Clank-clank. That sound you hear is the cinematic dumpster carrying out all the rotten films of 2014. For every Boyhood, there was Jersey Boys. . . and a Girl on Fire in Mockingjay who spent her time filming war propaganda in a bunker. So before we get excited about all the possibilities for 2015 (did you hear about the new Star Wars?), here’s a nod to the flicks that made Us wince, squirm, eye-roll. . . and check our iPhone mid-screening to see Kim Kardashian‘s new Instagram photos. P.S. You don’t find any Adam Sandler films on this list. Too easy.
5. Inherent Vice
Incoherent Vice is more like it! (Thank you, thank you very much.) Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson fired a rare blank in this nonsensical and excruciatingly dull noir. Joaquin Phoenix sleepwalked through his role as hippie private investigator in L.A. looking for his ex girlfriend’s new guy. Blah blah. . . Owen Wilson and Josh Brolin. . . Blah blah. . . Martin Short as a druggie dentist. . . the end. Unless you were more stoned than Snoop Dogg at Coachella, there was no need to inhale this psychedelic junk.
Leapin’ Lizards! This was terrible! Perhaps, in theory, it seemed like a savvy idea to put a modern spin on this Depression-era classic musical. Casting cutie Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role gave the reboot a bit of cache too. But what in the name of Punjab was Cameron Diaz‘s Miss Hannigan doing belting out an off-key rendition of “Easy Street” in an upscale lounge? And why make Annie illiterate — we’ve already established that this poor girl has endured a hard-knock life! Maybe far away, we will learn the answers. But probably not.
3. Winter’s Tale
There’s a time and place for a shamelessly mushy story — and, as we learned the hard way, it ain’t New York City circa 1916. That was the setting for this ultra-earnest and ridiculous drama. Actual plot: A thief (Colin Farrell) runs from a gangster (Russell Crowe) with the help of a flying white horse and then falls in love with the ailing daughter of a publishing magnate (Lucy Griffiths). You know you’re sitting through a slogfest when you silently pray for the lovely heroine to just go ahead and die already.
Oh, Melissa McCarthy. Love you, but can’t give you a pass for this meandering and plain ol’ dumb summer vanity project. Though the actress co-wrote this dud (with her husband Ben Falcone), she made herself a sloppy and loudmouthed fool all-too-comfortable making crass jokes at her own expense. As Tammy hits the road with her gray-haired grannie (Susan Sarandon) (no, seriously) (And Allison Janney plays Tammy’s mom!), the movie hits a narrative speed bump at every mile. Let’s just forget this ever happened.
1. The Monuments Men
Hey, did you hear the news about George Clooney in 2014? No, not the lavish wedding in Venice, silly. The two-time Oscar winner and Hollywood king starred, co-wrote, and directed the most infuriating cinematic bomb of the year. Somehow, he corralled talent such as Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and John Goodman and managed to waste them in a bland World War II-set art-heist caper filled with silly hijinks. (Stepping on a land mine is hilarious! Wait, wha?). Or maybe he was going for a preachy drama. (We get it! Art is important!). Who could tell. This much is certain: All of it landed with a thud. Here’s hoping Clooney also vowed this year to make better movies.
Tell Us: Which movies made your worst-of-2014-list?