Monday, 31 December 2012

Ten Worst Films Of 2012

I don’t necessarily enjoy highlighting the bad stuff. I do like to give every film a chance, in spite of possible preconceptions. As such, I try to see as much as possible of what’s released and as a consequence I inevitably end up watching films that aren’t very good.

These rank as the worst films I saw in 2012 through either paucity of ambition, cynical laziness or just plain misjudgement of themes and execution. The list includes feature films that received a UK general release between January 1st and December 31st 2012, on any format, but doesn’t include festival-only showings.

It also includes the 11-20 spots, for context:

20. Where Do We Go Now? (dir: Nadine Labaki)
19. What To Expect When You’re Expecting (dir: Kirk Jones)
18. Offender (dir: Ron Scalpello)
17. Jack And Jill (dir: Dennis Dugan)
16. Lovely Molly (dir: Eduardo Sánchez)
15. To Rome With Love (dir: Woody Allen)
14. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (dirs: Kyle Balda, Chris Renaud)
13. The Wedding Video (dir: Nigel Cole)
12. 360 (dir: Fernando Meirelles)
11. The Devil Inside (dir: William Brent Bell)

10. W.E. (dir: Madonna)

There’s arguably the scope for one interesting story here. There’s certainly not room for the offensive modern-day tale weaved throughout this.

9. Piranha 3DD (dir: John Gulager)

It’s not meant to be serious but that doesn’t mean it needs to be this bad. Woefully unfunny and over-reliant on a misfiring star cameo. Makes the first installment look like Jaws.

8. Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger! (dir: Debbie Isitt)

Cynical, with a suffocating improvvy script and reliance on thinking children 'acting naturally' is grounds enough to neglect just how chronic every element of it is.

7. A Few Best Men (dir: Stephan Elliott)

Filled with the very worst elements of farce and uniformly grim performances from a cast playing a coterie of laddish pricks and female characters who are either insipid or punchlines.

6. This Means War (dir: McG)

A charmless, sloppily edited mess that takes a weak joke and stretches it to breaking point, further proving action and romcoms rarely mix. It's a love story where all parties concerned are thoroughly unlikeable and completely dishonest with each other throughout.

5. Project X (dir: Nima Nourizadeh)

Absolutely deplorable, mindless found footage comedy which takes a scene which might pad out a flabby midsection of another teen comedy and stretches it to feature length – with added casual homophobia, disablism and misogyny.

4. Love Bite (dir: Andy De Emmony)

An abysmal, cynical stab at marrying a comedy-horror model with a queasily obvious attempt to ape the success of The Inbetweeners. Fails on all counts, making you look back on the golden era of Horne and Corden's Lesbian Vampire Killers with a warm glow of fond nostalgia.

3. Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (dir: Rob Heydon)

An abominable druggy drama with an awful script and even worse performances. The riffing on Trainspotting is so broad that at times it borders on parody - only minus any of the wit, charm or flair of its progenitor. The Scottish accents on display make Mike Myers sound born-and-bred.

2. Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (dirs: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim)

It attempts to break down the mystery of comedy and deconstruct the film through dry examinations of jokes and parodies of movie tropes but they fall completely flat at every turn. Not clever enough to succeed as a satire or outrageous enough to succeed in the gross out stakes, it is one thing to parody awful movies but that doesn’t make it exempt from being an awful movie itself.

1. Keith Lemon: The Film (dir: Paul Angunawela)

An ITV2 vision of cinema.


  1. "To Rome With Love" in this list? Really? Obviously nowhere near Woody's best, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even admitting the glaring flaws, surely it's not one of the year's worst...

    1. Unfortunately it is. I wanted to like it as much as anyone else but I thought it veered between inept and repellent. At the very least I didn't find anything remotely funny or touching in any of the four vignettes. To me it seemed the epitome of 'Woody's Annual European Jolly' and made me think he should certainly slow down from his current film-a-year pace. I had a more enjoyable time in two separate Adam Sandler films last year.

  2. Mine isn't fully formed but goes something like: The Knot, End of Watch, The Wedding Video, A Dangerous Method, Friends with Kids. Granted I've seen just about nothing on your list.

    1. I liked three of those and thankfully didn't see The Knot by virtue of the fact it didn't play in a single screen in Edinburgh. Judging by the reception I've seen it get, I don't doubt it would be firmly ensconced in this list if I had done.