Seriously Bad Films

The 10 worst movies of 2013 overpromised and underdelivered

Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace
Photo by Kerry Hayes/Relativity Media
Josh Brolin in Oldboy
Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/FilmDistrict
Joe Leydon Man of Steel Superman Dylan Sprayberry June 2013
Photo by Clay Enos/© 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding LLC
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass 2
Photo by Daniel Smith/Universal Studios
Jack the Giant Slayer, Nicholas Hoult
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Despicable Me 2
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment
We're the Millers
Photo by Michael Tackett/Warner Bros. Entertainment
Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Jaden Smith in After Earth
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

Being a film critic can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it's a real drag. Forcing yourself to sit through a clunker of a movie just so you can write a full review is harder than you might think.

The following 10 movies overpromised and underdelivered, making them the worst films of 2013.

10. Out of the Furnace
This movie had Oscar contender written all over it, given that it had multiple Oscar winners or nominees in front of and behind the camera. But the result was a rambling, pointless mess that took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get to its point.

By then, however, the audience couldn't have cared less about what happened to any of the participants. The acting was good, but that's about it.

9. Oldboy
The original Oldboy was a Korean cult classic, something writer/director Spike Lee thought he could replicate. But he's not as daring as his Asian counterparts, so when he did try to throw in shocking moments, they felt out of place from the rest of the film.

Combined with the telegraphing of key revelations, including the biggest one of the entire film, Lee managed to ruin what could have been one of the more interesting films of the year.

8. Man of Steel
The last attempt to reboot the story of Superman was just seven years ago, but like moths to the flame, plenty of people were willing to believe the latest attempt would work.

It didn't, thanks to confusing time-jumping storylines, intrusive product placement and a severe miscalculating of tone, especially during a building-crunching finale that evoked 9/11 a bit too much. As shown by the box office, we wanted to watch Superman do his thing, but we deserved a much better movie than Zack Snyder gave us.

7. The Lone Ranger
Hollywood has recently been fond of digging up old movie or TV franchises to play on the nostalgia factor, but they messed up here by thinking that a movie called The Lone Ranger would work with the Lone Ranger as a side character.

Johnny Depp was great as Tonto, but the focus was put on him at the expense of pretty much everything else. Such a gambit might work in the second film of a series, but not the first.

6. Kick-Ass 2
The first Kick-Ass wasn't great, but it was a kick in the pants for the superhero genre, which has started to get a bit stale. Sadly, there's nothing surprising about this sequel, which, like many others on this list, never settled on the right tone.

It wanted to be a dramatic action-comedy, but in trying to be all of those, it wound up being none of them. If a third film is to happen, just let Hit Girl do her thing and move everybody else out of the way.

5. Jack the Giant Slayer
Hopes were high for this film directed by Bryan Singer and featuring rising star Nicholas Hoult, but this one was a non-starter from the get-go.

The tone was neither action-packed nor kid-friendly, so the film ended up in a kind of a no-man's land without a true audience. It also failed to build up any enmity for the supposed villains, the giants, making them huge props that were in the film merely because the title decreed they be there.

4. Despicable Me 2
The first Despicable Me was a blast of creativity featuring dueling villains, three cute kids and funky creatures called minions. The inevitable sequel took away the funny story, added in a bland love interest and tried to cover all that up by doubling up on the minions.

Sorry, but that just doesn't cut it in the hyper-competitive world of animated movies nowadays.

3. We're the Millers
Yes, this is low-hanging fruit, but just because a film isn't supposed to be great doesn't excuse mailing it in. The filmmakers wanted to be over-the-top but never quite nailed the concept. Instead they delivered profane situations but forgot to make them funny.

This "comedy" went on to earn more than $150 million at the box office, making it one of the surprise hits of the year.

2. The Great Gatsby
This film was supposed to be a 2012 holiday release before being pushed to summer 2013, but those six extra months didn't help this butt-numbing slog become more watchable.

The lead actors were either miscast or uninvolving, the 3D was used to distract rather than enhance the story, and the touted use of modern-day music mixed poorly with the rest of the film. Re-watch Moulin Rouge if you're looking for classic Baz Luhrmann.

1. After Earth
In hindsight, the first clue that After Earth would be bad is the simple fact that it was written and directed by M. Night Shymalan, who's made few good movies in his career. But the movie's faults went well beyond that, from a plodding story to uninteresting characters to Syfy-level special effects.

Will Smith needs to think long and hard before putting his son front and center again.