This marks the conclusion of our Year’s Over wrap-up here at Heave. Since we’ve talked about all the best that 2013 had to offer in pop culture, we felt it appropriate to also acknowledge the opposite, as Pod People co-hosts Nico Lang and Dominick Suzanne-Mayer run down the 20 worst movies of the year.
1) InAPPropriate Comedy
InAPPropriate Comedy isn’t just the worst movie of 2013. It might be the worst movie ever made, a film that uses equal opportunity offense to be racist, ugly and evil. In the film’s final scene, director Vince Offer (a.k.a “The Shamwow Guy”) shows a wooden crate addressed to Adolf Hitler from “the future.” Offer should have put his movie in it.
2) Movie 43
Movie 43 is the kind of movie that’s been mercifully left in the dust by the advent of the internet. An omnibus of increasingly terrible “comedic” shorts by a number of reputable directors and spearheaded by the Farrelly Brothers, it’s a reminder that jokes about menstrual cycles, explosive diarrhea, creepily full-frontal naked women and the trope of buck-toothed Asian people (to name just a few) aren’t funny, and if they ever were, their potential was exhausted decades ago. Movie 43 is so bereft of original ideas that it should just be stricken from existence.
3) Scary Movie 5
The fact that Scary Movie 5 isn’t the worst movie of the year is a testament to how low the bottom of the barrel went this year. Scary Movie 5 is a lazy waste of film, a pointless wet fart that exists for no reason but to capitalize on other movies. The movie sees itself as a satire, but the only thing it’s parodying is its own greed and cynicism.
4) Grown Ups 2
If Adam Sandler makes a movie and nothing happens in it at all, does it make a sound? Grown Ups 2 makes a lot of sounds in its interminable 101 minutes, many of them of the scatological or forced laughter varieties, but watching the film is akin to a long soak in a sensory deprivation tank, where neither laughter nor pathos nor anything else exists, just the dark vacuum of Sandler and his usual troupe of comics quarter-assing their way through a film that in and of itself is about no more than them quarter-assing their collective way through life.
5) The Counselor
If Prometheus was Ridley Scott’s jump-the-shark moment, Scott cooked the shark and served it to us as sushi with The Counselor, a movie that’s so bad it’s truly mind-boggling. It’s a trainwreck so miscalculated that a growing cult already swears it’s a misunderstood masterpiece. But don’t let Cormac McCarthy’s opaque screenplay fool you. The Counselor is one stinker of a fish.
Putting Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor on a worst list almost feels wrong. Sure, it’s one of the year’s truly terrible offerings, but it’s gloriously, wonderfully, perfectly terrible, a piece of shit that’s a thing of real beauty. If there’s any justice in the world, the midnight movie circuit will embrace Temptation for the camp classic it deserves to be.
7) Texas Chainsaw 3D
For a movie that made quite a bit of money over the very first weekend of 2013, it’s hard to remember that Texas Chainsaw 3D existed at all. But if you saw it, you remember a movie that doesn’t even give a shit enough to come off as sexist or offensive as it totally is, at least until it decides that what horror icon Leatherface needed was a ham-fisted backstory and a sassy female sidekick. This is one of the best examples to date of a film so terrible that it actively damages its whole franchise.
8 ) Carrie
Most horror remakes pale in comparison to their predecessors. Few of them are as shameful and reprehensible as Carrie, Kimberly Peirce’s pro-school shooting movie. Peirce’s answer to 21st-century school bullying? Kill the bastards. It’s not a movie’s job to save modern society, but they shouldn’t overtly make it a worse place. The world is worse with Carrie in it.
9) The Lone Ranger
Long before The Lone Ranger came out, the wolves were already sharpening their teeth, eagerly awaiting the release of a film with a notoriously bloated, disastrous production that promised Waterworld-level flop theatrics. And as it should have, the film was a failure, but not the outsized, glorious mess the hype suggested. The Lone Ranger is just an endlessly banal waste of time, money and human resources that may have ruined Armie Hammer’s career and, sadly, won’t ruin Johnny Depp’s.
