The Big List | The 50 Worst Movies of the Decade (So Far)
40. Jack and Jill (2011)
The first Adam Sandler movie on our list – and far from the last – is one of the most painful experiences I have ever had in a movie theater. Jack and Jill is hatred, refined and fired directly at an audience. Adam Sandler plays both an advertising executive and his shrill, racist, flatulent twin sister, and together they conspire to humiliate Al Pacino (playing himself, looking ashamed) into selling out for Dunkin’ Donuts. Why not? He’s already sunk low enough to star in Jack and Jill and rap about pastries. Jack and Jill tries at the end to preach about love and understanding, but before that it demands you get off on hatred and loathing, and a baffling Johnny Depp cameo.
Worst Moment: This movie completely stops to advertise for Royal Caribbean Cruises, in what may be the most shameless product placement since Mac & Me pretended that Coca Cola cures death. ~ William Bibbiani
39. That’s My Boy (2012)
Adam Sandler often plays loathsome characters, but he seems to have outdone himself with That’s My Boy, a loathsome film about a loathsome asshole who does loathsome things to abuse and degrade his timid adult son (Andy Samberg), the result of a sexual affair he had with a teacher when he was barely pubescent. Sandler’s character treats those around him like human refuse, insults their way of living, and continues to mock and humiliate his son at every turn… and we’re meant to sympathize with him as a “good old boy.” Fuck you.
Worst Moment: When Sandler teaches his son to ride a bike, and the movie gets all maudlin and emotional, and you want to kick every single human being in the nuts. ~ Witney Seibold
38. God’s Not Dead (2014)
This surprise Christian indie hit is a shrieking, wiggling wallow in the deepest end of the religious persecution pool. A college student wages war with his atheist professor (Kevin Sorbo) over the existence of God. Meanwhile, a dozen other characters cartoon-wrestle with various metaphorical angels and demons until, one by one, they all come to the realization that God is alive and – if the logic of this ineptly written, directed and acted film is true – never happier than when He’s giving people cancer or killing them in car accidents, so long as they bow down and worship Him first. Bad filmmaking, worse theology.
Worst Moment: The ending, when the film encourages the audience to take out their cell phones and text “God’s Not Dead” to any random person in their contact list. How grateful those friends will be to participate in a branding exercise. ~ Dave White
37. Standing Ovation (2010)
One of the most horrifying facets of contemporary culture, particularly since American Idol premiered, is a generation of young people who believe that fame is rightfully theirs because they want it and they believe in themselves. Here’s a movie that comes not to bury that idea but to praise it, offering up a mini-army of screeching, spotlight-hungry tweens who are all going to throw jazz hands and hold their breath until they get handed recording contracts. Making the movie’s attitude about stardom that much harder to swallow is that none of the moppets appearing on screen are particularly good at singing or dancing, much less acting, even though they do all of those things, at full volume, for the entire running time.
Worst Moment: A tough-talking cherub, who seems to be have been raised in a Mafia day-care, intimidates an adult with a number of poisonous reptiles she’s been carrying in her purse. Yeah, it’s like that. ~ Alonso Duralde
36. R.I.P.D. (2013)
I couldn’t be more delighted with a Jeff Bridges revival, but R.I.P.D. is a Jeff Bridges Too Far. Coming on the heels of True Grit, R.I.P.D. transplants Rooster Cogburn into a Men in Black/Wild Wild West mashup of ghost policemen who work for the Rest in Peace Department. Slain officers return to earth in different bodies to hunt down criminals who’ve gone unpunished. Ryan Reynolds is too straight to play the straight man against an unrestrained Bridges. And boy is Bridges unrestrained. R.I.P.D. feels like a movie that was budgeted ($130 million?!) solely on the basis of the many summer movies it wants to emulate.
