Worst of 2011: The Movies… [FaN Boos]

Amy Says: I was so excited about a movie mash-up of western and sci-fi. It would have cowboys AND aliens! My expectations were super high. Sadly, COWBOYS & ALIENS is my pick of the worst movie of 2011. While it was moderately entertaining, the dialogue was clunky and I just felt sorry for Harrison Ford in a mean, cardboard-y role. Before we watched this wreck, I had a huge crush on Adam Beach, but he was so dreadful in C&A that now I have completely lost that loving feeling. Oh and the ending was AW-Ful, like the producers stole footage from a 1970′s live-action, kids show and yelled into their director megaphone (they use those right?) “Ok, actors, jump off the big hill like the mountain is exploding…” This movie maybe worth watching on SyFy in three years, but it wasn’t worth the price of a theater ticket.

Amy wasn’t the only one disappointed in a highly-anticipated action film this year. Check out the other Action Clunkers below. Also of note: Best of picks TAKE SHELTER and BRIDESMAIDS made this Worst of list; nobody liked SUCKERPUNCH, and surprisingly only one of us picked the latest TWILIGHT installment as the worst movie of the year.



I AM NUMBER FOUR. Having not seen any previews, all I knew was this came from kidlit, so of course I jumped at it. But the film was trying too hard to be grownup and in the end, it couldn’t hold its gun.

Gudrun Cram-Drach from Secret Life of an Expat

BATTLE: LOS ANGELESWhile the plot was cool, as with many disaster films, the characters are clichéd and just didn’t work.  The soldiers seemed flat and generic, while the dialogue just wasn’t real life.  Some of the effects screamed computer generated and at times the sub-par camerawork got in the way of the story.  There are far more polished films out there and with a little more work, this could have worked.  (This film’s main rival, SKYLINE, from a year earlier, was even worse.)
Jersey Joe from Kicking Back with Jersey Joe


SUCKERPUNCH really disappointed me because if there is anything I really enjoy, it’s women fighting baddies and being awesome at it.  But it just felt empty like a big, beautiful, glossy package with nothing inside.  For me, it lacked anything approaching emotional substance.

Roya Hamadani from Fierce Foodie


Too many to chose from. TRANSFORMERS and SUCKER PUNCH were so all over the place that I felt like I was watching ten movies, all bad. GREEN HORNET and GREEN LANTERN were personally insulting.



TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN Part I.  Even with lowered expectations, it was awful.  From the CG to the prolonged stares of anguish to the obvious elongation of emaciated storylines to maximize profit–crap.

Michael Kass from Single White Nerd



HUGO.  What is wrong with me?   It found it soul-less and uninteresting. Do not get why people are gaga over it.

Patrick Connolly from Piping Hot Nerd: Adventures of a Bagpiper Mastering Manhattan


HAPPY FEET TWO. Even Betty couldn’t make it through the first 30 minutes.

CH from CH’s Picture of the Day

I was so torn on this one. On one hand SUCKERPUNCH made me feel like a sucker for giving its makers my money. GREEN LANTERN gave me a perhaps permanent case of the hates for Ryan Reynolds.

But at the end of the day, I think I’m going to have to go with HAPPY FEET TWO for being an all-star ensemble movie heavily marketed toward all kids …. that only gave its male characters actual storylines with arcs. In 2011. So frustrating.

Ernessa T. Carter from Fierce and Nerdy
THE SMURFS. The apparent awfulness of this movie just broke my heart. Smurfette should have died in a van like Dana Plato rather than appearing in a piece of shit like this. It’s like American pop-culture is a giant garage sale at my parents’ house and I found my favorite toys in the free bin along with a one-legged Chewbacca and the one left-handed mitten that the dog chewed up. Sad, sad, sad.Eric Sims from California Seething


Like my pick for best movies of 2011, this category was also a tie: this one between CARS 2 and PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES.

The original CARS was a refreshing surprise in its sweetness and nostalgia. It meant something, the ambitious and self-centered McQueen joining together with the forgotten residents of Radiator Springs, giving Doc Hudson proud ownership over his forgotten life as the Piston champ Fabulous Hudson Hornet,  all while learning to preserve and appreciate the old Route 66 and all that it represents.

