Well, they can’t all be Gravity. This may have been a largely fragrant year for film, but there had to be some stinkers. The law of averages demands it, and, as laws go, that one's a stickler. Here are the dirtiest dozen of the films released in cinemas this year...
SCARY MOVIE 5
Horror antagonists always come back from the dead, which is the only reason we can think of to account for the otherwise inexplicable arrival of Scary Movie 5, seven years after part four. Amid the disastrous attempts at humour, it took pot-shots at Sinister, Mama and the Evil Dead remake. If for some reason you wanted to defend it, at least you could give it credit for being up to date. - - - - - -
THE BIG WEDDING
Sarandon! De Niro! Keaton! Williams! Seyfried! Heigl! Barnes! Shite! - - - - - -
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
Beethoven's Ode To Joy graced the trailer as always, but Die Hard 5 was a joyless, cynical, dispiriting, murky, lazy, disrespectful trickle of urine across the grave of a still-classic original. Those couples who turned out on February 14 were about to have a very bad date. ONLY GOD FORGIVES
The fact that this also shows up on our best films of the year list demonstrates just how divisive the taciturn Gosling/Refn pummelfest was, even within this single office. Apparently, karaoke cops who can magic swords out of their backs just aren't for everybody. - - - - - -
THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES
Post-Twilight/Hunger Games, the clamour for the next megabucks book-based young adult franchise sent Screen Gems running to Cassandra Clare, with dreary results. The scattershot, all-over-the-place energy of the books is replaced with simple blandness, but still those who hadn't read Clare struggled to follow the proceedings. The dialogue, meanwhile, seemed to have been created with a random generator – especially the bit where they claim that Bach's music is just the thing for repelling demons. - - - - - -
THE LAST EXORCISM PART II
It's easy to snigger at a sequel to something with "last" in its title, but that was the least of the problems here. No fewer than two directors failed to do anything but grind any leftover goodwill from the excellent original into the dust, and the returning Ashley Bell, three years on, now looks too old for her role. DIANA
"A screenplay based on questionable taste and tittle-tattle," said Angie Errigo in her Empire review. "Mills & Boon, low-brow and soapy... more terrible and tacky than one could have imagined." Somehow, it was the work of the director of Downfall. Naomi Watts (kind of) looked the part, but nobody could quite understand what she was thinking. "If you can't smell the fragrance, don't come into the garden of love," was the worst line, but it was a close-run thing.
G.I. JOE: RETALIATION
Weightless, kid-friendly CGI action that astoundingly managed to be worse than the Stephen Sommers original, despite having Bruce Willis and The Rock parachuted in to give the whole thing a bit of pep. Channing Tatum, wisely, got himself killed off early on. Despite the valiant efforts of Johnson and company to soldier on, it never really blew up. - - - - - -
MAY I KILL U?
"Please god, yes," said the four people that saw this witless killer cop satire. THE FAMILY
Luc Besson sells a stereotyped France to the Americans once again, this time in a pedestrian gangster / witness protection comedy. Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones go through the motions, which include a thuddingly obvious GoodFellas meta-moment. - - - - - -
30 NIGHTS OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY WITH THE DEVIL INSIDE THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
The title tells you everything you need to know – and is, unbelievably, better than the film itself. See also A Haunted House, Movie 43 and The Starving Games. Parodies: fuck alla y'all. - - - - - -
An Internet-age comedy that would have felt dated ten years ago, The Internship coasted by on the easygoing charms of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson – and if you're not aboard that particular train, there's utterly nothing here for you. Most egregious is the central placement of Google as an aspirational utopia, but toughest to take was the running time of 73 hours (estimated). Frankly, Shawn Levy can stick his "googliness" up his Aasif Mandvi. - - - - - -
This was one of those Snakes On A Plane affairs beloved of Asylum and SyFy that exists only to get attention on Twitter for being stupid and rubbish. "So bad, it's good!" say credulous defenders who've been told they are allowed to think this by clever viral marketing. "Just so bad," say people capable of independent thought. MOVIE 43
In his Empire Podcast interview, Stephen Merchant explained that he appeared in Peter Farrelly’s jaw-droppingly terrible sketch comedy anthology film because he couldn’t turn down the chance to see Halle Berry stir a bowl of guacamole with a prosthetic breast. That’s a fair excuse, but we await decent reasons for committing cinematic hara-kiri from Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Julianne Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Dennis Quaid, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Anton Yelchin, Seth MacFarlane and, of course, Halle Berry.