Worst Moment: R.I.P.D. tosses out its juiciest joke—that Bridges’ old-school sheriff is stuck in the earthbound body of a va-va-voom babe (Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, Marisa Miller) who receives the type of eyes and talk down attention that would enrage any cocksure fella for being viewed as a sex object—for only one scene! What’s the point of introducing this avatar dynamic if it isn’t something they actually have to adjust to and live with? ~ Brian Formo
35. Only God Forgives (2013)
Danish Director Nicolas Winding Refn has made a career of placing men in violence. Their motives for instigating violence range from the theatrical masculinity of wielding physical power (Bronson), battles for land (Valhalla Rising), and protecting a woman and her child (Drive). In Only God Forgives Refn gives us nothing except a pile of bodies without motive or repercussions. Ryan Gosling has to avenge his rapist brother’s death because his awful mother favored him. To emphasize that all the maiming is cool, Refn sets some kills to karaoke. But, like the worst karaoke, Only God Forgives is insufferable.
Worst Moment: Kristin Scott Thomas’ matriarch is a cesspool-ish cartoon. She knows too much about the length of her sons’ penises, calls women “cum-dumpsters,” and excuses rape and murder for “reasons.” She is written badly because she was only written to be all-caps BAD. ~ Brian Formo
34. Grown Ups (2010)
Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Kevin James reunite when their high-school coach dies. Then they sit around and do nothing. Sometimes they tell jokes to each other. In those moments, the camera cuts to the other men laughing at the joke. Each man gets his own shot. One by one, they laugh at the joke. It reminds the audience that jokes are supposed to be funny, and that you should laugh when you see the stars laughing. Helpful. They should have called it Five Dipshits and a Funeral.
Worst Moment: Fried chicken covered with dead coach’s ashes. ~ Dave White
33. The Roommate (2011)
For people who found Fatal Attraction or Single White Female to be too intellectually taxing, here’s a collegiate version of the stalker story designed for the very dimmest of audiences. This time, the Nice One is Minka Kelly as a Des Moines girl who’s just arrived in Los Angeles as a frosh who want to design hats, while the Crazy One is her new roomie Leighton Meester. As we’ve learned from those two previous films, having a close friend or lover turn into a threat can be scary or suspenseful or at least jolting, but this dud is none of those things, deflating any possible tension at every turn. Worst of all, the big revelation is fairly offensive: we learn that Meester’s character is bi-polar so, y’know, no wonder she’s a psycho.
Worst Moment: The ever-blank Cam Gigandet co-stars as Kelly’s boyfriend; there’s a scene where he has to walk through a library looking for a book, and you’ve never seen an actor less capable of looking literate. ~ Alonso Duralde
32. Last Ounce of Courage (2012)
The government is coming to take away your Christmas trees and your nativity scenes and your adorable church pageants and your brave war heroes and basically everything kind and good in this world, but then a bunch of upright, small-town Americans stand up for what’s right and save the day and Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. This spectacularly tone-deaf piece of Christianist propaganda takes the Bill O’Reilly ratings-grab of the “War on Christmas” and kicks it up several notches to create a Bizarro World version of the United States where the ACLU has the power to sweep in and tear down any public decorations it doesn’t like. After watching this dreck, even the preached-to choir might consider switching to “Happy Holidays.”
Worst Moment: The high-school kids pull a switcheroo and turn the winter play about aliens back into a birth-of-Jesus story, much to the sputtering chagrin of their effeminate drama coach. ~ Alonso Duralde
31. Clash of the Titans (2010)
Clash of the Titans has a well-deserved reputation for having some of the worst post-production 3D in the history of cinema, but it deserves an even bigger reputation for being one of the worst movies ever made. This entire film centers on a series ludicrous plot devices that contradict each other, like gods who include the flaws in their own plans during public speeches to their enemies, and heroes on a deadline who are sent across the country on foot because… what, horses weren’t invented yet? Nothing makes sense, everything looks terrible, and the expression “Greek Tragedy” gets a whole new meaning.
Worst Moment: Io (Gemma Arterton) is an immortal who goes on this quest just to find a way to die, and she succeeds. Then the movie ends when Zeus “triumphantly” resurrects her to be a trophy wife for Perseus, because apparently they’re both heartless dicks. ~ William Bibbiani