It may be hard to believe, but as a film critic, it takes a lot to displease me. If I choose to see a movie, I usually give it the benefit of the doubt, so it takes a real stinker to make it to the bottom of my list. These are 10 worst movies I had the misfortune of seeing in 2015.
10. It Follows
You'll find this movie on some critics' best lists because of its simple and, for them, effective execution of horror movie tropes. But whether you find it terrifying or not likely depends on where you saw it.
In the theater, with an audience primed for scares, you're more likely to go along with the idea of a slow-moving villain being horrific. At home, it's easier to see the film's flaws, and that the threats it contains are actually pretty laughable.
SNL alum Kristen Wiig is attempting to prove she's more than just a comedian, throwing in films like this and The Skeleton Twins that let her show off her dramatic range.
Although she delivers a decent performance, Welcome to Me is a disaster from beginning to end. A lack of character development prevents you from caring about anybody in the entire film, which is a shame since it contains a slew of recognizable actors.
Here, a solid idea of having a stoner as a sleeper CIA agent gets blunted by poor storytelling. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are fine actors in their own right, but even they can't save a film that seems to favor gore over plot.
If the filmmakers had just kept the movie funny with the occasional violent outburst, it would have been fine. But when the laughs get stopped dead in their tracks by having someone's head get blown off — literally — you have to wonder what they were thinking.
The recent wave of young adult books set in dystopian worlds and their subsequent movie adaptations is one that can't be sustained, as the sequel for The Maze Runner and the final Hunger Games showed this year.
But the worst of the bunch was Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, which played more as a parody of the genre than an exemplar of it. Overly complicated plot machinations, cheesy special effects, and an uninteresting story make for a hopeless film.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when director Michael Mann could be counted on to deliver a great movie every time. As Blackhat proves, that time has passed, and it may never return.
Mann and his team attempt to goose up a story about a hacker by turning it into an action thriller, a choice that leads to a waste of good actors and some of the most nonsensical action scenes this side of an Expendables film.
Some of the best parts of the Despicable Me franchise are when the Minions are put front and center. But as with most supporting characters, a little of them goes a long way, and devoting a whole movie to them is just way too much.
With the characters' weird noises and oddly multilingual utterances quickly going from cute to repetitive, and a story that doesn't seem to know how to have any fun, the film never gets going. With other great animated options out there, why would anyone waste their time with this drivel?
4. Jupiter Ascending
The Wachowski siblings made their name with The Matrix, which still deserves its classic status. Unfortunately, everything they've done since has fallen into the category of either "meh" or "what is this crap?"
Jupiter Ascending lies squarely in the latter category, as it contains spectacular visual imagery backing up a horrendous story, and acting so bad that it almost overshadowed Eddie Redmayne's Oscar-winning performance in The Theory of Everything.
What is it about the Fantastic Four that makes it impossible to construct a good movie? There have been three made in the last 10 years, and not one of them has turned into something watchable.
This one skips the part about superheroes learning to use their newfound powers in favor of a bunch of unnecessary personal drama that does nothing to advance the story. With a big bad villain who's neither big nor bad, and a quartet of heroes who are nearly impossible to root for, this adaptation is DOA.
2. Big Game
This is a movie that most of you have likely never heard of, much less seen, and that's for good reason: It's god-awful. Starring Samuel L. Jackson as the President of the United States, it contains nearly every bad action movie cliche imaginable.
It has it all: horrible one-liners, impossible physical maneuvers, poor special effects, and an ending that goes so far beyond expectations that even Michael Bay would look at it and say, “You might want to tone it down a bit.” The only thing more shocking than the awfulness of the movie is the level of talent that agreed to participate in it.
Oh, Cameron Crowe, where have you gone? The writer/director known for classics like Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous hasn't made anything close to a good movie in 15 years, with Aloha representing his nadir.
Another waste of good actors, the film never takes the time to explain anything of import to the story. Crowe hop-scotches between subplots seemingly at will, and one bad performance by Emma Stone — not to mention an ethnically questionable one — overrides any positive attributes. Aloha means "say goodbye to the Cameron Crowe you knew and loved."