idea in this kind of film), and dragged out over more than two painful hours, there has never been a greater need to speed through a film than this one.
1. Blended – Perhaps this has no right to be on any list seeing as I walked out of the cinema at the point Adam Sandler was shown urinating. However, I ultimately decided that if it was nowhere near bearable enough to finish, then it should top this list. We had already endured Drew Barrymore spitting her food all over herself, tired slapstick and the most unbelievable set up for a story – and that is just the first five minutes.