10) A Haunted House
Sensing a theme yet? The parody movie is already an endangered (at best) species, and A Haunted House does it few favors, with Marlon Wayans lifting jokes wholesale from the elder films in the Scary Movie franchise in service of a Paranormal Activity send-up that doesn’t even diverge enough from the source material to warrant consideration as a parody. And we’re getting another one in 2014.
11) Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is 2013’s answer to Jack and Jill, a movie that appears to have been made wrong. Entire subplots and stretches of backstory are missing, while the film burns through its meager plot far too quickly. Because the actors sense that the movie is crumbling around them, Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner look just as bored with this mess as we do.
12) The Hangover Part III
To be honest, The Hangover should’ve never had a sequel. It was never going to happen, with the film being a surprise runaway hit and all, but after a second installment that saw director Todd Phillips crassly remake his own film, joke for joke, in a different locale, Part III sees Phillips failing even harder in an attempt to turn the franchise into a hybrid of a gritty crime melodrama and an action flick. There are few jokes, an inappropriate amount of bloodshed, and a torrential outpouring of flop sweat from every inch of the screen.
13) Identity Thief
After Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy will undoubtedly find her next great vehicle. This is not that vehicle, a tonal misfire that proves director Seth Gordon is unlearning how to make movies. The biggest problem is that Identity Thief can’t decide what it wants to be: its first act is a raunchy comedy, the second act is an action film and the third act is a redemption drama. However, all of those acts are crap.
14) Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn capitalized on the enormous critical support he earned from Drive to make a film as awful as Drive was inspired. The film is so utterly inert that all of Refn’s actors appear to be mannequins, with Ryan Gosling at the movie’s hollow center. The movie wants to make a statement on minimalism and masculinity, but it comes off as campy, overwrought trash.
15) Baggage Claim
The film equivalent of an ethnicized Cathy comic strip, Baggage Claim is a mess of a movie, and one that feels completely and utterly at odds with anything resembling modernity. Paula Patton’s lovestruck protagonist doesn’t even follow in the tradition of a great many ignoble romantic comedies, chasing a man because she bases her own worth on being loved. She just wants a man so that her family and friends won’t think she’s worthless, a life strategy the movie sees no issue with to an almost insane level.
16) To the Wonder
Sometimes it takes a great director to make a truly terrible film, and To the Wonder is one of this year’s most ambitious failures, a movie that actively punishes you for liking The Tree of Life. Terence Malick’s follow-up to his 2010 masterpiece feels like outtakes from his previous success, a movie about human behavior that feels observed from space. Malick isn’t interested in humanity, just his own pseudo-profundity, God as a metaphor for nothingness.
17) Kick-Ass 2
Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 adaptation of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass was a surprisingly excellent revisionist superhero flick, in large part because of its unwillingness to wallow in the beyond-excessive bloodshed, inborn misogyny and fanboy-baiting obnoxiousness that characterizes much of Millar’s work. The follow-up, however, overdoses on these things, reveling in the very kind of casual sociopathy that the first film, in its best moments, criticized.
18) A Good Day to Die Hard
Speaking of ruining franchises, A Good Day to Die Hard finally destroys the once-proud action series for anybody who stuck around after its fourth-installment dalliance with PG-13 brutality. The R rating is back, but what’s missing is a Bruce Willis that gives even the slightest fuck about anything he’s doing onscreen, or a film that has anything more to offer than three increasingly ridiculous setpieces that carry themselves with not one iota of fun or irony, even when Chernobyl inexplicably emerges as a major plot point.
19) The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
It’s baffling that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone even exists, given its standing as a send-up of Vegas street and casino magicians that feels at least a decade too late to the party. It’s a resounding failure of a movie in which nobody involved seems remotely engaged, and by the time the film reaches its big finale in which hundreds of strangers are roofied and kidnapped for the sake of stage magic, you’ll be begging for an equally painless way out.
20) About Time
About Time is the first romantic comedy made for Mens Rights’ Activists. Does your lady crush friendzone you? Then use your time travel powers to travel back in time and redact her boyfriend from existence just in time to use your future knowledge to emotionally manipulate her into spending her life with you. Ah, Hollywood romance.