The Big List | The 50 Worst Movies of the Decade (So Far)
20. Labor Day (2013)
What’s the male equivalent of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who gives a man a fresh lease on life by being carefree, creative, and über-cute? Why it’s the Flawless Rescue Stud (coined by our very own Witney Seibold). In Labor Day, Josh Brolin’s only flaw is that he’s an escaped convict. But, by doing chores and cooking pies for a single mother (Kate Winslet)—in exchange for being kept out of the authorities’ hands—he reveals himself to be the perfect father figure! Baseball! Pies! A three day weekend? Flawless Rescue Stud can reinvent your life in that time.
Worst Moment: When Frank (Brolin) has to make it appear like Adele (Winslet) isn’t harboring a criminal, he ties her up to a chair, but cooks her a delicious meal that he feeds to her while she quivers in delight at being restrained AND nourished. ~ Brian Formo
19. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The recent trend of remaking every horror classic from the last forty years is particularly dispiriting for people my age, who grew up watching the originals. Wes Craven’s 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street is a legitimately great movie that still feels novel and scary today. The Platinum Dunes remake from 2010 takes all the wit and fear out of the original, instead straining itself through an obnoxiously stylized visual filter that turns it into a photographic exercise more than a movie. The lugubrious leads don’t help, Freddy Krueger’s motivation has changed, and it’s so slow, it puts you to sleep. Your own nightmares are scarier than this forgettable drivel.
Worst Moment: The introduction of “micro-sleep,” allowing Freddy to show up whenever he likes. Nice way to kill tension. ~ Witney Seibold
18. A Haunted House 2 (2014)
The first A Haunted House was pretty damned awful, and grossly homophobic, but at least it had jokes in it. This sequel plays like a lazy series of comedic flash cards that no one bothered to turn into an actual script. Marlon Wayans has another haunted house, but it’s not a source of amusement, it’s a source of wanton animal cruelty and endless scenes of Wayans fucking a creepy little doll. And throughout the whole damned movie, Wayans makes a racist assumption about everyone he meets, only to be yelled at for being racist, only to discover that his initial racist assumption was right every single time. It’s like watching Crash all over again, but with fewer laughs.
Worst Moment: Wayans will not stop fucking that doll, no matter how hard you yell at the screen. Put the scene on fast-forward and it still seems to go on forever. ~ William Bibbiani
17. A Little Bit of Heaven (2011)
Kate Hudson gets colon cancer. That’s where the fun begins in this light-hearted romantic comedy. Kate goes to heaven for a second, sees God (Whoopi Goldberg) and gets God to grant her three wishes. NONE OF THESE THREE WISHES INVOLVE NOT DYING OF COLON CANCER. They are, instead, in order, the ability to fly, one million dollars, and sex with Gael Garcia Bernal. It’s probably true that all three of those things are great, but if Cancer Kate doesn’t bite it at the end, then there can’t be a weird salsa picnic celebration of her life where her ghost dances with all the other characters. So her colon has to murder her.
Worst Moment: Kate’s gay best friend sends her a cheer-up gift: a male prostitute. The male prostitute is played by an uncredited Peter Dinklage. He turns out to be the title character. Because he’s little. Get that joke? Do you? Because also he’s a prostitute and he’ll take your body to heaven. Except he’s little. Jokes are funny. ~ Dave White
16. Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Not so much a film as a cinematic endurance test, Michael Bay’s fourth Transformers blockbuster is a 165-minute marathon of sound and fury, signifying nothing. All of Bay’s trademarks are here – military fetish, disgusting female degradation, a sense of humor on a third-grade level, a complete lack of spacial continuity – but writ even larger than usual. The Transformers films are based on a series of empty-headed cartoon commercials from the 1980s, and Bay finally seems to have captured that empty-headedness – times a million – with Age of Extinction. The movie ends with Optimus Prime flying into space to punch God in the kidneys.
