One of the many cited reasons for the box-office slump this year has been the poor quality of the movies, a theory that has weight if you look back over the schedule. The year started out with some of the worst films I've seen in years to hit the cineplex, followed by a middle with only a few shining spots, and a end that began top heavy with crap and is only now finally yielding some good cinema.
Thus choosing a 'Worst Ten of 2005' list has been quite difficult this year as there's been plenty of films that truly reek out there, combined with a LOT of middling efforts that are not bad but certainly below average. In the last few years television has certainly picked up in quality as more and more viewers have come to realise they don't have to settle for the mediocre anymore, this year demonstrated that movie going audiences are beginning to think along the same lines. With big plasma TVs cheaper than ever and the theatrical to DVD window shrunk to around three months, many films seem not worth bothering with at the cinema these days.
The ones on this list however aren't worth bothering with on any format. Titles like "Supercross", "Undiscovered", "The Cave" and the "Deuce Bigalow" sequel didn't make it into the Bottom Ten even though some of the film's that did are better movies. Why? Well did anyone have ANY level of expectation for these films. No, not really because quite frankly they don't matter - they're films so lightweight I doubt even their directors will remember making them in a few years time.
These bottom ten however are the truly exceptional duds - films which had a chance of working and not only didn't, they brought the art of movie making down to a level that should make all of us embarrassed to work in this industry. So without further ado, let the culprits behind these cinematic crimes against humanity be announced:
10. XXX: State of the Union "A sequel which makes the franchise's lacklustre first entry seem like master filmmaking in comparison. Everything is shockingly bad here - the performances are a joke not because of the actors so much as the script. The story is not only old and tired but essentially all over the place - characters come and go with little purpose other than to either equip Cube with guns for an action sequence or give him something to shoot at. By the point that Cube survives a 100 foot drop off a bridge and still manages to out swim flaming train wreckage that falls in right behind him, one can't help but cry at the sheer stupidity..." (full review)
9. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous "Whilst not stinking as much as it could have, it still manages to reek - essentially the exact same thing that happened to the "Legally Blonde" franchise. MC2 lacks not only the inspired casting of its progenitor but any real hint of a story either, relying on a kidnapping subplot that's too silly to be realistic, but too awkwardly dark to be funny..." (full review)
8. The Fog "A boorishly bland supernatural action thriller that's neither scary, nor haunting and certainly not fun - it just chalks up another mark in the category of unnecessary remakes. Rupert Wainwright's direction which has the odd nice shot or setup, but overall drops the ball with its determination to try and be a faster and flashy thrill ride when subtlety and substance are far more suited to the material..." (full review)
7. Elektra "Armed with a barely existent script, no real story, a slightly self-indulgent director, a snore-inducing pacing, and visuals that betray very limited financial backing, not even Jennifer Garner can save "Elektra". After the awful "Daredevil" and disappointments like "Hulk" and "Fantastic Four", Marvel needs to shape up quick..." (full review)
6. The Pacifier "Various moments throughout this such as the utterly painful 'kangaroo dance' scenes (repeated not once but at least THREE times throughout the film) take away from the few bits that work. The words lame duck perfectly describe it. As family films go there's a lot better out there, as general films go though - it's atrocious..." (full review)
5. The Honeymooners "A comedy that not so much fails as in rather fails to produce laughs or even light entertainment for that matter. Lacking any real driving story, the film plays out like a series of skits. Without any cohesive story and Schultz passable but uninspired directing, this is going to quickly come and go from the minds of most cinemagoers with many probably not even registering it..." (full review)
4. A Sound of Thunder "Some of the worst special effects in cinematic history combine with Ray Bradbury's classic sci-fi tale which has been completely butchered and expanded upon to result in the silliest time travel adventure pretty much ever made. A bad "Twilight Zone" episode that doesn't even deserve airing on the small screen" (no full review availale).
3. The Devil's Rejects "There's no full review for this film because in all honesty, I walked out of it with twenty minutes to go (caught those 20 mins on DVD the other week though). A vile, ugly, self indulgent piece of work that's perfect to masturbate in your own blood too. Gore doesn't bother me, cruelty played out for its own sake, and more often than not for vicarious pleasure as it is in this film, is just sickening. Its films like this, and to a lesser extent some scenes in the infinitely more enjoyable "Sin City", that make me wonder why some guys have an indulgent bloodlust and need to see such violent acts on film. On the flipside despite some woeful acting, script and direction, Zombie at least has more vision than other directors in this genre (you know who you are!!)".
2. Alone in the Dark "Only one person in seven survived the infamous 'Black Hole of Calcutta' incident in 1756, and those are better odds than making it through the latest Dr. Uwe Boll movie. Inept on practically every level, its all too easy to take swipes at the bad acting, atrocious script and simple lack of any concise storyline..." (full review)
1. Son of the Mask ""Son of the Mask" cost twice the price of the old JIm Carrey film, yet looks a lot cheaper. It's certainly louder, a lot more juvenile and just plain obnoxious. Anything redeeming at all? Well some fun costume design...Yeah, that's about it. So painful it hurts and certainly not for those who are at least potty trained..." (full review)
Other Notable Stinkers:
Aeon Flux Very pretty, the odd nice action scene, but a convoluted and uninvolving mess of a movie.
Are We There Yet? I kept saying the title over and over in regards to the final credits throughout the film.
Beauty Shop Latifah, give back your self-appointed crown right now.
The Cave A decent premise utterly ruined, the very similar UK film "The Descent" is SO MUCH better.
Cursed Craven's flick has had more surgery than Jocelyn Wildenstein, as a result what's left is just a mess.
Derailed One of the silliest thrillers in ages thanks to some really dumb twists.
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo When midget tossing is your film's best joke, you need to retire.
Domino The real Miss Harvery would've dragged this baby tied to chain along a gravel road for 50 miles a long time ago.
The Dukes of Hazzard Where's John Schneider in tight jeans when you need him.
Get Rich or Die Tryin' Fifty does "8 Mile 2: The Direct to Video Sequel".
Hide and Seek Incompetent and silly thriller that makes "Swimfan" seem good.
The Ice Harvest A black comedy that just sits there like a stretch mark on a stripper.
Kicking and Screaming Like Jim Carrey's early's schtick, Will Ferrell's appeal has vanished.
King's Ransom Anthony Anderson's worst movie, and he did "Kangaroo Jack".
Lord of War
A great idea for a film that's very badly executed.
The Man Sam Jackson & Eugene Levy in a buddy comedy, what went wrong?
Man of the House Tommy Lee Jones in a house full of cheerleaders, need I say more?
Stay My mind just got raped by donkey boys Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling simultaneously - interesting but icky.
Two for the Money When a film can make Al Pacino suck rather than blow, its bad.
Films That Looked So Bad You Couldn't Pay Me To See Them (Which Is Why They're Not In The List):
In the Mix Usher must protect a mafia princess, give me a break!!!
The Perfect Man Hilary Duff goes manhunting for mom Heather Locklear, dear god.
Supercross Extreme sports involving dirt bikes, guess there's an audience.
Underclassman A DMX wannabe's adventures in college. Bleech!
Undiscovered Ashley Simpson needs to mime more often.
Yours Mine and Ours "Cheaper by the Dozen" lite, hey at least those films have Hilary Duff trying to imitate normal and Tom Welling trying to imitate a teenager.