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The Dirty Dozen: The 12 Worst Films of 2012

December 27, 2012

Ya got lucky, Tom Cruise. I haven’t caught Jack Reacher yet, but I hear it’s not as painfully awful as its title suggests, so I’m going ahead with my list of the year’s worst movies and letting him off the hook. Here goes nothing:

12. Parental Guidance. My New York Daily News interview with Bette Midler and Billy Crystal packed more laughs—and it was no great shakes (possibly because the once-Divine Miss M opened our chat by saying she wasn’t in a jokey mood since we were talking on the morning after the Newtown massacre). Unless your idea of good clean holiday fun is an unappetizing stew of pee-pee, vomit and groin-injury jokes, my parental guidance to you is: Keep you and your kids away!

11. Dredd. Aptly named. Why remake a Sly Stallone sci-fi movie that was no good to begin with? Can we expect a Demolition Man reboot next? And why waste a talented young actress like Olivia Thirlby in such a headache-inducing piece of claptrap? I find this Judge guilty…of sucking.

74773b065015c3a7c9b4be0001b3bdbc10. The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Even Jennifer Garner’s adorably cavernous dimples can’t save this hopelessly treacly fable about a little boy who emerges from the dirt, sprouts leaves and then—SPOILER ALERT!—dies. Weeping kids on YouTube weren’t the only ones traumatized by this feel-bad bummer. This Tiny Tim was way scarier (not to mention cornier) than any of Children of the Corn flicks.

9. The Raven. John Cusack devours the scenery while turning a dying, drunken Edgar Allen Poe into a dumbed-down Sherlock Holmes? Nevermore!

8. One for the Money. The title explains why Katherine Heigl would allow herself to be so egregiously miscast as New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum in this clueless adapation of Janet Evanovich’s mysteries. The real mystery is why this clinker didn’t go straight to DVD.

7. Jeff, Who Lives at Home. He should’ve stayed there. The Duplass brothers’ soft-headed alleged comedy wastes the talents of Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon in a naval-gazer that at the end of its search, finds only the cinematic equivalent of lint.

queens6. Mirror, Mirroron the wall, what’s the crappiest Snow White flick of all? It’s this excruciatingly wacky take on the fairy tale. And when it comes to playing evil queens, Julia Roberts is a mere pretender to Snow White and the Huntsman star Charlize Theron‘s throne.

5. Lockout. I wish I’d been locked out of the theater. Taken 1 andvictim Maggie Grace once again plays a hostage, only this time she’s the Vice-President’s daughter held captive by the universe’s worst criminals in an outer-space prison. And she looks like she’s having more fun than anyone in the audience.

4. Dark Shadows. Hey, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton? Maybe you should start playing with other kids, if the best you can come up with is this toothless, bloodless update of a ’60s vampire soap opera. In short, it bites.

images3. Three Stooges. Soitenly the Farrelly Bros. could’ve done much better than this joylessly rote restaging of ancient sight gags with the lackluster trio of Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopolous and Sean Hayes pratfalling flat as the modern-day Curly, Moe and Larry. Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Kate Upton’s aren’t the only boobs involved in this project.

2. Anna Karenina. Just when you thought Keira Knightley couldn’t give a sillier performance than her tic-ridden cringefest as a mental patient in one of last year’s worst flicks, A Dangerous Method, she tops (or is it bottoms?) herself with her inappropriately giddy turn as Leo Tolstoy’s crazy-in-love Russian doll. Screenwriter Tom Stoppard and director Joe Wright’s fussy stylistic curlicues seem even more tragic. To quote my friend Frank Ciulla, it’s a real trainwreck.

Joaquin-Phoenix-in-The-Master-11. The Master. True, Phillip Seymour Hoffman gave a good performance as the L. Ron Hubbard-esque leader of a personality cult. But Phillip Seymour Hoffman always gives a good performance. Joaquin Phoenix, on the other hand, was torture to watch as his acolyte, and I’m baffled by the honors given Amy Adams for her throwaway role. Worst of all, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s headscratcher goes nowhere—there’s no arc, no message, no point. The self-indulgent result is less Masterful than masturbation.

What are your picks for the year’s worst flicks? Post a comment!

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  1. thomasi permalink

    Ha! I get it. Take one of the best films of the year and call it the worst, thereby setting yourself apart from the pack, and establishing yourself as the guy who doesn’t fall for all that pretentious nonsense. Very crafty. Betcha no one saw it coming.

  2. Genius permalink

    Did the same thing by saying the Dark Knight Rises was a terrible movie, suddenly his review was everywhere

    • bruceafretts permalink

      Who, me? I liked The Dark Knight Rises.

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