CARS 2 was a mash up of missed opportunities (and plot elements) that lost me at cars-now-have-guns. It was all meaningless action, predicated on a vague send-up of 007 films I can only imagine began with the last idea standing in a writing-by-consensus situation (with perhaps a few notes from the toys and merchandise department.)

PIRATES 4 was saved from being a total wash by Ian McShane. I would pay money to hear Ian McShane read a McDonald’s Menu Description for the Blind pamphlet.

Sarah Fazeli from Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered


The last five minutes of TAKE SHELTER. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The worst twist endings in the history of twist endings. It makes THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE look like THE USUAL SUSPECTS. In a completely unnecessary attempt to end the movie with a “holy shit” moment, writer-director Jeff Nichols decided to shoot paint balls at the Mona Lisa with a vague, nonsensical epilogue so insulting, I’m at a loss to explain how anyone but a studio executive thought it was a good idea.



IDES OF MARCH.  How can a well-written, well-directed, taut, political thriller, starring four of my favorite actors (Clooney, Gosling, Giamatti, and Seymour Hoffman) fail on such a grand scale?  Easy.  The central event of the film (spoiler alert) seems to be Presidential candidate Clooney impregnating a campaign intern, a girl who happens to be the daughter of the Chairman of the Democratic Committee.  I’ll leave alone the fact that as of this writing and to the best of my knowledge George has failed to impregnate anybody (Oscar anyone?), and focus on the fact that this rich, hypersexual girl who also sleeps with Gosling (can you blame her?), can’t scrounge up the smarts or the $900 she needs to make this problem go away.  She is so ashamed she can’t tell her rich, white, powerful, religious parents about her abortion and commits suicide that same night for reasons I still don’t understand.  This might as well be a Mamet film for it’s indifference to female characters.  What’s next?  Dead mothers in animated features?

Josh Pullin from Stay-at-Home Dad


Tie. MELANCHOLIA and BELLFLOWER. Those are the two movies that forced me to realize that I can’t see movies based on good critic reviews. The only film ever that I almost walked OUT of…was both of these. Ugh. Film people will hate me for this probably.

Matt Udvari from Gamer by Design


ATLAS SHRUGGED: Part 1. It’s hard to make narrative sense of such nonsensical source material. Perhaps the 1% can figure that out. For the other 99%, it’s just dogmatic, masturbatory blathering.

R. B. Ripley from Hyperbolic Tendencies


Oh how I hated BLUE VALENTINE (as chronicled here) but technically that was released last year. ANONYMOUS was, however, and committed two sins. It purported to be the true story of the real author of Shakespeare’s plays, but even I (a Shakespeare Novice) caught glaring historical inaccuracies in it. That wouldn’t be so bad if the whole thing weren’t incredibly boring. Roland Emmerich has suckered me for the last time. From now on, if it doesn’t involve the end of the world, I’m not going to see his movies.
Joe Rusin from On the Contrary


ARTHUR. I didn’t even see it, but I hated every little moment of it I endured through the magic of advertising. Helen Mirren must have had to pay off her Botox tab because what other possible reason would she have for being anywhere near this turd? (By turd I’m not sure if I’m referring to the movie or to Russell Brand.)
Zack Bunker from Tall Glass of Shame and Runway Rundown


BRIDESMAIDS  – cos it did not live up to the hype for me. It also makes women seem crazy and flighty and a little dumb and a lot mean. We saw this in DVD.

Missy Kulik from Dork Lifesyle


BRIDESMAIDS: It was technically my favorite movie of the year, too, but blogging about it and my ex-friend’s bachelorette weekend got me kicked out of her wedding. Seriously.

Frankie V from Frankie Says…


I have yet to see it, but I might as well pick off the low hanging fruit and select Adam Sandler’s JACK AND JILL. Though, to be fair, that film did provide the funniest video of the year, in the George C. Scott “Make it stop!” mash up video.
Ryan Dixon, FIERCE ANTICIPATION editor and writer of The Ryan Dixon Line