Worst Moment: The noisy part before the credits, but after the title card. ~ Witney Seibold
15. Sex and the City 2 (2010)
The girls are back in town, but their problems are so incredibly first-world — Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is upset that Big (Chris Noth) is more interested in watching TCM than having sex; Charlotte (Kristin Davis) worries about losing her husband to a bosomy Irish nanny — that the foursome must troop off to Abu Dhabi, just the place for Samantha (Kim Cattrall) to make “Lawrence of My Labia” jokes. What was fun, frothy and aspirational in one movie and an HBO series ossifies here into something brittle and desperate; it’s like watching a tacky and shrill drag queen impersonate a female star you once loved.
Worst Moment: Samantha’s purse pops open in a public market, and as her condoms go flying everywhere, she shrieks, “I’m a WOMAN! I have SEX!” to horrified passersby. By that point, I was empathizing with the passersby. ~ Alonso Duralde
14. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011)
In this Adam Sandler-written death-belch, Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson) has a micropenis but becomes a porn star anyway because that’s how Adam Sandler movies always go: unqualified men stepping up to become heroes without having to change one single thing about themselves, thereby insuring that a nation of schlubs understands that the only thing separating them from greatness is the right set of chance circumstances dropping into their Cheetos-covered laps.
Worst Moment: It begins with a goat licking peanut butter off a man’s genitals. From that point forward it’s a recursive nightmare within a nightmare. Then a pig eats a lollipop. That bit is kind of funny. ~ Dave White
13. The Identical (2014)
Twins are born. Twins are separated. One (Blake Rayne, a real life Elvis impersonator) becomes a mechanic. One (also Blake Rayne) becomes an Elvis-like singing sensation. The mechanic becomes a star, too, sort of, by impersonating the one who’s like Elvis. Be mindful that this is a universe in which Elvis Presley already exists.
Confused yet? It’s also a Christian movie that’s kind of obsessed with whatever Israel’s 1967 Six Day War has to do with a prophecy as explained in the book of Revelation. Seth Green’s in it, too, a gesture that has to be some sort of Robot Chicken prank. It’s 2014’s greatest disasterpiece, a brain-mangler that must be seen to be believed.
Worst Moment: Rayne invents rock and roll with a song called, no joke, “Boogie Woogie Rock and Roll,” a track born on a Carnival cruise ship’s “Salute to the 1950s” review and then sent back in time via pneumatic tubes. ~ Dave White
12. Tusk (2014)
I’m on the Wikipedia page for this movie, because I said that Kevin Smith killed irony, and Tusk was the murder weapon. I stand by that statement. What started as the pitch for a bad Human Centipede knockoff on his podcast somehow snowballed into an actual movie about turning Justin Long into a walrus, and the film is so defiantly smug about its own existence – i.e. Can you believe we actually talked Johnny Depp into this crap? – that it becomes the opposite of funny. Tusk plays like it deserves credit for being made at all, despite its stupid premise, instead of playing like a real movie that deserved to be made in the first place. That’s a cruel joke to play on the audience: forcing them to pay real money, but only giving them a fake film.
Worst Moment: Johnny Depp and Michael Parks, each with outrageous and not funny accents, yelling back and forth about hockey, spiders and poutine bowel movements. Forever. ~ William Bibbiani
11. N-Secure (2010)
This little-seen, barely released indie drama from David M. Matthews (his sole directing credit) is the answer to the question, “What if Tyler Perry had made The Room?” An extremely successful corporate executive (Cordell Moore), whose personality is so unpleasant it will make you wonder how he got ahead in business at all, stalks and abuses his female companions. He’s endlessly paranoid, violent, and controlling, so naturally every woman who crosses his path finds him irresistibly sexy. Notable for its consistent awkwardness, sets apparently decorated by the staff of Rooms To Go, actors who seem baffled by the script, and direction informed by cheap, 1980s syndicated soap operas. Tempest Bledsoe is in it.
Worst Moment: Quiet storm lovemaking. ~ Dave White