It’s getting towards the end of the year so this is when we all look back at the past 12 months and try to sum up the happenings of the year in top ten lists! I will be posting a top ten best movies of the year tomorrow, so look out for that as well, but I thought I’d get the dregs out of the way before I did that. I’ll start with my criteria – I’m only counting new films that were released in the UK this year. If they came out at the tail end of 2013 and were still in cinemas when 2014 started that is acceptable to me (as long as I didn’t include them on the previous year’s list). Also, I haven’t seen every movie released so take this with a grain of salt. These are just my preferences and if any of you happen to like these movies that’s fine and I’m glad somebody can find enjoyment in them. Furthermore, I don’t tend to go see movies that I have a good feeling will be horrible, so if they don’t interest me then I’m not going to waste my time (an example of this would be Tammy) so I’m sure there are really bad films that won’t appear on this list because I haven’t seen them, you could take this list as a ‘most disappointed of 2014’ if you wish. I’ll go through my list and then I’ll mention some films that missed out.
If you want a deeper review then you can check out my reviews by going to the ‘Movie Reviews’ page.
#10 – Need for Speed
This was a jumbled film that had good action scenes but the story was all over the place. The structure and pacing was off and it wasn’t that memorable. I remember that it dragged on quite a bit towards the end and you could tell it was trying too hard to capture the formula of the Fast & Furious franchise. A forgettable film, and one of the worst sins in my opinion is for a film to be boring. Which leads nicely into my number nine.
#9 – Transcendance
This was supposed to a be a landmark film that got deeply into the nature of artificial intelligence and how it could impact our lives and the way we think about identity. Instead, it was a plodding film that just kind of existed. I didn’t feel any tension and a few of the concepts weren’t explained clearly enough. It was slow and I didn’t feel invested at all. Once the film had ended I didn’t feel inclined to spend any time thinking about it, and that’s a big sin considering the subject.
#8 – Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
After Transformers 3 I said to my friends that I wasn’t going to go see the following one in cinemas unless Dinobots were involved. Damn you Michael Bay. It actually wasn’t without merit, I like Mark Wahlberg and it’s always (mostly) fun to see Optimus strut his stuff. But the film is such a mess, with three plots that don’t make complete sense when examined properly. It’s far too long for what it is and there’s a bizarre scene where one of the characters carries around a card to justify his relationship with a girl who is technically underage. Why even include that? Ugh. And then of course the Dinobots were in it for all of five minutes! I expect news of the fifth one will be coming soon but I’m really not interested. Even if they announce that it’s going to take place on Cybertron and will involve Unicron I’m not going to be sucked in again.
#7 – Horrible Bosses 2
This is a weird one and honestly I wasn’t sure where to place it on the list because honestly I did enjoy it quite a bit. However, there were moments of juvenile sexism that basically ruined the film for me. There were points where I was actually uncomfortable and I’m not sure how some of what made it onto the screen made it through the creative process. It left me with a sour taste in my mouth so I put it at seven but it could have been higher. The sexist remarks tanked it completely.
#6 – 12 Years a Slave
This is probably going to be the one that most people disagree with on this list, especially since it got a lot of critical acclaim and was rewarded at a lot of award shows. I found it utterly boring though, and while I was watching it my attention was drifting. It just seemed like it kept hammering home the message that slavery is bad without actually letting the story breathe, so I always felt like it was lecturing me.
#5 – Sex Tape
The trailers for this didn’t look promising but sometimes trailers aren’t reliable, and I like Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel so I figured it couldn’t be that bad. I was wrong, so very, very wrong. The jokes weren’t funny, the script was bad, and from looking at the trailer you could tell that they changed the ending. I can’t give a good reason why anyone should want to watch this.
#4 – Maleficent
I love Disney, I used to work at Disney. I love new spins on familiar tales. Maleficent should have been good but a lot of it made no sense. It was filled with bad acting and the structure was horrendous. There are so many time jumps that I lost track of them all, and I can count the good parts of the film on one hand. I was really disappointed in this because nothing about it worked, aside from Jolie’s performance.
#3 – A Million Ways to Die in the West
Ted was awesome. This was not. It felt indulgent and pretty much all of the jokes fell flat. I think the main problem is that MacFarlane tried to be too clever, and I think he wanted to paint the character he played as somehow removed from the world he presented. It didn’t work and he came across as smug. A few of the jokes landed but they were few and far between, and it would seem that MacFarlane is better served staying behind the camera.
#2 – Noah
Oh sheesh, I talked a bit about boring films earlier but this one was the worst. It even sent my friend to sleep! I don’t know who this film was made for because I don’t see atheists liking it and I don’t see theists enjoying it either. I found myself siding with the antagonist mostly and there were a lot of logical gaps that it didn’t try filling in. Like, um, how are they going to repopulate the Earth? This film is a pointless exercise in monotony.
#1 – Walking on Sunshine
Fun story, I went on a date and there were three films to choose from; this one, The Fault in Our Stars, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. I tried to persuade my date to see one of the latter two but no, she was desperate to see Walking on Sunshine. I like Mamma Mia! so I didn’t think it would be too bad, and I’m a fan of Leona Lewis so at least I’d enjoy hearing her sing. Oh, wait, hang on, THE ONLY ACTUAL SINGER IN THE CAST SANG ONE LINE!!
Ridiculous. The charm of Mamma Mia! is that it had actual movie stars singing the songs, so even though Pierce Brosnan is a bad singer it’s still Pierce Brosnan. Walking on Sunshine boasts no such stars, so you’re left watching a bunch of unfamiliar people sing badly in a completely by-the-numbers plot. It’s a cynical film made to cash in on people thinking, ‘oh well, it’s just a bit of fun isn’t it.’ No, producers should not be allowed to get away with this rubbish. There’s no attempt at all to make a decent film and that is inexcusable. It’s without merit and it’s not just the worst film of 2014 but one of the worst films I have ever seen. I would rather walk on the sun than watch this again, at least the pain would be over more quickly.
So there we go! Those were my worst films, most of which were more boring that truly bad, but in some ways that’s worse. Now for a couple that missed out. I did think about putting Godzilla on the list because it barely showed the titular character, but honestly that part at the end where he does the atomic breath blast into his opponent saved it from being above any of the others. The other close one was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but I did enjoy that one. The story was abysmal but it captured the personalities of the turtles so I had fun watching it.
What were your worst films of the year? Do you agree with my picks? Sound off in the comments!